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- - - 2007 Hurricane Season - - -

- Hot Day Today.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Apr 2008 00:05:17 -0400
Good evening everyone,
          What a beautiful day we have had here on the west coast.
          Sun, blue sky, blue sea, a light gentle breeze blowing. Aaahhhhh lovely.
          I had planned to go do a little weeding for my neighbour, who is still off
island, has a thank you for the veggies that I have been able to help myself to,
but his front garden does not have a lot of shade, it face's directly west, so by
midday I would have been burnt to a crisp. Better to wait for a cooler day I think.
           The evening is warm and clear. No breeze.
                  I'm off to enjoy what's left of it with a nice long glass of something
with lot's of ice floating in it.
                           You all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 15:02:06 -0400
Today is perfect for what we have had to do.  There is no rain but a really good cloud cover which is keeping the valley cool. 
We have a guest coming to stay for a long weekend so first thing this morning we get everything out of the cottage, buckets of water and mop, clean from top to bottom; dust, sweep, clean and clean.  What a great feeling when everything is shinning and shimmering awaiting for a peak of the sun.
Our dogs are still bringing bananas and coconuts for us and them to eat, honestly anyone would think we did not feed them!  The interesting thing is with dogs like this we do not need to ever go hungry.
We went for a great walk the other day and came upon this beautiful waterfall, part of the undiscovered Dominica.  The tranquillity of the sound of the water crashing on the rocks below tumbling down the rocks and crevices in the river; sitting taking it all in a great smell of moss, damp earth and fresh water; watching the fish in the river ever battling the currents in the pools of sun shinning on the water, magical.
We took some photo's for you all to enjoy.  We think Tommie girl is quite right in her assumption of plentiful mangoes as well as lots of flowers on the avocado trees interpreted as a mean hurricane season!

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- Wild Food.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 08:01:52 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         This morning is cool, breezy and cloudy. Yesterday we had a beautiful day,
the rain started again in the late evening and seems to have hung around for this
         Old Ma Nature truly blessed this little island when she made it. Because of
all the water we have an abundance of food, everything just grows. I counted
15 type's of fruit and veg growing wild within a half mile radius of our house, you
just go help yourself.
          Reading the message's left about the avocado tree's being loaded with
flower's do mango tree's count ?  The one's we have growing near to us are
groaning under the weight of both fruit and flower's.
         Still no sun out yet. Might be a nice cool day for a bit of gardening.
               Well you all take care. If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.


P.S.     The sun is making it's first attempt.

- Brown sea.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2008 23:26:34 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         Jeez, what a change in the weather. Friday and Saturday were gorgeous,
today has been wet, cold, windy, grey and miserable here on the west coast.
The kind of day that you would associate with England in November.  Just not
        William , visibility close to shore is good until we get heavy prolonged rain.
Then all the mud and sludge gets washed out to sea, we have a fantastic view of
the sea where we live and we are not that far from the main town of Roseau which
has a large river running alongside it, we have watched the sea turn from a beautiful
sparkling blue to a really ugly shade of brown, which can and does stretch for miles
out to sea. So , yes it is good to have an abundance of fresh, clear and clean water
but sometimes we have just a little to much. What we do not have much of, is long
white sandy beaches, shame the power's to be cannot get together with one of the
islands and do a swap. Our water for your sand. Just an idea.
            Well I hear the clink of glass, so you all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2008 08:06:59 -0500
The weather is still really chilly in the mornings and evenings.  Yesterday was great weather wise and today looks like it could be the same, fingers crossed.

We are now looking ahead to an active hurricane season. Certainly, here in Dominica we feel we've had enough with hurricane Dean last year. Unbelievable! Having moved from Antigua where we had some of the most active hurricanes. Hugo in '89 Louis in '95 - being the worst we endured - Georges in '98, Jose, Lenny and so on;then to settle here in Dominica and get its first major blow since 1979  Well let's hope that we miss all the hurricanes that Mother Nature unleashes in the season ahead.

If the avocado trees which are full of flowers are anything to go by, as pointed out by our friends fincadelesto, apparently means a very active hurricane season, we had all better look out.

I think maybe we should be joining Tommiegirl and all get into drinking lots of wine maybe a vat even!

- A lovely day again.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 20:07:15 -0400
Good evening everyone,
          What a stunning day we have had here on the west coast.
           Hot, hot, hot. No complaint's about today. The whole day
from early this morning to right now has been gorgeous. A slight
breeze is blowing this evening, all is quiet and calm.
           Have had to water the garden, from almost drowning the
plant's are now gasping for a drink of water.
           There have been plenty of boat's out there today. Just
enjoying the day or fishing. It really is a beautiful sight to watch.
           Made a delicious upside down mango cake today. Must
admit it is the best one I have ever made, my cake's are usually
none starter's, I wouldn't win any prizes for them. At least this
one is edible.
            Well I'm off to enjoy the rest of the evening, nice cold
glass of wine and a good film.
             You all take care.


- Nice Day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 21:24:37 -0400
Good evening everyone,
         What started out has a dull grey, wet morning here on the west coast
turned into a brilliant day. The sky turned that delightful shade of powder blue,
the sun shone down, the sea flat and calm. It was a good day out there for sailing
and fishing. A slight breeze and a few half hearted attempts at rain.
         I managed to get in the garden and do a little bit of tidying up. Little weeding
and pruning and a few minor alterations. I am now trying to find a suitable place for
the cabbage palm. Poor thing has been left in the pot and moved around the garden
so much. Just nowhere seems suitable for it. Might be a case of a bigger pot on
        The evening is warm and calm. Not even a slight breeze.
         I'm off to have a nice cold glass of wine and enjoy the rest of the evening.
                    You all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2008 08:58:24 -0500
Yesterday was perfect, sunshine, breeze and blue cloudless skies!  Today grey skies so far pretty cool low 70's in temperature no snow though!  I hope it gets hot today because I really feel like a swim in the river.  We have the most fabulous pool in the Layou river right by us, you can just jump in from the high rock and chill out literally with a good swimming area.  This time last year the temperature was so different, I suppose we can't complain because at least there are no hurricanes on the horizon and we have a couple of months before we have to all be alert and on the weather look out each day.

Yesterday I was driving back up the valley and low and behold there was a rasta fellow on his bycycle with a huge bag of coconuts on his head.  This is an amazing sight at the best of times.  Rasta hair flying out underneath the bag of coconuts.....................only in Dominica!

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 08:18:22 -0500
Yesterday was a perfect day, blue skies, windy but just gorgeous.  So different from Friday when I visited Calibishie which is on the Atlantic coast and takes about one and a quarter hours from where we live in the Layou Valley.  The rain was so heavy I could hardly see through the windscreen; the rivers which are many on the journey were filled with angry brown frothy water, tumbling over the boulders making it's way to the sea.  One sight I saw was a very lean muscular young man walking with a huge tannia leaf using this as an umbrella, his bare feet and back glistening in the rain, it really was quite a sight, he just looked so elegant. 

One of the things I find fascinating is seeing so many Dominican men walking barefoot, often carrying loads of bananas, coconuts, or a large pumpkin on their heads.  I know models must walk with their heads held high and their bodies erect but the Dominicans have a poise and elegance that comes naturally it is just such a great sight that I see most days but would never take for granted.  Having lived in the Caribbean for so many years I feel that this island is unique; the fact that it is not spoilt at all and is how it has been for hundreds of years is a great comfort to us.

Yesterday I was at Delices. The ocean was the most incredible blue with white horses dancing on the top.  I drove by Turtle beach stopped the jeep and got out to see massive waves crashing majestically onto the shore, the waves must have been 20 foot high, I kid you not; the spray from the waves was coming across like a mist, the jeep was covered in salt and there was salt on my lips.  Nature is as they say is awesome.  Dominica is magical.

- Bright Start
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 08:36:04 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      Well this morning is a good deal brighter than yesterday, which was windy and grey.
          It did get better has the day wore on, by the afternoon it was lovely. Hot and calm.
                      This morning the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue, a very light cool breeze is blowing.
                      The sea is still a dark angry looking colour though and looks a bit choppy.
                       Had a near miss this morning with the finches waiting to get in to clear last night's debris's,
                            opened the back door, coffee in hand and the little devil came straight at me, like an
                            Exocet  missile, then proceeded to screech at me for being in his way.
                      All is quiet now, I'm off to enjoy my coffee and the peace while it lasts.
                                              You all take care. If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.


- Bit Blowy Today.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2008 07:35:54 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         Wow have woken to grey sky and sea that looks the colour of steel,
             the wind is really gusting, my neighbour's tree's are doing some
          amazing twists and turns. The grass on the empty plot behind us has
          been flattened. All the stuff we leave out on the balcony has been
          blown into one corner.
            Must have been really tired last night because we never heard a
           The waves are picking up, plenty of white foam on the top's.
           No rain though, had it all yesterday.
                               You all take care.


- Wet.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 15:54:10 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
         What a horrible day we have had here on the west coast. Rain, rain and more rain.
                Have had a little poem running through my head all day from my long ago childhood.
                         Rain, rain go away, come again another day.
         Had the occasional gust of wind, more a light breeze than anything, very cool though.
                I have a section in the garden of plant's that like hot , dry conditions, think they may
         have all drowned today. Ahh well, tomorrow is another day, has Scarlet would say.
                            You all take care.


           Hey Mr C,
                  No see, no hear.  O. K.?

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 07:36:34 -0500
It was raining so hard I had to move into the house with the computer and my posting for today sent itself!  I was just letting everyone know the dogs are curled up snugly sleeping in cozy bliss. 

Jaco Lass has to go out today in this dreadful weather to show property to some folks from Canada, so a change of clothes I shall take with me.  Not an enviable job when it is too hot or too cold or raining.  Yes it truly can be chilly in the Caribbean, not for folks living in other parts of the world but for us below 70 degrees is cold!  Having said that we will never have snow, sleet or freezing rain so I suppose we should not complain! 

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 07:23:22 -0500
Well raining cats and dogs is an English _expression_, I do not know where it originated but we have to tell you that is what it is doing in Dominica at the moment.  Relentless rain.
The only solace we are getting is that the whole of the Caribbean seems to be getting similar weather.  I am on the deck with my laptop getting speckled with a few wafting drops of rain being blown in by the blustery wind.  The three dogs are cul

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 07:26:54 -0500
What on earth has happened to our weather here in Dominica!  March is supposed to be the driest month of the year and it has done nothing but chuck it down.Today we have awoken to misty rain I so lets hope that it cheers up.

We have been living in Dominica a year; looking back so much has happened to us it has been an amazing year.  We are very happy here and really proud of our garden which is going from strength to strength.  It took us nearly a year to import all the turf for our lawn which is over half an acre.  Every inch of grass was carried in our trusty Suzuki jeep and we dread to think how many trips we've made.The result is a wonderful soft green lawn.Now all we need is someone to donate us a croquet kit and we can have fun time swinging mallets at each other!

Our puppy Tippy is six months old, she is really amazing, very tall, long legs, she looks just like a model - in fact we have nicknamed her Paris Hilton as she is blonde and dare I say it? a little dumb!  Well Tippy has a passion for bananas and comes back with bunches which she deftly peels and consumes. A stranger would think we did not feed her regularly.  The other day Jaco Ladd came with me on one of my trips with clients, we did not arrive home until after 8 p.m.  We were greeted by a full grown albeit dead Manicou on our deck.  Obviously the dogs thought we were not coming home to feed them supper!

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 14:21:25 -0400
The weather is very chilly!  Sunshine, wind and rain, weird combination.

Jaco Ladd has been busy writing useful information about Carnival
thought you folks would be interested.

A million and more words have been written about the festival season
of Carnival, so bringing something new to the page could be tricky,
but sometimes the brevity of space and a straight to the point type of
style can enlighten a few of the wondrous blog readers out there who
have never been to a street party.

Carnival literally means 'farewell to the flesh' but the origin of the
word is still disputed. Some believe it comes from the Latin carrus
navalis ("ship cart") or a float in a religious parade. Others proffer
that it comes from the Italian carne levare or similar, meaning to
"remove meat" as meat is prohibited through Lent. If the event is
linked to a church belief or gathering the scheduled time of the year
is pre-Lenten, usually through February and March leading up to Ash
Wednesday. But there are other times within the year that are used as
a landmark, such as the completion of a local harvest or a centuries
old paganish rite that has been revived for the sake of a community
knees-up that may lighten up a gloomy winter time in the more northern

When Carnival is mentioned globally, people invariably think of the
excitement, colour and party hi-jinx that is Mardi Gras – known as
Shrove Tuesday in some Catholic countries, or the last day of a
carnival – taking place in Rio, New Orleans and Trinidad & Tobago.
Indeed, these are in the big league when it comes to a 'money no
object' mix of glitz and spectacle that takes over the respective day
to day happenings for at least three weeks, sometimes a month.

In the Caribbean particularly, the Trinidad Carnival is acknowledged
as the place to be if you're a serious West Indian performer or
pageant queen as the exposure and rewards are enormous. Carnival
follows a well thought out and traditional programme here as it does
in other regional islands, with the main shows like Carnival Queen,
'Dimanche Gras' – the Calypso Monarch and the Last Lap parades all
taking place on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. This is also the
top venue for leading steel bands (pan music) and you can honestly say
that you're on top of the world if your group takes first place in the
Trini National Panoramic competition.

Two regional islands I can think of that have carnivals but are not
religiously based would be Antigua and Barbados. The Antiguan Carnival
is a celebration of music and dance held annually from the last week
in July to the first Tuesday in August; similarly Barbados' festival
is referred to as Crop Over and both events are pointed at the tourist
market, as this part of the year is the main vacational period for
North American and European families.

Everybody, irrespective of competition wants to be seen in costume,
affectionately known as mas and groups of one hundred to five hundred
following their favourite band or Hi-Fi are not uncommon. Pre-carnival
is a flurry of action behind the scenes at the various mas camps, many
seamstresses and designers ensure that the eagerly awaited event will
be as innovative and colourful – even rather sexy, shall we say – as
common sense allows.

For those with a sense for social devilment or innocent mischief,
whatever, Carnival Monday can't come soon enough. This spectacle
starts before dawn on the Monday before Ash Wednesday and is known as
J'ouvert or 'Dirty Mas'. It also means 'opening of the day' – this is
where revellers dress up in old clothes and cover themselves – and you
most likely – in blue paint and other odd cocktails. The live music
pulsating from an array of mighty speakers atop trucks festooned in
bunting and sponsorship web-site addresses, more often than not
letting you know that corporate land has underwritten the very
equipment and operatives you're looking at.

If you survive this amazing alcohol squeeze and mega decibels on the
street, then Last Lap on Tuesday is a pussycat. On this day full
costume is worn plus make-up and body paints/ adornments and each
group tries to portray its theme with a greater panache than the
other. Eventually, the whole parade meets in the National Stadium for
a judging ceremony. Also on this day the Road March King or Queen is
crowned. This honour goes to the singer of the most played song of the
past two days. He or she is proclaimed winner as well as receiving a
cash prize and usually a new vehicle.

So, some may say that Carnival is not for the faint hearted, but if
it's for you make sure your camera's working and your batteries are
charged, you won't regret it!

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- Fwd: In My Mountain Brownish-ery
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2008 15:20:32 -0400
In the Northern Hemisphere right? - Even in the tropics, Spring is Spring and Autumn is something different, still right? So at present why are so many trees now losing their foliage and adopting mellow yellow hues within my intimate valley. This would normally connect more with October than late March surely. A puzzlement no less. I have asked my gardening gurus and a general acclamation of 'Praise the Lord!' seems to be what I have to settle for. Avocado trees also appear to be a little out of whack;some look on the way out, as if they'd taken a dehydrated walk around the block and the flowering sequence looks odd compared to last year. Any boffins out there? After a fairly dry patch leading up to full moon - which considering what I've already written, should be renamed Harvest Moon - the splintering of rain has increased to handsome squalls ensuring that Amoste Enshoor's garden is back on track - our carrots, cucumbers, turnips et.al. now adorn the local eateries and chambres de froides  - now isn't that posh?
Jaco Lass is out exploring verdant pastures and properties with returning Dominicans,  the interest in real estate is becoming phenomenal - we hope the reunions of 2008 for Dominica's 30th year of independence bring together many previous classmates that once again may share space on this fabulous piece of rock.    

- Quick Update.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2008 10:28:31 -0400
Good morning everyone,
         not a very nice morning, grey, wet,chill breeze here on the west coast.
There are report's of one death off the coast of D/a due to the rough sea's on
        You all take care.


- Swells
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2008 08:29:37 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      around mid morning yesterday we went down to Donkey beach to check out the wave situation,
                      we have to go past Deep Water Harbour and the fishermen at Fond Colet, who had been very
                      sensible and had pulled their boats up out of the water. The swell coming in at these two area's
                      were about 4 to 6 ft. The swell at Donkey beach again was about 4 to 6 ft when we arrived, we
                      stayed for approx an hour and the swell when we left was up to about 8ft. Think the north of the
                      island took the brunt of it. We called in at one of our favourite bar's on the way back,although the
                      sea was very rough, there did'nt seem to be any huge swell. Perhaps it is because it is quite a
                      sheltered bay. The swell was probably worse at Loubiere and Pointe Michel, from where we were
                      sitting we could see the waves crashing along the coast line at these two area's. Not heard of
                      anyone being injured or any damage yet.
                               It was a pretty grey day yesterday, thick cloud, some scattered shower's here on the west
                      coast. Yesterday evening was cold.
                               This morning the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the bird's are singing. Still a little cool, a very
                      slight breeze. Have seen one fishing boat out this morning.
                                       Well if anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.
                                          You all take care.


- This could be scary
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 01:57:01 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      I apologize for being so early, but have just finished watching that lovely film LOVE ACTUALLY.
                      Well we have had another 5 day's of perfect weather here on the west coast. We had some
                             friend's call in yesterday who live up in the mountain region and they could not believe just
                       how hot it is here on the coast. No breeze at all, just blue sky and sun.
                      I like to go have a little siesta when it is really hot and yesterday was no exception. Now I do not
                      come up out of deep sleep to well, I'm the sort that needs at least 20 minuet's and at the least 2
                      cup's of coffee before the brain starts to kick in to gear. My neighbour had woken me wanting to
                      know if I had read anything on the net about the Toomanni we were going to get, her niece had
                      phoned to ask if she had heard the news of the coming Toomanni.  Through the fog clouding up
                      my brain, I'm trying to work out what on earth is a Toomanni.  Fog lifting, TSUNAMI, have I slept
                      through a major quake, which I'm capable of doing. Light shining through the fog, the niece had
                      heard of the high wind's and swells which is so eagerly being awaited for by the surfer's through
                      out the island's. Once I had explained that no we were not going to get a Tsunami, possibly some
                      high wind and rough sea, she left  mumbling " oh is that all ".  I was left with a partly fogged brain
                      and hoping I had got it right. My neighbour takes great delight in pointing it out to me when I get
                      thing's wrong.
                                 All is very calm,cool and quiet. A beautiful clear night.
                                               You all take care. I'll let you all know if anything exciting happens, especially
                                 if we get a tsunami.


- A Beautiful Week.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 23:12:52 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     we have had another fantastic day here on the west coast. This whole week has been
                     constant sunshine, blue blue sky and calm sea. We did have quite a breeze blow up
                     yesterday afternoon and evening, but by this morning it had died down and the day
                     was gorgeous again.
                            The garden had to be watered tonight, the plant's looked a bit sick due to lack of
                     rain. I have looked after the neighbour's garden better than my own all this week and
                     my reward was some lovely tomato's and sweet pepper's that had ripened.
                             The evening is warm and clear, no breeze .
                              I'm off to finish my glass of wine and listen to the frog's singing. Plus a couple of
                      dog's barking in the background.
                                        You all take care.


- Dogs Delicacies
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 17:09:58 -0500
I have to say the weather has been glorious today, lots of sunshine
which is great for the garden.

I have to apologize for not writing for a long time but I am so busy
with the real estate business.  I have had clients on the island for
the last three weeks!  This is good news but allows me no time to
write for stormcarib.

Our garden is amazing, we are picking peas, beetroot, turnips,
lettuce, cabbage, carrots, parsley and cucumbers.  We are nearly self
sufficient, there is nothing like picking a pea pod and eating the raw
peas, so sweet and tender, truly amazing.

On this subject, our dogs have some odd gourmet tastes; they are into
bringing in bananas, coconuts, plantain you name it. They love to eat
the white center of the coconut after lapping up the juice, they also
seemed to think a dead mouse is a tasty morsel, disgusting.!  You
would think we were not feeding them properly but this is not the
case.  It is just like going to a sweetie shop for them and having

We have selected a few photo's of our garden which is going from
strength to strength.

If any of you want to check out the real estate website it is
www.caribbeanlandandproperty.com   Also for weather protection and as
a bug deterrent checkout Jaco Ladd's awnings nestled at this site:
Jaco.Bancawnings at gmail.com

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- Another gorgeous day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 16:23:36 -0400
Good afternoon everyone,
                         yesterday evening was very breezy here on the west coast, no rain through the night though, unlike
                         the night before when we had torrential rain in the early hour's. We can always see when we have
                         had a really good downpour. From the back balcony we can see the mud from the Roseau river being
                         washed out to sea. Must go for a couple mile's.
                                     The morning dawned bright and clear. Just knew it was going to be a gorgeous day, so
                         decided that we could make do with what is left in the fridge rather than go all the way into town and
                         waste the morning shopping.
                                      The day has been GORGEOUS, the sun has shone all day, the sky and the sea have both been
                         that delightful blue, the one you always try to mimic but can not get it just quite right. The day has been
                         peaceful and beautiful. One of those day's when you know why your here.
                                      The sun is just starting to cool a little so I'm off to check the neighbour's cabbage's, see if they
                         need a drink.
                                                        You all take care. If anything exciting happens I'll let you all know.


- Fwd: Being Bussed & Homesick
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 08:42:21 -0400

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
Date: Mar 8, 2008 8:29 AM
Subject: Fwd: Being Bussed & Homesick
To: dom at stormcarib.com

I thought I would pass this little gem by you " I don't have a decent novel to peruse at the moment" wonderful Dom site readers:
Caught  in a sudden downpour on the well paved road from Roseau city limits to our country seat at Layou Valley, a tourist bus carrying joyful untanned bodies from the recently docked cruise ship took pity on this drenched soul - "come aboard Jaco Ladd" said the driver, and I duly positioned myself between shapes of all sizes that were looking for more sand, sea and possibly seduction - who knows? - anyway, after the usual small talk as in "what is a one eyed, six fingered handsome guy like you doing creating social havoc in Dominica etc?" I was about to respondez vous when this guy, designerly unkempt, from North America or Europe - hard to tell - swaggered up to the samaritan driver and said, "How'ya doin' Buddy? Would you mind if I asked you a favour? Seeing that the road is real quiet righ now, would you mind swinging over and driving the right hand side of the road for a while 'cos I 've been away from my country for five daya now an' I'm kinda homesick. Here's a few bucks." The rest of this narrative is not for this page.
The weather balance is stabilizing and the evening light now is bright , lucid and prizms abound.

- Cabbage Recipe's Wanted
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2008 19:12:37 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                      the weather is cool, breezy and wet here on the west coast this evening.
                                  Not a lot to report over the last few day's, life is just plodding along
                      and that is how we like it. No stress, no strain.
                                  Once again I have the job of looking after the neighbour's  cabbage's
                      while he is off island, but with the amount of rain we have had they are pretty
                      much looking after themselves. He has told me when he gets back he will cut
                      me some, sooooo if anyone out there has some good recipe's for cabbage
                      please let me know.
                                    Well that's about it, should anything exciting happen I'll let you all
                      know. I'm off to have a nice glass of wine and watch a good film.
                                     You all take care.


- Fwd: Manicou Drop, Thumbs Up!
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 18:16:03 -0400

A certain stretch of the mid Layou Valley main(ish) road, since Hurricane Dean, has been a subsided mess; undermined by an active ravine carrying pulsating spring water, the sides of the bank supporting the highway just fell away, leaving a chasm that cut the road's width from 12' to 6.33333 recurring' - the rigs pulling earth equipment and other heavy related gear were dicing with a 'who's blocking my passage? scenario, which considering the 30' drop on the passenger side was well founded.
I'm now pleased to advise our ardent country scene searching drivers that moves are affoot to underpin all and Sunday,excuse me, sundry drivers' misgivings.
The vicinity is alive with freshwater crabs and manicou - you know, that rodent that doesn't bother with facelifts? - that loves Redcap rum - hence the tag Manicou Drop.
As work progresses, we'll pave the way to keep you updated.
Jaco Ladd....me gone!  

- Time .
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 19:45:08 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     last night turned wet and cold here on the west coast after such a beautiful day. This morning
                     it was still wet and cold. The sun finally broke through at about 9.45am,
                                  We had planned to do some work in the house today , but it all got put on hold when
                     friend's arrived . Have no idea where the time goes, we had a couple of beer's and a chat , the
                     next thing we noticed was the sun setting. Something like 4 / 5 hour's had just gone past. But it
                     is fun when they call in.
                                    This evening we have had a very light rainfall, only lasted for about a minuet. Little bit
                     breezy and quite cool.
                                          You all take care.


- Another lovely day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 19:39:35 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                      it has been a gorgeous day here on the west coast, brilliant sunshine, clear blue sky's , not even a breeze
                      to ruffle the feather's . The sea has been flat and calm. A beautiful day.
                                  When the sun started to set I thought I would give the plant's a drink and guess, yes it rained, but
                      not enough to leave them to mother nature. So there I am watering the plant's in the rain. Hopefully none
                      of my neighbour's noticed me. I have changed the garden dramatically over time and although everyone
                      likes what i have done with it, I'm sure at time's they have thought I'm slightly bonkers. It's that knowing
                      smile they give me,  you can almost hear the thought of " what is she doing now ". Still it's been fun and I
                      have kept them all amused and curious at time's , but it is nice when people stop to look and tell you how
                      pretty it is.
                                   The evening is warm and the sky is clear. Looks like it is going to be a nice night. ( Famous last word's )
                                                             You all take care.


- From Calmo to Mucho Gusto!
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 12:50:52 -0400
Last evening, the deity that manipulates the heavens, allowed us mere mortals to witness a pretty much unencumbered view of the lunar eclipse - the ochre shade of our closest planetary piece of rock was looking like a pomegranate crossed with a gnarled walnut - Mother, or Godfather Nature was truly on form through a calm build up to midnight.
Today, however, with the Sun at its highest, the valley was caught with its defences at zero when some heavy gusts and turbulence et.al. vortexed through our patch just as I was showing a client a portion of our awning business - Jaco.Bancawnings at gmail.com - well, a sceptic would have concluded it was a stage managed event as the awnings held steady and firm as the wind tried to lift and dismantle the fabric every-which-way - only an idiot would extend their weather protection drop-arm or lateral arm hardware in a gale - so it was a comfort to see the gear hold steady. And more of a future comfort to our patient bank manager as the interested customer, now embedded in Jaco Ladd's database, bought four while the palm trees were still bending like a question mark. Maybe Dominica likes us?
Jaco Ladd out!

- Good view of the eclipse.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 11:28:17 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                             last night was pretty good here on the west coast for watching the eclipse. Although we
                             had quite a bit of cloud around , they just seemed to circle around it and gave us a nice
                             clear view. The rain stayed away for most of the evening, we did get some later, just
                             before the moon started to make it's reappearance. The cloud's built up a lot while it was
                             coming back into view and kept obscuring it, but we did manage to see most of the eclipse.
                                      A neighbour pulled up on his way home to ask if we were just looking at the full moon,
                             no we are watching the eclipse, he then leaned out of his car and said o yes so it is and off
                             he went. Five minuet's later we hear all this noise coming from his house, he had made the
                             whole family come out to have a look . It seems we were the only one's aware of it where
                             we live, not another person came out to watch something spectacular happening.  Guess
                             that's the lure of the good old T.V. for you .
                                       This morning is clear and bright, we had a small shower of rain a few minuet's a ago.
                                        All is quiet, just the bird's singing.
                                                     You all take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 08:09:11 -0400
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lisette Stevens <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
Date: Feb 19, 2008 8:40 AM

We really are having winter weather, it is very windy, rainy but there
are some great sunny periods.  Last night it rained heavily most of
the night, the sound on our galvanized roof was something, it sounded
like we were under the most incredible waterfall, really weird
feeling, luckily we have no leaks so stayed warm, cozy and dry tucked
up in bed.

I have told you before that I am a real estate agent here in Dominica.
 Well the clients I have can be really scatty and crazy, which in turn
drives me crazy!  This Sunday was an example of this.  My clients were
supposed to arrive at my cottage at 1 p.m. to see several properties.
Their driver was a very nice Dominican, who unfortunately had no time
sense, manyana would have been a better phrase in his dictionary on
this day.  The clients turned up at 4.30 p.m., I decided to set out
not to let the sellers who had stayed in their homes all Sunday for
the expected visit to be let down!

Jaco Ladd and I had plans to go out to see Antigua/Guyana 20/20
cricket at a friend's home as we do not have a television signal in
the valley.  Well I had the jeep so Jaco Ladd had to make the big
decision; does he make his own way to our friends house at Belfast in
the dark and I meet him there or what? well here is his wonderful

A quick look at the quite light early evening sky told me that taking
a 5 mile hike to Hillsborough bridge would probably be drier than
wetter, but darkness fell in no time and vehicular traffic was almost
non-existent; the odd ones that passed had no intention of giving
yours truly a leg up. I'm familiar with this stretch of road as I run
it in daylight most mornings, but unlit conditions are a little more
daunting. As my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I broke into a canter
mindful of the fact that the match would soon be in full swing. A
break in the cloud cover allowed the moon to expose its aura light and
ahead, I could pick out the silhouette of a chap walking from one side
of the road to the other, back and fore, back and fore. I slowed up
and could see he was swinging his machete above his head. I stopped! I
heard him shouting to himself, 'I can fix this! I will fix this!'
repetitively. I froze. I decided to get my legs that were shaking into
sprint mode as he was across the far side of the highway. Road Runner
had nothing on me! Whoosh....I truly believe he didn't know I was
there and I wasn't gonna stop and ask. A pair of truck headlights came
from behind me, pulled up and offered the lift. A guy was already in
the back but thank god he wasn't the machete wielder. The rain
started, the truck went faster and I was pelted by rolling pumkins,
bunches of plantain, dasheen and yams - a nice adornment for someone's
TV room couch. I met Jaco Lass at the arranged place, later explained
to the host who was more engrossed in the cricket, and settled to
watch an exciting game, albeit 3lbs lighter and smelling like an
allotment. Truly hope our machete friend fixed whatever it was.

- From good to horrible.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 19:31:24 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     well the day started out beautiful, sunshine, blue sky, blue sea, slight breeze, so I'm not
                     really sure where it all went wrong. We now have rain, a wind that has steadily picked up
                     enough to make me put the chair's away in case they go for flying lesson's again and it is
                     COLD here on the west coast. The sea is quite rough, the waves are rolling in with white
                     cap's on them . The wind is making that horrible wailing sound round the house again.
                                 A good night to close the door, put on a good film ( I like thriller's, action and who
                     done it type's ) and open a bottle of wine . So you all have good evening and take care.


  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 10:45:17 -0500
We are having a really cold spell here in the valley.  The temperature
today is 69 degrees.  I am sitting here on our deck in a track suit!
I have not resorted to gloves yet!

We have had a really busy time this last week with some friends who
have visited from the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall.  We think we are on
a small island but St Mary, the main island in Scilly is only 1 mile
across and 3 miles around; situated 26 miles off the tip of Cornwall,
the next stop after these pieces of rock is the east coast of the USA!

Our friends loved Dominica and we had a couple of really sunny days
before this chilly, rainy period decided to come in and grab us.

Having said that the garden is looking fantastic.  The vegetables are
coming to come as they say.  We have lots of cucumbers, lettuce,
parsley, white turnips and radishes to tuck into.  It is a real
pleasure eating your own produce.....uh ho! things are brightening

I am beginning to smile now as the sun has definitely got it's hat off
and bringing with it some wonderful warmth!  Maybe a good rest of the

Thought you might like a reminder of our colourful Carnival!

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- Update
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 23:30:43 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                      today we had a little bit of rain, lot's of sun and again both at the same time . The wind died
                      down a bit but not enough to stop the front balcony chair's taking flight.
                                  A fairly quite day, so I managed to have a bit of a cleanup but still a house full of Paquati.
                                  Itch , Itch, Itch. Most uncomfortable , still it doesn't really last for long and with this wind
                      it will soon be blown away, eventually it will land somewhere and grow for next year. Something
                      to look forward to.
                                  We have had a drop of rain this evening , enough to water the garden, the wind has picked
                      up a lot again, it's pretty gusty out there , we can hear it making that horrible moaning sound round
                      the house. We are lucky enough to be pretty well sheltered on the back balcony , so although it is
                      windy we are able to sit outside, so I'm off to enjoy a nice glass of wine and listen to the branches
                      of the tree's  creaking and the plantain leaves rustling .
                                                                 You all take care.


- Still Windy
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 21:03:59 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                      awoke to the sun shining, ahhhh lovely .   A beautiful day but still very windy .
                                  The sky and the sea were blue, the sea looked calm after yesterday.
                                   Having a major cleanup after all the work that has been done in the
                      house. Dust and Paquati everywhere. Then friend's arrived, so it was off to
                      the back balcony, few beer's and a good chat, the cleaning could wait for
                      another day, friend's are far more important than a bit of dust. Hopefully the
                      wind will blow it away and I won't have to do it at all .
                                   The evening is quite warm, dry, and extremely windy.
                                            I'm off to have a nice glass or two of wine.
                                                   You all take care.


- Windy day.
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2008 00:07:37 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     today we had a little bit of sun , then some rain , then both at the same time here on the west coast.
                                  We also had a very windy day. Anything that was not tied down took flight .
                                  Sitting on the balcony at 7. 30am I watched the waves roll in capped with white foam.  Glad I
                     was not on a boat today, it looked pretty rough out there.
                                  The guy's did a great job with the window's . Eight old window's plus glass removed and eight
                     new window's in , and they did it all in one day . Only thing was nobody had a ladder high enough to
                     reach  one of the side window's . Hmmmmmm  , no problem ,  just balance the step ladder on the
                     tool box , stand on the hand bar and you can reach .  Scary stuff .
                                  The night is cool and breezy and the mozzie's are out in force .
                                               You all take care.

                                                                Tommiegirl .

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 16:02:24 -0500
It was a very cold start to the day, rainy and miserable.  It has been like this for the last three days, we have had some sunshine this afternoon which makes us feel better in ourselves.  There is an amazing gusty wind which adds a chill in the air the temperature was 68 degrees in the valley last night, brrrrrrrrrrrrrhgh!

I have not written for a while as I am so busy with work.  This is good but it also means that I miss being at home sometimes.  Our garden has started to give us wonderful vegetables.  I have white turnips, parsley, cucumbers, lettuce and beetroot!  Being originally a Cornish woman I make a great Cornish pasty, having white turnips means wonderful tasting pasties.  I am going to be really naughty and make them with beef tenderloin!  Really they should be made with skirt beef or flank steak as it is known in the USA.  However, you make it, it is delicious.

Jaco Ladd and I loved Carnival, it was so different to what we are used to in Antigua.  Very traditional, gorgeous costumes, everyone was so friendly nobody pushing, just very peaceful.  The music also was really lovely, not to loud but great to dance to.

We are off to have fun tonight.  We do not have TV in the valley so we are off to the Belfast environs to watch the 20/20 cricket from Antigua.  We used to go to the Stanford ground often to catch 20/20 so it will be great to see Antigua playing tonight against the USVI. My heart would be in turmoil if it was a Dominica v Antigua contest, but home is where the heart is n'est pas?

Mindy is doing fine and her puppy is growing taller than her.  We still can't believe she is with us that was truly a miracle.  It is getting chilly again so I am off to put more clothes on.

- Update
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 23:41:39 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     today was a good day to do some gardening, overcast and breezy for most of the day .
                                  Instead we had friend's arrive so we spent the best part of the day having a
                     few beer's and good chat. Nicer than working .
                                  Tomorrow is another day has Scarlet would say .
                                   The evening is very very windy, with a few light shower's , we still have a lot
                     of paquati about and with this wind it is being blown everywhere , It gets into the house,
                     clothes, hair and even your skin. It sure does make you itch. Not nice .
                                   Well I'm off to have a long glass of something nice , then off to bed, have to
                     be up early in the morning the guy's are coming to put the new window's in.
                                                    You all take care.


- Carnival High Jinx
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at cwdom.dm>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 11:13:48 -0400
Stereophonic, when I was a lad - awhile before I became Jaco Ladd - was a somewhat 'new kid on the block' term that alluded to sound coming from many directions. In its more domestic form, as in headphones and surround speakers, one ear is fed certain tones and the other picks up the residue, giving a sense of greater acoustic 'presence' from the same source. In Carnival, if you are an onlooker in a fixed spot - pavement or upper verandah - the experience, as the various sound systems strapped to massive trucks pass by, belting out different calypsos that are in fashion at the moment, is pretty much the same albeit noisy, an attractive cacophony let's say. And so it was for the latest Dominica bash that culminated through Monday and Tuesday of this week through the streets of Roseau and the village environs island wide.
The different themes and dress styles seemed endless; many hours obviously had been spent crafting the costumes and probably many more toning up the torso that allowed one to slink into them. Saying that, it was quite obvious to most that Dominica has a more sensible approach to what is decently clad or not than some of the other Caribbean carnivals. Occasionally, young cadet police persons would pull someone from the parade and suggest that the skimpiness of their pants was inappropriate, to which there was often a polite response; the only cheek in evidence being the one or the other that wasn't covered properly!
The power above kept the two parade days dry; drinks were flowing but under control and a great sense of bonhomie was apparent, at least from where I was standing. There were one or two accidents that were unfortunate, but considering the thousands taking part, praise be!
Today in the valley is the driest so far for the week and the beans and tomatoes are heading skyward.   

  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2008 09:07:52 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      yesterday evening was windy, wet and very cool, this morning is very windy, overcast and cool.
                                  The sun is making a brave attempt to beat back the cloud's, but looking at the satellite
                      picture's there is a lot of cloud heading our way , which probably means a lot more rain . O well
                      a good day for planting if nothing else .
                                   If anything exciting happens today I'll let you all know .
                                                You all take care.


- Sad Ending
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 08:59:25 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      yesterday was another beautiful day and a very relaxed lazy day it was too, we really tried hard
                      to think of something that we needed to do, gave up in the finish and just lounged around and
                      enjoyed the day .
                                This morning is grey, wet and chilly here on the west coast. Not nice. Hopefully the sun
                      will manage to break through later .
                                The carnival is over for this year . Unfortunately it has ended on a rather sad note, a guy
                      fell off from the top of one of the huge trucks that are used to take the sound system's round on.
                                 While writing this the sun has broken through , we maybe in for another great day .
                                                       You all take care


- A Great Day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 23:39:12 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     it was still raining here on the west coast at 7am. The sky and the sea both grey. A very cool breeze
                     coming across the valley made it feel chilly . 
                           I usually like this kind of weather when going into town, it helps to keep it cool. Roseau can become
                     stifling when it is hot . I normally try to get in and out of town fast when the sun is shining and back on to
                     our little mountain where it is much more enjoyable. But today being carnival day the sun was welcome,
                     so much more fun in the sun.
                            The sun finally managed to get through at  10am. and it turned into a gorgeous day .
                            We met up with friend's in town and we all had a great day . All the effort that everyone put in
                     really paid off . The children looked lovely in their costume's and the parade was the best yet.  So a big
                     thank you to all who worked so hard to give everyone such a good day . The passengers that came
                     ashore from the cruise ship that was in today had a real bonus .
                             The evening is dry and warm. The party is still in full swing in town .
                                                    You all take care


- Still Wet
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 23:50:51 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     last night was very wet and windy here on the west coast . We awoke to more rain this morning
                     although the wind had dropped and it rained through to about 10 am . The sun finally got  through
                     which was nice because we had friend's over for the day so we were able to sit outside on the balcony,
                     have a good old natter and enjoy the day.
                           The calypso finals were held last night at the Windsor Park stadium . Shame that it rained so much,
                     but I think everyone had a good time anyway . We would like to congratulate The Dice on becoming this
                     year's winner for the title of calypso king .
                           It started to rain again about 7.30pm and it's been on and off for most of the evening. Just hoping that
                     it holds off tomorrow . Carnival Day tomorrow. 
                                           You all take care.


- Water, Water everywhere
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 20:15:33 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                      the morning started chilly and a bit grey but dry here on the west coast.
                 Had to go over to Fond Colet this morning to check on the new window's that are hopefully going in at
                      the end of next week. Again something else that really needs an update after twenty year's.
                 I'm looking forward to these going in, they have nice shiny mozzie screen's attached.
                 The rain started just has we were leaving the window company and as not stopped all day .
                 It is cold and very wet , still not quiet so bad as poor old England which is really taking a battering .
                 Looking at the weather on the satellite picture's it looks like we just might have a wet carnival . I truly
                       hope not , everybody work's really hard all the year to make the carnival a success .
                  The builder and his apprentice have finished the work in the bathroom, it looks really good and we are
                       very pleased with the result .
                  Rain is still thundering down as I am writing this and the breeze is picking up a bit .
                                               You all take care


- Green, Green it's Green they say.............
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 16:32:49 -0400
Jaco Ladd was fortunate to see a flash of green off Marie Galante last evening on the way to a carnival bash in St Joseph and it triggered some memories.


Posting an image of a calm sea, a sinking sun, a palm tree at a 90-ish degrees lean to the water,  an imminent 'Green Flash' in the offing - with your property digitally photographed in the foreground  and duly uploaded to the appropriate website - could be considered as a dream shot for any real estate agent's portfolio. The sea, the Sun, even the angled palm tree can be conjured up most anywhere in the Caribbean  – but 'El Rayo Verde'? The Flasho Greeno? Now here's the tricky component in the mix. I have lived in the West Indies for 20 years and can truthfully say I've seen no more than nine meaningful sunrise or sunset Green Flashes in that time – probably because I've not been looking that hard; out there I mean. Usually it's the wrong time, right place and vice versa. But unabashed, I thought it prudent and curious to investigate the phenomenon a little further.


Evidently, as most tuned in school-kids can attest to, the Green Flash is enmeshed in a refraction of light - aka as a prism - in the atmosphere:  light, presumably, moves more slowly through the lower, denser air than through the thinner air above, so sunlight rays follow paths that curve slightly in the same direction as the curvature of the Earth – still with me?  Higher frequency light – green and blue –curves more than lower frequency light – red and orange – so green and blue rays from the setting Sun's upper limbs remain visible after the red rays are obstructed by the curvature of the Earth. I'm told a Green Flash is more likely to be seen in clear air, when more of the light of the setting Sun reaches the observer without being scattered. 


Having said that - from my experience - what lays immediately above that far off imaginary horizon line, such as thin banded cloud, even pinkish wisps, can lessen the green hue effect greatly; even to a zilch amount, leaving our picture-less avid photo buff with a 24 hour layover to the next dusky event. And with the miniscule amount of time available to capture the picture, it's wise to set your duty free mega pixel camera to a continuous advance setting that can take about 15 frames in rapid succession, covering the whole scenario, thereby ensuring that your wait has not been in vain.


As a gentle conclusion, the notion that a Green Flash denotes a human soul returning to Earth is an interesting digestion for you alone – suffice to say, may your God go with you.

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- Update
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 19:16:55 -0400
Good evening everyone ,
                      a quick update on the rest of the day. Cool, grey and wet for most of the morning .
                              Had a few bright spells but they did not last very long . Still it was a good day for the garden.
                              Managed to evict some weed's which no doubt will have moved back in by tomorrow .
                              The builder and apprentice arrived , they have done a great job and should be finished  at
                       the end of the week .
                              Our neighbour's who live in Sweden most of the year arrived back today for the carnival .
                              The evening is cool and breezy but dry .
                                             Gonna go get a warming rum punch .
                                                         You all take care.


- Flight Path
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 08:53:42 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      yesterday was gorgeous, the sun shone all day here on the west coast of D/A .
                          I had a major cook in and stocked the freezer .
                          Last night we went down to the bay front in Roseau to listen to the pan music , what a really good night we had.
                          The children of the Newtown band were excellent ,  Lot's of people came out to support them all and I think
                        everyone had a good time.
                           We are living in the middle of a flight path , we have a pair of finches that took up residence with us two year's
                        ago ,  the second we open the door's in the morning they zoom into the house looking for any crumb's the dog
                        may have missed . We have had some pretty scary near collision's with their rush to get into the house .
                            The rain woke me at about 5.30am . The morning is cool, grey and wet .  The three little tomato plant's must be
                         sighing with relief . 
                                                           You all take care.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 07:55:30 -0500
We have woken up to a gorgeous day.  It was really cold in the night, shivering weather, however, not a cloud in the sky - a good day to be alive.

Carnival is coming and so are the electricity cuts.  We have been told we are having an island wide electric cut today from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  We were warned of this at Carnival because we have so many visitor island wide; so much music, lights in the stadium, just too much strain on the infrastructure!  So we guess we will just have to party.  We wonder how many babies will be born nine months hence!!

We are off to the back of beyond today, I have to look at some  lovely properties there, so could be an adventure looming. One way to get to know your habitat thoroughly is to deal in real estate - there are paths, leafy avenues, crags, snags and rugged ravines you would never set eyes on from the usual highways - it has been known to part company with your vehicle's chassis, but let's not go down that track!

- Life is Good
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 20:33:01 -0400
Good evening everyone.
                     I finally gave in and put a blanket on the bed last night, it was so nice to be cosy and warm .
                           The day started off cool and dull ,   the sun came out at about 8. 30am and the rest of the day was gorgeous . The sea was a beautiful deep
                     blue and the sky was a stunning pale blue with little wispy white cloud's , a nice breeze , so i sat and watched the yacht's enjoying the morning
                     and shelled pigeon peas . My neighbour has a lovely big pigeon pea tree in her yard, yet she would rather go to the supermarket and buy tinned
                     instead of having fresh, so she very kindly let's me help myself. I have even offered to do them for her but for some reason she prefers the
                     tinned variety.
                            The builder and his apprentice turned up , they have done such a good job , we are really pleased with the way the bathroom is looking.
                             After twenty year's it was in need of a refurb.
                             The veterinary doctor has been in touch with me at last, we have a German Shepherd who is now eleven year's old and his back leg's are
                     now giving out on him. He creaks and wobbles a bit now. Doesn't seem to be in any pain though, so we will keep him going for has long as we can.
                              Would also like to congratulate the D/A cricket team on their win over the BVI and to wish them good luck against Barbados.
                              Going to listen to the Lagon street jam that is going on tonight in Roseau and have a nice glass of wine .
                                                         You all take care

- Lovely people's
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 22:46:51 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                     not sure if it is just me or did it become really cold in the early hour's of this morning ? 
                     Woke to a dull , cloudy , chilly morning here on the west coast of DA, it took a few hour's for the sun to get through and warm me up .
                      The rest of the morning was lovely . The builder and his apprentice turned up as promised and really got to work . They are doing a
                      real good job of the bathroom .
                      We have really enjoyed the year's that we have been on DA, just a shame I did not have the time to join up with Stormcarib before now.
                         The people's of DA have shown us nothing but friendship and kindness . What a pity that the rest of the world cannot be the same,
                          it would make the world such a nicer place to live where ever you may be.
                       The carnival atmosphere is getting into full swing . I,m looking forward to it . Great fun .
                      At about 4pm a huge black cloud came over , it turned windy and cold and very wet . This evening is quiet cool .
                        I'm off to have a nice glass of wine , listen to some calypso and enjoy the rest of the evening .
                                                     You all take care.
            p.s.     nice to speak to you Mr & Mrs C .  Looking forward to June.

- Update
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2008 20:05:08 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                           The morning started cool and cloudy and just has we were going off to the market, at about 8.30. am, it decided to rain.
                                     Still when you gotta go, you gotta go . By the time we arrived at the market  ( which is only 10 min's away ) the
                           sun had broken through.  We had a nice morning wandering around Roseau before the heat and the crowd's really set in.
                                     Unfortunately I had to go and complain about a phone call that I never received, but it all came good in the end , so that's
                           the main ting .
                                       No building work today, our guy is Jewish so he does not work on Saturday's, but he is willing to come in on
                           Sunday's to make up the lost time, which is good.  So the bathroom should be back on schedule tomorrow .  
                                        The rest of the day was quiet and peaceful  Roseau syndrome set in about  3pm after a couple Kubuli's. Strange that .
                                         The evening is warm and clear, I love the fact that we are now almost at the end of January and we are still walking
                           about in short's and vest's . Just the thought of trying to do that in England at this time of year make's me shivver .
                                         I have to water the garden , the ground is like concrete after just a couple of day's of sunshine , I cannot let the only
                           three tomato plant's that came up wilt and die. I have no idea what has happened to the carrot's , but not one put in an appearance.
                                         Well it's time for a nice cold glass of wine and to enjoy the rest of the evening.
                                                     You all take care.
                           p.s.      HI Mr & Mrs  C .

- Hi Mr C
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 21:54:55 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                    Started cloudy and grey with a very strong breeze, (we could see the mast's on the yacht's going side to side )  then the sun broke through
                     and what a beautiful day it turned into here on the west coast of DA .Not a cloud to be seen, the sky just a stunning blue .
                     Thing's still going well with the bathroom , although we did have to remind the builder if he is going to be late to let us know.
                      Which bring's me on to subject of mobile phone's, nearly everyone on this island possess a mobile phone yet  they simply will not use them
                      to ring you, although they promise faithfully they will ring.  We have had three people this week tell us " I will ring you " .  Still waiting . So
                      are they just a status symbol . Look I have a mobile phone but I never use it . It is really annoying to be waiting on a call that never come's
                      and it is very rude not to return the call .  Well that's my moan for the day over.
                      Would also like to say hello to Mr C. Sorry we missed you , will get in touch possibly Sunday . Hope you are both well . Wondered how
                      long it would take you to spot me.
                       The evening is warm and clear, so I'm off to go get a nice chilled glass of wine, and to enjoy the rest of the night.
                                   You all take care.

- Life is good
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 23:33:54 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                   so sorry to be so late , unfortuntly we have been without electricity for most of the day. Have no idea why we were suddenly without power
                  it just happen's and you kinda just get used to it. We are usally told they are upgrading the system , so one day hopefully there will be no
                  more power cut's. Now that's something to look forward to.
                    It's been a real nice day here on the west coast, couple of very light shower's hardly any breeze and lot's of sunshine .
                    The builder and his appentice arrived and have done a great job. The ceiling is up and the wiring is in. Everything still going to plan.
                    So here we are sitting out on the balcony , it is a real nice warm quite evening, nice glass of wine and listening to the frog's singing.
                     Life is good.
                              You all take care.

- Roseau syndrome
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 20:27:01 -0400
Good evening everyone,
             well what do you say about yesterday, not a lot , wet wet wet .  The rain thundered down during the early hour's this morning,
 by the time I had staggered out of bed it had eased off.  Very overcaste and breezy though .  A good day to go into Roseau ,
 It help's keep town cool,  off we went and guess ,  yep the sun came out, so I felt like I was being slowly cooked .
 It also give's us what we call Roseau syndrome, by the time we get back to the house we are just so tired .  Good idea to go for a short nap
 and total oblivion sets in.  If I was to be left to nap on I'm sure I would not wake up till tomorrow.
 No work on the bathroom today , builder needed a day off . But it is looking good .
 Would like to thank Richyy88 for the info on the mozzie and noseeum problem, I will be looking into it that's for sure .
 The evening is warm and pleasant , couple of light shower's and a nice little breeze. I'm off to open a Kubili .
       You all take care

- Keeping the finery without refining?
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 09:09:31 -0400
The weather over the last two days has been so wet that this little
bird, who lives in the tree beside our cottage, decided to spend the
whole night with us, keeping dry and warm.  Indeed, when the morning
came she was loathe to leave and took a long time before flying out to
join her mate.

I left Jaco Ladd the other day to have a meeting with the main peolple
at the Ministry of the Environment.  I am a real estate agent and want
to make sure that when people buy property here in Dominica they
behave in a sensible manner, making sure that they do not cut trees
down without replacing them; that they look after the land and protect
the heritage for the Dominicans, future Dominicans and themselves.
Ignorance is an off-the-wall kind of bliss and there are a lot of
folks who know nothing about ecology or about the country they move
to.  This lack of awareness could be disastrous to this beautiful
island.  We have already seen the destruction caused by Dean: the
terrible damage that water can do to areas that have been denuded of
trees, even terrible landslides ruining the countryside and
threatening life.

 Dominica has a very active forestry division that could be more
active in making sure that the land is protected for years to come, by
visiting any given site with the national planning department to
ascertain exactly what the prospective owner(s) want to build and give
them advice on what trees they can cut down and the ones they should
keep, plus giving them some professional directions on re-planting.

The gentleman I saw at the Ministry was very pleased that I - and
likeminded residents - are so concerned with the eco future of
Dominica and hopes that we can somehow come up with a plan to help put
some of our ideas and his into operation.

When we lived in Antigua, I was pro-active in getting the sewage in
the hotels under control.  A couple - maybe more? - of the hotels were
putting pure effluent into the sea.  It is unbelievable how companies
can flout the law and ruin their own enviroment - in this case the
ocean. Guests on vacation came to Antigua because of the crystal clear
sea and coral reefs which were under threat from the hotels they were
staying in, really crazy.

We truly hope the oil refinery, if it does go ahead, does not affect
the image and well being of Dominica, unfortunately, Dominica is a
third world country and economically shaky.  The attraction of extra
jobs and money from Venezuela must be appealing and obviously one of
the reasons why the Government seem to be going ahead with this
project.  I feel that as we are privileged to live in Dominica, we
have to give back to this Garden of Eden country.

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- New Attraction
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 19:55:04 -0400
Good evening everyone,
                                    we have had a fair amount of rain again today here on the west coast of DA, the sun did manage to break through for about an hour
                                     and then the rain came back , it 's out stayed it's welcome now though.
                                     The builder turned up to work on the bathroom, the poor apprentice got the mind blowing job of chipping away at the old cement.
                                     They both worked hard all day and they tidy up after themselve's . Sweep and MOP the floor . When we have heard some of the horror
                                      stories from our friend's and the builder's they have had we think we have had a result finding our guy.
                                     So I guess most people are now aware that DA is to get a nice new shiny OIL REFINERY,   I'm sure it will be just so much better than
                                     just being part of The World Heritage and among the top ten dive site's in the world . It can be added to the list of attraction's that DA
                                     is so proud of on this beautiful nature island .  What a great tourist attraction .
                                        It is still raining and the mozzie's have decided it's just a bit to wet for them outside, the no seeum's have joined the party on my ankle's.
                                     Time to go get the spray.
                                                  You all take care

- Chlorophyll in Abundance
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2008 11:11:13 -0400
Just when the more 'touristic' islands in the northern East Caribbean are - or have been recently - splattered and battered by unseasonal rain power, spare a thought for the people today in Blighty aka the UK Heh? They know a lot about rain! Evidently the beginning of this working week there is considered by many to be Blue Monday......ie you go to work in the dark, come home in the dark, the Christmas relatives are just a memory; some of the gadgets you were given already malfunctioning and all the credit card bills seem to arrive traditionally on the third Monday in Jan. Oh my Lord!
Here in the mid-Layou Valley, being Blue is not the issue - actually Green is. The amount of moisture in the air at the moment is sky high, but the rainfall is light banded - ideal for the numerous crews on the road(s) - our machete wielding cavaliers, tidying uf the hedgerows, culverts, unstable trees and agouti trails. The aroma of chlorophyll is everywhere, in fact I'm drunk on it!
This clean up, presumably, is slated for the end of the Dominican rainy season in order to have a few months of a noticeable Mother Nature manicure on show, but this year the rainy season doesn't seem to want to abate.
Jaco Lass is at an environmental meeting today in Roseau - just what is on the agenda 'me nah know' but no doubt she will enlighten us in dew course.
Jaco Ladd - Out!   

- The Bathroom Saga to be cont
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 18:48:37 -0400
Good evening everone,
                         not a bad day . The suns been shining most of the day, been a bit breezy here on the west coast but it helped keep it cool and refreshing .
                         The calypso finals are now due to take place, they will be held in the new stadium which the Chinese very kindly built . Then it will be onto the carnival.
                         People are gearing up for it already . Small local carnival parade's taking place all over DA in the next couple week's . Plus it is also DAs reunion year.
                         30 year's of independence, so the fun is only just begining .You will be lucky to get a flight onto DA this year, although  the plane company that fly's here
                         know's how important this year is to many people they have made no mention of increasing on the flight's to DA .So anyone coming here I hope your
                         already booked.
                            We have had quite a busy day,  started work on the bathroom , we have been extremely lucky and have found ourselves a really nice builder  who
                          turn's up when he say's he will and phone's us if he is gonna be late. Now that's rare gold . He also listen's to what you tell him and how you want
                          thing's to be done and if your not happy with his work he will do it again till you are. No I'm not telling anyone his name till he is finished working for us.
                               Light shower just passed over while i have been writing this, good ,  don't have to go water the garden.
                                                      You all take care

- just a nice day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 23:38:20 -0400
Good evening everyone,
          Woke this morning to more rain here on the west coast .  The cupboard's were bare , so it was a trip into Roseau market which I hate doing in the rain.
          The brolly brigade are out in force .  But just before we left the sun broke through and it turned into a real nice day .
          Just sitting here on the balcony now listening to the calypso semi final's . Very intresting. 
                      Well you all take care.

- Carnival Cometh
  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 13:58:53 -0500
The day started very rainy, windy and cold.  As I write this the sun has come out, it is still breezy it is very pleasant. 

Dominica is gearing herself for Carnival, there is an excitement when we go to town, lots of activities are taking place especially at the weekends.  The competitions hotting up for the big event at the end of this month the beginning of February.  It will be our first Carnival in Dominica, we are so looking forward to joining in with the celebrations.  The villages have their own Carnival celebrations which are good fun to go to. 

St. Joseph is our nearest village, we are looking forward to the street party, the colours, music, dancing, partying and definitely liming.  There is never a dull moment in Dominica.

I have just heard from a friend who has had to leave Dominica, she is very sad at the moment but Dominica is waiting for her return.  I think we should have to say that for many Dominicans out there feeling the same way. Dominica is always here for all of you to come home to!

- rain all day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 20:09:59 -0400
Hello everyone,
         What a miserable day today, rain , rain ,rain here on the west coast.  The sun finally managed to break through at about 2pm,  then all to quickly it was dark and
         back came the rain with a vengence. It is also very windy which make's it quiet chilly.  Warm woollie on  tonight.
          The guy's doing the neighbour's roof carried on regardless of the rain, quite scary to watch, slipping and sliding  and working with electric's .  Crazy mon.
          So seeing it's not such a nice evening , think it's a night in  with a good film .
           You all take care out there.

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 10:55:34 -0500
Beautiful day in the valley.  I took some photo's last night of the
garden coming along in it's glory.  We lit a big fire to get rid of a
fallen tree to clear more land yesterday, to grow more vegetables.

Little time to write the log today, so down memory lane with one photo
of the pups who are now in good homes, plus the garden.

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- Another good day
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 09:12:47 -0400
Good morning everyone,
                      Here on the west coast it look's like it is going to be another beautiful day, the sky is clear and bright blue, with a slight cool breeze every now and again.
                      Not so quiet and peaceful today ,  the guy across from us is at last having is roof replaced after Dean stripped the old one off.
                      Would like to thank Bullwinkle for inviting me aboard and yes I will be here in July and August , have the family visiting us at that time .
                      Just had a small shower pass over, the garden need's it and it save's me the job of watering the neighbour's cabbage's while he is off island.
                      Well it look's to be another good day, should anything exciting happen i'll let you all know.
                                                              All the Best

- new kid on the block
  • From: "Tom Fullbrook" <fullbrookt at gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 21:35:50 -0400
Hello everyone,  
                       I have been planning to join your motley crew for some time but have just been so busy, have only just got around to it. (who said retirement is boring and what are you going to do all day, I would like to meet them ). We have not stopped since moving from the U.K to the west coast of Dominica.                                                                                        Well for my first report to all at Stormcarib, it's been a beautiful day here. Was a bit doubtful  early this morning, thick cloud and it did try to rain but the sun just beat it back. 
                       All was quiet and peaceful , the sun was shining in a powder blue sky and it's then you know why you gave up drafty , chilly wet, grey  old England .
                       I would also like to wish everyone a very belated  HAPPY NEW YEAR .
                       It's good to be on board with you all at last .
                       All the best from  TOMMIEGIRL .

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2008 12:04:11 -0500
It is a gorgeous day today, the sun is shining and there are white puffy clouds in the sky.  Our lawn is very green and our wonderful friend and gardener is working away in our ever growing garden.  At the moment he is putting up a contraption made of bamboo (I think for the beans).  I will have to get the camera out tomorrow and take some photo's.

It is so good not having to be worried about the weather, the winter time is so relaxing for all of us in the Caribbean.  Our puppy Tippy is growing big and her Mum Mindy who was run over is getting stronger and stronger every day.  It is good to be alive.  So everyone who is in the cold come to the Caribbean and enjoy our sunshine, chill and lime, that is the way to go mon!

  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 08:06:07 -0500
Wow, what a day yesterday, wet, wet, wet and cold, cold, cold!  This
is our first winter in Dominica, and yes in the valley it is really
chilly.  Antigua could be chilly at this time of the year but Dominica
is much colder.  I had on, socks, shoes, jeans, shirt and jumper all
day yesterday, really amazing!  Today we have woken up to bright
sunshine but a verdant fresh 70 degrees.

We saw in the New Year with friends here at our cottage.  The reason
for this was because we had to be with Mindy our dog who is recovering
really well from being run over by a car just after Christmas.  It is
a miracle she is alive and well, lots of TLC.

We bring in the New Year with a vegetable garden.  It is the time of
the year to plant seeds for the Spring, we have a wonderful collection
of every vegetable including garden peas, which we love.  We have
tried out several gardeners:  one that liked the rum and spent most of
his time flat on his back;  another a affable rastaman, who liked the
weed to smoke rather than the weed running amok in the garden and one
who was adamant that every carrot and cucumber he planted had to grow
pointing the right way to appease some far off deity.  We have finally
found a keen gardner who is going to share in the produce as well as
earn some money.  So far, so good, fingers crossed.

Several readers have asked why we do not do this job ourselves; not
possible as I am working full time at home and Jaco Ladd is of Irish
blood so doesn't take the open sun too well and plus he's busy enough
with his projects; also the garden is over 1 and a half acres, a full
time task in itself.

We have popped on a couple of photo's of our cottage and garden, we
are so proud of the lawn we have had to collect the turf from all over
the place, bring it back in our trusty jeep, have know idea how many
trips our trusty jeep has made but it has taken the last 8 months to
achieve a nearly finished lawn.

New Year's resolution, have the prettiest garden in the valley, plus
the most vegetables - organic of course.

We would like to wish all the correspondents and readers a....................

                                   HAPPY NEW YEAR

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  • From: "Lisette Stevens" <jaco.lass at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2007 13:45:31 -0500
We wish The weather has been a mixiture of sun and rain.  Pretty cool good for snuggling up at night.  We are definitely into that.

Living on an exotic island in the Caribbean attracts all kinds of folk, many of whom are totally eccentric.  Let's face it most of the human race likes to feel secure and wishes to keep within a comfort zone.  My husband and I are non-conformists and chose to live in different places in the world.

Yesterday was one of those days that you wish had never happened.  I got up at the same time in the morning 6 a.m.  Took my regular walk (exercise) down the road.  Came back had breakfast.  Looked out onto the road to see our treasured BWI (British West Indian) dog Mindy (Mummy of our pups) being run over by a speeding car with no heed to stop after the dreadful incident.

Running onto the road to pick up a totally stiff dog legs in the air, screaming with shock.  Carried my precious bundle back to the veranda, sat in a chair hugging her to me to bring back life.  Suddenly, a sigh, movement big brown eyes looking bewilderdly into mine.  There was life in our dog Mindy.  No vets available, what to do? - too traumatic for the dog to go to town, which would be a trek of  three quarters of an hour away.  Pop her gently in her box to ensure no damage would occur. 

We telephoned our friend up the road who breeds dogs. Chris said give her comfrey, honey and coronation milk.  The root of the comfrey plant is boiled for 15 minutes in water, allowed to cool and then mix with the rest of the ingredients.

We adminstered this to Mindy as it stops any internal bleeding,  It has proved to be amazing as Mindy is well and truly alive today

To get back to bazaar behaviour.  We had two uinvited guests yesterday with all the turmoil that was going on.  One of the guests was sitting on our deck asking us why we chose to have a lawn.  (The alternative concrete) and maybe she would build her home with grass.  Obviously a city dweller seeking a hippy existence was and is completely nuts.  Hence the saying horses for courses.

all of you out there a very Happy New Year.

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