Saturday, March 23, 2013

Women's luncheon

Our group is expanding, but there are about 80 names on our list for Cayo Connections.  It's meant just as a way to get to know women in our area on a casual basis.  Not meetings, minutes, dues, etc., just a once-a-month lunch to chat and catch up on each others activities.  We get together the 3rd Thursday each month and just had a delightful lunch at the Aguada.  About 30 folks and we were thrilled to greet a couple of newcomers.  I think it's reassuring to know that there are kindred spirits near who are sharing some of the same struggles and successes.  I really enjoy having the chance to visit with so many friends whom I might not see otherwise. 

Blog friends

After several attempts we finally met with new friends, Chris and Liz here at the farm.  We've been communicating for some time, but never seemed to connect in person.  They have explored Belize and have now settled on a place in Unitedville, which is partway between Santa Elena and Belmopan.  What a delightful couple.  We sat on the veranda on that very hot afternoon and  had a wonderful time.  They're also dog people, so eventually the pups and Bailey joined us.  We were so pleased as the dogs greeted everyone and then politely went to sleep under the table.  Chris and Liz didn't bring their dog, John, as Bailey isn't really thrilled with meeting other dogs. 

Belize is a small country, with an even smaller population.  We travel all over the country to shop so
even tho' we don't live in the same village, we hope we can keep contact with our lovely new friends. We go a kick out of their car as they were leaving.  They said it's actually a great little car, but is small and very basic.  It's Russian and it gets them everywhere.  Like they said, they can't get away with anything because everyone knows the car.  It's very unique.  How fun!  Their visit was definitely a bright spot in our week. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fence for the dogs

We've wanted a fence for Bailey since we moved in, but everything else seemed to take preference.  With the addition of the pups to our family, we felt we could no longer put it off.  The pups have been doing really well on the veranda and we take them out 2 or 3 times a day into the big yard.  By using bacon bits as a reward, they're getting good at coming when called, but still getting quite adventurous.

I bought two roles of field fencing and had planned to try to buy some sapodilla fence posts.  The problem was that there weren't any posts available, but I did find a pallet of various 8' long sapodilla pieces at Yalbac Lumber.  At a dollar a board foot, it was quite a bargain, but, how to get it home????  We tried to find a trailer to haul this load, but nothing was available.  The problem was two-fold.  First, with the butane tank in our 6' truck bed, our load length was diminished.  The second part is that, sapodilla is extremely heavy.  Some of these pieces were also ironwood or logwood. We struggled to find an option, but the only one that was available was for us to travel to Iguana Creek, making  as many trips as needed.  We were able to get almost half the pallet on the truck.  Praises to our valiant Toyota Tundra.  We decided to take the back road between Spanish Lookout and Bullet Tree.  That way we wouldn't be on the "highway" with our heavy load.  Sounded good until we got to the hill just past the turn to the ferry.  We heard and felt a whoosh and the whole load slipped onto the road.  Bummer!  The darned bed liner on the truck is slippery.  We had thought that the heaviness of the boards would keep them in place, but the hill and the bouncing proved us wrong.  We had to start reloading on that hill.  When we were part-way finished a van loaded with Mennonite tourists fro ng turned out to be fortuitous as they were aiming for Spanish Lookout without realizing that they were headed in the wrong direction.  By stopping to help us, we got them turned in the right direction. 

We limped towards Bullet Tree at about 15 miles per hour, stopping every couple of miles to be sure everything was still intact.  We were worried about the steep entrance to Paslow Falls Road and then up our road.  Even though ours is much improved, it's still steep.  Art had the great idea that we back up these steep parts.  At Paslow Falls he got out to stop any cars coming our way and I backed up the road.  Voila!  It worked.  I have to thank my training as a long-haul truck driver some years back, for my comfort in driving backwards.  The bumps and holes on Paslow Falls Rd., forced us to stop again to adjust the load and then our road up.  Art's strategy worked fine as I backed the quarter mile up our road without incident.  The really tough part was that we had to off-load the lumber and go back to get the second half.  Quite an undertaking for a couple of old duffers all in one day,   Before we made this trip we loaded up with all the rope, bungy cords and a come-along.  Roberto at Yalbac helped us tie it on and his experience did the trick.  I'll just say that, by the time this load was on, it didn't have a prayer of moving an inch. We were able to drive back on the highway, driving carefully, but taking all the hills straight on. 

We left this load on the truck and Rene and two of his boys came yesterday and built our fence.  What a thrill to be able to let our kids out and not worry that they'll head into the bush.  This is just one more job to thank Rene for. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Our road - update

I'll preface this with a view back to our beginning.  When we first looked at the property, there wasn't actually a road visible.  Under the two foot high grass was a track, long unused.  On the plat map it shows that the road up our hill is a 60' government road, but they weren't interested in helping us.  After struggling with mud and close calls with a tree, we had about a 400 foot section at the top fixed with a base of rock that has proven fantastic, but the bottom part remained a trial. 

I actually never thought I'd be able to say this, but OUR ROAD IS GETTING FIXED!  We've struggled with the ruts and mud for so long.  We'd approached our neighbors, but Mary didn't want to use the contractor we had used to build the section we had repaired.   Since Mary and family are developing a track at the bottom of the hill, she told us she would fix the road.  Wow!  We weren't sure it would actually happen, but, hallelujah, it has.  We're somewhat disappointed that they cleared so much, but we can't complain as we weren't paying the tab.  She had a bulldozer push all the brush onto her side and they cleared most of the road property.  Yesterday they brought in some gravel to cover the new road bed.  We're hoping that they'll complete the job, but at this point, we're so pleased with the part that's done.  It's definitely not as well done as the section we had Victor do, but this sure is a huge step forward.  The road has intimidated several of our less aggressive friends from coming up.  When you live in the bush on a limited income, getting a drivable road is better than a new wardrobe.    

Puppy progress

We've survived three weeks with our new family members and we're all doing fine.  It sure has caused a change in our schedule tho'. They wind down and head for their kennel at dark, which is currently about 6:30pm and get up with the sun (ick! about 6am).  They try so hard not to mess in the kennel that we try to get up right away and get them outside.  Our big problem is that they stay on the veranda and our house is on stilts.  They are terrified of the steps, so we carry them up and down.  They're both fairly small, but getting heavy fast.  Shannon was next to the smallest female in the litter and Rusty was the smallest male.  I hope everyone who bo't one of these pups is as thrilled with theirs as we are.  Of course they're absolutely beautiful, but also so much fun.  Art chose Stannon because she seemed so shy and snuggled right up to him.  Ha!  She starts out shy and then becomes a crazed little fury, attacking her brother ruthlessly.  Rusty gets his licks in too, but is basically calmer.  I started to say he's quieter, but not true.  She growls when they play, but Rusty barks.  It started as a yip, but he's getting his big boy voice and surprises even himself with a regular bark.  For the first time, today Bailey and Rusty played together.  They each got down with their fannies in the air, waiting to see who'd flinch first.  Then they barked and took off on a run around the veranda.  Bailey chasing the pup.  I couldn't stop laughing.  Poor Bailey has seemed so put upon by having his peaceful life disrupted, but as we'd hoped, I feel they're going to become a family too. 

This week I plan to buy fencing & posts to build a small yard so they'll have a little more freedom.  It should also be a place where Bailey can finally be off a lead.   We take them out into the big yard and use bits of bacon to try to keep them close, but they're getting too brave and independent.  Everything takes time and lots of love.  We have lots of both, so trudging on.   Blessings