Monday, May 28, 2007

Dia De Madres

Mother's Day happens a bit later here than it does where I come from. And it seemed much more festive, with balloons everywhere, and ribbons and streamers...

But when your mother is no longer here, sometimes these festivities aren't really what you feel like partaking in. So instead, a friend of mine who also lost his mother, took me to a beautiful place where we could just be in silence, and take some time to reflect on life, and thoughts, and love...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

When Life Hands You Limons...Can You Make...Limonade?

Long live limons! Actually, I think the correct plural spelling would be limónes in spanish, but who am I to say? I just live here...and on a hot day, doesn't a refreshing glass of limonade sound fantastic? If I really thought about how much work it would be to make it, I might have thought twice. I saw the all-in-one juicer jug at the supermarket today, and had what I thought would be a great idea. So I stuffed a bunch of limons into a bag, paid for my purchase and raced home.

After juicing the first limon, I was about to call it quits. It's too hot for manual labour today. I could fill the jug with sweat faster than with limon juice. But after a 20 minute rest, I did a few more limons...took another break, and so on.

By the time I was more than halfway through all the fruit, I had barely one cup of liquid. Soooo discouraging. But I kept going, and fought a raging war with the ants while I was at it. "IT'S MY FRUIT!!!!" I shouted to them. I made a line of cornmeal around my workspace as I heard that ants will take it home and try to eat it, and die. Well, we'll see about that, but it did manage to keep them away from my juice...for a while.

I finished squeezing the last limon just as the ants conquered the Great Wall of Cornmeal. I transferred the jug into safe territory (the fridge) and left it there for a few hours to chill. The ants scuffled around in confusion wondering where it went. HAH!

Much later, with a little bit of purified water and stevia, the limonade was delicious! But I will say, now that I have done this once...the next time I visit Canada, the first thing that is going into my suitcase is the Juicy Juicer.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Ant Parade

There is a party in my house. I didn't invite them, but they showed up with all of thier friends and family. Maybe they were here first, but this is my house now, and I want it back. They have taken over.
I'm talking about The Ants.
One here or there is tolerable, but lately there have been huge parades happening. Meghan and I are very prudent about cleaning up and not leaving any crumbs behind...we keep almost every food-like substance in the fridge - I'm talking like boxes of cereal, sealed bags of uncooked pasta...but there just isn't room in there for everything. So we use ziploc bags. And we thought we had everything under control...
...but today I went to make some rice for lunch, and found a billion ants inside the sealed ziploc bag that I keep the rice in. We call them Houdini Ants. How did thy get in there?! They had formed a train inside the cuboard leading from the rice to who knows where...

They don't care that no one wants them here. They don't listen when we beg them to leave. Meghan has resigned herself to becoming friends with them, but I cannot. They are so selfish! They don't ask, they just take, take, take! And they just carry on, aggresively invading the house, slowly taking over. They have pretty much conquered the entire kitchen now, so what's next? I shudder at the thought.

On some level, I expected to come across insects, living near the beach and on a tropical island, but I think it is time to leave this apartment. I mean, if you can't beat 'em, and you don't want to join 'em, what do you do? Complain to the landlord? HAH! I have been waiting two months to have them change the light in my bedroom. (I have a vaulted 20 foot ceiling.) Thier response when they came to the house last month to take another look: "Hmmm, that is very high...I am thinking about getting a different ladder, the one I have isn't tall enough."

They are still thinking about it...

Monday, May 14, 2007


I try to take my camera with me everywhere. You never know when that kodak moment is going to happen. Except for me it is a Canon moment...

I love taking pictures. It's like capturing a moment in time. And I like it even more when I take a photo that says something. One that needs no explanation. It may not even need a title. It speaks for itself. It makes you think...maybe it even asks you questions when you look at it. That is when it becomes art. At least, for me it is. And that is why I love photography.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Joy of Cleaning

Living by the beach has many advantages, but one thing that isn't so fun is all the sand that finds its way into the house. There are no such thing as carpets here, which is good, because it is so easier to sweep and mop the tile floor than it would be to vaccum. But somehow it is always dirty. So I have made a habit of mopping every couple of days. We keep our mop on the little patio in the back that faces the jungle. The jungle is home to many creatures, and somehow these creatures end up on the patio once in a while...lizards, frogs, bugs...that's fine as long as they stay outside.

One day last week I decide to clean the house early in the morning. Laundry, dishes, sweep, mop...One thing I have to mention is that when you mop the floor here you have to ring out the mop with your hands. That's right. Whatever you call that plastic thing that you use to ring out the mop does not exist in this country, trust me I have looked. So needless to say, mopping is not my favorite chore, but if I do it often, then the water in the bucket is fairly clean throughout the entire process. So, on this particular day last week, I start mopping in the bathroom...and the mop leaves behind a wet brownish clump...with legs. I look closer and it moved!

It was a frog.

One of the jungle creatures made a home in my mop.

At this point I am thankful that I hadn't actually touched the mop yet, and I try to figure out what I am going to do to get this frog out of the bathroom. It climbs behind the garbage can. Fine for now. I don't want to look at it anyways. I continue to mop, because maybe if I pretend there was no frog, it will be like it never happened. Suddenly another bigger frog comes out of the mop! That was it for me. I screamed, slammed the bathroom door shut and escaped to the beach.

That was at 9:30am.

I did not come home until after 5:00.

I brought some guys who work on the beach home to help. They only ever found one frog. At least it was the big one. I refuse to mop now. I can't bring myself to touch the mop with my bare hands anymore. Sweep, yes, mop no. And though it has only been a week, I feel like the house is filthy.

It is not so easy here to find things at the store. There is no steady supply of anything, so you may think it would be easy to just go buy another mop, or rubber gloves but here it is not like that. I have been looking for rubber gloves for two months, and finally today I found some. I shreiked and jumped for joy in the store, and I don't care that people there thought I was crazy.

I can clean the house now.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Remember when you were a child, and had not a care in the world? Why can't life always be like that? Why do we make everything so complicated? I think we do it to ourselves. Maybe not on purpose, but things can be simple if we let them.
KiKi spends his days doing cartwheels in the streets, and standing on his hands...having fun. He has a little puppy named Cindy. Kiki is always happy and smiling.
What is his secret?
I spend my days at the beach, swimming in the sea..having fun. I try to always be smiling. Today I was thinking that when we start having too many things to do, and too many things to think about, that is when we lose ourselves to the chaos. And then we aren't happy anymore. Things aren't going the way we planned, or we don't have enough money for something we want, or need...there are millions of things that can happen each day that don't make us happy. But if we dwell on them, or focus all of our energy on WHY things can't be a different way, how can we smile?
So today, I am going to do my best to toss all of my worries away with the trash. I am going to just be happy with everything that I have. So what if there has been no water in my house for three days, and today is a holiday, so I can't do anything about it until tomorrow? I have many things to be thankful for today, including the beautiful sunshine that burnt me yesterday. I will go to the beach, and sit in the shade, listen to music, talk with friends, and pee in the ocean.