More improvements at the Toucan Hideaway

Setting up the base for the the antenna mount.

The new antenna tower is up, but not without a few setbacks. The ordering and shipping down from the states were flawless, it was the prepping here where we had a few problems. First, we started cutting some trees down where we thought it might go. Then after having some trouble with the trees we saw a better spot where no trees would have to be taken out. Then it was time for the boys to come in and dig a 5x5x4′ hole for the base of the mount. About 3′ down they ran into some big rocks. They managed to get them out just as it started raining. In about 2 hours the hole had about 5″ of water in it. Of course that meant everything was a muddy mess and had to be delayed another day.

This new 60′ antenna should be much better than the piece of pipe we had mounted to the container that we were using before.

Then with the ground being soft and rain-soaked, I ran over and broke the main water pipe with my truck loaded with sand and gravel. I had the workers dig the pipe out and repair it, but it still leaked so we ended up doing it ourselves. Anyway, the cement finally got poured and the new antenna tower is up and should make everything run a lot smoother around here.

The new hot tub finally arrives.

The hot tub finally made it here, but not after a few shipping mishaps along the way. Anyway, we got it all set up on the deck and we began filling it when we noticed the water was dirty. With all the road work they are doing around here they keep digging up the water pipe and dirt keeps getting in the lines. Even with new filters on the house, fine dirt gets through and really makes the water look dirty. So at this point, we are just waiting for the water to clear up before we try filling it again. Hopefully soon we will be sitting in it relaxing and enjoying a cool beverage.

Now, all we need is for the water to clear up so can get this thing bubble’n.

We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately, which is fine with us because the garden loves it. That also means that the mushrooms are starting to show up again. Right now there are a lot of wood ear mushrooms, which are used in hot and sour soup, stir fry, and many other dishes. We like to use them fresh, but if we find an abundance of them we will dehydrate some for later use. There are a lot of health benefits from these mushrooms such as fighting bacteria, heart health, blocking cancer cell growth, and a bunch more benefits. Hopefully, in the next week or so the oyster mushrooms will start to show up because they are our favorites and they are delicious.

Fresh picked wood ear mushrooms.

Well the habaneros had finally soaked long enough and were ready to be made into some hot sauce. We thought we would make this batch a sweet and spicy habanero-mango sauce. So we mixed up a little at a 50/50 ratio to give it a try. I like hot and spicy and can pretty much eat fire, but this was the hottest thing I’d ever tasted, plus the burn seemed to last forever. So we ended up mixing about a pint of mango puree with a spoon or two of habanero and that made it sweet and spicy enough where we think it could be enjoyed. We gave it a try on some chicken wings the other night and it was pretty good. I’m not sure what we are going to do with all the straight habanero sauce we still have, but at this point we’re just glad it hasn’t melted the jars yet.

Mango habanero hot sauce. Very sweet and very spicy.

Still making use of the lobsters we have in the freezer. This time it was lobster bisque and some Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits. We were lucky enough to find a box of the biscuit mix down here. You never know what you will find when you start looking around the stores.

Lobster bisque and cheddar bay biscuits.

A while back we planted some marigolds in the yard. All the marigolds we’ve ever planted have grown to maybe two feet tall (if we were lucky). Well, we know everything grows great in Belize, but our marigolds are 7-8 feet tall now and are just starting to bloom. They were planted from a package of seeds we got down here, has anyone ever seen marigolds get this big?

Insanely tall marigolds.

We are still seeing a lot of animals around here, just nothing that I haven’t posted pictures of before. The agoutis that had the two little babies a while back are still around and they are getting big. A lot of times we just don’t have the camera handy or they are gone before Kelley can get a good shot of them. Such as a couple of weeks ago when this big armadillo walked right in front of us across the driveway. Kelley gave chase through the bush with a camera, but it was just too hard to get a good picture.

One of the baby agoutis running around the yard.

Just a few tidbits from the past few weeks.

One morning there was a dead mouse on the hood of the truck. We assume that maybe an owl dropped it. Or maybe he just thought it would be a great final resting spot.

A couple of weeks ago I pulled the sheets back to get in bed and I felt a sharp poke on my ass. Yes, I laid down on a small scorpion that was under the sheets. We didn’t see anymore, but I still laid there a while thinking there could be more.

I came in from the yard to check my laptop when I felt a rumble. It wasn’t my stomach and I didn’t see anything moving in the house. Growing up in California I knew what an earthquake felt like so I thought maybe that’s what that was. Later Kelley told me that there was an earthquake not far from us.

This is the rainy season down here and we do get a bunch of rain, but there is also a lot of sunny days. The weather report is usually partially sunny with some clouds and a chance of rain. I think this picture pretty much sums up what they are talking about.

Anyone remember 1-2-3 Jello from the 70’s?

That’s about what’s happening around here. In a couple weeks we will be heading out to San Pedro to see Jim Dalton for a few shows on the beach. Darren will be joining us there for the shows and some beach time. After a few days, we will head back up to our place where he can check on the progress of his house. It should be a nice break after all the work we’ve been doing around here.

4 thoughts on “More improvements at the Toucan Hideaway”

  1. Always look forward to seeing a blog come up! Funny jacuzzi story.. I have one up top now in Cholla! Needed about 6 inches of water. So of course water supply is street level! I use a long 100 foot hose and fill it! Turn off the water, and figure I will drain the hose in the flower bed! Yep, forgot I did that without taking the hose out of the hot tub~ next morning went up for my soak! It was empty~ geez! I had a great laugh at myself! Trees and plants look great NOW!
    San Pedro sounds wonderful… can’t wait to see Darren’s place! Your place looks just how I would expect from you two!! Amazing and beautiful! I miss you two in Cholla… between the burning of your habanero mouth and butt cheeks~ I can still hear Kelley laughing! Take care guys~ <>

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