Thursday, March 31, 2011

Culebra this's and that's

First, the word is out, it's expected to be a busy h-word season! You might think it's early to be talking about storms, but the folks at NOAA don't, so you shouldn't either. This is the time to buy that extra gallon of water and a few cans of food each time you shop, to put away for your hurricane stash. The time to look for deals on batteries, check your gennie if you have one or maybe this is the year you can splurge for one. They won't be on sale if your area gets hit, I can promise you that. Taking care of these things now will have June 1 finding you with a strong smile and feeling like you've prepared for the worst, you can hope for the best and move into the season doing other,. more interesting things.

There is going to be a sale!! On Culebra, yes, really! For you who don't live here, we don't have sales often, the stores don't take coupons and there are no Blue Light specials, so we take our sales pretty seriously, and that includes yard sales. In almost nine years I've seen less than five of those. For a former Garage Sailin' Queen, that was a rough one to give up!

On Island is having a Sale!

50% off of EVERYTHING in the store

Starting NOW!
(and going until it's time to stop, which won't be too long)
Come by and stock up on goodies for yourself and
presents for birthdays and other present giving events
And finally, sometimes the beauty of Culebra is so intense, so vibrant it feels like being slammed in chest with a sledgehammer  (but I did say vibrant, not violent). And other times it is as subtle as a whisper that you have to really listen for. Sunset last night was a whisper. And sometimes that is just fine.

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart” Helen Keller 

Have a tricked out Thursday! Do something tantalizing.

and p.s. We still have 9 puppies that need homes! They are soooooooooo cute, Lab mix and they are going to be gorgeous. Along with Sonny and Bella. And some cats. So, don't forget that! If you can't adopt, maybe you can donate, to help defray the cost of feeding and vetting all these critters.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mamacita's is OPEN!!

Just a quick note to let y'all know! Don't mind the dust...

The flip side of Paradox

Sighing here, because I hate making posts like this's like anything you love, sometimes you just have to say, ok, here's an aspect that needs some work. And this is one, for sure.

People usually want to do the right thing, and try, but everyone and everything has to be working together! Here's the deal with recycling on Culebra, as far as I know. No glass anymore. Paper and plastic and tin only. Separated. Neatly boxed or bagged, flattened or tied together; you'll see why in a second.

That's our part.

The municipality's part is to provide enough bins for people to use. Right now, these are the only public bins to use (located on the road to the DRN building at the top of the hill past the graveyard - unfortunately, you can't miss it) and obviously, they aren't enough or aren't being emptied enough. Also, the design makes them very hard to use (and it doesn't help when the back end can be left open for things to fall out). Maybe we should scrap these and get some better ones. I bet some of that federal $ could be used for that...just guessing.

So if you are a recycler, bless you! Please try to stomp on those plastic bottles and put them in something so they don't roll/blow away. Filling up the valley with plastic bottles is not the goal you set out for, I know!

And to the municipality workers. I know it's a thankless job most of the time, but we need your help to do this right. Thank you!!

Recycling whelk shells? Huh?

Have a well-done Wednesday. Do something the whole way.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Culebra in my eyes

The other day, a visitor said, as we were chatting, yes, this place is beautiful, but...what do you DO here? I've been asked that many times and as hard as it might be to believe, I don't have a blythe and ready answer. I usually end up by saying, not much. Which is a patent lie, just so you know. Even if it is the truth. Hey, it's Culebra; this is how we think after awhile.

So here are a few things I 'did' over the last few days...

Tried really hard to figure out what this boat was about...
gave up and just enjoyed its gypsiness

Enjoyed the classic beauty of this boat that's been in the harbour awhile

Watched the lazy grace of tarpon at Dinghy Dock

Found there really is Culebra with a cherry on top (nice work, Nay!)

Stood shaking with rage at what the Dubon/Terruno idiots have
done with CONCRETE to land that doesn't belong to them...
yes, that is concrete, but wait, there's more

...where they have concreted in a whole natural retention pond
(for more on this, go here)

Went down to the water to restore my soul sanity

And now, it's raining!!!!! Thank you, universe!!! Even if it doesn't last long, it is music on the roof and land. Sorry, visitors but it must be obvious how much we need this and I for one am doing a happy rain dance.

Have a ten-folded Tuesday! Do something tappy.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Share the Memories, Share the Love

I'm posting this for those of you who knew and loved Joyce and Dr. Fred, so you can make sure to not miss this gathering of friends and family.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

a yikes p.s.

I have no idea what is going on with Blogger and my formatting, but I'm working on getting it fixed...I hope. But the lack of photos on the Sonny and Bella post was operator error. They are there now, so please check them and let your heart be moved!

Overstimulated on Culebra?

No, no it's just me who feels oh joy overstimulated, not the whole island. I think it is living a life where going out two nights in a row approaches a social whirl.. Add in high gladness at seeing an old friend. With an imperfect but mostly ever so good personal life, contrasting vividly to the world news. Or maybe it's just Sunday morning and I'm missing the New York Times Sunday home delivery, but that's about all. Life is good. Have I mentioned that?

Good morning, Culebra!

Chatting via facebook with one of the smarter young people I know (younger than me, anyway), combined with things that interest me coming along in emails, it seems so very obvious that a mindset of simplicity (not of the self flagellating hair shirts and gruel sort) could solve so many of our social, governmental and world wide issues. 

Yes, that sounds simplistic, doesn't it? I mean, how much of the world lives in involuntary simplicity already, MJ? I know. But it seems to me the troubles come piling when, as in Bhutan, the central philosophy and actual written tenet of their country, GNH, or Gross National Happiness, that kept them considered a model for Shangri-la, changed swiftly after the introduction of television in 1999. Debate forever about enforced innocence if you like, but there is something cherishable about considering happiness first without the trappings that more 'civilized' Western culture deems so necessary. And when I read about Bhutan today, scarcely two decades later, it is painful, and from a sociological viewpoint, stunning. 

I think this couple have it right, making ideals reality

Yes, random Sunday morning musings on only one cup of tea. There better be a Sunday paper delivery this morning, I NEED those crosswords! 

Have a saturated Sunday! Do something swimmingly. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday double post! For Bella and Sonny

(Oh, don't think you're getting off Earth Hour by saying you only read THIS post!)

This post is for Bella and Sonny, who need to find their people and forever homes! Thank you Elena Jahn!!

Bella and Sonny,  2 Months after rescue.

They came to me just skin and bones, starving and  near death!   Please Pass these on to anyone you think  who may be interested in adopting one or both of these lovely animals.  They are obedient, playful, loving and friendly dogs, needing homes soon.  Shipping  will be paid by the Culebra Animal Rescue Group, and they have had all vaccinations and been neutered.  Sonny,  about 1 year old, son of Bella,  about 3 years old.
Sonny,  very sweet and special dog.

Bella, affectionate,loving and friendly.

Bella and Sonny, great dogs and ready for adoption, playful and happy.

 Contact AWC or me if you have a home to share!!!

Earth Hour!

How on Earth did it get to be the date of Earth Hour again so quickly?? Well, 365 days went by we are. The theme this year is about going beyond the hour, with a simple question. What will you do? 

I have no one thing picked out at the moment. I've been trying to stay away from single use water bottles, succeeding more than not. But I'm still buying gallon water bottles, so I'm not sure how well I'm balancing out. Maybe that will be next. Remembering to just bring my water with me, hey, how difficult can it be? Difficult! Trust me on this one. I'm workin' on it.

Videos like this always make me cry. I think my friends would gently infer 
it is because I'm a sappy person. I think they might be right. That's ok.

Speaking of sappy (well, I didn't cry but my cheeks do hurt from smiling a whole lot), yesterday was a great day for a lot of reasons. I woke up, numero uno. My brother made it safe and sound to North Carolina. And Linda came back for a visit. If you don't know Linda, well, let's just say, everyone should have a Linda in their lives. Except when they move away, to oh, some place like MICHIGAN, it leaves a big Linda shaped place waiting to be re-filled on return (this is not a recycling message, really - there is no price on a returned Linda). Anyway, she's back for awhile.  A good time for friends to gather and laugh and catch up on stories. And make up stories. And laugh some more. So we did.

 We lost a few on the walk over to Susie's but there were still plenty to play!
Francie, Jacinto, Rebecca, Linda, Vilma, Judy, Gonzolo, Ann
Then Gonzolo learned how to use my camera!

So we grabbed a few more people who were trying to work
(thanks, y'all!)
Susie, Vilma, Francie, Rebecca, MJ, Linda, Judy, Kate, Ann
Then, somehow, the rest of the photos have Vilma front and center. It must be that love thing. I have a feeling Gongi takes a lot of photos of Vilma. She is pretty beautiful (on the inside too, which is why we all love her). A lot of happy hearts. We're so glad to see you, Linda!!!

On my way home, I stopped by Dinghy Dock because I could hear Wiki Sound Machine playing and since I'm rarely out that late at night, and I haven't heard them play in a long time, I thought I'd go listen for a minute. They were tearin' it up! A few minutes of way big fun. More way big fun.

All of these guys have THE best smiles!

I got a ride and it was all good until we got pulled over by the police in the parking lot of Happy Landings. (pretty much everyone was getting pulled over, it was no big deal, I LIKE seeing police there!) But we didn't have the cars papers...oops! so with a bit of explanation (borrowed car, getting a ride, driver is crazy, late, not worth your time) they said, smiling and shaking their heads,'Get in the car and get your ride home, Shooo! Go on!' Gracias! 

Just another night on Culebra...

Tonight. 8:30. Spare an hour for the Earth you live and breathe on. Turn the lights off. Turn your eyes on. Go beyond the's YOUR Earth! Keep it tidy, por favor.

Have a spectacular Saturday! Do something silently.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Free Range Friday...remarks, reports and recipe

Let's start off with the serious stuff! Because if there is one thing I like to do, it is to get the serious stuff out of the way and let the fun stuff roll! Especially if you are one of those with Lenten persuasion, in which case your fun factor may be dipping down into the red zone about now.

This is from Pam and Chuck, concerning being prepared for fires, of which we've had four good ones so far in just the last week.

Time to Prepare
It's the dry time of year and the season for fires.  On January 22, 2007 Chuck and I were 
spending the night on the "Big Island". We received a phone call from our friend, Al, informing us of 
fire #3 on our hill above Fulladoza Bay. Since 1998 we and our neighbors have experienced 2 other 
frightening fires.  I was quite excited and worried, but Chuck assured me that we were prepared. 
And, you can be too.
  1. Keep all grasses cut very low, the fire will seek out fuel to burn the high grass areas.
  2. Build stone walls wherever you can.  They don't need to be very high.  
    Cut grass on both sides for insurance.
  3. Trim growth near your home, and trim trees to inhibit the fire from jumping 
    from tree to tree.
  4. Have your hose attached and ready for use with a working nozzle.
We returned from the "Big Island" to find our home safe as you can see from the picture. 
The time to prepare is now - not when you hear the crackling flames and smell the smoke.
Pam Schreiner

And while what Pam has to say is all valid, well and good, a picture really is worth a thousand words here you go.

That's pretty damned dramatic to me, as to the effectiveness of cleared land and stone walls. 
I was up there helping to fight that fire. It was terrifically frightening. It came right up to the 
very edges of Kim's house and was so intense, it melted her shower curtain. I watched friends get 
way too close, fighting to save their homes and finally having to leave it to our amazing firemen, not 
knowing for hours whether they would have a home to return to or not. It's dry. It's windy. It's 
that time of year. Do the smart thing. I don't want to read or write about you later on.

Ok, NEXT!!

Because I have a big meal planned for this week, and haven't been doing much in the cooking 
department, I thought I'd share this recipe that sounds so good that my mouth was literally 
watering reading it. It is inspired by the fact that I just ordered (and quickly received) five fresh 
vanilla beans from a finca over on the big island. Thank you, Suzanne!! Supplies are limited but if you
are interested, you can contact Suzanne at   You can also peruse the 
website; there is a lot more than vanilla beans! Suzanne also puts out a great weather update.

Homemade Kahlua (adapted from Dana's Homemade Kahlua)


4 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar 
6 tablespoons instant espresso coffee (Cafe Bustelo is a great choice)
2 vanilla beans, slit open
1 bottle vodka (brandy or rum can be used, but tradionally, vodka it is)


Boil water, sugar, coffee
Simmer for 2 hours (stirring frequently) 
Let cool and add vanilla and vodka
Bottle, cap tightly and store in a cool, dark place. 

One month is a good aging time (but if you can't wait, I understand)

Some other things to do with fresh vanilla beans.

Vanilla extract - for the price of a bottle of vodka or white rum and your beans, you can make a lot 
more extract than that little bottle from the sstore that lasts for years, tastes better and is 
YOUR product! 

Vanilla sugar - stick one split bean into a tightly sealed container of sugar. In a week or so, you 
should have a lovely vanilla sugar. It's addictive, beware

Of course, any time you use vanilla extract, you can use vanilla beans! Buen provecho!

Always, unexpected, I got another Full o' Fun Surprise box from my brother yesterday (great day 
for mail!) Along with LED lamps that plug into phone sockets, Mardi Gras or St. Patrick day beads, 
screw drivers, a trivet that looks like one I had in 1968 - and a lot more - were packages of 
vegetable seeds from Thailand.

This one for lettuce is my favorite (the ones talking 
about planting after monsoons were good too).

On the way home from the PO, I saw some 
white cheeked pintail ducks. 
They are so beautiful - this one put on a show at 
just the right moment.

Enjoy the day! Keep your eyes open, 

you never know what you might see next.

p.s. The format of today's post is all wacky, but after many attempts to make it right, I am just
going to live with it and hope you can too!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

As Culebra Turns (in my world)

A couple of days ago I went with some friends to look at the land they purchased, to one day build a home upon. Something simple, something small. I mean, look at this view! Why gild the lily?

Being my graceful self, I tripped over an awkwardly cut little tree stump, cut to clear a path through the property; one of those four inch high, grass covered V shaped ones. Naturally, I gashed the front of my leg because it is important to have war wounds from these off road adventures. After a few glasses of champagne and some accompanying nibble bits to celebrate the purchase, I sort of felt less pain and the blood had stopped leaking out of me. But I did have a good time, really! How could I not, with good friends and sky painting over the sea as the sun closed out the day?

Yesterday I got an unexpected bonus of getting my little dock fixed while another floating dock was being improved. It has been broken and not repaired by someone who uses it, making it unsound and dangerous. I was slowly getting around to fixing it, but instead, the Universe sent me two guys who fixed it just fine. My lack of grace will not be a tippy issue any more, for me or anyone else who isn't always well balanced (which is pretty much everyone I know). Thanks, Knot Tying Guy and Drill Guy! Much appreciation!

A new batch of hot sauce made (Bajan, just so you know!), some herbs from D's Garden Center  awaiting planting (she has lots now! Rosemary, mint, basil, marjoram, parsley, cilantro, anise and a few I'm not sure about), a shelf put up. Nope, no photo of the shelf!

Some wonder in my wander. Life is simple and good. works for me!

p.s. Congratulations to my brother, who will be making his first trip back to North Carolina since his fall last summer! Have a blast, bro...and...stay off of ladders for now. I'd hate to have to break your other leg. Love, Your Big Sis

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Worth Repeating Reporting

From the Onion:

Deaths Of 20,000 Japanese Afford Planet Solid 15 Minutes In Which Everyone Acts Like A Human Being

MARCH 23, 2011 | ISSUE 47•12
The tragic event that caused people all around the world to stop being self-absorbed monsters for a few fleeting minutes.
EARTH—Following the recent earthquake and tsunami that tragically took the lives of an estimated 20,000 Japanese citizens, the planet Earth was afforded a good 15 minutes during which its inhabitants behaved like actual human beings, sources reported.
In the quarter-hour that followed news of the massive natural disaster obliterating entire towns and killing or injuring thousands of innocent men, women, and children, social scientists around the globe reported rare—and in many cases unprecedented—occurrences of individuals feeling genuine empathy for their fellow humans, recognizing the evanescence of life, and experiencing a deep sense of awe and humility toward the overwhelming power of nature.
After the 900 seconds had passed, however, this behavior reportedly ceased.
"Though its duration was incredibly brief, in this span of time the entire human race was able to temporarily forget all its petty political interests, narcissism, greed, and ironic detachment for a few moments and behave like real people with compassion and respect," social scientist Dr. Robert Westbrook said of the short-lived burst of basic decency. "There is no evidence of any significant bickering, lying, preening, or self-involvement during this period. In fact, it appears that all 6.7 billion human beings simply stopped for one quarter of an hour, became filled with genuine emotion, and said, 'Oh, no, those poor people,' while keeping their baser instincts in check."
"That they instantly went back to being needy, solipsistic whiners does not change the fact that, for a fleeting moment, the world was a wholly humane and gentle place," Westbrook added.
According to experts, immediately after the 15 minutes were over, the vast majority of the Earth's people seemed to move on from the harrowing, incomprehensibly tragic event, and have spent the subsequent time attempting to get ahead in their careers, ignoring the plight of those desperately in need, thinking solely of themselves, and acting how they generally act at all times throughout their lives.
A sizable number of human beings around the planet were reportedly able to negate the sympathy and goodwill they had just exhibited toward Japan by moments later getting into an uninformed argument about the efficacy of nuclear power, making a crude Godzilla-related joke on their Twitter or Facebook page, or telling themselves they didn't even know these people so it wasn't really worth getting too upset about.
"In those 15 minutes, the thought of making light of the events in Japan did not even cross a single human being's mind, yet evidence shows this restraint expired sometime between the 15:00 and 15:01 mark, when certain segments of the population began to speculate that the disaster was somehow 'payback' for Pearl Harbor," said sociologist Karen Perkins, adding that within seconds deep heartache and grief quickly segued into trivial and barely related political debates. "By the 15:30 mark, millions had told themselves that the Japanese were a somewhat robotic and unemotional people who would recover just fine; by the 15:50 mark, 1.8 billion people were already thinking about lunch; and by the 16:15 mark, all but 0.8 percent of the world had moved on completely."
According to Perkins, the exceedingly rare occurrence of the human race simultaneously feeling a moment of tenderness and selfless concern for others only has a handful of modern precedents: Similar behavior occurred for 22 minutes following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, for six minutes following the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, and for slightly under four seconds after news first broke of the trapped Chilean miners last year.
Experts calculated that in order for everyone on Earth to act like a good person for 30 minutes, 1,000,000 human beings would have to die in a volcanic eruption or flood. For an hour of worldwide charity and altruism to take place, statistics suggested that an entire ethnic group would have to be genocidally murdered in a single afternoon on live television.
In order for people to be decent and caring for an entire day, there reportedly would have to be only 12 survivors left on the planet, though by the next morning they would likely begin arguing, slandering, and killing each other for resources.
"We should be encouraged by the fact that the world was able to come together like this at all," Perkins said. "Even though, in the end, it only lasted a few minutes longer than it takes for the average person to shower."
Still, a minority of scientists disagreed with the conclusions drawn by their colleagues.
"Frankly, I reject this notion that it takes tragic events like [the earthquake] for the people of Earth to act like real human beings for once," MIT sociology professor Samuel Lark told reporters. "After all, most modern research suggests that acting like a callous, unfeeling, vain prick is exactly what being a human being is."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why I love My Yard - Reasons #4,257 & 4258

It is the little things, like the sun on a stem.

And the big things, too (sure, you can hang out in my yard!).

Life is beautiful. Despite all the madness and sorrow, life is beautiful. Did I mention, life is beautiful?

Have a touching Tuesday! Do something with tenderness.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beware the island time Ides of March

Yesterday was pretty cloudy and rain spitty around here, so I stayed home instead of going to the cart. An unexpected day off, where staying inside (albeit with door and windows open) seemed a treat to be enjoyed. And it was, until, in my on-going serial Spring Cleaning event, I somehow, for the first time in the many years it's been up there, knocked a rather heavy skillet off its nail. Gravity being the law and me being right below it, my face was all that interrupted its swift journey to the floor. After being sure it had not broken my nose, I was grateful that it was really pretty superficial (as I once broke my jaw catching a fly ball in a softball game, I'm a little leery of objects with velocity touching my face) All this to say, if you notice that it looks like I went a round with someone with a sharp ring on a few fingers, I didn't. Really.

Though today's radar shows bits of rain scattered about, right now it is sunny and much warmer than it was all day yesterday. Or at least, that's what it feels like from here!

Last night I thought I'd see if I could find a good vantage point to catch the moonrise and ended up walking up and down hills of various sizes and views for what seemed a long, long time. The moon skipped the 'hour a night later' rule and was holding back until two hours after yesterday's moonrise. Don't ask me why, all I know is I'd given up and was home when I noticed it just over my own home hills. So what you see is what I got (well, more or less, Nancy W)!

I like my yard. Walks of a couple miles for nothing make it look even better!

Have a magnificent Monday. Do something major.