November 29, 2010

The traveling hearing aid

I am short a hearing aid. It has gone on a journey without me.
When I spent five days in Ohio in October, I was showing off my ability to hear. Rick Moody's mom, Bev Caldarelli, even came over to Karen Gamber-Wackerly's place so show off her new pair. We both cooed, delighted with ours.
And then it was time to go. Emilio was picking me up at 3:30am and it was cold, so I wore the new, slightly stiff hooded sweat shirt layered on top of a T-shirt, layered on top of a camisole. Since I was the first person at Akron-Canton Regional Airport, I had time to kill. When the gift shop opened up, I opted for a neck pillow, all the better to sleep sitting up.
So I went to the gate and slept. I did well and woke up in time to board the plane and had a nice flight to Atlanta and another little nap before deplaning in Atlanta. There, at the ATA gate area, I notice my hearing aid was gone. They searched the plane and sent me to customer service. They gave me the number to Lost and Found at CAK Airport. I waited 24 hours or so and called from my home in Isla Mujeres. THEY HAD IT!
After an elaborate verification that it was my make and model, I was told to send an insured FedEx enevolope to them. Having heard that, Emilio rushed to the airport and picked up the hearing aid package.
He mailed it to Johanna after a bit and she opened it as soon as she got it, a couple days before coming to Isla Mujeres early in November.
Well, she emailed me. She had two in-the-ear hearing aids, clear in color. Not one behind-the-ear (BTE) with a taupe body.
I called Lost and Found at Akron-Canton Reginoal Airport. "That's the only hearing aids I had," Karen said. "But I'll call home to the five others who work here."
Time has passed. I talked to Karen again. "No one remembers your hearing aid and it's not here. It probably was donate to AmVets." Call them, I said. "Well, they just get a box of junk and I am sure they won't be able to find it."
Now, the asking price for that pair of hearing aids this week on eBay is $1500, a give away price, but still three times what I paid. I've submitted a bid, resigned to the hopelessness of getting the traveling one back from some lucky disabled veteran.
It's probably sleeping on a sidewalk somewhere near the Stark County Regula Federal Building, waiting for an appointment with the owner's case worker. Or, maybe it's flying to Florida for the winter with a thrifty shopper like me, feeling lucky to have a Widex Diva Senso hearing aid.
Me, I've learned to get along with the one and am careful where I wear it. And I keep looking at eBay to see if anyone else is interested in the pair, worn only one year until the owner died and they were placed in a box for safe keeping a year ago.
So here is a warning to you. The airport doesn't keep track of it's found items or a list of names of people looking for items. Need a gold watch? Try calling Canton-Akron Regional Airport.

November 27, 2010

How dogs schmoozle

Punta and Pony pose for a portait after the 24 hour sleep over began. See how nice Pony sits?
The pipsqueak rat terrier came in here thinking she'd own Punta. So then Punta never let it rest.

A bad sign was her escape upon arrival, after I had locked down the compound and opened her pet carrier. Ric and Christina, guests from Canada, saw me trying to get her to come back as she did a couple fly-bys. So they worked with a brigade of neighbor children led by David, and ultimately carried her home.
This was a miracle because Pony isn't all that fond of children or males, being the second dog taken away from a Maya boy in San Cosme, where a pet sterilization clinic was recently held. The boy didn't mind giving up his abused dog because, hey, they're just toys.
OMG. That's when I realized the fence posts can't hold her, nor the bars in the steel door in the back patio entrance. She's that tiny, just slips right through even though she looks bigger.
Then Wrestlemania began. By about 3am, Pony played dead. Without a command to do so. I believe that in collegiate wrestling, this is called passivity. But it would pick back up and continued all night. Then the dog walker came at 7:30am, having not slept for other reasons, and took one look at me and said, "Oh no!" She knows rat terriers. "I'm scared of that dog. I was just bitten by a cat!"
I suggested she just take Pony just go to the corner for business and back, since she gets a lot of doggie play opportunities at Alison's Isla Animals and the "no can do" emergency call was already made. So just a short walk before Jeff and Alison come, please.
Pony had other ideas, slipped herself out of her collar after pooping during the walk and headed into a neighbor's house, hammock sleepers still asleep at 8am, into their sleeping room and up a flight to stairs onto the roof.
There the whole neighborhood looked out at them and laughed.
Inga Gross, the dog walker, says this kind of puppy play is called schmoozle in German. That's where we get the word schmooze. It also applies to rat terriers napping in the spoon position, which I am sure might have happened had they continued over days
But I have multiple sclerosis and am unsteady on my feet, having a 10 pound dynamo at my feet is far more dangerous than Punta alone, though she is a big dog. "Casi un pony," Alfredo the dog groomer said. Almost a pony.
Carmen calls her Barbie because of her long, slim legs. But she is learning not to jump. She doesn't pull on her leash. She will mature into the only dog I need and can have play dates at Alison's or with the beach dogs near Mar y Sol when she needs more socialization.
Now, Pony resumes waiting on a ride to Seattle or Portland. She needs a good person to schmoozle with and lots of space to run. And having some rats around to catch is perfect for a feisty rat terrier.

November 22, 2010

Birthday Dog

Her adoption papers say she is one year old. So, Punta and I went for a golf cart ride so she could show me where Inga Gross takes her on walks. Full of energy, she requires a walk of about an hour a day to keep her focused.

Her favorite area is near the sea. She loves the smell. In the golf cart, she is a perfect passenger because she wants her nose to catch all the air and its smells.
She likes flowers, too. Bougainvilleas are OK with me because she doesn't dig those up!
For her official social outing later, we went to Chuuk Kay Restaurante near the laguna. It has sand on the campus and is pet friendly, unlike most locales here. There were four dogs there yesterday afternoon. One, her playmate. And two small dogs with airs. No problem. Any day mom gives her shrimp tails is a good day. That and a can of dog food there and it was a feast. Afterward, she went to the electric company to pay our bills with the scanner and money machine. Now, she is exhausted and I am up because we went to bed so early.
So today, she starts year two. That means a lot of studying for her so she can be helpful and not just pretty!

November 20, 2010

Charro Negro!

The "Black Cowboy" is one of my favorite drinks since a couple from Northern California visited last spring. So easy too:

Basically, tequila and Coca-Cola

Quantities for one drink:

  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 oz white tequila
  • 4 Cubes Ice
  • Fill With Coca-Cola
  • Salt


  • Rub rim of glass with lemon juice and dip rim in salt
  • Put 4 ice cubes into the glass, add Tequila and juice of half a lemon
  • Add some more salt if you like and fill the glass with Coca-Cola
  • Stir gently
It really lifts the spirit, so to speak!

November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving approaches!

So here are some Halloween pics! Above, Anna Douglas, from PEACE. The party at the Garden Restaurant near Punta Sur was a fundraiser for scooter helmets for toddlers and children.

Roger hosted alone. Marilyn had to go back to Saskatchewan to be with her mother who has cancer.
In Marilyn's absence, Inga Gross cleaned the house, arranged the snacks and poured the drinks.

So all the usual ghouls were there!
Gunther is the steady date of Gladys, the fallen angel. Nice couple!
Katie Milton the pugilist scared off Mexican men who wanted to dance at the next party!
Javier Martinez came alone. But wow, it took no time for him to find Marilyn Monroe in the body of Mary Ann Burns.

I was a half baked pirate, so I'll save it for the Pirates of the Caribbean party January 2! Be there or be square.

November 9, 2010

Food thoughts...

The cold, rainy snap has my mind swimming in thoughts of comfort food. Last night, as I was waiting for sleep to overcome me, I recalled my weekend's reading that included the November issue of Food! from the Food Network.
I paid particular attention to the pie recipes because it is the one thing I'd like to bake. And low and behold, each of the recipes called for making the crust in a Cuisinart processor. No cutting butter into flour, no needing. I am inspired.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I have a thought of making papaya pie. I made the filling last spring or so, dicing the papaya and cooking it lightly with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. If you click the link, you'll get basically that for a recipe. It was awesome and Carmen and Sergio both loved it. So, papaya pie it is!
This morning, I was still cold after getting my hair cut, so I stopped at Carolina's loncheria, which will be named Carol's. Americanized is how she sees it. It was 11am and my stomach was empty.
I had a flouta and that held me over until...Carmen came by with a huge bowl of chicken mole and rice. Mole (mole-ay) is the dark salsa that has cocoa in it, but also about 50 spices. It is warming on a cold day.
After my siesta (it really is part of the neighborhood culture) I will have a huge green salad. I might break open the white balsamic vinegar I bought with Mio minutes after he picked me up at the airport.
He wanted to shop for Italian items for his family's table, so we went to an Italian deli-grocery. I also got a risotto mix that has diced sun dried tomatoes in it. All good for cold weather eating. But here, greens are always welcome because even the green grocers don't seem to place much stock in them.
Those are all pleasant dreams!

November 8, 2010

About time!

I'll ease back into blogging the easy way, slowly! When I saw Jana at Casa Sirena at the end of summer, we talked about the things that kept me from contributing to her cookbook and why I sometimes can't get it together to blog.
She suggested I just write about what I cook and forgo the measures, which I can't say I use. So, today, I had someone working in my office with me and the handyman painting and cleaning the outside.
At the same time, I cooked. I made a potato salad with a little inspiration. I bought three potatoes from the Maya vendor on the corner. Literally on the corner. She puts he things out on a bench and works until she is sold out.
I also bought a a firm but ripe avocado. I had an onion and celery at home. So, potato salad!
First, I chopped the seasoning vegetables: onion, celery and a red pepper in a fine dice.
I cooked the potatoes, boiled a couple eggs. I cooked the potatoes already in the size chunks I wanted and as soon as they were drained, I put them on top of the diced veggies and topped it all with a couple table spoons of reduced fat Hellman's mayonnaise.
As I started tossing it all, I realized it needed a little more zip and moisture, so I added a couple tablespoons of white vinegar and a table spoon grape seed oil. Then I cut up the warm eggs and folded them in and added a tablespoon of sweet relish and a large pinch of salt.
I refrigerated until the potato mixture was sufficiently cool for the avocado. I cut it in half and took a sharp knife and scored each half, sort of a dice, and scooped it out with a table spoon into the potato salad. And folded it one more time and used the pepper mill to make it just right! Then I chilled it some more.
That fed me and two hungry workers around noon and at 4pm, I am still not hungry. So now that I am back to blogging, I will take a siesta before uploading pictures for my next blog.
Oh, I also cooked a dutch oven of dog food today! I'll give you the rice and beans and healthy stuff recipe later in the week. Doggie mommie is back!