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.