Hiking Mount San Jacinto

There are amazing all-season hikes to the top of Mount San Jacinto near Palm Springs high above Coachella Valley.

San Jacinto Peak is 10,834 ft. and was known to Cahuilla Indians as I a kitch (or Aya Kaich), meaning “smooth cliffs”.

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway hike is the less strenuous option. My son and his friend climbed all the way up and it’s not easy, but taking the tram (which is SUPER SUPER scary) is a perfect way to enjoy what John Muir referred to as “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!”

Spectacular view.

We see beauty all around.

Palm Springs

I especially love the contrast of these stark white branches against the blue sky.

Yummy Vegan Veggie Lentil Soup

My doctor totally depressed me cos she told me her husband’s best friend just died from Covid-19 and because she’s on the frontlines treating patients, she cautioned me to be extra careful and stay home and away from people.

I decided it was a great day to make another version of my favorite hearty and healthy soup.

Lentil Tofu Veggie Soup

Ingredients:
*Carrots, 3 large
*Celery, 2-3 stalks including leaves
*Tofu, whole package
*Lentils,1.5 cups
*Kale, 2 cups
*Broccoli, half head
*Canned organic tomatoes, 28 ounce can
*Bay leaves and other garden herbs

–Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot.
–Add roughly chopped carrots and celery. I don’t like onions so I didn’t add them, but go ahead and chop up half an onion if you like them.
–When they’re nicely browned and have released a lot of flavor, add dried lentils and six cups of water along with a couple bay leaves.

–Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer.
–Add bite-sized pieces of broccoli and tofu along with chopped kale.
–Simmer for about an hour, stir every once in a while. Add more water as needed.
–Add a large can of diced tomatoes in juice and any herbs to taste.
–I picked sage and oregano and thyme from the garden.
–Add 1/2 teaspoon pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt (optional).

–Serve in a large bowl with freshly chopped cilantro and basil. I’ve been lucky enough to have beautiful lettuce this season, so I picked a few fresh leaves for a salad to accompany this delicious soup.

Sometimes I make a crusty French bread but I didn’t feel like it because I’m sad about almost losing our precious democracy but I might make vegan biscuits tomorrow cos I’ll eat this soup for a few days.

It gets better every day.

Birds of SoCal

Here in SoCal it’s pretty warm during the day, bugs are out and about and these noisy little birds snapped them out of the air right in front of me. It was daylong entertainment, at least half a dozen birds catching flies and (I think) termites in mid-flight.

Black Phoebe

Scratching on the ground, a few California Towhees make my garden their home. They love their reflection and tap at the window or anywhere they can see themselves.

This was a peaceful first weekend of 2021.

Best Mantra for 2021

Let’s all take a deep breath and say goodbye to 2020. Hindsight truly IS 2020, isn’t it? At least now it is, haha.

I like to post a mantra to welcome each new year, and saw this one from the Dalai Lama to maintain peace of mind and remain free from worries.

“Om tare tuttare ture soha”

This mantra is often chanted to overcome physical, mental or emotional blockages, although it can also be used for blockages in relationships. It can help release hope for a particular outcome and bring the energy back to yourself, generating inner peace and clarity.

“Om tare tuttare ture soha”

To reap the most benefits, mantras should be chanted 108 times (mala beads can help.)

“Om tare tuttare ture soha”

Happy New Year!

Easy DIY Mod Podge Candle Decor

We had our first winter storm today with some hail, so I needed an indoor project.

I love to embellish pretty much everything, usually with seashells, but not always. This time I decided to Mod Podge a silk scarf onto plain glass candles that came from the dollar store.

The scarf was an old Laurel Burch cat scarf that I must have inherited from my mom because I never was really a Burch fan. I’m not sure why I had originally cut it up, but there was enough material left over to beautify three candles.

The art of decoupage is so simple yet so satisfying.

1. Cut the fabric to the size of the glass container.
2. Brush a good amount of Mod Podge on the glass.
3. Carefully place the scarf on the glass and press firmly.
4. Brush on more Mod Podge. The silk adheres really nicely to the sticky glue and there’s enough time to push out all of the air bubbles.
5. Let it dry for about an hour and then paint another layer of Mod Podge onto the surface.
6. Let dry.

That’s it!

I’m beyond pleased with the results!

All lit up and glowing. They look even better than I thought they would. The best thing is that when the original candle burns out, I can replace it with a votive.

Is this on your “To Do” list?

BE HAPPY!

I hope everyone had a lovely 2020 sort of Christmas, even if was different than in the past. I can totally relate!

BE HAPPY!

I first saw this little journal about a week ago a couple blocks away on one of my walks; I picked it up and placed it on a fence just in case the owner was searching for it.

BE HAPPY!

I saw it again on my Christmas Day walk, resting on a bed of rocks, and love the message so much I took a photo. Two simple words, but incredibly profound.

If it’s still there today, I’m rescuing it. At that point, it’s meant to be mine, do you agree?

BE HAPPY!

(That’s not merely a suggestion, it’s a great mantra for 2021.)

Happy Christmas 2020

Mele Kalikimaka!
Yuletide greetings from Enchanted Seashells. Even in this craziest of crazy years, there’s always something to be grateful for, right?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

One of my fave versions; makes me wish I was in Hawaii right now.

Easy Vegan Tofu Mayo

While everybody is posting pics of beautifully decorated cookies and cakes, I decided to go back to basics with a recipe for vegan mayo. 

No need to panic if you run out; it’s really easy to make your own!

I used to love Trader Joe’s vegan mayo but they’ve either been out of it for a long time or maybe they just stopped selling it, so I decided to experiment with my own version.

It’s simple and tasty but next time I’ll use vegetable oil instead of olive oil–that’s a personal preference because I don’t really like the taste of olive oil.

Easy Vegan Tofu Mayo

–7oz silken tofu
–1/3 cup oil
–1TBS lemon juice
–1tsp vinegar
–1 tsp (or more to your taste) dijon mustard
–1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt (to your taste)

Place all of the ingredients in the cup of an immersion blender and blend until smooth and thick.
Add a little more lemon juice if too thick. It should look exactly like mayo and spread easily.
If you don’t have silken tofu, you can try it with the firm option, but it won’t be as velvety.

That’s IT. Nothing fancy. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
And VERY healthy; packed with protein thanks to the tofu.

Hosp Grove Murder: New Details

The name of Lisa Thorborg’s alleged murderer has been released: It’s seventeen-year-old Haloa Beaudet. Prosecutors filed paperwork to allow him to be tried as an adult and he’s due back in court January 25, 2021

–At this time, no motive was given for the attack.

–According to the police report, Thorborg was stabbed twice in the neck, cutting her carotid artery, thereby causing “a lethal injury.”

–Police Detective Josh Bubins said Thorborg had all her possessions and it did not appear that a robbery or sexual assault had taken place.

–During a court appearance on Tuesday, testimony revealed DNA linked to the boy was found on Thorborg’s clothing.

–Surveillance footage captured by a camera at a nearby home caught someone who looks like the teen running away from the park about fifteen minutes after Thorborg was killed.

–Other details emerged, including that police found the teen’s flip-flops not far from the victim’s body.

–On Dec. 2, more than a week after the slaying, police set up a camera along the trail. The following day, about 10:35 a.m., there is footage of the shoeless teen “just kind of casually walking the trail,” Bubnis said.

–Two days later, during the noon hour, footage shows the teen back on the trail, shirtless and carrying flip-flops.

–The video also showed Beaudet walking the trail, peering into the yards of residents, lifting up door handles on cars and talking to himself, according to Bubins.

–On December 10, a police officer spotted the youth on the same trail, peering over backyard fences and trying to open car doors, Bubnis said. The boy ran but was caught, arrested, taken to the Carlsbad police station and questioned about Thorborg. He denied having ever seen her. Bubins also testified that the table where he was questioned was sanitized in case a DNA link was needed. During questioning, Beaudet said at first he hadn’t left a pair of flip-flops at the scene, but then later admitted leaving them. Beaudet told Bubins he wasn’t worried about leaving his footwear because he doesn’t believe in “material things.”

–Police would later discover surveillance footage and license-plate reader data that showed the suspect’s grandmother’s car heading toward and then soon leaving the park less than an hour before the attack. The grandmother testified she often drove the boy to the area so he could hike and work out.

–Deputy District Attorney Helen Kim revealed that Beaudet was suspended “multiple times” for fighting at school in Oregon. Prior to moving to Oregon, Beaudet lived in Hawaii with his maternal grandmother, who sent him to a boarding school. Kim said Beaudet twice ran away from the school.

More info…When Beaudet moved to Carlsbad, he enrolled in an online home school, Hernandez said. He was to live with the Hernandez’s for six months, at which time the family would re-evaluate the situation. Kim said Beaudet’s mother was looking to move him back to Oregon and was researching how to transfer schools.

After hearing testimony, San Diego Superior Court Judge Richard Monroy decided to keep the teen held in Juvenile Hall rather than release him to his family while awaiting trial.

Most cases held in Juvenile Court are not open to the public, but state law does allow media to petition a judge for access to some cases based on the charges and other factors. In this case, the judge granted access and took the unusual step of releasing the teen’s name.

Info curated from various news sources and the internet.

Related posts: https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/11/24/hosp-grove-murder/
https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/12/15/hosp-grove-murder-suspect-arrested/

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DIY Yule Wreath

As promised, I’m posting my homegrown Yule wreath. I used a ten-inch wire circle and all the rest of the ingredients were foraged from my garden.

Toyon berries:

Rosemary, lavender, pine boughs…

Manzanita, the star of the show with her lovely pink/red flowers:

Getting started, with a ten-inch wire circle and the bendy manzanita…

…to the finished product, ready to manifest all kinds of positive energy and magic for the solstice and 2021…

If I feel like wearing it on my head like a flower crown and dancing in the moonlight, I might just do that.

I feel very witchy today.