Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Age is Showing

My age is telling on me. They don't "crank up" cars these days do they?  

The other day someone asked me what the best remedy for a yellow jacket sting was. The first thing that came to my mind was  - tobacco juice. Well, it took care of many nasty bites for me growing up.

Thank goodness these days we are so pro-active in using sunscreen. In my day, they sent us out with Coppertone (to get sun) then lathered us down with Noxzema that night when we looked  like lobsters. The only hair gel we had was Dippity Doo, with a choice between pink and green. We also had to guess which Twin used the Toni? 

Now I look at my friends, and I find myself asking, "Does she or doesn't she?" (Some things never change.) 

PS So what are they going to call it now, "pressing the button" to start a car? Of course down here we will "mash that button".

Photography Post - The Malecon

A couple walks on the Malecon at dusk. In the background you can see the western part of Havana.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

If Only We Could Save 'Em

My Mama taught me to be polite and always say something nice. Aunt J'nelle told me, "If you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all." My Aunty's advice, as she took a drag off her ever present Salem cigarette, was to "Tell it like it is - after all if they don't already know the truth, you're doing them a favor".  Aunt Kat said there was always something nice to say about everyone. She always was the perky optimistic, but I digress.

So growing up, I tried to mind my manners. However, as I have aged, I have come to think more and more of my Aunty's advice. After all, someone needs to save the world from its self!

This all came to a head when I heard a certain lady, who moved to our little southern town from New Jersey, make a comment about this ol' boy and his pick up truck. Seems where she came from, "nice" boys didn't drive pick-up trucks. I thought she had been down here long enough to know everyone drives a pick-up truck. 

The conundrum for me was where to start. Was it with her voice that sounded like nails on a chalk board? Or, her big hair? (That went out of style with Dynasty?) Or, the little sequinned tops she wore every where during the day? (Southern women don't wear "sparkly" clothes during the day.)

Nope, I wanted to go for the serious offense. The Hell with her obnoxious voice, her teased hair, and her tacky clothes, she cut down a Magnolia tree in her front yard - a full grown blooming Magnolia tree in front of God and everybody. Has the woman no shame?

Photography Post - Cuban Transportation

A side tree in Havana.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Photography Post - Pink Door in Havana

The elegance still lingers in the decay in Havana Centre. The architectural beauty is overwhelming.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Collision of Deputies

Our local paper (The Times and Democrat) is "reporting two deputies that were involved in a collision Tuesday night were en route to join the search for a man who led authorities on a chase." It goes on to describe details of the incident ". . . both were heading west on Highway 94 to aid in the chase and search for Young when troopers say one of the deputies attempted to make a left turn from the right hand lane. Troopers say the deputy was then struck by the second deputy on the left side."

Memories of Deputy Barney Fife come to mind. I wonder if they let the deputies have more than one bullet?

Oh, and I am happy to report that the suspect was found and arrested.

You just cannot make this stuff up.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Changing Doctors

The nurse at Dr. Johnson's office (name changed to protect . . . yada yada yada) was making my next appointment as I checked out when she looked up at me. "You know, you look just like your mama." "Thank you. But, I just don't see it." "Oh, I do. And, we love having her in here. She is so sweet." "Oh, she's a piece of work," I replied, "Sometimes, like the Energizer Bunny." 

"You know it took me a while to get her to come see Dr. Johnson. I begged and pleaded and finally she agreed. I was so relieved because I knew he would take good care of her. "Well, we always enjoy her visits." That begs me to wonder - what tales does she tell to entertain them? But I digress.

I remember that argument well. 

She had been seeing Dr. Smith (name changed  . . .) for years and saw no reason to see anyone else. I failed to agree.

"Mama, you really need to start seeing Dr. Johnson." "But, I'm fine. Dr. Smith takes good care of me. He has for years." "I know, for something like 50 years. He must be in his 80's." "He is 81." "How are you seeing him any way, he closed his office years ago?" "Oh, I see him in Sunday School. If I ever need him, he always there." "What happens if you need him any other day of the week?" "I can always call him." "Let me guess, he makes house calls." "No, don't be silly."

I feared I would have to wait for the death of Dr. Smith, but then, who knew, he may diagnose and treat from the grave. However, after weeks of begging and pleading, she finally gave in. Of course, she had no records to transfer, unless you count random notes on her Sunday school book.

Photography Post - Beach Scene

Around the bend early in the morning.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photography Post - Kayaks on the Beach

A local man prepares his kayaks at dawn for the daily renters. This was taken off Grand Cayman on the eastern side of the island.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Establishment of Faith and Culture

A trip to the local BBQ establishment reminded me how they are truly a location of tradition, a beholder of faith, and, truly, a barometer of our local culture - good, bad, and ugly.

Whenever I feel the world is moving too quickly and I yearn for some grounding, (and a good meal sans any nutrition) I head for BBQ. It is the true comfort food, with a heaping of entertainment thrown in.

Besides the mouth watering food for a few bucks one can procure a t-shirt sporting a fat pig's face and the establishment's name, various swine figurines, silk flower arrangements, and used books. Did I mention their offerings were fairly eclectic?

Last weekend, I noticed a new addition to the non-food offerings - crosses. Two foot tall wooden crosses decorated with bright colored plastic flowers - the kind one sees on the side of the highway in memory of a loved one lost at that particular location. Really? Stick with the pigs and the t-shirts.

Photography Post - Sunset Sail

Another boat cruising at sunset.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Photography Post - Rooster

Why did the rooster cross the road? This one chose not to. Chickens roam freely around the island (like most islands in the Caribbean) adding a back ground noise that always happily reminds me where I am. 

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who finds issue with this, needs to buy their t-shirt and find their way home. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Photography Post - Pirates in the Caribbean?

Sunset off Seven Mile Beach. I'm not sure about Pirates, but the ship cruises every afternoon and evening off the island. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Trying Return Trip

How many hints did I need that, perhaps, I should have stayed in the West Indies:

1) I was stopped and seriously questioned by a rather stern official checking passports as we entered the security area at the Georgetown airport.

2) My carry on bags were "selected" for a complete going through (dirty underwear and all) at the security gate.

3) I was then summoned to the "Immigration Interview Room" to have my checked luggage gone through. Having nothing to hide aside, scenes from not so friendly movies suddenly ran through my mind. (When I asked if this was necessary, the answer was, "If you want to re-enter the United States.") This was where I erred in not taking my bags, politely thanking the kind security folks, and returning to the beach.

4) I was declared not to be a threat to the traveling public (ie not a terrorist) and was able to board my flight. Naturally, I was then seated next to a fussy two year old. 

4) As I entered the line at Customs and Immigration in Charlotte, my mind raced with thoughts of "What now?" But the kind gentleman questioning me set my mind at ease - at first. That was until he looked up and asked, "Are you traveling alone?" I replied with a smile, "No, I was with three friends. But they are on a separate flight." "Really?" "Yes," I said with less confidence. "They are from Richmond?" "Really?" "And, I see this is your third trip down there in 17 months?" "Yes." 

Do I look like a drug runner, a mule, or maybe someone carrying enormous amounts of cash for off shore deposits? (Honestly, my life is just not that exciting.) Is my passport on some list? Why me? Then the gentleman smiled, handed me my passport, and said, "Have a nice day. Safe travels."

With a sigh of relief, I left Immigration, turned left and headed down the hall. There was another line. Oh God, Customs. What now?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Last Day Before We Return

Diving in the clear blue water. And, no that is not me - much too industrious. I just watched him - from my bar stool, in the shade.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Flops in a Tree

The things folks will leave behind. Two more days and it's back to to reality.

Having a great time, wish you were here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grand Cayman -Day 3

Life is so good.

Another Sighting

The House Cleaning Fairy came to one lady's house and she failed to appreciate it. Maybe she doesn't get it. For those us believers (or dreamers) this would have been a dream come true.) See

The comments to this story ranged from "I'd pay her $75, here is my address . . ." to "Does this lady not have a clue what miracle just happened her?" to "Maybe if I leave my door open she'll come to my house."

Of course, there were those negative Ninnies who said things like, "Who would leave trash in the trash can and dirty dishes in the sink when they leave the house?" (Please don't ever come to my house- you would have a stroke.) And, "I don't blame her for calling the police, this was a crime." (I wonder if the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny have this address marked on their list?)

Whatever the case, for the record, she (or he) is more than welcome at my home at anytime. And, I'll leave a napkin and pen on the kitchen table.

PS Help yourself to any snacks you want. And, the Diet Cokes are in the 'fridge.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mama's Not Happy with me

My Mama is not happy with me. I had to tell her yesterday that I could not go on the annual "Family Beach Week" because I had go to Arizona for work. And, no there was no way to get out of it. To be honest, I really wanted to go to the beach with the family. My brother's kids are growing up and soon, they will be like mine and will be "too busy" to spend time with the "old folks". And, while Mama is pretty spry, at 79, she is not a young chick any more. But, there was no way to get around the work assignment. Trust me, I tried.

Of course, Mama did not take the news lying down. Oh, she was stoic. "I guess your brother can help me get everything set-up." "Mama, I've talked with him and he assured me he will take care of everything." "Well, I supposed it was more important that he know this first?" (Oh boy. There is no wining here.)

"But, we've known for months the dates we've planned to go to the beach." "Mama, I know we have. Unfortunately, the government didn't ask me about my vacation my plans when they set this up. It was supposed to be in May but the date got changed." 

"And, you leave tomorrow for the Bahamas?" (I knew what was coming next.) "Yes, I leave tomorrow. But,  I am going to the Cayman Islands, not the Bahamas." "Whatever?" "I'll be back next Saturday." "And, you're going with those women." "Mama, those women are some of my closest friends." "I still say you need to be careful hanging out with women like that. It's just not good, leaving your husband at home and all - for a week." "Mama, he's a big boy. He'll be alright."

"You know people around here talk about you traveling off with women and leaving him at home." "Mama, he doesn't want to go. Besides, he knows my friends." "I'm just saying people talk. And, you are sure there is no way you can get out of going to Arizona?" "No, mam." "What if you ask your boss? Who is your boss anyway" "Mama, one of those women is my boss?" "Oh."