Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30

There once was a boy, Alex his name--
A fine young chap, destined for fame.

This lad, you see, was born with a knack
For seeing the plenty where others see lack.

Take, for example, his identity:
A simple case of multiplicity.

American-Canadian, but in Africa born--
When claiming his race, he felt rather forlorn.

Till one happy day, in a flash of brilliance,
He heard of a term that made perfect sense.

"So that's what I am!," he said with a grin,
Doing the Happy Dance with a whirl and a spin.

And from that day forth, each stranger run into
Was promptly introduced, with no further ado,

To Alexander Thomas, a fine gentleman:
A green-eyed and blond-headed African-American!

So on this 30th of April, I must take the occasion
To wish my little brother a fire-cracking, heck-raisin'

"Happy Birthday!" my dear, and all love to you always!

Monday, April 28, 2008

must be one of those [maternal?] days

My path crossed this afternoon with twin boys walking home from school. As they passed, they greeted me with a "Happy Mother's Day" wish. I cheerily thanked them, and then thought, Now that's odd. Am I looking especially maternal today? Perhaps I'm still wearing traces of last night's pride over my Youth Choir's first performance? Who knows . . .
And on a not entirely unrelated note, my photo today is of the set-up that was taking place on the beach today. As I took the photo, I thought about how the pre-ceremony look of it was, to me, more beautiful than the standard wedding shots that will, I assume, be taken this evening.

Friday, April 25, 2008

that thieving grass

. . . but i guess not everyone around here likes the grass :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

keeping it clean

Taking the bus back home from a trip into town, I found myself next to a fellow who, judging from the smell of things, was apparently coming straight from "work," in his Trash Pick-Up uniform. He also was a proudly dredlocked, colour-bearing Rastafarian. For the entirety of the 45-minute ride, he talked without seeming to stop for breath, lecturing us all on the woes of "the man," who gets nothing from the government, on the power of the people, and on the ways of the island.
As he talked about the island, a tourist behind us interjected to query our Rasta friend as to whether there was a drug problem here on the island.
Still without a pause for breath, Rasta jumped into this issue. "Oh yeah, man. Big problem. We got big problems. People here on the island, they just don't know what to do, so they do drugs. Big problem. Yeah man. Me, I don't do too much . . . "
At this point I looked at him and, wondering if I had heard him right, asked if he had just said "too much."
In the middle of his speech still, he didn't hear me and kept going. The bus driver, however, from the front, tossed back an affirmation that indeed, that's what he had said.
Tuning back in to Rasta Man, I caught the remainder of his explanation:
" . . . I don't do the cocaine. I don't smoke. I stick with the clean grass--straight from Jamaica. That's the good grass . . ."
I feel very informed now, I dare say, being ignorant before now about the merits and origins of "clean" grass.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

pretty in pink

Today being officially Earth Day, I thought I would post one of the photos I took at the Beach Clean Up that I mentioned the other day. This was one of my favourite photos of the morning: she was definitely the most stylishly-attired among us that morning. As I told her, she looked stunningly pink there in that lovely early-morning-sunlight, deftly gathering the ocean's discards to fill up her rubbish sack.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

if the early bird gets the worm . . .

I roused the youth at the bright hour of 7:00 to start beach clean up this morning, as a part of our Earth Day celebration. And when I say I roused them, I mean it literally--I ended up making house calls to pick them up and got one teen out of her bed :-) Before you think me a terrible task master, I must at least say in my defense that this particular youth had assured me the night before, as we rolled sushi together, that she would be there in the morning . . .
At any rate, my small crew and I spent the morning dragging trash bags along the sand and, more rapidly that one would like, filling them with all manner of debris: from Barbie doll arms to forks [dinglehoppers ;-)] to Mardi Gras beads.
One find, however, that did not go into the trash bags was this orphaned duckling, who went home with the youngster who found him.
So does this mean that the early teen get the bird?

Friday, April 18, 2008

feeling fruity

". . . abounding in fruit" I believe is what I said in a prior post . . . and to add to the list, I thought I should perhaps snap a shot of my banana tree this afternoon.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

bright shiny toes

Today I think I was given a little lesson about my recent compulsion to feel the need to spend every moment working, be it scheduled or not--and my guilt over any free time that I do have . . .
First I should mention that in my young women's Bible Study group I was talking about service last night, and I read the foot washing passage as one illustration. At the time, it occurred to me that I have developed a bit of self-consciousness about the state of my feet. Since I walk everywhere, in sandals, my already-battered-from-running feet have taken on a new level of filthiness. And it is worse than I know how to take care of myself, or than I am willing to take the time to try to figure out.
At any rate, this morning in the shower it occurred to me that I would love to be able to get a pedicure. Mind you, I have no reason to consider such a thing, having been super budget minded for some time now. I got a pedicure once, but it was years ago--a Christmas gift from my overly generous sister. So there in the shower, as I got ready for my usual day's errands, I debated my illogical impulse. Surely I shouldn't spend money on something so frivolous, especially here where I cringe at the prices of even the most basic of needs.
But then I thought that perhaps I should consider it after all. I did, technically, have the time, if not the money [my day was not scheduled until afternoon, when my youth choir would meet]. Then I remembered a friend I had visited several weeks ago, who I noticed had beautiful feet--and I had commented on them to her at the time.
Did I have her number anywhere? Looking around, I found it. I would call her, I decided, and ask where one would go to get a good price on a pedicure around here. I called.
"Anna, dear--long time!" she cheerfully answered.
Warning her that I had a rather odd question for her, I explained my morning dilemma. She told me where she got hers done, mentioned a few [sky high!] normal prices, and then she said, "Funny thing . . . "
Turns out, she had just found out that she had won a Spa Pedicure, after doing a charity walk recently. She had just gotten a pedicure herself, and had been trying to decide what she should do with it . . .
I gratefully accepted her offer, hopped on the bus, and met her in town this morning for a gift certificate handoff. The pedicure itself also turned out to be a delightful time, as the pedicurist was recently transplanted from Africa--Zambia, in fact! So we chatted about the country, its people, and life there until she ended up running out of time and having to cut short the pedicure itself!
And I have spent the remainder of the day walking around rather clumsily, distracted as I gaze downwards to admire my pearly toes :-)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a sea worthy sight

There is no great significance to this day's photo, save the simple fact that I found this boat strangely beautiful. It gave me pause today, as I watched it and wondered at what it was that moved me . . . I think it may be the simplicity of this vessel, and the way it bears its age in such a gracefully unassuming manner.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

if a picture is worth 1000 words . . .

This is an orange. It is a bit less ripe, I think, than my key limes. And I had no idea that this was an orange tree until I was so informed. I am abounding in citrus! The discovery of this tree made me decide to photograph it for you all today . . .but it is the escapade surrounding said photo session that concerns me the most now, and that is what I want to tell you about:
Returning home this afternoon, I walked back to the tree, camera in hand. As I did so, I stopped at the sight of a mother hen and her chicks. They were absolutely adorable and I just couldn't help myself . . . I had to touch one! So I began chasing them and, sure enough, I was able to pick up one furry little yellow thing! Satisfied, I put it back down, just before the hen was able to attack with her angry clucking. But then I realized that I should have caught the little guy on camera while I was at it. So I began chasing the brood again, this time camera-ready. As I did so, one of the chicks separated from the rest. At this point I gave up on the photo and instead began trying to corral the chick to get it steered in the direction of its family; instead, it scurried further and further away. And to my horror, I realized that the hen was nowhere to be found . . . did she abandon her baby? Flustered and nearly in tears, I called over the fence to my neighbor and explained to him what I had just done. "So sir, please, do you know if she'll come back for him?"
My neighbor assured me that she would, that I needn't worry . . .
But alas--he is still frantically cheeping outside my window, and it's been over an hour now! What do I do? Should I assume nature will take its course in a kind manner, and leave him be? Or do I give in to the urge to scoop him up and attempt to care for him? Help??

Monday, April 14, 2008

about that wave-catching business . . .

Remember the lovely young wave catcher from a few posts ago? Well today I met another wave-chaser. Only this time it was decidedly less pleasant to watch him, as you would fully understand if I had audio along with my photos. This fellow, you see, in contrast to the young lady's peaceful posture, was in utter agony, from the sound of him: for the entirety of my 30 minutes at the beach, he ran back and forth with an incessant series of anguished yelps. The poor guy was apparently baffled at his vain efforts to capture the elusive sea.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

no-fail fun

With the help of a projector screen, laptop, multiple speakers, and some furniture rearranging, my living room turned into a surround-sound theater last night. If their expressions and postures are any indication, I think "Movie Night" was a successful event as far as youth interest/attentiveness goes. It was also rather nice to see that a rather literary flick could be as humorous for teenagers as this one evidently was, drawing hearty laughter that made me laugh with them even though I missed many of the jokes . . . guess I'm getting old :-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

beach babe

So I'm a sucker for good looking young nudes lounging at the beach . . . can you blame me?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a colorful sail

It is very faint in this photo--I almost walked past without seeing it at all. But once I had spotted it, its cheery colors made me smile so I decided it was worth posting. There is one parasail on the water here, with brightly colored stripes, and another in the air, barely visible to the right. I've always thought parasailing seemed like it would be quite delightful, so perhaps I shall be able to try it someday.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

the requested cow

As I headed out to the bakery before youth meeting today, I remembered to bring my camera along. The route to the bakery then reminded me that I owed a now long overdue bovine photo to Kel . . . so Kel, here she is! I tried to convince her to look up for you, but she stubbornly ignored my whistling, calling, and mooing, finding her grazing much more interesting than me--I really couldn't blame her :-)

Monday, April 07, 2008

high time for pie

I had never seen these "live" before finding this tree in my yard, but I had a suspicion as to what they were. It turns out I was correct; my friend from church confirmed today that they are, in fact, Key Limes [as she happily relieved me of a sack-full that I had just picked]. They are also, apparently, in their prime stage for use in the kitchen: not quite ripe. Guess I better look for a good recipe . . .

Saturday, April 05, 2008

groomed to ride

Today was horse-grooming day for the youth. Well, not all of them, considering the fact that the house was bustling with at least 15 for cooking night yesterday . . . I lost count about the time I realized I was running out of food!
But for today's outing, I had made a deal with the owner of the horses: they would be allowed to ride without cost if they were first willing to learn how to properly groom and care for them. So we were at the stables this afternoon, here making sure that Cherry Pie and Latte were properly shedding their winter coats [and yes, the remainder of the 14 horses are similarly, tastily named :-) ]

Thursday, April 03, 2008

to catch a wave

There was no need for me to ask Yasmine any questions as I snapped this shot--I knew precisely what she was doing, as I know I would have done the same had it been me sitting prettily there on the sand, the waves licking her toes . . . she was trying to grasp onto one of those foamy wisps of the sea as they persisted in stubbornly slipped out of her hands.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

oh rapturous delight!

Today Nathaniel had his first taste of the sea. His reaction? Words are clearly unnecessary :-)