11 May 2017

2017-05-04 danger cliff 1 R

Cliff of death!    There are not too many things around our compound that are dangerous for active boys who want to run and explore.   I never thought my two big grandsons (ages 9 and 4)  would be THAT …. (I don’t want to say “stupid”) ….. uh, um …  THAT clueless.

There is a gravel pile at the top – and they were both playing on it.  According to their reports:  Kiki slipped down on the cliff side – caught air – hit the bottom and cried a bit.  Victor tried to climb back over the gravel pile and he also slipped – caught some air – went bumpety bump and hit the bottom.

Here is that cliff from the top:

2017-05-04 danger cliff 2 R


Here is the full extent of the injuries sustained by the two:

2017-05-04 danger cliff 3 R

(After this, anybody would have to believe in Guardian Angels !!)

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The only other thing in my camera worth sharing is the MONGOOSE

2017-05-08 mongoose & Kiki Cr

caught by our dogs!   One got the head end and another got the tail end and they pulled.  The mongoose looks really yucky from the other side … but Kiki, obviously, does not mind.

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A storm is in the neighborhood.  If it doesn’t cause disruptions, Victor and I will be off on an adventure this time next week – so the blog will be offset by a few days.

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Happy week, Everybody!

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4 May 2017

2017-05-03 new chick house by kitchen Cr

All of a sudden there is a new tin hut I see from the kitchen sink.  I ask.  It is a new chicken house.   Austin is planning to spread the birds out more strategically.

And there’s more!  (one more)

2017-05-03 new chicken house by orchid house R

Behind the orchid house.    This one is easier for me to get to.

2017-05-03 new chicken house grand entrance R

It has a grand front entrance.  No doubt the cement block steps are for the convenience of the humans who will go to collect eggs and stuff.

SPC (South Pacific Commission) kindly gave Austin a grant for these chicken houses as well as the main breeding house (in progress), 100 bags of feed (all gone now, but what a help it was!), and new incubators (due to arrive later this month).   They came this week for a site visit and seemed to be really happy.

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Curious readers wanted to know what the helicopter was here for.  Okay.  It was from Kokomo Resort, where Akka’s wife works.  The boss wanted to check out our orchids, and also to talk with Austin about the coral restoration work and the happy chicken project.   He’s over at Kokomo right now, scoping out the possibilities for the projects.

Funny web of connections – our good friend/carpenter’s father-in-law is the chief of the village affected by the damaged coral from that resort.  He and Austin have also been friends for years, independently of our friend’s marriage to his daughter.   They’ve all (carpenter and wife plus in-laws)  been staying in our Suva house for the last few months – getting it ready for us to sell, and are just going back to Kadavu Island this week. What timing!

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Maybe it is not the best idea to have chickens running free in the presence of other birds.

2017-05-03 rooster and duck Cr

Just sayin’

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Getting Beamer’s grave decorated while son Guy is here.

2017-05-03 decorating Beamer grave Cr

Gravestone in.   Setting the “glass jewelry” into the corners – just a bit of it.     So happy.

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CORRECTION to last week.  That wasn’t actually kitty litter: it was really sand – so the cat was not mistaken, I just didn’t expect him to lie down in something he was supposed to poop in.   He is now using it for the intended purpose and is no longer napping in it. …   And he is doing fine.

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Happy week, everybody.

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27 April 2017

2017-04-26 the white X R

A big white X.   You never know what is going on in Granddaddy’s mind…..

On to Fauna and Flora.

2017-04-20 Mr Sanders aka Sandy Dunes 1 R

This is Sandy Dunes, Mad Max, Jed or Mr. Sanders, depending on which family member you talk to.  (Maybe we should have a naming competition: the name with the most votes wins!)   He was found this week at the sand dunes – crying, hungry, abandoned.  Austin says he saw it and if it was a male he would bring “him” home.  Well, it was.  (Austin isn’t a sexist, but it is very hard now to get animals to the vet clinic for spaying.)

I had mixed feelings when I saw him.  The family brought home an abandoned kitty while I was in Canada – and it was killed by the dogs before I got back.  Bringing this kitty home was a toss of the dice.  I’m happy to say so far so good.  He seems to be a smart little fellow who knows how to keep away from those awful canines.

But a funny thing happened when someone made a box of kitty litter for him.

2017-04-22 Sandy and his litter box R

He thought it was Home.

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FLORA is such a snooze this week.

2017-04-25 mango flower Cr

Our stupid mango tree that almost NEVER bears because of our morning fog micro-climate – it put out One pair of flowers …. and off season at that.   (This item of info is courtesy of Junia.)

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Now I know why Granddaddy made that giant X.   A Giant Dragonfly was coming to visit.

2017-04-27 helicopter R

(needless to say, this was our first ever helicopter.  now the neighbors will know for sure we are gazillionaires)

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Happy week, everybody.

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20 April 2017


“Kim, take that picture.”

2017-04-18 not mowed for 4 months R

Excitement at the Teitei

So I took it.  It’s just grass.

“It’s just grass, Austin.”

“I know – but it hasn’t been mowed for Four Months!”   That’s because his new kabeer chickens are like feathered goats.

Exciting,, right…   yeah.

Ok,  this happened a little bit before that:

2017-04-18 Truck - oops R

When a 4 wheel drive gets in trouble…

One wheel still connected with solid ground, and David had to sit inside with his foot on the brake until rescue arrived… about twenty minutes.   Our wonderful neighbors at Sigatoka River Safari  came over with a tractor  and pulled the truck up.  (I missed all this drama, and just started up the hill as the tractor was leaving. – Got the photo from one of the kids’ phones by bluetooth.)


Maybe in honor of those twin kids (baby goats) last week, the Universe gave me two more “twins” this week.

Fiddlehead fern, a local wild edible plant normally looks like the photo on the left, but for the first time I’ve cooked it, there was a twinned one:

I thought it was odd.  Austin told me to take the picture.

The second “twin” was this:

2017-04-15 twin lid R

Twice as secure

Who ever heard of a double lid on a tin can?   The downside is that Austin won’t let me throw this can away.   Is there a market for such oddities?

My final shot for the week.


It was a first, and so totally unexpected it knocked our socks off:

2017-04-19 Phil Sarah waka & me R

First waka for Teitei

these guests, Phil and Sarah, arrived with a WAKA for us.   A waka is bundle of yaqona  (kava), the ceremonial root, normally presented like this to a village chief.  They had heard that yaqona would make a good present to hosts to say “thank you for welcoming us to your home.”   A small pack of powdered grog does say that – but this size waka says “thank you for opening your entire village to us” – ha ha ha.   We were so shocked!

Anyway, we are very grateful for this valuable present.  We will hold onto this waka, and when it is time to hold an opening ceremony for the Happy Chicken project in some new location  – we will use it to observe the highest customs of Fiji protocol.

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Happy week, everybody.

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13 April 2017

SNAKE !!!!!

Ready to see it?

2017-04-06 worm snake Cr

Yep.  That’s it.   A worm snake.  Quite wiggly (never could get a clear picture of it’s tiny head with its teensy-weensy forked tongue).

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So Austin and I are driving down the road, and he gets all excited because he sees TWIN KIDS in the goat herd on the road.

This is what I see:

2017-04-07 twin kids 1 Cr

Mama Goat kept her body squarely between us and her kids.

Finally, from about 100 meters ahead, I turn back and get them:

2017-04-07 twin kids 2 Cr

Identical markings and all.  I wonder how common they are?

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Our horse Ryu went kind of wild there for awhile, but David is back now.  Yay!  I’d say he’s “back in the saddle” except…….

2017-04-12 Ryu re-tamed R

Speaking of tack:  We actually DO have a saddle – a weird local one.  And a few years ago, while back in the US, I bought two proper bridles, but the boys never use them.  They prefer this rope around the neck get-up.  It’s all what we’re used to, isn’t it.

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Happy week, everybody,

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6 April 2017 – P.S.

2017-04-06 Bee swarm 4 R

This is what was in the wall right beside their crawl-hole.  Not bad for two days’ work.

Austin was standing there in a full bee suit and no gloves.  Why?  “I didn’t want them to sting me on the head.”   By the end of the effort, they had not stung his hands either.

All that comb, and – we hope – the Queen, all is now safely in a bee box on the outside of the house.   Stragglers do remain, and the saga may continue….

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No more P.S.’s though.  One post a week is ENOUGH.

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6 April 2017

2017-04-03 Bee swarm 1 Cr

I liked the simplicity of my one-fingered posts, and so am going to stick with it for awhile.

I know it just looks like flowers, but in the photo above are many bees from a humongous BEE SWARM I heard outside my house.  The day before we had noticed some bees in the back bedroom and in the bathroom – but I really did not imagine the size (and loudness) of the swarm to come.

2017-04-03 Bee swarm 2 Cr

A huge bee ball, of sorts, had formed on a pipe on the side of the house.  So I got this photo.

Hours later they had mostly disappeared.  I mentioned it to Austin, who found that they had moved INTO the side of the house.   If Only I Had Told Him, when the bees were on the pipe – he could have swept them down into a box easily.   OOPS.

Now – not so easy.

Austin tried opening the wall of the house, but it is too well built.  Well, that’s good, but inconvenient.   On to Plan B.

2017-04-03 Bee swarm 3 Cr

Austin elevated an empty bee box beside the hole, and put in sheets of honey, in the hope of luring them all out of the house and into the bee box.   You notice how he’s not wearing a bee suit?   He says they are not aggressive because they have no honey to defend.

This plan is not working all that well yet.   The queen is still in the wall, and so this afternoon Austin will be breaking the wall from the inside to get them out.  Just ducky.  (Why didn’t I think to tell him when I saw the bees????  Won’t suffer THAT oversight again!)

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Other news from the valley, our neighbor says there is a new species of MONGOOSE in the area now – a bigger, darker one that is tough enough to attack full-grown chickens.   Rats!    Time to get out the mongoose trap again….

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Happy week, everybody.

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