A pack of wild dogs, a mystery fruit, and a nude beach…

Juicy sounding huh? 😉  I’ve been a busy bee the last few days.  I’ve hardly had a second to sit down!  But I’ve been writing notes to myself about little things I want to blog about!  I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I’ve made any more kitchen attempts.  I have to say I’ve steered clear of any adventures beyond the norm in the last few days, but as soon as I finish with this blog I’m gonna head in there and show that kitchen who’s boss!  I have mastered Matilda’s food recipe (I’ll share it eventually) and I’m a breakfast making fiend.  Today I’m going to attempt some no-bake nutella cookies, bread #2, and chicken pad thai for dinner.  This time in making Matilda’s food, I decided (when I saw these for $2.50) that I would add chicken livers to the recipe for a little iron.  I was pretty proud of myself for being such a responsible doggy mommy!  Let me just say that after I was done with this batch I turned to Matilda (who is sitting behind me begging) and said, “You know I must really love you.  Because these chicken livers smell like mud and a fresh toot AND I’m fixing peas to go in this stuff (which I hate with a passion, btw…)”.  I gagged on a few occasions while fixing those livers.  It looks and smells like something that’s already been eaten and digested.  So yes, I must really love her to put myself through that.  Nicole said it best when she said that Matilda must be the most loved dog in the world.  I think so!  She’s spoiled rotten but she deserves it!  Though in my defense, the reason I’m cooking her dog food is because a bag of dry food here in Freeport is over $50!  So I’m a loving and CHEAP doggy mommy…

Speaking of dogs, Matilda and I had an adventure on Wednesday on our foray to Taino Beach.  Oh my!  We walked down to the beach which includes a trek over a bridge that goes over the channel.  The channel basically splits the island in half and opens onto the ocean on both ends of it. 

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It really is a gorgeous body of water because it’s turquoise and completely clear to the bottom.  We’ve seen skates and conch shells and tons of fish in it.  We always look on our way both to and from the beach.  Wednesday when I looked I saw like 3 skates at once (those things are like leopard printed sting rays…very pretty…) and then about 50 yards out I saw this HUGE fish.  I thought it was a shark!  So I watched it for a minute and when it got closer to the bridge I realized…it’s a DOLPHIN!  It arched up and took a breath at the surface and kept swimming on it’s merry way.  Oh.  My.  Gosh!!  I have been wanting to see one as long as we’ve been here and this one seemed to be in that channel just for me to see!  It was very cool.  Sadly, nobody was there to see it with me.  I still think Jonathan thinks I’m crazy!  So we continued on to our destination and spent an hour or so sunning.  When we decided to head back to the house, we walked across this little parking lot and all of a sudden we hear like 6 dogs barking.  Matilda bristled up (like she always does when she’s trying to protect me) but I really didn’t think anything of it.  I figured it was just peoples’ dogs in their backyards.  Until I realized…there are no “backyards” around here!  Then I started getting scared because I’ve heard there are wild dogs that live on the island.  So we started walking faster and I’m like running through my head what I’ll do if a pack of wolves descends on me and Matilda.  And then I see them pop out of the jungle around the corner.  They are most certainly wild.  Meaning they live in the jungle and do not have owners.  They are most certainly a pack because there’s clearly a “pecking order” here.  But these dogs are kind of “The Replacements” when it comes to a true dog pack.  The “alpha male” (ha!) is this brindle colored dog that looks kind of like a tall skinny pit bull.  There’s a spotted little terrier looking thing, a golden retriever, some other brown mutt-like dog, and a little chihuahua thing.  And they’re all staring at us and barking.  I’m certain they’re going to charge and then Matilda and I are gonna be puppy chow.  So what did I do?  I mean mugged the crap outta them.  I gave them the meanest look I could muster and then I barked at them like a crazy person.  I barked and rushed at them and mean mugged them and then those sorry dogs all put their tails between their legs and ran back into to jungle.  That’s right!  I scared them off (and probably anybody else that saw me do it…).  Matilda was just wagging her tail and smiling like “Good job Mom!  You showed them!”.  Hopefully when they see me from now on they’ll keep their mouths shut and stay in the jungle…

So then yesterday I went to the grocery store because we were “running on fumes” as Ashley puts it (well played).  She actually went with me to the store which was very comforting.  I had honestly put off the whole grocery store trip because I didn’t want to go alone, so I was so grateful that she went with me!  I found out that Thursday is THE DAY to go to Butler’s because their shipment truck comes in on Wednesday, and Thursday is their stock day.  Their produce was off the chain yesterday!!  So I grabbed up some massive fresh mangoes, bananas, and then I spotted this thing that looked like a papaya.  It was quite pretty actually.  Bright green and shiny and as big as my forearm.  So I was like, meh, I’ll give it a whirl.  Never messed with a fresh papaya before so I’ll try it out. 

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So then I’m checking out and when the girl gets to my papaya she plugs in this code and the screen says LOCAL AVOCADO.  I was certain she just plugged in the wrong code because there was no way this thing was an avocado.  It was massive!  So when we get back into the van with Tyrone I ask him if he likes avocados.  And he just goes nuts!  He says they have a tree in their backyard with them and he’ll bring them to me.  But I’m still not convinced that what I’ve bought is an avocado.  So I ask him “Are they bigger than normal avocados?” which is probably a stupid question because the local ones are all he knows.  So he says “No, they’re just normal size.”  He says they taste good.  So I’m like okay.  I’ll just have to split this bad boy open when I get home and see for myself…

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So clearly it’s an avocado.  Weird right??  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It tastes almost exactly like a Haas avocado (the ones I’m used to eating) but it’s a little sweeter and nuttier.  It’s delicious!  And one avocado has the same amount of “meat” as like 3-4 of the Haas variety.  Crazy!!  So much for the papaya deal, but I was excited to learn about these local avocados.  I hope Tyrone actually brings me some from his backyard!

So yesterday morning before our grocery store trip, I was doing my little morning Bible reading.  I’ve found an app that lets me listen to KSBJ (which for those of you who are not Houstonians, that’s our Christian radio station…) over the internet.  So I’ve been playing it in the background while I do my stuff.  Yesterday Susan O’Donnell (who’s a celeb among DJ’s on the station) was talking about believing what God says about you and not what others say.  She mentioned the verse that says “the sheep know the shepherd’s voice” which I love.  I am learning how true that is lately and how important it is to stay focused on Him.  Not get distracted by all the “scenery” on the path…just keep moving forward.  So I decided to email the “DJ on air” and tell her how grateful I was that I could still listen to the station even while in the Bahamas.  I told her briefly what I was doing here and that I was “learning to hear my Shepherd’s voice” daily, how appropriate was their talk today!  Then literally 2 minutes later, a song finishes and she comes back on the air.  She says “Before I move on with the news, I have to share with you all this email I just received.”  I almost have a heart attack… “This is from Rachel who is listening in the Bahamas.”  And she proceeds to read my email on the air!!  I was SO pumped!!!  And then she says “Wow, what a leap of faith Rachel and her husband have taken.  Rachel, we just want to encourage you in your journey!”.  Wow…  Didn’t see that coming!  But I was very excited…I’m famous! 😉

So now you’ve come to the end of this post and you’re still searching for the “nude beach” experience, huh? 😉  Well let me share a picture from the nude beach here in Freeport (it’s near Banana Bay) which we DID NOT GO TO…

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But since I’m sure you guys were all dying to hear some sort of nude beach story from me, I’ve decided to venture into the “story vault” here and tell you the one nude beach story that we do have.  The above sign was not on the nude beach we happened upon, and that’s probably a good thing.  Because I’m pretty sure I broke the “gawking” rule!  Jonathan and I went to Sandals Montego Bay (Jamaica) on our honeymoon in 2007.  Gorgeous!  One of the perks of Sandals is that if you pay to stay at one resort, you have full access to all the other resorts within proximity.  The Grand Bahamian resort had this Thai restaurant on this private island.  You have to take a boat there.  So we decide to head up there for lunch one day.  When we arrive at the resort we are mesmerized by how cool it is and just about can’t wait to get to this Thai restaurant.  So we take the boat over and discover that the restaurant is closed.  Dang!  We decide to Carpe Diem and just enjoy the beautiful beaches on this island.  So we venture through the woods to the back side of the island to this amazing stretch of beach.  I saw a hammock that was being occupied, but I decide then that I MUST have a hammock.  I’m envisioning those Sandals commercials!  So I prance off down the beach to find an empty one.  I’m basically paying no attention to the other beach patrons.  But poor Jonathan looks out into the surf to see this 70 year old wrinkly woman coming up out of the water “super model style”…and she is butt naked!  So he gets to looking at the other people and they’re all naked too!!!  I still have not noticed.  But my cognition is thrust into reality when I slow down a bit and look to my right to see this 40-50 year old man with a huge round beer belly.  He’s sitting on this lounge chair with his hands behind his head and the bottoms of his feet together.  He looks like a road kill toad!  And yes, he’s butt naked.  I almost puked!  Suffice to say, for your own mind’s eye, that the people on nude beaches ARE NOT the people you might enjoy seeing naked.  It is not a stretch of beach from a movie where all the women are super model beautiful with perfect everything and the guys are Baywatch chiseled.  No.  Not so much.  Jonathan grabs my hand as I’m standing there trying to refrain from screaming/laughing/puking and says “Rachel, let’s turn around.  It’s gonna get worse before it gets better.”  So we leave and literally run out of the woods to the other side.  From now on, we will try to be more observant…

So there ya have it!  Hopefully that’s enough adventure for you for one post!  Saturday the boys (Conrad, Matt, and Jonathan) are getting together to study some in the morning.  The Wifey Trifecta (I’m using it!) is going down to Coral Beach while they study and then all 6 of us are going to do dinner together.  Should be fun!  It may be Sunday before I post again and when I do, I’ll post the Dog Food Recipe, the Kolache Recipe, and (if it’s a success tonight) the Bread and Pad Thai Recipe!

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