Friday, July 31, 2009

Last day of July...shhhhh

Amazingly and wonderfully, an uneventful time, climatically speaking, and that's all I'll say about that! The weather has been sultry, a pretty word for humid - think mid-Southern US without the Spanish moss and sweet tea stands. Even when the wind has been honking, it's oven heated air. Then the evenings cool off, yes, that's right, cool off. Not enough to be cold mind you, but enough that you don't go sticky with sweat trying to sleep and it stays that way past the morning shower, so you aren't as wet after you dry off as you were standing under the spray. Nice! Today it is calm and bright.

Up until this morning, bait fish had the birds very excited from first light to last light. Gulls and pelicans have been going crazy with greedy food satisfaction excitement. As dusk came down last evening, the frenzy continued...

People are coming and going on summer-there's-not-much-going-on-here trips. I'm in the planning stages of my own. Rock fever, island fever, itchy feet, call it what you will, it is a time of year to get away for awhile. A time to see new and old faces, catch up with loved ones in person, walk different streets and woods, view different horizons. So hopefully everyone will get a time out that wants one, be it over night or over a few. I'm ready to feel that plane lifting up from the runway...

What's in that...Friday is on hiatus until...until it's not! Anyone is welcome to tell me about their own what's in that though. Guest appearances are a good thing!

And on the adage front...among all the tangles, there is still beauty to be found. Sure, it's a hokey sort of sentiment, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. I think there might be more than a few of us who could use the reminder. I'm first in line, and I'll share.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Terruno Petition fax and mailing info

Sorry I didn't get this in the post directly below. Here is what to do with the petitions you've printed out.

President of Planning Board:

Hector Morales Vargas fax: 1-787-268-6858
Please keep a record of return receipt request or fax transmittal receipt

and then fax to: 530-618-4605 or send hard copy to:

CORALations PO Box 750, Culebra PR...00775

Easy peasy way to make your voice heard re: Terruno project

From Maryann at Coralations:

We have [until] Thursday, Aug 6th as the deadline for comments at the Junta de Planificacion. Petitian forms available upon request

Lots of locals signing which is good news. If you have one of the letters circulated by Jim G...these will be very effective but please print them out, sign them and then send or fax them before deadline:



So, do your deed for Culebra. They aren't making islands like this anymore...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I confess, I'm becoming frightening, even to myself

I get these updates from this guy who made the move to an off the grid place somewhere in Colorado. My brother (of COURSE) turned me onto his blog, sometimes just for the laughs. He's strange by multi-faceted perspectives (uh, the guy, not my brother...really), but hey, he DID what he said he was going to do and how many people actually achieve that (and that IS my brother...getaway to Somewhere!)? Not many, my friends...and overall, he's learning, trial and error and paranoia working together...

Anyway, this was from his post tonight. As anyone who has read my blog for long knows, I have a big attitude about the fact of how many things are NOT made in America anymore and all the whiners blaming it all on illegal immigrants instead of on the owners of the very corporations that screwed blue collar workers way before anyone even gave a damn about illegal anything or anyone. How much is that tomato in the window? So of course, while I'm bringing yet MORE bad karma (check comments) on myself, and I'm not happy someone died in such a despicable manner...well, sometimes you get what you ask for - I guess karma works both least I hope so!

I just think it is incredibly interesting that as so many of America's jobs have gone to China and India, it has been long enough for them to wise up and start asking for what...gee! American workers asked for and the jobs got sent to - China and India! What third-er/fourth world country will get suckered in next?


Posted: 28 Jul 2009 01:29 PM PDT

If American workers would have done this 20 years ago this country would still have an industrial infrastructure and millions of manufacturing jobs. I really like the way they think.

Mob beats Chinese steel factory executive to death

Thousands of workers had gathered in northeastern rust belt city of Tonghua to protest the takeover of their company and threatened layoffs.

July 27, 2009

Chinese state media confirmed Monday that a steel factory executive was beaten to death after thousands of workers gathered to protest the takeover of their company.

Chen Guojun, an executive at Jianlong Steel Holding Co., died Friday after an angry mob in the northeastern rust belt city of Tonghua beat him and then blocked ambulances from reaching him, according to the China Daily.

The protesters worked at the state-owned Tonghua Iron and Steel Group, which was going to be sold to Chen's privately owned Jianlong Steel. Chen sparked the riot by announcing 30,000 workers would be laid off, the newspaper said.

They dispersed later only after they were assured by authorities the sale would not go through.


Sue Zipkin, the woman who designed the dishes I'm presently obsessed with, actually wrote a whole blog entry about them...seems to be a mini-movement of others like myself.

I'm not sure if this is a promo photo or Sue's own as there was no credit, but seeing all of this together is giving me a jonesy sort of feeling... She also has a lot of other wonderful art (see link above) but this one is way over the top of imaginative, practical visual fun.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Catching up

I feel rather disoriented, as in my little world right now there is a lot going on. Or it seems that way (when life is really calm and quiet, it doesn't take much). Here are some randomly placed photos from the last few days, both on Vieques and home again in time for the PR Constitution celebration at the plaza.

A house with a heart - including mine

Steel pan band in the Fajardo ferry waiting spot...and they are good!

A food cart I guess, but I've seen this type of building
in the Tiny Home blog used as a place to live (Vieques main street)

Things you can do with flamboyant seed pods

Cute little boy on the rail of the ferry

"Hey you guys, smile, you know me!" says fairly inebriated woman
to these guys who say..."Yes, we do." smilingly accordingly

Weird. A good friend of mine on St. Croix is named Matt - whom I call Matty...
and his nickname to others is Chu. But this isn't his boat, I'm sure.

Sort of scary looking porch pigeon

Isabella Segundo bay

I don't even know where this is on Vieques...I was walking lost.
But it was lonely beautiful

Long ago I gave up my indulged passion for collections of dishes (among other *tings*)
but this pattern has stoked lust in my heart...I'm not ashamed

A wonderful dinner of scallops and pasta - thanks, Jimmy!

This is Kai being a very serious dancer...while we're all grinning like mad

Mini getaways are good. I should do it more often. Thanks, Helen, Denny and Jimmy for a home away from home welcome.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Run Away Bay

I took off for Vieques on a whim and a hot sauce hunt, got lucky on both (the ferries actually GOT me to Vieques & I came home with more Coqui Fire from Jimmy). I've got a lot of photos I want to put up here but time being short at the moment, and the fact that last night was a big Puerto Rico Constitution Day celebration in the plaza with great music and friends, I'm on slo-mo. So for this morning's photo, you get what might be one of the better visual jokes on Culebra at present.I'll get a better day time shot later but I can't wait a second longer to share this.

Who decided where to put up the tsunami warning sign? And what does it mean?
(and what a romantic spot to have a chat)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


One of the great views of Culebra...

A hotel or home you wish you knew about?

Sorry guys, this is the window of the women's restroom at Dinghy Dock...
we rate!

As soon as I hit town, walking or by dinghy, this is pretty much my second stop after the coffee machine. I never fail to enjoy the view! And I never throw paper products in the toilet, either.

Little bits of light and color

Hard to believe right now in the grey blankness of the sky right now that only an hour ago the sun was out and brightly shining...but it's true. It's also hard to believe that it is the end of July and the air is still cool. But so it is.

Here is what I saw this morning. Life is good.

The rain brought out yet another orchid...surprise!

Enjoy Wednesday, looking for the little things.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Interesting weather

With 97L being the talk right now, I'm bringing it here as well. At the moment, the word is that it is becoming disorganized, but that we should be getting some heavy rains today and on and off through Wednesday...when another wave will be moving in. In where? They aren't sure yet!

But the Atlantic is definitely getting some action and it is time to do what you haven't done yet. Hoping "it" won't happen isn't a very good deterrent against heavy weather!

Make a plan, work your plan, and then relax, knowing you don't have to be scrambling around with a lot of other stressed out people who ALSO waited too long. I'm always a little surprised (why?) when newspapers have these mini-interviews with Home Depot shoppers, irate that there is no more plywood, or cases of water or propane and the storm is two days away. Well, the NERVE of those stores and early shoppers! But every year, from the Caribbean to the US East and Gulf coasts, it is the same thing.

Be different! Be ready! Crazy, I know...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walter Cronkite...may we all be so aware and so kind

Legendary TV anchorman Walter Cronkite (right) interviewing Bill Gill, the assistant director of the Mars station, on July 4, 1969 for CBS TV. They are seated in front of the scan converter. The rack to the right of the scan converter contained the Fairchild slow scan monitor provided to the MSFN stations. Photo: Bill Wood. From a website I found.

From an article I found:

“Just as the Beatles were the soundtrack for our lives, Cronkite was the voice of the news growing up,” said Yelland. “He only had 20 minutes to tell us what was going on in the world and we trusted that he could.

And that pretty well sums up, way too succinctly, how I felt when I read about the death of Walter Cronkite. He was the background voice of my growing up years...a growing up that went extra fast because of so many things. One, I lived on the Space Coast in Florida - which we called the Spaced Coast* in the years of leaps and bounds with rockets, my father right in there with the rocket scientists, but what did I know? We thought it was entirely normal to be rounded up by teachers and let out of class into the playgrounds to watch rockets shoot into space. One time, talking to a friend who lived about 10 miles away (on the barrier island I grew up on), I told her, hey, I have to go, there's a rocket going off. She ran outside and yelled to all of her neighbors THERE'S a ROCKET going off! Half an hour later she called me back and said, what rocket??? I said, oh, my brother is shooting off some rockets... Because of where we lived, she assumed that there was a BIG rocket going off....she should have waited for Walter Cronkite to tell her!

But even before that, when I was in fourth grade and John Kennedy was assassinated, he was the voice as my siblings and I marched in our living room to the cadence of drums and horses hooves, drawing the casket of a man that, young as I was, I knew was one of a kind. Walter Cronkite's voice took us down that road.

And then there was the Viet Nam war, with the kindly, serious face and voice of Walter Cronkite giving us, for the first time in history, an all too close to reality ongoing toll of statistics and visuals every night at dinner time.

Oh, but there was more, so much more. Walter was far from finished. He led us through the first moon landing, with his (and the rest of the world's) outdrawn breath, with that first step down on such an unimaginable place:

"Whew, boy (laughs). ... There he is, there's a foot coming down the steps. ... So there's a foot on the moon, stepping down on the moon. If he's testing that first step, he must be stepping down on the moon at this point. ... Well, look at those pictures. It's sort of shadowy, but we sort of expected that in the shadow of the lunar module. Armstrong is on the moon — Neil Armstrong, 38-year-old American, standing on the surface of the moon, on this July 20, 19 hundred and 69."

He continued to grace us with his words of wisdom and gentle humor until not long before his death. He was a gentleman, a consummate professional, and a joy as a human being not to be forgotten.

I can't cover here all that Walter Cronkite covered, every day and night for so many years. But thankfully, it is recorded. If you are of an age to take a big trip down memory lane, a USAToday
site, of all places (an irony I think Walter would appreciate) has a great compilation of many of his highlight moments (which includes most of the significant historical moments in a span of time stretching from when history was slo-mo to the speed zone of now).

Bless you, Walter Cronkite, for being the man you were. Right time, right place, well done. Rest in peace, though no doubt peace will be incredibly boring for you.

*if you are at all interested in what it was like Growing Up With Rockets, here is a multi part You Tube of an independant film of the same name. A lot of these people were friends of mine, though I never met the folks who made this. Bless them!

Thank you, Walter Cronkite. There is no one to fill your shoes of unbiased reporting and the world, particularly America, is worse off for your loss.

I'm so lucky to have live through times without the Rush Limbaughs of the universe. Rush, meet Walter...and be glad if you could lick the soles of his shoes.

Mango Ginger Mint Sorbet (yum!)

If you wanted this for a brunch, it would be good to start it the day before so it can really freeze overnight.

Grated ginger and chopped mint

Add lemon juice

Add sugar

Add mint and stir to blend - cover and pop into the fridge 2 hours, then freezer
(yes, I cheated and added the mint first, seems no harm done)

Frozen by this morning (looks like blended last night, doesn't it?)

Chunked into the food processor - the blender would have worked too


Wa la! This is serious mouth wake up for breakfast!

It took about 10 minutes for it to thaw enough to chunk up in the processor, but once it's pureed, it needs to be served pronto!

The intense sweetness of the mango, the freshness of the mint and the peppery ginger work really well together, just like I hoped they would. While I didn't plan on having this for breakfast, it makes a great way to start the day. It would also be wonderful with some good rum or Cointreau type liquear.

Note: if you are wondering how those two mangoes shown made this much mango cut up, you are right to wonder. I only hired those two mangoes as props. Extras, as it were. Since I have a freezer of cut up mango already, I used what I had frozen already. So use four mangoes worth! It makes 4 healthy servings, or six if you used little sorbet cups.

Buen provecho!

For your listening pleasure

I got this in email twice yesterday...first just the *rain* - then what the rain was leading up to! Which is Toto's song Africa, performed by Perpetuum Jazzile, an a cappella jazz choir from Slovenia.

(the sorbet will be ready soon! Just in time for breakfast...)

Friday, July 17, 2009

What's in that...Friday

Still life by Mother
Across the street from the cart, right after a good rain shower this morning

I've chosen a two parter for today's what's in that... I can show you the ingredients and the recipe, and I'll finish it up tomorrow. Because I got home late late late today, for all the right reasons. I could tell, because the cat was inside and didn't scold me at all when I finally opened the door to freedom.

I rarely ever make desserts. I have no idea why, except they weren't a big part of my growing up life - maybe that's it. If we did have sweets, it would be while watching the one or two shows we all watched in the early evening, a bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup on it, stirred to a perfect mush consistancy. Or maybe my Dad and I would make fudge for while we all played Scrabble or gin rummy (yes, I played gin rummy and liked it, for those of you who know I don't play card games - hey y'all never offered me FUDGE while playing!).

When I met my ex-husband to be and ate many, many meals with his mid-western family, they always had dessert. It was as novel as the seemingly Ozzie and Harriet sort of family they appeared to be, so of course I was enchanted with all things Dream Whip and strawberries. I didn't know it was Dream Whip; I'd never heard of Dream Whip (or Velveeta cheese or Spam, for that matter) so when I tried to re-create my mother in law's dessert using real cream it was never quite the same...until the day I actually read her recipe. Chemicals to delight the palate. No, I didn't ever use Dream Whip (or Velveeta cheese or Spam, for that matter).

But when I was looking for mango combos of mango and mint, which struck my fancy, maybe because I have a lot of both, I found this recipe that just seemed right. It's simple, it has only a few ingredients and I'm betting it's going to be delicious.

Mango Ginger Mint Sorbet

Serving: Serves: 4
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

4 mangoes, peeled, halved, and cubed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

1. In a medium bowl, combine mango, lemon juice, sugar, and ginger. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. Add mint and transfer to freezer. Freeze until hard.

2. Just before serving, transfer mixture to food processor in chunks. Puree until smooth. Serve right away. If sorbet is too hard to puree, allow it to defrost 5 to 10 minutes first.

Here are the ingredients, Culebra style - yes, Virginia, that IS fresh lemon juice. Or as fresh as I'm going to get it here, today.

I'll take more photos, but that will be a morning joy. It's been a long day and it's time to go watch darkness come over the yard.

Waving to you all in Vieques at the Coqui Fire Anniversary! Wish I was there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Things I forgot to post this morning

Yesterday, unlike today, was so full of a number of things, I'm sure we would all be happy...with wings. Sorry, RLS, I had to do that. But I forgot a few things I wanted to post and here they are. The hibiscus above and below are the first sights to greet me as I get out of my dinghy and head to the cart. Because S & T aren't home to see them I thought they should get a glimpse of what makes mornings extra good around this time of year. There ya go, sweetie! Enjoy.

Another thing was unexpectedly going to see goats with Susie. She was told where to find them and there they were, cute as could be. Well, except for handsome and stubborn Mr. Billy Goat, who was tangled up in a hibiscus bush and seemed VERY determined to stay stuck. But he was finally freed after we took out the majority of the bush. No doubt if we'd left him alone he'd have figured it out...maybe. We left with grins and very goaty smelling hands, each headed in the direction of our showers, which left the grins intact. There is something really wonderful about goats if you ever want one for a pet. Just take a female though...the boys do have a serious issue with strong odor!

And the last thing is that we finally have some new photos of Culebra on Google Earth! These were probably taken a few months ago, but lots more recently than the last ones which were from years ago.

If you check it out, be sure to look and see what the Coronal project (follow the road until you would get to Colmado Genesis: see the HUGE brown bare ugly spot? That's where one development kept going on, despite no permits until finally they've been shut down. For now. Then, swing back to the other side of the island, down the road from Dinghy Dock. See the road twisting all over that one hill, from Fulladoza to the other side of the bay? That is the Terruno project molestation. Another developer with no concern for either permits, the law or the environment. The roads have led to serious erosion problems, but hey! Call it green and see who cares? Go down by Flamenco, see what Victor Gonzalas has done...If you don't have Google Earth, it's a simple download but you DO need a fast connection or you'll end up pulling your hair out long before you get it loaded up. It's worth it!