Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good Day for a Blog Post - Finally Got a Break from the Rain

This morning greeted us with a little patch of blue and the hope (although not fully realized) that things would return to the regular warm, clear and wonderful weather we are so spoiled to have! I took the time to wander the yard and took photos for possibly one of the final times (yeah it seems like I've been saying that for forever). We've got a lot of fruit to harvest and process and I have to tour the yard or it drops off and goes to waste. I don't like waste. We've got guineos - manzanas (my fav) and possibly little ninos? The tiny bananas are perfect snack size. There are so many kinds of bananas I wonder why they don't have more selection in the states? I want to try and grow the red ones once we move. I may have to dry or freeze some of these.
In Puerto Rico they don't distinguish between lemons and limes, they are all limones. This tree is one I planted called limon de pais (country lemon) that is a small, juicy one that usually turns yellow. I freeze the juice in ice trays (thank you Amparo for the idea) to add to water or defrost for juice.
Here's our house from the upper part of the property. We put the solar panels down since Irene looked like she was coming directly towards us! The house is a unique design and we'll miss that about it (and the view).
The upper yard where I planted my little fruit arboretum is filling in nicely. In just 3 1/2 years a blank slate is now a producing fruit factory with shade and trails. The next stop was understory flowers but that will be left to the next owners if they keep up with the plan.

I remember when this Ceiba was 5 inches tall! Now it it probably 8 feet. 2 years worth of growing. Amazing!
The Ylang ylang is just bursting with blooms due to the rain and the high humidity really sends the scent wafting around the yard and house. I started the understory stuff around this tree - mani, which is peanut (not the legume). It makes a brilliant ground cover that you leave alone, can walk on and when it gets going can use the trimmer on. Holds the soil (prevents erosion) and in the end reduces yard work. A good plan I will continue with elsewhere.
Look at the little row of blooms! When they burst open it will be overpowering! In a good way!
The wind shook loose some of the meat coconuts. These few still have water in them so they will be tasty.
With the palm this tall the only way we get the seeds (coconuts) is when the wind or their own weight knocks them down.
The rain has been plumping up all the fruit in the yard. The quenepas taste sweet and wonderful and the avocados are getting bigger. We have been eating a bunch and making my favorite (this is for real) chocolate pudding out of them. In a food processor just whirl an avocado, water (or coconut milk or water if you have it or dairy if you want it), honey or agave (sweetener) and add cocoa powder to taste! It isn't green, it isn't bizarre except that it is because it is such a normal chocolate pudding!
Who knows, maybe we will still be here to harvest some oranges? Puerto Rico isn't working much - any excuse to shut down the government is taken. This of course holds up everything for house selling and buying.
The carambola are done, thankfully. It is a beautiful tree, has bizarre fruit and although it can be used it is hard to use a lot of it. I have made carambola pickles, pureed it and used it in baked goods (banana bread) instead of oil, and cut it up with almonds and chicken and baked it. Eating it off the tree is ok but it produces pounds and pounds of fruit at least 4 times a year. There is still fruit on it and already it has flowers again.

This was this mornings view of the grey but bright morning! The sun is still up there somewhere!

There have been bands of crazy-rain coming and going for the last 2 or 3 days and the cats have all decided to be smart and hang out inside. I took furniture out of the porch since rain was blowing all the way in and brought in the plastic cat chairs for their enjoyment. With 11 there have been some tussles as boredom sets in so I made tunnels out of some boxes so they would be amused. Mainly they are just trying to sleep and get irritated when someone else tries to join them in their nest to keep warm!
Two panels down - Then Jeff lowered the last one.
Sharing a cushy couch.
Cats in nests.
So on the home front everything is stalled because of the weather. The appraisal is sitting in San Juan somewhere and who knows what other paper things need doing. We can't do anything until we close on this house so we are in the holding zone that is called Puerto Rico - far worse than the Bermuda Triangle in terms of getting things done! We keep looking at houses - why not? We just looked at a peach of a property that was just wonderful and a total surprise. The house is a little one (2 bedrooms,1 bath) that needs some opening up and some tile work done but it is on the most amazing why-we-moved-here property! Unfortunately it is probably 45 minutes from Jeff's work (better than 1 hour 20 so it is still a consideration) but with its price that may make it worth it. It is on an acre of shear jungle kind of near Anasco, Aguada, though technically Moca. We saw pie-tailed Whaduh birds there and there were 20 foot tree ferns and a pine forest and jungle all around. Had an easement going past the house to an abandoned long building of what looked like a few rooms (potential problem? looked abandoned) but for $120,000 list price could be had for less I am sure. We still have a number 1 pick which we made an offer on just to start the negotiations. They don't seem to want to negotiate much though. When we have a check-in hand all that may change. So once again I am playing the waiting game. Waiting to close on the house. Waiting for the weather to change. Waiting for my elbow to feel better. Waiting waiting waiting. I'm not good at it at all.


Fran and Steve said...

RE the 45 minute commute property: My tolerance for commute in CA was 30 minutes, but Steve's was 60 minutes. Maybe Jeff is OK with 45 minutes?

RE the easement etc. CRIM has maps that will identify the adjacent property PIN and you can find out who owns it, if taxes have been paid, and if it can be purchased.

So glad that at least the wheels are turning on your move. Now that the storm is past, maybe things will happen faster.
I hope you've seen a m├ędico about your elbow. If it's tendinitis, rub Myoflex deep into it 2-3 x a day.

CouponFrugality said...

Wow, what a beautiful place to live. I must make that a must see place on my bucket list!! Thanks for sharing.

cheap generic levitra said...

really so beautiful place..I wish to visit here in future..Thanks a lot fro sharing photographs..