August 30, 2008

What's a girl to do?

I once offended someone after she published her dog making a piddle. I offered some snide humor that was taken as a prudish slam. Oh well.
Now where to take a piddle, or in our case pee and kaka, is a difficult question. My compound doesn't have a lawn and the streets aren't safe, witness her hip after she was hit by a Augakan red truck last December. She knows who it was. She howls when it is within 60 feet of the house. The vets report that little Cushman-like truck has hit over a dozen dogs.
So, Lora goes OUT and does it modestly as possible, but en publico. Hace pee pee is her command to get it overwith quickly. And she has one place near the gardenia tree that she does it all.
Jorge the gardener keeps an eye on it and picks up what I missed. And yesterday, because of thunder and rain, she was in and out of her spot quickly. Although while Jose was here, we let her out the side gate while pulling in the trash barrel. And she went across the street and made a mark for all those doggies who mark our corner!
She's not stupid. That is her alias - her sobre nombre. Estupida! But she's muy inteligente.

Red Hots, Hot damn! And damned hot Hot Shots!

Jose ran across baggies of red candies while cleaning the fridge, the favorite candy of my childhood. Red Hots, imported from Colorado and then two unopened bags in the freezer. With so many mysteries in the fridge, he had to ask, what are they?
Candy. Taste them. Well, naturally he like them.
Rojos calientes, for those who may not know, are heart shaped candy nuggets with a spicy cinnamon flavor. This led to an English lesson that included hot damn and of course, in our present environment, damned hot. And the adult beverage that mimics the candy, Hot Shots. We took the message to Miguel.
Miguel read the recipe and decided everyone in the house should taste and see what they thought. It is basically cinnamom schapps and tabasco.
Miguel thought it rather tasty, but a bit hot for his own delicate taste buds. Maybe adjust the recipe before the second shot?
His cook broke out into a sweat and washed his face off but had not recovered before posing for the camera. Maybe it's not a good idea for Christmas specialty drinks. You've got your mint fans, and a lot of minty beverages. But cinnamon? I vote yes! Hot damn! Red hot inspired Hot Shots! And by the way, it is still damned hot.

August 28, 2008

Doggie Dog, not Snoop

This afternoon, I talked with Mr Hodge, my Third World coach, now from Ohio, originally from Liberia. He wondered how I felt about hurricane preparation since I grew up in a paradise, one that trained me for Isla, I like to say, even for hokey parades.
It's all good, Mr Hodge. I told him about Skype and how he could call family in Liberia with it. Or his sister in Norway. He'll check into it.
Jose is coming back tomorrow to do more deep cleaning. He us also using his time here to improve his English and is amused that I call Lora, doggie dog. The only other he ever heard of was Snoop Doggie Dog. He listened to the explanation of the diminuitive and similar examples. Then, to work.
Yesterday, he cleaned the bodega and fridge and transferred all the stuff from the apartments back to the fridge.
He fired up the generator and took Lora, twice, to get gasoline. Then we dropped off laundry and got rosticeria chicken and took carrot juice to Amelia.
We were no sooner done eating than the Maya plant lady came and drew a crowd to the front of the house. As a young man who rents a room in Centro, he was a bit amazed by life in the colonia. He rather liked it, being from the puebla next to the town wher you catch the Holbox ferry.
He played a bit with Lora before leaving. And I went to Federico's to collect a couple kilos of copied documents before my immigration lawyer called to ask if we could switch the appointment to this afternoon. I said I preferred Monday and he seemed to as well. Then, I tried to get Lora to come in for the night.
She had to be tricked. After a half hour of coaxing, I got in the golf cart while keeping the leash hidden. She jumped right in, I hooked her up, and in we went!
This morning, Lora floja went for a run. But she kept stopping to sit. It wasn't even hot yet when we stopped to see Rubi and her master. They played. A dog a day, another playmate for Lora, still waiting for her vet with the doggie chews.

August 27, 2008


I was going to screw around today, but nature calls! Tropical Depression Gustavo will probably not cause much harm, but they train is about to take off, it looks like
Jose is coming over today. I washed the detergent tanks and will have him fill them with gasoline and maybe fire up the generator with the gas in it now. There are are many other manly things for a 21 year old guy with a good back to do and I have the immigraton lawyer appointment tomorrow.
Which places me at my scanner/copier and across the street at Federico's for more quick copying of additional stuff that Gabriel brought over last night and will bring today.
Then there's the taking of laundry in and the pool needs a mini shock since the filter has been off for two days. And the refri needs cleaned and the food recollected from yesterday's unplanned disbursal to the apartments in the wake of my fridge refusing to work until the frost free guts thawed out.
Ahhhh...the slowness of slow season...the big lie!
And of course, as promised again, we are waiting on Delfino to come by for Lora's ear treatment and some huesitos...Omega-3 enriched rawhide bones. Last time, he, he was with Kai, Dr. Greta's daughter, who wants to be a vet.
I am going to make a list instead of read tonight. It will be Lora's known vocabulary, which for a dog is pretty extensive and multi lingual. Last night, for example, as I lay reading before lights out, she wanted something. I asked, OUT? No reaction and usually she always wants out. WATER? And the tail wagged in anticipation. Yep, the water bowl, too big to throw around now, was dry.
Dumb animal? Dumb blonde? You can be the judge.

August 26, 2008

Let's be clear about this

My dog Lora seems to be the star of this blog. Until I learn the ins and outs of Picasa and my new external hard drive, she can remain so! And I have noticed the only commentaries I get on this new blog, so far, are when I post something about Lora.
I'll find ways to work her into the story!
Yesterday, Lucila and Erik dropped by. Luci cleaned for me until 10 months ago. She reported that Marcos has thyroid cancer and a leg problem (which Miguel told me about) and will be having surgery before other treatment in Merida. He just got home from a long stay in Merida for treatment of the leg circulatory problem and to rest up for more surgery.
Erik played ball with Lora and amazingly, she can catch in mid-air. The star of the show.
Gabriel the accountant came by with my returns, but who do you think was the star? He forgot my facturas for the immigration lawyer visit which I postponed until Thursday. But he played with her.
No,I didn't get up to Spa Zina while Gladys was cleaning earlier. The fridge shut down and we noticed it as Mary Ann walked in to borrow, or borrow money for, cheese. I had the cheddar I got a Costco, a huge block, so problem solved. No Mary Ann isn't broke. She spent all her enchilada grocery money in the neighborhood and didn't want to go to Centro for the ATM.
Lora loves to see her. She makes this special deal voice for her and it lifts her spirits! LOL!
So, Mary Ann and Gladys distributed the "food to feed and army" among the rental fridges and an hour later, I heard a clunk...had to be ice, inside the walls of the fridge. And then the motor of the frost free fridge can back on! I called Santiago to cancel the service call.
Now my food is scattered and the star of the show is hungry. She will have to wait! She already had a meal...
Even Luci said she was gorda. Y guapa. She has two dogs of her own now. One a cute baby pit bull...or so she says. Didn't believe me when I suggested it would grow up to be a killer.
And the kids next door came over to see if I had a dog cookie. No. Dog chews? No. Where do you get them? From the vet. He hasn't been here in a while and she is finishing her last chew.
How many dogs do you have now, I asked, since I had noticed a new one. Uhhh...cinco.
This, for all the people on message boards who wonder why, is the reason we have a dog population problem. That new black dog will be used to breed with Luke, the other black dog, and sold for holiday gifts that won't get fed. And kids will ask their neighbors if they have a cookie...for the dog.
Yes, my dog is a lucky dog. And she knows she is the star of the show.

August 23, 2008

I could feed an army!

It was back to Cancun yesterday for Round 2 with Bancomer. I went up to the teller window, paid my trust, and walked over to Karina Carillo's desk to have the receipt faxed to the trust officer in the hotel zone branch.
By now, it is 10:20am. His fax machine is off. The whole trust office, three extensions for who knows how many people, is not picking up. Curious, she said. I said, it is breakfast time. She had a baby two months ago and she's not taking a breakfast, nor is anyone else in the Av Tulum branch.
Finally, she reaches a secretary, and per my urging greats her with "Felicidades!" What ones says at a party. Como? There is no party! Oh, they went for a bite to eat. This peon can't turn on the fax machine.
So, I say to Karina, it's an international bank. Can't he see my payment on the computer screen? No. Can you have your carrier take the photo copy of the receipt? What courier?
This is a multinational bank! South American based, but still!
This goes on for one hour and 40 minutes. Finally, he returns the message, turns on the fax machine, and I bolt for Chedraui. Gotta see what they have.
Well, they had smooth skinned avacadoes from Chiapas, a gourmet treat with edible skins that make they look like little eggplants.
They had DREAM WHIP! And I made it survive the route home. They had canned mandarin oranges and cranberry sauce for half the price a store brings it in for gringo consumption. They had brown rice! With the rice bran on it! Chard and ginger roots! Oh my oh my. Double packs of paper towels.
Well, I spent another 50 bucks! But, I had taken the bus to make up for my purchasing, I did take a 25 peso cab leaving the store, but my package weighed sufficiently little that I carried it myself until I got to Isla.
Came home and unpacked it with Gladys, who cleaned my house and the two units after being missing in action for the first week of school and restocking her kiosk. We had a talk and she won't do that again, she says. Not call or send a message.
Then I went to Miguel's because I needed to confirm Jose for cleaning mud off the roof from cumulative planters and Lora playing with plants. I need a man around here doing more manual labor. He said he'd be over at 9 am, and he was! And boy did he work.
While he did, I steamed and vacuum packed the chard for the freezer. It rests along side Thursday's spinach pack. By the Dream Whip for the holidays.
I made Jose break at noon and eat Polish sausage, romaine salad with a Chiapan avacado, and sauteed cabbage and onions, a Russian and yes, a Mexican dish. He had a Stella Artois. Yes, the Belgian beer now available at Costco.
Then, he went to the roof and finished up and asked if he could take the golf cart to get the two cannisters Miguel gifted me for generator gasoline storage. The golf cart was just washed and waxed early this morning after oxidizing for three months. And the tires were serviced. So it was a cool daddy machine! And Lora went along to see her doggie daddy, Miguel. Afterward, I took a long siesta. What's a girl to do the day after another Cancun trip and a morning of cooking? Oh, I have declared tomorrow a pool day at Spa Zina!

August 21, 2008

Dawn of a new day

It was hot yesterday when I set out to go to the Hacienda, Mexico's equivalent of the IRS. My time there took all of 25 minutes! And they were so nice.
What I needed was a clave so my accountant could make a proper electronic declaration for the months I have no rental income. Well, while I was at it, I had the woman take a look at my CURP, my unique personal ID number. It says my birthday is in January instead of June. Si, she said, it is an error.
She made an appointment for me to come back September 12 with my documents and have a new card issued. That all went to swimmingly and I was out so fast, I felt I had the strength to go to Bancomer and pay my trust fees.
I jumped around a couple desks til I found the right one, but the lady couldn't find record of my trust.'s been moved to the Hotel Zone branch. She called the man there and got my data and sent me to the cashier. The man in the hotel zone wanted a fax of the payment. Hey, this is a mutlinational bank. Don't you have computer screens? Anyway, I have to go back to pay into next year and the ATM only gives so much money a day.
So....I go back tomorrow. Then on to Costco, where I blew $200 on absolutely essential stuff. Well, stuff at a good value!
Among the stuff I got was a 4x4 matress for Lora, a dog bed if you will. Almost all polyester except for 10 percent cedar chips in the matting. I didn't know how she'd take to this, but I figured it would smell fresh for a long time. And it was just $200 pesos!
On the way back, I rode the ferry with Pepe Vega, the vet who performed Lora's hip surgery. We chatted a bit about the construction of his new house that he hopes will be ready in about a year and how he hopes that his girlfriend will agree to be his bride. sweet.
I took a cab from the ferry and paid the cabbie 30 pesos extra to bring my stuff into the house, which is what I gave the baggage handler at the ferry on Isla. 20 in Puerto Juarez. Anyway, Lora looked at the matt, sniffed it and laid right down. No instruction necessary. It is big enough to hold another Lora! LOL! That's a doggy double bed.
I woke up in the middle of the night and glanced over. She was on her back, legs splayed, with a front paw above her head.

If you had a new double PILLOW top, wouldn't you do the same thing?
Today, I have been steaming spinach I bought yesterday for freezing. We don't have frozen spinach here but I have so many recipes that call for it. It will be nice to take out the Reynolds vacuum freezer bag system Johanna got me and give it a go.
And Lora is waiting for Delfino's assistant Lorena to take care of her ears. So what else is new!