5 Things Going ON in My Life: From Hurricane Iota to Pumpkin Pie to Screw Pines

Yes.  I said Screw Pine.

This past week has been about drying out from the 20+ inches of rain from Hurricane Eta…watching Hurricane Iota and enjoying the INCREDIBLE in-between weather.  I

I mean just gorgeous.

We have been staying, for the most part, at home.  But here are FIVE other things I’ve been up to.

1. Swimming dogs

Let’s start with something that is currently bringing me great joy.  If you follow me on Instagram, it’s pretty much ALL I’ve been posting.  Swimming dogs.  Earlier this year – we added Mocha to our pack.  Once we got rid of her 12 puppies (found good homes!)…she became the puppy she was always meant to be.  Goofy…crashing (she is a serious runner, she is not a very good stopper)…SO loveable.

The biggest bonus?  She LOVES to swim.  After a run on the beach – she will just wade into the water, deep enough to paddle in a circle.  Just to cool off.  It’s THE CUTEST.

She’s encouraged our landlubber- Frannie to join her (Frannie does not want to be one-upped by Mocha on anything.)   AND Mocha’s puppy Coco lives next door at Tuto – aka, the most gorgeous property on Ambergris Caye – is a swimmer too.  (Good genes)

I just wish Frannie DIDN’T roll in the sand as soon as she got out of the water.

It makes me so happy to see.  And I’ve decided that Coco is a genius – she FLOATS.  Still in deep water…just floats and enjoys.  SMART dog.

Interesting to me:  Not all dogs can swim.  Mocha, we think, is part Rhodesian Ridgeback.  Swimmer!  Frances is surely part chihuahua.  This article says that they are not innate swimmers.  Love that she’s trying to play with the big girls though. I’m sure each dog is different.

2. Baked Goods

Like so many people, I’ve been through most of the baking stages of this pandemic.  Banana bread, banana bread with crumble topping, banana bread with Nutella, and banana bread with chips (my favorite).  I’ve done the sourdough starter – her name is Beverly – free form loaves, adding her to bagels (yum), focaccia and pizza crust.  She makes everything better.  She’s a loved part of our family.

But there are some things I am not so willing to try…things that won’t even fit into our small tabletop oven…or things where the raw ingredients cost more than the finished product (like nuts, sometimes butter, canned pumpkin…expensive imports!)

PIE.  So when I saw Marisela Marin’s advertising of PUMPKIN PIE, I ordered and waited.  Giddy.  (For those of you who don’t know Marisela, she and her husband Abbie run GoFish Belize – and are really great people.)

I’m now cutting some for breakfast – this 7 inch pie was $12bzd.  Don’t judge me!  Jeff hasn’t had a bite (he’s not a pumpkin pie guy) and I’ve only had the pie for…not even 2 days.  (Picture pre-cut above)

Spiced beautiful…not too sweet and great crust.

I got a delicious nutty loaf too.  GREAT toast.

You can find Marisela on Facebook and Instagram.  I suggest that you do.

3. Preemptive Computer repair

This is very UN-ME but man I’m glad I did it.  Last week, my computer started giving me some trouble.   It’s about 2.5 years old.  A few months ago, the touchpad got sticky and I decided to plug in an old-school mouse.  But then the charger input stopped working.  My first thought was to wiggle it and force it but instead,  I fought my very nature and decided to contact Cipi at Transylvania Tech.

Cipi owns the shop located on Front Street that sells DVD and movies but most importantly for me – he does computer repair.  He is smart and honest and just a lovely guy.

Ambergris Caye is INSANELY hard on all electronic equipment.   Humidty, salt saturated air even if you don’t open the windows/use AC only and dust.

So when he diagnosed my computer as packed with dust and perhaps salt and dog hair, it was no surprise.  The fans were all gunked up – he cleaned it all carefully and fixed on the charging input area.  (I’m not good with tech terms)  Thank god the word MOTHERBOARD was not mentioned…you NEVER want to hear that word from your tech guy.

He let me visit her when she was halfway done.

He suggested that everyone bring in their computer once a year…to get an inspection, possibly a cleaning and to check everything out.  I believe it.   ESPECIALLY because we are all pretty broke right now and absolutely CAN NOT afford a new computer.  (Which will probably come down from the states and who knows how long that will take?)

May I suggest that you bring your PC or Mac to Cipi?  Dont’ make me say “I told you so” 😉

4. A Storm named Iota

Hurricane Iota is strengthening in the western Caribbean Sea and now expected to hit THE EXACT SAME SPOT that Hurricane Eta hit just 2 weeks ago!

I get it – 2020 is one of the worst years on record (neck and neck with the year that a giant asteroid hit the Yucatan causing a global nuclear winter and causing the dinosaurs to go extinct) – but JUST STOP!  IT IS MID-NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Eta was already the second most intense November hurricane on record – since 1932.  Do we REALLY need to try and beat that?!?!?!

Iota, thankfully, is now predicted to stay to our south but make sure you keep an eye on this storm.  It is still a few days off.

A very thorough update!

5. Screw Pine

Many people on the island use this plant as a border for their property.  It grows SO dense…with a saw-like leaves and gnarled twisted above-ground roots…it’s a bizarre plant and I need to know more.

These things need serious pruning or they grow HUUUUGE (20-30 feet high) and top-heavy…quite a few tipped over in the rain deluge of the last few weeks.  They grow SO dense that they are pretty much impenetrable…unless you want to get seriously scraped up by the razor-edged leaves.

These plants are not pines or palms or cacti.  They grow in the tropics and need very little water.

The page from the book I refer to at least once a month.  The Plants of Caye Caulker.

There are over 750 different varieties…and supposedly can be identified by a flower or a fruit.  My question so I can stop thinking about Screwpines.  Has anyone seen them flower or fruit?

If so do you have a picture?!  The fruit is supposed to be delicious…let’s call it a Screw Pineapple.

Please let me know!

Two quick things:

We’ve been watching the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit and it is GORGEOUS…and really intriguing… gripping.  But I’ll be busy all day today for sure because THE CROWN Season 4 is out TODAY on Netflix.  I am a British Monarchy lover – and this is my favorite show of all time.  I LOVE IT.  If you haven’t seen the first 3 seasons…I’m jealous!

Let’s ALL mask-up and socially distance in Belize – COVID numbers are way up, as are deaths.  This is in our collective hands!  For updates and statistics, see Belize’s Ministry of Health 

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