Friday, April 30, 2010


It's the end of April & I've been back in Belize about 3 weeks. The weather has been hot & muggy. According to our Mayan friends, this is unusual for April. We've also had a couple of rip-roaring thunderstorms. The first was a couple of weeks ago and came down from the north. The deluge hit hard & fast with lightning right overhead. We dashed to throw the breakers on the solar panels to isolate the inverter in case of a strike. Not sure if that's the best answer, but works for now. The storm 2 nights ago came from the west and once again, filled our cisterns. We're very conservative & our 10,000 gallon in ground cistern has stayed nearly full since it's beginning. We use the 600 gallon Rotoplast for irrigation & laundry.

We've had another repair dilemma. The bearings went out in the differential in the old flail. I had to laugh at a question from our son. I told him that his Dad was struggling to figure out what had happened & how to fix it & Tim asked if he had an instruction book on it. The poor old flail is at least 50 years old & shows every year of it. There probably wasn't a manual on it was new. Art has never been a mechanic, but has figured it out. After several trips to Spanish Lookout & lots of experimenting, he found the correct bearings & lock washers & it's working.!! We sure need the thing as we've had just enough rain to encourage the weeds to grow.

Still don't have the chainsaw working. Bo't a new coil for it in the States and it doesn't fit. After several discussions with the fellows at Crossroads in SL, they ordered one for us and it's the same incorrect one. I spent some time with them on their parts computer & we discovered that there are 2 different ones for mine. Jacob has been really helpful. He was going to order the new one. About 15 min. after leaving the store he phoned me to say that they had one in a saw that they'd take out & put in ours. We left it with them to do a tuneup to be sure all is well. Would you believe that a couple of days later we got a call that this model is unique and that there is actually a 3rd coil used only in this model. Can you hear me screaming from here? Anyway, they're ordering this unique coil.

The computer continues to be a frustration. Both Dell & the Geek Squad responded with "so sorry, but since you had the stupidity to take it out of the country, It's no longer our problem." Note: from previous experience I found that Dell Finance was in India and service was handled from the Phillipines. At least Belize is an English speaking country. I'm sending the computer north with a friend & she'll ship it to our daughter in Oregon & hoping for the best. Ha!

As I previously mentioned, my garden was a bust. I did salvage a couple of tomato plants I started in bags & three that Rene had stuck around. I transplanted them to the back of the house under the trees. I'm holding my breath, but they seem to be recovering & a couple have little tomatoes. Not sure of varieties, so will all be a surprise.

We've been enjoying watching birds visit a tree that has fruit that looks like a green cherry. Were thrilled to get photos of a gorgeous pair of tanager's who stayed for nearly a week. In the NW we don't see bright red birds. The Aracari visit here periodically, but are quick & shy. We have black & white warblers bouncing around, looking like tiny convicts in their striped attire. Some look more blue than black. Of course there are lots of greenish finches and our resident Kiskadee's to keep us entertained. They may not call it spring down here, but it still seems to be the nesting time. A not too bright pair of Kiskadee's have made a nest in the gutter on the guest house, right over the drain. A downpour might wash them away. We don't have many flowers yet, but have one large red bush that keeps a hummingbird busy. Unlike the little Rufus that we see in Oregon, this lovely thing is larger with a dark purple body & green highlights. What a joy!


Wilma said...

Hi Gale,

the downspout of the gutter seems to be a favorite spot for kiskadees to build thier nests. Seems crazy, but you can't argue with thier success, can you?

Regarding your computer - my husband's laptop routinely dies about 5 days after we arrive in Belize, whereas mine never dies. We observed that mine runs hotter than his and speculate that the hotter temp keeps mine drier than his. His always comes back to life, usually on the flight from Belize to Miami. I wonder if there is a way to try to dry your out?

Good job on the flail repair and good luck with the chainsaw!


Anonymous said...

Wilma made an astute observation: humidity will wreak havoc on computers. a computer that runs hotter will dry up the moisture, but perhaps installing a bigger/faster fan on it might do the same??
Enjoyed reading you update, BTW.

Linda Crawford said...

I really enjoy reading your post. Sometimes I feel as if though I in the middle of the jungle watching and listening.

Regarding your computer, the humidity is definitely the problem. I too have a Dell and my computer is hot all the time I'm in Belize.Maybe mine had the better fan to begin with.

Thanks again and I would love to visit your farm when I'm in Belize.



Jeanie said...

Hi Gale...we're still waiting on the house to sell...I know, you feel our pain. I'll probably get down there with the 2 younger kids by August, if not sooner, whether the house sells or not. We want to start school in September and want to be 'settled.' Kyle is busy here and there and not sure when he's gonna get back down there. He sure loved spending time with you guys. About the dell, same thing here. I'm gonna get rid of mine before I move down and get an apple. The family has 5 apples and I'm the one with an old Dell. The "C" key is broken off and it's over 6 years old...I guess that's old for a laptop. Crazy. Can't wait to get my tail down there! See you soon!