Sunday, January 31, 2016

My First Rose

I planted a rose bush a couple of months ago in my garden and here is a photo of my first rose. I feel like a proud parent.

Morning Thoughts

I haven't been doing much lately because of my bad knee. I am going to a clinic in Chapala next week to have my X rays checked out by a doctor. It is about half the cost of seeing a doctor who caters to the expats. I am leaning towards dropping the IMSS and signing up for Seguro Popular. I hope to get a ride out to the new SP hospital in Jocotopec soon. If I do, I will put some photos on of it on the blog and tell you my impressions of the place. 

I went to see Elsie again yesterday and took her a chocolate cupcake this time. She was very appreciative. Said she would save it for after her lunch. She is staying at La Paloma and it looks nice. The lunch smelled very good. They even have a beautiful swimming pool which I am sure no one uses. I have seen two other guests there and they are all well over eighty years old.

I took a couple of photos of Chico and the kitty this morning. So here they are, along with Elsie.

Olive still has a cold. She walks around as if she is drugged. If she isn't well by next week I will take her to the vet.

Chico is watching her. They get along fine in the house. Outside, it is a different story. Chico chases her. Check out his favorite toy, next to him. I find it in the strangest places in the house.

Elsie looks so pleased to have another cupcake.

Hope I look that good at 103.... Hope I live that long. Or maybe not.....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Information on IMSS

I have gathered more information on IMSS, just in case anyone out there is interested. Here goes.....  I found out that since I have not used IMSS all these years, they most likely will kick me off when I go in to use it now. This recently happened to a man I know. All this time I was thinking I was saving it for an emergency and so I didn't go in to get a doctor assigned to me. (Thinking that if I didn't use it, I wouldn't be kicked off and I would always have it in case of a big emergency.) This man said he did the same thing and when he finally went in to use it, they believed he was hiding something because he hadn't used it all that time and they kicked him off. 

Even if I were to pay for next year, several hundred dollars, they would just take my money and still kick me off.  And if they didn't kick me off? It would take from nine months to a year to schedule the knee surgery along with many many visits to doctors for test after test after test.....

Can't win for losing here.  So I will not renew it and will apply for Seguro Popular instead. At least that one is free......  I am so discouraged. But I will get an X Ray and pay for it myself in the next few days and continue with the spa and all the silly things I am doing to make my knee well.  Just thought I would give anyone interested information about IMSS.... Not good....

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Morning Thoughts

It was too overcast and cold yesterday for me to go to the spa. It is the first cold day we have had in a very long time. I am hoping today will be nice again. Yesterday I went to the Lake Chapala Society to renew my IMSS health insurance but she said it was too soon. The woman in charge of renewing it, Veronica, also encouraged me to actually use their services! Like going to get a doctor assigned to me. And if he decides I need a specialist he would give me a referral to one. And of course get X rays on my knee, etc.  I thought about it. She also gave me the name of a man who would drive me there and back and be with me through the entire registration process and he speaks Spanish and English. So I have NO EXCUSE to not do this, except my fears. It would cost me nothing so that is off the table too. But is it my fear that keeps me away. I do not want yet another operation. I have also been to the IMSS hospital and was NOT impressed. 

My temporary solution is to do more natural things to heal it. Stay longer at the spa. Do hot and cold. Make compresses out of ginger and herbs. Exercise more in the water specifically for the knee. Are you laughing at me about now? I just HATE going to doctors and having operations. I have had three operations since coming here.  

I also stopped by a table at the Lake Chapala Society where a homeopathic doctor was giving out advice. We had a talk and she gave me a tiny vial of tiny Alice in Wonderland pills that are for joint pain. I put four tiny pills under my tongue every four hours. (I will try anything not to have to get another operation.). So this morning, armed with my tiny pills, ginger and garlic and all my swimming stuff, I am going to go to the spa again. On the way home I will make an appointment for a massage and buy arnica if I can find it. I also put Tumeric in my morning coffee. My friends swear by it as a pain cure. I guess this is my crazy side.   We all have at least one. I have many but this is a major one for me.

When I had my thyroid removed the doctor was sure it was cancerous. It wasn't. But now I can't regulate my weight. That I am sure is another reason for the bad knees.  My friend Pat has the right idea. She says that she stays healthy by staying away from doctors. We will see. I will give myself two more months of my own therapy. And if it doesn't work, I am off to see the doctor again.  

On a lighter note. Chico got his hair cut yesterday and his nails trimmed. Here he is this morning. Isn't he handsome?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Morning Thoughts

We are still having cool nights but I am not about to complain, not after looking at photos of the weather on the east coast of the United States. I feel lucky to be living here in the sunshine. I haven't been very active lately, except to go to the spa and back home, because of my sore knee. I am still holding out. Hoping I won't have to have it operated on. Today I pay my coming year's fee for IMSS. The health insurance in Mexico. There is also a free one, Seguro Popular but I went for IMSS because it has more hospitals and does some things that the free one doesn't do. I don't know what those things are but I have a friend who went to Seguro Popular to have her shoulder fixed that had healed wrong from a bad break. She thought they would fix it immediately but they scheduled it for four months away. And it took her all day to register for it, standing in one line after another. 

My yearly fee for IMSS is between four and five hundred dollars. I don't know the cost for sure yet. They raise it every year and every year I am older so it goes up more. I have never used it and have been paying for it for years. Hopefully I will never need to use it. But who knows. Unexpected things happen all the time. I have a friend here who was just casually walking past a parking lot at OXXO and someone backed into her. She had to spend a lot of time in the hospital and the person who backed into her had no insurance and didn't pay anything. Or how about a heart attack? Or a stroke. Okay, no more thinking about bad things that can happen. We do the best we can to watch out for ourselves and hope that we can stay healthy. But eventually death catches up with all of us. From one thing or another.    

Other than paying my bill, I have no other plans except to find some books to read in the LCS book sale. Okay, maybe I will go out to eat at my favorite Thai restaurant.....  Nothing new in my life. Chico goes to the groomer today and gets his nails clipped. Furry Friends. They are great. Very gentle with the dogs. Chico doesn't even mind going there. 

Olive, asleep for the day in one of her favorite spots.

Chico this morning before his haircut. He is looking out our one window.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Furniture (As if I needed new furniture)

My new dresser. You may wonder why I am blocking off my door to the garden. 
It is because Chico has already peed on my beautiful curtains once. I am now blocking them off so he can't get to them. I am always trying to outsmart Chico and Olive. They usually win.

This desk is on the other side to keep Chico away from the curtain. Plus it is nice that now I can work by the garden on my computer. I wanted to do that since the day I saw this place.  I have always loved wicker furniture. I made a deal with the local used furniture store owners just when they were piling it in the back of their store because no one wanted it. I had been looking at it for months.

The other part of my bedroom. I am not sleeping in here now because I have to keep the doors open for Chico and Olive at night and it is cold. What a we do for our animals!!!

This dresser is behind the bed in my front room. I had no headboard and this helps. I sleep in this room now because it is warmer. Chico always liked it better too. So he got his way.

And that chair has to be there so Chico can jump up onto the bed. He is getting old. Again, what we do for our pets. (I sometimes trip over it.)
My one window. Another reason that Chico likes this room. He can sit on the bed and look outside, watch the people walking past. Occasionally bark.

Chico and Olive on my front bed.

My Kitchen.

Notice the cabinet doors. All my cabinet doors are like that, easily pushed open by a cat's paw. Olive loves that. I find her in the strangest places.

My new bakers rack. And all my pots and pans are hanging there, easy to reach.

Part of my garden area. I am slowly putting in new plants.

I LOVE MY HOME......   Hope you don't mind that I am putting more photos on of it.
And once again, my rent is in pesos, 2500 a month. It keeps going down as the peso devalues. 
It is now hovering a little above 18 to the dollar.   Not bad for us. Not good for Canadians. 
Theirs is still 12 to their dollar. With this great exchange rate for us, I could easily afford to buy the furniture. One new development is that the two yappy chihuahuas that lived next door and were always barking at me whenever I went into my garden, have moved!  Like my friend Pat said to me, If you don't like something in Mexico, wait. It will change. She said that after a man moved across the street from her house and had a band and played the tuba at all hours of the day and night. Then he moved...... Patience is the key for living here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baker's Rack for my Kitchen

I bought the baker's rack at the second hand store near my house. It fit in the spot perfectly. Everything in my kitchen is mine. This place was completely unfurnished. I was happy for that because I had so much furniture of my own. Anyone who has read my blog for years knows about me buying a bunch of furniture and stuffing it into my two small rooms. I knew at that point that one day I would have need of it. Guess it is a case of Buy it, and the space will come.   Today I am going to check out that ongoing Wednesday yard sale again. Oh the pleasures of going to yard sales. I miss that down here. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

One of Lakeside's oldest Expats, Elsie Sherburn

Today I visited with Elsie Sherburn. She is over a hundred years old and came here a few years ago with her family. Not long ago she moved into a board and care home not far from my house. So today I visited with her and took her a cupcake. I took some photos of her while she was eating it. She seems to be very happy in the home and is still doing her knitting. (I just learned from her daughter that she turned 102 last September.)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Great Yard Sale

I have often complained about the terrible yard sales here. The prices are always high, as much as the items would have cost new and sometimes more. I loved going to yard sales in the States and so this is one of the few disadvantages for me of living here. But I have discovered a great sale that goes on every Wednesday. It is just one block from the Wednesday market in Ajijic. At the corner of Guadalupe Victoria and Juan Alvarez. Recently they opened up an entire room with beautiful things for sale. Blown glass things, furniture, clothing and pottery. Last Wednesday I bought some pottery. The red ones were signed by the artist, Guadalupe Espicio from Michoacan. The big ones cost me 50 pesos, about 2.70 American. It is run by a man and a woman. I am sorry, I don't know their names but they are very nice and they sell things for other people. She said for their friends. She only charges 10 percent to do this and she considers everyone her friend. I may put some things in there if I can bring myself to part with them.

This morning the exchange rate is 18.2336 to the American dollar. I have never seen it so high. I keep thinking of putting some of my American money into a checking account here to take advantage of the exchange rate but I am afraid it will keep on going up and my money will be worth less.  It is very good for us but not so good for the Canadians. Their exchange rate is around 12 to one. That is what it was for us almost all the years I have lived here. 
This is a good time for North Americans to visit Mexico.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mornings at My House

Olive likes to jump into these two boxes and watch me type.

Chico likes to sit on this chair by my bed.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Morning Thoughts

I am waiting for it to get warmer so I can take the bus to the spa. The Christmas holiday lasted almost three weeks and I stayed away from the spa. I don't like swimming when there are so many screaming children jumping in front of me or even on top of me. (I think that I am invisible to them.)  So this week I hope to make it there every day until the weekend. I can't use the spa passes on the weekends. Okay with me because those are the crowded days even when it isn't a holiday. 

It is beautiful weather here now. A bit cold in the mornings but by ten thirty it is warm. Not humid. No rain. Perfect for being outdoors. Still the high season. Lots of traffic and crowded restaurants. But it is fun to see my friends who only come here in the winters. Life is good.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Morning Thoughts

It is cool here in the mornings now. Too cool for me to want to go to the spa to swim. I went on Monday but it was still filled with screaming kids. The Christmas holidays lasted until Three Kings Day, which was on the 6th. But I figure that these two extra days before the weekend may still have lots of leftover holiday people. This and Easter are the busiest times of the year for the spa.  They raised the price again. Now it costs 240 pesos for one adult and I think 120 for one child. Imagine what that adds up to for just one family. They even have an ATM machine just in case people didn't bring enough money. I believe that most of these people come from other towns and they are not poor. 

Not many people here make over 50 pesos an hour. It would take several days for them to make enough to pay for the entrance fees for just a few hours of splashing in the hot waters. No wonder so many children are seen swimming in the lake during the holidays. 

Yesterday my friend Don took me out to lunch. I met him when I first moved here and lived in Chapala. He had just moved here too. He said that was ten years ago. So I have been living here for ten years. The time has gone by so quickly. It has been a good ten years. I have mostly been happy here. And I have met quite a few people through my blog. (I have not been doing the blog that long.) Sometimes people stop me on the street and say I was the reason they moved here. That  always makes me feel good, like I am contributing something of value. Almost every friend I have here is someone I met because of my blog. 

I have also been through some very hard times in those ten years. My ex husband's suicide. Three operations and one of them a cancer scare. Being kicked out of my last house right after falling down the stairs and not being able to walk..... Many many readers wrote to me during these hard times and gave me encouragement and hope to carry on.   I can't begin to say thank you enough to express the depth of how those comments helped me. THANK YOU.   And I hope this new year has many wonderful surprises in it for all of us.    

Friday, January 1, 2016

Morning Thoughts

It is the first day of 2016. I never thought I would live this long. Everyone in my family except my mother died of heart attacks in their 50s. So I thought I would go like that. But here I am.....  Last night I went out to a dinner at my friend Loretta's house. She believes she lives on the noisiest corner in Ajijic, right downtown but she hasn't been to my house on a holiday evening. I had a great time visiting with a few women friends and a couple of women I had never seen before last night. Our conversation was mostly about the ins and outs of living in Mexico. Several of us have been here for years and several had just recently arrived. We are all single women.  It was the first time I have been out on New Year's Eve and I was home in bed by ten thirty. I am not a party girl. Never have been. Trying to force a good time doesn't work for me. Party hats and booze, not my thing. 

But I really enjoyed last night and maybe this year I will go out again when New Year's Eve rolls around, IF I am still here, in Ajijic and still alive. Part of our conversation last night was about friends who had died since coming down here. In our age group, that can be expected. 

And we talked about our goals for this coming year. Mine included getting my knee healed, swimming, going out at night, inviting friends to my house, and being more social. I have become too reclusive since hurting my knee. Not having a car makes it difficult to get around with a hurt knee. But I am hoping the swimming will heal it. 

We also talked about all the changes we have seen in Ajijic in the past few years, not always for the better. Too crowded, prices going up. But this is also expected for a beautiful retirement area like Ajijic. I feel lucky to have found such a great place to live. I will never forget all the encouragement from readers during that hard time after I fell down the stairs, was in bed, with nowhere to go.....  I didn't believe that a better place was in store for me. I must learn to have more faith......   People kept writing to me that something better would show up. Their faith kept me going when I had none.  This blog has been a blessing for me in that way. To my extended family out there in cyberspace--Thank you. And I wish you all a wonderful coming year.