Friday, October 26, 2012

Work and Homemade Health Care

The rain has finally moved out (for now, anyway) and the guys have gotten back to work on building the goat barn and fencing in the yard for the dogs

the goats do whatever they want - they roam around all day and sleep under the house at night. 
Yes.... I have goats living under my house.

Progress...

The driveway is so bad and so torn up right now that NO vehicle is making it up here... so our workers have to walk all the way down to the village, where we had supplies delivered to, and then hike back up with everything - the cement blocks, 50 pound bags of concrete... EVERYTHING. That's how the entire house got built, actually - from the very beginning they all had to carry tools, lumber, concrete... every single thing you would possibly need to build a house, they carried up here. 
1 mile, 1,000 foot elevation, with unstable rocks, stones, and mud under their feet.
Amazing.

the dogs will still have plenty of space to run around - they just won't be able to run out to the driveway and scare the crap out of people walking by.

Not much is new inside the house.... we still need more rocks to finish the kitchen floor and we're waiting for our furniture guy to deliver another bedroom closet and one more small counter for the kitchen area.  

We still haven't been able to fix (or buy a new) inverter yet, so our electricity situation is still a bit crazy. We can run a fan and keep our phones and laptops charged, and we even have one decent light that we plug in during the day and use for night time... but we can't run the refrigerator or use the vacuum yet. 
Trip can't do any tattoos until we have a  new inverter, either... and I'm itchin for some new ink!!

Totally changing the subject - Trip made some Colloidal Silver.

To make your own colloidal silver you need distilled (demineralized) water, which we have, so far, only found in auto supply stores.

I had no idea this was used for battery maintenance... ya learn something new every day!

 All you need is distilled water, a glass, and this colloidal silver maker thingy... which has 3 9 volt batteries inside and two pure silver rods that hang into the water.

one rod starts collecting bubbles and the other starts "smoking"

All you do is wait, and then test your water with this pretty blue stick Trip has..

they say 6ppm is good - ours made it to 14ppm.

"Colloidal silver has been reputed by various studies to be able to kill over 650 micro-organisms.."

"It has been reported to be effective in fighting against: acne, AIDS, allergies, arthritis, athletes foot, boils, burns, candida, cystitis, diabetes, eczema, hay fever, indigestion, parasitic infections, psoriasis, ringworm, warts and yeast infections."

We mostly use it here to spray on cuts and scratches, burns, or anything that looks like it could possibly get an infection. If Muffin gets a little gooey-eyed, as she sometimes does, usually just one drop of silver will clear it right up. If I feel a little cold or sniffle coming on, a few drops under my tongue help make me feel better without ever getting the full on sickness.

There are many, many websites that claim there are more risks than benefits to using colloidal silver... but I believe that most of those people are just standing up for the pharmaceutical companies and have an evil plan to keep people sick so they can keep selling you "medication" to make you "better."

Who's gona make any money on something people can cheaply make at home??

The same goes for keeping hemp illegal. Sure, they could use it for fuel and stop fighting over oil and quit raping the earth, and yes they could use it to make paper so they can stop cutting down tree after tree... but who would make any money?!? 

Ok... I won't bore you with my "hippie crap" any longer.... enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Playing with an Itinerary...


 All I've been doing since I found out that one of my BEST friends is coming to visit me next month is try to think of things to show her and places to take her to... and since there are so many things I want to show her and places I want to take her to, my new dilemma is trying to decide what to cut out!!

Here's where my brain is at at the moment, but I might change some things up... let me know what you think:

Day 1 - I'll meet her at the airport when she lands at 11:20am and we'll take a taxi to the bus terminal. From there we'll go to Cayo for the night and just catch up over food and drinks somewhere.

Day 2  - Xunantunich in the morning, possibly some kayaking in the afternoon, and then to Belmopan for the night.

Day 3 - Breakfast in Belmopan, the inland Blue Hole and Cave's Branch in the afternoon, then back to my house by dark.

Day 4 - Morning at home, Antelope Falls and Mama Noots in the afternoon, Hopkins or Placencia for the night.

Day 5 - Explore Hopkins or Placencia

Day 6 - Travel day - Leave Placencia and head to Belize City (this could take about 5+ hours.) Then water taxi to Caye Caulker.

Day 7 - All day in Caye Caulker... probably spent by the Split the entire time.

Day 8 -  Another beach day... maybe head over to San Pedro for lunch

Day 9 - Breakfast on the island... then she gets ready to get to the airport for her flight home :(

So, if you've been here before, or if you live down here... what do you think?
Is it too much to squeeze into just one trip? I'm SURE she'll be back (because she loves me so much) so maybe we should just do the coastal towns and island this time and save the inland stuff for the next time?

There are a million other things I'd like to do - like check out the ATM Cave and the Black Hole Drop, or go waterfall repelling... but I think this is more of a "relaxation vacation" for her as opposed to an "adventure vacation," so keep that in mind if you want to throw in some suggestions for us.

I can't wait for more nights like this!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Keep 'em Comin!

I picked up another batch of postcards on Friday, along with two issues of Mother Earth News that my dad hooked me up with up a subscription for :) Thanks dad - love you!!

I also want to take a second to thank all of you who have sent cards and read my blog - I'm almost at 25,000 views! 
It seems like only yesterday that I was excited to get 500 hits...

This first card comes from good friends of my parents, my Uncle Nick and Aunt Eileen....

 two creepy dolls in Cape May, New Jersey
(Thanks, Aunt I!)

This next one was sent by Carol in San Pedro when she was back in the States not too long ago, but it showed up a bit later than the three I picked up earlier in the week...

From New York, some of the biggest attractions - 
the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square.
Thanks again, Carol! 

I received four new cards from China ...

from Richard in Taiwan-
"Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck."

 From Li in China-
"A 13-storied octagonal pagoda laid with bricks, it stands 71 meters in height, and is the highest ancient pagoda in Liaoning. Buddhist carvings are found on the bricks, along with Buddhist niches and statues."

 From Bai (?) in China - 
the Hong Village in Yixian County, China

From Deng Li in China
"CBD in Chaoyang District is designated as an international commercial central zone with inegrated functions of business, exhibition, hotel, residence and entertainment, and plays a significant role in the economic development of Beijing. Besides, it is also one of the best places to enjoy the nigh view of the city. After sunset, shining neon lights and lamps here reveal the prosperity and luxury of a cosmopolitan."

Next up, three from Russia:

There's no name on here, but the postage is from Russia - 
I received a different view of this place on a different card a few months ago - The Swan's Nest or Swallow's Nest on the Crimean peninsula in Southern Ukraine.
I can't find any information about it, other than the wikipedia entry. The sender tells me that she was there and, to her, it feels like a "little Italy" because of all the sun, grapes, tomatoes, and wine!

from Karina in Sarov, Russia
I picture snow and onion-domed buildings when I think of Russia.... and Rocky IV, of course.

 from Kate in the city of Penza, Russia
She was here, at Attavdi Lake in Ural, Russia, back in July.
I can't find any information about the lake at all, it doesn't come up in any search engines that I've tried

In my pile of mail were two things from Germany:
one postcard...

From Ingo in Hamburg, Germany - 
"The second largest city in Germany, with the second largest port in Europe.
Photo is of the Queen Mary 2 leaving the port, with the towers of St. Machaeli church, the town hall, and the St. Nikolai church in the background."

and an envelope from Margrit in Postam, Germany:

 which included a handwritten greeting, a pamphlet for touring Potsdam, 2 for 1 tickets to Sea Life, and some other thing with a little mushroom man on it....

Here are the rest of my cards..

from Katie (?) in Warsaw, Poland
The perfect pin-up postcard to mail!

from Trond in Norway
"The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by majestic, snow-covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation."

 from Marion, originally from Paris, France
Great arial view of the city!

 from Irlesy (?) in "sunny Ukraine."

from Norbert in The Netherlands
"This card was sent from Hoorn, an old nautical town  40km north of our capital. "Hoorn" is a very old Dutch word for "corner," - the coast makes a bend here. Cape Horn (in Southern Chile) was discovered by an expedition from my town and named it after it on 29 January, 1616...Kind greetings from about a half a meter below sea level."

from another name I can't read, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
"This multiview shot features the view of Vancouver from lower Lonsdale, The Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Lonsdale Quay.

from ... someone in the Czech Republic.
The only word I understand on the back of this card is "hotel."

Once again, if you're seeing my entire postcard collection, you can view my Flickr album HERE
I haven't spent much time on Flickr yet... this link might bring you to my Flickr profile, if you want to see other albums, add me as a contact, or do whatever else there is to do there.




                                                                             

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I couldn't think of a Title....

I just got off the phone with the most helpful TD Bank customer service agent ever! He refunded my overdraft fee without me even asking, and he's setting me up a new account so I can try to keep better track of all of the stupid automatic deductions that come out of the one I have now. 
(I hate paying car insurance for the Jeep I don't even get to drive... arg.)

I miss it! 
(And that corvette in the back is what Trip traded to get his truck.)

The whole reason I had to call TD Bank in the first place is because I'm trying to set up a PayPal account so that I can start shamelessly begging for money from strangers... but I couldn't verify my account because of "insufficient funds." 
I have a bunch of ideas about how to start making some money... but, "you gotta spend money to make money," and that's where the begging comes in - for my initial start up investments!

Now that you're all caught up on my financials... Let's talk about what's happening in the sky tonight!!

from National Geographic -
 "Multiple exposure: an entire night's Orionids near Mount Shasta, California."



I really hope we get to see it from here tonight... but, apparently, there's some tropical storm coming our way and we might get stuck with clouds :(


The sky was amazing last night - I saw some sort of UFO, along with more shooting stars than I've ever seen in my entire life!!

The UFO was just a bright flash of light... but the "flash" lasted for at LEAST 45 seconds and was very low in the sky, flying straight across from west to east...
There was also a very bright light coming from the sea.... sure, it could have been a ship, but I've been here for 9 months now and I've NEVER seen a ship in the area that you can see from my hill - not once.... so I think it was an alien. :)

Speak of the devil.... the rain just showed up. 
Hopefully it clears up a bit for tonights big show in the sky!

 



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where I am right now.... I don't want to leave!

I've only been to Hopkins once before... maybe about 3 years ago. All I really remember from that trip is getting our rental truck stuck in the sand and spending hours and hours digging it out, and meeting a woman named Barabara who lived in her old school bus on the beach and sold homemade lotions and clothes.

 the stuck truck

Barbara and the Sew Much Hemp Shop

After being stuck up on the hill for over a week because of the rain, I decided to come back down here to check it out for the night and found an awesome room at a place called Coconut Row Guest House.
I was planning on spending the night at The Funky Dodo, but after seeing Coconut Row, which is pretty much right in front of the Funky Dodo, I just couldn't bring myself to check into the hostel.

 my first glimpse of Coconut Row....

the rows of coconuts, leading to the sea

I assumed that this place was way out of my price range, but I called the number on the sign anyway and ended up getting a pretty sweet deal, due to it being the slow season and all. (Man, I love slow season!)

  view from the sea - I'm on the first floor, right side

the downstairs, outside lounge area

i LOVE all the colors!

2 beds, 2 chairs, coffee maker, small fridge....

nice painting

big bathroom

fun sink

view from my room. LOVE.

I have the beach, the sea, and the hammock all to myself.

I have to thank Trip for allowing me to do all of these things that I do while I'm waiting around to get my residency and start looking for work again. 
He can somehow stay up on the hill for weeks at a time without losing his sanity, but he knows that I'll go completely crazy if I don't get out of there once in a while, and he tries to make sure that we have a little bit of money for me to get away for a night or two when I need to.

And, one last note here before I download the rest of my pictures for the next post - I was under the assumption that the bus going from Dangriga to Punta Gorda was going to go IN TO the village of Hopkins.... but it only stopped at the turn off for Hopkins, which left me with a 3 mile walk into town.

this road, for three miles... do you see the amount of shade offered by the trees??

I walked for almost an hour before a nice guy named Carlos in a big dump truck stopped and offered me a ride. I had only been passed by one other truck the whole time and I was feeling a slight heat stroke coming on, so I accepted.

thanks, Carlos!

my ride.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MORE things that I miss...

I answered some FAQ's I get asked about moving to Belize back in April, and my response to things that I miss was pretty simple - I miss my friends and family, Philly cheese steaks, and beer options.

I've thought of a few more to add to my list...

1.Concerts - There is always live music somewhere in Belize, so that isn't the issue.... but there's none of "my" music in Belize. On the islands and in the touristy mainland areas you can catch some of the expat musicians doing covers of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Johnny Cash.. all great music that I totally appreciate, but I've never once heard anyone do a cover of a Faith No More or GWAR song... and sometimes I just miss the hectic energy of a mosh pit. (Fighting to get on the bus does come close...)

I saw GWAR for the first time at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia when I was 14 years old... holy crap, that was 20 years ago... whoa.
Anyway... one of the GWAR slaves came into the audience, picked me up and flung me over his shoulder, and then took me on stage and threw me into a giant vagina.
Since then, I've seen them at least 25 more times over the years... and I miss them. I heard they were just at the Electric Factory last Friday night :(

photo borrowed from Michagansotherside.com

2010 - Me and Eric, after GWAR show

2010 - Me next to Dave Brokie, aka Oderus Urungus, and Evan and Drue

It isn't just the heavy, fun music that I miss - I'd love to catch Don McCloskey again the next time I'm home for a visit. If you don't know Don McCloskey, do yourself an enormous favor and listen to this song, and if you love it (which you will) search for more of his music - you won't be disappointed:

 Mr. Novacaine

 
2. WaWa  - Only 6 States are lucky enough to have a WaWa, and Pennsylvania is one of them. 
Open 24 hours (most of them) and constantly serving fresh coffee and made-to-order HOAGIES... I definitely miss being able to just run in and grab something quick to go.



3. Delivery - There is no calling for pizza delivery when it's rainy outside and you don't feel like cooking dinner - not up here on this hill, anyway. There are places in San Pedro, Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio that offer delivery.... but nope... not here.

 4. Watching snow fall - This is not the same as missing the snow itself - I simply miss watching it fall from the sky. Once it hits the ground, I'm over it.
Ug, and a few days after it falls and it starts to get all mucky and dirty looking and gets all over the bottom of your jeans.... no thank you!


Ok... soooooo... there ya have it - I miss friends and family, Philly cheesesteaks, beer options, concerts, WaWa, food delivery services, watching the snow fall... and I'm pretty sure that's it.