Latitude 17N

Monday, October 31, 2005

Severed Fingers...

Today Julian and I made a treat for the auction over at the Halloween Party. I scoured the internet and came up with a really cool recipe for severed fingers. They were surprisingly easy to make. Julian did a really good job too! His came out really good. They are basically a sugar cookie dough and you roll them and pinch them to make knuckles and score them with a knife and put an almond stained with food coloring on for the finger nail then stuff them into a pile of "dirt". We had a busy day making treats, carving pumpkins, roasting seeds and making my costume.

Halloween at Oualie Beach

Tonight we went to the annual Halloween party at Oualie Beach Resort. It is a party for kids with a kid geared buffet and trick-or-treat. They also have a costume contest and the people in the bar vote on the costumes. I have a picture below in one of my other posts of a fire breathing dragon and he won first prize this year! Way to go. There was a headless man which was pretty cool and a werewolf that was ok. Poor Andrew LaPray wanted to win so bad. He was a kissing booth. Very clever. I think he should have won over one of the other costumes but that's just my opinion. Another cool thing that happened today is that I found a really big pumpkin to carve. I was so excited about that! So we brought it with us to the party for our trick-or-treat decoration. By the way the costume I had on was a jelly fish. I only had so much bubble wrap so it didn't look as cool as the picture I was going by but at least I bad something. But the wind was blowing and my tentacles kept either getting stuck in the tape on the top of the umbrella or wrapping around peoples necks and strangling them. So I thought, rather than make enemies I'll just put it away. They also had activities for the kids and a treat auction. You will see my treats in another post. They were definitely the coolest ones.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Party number one

Last night we went to our first Halloween party at the Schnabels house. It was a lot of fun.
For some of the kids it was their first Halloween party ever and they did a great job of coming up with costumes on short notice and in a place where you can't buy them. A couple of the kids did not dress up but that was ok too. We had chili, cornbread, cole slaw, pasta salad, bean soup, pumpkin soup, cake and doughnuts. There was just enough food to go around and not much leftover which is always good. In the group picture some of the kids didn't have their entire costume on because it was kind of a spur of the moment picture. After dinner the kids all trick-or-treated outside. Not as fun as at home where you go door to door but they went person to person and got their treats. It took them all of about 5 minutes to get through the crowd and come back for seconds. And there isn't a lot of individual candies available here on the island so variety was minimal. But they still had fun which is the important thing. So you can see Julian up there in his Bionicle costume and the other picture is of Christion Schnabel in his dragon costume. It was very creative of his mom and dad to take the time to cut out and paint all of that. Very impressive. It's funny becuase I was browsing on a site of halloween costumes and saw that one on Family Fun Magazine site and quickly passed it by knowing it would be quite the chore. I was actually looking for something for myself knowing that Julian had his heart set on being a Bionicle but in reality I am not that creative but wish I was. I can remember my costumes when I was a kid. My mother made all of our costumes and she had 5 kids! We never had the store bought costumes. I secretly wanted to get one of the store bought ones over at The Globe Department Store because they all came neatly packaged in a little box with a cellophane top and I thought they were so cool. But when Beggars Night came around I was always so proud of my costumes. I can remember being a ghost, a mouse, a bunny and there are lots of others. They were full costumes from top to bottom made out of fabric with zippers and snaps and tails made with wire inside. They were really awesome. Every year we got to pick out something new and didn't have to recycle or hand down our costumes unless we wanted to. What a great Mom I have! She also made our prom dresses and later some of our wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses for an entire wedding party!

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Tonight is our first Halloween party of the season. This party will be at a friend's house here and is mostly geared towards the kids. They are going to go "trunk or treating". Meaning the kids will walk along the yard and go trunk to trunk for treats instead of door to door. A fun idea! Then we are going to have chili, cornbread, cole slaw etc for dinner. Should be fun. I get to bring the cole slaw. I have never made it before so I hope everyone likes it. I think it's good. I shudder when I say that I used one of Auntie Martha's recipes. So if it nobody likes it I will just blame her. It will give me more fuel for my fire. Haha. In case you are wondering who poor Auntie Martha is and how I dare talk so ill of her all over the world wide web, I'll tell you who she is...Martha Stewart, it's one of her recipes. So we'll take some pictures of the costumes and post them later. There is another party on Monday over at Oualie Beach. They will also have trick or treat and a buffet for the kids and activities and the all important costume contest.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Rain has been one crappy week. The weather has been rainy or overcast for most of the week. On Wednesday...beach day...the sky was blue with a few clouds in the morning. I was so happy. We got over to Cades Bay which was a mess. We walked down the beach a ways and found a nice clear spot to hang out. It was a different group than we've been having lately. Allison is back with her little baby Samara. She is about 6 or 7 weeks old. She is very cute and sleeps a lot! Carol came along with Yiyi. Janet also came with her kids. Almost everyone left a little bit early because they had stuff to do and I was sitting there with Janet, the kids were out in the water playing. Janet looked over and said "I wonder if that is going to open up on us, it sort of looks like it's raining over there or is it just a cloud on the mountain?" I looked over and felt a raindrop. I told her I was packing up and getting ready to bolt. We got most of our stuff picked up when the big raindrops started pouring down. We got the kids out and started running to our cars. We were soaked by the time we got there. And from then on it has been raining off and on. Today it is gray and has been raining pretty much all day. We lost electricity for a bit this morning but it was before we got up. We have been losing electricity about 5 times a week for the past couple of months for 1/2 hr to 2 hours at a stretch. Usually at night. But the road construction is down the road far enough now that we haven't been losing water lately which is good! And that pretty much sums up the week. Not too exciting. The campus pool is up and running, filled with nice clean, cold water. I can't wait for the sun so we can get back in there.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Andrew at the try a tri

Here is Andrew before the race. I have written a bit about his race below in the next post. He did a great job!!! I hope he does some more back home. This picture shows him going into the water at the start with his competition. Then he is in the transition area getting ready for the bike. Then he is runing like crazy man trying to finish the thing.

I'm finished!!!

Ok so we went over to Oualie for the triathlon today. I had thought the bike was going to be 15k which is less than usual and was very excited about that. I was also very excited that I was not going to be going up the big Oualie hill. Of course I should not have got my hopes up too soon because on race day we were informed that we would be going up the hill, around the airport and then to TDC and back to Oualie to make it a true 20k bike. The race started on island time about 45 minutes late or so. My swim was ok. 750 meters. Better than last time which made me happy. My transition time was better too. Last time we had to run quite a ways back to the transition area from where we did the swim. My bike time was better than last time because I was on a road bike. That was a bit hard to get used to but it was a LOT easier to pedal. I was a bit wobbly trying to turn the gears and I went off the road twice but didn't spill the bike so that was good! I stayed upright! My run was fine too. It's a 5k. Better than last time. According to my watch I was 11 or 12 minutes faster than the triathlon in March. So I was happy about that. I was also happy that I beat Jaime in the swim...but he kicked my butt in the rest of course. I don't know what his time was. The race overall was quite small. I would say maybe 25 people if that. There were a bunch of students from the Ross vet school over in St. Kitts. They were all really nice people. Even their dean was there competing with them. That was quite impressive. He seemed to have a great repore with his students. I don't know who won or anything like that because we had to get home so Jaime can get some studying in and I was dying of thirst. Oualie schedule this on a day where they also had a fishing tournament so it was very busy over there. They didn't have any water stops on the route for any leg of the event and none either at the end. We tried to get up there to buy some at the bar but that place was swarming with thirsty fishermen. Thirsty in a different and more lucrative way of course. So we went home. Overall, I would say the hardest part of the whole day was when I was all set and ready to run into the water for my swim leg and they made an announcement that happy hour was starting. Two for one. Now that is cruel! Haha.

Andrew LaPray did the try a tri which is a mini triathlon. He did a great job! He beat them all in the swim and the bike. He lost some time on the run but finished 3rd out of 4. His goal was to finish and not in last place so his goal was met! He was competing against a couple of women and a boy of 11 years old. He did a great job and was quite proud of himself as he should be. I hope he does some more when he goes back home.

I'm going to go eat now. I wish I had a cook...but I don't so I have to go cook now before I truly relax my body for the rest of the night.

Triathlon Pictures

Here we are at the triathlon today. I am looking SEXY in my swim cap and goggles! Janet couldn't resist taking my photo. Haha. So the next picture has us just starting out. Then me coming out of the water, then Jaime coming out of the water (and yes that is the correct order on that...haha) then we were both beginning the bike leg together. And there he left me in the dust.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Lord Nelson Triathlon

Tomorrow is the Lord Nelson Triathlon here in Nevis. I am going to enter the race even though I am a bit un-prepared. I still think I'll finish but not sure how I will do. I'm not sure how many people will be in it either. Jaime is going to enter too as well as Andrew LaPray. For Andrew it will be the first big event of this kind in his life. He is 13 and he is doing the tri a tri. It is a mini triathlon. He'll do a 250m swim, 5k bike and a 3k run. I think he will do very well. The big race is a sprint which is a 750m swim, 15k bike and a 5k run. That is the one we are doing. It is the same distance as the last race although I'm not sure if the bike leg is the same. It might be a bit shorter which is just FINE with me. Jaime and I are renting a couple of road bikes so we can get a better time on this one. Hopefully it will work. So wish me luck. Oh by the way, Lord Nelson is some well known British admiral who is most famous for his role in the Battle of Trafalgar where he lost his life. I wonder if he would be as famous if he hadn't died. Anyway, I'll write more after the race.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Beach Outings Are Here Again

So we started our beach outings again. These pictures are actually from a day at the beach before our outings began. We were at Windward Beach. This beach is a pain to get to but definitely a blast once you get there. More often than not you are there by yourself. On the way out we were blocked by a herd of cows or bulls whatever they are migrating to a different pasture. Yesterday we went to Paradise Beach. The ocean was crazy. The water there is usually very calm and yesterday it was just crazy. Waves crashing right near the shore. One of the new spouses, Tami was there and she went in to clean off because she had been sitting in the sand. She turned around for a second and a wave took her down. She got up and was laughing and trying to compose herself when I tried to yell to her that there was another one behind her but it was too took her under. Up she came again, sunglasses and headband still in place. Very impressive. We were laughing so hard because it has happened to us so many times. Then wave number 3 came and got her again. We told her she better get out of there before it happens again. Tami and Holly both have small children so it was not a safe and fun day for them there. Tami also has a 4 year old little boy. He enjoys the water but it was a bit rough for him that day too. Give him a few months and some time in the pool and he will be out with the rest of them who were diving under the waves and loving it. By the way the pool on campus is finally almost up and running. It has not been right since sometime last summer. After that Special Olympics event it was not the same. I think it was a combination of all the people in there and the pool people not taking care of it right. Well...after everyone telling them they needed to drain it and start new they finally did it. They drained the pool which had become a home for frogs and millions of tadpoles. They cleaned it and painted it and they are supposed to be filling it today. It was so nasty when we got back from the US. I told Julian we were not going in until it was crystal clear. So hopefully very soon it will be ready.

Scary principal from Matilda

Well I recently watched the movie Matilda with Julian. He has heard so much talk about "the chokey" that he wanted to know what it was so we watched that movie. He was a bit freaked out by it. I saw a woman today who looks just like the scary principal from the Matilda movie. I won't say here in public view who she is but we had a run in with her once in the past, only then I didn't see the resemblance because it had been so long since I had seen the movie. I think she fancies herself as a "local" now that she has lived her for so long.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Toothpaste Drool is Unattractive Even at a 4 Year Olds Party I just got back from a birthday party for a little boy named Alec here in Nevis. He is the son of one of the families here and he turned 4. It wasn't until AFTER I got home that I noticed the toothpaste drool all over the collar of my BLACK t-shirt. So it's not like it was blending in or unnoticeable!!! I checked my teeth to be sure I didn't have a big piece of tomato or brocolli in my teeth to go with it. Haha I wish someone would have told me! Oh well typical me. So anyway it was a fun party. Good cake and ice cream which I haven't had since Memories at home.

Earlier today I watched Fever Pitch which was a really funny movie about a crazed Red Sox fan. I really liked it. Last night I watched The Upside of Anger with Kevin Costner which I also liked. It was about a woman who's husband supposedly leaves her for his younger swedish secretary and how she deals with his departure with her 4 teen plus daughters. Kevin Costner plays a retired baseball player (that must be like the 500th baseball type role he has played but he can pull it off) who is a neighbor of hers that fills a void in her life. There is a bit of a twist at the end that makes the movie unlike the typical husband left me for a younger woman type movie. I thought it was really good.

And that sums up my weekend. It has been rainy and/or extremely overcast so we have not ventured out much for fear of getting to the beach only to have the sky open up. We swam at Oualie on Saturday morning for a bit of training for the triathlon coming up next weekend that I am going to do even though I am completely unprepared for it. The water was really choppy. It was churning and burning out there. We normally swim out to a specific buoy and then in a sort of triangle pattern but I couldn't even see the buoy because the ocean was so nutty. And there was lots of seaweed floating around and getting on my goggles and in my bathing suit and getting tangled in my legs and fingers. YUCK! So today I ran. Andrew LaPray is going to do the tri a tri which is a 250m swim, 5k bike and a 3k run. I think he will do well even though he has not trained at all for it. That's it. Oh no, one more thing. The other day Jaime saw a big black tarantula outside our house. He was going to kill it but when he came back outside with the Bop (local insecticide that kills everything that breaths) and it was gone. Hopefully it will stay outside! So on my run I saw my first live tarantula. It was brown and hairy. It was about the size of a large jar lid. Like the size you would find on a mayonaise jar. Not huge but if it was in my bed I would be FAaaaaREAking OUT! Julian and I saw a dead bat on the road the other morning on our run. That was kind of weird too.

Friday, October 07, 2005

White Sox

Well it looks like I will be routing for the White Sox for the rest of the season. I am very sad to see the Red Sox end their year but if any team deserves to win it's the White Sox. I am hoping the Yankees will be out in this series but I have a feeling they will be playing the White Sox soon. Either way I hope the White Sox go on to win the World Series this year.

On another note. We had a nice dinner party last night over here. Steve Szabo, Nick Martin and Bombay came over for baked stuffed tufoli. If you don't know what that is I'll explain it to you. It is rigatoni stuffed with a ground beef and covered with a fennel tomato sauce. It is really good and a lot of work because you have to stuff all of those little tube shaped pastas. I was cooking pretty much all day. I had started the night before preparing the meat and a meatless dish that was going to feed a vegetarian who could not make it. We'll eat that tomorrow. I also made my brother Chris' apple crisp. I had found the recipe on a piece of paper in my address book and knew that his recipe is the best. It was yummy. For appetizers I made beer bread with dill dip and had a cheese and grapes platter. It was quite fancy for Nevis. It is always fun for me to have adults come over for food and conversation.

I'm not sure what our weekend will bring. The satellite is showing a lot of moisture up there but hopefully I will be able to get out and hang at the beach for a bit tomorrow. There is a tropical wave to the east of us so I will be watching that for the next day or so. There is also another weather disturbance that apparently is not tropical whatever that means so it's looking like some rain is headed our way. We'll just keep our fingers crossed that none of it turns into Katrina's brother or sister. That would be bad. But who knows maybe you'll see me real soon if that happens. Haha, just kidding...maybe. I just jinxed myself...I better go knock on wood.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bits and Pieces

Here in Nevis it's a bit soggy. We had thunderstorms for a few hours last night and downpours to beat the band. Our electricity surprisingly only went out for about 15 minutes. The radar is looking like whatever it is might be hanging around for a while. I'm wondering if this is the beginning of this years rainy period. Time will tell.

We are supposed to have our first beach outing for the semester tomorrow. It has been slow getting started because we were waiting for someone to step up and take over the running of the SOS. Nobody did so I finally decided to make up a schedule and get it out there so we could start having some fun during the week. It is fun to go around to different beaches but if you do that alone it is quite boring as there are no other people at some of the more remote beaches. So if the weather is remotely dry we will be at the beach. Rain will keep us away but clouds won't so we're hoping for just clouds. Anyway...boring talk for everyone I know. But it's really not too exciting here right now.

The Red Sox are playing their first game of their playoff series. It is not going well for them. The battle of the Sox between the White's and the Red's is quite the blowout. Right now they are in the bottom of the 8th and Chicago has 13 over BoSox's 2! It just the first game though and they have come back from worse. So I will not give up on them yet. Be careful what you say Dr. G your team hasn't even played yet!

Jaime had his first volunteering experience at Alexandria Hospital here in Nevis tonight. He said it was very slow. They had two "emergencies". One was an asthmatic girl and one was a man who cut his finger cutting open a coconut. I'm sure he could tell it better than me so if you want to read up on it check out . This is volunteer work for him to get experience. It is not required of him as a student here at MUA at this point but he feels that it will help him understand things a lot better seeing things hands on.

And that is it from Nevis. Over and Out.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Go Red Sox!!!

It is so nice when we have Red Sox games televised here but it doesn't happen often. It is even better when the game on is against the Yankees as it has been this weekend. The game on Friday night was unbelievable and got them a step closer to the division title. But today's game went the other way and the title now belongs to the Yankees. The Red Sox still have a chance at the wild card spot in the playoffs so we all need to put on our Red Sox garb and cheer tomorrow for the home team. If they win they are the wild card. If they lose tomorrow's game and the Indians beat the White Sox then the Indians and the Red Sox will have a tie breaker to determine who gets the wild card spot.