Taking a break

Like always, there is a lot of stuff happening around here and this week was no exception. It didn’t seem like there was any real progress happening because this week was spent plastering the garage in and out and finishing up a bunch of small detail work. The plastering over the block is something like I’ve never seen before. There are three coats of cement plaster going on to build up a good 1/2” base over the blocks before the final 1/8” finish goes on. The fine sand used for the finish is being washed and sifted so once done it will be as smooth as a nice piece of sanded wood. Not sure we needed this nice of a finish on a garage, but he said this is how he prefers to do it.

The washed and sifted fine sand

We are taking a break from all this construction and heading up to the states for a couple of weeks visiting friends, family and of course the grandsons. This will be our first trip back to the states since our big move to Belize. Amazingly there really isn’t very much stuff we need to get and bring back. Most things are available here, it’s just figuring out which store has what. For example… there is one gas station where you buy all of your electrical needs, you can get plywood at the grocery store, you can get frozen meats where you order block and cement and of course you can get a cold beer where you buy your sand paper. It has been fun and challenging trying to remember where we saw what and who had the best prices. By the time we get back the garage should be done and they should have a good start on the house. With two buildings down and one more to go (for now), we now have our sights set on living in a real home come Christmas time. Wouldn’t that be a great Christmas gift!

Our grandsons Tyler and Luke

We took a little drive over to Branch Mouth the other day, that is where the Mopan and the Macal rivers come together to form the Belize river. There used to be a small suspension bridge there until a big flood a few years ago washed it away. The new bridge is all done and just like before it is only meant as a walking bridge, although we have seen motorcycles use it. It’s a neat little bridge with cables and wood boards that would fit right into any Indiana Jones movie. Once you are out on the middle of the bridge there are some great views of where the two rivers come together. I walked across the bridge swaying up and down with every step and took a bunch of pictures, as for Kelley she wanted no part of stepping more than a few feet out onto that bridge.

Two rivers come together
No way am I getting on that bridge!

The other morning Ruben brought over some mushrooms that he found around the yard and said were very good to eat. He said to put some salt and pepper on them and microwave for half a minute or so. Weez 8 da much rooms an wow waaz day gooood! Just kidding they weren’t that kind of mushrooms, but they were very tasty. We believe they were oyster mushrooms and the good thing is that mushroom season is just getting started down here. We will definitely be on the lookout for more of these and any others that Ruben says we can eat. If we do start finding an abundance of mushrooms then we can always throw them in the dehydrator and save them for later in the year. Kelley and I both love mushrooms and especially if they are growing around our property and are free.

Wild oyster mushrooms

Creature feature of the week is the walking stick. The other day we found a great example of a big (9 inch) bright green walking stick on one of the palms out back. We have seen a few brown ones but this is the first green one we have seen. Walking sticks are incredible harmless insects that are very hard to spot unless you know what you are looking for. Here’s a few facts about the worlds longest insect (up to 22 inches long). There are over 3,000 species of walking sticks, they can regenerate limbs if needed and the female can reproduce without males. When a female reproduces without a male all of her offspring will be females, but If she reproduces with a male then 50% will be males. It surprises me that there are still any males out there.

Big bug