July 29, 2009

Say it ain't so!

It's been five days since I've blogged. At least I caught myself before it went any further.
Life in paradise isn't all great in summer. It's hotter than blazes, stuff needs repaired early and often, and there's getting ready for possible hurricanes. And a precious friend is here with her son and grandson, a 14-year-old who is a bit too smart for his own good, if you know what I mean.
We entertained the kid with a tour of Bottle Island yesterday and then a picnic meal and some Waverunner time. His dad gets seasick, so he was no fun!
Then Sergio from HiNaHa took him, but let him drive and instructed him from the back. The kid was in second heaven and so easy to get along with when he got back!
Not to mention that except for his gram and me, he was surround by strong males and they wre talking like equals to him. Gram and I got in the pool for some noodle excercises, then Kid Kyle, Rishi, his dad and before were knew it, we were surrounded. This was before the waverunner time with his dad and Sergio, the caretaker of HiNiHa, who taught Kyle how to waverun at safe speeds and to be vigilent of the waters.
Stopped at the bakery to their breakfast needs. Tonight, Gilligan takes him crabbing, probably with his dad, and Gram and I talk with the bead ladies and sit on the upper deck!
Meantime, repotting, replanting and maybe a pool dip! Ah, but first a little siesta! I've been up since 5, not that I need to explain myself!

July 24, 2009

Miss Remiss

So, dear readers, you may have noticed that I have not written in a week or more. Let me 'splain.
I am still, but almost recovered from, dealing with my MS attack. It has been a slow process.
Doggy dog has been at my feet, getting fat. And fatter as Gilligan has found the way to make her happy. Chicken livers or chilaquiles? Sit pretty!!! Good girl. Not me. Lora.
I was doing PT in the above ground pool on the roof. Then we had a spell of hot and rainy weather. Yuck. Just a couple days of neglect and the pool turned green. Thick green.
Chlorine shock wasn't enough and we drained it partially. Then, Gilligan went into town and left it to fill. I woke up to Cheni pounding on the door the other evening. It was running out into the street.
So, I went up, shut off the hose and drained some more. The next day, Carmen came over and found wet books in the office. Called Ricardo, who came a day later. It wasn't pool water in the condenser. Worse.
Since we raised the garden beds and made then deeper, I didn't think anything about the AC drain, except that it kept the garden green.
But, with increased humidity, the drain hoses filled back up to the roof as the garden was saturated. The drain hoses filled the condenser from the top! Into the book cases. And up from the ground came a bubbling crude!
Yeah, yeah. That's the glamorous side of living in paradise. But wait, there's more!
For several weeks, I would notice an occassional bump or frank thunk from the golf cart. The motor is under the seat. I'd get up, take a look, and not see anything. The Gilligan took it to Ppe's, where Chuch checked it out and found the mount, made of some sort of thick robbery material, had all but crumbled. Crumbling is what it is doing today, just sitting there.
Due to previous history, Wilberth will be changing it and realigning the chassis. Tonight after work. He got the mounting block yesterday in Cancun.
There's still the matter of the fridge. Gilligan says it wants to vomit. I guess I have to clean! This weekend, I shall dance.

July 18, 2009

Papa papaya

These papayas are going to be breakfast. They came from the tree in the little strip of land alongside the house. I might also add some cut up pitaya.
Now, the pitaya has surprised me. After losing a couple blossoms, what looked like fruits started to appear. Turns out they were just flower buds!
They'll produce raspberry colored fruits the size of a pee wee football!

July 17, 2009


I thought I posted pitaya fruit forming earlier. No! It was the buds. Look at the flowers!

July 16, 2009

My dog in heat

Not that kind of heat! This is Lora in the heat of the day, doing what she does best then: Guarding my cane. It's hot hot hot here on Isla Mujeres!

July 15, 2009

Easy money

Tourists coming to the island see restaurant prices that would be a bargain back home and think the rental owners are living large every day.
I live on a half pension and Social Security Disability. It certainly is more money than most of my neighbors can rely on in a month. But their shops make money and know one knows what's inside their houses.
When I was hospitalized in June, the bill was $1,300US. Friday I have an appointment with the neurologist in charge of my case and pay him and three other consults a total of $13, 000 pesos. Life here goes this way: 200 pesos here, 500 there, 778 for phone and internet, 200 pesos to the cleaner. Only have one electric bill delivered so far, 2800 pesos. Are you getting the picture? So the other night's crabbing adventure with Gilligan was for him to prove that we can survive even an Armageddon and live like kings on this little island. And Gilligan has been working here in exchange for room and board since I only have at best 50 percent occupancies in the future and he need a place with a table for his jewelry crafting.
Hopefully the Mexican tax system will work as advertised and I will get tax credits i.e. cash credit on future taxes owed as part of the Mexican Stimulus for swine flu scare victims: The tourist sector.
That will enable me to come home to Ohio for a winter break or next spring for the summer. What I need in that garden is a money tree and some easy money.

July 13, 2009

In the heat of the night

It takes one minute from beginning for moon flowers to pop open in the late afternoon. They release a hypnotic scent. Then, after a night out, when the first rays of sun hit them, they collapse even more than the evening shower made these go!
I also have a variety of amaryllis that is nocturnal. These opened up in the evening and by midday were spent, the unopened two took over the next day. Now, the stem needs cut just like in the north, where amaryllis bulbs, usually red flowers, are sold for holiday giving.
Oh, next to the amaryllis is where my poinsettias are. Looks like I'll have to find a big pot for all the growing they've done so far. I have to look up the abuse I have to give them to make them bloom. I think it's light deprivation followed by full sun.
There's always something goin on in the garden. This morning's eggs will be with chilis and a little mint, both from the garden!

July 12, 2009


One of summer's pleasures in Southern Mexico is the fruit pitaya. Vietnam and Malasia, and some other Pacific nations, have discovered this fruit and are cultivating and exporting what they call dragon fruit. And on Facebook Mafia Wars game, in Cuba, dragon fruit is given as a bonus on jobs done.
Me, I've embarked on some cultivation of my own. Jose Flores placed cuttings in my garden two years ago. Mostly, they were not pretty and took to climbing the walls. The main stem looked it was broken when we started emptying potting soil in the corner of the garden, with the papaya tree at the other end.
The flowers lasted only a few hours and I was remiss in not grabbing the camera. But rains were here and well, I thought, no harm in waiting.
The next day, the flowers were gone and little button like bumps appeared. Didn't catch those either. But now, there are fast growing fruits that at this stage look like artichokes.

They are growing inches in days. Today is sunny. The fruits are going to love it!
My worker is now back to painting the roof. He'll pick a couple papayas on his way in and, with the market bought pitaya, we will have a nice fruit salad for lunch's desert. No need to spend more money than the 50 pesos for the pulled pork, of which there is plenty left. I feel like I'm living the green life! Green Acres is the place for me...

July 11, 2009

Yeah, she had a hangover the next day!

Here's Delfino Guevara the vet with his daughter Berta and an assistant, waiting for Lora to go under from the sedative he gave her. She immediately looked happy. All this for a pedicure; she just doesn't like them.
An ear cleaning was also in order. Ear mites accompany ticks. And Lora got an anti tick shot and two days of parasite cleaning capsules for me to give her. A month ago, the ticks assaulted her and the capsules are to kill any eggs for heartworm.

Oncce she was totally under, the ear cleaning began. And I clean them daily myself, but can't go as deep as Delfino does.
Then the pedicure. She actually tolerated the front paws being done without anesthesia.
Back to the ear and ya, we're done. I took her back home in the golf cart with Berta riding with me and Delfino behind use to take Berta home.
My instructions were to watch her in case she stopped breathing. Better treatment than Michael Jackson got.
And she was so hung over yesterday, it was hard to get her to sit up! It happens.

July 6, 2009

The way we were

Here we were, in 2006, because we didn't think Joann, left, would make it to the real 35th year for our reunion. She had a double lung transplant earlier that year. Next to her is Rick, who went to Costa Rico ro live on railroad disability after his aorta was patched and became cocaine addicted. Next to me is Jeff. He's the one who's dead.
Joann and Mio went to his funeral Saturday in North Carolina. As Joann's grad student daughter drove, she and Mio talked about how she clings to life while Jeff tossed it away.
I've been looking at the emails between me and Jeff since his January layoff as as VP at Eastwood Homes. Tapped on the shoulder, told no profit was expected this year. Hasta la vista.
We had not written in a while, since March after he returned from spring skiing in Colorado with his daughter from his first marriage.
He had married his girlfriend of six years, Cindy, last summer. Karen, his first wife and mom of Kayla, and Jeff were on good terms.
Cindy's chain of dance studios went under shortly after they married. Jeff had built homes for Karen, his now 83 year old mother Ann, his sister Joanne, and himself, on Lake Norman in North Carolina, very much like the lake we grew up on, the photo negative image of Isla.
Jeff's father managed credit and money poorly. He vowed to not let that happen to him. Before joining Eastwood, he built his houses with his own money, starting the business with one house, then selling it and building two, etc.
He had accumulated expensive toys no one would buy from him in the recession. Nice power boats like his dad provided for us but sometimes Jeff came home from school to naked hotdogs.
He was fussy and a worry wart. I am still struggling to explain this. He had assets in land and homes. Used to have a million dollar portfolio. Lost it the way so many others did.
He was on anti depressants. Who knows what gave him the idea to hang himself on the 30th of June. May he rest in peace. May his family grow stronger from this. Jeff, you idiot! We are pissed at you for now.