February 24, 2010

On some kind of brink

9am...It's been 30 hours since Boca has taken food and she is unable to keep down water. She was jumping from golf cart to cement patio in the rain and slipped Monday night. She took a 90 degree angle cement stucture on her abdomen when her feet slipped. She no longer seems in pain . She no longer seems like Boca.

February 22, 2010

LYSH, you can raise money too!

Peggy Johnson of Ottawa, right front on the float brought to Mar y Sol, had an idea to raise money for the Little Yellow School House. Over the year, she and her husband held small chilli dinners in their house. Her husband Les had a special recipe involving several types of beans. He promises to share if for this blog!
Over the course of the nice weather in Ottawa, these snowbirds raised $3000 dollars. The intended all of it to go to the Little Yellow School House. But at the last minute, diverted $500 to help the victims in Haiti.
Over the weekend, they went to the special needs school with money in hand and presented it.

Pictured left to right are Maru ,a teacher's aide, Claudia, the head teacher, Paula the administrator, Les Wallace, Peggy, Lindell Upp Lehrer, donations coordinator, Malil Wall and Norma Wilson, all of Ottawa.
Peggy will also be helping this week at the Barracuda Tournament and Rockin'Country Music Fest on Isla Mujeres, hosted by Jax restaurant. It all starts Wednesday and the music of the beach across from Jax will feature Phil Vassar. You too can make a difference in this little school that services children with physical and learning handicaps and other impediments to eduction. Mexico's government provides no facilities for these children.

February 20, 2010

Soon, the new open air market

It's just been in the past few days that the new open air market is taking on a recognizable form. It is in La Gloria and will replace the market in Canotol, which is visible between the third and fourth posts from the left.
It is not far from the new football rapido, like indoor soccer, field and on the left, not visible here on the right( actually the front) is the new community center that will have a children's movie theater, to be dedicated any day now.
For taco fans, another bearing: The new mercado is very near "tacos campos" or Taqueria Cachuril. All walking distance from Zina's Guest House.
It will give the new SuperExpress a run for its money and hopefully the competition will benefit us all. The new super is out of view of the camera on the left.

February 19, 2010

Cultural mixing

Beginning with the Navy Officers Wives' Breakfast, it was a day that brought home the notion of bi-culturalism.
At the Officers Wives' breakfast, we have rifa, or raffle and then play loteria - lottery - which is audio-visual bingo. Look at the heart with the arrow through it on the left. Pretty romantic, eh?
The caller has a deck of cards from which she pulls one and with great enunciation calls it and shows the card. You put a chip over it and as it goes on, someone eventually shouts "Ya!" Done already.
While playing this, we still a chance to talk about tattoos. On eyebrows - Blanca has them. On lips, Blanco and Judy have them. And eyeliner, which Judy has.
After the breakfast, in which I didn't win a door prize or a rifa, raffle, I went on to the Centro de Salud, Health Center, for my H1N1 shot. "Do you have an appointment?" Jeannine and Gail asked me in front. No, but vaccine clinic is over for the day very soon! Only Lidia Guadalupe with daughter in front of me for la vacuna and ya! I was done.
I was warned that I may feel achy in a few days and told what to take.
Then to the Navy commisary , where Jeannine and Gail said they were headed, for dog food and rum - for mojitos I'll be making Sunday for my Lithuanian American guests. I was still early for lunch, but thought I'd go early to chat with Vivian. She was already packed at near sell out. Word has gotten out that Vivan's Qubano is Number One on Trip Advisor's list of Isla restaurants. So...
Gail and Jeannine were there already! And then Lynnie and Mary arrived. These were the Zina's Guest House guests I shared a cab already in route to going home on Fat Tuesday. Another chance meeting! Lynnie has been volunteering mornings at the La Gloria English School.
Felipe arrived and he saw Vivian makes tostones. Everyone in the Caribbean eats tostones, said Felipe, and for him it had been a while! Up until then, he was just looking forward to speaking grammatically correct Spanish on Isla! Most islanders here don't, a blessing for me. Ha!
Tostones are fried plantains, remashed and refried until they are like french toast. Vivian has taken it a step further and makes them the basis for a dandwich of grilled chicken and carmelized onions, using tostones as if they were bread. Felipe, a Puerto Rican, said it was a unique invention as he tasted mine.
Felipe had a side of tostones the chips, and a Cuban sandwich, classic recipe with mustard and pickle. Delish, he said. Yes, I tasted it too and had never had one made the classic way, mustard and pickle, before. Delish!
We then went to see if Rick had boarded the Ultramar in time to keep a date with Carlos. No lo se. I don't know.
Came home to let Boca out of her carrier for business and ran out again to Mar y Sol to see if contact had been made with the Little Yellow School house. Peggy and her husband raised $3,000US with "chili for the children." And that is to be featured on a US cooking show with Peggy carrying a bowl of chili at dusk. No sun. No shoot.
Home, Karina comes running over. Carmen is having surgery in the morning for a broken clavicle. Would I take Karina's muchacha to clean in the morning. Yes, for the upstairs apartment. Then Lynnie and Mary leave in the afternoon....again on Saturday.
And I laid down thinking how different my life and language have become. A day earlier on our Isla Mujeres tour, I pointed to the new graveyard. "There's the new cementery," I said. And we laughed. Cementerio is the word Spanish. Cemetery!

February 18, 2010

Surprise visit!

Felipe Nieves was my copy editor at The Plain Dealer. After I took the buyout, he became a closer friend.
He arrived with friends from Boston on Isla Mujeres on Fat Tuesday. After walking Hidalgo looking for me, and past ComoNo's several times, he went to the PEACE fundraiser at La Luna, where they told him I had already left. 'Twas not to be, since I was having dinner at ComoNo and he headed to the Zocalo for the show. So we just missed each other.
I was sitting around in a dress I turned into a nightgown (instead of the other way around!) when there was a knock and then a doorbell ring. It was Felipe!
After a quick kiss and a hug, he sat down and grabbed a newspaper to see if they had stopped publishing blood and guts! No!
We had diet Sprite and orange juice mixed since he had been bicyling. He parked the bike in my office and we went on a golf cart tour or the island.
Wow, he's amazed at the changes in one year. And the changes over the 15 years he's been coming to Isla Mujeres!
Then, we stopped at Mar y Sol. He was amazed. His idea of a dream spot. He carries a snorkel tube just in case and there is no just in case at Mar y Sol! He looked at suites in both buildings after wading the beach. And while he did, I talked to Gary Hicks from Cincinnati, who's written a book about a clown...a Clown College inductee...and in need of a copy editor. Felipe might be able to help!
And we were off to Punta Sur and back to my house.
Today, we'll have lunch at Vivian's Cubano after I have breakfast at the Navy Officers Wives' Club. Then, I'll go back to Mary y Sol for the taping of a segment for a cooking show. Why? A couple of the guests there have raised $3000 for Little Yellow School house by having little chili dinners in their home!

February 17, 2010

Fat Tuesday

The PEACE fundraiser at La Luna was a success! And I got a paint job from Caroline Beebe while there!
It was a crowded event, but it seemed people were a bit reluctant to bid on items in the silent auction. So, I walked away with the doggie basket for 500 pesos. Doggie blanket, new bowels, chew toys, fetch balls, bandana, brush.
I went with the women from Madison renting the downstairs unit and we separated when Jeannine and Gail and I went to dinner at ComoNos.
Going home, I hailed a cab and the woman, Lynnie and Mary, were in the cab. So we compared notes and they had a great time too!

February 16, 2010

Cold wave continues

It's been so cold that many of us have avoided going into town for Carnaval. We're going tonight if only to attend the PEACE fundraiser. Yes, we'll get dressed up and come out.
At Mar y Sol, one of the renters was amusing himself in a box! He as trying to get Boca and an alpha beach dog to play! See what lengths people have gone to to amuse themselves in the cold wave?
He'll probably feel silly tonight when he gets to town and fins the fun sizzling. Just HOT HOT HOT!

February 14, 2010

A pledge from the governor

Flelix Gonzalez Canto, the governor of Quintana Roo, has pledged to rebuild Colonia Guadalupana. His pledge was aired on TVISLAMUJERES.
The site was virtually clear today for work to begin. It cannot be seen from the street. It was within the community. Donations were accepted at La Gloria English School and two of my renters who arrived with donations anyway took them early to be used there. I raided my pantry and took tuna and as many canned goods as I could, since the victims' cooking options are few.

February 13, 2010

Fire destroys half the squatter community

TVISLAMUJERES, linked to my blog, had video and is now on Twitter with pics of the community effort to recover for the residents. Overnight, they were placed in the hurricane shelter.

February 11, 2010

A case of tattoo-itis

So, I'm thinking of getting a tattoo. It came to me yesterday when I stopped at Brisas Grill and saw Steve Maddox leaving the tattoo shop in the adjacent area.
Now, don't panic, family. It's the eyebrows. It's the first time I noticed they do eyebrows there. Some beauty shops claim to and frankly I'd be scared.
But the tattoo shop just outside Brisa's Grill does impeccable work. So, I'm considering the alternative to eyebrow pencils and dyes. I had dying my eyebrows. There are very light blonde but full, so they need plucked afterward.
Well, it's just a thought that came to me after tuna sashimi as I was finishing a cabernet blanco! Call me impulsive. Not. This is something to really think about!

February 10, 2010

Hasta luego!

We said "hasta luego," or see you soon, to Kathryn, on the left, last night. Great picture of Gail, too, but when "Tips or Sex" takes you picture, be careful or you'll get a straw up your nose, like I did!
We had our dinner at Miguel's Moonlite, before the band began to play. Despite being a regular, I don't know their name and just refer to them by the sign in front of their tip cup!
But dinner was great! Miguel offered up enchiladas mole, not on the menu, which Kathryn and I took. Gail had her heart set on steak aracherra. Both meals were delicious!
And it was an early night for the Three Musketeers. We were out of there by 7:30. Kathryn had spent the afternoon with Boca at Mary y Sol, where the folks asked me when I bought her to arrange a meeting for them and the Little Yellow School House.
Patty and Russ had held chilli suppers all year long are raised $3000 US for the school and brought a suitcase of "stuff" as well! Woo hoo!

February 8, 2010

Russian love songs

It was another day at the beach at the hotelito on Sac Bajo that Sergio Rodriguez manages. Hi Ni Ha is the name and it is my idea of a true paradise. With flourishing gardens filled with all kinds of plants and his own tomatoes and herbs, getting to the water is great.
Boca loves the walk! And when we got to the beach bar, we had it to ourselves at first, Then Inge from Germany and Johanna from Switzerland joined us.
We did a little more talking than before and learned that Johanna and I have a love of the Russian language in common. Her mother was of Russian and Ukrainian descent.
So as Sergio went to restock the Coronitos, little Corona beers, just right to not get warm before you finish, Johann started singing Russian love songs to Boca! To make up for throwing her in the sea in retaliation for a scratch on her thigh from the previous day.
Boca and I loved the serinade!
Gail made ham and cheese paninis and I brough Sergio some of the beef vegetable soup I made. It was hearty: the bones and tendens helped create stock that was a firm gelatin when chilled!
Heated with some of the frozen sauteed celery/onion/parsley mix I froze, and other veggies, it was good!
So we spent the day like that. Me excercising in the sea. Boca playing with Johnny Boy and some children of Mexican friends of Sergio who had come to use the pool, watching the pleasure craft go by. Noshing on paninis and guacamole. A day in the sun, complete with Russian love songs.

February 4, 2010

Salty dogs

Boca now has two beach days in a row in which she's played with Rishi Sowa's Johnny Boy, aka Joy Boy.
Yesterday a Swiss woman staying at Hi Ni Ha, home of my "secret beach club," took Boca into the sea for a swim. Even though Joy Boy plays and swims freely, and self commutes from
Spiral Island, Boca still seems to prefer the sweet water of a cement pond, and we haven't encouraged her to discover the pool at Hi Ni Ha, lest we wear out our welcome.
But Boca and Johnny Boy have had two glorious days in the sun, roughhousing, digging holes in the sand, roughhousing some
The couple from Philadelphia check out today and mommie and doggie are sticking close to home. So I'll be up on the roof when not working with the head of housekeeping. And after two days of sun and sea and three without a siesta, I might just take myself a siesta. Boca will appreciate that too. She's doggone tired!