Sunday, October 4, 2009

We now resume our regularly scheduled broadcast

I can see I have to work on taking time for this. Not quite a year since my last post. I've been busy.

We're near the end of this rainy season and all the creatures and plants are happy and full of life. I started out the week doing some machete work in the lower chicken pen. When I got to the lower left corner I found a 5 foot long boa constrictor stuck in the plastic mesh fencing. It had woven itself through 3 times and finally gotten stuck at the frog in its belly. It wasn't moving so I touched it and it slowly moved around. I went and got a knife and a small screwdriver so I could cut the fencing. I used the screw driver to get between its skin and the fencing so I could cut the wire without cutting the snake. I got two of the strands cut when the snake when all of a sudden it lunged through the fence and bit two fingers on my right hand. It left 12 puncture wounds and part of a tooth. There was a lot of blood but no pain. I went up to the house to clean up the wound and get Amaranth to help me with the final cut. We cleaned up the cut and put on leather gloves. I also brought a large plastic lid from a storage container to use as a shield. Amaranth grabbed the snake by its tail and pulled so I could get to the last strand of fencing. Amaranth avoids snakes at all times but she was a good nurse and did her part. I put the lid between me and the snakes head and got to work on the last cut. I could feel it hitting the plastic lid with pretty good force. It was also making an interesting hissing sound like a tire with a bad leak. I finally got it all freed up and it slithered away.

We made a long overdue return visit to a friend of ours named Chavela. She lives at the end of a bumpy dirt road many miles up in the mountains. We went up to see her with a couple of things in mind. She knows a lot about medicinal plants. We took a camera and a note pad to record the information she passed on to us. We want to catalog as many of the plants around here as we can. We also want to get to know the ones growing on our land and introduce many more. Chavela also lives by a beautiful flowing waterfall that glides over some smooth boulders into a deep pool. The entire area is surrounded by a magnificent old forest. The only sounds you hear are the ones nature provides. Ahhh. After a good soaking we went back to Chavela's house and had a good meal of nice, fat, hand made tortillas, as well as beans fresh from the pot and a great salsa she made as we sat watching. After a good meal she broke out the freshly made corn tamales. We washed it all down with fresh squeezed lemonaid. Chavela's house is over 100 years old and was built by her father (her mom and dad were both well over 100 when they died). The roof is palm thatched and is replaced every 5 or 6 years. The stove and some of the shelves in the kitchen are adobe and as nice to look at as they are to use. A visit to Chavela's is other-worldly. We spent some time talking about life and nature and other good things, then bid her farewell. We descended into the lower valley as the sun took its late afternoon station. As the road wound its way toward the ocean we caught several glimpses of our home and as always we were excited to know we were almost there.

About a year ago a friend and neighbor of ours was killed in a car accident. We attended the wake and funeral and stop to visit with them often. His wife was very sad because she didn't have many pictures of him and had none of him smiling which was one of his best features. It's a tradition of sorts for people not to smile when they have they're picture taken. The other day Amaranth was going through some photos and she came across 3 pictures of Hilde (the father). They were taken at his 40th birthday party and he had a nice, warm, smile on his face. There was also a picture of Alicia (the mother), and Magnolia (the daughter) together with him around the cake. I don't think Alicia had a picture of them together. It was an unbelievable find. Like pulling something back out of the past that seemed hopelessly lost. When we took them to her she wasn't home but I gave them to her oldest son. I haven't seen her since but I'm glad I wasn't there when she saw them. I'm glad she got to experience the pictures in private.

The rest of the week was full of the normal upkeep a place like this needs. Every day I get to pick from a full list.

We're getting ready to repaint one of the rooms on the second floor. We have some friends who are Huichol Indians. We bought some of their art and want to change the color of the walls to blend in with the magic of their vision.

I'm still working on Aticama's first electric pick up and converting a 95 Land Rover someone gave me from computers and fuel injection to plain old carburetor. The engine is the same design as the old 215 Buick V-8. Land Rover just bought the design and still produces them. I ordered an Edlebrock aluminum intake manifold as well as a performance 4 barrel carburetor along with all the accessories needed to hook it up I also needed to come up with a distributor because the old one was controlled by the computer. I made my own distributor by combining a 78 Chevrolet hei distributor with the old Land Rover distributor. I, simply cut the base off both distributors and had the Land Rover base welded onto the hei upper. The shaft in both were the same so it was an easy fit. Now when I need tune up parts, I just go to my local parts store and get some good old chevy parts which are readily available here. You get a blank stare when you ask for Land Rover parts. I'll dump tons of sensors, computers, relays etc. and turn it into something I can work on. I've come to realize that the old time mechanics, such as myself, could actually work on a car and repair things. The new breed are computer technicians and parts replacers. The art of troubleshooting also seems to have gone by the wayside. A lot of the fun and sense of accomplishment is also gone. Enough of the old geezer talk.

We had a quiet day today working around the chickens. I'm always updating an already cool pen. It looks like the kind of place Tarzan would have built for his chickens. I also like spending time with the chickens, geese, and duck. Like any creatures on this earth, the more time you spend with them the better you get to know them and the more you realize we have a lot in common. Gary Larson wasn't far off in most of his cartoons. If anyone out there runs into him send him down. We have a fresh load of ideas and characters for him.

Well, it's late and the chickens, as well as the dogs will be getting us up around 5. Nite

1 comment:

Gary Carlson said...

Wally, that was some adventure with that snake! Good to read about things at home there. Sorry Facebook wasn't working out. Even in the States we get technical difficulties with it.