Tuesday, May 31, 2016


We are so fortunate to have a wonderful yoga teacher as our neighbor. Edith has been teaching the kids and they are doing some intermediate and advanced poses! Wow!

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Beautiful Day

{Photo by Juliana}

{Shell Ginger, Alpinia zerumbet}

{Bird of Paradise, Strelitzia}
{Torch Ginger, Etlingera elatior}
{Pomarrosa, Syzygium}

We spent a lovely day celebrating my birthday this weekend. Perfect weather and the most amazing colors on the ocean started the day. I requested breakfast at The English Rose, my favorite place to eat out. Meals out with family and children go so much better at the beginning of the day when everyone has woken up from a good nights sleep. Then we visited Cassie and Britton. Right now the flowers are just beautiful! And the baby chickens and turkeys are flourishing. It was a beautiful day.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Until I Saw the Sea

Until I Saw the Sea

Until I saw the sea
I did not know
that wind
could wrinkle water so.

I never knew
that sun
could splinter a while sea of blue.

did I know before,
a sea breathes in and out
upon a shore.

~ Lilian Moore

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Last Day at Horse Camp


Well, these kids sure learned a lot in one week of camp at Rincón Riding Club. We can't wait to do it again in July. We are so fortunate to have opportunities like this for the kids.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another Day at Horse Camp

Oh, these kids are loving riding at Rincón Riding Club! Pieter is doing so well and seems to have a lot of confidence and balance while riding. Juliana does well, too, but her legs are so short she can't really nudge the horse along since her feet don't fall below the saddle. When the kids arrive in the morning they help feed hay to the horses and clean out stalls. Pieter is proving to be a good worker and does a great job shoveling out manure. A little boy after his Grandma's heart!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Horse Camp

It was a long weekend at our house as the kids anticipated going to horse camp this week at Rincón Riding Club. Pieter showed me a drawing of him riding Sunday evening. We had to hunt through our bins of clothes to find pants for the kids. Yes, that is island living for you. Having to find pants. Juliana fit into Pieter's old cowboy boots from South Dakota, but we didn't have anything to fit Pieter but rain boots. So, we are on the hunt for riding boots for him for our next camp. When I woke up at six on Monday morning, I found both kids in their riding clothes, fast asleep. I later heard that Pieter woke up in the middle of the night and thought it was time to get ready and woke up Juliana. Almost like Christmas!

Well, so far our first two days have been wonderful at camp! Annie Turri, owner of Rincón Riding Club, is just amazing with the kids and horses. And I love that the stables are in Añasco. That is so much closer to us than Rincón. Along with riding, the kids are learning so many things about caring for horses. It brings back so many childhood memories are growing up with horses and riding with my mom and sister. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Waking up to a Fire

{busy watching Coco}

This morning I had just woken up with Lucia at 5:30am and heard my cell phone ring. It was my neighbor calling to let us know that the abandoned house across the street was on fire and that she had called the fire department and police. My first thought was, oh no, our mango tree! This piña mango tree is the most amazing tree, producing so much, I just couldn't imagine it going up in flames. Last year a friend lost a large tree in their yard, so that was fresh in my mind. I walked upstairs and could see flames shooting out of the windows, everything inside was on fire. You could hear glass jars exploding and breaking. Seeing a cement house burn is so different than a wood-built house. I wondered how long it would take for the firetrucks to arrive, since it took them 1 1/2 hours to come last fall, when a telephone/electrical pole was on fire from a lightening strike just down the street. Well, I guess a house is higher up on their list. They came in about 15 minutes and pretty much just watched it burn. The flames never reached up to the mango tree or the palm tree behind the house. They finally knocked out a door and sprayed some water after a while. Ben and the kids walked up to the bakery for bread and milk and bought pastries for the firemen. Just as the firemen drove away, they came back. What? Two boxes of pastries for the kids? Maybe not. We shared with our neighbor.

This abandoned house is not unusual in Puerto Rico. With so many people leaving for the US, this is happening more and more. The elderly man that owned the house died and his heirs live in the US and don't want the house. So, it just keeps racking up unpaid property taxes and decays in the tropical climate. Unfortunately, most houses are made of cement, like this one and won't fall apart with time. Property taxes all go to the central government, not local city governments. This compounds the problem because the local governments do not have an incentive to go after delinquent properties.
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