After 5 dreary, grey days, we have been rewarded with beautiful blue skies and amazing sunsets/sunrises. Here is one that was taken by a friend this morning, which I just had to post as it was beautiful way to start my day.
A few questions about our neighborhood have come up the last couple of weeks, so here are a few more pictures that will hopefully give a better indication of the surroundings of our new home.
This first picture is of a sign on South Shore Rd., which is the main road where "Many Paws" (our road) turns off from. Sometime cows/bulls wander up to our neighborhood and royally upset the farmers for stomping all over their crops. Apparently, no one has claimed them theirs, therefore, we are entitled to make burgers and steaks out of the next one that crosses our property.
"Many Paws"... a self-named road which has now become official. It describes the neighborhood well however, as almost everyone has a dog (or eleven!)
"Slow Mon"... the sign leading up to our turnoff
Heres a close-up:
"Many Paws" Rd. As you can see, we are still having dark, grey and drizzly weather a couple of days after Isaac passed.
The ArtFarm, just minutes from our house. Once they have produce back in season, I plan on doing our fruit & veg shopping here more often.
"Big Momma Gennie" - as Papa calls it :-) The name's now stuck and has become our savior with St. Croix's frequent power outages. We've already been informed that we'll be the hosts for the next hurricane party.
View from our porch... overlooking our neighbors pond (where she grows Tilapia...and mosquitoes!!) and the otherwise peacefulness of Grange Stock/Estate/Gardens (depending on who you ask).
The first major tropical storm of the season certainly was LOUD as it headed our way.. and made for some serious anxiety among residents of our island, but it turned out to be nothing more than strong winds and some rain (not enough though!). As you can imagine we were pretty happy that it wasnt worse, especially after the sandbag- filling, bunkering down, fueling the generator and having to go home from work as pretty much the whole island shut operations last night and all of today. Well, it weakened overnight but is set to strengthen to a hurricane status as it reaches Haiti and Dom. Republic... those poor guys always seem to get nailed. However, it left a bit of damage to our beautiful beaches..including our much loved Haypenny Beach :-(
After digging up our prized possession from the fertile soil they were in and transporting the vines on the back of a pickup half way across the island only to discover the soil here is nothing but rocky, we were very skeptical of our grapes surviving. However, after LOTS of TLC and getting the biggest pots imaginable from Home Depot, combined with recent rains, we were rewarded with new growth!
As my last blog did not allow me to upload anymore information, Geoff encouraged me to start a new blog altogether, which now, I have the time to keep up with regularly and not have 3 month time lapses between posts. Thanks to all those who viewed my other blog and also the feedback I received! Now some of you may know what good luck we have had with housing and landlords since living in St. Croix...can you hear the sarcasm? Thats right, with our experiences and friend's stories, good landlords are difficult to come by and housing to match is even more difficult. We have this fantastic warm weather year round, which also brings the not-so-fantastic mold and creepy crawlies that work their way into your bed at night and inject you with battery acid (at least that what it feels like). We have had our fair share of both of these, combined with lots of other interesting landlord/tenant relations regarding vehicles, electricity, water, Alpie, paint, plants, termites, BBQ's, chemicals (or lack thereof.. and trust me, bleach becomes your best friend for the almighty MOLD) and and and... The closure of Hovensa, the big oil refinery here in St. Croix brought a lot of unrest and led to alot of people forced to relocate which means... a big, juicy smorgasboard of houses on the market for people like us! After our experiences in the past, we decided to be not only picky, but downright fastidious about our next dwelling. Five months of searching and four property managers later, we found it...and we new this was going to be our next home from the moment we walked into it....a peaceful neighborhood, a fenced yard for Alpie and best of all - a house all to ourselves.
If Geoff and I were to build a house ourselves, it would be pretty similar to this house. All the doors to the large patio open up to create a big open space, the kitchen has a commercial stove, and the there is a seperate fridge and freezer... for those Costco shops we sometimes do :-)
A week into our new home and we are loving it more and more every day. Our first night brought some unexpected visitors....guinea hens...heard of them (pics to come)? We were under the impression that they were female peacocks but the almighty shrieking that had the walls of the house shaking on the first night here had us thinking that they were piglets to the slaughter.
Turns out, they like to roost in the tree in our yard, and now that their sleeping quarters had been disturbed by a fuzzy four-legged thing, they were not happy at all...and paid us back through a sleepless first night. (Happy to report that there are have been no more cases of shrieking throughout the nighttime hours).
A guinep tree is also an added feature in our yard, and now in the full height of Summer, this tree is FULL of fruit! We have been picking as much as we can, but still many fall off and....get swooped up by Alpie :-) Who would've thought - the countless times we've tried to feed her blueberries, banana, pineapple etc. that guineps would be her pick of choice?!
Finally, the grapes. Yes, we brought them with us from the other house and while we're not aiming to grow a vineyard yet (Virgin Vineyards would be a pretty fitting name though, would'nt it?), they are a beautiful vine and have produced some very sweet fruit for us up until now.
Unfortunately the soil in our new house is useless (extremely rocky), so we're growing them in oversized pots right now, crossing our fingers for lots of rain...something we havent had much of this year.