Friday, August 24, 2007

What, Me Worried?

You better Belize it! I was sweating bullets for a while.

Bigness and I were already on the mainland with UNBaby when the evacuation order came down on Sunday. A couple of days before we had decided to give Supergirl a break and take UNBaby with us to our little house in the bush. She promised not to color on the walls with green crayon again.

At noon on Sunday hurricane Dean drifted downward and directly in the path of Belize. Supergirl called me with the news as we have no internet and get one TV station (sometimes). So I advised her to get the plywood, and guess what? No plywood... again, so she bought the last 4 sheets of beaverboard (a thin masonite) and charged up the drill. She and Miss Barb had the store packed up in 3 hours, her suitcase packed and everything stored upstairs in our safe room.
Whew! I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.

Sunday afternoon we went into Belmopan to Brodies to pick up a few things, just of in case of... and I bought comfort food like chips, diet soda, a bag of chocolates, cookies. Not the real evacuation hurricane foods, just the I'm-starting-to-feel-sorry-for-myself foods as we contemplated and discussed what the storm turning towards us meant. Brodies was completely empty. I joked with the clerk that we were the only ones worried, she and me. We stopped by Cousin Carlos' house to look at the satellite on the internet and I made a quick call to Supergirl to confirm what we were seeing. Yes, we were going to get a whopping, do what you gotta do and get out of there. No posessions are worth lsing your life over.

We are adequately insured on the contents... and that helps me sleep at night. What we can't get is building insurance, because we are a 40 year old building on the beach. It is a reality that we live with every day. What would we do of in case of...? We would do the best we can, collect whatever we can from the insurance and start over. You can take the proof of talent away, but you can't take the talent inside of a person away.

Supergirl's been through a few disasters in the last couple of years, when my studio and gallery burned to the ground along with the rest of the block in downtown Wyandotte, Michigan, a fire at her own house a few years later in Detroit with a total loss, a few hurricanes, some scares here and there. A seasoned pro, she works through the list and prioritizes, not stopping until it is done.

Monday morning the sirens started at around 4:30 a.m. on Caye Caulker. Supergirl and guests from the Alamina Beach House had purchased their water taxi tickets the day before knowing they would try and leave on the earliest boat out. Supergirl peeked out the kitchen window and saw OJ (who is the disaster guy for Caye Caulker) talking to the police Sarge and noted that the sarge was completely dressed, not just in his underware as sometimes happens when disaster strikes and he's hauled out of bed to deal with it. (his apartment is on the second floor of the police station) OJ turned as she was coming down the stairs and asked her if she was bringing all those bags with her. She had a big suitcase, a big plastic bin with all the business papers in it, the laptop case and her carry on bag. He informed her that locals were allowed one medium size bag, plus your purse tourists were allowed their regular luggage. They were trying to pack as many human bodies on these boats as possible. So back into the house she went to repack. Gleefully she tossed the plastic bin with the business papers into the safe room, (and said "Woo Hoo to You!) and then packed the laptop into her suitcase. She and the beach house guests arrived at the peir at 5:45 a.m. and when she got there there were about 3 boat loads of people waiting already so they lined up and as soon as it was light enough, they loaded the boats to go. Every water taxi available was lining up and they would only release as many people onto the end of the peir as could fit on that particular boat. It was very well organized and mayhem did not break out.

Spin went to the city to pick her up and when she arrived at our little house in the bush I had already determined that I had bought the wrong foods. (duh) So we headed off to Belmopan again to fill the car's gas tank and to make another trip to Brodies and this time the place was packed. The same clerk joked with me as I asked where the D size batteries were and I mentioned to her that I forgot to buy ice cream. I bought all kinds of crappy food that I owuld never ever eat. Cans of beans because you don't know if you'll have cooking gas, cans of little weenies, cheeze whiz, saltines, cans of tuna, tins of meat, canned milk. You get the picture right? Food that makes you eternally constipated. Oh, don't forget the room spray!

We had a couple of extra people who came prepared and well organized as they have been through this many times before. We listened to LoveFM on the radio all that day and into the night. I gave up eventually and went to bed waking from time to time hearing Ernest Vasquez or Rene Villanueva's voice reassuring us that we were still here, that we still existed.

We had evacuated far enough aaway from the storm that we didn't even get any wind. It was dead calm and sprinking rain. Spin started calling around in the morning to see what the damage was and was happy to hear that it was storm surge and some wind but we did not get the battering like they did in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye just 10 miles north of us. Cousin Ragio's beach had washed sand onto our beach. We actually gained beach during the storm. Turnaround is fair play because during hurricane Mitch in 1998 Bigness lost about 10,000 bzd in sand to cousin and it wasn't returned. I can see the sand wars are going to start soon.

We came back on Wednesday morning after they turned the electricity back on Tuesday night. We decided not to open right back immediately but to repaint the interior and do a general de-junking, after all how often is this store completely empty? Oh, about once every 3 years.

We opened back up all clean and sparkly this morning and a few tourists have come back to the island and are wandering around.

We're grateful to be here. Thank you to everyone who emailed me. All is well.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Long Walk Home

Caye Caulker in Black and White
After shooting a sunset wedding way down the beach, I started walking home... with the late afternoon sun behind me, its my favorite time of the day to shoot.

The Civilization of UNBaby

In an effort to get caught up on all the news, here are photos from UNBaby's preschool graduation (Miss Sue's Preschool). And as you can see from the photos, she sat still and did everything the teacher told her to do, patiently waiting while mayhem and hysteria erupted all around. She totally disproved Bigness's theory that she has chiggers up her batty and can't sit still. She looked to sweet AND CLEAN! It was a proud moment!

She's made some real strides in becoming civilized this year. Through the suggestion that she watch out to not slam her tail in the door, Bigness has taught her (and me too) to close the door when you come into an air conditioned room, and to knock before entering. One day I overheard her telling her cousin Jelly Bean "What's de matta gial, you fraid you slam yer tail inna de dowa? Close de dooowa!"

Of course most of the credit for the "Civilization of UNBaby" should go to her preschool teacher who is the kindest most patient woman you will meet.

Wild Sunset

I took this photo near our house on the mainland. Anyone have any idea what creates this phenomenon?

The Before and the After

The day that Adria, Jay and May left for Mexico and then subsequently to the U.S., Malibu MalMal, Jelly Bean and Baby JoJo came. We had planned it that way to minimize trips to Mexico and the airport in Cancun. So, its been a busy summer. Mal, Jelly and JoJo stayed 7 weeks living la vida loca with us on the Cayes and got to experience Caye Caulker, after the vacation feeling wears off.

But back to Adria's family.
I thought I would show you the...
BeforeAnd the After... these photos were taken the day before they left and went back to reality, relaxed and suntanned.

Monday, August 06, 2007

What Goes There?

After 5 days of being on the mainland at our little house, working in my studio with torrential rain, means that you can’t hang out laundry to dry. So why even wash? As the latest tropical wave washes past us in this hurricane season, I breezed into work. Well, not exactly breezed in, I washed ashore after the bone jarring and kidney killing water taxi ride from the city, where we were all huddled in the front of a half-covered boat. Bigness stayed on the mainland to watch the small lake forming in our front yard.

Supergirl: Mother (condescending tone)
Supergirl: Remember that talk we had?
Me: Which one?
Supergirl: The one where we agreed that you weren’t going to dress like a clown. (she eyeballs me up and down)
Me: Oh... Why? You don’t like? The shoes match (I look down at my camouflage Capri pants and blue and green paisley top.)
Supergirl: Not really, they are purple.

and then she adds…
Supergirl: What’s the point of pretending that your shoes match when you only own purple shoes?
Me: That reminds me I need to order some more sandles from I thought you said that the camo pants were youthful.
Supergirl: Youthful is good, Bozo-ish is bad.
Me: Did you just call me Bozo?

So I've decided to leave it up to you, the readers of this blog to vote on the fate of my ensemble.

What goes with camouflage print capri pants?
A solid top only in a color that appears in the camo print, plus black or white.
Any other type of print as long as some of the colors appear in the camo print.
Anything plus tie dye because we know that tie dye goes with everything.
Only camo goes with camo, even if its not the same print.
Free polls from