Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Devil’s in the Details

We’ve continued to work for the past week on all the things that we didn’t want to worry about until we had the rooms in good shape. I think we’d convinced ourselves that all these things would just automatically be done – poof! – when we were ready, but we’re finding that they take a lot more time than we’d expect.

We’ve all continued to work on the sign. Tom and Selwyn JUST finished building the “Moonracer Farm” sign, and I’ve been working on painting Plexiglas to add the words that Tom doesn’t want to make out of wood. After “FARM” it will say “Lodging & Tours,” we have a bunch of promotional stuff to go with “ROOMS” – Private Baths, Hot Showers, etc. – and we have “& BAR For Guests Only” to clarify the “FOOD” deal.

Those will be hung tomorrow when the paint has one more day to dry since we painted on both sides of the Plexiglas to give the letters some depth so they match the wood letters.

We’ve also started our landscaping effort. When our neighbors dug up the slab for their house during their rebuilding effort, they pulled out a bunch of big rocks which had been used to take up room when the original slab had been poured. Tom went over and scarfed up the rocks, and we’ve outlined the gardens that we’re going to put around the cabins. Selwyn dug up the dirt while we were in Belmopan getting our passports stamped last week, and as soon as we get some rain we’ll start planting. Tom and I went to a baby shower last weekend, and our reward for playing (& winning!) some of the party games was a couple of plants from Jackie’s nursery, so they’ll be planted with some of the things we’ve already started in bags. And, we’ll probably be making a few trips to Jackie’s nursery to see what else will work around the cabins.

I spent a lot of time last week working on our web page. While we still have a few things to add, and a few things aren’t quite how I’d like them yet, it’s up and working and contains all the information we want to convey. The link is on the right side of this page, and if that doesn’t work, you can look at it at www.moonracerfarm.com. Poor Tom and Selwyn have had to tolerate Snarly Marge since putting the webpage together involves all on-line work, and it is frustratingly slow. I don’t know how I ever managed to sit at a desk and do computer stuff for the past umpteen years until we moved here, because it sure puts me in an ugly mood now when I’d much rather be outside enjoying beautiful Belize. I also put together a flyer to hang anywhere we’re allowed to hang it, which was much more satisfying because I could whip it out in a hurry.

One thing is happening more quickly than we expected. When we went to get our passports stamped last week, we checked with immigration to make sure everything was still on track for our Permanent Residency interviews. The immigration officer looked us up, and then asked if we’d like to come in two weeks earlier – so we’re now scheduled for April 30 instead of May 14. It’s only two weeks, but if that two weeks keeps us from spending another $200 for getting our passports stamped again, then it will be a good thing in the long run.

With Tom stuck in the shop and me stuck on the computer, we haven’t had many exciting wildlife sightings this week. Tom finally saw the Montezuma’s Oropendola we’ve been hearing. See this website for some good pictures and audio files of its very unique call: http://www.mangoverde.com/birdsound/spec/spec204-84.html. Selwyn also saw the blue crested mot mot we’ve been hearing from across the road. And, one day as Tom was walking in for lunch, I heard him call me to come look at the white birds. A whole flock of cattle egrets had decided to hang out with our horses. They spent a few days here, and then took off. We figure they decided it wasn’t relaxing enough to stay in a place where a flock of squawking flapping chickens being chased by a Jack Russell named Louie frequently blew through the pasture, even though the egrets’ slow ascension into the trees when that happened made the chickens look even more frantic and frazzled!

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