Strictly Sunsets

Barbados, West Indies

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Traveling Feet

As I sat meditating on my nasty toenails this morning, wondering if it was too soon to paint them up…..I’m traveling in four days….I started thinking about how important our feet are and how I’m really bad about taking care of my feet and toes in general.  I decided to have a look on Google to see what it had to say.  Well, there are pages and pages along with some really cool info.  Check it out some time.

  • 3 out of 4 Americans experience serious foot problems in their lifetime
  • The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments,19 muscles and a whopping 250,000 sweat glands
  • The afternoon is the optimum time to shop for shoes because the feet tend to be more swollen then
  • 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for them
  • Fingernails and toenails grow faster during hot weather, pregnancy and teenage years
  • 1/4 of all the bones in the human body are down in your feet. When these bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of the body
  • Only a small percentage of the population is born with foot problems
  • It’s neglect and a lack of awareness of proper care – including ill-fitting shoes  that bring on problems
  • Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. High heels are partly to blame

ANNA WINTOUR THINKS THEY’RE SEXY

toe cleavage.jpgVogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour once listed the “unwritten dress code” of the Voguette, which included “toe-cleavage shoes, sans stockings.” She’s not the only one to preach the sexiness of toe cleavage- opening the vamp of a shoe is well-regarded as a chic move in the fashion world. Frederick’s of Hollywood says showing toes can be sexually suggestive. However, the key is moderation. Manolo Blahnik warns that the secret is only showing the first two cracks.

No wonder our poor feet suffer, and all in the name of vanity.  I’m going to start taking better care of mine.

Community Gardens, North Vancouver, British Columbia

Forest So Green had some lovely photos of Community Gardens and it reminded me of the photos I had. I volunteered here when I lived in North Van. Gardening is so good for the soul.  Thanks Forest So Green, for the lovely reminder.  Everything grown here was donated to folks in need.  It was a wonderful project and is still going strong.

Bathsheba, Barbados 1992, my One and Only God Experience!

So I am finally on my way.  I leave Whitehorse, covered in snow and about 20 degrees below zero…Celsius that is.  I first fly to Ontario, which was four hours, and then on to Barbados, another five and a half hours.  Long flight!  I step off the plane at Grantley Adams Airport, and no, Rihanna was not on my flight although I did meet her mother some years later.  I pass through customs no problem, and I start looking frantically for my friend Diane. Anxious….what if she’s not there….what would I do….This was my first and only big trip by myself on an airplane other than a visit to Hawaii 25 years earlier with a girlfriend.  I step outside into the glaring heat and wish I had changed clothes on the plane.

Jeans and a winter jacket just didn’t cut it in 80 degree weather.  Image

Suddenly I hear my name and there is Diane grabbing me in a big hug!  Thank the Goddess!  She has arrived with her hubby Glenville, whose nickname is Cent.  His mother named him that because when he was born, he was no bigger than a cent.  That nickname has stuck with him to this day.  Most of the folk I met in Barbados all have a nick name, sometimes two or three.  So, Cent grabs my bag and off we go towards this white, very small narrow van.  As I get in, I am introduced to our driver Rodney, who is known by the name Froggy.  Sorry, I don’t know the origin of his nickname, but it might be because he has rather buggy eyes.  He is some kind of family to Cent.  So, off we go, heading to Bathsheba which is on the other side of the Island in the Parish of St. Joseph.  Barbados is a small Island, 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, but densely populated.

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Well, I have no words to describe the adventure of my first ride in Barbados.  I was terrified.  They had given me the front seat so I could admire the view but all I could do was hang on for dear life.  No one else seemed the least bit perturbed but I was white knuckling it the whole way.  As we proceeded through the various Parishes, Froggy would lay on his horn at every corner.  I soon realized why when I finally got brave enough to open my eyes.  The roads were so narrow that there was only room for one vehicle so a good horn blast lets any other traffic know you are coming.  Years later, I got very good at the ‘horn blast’, and used it often. I’m positive it saved my life on several occasions.  Now, I do need to mention that we were on back country roads by this time.  The main roads were all two lanes, well-kept and paved…in some cases even wider.

So, about an hour or so later we arrive in beautiful Bathsheba.  I am blown away as we come down into the small fishing village, with the boats bobbing on the sea, fishermen working on their nets, folk walking on the beach and surfers out enjoying the waves.

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Village of Bathsheba.  Eventually I ended up living right in the middle of those trees behind the small white building, at the bottom of a cow pasture.  I will probably do a “Barbados” page eventually as I have lots of stories and lots of photos to share.

I couldn’t believe I was actually in paradise.  I was exhausted after my long flight, and we all trooped up to our ‘accommodations’ which Diane had rented for a month.  Her and Cent had a little place over on Hillswick, a short walk away but at that time, they had no power or running water, and they only had one room so they had decided to rent a three bedroom place, right next to the beach for my month-long stay.  Our place had a big porch and the next thing I knew it was filled with people coming to meet me.  There was Smokey (his nick name had something to do with falling in a fire or getting hit with a fiery stick) and Rasan, Cent, Froggy, Shirley (don’t ask me how he got that one) Mark, Diane, myself and several others.  I was struggling to try to keep my eyes open and to figure out some way to remember who was who.  Diane, realizing my exhaustion, showed me to my room and I crashed amid the sound of the waves gently hitting the shore, laughter of the guys, the haze of smoke from the many spliffs being passed around and the sounds of the night folk; crickets, frogs and all kinds of other soothing sounds.  It was blissful to say the least and I was out like a light!

I woke up at daybreak to the sounds of roosters crowing and dogs barking.  It was time to get up.  Diane was already outside getting ready to meditate and I hurried out to great her.  In Whitehorse, we were part of a very Spiritual group of people, and we were exploring a lot of alternative, New Age type stuff.  Diane and I both firmly believed in the Power of the Universe and I was looking forward to a month of contemplation, meditation, great philosophical discussions whilst high on some wonderful Bajan green.  In between all this, I envisioned long walks on the beach collecting shells, boogie boarding in the surf, hanging out with Diane and just doing nothing, working on a tan, watching the moon come up and the sun go down.  It was going to be an idealistic month, for sure.  Bathsheba was a wonderful place to explore.   Image

Our days were full.  We walked and talked for miles every day.  We collected shells and made jewelry.  We hung out with the guys and left our ‘feminist’ sign down for a while.  It was magical and I went to bed at night just waiting for the next day.  Every day at some point we had the same discussion.  It was always the ‘what if’.

What if we could do this every day.

What if we didn’t have to go home.

What if we could actually live here….and on and on.  Diane would always say…but we could do this every day, we don’t have to go home, we could live here and I would always reply…maybe you could but I have a responsibility to my boss.  I work for Government, I have to go back.  I have bills to pay, I have a house to take care of, I have a relationship at the point of disintegration and I have to end it and on and on and on and Diane would stand up, cross her arms over her ample bosum and say in a very stern voice: YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF, STOP LIMITING YOURSELF AND PUT IT OUT TO THE UNIVERSE AND SEE WHAT COMES BACK  well, I wasn’t sure what to make of that and I said:  The Universe isn’t going to make my car payment or shovel the snow at the house or do my job that I need to do to make money to live…..and she would repeat  STOP LIMITING YOURSELF, JUST PUT IT OUT THERE  

Well, the days passed and it was soon time to leave.  I was really psyched by this time.  I was going to go home and ‘manifest’ this life.  I was determined!  The day before I was to leave, we went over our ‘plan of action’.  Diane and I had decided to use crystals as a way in which we would communicate and keep in touch.  ImageWe set a time to try to do this.  Between 6:30 and 7:30 am for me would be between 11:30 and 12:30 for Diane.  Right at lunch time. As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I lived in Whitehorse, Yukon at the time, about 25 miles out-of-town.  We did not have running water, we hauled our water.  So, every morning I would be up at 6:00 am and out the door on my way to town.  I would arrive at the Swimming Pool at about 6:30 and I would start my morning routine.  I used to swim a mile at that point, then a quick sauna, shower and off to work.  I had been back about two weeks and I had my ‘vision board’ going, with all my Barbados pictures; I had my affirmations stuck all over the place.  I was talking to the Universe every day.  Man, I was ready.

So, this morning I was doing my laps, minding my own business and reliving the whole  Barbados trip in my mind.  I’m also concentrating on Diane, letting her know that I am think about her and thinking about our conversations.  Well, I can multi task like nothing and I was doing it all.  Lap after lap…what if I could….but I can’t…what if I could…but I can’t….all of a sudden as I reach the end of the pool and prepare for my turn I see Diane.  and this is the absolute truth…SHE WAS STANDING AT THE END OF THE POOL SAYING “YOU ARE LIMITING YOURSELF…STOP LIMITING YOURSELF AND PUT IT OUT TO THE UNIVERSE AND SEE WHAT COMES BACK”  Well, I took in so much water I thought I would drown and while I was swimming back, gasping for breath, everything fell into place.  My mind just clicked and I knew exactly what I could do.  I could rent my room out.  That would pay my car payment.  I could leave Phil in the house and he would monitor everything, collect the rent, take care of the house, make my payments etc.  This would work for both of us until I knew for sure what the future was going to be. When I got into work that morning, I went in to see my Director and I said:  Bobbie, I want a job share and she said sure, what do you want….three days on and two off.  I said no….I want six months on and six months off.  She said ‘can you do that’?  and I said ‘why not’…the Feds (as in Federal Government) are promoting the triple work day for women and this is the Women’s Directorate, supporting women’s issues so I feel justified in asking for this.  Well she said, do me up a proposal and we’ll discuss it. I wasn’t taking any chances.  I decided to lobby the Minister Responsible.  The Yukon was pretty loose about protocol and it was nothing to see various cabinet ministers having coffee in the lunch room.  I choose a quiet time and approached Margaret Joe, the Minister Responsible.  I said Margaret, I want to do something unusual and unheard of at this time within Government and I would like your support.  She asked me ‘what’ and I told her the whole story, from start to finish.  She also knew Diane and was not overly surprised when I told her what I wanted to do.  She said she would give me her full support!  I was stoked.

To make a long story short, I did the research, presented the proposal, and sold it to my Director by stating that a lengthy six month job share would create employment for a mom during the winter and would allow her to stay home with her kids in the summer, and being as how it wouldn’t affect the actual job if I was gone that long, it could work.  I had lots of other good stuff as well, but that was the clincher.  She said OK, we will try it for a year but you have to do all the work involved in making this happen.  I proceeded to do just that.  From the advertising of the position to the interviews, to running it through the Public Service Commission and past the Union.  I was the first person both Federally and Provincially to have obtained a six month job share so I was trying to be very careful.  I was like a mad woman.  The necessary paper work was all completed, my half time was hired and within eight months, I was back in Barbados for my first six month vacation!  I am not a religious person in any way, shape or form but I cannot explain what it was I saw and heard that day, so I can only call it my God Experience and be thankful that the Universe answered my prayers and changed my life.  I ended up in Barbados for fifteen years in all and I will have lots of stories and pictures to share.

Chug a Lug

Most afternoons I have a beer with lime and clamato while I’m in my reader enjoying blogs.  Just one.  Beer that is.  It’s frikking hot here in Mexico.   pacifico

Being an expert in this area, I wanted to share my experience – about beer.

FACT:  I know this to be true – it happened to me just yesterday…

I was minding my own business, reading blogs, laughing at Katie, admiring photos and sipping on my Pacifico….totally forgetting about lunch, totally forgetting about the time.  Engrossed in other people’s stuff.  Not paying attention to my own.

OMG, it’s past 3:00.  I should be in dreamland this very minute.

I should be sawing logs, snoring and getting my energy back.

dream

This is not good.  Doctor’s orders have me in my bed by 1:30.  What to do, what to do….deep contemplation.  If I nap now, it’s more like bed time, not nap time.  Do I really want to go to bed at this time?  If I do sleep, when will I wake up; tomorrow?  Will I have wasted hours of blogging time?  I know I won’t sleep anyway.  I never do.  I’m far to fatigued to actually sleep.  But, I like to follow orders and Doctor says, no exceptions!  Nap every day, seven days a week….  rejuvenate, get back your energy….plug yourself in.fatigue

I can’t nap now, I’ve got half a beer to finish!  Can’t waste it.  OK, it’s 3:30 now.  I really need to do this.  Chug the beer.  No big deal, what’s half a beer.  Chug a lug, chug a lug….that means drinking really, really fast and I’m old and out of shape for Chug a lugs.         beer

Must finish and get into bed.  Must follow Doctors orders.  Must get the fan going, plump up the pillow, get into that meditative state and relax. Chug chug….oooopppppssss…head rush, head rush…major dizzy!

Boxy/botsi meets floor.  That is Bajan for ass.  My ass.  Now, my ass is not a Bajan style ass, it is a North American style ass…..skinny, no padding and the floor is Mexican style….  hard and tiled.  OK, stay down low, head between legs..spinning is receding.  Don’t think about the big bruise your going to have on your ass.  Don’t think about the fact that you could have landed on your head.  Don’t think at all….just get into the damn bed…no more chug a lug for me.

beer2

WARNING TO ALL:  PAD YOUR ASS IF YOU ARE GOING TO CHUG BEER!

ps.  Bajun is what folks living in Barbados are called.  I will be sharing some of my ‘Bajun’ stories in the near future

Woof Woof

I had a personal pet called Mini Ma which means ‘little mother’ in Spanish.  Mini was a rescue dog and came with a few issues.  We bonded instantly and I soon realized that she was extremely intelligent.  Probably smarter than me, and so we started our life together.

Notice I used the word ‘had’.  That’s because I no longer have a Personal Pet.  Over our daily morning coffee conversation last week, Mini let me know in no uncertain terms that she was no one’s Personal Pet.  In fact, she was pissed at me.  She was sneaking around and overheard my conversation with a friend where I was expounding on how smart my PP was and she decided to put me in my place.  After all, all I’m good for is filling her food dish, right?

  • she stopped talking to me
  • she did not look at me
  • she didn’t beg for treats or food
  • she glared at me
  • she ignored me completely
  • she even farted in bed

By the third day I had had enough!  I said OK Mini, what’s the problem?

She said in her very clear doggie speak…..I am Miss Mini Ma, and I am a Personal Companion, not a Personal Pet, and further more, you have insulted me.  I have decided I want my own Resume and I want it published on-line.  I may be looking for new accommodations!

Well, that one threw me for a loop.

  1. First off, how can she be Miss Mini Ma when obviously she has been a mother.  Mother’s are not Miss, they are Mrs.
  2. Secondly, how can she be a Personal Companion when she’s a dog?????  Just because she thinks she’s a human….ha ha
  3. Thirdly, dogs don’t have resumes and they certainly don’t publish them online, no matter how pissed off they are

Again I tried praising the virtues of a Personal Pet, but she wasn’t having any part of that.  She turned her back on me yet again.

Well, now I was getting anxious.  What the heck was going on.  My best friend seemed to hate me all of a sudden.  So, I though why not humor her.  I went online searching for doggie resumes.  I figured since she can’t read, she wouldn’t know if I found one or not.  If nothing else, I would wing it.

Using reverse psychology, I cautiously called out..Miss Mini Ma, putting lots of emphasis on the Miss, where are you?  Where oh where is my Personal Companion this fine morning.  Coffee is getting cold.

Well, she came bounding out of her favorite hiding place, big smiles, ears flapping and lots of licks.  I had been redeemed.  I was loved again.

Whew, thank goodness….back to normal.  Then I saw that gleam in her eyes and I knew I was still on the shit list.  more mini June 17 2013 023

OK, OK, I’ll do your damn resume today but ….. we will not publish …. we will not look for new companions.  You will remain my Personal Companion.  OK?

WOOF, WOOF

Attached find personal resume of one Miss Mina Ma

Miss Mini Ma, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Born 2010

Education:  University of Life

Languages Spoken:  Spanish, English

Skills:

  • Ball Toss
  • Prancing and dancing
  • Running around in circles
  • Licking all body parts
  • Barking in a loud shrill offensive voice
  • House broken
  • Sit, Stay, Come….works in progress

Hobbies:

  • Watching TV
  • Running on the beach
  • Playing with toys
  • Sleeping
  • Staring for hours at imagined Iguana’s
  • Crowding mom off couch
  • Crowding mom off bed
  • Dancing with mom
  • Stalking all moving creatures
  • Sniffing everything and everybody

Contact:  sorry, can’t come to the phone right now.

So Mini, that about covers it.  You happy now?

WOOF WOOF