Saturday, October 30, 2010

A pretty perfect day and the Rally to Restore Sanity - and TS Tomas too

Yesterday started with wild color and went on to be a pretty close to perfect day. I opened the cart and had two fantastic customers come by, the first this season. They were funny, told me great stories and bought stuff! The perfect storm of customers! She (Judy) is 65 and paddles with a team of woman on dragon boats, the Schuylkill Dragons!  I'd never heard of these boats and it was very cool to learn a little bit about them. It took me a minute to actually spell Schuylkill right and I will not dare to try to pronounce it because even though I heard it a few times, there is no way my mouth can say it correctly. Sort of like my Spanish...hmmm.

Photo stolen from the Schuylkill Dragons page (thanks!)
This Judy reminded me so much of Judy Anderson I felt like I was experiencing a wonderful, unexpected channeling. Spunky, funny, to the point, full to overflowing of life. Her husband, with his quieter, wry demeanor, is her biggest supporter and it shows. He cheers on the team, taking photos and videos, where ever in the world the Dragons take them. Very cool couple! Thanks so much for stopping by, it was my great pleasure!

And the customers continued...a woman who's been fishing with Chris Goldmark all week,  a woman who used to be a cruiser, others from here and there. I had to sort of shake myself - we've got visitors!! Let the season continue!

On the way into town, I had gone by the veggie guy's stand and put off getting any of these glorious offerings as I didn't want them to sit in the sun all day at the cart. But for some reason he left early - before I got back there anyway, so no veg or fruit for me. Lesson learned, do it while ya got it in front of you. And a fine selection it was indeed...damn, I missed the artichokes. That hurt.

To end the day, we got to spend some time with Francie, who just got back from two and a half months in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. And maybe other spots, but she was telling us so many names in between the big ones I lost track. Fantastic stories; probably my favorite was one where she got invited to someone's home for a meal, then taken to the grandmother's house nearby. Except for the three week bout of *dysentery (which of course, barely stopped her - did stop her a few times), she had an exotic time of travel, meeting other like minded travelers young and old - like the 77 year old woman from Belgium who has been traveling on her own for years. Strange brews, eating a lot of fresh and wonderful foods (no ants though), and staying in backpacker hotels, finally coming home to tell us wanderlust inspiring stories...glad you went, glad you're home, Francie (and thanks, Lori, for the welcome home champagne you brought me, it was shared and enjoyed for a double welcome home - missed you being with us!).

We also talked to Linda, who is, as I type, getting ready to go to the Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington D.C. I hadn't heard about it, but in this political arena of insanity, it's the best news ever. There will be other rallies all over the country and the world (yes, really). If you can get to one, go! If you can't, you can cheer from the sidelines like we will here. Linda will be wearing a Culebra pin, so if you see her, let me know!

Thanks, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert!
I'll be in Vieques for the next day or so, so no blog over the weekend. I'm missing the great Halloween events here (Coralations Spooky Snorkel at the muellecito,  Mamacita's costume party, the general all around town party that will range from Dinghy Dock over the bridge to Gretchen's at the ferry dock and all spots in between), but company is arriving and I am doing the fetching from Vieques - gotta go! Have a great and safe Halloween...I want pictures! 
We're keeping a close eye on TS Tomas - here is part of what Jeff Masters wrote early this morning:

After Tomas reaches the central Caribbean 4 - 6 days from now, there are two possible track scenarios depicted by the models--a continued westerly motion towards Nicaragua, or a sharp turn to the north, with a track over Hispaniola or Puerto Rico. Steering currents will be weak, and we'll just have to wait and see how the steering currents evolve.

For more of his blog, go here. This is a very large, very unusually timed storm and has taken forecasters by don't let your guard (or your supplies and readiness preps) down. Just in case you are not inclined to take this seriously, here is a report from one of's Barbados contributors:

Woke up to numerous reports of roofs missing, tree branches snapped and a few 
light poles on fire...Apparently, the devastation is widespread...Winds gusting 
to 70 MPH and power off in most locations.

In the South East where I am, the winds are howling and the rain looks 
white..We have been informed to expect these conditions for another 12 hours.
Stay advised!!!

*note on dysentery - Francie was scrupulous about drinking bottled water and making sure anything she ate was made with water that had been boiled. What she figured out was that she forgot that the water she brushed her teeth with was not boiled or bottled and that was how the little germies got her. This travel tip is brought to you by Squat-Master.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Culebra 's Loud Pink Dawning

The louvers on my windows are the solid kind, which means they are usually flat wide open for the view and air. But we've been having on and off rain showers, and the 'weather side' window has been 3/4 shut since last night. As I sat here drinking my tea and doing whatever it is I do early in the morning, a dense pink light crept in the window like fog, suffusing the air inside with an almost tangible color. I ran outside and started snapping away, Cwim going crazy running up and down the yard. Maybe because I was quietly yelling Oh my! Oh! Oh! Oh! Or maybe that's just her.

There are times in shooting photos that I almost want to scream in frustration because I can't gather in everything I'm seeing and feeling and this morning was one of those times. Circling around, trying to capture, in a tiny little box, a sense of the sultry thick atmosphere that almost felt like pink thin water in my throat, was impossible. Then to add another layer of oh!ness, on the last turning there was a rainbow, half in the pinkness, the rest fading into  blue...finally becoming its whole arced self over a span of ten minutes or so. It might still be hanging out there...I stopped trying and just enjoyed the wonder.

The pinkness is gone now and we've calmed down. But all thoughts of what I was going to write have been swept away by color. Maybe later.

Here is what the camera saw. I've only sharpened a few of the photos. I know how to bring out color but I don't know how to tone it down out of the ridiculously, insanely full. These aren't 'good' photos but sometimes, that doesn't matter much. The rainbow isn't nearly as wonderful as it was in real life, but I'm putting it in anyway...

Top of the pink morning to you!

Have a fabulous Friday! Do a farruca!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


How this strawberry plant made it, I have no idea 

No, not the show, sillies! The things in my yard that amazingly survived 4 plus months of me being gone. Thanks to the loving care of good friends and lots of rain and in one case, a bit of a miracle, I do believe. In fact, maybe ignoring the whole thing is a brilliant tactic and I'm only learning it now...

Yesterday was sunshine and rain showers, over and over and over again, cooling off the afternoon early into our traditionally beautiful fall weather. Plus, it was lovely to go to sleep to rain music on the roof. This morning feels much the same, though the radar shows the rain bits to have moved off to the  west.

And fyi, if you love coconuts, and I do, they had some at Costa del Sol the other day for 99 cents. I am happy to pay 99 cents to not have to hack through the outer layer of a coconut (you can get green ones with coconut water on the ferry dock on Sundays also - goes great with rum - well, I think you still can)! The milk was delicious, the meat perfect and smashing them open with a hammer, priceless. They also had Cafe Bustela for under 5 bucks (which I didn't get because I'd already gotten my favorite espresso at Genesis earlier in the day). Just so you know! Of course, they could all be gone by the time you read this...or maybe not! As some of us were talking about shopping the other day, every store here has something or other that is a deal, it's worth checking them all out, if you don't mind 'driving all over town' - all four or five miles! And don't forget the veggie guy, who is faithful and true and will be here tomorrow barring weirdness.

Subtle dawn
I'm starting to like this chicken...but her boyfriend(s) gotta go!
Some clouds drifted by this morning...
These blooms are going crazy...I like that in an orchid!
The pepper plant that won't say stop! Thank you, Mr. Aji Cabellero!
This banana plant was buried in junk trees and guinea likes the freedom!
Happy Thursday! Are you working on your costume?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The flip side of being home

Thank you, orchids, for the welcome home
While I came by home a couple of times every day while house sitting to feed the cat and do a few clean ups (like carving a path through the jungle of yard, sweeping away unwanted inside litter - note to small creatures, this is not your bathroom - pulling out packed away things, getting the garden put in order..sort of), I easily made excuses like lack of time and energy to do a whole lot more.

No excuses now! You know how when you are a bit overwhelmed with lots to do that you feel immobilized and full of reasons why you can't get to project D because you still don't have a way to get there? Color me that! But when I stop a moment - or six - I remember that even if I've never gotten everything on my to-do list done, most of what really needs to happen, happens, one way or another. It's the law. Like gravity, but different.

Chicken of the Sea
Living close to the edge is a wonderful motivator that way. So today I will continue from the wee start of getting my photos in order and up on their y'all can buy them and bring me wealth and fame! Ok, I'll settle for sharing some heart images and making a few bucks. Which brings me to: Hey, guy who wanted to buy the wave photo and has so patiently waited until I got home? I can NOT find your email!!! Please re-send! Thanks!

Organizing photos is a dichotomous task...on one hand, tedious and time consuming; on the other, joyful, as moments and faces take me back down mental roads I like to travel, even the ones that make me a bit sad even while I'm smiling. So, let the games begin!

Cock-a-doodle-do back atcha. Now get out of here!
We have a small craft advisory going on, with the wind supposed to be kicking up and waves 5 - 7 feet, and maybe a few brief rain showers. By the weekend, the forecast looks calm and beautiful, so come on over! We've got Abbie's Halloween house and Coralations Spooky Snorkel, plus the (un)naturally occurring all-about-town Halloween stroll...I still don't know who some of those masks were hiding from last year, but the costumes just get better and better! Mamacita's Restaurant and Bar re-opens Friday, so there is one more place to show off your costume or just do a little gawking. If you think you need instructions to the round of eating and watering holes...remember, this is Culebra, you can't get lost.

Have a whole Wednesday! Do something welcoming.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mark your calendars for a spooky, watery good time!

If you are looking for something different for you and the family to do on Halloween... Coralations has something very special going on at the Muellecita this year (and you don't have to be a kid to participate)

And in case you don't read Spanish and pictures aren't enough (like me)...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sun, Moon, Dogs, Library, and Orchids...

Late in the day but it is Sunday, after all...

First, a farewell to Ren, who fought long and well and love and strength to Marsha, who is one of the strongest women I know. Rest in peace, Ren, fair winds.

 Sunrise this morning

Moon set this morning

Second, Terrie asked me to post this in hopes of a generous traveling companion for the following (and to those who adopted these two satos, may you long enjoy your Culebra companions). Once again, thanks to Marsha and all who have worked so hard with her to place these homeless satos over the years.

AWC (Animal Welfare of Culebra) seeking travelers on AA direct to JFK (or Newark) AND BOSTON for two dogs recently adopted. AWC will meet the traveler at AA, check the dog in, pay for the dog's travel, & organize the pickup upon arrival.

Please contact Terrie at 787-235-6736 or of you can help! Thanks!"

My orchids have started to bloom...purple next!

An update from the Library Caretakers! Write this down!!!

The Culebra Community Library is open from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on:
Friday (bilingual staff available)
Saturday (bilingual staff available)
Our phone # is 787-533-0725
Come on in and check us out!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday ~ may it be tranquillo.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


When Neil came down the steps in a polo shirt and shorts, I think all of us felt a small sinking sense of, what???? It's a HOLIDAY and Neil isn't dressed up? He soon put paid to that...

as did eye popping applause

Doug worried about being rusty in the playing department, but we enjoyed his eclectic music from jazz to old standards. We'll somehow muddle through him 'getting better' without a lot of pain.

Dolly kept an eye on the moonrise and let us know when it was out from the low clouds...

I headed out early, so I don't have any photos of the whole meal, but I can tell you the potato soup was awesome. Thanks, Neil!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Free Range Friday close to home

Let's's Friday and what to do this evening for food and fun? I have the solution! Which I found out when I went to Dinghy Dock to round up some guy power to tweak the cart into its space tomorrow (thanks, Chris and Mikey, see you this morning!).

Yes, Free Range Friday is usually a recipe, but with what Neil is putting on tonight, I'm not cookin'! Oh, and don't forget, it's full moon tonight, so...Dinghy Dock, full moon on the water, music AND awesome food? What's the choice? 

Not on Culebra? Let this menu be a bit of inspiration for your own Oktoberfest!

Dinghy Dock's 7th Annual Oktoberfest Celebration!!
Friday Oktober 22, 2010
Beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Come and enjoy with your family and friends the German Fare
prepared specially for this Celebration!
And in Commemoration of our 21st Anniversary.

Our Special Platter for Two includes:
Potato Soup, Boiled Smoked Pork Shank,
German Potato Salad, a selection of Sausages [ed. note: excellent sausages!]
and all the Sauerkraut U-Can eat.
Plus a Pitcher of any of our famous Draft Beers.

All for only 45.95 + tax
Plate reservations are suggested [ed note: really! grown people crying isn't pretty]
Celebrating our 21st Anniversary!
Old Harbor Beers on Tap!
Feel free to wear your Lederhosen [ed. note: I only hope Neil does]

 Doug will be playing starting at 4...a definite don't miss!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I say good bye and you say hello

Good morning, Sol!

Off to get the cart moved! Have a trailerable Thursday! Do something tow worthy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Culebra Afternoon

Life is starting to fall back into the Culebra wavy groove that I know so well because I rarely know it at all. Which I like. The other night it included an unexpected dinner party with two old friends and two new acquaintances, a couple here to find out first hand if they want to live on, rather than just visit, Culebra. She's a doctor with an emphasis on holistic medicine, he's a physicist, both with a good sense of humor - which is pretty much a prerequisite. Amazingly, after dinner with the three of us, they are still considering living here. We'll see what happens next. I know one thing for sure, she cooks a fine meal...a vegetarian, gluten free meal that I, dedicated carnivore that I am, who really didn't understand gluten from glue (until an explanation that not only made sense but was actually interesting), award  5 stars. As happens so often, I was busy enjoying eating and forgot to take a photo...oops!

Today I'll be helping Susie do some restaurant tweaking, observe a bit of local drama at Wednesday court and maybe, maybe, get my cart back on the corner. But yesterday afternoon,, after tearing my jungle yard apart a bit more (I'm all re-energized about food gardening after seeing fabulous ones all over the US) was spent on happy hour at Dinghy Dock and the waterfront, with company about as local as it gets. Just that mellow time with some of those who people my world, catching up and catching on. I wish I'd gotten a shot of Benjamin going by in his boat, hair blowing back in the breeze. It's good to be home.

Dinghy Dock

Obligatory Jack photo

Time out ended with an order of wings from  
Smoke Tender Wow. Key word, wow! Kudos, Steve. Check it out!

Have a welcoming Wednesday. Do something wishful.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mark has been busy!

Mark Wilken, our own muralist artiste, has been busy on the waterfront while I was gone. In fact, he's still at work transforming the new panaderia/bakery, probably as I'm typing. I've seen Mark playful in his paintings before, but this theme park of color and creatures keeps the grin factor going long after the initial 'wow.' And yes, you can have your own Mark murals and/or paintings. Inquire here, I pass messages!

If you are needing a dose of

Frozen Hielo only, por favor! Thank you, Joe!

Have a truly fine Tuesday! Do something toe-tapping.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wish you were here...

This pretty much says it all

Today is another one of those beautiful days...even if most of the things I've tried to get done aren't getting done for one reason or another. It's still been full of seeing people that I've not seen for months, and that is always good. It's good when getting gasoline - with NO one in line and gas in the tanks - to go inside and, first thing, hear...'Mi amor!' Yes. I'm home.

I was going to take a photo of the new lechon sign I saw at El Batey yesterday, but they are closed right now. It's not even Christmas and lechon is on the menu...yippee! Another day...

So instead of doing laundry and moving things, I gave a friend a ride home half way around the bay, and hurt my mouth smiling at how gorgeous it is right now; a more than fair trade.

And by the way, if you are debating a quick get-away to Culebra, even though it's still pretty warm here, it's a great time to be here. The streets are quiet, no lines for gas, the beaches perfect, the fares low. Just so you know.

Another of Kelli & Dale's unknown exquisite blooms

I love these lobster traps...I love this bay!

Over the bloomin' sea (looking toward Vieques)

Sure, there are still a lot of things going on that need fixing. But on a day like today, we all know why we'll stick it out and do the best  we can to make things better and keep Culebra the place we love, rather than the place where people sigh and say, oh, it used to be so special. It is special still - and, if those who wish to line their pockets on the backs of our desire for tranquility would just try to understand what they wish to destroy, that too would be a good thing. For now, I'll just be glad for this Sunday.