June 2006 Archives

taking a break

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By now we have told Jimmy that we are seriously considering the atlantic property (so he won't be showing it to anyone else), but need some time, and want to go back to look at it again. Confident that things are safely on hold, we need to relax a little and enjoy the island.

One of the things that we found really appealing about Long Island is the graciousness of its people. Near the center of the island along the highway (which is just a road that runs north to south slicing the island in half) is a little thatched shack that everyone gathers for a great, fresh, seafood meal. It is called Max's Grill. Previously we had met a great couple from Orlando (Terri and Lee) who were also scouting for land and this particular afternoon we ran into them at Max's. The caretaker/cook/owner/bartender at Max's is Gary. While eating an amazing plate of steamed snapper and plantains(me), Gary asked us if we liked oysters. I love oysters. He went on to explain that he had discovered a natural oyster bed on the southern most part of the island and would anyone want to go harvesting?


Just drop everything and go?

what the heck.

So Terri and Lee hop into Gary's truck while Bryan, Daniel and I get in our rental car, and off we go in search of oysters.


Daniel and Gary picking oysters.


the oysters connect to the base of the mangrove root. New Zealand Mangrove Oysters is what Gary thought they were.

Here we are trudging through the bush post-harvest.


Gary stops to pick pretty weeds before returning to Max's.

Out of the bucket, hose them off, pop onto the grill. Simple as that.

Absolutely yummy!

When it comes to shopping for anything Bryan and I have never been impulsive. We took weeks to select the right blender, so you can imagine how hard this was. Mostly because our options were limited due to budget.

Just as a benchmark we went back to one of the parcels that Charlie (our first realtor) showed us back in April (our first trip) that had not sold and was the cheapest thing he had to offer. Unfortunately everything Charlie had showed us was out of our price range. But we took another look at this one to gain some perspective. Only 100 feet of beachfront with a whole lot of jungle behind. I tried to envision neighboring houses at every hundred feet and how in the world could you create an artist retreat with that.


Great view, but too small, rocky beach, low land, no utilities, and over our price range.



day 2 weighing our options

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After a somewhat confusing and disappointing day we wrestled with the things that we had learned. Conflicting stories were surrounding the piece of land that we had pinned our hopes on and so we discussed how much of a risk we wanted to take, and if the property was even worth it.

We would sleep on it.

The next day at breakfast another Bahamian man and Presley came into the dining lodge. He introduced himself as a local realtor and friend of Presley's. Presley had apparently lost sleep the night before due to the miscommunication regarding "our land" and the possibility of the title being in dispute. So he brought "Jimmy" to give us some more info.

"Steer clear", was basically the gist of the conversation. This was really tough because at this point it was hard to know who to believe. Everyone seemed to have a different story, and yet at no time did I feel that anyone was being deceptive. Did the realtors on the island want to stop people from buying directly from the original owners so that they could scoop up all the land and double the price? Even if that was true, in our situation it didn't matter much because the land owner had already hiked the price.

I was disappointed, confused, but also had no intention of giving up. Explaining more of our situation to Jimmy we asked him if he had anything that he knew about that fit our price range, criteria, etc.


We agreed to meet again in a few hours and he would show us what he had.

You have to understand that my criteria were pretty specific. And our budget was laughable considering the normal buyer that was scouring the island at the time. But we were upfront with Jimmy and he listened (without laughing).

One criteria we needed to consider was which side of the island to be on. Everyone was hot on the caribbean side, and so were we. Jimmy had something on the atlantic that we began to consider.


Even though we were so stuck on the otherside, I kept having a positive reaction to the atlantic side. There was good and bad, but frankly, I just loved the view on the atlantic. Higher elevation, more waves, and a view that changed from day to day seemed more inspiring than the constant calm and blue on the other. But we had come to the island determined to buy on the caribbean side.

Maybe it was time to rethink that.


the search is on

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Back on our beloved island but things aren't quite as promised or hoped. Here I sit on the proposed beach that we came back to view. The price is double what we were told, and there is some question as to clear title. Because so much land down here was given to the people generations ago, there are often disputes among families as to who owns what. Although we were assured that this one was clear, we were still a bit skeptical.

AND here I sit pondering the view of a fish processing plant across the bay.

not so good.



going back


We go back in a few days. Although the forecast is supposed to be rain and more rain I don't care. I am anxious to see what Presley has found for us on his little island. Anxious, scared, excited. Insane. It is interesting that when you get right up against something that you have run towards full-steam no-doubt headlong into with hope and anticipation that you can suddenly come to a dead stop and wonder what the hell you are doing. That is the kind of weird electricity that is coursing through me right now. But that is the true nature of any MONDO BEYONDO thing isn't it? Taking a risk is what makes it BEYONDO. And therefore, worth doing. So here I sit doing my work with fits and starts because I can't stop thinking about sand in between my toes. I thought blogging might help. Hmmm... not so much.

My great desire is that two weeks from now I will be able to report that we have secured a tiny piece of paradise for the artist's retreat. Imagine that. But for now I keep wondering about something I have yet to see... is the property right, is the marina too close, is the beach good, is the road too close, is the owner going to want to sell??? If it is all wrong how crushing will the disappointment be? What if it is absolutely perfect and everything goes without a hitch?

Crazy isn't it? Crazy, scary, exciting...

mondo beyondo.

formation in process


Ok, so friday turned out to be good after I finally picked up a brush. I was reminded of Julia Cameron's admonishing of just showing up to the page, or in my case, the canvas, and the rest will take care of itself. It is so hard not to let the rest of life's responsibilities drown out what we are often, divinely designated to do. But thanks to my very wise older sister I was reminded that "there will ALWAYS be undone chores, and I mean forever." I think I need that printed on a t-shirt. Anyway I listened to the wise advice and so I managed to paint some on friday, and on saturday. Here is "formation" at about three quarters done. Thanks big sis!



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Oilers lost. Bummer.

Attempting an "artist date" today but am having major creative blockage. Of course I haven't even picked up a brush yet, so go figure. I just don't feel all that inspired at the moment. Too many unfinished chores that makes my need for closure itch and scream to be scratched. I guess that is the real discipline behind the artist date, the ability to put all aside for the sake of doing something seemingly unnecessary and even frivolous. It is a different kind of self-control. So, as much as it pains me to lose control today, I also recognize that it is an important aspect of my creative health. So off I go...

honoring someone else's worship


With Bryan's parents visiting, we thought it appropriate to set foot inside a church on a sunday. We still are sorting through our own convictions on the state of the Church at this point in time, so the act of going was less about worship and more about honoring our parents. For them, even when they are traveling, the act of stepping inside a church on sunday is a form of worship. Although I don't share that conviction, I can respect it and honor it. So for one day we were church goers again. And we went to a place where some friends work very hard at a refurbished ministry. It was good to see friends. And I think it was good to be in that setting again.

Not, because there was a spiritual tug or discernible conviction that I should be going back.

Not, because there was a "blessed moment" that made me yearn for our days in ministry.

I had neither of those things. I think it was good to be in that setting again to be reminded why we left. That may sound negative, but it is not. Our journey as a family has been a very mobile one. That spiritual mobility has afforded us some incredible growth. That growth could not have happened without the leaving. It has been a modern day pilgrimage. Like the pilgrimages of old, we have stepped into the unknowns and found truth. I personally have seen life again, and it makes me ask the question.

What patterns, traditions, or doctrines do you practice that stunts your growth?

The question is probably impossible to answer while inside those patterns, traditions and doctrines because when you are on the inside looking out, all seems fine. But if forced to look in from the outside the question might make more sense.

What I continue to ponder is...

What is the purpose of the church today? What was the original intended purpose of the gathering of believers? How big is the gap between the answers of those two questions?

national cathedral tower


hitchiker's wisdom

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What is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything...


Happy Birthday babe!!


spin spin spin


Managed to squeeze in the time to see another doc in the next phase of my vertigo saga. This installment (I thought) was going to be a treatment and turned out to be more tests to determine more specifics about the vertigo that I have, specifically, what part of the vestibular (inner ear) is affected. Judging by the test the doc gave me, I clearly have trouble with my left side. She made me do a couple of quick moves like laying down really fast and turning my head. Turning to the right wasn't so bad but when she turned me to the left the exam room turned into a bad day at Bush Gardens after eating too much cotton candy. In the process of the test she looked into my eyes and I am sure they looked like those googly eyes that you find on cheap carnival stuffed animals. The apparent cause of my googly eyes is a tiny chunk of calcium that has become displaced in my inner ear that is floating around wreaking havoc with my balance center. A treatment simply replaces it.

Having verified that "yes" I do need treatment for this, she wrote a referral for another specialist. This one will actually do the treatment that is supposed to make the dizzies go away. The first pass at scheduling this procedure was going to be four days before we go back to the bahamas. I asked the receptionist if I could fly right after this treatment and she "thought so".


Not quite satisfied with that answer and noticing the doc crossing the hall, I got her attention and asked the question again.

"Can I fly?"

"Yes, but you can't do any heavy lifting".

Ok that seems fair, but still not quite enough info...

"Can I scuba dive"?

She just looked at me.

I guess this treatment makes things really really bad for a week to ten days after and so the advice was not to do too much during that time. I am not sure how that correlated with "don't do any heavy lifting", but I am glad that I drilled down a little further for information or the next trip may have been a disaster. And if today's test is just a glimpse of what is in store I can see it might be bad, because the test made me sick. Now I feel like I did back when I first got this thing. What progress I may have made was apparently undone by the test.

So, to be on the safe side I scheduled the treatment for after we return, which means that I get to wait some more. The truly sucky thing is that there is no guarantee that the first treatment will work. I may need a second. While still with the doc I asked the question, "What happens if the second treatment doesn't work?"

We do an MRI.

Ok, I have to admit that freaked me out a little. At first. Then upon further reflection, if the test made me worse in one quick move, then wouldn't a similar treatment make it better?

So I guess I will spin until then.



I have lots and lots of deep thoughts about this day, most of all, how very proud I am of the man our son has become and all that this milestone represents. But for this exhausted mom these thoughts are mostly jumbled in my head along with the very intense emotions that accompany them. I want to sort them out on blog later, but for now... just the pictures should say it all.

Even from a distance Daniel was pretty easy to spot.


A hug from the beloved Mrs. Goodman, Blake's principal.


Making his way across the stage.


Or vantage point at Constitution Hall. My zoom could hardly handle it.


Diploma in hand!!


Such a proud moment. Not to mention the one, and only time you will ever see Daniel wearing a tie!


How does a family of artists celebrate a milestone event like graduation? We go to a museum of course.

Daniel's graduation ceremonies were going to be held at Constitution Hall, in the heart of downtown DC. Scheduled for 10 am I realized weeks ago that we had to have a strategy to ensure a timely arrival. Having grandparents visiting also meant there were more of us to transport at what would essentially be, the middle of rush hour. The thought of getting up super early, making sure everyone was ready, fighting rush hour, not to mention trying to find parking downtown, spelled disaster waiting to happen.

So it seemed appropriate to spend the night before in a DC hotel, that way everyone was only a short taxi ride away. I figured why not make the most of it so we started out leisurely sunday morning at Daniel's favorite breakfast place, eggspectations. Then we headed for the Phillips Collection, America's first museum of modern art. We are lucky enough to have one of the world's most famous works of art available to us through this collection, Renior's Luncheon of the Boating Party, and as a special feature the Phillips houses the first public works of Daniel's favorite artist, Mark Rothko. Daniel did not know where we were going and was pleasantly surprised when we pulled up in front of the museum. I really wanted the weekend to be "about him" and this proved to be just the right thing.

While roaming through room upon room of this amazing collection I watched as Daniel engaged his grandparents in discussion about art. Born, raised, and living all of their lives in rural Alberta, Bryan's parents don't tend to frequent these kinds of museums. I was thrilled to see the connections being made as Daniel explained the nature of Rothko's work to the grandparents who were willing to hear. Daniel graciously drew them into his world chatting about the things that he loves most.

Here Daniel and Grandma admire the great renoir.


We ended the day at this hip little restaurant called Firefly that was joined to the hotel in which we were staying.


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2006 is the previous archive.

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