Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo Miscellany

Sunset at Fort Oranje

Pearl at Fort Oranje

Church! This is where we meet. Don't miss the peeing boy statue in back. And I still can't believe how many chairs there are. For our entire first year here it was only us and two other adults. Now we have enough members (and priesthood presence) that we recently were formed into a "group" (not quite a branch).

The member's house where we meet is attached to this beautiful property. This is the view we see during Sacrament meeting and Sunday School. It's kind of distracting.

Coral-covered rock. Sort of creeps me out if I look at it for too long (taken underwater).

Jon and our friend Eric, walking along Crook's Castle.

Sunset at Crook's

Prettiest cow ever!

Tiniest cow ever! Umbilical cord and all.

Hazel's! Love their new sign, and their delicious local organic vine-ripened tomatoes. For $2 a pound. I'd go every day if it weren't for the six-mile trek involved. (the drink is an 'Old Jamaican' brand ginger beer. If you've never had ginger beer, you haven't lived)

Jon, at the school beach party. He caused quite the commotion when he undressed and walked to the water. One fellow student approached him in venerated wonder and said, "I want to be just like you when I grow up".

Sunset at the beach party. I will miss these for sure.

The blog is now up to date! For now!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I URGE YOU to watch the PBS program "Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence."  CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS IMMEDIATELY. Basically, there's a such thing as ferret shows, and the people that own show ferrets are ten kinds of crazy. Of course, the program passes no judgment toward the ferret owners. There is no behind-the-scenes footage of cameramen biting their fists to keep from laughing. No horror music plays when the owners are revealing tiny urns and wall-covering shrines (though there was an awesome trumpet fanfare thrown in just before the Best in Show winner was announced). No. Just pure facts, take them how you may.

And I loved every second. Grinned the entire time, just happy to be spending my Saturday night listening to all eight verses of Barb's original song "Ferret, oh Ferret," each punctuated by the chorus

Ferret, oh Ferret, gatherer of stuff,
Ferret, my Ferret, when will you have enough?

But my favorite moment of the entire program was, obviously, the scene at the Buckeye Bash ferret show. Cut to an image of one of our owners with a gory wound on her nose. She admits, "I should have known to not hold a strange ferret up to my face--" [camera pans to her blood-spattered vest] "--I had no idea noses could bleed this much."

You are so very welcome.

Friday, March 25, 2011

This and that

Photo catch-up! You should have been expecting this.

View of St Kitts from Whitewall. I bummed a ride from Lianna's parents when they were in town. Such a pretty view, but way too far to walk.

Sailboat, Whitewall

Crazy green puffer fish! I think! Blow it up to see the horns above his eyes.

Awesome guy in a Speedo diving down to peer under the ruins.

Path to the Honen Dalim synagogue historical site.

An ancient "mikveh" - part of a bathing ritual for Jewish women. This is the only complete mikveh ever unearthed in the New World, or so my historical walking tour guidebook tells me.

The twelve windows on the bottom represent the twelve tribes of Israel.

Some form of tiny egg. Gecko?

The old property adjacent to the synagogue is bordered by this high wall with embedded broken glass bottles. Statia in the 1700s was not a very safe place.

Macaw! It nearly took my head off on it's way to that rooftop.

Creepy stalker photo! My friend Rebecca wrangling her kids after a day at the beach. Taken from Fort Oranje.

...More soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

House Bertrand

I’ve never gotten around to posting pictures of our house, mainly because for a while there we were planning on moving out of it. That never happened – a combination of us resolving the issues with our landlady and me not liking change. So we’ve been in the same place our entire time here.

I feel the need to explain, before I begin, that houses on Statia are not like houses in the US or Canada. So when I say our house is 'nice', I mean relative to the island. We would never live in a home like this in America, but we consider ourselves lucky to have lived here during our time on Statia.

Our propane tank, at a perilous 30-degree tilt away from the house. No one sneeze.

The past few days we’ve been welcomed home by this ample smattering of blood across the entry archway:

And up above:

And on the tile:
We have no idea what died or how, but it makes me feel better to think it was a very large lizard that got killed by a cat, and not a human that was bludgeoned to death on our porch.

Here’s the porch, washing machine, and laundry line. We have a real line out back, but it’s been overtaken by trees and spiders. Plus, our washing machine is so tiny that one full load easily fits on our makeshift line, so we don’t really have need for more space (as long as I keep on top of the laundry).

Looking the other way on our porch, the front door.

Kitchen and front door, from the bedroom. Tiny fridge, tiny stove.

Table and bedroom door, from the kitchen.

Living room and the French doors we never open because they’re not screened.

Our bedroom. This is as made as the bed ever gets. The swimsuits and bras hanging off the doorknob are typical.

Our closet and makeshift hamper

The hallway to the spare bedroom and bathroom. Our house has a really weird layout and you have to walk through one bedroom to get to those other things. Wouldn’t you just love to see them? Too bad. Both the bathroom and the spare room are absolutely awful. We close the door on them and try to pretend they don’t exist except for when it’s absolutely necessary that we enter.

And that's our home. It holds our stuff and keeps most of the rain out. The end.

PS - Our landlady writes "House Bertrand" on the memo line of our rent receipts, so apparently that's the house's name. A first for me for sure, living in a named house.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

beach bums

I'm obsessed with this picture Jon snapped of Pearl and me at the beach today. Sidenote - A few weeks ago she (completely unprompted) started exclusively calling me "Jess" and it makes me die of cute every time.

I've been blogging like crazy, but I'm still behind! This is my last month on Statia so I'm trying to cram everything in before I go. Stay tuned - there's a lot more where this came from.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I know! That was my reaction, too!

The Perfect Hardboiled Egg

I've been on a four-year mission to figure out how to cook the PERFECT hardboiled egg. My mom taught me to boil it for six minutes, cool it, then peel it - I love you mom, but you're WRONG. It's always ringed with green. Other sources said "Bring just to a boil, kill the heat, cover for 20 minutes..." - WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. They never turned out how they were supposed to, and my shells always seems to fuse to the egg (which I've heard has something to do with the freshness of the egg, but I don't completely buy it and I'll tell you why later).

Well today's your lucky day, because thanks in part to Rachael Ray and trial and error of my own, I have discovered the ONE TRUE WAY to cook a perfect hardboiled egg.

First - Put your eggs in a pot.
Second - BARELY cover with room-temp water.
Third - Place the pot over high heat (do not cover).
Fourth - Bring to a boil.
Fifth - BOIL ONE MINUTE. No more, no less.
Sixth - Kill the heat and COVER.
Seventh - Let sit for TEN MINUTES. No more, no less.
Eighth, and this is where it gets really exciting - Drain the hot water and shake your eggs around in the pot to get them all smashed up. This step is important, I promise.
Ninth - Cover eggs with frigid water.
Tenth - Allow to sit for FIVE MINUTES, replacing the water as it warms up.
Eleventh - Peel.

The importance of breaking the shells before cooling is this: The water gets in there and makes them easier to peel! So following these instructions will not only result in a perfectly cooked egg with no green:

It will also allow you, too, to do this with the shell:

Therefore, I firmly believe that the ease of peeling has more to do with cooking method than freshness of the egg. DO NOT CONTRADICT ME.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's all fun and games until someone falls on their face.

These pictures date all the way back to the turtle hatching. We went early to spend a couple of hours on Zeelandia beach and Lianna and I happened to be wearing matching swimsuits. This, of course, resulted in a photo opportunity (jumping/frolicking on the beach pictures, what else?)

Of the dozen or so pictures Jon snapped of us, only one turned out semi-normal...

...and the rest are an absolute train wreck. You're welcome.