Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve, 2009 in Belize. My thoughts tonight

Hmmm...We are really here. We feel as though we have been here for years not months. We are 'right' here. The only, only sad spot in this holiday, is not having Poo in my hip while I type this. But Beluador has been another gift. She has so missed Poo. We are trying to find her own puppy.

We have listened to Josh Groban for many nights. I must get his latest, or last 2, Christmas CDs as we are wearing this one out. But he has been a great addition to our holiday. And as Chuck just pointed out...he has been a part of our holidays since we have been together, as I have been a fan for a long time. Oh by the way, we are getting married in April in Florida! Many friends and family joining us. It will be 2 yrs and 9 months.

Christmas Eve: An afternoon spent at Blnx. We went late as we did not get home till after 7 last night from doing babies in Santa Elana. The guys were ready for a buggy delivery of guests, but wanted me to see the new gelding move. He is a great horse but there seemed to be an issue. Oh yeah, issue all right. He was toe pointing but he still tried to pull the buggy, really tried to work, but was sore, right hind. I knew as soon as I watched him...abcess. He was wearing newer shoes on his hinds from his previous owners, maybe 10-14 days in the hind. Obviosly newer than the fronts, which were both at different lengths and different clinch depths. So we swapped Sponge Bob for Magnum just in time for the plane. Then I went to work on a very sore sweet gelding.

Sponge Bob has decided to 'test' the stable drivers, and has been going through the bit and taking forever to stop. So...I changed bits, put on a caveson, kinda sorta, (tie down tied at nose with vet wrap), jumped on him bareback in full Haams harness and rode him around to know that what I thought would work, would. Yup, it did. We hooked up for the next group of guests and I worked Oscar in how to handle the new bit an lo and behold... iit worked as I hoped. So SB has to behave himslef and the gys can be alittle more at ease.

We left late, as the guys all worked past time and we worked with em. Chuck hooked up the hot water tank for showers tonight and we said good night see ya tomorrow.

Tonight:went to Hulio's family house for drop off of gifts and discovered it was 'Johnny Rockets' Birthday as well. WHOA! Could he be... NAW!

Baking cupcakes for the stable guys, took muffins today to the Pine Ridge gate guys all ready, but may take cupcakes as well. Actually did them from scratch and they are edible. Prepping tenderloin filet's. Josh Grobin. A few tears. Blogging.

We did a few little Christmas presents for new friends here. What is so amazing is the 'wow' factor. Everyone so appreciated it and seems to be so surprised by receiving it. How fun!

We are going to have a very busy Christmas day. Starting with Blancaneaux stables and helping the guys get things clean and tidy. They are gettin used to the manure forks I am forcing them to use. But the handles Kevin and the maintenance crew made us, are fabulously stout, but..way too heavy. So, with new handles next week they should whip through stalls! No matter the grumbling that it is awkward, it is better for stalls and humans than cleaning by gloved hands and buckets. Yup, thats how we did it before, and they did a good job. But now, it should be better and faster. We shall see..I love my stable guys, Eddie, Eber, Fransisco and Oscar. My guys.

Then, after the night before prep, of two huge beef tenderloins from Running W, slathered in garlic and olive oil marinade, (thank you Chuck for the garlic prep, it has been 3 days of garlic wonderful smell in the wicked) We will do them med rare on the grill and by the time they go down the mountain, part will be mr to med. PERFECTO MUNDO!

So off to Robersons we will go. Wow, what a gift that family has become. John, one of the most amazing men I have ever known, and am so proud to be able to say I do. Beth, his total spitfire wife whom has become one of my most precious friends and does the most amazing Belize AG Report magazine. Court, Sandra and Nick, other than Court trying to corrupt Chuck back into a 30 yr old, I love them dearly. Then there is the next group of Robersons...Johnny, Tre and the rest whom we will meet this weekend. Tre has this amazing equine facility half way to Belmopan. And he himself is an amazing jumper rider. I only shoe for him at this time, as I do not have enough time to teach, but we are collaborating on a few clinics.

Now in between grilling Fillet Mignon and getting to Robersons, we are going to see if Bela gets her very special Christmas present. If it is meant to be, he will be waiting in his cage. I'll let you know.

Then, back to the Wicked, hopefully 'Killer' in hand. Saturday we head to Burrel Boom, for the end of they year races. I have so many to hoot for, 'Miss Rebel'-David up, Francis as trainer, Amin Bedran-colt-1st out-trainer Ali, Cuello Stables who has an amazing mare of the year, Brittany stables with many good horses and new people and horses I can't wait to meet.

Then: A DAY OF INTENSE SHOEING SUNDAY! Three farms, some of my favorite folks and horses. Ya know whats really cool, Chuck goes with me on these trips and I love having him there. He is good with the horses, a natural.

Back to Blnx on Monday with more shoeing and teaching, the guys are doing great and we have huge plans for 2010.

Yup, a great Christmas weekend. Chuck by my side, Bela and maybe Killer with us. Could have been perfect had it not been for the loss of my beloved Poo. BUT...I had 1/3 of my life with the perfect angel dog, the best gift God could have ever given me over that past 16 yrs. So here is to Hardwood Whoop De Doo! Please be with me forever in your gentle loving spirit.

Reconna, we miss you too, have a romp in the clouds for us.

We have so many new friends to be thankful for and such a wonderful life. We thank all of those who have made this transition so amazing. First and foremost: Tom and Marge, I hope we see you more in 2010, Linda and Phil, John and Beth, Anne, Nicki and Jerry, Rich and Cindy, Rudy, Reuben, my barn guys, Marcello and Anamina, Hulio and Janet, Alan and Colleen, Edwardo, Robbi and Jana, Hans and Gaby, all the Blancaneaux family.

Truly thank you to all and may you have a joyous celebration of Christ in one way or another. Love each other and tell each other that you do!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Moonracer style! Wonderful!

Marge and Tom, our wonderful landlords, had invited us for a marathon of christmas videos with Hulios family and friends of all of ours Rich and Cindy from Belmopan (CA originally). What a great afternoon. We missed the first two videos as I had to work most of the day, but got there in time to to see Hulio and Eric mastering juggling being taught by Rich. (They had a break from videos). How Fun! Chuck got in on the action and I seriously think they all worked up a sweat. Course Rich made it look like the easiest thing in the world, Chuck was great if he could walk while juggling.

It was so wonderful to see Hulios family, they are just the best folks. And we dont see Rich and Cindy enough. Rich by the way is a truly amazing magician. I don't mean like a few card tricks or coin behind the ear gig, OH NO! I mean like friggin true WHOLLY MACKERAL HOW DID HE DO THAT STUFF!!! There were other adults there as well and I mean we were all astounded. It was so cool!

Marge made two pans of her amazing lasagna and we had real christmas cookies and popcorn and it was so great.

Thanks Tom and Marge for including us.

Go to the Moonracerfarm.com Blog if you want to see or read more.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Random memories

For some reason my text is all over tonight.

My 3 lil amigos in front of 'Tater" , then my lil buddy Jack in his Santa suit



























Chuck and I in Jamaica


If its been a while




This guy looks like he is saying "Why are you touching me?"











This big mamma was at the ferry going

into Spanish Lookout















If you haven't been here in a while, go to past blog entries and August and watch the BOA video. Its a fun video. We had an 8' Tiger Rat snake we dealt with last week. She was so aggresive, shaking her tail and blowing her neck up and coming back toward Chuck, we scared her off, but dang! She was a big un! Pretty though, black with yellow cris crossing under her. No pics though, not enough time for camera.





Table Rock-ya gotta see it!

Speaking of Alan and Colleen from Table rock...Go to Table Rock Belize Jungle Lodge, or Tablerockbelize.com and see what dedication of 8 yrs and a dream really can do. The place is amazing, 1/2 mile of the Macal River in Cristo Rey, and unbelievable serenity. Beautiful cabanas and a fabulous Chef!

How cute is this lil blond Momma dog?




Alan and Colleen from Table Rock, rescued this sweet little girl, and she will have all of her shots, be spayed and tick free if any of you are interested. She really is a sweetie, but was not to crazy about an 80 lb 14 month old dob pup jumping at her, so we couldn't take her, or we would have.

Rolson's A great place to eat

NOW DEM BE SOME CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!!!









"Rolson-Cocina, Cantina and Hotel"
Orlando and Sonia do an amazing job both for the restaurant and for the hotel rooms. They have a super menu, LOVE THE CEVICHE! And the fajitas and the buckets of beer and they make their own sour mix for awesome margaritas and if you ask Orlando he can make you a really special hot coffee drink!
Rolson has a fabulous view of San Ignacio and is tucked away from all the noise. Check out the web site at rolsons.com or drop by at 24 Crenshaw Rd. (Behind Chucs service station on the road heading out to the new hospital)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More of our Hollow





















More of what surrounds the Wicked.


That Cohune Nut Tree is huge and has amazing palms. The Scorpions love to live in them amongst the dead stuff, so the guys cleaned up the trunk area for us.



Our amazing driveway! Thanks to Tom the 7 Miles guys and Charles of course!


What surrounds the Wicked.








Im going to shoot more today as looking at these just does not our fairyland justice.
Chuck has put in a septic system, water lines, a rock platform for the Wicked to sit on, a Mayan type rock-dirt wall at the back of the palapa, a rock sidewalk to get Whoopi and I off the mud, gravel in the drive way (that he and Tom chopped by hand). Tom surprised me with a load of small gravel in Tinkerbell and we used it as flooring under the palapa so Bela is not as muddy as she would have been.

Our 7 Mile guys leveled the floor in the palapa and cleared all the itchy stuff and poisonous stuff
away and now with the rainy season, it is all green and lush again, more so than in April after the dry season, it is a little green paradise.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moonracer Farms area for us




These are pics from April 09. It is such a wonderful spot to have Bela and Whoopi be safe and be able to have Bela be a jungle dog.







Thats Tom in April showing me the clearing at the edge of their property. It was a Jaguar rescue facility and most of the huge cages had been removed by the BZ Zoo. before they moved in. There are still 3, back in what I call the 'Hollow', and we had to close the one that Bela goes and plays in due to her finding way to many critters in the heavy brush still within the cages.




Actun Tunichi Muknal...unbelievable!

The mouth of the cave, after about a 45 minute walk through a great part of jungle. Aaron explained a lot of the folage and things we came across.





We crossed three parts and of course I was the first to go down in the water. Not vey deep but slippery.
This skull is the first of several you will see. The cave has been very respected and it is amazing that it is still so intact and not 'set up' as a few tourist caves have been.
The 'Crystal Lady' gives you such an amazing look into a 2000 year past. The stories Aaron tells will make you dream or have nightmares all night, depending on your state of mind.

Her guard, outside the ladies area, the hole is from a small cave piece falling onto it.


One of my point n shoots



The calcification is tremendous, but hey after 2000 yrs what do you expect.

Hello again!

ATM cave was an unbelievable day! Aaron from Maya Walk Tours made it even better and it was by far the coolest thing Chuck and I have done yet! Richard got a chance to do it his first trip, now we gotta get Maggie there.



Sometimes I just pointed the camera and hoped for the best, and be danged if I did not get lucky once in a while.










These may not be in the best sequence, but will give you an idea of what we saw, felt and stood in awe of.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wow, three weeks

Jeepers its been 3 weeks since I posted. Life has been soooo very busy. Between Blancaneaux and the septic and the shed and shoeing at other places, WE ARE POOPED!!!

We are hoping to get our own satellite system here in the next two weeks. Then we don't have to burden Tom and Marge so much. Then i should be able to spend more time and play catch up.

Richard Shook was here for five days, (Beluadors trainer from NC) and she was amazing, even with three months off, she went back to training like a pro. Pics and videos soon, I hope.

Lots to tell ya but its too late...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Interesting...

The time is showing 8:17, when it is actually 9:17 here. Yet, we are two hours different from our NC time zone. Hmmm...

Ok, totally different subject...

So, learning to cook on gas is not the funnest thing I have ever accomplished, and learning on an almost toy stove (those of you w/campers will relate), but I am getting better every day. I have breakfast down to a science, eggs, meat and toast, fruit. (On weekends I do these combinations of an omellete breakfast fajita that is really yummy.) The toast, mind you is done on a griddle pan with a touch of olive oil. And let me tell ya, my French Toast, is wonderful.

Lunches, when we take the time to even do em, is standard sandwich and fruit and occasionally if I splurged, Pringles chip. Salt and Vinegar on the average.

Dinners are most often eaten with Tom and Marge. And I may never equal the culinary extravaganza Marge can whip up, but on the weeks that they have been able to go play (first time in 3.5 yrs), and I am doing our own cooking, it is turning out pretty scrumptious.

Fajitas, steaks, awesome spaghetti, chicken, etc. Pan fried potatoes with onion and peppers. Steamed green beans. We are so thrilled we brought the grill and even more thrilled we didn't pay duty on it. We expected to pay up to $500.00. Nope! nada. Thank you Dennis from Steven Kuhylen, best broker in Belize.

The hardest part is keeping things fresh and buying ahead. Having a toy frig as well, I cant do major shopping with out knowing what will fit. So far, so good. No real waste. But keep in mind going into town is like Grayling to Traverse city time wise and Geris road in the worst condition is better then what we drive. Or...Sherrills Ford to Huntersville, and really, you all have probably never been on a road like this in your life. Or...Williamston to Howell with taking the dirt part of Zimmer all the way in winter. You get the idea? So we try for no more then once, and occasionally twice a week.

Oh yeah and the fact that you go through a set of tires a year doing all of 3500 to 4500 miles and gas is $8.17- $8.30 a gal BZ. $4.08 to 4.15 U.S.

OK change of subject again. So after we fixed the water main break and had 1 tank to push up...we have not had water in 3 days from the city, no water till today, and that was rain. Yup...
Belize can be a bit of a challenge. So then when Nock, who has been so great with our dogs, really a good girl (she is known to be hell on wheels and a little snit w/others and does not play nicely unless you consider her hanging off a neck or lip fun) pee'd on the bed while we were on the laptops, and I had to do 4 loads of laundry to get ready for Tom and Marges arrival home tomorrow, we were THRILLED it rained enough to push at least a third of the 1000 gallon tank here on the main ground up to the cisterns on the mountain, which is where our water comes from. So...clean bed for the owners of Moonracer, (all though they were dryer dried not line dried, sorry Marge it was night) enough water to hose out kennel and we are good!

Ok, last load done, time for bed. We usually hit the hay around 9:30, 10:00 at the latest.

Try this again...TIMBER!

videojust like the last video in this group, of the huge Cohune nut tree, Chuck just stands there and watches it drop...right beside him. Little did he know that scorpions love to live in those trees. We had several big uns visit that week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Never mind...

They don't seem to be there now. Hmmmm.

Sorry for the double videos

The Doubles...I have no clue what happened and can not delete them in edit... Then when I tried to download the last tree going down, the one Reuben was climbing, it will not take it and comes up with an error! Oh well. Sorry.

Reuben coming down

video

Reuben Style

video

How about some pics other then the races, and a couple of videos TIMBER!

video
One of the views on our riding trail
Hows that for a midevil torture tool?

It belongs on this centipede. Sorry but he was dead when I remembered to take photos. And no I do not feel too bad about this bug dieing.


They dress up the bridge out of San Ignacio for holidays, it was very pretty to drive through.

Bella found this grasshopper on our steps, it was darn near as long as her beautiful nose.

Rained out of the races

Louis (Whoopis best buddy) and the Poo go for a stroll.


Bella chomping hopper!


White caterpillar head. Hard to believe they turn into such gorgeous butterflies!



This is a smaller one only about 2.75 inches Ive seen them upto 4".

As for the races...
We left late and by the time we got 2/3rds of the way to Burrel Boom, it was a wall of water. So...we turned around and went to Mr. Greedys Too for Buffalo Wings and a salad, oh and a few cocktails of course.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Don't forget to look at older posts.

If you do not go to the older posts, you will miss the Boa Constrictor videos and other fun pics.

Chuck and the mayor of El Progresso-Julio, pulled her out of her den so we could move her. Over 7 foot and 25 pounds and sounds like a flame thrower! Chuck was on the tail trying to hold her and she was like arm wrestling a WWF guy. Unbelieveable strength. Take a look! Sometimes better the second time through.

Another day in the jungle!

So...when you hear a tree fall in the jungle...GO LOOK AT THE WATER LINES!!! CRAP! A huge limb fell on a lower part of the pipe yesterday and yanked the whole thing about 8 inches and split the T in half. We had enough water in the Wicked to not need to turn the hose on and other then making dog food, we didnt need it at Moonracer, so we never noticed till I went to hose out the kennel. All 800 gallons went down the Temple into the marl stone. Oh woe is us, water is precious. Now keep in mind, Marge and Tom are on a little outing with friends to Cancun. But, have no fear, my man got it all fixed and we had water in the lower tank to pump and should have more tonight. Thank goodness it is almost the rainy season. They often have to really watch the water use here as they get it from the "city" but half the time the city doesnt have it if its dry. Moonracer went close to 3 weeks with no water last year, they had to go to another town and get it from the river.

Been super busy at Blancaneaux. For those of you who do not know, that is a resort, one of four, owned by Francis Ford Copolla, the director. They have a nice stable with the resort and asked me to take over and get things up to snuff. They also have a batch of yearlings, two and three year olds who need some serious handling. And of course trimming and shoeing 20 will keep me hopping as well. Plus, I have met several others that are interested in my services. Looks like I may have to put Shotzy Tails off for a bit longer, Im gonna have a busy year. How nice!

Chuck is doing great, but has overworked himself. He hung with the palapa builders like a Belizian and then again with the three that continued on to clear the area of dead vines and itchy stuff. It is going to be beautiful, ecspecially after the real grass comes back up. I made him slow down and now we have a 3 day weekend of doing only Moonracer chores and some down time.

We are getting a shed built and delivered, $28.00 BZ thats $14.00 U.S. a square foot, hardwood, double doors in front and two windows. I need a tack and farrier shed and then we will move it with us once Marge and Tom kick the Wickeds ugly bumpers outta the fairy land we live in. Oh yeah, we also have to have a 24' fence built because Charles decided to create his own way of revamping the design of the palapa and put the Wicked in sideways. Now granted we have a lot more living area, but the whole side is like a big 70's billboard on Route 66. So...he gets to put a fence up to the windows and hide the aluminum monster.

Bella is a friggin hoot in the jungle!!! She LOVES all the vines and downed palms and wrestles and runs and jumps and holy mackeral is she fast! But the lizards have not lost a life yet, they give her quite a workout though and I am sure one of these times she will be victorious.

Poozie is doing ok. We had a scare when the meds I couldnt get here, took a while to get here from the U.S. and she started going down hill. Marge and I researched what we needed and helped with diet and got her through, but even though she picked up after going back on the meds, she is failing, I know it, and I sit here with tears as I even think of it. I can not thank the good lord enough for my wonderful little girl who will be 16 in November. For those of you who have never met Whoop De Doo, you have missed out on knowing a truly precious soul. My biggest hope would be she makes it to next year and can be in our wedding. Doubtful, but I can pray for a small miracle.

I will have pics of the horse races in Burrel Boom to post and hopefully good news about our water situation later this week. This weekend is Belizes Independence Day on Monday. Tons of festivities all over the place. Every little town has a parade and is done up. Colors are red, white and blue, feels like home even more.

I must tell you, all though we have MUCH to learn about the ways of Belize, both Chuck and I have felt like we are home since we got here. As much as we miss our friends, NC and Mich, we are where we are meant to be.

Till next post...be safe, be happy and get your passports!

Friday, September 18, 2009

LORDY! It has been a busy month!

All of the pics have quick misspelled captioned and not much explanation. But honestly its so hard to try being on the system at the same time the Gallaghers are, we just don't get a whole lot done. They have been so fabulous about letting us share everything, even their bedroom at nights when they are exhausted and we are on the laptops, in the bedroom, or occasionally at the dining room table. So... we are looking into spending the bucks and getting our own system. WE SHALL SEE..

More photos and all though you may not really care, more text, coming soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Looking to be sure Momma is coming too!
Going down was easier.

Momma Dog says she can do it all by herself



Its a good view from up here.