And the new year begins

We started off the new year by buying more trees. This time we got 5 more coffee plants which now brings us up to around 36 or so. We also got a guava tree which is already bearing fruit, but we found out that as the guavas ripen you need to put a plastic bag over them to keep the insects away. Also we acquired a Star Apple, Malay Apple and a Velvet Apple. Theses are not apples like you would find in most stores in the states, but are still very tasty fruits.

Maylay Apple. About 3″ long and one of my favorite local fruits.

This time we are defiantly out of places to plant any more trees, but then again we do have ten acres. Oh and I guess we do have 9 more mango trees and 2 avocado trees that we found growing in the yard. It seems that when we throw our seeds out in the yard they just grow. At this point we do not have room for these, so not sure yet what we will do with them. Maybe Darren will get some mangoes trees around his property once his house is done.

mango avacado
Mangoes & Avocados from seeds thrown in the yard.

The other day we learned an interesting gardening technique from Ruben. He recently planted a field of beans, but there are certain birds that will come down and eat all the fresh shoots as they emerge. So what he does, is when he cleans a chicken he saves all the feathers. Then he spreads the feathers on the ground around his crop. This will attract the vultures that think there is something dead there to eat and with the vultures around there are no more pesky birds tearing up his crop. We thought it was pretty ingenious.  We just planted a bunch of spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and chili peppers. I guess if we have a problem with birds we’ll have to find some chicken feathers.

WE HAVE TV! We have gone a year and a half without any live TV, just watching programs we download when we have good internet or DVD’s. We found a guy from Guatemala who set us up with a satellite dish. We have most of the basic channels plus a few movie channels. Some are in Spanish, but most of the ones that we like to watch are in English. We got a really good deal on the unit and our monthly programming fee is only $17 usd a month, you can’t beat that. So now in the evenings or on those rainy days we can actual watch some TV. Even though we will mostly be watching the English channels the commercials are still in Spanish so this should help us with our Spanish. The good thing is we will actually get to watch the Super Bowl this year, but not sure we will understand all the commercials.

sat tv
Tico Star, our new source of entertainment.

Finally we’ve got the pizza oven in the works. Currently our bricks for the oven are being made and once they are cured it should take only about a week to get it built. It will go next to the BBQ in an area we had designated for it. One reason we have taken so long to get it started was that we wanted to see how one of his other ovens were doing. He had built one for a restaurant and we just wanted to see how it worked over time with every day use. The one at the restaurant is working great and it only takes 2 1/2 minutes to fully cook a pizza. Once ours is done I will post some pictures of the oven and some of the pizzas. The picture is the design we came up with. It will be made of bricks, plaster and plenty of insulation in between. The chimney will be stainless steel that will go up through the roof that covers the BBQ area, plus there will be a metal door on the oven with “Toucan Hideaway” plasma cut into it. It should be pretty cool when it is all done.

pizza sketch
The design for our new pizza oven.

The smoke house is now up and ready to go. It took a few burns to get it all seasoned and to get the temperature up to where it needed to be, but now it’s good to go. The first couple of burns the temp was not getting hot enough. So after drilling a few more air holes in the belly of the pig and a little more wood, it’s now working just fine and ready to start smoking all kinds of meats.

The smoke house is ready!

I’m still working on the Jeep just about every day, it’s coming along quite nicely and should be ready to hit the jungle trails real soon. At this point I still need to replace the clutch master, change all the fluids, replace a u-joints and a few other little things. It could be ready for the trails now, but I want to make sure everything is good or has been checked before we head out into the jungle. The jeep has not been out of the garage since we started this project back in September, so this is the cleanest you will ever see it.

A very clean Jeep almost ready to get dirty.

While Ron and Rhonda were here we seemed to have had this dog that adopted us. Since he showed up around Christmas we named him Santa’s Little Helper. With the exception of him being black, he did look like the dog from The Simpson’s. He had a problem with his back leg as if he got hit or something and was really in need of some food and care. He was a sweet dog that seemed very good around people. At this point we didn’t have time for us to keep a dog, so we reached out to CAWS the local animal rescue to see if they could help. We agreed to pay for a vet to look at him as long as they could get him into a good home. Of course we asked all around the village first to see if anyone recognized him. After about a week or so we had an appointment with the vet and they found someone that could foster him until someone would adopt him. This was great news as now we had hope that he will go to a good home. After about a week of us fattening him up, he was moving better and I guess he thought it was time to be on his way, we haven’t seen him since. Hopefully he will find his way back home to where he belongs or to someone that will take care of him.

At least we still have a half a bag of dog food for the next one that shows up.

Over the past week or so we have had a lot of rain, which is great for all the plants. It seems to be a strange storm as it will pour down rain for a good half hour and then clear blue skies for a couple hours and then rain again. Some times it will pour all night long but clear up by morning. With all the rock we have spread around our place it’s not really muddy, but the road getting in and out of our place, there are days you need four wheel drive. It is suppose to clear up in a couple day and with temps in the 70’s – 80’s it doesn’t take long for everything to dry up again.

The last few months we have been very busy around here, so next week Kelley and I are going to the island to take a little beach break for a few days. We realize it’s only January, so stay warm wherever you are.

9 thoughts on “And the new year begins”

  1. Wow…you two continue to amaze me. I can’t imagine doing all that you have accomplished!! So enjoy hearing about your adventures and experiences. 👏👏👏

  2. While growing up with you guys(ok, not so much growing up), I am amazingly surprised and proud of what you two have accomplished. You are living out everybody else’s dreams. You guys are awesome!

    1. We can’t wait for you guys to come down and experience our piece of paradise. Your casita is waiting for you.

  3. Can’t wait to try that pizza! You guys have done a lot since we were there so you deserve that island vacation. Looking into Hopkins trip in July/August so we will keep you posted.

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