5 January 2017

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CORN  CORN  CORN

It is a corn week.   It started with Junia asking me, “Mom, how much corn have you eaten in your life?”    Oh, about 800 ears, I answered.   He was surprised,  thinking my answer would be thousands, but he soldiered on.   “How many rows are on each ear?” he asked.   Oh, about eighteen, I guessed.

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“WRONG!”  he said.   “There are  12 rows.”   He showed me by his eating pattern, which I reproduced above.   I did not believe him – it turns out that the most common cob size for us is 14 rows – Junia is wrong, too – ha ha.

I asked Austin the same question.  He guessed 20 rows – and was as shocked as I was at mere 12 or 14 rows for corn.

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Meanwhile our porch was covered, really covered with corn needing shucking.   I’d spent hours at it by the time Akka and our dear Teitei guest came to help.    Please notice the mountain of empty shucks on the far right.  I did ALL those.

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So Akka started the contest approach.  Who finds the smallest intact cob?

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The longest cob?

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The weirdest cob?

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Austin shows up, and then we find the FATTEST cob.   Twenty-two rows!

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Finally shucking is all done, and the corn cobs go out in the sun.

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Shelling starts and the kernels also go out in the sun.

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Akka helps shell and finds this cute pattern in one corn cob.

I’ve been shelling for hours every day and still have more than a feed sack waiting to be shelled.    Even with my best tricks, it is still a slow process.  Lucky I love the corn colors and patterns and types so much, and find the process of shelling addictive.

*     *     *

Less than 2 weeks left for the trainees from Vanuatu.   Austin thought – it’s time to teach them how to do coconut oil by fermentation method.

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Here they are squeezing out the coconut.   Since this photo, they have made the oil and are about to work on other coconut oil  based products.  NOTE:  this is the first time we have made oil from coconuts grown on our own farm.

*     *     *

Every time I go to town there are goats all around the road in one 500 meter stretch.

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It’s put me to wondering why these goats don’t get stolen.  Seriously!  A goat is way more valuable than a chicken, and Valley Road is far more traveled and anonymous than our little feeder road.    Anyway, I’m taking these goats as a good omen for honesty.  May they thrive in peace.

*     *     *

Yesterday was bizarre.  Standing in line at the bank, the man next to me asked me, “Did you hear about the tsunami warning?”  No, I said.   “Well there was an earthquake in Nadi an hour ago.”   I replied, if that quake caused a tsunami – we would be dead already.   But still people were talking.    M-H Supermarket had closed shop already.   My friend Venaisi saw me and asked.   I’m sure it’s not serious, I told her, because Austin hasn’t called me yet.   He called a few minutes later.  Cars were lined up getting out of town.

What had happened was not “an earthquake” in Nadi – but a whole series of them.  There were fifteen or so of them by the time we went to bed.   Action like that can end up shaking something loose.

*     *     *

Isa, isa.   My friend Patti got called home to her Creator this week.

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She made two trips here and was planning more.  She is the one who started the Maria School in the village that I wrote about   here

But,  man oh man – what a lovely death she got.   She had a very happy day, told her housemate that she missed her mother, went to sleep … and took her leave.

*     *     *

May 2017 be gentle, kind, instructive and unifying to us all.

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