November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving feast!

It was among the best Thanksgiving meals I've had in my life! Vivian's Qubano staff of three, including Vivian, fixed a cranberry fruit compote, cornbread dressing with mushrooms, green beans, Vivian's grandmother's Hungarian potatoes....but wait! It started with vegetarian pate!
Vivian was a gracious hostess, offering up a choice of beverages. I had watermelon water. A new addition to my Thanksgiving repertoire.
I was the first to arrive at 1pm, but David wasn't far behind! He got watermelon water, too.
All in all, there were 27 reservations, but others called in to see they could get in and if to go orders would be available. Logan Kemper came by with friends who didn't want to miss a football game and got seven orders to go.

Oh yes, we all got pumpkin pie...including Logan and her friends. And how was your feast?
Tomorrow, El Cejas and return to life in Cancun. Vuelve la vida!

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I'll be lazy and not post until tomorrow, when I'll include food pics from Vivian's Qubano today and El Cejas in Cancun from Tuesday. Be careful out there.

November 25, 2009

And now they are gone...

I had hoped sometime yesterday to stop and feed the tejones in Puerto Juarez. My driver Carlos and I have been meaning to to that. Their park is very close to the house he, a brother and his parents share.
They are somewhat like a raccoon, somewhat like a ferret. They hurt no one. But Carlos told me they are gone. A woman was seen feeding them poison.
"A foreign woman? " I asked. "A Mexican. No foreigners would to that to an animal who never hurt anyone and only protected them," he answered.
Tejones were brought to Cancun to keep the crocodiles at bay, a job in which they succeeded. So now the Park Tejones has no tejones. So sad. My neighbor the fisherman got one before they were killed off. So I'll go over and meet his leashed tejon.
So sad.

November 24, 2009

Deck the halls!

Boca was busy yesterday helping Sergio hang the Christmas lights around the Guest House property. Well, not really helping, but supervising!
After Sergio finished, the three of us went to the paint store. It was Boca's first golf cart ride outside a pet carrier and she sat pretty the whole time. She was on a leash that Sergio held.
So, she'll be supervising touch up painting on Wednesday. Today, I go to Cancun for some shopping and banking and a visit to the lawyer for my visa, which has been ready for me for a week!

November 22, 2009

So what'd ya get?

Mary Ann Burns and husband Ricardo Gaitan were leaving Mass at the Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe when my breakfast order at Mango Cafe was being served. I got eggs Benedict but not like any you've had elsewhere! The Bearnaise is made with rompope, a Mexican eggnog that has more egg yolks and a bit more alcohol than typical nog. And these eggs Benedict were not on top of the usual English muffins. Lori found an incredible thick bread in Cancun. And between the eggs and bread were sweet peppers, onions and some chaya. All sprinkled with bacon after the sauce. I was a very happy diner!
With the hash browns, made with chambray potatoes, red onions and beans, well...lovely, but too much food! Too much! Great, though! A deal at 80 pesos! No need to eat again this day! Mango Cafe is open now Friday-Monday for breakfast and lunch.
The new issue of Latina magazine loves the place, along with Cabanas Maria del Mar. Isla Mujeres is one of three destinations they picked as Mexican gems! Can Rachel Rae, who canceled a visit during the swine flu scare, be far behind?

November 19, 2009

Talking up Isla Mujeres

You may recall last summer: A production crew led by Ellen and James Fields from Merida was here to record some foreign islanders perspective on real estate investment in Isla Mujeres.
The production for the Real Estate Development network is done. Jeri and Steve, Jimbo, Big Jim, Curtis and Ashley and I were interviewed. Click below to see the result.
It's not a hard sell for the developers, but it is something that might result in some of the shut down construction sites finding a new builder/developer.

November 18, 2009

Renee's killer moves to maximum security

The perpetrator in Renee Wathelet's death broke the nose of a Canadian inmate in Chetumal.

November 16, 2009

Making yogurt

The bad thing about Mexican yogurt, even the Dannone and Yoplaits, is that they are loaded with sugar. Even the "natural" or plain yogurt has a tablespoon, an OUNCE, of sugar in it. That's 27 grams. It's frustrating!
For more than a year, I have followed Stephanie's blog adventures in A Year of Slowcooking. She has a recipe. I made it yesterday and it turned out fine!
Since we had no plain yogurt, I chose a strawberry Acitivia as the starter. This means I will save a half cup of what I made to be the starter next batch. Eventually, I will have totally plain yogurt. To make it, use the "American milk" you can get at Walmart of Mirtitas.
Stephanie also has a book out for Christmas based on the blog, A Year of Slowcooking. If you click the link, it will take you to crock pot yogurt.

November 15, 2009

Doggie Reikki and other intimacies

What goes on behind close doors? Boca sleeps in her bed, sometimes not! She is a dog of many wants and talents.
She is getting used to having her bed, but sometimes she just jumps onto mine out of the blue. She does it for the snuggles.
But last night, there was more. She performed Reikki on my sore back. I suspect she didn't have a clue! But I was hurting. My back was sore.
She jumped over me and laid down, her back pushing against mine. Back to back. It felt so good. Soon I treated it like a Reikki/healing touch session and just relaxed into it. Eventually, Boca moved, but it felt like she was still there. And my back ache was gone. Boca, the healing touch practitoner!

November 14, 2009

New newsy link

While filled with detractors of Mayor Alicia Ricalde Magana, this blog is nonetheless filled with local news. TV Isla Mujeres has been added to my Blogs list!

November 13, 2009

Your Friend, the Police

Coming home this morning from marketing, I was met by my new beat cop. "My name is Ismael," he began. "Do you have any reports you would like to file?"
He went on to explain that he would be walking the neighborhood every morning, as we used to say, rounding up the usual suspects. I don't mean to make light of the effort, I just couldn't help it!
Ismael is based downtown with the Public Security division at the Palacio Municipal. He will work days. Nights, we are to call their number, not state dispatch for speedy response. That number is 877 0051.
The new police presence program is called "Your Friend, the Police." This is proof that the mayor took to heart the complaints of locals and foreigners as well. But the presence of Officer Santiago and his collegues in other colonias is welcome as the holidays approach and more tourists arrive.
Thank you Alicia Ricalde Magana.

November 12, 2009

Isla Manicure

After a hurricane, and after the clean up, a little pampering is in order. I went to Evita for a manicure; no time for a pedicure.
Not needed, but I brought my own color from Avon. I forgot to expect the handcrafted embellishment. First the outline of flowers, then the glitter, then the stud. Topped with clear coat. Cost? 80 pesos, a little under $7. Virtually every manicurist on Isla Mujeres prides herself on the mini pictures! And two days later, still like new.

November 11, 2009

Praying for three so-so months

I was about to lose the amethyst from my ring, so I stopped at Fire Opal shop to have Ricardo fuss with the setting. He asked me how reservations were. Good, I said. But I am cheap. I think the holiday bubble will be just that. High season hopes will remain just that.
Oh, please, just three OK months. Then we can get caught up with our rents, he said speaking for merchants.
Miquel's Moon Lite had no one when I arrived. Miguel said Hurricane Ida generated the most business he'd had in months, what with Saturday's riding the storm party and Sunday's celebration. But now, dead again!
He started to smile when I ordered coconut shrimp, a guarantee that the cook's salary will be covered. I also got guacamole and two Cuba libres.
Then Sandia came and got two Cuba libres, joining me for a bit. And Miguel was so glad to see her!
By the time she and I left, there were six other patrons in house. Not bad for a so-so night on Isla Mujeres, where we all pray tourism will pick up.

November 10, 2009

The book is out!

My friend John Tidyman had a book signing in Cleveland last night for Get Me Rewrite. It's a book about the newspapering of the recent past. I contributed some anecdotes. I hope he enjoys good sales for the holidays! OK, John, you can fly down with that copy anytime!

November 8, 2009

Ida Rather

Boca's been pitching in and going to the roof with me periodically to drain the pool of Hurricane Ida water. She is tired. She gets great comfort in Mom's Wii balance board and her "brother." Sister has lost most of her stuff to teething.
Before Ida moved in, I went looking for that odd photo. The best I could find was people in the water near Na Balam and Avalon. So what it if's raining!
My feelings exactly. When I'm on the roof with Boca, I'm tempted to actually get in the pool! Why not?

November 7, 2009

Ida know

I had gone to Playa Norte this morning for pictures and really didn't get anything worth while. Alison and Jeff have posted great shots from their house.
Then I turned, well intended to turn, on the Guerrero by Manana Cafe. Hmmmf. Road destruction! The yellow place on the left is Hemingway's Cantina.
I did not realize they still had to lay sewerage pipe the whole length from the zocalo to the post office . So that's what it looks like in the pre-Ida rains!
I got some dried rosita beans at Mirtita, so hard to find here, and some Maya bacon to season with. That's my bad weather comfort food. Beans!
Came home and went right to the roof to drain some more water from the pool. I'll be doing it again in the morning. My preparations so far have including harvesting basil! Actually, everything seems in order. Boca is ripping the stuffing out of her sister via the eye socket. Nice work...

November 5, 2009

Thunder, you say? Boca speaks

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Mom cam back after 9 hours away with this bed, which is nice for rainy days. We had thunder yesterday, in the morning and again at night. In the middle of the night, Mom woke up and opened the windows and got a flash light, like she would do something with it! I'm just a puppy and it's the first I've heard of thunder. Boom. Scares me! Now I hear Mom on the phone wondering about Hurricane Ida. Mom says it might be here for the weekend. That means lots of rain! I've got just the bed!

November 4, 2009

Super Tuesday

I feel a little like Superwoman, having survived nine hours of errands in Cancun yesterday. Oh, the jury was still out regarding my survival in the pre-dawn hours. But there's nothing like a line of thunderstorms to define you!
I am well and my larder is stocked. I am making spaghetti sauce this morning with the Italian sausage, hamburger and tomato products I got.
I have plans to steam asparagus and brussel sprouts and put them in the freezer. Lots of good buys out there!
I got a pool test kit finally. No more tongue pH! 200 count tall kitchen trash bags, good for three more years! Boca got a bed she actually used last night. Please, can I put my chin on your ankles during siesta, she seemed to ask. Getting her to the bed was easier with a new squeaky. Yes, we are spoiled!
The lawyer took my papers and money for visa renewal. I should have my F-ing document in 10 days. I go back for my original passport and visa booklet Friday.
Carlos continues to be a fabulous escort, appeared at check out in time to bad and load his station wagon for the ease of the baggage handlers.
We took a break after three stores for lunch at Mercado 28, where I mistook El Cejas's brother for him. Honest mistake. Boy, do they have eyebrows!
Afterward, it was on to Home Depot, where I got new lights to frame the house, pool equipment and insecticide.
One of the stops along the way way Soriana, where I got rye bread! The rare items, brussel sprouts and asparagus, will get steamed and frozen today, also. I also found a can of cherry pie filling at Commercial Mexicana. Never before!
Right now, it looks to be rainy all day. What a blessing to have the holiday shopping out of the way!
Boca slept half the night in her new bed, realzing her days with chin draped over my ankles are coming to an end. A sqeaky toy eases the transition!