choco crackles

⟡ Breaking with tradition ⟡

You all know how I feel about tropical Christmas.  I wrote about it last year. In general, I  take comfort in traditions.  The ease of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, menu always the same.  The cherished Christmas ornaments that I pull out of the box each year.  The Easter ham.  The Fourth of July barbecue. But this year with the holiday season in full swing, I’m feeling the season in a different way. [Read more…]

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Life Hacks

If I ever go on safari (and I hope I will) …Remember to NOT take pictures of wild animals. I don’t want to spend my time trying to capture a fabulous picture of a giraffe when I should be enjoying a live giraffe gamboling right in front of me.  I lost too many precious moments of family life because I was fiddling with focus, trying to turn on/off the flash etc.  You know exactly what I’m talking about. [Read more…]

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Another good role model

The thing that appeals to me about fictional female sleuths is that they are fearless.   They are empowered women.  They live the life.  They are intuitive.  And they don’t suffer with getting lost or a bad sense of direction (which is the bane of my life). Female sleuths have a man in their past, but not in their present. [Read more…]

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⟡ A rant… ⟡

When I was young…the future was the happy Jetsons, a popular TV cartoon, a family flitting about outer space and enjoying a futuristic version of the 1950’s good life. There’s the rub:  it was a 50’s idea of the future: a bright place to be.  We imagined new medical technogy, a disease free world, time saving devices (saving time for what?) and…flying cars. [Read more…]

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Andrew Wyeth “Master Bedroom”

Is not for sissies

If you are getting tired of reading The Dengue Diaries, imagine how I feel living it. This painting captures, for me, the peace and yes, somewhat desultory nature of being sick alone.  Perhaps the dog is enjoying a cozy nap, but there is a moment of utter solitude in this picture which speaks to me right now. [Read more…]

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Andrew Wyeth “Wind from the Sea” 1947

Oh, are you still sick?

In the grand scheme of life, dengue and chinkungunya are nothing.  Pfft! There are truly horrible things that people suffer with and die from.  Bottom line:  it’s not cancer. I’ve lost count of the weeks.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  I really wish people would stop asking, “Are you still sick?” in an annoyed tone, meaning, haven’t you gotten over it yet?  Followed by a grudging,  “Well, you look good.” My reply?  “I hope you never get dengue or chinkungunya.” [Read more…]

Good morning from Oxfordshire © Amanda Brooks

⟡ A window on the world ⟡

I have adopted one of the habits of today’s young. I wake up and reach for my ipad mini.  I quickly scan my Twitter feed to see the breaking news.  CNN and The New York Times.  What’s happening, what’s trending. Then, I slow the pace and turn to my Instagram feed. [Read more…]

Surrender-Dorothy

The hot topic

This is the view from my third week of dengue, still in the house, on the couch. Surrender is the hot button on the internet, the “new” cure for all that ails you.   But it’s an age old, traditional Zen concept.  Some people say surrender, others say acceptance.  Surrender seems more active, there is movement, a letting go.  Whilst acceptance seems like sitting back, chilling. [Read more…]

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Where I’ve been

It’s been a week since I have taken to my bed. I had a blood test yesterday to determine whether it’s dengue or chinkungunya. Whatever.  It all hurts.  It all means I’ll be having a tough time for weeks and when it’s over, I won’t be able to so much as sip a glass of wine for six months.  That brings me to May 2016.  Dengue compromises the liver. [Read more…]

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This bottom of this lemlem beach coverup is now a pillow.

Ecological me

I was cleaning out my clothes closet.  Something I like to do on a regular basis. If you saw my closet, you wouldn’t think there would be anything to clean out.  I like to keep things spare. I pulled out four summer dresses.  (In Tropica it’s summer all year round.) They were in that difficult category of: they still fit and they’re in such good shape.  But they had played their part in my life and I knew I would no longer wear them. [Read more…]