Sunday, May 29, 2016

More IMSS misadventures

I don't know how many of you are still interested in my IMSS experiences. You all may be getting as sick of it as I am. It is like a continuing nightmare.  Here is the latest. A few weeks ago, my helper told me that he took my receipt saying I had NO RESTRICTIONS on it to the woman at the IMSS office. She then told him that he had to make an appointment with the director to show HIM the same paperwork. My helper, Gabriel, told me that he did that and the director told him that all was in order and he would make the appointment for me with the knee specialist as soon as possible. I was relieved. Finally. Something would be done. Then I didn't hear back from Gabriel for several more weeks. He did not answer my e mail about it. So I sent him another e mail.  Not wanting to be a huge pill and bugging him all the time but also wondering why I didn't get the appointment. He wrote back to me this morning saying that I now have to take in ALL of my receipts from the very beginning of when I signed up for IMSS. All these years of paying and not using it. From 2010....  I did not get this information before this morning....  So, more delays....  More ways to mess around with me to keep me from using the IMSS services.....   Do I need to say more????

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Morning Thoughts---Hot Weather

We are well into the hot season now. I don't remember it ever being this hot for this long. This morning the humidity is fifty percent. It goes down during the day but the heat goes up. It gets into the high eighties but it feels like the mid nineties. The streets and shops are quiet in the afternoons.  Lots of people are staying inside their homes. 

When I moved to this house I partly did it so I could live the way the Mexicans live and see what that was like. I often noticed that their homes are dark, cave like.  I would walk by a house with the door open and glance inside and see nothing but darkness. I always wondered why they liked to live like that. I wanted lots of natural light.  But now I understand. Dark places are cool in the hot weather. 

I have a friend who recently moved to a new home here. She is the first person to live in it and it was not well designed. It is beautiful but there is no circulation. It is filled with natural light. I felt envious when I saw it. Her rent is over six hundred dollars a month. Now I am relieved that I live in my 130 dollar a month typical Mexican home. It is dark and COOL....  I can sleep at night. And the other advantage of a dark place is the privacy. Kind of like being in a womb. I am guessing, since I haven't been in a womb for a very long time, over seventy years. I don't remember that far back. Often I can't even remember yesterday. All I remember is that I got inspired to double my swimming. I did 80 laps instead of 45 laps in one day. I did that Monday and Tuesday. Stayed away from the pool on Wednesday and today my knee hurts again. 

Maybe no swimming again today and it might heal.  Nothing ever happened with my IMSS appointment to see the knee specialist.  Like I wrote in a previous post, I think they rely on time to do their healing. If they wait long enough to give people appointments, they might get well on their own. 

I think it will be a couple of more weeks before the rains come. We had a couple of  brief thunder storms but then no more. In the meantime, I will spend my afternoons in my comfortable cave. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sunday in the Ajijic Plaza










There is a photo exhibit up in the plaza now of Ajijic families. I like this shot because it has what looks like an Ajijic family, sitting by one of the photos.




I didn't get all the photos. Next time.  Do you know any of these people? 

Sundays at the plaza are always fun for me. It is very busy and I can sit there for hours just watching people and taking photos. Like the man in the photo above. He sat there almost as long as Chico and I did. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Lunch at La Nueva Posada in Ajijic



 Huichol yarn paintings



Lunch at Yves Restaurant in Ajijic

Yves has a beautiful pool but it is just for looks, not for swimming. Nicks is pointing to all the paintings on their wall of the Donkeys, Vino Blanco and Martini.

Dog is impatient for the lunch to come. Chico is watching from behind. I think he is a little bit afraid of Dog because he is so much bigger than Chico.

I think this one is Martini.


And this is his mother, Vino Blanco. I told the story on the blog awhile ago. Not long after I arrived here I was spending a lot of time at Yves restaurant in his old place by the water. Vino Blanco had a baby one day.  He was so cute. I took lots of photos of them together and put them on the blog. Then just a few days later we heard that the baby had died. We were all so sad. That was maybe eight years ago.  A few months ago I learned that the baby didn't die. He was taken to a farm and after he grew up was used to carry wood down from the mountains. Yve found him and brought him back to his new restaurant and to his mother. They both look happy there now. 


I love these paintings. They are magical. 

Shrimp taco salad. It was delicious. 


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Furniture arrived ON TIME

Here are photos of my impulsive buys.  I love the way the kitchen table and chairs fit into my small kitchen. One extra chair is in my hallway because I have a desk chair at my table too. The black chair and footstool are in my bedroom. You can see that the rooms are very crowded now. But I can't get rid of the lazy boy chair that Chico and Olive love and the other chair with a huge pillow. Also their favorite.... Maybe in a few weeks I will be willing to part with some of this furniture. The kitchen table and chairs are extremely heavy and strong. Think;  Tiny House, Tiny House. Tiny House. 
Think QUAINT rather than crowded. 



Olive won't give up her favorite chair very easily. Or happily.  



Morning Thoughts, The Beginning of the Rainy Season

Two nights ago we had our first big thunderstorm. The rain was coming down fast and hard. I was in bed, trying to sleep (it was almost midnight) when I heard a banging on my front door. I got up in my underwear and cracked it to see who was there and my landlord pushed his way into my room. He was carrying a bucket and he looked frantic. He doesn't speak any English and my Spanish is terrible so most of our communication is by hand and body language. He pointed to the street and I finally figured out that he meant the street was flooded. He rushed back to my bedroom with the bucket. I guess he was expecting my room to be flooded too. Fortunately, months ago, I had made some waterproof curtains which I close over my back doors. They are half windows but with no glass, just screens over them. Only a little bit of water had made it into my room.  He was relieved and went to his own apartment upstairs. (I doubt if he even noticed that I was almost naked. That is one good thing about being old, no one notices what you do or wear. More freedom!)
This was my introduction to this year's rainy season. A frantic landlord visiting me in the night.  

A few days ago I met a very nice woman who was selling all her furniture so she could return to the United States to live. She wanted to be near her three grandchildren. Number one reason that people leave here, especially the women.  So in a moment of insanity I bought some of her furniture. What was I thinking? I can't pass up a bargain. Also, I really like the kitchen table and four chairs. I will take photos of it when it arrives this morning. IF it arrives this morning. It is supposed to arrive this morning but this is Mexico, the land of Manana.  I will have to decide what furniture I can part with and put it up for sale or else I wouldn't have room to walk around in my little place. Think Tiny House.  That makes it sound more romantic. I could decide to rent a larger place but why pay hundreds of dollars more rent every month in order to keep furniture I bought on a whim because it was a bargain?  

Here are photos of Chico and Olive this morning. Chico is in his favorite spot on the bed and Olive is in her favorite spot by the open window. I don't know what I would do without these two loving beings. I sure would be lonely.


I love the eyes in this photo. Spirit cat.


Chico is sitting on my quilt, made by my grandmother and patched by my dear friend Virginia. Thank you Virginia for saving my treasure!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Morning Thoughts, Mother's Day in Ajijic

Today is Mother's Day here. I was planning on going to the spa again this morning but my poor old body says no, not today. I must think of something less stressful on it.  All those laps sometimes take a toll. Chico would have some suggestions if he could talk. The Plaza? The Tuesday Market? The Lake Chapala Society? Bruno's? Salvador's? The malecon? Visiting our friends? So many choices. My bad knee limits things.

Nothing has happened with IMSS about my knee. Someone online suggested that I hire an attorney to get them to finally make an appointment for me. I will wait a bit longer before going in that direction. It is frustrating enough without involving yet another person in the process. Besides, hiring attorneys is the American way, not the Mexican way. In the meantime my knee is a little better. Swimming helps.  And Gabriel is constantly going by to try to get something started for me. Maybe I should have gone with Seguro Popular instead of IMSS.  At least SP is free. 

Here is a photo of the beautiful trees that are now blooming all over town. I think they are called Flame Trees. First it was months of the blue Jacaranda trees and now these. I will take some more photos when I am out and about today with Chico. That is always a fun thing to do. When I first started this blog I always had my camera in my hand. Then after over 70,000 photos of this small area of Mexico, I got bored and quit taking so many.  But these trees are pretty and I wanted to share this photo with you. 

Happy Mexican Mother's Day.


I was sitting in the shade on a park bench at the Ajijic Plaza when I took this photo.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Morning Thoughts

I haven't been writing much on my new blog style. For some reason it doesn't feel like mine anymore. Some stranger's blog. It is just my tendency to not want changes. That is why I don't travel. Also, my bad knee but sometimes I think my bad knee is just an excuse to stay home. This morning when I woke up and looked out my window I thought, I love my life. The only thing missing is my inability to write. I bought a little wicker desk and put it facing my garden. My writing place. Yet I have not written a word there. Instead, I space out in the afternoons, sitting in front of my fan, watching Netflix. I guess when I finally watch everything available on it, I will be forced to do something else. I would like it to be writing but it probably won't be that.  Here are some photos of my view when I wake up in the morning and of my garden. I have some flowers blooming out there now. I love my little garden. It is just the right size for me.

I went to see a house for sale in San Juan Cosala a few days ago, thinking I would be better off if I owned a place and then no one could ever evict me again.  What a terrible place!  Sixty thousand dollars.  The floors would have to be replaced. The kitchen was just a small tiled area with only one faucet. No hot water. The bathroom was just a toilet and horrible shower.  The bedrooms were water stained and only one plug per room, up three feet off the floor. The back yard was a mess and I was informed that half of it belonged to the neighbor and I would have to put up a fence, at my expense of course....  Well, one thing about looking at it, I now appreciate my place even more.  No more looking at places to buy.  Life is good for me right where I am. In case I don't write anything tomorrow, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, a day early.....




Here is a sample of that sixty thousand dollar house. The first photo is of the shower. The second one is the so called kitchen. The third one is one of the bedrooms.


I do like the tile work. Nothing else.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gabriel Orea---helper, healer, driver, translator, advisor, etc.

This is a photo of my indispensable helper Gabriel Orea. He has been driving me to the IMSS clinic, acting as my interpreter there, giving me emotional support and taking me shopping.  If you need any help, I highly recommend him. He also drives people to and from the airport in Guadalajara. He is studying natural healing and uses herbs to accomplish that. He teaches meditation and helps people with their varied problems, from the practical level to the emotional and spiritual levels. He lives in La Floresta, Ajijic. He has two casitas that he rents out and is willing to rent them for short periods of time, one or two months. That is hard to find here. Most owners won't rent a place for less than six months. I saw photos of one of the casitas and it is lovely. There is a large yard and a swimming pool on the property. It rents for 600 dollars a month. He will rent it short term or long term. This is a man who can solve many of your problems.

E mail him at or call him at (045) 331 348 3228   He is also a language teacher.  I highly recommend him. He is reliable and caring. He is always on time or even a little early. He is patient. He is knowledgable about many different things here as he grew up in this area. His English is perfect and so is his Spanish. He is a real treasure. One more thing not to be overlooked, his prices are very reasonable. Just ask him and you will be pleasantly surprised. 

The continuing saga of trying to use IMSS

I wrote that the IMSS people did not schedule my appointment to see a specialist. I waited an entire month and took several trips to see if it was posted on the board. Finally, my helper, Gabriel, went and he found out that they did not schedule my appointment because they did not know that I have no restrictions on my membership. Well, I am sure they have a copy of my current receipt and stamped on the front it says NO RESTRICTIONS. They did not notify me that they were not processing my request to see the knee specialist because of this.... Gabriel had to come to my house and get my receipt with proof of no restrictions stamped on it and take it back to the Chapala office. He showed it to the woman working there. She said, Now you have to show this to the DIRECTOR HERE.....  She gave him the director's phone number. He has to call the director and schedule an appointment to go back and show HIM the receipt....  his time and effort I am paying for. Fortunately, he is giving me a break on the price for his work. I think he is feeling sorry for me. I cannot do all of this because it is too far for me to go and my KNEE hurts to walk.

So I ask you, do you think they are giving me the run around? I have a friend here who said to me that she gave up IMSS for this very reason. They gave her the run around for so long that she finally quit trying to get help through them.....  This is my experience with IMSS. Maybe other people have been successful using it. I have not.....