Thursday, August 11, 2011

So What's Going On? I'll Tell You What's Goin' on...

Selling the house. What that means is lots of cleaning (dirt blows around and the cats and I track it all over), more cleaning, keeping the yard looking great (we are slackers sometimes but can't be right now) and being ready to respond to strange Spanish phone calls and emails. No one expects a gringo to answer the phone number so there is always hesitation. Some people want to look at it RIGHT NOW, as in they already in San German. Yesterday someone called and they were already in Guama! I had to hide the cat beds, put away a couple fly get the idea. Exciting times. It is great that people want to see it but I really hope the current offer goes through. So some of my time has been waiting for appraisers and surveyors to directions in my mangled Spanish (why don't they use tax records and a GPS?) and the whole situation has me exhausted, anxious, and full of dread and excitement all at once. It is Puerto Rico so one never knows what to expect. Lots of things can go wrong but I have started to put some stuff into boxes, which means finding boxes etc.

The other part of this is the horrible house hunting mission. We can't really make an offer on anything until we have ours sold, but if we wait until it closes we are homeless with 11 cats, so I have started looking and it is interesting, kind of fun and kind of disappointing and kind of lets you open yourself up to different ideas. We moved here to do all our adventure stuff and to be in the jungle. But being in the jungle means jungle mentality in regards to animals, garbage and noise (the dark side of Puerto Rico). Our current house is an unusual design (high ceilings, totally open, all solar powered with a couple acres) that is only 6 minutes off highway 2 but seems like the middle of the jungle! Unfortunately it is 1 hour 20 minutes each way to work for Jeff. He's sick of it. Then we drive 2 hours or more, cave for 10 hours, and drive home another 2 on the weekends.  If only we could take our house and property and plop it in Moca, Isabella or Aquadilla! We haven't been able to find anything near as nice for near the price. Or at all. It is either a crappy house that needs a lot of work with a spectacular view, a nice house on no land, nice neighborhood with a crappy house or nice house/nice neighborhood but priced too high. We aren't going to live here forever so we don't want to "buy up" and get stuck with something when we are ready to leave. In 5 years I don't think things will be better here. We don't want something we have to put time and $ into to make it livable. If we buy something in Aguadilla prices are higher, things will resell easier (lot of professional work up there) but it is not "jungle." So we look at houses and are waiting as things chug along. So I clean, box a few things, talk to people when I show the house and wander around picking and processing fruit. The Mano de Buddah is something I may want to plant again since it is just plain bizarre and great to "zest."

Lemons I would say are on the "must have" list since they are great for everything including drinks, marinades, and dressings.
I was hoping the figs would grow faster than they did but maybe at the next place they will. Kind of a stunted little bush but hey, I like figs!
I think I'll plant a Santol again because it is such a nice looking tree. I don't what the fruit tastes like, but the tree is very nice.

The Longan is kind of an ok fruit but not worth planting again. Not great looking either.

Here's Rip's creepy stare-down. He was watching as I was potting up cuttings and starts of some of my favorite flowers from the yard. I'm just digging up little starts to bring with us of things I don't recall seeing in nurseries or things that are pricey (like agave).

Rip is kind  of a teenager and is starting to assert himself...but when he is sleeping he is adorable!
This flower/shrub is kinda cool and I think I like it a lot. It was only a dollar so I am sure I can find another one. The flowers are kind of fiber-optic looking.

I've been doing a lot of laundry, too. Whenever everything starts to happen Jeff ends up getting sent somewhere for work or goes on vacation. After Mona Island we thought we were going to close on the house so he requested NOT to be sent on travel. He kind of likes going on travel because he gets to eat great food and only drive 5 minutes to work! He also is scoping out places we may want to or not want to move to. After Mona Island he was sent to Clearwater Florida (we may want to be swamp people for a while) and I was going to go but all the house stuff started up again. Sigh, I'm tired just thinking about it! Lots of wash keeping cat beds clean, towels looking good etc etc. Stuff from our Mona trip, stuff from Jeff's two weeks away...At least I get comic relief from the kitties. Tuca investigated the washer first and then Chicken decided to take a peek. Why now after 4 years of having the washer I will never know, but Rip was interested too!

Something I will definitely plant again is Mirto- it makes a thick hedge and has flowers that really really smell! This hedge was only 4 inch plants a couple years ago and now it is a wall about 6 feet tall! You can shape it or not - looks nice either way but gives more blooms and stays fuller if you whack it!

Tuca's big investigation!
I don't know what this plant is but I am taking a start - Big coral flower. Other "must have" fruit will be covered in the next post I think... so that's what's happening!

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