Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day + 2

Christmas traditions are very important to people, and my family is no different.
For the last umpteen years, since BS was a little boy, we have spent Christmas Eve night
at my mother's place with whatever other relatives happened to be there.

We have our ritual schedules that we follow -
we all go out to dinner,
and brother & I (at least) accompany her to the Christmas Eve service at her church.
Then brother & I go to the late service at my church
where brother has too much champagne.

"What?" you say,
"Drinking in church?

My church (Episcopal - we love our wine at mass)
has an elegant champagne reception after midnight mass.
(which starts at 10:30 these days :-)
There are finger foods & champagne and we celebrate Christmas when mass ends at midnight.
It really is a lovely tradition - the first toast of Christmas,
and brother looks forward to it all year.
He brings plenty of champagne to contribute to the supply.
They look forward to having him there too.
Seeing him get a wee bit tipsy has become one of their Christmas traditions too.

Anyway, we never do get to bed before 2 or 3 in the morning.
Oh well.
Since BS grew up, he has elected to sleep at home
and come over to mother's early in the morning for the gift carnage.

Then, we usually travel down to Kitty Hawk to have dinner with my father.

I called BS on Christmas morning to see when we could expect him.
He was sick.
Sore throat, chills, headache, fever.

He wasn't coming to my mother's.
He wasn't going to my father's.
He wasn't going to see his father.
He would prefer that I keep the original plans.
He wasn't up for company.

This meant that I wouldn't be seeing my baby on Christmas,
and he would be all alone.
Doesn't matter if that's what he wanted.

I came home the next day and haven't left his side since.
Well, that is, except sleeping.
And going to the bathroom.
You know what I mean.

Christmas Day + 1


That sounds like such a harsh word to use on the day after Christmas.
But here's what I don't like about America.
On December 26th, you wake up to a city completely back to normal.
It's almost as if Christmas never happened.
No more music on the radio.
No more festive get-togethers, except New Year's Eve,
which isn't much more than a thin excuse to get drunk.
One of my neighbors even had their tree out for the garbage already.

Didn't anyone ever hear of the 12 days of Christmas?
Why is it that much of the world acknowledges that Christmas lasts for 12 days,
and Americans think Christmas ends on December 25th?

Even Mother Nature didn't seem to be in the mood anymore.
She added to the gloom this morning.
This is what we woke up to as the fog rolled in and out.
It didn't clear until after 3 in the afternoon.

On a good day, this is what it should look like.
No fog & no storm damage.

The best thing was this silent ghostly ship floating on the mist.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day - This Is What We Have Been Waiting For

There are a lot of versions of the Bible out these days,
each claiming to be 'better' or 'more accurate' than the others,
but no other modern version can match the poetic quality of King James:

Luke 2:7-14

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes,
and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them,
Fear not:
for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying, Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Doré's White Rose - Illustration to Dante's Divine Comedy, Paradiso by Gustave Doré

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
(click on that link & smile)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Day minus 1 - It's Almost Here!


I can turn the radio to my local 24-hour Christmas music station

and hear all the old, standard favorites.
But, just like the music I posted a few days ago,
this one is NEVER played, so I present it here.

And, from my childhood, this old, scratchy recording of Anna Maria Alberghetti singing
"The Star Carol" is from a Goodyear Christmas album,
the same one I listened to when my sisters & I were wee bairns.
(Those sisters will find infantile felines shooting from their nether regions
with explosive force when they hear this. :-)

And, finally, in case any of you still don't believe that Santa will come tomorrow,
please visit this website.
NORAD is an official government agency,
and if the US Governmant acknowledges the Jolly Old Elf,
who are we to say otherwise, huh?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Day minus 2

The holidays can be a particularly difficult time for the brave men and women of our armed forces,
putting themselves in harm's way to protect freedom wherever they are told to go.
Away from their loved ones at a time of year that celebrates being with family,
they create a family among those brothers and sisters
beside whom they toil and for whom they would die.

(often sent via e-mail as "A Soldier's Night Before Christmas" and altered in various ways,
this is the original as written in 1986 by James M. Schmidt
and published in Leatherneck (the magazine of the Marines), December 1991.)


‘Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live.

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen,
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more,
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

Soon round the nation, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month and all year,
Because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice.
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep.
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.

So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
And I put on his t-shirt of scarlet and gold,
With an eagle, globe & anchor emblazoned so bold.

And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for one shining moment I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him, so quiet in the night,
This guardian of honor, so willing to fight.

But half asleep he rolled over, and, in a voice clean and pure,
Said, "Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas, my friend, Semper Fi and good night."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Day minus 3

This was the sentiment on a box of Christmas cards I bought long before BS was born.
I've always loved it, and it seems appropriate to share.

And when we give each other Christmas gifts in His name,
let us remember that He has given us
the sun and moon and the stars,
and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans -
and all that lives and moves upon them.

He has given us all green things
and everything that blossoms and bears fruit
and all that we quarrel about
and all that we have misused.

And to save us from our own foolishness,
from all our sins,
He came down to earth and gave us Himself.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Day minus 4

Don't you love the local school's Christmas pageant?
For tonight's offering, I give you the very creative students of
South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard Washington.
It is very cleverly done and obviously well rehearsed.
I had to see it a couple of times to catch all the choreography.
I especially love the little short 'monk' second from the right in the front row.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Day minus 5

Here's another of my favorite, yet lesser known, pieces of Christmas music.
Be warned, it's in the original Latin,
although I think Mannheim Steamroller did a beautiful arrangement.
But then, I like singing Latin. I'm a liturgical geek.

Mmmm, I could go to sleep with this.
In fact I think I will.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Day minus 6

With the snow falling softly around me (finally, after a month of wind & rain), I give you a story to get you in the Christmas spirit, compliments of Jeff Foxworthy. Some of you have heard it already, so if you have, sorry. If not, prepare to have the cockles of your heart warmed.

Christmas with Louise

As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.

One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Walmart.

I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!" and "Who would buy that?"

Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour. Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for "Lovable Louise." She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a "doll" took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours, long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more.

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door.
"What the hell is that?" she asked.
My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."
"Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped.
I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.
"Where are her clothes?" Granny continued.
"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Jay said, trying to steer her into the dining room.
But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, "Hang on Granny! Hang on!"

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?" I told him she was Jay's friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the panty hose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa.

The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over in his chair and wet his pants and Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health.

Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies.

I think Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Day minus 7

For the next week, I offer something different each day.
It may be a song, a poem, a story.
It may be nice, it may be naughty,
it may be so sweet it will put you in a sugar coma,
but it will all have a Christmas theme.
And it will all be happily stolen from other sources.


This Christmas song is among my favorites in the whole universe.
I first heard it Christmas 1992 at St. Mary's, where I work.
At Christmas, our local community brings carolers and hundreds of gifts for our kids.
They come from many different groups, and all are anticipated with great enthusiasm.
One group that has been coming every year since way before that Christmas of 1992

This is their 'signature' song, and it has a special place in my heart.
It's not really Christmas until I hear it,
and Stevie Wonder best emulates the way I first heard it:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Holidays, Happy Christmas! .......................

Ah, the Great Debate rears its ugly head again.
This is the time of year that some hapless store clerk will wish the wrong customer
"Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas",
and the customer will get in an uproar.

Now, I'm a "Merry Christmas" kind of girl myself,
but can we please get over the whole "Merry Christmas vs "Happy Holidays" debate?
My e-mail inbox (and now Facebook) is inundated with this nonsense
every year in November & December.
"Boycott any store that doesn't say 'Merry Christmas'!"
"Send this to everyone you know to get the message out!"


Because, really, it's a waste of your time and a silly argument to boot.
Think about it this way . . .

"Christmas" is a bastardized version of "Christ's Mass", a clear religious reference.
"Holiday" is a bastardized version of "Holy Day", a clear religious reference.
I got no problem with that.
Christmas is indeed holy.

What's the problem folks?
They both acknowledge clear religious origins. It's a win-win for everyone!

So when those poor, underpaid store clerks wish you "Happy Holidays",
don't get your knickers in a twist.
It is sooooo not worth it and it will diminish your spirit.
This time of year should uplift your spirit, right?

Just return whatever greeting you choose and smile with the knowledge
that their 'secular' greeting includes a religious message after all.
They just don't know it.
Problem solved.

How 'bout this - let's just take a cue from these guys.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taking The Blinders Off

Maybe because I had a birthday a couple months ago,
and the number of my birthdays is getting frighteningly large.

Maybe because it made me consider my own impending geriatrichood.
After all, I'm able to join AARP now.

Maybe because I recently bought long-term care insurance -
just in case BS doesn't want to change my diapers in my old age.

But I have been reluctantly thinking about my parents in an inevitable new light.
Why reluctantly?
Because when you are young, you see your parents as eternal,
ageless, bigger-than-life,
and always there to take care of you.

But, they're not, are they?
After a certain point, you start to see the changes coming faster.

And there comes a time when we have to start taking care of certain things for them.
The circle of life spins on.

My Mother's Hands:

Her hands could soothe a hurt,
stroke our hair,
cook our favorite meal,
bake us cookies,
make us dresses,
and sew a quilt for her newborn grandson.
They could write long letters in a dying art,
paint pictures,
hug her grandchildren,
grade her students' papers.

My mother's hands were magical.
They were tireless.
An artist's hands.
There was nothing they couldn't do.

And when I wanted a certain dinner for my birthday a couple months ago,
they provided, as I simply assumed they would.

But I didn't think.

Those hands are getting tired.
They are connected to arms & legs & feet & a back that ache with age and arthritis.
Cooking that meal was a labor of love
and a labor of pain.

I'm sorry Mom.
And thank you.

My Father's Feet:

His feet were rarely still.
They traveled the world in his Navy days and
carved a path for his little girls to follow while he pushed the lawnmower.
They could pedal a bicycle built for 4 (with 3 little useless passengers),
run in a triathalon,
hike the mountains,
ski the black diamond slopes,
kickstart his motorcycle,
carry him all over the house while he fixed anything that needed fixing.

My father was invincible, all-knowing, and always willing to lend a hand.
He knew everything,
and anything he didn't know, his brother Dick knew . . .
or so he claimed *wink*
(my sisters know what this means).

But now the feet don't run or ski anymore,
(although he hasn't given up on the bike or kayak just yet).
They cause him to stumble and fall more & more.
His eyes have turned traitor.

I worry when he drives back to North Carolina in the dark with only one good eye.

My parents are still all of those things that they were.
But it's just harder for them to show it these days.

And there comes a time when we need to see our parents for who they are now,
not colored by how we saw them as children.
Appreciate who they were, but accept who they have become.
Be grateful for all their gifts.
And love them always.

I have my mother's hands, but mine can never do all the things hers could.
I have my father's feet, but I can never fill his shoes.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Many Apologies

Even though I changed the title of a particular blog post to try to thwart the blog spammers,
the spam continues, now on another post too.
Another one that has nothing to do with personal growth of the male variety.

So, as a result of me not wanting to continually go back and delete those idiots,
I have initiated word verification on my blog.

I know, I know.
Word verification is lame.
It's annoying.

But not as annoying as seeing an e-mail pop up telling me I have a new comment on my blog . . .


**Someone likes me!!!**

. . . only to find out . . .

Uh, no.
Someone only wants to sell me pharmaceuticals that will ensure Little Johnny's massive size.

So, I apologize for making you take that one extra step to make a comment.
Which, by the way, I LOVE getting.
So, please don't let it stop you.

ps: extra apologies to any readers who may be dyslexic,
because having to retype random letters my be your idea of Hell.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gotta Use The Black Bananas

Last night I looked in my kitchen and saw a grocery bag I forgot to unpack.
But finding a bunch of overripe bananas means only one thing . . .

I've posted about these before.

Today, I made one minor change and one delicious change.
Change #1 - I used 2 parts white whole wheat flour & and 1 part buckwheat flour
Change #2 - added chocolate chips with the toffee chips (ooooh)

Before some of you squawk at me, white whole wheat flour is 100% whole grain.
Don't let the word "white" fool you.
It's NOT white flour (which is evil).
It's ground from white wheat, which has less tannins in the bran than red wheat.
This produces a pale flour with a milder flavor.

When they came out of the oven, BS made piggy snort noises so I would bring him one.

Me: Scale of 1-10?
BS: So far it's a 10.

Keep in mind that last time I made these, he gave them "at least an 8, maybe a 9".
This time I got a 10.

*pause for happy chewing*

Me: 100% whole grain
BS (in his cheesiest commercial endorsement voice): They're good and good for you!
Me: You want another one?
BS: Yah, maybe 2. Breakfast of champions man.

So, yeah, chocolate makes everything better.

Wait, you really can't tell that 2 of those are a Christmas tree & a gingerbread boy.
I have some festive holiday shapes.

I have to give them a flip and expose their dark underbellies so you can see.

Hmmm, now they look very brown.
Well, crap.
They still taste good.

Lessons learned: those non-stick pans brown more than stainless steel.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My Awkward Phase

Every girl on the planet knows about this.
That adolescent period in their life, during the transition between childhood & adulthood,
where they felt (and sometimes looked) like the ugly duckling instead of the swan.
My awkward phase lasted about 17 years.

No, wait, how old am I?
Let's say it started when I was 12, so *removes shoes for counting* I'm !@# years old now,
subtract that time in my 30's when I was a fox.
*count count count*

That means my awkward phase lasted for more years than BS has been alive,
and, I think, continues to this day.

Don't believe me?
Let me offer the following evidence.

When we were young, my mother took slides.
Hundreds of slides.
And I recently purchased a scanner to transfer them to digital files.

We have had great fun seeing all those old pictures again,
but they pointed out a stark fact to me.
The women in my family are lovely.
My mother & my 2 sisters came from the sparkling waters of the gene pool.

My beautiful mother

My beautiful oldest sister Nana

My beautiful middle sister Sista G

And, uh . . .

. . . me . . .

I had every plague of young girlhood:
  • curly red hair (frizz-head, stuck-your-finger-in-a-socket, carrot-top) - ✓
  • freckles (hey - did you stand behind a cow when it farted?) - ✓
  • horn-rimmed glasses, the only kind available at the time (four-eyes) - ✓
  • braces on my teeth (metal-mouth, tin-grin) - ✓
(that cow fart comment was from my sister's boyfriend, now brother-in-law)


My mother will hate this.
She has to think I was beautiful. She's my mother.
It's in the handbook.

My sisters will hate this
because I didn't show you their awkward phases.
Although they will smile a little when they look at their pictures
and show them to their friends, saying "Look! That's me!"

But, pictures don't lie, ya know?
I'm just sayin'.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Blog Comments

I just love getting comments on my blog posts.
Lets me know that someone is actually reading it.
But I have joined the ranks of those whose blogs have attracted spam.
And not the tasty hammy treat that Hawaiians love so much.
This kind is either in a foreign language or gobbledygook.
But the comments have, couched within the odd language,
links to products that will allow for greater, uh,
growth & longevity when engaging in certain activities.

If you know what I mean.

Let me show you a few:

"Mi scusi per quello che sono qui per interferire… di recente. Ma sono molto vicini al tema. Scrivere al PM. lblvxlipeh ljqpfazxto [url= [/url] dvyrruabun txorotjcrd rpbtxtmccg iacjcxsqwk"

"kwfjilejph kkxoedbftg [url=] [/url] qifrxuvlzg vgvgehtrkv vijsqtkail vbmeshclhm

"vqwdrvhxrl vvzdqfsref [url= [/url] zcefeicnmf zwvxumechx dflxwygjxf lacsuqhjiu"

The interesting thing is that they all show up on a particular post,
and it wasn't even a post that mentioned anything remotely concerned with activities in the 'private sector'.
It was about donating platelets, for goodness sake.

Even with this post, I am being careful to avoid what I assume are certain key words.
I don't want more spam.
But I don't want to have to start moderating the comments either,
or making you do a word verification before your comment will appear.
So I have to go back and change the title of that post
and see if that stops the spam.

Oh, and please don't click on those links above.
Not that you could anyway,
'cause I removed their linkability (is that a word?) through the magic of html editing.
I replaced them with little boo hiss frowny faces.

So, please keep reading & leaving comments.
Just not about your favorite pharmaceutical products.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday

to Meeeeee!

Not really, but I told BS that all I wanted for my birthday was to go to a Virginia Tech football game. Didn't care when or which one, as long as I got to go. Didn't even matter if the game wasn't anywhere near my birthday, as long as I got to go.


Really? Me? I wanted football for my birthday?
*knocks self in head*

Yes. Times change, people change, and my smug & condescending distaste of football turned into an unexpected & fervent fondness for the Hokies once the family kids started going to VT for all their high cost higher learnin'.
And I have partaken of the proverbial crow ever since.

So, anyway, BS got tickets for the NC State game this past weekend. And through extra tickets and schedule changes, one of his good friends and Sista G ended up going with us. Sista G, for all her living in Roanoke (only 45 min away from B'burg) and years of Hokie nieces & nephews, had never been to a football game. Any game. Anywhere.
(and she's even more rabid about football than I am)

Hot dawg! Good times on the way!

But first things first.
I had to go explain to SOMEONE that I couldn't watch the game with him this time
on account of I was gonna be at the game.
Boy, did I get the stink-eye.
The worst of the stink-eye was over by the time I grabbed the camera.

I had to pacify him with the promise of souvenirs.
Lots of them.

So, BS + friend + I left after work on Friday (and I got to doze in the back seat. ahhh, pure pleasure)
to stay the night at Sista G's. We left for the game a little after noon on Saturday.
BS & friend were staying the night in B'burg, so he drove my car & Sista G drove hers.

Now, seeing as how this was the last home game of the season, traffic was going to be a bitch. See?

So BS took us the scenic route to avoid those all those crazy VT drivers (present company excluded ;-).
That's BS & friend ahead in my li'l green car.

It was a really lovely little winding hilly twisty twisty road . . .

. . . and Sista G took great pleasure in careening around the curves
so we could pretend we were on a roller coaster. Pretty close.

If you listen closely, you can hear me mumble something about throwing up.

First stop - the bookstore for the promised souvenirs.
Next stop - the looooong walk . . .

. . . to joy & fun & yee-haw!

Including the super secret sniper spies on the roof.

We ate giant smoked turkey legs, yelled a lot, did the wave, stomped, hooted, hollered, shivered,
and generally had a heck of a good time.
Yes, we won. By a lot.
Random shots from the night:

Someone's unfortunate idea of a practical joke

Sista G

BS & friend


Thank you Beloved Son for a terrific birthday.
I had 2 months to look forward to it, which made it all the sweeter!

in the spirit of tomorrow, and since the VT mascot vaguely resembles a turkey,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some Last Things About The Bahamas . . .

. . . and then it will be over, I promise.
But there are a couple more things that struck me about our resort.


They were everywhere.

On the beach.

In the pool (seriously).

Divebombing you if they smelled bread scraps, as one of my companions discovered.


I think I mentioned before that during most of our stay, it was blowing a steady 30 mph with overcast skies, sometimes showers.
These pictures were taken on one of the nicer days.

Did you notice that umbrella with the scarves hanging from it in the last picture?
Some local ladies would take turns at that umbrella and set up their wares to sell to the hotel guests.
I guess they figure they have a captive audience. And they do a pretty good business there.
That picture as taken during a rogue calm moment. Usually, the scarves looked like this:


What can I say - the scenery was, uh, terrific ;-)

2 last things:
this sign in a fitting room in a tourist store in downtown Nassau:

Makes me wonder what happened there to necessitate that warning.
Well, let me take that back, because obviously we know what happened.

And it seems some things, no matter what country you are in, never change.