On The Way To Yellowstone: Princess Rosebud And Her Tugboat Man

This summer, we embarked upon an Odyssean journey to fulfill my life’s dream of seeing the wolves of Yellowstone National Park.

It was an amazing ten days of a ife-changing, life-defining adventure, made bittersweet by the current slaughter of wolves in America.

Hub was the driver; I was the navigator, photographer, and keeper of a journal chronicling the three-thousand mile round trip.

We returned home and hardly had time to unpack and reminisce about what we saw and experienced when my merchant mariner got called back to work sooner than anticipated.

Such is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife…

Photos of magnificent peaks near Zion National Park on the way through Nevada and Utah.

roadtrip2 roadtrip1 roadtrip3……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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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Ilija Trojanow, German Writer, Banned From US For Criticizing NSA

Along with the stupid shutdown that caused my trip to Sacramento to be cancelled — I planned to testify at a Fish and Wildlife Services hearing to protest the potential delisting of the wolf from the Endangered Species List– now we can add loss of freedom of speech to the many ways our government is no longer for the people, by the people. Right. I am disgusted with everything and everyone political. This country is shameful and heinous to not allow this learned man to enter the good old U.S of A. Just plain stupid.

FROM HuffPost Live  |  By Erin McDonoughPosted: 10/01/2013 4:29 pm EDT

According to Der Spiegel, German-Bulgarian writer and activist Ilija Trojanow was barred from entering the United States on Monday. Spiegel reports that Congress extended an invitation to Trojanow, who was to speak at a literary conference. HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin took a closer look at the story, which has yet to be covered by most major news sources in the U.S.

While U.S. authorities did not provide Trojanow with a formal explanation, he believes he has been banned from the US because of his outspoken criticism of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

In an article published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungTrojanow voiced his frustration with the incident. “It is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state within a state for years, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free,’” he said.

Trojanow has written an open letter denouncing the NSA in addition to signing a petition that asks German Chancellor Angela Merkel to forcefully oppose NSA surveillance. He is a professor at The European Graduate School and co-author of a book that examines the surveillance state, with fellow German novelist Juli Zeh.

Zeh also expressed outrage following Trojanow’s detainment in an airport in Brazil. A Facebook post by Zeh, loosely translated, reads, “ This is a farce. Pure paranoia. People who stand up for civil rights are treated as enemies of the state.”

News of Trojanow’s denied entry into the U.S. coincided with the announcement that the U.S. government had been shut down by Congress. Shihab-Eldin drew attention to the overlapping stories.

“So there you have it, even an invitation from Congress can’t guarantee you entry into the U.S.,” he said, “’cause we needed another example of Congressional futility today.”

My Fresh Obsesh

Blog Update: I don’t know what’s happening to me! If you’ve been following the life of Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife for a while you might have noticed a sea change, a slight course correction, a freshening breeze.

It’s become increasingly more difficult – impossible even – to suppress the other seashells that insist upon rising to the surface…more than frivolous pursuits; pearls and Chanel, Hello Kitty and retail therapy, more than waiting for my sometimes-he’s here-sometimes-he’s-not tugboat man to come home.

The real world has rudely barged in and is guilty of disrupting Princess Rosebud’s rose-colored glasses form of reality, in spite of all the vigorous denial of that river in Egypt.

I’d much rather write about my seashell gluing and sewing projects, the search for that perfect shoe, or any of my seemingly neverending encounters with bad drivers and crappy customer service – but when animals are being abused, neglected, abandoned, slaughtered, unloved, or species threatened with extinction — it’s impossible to ignore.

My one small voice in concert with many will hopefully become a roar loud enough to effect positive change.

At least we have to try, right?

**This is a warning of sorts. You’ll be subjected to more posts that will be calls to action to raise awareness about animal related issues, defending these magnificent creatures, and providing them with the voices they lack. It seems like I should change the title of my blog to be Enchanted Seashells, Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife and Beeyotchy Animal Advocate-– or, too much?

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But that’s not today’s topic. Today is all Princess Rosebud in her shopping glory!

If you’ve been keeping up with the saga of my quest for the perfect wedge. here’s an update:

I’m in holding pattern. I’m not actively searching anymore; I’ve exhausted all of my resources. I’ve looked far and wide up to Orange County and have experienced disappointment at every turn. I’ve made the majorest of decisions to leave it all up to Mother Universe — when she’s ready and the time is right, she will place the ultimate shoe in front of me — and I need to stop stressing about it.

There. I’ve given it up to a higher power.

Edging out the wedge (ha ha) of Number One priority status is my new (obesh) obsession to find the perfect black suit — pencil skirt and jacket  — for my public speaking event at a hearing in Sacramento on October 2 with Defenders of Wildlife.

Normally, I don’t travel alone. I don’t like to fly, I don’t like airports, I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like taking my shoes off in potentially germ-ridden places. I’ve only flown alone a few times; to visit my tugboat man in Hawaii before we were married, and to visit my son at Yale. Going to Sacramento alone is a major deal for me.

I’m not afraid of the public speaking part of this; I don’t suffer from glossophobia — I’m afraid mostly of driving to the airport, finding a place to park my car, getting from the airport to the hotel; those kinds of things.

So it makes sense that a new outfit to boost my confidence is just what I need, amIright?

A pencil skirt can enhance one’s shape or detract from it in a most unflattering way.

A three-way mirror is a harsh critic but very necessary, especially since I’ll be standing at a podium, facing the panel, but I can’t forget about the audience behind me. They’ll have the rear view.

A good fit is priceless.

That’s my logic for probably spending way too much money. I’m depending upon this suit to speak volumes to my audience and maybe even the media. Call me a media whore, no really, call me a media whore and I’ll answer you. I’m not ashamed of it, I’ve been known to whore myself out for a few precious moments of video, as long as my makeup and hair look good and my butt looks small. Well, smallish.

My Monday retail therapy pilgrimage brought me once again to White House Black Market. They have a pretty good selection of sizes for my five-foot-tall frame. Yes, I’m a Size Two and sometimes a Zero, but I’m a FAT Two. Really, there is such a thing. I’m small but solidly built. That’s what a zillion years of ballet and training with weights’ll do.

Black suit1I was lucky; I got a lovely skirt and jacket that look professional and will travel nicely. The jacket has a half-belted back that looks great and accentuates my waist. The three-quarter length sleeve is perfect for my short arms; this way it won’t have to be taken to the tailor.

I paired it with a deep charcoal gray shell; the only jewelry a simple strand of pearls and pearl earrings, along with platform patent leather heels. And of course, my Chanel Grand Shopper Tote, ‘cos that’s the ONLY Chanel I have…for the moment.

Being so short, I’ve found that I need to dress in a severe manner if I want anyone to take me seriously; I tend to still have a “little girl” look even though now it’s a wrinkled and Botoxed affect. Ah well, aging…

These selfies don’t really do justice to the deep black; I must have a lighting issue. And they’re neck down ‘cos I’m scary with no makeup.

Since my mean and non-existent-for-the-moment tugboat man has FORBIDDEN me to get a new smaller Chanel to supplant my courage, this suit will have to do it all — carry the day.

Although…he’s NOT the boss of me (I tell him that all the time) and he CAN’T tell me what to do, ‘cos I always do the OPPOSITE.

blacksuitopenWAIT!

Hold that thought for a minute.

Let’s analyze what he said.

HE KNOWS THIS. He knows that I’m contrary and normally do the exact opposite of mostly everything he suggests. (Example: my broken wrist. He told me not to run up the hill in slippery flipflops ‘cos I might fall and I did it anyway…fell, wrist broken. Read about that here.)

MAYBE the reason why he said I couldn’t get a new handbag is FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT HE WANTS ME TO GET ONE!

YES! That’s IT.  Reverse psychology!

Problem solved.

Looks like I need to do a bit more shopping, don’t you agree?

Hee hee.

When Is A Friend Not A Friend?

Let me ask you a question about friendships…is there a line that can’t be crossed?

What would you do if a friend acted in manner so egregious, so counter to your own value system?

Have you ever said to yourself, I can’t be friends with someone like that, and end the friendship?

It happened to me.

I met her at the gym; she overheard me talking about my obsession with all things Chanel and we became friendly.

My tugboat man coined the phrase “friend not friend” because all we did was shop together. We never went out for dinner as couples and we never socialized together with our husbands. She had been to our house, but had never invited me to hers.

She was a “shopping friend.”

That means we’d meet every couple of weeks or so and drive in one car to a mall, either Fashion Valley in San Diego, or South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

Whoever didn’t drive bought lunch for two; that was a fair trade.

That was the only thing we had in common, even though we learned that our kids attended the same elementary school at the same time.

She’d been a working mom throughout their entire childhood; I’m an ardent advocate for the stay-at-home-mom situation.

She had a tough childhood: was unwanted, abused by a stepfather, and forced to travel around the country with her migrant worker family.

She managed to graduate from college and has been married to the same man for about forty years, the only man she’s ever slept with.

He just happens to be a millionaire, which is an amazing rags to riches tale.

Her inner fortitude and drive to extricate herself from poverty are admirable qualities and I’m sure that somewhere in there is an explanation for the way she acted the last time we spent the day together.

On this particular day, it was her turn to drive. Since she never had new clothes when she was growing up, she became a compulsive shopper, and always bought something, no matter what the cost. I’m more of a browser, and fairly thrifty except for that one (or two) Chanels.

After six hours at South Coast Plaza, we were on the highway heading home.

Looking out of the passenger window, I spotted a little puppy walking in the weeds parallel to the freeway.

I pointed and said, “Oh my gosh, do you see that? Pull over, pull over, there’s a puppy right there. You stop and I’ll run out and get it before something terrible happens.”

She wouldn’t stop.

She would not stop.

She flailed a hand about —  you know, in that way, that universal sign of blasé dismissal — and said, “Oh, someone will help. It’ll be fine.”

“No it won’t. We have to help. We HAVE to. Get off the next exit and let’s go back. ”

She refused to stop the car, no matter what I said.

“How could you say you love animals but you won’t stop to help a creature in dire need of assistance?”

I was powerless. I hate feeling ineffectual, useless, helpless.

I’m sure she endured all that and more growing up with her dysfunctional family but it would seem that she might have felt more of a kinship toward another helpless creature, not apathetic indifference and total lack of compassion.

I was silent for the remainder of the ride.

By the time we got back, it was getting dark. I thought about jumping in my car and driving back to where I saw the puppy but I didn’t even know the exactly where we had been, which is the reason why I hadn’t called CHP or animal rescue. It would have been impossible to locate. All I know is that it was somewhere on the 405 South from Newport Beach.

That was the last time I saw this friend not friend. She went on a vacation soon after that and when she returned, I heard she started going to another gym.

I’m haunted by the vision of that puppy that I couldn’t help.

Of course I couldn’t be friends with someone like that.

Everything I needed to know about her true character was revealed, and for me, that’s a non-negotiable area.

A deal breaker. A heart breaker.

Have you ever had to end a friendship?

Rosebud Salve — A Review

Whenever I learn that a product I like and use is American-made, I want to share that information.
As the proud wife of an American merchant mariner, I know first-hand how important it is to support our country’s services and manufacturing.
Try Rosebud Salve or any of their other products. I think they’re awesome and hope you will, too.
And it doesn’t hurt that we share the same name, right?

Dr. G.F. Smith

The Rosebud Perfume Company, Inc. was founded by George F. Smith in 1895. The business began in a small drugstore across the street from what is now the “Rosebud Building”. The Rosebud Perfume Company, Inc. distributes its salves and lip balms throughout the world and is enjoyed by celebrities, athletes, homemakers, and health care providers alike.

Click here to read more.

Cosmetic Uses

Cosmetic Uses: Outline lips with lip liner of your choice about ¼ inches from the outside of your lips toward the center. Then use a lip brush to blend the salve to achieve a “pouty look”.

Use Rosebud Salve alone or over your favorite hue of lipstick to moisturize and give a “dewy effect”.

Apply Rosebud Salve to eyebrows to tame an unruly brow line while also giving sheen.

Rosebud Salve is great on fly-away or frizzy hair. Dab a small amount on the palms of your hands and apply sparingly to tresses.

Use Rosebud Salve as a subtle accent to cheek bones, collar bones, shoulders, or any other body part that you want to moisturize or enhance.

Apply Rosebud Salve lightly to the skin above the eye as a base for powered eye shadow, and then add the desired colors you wish to dazzle your eyes with. The rich emollient properties of the Salve will help to hold that look all day.

All Purpose Uses

Rosebud Salve is perfect for travel as an eye make-up remover, cuticle softener, sunburn easer, dry skin healer, and frizzy fighter. Use Rosebud Salve around the eyes and on the throat for severely parched, dry, or wrinkled skin.

I love it for my feet and heels. If you’ve tried it, what do you like to use it for?

Wordless Wednesday — Moose Tracks — Don’t Murder Animals

Is it really Wednesday already? On my way to a Pilates class, here’s my contribution:

Moose Resting in Tall Grass in Grand Tetons.

moose

He didn’t move all day. He was about ten feet from the trail when we began our hike and four hours later, he was still there. We watched him for a while, admiring his rack (ha ha) and wondered how anyone could kill such a beautiful creature and mount the antlers on a wall for decoration. 

It hurt our heart and soul to think that if this lovely animal wandered off the protected lands of Grand Tetons National Park, he’d be slaughtered.

If I was anti-hunting before this trip, I have become (if possible) even more militantly against animal murder.

At the risk of offending anyone, I’d like to suggest that hunters have sociopathic tendencies. That opinion was derived from an animal rights group and it resonates with me. 

I guess this wasn’t so wordless after all.

Guide to Camping Preparations: Princess Rosebud-Style

PART ONE…

Princess Rosebud Hiking Guide

Me at Slough Creek Campground in Yellowstone. Pose it, girl!
Chanel sunglasses, of course.

Me on rocks near river

Best Things to Do on Carlsbad Lagoon

Stand-Up paddleboarding and kayaking — on a perfectly perfect Southern California day.

When my son was here over the weekend for a brief visit, we took our new inflatable Sea Eagle kayak out on the Agua Hedionda lagoon along with hubs SUP (stand-up paddleboard) for my son to play with.

Ever the professional mariner, my tugboat man likes to do what he calls a “shakedown cruise” to make sure everything’s working right and our vessel is seaworthy.

Our lagoon was packed full of kayaks, SUPs, rowboats, and dogs running around the sandy beach — a thoroughly awesome Southern California day.

We’re taking the kayak on our vacation to Zion National Park in Utah and Yellowstone.

I’ve always wanted to hear the song of the wolf, and I hope my dream comes true on this trip.

US-National-Parks-Yellowstone-Wolf-Quest-2-wolves

I’ve got a VERY nice hub who likes to make my wishes turn into reality. SORT OF. He’s taking me on this vacation to placate me so that he doesn’t feel too guilty for running off on a surf trip to Nicaragua. He won’t come out and ADMIT it, but he doesn’t exactly deny it, either. Whatev, I’ll take the kind offer to camp out under the stars and hopefully not get mauled by bears or bison.

Sea Eagle kayak

Selfie! None of my hub especially since he was behind me and really doing all the work as usual! Well, MOST of the work; I did as much as I could with my injured arm.

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SUPUh oh, Professor, watch where you’re going! Navigational hazard ahead!

Carlsbad Lagoon Jboy

Whew! He made it, we went under it, too, but no pics.

Lagoon Carlsbad 1

Just a pretty little area, full of crabs and native plants.
Right then a huge fish glided by but you can’t see it, too bad.

LagoonEven though it’s so much more built up since we moved here in 1985, Carlsbad is still an idyllic place to raise a family. There are so many healthy activities on the water. We used to always walk to the lagoon and our dogs would play while we had a picnic.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon — also known as “stinking waters” ‘cos the mud STINKS for real — is a saltwater wetland and watershed and offers year-round recreational and commercial use.  The lagoon includes mud flats, salt and freshwater marsh, and deep water and is actually comprised of three lagoons:  a 66-acre outer lagoon, a 27-acre middle lagoon and 293-acre inner lagoon. The earliest inhabitants were the native Indians who lived on the shores and upland areas.

Going to the beach year-round;  riding bikes or walking everywhere–it’s a great place to live EXCEPT for the rampant overdevelopment.

Going on a Dump Date

More accurately, a date AT the dump, but I thought that title had more caché…was catchier.

My mostly-he’s-gone Tugboat Man started a project the minute he got home on July 4.

He decided to tear apart our deck. Why? He said it was termite-damaged, falling apart, the wood was rotting. I didn’t think it was such a catastrophe; it looked fine to me.

Hubs decided he needed a consultation.

My son’s dad is a friend — yes, I said FRIEND — and a master builder as well.

He came over to visit my tugboat man right after his return.

Yup, you heard me right. He CAME OVER TO VISIT. The two of them poked and prodded at the deck like a couple of doctors agonizing over a diagnosis – and came to the conclusion that surgery was imminent.

He offered to come back and help re-build the engawa (an exterior hallway on the side of a traditional Japanese house), a walkway that parallels the entire back of our house — after this deck project. Joy.

Here’s Captain Destroyer doing what he does best. Destroy.

deck1

Now I can’t even walk outside, I have to go out the front door and walk all the way around to the back gate to work in the garden.

deck2

Lotsa redwood. Lotsa $$$$.

He’s totally on my very last nerve with this thing.

He’s been sanding and sanding and sanding — FOR DAYS.

The windows are filthy even though the sander has an attached bag to catch the sawdust.

It’s not 100% foolproof. Obviously.

Thank goodness he’s almost finished.

Why do guys do this crap anyway? Can anyone enlighten me? Anyone???

Today the highlight of our day was a romantic outing to the Carlsbad dump to offload the trailer of all the old termite infested and rotten wood.

Why did I go, you ask?

Well, for some strange reason, I love to go to the dump, sit in the car while hubs does all the work, and read a book. It’s just a time to be together, and reminds me when we were in Hawaii driving all over Oahu on the Kamehameha Highway from surf spot to surf spot.

Good times.

I think hubs enjoys the company; I can chatter away about nothing and everything for hours on end (I’m a good travel/driving companion for that reason, too) and it’s turned into a “date event” for us.

Weird. I know.

Today was the dump date from hell, tho.

We arrived at 11:15 a.m. Got weighed and paid at 11:35 a.m. At that point, we noticed the huge line of cars and trucks and garbage trucks lined up and stopped. As in not moving. This has never happened before. Usually if you go to the dump during the week, the whole process moves along fairly rapidly. But we were stuck. It was hot; it smelled like, well, like garbage, and I stared feeling nauseous. At 12:35 p.m. we were next in line to be directed to a the offloading site. Then, the guy who was in charge pointed to the truck next to us to move forward. He hadn’t been waiting nearly as long as we had and I was THIS CLOSE to jumping out of the car to start screaming but my tugboat man got it all straightened out before a major incident erupted. Thank goodness for his calm demeanor. I guess that’s why opposites attract, huh?

While hubs threw about 2,000 pounds of unusable wood into a pile, I got on my cell and started calling around to complain about the nightmare of a long wait we just endured. I complained about their lack of time management and their inefficiency and the general hell of it all to anyone that would listen. No one much cared, that’s the major takeaway I got from my futile efforts.

We got home at 1:15 p.m. The dumb dump is only about three miles away from our house, so we didn’t do a lot of driving. It took exactly two hours to accomplish what should have taken no more than thirty to forty minutes.

My dump date bliss was really scarred by that horrible event.  I’m not sure I ever want to go back. Poor me.

Job almost done. New redwood deck, freshly oiled.
All he needs to is install the seating, screw them down, and we can PARTY!

New deck

The Best U.S. Cities For Shopping

iStock_000016027791XSmall

From designer handbags and shoes to jaw-dropping diamond encrusted rings and things, it’s no secret that me, Princess Rosebud, LOVES to shop. I mean, shopping’s like a lifelong mission for me; that elusive perfect wedge is a prime example, right?

If you’re interested in shopping as a hobby, then you’re probably aware that it can be paired effectively with summer travel.

Sure, it’s always nice to stroll through local shopping centers with friends window shopping at the same old stores – but a bit of travel can put some adventure into your shopping habit, and give you an excuse to buy a few fun items.

After all, nobody travels to Paris for shopping without making a few unnecessary purchases! So with that in mind, here are a few of the best shopping destinations in the United States, for your summer travel consideration.

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

If there’s a U.S. equivalent to Paris – an undisputed fashion and shopping capital with world class venues – it’s undoubtedly New York City. Sure, the city is massive and crowded, etc., but truth be told it’s fairly easy to navigate, and the shopping is unparalleled in the United States. 5th Avenue is the most famous shopping district, and offers an eclectic mix of everyday style options (like flagship stores for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch) and the best names in style and jewelry. Be sure to check out SoHo and the East Village as well for some more unique shopping options and local art.

You might just think of Las Vegas as a hub for gamblers, or a massive cluster of bright lights and fountain streams. And, for the most part, you’d have the right idea. But there’s a high-end, classy side to Vegas as well, and one aspect of it is truly world class shopping.

Aria - Shops@Crystals

Aria – Shops@Crystals

Each resort has some spectacular options (the Bellagio, in particular, is worth a stop), but the ARIA resort is where you’ll find the Shops At Crystals, an incredible modern pavilion of shops, art displays and restaurants that could make a Parisian drool.

It’s not just close proximity to the famous Mall Of America that makes Chicago an incredible shopping destination. Rather, it’s the Magnificent Mile, the midwest’s answer to 5th Avenue in New York. From Saks to Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, to independent boutiques, this Michigan Avenue shopping strip has something for everybody, making it a perfect stop for traveling shoppers.

If this urban shopping district isn’t your thing, check out Wicker Park for some more unique boutiques, local shops and antique stores. And in addition to all this, Chicago has incredible dining options at every turn, to break up your day of shopping.

This is one shopping mecca that I’m definitely visiting again and again — with my Tugboat Man or a fun girly holiday!

P.S. This was a sponsored post.