Just good stuff

As we get older we all start looking for things that will make our lives easier. I decided that I’m getting too old to chop firewood anymore, especially since a lot of it here is hardwood. So we recently ordered ourselves an electric 6 ton hydraulic log splitter. I know, you’re thinking why do we need firewood in a warm tropical jungle. Definitely not for a fireplace, but rather for our pizza oven and the smokehouse.

The new log splitter makes splitting firewood fun.

I wish we had ordered this a few years ago because it works like a dream and my back appreciates it. We split a bunch of logs into perfect size pieces in no time at all. In case you are wondering what kind of wood we use, it’s oak, allspice and craboo, which are all great for cooking. Now we are ready to fire up that smokehouse and pizza oven once again.

Perfect size wood for the pizza oven and smoker.

Last year we had a few friends over and one of them brought a friend who said she was from New Mexico. Of course, the conversation turned towards Hatch Green Chilis and how much we love and miss them. Hatch, Anaheim or any type of those green chilies are just not available down here unless you grow your own. Anyway to our surprise, on her next trip down she brought us two 5 lb. bags of frozen, roasted Hatch Green Chilis. We can’t wait to make something good.

Ten pounds of real green chilies from Hatch New Mexico.

St. Patty’s Day is coming up soon and that means green stuff and corned beef. We’ve definitely got the green part covered down here, but corned beef is about as hard to find as a leprechaun with a pot of gold. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been curing around 70 lbs. of briskets for some St. Patty’s Day corned beef. Word has gotten out, and at this point, most if not all of them are spoken for. If there are any left, we will season them up, give them a good smoke and slice them thin for pastrami.

Corned beef all ready for St. Patty’s day.

Up in the garden we are still getting a lot of raspberries, if you want some plants, please come and dig some up. There are 30+ new pineapples on plants and at least 5 bunches of bananas that will be ready in the next month or so.

Pineapples are one of the most beautiful plants when they first get fruit.

The cacao plants are loaded with fruits this year. They range in size from a couple inches up to about ten inches in length.Β  At this point, we are just drying all the seeds and sealing them up for later. There will be a time later this year when we will roast them and start making a bunch of chocolate.

I can’t believe it took me this long in my life to figure out chocolate grows on trees.

We are even picking a few star fruit. The sun is finally out and it’s warming up, so after all that rain we had, the plants and trees all have new growth and are starting to set blossoms. It’s looking like it should be a good year for fresh fruit around here.

A few star fruit from the garden.

The other day on our little dirt road we saw a snake sitting there. We stopped the truck to get some pictures, and he took off into the bush and up a tree. Kelley did manage to get a few pictures of him so that we could identify him. It turns out that he was an Oriole or Tiger Rat Snake about 6′ long. This is the first time seeing a Tiger Rat snake around here or anywhere. From what I read this is a non-venomous snake that will get over 8′ long. I’m guessing that if you saw one that was eight feet long and you are afraid of snakes, it could be harmful, because you could either hurt yourself running away or just have a heart attack right there on the spot. Seriously though, we rarely see snakes around here.

A good size Tiger Rat snake going up a tree.

Every night for the past few weeks we’ve had a Kinkajou in the tree above the back patio. It’s always been too dark to get a decent picture of him, but that changed the other day. We were out back grilling, the sun was just setting and here he comes from up inside the palm tree just 6′ from our house and climbs over to the tree above the patio. He stayed directly above us for a good hour just going from branch to branch eating the berries on the tree. It didn’t bother him that there were five of us grilling, talking and listening to music, he just went about his business.

Kinkajou above the patio on his way to get the berries.

After about an hour I guess he’d eaten enough because he crawled back over to the palm tree for the night. The locals here call them nightwalkers and they are rarely seen during the day, so this was very exciting for us to see him up close when it was light out and get some good pictures.

Does this pose make me look cute? Oh, you know it does!

When the big tree over the patio out back is full of berries it attracts all kinds of animals. At any given time there is an assortment of different birds out there, including toucans eating and dropping berries. It also attracts squirrels, kinkajous and who knows what else is up there in the middle of the night. That’s all great, but the mess they leave on the deck is huge. Every day during “berry season” I have to wash the deck down and scrub it with a stiff broom to remove all their droppings. It’s great seeing all the animals up there, but at this point, I can’t wait till all the berries are gone and they move on to a different tree.

In the tree above the patio, we saw these two toucans on Tuesday 2/22/2022. Too….funny!

After the holiday season, Belize saw a spike in covid cases that pushed the total for the entire country up towards 10,000 active cases. As of this posting, the total cases have dropped down to 1,451 and dropping more every day. With only around 400,000 people in the entire country and everyone being so spread out, Belize is a safe travel destination. Now is the time to start planning a trip down to Belize, I know you’ll have an unbelizeable good time.


3 thoughts on “Just good stuff”

  1. Happy Birthday Dave.. love the updates! I am not too excited about the snake but wish I was there for corn beef and pizza! Miss you guys … keep those numbers going down~ still on my radar!

  2. Two toucans 🀣🀣🀣. πŸ‘πŸΌ
    I can definitely do without the snakes πŸ˜¬πŸ˜΅β€πŸ’«
    Enjoy the firewood in pizza oven etc, sounds delightful πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ

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