15 February 2018

Saw this mushroom – maybe a “puffball” – on Valley Road near the farm.  Now that I noticed one mushroom, suddenly I notice them all over.  Probably because of all the rain.

Then I ended up having to come to Suva….

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The familiar fish market beside the canal.

2018-02-13 barricuda and vendor R

A big ocean fish and a vendor who wanted to be in the photo.  I thought I didn’t know the fish, but when the vendor said, “It’s a barricuda,”  I replied, “Oh – it’s Ogo !!”  This is a fish we eat a lot at the farm, but we buy it already cut and frozen in Sigatoka.

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Our next-door neighbors in Suva gave us Tarsi – the mother/grandmother dog at the farm – many years ago.  Now that I’m back here I see their dogs and I feel as if I’m back at the farm.

2018-02-13 Tarsi's sister Blackie Cr

This is Tarsi’s sister, “Blackie.”

2018-02-13 Winky's son Boxer 1 Cr

And this is Winky’s son, “Boxer.”   Boxer is an angry sort, but I can’t be scared of him because he looks so much like his mom.

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Ruins in the city

2018-02-13 ruins on Brown Street Cr

Looks like a tiled bath.

2018-02-13 ruins on Brown Street R-trim

The wider view – all that is left of the house.   With Suva growing so quickly, it it surprising to find this lot still undeveloped  (except for the taro patch in the corner).  I wish I had the insight of my fellow blogger Rabrius, who comes up with really witty titles for his photos.   Oh well.

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A hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Suva.  Yang’s Restaurant, around the corner from Caines Jannif Photography, for those who know Suva.

2018-02-14 Hole in the Wall restaurant in Suva R

Akka and I had lunch there yesterday.  He has known this place for 15 years or more, since Uncle Jerry discovered it and showed it to him.  They have great red pork, if you like pork.   Akka got pork, I got beef – the “serviette” was a roll under a plastic cover – perhaps you can see it.  Amusing.  And delicious food for less than US$5 each.

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Two girls and their drinking coconuts.

2018-02-13 girls and their drinking coconuts Cr

That’s Ita, Monica’s cousin, and me in our kitchen in Suva.

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(I’m not making any progress right now, so I’m giving you words I’ve known for years, but they are useful.)

Drinking coconut is BU.  It’s called this in many islands of the Pacific.

Fish is IKA.  This is also a pan-Pacific word.   If you know these two words, you can survive.

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Happy week, everybody.

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8 February 2018

Cue Wedding March – DUM DUM daDUM….

2018-02-01 wedding dress mushroom R

Monica saw this “wedding dress mushroom” growing in our compound in Suva and showed it to me.  I’d never seen a lacy mushroom before.

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I’ve shown this before, but it is getting so thick now:

2018-02-07 Spanish moss Cr

Spanish moss.  Austin found it and loves it and has it in Suva and on two of our trees here.    It can’t reproduce – it won’t flower here – which is a blessing, otherwise people could think they suddenly landed in Louisiana.  (Does anybody besides me think of Beards when they see it?)

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Update on those beautiful avocados …. they didn’t ripen evenly!  Dang!  Fully ripe at the seed and not even starting to get soft at the neck.   There must be some way to get it to ripen all together at once, but I don’t know how yet.

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Speaking of food:

2018-02-07 guava jam R

We made that guava jam.  Yummmmmm…..

And I might have mentioned that we had many wheelbarrows of guavas yet to pick.

2018-02-07 guava wheelbarrow R

Yep.   ( and Junia had already processed a big pot full out of here before I got this photo.)

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Needed some fauna this week – and alas, could not get a photo of the beautiful, tiny, green lace-wing insect I saw.   So instead I snapped these ….

2018-02-07 chickens think Im Austin Cr

chickens who rush to me and hope I’m coming with food.  Too bad.

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Oh, I don’t know if I mentioned that the drought broke and the pool is full – actually CLEAN and full – whoopee!   Before the rains came, Austin bought the materials for the kiddy pool, waterslide and living water cleaning system he wants to put in,… and stored the cement outside under a tarp so it wouldn’t trigger my asthma.  Much of the cement may be hard as a rock now.   So anyhow, this scene is a testament to love.

2018-02-07 cement under wraps R

Cement under wraps.

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There is a surf shop “Waitui” (salt water) which I thought meant “ocean.”   Nope!  Waitui  just means “salt water.”    Ocean/sea is wasawasa.

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The giraffes of the flower world.

2018-02-07 sunflowers Cr

We have Sunflowers.    I forget how tall they are til they grow way over my head … again!

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Happy week, everybody.

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1 February 2018

Another brief one.

Guavas Galore

2018-01-30 guavas galore  R.jpg

Actually Junia came up from the field with a whole wheelbarrow full of guavas.  Austin threw the inferior ones out to the chickens, who are now disinterested in them, though Ryu the horse never tires of them.   These are ones I cleaned to freeze for future jam.   I’ve got 3 big boxes of them to take to Monica in Suva who will make more jam.  And – according to Ju – there is at least another wheelbarrow’s worth yet to come.  Lordy!

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On the fauna front –

2018-01-30 Dragon fly  Cr.jpg

Grandpappy Dragonfly – who is just not all that photogenic.  But he sure is huge!

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The GONG SHOW that is my Fijian language learning.   **  WARNING **   Do not believe ANYTHING I tell you about the Fijian Language!

So “Siga Vinaka Nikua” (from last week) does not mean “Have a nice day” after all  … it means something more like “It looks like a good day to me.”

“Have a nice day.” is more like “Vakanuinui vinaka ena siga nikua.”  (Vakanuinui vinaka is sort of a general purpose “Best wishes” and siga “day” and nikua “today”  are supposed to make this work.)

Let me tell you a phrase I feel confident about:  ulukau (oo-loo-cow).   It means stupid.   Ulu is head, and kau is wood.  So…. BLOCKHEAD.   I bet I have that one right.

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Happy week, y’all.

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25 January 2018

(I just barely live up to my blog name this week.)

2018-01-24 avocado 1 R

I’ve got Flora – and there’s hardly any flora that could make me happier.   Just look at the size of our avocados !    If the size is not impressive in my hand, behold them next to an average size egg.

2018-01-24 avocado 2 R

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And – I’ve got Fauna.   (Well, actually Junia got the fauna and sent me the pix.)

2018-01-23 wasp potter 2 Cr

This mud dauber wasp,

2018-01-23 wasp potter 1 Cr

and her perfect little pot.

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Siga (pronounced  SING-uh)  – means “day”

Vinaka – (vee-NAH-kah)  means “good”

Nikua –  (nee-KOO-ah)  means “today”

Put them together “Siga vinaka nikua.” and you’ve got “Have a nice day.”  🙂

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May you also have a happy week.

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18 January 2018

2018-01-12 daily gift Cr

Give us this day our daily egg  – beside my washer?

2018-01-07 curly bread Cr

Or festive bread – that’s how we roll in Fiji!

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After that dinky pineapple, we harvested a papaya that makes up for it:

2018-01-07 Sigatoka LONG papaya Cr

Sigatoka Long.

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Wild turmeric growing on the path to the pavilion.

2018-01-07 wild turmeric on the path R

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Some cute little female coming to check out Sandy Dune –

2018-01-15 feline visitor Cr

she was coming daily there for awhile, but now we don’t see her.

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Isa lei!  Our very helpful visitors are leaving.

2018-01-17 Nakh and Quentin R

Nakhjavani (with cat) and Quentin (with tea): they were here from Vanuatu – with Quentin’s farmer grandpa from Alberta – for three weeks to learn about permaculture and chickens.  Man, were they ever helpful!   Boy, do I hate to see them leave!

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So Austin took the boys and Grandpa to the beach this week.  Turns out Nakh is as good at spotting artifacts as Austin is.   They came home with this collection of stone tools –

2018-01-15 Sand dune finds 1 Cr

(there is a teeny cat mandible there also – which got pulverized afterward by a child playing with one of the stone tools …. if you can imagine that.)

2018-01-15 Sand dune finds 2 R

They  also found this larger rock that Austin is sure was used for something.  For now we are calling this the “pillow rock.”

Austin will be taking all these treasures to the museum with a few other things he’s found.  This is not the first time.  Before we got married, Austin found a lot of American Indian artifacts near his grandmother’s house in NC – he even reconstructed a huge pot – and the Wilmington Museum had to put in a new wing to house all the things!

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Fiji language word of the week (shall I make this a blog feature?) :

VATU – it means “rock” – and can be any size from a boulder down to a small stone.  The only other word for rock is qereqere – which means gravel.

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Wishing a happy and peaceful week for all of you.

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11 January 2018

2018-01-06 drone mapping 3 R

What do you call the prize winning farmer?  A man who is out standing in his field.  (haha).  Here is Junia out standing in the patch he is developing into a permaculture site.  And this week he got some help.

2018-01-06 drone mapping 1 R

These lovely ladies from Project Everest (who stayed here before but now have rented houses on the coast) came visiting with a  ……

2018-01-06 drone mapping 2 R

Drone Camera !

And off it went.  They were mapping altitudes and contours, and also identifying wild turmeric to see if that was possible (yes, it was) before taking the drone to another site.   They came back a few days later with the results.  Junia is happy happy.

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Walking back from the far land, I noticed this:

2018-01-06 toads in the creek Cr

Toads in the creek.   It was so hot I felt like joining them.

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The ducks have been around the chickens too much.

2018-01-09 ducks in tree Cr

Since when are there ducks in trees?

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Geese live about 30 years and they mate for life – so Austin tells me.

2018-01-10 goose couples Cr

Yesterday I noticed the goose couples – males white, females gray.  A 28 year marriage out of a 30 year lifespan makes a human marriage of 50 years seem like not such a stretch.   Thank you, Geese, for a good role model!

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Dr. Smarty Pants getting more publicity.   Yesterday a Fiji TV crew came to interview him about the Happy Chicken project and the permaculture work for a segment on Talk Business.   They were really sweet and seemed to enjoy themselves a lot.

2018-01-10 Fiji TV crew Cr

The segment is supposed to air on Tuesday.  I will look for a you-tube link – and will post it next week if I find it.

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When it doesn’t work, you can at least make FIRE out it!

2018-01-09 styrrofoam and gasolene Cr

Back in Micronesia days we learned that by melting styrofoam in gasoline you can make a goo that is an excellent patch for fiberglass.  So we’ve been doing that and storing it in old paint cans.  Last week “Someone” (hint:  photo at top) mixed the styrofoam with Premix (gas + oil) – which makes an oily goo that takes forever to set.   His experiment was in a peanut can.   When the power went out, it turned out to be kind of useful after all.

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Happy week, everybody!

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4 January 2018


(My Fijian teacher taught me the wrong thing last week – this is the right way to say Happy New Year as a greeting.)

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All flora, no fauna this week.  The blog-year is off to a pitiful start.

2017-12-30 casuraina female flowers 1 Cr

This is the flower of the island pine we have (in the casuarina family).

2017-12-30 casuraina female flowers 2 Cr

This is the mature flower off the tree.  It is supposed to have little seeds in every hole.  Poor old girl tree.  No seeds.

So this week Austin got All Excited because he found out that one of his other pine trees is a male!

2017-12-30 casuraina male flowers 1 R

Here’s a close up of the male flower.

2017-12-30 casuraina male flowers 2 Cr

(Interesting, but not as interesting as pulling sensitive grass, which is what I was doing as this discovery was being made.  Still going at it, too.)

The other excitement is that our own pomegranates are fruiting.

2018-01-01 pomegranite 1 Cr


2018-01-01 pomegranite and Kiki R

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In other news we got another grandchild – Noah Kazuki  (Peaceful, Bringer of Light) – doing well with mum, dad and big brother in Japan.  We are eager to hold him!

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May your 2018 be magnificent!

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