So last April, when we had the carport fire, there were a few things that were destroyed... some things we've not bothered replacing like the lawnmower... however, the structure to the carport, well, we had to fix that... which Kevin did. And our ATV, Kevin rebuilt and it looks like new (click here if you missed seeing the ATV transformation)... but our little trailer, which I used to collect manure seemed completely unsalvageable. We looked in all the obvious places, here in Costa Rica, to see if we could simply buy another one, but no luck.
I loved that little trailer... it hooked up to the ATV easily and, although backing up with a trailer is always tricky, it was much easier than with our big, clunky trailer. I figured we would simply have to do without and I'd have to get used to using the big trailer. C'est la vie!
The picture above is what the trailer looked like in its original state, when we bought it.
This is all that was left of it after the fire. I thought it was just garbage. Kevin thought differently. He was determined to rebuild it.
Ta-da... and this is our new trailer! Kevin bought some aluminium, he had to make his own jigs to bend the sheet metal... he sanded and repainted the frame and had to reshape the warp pieces to make them straight again. We bought the wheels online, but could only have them delivered in the States. Thanks to our good friends, Alan and Karin, when they came to visit last November, they brought them in their suitcase!
Look how sparkly it is... it's so beautiful, I'm afraid to use it! I don't want to get it dirty.
And it tilts just like the old one did. It's light but sturdy! It makes a great wheelbarrow, too. I'm thrilled to have my little trailer back... it's even better than the original! And yes, I continue to be amazed by Kevin's talents... they just keep on coming. I know I embarrass him when I write things like this, for the world to read, but for someone like me who wouldn't know where to start... it impresses me to no end.
For those of you who are interested in the step-by-step making of the trailer, visit our Gallery page by clicking here. Kevin took pictures of the whole process.
A-choooo, cough, sniff, sniff
Well, there's not much to say... I've been suffering from a bad cold for the past few days. I haven't been this sick since we've been here. This one's a doozy. Kevin brought it back from England as a souvenir... how kind! Kevin was sick for nearly a week and then I caught it. Boo. Oh well, I can't really complain, my health has been awesome for over 18 months.
We subscribed to Netflix yesterday, so we're catching up on all our old shows that we've not been able to watch here. It makes for a nice change. We have lots of TV shows to choose from that we cannot get on Sky satellite.
That's about it. Nothing much to report. Hopefully, I'll feel well enough to go to yoga tomorrow night. We'll see.
New potato bed
Look at what my honey built. This is our new structure for our third kick at the can. Kevin is determined to grow potatoes. We actually have one potato plant growing way in the far end bed... where we were growing them last year. I guess it's a slow 'spouter'. We know to rotate, so even though we have a lonesome plant growing on its own, Kevin prepared a completely different bed, created a box, added new soil, compost and topped the lot with dry leaves. Now we water regularly and wait. Fingers crossed that third time is a charm.
I also planted a bunch of seeds in little pots. Last week, we bought potting soil to give our seeds a fighting chance. I planted flowers, different types of vegetables and then some herbs in my kitchen garden (the old hot tub).
There's still a few summer months left: we're hoping we can harvest a good crop before there's too much humidity in the air. It sure would be nice if we could eat our own vegetables on a more regular basis.
Saying goodbye to more guests
Our guests from Calgary, Canada, arrived on Monday and spent 4 nights with us. It was so nice to get to know them. Another lovely couple! They were very keen birdwatchers, so it awesome that we could spy a Quetzal on the property. We didn't get to see it very well (only in flight), but it was still thrilling. Here's what they wrote in our guestbook... so nice!:
Dear Anne, Kevin and Frankie,
After getting to the Parque Nacíonal Los Quezales for hiking today, we were mostly just excited to return to your land, where we had seen and identified over a dozen species of birds the day before. Driving up to the base of Hush Valley, two Cattle Egrets posed bridge-side for us, which by this point in our stay has become almost expected. The natural beauty of Hush Valley will be missed dearly, especially as we return to the bitter chill of Canadian winter.
Thank you for the care, commitment and whole-hearted dedication you put into both your business and community – we felt very looked after during our stay here and our experience was enriched by the personal connection and all of the efforts you put into showing us your community. We are especially grateful for the trip into San Marcos and the welcome onto your farm, as well as the knowledge you shared about Costa Rican society and culture, and the experiences that brought you both here.
Thank you again, we will be sure to pass along word of this lovely place.
Take good care and keep up the tremendous efforts!
Gabriel and Sara
P.S. Kevin – thanks for running full spedd to get us for the Quetzal – we really appreciate it!
P.S.S. The dictionary and wildlife guides have been so helpful, and the bread and eggs delicious!
Hey, I was just introduced to a fantastic site called Goodreads. It's a great site for readers! It's like an internet library. You can catalogue what you've read, what you want to read and join chat groups to discuss your favourite books (or not so favourite)... like a virtual book club. You can even review the books you've read (tell the author and other readers what you think!) Very cool!
I'm a new member as a reader and will be taking full advantage of the easy search command to find any book! I'm so excited. I'm equally excited that Goodreads has accepted me as an author as well. So, if you've read Following my tug... all the way to Costa Rica! and are looking for somewhere to share your thoughts on it... go here (oh, and thank you!):
Or, if you're thinking you might want to read my book (or any other) and are wondering what other people are saying about it, it's a great site to peruse. Click here to get to Goodreads website. Don't forget to create an account. Once you have your own account, you're good to go.
Happy reading! Happy recommending! Happy sharing!
Back to B&B and farm reality!
Well, it's been an exciting couple of days. The response to my book has been good so far, which is encouraging. My daughter, Phoenix, has been helping me get the word out. The real work now is to get as many people as possible to be aware that it exists, but there's more to do than just worry about the book and how it will be received. We have a B&B to run and a property to maintain.
We have B&B guests who just arrived from Calgary, Canada, and will be staying with us for four nights. And the gardens need tending, too. Kevin and I bought some super-duper rich top soil to give our seeds a chance to grow quick and healthy. I'm also adding leaves as mulch to keep the soil from drying out. Because the sun is so intense at our altitude and the wind can be quite strong, even after watering it doesn't take long for the soil to crack and crumble as if we hadn't watered in weeks. Since adding the leaves, new flowers are budding and everything is looking greener
Oh, our tomatoes in the hatchery are growing really well. We planted a Marigold in the middle of the container and so far we haven't seen any white fly. Yay! and we have tomatoes growing in areas we didn't plant... a nice surprise. We bought some organic potatoes (well, the guy at the market said they were organic, it's hard to know for sure) and Kevin is waiting for them to chit. Once they do, then he's going to plant them and see if we get lucky. We have a potato plant growing beside our surprise tomato bunch. It must have been a late bloomer from last season. My cucumber plants are finally starting to show some growth... wow, it's been over six months since I planted the seeds. Kevin bought me some winter squash seeds, so I look forward to harvesting our very own squash some day.
The Bettys are hanging in there... they are currently laying between six and eight eggs a day. The last couple of days seem to have dipped more consistently to six or seven.
I'm loving the coconut oil I bought last week. I'm using it liberally now when I cook. Before I had a 200 ml jar and I treated it like it were gold. I now have 2 L's worth so I don't feel I have to scrimp and save it. And feeling secure I can get more anytime I want it, makes me happy.
Book is officially published!
So, today is a great day! My book is officially available for purchase on the Kobo site. Hope everyone enjoys it! There's a special bonus at the end of the book... but you have to read the book to find out what it is :) You can click here to get to the Kobo site directly. Or you can go to www.kobobooks.com and type in the title of my book in the search bar. Thanks for the support! It means a lot.
My honey comes home
Kevin's been away for the past nine days, and although I've had a good time (no shortage of people inviting me to join them for lunch or dinner... thank you!), I can't wait for him to be home! We're so seldom apart that it does take some getting used to. I'm really happy he's had a chance to visit his family and good friends and it's nice for me to know that I can take care of the farm, when needed. I've managed to keep the ponds full, the fish and Bettys fed. I'm even getting the hang of the aqueduct gate. My first few trial runs (while Kevin was still here) were very frustrating and difficult, but I eventually got the 'feel' for it... it still gives me a little bit of trouble, but I know how to deal with it and I'm able to figure it out... even if it takes me a few tries. I've also managed to screw in (and out) the decoy owl that perches on our pond bridge... we put him up to deter the heron. So far, I've not detected any herons... yay! The trick to using the power drill is to press in firmly and gently squeeze the trigger. Again, another 'feel' thing, and before Kevin left, I managed to strip the screw head within two days. Yeah, not exactly pro quality. BUT, in the last week, I've only kind of stripped the screw, which I changed this morning for fear of not being able to unscrew it at all and having it stuck on the bridge. Problem-solving is key.
It's been a good week, but I can't wait to greet my honey and have him home again!
Spanish yoga lessons
I joined a yoga class... it's been on my agenda for quite some time, but the classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, which is when I used to teach my English class. And since leaving the Learning Centre, I've had time, but the instructor was away for an extended visit to the States. So, finally, she's back and I'm ready. Although the instructor, Jodi, is English-speaking and is originally from the States, she's been living in Costa Rica for the last six years, so her yoga class is taught in Spanish. This is actually great! Jodi did offer to translate, but I declined. I figure I can learn the parts of the body while getting a great workout. She speaks in a slow-tempo manner, so it's a lot easier for me to catch on... and since there's so much repetition, my ear is getting great practice. Although, I won't lie, I did open my eyes a few times to make sure I was following the next steps properly. I didn't do too badly. As for how my body feels after doing the yoga... it feels so good. I look forward to doing it again... on a more regular basis.
So, the deed is done. I've pressed the 'Publish' button. FINALLY! WOW, what an education this has been. A good one, but it lasted
longer than I expected. I'm pretty happy, though.
However... first, Kobo will review it within the next 24 to 72 hours. They have to check to make sure it meets all criteria. Once they approve it, then it will be available for the world to purchase it. I will upload a link here... as well as on Facebook (for those who follow us on Facebook). And of course, you'll be able to go directly to Kobo and purchase it there.
If you buy it and read it, please send me your feedback! I would love to hear it. Thanking you in advance for your support!
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!