Sunday, August 26, 2012

"What do you do?"

A lot of people have been asking lately, "What do you DO all day when you're 'stuck' at home?" and, "What do you do without electricity?"

Well.... I'm actually not too sure, to be honest, so I've been keeping track of how I kill time in order to answer your questions.

 I usually wake up, for the first time, around 4:30-5:00, when the roosters start their crowing... or yelling, whatever it is you wanna call it.

The baby rooster, born in April. 
I hate him, this picture is actually labeled in my folder as "Asshole"

I can usually fall asleep again after a bit, but even if I don't, I generally won't get out of bed until around 7-7:30ish.

The first thing I do, after than do the obvious bathroom things -teeth, face, etc -  is wash dishes from the night before, because usually by the time dinner is over, it's too dark (without electricity) to wash them.

After dishes, I clean the litter box - which we will be getting rid of as soon as the cat enclosure is finished - and make sure Bubby and Muffin have food and fresh water. (Trip feeds the dogs before I'm out of bed, most days) 

Next, I'll make the bed and then go out to feed the chicken, but I'll get sidetracked by the dogs and end up petting them for a while - or picking sticky things out of their fur - before I make it over to Roberts to get the chicken feed. 

 When I get to the greenhouse - the chicken's temporary home - I'll hang out in there for 10-15 minutes to chat with her while I clean out her water bowl. 

Now that we have goats, my next stop is the new goat corral to say good morning and make sure they have water and try to bribe them for friendship with carrots.
This fence only took three guys two days to complete - one of the quickest jobs we've ever had done - and it's built with sticks cut from the Madre de Cacao tree in order to create a Living Fence.

It's around 10:00 by the time I've done all this... and by now I want to get online to check my email and see if I have any more postcard requests to send out, but my laptop is dead, so I have to ask Trip to charge the battery for me so I can hook my computer up to the inverter to let it charge for an hour or two. (He does that by taking the battery outside and hooking it up to the truck for a few minutes)

If the truck won't start, which happens from time to time, Robert has a battery at his house that's connected to a solar panel - so if there's sunshine, we can charge electronics over there if we have to.

While the computer is charging, we'll think about eating for the first time all day. Today I'm just having a cantaloupe and a banana, but some days I'll mix up pancake batter (try the Belizean Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Pancakes) and trip will make them on the grill, or he'll cook up some kind of chicken or soup.

Then, dishes again, and sweeping the floor, dusting the window slats, wiping down the counters... these are *almost* every day things I do to kill time, but sometimes I'll read instead, or spend some time filling out postcards.

One thing I DO do every day now, usually during the afternoon, is palm roll my dreads to try to keep them neat and... dready. I do it dry most days, but sometimes I'll use beeswax or Locksteady Tropical Tightening Gel from KnottyBoy. (I also like to use their Peppermint Cooling Moisture Spray right after I go see Marley to have them tightened up, which I'll be doing again on Tuesday.

I think I counted 37 dreads, and it takes about an hour to roll them all. Roary - if you move down here and crash with me, one of your jobs will be to help me with the daily palm-rolling!

When my laptop is charged, I get online for anywhere from an hour to three hours, depending on what I want to do - just check email and my blog, post a blog, make some moves in Words With Friends, read some news articles, edit pictures, etc. When I'm done, I'll plug the computer back in to use after dinner.

Before it gets dark, I round up the puppies and Mama for "tick checks." I'll seriously spend about 2 hours a day picking ticks off of the three of them, and I get literally hundreds off of them every week. They get bathed, they get spayed with flea and tick spray.... but they still get covered with gross bugs, and I refuse to have dogs with tick infestations.

I'll go feed the chicken once more and see if any goat other than Higby wants to eat a carrot, and I make sure they still have water. If they ever don't have water, I just tell Trip and someone takes care of it, like magic.

By the time I'm done it's time for Trip to make dinner. Yes, he is the cook of the house, and he does everything on the grill, and it's always really, really good. I just stay in the kitchen while he's out on the verandah and hand him whatever he might need through the window and man the iPod.

You know that, by the time we're finished eating, it's too dark to do the dishes properly, so I just load up the sink for the morning. The computer has enough battery power again by now to watch a movie or two, so we pick a few out of our bootleg movie collection and just watch as many as we can.

When the battery dies or gets to low to start another one, that's when I usually brush my teeth and wash my face again and get ready for bed. Sometimes it's 9 o'clock, sometimes it's 11.... 

I really don't know where the time goes, but that's basically what I do every day that I'm home and that's how I'm able to charge my batteries sometimes.
We have pumps for the water - so I can still use the sink, toilet, and shower without electricity.
When we can get to town in the truck, we pick up ice and meat and use the cooler for a few days to keep things cold.

Other things I do while home:
Chase the dogs away from the chickens that have gotten out of the coop
Pick weeds from the greenhouse garden
Laundry - in a washing machine under the carport, run by the generator
Go through my clothes - I still live out of three bags since we haven't gotten our closet yet
Wander around the property taking pictures
Walk with the dogs
Play with cats - they love chasing trashballs


  1. Are you calling for an intervention?

  2. Hey--I have to ask you about your goat fence. I notice you are just using barbed wire (from what I can see in the pics). Your goats much be well-behaved because my goats would NEVER stay in barbed wire. They would climb right through it! We use Redbrand "sheep and goat fence", although we have used their horse fencing in a couple spots--it is more expensive. So your goats stay in there pretty good? Do you worry about jaguars with loose fencing like that? We have coyotes here, but they stay on the other side of the creek for the most part--they haven't tried to dig under the fence.
    I know what you mean about where does time go during the day there....when I am there, time just seems to slip away from me, even though we don't have animals to tend to (except the dogs). If we lived there all the time, I would have chickens on the other lot we have for sure in MAya Beach, and a greenhouse garden. I still want some farmland up nearer to Cayo or in Cayo eventually.

  3. The goat fence! I was worried about that, too, but I was more worried about them hurting themselves than just escaping.
    Luckily, they are very chilled out and seem totally content in their area - so far, so good.
    The sheep/goat wire is kind of expensive for us right now - and it's all temporary, anyway. Eventually the Madre Cacao trees will grow together and create a living fence, and the barbed wire will just rust out and fall apart or do whatever it does once it's reached the end of it's lifespan.
    I don't know anything about goats - but they do seem happy!!
    2 of the 3 like carrots - what else could I try for the picky one?
    You're welcome to stop by and check out what we have goin on the next time you're down here!

  4. They usually like anything crunchy, like apples, but I know you dont' get apples there--just sometimes and they are expensive. They like greens, or course, like spinach, turnip greens, kale, etc. Maybe Chaya where you are. Be careful ever feeding them any cuttings from the jungle--there are alot of tropical plants that are poisonous to goats (and other animals). Here the ornamentals that are poisonous to goats are: azaleas, oleander, rhodedendron, camillas, peonies, and probably others too, those are off the top of my head. Do you know Kay and Andre that live in Succotz village? They have some goats and some sheep as well. I will definitely make a plan to come visit when I get down there this winter--you are probably only about 1 hour from me at most.

  5. Found your blog via San Pedro Scoop, love the postcard thing but you need one from Graceland here in Memphis, TN.

  6. I don't know how I missed the one reply - but Hey - they love cucumbers!!
    We had all the bush chopped back enough so that nothing funky can grow too close to their area and lean down into it, and they dont hav anything much other than grass and shrubbery to munch on - so we should be set on then not poisoning themselves... I hope. Trip will have a million goat questions for you if you come see us, by the way :)
    I don't know Kay and Andre... and I know I heard of the village but I can't place it. Is it in Stann Creek?