Friday, February 24, 2012

Dinner Serenade

Cuchillo was playing guitar on his front porch last night while I was cooking dinner and I setup my IPhone in the window to take this video. You'll have to turn up the volume a bit but it worked pretty well. Cuchillo (Estephan) used to play up and down the coast between fishing trips. Now he just fishes from time to time. He also makes throw nets.

My first limones

The guy in the nursery said it might take three years before I got fruit but these trees have only been in the ground for about a year. I didn't look for a graft mark but maybe they were grafted ... meaning they will fruit sooner. We saw lots of blossoms then my neighbor noticed those below. Very cool and these are supposed to be ever-bearing. Limes are not that cheap.   Off to buy some fertilizer

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Two trips to Colima

Tuesday was our first trip to Colima in search of the Cancer Clinic. I had located it on Google Maps so had some idea. It turns out that the one I found is the old one and is either discontinued or being redone as a branch. They gave us directions to the new hospital near the highway across from the Toyota Dealer. We found that but it is for adults only. They said for children we'd have to go to the Regional University Hospital out by Home Depot east of town.

University Hospital is very large and busy and we spent most of the afternoon waiting in the Emergency line for an interview. Mom finally emerged with an appointment for Wednesday at 3pm to see a specialist that comes down from Guadalajara once a week. We got back to Melaque at 9pm and I remembered how much I don't like driving in the dark.

Yesterday we left at noon and were at the hospital early. I went to Home Depot and picked up two sets of kitchen cabinets and watched the moving of the "mono" in the glorietta which is being replaced by an overpass in front of the hospital.

The final good news is that the department head and the specialist didn't think much of the other doctors diagnosis. They said all she needs is a pediatrician who can help with a diet so she can gain some weight and possibly some balanced vitamin supplements. Needless to say we are all relieved to know she does not have what was feared.

State Cancer Institute

University Hospital

Moving a very strange "Mono" for the overpass

Monday, February 20, 2012

A sick 9 year old neighbor

I have a sick 9 year old neighbor and I hope if it's as serious as it sounds we've caught it in time. Her dad worked for me about a year building my house and the whole family and I spend a lot of time together. She has always been extremely thin but with lots of energy and good in school. A little over a month ago she started getting depressed, not playing much and having crying spells. Mom was worried and asked me about doctors and I thought of Dr Rosa who has an office in town but also works at the free clinic where we live.

Dr Rosa sent us for blood tests at the local lab and was unhappy with the results so we went to the Cihuatlan lab a few days later. The diagnosis is that she has an imbalance of white blood cells which can be caused by a number of things including leukemia. Dr Rosa said she needed to have a blood marrow test at a hospital in Guadalajara. That would have been a very time consuming and expensive trip so we decided to get a second opinion.

Today we went to Doctor Crespo in Barra de Navidad because he was the only one I could think of and the family only uses Centro de Salud or Seguro Popular. Mom and sister in law immediately said he was expensive but I was driving so we went. Very nice doctor and he spent about a half hour talking, examining and going over her blood tests. His opinion was the same but referred us to the State Cancer Clinic in Colima which will be a much quicker and less expensive trip. He even told us how to get in without an appointment ... and charged us nothing. We'll drive up later in the week.


Yari on the beach

Yari, mom and baby

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's mushroom time again

Normal mushroom time is during the early summer rains but after 5 days of winter rain they are popping up in the yard. Looks like we may have 2-3 more days and the Weather Underground even said we might get thunder showers tonight -- they are seldom accurate. We should have sun by the end of the week.

Plants and lawn are loving it. The new sisus vines (like ivy) are halfway up the 3 meter walls, new leaves and branches on new trees and my badly abused avocado (transplanted twice) is starting to sprout new growth. Even the banana that I salvaged from a vacant lot has a strong second leaf.

The worst part about rain here are the roads and they are miserable.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tree trimming

This was me today cleaning up a tree with my machete on an adjoining lot that both overhangs my house and is into my power lines as they come from the pole. Actually the tree is outside their fence which is public property but can have a sidewalk someday. The tree is a Primavera which are very brittle in a wind storm. We lost lots of them when Jova was here in October. I took about half the tree down but plan on cutting the whole thing down to fencepost level. They do have their barbed wire fence nailed to it.

Our neighborhood used to be a mango orchard and the other tree on the same lot is a very old mango also in front of their property. For that I have to call CFE (the power company) to come out and trim it once a year. I wouldn't mind taking that one down as well but it's a shady spot for the neighbors and kids have a swing hanging on it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

La Huerta, Cuautitlan and Cuzapala for coffee

I was getting low on coffee and very tired of Nescafe. The place(s) here in Melaque are charging 90 pesos a 1/2 kilo when only a few years ago I was paying 50 pesos. I'm referring to Cuzalapa coffee, the best coffee around and the only ones that do a dark roast. Anyway, all my neighbors were busy so I decided to drive up and see what the prices were and how the Coop was doing. It is suggested you call first if you want a lot of coffee ... but my cel phone wasn't working.

It had been over two years since I've driven up highway 80 and I was surprised to find the highway thru La Huerta paved, 4 lanes and nice laterals. They even have a traffic light. It is the County Seat so I guess it's about time. Continue past La Huerta to La Conch and take the next major right. Signs should say Cuautitlan which is another County Seat of the Municipio of the same name. Lots of sugar cane grown in the area

Pass thru Cuautitlan (don't get lost) and continue for maybe 10 miles to the very little town of La Rosa. There you turn left for another few miles to Cuzalapa. Hurricane Jova took out the bridge just before town but it's an easy river ford at this time of year.

The Coop is fine and the prices are still reasonable ... only 55 pesos a 1/2 kilo. I had an order for 20 bags and I should have called the day before because all they had was 8 bags from the morning roast. Anyway I'm set for awhile. I'll add a link from a past visit at the bottom.


La Huertas new highway

Country around Cuautitlan and sugar cane in the background

Entrance to Cuautitlan

Cuzalapa bridge out

Cuzalapa traffic

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pay your CFE bill by credit card and get robbed

CFE is the Federally owned electric company in Mexico. This new scam is asking that you pay your electric bill by credit card and you will get a 50% discount. The link in the email does not go to a CFE site ... but rather to a site that wants your credit card info


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Local Mexico trivia

The first is I went to my local store one block away wanting some cerveza, Coke and some salad fixings. Our store will sell celery by the stock, cabbage by the 1/4 head and my special today was half a cauliflower. All looked in perfect shape and fresh but cooking for myself I don't often need a full head of anything. At the current exchange rate the 54 pesos equaled about $4.25 US


I forgot to add two nice bell peppers to the foto


My next and ongoing adventure was with Telcel. I've been there (Manzanillo) 3 times since the first of the year. First trip was to figure out my phone number because it was changed from my cheap Nokia to my Iphone. This is my first cel phone and I thought two phones could have the same number .... Wrong, each SIM chip has it's own number.

Second trip was my cel phone stopped accessing the Internet, they said I have the wrong SIM chips even tho they both worked for 3-4 weeks. I didn't bring my modem SIM chip.

This time I brought both my phone and modem and the slightly more technical GUYS I talked to figured out I needed to switch SIMs. I had never installed them but the reverse of the chips worked.

I don't know if my configuration of both USB modem for a computer and a Smart Phone on the same contract is unusual ... but getting me straight wasn't easy.

The last of the phone issues was that my 2 month old Nokia had died. They said corrosion and sand inside nullified my one year warranty. Gheesh ... I guess I need to carry it in a Ziploc bag?

Next week is to pick up my Visa in Manzanillo.  I finally got fotos made at Farmacia Guadalajara but my side fotos show the LOGO of some camera company when they should have a white background.   Ok ... the girls at Farmacia Guadalajara are not pros ... but I will have new side fotos taken
The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa
Euriel School Fund

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