20 March 2014

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A WALK TO THE RIVER
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Junia took some guests for a walk from our house to the river – about a 15 minute walk, he said.  I went along, and it was my first time ever.   Truth be told, I really went so I’d have some photos this blog.  It turned out to be really interesting, a big pain in the butt, and a whole lot of fun.    
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We found some untended okra.  I’m ashamed to admit that I had never looked closely at how this very common vegetable, grown by ALL my neighbors, grows.  Here you see an okra flower, and just behind it to the right a full size okra fruit, standing tall.
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This is wild bitter melon that I pointed out to the guests.   This vegetable is cultivated and grows to 4 times the size of this one.  When ripe the fruit is a deep yellow and has bright red seeds.  Bitter melon is harvested green and sold in the market.  Here is a stock photo that is clear.
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 It is VERY bitter, but is delicious when cooked with the right spices – and it is prized because it is very good for diabetes.
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And here is an edible something I didn’t know about at all.   Something like a tomatillo.   You wait until the wrapping is getting yellow…
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 and then the little fruit should be getting yellow too.   Some day we’ll try it.
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But good God almighty!  There was a stretch where we had to walk through mud.  You could kind of tiptoe on the sides straddling it most of the time, but the mud itself was shin deep.  ICKY!   I was a lousy companion for this stretch.  
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On the way back, Junia took us through a newly plowed field – and found a big tire track for us to walk in.  That was much better, but I broke a flipflop anyway.  
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The river itself was terrific.    Huge stand of bamboo guarding it.   We had a big piece of felled bamboo to play with.  Nice currents.     I saw where our creek empties into Sigatoka River – but had to leave my camera on shore.
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LOW  TECH
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A guest wanted to try her hand at grating a coconut the way we did before we bought the electric grater.  We bought this metal scraper in Guam 33 years ago and have carried it everywhere, just nailing it to a new board wherever we are.  It still works as good as new (or as good as the technique of the human using it).
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Our guest got the hang of scraping really fast and was on the second half of the coconut when I snapped this.  The challenge was not the grater, but that Kiki wanted to get into the yummy chewy scrapings.  Also Betty Cat wanted a share.
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BAAAAAAAAD  DOG
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Tarsi got onto our porch and walked through the open door into our sitting room, and ate two little ducklings one morning.  Now I have to keep the door closed unless I am in there.  Dangabbit!!  Of course I did not catch Tarsi in the act.  This is a shot of the poultry newborn nursery in our sitting room, right under the loft where we sleep.   And to think I used to dream of being a farmer’s wife when I grew up…….
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IF YOU PRAY FOR ANIMALS …
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Finally, this is our young dog Inu, who is pregnant for the first time.  Her belly has really “blown up” in the last week!  We’ve never seen such a thing.   This morning I wrote to the only vet I know and have an email address for.   We hope this isn’t uncommon, and that Inu just has a lot of puppies, and that we’ll be able to share good news and darling photos next week.
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Even with a few worries, we have cool breezes, plenty of sunshine and running water.  Life is good.
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HAPPY NAW RUZ !
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11 thoughts on “20 March 2014

  1. Too sad about the ducklings and the mud. But what an adventure going to the river! You can take alllll the okra to Fiji if you’d like. Loved it. Thank you! Praying for healthy pups all the way around.

    • Thanks! My vet friend wrote back saying that it is likely a normal pregnancy and it just looks huge because the dog is smaller – I hope so. She gave me bad signs to look for, and there aren’t any. Meanwhile, Austin found out there is a vet (or somebody good enough to be hired in a vet-type job) at Agriculture in Sigatoka – so if Inu hasn’t had any pups by morning, we’ll take her there and hope the fellow is in.

    • This was “a WALK TO the river.” The bank that we went down had bamboo all in front of it, and then a huge drop and I was afraid to take my camera down. To get back up, I crawled up a piece of green bamboo that that Junia wedged in. Had no idea such a local elevator was possible. Someday, when I get a waterproof camera, I’ll take shots in the river, and that will be another blog post.

    • Hey Cathy – glad you found me! All best wishes to Richard and fiancee. (I thought it was weird when all the kids got married…. it is even weirder when the grandkids grow 4 inches overnight.)

  2. The wrapper-fruit looks like something I call a physalis.
    I’ve just read your next post, and seen that Inu didn’t survive her pregnancy. I’m so sorry.

    • That “tomatillo thing” might be a “physalis” . Now that I know it is in my universe, I’ll ask around, get the Fijian and Indian names for it, and try to get it i.d.’d. Thanks for the condolences over Inu. Sadness plus guilt is a rotten combination – to be avoided if at all possible. We should have driven her to Suva when we first thought there could be a problem.,

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