Monday, March 3, 2014

I'm sorry I haven't written.

I thought it should not end.
I thought it wise to begin again.
And it bounds, and it hounds
and it grounds
all the sounds.

I thought it should not end.
Each of you a new lost friend.
And it tumbles, and it rumbles
And she stumbles
and she mumbles.

I thought it should not end.
For who can see around the bend?
It is clear, what is here
not one tear
not one fear.

I miss my blog. I kind of left all my loyal readers hanging. I am sorry. I hope to piece together the story for you. Maybe to tell the story will put it in some kind of order. I miss my blog. Please share and read again.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My blog has moved! Check out my new website! The new platform will allow me to grow! I'm building my site now... READ today! and check back tomorrow for new fun features! Galleries, business spotlights, human interest and MORE!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Water Ski


As I gaze upon the sea, strange and beautiful to me,
I am kindred to the pirates,
I am sisters with the sharks
The waves are the breeze in my hair.
Gently patting my face and licking my earlobes.
Delightful whispers, and calm blue.
Clear as a newborn's bluest eyes.
The calm belies -it hides the woe.
Here behind the reef, we have no rising curls of foam.
Just gentle lapping at the shore.
Dropping lines and killing time.
Delightful then this sunny day,
the skiff, the local boys at play!
And I, in time to catch the view,
Deliver this "wipe out" to you.
For though it broke my calm that day,
My laughter echoed in their fray.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Painting the tomb

Every now and then, I capture a moment with this silly little point and click of mine that just takes my breath away! This photo is one of those moments. In the stripes is my girl, Phillipa. I have spoken about her before. She's significantly younger than I am, but she and I just sort of click. She's got an open spirit without naiveté. Some would say she's an old soul, but that's too cliché for Phillipa. Phillipa lost her mother at a very young age and, as a result, also lost her chance at a formal education. (I have great big crowdfunding ideas for her...I hope you all will help her when the time comes.) We've had touching moments where we shared our crocodile tears, and have formed a sisterhood bond. (She gets my quirky, dry humor, and I enjoy her witty sarcasm.) The girl in blue is Shantay. I just met her today. She's quite striking, very pretty face. She and my friend Phillipa have been friends since childhood. This little girlie is more reckless and wild. She's a little more fast and loose. Delightful in her way, I am too aware of the age difference in her to bond like I have with Phillipa. This moment was after the work was complete, I was taking some after shots. Phillipa said something clever and Shantay burst into laughter! The photo does a good job of showing the two. and suave. Shantay...vibrant, young, and careless.

The work for today was to paint Phillipa's mom's tomb. She and I had our moment when we cried together, orphans, several months back. At that time, we made a plan to honor her mom (and honor mine in kind) by painting the tomb as is the custom here. The morning that we were supposed to do it...I waited and Phillipa. I went out and walked about looking for her. I went past her house. No Phillipa. I went past the little store where we met and she hangs out. No Phillipa. I went to her friend's house...where she sometimes stays if her boyfriend picks a fight. No Phillipa. I did finally get information though. I was told that day that Phillipa's brother came and carried her off to Caye Caulker.

When Phillipa returned to Dangriga, I saw her walking past my house. I must have looked like a loon I was so happy to see her! I have friends here, don't misunderstand. But to have PHILLIPA back! YEAH! Phillipa explained that it was not her brother who came for her. She had fought with her boyfriend the previous night. She gathered what money she could, and when she had bus fare, she left Dangriga to stay with her Aunt in Belize City. I would say... "She split for the coast on the back of a Harley." or..."She got the hell out of Dodge!" ...She was afraid I would be angry with her for not coming as we planned that morning. I assured her that was not the case...and we made a plan to try to paint the tomb again Monday morning at 8am.

I woke on time, sent my morning Bible emails, showered, dressed and waited...and waited...and waited. Sean woke up about 9 and he jumped in the shower. Then, he was going to walk around and pay bills, so I left with him at about 9:30...I have noticed that there are 2 types of Belizean time. For the first type, everything starts before 5 in the morning. For the second type, everything runs 2 hours late. And so, as if arriving on time, Phillipa arrived about 11am. We missed our shot at using Sean's truck to haul the paint, but is was just one gallon. We walked up to Uncle Harry's Paint Shop. (Should have taken a pic...mental people Uncle Harry's...) I had priced paint in Habet's Hardware, and so I knew ballpark what I was going to spend. Uncle Harry has some deals! I ended up buying a second color, in just a quart, to add flair! I am so glad I did...keep will be glad I did also. Even with the second color, I spent less than the shelf price in Habet's. Uncle Harry's is THE place for paint for me! lol We carried the paint from Uncle Harry's to the cemetery on the outside of town. (About 1.25 miles.)

Phillipa's mom is the very last row where the cemetery stops. She is on the sea side and tucked in sweetly where she lies. Her tomb had never been painted. (The lady at Uncle Harry's said that if it's not been painted, she would recommend a water based outdoor paint. If you use oil based paint once, you must continue to use it. Again... Go Uncle Harry's! The kind she sold us was more affordable.)

That is our before picture. The plan was to paint the top and sides with the dark pink that Phillipa had chosen. She selected the color based on her mom's favorite. I love that. If I was doing my mom's, I would have to pick yellow. Pink was for the top and sides, and the white accent color was for the rim. When we finished the color, it looked GREAT! Then Phillipa suggested writing her mother's name on the pink top, with the remaining white. AWESOME! I'm a control freak...Well...not a control freak as much as just...bossy. My lesson today was in standing back while the craft takes form. My lesson was to allow this project to belong to Phillipa.

 You see the wet pink spot? In crafting...there are no mistakes. If you are not happy with your project, then it's not finished! We painted over Mom's first name when it didn't fit. By the time the rest of the lettering was finished, that spot was dry enough to try again!

 What do I do when I don't want to interfere? Try out my groovy camera settings of course! This one gives you the view toward the sea. I particularly like this shot. It's one of those "moments".


Second try...
Phillipa is still not satisfied...I'm starting to hover.
 SURE! I'll help!
 Restraint. Phillipa's project...

 Just a dab...

 It needs something more....
A girl needs a BFF to count on....

(Told you she was pretty...)
Phillipa is beautiful also!
 NOW...we're done.
 And boy! Was it fun!
I'm exhausted from the hike to the cemetery, and from the heat. There were a bunch of mosquitoes, so we even made a small fire to shoo them away. (THAT was a welcome heat source on the equator in June!) In spite of the heat, I had a wonderful day! I can't visit my mom's grave as often as I would like. I have a true and loyal friend who goes for me and keeps the flowers nice. To be able to be part of this...To honor Phillipa's mom...To allow someone else to be the boss of a crafty project...To add a splash of color to the cemetery that has intrigued me since day one....I am truly blessed.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rhyme time. Belize Please

The Beauty of Belize is in her sea breeze,

An archipelago of lovely Cays.
Oasis in the turquoise sea.

There's beauty in the jungle trees.
And also these trees by the sea please!

Mangled mangroves, teak in straight rows.

..and the orange groves! Oh the orange groves!
Your nose knows where to find the groves.
Again. The rows.

Rows are roads and jungle path.
Full moon. Soltice. Voodoo wrath.


Always time to share a laugh!

Belize! Her gifts of beauty brings,
a bounty of delicious things!

 If I don't post every day, all my readers go away.
Then when I have something to say,
No one reads it anyway.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Just a quick note to keep my daily blog promise. :)

Today has been a day full of neighbor visits! The boy next door and his mom stopped by this morning. I wish I did better with my Spanish. Johnni doesn't mind translating for us, but it would be nice to converse directly with her. I am more determined than ever to finish my Instant Immersion online Spanish course.

My friend, Phillipa, came back from her' family's home in Caye Caulker. I was VERY happy to see her! She's way younger than me, but we sort of get one another and she's fun to hang around with. We walked up town the Habet's Hardware for something. They were only open until noon today and we missed them. I knew that. I don't know why I let it slip my mind. So since we were halfway there, we went on to see if A&D Hardware was open...nope. It amounted to a 2 mile walk in the heat of the afternoon. I can't complain though...closer to looking Spanish with every sunny day! By the time we got back to my house we were so hot that we slipped on swimsuits and hit the Caribbean Sea! Here in Dangriga, I usually go to the Pelican Beach Inn to swim, but Phillipa is local. She swims at a cute little beach near the fishing pier. That's where we went today. It doesn't matter where you swim...the water is warm in the sea! Tomorrow, I think we are going to the jungle to play in the rivers...much colder. (And better Pics!)

The local DJ...Goes by the name of 14K...He stopped looking for Sean. Sean was not home, and I stepped outside to talk to 14K explaining this. He was completely understanding of why I would not invite him inside without Sean here. We had a nice little visit on the porch. He brought his email address and Facebook password on a scrap of paper. I logged him in for a little while. It's fun to show people how to "surf the web." Something that is so taken for granted in the US...He was also cool about it when I told 14K that I had to cut our visit short. I can't be spending all afternoon hanging out with men. He laughed and said he would stop by again when Sean was home also.

Nothing exciting happened today. Sometimes those are the best days.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sleeping Giant Haiku...for you.

Sleeping Giant rests,
Throughout Mother Nature's tests.
Sky laid on his chest.

When you come to Belize, you almost certainly will find occasion to drive down the Hummingbird Highway. It connects Belmopan, the nation's capitol, with the Southern Highway...and therefore Hopkins, Placencia, and all points south. It is breathtaking in it's scenery. You will meander through the Maya Mountains and be treated to some of the best eye candy Belize has to offer. If your cab driver is cool...he will stop on the hill where the magnetic field is. It causes your car to drift UP THE HILL! There was a spot where this happened not far from my hometown. Growing up, we would always stop there when we were on car trips to roll a ball up the hill! We called it a vortex...Belize says it's magnetic...Personally, I don't care much for the science of it at all. I just enjoy the phenomenon! I also enjoy the Hummingbird Highway...immensely. Having been raised in the Appalachians, I follow true to the idiom, "You can take the girl out of the mountain, but you can't take the mountain out of the girl." Of all the areas and all the beauty I'm discovering here in Belize, the mountain draws me, hypnotizes me, and wraps my soul like the jungle itself wraps the mountain. The beauty of the jungle and the many streams and the birds and the mahogany and the cliff faces and the smell of oranges on the top...entrances me. Literally. I have been looking for a particular house in St. Margaret's Village every time I travel the Hummingbird Highway. By the time we get to the village...I'm all hopped up on fresh air and oxygen and my eyes are so drawn to the AMAZING kilns dug into the back yards of the homes in St. Margaret's...That I missed the place about the first 8 times I drove through the village. I (finally) last time through...determined myself that I would NOT MISS IT. ...About mile 30 Hummingbird Highway, (That's how you will get directions from folks here...they will use the mile markers of the highway to tell you where things are. I love much better than the "over yonder's" I grew up anyway...about Mile 30, I forced myself to shake off the hypnosis...I concentrated on seeing my friend's place and nothing else. I think I caught a glimpse of it on the way through...I tried again on the way back, but the (shiny!) white plaster piles and the kilns in the hillside got the best of me...I saw nothing else.

Another of the Hummingbird Highway's countless charms is The Sleeping Giant. My first trip in from the Belize Airport, I had a great taxi guy. He stopped to let me roll backwards, and he also pointed out The Sleeping Giant to me. Starting that first day I have tried to adequately capture this fella on camera. I think I finally got him. I asked Sean to slow down and I stuck my upper half out of the sliding back window of the pick up truck. It's Belize! I was not the most endangered passenger on the road. So...the stormy day from Xunantunich, brought also THIS pic of The Sleeping Giant. When you come here, you will see that his entire body is there. He has a chest, and legs, and knees, and feet. When I photograph all of him...I lose his facial detail.

The thing about The Sleeping Giant...(and now, this is going to be a mushy, romanticized, journal entry type story.) The thing about The Sleeping Giant is.... I have always had a sleeping giant in our mountains at home. My Own sleeping giant has been around since I was just a child. The sleeping giant dream is one of my first memories.

Before I ever even thought about moving to Belize, I had dreams of a wooden house similar to those VERY common here. It was right on the water somewhere, and a storm would be blowing in and I would run inside and sit on my bed overlooking the sea. In my dreams I could feel the house rumble and see the windows shake! It is one of my recurring dreams, and eventually it was not scary as much as a fun adventure.  As I have said (countless times in this post alone...), I am a mountain girl. I was never drawn to the sea. This dream has always been there...but never made any sense until I arrived here in Belize.

My sleeping giant dream began when I was about 2 years old. It is one of the few memories I have of the time before my sister was born, and she is 2 years younger than me almost to the day. It started EARLY. Our family would be driving home -up from town, on Route 40, The National Pike. Back when it was just two lanes and it climbed toward the Summit Inn. As a child, I remember the way the wind would pat my face on the trip up the hill. It was the early 1970's...I was allowed to stand at my mother's shoulder and hang my face out like a puppy!  We lived on Jumonville Road, take a left at the peak of the Laurel Mountains...then go UP the hill! As you approach the peak of the mountain, there is a "look out" point on your right. In my we approached the lookout point, the roadway was suddenly crossed by hundreds and hundreds of train tracks. We Bumped and we crept and we made it to our turn. Then we would turn toward home. The bumps of the train tracks continued. Up the last leg we bounced along....until they stopped! Stopped suddenly. Smooth roadway.  I would look out. Look out over the Look Out...and standing face to face...a giant! Whom we had awoken... His hair had been splayed across our path...THAT was the train track...Not a train track at all! But the hairs of a sleeping giant resting in our path. He would recognize the fear in my little baby face, and smile and wink and shake out of his pulled hair...he would step away. Somehow quiet in spite of his size.

That dream has been with  me...I have always had that dream. As a teenager, I would dream of the sorrows I could tell to my giant. My silent giant. More recently, we would just sit together. Sit together looking at the trees...enjoying nature, and each other's still silent company. But he never left me, my giant. ...And I've found him once again.