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Montego Bay, Jamaica

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I can't believe it's only been a week since I got home from Jamaica. It feels like a month at least especially since the weather has turned cold here. Yuck!

I had a good time once we were there a couple of days but the first day was a write-off. I was thinking it would be great since we were due to arrive by noon. I figured we'd have the whole afternoon by the pool and I was really looking forward to it. But, although we were there by noon, they wouldn't let us check in until 3 p.m. They did offer us change rooms and showers to use but my dad was grumpy because he was suffering from a head cold and he wasn't dressed for Jamaica (he was wearing black dress pants and a black mock turtleneck) and said he didn't want to go to the bother of digging through his suitcase for his swimsuit, sandals and sunblock so we ended up getting some lunch and then sitting in the lobby for almost 3 hours reading. We were both exhausted by the time we got our room at 3 since we'd been up since 2:30 a.m. so we both crashed for an hour and then we got dressed in summer clothes and went out to tour the resort.

Our first impressions was that the resort looked dated and a bit tawdry. The chaise lounge chairs looked grimey but it may have just been that they were black and charcoal grey striped.

But, by the end of the week, we decided that it wasn't as bad as we had initially thought. It had 5 pools but the deepest one was only 4 feet deep in the middle. That's the pool that I ended up using for most of the week. Although, I initially chose that one because the pool by our room blared loud music all day and it annoyed me. The deep pool was pretty quiet most of the time and it was deep enough that I could do lengths when I went in. I tried to do a minimum of 6 lengths each time I went in and on the last two days, I did 10 lengths each time.

I was disappointed in our oceanfront cabana room. It wasn't at all like the oceanfront room I had in Grand Cayman in October. There I had the best sleeps on the balcony because the sound of the waves was very soothing. Here, I couldn't hear the waves over the loud music that was almost non-stop. Not only did they play loud music at the pool two doors down from our room but the entertainment area and stage were in the building beside the pool and it also was very loud from 8 p.m. on.

But, overall we had a nice time. I read 3 books (Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, The Rook by Steven James and As Good As Dead by Beverly Barton). I also started reading Silence in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn but didn't finish it until after I got home.

Every day, we would get up between 6:30 and 7 and my dad would go for a run or a hike and I would pick an exercise DVD to do in the room (I always bring my portable DVD player and an assortment of exercise DVDs with me when I travel). Then we'd go and have breakfast together. Every morning, I had French Toast, an omelette, bacon and fruit. Then we'd go back to the room and change into our swimsuits and get slathered up and my dad would head for the beach and I would go to the pool (I did go in the ocean twice while there but I preferred the pool).

I'd read and swim and doze until about 11:30 when I would head inside to get out of the sun for a couple of hours. I'd read or go on the internet until about 1:30 when I would back out to the pool for a few more hours. Around 2:30, I'd eat the banana I picked up at breakfast and some nuts to tide me over until dinner.

Around 4, I'd head back to the room for my shower and to change for dinner and around 4:30, my dad would come back to the room for his shower. Around 5, we would grab the Scrabble game and Scrabble dictionary and go and find a quiet and hopefully well-lit spot to play a couple of games until dinner. The first hour was usually okay but it was hard to find a well-lit spot between 6 and 7.

My dad was a much better Scrabble player this year than last year. He played much more strategically this year. He was an English professor most of his life so it's good that he's getting better at it. We had about the same number of wins and losses during the week, which was good.

At 7, we'd go to dinner and talk about our days and after dinner, we'd check out the stage show. It was usually pretty lame but we usually stuck it out for at least half an hour. And, then we'd head back to our room. We were usually in bed with the lights out by 10 p.m.

Here are the very few photos I took while there. I hope you enjoy them. The first two are views in each direction from our balcony.

These two are views from poolside and show my painted toes as well:

This is a sandcastle that someone built on the beach by our room the previous day (I think it's pretty good):

This is the pool that I frequented:

And, this is the view from the dining room our last morning there:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEDICATED2HIM 2/27/2012 2:37AM

    nice blog..! It sounds like a relaxing time.....I hope you came back rested and ready to go back to your normal schedule.

Nice painted toes! emoticon

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ELISOS 2/26/2012 8:42PM


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Thursday, February 02, 2012

I just received this email and liked it so much, I thought I would share:

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD: Sure.

Me: Promise you won't get mad?

GOD: I promise.

Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

GOD: What do you mean?

Me: Well I woke up late,

GOD: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start,

GOD: Okay....

Me (growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait

GOD: Hmmmm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call

GOD: All right

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn't work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see..... the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me (humbled): Oh...

GOD: I didn't let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road

Me (ashamed): ............

GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn't want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn't afford to miss work

Me (embarrassed): Oh.....

GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn't even let you talk to them so you would be covered

Me (softly): I see God

GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn't think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I'm sorry God.

GOD: Don't be sorry, just learn to trust me.........in all things, the good and the bad

Me: I WILL trust you God

GOD: And don't doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan

Me: I won't God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today !!!!!!!!

GOD: You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children.

Scriptural References: II Samuel 22:31, Proverbs 3:5, Hebrews 2:13
"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.. .." (Proverbs 11:25)

Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: Is there any thing too hard for me?”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Even though this was posted 5 days ago, I haven't seen it until today. I needed to see it today. It wouldn't have meant the same thing to me 5 days ago, and I believe God knew all along that you would post it 5 days ago and I would see it on the day I needed it most. Thanks for your part Joanna.

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DEDICATED2HIM 2/4/2012 6:25AM

    I really liked this Joanna, '
Thanks for sharing it....i've had similar thoughts someitimes when things don't go " my way" if is because "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death."
We need to trust God to make that distinction for us and to protect us from harms' way....Great message. Thanks.

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BEACHBARB2 2/2/2012 1:25PM

  Oh, I truly believe this! When I'm driving down the highway and I get stuck behind someone going just a bit slower than me, I just settle in behind them, figuring that whatever higher power it is that looks after me, is keeping me out of harm's way.

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JAZZEJR 2/2/2012 11:51AM

    Powerful message. Thank you.

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Winter 5% Challenge Final Results

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Start - December 3, 2011

Weight - 219.1
Chest - 44
Bicep - 13
Waist - 41.5
Hips - 49
Thigh - 23
Neck - 14

End - January 28, 2012

Weight - 217.4
Chest - 43
Bicep - 14 (which makes sense because I've been doing more strength training)
Waist - 40 emoticon
Hips - 48
Thigh - 22
Neck - 14

Not a great ending because it was nowhere near my 5% goal but all in all, I'm happy with the results considering that Christmas was in there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISOS 2/1/2012 10:40PM


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CAPTHAMMER 1/28/2012 12:05PM

    I'll go by the tape measure over the scale every time!
emoticon emoticon

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I had a stressful but productive week

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I had a very busy and sort of stressful week. All the Excel spreadsheets that I completed before Christmas, I had to redo because of phantom hyperlinks in them and that put me about two weeks behind schedule. And, not only did I have that to do but I had a report due to the Director's office this week, travel expenses I had to do, a supply order to place and 4 meetings to attend!

On Tuesday, I was desperate to get ahead so not only did I work 10 hours that day but I also asked for help from a co-worker's student. And, people know that when I ask for help, I definitely need it because I rarely ask for help.

She did the supply order, the travel expense forms and the report for the Director and I completed the Excel spreadsheets and started booking the training for January to March. I still have to do the remainder of the year but it's a start and I feel better.

And, the meeting on Tuesday was cancelled so that helped as well. One of the three other meetings was one where I needed to take the minutes but the other two were to review proposals for some training software that we're looking to purchase. We received 4 proposals and went through one of them at yesterday's meeting. We're hoping to get through two more of them on Tuesday and the 4th one the following Monday. And, even though the meetings take a lot of time, finding peace and quiet to review the proposals before the meetings is almost impossible for the office go-to person (me) but yesterday afternoon, I put ear plugs in and sat and read 3/4 of one of the proposals for Tuesday's meeting so that was good. And, I've asked to borrow one of the boss's offices on Monday morning to review the remaining pages of that one plus at least one of the other two.

I've been on this committee to get a training and licensing program for work since February 2008. Each time (this is the 4th effort), there's been a problem with the tendering process or the received submissions or something. I'm hoping that this time, we actually succeed in getting a good program. Although, I do all of this work in Excel now and overall, I like Excel except when it does weird things like the phantom hyperlink business.

Anywho, I have the RFPQ (request for proposed quotation) meeting Tuesday morning that I'm a participant at and then in the afternoon, I have to take minutes at a Labour Management meeting so I have a feeling that this Tuesday is going to be stressful as well.

I hope everyone else is doing well. And, I can't believe I've done 3 blogs this week! That's a lot for me. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 1/22/2012 12:08PM

    Nice to hear how its going with your Joanna! I sometimes get frustrated with Excel when it tries to abbreviate dates for me and makes them wrong -I end up having to copy and paste them. I hate when a program thinks it knows what you want grr. The phantom hyperlinks problem I have never heard of. Wow four years to try and bring in a program??? Yikes! Sorry you are having a stressful week of it :(

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Great Book Titles

Friday, January 20, 2012

So, I'm currently reading a book called "The Keeper of Lost Causes" and I was thinking that this was a great title for a book. And, then I started thinking about other great titles of books and the first one that came to mind was "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". So then I decided to look at my books read list to see other books that I've read that have great titles and this is the list that I came up with (in alphabetical order):

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
A Perfect Night to Go to China
A Thousand Splendid Suns
An Echo in the Bone
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
Dawn on a Distant Shore
Ella Minnow Pea
Forty Words for Sorrow
If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him…
In the Bleak Midwinter
Island of Lost Girls
Jewels of the Sun
Nights of Rain and Stars
Not Wanted On the Voyage
Songs in Ordinary Time
Sushi for Beginners
Tears of the Giraffe
Tears of the Moon
The Accidental Tourist
the curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The Devil's Teardrop
The Ha-Ha
The Keeper of Lost Causes
The Kitchen God's Wife
The Seduction of Water
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Various Haunts of Men
The Wandering Soul Murders
The Year of Fog

And, then I wondered if the great titles were a good representation of the story or whether the title was the best part of the book and this is what I discovered:

Out of the 30 titles, more than half of them didn't lived up to their titles. I only really, really loved 4 of them. On the other hand, I didn't hate any of them. In fact, I "liked" the majority of them.

So, what do you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISOS 1/26/2012 9:15PM

    thank you!!!

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_LINDA 1/22/2012 12:13PM

    I have not read any of these, but saw the movie of the Accidental Tourist and quite liked it.. Which four did you really like? What genre were they?

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NANCYBOAT 1/21/2012 9:11AM

    I'm a pretty avid reader - and I don't think I have read *any* of these??? A new list to work on!

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BABYTUXXY 1/20/2012 10:26PM

    I've read books with great titles that were great and books with great titles that weren't so great, so I'm not sure.

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ANGEL1066 1/20/2012 9:58PM

    Of your 30, the only one Ihave actually read was "the curious incident of the dog in the night time" - if it is the one by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that is! But I truly enjoyed reading your titles - they are jewels. You are right, a well chosen title can greatly enhance a story or a book's appeal.

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