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Archive for February, 2008

Shake It, Baby, Shake It

 

Well now, I’ve been trying to figure out what to blog about for days now. Well, I know what I want to blog about, but it’s wayyyyy too silly and you’ll all roll your eyes and shake your heads and– Well, heck, I’m used to that so I’ll tell it anyway, lol.

So, as you may have heard, Terri, Jackie and I went to St. Lucia for a week. It was warm and sunny there, lovely people, palm trees, sand and sea . . . I shall post a pic or two for you to see how lovely. Anyway, we had a nice time. We flew in Sunday, explored the town of Castries Monday, going to the Market and so on. Then we had a “chill on the beach” day Tuesday. I actually got to READ A BOOK!!! OMG!! It was such a pleasure.

Anyway, the next day, Wednesday, was a spa day. The three of us went in for pedicures, manicures, facials, massage, the whole works. I swear, by the time the girl was done with me every muscle in my body was a soggy noodle. Since I’m usually as wound up as a clock and simply find it impossible to relax, this was no small thing. Thursday was mega day. We ended up booked on two excursions, sort of by accidents. We had a bit of trepidation about this beforehand. One was an all day cruise/drive. It started with a cruise around the island on a catamaran to a small village where we all got off and piled into several very nice passenger vans which then drove us to a town called Souffre (Gad I hope I spelled that right) There the air was heavy with the unpleasant scent of sulphur and the locals rushed out with their wares, necklaces made of lave rock and so on. From there we continued up into the hills to a collapsed volcano that we could walk right into. Not telling more about that cause you know it’s gonna be in a future book.

Then we went to a cocoa plantation and saw how cocoa is dried and so on to make 100 % pure chocolate for Hershey’s. You know I bought a stick. Yes a stick. It’s a little bigger around than a broom stick, but only about six inches long. It’s solid and heavy and smells SOOOO yummy. I was also given some spices with it and a recipe to make hot chocolate that calls for grating some off the stick, adding the herbs and spices, boiling and so on. I haven’t tried it yet, but will. After that we had a meal at the plantation, followed by a chocolate desert that was lovely. Then we all piled into the passenger vans and were returned down the mountain to the catamaran. We sailed back, pausing for a swim in a cove along the way, sailing back into the cove by our resort at 4:30. This left us exactly half an hour to get off, walk back to the resort, go to the bathroom and then rush back for the 5:00 sunset cruise. I should mention here . . . Yes, it was a long excursion, an all day deal.

But that wasn’t the big worry. You see, rum punch is a big drink on St. Lucia, especially at the resort. It was everywhere and usually free, and it was the drink of choice and on offer on the catamaran. There were other offerings like Bounty rum and bananas (don’t ask. I never quite worked out the banana thing). Anyway, the point is, it’s hot on the boat. You are mostly exposed and under the bright sun, and Jackie had warned us that she’d seen the cruise before and that it always rode out with a quiet, conservative type group and then came back into harbor at night with a singing, laughing, cheering and carousing crowd. Which would be fine, except that the same thing tended to happen with the sunset cruise too, and she was concerned about our being on one and the other and . . . well, you get the idea. I told her not to worry, yes it would be a long day out in the sun and sea air, and yes the rum punch would flow, but we would pace ourselves. It would be fine. We could do it.

I am very proud to say that we did. WE WERE AWESOME. While everyone else started on the rum punches as soon as we boarded at EIGHT in the MORNING, we stuck to bottled water. I then switched to diet coke, not going near the rum punch until the cruise ride back in mid-afternoon. I’m pretty sure Jackie and Terri were too, though I didn’t police their drinks. We were a little wind swept, a little salty from our swim and happily tired when the first cruise came to an end, but otherwise fine. We were a little late getting in and only had about 15 or 20 minutes before the next cruise so hopped off and went to use the washrooms at the resort while the catamaran was taken out, cleaned and restocked for the sunset cruise.

Unfortunately, because we were running from one cruise to the other without time between to change, we were a little underdressed compared to the others. We were in swimsuits and cover ups, with sunhats rosy red cheeks and probably redder noses from the sun while the rest were in evening, island casual; pretty much a dress shorts and polo shirts kind of thing. We just shrugged. What can you do, right? The sunset cruise was a gift and we couldn’t just give it a miss was our thought and afterward I was terribly glad our mother taught us good manners and to be polite. I would have been sorry had we missed that cruise. There were a ton of yummy hors d’oeuvres and, of course, the customary rum punch. We – A little low on energy after our all day excursion – indulged in both and started to chat and interact with our cohorts on this latest cruise. We were the only ones on it from the first cruise (No one else would have dared two in a day I think, lol.) We were having fun, enjoying the tour of the bays and the setting sun and yipping with everyone when they headed back out to sea and then called all the women up to the center of the catamaran to line up in rows with one of the crew members, a young woman, before us.

While the boat gently pitched on the swells, we were expected to keep our feet while at the same time emulating a dance she showed us. It was a shake your booty contest and it was all about the hips, moving those while keeping your upper body still, sort of like you do in belly dancing but with a lot more. . . umm . . . shaking of your groove thing. Well, while Terri’s voice rang in my ears with “We’re Canadian, we don’t do that” (ROFLMAO) I copied our instructor’s stance, spread my legs, bent my knees a bit and proceeded to do my best to emulate what she was teaching, lol. As a dear friend of mine put it, I SHOOK WHAT MY MAMA GAVE ME! And DAMNNNNNNNN, when the music stopped, one of the male crew members went along, pausing behind each of us for a clap vote and do you know WHAT? DAMNNNNNN!!! I made it to the finals. It meant I had to do it again and stuff, but DAMNNNNNNNNN! I was one of the last three contestants and a runner up before losing out to a cute little 18 year old. The men had to line up and do it next and then we arrived back at the resort, the second cruise now over. The minute we landed we headed back to the villa to change before our dinner reservations.

The first thing I did when I got in was to call Mr. Spice to tell him that he had a booty shaking, hottie of a wife who could get her groove thing on well enough to be a runner up in a contest. He—being a man—had no concept of what this meant. He did not understand the earth shaking import behind this news. His response was a droll “I’m more impressed that my wife made 3 on the NY Times.” Clearly, the man has his priorities ALL MESSED UP. Sigh. Anyway, the rest of the trip was lovely, but I was glad to come home to Mr. Spice. He may not understand the importance of a booty shaking wife, but he’s still a sweetie.

Hope you’re all well.

Lynsay, the booty shaking NY Timer.

 

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Hello Again

I started to write this blog last night while cooking.  Yes, cooking, shocking as it is to everyone in this household, I finally took a turn.  Usually Dave and Terri man the kitchens here at Spice acres while I write, but I got the story done and sent out Monday and, not having any corrections at the moment, have been running around trying to get ready for the trip to St. Lucia.  However, I also ran out and grabbed the fixings to make a homemade Lasagna.    It turned out lovely, by the way (Thank God!!!  It’s been so long since I cooked I feared I might set the house on fire or accidentally poison everyone, but no.  YAY!!)  Only now they’re thinking I should help out with the cooking more often. 

Hmmm.  That wasn’t very clever of me, was it?  LOL.

 

Actually, it turned out okay, but I suspect the compliments came more from love of me than love of my cooking, if you know what I mean.  Family are lovely that way.  Well, except me.  I can’t lie worth a poop.  If something tastes horrible or looks horrible, or reads horrible and someone is cruel–or foolish–enough to ask my opinion, I will get this wide-eyed, deer in the headlights, “OH GOD!” look on my face and say, “It’s nice,” in this high, panicked type voice.  Don’t know why.  I think it’s because when we were kids we were told, “Everyone makes mistakes and we won’t be angry at you or punish you for that, but lying about it is bad and we will be very angry and punish you twice over for that.”

Much to my parent’s dismay, I took this too heart.   I think I made my poor mother crazy.  I would skip class to hang out in the bathroom smoking and writing (Yeah, I was a geek delinquent.  Other’s skipped out to go OFF school property and party, I skipped out and headed for the girl’s washroom because I just had to write this one scene . . .   I was and still am a very sad case (grin)  

Anyway, I would skip out and then later when I went home and Mom would ask how my day was, my answer was , “Okay, I skipped Consumer studies and English.” (The English class I skipped was the only BAD English teacher I ever had.  I shall explain later.)  Mom would get this expression, it was priceless, It was part “I can’t believe you’re telling me this” and part, “Oh crap, because you ARE telling me this I CAN’T give you real hell.”  I really don’t think my mother knew quite what to do with me.  Actually, now that I think of it, she often had this somewhat befuddled look on her face that was very similar to one Dave often gets around me.  Hmm.  Terri sometimes has it too, but after all this time, more often than not just shakes her head and walks away. 

Anyway, that’s my explanation for why I don’t seem to be able to lie.  I never bothered as a kid, got no practice and simply can’t be bothered to learn how now.  Although, I do think it would be nice to be better at it when it would save feelings, like when a new recipe tastes like dog food but you know the person worked hard and don’t want to hurt their feelings even though they do have taste buds in their mouths and probably know it’s dog food too.  Then it would be good to be a better liar.

So . . . Back to the bad English teacher.  First I shall say that I had some WONDERFUL English teachers.  Especially Mr. Brady.  There is a man I would love to find and thank.  He really nurtured and encouraged my writing.  Unfortunately, the school where he worked is no longer a middle school but a grade school and I couldn’t find him through the searches I’ve tried.  But I digress, back to the crackpot English teacher.  That sounds rude, but truly, she was a bit of a flake.  The woman kept taking me aside and telling me she thought I should drop out of high school.  I thought she thought I was a moron or something and couldn’t pass her class and found it terribly demoralizing.  Then, one day, maybe 3/4s of the way through the year, my History teacher came to me with an essay I did on Napoleon for his class.  He told me he’d been sure I’d plagiarized my essay.  He said, he was so sure I’d just lifted it out of a history book that he’d checked the reference books in the school library and–not finding anything like it– finally took it to my English teacher to ask if this really could be my writing.  I believe I flinched when he said this.  I mean, this is the same woman who kept telling me to drop out of school.  I figured she’d trash me.  But, he then added, “She said, ‘Nope, that’s her work.  Actually, it’s sloppy for her.  She can do better.” 

Well, you could have blown me over with a feather.  She’s saying things like that to him, and then telling me I should drop high school?  What the heck? (Heck is not the word I was using at the time.)  I was something like 16 or maybe 17.  Teenage angst was riding my back and those horrid hormones were messing with the brain . . . so, I stormed off on a witch hunt. I found her at her desk in her empty classroom.  I flung the A++ paper on her desk with all the dramatic flourish only a teenager can pull off and said, “What?” 

She raised her eyebrows in her usual supercilious manner, but said nothing.  Well, that was it.  I was all righteous anger and, “What’s this crap about I can do better and I’m an excellent writer and meanwhile you’re telling ME I should drop out of highschool?! What the hell is that all about?” 

“It’s about your future,” said she, perfectly calm. “I do think you should drop out of school.  You will be a fine writer someday, but you need to suffer for your art. I think you should drop out of school and experience what’s it’s like to truly live.”

I think my jaw actually fell off my face.  I mean, COME ON!!  What kind of crack pot crap was that to spout to a teenager?  Suffer for my art?  What?  Did she mean live in the gutter? Become a drug addict? Try prostitution maybe?  I stared at her, thinking she was completely screwed up, and then I’m afraid I told her so.  She’d caused me no end of misery with her constant prodding at me to drop out, I’d taken it horribly, feeling more stupid and useless each time she returned a story unmarked and said I should drop out, so I blasted her one.  Don’t regret it to this day.

So that was the one bad English teacher I had. Considering we moved a lot when I was a kid, and then you have a different English teacher each year, I’d guess I had more than 12 English teachers before university.  So one bad one is pretty good.  Not even ten percent, right?

 

Well, I’m off to do last minute shopping before the trip to St. Lucia.  Be sure to stop in and say hey to Mr. Spice who will  be here all by himself with Miss Emma, the cat.  I’m sure he’ll enjoy the peace and quiet for a day or two, but . . . well, come on, the place will be a tomb without Terri and I here to annoy him.  LOL.  Hey to all!

Lynsay

 

 

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