Pacific Ocean Photo of the Day

The beach was overcast but the waves were full of surfers. The swell looks to be about three feet or so, but I heard it’s building to five feet by Friday, not that this knowledge impacts my life in any way as I don’t surf and never go in the water, but it’s pretty to look at and hear and smell the salty sea air.

Mostly I look for dolphin or whales or my eyes are laser focused on the Angels when they’re here.

Happy Sunday to everyone except the idiotic Supreme Court.

Land Rape in Carlsbad

I can see this area called Marja Acres from my backyard and it’s several blocks away, but even so, I watch and hear this land rape on a daily basis, and it makes me feel sad and angry.

It’s one of the very last pieces of land around here that hadn’t yet been violated by earth movers and concrete and plundered by developers who don’t care about anything except making money for themselves. They tore down a couple of nurseries, a little old fashioned store, and a couple of other businesses that had been here for decades, coexisting peacefully amongst the native flora and fauna.

Here’s what the plan is, to build a strip mall and way too many homes without any consideration for the existing community so negatively impacted by yet another ugly and unnecessary development.

We fought against it, of course; to no avail, as usual.

Even more sadly for me, there was no thought nor consideration for the creatures that lived here: coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, possums, birds of prey, AND RATS. They’ve all been displaced and this is where our RAT infestation emanates from.

I swear, this city continually never fails to disgust me.

Ebb and Flow

It was too hot too early to walk the full six mile round trip to the Pacific Ocean and back, so I settled for a longish trek around the lagoon with detours to observe it from different perspectives.

I ended up walking mostly all the way to the beach anyway and stopped at Rite Aid to buy myself a treat but nothing looked fun or appealing or was small enough to fit in my little backpack, so I continued on my journey.

Looking east from a secret side street overlooking Snug Harbor and the swan boats on Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

It wasn’t even 9am and the little beach was full of families enjoying Father’s Day and paddleboarding and kayaks. Thank goodness there’s no gigantic mall marring the view on the south shore.

Well, well, well, it seems like we have a very low tide, too, combined with our drought situation.

It’s not often that one could literally walk all the way around the lagoon to the beaches on the south side. I was wearing new shoes and didn’t want to ruin them in the muck, but for once it was entirely possible.

A Lovely Sunday at the Beach

Some clouds and sunshine, perfect for these little lefts and rights this morning…

A lineup in the ocean…

And a lineup in the sky. Look up! Pelicans!

Streets closed and a run around town, the Carlsbad 5000.

Oasis in a Sea of Ugly

Statement of fact: I don’t like the look of my “village”.

It resembles a village as much as WalMart resembles a Chanel boutique.

Oasis (plural: oases) An oasis is a location with water in a desert, or figuratively can be a happy place surrounded by sadness, which is exactly what I discovered today.

In the almost forty years I’ve lived here, local elected officials (90% of whom I’ve consistently voted against) have destroyed any and all coastal personality by tearing down most of the original buildings and erecting sharp cornered ugly institutional-looking boxes.

Have I mentioned that it’s ONE BLOCK from the beach? You’d never know it, though. It makes me angry. They could have done so much better and it’s as if the designers and architects made a conscious effort to destroy the organic relationship we have with the sand and the Pacific ocean. It’s mindboggling, it truly is.

Because of that, I normally stay away from going there and when visitors come, we go to the beach but don’t hang around or patronize the stores or restaurants. It’s depressing.

However, I actually discovered a couple of gems, two little oases wedged between hulking sad monstrosities; a sanctuary.

I’ve been searching for a birthday gift for DIL and we share a common love of crystals and gems. I heard of a place off the beaten path downtown and thought I’d stop by. I didn’t have high hopes though, but was more than pleasantly surprised by The Village Rock Shop on State Street.

From the moment I walked in, I was surrounded by positive energy and a huge array of rocks and gifts. For DIL, I found an Angel Aura Tower. Doesn’t that sound mystical and intriguing? It’s formed as a result of the alchemical process that bonds platinum and silver, sometimes gold, into pure quartz. It is the perfect gift for anyone who seeks guidance and inspiration from the angels. This magical stone is a powerful aid in getting in touch with celestial beings, exactly right for a mom of two, haha.

Directly next door is another shop I recommend: Wild Gold Gift Shop. It’s beyond adorable. Check out their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wild_gold_shop/ I spoke with the husband of the owner, Kim Keenan, and he said they were still working on the website, so I can’t link to it right now.

If you’re in the Carlsbad area and as disappointed as I am about what it looks like, please take the time to travel a few blocks away from the ugliness and visit these two shops. You’ll be happy you did!

Your purchases from these independent, local stores support not only the owners of the shop but also local artists and artisans.

And finally, hurry before they’re torn down and displaced to make way for more hideous, repulsive, unsightly boxes.

Taking Flight

After my detour yesterday into the real world of misandry, defamation, domestic abuse, and the legal system, I’m back with my normally benign, unremarkable, and less incendiary topics.

Once again cleaning out the photos on my phone to make room for new memories, I came upon a series of cool pics depicting a flight home from a visit to the kids.

I had a window seat on a smaller aircraft. When we were about thirty minutes from landing I could even kinda sorta pick out my house.

It’s always bittersweet to come home. There’s no place like home but there’s no place like being with my babies, either. Sigh.

Leaving rainy PNW.

Two 1/2 hours later, SoCal coastline.

Off the coast of Carlsbad. I see Agua Hedionda lagoon and if you know where to look, I can pretty much pick out my street. It’s too bad the airlines won’t make a stop to let me off at our local airport because soon I’ll have to drive all the way back up!

Pt. Loma and the Coronado Bay Bridge. On approach to land any minute as soon as the pilot turns around.

This is how you land aircraft when the airport is situated in the downtown area. Looks scarier than it is, I think. Anyway, home sweet home!

Our Fun Day at Legoland California

Live to serve, serve to live...

I didn’t coin this phrase. The provenance belongs to DIL, but it accurately represents me, too.

If I told you that I was up at the crack of dawn and my day consisted of making kugel, lasagna with homemade sauce, oatmeal raisin cookies (with kale as a secret ingredient), pumpkin spice cupcakes, mango/strawberry ice cream, and apple pie, would you be able to guess who’s coming to visit?

All menu items were requested — except the addition of kale is our little secret, OK? He never needs to know.

The rest of the list includes crispy tofu, pizza, breakfast burritos, buckwheat pancakes, and whatever else their hearts desire.

Live to serve, serve to live, it doesn’t stop with baking and cooking.

When Angel Boy 2.0 turned six in March, one of his presents was a first visit to Legoland. I live so close to Legoland — it’s across the lagoon — that we have front row seats to the (cursed) fireworks, cursed because fireworks scare animals. I think they should switch to a laser light show which would be even more spectacular and harm no animals but so far, no one is listening to me. Sigh.

The original Angel Boy, his curly clone, and I packed up hats and sunscreen and bathing suits for the waterpark feature (not me, though) and we drove three miles or so to the Legoland entrance. We were early but there was already a line of cars waiting to get in. After paying $35 for preferred parking, we walked in. AB 2.0 was SO excited! This was his very first experience in a crowd with a lot of noise and so many distractions.

I laughed to myself at all the weary grandparents wandering around wishing their day would be over even though it had just begun. Heehee.

Here’s my overall impression of Legoland California:

–It’s very clean and well maintained.
–The employees were all friendly and helpful.
–The Submarine ride was REALLY cool and we enjoyed that a lot.
— The Dragon Rollercoaster was perfect for a six-year-old, just scary enough not to cause lasting trauma.(It was scary for me!)
–The Waterpark and the slides were was amazing. I sat in a comfy chair while the two guys played for the longest time. I was so happy to see an abundance of very alert lifeguards keeping everyone safe.
–Dad won a stuffed animal for T at a ball throwing game which made Dad the hero of the day.
–They got pizza for lunch and it was REALLY good.
–There were lots of places to actually build with Legos and Duplos.
–The lines for the most popular rides like Technic Coaster were WAY TOO LONG. No child should be forced to wait an hour or more for a ride. That’s totally unacceptable. Since Legoland is geared for 12 and under, it was a real hardship and we didn’t stay in line so the little guy never got to ride it. We kept checking the app but it stayed busy all day and we were there midweek.
–Some of the rides weren’t open, not sure of the reason, but it was a disappointment.
–The music was too loud for me and slightly disorienting.
–I observed a couple of children become separated from their grownups and it’s a continual lesson to NEVER take your eyes off the little ones, not even for a second.

Overall, AB 2.0 had an amazing time. He definitely wants to go again when his sister is a bit older and tall enough for the rides.

Even though I live so close, I think it would be fun to stay at one of the hotels on the Legoland property especially since one of the perks is to be able to enter the park an hour before the public.

After the end of an exhausting day, after dinner and a bath, he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

Best of all, I kept my promise of going to Legoland. In the car on the way home, he asked if I’d come to Disneyland one day, and I think I might have to decline that invitation–at least I need a while to recover from this theme park!

Our motto: Live to serve, serve to live…

Here’s a gallery of pics. As you can see, it was a beautiful blue sky day!


Kumeyaay Lagoon View

I like to walk here and imagine the native population who lived in this area a couple centuries ago. Did they gather berries and seeds and grind flour in a metate nestled in the warm sands by the lagoon?

On this full moon day, I’m wondering what they thought when they looked up. With no city lights to get in the way, I bet they saw millions of stars alongside the moon and all the other planets and constellations.

The Kumeyaay, also known as Tipai-Ipai, or by their historical Spanish name Diegueño, is a tribe of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. (Wiki)

The story I tell myself is that I’m walking the same paths the Kumeyaay took and we are cosmically connected by the same sun shining on the waters of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, minus the intrusion of the fencing, of course.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, if you have just a bit of rain, you may even get to spot a rare phenomenon called a moonbow. A moonbow is just like a solar rainbow, but is created by moonlight (rather than sunlight) when it is refracted through water droplets in the air. Moonbows only happen when the full Moon is fairly low in the sky, so look for one in the hours after sunset when the sky is dark.

Peaceful Lagoon Views

Every single time I walk to the lagoon, I’m continually grateful that we saved its beauty and historical significance from being raped by a disgusting LA developer who wanted to build a shopping mall on the south shore.

Only in Carlsbad would a completely out-of-touch city council support a project so harmful to the community and the environment, totally annihilating the significance of this land.

What a travesty that would have been!

Rancho Agua Hedionda was a 13,000 Mexican land grant given in 1842 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Juan María Marrón. (Wiki)

Before the Spanish plundered their homeland, Agua Hedionda Lagoon and the surrounding lands were once the sites of two densely populated Luiseño villages. The Luiseño people lived and worked along the shores of the lagoon, making tools, preparing food, engaging in ancient ceremonies and holds possible sacred grave sites.

I don’t remember reading this at the time, but in 2005, centuries old remains of two horses and a burro were found on the land on the south side that is now populated by a hotel.
https://www.baltimoresun.com/sdut-centuries-old-bones-of-horses-unearthed-in-2005jul17-story.html

Serenity…

Looking up…

Beach Walk + Gratitude

Last Tuesday I had my annual ultrasound to check on the status of a tiny cyst that’s been attached to my gall bladder for years. The abdominal ultrasound also checks everything else plus pancreas. I’m especially freaked out about that organ because of my mom’s cancer.

It was a fasting test which is no big deal because I don’t eat breakfast anyway, never have, but coffee isn’t allowed either, and THAT was a bit of a hardship. I brewed some before I left and stored in an insulated cup so I could gulp it down as soon as I got back to my car after the test.

The woman that actually did the test was literally one of the most enlightened, awakened angels I’ve ever encountered with a spirit that calmed me down as soon as she introduced herself.

She was four months pregnant and we talked about that and the grandkids and how I was lucky enough to be present for both of their really long ultrasound appointments and we talked about the ups and downs and lessons of life’s journey. It was more of a therapy session with a healer than having my abs squirted with WARM jell so she could see all of my inner working parts.

She let me know the size and location of the cyst hadn’t changed and everything else looked good. I know they’re not really supposed to TELL, they’re supposed to wait until the formal results from the doc, so I really really appreciate that she didn’t make me suffer for a few hours.

We hugged. I told her she was going to be an amazing mom and she teared up a bit.

What a brief and significant connection with a random human! Her spirit infused me with a positive and happy glow.

As I drove home, sipping my still hot French roast, I got a call that my new glasses were ready to be picked up.

I drove to my downtown village area near the beach and tried on my new frames to have them adjusted and fine tuned. This time instead of Versace or Prada, I got Salt, a brand that was new to me, but really adorbs.

Salt Optics was started by a couple of surfers and a guy from Oliver Peoples. They are ultra COOL.

“SALT is committed to using only the most premium handmade cellulose acetate in the world. Our acetate is created from cotton seeds and wood pulp, which allows it to be hypoallergenic and sustainable. We partner with Takiron Rowland, a Japanese acetate factory that has been producing handmade acetate for the better part of 100 years.”

OK, good to know. I love them because they fit my small face yet they’re bold and make a statement.

Cute, huh?

It was about 11 a.m. and I decided to walk to the beach, something I never do this late in the day, mostly because it was already hot and dry with the Santa Ana weather. I thought it would be overrun with loud and obnoxious tourists, but it was still relatively quiet.

I felt like I needed some vitamin sea because I was so grateful for a good test result. Every year I stress about it, wondering what’s going on inside of me and if the cyst migrated to a duct or grew which could mean a whole other diagnosis and necessary treatment.

But it didn’t, all was good, and I might even be lucky enough to see a whale or a dolphin, so I started walking.

The Pacific Ocean was a lake, no waves to speak of, no whales or dolphin, but it was lovely to breathe in the salty air which reminded me of my new Salt frames lol, and after a couple miles, I turned around to head back to my car.

I was parked near the consignment shop where I’ve found treasures in the past, but I left empty handed; nothing caught my eye.

There’s so much to be grateful for every single day, not just on Thanksgiving.

Lake Pacific: