Sunday, August 10, 2014

Yard Tour

I love our yard. There are so many plants, bushes, and trees that Fernando has lovingly cared for over the years. And the attention he gives everything really shows.

Let's take a look at some things that have been making an appearance.

We have lots of orchids, at least 40 plants throughout the yard. Some look a bit otherworldly, producing long spikes. Others produce lovely flowers.

This is one of my favorites. So dainty.

There are also a number of flowering bushes. Here are just a couple.

And the bougainvillea knocks my socks off every single time it blooms. 

Take a look at this aloe plant.

When Colleen gifted me with this, it fit in the palm of my hand with room to spare. I decided to plant it in front of David's workshop. It seems to like it there.

We also have a bunch of fruit trees, including oranges, grapefruit, avocado, custard apple, to name a few. There are also at least four different type of lime trees. These beauties are my absolute favorites.

The flash makes them look on the orange side, but they're really a lovely shade of yellow and very similar to key limes. Their smell is heavenly. When we get a bumper crop like this, we juice them and freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. This year, I also combined some of the juice with a simple syrup and froze that combo as well. Makes for a lovely kick in a plain bottle of water or unsweetened ice tea.

We're very excited to have recently come into possession of a lemon tree. If all goes well, we should have lemons this time next year. Believe it or not, lemons are scarce here. On those rare times they appear at the market, everyone grabs them up. Can't wait to have our own.

Now these next two pictures are things that aren't in our yard, but certainly nearby.

This is called a Flamboyant tree and it's in our neighbor's yard. Every time it blooms, it puts a big smile on my face. The red color of the flowers is so vibrant and provides a wonderful contrast to all the greenery that's around.

And last, but not least, there are these guys.

This sheep herd has been showing up in our other neighbor's yard on a pretty much daily basis for the last week. After munching their fill in the yard, they slowly mosey their way to another grazing area, sometimes across the lane from our house. In spite of driving the dogs absolutely bonkers, they are fun to look at.

Coming up: Look for a post from David describing what it took to install the new light in our master bath. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Slices of Life from Belize - August 2, 2014

Car Registration

On Wednesday David took our car over the Ministry of Works building in Ranchito to renew the registration. Last year, the official checked to see if the headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and brakes all worked, before filling out the paperwork.

This year? Ehhh, not so much. Matter of fact, the guy didn't even come out of the building. Just went ahead and checked off all the bits and pieces on the form without even a glance at the car. Gotta' love it.

Permanent Residency Status

Still waiting for final approval. 'Nuff said.

Driveway Upgrade

Our driveway was comprised of packed marl. Over the years, rain and normal wear and tear started to take their toll. Parts of drive were uneven and, because of the marl, it became slicker than ice whenever we would get pelted with rain for days on end. Being the incredibly graceful woman that I am, there were more than a few times I slipped and ended up on my butt.

To solve the problem, we decided to cover the drive in gravel. Not surprisingly, our first stop was to a local gravel company. What was surprising was that they had no gravel and weren't quite sure when they would get any. 

Through Fernando, we finally got hooked up with another company who made the delivery. 

Fifteen plus cubic feet of stone was dumped in the drive. The driveway, just so you know, is 100 feet long.

Armed with only a wheelbarrow, shovel, and rake, Fernando started spreading the gravel. In less than six hours he had the job done.

When I posted these pics on my Facebook page, I noted that David and I have moved stone and it's way harder than it looks. When you factor in the heat (we've been clocking in at feel-like temps of over 100+ degrees F), it makes Fernando's efforts all that more amazing. As I also noted on Facebook, if I had to do this job, my body would have been prone in the driveway in no time flat, to be used as a human speed bump.

The dogs are still getting used to the new surface. Delicate toes and all that. For the time being, they are using the sidewalks to race down to the gate. That, of course, means that on a daily basis one of them knocks over one or more of the lights installed on both sides of the drive. Sigh.

Speaking of Pets

These, dear readers, are the gratuitous pet pictures of the program.

Name: Sam (a.k.a. Sammie). 
Profession: Watchdog - if Sam barks, you know something or someone is in or around the property that shouldn't be.
Hobbies: Ear scratches, cuddles, and trying to outrace any person on a motor bike that comes down our lane.

Name: Lizi (a.k.a. Lizi Lou)
Profession: Gossip - if Lizi barks, which she does frequently at o'dark hundred in the morning, you know she's sussing out the dirt with the other gossipy dogs in the 'hood. 
Hobbies: See description for Profession.

Name: Olivia (a.k.a. Baby Dog, a.k.a. Leggsly)
Profession: House dog - while Sam may be the keeper of the outside grounds, Olivia has his back when it comes to the house. She's been known to raise quite the ruckus when people she doesn't know enter our abode.
Hobbies: Playing with her stuffed gecko, tantalizing the cat, grass and rug surfing.

Name: Bronte (a.k.a. Kitcat)
Profession: Princess of all things - she rules the dogs and pretty much us and takes every opportunity to remind us what a special treasure she is.
Hobbies: Figuring out ways to get Olivia in trouble, eating houseplants, shredding toilet paper, plotting ways to launch her body from high places onto prone bodies in bed, stalking geckos and the Roomba.

Coming up: some of the really pretty things that have been blooming in our yard.