Last week, it seemed like Dean upset the whole psychic balance around here, and we never did get into our weekday routine. Selwyn didn’t come to work on Tuesday, and Tom started doing some work on the shop on his own, when a couple of friends from San Ignacio pulled in the driveway. They were out “making sure everybody was okay after the hurricane,” which translated to just out visiting since it was an unplanned day off and the hurricane didn’t affect anybody around here. Both of our friends are archeologists, and Tom and I were a little surprised as we hiked up the hill behind the cabin to show them our water system, when they started asking lots of questions about the land and took off into the bush to walk around the hill where the water tank rests. We’ve noticed that the hill is terraced, figured that it was Mayan terracing, and assumed that it was agricultural. However, our friends both think that it’s some sort of structure, not just terraces in the hill. Whatever it is, it makes absolutely no difference to what we’re doing, but it generated a couple of hours of show and tell and interesting discussion about what it might be. Tom didn’t get any more work done on the shop that day, but it was an interesting post-hurricane holiday.
Wednesday was a fairly normal workday. Tom and Selwyn got all but two of the windows installed on the shop, and we finally hung up our Moonracer Farm sign. Our friends Tad and Anneke made the sign for us as a Christmas present in 2000, and while we were in Canadice it was sometimes on our tack shed and sometimes in it, depending on whether we’d had harsh weather and remembered to hang it up again. When we moved here, of course it came with us, and it’s been stored in the second cabin since we unloaded the truck and trailer. It just so happened that the timing of the hurricane, which caused us to take everything out of the second cabin and put it in the camper, made it so we found the sign just as the shop was getting done. So, we finally hung it up where it’s visible from the road as you pull up the driveway, and we plan to keep it hung here for quite a while. It will look even better when the shop is painted, but we need to wait for all the lumber to dry before we do that.
It was a good thing Tom and Selwyn got a lot done on Wednesday, because on Thursday Tom and I went to Belmopan to get our passports stamped and then went on to Spanish Lookout to do some shopping. We’re now legal in Belize until October 20. Then, on Friday, Selwyn had to take the day off because he was supposed to go to Belmopan with the San Antonio village chairman to get his paperwork which was stolen in Guatemala replaced. Unfortunately the chairman had an emergency meeting and Selwyn didn’t get what he needed, but in any case that left Tom and me home alone for the day, and I had to be Selwyn’s substitute.
I’m pretty sure Tom would much rather work with Selwyn, who knows what to do on these projects without being told, but despite a few false starts and miscommunications Tom and I managed to get the last two windows made and hung, get all the hardware put on all the windows, and get the gutters installed so we can move the big tank next to the shop and start collecting rainwater from that roof. That means we have to empty the big tank and move it from where it is now, but it also means that Tom can knock a hole through the cinderblocks and we can lock the pump in the shop rather than just leaving it out in the open.
Since we were on a roll with the gutters, we spent Saturday getting the gutters put on the tack shed. We’ve been meaning to do this for a while so that we could put the horse trough under the downspouts and collect rainwater for the horses rather than either using the water from our tanks or waiting until the water is flowing from the pipe. Of course it now hasn’t rained since Saturday morning so we’re still waiting to see if the system works, but we think it should. We’re also waiting to see if we have any wise-ass horses who will think it’s fun to pull the gutters and their supports off of the wall. We know that we had a few in Canadice who wouldn’t have let this mess stay on the wall for more than about 10 minutes, but our horses here are a little more laid back, so we’re hoping this will work.
We took a ride up the feeder road between the lots on Glinda and Tony on Saturday, and noticed that the property lines are getting overgrown. So, on Sunday, we went out to clear one of the property lines on our back lot. We were making good progress, but apparently I was getting tired because I chopped my leg. Not a big chop, more of just a good whack with the un-sharp part of the blade near the handle, but I managed to hit right on the top of my very sharp shin bone and split the skin even though my pants weren’t damaged. I thought about ignoring it and continuing to chop, but it was bleeding heavily enough that the blood was oozing through my pants and into my sock, so I called to Tom that I had to stop because I cut my leg. He came running back to me, saw the blood, whipped off his icky sweaty shirt and wrapped it around my leg. He wanted to know if he needed to carry me out to the feeder road and get the truck, but I assured him that I was fine to hike out and all the way home on my own. I was lucky, because the split skin is a very small cut, just in a place where it bleeds a lot, and now all I have is a nice goose egg and bruise on my shin. But, it was a lesson to me to listen to my body a little better in the future and take a break when I start to get tired. Years ago, I did a similar thing to my other shin with a pickax so now my legs match, although the pickax scar is still there since that was a much worse gash.
After rinsing out our bloody clothes and cleaning up, we ate lunch and decided to take the afternoon off and drive up to Rio On Pools. We heard thunder and saw black clouds in the distance, but fortunately we never saw any rain and the clouds only covered the sun a few times while we were there. A vanload of Belizean men were there when we got there, but they left shortly after we arrived, and the only other people there were two tourists and their guide on their way back from Caracol. It turned out that Tom had ridden with the guide when he and Stephanie and Matt went to ATM with Gonzo, so it was funny that we picked an afternoon to go when we knew the only other people at the pools.
Today, Tom and Selwyn are starting work on the second cabin. It doesn’t look like they’re doing much in this picture, but they’re measuring carefully so that they can get the supports in the proper places so they use as little wood as possible. We’ll probably have to make a few more Spanish Lookout runs over the next few weeks, and poor Tinkerbell will have a few more heavy loads of lumber to lug up the Georgeville Road, but we’re hoping things progress much more quickly on this cabin than they did on the one we’re where we’re living.