Saturday, November 3, 2012


I couldn't help it, really I couldn't. A month or so ago, I was walking with Happy up the ocean road when I came upon a puppy in the garbage mound. I cannot walk by a puppy, in the garbage, by the side of the road. I knew she was abandoned - either by her mother or by her humans. It happens alot here. Animals are animals, very few are pets. Anyway, I did what I will always do. I picked her up and took her home.

Carl is never surprised by my entrance into the house with a random animal. Thank goodness (besides, he knows I have no desire to run a zoo - it's way too much work). I promptly called my animal rescue friend Sue who told me she knew the puppy and that there were more. Oh dear, more. Off we went, back to the Ocean Road to locate the other puppies. We found two more females, alive, not too far from where I found the first. Another was dead in the road. (I will not tell you how many animals I have seen dead, in the road, in the garbage, or on the side of the road)

The puppies were obviously healthy and the vet confirmed that when I took them in the following Monday. The vet had a friend who wanted a puppy. The gentleman came right to the office and promptly took one off my hands. My friend, Ashley, took the next one. And now, I have just one. One does not seem like a problem except for


We already have two and we all know that two plus one makes three, and in the case of dogs, we're running dangerously close to a pack. Honestly, if we were going to be here for years (which we're not), it wouldn't matter. But we head back in 8 months and I need this little one to be in a good, loving home, before we head out.

So, if you know anyone who wants a sweet, healthy, little puppy, have them give us a call.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quilting again

I've started to sew again. For that, I am grateful. I felt I had lost my mojo on that one, but it's still there.

This quilt will go to a new baby here in Senegal. Carl asked me to make a quilt for his military friend whose wife had a baby a few weeks back. Baby quilts are generally quick and easy. This one is super simple.

My design is not original. I was inspired by Ashley, at the blog, Film in the Fridge. I am happy there are generous bloggers sharing their skills with the rest of us. And did I mention Ashley lives in Burlington? Way to go Vermont. I found her blog a long time ago and love the pictures of her quilts with Burlington as the backdrop.

Of the many quilts I have made, that's the first quilt I've ever posted on line. The next one is in my head, I'm just waiting for the fabric to arrive. It is, no doubt, on the slow boat to Africa.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Last Friday, we were very fortunate to be invited to a Tabaski celebration in the home of one of Carl's military friends here in Dakar, Mbecke and Khadidja Diaw. The picture above is of Carl, me and Khadidja.

According to the story the Tabaski commemorates the enslavement of Ibrahim (Abraham) to God who ordered him to sacrifice his son Ishmael. At the very point of sacrifice, a sheep was slaughtered in his place.

Tabaski is more than a simple religious event. It is the opportunity to meet with family and loved ones, it is synonymous with sharing and generosity towards the poor and the needy. In a very broad sense, it reminded me of Thanksgiving. Except the main course was mouton or sheep, as we would know it. Our hosts graciously served us sheep in three courses. I think Carl and Matt enjoyed the last one the best as it was served over a bed of rice, soaked in the cooking juices.

It was a lovely day and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seriously wishing for fall here . . .

It's 4:30 in the afternoon and it's still hot, like 85 degrees hot. When we walk outside in the morning our sunglasses fog and sweat starts to form on the brow - immediately. Yup, it's still the rainy season here in West Africa and relief isn't coming for another month. I'd say we're used to it, but that doesn't mean we sweat any less. We're all missing sweaters, morning frost and chilly air, pumpkins, apple picking, even turning on the heat (regardless of the price of fuel). Needless to say, our AC is still on. Carl is spending this week in Germany and I think he's just fine with temps in the 60's and a fabulous beer selection.

Matt is almost at the end of his first trimester in 6th grade. He's doing well even though he's still getting used to the rigors of the program. He's playing middle school soccer and has had the opportunity to play other teams in Dakar. I'm super pleased with his attitude and the experiences he's having.

I continue to study French with my buddy Sue - we're at about the same level and pretty much torment our instructor with either "ah-hah" or "duh" moments every class combined with copious amounts of laughter. We're consistent though and I am confident I can converse with just about any French 4 year old (as long as they're not too advanced in their language skills).

Carl has made it through the really busy summer and can finally breathe. He started riding his bike into work 2-3 mornings a week. I try not to think about it. It's scary, at best. Not a week goes by without a close call or a crash for him or any one of his riding buddies. Think 50 year olds with the bike crash scars of 10 year olds. Banged up knees and elbows complete with road rash. Thank goodness they all agree that a helmet is nothing short of a necessity. Riding a bike is not a ride in the park here. Put it this way, Matt told us not to bother getting him a new bike because he can't ride here. Thank goodness for soccer and swimming.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

early June

local artfabric artflowers from the yardDSC_0002cascading flowers in the yard

early June, a set on Flickr.

June has started out quietly. We were without internet for a week. Not that we didn't know before, but we truly do rely on the internet to connect with the outside world. Limited internet access and no telephone. Quiet isn't bad, but the problem was quite frustrating.

We've started to collect art from local artists. I had my eye on the baobob wall hanging for quite some time and finally decided to buy it. The fabrics are representative of the Senegalese batiks. Carl chose the canvas painting. We are both drawn to the bright colors.

We are preparing for our home leave at the end of the month. We are all looking forward to our return to the states regardless of how brief it is.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goree Island May 2012

DSC_0103bDSC_0050bDSC_0062bThe door of no returncolors on GoreeGoree Island Beach
Goree Island churchyard on Goreecell tower/palm treedown the barrel of a canonglue and sand for art

Goree Island May 2012, a set on Flickr.

We spent Saturday morning on Goree Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Very beautiful, very rustic (well, with the exception of the palm tree/cell tower). It even rained for us.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012