Thursday, November 28, 2013

Morning Thoughts--Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I will be back to Ajijic on the 4th of December. Then I will start once again with my daily walks around town and photos of the same six block area. (My son loves to tease me about that.) 

My family is sick. Jet lag from the trip to India but we are all going out for a family dinner at a nice hotel in downtown Portland today.  Good thing we didn't decide to do any cooking today. Just doing the routine tasks is almost too much for them. It makes me realize that I have no desire to travel to India or any country that far away. They traveled for 48 hours straight before they finally got back to Portland.....   So, once again, Happy Thanksgiving and happy eating.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Essential Oils from India

My son makes perfumes. He brought back two bags of essential oils from India. The ones in the front row on the bottom photo are some of them. Wonderful fragrances. Maybe he will make me some perfume before I go back to Mexico. I hope so.

My Family Returns from India with lots of Gifts

Some of the statues they brought back
more statues
A few of the boxes of teas they brough
Some of the spices. There are many more.
Some of the incense.
A stack of material. Also clothing that I didn't photograph
Two of the many paintings
Some of the hundreds of prints from the museum
The stack of prints
Inside of a bag of essential oils
These are only a few of the things they brought back. Below are photos of the prints I picked out to take back to Mexico. Just what I need more pictures on the walls.

This one will look good with my Vietnamese plaques
This is my favorite

Last Saturday's Get Together at Walter Mitty's Restaurant

It was a fun get together. From the left in the photo is Jack and his wife Virginia, then Bev and then the waitress is standing, then Pam and then Donna. We all had a lot to talk about. Two people had never been to Ajijic. Three may be moving there after they retire. Thank you all for coming. I really enjoyed myself.

Sky Med Seminar in Ajijic

In the event of a serious medical emergency would it be your desire to be back in the United States or Canada for financial reasons or family reasons?   

If you answered yes, you are invited to join us for the next session in this very popular and timely program on emergency medical procedures.  We will discuss how to maximize the value of your medical expenditures.  We will also explore a practical and affordable plan to get back up north to where you can use existing resources to have peace-of-mind.
These sessions are hosted by SkyMed International, North America's Premier Emergency Medical Air Evacuation Membership Program

WHEN: Wednesday December 4th From 4:00 to 6:00 pm
WHERE: Pranzo Bistro, Ajijic - On the Carretera at the La Floresta traffic light and Architectural Sculpture
Contact Arthur Clark by reply to this email or Phone 376-766-0096
From USA or Canada Direct 800 Line 1(866) 917-9700
Wine and Cheese Reception Immediately Following- No charge – Limited Space.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Morning Thoughts--Getting Together Today at Walter Mitty's

I am at a loss for words this morning from too many days of sitting around in the house with nothing to do. I thought Thursday was Friday.  I guess I was trying to rush the time when my son and daughter-in-law would be returning from India. I was lonely.  They come back tomorrow in the early afternoon. That isn't soon enough for me!

If it weren't so expensive to change my airline ticket, I would have made it the day after they returned. But these days it costs as much to change it as it costs for another ticket, two hundred dollars. So I will stay here until Dec. 4th. It will be nice to have Thanksgiving with them and my daughter-in-law's birthday is Dec. 2nd.  

 I know, there are a lot of things I COULD be doing. Like learning to cook. Learning Spanish. Writing a book. Exercising. Cleaning house.   But I am not doing those things. Instead, I am obsessively bidding on jewelry on the internet. Wasting my money. Wasting my time. Hating this cold weather. Missing my life in Mexico. Gaining weight.

I did get out with my friend, Joan, yesterday to Costco. Thank you Joan. I bought the shingles shot and the flu shot, socks and persimmons. There went two hundred and fifty dollars! One month's rent in Mexico! It was so crowded in there that I was on the verge of having an anxiety attack. (The country mouse syndrome again.)  I assume that all the grocery stores will be crowded from now until after Thanksgiving or Christmas. I am dreading my next shopping trip.

I miss the Wednesday market in Ajijic. I miss all of the fresh fruit and the friendly vendors. I love to squeeze them. (The fruit, not the vendors. Well maybe the vendors too but I am too old for that now.)  I don't like to see the food all boxed up or wrapped in clear plastic.  I had to get a sharp knife just to open the heavy plastic that was the container for the persimmons. There was no way I could have smelled them or seen if they had bad spots while they were encased in that plastic. They had no smell. They had bad spots. They were rock hard and didn't respond to my squeezing. They were bitter, like a mate in a bad marriage. Unresponsive to squeezing and bitter.

I am hoping some people will show up today for the get together at Walter Mitty's. Please come!  It is the one across the street from PCC. It will be at two this afternoon. Let's get together and talk about how wonderful it is to live and vacation in sunny Mexico! I promise not to complain about the winters in Portland.  Summers here are beautiful. Winter, not so much...... (I guess I did find some words in me.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Reminder about Get Together on Saturday, at Walter Mitty's Restaurant

Just a reminder that we are going to get together again Saturday at two in the afternoon at Walter Mitty's Restaurant. It is in Lake Oswego across the street from PCC. Hope to see you there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Saturday's Get Together at Walter Mitty's

I took this photo of the other women who showed up on Saturday to talk about Mexico. Joan is on the left. Pam is in the back on the right. Donna is in the front on the right. It was very enjoyable, especially for me because I had been stuck in the house for days with just the dogs to talk to and they don't talk back.  I wasn't expecting anyone to show up since I had messed up the dates. It was a nice surprise for me to see people there.

They all said they would come back this coming Saturday at two. Same place. Same time. Maybe more people will come too.  If not, I am sure we will have a nice time again. There is so much to talk about when people are thinking of moving to Mexico. Or even just thinking of visiting there, like Joan.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Morning Thoughts---Today Meeting at Walter Mitty's

I have nothing to write about because I haven't done anything for a couple of days. I am just sitting by the fire, trying to keep warm. It is cold and dreary here. I am writing this to keep the blog active. I can't say the same for myself. I have no desire to walk out there in the rain. Even the dogs don't want to go out. I have to push them out the door to pee....

Today at two in the afternoon, I will walk down to Walter Mitty's and see if anyone shows up.  I made the mistake of putting two different dates of the meeting on the blog. But since I have nothing to do and am bored here in the house, I decided to keep both dates.... So if you want to come and have a hot drink with me or something to eat and talk about Ajijic, I would love to see you there today. Or next Saturday, or both Saturdays.

I got a phone call early this morning from my family from India.  I hadn't heard from them for two days. They were all sick with diarrhea for two days from the hotel food. They have been eating street food for a week and it is the more expensive hotel food that made them all sick. There is no way around it when you travel in a third world country.

I remember, years ago, early in the morning in Puerto Vallarta, there was a hotel buffet set out. (This was a four star hotel.) The flies were all over it but when it was time for the guests to eat, they fanned the flies away.  The guests had no idea that their food had already been tasted.  My theory is that I might as well eat street food. It tastes the best and it isn't worse for your health than food from the hotels or restaurants. Getting diarrhea is just a fact of life.

My friend Donna suggested the medicine Ciprofloxacia. It is an antibiotic. But only take it if the diarrhea is really bad. In Mexico it is spelled Ciproflexcina. Since it is an antibiotic, you will need a prescription in Mexico. They no longer will let you have antibiotics without a prescription. I don't know about India.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Walter Mitty's Meeting Tomorrow and the next Saturday

As usual, I am confused. I put the first announcement of the meeting at Walter Mitty's as the 23rd. Then I made the next announcement on the 16th which is tomorrow. So this is the new plan. I will be there both Saturdays.....  If you can come tomorrow, come. If you can't come tomorrow and you can come on the next Saturday, come then. Come both days if you can.....  Otherwise, this is going to be even more confusing. Thanks. p

The Indian Wedding Dress

My family is still in India. I received this photo of Maria's wedding dress. She looks so beautiful in it that I decided to post it on my blog.  She is getting this coming August. I will be coming back for the wedding.

Reminder about the get together tomorrow at Walter MItty's Restaurant

Just to remind people about the get together at Walter Mitty's in Lake Oswego tomorrow, Saturday, at two in the afternoon. We had about ten people last time and it was a lot of fun. Hope you can make it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What will be in my suitcase when I go back to Mexico

I bought these four black plaques many years ago at a yard sale in Portland. The woman selling them had brought them back from her trip to Vietnam. They are very heavy, inlaid with abalone shells. They are 15 inches wide by 31 inches long. They barely fit into my suitcase and they must weigh about fifteen pounds each. Looks like I won't be bringing back much else and I sure hope they don't want to charge me duty on them in Mexico.

My family never liked them. My son said, "They look like things that hang on Chinese restaurant walls."  My daughter-in-law agreed with him.

But I have always loved them. I am now in the process of trying to wrap them so they won't break on the airplane..... My family gave me permission to have them back.

One lesson I have learned from this experience is, Never give anything to a loved one if you value it far more than the loved one does.....  It isn't appreciated and just gets stuffed in a garage somewhere.

Now that I think about it, I bought them from the son of the woman who brought them from Vietnam. I remember him yelling in the house asking if she would take my lower offer...... (She refused. I bought them at her price because I loved them so much.)  Maybe he didn't like them either. Maybe he had them stored in his garage and was cleaning it out in that sale.  I wonder what the mother thought about bringing them all the way back from Vietnam and then selling them cheaply at a yard sale.

These photos aren't very good but you can see a little bit of what they look like. These are things you either love or hate.  Certainly not typical yard sale items. I am going to hang them up in my pretend kitchen when I get back. If they make it back in good shape.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meeting at Walter Mitty's in Lake Oswego

I am planning another meeting in Lake Oswego at Walter Mitty's for people interested in Mexico and specifically the Lake Chapala area. It will be at two in the afternoon on Saturday Nov 23rd. The address is 11830 Kerr Parkway. If you are coming, let me know, or just show up... We will be in the side dining room.  Thanks, Patricia

Monday, November 11, 2013

Morning Thoughts--Friendships

My long time friend just left this morning for her drive back to Oakland. I met her when our children were a year old in the summer of 1967 in San Francisco. That is where we were living at the time. She drove up to visit with me over the weekend.  I  hadn't seen her for ten years. What a treat to see her again!

I moved out of San Francisco when my son was only two years old.  I went to Santa Cruz and my friend moved to Oakland. Over the years, I always thought of myself as the country mouse and visiting her was like visiting the city mouse. I could only stay a few days because of feeling overwhelmed by all the stimulation.

Our lives are even more polarized since I have moved to Mexico. We spent this weekend shopping. Grocery shopping, shopping at the second hand stores, shopping at the big box stores. She filled her van up with things she had bought.  Once again, I felt overwhelmed by all the stimulation and crowds. Every store was packed with shoppers. My friend even got into a fender bender in one of the parking lots. I found myself longing for the simple life of Ajijic. 

For once, I am the one who is staying in one place. My family is now in India. My old friend is on the road back towards Oakland.  I am still here.  There is something to be said for staying in one place while the world swirls all around you. Lots of time to think. I like thinking time. And mostly what I am thinking is that I love my life in Mexico and I wouldn't trade it for anything........

Last night my friend said to me, "What do you do in Ajijic? Don't you get bored?"

So I brought out my blog posts and my articles on and the monthly Ajijic calendar and the monthly magazine from there and spread them all out before her. I went on and on for about an hour and I think she lost interest in the first ten minutes of this speech. But for me, it was fun. It refreshed my memories of my home in Mexico and why I love living there. She is a city mouse all the way. No matter what I told her could convince her to even want to visit me down there.

But we still respect and love each other, even though our lives have gone into such different directions. Even though it had been ten years since I saw her last, it felt like only a month. That is what friendships are all about in my mind. Respect and love.

Being with her reminded me of my former self, of our former selves....... I like this time of my life better because finally I am beginning to know who I am and what I want. That took years to find out. I am a country mouse, contented to live in simplicity. Mexico is the ideal spot for me. Mexico, the land of Manana.....

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Morning Thoughts---Cats and Cold

It is hard for me to think when I am so COLD. I am not used to this weather and I was told that it isn't even winter weather yet here in Portland.  I am so spoiled by the beautiful, sunny, warm weather in Mexico.  Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon in front of the fireplace, reading and feeding it more wood.

I got an e mail from my friend and neighbor a couple of days ago, saying that the cat who likes to sit at my window somehow got into my casita before I left. She was stuck in there for two days until my friend was checking on Chico and she heard the cat crying.

Poor thing. She had water because Chico's water bowl was in there and my bathroom sink drips. She had Chico's food in a bowl too. I hate to think of where she was going to the bathroom. I thought this experience would have made her disappear but she is a very persistent cat. My friend said she was back the next day, gazing in my window.   I am so glad my friend saw her and let her out of there. I can't think of a worse welcome home than a dead cat in my casita. Okay, a dead person would be worse but since I live alone, that isn't likely to happen.

I am going back to the fire to try to get warm. Now I am the one envying people lucky enough to live in Mexico in the wintertime. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Morning Thoughts

Trees in front of the house.
I am in Portland now. I arrived on Halloween. Fortunately, it was an easy trip up here.  I didn't go through LAX. People often ask me about violence in Mexico. The States has its share of violence too. I have had several problems with TSA people in the L.A. airport so I don't go through there anymore. But I certainly wouldn't be tempted to take a gun there and shoot them. Crazy people live all over the world. And they can get guns. And they do. It is sad.

I am trying to get used to this cold weather. I wear a jacket all the time, even in the house. Mexico, I miss your sunshine!

It is good to be with my family again. They leave for India in a week. I am hoping and praying that their trip will be good and they will all stay well. Every so often I think about taking a trip to India or Thailand or Bali. But then the thoughts disappear when I consider the twenty hours or so on the airplane. Something about that recycled air. It makes me sneeze. I thought I had a head cold by the time I got off the plane this time but by morning I was fine again. That was only a two and a half hour flight. I can't imagine what a twenty hour flight would do to me now. My back is so bad that I probably wouldn't even be able to walk after sitting so long.

So, the traveling thoughts quickly disappear. This January I need to be in Ajijic anyway because I am going to apply for permanent residency. I don't have to prove my income because I have been there a long time. It will cost me 800 dollars but after that I won't have to apply again. No more yearly paperwork and expense to be able to stay there.

I will return to Ajijic on December 4th. I hope to have another get together with people who are interested in visiting the lakeside area while I am here. Let me know if you would like to come. We will meet at the restaurant in Lake Oswego again.