October rains?

Like I said last week, October is here, which means lots of rain. Not knowing when the sky will open up and there will be a major down pour makes it a little hard to cook dinners outside, since at this point we don’t have a kitchen. Last Saturday we decided to set up a makeshift kitchen in the garage and cook up a bunch of meals to store in the freezer for a rainy day. We set up the table, got out the cutting board and Kelley fired up the induction burner. She made up a bunch of burritos and enchiladas while I grilled up a bunch of pork ribs. This will get us through on those days when it is too wet to go outside and fire up the grill.

Who needs a real kitchen? Okay, we really do!

Being the rainy season it also is a little tough to get your cloths to dry on the clothes line outside. Since we do not have a clothes dryer yet, the only sensible thing to do was to string up a line in the garage with the fan blowing on them. It was quite a sight, Kelley’s in the garage cooking up a bunch of food, laundry strung up between a pole and a ladder with a fan blowing on them, piles of lumber, tool boxes and quads all in the same room, while listening to good ‘ole country hillbilly music on a Sirius radio station. Now if this ain’t living, we don’t know what is.

Laundry day in the garage

Soon enough we will be a little more civilized with a real kitchen and an indoor laundry facility, but in the meantime we are making memories, Yee Haw!

Since we cooked up all the meals for a rainy day we have had seven days of beautiful weather with only a few showers here and there. Go figure.

Yes those are some big ass tarps!

As for the house update, they are still working like crazy and the lack of rain and the really big tarps over the house are really helping. The big pile of wood in the garage is getting smaller and smaller everyday which means our garage is getting bigger each day. At this point, all the framing is done and now it’s time to start with all the other stuff that will start to make this look like a real house. Almost all of the tongue and grove for the ceiling has been sanded, sealed and coated with a nice varnish and is starting to go up. The zinc metal roof will be here next week and should also be going on soon. The flooring was going to be the last thing to go down, but now the gears have shifted and he has hired a drywall guy. So next week they will need to start getting the flooring down so he can start with the walls.

The side porch has a cover

All of the big beams for the ceiling are bolted together with big lag bolts that are countersunk. That means there is a 1 1/4” plug that needs to go into the hole to hide the bolts. Up to this point they have been hand grinding each plug, so we talked to our cabinet guy and it turns out that he has the equipment to make dowels that can be cut to size for the plugs. This alone probably saved at least a couple of days worth of work.

wood shop
Jose’s shop where the cabinets and door are being made

And speaking of the cabinet maker, he has already started on the cabinets. He was suppose to start in a couple of weeks so that the wood could have a chance to dry a little more, but it turns out that he rounded up enough of the Santa Maria that was already dry. At this point most of the pieces are all cut, sanded and starting to be assembled. We also dropped off some plans for the bathroom vanity. Things are just really moving along here.

cabinet 1
The start of our cabinets

For the month of October, Belikin Beer came out with a Black and Tan Beer just for Oktobeer Fest. I had seen their promo poster a few times but it wasn’t until Kelley pointed out that it wasn’t October Fest it was spelled Ok-to-beer Fest, pretty clever we thought. We are usually just regular old beer drinkers and usually don’t go for the ‘so called’ specialty beers, but the other night while enjoying a few of our regular beers I thought I should at least give one a try. It was good, a little heaver than their regular beer, but just not my thing. Recently they also made a chocolate beer, we didn’t try that one only because, well it’s chocolate beer and some flavors just shouldn’t be mixed.

Belikin’s Oktobeer Fest offering

The other night while sitting outside the garage we did see our first snake on the property, we know they are out there we just haven’t seen any up to this point. It was a beautiful little snake, orange with black stripes, we figured it was either King snake (non-venomous) or a Coral snake (highly venomous). It didn’t have any yellow stripes on it so it was hard to tell if it was even one of those two. After a few pictures Kelley flicked him off into the darkness with a big stick and hoped he would just go away.

A colorful little snake

After posting the picture on ‘Creatures of Belize’ the general consensus was that it was a false Coral snake and was totally harmless. As you can see with my shoe in the picture for comparison, he was huge. I know a lot of people don’t like snakes and think they should all be killed, but there are some that are very beneficial. There are some that are called scorpion eaters and some that actually eat the other venomous snakes, plus they help to keep the rodent population down. There are a lot more harmless snakes out there than there are harmful ones, you just have to be careful and try to know the difference.

Not a giant anaconda

After a good search we found some more coffee and cocoa plants to fill in the voids where the other ones are. These were almost twice the size of the other plants that we put in recently, in fact the coffee plants are already bearing fruit. This brings the total to nine coffee trees and nine cocoa trees, with the coffee already producing hopefully next year we will have some to roast and taste.

coffee beans
Coffee beans growing in our garden

Creature Feature of the week is the Tettigoniidae, Bush Cricket or Katydid. I’m featuring him this week because it is a big insect and we see quite a few of them. I guess there is over 6500 types of these insects and they range in size from 5 mm to 130 mm in length (that’s a little over 5”). They are found on every continent except Antarctica and are mostly found in the tropics. Most of them will feed on leaves, flowers, bark and seeds, but some will also feed on insects, snails and even small lizards or snakes. They make a chirping sound like a cricket and supposedly you can count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 to that and that will give you the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. So next time you are outside and wondering how hot it is just listen for the chirps and then add it up. If for some reason you come up with a number that just don’t make since then chances are you were probably counting cricket chirps.

Another big bug

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