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!