Tuesday, October 19, 2010

From deluge to delight...

While Wally was delirious with dengue, I was with my mother in Tucson.  The rains at home were so heavy that the rivers swelled into the area villages taking out bridges and breaking up the roads.  There were several big mud slides too.  I worried about Wally, but it wasn't possible to get home.  Others tried to get in from the airport in Puerto Vallarta and were redirected inland to Guadalajara to travel by bus to Tepic, but that was as far as they got.  It was a grandote mess and the roads are treacherous.  The rains ended a week after my return and to our everyone's relief.
The clouds have been blown away to skies that are clear and blue, blue, blue.  It is the beginning of our favorite part of the year.  The weather turns heavenly and everything growing is at the peak of vibrancy after a long drink and a break from the heat. 

And there's the revamping of the house.  100% humidity takes a toll on everything.  I've been in a cleaning frenzy ever since I got home.  It's purge-time.  I'm feeling lighter.  I'm looking forward to living in the open air and moving the furniture outside.  This year, we will have to paint the inside and outside again.  The harsh sun and the heavy, wind-driven rains of the last 6 years have scoured the outside.  But Wally and I love changing colors!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soaking up the sunshine.

Well hello again.  The rainy season has passed and we're still here.  I got Dengue fever and Salmonella in the middle of it and was out of commission for a month or so.  All the while the living green universe that surrounds us kept growing and growing.  I'd walk outside and stare in amazement wondering how I was ever going to tame it again.  It's the sort of amazement that I feel when I see some pretty little plant that has pushed its way up through the blacktop.  Nature is patiently persistent.  If we were to go away for a year this place would revert back to a jungle of green vines and our house would be a lump in the middle of it.

How about a little chicken news for all the chicken fans out there.  A while back Amaranth and I were out in one of the chicken pens watching some of the chickens we'd just moved into a new pen.  It was one of the Costa Rican roosters and a Costa Rican hen that had always seemed a bit odd.  We paired them up cause he wanted to fight the other roosters all the time and she was a strange wall flower who never fit in with the other hens.  She was the runt I wrote about a while back.  As we were watching them explore their new pen Amaranth noticed the hen was bumping into things.  It turns out the poor little hen was blind.  We named her Helen after Helen Keller.  We realized she needed some of the same things that blind people need.  She needed the things in her home to stay in the same place so she could get around.  Her food and water are also always in the same place  As time has passed we've noticed that the rooster clucks and scratches the dirt to call her over when he's discovered something interesting to eat.  We put another Costa Rican hen and her two babies in with Helen and she's adapted to them as well.  Daddy rooster clucks and scratches and teaches the babies how to look for food.  He's an all around good guy.  I suppose we ought to come up with a name for him.  Any suggestions?

Moochie news:  Moochie Poochie quit growing when he was 6 months old.  He's a real mini.  A short while before he stopped growing I said to Amaranth, " wouldn't it be cool if he stayed this size?"   So there you go, we now have Mini the Moochie.  He's just fun, we play with him all day long.  He's very vocal, making all sorts of groaning, moaning and whining sounds.  It's a language we understand.

All of our plants did  fine during the rain.  We're on enough of a slope so they didn't drown.  I had a hard time finding some of them.  The vines and other plants had completely buried them and I had to use my detective skills to locate them.   Sometimes things just looked completely unfamiliar so I'd get close to where I thought they were and start pulling up plants until I came to where they actually were.  It was challenging and fun.  I didn't lose a one.  The plants that did the best were the peanut butter plants.  Their fruit actually tastes like sweet peanut butter.  They tripled in size.  We've also got tons of delicious papayas getting ripe.  We have one for breakfast every day.

We hear a lot about how bad things have gotten economically and I'm glad I'm here.  We have a year-round growing season and we don't have to worry about heating bills.  Self sufficiency is a tough thing to accomplish but we do alright.  We live outside a small fishing village and the locals live day to day.  No huge salaries to build a bank account around but they do alright.

Today we got in a couple of volunteers from British Columbia.  They're in their mid twenties, Emily and Peter.  We like them.  They're interested in things here and can't wait to go to work.  Tomorrow we'll have a girl from France coming for a week.  It's always good for us when we get people who want to learn.

Well, my mind says it's time to hit the hay.  The writing part of my brain is awake.  I'll try to keep up a daily posting.  We've got plenty going on here, that's for sure.  Bye for now.  Wally