Monday, October 31, 2011

A Phone Call Home

The day dawned on my first full day in Swakopmund. I was anxious to get in contact with relatives back home, so found a phone as soon as I could. I hadn’t spoken with anyone for over two months, plus had not been very good with my written communication either. All I had sent them was the pictures of me and Nimesh, when I was dressed up in the full regalia of a sari and accoutrements back in Dar es Salaam. For all they knew, the pictures could have been my wedding photos. My Mother had worried about that from the day I left, as that would have matched my father’s tale of leaving home, never to return for having fallen in love on the road. While that was not the case here, they didn’t know that. And as for me, they couldn’t get in touch with me either, as I was constantly on the move.

So now I was eager for their voices and any news to catch up on. I rang through to Canada and joyfully heard my sister’s voice on the other end.  Sadly, my resulting phone call left my spirits far from high.


And as it is Halloween night, that is all you get tonight. Hope you had lots of spooks visit you this evening! Boo!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Wee ghosts & goblins
scurry to my house
cry for treats & trinkets
til pumpkin orb I douse

You’ll be sorry kiddies
As I’ve a trick for you
I’ll get you my pretties

All dressed up and no place to go,
but wait!
I can stop by Monkey's
for the Sunday 160
ah hahahahaaa!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: The Dating Game

Saturday's Email of the Week

I love this! Make sure to watch the video to the very end. Its priceless! I can so relate.

Welcome to the dating scene...

BOB from Jacob Frey on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Calico Catnap

calico catnaps
now rest comfortably
on Canaan's shore

Goodbye sweet friend
your gentle ways will be missed
the story has a hole  

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Toast to Swakopmund

I was never so happy as to touch solid ground in Swakopmund. I had no urge to look back at the truck that had carried me across the desert, when it pulled away from me. Good riddance. The dual drivers had tarnished my sense of security and shortened a few years off my life. I had battled groping hands and a sense of doubt in humanity. Despite my fears though, I had made it.

As I settled into the bar at a new hostel, my first sip of Windhoek beer was like heaven. I had earned this beer, but somehow felt like I didn’t deserve it. My sense of being tainted left me feeling dirty. I could not change the past though, so instead let it go with hope for a new day bringing fresh smiles and happiness.

 Tomorrow, I would see the ocean again. The South Atlantic was just outside my view, but I could feel the salt air on my skin. It was a new coast for me and I was excited to see these western waves. For the time being, I looked forward to my first bed in three nights and a safe roof over my head. I enjoyed the stability of being stationary, the solitude of being solo and the peace that came with my pen on paper. A cold beer helped my troubles melt away and my journal reminded me that lessons can always be learned. The sun would rise again and I was blessed to be able to witness it.

A toast to Swakopmund.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Memories...

Saturday's Email of the Week

Its Saturday! Not quite back to quiet boring Saturdays just yet though, I am afraid. It will be a busy day today, but a good one. We are celebrating my littlest baby's 5th birthday today! There will be ice cream cake, glow-in-the-dark bowling, stinky shoes and a gaggle of kids hopped up on sugar and adrenaline driving me crazy! But I won't have to clean up the mess afterwards, so I am ready to go! The house will have to be cleaned though, as my sister will be in town for the festivities, but it makes for a good excuse to pull out the vacuum. Now, off to climb on and zoom we go! 

Happy Saturday all! Here's your bit of humour and history lesson for the week:


Have you ever wondered  why our great grandparents all had such fond  memories of their youth?

Well... I'm  surprised they remembered anything at all  !!!

Forget Tums &  Tylenol.

Forget Aleve &  Benedryl.
Look at the cool  stuff they had back then!

A bottle of Bayer's   'Heroin'. Between 1890 and  1910 heroin was sold as a non-addictive  substitute for morphine..
It was also used  to treat children suffering with a strong cough.
And not once did my grandmother offer me  Metcalfe Coca Wine when we went to her place for dinner!

Coca Wine, anyone? 
Metcalf's Coca Wine  was one of a  huge variety of wines with  cocaine on the market. Everybody used to say  that it would make you happy and it would also  work as a medicinal  treatment. 

Mariani  Wine.
Mariani wine (1875)  was the most  famous Coca wine of it's  time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one  bottle with him all the time. He awarded Angelo  Mariani (the producer) with a Vatican gold  medal.

.Produced by the  Maltine Manufacturing Company of New York . It  was suggested that you should take a full glass  with or after every meal. Children should only  take half a glass.

A  paperweight:

A paperweight  promoting C.F. Boehringer & Soehne (  Mannheim , Germany ). They were proud of being  the biggest producers in the world of products  containing Quinine and Cocaine.

Opium for   Asthma:
At 40% alcohol plus  3 grams of opium per tablet. It didn't cure  you... but you didn't care!

Cocaine Tablets   (1900).
All stage actors,  singers, teachers and preachers had to have them  for a maximum performance. Great to 'smooth' the  voice.

Cocaine drops for  toothache.
Very popular for  children in 1885. Not only did they relieve the  pain, they made the children very happy!

Opium for  newborns.
I'm sure this would  make them sleep well.  (not only the Opium,  but also the 46% alcohol)

It's no wonder they  were called, "The Good Old  Days".

>From cradle to  grave... everyone was STONED  !!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Dark Night

in the night
discrete messages
from those that cannot get through
marked with an X
to let me know
that people

M, look delightful
poisonous intent on the tongue
beware the young

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Night Ride

The happiness I felt at rolling along again was sadly short lived. While I received the luxury of sitting in the front seat, I quickly found that my driver was not nearly as courteous as the last driver. He had a certain tone to his voice that made my smile fade a little. I tried to focus on the road ahead gamely, but could not ignore the noises that soon began to filter forward from the back bunk.  

Things seemed to be going from bad to worse.

As the sun set, we drove along in darkness. Few other vehicles passed us by. We were in the desert, driving towards the coast and it seemed even more isolated now that the sun was gone. The only thing that illuminated the night sky was the truck’s headlights carving a path through the inky gloom. What was worse, was that with two drivers, one could sleep while the other drove, keeping the truck moving 24-7. There was always a set of watchful eyes. It did not escape me either, that it didn’t sound like the man in the back was getting any sleep. There was much rustling of bodies and muffled grunts. While I could not understand the actual words that were being said, I got the feeling that the young woman in the back was not interested in the advances that were being foisted upon her. I stared out the windshield, trying to figure out how I could best help the poor girl.

Then a hand materialized on my leg.

I instantly pushed it away, but my hackles were now up and raised high. “Oh lord, how the hell was I going to get out of this truck?” my brain desperately demanded. The lascivious smile of the driver made me recoil and pull tighter into myself. This was not good. Not good at all. The girl in the back seemed to be doing an adequate job of keeping the second driver away from herself, but things were getting decidedly dangerous. It was dark out. We were literally miles from nowhere and our apparent saviours had turned into fiends that were attempting to extract their fare for passage in flesh.

Then the drivers switched places. And so did myself and my other hapless companion. Now she was in the front seat and I was on the bunk, but sleep was the farthest thing from my mind. I was young, white and vulnerable as a female traveler at the mercy of these strange men. As fingers began to crawl up my leg, I kicked and began to pray. My words felt hollow and useless in a foreign tongue, but I used them none the less.

“No!” I said. “Stop it!”

And yet they still kept coming. I kept insisting on being left alone, trying to make myself as small and inaccessible as possible. My brain found the image of God, and despite not having had much use for his omnipotent powers in the past, I now began to beg favours at a rapid pace. I beseeched his sense of fairness, good and integrity. My body was taut and tense with the strain of resistance and my willing of a positive energy to intervene. My tone became more strident, as I pleaded with higher powers to please release me from this state of strife. As one side of my brain grappled with images of worst case scenarios, I distinctly heard my mother warning me against talking to strangers and the bad things that could happen. “Please, please”, I begged. Let this not be the time when she would be right!

Gradually, my molester began to lose interest in the chase. Perhaps sleep got the better of him, or perhaps his soul realized that what he was attempting to do was the wrong thing. Whatever it was, that night my Guardian Angels earned their places in the Heavens for eternity. I wanted to cry, sob or scream, but my fight or flight response had me wired into a ball ready to attack if necessary. I occasionally felt a hand explore to see if perhaps I was asleep or had changed my mind, but a swift shove let him know that I was not up for a night of ‘fun’. Long after he turned over and curled up to go to sleep, I lay tightly in the corner of the bunk, my breath ragged in my chest. I no longer considered hitch-hiking to be the free and easy ride I once thought of it as. I somehow felt like I used up one of my lives that night. In the end, I never wanted it back. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We came...

Did you hear that?
A little WooHoo from behind the camera?
That was either Ms C or me
As we jigged,
despite a stoic crowd
Might not be a hipster
But we’re still cool!

and that 160 characters does not come close to describing the fun that we had last night, on our evening out on the town. Love you babe! Thank you so much for inviting me along! Enjoy Monkey. Happy Sunday!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Not For the Faint of Heart

Saturday's Email of the Week

Ok, I am going to pick on a certain retail store today. See if you can guess what it is before you watch the video. While I have been known to shop there before, I can't help but pass along these gems. I am sure some of you have seen snippets of this, but I am feeling nasty and am going to share anyway. I am going to start with a picture (that just makes me want to pee myself, but also makes me kind of sad),

then I am going to jump to this video. This just makes me want to either wet myself or run screaming for the hills, never to shop there again (unless I pick up some hot pink spandex that is slashed enough to show off all of my 50 tattoos, hickeys and bruises collected on my trailer trash body - NOT!)


Did I warn you to put down your coffee cup this morning? Oops, sorry. Well, have a lovely weekend folks. I am road tripping again today. Off to the Big Smoke with a certain someone to take in some dinner, music and hopefully dancing. The best part is that it is minus kids! Woohoo!!!!! See ya!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paint It Red

Have I ever mentioned
that my favourite colour is red?

Yup, it catches my eye enough
to always turn my head.

Whether it be
mushrooms bright upon a tree

Or a dragonfly's gaze
staring back at me

When I feel the wind whistling by
I know fairy brushes are hanging to dry
in the forest glen on this warm day
as they've been busy painting my world so gay

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Change in Plans

Mini Rock Hoppers

I realize that it is Monday. I should have jetted off to Africa to continue my saga. I have left you hanging, as I climbed up into the cab of another truck. What happened next? Well... I feel bad about it, but you are going to have to wait a little longer to see. It can't be helped. I spent almost four hours driving home from my sister's house (in what should have been a two-hour drive). I am still sluggish with tryptophan from the turkey, plus from chasing those four delightful kids you see up there around. So I am pooped and am going to bed.

I apologize, but thought perhaps I would share a video from a band that I am going to be going to see this coming weekend with Me. Haven't seen a concert in a while and I am stoked! So here is a little Iron & Wine for you to enjoy. I will have to get some writing done later, but right now its bedtime. Happy Thanksgiving Canada! Happy Columbus Day US!

Hello pillows. I hear you calling! I am on my way...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

Saturday's Email of the Week
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! I am sure you aren't surprised to learn that I am travelling this weekend because of it. The joys of having relatives spread all over the place. We are looking forward to a warm and sunny weekend  here(mid-20s in Celsius- not sure the translation for F, but thinking in the 80s). I have thrown off the shackles of work and am about to put on my walking shoes. The woods are calling! My sister and I are about to embark on an adventure with all the kids, collecting leaves, pine cones, acorns and more for a Thanksgiving centerpiece for dinner tomorrow. Therefore I have to fly, before I get yelled at!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the fine weather. I leave you with a little humour to go out into your weekend with. Peace!

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a  Police Officer sees a car puttering along at 22 KPH.

Says he to himself: "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!"
         So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.
  Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old  ladies, two in the  front seat and three in the  back...wide eyed and white as ghosts.
The driver, obviously confused, says to him "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"
"Ma'am," the officer replies, "you weren't speeding, but you should  know that  driving slower than
 the speed limit can also be a danger to other   drivers."
"Slower than the speed  limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit  exactly...twenty-two kilometers an hour!"...the  old woman says a bit proudly. 
The Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22 is the highway number, not the speed limit.
A bit embarrassed, the woman grins and thanks the officer for pointing out her error.
"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask...Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken, and they haven't made a peep this whole time," the officer asks.
"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Highway189."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

55 Words for Giving Thanks

Hunting for you
Gobble, gobble, gob-
ble -ble -ble

wait for my
Thanksgiving feast
When I get to
Flip the bird

Moist, delicious
Stuffing, stuffing, stuffing
To fill turkey full

Autumn days
Walking, laughing, spinning
Children at merry play
Dancing, singing, living
Family round


Well G-Man,
you can tell what I have on the brain already
Thanksgiving this weekend!
and I have a hankering on for some 
I shall be bringing 
(that's why I make them don't you know!)
and PIE
(with apples that we gathered on our recent trip to the orchard)

God, I'm hungry now.

 Maybe I will grab an apple while I wait.
Oh, my mixed bag of poetry 
(think I have a little free verse/shaped, cinquain & diamante in there) 
sums up to 55 words as well
in case you were wondering.

What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My "Fall" Garden

Can I just remark that it was a beautiful day in my neck of the woods today! The sun was shining bright and golden yellow in a cloudless sky, but that wasn't the only yellow thing to be found. Check out these hardy nasturtiums that just continue to blossom and thrive out in the yard. Beautiful, plus peppery good to eat, if you are so inclined. I love to look at them, but they are fun in a salad as well!

This here plant is also good in a salad, but a staple in the spaghetti pot as well. Anyone know what this pretty herb is called? While it has lost some of its pungency now that it is flowering, this hardy perenial is oregano! I started mine from a four inch pot and it is now competing with everything around it. If you need any, let me know! Divisions are always available!

this colour surely lets you know what time of year it is.
The burning bush is starting to flame in the back yard,
so it's got to be Fall. 
I really do love its vibrant red though
Don't you?

While you might not recognize this prickly specimen as it sits now, you have all heard of this plant too. In fact, I think I like it just as much in this state as when it waves its pink blooms in the late summer. Does echinacea ring a bell? If you don't recognize this brown beauty by that name, you have probably heard of purple cone flowers. Should be called spiky cone flowers, I'd say!
And with the feathery wisps of grasses delicately brushing the Autumn sky, I fear that the changing of the seasons cannot be ignored. Summer is now a distant memory. Winter's warnings have been in the air on a crisp morning or two already. 

But today
I just had to get out 
and enjoy the last few precious days of sunshine
in my garden

with my poor sick kitty in tow
I soaked up some sunshine
before winter winds
erase any memory
of summer days
and the great warm

Oh, surprise!
with all those tempting temperatures
not much writing gone done today either.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keeping the Wheels Moving

As I began writing the next section of my tale, I realized that I made a mistake in my timeline (for those of you who have been regularly following my yarn). Oops! It looks like I have some editing to do! It will all get worked out in the final draft, but I leave you with the tale as it sits today. Tell me if you pick up on my glitch. 


The sun was shining. The road was smooth and ran long in front of us. Conversation flowed with an easy banter back and forth. Few awkward moments interrupted the journey. Today, I was hitching a ride with a big rig and life was good. The driver even bought me lunch, when we stopped about an hour into our journey. The memory of my previous drunken ride faded out behind me, as the kilometers clicked by on our way to the coast.

That is, until a worried look crossed the driver’s face. And then he started to gear down. In the uncertainty of what was going on, silence took over the cab. When the tires finally crunched onto the side of the road, we slowly came to a stop. It appeared that my blue skies were now marred by a nasty cloud that amounted to truck failings. In case you were wondering, when an AZ truck has mechanical problems, the driver is usually pretty much powerless to do much about it. More often than not, the drivers are not mechanics and the engines are a little awkward to manipulate. My driver was no different. Even if he knew what was wrong with the truck, he was unable to fix it. He was now stuck, until such time as a mechanic showed up on the scene. Despite the presence of a CB to call in a request for help, he would have to wait several hours before he would be mobile again. It appeared that it was time to switch rides again.

While the truck troubles were not his fault, my driver felt horrible about abandoning me on the side of the road. Perhaps he had forgotten that that was where he picked me up in the first place, but he now insisted that he help to get me another ride. He advised me that when the sun went down in the desert, the temperature would drop significantly. There were not that many hours left in the day and he bemoaned the idea of me stuck out in the cold after dark. I figured that he would not steer me wrong, so when he CBed the truck that was following him to stop and pick me up, I was grateful for his assistance. He had already done so much for me and now it looked like he would get me all the way to the coast, despite the inability of transporting me there personally. I also figured that this might prevent another drunk driver from careening me off of the side of the road, so agreed to his plan.

Within a short span, I was hauling my back pack down out of the first truck and loading it into a second one. This time there were two drivers, but at least another woman now joined me as a passenger in the truck. She gladly pushed her parcel up ahead of me and took a seat in the back of the cab on the long bunk with the second driver. I lucked into the passenger seat to share conversation with my newest driver of the day. By the time we were rolling again, there wasn’t much day left though. It was enough that I was moving West again though. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Well-Deserved Break Coming

Markéta Irglová opens. Iron & Wine headlines. Add to that dinner and drinks with Me, & I suspect that I’ve got the perfect evening in store. 13 days & counting!

And that is 160 characters folks! Haven't played in a long time, but thought it was high time. Go see Monkey Man for way more offerings!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday's Email of the Week: Busyness

Saturday's Email of the Week

Oh, oh, It's Staurday night! My week passed in a blur and now is almost over. To be perfectly honest, I have not even thought of my computer today either. Ran the kids to their rolling & tumbling class this morning. Ran at the gym (cross trainer actually, but whatever). Ran home for lunch. Threats of frost this evening had me racing to get my rosemary plant out of the ground and into the house. I barely had time to wash the stink off & get a present wrapped, before getting T. to her birthday party this afternoon. Run, run, run some more! Another birthday party tomorrow will have us out of the house again, but I hope that I will be able to find a few minutes of down time at some point. Mind you, the floor is in desperate need of a cleaning...

Ach, worries for next week. It will be another packed week in anticipation of the short week following, but that's okay. For right now, I think that I will just leave this short and sweet. All the running seems to have my time management skills a little sharper, so there is small mercies. And in general, a smile plays across my lips. Life is good.


but of course perhaps this is my problem...


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