What Do Fresh Herbs and Seashells Have in Common?

I like the beach. No, no … I love the beach. And no matter where I go, I always collect shells—although I never take more than a few. And when I get home, I put them on my window sills … in big glass jars … I even carry one in my purse so when the cold winter months arrive and I reach down into the pockets of my bag and touch the shell, the memories take me back to my happy place.

I’ve always found it interesting that some beaches have an endless supply of shells—some whole, some broken, some stark white, some pink, some rainbow in color with shimmering skin akin to mother of pearl—while other beaches have almost no shells at all. Growing up in the PNW I was told the beaches there don’t have as many shells wash up onshore because the coastline is so much rougher than the shores of the lower Pacific; think Southern Cal, the Baja Peninsula and lower. And truthfully, the surf does seem angrier the farther north one travels up HWY 101 … so it makes sense. Whether it’s entirely true or not, I can’t say—there are, of course other theories … one being that mollusks congregate where there’s food, and some beaches simply don’t provide enough. Makes sense. Regardless, one thing’s for sure—there are some beaches with tons of shells, and others with very few.

But Since I’ve had the good fortune to travel places with lots of shells, I’ve found myself with an overabundance. And what did I do with those shells … (caveat, it was actually my husband who came up with the idea) I lined my herb garden. And now every time I snip some basil, mint, parsley or cilantro or chives, I see my shells and I am happy.

world marketOhhhhh I do have one other idea for extra shells … check out this wind chime. I bought this one from World Market, but now that I have the idea, I’m going to string my own soon.

Do tell—what do you do with the shells you collect?

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So this little blog is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. Here you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—like where to find the best seafood (and riverfish) in the Midwest. And some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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