Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Wasn't Planning This Post - But Here It Is!

Today I received an email from a friend telling me of her sorrow over the dead baby dolphins washing up on shore. I had not heard or read that news for reasons I will give you a little later on in this post.

During our holidays when my brother and his partner were visiting we drove down to Grand Isle which is southwest of New Orleans and pokes out into the Gulf of Mexico. Once we arrived we found a place to park beside some cottages and walked over the dunes and down to the water's edge. There were a number of strange machines combing the sand - sifting out oil. And this in what used to be a very ritzy summer getaway spot for the idly rich. Now a tourist's spot - sort of.

When we arrived at the water's edge - we stood there and looked at the black water and sand that washed at our feet - in and out - creating a brownish gray foam that looked evil. We could see the oil in the water - underneath and on top of the surface. My stomach not only sank but turned.

Further along the Isle we came to the State Park and we were told we were NOT allowed on the beach due to the clean up. Perhaps we weren't allowed where we had been either but I didn't see any signs. What I did see was how this was not only going to affect the tourism on Grand Isle but also change the shore life of the people who had cottages on stilts or on the dunes that looked out over the Gulf of Mexico. We saw a LOT of signs about BP - signs of hatred and despair. The future of Grand Isle almost looked futile.

It does not surprise me that this is happening. Trying to scream at the machine is only going to rip our throats out in the end.

And now the great breaking news that makes the front pages here and puts this sort of story on page 9. Jennifer Aniston has changed her hairstyle! OMG!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Home Again - Home Again - Jig Jiggedy Jig

I'm back in the land of cold. Plain and simple.

Today the temp outside is -28C with a windchill factor of -36C. For those of you who don't 'do' Celsius those temps are -18.4F and -32.8F.

This is actually rather balmy compared to the temps we've been having this last week. Think -40C and wonder if there is really any possible reason that would drag you out your front door to spend time frozen to the sidewalk. Nothing? Right. Same here.

We've actually been home a week - in fact a week later than we had originally planned. That huge weather condition that wiped out half of the United States also hit us and we kept trying to get away from it only to have it slap us in the face yet again. The normal 5 day trip took us 13 days. When we finally walked through the front door we couldn't believe that we had actually made it - and safe and sound at that.

At present I am putting the recounting of our trip aside as my thoughts are focused on New Zealand and the horrific news that is coming out of ChristChurch. I have 2 friends in New Zealand - Michelle who writes the blog Mickle's Pickle and lives in Wellington on the North Island and who has let us all know she is safe. And the second is one of our rafting guides who is traveling around New Zealand and was in Queenstown when the quake struck. He let me know he was also safe and informed me he was heading to ChristChurch to try and help out. Didn't surprise me in the least.
I must add here that I have another friend who actually lives in ChristChurch. For some reason - okay let's call it menopause and opium - I completely forgot that Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers lives right in the area we are all focused on. She is safe as well!

Reading the news of Libya and the rest of the world has me wondering what is going on in this world of ours. My mind is churning over our experience in the US where as outsiders we watched a country being torn apart. I must think more on this before I write a post about it.

The biggest question I have at the moment about life on this planet that is ripping itself apart is this:
Why does news of Justin Bieber getting his hair cut warrant a place on the front page??