Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan's Not Lookin' Too Good

I copied this map from http://earthquake.usgs.gov/ site. The yellow boxes represent the earthquakes from the past seven days, the blue ones within the past 24 hours, and the red ones within the hour.  This was copied at 7:00am today, March 15th.   If you are at all interested in the earth's movements, check out this site. You'd be surprised where some of the 'hot spots' are located.
10-degree map showing recent earthquakes

Monday, March 14, 2011

Carnaval Masks 2011

The photo above was taken at last year's Carnaval ('09).  Our friend Julie let us borrow these masks which I believe she brought back from Africa.  With Pablo's congo drum and these, we scored lots of prizes!  If you can draw some attention to the people on the floats with cool things in their hands, you're in! 

After last year's experience and learning the theme of Carnaval this year was Samba(or not), it seemed like a good idea to wear masks.  I walked down to 58th St in Centro, looking for some feathery masks.  I prefer to make things like this, so off to Miguel's Fantasia I went.  I swear we had almost as much fun making these as we did wearing (and eventually trading) them at the parades! Therefore, you are about to scroll through all the masks we made.  We gave three to our palco mates (the friends we shared the box seats with), four to our housekeeper's family, and then traded our own at the end of Monday's parade for tshirts and recycled bags! 

Since this is a TOO MANY PHOTOS blog, (and no, I will not go to a blogger's support group for this problem), I'll keep the words short.

One last note, I added the blue feathers to cover my wrinkles, it didn't work!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Pawpaw Harvest

All right, PAPAYA.  I just like the word 'pawpaw', it's South Pacific equivalent. My tropical cookbook from Fiji has great recipes: pawpaw slaw, pawpaw seed salad dressing, lote, mousse, fresh green pawpaw pickle, and mango pawpaw punch, to name a few.  There are some creative uses for papaya and I was thrilled to harvest the first ripe fruits today.   Below is a photo of the tree, growing in the front patio, from what may have been sunrise papaya seeds from Guatemala, or not. 

They are huge and have been ripening fast.

Pablo stood on the ladder and used the new weapon we created:  a strong kitchen knife well-taped to an old squeegee pole...not too tall but effective for now. Look how beautiful this fruit is!
Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of one cut into thirds because it was so sweet and delicious it just didn't occur to me!  We got caught up in the moment! 

This week I have to get back out into the yard and finish cleaning up the garden areas.  The cilantro below is flowering and will soon go to seed. Must stay on top of that.  My project these past few weeks has been to add dirt to the perimeter of the yard where we try to grow things.  The dirt washes away and all that's left is a shallow bed of tierra and lots of limestone rocks.  The plants are very happy with their new beautiful black dirt.

I think tiny flowers are interesting, they are so intricate and delicate.  These are the cilantro flowers. I'll try to get some closeups and maybe post them another day with the rosemary flowers from last week.