Thursday, April 26, 2007
Meet Teahpoo. He's just too damn cute not to make him the photo for today. ( I probably spelled his name wrong - sorry ladies. If you see this, please email me with the correct spelling.)
I met Teahpoo at Surfers Beach this morning. I've written before about satos - the abandoned Puerto Rican beach dogs. Teahpoo is not a sato. A surfing family owns him and loves him.
Arial - one of the daughters in the family - said Teahpoo isn't feeling well today. Sorry, Bud. Hope tomorrow is a better day. Maybe there will be better surf tomorrow too.
There are a couple more pictures of Teahpoo on www.puertoricosurfphoto.com. Click on the 4.26 Surfers Beach link.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
A lone surfer paddles out at Jobos at sunset, looking for that one last wave, that one last ride for the day.
It's been a quiet week in Bajuras and on Lola's Corner. Most of the last week has been overcast and cool with rain just about every day, more rain than we've had since the flood. The good news is it didn't come all at once so no new flooding. And we needed the rain.
It was a slow weekend at Lola's as well.
The perfect time you might think to catch up some writing, to post some great stories to the blog.
Alas, not so. I've been busy - but it's been kinda disjointed putz-y work. Stuff that needed to get done but just kinda putzing.
I finally got Ola Lola's web site rebuilt. Well, mostly. There's still some content to write (Lola's backstory for the "About" page, updated info for "Getting Here") But there are new pictures on the "Bar" page of the photo album. Check it out. Your picture might be there. And if it's not, shouldn't it be? Come on down so we can take your picture and put it up with Lola's People. There are new links on the links page as well.
There are some new surf photos up on PuertoRicoSurfPhoto.com. I spent a lot of time with these new sets from April 19 and 21, learning more about Photoshop and working with RAW files. I've revised some old PRSP pages. Check out the Surfing page "2.25 Wilderness Beach" for new and improved photos. I'll be "upgrading" other photo pages in coming days. I'm still learning.
Sorry I haven't posted in a few days - wow, a week really! I'll try to keep up.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The Northeast U.S. has been hammered the past few days by a huge Nor'easter. To all of you living through it, we hope you and your loved ones are safe and finally starting to dry out.
As bad as that storm has been for the Northeast, surfers here are enjoying the late-season swells it's pushing our way. Yesterday started out kinda flat but built a bit by late afternoon. Today was good pretty much all around the corner of the island.
I've been trying my hand at some in-the-water surf shots. I started at Jobos because it's fairly shallow and the big karst formation provides some relief if I need it. Today I REALLY needed it! Big waves and a rip that surprised me. I was prepared for the waves - I expected to get pounded (I wasn't disappointed!). But the rip caught me a bit off guard. It took a while to get used to it and to work with it and not against it.
This in-the-water stuff is a lot harder than it looks! My hat is off to all those photographers who go out in the big stuff day after day to get great shots. I don't know if I'll ever get in the water in big waves at Wilderness. But I still got a few good shots. This is one of the best.
There are more photos on www.puertoricosurfphoto.com. Click on the "surfing" button and the on the links for 4.17 and 4.18. I'll try to get some up on Flickr as well for everybody who's used to looking there. Hope you enjoy them!
Monday, April 16, 2007
Some day I may get tired of KAPping - taking pictures with a camera suspended from a kite - but this isn't the day!
This is Middles Beach looking west past Montones to Jobos Beach. Middles is about three miles from Lola's and is a popular surfing beach.
I had a good time with these. Altogether, between Middles and Shacks Beach I took more than 200 images. I've edited them down to less than forty for the two new sets of pictures up on Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/ola-lolas). They will be on PuertoRicoSurfPhoto.com shortly. So check 'em out. I hope you enjoy them.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Happy Friday the 13th! So far it's been pretty lucky - or at least not UN-lucky. Hope it's a lucky day for you too.
Tired of pics of the dogs yet? I sure hope not. Right now they are my best, most popular models and subjects. There hasn't been much in the way of surf - so no surfers - and no wind to speak of - so no kite surfers and no KAP. But there are always the dogs, mostly cooperative and always beautiful.
This is Jazz posing on the beach this morning during our morning run. There will be a few more portraits up on Flickr shortly. Hope you enjoy them.
Gotta go open Lola's. Stay tuned.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Today's blog is written by "E" (Elaine) and it is a thank you card to the many many friends and loved ones who have been so incredibly thoughtful, generous, caring and supportive in helping me recover from surgery (which went remarkably well...so thank you first to the great surgeons and medical team who cared for me both before and during the procedure). I started back to work today - just a couple hours a day - and am struck by how many people have been there to help and show so much kindness to me over the past few weeks (and months).
To my friends, here are my thanks in no particular order and with no way to really express all the gratitude I have for all of you:
My friends and colleagues at WMU - Kathy, Bharti, Jan, Helen, Mick, John (sorry 'bout your bike, dude), Jeanine, Laura, Heidi, Mary, Hal, Mike, Gary, Teresa, Paula, Jim, Steve, Donna, Greg, Robin, Sandy - thank you for the card and the tremendous amount of support with workload as well as friendship; I treasure it all more than I can tell you.
Katie J. & Jill A., what can I say? You were there for me (and John) and still are. Thanks for sharing Layla with me. Thanks for helping me get the house ready to show. Thanks for grocery shopping and sharing meals. Thanks for making me laugh and letting me cry and for just hanging out together.
Nancy, thank you for healing dark chocolate truffles and all the good wishes that went with them. I KNOW they have helped.
My future colleagues - now students in SPPA 3510 - your care package was unbelievable and I'm still enjoying goodies from it and I will be using the canvas bag and thinking of you each time for many years to come in Puerto Rico. I will be in to see you before I leave.
Katie M. (original Lola) - thank you for having the accordion orchestra play Besame Mucho the evening of my surgery. It was one of my mom's favorite songs. And thank you for the postcards and program. I'm sorry I lost your phone #.
J-Lily - thank you for lunch and a chance to just sit and talk and enjoy your company.
Amy - the stuffed puppy and your love and support got me through the pre-op jitters and the first few days after. And, your gifts of support since then have been incredible and so very loving. And thanks for loving Kennedy Anne even though she's already kicking to get out.
Mary C. - thank you for the card and taking care of Phoenix. Miss him and our dogs but sure am glad for all the love you have brought to his life.
Jason & Sara - thank you for your phone calls, help with the house (J), and sharing your excitement about coming to visit us in Puerto Rico.
Connie, Jim, Marianne - thank you for the get well emails; good to hear from you; the dogs miss their Friday work day with you all.
Kathy H., the flowers you sent were absolutely gorgeous - colors that made me think of my new home every day (they lasted >2 weeks). Thank you for helping me to remember the important stuff.
John D. (along with Brenda, Mike & Rose), you made me smile and laugh at Ola Lola's and you've continued to help me do that with your cards, newsy notes, and pictures. (I love the photos!) Thank you.
Kathy & Paul - the cookie bouquet came at the best time possible...when I had major case of the munchies. Thank you for your card, love, email and phone calls too.
My sisters (Amy & Mary), thank you for the prayers, cards and phone calls. I love you (and thank you, Amy, for keeping me in the loop on Dad).
Rebecca - thank you for visiting & for missing the dogs with me.
Erin K. - you've given me at least 3 days of rest (both physically and spiritually) that I desperately needed...don't know where you find your timing but it's the best.
Jen P. - thanks for heavy lifting, for the beautiful card, for being patient with me as I faded off on the couch. Glad we could share waffles.
Tito - thank you for being there for John; for talking with me on the phone and for caring about us and for loving Puerto Rico and dogs and horses. You are a wonderful friend.
Pat & John - thank you for countlessly just doing kind things to make my life easier. And, thank you for the security of knowing I have 2 wonderful neighbors and friends right across from me who are there with a smile and care and help whenever I need it. (I refuse to shovel any more snow, however, and I recommend you do the same).
My 2nd year grad students - don't know how to thank you for all the patience you've had with me and for your gracious and supportive get well wishes. Sorry I have been so out of touch (or should I say "off line"). I hope to see you ALL before graduation, though.
Bill & Lynn, and everyone in our "kite family" - thank you for cards, phone calls, emails, and good wishes. Every kite I see reminds me of all your gifts of friendship over the years. Hope we can all fly on the beach soon!
Abby & Sarah - thank you for coming over and for the card and bringing tulips. They were beautiful and reminded me that spring WILL be back. (Hope the Easter stuff worked well.) And Abby, thank you for all the work you have been doing with very little support from me.
Sandy and Marty - thank you for coming to see me in the hospital, for your phone calls, for the e-card, for your recipe for kale greens. Good things are coming.
Ann B. - thank you for phone calls, the flowers (oh I DO love flowers), encouragement, and offers to help continually; thanks for taking "the big one" so I didn't have to. Feel like you're right here with me and makes me smile. See you soon.
To our first-year grads and part-timers – I miss you all and thank you for the emails and support as I’m leaving. I can’t wait to hear your professional success stories (you’re all going to do very well!)
Sheila - it's a blessing just to hear your smile on the phone. Thank you for helping me to honor all the good things in my life right now, especially wonderful friends and guardian angels.
Hazel & Mum E., along with the rest of my British family - so glad to hear you're all doing well. Thanks for the good wishes and hope to see you in Puerto Rico; please DO come visit!
Kris, your phone calls and emails are always so loving. Thanks for your continued get well wishes and prayers and dog stories and missing the red guys!
Beth, thanks for the e-card, loving pix of the dogs and missing 'em too. I will see you.
Lisa K., thanks for playing phone tag until we could finally connect and catch up; glad to hear all the news from the VB group!
Ian and Lynn, still can't figure out what to do with all Ian's framed photos we bought (can't take 'em all to PR). I think we need to meet before I leave and pow-wow on this....okay, I admit it...just an excuse to drink beer and see you two.
Scott F., thank you for helping Ola Lola's be successful (kites and windsocks are awesome!) and for your email get well wishes. Hope to see you at Family Fest.
Holly, thanks for the get well wishes & best wishes for all your new happenin's! Glad you liked the house.
Karen & Bob, thanks for leading the way to warmer climes and for calling to catch up on news and give such supportive get well wishes. Go TEAM!
Maureen, so glad you found love in Puerto Rico. Thanks for your phone calls and get well wishes, my friend.
Bonnie, sorry you're so far away but we miss you and think you & Mike definitely need to stop by Ola Lola's for a drink on your way to the French island :-) (thanks for supportive sistuh stories of surgery!)
Shelly & Mark, thank you for your "neighbor on the street" get well wishes and for sharing your CD with me, Shelly. It'll be great to see you in Puerto Rico, too.
Thank you to all the many other friends who have emailed (and hopefully got a response if they asked a question...we had some "blackout" periods post surgery and no one knew who was on first...at least not online) and sent get well wishes.
To Jen & Tony, Trevor & Jennifer, Bryan, George & Mary, Wade & Andrea, Diane M., and all the many Ola Lola friends who have given John and I more friendship and support than we ever thought possible, especially while we're apart...thank you and I'll be home soon.
FRIENDS like all of you are the REAL GARDEN at Ola Lola's and in our lives. I'm looking forward to seeing every one of you at our new home in Puerto Rico...as often and as much as possible!
Signing off with a "story" from Bryan Andreas (www.storypeople.com) that makes me think of all of you and your gifts to me:
"There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good."
P.S. And there are no words to thank Mi Querido for all he is, for all he's done, for all he's doing, for all his love.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Surf season is supposed to winding down but it's
hard to believe from the number of surfers out today
here on the tailend of spring break, trying to catch one
last ride. This is the line-up at Surfers Beach this
morning. There are more photos from Surfers and
Wilderness on the the new web site,
www.puertoricosurfphoto.com If you haven't seen it
yet, check it out. We'll post the best of today's surf
pictures on also for everybody used to looking
Otherwise, it was a pretty mundane day at Lola's
Corner. We found out we have to get a new starter for
the Lola-mobile - I'll do that tomorrow. I did
laundry; now I'm out of laundry detergent. But the
hammock is clean and there are clean sheets on the
bed. The afternoon has been grey, overcast, but very
I love running Lola's, but I look forward to my days
off, to going out to photograph surfers or kite
surfers or putting up a kite, with or without a camera
on it. I like being able to go to the beach any time,
without a time crunch. But in some ways the days off,
the mundane days, are harder. I have more time to miss
E., to want to share with her even more than I do on
the days Lola's is open. These are days that are
harder to be away from her, if that's possible.
But always out there, underlying the mundane
day-to-day activities, there is always the sound of
the ocean, just a couple minutes walk away.
And the ocean, the beach are really why Amber, Jazz
and I are here, getting Lola's Corner ready for E.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Postcard from Shacks Beach:
The water is beautiful, the weather is wonderful. Wish you were here.
P.S. You can see more pictures of me and my brother Amber Ale on Ola Lola's Flickr site - www.flickr.com/photos/ola-lolas. Hope you enjoy them
Sunday, April 08, 2007
A postcard for all of you suffering through the return of winter in the Midwest and Northeast. E. told me it's snowing again in K'zoo.
Here in the Noroeste it's 82 (heat index 88), sunny, light breeze.
It's been a crowded holiday weekend on the beaches, lots of traffic by Lola's. It's been an okay weekend for business so far, not great but okay. Holidays here are family affairs, families gathering at home or on the beaches and they tend to bring food and drink with them.
Down Calle los Pinos, the little road we take to go to the beach, it's been a huge family camp-out weekend. Several extended families all pitched tents around a central "kitchen" tent for a weekend together. Since Friday (Good Friday) was a holiday the parties were in full swing by Friday afternoon. It's fun to see and to watch them and to watch all the kids playing on the beach.
Speaking of the beach, the dogs and I are headed there now. More later.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Today's photo is not from Puerto Rico but from Kalamazoo, Mich. This was the scene E. woke up to this morning - eight inches of snow. In fact it was the sound of a snowplow running up the street at 6:30 am. On April 5. There is a snow and blowing snow advisory in K'zoo and out to the Lake Michigan shoreline, about 40 miles west of K'zoo. This follows more than a week of weather in the 60s and 70s.
Anybody else out there got new snow?
Here on the island, it's not snow but mosquitoes that are our plague. Since the flood last week, we have been battling more mosquitoes than anyone here remembers before.
Usually when there is a breeze, it blows the little buggers away. But these are the most wind-resistant insects I've ever seen. Not even a 20 knot breeze keeps them away.
The Supermercado Co-op (the sign says "Coop" so it's known as the "koop" among the local gringos) is out of mosquito spray and mosquito coils.
We're all hoping they abate soon. Of course, we're also figuring the next rain will bring another hatching. Oh, well. Part of the adventure - not the most pleasant part, but part of the adventure none the less.
I have to get everything ready today to open Lola's tomorrow. Tomorrow is Good Friday and many many businesses are closed. Some are closed for the whole Semana Santa (Holy Week). This is, of course, an important holiday weekend for many people. We hope it's joyous holiday for you and weekend full of peace for all.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
There are are only a few rules at Ola Lola's - No shirt? No shoes? No problem! What happens at Lola's, stays at Lola's.
And what's taken at Lola's, comes back to Lola's. In this case we're talkin' about pictures. Today's pic is from our friends Wade and Andrea. It actually goes back to the end of February when E. was here. Thanks, guys. We had a great time meeting and hangin' with you. And thanks for the pictures. What great memories!
If anyone else has photos from a visit to Ola Lola's, please send 'em along. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. They may not all make it to the blog (then again, they might!) but they will definitely be in the Lola's People file.
One other rule is worth mentioning. Actually, it's more of a tradition than a rule. If you buy more booze 'n beer than you can consume during your stay, the leftovers get left at Lola's. This tradition was started by our friends Dax and Helen. On their last night on the island, they came to Lola's all apologetic. "We hope you don't mind, but we brought our own drinks. But our 'peace offering' is we're giving you the rest of the bottle!" Well, they didn't need a peace offering; seeing them before they left was enough. But the vodka was much appreciated anyway.
This tradition was recently continued by three guys in all-out party mode when then got here. Their parting "gift" of leftover booze included eight Coronas and and a (still!) unopened bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill! It can sometimes be hard to find good wine on the island, but they managed to find Boone's Farm! Thanks, guys. I'm sure someone will appreciate it.