FREAKING OUT

Well, that has to be said in all caps. no? I am scurrying about mentally. What the Buddhists say about "monkey mind" - well, I'm waaaaay past that. I am German Tanzmaus scurrying... https://youtu.be/hmMfAvxyBh4 We saw these guys in a pet store in Germany and they actually never stop. I figure I have about three of…

The country in six days, ending with an exclamation point…

Of course everyone is focused on the madman attack on Parliament Hill, that total abnormality here in Canada, where representatives of the people feel free to walk and work without fear of assault. (well, at least until now). I'm not going to write about that, sad though it is. Suffice to say the assault brought…

Enroute to Newfoundland

I'm off to our oldest/newest province today, a place I've never seen before except in a series of award-winning television ads that make it look like paradise. I'm sure the reality will be slightly different, but I am already charmed about the experience because every single expat Newfoundlander I've met has been so fun, funny,…

Style disconnection

I'm packing for my trip today, and it is immediately apparent I need a wardrobe consultant, pronto. Nothing I have goes with anything else I have. My shirts are a mixup of Value Village finds and the rare new purchase, all cobbled together for comfort, rather than style. And my shorts and pants don't match…

Volcanos, James Bond, Mountain Chickens, and Montserrat

I now feel totally ignorant. Hands up those of you who thought Montserrat was somewhere in the Mediterranean? Or near Spain? I was one of those. You smarter people can all stop sniggering now. Turns out that what is left of Montserrat is in the Caribbean!!! West Indies. I feel perfectly ridiculous. I say "what…

The perils of traveling for a hypochondriac

My kids think I'm a total hypochondriac. They could be right, but hey, I AM a nurse, so unfortunately, I know just enough to be able to detect statistically improbable diseases in me (or them) given three symptoms. I'm not always delusional. I told one son he had H1N1 last year or so after hearing…

Ola! from Cuba

Ah, Cuba. I've been consumed with curiosity about this island ever since I had to sit under my desk in school to protect myself from nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I grew up around Boston. If I'd known how many missiles were housed immediately around my school I would have spent the time…

Follow the Yellow Brick Road…

Of cash and environmental degradation and planes trains and automobiles to the wish I could see it destination of Australia...world's smallest continent but sixth largest country. What can I say about Australia that hasn't already been said by the excellent Bill Bryson in "In a Sunburned Country"? He explains there that everything in the natural…

Look, there’s a coconut!

Or so the name of today's entry tells us. Much like Canada, a country named for a native word meaning small village, today's country, Niue, was inadvertently named for an exclamation about food. Captain Cook called Niue the "Savage Island", another mistake, as the inhabitants are peaceable but given to eating red bananas, thus staining…

Going home again

They say you can't ever, ever, go home again. In a way, it's true. Life has changed, people have moved on, the place is subtly different and yet familiar. I recently went for a visit to Ottawa, my home several times over my life - as a new nurse, taking on my first, terrifying job;…