La Bella Crucita, Monday 02/04/2019

“We won Nilla.”

“I know Jackson.”

“So what’s on the schedule for today?”

“Well, a walk would be good, since we really didn’t get out yesterday.  Amarita and Tito will be here about 3:00 PM so that gives us plenty of time.  Hopefully it won’t take long to clean up the back yard.  We also have to get to the bakery.”

“Wednesday we have a commitment with Lourdes to show us some rental properties and Aventurero is going to meet up with his landlord on Wednesday as well.  We’ll have to see if we can reach Carlos to arrange transportation.  I know he’ll give us a ride back but I’m not sure he’ll come get us – he might.”

“And we still don’t know when Manuco will show up again – that will keep us around most of one day I suspect.”

“So let’s not spend too much time on the blog topic. Do you have any suggestions?’

“Well, keeping on theme from yesterday, I thought we could discuss sand dollars.”

“Nilla, as you know, sand dollars are flattened and burrowing sea urchins.”

“I can certainly understand how they got the name sand dollar as they resemble the silver dollar, but I also know that some varieties that are not so flat are called sea biscuits.”

A dime and two quarters?

“Technically there are two groups, regular echinoids that include sea urchins and pencil urchins and irregular echinoids that include sea biscuits, sand dollars and heart urchins, echinoderms. They have endoskeletons not exoskeletons and the skeleton is called the ‘test’.  ‘Endo meaning inside, the derm referring to the sand dollar’s ‘skin’.”

“Jackson, ones that we see lying on the sand are dead and white, often with holes in them.”

“Major predators are sea stars, fish and crabs who then leave the damaged skeletal remains.  When alive, they lie flat in the sand, some are gray, reddish or green in color and are occasionally visible just on the surface as they slowly bury themselves beneath the sand.”

“What and how does the sand dollar eat.”

“It burrows in and feeds on the particles in the sand.  These particles are moved toward the mouth by pincers and cilia, located mid-underside of the sand dollar.  The five sets of tube feet that extend from the petals, help the sand dollar breathe.  Its mouth is made up of five jaws, known as Aristotle’s lantern.”

“The mouth is here Jackson.”

“Why is it called Aristotle’s lantern Jackson?”

“It’s called Aristotle’s lantern because it appears like the horn lantern without the panes.  He first described it in Historia Animalium.”

“I’ve heard that some people say the it is mermaid money from Atlantis.”

“Also, there is a legend with Christian symbolism of the sand dollars’ test.”

“That’s right, in the center atop the sand dollar is a star, the pattern surrounding the star  resembles a lily, the five holes representing Christ’s wounds. On the underside, an outline of a poinsetta and the five ‘doves’ inside when the test is broken, are spiritual gifts.  These ‘doves’ are really the remains of the ‘jaws’ of the mouth.  I just think that they’re really pretty and finding one intact is great.”

“Oops, do you feel that?”

“What, the shaking Jackson?”

“I’m surprised we haven’t felt one before, common, not to worry, we have them at home too.  You see over in less than one minute.”

“Looks like Amarita and Tito can’t come at 3:00 PM and left a message that they’ll be coming around 5:00 PM instead.  We’re supposed to go to the bakery then, they’ll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon and we still have not heard from Manuco.  Tito had said something the other night that there have been chronic issues with the roof.”

“Time for a walk on the beach and then on to errands – we need ingredients for shrimp scampi scheduled for Thursday’s menu.”

“If not tomorrow, then it will have to wait until Thursday afternoon.  Our flexible schedule is losing its flexibility.”

“We may need to contact Russell – having maintenance staff, repairmen and family members with chores to perform on the property without calling or texting just isn’t okay.”

“Oh, there’s Aventurero, waiting to go to the bakery.  Fresh baked goods, yumm.”

“Jackson, the produce grocer is closed – will have to try tomorrow for the parsley and shallots.”

“The Trio agrees on Genoa Italian tonight and take a tricimoto to the edge of town.”

“Early night after the excitement of the Super Bowl last evening.”



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