I had another post planned for today but then this came to my inbox and is way more important to share

Because he doesn’t have a REBLOG button that I could find, The Matticus Kingdom gave me express permission to copy and paste.

The subject is important. The words, raw and beautiful, drip tears of outrage. 

Here’s his post and if you don’t already, follow him!


shameful

Coyote
Image Credit: Mark Boster / LA Times – Click the picture to follow the link to the article that inspired what follows.

The walls and black scars, full of screaming metal, crept across the land,
A progressively greedy excess without permission, balance or order,
And the ancestral paths of the pack were cut and buried asunder,
Forcing them to wander further away from the shifting sand,
To provide their families with food and sheltered dens,
Under the disdainful, entitled, glare of fearful men.

We are supposed to be knowledgeable and civilized,
And should be mindful of our encroachment,
Change our behavior and sentiment,
To achieve the ultimate prize,
And coexist peacefully,
As it should be.

Instead, we condone shooting coyotes with paintballs…

Is that really who we have become?

Advertisements

Dripping Caves: Hiking Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park @Orange County, California

alisosignA few days before Christmas, we picked up Angel Boy (my son– and yes, we still call him Angel Boy even though he’s thirty-two-years old!) from the John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

We drove RIGHT BY South Coast Plaza but my mind was too excited to see my baby to care about stopping at Chanel or Valentino or Cartier or Gucci or Harry Winston….HARRY WINSTON!!

Crap, did I just miss an opportunity to check out Chanel???

Sigh, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

Aliso hike

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is a jewel of solitude and natural beauty in hectic Orange County.

It comprises approximately 4,500 acres of wilderness and natural open space land. Originally, part of the Juaneno or Acajchemem tribal land, it later was owned by Don Juan Avila, Louis Moulton, the Mission Viejo Company, and now is under the jurisdiction of OC Parks.

Within the park lands are mature oaks, sycamores, and elderberry trees, two year-round streams, and over thirty miles of official trails. Many rare and endangered plants and animals make this park their home. This park is designated as a wildlife sanctuary.

To get to the main trailhead for Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, exit the 5 freeway at Alicia Parkway and head towards the ocean.

Of course it was imperative that we feed the child. Whether they’re four or thirty-two, the first thing they think about is FOOD! I had prepared a huge amount of food for the hungry traveler and we ate it at a picnic table near the entrance to the trailhead, under a canopy of old shade trees. He ate a couple of his favorite sandwiches: tuna with celery, apples, nuts, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce — along with Lentil Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Veggie Chips, Persimmon Bread, and an apple and an orange. We never fail to marvel at the AMOUNT of food Angel Boy can pack away…and that doesn’t include the nuts and raisins for the hike.

What’s up with that kind of metabolism?

He eats so much and burns it all and needs to eat again every couple of hours or so. This is just his normal — I once took him to an endocrinologist to make sure his levels were OK, and we learned that he’s just an extremely efficient food user. All I can say is that he didn’t get that from me.

After almost eight miles, we drove home — exhausted –but in a good way, and restored by the fragrance of Southern California buckwheat and sage.

Of course it was time for dinner and another feast of epic proportions: the stuff of mom-joy, that’s for sure.

Shadow and light, me and my tugboat man.

alisoparkhike

Great blue heron.

aliisobirdA hidden pocket of water.

Aliso1

More water, rushing over rocks.

Aliso2

A gorgeous meadow and hills, but look at the houses on the hill.
So close to civilization!

aliso4Fairy-like foot bridge.
alisobridge

alisodrippingcave

alisocave

Another cool cave.

alisocave1

Some leaves DO change color in SoCal!alisotree

A happy mom ‘cos my Angel Boy was home,
even if only for a few days.

alisome

A Project-Based Life

peace-sign-flowersNope, this isn’t an inspirational life lesson about blessings or another sanctimonious diatribe about the rules of living harmoniously with peace signs and luv and future conditional acts of kindness that’ll result in good karma (although those are wonderful ideals.)

Nor is this a guide or doctrine or manual advising you about how to live a VALUE-based life or PLANT-based life (although those are great ideas, too)

In a way, you could say I live a PURPOSE-driven life because I’m on a MISSION.

I’m OBSESSED with buying the perfect wedge. That’s my purpose in life for right now.

As Paula Deen so eloquently waxed, “I izz what I izzz”.PaulaDeen

Butter, I mean but, I truly do live a project-based life.

I do a lot of projects. How’s that? Better?

Tee hee.

I mean, what else can I do to wile away the endless days and hours until my tugboat man comes home? And don’t judge me if you haven’t walked a block or two in my Louboutins.

It’s not like I can have a full-time job ‘cos then we’d never get to spend any time together and I haven’t found the right fit in a part-time position that would allow me enough shopping time. Oh, and project time. Cos I live a project-based life, remember?

Here’s my project du jour: Princess Rosebud shoe embellishment

I’ve been obsessively scouring the shops for the perfect wedge.

espadrillesI found these delightful slides but that just whetted my appetite for another pair. I’ve been everywhere in San Diego County. I went to Fashion Valley-nothing. I went to Saks Fifth Avenue-nothing. I stopped at University Towne Center in La Jolla-nothing. DSW, two locations — nothing.

Finally, I found the perfect lightweight wedge at Barneys Outlet in Carlsbad but they didn’t have my size. The sales associate informed me that they could have the right size sent to the store but I’d have to pay an extra $12.00 and the shoes were already a pricey $155.00. I thought that was totally ridiculous—I mean, it’s like I was being penalized for wanting to buy their stupid shoes. I told her to forget it and walked away dejectedly.

Life is SO tough for me.

Sigh.

Never one to admit defeat, I went to Famous Footwear mostly ‘cos I thought I’d get another pair of Nike cross trainers. I didn’t find anything I liked – yes, I’m THAT picky, in case you haven’t figured that out by now….but I did find these espadrilles for only $20.00, originally $50.00.

OK. You might think these are cute just the way they are, but I see a blank canvas that needs some sparkle, a little dressing up, a little beautification. It’s not that I’m never happy with the way things are; I believe almost everything can be made just a bit better with a little creativity and effort. Maybe that IS a life lesson…

espadrilleswhiteI went to Michael’s Crafts with a single shoe in hand, wandering up and down each aisle waiting for the muse to strike. Nothing seemed right until I found these flowery things (on sale). I couldn’t wait to get home and get started on this project.
espadrilleshowflowers

I embellished the embellishment, and added a sparkle in the middle.
Glue guns RULE!

espadrilleswhiteflowers2

espadrillescloseup

Cute, right? It seems to be the perfect finishing touch for a casual shoe.
Can’t wait to pin these on Pinterest.

espadrilleswhitefinal

BUT I still NEED that elusive perfect wedge. Maybe these Louboutins?
Now THAT’S such an awesome shoe that doesn’t need me to do a thing do it.
It’s so perfect I could kiss it. MWAH.
Louboutin
Since it appears that I’ll be a single woman for another week or so, I’ll be heading north to the holy grail — the the only place on earth that’ll fulfill my desires —
South Coast Plaza.  If I can’t find the perfect wedge there, I can’t find it anywhere.

And that’ll be my purpose for next week. Now I have to think of another project or two; seashells perhaps?

Hiking the Magnificent Crystal Cove State Park With Princess Rosebud

My Birthday Hike

Crystal Cove State Park is in the OC.

That’s Orange County for those of you who didn’t watch The Hills or Real Housewives of Orange County.

It’s about an hour up the road from our little beachy town, near the home of my favorite shopping mecca, South Coast Plaza.

As much as I enjoy playing dress up in diamonds and designer fashion, I LOVE getting dusty and dirty on a trail surrounded by nature.

A couple years ago my son attended a seminar at University of California at Irvine and we hiked Crystal Cove together, but my tugboat man had been out to sea and wasn’t able to join us.

It’s so beautiful that I wanted to share it with him and chose it for my birthday activity.

On my birthday, I get to do anything I want — my mom said so — and who am I to argue when she substantiated my belief that the world revolves around me?

It was a wonderful, happy, magical day!

How to get there

Crystal Cove Directions

The bridge at the beginning of the trail.
The trail we took was about five miles; we couldn’t take the longer one ‘cos of our time constraints.  It starts off heading east up into the hills —
when you’re at the top, you’re facing west —
with an amazingly beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.

crystalcovebridge

crystalcoveflowers

A little wild rabbit, maybe a cousin of my garden bunny.

crystalcovebunny

The view from the top of the trail. It’s  breathtaking.

crystalcoveview

Beautiful Orange County.
I wonder who lives in those homes overlooking the cove?

crystalcoveview2

Where we ate lunch…can you spot the quail who came to join us?

crystalcovelunchquail

Princess Rosebud in a new Yale shirt, a Mother’s Day gift from Angel Boy.

Lunch Crystal Cove Me and J

Happy Memorial Day to all of our veterans!

crystalcoveplaque

We walked across the street to see the vintage cottages built in the 1930s.
They’re on the beach and available to rent through the
Crystal Cove Alliance. Click here for all the deets.

Located in the heart of Crystal Cove State Park’s 3.5 miles of pristine coastline, the Historic District was first developed as a South Seas movie set due to its seclusion and tropical aura.

The community thrived and became popular for its relaxed, friendly atmosphere and picturesque landscape. In 1979, the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built as a seaside colony in the 1930s and 40s, Crystal Cove endures as a magical escape for visitors who appreciate the opportunity to experience California’s natural and architectural beauty, untouched by time.

crystalcovecottages

Touring the Visitor’s Center, we took a step back to the 1930s to see what the cottage kitchens used to look like.

crystalcovekitchen

How could anyone not jump in that inviting ocean?

crystalcovecoast

Not big enough for surfboards, but my two guys had a refreshing swim.

crystalcoveswim

crystalcovebeach1

The outdoor restaurant was full of people enjoying the amazing weather;
check out the nautical flags!

crystalcovenauticalflag

Oopsie…chemtrails. These are NOT contrails…
Our sunny day turned milky white right before our eyes.

crystalcovechemtrails

Next time: My Hello Kitty Birthday Party