Small Steps, Big Differences

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Last week I was lying in bed thinking about wanting to get more involved with the younger generation.  I wanted an opportunity to engage with them more and to share any knowledge or experiences I have that could possibly impact them, if even in a small way.  The very next morning I received a text inviting me to do mock interviews with eleventh grade students at Westwood High.  Talk about manifesting! (No, I’m actually not an old girl of Westwood.  I attended Immaculate)

Fast forward to today.  While walking through the school there was hushed chatter…”I like her hair”, “She’s pretty”, ” She looks like such and such”.  I pretended I couldn’t hear any of it and chuckled to myself.  Listen to them with all these praises while all I’m thinking is that I hope I don’t fail them (or myself).  I had prayed that I would be able to connect with the girls and have valuable input to offer them.

Being at Westwood felt a little surreal.  These young ladies are so disciplined and well-mannered that it leaves you a little dazed.  I was very impressed.  So let’s talk about the interviews now…The girls came dressed in business attire, and I gave them feedback on their portfolios and pointers on how they could improve their answers to the questions I asked.  I was also able to offer some guidance on their career paths.  For most, this was the first interview they were experiencing, and I’m grateful I had a chance to help prepare them for when they find themselves in an actual interview.  Even if I had tough critique I was careful not to be rough in delivering it.  “Miss, will persons in the interview always be this nice?” one student asked. “Deeeefinitely not” I answered. “Sometimes they’ll be like this”…and I proceeded to give her my best Miranda Priestly (Devil Wears Prada). If you know me well, you know my imitations are ON POINT so just imagine 😂

While the students were memorable for some reason or the other, one stood out in particular, and I think she’s a big part of the reason I ended up there.  It’s like I was meant to meet her.  She was pleasant, reserved and unassuming, but something about her was engaging.  She had a beautiful smile and a sparkle in her eyes, and there was something about her spirit.  It was the kind you instantly feel drawn to.  Something in her portfolio sparked my interest and I asked her to explain some more about what she had written.  She was very open in sharing that she had been through a very dark period and suffered from severe depression, but she was now at a place where she was feeling more victorious in the battle.  Just her sitting there and sharing her story showed great strength, and I was moved.

“Do I look like I have it together?” I asked her.  She smiled shyly, nodded her head vigorously and said “Yes.”  “I don’t always have it together” I told her. “Sometimes I look like this but I don’t have it together.  Sometimes I’m a MESS, and there are times I’m really down, but I keep going and believing that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”  We spoke some more and I hope something connected and that she was able to take away something valuable from our exchange.  I’m so happy I had the opportunity to meet her and all the other young ladies.  There are some impressive and powerful ladies ready to take the world by storm.

Here’s to more positive manifestations, more meaningful exchanges and more small steps toward making big differences.

Find Your Bobbette

Just like most of you, I recently learned about Luton Shelton’s illness.  Our star footballer has been battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) since 2016.  As per http://www.als.ca, ‘ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe.’

A young man in his prime (only 32 years old) facing this life threatening disease…let that sink in.

Since he went public with his illness, I’ve been seeing several posts on social media pertaining to him.  Today it was one of his own posts that really made me stop and think, and it was because of the caption.

bobbette Taken from Luton’s Instagram page (@ls_21)

Luton and Bobbette have been together for over thirteen years, and are about to celebrate five years of marriage.  When they met, he was a healthy man ready to take on the world.  She could not have possibly foreseen what the future would hold – that the love of her life would be diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, that his speech would become almost unintelligible, that her husband, the legendary footballer would get to a point (very early on) where he would rely on her for his every need; taking her from not just his wife and mother of their three young children, to primary caregiver.

It made me think about how the choices we make now impact the rest of our lives; how important it is to ensure that we look for more than just a pretty/handsome face and a little spark in a partner.  You need a fire, someone of substance; someone who will stand by your side on the field when the crowd has left the stadium.  Do you have a ride or die, and if you do, do you appreciate him/her?

I’ve had my own ‘Bobbette’ at different points throughout my life and not acknowledged it.  I have been fortunate to have a few good men cheering in the stands for me.  They’ve had a sign with my name, they’ve been shouting the loudest…they were my number one fan…and I didn’t even stop to give them an autograph.  Let’s be real – we have all had a ‘Bobbette’ and not appreciated him/her, and sometimes as a result of that, they’ve ended up walking out with the rest of the crowd.  Luton looked in the stands and saw value in Bobbette, and today she is by his side, sitting on the bench with him and seeing him through his darkest hours.

This couple really got me thinking that you may be scoring goals now, but will you always be?  When all is said and done, you want to know that the person you settle down with will have your back through the good and the bad, and literally through sickness and in health.  You want him/her to see all your flaws (yeah we are all FAR from perfect) and accept them, to appreciate and love you for…YOU…no matter what challenges life throws your way.

At the end of the game will you be alone on the field or will you have your number one fan by your side?

Click here to watch an interview with Luton, his wife and father – Courtesy of The Gleaner

To donate, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/luton-shelton-fights-als-disease

 

The Parkland Shooting – More than a Hashtag

PkPhoto credit: http://www.waaytv.com

The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland brought tears to my eyes – thinking about all these innocent persons who were just going about their day, and all the families who are now mourning the cruel and sudden loss of their loved ones. Imagine parents standing outside the school, frantic and distraught, waiting to hear if their children are okay.  Imagine the ones who received tragic news. Valentine’s Day will never be the same for them.  We celebrate love on this day, but for these families it will now be a reminder of sadness and pain.  It was particularly sad as I was in Miami at the time so it felt extra ‘close to home’.  Every television channel and radio station was broadcasting updates on the horrific tragedy.

The shooter, nineteen year old Nikolas Cruz had a twisted fascination with guns, even posing with them on social media.  Records show that the police had been called to his home thirty-nine times over a seven year period.  Thirty-nine times!  He had also been expelled from school last year for disciplinary reasons. He clearly displayed signs of being troubled.  Neighbours and peers echo this sentiment.  It begs the questions – Were warning signs overlooked? Could more have been done? Could seventeen lives have been spared?

According to reports, the FBI received a tip from a source close to Nikolas. As per www.time.com, ‘In a statement, the FBI said that a person close to Cruz, who has allegedly confessed to killing 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., called the FBI tip line with concerns on Jan. 5. The caller gave the FBI information on Cruz’s “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” That information should have been forwarded to the FBI’s Miami field office for agents to investigate, but it was not.  “We have determined that these protocols were not followed,” a statement from the FBI read.

How do you drop the ball on a tip as serious as that?  That boggles my mind. The FBI has of course issued an apology to the families, but that is absolutely no comfort in a situation like this.

Sadly, mass shootings have become an all too real reality in the United States – Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, the Orlando night club shooting and the Las Vegas shooting come to mind immediately.  While typing this it occurred to me how difficult it must be for the families who lost persons in these shootings. Each time a mass shooting occurs it must feel like they are reliving their loss again and again.

I’m wondering how the survivors of the Parkland shooting will return to school, even if it is that they transfer elsewhere. With all that has been happening, if I was a parent living in the United States I honestly think I would be so paranoid that I would homeschool my child/children. Not to say that would totally eliminate the possibility of harm, but I would feel better having them home.

What I am anxious to know now is what measures will be put in place. For one, I think gun control legislation needs to be re-examined.  More restrictions need to be put in place as it relates to gun ownership. For example, there are currently only five states (California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon, Washington) with legislation that permits relatives, guardians or law enforcement officials to request that judges temporarily strip gun rights from individuals who are deemed a threat.  According to www.chicagotribune.com, ‘Florida, where Cruz is accused of using an AR-15 rifle to kill 17 people at his former high school, does not have such a law. He was able to legally own the semi-automatic rifle even though his mother, classmates and teachers had at times described him as dangerous and threatening.’

I truly hope that the Parkland shooting won’t become just another incident where all that happens is that we throw some hashtags out and change our profile pictures to stand in solidarity. More needs to be done. We can’t have this happen again.

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

 

Sometimes

They say nice guys finish last. Does that go for nice girls as well? Should ‘nice’ be out for 2018? You know how guys get friend zoned?  Well, I’m the girl who gets told a million times that she’s ‘wife material’ but despite that I’ve never even made it out the starter blocks lol.  My friends say I pick the wrong ones and so I’m to blame for that.  They could be onto something.  To be fair to myself, I don’t realize what they’re like initially, but that being said, they do give me signs early enough that should tell me to back up and walk away.  I think you have to be careful of what you put out there though. There is perhaps such a thing as being too nice and thus allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Funnily enough, men seem quick to give effort to females who aren’t quite sugar and spice and everything nice though. Go figure.

Let’s take a walk through what I will refer to as my series of unfortunate events, or at least some of them.  They certainly weren’t funny at the time, but now I can look back and have a good laugh at them. Side note before you get going- my definition of ‘talking to’ does not equate to boyfriend/girlfriend status. It’s just the initial phase where you’re interested and getting to know each other. None of these made it past that.


But I Told You
A mutual friend told me that the guy I was talking to had a girlfriend.  Well, imagine my surprise.  I of course asked him about it and was told, “But I told you.” You know I hit the roof, right?  First of all he had told me diddly squat about having a girlfriend and then had the gall to lie and say he did.  Come on, how would I forget something like that? To add insult to injury, HE went off on ME about it. Huh?  Despite that, after quite some time passed I was able to forgive (maybe not forget since here I am blogging about it) and we were actually able to be friends.  In his defense, he was young at the time. Well, not that youth is a free pass, but hey…


The Disappearing Act
This guy would call me several times a day, every day.  That in itself is rare, isn’t it? No one calls anymore. It’s strictly messaging.  Anyway, I noticed the calls totally stopped and he wouldn’t pick up when I called either.  That was strange as we hadn’t had any quarrels or so forth.  I tried messaging to ask what the problem was and even that got no response. Well, after a while I saw a friend of his. The person had no idea that there was any interest on either side and so forth, and that we had been communicating.  They casually brought him up and said he migrated to be with his girlfriend.  Migrated? To be with who?  The girlfriend who I thought was just an ex he no longer had any ties to?  Remember though that the person didn’t know his friend had been pursuing me and I wasn’t going to reveal that at this point.  Thank God for my time in the performing arts as I had to act very uninterested and nonchalant and just say, “Oh really? How come?” He let me know that his girlfriend had ‘filed for him’ and that his papers came through so off he went. Can you say shocked?  In case you’re wondering, I never heard from him again. Not…one…word…


She’s Just a Friend
This is another good one.  You know when you get a funny feeling?  There’s just a gut feeling that tells you something isn’t right?  Well there was a guy who was interested in me but there was a girl who he seemed to always be entertaining.  Everything said something was up; my gut and my female intuition.  He would always deny it and insist that they were just friends. I asked about her repeatedly and was always given the same answer.  It just didn’t sit well with me; I wasn’t convinced he was telling the truth so one day I decided I’d just ask her what was up with them.  I figured I could get the truth from her.  Man, I wasn’t ready for her answer.  Her response was, “We’re together”.  Whoa! Listen, if she had slapped me it couldn’t have been worse.  So he’s naming the children he would like to have with me in the future, but is over there ‘together’ with this girl?  Joke was definitely on me because I thought it was her who was ‘the other woman’. Who would have thought it was really me? Dwl. Coincidentally, fast forward to today and one of the names that he had his heart set on turned out to be the name my sister chose for my sweet baby nephew.  I was like, “Lord, you have a real sense of humour”.  But I’m glad that the name now has a special and happy meaning for me, because I love my nephew to the moon and back.

Needless to say, things ended with the guy. Funnily enough, despite the fact that both the girl and I had gotten a raw deal, she still found it in her to give me attitude. She told me that we would just have to see which one of us he chooses. Umm really? To this day I remember my words to her – “You’re the only one in that rat race.  I’ve excused myself from it.  I’m not giving him the opportunity to choose.” Well he ‘chose’ her and that was that.

I won’t even lie. I definitely did my share of bawling and moping for this one. Looking back though, I’m like you know you REALLY overdid the crying on that one, right?  Like REALLY.


I Like your Friend
I was on the phone with my friend one day and she said that the person I was talking to had just sent her a text. It wasn’t a big deal to me because we were all friends. “Oh okay, what does he want?” She nervously explained that his text said that he didn’t mean to hurt me but he was actually interested in her and not me. Wait, wait…I wasn’t ready for it. He said what? Now that one came out of nowhere. I definitely didn’t see it coming because this same boy had been acting like he was interested in me. This one was quite a blow. Well, he started pursuing her and eventually started feeling that she wasn’t what he was looking for so it went nowhere.

A few years later I saw him at a party and I got the most heartfelt apology. It was the usual about me being such a sweet girl who didn’t deserve any of what happened. He really did seem sorry, but what was done was done. This was several years ago. We have managed to salvage a friendship (yup, the nice girl in me) and he’s now happily married. At least someone got a happy ending, right?


Waiting on the Right Time

This one I actually had no interest in initially.  He just wasn’t my type but he worked his charm (serious charm), until I ended up being interested. We got closer and closer, and one day a friend of his said, “You know you two would be so cute together if he didn’t have a fiancée.” ‘This can’t be happening,’ I thought.  I held my tongue until there was no one around and asked him about this fiancée who I had just been informed of.  Yes, it was true. He said that he had been waiting on the right time to tell me. Like really? Really? It perhaps wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been chasing him, but I had been going about my life and he made every effort to get my attention, all the while knowing that he could offer me nothing.

I’m just over here now like Jesus take the wheel, cause clearly I’m not doing such a great job. I met up with a friend recently and she cried.  Cried…like real tears.  She said she wants me to experience happiness and have someone who knows my value and treats me well. “You’re the sweetest person and you deserve to be happy,” she said.  I can’t even remember ever seeing her cry before and I’ve known her since childhood. Must be really bad, huh? Lol. I was talking to another friend one day and he reminded me that I bring a lot to the table.  My response – “Umm yeah, I may bring a lot to the table but what am I supposed to do if no one wants what’s on the menu?” Now what do you say to that? Hahaha. For real though, but you know what? Till then I will eat alone.

 

Have I finally learned my lesson? I hope so, but I can’t promise that I won’t maintain some of my ‘nice girl tendencies’, because that’s who I am and there may just be someone who deserves that part of me and will value it. What I can promise however is that I will be more cautious going forward and take heed when the warning signs pop up.

I can only hope that there’s something awesome in store, because I think I’ve had my fair share of ridiculousness.  Until that comes (if it ever does) I have other things to focus on.  Right now I’m working on self-actualization; I have so much untapped potential, and that’s my own fault to a great extent.  I’d really like to find out what my passion is; what it is that makes me feel fulfilled, because really and truly figuring out that piece of the puzzle is major in the pursuit of happiness. Everything else will fall into place.

Someone Come Get My Grandma

A little while back my grandmother had a far from subtle conversation with me about me taking the person I’m seeing to come and meet her. I had to stop her right there and tell her I am yet to meet him so there’s no way I can take him to meet her. How do I introduce her to a non-existent, mythical creature? Now she’s moved from that to asking me when she will have another great grandson. (My sister had the first and only great grandchild.) Can you tell me why my grandmother is watching my womb? Lol.

Below is a snippet from my conversation with her yesterday.

Grandma: Keep behaving and being the nice girl that you are and make sure you meet someone as nice as you are.

Usually she just tells me to behave and to be a nice girl. This time she had to throw in a little extra.

Me: Yes Grandma. You keep behaving too.

Grandma: And I hope soon I will get to meet my other great grandson. Ehem!

Bwahahaha. Can you say buss a big laugh?

Grandma: (Laughing) This is the first time I’ve heard you laugh like this. It sweet yuh!

Me: Well you’re giving me jokes.

Grandma: God spared me and allowed me to see my first great grandchild, and now I hope to see the other one.

Me: Bwoy Grandma…

Grandma: When are you coming to see me?

Me: Maybe on the weekend.

Grandma: Well, come with joy in your heart, and you can tell me about my great grandson.

Me: I hear you Grandma (more laughter)

Grandma could never begin to understand. I guess she’ll just have to continue waiting to be introduced to this mythical creature and continue watching my womb lol. I’m just over here doing me with no idea how anything will turn out.

These Characters Have Me Like -_-

FaceThe expression I need to work on so characters stay away
(No, this isn’t me lol)

I went to a party in St. Elizabeth, and it seems that me attracting characters is an island wide thing. I’m yet to pinpoint what it is about me that makes these characters make a beeline for me. I hope to figure it out very soon. Let’s refer to this particular guy as Farmer Joe (I promise the name will make sense soon).

Farmer Joe headed over to me and struck up a conversation. Based on my very basic responses and uninterested expression, I thought it was clear as day that I wasn’t interested. Each time he walked away and I thought that was the last of him, he would appear again beside me and continue talking. This happened around five times. At one point his hand made its way to my neck. Total stranger. How is this okay? One, why are you touching me and two, how awkward is that? I stepped away so that it was quite clear he needed to remove his hand. He got the message, or so I thought. Very shortly after, his hand was on my arm. I had enough by then. “I can hear you without you touching me,” I told him. He looked a bit taken aback that I had just called him out. He went on speaking and somewhere in all of it he asked, “Why don’t you like me?” I just looked at him and looked away. Umm are we five years old? ‘Why don’t I like you?’

Next came the highlight of the conversation (I don’t even know if I should call it a conversation since I was barely saying a word). “Where are you from?” he asked. “Kingston,” I replied. “I’m in Kingston sometimes,” he said, and paused as though waiting for me to say something along the lines of us meeting up. When he realized I wasn’t going to break my silence, he said, “I know vegetables can be very expensive in Kingston. I can take tomatoes and other things for you. It would be cheaper to buy from me. I’m a farmer.” He threw in the last line about being a farmer as though trying to impress me. It was one of those mic drop moments lol, like bam! He paused again waiting for my reaction. I think I probably ended up smirking. There’s definitely nothing wrong with being a farmer so that wasn’t the reason for my smirk. It’s just that I’ve never gotten that one before; I’ve had guys try to be impressive talking about money and materialistic things, but never have I had someone try to impress me with farming. It was very different to say the least. By the way, the fastest way to turn me off is thinking I’ll be impressed by money. I’ve experienced enough in my lifetime to not be impressed by any of that, plus it just makes me see you as being shallow.

Anyway, Farmer Joe continued with the chatter and goodness gracious he was touching my arm again. DID HE NOT HEAR WHAT I SAID? “You are touching me…” I pointed out, and said it with so much venom that he removed his hand in a hurry. “You don’t seem like you’re really in the mood to talk. Look like yuh deh pon a different level.” Really? Wonder what gave it away lol. He then held up a tin of Baygon (It’s Baygon that they use, right?), and asked me if I wanted to light it. Mercy…really dude? So yeah, it doesn’t take much to make me happy, but lighting roach spray isn’t really what I had in mind. I shot him a look and gave him a firm “No!”

Farmer Joe wasn’t the only character that night. There was also Mr. Too Cool. On one of the occasions that Farmer Joe walked off, a guy came up and motioned behind us, pointing to Mr. Too Cool standing there with his friends. Yup, the old ‘send a friend to call the girl you’re interested in because you’re too cool to come over yourself.’ I haaaaaaate that. I remember the very first time that happened I was in high school and at a party with my friends. Going to an all girls school you’ll have a few guys whose names float around and girls go crazy for them. Me, not so much. Anyway, it just so happened that it was one of those popular guys who had sent his friend to call me over. I sent him back with a message – “If he wants to talk to me then he needs to come over here.” It’s continued to happen over the years and it irks me every single time. Anyway, back to the story at hand. I gestured to Mr. Too Cool – if you want to talk to me, you come to me. I turned back around and in two twos he was beside me grinning. “People still do that? Send their friends to call girls over? I don’t know what kind of girls you’re used to, but I don’t respond to that.” He gave an embarrassed laughed and then asked for my number. I told him no. “Why not?” he asked. “Listen, it done gone bad already (referring to him calling me over), and I mean come on, you ask for my number just like that? No likkle convo or nutten? No.” Guys, don’t you at least ask the girl for her name first? I mean, something…He tried asking for my number again but realized I was not giving in and took himself away back to his friends, minus my number. *Rolls eyes* Men, you gotta come better than that. Come on now -_-

I ask for a Good Shepherd (see one of my previous blog posts), and I get Farmer Joe and Mr. Too Cool. Bwoy…I can’t win huh.

How The Lizard Stole Good Friday

Lizard Meme

My fear of lizards is here to stay. There’s no getting over it. Somehow one found its way into my room yesterday through a window that the mesh frame needs to be fixed back onto. I wasn’t worried about anything getting in since I don’t open the window. Well, it seems there is a space big enough for lizards to get through. I heard a rustling by my window and from the sound alone I started freaking out imagining that it was probably a lizard. I ran and got the broom before moving the curtain so I could be prepared. With my heart racing (literally), I moved the curtain and there it was on the wall. I immediately started freaking out. I gingerly moved closer to the window so that I wouldn’t frighten the darn thing and slowly slid it open, hoping the lizard would run out. No such luck. I tapped the broom beside it on the wall. All now it nuh move -_- Since it was being stubborn I realized I would need to actually touch it with the broom. Ugh! I barely touched it and instantly the thing flew, yes flew off the wall and ran under my bed!!!! One big chuck off from the wall, similar to when Shaunae Miller dived across the finish line to beat Allyson Felix.

My freaking out reached the next level because now that it was on the ground it meant it could run anywhere in the house and get lost, and ain’t no way me and it living in here together. To make matters worse, even though I saw it go under my bed, when I bent down and looked there was no lizard to be seen. I simply HAD to find it and get it out, but first, serious precautions had to be taken. I closed my bathroom door and ran for newspaper and stuffed it under the door. I was taking no chances, and if it meant I would have to close the bathroom door and stuff newspaper under it each time I went in and out, then so be it. I then rolled up a large carpet I have on my bedroom floor so that if I needed to push the lizard out with the broom there would be nothing in the way. I moved everything that could possibly hinder my mission; shoes, dresser, you name it.

Feeling certain there was nothing it could run behind or into, I did what any person with an irrational fear of lizards would do. Don’t judge me…I removed the pillow cases from my pillows, took the sheet off my mattress and then umm I kinda sorta took the mattress off the bed too. I said don’t judge me :/ With the way my lizard paranoia works, it was a feasible thought to me that since I didn’t see the lizard under the bed, it may somehow be chilling out in my sheet or my pillows or even under the mattress (Yes, I know how silly that sounds). I moved the base of the bed and voila! Out ran the lizard. It ran towards the curtains. They touch the ground so it pretty much got lost in them. I moved the curtain, hoping it would just run out into the open and then I could shove it outside. Nope, it ran over to the curtains by another window. Frisky little bugger.

This clearly wasn’t going to be an easy task. I thought about going for KP to have her put her cat skills to work, but then I remembered the last time she ignored me in my plight with another lizard outside. Clearly I needed reinforcement of the human kind so I made a call, the whole time keeping my eyes glued to the lizard so I would know exactly where it went if it decided to sprint again. “Can you get a lizard out of my room please?” Thankfully the answer was in the affirmative. When he arrived I stayed a safe distance away and pointed to the wretched thing. “There it is!” I said. “This is what you’re afraid of?” he asked. It was on the curtain so he wrapped it up in there, opened the window, put the curtain through it and shook the lizard off outside. He turned to look at me and started laughing. “You really are afraid. Look at how you’re sweating.” Umm yeah, sweating and having heart palpitations. Call my fear of lizards irrational, but it’s definitely real. “I need you to seal me up in here. I don’t care what you have to do. Just seal me up so nothing else can get in.” “I can’t do that. You’d boil up in here,” he said. “I don’t care. I will boil up. Just seal me in here.” My request was met with more laughter.

I thanked him profusely for getting rid of the lizard then took matters into my own hands. I went outside and stuffed every part of the window I could with newspaper. Ain’t no way anything else getting in here with me.  Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of the day. Moving around a dresser, mattress and so forth will do that to you. I’m just happy the problem is solved. I called my mother to tell her about ‘Operation Lizard’ and despite knowing how afraid I am of lizards, she just couldn’t make sense of it. “You took the mattress off the bed? But why?” “Mommy, I can’t explain. I just get crazy when I see lizards. Even my heart was racing.” “You really need to get over this fear,” she said. Well, I know for a fact I never will. As I started off with – My fear of lizards is here to stay. There’s no getting over it.

The Good Shepherd

SheepMe looking for my shepherd like…

My friend and I were invited to church today. I really don’t go to church as often as I should and I didn’t want to disappoint the person who invited us, so to church we went! It actually was quite a good service. The pastor used the 23rd Psalm to kick off his sermon and then launched into the characteristics of a shepherd and sheep.  Of course the shepherd in this context is the Lord and the sheep would be us humans.  He said a shepherd is supposed to provide for you, protect you, love you, care for you when you are sick and so forth. Sounds like a good man, right? Lol. Tell me that crossed your mind too. Instantly my friend turned to me.

Friend: Shamieka…

*We exchanged knowing looks and laughed*

Pastor: Amen

Me and friend: AMEN!!!!! (in unison)

Yes, we need to get our acts together. There we are in church and totally twisting the lesson for our own (way off) interpretation lol but for real though, aren’t those some great qualities for a partner? I mean, we aren’t asking for too much, right? The Lord sees and knows that the struggle is real for us females. I’m knocking on 30’s door and I’m still in the wilderness looking out for a good shepherd. And trust me, I’ve been out there waaaaay longer than forty days and forty nights. Not to say persons haven’t crossed my path, but, hmm…

Perhaps in this case it’s the shepherd who’s lost and not the sheep (me), so if you happen to see my shepherd wandering around out there, please point him in my direction so we can head to the path of righteousness. Good shepherd, where art thou? BAAAAAAAA!

Not to worry, we paid attention to everything else in the service and took from it the meaning that we were supposed to. I think we’ll be making more frequent trips to church. 🙂

DAY FROM HELL!

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Today has been a day from hell. Before I go any further, no I did not pee myself. The wet chair will be explained.

Let’s start at the beginning. The company I work for has a new undertaking which means there are far less parking spaces available on our compound for staff. We therefore have to park in another company’s parking lot next door. This morning there were no more designated parking spaces on our compound but it was pouring so I parked at the office anyway along the driveway. I was later called and told to move my vehicle. I did so. Despite the fact that I used my umbrella on the way back over, my dress got wet (that explains the wet chair).  Oh and not to mention my shoes; my shoes were soaking. No worries though.  If we catch pneumonia we have health cards…You can imagine that I started the day very irritated to say the least.  By the way, after I parked and was walking past the security guard she told me that she nearly brought the thing (whatever you call it) down on my car. A bus was driving out at the same time that I was driving in so apparently she didn’t see me initially. The bus was blocking me.

Fast forward to when I got home and there was a lizard waiting at the door to go inside with me.  If you know me then you know that I have what you may call an irrational fear of lizards. I’ve even moved because a house had too many lizards. A lizard in my house can bring me to tears. Seriously. Anyway, back to today’s lizard. I tried to bring it to KP’s attention (even though the thought of her killing it grossed me out) so that she could get rid of it for me. No such luck. She ignored both me and the lizard and went to drink water. Fine…I went hunting for something to use and found a broom. Luckily when I came back it had gone away.  On that note, I keep a broom inside by the door so that if I’m going outside and anything dares try to run in, I’m ready! It’s a pity I didn’t think about the reverse and have something ready outside too.

My bad day doesn’t end there. So yeah, KP ignored me in my time of need but she still needs to eat, right?  Plus she was out there meowing like she hadn’t eaten in days. (Please note I fed her this morning before I went to work) I started cutting up some chicken for her. Yes, it was already cooked and she’s not an invalid but I go overboard sometimes, okay? In the process of cutting the chicken I cut my finger pretty bad. The damn knife has been needing to be sharpened forever but I’ve been neglecting to do so. I just did it this week so it was nice and sharp, just ready to cut me -_- There’s a trail of blood from the kitchen to my bathroom and even on the wall. My house looks like a crime scene. I tried applying pressure for a while but geez man it just wouldn’t stop bleeding.

I wrapped my finger in a stocking and drove myself to a medical centre. Can I tell you the doctor and nurses found it hilarious that I cut myself while cutting chicken for my cat. One piece a laughing inna di place lol. NUFF laughing.

Me: You know what? I’m going to come up with a better story when people ask me what happened to my finger.
Doc: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: No, hence why I drove myself here.
Doc: Do you have children?
Me: No, but I do have a cat :/
Doc: You’re cutting up chicken for a cat -_- You need something to take care of.
Nurse: You may need stitches. *checks blood pressure* Are you nervous?
Me: Umm yeah! (lol) Can you tell?

We both looked at the machine and started laughing. Hell yes I was nervous about getting stitches and it showed lol.

Fast forward to the injection to numb the area for the stitches.

Doc: Do you curse?
Me: When I’m driving.
Doc: You may curse now. It’s okay.
I got a tetanus shot too. Sigh. This cat owes me money. Then of course I had to fill a prescription for pain meds and antibiotics. By the way, I can’t have dairy while I’m on them. No ice cream 😦

So remember I’ve already come across as the crazy cat lady. Hear this now.

Doc: You were here before. *reads from file* Had swelling to finger after beating centipede with a shoe (Coincidentally he was the doctor who dealt with me then too. Yes, I sprained my finger while beating a centipede to death with a shoe. I freak out easily, okay?)

Me:  *Thinking Lord have mercy I sound like a mad woman* *cracking up* We’ve got to stop meeting like this.

The laughing continued because at the end of everything he added to my file ‘Cut finger while cutting chicken for cat.’

Me: Really? You couldn’t put something that sounds more heroic?

Next he wrapped a bandage around my finger to protect the stitches.

Me: Lawks, it looks like my finger has a turban :/ Can you make it look a little better? (Actually now that I’m looking at it it looks like it could pass for Mr. Peanut Head’s cousin)

Doc: Nope, but the bandage will only be on for three days. In the meanwhile you’ll just have a Taliban finger.

Well, I must say that under the circumstances the team made my experience very pleasant. I’ve never laughed so much at a doctor’s office.

Man, what a day. To top it all off I have a headache now.  I feel like I just want to go into a bubble for a while so that nothing else can go wrong.  I think KP knew tonight was just not the night. When I got home she kept her distance. She has NEVER done that before lol.

Love Affair With An Island

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I spent ten days in St. Lucia, and I have to say the island truly captured my heart.  Despite being there for work, I was able to squeeze in some time to explore a bit and experience some of what the island has to offer (thank goodness for that day off).  Before I even launch into telling you about the beautiful sights, I must first acknowledge the people of St. Lucia.  Being from Jamaica, an island known for the warmth of its people, I must say that St. Lucia is right on par and giving us a run for our money.  I felt quite at home there.

Funnily enough, I spent Valentine’s Day there, and believe it or not, without even having a significant other there it was one of the most enjoyable Valentine’s Days I’ve ever had.  The people and the vibe made it a great evening, and my co-worker was awesome company.  Yes, we stuck out like sore thumbs amidst the loving couples at dinner at the hotel, but nevertheless, we had a good time.

Fast forward to Friday night, and although feeling tired we decided that we simply had to make use of our time in St. Lucia.  On a Friday night that can only mean one thing; the Gros Islet street party. (The party is named after the town in which it happens; Gros Islet, located in the north)  It ended up meaning that we woke someone up from bed to pick us up and take us (which we felt so bad about), but what did I tell you about the people in St. Lucia? They are absolute sweethearts.  The Gros Islet street party is literally just that; a party in the streets.  A long stretch of road is blocked off and there are loudspeakers along the way blasting music.  You pretty much just walk along until you get to a section in the crowd where you enjoy the music that’s being played and you feel a vibe from the crowd there.  Speaking of the crowd, it truly is a mixture; the locals and the tourists are out in full force, and everyone is just having a good time together. No worries, no cares, just pure fun and enjoyment.  Policemen can be seen along the sidelines keeping an eye out, but not intrusive in any way.  By the way, they play waaaaaay more dancehall than I expected.  I pretty much forgot where I was and thought I was back home in Jamaica. From Alkaline to even a Spragga Benz tune, Jamaica was certainly represented. Oh, and I tried Piton beer (named after the infamous Piton mountains on the island).  Red Stripe is to Jamaica what Piton beer is to St. Lucia. It doesn’t taste quite as strong as ours though.

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While I thought Gros Islet would have been the only stop for the night, I was quite wrong.  St. Lucians don’t play when it comes to partying.  After enjoying ourselves there, it was then time to go to Coconutz in Rodney Bay. It’s an open air bar and it had a nice little vibe going.  This was not to be the last stop either.  Next up was Zen, a small club with modern decor elements.

After that we called it a night.  Now that we had experienced some of the night life, next we wanted to really see the island. How better to do that than a tour?  Trying to figure which of the tours would be best required extreme deliberation. We went back and forth on it for quite some time. (What is wrong with us? Lol).  Finally we decided on the Soufriere Adventure, and I’m so happy we did. It was the perfect choice.  If you prefer something fast paced then perhaps the Joe Knows tour would be ideal for you.  From what we gathered, Joe Knows is great if you’re looking for more of a party vibe. Our tour was more on the laid back side, which was more in line with what we wanted.

We met at the marina, boarded the catamaran and were on our way. We hadn’t had time for breakfast so the banana bread and fresh fruits awaiting us on board were greatly welcomed. If driving along we thought St. Lucia was beautiful, seeing it this way, drifting along the ocean was even more of a beautiful sight; one that I won’t forget.  Our tour guide pointed out various sites along the way, such as Anse La Raye (Bay of Stingrays) and Anse Cochon (Bay of Pigs, but no longer so as they ended up as dinner on the tables of the locals). At one point we even saw a pod of dolphins. How awesome is that? No photos to show unfortunately, as they moved so quickly.  The stately Pitons, St. Lucia’s twin volcanic peaks came into view and as we got closer we understood just why they are such an infamous landmark.  They truly are a sight to behold.

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The Pitons. Breathtaking right? Photo credit: Tracy-Ann Jerry-Ellis

We arrived at Soufriere, a town located along the west coast of the island, and got into the buses that were waiting to take us to Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens.  There we met our tour guide, ‘Alexander the Great’ or ‘Walking Internet,’ both self-proclaimed titles.  He certainly did seem like the internet. He has such vast knowledge on all the plants and even gave us a few history lessons here and there as we trekked along.  If you do that tour I hope you get Alex as your tour guide. He was so entertaining. He took us up to the waterfalls, and most persons took advantage of this great photo opp.

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‘Alexander the Great’

It was then time to get back onto our bus and head to Sulphur Springs Park, home to what is known as the world’s only drive-in volcano.  While there we had the choice of partaking in one of two activities; tour the volcano or have a mud bath (said to have healing properties). We chose the volcano tour.

It was quite a sight to take in; such a vast area, the rising steam. Oh but be warned, it smells! It really does.  The sulphur creates a smell of rotten eggs in the air.  Our guide told us the story of Gabriel, a tour guide who many years ago fell through the crust and received severe burns. Years ago you used to be able to just walk across the landscape but because of Gabriel’s mishap, you are now restricted to view from a platform. Smart idea!  Gabriel created a crater (known as Gabriel’s hole) that to this day you can still see there.

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To our disappointment, it felt like the tour of the volcano ended a bit abruptly.  Our guide motioned towards a pathway and said that there is a village beyond there and also a restaurant which only serves chocolate. Having a sweet tooth and also craving more adventure, I was ready to go explore, however the tour does not include seeing the village or the restaurant. I suppose the locals wouldn’t particularly like tourists trekking through their village everyday and I guess who can blame them?  We had already disturbed two little girls who had come down to bathe in the river, which we were told is always warm. We got to feel it for ourselves and indeed it was.

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Guess we’ll never know what lies beyond this path.

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This is where we got to dip our hands in to feel the warmth of the water.

We boarded the buses again and headed to a quaint restaurant for buffet-style lunch.  I had a little of everything; the chicken, fish, mac and cheese, green fig salad.  The food was soooo good! No exaggeration.  As I type I’m remembering it and wishing I could have a plate of it right now. It didn’t hurt that there was chocolate cake for dessert. Chocolate is the way to my heart!

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On the note of food, I found the green fig salad served in St. Lucia to be quite interesting.  What they call green fig is what we in Jamaica call green banana and we simply boil it and eat it with fish or meat.  Both times I had it in St. Lucia it was done as a well-seasoned salad and included ingredients such as pepper and escallion. Codfish or saltfish as we call it in Jamaica can be added.  They even added mayo and this gives it a creamy texture.  It was REALLY good and I am so ready to try preparing green banana this way.

Sidetracking from the tour for a second to show you the green fig salad they served at the hotel (on the left). You can see it better here than you can in the pic above. The photo on the right shows the fried float (looks like a roll), also from dinner at the hotel. In Jamaica we call it fried dumplings and it’s much smaller.


Back to the tour! After lunch it was time to head out.  The buses took us back to the dock and we got back onto the catamaran.  There were more fresh fruits and we were also served the infamous rum punch we had heard so much about.  We sipped as we sailed along and were taken to an area where you are able to snorkel or just swim.

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Next up, we sailed through Marigot Bay.  I loved it.  The palm trees make it look like a scene from a post card.

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The music got livelier and the crew started dancing.  We sat there watching and feeling quite entertained.  Don’t ask me how, but my co-worker and I found ourselves pulled up to join them and the next thing we knew we became a part of the entertainment and were being cheered on by the other tourists.  All eyes were on us and the crew as we did the ‘Cupid Shuffle’ and ‘Wobble’ lol. Who would have thought we would have been the life of the party? Hahahaha. If you know me, you’re probably finding it hard to imagine that lol.  It was so much fun though 🙂

All good things must come to an end, right?  Well, as such, our tour came to an end.  It was such a great experience, and I look forward to visiting the island again to see what else it has to offer.  There is no way I can fully convey the warmth of the people or the beauty of the island.  You need to take a visit and experience it all for yourself, and when you do, you will fall in love with St. Lucia just as I did.