Thursday, December 26, 2013

An Ode to Our Belize Christmas

It was the day of Christmas and all through the house,
People were gathered and started getting soused.

Graham, who with his wife Leona and daughter Ashton, brought the biggest turkey any of us had ever seen.

Roger and Julie

David, Dave, and Colleen

The tables were laden with foods of all kinds
Cheeses and turkeys and ham, plus wine!

And we can’t forget the mushrooms, pate, stuffing, the gravy, 
The potatoes, the cauliflower, the carrots, and corn,
The Yorkshires, bread and butter…it all resembled food porn.

The dogs they were crazed by all the people and food,
And one little pup needed a kiss to improve.

Ashton providing some comfort to Pearl.

But then the time came for the group to all gather,
To sit at the table and have quite the natter.

Jokes and ribbing took place while wearing our crowns,
A feast was partaken of in leaps and bounds.

Pictures were taken by a camera or two, 
While we all raised a glass, as if on cue.

To work off all the food, some took a dip.
Hey living in Belize is where all things are hip.

Bob, Graham, Leona, and Wendy
But as all things must, the day came to a close,
And some thought it a good time to take a wee doze.

 Colleen and Bruce, thank you for an awesome day full of food, friends, and laughter!

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Bathroom Wall Cabinets!

You might remember that back in September David blogged about what it took to make our new bathroom vanity. By utilizing the corner area, the new vanity really opens up the space and gives us a ton of storage. 

With that piece of the project complete, he then moved on to build mirrored wall cabinets. I don't think this build went as quickly as David would have hoped. For starters, because the wood here is so hard, each nail hole had to be pre-drilled. On top of that, this pesky rainy season has refused to stop. That meant it took way longer for the coats of paint to dry. 

But after a bunch of starts and stops, the cabinets were done.

The mirrors add another whole dimension to this space by reflecting the light to help this small room feel way more open. One of my favorite elements is that rectangular mirror in the middle. While it has a cap at the top and bottom, it really is just floating between the two cabinets. Needless to say it took some precise measurements for the build and installation to make sure the angles were perfect. It also goes without saying that I had nothing, whatsoever, to do with the measuring, as I am math-impaired.

The other cool thing is how David again used the corner and the design of the vanity to make everything come together with the upper cabinets.

Dontcha' just love it, especially when you look at what was originally there?

The last thing we need to do is replace the toilet, which is a project we're not looking forward to. It's not like we haven't done it before, but we've never had a toilet cemented in the floor. We're going to have to chip out all of that cement and then pray to the bathroom gods that the wax ring isn't below the floor level. Will keep you posted on how that goes when we decide to tackle that project.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Being Thankful for Friends

Man, the last few of weeks have flown by! It seemed like everyday there was some gathering of friends, some planned, others impromptu, all great fun.

And speaking of friends, we finally got to meet Mike and Mardi! They are a couple from Minnesota who follow our blog, got in contact with me through email and Facebook, and were planning their first trip to Belize.

It's kinda' funny to me when you're pen pals. While you may see pictures of the other people, read and respond to their messages, you really don't know if you will actually click when you meet in person.

Any concerns that may have flitted through my mind were gone in a second upon meeting them. They are so down-to-earth, funny, and kind.

While the weather wasn't completely cooperative during their stay (lots of rain), the skies turned clear and beautiful on their last day (of course). A bunch of us gathered at Jam Rock, so they could meet other folks who made the move here.

I do hope they come back for more visits (hint, hint). But one of the cool things about social media is that we can be in touch, online, in a second. There's hardly a day that goes by that we don't touch base. Good people, good friends.

But no sooner did Mike and Mardi depart, then Thanksgiving appeared. This year a bunch of us gathered at the home of Colleen and Bruce Steege.

Left to right: Dianna and Dave Rider, Graham Towers, me, and David)

We collectively decided on a Traditional Thanksgiving with a Flair. That meant instead of turkey, we had duck. And let me just say that Bruce outdid himself. One duck was stuffed with wild rice stuffing, the other with citrus. Both were basted multiple times with a lovely red wine. Combine that with garlic smashed potatoes, gravy, cheeses, breads, pate, cake and lots of incredible wines from Colleen, Bruce, and Graham, and we had all the makings of an amazing feast. Oh and there was broccoli. Leave it to me to forget mentioning the veg.

Anyway, we all had a tremendous time. Unfortunately, the cold symptoms I had been ignoring for the couple of days previous to the feast decided to rear their ugly heads that night. This is the same cold that I gave to David, who then gave back to me. I know, I know, karma is a bitch. For the next three days I was pretty much worthless. It has been sooooo long since I've had a full-blown cold that I forgot just how tired and crummy you feel. My brain couldn't put two thoughts together that made sense. I ended up nesting in a blanket, sipping hot tea and honey, when not sleeping, sneezing, or coughing, and gave into being a slug. 

As an aside, we picked up some local brand tissues that were cheerily printed with a Christmas theme on the box. I really didn't care about the design, I just needed tissues. Anyway, what we didn't realize is that these particular tissues have some sort of potpourri scent to them. Overwhelmingly so. And they are not soft by any stretch of the imagination. Colleen, being the amazing friend that she is,  took pity on me and gave me a box of Kleenex brand tissues. My nose was immediately happier.

Fortunately, it seems the worst of the symptoms are over. Still have a cough and sound congested, but at least I can function...mostly. I have things to do, people to see, cooking that I'm aching to do. And let's not forget that in a little more than three weeks Christmas will be here! And what does that mean? Nope, not presents or decorations or carols or means we can spend time with all these wonderful people and a host more we know and enjoy to celebrate the holidays.

To all our friends...thank you for being you and sharing time with us.