Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ahh, summertime.

Swimsuits, sunshine, splashing, and sunglasses. And selling snow-cones wearing a hot dog suit on the corner. Yes, that's right. That, my friends, is a unique way to attract business. I gave the young man two dollars for the sheer genius and fun of the whole idea. ( a bit of a bait and switch scheme) Though I don't think I'll be donning the hot dog suit just yet, it does spark some creative thought!
Here's to summer days!

P.S. Dear R.L.,
We are waiting for your calls. She is not signed just yet, but expects to be very soon. (wink wink)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I don't like bugs.

No.  I do not like bugs.  Dark, hairy, crawling real fast, sometimes bite you, bugs.  I actually got out of my bed and slept downstairs on the couch last week because a large spider woke me up crawling across my arm.  For all I know, it is still somewhere under my bed.  I've done a"sheet check" every night since just to convince myself it's safe to sleep there.  Today, I had another bug incident.  I was jogging down the street, minding my own business when some bug decided to try to take residence up my nose.  Perhaps you saw me.  I was the gal running with the big yellow dog, who suddenly stopped abruptly, for no apparent reason, and started violently shaking her head and arms, while shrieking in despair.  So cool.  So very, very cool.  Humbled by a gnat.

Please have a bug free day.  :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jamaica: part three

Staying at a carribean beach resort is a wonderful way to spend your vacation.  But I couldn't help remembering the places we passed through after being whisked out of the airport and into a van for a one hour death defying, "Whoa, I think we might get killed here" passage to Sandals.  It always seems a little weird when you travel to a country and suddenly everyone is driving on the wrong side of the street.  And it doesn't help when the roads are not marked with a center divider, are extremely narrow, and you've had maybe two hours of sleep on a red eye flight.  There were billboard signs everywhere cautioning about passing safely, driving slowly, and "making it" to the next day.  (hmmm, maybe I should just close my eyes)   The Jamaica we raced through was colorful and poor, uplifting and depressing at the same time.  Brightly colored shacks with aluminum siding roofs lined the roads, visible the entire drive.  I had heard from people who have travelled to Jamaica that it can be a little risky to go outside the resorts.  I wondered how I could get back to the areas we drove through for some photos.  Thankfully, my husband asked our concierge if we could hire a driver to take me around.  So three days later, that was what he did.

I waited for my personal tour guide in the resort lobby.  Just before my ride arrived, I noticed a beautiful peacock just outside the door.  As luck would have it, a hen walked around the corner, and the flirting began.  He was "working it" ridiculously well.  ( I now completely understand the term "shake your tail feathers")  . She played hard to get through the entire display, appearing aloof and unaffected, until finally she just walked away.  Boy, what we put you guys through.  There was not even a glance in his direction. 
Then my ride appeared.  Or I should say, "my twenty person airport van just for me" ride appeared.  Impressive.  I thought about sitting in the back for laughs, but then decided I would probably be the only one who thought that was funny.  My driver turned to introduce himself, "I'm Ezzleton.  Ezzleton Davis."  He was an older gentleman, with piercing clear blue eyes and a kind smile.  I shook his hand and asked him to say his name one more time.  He showed me his name tag.   I had to smile because this happens to me all the time at work.  When someone doesn't get my name after the second or third try, it's time to let them read it.  Works every time.  Christophe laid out the game plan for him, "Drive up the hill to the homes up there, very nice view, and then down to the fishing village and market."  I climbed over into the front seat and we were off.
He began by asking me if I had any children, and from that start, the  conversation was never ending. I asked about his family. He had two grown children, a son and a daughter.  He explained his wife was suffering from lung cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.  He took a job driving to make extra money to help pay for her medications.  I explained I worked as a nurse and instantly, we had a common ground.
He was full of facts and history.  He knew everything about Jamaica.  He knew all of the indigenous plants and their names, the main exports of Jamaican economy, the history of Whitehouse fishing village, the American stars who were building homes there, etc, etc.  I had my own private tour guide to Whitehouse, Jamaica.  
I listened intently, knowing I would probably not be able to remember enough to share, but hoping I would.  He stopped to show me plants that castor oil and starch were made from, describing the process his mother used to make castor oil from scratch.  She would give him a spoonful every day. He laughed and grimaced at the thought of it, shrugging and shaking his head. He could taste the memory.  As we drove up the hill to see the view and some of the nicer homes, I noticed Century 21 "For Sale" signs posted along the streets. It seems America is just everywhere.  
Along our drive, I also noticed there were goats everywhere and young children in neatly pressed brown and dark blue uniforms walking home from school.  The fishing village was quiet.  It was afternoon already, so the morning catch was already cleaned and sold.  When we got to the market, I asked if I could get out of the van for some pictures.  Brave, brave girl.  Just before stepping out of the van, I realized I could be in trouble. I was instantly surrounded by enthusiastic sales people who were not letting me leave without buying fried fish and bammy, a thick flat bread that resembled pita, and one man who insisted I buy his bag of mangoes. I pleaded that I really only wanted pictures.  They only wanted money.  Realizing there was no way I wasn't going to purchase something, I pulled a twenty dollar bill from my pocket. (seriously, I should have had smaller bills)  I bought bammy for Ezzleton and some opportunity for myself.  He seemed to like this staple bread, but I could eat at Sandals for "free", and was pretty sure I could lay my hands on more bammy this week if I really wanted to. (not)
I took some quick photos while Ezzleton tried to distract the mango man,  (he told me later he thought was "not right in the head--crazy".....yeah) and quickly got back in the van. Ezzleton seemed to scold the sellers before we left, visibly upset by their anxious, "in your face" sales techniques. I was not.  I sort of expected it.  But he was not impressed and a little embarrassed by their behavior.  The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful after that.  Just some local hotels and more houses, although he did stop once to pick up two beautiful mangoes that had fallen from a residential tree, and graciously offered, "One for me, one for you."  Since their dollar is seventy to one against ours, I think he takes advantage of  free fruit when he can.  He told me he it can cost five thousand dollars for three bags of groceries.  I would pick up fruit too.  
Well, that was my one short adventure.  He dropped me back at the hotel.  I insisted he keep the fruit and bread and tipped him generously.  I don't think I will forget Ezzleton or his kindness and I will pray for his wife.  I learned so much in such a short time.  He was the perfect guide.  

Now for the picture part.

This picture makes me REALLY thirsty. I was posting backwards and it is the last one I uploaded. If it were the first one, I would have left a long time ago. This is our concierge, Christophe. Wonderful guy. And apparently he can read minds too because we never had to ask for these. He just knew what we wanted. Such a talent!
(if you want to go get one of these right now I wouldn't blame you-go get one, I'll wait.)

How to play hard to get...

At the fishing village...

I felt like I was being watched....hmmm

 Snuck in for a closer look at me...he was so sweet and shy.  Never said a word.

Ezzleton and I both sighed and smiled at the beauty and innocence of childhood...

At the market...

Twenty dollar exchange for a pose...and some bammy in the bag.

Where the food is prepared.  Open flame, old iron skillet, or pan, not sure what it was made of.

Cooking in oil.  Super hot.

The finished product...I'm just not so hungry, but thank you, really.

Relentless "buy my mangoes" man...

My personal guide Ezzleton keeping an eye out for me.

So that is a little more than I have time for today. Will post some awesome sunsets later.
Thanks for reading (if you did) and sticking with an awfully long post.
Have a wonderful new music Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jumping for Joy!!

No, not because it's trash day. Can you imagine if we all had to haul all of our own trash away? Ugh!! (thankfully, it is still the least expensive service) And Joy is not around, so we aren't jumping for her either. Maybe because it's the last day of school? This may be happening all over my neighborhood today. I was jumping with her because I finally was able to practice more of what I learned at One Light. If you have the chance to go to this workshop, you will not be disappointed. If you don't have the chance, there is still great news for you. Zack is releasing a DVD. As good as being there. Well, except for the people, and the lighting set up right in front of you, and people to practice on and with, and well, almost as good. Have an awesome "last day of school" kind of day.

The Yawn.

I set up the umbrella and stand I bought about a month ago ( a month ago??) to take a little break (important) and get a tiny bit of practice in. I am boring my dog. But, atleast he still lets me practice. Also, if you have not yet read The Shack, then I highly recommend it. You'll be a happier person for it.

Have a great day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

It began like this.

Prior to leaving on our red eye flight to Jamaica, we had time for a small airport bar celebration. We deserved a mini celebration. Steve and Wendy were celebrating their fourteenth anniversary. Rob and Jennifer were celebrating. Period. They have not had an extended vacation since their daughter was first born three years ago, and probably some time before that. And they now have two children, so yeah, they needed a trip. Dave and I seemed to be celebrating not having to be at work, (which is huge in it's own right) and being able to spend some "exhale" time together. Much needed and time used well. (blush) The airport celebration seemed to set the tone for the rest of the trip. We all were relaxed, happy, laughing, and ready to share the adventure. We ordered a round, and when our drinks arrived, toasted to the grand week before us.
And then Jennifer proudly announced she didn't really drink hard alcohol. The statement hung in the air as she slurped on her lemon drop martini. (mind you, this is a tough crowd) We all took one glance at each other, as if to silently ask, "Should we tell her?", and burst into laughter. And we toasted again, as we all thought, this is going to be a GREAT trip.
OK, will post and write later. (see below) Those clouds are for you Kim....

Nineth, I miss you.

In an effort to try and save a little cash, I decided to give my housecleaners a "leave" for awhile. Stupid-stupid girl. If you ever think about doing this, please give me a call. I will talk you off the ledge, and keep you sane.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I just wanted to take a quick moment here to congratulate my friend Sonia's son, Paul. I had the privilege of documenting his award ceremony the other day. He has received the Eagle Scout award. Which I admit, before this event, I knew very little about.
If your interested, you can learn more about it here...Eagle Scouts
It really is quite a big deal. And Sonia got in some practice for planning this event. She is all set for a wedding next.
Congratulations Paul. Great job!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello again....


I can't believe I haven't blogged anything for quite some time. And I have had stuff to blog about...just no access and little time.
We are back from Jamaica and I am happy to report we had an absolutely fabulous time. We stayed at Sandals in Whitehouse, Jamaica. All inclusive. Drinks, food, entertainment...not the spa :( We shared our vacation with the Mortons and Koudelkas.
Great friends, great times. Sounds a bit cliche'. But it just was exactly that. I'm off to run errands and just run period. More on Jamaica tomorrow. I am computered out. But I wanted to share my newest screensaver with y'all. We were surrounded by the hurricane clouds that were hanging in the Carribean last week. (except for the last day of course, that day--not a cloud in the sky) There were brief scattered showers everyday. Then, the sky would clear and everyone would head back to the beach, or the pool, or the bar in the pool. I think this saved us from becoming sunburnt beyond repair. And I love clouds anyway. Makes for an unbelievable sky and beautiful dramatic sunsets. The kind of sunset where you notice everyone stopping to watch, or running to get their cameras and gazing in amazement while they have renewed sense that God is all his glory is right before them. Clouds make for that kind of sky. I was lucky enough to usually have my camera with me just about all the time. (geez, can you tell I haven't typed here in a while...I did just say I had to go, didn't I?) Anyway, here is the sky I was speaking of....more tomorrow. And just in case you forgot...I would love to know you stopped by. Have a "cloud in the sky" day.