THE POINSETTIA MART

This is a beautiful time of year in Zihuatanejo. We all look forward to this fantastic display of poinsettias in all sizes and colors. The red will always be my favorite.

I took the 1/2 mile or so walk along the paved bicycle path with my cart to get to Kyoto Circle to select my poinsettias. That way I don’t have to carry them home. This little cart doubles as a laundry cart, a shopping cart and has even helped people move from one apartment to another. It’s the 3 wheeled type that makes climbing stairs easier.

The poinsettia vendors are enjoying what I call a “pallet park” with swings, tables and chairs all made from pallets located beside where they have set up

My balcony is now decorated for Christmas. I may add a string of lights across the front. The old ones I had wouldn’t light up this year. Tomorrow I will have to purchase new. I tried to bring some solar fairy lights from home for my large fern type plant at the end of the balcony, but with the street light at the opposite end of the balcony they won’t come on. It just won’t get dark enough. Surprisingly I haven’t seen any solar Christmas lights here at all.

Just a reminder to tap the small pictures to see them full size. Signing off KO

SOME OF THE MANY PLEASURES OF “LIVING THE GOOD LIFE” IN MEXICO

One of my many pleasures I enjoy in Zihuatanejo, Mexico is the freedom to read. With so little responsibilities here I have no problem waking up in the morning rolling over and grabbing my book and laying there reading for a couple of hours before I get up. But then I am prone to waking up around 5 AM. At home I can’t do that, I have to get up as soon as I wake up. It seems like there is always something to do, places I must go, work to be done, schedules to be kept. At home in Washington I feel like I’m lazy if I just sit around reading. Like wise with the TV. It can’t be turned it on until the evening. Here I no longer feel compelled to be “doing something”. Here the living is easy!

Eating out and socializing friends has become one of my greatest pleasures. There are so many interesting people here from all walks of life and from all over the world who have done so many interesting things and traveled to interesting places. I’m finding I can do more of this since I now check out my books from my home library to down load to my kindle. I to purchase them of from Amazon. Sorry Amazon, but this has saved me a bundle as I read 5 or 6 books a month. And I love the dictionary feature that the kindle offers. I miss that when I do read a “book book”.

Swimming is one of my pleasures. I lap swim at the community pool where there is rarely more that a couple of other swimmers. It’s an Olympic size pool and because it is covered, it is cold in the morning at 9ish when I like to swim. I’m only doing about 10 laps which is about a third of what I used to swim and the pool is laned crosswise. Covid stopped me from being able to swim on a regular basis and now that I’m not training for anything I just swim for the pleasure of it. I also swim in the bay where the water is warm and salty. You just float like a cork.

Signing off KO

THANKSGIVING 2021,ZIHUATANEJO

I’ve spent the last 5 or 6 Thanksgivings here in Zihuatanejo and almost everyone has been different. I have done the local restaurants version of American Thanksgiving, not to be confused with the Canadians October 12th Thanksgiving. Since I am not a fan of turkey, potatoes and gravy it is pretty much a waste of money for me to eat out as that is what you get. I love the cranberry, the stuffing and the home made pumpkin pies and all the side dishes that you do not get in the restaurant meals.

I have cooked the turkey dinner for friends, I have gone to Playa Las Gatas for fish dinner just by myself. This year I was invited to join some other ladies for Thanksgiving dinner in one of their homes.

My contribution was a “snack box” of olives, nuts, cheese and salami’s and a bottle of wine. Thanksgiving dinners are notoriously late for many reasons due to turkey defrosting times , ovens temperature, potatoes taking much longer than expected and Aunt somebody being late arriving. This I knew would stave off hunger pangs.

Well none of the above happened except the one guest was almost late as her flight had just arrived as we gathered. Our host Jane, had everything so under control that we had just enough time to acquaint ourselves with one another and dinner was on the table.

We had a lovely traditional dinner complete with desert and then “LET THE GAMES BEGIN”. Jane’s goal was that we would have enough good spirited fun that our noise would be complained by her Mexican neighbors. Well I don’t think we quite succeeded in that but we did have a raucous good time. Good food and drink, great friendships, and fun in beautiful home with fantastic views of the city. Thank you so much for a memorable Thanksgiving 2021.

Signing off KO

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

I attended a lovely birthday celebration at Puerto Paraiso on Playa Larga for Elizabeth Ashe ( in red). What a fun place, beautiful grounds, great pool, great food and of course fabulous company. I highly recommend spending an afternoon here.

On Monday my longtime friend Faye suggested we go to Espuma for breakfast. I’ve been hearing wonderful things about the breakfasts there. Espuma overlooks Zihuatanejo from the hill above La Ropa. The view is to die for and the food quite excellent.

Zihuatanejo is a paradise for those of us who have come to know and love her, but as in all places nothing is perfection and I had this come to me loud and noisy in the alley beside my apartment last night. I was reading late at night and I heard loud noise in the alleyway. Every night the folks whose homes are on this alleyway sack up their garbage and pile it neatly at the entrance to the alley for the garbage truck to pick up. My landlord is fastidious amount making sure it is stacked neatly, cardboard broken down every night. Just before midnight I heard a ruckus of crashing bottles and cans and a couple of loud voices. Looking out from my window there was a man and a young girl ripping open the bags and throwing the contents around. In a short amount of time they had ripped open every bag and strewn the contents all over the alley, took what they wanted and left. I stifled the urge to yell at them to go away, wondered why no neighbor came out to protest, even the neighborhood dog barked but didn’t show his face until it had quieted down. But this isn’t my country or culture so I remain an observer. I am aware there are people who live and raise and educate families at the dump living off discards, but there is far more dignity in that than what I witnessed last night. It looked like a pack of raccoons had had a picnic in the alley.

Even the dog waited until the marauders had fled

I was curious to see what the reaction of the nightly garbage collectors would be when they saw the mess as they were due momentarily. As they pulled up I heard one exclaim something alike “awww”, but quickly they came with rakes and boxes and had the mess loaded and gone with in 5 minutes. Quite impressive! So is Mexico! Signing off KO

PLAYA BLANCA TO PLAYA LA ROPA

Spent a lovely afternoon at Escondite Resort and Beach Club on Playa Blanca for lunch and a dip in the pool at the suggestion of my friend Faye, who is alway up for something or someplace new and interesting. A beautiful location, a lovely pool, although a bit awkward to get in and out for those of us who are no longer graceful and prefer something to hold on to until safely ensconced in the water. Had a nice lunch, relaxing and watching the waves roll in.

Walking the beach at La Ropa I enjoyed watching the “sand architects” and following a baby turtles trek in the sand towards the towards the sea. I was happy to see the turtle rescue efforts on La Ropa. I can’t help but think with so many people wanting to help the turtles their numbers will increase.

Turtle tracks in the sand

When I arrived from a very raining northwest in October I happily hung my sunshine flag off my balcony to celebrate the change in weather but now it is getting on to Thanksgiving Time so again the flag is changed. Signing off KO (tip: tap the small pictures to enlarge)

IT’S JUST LUNCH

I love the big chair and the oversized swing along the pathway to Playa La Madera. Great photo opportunities. Playa La Madera is one of my favorite places for ocean swimming, but the waves seem bigger than last year. Hope they will settle down a bit as the season progresses.

Big chair on the way to Playa La Madera

At Playa La Madera my favorite place to eat is Maderas Restaurante where I enjoyed a great “fish ball” soup. Consistently good service and good food. I also like their onion rings, it’s a big enough serving to call it lunch in it’s self.

I have been enjoying a weekly “girls lunch bunch” at TaTa’s where the kabobs come highly recommended. Met several new faces, enjoyed lively conversation with group of very interesting ladies. But yesterday Mother Nature entertained us with an impromptu turtle release.

Right beside our table a tiny turtle poked it’s head up through the sand, someone quickly noticed it and gently started scraping the sand away, just a little bit at a time. A bucket of seawater was brought forth and as the hatchlings fought their way out of the sand they were deposited in the bucket.

In less than 20 minutes the nest had emptied itself and the bucket of swimming baby turtles was delivered to the edge of the bay were they begin their perilous journey to the ocean. If those that are female survive, a few years down the road they will return to that same spot to lay their eggs and the cycle start all over. I think the survival rate is about 1 in 100, very small but one can hope that some of this bunch may make it.

Swimming babies
And the journey begins

Signing off KO

TRYING TO BECOME A BIT MORE NATIVE

I’ve managed to resolve all my issues with WordPress. Mostly lack of knowledge on my part, and needing to pay to upgrade. Anyway all is good and I take back every mean thought I uttered.

I am a pescatarian, not a real vegetarian. In-spite of my limited, poorly pronounced Spanish I decided to go to the source and buy my fish from the fisherman on the beach. There you can find fish in all shapes and colors.

I knew I wanted dorado and I knew what it looked like so with a point and a “about yea big” and a “cuanto cuesta” I left the beach with enough dorado for about 6 dinners for $173 pesos. I will assume it is a fair price, I certainly wasn’t going to attempt to bargain with him, although I know it is quite common. He was happy, I was happy knowing my fish had been swimming just a few hours before. That is as fresh as one can get.

Another local skill I have acquired is making “agua de Jamaica” which is actually Hibiscus Tea made from dried Hibiscus petals. I simple steep the dried Hibiscus, add some sweetener and have a super inexpensive tasty drink that is actually good for you.

Spent another lovely Thursday evening at Puerta de Sol listening to the magical harmonies of Solo Tres playing classic Mexican music and enjoying all the flambé cooking that was happening at various tables. Also if you want a true Caesar Salad this is the place to go and have it assembled at your table.

Signing off KO

THE TRILOGY OF DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

October 31 commonly called Halloween, is actually “All Hallows Eve” the time to begin preparations for the days that follow. The children here in Mexico dress in mostly macabre costumes and run from business to bar to restaurant singing “Halloween, Halloween’ while holding out their sacks for candy treats.

November 1st is “All Saint’s Day, a religious Holy Day of Obligation. It is a time to revere the Saints and pray to them for all the souls still in purgatory. Alters are erected to pay homage to departed loved ones. Favorite foods, flowers and pictures are displayed in the alter.

November 2nd is All Souls’ Day, graveyards and grave stones have been decorated and it is a time to commune with loved ones whose spirit is believed to be with you at this time. It is a time to celebrate their lives not morn them,

Decorated graveyard

It is also the day of the parade of Catrinas and Zihuatanejo did it up royal, unfortunately the route of the parade remained a mystery until late in the day. It was a huge event, complete with no crowd control but I did manage to get a couple of pictures.

Over the last few days I’ve been at odds with WordPress as I couldn’t get anything to up load. If they had just sent me a bill instead of cutting me off it would have been so much easier. Anyway all is well and from now on I can be more timely. Signing off KO

THE TRILOGY OF HALLOWEEN, ALL SAINTS DAY AND ALL SOULS DAY

This fall celebration is a fun time in Zihuatanejo beginning with All Hallows’ Eve, which we North American types call Halloween. So on October 31 the children dress in Macabre costumes and as darkness descends they run from business to business, bars and restaurants with sacks held up hoping for candy singing out Halloween, Halloween.

All Saints Day is a day of Holy Obligation for the Roman Catholic population, a day to pray to the saints in heaven and for the souls still in purgatory. It’s a day to prepare ones alter to past loved ones and make their favorite foods, and to decorate the graveyards.

Alter

All Souls’ Day day is a time to reflect on ones departed love ones, to celebrate their lives, but not morn them, to honor them with alters displaying favorite foods and drink and commune with them believing their spirits are with you.

Catrina y Catrin

The Mexican people do know how to celebrate, loud and colorful. Here in Zihuatanejo they have a large parade of the the Catrins and Catrinas . These are the skeleton folks with beautifully, delicately painted faces. Throw in a couple of floats, a pair of Catrins and Catrinas on horse back and no crowd control and don’t advertise the route, but everyone knew where it would end, and you have a wonderful Mexican style celebration that everyone enjoyed and still managed to got home safely,

Still fighting with getting pictures placed, finally able to get these placed and can only hope they post. Signing off KO