Grand kids and earthy things

It’s been a while since we posted anything, but in that time we made a trip up to the states to see friends, family and of course the grandkids. Everyone is doing great and we had a great visit, even though it was hot. After all, it’s Arizona in the summertime and our truck temp even registered 124 degrees outside one day. Not sure how accurate that was, but it was hot! We spent a lot of time in the pool with the kids and even got Luke out of school one day for a trip to the zoo.

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Grandson Tyler enjoying the pool.
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Grandson Luke feeding a giraffe at the Phoenix Zoo.

Of course, while we were in the states we had to fill up on all the foods we haven’t had in a while. There were prime rib caps, artichokes, green chili, snow crab, clam chowder, Chompie’s pastrami sandwich, good pizza, and even Taco Bell. All the good things we can’t get down here in Belize. We both said that we think we gained weight while up there and who wouldn’t with all that good food. Anyway, now we are back in Belize eating good, fresh healthy foods again, but we are still thinking about how good all that other stuff was.

Well, the rains have yet to come this year and they say we are going to be in drought conditions for a while. This is bad for all of the local farmers, as not all of them have access to a watering system and depend on the summer rains to water their crops. There are rain showers every so often, but not enough to let mother nature do all the watering. If we don’t hand water our vegetables every day or so, they just won’t make it. All the other fruit trees are doing fine with only a twice-a-week watering. We did have our very first pineapple that was ready to pick, but we were a day late getting to it. Some critter (we assume it was a possum) chewed that big pineapple off the plant and proceeded to eat the whole thing right there. The good thing is that the pineapple top will get a second chance as I’ve got it in water and it’s already getting roots.

It would have made a great pina colada.

On the other hand, Kelley has been throwing her cantaloupe seeds in the yard (not planting just chucking them out there) and some have been growing and actually producing cantaloupes. People have told us before, that with all the animals and birds around here you need to plant twice as much as you think you will need because the wildlife will eat half of it. That’s fine, but seriously… that was our first pineapple.

Free-range cantaloupe.
Very sweet and delicious.

Speaking of critters, I usually have two pair of flip flops that I leave on the front porch. One is an old crusty pair and the other is a nice newer pair. We came home the other evening and there were three flip flops on the porch, not four, and of course, the one missing was one of the good ones. Okay, so what would steal one flip flop? Is there a monkey swinging around the trees beating his chest with it? Is there a boa constrictor curled up around it trying to make love to it? We checked our camera footage hoping to find some exotic wild animal carting it off to play with it. Turns out it was just a dog, so now we don’t leave our shoes on the porch.

The trail going to the back clearing is looking good.

We are still cutting down a few more trees around the house that look like they could be trouble if we have some big winds. The nice thing is that we are using the cut trees to line the trails, driveway and basic borders around the yard. Like I have mentioned before, when old plants come out new ones go in. So there are a few more black pepper vines, cocoa, and coffee plants going in. We also found a Chinese plum tree that produces an oval fruit that is very sweet, which we can’t wait to try.

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Kelley planting more coffee, even though she hates coffee.

Since we are starting to get a few rains, the wild oyster mushrooms are starting to show up. You can usually find them on old logs and trees if you just look around. When we find a log with some, we are bringing those logs closer to the house so hopefully, in the future, we won’t have to go looking for those delicious mushrooms.  We recently planted a bed of the common white button mushrooms. Supposedly once they start growing in about 3 months, they should produce 25 lbs a month and keep growing for 3-6 years. Mushrooms are very expensive at the market here so hopefully, these will take off and we will have plenty of fresh shrooms.

The new mushroom bed and a log full of oyster mushrooms spores.

The neighbor up the road just stopped by with a fresh pig that he had butchered. This time we grabbed a front shoulder and some more pork belly for another batch of bacon. The shoulder will be turned into some Italian sausage and some Louisiana style hot links. At this point, we are still using a small electric smoker, but next week I am starting on building the smokehouse, and once that is done we’re going to try our hand at curing whole hams.

Taking care of the big dip in the road.

Another project that is happening around here is the installation of a culvert on the road heading down to our property. When the big rains come, the water crosses the road making it almost impassable without a 4×4. We have asked other property owners with property beyond this if they wanted to chip in on the cost, and so far most of them are in. Of course, it wasn’t just digging a hole, put a culvert in, bury it and call it done. Everyone knows what backhoes are attracted to, that’s right… water lines. Just part of the fun living in the jungle.

A very cool Mayan smoking pipe.

Ruben stopped by the other day with a Mayan artifact that his neighbor had found. I guess he was plowing his field getting ready to plant and something caught his eye. After cleaning all the dirt off of it, it turned out to be a beautiful hand-carved pipe. It was shown to an archaeologist who was working at Pactibun ruin right next to us and he said that it was more than likely carved out of a type of black jade. Pactibun site was inhabited from 900 BC to 900 AD, obviously, this pipe is very old. It is a very detailed 3” smoking pipe of a hand with a bracelet holding a bowl. It’s an amazing artifact that was found within a mile from us, who knows what else could be hiding out there. We have acquired this great artifact and it will be proudly displayed at our home. So come on down and check it out, it’s very impressive.

It’s hard to believe how old this really is.

Breaking News……. A very large flip flop has been found in a peanut field about a half-mile from us. There were no injuries to the flip flop and it has been returned safely to its rightful owner. The owner had this to say, “My sole has been saved!”

That’s about it for this update, have fun and be safe.

4 thoughts on “Grand kids and earthy things”

  1. So sorry to hear about your pineapple! We too have suffered losses same as yours! You gotta be vigilant and keep an eye out for those rascals that want your sweet treats! Good luck on your next crop! We lost one of our 5 to the Haboob!! Hopefully the remaining 4 will be great! Miss you guys!! Keep writing the blog!!

  2. Wow, that pipe is amazing! Imagine the treasures waiting for you to discover. Enjoy!

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