Wednesday, October 29, 2014

So Long, Paradox, Good Morning South Fla!

First, thanks to Teresa for keeping me busy most of the day so I wouldn't, as she put it, wear a hole in my floor pacing. But at last it was time to go!

In the airport, Rolando handed me a book I'd been hoping would get here in time for the plane trip/airport time that I thought was going to the PO. Instead, I got it hand delivered by super smile guy! And what a great book! Susan Lusk and Mark Gabor, who own a sweet little home on Culebra but live in New York the City did the writing and photography and I highly recommend it. 111 Shops in New York That You Must Not Miss.

I had a half wall seat in the plane so leaning ever so slightly over the shoulder of the woman in front of me, I waved so long to Culebra for now. Not the best photos in the world, but it is my world and dealing with imperfections is a part of living and learning to live here. Along with using the little camera with the mold inside of it...So there you go.

Then, after a good Jet Blue flight next to a Brit who lives in St. Martin half the year and Cannes, France the other half (just your regular guy),  it was hello, San Juan!

After a taxi ride with the slowest taxi driver in the history of San Juan - and I'm not joking - we were there in plenty of time. Again, if Culebra doesn't teach you anything else, she teaches patience. Of a sort. I may really be a mellow person by the time I'm too feeble to fret.

It was dark when we left SJU for Fort Lauderdale. I could see lights as we glided over the Bahamas, probably seeing more places lit than I knew existed in daylight. Bu they were too faint to photograph.

The South Florida coastline, lit up in bright city lights, came into view, but a glance back and there was the crescent moon, it was almost filling up the window. How high were we, anyway? I knew by the time I got the camera out it would be too late so trying was not an option. Maybe it would have come out just looking like the moon in an airplane window, so some things are best left to memory.

Back at Casa Jonny, it was stone crabs and wine. And that...was fine. Blissfully fine!

Even though it looks like I might be in pain, I am really in bliss. And yes, I chopped my bangs off while I was waiting, a bad habit I have to deal with stress. Teresa didn't get there in time to stop that event, but did get there in time before I shaved my head.
For today, it's regroup time before heading up to the center east coast area of Fla for Tortugua. I think I can manage, between the beach at the end of the street, the pool and the futon to get through the day in good fashion.

At the end of the street lies the Atlantic. Ocean, that is.

There's always a way to make a porch.

Life is excellent. My crown of Luckiest Woman in the World sits lightly yet firmly on my head.

Have a wish you were (and make it so) Wednesday. Do something wagontrainishly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tiny Home Tuesday ~ On The Road Again

Since today is the day I leave to head toward my new-to-me tiny home on wheels, that's what is consuming my brain right now. I won't actually see it until Thursday, when my brother and I drive up from South Fla to get Tortugua and make her mine officially. Official. Something I've not done much of for the last 20 years, but here we go!

These are a couple of interior shots of what she looks like now. The blind over the couch covers that nice size letting in light window. Trust me, there will be MANY more photos to come and brown will not be the predominant color scheme. Or whatever that color is.

The little window with the a/c in it looks out the back. Eventually, I will replace that with a window again, being the somewhat claustrophobic  that I am. I'd rather have a window than a/c. Easy for me to say, but that's how I feel about it right now.

Behind the wall on the right is the little bathroom, including the shower. Tiny indeed but how good to be able to have that? Very good.

So at the risk of boring you, dear reader, here is a one more time photo of the yet unseen Tortugua!

I need a good Culebra tortugua sticker!

While the big trip won't be until next Spring (this time will be a driving around Florida shake down), inside I'm already on the road again.

Have a take to the (non) toll turnpikes Tuesday. Do something trafficless.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Welcome Back, Conrad & Ann!

And welcome back to my housesitting folks too. I have no doubt that, as much as your critters like me, they are thrilled to have you home! I know Cwim is glad to have me serve her in a more timely manner. Her time.

Yes, the fan is now perfect, human. I'll let you know when I need your services again.
Last night felt like a combination of New Year's Eve and Memory Lane out on the street. Conrad came over from Vieques (finally!) and Ann is here for awhile too. When we heard that Conrad would be playing guitar in front of The Spot it seemed like a perfect set up for a very good time. And so it was.


Walter and Conrad made some great music. I sang a bit. Yeah, it was like that.

Shirley, happy to see Conrad

Chiqutine and Conrad and angels up on high
This morning, happy to finally be back in my own bed, it was pretty obvious that I was home. A horse, strolling through the yard...

The cat and I opened our eyes to this view

From mellow to a fast run out of the yard this chicken, who, in my absence, made a nest in my outside/inside bathroom. First I saw the eggs, then Mama. She went through a shower with me, not flinching. And she doesn't peck my feet when I am enthroned, so I guess she can stay around.

She is pretty. And very, very stoic.
Between last night's fun and being woken early by the cat, because she can, and then re-woken by the horse, it was nice to go in the yard and gather the makings for tea. Tea and quiet. Yes.

Have a shhhhhh Saturday. Do something soothing.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ Chicken! Surprise! *Edited!

The other day I was in Costa del Sol, where I go to buy one thing and end up with things I never planned on buying. All right, I do that whenever I'm in any store here. Because it is there and I know it might very well not be there the next time. That's how things are here and unless I'm writing about it I don't really think about it much, I just do it. As does everyone I know here. Wait, where was I?

There in the frozen food meat area was a chicken. A whole chicken. A whole not frozen chicken. I am not a fool, I am sure at some point this chicken was frozen but right then, right there, it wasn't and suddenly, full bloom, the vision of a whole chicken on the grill gripped me. Plus, it was about half the price of what I usually pay for a whole chicken. Yes, I'm delusional with grill visions but practical is always a good impetus to giving in to sudden desire. So I did.

I'd never heard of Santa Rita's 120 merlot wine before but hey, the price was good and the label was interesting ('Honoring 120 Patriots Who Helped Lead Chile to Independence'). My theory on buying unknown wine is that I can always cook with it if I can't drink it. But it was drinkable. Later I looked it up and I promise you I will never, ever describe a wine this way, but here's what I got for my gamble. 

"Vivid red color, brilliant, with violet hints, of medium intensity. Ripe red fruits combine with fine herbs in a young and fruity aroma. To the palate it is a medium lightly bodied wine showing fruity and pasty, round, soft and ripe tannins.Vivid red color, brilliant, with violet hints, of medium intensity. Ripe red fruits combine with fine herbs in a young and fruity aroma. To the palate it is a medium lightly bodied wine showing fruity and pasty, round, soft and ripe tannins."

Are you sure you got the part about ripe red fruity pasty round soft fruits? Sheesh. Maybe I can write wine labels for a new career.


I split open the chicken and stuffed it full of minced onion and garlic, under the skin of the breasts and legs and throughout the cavity. I used the foil to pull it all together, leaving the ends open for the fat to drain out, and put it on the grill for about  an hour. As you can see, I couldn't wait to tear off one of the legs immediately. Uh, just to be sure it was done. It was.

There could be all sorts of things to stuff it with but that was what I had and that was what I used. Get creative!

After the dark meat was gone, there was plenty left the next day to make chicken salad. But I also happened to have a can of black beans and being bored with regular chicken salad, I thought they'd open the flavor door a little wider.

You can see the knife I had to cut the meat from the bones but the messy truth is, I usually just use my hands for that step. Yes, it's messy, but it's also more fun. And I like to play with my food.

This is before I thought about putting in the black beans.
Mayo, of course. All the onions and garlic, of course. Some salt and pepper. Yawn.

Who knew black beans could bring excitement to my life? I need to get out more.

Some capers! Woohoo!
And there endeth that. Because I was in Genesis and found some just brought in avocados and tomatoes, neither of which were ready for eating. But oh, wouldn't they be good in that chicken salad? Yes they would! I figure by later today they will be perfect, by using the brown bag method. The brown bag that I left on the table outside that disintegrated in the rain this morning. That brown bag.

The brown bag has done its work. Only a few more hours and yum!

So this is my world, where it takes three days to complete a chicken salad. I could have made 1000 year eggs in the same time, or kim chee or something amazingly elaborate that I'll never make. But this salad is going to be amazing. It's the little things.

*Here is the finished mixup. It was worth the wait.

Have a (insert unprintable word for general consumption) YEAH Friday! Do something farfetchedly feastible. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making Rainbows

We've been having very occasional showers here lately and every bit of each one is welcome, resulting in plants looking happier. With the sun still doing a summer like beat down, moisture in the ground can almost be heard being sucked away. Except for the moisture of sweat. That seems to be a constant. Maybe I need more clay in my skin.

Another thing rain brings is rainbows but I've been missing them lately. Even though the places I've  been housesitting have awesome views, the rainbows remain out of sight, around a corner, hiding in some part of the sky unavailable to my searching eyes. It's not like I am searching real hard, like some stormchasers rushing to the Batmobile like vehicles they use at the first word of an approaching weather system, with a 360 periscope view of the land and water scapes. I am not.

Ok, that's not entirely true, sometimes I chase rainbows, but the rainbow window closes fast these days, so the lazy way is my way right now. Instead, I found a rainbow in the yard here, one I've shown before but different. 

Only days ago I was looking at this rainbow eucalyptus and it was in a boringly brown state. But with just a bit of rain, the bark has started to lift and separate, revealing layers of color previously hidden. I'm sure I could extrapolate a whole lot of deep meaning from that, but I'll leave that to you, dear reader.

This tree is close to a fence, with some power lines running through its branches. I wish it was in the middle of a parklike yard with lush grass so I could spread out a cloth and supine, gaze up that trunk of color;  but substituting that for the pleasure of it up close, while upright, is fine. For now.

Tossing in a little throwback Thursday, I found this from a few years back. I found some other photos from other years on this date, but one was a pornographic pepper I'd grown or political bits and they just weren't working for me, . This did.

An October 23rd night at Dinghy Dock (which will be re-opening real soon!)
Have a try for truth Thursday. Do something towering.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hello Sun! So Long, You Beautiful Moon!

With shifting homes while housesitting (see you next year, house on one hill!), semi-packing for departure next week and a few other runnings about, my blog head is rattling on empty. Maybe it is because I know that very soon, it will be overflowing with new sights on a new adventure. Anticipation of changes, I've learned (at least for myself), is best dealt with as part of a trip, otherwise my wont toward impatience and fretting about things done and undone can wind me up like a key toy on steroids.

So much for being a mellow island woman. It's only a facade, behind which is a twitchy, stomach roiling, teeth chattering semi-psycho calmed only by the beauty of where I live and good friends. And the cat who owns me; she is a pretty excellent drug of choice for laughter and tranquillo.

And that reminds me - to quell all rumors to the contrary (and a head's up to those who have already started planning to take over the shack, you know who you are!), I am NOT moving away from Culebra! I'm only making it easier for my gone away time a few months a year to be more mobile, with my home surrounding me. Independence from motels, floors, tents, porches and basements, along with an easy change of scenery at a very slow pace.

Fortunately, it isn't hard to find calm when I can wake up to mornings like this. Why would I move away from this? I may be some kind of crazy, but not that kind of crazy.

Have a wonder full Wednesday. Do something.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Never Saw Anything Like This Before

Yes, it is Tuesday, so this should be Tiny Home Tuesday. Instead, I'm sharing 7 minutes of ab clenching viewing of someone so skilled and so crazy I can only think, if he can do that, I can make my much more pedestrian dreams happen. And so can you. What makes dreams into reality? Hard work and focus. Hard work. Focus.

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
 ~ Will Rogers

I know some people who have done extraordinary things in their lives and every one of them knows about hard work and focus. They also know a lot about serendipity. Or luck. Call it what you will, being open to the unexpected boost in your dreaming makes a difference. It might be a person you meet who has answers to your questions. It might be finding that perfect place or piece of your puzzle while looking for something else. Whatever it is, it involves movement, both mentally and physically. 

There are so many choices of passions in life. Find yours. Feed it.
I don't focus on what I'm up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.
~ Venus Williams

This guy. This guy pinpoints all of that, with some crazy mixed in. I like that. Even if, on occasion, the fear factor on the road to realizing dreams can get immense. But...I'll leave the biking to him. I suggest watching this in full screen mode. 

Have a try this try that try try try Tuesday. Do something toilingly tactical.

Thanks, Sue V, for sharing this video with me. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Strange Patterns

The mornings have seen the bays glassy calm. Then a breeze picks up, ruffling the water. As the day goes into afternoon, the wind dies down and the water patterns the boats that have passed throughout the afternoon, holding on to the passage like a child reluctant to let go of the day.

I rarely let Costa Bonita or whatever it's called these days be in any of my photos (if you work there or live there or rent there, so it is, just my personal feelings about the place), but at magic light time it wasn't so bad for a moment.

The morning sky at dawn was also strange. It was like the sun was rising in the southwest. I've been waiting for that most of my life. Why ask why? Will Hell freeze over next? Will pigs fly?

Toward Vieques

Amazingly, the port web cam in Bermuda kept on working most of the afternoon, all night and today. In the eye of the storm, tree frogs could easily be heard. I haven't seen or read any reports on damages yet, but I'm sure they will come in as the day progresses, with hopes that Gonzalo did not take any lives. The two hospitals reported damage, as did one of the shelters. We'll know more when we know more. Counting our blessings here.

Have a second to none Saturday. Do something superabundant.