Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let the Games Begin

From the NWS discussion - more info and graphics here

Yesterday started the list of storm names with Arlene, heading toward Mexico. From the discussion in the early a.m.:

Given the large size of the circulation of should not focus on the exact forecast impacts will likely be felt over a large portion of northeastern Mexico well away from the center.

 So head's up, boys and girls...hope you have your supplies ready, and your plan in gear. Being the one who is looking at an empty shelf where the water/canned foods/plywood was located is not how you want to spend the day(s) and hours before a storm. Along with meds you might need, a cash stash, pet supplies, etc.

While it doesn't look like Arlene is going to get scary powerful, we all know that high winds don't have to be hurricane force to do a lot of damage. So ready up! Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and keep your libation of choice locker stocked!

Something flukey is going on with my camera at the moment (I hope it's a moment), so photos are on hold for now. Hope to get this remedied soonest.

Have a welcoming Wednesday! Do something unwinding.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Culebra's stormy weather

I'm not sure what the day will look like when dawn finally breaks but I think everyone is ready for some sunshine after yesterday's stretched out series of squally weather. If you look at this loop QUICKLY but carefully, you see the first wave, which was full of thunder and lightning and rain but not a ton of rain, just enough to let you know you could most likely curl up with a book and a cup of tea and not have to rush off anywhere real fast. Then the big blob followed. Far off thunder, occasional rain, coolness  in the air for the most part. Not bad to do some work in. 

 Sorry I can't slow this down, but I'm not that techy

And it seemed to be over. But look there! Right at the end! Right when we thought it was safe to head toward a quiet bedtime. That very intense, angry red, that goes right over Culebra, booming and flashing and scaring all of the animals, but I was sort of stuck downstairs with one and hoped the others had each  other for comfort because I was not, nope I wasn't, going out when lightning was doing an up close and personal tango with thunder in a cha cha BOOM beat.

Being a Florida girl, I both love a good storm and have a very healthy respect for lightning. 

Lightning is the #1 weather killer in Florida - more than all other weather deaths combined!

Florida leads the U.S. in lightning deaths, injuries, and casualties

And where I grew up, in Brevard county? Highest rate of deaths and injuries from lightning in the state. So, while truthfully, a good electrical storm, a fairly unusual event around here, is pretty thrilling to me, it's thrilling like I would imagine seeing a silverback gorilla in the wild would be. Enjoy the show but keep your distance. At least, that's how I think I'd act. I might just run up to embrace its intense beauty, losing all sense of caution in crazy joy. Or maybe not. 

But I won't run out in a lightning storm. When I used to sail a lot, it was one of the few times I felt pretty strong discomfort, as in 'What the HELL am I doing here, standing next to a metal pole, surrounding by metal wiring, in the middle of the ocean, the tallest thing around?' I still don't have a real good answer for that, sure was fun! Well, it was fun after the sensation of wanting to relieve my bladder without going to the proper facilities passed with the storm.

Here is a little bit of the end of the storm last night, from House Sitting Hill:

Have a terrific Tuesday! Do something tranquil.

p.s. the sun is out

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Bit of This, That and Stickman

If it rains a bit more, I won't have to water the plants. Ah, the hardships of life. This is how my world looked about an hour ago, before what looked like a deluge. We're in for more rain I think, but right now it's just dark and cool and beautiful. Well, beautiful to me and the cat.

Yesterday I went snorkeling in the early morning with a couple of friends. We were hoping to see a manatee or two that a friend had seen a few days before...but were pretty sure they weren't going to be at 'X marks the spot'. They weren't. But we did see a spotted eagle ray and lots of gorgeously marked sea turtles, munching away on turtle grass One of these days I'll have an underwater camera.

After our swim, it was time to do a bit of work. One thing about the tropics is that you try to remember that opening doors, or shaking out towels is something to do cautiously, because you never know what might be lurking. This is what was not exactly lurking, more like lurching around on the floor of one room. I've never seen a critter like this before. Anyone know what it is called beside Stickman? We played with it awhile and then set it in the gardens, where it quickly disappeared.

Better than seeing a scorpion!

How I remember them
* Update! A reader told me the above is a praying mantis. Which is what one of us guessed (not me!). I thought praying mantis' had color and...a bit 'fatter'.
Maybe the above is a tropical praying mantis? More research required! Thanks, Nancy! 
* Update dos! It IS a stickman!!! Check it out

Coming down from House Sitting Hill, these two beauties were meandering around the road. I love the tail on this darling baby...

One more cup of coffee. One more 'wait a little while to see what the weather is going to do'. Let the day begin...again!

Have a meaningful Monday! Do something mindful.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A yes-I-know-it's-Saturday Free Range Friday post

Since I never got around to posting anything foodie yesterday, I figured I'd do it now. Because.

1. Because I keep seeing all these recipes in the last week about rhubarb. Rhubarb tarts. Rhubarb pies. Rhubarb almond bars.
2. Because I've never seen rhubarb around here. That means any island I've ever been to around here.

3. Because I had a lightning bolt memory, taste included, of making strawberry rhubarb pie with the strawberries and the rhubarb straight from my garden.
4. Because rhubarb used to scare me before I ever cooked with it. I thought my tiny little daughter would eat its leaves and get sick. Or I'd make it and do something wrong and we'd all die.
5. Because that didn't happen. Instead, it was delicious! Just because I can't get fresh rhubarb doesn't mean I should ignore it!
6. And finally, even if it is a funny word, it's still fun to say.

Here is a link to the Pick Your Own website, with a super simple recipe for making rhubarb strawberry pie, complete with great photos so you don't have to be scared of rhubarb. Of course, probably in America, you can just buy all-ready-to-cook-with rhubarb...but it won't be the same. Plus, this is a great site, full of lots of interesting information concerning veggies and fruits. It also tells all sorts of places in the US to pick...rhubarb! as well as other goodies from the garden, just in case you don't have your own.

I hope my son is growing rhubarb this summer. I hope he still has some around when I get out there (yes, son, that's a hint!). We'll make this together and it will be good!

Buen provecho!

Have a salivating Saturday! Do something simmeringly.

Friday, June 24, 2011

1st International Day of the Seafarer!

Just a quick post as the day holds a lot of things to do - including finding the veggie guy (who last week was almost hidden from sight in front of the NOT used Alcadia (next to the water office) in case you didn't/don't find him in the usual spot.

Today is the first Day of the Seafarer - an active group working with seafarers from around the world, particularly highlighting the issues with deadly pirates that are still ongoing.

Interested in taking a little quiz so you can see how much you know about how your goods get to you? Go here. The certificate won't get you on a boat, but it might up your knowledge and you can hang it on your wall, thanking seafarers for the difficult jobs they do.

Have a freeboard Friday! Do something in fair winds and following seas.

p.s. I've got to add this because it seems my day to win things! I sent a tip for living small to Tiny Green Cabins and won a hat!

Here's the tip:

Start with something many dishes, bowls, glasses do you really need? Give/sell the rest, space and the incentive to do more (from someone who used to have six sets of plateware and all the rest to go with it - down to 4 dinner plates, 4 bowls, etc)

Here's the hat:

Ok, I'm off to buy a lottery ticket immediately!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Lobster in Every Pot

Ruddy duck
Yesterday I was reminded how beautiful Culebra is, physically and how blessed I am, with friends. And that's as gushy as I'm going to be about that! Except for one thing. Getting a lobster in a bag for my birthday was something that has never happened to me before. I've eaten lobster on my birthday, but not had one handed to me in a bag, fresh off the dock, while at the bar drinking off a surprise tab that Doug called in for me - from Missouri, which was shared. Just goes to show an old doggette can be shown new tricks. Thanks, Molly and Doug, I'm still laughing.

Some of the beauties of Culebra -

Flamenco in the morning
I was lucky to catch these girls just as they put on a show
Tamarindo thataway

Fossil world

On the salt pond (but no flamingo...*sniff*)
Have you heard the Bird?

Melones birthday presents
From the hills

One of my favorite flamboyants with Luis Pena in the background

Beach boy
Cairn for friends not around here anymore

And yes, somehow, at the end of the night -which migrated to Susie's - I headed home, fed the waiting cat, cooked the lobster, headed up to House sitting Hill, fed dogs and cats, got the lobster in the fridge and headed to dreamland.The sleeping kind, not the one I live in every day, but especially on my birthday.

Thanks, Molly, you wacky chica!
Have a thankful Thursday! Do something on tiptoe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me - It's good to be alive!

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. -- Albert Einstein

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. -- Danny Kaye

Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting. -- Karl Wallenda

Have a wonder full Wednesday! Do something withholding nothing!