Thoughts about Blogging

(An alternate title could be “Please scream inside your heart” like the signage at that theme park in Japan meant to discourage screaming on rollercoasters and reduce the spread of Covid-19.)

I’ve blogged since the summer of 2012. On one sunny day in June, my DIL told me I was really funny and I should write things down and begin to blog.

I knew nothing about blogs; never even read one, so she took the reins and opened a WordPress account for me.

That was eight years ago, as I was reminded by my WP anniversary.

At its heyday in 2014, my little blog averaged around 7,500 visits a month. For some unknown reason, my highest read posts were recipes.

After attending a BlogHer convention, I was excited and energized, ready to monetize, to grow and expand my brand and my voice.

I’ve always been a writer, especially about things that cause me to wax passionately: saving wolves, rescuing abused animals, finding humor in life from my own lens; researching and meeting and learning about all kinds of people (from Al Gore to His Holiness the Dalai Lama), reviewing cool products, and most of all, I LOVED responding to readers and comments from all over the world.

I still do. I respect and appreciate your time and the effort to reach out to a virtual stranger and engage in conversation.

Now I notice that my posts only have a handful of likes and some none at all.

My overall followers from all platforms is around 3500.

Did I lose my enthusiasm?

Nope.

I know why, I DO, but I still can’t talk about what happened except to say that if you read between the lines on certain posts, you might catch a glimpse of infinite profound sadness, more death than death because I’m still alive and breathing.

The walking dead. An episode of the Twilight Zone in real life. A literal black hole.

As I’m slowly getting back into the rhythm and comfort of writing, finding my voice again, I’d like you to know that I appreciate everyone who has stayed faithful to my blog and continues to read my words, even the ones between the lines.

Much love. Seriously. ‘Cos if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s what love is. And what it is not. On any planet. Stars might be crazy, but I’m not, so I’ll continue to scream inside my heart. And my head. In a princessy way, of course.

 

Holding Space

Quote

IMHO, this is one of the best descriptions of what it means to hold space.

There will be times when you have to release and trust the awakening process. It may not be an easy thing to do, especially when a connection exists. Let others know you are there, offer support when asked and hold space for them in a kind, loving manner. The rest is up to them and The Universe.
Holding Space    The Creator Writings, one of my fave blogs.


I had heard the term but couldn’t wrap my brain around it, and as a slightly OCD Taurus who likes answers to questions and details and timeframes to be specific in order to feel safe, holding space is a confusing and nebulous and ephemeral concept, but I’ve been determined to understand because it resonates deeply with me. I’m relentless when it comes to understandING.

It’s a way of not doing anything when I’m all about doING and fixING and solvING. (All of those ‘ing” words that we’re trained to edit OUT of our writings.)

To hold space is to do nothING but BE.

BeING.

That very beINGness of taking a breath and stayING silent and havING faith and trust that everything is happenING as it should–well, that’s nearly impossible for me.

But here I am. I am. So hum.

 

Going gray

At least four of my friends took a chance and stopped coloring their hair and are in the process of allowing it to return to whatever natural color it might have been.

Some of them actually started doing it before the salons were shut down, while a couple of friends decided to use this opportunity to embrace the gray.

Oh, that’s not ME:  I like my hair color a lot, and it’s been pretty easy retaining it on my own, but I decided that my blog needed a makeover. I’ve been blogging since 2012 and color palettes have changed. I’ve changed too, and wanted to move away from pink and turquoise.

I spent a bit of time doing a photo shoot with rocks and seashells and pearls–I’m pretty satisfied with the results as it clearly represents the things I love.

In general, I love the color gray. I have gray carpeting, I love silvery, sparkly things, and is there anything more beautiful than a gray beach rock, almost too hot to touch from a million years of absorbing sunshine?

In the color palette, gray is the midpoint between black and white. Some people think gray is boring, but I find it elegant and calm and a great canvas for all of the other colors in the rainbow.

Gray is an old soul, having endured countless life experiences, and is thought to be wildly insightful. However, gray only offers its pearls of wisdom when asked to, unlike me, who might at times offer unsolicited advice.

The color gray respects boundaries, making it a peaceful presence. It offers tranquility and serenity, and can’t we all benefit from more of that? I know I can.

How could I forget the silvery moon? Tonight is the Flower Moon (supermoon), so actually, it’s named after me, haha. This full moon in Scorpio has a spiritual, healing, and compassionate influence. This is the first positive moon phase for six weeks, and a great night to manifest positive intentions, compassion, and love.

Are any of my fellow bloggers using this forced isolation to re-do your blog themes?

 

Shhh…I have a secret

I do. Have a secret.

Not gonna tell.

Not yet.

But you’ll be the first to know.

Well, not the first, but high up on my list.

Maybe not super high on the list, but you definitely won’t be the LAST to know.

You can guess, but I’ll never tell until I do.

P.S. A good secret, nothing bad, neg, dark, sad.

Happy Wednesday!

Princess Rosebud’s EMPOWERING Solo Adventure

(Blogging from the train, which is OK except for spotty wifi and my paragraph edits aren’t working, so this post won’t look exactly right.)


“It’s never too late to become empowered” she said.

Well, thank you very much for that unwanted opinion.
At 6:15 a.m., I was the first one in line when the Amtrak Station opened up.
I’m on my way to Santa Barbara to meet my son/DIL and have a little camping and hiking vacation. This is something that tugboat man and I had been looking forward to, but alas, he was called back to work immediately upon arriving home, so I decided to be a BRAVE princess and venture forth into the big scary world all by myself.
What was I thinking??
Confession: I’m not much of a traveler. Although I do travel alone from time to time, mostly tugboat man and I are together and he takes care of everything and all I do is stand here or sit there and do as I’m instructed, moving from point A to point B.  It works out better that way for both of us if he takes the lead. I mean, he’s so GOOD at it, and it reduces my stress level (and his) if he does all the thinking.
But this adventure is all my own.
My son’s dad picked me up a little before 5:45 a.m. to give me a ride to the train station, which is why I was there bright and early at 6:15.
I had many questions for the Amtrak employee:
1. Where do I go?
2. Where will the train be?
3. How will I know it’s the right one?
4. Where will I sit?
5. Where will my son pick me up?
6. Where will I find my suitcase?
7. Will you lose my luggage?
I explained to her that I never travel alone and I’ve only taken the train one time twenty years ago, and that’s when she proceeded to give me a life lesson that I didn’t expect, didn’t ask for, and didn’t really need.
“I never travel alone.”
“Well, you DO travel, don’t you?”
“Yes, but when my husband and I travel, he takes care of everything”
That’s when she said, “It’s never too late to become empowered”
I have to admit her tone was ever-so-slightly snarky, and this was corroborated by the nice young man from the United States Marine Corps (whom I have attached myself to for dear life).
He was standing next to me listening to all of my questions and I believe that he felt sorry for me (reminded him of his mom) and felt like he was performing in the intereste of our national security to guide me on the train when it arrived, and now we’re sitting next to each other.
He’s on leave for Memorial Day to his family ranch in Los Osos.
Of course, I thanked him for his service and I must say that I feel very safe and in good hands until my son collects me from Baggage lol.
Stress level is high, but if I could make my way SOLO to Goettingen, Germany to stalk visit my son while he was there for his junior year abroad, I can certainly sit on a train for four hours with my own personal USMC escort, dontcha think?
After all, like I keep telling my Angel Boy, that umbilical cord will stretch, but will never evereverever BREAK.
There isn’t a place on earth he can go that I won’t follow.
I know that sounds like a threat, but it’s really not. It’s just a mother’s LOVE.
I stand corrected…an EMPOWERED mother’s love.
Here’s a few pics from the train…
Train1 train2 train3 train4

He Could Have Been a Serial Killer

Was I crazy to invite a man from the virtual world of blogging into our home?

Not a meet-up in a coffee shop; not at a public location where it’s safe, where we could arrive and depart without fear of being followed.

I didn’t even blink when I shared our address with this “friend”.

His online photo could have been fake; his writing just a ploy to lure a naive female to let down her guard and welcome him with open arms.

But there had to be trust on his end too, right?

He didn’t know what he was walking into — literally. He may have never been heard from again.

As it is, I think he could possibly be forever traumatized by the sheer number of seashells strewn on every shelf, adhering to most walls…

seashell mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He could have been a serial killer — to parrot my mom, who always cautioned me not to be too trusting, not to get into cars with strangers — you know, mom-speak.

My mom died long before the world of the internet connected those of us who might never have had their paths cross.

Although we didn’t know him at the time, this young man attended the same university as my son, and yes, we were probably only rows away from each others’ families on graduation day, but the internet facilitates these exact types of serendipitous human bridges.

So, on one of the hottest days of the year, the Jester himself, writer extroidanaire at The Matticus Kingdom (you really should follow his blog!) stopped by Casa de Enchanted Seashells to spend the afternoon with me and my tugboat man where I obnoxiously tried to stuff him full of food (Jewish mom syndrome).

Oh, and he’s a published author as well, with Fauxpocalypse: a collection of short fiction about the end of the world that wasn’t–available on Amazon.

There was lively conversation on all fronts and I can’t wait ’til he’s back in the area with his lovely wife and the Little Prince.

Nope, not a serial killer, but an awesome guy!

You were wrong this time, Mom!


Have you ever invited a stranger into your home? Was it a good or bad experience?

Trends in Toenail Fashion

Just saying “toenail” and “fashion” in the same sentence makes me feel all oooky and squeamish BUT I’m doing this for YOU —  my readers — as a public service to bring you the pertinent details and relevant information — especially since it’s officially summer and our feet are exposed in sandals and flip-flops.

Hold on, I need a sip of  yummy Stonecrop screw-top chardonnay before I continue…you might also want to prepare yourself with an adult beverage — I can wait.

This is where it all started. I saw this pic on Facebook, gagged a bit, threw up in my mouth a bit, shared it, and received TONS of commentary, more than is normally generated by a photo-share — and it fueled my determination to delve into the subject of extremely long toenails — I truly believe it’s reached the status of being POST-worthy.

Here ya go, what do YOU think?

feet

100% of the comments on my Facebook page were like this: “Eww”, “Disgusting”, “Yikes”, “OMG, those look like pterodactyl claws!”, “Chain saw!”, and “YUCK”.

Although, I’m not totally hating on the shoes. Who doesn’t love sparkle?

Could this be the NEXT BIG THING?

I’ve done a bit of armchair research. Apparently, having LONG toenails is a “THING”; a certain segment of society thinks it’s SEXY.

Check out this FB page if you don’t believe me and here’s a tip: MUTE the sound if you click on it…http://www.yevettenails.com/home.html

In many cultures, long toenails are as appreciated as long and manicured fingernails. Many women take great pride in their toenails, treating them with the same attention and concern as their fingernails.http://skincare.lovetoknow.com/Long_Beautiful_Toenails

You gotta check out this Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/authormaxinep/freaky-long-toenails/

No way, it’s not for me!!!

Personally, I can think of a zillion reasons why that wouldn’t work for my lifestyle…I go to the gym and work out, can’t have those claws getting in the way of my jumping jacks or at kickboxing, right?

We hike; no way those monstrosities will fit in hiking shoes-or any shoes for that matter. It doesn’t seem possible to be an active, athletic person with those gnarly hooks.

Oh, and HYGIENE. That’s a big one.

Most importantly, I have no doubt that my tugboat man would NEVER again want to get all cuddly and romantic if he had to go to bed fearing a midnight slashing.

What do you think? 

Are YOU going to join this fashion trend?*************************************************************************************

Animals do it right.

 Bear claws and an adorable sloth.

 

 

 

 

A Sure-Fire Cure for the UnFreshly Pressed Blues

Dear WordPress, What Am I, Chopped Liver? received  a lot of views and commentary, and for that, I’m grateful.

I think that my slighly whiny, sour grap-y, mini-chip-on-my-shoulder rant resonated with the great un-Pressed in our blogging community.

A wise and wonderful new friend who blogs at SERENDIPITY Marilyn Armstrong -Seeking Intelligent Life on Earthused her magic fingers and creative mind to design an award that I’m ecstatic to be able to share with those I deem worthy, and that’s mostly EVERYBODY.

Read her post: Not So Freshly Pressed? Help is on the Way for more details.

I’m hopeful that we can start the ball rolling until everyone — everywhere — will feel appreciated and special!

The simple beauty of this award is that you don’t have to perform any task or answer any questions; YOU ARE SPECIAL JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE, and I like that a lot!

Please pass it on and share the love but…here’s a reminder from the creator of this award:

You can accept this and you do NOT have to give it to anyone else unless you want to. You can also do it eventually, when you have time. Don’t get stressed over it.  🙂


Here ya go for my first group of deserving bloogers.
I won’t stop until everyone is a recipient and we all feel like a winner.

 

Serendipity: http://teepee12.com
The Fur Files http://thefurfiles.com
She Walks Softly  http://wp.me/pfQBz-5wF
Our Growing Paynes http://wp.me/p2GO4t-va
Michelle at Play  http://wp.me/p1UOvK-2ac
Benzeknees  http://wp.me/p21uAA-WE
The Presents of Presence
Cowboys and Crossbones  http://cowboysandcrossbones.wordpress.com
Thematticuskingdom  http://wp.me/p2DEqM-Am
sagedoyle

YOU ARE A WINNER

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Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

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10 reasons why seashells are enchanted

I’m still in the throes of harnessing my inner beeyotch (the lady who slammed on her brakes and made a u-turn in front of me got a taste of that new me) but I took a teensy break to ponder the oft-asked question: Why do I love seashells?

1. Just like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. Some are almost perfect twins, but there’s always an individual characteristic if you look close enough.

2. Unlike a snowflake, they don’t disappear.

3. They are all beautiful in color and shape and size.What a treasure!

4. Shells can be worn as jewelry.Abalone necklace with rope work, earrings, pearl bracelet, necklace of polished shell pieces

4. There is appeal in their symmetry and asymmetry.fairshells

5. For me, seashells impart a tangible tactile and visual state of bliss.

6. Shells give birth to episodes of intense creative passions. This is my most recent seashell bouquet; an organic interpretation inspired by a froggy vase acquired at a local thrift shop that helps victims of domestic abuse.newfrogvase

7. Once upon a time, a seashell housed a living creature.

8. Cowry shells were used as currency in China.cowry shell

9. If you love to collect dust, start collecting seashells! They are a dust magnet, prolly their only negative trait.

10. A small grain of sand–a foreign body–inside a seashell grows into a magnificent pearl.  A pearl is an annoyance to the shell,  just exactly like the way I am oftentimes an annoyance to the captain!white-pearl-in-oyster     

Because of a COMMENT by Cowboys and Crossbones

I feel a potentially infectious bout of truthiness coming on and before it dissipates, I need to revise yesterday’s post, A normal life…for now.

Disclaimer: The picture of of my captain and myself IS accurate, we do sit by the fire and read or read before going to sleep–HOWEVER– Cowboys and Crossbones commentary shamed me into a fuller version of the story:

Cowboys and Crossbones says:
How do you keep from talking to one another while you’re reading?! I think it’s a sweet routine.

(ES-She’s just setting me up here, acting all so “sweet” with her and her party lifestyle and wild ways and her BFF cat, Teddy. She knows how to yank the real scoop out of me and I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. Watch out for her, people, she’s a sly one.)

Enchanted Seashells reply:
Well…you are a smart one, I annoy him constantly with commentary, questions:

“whatcha reading now, what page are you on, why aren’t you paying attention to me,  you look funny in your reading glasses,  can you feel me pulling your arm hair,  does it hurt,  am i annoying you yet…”

…those kinds of things which are prolly more interesting than the vision of us sitting quietly reading. hee hee.

To which C&C wrote back:

I thought I had you figured out!!!!! And yes, your questions would be MUCH more interesting than words on a page.

(ES-Darn that C&C! She wasn’t happy just getting the dirt on what goes on at Casa de Enchanted Seashells, NOW she’s saying that’d be more interesting than my original  story, which obvs was BORING!)

Because I strive to be a truth seeker and I rise to any challenge, I have to set the record straight. It’s NOT always uninterrupted evenings of tranquility around here–well, sometimes it is–but more often or not, out of the corner of my eye I’ll see his foot or leg twitch and that upsets my concentration so I need to RETALIATE and TORTURE him in some way.

As a reminder, my theory of a successful marriage: if he’s annoying, be twice as annoying.

In addition to the incessant questions of a two-year-old, I’ll say stuff like, “Do you want me to read you a paragraph from my book?” and he’ll invariably say, “Does it have sex in it?” and I’ll say, “Geez, you are such a baby.” And then he’ll say, “Let me see it. If it has any sex scenes, I can find them like magic.” {insert a finger snap here} …as he fans the pages and then stops, points to a passage and says, “See, I told you I could find it!” So proud of himself as he’s leering at the page. That’s when I say, “You are SUCH a dumb tugboat captain.” (Since I have to have the last word. Always. Always. Always.)

I feel ever so much better having gotten this off my chest. Let’s just say that if C&C hadn’t forced me to come clean, you might have walked away with an inaccurate picture of our serene life. This is, after all, CONFESSIONS of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife.

Are you happy NOW, Cowboys and Crossbones?