Wet, but all is good

We got back home from a great trip to The Florida Keys and Arizona only to find out that we’d been having a lot of rain. In the first few days of November before we got back, our weather station recorded over a foot of rain (13+ inches).

Didn’t see any fish swimming through the yard this time.

Our village gets its water from the river up in the mountains, but with all that rain, it took out the water system for the entire village. Which meant we got home to no water in the pipes. Luckily we have a backup water tank that was full, but it’s not hooked up to the house. So we had to fill up 5 gal buckets and bring them over to the house for dishes, toilets, and such. We had heard there was a chance that the water could be out all week, but luckily they had it fixed the next day so we could get a shower and do some laundry.

Mr. Hankey leaving his summer home and headed to South Park for the Christmas season.

So far we have seen over 18″ of rain just in November. And just like last year when the holidays started to roll around it was once again time to quote cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, “Shitter’s Full”. We have a very big 3-stage septic tank, big enough that my Jeep would fit in it. But with all this rain the ground is just saturated, which means that the septic is not draining properly. Since the ground is so wet we had to wait a few days for the road to dry up before we could even get a pumper truck in here. At least we have the casita with a septic tank that rarely gets used.

Variety of pepper plants doing well.

After the rains, there was a lot of cleanup to do around the property, nothing major just palm fronds, tree branches, plant trimming, and lots of mud. Once it dries up a little more I will have to get the tractor out to scrape the driveway smooth and take down some of the big ruts on our road. For the most part, the garden looked good, thanks to Amanda for taking care of it while we were gone. I’m actually surprised that the tomatoes and pepper plants survived all the rain. Ruben’s tomatoes on our other property didn’t do so well. They all had green fruit on them and with all that water they absorbed, most of the tomatoes split open and he lost the entire crop.

Habaneros are starting to ripen. Time to make some more habanero salt.

Our garden is on a slight hill so all the rain didn’t have a chance to sit around the plants and puddle up. Actually, all of our peppers are doing quite well. We are still picking cayennes, the habaneros are starting to ripen, there are a few green chili plants and the Italian peppers are starting to get big. The tomato plants from the seeds I got from my sister are starting to blossom. This week we will be planting bush beans and some purple carrots.

Cayennes from the garden fermenting till the end of the year.

Kelley has got some of our cayenne peppers bottled up, waiting to make some pepper sauce. The peppers are fermented in vinegar and water along with some salt and garlic for about six weeks. After that, everything will get pureed down into a fine liquid. There is also a small jar of heatless habaneros fermenting to see if it makes a delicious sauce without the heat.

Cacao about ready to be picked. This is our smallest tree only about 6′ tall. All the other trees are at least 15′ tall and loaded with pods.

We are still making dark chocolate around here. Recently Kelley has had a problem getting the chocolate to temper, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Recently we picked up some local cacoa butter that should help it temper, along with the cooler weather it should be fine. The chocolate is still very good even if it doesn’t temper, it’s just that after a while it melts in your hands if it’s not tempered correctly. Which will be great come Christmas time when Kelley is making cookies and you want to bite into that soft chocolate chip cookie.

Would you like to buy a candy bar and send a jungle girl and boy to summer camp next year?

Anyway, the chocolate that does temper we’ve been making into individual bars that get packaged and sealed so they will last. Not sure what we’ll be doing with all of them besides enjoying them and sharing them with our friends. Maybe we’ll be selling them door to door as a fundraiser to send ourselves to summer camp next year.🤣😎

There are maybe 4 or 5 papaya trees on our farm lot and they all have a bunch of papayas on them.

A year or so ago Kelley cut open a papaya and some of the seeds were starting to sprout. Well you know Kelley, she had to plant them. The plants grew to a couple of feet tall, but we had no extra room around here to plant them. So we gave them to Ruben to plant down on our farm lot. The plants didn’t get really tall, but they are getting some nice big papayas. Neither one of us is a big fan of papaya, but Ruben loves them, and we will take a few for the bird feeder.

The first batch of beef snack sticks out of the smoker and ready to be packaged up.

The first weekend of the month, The Bluff has been having a big yard sale where anyone can come and sell stuff. We have been asked if we would come and sell some of our meats. So we have been really ramping up our production. Hopefully, we should have ready summer sausage, beef snack sticks, bratwurst sausage, Italian sausage linked and crumble, breakfast links and patties, bacon, and maybe some chocolate. This will be the first time we have actually set up and sold our meats. Usually, it’s just word of mouth and everything is gone in a week or so.

Toucan in the trees.

It’s been a while since we have heard or seen any toucans around here, but that’s changing. I assume that the wild fruit in the trees is starting to ripen as we are seeing more of them around. We are starting to see them in the trees out behind the house and just flying over. As soon as the fruit in the trees over the casita ripens we should see a lot more out in the open and Kelley can get some more great pictures of them.

A laughing falcon right off the back patio.

The other morning we heard what sounded like a  laughing falcon in a tree just outside the house. He was out there very loudly calling for a good hour. Finally, Kelley couldn’t take it anymore and got the camera and went out looking for him. She found him in a tree just off the back patio. He stayed around long enough for a few good pictures before taking off.

A very strange looking mushroom.

We haven’t seen these mushrooms around the yard since last year. The common name is the latticed stinkhorn and feeds off decaying wood matter or garden mulch. It has a bad odor, somewhat like rotting meat, which attracts flies and other insects to help disperse its spores. This one was about the size of a softball, and with that smell and bright color they are hard to miss. After all the rains we’ve had mushrooms popping up everywhere, hopefully, we will find some oyster mushrooms around, because they are delicious.

The feast is over.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, I know we did. Kelley cooked up a traditional Thanksgiving meal and we had a few friends over. The weather here this last week has been great, with no rain, highs of 85°, and low of 67°. We are starting our dry season, so the next few months should be great down here.

See you in Belize!

5 thoughts on “Wet, but all is good”

  1. Looking for some small Xmas gifts for my guys. I can have our manager stop off and pick up. What do you have and price? Chocolate and the beef sticks. Would need about 8 sets. Enjoy the post. We are over near Spanish Lookout but go to Georgeville every week for a location.

  2. Awesome blog as always!! Sorry to hear about your yard flooding…at least it was outside & not inside like ours was when we got home from visiting you guys. It took 3 months to get it finished. Wish we would of seen a Toucan in your trees. Maybe on our next visit, we should come after the rainy season. Happy to hear you guys were surrounded by friends sharing your Thanksgiving feast! Your beef sticks look yummy. We know how delicious your sausage & bacon are 🙂 What a Fantastic thing to do for the kids of your village with selling your chocolates!! Hope you both have a Wonderful Christmas!!

  3. Lovely blog Dave and Kelley. So happy you are enjoying life. Happiness Holidsys to you and your families.

  4. Glad you had a good Thanksgiving, I did also, my neighbor John Culver in the big new house above me invited the neighbors in our area to have dinner with their family and friends, about 40-50 all together, enough food and deserts for at least 100 😁😂
    I wish we could get some of your delicious homemade meats and chocolate here in Choya.
    Love your blog, always looking forward to it!
    Ron and Rhonda posted photos of all their belongings packed in a railroad type boxcar on wheels being sent somewhere to ship to Belize!
    Enjoy your dry season!

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