28 January 2021

Three photos. Four little stories.


Monica’s purple plant

Monica and I were walking in Lautoka a few days ago (while I was trying to get myself a good sewing machine. That was a bust). Monica stopped when she saw this purple plant sticking through a chain link fence. She broke off four branches of it. “Gee, what father-in-law of yours do you remind me of?” I teased. She laughed. This morning I notice the leaves in the fish tank. I have zero photos for my blog so I decide to photograph her plant.. “Why did you pick this anyway?” Monica said, “Dad loves it, and he says the chickens and the geese love to eat it … So I got it and will plant it in hanging baskets.” (wow) “And I like the little flower.” (Oh yeah, it does have a flower – so I get that in the photo).


Dad’s croton

Sitting in the fishless fish tank beside Monica’s plant. Pretty leaves – why is it there? So I call Austin who has gone to Suva for the day. “Why are the croton leaves in the fish tank?” “Because the vase blew over,.” he said. “Do you have a plan for them?” “Yeah, I plan to pllant them when they get roots.” ok. Then I ask, “Where did you get them?” “from the bush under the clothes line.” HA HA HA – that’s how cued in I am to surroundings.

(FAUNA – I have a fauna story, but I want a fauna photo … what animal can I take a photo of? Monica is sweeping and she announces an observation Twice. The second time I realize: this is God’s Gift to the blog!)


baby black gecko

This is from 20 minutes ago. Monica sweeps the floor beside the dining table and announces, “a Baby Black Gecko!” Black geckos are rare, finding any gecko this small is unusual. Cutie!


Just a story.

We have mostly conquered the toads in our kitchen/lounge but last night a small interloper arrived. Austin jumped up and picked it up with his Fred Flintstone toes. He walked across the room using the heel of that foot and proceeded to try tossing the toad outside – over the bench with his foot. It thunked and bounced off a post or something – and hopped right back to Austin. Ha ha. He picked it up with the same foot and tried tossing again. There was another thunk, but the toad was outside. GOAL!


Happy week, everybody.


21 January 2021

Well, the new curtains are up.

And the 10 participants for our first ever Rural Homestay Tourism course have arrived.

Here they are with Monica, having class under my laundry because it started raining. I’ll take a better group photo before they leave – just wanted you to have a peek at things in progress this week.

Meanwhile in the kitchen:

Ashmita and Vina – kitchen ladies. (Warms your heart, doesn’t it ?!)


And NOT in the kitchen

The cats have been relocated to the room where we keep the chickies for sale. Therefore

We started putting chicken wire over the boxes when we had some larger birds that wanted to fly out. Then it seemed a good idea for protecting chicks from potential rats at night. Suddenly, it became imperative for 24 hour use as a domestic predator deterrent. Even so, Casper was found on top of the wire of one of the boxes, trying to push it down. and find a way in. Smarty pants.

Anyhow, we have to relocate Casper back to the kitchen because last night Austin saw evidence of the truth of the old saying, “When the cat’s away, the mice …..”

We have essential oil spray bottles ready and hope to teach this “teenage” cat a new trick of NOT jumping on the counters or table. Wish us luck.


And to round off the week (and our waistlines) – Austin made hominy to show off at the workshop. For lunch today he put it into Vina’s spicy fish and coconut cream soup.

It is yummy delicious. Yum yum yum.


Happy week, everybody.


14 January 2021

FLORA – because it’s a weekly promise. Cheerful hibiscus in the sun.

Also coconuts…

…for the upcoming workshop. Kiki wanted me to get a photo. He was so proud.. He helped Junia with all the husking.

Farewell to Team CLEAN – who were just amazing.

I told them to put us down as references on any job applications. You can see for yourself – unfortunately I did not take any “before” photos – but those of you who have been here probably remember some of the “before”

front of house
side of house
pool compund
orchid house
pizza shed

And I took these photos this morning – five days since they left!

FAUNA – because it is the other weekly promise

I have no idea who this is. …. um, posting for a friend.

And So …

Deterrent for kitties going under our sink to poo Putting a mesh barrier rather than cabinet doors was the result of a LOT of discussion. Some people wanted cabinet doors – some people objected to the way closed cabinets end up yucky. Someone had the idea of a grid that lets the air flow but is a barrier. Someone else said “That’s ugly.”



The next project is more curtains for all the cabinets. There was only 10.25 meters of the only cloth Monica and I were both happy with – I’d planned to buy 11m. Hmmph. Getting it divided among the 11 curtains that need to made was a real puzzle. I was quite happy with the solution. Pinning at every cut point with tags before making the first cut. I’d never done that before. I re-tagged that cloth THREE times before I finally got it right.

Here it is mid-process. They have been cut now, and I’ll start sewing them up tomorrow.


Happy week, Everybody.


7 January 2021

WORKING WORKING WORKING – this is starting off to be a good year.

The flyswatters are sacrficing themselves in the effort to keep the summertime invaders away.

We have a big workshop coming up, and Monica had a great idea for getting the work done – import a team!

BOYS: Maciu (Matthew) and Pauliasi – doing heavy grunt work

GIRLS – Eggie and To (toh) doing beautification.

COOKS – Waqali (Monica’s niece) and Ashmita. In the background Naholo and Naomi, two regulars here.

THE BOSS – Monica. She worked so much yesterday even though we were all saying “Take it easy.” Today she is staying in the shade (THANK YOU!) She will do whatever it takes to have the farm shine.

And Dad wanted to show off his soap from the waste oil.

We got some sun, so now he can dry it. Pretty!


Monica finally went public about her cancer diagnosis in a Facebook post on New Year.

She is doing great. Baby is doing great.


Happy week, everybody.