30 July 2020

2020-07-26 popping field corn alone cr

Guess what this is!  It is NOT popcorn … it our field corn, popped.  This was Kiki’s idea and he brought it over for me to see the result.


And this was the week for the anniversary.

2020-07-27 forty 41 cake R

My biggest baby is 40 years old.  Our marriage is 41.   Same day.

2020-07-27 bday picnic at pond 0 R

Monica heard the hint from Akka and set up the “party” as a picnic down by the pond…. water level is low, but there is some water there.

Looking to the left, you can see the deck of the cottage; looking to the right you can see the orchid house.

2020-07-27 bday picnic at pond hitchiker seeds R

Looking down … what is that on my foot???  It was the gummy-sticky-est seeds I’ve ever met.

The rest of the family showed up.

2020-07-27 roasted birthday chicken R

Two young roosters were guests of honor: one roasted, one curried.

Monica brought up her idea of a “petting zoo” again.

2020-07-27 bday picnic at pond family sheep Cr

Obligingly, the sheep showed up.  Larry was enjoying some heart of palm.  Some geese wandered by, too.

It was a very pleasant little celebration.


Happy week, everybody.


23 July 2020

It is a “mechanical” week.

But first one plant and one animal.

2020-07-22 hyacinths in pool  Cr.jpg

Water lily in the “cement pond.”

2020-07-22 blueback chick CrE

And a new color of chickie – Austin calls it a “blueback.”


Here is my current obsession:

2020-07-17 String 1 CrE

String from feed bags.  Austin suggested I try using it.

2020-07-17 String 2 Cr

That mess of string made a ball THIS big.

2020-07-23 string 3 RE

Then I started crocheting with it.

2020-07-23 string 4 Cr

And that ball became handiwork THIS long.   Akka somehow thinks I’m going to crochet a hammock.  That feels too ambitious – but I’ll make something.  I found it all so fun, I went digging in the feed room and found a bigger mess of string.

2020-07-20 string 5 Cr

And made THIS string ball.  Unknotting and tying and rolling took almost 6 hours.  Yeah, I’m a nut case.  But it is so FUN.   Now every day I look for the new feedbag strings and I’m working on a third ball as I crochet up the second ball.


One evening Austin told us the great news that he had planted cauliflower and broccoli that day.  He was really excited by it … and then the story continued.  Not long after his cauliflower and broccoli was in the ground – the geese went and they ate all of it!

2020-07-22 goose fence  Cr.jpg

Now there is a blockade at the top of cardiac hill.

And Austin jokes about having goose for dinner.


One of Sigatoka town’s charms for me was the old sugar train tracks.

2020-07-22 losing tracks 1 R

Even though the bridge broke years ago, tourists could still ride a train from Cuvu to town – and folk would sit up on the hill and have their lunches.

2020-07-22 losing tracks 2  R.jpg

The tracks and their hill are in the process of getting torn down.    The only way I’m willing to see this as progress is if there is some program to beautify and make better use of our riverfront.


Proofreaders Begone!

2020-07-22 EIXT sign Cr

Head for the nearest Eixt!


Happy week, Everybody.



16 July 2020

Two trips to the site for Akka and Monica’s house this week.   First, Monica took me over to climb the hill above their house one afternoon.  Winky, Bingo, Monica and me, crashing through underbrush to get there.

2020-07-10 hill above Akka's  Winky Bingo-spot  R.jpg

The view was terrific.

2020-07-10 hill above Akka's R

Here are close-ups – from left to right.

2020-07-10 hill above Akka's  Cr Pavilion and Hatchery-Ju's.jpg

The pavilion and the hatchery (Ju and Nicole’s house).

2020-07-10 hill above Akka's Cr - Cottage-Main House-Nursery-Wood house

The cottage, main house, nursery and wood house.

While we were sitting up there, I kept asking about the helicopter that was supposed to pick us up.  It never arrived.  But luckily our neighbor showed up to move his bullock and he told us where we could find a good path to get down the hill.


A few days later Austin spotted someone of interest on our porch.

2020-07-12 baby hawk after chix on porch  Cr.jpg

A young gos-hawk taking interest in our chicks.

2020-07-12 chix on porch Cr

Ever since Po had her $75 snack, we have kept wire over the chick boxes.  So the hawk was doomed to frustration even if I had not arrived.


I came up with the easiest pattern ever for a phone purse – and can knock one out in just an hour now – so I made a bunch this week.   (the blue one is the old pattern, the 3 on the right are the new pattern)

2020-07-15 crochet phone pockets  R.jpg


And the second trip to Monica’s place – she took me there to get me out of the house – but I did end up actually helping with the work a little.

2020-07-15 Akka's hill at work R

This is us unloading stuff.    If you can see the pond on the left – my job was getting water from there and watering the plants.

2020-07-15 Akka's hill at work Wild Rose  Cr.jpg

This is a wild “rose” growing beside the pond.


After working so hard, Monica came back and cooked kai (clams) for dinner.

2020-07-15 kai with stick out tongues RE

Here they are still alive with their tongues sticking out.

Usually I’m not all that fond of kai – but however she cooked them, they were DELICIOUS last night.  Wow.  Yum!


Finally – and it pains me to do this – I warned someone that if a certain holey item ended up in the laundry again instead of the rag basket, it was going on my blog.

2020-07-15 holey  Cr.jpg

There you have it.


Happy week, everybody 🙂





9 July 2020

Busy week.

Started with a party, making good use of the new deck in front of the cottage. Guests showed up half an hour after this.

2020-07-04 party on deck  Cr.jpg

Happy first birthday to “Junia Junior” (Baby Keanu).



We got water hyacinths from our friend George in Nausori.  Hyacinths will be the low tech filtering system our pool when we get the channels created.

2020-07-01 Water hyacinth Cr

For now the hyacinths are just in the pool itself.


Yesterday, today and tomorrow – one of Fiji’s “winter flowers”

2020-07-09 yesterday today tomorrow dripping flowers  Cr.jpg

Full of blossoms, petals blanketing the ground.



A sack of toads …. whee.

2020-07-03 bag of toads R

This came from cleaning out the fish pond.  Why?


The number one comment on last week’s blog (on Facebook) was that the maggots did not look gross.  I had cropped the photo super tight.  So HERE.  THIS is what I found so gross.

2020-07-01 maggots in a nutshell  Cr bigger view.jpg

You’re welcome.   (gag)



Akka finally got his citizenship.  Yay.  To celebrate we dug the foundation on the site of what will be his and Monica’s house – across the field by 3 unused fish ponds.

2020-07-09 Akka terrace R

Excavation turned up a lot of wild turmeric.

2020-07-06 Akka terrace haldi  CrE.jpg


We also dug the foundation for Junia and Nicole’s house at the end of his piece of land.  Photos coming by and by.


Happy week, everybody.


2 July 2020

This is a gross-out week – but I’ll start off tame 🙂

2020-06-26 farmer Akka Monica Keith  Cr.jpg

Family at work.

2020-07-01 cucumber harvest R

Already a harvest (Granddaddy’s cucumbers).


And I’m not saying any more about Po’s puppies, because I don’t want to get attached – we will not be keeping any of them.  But I will introduce the Baby Daddy, I mean PUPPY Daddy.

2020-07-02 Bingo  Cr.jpg

He is “Bingo” – was our neighbor’s dog, but he decided he likes it here better and he won’t go home.  He’s kind of a sweetie.


We have a new toy tool: a long handled axe.  Keeping Kiki away from it is a challenge.

2020-07-01 Axe for coconuts Cr

Akka’s using it to open coconuts for the chickens – says it is a real improvement.


Okay – we are going to gently start our slide into the less palatable.  More on MOTHS.  Austin was dissatisfied with my photo of our nightime moth invasion last week so I gave him my camera.

This was a pretty little moth.

2020-06-27 moths by Austin 2 Cr

Here was a committee meeting of diverse moths.

2020-06-27 moths by Austin 3 Cr

And here is a close up of what much of it looked like to me.

2020-06-27 moths by Austin 1 Cr


As luck would have it, we had flying clusters of moths in the daytime a few days later.  The moth clouds did not photograph well, but here they are settled on a branch.

2020-07-01 moths by Austin 4 daytime  Cr.jpg


And now to yuckiest photo of the week – I apologize – just giving you a tiny cropped bit of it.

2020-07-01 maggots in a nutshell Cr

Maggots in a coconut.  Turns out this is pretty common.  EWW.   These were strange because they were blue and green.  Anyway, the odd color maggots led to a big discussion of how the flies could get eggs into there … but what wasn’t said, but what I’m thinking is “chicken food with a bonus.”   (I’m so glad I’m not a chicken!)


The rest would be FINE – if I could just resist doing a Fiji language lesson.

Kiki had a job pulling a certain kind of weed.

2020-07-01 deni vuaka 1  R.jpg

Turns out this weed is called deni vuaka  (DEH-nee  VWA-ka).  Vuaka  means “pig”.  ok.   Deni means “poopoo of”.  ok.  So deni vuaka  means “pig poo”  Odd name for a plant, and I asked how it got that name.  The answer I got had absolutely NOTHING to do with its name.

“Deni vuaka was my TOOTHBRUSH,” Monica gushed.  “When I was a child, we all had to go and pull out a deni vuaka and scrub our teeth with the stem.”

2020-07-01 deni vuaka 2 CrInset

“When we used the deni vuaka with charcoal, our teeth were super white.”

While brushing teeth with plants and charcoal has a wonderful back-to-nature appeal, saying this all with the English name of the plant is just plain yucky.

(I was thinking “roots” and Monica corrected it to “stems” – hence the photo that does not exactly fit the text.  oops)


One morning Akka and I were headed out the driveway with Bingo running in front of us.  Akka turned to me and said,

“Dad is That Farmer now.”

“What farmer?”

“There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name.”


Happy week, Everybody.