Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Acts of Saturday

How can you not start the day laughing when the first news article read is this one? Ok, it's not really funny, it's pretty sad and pathetic, as is the whole mess the country and the world is in, but I think, if we don't choose laughter on occasion, the alternative could make us a wee bit wobbly around the edges. More than I want to be anyway.

Right now, though there are tourist/visitors here, it is pretty quiet for this time of year. I had a report from a friend who is almost as much of a cold water wussy as me that after the initial entry it's quite lovely right now. That's because even though the mornings may be a chilly 72, it's been sunny and warm early this year and today was calm. Which means certain sailors will be heading out during what looks to be a good weather window. Fair winds, amigos!

Bets came by and showed off more of her fancy footwear. She let me know there is more to come, so I will start numbering them. These brightened up my day considerably, but no doubt because it was Bets inside them. I worry a little bit that I am developing a foot fetish, as I see many, many feet in any given week/month/year and a LOT of various footwear. I've always liked shoes, but never really paid serious attention unless something was just amazing. Here, where our choices are Crocs, Reefs or flip flops from Superette Mayra, sitting at my cart is like the Daytona 500 of shoe parades...I get to see what the world is offering in casual footwear that I'd never see otherwise. And trust me, if you think people find it boring to tell me about their shoes, you would be wrong! Who knew? It's pretty fascinating...but I guess since we've only got two feet (if we're lucky) and they do quite a job for us over a lifetime, good shoes make life so much happier. Now that I think about it, my Daddy told me that when I was about 5 years old. Damn, every year I live, he gets smarter in my memories.

Chris Hatcher came by the cart with a piece he's been working on awhile, called Did Laura Bush Really Know? Most of the time I really like Chris' work, this one I loved. It's always weird and wonderful, full of symbolism and sometimes raunchy as hell. I asked if anyone had bought it yet and he said it wasn't going to be for sale. I told him he was nuts, that lots of people would love it, not be offended by it as he seemed to think (which is bizarre, because his work is often full of images that would offend just about anyone somewhere along the line and it doesn't occur to him). Anyway, I asked if I could take a picture of it, because I can't afford his work and I thought it would be nice to at least have this one for posterity. Hopefully you can get see it well enough. And yes, it's for sale.

After that, Mike came along in time to buy the Saturday chicken from Dinghy Dock that we are all addicted to now, picking up mine as well. After he got back he took a sidewalk seat and we were talking about the bail out (as in...analogy...Mike steals something from me and then comes to me to sell it to me and I say thank you) and the state of life at large. We are gorging on chicken at the time, he well into the all of it, me into about a fourth of it, happily sticky while we raged semi-quietly about the rulers of the world and how you can't buy much that is made in America anymore even if you want to, because most of everything is outsourced and when will Americans stand up and say, HEY!!!! But back to chicken...Ann came by with Karen; they'd picked up their chicken and Ann called out..."We got our Culebra purse!" This is what it looks like. But purse aside, I was still pretty gone off on the is anything made in America mode (beside our chicken?).

So later on when I was home I happened to be looking at this scrub brush I'd recently bought. I hadn't thought much at the time I bought it except, hey, it was the right size and the right price. But as I looked at it on the shelf, I noticed, glancingly, an American flag and thought, well hell! here is something still made in America. After finishing a couple of chores I looked at it a bit more closely. Oops! NOT! What a distressing bit of a label! What the hell is going on? Is anyone paying attention besides the millions of laid off workers who used to make this sort of thing? Does anyone in America know how to make anything anymore? Why are we putting up with this?

Ok. So.

Laurie came over to shoot pics of hummingbirds, with the rumor around the island that we were going to shoot hummingbirds (if it comes to that, I'd like a good recipe, please?). I watered the plants and put out the wine and nibble things. The hummers showed up, the pictures were shot. Wine was consumed and nibbles not nibbled by us were consumed by dock critters; lobsters, blue crabs and fish. Gotta keep my real pets happy so I can eat them come the day. It was time to head to town.

A man named Ed Whiteway lived life for a time here. He was a sailor among other things. I only met him briefly, right when I got here, but good friends of mine knew him long and well Here is an Ed story I liked and wish I'd been present for. A bunch of friends got together and painted his sails...I saw pictures of them tonight, beautiful palm trees, birds and water. And then, with an evil glint in her nameless eye, a painted palm print landed on his mast...until the mast was covered with palm prints...but there was still paint and still palms and a car that needed...a palm print. And then many. And that is only one story of a day with Ed. So Ed has moved to some other plane and tonight his friends here made a farewell party for him.

As so many of our farewell parties go, there was a lot of laughter, some tears and many a story told. Whether one knew him well or not didn't matter, because there was the recognition of a life lived, a person cared about and a fare well. What more can one ask for? Ann knew many stories, as she always does, and set up a tableau that made sense to her and may be appreciated by some who see this photo. I hope so! This is for Ann and Ed and the other guy with the chair.

And there, amidst all of our memory/farewell making, were these two women styling in hats. They let me take their pictures. How could I not??? It's sort of like... how could I refuse Celestial Chuck asking me to take his photo and make sure to include Venus and the moon? Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. It's a random act of Saturday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What's in that...Friday

There was an article on Huffington Post a few days ago on the eating habits of our new President and how it could affect the country of the seriously obese. Comments ranged from disgust over such a *trite* subject, vows to change from fast food eating habits, pleas from vegans to not eat meat to excuses for why not having a big purse for groceries has to mean ingesting food many in the world wouldn't give to a dog. Unless they just ate the dog...speaking of which...there is a wonderful book, written in 2005, called Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio. Check out the Time Article, parts 1 & 2, or buy the book; it's very interesting.

Food expenditure for one week : 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15
Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail,
chocolate fudge cake with cream

Here is one of the 'excuse' comments. Again, gentle readers, we're playing Hidden Pictures. See if you can find the 'based on what except being ignorant' excuses in the indignant rhetoric:

I disagree. You're not grocery shopping in the neighborhood I grew up in. I've been in both categories, poor and well off, and it is VERY difficult to eat healthy when you're poor. You have to buy the cheapest, fattiest cuts of meat (lean meat, even hamburger is very expensive). You buy fatty pot roasts rather than steak. Have you checked out the cost of salmon, trout, shrimp and other types of seafood. Cheap meat cuts, like fatty pork chops are dredged in flour and fried. The "cheapest" salad is iceberg lettuce, and an off brand (and saltier) dressing. Other salad greens are far more expensive. The cost of tomatoes and most "healthy" vegetables and fruit is prohibitive in the DC area. (unless you can grow these things you're out of luck.) Poor people must purchase the hamburger helper and spaghettio's type food which is full of salt, sugar, and loaded with carbohydrates. Other inexpensive foods like potatoes and rice, and even white beans and pasta, are loaded with starch. The least expensive beverages, iced tea (which is sweetened to a fair thee well), and Kool-Aid type drinks, are also loaded with teeth-decaying, diabetes inducing sugar. Were you ever forced to eat syrup or mayonnaise sandwiches? Or even worse sugar sandwiches (2 pieces of white, starchy bread sprinkled with sugar), so you didn't have to go to bed hungry? (in America?) I didn't think so.

Well, I think being forced to eat syrup or mayonnaise white bread sandwiches, unless the syrup or mayo is stolen from a restuarant in those little packets (and what about ketchup soup, HUH?? faker!) should be considered a form of torture. For the love of god, at least use whole wheat! However, as you can see in the above photo, for some it's a family delight and I don't see a chubby among them.

And sure, look for fatty roasts as opposed to a nice lean roast...hey, what's up with that? I thought that's why god made chickens. Let's see, fatty roast or dredged fried pork or a roasted chicken? Yep, that's a tough one! Oil & vinegar or a bottled-full-of-crap dressing for your iceberg lettuce? Man, how can I decide?? Joking aside, ignorance ain't bliss, it's expensive and nasty tasting too.

Here is another comment of a different persuasion. Now remember...if you are living on the sidewalk or in your car, this does not apply, but it could if you wanted it to. But that's a story for another day...

Oh nonsense. I was part of a 2 wage earner married couple until my spouse died when our children were still young. That certainly did not mean there was 'no energy or inclination to shop or cook.' There WAS a careful budgeting of energy and time, so that shopping, cooking, growing a vegetable garden and fruit trees were part of my children's education as well as nutrition. I worked full time in a stressful professional administrative position and had board positions and responsibilities as well. But my children sat down to home-cooked meals every night, and we shared our days and ideas and stories at dinner time. My children ate snacks prepared and ready for them after school. I baked bread weekly. They loved going into the garden and picking peas and cherry tomatoes and eating them right there. What we did not have: a television, designer clothes, expensive motorized toys. What I did not have: household help, a new car with payments, a gym membership - it was far more productive to kick the soccer ball around in the back yard and go down to the local walking trail and engage the kids in yard work. What the kids did have: music lessons, scout, 4-H and sports memberships and a parochial school education. I have: the great satisfaction that my children are all excellent cooks, devoted parents, hard working, successful in their professions. Before tossing those 'cannot' excuse stones, consider this: priorities are what you make them.
Ok, so she sounds like the Poster Mother of the Universe. But I wish I'd had her around. One comment said, veggies are too expensive unless you can grow your own. Well guess what? You CAN grow your own, if you get off your fanny (and don't live in a hermetically sealed cave).

Not so long ago and not so far away, there used to be what were called settlement houses. People joined together to be taught basic life skills, nutrition being among them. Also sewing, gardening, etc. The things people without much money and / or formal skills could do to make life healthy for themselves and their families. They weren't a perfect solution and some would argue that they were the pre-cursor of the welfare state (or the state of welfare) today. To me, at least, they were about educating people to feed, clothe and dignify themselves, which can't be a real bad thing.

Maybe instead of isolation (ashamed of the needs faced in the present day economy, ashamed of admitting we don't really know HOW to do something) we need to reach out to each other to solve some of the most elementary issues of being alive. Get five of your neighbors together and form a buying club or co-op (you don't know five neighbors...get brave and get to know them - knock on the door!). Split the cost of a Sam's or Costco card and buy your food in bulk. These stores carry everything from canned goods and fresh veggies, cheeses and milk to dry good such as toothpaste, shampoo, diapers and clothing. There are lots of other pooling and saving money on food groups out there as well (gee, have I mentioned this before?) The savings is big and well worth the time spent planning the shopping list. Maybe there is already one going on in your neighborhood. And it can be a lot of fun as well. Everyone has some gift to give and you may find one you didn't even know you have that someone will help you find while you're helping them...and yourself.

If the President being fit and eating healthy foods without being a fanatic about it generates healthier eating habits in this country, then where is the triteness? Overweight people, if you want to just get down to non-emotional issues, cost more to themselves along with the general public, in health issues alone. Read some insurance statistics if you don't believe me.

And that is your recipe for today. Maybe everything is hunky dory with you and you don't have to worry about the price of food. Maybe you're in the best shape of your life and nothing not organic ever passes your pristine lips. Well, then your part of the recipe is obvious, isn't it? You get to be the teacher. Now, get away from the computer and the television and go find some students and do your homework. Let me know how it goes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Susie's Anniversary...mostly

The anniversary party at Susie's was fantastic. She's worked hard. The people who worked and work for her, work hard. Excellent food, great ambiance, a well deserved celebration. Most of the people I know here showed up and a lot of good food, good laughter, good times ensued. We started at Dinghy Dock and then moved down the road.

For some reason, all my DD pics had Laurie in them and she threatened me with death if I posted you are stuck with Kevin and Dick before we move on to Susie's. Pennies from heaven?

Oh, here's Laurie! And a few other celebrators (is that a word?)

Maria in red

The infamous pear in a bottle. This bottle was lusted after by Linda. It belong(ed)s to Jacinto. The deal is, the bottle is placed on a baby pear on the tree. The pear grows into the bottle. The, SUPPOSEDLY, great alcoholic spirits are infused. After 10 years, it's supposed to be a lovely exlixer of pearish infused delight. It...wasn't. But we nobly tried...and paid the price. Jacinto says, "Yes, it's strong." Me & a few others said, "Yes, it's gasoline." The pear tasted awful too. But damn, ain't it purty?

Three tries to get most of this crew to smile up.

So glad Carmen Rosa made it, not feeling all that well. Joe, well, what can I say about that Obama lovin' guy?

I'm pretending Alex was my date...Jasmine won't mind...she was on the main island

Does Jacinto have a cute butt or what? I mean, it's ridiculous. He wasn't even trying. But really, I took the picture because of the look on Francie's face tasting the pear...elixer. That would about sum it up.

I can't remember who was wearing these shoes so she better 'fess up because obviously we were all impressed (that she didn't break her neck walking in them).

I'm pretty sure I was hugging Jose as he was denying me calling him a serial criminal...but that may just be a whimsy of mine. Amazingly, he'll still buy me a drink any time and his wife thinks I'm fairly amusing. Go figure.

Wilma taking care of the sane side of the bar. Susie and crew made the most awesome (and free, double awesome) appetizers - hummus & pita points, chicken sate, and spring rolls...oh dear god, it was heaven on platters...yumolicious. Thanks, Susie!!!

Here is Susie and her crew in the ktichen. Karen isn't in there because she was busy taking care of everyone out in the dining room. Great team, great Susie.

Susie finally got out of the kitchen. Hooray!

Getting the anniversary tamborine

And finally getting to just kick back and enjoy her own party. Happy Anniversary, mi amiga! Mucho amor!

For your listening pleasure...

A musical interlude before the next post, sent to me by a huge lover of blues & jazz. Thanks, Laurie!

Something you don't see every day ...

Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino. Three of the greatest ivory ticklers of their day playing pianos on the same stage at the same time.

Ron Woods of the Rolling Stones, Carl Perkins (Blue Suede Shoes) and others playing back-up; also with a cameo appearance by Rod Stewart, and directed by Paul Schaeffer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A hint of things to come

Susie's anniversary was...a gestalt, bigger than the sum of its parts. Here is a hint: the tamborine, requested by Maria (Alicia's Mother) a year ago, finally executed by Linda today, to celebrate Susie's awesome restaurant. Thank you Maria, thank you Linda, and yes, hugely, thank you Susie!!! Happy anniversary, dear heart.
More, much more, anon.

Treasures of the Day

What I didn't write about, and what I'm not going to elaborate on as I thought, was the whole idea that while being away from the computer (ok, it was away from me...picky picky), there was and is so much going on in my immediate world that I'd stopped paying close attention to, though I never ignore it.

I was in the yard more, walking more, just...out more. Even inside, I got more done; arranging and organizing, cooking and reading than when the little magic box has its pride of place.

So I'm posting now, since in an hour or so I'm heading out to Susie's to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of her restaurant (named Susie's, if you haven't picked up on that yet). Free appetizers, 1/2 price drinks, and surely a lot of laughter and stories (if you are here and reading this before she closes, c'mon down!). If we still took photographs, I'm sure we'd drag out some of the construction / painting and cleaning shots. But I'm not toting along the computer to do the same, nor printing them up. It will have to be word of mouth and work of mind instead.And since the mouth and mind working simultaneously while imbibing at a celebration rarely flows easily, I imagine we'll just make some new memories.

This afternoon I spent away from the computer for the most part, out and about and in the yard. My little dock is no longer wobbly, the dinghy is bailed out, I read awhile, the plants at the children's garden are watered and propped up. There were treasures to be found. One of the best ones was when I was on the dock fixing something and heard a dog piteously whining. It sounded like it was coming from the water...and more specifically, from a small mangrove island. was from the island. And the dog was almost at the top of the mangroves! I ran to get the camera, but of course the dog was back in the water by then. Still whining.

Eventually, after 10 minutes of this, another dog drops out of the mangroves and together they swam away. Okay. Sure...that's normal, right?

No doubt there will be Susie photos...but that's for later on. For now, one last treasure of the day from down on my rocky little beach. Whatever this anchor once held in place is long gone, and I think the anchor would crumble if I touched I won't.

Just a morning moment

Since yesterday's post was a total tangent from what I meant to write about, here's another tangent from my email to go along with it. If I am brought to sappy tears before 9 a.m. you, gentle reader, must come with me. I might eventually get back around to my original thought if this circular motion continues.

To have or be a Tara or a Bella...I think that's not a bad goal.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Settling into my head

It's been a little odd, rearranging my patterns since having the computer back. It may not seem long to you, but when your life is filled with not so many things but those things being fairly major, an abrupt departure of one of them tilts everything else. Even the cat got discombobulated from her regular stride...which is...*wake* me up, get scratched and fed, start eating as I go about tea making, picture taking and garden watering. Mid-way through watering she comes out on the porch to observe and then runs like a maniac around the yard, eventually timing my last plant watering round to her getting a huge running start from the bottom of the yard and then crashing madly through the screen door, which isn't quite a door, but just a hanging door sized piece of screen.

The rest of the day or night, she just walks through, pushing it casually to the side, but for some reason the morning isn't complete without that last crashing run. I come in, fix my tea and start in on emails while she goes back to finish her breakfast and then jumps on the end of the bed to pass out for the first long sleep of the day.

Sans computer, I was out in the yard much longer, she wasn't eating right, and was sulky as only a cat can be...sulky with an indifferent disdain that carries a not indifferent weight to it. I didn't bother explaining anything as anyone knows that cats know everything and remonstrations are useless at best and annoyingly insulting at worst.

But today we seemed to be back in the groove of things. What quiet joy to feel her bounding gallop through the yard and hear the soft smash of her crash as I turned off the hose...

Afternoon found us at our usual spots; me in a chair in the gazebo reading (yes, I'm sorry, you who, like my dear daughter in Portland, are in 0 weather while I laze out in shorts, tee's and barefoot feeling a little chilly in the high 70's of afternoon, I really am sorry!), she on an opposite chair I use as a foot rest, hoping against hope that the hummers, so very near yet so far, would make one little mistake for her murderous amusement. No dice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fixin' things

The first thing that happened this morning...well, beside the CWIM waking me up - tap, tap, slight scratch on the head - sure I wanted to do nothing more in the pre-dawn than scratch her head and feed her (which beat yesterday, when she was sure all I wanted to do was applaud her for bringing a dead rat trophy in for my appreciation), and beside putting on the tea and starting to water the gardens...was the chicken coop guy scaring the crap out of me, showing up with a roll of wire in his hands and many reasons why the coop wasn't done on his lips.
I mean, seriously, the fact that the man has a job that he's been working 6 days a week until after dark does NOT really mean he couldn't find the time to finish my chicken coop! Ok, I'm kidding. He'll finish when he's done (if that was a good enough explanation for the Pope from Michealangelo, it's good enough for me).

In the meantime, my brother probably knows more about chickens than I do at this point, researching, as he always does, any venture I happen to wander into (anyone want to see the *book* he made me about Culebra?). So how about some muffin recipes, brother mine? The coffee/chocolate bars are selling well and the carrot muffins were given high praise as well as high sales. Tonight I'm onto zuchinni muffins; let's see how they fly. Most, though, I'm excited about making breads. But I haven't gotten there yet. Soon come and I'll bore you silly about it. In the meantime, if you have any awesome bread recipes (grains, seeds, sprouts) send them!

It was late this morning when I heard the first version of how my cart almost got wiped off the planet yesterday afternoon. Apparently a trailer in very bad shape was being moved. It was quite precarious and tilted fairly wildly as the corner was made, pulled by two bulldozers, buckets in the air, pushed, finagled and watched by raptly horrified viewers from Dinghy Dock, Mamacita's and surrounding homes. From what I gather, my cart looked to be a victim and pictures were being taken as well as testimonies in case I needed to apply to the city for a new place of business. After about the fifth person told me his or her version, I *almost* felt like I was there and was very glad I wasn't. I'd love to see pictures though. If anyone has some, please send them along. That 'I think I'm going to throw up' feeling won't be nearly as real, looking at it through someone else's viewfinder. Thanks to all who goodvibed disaster away!!! And yes, I really DO believe that sort of thing, especially here on Culebra.

Thanks to Laurie, I realized I was not in a fight to the finish with iphoto, but rather the settings of the computer since the upgrade. It has a fancy dancy setting that heretofore was something I couldn't even access, though I knew it was there (thanks to Lewis' first save). So it was a matter of being steered in the right direction, making the click and wa la...everything looks as it should! Computer life is good. Proof, an old photo I really like...yep, that's what it looked like right then.

Tonight at magic light time I went out to snap its goldeness and one pure white egret in the mangroves when this bird flew out of somewhere to make things interesting. You know how your car mirror says something about objects are closer than they appear? Well, this bird was mere feet away, close enough to hear the swoosh.

And a very nice swoosh it was.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How can I help it?

If you are very, very lucky, or very, very cool, you might end up like my friend Bets, who is 80 years old, one of the best story tellers (among her myriad other facets of coolness) I know. She also, with great joy, wears the most wonderful and ridiculous footwear. Unfortunately, this photo does not do her justice. The shoes are deep purple and the socks are blindingly pink. I mean BLINDINGLY pink. I adore them and the woman wearing them. Hopefully I'll figure out this photo deal soon, but in the meantime, here are Bet's feet, a pale version of her truthiness. What a shame.

The worst thing about not smoking is this: we smokers tend to live a little bit in our own world (of denial) and we do it very well, and often, with quite a bit of gladness. One of the things we do is, when we have a little victory in life, we celebrate with a cigarette. We don't need an audience; indeed, that little tube of paper and tobacco is quite enough. It may be nothing more than a good parking spot, or a rainbow or finally winning that solitaire game or not giving in to a fit of temper or giving in and carrying it off well...but all worth the self congratulatory smoke. And I have to tell you, whatever the hell it is a non-smoker does, it is the reason they usually look so grim. It's because to celebrate a victory, they've done something bad. Maybe they ran two miles, or ate 47 Twinkies or beat their children, or smoked pot (which may not be bad, but it may be) or drank some orange juice, but whatever they did, it was bad (equate bad with...I can't get no satisfaction). Trust me on this. Because without a cigarette, you have to do something to celebrate the little things in life. Well, don't YOU???

Since the engine on my dinghy is kaput and the wind has been up or my back has been screaming, I've not gone out to the houseboat in way too long. Today it was calm back is happy. So I rowed out to the houseboat to set it right on its pins and just enjoy the...being there...of it. That called for a cigarette, of course. And there was my ashtray...full of very long cigarette butts. Yes, I know what you are expecting but get over it, I didn't do it. I didn't even ponder it. I didn't even dump the ashtray. So there. But I did wonder, what will I do??? So I took a whole bunch of photographs, drank the oj and vodka I'd brought out in a thermos and then rowed back to the dock. The cat was glad was glad to see me. It's not the same. Maybe I'll become a champion something or other for compensation...but I doubt it.

Where was I?

Lots has happened in my time out of the cyber big thing is that I'm back in it, thanks to Lewis! Many thanks, in fact. While I'm still learning how to do some things in the upgrade (like make my photos look like they look...the new iphoto and I are not exactly happy together), it is fun to go zoomier faster and I don't hear my computer groaning at present. All good stuff!

In sort of the order of events, here are some things that were big and had me smiling while living only in the real world (as real as it gets for me, anyway).

Terry and his girl showed up, this day they went sailing with Walt.

Olivia decided to be the opening act for the ballet (which was incredible)
Helena and troupe were part of the ballet (very impressive for only 3 months of lessons)

The hummers are back in force, making me grin and the CWIM crazy(er)

This is how lizards make other lizards...they find a mini platform, hanging from fishing line, hanging off of a tree, next to a ceramic planter and then have lizard sex. Weird.

January 20th, 2009. The date so many of us had been waiting for finally arrived! Ann and crew brought down banners and flags to Dinghy Dock where the television had been set up. Judy was awesome as ever, taking care of a bunch of hooting, hollering and crying bartendees.

Harold, another long awaited sight, got to share the moment with us.

This could have been during Obama's speech...or it might have been seeing Cheney in a wheelchair, or maybe Bush getting out of town...

What's a screwed up oath of office between friends? Oh what a glorious moment anyway.

Someone thought it would be a fine moment to take a pic with me in it...I think we were all very close to or in tears as Obama actually became our 44th President.

So much for tears, it was time to party! Barry took us out to sea. We realized that we needed (absolutely needed) more libations and blessed Mamacita's with our decorous presence.

Zack set up a mini bar on the wall for us...Does life get better than this (or was he just afraid we'd actually come in?)?

During our outing, after solving most of the problems of the world, we tried to remember the names of the seven dwarves. Go ahead, I'll wait...dare you. Well, we couldn't do it, even though we finally (and quite brilliantly) wrote down the names we COULD remember so we wouldn't repeat them - too many times. The first question we asked Zack, who knows everything, was the names. His first name was the one we forgot. And no, I'm not telling you. You'll have to ask Zack.

Linda had given me a very cool sticker saying 'Yes we did!" which I wore on my shirt until Paul liberated it for Barry's looks better on the boat.

One event happened that has me very excited. I was in Genesis when this guy was walking out the door with chicken feed. I mentioned how much I'd like to have a chicken coop but (wah wah) couldn't build one myself. He stops and says, oh, you want a coop? I'll do that for you. And damned if he didn't show up a couple of days later to start building a wonderful coop out of recycled wood. It's almost exactly what I wanted and hopefully it will be finished today. VERY exciting!

Laurie finally came out to play last night. We hit pizza with Ann (and assorted others), Susie's, where we had some incredible tuna tartare. And maybe some wine...some more wine. Yep, I'm pretty sure that happened.

Then we moved on to Mamacita's, where Wiki and crew were making that crazy conga music that you have to dance to (if you can listen to that and not be moving your body...something is seriously wrong!) before the poor lame thing waved good bye to me, happily carrying on after I gave up trying. Last I heard she had tripped the light fantastic while staying on both feet, so I'm pretty sure that cane thing is just for show.

And now it's today, with a pale (but not as pale as this looks, grrrrrrr...I'll get there) sunrise to start the day on calm waters. I was going to just make all of this a slide show, but the new and improved iphoto won't let me do that...yet. If there is a way to backdoor it, I'll find it eventually!

To you kind folk who let me know the blog postings were missed when you can't be here, thanks! It's fun to find out there are people who are 'out there' sharing my world, beside my brother and a few friends!

And just so you know, I'm still not smoking. Day 25. I've probably pissed off a few people venting a bit of un-nicotined spleen, but for the most part, it's gone well. Breathing is not over far.

Happy Sunday, y'all!