January 6
Life in the jungle:
I woke up in the middle of the night (early morning) and I never fell back to sleep.  This morning I spent the whole morning lying in my hammock with my eyes closed.  I think it has to be the best way to spend a morning, that is until you get up and realize that you wasted your whole morning.

I finally finished the cement block perimeter around my second hen house.  I then cleaned up and burned off a hurricane debris pile.  Later in the afternoon I went to the ponds to water my papayas and weed my last row to prepare to re-seeding that row.  Getting back to the house I restoked the fire and feed branches from my other pile of hurricane debris until dark.  This evening, I spent some time proofreading some blog posts.

I have to put a cement block perimeter to build my walls off the ground. In the rainy season flood waters are almost as high as the cement block

January 7
Life in the jungle:
I ended up going to bed fairly late last night.  I messaged someone who tracks and collects bike routes across Canada.  I am curious about the longest bike tour across Canada.  The longest route he knew about was just over 15,000 km.  I recently wrote a blog post about wanting to bike tour Canada again.  You can find it HERE.

Anyways, I slept in this morning.  This whole week I have lost my mornings because of late nights and my mind not shutting off because of this future bike ride I would like to do someday.  Things should get better next week.  When I got my act together, I went to the coconut field and planted 4 starfruit seedlings, and replaced 6 coconut trees.  The mosquitos were horrendous.  It started to rain.  I thought that would scare off the mosquitos.  But it didn’t.  We ended up getting a good downpour.  So much for things drying out.  So, I spent the last part of the afternoon writing my book.  I got 2,500 words written and the State of Oregon’s first draft completed.

A Red Rump Tarantula on the house this evening

Then later this evening I wrote until midnight and I finished over 4,000 words and most of my Part 1 California State first draft.  California is in two parts.  Part 1 is part of Chapter 8 – The Pacific Coast and Part 2 will be the first part of Chapter 9 The American South West from when I headed east from the coast (Los Angeles).

This morning I woke up with a “tickle” in my throat.  I have taken Verna Mae’s homemade medicine twice today which she made me many months ago.  But I wonder if I am about to get sick.

Orange tree blossoms

January 8
Life in the jungle:
Today is my Sabbath.  I did do I tiny bit of house cleaning before I started reading.  Today I started reading The Shack by William Paul Young.  I had read the book back in 2009.  I would listen to the audiobook every once in a while when I drove my truck.  And I have watched the movie a good handful of times.  Because of an afternoon nap, I read until 1 AM tonight.

The Shack by William Paul Young

I had thought earlier in the week to maybe take a “hike” through my 30 acre piece of land.  Since 1997 the front 10 acres had been cleared twice and has since regrown since the last clearing but I have never been beyond what’s been cleared and now I am curious.  Partly I haven’t been because I suspect it’s a thick impenetrable bush.  But I realized I should explore it.  Unfortunately, while it never rained today it certainly looked like it wanted to.  So, I did not leave the house except to feed my chickens.

I had the strangest experience this afternoon when I went out to feed the chickens at 5:20 PM.  Usually, they want to come running over to me in anticipation of food.  But not this evening.  I was wondering where they were on my way to the coop.  Then all of a sudden, the rooster sticks his head of this bush (but doesn’t emerge) and starts going crazy with his rooster calls.  I went in the coop and there was only 1 hen. Where are the 2 missing hens?  I chased the rooster out of the bush hoping the hens were with him.  He wouldn’t shut up.  I walk all over looking for these hens assuming they are both eaten.  Then one hen appears out of the same bush the rooster was in and now it’s making nonstop chicken noises.  I continued walking around and then all of a sudden, the other hen started going crazy on a small island in my second pond that no chicken has ever gone to because they have to fly over water to get there.

All three chickens’ behavior was utterly, I mean utterly bizarre.  The hens and chicks in the hen coop were also uncharacteristically quiet.  Usually, the chicks are chirping nonstop and the hens are jumping up and down wanting to be fed.  If I didn’t know better I would have thought the chicken of death had just recently flown over my place.  I am locking my doors for sure tonight.

I wrote the poem Scars this morning.

A nice male Spiny Tail Iguana

January 9
Life in the jungle:
A little bit of a mixed day.  I read quite late in the night.  So, I had one of my regular late starts this morning.  My main job of the day was weed-wacking around the yard.  I generally don’t get the job completed because of how much I dislike the job.  But I pushed through for a few hours and got all my weed-wacking completed.  I also spent some time at the ponds and reseeded the last row of papaya seedlings.  And I cleaned up and weeded my seed bags.  It looks like I have a few Rambutan (lychee) seedlings coming up.  No rain today.

A Rambutan seedling

This evening I worked on and finished my 2022 in-review blog post.  I have worked on it on and off for the last month.  The post came to 3,900 words.

I continue to take medicine for a sore throat and minor cough but I am not feeling sick.

January 10
Life in the jungle:
I am frustrated.  The most important job that I need to be doing is painting and I can never trust the sky or the forecast.  I started working at the river today.  I reset my cement blocks on their side from my river bank steps.  By resetting them they are way more secure and no longer slippery to walk on.  The job wasn’t nearly as big as I thought it might be.  I also added staples to my chicken coop chicken wire.  At the time of enclosing the frame with chicken wire, I was running very low on staples so a few areas needed to be better secured to the framing.  Later in the afternoon, I headed up to the village for groceries and to pay for some cabbage palm lumber that Nery cut for me.  My stomach was upset for a good part of the day. There ended up being no rain today.  This evening I wrote Belize Blog # 60, 61, 62, and 63.

Before and After. Much saver to walk up the river bank now.

Belize Part 62 (Dec 30 to Jan 5)

Belize Part 61 (Dec 23 to 29)

Glossary of Terms
Glossary of words or people that may or may not be part of this blog post.  This glossary will be at the bottom of every blog post for Belize.

Jack & Jill – These are my ex-property managers (names changed).  They are Canadian, they introduced me to Belize in 1997, sold me their house in Belize in 2003, and rebuilt my house from 2014 to 2018.  I have known them for over 30 years.  After almost 20 years of me supporting their life here in Belize Jack decided quite unexpectedly to declare “war” on me right before Christmas 2021.  They would end up stealing my business license and causing me a lot of grief.  They live on the farm, but not on my land.

Wayne – He is the son of the original owners of the farm (both owners are deceased).  The original farm was 2 – 30 acre pieces minus 2 – ¾ acre parcels for my house and 2 – ¾ acre parcels that Jack & Jill own which were all originally purchased from the original owners.  In 2017 Wayne sold me 40 acres of land from the original 60 acres (30 acres plus 10 acres).  Wayne lives in his parent’s house and has a few cows on his remaining 17 acres of land.

The ponds – I have 2 large (300ft long x 50ft wide x 10ft deep) ponds on my 30 acre parcel of land which is basically a jungle.  I have about 60 coconut trees (mostly mature) around the ponds.  I have plans to plant a few hundred papaya trees here plus other fruit-bearing trees around the ponds.

The coconut field – I have about 400 coconut trees planted (various growth states) on about 3 acres of cleared land of the 10 acre parcel.  I plan to add various fruit trees to the same field as soon as I can.

The river lot – my house sits on an ¾ acre lot.  I have a second joining ¾ acre lot that allows me river frontage on the Belize River.  I call that my river lot.

The dry – Belize has 2 main seasons.  The rainy season and the dry (no rain).  The wet is obviously the rainy season.

Chopping – using my machete to clear brush, vines, weeds and unwanted trees.

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