Saturday, October 30, 2010

Solitary Confinement

Now I understand why solitary confinement is such a terrible punishment. It is difficult to be stuck with One's own thoughts, rattling around and around in circles.   I am getting tired of this, being stuck alone in my little casita. My friends Cheryl and Billy came to visit with me this morning and I couldn't get out to open the gate for them. Since I only have a half cast on, I don't dare risk walking with no one near me. I don't want to fall and cause another broken bone. So I sit here, or on the bed, hour after hour, thinking the same thoughts. Rehashing all the stupid mistakes and wrong turns I have taken in my life up to this point.

Fortunately, I have a good book to read but I am almost through it. I have watched all the movies my son downloaded on my computer. I did all my housework, cleaned myself up, made the bed. Not much else to do in this little room.   I will close this for now. No need to depress others with my sense of futility.

Apartments for Rent with Pool

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 11:03 PM, julia hennesey wrote:



I received this e mail today that I am passing on to my readers. Yes, Julia I remember you. I took a photo of you that day and then quickly forgot about putting it on my blog. I am glad you contacted me again.  Good luck with the rentals. They look lovely. As I remember, you too are lovely.   Patricia

Friday, October 29, 2010

Two Friends......They Came to My Casita to Visit

Nayeli is 8 years old and Evelyn is 5 years old. I am a lucky woman to have these two sweet angels come into my casita to visit with me today.  

Another Post on my Health Progress

Here goes another boring old post on my ankle problem. I have nothing else to write about. I have only been out of the house twice in the past few weeks and that was in the car to see the doctors. It it getting very strange for me to go outside the gate here. Even going outside my little room feels strange. It is scary. That big world. How did I ever manage out in it?

I was having a conversation one day with my friend Lamar. He comes to visit with me every once in a while. We were talking about autism. I had just seen a video my son had downloaded on my computer about a couple with an autistic boy. They took a long trip to Mongolia to visit twelve shamans and the boy rode horses part way across Mongolia.  It changed his life. Not that he quit being autistic. But after the last visit to a shaman he immediately toilet trained himself. He was probably six or eight years old. And many autistic people are never toilet trained. It all depends on how severe their autism is. He also quit having terrible tantrums. I know all about those things because for seven years when I worked in the States I took care of disabled adults and children. Many of them were autistic. It can be exhausting. According to this video, experts say that autistic people have an incredible ability to concentrate on one subject. 

I remember that from taking care of a young boy who was obsessed with the carnival. He drove me nuts with all his energy and his talks on the carnival. He lived at my house for a few weeks. One day I bought him a huge drawing pad and colored pencils. He spent a couple of weeks drawing an extremely detailed picture of carnival rides. He knew everything there was to know about all the rides. I was amazed.  Recently I received an e mail from him. He is grown up now and working for carnivals. He has been doing this job for years and traveling around with them. So he managed to become a contributing member of society. He still has his wonderful zest for living.

The reason I brought up this subject is because one autistic woman, Dr. Temple Grandin Ph.D. She has written several books about her autism. She was so interested in animals that she became able to know what scared them when they went to the slaughter houses. She developed ways to CONTAIN them so they wouldn't be so afraid. That key word CONTAIN is what I am talking about now and how it has affected my own life. I have been so contained and secure in this little room for these weeks that it feels scary to be out in the world again. And sometimes when friends come to visit I am much better at seeing their energies. Because I am so calm, I see their personal stresses more. So, maybe this time has been a good thing for me.

My friend Emily took me to the doctor yesterday. He took out the stitches in my ankle. He wrapped up my foot and leg again with just the half cast. He said for me to go back next week and get x rays but I am healing quickly. I may not even need a whole cast. I was surprised and happy to hear that. He said I would be walking within six weeks. So, all I have to do is wait it out and keep my foot elevated.

The doctors here are great. I didn't see the Orthopedic Surgeon yesterday but the doctor who owns the Ajijic Clinic. A father and son and the son's wife, all doctors, run the clinic and other doctors work out of there too. A plastic surgeon and the orthopedic  surgeon. I don't know how many doctors work out of there. Yesterday my doctor visit, including new bandages and having the stitches taken out, cost me about thirteen American dollars. Not bad at all. If I have any other medical problems, I sure hope this will be the last for awhile, I will go back to that clinic. Below is a photo of the doctor taking out my stitches. His name is Dr. Alfredo Rodriguez Magana. Telephone number is (376) 766 0662 or (376) 766-0500. They are open 24 hours a day,  7 days a weeks.  You can see how clean and nice it is and below that photo one of the Emily in the exam room. I don't know what I would do without Emily's and Dale's help. And Cheryl and Billy. Also several other people, Gayle is one and Lamar and his friend Roger...My landlord and his girlfriend, his maid, my neighbors who took me home after I slipped into the lake, all the people who are e mailing me and keeping up my spirits.......Well, the list goes on and on with the people who have helped me and are still helping me.  One thing about being so vulnerable and helpless, you quickly learn who your true friends are.........And I thank all of you.......

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Bed for a Long Time Now

The days come and go and the world spins around, all kinds of activity out there. I can hear it. But I am still here in bed. I finally got the swelling in my foot under control. I had to stop doing any housework and just stay in bed on my back with my foot elevated. Hopefully, tomorrow the doctor can put on the cast. For now, I just have a half cast on and don't feel safe enough to go outside with it. I don't want to risk another accident.  I have nothing interesting to report. My friends come and help me by visiting and shopping and taking me to the doctor. What would I do without friends? Probably die.  Thank you, my friends...........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Patricia at the Ajijic Clinic last Wednesday

My friends Cheryl and Billy took me to the Ajijic Clinic last Wednesday to have the Doctor look at my foot again. He wouldn't put on a cast because the stitches weren't healed enough. Maybe I am smiling a little because I have an extremely handsome doctor and I trust him.

I remember towards the end of my mother's life, she would get these little crushes on her doctors. And I remember many of the elderly women at the mobile home park where we lived had crushes on their male doctors. Their conversations got boring to me because they talked so much about these men that they loved and trusted. Now I understand.

When you have to put your health into another person's hands, it creates a connection. What a thrill when the handsome doctor had to lift me in his arms up to the examining table!  It was too high for me to reach.

I am getting pleasure out of such simple things these days, like the sunshine through my door out in my garden and birds bathing in the fountain.

I remember many years ago reading a book written by a person who had been put into isolation for several years in China, during the cultural revolution. I don't remember anything else about this book except one part. He or she, ( I can't even remember if it was a man or a woman) said that there was just one small window and it was too high to see out of and the only thing that kept him/her alive was watching a small spider in the corner of the cell, spinning a web.   I think of that when I get too depressed. I have so much to be thankful for now. I will be up and about in six or seven weeks, hopefully.   Thank you all again for your loving e mails.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Still in Bed

Nothing new in my life. I keep my door open so I can watch the day get beautiful and bright and then fade into night. We set our clocks back an hour yesterday so the nights will be coming on more quickly, as if it means anything to me. I am just stuck in this limbo.  Also, that little apartment in the previous post has already been rented. I thought about renting it but I can't do it now. Can't even get out of bed, how could I move? And the most important thing of all is that Chico belongs to my landlord. I can't leave him. He is my constant companion. Although last night, for some reason he decided to crap in my other room. The room I can't even go into at the moment. Wouldn't you know it? He must have realized that I couldn't get in there to clean it up. Fortunately, my landlord stopped by to see if I needed something and I got him to clean it up as much as he could. He has his own physical problems. Life goes on all around me. I spent part of my day looking at old photos. How quickly things can change. One slip and everything is different. I am doing my best to try not to be too depressed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Great Deal on a Rental Near The Lake Chapala Society

I am sorry I don't have photos of this place. But as you know, I am flat on my back in my bed with my left foot up in the air. So, no photos. I house sat in this place once before the woman moved out. The best part of this little apartment is the price, 350 dollars a month. It has a huge yard which you share with one other house. The couple living in it have two boxers. They didn't live there when I house sat so I know nothing about them.

There is a small back yard which you could fence in for yourself and a drive way. You can pull your car in and lock it behind a huge fence. It is very safe. I would consider it myself if it weren't an impossible time for me. It is just half a block from the Lake Chapala Society.  I love to go there in the mornings. It is half a block from the lake and close to downtown Ajijic.

It gets a lot of light, which makes a big difference in the winter time. But is is only large enough for one person. The kitchen is nice. There is a small living room and a bedroom and bathroom in the back part of the place. Also a washer and dryer.

I was happy when I was there. Places like this are impossible to find in that area. It won't last long. I think he wants a long term renter. If you contact him please tell him that Patricia told you about it. He will be more generous with you then.  His name is Mohammed and his phone numbers are: Cell 331 279 7996. Home: 387 761 0145. His e mail address is: At least take a look at it. I think you will be happy to see it and he furnished it for the new tenants. He speaks English and is a very nice man. Wish I could take advantage of this great offer. Please let me know if you decide to rent it so I can let people on the blog know not to waste their time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trusting Others

This is a photo of my ex-husband and his mother. It looks like she has a lot of thoughts (or worries) running through her mind.
I couldn't get the cast on because I am having problems with the stitches. Hopefully, by next week the doctor can take them out and then put on a full cast. He told me to get crutches. He said, You can either buy crutches for 700 pesos or rent them for 350 pesos for six weeks and I suggest you rent them. You won't need them any longer than six weeks.

I rented them. Being the frugal person that I am and also as a vote of confidence in my healing powers. I don't want to have to hop around for longer than six weeks. I am already going to miss an entire three weeks of swimming in the beautiful pool up at El Parque. I house sit there in November. Fortunately, it is for a cat and most cats HATE to be walked. They mostly take care of themselves.

Like a cat, I have been taking care of myself for many years and the hardest part for me of this kind of injury is having to depend on others. I hate to ask for help. I hate to not be in control of my own responsibilities. I hate to worry about if things are being taken care of that are of vital importance to me. For example, being pushed up a steep ramp in a wheel chair with the awful knowledge that one mistake on the part of the person wheeling me up could mean another huge injury for me.

This is a good lesson for me in learning to trust. Do you remember years ago when the encounter groups would do an exercise in trust? People would circle around someone and that someone would then have to fall backwards and trust that the person behind would catch him or her? This is how I feel right now..... I am quickly learning which people to trust and which ones to not trust.  It is a matter of survival for me to know these things right now.

I don't like to have to make those kinds of judgments. If I don't need anyone to take care of my survival needs then I can happily go on and trust everyone up to a certain point. Now I have to let others closer into my personal world and I am much more vulnerable. I understand much better about elderly people feeling distrustful of their helpers. It is hard to know which ones to trust and which ones to look out for.

I remember my 95 year old ex-mother-in-law trusted no one. My ex husband and our son and our son's wife took care of her for many months before she passed away. She didn't trust any of them. Well, maybe she trusted the men. She didn't remember their names. She referred to her grandson as the Big One and sometimes she called her own son by her deceased husband's name.  For some reason a woman was more of a threat to her than a man.

I remember how she would ask for her purse and hold it tightly to her as my ex-husband would wheel her from her bedroom to any other room in the house. She always thought someone had stolen something from her if it had been moved when she came back into the room. She was like a hawk. But now I can see why. She was afraid and fear causes mistrust.

I must learn not to be so fearful. And not to be so afraid of falling again. My ex-mother-in-law had fallen and broken her hip before they moved her up to live with the entire family. My ex-husband could no longer do it all alone. That may have been another reason for all her fears, which seemed so unfounded to anyone watching her. She was surrounded by loved ones. She was extremely lucky to have them, yet she couldn't see it.

I hope I am learning some valuable lessons during this time. Otherwise, it all just feels like a waste of my life as these beautiful days slide by without me out in them.  I will never take walking for granted again. Of course I said the same thing after my operation two years ago on my knee. But after I was well I thought of other life problems and forgot about gratitude in just being able to walk.

  I remember looking out the hospital window when I was sixteen years old and had my appendix out. I said, I will NEVER take being out in the sunshine for granted again. But of course I almost immediately forgot that promise and took my healthy life for granted as soon as it returned. Like childbirth, we quickly forget the pain. If we didn't we probably wouldn't have the faith and courage to continue living.   So, my advice to all of you today is this, Appreciate every moment of your health and of your days here on earth. They will be gone soon enough......

Forgive me for my preaching......I have been sitting in this bed too long and see weeks more ahead of being in the same position. I envy people just the simplest act of walking in my casita on two legs with no pain and walking out again to go on with their everyday lives...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cast On Tonight

It has been nine days since my surgery and tonight at eight thirty I am going back to the doctor to have a cast put on my ankle. I hope it will all go well and everything is healing normally. Having very little to do these days since I am confined to my bed, I found a site online all about people with broken ankle problems. Talk about depressing reading!!!!  Maybe I shouldn't read any more of those stories. Some people have taken an entire year to recover. Others have had to have several operations. One person became addicted to pain killers. On and on. I will know more after my doctor visit this evening.

One of my blog readers sent me an interesting blog to check out. Steve Cotton is the writer and he writes about living in Villa Obregon, Jalisco, Mexico. His blog is called Same Life--New Location   Ramblings of a single Oregonian retired on Mexico's Pacific coast. His site is   He has been writing on it for several years. Lots of writing there and interesting photos but I have all the time in the world now that I am confined to my bed. Thank you for your concern for me. It is awfully depressing to be stuck in bed. My friends come by and talk about simple things they are going to do together, like go out to dinner, etc. I feel like I have already died because I am no longer a part of life. It just flows on around me while I sit here in pain with my leg propped up on pillows. Sorry for the self pity. Maybe I will feel more positive after I see the doctor this evening.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bed Time

This is the photo I took of the lake just before I fell into it and broke my ankle.
My friends were here today to help me. Emily took this photo.
I am stuck in bed. For me, that is the most difficult part of this journey through pain and healing.  I have my door open so Chico can come in and out. He doesn't like to stay indoors anymore than I do. He just came in to see me after chasing off a stray cat. He is in charge of the yard and he does a good job of it. My landlord said he found a dead opossum and dead rat near the hole in the fence. Must have been Chico's doing.  The other part of Chico's job is to keep me from getting too depressed. He sits close to me whenever he is in the house. At night he sleeps beside me. He seems to know to stay away from my sore foot. He is a smart dog. But don't we all think that of our dogs?

I can't get a cast on my leg for another eight days. Maybe I will be able to get around more with a cast. Right now I am afraid to do too much. I am taking a lot of drugs to keep from getting my ankle infected and to hold down the pain. I am a little spacey.   That is good because it makes the time go by faster.

 My friends have all offered to help with bringing in food. Dale will be here in a few minutes with a meal from the Boston Deli. Gigi knows how I like my steak. Right now the main problem is that no one can get in the main gate without my landlord being here to open it. Maybe I can get a friend to make up some extra keys. There is no way I can get out this door and to the gate.  And I can't expect my landlord to hang out here just to let my friends in.

So many people have been writing to me by way of the blog and e mails and that means a lot to me. I was going to write a long post on my IMSS experience but quit half way through it. I got too depressed. But if this is something anyone out there really wants to know I will be glad to share my experience. Just e mail me your phone number. I have skype and I will give you a call.......  Otherwise, I think it is best to just let it all slide into the past. I need to concentrate on the future now and on healing. Walking is my life and if I couldn't do that again I would be extremely unhappy. I am trying to keep positive thoughts and take care of myself so I will be on my feet ASAP. Thank you all for writing and sharing your concerns for me. I really appreciate that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thank You All for Your Concern

I am back home now. I received so many e mails and comments on my blog that it is impossible for me to answer each one. I am not in good enough shape physically or emotionally to do that right now. It has been an extremely difficult few days for me. But some good things have come out of it.  First thing is the care and concern that people have expressed for me.  I hate to depend on anyone for anything. But I had no other choice.

From the time that I slipped in the lake and crawled up to the road, to finally coming home this afternoon, people have been helping me. The most important lesson for me is that there is a caring community both here in the physical world and out there in cyberspace. I am not alone. That is a huge lesson for me because I have been living alone for a long time. I had no idea of all the helpful, loving people around me.

When my mother passed away I thought that no one else would ever love me as much as she did. I felt untethered in the world. Of course my son and daughter-in-law have always been there but they have their own very busy and stressful lives. Come to think of it, we all have busy lives. Even in Mexico people have things to do. And help came to me from all directions. People put aside their daily plans and came to my rescue.

I will not go into my experience with IMSS right now. I had my camera with me when I was at the hospital but it just didn't feel right to photograph people when they were suffering. Also, I too was in extreme pain. I wrote a notebook about my experience and when I feel better I am going to figure out where to put it online. It is too long for this blog. And too depressing. I will just say this one thing. I could have had the operation done for free in the IMSS hospital in Guadalajara and I was prepared to wait. And if you know anything about me, you know that I am extremely careful with my money. I thought I could put up with anything for a day or so in order to save the two thousand dollars the operation would have cost me in a private hospital. But after sitting in a chair in the hallway with my bags piled on my lap and my foot on the floor (for five hours) and being ignored, I had to get out. The operation wasn't going to be for at least three days, possibly more....That is all I will write for now. The details will come at another time.......  When I have more space to write it all out. It isn't a pretty picture. And thank all of you again for your love and concern. I had the operation yesterday in a private hospital and I will get a cast in nine days. So I am in my casita with my leg up and Chico at my side. And again, thank you all for your concern......

Friday, October 8, 2010

Broken Ankle

Last night I fell in the water and broke my ankle. I have to go to the hospital in Guadalajara for an operation. So I won't be on my computer for a few days.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Market and a Trip to West Ajijic

This vegetable seller was trying to get me interested in the thing he was holding up but I had no idea of what kind of vegetable it was. I didn't want to eat it. It was bordering on obscene, like something that should have been hidden under the counter.
Looking for a home for this sweet puppy. If you are interested please contact Anita's Animal Shelter.
This lucky dog found a home.
No need for clothes pins. Barbed wire works great, if you don't mind a few holes now and then.

A Celebration Day For Me

I took the close up by holding the camera in front of me. I rarely put photos of myself on the blog. I never like them. All my self-esteem issues... But today it seemed important since I was celebrating my 1000th blog posting.   I had a fun day, swimming and dinner with two of my friends and their two dogs. Life is good to me.   For today......  No one can predict what tomorrow may bring.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Have Hit the Magical 1000th Post

It is late and I am sleepy and cold in my little casita but I just noticed that one more post would bring me up to the 1000 mark. I couldn't resist. So here I am, typing away with Chico sleeping on my pillow on the bed. He could care less about this important milestone in my life. That is the great thing about dogs. They don't get involved in human ups and downs. They have their own lives to think about and they love us unconditionally, no matter what we are experiencing.

I spent several hours again this evening roaming through all my photos and putting my favorite ones in a special slide show file on my computer. I have hundreds of photos of the lake and clouds over the lake and sunsets and birds. It is going to be extremely difficult to cut them back to only forty or so photos. That is about the length I can put on You Tube. Any longer and it won't be accepted and I am not computer knowledgeable enough to know how to put it on my blog without going through You Tube first.

My friend Pat helped me with some of my blog problems. I have a Mac and she doesn't know this kind. She asked me how to right click. Boy did I feel stupid. Right click? I had no idea. I never have had the need to do that since I started this blog. There are huge holes in my computer knowledge and she stumbled upon one. She just laughed at me. She is a webmaster. Her site is Check it out. It is filled with useful information about towns all over Mexico. She actually makes money with her blog.

If it is warm enough tomorrow afternoon I am going to take the bus out to my friend's house in West Ajijic and swim in their heated pool. I thought about the spa in San Juan Cosala. That was my original idea for a treat for reaching my 1000 post goal. But I prefer to be around friends. It is more like a celebration when it can be shared.

I don't have anything special to say in this post. I wish I had some pearls of wisdom to offer. But I am just me. I am almost to the end of my third year of living in Ajijic and second year of doing this blog. I still love it here. Everyday is new and exciting to me. Sure, I have my ups and downs. We all do. I have said this before and I say it again, this isn't paradise on earth. We take with us all our personal struggles; our baggage. It is just a lot nicer place (for me) to work through those struggles than any other place I have lived. So, I am going to allow myself to gloat for once and pat myself on the back for making this goal. And I thank every one of you for helping me to keep on writing and taking photos of this place that I love. I hope that I have also transferred some of that love to you.

St. Francis of Assisi Parade- part 2

The statue of St. Francis of Assisi comes back around to the church.
Above is a smaller statue of St. Francis of Assisi
I love to watch the dancing horses.
At night the carnival opened. Lots of bright lights. The children loved it. There was a large crowd at this festival. Someone asked me today if it was safe here. I have never been in a crowd in Mexico where I didn't feel safe.

Chapala's St Francis of Assisi Parade

Above is my friend Stacey. She invited me to Chapala for dinner and then to watch the parade.  We walked around the restaurant area and listened to the mariachis before eating.

Above is the bell ringer. He is waiting for the parade to come back to the church.  Then he rang the bells for a very long time. It was exciting to hear the bells and then the rockets went off. Music, bells, rockets, yelling. Lots of fun.
Check out his head gear. There is another photo just below this so you can see it better. It is a real bird. Maybe a Crow?
The statue of St. Francis of Assisi. I was told that once a year they take it out of the church and parade it down the street and back.