Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cats, Chicken Spa, Veggies and Troll Bridge...

News flash !!! The Chicken Spa has moved from its prior location (in my garden bed) to under the Tamarind Tree. This hen made a nice hole and kicked/fluffed up a bunch of dry dirt before settling in for a rejuvenating nap. The other bitch and their pimp (rooster) did the same with the little cat sitting in the shade but not in a hole like the others.
This is the big, bad Dakota (aka Little Boy) - our fat cat from Washington. We neutered him young but he is still a big bad fighter and only goes on supervised walks in the yard. Other cats visit him (they know he is in cat prison) and taunt him from outside the rejas but today.... I had him on a supervised walk when "Chicken" (aka Chicken Little) the little cat came to greet me. Dakota tore out after him and when I rescued poor, innocent and nice little Chicken I got a nasty scratch from none other than my bad cat (soon to be replaced - not really). Cat purgatory is now in session. Look how comfortable and innocent Chicken looks near our fountain. We give him snacks (since he forages with the chickens) and have to decide when to have him neutered and when he should have his shots. At what point do we take him in? Well we had a bit of a rain squall today and I looked out and saw him sitting inside our decorative teracotta pot. Where does he sleep? Do the chickens look after him? Will big bad Dakota hate his guts until Chicken can beat the crap out of him?

To the right is the new garden area - not dug up and composted yet. To get their from the main yard you have to cross a five foot deep and maybe 6 foot wide gully of sorts (a water feature in the wet season we think). Jeff put together this little Troll Bridge so we could get over the gully or just sit (feet dangling) to listen to the coquis. We still have to dig the cinder blocks into the ground so the bridge sits more flush. Maybe tomorrow since the ground is soft?

Here's Chicken's family out on their morning forage around our compost stacks.

And what about Holstein? He is a very feral cat we cannot touch. He doesn't hear very well but has a routine of showing up for snacks. When Chicken is eating he just waits patiently and lets him finish. Puerto Rico animals all seem to get along...the chickens have cat friends....the cats are ok with each other...every cow has a bird friend. What is wrong with Dakota? I thought he could turn his life around.

I get bored with food (sandwiches for lunch, peanut butter and bread for breakfast - and coffee which I am not sick of-- and rice, beans, chicken or shrimp for dinner). All very beige food. Here are some goodies from the yard that brighten up our meals -- cherry tomatoes and yellow crook neck squash (calabazine amarillo). We still have oranges and are eating at least three things from the yard a day. Tonight included Cilantro, tomatoes, squash, orange juice and coco frio! All this bootie after another great dive at the Shacks. And as a bonus we got some rain so tomorrow should be a great day in the yard....


Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff & Katrina,

Glad to read you are enjoying and getting so acquainted with the island's diving spots and places to hang out.

My father said he stopped by to give you some gandules seeds (pigeon peas) to plant. Holy week is the traditional time to plant in order to have the crop ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Arroz con gandules is the traditional PR dish that goes with turkey and all the other holiday fixings. Here is a link of info for gandules:

You can plant the peas in rows just by digging a small hole in the ground 2-3 inches deep with a machete (what else, right?) and placing 3-4 peas on each hole. The plant grows between 4 to 5 feet tall.

Take care,

H Jr.

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

Hi Hamilton... yes, your father gave us a lifetime supply of gandule seeds...I will make a little hedge of them around our garden! Amparo has a gandule tree about 8 feet tall. Nice plant.katrina

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff & Katrina!

Yes, I imagined that my father would go a bit crazy with the gandules secos. After you plant some of them you can make some gandules secos guisados (like dried gandules soup) with the rest just like you would make any other dry bean soup from scratch. You would need to soak the seeds overnight before you start boiling them. If you don't have the time right now, you can place the seeds on a ziploc in the refrigerator (not the freezer) and have them ready for weeks or months later. You can place a piece of paper towel inside the ziploc to absorb any initial moisture so they don't start germinating. The arroz con gandules is made with gandules verdes (green) when the pods are ready. Enjoy!

I hope you both had a nice Easter!