Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grillin' & Chillin'

Right before I left for a month, I got a propane grill. Simple, compared to what Bobby Flay uses, but a step into the new world for me. I've grilled with charcoal most of my life and in fact it was a charcoal grill that taught me the lesson that when my Dad said something is hot, I should believe him. Lesson learned, and cooking on the grill lessons came next. Smart guy, my Dad.

The problem with charcoal grilling when you are cooking for one is obvious. An hour (more or less) for the coals to be perfect (yes, I know it can be less, but, that's what I do). 20 to 30 or more minutes of grilling. Not hungry anymore.

I still barely know how to cook for one person (and I've been doing it for well over a decade, so this shouldn't be brain surgery, but I am not genetically wired to do this) so I either overdo, as in cooking for 5 because I finally had the perfect coals and want to *use* them, or I cook for one, and stand there wondering where the hell the marshmallows are, because the coals are just decadently glowing, wanting more more more.

Propane was the not so easily arrived at answer. For one thing, cooking with it doesn't taste the same, I don't care what anyone says. But I have a whole new world to explore...that cool smoker box that you can put in the grill, using any kind of wood chips that will give me the flavor I miss, and plank grilling, an old American Indian technique I'd like to check out.

The other thing, it's propane. What else do I need to say? The only truly guilt free way to cook is using a solar oven and I'm going to try that sometime in the near future. But in the meantime....
I temper my propane guilt with my rarely indulged almost-instant-gratification pleasure. Rare indeed on Culebra, so I am completely enjoying it. Now, if I can figure out how to get rid of the ants beneath the grill area...ant avoidance dancing only amuses the cat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Flirtin' with dirt

Today, I decided, was a great day for a good Spring cleaning. Not Spring, you say? Freezing your tush off somewhere already? Sorry! No really, I am. But here, flowers are blooming, it's a great time to plant a garden, and most important in my motivation...I have to live here and there is no one else to blame if it looks like hell.

I'm sure the telephone repair guy thought it looked like hell when he came by today. Finally, someone to check out what is wrong with my phone! With much hearty laughter (think Ace of Cakes guy), it came down to this: nothing was wrong. The phone I was using was a bad one. The two that died, well, that wasn't from the phone company's end. This was all very nicely said as he checked my dead phone a few times before he put it down with a slight shake of his head. "This is very rare, this," he said and laughed uproariously when I mumbled, "Sure it is, it's mine."

Would the phone company buy me a new phone and he could take mine, due to its rareness? No go. BUT, he did promise me the infamous grey box to go outside the house. "You need the grey box," he said sternly, no laughing matter this. "What is the grey box?" I asked, wondering if it would turn out to be like other things...things everyone in the world seemingly knows about but me. "The grey box, it protects the phone connections to your house, from the thunder." Well, his English is 1000x better than my pathetic Spanish. I knew what he meant and I wanted that grey box. I'm going to get it too...when he has one on his truck. Soon.
I'd already swept and mopped and gotten rid of a lot of the cobwebs and was semi into a nap before he got here. But there is nothing like a stranger in your house when it looks like it was bombed to get you moving again; his truck door hadn't shut before I was back at it. So while visual peace and tranquility don't completely reign here (and won't until hurricane season is over), some serious headway was made. Now it just looks like there was a sleepover with ten 13 year old girls, minus the makeup factor. I can live with that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Home again home again

Home. Is there a better word, with so many levels? I'm pretty sure the CWIM knew I wasn't going to bug out on her this time, as she ate, looked at me and walked out on the porch for a snooze in the afternoon sunshine. Perfect.
Cooking dinner on the grill, I noticed one of the orchids has a few barely swollen buds, giving me one of the little things to look forward to. Two friends called, right in a row, not sure if I was home yet, but taking the chance (and the chance that I'd answer the phone...I don't always do that). But both were good ones; one with good news on a long awaited job, and the other with a brilliant suggestion for the houseboat shutters I want to build/get built that I never would have thought of and it's perfecto. Along with the offer to install them...what's better than that? Poor houseboat, I've been away too long. But hopefully tomorrow I'll get some help and the dinghy will re-take its rightful place on my tiny dock and I'll be back in the water!

While reading the news tonight and getting tense, even after such a wonderful afternoon, I was checking email and got this video. I thought how amazing the world is now, in the midst of all the craziness, there are some fantastic things going on. And I can press a few plastic buttons and share them! PFM!!!!!!

This is called Playing for Change. "The song Stand By Me performed by many artists in different countries. From Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. Official web site: It took Mark Johnson 10 years to make it...and the journey will last the rest of his, and so many others, lives. Check it out.

Link update for POW post

I think this works. There is another in the comments section. So...maybe there is something to my rant.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Headin' home

My housesitting gig ends tomorrow, and as much as I love Kelli and Dale and all of the critters, along with the view from the top of the world I live in, three weeks is plenty! The Cat Who Isn't Mine wonders why I come and go, come and go, and each time I see more I need and want to do *back at the shack*. Dorothy is right, even if she picked Kansas; there's no place like home!
This is from early thirty today, my next to last sunrise from Vietnam hill for the year (and if you aren't a Culebra person, this is the name of this barrio and I don't know why it is called Vietnam - so someone can give that bit of history if they know it).

Friday, October 24, 2008

George Clark, we'll miss you

This is my tribute to George Clark, a gentle, lovely man. One of the best ones. The last time I talked to George, I was doing an article on Derek Trucks -old connections from my rock and roll days let me in to check on this kid who was making fire on gee tar - in Orlando. George, Tommy and a few others gathered as a support to Derek (in this funky Orlando dive that I don't remember the name of), who sure as hell didn't need it but we were ready to have a good time and have some serious fun.
George and I, who hadn't seen each other in way more than a decade, caught up fast and soon moved on to his love of fly fishing, a sport I'd always wanted to try. He offered to take me out on his canoe (because the best spots had no motor access) and also to teach me how to wrap flies. All those years later, he was still the same gentle, sweet and generous man I'd met when I was a very silly teenager. And though I was no longer a teenager, and much had changed in my life, George was the same, exuding the same gentle spirit and still ready to teach me more.
He stands as a stalwart in my world view, one who, in the midst of a quite unreal world (the music world of the 70's) stayed his own course, regardless of the upheaval going on around him. I'm just sorry I didn't know he was in Orlando when I was there last month. It would have been just the same...a hug, a quick catch up, and then...let's talk wood working, fishing and music. George. One of a kind and he will be greatly missed by the many who knew him as I knew him, in much more current times. His affect never left me. Let his influence be a guide.

Credit for photos: Michael Buffalo for current photos. Others courtesy of Tommy Talton from some archive photos.

In front of their bus parked in the yard of a typical split level house, 1971, in my neighborhood (the neighborhood was not thrilled, but I was...Woodstock came to me! Timing is everything!)
Second photo: reunion of the band Cowboy in 2007

Photo from the 2007 reunion recording

George backstage at the Fillmore Cowboy concert

I'm tested, says McCain

But what about all those others who were POW's? Are they also ready to be President of the United States? I can't imagine the horror of being an American, with an american upbringing, and then, for years, enduring the horror of being a POW. But does that mean that one is ready for the now present and looming world we are now living in? There are POW survivors who say no. I need to back this up with links, for sure. But.

The amount of information we have at our fingertips is, exponentially, beyond any lifetime expectations of my 94 year old aunt (who still has a hell of a lot to say about politics). Turn off the television!!! Go online and read the facts...crazy concept...ok, back from seque.

Many of us have suffered. Hugely. And probably that is what makes our opinions strong and loud, no matter what side of the American divide one falls in. Does that make us President of the United States material? I think not. It makes us, or should make us, more compassionate. It makes us more willing to give leeway to other points of view. Or...maybe it doesn't. Maybe it hardens us to see the world in a very narrow sort of way that excludes our present realities. That is the sorrow. It's not about huge numbers. Every mother, father, child has dealt with a family members life shaping horror since time began. Oh, I think that's in the Bible...

I don't have an answer. I only know...educate yourself. If you are firmly convinced of your opinion, on one side or the other...go look at the other side. Remember, these are your fellow folk in this country. It doesn't mean you have to change your mind, but it does mean that you might have the opportunity to have a bit more compassion, a bit more information...a bit more light in the dark of one sided opinions, regardless of your stance.

Ok. I don't have compassion for those who remain stymied in ignorance. So, I write letters. I post on forums. I take a stand saying what I believe...for the most part. Let me throw in this. Obama not opposing the bailout seriously pissed me off. This was the will of the majority and, as we are seeing right now, it has not worked. If I lived in the states I'm afraid I'd be raging in the streets and then my children would have to bail me out of jail for being a public nuisance.

Ignorance. A potentially fatal disease that is curable. That's all I know.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Well, I told myself I wouldn't put in another *political* video for awhile...but then two things happened. One, I just found out an old friend died today. After finding out a few days ago another old friend had died. And I thought again, amid the wonderful memories flooding through my mind; lots of laughter, some amazing music, and life lessons gained from all those I have been blessed enough to meet and have had to say the earth good bye to, life is short.

About one minute later, this arrives in the email. And I had to laugh. Which is always a good thing. Yes, life is's another video. Enjoy.

An American Prayer

A friend sent this to me tonight...maybe my old hippie is showing (or maybe it never stopped) but. I liked it very much. Hope is good.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A good day for Culebra

We had an excellent meeting last night with one of the candidates running for Mayor, Alexis Bermudez. He represents everything I want to see in a candidate for this office - a vision of Culebra staying true to herself and her people. He's against major development, he's an educator, and very much NOT a political animal. A quiet man who has been doing good things for Culebra for a long, long time. He has also surrounded himself with others who don't just talk, they do. They are not in this race for personal gain, care about the North Americans (the purpose of the meeting, as Alexis is not a fluent English speaker, was to present his platform with English translation and have a Q & A to address issues that the North American residents are concerned about, so we could get a grasp on his positions).

It went well, even if a friend of mine said she wanted to strangle me for asking Alexis to express what was already clearly written out in the hand outs we were given. Could have been the drinks earlier, or the wine we had there...(hey, any guy that serves WINE at an island event has got my interest! Didn't sway a vote I'm already sending his way, but it sure was nice. I think Carmen Rosa had something to do with that...clever her!) or maybe I just talk too much! It's been mentioned.

The other wonderful thing is that yesterday they started fixiing the roads!!!! Hooray! I had just turned in my car accident report and was talking to this guy (one of the workers, who kindly translated for me with the engineer) about how bad and dangerous the roads had become, and then I saw, in front of Willy's Jeeps, that they were actually already doing it. Fantastic. Later on a friend of mine was saying that as he was driving he just kept calling out GRACIAS!!! I think we all feel the same. May it continue. I can't express the difference in the start of the day as I drove down to feed the CWIM this morning. Still have to be very careful, but with hope instead of being ticked off. What a great feeling!

We got a beautiful rainbow yesterday afternoon.

A few of us met up at Dinghy Dock before the meeting. I haven't been there in ages, it seems, and while I didn't stay long (I'd been there quite long enough, thank you), it was really nice to be in my favorite bar with good friends. You know, the kind who really appreciate a *wow* rainbow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Omar...we hardly knew ye (thankfully)

While other islands in the Caribbean took some smashing hits from Omar (though none directly as we supposed) we got lucky in the last chance moment when Omar took a turn to the east and left us unscathed. People went to sleep and woke up wondering what was going on...and the answer was a solid nothing except for two brief periods of intense wind.

We lucked out. Again. And now the sky is blue and and the water is beautiful. Only a handful, and I mean that, of tourists are around to enjoy it. So while they don't have much choice in dining as most restaurants are closed for a couple of more weeks, they can *own a beach* for a day.

I took a long walk yesterday on a couple of our beaches. One, Playa Flamenco, is a beach that comes straight out of the classic Caribbean postcard for a perfect beach. In almost a mile, there were two other people there. I picked up a lot of plastic debris that had washed in, first because I hate litter, but second, the sand was so pristine, I couldn't stand marring the visual.
There were only two tents in the campground (which is stretched out along the beach behind the small dunes, shaded with coconut palms and seagrape trees, among others). If I wasn't housesitting, I'd have gotten my own tent to put up for a perfect day or two of quiet, with only waves and birdsong for background music. It's good to live where you want to vacation!

Wild flowers on Flamenco

Walkway over the dunes in the campground

From the camping site I where I stayed during my first trip to Culebra
(no wonder I moved here 3 weeks later)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hurricane Omar comin' to visit

We've been very fortunate here to have avoided a hurricane for years. So I guess it's our turn. As the data comes in, the storm, which was centered right on us, has moved east, with St. Croix in the headlights. But that is only the center of the storm...and Omar is a big boy, though a slow mover.

I've seen what unnamed heavy rain events can do in the islands. With fragile infrastructures, it doesn't take much to create chaos: landslides, floods, loss of homes and loss of lives. By Friday the storm will have moved on and we don't know what will remain behind. I'm looking around my quite fragile little casita (nice word for shack) and hoping it will be standing when I get back. I think I live in one of the best places in the world, but not enough to trust this structure in a hurricane! I'm house/dog/cat sitting up on a hill in what is more or less a concrete bunker with awesome views (but the windows will be closed as tight as they close), a generator and two dogs who hate storms. The cats just act like cats, who knows what they are thinking?

Right now it's so peaceful, and I am reminded, as I am every day, of how much I love where I live. I'm looking out the windows and out the open door at my yard and the bay, which only has a slight ripple on it. The sky is grey, but not ominous. It's hard to believe how much this is going to change.

We'll see what happens next.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ah, the fun of blogging

I write a bit about the weather on a couple of forums and at the moment, our weather has exploded, making the weather maps look like somebody blew the lid off the blender. See that gimungus blob? And that little tiny island? That little tiny island is Puerto Rico. Culebra is a teeny weeny island off PR, 3 x 7 miles. And that blob is coming toward us. Get the idea?

Unusual weather, but not unheard of for this time of year, I am trying to not get confused (we have Tropical Depression Nana (not your grandmother's TD anymore) to the right of us, and Tropical Depression 15 to the south of us)...invests turn to tropical depressions, tropical depressions turn to tropical storms and tropical storms turn into hurricanes. Of course, any of those steps can be skipped, reversed or just disappear. Sort of like stages of human life, but let's not go all mav...profoundy here.

I'd rather whine. My feet are freezing! It's 78 degrees here, which is ridiculous for this time of year. Even the Cat Who Isn't Mine is cold...and she refuses to sleep on my feet, which ticks me off. I mean, I feed her, shelter her (most of the time), she owes me! She will sit in my lap but I think it's because she's cold and wants me to warm her up.

The electricity has been on and off. So what fun is housesitting in a house with 50 gazillion channels if the television doesn't work? No fun, I'll tell you that. The house gets really small with two dogs and two cats when it's raining like...yeah, like them. And they are scared of lightning and thunder so they all want to be in my lap, and one of them is bigger than me.

One of these cats is just seriously weird. I know, I know, ALL cats are weird, but this one is really weird. He moves like he is on puppet strings, or has a muscular impairment. Three legs move in jerky fashion, but one front leg moves like a Rockette on each step. He eats a lot, but he's skinny (no, he doesn't have worms, he's perfectly healthy, he's just weird). His eyes are the biggest I've ever seen on a cat, and an eerie pale green, like faded jade. And he likes to just...look at me. Frankly, he creeps me out. But I pet him anyway, because he's new to the house and I figure he creeped out everyone who ever met him. Also, in case he's a spooky not-really-a-cat sort of thing, I'm trying to stay on his good side. He must know a bit how I feel though, since he threw up on the bed last night. Twice.

Did I mention my feet are cold?

Well, if we don't get blown off the map, I guess I'll be in a more cheery mood later on...maybe I'll make some soup. Then I'd have to go to the store. That means driving through muddy, rutty, pot holed roads. Never mind. I'll just go hungry...and cold...and hope that cat hasn't thrown up again while I'm here with my cat, who is licking her...oh never mind.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Betwixt & Between

The world as we know it seems to be in a meltdown, financially.
But here on Culebra, beside the fact that there are few tourists around and those that are here seem to be buying less and less, I continue to hear from locals over and over again how fortunate we are to live in a place where people, in a generalized sort of way, already know how to do with less, much less. We live in a place where often, you can't 'get it now' and sometimes you can't get it ever, whatever that it is. Immediate gratification is not a concept on Culebra, and when it actually happens, it's a joyous shock to the system.

A friend said this morning "We've been living in a depression ever since we got here." Except oh what a good depression to be in. Some like it this way, others could never live in a place, and wonder how we do, where getting cauliflower or a week old copy of the NYT's could be a cause for celebration. Where if the utilities stay on during severe weather, we cross our fingers, wondering how we'll end up paying for that bit of good luck. Where we really ARE all in it together, because there isn't much that can happen to anyone that stays secret for long.
There is a lot of tolerance on Culebra. Sometimes that's good and sometimes not so good, but I'd not have it any other way. In the meantime, I know no one will be hungry here, no one without a place to sleep. There will still be laughter, and there will still be fish in the sea and chickens on the street. How bad can iguana taste, anyway?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Over the canal and through the street

Yesterday I got a head's up from the trench digger guy that the trench, to go over the canal, might need to be dug right behind my cart, or in the yard of the house behind the cart. What? I told him, first you all wreck my car, now you're going to wreck my business? He very apologetically said he didn't make the plans, he just had to make them happen. At that point a friend came by and we repaired to Dinghy Dock for a timely drink.

Today as I was heading over the bridge it was obvious a big sewer trench pow wow was going on. The woman who has a house on the side of the bridge right before crossing over (and heading toward Punta Saldada) was there. The manager of Posada La Hamaca was there. The engineer was there. Workers were there. I asked what was going on and was told that the project people had actually bought and paid for the small bit of land on the side of Posada La Hamaca, to put the pipe through on that side. Which is exactly the location I'd mentioned yesterday; the sensible thing to do. No one's yard would be disturbed except at the edges - a guest house on either side with room for the pipe. Posada's manager was fine with the plan. So what was the problem? Something about the bridge being 2 feet lower than it legally should be, so where would the pipe go...when I left they were all hashing it out. Hopefully, it will be on that side of the bridge. Otherwise, if I have to move the cart for a sewer trench to go through there, I'm thinking it might look very good in my yard....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Walking on Culebra

I've had a car three times on Culebra, two of them briefly, one for a year or so. The rest of the time I've walked. Walking to town is a little over a mile and a half, not much of a walk, really, when you think of marathon types. But I am not one of them. Really.

The walk is, for the most part, along the water's edge. If a breeze is blowing and the shadows are right, it is pretty much a delight. If it is still and the shadows are wrong, and my arms are laden with books to return, or hot sauce to bring in, it can be a trip ending in dripping sweat, sort of like being gently but completely beaten before the day has started.

When I first moved here, knowing no one, I walked all the way a LOT. But slowly, as people got to know me, I often got (and still get) a ride along the way. At first, it was people who knew me and that I knew. As time passed, it was people who saw me often, but didn't know me. That happens over and over again, sustaining an old Culebra tradition of picking up the walkers. There weren't so many cars on Culebra, not so long ago, and walking was the norm. Maybe that is why we have people here who live to their 100's plus.

It isn't unusual to see people in their 70's and 80's walking to the stores and post office from their homes, then walking on to check in on their parents. Really. A friend of mine told me the other day that her grandmother and greatgrandmother lived to 116 and 114 respectively. As often on Culebra, these were not blood relatives. Often, women have taken in children for a variety of reasons and raised them as their own, sometimes over 20 or more children have called the same woman Mami. They all walked. And now, when some have cars, and have come to believe that I am an acceptable person to pick up, they give me a ride. I am honored.

Sometimes it is someone who speaks no English and my Spanish is mala...bad. We exchange greetings, I do my sign language thing, but mostly we sit in comfortable silence until we get to town. I indicate I'm going to the Post Office by taking off my seat belt at the corner by Hotel Puerto Rico, give deep mucho gracias and we go our separate ways.

Sometimes it is a gringo. As in, the other day I went to Genesis (pronounced Henesis), the local market closest to me, for some juice. Someone came along before I got there and said they were closed. At the same time, along came Chuck. I told him they were closed (we didn't know why, it was Saturday, mid-afternoon...who knows?). He asked what I was looking for and offered me a ride to the Panaderia, which in these days of pretty awful driving on that stretch, was quite an offer. I waffled, not wanting, really, to walk back. He got it and said, of course I'll bring you back, I have a car! Another random act of kindness.

I've had locals see me walking and leave their homes to drive me to town or to home, seeing me sweating my brains out and being kind beyond any measure in these modern days. Women going to church have picked me up, we end with blessings. Men apologize because a door handle doesn't work, I must sit in the back. We laugh. I've been given a ride on a horse once. That was amazing, as I got to *drive* while the owner of the horse sat behind me, smoking and chattering on in Spanish.

These are the moments that I fall in love with Culebra over and over again. Walking, while sometimes enough to have me grinding my teeth, has also brought me closer to the people I'd never interact with otherwise, and for that, I am grateful.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What I do (sometimes) on Culebra

Island Woman MJ. What is that about? One day, taking hot sauce I'd made to my friend Laurie and her little cart on the corner, she asked me if I'd be interested in buying *the cart*. Oh yes...I was very interested!

When I first came to Culebra, three years before that day, I'd seen the cart on the corner by the bridge - which is its official address by the way 'By the Bridge' - and thought, that is the coolest thing! At the time, Monika owned it; she'd bought it from Serge and Sandra (who created it and now live in Thailand). It was full of jewelry and art and Monika was making jewelry or henna tattoos or mobiles. Then she and her husband Zach bought Mamacita's - the restaurant. Laurie, who had a spice shop, bought the cart. The stock changed to all things chile: sauces, dish wares, snacks, and more. I was making hot sauce at the time, selling it out of my yard and to a few restaurants (thanks, Neil, Feddy and Alicia, Susie, Pincho Joe and Glenn, the Lali Dama of hot sauce). Laurie asked if I'd sell her some of my Island Woman sauces and the answer was, of course.

Deciding it was time for her to move to Maine, she sold the cart to me. It was, at the time, named Saucy Contessa....which I am not. We all tossed around names at the bar, but I am, by no stretch, a Hot Mama, a Wild Hot Girl or any of the suggestions that came along. Island Woman. Maybe a bit lacking in the explosive sense, but much more me than anything more clever I could think up.

Clever was Monika's stroke of genius in painting the front of the cart with the oh so very true motto Open Somedays Closed Others, in response to Zach saying she needed to post her hours. Photographed at least as much as Flamenco Beach, I am considering a photo fee...for being closed (not really...yet). Each year, Mark the Artist repaints against the weather, adding a new bit or two or three (last year it was wine bottles in the sand - how did he know...hmmm - this year a snappy new hammock design) and it continues. The stock is now a combo of hot sauces, jewelry, and art, changing as whim and findings take it.

Nick, who passes the cart almost as often as Carlos, always has a pertinent word for me, depending on what is going on at the moment. Sometimes it's a (too) social corner. Sometimes I'm fighting mosquitos. Sometimes I'm fighting a nap ("Wake up, MJ!"). Sometimes I'm drinking champagne or an icy beer someone brings over. Sometimes I'm actually busy selling things. Right now, being as it's the s l o w season. Nick's latest comment was "Has anyone ever told you you are an eternal optimist?" It's been mentioned, but not in such nice words!

World Dance

I have a small list of things I want to write about, but then find something else instead - the world is so full of a number of things! I'll get around to the rest eventually.

When I saw this video (after seeing a video someone sent me that they were sure would make me cry, but left me dry eyed) I started by laughing and ended by crying. Good tears...I think.

What does this have to do with Culebra? Was it the time in Milka's that we all started dancing to some canned Christmas music (and I mean all, tourists, locals, owners)? Is it the feeling that I get here those times when everyone just comes together and the grin on my face hurts? That could be part of it. Or maybe I'm just a sap for the idea of the world laughing together, and here, in my world, that happens a lot.

There is a lot more about the making of this video, and other work Matt has done. In the meantime, just dance!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feel Your Boobies!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are a number of things you can do, for yourself and others this month, every month, and hey, every day!

I got this email from my daughter, a cancer survivor, this morning.

It only take one minute....

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer
site is having trouble getting enough people to click on
their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free
mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to
go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate
sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to
donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

There is also a link on the left side of the page that you can fill out with your email address so you will get a daily reminder to click (just like the Hunger Site and a few others)

I sent the email on and got this back from my ex-sister-in-law, still friend, who just went through a lumpectomy last month.

i saw a tee shirt [a] breast cancer [group] has out that has a pink ribbon on it and says..feel your boobies..i want one if i can find one..i laughed sooo hard when i saw it..if it wasnt for these people i could never have known i had a lump...thanks for sending this..p

So, I went looking for the t shirt and found this wonderful site (the title of today's page will link to it) that sells the t shirt and also has lots of other very neat stuff on it, including the story of how it got started.

The rest is up to you! Pass it on!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The weather, the road, the horse

I woke up in the dark and woke up again in the dawn to weather that made me think, nothing really to write about today, another pretty day with blue skies, fluffy clouds, north swells...until about 30 minutes ago when suddenly a gust came that shook us up. A look at the sky that had been deep blue moments before showed a trail of almost black clouds from the east to the south, while north & west were still blue and fluffy. The temp dropped. It seems this system is sliding by us to the south at a good clip and we may not get a drop of rain out of it...which, truthfully, is okay.

The trench that ate my car and has me walking again to town is the cause of daily road rage in my spirit, but it increases when the rain (or the water pipes that spring leaks due to incredible pressure changes..they haven't gotten it right yet) makes the deeply rutted (trenched) road a mad dance to navigate, by car as well as by foot. No one in a vehicle tries to hurry me in my *1 to the left, 2 to the right, 3 down the middle of the road cha cha cha* if they are behind or in front of me, either glad they aren't walking or stopping to give me a ride. I keep kind of hoping one of the off island workers will indicate even a flicker of impatience so I can vent, but they don't. I know it's ridiculous, but the combination of horrible road work, terrible construction practices and now the new one, via the word of one of the clinic nurses, an outbreak of hepatitis due to breathing in every foul thing that this digging (and not covering quickly enough) has provoked, gets me as uptight as a country girl driving in NYC (which I have experienced, but that passes fast enough on the here to there drive; this doesn't).

One beautiful thing today...the pregnant horse that grazes in the now unused building's lawn across from my cart had her cute, so tiny, prancing after Mama on the grass... and yes, there was more than one random act of strange wonderfulness...some guy I didn't know stopped to talk. He then opened up a package and cut me off a chunk of Monchego nice was that...but he was right; we should have had some nice riojo along with it.