Thursday, December 27, 2012

Auld Lang Syne



Is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. Auld Lang Syne might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".

Another year has come and gone. That is really hard to believe. It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in a snow filled, empty parking lot at 4am in the morning. Kissing my husband goodbye. He was getting into the truck of a complete stranger, leaving much to my disappointment on New Years Eve 2011 to go to a new job in North Dakota. I hated that moment with every muscle in my body, with every sentiment in my mind. 

Holidays have always been a big deal in my life. My parents always made a major fuss (not complaining, I loved every minute of it). Every Halloween, Valentines, and St Patricks day I had a small  present sitting at my spot on the table. Birthdays were like a personal royal holiday, and Christmas was always magical. New Years was never any different. We would celebrate until midnight, eating junk and playing games. Never a year can I remember that my parents left us to go to some Fancy party. They always stayed home with us to celebrate the moment that this year became last. Even as I grew up, moved out, got married, every new years we celebrated that moment of change together, even if just through the phone. 

Right then, at that moment as I watched my husband drive away I felt so incredibly alone. My parents were 3500 miles away, and my husband was traveling 600 miles away to work. It would be just me and the girls that New Years. I knew then that this new job would never work. I knew that I could not stand to be so far away from my husband, I couldn't even imagine the other Holidays, birthdays, and precious moments in between that he would miss with working fourteen days, 600 miles away. It was a miserable moment, and honestly the worst New Year I have experienced so far. 

That was 11 months, and 27 days ago. Never in a million years was I prepared for what happened next. (Million years, common term I use for this experience)(Inside joke).

How is it possible for in one year to achieve this:

Sell your home in "the sinking real estate market" for your asking price.
Sell an entire herd of horses and dogs.
Sell 90% of your belongings, just let go of all those personal things that you have spent your life working for...they are after all just material things.
Sell your vehicles, be car free and free of car loans.
Say goodbye to your friends and family (incredibly hard to do by the way).
Load what is left of your belongings (those things you couldn't part with) into a 12 X 12 storage shed, knowing you may never see those things again.
Go to the airport, with 2 children 2 dogs, and your clothes on your back, relocating 3500 miles away.

Meanwhile, some 3500 miles your husband has already relocated to an island in the caribbean, and he has:

Bought a car, paying cash.
Found a place for you to live, with an Ocean view.
Is working his way up a company ladder faster than you can say "shit".

WOW! What a year, we have seen things, done things, and realized several of our "bucket list" goals in the year 2012. I mean really WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!! Do you realize how long we were trying to do that!!!! ( Nine Years, for those who didn't know) All of these were not Goals we set on Dec 31, 2011. Actually I highly recommend throwing caution to the wind, hang your heart out on the line, and ask for what you really want. I did, and I got it. Not exactly how I imagined it, not where and when I expected it..but I got it all this year. Really I did. I even lost weight! :)

So, put your pens down. Don't do it, do not write those New Years resolutions. I didn't I prayed for change, and then I worked my butt off to get it. May your glass be half full this year, my your memories be bright, your lessons be great, and those moments, the little ones that seem so insignificant...treasure them, they usually don't happen twice.

Happy New Year....this year who knows what the winds might bring, but what ever they are I am going to embrace them. They will take you where you never imagined you could go.

GOOD LUCK

Friday, December 21, 2012

Caribbean "Cruzan" Christmas

Click on this as you read, this is Cruzan Festival (Christmas) Music



Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,Happy Festival, Have a Blessed Season, and a Wondrous Christmas!


These are the greetings I have been met, and left with. If nothing else about this island they know how to throw a party. Everyone is bright and cheery, they exude Christmas spirit. Sharing in the joy of the season. Christmas also known as The Cruzan Christmas Festival, is a really big deal here. They start December 1st and go all the way to Three Kings Day (January 6th), ending with a big street festival and parade.

We missed the big kick off while in Disneyland...the Caribbean's largest boat parade. Apparently this was the best one ever (figures). Everyone decorates their sailboats with lights, and then they do an actual parade through the harbor, which you can watch from the boardwalk. They finish the parade off with fireworks. We caught a small glimpse of these as we drove home from the airport.

Christmas shopping getting you down....no worries as you walk in the stores here on Island they greet you at the door with free samples. To ease your shopping stress, have one, two, or three shots of liqueur right there in the store. Valid ID is all that is required. You can get lit and then shop till you drop!

They ship Coney Island style rides, by boat to the island. They set the rides up in 2 different locations, complete with fairway games. They call this "The Vilage" (not spelled wrong in their opinion). All the prizes are Christmas themed. Local cruzan vendors sell their trinkets, and local cuisine. Cruzan stuffing is divine, so are the shrimp kabobs. We have several parades to attend. The first one is tomorrow night, each concluding at live concerts featuring many of the local artists, which share the same Festival music I shared with you above. The more exotic Carnival Style parades are yet to come after the first of the year, and I will be sure to share pictures. Course the ones from the "adult parade" may be a little.....bare!

We met Santa at the harbor, he arrived on a fire truck, complete with elves and his....donkey?? He was black as night, but to my delight the girls didn't even notice. One of the greatest blessings about living here that I hope they carry forever, is my children do not see a difference in color, they simply see beautiful people!!!! Santa handed out candy and toys, with the steel pan band playing in the background.

We are not short on activities or fun. The weather is warm, not even dipping below 79*, shorts and tank tops is all that we need. It is not the Christmas we know, but it will be one to remember!




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Precious Moments

First off I would like to report...I did it!!!! I lost 2 lbs on vacation!!! Faith and confidence revived in myself.

Now to more important things in life then my trivial troubles.

Precious moments in life. Last night we went to an adorable and fun Christmas program at St. Mary's Catholic school. They did a Nativity program, costumes and all. Then each class performed to a classic Christmas song. The 1st grade was of course the best performers of the night, singing Ring Those Bells, complete with Santa hats and jingle bells. Really a fun night.

After the performance Macy and I headed to my car, while Don and Rozi went to the jeep. Separate vehicles due to me working late. While walking to the car Macy and I passed two men arguing heavily. I picked up the pace, turned the corner and reached the car. Upon reaching the car and inserting my key, I found that the car would not unlock. It simply refused to budge, I tried several times with no avail. The arguing men moved into view and I felt some concern, quickly called Don on the phone for help. Luckily he had to simply circle the block and he was there. We quickly found that his key would not work either. The argument had moved down the street out of view, concern was still in the air. Unfortunately St Mary's is in a part of town that is highly recommended to avoid at night.

I had to go to the bathroom, so we decided I would return to the school use the bathroom and ask for assistance. We didn't even know who to call for help here. I left the girls with Don and walked down the street and around the corner. As I turned the corner the argument came  into view once more. Things had gotten physical. I hurried to that side gate into the school complex, as I approached I realized several children, mostly boys had come out the gate. Curious to what was going on. No other adults were in sight, and as I approached the gate I realized this fight was more than that. It was a struggle for life, I screamed at the children to get inside. To my relief I scared them and they went running. Unfortunately for me I was not able to escape the sights and sounds before me. As I entered the school grounds I heard and saw a life fade before me.

We got help, a wrecker on the way for us. Police and ambulances arrived. As we sat and waited in the rain, a lifeless form was loaded into an ambulance. As we sat there, the rain pouring down I really realized how frail life is. We see death a thousand times in the movies. We hear the tragedies on the news. Perhaps some of us have even been their in the frail moments as a loved one slips away. I had never seen anything like this, never hope to again. I true struggle for survival. A brutal moment when a man decides to take a life. I was probably fifteen feet from the actual fight, but I saw and heard more than I will ever forget. Late last night I reflected on what could I have done different. I know in this instance, nothing. But perhaps each day I can do little things that will add up to make a difference.

People are very angry today. Here on this island, but more than that. Everywhere people are angry. I see it on the news, on social media. This anger will not change anything for the better. It will not make things right, or let them heal. I know that a lot of people have seen and felt a lot of heartache the last few years. Loosing all that you have is very painful, I can only imagine.

It is Christmas time, a time of Joy, of Love, or Peace. I only pray that we can let go of our anger, our hate. Turn to our neighbors, our families. Let Love shine through our hearts. Reach out to those in need, give what we can. Help where we are able. Even the smallest smile can change someones day.

Embrace the precious moments. Hold on to the ones you love a little tighter. Life is frail, life is a gift, and you never now if tomorrow will ever come.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Disappointment with a Silver Lining

Fuck This Shit.....I stepped on my scale this morning and threw my hands in the air. Of course I was probably being unrealistic and expecting some sort of miracle from three days ago...but come on, I had been diligent in the last three days. Eating only celery and carrots for lunch....give me a damn pound would you!!

I had come down to the wire. Procrastination is my biggest failure, and in weight loss it is the first failure. I had set a goal, actually a goal within a goal. Hoping to motivate my plateau of weight loss I had most recently reached. I really wanted to loose 10 lbs. before our trip to Disney World. I set this goal in October at which time I weighed 6 lbs less then I do today. So then last Friday I decided I would be very diligent and try my hardest to loose these 6 pesky pounds that found me again in the last month. Reaching the original weight, vowing to be happy with that, go on vacation, to return (probably 6 lbs heavier if not more) and continue working on loosing weight reaching my ultimate goal of 81 lbs total loss (someday right).

I failed.

So I became very disappointed, disappointed in my weight, disappointed in ME. So what did I do today, eat everything in sight. No really I did.

1 Chocolate Pumpkin Muffin
1 Banana (see I started out ok)
2 c. skim milk
4 graham crackers slathered in Nutella (not gonna even bother guessing how much)
4 tbs fried onions ( yep really going for it now)
2 slices of cheese pizza
1 can of Coke
3-4 glasses of water, because you sweat just sitting around

All of that before 2 pm Atlantic Standard Time (sort of, whole other story)

Then as I loaded a grumpy baby in the car to go get her sister, and drove down a jeep trail also known as my road I began to cry. Yep, I did. At first I was crying because I had a headache, Rozi was catter-walling for who know what reason, and I was tired. Then I realized I was crying and began to ponder why. I was so disappointed in myself. I realized at that moment that I had done what I always do. I stepped on the scale so no change, decided FUCK IT I DON'T CARE. And then I ate.

When in all reality I do care. I am sick and tired of being fat. I am not a fat person. I have not been fat since I was a child, I do not have health issues to blame, I am active and physically capable of physical activity. Actually I am quite active, and I feel it. My joints ache due to all the extra weight. My back bothers me often, my feet get swollen when I am on them all day. I hate that I cannot play with my children the way I want to. I can't run and jump with them without being winded. I don't fit in things like my mind thinks I should. I hate the way people look at me when I mention that I have trained horses. I can see the doubt and disbelief in their faces. Not to mention many other unpleasant side effects due to my obesity. There I said it, I am obese.

I am 5'5", my ideal body weight is 125-137 lbs. According to that I am currently 75-87 lbs overweight.

National Institutes of Health states A BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight and a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese.

My BMI (Body Mass Index) is 35.3, OBESE. I don't like it, but it is reality. Time to face reality. That is why I am writing this, I hope it helps someone else, anyone else. But most of all I need to put this down so I can come back here on the next FUCK IT day. I have to stop the cycle.

There is a silver lining in all this.

When we got home first thing I did was log all the food I ate. Face the music. Not a pretty calorie count, but puts it all in perspective. Then I sat down alone in my room and pondered how I was going to stop this, how I was going to change.

Eight months ago I started Weight Watchers. I lost 20 lbs and it felt great. Then I began having a hard time staying with the food program. Food here is very expensive as I have mentioned. Getting things from Wal-mart became difficult and I couldn't afford to buy the same things here. I did okay maintaining, I hadn't gained but I wasn't loosing. Then somewhere in the last 2 months 6 lbs found me. I began to panic it was the worst feeling because with the panic came the feeling of failure, and then the feeling of despair. I think I began to give up. I think that is how I got to today. I believe that is exactly how I got to the 200's years ago. I gave up trying.

I am not a quitter anyone who knows me knows I get back on the horse every time I come off. I have competed with broken bones, I have ridden with fractures I have looked straight into the face of failure and not quit. Somehow this one aspect of my life I keep quitting.

Silver lining in two days we are leaving to go on vacation to Walt Disney World, where we will be walking everywhere.  8 miles a day is the supposed average. Food is outrageous there. I loaded my calorie counter on my iphone. Packed up a bunch of healthy snacks. I want to spend on memories not food. Instead of going on vacation and throwing all diet-caution to the wind, I am going armed to the teeth. I am not going to gain, and I am going to use the magic inspired exercise to come home thinner.

I'm not looking for a miracle, I will take a pound. Shooting for my 6. So check back in ten days and I will let you know how I did. Not to mention how much fun we will have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am up, not down. I feel better, thanks for letting me share. Feel free to cheer me on, I am happy to cheer any of you on just let me know. Join me.....happiness is contagious.

I CAN DO THIS

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thankful

I have done a lot of complaining lately. Sorry for that, and I am ashamed really.

For the first time in years, actually for the first time in my married life, life is perfect. Really it is. Yes, I miss our mountains daily. Yes, we miss all our dear friends and family daily. However, for the last ten years Don and I have really had one hurdle after another. For those of you who have known us all that time, and were there by our sides, you understand.

Really life was not a bowl of cherries for us. A lot of heartache and change, a lot of uncertainty and trial. We had glimmering moments, the birth of both our beautiful girls. Magical moments shared with our friends and family. Adventures and travel, but every corner we turned there was something waiting for us, some challenge we had to overcome. Some of them absolutely heartbreaking and maddening.

8 months ago when yet another curve ball was thrown our way, we did the unexpected, we stepped out onto a ledge that we could not see. We took a really big gamble, with our lives in the balance. We had nothing to loose, and we really needed to gain.

Our lives have brought us to a point that only dreams are made of. Lessons that you cannot teach are presented at our feet daily. We have met people that will change us forever. I have seen great sadness, true poverty and despair like I could never imagine. I have seen great wealth, great generosity in places I would least expect it.

Miracles in nature I only dreamed of seeing have filled  my heart as I float silently in the ocean. Memories are filling our hearts daily that we all will carry the rest of our lives. The sun smiles down on us, and I am truly blessed and grateful.

There are difficulties with island living, but I live on an Island! Every night my husband is home, his arms wrapped tightly around me as I sleep. My children are happy and excited. Laughter fills our house. As I write this a gentle trade wind fills my house, sailboats glide along the ocean, passion fruit blooms scent fill the air. I have a lot to be Thankful for!

I thank God for my family, my health and my families health. I thank God for our wealth, our bills are paid, and although never enough we have savings in place for safe keeping. My animals fill my soul with love. I have friends who pray for our safety, and keep us in their thoughts at all times. My talents and abilities that help keep me motivated and constantly striving to learn and be better. My husband who loves me unconditionally, who holds my heart forever more. For my children who keep me balanced, who teach me lessons everyday, and who fill my heart with more love than it can hold. My family near and far who cheer us on through this amazing adventure. And last but not least for a God who has created this crazy, amazing thing called LIFE!

I am Thankful to have all that I do, and I hope that in the end I will prove to not have wasted my time, and that I will have made a difference in all that I did.

GOD BLESS YOU, GOD KEEP YOU SAFE UNTIL THE END. 

MAKE IT COUNT

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Easy Come, Easy Go

Goodbye, so long, farewell.

Land of change, people come and go all day through a tiny little airport. You board your plane in the humidity, or are greeted with promises of tropical paradise painted on the walls as you walk across hot asphalt. People come to this rock for a multitude of reasons. Vacation, work, escape or home. To find love or leave it. No matter the reason, people come and they go.

We have been here 7 or 8 months, depends who you ask. It has been hard making friends, people keep to themselves or if local are surrounded by family. The two of us stick out like sore thumbs. Slowly through work and school we meet people and get to know them. Cultures entwine when we go to the beach or share a dinner. Most people from Don's job have taken to tolerating the rednecks from the backwoods west.

We have become friends with to mid-western kids, hard to say it really, I still feel like a kid, but they are just barely in their twenties. They worked with Don, came to this Island almost a year ago to the day. For a job they came here, with the same company who is paying our bills. Like the rest of us they found adventure and trials in their daily lives here. Upon coming here they left home as high school sweethearts, being in a tropical paradise the chose to get married here. Why not!

We were invited to their wedding, everyone should attend at least one beach side wedding. It was magnificently beautiful with sand in our toes, and the sun parting through the palm trees. Perfection on a wedding day, always worth enjoying. The party was magnificent, the food was fabulous. We are still talking about their cookie table. The girls were a hit, free entertainment for all.

The girls absolutely adore this couple. Katlyn will play and chat with Macy endlessly, and Ben with his goofball antics constantly has them laughing. Really a great couple with a lifetime of potential ahead of them.

Sadly they are leaving this week, returning to the mid-west. They had enough sun, fun, and toil. In a land where children never grow old, and men turn back to children. They are moving on, bigger and better things ahead. Pennsylvania  ill be home, a job in Ben's field, and Katlyn is going back to school. Their family is close, and a Wal-mart just around the corner.

We gained a crock pot, some cookie sheets, and a lot of laughs. In exchange we loose our new found friends. Life on the island.....always changing. Land of the transient people.



Easy Come, Easy Go.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hell on Earth...if you believe such things. (explicit)

This post is spawned by my most recent frustration in paradise. Cost of living here is off the charts, I pay $5.99 for a gallon of milk folks.  Unless, of course you want to live on Rum (any alcohol really), olive oil, brie cheese, and anything else imported.

FUCK ME!

So Wal-mart recently decided to campaign here and opened their website to us, enticing with FREE shipping on any order over $45.00.

I joined the club, signed up for their Walmart Credit card, and declared aloud "relief at last!" So for the last month I have dutifully gone to Walmart.com on a weekly basis, and filled my "online cart" to the brim, with out an issue surpassing the $45 mark.

Buying baby needs, that are doubled here. Fruit snacks and hair care products. I had been using Suave here, because it is simply all I could afford, my hair has just been returning to its usual luster.   Ziploc baggies, and peanut butter. Apple Juice and cereal....things we haven't been able to afford.

SLAM THE DOOR IN MY FACE!

Went online today, filled my cart and went to check out. Only to be informed that due to shipping restrictions certain items in my cart are no longer able to be shipped. Look for the items highlighted in red it tells me. HIGHLIGHTED! My whole fucking cart is glowing red.

You see the government got wind of this bliss we were all partaking in, and they shoved their greedy fists right into the pot....taxing all things imported from these independent websites. Who refuse to play their politician bingo....so alas our days of "relief" will be a whisper in the past.

I am sitting at my desk, looking out off my deck onto the ocean blue. The sky is overcast today. But Buck Island is clear, its white sand calling all who revel in paradise. You can check in anytime you like, but you may never leave.

I think that it is possibly true, that hell is on earth and Paradise truly can't be found.

For decades, long before my parents moved to this tiny Isle, I dreamed of living by the ocean blue. Of swimming with the fishes daily, and having sun kissed hair. I dreamed of paradise, and thought that it meant sun, sand, and surf.

Well, I can tell you now that paradise is in your heart and soul. Keep it safe, guard it and hold it there. Look deep inside of you, find those things that make you proud of who you are, find the rare little moments that make you glow like a star. That is paradise. Don't look to the other side of that fence, look right in front of you. Paradise is where we reside inside.

I found it....not on an island, but this island made me look inside.

Hope someday to be where my heart resides. My family by my side....where they to are often looking in the distance to the Western Sun.

But for now, with flames licking at our side....we grow, and gain knowledge beyond our years. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and beyond a shadow of a doubt we are where we are supposed to be right here, right now. Even if its Hell on earth.....at least it has those white sandy beaches.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Six Months

Technically I am six days early...but today I have the time to write.

WOW! What an adventure....wouldn't trade it for the world. Living life makes you stronger, leading life makes you wonder, watching life makes you laugh, and holding life makes you love.


We all miss home. Macy asks for her friends. Don is missing his big bucks. I miss my horses, and am already pining for snow. But, right now, in this moment the things we are seeing, the lessons we are learning, I would not change it.

Besides....we are young! Take your life, grab it and live it to the fullest!

It has been pouring rain lately, lots of rain. Like the rest of the world we need it. See we don't have wells for water...there is not much of an aquifer on an island. We use cisterns filled from the rain collected from our roofs. We bath in this water, laundry, and drink it. (the later local Cruzans think we're crazy for, but just the same as good old mountain well water.) The house we live in has two cisterns both holding 15,000 gallons of water, and even ours were getting low. If you run out you can buy water....if your rich and famous.

We have wildlife Whitetail Deer were brought here from Florida in the 1700's as a food source. They still roam the island and are protected....Don has other plans. Iguanas are seen every where and have a razor sharp tail. They vary in size I have seen one that head to tail was 4'. Hermit crabs, and land crabs everywhere (Macy's favorite (besides the sea turtles)). Mongoose were brought to kill the rats that came on ships. Unfortunately the rats kill the mongoose, so yes we have rats BIG ONES. Birds of different species, no parrots. Mostly Egrets, Pelicans, and lots of Doves.

 We have Frigate birds, they are enormous and look like pterodactyls!!


For the most part the people are kind, loving, and demand your respect. Everyone greets everyone either Good-morning, Good-afternoon, or Goodnight. Always and anyone. If you don't you get the look....you never want to get the Cruzan stare...trust me!! Course depending on the person its Gah-marnin', just ask Rozi she has it down perfect. She will speak Cruzan I'm afraid.

Crime is high, rule of thumb we don't stay out past 10pm. There are places you stay away from, and don't go looking for trouble because its big and deadly down here. Most of it is Drug/gang related but they love their weapons, and don't think twice about killing. Sad for many of the locals, seems everyone of them has at least buried one loved one.

Another side of the crime is the poverty (third world country), they will vandalize the cell towers to sell the copper. At Don's job just yesterday, the electricians had bundled a bunch of wire and were putting it away. They took one load across the job, by the time they had returned the rest was gone. The government is very corrupt (again stay out of trouble, keys to cells are sold and people rot in jail). Crimes aren't solved just bought and sold. It seems Crime has a large payroll down here.

I know, it doesn't just happen in movies!!!

BUT......we have paradise lost...



















And then FOUND!


So that's a little about this rock....Don't worry were safe, and don't worry were not lost!! Time flies by, we will see you when we see you ;)!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Honesty

Paradise:  is a religious term for a place in which existence is positive, harmonious and timeless.  


Funny, I always thought it was somewhere, come to find out it really is a state of mind.  


When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be a boy. Yep, you heard that right. No I didn't want a sex change. I watched a lot of movies and in those movies the boys and men where the fearless cowboys, the adventures, the wild bunch. Girls were sissies. I did not want to be a sissy. As I got older I learned I could be a girl and be a member of the "wild bunch". I was daredevil, yes I stuck my tongue to frozen poles. I swam naked in beaver ponds, I fell off horses and got right back on.

As I got older I learned that I could be a girl/women who had appeal as an outlaw (I prefer the term, call it what you want.) I worked hard to become who I was, we all do. Then I hit that dreadful age of uncertainty. I went to collage got lost, got found, got lost, and found again. This time I was found by my mother who insisted I go into business for myself as a horse trainer. (personally I thought she was nuts, but I played along (really I did)).

I worked really hard at it. For two years I worked at making a name for myself, I had a lot of people doubt me. Slowly I gained followers and believers as that happened I found myself believing and seeing it.

Ten years ago I was at my peak. I was making money, paying my bills, training horses. I sold my first high dollar horse all by myself. I had met the man I was gonna marry. He owned land (that's what it was the land), he always thought it was the red truck. He owned an arena, horses, was breeding and raising and needed a good trainer. Paradise.

Life happens while we are making other plans, my mama always used to tell me. Boy, she is so smart.

I don't know where it happened. Where I lost myself again, but I did. Looking back I think I can see it, really a lot has happened. It always does, but I know that I started to doubt myself a little more each day until one day I believed I wasn't really that person. You think I've got this, or that doesn't change me. But it does. I decided I didn't care anymore, I decided that's not me. I wanted to be this...this person I never was. But I insisted, I started looking for anything to make me happy again. We fought Don and I, looking back I see he was trying to pull me back. He has always seen it, but he didn't know how to fix it. I bet he even blames himself. Its not his fault, that's a fact.

I wanted so badly for a change, thinking a change would make it better. I had a dream of living by the ocean.....I love the ocean. I think I thought that it was what burned deep inside me. When the opportunity struck I leaped at it, perhaps faster than I should. I had already decided I didn't care, I could give it all up, remember it wasn't really me anyways.

Paradise....state or mind, state of being. I found it, funny that I had to travel 3500 miles in the wrong direction to have to turn and look back and see what it is that makes me...me. The ocean does have a healing power, it is a mirror looking through it you see yourself and what you have become.

Healing I am. Not gonna be easy, not gonna be swift. Wish that it was, but never an easy fix. But...

I hear the wind across the plain 
A sound so strong - that calls my name 
It's wild like the river - it's warm like the sun 
Ya it's here - this is where I belong

Under the starry skies - where eagles have flown 
This place is paradise - it's the place I call home 
The moon on the mountains 
The whisper through the trees 
The waves on the water 
Let nothing come between this and me

Cuz everything I want - is everything that's here 
And when when we're all together - there's nothing to fear 
And wherever I wander - the one thing I've learned 
It's to here - I will always....always return




Friday, July 6, 2012

A Year

One year ago I was here on St Croix. No I have not lived here for a year, I was here for our annual visit the parents trip.

Dreaming is believing,
Believing is seeing,
Seeing is living.


On that trip my parents were doing their usual, you should move here you would love it spiel. I believed them to be right but I told them, "not in a million years would Don ever move to place like this."


Well in One year, I have experienced a million. And let me tell you today that feels all the more true.


Living here is way different than a vacation here. Officially I have lived here for 100 days. Feels like a lifetime. 


The people are like nothing I have ever experienced. They are kind, patient, friendly and above all proud of their heritage. 


The island is all that I could have hoped for, plus more. The ocean is full of life and adventure for me and the girls. Everything is a festival or party. Everyone lives for the weekends when the beaches are packed and the island is alive. 


Lifestyle is expensive. However their are people here who have next to nothing, yet they are surviving. I  read on another blog today about taking your troubles and laying them in a pile with other peoples troubles and given the option to choose new troubles, most people would gather their own back up again. 


Yesterday I was clearing a shipment through customs for work. Which includes driving in circles on this rock. At one point I was driving along in the pouring rain and I passed a women carrying several bags of groceries and a gallon of milk all in one hand, while her other arm was wrapped around her 3 month old baby with a diaper bag slung on her shoulder. It was really raining I hit the brakes and backed up. I rolled down the window and hollered out if she wanted a ride, her grateful eyes lit up as she hollered "Si."


She ran over and climbed inside, soaking wet water rolling off her and her baby girl groceries weighing in at 25lbs piled at her feet. I looked at her and knew she didn't speak a lick of English and said "Where to?" She rattled off something in spanish and I smiled pathetically. She realized I didn't speak a lick of spanish. So we started down the road with a mix of Spanglish and a lot of gestures. It wasn't too far maybe 2-3 miles and I dropped her at her front door. I could tell she was eternally grateful, and as was I for that moment of realization that no matter how little it seems you have, someone out there always has less and you can give something of yourself to them. 


Island life isn't always paradise, we are learning that. But we remain blessed and grateful for the experience. When it is all said and done our sacrifices will be well worth it in the end. 


Thanks for all of you who are cheering us on. We miss you and our grateful for what you are doing to help us have this experience! 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Ask, and you shall recieve..."

I know many of you did not see my last post. It was not one I broadcast-ed, (of course you are now looking for it, I will wait........)

It was a post mostly for me, I needed to plead out loud for some help. I am not good at asking for help, but in a way for me that post was a prayer out loud, as the dream was a silent plea for some peace.

Peace I was given. It started last Friday the weekend of Memorial Day. My mother, the girls, and I went to the beach, Cane Bay my favorite beach. I love this beach because almost always you will see a horse at the beach, in the water or riding by.


No horses today. While I was building a sandcastle with the girls on the shore my mother was bobbing in the water, doing what she does best. Making new friends. I could hear their voices carrying across the water, but could not make out their conversation. After a while I entered the water to cool off, and my mother hollered for me to come over. She introduced me to a women named Fran. (Side note here since we arrived at the beach call it what you want serendipity, fate, miriacle, this woman had a magnetic pull to both of my girls. They would not leave her and her beau alone. I was constantly retrieving them and apologizing for their intrusion on her day. She smiled each time and said it was no big deal, little did we know we needed to meet.)

Fran is a local, has lived here a year and was talking about horses to my mother. The local Cane Bay cowboy that we often see at the beach with his horses, has several horses according to Fran that he is more than happy to share. She tells me where to find him and that it is best to be there at 8am on Saturdays when he gives lessons for free to the local kids. She says if he has a spare he is usually more than willing to let you ride along with them. We visit for a bit, but really have nothing more to say to each other....it is truly like she was meant to tell me that, and that was it. She says goodbye and literally rolls up and leaves....plenty of day left to be at the beach. Makes you wonder, if she wonders why she came to the beach today at all. Not me, I know why she was there.

I was thrilled by the news, content to just groom or pet the horses and maybe get a ride. So Saturday I was up bright and early. Don laid in bed watching me get ready, a slightly jealous smile on his face. I kissed him quick with a promise to get him some horse time too, and was out the door. I was early arriving just as a father was dropping his daughter and her friend. Made some small talk and found I was at the right place. The father was leaving the island in two days (Hovensa Shut Down) forever, and he was so sad to leave "such a great place" it reminded me to "Make It Count".

Anyways...back to the story. Shortly there after Cowboy Stephen arrived.

A fifty-something cross between Robert Redford and Crocadile Dundee, with Gerard Butler's adorable Irish accent. Stephen is from Ireland, but has been "on island" as they say for 20 years. He worked in the states on different horse ranches and was a roman catholic priest. Talk about a mix.

We (the kids and I) are walking up a dirt road, with Stephen following behind in his pickup. As we reach the horses the kids drift off to say hello to there furry friends and Stephens steps out of the pickup to meet me. I introduce myself, and told him Fran sent me as she directed. He is thrilled to have me, and asks am I a kid?

I looked at him puzzeled, and he says how old are you. I smile and tell him, he laughs a huge Irish laugh and says I guessed you for 19. He is my most favorite person ;)! He asks me my experience I tell him, and as I do a smile creeps arcoss his face. When I am done he points to a slender brown horse and says then that colt is for you.

"Bo" is his name. Stephen just got him and he has a raft of bad habits. He is not a colt in my opinion he is between 7-10yrs but has been in Pony Club for years and has all the bad habits to prove it. He is my project, and Stephen puts it that I can ride him 7 days a week if not more!!

Needless to say, I have once again met an incredible horse person to add to my amazing list. He has given me a horse to ride and welcomes my help as much as I can give. I helped him with the kids Saturday which was just like old times for me and it was a blast. I plan to be there every Saturday. The day ended with Stepehen thanking me over and over and over. I could not get it through him that I was the one Eternally grateful. He made me promise to be back (like that was necessary). We made a date for Monday so I could bring the girls and Don, as promised.

It was more than I asked for, once again I am so blessed in this amazing adventure. We rode Monday too, all of us. Stephen even took the girls so Don and I could really go for a ride on the beach. BUCKET LIST once again!

I can't believe my life. Happy to share the journey with you all, just promise me that you to will try to "MAKE IT COUNT"!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dreaming......

I had a dream last night. Every time I woke up I was so confused as to where I was, and then every time I drifted back to sleep I was right back where I left off. It was one of those dreams that is so real feeling that your not sure where reality falls.

I was at home, our old house in Idaho, trying to get ready to move here. I was alone and every time I filled a box I would turn to find it empty. I would walk into rooms that I know I had emptied to see them filled with all our things again. I was really struggling with leaving, great sadness filled me.

One of the times I woke up and once I came to realize where I was I attempted to stay awake reading. It didn't work and I fell deep asleep. This time I was in the pasture, no one had wanted our horses I was leaving that day and they were all just standing there and I was leaving them there, all alone. I felt so terrible, like I had really failed them. I didn't want to leave but there was a strong weight pulling me away. I had my arms wrapped around a fuzzy buckskin neck tears streaming down my face and I was pulled away.

I awoke to Rozi crying, it was morning time to get up. I was here on an Island faraway.

This is a grand adventure, but I find myself missing all that I left behind very deeply today.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hunting in the Caribbean

Yesterday was beautiful. Puffy clouds filled a baby blue sky, the water was sparkling and I was excited.

Bucket List:
          Spearfishing

We went to the beach with the girls. Don and them were going to play on the beach while Pepe, our new friend was going to take me out and show me the ropes of spearfishing. I had my gear, snorkel and fins. Pepe had his, awesome mechanical spear gun, 35' of rope with a small buoy at the end, lobster hook, his 4' fins and snorkel. He visited with Don a bit, they had never met and I think he wanted to make sure Don wasn't worried about this man taking his wife out in the ocean. Can take the Cuban out of Cuba, but you can't take Cuba out of the Cuban. Not to mention he is a Spaniard...all men could learn from them. Anyways, Pepe told Don we shouldn't be more than 2hrs and we headed out.

We were swimming to the outside reef, best guess 1/2 a mile. Pepe said the best fishing was on the other side of the reef. He had explained that the reef out there "is much more beauty, than reef close to island". To start out we were swimming over sea grass the bottom quickly dropped to about 20-30' of water and it was sprinkled with sea stars and empty conch shells. We were cruising along when in front of us I could see a shadow moving across the floor. Pepe was pointing, I cleared my goggles and  a Lagerhead turtle appeared in front of us. He was magnificent, he was pale with large spots, and he was HUGE!! We swam right up over him and Pepe dove down to touch, I was close behind but Mr. Turtle sped up and stayed about 5' ahead of us. He was 3-4 feet wide and about 4' nose to tail. On the surface Pepe told me he guessed his weight to be 200-300lbs. So beautiful.

Shortly after we came upon some rays feeding along the sea grass, little guys about 1'. They are cool creatures. Lots of life, a gigantic parrot fish, trumpet fish, you name it we saw it. Once to the reef I could see Pepe was right, it was more beautiful then the ones surrounding the island. Nothing was dead, everything was bright and so colorful. The fans were bright orange, purple, lime, red. The fish zipped and dove everywhere.

Once to the reef Pepe would dive down and check under all the ledges for Lobster. Right away he found one and he went to work. He first dropped his spear gun by the ledge to mark it, came to the surface got his lobster hook from the rope, gathered his air and dove. Depth was 25' or so and I watched as he tried to hook the lobster. I was amazed at how long he could stay down there. At first I couldn't see the lobster, but finally she came out trying to get away. Bright orange and fast. She doubled back and hide again under her ledge. Pepe tried several attempts, but she was a quick one. Deciding she wasn't that big anyways we moved on. We looked for fish, Pepe showed me these beautiful little flamingo tongue snails that live on the coral fans. People take them and make necklaces out of their beautiful shells, we collected some, but the shells are not as beautiful with out the creature, because the creature is the one with the spots.

Not a lot of fish worth killing we are starting to circle back when a mackerel crosses our path. He sees us and starts to veer away so Pepe throws his knife out, the fish can't resist the shiny object, Pepe has already sunk to the fishes level, and you hear a small pop and there is a spear through the fish's head. A small bit of blood trails up and away from the fish twitching on the spear, my mind for a moments turns to the sharks just beyond the reef.

Pepe reels in the spear and fish, takes the fish and hands it to me, pulls out a mesh bag and we put him in. Dinner is caught! It all looks so easy to me, but I know that there is a lot of skill into what just happened. Pepe has been spear fishing for 30 years.


We head back into a strong current towing, one mackerel and 4 empty conch shells that are from a graveyard of conch. Some fisherman dumped them over the side of his boat, seeing only the value in the market price of his catch. Pepe the Cuban/Spaniard is carrying everything and I am often just bobbing waiting for him. There is less life to look at because the closer to shore we get, the warmer the water has become and most of the animals have moved out to cooler waters. Morning and evening like everything else is the best time to go hunting. As we near shore Pepe caves, disarms his gun and hands it over. He is a smart man, he wouldn't give me a loaded spear gun. Besides I already pictured myself saying oops.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

"One Time"

Cruzan slang "One Time" means really fast. They say, "I go do that ting one time, and den be back"

In other words, "I am going to run really quick and do that thing, and then I will be back."

It has been a month since I moved to the Virgin Islands. I have seen a lot, done a lot. I no longer feel as if I am on vacation. Our house is starting to feel like home. All of our boxes have arrived, and as we spread out into our home, and I stub my toe on the kids toys, it feels more and more like home.

I have a view, comparable but vastly different to the one we left behind. Every morning I wake up and can't believe that I live here. People dream their entire lifetime to live in a place like this. I dreamed of it, really never thought that it would come to pass. And here it is.

It is getting humid as the summer approaches, but I am surrounded by water, so I can cool off. The flowers are really starting to bloom, and as you drive down the road the jungle is coming alive and filling with color. Everyday the weather is beautiful, even the storms are beautiful and after they pass, it is even fresher and better than before.

This island has much to offer, adventure around every corner. I can't believe I am living "the dream". I can't wait to find those adventures and fill my life with memories and moments to last a life time. This adventure better not be to "One Time".

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Hobby

Don and I took our first Kite Surfing lesson yesterday and it was amazing.

Talk about extreme sports!!!! You get into a harness a lot like a climbing harness, and then strap a 11 meter (36 ft) kite to you and fly it in the sky while you have a board (lot like a snow board) strapped to your feet. WHOA!

We never got to the board, we started with a small kite, learning how to fly it, then we graduated to an 11 Meter kite. We of course had to wear the customary lesson helmets and life vests (so sexy), but it was a good thing because 36 ft of kite lifts you of the ocean floor and drags you!! Really thrilling.

We got drowned, at one point the instructor had a hold of me, me the kite, and we both got picked up and dragged yards through the water. It was a lot of fun. But you swallow a lot of salt water learning. Don was doing body drags, basically you fly the kite so it drags you on the surface, he was doing great until he got submerged. I was laughing my ass off, he was too once he could breath again. I think he is still blowing salt out of his nose!!

We both loved it and signed up for lesson 2 next week.

Loads of pictures were taken by the assistant instructor, but I don't have them yet. I will post them as soon as I can!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Love This Bar

Last night was an enchanting island experience.

We went to the Brew Pub, right on the Christiansted boardwalk, which is right at the edge of the Christiansted Harbor, beautiful. The Brew Pub is one of my favorite places to eat/hang. Every time I have come here we have gone and had a great time. Now that I moved here it only took me almost a month to get there!

It was a perfect night. Great band on a floating stage, awesome. Bush Tribe, a mostly Latin/Samba type music heavily influenced by our neighboring island Puerto Rico. They were awesome. The vocalist, a female, was beyond words. She should be recording in some studio in Hollywood but instead she prefers singing on a floating barge in the Virgin Islands....who can blame her.

The food was great, the locals were charming. Macy made two beaus one 60 and one 5. And she danced. Macy loves nothing more than to dance in front of a crowd, and she loves these live bands. Rozi was mesmerized by the "Bar Cat". She definitely has my infinite love for all animals. He was also charming, friendly enough to eat your scraps and let you pet him, especially behind his ears. We have a massive feral cat population here, most of them very wild. Usually very beautiful as well, exotic looking not your typical barn cat.

videoI tried to take a video of Macy dancing but it was dark and she is hard to make out most the time, the girl has some natural "Salsa" in her. She will drive the boys crazy! The best part about the video was that I could share some of the music with you. ENJOY!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Different Kind of Motivation



Yesterday my oldest Princess turned another year older. She is now the ripe old age of 6, incredibly wise, very into fashion, and has big plans of becoming a world class swimmer/surfer!!

She makes me proud everyday, even when she is throwing a fit, being dramatic, or sullen. She is an amazing girl with a big heart, strong spirit, and fight in her eyes!!

She motivates me. I have found motivation to be different all around in the Caribbean. At home in Idaho I had a hard time finding motivation on blustery days filled with snowflakes. I had a hard time in the blazing summer heat to be motivated to go outside and
bake like a lizard. (not my style) Overall I found it hard and was constantly bolstering myself up to be motivated.

Everyday I wake up here I walk out into my living room, look out my glass french doors into the turquoise blue waters and I am motivated.

It is a different kind of motivation though. I am motivated to be better, healthier. I am motivated to enjoy the small things. The frangipani worms eating the leaves of a Frangipani tree. The palm trees shifting in the wind. To watch the sun rise and set over great beauty. I am motivated to get my
body, into that great vast body of water as often as possible. I am motivated to give my children the best of life's experiences.

It feels wonderful. I hope it is a feeling I can hold onto throughout the rest of my life, something that I can teach my children to respect.

Motivation in a serene sense.

Not motivation to make money, be better, faster, bigger. Those are not the important things in life.

These things we are seeing and doing everyday, they are the important things in life!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Adventure of a lifetime!


Well, I have been here for 3 weeks. Almost a month, and I still pinch myself every morning to make sure I am awake. Every morning.

I made Don promise me when we got married that no matter what at some point in my life I was going to live by the ocean, I had intended the Oregon coast, possible Northern California or Alaska's vast coastline. He promised, but deep down inside I doubted it would ever happen. He is not a Mariner he is a Woodsman. (Note my choice of oceanside locations carried his known love as well.) I knew he intended to keep his promise, but I did not for see life's path taking us that way.

Ha, Ha! Life is what happens while you are making other plans.

Life Indeed!

For you who do not know, we now live in the Virgin Islands in the great Caribbean, where a "Code is mere guidelines really".

Three weeks. We drive on the left, have more ethnicity than Chicago, surrounded by salt water, drink rain water from my tap, have bugs, crabs, toads and much more, and every morning I look off my deck to the horizon of endless water! Unbelievable.

The pace here is much slower, we are are known as a U.S. Territory, but closer to a third world country. The people are gracious and extremely courteous. You say Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or Good Night to everyone you meet, yes complete strangers greet you as you pass.

We have Roti, spicy Indian delicacy. Bakeries on every corner with delicious bread. And we have Rum...Don drinks a bottle a week I think he found a reason to love the Caribbean.

The water is gorgeous and abundant with life, it is getting warm as the season changes and full of creatures to explore. The sand is beautiful!

There have been surprises around every corner, most of them great. We were able to purchase a banana yellow Ford Escape, and a ocean green Jeep Wrangler that we fight over driving. We live in an awesome house with views to spare, and room for many guests. (hint, hint)

After a month on the job Don got a promotion and is the Superintendent on the project. I walked into a Vet clinic with a resume that won me an interview, and a job. The girls love the water, they love the creatures, and they love that clothing is optional. The dogs have adjusted, they love the ocean. Zip spends his days chasing and catching bugs and lizards (he is my bug man). Gunner lays on the deck and stares at the ocean....I really wonder what he is thinking.

I have to run, gotta go shopping.....have a Birthday Dinner to make for tomorrow.

Keep coming back. I plan to keep you all posted on our events here, on this blog!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Well It's Been Awhile, And I Need Some Therapy Again


As most of you know February 14, 2012 our lives turned upside down again, for the better this time I do believe....but getting there is the hard part.

Hard day today.

12 years ago I embarked on a career path, truthfully a life's destined path as a horse trainer. It started before that, at the age of 8 when I straddled my first horse and he took off at a dead run with no whoa. But 12 years ago I officially began to get paid for what I was destined to do.

Today I loaded my last horse into someone elses trailer and watched as they drove down the road. I am bawling, then and now. I cried as the daughter to Peppy climbed into this trailer (see blog history if you don't know her story). It is a twist in my journey, not an end, but a twist that is hard to manuever.

See we are moving to the U.S. Virgin Islands (for the readers who don't already know) and leaving behind the life of ranching as we know it. In a way I really can't believe that I am officially horseless for the first time in 23 years. I am sure given time I will be astride some unruly beast on a piece of paradise. I can't live without that fur beneath me for long, but it is still hard to fathom that my solitude is no longer in my own hands. I will have to beg, plead and barrow to have the comfort I have found so often with my face buried deep into the fur of a 1200lb bay creature. Almost always bay in one way or another..

I am very excited about our adventure that lies ahead. I love the ocean, water fills my veins, not blood. But as water runs through me, horse sweat fills me, and hooves pounding echo my heart.

I am heart broke tonight knowing I am leaving a piece of my soul behind.... precisely on a piece of property in Shelley, Idaho. There it will reside until I return.

Take care of my babies, protect them and know that I have truly entrusted you with a piece of my soul.....and if god takes them before I return, please let them know that I will expect them to be waiting to lead me to heaven.