Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This is why I'm hot

Reason #1) It was inevitable: I gagged on this pill. Made a loud noise and everything. Jon, a few yards away in the living room, leaned back in his seat to get a better view of me. His face was a mixture of alarm, confusion, and 'wtf?' Several long seconds passed, then he shook his head and went back to his TV show.

Reason #2) At the beach this weekend, he looked at me in disbelief and asked, “How can one person be so sandy and not be five?” He may or may not have used the term 'sand-moustache' as a descriptor.

Reason #3) Two nights ago, he made me sleep with a sock on because he was so disgusted by my ingrown toenail.

Not so fast. I'm taken.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This glorious piece of heavenly heaven is Zeelandia beach. It’s been here the entire time we have, but this weekend was our first chance to go. (Being able to go to the places you want to go is FUN! I can’t WAIT for when we have an ATV.) We had the entire beach to ourselves, except for the two Parks volunteers tallying eggs in a turtle nest YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT.

Unfortunately, none of the eggs they dug up were viable. They all died from this unusually hot weather. Hey Weather, will you quit killing all the baby turtles already? Everyone HATES you when you kill baby turtles.

Here’s evidence of the nest that successfully hatched last week.

Turtle tracks!

Anyway, it was a great beach day. We jumped over waves, we splashed around, we watched pelicans fishing. But we didn’t swim.

Remember, this is that beach I told you about, the one generally considered a death trap. We played it safe, even though I’m not a thousand percent convinced of the danger. Half of the 2 people who have ever died there were drunk when it happened – in fact, a rumor has started that he drowned himself on purpose. But the other guy, the non-drunk one…his body was never found. So THAT’S disheartening. Still, I can see myself buying a life vest and a boogie board and heading out to where the waves break.

Some more pictures from our day of fun in the sun:

That’s the Quill in the background, btw. If you look closely, you can see St Kitts popping up to the left of the volcano. St Kitts is less than ten miles away – the closest island to us – but this was our first time seeing it. It hides behind the Quill and isn't visible from most places on the island.

Check out the piece of my hair stuck to Jon's face.

St Barth's in the background

That’s a pelican splashing down into the water. We were laughing hysterically at him. He would dive-bomb the shallows, and I’m convinced that a couple of times he actually stunned himself from the impact.

How much better would this picture have been if the umbrella were a cute, colorful one, instead of a black “Radiesse” one that Jon got for free from some medical meeting? WAY BETTER.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Island treat

We pass by this tree each week on our way to church. Usually there's a group of local kids hanging from the branches, collecting the fruit. Here it's called 'kenips', but on other islands they're called Spanish limes and/or mamone fruit. Our landlady offered us some from her own tree our very first day on the island and Jon and I both really enjoyed them, though some people find them hard to handle. They're sort of a mix between sweet and sour, with a weird, pulpy texture that would set my brother-in-law Darcy seizing. But we like them, so the other day I tried my hand at climbing the tree to find some.

Yeah, no luck. The clusters near the bottom have long since been picked, and I was too skeerd to climb up very high. So, it was sort of lame. But then, TA-DAH, Laura just happened to drive past as soon as I'd climbed down; One of her sons jumped out of the car, swung up through the branches, and the next thing I knew it was raining kenips.

Delicious lychee goodness inside.

Jon's got Friday and Monday off! It's going to be the best weekend ever, especially since we're borrowing a 4-wheeler from one of Jon's school friends. FINALLY we get to check out some of the far-away beaches. Hooray!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tastes just like it smells

When we left Idaho, Penny had just discovered the joy of chewing all the dander out of Gunner's fur. Most of the time, he didn't seem to mind, but on that rare occasion when he resisted, things would rapidly go downhill.

My mom says they get along much better now, so put your little minds at ease. Over the fighting, that is. That dander-chewing thing is definitely vile.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Yeah, I totally saw a waterspout yesterday. AN EFFING WATERSPOUT. It was maybe the single coolest thing I've ever seen. Since I didn't have my camera, I've decided to document it in the second-most legitimate way: Paint. Today's your lucky day!

The color of that sky was not easy to come by. I had to use the custom color palette. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don't try this at home

I had another fall. I don't know how it happened, but one moment I was preparing to leave the safety of ...sitting down... to go round up a snack, and the next thing I knew I was sprawled halfway across the couch, which was sliding away from me, with my legs tangled up under the coffee table. Whether or not I hit my knee on the glass top, or on the wicker arm of the couch, remains to be seen, all I know is that ten minutes after the incident I started screaming when I saw the thing that popped out of my patella.

I'd appreciate silence on the matter of all those leg hairs. Knees are really hard to shave, okay?!? Jon says I ruptured a blood vessel and that's what caused all the swelling and the purplish-black mark on top (unpictured). Anyway, at least I got a decent bruise out of it all.

PS - Last night during Wheel of Fortune, Jon says "I can't wait for when someone gets caught on the wheel and dragged around". I could not possibly have thrown my head back harder or laughed more loudly, short of causing myself further injury. He's pretty much the best person to have around.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

take 2

We went hiking again yesterday, but this time we trekked down into the crater of the Quill. Last time I was too scared to. I’d heard rumors from not-so-legitimate sources of plate-sized tarantulas down there. But after going up and down the volcano last time without seeing anything but some goats, some lizards, and a million crabs, today we went for it. Plus, I’ve decided that tarantulas are the least of my worries, because there was the ugliest, hugest, fastest yellow and red spider that went running along one of the arches of our porch a while back that I swear would have jumped on my face and eaten my eyes out if I’d have gotten within ten feet of it. I had nightmares for a week.

Anyway, the hike. So partway up we stopped to rest on some boulders. There was a rooster off in the underbrush, rummaging around for a snack, and he kept getting closer and closer. We figured as soon as he looked up and saw us, he’d take off squawking up a storm like all the hens tend to do, but he really didn’t mind us at all. So weird. And he didn’t just walk past, he decided to hang out for a while with us. You know. Fix his feathers and stuff.

Even when Jon grabbed him, he hardly cared at all. He sort of protested for like three seconds and as soon as Jon released his grip the dumb bird just strutted right past us to go peck at our water bottle. Silly rooster!

Later, I almost stepped on this snake:

Here’s Jon beginning the descent into the crater:


Aaaand can we talk about this picture? WTH??

Anyway, all in all, not as scary as I'd thought it would be. Though there were a couple of times when we were in the deepest part of the crater that I'm sure Jon would have preferred to just put a blindfold on me and lead me around, like removing a horse from a burning stable. I'm sort of a wimp.
I promise that the next time I write, it won't be detailing another hike to the Quill. Sorry if I've let you down.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Quill, The Quill, The Quill is on Fy-ah

We hiked the Quill! And it was fun, and I only fell once. Three cheers for extinct volcanoes!

Ready, set, go.

The sign at the trailhead. We took the “Quill Trail” which led right up to the edge of the crater, then the “Panorama Point Trail” which was pretty much straight up from there.

HOLY HUGEST CRAB EVER. We saw hundreds of these things marching through the foliage. They tuck and roll as soon as they sense you, so the prevailing sound in the forest aside from your own footsteps is the thump-thump-thump of soldier crabs tumbling down the hill. Half the time they end up rolling right in front of you on the trail. Jon may or may not have accidentally stepped on two. Crabs are so stupid!

Here’s the view from the crater rim. We’re standing right next to the edge looking across to the other side.

After resting and having a snack on the rim we took the Panorama trail straight up to the highest point on the North side of the volcano. I’m looking at Zeelandia Beach in this picture. If the day had been less hazy we would have had views of several surrounding islands including St Maarten and St Barths. But it wasn’t.

And that was the hike. Okay, so WEIRDEST THING EVER - yesterday Jon and I went snorkeling together and we saw a sea snake - an actual snake about 20 feet below us. Not an eel, a SNAKE. It was slithering along the bottom of the ocean. A real snake. WE BOTH SAW IT. With our eyes. We know what eels look like, and we know what snakes look like, and it was a snake. Greyish-purple with yellowish dots on its back, and around four feet long. We watched it for about ten minutes. It was awesome - the coolest thing either of us have seen since we've been here. Anyway, so of course the second I had internet access I tried to research what kinds of sea snakes can be found in the Caribbean and everything that came up said NONE. THERE ARE NO SEA SNAKES in the Caribbean OR the Atlantic ocean. Zero. How can this be???? Consider my mind blown.