Monday, December 26, 2011

Seriously Lafcking

I see I have been seriously lacking where this blog is concerned. Sorry about that.

Christmas was OK.Rick decided to have a little tantrum on Christmas Eve because something didn't go his way. Under laying reason most likely is that he's homesick.He won't admit it though. I don't want to apologize, but I'm not. I am sad that the kids did not come down for Christmas but that's just life happening while we were making other plans. Anyway...Rick is looking for me to make it all better. One would think he would figure it out by now. That has never been my strong point. He's on his own with this one.

We did get to watch the kids open presents Christmas morning via Skype. Not exactly like being there but it was fun. Everything changes, you can either change with it or be a jerk. I'm trying, for once, not to be a jerk.

Catch up with me at the other blog. For some reason I'm more diligent about posting there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Also, on 12/28 WEDNESDAY, I'm a "Guest Blogger" over at Stop by on Wednesday December 28 to see what I have to say. Support Sommer, she's one courageous lady. After all she turned her blog over tome for a day.

Hope your Christmas was bright and your New Year will be Merry.

Keep your thinking optional.

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Yesterday, the 11th of December we broke one of our long standing Christmas Traditions. We put our Christmas tree up. From the first year Rick and I were together we have not put the tree up and decorated it until Christmas Eve. His idea, not mine. But it kind of grew on me. We always cut our own tree around the 22nd or 23rd, so it was nice and fresh.Then we usually left it up until our birthdays in February.

This being our first Christmas in the Tropics (we lived here last year but flew to Idaho for Christmas, so I escaped having to decorate), we needed some encouragement to get in the mood. Also, it would be weird here to leave the tree up until mid-February.

I have a lifetime collection of beautiful ornaments and other Christmas decorations in a storage locker in the States. I purchased everything new and decided to go with a blue and silver theme. It's pretty but not as nice as my homespun tree of yester year. Oh well someday, maybe. See what you think.

There it is up close.

This shot got Rick's vote. He likes that seaside boat picture on the wall and our tropical print furniture in the background.

And there are the stockings hung with care, on the railing to the downstairs. No chimney here. No snow. Temps in the low eighties, and lots of wide open blue sea. We be ready for Santa.

Tomorrow over at we behavin' a Cruzan Christmas. I'll post the pictures from the 'Boat Parade and Party on the Wharf" It was extraordinaire! See you there. Remember to 'keep your thinking optional', this Christmas season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just Another Caribbean Experience

The condo complex where we live has a fancy Italian restaurant right on the property. We can walk to dinner. Unfortunately it has been closed for about eight months. Tonight was the grand re-opening under new management. Unfortunately, we were there.

Rick and I had discussed going for dinner, when a friend of ours invited to take us out to dinner. I'm thinking what a wonderful treat. Dinner out and someone else is paying. Our friend is a doctor who is a part of a traveling docs program. He has been down here in the VI for a few months and will only be staying until the end of January. Dave, wanted to go to the gym after work so we made the reservation for eight. When we got there, they had our table ready but the place was total chaos. Sadly, Dave was starving.

There are a few things you need to understand about the Virgin Islands.

1. We drive on the left, in right drive cars.
2. A 5 star resort in the states is not the same as a 5 star resort here.
3. We live at a slower pace than most other places, especially the States.
4. Even at the best restaurant, the service is deplorable by standards set in
   the States.
5. Rum is made here. It is cheap. It is king.

I'm used to it, I don't let it bother me. When I go out to eat, I also go to have a good time. I try to never go when I'm starving. 

Tonight our waiter was obviously new. He was so nervous. He messed up bad. The service was worse than deplorable. I was talking (are you surprised?) and visiting (shocked?) and generally having a good time (Oh my!). Dave was going nuts. Rick was pretty calm. He's used to it here also.

The waiter came back after about forty-five minutes to confirm what we had ordered (not a good sign). Rick and I had ordered salads to go along with our entrees. The salads came after about an hour. We ate. Dave got up a few times to check with the waiter, hostess and anybody else who would listen about our food. After almost two hours Dave's entree and mine were served. Rick's did not come out at the same time. He told us to go on and start. He sat there patiently waiting. When the waiter came to see if everything was OK. Rick kind of lost it about his entree. When the waiter said,"sir, you had the Cesar Salad, right?" he went berserk. He told the waiter to take his entree off the check and bring it right away.

The poor waiter never offered any compensation. He did ask if they (Rick or Dave) wanted to talk to the manager, but when they declined he just gave Dave the check. Rick and Dave decided to stiff him(leave no tip). 

I put myself through college working restaurants. I worked them in the Ski Areas. I know what goes on. I told Rick I would support his decision to stiff the waiter, but then I would never come back to this particular restaurant. I told him to decide, if he thought he wanted to come back sometime, he should leave a tip. He did.

Paradise has a downside. Be prepared to take it easy, real easy here. I have learned the hard way when we have guests to warn them and encourage them not to go out to eat when they are starving. I hate the negative vibes at the table if everyone is grumpy and complaining. Don't you?

Not very clever or entertaining tonight. Just a slice of my life.

Here enjoy this song.

Best tokeep your 'thinking optional' tonight.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh,Just Shoot Me!

Oh, just shoot me. I've been remiss (I love an opportunity to use that word, but not an opportunity to be that word)in keeping up this blog. I feel ungrateful. There are 39 followers here, some maybe more loyal than others, but none the less, each and every one of you had no reluctance to click that follow button. Are ya wondering why?

I could make a raft of excuses. NaNoWriMo in the month of November.I bit off more than I can chew trying to keep up two blogs. I have more to say about my writing than in my personal Journal( oh yeah, then why is the writing blog, getting so personal), Tuesday and Thursdays are better days for me to blog. At the end of the day they are all just excuses. I hate excuses. Don't you? So... I'm going to try to get better. I'm going to post here on Friday and Monday. I'll be at on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I'm going to take Wednesdays off. I do have to say I get a lot more comments at Far Away than here, so maybe y'all have just given up on me.

Anyway...Let me tell you about what we did last night. Last night we went to the Miss Alfredo Andrews Pageant at the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School. One of the little 8 year olds that we go to church with was vying for the title with four other little girls. I've been to my share of Rodeo Queen Contests, but nothing like this. Holy Moly it was something to be hold. There were two 8 years olds, two 9 years olds and one 10 year old in the contest.These kids were so polished you would not have believed it. When our little contestant, Helena, answered her 'question' on Social Media, I about fell out of my chair.

The judging was based on : Introductory Speech, Casual Wear, Talent, Semi Formal Wear and Question/Answer.  I have to admit the clothes were age appropriate, if not extravagant. The talents were extraordinary. The Casual wear competition primarily revolved around cultural themes (Madras plaid is big here).In the Semi-formal category they all wore little princess party dresses. The polish and maturity shown in all of the Q/A's was phenomenal. Of course, Helena's was the best, but she probably also drew the best question.

Culturally we are out of our element. The island people come from an African culture. They were slaves on the island working the plantations until the revolution. Everything here is based around that. Something that is so foreign to me and yet somehow familiar. Don't ask me to explain that one. The music is wonderfully raucous and loud. Gives Rick fits, but I love it.(that surprises no one, right?)

Alas, Helena did not win the coveted title.She did place as the first runner up, you know that all important title because you take over if the queen cannot (that rarely happens, but they try to make you feel good).She also won the title of Miss Intellect (as a parent that one would make me proud)and Miss Popularity. There were a lot of tears all around. It's hard to accept not winning when your 8, 9 or 10. But there was also a lot of very mature congratulations for the winner.

The world of beauty pageants,something new and different for us. Something that is big here in the islands.There are all kinds of Miss this or that. The island is also gearing up for festival. Ah,if you haven't experienced Festival you have not lived.

In the Caribbean it's any excuse for a party. Oh it's Tuesday,let's party. Festival encompasses the weeks before Christmas and goes through Epiphany or Three Kings Day, at which time we have Carinvale. Carnivale is generally reserved for Mardi Gras, but here in the islands each island wants their own Carinvale so they pick a holiday (or make one up) and choose to celebrate Carnivale in connection with it. It might not be quite as big and extravagant as the Carnivale in Rio, but not for lack of trying. It's a two day event.One day is the Children's Parade and the next day is the Adult Parade,but the end of the parade is very Adult.

Last year we were in the states for Christmas freezing our butts off. We were back in time for Carnivale, but we missed the other festivities. This year we will be here for the whole deal. It's already beginning, look out your window on a clear night, maybe you can see the lights.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be telling another Ghost Story on the Far Away Series. This is the one that inspired my NaNo project.See you there if your so inclined.

Especially during the Holiday 'thinking must be optional'.

Here's a song to get you in the mood.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Procrastination my daily ritual!

Believe it or not I started at 4 this morning. Long time friends and relatives are scratching their heads about now. I'm still hard at it on the NaNoWriMo Project. Total words at this very minute 75,709. I've decided I'm going to send it in for verification tomorrow if I've finished the novel or not.  After an earlier brush with the NaNo site's technology, I don't want to risk any last minute snafu.

I will finish this one, but I have got to get back to some semblance of what passes for normal around here. This puppy has cost me $75 in late charges this month (I let three different due date for bills pass right by while I was 'writing'). Other than Thanksgiving, I haven't cooked a really good meal and Thanksgiving only happened because Rick tricked me into inviting guests. I have done the laundry (that was one of my crises') but it's been a weekly pick your things out of the 'clean basket' cause the drawers are empty kind of deal. I'm lucky I don't find myself sleeping on the beach somewhere.

I have to admit, I am married to the best guy around. He puts up with me. He puts up with all of my hair brained schemes and supports me completely. He was leery about this NaNo thing and it turns out rightly so. But, all the same he reads the daily's and adds the commas. What a guy! I don't say it often enough or public enough, but I love You, Honey. You are my better half. As a side note,he claims to be waiting patiently for that 'best seller'. He's even picked out his sailboat and promises to name it after whichever book pays the bill. I love that he has that kind of confidence in me.

This story has taken so many twists and turns it is nothing like the one I planned to tell. It's way better and closer to my heart. I will get this one published. That's a promise I make right here, right now to you and myself. Superstition be damned, I said it out loud.

You may have lost patience with me. I really have neglected this blog. I've been a bit more diligent about the Far Away Series,so if you really want to catch up with me go here. Also,if your interested in the real ghost story that inspired my NaNo Project, check in there, because I'll tell it next Tuesday December 6. If you don't have that link it is:

Remember 'thinking is always optional'.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Just checking in for a quick rant. I promise.

I've been posting updates on my NaNo project, well last night when I went in to update my word count the site wiped me out and posted a 0 word count for me. It's November 21 and I have a 0 word count in NaNoWriMo.

If your not a writer or not doing NaNo this year that probably doesn't mean a thing to you but I am seriously disturbed about this (Yeah,more seriously disturbed than normal).

Oh well, I've got to get back and write more words that NaNo refuses to count.

Maybe what disturbs me most is that I really do not think of myself as a head hunter/number chaser in any sense of the word. If that's really true why is this making me so nuts? Probably better if you don't try to answer that.

You know what I always say...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Week Gone By

Realized yesterday that I have been silent at this space for over a week. If you have missed me, sorry about that. I have been trying to shut up. I have been trying to write. Trying to finish up NaNoWriMo.

Here are some of the basics:

NaNoWriMo: Crossed a finish line of sorts. I passed the 50,000 word mark. New goal is to finish up the novel by the 30th of November. That will be a miracle because right now I'm stuck. I figure it's going to take me about another 40k words to finish this story up and I have written 0 in two days. Oh well, I'm thinking.

Rick hurt his back over a week ago and is still limping around. Then he caught a terrible cold which he gave to me in the form of a sinus infection. I'm not very good at the Florence Nightingale thing and normally he doesn't want any fussing, but this time he's been a pain. I know that's terrible to even think, let alone say, but he's driving me crazy. Yesterday both of us slept all day long. I hope we're better soon.

Yesterday, I realized that Thanksgiving is next Thursday. We invited some people over for dinner. Rick's idea. I think we was buying insurance that I would stop writing long enough to make a nice dinner. Anyway,now I wish we were not having guests. I'm sure it will be good for me.

That's it. I'm trying not to rant and rave so much. Actually this sinus infection and the accompanying headache have me wanting to go lay back down. Lucky you. 

I've been keeping up the bog at so if you really want to hear my 'voice' stop by over there. Some really lovely person actually gave that blog an award. Go read all about it.

That's it from a place where "thinking is optional' thank goodness.