Rosey the Riveter

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fonte Dam

 This morning we embarked on the first of many Boonie Stomps here on Guam.  We chose to start with the short hike to Fonte Dam, because it's really near our house and it was rated as a pretty easy hike.  We had a great view of the water tumbling over the dam because we're in the middle of raining season.  However, that also meant that there was a lot of slippery mud.  I was grateful Stephen remembered the hiking stick, which I quickly claimed as my own.

The dam was made in 1910, a project of the Navy under the Taft Administration to provide the capital city with water.

 "Look, Mom!  The toads are hugging!"
We decided to kill two birds with one stone and continue hiking on to the Libugon Radio Station that was destroyed by the Japanese in the early 1940s.  It was a hard trail to follow, but we finally found the ruins.
 Pretty sure when Dad made that walking stick he never envisioned it being used on Guam!
By the end of the hike, the girls were DONE!  Click on this picture and get a good laugh at Jojo's face!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Medicinal Herb Farm

I promised a post about the Medicinal Herb Farm, and here it is.  You just have to click on over to Mother Earth News to read it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Walk Around the Homefront AUG 2015

We've been on Guam for about 3 weeks, and in that time we've explored the island, been to the beach, taken delivery of our household goods, toured a local Medicinal Plant Farm (more on that in another post), and lost my beloved Aunt Audrey.  I knew the best thing for my hurting heart would be to play in the dirt, so Sunday afternoon I repotted all of the plants I'd accumulated in that short time. 

This morning, I realized it had been awhile since I'd taken a walk around the homefront, so today I took my camera with me so I could show you what we've got so far.  It was Aunt Audrey who took me on my first 'walk around the homefront', on her property back home in MA.  She would point out wildflowers ("Look at the Indian Paintbrushes!  Time to go back to school!" she'd say) and we'd check out the fruit trees and admire Uncle Leroy's garden and pick ripe blueberries.  It's no wonder, then, that I would take comfort from a walk around our new property to check things out.

In the built-in planter out back, we have this beautiful ornamental red ginger.  I was hoping it would be edible, but no such luck.

Out front, we also have this Bird of Paradise which is beautiful.  But again, I wish it was more than just ornamental.

Cathy, my friend and neighbor from Virginia, gave me this flag and as soon as I unpacked it, I had to go put it up.
 There are several coconut trees lining the "Alley" we live on.  Stephen has gotten good at cracking into them and toasting the meat to have with his morning oatmeal.  Yum!

This is a Strawberry Mango tree that I bought from Ralph, a retired military dude who sells his extras once a month at the flea market up on the Air Force Base.  Hopefully, it will start to fruit sooner rather than later, but it's still little.

I spotted this poor basil plant at the BX at the Air Force Base, so I had to bring it home.  I need to prune it so it bushes more.

We also have some papaya trees.  We aren't sure if they are ours or if they belong to our neighbors, but they don't seem to want them, so we are not above foraging!

Just a few days ago, I was looking out our bedroom window and noticed that there was something hanging off of this shrub.  Further examination revealed Guavas, and lots of them!

This is a Surinam Cherry that I also bought from Ralph.  We think it should start to bloom in about six months. 

And this one is called "Orange Berry" because... you guessed it... it produced orange berries.   It also came from Ralph.

These two plants came from Amot TaoTao Farm, which is a local medicinal herb grower.  On the left is Sambong (Blumea balsamifera) which will eventually grow into a larger shrub.  On the right is Miracle Plant (Bryophyllum pinnatum) which is VERY easy to propagate (just stick a leaf on the soil and it'll sprout a new plant!).

This Barbados Cherry was the first plant I bought, at the Navy Exchange Home Center.  In just 3 short weeks, it has blossomed and is now growing fruit!

This beauty right here is a Vietnam Gardenia which Abby brought home from the same place.  It's supposed to blossom year round, so we'll see.  It, too, has a blossom coming.

This pathetic little specimen is Lemon Grass, but for $2, I couldn't resist bringing it home.  It makes a great iced tea!

 Max loves this look-out point.  The big window in the kitchen is great for plants and starting seeds.  There's some cilantro, a vinca, and a pineapple top which I am attempting to re-grow.


This was my surprise of the day... bananas!  Again, not sure if this tree is ours or the neighbors, but I'm certainly going to keep my eye on them!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

First Market in Guam

It has rained every day since we arrived on the island.  Not constantly, but it's been cloudy every day which has been a nice break from the sun.  Thankfully, the weather held and we were able to enjoy the night market in Mangilao.

I was all about getting my hands on local produce.  The husband and kids were all about eating meat on a stick.  In the end, we all were happy.

The first new-to-us fruit we tried was Santol.  It's the yellow ones on the left in the photo above.  It has a mild citrus-y taste (almost like a grapefruit?).  Apparently, you can make santol marmalade but I only bought a few so we'll be eating them raw.

We didn't buy any juice, but I had to take this picture because I was proud of myself for knowing what the purple Ube is.  (It's a purple yam/sweet potato very popular in the Philippines.  I know this thanks to my VA neighbor, Cathy, who once made us Ube ice cream!)  We also passed on the fish balls.

There were several vendors selling grilled chicken on a stick, and we tried one from everybody.  The unanimous winner was Dada's BBQ.  Yum-o.

For dessert, Joanna decided she wanted Tapioca pudding.  This was not at all like the chilled, thick goodness we know and love.  It was warm and soupy, and absolutely out of this world.  Even Abby ate it, and she doesn't like tapioca!

"Farm to Table Guam" was there with some beautiful produce, and I got to introduce myself to Rita, their PR person.  Hoping to get some canning/dehydrating classes on the island!

Not a bad haul for my first market.  Clockwise from top left: some little bananas, long string beans, santol, guava, star fruit, avocados, dragon fruit, and soursop.  I feel a tropical fruit salad coming on!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ch Ch Ch Ch Changes... and Chincoteague

I am disgusted with myself that the last blog post I wrote was NINE MONTHS AGO TODAY.  Cripes, I could have had a baby in that time!!!  (Rest assured, I did not.  Thank you, Lord.  Although it would have been a great excuse...)

Since then, my life has been consumed with preparing for an overseas move and selling our house.  Which we did.  In fact, the last of the paperwork was signed today!  Yesterday, the movers drove away with all our belongings and we left Chesapeake.  I decided to take the kids to Chincoteague before we left the area for good because they both loved the "Misty" books.

The original plan was to rent bikes and ride around the National Park on Assateague.  But I decided this morning that we'd take a pontoon boat tour, instead.  It was expensive, but I was really hoping we'd see some horses (Abby is obsessed with them!) On our way to the dock, she spotted this statue and begged me to stop so we could take pictures.
 I saw these chairs and made them pose!
Shortly after we boarded the boat, the Captain announced that a foal had just been born, and instead of stopping and talking along the route as he would normally do, we were going to rush out to see if we could spot the foal.  The herd was still there and there were several foals.  But none of them were newborns.
 Then we spotted this little one, off on his own and struggling in the water.

Mamma and Daddy realized it, too, and rushed over.
Unfortunately, the mud was too much for him and he couldn't get out.
Captain Arthur's son, Hunter, is a member of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department, who is responsible for the horses.  He wasted no time climbing off the boat and into the water.  While not deep, it was very muddy.  He carried the foal to dry land, with Mama watching closely.
He stayed to make sure that the foal could nurse (it is very important that they get the colostrum after they are born.)  Unfortunately, the mare's milk wasn't in yet.
At last, Mamma led the little one back to the pack.
 At one point, he refused to go into the mud and she had to go back for him.
 But she still let him back through the water, silly thing.
 Here's the whole family, back together.
 And back with the whole pack.

This was another pack we saw on the way back.  More foals.  They were beautiful.

A visit to Chincoteague wouldn't be complete without a visit to Island Creamery.  Ice cream.  It's what's for lunch.  Joanna had Cotton Candy and Cookie Dough and Abby had Chocolate and Pony Tracks.  I had a taste of theirs.  First and last time I'll ever pay $6.50 for a cone!  But the homemade waffle cones were good.
We went to several places that had ponies the kids could pet, and we did ride around Assateague... but in retrospect, I am so very glad we took the boat tour.  Otherwise, the only wild ponies we would have seen would have been from a great distance.  By 4, we were on the road again... made it to Dover, DE by 6 and had plenty of time for swimming.  Last leg of the journey is tomorrow.  So far, so good.