Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm in the mess!! or Just when you think you know a person

No this blog is not about my sometimes messy house. Fourteen years ago I met my husband, it's not our anniversary that's due next March, I mention this because I met my husband in the military! Yes I was a soldier for nine years, my first posting was at a Battalion Head Quarters, in the Commanding Officer's Office where I would be an office assistant.

Even though there were women in the Military at least 14yrs before I joined, in this particular battalion (a battle ready battalion) women weren't exactly common. I was one of three women posted there, at nineteen I did not have much working experience, I did do some computer courses but apart from my Secondary (High School to you guys!) certificates I was largely unskilled.

So fresh out of recruit training I began working in the Office, the same office my husband worked, the moment he came through the door I knew it was love at first sight! I could tell he felt the same because he gave me that special smile.............. the smile that said 'I think you're special........... NOT!!!!

Actually it went like this, he walked in, realised that there was a newly trained recruit in the office and gave me the sneer! It's the sneer all recruits get because recruits are the scum of the earth!!

We never really gave each other the time of day, except when work was involved. I was just into my peers, (fellow recruits) and we would eat together in the hall and party together on our time off. Recruits stick together!

Two years into my posting, another batch of recruits joined the battalion and i was no longer on of the 'youngest' soldiers around, finally I would be senior to someone! Finally someone to sneer at! As time went by my coworkers started to accept me as an invaluable member of the office and I was being invited to Office gatherings .

My husband joined the military five years before me so he was senior to me by a lot! Well somehow during the socialising with the office members Kieth and me would end up alone many times and we would talk for hours! Blah blah and we got married. I moved to another battalion and through studies decided a civilian position was better for me being a mom and all that.

So now my husband is to become a sergeant which is prestigious and I am sooo proud of him! They have great parties and extremely formal functions, I remember looking on while still in the Army at the mess members (Sergeants and above) arrived for various functions with their wives looking so glamorous and I would admire that. So now I'll be in the mess too! (good thing i took the shortcut!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Aww mommmm! fried ochroes again!!??

I looove fried (ochroes) okras this morning I went on my usual-after the-rains mango hunt in the backyard and realised that there were a few okras on the trees in my garden, every time I pick fresh ochroes I promise myself that I would freeze them and save them for my Sunday Callalloo but somehow I always end up frying them because I love them sooo much!

Penny I was so hungry to have my fried okras for breakfast that I did not try your recepie but I promise to later this week!
Here they are fresh from the garden.

For those of you that hate the sliminess of okras, try adding tomatoes to it! It is totally not slimey after that!

Lots of garlic!

And ready to eat in 5mins! (I was out of onions!)

This was a one person meal, I ate it all! My kids hate fried ochroes, hubby loves it just as much as I do, had he been home I would have to make 3 times as much!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let's get Trinified

Hello everyone! As it is my intention to take you all on a carnival journey with me I think it is important that you get to know a little bit of our language, you see we in Trinidad use a lot of words that may not make sense, and you cannot have a virtual carnival experience without knowing these words and what they mean, those highlited in red are those that relate directly to carnival, the others I posted just to try to trinify you guys!

For ease of reference i will post these on my sidebar so you can refer to them easily on a later date.

Here goes:

Trini - Trinidadian

Bacchanal - Wild party / Scandal / Argument / Confusion

Back Back - A suggestive dance performed with the male dancer's front rubbing against the female's rear, and vice versa

Band - A group of Carnival masqueraders with costumes designed on a related theme. A band can have 4,000 people divided into 25 sections, each with it's own theme and several music trucks. Each band has a huge King and Queen costume. Carnival Tuesday will see about 20 large bands go across the stage in competition.

Bam bam, boomsie, bamsie, bam-a-lam, background, backside, behind, - ass, bottom / butt

Bazodee - Confused

Buss Up Shut - See Roti, Shredded roti skin, resembling a "bust up shirt"

Cahneevaal (Carnival - "Farewell to the Flesh" A pre-Lenten festival started by Catholics to get in one last party before giving up wine, women and song for 40 days during Lent. Preparations and partying in Trinidad start in January and build up to Jouvay (Monday) and Mardi Gras (Tuesday) ending at midnite just before Ash Wednesday in mid-February. Costume bands in street Carnival, steelband competitions, Calypso contests, parties, dances and Kiddie Carnival all come together for Carnival. Rio and New Orleans carnivals are bigger and better known, Trinidad's is best.

Callaloo - Thick soup made of dasheen leaves, okra, coconut milk, crab and seasonings.

Coonoomoonoo - (Cunumunu) Idiot, stupid person

Crapo (Crapaud) - Frog The most detested reptile on the island. Often poisonous, they are hated worse than snakes.

Dimarsh Grass- (Dimarche Gras) The major show on Carnival Sunday night. Eight King and eight Queen of the bands costumes (some 30 feet tall) compete on stage at Queen's Park Savannah to be named King and Queen of Carnival. The eight top singers compete to be crowned the Calypso Monarch.

Dough* (Doh) - Trini pronunciation Don't "Oh no, do do dahlin', doh do dat to me!"

Dong - Trini pronunciation Down

Doo doo* (Doux doux) - Sweetheart often used with darling, as in "do do dahlin'"

Doogla (Dougla) - A person of mixed race, usually a mixture of African and East Indian.

Fet (Fete) - Party

Fresh Water Yankee - A Trini who goes to America and comes back acting and talking Yankee (Originally someone acting Yankee without even going overseas, or Horn - To cheat on your spouse or lover, as in "She horning him like reindeer!

Jab Jab - A type of Carnival devil costume;

Jagabat - Slut, loose woman, prostitute. also Wajang (wah-jang) or Wabean (wah-bean)

Joo-vay (Jouvay, or Jour Ouvert) - "Opening of Day" in French, Carnival Mas beginning before dawn on Carnival Monday wearing costumes of mud, old clothes (Ole Mas), devil costumes or satirical themes.

Las' Lap - (Last Lap) Last minute street partying on Carnival Tuesday which goes until midnite when Ash Wednesday begins. The very last of Carnival.

"Lime - limin' Hanging out, loafingMah-ko

(Maco) - Nosy person, busybody, gossipMah-kocious (Macocious) A person who is nosy, a maco

Mamaguy To fast talk or sweet talk someone; to try to fool someone.

Maracas Bay The most beautiful beach in Trinidad, high waves, great scenery.

Mass* (Mas) Carnival costumes, or playing mas, street revelry in carnival costume.

"Moco Jumbie Stilt dancers, an African tradition carried over to Trini carnival Their costumes represent jumbies, or spirits, of African mythologyr "

Pan* Steel band, invented in Trinidad in the 1930's, melodic percussion instruments made out of oil drums. One hundred piece steel orchestras compete playing classical, soca, pop during Carnival.

Road March Kind of Trinidad's song of the year, or best song of Carnival. As the costume bands cross the stage in the Queen's Park Savannah, the song that most bands dance to is declared Road March for the year, and wins a large cash prize.

Roti East Indian dish made with flat baked dough resembling a tortilla filled with curried beef, chicken, goat, shrimp or other meat with potatoes, onions, tomato and spices.

Sucuyant A Trini vampire that sheds it's human skin and flies at night as a ball of fire, sucking the blood of it's victims while they sleep.

Tantie (Tante) Aunt

Tent* A calypso or soca concert featuring 20 singers and comedians. Started in the 1800's in large military tents, now held in concert halls or stadiums.

TNT* Trinidad and Tobago, twin island nation six miles off the coast of Venezuela, South AmericaToo-bay-go Trini pronunciation (Tobago)

Tot Tots Female breasts

T.T. Trinidad currency, as in "Does this cost $5.00 T.T. or $5.00 U.S.?"

Wais Trini pronunciation (Waist) The ability to wine "De gyul only trowin ral good wais!"

Wee From the French (Oui) Yes, as in "Eh eh, dat is ral good buss up shut, oui?"

Wine*, Winin' A sexually suggestive dance using winding hip movements that can make the hula look tame, usually done to soca music.

Yang-Key Trini pronunciation (Yankee) An American

Consider yourselves TRINIFIED!!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Help Me Choose! Not what you'd expect!

So we are in the month of August and in Trinidad that means band launchings! Let me explain; our biggest, brightest yearly event is our Carnival held sometime between February and March, well long story short all the events culminate in two days (Carnival Monday and Tuesday) of revelry in the streets of our capital city (Port of Spain) where we wear costumes of all descriptions and dance and prance behind slow rolling trucks blasting music either live (a live band in the truck) or from a DJ. If you wear a costume you are a masquerader and a masquerader plays mas!

I love carnival I have been playing mas since I was 5 years old, I just love being in a fantasic costume, hitting the streets and dancing to the music!

So this is where you guys come in, I would like your help in choosing my costume this year, I have some pictures of me in costumes over the years which i shall post in a later blog, for now i will show you my options for this year's carnival celebrations and i would love to know what you guys think!

This is the costume i played mas in last year!

I will be hitting the gym hard when school reopens because ladies you have to be in shape for these costumes not so much to look sexy, but to get road energy to keep up behind those darn trucks, we really walk for miles in the blazing sun!

so here they are:

Do you guys notice a theme here? I love cosutmes with big wingy things at the back! I will post some that I think are quite horrid as well at the end of this post, those are just bikinis and beads and show no creativity whatsoever.

I up until i was 35 I played in costumes like these, then i got a little more conservative with my choice of costumes, however since this is the year of the big 4-0 I decided to go a little daring for this year only! hence the sexy look of the above costumes!

At this time my favorite costume designer has not 'launched' yet, so i await his offerings for this year with bated breath, it is his costume that i chose last year! When he launces it will be a whole other selection process, there are a few other bands that have not launched their costume designs as yet so the above costumes are my picks thus far.

My horrid costume pics are as follows:

These costumes cater to the 20somethings who want to show as much skin as possible! Sexy Sexy!! But they are not for me, I just find them boring.

I tried to make add this video but no luck! This video will give you guys an idea of how the revelry is on carnival day. I got it off you tube, the quality is not so hot but take a peek if you like!

I will be blogging like crazy for the upcoming carnival season so at the end of it you guys will feel like you played mas right along with me!


From Buffy Via Janet

Buffy's best friend Janet left this note for me and some of us, knowing we are all concerned I thought I would post it for everyone to know that Mike is OK.

Her note is followed by our (Janet and I) email exchange.

Hi, everyone!! I thought that I had Justine's e-mail address but now I can't find it! anyway, Suzanne asked that I let everyone know that she's not able to connect yet to the Internet at the hospital, but she wanted you to know that Mike came through the surgery okay, though he's in a lot of pain. I'm going up to the hospital tomorrow and will take her goodies (like wine, which she specifically requested!). She's fine but she sounds tired. anyway, please contact me and I will be happy to pass on any messages. I'm going to kidnap her tomorrow for a couple of hours at least and take her to lunch, maybe bring her home if she wants to for a shower or whatnot. If anyone has anything special that they would like me to include in her "hospital survival kit," please give me your suggestions! all I know for sure right now that I'm taking to her is wine and a couple of National Enquirers! that should keep her busy for a while! My e-mail address is janetkat1@yahoo. com.... She didn't want anyone worrying. On her behalf, thank you guys so much for your thoughts and your prayers. I know she appreciates it very much, and so do I.
August 21, 2008 9:42 PM

Janet you are an example of a lifelong friend. Please tell Suzanne that most of all I am glad Mike came through the surgery well. I know she will maintain her spunk and humor throughput this and will get a great blog out of it!


Thanks for responding! I'm not even sure at this point where I posted that message -- it was late for me when we got in and I had been up since about 4:00 a.m. working. Would you guys please make sure that the word gets out? Suzanne was most concerned that everyone would be worrying, and she didn't want that.

Thank you so much! and you are right... she will definitely get some good blog material! Knowing her, she has her camera with her and is skulking around the hospital looking for anything that catches her eye to blog about! I will definitely convey any and all messages...

take care... j

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet Henry Gooding

When Isaiah my 7yr old was 3 he became fascinated with the telephone, (as is usual with three year olds). He would pick up the phone and have imaginary conversations. It was during one of these 'conversations' that my husband and I met Mr Henry Gooding.

Kieth and I would sit and listen as he conversed on the phone and the conversations always ended with Isaiah saying 'ok goodbye' and then he hung up.

This went on for a few weeks until one day we decided to ask for fun who was it he was speaking with, knowing fully well that there was no one on the other line.

To our surprise he replied Henry Gooding. That was strange, we thought we knew no one by that name and he did not have a toy with that name either, we racked our brains trying to think of where he could have gotten that name, to give to his imaginary friend on the telephone!

A few days later he again picked up the phone and started his 'conversation' , this time I listened for him to end the conversation in the usual manner by saying 'ok goodbye', just before he hung up I asked to speak to Henry Gooding, he gave me the phone.

On the line I could hear the operator saying the usual 'please hang up and try your call again this is a recording' It clicked immediately and i started laughing hysterically 'a recording' was Henry Gooding!!

That was more than four years ago but it is still funny to Keith and me up to this day!!

Just a little walk down memory lane, lest i forget!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Buffy's Not Alone (My pigeon saga)

I have a love-hate relationship with pigeons, depends on which part of my life I am speaking about, I should really call it a love-tolerate-hate relationship.

The Love (1) - As a child, my brothers all older than i am loved to take care of pigeons, they were homing pigeons i suppose and they would actually race them, not sure how that was arranged, you know if they would have the sky markers for the 100m or whatever because i was about six or seven years old at the height of the pigeon racing era of my brothers. I loved them because they were contained, and actually I thought them to cute, and the excitement felt by my brothers and their friends over their pigeons was definitely contagious.

The Love (2) As an adult already married and a mom of one (Isaiah) my father developed Alzheimer's, he was a businessman all his life and always on the go, but with the onset of Alzheimer's he stayed at home with my mom who took excellent care of him. there were about three or four pigeons that would sit on the electricity line outside my parents' home and my dad would throw his leftovers for them. Well apparently pigeons can smell a meal ticket a mile away, because the numbers grew and soon it was no longer leftovers my parents were actually preparing rice to throw at the pigeons on a daily basis!! the number of pigeons that would show up for lunch went from three or four, to twenty to well over a hundred! It was truly an amazing sight to see my dad feeding the pigeons then, because the Alzheimer's was progressing and he was beginning to forget the names of some of his 12 children, but he always remembered to feed those birds every day. School children gathered from the neighbourhood primary (elementary) school excitedly on their lunch break to observe the daily gathering of the pigeons. It gave my dad so much joy to see the kids enjoy the 'show'.

The Tolerance - I was very close to my due date of my pregnancy with Isaiah, apparently I have a very comfy uterus because my due date came and went and Isaiah did not budge! So I again visited the hospital this time with bag and baggage as we say in Trini, with out even a hint of pain and declared I was not leaving until the kid is out because i was fed up of being pregnant! Heck i was two weeks over my due date!! So the doctor on duty decided to give me a bed and I can wait for my contractions there, I was just happy not to go back home again still pregnant. So my bed was close to the window and I was on the 6th floor or so and i could see the roofs of other hospital buildings around, of course all old government buildings in the Caribbean has pigeons in the roofs and the buildings i could see were no exception. The one night of observation and waiting for contractions turned to two and stretched eventually to 12! by the third day I was bored out of my skull and before i knew it i was staring at the pigeons and became really fascinated with them. I started naming them, there was Marty, and Beatrice, they were married and had two kids. Another pigeon couple was Delores and Peter, they were newlyweds and lived downstairs of Marty and Beatrice, I had sooo much fun after that because they became a soap opera for me, complete with conversations, depending on how they flew away from the building I would know if they flew away in anger or just to go to the supermarket.

When my sisters visited me I told them about the pigeons and the drama in their lives, but somehow they just did not get it. In fact they looked kind of worried. But those pigeons got me through a super long pregnancy and 12 boooring days waiting for the pain of contractions which never came but that's a whole other blog.

The hate - Well no major hate story but lets face it. they are rats with wings!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Micro Mini

A mini vacation is a weekend away, what do you call one day away? A micro-mini! I mentioned to some that the hubby and I were taking the kids to a Beach hotel for the weekend, however on Friday morning the hotel called and informed us there was a blackout in the area and they did not know when electricity would return, so we decided to not to take the chance of staying in a hotel in a remote area with no lights or other stuff, particularly with kids in tow. If it were just hubby and I well........................ that would be fun actually!

We called another hotel and booked for a day-special, where we would spend the day (Saturday) and have lunch and of course use of the fun infinity pool!

This hotel is really lovely, the views are breathtaking and the food is scrumptious!! While we are on the topic of food, did you notice my tummy?? hee hee I actually haven't been in front of the camera for a while and my hair is totally i mean TOTALLY not fashionably combed!!! What business do I have taking pics of me and posting them on my blog?! Well it is my blog and I have friends here.

So off we went, it was a lovely country drive and the kids behaved like angels! Does that mean Isaiah is growing up? I mean usually on our long drives we have to threaten to stop the vehicle countless times! If he is not harassing his sister, he is complaining about a snack he did not get or something else! So I complimented the heck out of him when we got to the hotel and he took it all in and smiled.

It was really a fun day for all of us, we will still go to the beach hotel in a week or so.

.This is the view from the dining patio

Navigating dessert!

Isaiah being Goofy!