Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today's excitement

I was sitting at the cart when a few vehicles pulled up to the fire station, people milled around a while and then both fire trucks left, sirens going. Being Semana Santa I figured it was trouble at the beach until someone said, no, walk over to the bridge and there were two fires going, one with leaping flames that could be seen easily, over by the cemetery. The wind is blowing pretty hard, out of the southeast, which means directly toward my area, so it was close it up and head home time. I didn't think it would reach here, but having been through a few big fires here, I just wanted to be home...just in case. The other fire looked like it was on the same hill that burned a couple of years ago, over by (but not next to) Costa Bonita.

Coming across the bay I could see the fire truck, the water truck and other official vehicles lined up along the road. One section by the road (where the road is right next to the water before you get to the cemetery) was still burning pretty strongly but it looked like it was under control for the most part. The other fire also seemed to be not putting out as much black smoke, and from here, I can no longer see it at all.

I don't have any 'what happened' answers. Just some advice to get as much of the dry grasses away from your houses. Having the water off isn't a help. There must be some water though, because the water truck filled up while I was still at the cart.

This is what is blowing in and gathering around my little dock...and why, even though it seems far enough away, it feels close enough to keep an eye on.'s time to do some rain dancing.

Monday, March 29, 2010


An update from Milton on his yoga classes:

The classes are now Mon, Wed and Friday, two separate open classes at 8:30 am and now 10 am instead of 11 am. I am also available for private classes. The price for the group classes is $10 and $20 for the privates. My number is 787.539.5662. 

Now you know.

Thank you, no one else needs to let me know I was on the news on PR television (the day of the eight hour gas lines). Why didn't I know? Because it was a split second clip of me walking up the hill in town (Butiki/Superette Mayra). Naturally, my brief moment of infamy was from the rear. Enough said.

Yesterday at the cart, while chatting, Lawrence noticed this gecko on the fence. I have been through quite a few generations of geckos since I bought the cart - for some reason they seem attracted to the spot (not The Spot, of lunch and tapas fame) and I'll often see the same babies playing around there. This one was past baby stage and quite different from the regular solid colored ones. I think it's a pretty nice version. Any lizard experts out there who know anything about Mr. Dotted Stripey?

Today is Karen's birthday! Happy birthday, mi amiga! Oh, you didn't want it to be a big deal. Sorry! But I'm very glad you were born, dahling!

Lourdes and Jorge from Mini Mas are selling raffle tickets. For 10.00 you get a chance at these prizes:

Ida y Vuelta (round trip) por Air Flamenco
Estadia Cabana en Culebra Beach Rental
Buceo para 2, Snorkeling para 4 de Aquatic Adventure
Equipo de Buceo & Snorkeling de Culebra Marine Center
Transportation Acuatica a Culebrita - Luis Pena de Macujam Water Taxi
Renta de Jeep de Carlos's Jeep Rental
Certificado de 25.00 Colmado Licoreia Milka
Cena para 2 Susie' Restaurant
Cena para 2 en El Batey Restaurant

I forgot to ask when the raffle will be held but I'll get back to that. Tickets are being sold around  town, the two places I know for sure are myself and Mini Mas. Take a chance! I know I've spent 10 bucks with less possible return.

For those of you who happen to be in San Juan April 9-11, there is what sounds to be a great food and rum tasting event, Saborea Puerto Rico. Over 40 chefs, 60 plus restaurants participating, rums can that not be good? It's not a cheapie event but it sounds like it will be worth the money. One of these days/years I'm going to participate in more of this sort of thing over on the big island...plant shows, food events, festivals. Have I mentioned that before? 

From this time last year

Have a memorable Monday. Do something mischievous.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to a Shadow (a Sunday sort of post)

I was walking home late tonight...well, today now, from working at Susie's. A stop at El Batey to say hello to a few friends and then onward. A stop at Happy Landing. It was quiet and only a few were there. A ride was offered but it would have meant hurrying someone's beer and I had only one mission; get home. Plus, the walk, after a high night of gogogogo lets me wind down, ready to move into the almost ready to sleep zone.

As I walked I kept noticing my shadow. It grew with the street lights and faded...but there would be a double image of shadow, one stretched out along the street, blurried, and one sharp from the light above me. For some reason, the shadow of my younger days came to mind, nights I'd walk home from the beach or a friend's house...and those shadows were talking loud.

Oh, my shadow now is bigger than my young girl self. My hair was longer and crazier curly. I'm not very tall and I'd watch my shadow make me giant. That was still the same. And the salt from the sea was still in the air and safety wasn't even a blip in my brain. So I let my shadow talk to me in silence and it made me grin. A lot.

I still live where I can walk home late. Driggers, the cop on patrol of my youth, isn't patroling here on Culebra. He doesn't stop and say, "You should be home now, what would your Dad say? Get in the car." And then he'd drop me (and sometimes a couple of friends) off a block from our homes, where we would sneak in a bedroom window, or in my case, walk through the front door, sand on my feet, the television making the zzzhhhhh noise of nothing playing...or maybe the Star Spangled Banner would be on, signing off for the night.

And my father would be sleeping on the couch, a book resting on his chest. Falling asleep after watching Johnny Carson. I learned to never turn off the television, its soft white noise his rest zone that, turning to silence, would wake him up as if I'd run in screaming. We'd not done anything bad, just playing on the beach, watching turtles or surfing in the moonlight...and laughing at our shadows on the not so long walk home.

I tried to take a photograph of my shadow tonight, but shadows are elusive, as we all know. My young girl shadow was only apparent to myself. How does an almost 56 year old woman see her 14 year old self in shadows? Take a walk some might find out.

One of my favorite poems, of many, by Robert Lewis Stevenson, in the wonder full book A Child's Garden of Verses.

illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Maybe that's why I am an early morning person!

Have a shadow Sunday. Do something silent.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour

Tonight at 8:30 p.m. is when people all over the world will be turning out their lights for one hour to mark awareness of global warming/climate change and the damage being done to our planet. I'm not sure what Susie will think if I turn out the lights in the kitchen...? Ok, I know exactly what Susie would think! But if you are someplace where you can join the hundreds of millions across the planet, get yourself ready and spend one hour without the glare of electric lights (yes, they seem glarish if you have them out an hour and then turn them on again...for a few minutes anyway).

Maybe you don't 'believe' in global warming/climate change...or that these changes are occuring due to greenhouse emissions (human made causes). That's okay. Just sit with your face next to the exhaust of your running car for that hour and see if it effects you and then we can talk about it....NOT REALLY!! OK??? Especially around here, we don't have the gasoline to spare.

Regardless of whether you accept the theory or not, it can't be a bad thing to use less energy from oil based sources: save money, less pollution, get nudged to more renewable sources of energy such as solar and/or wind power. How bad can that be? We, as a generation, whatever that generation is, are only here such a very short time, why not try to leave our air and water and world as good as possible for those coming after us? And beside that, it's fun to play in the dark!

You can watch in real time (if you have a laptop, that is, if not, look at it later) as major cities dim their lights in their local time here. And remember, if you use candles, be careful with them!


Ten practical things to do leading up to Earth Hour; check 'em out and check 'em off here. Even better, 60 fun things to do here, one for each minute of Earth Hour...yes, a whole hour! The moon is bright right now, get outside and enjoy it.

It's a great big beautiful world

Just a reminder from me and the repeat a cliche', think global, act local (that's local, not loco).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hot Sauce and Hot Sky

Yesterday was an unplanned hot sauce making day. It must not have been as hot as usual (the day, not the sauce) because I never felt overwhelmed with heat while the big red pot burbled throughout the day. Sometimes where I live I get tucked in from the breezes, but a fine one blew all morning to keep my world comfortable. Thanks, Universe!

So this post was only going to be brief, and about hot sauce. As I was typing, a bit of sky color caught me from the corner of my eye and I walked down the yard to see if it was worth shooting. Instead, there was this brilliant pink/orange contrail from a jet off to the east. I got a couple of shots and thought that would be it, but instead, it went on and on...and on and on! It looked like it was going straight up, but actually it was turning and coming back, directly over me. The contrail still showed up like fire and reminded me of many rocket take offs I've seen on the coast of Florida, that bright shiny thing hurtling through space... The wind was quiet and the original contrail stayed in place, though its sharpness was diminished. To my complete surprise, the jet began a turn, back along its original path, by now somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes before. On it sped, finally crossing its own loop before it began once again heading back to the north and away. Either someone has an awesome camera and they were taking photos of all of Culebra - and I'd love to see them - or, they were having a sunrise blast chasing their own tail. Or...never mind, that's enough.

In hoping someone else was watching this Culebra Sky Show but figuring not many were (the usual suspects might have had a hill or two in the way), I just kept clicking...and here is what I saw. Loopy in the Sky with Sunrise...

Don't forget that the gathering for Judy Anderson will be today, 3:30 at Mamacita's.

Have a forthright Friday. Do it for Judy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Culebra Moments

A few things around Culebra that I saw yesterday and this morning...

 After a good morning at the cart, Francie and I had lunch at Dinghy Dock. I ordered the lechon, a pork shank. I think they served the whole leg! Two two two meals in one (or more)!

Off the dock were a few starfish. Beautiful!

The orchid finally opened

And the newest eggplant would not be outdone in adding purple to the gardens

Today will be spent making hot sauce as at a fell swoop, most of it was borne away by my excellent customers. Life is good!

Have a thrill filled Thursday. Do something  truthful.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've been here and there, man

First off, no whale spotting on the way over to Fajardo yesterday. Surprised, aren't we. No.

From going to the airport to pick up sisters and friends, to going to Rincon for surfing, the ferry was buzzing with people on missions. I was just looking for a landline phone and was very happy to find a stronger, better model for way less than I paid for the one that broke during phone *repairs* a couple of years ago. Maybe next time they will be free? Right now, Mr. Phone is charging up so I don't know if the phone situation is fixed or not - word was they were working on it yesterday...did they KNOW I was going to buy a new phone? I hope so (right now there are some really NICE little lamps at Econo for 6.99, just so you know - I won't care if we have the same one).

The other day I was opening the cart and came on this perfect hummingbird nest that had fallen/been blow out of a tree. Unfortunately, the egg was still in it. Unfortunate for the hummer, fortunate for me because it's so beautiful. So here is a photo before I take it over to the school for the kids to look at. The egg is about the size of a marble...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A pre-ferry quickie

I hope I see a whale on the way over to buy a new phone (since mine somehow died when I was gone...why is it that every time there is a big phone/cable repair, my phone decides to die? Another Culebra Zen thing...), since it seems everyone and their dog has seen whales this season except me - including a friend who saw one yesterday on the way back to Fajardo in his there is still a chance!!

In the meantime, here is an updated schedule from Milton Carrero, the Yoga guy!

 I've changed the times and would like to spread the word. The new schedule is Mon, Wed and Fridays, two separate classes daily at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. behind Fango, (Arte). I am also available for private classes. The price for the group classes is $10 and $20 for the privates. My number is 787.539.5662. 
And off to the ferry I go.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Viking send off ~ or ~ to new beginnings

Yesterday we took Jack to sea for the Viking funeral he asked for. His ashes were put into the boat that Lazy Jack built, with some Kirk touches in rudder and Viking prow. It couldn't have been a more perfect day. The wind right, his boat sailed true.. well, .with a bit of poetic license; it sailed as true as any boat carrying Jack would sail, especially one on fire.
A ceremony with laughter and toasts and Jack stories told. Pat gave us glimpses of Jack that many never had seen and gave Jack the send off he deserved, as a husband, a lover, a friend...and a crazy pirate of the Caribbean in the truest sense, right alongside being a father, a teacher, a work out and bicyclist maniac and the flattest bellied hard rum drinker I ever met. A good day. Jack's day for sure.  More photos on Facebook...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Eggs, Rain & Dancing

Ok, they aren't jumbo eggs, but they ARE eggs and they are *free*. Chick Chick and I seem to have come to an understanding these days...I open the coop to feed them (who knew chickens liked shrimp peels? but they do! That and veggie scraps and rice; one of the side bennies of working in the kitchen for Susie - thanks Susie!), she jumps outside, I scatter feed and goodies. Then she hops back inside-without jumping on me-and mission accomplished! I carry away my Egg of the Day. They are happy, I am happy, no harm me.

What can be better than that? And they are very good...thanks, Chick Chick!

This morning I woke up to real clouds holding real rain, which is falling right now. It's the only blip on the radar but it's a good solid rain, much needed. It might be the only rain of the day (with the forecast saying clear), but we'll take it!

And while Emancipation Day isn't until tomorrow, I thought I'd post this early because I for one will need some serious practice if I am going to get Bomba y Plena dancing down to more than a mode of self-injury. Plus finding The Skirt. Emancipation Day is the day one learns this you may not be here but if you want to celebrate at home - and I know you do - here's how. I'd suggest a rum drink for starters.

Good luck with that! And please, make sure all of your slaves are freed!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back to our regularly unscheduled programming...and Happy Vernal Equinox!!

I'm not exactly sure why a heat wave is termed a's not like it wafts over you, but I guess it can smash you down like a wave can. Whatever would be more or less correct, we seem to be in the midst of an unprecedented one around here, which pretty much knocked me out for the count for a day or so. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. After climbing in and out of a dazy sleep yesterday until it was almost dark again and slightly cooled off I felt like I'd had some drug slipped into my tea for no reason at all. The cat seemed to feel the same, but I think she moved around a bit more than I did. Or maybe I dreamed that...

 But this morning I am up early and wide awake, reveling in the slight coolness lingering from the overnight hours - storing it up in some way to convince myself that it really existed, come mid-day. Or, I'll just take a cooler along and stick my head on ice occasionally (if you drive by when I'm doing this, please pretend nothing is going on), which might be more effective than my imagination.

I know there is a swing of things going on around here and that getting back into a fragmented dance step is not far away...but for now I'm wandering my yard and wondering how much water an avocado tree can actually drink before it looks happy again. Best plant in the yard prize goes to the bougainvillea, which seems to need nothing but a trace of water, lots of sunshine and being cut back severely every few years to thrive. At least that's how it works with mine. Not much attention and a lot of show...I like that in a plant!

Don't forget that tomorrow is Capt. Jack's Life Celebration, starting at noon at Mamacita's. Pat and friends have put together a lot of wonderful photos and other memorabilia that will bring back a lot of old time memories for many and some great stories for those of us not here long enough to have been a part of those days & nights, but knowing most of the players. As Jack would want, it should be a good party, with laughter and tears included. A Viking send off he wanted, and that's what he's going to have.

Edited to add: Today is the Vernal did that almost slide by me?? But caught in the nick of time, here is the skinny on it! Basically, it's a day that is almost equal in time of day and enjoy those dark hours if that is your bliss, because they are lessening into summer as we speak/type/read. In other words...Happy first day of SPRING!

Have a saturated Saturday, hopefully with joy and contentment. Do something supreme.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The good in a hard time

Finally, the internet is holding on long enough - I hope, as it's still flickering - to actually post about the best part of being away. Because, even in the cold was the warmth of my family. How long has it been since I've played Scrabble, or played with Play Doh? Or had my toenails painted periwinkle (never). And being with Sloane when she found out she liked blue cheese...pretty much.

I got to eat real Mexican food one place and experience a woman being really kind in another eatery  - a  'real deal' diner - that didn't take minors because of their smoking law - which she didn't mention until AFTER we'd all had a huge, delicious diner style breakfast. We wondered why we were being stared at but I just figured it was my gorgeous daughter and granddaughter...fried jalepeno, anyone?

My good friend Marti (who lives in Wichita and gave us so much in time and love) 
& Michelle at our first eating stop

Thanks, Marti! 
I think we've wiped out our Mexican

There is not much better to me that cooking with the ones I love best. Crab rangoon anyone? I am the only one who hadn't ever made them and I was pretty much the only one who didn't have a finger in the making of these...and they were amazing. I need the recipe, Michelle! I did get to help with the spaghetti and clams though, really.

The Rangoon Chicks

Somehow much of our play doh was 
And a mandolin from Elijah. 
Along with a version of Sloan's new iPod, of course.

A house you won't find on Culebra...gorgeous stone work

One of the beauties of stretching plains....
incredible sunsets that go on forever

This humongeous tree was behind my friend Marti's house
(whole neighborhoods of Craftman style homes,
with Victorian and Edwardian mansions here 
and there just to make you go ahhhh)

There were a LOT of trees, 
many like this onejust on the verge of budding

Nope, no photos of my Sloane painted periwinkle toenails, 
but I did get a shot of the results of playing with Sloane's hair...

...while we sat by the fire...yes, a fireplace! 
The suite was perfect for all of us, a loft and 2 bathrooms, 
lots of comfy beds, a full kitchen and well under 100.00 bucks a night. 
The staff was incredibly helpful with six people needing extra everything!
Thanks for the brilliant choice, Michelle!

So yes, I'm thawed out now and while it may snow this weekend in Kansas, the blooming trees aren't far behind. I think I saw a robin, but it was too far away to be sure. But the warmth was from more than the fire and the food, it was being together that kept any chill at bay. Again, thanks for all the help and love from so many heart is bigger.

Because no matter where we are, it's the love of our familes and friends
that, like the Hokey Pokey, really is what it's all about