Saturday, December 31, 2016
My long time friend Don is sitting on the bench with Chico...
The little girl in her excitement to chase the pigeons, scared them all away.
Chico likes little dogs.
I have known Don since I first moved to this area. We both lived in Chapala and for ten years he has been taking me out to eat and paying for every meal. He won't let me pay.
I love his t shirt. At one time we knew a man named Don Wolf. It would have been a perfect t shirt for that Don. But one day years ago, that Don got up and left this area. People come and go here all the time.
It is so nice to have a long term friend here. I know this Don doesn't look at the internet, otherwise I would say thank you to him here. I say it to him in person all the time but I don't think that he fully understands how much I appreciate his friendship. I ran into him at the plaza today and he asked me to my favorite restaurant for lunch. Otherwise I would have had NO plans for this special day. Okay, I will write it anyway, Thank you Don, even though you won't see this message! You are a special friend to me!.
This has been a hard year for me. I may not have any hair left but at least I am still alive, thanks to my friends and doctors. Hopefully, this coming year will be better. I will try not to think about what is happening with Trump taking over the presidency. Or about anything else negative... Think POSITIVE...
Friday, December 30, 2016
The photo of the koi pond is for my son. He likes to make fun of me for taking so many photos of the LCS ponds. He said that they are the most photographed koi ponds in the world. David, if you are looking at this, Happy New Year.
I love all the Poinsettas that are blooming all over town, especially at the Lake Chapala Society.
Chico and I walked into town yesterday and discovered a new restaurant across the street from the plaza. It is inside of the Hotel Ajijic, to the back of it, next to the small swimming pool. The waiter said I could swim in it if I wished but the water is too cold for me. The name of the restaurant is Jimmy D's. It is owned by two men, James and Don. The breakfast was delicious. I forgot the name of the man I was talking to, either James of Don. He told me about putting it on one of the local message boards and how people immediately attacked him. About everything. About how he said dogs were allowed in there because it was in the garden. About every detail he put on the board.
I laughed and said for him not to read it or pay attention to it. I was also attacked on that board when someone sent my post about how upset I was that the gate near my house was locked . I had a bad knee and could hardly walk. I went to the association and asked for a key so I could get out of there instead of walking an extra seven blocks. They said NO!
It was a public road and illegal for them to lock it. People jumped all over me about complaining. Someone even suggested that I take taxis all the time, as if I could afford it or would want to do that. So I KNOW about the attacks that happen on the message boards. I wished him good luck with his new restaurant. Here are some photos of it and Chico. And just so you know, they FINALLY unlocked the gate, several years later.... They knew it was illegal, yet they locked it anyway. Okay, all you people on the message board, go ahead and attack me again about this... I am ready for you!
Part of their breakfast menu
Bacon and eggs. That is a strawberry cut up like a flower. Their bread is delicious and so is their jam, homemade strawberry. I also had a side of hash browns and they were the best I have ever had. With pieces of onion and bacon in them and very crispy. Just the way I like them.
Chico in my lap before our food came. He is curious about the new place.
The man in the above photo is Jimmy. One of the owners. I wish them a successful business. I see so many restaurants come and go here. One day they are doing great and the next day no one is there and then they are gone. It is a hard business.....
The man in the photo above is the other owner. He was at the Ajijic Plaza across the street, drumming up business. His name is Don. Two very nice men.
They are open six days a week. Closed on Weds. Open eight am to two pm. Check it out. I am going to walk down there again this morning for breakfast.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Merry Christmas everyone. I will just be glad when it is all over. I have been surrounded by parties for three days. They are nonstop with ear splitting music going at all hours of the day and night. Fireworks too. My house smells like fireworks. I promise myself that I will never spend another Christmas holiday in this place. I don't know where I will go or what I will do. But someplace quiet. That may not be possible in all of Mexico. I remember last year when I was here that the parties finally stopped right after Christmas Day. I am hoping that is true this year because I don't want to keep on like this with very little sleep. When do they sleep? I guess they don't. They just drink away the night.
I try not to write anything negative on this blog because it always comes back to bite me. But I am too exhausted to think of anything positive at the moment. Unless you like loud noise, I would not encourage you to vacation here at Christmas time.
There was a huge explosion in the biggest fireworks factory in Mexico. It is near Mexico City. I saw a photo of people running away and carrying bloody bodies on the news on my i pad. Thirty three people have died and seventy are in the hospital. People were burned so badly that they couldn't be identified or even their sex identified.... And this is the THIRD explosion that has happened in the same factory. Sorry for bringing that up. I am so negative when I don't sleep for three nights and the fireworks are driving me and my dog crazy. What is this fascination that Mexicans have for fireworks?
I have my new cameras now but have been too tired to go out and take any photos. No sleep really exhausts me. I have two beds, one in the front room, one in the back room. Both rooms have been viberating from the music and there's is no escaping it in my place. I can't think of a worse Christmas for me.
Okay, no more complaining. I am only writing to keep feeding this blog. Like the little kefir grains that die if not fed milk constantly. Maybe after this holiday I will have enough energy to go out and take some photos. AFTER I get a few nights of sleep.... Again, MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone and I hope you are not also in the midst of all the marathon music, fireworks and drinking parties.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
My son and daughter-in-law are iced in. Schools are closed. It took hours for many of the commuters up there, Portland, OR. To get home last night. Scary stuff. Nice to be sitting here in the sunshine and warm weather. But I worry about all the storms up there and people having bad accidents.
I am waiting another hour before heading out to the spa to swim. It is still a little cold outside. If you are reading this in the cold weather up in the States you will laugh. Sixty five degrees is considered cold here by the locals. That temperature is when Mexicans going to work put on their gloves, hats and winter jackets. The expats still are walking around in shorts. It must seem warm to them compared to the frozen North.
I feel lucky to be living in the sunshine and to be able to swim year around.
Still no camera. It comes in a few days. Then I will be back to taking pictures. For now, all you get are these Morning Thoughts. Just keeping it alive, like my little kefir grains..... Have a great day everyone. And if you are living up in the ice and snow, please slow down. No hurry to your death.
Monday, December 12, 2016
This is the last day of a nine day celebration of the Fiesta de Guadalupe. Celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe. I woke up at four am this morning to the sound of the cohetes shooting off and they have been going off all morning long. Today is a national holiday for Mexico. I can't use my swim tickets at the spa on National Holidays and I wouldn't want to because it is too crowded. So it looks like I will just be walking with Chico into town and back. I can hear parties going on all around me in my Mexican neighborhood.
On about the 20th I will get my cameras from e bay. My friend Karin is bringing them down for me. Then I will be in business again.
In the meantime, I am limping along on this blog, trying to keep it alive. It is kind of like keeping kefir grains alive. I got some kefir grains a few weeks ago. In order for them to stay alive you have to keep feeding them milk. They grew from one tablespoon to about four tablespoons of grains and so every day I have two more quarts of kefir to drink. I am glad I don't have sourdough starter to feed too. Did you know that some sourdough starters came over on the Mayflower in the pockets of immigrants? But they always have to be fed, like the kefir little buggers. Wow, it is almost like having a crying baby in the house. Or that house plant that used to say FEED ME..... FEED ME..... I don't remember the name of that broadway play but I do remember that plant.
Things that are living have to be fed, some more than others. So this living blog is being fed a few articles to keep it alive until I get my cameras. Then I will be able to take photos again and get back in business here. In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you all. I am going out to see what is happening in the Ajijic Plaza. Chico will love the walk.
I hope that we will have a few days of quiet after today but I won't count on it. As soon as I think one celebration is finally over, another one starts. It is just something I must accept. Some mornings I will be awake at four am because of the loud cohates someone is shooting off. This is Mexico. If you want peace and quiet, don't move here. You will be disappointed. But if you like celebrations, parades, music, loud fireworks, parties, you will love it here.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Yesterday I got an e mail from my son saying that their house is sold. I am so relieved. And Chico and I also received an invitation for Christmas Day with my friend. My savior, the one who made me get out of the house and go to the hospital and stayed with me the entire time. Thank you Leslie for being such a wonderful friend!
Another friend is bringing me two cameras that I bought on E Bay on the 20th of this month. It will be nice to have a camera again, one that I know how to use.
So life for me seems to be getting back on track. Now if only my hair would grow back........
There are lots of Christmas events and celebrations going on now. This is a very social town, especially in the high season.
I mostly stay home after swimming because I am really tired. Yesterday I was so tired that I forgot to turn off the faucet in the kitchen. I was sitting in my big chair with Chico and Olive in my lap watching a movie on Netflix when I heard a strange noise. At first I thought it was Olive eating but she was sleeping on my lap. I ignored it for awhile. Then I decided to see what it was so I walked into a flooded kitchen. About three inches of water all over. Including under my frig and other electrical stuff. I put on my rubber crocks and spent the next hour mopping it up. What a mess.
I don't have anything new to write about. Just feeding the blog so it doesn't die.... I hope everyone out there is doing well and not overwhelmed by the holidays.
Thursday, December 8, 2016
It is cold in the mornings here now but it usually warms up in a few hours. I am still swimming several times a week. Having very little hair makes it a lot easier for it to dry after the swim. At least there is one advantage to being almost bald.
We are in the midst of the high season now so the streets have bumper to bumper traffic and the restaurants are full and the Wednesday market is difficult to walk down. Everywhere there are new people and I only recognize a few of them from earlier years. Since I am not very social, I don't get involved in all the Christmas activities. I miss my son and daughter-in-law. Haven't seen them for well over two years. That is the hardest part for me of living in Mexico. But of course they are just an airplane ride away. Their lives are a bit chaotic now and having me there would only make them more so. (They are trying to sell their house.)
Sometimes it is hard to be a parent with grown kids because their problems or dreams can't be fixed or fulfilled by us anymore. It isn't as simple as when they were children and buying them a new toy did the trick. It is hard to know what to do to continue being part of their lives and to help them without making life harder for them and being in the way. So I will be spending Christmas alone. Okay, not completely alone. I have Chico and Olive and maybe my friend in the States will be here by then. She has been paying rent on a house up the street from me for three months and can't find anyone to drive her and her two dogs and all her things down here. Maybe she will make it by Christmas and Chico and I will be able to visit with her and her two little dogs. One of which has a crush on Chico. She brings Chico her toys and sits close to him and stares at him. It makes him very nervous.
I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season wherever you are living. I haven't been writing much because I am kind of sad right now, missing my family.
Monday, November 28, 2016
I just took this photo of me and Olive. She likes to sit by me when I work at the computer. I don't know what I would do without Chico and Olive. I would be awfully lonely. We are in the middle of the San Andreas festival. It lasts nine days and something is always going on those days. Yesterday morning at five thirty a.m. A parade came by my window, with people on horses, people playing huge drums and trombones and people walking with candles. The animals were going crazy and good luck if you thought you were going to sleep in that Sunday morning. And of course the huge fireworks were going off too. My neighbor's dogs freak out and throw themselves against a huge wooden door and bark continuously. Oh no, HERE COMES ANOTHER PARADE...... at least this time they waited until eight thirty. Chico and Olive are scurrying away to hide somewhere.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, with some time set aside to think of all the good things in your lives and say Thank You for them...
I will never forget when my son was a young boy, maybe three years old, it was Thanksgiving and I explained that it was a day to give thanks for the good in our lives. So he ran around the house putting little Thank You stickers on everything that he liked, including chasing after the dog. Of course the dog would have none of that nonsense. But it made me feel wonderful that he was so much into giving thanks. I hope he will always have that quality.
Those were hard times for us. Just as the past few months have been very hard on me.
I have been writing this blog for years and sometimes it is difficult to keep it going, especially when life turns bad. And I have noticed in my own life that good things or bad things always come close to the same time. The first bad thing was almost dying. I survived, thanks to the quick thinking of my landlord and my friends. After that experience I was no longer afraid of dying. Dying can be easy. I was just floating away into great peace. But living is much harder. The twelve thousand dollar bill wasn't so easy to accept. That is a year's living expenses for me here. But I am still alive. Something to be grateful for. What is money anyway when compared to being alive?
Almost immediately after that, came two deep betrayals of trust from people I love dearly. What do you have if you don't have trust? Not much.
And then my ex boyfriend died. I had been calling him every few days for a couple of years at that point and his silence now is so hard on me. Yet, I know that it is peaceful on the other side. And I KNOW he was miserable and always in pain. Blind and stuck in a wheel chair. It is for myself that I grieve, not for him. I believe that he is in a much better place.
And now, after all that stress, my hair is falling out. I may be completely bald soon. I had to have it cut off a few days ago and I still can't get used to having it so short. I have never had short hair. I am sure this hair falling out is because of the surgery and then all the stress on top of that. And hopefully, it will grow back. In the meantime, I don't know that person in the mirror. Chico still recognizes me. Olive too. But I am not feeling very social. I am spending Thanksgiving Day, today, at the spa, alone. Swimming and resting in the sunshine. And maybe while I am there I will write down all the things that I am grateful for in my own life. First one on the list is the fact that I am still alive! According to the doctors, it was touch and go there for a few days. Second on that list would be the friends who rushed over here and forced me to go to the hospital. They saved me.
I have not been very social for a few months. Too much bad stuff on my mind. And when I feel this way, it is really difficult to keep the blog alive. I always consider it a living thing that has to be fed from time to time. But when so many bad things happen, it is hard to write my truth on the blog.
I know that people read my blog because they want to know what it is like living in Mexico. Funny, last night I was looking online for the world's most dangerous places and they included Mexico in that list! What a shock. They should have included the United States with all the shootings that happen up there. So I started thinking more about danger. There is outside danger and there is inside danger. For me, the internal danger is harder to bare. And that can happen anywhere in the world. Like that old saying, No matter where you go, There you are.....
I am hoping to heal myself at the spa these next few months. And also I want to apologize to the people who have tried to reach out and meet me during this awful time of my life. I have not been very friendly. I just want to be alone and try to regain my strength. But I also appreciate the fact that people are still reading the blog and still writing to me and caring for me. I appreciate all those friendships and hopefully soon I will be back on track. Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Here is how I look now. Like I said, Chico doesn't care. He always loves me. If you are lucky enough to have someone in your life, person or dog or cat or any other living being, who loves you unconditionally, put that at the top of your list of things to be thankful for today......
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Both the mask and the large pot were made by the Tarahumara Indians. The ones famous for running for miles without getting tired. They live in the Copper Canyon area. They are very poor and did not have enough money to come to the exhibit. A very nice Expat woman agreed to sell their things for them. I fell in love with the mask and this pot. The mask cost me about five dollars and the pot was ten dollars. I think that is leather wrapped around it. I felt fortunate to have found things that I could afford at the show and so I wanted to share them with you. They are sitting on my kitchen table. It is kind of hard to tell how large that pot is and when I was carrying it to the car I was sorry I had bought it because it is very very heavy. Now that it is home, I am glad to have it on my table. If you want to see more wonderful and magical works of art, check out Accesslakechapala.com. At the top of the page there are different words. Next to the top right is the word blog. Check that one.....
Friday, November 18, 2016
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Two summers ago I flew up to Sacramento and met my friend Brian, his care giver, Roy and Brian's dog, Lucky. We went in the bus from there to Reno and stayed a few days. I found out today that Brian passed away two days ago. I had been calling him for days but no answer. I knew Brian for over twenty five years. I talked with him every few days on the phone. I loved him.
I was so grateful that he finally had a wonderful care giver. Roy was like an extension of him. And Lucky saved his life. Brian was always in pain. He was going to kill himself and someone (maybe it was Roy. I don't remember now) brought Lucky to him that day. It was the same day someone else was taking Lucky to the pound to be killed because no one wanted him. But he jumped out of the window of that car and into the car that was on it's way to Brian's house.
That is why Brian named him Lucky. He used to run beside Brian's back wheels because he always wanted to be close to Brian. Please if you love someone, don't wait until it is too late. I am so glad Brian and I went to Reno and talked often, mostly about nothing. But we always ended the call with us both saying "I love you" . Those three words were all that mattered....
Here is a photo of his caregiver Roy. Roy is the most unlikely looking caregiver. I thought for sure we were going to get kicked out of the casinos because Roy wore his jeans so low. But you can't tell anything by outward appearances. Roy was a real gem and Brian depended on him completely.
We were quite a circus as we traveled together on the bus and wandered around the casinos. I will never forget that trip. My heart is filled with love whenever I think of it. Once we were kicked out of the casino buffet because Brian kept throwing food on the floor for Lucky. Some people became very offended by that and complained... We had to get out of the restaurant through the kitchen and back service elevator because they had no handicapped accommodations.
Besides being in a wheel chair, Brian was also completely blind. He had the bends as a young man and finally ended up paralyzed from the waist down. I know he was always in pain.... I recently almost died and I know the peace death brings. So my grieving is really a selfish thing. I believe that he is in a much better place than when he was alive and always suffering.... But we all did enjoy Reno..... Thank you again Roy for taking such good care of Brian. I will always appreciate that.
I wonder why when a person is depressed and at a lowest point, life throws another negative curve. There is no such thing as a lowest point. One can always go lower. I miss you so much Brian......