Where did November go?

It’s been a busy November so far. The end of October we hopped a plane up to Arizona for a visit and to see our grandkids. We got there just before Halloween, which meant decorating cookies, pumpkin carving, and of course trick or treating.

Grandkids, Luke, Tyler, and Alli with their Halloween cookies they decorated.

This year Luke and Tyler went as Ninjas and Allison was a cute little fairy. At Alli’s first stop she was a little hesitant when they gave her candy. At the second house when they gave her candy she tried to give them the candy she got at the first house. A few houses later when she figured out that all the candy was for her, she was almost running up to the front doors for more treats.

The grandkids, all ready to raid the neighborhood of their candy.

November is the time of year that we go to Arizona for our annual doctor’s checkup. The doctor said we are both good and healthy, but Kelley had something on her cheek that they had to do a biopsy on. Turned out it was squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer that had to be removed immediately. So it was off to the specialist to get it removed.  While we were there I had also scheduled to have a hernia repaired that had already been repaired 15 years ago. We are both in good health, with the exception that I can’t lift anything heavy for a couple of months and Kelley can’t make funny faces for a while.

Thankfully hurricane Lisa remained a category 1

A few days after we left Belize there was a late tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean. It eventually turned into a category 1 hurricane (Lisa) that was headed directly to Belize. There was plenty of damage along the coast, but by the time it got inland to us, it was starting to lose strength. About the only damage I heard of up by us was a lot of downed trees and flooding. Besides losing power and a bunch of branches scattered around our yard, we were very lucky to only have lost a couple banana plants. The lot across from us lost a couple big trees and a few big palms. Darren’s lot next to us had a couple good size trees go down and a big palm that just barely managed to miss his house. It’s great to have friends who will check on and take care of things when we are not there.

Not a problem because they grow back fast. Surprisingly the ones with bunches of bananas didn’t blow over.

Halfway through our trip to Arizona, our friend and neighbor in Belize (Amanda) flew up and joined us. We made a quick 3 day run down to the beaches of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico to show Amanda where we used to live. We gave her a whirlwind tour of the town and all the places we used to hang out. We saw a bunch of friends we haven’t seen in a while, ate a lot of seafood, got a lot of sun and of course drank too many crevesas.

Soaking up the sun down in Mexico.

One of our stops in Mexico was down to the estuary where they raise oysters. Kelley and I have been going there for well over 30 years, but this was Amanda’s first time and it did not disappoint. As we pulled up on the beach, the old man came out of his shack and asked what we wanted. In no time at all, he was pulling a crate of fresh oysters out of the water and shucking them for us. We only had two dozen between us (we easily could have done 2 dozen each) but we had more food stops planned for the day.

Low tide at the oyster farm.

In the short time we spent in Mexico we managed to get our seafood fix in. We had steamed clams, octopus, fried oysters, coconut shrimp, and raw oysters on the beach. We also brought some jumbo blue shrimp and scallops back to Arizona where we had a big seafood feast at the kid’s house. All in all, it was a short trip down to Mexico, but it gave Amanda a chance to see where we use to call home.

California yellowtail sashimi, grilled scallops in bacon fat, snow crab, jumbo blue shrimp, scallop sashimi, and of course some sourdough bread with an olive oil, garlic, and parmesan dipping sauce.

Now back to Belize

Since the holidays are right around the corner, it was time for us to make our beef summer sausage again. We have been making it for a few years, but last year was the first time we offered it for sale, and everybody loved it. So far we have orders for at least 30 and we haven’t even passed the word to everyone yet. So it looks like the next couple of weeks we will be concentrating on making summer sausage in time for all the holiday gatherings. We also picked up another 50 lbs. of cubed pork to make more Italian and breakfast sausage.

Summer sausage with cheese and crackers makes great Hors d’oeuvre for your holiday gatherings.

Before we left for the states we were talking to our neighbors and the subject of clam chowder came up. We had recently ordered in a case of canned clams from Amazon because we’ve been craving clam linguini and clam chowder. Canned clams are almost impossible to find down here and if you do they are expensive. We said that when we got back from the states I would make up a batch of clam chowder and invite them over. So sourdough bread bowls were ordered from the bakery, the chowder was made and Kelley made some deep-fried lobster raviolis. Throw in some wine, cold beer, and good friends, what more could you ask for?

Neighbors Penny, John and Kelley, and I with clam chowder in sourdough rounds, along with some deep-fried lobster ravioli. Amanda was also there, but someone had to take the picture.

After being gone for a while it was time to check the old trail camera to see what interesting critters have been around. There were coatimundis, tayras (bush dogs), agouties, foxes, possums, squirrels, and a bunch of different birds. It’s good to see there are still a bunch of animals roaming around here and hopefully one day we will get a picture of a jaguar or tapir on the camera.

A beautiful healthy looking fox.

Belize has a very diverse landscape for being such a small country. There are hundreds of islands off the coast and beautiful beaches along its Caribbean shoreline. There are also wetlands, mountains, and tropical jungles. One surprise that some people don’t know about is the pine forest. We live on the edge of Mountain Pine Ridge and just a short drive from us the jungle disappears and gives way to streams and pine trees. It reminds us of Northern Arizona, with the pine trees, red dirt, and even deer. Sometimes it’s a little hard to believe that you are in Belize when there are pine cones scattered all over the ground.

Twenty minutes from us and you are up in the pines.

While driving around the other day we saw a yard full of white goats  with a sign that read “NO TRESPASSING GUARD DOGS ON DUTY.” We just found humor in that.

In Belize, there is a special breed of dogs.

It was a great trip to Arizona and down to Mexico where we got to see a lot of friends we haven’t seen in a while. Now it’s time to get a new garden in, make up a bunch more sausage, and take care of all the things that have been neglected around here for the past month. Even though we had no real damage from the hurricane, there is still a lot of cleaning up and trimming to do around the property.

This Thursday we’ll be making up a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fix’n’s. We’ll invite a few friends over, eat too much, watch some football and talk about how we can’t believe it’s already the Christmas season. Here’s wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Day weekend.

4 thoughts on “Where did November go?”

  1. Happy that you are safely back home In Belize, it was great seeing you and meeting Amanda when you visited Choya Bay and got to experience the NEW JJ’s Cantina (still no Sniveling)🤣
    I ran in Darren a couple of days latter
    🙏🏼❤️ Jeff

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for the update. Your grandkids are really cute. We don’t see our grandson very often. Cherish those moments. Carol still has your clam chowder recipe and makes it now and then. Good stuff. I love summer sausage! I want to try making summer sausage with my game meat. Maybe I can get your recipe and “tips”. We will keep you in our prayers for your continued good health and the skin cancer is DONE!
    Brad & Carol

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