July 29, 2010

The wanderer

Margaret Goerig is 30 years old and about to embark on a great adventure. She leaves Isla Mujeres this morning after managing Casa El Pio Apartments for her sister and brother-in-law for two and a half years and heads back to Augusta, GA, where she will set out on a social networking mission in a 1977 RV that her father has been working on to make sure it is roadworthy.
Her mission ala Alexis de Tocqueville will be to report in a book the social status of America as defined by her Facebook friends. After a series of successful Notes on Facebook, she started her own blog. I hope she finds time to update it as she travels among her 336 friends to write a book on the status of America as defined in Facebook Walls equaling Facebook lives.
She will be traveling with her dog and heads out for Tennessee from her home in Athens, GA.
Yesterday, the summertime regulars on Isla Mujeres gathered to say goodbye for now. This morning, after an all-nighter of packing, based on ongoing electronic updates, and closing her HSBC account, which sort of slipped her mind, she leaves the island at 9am.
I'll miss seeing her on her early morning power walks, but look forward to updates from her blog and the eventual book.
This is what people who planned careers as journalists do now!

July 27, 2010

Burger King delivers in Cancun!

Well, who knew? There I was, on my way to Walmart from Chedraui with Carlos the cabbie when I came to the awakening: Burger King delivers in Cancun! Another reason to be glad I am not there!
My trip was eventful as Kathryn and left on the 6:30am so Carlos could take her to the airport. I was dropped off at Chedraui where my big find was stuffed olives (they are rare here) and L'Oreal make up. They did not have pool filter cartidges and are the only place known to me to carry them. Not today, a clerk said. When. No lo se.
We tried the fabric store after he was done at the airport, but it didn't open til 9am. So, off to Walmart, where the big score of the day was 2 cans of ScotchGuard for the new furniture arriving Sunday. Oh, I dug into the Tuesday specials and bought chard for 2 pesos a bunch and a bunch of other things, including a new bed for princess Punta, who likes a bed to be the the bottom of my wardrobe.
And scared by the sight of a Burger King moto, I bought sushi for breakfast in the cab. I just can't pass up a $4 sushi tray!
Fabric store had great ultra-suede on sale for the chairs the carpenter picked up in the afternoon. He'll stain and varnish them to match the table I bought.
And so I was back in the house by 11am! Any later and I would have turned into cooked pumpkin pie filling. It is hot. Tom from NH was make his move this morning, leaving the island for San Miguel Allende, where his household friends including Henry the dog hope it won't be as hot as on a small Caribbean island like Isla Mujeres
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July 26, 2010

Cool waters

I am off to Cancun today at the crack of dawn with Kathryn. She's heading to the airport and Carlos will drop me off at a big box store.
After he takes her to the airport, he'll pick me up and take me to a fabric store. There I will get fabric to recover the seats of the dining chairs which will also be re-varnished to match the new table.
While the island is paradise, for those hot sticky trips into Cancun, I keep the above image in my mind. The cool waters of Lake Mohawk in Malvern, OH, where I grew up.
Wherever I am right now, a nice water ski pull around the late would be such a refreshing contrast. It's in my mind whenever paradise feels like an inferno...in July and August! Of course. I've lost the balance it takes to water ski. But cool sweet water is always great! That's why we love our cenotes here in the Yucatan Peninsula, the mainland off Isla Mujeres.

July 25, 2010

Move it out!

A new table arrives Wednesday. A new living room set next Sunday from Telebodega. So, today was pre-moving day! Load it out.
But that round wicker table, after I thought about it, and we sure thought about it, arrived 7 years ago before the door frame. So it was challenging. Antonio was called in because we had enough muscle. We needed a brain! Still don't understand how he shimmied it out, but he got the rattan table base out. The two plates of glass on top were, or course, a breeze!
The furniture is going to Colonia Guadalupana, to Carmen's son , Miguel Jr. who has a stake there. We'll clean up a bit, then I'll sort through papers and as the damp storminess continues, nap!

July 24, 2010

Smiles like these...

These are the smiles of Sergio and Kathryn, happy to be back on the Ultramar heading home after three hours in Cancun. They helped me pick out a new living room set. And they have one other thing in common. Both are patients of my island dentist, Dr. Francisco Javier Canales.
Kathryn has been staying at Zina's Guest House while on "dentation." She got a new porcelain crown for 4500 pesos, about $400. Canales was meticulous about it, adjusting the molds in two extra visits. The day we went to get the crown, my Canadian friend ran up to me and said her husband was delighted with his! No fuss, no muss. Bim bam, a "dentation." A vacation with dentistry.

The final step of the crowing is to cure the epoxy with an ultraviolet light. Kathryn really doesn't glow purple!
She said it was the best dental experience of her life. She'll be back in September for bone powder implant to build up her jaw. Canales is from Mexico City and works for the Navy as an oral surgeon. He has an evening private practice in Isla Mujeres Centro.

July 20, 2010

Jackass, the Child

Eight years ago or so, I was equally appalled and amused by antics on Jackass: The Movie. Yesterday in La Gloria, I was not amused and thankfully, I was not a witness. My renters at Zina's Guest House were.
One of the 4-8 year-olds on my street found a traffic stopping game to play. He ended it as soon as his grandmother yelled him off the street.
Not named here to protect the guilty, the kid took a board and a Tonka truck to the median strip and planted himself. He set up the board to be a ramp down which he launched the Tonka truck in anticipation of oncoming motos and scooters. And then he watched them swerve and several times nearly crash so as not to hit his toy truck.
Let this be a warning to tourists who think the island is a sleepy village they can navigate safely on a scooter. You could hit a truck and maybe die! Let's hope no 4-8 year olds read this and that all their parents do.

July 19, 2010

Rainy days

This was the backdrop as the doggy dogs played yesterday. Because we were in a palapa, we (people and dogs) didn't get wet, but enjoyed Mother Nature rolling in and out amongst us. To be repeated this week!

July 16, 2010

The new look

Gradual upgrades to Zina's Guest House started a couple years go when I took down a wooden picket fence and installed cement and rebar pipes for the fence. This year, shortly before going to Ohio, I installed gates.
Their bright orange and green, along with the fence, make a visually appealing but secure property. On the roof, you can see two shade areas, one the triangle shadecloth above the pool.
The other, a tree trunk pergola with curtains over a beach bed. Both of those are on the roof of my living quarters, which serves as the patio for the complex.
The improvements to the Guest House itself have included addition of a twin bed to each suite and sealing the roof against moisture and insects. Thank you Sergio!

July 14, 2010

Get sister!

When you said, "Get sister," I thought you meant for good!

July 13, 2010

Beach bum grown

I convinced my father to sign a work permit for me when I was 14 so I could sell ice cream cones at a carry out window at Lake Mohawk. He told me then that I would have to work at least two weeks in every quarter of the year to earn 30 years Social Security credits in a timely fashion...in 30 years.
That advice served me well when multiple sclerosis made me unable to meet the commitments of a job in my late 40s. Anyway...
The third job I had...the ice cream was the second, the first was pulling weeds, was pumping gas at the Marina at Lake Mohawk. It doesn't seem to have a gas pump now, but that's the Marina, where boats are launched from trailers. And where many times after work, I'd take a pull and water ski home.
Yep, just training for island living.

July 11, 2010

Familiar face!

You last saw Felipe Nieves in the winter, seated at my table in Isla Mujeres. He was the man who did the final edit on my stories at The Plain Dealer and wrote the headlines. Now that he can't correct my copy, as a bilingual native of Puerto Rico, he corrects my Spanish!
Felipe took me to lunch after the final visit to the accountant, just a couple days after lunch with Mary.. This was the day Ohio had an earthquake at 1:47pm, and we later compared notes and the earth did not move for either of us.
We wanted to eat at Clyde's, a bistro in an old remodeled stainless steel diner in Cleveland Heights . But it wasn't open for lunch.
We went down Lee Rd. to the old Shujiro location of a relatively new sushi joint. It was disappointing for both of us, but we had a great time, a long lunch!
Afterward, I was heading home to Malvern, when the skies opened up and tornado warnings went up. I pulled off I-77 in Akron and went into a Target. Very disappointing for a store I used to love.
During a break, I headed further south and it was getting rough again. I pulled off at Belden Village and took a room at the Red Roof Inn, where they have free wifi. And Motel Six had no wifi the whole time I wan in the area.
I had this new Dell laptop I wanted to load with as many Zina things as possible, should customs try to declare it an unused import. Brother also provided me with pics from a year and a half ago,
So I checked in, thought about surprising someone at Christie's but decided against it, and went to Max and Erma's in search of an old Columbus style supper. Let me just say the franchise does no justice to what the original Max and Erma's was in Columbus.
Afterward, I stopped at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, and picked up a half dozen, new in from retailers, cotton shirts - and one pure linen - and a pair of shorts and discovered a nice surprise at check out. Everything was a dollar!
Feeling special, I got a nail polish change at the Vietnamese salon that's been there for 14 or so years.
That set me right and the sun was setting, so I went to the room and played with the computer until it was time to sleep.

Too many years later

When I was starting a new assignment as City Hall reporter for WCOL-AM-FM in Columbus, OH, I figuratively kissed the ring of Mary Carran Webster, a skinny, blonde and uninhibited ferret for incompetence and corruption in municipal government as the city hall reporter for WOSU. Mary has put on 4o pounds in the 25 plus years since I've seen her, and so have I! But she is still the spunky woman I knew then.
She left WOSU, became an editor for Business First, and here comes the next big story: She was run down by a beer truck in a crosswalk. Broke her hip in a few places and she sued to be made whole. Despite a jury not permitted to know she was suing a huge beer distributor and not the tiny figure they had driving for them, she got one of the largest, if not the largest, award for that kind of case in Franklin Co. Ohio.
Mary had a dry goods stall in the market at Short North for many years while editing and most recently worked as press secretary for Mayor Michael D. Coleman. Then she retired to Chagrin Falls to be closer to her 89 year old mother, who spends 7 months a year in the Bahamas, leaving Mary with community work to do. So she says she'll pick me up at the airport when I come back and be my chauffeur! Nice going, Mary!
So we talked like we never talked before, me feeling pretty good after meeting with my US accountant in Mayfield, killing time with a mimosa before lunch at Alaldin's on SOM Center Rd. My Verizon cell phone wasn't working so she called Aladin's to see if I was there. Then Felipe called to set up lunch for the next day: He knew I was having lunch at Aladin's. Aladin's soon knew who I was!
Mary thought it quite a coincidence that her brother is a New England neurologist who has been looking for a cure for MS. But he is tired of living grant-to-grant and looking to join a large practice down the Altantic coast. Mary, let me know if he does find a cure because I suspect that even though he'll have a day job with a group, he'll continue his lab work!
Hugs to you Mary, even though we both aren't very demonstrative women. But YTB!

July 10, 2010

I'm from these parts

On my trip back home, I visited the lake where I grew up. My best friend dubbed it, when were midway through our careers, as "On Golden Pond," but the growth Lake Mohawk near Malvern OH has seen in recent years doesn't warrant that name.
Rural lake has become somewhat overbuilt and sophisticated, with golf carts just perfect for local traffic at the 25mph speed limit.
The surface of the lake is about the size of Isla Mujeres and I have called my teen years spent in a bathing suit good training for Isla! I think it was. Mom told me to take my first siestas. Oh wait. I was 4 years old the and it was nap time!
But the good habit took hold!

July 9, 2010

No keno?

No Shirt. No Shoes. No Keno! Rules are tough at American Legion Post 375 in Malvern OH. Best lunch plates in town and I ate quite a few there. Jonsing for the Thurday chicken, bisquits and gravy! But tonight at Homecoming, the Legion is serving up burgers and fries, and the firefighters, having the strawberry season just quit on them, are hosting a beer garden rather than offering up batter friend stawberries. We just might have to try to make those sometime at Zina's Guest House!

July 6, 2010

Totally Skyped

Two Skype phones and a Blue Tooth for my laptop. That's what I'm getting for Zina's Guest House via eBay merchants. It becomes a model of a Skyped House.
First, I ordered one nearly factory direct from Taiwan. Then this deal came along: a woman with another SMC phone and a Blue Tooth she had linked to her laptop.
I'm also going to try to rehab another cell to Blue Tooth off a laptop. But why bother now?

Vacationing with friends

Even though I haven't blogged since returning to Isla Mujeres a week ago, nor for some days before ending the vacation, I'll get caught up now with my memories. The vacation was all about visiting with friends.
Above, I am with the Gamber Girls, as the the sisters raised on a cattle farm were once known. Both now are widowed grandmothers!
Karen Wackerly, left, is the postmistress of Malvern, OH, and was my shopping companion on the big trip to Carrollton to the Five and Dime that has everything. Can't find something? Ask.
I got a bugle horn for my golf cart for about three dollars by asking. No amount of asking got Karen watermelon paraphernalia for a grandchild's birthday party though.
Karen's husband Daniel worked for the water department when he died 12 years ago. The water treatment plant is now named for him.
Beth Shearer, right, walked into American Legion Post 375 one night with a young man on her arm, looking like a cougar. Slap me. It was her surviving son who manages the cattle ranch for her.
Husband Tim died unexpectedly of a heart attack a couple years ago. Two months later, a son died suddenly of an unrelated heart condition. They were the area's ideal couple, both raised on successful cattle farms, both so darn good looking, invincible.
Beth and I went to Spring Break in Florida by ourselves in 1974. We flew and stayed in a nice place in North Miami beach. Woodsie, who is out of picture range, and his buddies stayed at a cheap place next door. College friends of mine stayed at another cheap place on the other side. We had the nice pool and cabana boys, but our recollection of that trip was that Jim Woods's friends kept calling him the spiller. Since he was having beers with his son at the Legion, hearing me and Beth call his dad Spiller brought a smile to Andrew's face.
There were many stories over many nights at the Legion. Next edition might be one of them or a Cleveland lunch....or....stay tuned