Chico is enjoying the sun that is coming in my one window. It looks like this will do until I can get a computer expert to help me. I don't like the size of the words. Too small but I am afraid to work with it anymore. I make things worse.....
Friday, April 29, 2016
This morning I got up and started again on the blog. The only thing I have managed to do is change the format of it. Thus, the photos are larger. Maybe this will work. I hope to get to the spa this morning and forget about all this computer stuff. It drove me crazy yesterday. So here is another larger photo. Maybe I will be able to continue writing the blog. Hope so. I appreciate your encouragement.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
After a frustrating day of trying to get my blogger app to work again I have had to admit defeat. I cannot get the photos to post at the right size. So after all these years of blogging, I am throwing in the towel. I guess the world has passed me by. It was fun while it lasted. I am too depressed to write more. Maybe in a few days I will recover from this day of computer frustration and look for a computer wiz kid. But not now.
I am once again having problems with my program. It now makes the photos too large and I can't get them back to the normal size. So here is Marie with one and a half dogs. Sorry. Looks like I am going to have to call in a computer nerd. I can't fix it.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
My friend Ivanka won two free tickets for Thermal Cosala at the Chili Cook Off. We went there yesterday and had a wonderful time. It is just next door to the spa where I swim. This place only has one swimming pool but lots of little soaking pools on the grounds. No children were there all day yesterday. No one under eighteen years old is allowed to use this spa. It was very quiet. Here are some photos.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
I have been dieting for a few weeks now although certain things knock me off of it, like chocolate chip cookies. My friend Mimi gave me three of hers from Costco and of course I ate all three of them in one day. The pound and a half that I had lost came right back on again. That was discouraging.
I found information online about rye bread. There is a very simple recipe on you tube that I followed. I bought the rye flour from the local health food store, the one across the street from the Ajijic Hospital. The flour is very inexpensive. She also sells dry yeast. I have been making this bread for several weeks now and experimenting with adding different ingredients, dry cranberries and walnuts. It has become my main food. I have a piece for breakfast and take a piece to the spa and have one at night. I always hated rye bread but this is delicious. If you look online for health benefits of Rye Bread it says it is the worlds healthiest food. It helps with everything, including weight loss. I am so excited about discovering it that I am writing about it.
This recipe requires no kneading. You just put two cups of rye flower in a pan, add a tablespoon of dry yeast in the center, some salt, and add about a cup of warm water. Let it sit for fifteen minutes and then mix it up with a big spoon. Add more warm water as needed. Cover it with plastic and put it out in a warm place for two hours. It will rise and you bake it in a 400 degree oven for fifty minutes or so. It doesn't look like bread. It looks more like a kind of cake. It really takes the edge off the hunger. Here are two photos of my last batch. I sprinkled some chocolate powder and rye flour on the top of it before I baked it.
It is so nice to have a kitchen. I feel wealthy. If you want to see on you tube the recipe I used, go to Virtuousbread.com.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Another Monday morning and time to go back to my JOB. I have decided to call my trips to the spa and swimming 45 laps a job. That way I am more likely to do it even when I would rather stay home and do nothing. Whenever I get to the middle of those 45 laps I think, This is my job so I have to finish the laps. The thing about making going to the spa a job is this; what do I do for my days off? Not much can live up to a morning at the spa. Maybe digging a ditch? Just reverse what is a job and what is for pleasure.
We are still having water problems here. First our pipes were filled with black sand. Then he connected them up to the tank on the roof instead of the street. Now we have no water or very little water. I hear him banging around upstairs. Hopefully he will fix it before I get home. I will take a shower at the spa. But my garden will suffer and I will have to wait to do any laundry. My washing machine needs more water than is coming out of our pipes now. But I am being patient. Reminding myself that everyone has problems with their homes, even people paying high rent. Problems are part of life. I prefer my problems to be based on cheap rent, not expensive rent. Whenever problems arise I take a deep breath and think about my rent being less than a hundred and fifty dollars a month. That makes it much easier to handle no water or any other problems.
This afternoon I am meeting up with a friend and buying a jar of Kombucha tea. She makes it. I tried once and made myself very sick. I thought I was going to die.
My father believed he could learn how to do anything. All he had to do was teach himself. And these days with the Internet and watching you tube it is almost possible. I have the same belief. But Kombucha wasn't worth almost dying for. I recently ordered some dielectric silicone grease so I can waterproof my own I pods. I am tired of paying a hundred dollars for waterproofed ones that only last a few months. We will see when it comes if I am successful or not. Might as well try.
My belief is that if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen. It might not be the perfect outcome, your dream outcome but it will most likely fulfill the need. That is my theory. Be creative and be flexible and willing to accept what you can and do accomplish. Knowing that it is good enough. But if you decide to make Kombucha tea, be VERY careful not to poison yourself.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Dog starts barking about four blocks before we get to Lake Taco. He loves that place.
Nicks at the entrance of Lake Taco with the dogs.
Okay, bring on the breakfast.
View from our table.
Give me a chip.
Now for breakfast.
Where is my breakfast?
Can you resist this face?
It is a very quiet Sunday morning in my neighborhood today. All I hear outside are a couple of roosters, a morning dove and sparrows chirping. I like the peace of Sunday mornings.
Chico hasn't been out much this week so in a couple of hours my friend Nicks and his dog, Dog, are coming by to take us all to Lake Taco for breakfast. That is Dog's favorite place. Three blocks before we get there he starts jumping around in the back seat, sticking his nose up front and whining. He can hardly contain himself. His favorite waitress always brings him a bowl of chips and gives him pats on his head. . After watching Dog eating the chips, Chico has decided he will eat them too. So we have two happy dogs on the floor crunching on chips. I like their breakfast sandwich. Nicks likes the chilaquiles. It is a fun morning for all of us. I will take some photos and put them on this afternoon after I get home.
The other day someone wrote to me that he/she, I don't know which, couldn't live here on 800 dollars a month and had to move on. That made me feel sad because this is a beautiful place. I wrote back that I live on that amount. It is possible but you have to adjust your expectations. Live like the Mexicans, not like the expats. For over eight years I did not have a kitchen. I lived in two rooms with just a bathroom and then I moved upstairs to just one room with a deck. I made an outdoor kitchen that I loved. Just had to take my dishes into the bathroom to wash them. I was happy in both places. Now I live in a typical Mexican house, downstairs, and with a kitchen. I love having a kitchen now. My rent in all these places has been low. So I can easily live on 800 dollars a month. Eating out too. I don't go to expensive places.
It may take awhile to find inexpensive housing but you have to keep looking and get to know the locals, especially the Mexicans. As I have often written, there are two economies here, the Mexican economy and the Expat economy. When I was forced to move last time, my expat friends tried to get me to rent places here for around four hundred dollars a month. I thought that was too much. Finally my friend, a Mexican woman, showed me a place that her Mexican friends had for rent for 2500 pesos a month. (With today's exchange rate that is 143 American Dollars.) I took it. I have had some problems here, like lots of dirt in the water or no water and noise from parties in the neighborhood but even if you were to rent an expensive home, there would always be problems. There is no such thing as a life without problems. I have friends living in beautiful expensive homes who cannot sleep because of the noise in the neighborhood. And their own water problems. I just want to encourage anyone who is thinking of moving here to not give up. I don't know of anywhere else in the world I would prefer to live. I feel so blessed to be able to live here. It is worth whatever effort you have to put out in order to stay here.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Elsie was born on Sept. 20th, 1913. She said to me this morning, "When I turned fifty someone told me that I would live to be a hundred years old. I thought, Why would anyone want to live that long. And now I am a hundred and two years old."
She is in good health. At her age, I was worried that she might not still have been there but she was, doing her knitting and still smiling. She is an inspiration to me.
We are still in the hot weather time of the year. It is very humid. I don't mind the heat but the humidity is no fun. The humidity seems to make all the former broken parts of my body ache. The rains will be coming before long. Then it will be rainy AND humid. Fun. The rainy season is not my favorite time of the year. Many of my friends say it is their favorite. I can't understand why. Some days we don't see the sun. I find that dreary. It is the time of the year when I usually leave to visit family in Portland. But this year I am not going up there. Maybe I will learn to love the rain. Everything is green. That is a plus.
I am trying to see the positive side of everything these days. That is part of my training from dealing with the frustrating IMSS system. I have been thinking of words to describe that training. Patience, Endurance, Forbearance, Humility. I like the word Forbearance the best. I just looked it up in the online dictionary. It means Tolerance, patience, resignation, endurance, fortitude, stoicism, restraint, self-control... That covers a lot. If I can learn forbearance with IMSS, hopefully I will be able to transfer that quality to the rest of my life and any other frustrating situations that arise in the future. There is no such thing as a life without frustrations.
I went to the spa yesterday and it was beautiful. Very few people are there now, especially if I can get there before eleven in the morning.
The flowers in my garden like all this sunshine and many of them are blooming. I even have a couple of ripe papayas from the papaya tree.
My mind is blank this morning. Having a blog is a bit like having something that is alive. If I don't feed it from time to time then it will die. So here I am, feeding it. I believe that most of my readers are not in Mexico. They are in the United States or Canada. My theory is that they have either been here and enjoyed it or they want to come for a visit or retire here. They like seeing photos of places they have been to or want to go to and they like
reading about the ins and outs of living here. That is why I am continuing to write about my experiences with IMSS. Before I got involved with the
system I had a lot of questions about it. I would have greatly appreciated hearing about another person's experiences with using it.
The other day I met a woman through another woman friend. She said, "When I lived in the States I read your blog all the time but now that I live here and can enjoy the places in your photos for myself I don't read it anymore."
That pretty much sums up my readers. I have met many people who have moved here partly because of this blog. I hope they aren't disappointed or angry at me for that encouragement. I am mostly happy here, unless I am dealing with IMSS. (FORBEARANCE)
Olive is sitting beside me, watching me type. Chico is still sleeping on the chair. The day is getting underway so I will close this out. Just one more thing, I want to thank people for continuing to read my blog. That is a gift to me.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
It is a quiet Sunday morning. It is extremely humid here this morning. I am sitting at this I pad with sweat running down my face.
There is a little store just around the corner from my house. The owner buys his fruit and veggies in big boxes. He now has oranges, green apples and tomatoes. I liked the apples so I went up and bought two more and a tomato. But when I got home there was only one apple. I went back to the store to see if it got left on the counter. He had put my things in a small plastic bag. But there was no other apple.. He remembered charging me for the apple. Our only conclusion was that a man who was standing at the counter when I was buying my fruit took the apple. I remember how dirty he was and he had a look of desperation. He was holding a wild orchid, not in bloom. At the time I thought that he must have just come down from the hills with the orchid with the intention of selling it. Anyway, I didn't feel upset about the missing apple when I thought about him. And the owner of the store told me to take another one from the box. So I was even less concerned. The only problem with his method is that he buys things ripe. They are delicious the first day or so but in this hot weather, by the end of the third day most of the stuff is getting rotten. The perils of owning a local store....
On Friday I took the bus into Chapala and walked the six blocks or so to the IMSS clinic to get my referral to see the knee specialist at the hospital near Guadalajara. This is how the system works. You cannot call anyone at the clinic. You have to go in every time you want to do anything. If you want to make a doctor's appointment, you must go in to do it and then come back on a different day. After weeks of waiting and you finally see the doctor, she/he tells you to come back for a referral to the hospital for any tests. So you wait another few weeks, which I did, and you go back to check on the bulletin board for your referral. I was told it would be up on that board in two weeks. Well, naturally it wasn't there. I have to keep going back and looking on that board for my referral. And no telling how many more trips it will take or how long it will be from then to the appointment at the hospital. And hopefully, I don't miss it before I find it up on that cluttered board.
You are probably asking at this point why I continue with this craziness. Since my knee hurts to walk and I have to walk to get to the clinic and get back home. I guess it is just to see things through. I have a thing about that. And also I would like to get an MRI. They are expensive, even here and I don't have to pay for that at the hospital or pay extra to see a knee specialist. Of course it might be next year before I finally get to see that specialist and get the MRI and in the meantime I am spending a lot of time and energy thinking about and going to and from the IMSS clinic.
I have so much respect for the Mexicans. They are patient and never seem irritated with the long lines and various difficulties of using IMSS or with life in general. I never see them complaining or getting angry at life's frustrations. Hopefully, I am being a little bit Mexicanized with this IMSS experience. I hope to get at least something out of all this time and energy spent.
A friend asked me the other day what I do with my life. What is my daily routine like. I spend a lot of it dealing with this medical problem of my knee. I am stubborn. I don't want to admit that I am spinning my wheels... I always say to myself, Just one more time and then I will give up. But then I go to do that one more appointment and then another one....
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Mimi is Marie's new dog. She was a street dog and she adores Marie as you can see from the photo. She didn't like Chico. I think because she was so protective of Marie.
Chico enjoying Marie's pets.
I had to put both these photos on because Chico looks so happy to be with Marie. Check out how he is bracing his front paws on her. Mimi wasn't happy with what was going on between Chico and her mama.
This is Mimi. She recently bought a home here. One of the fun things about meeting new people is that they take me to new places. Too often I get stuck in ruts, doing the same things all the time. This restaurant is located along the water in San Antonio. It is only open on weekends. It costs 110 pesos for the buffet and there about ten different selections.
Yesterday I had to go to Guadalajara to apply for a new passport. My friend Mimi was also going so she let me tag along. We got a little lost and once she didn't see a red light. She started to go and I told her to stop. She had only driven a few feet when she stopped. But after the light turned green and we drove on, we heard the police car behind us. She pulled over. Fortunately, she speaks Spanish and she could understand what he was saying. Basically, he just wanted Mordida, which also means kickback or bite. He told her that he wanted 2500 pesos. She said she didn't have that much. He asked for her license and acted as if he was going to put it in his pocket. At this point Mimi was starting to worry that we wouldn't get to the American Embassy before it was too late to apply. He told her 2000 pesos. She countered with 1000 pesos. And he gladly took it, gave her back her license and we were on our way.
I am guessing that he would have settled for less, maybe 500 pesos, maybe 200 pesos. People have told me that 200 pesos was the going rate for Mordida. But we were in a hurry. We were like sitting ducks to this man. She was driving with foreign plates and obviously we were lost. He must have thought he had hit the jackpot with us. I had not experienced this before. It is disconcerting. In the United States, we mostly take it for granted that the police are actually trying to do the right thing, not line their own pockets.... Mimi wasn't bothered by it but I was. I don't like to feel threatened. But we made it to the embassy in time and applied for our passports. It is just another experience to remember along the way.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Chico is always welcome there. He is waiting patiently for the food while looking out the door.
I had dinner with Jack and Virginia. I forgot to take her photo but this is Jack enjoying the look of his drink, sin alcohol.