It’s Valentine’s Day. How About Practicing Random Acts of Romance?

Vintage tugboat valentineMy Valentine’s Day advice?

Practice random acts of romance all year.

My tugboat man isn’t here today, Sigh.

But I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day. I really, really don’t.

It’s not that I reject it for its blatant commercialism (although there’s that, too) but my thought process works like this: why set aside only one day out of 365 to be nice? 

Practicing random acts of romance any time during the year speaks to me of being genuine – that one has had an independent thought not generated by heavy-handed advertising — and expression of love and romance.

It doesn’t have to be expensive (really!).

I get as excited and grateful when my tugboat man brings home a seashell or a cool rock as I do when he brings my favorite Chanel perfume.

With all due respect to Sheryl Sandberg, this is how I lean in

ChanleHowever you decide to spend this day, I hope you enjoy these vintage valentines.

Want to read about our first Valentine’s Day? Click here: He Who Tugs At My Heartvintage valentine vintage valentine vintage valentine vintage valentine


Oy Vey, Jon Stewart, You Broke My Heart


And right before Valentine’s Day!


Did you hear the news?

My secret fantasy, the love of my life, my all-time JewCrush, has broken my heart.

I’m verklempt.

OY, the PAIN!

#1 JewMom heartthrob: Jon Stewart.

Jon’s Goodbye

(We profess love for the dreamy Max Greenfield — Schmidt of “New Girl” — however, he’s a bit young for a true midlife fantasy as he’s about the same age of our sons — and there’s something not quite right with that scenario, if you know what I mean.)

Don’t misunderstand —  I have a special place in my heart for my erstwhile tugboat man; after all, we’ve been married for just about twenty-one years, but JON STEWART owns a huge piece of my heart (the Jewish part.)

Those blue eyes, that soupçon of unruly hair that falls rakishly across his forehead, his sort of creepy and girlish giggle — even his UBER hairy hands — no one else measures up.

His wit, his humor, his singular delivery, even his SINGING — I’m fanning myself- what will I do?

How will I survive?

What about NEWS? What about VIEWPOINT?

Don’t worry, hub knows all about how I feel about Jon — he shares the love — and never misses “Your Moment of Zen”.

We trust The Daily Show to deliver the kind of UN-biased news that reflects our perspective, our cynical and mocking attitude toward all that is political…

And he has rescue dogs! Rescue! Dogs!

I’m planning a trip to the east coast to visit Professor Angel Boy; WHAT IF I WAS IN THE AUDIENCE FOR A TAPING OF JON’S SHOW?


That would be totally awesome.


The stuff of dreams, my friends. The stuff of dreams.

Jon’s First Daily Show

My previous posts about Jon Stewart:

Dear Jonathon Stuart Lebowitz

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving




Blogging Friends Are Found On Every Road

Words forge paths meandering around the country and across the world.

I have a friend!!


(Click and listen to Elton John. Super cute vid, too.)


I’ve met some awesome and amazingly talented peeps through this whole blogging thing.

Cowboys and Crossbones is one of my BBFFs (Blogging Best Friends Forever)

She’s gorgeous, smart, FUNNY, and loves animals and Chanel. Great criteria for a friend, right? Oh, and she LOVES a cocktail or two. Or three. You go girl with those Skinny Pirates!

She’s prolly closer to my son’s age than to mine, but we totes connected through this crazy blogosphere. If you don’t follow her, you need to for sure.

We’ve already started planning a meet-up, and the tugboat man will most def be pressed into service as our private chauffeur, driving us to South Coast Plaza so we can get our shopping fix, stopping for liquid refreshments along the way, and generally fulfilling the role as our bitch.

Yay for nice hubs, ammmIright?

Well, if she wasn’t already sparkly and wonderful enough, last week when I was suffering from my MONTY’S REVENGE (all recovered btw) she sent me a HUGE BOX OF PREZZIES!!!!!

Now y’all know that Princess Rosebud loves nothing more than to dive into hot pink and leopard print tissue paper swaddling treasure after treasure after treasure.

She is the BESTEST ever and so thoughtful and sweet!

Hello Kitty!!!

I’ve made no secret of my love for all that is HK. (Hello Kitty is my soul sister.)

“I’m a proud adult lover of Hello Kitty and I’m not ashamed to shout it from the rooftops.”

What’s better than a professionally framed and signed portrait of my soul sister, Hello Kitty? Thank you so much CBCX and Tedstar!
HKframe2 And what place of honor should HK be exhibited in all of her glory?

Right smack dead center on the wall where my son and DIL display their many academic accomplishments and successes.

I may not have a Ph.D. in anything, but HK rules!HKframe3

Pen and paper to write down lists and lists of wants and needs for retail therapy. 1. Black Loubys 2. Chanel necklace, the long one with the little pearls and CCs sprinkled all over. 3. La Perla underwear….
whengoingCC I’ve looked better, but HK is a beauty in black. Check out the HK cup. HelloPresents And a bag ‘cos a girl needs to carry her treasures home in style.CCHKbagJust in time for St. Pat’s Day! I’m rocking Chanel shades indoors ‘cos I’m cool. I might have the nicest hub in the world, but he takes the worst pics.


Happy Valentine’s Day to all my bloggy friends!

Happy Valentine's Day

It’s #Sushi Night, Happy Valentine’s Day, and Au Revoir, Tugboat Man

This is true.

We were at Sprouts — kind of like Whole Foods, and I was over in the supplements section getting some chia seeds (which I love to toss in smoothies along with flax and wheat gras and a bunch of other stuff) and my tugboat man wandered away from me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that he was standing at a table of potted tulips festooned with Valentine’s Day signage.

After twenty+plus years, I can totally read his mind.

The wheels were turning, or in his case, the propeller was rotating.

I got the chia seeds and walked over to him.

He said, “Hey, look! Tulips! Want some for Valentine’s Day?”

I said, “Suuure. OK. I guess.”

He replied, “Good. Pick one. Now I’m done, right? Got VDay taken care of and they’re only $3.99.”

He’s a clever one, that tugboat man of mine.

Or so he thinks, wink wink.

Little does he know that as much as I love these soon-to-be-blooming tulips that I placed in a vintage cocoa pitcher, I’m not exactly sure that I’m quite done wanting prezzies.

Tulips and Bears

Check out the ball and chain on the little bear, ha ha.

After all, the week after V-day is our twentieth wedding anniversary and I deserve something HUGE to commemorate the date, right? RIGHT??

The problem is that I can’t think of what I need WANT. No, I mean NEED.  Never mind, I’ll think of something, I’m sure.

The reason why we’re even talking about Valentine’s Day a bit early is because my tugboat man is leaving, but only for a week. He’s going to an officer’s management seminar to I suppose help captains deal with crew issues.

He’s been home for a while; I know that soon he’ll be leaving for a long assignment, and it makes it even more difficult because I’ve gotten used to him being around. I don’t have that anxious feeling like when I know he’s only going to be home for a couple of weeks and then he’s off again.

A week is no problem. I can handle that, plus I’ve been jonesing for some shopping — you KNOW that’s what I’ll be doing!

That meant that Saturday night was our Valentine’s Day celebration.

The way to my tugboat man’s heart is definitely food-related; it’s easy to make him happy. A home cooked meal and a made-from-scratch dessert does the trick.

I made sushi and an apple pie. That’s not exactly the dessert that I would have chosen to pair with sushi, but it was his request, so there you have it.

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1970; I know I’ve been saying since 1971 for the longest time, but I actually did the math, and I stopped eating meat when I was sixteen years old and a junior in high school. For most of those years, I was a total vegan, then I started eating sushi because it was the trendy thing to do; also dairy products and eggs.

Now we’re weaning ourselves away from those animal products too. We agree that it’s meaningful for us to not contribute to harming any living creature.

This time I made vegetable sushi. I haven’t included any how-to recipes because there are already so many great online resources. Rolling the sushi takes a bit of practice, but it’s not at all overwhelming or daunting. I taught myself by watching sushi chefs throughout the years. The first few rolls were loose and fell apart; now they’re as tight and firm as…well, I was going to say something rude and inappropriate here, but I’ll just let you fill in the blank in your own mind, ha ha.

The real work is in the prep; once all the veggies are cut and the rice is cooked, dinner can be ready in minutes.

First we had a glass of wine by the fire.
Guess who’ll be cleaning out the ashes.
Yup, that would be me, Cinderella.

Fire in fireplace

Sitting down to lovely Valentine’s Day table decor.
Notice the little umbrella in the sliced pears.
VERY Martha Stewart, no?
P.S. I grew the flowers in my garden. Hub did NOT bring flowers.

table2014-02-08 19.14.03

Sushi close up with a dot of Sriracha. We like it spicy.
sushi22014-01-05 18.19.11

The bear will share a glass of champs, ‘cos we drank all the sake.

drunkbear2014-02-08 19.27.11

It’s imperative to have wasabi and ginger!sushiwasabi2014-01-05 18.19.28Time to blow out the candles;
have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to leave for the airport.

candle2014-02-08 19.58.26

<a href=””>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

The Joy of Valentine’s Day…

…From the Perspective of an Always Appreciative Gift Recipient.

And that would be me.

Happy Valentine's DayI’m not here to debate the pros and cons of Valentine’s Day.

The fact remains that Friday, February 14 IS Valentine’s Day and MOST girls LOVE to receive gifts symbolic of their partner’s love and devotion.

(If you’re like Princess Rosebud, you feel that you deserve adulation and prezzies 365 days a year, and you’d think that singling out one specific date wouldn’t be a big deal, but it really, really IS.)

I’ve always loved V-Day.

I still have the handcrafted Valentine’s Day cards my son made for me with crayons and doilies. Remember those?

“Mommy, you are my secret valentine. Will you marry me? I love you.”

Those were the BEST.

Not that I’d turn down a diamond tennis bracelet or another Chanel handbag (oh wait, I promised I’d never beg for another one) …er, I mean a Chanel scarf or necklace, but it’s not always about the amount of money spent that’s meaningful – it’s really more about the effort to find something that is an expression of love.

When you have a travelling spouse like me, wife of a tugboat captain, it’s really special when he’s home for Valentine’s Day or my birthday, or any other day that calls for gifties,  ha ha.  This year, he’s leaving for a continuing education class (they do that to professional mariners all the time) on Sunday the 9th and might return on the 14th or he might be leaving right from there for another assignment and be gone for a month or two.  That means he might miss Valentine’s Day AND our special twentieth wedding anniversary which totally sucks.

He never forgets; however, and I bet after my absolute crazy meltdown in Mexico, he wouldn’t DARE forget to do something memorable before he leaves on Sunday.

It’s really insurance that he’ll live to see another year. Not really. Well, maybe.Ya never know for sure. It’s a good idea to keep them (men) on their toes, don’t you agree? Keep ’em guessing. Disclaimer: I’m only kidding. (Or am I?)

So, for my own tugboat man and anyone else who might be listening, here’s a few ideas that have piqued my interest:

I  LOVE personalized gifts and what could be cuter than hedgehogs?

Hurry to get these romantic gifts home in time for Valentine’s Day.

I found a lot of great and affordable gift ideas for all occasions at

Hedgehogs Wine glasses Candy Heart Wreath

PS. I haven’t been paid for the mention.

A Prophetic Discovery From Princess Rosebud’s Vault

I’ve tasked myself with organizing old photos and memorabilia collected and tossed in shoeboxes ever since the tugboat man and I met in 1991.

(While I’m typing away, the unmistakable fragrance of eau de skunk is wafting through the patio doors. It’s very distracting! Should I go out and look for the skunk or – er — oh, wait, I’ll be back in a minute. [tick tock tick tock] Thanks for waiting. I didn’t see a skunk but as long as I was out there, I grabbed a few loquats and snacked on ’em –hot from the sun; sticky and juicy. Don’t you wish you were here with me?)

OK — I’m focused again.

It was during this purge of duplicate pics and random grocery lists tucked away between birthday and Valentine’s Day cards spanning a couple of decades that I found a page torn from a yellow legal pad, folded into quarters. I crumpled it up and threw it in the trash.

tugboatmanletterThen I thought to myself, why did I do that before I looked at it? I dug it out of the trash, unfolded and put the pieces back together, read it and OH EM GEE.

I had almost destroyed an amazingly prophetic artifact. I must have written it when my tugboat man moved to Hawaii for about a year. Although we visited back and forth, I wasn’t sure what the future would hold…

Here’s the story:

Part Two (I’ll have to look for Part One)

Forever & ever land

Time went by and the seasons changed. The captain and his lady came to realize  that the distance between them had no effect on their love. it was special.

One day, the captain suddenly decided to come home. He had completed his journey and was ready to share his life.

Several times his lady had almost given up hope, but deep in her heart she had faith that their love would survive.

Without warning, he rang the doorbell.

She opened the door, surprised, but peaceful and content. This was the way it was meant to be. They stood for a long time looking at each other and not saying a word.

Finally, her captain sighed and his eyes filled with tears, “I have come home, Rosebud.”

“Will you marry me?”

“Yes, angel”, she replied. “I will love you forever and ever.”

And they lived happily ever after.

The End

Isn’t that just the cutest thing ever? I am uber-embarrased to say that the writing is very much junior high school level even though I was thirty-something, but the whole genesis of Princess Rosebud and her Tugboat Man was conceived at that precise moment in time and must have been occupying space in my subconscious until now. How cool is that?  It’s good to know that once in a while, dreams really do come true. The details of the reality are slightly different, but the end result remains the same.

Who knew I had a crystal ball?crystal ball

He Who Tugs At My Heart

Our first Valentine’s Day…a sweet moment in time

10:00 a.m. Pre-boarding routine on a 350 passenger charter vessel.

On the dock, the ramp is placed snugly against the vessel’s port side; a deckhand wipes it down to avoid any mishaps.

The captain checks with his crew to confirm that they’re stationed in the designated safety zones.

In the bathroom, the marketing coordinator fluffs out her hair and re-applies lipstick, grabs the clipboard, reviews any late changes for this corporate charter, scribbles a couple of notes, but her mind isn’t really on her work.

10:30 a.m. Two hundred men, women, and children gather at the foot of the dock awaiting the OK to board.

The captain straightens the gold stripes on his shoulders and counts the people clicker down to zero.

I take my place on his left where I’ll greet everyone with a “Welcome Aboard” after they’re counted.

The captain nods to the deckhand to unhook the velvet rope blocking the gangway.

It’s time to begin the boarding procedure.

He turns to me and whispers in my right ear, “My heart is melting.”

WTF. That is just so HIM, to say something so monumental and amazing and unexpected–and it took my breath away. Literally.  My mouth dropped open. (It really did, I remember it like it happened yesterday.) I had no sense of what went on for the next three hours. I was a zombie.

When all the guests were escorted to their seats and listened to the safety speech and lines were untied and we were underway, and after I had answered a million questions about our destination and passed out a few barf bags, I opened the door to the wheelhouse and handed my captain a cup of coffee.

I was suddenly shy. “Hi.”

“Thanks for the coffee.”

“Why did you say that, you know, back there?”

“Because it’s true.”

“You can’t just say something like that and expect me to just go on and act all normal.”

“I just did.”

Well, tugboat man, it’s our twenty-third Valentine’s Day, and you still make MY heart melt every time I look in your amazing grayish blue eyes.

I love you.

Princess Rosebud and her tugboat man visit Palm Springs

What a difference a week makes

It’s nearly impossible to fathom that it was only last week that my tugboat man and I went to Palm Springs. He’s been gone for a week today and I’m experiencing “husband cold turkey” with no cell phone reception and only spotty email.

On my own, I have tons of free time but I’m always busy. Today I sent a Valentine’s Day package to son, DIL, and sister wife. After that, I stopped at one of my fave consignment shops and got a few things– nothing designer or vintage–not photo worthy–just a top for the gym, a Free People sweater, and a Tommy Bahama long sleeved Hawaiian shirt. I prolly won’t ever wear it, but at seven dollars, how could I NOT rescue it! The silk’s worth more than that, right?

I worked my way over to the library and got a few of their $1 books ‘cos I’m out of reading material after the “Elegance of the Hedgehog”.  I saw a car catch on fire in the parking lot!! Luckily for the owner, there’s a fire station right across the street. A few of those hunky guys came out, smelled smoke, did a little pointing, saw lots of people waving them over, jumped in their fire engine AND a paramedic’s unit (although no one was injured) and drove right by me as I stood next to my car. YUMMY!

I arrived home to discover that I was missing an earring, probably dropped at the consignment shop. It was an amethyst with a dangly pearl and I was super upset so I got back in my car. It wasn’t in the dressing room or anywhere else in the store but I retraced my steps to where I had parked earlier and there it was!! Thank you, Mother Earth!

As I drove home along the same route for the second time today, I noticed six police cars at the Motel 6 (for a “village” that tries to promote its quaint-ness, Motel 6 kinda messes with that whole marketing campaign). They seemed to be converging on one man and handcuffing him. Excitement!! I was gonna cross the street and film the action, but my merchant mariner’s voice was in my head telling me it wasn’t very smart to get smack up in the middle of something that could get out of control. Dumb captain always in my head!! Sheesh.

The previous week, my last as a married woman…for a while

Palm Springs is about three hours from home, perfect for a day hike. Neither of us had ever been there or taken the tram, and we both love to hike in the snow, so we packed a lunch, gassed up the truck, and embarked on another adventure. We passed this…bearstore

and this…not a real bighorn sheep

and this was our first glimpse of snow on a hazy day.first view of san snow

We drove past the Marilyn Monroe statue but my tugboat man wouldn’t stop long enough for me to take a pic, so I had to Google it.marilynmonroepalmsprings

Before you reach Palm Springs, there’s another little town called Palm Desert with a shopping section that rivals Rodeo Drive.


I spied a GUCCI storefront out of the corner of my eye and yelled “GUCCI, GUCCI, GOOOOCHHIIIIII!!” My tugboat man’s response wasn’t very nice, “Don’t even think about it. I’m not stopping. I didn’t drive all this way to take you shopping.” Mean man. I shmushed my face up against the window and whimpered wistfully, “Gucci, Gucci, Gucci” in a manner guaranteed to elicit pity from my stone-faced hub until the light changed and I could no longer see the signage. Nothing. Nada. He drove right by it. Two can play this game I thought to myself–hmm, there’s only one road in and one road out and I’d have another chance on the way home. I’m one clever cookie!

Frank Sinatra lived in PS when it was a celebrity hotspot. We didn’t stop there, either.sinatra house palm springs


Our destination was the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar, a breathtaking journey up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon. It’s a brief ten minute ride starting at the  Valley Station – elevation 2,643 ft.–ending at the Mountain Station – elevation 8,516 ft. [from Wiki] San Jacinto Peak, 10,834 feet (3,302 m), is the highest peak of the San Jacinto Mountains, and of Riverside County, California. It lies within Mount San Jacinto State Park.

Naturalist John Muir wrote of San Jacinto Peak, “The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!”[4]

The tram ride up was SCARY. I spent the entire ride clutching the captain’s arm ’til it went all numb ‘cos I thought the cables were gonna break and we were gonna die. When I expressed that thought to him, he told me to be stop hyperventilating, be quiet, and let up a bit on the vise-like death grip. Sometimes he’s NOT all that perfect. By the time I formed an appropriate response, the ride was over, and we were still alive.tram bench

I stopped to use the restroom and snapped a pic of my new Osprey backpack chock full of the essentials. El Capitan is getting a bit annoyed with the incessant picture taking of my Chanels.

There was SNOW!snowhike

On a gigantic flat rock warmed by the sun, we enjoyed a hearty lunch of canned sardines, cheese and crackers, dried mango, fresh fruit, cookies, and trail mix with raw almonds and cashews.our lunch snow hike

Four legs taking a break. Mine are NOT the hairy ones wearing shorts in the snow.two sets of legs

I left behind a message to others…ES in snow


Here’s a gallery of the rest of the pics. It was a spectacular day! There wasn’t going to be a Gucci moment–that wasn’t going to happen even though I promised that all I wanted to do was LOOK and not actually buy anything (well, unless there was something that I couldn’t live without), but he was steadfast in his resolve to NOT stop–a girl needs to know when to quit and I do so I did. The last couple of pics are from a detour we made to walk a bit on the famous Pacific Crest Trail. Hubs dream is to walk the entire Trail. Probably not with me. What.Ev.