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When we should have built an ark

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This Wednesday, Cruzan Garden presents “Warmth From The Hearth”, a sampling of artisan breads, chutneys, jams, jellies, juices, and more. We would love to share these delicious, locally crafted products with you. Please stop by between 4 and 5pm to sample and shop!

Let me tell you, chickungunya is no fun at all. The best I might describe it is as how I imagine it feels to be old and arthritic: everything aches. I went to do some writing the other evening, but my hand was aching too much to hold the pen…you know how much I love to write by hand. Much like years ago when I was sick with ciguatera (aka fish poisoning), the pains come and go, unexpectedly, inconveniently, suddenly rendering my extremities useless for any major function. Such affliction lends appreciation for the moments spent free of pain, as on Monday, when I put in a good ten hours between the Nid, the garden, and cutting firewood for the oven. I surprised even myself by mixing a batch of concrete in the mid afternoon to lay the first section of main floor…and mayhaps regretted that impulsive action when it came to troweling out a large area of floor, kneeling in sharp gravel, wrestling concrete into submission with an ungainly float, to a modicum of smoothness that will one day be graced and appreciated by bare feet against the cooling surface of the floor.

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Floor!

Was that a suitably verbose paragraph or what? Forgive me, for I sometimes lose my way, floating on clouds of obscure words and complicated grammatical structures…

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Last few sections of ceiling waiting for the finish coat of plaster.

Perhaps it is the weather that has led me to such wordliness. We are in our forth day of steady, heavy rain; quite out of the ordinary for this lovely tropical climate! It feels rather too closely akin to winter, what with the temperature down to the low 70’s, the constant drumming of rain upon the roofs, and the singular lack of daylight. The ground has been quite saturated for some time now, leading to some intense flooding situations around the island, car accidents, power outages, and other such storm related happenings – all without a breath of wind! This is apparently what happens when a weather system decides to develop right over your (fairly small) island. Due to this weather situation, we’ve had to call off the Good Samaritan of Haiti Coffee Morning, along with Nidulari’s own baking, which were supposed to take place tomorrow morning. The next baking Saturday will be November 22nd, with baking also taking place on both of the intervening Wednesdays. We hope to reschedule the GSH coffee morning for next month, please stay tuned for a date!

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Smoke rising from the bake-oven on a cool, rainy day.

Despite being a little waterlogged, the chicks and hens are all settling back into the confines of their tractors quite well. The big red hen, who’d suffered some injury last week (it is believed, at the jaws of a stray dog), has recovered well and is back in the coop, after spending all week in a large wash-tub on the kitchen floor. I learned a good bit about caring for injured chickens (thanks, Google), and now have one very calm, well-handled, and fully functional hen! Well…egg-laying would be nice, but no pressure.

The gardens is…uh…wet. Too wet to do much of anything in, with all my propagation pots flooding out every five minutes, and everything else just a sea of mud. Again, the Hugelkultur bed in the garden saves the day, providing superior drainage due to its aerated interior layers: meaning that my seedlings have neither drowned nor washed away!

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A wonderfully green and refreshing view from the back door of Cruzan Gardens first thing this morning!

With that, I leave you, for tis a night for a blanket and a book, not for plotting and planning of work, nor for sitting at a cold, bright screen, diminishing any and all atmosphere in its all-engulfing conduit to the “outside” world. I shall focus on the real outside: the rain on the roof, the frogs, cicadas, and the water flowing all around. Be safe, be dry, my neighbors!

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