Patricia Shipp Lieb; published by Twilight Times Books, Solstice Publishing, Xlibris Press and Amazon Kindle.I like lots of space; photography, writing, reading, diddling around on the computer, playing Poker, spending time with family and friends, walking on the beach, and hiking through the woods. Author of: The Adventures of a Squirrel Named Peanut, Twilight Times Books; My Eighteenth Birthday, 1960 suspense-adventure; Solstice; Danger In The Cliffs, Solstice; Saying I Love You, poetry on Amazon's Kindle; The original version of Murders In The Swampland is available in hard-back books from Xlibris.com; Murders in the Swampland (third edition, updated) true crime now on Amazon Kindle.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Visiting Grand Cayman Island from Margaritaville to Hell and back again
Camille, Paul, Patsy and Phil.... Fun fun fun
We met lots of interesting people at Margaritaville and on the tour bus
You know, the security in Grand Cayman takes the job seriously... I wouldn't want to face-off with the guard nor the Doberman !
Wanita was a HOOT during our tour of Grand Cayman Island
Camille on the porch at the Rum Factory... Yes. Rum! Lots of samples indeed.
I don't think I told anybody to go to Hell... Please forgive me if I did. Sorry.... But it was an interesting place.
The black-rocklooking stuff is the actual Hell...so they say.
I'm wondering if I should post the dancing girls from Margaritaville and yes, also the dancing boys... Hello... Anybody out there?
As our bus drive guide told us, "Banking is the biggest trade in Grand Cayman". And I believe it by the looks of seaside home, spas, and rich hotels.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
We spent much of the day in Roatan Hondarus at West End. The busy street was quite muddy after afternoon rains. An interesting and pretty little place to visit.
Woops... another mud puddle.
Hi Phil. Feeling good after a local beer.
Dancing to steel drums has to be the best.
West End is quite the tourist attraction with eats, drinks, and shopping.
Hard to decide where to stop for lunch.
West End Beach is very lovely
Going to the Legend... Load on.... Last bording call.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Our Guide Tony at Cave Branch River
Western Highway takes you from Belize City to Cave Branch River
Eighty percent of the people of Belize are poor; the adverage working local person is $400 per month, so says our guide Tony.
Tipical homes on the streets leading from the city
Hope you will also read the related article posted earlier
“Look at the faces of the people walking on the streets. How do they look? They are happy,” said tour guide Tony as our tour bus passed through Belize City.
Here, where some one-third of the islands population dwells, a group of tourist from Carnival Cruise Line’s Ledger had boarded for a guided five-and-half-hour trip inland and on to engage in a cave tubing adventure in the Belize River.
This is the “beautiful Caribbean Sea,” Tony noted as the driver maneuvered the bus along the water edge. This is the longest barrier reef in this hemisphere, he said, noting the shoreline and on to a barrier island covered with mangroves. To add to the sea’s beauty, this reef is the home of the Great Blue Hole, which is homed in the famed “Lighthouse Reef System” that lies some sixty miles off the city’s shores.(A sought-after place for scuba divers).
Tony stood near the driver and talked about the country’s landscapes, people and history. Though English is the country’s official language and Tony speaks perfect English, he quickly confides that Creole is his native tongue. Here in the only in Central American country with British colonial heritage, Tony’s “Creole” bloodline is that of an African slave mother and a European slave owner, he noted. When he isn’t working, he speaks only Creole. To do otherwise would give your fellow Creole breed the idea that you think you are better than he, Tony revealed.
The highway around the city was constructed by building up the shoreline in the city for tour vans and buses as the city grew into a major tourist place. In the city, the two-lane highway sets between Caribbean waters with off-shore mangrove islands on one side and on the other priceless hotels—with the tallest building being five-stories— nightclubs, discos and other adult entertainment centers. In this “kings” affluent area, properties start at $150,000 while the average income for the native people is a mere $400 per month, Tony reveals. Eighty percent of the people here are poor, but none die of starvation, he said.
“Where is everybody?” Tony asked as the van maneuvered on through the exclusive area. Then he answered his own question: “Locked up sleeping!” Though, he said, “Belize people love to socialize, love to talk.”
Tony quickly pointed out that the people of Belize take care of one-another. The Internet provider gives its services in schools for children, as well as scholarships, he said. Most schools are headed by the Nazarene church or government affiliates, with students wearing uniforms and prayers being delivered four times each day. Belize offers equality to everybody, he confined, adding, “We have the best literacy in Central America and maybe the world. That is un-Belize-able, people.” And thanks to the United States and Canada, the country has some of the “best tap water in Central America”.
Tony doesn’t hesitate to show his humorous side. “We have seven traffic lights in the country. Six are working,” he said with a grin.
Traveling deeper into the city leaving major tourist shops behind, observers see homes of the poor. Housing is obviously third-world, with many structures having partial add-ons here-and-there. But the houses are “built with love,” Tony said. Their owners owe no mortgage. As an add-on is completed, it is paid for.
Leaving town, the van turned left alongside a grave yard. Tony pointed out that the head-stones all faced the East. Thus, according to the natives’ belief, “God would return to earth in the East.”
Nearing a small settlement on the Western Highway, Tony alerts us to be unalarmed, as we were about to stop at a “check-point”. More than searching for drugs, National Police officers sought for persons who might have been kidnapped for “human trafficking.” The human trafficking problems is worse than drugs, he revealed.
People had relocated to this area after Harricane Hattie destroyed much of the city. Rather than return to their torn dwellings, they started over here, naming the community Hattieville. The stop was quick, and moving on we saw pine trees, palms and sugarcane growing on flat grounds and the stand of Maya Mountains in the not-so-near distance.
After the informative bus ride our group, so named the “Shipp Shakers”, arrived at Caves Branch River Archaeological Reserve. Here we were provided with tubes and lighted head-gear for the rest of our adventure that included holding onto a rope while crossing the river and a forty-five-minute hike through a rainforest area. According to our river tubing guide, vegetation here had some time ago been destroyed. Since then however, a variety of trees have grown tall and tropical plants bare fruits and nuts. The amazing cave tubing in the “muddy” river through huge limestone archways and caves holding “untold stories of Maya rituals” was truly phenomenon. History shows that these dark cave areas were not a place joyfully visited be the Mayas, the guide said. This was a place to present human sacrifice and considered to be of the devil. Our tour guide stopped often to shine his lighted helmet on the bizarre limestone shapes dripping with water and unusual figures that had developed over thousands of years.
We only visited for a few hours in this beautiful region so our sight-seeing in Belize was limited. Our future trips planned to this beautiful country will include the Mayan Ruins, barrier reef snorkeling, and taking part in the lost world canopy tour.
Phil and I plan a trip to the Eastern Caribbean in a couple weeks. Please return to my blog to read about our adventure.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Society of Educators and Scholars annual convention
Patricia Lieb: Reading poetry as a program presentation was beyond my wildest dream...
Hanging out and attending the Society of Educators and Scolars annual convention
Speakers relax and dine on the River Walk after programs on the last day of the events.
Left: Dr. Glenn R. Swentman, professor, author, poet" Patricia Lieb, author, journalist, poet; Richard A. Kruse, Ph.D, president, and Sonny Slitine, conference director of SES.
And Here Is How I Pack My Bags
I recently accepted an invitation to join Dr. Glenn R. Swetman in a reading for the Society of Educators and Scholars at its 2010 convention in San Antonio, Texas. A great opportunity for a writer, I’m sure.
Dr. Swetman, of Biloxi, Mississippi, and me of just north of Tampa, Florida, got together when we both changed planes in Memphis, Tennessee, for the duration of the trip across Mississippi Delta land, Louisiana, and Texas.
Sitting on the small jet and looking downward through the window as we passed over the black earth farm lands, bayous in swamplands, and desert sands, I thought about the wardrobe I’d packed and hoped it would be sufficient among this extinguished group of educators and scholars (Ph.D’s—hello!. I was a newspaper reporter for some 20-plus years, but—)
I thought about last night’s packing and it brought memories of how it used to be when my publishing partner Carol Schott and I produced the literary magazine PTERANODON and the PTERANODON chap books, and the prize poems series’. We would pack the night before our flight to which ever state in which ever city the NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE POETRY SOCIETY annual convention was being held. We did this for several years.
We would pack the night before our flight to New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Dakota, etc—as we ALWAYS were included on programs held annually by the NFSPS. We also traveled as guest speakers to many state poetry society workshops, readings, and seminars and various university events.
So we packed surgically, minimizing our wardrobes so we could put BOOKS in the bulk of our bags.
BOOKS, they were our object. We were publishers and we needed to promote PTERANODON and all the fine authors we published. We needed to get our stuff out there and get it noticed. That was our goal.
So what to wear was the least of our concerns. There have been times we had to send out for a cleaner’s pickup, or go shopping—often visiting thrift shops for a quick outfit for an evening readings, sometimes for an unexpected “rap” session with famed American poets such as John Ciardi, or William Stafford, or Richard Eberhart. Sometime for just dancing in the convention center’s lounge.
The NFSPS convention was held in Orlando, Florida in 1981. In the prime of the Lieb-Schott publishing era, we were loaded with more books than you can imagine, but few articles of clothing. It became necessary to walk to a department store not far from our hotel. And would you believe, they charged a cover charge to enter? Yes!
I think we were mostly shopping for personal stuff, like hair ribbons, that day. After Carol "talked" with the store manager, she said she would return our $4.00 entrance fee when we left the store. I don’t remember if anybody bought anything, and I wondered if we appeared to the store lady -- perhaps scary. I do know we decided to find another place to shop after that.
But one thing for sure, any clothing we wore during the five-day events, were wrinkle free. Carol always had room in her suitcase for her iron. Regardless of the attire, you’d not find one crease in our wardrobes. Even garments from the thrift shop got ironed. Once, during a flight from Chicago to Tampa, our baggage somehow got put on a differ plane than the one we were on. Carol said, “I hope the other plane doesn’t lose our bags… But one thing for sure, I have my iron right here.” She patted her long cotton multi-colored carry bag.
So as I packed my bags last night, I crammed underwear between stacks of books; and tank tops in the suitcase corners, and I laid my skirts and slacks atop to protect the books. But unlike Carol, I don’t carry an iron.
Now, as I step up to present my reading I wonder: Am I wrinkled?