Sunday, February 19, 2006

Black and White Photo Challenge - Feb 19 - Perspective

I'm pleased to have been invited to participate in Black and White Photo Challenge especially after viewing the site and seeing so many fabulous photos.

This photo was shot at Seaside Cabanas located right here on Caye Caulker, just before shooting the wedding on Feb 14. The color version (Stairway to Heaven) was in a previous post.

The photo below was my second favorite.

My favorite part of this photo are the soft palm shadows on the sand. I was standing in the shadow of the building but shooting into the sun and that's why you don't see any water and beach beyond the retaining wall.

For more black and white photos visit my flickr pages.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Photo Friday - Feb 17 - Baby

Ballerina dancer takes refuge from the wave pool. This photo could also be subtitled: I can see di devil in you but I still love you.

I shot this last year when my Canon Digital Rebel camera was brand new and I had no idea how to use it. I still don't, but have at least read the instruction book now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

News of My Marriage are Greatly Exaggerated

In case you're wondering, this aint me. I went to the Caye Caulker message board and saw congratulations are in order for the wedding that was not to be. Bigness ordered the rings weeks ago, and brought home the very confusing application form, and then our prep cook/opener left for a week to attend to her daughter who was delivering a child on the mainland. It wasn't unexpected, but in the words of Monty Python, no one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition. So MCS and I have been working our azzes off, you would think we would be skinny by now, but no such luck, and slinging coffee and bagels every morning and all day since, and then falling into a puddle of orange juice at the end of the day. Not the romantic weekend Bigness and I imagined. Thank goodness postponing the wedding meant not having to call anyone, since we hadn't invited anyone anyway, just the witnesses, and were just going to do a quiet (with emphasis on the word QUIET) ceremony at home, or at someone's home, or on a boat, or in the car, with the windows rolled up and the air conditioner on. I feel the papparazzi closing in on me even now! We've changed the date, and its such a secret that even WE don't know what it is.

Next thing I know... as I looked up from the pile of coffee cups I was washing, it was the holy of holiest high days of romance (Valentine's Day) and I was photographing another wedding. A really lovely couple and about 20 of their friends came down for a great vacation and wedding. Relaxed, content and happy, the bride and groom made it so easy on me. I was nervous after my last debacle with hurricane hair bride, but the day was perfect, not too hot, gentle breeze blowing. The bride and groom were casual and not concerned about impressing anyone, just enjoying the day. Exactly the way it should be.

Here are some other photos that I took, when I wasn't paying attention, I mean, between shots. It seems like my best photos happen when I'm shooting the wrong thing. The answer is yes, I did get in trouble in school for looking out the window and daydreaming too often.

Stairway to Heaven

Why I Love the Color Pink


Cries & Whispers

Pizzafarian: Tell yur mother to watch what she puts on that blog of hers. That's defamation of character.
Middle Child Syndrome: Whatever.

Me: My favorite order is one that is given, not to me, but to someone with 6 degrees of seperation.

I went to google to find out what defamation of character is and basically, libel is written, slander is spoken - but only if its NOT true. Does having the pictures to prove it, mean its true?


If you can read this, that means you are too close.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Photo Friday Challenge - Blur - Feb 10

The full moon. I've been trying to shoot the moon for years and years, unsuccessfully so. I held my breath and shot this standing up at the entrance to the upstairs verandah as the moon rose above the palm trees. The exposure was about 7 seconds long, a very long time to hold perfectly still and not breathe. You can see the trees moving in the shot. It probably worked this time because just to the right of me, the big light was on in the police yard, and the park was all lit up with a children's valentine's party put on by the Caye Caulker Village Council. United Nations Baby went with the babysitter while Middle Child Syndrome and I worked. She came back with a pocket full of candy and a new toothbrush.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I'm not blogging much because we're in the height of high season, but here are some highlights from the last week.

When does it stop being "information" and start being gossip?

Stirring the Pot
I've started complaining about my neighbors, the Pizzafarians, to the powers that be. Every time the breeze blows from the east, they position their bbq grill so that the smoke blows right into my back entrance to the store and they fill us up with smoke, rather than blowing smoke on their customers. I first ask them to move it, they always tell me to shove it up my arse, then I have to get my police friends to make them do it. They are my friends because I give them all the stale cake from the cafe, and they love me for it. I've started complaining to the village council about the garbage the Pizzafarians leave on the beach that we are forced to clean up every day, or pay someone to do it, because they just don't care that what they do affects their neighbors. They have 2 old refridgerators that they have dumped on the beach, right in front of the property, on Queensland, that have been there for 3 weeks. Complain to the landlord? We ARE the landlord. I've stopped turning the other cheek, and I'm stirring the pot, it has its emotional toll though, and hopefully the price is worth it. Their lease is up in 12 months. Tick tock.

Bob Marley Wannabe: Jah Rastafarai, beabes you should condown da beoch, da big paattee fa Bub Maalee.
Middle Child Syndrome: Sorry, I have to work for a living, but we'll have a seance for him later tonght.
Bob Marley Wannabe: kewl. Jah jah.

Married Spanish Policeman: I've been watching you through you window.
Middle Child Syndrome: Have you been looking through the window that faces the police station or the window that faces the street?
Married Spanish Policeman: the window that faces the police station
Middle Child Syndrome: Dude, you've been watching my mother! Ewwww... creepy!
Married Spanish Policeman: ....

The Next Renovation
Bigness has been busy with a sledgehammer in one hand and a pinch bar in the other renovating a huge 2-1/2 bedrom apartment on the other side (north east) of the building. Its the apartment that is over the Pizzafarians. There's something very King Kongish and macho about tearing out walls. When he started tearing it down I expected him to burst through the door beating his chest and pick me up in his giant hand. This lovingly restored apartment will probably be the most luxurious and largest beachfront rental on Caye Caulker. Parts of it are 40 years old, from the first little house he built in his 20s. The last tennant nearly ruined the place. Bigness had to rip all the wall casings, refloor all the rooms and lay new linoleum, put up completely new dry wall in every room, retile the bathroom, new kitchen cupboards and countertop, new furniture, new new new everything. But this time we're renting it out by the night and week. No long term tennants anymore. I didn't take any "before" pictures, because it was so ugly I couldn't bear to do it, but I'll definitely take the "after" pictures. Its coming out so pretty that I might take a vacation over there once its finished.

What's for Dessert?
Last year for Valentines Day Bigness bought me a nice fat diamond ring. This year he's bought the matching band for it. And one for him too, size 14.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The King of Coolwhip

I was shopping in Belize City on a Friday. Why is Friday significant? The produce trucks from the farms come into Belize City on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Most Caye Caulker restaurants shop on Tuesday. If you're at the local suppliers on Tuesdays, you'll most likely run into your competitors. The race is on for fresh spinach. We bring big plastic bins and coolers with us. The cargo going thru the water taxi terminal is a mile high, and you have to wait sometimes all day (in the heat) to get your food onto the boat. So most weeks we do the serious shopping on Fridays, less traffic. This past Friday I was at one of the larger grocery stores and saw one of my competitors. A so-called heighty teighty where the female partner is uptight and unfriendly and the male partner is downright haughty. For whatever reason, I have no idea. Inflated sense of self? I'm now qualified to call him the King of Coolwhip. Bwahahahahah! This guy had bought EVERY tub of coolwhip in the store. Its his SECRET and virtually ONLY INGREDIENT in their famousa Tiramisu and chocolate mousse that people supposedly rave about. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH! I looked at him and silently sent the message... DUDE, YOU ARE SOOOO BUSTED! So being the way I am (biotch on a leash) I sent Middle Child Syndrome over incognito to their place that night and had her order the 2 desserts - to go, then we did an analysis. They have the nerve to charge $7 U.S. for a teensy slice of ladyfingers dipped in espresso topped with coolwhip and a cherry and had the cheapest cocoa powder sprinkled on top, and $7 U.S. for a 4 ounce cup of something mixed with coolwhip. That is soooooo shady.

I've been wanting to create a line of Drunken Desserts to have in the cooler, and have been mulling over recipes, trying to decide. The King of Coolwhip was my catalyst to do better. Now that I've made fun of the King of Coolwhip, you would think that I would be too ashamed to use coolwhip. By all means no, I can understand the use of coolwhip, its non-dairy, and has a shelf life of 1000 years or more, but as a main ingredient, so lazy.

In a tourist town in a 3rd world tropical country, you've got to be careful. Bacteria grows really fast here. No making the tourist sick! Certain foods are off limits. Raw eggs, locally produced milk, imported lettuce from Mexico or Guatemala because they use human waste to fertilize with. In addition certain foods are just not available most of the time. Locally produced lettuce is scarce. Things like imported pasturized cream will usually be spoiled by the time it gets here, so strike that one off the list. I've never seen bittersweet chocolate, ever. So here's my modified For The Tropics Tiramisu recipe. I'm using a deep stainless steel 1/4 sheet cassserole dish sprayed with Pam, the pan size 10" x 16". If you're making this at home, just cut the recipe in 1/2.

White Russian Tiramisu

Espresso sauce - stir together until sugar melts then let cool
2 cups of hot espresso
1 cup of Kahlua
1/4 cup cane sugar

Filling - whip together until light and fluffy
1-1/2 lbs of cream cheese pushed through a seive
1 8 ounce can of Nestles Media Creama which is a thick pasturized sterlized cream that comes in cans
3/4 cup sifted powder sugar - adding a little bit at a time
Add to the creamy mixture one 8 ounce tub of the dreaded COOL WHIP (and stop saying to yourself Lee is LAZY)

Chocolate Sprinkle
Grate 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate and mix with 1/4 cup of sifted confectioners sugar

3 packages of Ladyfingers
Take ladyfingers and dip one-by-one in espresso/kahlua (do not soak) and make a layer on the bottom of the pan.
Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture on top
Sprinkle 1/3 of the chocolate on top
Make 3 layers alternating ladyfingers, cream and chocolate sprinkle finishing up with chocolate sprinkle on top.
Let refridgerate overnight to let the flavors mix.
Cut pan into 12 squares.

The first peice out of the pan flopped so I had to eat it - of course. Then I licked the plate clean and went upstairs and took a nap. The next peice out of the pan didn't go into the clear plastic to-go container for the cooler very well, and had my thumbprint on it that even another dusting of chocolate sprinkle wouldn't take away, it was worrysome to me, so I had to eat it later, then go upstairs and take another nap. I've really got to work on this low tolerance to alcohol problem that I have.
1 drink - sleepy
2 drinks - silly
3 drinks - taking my top off and dancing on the table

My next experiment in Drunken Desserts will be a Lime Margartia Cheesecake.