Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bus to Vallarta

Took a Coordinados bus from Melaque because it was the next to leave and little did I know it was going to become a milk run.  We made 16+ plus stops along the way.  Last time I took one that was headed south at 11:30 PM and only one stop.

I'm grateful US passports are issued for 10 years so I don't have t do it soon or maybe never again. The last renewal was in Vallarta in 2007. Last time I drove but I hardly recognize the town anymore and highway 200 is a mess with the construction.

I never got a hotel recommendation of a hotel near the bus station but Hotel Terminal is less than 2 blocks away. Nice and inexpensive. Try to get away from the street as it's a busy street.

Up in the morning and grabbed a taxi from the bus station for only 140 pesos. I was early so had time to have some pictures taken. The consulate suggests you download the application and have it filled out but they will give you the form at the window and you can fill it out there. Worked well for me

Boy have I been lazy with this blog

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Our Neighbors

Lorena noticed the pregnant mom months ago so we watched on each trip to Melaque. I didn't see the very small ones so we got these fotos when they were less than a month old. No mud but they still got dirty.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

End of a story

Very sad day yesterday when I found Coyota on the roof. This area is famous for dog poisonings and that is all we could think of because she was healthy. She adopted me and the workers 8 years ago during construction. She now lies next to my lime tree in the garden.  I'll soon work on a cross with
her name.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

First rain of the year

At least I don't remember any rain in January and am sure none for the following months.

It started last night with  CFE working on the lines at 4 AM. Fans went off and bathroom light went off 4 times. Then a bunch of short cut offs. Up in the clouds lighting started before they were done. I hoped they didn't stop and come back the next day.

The lightning and thunder got closer and finally let loose around 5 AM and the lights flickered a few more times like we always get with first rains. A good soaking and the smell of wet earth is refreshing. Going to check the place out and see how much dust was washed away 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Finally a new mattress

Finally bought a new mattress (Colchón) at Muebles Hogar in Melaque. I was surprised at the quality without breaking the bank. It was getting hard to find a flat spot in the old one. Sleeping better for sure and it's reversible. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Why I don't read books

My first books were the Hardy Boys and even jumped over to my sisters Nancy Drew to keep reading. I eventually graduated to a book of the month club with books like Lewis and Clark, Hudson Bay Company and Guadalcanal Diary.

After the Navy it was Eastern Religion, Buckminister Fuller, and Krishnamurti. After reading all their books I switched over to Science Fiction until Sci-Fi books became less interesting. I did squeak 1984, Firehouse 451, Catch 22, Ken Kesey and even Bukowski (gag) in there somewhere.

In the '80's I started to read Computer Tech books and continued until I retired in 2005. Novell Server, MS NT Server, MS Mail Server and all the problems Y2K caused to computers. 

Good TV programs on Nat Geo and Discovery 
The history of God
Planet in danger
Nat Geo programs (many)
Amazing nature films
International Cooking
Gordon Ramsay cooking
Scott brothers house remodeling
Excellent mechanic repair programs

Just way too much good info to be reading about dead Presidents. And there is the Internet which we all know holds just about everything. Plus my eyes are getting tired maybe from looking at computer screens for the last 30 years.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

On the road to Pinal Villa # 2

The most unruly crowd of cattle we've run into and the herder had a heck of a time trying to keep them off to one side. This bull was about half the size of the car and it was a bit spooky passing. Just glad we didn't run into the crazy moto drivers coming at us.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On the road to Pinal Villa

Bigger turkeys than are usually seen. Often quite skinny. Never seen a male showing off like that. Foto by Lorena.

When the Milo is cut and sent off to where ever just turn cattle loose in the stubble. Lots more there today but drive carefully on the road when they are herded back home. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Make America Great again

Make America Great again

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tropical Storm Adrian

A very early start to Pacific Hurricane season. Sometimes the first storm is more like July. Let's see where this one goes.   Rain this coming weekend?

JALISCO COASTAL ZONE: Partly cloudy to cloudy sky with probability of rains that cause reduced visibility, mist in morning hours and temperatures from warm to hot. The winds will be of 30 to 40 kph (16 to 22 knots) with upper gusts and waves of 1.5 to 2.4 m (5 to 8 feet). Trawls are not discarded in bays, beaches and docks. (Tackle: Conditions unfavorable for minor navigation).

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Campaña de Esterilización

We are ready for our 3-day spay & neuter clinic, starting tomorrow, Friday May 5. Thanks to our crew (Anne, Sharon, Brenda, Eréndira, Al & Christine) who got everything moved, cleaned and ready at the Casa Ejidal in San Patricio. We still have some appointments available for Saturday and Sunday, so call to reserve a spot: 315 104 4322.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I'm so strange

Kids like these are constantly up and down my street. Often the bigger kids will leave the very little ones behind.  Sometimes like today, I think the street was hot on bare feet. Some just don't feel like keeping up. I've gone out a number of times to try to get them back together. A few are all smiles and understand Spanish ... and like today, no Spanish and they look at me like I'm from another world. My main concern is we have some crazy neighborhood teenagers on motorcycles that can't ride at a reasonable speed.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

My Donald

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Never another cat

This cat never became a lap cat because the group I was living with ended up with five cats. One from Barbara who couldn't take her north. The other four I have no idea but they were not feral. 

When I started building the house I was living alone and five was too many. Gave a couple away to locals and a couple in Chapala wanted two. Unknown to me the couple in Chapala had two large dogs. The dogs were curious and the wife was holding a cat near her face. One scratch on her check was enough to not want the cats. Luckily it was Tianguis day in Ajijic and the local animal lady was there. She willingly accepted the cats but I gave her 500 pesos for food. Now I have two cats.

Barbara's cat was once a street cat and never really became tame. She would hide in my 5th wheel next to the house construction. After 6-8 months I advertised the 5th wheel and someone in La Manzanilla knew someone.  Turns out it was a circus group and they had a truck to haul it. I went through it cleaning out all my stuff but "Molly" had a hiding place I did not know about. Needless to say, Molly joined the circus.

Now for my one cat, Tomas, His food is now outside because I got tired letting him in every 15 minutes. The problem with that is neighborhood cats are over in minutes and Tomas sits there watching them eat his food. I chased the other cats off today and my dog is there in minutes. Coyota likes Whiskers more than dog food. Now the cat food goes up on a shelf quickly.

The last part of the story is Tomas catches way too many birds though he does eat most of them. He also catches lizards and usually eats a little and vomits. He will even try to kill small Iguanas. 

I don't know how long cats live but Tomas is at least 10 years old. His passing is the only option to get some release. Never another cat, Dogs are great and can really become a buddy.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Here they come

The crowds are arriving in buses and cars with luggage strapped to the top. Just a short trip into Melaque this morning and already "ran into" two cars trying to go the wrong way on a one-way street. Went to the bank at 10:30 and there was nobody at the ATM. Yesterday was the last day of school so no more being a bus driver for almost two months. The beaches are probably not full yet because it's early.   Oh, did I say today is the first day of Semana Santa 

My desktop is still in the shop so am learning how to do this on my laptop with Windows 7. Hopefully will get the old computer back but it's old and you never know.  Actually had to call my bank yesterday because the password on this computer and the old one were not the same. They changed the website software to "digital banking" and it totally did not like me until this very nice woman fixed me up. She cut through all the crap I was being subjected to before. A forty minute call to Seattle cost about 30 pesos ($2,15 in dollars), What a relief. 

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Delusional Trump

Not a lot of direct comparisons except the delusional and destructive personalities. At least Trump hasn't been around long enough to totally destroy the USofA. Who knows what he'll try if he doesn't get impeached before he has a chance.   Who could have though the USofA could have sunk so low?

Al Franken recently raised a provocative question about Donald Trump: Is he mentally ill? On HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher last week, the Minnesota senator claimed that some of his Republican colleagues have “great concern about the president’s temperament,” adding that “there’s a range in what they’ll say, and some will say that he’s not right mentally. And some are harsher.” Two days later, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “We all have this suspicion that—you know, that he’s not—he lies a lot…And, you know, that is not the norm for a president of the United States, or, actually, for a human being.”

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Around the garden

Lorena brought over and planted this Arroyan her neighbor didn't want. By her first description, I thought it would be bigger. I guess we'll just have to wait longer.It has fruit and flowers but don't know if they are sweet. Of course like most things in Mexico it has medicinal uses.

The foto of fruit and flowers I found on the Internet and I'm really anxious to see if that beautiful.

The piña is my second, away from the fruit we eat. This one looks healthier than my previous one so keeping lots of water and fertilizer on it

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Good bread is hard to find

This is what started it all

La Tanda on Nueva España

Jaluco cruzeiro no-name bakery  

We went into Cihuatlan to buy Yare's new school uniforms and couldn't go without doing some serious shopping at Bodega. I noticed these sandwiches, they looked very fresh, were loaded and were only 14 pesos. Best part is the bread. Crispy crust, not soft and almost soggy like the typical bolillo.

I started asking around and some said there was a good bakery at the old Barra Casino. Nobody in Barra knew of a Casino let alone an old one, Glen then remembered there used to be a Casino in the strip mall on the road to Barra. I dropped by and nothing there. Someone finally popped up and said there was a good bakery on Nueva España just past the cell tower. There is one there but it's more like 7 blocks past the cell tower on the right. I talked to the guy and tried one of their banana breads. He also said nothing they make is crunchy and much of it frozen. Maybe some day because they have a good selection.

I asked again where the old Casino was on a message board and someone finally said at the Jaluco cruzeiro in that rather run down large building on the corner. So it wasn't in Barra at all but definitely in Jaluco. Stopped there today and they said only open Mon, Wend, and Fri. Someone suggested don't go before 10 because they are still baking, 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

New Mexican 100 peso note

I found one of these from the ATM yesterday. All front sides are not the same.

The Banco de México reportedly issued a new 100 Peso note on February 5, 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Mexican Constitution.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It must have been a Nursery Rhyme

Never lived in a chicken infested area before I came to Mexico. Always thought Roosters crowed in the morning and that was it for the day. Not at all here, they go on all day long and make little noise at night.

Cocks crow in the morn
To tell us to rise,
And he who lies late
Will never be wise;

For early to bed
And early to rise,
Is the way to be healthy
And wealthy and wise

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Stinging Ants

Yare got stung by a very large scorpion last night and Hugo wanted to borrow the car to take her to Centro de Salud. I opened and closed the gate after he left. Quickly there and back. Next thing I know is both feet were itching like crazy. Never saw the ants and assume they were the tiny ones that made mounds like above. This is the second time they got me. Must have disturbed their nest when weeding under a small palm in the yard. That I understand but just walking to the gate?? Looked for them this morning and no signs. Gonna get some more ant powder.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Horse Tail or Cola de Caballo

Lorena found these in a bag at Lubin's store. 2 small bags for 10 pesos (4" by 4") . She made me a tea saying it made her grandmother feel better. To me it tasted like Alphalpha tea from the hippy days. I found one article that said it is a diuretic. No idea where it's from but at that price, it's not imported. 

The plant contains several substances which can be used medicinally. It is rich in the minerals silicon (10%), potassium, and calcium.[citation needed] The buds are eaten as a vegetable in Japan and Korea in spring time. All other Equisetum species are toxic.

Fertile shoots, in late April.
In polluted conditions[citation needed], it may synthesize nicotine. Externally it was traditionally used for chilblains and wounds. It was also once used to polish pewter and wood (gaining the name pewterwort) and to strengthen fingernails. It is also an abrasive. It was used by hurdy-gurdy players to dress the wheels of their instruments by removing resin build up.

Equisetum is used in biodynamic farming (preparation BD 508) in particular to reduce the effects of excessive water around plants (such as fungal growth). The high silica content of the plant reduces the impact of moisture.

E. arvense herb has been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea, or externally as baths or compresses, for treatment of disorders of the skin, locomotor system, kidneys and urinary tract, rheumatism and gout

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mexican government headache

I am the default caretaker of Canadians construction site.They emailed me and said a friend had seen a notice on their house. I walked up with Juan and we both found nothing. Hugo went up later and found the notice crumpled up on the ground.

The first was from Obras Publicos in Cihua saying there was no construction permission. They also said the water and property tax had not been paid which only the Ejido has jurisdiction over. The next day we found a notice from Seguro giving the only contact info was in Vallarta. 

Time to visit Many, a realtor and kind of lawyer that takes care of their Seguro for the workers. He assured us that the IMSS clinic in Aguacate could take care of the Seguro. He was also going to Cihua the next day and would straighten out Obras Publicos. What a relief to have nothing more to do except check with Manny on Monday for the results.

Multiple departments not communicating is all I can figure.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Maniac at the helm

I don't think anyone saw how crazy Trump is. I'll be surprised if anything is left of the USofA as we know it after he gets finished dismantling what has taken years to build. I'm especially unhappy with "independent" voters who wasted their votes on people that didn't have the slightest chance and opened the door for CRAZY Trump. Very sad

Friday, March 03, 2017

Someting you don't see every day

asparagus or espárragos

 Found these beautiful ones in Paresani Never seen them before or if I did they were old and tired. Mexico is the biggest producer in North America mostly from northern Baja  I remember the ones we ate in Washington were quite fat but still good. Jamie Oliver has about 10 ways to cook them so looking forward to the feast.

Cattle on our road

The herders kept trying to make room so we could pass but their dog was seriously unliked by a big bull and he would charge across the road after the dog. I decided t be patient and just follow them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New words last week

paja - hay

Repollo - col - cabbage 

cakies - hot cakes (ka- keys)

Someone on a local message board asked about hay bales to feed a horse. I told them the large animal vet one the highway had them. We went to check and that is where I learned locals call it paja. Loose hay or only bales?

Lorena always calls cabbage Repollo. Col is easier but maybe some day for me.

Lorena knows hot cakes but prefers "cakies". The literal translation is cakes. She made a huge one for me the other day and it was really good.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Peaceful breakfast at the Bogavante

Had a peaceful breakfast at the Bogavante yesterday while my car was being fixed. The mechanic gave me a ride into Barra and I found Glen and Oliver sitting on a bench on the plaza. Oliver is only down here for a month and Glen may be for 6 months. Walked around town and had a couple beers on the beach later. Nice day!

I haven't been to this mechanic for quite awhile because he moved from Jaluco which was more convenient to on the lagoon side of the road to Barra. Gerardo is perfectly honest, very good and less expensive than most. My car had overheating problems and Pancho sent me to an electrical shop down the highway. The guy charged me 600 pesos for nothing.  The car overheated the next day. Had to go to my favorite mechanic so I emailed Glen saying I'd be in Barra. End result was Gerardo charged me half the price, replaced a part and switched my fan. My part was bad and the bearings were shot in my fan. No issues for two days and I don't expect any. Muy bien !!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Loca Nahima

Nahima's (5 years old) newest thing is talking to her friend "a Duende" on her toy cel phone. He lives in the pila in their backyard. Lorena wanted her to talk to him last night but Nahima says only during the day. She is afraid when it's dark. Lots of different fotos on the Internet so above is just one.

A duende is a fairy or goblin-like mythological creature from Iberian, South American , Chammorro and Filipino folklore. Duendes may also have some traits similar to goblins and kobolds.

The word is often considered to be the Spanish and Portuguese equivalent of the English word "sprite" and is used as an umbrella term for any fairy-like being such as goblins, pixies and elves. The Spanish term originated as a contraction of the phrase dueño de casa or duen de casa, "possessor of a house," and was originally conceptualized as a mischievous spirit inhabiting a house.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stinging ants

Whoa I itch. Never run into these ants here before. I was out weeding under a palm in my lawn and woke a nest of them. They are very small but not as small as the ones I find in my kitchen. Much smaller than the leaf cutters. Got out my bottle of "kill bugs" spray and assume they are almost gone. With no rain like we've been having I won't have to weed for quite awhile. Will watch closer next time.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The garden again and a wasp nest

Had to get a foto of the palm berries before the branch falls off. I've never seen quite so many. Some will sprout new palms where they fall. Before the berries form they are a mass of flowers that attract bees. While there I cut one frond that was hanging in the walkway and behind it was a wasp nest. I just took a foto and will post it below when I get it off the camera. The nest is too high to reach and I don't have wasp spray so I guess they will stay for awhile. 

The papayas are not quite ripe but Lorena says we should cut it and bring it inside before the birds get it. Can't remember what happen on the last batch. The tree is up against the wall and held with a wire because it almost fell over a while back.

Here's the wasp nest. Hugo puts a plastic bag over them and burns them but I think I'll look for wasp spray before I try anything

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Rosca de Reyes

Three Kings Day is coming up this Friday and I had planned on buying a cake today. However, my car is going to the mechanic again today because it overheated yesterday. No idea how long it will be there and I need a car to bring the cake home. Lorena said buy it early because the price goes up on the last day.

I couldn't make the car overheat today .... and the Rosca's de Reyes won't be here until "maybe tomorrow" and for sure Friday. Guess that assures they will be fresh.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Makings for Tamales and Atole

Tamales and Atole is a traditional Christmas Holidays meal. We were going to make them last night but Lorena's grandmom took a fall and taking care of her would have made it too late. We are going to try again today and hopefully I can photograph the process.

You can buy Masa at the tortilla shops but Lorena prefers to make it herself because it's lighter. Requires water and hot cooking oil .... we'll see. The packets are for Atole which is also a masa-based drink served hot. She wanted strawberry flavor but they only had vanilla. To be continued.

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.

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