Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

I have just updated the pregnancy blog, and figured I better update here also.
First, Merry Christmas to everyone! I know, late, but better than never. If you go and read my post on the pregnancy blog from today, you will read about our adventures in pregnancy this past few weeks. Exhausting, but at least we all made it through. ;)

We have been busy making gifts for one another. Trevin and Trinton made gifts for each other: Trevin received a hacky sack and Trinton received a wooden carved boat. Taleah and Taya made gifts for each other: Taleah received knit slippers and Taya received a baby mermaid doll with blanket. I made a knit teddy bear for Trajun. I also made "beanbag" frogs for the children. They elected to give one to Cameron, a local boy who had a birthday on Christmas Eve. We also gave one each to the Shelby boys- Logan had a birthday on 12/14, and we gave one to Ethan for a late birthday present.
Our visit with Shelby family, Shelby elders, and Kalers last weekend was great! I am sorry that I started having contractions while they were all here! I did not get to visit much. Lanelle and Linda were so great in preparing meals and such for the weekend- all Shelbys also stayed over Sunday evening and made breakfast for us Monday morning before heading home for their comfortable place.
My friend Benedicte and her baby came (last) Sunday when I was certain that these contractions were the real thing. She stayed a week waiting for me to go into real labor. She left today- probably disgusted at me for taking so long and not knowing the difference with a subsequent pregnancy!

Christmas was simple and relaxed. A ham, potatoes, gravy, fresh bread, and green beans made up our dinner. I was waiting for our friend to come and bring pumpkin for pumpkin pie, but he never showeed up, so a chocolate cake made up dessert.

Travis had exams Friday, 12/18 and Monday, 12/21. I suppose he did ok. I hope he does not have to retake any exams, but we are fairly certain that he passed the semester.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Election time in Dominica.

Anyone who knows what goes on in the Caribbean, knows that the locals (most of them) love to party. The *dear* Prime Minister made an announcement that there would be a snap election. He announced this the end of November. Election day is December 18th!!
Lately, in every village and town, transports with loud speakers have been blaring the garbled message of Labor, Workers, or Freedom. I, for one, am on the side of none since they are all loud and raucous.
Each morning, noon, and night, a car, or several, drives around blaring the message of how their party will benefit the people most. It is like the US with election year(s) but way louder. I retreat to my room and close the door to keep from hearing it too much. Unless they are parked down the street from us and the music blares from the East into my room. No retreat of quiet then.
The latest one I heard shouted, "Hjfophwfnqf, ahfhfqwenf, LABOR!! LABOR!! LABOR!!" And they have a party down in the village this weekend. Travis was told that last time they had a party down in the village, cars were parked along the side of the road all the way to our place. That is a twisting, winding, mile or so of road. Of course, that means that they can only park on one side of the road since the road itself can barely fit 2 cars side by side.
Boy it will be "fun" listening to the pound of muted thumping going into the early morning. I think tonight and tomorrow night are good nights for taking some melatonin to knock me out.

On other news, I have been updating our blog for pregnancy journey. can you believe the time is soon gone? Less than 7 weeks to my due date! Go to the left side of the blog and click on Pregnancy to see the latest update on that blog.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

That new bundle in the family!

We did finally welcome a new bundle into the family. Not our own yet, but our new little niece: Sophia Angel. She was born on the 22nd of November. She is a beautiful baby just like her sisters.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Sunday Thanksgiving??

Well, we had our Thanksgiving dinner last night and it was great. I stuffed myself so full that I felt I might not eat again for a long time. I ate dessert a few hours later.
We missed the Shelby family and Andrew. Regi and Caroline came over, as well as Tim.
The menu consisted of turkey (of course), mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, green beans with ginger orange sauce, eggnog, sorrel drink, buns. For dessert we ate rocky road and cookies and cream ice cream, pumpkin pie, and coconut cream pie. Tim brought the ice creams! Mmmmm. Those of you who know med student budgets or island living can appreciate getting 1-1/2 gallons of ice cream! He also brought chocolate syrup and peanuts. For the last week or so, Tim has been bringing me cookies and all sorts of goodies. I think he wants to fatten me up.

Mmmmm... now for leftovers!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A busy Saturday

Today we attended the All Saints AMSA Health Fair! What a to-do! They helped over 450 persons. The local chiropractor was here giving free scans, her coworker gave free 15 minute massages, the AMSA students gave free bp checks, glucose tests, BMI checks, vision acuity checks, HIV awareness, women's health... What work.

Travis was on the local television station for an hour interview with a local commentary on Thursday night. He had done "something new" by inviting the local chiropractor inside the sacred halls of the medical institution. I, for one, am all for integrative medicine. You can't seem to have all or nothing of anything but God in this world.
Modern medicine and traditional medicine should work together to bring the health and well-being of people to a place of ease. Dis-ease is not normal. But, I am preaching to a deaf crowd... Of course I am part of that change that has come again that tells the doctor that I am an active participant in my health and care. I am not one to swallow any pill or pay for any procedure unless I am informed. After all, I am the one who must take responsibility for my own body. No doctor will pay the cost for what a drug does to my body.
I trust that God will keep me and direct me to seek another's help if it is needed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving already?

Phew! the year has flown by with no thought to what we are doing. Thanksgiving! Well, for me, this holiday brings up memories of famiy gatherings and turkey dinner. I remember as a child the ladies shooing us out of the kitchen so we would not be underfoot while they were preparing a huge feast. Turkey, mountains of mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce... the list goes on.
I would go on, but my stomach is aching just thinking of it!

We are not having our turkey dinner today... boohoo. But we will be gathering on Sunday for a big feast. I think I better make 2 pots of potatoes. Lately when we make mashed potatoes for a typical dinner for just us, I have to make 6 quarts of mashed potatoes! Trevin himself can eat a huge plateful, not to mention the 3 servings Trajun downs. I think they like potatoes!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Principles by which I live.

Quite a while ago, I was tagged by Kelly-Anne Gray at Beautiful Girlhood to tell the principles by which I live. I have to say that I was not excited at the prospect of sharing these. What I have come to realize is that I am above petty differences and I should not worry about how others think of me.
I saying I heard: If I please God, those who really matter will be pleased.
It may sound harsh, but who do I try to please? Myself? I will never be truly happy. My extended family? I would always be bouncing back and forth. If I am pleasing God first, all others will fall into place.

Principles by which I live:

1. I beieve I am made for a purpose which is not defined by how others would have me live.

2. I beieve I am a daughter of the King and should behave as such.

3. I beieve I am guilty of death by sin, but covered by Jesus' blood which brings life.

4. I beieve that I have a God-given place in my family.

5. I beieve that forgiveness is the key to joy- my forgiveness and joy and other's forgiveness and joy.

6. I believe that I am bound by my thoughts, words, actions, and attitudes; I must choose wisely what I allow into my home and heart.

7. I believe that God provides every need for me much better than I can ever provide myself. He is ever merciful and well able to see what I need before I need it.

8. I believe that treating others as I want to be treated is the fastest way to build a relationship.

9. I believe that every baby is planned by God, even those not planned or wanted by humans.

10. I believe that God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours. We cannot see beyond the moment.

11. I believe that trials and tribulations are God's way of strengthening and proving us.

12. I believe that all that I do is known and that my outward as well as inward being is in subjection to God.

13. I believe that as a wife I am accountable to my husband and God.

14. I believe that as a mother I am a role model and teacher of Godly knowledge.

15. I believe that God does not give fear but a sound mind.

16. I believe that God gives beauty and joy in place of my ashes and sorrow.

17. I believe that Jesus is the only entrance to Heaven, verified by God's Word.

This list took a while! I started it and came back several times before I was able post it.
Now to pass on the assignment!

I tag:

Jonathan Blikstad over at The Blikstad Breeze
Dawn Washington over at That's Just Me
November 1st, already! Wow time flies. Pretty soon we will be welcoming a new one into our extended family. My sister is due at the beginning of December with girl number 3. I am excited for them. I think Rhyann and Nev want to see the new baby. I sure do, but I will not see her until she is about 5 or 6 months old. Boo-hoo.

It has been crazy busy here. I am trying to catch up on transcription while balancing homeschooling, chores, time with children and husband, studying with husband, and resting- not in that order. I can't believe that we have been here for 2 years and we have only 5 months to go! I can't wait... or I can but I am excited!

The puppies are growing big. Within 2 weeks we will have no dogs again. YEA! No growling, pee on the floor, whining, chewing puppies. I will miss their puppy dog eyes, but I will not miss the stink and the annoyance of being interupted every few minutes with puppy concerns. The children are getting plenty of time in the backyard though.

Travis has exams in 2 weeks again. It seems like a never ending cycle. I am not complaining as the cycle s what brings us closer and closer to the day when we leave.

October seemed like a long month, but it is over now. I am missing the chilly days with leaves everywhere. I liss the smell of backyard leaf fires and apple cider. I don't know if I can live in Florida. A few things have been settled. We are not staying for 5th semester here since it would keep us here until late August. We will be returning for Travis to attend 5th semester in Chicago. i dont know where the children and I will be for the 3 months he is in Chicago. We have not decided yet. We are talking about a house somewhere ew can have a base with a travel trailer or such for him to live in while at clinical rotations. It just depends on where he will be.

I like Florida for clinicals. I like Las Vegas too. I just don't want to be in Chicago for 2 years.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another update

The past few months has been crazy and the next few will be crazier yet.
August had us busy preparing for school and getting Travis and myself through our courses. Travis had a break from mid-August to early September. As soon as his break started, my work began in earnest. I finished 1/2 a semester in 3 weeks. I am now in my last semester before the practicum and behind yet again!
September saw Trevin return to us and Travis start a new semester. He has 3 classes this semester which include Microbiology, Pathology, and Psychology. All 3 way outa my league. I overheard a few of his classmates talking about cardiology, must have been part of Pathology, and I understood what they were saying. Not because I can actually understand what the process is, only because I have been studying cardiology terminology and reports as the beginning of my last semester. I hope I never become a transcriptionist for a cardiologist!
Next I study surgical reports with all the terminology and such. And Travis is looking toward general surgery! At least I won't have to type his reports then- they would be typed by the medical transcriptionists that the hospital employs. (I plan to work from home.)

The last week of September had us looking forward to a new baby. Not ours, but a friend of ours. After a long labor and a few days into October, a beautiful baby boy was born to our good friend, on Taleah's birthday.
Taleah is now 7 years old! Funny to think that the tiny, 3 pound, scrawny preemie is now a 7 year old girl! Time does fly. I recently dug up pictures when Taya and Trajun were babies. I wish I had Taleah's baby pics on CD, but alas, we did not have a digital camera until she was several months old. Eventually I will get her baby pics into digital format. Someday. Probably in time for her grandchildren to see.

So now we are at the 7th of October and I have still not added new pics from the last few months! Oh well, as for pics, go to for the newest pics. I update that way more than the blog.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This past week has been busy. This next week will be busier. I will be tending to transcription and children, and possibly meals, but gone are the days of cinnamon rolls and baking.

I will update early next week with pictures and such of this week. Until then...

Monday, August 17, 2009


I was up on a chair putting away the dry goods on the shelf above the kitchen counter and saw the telltale signs of a visitor bug. Visitor because I plan for the visit (and life) to be over. I knew the little nuggets of nastiness were a sign of close proximity of the nastiest bug I fear. A cockroach.
I saw a dark brown body beside the bag of baking soda and moved the bag, knowing that soon I would hear my children chorusing. I was not disappointed. I shrieked, "Aaaaaa! I hate bugs!" just to hear my children come back with "Did you see a cockroach?" Why else would mom scream? I have to admit, the bugs just disgust me. I can handle the garden variety which stay in the garden and eat dead things there, but the nasties that invade almost every house here...
So the conversation continued with me asking, "What do you think?" Unanimously they rejoined with "A cockroach, She saw a cockroach."
Then Travis told Taya to sing her song. While at my Mom's house this past winter, Taya was caught by my Mom singing "Cock-a-roach, cock-a-roach" to Frere Jacques. I wasn't there to hear it all, but Grandma asked Taya if she saw a cockroach there in Alaska. Taya told her, "No, in Dom-in-EE-ca." (Her pronunciation.) She makes it sound as though we keep them as pets, but the bare truth is that I shriek about every time I see one so it is quite vivid in their minds about cockroaches.
I heard the girls playing the other day with their dolls, pretending that they were the mothers. I came up as the subject, or rather, they play acted seeing a cockroach and screaming. It would be funny, but that cockroach is still in mind!
I won't bother to put a picture of one here.

One storm past...

Last night the storm hit around 11:45 and was pretty light considering the NHC's forecast for it. We heard/saw lightening and thunder but it was over 10 miles away. I think the power did go out, but I was sleeping. I woke to beeping of certain appliances coming back on and the light on in the hallway. It was on when I went to bed since Trajun was up playing--he had a very late nap.
I woke at 2-ish sweaty from the fan pointed the wrong way. Trajun must have bumped it before he climbed into bed. The weather is very hot and muggy due to the storms. We are coming into the real summer for the Caribbean. Even the breeze is hot. No rest from the heat, even at 2am.
I am missing snow right now! I can't wait to play a bit in the snow. I hope we get to go back home for a visit in December! By that time, I will just be wanting to sleep. I don't think I will like traveling 7 months pregnant with 5 children. But my friends and family are more than welcome to come and see us. We have plenty of room.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A well-spent Sunday

Today we had a little meeting and a big lunch. This is the last Sunday meeting we will have for one month, so we invited them to stay and visit for lunch. I am so glad they accepted! For lunch, we had lasagna, squiddlies with sauce ( I forgot to take pictures!), steamed cabbage, frozen veggies (for the children), mastif, and to top it all off, pumpkin pie with real whipped cream! My belly is still full.

Here are a few pics from the past two weeks:

Here is a crab that we saw on the concrete walkway beside the building. It started out right by the stairs that leads up to our apartment. The crab continued beside the low retaining wall to the backyard. I kept teasing it with a stick to get a good video which the children laughed over for a while.

These pictures are on last Friday at White Coat Ceremony. This is for the 4th semester students that are about to finish and leave the island, some will stay for 5th semester. To clarify, All Saints is a "fast track" med school, which means that after the students get past pre-med, they have 4 semesters here and a 5th either here or back in the US. After that, they go into clinicals.

Here is miss Taya on the day I was taking belly pics for the blog and Facebook. Her smile was so infectious, I just had to add it here.

These pictures are from Wednesday night when the owner of the property had a dinner for tourism. He made a wonderful chicken dish with local dasheen, plantain, and sweet potato, lentils. rice, fresh avocados, and fresh pineapple juice. It was very good and I overate. Big surprise.

Trinton had his hair spiked.

Here are the middle 3 asleep in the livingroom. Taya is asleep with her legs off the chair in the background. Trinton and Taleah are on the couch.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Official" Hurricane Season

This next week, we will be weathering some nasty storms. To watch our weather, go to one of these links and click on the current storm: go to Atlantic outlook type in Roseau, Dominica to see our weather click on the different storms to see where they will go and when they will hit us

With the current storms, TS (tropical storm) Ana and TS Bill, we will most likely lose power, internet, and water, on and off, for the next week. Here come the markers and games for the children. And I will end up knitting a lot.
Hopefully the power will only be out for a little bit at a time.
We will update as much as we can.

Those of you who know our contact info, leave me a message if you want to be on the call list for updates if it gets bad.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Why does time seems to go so fast yet so slow at the same time? Here we are nearing the middle of August, and I am not even preparing for our new school year.
I can't believe that time flies so fast. Just February--feels like a few days ago, but I can count--I returned from Alaska to my husband and the rest to the kids. We spent over 3 months apart.
I don't want to do that again, but I find myself planning that again for 5th semester in the states. Hopefully Travis is allowed to attend 5th semester here where the school takes 6 weeks instead of 3 months in the states. Decisions, decisions! Go/stay, 3 months/6 weeks, Chicago/Dominica, no break/time off. Hard decisions. I find myself pining for the states and just wanting it to be done at the same time!
And then time goes very slow at times. Have we only been here since November 2007? It feels like 10 years already! Sometimes each day is a beast to get through. But now that I am over morning sickness, time has sped up.

Okay, done with the moaning...

Tonight, the owner of the property we rent is having a promotional dinner for tourism. Since it is here on the property, we are planning on attending. (I really don't like taking children into town since they always get sick.)
I have been chided that I am so hillbilly since I call it "into town". But you have to consider the city that we live close to: the whole island has about 70,000 people total; Roseau, capital and largest city, which has about 15,000 people residing, is an area of 80 blocks in 74 acres. Very tiny, cramped space. Most Caribbean cities are 50-60 blocks over 100 acres. So, we call it a town instead of a city. And "into" because we are outside of the town.
Our location is in the village, yes, village, of Trafalgar. There are currently about 1,800 people in the village of Trafalgar.

I don't have to cook dinner tonight! YEA!

Monday, August 10, 2009


I just received an email with a Word document that has some gruesome, fun food for children.

Below is the document in it's entirety. I don't wish to take credit for this really fun idea. I don't know who the original idea came from, but thank you!!

Hotdog and spaghetti culinary terror
Can you fathom the freaky awesomeness of this? I knew the kids would love it. Someone out there in the intertubes suggested calling these terrifying edible creatures "Squiddlies" and I think that's a top name for them.Just cut up your weiners, skewer a few bits of dried angel hair pasta or spaghetti through them and then boil until the spaghetti is cooked. Add sauce. Serve to delighted children, whilst adults look on in horror.Here are some pictures to make your toes curl...
(Hmmmmm, the pics are not coming through. I will take my own pics of the Word doc and put them here until I can make this fun stuff to give my own original pics.)

By the way, it makes eating spaghetti much easier for the wee ones too, because they can skewer the hot dog bit and of course all the spaghetti comes with it.I always feel a little dirty when I eat a hotdog sausage (good dirty, but dirty non the less). They aren't exactly the most natural of food products, so I thought it would be best to see if we could recreate the Squiddly with a slightly more healthy food source.I tried carrot chunks that I'd first microwaved for a couple of minutes, which made them just soft enough to skewer, but not so soft that they would disintegrate in the time the pasta took to cook.With this I tried regular chunks of ham and that seemed to work just fine. They don't look quite as extra-terrestrial as the hotdogs, but the kids still loved them.

It's great being able to sit the kids down to help prepare this meal. They really enjoyed skewering the dried spaghetti through things and it kept them quiet for a good fifteen minutes. If I'd let them and we had the resources then I think they would have been happy to make enough of these to feed the whole city.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fried rice and hamburger buns

Tonight we ate fried rice and saifun (Chinese bean thread noodles). Near the end of supper an interesting conversation occurred:
Trinton: Are there seeds in the rice?
Me: What seeds?
Trinton: Tomato seeds.
Me: No, but there are sesame seeds.
Trinton: What are sesame seeds?
Me: Sesame seeds are what are on hamburger buns.
Taleah: What are hamburger buns?
Travis: I think they have been here too long.

I made fake Chinese rice (fake since I know it is not how my Chinese grandma would have made it.)

5 cups cooked rice
2 cups frozen veggies
1/2 garlic bulb, peeled and minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
oil for stir frying
1 sprig thyme, de-leafed
2 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 cup chopped, pork
4 eggs
black pepper, salt, lemon, sesame seeds to taste
soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
chopped green onion for garnish

Prep all ingredients. Measure rice, veggies, garlic, onion, and green pepper into separate bowls for stir frying. Fry in small amount of oil in this order, taking out each ingredient and placing in bowl before adding next ingredient:
1. veggies
2. garlic
3. onion
4. green pepper
5. meat (until cooked through)

Beat 2 eggs. Spray pan with oil to coat. Add egg to pan and roll around pan so that egg coats inside of pan and cooks. Use rubber scraper to roll egg from one side to the other, making a long roll. Take egg out and cut in thin slices and hold to add to rice later.

After pan is emptied, add rice, thyme, parsley, lemon, sesame seeds, and black pepper. Stir fry until heated through. Add other ingredients in this order while stir frying:
1. garlic
2. onion
3. green pepper
4. veggies

Beat the last 2 eggs with grated ginger and a few splashes of soy sauce. Let sit while you add meat and previously cooked eggs to rice.
When all ingredients are heated through, add egg mix and stir to evenly coat all rice. Continue to stir fry until rice is moist but egg is cooked. Salt to taste if you wish.
Place on serving dish and top with chopped green onions.

Typing it is making me hungry, and I ate too much already!

Oh and I forgot! Today we celebrated 9 years! Happy Anniversary Travis!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Funny Moments

My dear children, every one of them have funny things to say or do.

This past week we saw pictures of Trevin's clothing hanging off an airplane wing drying from the soaking he went through. He, of course, was nowhere in sight, as I expected. He was having a blast at the air show in WI. He learned welding and some welding lingo that baffles his parents.

Trinton is having a hard time being the oldest child in the house. At least he does not have to be so for very long. He has been getting in trouble with leaving the yard when he is grounded and getting in trouble by showing off to his friends. AAAAAaaaaaaa- independence!

Taleah is our mediator, except when her and Taya go at it. When there are 3, Taleah negotiates. When there are 2, Taleah teases.

Taya found an old ripped skirt from Taleah's old stockpile. She stated that this was hers now that Taleah's legs are too grown up.

Trajun's new words are "Who's is this Mom?" For everything!!! I thought I wanted him to talk so he could stop getting really mad and holding his breath- well, I guess I don't want to regress that far. He IS extremely talkative.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friday's travels, Saturday's resting

11am Sitting at the airport. This morning I woke at 6:30 and could not get back to sleep no matter what I did so I started mt day by taking a swim in warm seawater. There were quite a many joggers out. It was beautiful and calm. The hotel website says that the beach is 2 blocks away. Yeah right, try 4-1/2 blocks. But it was pretty close and made for an interesting walk. I like getting on the back roads and seeing the less common area rather than just staying on the strip.
After my swim, I took a nice shower and then went down to breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Bummer that internet is not in the rooms, only in the lobby and restaurants. After breakfast, I walked the 1/2 mile to Walgreen’s and shopped a bunch more. The only thing I could not get was socks for Travis. I could have bought diabetic/sensitive feet socks for him, but he wants ankle socks.
The taxi arrived early to pick me up and bring me here to the airport. It is still one hour before my palne boards, and I better get moving to the security gate. I want to get Travis a Cinnabon before I board. There is a mini shop right by my gate. I still have to figure out what I will eat for lunch. I want good Mexican food, but I will have to settle for fast Mexican.
I just met a little girl named Zoey. She is Puerto Rican, three years old, and speaks only Spanish but is very cute with her raven hair and blue dress. Her and her mama and two grandmas are on their way to Venezuala for a short visit. What fun.
Off to the gate I go.

Noon Sitting at gate 16-19 waiting for Dom flight to board. I want to get back to my family, but I want to stay here in civilization. Trying to keep sane. Decided not to eat lunch as I am feeling queasy and don't want to ralph on the plane. My sinuses are starting to plug up- recirculated air.
Watched a little bit of Star Wars IV. I could not get online at the airport since their wireless is down except for the admiral's club, but you have to sign up for a year to get that. No way, not now. I don't travel enough. Maybe some day when I travel a lot or whatever.

Recap of the rest of the day. My pc died on the plane, so I could not type anymore until I arrived home. Then when I arrived home, I reheated left overs, fed my family, and went to bed.
Saturday I rested and let the children watch some cartoons. Travis was gone most of the day at the health fair held every semester at his school. He left before 8am and did not return until 6pm. We had chicken and dumplings for dinner. And went to bed early.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Preparations and Travel

9:20 am We are ready. Our bags are packed, a diaper bag is filled, girls' hair is done for the get together at Travis' school tonight, and we are waiting for Patsy to arrive. I am taking Trajun into Travis so Trevin and I can get a ride to the airport. I wish I were taking one or both of the girls or a girlfriend with me! But quiet time and shopping will be fun too.
Trinton, Taleah, Taya, and Patsy will go into town later today to meet Travis and Trajun for the get together/awards/dinner party.

1:30pm Sitting in the airport. It was quite a journey just to get here. The Trafalgar road is closed due to semi-truck sized potholes from the recent monsoons, so we went the long way through Wotten Waven. The road was fine except that it has about twice as many turns as the Trafalgar road. I should have brought the mints with me. We arrived in Roseau about 10:30am to meet Travis and drop off Trajun, met Ash and left for the airport. Ash said he wanted to “take it slow”. Since when is a bat out of… well… slow? I almost puked and I was sitting in the front seat with the window down all the way. We arrived at the airport at about 12:30 after a harrowing, queasy ride. Drat those potholed, narrow, curving Dominica roads!!
Right after arriving we checked in and went directly the bathroom. Then on to the “bar”, the local name for snack bar. They do have alcohol, but I found I could refrain. We tried to order Chicken and fries to be told that they don’t have fries. Then we tried a salad, they don’t have salad. Finally we settled on a ham sandwich for Trevin and a chicken lunch for me. Have you ever had a local Dominica lunch? It’ll do. It includes a pseudo salad, veggie which was eggplant with cheese, one chicken leg, rice covered in tomato sauce, and local provisions: dasheen (a pasty type of root veggie), fig (cooked green banana), and breadfruit (like slimy potato that tastes like baby barf). I just can’t stand local provisions. Except boiled ripe plantain. Poor Travis, he likes all three provisions!
I found out I forgot to bring an inverter to plug in my US-type charger to a UK-type outlet. Oops! So this will not get online until much later. ( I don’t have internet at the airport in Dominica anyway.) I will type again in San Juan.

11:30pm What a day!! We were early arriving into San Juan, but Trevin’s plane to Tampa was late by over an hour. I waited there for him to get on the plane and leave so I did not have to come back or pay for another taxi ride if his flight was cancelled. So after 8:45pm I finally left the airport and took a $20 US cab to my hotel.
I was going to head to Walmart to shop. Well, even the best laid plans go awry. After that lovely day, I just wanted to walk (and I asked the taxi driver how much it would be to go to Walmart and then the airport- $50 US!!). I took off down the road towards the food joints. I was hungry. I got down there and found a Walgreens! For those of you unfamiliar, Walgreens is like a mini-Walmart. They have the basic groceries, not a huge selections, but they equate to a minimart of Walmart. Inexpensive. Variety. Just what I needed close to my hotel. Nix that $50 US taxi ride, I was going to Walgreens. Of course, Walgreens is about ½ to ¾ mile away, but hey, I am gaining a bit of fat, why not help to keep trim while saving money? That is $50 more to spend at Walgreens!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A free ticket outa jail!!

Tomorrow morning, Trevin and I will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico where he will board a plane for all points North. He is going to fly to Tampa, Florida for the night and visit Jack and Donna Taylor and their daughter Malinda. The next morning he will be off to Iowa via Dallas/Fort Worth and stay for a few nights before flying off to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to attend EAA Airventure for a week! He will be bringing a lot of pictures back, so when he gets back to Iowa, I will have him put photos online.
At Oskkosh this year, they will be showcasing a new airplane: the Yuneec E430! This is an ultralite like no other; it is battery operated instead of internal combustion! He is going to have a blast there.
I will be spending a whole night in a hotel room, all by myself! I will be able to stretch out to BOTH sides of the bed tomorrow night!! Woohoo! And I plan on some yummy dinner that will include steak or mexican or some such. I think I may even have a virgin strawberry dacquiri.
I will update while I am in San Juan, but not a lot, because I plan on shopping! Walmart here I come!
Enough for now. Tomorrow we fly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tonight we had homemade pizza. Not Papa Murphy's or Pizza Hut by any means, but it was very good. I will even try another crust recipe as this one turned out too thick and light, like rolls.
Here is the recipe I used:

Easy Pizza Dough
2-1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp yeast
2 T oil
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water

Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar. Let stand until bubbly. Combine all dry ingredients. Add yeast and all other ingredients to mixture and mix until smooth. Stretch out dough and spread onto cookie sheet or roll out with rolling pin on floured surface and then transfer to cookie sheet. Bake dough for 5-7 minutes before adding toppings. Bake with toppings for 20-25 minutes at 375F.

We added leftover spaghetti sauce and extra tomato sauce. The sauce had hamburger, seasonings, and sausage in it already. We diced onions, sweet peppers, and fresh pineapple. We shredded mozzarella cheese. It turned out pretty good, but the second crust was better as I added extra olive oil.

Next time I want to try a Pizza Hut style crust that is more chewy and a bit thinner.

I remember having English muffin pizzas with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Carl years ago. I don't even remember how long ago! Maybe when Trinton was a baby...

I am open to your recipe if you have a favorite. But please don't tease me with easy crust that is made from store-bought crust or refrigerator rolls. I won't buy them because they are too old, too much money, or just plain don't taste good!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Here is another blog of ours. You should check it out.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Anyone for chamomile-gingermint boiled eggs?


He sure is a nuisance at times. If it is down, he gets into it. Since this morning he has put cayenne pepper into his eyes twice and put dirt from the potted plant into his eyes once. And every time he comes into me saying, "Eyes, eyes!" Yeah, I bet, eyes. In each instance he has been out of my sight about half a minute.
Then while I was napping this afternoon, he went in and placed all the boiled shelled eggs in my teapot full of chamomile-gingermint tea. Good thing I like it weak.
But on the other hand, he does say thank you quite clearly. And this morning he was saying, "Open your mouth, Dad." Yeah, guess why. Just don't open it with your eyes shut!

He is what can be labeled as a true goober.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Ghanapes are now in season. They may not be ghanapes at all. There is a discrepancy in sound, spelling, and even name around here. They look somewhat like unripe macadamia nuts. I have never seen them on a tree. The locals sell them on nearly every street while they are in season.

Our children love them, but then so do I. They have a sweet, tart, full flavor. The taste reminds me of nectarines and the consistency reminds me of custard.

Here they are in a bunch. This is about 1/3 of what you get for $1 EC (37 cents US).

This picture shows the process from bottom to top: bunch, split skin, open, and nakes seed.

First we rinse them so we are not putting other's hands in our mouths. Then we bite them around the middle to break the skin.

Next we open them fully by pulling one side from the fruit and then the other. We put it in our mouth and suck the custard like fruit off to reveal the seed.

They are a yummy, sweet treat.

Does anyone have another name for them? Or a tree name?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Water, water, water!

Tonight Travis and I had the funnest job of the whole day. We dumped out a barrel and totes half full of water to gather the sunken puzzle pieces our youngest son so lovingly drowned! I first went out to cover the containers to keep the water for tomorrow for the children to "swim" in - it has been hot here - but, instead had to grab the still floating, though quite drenched, puzzle pieces. While grabbing what I could, others began to sink as I disturbed the water around them.
We started dumping water out to fetch the puzzle pieces and ended up with a flooded second-floor porch. Good thing there is a drain spout leading off the porch onto the ground below. I think that is a precaution for monsoon-type hurricane storms. We picked up what might pour off the porch through the drains and swept all the water to the spout to empty our porch pool.
The porch did end up with a nice cleaning. A wet broom is a better scrubber than a scrub brush on your hands and knees.
I would have taken pictures, but it was very dark and my pj pants were soaked at the bottom of the legs, so I took them off.

Interesting night.

Trajun has been quite a rascal lately. If you don't watch him for a half second, he will be into something, or tearing something, or climbing something. And I thought Trinton was bad. Oh no! I think this is punishment for having such an "easy" life.
This stick bug was on the wall of the house. It looks like a tiny branch with tiny twigs off each side. The only way I knew it was truly a bug was the symmetrical "twigs" and the antenna. I hope I don't get any of these in my bedroom!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 4th fun

No fireworks in Dominica for an American holiday. Just our family, a bit of food, and a little fun. We had a natural fireworks display: Lightening and thunder!
We had potato salad (alas, no Lea & Perrins), bbq pork, carrots with Uncle Dan's dip, Italian-style bread, and Kool-aid. A pudding cake and baked beans are left for today. I didn't feel like prepping the cake on a very full tummy, and the beans did not get done all the way.
Here is a picture of one of the beat up pendants. We made them out of craft paper, yarn, tape, a few staples, and an American penny.

Messy hair Taya in her fav dress. I made this out of a t-shirt and a bit of fabric sewn on for a skirt.

Here is one of our twirlers made out of an old plastic container lid. We cut them in spirals, tied on string and hung them in a windy place. We found this fun craft on I wanted to get their magazine that comes out 10 times a year, but they take forever to arrive here, so we are just looking at their online stuff.

We found some fun how-to videos on crafts and recipes for kids. How to make ice cream in a bag!

If you look in the background, you can see Trafalgar Falls spewing water.

Here is our mini garden. Good thing we have been having plenty of rain lately. I have completely forgotten about watering the plants.

Speaking of rain, it is raining buckets right now. We are officially in hurricane season. There was a beautiful lightening and thunder storm all night long. (It is a good thing Taya is a sound sleeper.)

The twirlers twirl very fast in the wind we have had in the past few days. They are hard to see, but there are 8 twirlers in this photo. Six are hanging from the rafters, one on the outside of the porch next to the green post, and the last blends in with the trees on the left. The last one is the one in the picture with the falls (above).

If you want to track hurricanes for us, go to and look in the Atlantic region. There are none as of this moment, but 's satellite view, you can see a nasty cyclone-looking storm coming out of Senegal. We may get hit with it, but not for at least 3 days.
This will be our "official" safety notification for hurricane season.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Trinton, Taleah, and Taya are watching Trevin play on the computer while Trajun is in the background playing with cars. It is amazing how long they can be entertained with a little computer time!

Here is Trajun playing cars in the puddle. He dressed himself or rather picked out his clothing and had someone dress him. He typically chooses a Cars shirt and Taya's flipflops.

The morning children drinking breakfast cocoa. The clock doesn't have a battery in it!

Early morning view from the front porch looking across the valley to the sulfur pools. The low clouds are from hot water and cooler air meeting. Chemistry lesson.

Here is my cuddle bug snugged up to me in the morning. He has his daddy's blue eyes.
The past few days have been busy and full. We have been making crafts and getting ready for Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ross student cars.

Tim's car has broken down several times. It is a kind of joke, even with Ross students. When Larissa was here, I had the honour of catching a ride in a Ross student car. I think that 2 of the 4 doors opened from the inside, 1 window did not roll down, and it didn't have a proper trunk latch or something. I am not exaggerating or knocking it. Our family does not even have a car of our own here.
Shelby's on the other hand, have a pretty decent car that has not broken down, as far as I know.
Back to the story, Tim's car broke down again. It was towed from the shop because the mechanic can not fix it with available parts. The car is some kind of foreign jobby that was not imported to the states, but was obviously imported to Dominica. So the part, a distributor, will take 6 weeks to get here from Europe. Until then, Tim had the car at the shop and promised to get it out of there so they could have that space for other jobs. Well, he paid the mechanic, the mechanic paid the tow driver and the tow driver towed it to the bridge on the other side of the river!
You have to understand the river here in Trafalgar. When the rain falls heavy, the water comes over the bridge making it almost impossible to cross, probably not for a tow truck, but that is another story.
The river was high so Tim's car stayed on the other side of the river last night. Leroy, the owner of the place we rent, helped tow it the fifth of a mile uphill to get it here. He towed it slightly uphill from here so they could roll it back into its place. Travis called for Trevin and they all pushed a little and the car rolled back, the only problem was that Tim didn't turn the wheel sharp enough and hit the palm tree. There isn't any significant damage, but they hit the tree!
Just thought it was funny. No pictures today.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sickness, rain, and shadow bunnies

Lately, we have been dealing with sickness. We are doing all we can to attain health in all of us, but we are contending with Caribbean diseases to which our bodies are not immune. The soil, water, and air are different here than at home. It may be considered more pure, but the diseases here are not what our bodies can fight off when we continue to contract every disease (it seems).
Swine flu has hit the island. A police officer who just came back from the US has brought it into the country. I am planning on staying home as much as possible. Travis can buy groceries when he is in town for school. As for the children and I, staying home seems the best option.
Taleah is showing signs of tonsillitis again. So far, colloidal silver, ibuprofen, and coconut oil are helping. We are trying to keep from using mainstream antibiotics as long as possible to keep from having antibiotic resistant viruses or bacteria.

It has been pretty rainy here but some of the sunsets are spectacular! Here is one not-so-spectacular sunset that is a little blurred; it takes forever for my camera to take a picture in the dark! By the time I was able to take a good picture, most of the color was out of the sky.

Miss Taya at the neighbor's house.

Trajun at the neighbor's house.

Taya and Trajun

Last night Trajun was laying down to go to sleep. I was attempting to entertain him with some shadow puppets on the ceiling. I made an evil bunny with my hand and he said, "No, no, no." and covered his head with the blanket and would not come out! I couldn't help but shake with laughter. I tried to show him that it was just my hand, but he was adamant about keeping his head covered.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Master Trajun

Trajun has arrived at the age where he tells people off. When Trinton and Trevin are arguing and carrying on, Trajun will walk in the room and use gibberish to tell off Trevin. He has done this a few times to me and I have turned my finger to him and told him to knock it off.
The other night we had a dog pile and one of the littles started fussing about being held. Trajun started wagging his finger and yelling at Dad because he was the biggest one in the pile. We were laughing so hard that we couldn't tell him no!
Trajun has a major interest in cars. Any toy car he sees is his. Any car that drives by he tells us about. He knows which are buses and which are cars.
Here is a pic of Trajun and "Uncle Ash" before we went to the Saturday morning market. Every time we see a "bus" like this Trajun yells "Ash's bus!"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A summer day in the Caribbean

This week we have had heavy rains. The water has been shut off a few times, we have had brown faucet water and very low water pressure. It seems to be better today. Yea! Clean showers.
This river is flowing over the road that is at a low point in the Roseau Valley. I think it is called Roseau river, but I am not sure. It is the one that flows beside the town of Roseau and meets the ocean right by the open air produce market. Travis took this picture 2 hours after he came across it in a car on his way home from school. The bridge was dry. In this picture the water is about 4-5 feet higher than normal! It is a good thing it goes down within 2 hours and that there is another way out of the valley.

Here is Trafalgar Falls. Usually you have to nearly strain your eyes to see it, but this picture shows what happens when we have heavy rains.

Here is a pic of the river with Tim, Trinton, Taleah, and Spot standing by.

Here are Trevin, Trinton, and Trajun right after a run in with the hair clippers! This time, Trajun got up on the chair and sat with the loud clippers going. Last time was such a fight, I had to physically hold him down!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Walk to the Falls

Travis and the children walked to Trafalgar Falls with Bene (Ben ee) and Julie. They came and stayed last night for a bit of rest. Wonder if they did get rest with my five?
This is the Daddy of the Falls. There is another smaller falls called the Mommy hidden to the left.

Bene is 6 months pregnant. Julie is the daddy.

Here are our middle three. They almost look like they are all the same height!

I think this is a good picture of Trinton, Taleah, and Taya in front of the Falls.

Here is Trevin needing a haircut.

And Trajun wearing his outfit from Grandma Lorna and Grandpa Ben.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I know, I should have been more on top of this thing. It has been a very busy past 8 months. The children are doing very well and growing fast. Travis is nearing the middle of his MD2 semester; he just passed first exams. I am working on courses for medical transcription.
We sat for a new family picture.

We are out of here in 10 months!! So, if any of you plan to come down, make plans.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 2009

Here I am again, after a long pause in posting. So I get to play catch up.

Children: Trevin is growing tall. He is 15 now. Trinton just had his 8th birthday. Taleah is 6 1/2. Taya just turned 5. And Trajun is 2 1/2.
We hiked to Victoria Falls. Hard hike! But it was worth it.

Last year I had some medical problems. I visited home and ended up staying longer for hospitalization. Then in December went to stay with my Mom. I took Taya and Trajun with me. We came back to Dominica in February. I am happy to say that I am making the slow climb back to health.
March through May have been okay. All of us are plugging away at our respective schooling. Travis is completely done here in April 2010. (10 1/2 months! Yea!)
Trevin is now in 9th, Trinton and Taleah are in 2nd, Taya is in PreK, and Trajun is learning to talk.
I am in my 3rd semster of medical transcription (MT) and hope to finish by September.

This past weekend we went to the beach on the North end of the island. We also visited Fort Shirley. This island was fought over by the English and French. There is a rich history that includes pirates, Creole food, and (yuck) slavery.
Disney used this island to film portions of Pirates of the Caribbean. The scenes recorded are: the voodoo hut on the river filmed on Indian River, Londonberry river (I don't know what was filmed there), the waterwheel scene, old church scene, water scenes off the North coast, the cannibal village, and the rope bridge.
Here is a link for the maps.

Indian River
Our trip North of here was fun. Fort Shirley was an easy hike though it took us up a tall hill. It was interesting seeing the holes where cannon shot went through the brick walls. It must have been quite exciting although dangerous. The children have said more than once that they wish they could have lived back in the days of pirates.
The beach we went to is called Purple Turtle beach. It was wonderful to snorkel out and see the white sand and fish beneath the water.