Thursday, March 20, 2008

Running Towards The Light

I'm sure I'll have moments of ambivalence in the wake of pushing my "fish or cut bait" attitude to the surface. I need to stop half-living my life. I've kept my feet in abstinance, one eye in the rear view mirror and one eye on the horizon for longer than is healthy. Longer than is wise.

Monday I opened my mind and my heart, again. Something I hadn't done in nearly a year. Tuesday night, somehow, my reticence to poking at the bear made way to resolve. Resolve to define, act and commit or let go.

The latter is the outcome. I knew it was a possibility. Until now I wasn't ready to accept that option. And to be perfectly honest, I couldn't really imagine he would allow it to happen. I really thought I was "all that" to him. Silly little fluffy headed ego of mine.

So my big, little world out there, let me have a little time to gather my wits about me and before you know it, I'll be poking my head out there and saying "hey" again. A little older, a lot wiser, and open to what you have to share with me.

In My Head

Here's what I think I would have heard on Tuesday, had the conversation happened:

You ask me if I love you
And I choke on my reply
I'd rather hurt you honestly
Than mislead you with a lie
And who am I to judge you
On what you say or do?
I'm only just beginning to see the real you

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

Romance and all its strategy
Leaves me battling with my pride
But through the insecurity
Some tenderness survives
I'm just another writer
Still trapped within my truth
A hesitant prize fighter
Still trapped within my youth

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

At times I'd like to break you
And drive you to your knees
At times I'd like to break through
And hold you endlessly
At times I understand you
And I see how hard you've tried
I've watched while love commands you
And I've watched love pass you by
At times I think we're drifters
Still searching for a friend
A brother or a sister
But then the passion flares again

And sometimes when we touch
The honesty's too much
And I have to close my eyes and hide
I wanna hold you til I die
Til we both break down and cry
I wanna hold you till the fear in me subsides

But again, that's just the bubble inside MY head trying to make sense of it all.

You Call This Living?!?

A couple of nights ago my friend and I were sitting in the living room talking about life and I said to her, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle to keep me alive. That would be no quality of life at all. If that ever happens, please just pull the plug."

She got up, unplugged the computer, and threw out my wine.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today Is A Keeper

OK - for as "brittle" my psyche was today, I told myself I was going to deal without leaving a wake. I think I succeeded :)

Last night I was chatting online with Plan A. After what I'd been through earlier, I didn't have the energy to take him out. I didn't feel like chatting either. Normally we can go on for hours. He apologized and really tried to cheer me up...asking about what I'd been cooking over the weekend, etc. While he screwed up, the misdemeanor, in and of itself, was not a felony. His error and my recent history, shot my patience through the roof. Anyway, he didn't know that, I spared him. I explained that, that, combined with my week thus far, really had me needing to go brood and get it out of my system so I could "get my happy back" today. The tactic worked.

Today was a perfect hair and teeny clothes day. People noticed. People commented. I had my cookie monster greeting this morning. I held a GREAT training session today with a couple of my team members. We even solved the world's problems with it. I knew, teaching the technique would wring them out and had promised them lunch. Had a nice lunch. I got to skip out of work a little bit early and absorbed the 66 degree weather. I stumbled across August the grocery store no less.

Dinner was fabulous. I pulled off a great balance of tastes, colors and textures. (I'll post to "Kitchen" this weekend.) The wine was fabulous. I cheated with dessert and opted for the French Bakery to help me out. My daughter joined us before, during and after dinner and we all talked for hours. Just what the doctor ordered. Oh......and the vanilla promised to me a few years ago?....we're talkin' quart. I now have nearly a half a gallon of vanilla in my house - thanks to everyone, in the last three months either traveling to "vanilla zones" or making good on their promises. I really thought it was sweet that he'd remembered. Cookies and banana bread will abound. I'm going to have to take up custards next. :)

And Plan C was moved to tomorrow night and to my house. My social calendar is a buzz again....we all sorta took a hiatus during the Winter. Spring has sprung!

Yes, today is a keeper.

Big Girls Don't Cry

My grandson heard me crying Monday. He was so worried. Hard to explain to a 7 year old boy that life is sometimes complicated and your heart gets in the way.
Last night I refused to cry - I was crushed that my value fell behind "the drop in boys" - that big strong, take no prisoners at work man, wouldn't keep his promise with me.
Today I'm swinging back and forth between "I knew this would happen!", "Should I be surprised?" "Ouch" and "How many times you going to put yourself in a position to be let down again Teri?" and "I truly thought he was better than that!" to "I really thought this time would be different".

Forgot About Me

And while eating my breakfast this morning, I realized I forgot to eat dinner last night. Was focused on getting things done so I could meet SweetStuff and plumb forgot about myself. No wonder I had a rumbly tummy this morning.

At least I got the cats fed.

Belly Laughs

I guess I've developed a "reputation". I brought yummies in on Monday. Had a line out my door. One of the usual recipients wasn't in the office. Yesterday I gave him a hard time about it letting him know he'd missed out. After a puppydog face I said I would bring some more in today for him. Thank goodness I didn't forget. Here's the chuckle to it all.

I'm often the office earlybird. I got a call from one of my guy's wife regarding the emergency surgery he'd had yesterday. I set out to find our HR person, another earlybird. Still worrying about him, I headed back to my office. I nearly let out a yelp. Here is my co-worker sitting in the chair holding up a bottle of milk. He scared the living daylights out of me and then sent me into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. I hadn't even pulled the baggie out of my purse yet.

There are not words enough to capture that ultimate compliment.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dirty Dancing

Baby (Jennifer Gray) is sitting the table with her parents and Johnny (Patrick Swayze) walks up to the table to get her to dance the final dance sequence and says "No one puts Baby in the corner."

Alphabet Soup!

I'm a plan B girl. Tonight I had to circle all the way around to Plan E.

A was what I planned to do tonight - that fell through.
B was to prep for tomorrow night - then something else came up so I was going to whiz through that.
C was what replaced plan B, which was a cascading effect of plan B for Sunday. (Plan A fell through).
Plan D replaced plan C and B. I decided it was most important. When that fell through I decided to remain calm and go with Plan E.
E = B. Instead of going with what I'd cobbled together earlier in the evening I went all out and added the Teri touch.

Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

I posted this last night at 11:57 and then pulled it offline so as not to influence the discussion planned for today. I really, really wanted to listen and not talk/type any more. I'd said my mind. It was time to listen and understand. Tonight I chose to refuse to settle. SweetStuff was all over wanting to take out whomever had pissed me off yesterday - and it was just that - I was pissed. Yet today, already, again, I lost my rank to everyone else. Here's the post in it's original form:

When crossing a street, be sure to look both ways. While meandering along, frothing at the mouth, I was blindsided last night with candor of the fingers. I did not realize that I had all that "eloquent poetic bluntness" all bottled up inside of me. Well, now, Teri, you popped that cork clean out of the bottle, didn't you?

In retrospect, what I said (belched) was drawing a line in the sand. Not by any means acrimonious. It was saying I no longer wished to stand on the periphery of love and watch it atrophy or to be lazily strangled by apathy. Either I wanted to nourish it or find it another home.

The sum total of it all, unplanned, I challenged my sweetest one to a duel. The result, I'm afraid, may quite possibly find no middle ground.

The fair maiden awaits.

Stop Hoping

Start coping.

Tonight SweetStuff and I were going to meet. See what was there. What we could/should/would do?

I didn't know really where he stood, but had glimpses of this and that. I was glad that we were going to talk it through. I was looking for lines to color inside of and not just have blank paper to scribble on. Game rules. Understanding. I was looking forward to hearing how he felt. He was always so good at putting words to his emotions. I planned to be contented with whatever direction we went. Just glad that we could make an attempt together to define it.

He wanted to talk on the phone. I wanted to listen to him and to his face. It was important to me.

He had friends drop by. They trumped me. I had plans too and had changed them for him.

I really never thought I'd be sitting here blogging right now. Yeah, it sucks.

Vortexes Eat Me

Another one of those convergence weeks.

Happy Birthday Ken, RIP
Happy Birthday Julie - The Big 4-1
Happy Anniversary Robert - woulda coulda shoulda 22 years.
One year ago today I was in Seattle.
Last week Happy Birthday Heather
Next week Happy Birthday Wendy
Today, tomorrow - who in the hell knows?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saturation Point Hit

OK folks - I have hit, no, EXCEEDED, my tolerance of lack of social skills and nice nice.

When one offers up "I'LL LET YOU KNOW". F-ing follow through. I don't care if you're waiting for a better offer to come along. I don't care if you don't know if you want to do that or not. I don't care if you just can't decide. I don't even care if you have commitment issues. I don't care if you have a hard time choosing between chocolate or strawberry. I don't care if you think "yes" or if you think "no" will hurt my feelings.

If you choose to let 'I'LL LET YOU KNOW" escape your lips or your fingertips FOLLOW THROUGH.

It is a little relay. I ask you, you respond. Yes. No. I'll Let you know. You can stop the relay with a finite response or continue it forward with the promise of a future response. If you continue it forward the baton is IN YOUR HAND.

It is YOU who, who with the response "I'LL LET YOU NOW" have OFFERED a commitment. The commitment of a response.

And I say this not because someone made a mistake. Mistakes happen. I say this because to many this is a habit and it is a bad one and it erodes trust and respect and all of the things that come with honesty and integrity and friendship. It is inconsiderate. pisses me off. And....sometimes hurts my feelings. And sometimes it means I have bought things to give to you or food to serve to you. Or maybe was looking forward to spending time with you. At the point that I have invited you I have made an investment in you...emotional, monetary, time, whatever.

Deep breath.

To put it much more eloquently: When you have been extended an invitation and have responded with "I'll let you know", please be kind enough to do so.

Definition Of Insanity

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
- Benjamin Franklin
Teri translation: I keep setting msyelf up in the same situation over and over and over again and expect the results to be different than the last 22.5 times I tried before.
Face it chica, the horse is broke. Find a new horse, get a new ride, get some new dung on those boots. At least the stall you'll be shoveling will have a different view.
OK. Done.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cooking Up A Storm

The title seemed appropriate as we have had snowshine today. Here are this weekend's treasures:

Replacement For Sex Cookies - Not my choice for a title, but it is a democratic sandbox I play in.
Chicken Tagine - This is the Morocan dish I blogged about yesterday.
Ginger Carrot Soup - This has become a favorite of mine. The ginger used or the orange juice can make a different presentation each time I make this recipe. It is never "carroty".
Spicy Coconut Shrimp Soup - A light and tasty, full curry flavored treat.

Little Miss Snow Shine

I'm going out. The sun is shining and it is snowing like crazy. Gotta love Spring Time in the Rockies!

August Rush Rush

Oh my heck - talk about a sleeper movie. The bugger is sold out everywhere I've gone. And everywhere I've been there's been stalkers trying to find it tucked into a crevice somewhere (that includes me).

Tonight the Target clerk managed to find two copies. I was one of three women hovering for the move. I was #2. The clerk set the two on the shelf and said she was going to slowly back away. #1 grabbed hers. I told #3 to take "mine".

#3 offered to go to another store. "Don't bother", I said, "This is my second and another lady earlier today had been to another before that." Take it, enjoy it. I saw it a week ago," (she'd last seen it in the theater), "I'll catch up to it later".


Because I will find it some where, some time. And today, I could make someone happy, by merely walking away.

In The Dark Of The Night

I realized tonight. I'm back. 100% Teri. Back. It's way after 2am. I'm roaming around my house as contented as can be. I used to do this all the time. Back in the Robert days, back in the pre-SweetStuff days, back when I was simply ME!

Weekend nights were how I bought time. Time away from work. Time away from being a mommy. Time away from being a wife. Time to enjoy a weekend. Time back to being ME.

People ask me if I'm a night person or a morning person. The answer is "yes"! Weekdays, I'm the early bird, weekends the night owl. It doesn't mean I sleep away the weekend days either. I don't.

I cycle through hobbies. Cake decorating, super computing, fabric painting, scrapbooking, I have seasons, I evolve. The wee hours of the morning has traditionally been my playground. My creative passions thrive while others lay sleeping.

I went to Salt Lake City with my friend today. Tonight I cooked two soups and the Morocan dish. Tomorrow will be cookies, breakfast bars and something else I marked. Tomorrow there are more friend plans too. Monday I slip back into earnings mode. Next week offers reunions and newunions.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Home Cooking

I'm back home for a spell. Getting home late on Friday and then having plans for today, this evening I found myself planning my groceries and making my way toward the kitchen tonight.

I learned a new cookie recipe this week. I have a Morocan recipe I had stuck up on the refrigerator, planned for my return. Another recipe made itself known opening up my this month's Cooking Light. And two came forward as new old favorites that wanted to be made again.

And yet another, I pulled out again to make a special dinner for an old flame who's has crept out of the shadows again.

It's going to be a late night I think. A little new, a little familiarity, a lot of fun.

PS...I'll post the cookie recipe after I figure out if I got it down.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


OK - I promise at some point, I'll stop gushing about how wonderful my life is. But until then - it's your tough cookies for coming back to the trough to feed.

This has been a fabulous week for me. I'm in a beautiful place, working hard at a fabulous organization with the coffee station less than 10 feet from me. The people I'm meeting are intelligent, eager for the project and are absolutely in love with my company. My job is to keep them that way.

This week is the honeymoon. Next week is roll up our sleeves and get the get-go going. And that's OK too - it's what we do.

I am just roll-me-over-in-the-clover happy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who Would Have Thought?

Tonight, my girlfriend and I want to the movies. I'm stuck on this movie thing right now because it is across the street from my hotel. Talk about a big screen in (near) one's room.

I'm "working" in the town where my one of my forever-best-friends lives. Another bonus to my travels. Anyway....

We're doing the "dinner and a movie" thang. She opts to buy dinner. She tells the gal taking our order that we've been friends for 36 years.

This to me is just facinating and AMAZING...36 years!

We were 12 when we started hanging out and here we are still and again. We were Osmond and Sherman and Cassidy fans. We laughed on the phone Friday nights when the Brady Bunch was on. We ran with same bad crowd of boys. Back then we didn't have corkscrews in our luggage or purses - the bottles of booze were the best variety of screw tops we could get someone to buy for us...Boones Farm, Annie Green Springs and one other I forget. Later we traveled from state to state to visit each other. One visit to her home in Nebraska, my mother thought I wouldn't return. I was miserable in my marriage, tired of being hit and I was out of the house. Safe. Having fun. Enjoying our kids playing together. Mom was right, I almost didn't leave. Now today, we're still having fun. Watching our kids crank out grandkids. Still hanging out. Just like we always did. We don't miss a beat.

Do You Think My Ass Looks Sunny?

From Juno - "In my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out your ass. That's the kind of person that's worth sticking with."


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

They Could Be Brothers

One of the people I work with on my project looks like D. The eyes, the eyelashes, the face, the nose, the lips, the chin, the skin.

The voice, the coloring and mannerisms are different. But the face.

It's kind of neat - like instant history and trust. An instant rapport. Makes me know that I can do my job and be appreciated.

I loved that face. I stared at it intently, for what seems like forever. Last year, in the words that were written, I could see it. My friend got some calls, she got the voice too. Lucky her.

I don't know what happened. I used to believe with all my heart, that we'd find our way back to each other. We did, then didn't, then did, then didn't.

With him, it's like plucking petals from a daisy. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not.

Why I Do What I Do

I often have family and a few friends who wonder how I can bear having to travel for my job so much. Let me try to explain it using the last two weeks as an example. And I'll take other trip as a contrast/balance to the picture I'm trying to build for you.

First - I love my job. I love the travel it requires, the work that takes me there and the industry we serve - it has been the my career, my family feeder, my life interest.

Second - I still remember the first time I realized project teams came from all parts of the U.S., every week, to play with software at my office. YOU CAN DO THAT? I WANNA DO THAT TOO! Not really liking to meet new people, I wasn't sure how the idea and I would fit together, but I figured I'd figure it out. It is like starting a new job every few weeks or months. I mastered that, stalked industry, got a job. Wooo hooo!

Third - I love the fact that every morning someone fixes breakfast for me! I love that everyday someone makes my bed. I love that my home away from home is always clean. Yes, I live as a minimalist for weeks at a time - but that's less to keep track of anyway.

Fourth - Last week my "office" was in Santo Domingo, this week on a lake (as in walk-the-plank-to-get-to-get-to-the-office on a lake.) Yes, I've had to go to sites in Timbuktu where the biggest town's attraction is the pagoda on the city park's lake, but I've, by golly seen that pagoda. I've seen 1600's New England headstones, Civil War headstones, Columbus' tomb, and met and played with Rock stars and celebrities because of this job. And over and over and over again, I get to work with the allstars of my industry.

The pay off, for me, far exceeds the effort put forth or the compromises needed to do it. Sure, I miss a family event now and again. Sure, some weeks my time hits nearly 80 hours. Sure I get stuck in an airport or have my luggage lost or miss the shuttle home by five minutes and have to wait another hour. Some flights I'm in the center seat in the last row and an all night flight, but sometimes I get to sit in the front and sip champagne before take off. Sometimes my room needs paint, sometimes it is a suite (at one point in time -they were sometimes actually bigger than the apartment I was living in). Sometimes the breakfast choices are along the line of a granola bar and sometimes it offers up caviar. Again, the rewards and experiences far exceed any hassles I've ever encountered.

I do it because it is so very much more than I ever thought I could or would do. I'm so very, very blessed in all aspects of my life.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Carnaval Completo

I got the pictures in.

Carnaval, 2008, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

My Birthday

My birthday starts in 24 days. Starts? Yes. April 1 starts my birthday. I let it go after the 30th. Why so long? Two reasons: I'm that special and I love my life - why not celebrate it to the max? And the best part? Dude has figured that out already. Way to go Dude!

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I love it when my plate is full! I can get so much accomplished! I think it is because there are only small compartments of time available to complete all the things that are necessary. It forces a focus and drive.

Nearly 80 hours working this week with another trip on its heels. Spring yard work, laundry, some cooking, Netflix waiting to be watched, packages to mail, purchases to track down, bills to pay, things to be repaired, a house to clean, calls to make and get (hi Joop!), shopping to be done, emails to return, emails to initiate (gotta be a friend to have 'em), fun to be had and sanity to be retained.

I do these best when my plate is full. Life is happening and it is good!

Antwone Fisher

What a good movie! I totally understood the emotion he protrayed when he found his family and was welcomed by all of them as a family member.

Finding my father's family and finding my brother and his family were the some of the most overwhelming experineces I've ever had.

To feel "orphaned" or halved because part (or in his case, all) of your family is missing or obscured is a feeling many will never understand.

There's a giddy joy, especially as an adult, for the pieces of the puzzle to come together to make the whole picture.

Friday, March 07, 2008


Tomorrow starts in 55 minutes.

Will it be a window? A door?

I don't have the answers. Only questions. And a very elevated curiousity.

Time will tell, won't it.

Tick tock!

August Rush

See it.

Go ahead and cry. See how easy it is to cry and smile at the same time!

Buy the Soundtrack. Classical, Rock, Jazz - all very, very spectacular! I've listened to it 3x tonight......absolutely moving.

Buy the movie when it is released. Rinse, repeat. And March 11th is the release date!!!!!

I cannot believe it did not overtake the Oscars!!


I looked at my phone just before I left work today....the message icon was lit.


No call was listed


Joop had called! Just to say "hello"! He left a message at the house too!

I'm sorry I missed his call, but I'm happy too that I have his message and could hear his voice again. That voice pulled me across Spain. Day three when I was trudging up Alto El Perdon, I heard his Dutch lilt - T - h - e -r- e - s - a (kind of all "a"s) in my head. The day I was madly searching for him to find all I had to do was stop and "feel" for a moment, and then to simply turn my head and find him in a teeny bar down a cobblestoned back street in Viana with is back to the door. (That's when I got to whisper in his ear "What's a girl got to do to get a drink around here?")

He's the reason I dropped "Teri" on the trail. Hearing Europeans say my name gave it a romance it had never known. Javier and the sweet gentle Hospitalerio in Viana used Teri - it is a Spanish family-use only nickname. I was honored. I digress.

Oh how I miss the glory of the trail and my "boys" who were always there for me.

Little Tuckered Teri

I just finished adding today's hours into my timesheet. They do not include what I MUST do tomorrow. It seem like the last planned hour of the day spawned two additional hours of work to be done and not in that, was the additional three I ended up putting in. (Before the no-kidding-at-least-four-more tomorrow.)

69.5 hours so far.

I haven't worked these kinds of hours in a couple of years. This week had a unique set of circumstances that upped the total considerably from the norm. I'm not complaining - just doin' the math.

Costa Rica?

¿Un viaje de Costa Rica en los trabajos?

Si! Si!

Muy Buen!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fly Teri Fly!

How fortunate I am. As I was landing in Atlanta yesterday the following crossed my mind: I've been to (not just flown through) or lived or "worked" in Atlanta, New York City, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Portland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cheyenne, Oakland, San Jose, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Colorado Springs, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, Dallas, Lincoln, Rapid City, Boise, Disneyland, etc. Toronto, Vancouver, and a host of little towns and cities in these and other states.

Add the wonderful countries and cities that I'm adding to my passport: Portugal, Paris, Normandy, Amsterdam, the Pyrenees, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Spain, Spain.

I love to travel and I love to fly. How wonderful it is that I am who I am and I do what I do.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I Ate It!

The menu in DR sometimes looked like this:

Goat (I think maybe it was the one I saw along the highway coming in)

Naranja con leche - orange juice with milk (think creamcicle)

A Conuco special - Knock your socks off food and some fruity, tropical drink.

Mangu - Mashed Plantains

A salad with salmon, mushrooms, vinegar dressing....really weird, but good.

Yucca, papayas, sugar cane, sweets.

Other DR notes:
The TP there was way too biodegradable but very nicely scented.

I've seen the latino Wiggles. Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, sais!

And much more....I have many notes to update this entry with....and I will as the week wares on. In the meantime *yawn*.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bathroom Scales

OK - either flying makes you lighter (usually it doesn't) or the heat, sweating walking takes it off, or the bathroom scales at the hotel have been configured to make it a traveling girl's best friend until she gets home, or I've dumped some more weight.

I'll wait until I get home for the real verdict...but for now, pass the sugarcane.

Update - The food was really good - a few pounds to show for it. But I'll take the extra return effort, now that I'm home. I ate and drank some really primo stuff.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


The flight to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) was long but uneventful. We left at 12:30 am, arriving at 3pm in the afternoon (long layover in Atlanta). The movie Enchanted was showing between SLC and ATL - it was a good movie and it kept me up all night. Leaving Atlanta we were offered champage upon boarding the aircraft. Yummy. Did I mention I'd been upgraded to 1st class for three of four trip legs? And that champagne was the beverage of choice out and into Atlanta? And caviar on the breakfast bar. Poor me.

The waters heading into the Carribean were turquoise blue - the most beautiful color I've ever seen. There were some puffs of clouds here and there. Imagine looking up and seeing a few cloud puffs with the most gorgeous blue sky you've ever seen on to of it. That's what it was like looking down.

The last few minutes of lying over the Dominican Republic into Santo Domingo showed some interesting landscapes. Lush greens, dense clusters of communities which included large haciendas and properties butted up against apparent shacks and lean-tos butted up against former and broken brick/stone foundations. The broken foundations were common. It seemed as if once done with a home, it was simply knocked over and abandoned. Perhaps there had been a natural disaster at some time and it was just easier to start over somewhere else.

When going to our hotel in Santo Domingo the crowds on the roads were horrendous - pickup trucks and buses loaded to gills with people! We started noticing masks and vibrant costumes. Carnaval!

We dropped our stuff off and in 15 minutes we were out on the road walking within the throngs of people. Dominicans LOVE to have their picture taken so the sight of N's zoom lens had them all focused on us. The costumes and the rowdies were fabulous.

Many people had balloon type object on a rope or string. The tradition seemed to be to pop an unsuspecting person on the butt with the thing. It made a very loud pop. It just felt like someone had slapped you. I was a recipient. Found out later that this was an animal organ - no one would confess as to "which one". I'll keep working on that.

The DR people are also very touchy. They had no reservation about putting their hand or arm on me as they were passing. We were really squished in the crowds while trying to get close enough to see the parade first hand. Everyone smiled and made sure there was room for the little ones to get by or see. At one point N went to take a family's picture and the papa grabbed me and pulled me into the picture. Someone pressed a DR flag into my hand. A nice souvenir.

I bought an insland made cowboy had with a flower on it. 40 pesos (about $1.10) and a stalk of sugar cane (about $.03). To "eat" sugar cane you bite a chunk off the stalk and suck on it. Eating it would be like trying to eat dry straw. It does have potential as dental floss though.

I've never seen traffic as I did in Santo Domingo. Cars just went until there was no futher to go and then slipped through in unimaginable spaces and speeds. I saw Bronco sized vehicles move off the street onto the sidewalk keep moving forward. Scooters and motorcycles wove in and out of spaces sometimes with 3-4 people on them. The most interesting "three-some" was a man, a woman, and a baby plastered between the two of them.

Dinner tonight was an adventure in and of itself. We went to the hotel's buffet. I ate something green that I thought might taste slightly cilantro-ey. No, it tasted like what I would think of just cut grass tasting like. The papaya was good. So was the flan. They had lots of vegatable salads and they were good tasting too. It also offered lamb.

The evening after we left Conuco's, (the place with the bottle dancer, the driver pointed out a cocoa tree, a mango tree and a banana tree. While there, we thoroughly enjoyed the local food offerings. Many places offered buffets. While the buffets are not good for one's middle, the opportunity to sample the local fare is fabulous! A bite of this, a bite of that.
We visited the colonial area in downtown Santo Domingo. The area included the first church in the "Americas", Catholic of course, a statue of Columbus replete with an ever-present pigeon on his head and a host of tourist shops and carts offering souvinirs, ladies for "hire" and more food.

We also visted the "Light House", a memorial to Columbus. While Columbus did not originally land his boats in Santo Domingo or on the Dominican Republic island in 1492, he did make it his home. The Light House was a memorial to him and displayed his tomb. The memorial offere a long row of rooms with displays from many countries in the world their country. The United States' was photographs of all the peoples we have that make us the wonderful country we are...Alaskan natives, farmers, iron workers, Native Americans, a diner waitress, blacks, caucasions, hispanics, etc. Almost a quilt of the fabric of which we are woven.

Santo Domingo's "base" is coral. Many of the buildings, "stone" walls, etc. are made of coral.

We went to a cigar shop to pick up cigars for some of my friends. We watched a local man make cigars in the front window and the shop's "tour guide" explained to us that we couldn't buy the ones he was making. The ones he was rolling had tobacco that took several months to dry before being rolled. Then they needed to be pressed for a few more months with one last "coat" added before being sold. The kicker to this is the tobacco Santo Domingo uses in their cigars is imported from Connecticut. Yes, I typed that correctly, Connecticut.

The nicest custom that I encountered in Santo Domingo is that the taxi drivers waited for you. When going to dinner, they were there when you were done. When seeing the sites, they stayed with you the whole time, takeing you from one place to the next. They were also very informative about the history, flora, fauna and loved to engage you in conversation about their homeland. Senor Brito transported us around Tuesday evening and was waiting for me Wednesday morning to take me to the Airport.

At the aiport on the way home, I asked the waitress (with the same name as my youngest daughter and to me, not at all Latino), what she recommended I eat. I managed to eek this out in Spanish. Her recommendation was a salmon salad. The slab of salmon was buried in mushrooms and somehthing else that looked like capers, but did not have a caper taste or texture. The "dressing" was a olive oil and vinegar combination (not really a mellow basalmic either). It was light and tasty and plentiful. As I made my way through the duty free stores (gotta LOVE duty free shopping!), I stopped at a coffee stand. Another "romance" for me with traveling is that last cup of coffee before I leave my current land of wonder. I savor the time, the taste, the locale it represents. (When revisiting a place, the first cup is equally as enjoyable - like a reunion). `
There's nothing I notice and "snuggle down" into more than the underwater-bubbling-like sounds of foreign languages being spoken around me. It is lyrical to me. I can pick up on a few little things here and there and more and more in Spanish now. It used to intimidate me and make me feel "lost". Anymore, the more I travel, the more I like it, the more I feel comforted. For me, it isn't limited to foreign languages. It can be even regional dialects. The more I travel the less prejudices I harbor. It's all about people. Poeple all want the same things out of life...happiness, family, a reasonable wage and domain.

I left Utah in cold, snowy, blustery weather. I tell you, the tropics did me just fine.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


The Osmonds are on KUED tonight.

It's cool, because, it's the Osmonds. I still think Marie and I could be great friends! And it's so cool beause I live here in Utah now and that's Osmond country. We live in the same town.

Another thing that I is neat about the show is that I know how happy the fans in the audience are. PBS did it the same way they did for the Manilow concert. Invite the die hard fans to be a part of the filming. A great way to have an ultra happy audience, raise funds and make people VERY HAPPY! I'd have sprung to go to that concert too.

I've grown up with the just seems so natural to have them around me and to see them performing.

Six Months Ago Today....

Six months ago today my feet landed on French soil ready to walk to "the ends of the Earth". All alone and with a "journey of a lifetime" ahead of me.

I met my first Camino friend Denise, then Joop, then Eva, then Aliche, then Harald, then Klaus, then Siggy, then Javier, then Dominique, then Marlene and after coming home, Tamara, Javier's daughter, etc. The list goes on and on.

We keep being hurled together over and over. Pictures shared, another familiar face found, another email exchanged, another connection made. It's an exercise in openness, love, International relations, Faith, geography, and chance.

I love you all so very, very much. My heart grows bigger every day.