Saturday, August 17, 2013

Slices of Life from Belize: August 17, 2013

A Tropical Wave This Way Comes

Earlier this week, all eyes were on the weather forecast.

A tropical wave was bearing down on us, and forecasts called for gusty winds and heavy rain. The storm was due to hit on Thursday and extend into Friday.

We lowered the porch tarps, made sure all loose objects in the yard were put away, made sure we had adequate supplies and waited.

The skies were gray, the humidity was really, really high, and it felt like something was going to happen.

But it didn't. It was a bust. Yes, we got a shower yesterday morning, but that was all. Matter of fact, the skies cleared by the afternoon and we were in the pool at Casa Winjama's Happy Hour.

On the flip side, today the weather is gorgeous. Temps in the upper 80's, low humidity, partly cloudy skies, and a wonderful breeze (we don't even have our ceiling fans running!). Just the kid of day you imagine paradise being.

Lizards on a Train

I want to give a shout-out to our very good friends, Colleen and Bruce Steege, who are on their dream vacation of traveling across the U.S. by train. But they aren't making the trip alone. Ladies and gentlemen, please say hello to Wanda:

Photo of Wanda, courtesy of Colleen Steege

Colleen and Bruce hooked up with Wanda in Cancun (the starting point of their journey) and have been having one adventure after another in her company. If you have some time, be sure to check out their blog, Lizards on a Train. I dare you not to laugh out loud at least a few times.


I've recently become obsessed with playing Bingo Blitz through Facebook. But all the sound effects drive me nuts, so I turn them off...or so I thought. A few days ago, our financial adviser, Brian, called us on our MagicJack number. The MagicJack and phone are connected to my computer.

After I chatted with Brian, I turned the phone over to David and decided to play another round of Bingo. I couldn't hear anything, but all of the sudden I heard David saying, "Hold on a minute Brian. There's music and other noise in the background. Why the heck is someone yelling B7, N32?"

He then walked over to my desk and saw I was playing Bingo. Apparently, even though I muted the sound, it still carries over on the phone. Oops. Needless to say, I closed the game and found something else to occupy my time for the duration of the call.

Technology...a learning experience at every turn.

Corn and Orchids

One might not think these two things go together, but they do on our property.

This orchid just popped yesterday. Haven't a clue as to what it's called, but it sure looks pretty.

This one hasn't bloomed yet, but I never tire of looking at it just the same. It has such an other worldly look to it.

And the corn I mentioned?

Fernando planted it on the lots we have on the other side of the lane. Believe it or not, the seeds went in about two months ago. I've never seen corn grow so fast in my life. In another couple of weeks, it will be ready to pick. While he will sell most of it, a bunch of ears will be coming our way. Can't wait!

Quick Bites

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am now the proud owner of a slow cooker. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with all kinds of recipes. 

The latest one I tried was for a turkey breast. I took info I found from some online recipes, combined that info with a recipe I used to make pre-slow cooker days, and came up with this:

I made slits in the breast, then stuffed the openings with slices of garlic and rosemary. The breast went into the slow cooker, which already had some sliced onions on the bottom. After pouring some melted butter over the top of the breast, I put on the lid and let it cook away for about six hours. The shot above is what it looked like when it was done and ready to rest for a bit.

And here's the final plating. Mashed potatoes, broccoli, the turkey and a lovely gravy that I made from the drippings. Overall everything tasted really good, but the turkey wasn't quite as tender as I had hoped. I plan on trying it again, but with a bit more liquid to see if that will help. Has anyone tried using wine in slow cooker recipes? Does it work or does the taste get funky? Would appreciate any advice.

On a different food-related note, I had my first taste of a smoothie just the other day. I know, I know...hard to believe I've lived this many years and not had one. But here's the thing -- I am just not a fruit loving girl. I mean a slice of lime in a vodka and tonic is grand, but it never occurs to me to eat a piece of fruit. Weird, I know, but that's just the way it is. It's rather ironic, this tendency of mine, considering we have all these trees producing bananas, plantains, tangerines, limes, and grapefruit.

But as we had a stalk of bananas already ripe, David decided a batch of smoothies might be a possibility. He whipped it up in the blender and poured it into a glass. I took one sip, hoping it might taste like the nectar of the gods. Ummm, nope. I don't think it had anything to do with the recipe itself, I just didn't like it. The banana smell and taste was strong, and my taste buds weren't in love with the texture. 

Now all that being said, we do plan to play around with other smoothie combos. Hopefully we'll hit on one that we both like. I'm thinking maybe we need to add some ice cream or maybe some vodka??? Guess that defeats the purpose of healthy eating, huh?


  1. I always enjoy your post!! Looking forward to ya'll getting residency so you can come see us in Mexico!!

  2. Thanks Catherine! And trust in the fact that we are looking forward to the day our residency is a reality. Have heard so many wonderful things from Colleen and Bruce about your place and can't wait to make the trip. Also, it would be great to finally meet the infamous "Papi"!

  3. Love your blogs, makes me like I am home again. And Wanda loved the attention.

  4. Hey there toots! What has Wanda been up to? We anxiously await reading about her latest exploits. Please tell me she hasn't talked you into more iguana bling. Miss you! Write again soon!