Winter Surf at Tourmaline Beach

On a more positive topic than local murders, here’s a quiet day at Tourmaline Beach, located between Pacific Beach and La Jolla. I haven’t been here in decades. It was a balmy seventy degrees and sunny, barely an hour before the foggy marine layer rolled in.

Sadly, no seashells or whales or dolphin, but I’m always looking for the magic. Also…no gems at all including zero tourmaline. What a disappointment!

The waves were a little blown out and not very big, in case that’s something you care about.

And nope, I didn’t surf, although I wish I had that Chanel board. I don’t go in the water. The last time I tried to surf, I got hit with the board, so it’s not the sport for me.

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:

Another Day, Another Sunset

Walked the beach last night and the sunset was spectacular. No Green Flash though, and no whales or dolphins either, but it was the first warm evening with a hint of the summer to come.

The beach was crowded with happy people emanating positive thoughts and cheery greetings because it appears that we are collectively anticipating the rise out of darkness.

I had a fun chat with an adorable high school boy who had come out of the water after the sun went down. I told him how I used to pick up my son at the beach and he would be the only one still out in the water after dark. If you listen closely, I bet you could hear faint echoes of my voice yelling at him, “GET OUT OF THE WATER NOWWWW!” I sent the young man on his way with the admonishment to stay safe ‘cos moms worry.

Another day, another sunset. Mother Nature is magnificent.

Spindrift

We’re enjoying a wintry Santa Ana wind event here in SoCal. It’s warm and sunny with gusty winds about 15-25 miles per hour–not bad enough to cause damage. I hear it’s much windier north of us.

The National Weather Service defines a Santa Ana as “Strong down slope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 miles per hour are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions.”

It makes for beautiful ocean views and a bit of spindrift, spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind. Also one of my favorite words because it sounds magical.

Spindrift.

Even though there were no whales or dolphins this time, it’s still the ocean and that’s plenty to be grateful for.

From the Mountains to the Sea

Mother Nature gifted us with rain, wind, hail, snow, and surf.

Yesterday was so windy, it almost knocked me over. Trees and power lines were down all along the coast.

I think it’s astonishing that I can see these mountains sixty to eighty miles away when I stand in the middle of my street right in front of my house. I live exactly three miles away from the Pacific Ocean. It’s a bit hazy and the camera lens is trying as hard as it can to capture the snow capped hills.

After walking up nearly fifty steps to the very top of my garden, this is the view facing east to either Palomar Mountain or Mount Laguna (I can’t tell the difference) where they had about a foot of snow.

The power lines are actually quite far away; they seem closer than they actually are.

These apartments are an ugly blight on the landscape, ruining the mountain pic. This city has zero sense about the value of open space.

I would love to drive up to Mammoth Mountain to ski ‘cos I hear they received eight to ten feet of new snow in the Sierra Nevada, but I had a bad experience driving to Snow Summit and have never been able to shake the fear. I had taken my son skiing for his thirteenth birthday and we had a really fun day together but on the way back home, my brakes went out and we almost crashed. REALLY! Actually, we ran off the road at a Ranger’s Station and we’re lucky to be alive. Highway Patrol arrived and we were towed to San Bernadino and the shop was able to repair whatever brake issue caused the malfunction and we drove home. Ever since then, I’ve been too afraid to drive to the mountains. That was about the closest to death I’ve ever been and it traumatized me. Not my Angel Boy though; he’s fearless, and that’s the way it should be.

After the rain, our beautiful ocean is still a little agitated, and the next storm’s clouds loom on the horizon…

Thank you, Mother Nature.

“Look at the sky!”

It was one of those days where everyone was looking up and toward the horizon.

For me, looking back provided a fresh perspective of tonight’s magnificent sunset.

Photo by Enchanted Seashells.

The sky beautifully metamorphosed all day, culminating in this fiery red-orange sunset. The beach was packed at sundown with people taking pics. I found a place to park, looked in my rear view mirror, and decided THAT was the money shot.

The rest of the day spoke to me, too, in colors and textures.

(All photos by Enchanted Seashells)

Is Ignorance Bliss?

I must confess that there are quite a few things that escaped my education, probably stuff that you all know; mostly everyone knows this stuff.

Deep breath…

🔳 I didn’t know that whales are mammals, I really didn’t, despite the fact that I love animals and took enough classes in college that should have made this a solid part of my knowledge base.

🔳 I also didn’t know that earth revolves around the moon.

🔳 I don’t know why we sometimes see the moon during the day. Like yesterday.

I know I’ve LEARNED these things, but apparently the facts didn’t stick in my gray matter.

The moon orbits around the earth, not the other way around, as I thought. The reason why we can see the moon at night because of the reflection of the sun’s rays and energy that bounce back to earth. This is what gives the moon the brilliant white glow. It’s important to also remember that the earth has a rotation and an orbit around the sun. The relationship between the earth and the moon is kind of like a slow dance.

The earth is tilted on an axis, all the while going around the sun and meanwhile, the moon is going around the earth. The light from the moon is bright enough to overpower the usual light that we see at particular times of the day. Most of the light that is visible to the human eye is in the blue color range and the moon’s reflected light, combined with its location gives us the chance to see it during certain daylight hours. Due to the rotation of the moon around the earth, it is actually above our horizon for about twelve hours out of our twenty four hour day.

We can only usually see the moon for about six hours during that time period, and then the bright light energy of the sun overpowers the reflection.

The moon orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the moon to rotate once on its axis. As a result, the moon does not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous rotation.

Earth spins on its axis once in every 24-hour day. You and me and everything else – including Earth’s oceans and atmosphere – are spinning along with the Earth at the same constant speed.

If the Earth suddenly stopped spinning, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth’s original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator… This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, literally everything–would be swept away into the atmosphere. (Info curated from Google, NASA, and Wiki)

Now I’ve entered a rabbit hole that’s really too much for me to comprehend. My head is spinning. Like Earth? The moon? The sun?

Too much. Now I wonder…are we really the only living beings? Is Earth the only inhabited planet? Shaking my head, it’s too much for me to absorb.

I’m not sure if ignorance is bliss, but my head’s going to explode if I continue to follow the pathways of deep existential thought.

Our existence on this planet is incredibly fragile. I feel an urgent need to step outside and place my bare feet on the grass and the rocks, to touch skin of the earth; to feel and be grounded.

Still no whales/mammals, but a pic of the beach tree all dressed up for the holidays.

A swell is coming in, waves are getting bigger.

Vitamin Sea

Today was the perfect day to soak up the positive energy of the ocean.

“The ocean has the ability to trigger a psychological state of calm and contentment. It can literally wash away the pain.”

I didn’t see any whales and this beach isn’t abundant with shells, but the sand was warm and welcoming.

Hearts in the sand.
A pretty little shorebird. This looks like a painting.

And a couple short videos:

The Same Day I Saw a Bald Eagle and a Raccoon

fullsizeoutput_e33The eagle was sitting on that branch waiting for everyone to stop pointing at him so he could swoop down and take a better look at a huge dead fish that washed up on the shoreline.

My neck hurt because I couldn’t believe that I was actually in the presence of an eagle, my very first ever sighting, and I wouldn’t look away until he was gone.

Now I can cross that off my mental list….I’ve seen wolves and mountain lions and bears and of course, my favorite: coyotes.

Not all at the same time, but these are the special pearls in my necklace of life experiences, memories strung together since most of them happened so fast and were such brief encounters that I didn’t have time to take photos.

I wish I had brought my big lens in addition to my iPhone, but it’s good enough as it captured the special moment.

These are admittedly crappy photos, but it’s most definitely a Bald Eagle. I know they’re considered a nuisance in parts of Alaska, but this wasn’t a common occurrence at this location. I didn’t even try to look for an eagle feather because I’m aware that under the current language of the Eagle Feather Law, “unauthorized persons found with an eagle or its parts in their possession can be fined up to $250,000.”

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“There’s a raccoon. Look at that!”

I thought he was joking because it was the middle of the day and we were on a sandy beach so I continued to keep my head down to look for seashells.

“LOOK!”

When I finally looked up, there he was.

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He scampered up the bluff and was gone.

What an amazing day! An eagle and a raccoon.

Random.