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Friday, 29 November 2013

Beauty Magic

Dr. Edward Jones peeled away the bandages from Roxanne's breasts. He held one breast in his right hand and examined it closely. The incision was barely visible, and was healing nicely.

"Well, how do I look?" Roxanne asked, impatiently.

"Beautiful as always, my dear. You don't need to have any cosmetic changes done, Roxanne. You're a strikingly good looking woman. Leave the beauty fixes for the neglected housewives and disfigured persons."

"Oh save the lecture, Edward! You should be grateful you're married to me. Not many women would give you a second glance, with that plain face of yours, and those thick owlish glasses you wear. Why the hell did I marry you?"

"You were probably tired of paying me the money I deserved to do the unnecessary make-overs on you. I do love you as you are, Roxanne," Edward replied, placing a kiss on his wife's forehead.

"Oh, shut up!" snapped Roxanne, turning her head away. She looked at herself in the hand mirror that was on the night stand, and was pleased with the results. The puffiness and bluish color should fade away in time, before her trip to the resort next weekend, with a few friends.

The one thing she made sure to never run out of, besides money, was make-up. There was plenty of that in her dressing room to make her look flawless and more stunning. She could not wait to flaunt her latest assets.

Edward walked toward the door. He paused before opening it.

"I feel like a stranger with my own wife. I know my work gets in the way at times. Why don't we go somewhere quiet and romantic to spend some time together?" he suggested.

"Paris or London sounds marvelous. I need a new wardrobe to go with my new look." Roxanne said, looking up when she heard the door shut.


"Ahh, Roxy, I can't keep my hands off your magnificent boobs!"
"Careful, Paul, they're still slightly tender from the surgery. You'll have them to play with all weekend. I told my husband I'm visiting Jackie." Roxanne got out of bed and poured herself another drink.

"If you were my wife, I wouldn't let you out of my sight. Your husband's a damn fool."

"He's a man besotted with a beautiful woman, and believes the lies I tell him."

Roxanne went onto the balcony. The music from the resort band was loud, competing with the laughter coming from the patrons at the poolside. The non-stop partying was fun, and she was having an exciting time. All the men wanted to flirt with her. Paul was great in bed, with a voracious sexual appetite to match hers. She would keep in contact with him after she left. The fake compliments Joan and her other female friends made when they saw her robust cleavage made Roxanne smile. Envious bitches, she mused, finishing her drink.

The weekend activities came to an end, and Roxanne left late Sunday evening. After driving for a while, it began to rain. The road became slippery, and the car skidded. It spun out of control, and went over the embankment, hitting a tree before landing upside-down. A truck driver saw the wreckage and found Roxanne unconscious.

Roxanne woke up with a splitting headache. She looked around and realized she was in the hospital. Edward was sitting in a chair nearby and held her hand.

"What happened?" she asked groggily, attempting to sit and moaned in pain.

"Don't try to move. You were in an accident, and were brought here. You broke a couple ribs, and your face was badly cut from the broken glass. The doctors said your alcohol level was high too."

Roxanne put a hand to her face, and felt the bandages. "No, not my face!" she yelled, but stopped talking when she felt pain resulting from it.

"It's alright darling. I was called as soon as the doctors realized who you were. I decided to perform plastic surgery while you were unconscious. It was easier that way."

Roxanne was discharged earlier than expected, and Edward took her home. He had taken leave to care for his wife, and catered to her whims.

"I'm going to take the bandages off now," Edward told Roxanne in her dressing room one day.

"Well, it's about time. I'm tired of being cooped up in this dreary house with you!"
Edward slowly cut away the bandages, and turned Roxanne's head from side to side. He was pleased with the results. It was one of his finest works ever.

“Perfect. Your face healed nicely, and not a scar in sight. All you need is a suntan to get rid of that pale complexion."                                                                          

"Hurry up, I want to see!" Roxanne spun around in the swivel chair and looked in the dresser mirror. She blinked before letting out a scream. Staring back at her was a creature that looked like death warmed over. Her nose was long and shaped like a beak, and her lips were plumped up from having been injected with too much Botox. The skin had been pulled back tightly, giving the cheekbones a too high look.  Roxanne's brows were raised at an angle, causing her eyes to appear slant and close set.

"My face! What have you done to me, you bastard?" she shouted, slapping Edward across his face. He smiled sadly.

"I created a new look for my wife. I have put up with your tantrums and selfish attitude for too long, hoping you would change and return my love. Everything I did and gave you was never good enough. You thought you could get away with your affair at the resort, didn't you? I've performed plastic surgery on some of your friends. A couple of the women at the resort were more than happy to call, informing me of my wife's antics. Did you know how hurt I was?"

"You'll never get away with this. I'm leaving you!" Roxanne cried, rising from the chair. Edward pushed her back into it. He had an angry expression which Roxanne had never seen displayed before.

"You no longer call the shots, sweetheart. From now on, you'll do exactly what I tell you. No need to worry about looking beautiful anymore. No man will want you now, and you'll never leave this house without me. Your time will be spent doing the cooking, housework, and catering to my needs."

Roxanne cried, still in shock over her appearance, and realized there was no-one to turn to. She would not let anyone see her horrendous looking face.

"I hate you!" she shouted at Edward, throwing a bottle at him. He caught it and read the label with a smile.

"Beauty Magic Cream. This won't help, my darling. You call me plain, but it's you who should be grateful to be married to me. Now go to the kitchen and fix my dinner. Your glamorous party days are over!"

Image courtesy of

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Man in the Mirror

 Is that old man staring back really me? Time really flies as the saying goes.  Funny, I don’t feel old at all, but am seventy-three years old.

How could my face have gotten so wrinkled without me noticing it? All these years I have been looking in the mirror, seeing a younger man. What made today so different to make me observe these changes? Maybe my beloved Martha has something to do with that. Fifty-one years of marriage today, and she still tells me how handsome I look. I guess I feel the same about her too. She is just as beautiful now as when I met her.

Look how thin my hair has become. It used to be so thick and dark, now I can use my hand to keep it in place. My face is so tanned and lined from working outdoors in the sun. All those years of struggling in the hot sun, trying to make a living from farming have rewarded me with wrinkles and aged spots. I earned every one too.

 It was not an easy life, but I endured the hardships and welcomed the good times. Those are not wrinkles around my mouth, but laugh lines, caused by the happiness of having a family. This is the face of a man who has weathered the four seasons reasonably well, despite disappointments and regrets. I have seen the ravages of war and survived. Friends and loved ones have passed on.

Age is a number. There is still the feel of youthful vigor in my body. Sure, I may not walk as briskly as before, but I am not slow either. Nowadays, I just prefer to move at my own pace. Why does everyone rush so much? My body is no longer as finely toned as it used to be, but I think I’m in better shape than some of the young men I see on the streets. They are all booze and belly. Martha does not complain about the romance, or lack of it, which is often the case these days. Holding hands can be so sentimental.

Ah, yes, Jake, my friend, is staring at me from the mirror. It is you who are the elderly one, not me. There is still a lot of energy left in this man, and life was meant for living, so I’ll not waste precious minutes looking at you. I have places to explore and new things to do before the breath leaves my body. When did the time past me by?
Image courtesy of          

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Saving the Hawksbill Sea Turtles

Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Sandals Whitehouse, one of the all inclusive hotels in the Sandals Resorts International Chain, located in Westmoreland on the south coast of Jamaica has always been a popular choice for visitors. This was made more evident with the arrival of the Hawksbill sea turtles, when their tracks were first noticed on the property's white sand beach in 2011.

A team comprised of fishermen from the local Bluefield Bay Fishermen Friendly Society  (BBFFS) trained in sea turtle conservation, and members of the hotel staff were led by the Environment Health and Safety (EHS) department to start an exciting and educational monitoring nesting program at the resort. The team worked endlessly to preserve the lives of this endangered species, as bad weather and predators had decreased the quantity of nests found.

Nighttime vigils in the mangroves and patrols along the beachfront property looking for nests and predators became a daily part of the hotel's activities. An intensive clean up campaign to remove trash and other debris scattered on the beach outside the boundaries of the hotel's property, and surrounding areas where the turtles would most likely make their nests was successful.

The month of May 2013 was the beginning of sea turtle season, and the dedicated team and hotel guests impatiently began their watch for signs of the Hawksbill turtles return. This event, however, did not take place until July and September, and twenty-nine nests were found. Six of the nests were destroyed by predators, and some had to be relocated to safer havens along the beach. Two hundred and forty-four (244) hatchlings were recorded, and they were safely released into the sea. Four nests remained at the time with an average of four hundred and eighty-five (485) eggs.

Turtle preservation is one of the many projects that the Sandals Foundation, a division of the Sandals Resorts International focuses on. A cash donation was recently given to the BBFFS, which was badly needed to further assist in the research, growth and protection of one of the most endangered and beloved sea creatures.

Things You May Not Know About the Hawksbill Sea Turtle:

1. It is one of the smallest sea turtles growing to an adult length of 2.5 - 3 feet (71 - 89cm).

2. The average weight of the adult is 101 - 154 pounds (46 - 70kg).

3. A Hawksbill's diet mainly consist of  sponges, squid, shrimp and anemones.

4. The turtle's natural habitat can be found in rocky areas, coastal reefs, estuaries and lagoons.

5.Their mating periods are between 2 - 4 years, and they usually nest 3 - 6 times per season.

6. The turtles will lay an average of 160 eggs per nest, with an incubation period of 60 days.

Hawksbill image courtesy of

Friday, 15 November 2013

Take Me To The Church On Time!

Making a Checklist

“Hmm…… Wedding cake – check; caterers – check; invitations – check; honeymoon – groom’s responsibility – double check.”

So you’re planning your wedding, and are constantly looking at your checklist, making sure that you have not forgotten anything. You are going to be the reigning star of this special event, and want everything to be perfect.

One of the most important items that should be on your checklist is transportation. How are you and your bridal party going to get to the church and reception? Have you considered using a wedding car hire service? Most car rental services offer chauffeur driven limousines at competitive rates, which are usually rented for three hours, depending on the bride’s requirements.

The car rental companies offer a wide selection of vehicles to choose from. Consider renting the romantic vintage car, such as a Rolls Royce for you and the groom, as it only seats two. There is also the stretch limousine which seats six to twelve persons, and is the preferred choice of most brides. The luxury sedan accommodates three to four persons.

Selecting a Limousine

It is your decision to decide which limousine company to use on your budget, and how many vehicles you will need. You and your party should be driven in comfort. Always look at the interior photos the limousine companies have to ensure that the vehicle is spacious, and the seating is in good condition. Heaven forbid that you or a bridesmaid should damage your dresses while sitting on the seat! Heaven forbid the limousine should break down on the way to the church! Never rent a vehicle until you have examined it, and also check to see how reputable each company is.

When you have selected one that matches your needs, make a deposit to ensure that you will have transportation on the appointed day. Keep in contact with the limousine service, especially when the wedding is near at hand. You need to be reassured that the vehicle will be on time to pick you up. Time is of the essence, and you want things to flow efficiently and smoothly on that day.

The Special Day

The limousine should take you and your bridal party to your destination in style and on time. The rental package features a bar service with complimentary champagne for the bridal party, and a chauffeur to drive the vehicle to the venue. The car can be decorated according to the bride’s needs, and will include a “Just Married” sign. Another additional feature to make this a memorable occasion is having the chauffeur “roll out the red carpet” for the special couple to walk on. The chauffeur is at your disposal, and is willing to go the extra mile to accommodate your needs.

A wedding car hire is the most popular choice when looking at transportation.  You would not want to take up "dear old Uncle Bob’s" offer to use his creaky, banged up looking sedan to take you to the church. Arrive in style, and be pampered. After all, how often do you intend to get married?

Wedding limousine image courtesy of

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Christmas on a Budget

   Christmas Tree & Gifts

Whenever I take Scott, my son, shopping, he points to another toy or gadget that he wants me to buy for him.

"It's so cool, Mom. I'll die if I don't get it!"

"I didn't buy a few of the toys you wanted, and you're still alive."

"This one is different. It has lots of special features," Scott will say, giving me numerous reasons why the gadget is a "must have."

I cannot keep up with the toy manufacturers. If I do buy an item, another is advertised, making the current one yesterday's news. It's a no win situation for me. The prices of some of the toys are ridiculously high too. My latest excuse for not purchasing some of the things my son wants, is that the Christmas Holidays is near, and we need presents to put under the Christmas tree. If everything is bought now, there won't be any gifts on that special day. This excuse works very well, which makes me feel less guilty for not giving in to the endless requests that are often made.

As Christmas approaches, so will the anxiety many of us experience, wondering what our spending budgets will be like. Here are a few tips on how I save time and money, while reducing stress that sometimes comes with the holidays.

1. Write a Check List

This eliminates the confusion of remembering what to buy and for whom. Make categories on this list by putting names of children and their items in one group, form another for adults in the family, and a third for your friends. It does not matter how many categories you have, as the main focus is to get an easy, organized planner in place. Writing a check list ensures that some things are not bought twice.

2. Shop in Advance

One of the things I try to avoid is the hectic rush of shopping during the festive season. Those long lines at the checkout counters and overcrowded malls will wear a person out. I no longer wait for Christmas to approach to start my shopping. Some of my purchases are bought months ahead and is stored in a closet. This plan works well, especially when the stores have summer sales. I'm able to save a few dollars, allowing me to purchase something else that I might want.

Another advantage of shopping early is that you will have a wider variety of affordable products to choose from. I have found out from past experience that shopping late or even a couple days before Christmas, can leave you with very few selections that you probably will not like. Some items are also overpriced and not worth buying. "The early bird catches the worm," as the saying goes, leaving the expensive merchandise on the shelves.

3. Lay-A-Way Plan

Many stores have this option which will help you to stay on your budget. The stores will keep your gift for a specific time period, once a deposit is made. This allows you extra time to save towards the final payment, without feeling pressured. It is also an alternative to using your credit card which may be better to save for use in the event of emergencies.

4. Gift Certificates

This is another ideal way to give someone a present, especially if you are unsure what the person like. These are what I like to give teens, and they all receive the same spending limit. No-one argues about one getting more than the other. Gift certificates have different price values so it is easy to choose the ones that meet your needs.

5. Books

One of my favourite things to give a child or adult is books. Bookstores are always having sales so I am able to get good bargains. I have seen the disappointed looks on some children's faces when they realized that they have gotten books, instead of the toys they were expecting. Children should be taught that books can be enjoyable to read. To be honest, my son does not mind receiving books as well as toys, because he enjoys reading just as much as me. I'm still buying a few books for kids this year allowing other shoppers to purchase most of the toys.

6. Christmas Cards

Cards can be costly if you need a lot to send to family and friends. Although it is appreciated by the recipients, not everyone keeps them after the holidays end. What I now do is send e-greetings to some family members and friends. The handwritten cards are only given to my elderly relatives who are not internet savvy, as well as a few clients.There is an interesting variety of e-cards to choose from and they are fun to send too. My friends love getting these and have started sending e-cards too

Holidays are Happy Times

Although I lamented on the downside of Christmas, it is a wonderful festive time for me. It is a season filled with much love, laughter and happiness. Christmas is one of the occasions where relatives and friends get to spend quality time together. A lot of family reunions are held during this holiday as some relatives live out of town, and are unable to see each other as often as they would like.

I would like to hear your comments and tips on the things you do to make the holidays more enjoyable. Do have a Merry Christmas when it comes.

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