Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Morning Thoughts--Fat Tuesday

This morning just before dawn I woke up to the sound of a very loud band playing outside. I thought it was a small parade. There have been small parades in Ajijic everyday lately. But they didn't walk away. I went outside after listening to it for a little while longer, took Chico which was a big mistake. He hates bands. He started barking so I took him back inside. Then I went out and took photos of it. They are right in front of a neighbor's house just a couple of doors down from mine. Sometimes when it is someone's birthday here a family member or friend pays for a band to play at their house, starting just before dawn.   I think that is the situation here now. A couple of women are dancing to the music. Everyone is having a great time, unless you are a late sleeper.

This is Fat Tuesday and a big parade starts around ten this morning. I will have to leave Chico here since he barks when there is a band, or clapping. He also hates clapping. So here are some photos of my street and the band. Later on I will put on some photos of the big parade.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Chico got the best spot in the house this morning

Chico got out of bed before dawn and raced into the living room to get the best spot for the sunshine. Then he waited, and waited. But he looks pleased. Olive had to take the backseat this morning.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sad Dog, Happy Cat

 Chico is looking at me with such a sad expression. Olive has the best spot in the house, on top of the soft blanket and in the sunshine.... 

I have been looking at videos of cats and dogs on YouTube. The cats always seem to win the fights, even if it is a very tiny cat and a very big dog. I guess it is the claws that give cats such an advantage....   

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Olive in the morning

 Watching me and watching the outside world.

Photos of Ajijic

A mariachi group was playing at the plaza yesterday. That was fun.


They have the best carrot cake in town. Unfortunately for me. I can't resist it.

It was so crowded outside at the coffee shop that I had to sit inside. I sat next to this handsome man and he was going to buy all of the man's roses. I told him that they would die right away because they take all the outside petals off of the roses to make them look fresh. But he didn't care, he wanted to give them to a new woman he recently met. Check out the expressions on their faces. Two totally different states of mind.....

Some photos of Chapala




Friday, February 17, 2017

Morning Thoughts---about parents

I recently put on a blog post a photo of my mom with me in her arms. And now I am putting on this little wooden gift she gave me maybe fifteen years ago. I hang it where I can see it everyday. Not that I look at it everyday. But I know it is there. Since I have been having to do legal stuff about my death, hopefully a long time in the future, I have also been thinking about family. My mother and father and aunts and uncles, all of them no longer alive. 

Yesterday a dear friend read my blog post and he reacted by saying that maybe it would have offended my son. I asked him why and he said because I wrote that he is often too busy to keep in touch with me and that I didn't expect him to make a shrine to me.  I hope my son didn't react like that to the post. It was not meant as a criticism of him. I KNOW that he is very busy and I KNOW that he loves me. 

I never made a shrine to my own mother and I was always too busy for her too. I remember one summer when she asked to come and stay with me a few weeks because she lived in a very hot area, I reacted by saying that I was too busy.  I took care of disabled people, especially children and summers were the worst. I was always driving them places. I worked so many hours that I was exhausted all the time. I thought having her there would have put too much pressure on me to entertain her too. But now that she is gone and I have a similar situation with my own son, I understand that it wasn't necessary for me to entertain her. She just wanted to be with me. The way I just want to be with my son and his wife.

I remember one day when  my mother was visiting and I came home exhausted from working, she had cleaned up my kitchen, including making my toaster all bright and new looking. For some reason I felt badly instead of realizing that she was there all day with nothing to do and she enjoyed helping me, I felt guilty. I saw it as her criticizing my housekeeping when really it was just her way of showing her love for me. I guess it is a matter of being able to accept a parent's love and the many ways they try to express it to us. Often we can't accept it until they are gone and then it is too late.

  I also remember cleaning my son and daughter-in-law's laundry room while I was dog sitting for them. I was so proud of all the work I had done when they came home and I got a very similar response as I gave my mother. Not at all what I had expected. Grown kids need to have boundaries and parents often don't understand that. As parents, we just want to help and give to our children, no matter how old they are and as grown ups, they want to express their independence and sense of themselves, separate from us. That puts us at cross purposes. 

One of my favorite movies is Trip to Bountiful. Part of it is about an elderly mother trying to connect with her son on an emotional level. But he is always too busy. She lives with him and his wife and she runs away to where she was born. They come after her and she finally gets him to remember his childhood and how happy he had been there and then know how much she loved him. That was enough for her. 

Maybe I think about these things because I am alone. I do not have a mate to take up any of my energy and animals certainly don't make any emotional demands on me.  They are much less complicated than people. And parent/child relationships are always complicated.....   I must be missing my family. Haven't seen my son and daughter-in-law in almost three years. Here, my friends are my family. I am so grateful to have my friends. 

I never appreciated all the cards that my mother gave me. She spent hours reading them in the card store to get just the right one that expressed her love for me. I was always cynical about card sentiments, like the wooden hanging she gave me in the above photograph. But now I know that to her, an uneducated person, cards expressed feelings that she couldn't express herself and that wooden hanging means a great deal to me.

My mother has been visiting me often lately in my dreams. I don't know what that means. Except I hope it means that there is life after death and not that I am going to die soon.  I think it means that our mothers and our fathers never stop loving us, even after they die. Their love is always with us.  Just as our love for our children is always with them. If children could love themselves even a fraction of how much their parents love them, it would be a different world.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Angel Watching over Me

Now that looks like a sad expression and I was trying to smile. But I was waiting for my appointment with the mortuary woman to pay to have my papers notarized to be cremated. After I die of course. I was not a happy camper but I thought it would be appropriate to have a photo taken of me next to the guardian angel.  Didn't change my mood but I tried. Even a Bloody Mary didn't help much. It is hard to look straight at death. Up close and personal death.

Not so hard when it is actually happening. I guess the thought of something unknown is always harder than the actual event. Several months ago when my friends were in my kitchen talking about what to do with me and I was in the living room floating out the window in perfect bliss, I knew death was not to be feared. 

I forgot that feeling today while thinking of what to do with my ashes. Wondering if my son would want a fancy four inch high polished wooden urn with a few of my ashes sent to his house in Portland. Thinking he might make an altar for me and put it in the center with a vase of flowers, candles and incense next to it and maybe this photo?

Who am I kidding? He barely has time to send me any e mails, certainly no time to set up a shrine to me. And why? He isn't a Buddhist.  I wasn't that great of a mother to him. And I will be gone no matter what he does after that. Photos,shrines, candles and incense won't make our mothers and fathers return to us. But lately my mother has been returning in my dreams. Maybe all this preparation for death is because it is close now.

 So what are we? A pile of ashes or souls floating in perfect bliss? Maybe we are both.

Morning Thoughts

Today is Market day but instead of taking Chico for a walk so he can sniff all his friends, I have to go to Chapala to the mortuary. I will be glad when this day is over. Why am I going to the mortuary? I recently learned some very unpleasant things about dying in Mexico. I don't know about the rest of Mexico but if you die in this area they will not cremate you unless before you died you had a form signed by you and notarized and kept at the mortuary saying that you want to be cremated. It costs 500 pesos to have it notarized. And I am also going to have a notarized copy of a health directive so my best friend here will be able to pull the plug if I am kept alive by machines in a hospital. Otherwise, they won't let me go. Just keep me alive with their machines.

I am going to have lunch at the American Legion first. I wonder what their special is today. A thought to keep my mind distracted from the unpleasant afternoon. My appointment is at two this afternoon with the woman who owns the mortuary. I don't have to pay for the cremation in advance. I don't want to do that, just in case I decide to move away and don't die here. The money isn't refundable. Well, I think fifty percent is refundable if you die somewhere else. Anyway, it isn't a kind of day I am looking forward to but one that has to be done. Especially since I almost died a few months ago. It isn't fair to leave things up in the air for my family in the United States. I don't mind having them pay for the expenses, that isn't much. Especially considering how expensive it is to be cremated in the United States. And they will inherit my money, more than enough to pay these expenses. But just having to think about dying and then actually taking steps to make sure things easier for my family, isn't my idea of a fun afternoon. 

So here is a happy photo to make me smile.
My mother holding me when I was a baby.  Me, fat and bald and still fat and bald. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Photos of the 2017 Saturday Chili Cook Off in Ajijic

Tobolandia water park which is just outside of Ajijic. The Cook Off was held at the top part of it.
There were a ot of craft and art stands.
And clothing stands.
This guy is alive.
The gorilla isn't alive but the bird is alive and so am I.