Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What to do in Puerto Rico-the Nutcracker is coming to town

You don't have to live in New York to see fine ballet; you don't have to be freezing to see The Nutcracker Suite; you don't even have to go to San Juan!!

The Ballet de San Juan is coming to the Teatro Oliver in Arecibo, Puerto Rico on Friday, December 5th for one day!
Presentacion de El Cascanueces del Ballet de San Juan dirigido por Orlando Carrera el 5 de diciembre.

  • 6:30 Welcome cocktails
  • 7:30 Ballet
  • 9:00 Noche de Bohemia (various artists invited)

For Information and Tickets ($35): 787-487-6416 * 787-675-5880

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches and we all take time to reflect and give thanks, I want to formally thank all the guests who have come to TJ Ranch.

Living on a farm in the boondocks has its limitations in that we don't get away much to "see the world"; but the most important aspect of the world, its people, have come to us. Over the last eight years we have met people from all over the world. In many instances the line between "guests" and "friends" have blurred and become one, which really isn't a problem except that we feel bad
ly when we have to charge... but back to the point at hand.

Ron and Evelyn, I must mention by name... our first guests who mailed us a deposit for their full stay and have been my technical gurus to follow til death do us part.

A diabetes' educator came on vacation and when I mentioned Tony's "borderline" condition she sent us a care package with meters, booklets, creams and ointments...the care packages keep coming and so does she. Thank you Wilma.

Maybe it was just luck that a nurse and a fireman were here when the gas stove blew up in Tony's face, but we thank them for the cold water response and the care packages that followed. We also lea
rned to search for wi-fi cruising the streets of Arecibo in their rental car.

The two veterinarians came separately that Christmas when our cat had infected stitches. Both vets opened our eyes to the variety of jobs veterinarians do, from traveling with the CDC to cancer
research in John's Hopkins' lab. Thank you vets.

Our sun-dial is set to Wisconsin, the home of our other guests/friends.

We were sent a beautiful CD/DVD from Germany of TJ Ranch and Arecibo. We hope to see Emilio and Susi in 2010 when they return to Puerto Rico.

We never heard of the Isle of Man nor Estonia (shame on us) before guests came from those faraway places. The Estonians took
us all over the world from their laptop....and the Israelis wanted to hook up the kids for a free trip to Israel based on their lineage.

Thanks go to Heather for leaving her copy of Breaking Dawn for Tina (and then for me) saving us a trip to Borders in San Juan.

We can never forget our birdwatchers from Cape Cod and DC who have opened our eyes (and ears)to our co-inhabitants of the farm.

Thanks to our native american trooper/governor security force from Connecticut and now we know that the Friday after Thanksgiving is Native American Heritage Day. She keeps us up to date on the "real world" and politics...and is another guest who has crossed over from guest to friend.

For all those I haven't mentioned, please don't feel ignored or forgotten. You've made TJ Ranch a very special place for us and we'll be thinking of you during this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving....and Buen Provecho!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Life on the Farm

It was getting too much. This picture just shows a small piece of the flock. Tony's morning ritual was getting out of hand; our little pond was too small; and you already know about my chicken problem.

What are animals on a farm for if not to eat? Today was the day....we used to kill ducks by using a wax to remove feathers and waxing your legs, but we don't have the wax and we don't have the time to do all that. Today we're doing it Puerto Rican style...removing the feathers and the skin (the best part). We'll be eating duck fricase in no time. Fricase is a typical stew for duck, rabbit, goat or chicken. Today's special is chicken soup...can't get much fresher than this...maybe this weekend we'll have some pate for appetizers. In all we have 13 ducks and 13 chickens in the freezer!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Garden News

Our coffee is all trimmed knee height. The first ones which we cut awhile ago already have new growth. In between some of the coffees we're planting papayas. Some are males which don't bear fruit (although their flowers are suppose to be a good expectorant as a tea), others are females so hopefully we'll have homegrown papayas for breakfast.

We're working on our garden. We still have our herbs (oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley) and we have cherry tomatoes, peppers and kohl-rabi (which I've never tasted) planted. We have beefsteak tomatoes, 3 kinds of lettuces, cucumber and zucchini, thyme and parsley all in the semillero (where you start seeds), but I'm running around like crazy putting up wire blockades because our chickens are messing them up. It's nice to have our chickens loose...and these are the kind that don't give eggs when they're caged, but what a pain! They dig in the dirt to get comfortable and knock over the I think they've eaten any of the seeds we plant directly in the ground. Well...we're overdue for fresh poultry...too many ducks and too many chickens. In the meantime, I'll keep a careful eye on my seedlings and look for the perfect garden spot. Wish me luck...I'll keep you posted.