Tuesday, March 27, 2007


A double rainbow over the pasture. It was raining at our place and to the west, and sunny to the east.

Marge clearing fence line with her machete

Tom and Selwyn in the bathroom

Tom and Selwyn on the deck

The auxiliary fuel tank is breaking the rail on the bed of the truck, so Tom had made arrangements last week to leave the truck with Eli on Tuesday to weld some angle iron around the rail for reinforcement. Tom has been trying to exercise in the morning because he’s too tired in the afternoon after working all day, plus it’s warm, so he used the truck dropoff as an opportunity to drive into San Antonio and run home for breakfast. This left us without a vehicle for the day – other than Esmerelda or the bike, of course – so it was a good chance to start to work through the pile of lumber that had been delivered on Monday. And he and Selwyn worked. They finished framing the deck and got all of the deck flooring tacked down, and they put up all the 2x6 stringers for the bathroom and some for the kitchen, which will be a kitchen only until we move into a house, and than that will become a bathroom too.

It was a pleasant dry day, so I decided to focus my horse energy on clearing the fence line rather than riding. The property has three pastures, and only one is completely fenced as far as we know, since before we bought Esmerelda she was escaping if she was in either of the others. The one that is completely fenced is the smallest, and even on her own she’s managed to eat most of what she considers edible, and because it’s been so dry, nothing new is growing. We’re actively looking for a companion for her, partly for her and partly so Tom and I can ride together, but we’d like to get at least one of the other pastures cleared and fenced so there’s enough grazing for two horses. So, I took my machete and started chopping the fence line. Most of the fence line is made of two strands of heavy wire, like we use for electric fence in NY, with a strand of barbed wire in between. I’m not a big fan of keeping horses in barbed wire, but I’m afraid that’s about the only option until we get an electrical system capable of supporting a charger. We’ve looked for a solar charger here, but haven’t found one, and most people just look at us like we’re nuts when we ask and lead us to the barbed wire section of the store. The local option if you don’t want to use barbed wire is to tie a rope around the horse’s neck and tether it in a grassy patch, but I think that’s even less desirable than barbed wire.

My Spanish lesson for the day involved learning to recognize when a word that sounds like an English word is a) a Spanish word that means something other than the English definition, e.g., “alto” which means either “stop” or “tall” in Spanish, and has nothing to do with a singing voice; b) a Spanish word that means the same thing as a similar English word, e.g., “computelora,” which means “computer;” or c) an English word. Honduran Marta had a solar panel installed over the weekend, and she couldn’t tell if it was charging her battery. So, she came over here and asked “tiene tester?” I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what “tester” meant, so I called Tom and Selwyn to help translate, and discovered that “tester” meant “tester.” Doh. It’s a good thing I can laugh at myself or I’d spend all day sitting in the camper and crying over my slow progress in learning another language.

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