29 May 2012

Two of the bedrooms

     Two of the three upstairs bedrooms.  These open onto the east-west breezeway, each with a window that opens to the south.  Painting's not finished but that'll come in time.

22 May 2012

Furnishing the house

      There are four bedrooms and a kitchen in the new house that had to be stocked with usable stuff.  Thrift stores in Bluefields provided most of the what was needed to stock the bedrooms and some of kitchen supplies: sheets, towels, pillowcases, bedspreads, blankets (yes, it gets cold at night), knives, a colander. The thrift store finds were washed and, in the case of the linens, dried in the tropical sunshine.   
     No, none of it matches but I've got a tent I don't need anymore for anybody who cares about matching sheets.   
     New stuff -  mosquito nets, mattresses, pillows, and the beds to put them on; and the rest of what I wanted for the kitchen - I purchased at other stores in Bluefields or directly from the craftsmen who made them.  
     The list of what went into the house seemed endless and at one time I felt as though I'd bought at least one of everything in town and carried it out to False Bluff.
Clean linens, waiting to go
Supplies for the kitchen

15 May 2012


   Throughout much of RAAS (the southern autonomous region on Nicaragua's east coast) laundry is done in concrete 'sinks' that have both a built-in washboard and one or two reservoirs for water.   In many houses where there is also a washer and dryer, laundry is still done in a sink like this.   
   All the laundry at my favorite hotel in downtown Bluefields is done using this type of sink: towels, sheets, tablecloths, etc.  In fact someone at that hotel taught my sister, years ago, how to do laundry in the hotel sink after laughing at her first efforts - and she taught me.  We've gotten pretty good at it.  
   When the original small house was built at False Bluff, the northernmost open end of the structure was intended for laundry.  With the new house up, it was time to make good on that intention and get rid of the wooden washboard, nailed to a couple of 2 x 4's under a tree, that had been used for laundry for more than a year.
     So we went shopping in Bluefields.  One of my sons bought the sink as a gift to the project.  We'd like to have gotten a sink with two water reservoirs in addition to the washboard, but considering how much of a job we knew it was going to be to get this heavy sucker out of the hardware store, into a truck, onto and then off of a boat, and then from the dock to its final resting place...I cannot imagine how we'd have managed with the extra weight of that second reservoir.  We didn't buy one of the fancy tiled sinks either like the one shown in the second picture below.
   Though right now water is hauled to the 'laundry room' in buckets, pipes are in place for the next phase of the project which will bring water right to the sink.  Then we won't need our 'second reservoir' which is a bright blue plastic barrel, cut down so nobody falls in and drowns.  Greywater plumbing recycles the laundry wastewater and irrigates landscape plants that will eventually screen the laundry area...in this case hibiscus and hydrangea.
The hardware store where the sink was purchased
Tiled or plain?
The 'to-be' laundry room
The green bar is excellent laundry soap
Sink, in place and in use

08 May 2012

A neighbor bearing gifts

     Allen is a frequent visitor who has a farm a lovely walk up the beach from False Bluff.  He stopped for tea one morning bringing gifts of homemade palm oil and sour-orange syrup.  Allen hopes that as the mainland Caribbean coast gets more visitors he can host some on his farm and teach them what he knows about making these and other things.  

01 May 2012

The new stove

     The stove, made in Bluefields, sits in a breezeway most of the time but is moveable.  It's divided into two sections:  one for wood burning and one for charcoal.  Charcoal is really cheap, lasts a long time in the storage room, and is great when rain wets all the available wood.  
     Closed, coals in the stove last between meals so you can start a lunch fire from coals left from breakfast.  Also, when closed, the stove can be used to smoke fish and meat.
     Cooking lunch on the new stove
   A small shelf at the front provides usable work space.
Lemon grass tea brewing in a covered pot just before cooking scrambled eggs
Grilled chicken and vegetables