January 31, 2011

I will catch up ;)


January 18, 2011

on holiday - forgot to post

Wed Jan 12

ANd another beach day off to a good start, got all the pics to date uploaded. Got to the beach around 10ish and cracked some cold ones. Hung till around 1 when Ivan, Doc and Brent all showed up about the same time. Had another smoke and a beer. Doc & Brent headed off to play Indiana Jones at the abandoned hotel two resorts down. The whole thing would need to be bulldozed and build new. Apparently the materials they used to begin with were pretty shoddy and it's completely dilapidated now.
Chilled with Ivan for the afternoon, and we went to Lingah for supper - mmmm coco chicken and shrimp - tasty - sitting on the patio overlooking the ocean ... serenity abounds.
Kory's a little toasty today - he and Bren stayed out on the beach longer than I did so they headed for a siesta.
Brent and Doc and Annette came down round 7 or so for some evening cocktails and she & I got into the rum cream. Too hilarious. Went over the shopping list for tomorrow's adventure, bright and early and we'll be heading down the coast to the Savanna La Mar market for baking supplies and fresh fish for supper. Realized I hadn't taken any pictures today except for the tree.
Turned in fair early - round 11ish - all good;)

Thurs Jan 13

After checking with Barry in Regina the day before, we determined that there were not alot of options for cake that you could bake in a 250 degree propane oven besides sponge cake or fruit cake. Annette, however wanted to learn how to make a marble cake so it was off to the drawing board with a little improvise and overcome mixed in for good measure. So I decided to hell with it, marble pound cake it is, made the list of ingredients and baking implements we'd need and after Doc & Brent made a hanging nest for the laying chicken that decided to go back into production the four of us were off on a road trip.
Doc and Annette live in Sheffield a township just outside of Negril in the beginning of the hills and we were going down the south western coast to Savanna La Mar, the biggest town in Westmoreland. Lots of shopping there but only half as far as Montego Bay.The drive is through cottage country with small roadside businesses thrown up beside half million dollar contemporary and traditionally styled manor homes set back from the roadway. The degree of difference between those who have, and the majority of the population, is a study in stark contrast. Tropical forest and cane fields dot the countryside, little tiny houses nestled into the sides of the foothills, the crazy road veering to and from and up and down like a Herbie the Love Bug rally on steroids. Little glimpses of ocean whoosh by on the left and the valley and the mountains hover in the distance on the right.
Like cottage country everywhere the townships sort of melt into one another and if you miss the sign you may not even know you've passed into a new one, unless the schoolkids are out waiting for their buses and root taxis. Most of the schools still use uniforms and every school has its own colours. Clean and pressed, white shirts, skirts and jumpers, short pants and trousers, like flocks of birds swirling down the sides of the roadways.
Once we got to Savanna La Mar, and NOT on a regular market day I was amazed at the people everywhere. We paid the local parking cop for parking - no meters, and headed for the largest covered market on the coast road. Each vendor has their stall and you could find just about anything fresh that could be found. Annette and I wandered, talking to folks as we go, showing what the different produce was and what it was for, what it would be cooked with and how it's prepared. All the while there's the singsong murmur of the merchants vying for customers' attention. Doc and Brent wandering as well. Then it was around and through to the fish market where Doc took the lead looking for fresh fish for supper. We were there a little late for the morning catch and after checking a number of stalls, Doc decided we needed to go elsewhere. Then it was to Bashco where they sell everything from furniture to small appliances - much like Zeller's before the big chains started selling food. I was looking for an electric hand mixer - no go - though they did have a big mix master - it was more than we needed for a cake;) So we grabbed some wooden spoons and a good strong whisk, cake pans and measuring cups etc, and I found a small electric kettle and some enamel mugs for my room at the hotel (Morning coffee).
Then it was down a couple of blocks to the supermarket for the ingredients, Annette decided we she I and should walk it. That was an interesting walk. Annette acted as translator when comments were too fast for me to catch, I'm picking up the patois but there's no way I can catch all of it, that'll take either years or complete immersion, but the comment I heard most was "champion". Apparently a good thing according to Annette.
We made out like bandits and found everything we needed after some concerted searching, well except for Doc's fish.
We stopped for some fresh coco bread on the way south out of town on the search for fish. We finally found this lovely red snapper at a roadside stand somewhere in Belmont - I think - a few townships past Savanna La Mar and then it was back up the coast to Negril to get home and start the great cake experiment.
Annette and I got work and between us, with a little improvisation - - after all the recipes told us we couldn't do it.

January 13, 2011

Holiday Mon & Tues #1

Mon Jan 10
Breakfast on the deck and sittin' on the beach. Got my new room on the ground floor MUCHOS better and a king bed to starfish on YAY!
Doc & Brent came by and we kicked back on the patio for a bit.
Headed up to the internet cafe for Brent and got sidetracked dropping off the burger king for Annette. Several red stripe later we was all dancin' and singin' round the dining room.

Tues Jan 11
Kory, Brenda and I walked down to the BarB for brekky. They even made brown stew for them on request. Met some other people, enjoyed an omelette and magic coffee and of course had to take pics of all the drink menus.
Back to Mariners and Kory & Brenda's ground floor room was ready so we got that all in gear. Then it was off to Sun outlet for Brenda shopping, a quick stop for Kory at the Canoe bar and hit the HiLo for red stripe rum cream yogurt and catfood so Brenda could feed the resort kitties.
Ivan was over for a bit, then Brenda's friend Statement came by and we just chilled on the patio for some time.
Next stop Negril Escape to see Freddie MacGregor. You walk down this curvy path till you hit the dance floor right on the cliffs - beautiful. Good vibes great company!

January 09, 2011

holiday sunday

I was up really early so I popped down to the lobby to upload some pics and met some of the regular guests. Mary and Bill have been coming here for years - and their friend Carl. Funny and tart. From Wisconsin.
YAY! Doc found my cards. They must have fallen out of my new jeans at Scrub a Dub and someone turned them in. Double YAY for whoever found them!

AND Annette and I spent the entire afternoon cooking. I made Jamaican deep fried chicken and learned to make rice and peas the RIGHT way.So we made homemade supper for Brenda & Kory, Doc, Brent, Leon and us two. It was terrific and Annette said I did a great job with the chicken. And I wrote down all the instructions and took pictures. Apparently what I was doing wrong with my attempts at curried goat, was that I should be using a pressure cooker. Good to know.
I am going to try and find a recipe for scratch cake that can be cooked in a 250 degree max oven and Annette and I are going to make marble cake.

So happy Brenda is finally here! Wish so many others were too. Charlie's chickens are getting bigger and populating the coop, so there will be several egg layers soon. You should have seen Brenda's face when I told her Annette and I went out and caught a chicken, chopped off it's head, plucked and butchered it for supper. And i DIDN'T HAVE THE CAMERA READY.

All in all a wonderful day.

Brent picked up a few things including a juicer for Annette - lordy if only you could have seen the unmitigated joy on Doc's face when he was using it to make orange juice. Priceless.

holiday days 2 &3 (Fri/Sat)

Fri Jan 7

Up at 7, Kory was already up and about. Headed down to the beach for brekky at Lingah. By the 100 little gods there's nothing like sitting on an open patio, a tropical breeze wafting through your hair, surf singing along and bacon & eggs with dumplings topped with magic java.
Kory came sauntering up the beach from Mom's place, so we had a sit and figured out what we needed to do today. Called Doc, and got the biggest brightest damn hug when he got here. His laugh just makes you smile!It was off to Digicell to pick up a couple of payasyougo phones - it's a long beach and we aren't always going in the same direction ;) So now Kory Doc and I have matching red cells.A stop by the HiLo grocery provided us with a few cases of guinness, red stripe,and watah. Found the rum cream and they have a new flavour - "COFFEE" so I had to get that too. Then stopped by the Sun outlet to collect some more hugs from the lovely Annette and pick up aTshirt or two and a beach chair towel.
Once we got everything stored Doc was off and running so I Kory and I lotioned ourselves up and headed for the beach.
My pool noodle experiment was successful and it does stop me from getting pushme-pullme'd all over in the waves and let's me just bob on the surface like a message in a bottle. Sun baking commenced with a nice shade tree and loungers that didn't creak when I sat down. When hunger started to growl we wandered down to the Traveller's Inn for lunch - it was AWESOMER. And they have karaoke Fri & Sun. and brunch Sunday too.
Just before sunset Doc & Brent joined Kory & I at the beach bar where our evening shenanigans were planned, a visit to Scrub a Dub - a carwash long since converted to a "strip club" seemed to be on order and the boys would pick us up round 11:30. Kory headed for a siesta, the boys to ppick up Annette, and Myself and some of the locals toasted the sunset and danced on the beach well into the evening.
Beverly, the resort's masseuse and I share a taste for the rum cream & guinness and we had a blat with Sharee and Deano and a few of the long time visitors to the resort. Good music, great company and no stress.

Sat Jan 8
We all slept in until 10 this morning which might have had something to do with the fact that we didn't get back from Scrub a Dub's till after 3 in the morning ;) did some banking had breakfast on the beach and with no desire to do anything but laze the day away Kory and I hauled the cooler down to our oceanview loungers and did just that.
My discovery that my credit cards and ID were missing, while we were waiting for pickup to watch some football at Margueritaville came as a nasty surprise. I used it last on Friday morning at Sun, and was pretty sure I put it back in my purse but after searching evrything I own it is still missing. Have to check with Sun in the am and otherwise call and cancel everything. Damn.

Sun Jan 9

Br& Kory are going to run into MoBay to get her and Annette is going to show me how Jamaicans really cook ;)

January 07, 2011

on holiday day 1

Despite fighting a nasty cold I have been so excited that REM sleep has generally eluded me for the last several days.Not that it mattered cause today I was going back to Jamaica mon.
Work flew by, picked up the last few things I needed, had a pint with Mur at the Abbey and collected some hugs, and then booted over to Amanda & Chris' for supper and a game of monopoly with the grands, and it was time to go.
Chris hauled me to the port and dealt with my luggage (wonderful guy) and took my coat back to the house with him. Despite my great paranoia about luggage weights- it was all good and I checked both cases, picked up my smokes from duty free (less than $100 for 2 cartons), and sashayed my way through security without at hitch. Kory was already waiting so I grabbed a Timmy Ho's and we chilled until the flight was called.
Surviving the hazing from my friends about the blowing snow and winter weather, the flight left ON Time at just after midnite. Kristeo and Selso were on it, a few other people from work, and at the last minute Brent Pool showed up too!
If only the 2 children seated behind me could have seen their way to settle, stop crying and quit kicking the back of my seat, it would have been better. The "Please return to your seats" notice when I was in the head caused me a bit of panic, but really when you've already traversed the micro aisle and managed to wedge yourself in there, you might as well finish what you started, it was only a bit of turbulence so really ...
The lights of civilization at night was an amazing experience, and the storm out to the east as we overflew St Loius was phenomenal. Seeing lightening from the top down - BOOYAH! It looks like a mushroom cloud explosion when you're above it, a sentiment that my seatmate didn't apparently appreciate. The lights along the Florida keys were a glowing necklace and the total void once we were over the ocean was astounding.
The sun was just starting to peek over the edge of the world when we reached the island.
Immigration was quick, the JUTA transport was about 20 minutes late and Margueritaville closed but our driver Franklyn found us a roadside cold beer stand just outside of MoBay. Tourist prices for red stripe that early in the morning - but really who cares;) I was so happy to be driving along on the coast road that I found myself actually crying for joy. Frank was hilarious and is quite adamant that before we look anywhere else we should go to Port Antonio for real estate.
The Mariner is one of the older hotels on 7 mile, a patina of age comfortably settled across its shoulders. They found Kory and I a room to stay in until check in time at 2. Our King rooms won't be available until Monday (thank you expedia you jerks), but the ones we got are clean and serviceable. The safe in my room however, doesn't work. So we got cleaned up and wandered through the garden getting our bearings and looking for eats and cold bevvies around 10ish.
Lyngah by the Sea is the local outdoor restaurant perched on the edge of the beach with an endless view of the ocean. The service was great and the food ..mmm.. awesome! jerk chicken salad with this tangy mango sauce and blue mountain coffee with rum cream. Kory had the jerk chicken dinner and from the looks of our remains it was fan-freakin-tastic.
I could have just sat there all day.
Wandered a bit about the property, there's a minimart, 2 gift shops, the pool, and a beach bar. Big sand, l,ots of loungers and some pretty good shade trees for afternoon napping.
So Kory and I started walking the beach in the early afternoon - we sauntered down to the BarB Barn and had some cool ones there, and continued on to Alfreds where we had supper. Scampi for me with jamaican cole slaw and rice and peas, fish for Kory. Delicious. Will certainly go there again.
Having traversed over 2K of sand walking and being sleepless foe most of 3 days I grabbed a cab back to Mariners while Kory continued his trek (another mile) down the beach to Margueritaville.
A few cool ones at the beach bar, splash in the ocean, a shower and crisp clean sheets and it was nighty night little girl.
Sleepin' with a big ass grin.
...and my cold is almost gone;)

January 04, 2011

and a one and a two ...

Packed and ready. One more day of work, a visit with the kids and the grands and in 24 hours and 30 minutes - lift off.

Here's to great weather for the prairies while I'm gone. I'll miss the people but not the snow.

I can hear the waves lapping on the beach already.

Ciao bellas.

January 03, 2011

back to work

I have code id by dose. I've not had one in several years. It blows.

3 trips to the medi clinic to get some antibiotics to head the chronic bronchitis off at the pass considering I'M LEAVING ON A JET PLANE WEDNESDAY At midnite for my happy place. Got there at 2 today and brother was that a lucky call. Their walk-in is only open noon till4 and I was the last client they would schedule today. Doc says so far just a cold but better safe than sorry. The pharmacist also suggested some advil cold and sinus (he is taking it right now too) to deal with the yucky part of the symptoms.

So I gathered everything up, hit my last fake bake which also felt better and made myself some chicken noodle barley soup - mmmm. Realized that even though I thought I was packed - I forgot to pack mend and pack my fave beach shorts, then add the sunscreen & prescriptions - and change the clothes I'll be wearing on the plane.

The kids are going to take me to the port and keep my winter wear so I don't have to deal with hauling it in the tropical heat along with the big case, carry on and laptop bag. I am going for 3 weeks ;)

Tomorrow I'll drop off the reno plans at the condo board office (thank you Liza & Brian). Go to work, hopefully have coffee with the boyo and then Deb is going to make indian food for supper ...mmmm.

I think everything else is in hand to go - I just have to stop myself from crawling out of my own skin in anticipation. This is SO much different than last year's adventure because I KNOW what I am looking forward to, and I think better prepared. DaMN - Did I pack the hat? hmmmm

Ah well, had to put the other stuff away anyhoo.

Don't know if I'll post everyday but it'll be often. There's not a lot to do at 6am as you're watching the sun come up on the beach so it's a good time to catch up.


January 02, 2011

new year's resolutions

who needs more pressure?

improvise & overcome

... and why would I choose to associate myself with a term that most used used in a derogatory manner?
In order to change the meaning of a word or create a new meaning for a word, one must own the word. Over time and use the word may evolve to mean other than was originally intended & to that end...
my definition: an independent woman

dictionary definitions:

1. informal term for a (young) woman
2. an unsupervised umarried woman
3. a young woman or girl, esp. a peasant girl.
(usually facetious)
3. a woman servant
4. a wanton woman
5. Archaic: a strumpet
[Origin: 1250–1300; ME, back formation from wenchel, OE wencel child]

synonom :"dame"

Women Entitled to Nothing but Complete Happiness

International Wenches Guild

what do you believe?


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