Still very busy around here

The past couple of weeks were going to be busier than usual around here. Mike Nash was coming back to The Bluff for a couple shows and Darren was coming down for 10 days or so. Mike had to cancel for some reason and Darren had to postpone his trip till December. That doesn’t mean there still wasn’t a lot to do around here. Kelley and I had been finishing up small projects at Darren’s house so it would be ready for him when he arrived. We’ve got his alarm installed, wired up his island for electricity, butane all installed for the stove, got him a new road put in, oversaw the cabinets and granite being installed and a bunch more small things that needed to be taken care of before he got here.

Installing some electrical outlets in Darren’s island.

Darren’s house is just about done, so this trip was for him to get it furnished and ready to move in. Hopefully, by his trip in December, he will be able to get everything that he needs to start living in and enjoying his own jungle home.

Darren’s house is just about move-in ready.

This past week started off with our internet provider suggesting that we upgrade our equipment to get better service. This meant taking down our 75′ tower to put new equipment on it. We lowered the tower down and put a new antenna on it only to have it not work. So take it down again to put the old antenna back up until they could figure out what the problem was. A couple days later we brought it down one more time to put a different new antenna up and remove the old one. Every time we need to drop the tower we have to try and round up a bunch of guys to help. Our internet seems to be working better than before, so we’ll see what happens.

The things we have to do to get internet.

We met a young gal (Rose) from Lithuania the other night at The Bluff restaurant. For the past year, she has been couch surfing around the world. We didn’t even know what couch surfing was until we looked it up. Anyway, after talking to her awhile we decided that we would offer up our guest house for a couple of nights. Rose has been traveling all around for the past year by herself. She prefers to hitchhike where ever she goes and stay with friends she has met in the past or at homes that are listed on the couch surfing website.

Our new friend Rosita from Lithuania.

As we were talking one night, it came up that we use to live in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, and believe it or not, she had been there. She was coming up from Mazatlan to Peñasco a few years ago where a friend was going to get her a ride to Arizona. Such a small world. Anyway as a token of thanks for staying here she gave us a small vial of Lithuanian sand with a note inside written in her native language. Rose is a very adventurous gal and has a great passion for meeting new people and exploring everything this world has to offer. It was amazing to hear all the places she’d been and all the things she had seen. We were thrilled to have met her and to get to learn about her native country which we had no knowledge of.

Sand from a Lithuanian beach with a personal note inside.

Our other lot down the road that we are letting Ruben farm on is starting to produce some nice veggies. The past few weeks his yellow corn was ready to start harvesting. This week it’s green beans and cilantro. The green beans are great, but I’m not a fan of cilantro, so just a couple of bunches for Kelley should be enough. He also has a lot of peanuts planted, but we don’t need any of those because the ones we planted are doing quite well. I think this is the way we are going to garden from now on, just get some seeds and let Ruben do the rest. We’ll stick to just growing the fruit trees etc. and leave all the veggies to him. It’s a win, win situation. Ruben makes money selling what he grows and we have our own fresh veggies as needed.

Kelley out picking some green beans for our dinner.

Our new cabinet and the granite countertop were finally ready for pickup. Between the fridge and the wall, we had put a small table that we used when we were living in the casita. The table just happened to be the perfect size for that space. We never used it to sit at or anything, it was just a table to put stuff on. So we decided to get rid of it and have another cabinet made that would match the rest in the kitchen. This new cabinet is dedicated to all our meat-making supplies. Meat slicer, vacuum sealer, meat grinder, sausage stuffer, bags, casings, spices, etc. all in one place. It will be much better having everything in one place and it will be a lot easier to tell when we are getting low on supplies.

Our new kitchen cabinet to the left of the fridge.

We recently made up a ten-pound batch of Louisiana-style hot link sausages. These are not for sale yet as we are still playing with the recipe and the cooking methods. Eventually, we will get this to where we want it, and once we’re happy with it I’m sure we’ll have a market for them.

Smoking some hot link sausage.

Originally we were only going to make up corned beef around St Patrick’s Day, but it seemed that everyone wanted more. We just finished curing another batch and most of them are already spoken for.

The last round of corned beef is ready to go.

A couple of the beef briskets we bought were a little too thin to make into corned beef. Our choice was to grind them up or turn them into beef bacon. I’m sure you can guess which one we chose. Anyway, after a week in the cure and some time in the smoker, we had two batches of beef bacon, one black pepper and the other one maple syrup both with a hickory smoke.

Beef bacon

Also made up another 30lbs. of Italian sausage. If you are looking to try this sausage, order a pizza at The Bluff and ask for sausage on your pizza. The sausage is not on the menu, sort of like a secret, but now you know.

Wicked Toucan sausage pizza at The Bluff.

Change is good, well sometimes. Belikin beer has always been offered in a heavy dark glass bottle. Recently they have started putting their famous beer in cans. Kelley and I tried one and we both said it tasted flat and not the same as the bottle, plus it costs more. I know it’s the same beer, but it just seems to taste better out of the bottle. And since Belize does not really offer aluminum recycling, we will stick to our returnable bottles. It’s the least we can do for the environment.

Canned Belikin beer, we’ll just stick to the bottles.

The other night there was a little excitement in the hot tub. No, it’s not what you’re probably thinking. We were sitting in there just relaxing and the trees above us started rustling around. Right above us was a Kinkajou eating the berries on the trees. We sat there for a good hour just watching him jump from branch to branch above our head. All we could think about was, what if he slipped and fell in the hot tub with us? Luckily he didn’t, but that sure would have made for a good story.

Very happy this Kinkajou didn’t fall in the hot tub with us.

September 21st is Independence day in Belize. It is a National holiday and a time for big celebrations throughout the entire country.  The official name of the territory was changed from British Honduras to Belize in 1973, and full independence from the UK was granted on 21 September 1981.

Independence Day parade on Burns St. in San Ignacio.

We went down into San Ignacio to catch the parade and join in on some of the festivities. Once the parade started the streets were packed. Everyone came out from the surrounding villages to watch the parade and show their Belizean pride. Everywhere you looked there were flags, banners, shirts, hats, etc. all showing how proud they are of their country.

Some of the dancers in the parade.

We have been to a couple of Independence day parades before, but this one seemed bigger than the others. Possibly because there hasn’t been one the past couple of years because of covid. It was great to see this many people come out and show how much pride and spirit they have for their country. We’re glad we could be part of this celebration.

The look on mom’s face couldn’t be prouder.

That about sums up the past few weeks. Hope to see you soon, either here or there.

4 thoughts on “Still very busy around here”

  1. I love all the little recaps and stories behind them. Darren is sure lucky to have you two down there to coordinate (and work) on his place. We will miss each other the next time we are down there but hope to see you next time in Arizona. Love reading the blog.

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