Tuesday, November 29, 2011


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Sunday, November 27, 2011


    I would like to express special thanks to The Belly Dancer who has 2 wonderful Blogs, My Life Through Pictures and Happy Accidents, for sharing this beautiful peacock mosaic with me.  I am a big bird enthusiast and was so happy to see it on my Facebook Page. It brought back wonderful memories of the day when my twin and I went to Portland on a birthday celebration and saw some  peacocks on the hotel's lawn.   

Friday, November 25, 2011


      Thanksgiving Day was not celebrated as a national holiday in Jamaica but it turned out to be a special day for me.  I got a chance to talk to some relatives living in the U.S.A. and saw some wonderful Thanksgiving Blog Posts as well as interacted with Bloggers.
      At one point I went to one of my email accounts and a particular email caught my eye as the subject area had the name of someone whom I recalled was one of Janine's pen-pals.  I got connected to the internet after Janine's death so we did not have an email address at the time.  Janine and I were very close and had the same friends but only shared a few pen-pals. Nevertheless we would tell each other about our pen-pals and their countries so I knew about her pals. Happily I now communicate with several of her pen-pals and I am so pleased that I have linked up with yet another, Allyson from Wisconsin.
      I know that Janine would be so happy about this.  She is no longer physically here but things keep happening to make me always remember that I am not left alone in the world.
      This is my message to everyone:

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Thursday, November 24, 2011


Welcome to Creative Thursday, a hop where you can add all of your creative posts.Hosted by Clairejustineoxox and JUDY H-J'S THOUGHTS we invite you to share some fun things you have been doing.

This week I came up with a great idea that we could share pictures of decorations, recipes, and anything to do with Thanksgiving.Also you can link anything else that has gotten you creative this week.The hop is open till next Wednesday so plenty of time to come back and link up and we always welcome new theme ideas.

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     I am sending Happy Thanksgiving greetings all the way from Jamaica to everyone in the U.S.A.  I have many relatives, friends and pen-pals living there. Over the years Janine and I learnt how  special this holiday is. I have also been seeing a wide range of wonderful posts about it on Blogs.  Turkey is a very important part of the meal for many and some Jamaicans have turkey at Christmas time. Well, I had a look in the book Caribbean Cookery by Winifred Grey and saw this recipe:

                                                    TURKEY  A LA KING
1/4 cup mushrooms
2 tablespoons fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcester sauce
1 cup milk
1 small green pepper
1/4 cup stuffed olives
1 cup diced cooked turkey
3 slices hot toast
flour to thicken
Cook the mushrooms in fat for 5 minutes and add the flour, salt and Worcester sauce; blend and add the milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.  Chop the green pepper, slice the stuffed olives and add with the turkey to the hot sauce.  Heat up and serve on hot toast. ( Serves 3)

Over the next few weeks the theme is Christmas so share all your Creative Christmas posts with us...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


      Janine and I have always been big fans of plantains.  Our mom loves them even more. Plantains belong to the banana family and are palatable when cooked. Over the years my family and I have enjoyed them roasted, boiled, baked and fried. However these days we have them fried on most weekdays  and baked on Sundays along with our lunch. They are also a must as part of every holiday meal.
        When we bake or fry our plantains we do not add sugar but some recipes include it. We use coconut oil for baking and frying them.          

Monday, November 21, 2011


         At times life dishes up all sorts of challenges and the future does not look bright but we must never give up. I  love this quotation:-"YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY CHOICE YOU HAVE."   Fight on and work towards having a brighter day.


Welcome to Exposure 99% Weekday Hop. Thank you for joining us again this week. This blog hop gives you the chance to link up your Blogs, Reviews, Giveaways, Twitter, Facebook pages and many more. Exposure 99% hop linky opens every Monday (CST) and closes every Friday. It is a hop that helps you make new bloggy friends, get more blog Followers, blog Readers, People entering your awesome giveaways, People reading your reviews and many more on your family friendly activities in your blogs. If this is your first time of linking up in Exposure 99% hop, we hope you find great blogs to follow and be followed. Big thanks to each of you who writes a blog post about this hop. We really appreciate it and keep up the good work. Finally it will be of great help if you can grab the hop button and place it anywhere in your blog to help us get the word out which you will also benefit. Interested in getting featured in Exposure 99% hop? Fill out this form HERE.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011


      Recently I received 2 Blog awards for the second time. I am taking this opportunity to pass them on again. I love so many Blogs covering a wide range of subjects that I wish I had an award to give to everyone!
     A big thank you to corabeth who has a great Blog titled My Crazy Life for passing on the Versatile Blogger Award to me. My first post about it was IT IS GOOD TO BE VERSATILE!  
       I now pass it on to these 15 Blogs:
*My Life in Holland
*Planet Weidknecht
*Dreaming in Open Fields
*The Little Girl's How to Save Blog
*Let's Talk About People
*Judy's Handmade Creations
*All Things Important
*Home Grown Families
*Mama to 4 Blessings
*Bahamian Recipes and More
*A Gracious Home
*Life with Linda
*Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders

      I would also like to thank Heather Nelsen with her wonderful Blog Notes from the Nelsens for passing on the Liebster award to me. My first post about it was  WOW! MY FIRST BLOG AWARD! I am now happy to pass it on to 5 more great Blogs:
*Happy Accidents
*My Life Through Pictures
*All About Computers
*The New Scheherazades

Friday, November 18, 2011


      Some extra sunshine came my way recently when I received  this beautiful award from Katya Kate of  Mommy Growing up. She has a very interesting Blog and I encourage you to go over and check it out.
      I understand that this award is given to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogosphere. I am glad that you see my Blog in this light Katya Kate!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. Pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

Here are my answers:
1. Favourite colour -   Definitely blue although I love some other colours.  I have worn clothes in a variety of shades of blue.
2.Favorite animal - Dog. My family and I have had several over the years. At this time I have 2 called Dobie and Waggy.
3 Favorite number - 17.  There is a game here and one of the meanings for 17 is twins!  Are you surprised that it is my favourite number?! 
4. Favorite drink - cocoa. It is delicious and rich in anti-oxidants
5. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. I have linked up with friends, former schoolmates and even relatives whom I am yet to meet in person on Facebook. Recently I also started a Facebook Fan Page -https://www.facebook.com/judyastra. However Twitter is also great to link up with persons and share my Blog posts and other published work.
6. My passion -Writing and being born one of twins.  I have been writing for a long time and this Blog is a tribute to my twin sister Janine and the life we shared for almost 47 years. I have found writing to be a good grief management tool.
7.  Giving or getting presents - I like to give presents and help brighten up the lives of others. 
8. Favorite day - Sunday. It is a day when I can relax with my family, meditate and get even closer to my God.
9.Favorite flowers - Red Roses!

Here are 12 of the many Blogs that I love. They have helped me so much since I joined the Blogging world with their wonderful posts, comments etc. I am truly grateful to them:
*Every Day Is A Country Song
*Where Nothing Good Comes Easy
*Home to 4 Kiddos
*the mommyhood chronicles
*Gumdrop Pass
*The Personal Blog of seriousnuts
*Katherine's Corner

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


      As some of you may recall blue has been a favourite colour for Janine and me over the years. Well, you can just imagine how thrilled I was to get this bracelet with a blue topaz stone with white dots among my birthday gifts! My friend also included a small blue topaz stone in a birthday card! Love them! Strangely enough for years everything featuring our birthstone topaz was the one with a yellow colour and we really loved it. Then we started hearing about blue topaz and got gifts featuring this stone.  

         What is your birthstone?  There are really many beautiful birthstones. For instance my mom's  birthstone is Sapphire.  Oh, blue again!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


   Janine and I have been big fans of potato salad over the years - cold and hot potato salad.  Below is a picture of our favourite hot potato salad:
     We got the recipe from Elsa Miller's book 'CARIBBEAN COOKBOOK.'
(A golden rule is that this must be made whilst potatoes are still hot)

6 boiled diced potatoes
1/2 diced onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
* salt, pepper
6 boiled and sliced frankfurters ( or vienna sausage)
2 tablespoons oil

Fry frankfurters with onion in some oil.  Add 1 tablespoon flour and blend.  Add sugar, vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper.  Mix together well and pour over the potatoes.  Toss lightly.

Monday, November 14, 2011


        A view of Port Maria, the capital of my parish, St. Mary, Jamaica. This was taken 6 1/2 miles away at my home up here in the hills of Boyne Park. Janine and I always enjoyed sitting on our veranda with our family, relatives and friends taking in the beautiful scenery. This awesome view of nature helps me to find peace.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


     I am always happy to receive a Blog award and I have gotten some more over these past few days.  I will pass them all on. Today I say a big thank you to Grace who has a great Blog titled Growing Old with Grace for giving me the above award. I encourage readers to check out her Blog.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. I must tell 7 things about myself
2. I must pass it on to 15 other bloggers

Here is some information about me:
1. I am a big fan of cocoa. I have it with my breakfast and supper.
2. The first time that my twin and I got published was with a column titled  'Around The World.' It was published in Jamaica's only national newspaper at the time, the Daily Gleaner. We learnt a lot about foreign countries by corresponding with pen-pals, reading books, watching documentaries etc.
3. I have a fear of heights that I would like to conquer.
4. Over the years a favourite place that Janine and I always liked visiting was the popular tourist resort of Ocho Rios. We especially liked having a meal at the 'Ruins' restaurant.  As we enjoyed a delicious meal our eyes were graced by the beautiful waterfalls.
5. My favourite fruit is the pineapple and my favourite species is Sugar Loaf. It is so sweet.
6. I wish I had more time to read novels. However when I do get the chance I look forward to reading books by Danielle Steele. I also like inspirational and religious books that lift my spirit.
7.  I am from a very big family with many relatives living in several countries.

    There are so many great blogs to choose from. I am happy to pass on this award to:
*Comedy Plus
*How to become an Einstein?
*Mommy Growing up
*A Rural Journal
*First Day of My Life
*Mom's Best Nest
*My Crazy Life
*Heartfelt Balance/Handmade Life
*Bloggity Blog
*Notes from the Nelsens
*Art @ Home
** Tina's PicStory *
*Speed of Life
*a mommy's lifestyle

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Thank you for joining the Friday Blog Hop hosted by myself (Nicole) at Mama to 4 Blessings and Melissa at Home Grown Families! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more blog friends!
It's very easy to join in on the fun!
Add your main blog (PLEASE DO NOT LINK UP GIVEAWAYS) link (we ask that you please follow the hostesses in the first 2 spots (Mama to 4 Blessings & Home Grown Families.) Then leave us a quick comment letting us know you are following.
Then start blog hopping!
This is a great opportunity for you to visit other blogs on the link up and comment on their blogs! When people comment on your blog please let them know that you are part of Friday Blog Hop then return the favor and follow them back! Please feel free to grab our Friday Blog Hop button and add it to your blog and spread the word!
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This week's featured guest hostess is: Judy H - J's Thoughts 
Please also follow this week's Featured Guest Hostess: Judy H - J's Thoughts.  Each week a new featured blogger.  IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A FEAUTRED GUEST HOSTESS PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT WITH YOU INTEREST AND INCLUDE YOUR BLOG LINK AND E-MAIL ADDRESS.


        In my room there are several key-rings that Janine and I received as gifts over the years. Instead of having keys on them they are hanging around as decorations.  Among my birthday gifts this year is this cute key-ring. Note the red bag! It had goodies for me - delicious chocolate sweets with nuts inside.
         A big thank you to my Italian friend Robby. For many years she was Janine's pen-pal. Since Janine's death we have kept in touch via emails and have also had many interesting chats via MSN, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger.  I know Janine would also love this key-ring. I will certainly treasure it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


       Although my birthday was Friday, November 4, my family decided that we would get together for a special lunch and ice-cream and cake last Sunday. Of course my lunch had to include favourites that Janine and I have had over the years - roast chicken with stuffing, rice and peas, macaroni and cheese, vegetable salad (carrots, cabbage and tomatoes) and baked potatoes. I enjoyed the meal which was very delicious.  Here is a picture  of it before I managed to have it all!:)
        We just love macaroni and cheese and have had it in a variety of ways. For my birthday lunch we had a macaroni and cheese casserole. You can see the recipe for this casserole in an earlier post A MACARONI & CHEESE DELIGHT.  Below is  a picture of it after it was baked last Sunday:
         I could not have my ice-cream and cake until after 4 p.m. It included my mom's home-made chocolate ice-cream.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


       Over the years Janine and I have always had bird calendars.  Each month we looked forward to seeing the bird of the month.  I am so pleased with the bird birthday treat that I got this year. For November I am greeted by this beautiful picture of the Waxwing on the calendar in my bedroom.
            We appreciated all the gifts we received and got a special thrill when there was yet another bird figurine for our huge collection. This year I got this figurine from my family. I like the fact that 2 birds are on it!:)
              Of course there are persons who know how much we love birds so at times we would get a card featuring a bird or two. This year I got this beautiful card from an English friend Janet:
       These all helped to lift my spirit. Oh, I should not forget the added lift I got as I stood on  my veranda and saw a flock of  birds passing. I had my digital camera but did not manage to get them in time. Anyway there will be a next time. Birds give one a sense of freedom!

Friday, November 4, 2011


       This is my first birthday since I became a Blogger. I have met so many wonderful persons since I started Blogging and you have all helped me so much.  One of these persons is cheerfulnuts who has a great Blog - Cheerfulnuts.  She is one of twins and her sister's name is seriousnuts who has a Blog titled The Personal Blog of seriousnuts. She drew this special card for me on her Blog with the following message:-"I drew this picture as a present to a set of twins, Judy and Janine, whom I have never met. The picture shows Judy sending a bird to Janine, her deceased twin, with a birthday present. They're wearing matching clothes, like what they used to do while Janine was still living. I want to wish my Blogger friend Judy and her twin sister in heaven, Janine, a happy happy birthday!" Thanks a million cheerfulnuts. You certainly know how strong the twin bond is and you have brightened my day.
         To everyone who has supported me by becoming Followers, writing comments, sharing advice, visiting my Blog, sharing awards, providing a wide variety of posts for me to read, Blog Hops to participate in and so much more I say:
                          zwani.com myspace graphic comments

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


    Janine and I were born on November 4. This is another birthday that she won't be with me physically but I know she will be with me in spirit. Over the years we enjoyed celebrating our birthday with our family. At times we would journey to various parts of our island,Jamaica. 
      As I think about a favourite birthday celebration I think Janine would agree that it was the celebration of our 21st birthday at the Trident Hotel in the parish of Portland. 
      When one visits  this parish one can see why it is renown for its beauty as the eyes are graced with lush green vegetation and the picturesque John Crow mountains.  It is also the home of the Blue Lagoon and Somerset and Reach Falls. 
     A must for many tourists is rafting on the Rio Grande. In addition it is a haven for those who love hiking and bird watching. One can also enjoy wonderful beaches and coves. It is no surprise therefore that it has been a popular tourist resort for famous writers and movie stars like Errol Flynn and Ian Fleming. 
          As bird enthusiasts we were thrilled to see birds there especially peacocks. It is only a pity that I did not get a picture of this bird boasting its beautiful tail.
 I take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Katherine from Katherine's Corner for choosing me to be the co-host this week. Katherine I am glad I met you in the Blogging world and you have helped me to focus on good times as I approach another birthday without my twin.   

Thursdays Favorite Things Hop is where you can link up your favorite post to share with old and new followers!
Here are the rules, yes there are rules. But just a few:
You must follow Katherines Corner. If you’re a new follower, please let her know and she'll follow back. Please also follow my blog too before you start hopping.
Leave a comment when you follow so we all know you stopped by.
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Follow as many other blogs in the list as you can. Just click and go.
Leave a sincere comment or message on each of the blogs you visit and follow so they know you stopped by.
Now hop on and lets share our favorites. If you’d like to post this blog hop on your page please just grab the linky code . Or if you would like to be a co-host please contact Katherine.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


     Over the years a very important food item for Janine and me were Jamaican patties. When we were young we looked forward to our mom coming home with some delicious home-made patties made by a lady named Mrs. Thelma McCalla. Since then I have eaten many patties from different outlets but in recent years our favourites have been Juici beef Patties. I eat them almost every week.
      These days there are a wide variety of patties - beef, chicken, cheese, vegetables, lobster, shrimp, soy etc. I have eaten the beef and chicken ones and they taste great.  If you want to have an idea how to make a Jamaican patty check out Jamaican Recipes:JAMAICA BEEF PATTY. Below is a picture of 2 Juici beef Patties just before I devoured them!:)

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