Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Sounds of the Caribbean

I spend a lot of time just listening. It always amazes me how entirely different nature sounds depending where I am and what time of year. The sounds of nature here on our little farm in St Lucia are so beautiful, well most of the time anyway.

My husband bought a chicken a few weeks before Christmas with the intention of buying it already prepped. Apparently the guys he bought it from were too drunk the morning of the transaction and not sober enough to hold the fowl much less kill it. So he comes home with a giant white rooster in a feed bag. "Red" - as I affectionately call him, will never be my dinner now that we've met. Yet his 6:00 a.m. wake up call is really starting to irritate both of us. And if it isn't bad enough to have yourself jolted from a good hard sleep by the old cock-a-doodle-doo, Red also wakes up the male sheep that hubby also bought to cook, so Baaaa-Baaaa is now added to the concert. I named this chap Bob. Bob will never be dinner at this house. He has a face and a name now.

A quaint, yet irritating tradition down here is the early morning bakery deliveries. Every morning at precisely 6:30 a.m. the local bakery truck blares his horn throughout the entire village to signal is approach with hot baked breads and cakes. Thanks, but we bought ours last night and don't want to hear your cheery little horns blowing every morning at the crack of dawn.

After we've had our coffee and solved the problems of the world, peace comes. The animals are moved to a nice green pasture and become silent with mouths full of fresh grass. Now the birds awaken. I've never really studied the various species much so I can't tell you what they are, but the morning bird songs are a beautiful symphony. Tiny, sweet little melodies and staccato chirps bring messages to my St Lucian husband. He understands their messages as he was taught by grandmothers and grandfathers who learned from their grandmothers and grandfathers.

Occasionally one bird swoops in very close to the house and sings loudly and very intensely. He tells me it's my "money bird." And oddly enough, every time this bird comes and blasts his announcements to me, I get a new client, a paycheck or some financial boost. The money bird went somewhere for the holidays but came back a few days ago. It sure was nice to have him back.

We are about a mile from the beach but some days I can hear the swell of the sea. It's a soothing sound, one that makes me want to lie down by the window and just watch white puffy clouds drift by. But I can't, the money bird is singing...must get back to work.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beautiful Bonaire

I recently spent a week in Bonaire at Captain Don's Habitat. Such an incredibly clean and eco-conscious island, I wanted to share a few of my photos.

I had a great room, #36, with a balcony overlooking the sea. MP3 docking station, plasma TV, fridge and small kitchen area, a delicious bed.

This is their darling museum full of fascinating artifacts and history.

Brightly colored shops in the main city of Kralendijk.

Mega yachts in the marina.

The entrance to the lovely Bellafonte Hotel, yes this is "Harry's place."

This is just a teaser, I will be back with more of this incredible island. Personally, I'm thinking about moving there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still Roughing It!

You would think now that we've been in our house 3 years that we would have at least the outdoor living space the way we want it, but we don't. Not even close! I even shipped my darling outdoor cushions, whimsical wind chimes and a lot of cool stuff, but the land is so sloped we really can't do much like creating a path of bamboo tiki torches until there is a path, right! Right now we're just lucky to have this great camping grill.

We all know how Johnny likes to grill!

I felt that by now we would at least have an area poured for my blow-up pool, knowing it will take a while before we can afford an in-ground. Of course I want it to be surrounded by huge pots of flowering plants like hibiscus, bougainvillea and ferns. But we also had to remove a lot of trees and don't have the shade going on that I would need to really appreciate an area like this. Ah yes, and a waterfall, my brother has a waterfall so naturally I need one too. They are so soothing and that's what I try to focus on - creating a relaxed and soothing atmosphere in which to write and enjoy life.

So if you're coming to see me, sorry but the outdoor living room still needs a little sprucing up!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Need warmth, head to Hawaii

I left the Caribbean about 10 days ago for a visit to Dallas. Whoa, what a mistake! It is freezing here with icy roads and rolling blackouts. I love the Caribbean, but even I am thinking about going to Honolulu or Maui to visit my friend Barbara. She just moved there from the beautiful island of Nevis and already has a job as a Marine Biologist.

This lucky girl gets to swim with dolphins, play with turtles and watch the migration of whales on a daily basis. Hawaii has gorgeous plants and sea life, great surfing and luscious waterfalls.

There is so much to do, particularly in Maui. Watch the sun rise over the Haleakala (house of the sun) Crater, at the top of East Maui Volcano which has an elevation of 10, 023 ft. Take a helicopter tour to see Hana, waterfalls and the verdant rain forest from above.

When you're ready to relax, check out the Old Lahaina Luau, where they roast a pig in an underground oven, known as an imu.

I can already smell the salty air and my body is nice and warm from just thinking about going to Hawaii. I don't care what anyone says, imagining is the next best thing to being there!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dreaming of the Turquoise Coast

I have traveled the world extensively but there are still many places I would like to visit, especially with my hubby who has seen so little. Those of you who know me know I adore the ocean. Looking back at my travel experiences my trip to Greece was one of my very favorites.

This led me to want to explore Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast, the Lycian and Turquoise Coast. So of course I instantly let my fingers do the shopping and started researching in this region.

One look at the incredible villas really piqued my interest. There are absolutely stunning properties for as little as $160US a week. A week! I have to post some photos as these are very pretty whitewashed homes that glow against the blue sky and adjoining Mediterranean Sea. Most have pools and a beach. I’d love to hear first hand if any of you have ever looked into, they all look intriguing; it would be hard to make a choice.

Pouring through a Turkey coast travel guide, I am even more inspired to visit this ancient land. In this region, there are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the rock tombs at Dalyan, the temple at Letoon and the ancient capital Xanthos. All of this cultural history and picture postcard beaches to boot. They even refer to this coast as The Pirate Coast for all the hidden coves and caves.

Off to dream of Pirates in Turkey….

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bring your camping gear

If you’re planning to visit me anytime soon, I must caution you! Our home is still under construction and it is somewhat primitive! We have tons of land but only a very small house. So bring your camping gear. Seriously.

I would recommend a camping tent to keep out any late night Caribbean showers and those pesky mosquitoes. The Camping Gear Outlet just might be the best place to find what you need. They can supply just about anything you need for a few days of camping in the Caribbean jungles.

Other camping supplies you might want to consider are mosquito sprays, camping chairs and hammocks. I have a hammock under a tree near the house and it provides me with hours of enjoyment. I love to settle into it with a good book and let the ocean breeze transport me.

I wouldn’t recommend anything bulky such as a camping stove. They can be a little hard to pack in a suitcase and we have plenty of coal to start a nice grill with lobster and fish. Or we do have a stove and oven in our little house. Our shower is outside and a little rustic, but it works and you’re welcome to use it! I try to bathe before the sun goes down as we do not have a hot water heater. The sun naturally warms the pipes, so while the sun is out, the water is nice and warm.

I know, sounds pretty rough, and it is. But the simple things in life are the sweetest aren’t they?

Where's the seafood?

It seems simple enough. You want fresh seafood so just go down to the beach and catch some. What many people don't realize is during the "rainy" season, the rivers flow into the sea creating very dirty waters. Fishermen, hmmm should I say fisher-people to be PC, that have boats can get further away from the river mouths and get to blue water to find the delicious tuna, snapper and flying fish. But for those, like my husband, who simply swim a mile or two out with a spear gun, the water is too murky to see. With impaired vision like this, they are unable to see the dangers around them such as sharp reefs, sting rays, sharks, etc. So what this means, is that six months of the year during rainy season we are forced to buy our seafood rather than just catching it on our own. My husband can make a fairly good living at fishing during the dry season, but he has to find alternative methods during the rainy season. That's why we also operate a small vegetable farm and sell sea moss to clients around the world. If you are interested in the many benefits of adding sea moss to your diet, by all means check out our website at