Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Halloween on just never know what will happen. Trick or treat! 

 Two of my all time favorite tricksters from years past - with Krista all married with babies in PA and Karen in England or Spain or some place else doing who knows what - but no doubt having way big fun - it's just not quite the same. We miss you, chicas!!

I saw this bird (or ghost of a bird?) on a mast top, I was trying and couldn't get a clear photo when suddenly it started flapping its rather huge wings, slowly slowly slowly so I clicked anyway. It felt and looked pretty Halloweeny to me! If you look at them both up and down real fast, you might get the flapping idea better. Or maybe not.

And while the moon isn't nearly full and the wolves may not be howling in our neighborhood, I think Halloween needs a moon shot (and not the one I get in my email every year either!)

Have a moment of treats Monday. Do something full of malarky!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Scary Saturday Night on Culebra

There are a lot of people around this weekend! I know this, not because I saw a lot of people, but  because almost all the Jeeps at Carlos' are gone. Some of them I did see.

At Dinghy Dock there was an pre-Halloween Halloween party going on.

 Early in the day...swingin' past the graveyard

 You shoulda seen the other guy!

 There was even a pumpkin carving contest, with some serious contenders

 Sorry other pumpkin artists, but this one got my vote. C'mon, it's brilliant!

 Hippie v.2011

 So Neil, where's your costume, dude?

Great costumes all around!

On a walkabout, there was more going on. Maybe I should get out more at night. Or maybe not. The best part? Seeing a lot of smiling faces everywhere I went.

 At Heather's, Super Claire was manning the bar. 
This is not her usual bartender wear. At least I don't think it is.

 Flour dusted from the kitchen, also at Heather's was...Heather! 

Natalie - being her usual radiant self - bartending at Sandbar

Some kind of event was going on at Quique and Marta's place. I'm not sure what it was about but there were a lot of happy people there...and the man singing was amazing!

Have a satisfying Sunday. Do something smiling.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Free Range Friday with a View

Because I'm planning a picnic in a few days and because I'm getting emails from friends about cold weather in places far away, a picnic meal sounded like a good Free Range Friday meal. Add in that what I'm really doing is baking bread and the heat is rising around here, the idea of sitting on the beach eating and drinking takes me right out of the heat into the breeze.

The other evening at Zaco's Taco's, Shey made some incredibly good mojitos. I'm not a big rum drinker (which might be against the law in the islands) but this drink is more about yum than rum. That works for me.

Mojitos require a little work to make, but nothing daunting except maybe the word muddle. Muddling, in my opinion, is the secret of a great mojito and who doesn't want to be a muddler? What is muddling? From the site:

Muddler - Bar Tools
Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham
Definition: To muddle is to combine ingredients, usually in the bottom of a mixing glass, by pressing them with a muddler before adding the majority of the liquid ingredients.
A muddler is a long pestle shaped often shaped like a baseball bat that is commonly made of wood, but modern designs can be found in stainless steel or plastic with teeth on the bottom. One end of this essential bar tool is large and rounded and is used to mash the ingredients,
while the other end is skinnier and flat and is used to mix ingredients.

Cool tool, yes? If you have a regular mortar and pestle, you can cheat! Here's a video that shows how really easy it is to make a mojito. Of course, you'll need more than one for a picnic!

Picnics at the beach can be elaborate or simple as you like. I'm all for elaborate, but usually end up with simple. A Spanish tortilla, which isn't really quite a tortilla as Americans interpret the word, is a great beach picnic food. In Spanish, it's called a tortilla de patata. I like it because it's got everything in one dish, you can eat it with a fork or with your hands, hot or cold. If you want it hot, after you pack it up in a dish, wrap that with newspapers and a towel and it should stay warm enough to get you to the beach. Or to your living room floor, if it's snowing out.

I first ate this dish in Spain at Cal Pep, an awesome tapas bar in Barcelona. The chef made it right in front of us and it was a great show for a very simple dish. The video here is less flashy, but definitely the real deal. You can add salt and pepper to taste. He suggests some extra ingredients, including chorizo, which would be a great addition, but if that's too strong a taste for you, go with well drained, crumbled bacon, my personal favorite. You can also add cheese - if you have access to manchego, it really works well with this.

Some grapes, some bread, you've got your picnic! And I've got the third round of bread in the oven. Buen provecho!

Have a frugally delicious Friday! Do something fundamental.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too Much Television Leads to Turtle Overdose

I have definitely been watching too much television while house sitting. The contrast to most of the people who I know and call friends living on Culebra could be more dramatic, maybe if I lived in an undiscovered tribe in a rain forest somewhere and I don't mean El Yunque.I'll just skip right over the commercials for putting goo in my face to erase aging, pills to cure what I had no idea was a problem with side effects that might kill me but I'll feel good...for a while... and more things to buy/own/rent that requires...well, see below.

Young people looking to buy homes whinge on with pointed disdain about outdated kitchens (no granite counters? pish!), blast the idea of having to share a sink in a bathroom, cringe at a master suite that won't encompass their king size bed along with a tennis court of space, because they have so much stuff - stuff in boxes, stuff in containers, stuff never used but stuff that must be kept and added to - they are turned away by unacceptable paint colors, or a yard that needs landscaping. Few want to do any work to move into a home most of their parents will never be able to afford. The term 'starter home' seems to have come to mean one someone else builds for them. They tire me out and I want to send them all to their rooms - in a really old neighborhood. Something is wrong here, way beyond the 'I want's'.

There is one show I do like called Property Brothers. One a realtor, the other who designs and builds, they take a couple to a house with everything on their wish list. Then they show the price, wildly too high. Then they go to a home within the price range but in need of remodeling to get what is wanted and needed, also within the price range. The buyers join in the demolition and reconstruction and get what they dreamed about at a price they can afford. Because these guys show them with some hard work, Less can be More. Much more.

While I see the point of those coffee machines that you pop a little container of various flavored coffees in for offices, libraries (!), teachers' lounges, etc. I can't help but contrast that to my son buying his coffee beans from Sweet Maria's, roasting them, grinding them and serving me amazing coffee every morning while I was out West. He even managed it while we were at a music festival, camping, from roast to cup taking about 20 minutes and if it was already roasted, from grind to to cup taking less than 10 minutes.

As most readers' of this blog know, I'm a big fan of tiny houses and simplified life styles. I'm not saying this is right or do-able for everyone, but I do believe that Less is More is for everyone and I think the planet and economy worldwide give me more than a few supporting reasons for such a belief.

Yesterday, at Occupy Oakland, a young Iraq war veteran was critically injured by a projectile from the police, his skull fractured. As people went to help him, the police once again attacked the crowd. I know there are great police; that's not my issue - the issue is that someone, somewhere, with a lot of influence, does not want those protesting around the country concerning the wide gap of the have's and used to have and don't have anymore's to have any credence. Yes, it all ties together and to focus on any one aspect is to miss the bigger picture. A picture of many facets that I've been exposing myself to way too much!! Yesyes, I know there is more than HGTV and news, yes, there is some good television that doesn't make me feel like a stranger in a strange land.  Share water? Yes, that's better. Apologies to Mr. Heinlein.

It was time to change the channel
So, when the opportunity came up to go see some freshwater turtles, I was more than ready. This is what makes me happy, this is why I live here, even while laughing about that being an exciting outing...and it was, swimming included.

The turtles started coming toward us immediately

First a few, then an invasion

It was almost scary, a turtle army


A herd of turtles, a gorgeous day, a perfect beach

Bye turtles, Thanks for the weirdness!
Have a tv free Thursday! Do something un-timidly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fast and not at all Furiously

Today is one that starts early for me, as in, gotta go! But I wanted to share this with you because everyone needs to see this, mainly so I know I wasn't hallucinating. I thought maybe it was a skit, but it wasn't.

I'd left the television on some random station, while I was out, for the critters to have noise 'company'- so when I actually got around to watching it, this guy was on, in front of a weather screen, with his friend. The bird makes comments, like "Sunny" or "Rainy" and the guy talks back to him, then continues with the weather. Sort of. It looks like a high school production of a weather show, back when there was no technology. At all. Like when I was a kid (minus the parrot). I think it comes out of Barbados, but they never quite said...

More on television viewing later; you've been warned. But for now...

have a wrap it up Wednesday! Do something wise.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Some This That and the Other

This morning's dawn held a new element, and I think it was a brilliant addition. Kudos to the artist! One day I'll have a camera worthy of the view, but for now, the best thing is to go outside and see it for yourself!

This morning also brought in some breezy weather. Ok, it started last night. I only know this because while I was slightly asleep the dog and cats decided they needed company while listening to the whistling of the wind through the windows. Is that enough W words?

There is some potential rain out there, so get in your beach time while you can! My laundry is done, how about yours?

Oh, Kelli, you have a new bloom! Love, the House Sitter

I continue to be a big fan of the daily cartoons Mahoney Joe and Harold's Planet. They always make so much sense to me. Maybe that should be worrisome, but for me, it's confirmation that the inside of my head is not alone. And that is as comforting as a cup of milky tea...
From the state of the world...

to the state I hope someone will have the courtesy to put me in,
should the need arise.
(Just a reminder; I do have the artist's permission 
to use these here on my blog, as they are copyrighted!)

Slowly, slowly some winter people are drifting back to Culebra. In case you have been waiting for Chris Goldmark to take you fishing, he's back and his website will give you all the info you need to get hooked up, pun intended. It's good to see some of the old familiar faces, as well as some new ones as the ferry service becomes slightly more reliable. 'nuff said on that. For now.

Have a manageable Monday! Do something minorly important.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weather or Not

These photos are from a couple of evenings ago and yesterday morning. But we are still in the same weather pattern of very calm air. It was and is almost eerie strange, in a beautiful way.

Frangipani at sunset

Sonny looking quite elegant

Good night, Vieques

Little Bit/Nikoli practicing for the tightrope act

Yesterday's dawning

Amazing gazing 

For some reason, this song was in my head this morning. It's an old song, written and sung by some old friends. Friends I fully blame for any weirdness that I might carry around and exhibit today. Their music infiltrated and subverted pretty much my whole life path...and except for one who has gone on ahead of us, they are still making music today, separately and sometimes together, lo these 40 plus years later. Thanks, Cowboy(s), for leading me down a strange and wonderful garden path. It really is all your fault!

Have a subdued Sunday! Do something quietly subversive.

Pan gave me a couple of branches of this plant, which I stuck in the ground and got - magic!