A New Year

We hope everyone had a great holiday season and are healthy and well. Over the last couple of months, we have gone to the states and had a few friends come down here for visits. Besides taking a little longer to get through the airport in Belize, everything went smoothly. You can still travel around the country and do and see most everything that Belize has to offer. There is currently a curfew in place, but that really doesn’t affect us as we are never out that late in the evenings. Of course, when you are out in public during the day, you still need to wear a mask.

Over the holidays we made our Rum-Popo (Belizean eggnog) like we have done for the past few years. Because we could not have social gatherings this year, we had a couple of bottles left over. So what did we do with it…we put it in the ice-cream maker and added some shaved chocolate. Let me tell you, Rum-Popo ice cream is pretty darn good!

Rum Popo ice cream. Ice cream with rum and chocolate, why not!

We have not had anything in the vegetable garden in a few months now because of all the rain, (well over 30″ in the past two months).  We should be starting the dry season soon. So the seed trays are all recently planted with lots of types of peppers and squash, and we just planted broccoli, lettuce, bok-choy, kale, and some radishes in the garden. Hopefully, they will all do good and we will have a good harvest in a few months. All of the permanent plants and trees in the garden are love’n all this rain and are having major growth spurts. Last year we planted a very small raspberry plant and now it has taken over like the blob in an old sci-fi movie. There is no way to harvest the raspberries in the middle, so some major chopping and digging has to be done. Anybody want some raspberry plants?

The raspberry plant is out of control.

Our small coffee harvest for this season is coming to an end. It looks like we have enough to brew about 25 pots of coffee. At this point, we are just cleaning and drying the beans and then vacuum packing them in one cup packages, which is enough for about 2-3 pots of coffee. Once we are ready to use them we will roast and grind them as needed.

Growing our own coffee, that’s pretty cool.

Our friends Ron & Rhonda were here to try the first pot and they gave it the thumbs-up, and they drink a lot more coffee than I do. There were only a few plants that had the percentage of the coffee on them this year, but hopefully in the future when all 40 plants start really producing, we will have an abundance to start sharing.

The other day we were dropping a couple of things off at Ruben’s house and he asked us if we wanted some fresh coconuts. Of course, we said yes, we love coconuts. I’m sure Kelley will come up with something delicious to make with them.

Coco water, coconut cream pie, coconut shrimp, and maybe even some mounds candy bars.

A while back Ruben gave us a couple of poinsettias. We had them on the porch until they outgrew their pots so we planted them in the ground. They were getting about 4′ tall and then the rains came and drowned them. They were just bare sticks with no sign of life. Then around Christmas, one of them decided to get a little growth on it and it turned out to be the smallest poinsettia bloom we have ever seen. I guess it really is hard to kill plants around here.

Wasn’t there a Christmas song about Percy the Puny Poinsettia?

I’ve mentioned before that we have a neighbor who lets us know when he has beef ready and another neighbor who has pork. Well, our closest neighbor Dan is now raising lambs. I can definitely see some lamb chops in our future, in fact, we might need to get a bigger freezer. This is like the trifecta of meats all within our little hood.

I think I’ll be neighborly and invite them to a barbeque.

The Cohune nuts are starting to fall off our palm trees and that is attracting a few animals. We have been seeing squirrels jumping across the driveway or running through the trees with Cohune nuts in their mouth.

That’s a big fluffy tail on that jungle squirrel.

We have also been seeing agoutis right next to the house. They will just slowly walk around the yard looking for nuts and then just sit there and eat it. In case you are wondering what type of animal an agouti is, they are related to the guinea pig and will weigh up to about 8 lbs. or so. They also have a good life span and will live up to 20 years.

Agouti eating a Cohune nut.

I guess there were a few people who did not think this was as funny as I did. A while back we found a dried vine that was wrapped around a tree trunk. I had this great idea to paint it like a green vine snake and put it on a tree in our yard. A  few people saw it and didn’t think too much about it, but then there were a couple that just wouldn’t go anywhere near it. I guess now it’s time to just move it to a different spot in the yard, I gotta keep people on their toes, don’t I?

Literally a real green vine snake.

Okay, I was not going to post this, but living in the jungle is not all happy toucans, parrots, and monkeys. There are a lot of dangerous things out here, from plants, insects, animals, and yes even snakes. The other night Kelley was walking from the garage to the house and there was a big snake stretched out right in the walkway in front of her that would not move. When we have seen snakes before they will usually quickly move out of the way never to be seen again, but this one just stood its ground. After determining what type of snake it was and that he was not going to move I had to make a decision on how to handle it. So I got the gun and it was one quick shot to the head. It was a 7′ 2″ Fer-de-Lance, one of the most venomous snakes there is. And this one here is about as big as they get. I am currently processing the skin and will mount it to a board so that everyone will be able to see it up close and be able to identify one out in the wild if they ever came across one. And if anything was to ever happen we do have 3 doses of antivenom in the fridge.

A very big Fer-de-Lance snake.

No matter where you live there are always dangers of insect bites, snakes, wild animals, or even random gunfire, it just depends on how you choose to accept it. Hopefully, this did not scare you off from coming down for a visit, as there are a lot more toucans, monkeys, and other beautiful animals to see than there are snakes around here. Hopefully, we will see you soon.

6 thoughts on “A New Year”

  1. Sounds like things are really coming together! It must be great to have a garden like that.

    I knew there had to be ‘animals’ that you weren’t telling us about! A fer-de-lance is nothing to mess around with.

  2. Reading your blog is very informative and enjoyable. Sounds like you are also busy getting things done and planning for your safe and fulfilled future. Kudos to you both.
    Carol Drew

  3. I’ll take some raspberry plants. Our landscaper chopped all of ours to the ground last year, and only a few survived. By the looks of it, my bed was about double what is in your photo – so I’ll take whatever you want to give. Can trade for stuff we have too.

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