Monday, August 29, 2005

Are them eyeballs under warranty?

I might have to send Bigness back to the evil Castro for more eye surgery, while he's still under warranty.
This morning he asked me if I wanted raisins in my porridge.
I said yes.
He set the bowl in front of me and had sprinkled chocolate chips on top.
I wasn't very successful at stifling a laugh.
That was GOOD!
New discovery.

Fact Checker and banana bread recipe

My friend - Fact Checker - has asked me for my banana bread recipe 3 times - and I've given it to her - 3 times. She always asks the same question: How do you get your banana bread so brown?
"I dunno." I answer.
The first time I met Fact Checker, she asked me if I was here on a work permit or residency. Well, that's a nice how-do-you do, its none of your business madam, kinda question, but since you asked, I have permanent residency and a business license. That shut her up, for about 30 seconds.
Fact Checker asks me, "Do you put coffee in it?"
"Coffee in banana bread?" I say, "I didn't know you could do that."
Well," Fact Checker says, "that's So and So's secret, the coffee."
"No, I dont use coffee." I reassure her. "I use espresso in the browines though"
Her eyes narrow, "Hmm. Then why does your turn out so brown?"
"I dunno" I say again.
Taking into consideration we are AT sea level, well maybe 3 feet above if you want to get real technical, I use a lot more levening than in a regular recipe. Plus I use a black angelfood cake pan (that's the real secret) Don't tell Fact Checker, let's drive her bazonkas for a little while longer.

So here's the super secret Coco Loco Cafe Banana Bread recipe:
Combine these ingredients in the blender
6 bananas
3 eggs
1 cup of milk - can be sour milk
1 cup of coconut oil
1-1/2 tablespoons of vanilla
1/4 cup of honey
3 tablespoons of baking powder
pinch of salt

Pour liquid ingredients in a bowl and then stir in dry ingredients
1-1/2 cups of unbleached sugar
3 cups of flour

I use Pam spray on the pan, and its a black teflon angelfood cake pan, not an aluminum sheet cake pan, so it stays in the oven longer than a sheet cake, because of its thickness.
After I put it in the oven for about 15 minutes I take it out and sprinkle walnuts on top, then return it to the oven for about another 30 minutes. If you put the walnuts on top before baking, they sink to the center of the cake.

I always check it for doneness by inserting a knife in the center, if it comes out clean, its done.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

If I was a Paper Doll

If I was a paper doll, this is what I would look like, including the hair color, glasses, pink spongy platform sandles (with socks) and butterfly earrings.
You can make your own paper doll at
Hours and hours of fun.

I want to read the Italian version of the "Rough Guide to Belize". I want to find the passage where it says "If you're really rude and obnoxious to Belizeans, you'll get better faster service." Arrrrggghhhh woof woof!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Lee's Rough Guide to Dating in Belize

Ladies, follow these 5 easy rules for relationship success
1. He can't be married or living with anyone. Any time you see a woman walking towards you with a machette, its not a good thing.
2. He has to have a job and be able to maintain himself. Tip off #1, if he's standing around shooting the breeze on the street in the middle of the day, he doesn't have a job.
3. The job can not be selling drugs. I know, I'm getting kinda picky here, but its for your own good that you do not date a crack dealer.
4. He can not be missing any of his top or bottom 4 front teeth. If he doesn't care anough about his oral hygeine, then you don't want him putting his mouth anywhere on you.
5. You can be broke OR crazy, but you can't be broke AND crazy.

A Belizean woman friend actually asked me this question the other day. "Don't they have men in America? Why do all the old white ladies come to Belize. Can't they get a man in their own country?"
I was stupefied.
I felt embarrassed, for myself and for all the old white ladies out there.
Then I laughed.
Right after that she revealed to me that she could NEVER live in the U.S. because you're not allowed to be prejudice.

What I did this week

Bigness and I went to Chetumal Mexico to buy printer parts, go to the Mall Las Americas, eat at MacDonalds and see a movie. Oh, we also went to smuggle peaches into Belize, but shh, don't tell anyone. Its about a 3 hour drive from our house on the mainland (which is between Belize City and Belmopan) to the northern border and the mall is about 20 minutes from the border on the Mexican side. One good thing about living in Belize is that we border a NAFTA country (Mexico) Until you've lived outside of NAFTA, you don't realize how important it is. My main complaint about Belize is the import duty, 20% plus 9% sales tax or more. The government is in such financial hot water that they have lowered the non-Belizean/Caricom exemption to 50 bzd ($25 U.S.) Citizens still get the $100 exemption when crossing the border. So it becomes a game with the customs man. While in Mexico we always buy the essentials, shampoo, cream rinse, deodorent and everything else personal, at about 1/2 of what we pay in Belize. Our routine is like this: we get up early, go to the mall, walk around oohing and ahhing about the new fangled gadgets, because we just came out of our cave, we eat a burger and fries, shop at Office Depot and Chedraui in air conditioned comfort. Bigness always buys 2 packs of underwear (I swear I'm not lying) I look at the cute clothes and sigh because even when I was 10 years old I could never fit into a 34B which is the largest bra size they carry in the land of Lilliput. They don't have people my size in Mexico. People look at us like giants, well they look at HIM, amd smile at me. Belizeans park in one area of the lot, you might meet up with your cousin Puni there. Strength in numbers. We take everything out of the packaging and hide hide hide. I've found the best place is right under my nasty stank underwear, or in a tampon box, and then I choose a male customs agent, who definitely aint gonna touch dat stinkness. At the end of the shopping we go to the movies and Bigness falls asleep about 1/2 way through, without fail. gggggzzzzz fffffffbbbbb gggggzzzzz fffffffbbbbb This trip we saw Coach Carter, it was is English subtitled in Spanish. The last trip we saw Spanglish, which was kinda confusing because the english was subtitled in Spanish and the Spanish was just Spanish. This trip, we deviated from the norm and did not spend the night in a Chetumal hotel, we left at sunset. With Bigness's newly aquired sight, thanks to the evil Castro, he can drive a night. We got home about 9 p.m. exhausted but happy at our stash of peaches, nectarines, guava, underwear, shampoo, hair dye, file folders, CDs and inkjet cartridges. The sunset photo is after crossing the border into Belize happily we go whizzing through the jungle on our way home, having cheated the customs man once again, with Bigness's newly aquired night vision. For me, I'll stay a passenger, and not a driver. Just an observer and not a participant.

I felt so EVIL when went to eat this peach. That is, until I licked the sweat off it and bit into the pungent sweetness, and the juice dropped off my chin. I'm vagugely reminded of a story about Samson and Delilah in the Bible where she said stolen fruits taste sweeter. Maybe that was stolen kisses. Am I going to Hell?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Eww, that's weird

I just got a whiff of something. I think freaky white granny wears the same perfume as me.

Photo Friday Challenge - August 26 - Chaos

Shot in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico with an old Olympus Comedia.

Illustration Friday - August 26 - Dreams

I don't remember my dreams so often, although I know I dream a lot, that is, when I can get my body to settle down enough, and shut off my mind.

The Dream:
I was walking on a narrow jungle path through a stand of bamboo growing dense and close. I could feel the cool smoothness of the bamboo as I pushed them aside to go on down the trail. I came to a bend in the path and just around the curve was a small grassy clearing. In the clearing was a female jaguar laying in the grass, her face pointed the other way, looking off. I was so close I could hear her warm breath panting, and see the pink of her tongue, and each hair magnificent and shining. She wasn't startled and turned her head and looked into my eyes. I realized that I was looking into my own eyes. The illustration is hand painted silk using the French serti technique for painting. I use procion dyes and a rubber cement based gutta. I also used a water based resist. Its color upon color. The peice took about 8-10 hours to paint.

I shot this photo of wild bamboo, last year on the Rio Dulce River near Livingston Guatemala. It was shot at the same time I shot "Secret Spot."

In Belize they call Jaguars, Tigers, or Tigre (pronounced Taiga). There's a Kriole legend about Bredda Tigre which loosely translated means that if a man steals into another man's home and seduces the wife, he's a Bra-Tee in kriole, or Bredda Tigre.

The photo of the sleeping jaguar was shot at the Belize Zoo with my old old old Sony Mavica 1.6 I think I shot better photos then, with my old old old camera, even as limited as it was, with the funky fisheye lens than with my new and expensive Canon Digital Rebel EOS bajillion megapixel camera.

An Anansi Animal Story

Tiger wanted to find an easy way to get food so he decided to play dead. When other animals would come to pay their respects, he would kill and eat them. Monkey saw animals coming to Tigers house but not leaving, so he became suspicious. When Monkey went to Tigers house, Mrs. Tiger was weeping and said that Tiger had died. Monkey expressed his sympathy, but then asked if Tiger had wiggled his ears as he died. Monkey explained that this would be a sign that Tiger had really died and not just gone into a coma. Mrs. Tiger said that she had not seen him do that, so Tiger wiggled his ears to convince Monkey. Then Monkey said that the very final thing that someone did when they died was to pass gas. Mrs. Tiger said that she had not seen him do that. So Tiger passed gas. Monkey ran from the house and announced to all the other monkeys that Tiger was not dead, that he was trying to trick everyone. Tiger got up from his bed and became angry with his wife..."

Anansi Stories

Anansi stories originally came to Belize by slaves brought from Africa. Stories of Kweku Anansi are still told by the Ashanti people in Ghana. Similar stories with different heroes are told elsewhere around the Caribbean: Rabbit is the main character in the stories in the French West Indies, southern United States, and East Africa; in Nigeria Tortoise is the mischief-maker.The phrase ‘Anansi story’ is used in Belize today to refer to any sort of folk tale. Even ‘true’ Anansi stories don’t necessarily include John Anansi as a character. Sometimes Anansi stories are used for ‘etiological’ purposes, that is to explain why as certain animal is as it is today. For example, a story may explain why spiders (Anansi) live in wood piles, or tigers live in the bush. In the days of slavery Anansi stories were told as a comfort to the slaves. They saw themselves like the powerless but clever Anansi, and hoped for times when they would have victory like Anansi over Tiger, who represented the slave-master.The telling of Anansi stories is an important aspect of Caribbean cultures where high value is placed on the ability to use words and the ability to perform. A person who can argue well and use words as a means of performance is given high status. In previous times, most villages had several people who were noted as story-tellers. This was valued in rural villages where there was less access to entertainment and recreation.

I heisted the Anansi Story and the explanation from website

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Illustration Friday - August 19 - Reflection

My friend Irene reflects upon leaving San Marcos, Guatemala on Lake Atitlan. Our 3 day trip to escape the heat of September in Belize turned into 3 weeks of mountainous cool where we chilled our brains, practiced yoga, meditation, learned Reiki and drank lots of red wine. The image is a hand colored illustrated photo. I first make a print on Arches 140lb. watercolor paper and then color it with oil pastel, prismacolor pencils and watercolor pencils.

Photo Friday Challenge - One

One Avocado and a recipe for Guacamole
The trick to perfect quacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe (rotten) and too mushy.
2 ripe avocados
½ purple onion chopped finely
1 ablespoon of chopped jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 taqblespoon of fresh chopped garlic, or to taste
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ripe tomato, chopped
Serve with tortilla chips.
1. Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
2. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapenos, salt and pepper and mash some more. Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.
3. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
4. Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix.
If you have a small can of salsa casera, which is sometimes available, its an easy substitute for the tomato, onion and jalapeno. You can extend the guacamole by adding sour cream.
The recipe serves two or if you are greedy like me, it serves one.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Meet the new neighbor

To protect the guilty, let's just call her Freaky White Gial Granny and Nasty Stud Bwai. It sounds like Granny likes a spanky. Seriously, these walls are way too thin, I need to get some ear plugs and I'm going to need counseling soon to cope with their relationship. Common sense would tell you that if you can hear my TV, I can hear you screwing. (she's GOT to be faking her orgasm.) Maybe I'll punish them with ENYA turned up REAL loud.
Remember: we are not laughing WITH you we are laughing AT you.

Thank goodness for Babelfish

I made a sign in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, Japanese, and Dirty Knees that says PLEASE, NO SMOKING. Thank goodness for Alta Vista's Babelfish. For the uninitiated, here's the link. Babelfish The sign is not meant to offend anyone, although I'm sure it will. Its meant to gently remind people that they are in a very nice air conditioned store that smells nice and WE WANT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.
Ugh! I can't believe that at one time in my life I smoked, yes its true, and now that I'm a non-smoker, I can't tolerate the stuff. Yuk. Anyone else feel that way? I made the sign and then I forgot it in the printer.

Update on Bigness and Cuba
So now, Mr. Bigness is back from Cuba and can see again, which is a good thing, since he does all the driving, and my license is expired.

The really really rainey season has started!
Yea! My freshwater cistern thanks the Rain Gods. I don't mind the rain, its warm like bathwater and clean. It never rains for days and days, just a few hours. The air is so clean here, since we have only 5 vehicles on the island, that we drink the rain water in the cistern. Drinking rain water takes some getting used to, it has absolutely no flavor to it, just the idea that you're not drinking water from the ground, but from the sky is cool in itself. The vats are black and closed at the top, so no algae grows. The rain runs off the metal roof into gutters, and before the gutters dump into the cistern, there's a window screen to keep the chunks out. I'm sure there's no pelican poop in my water. Even if there is, everyone needs a little nitrogen in their diet. BTW (disclaimer coming) we make all the coffee and teas with purified, ozonated and reverse ozmosised water in big clear blue bottles, delivered daily from our trusty water wagon strong men. And I never serve ant cake to the cutomers... unless they ask for it. I promise you that if anyone comes into the store and asks me for ant cake (I would probably faint) I PLEDGE TO GIVE YOU ONE ANT FREE TRIPLE CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO BROWNIE. (for free)
O.K. back to the rain. the house is a shakin and the lights are a blinkin, and the UPS keeps sounding her warning. Beep low voltage, beep gonna go off, beep warning big breeeze a comin. Sounds like a hurricane out there. I better post this soon.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I must have looked like I had STUPID tatooed on my forehead

Ahhhh.... the Italians have arrived.
I was given a painstaking explanation, in English, this morning, by someone from a country that begins with the letter I, that Zey vood like waaaan explaaaaaaaaaaaaasso.
I answered, Sure! Which in perky Americanish is the same as o.k., or yes, right now, or right away. I turned around to push the button on our Gaggia (Italian) superautomatic espresso machine and the "person" said. "Eeeet eees daaa leeeeetle koffeeeeee, not zeee beeeeeg waaaaan. "
I finished pulling the shot and said with a big smile on my face "Pague por favor cuatro dólares al hombre gigante allá." roughly translates to please pay $4 to the giant man over there"
Note to self: I have to remember to start speaking English with my fake Spanish accent again.

As another side note, I think I've been working too hard because I've lost my sense of humour (and my feet hurt). Just ask the water taxi boat captain who "misplaced" my $360 coffee order today. So, I'm taking off for the mainland until Friday, working at my studio, and am going to enjoy the quiet while it lasts.
Adios Amigos - Living in Paradise

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Does this look safe to you?

Does this look safe to you? Yes, another photo from the now famous verandah into the police yard. Looks like a MOLOTOV COCKTAIL goin' on down there. I wonder how long its been like that and I just didn't notice, sorta kinda like the baby milk in my coffee incident, but in a much more flammable way. Am I just being premenstrual about this? Doesn't that look like a giant bomb waiting to go off. I'm handling this in the Belizean way. I told someone to tell the police that its not a good thing to stick a peice of something (looks like a plastic bag) in the opening of a 50 GALLON GASOLINE DRUM, because it could be used as a WICK! I would tell them myself but it looks like they aren't having a safety problem with the position, because its CLOSER TO MY BUILDING THAN THEIRS!!! The conversation would go something like this "Saaage, de white gial, de big ting, she de complayn complayn complayn like wan parrott bout de gas on top a de soakaway. She de say dat like wan bomb. I no tink so, noh tru?
Nighty night all! Pleasant dream and bombs away! If you don't hear from me within 2 weeks, send the coast guard.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Illustration Friday Aug. 12 - Wisdom

This is a watercolor, no actually its mixed media because I used a little bit of oil pastel and prismacolor pencil to finish it. It honors the wise medicine women of Belize like Beatrice Waight, Hortense the midwife and Dr. Rosita Arviga. During the period of time I was painting this, I was also reading Rosita Arviga's book "Sastun."

Photo Friday Aug. 12 - Violet

The photo is actually 3 photos layered one on top of the other, I then made a giclee print on Arches 140lb. watercolor paper and hand colored it with oil pastel, primacolor pencils and watercolor pencils.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

This is what happens when I'm not paying attention

The can on the left side of the picture is KLIM, which is full cream milk powder. It only took me 3 years to realize it was the word MILK spelled backwards. Fresh milk in Belize is very very expensive, about 12 bzd a gallon ($6 U.S.) so we drink the powder version, which is very good and creamy. Its not like the nonfat powder stuff my mom used to force feed us as kids. The memory of that still makes me feel nauseated. I have to admit that my Spanish isn’t so good, but that’t no excuse, because as you can see on the can on the right, the English translation is right below the Spanish. I’ve been drinking baby formula…

Operation Milagros

Mr. Bigness went to Cuba on Sunday to have his eye surgery and will be back in about 10 days… Its a fabulous and very much needed program that these 3 governments are sponsoring.
Belize Times Article Link (this news clip is about the first group of patients, Bigness is in the 2nd group)
He called last night from Cuba and said they weren’t feeding him enough, and he was hungry and wanted to come home. The surgery had taken about 15 minutes, he was awake the whole time. They are taking really good care of the group but won’t let them leave the hotel without an escort. I can see (pun) why. I wouldn’t want 100 old blind people wandering around downtown Havana either. Bigness is 6 foot 4 and at least 275 lbs, and he’s not fat, he’s just big. He eats about six times a day. I don’t think they make people as big as he is in Cuba. A couple of months ago I put him on a diet for about an hour and a half. He came into the cafe telling me he couldn’t cope with the diet, that he felt all weak and shaky. I sat him down and made him a banana smoothie, then he ate a cookie and a piece of cake, then his hunger headache went away.
The upside to Bigness being absent is the big bed all to myself, hours and hours of guilt free internet cruising and NO BOXING or ESPN on TV. I’m able to watch my fave programs, “What Not to Wear” and “Sex and the City”. The downside is no one is cooking for me (and I’m hungry,) and no one’s washing the dishes for me. I can honestly say that I miss his constant teasing. No one's here to eat my ant cake.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Fashion Police

Caught on the spycam, Granny and Grampy in their matching Mansarongs and Tevas, slinking past the fashion police station.

Something really important happened

Something really important happened, although I don’t know what it was… Someone special came to Caye Caulker, but I don’t know who. I was on my verandah (porch) MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS, washing the laundry with my fully manual washing machine and I looked down into the police yard.

I noticed that they had raked and chopped (with a machete) their yard, and had neatly stacked the empty beer bottles, leftover from the last party they had, in the back of the now defunct police golf cart cruiser.

It looked like they hosed out the putrid mess of the building and maybe even the piss cell. (I captured this with my spycam) The officers were all spiffed up in their dress uniforms and standing at attention – in the rain.

The boat arrived and this guy came ashore, (the one in the white shirt). I had to stop taking pictures for a little while because the clicking noise on my camera was making them nervous and I didn't want anyone to shoot at me. (Is it really necessary to say hahahaha, just messin with ya, when its so obvious, that I am) Maybe it was me standing up there in my granny nightgown and white tube socks that brought on the nerves, peering at them thru the plastic lattice. (Whe de white lady she di do?)

They took a quick walk, I mean inspected the putrid building and then went on a joy ride in the new police cruiser.

Anyone have any idea who this was?
Me neither.

I don't think this is the president of Mexico (Vicente Fox), and our Prime Minister (Said Musa) is grey haired and about 4 feet 11 inches tall, and wouldn't come in a boat, they would fly him in one of Belize's two military planes (the one with the gas in it). Mr. Bigness said that it could be the Minister of Defense, but wouldn't he be wearing a military uniform or something, or a suit and tie? Whoever the mystery man was, he sure made them stand at attention.

Monday, August 08, 2005

New discoveries and same ole same old

It seems like I’ve been offline forever, its been 2-1/2 weeks of back and forth computer repairs. As usual the very expensive computer repair was completely the fault of our local electric company. The island is powered by 2 giant diesel engines. It appears that they are having a problem with the big engine (maybe they should remember to put fuel in it this time) so they are using the little engine, which has voltage regulation problems. Uh oh… Is the utility company responsible for blowing things up? Not here in Belize.

On the upside, I discovered a new fruit.

The first 20 times the little spanish girl at the market said the name I thought she said "Mfergfhg fruit" then I listened REAL CLOSE one more time. Its called Dragonfruit.
Aint it purty? It tastes like kiwi. I asked the little spanish girl how to eat it and she said, you cut it, den you eats it. So I followed her very detailed instructions and it was delish, but weird eating white fruit with black specks. That fuscia on the inside skin was fabulous though, I wish I had a lipstick that color. I used to…. back in 1982

Is this new to only me or have any of you seen this fruit before? Is it really called the Dragon Fruit?

This is a photo illustration I made of my youngest daughter Mal, as Dragonfruit Girl

Illustration Friday August 6-Empty

This submission is for Illustration Friday. The peice is actually called La Solidad (the aloneness) Its my favorite quiet spot when I want to get away and read I go here. The peice is a hand-colored photo. I shot the photo and made a giclee print on Arches 140 lb hot press watercolor paper. The coloring is done with oil pastel, prismacolor pencil, iridescent oil sticks and watercolor pencil.
YeAh! My computer is fixed, and it wasn't the monitor, it was a faulty power supply. I won't bore you with the details about taking it back to Belize City on the water taxi, all the sweating and swearing that I did. Aren't you glad you use dial, don't you wish everyone did?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Still experiencing technical dificulties

ARRRRGGGHHHHH! Ouch, I just bit the inside of my mouth. Just let me vent here for a little bit. That way I can go home and NOT yell at Mr. Bigness for tracking sand into the house. I'm at the cybercafe again, which is so inconvenient, not to mention expensive, paying for internet at $12 an hour, since I'm already paying $100 a month for a DSL connection at home. I went to Belize City today to pick up my computer and $113 later (plus $35 for the water taxi fare) and my computer is STILL doing the same thing it was, which leads me to believe that there wasn't anything wrong with my mother (foker) board, it is the monitor. So I called the company and asked them if I could buy a monitor from them and send them a check on the plane (sounds weird, but that's how we do busiuness 20 miles offshore-by plane and boat-using our favorite taxi man in the city to fetch and carry for us) And if it wasn't the monitor, could I bring it back on Monday? Makes sense to me. Makes NO sense to them. I have to bring the whole computer back to them tomorrow, pay the $35 water taxi fare, drag my ass all around town in a beat up dusty taxi. I have to see that it works FINE just FINE in their office. Its my monitor, which was the ONE thing that I didn't bring into the city to have them check. OF COURSE!
Oh, BTW, the Italians have arrived which means that Caye Caulker is a nudist colony. Ayiyi, too many mauger men in speedos and woman with eggs around their waist. I bet you can't wait till I get my computer back and I can post pictures!