Archive for February 2011

zanzibar :: old friends and new friends

There are many reasons that we go halfway around the world on vacation. The great escape is nice, but so are the friends we have. Karl first met our friend Mbaraka in 1997 and we have gotten to know his family over the years. My conversations with his mother and grandmother are limited by my poor Swahili and consist of mainly of asking how my children are and their health.

Both Mbaraka’s mother and grandmother (“Bibi”) are amazing women of great strength. They work harder to make a living than most of us ever will. ¬†Bibi often weaves the remnants of coconut husks to make rope.

Her strong hands can roll meters and meters so easily. When I try to do it, I can’t quite figure it out and it just makes a big mess.

One of my other good friends is Salma. Somehow we manage to communicate and can spend hours together. She’s taught me how to cook traditional dishes and I still make at home occasionally. During this most recent trip, she and her daughter taught my friend, Heidi, the same recipes. One of my future posts will share more of our time with Salma.

And no trip is complete without new friendships. There was the laid back bartender and the always happy cook. The courteous manager and the quiet kitchen staff.

One night, a few of the guys built a bonfire and were drumming and singing for hours. The Coca-Cola bottle made it feel like we were a part of one of their feel good commercials.

At one point, Karl called me from home to chat. Talk about a surreal moment – having a conversation on an iPhone sitting on the beach, while swaying to the music under the stars and at the edge of the Indian Ocean.


the kitchen project


I just realized that I never finished the kitchen remodel project posts. We finished the major part of the construction in the middle of September and then the “project burn out” period happened. Then, studio busy season. Then, Christmas. Then, Zanzibar.

We are literally just finishing up the final touches on the paint this week. A few wall colors were changed (beige to gray and beige to red) in the kitchen and foyer. It will be really nice not to have think about painting for a little while!

Here’s the finished project…home, sweet, home.

doggy daze 2011

It’s back! The Doggy Daze fundraiser is scheduled for March 8th.

There are still some spots available – sign up today and support the Dane County Humane Society! All dogs will be entered into the Top Dog contest and the chance to win some great prizes from JHP, Ruffin’ It Resort and bad dog frida!

Visit the Doggy Daze website for more information and to register.