Monday, November 26, 2007

What is that pitter patter sound?

It's not the sound of reindeer on our roof. It's not the sound of small children at play. So, knowing what time of year it is, it must be rain! Yes, rain. Days and days and days of rain.

Usually we gauge the start of our "rainy" season to arrive on or about Oct. 15th (give or take a week or so). This year the rain started the first of October and has been a constant in our lives since then. My husband made the comment in September that we were behind on rainfall for this year but he was sure we would make up for it in the winter! He was right.

Clouds, gloomy sky and lots and lots of rain. For the most part it doesn't bother me except that I cannot get out to work in my garden. I mean all you do is slosh around in mud doing the old "slip and slide". If you dig up the ground to plant, everything sticks to your shovel or garden tool and you end up taking a mud bath.

I can't do laundry for two reasons: 1) our solar panel is not gathering any electrical current from the sun and 2) I cannot hang my laundry in the backyard to dry because A) its too darn muddy and B) it will never dry but constantly be in the rinse cycle. Oh, my husband strung clothesline on the front porch but it takes almost 3 days to dry in this weather!

We have miniature waterfalls on the side of the house; water cascading down the steps. We have miniature waterfalls in the front cascading down the hill to the sea and we have small torrents racing down the hill in the back to add to the waterfalls on the side and in the front. Water, water everywhere.
But, this is the rainy season. So, I just retire to my sewing room and work on projects I've put off in the past. Right now I'm working on Christmas presents. Of course I cannot iron because that takes energy that the solar panel cannot provide. But, when my husband is forced to turn on the generator you can bet that the first thing I do is turn the iron on to catch up on ironing projects that currently need sewing!

We generally average about 110 to 120 inches of rain a year. Several years ago, in one day, we had 7 inches of the wet stuff and we thought that was a lot. Not! In December, about two years ago, we had 36 inches in one day and my husband quite emptying the rain gauge when he went to bed!
We get a lot of rain in December and usually you can count on going to your Christmas dinner at a friend's house in the pouring rain. In ten years here we have had two sunny days on December 25th. One was after it rained in the morning and the other was sunny all day except it rained in the evening when we got home. When you go to a party here - you take a change of clothes and a big box to keep things dry on the boat!

Speaking of our boat - it is now tied up firmly to the dock bracing against the seas that are rolling in. Most of the year the seas run out of the East; during the winter they switch and are out of the West. From the East we get plastic bags, pampers, coke bottles, etc., From the West we get seaweed, tree trunks, pieces of wood, parts of ships, etc. It's unusual to have thunder during the winter months, but for some reason this year we are having thunder storms. Since I'm not much up on what causes weather fronts, storms, etc., I have no idea if the fact that we have thunder means the temperature is warm enough to cause the occurrence of thunder. Whatever it is - we have it.

So, one can curl up with a good book, take up projects that have been shelved, take a lot of naps, or write in one's blog!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thankful Thanksgiving is Over?

Well, Thanksgiving is over. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberries, pumpkin bread (as seen above), dressing, pie -- we had all those things that make it a wonderful holiday!

I made it to LaCeiba and found almost everything I wanted. A friend had brought a turkey over to the island for me at my request so I did not have to look for that item, but I managed to buy a ham in LaCeiba for Christmas so that was a plus. There were a few things on my list that I didn't find but, hopefully, when we make our trip to San Pedro in the next week or so, I can buy all those things that were not in LaCeiba.

The day I left it was overcast and rain threatened. My tilt motor on the boat was not functioning properly and kept wanting to come up out of the water as I drove along. When I got to the airport I fiddled with the switch and got it to come up and turn off -- or so I thought.

The plane left on time (surprise) and we arrived in LaCeiba where rain clouds were threatening but no rain had fallen that morning. I went into town to go to an agriculture store to get some ear mite medicine for a friend but of the three stores I went to, no one had what I needed. So I gave up and went to the Mall where I felt I could find most of the items on my list.

Three stores in the Mall dealt with computer products or copying, yet not one of them sold copy paper for my printer! I found my Zinfandel wine but they only had two bottles and I wanted at least 12! I did find my gin and a bottle for a friend. No white beans or black-eyed peas, but they had canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce. Lots of cheese (but no Parmesan), along with cream cheese and a variety of vegetables. I had hoped to find Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix but really didn't hold out any hope for it and I was not disappointed.

It was pouring down rain by this time so I grabbed a quick lunch, bought a Pizza to take home (a must when returning to the island) and got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Bought some vodka in the airport liquor shop and the plane (second surprise of the day) left on time!

Arrived home and the rain had stopped. Went to start the boat and, yes, you guessed it....the tilt motor decided to turn on for no good reason and wore the battery down. Thankfully we have two boats and I called my husband who came and rescued me!

So, all's well that ends well I guess. Thanksgiving day was overcast and mild but, thankfully, no rain. Our guests arrived without incident, we had a nice visit on the porch and a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Now we have plenty of leftovers to keep ourselves happy for a few days.
I am sure that Thanksgiving day was enjoyed by people all over. So, in spite of good or bad weather, a lack of "standard fare" for dinner, too much or too little food, it seems everyone rallies around and this is one holiday that always brings a warm sense of accomplishment and a wonderful feeling of Thanksgiving - which it was meant to do!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well, Thanksgiving is just around the corner - next week to be exact - and I still don't have my turkey, green beans, stuffing mix, canned pumpkin, etc. Every year I make my speciality, Pumpkin Bread and, of course, I have to have the whole turkey dinner to accompany it!

This year all I could find in town was canned Cranberry Sauce (at $2.50 a can). No one has turkeys or any of the other accompaniments so I now have to fly to LaCeiba and see if I can find a bird!

Of course, going to the coast this time of year is difficult. We have already cancelled a scheduled flight to see the doctors in San Pedro Sula because of weather and with all the rain we have been having last month and this month it will be a challenge to get there and back in one day.

I have feelers out and friends in LaCeiba and on-line are looking for possible turkey sightings! I have my list all ready, my airline ticket in hand, and a determined attitude.
Of course, while spending $150.00 round trip to go to the coast (need to count additional airport tax in this), I'll need to pay taxi drivers to haul me and my booty around! I also need to look for other "stuff" to make this trip pay for itself. So I'm on the lookout for cheese, vegetables (the kind we can't get on the island), wine, Spanish books for my worker's grandchildren, material to sew, and new reading glasses. Just hope I can get it all done within the 3 hours I'll have.

Yes, 3 hours! We no longer have an early morning (7:30 a.m.) flight and now the plane doesn't leave until 11:00 getting me to the airport and into town about 30 minutes or more later. I must rush around and get the non-grocery items first as the stores all close at noon and then on to the grocery store and hopefully some lunch and buy a pizza to bring back for dinner.

So, if I'm extremely lucky (and fast), I'll get everything I need and come back the same day to fix a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for Thursday.

Wish me luck!