Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rough Seas and Fun!

Friday we went to Store Bay to enjoy a little relaxation at the beach. We ate at the local food huts. MMM...roti. If you have never had roti, you are missing out. It is a curried stew that, depending on where you are getting it, will come wrapped up like a burrito or the roti is served as the bread with the stew. The tortilla like bread is actually the roti. The varieties of stew you can get with it are many. From potato, goat, or chicken to conch and shark. I stick with chicken or potato. As I sat there eating mine a local walked by and said, "That roti is as big as you!" I should have gotten a picture because he wasn't exaggerating by much. Everyone else had fish and chips. It is not your traditional British fare, but it is delicious!
Friday was also Republic Day in Trinidad and Tobago. September 24th is the anniversary of the nation declaring itself as a republic. Here is some info about that event. It was not very busy at the beach, at least not like we expected. Below are some pictures to why that may have been.

We had a blast despite the rough waves. Well, everyone but me. I stood taking pictures and watching everyone's clothes and bags. No need to give human nature a nudge by leaving bags with wallets and cameras unattended. Next time I will have to leave the bag watching to someone else. Maybe not, it took Jeff several washing to get all the sand out of his hair and off the rest of him and I can't imagine how long it took Tabitha to get the sand out of her hair. When you can see it being lifted up in the surf you know that doesn't bode well for a good hair day.
**Blogger isn't loading pics so I'll have them later

Friday, September 24, 2010

Limin' About!

What ever you might call it: chillin', relaxing, chillaxin', it's a nice thing to be able to do.  We are doing all we can while we are here in Tobago!  Here the call it "limin'".

Elijah and his word search
Elijah with his guava crackers

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AAAAH!! Tobago!

We are here.  We have been for two days now.  It has been busy and the internet sloooow.  We are looking forward to seeing old friends, hitting the beach,  and relaxing!  We've been to Jemma's Tree House in Speyside, it only took four trips to Tobago to get there, and we hit Englishman's Bay yesterday.  We met Tall Man at Englishman's Bay.  Victor is his God-given name.  Very much a local, but a very educated local if we are to believe all he said.  He seemed sincere and he was very nice.  He told Elijah all about the hermit crab, gave us a bunch of bread nuts, told us who to hire for a fishing trip, and cut us up a coconut.  Great times!

Castara Bay
Victor telling Elijah about hermit crabs or about to show him how a machete works
Victor and bread nuts
sand crab
Hermit crab
Englishman's Bay

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Look at Our New Pet!

Look what we found in the living room window sill. 

Okay, to be totally honest, we had already lost him from Elijah's room.  I think we may name him Houdini.  To go back a little, earlier this week I was mowing the yard (we finally had some rain and now it is growing again)  when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye.  A tarantula, an Oklahoma Brown Tarantula.  They are also know as Texas Brown, but I will defer to Oklahoma since that is where we live.  That won't happen often.  Anyway, I got a 1/2 gallon canning jar and put him in.

Fast forward a day.  Jeff comes with a paint can from Armstrong Auditorium.  There is no lid and he wants me to look in it.  "Snake" automatically comes to mind.  Well, it was another tarantula that the painters had found.  I didn't want to put them together so I found an oatmeal container, punched a few holes in the lid and put him in there. 

This was all last Thursday.  Yesterday Elijah comes in and asks if I let the tarantula go.  "No", was my reply.  Somehow the one in the oatmeal container had pushed off the lid.  Now, I am very sure I put in on as tight as it would go.  The last thing I want is a tarantula crawling across my face as I sleep, or falling out of some dirty laundry that is on the floor, not that there is ever dirty laundry on the floor.  "Great!" is all I can think.  All day long I am carefully picking things up.  More for the tarantula than myself.  I really didn't want to injure it.  Yes it would freak me out a little and i really don't care to hold one, but I'm not really scared of them.  Well to make a long story a bit longer, we found him last night.  I looked up as I was ironing clothes and there he was in the windowsill.  This time he is in a jar.

You may have noticed that I have referred to them as "he".  I'm not sure how to tell the difference, but from all that we have read, I am pretty confident that is what they are.  Generally from June-October the males come out looking for mates.  They are usually 5-12 years old by this time (females can live around 30 years) and will die shortly after mating.  They either become lunch or just die like salmon.  It also says they will probably die whether they mate or not so tomorrow we will let them go.  I figure they ought to at least have a chance to reproduce.  Maybe we'll try to get a tarantula at the pet store that we can keep for a long time!

Here are  couple of links to info about the Oklahoma/Texas brown tarantula.  They are supposed to be good pets.

Primal Challenge

Okay, there is a contest going on and I plan to take part. I have not checked all details, but it involves quite a change in my eating habits. Now the challenge is going get really difficult over the next few weeks. As if it wouldn't be difficult enough, we will be out of the country for a few weeks. Don't worry, I have "house sitters" and a brother-in-law who will be around while we're gone. Anyway, it would be hard enough to do this at home, but I'm doing it anyways!

Here is a link to the challenge and what it is all about:

If you see me, ask how it's going! Encourage me to keep it up, or to get with it and quit making excuses. For the next 30 days I will be posting on my blogs what I am eating and doing. I will try to throw in some regular posts as well!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

End of a Magnifcent Weekend and Summer

Wow!  What a great ending to a great summer!  Last night capped off what was one of the most exciting weekends ever.  No, I didn't make it to the Labor Day sales at the mall, nor did I make it to rodeo weekend in Elk City.  I helped to dedicate a building and performed with our church chorale in Mendelssohn's Elijah! We took some friends to Oklahoma City to sight see and eat.  Finally, we attended the wedding of a great young couple.

 Armstrong Auditorium
To say that I helped dedicate a building is all at once an overstatement and a gross understatement.  By helping I mean to say that the same chorale union that performed Elijah, also performed for the dedication.  This "building" is a grand performing arts auditorium patterned after Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California.  It is named Armstrong Auditorium, after the late Herbert W. Armstrong.  Words simply cannot express the majesty and beauty of this place and pictures do not do it justice.  That's not to say that there weren't plenty of pictures taken and words spoken.  To cap off the dedication weekend we were privileged to have Sir David Wynne, famed British sculptor, unveil his Swans in Flight sculpture at the auditorium.  He began the weekend by giving a forum about his working and personal relationships with Mr. Armstrong.  He is quite a great man.


Sir David Wynne

Swans In Flight
The Elijah concert was a hit.  We heard from many in the community about how wonderful the performance was' as well as how beautiful the building was.  It was truly a moving experience to be a part of such a great work, in such an awe inspiring place.  We all wore white and a man from California provided even more drama with stage lighting.  When the "fire descended from heaven" we were lit up in glowing and flickering red and yellow and when it was a "still small voice" we had a calming blue.  It just added that much more to the drama of the story of Elijah.

Just us!

Probably the most fun we had was in taking a group of friends to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill and for a walk around Bricktown in Oklahoma City. There are nicer restaurants in the area, but none that say "Oklahoma!" in quite the same way.  This group of friends was made up of 10 from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, a lady from Houston, and the three of us.  Most of them had never been to any place like Toby Keith's.  They were amazed by its size not to mention the size of the portions.  We ordered calf fries, but only got one of them to try them.  I have to admit that in all my *COUGH* 40 years, I had never tried them either.  Well I went for it.  Okay, if you can get past the mental part of it, they are good.  Only two of our Trinidad friends would try them, but they all got a good laugh at each other's expense.  Whether is was for the faces made or a lack of adventurous spirit, everyone was included in the teasing.

Toby Keith's

Elijah (not the one the oratorio is about), Jeff, and Thomas

The wedding we attended was just beautiful.  All the decorating needed was a couple of white flower arrangements.  The hall is truly that beautiful.  Their reception was held on the grand mall in front of our newly unveiled sculpture.  Other than the Oklahoma wind, it was a great reception ending with all the guests sending them off through a tunnel of sparklers.

The only bad part about this weekend was sending friends back home.  Our newest friend from Trinidad stayed with us for the weekend.  He was a great joy to have with us.  We can't wait to see them all again in a couple of weeks! I also took Jessica to the airport this morning.  It has been two months since she arrived and she had become even more like one of our own children while she was here.    She is an extremely hard worker and the landscape crew will miss her.  For one thing, I believe she is only one of three full time landscapers and there is still a lot to finish around the auditorium.  I have a feeling she may be back soon.

Tabitha and Jessica

Well, that's the long of it.  No sales, no rodeo, but a lot of awe and a lot of fun!  Now back to the grind.