Where else could I go?

Getting into the house is always an important factor in one’s day.  On occasion, I have been known to accidentally lock Tim out of the house.  After a handful of times, we thought it might be a good idea to get another copy made of one of our keys.

When I inquired with friends where I could get a key made, they said go to ACE Hardware.  I hopped in the car, got to ACE Hardware in South Hill and found out they didn’t have the base key needed to copy my key.  So I waited about a week and tried to find a key somewhere else.

Where else could I go?

Multiple sources told me to try Lake’s Do it Best located in The Valley.  Lake’s Do it Best is one of the more complete hardware stores on the island.  As I walked in, hopeful this would be my one and only stop, I approached the cashier and asked if they made keys.  She looked at me and said, “We do but the machine is broken.”  Darn.  So I asked, “Where else could I go?”  The cashier tells me the Tackle Box cuts keys. Tackle Box is also located in The Valley and a catch-all type of store.

Five Minutes later, I arrived.  I walked in with my hopes still high, after all, it’s only three stores so far…this is not so bad.  I inquired about the keys and it turns out they don’t make keys.  Bummer.  So I ask, “Where else could I go?”

NAPA Auto Parts was suggested as the next stop.  Located near the airport, this was about a 7 minute drive.  My feet a little heavier than when I started, I trekked into the store and asked my question.  There was a glimmer of hope when the woman behind the counter had what appeared to be a base key that matched mine!  Yes!!   She put on her safety glasses, put the keys in the machine and…oh, nope…wrong shape.  I will not be getting my key copied at NAPA today.  So I asked, “Where else could I go?”

Next stop:  Xerox.  Yes, Xerox.  I didn’t believe it when I was told to go there.  Why would a photo copy store have keys?  But, what the heck?  This IS Anguilla…anything goes.  So I drove the 2 minutes down the road, parked, crossed the street, walked in and I saw them.  An entire rack of shiny blank keys.  Wow–who knew??  This was great, they must have a matching base key so asked my question.  The woman gave my key one look and said, “sorry, we don’t have that key.”  So I asked, “Where else could I go?”

Where else couldI go?  I’ve been all over the Island looking for this key for hours, now I’m hungry, and ready to give up. Please let them tell me something amazing like ‘we’re getting a shipment of these keys tomorrow’.  No such luck, I was directed to ACE.  I’ve already been to ACE last week and was told they didn’t have the base key.  With a shrug, I said to myself, “Ok, try it.  You never know.”

Map showing my travels from one location to the next. Follow the colors from dark to light.

So I left Xerox, crossed the street, got back in the car and drove 10 minutes back to ACE.  Maybe now they have the key I need.  I got there…walked in and there were two female employees sitting and talking.  I told them what I was looking for and one of the women took my key, looked at it and without saying a word started fishing through their base keys and all of a sudden started to cut a copy of my key.  Now, my key is silver and has a squarish top, the one she was cutting was gold and had a round top.  Hmmm…something told me this might not work.  When she finished, she handed me the keys, side by side to show the cut of the new one.   The only words she said to me, “Well, I hope this works.”  I respond, “Me too.  Meee too.”  I paid my $3.00 US dollars and drove home with my fingers crossed.

As I walked up to the door I could hear the drumroll in my head…will this new key be the right cut or will I have to start my search all over?  I insert the key.  Phew–it fits.  I start to turn the key…SUCCESS!!!  The door swung open and I had a working key.

So 4 stores and 5 stops later I finally found my key. It proves that everyday this island provides a new adventure and something new to learn!

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What’s a normal day?

Recently I took a trip back to New Jersey for about 9 days.  It was great to be back, it was wonderful to see all those whom I have missed so badly, and it was so fabulous going shopping.  Oh, how I miss one stop shopping.

As I went about my week in Jersey, seeing friends and family I was asked the same question a couple of times.  “So, what do you do on a normal day?  Like, you get up in the morning and then what?”

Well today is a good example that there is no “normal” day…which I think is true no matter where you live in the world…

Typically, Monday is part of our weekend because Tim has Sunday and Monday off from teaching.  So this one particular morning, I started to make pancakes from scratch and as I turned on the stove to heat up the pan, nothing happened.  I looked and the pilot light was not lit.  A couple of matches later, I realized the pilot light was not going to light.  Tim and I spent a few more minutes investigating to discover there was no more propane.  The pancake batter made its way into the fridge and I proceed to go into the garage where the propane tank is to attempt to disengage the gas line.  I used my hands, I used a wrench, I used my entire body weight and nothing worked.  I called for reinforcement from Tim, who also used his hands, a wrench, and his entire body weight with no success.  What the heck?  How could this gas line be so tight?

We called our friend Maduki.  He didn’t have much luck loosening the gas line either.  He contacted King Nyah.  We drive down the hill to pick him up with a bigger wrench in hand.  Back at the house King Nyah walked up to the propane tank with his big wrench and proceeds to loosen the gas line with no problem.  Huh?  How’d he do that?

It turned out my 2 other reinforcements and I were turning the nut in the wrong direction…there’s a joke in there somewhere….how many people does it take to remove a propane tank?  Well, the three of us were going ‘righty-tighty lefty-loosey’.  Except in this case, it was the propane tank end not the gas line end that held the saying true.  So all the energy Tim, Maduki, and I put into turning the gas line was actually tightening it.  Oops.  lol

Now that the tank is free from the gas line we have to get it in the car and refill it.  This tank is no joke…it’s slightly bigger than the tall ones used for helium balloons.  The tank is easy to load into the car empty but after it’s filled it weighs….A LOT.  With Maduki and King Nyah off on their way, it was up to me and my hubby to lift this heavy tank and reattach it to the gas line.

It was rough, mostly on Tim, because I can’t lift too much weight but we managed to successfully reattach the tank.  Two hours later, we finally cooked our pancakes.  Gotta love having breakfast for lunch!

So much for a typical day…but too many of those makes for a boring life.  🙂

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“No-see-ums” but you ‘feel-um’

Recently Tim & I went out with a group of friends to an outdoor beach bar & grill.  It was a great time, a little overcast, but sometimes that’s a nice change from all the intense sun we get here.  I’d say we were there for a good 4 hours chatting, snacking, people watching, and enjoying the live music with the incredible view of Shoal Bay….

That same night after dinner both Tim and I had extremely itchy feet.  I’m talking the kind of itch that no scratching can ease.  What the heck??  I don’t remember being bit by any mosquitos.  Upon examining my feet more closely, I see tons of little tiny red bumps…almost like a rash and too small to be mosquito bites.  Turns out these are from tiny sand flies or “no-see-ums” as some locals call them.  (Enter forehead slap here)

I think almost everyone we were out with has these bites on their feet and lower legs…the only relief I found has been to stand in the ocean.  The salt water is helpful with the itch but I can’t stay in the ocean 24/7.  This led me to research online.  Here’s what I found so far:  baking soda and water in paste form works for a while.  You can also slice a lemon or lime and squeeze the juice on the bite to help dry it out.  Witch hazel is another one I tried.  Nothing holds for too long.  It’s been 2 days and they still itch like new….if anyone knows how to soothe these crazy “no-see-um” bites, please, fill me in.

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Love and the Car Wash….

Today I decided to check out a local store in the Valley.  As I drive up to the building to park, I hear this man yell out….I LOVE YOU, GORGEOUS!    Let me describe this man so you can get a visual on this one.  He appears to be about 45 years old, has dirt all over him, is wearing a beat up striped t-shirt, filthy shorts, sneakers, and he walked with a limp (I think his foot was injured).  A character to say the least.  Ok, so I park the car and go upstairs into the store, check things out and get back into the car.  I start the car, open the windows to enjoy the beautiful breeze, put the car in reverse, and look in the rear view mirror.  That same man was walking directly toward the back window of the car!!  What the Heck??

I see him lift his hand up to the window and he proceeded to write the following message in the 1 inch of dirt on the window, “I love you ok baby”  then he walked up to the passenger side window (wide open) and says to me while tapping his chest, “I love you, ok?”  To which I respond, “Ok, thank you!”  then he walks away like nothing ever happened and I drive away.  (Check out the images at the end)

LMAO!!!

I guess it’s time to get the car washed.

Everyday I pass by a car wash that is on the main road by where we live called Nurse’s Boy.  Everytime I drive by there’s either no one there or a bunch of guys sitting and talking.  I’ve rarely seen them wash any cars….ok, so today I see them out there actually washing cars after the strange man confesses his love to me.  I have to set the scene for this one too…there is a cement slab just off the road where the cistern is and a plastic frame with a white tarp over it.  Under the tarp are 2 tables with chairs all painted a bright orange, coolers lined up behind the table and chairs and the bottoms of the trees are painted white and orange….Nurse Boy’s colors.

I pull up next to another car being washed and get the basic information on how all this works.  It’s no where near the same as in NJ.  There’s no ‘drive thru’ car wash….you know, you pay about $15, get an air freshener, put your car in neutral and then let the machinery take you on a nice ride through the car wash.  (I always sing the 70’s song “Car Wash” as I sit through it.)  Not here…here it’s all hand washing and detailing.  So I get a price for washing the outside, especially the “I love you ok baby” on the back window, and the inside is included in this price.  I sit with the guys in the orange chairs and watch the traffic go by as they begin to wash the car.  This process was about an hour and a half long.  I saw some of my students walk by, I got a couple honk and waves from a few friends I have made so far, and got to know the guys at Nurse Boys.  It was a fun experience and can I tell you, the car was SPOTLESS at the end.  All the dirt, sand, dust, and the beloved “I love you ok baby” had been meticulously cleaned.  All this for under $50. In NJ this job would have cost $200–easy…..WOW!  Thank you Nurse Boy.  🙂

"I love you ok baby" Before the Car wash Veiw 2Before the car washAfter the car wash

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Quality Time

Hanging out with those you love is the best thing ever.  This past weekend we got to do just that.  A day outside on the porch, Tim painting, Holly reading & emailing, dogs sleeping…it was a good day.

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Where’s the band?

The closest restaurant bar to where we live is Da’Vida.  On certain nights, they have live entertainment spanning from 2 people to a full band.  When the wind blows in the right direction, which is almost all the time, we can hear the music from our front porch.  It’s really nice, to say the least, that we can enjoy the entertainment without leaving the house.

However, sometimes it’s nice to actually be there experiencing the people, the energy from the live music, holding your beverage of choice, and experiencing the rolling waves 10 feet from where you’re sitting.   We have tried every weekend and a few week nights to be there when the good stuff happens there.  (Good Stuff = popular bands, festivals, social gatherings)

Our first time to Da’Vida, we were one of 3 couples there on a Friday night but the only ones at the bar.  Before we knew any better, we thought a Friday night would be prime time for people to collect and have a good time–especially where there’s a bar.  Not so here in Anguilla.  Our bartender, Myra, informed us that on Saturdays, there’s a band that plays at Da’Vida, which we’ve heard from our porch.  We’ve heard this band before and it sounded as lively as a wedding.  Tim and I walked away that night with our new knowledge and agreed that on Saturday we would come to see the band.  That very next night, we arrived at the bar and to our surprise, it was a ghost town.  Once again, it was just us and Myra!  lol  Turned out the band was booked at a different location that night.  Regardless, it was another pleasant evening 10 feet from the water talking to the lovely Myra.

This past Wednesday night we went to Da’Vida, hoping to see a band called British Dependency (not the same band we previously pursuing).  We had heard some buzz about them and wanted to check them out.  Luckily, they were there and sounded fantastic!  I would describe their sound as a an alternative pop sound.  Some vocals reminded me of Incubus and Tim was reminded of artists like Tracey Chapman.  The quality of the live performance is much better than the recording because there is some echo in the vocals on the recording…but definitely check out their page on Facebook…some of their music is available to listen to right on Facebook.

Finally we saw some quality, live entertainment at Da’Vida.  We will continue to try to figure out the entertainment scene here…and I’ll post when we figure out where the “good stuff” is happening.  lol

First Outing at Da'Vida

Tim's Fancy Drink at Da'Vida

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Doggie Drama

Today was an interesting day with the dogs.

Let me give a little background information….Seagull and Spartacus finally spent time together this past Sunday.  They had a “play date” in a neutral space (aka–not our house), for about 4-5 hours.  They get along just as expected; Spartacus wants nothing to do with Seagull and Seagull just wants to play.  Spartacus puts her in her place every time she jumps, licks, or is even remotely near Spartacus.  It’s actually quite amusing to watch…remember the Looney Tunes cartoon with the two dogs and the little one jumps all over the place asking a lot of fast paced questions?  That’s how this scenario is playing out in my eyes.  (See picture below)

This morning started off pretty well, the dogs were spending their 3rd day together and Tim and I were being productive.  Part of our productiveness meant running some errands around the Island.  At about 12pm, while being productive, I get a phone call that starts out with “Don’t freak out but…”.  This is never good.  Turns out Seagull threw up A LOT and then passed out and was just lying there.  I called the vet’s office which was closed until 3pm.  I called the local groomer who is also a vet tech and she told me to call the vet and then if no answer than to bring the dog to her.   I decided to call back the messenger and ask some more questions.  At that point, the dog was up, walking around, and drinking some water.  Good!  Turns out she got stung by a wasp.  A Benedryl and a little love and she was good to go.  She didn’t have to go see anyone.

About 2 hours later, I get another phone call, this time from Tim.  “So, Spartacus just caught a chicken and brought it back for us to see.  It’s only mostly dead.”  “Only MOSTLY dead?”  What does one do with a mostly dead chicken?  We didn’t have these issues in Jersey.  Turkeys maybe but they’re so big Spartacus was afraid of them; I don’t blame him, they scare me too. lol    The chicken didn’t make it.  RIP poor chicken.  You landed in the wrong property today.

20 minutes after Spartacus delivered his catch of the day, with feathers in his mustache and beard, he started throwing up.  3 times to be exact.  Apparently, his belly doesn’t like feathers…

Ahhh…a day in the life on the island.  I’m glad everyone and every dog is feeling better, not throwing up, and now sleeping it off.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring.  Lol.

Spike and Chester of Looney Tunes remind me of Spartacus and Seagull.

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