Mosquitoes! Bah Hummmmbugs

I have developed a deep loathing for the nasty little critters along with developing a

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Sunrise on Zihuatanejo Bay

near”allergic” reaction to their bites.  These Mexican mosquitoes are tiny, I never see them.  Also they are very silent  I never hear them humming around me, yet every day I’m plagued with a new bite that swells up way beyond what I would consider normal. I have taken to spraying my self head to toe with off before going out, especially at night and I still come up with one or two new bites.   My new perfume, “Channel number Off” And some times a whole group of bites. Now the Senor never gets touched by them, even when we are together. I don’t know if his hide is too tough or grouchy, old man blood has no appeal. My mother used to take garlic pills and said that worked for her, I may try it next.

I’m for ever amazed at how reasonably one can live in Mexico and fully understand why

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Fresh fruit at the Mercado

so many gringos live full or part-time here. It’s not just the weather.  It’s the cost of living.  Our monthly  rent is comparable to our monthly house taxes, we each pay about $12.50 a month for our cell phone service, internet is approximately $25, manicures 10.50 and similar for pedicures, The Senor got his hair cut including having it washed for $7. We have our apartment cleaned weekly for less than half of what we pay at home for a bi-week cleaning. Our electric bill was $40 for two months.  I’m sure it would be quite a bit higher during the summer months as it gets hotter and more humidity and we would need to run our air conditioner. But we are seasonal and not here during the summer. Taxi’s in town are $1.60 buses from local at 40 cents to $1.40 if you go 20-30 miles. The swimming pool cost 75 cents. Groceries are not super cheap but are reasonable especially if you use local brands instead of gringo brands. Beer is $2-$2.50 wine $3-$4 a glass,

The Mexican people are lovely, warm friendly people.  I had the sweetest thing happen to

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Janet dancing with the handsome cheese man

me a week a go, I was trying to hail a cab on a very busy street and most of them were going  on the opposite side of the street I was standing on.  A little girl about 8-9 ish came and offered me her hand.   She thought I wanted to cross the street, in my very best Spanish I told her no, I was waiting for a taxi.  With that she put two fingers to her mouth let out a high, shrill, loud whistle   pointed to a cab he made a u-turn and I had my cab.  I thanked her and put a 5 peso coin in her hand. Signing off KO

Troncones and Sharkfest

We always enjoy  a trip to Troncones, a quieter village not far from Zihuatanejo. I believe it was surfer central way back in the 60’s and still popular with surfers, but now also has a large contingent of  lovely beach front homes and hotels. Our purpose for going this particular weekend was the “Sharkfest Swim”  that I have participated in over the last 6 years.  There are Sharkfest Swims all over the US in large bodies of water  But those are competitive swims, timed events for serious folks. This is the relaxed, just for fun Mexican style swim.  For me the challenge is that I can still do it at my age and I’m determined not to come in last. But with my fit bit I did track my time and distance, 48 minutes to swim 1,613 yd. That is pretty close to my average pool time of 2:48 for 100 yds

The surf was easy going in, I was able to get thru the waves and out into water where I could put my fins on with out being washed back and forth.  We swim as a large group at first but soon everyone is swimming at their own pace.  We head straight out to where

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KO coming ashore

our boat is then make a left turn.  This has us safely swimming around the rocks at Point Majahua then we head for Hacienda Eden in Manzanillo Bay.  A distance of about 1 mile mas o menos. As I approached the shore I could see the surf was getting high and wiped out one or two of the swimmers as they finished. 2 years ago I got caught  in  two huge sets of waves that took both my fins, my goggles and my swim I pod never to be seen again. I thought it was going to take me also. Put a couple of young strong men helped me walk in thru the waves.  So now I’m mildly terrified of huge waves.  So I hung back and watched the next couple of sets break and when the paddle boarders said “swim like hell” I did.  One of the then helped me get my fins off so I could walk in with her.  I love to swim, but don’t like the waves.

img_1172We had a pleasant stay at Tronco Bay Inn.  All my Spanish classes were a big help as no

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The Senor at sunset

English was spoken there.  They have a nice pool , a good restaurant and good rooms with a great ocean view. But two days was all the Senor could handle of peace and quiet as he was missing his football games.

The pool was beautifully lit at night, changing colors to even red and lavender.  Signing off KO

Spanish Class, Growing Tomatoes and Other Unrelated Stuff

I signed up to take some Spanish classes at the English Plus school here in Zihuatanejo . I’ve been very impressed with how they teach Spanish. Of all the Spanish classes I have taken this is the best. We are learning how to use the language correctly but with out a lot of drills in conjugation of verbs and learning of rules.  Lots of conversation and frankly being put on the spot. I know I’m progressing, but certainly not a star student.  I do much better with the written word than the spoken one. I have a lot of trouble hearing what a native speaker says.  I will continue with the classes during our entire stay as any progress is good.

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Tomato plant seed from home

Last year the Senor grew a couple of tomato plants and they were full of yummy tomatoes before we left in March. It was helpful that our balcony had full sun all day.  This year  he brought a few seeds from home in our luggage and planted them about mid November.  They took forever to germination so he bought more

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Tomato plants from Mexican seeds

seeds at the Bodega and planted them in a different container,  I think we have one plant growing from the roll out mat of seeds from home and the packet of seeds we bought here are thriving.  He is still worried that they may not produce as our balcony this year is shaded.

I woke up Wednesday with a bite on the calf of my leg.  Hurts doesn’t itch. Over the years  I have had this kinds of reaction several times from bug bites .I have always been a

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Bug bite

veritable smorgas-bord for mosquitoes, they are attracted to me and completely ignore the Senor. At first this looked like any old bite, but the area around the bite is becoming more inflamed at bit swollen and warm to the touch.  Thinking I may need to go to the doctor, after all Sharkfest is tomorrow.

The vacant lot next door is no longer vacant, but a hub of construction. Rumor is it is going to be restaurant. One day we watched a huge dump truck maneuver its way down our alley, jockeying back and forth between the gates to the lot and the

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Holes being filled with rock all placed by hand

driveway on the opposite side of the alley so he could dump a full load of BIG rocks into the first deep hole that had been dug previously.  Then by hand the workmen broke the big rocks into  smaller rocks and again by hand moved them into the rest of the holes.  Then using what appears to be a jack hammer they added dirt and tamped them all down.  Sounded like a helicopter getting ready to take off.

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working on re-bar

Yesterday they created vertical towers of re bar and are all wired in place.  I swear I never saw a single level being used, just eyeballed into proper position.  They work so hard, with so few of the tools that we would expect to see on a construction site.  This is real manual labor.  It will be interesting to watch the progress.

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Re bar towers in place

As I write this it is 4:30 in the morning, my balcony door is open, I see the restaurant across the street is still open, with only one or two patrons left.  They will be closing  soon.  From down the street I hear singing, no music. just one voice reverberating up and down the narrow Pazole Alley.  Some day I will get dressed and check it out.  My guess is he is just returning from one of the many all night bars and enjoys the sound of his own voice.  I hear no others, no laughter, no talking, just one melancholy voice. Signing off KO

Bienvenido 2019

img_1141When I was a child, about 8 years old, my parents explained to me that it would be 2000 before we had a new century.  I got to figuring it out and I was going to be in my 60’s and flatly stated that was terrible, I would be too old to have any fun on New Years.  Well we aren’t quite the party animals we were at the turn of the century put we still went out with friends, ate , drank, saw the New Year in with our toes in the sand watching the fire work all around Zihuatanejo Bay.  Little did the 8 year old me know, it’s 19 years past the turn of the century and I’m still not to old to have fun and celebrate.

The Senor went fishing with his friend Dave both of them caught a dorado.  They are really good eating.  I put up enough fish in our freezer for at least 12 meals. img_0976 While the Senor went fishing my friend and I went shopping, but first a stop at “Fishers” at the Ixtapa marina for breakfast.  They have the most delicious breakfast cocktails where I indulged in a Pepinillo a mix of liquid cucumbers, lemon and lime soda and Tangarey and a fantastic poblano enchilada and egg dish. Then on to the shopping at the MicMac shop which specializes in very cool clothes made of img_1144very cool cotton.  It’s hard to say who enjoyed the day more, the Senor and I.

This morning when I arrived at the swimming pool for my morning laps there was no one in the pool.  There usually are two or three other folks enjoying the pool, but this morning I had the entire Olympic size pool entirely to my self for a full 45 minutes. Great way to start a day. My ” Sharkfest” swim is just a week away. Signing off KO

 

Christmas and More

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Thanks for a great Christmas Eve

We had a wonderful and quiet Christmas. Christmas Eve we were invited for A & A (alcohol and appetizers) at good friends Faye and Paul’s apartment. Appetizers were so delicious and plentiful it definitely doubled for dinner. Christmas morning we joined friends Charles and Christine in Ixtapa for breakfast at the Krystal Hotel’s lavish buffet. A few phone calls with family but mostly the day was spent just relaxing.  Then finishing the day with turkey soup leftover from Thanksgiving. Actually a great stress free Christmas.

Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times, it is the time for the little Saturday morning market, the Ecco Tianguis (sorry my computer doesn’t spell check Spanish.

It is a home made, recycled.re-purposed and organic market. It is my source of lovely gifts for my family, much of the jewelry I wear. The Senor and I always enjoy the very healthy breakfast I bring home from it. It is bright, colorful full of music and friends. Just a very happy place.

Two days before Christmas tragedy struck Zihuatanejo. IMG_0960
Children playing with fireworks hit a power line that set off a blaze that consumed 150 homes high on a hill that was difficult for the “bomberos” (Firemen) to reach. This was an area where some of the poorer folks live, but the community pulled together, both Mexican and gringo, and within 4 days enough donations had poured in to fulfill the basic needs of all the families with only 60 families remaining in temporary shelter. And the help and donations are still coming forth.

IMG_0953Everything in Zihuatanejo is labor intensive,  This is how the city streets get swept each morning.  Signing off KO

Everyday Life In Zihuatanejo

The weather is perfect, mid 80’s cooling down to high 70’s at night. Never a need for a sweater or any sort of wrap at night. The bar’s and restaurants are mostly outdoors, either sidewalk type, courtyard or balcony. This makes for a highly social atmosphere. We eat all our meals on our balcony and are entertained by the Mexican street life..

Big blue door

The entrance to our building is is a large blue door off the alley. It leads to the stairs to the 3 apartments. This is a secure door and locks automatically. We are on the second floor and when friends come over we stand on the back landing and throw down a set of keys for them to unlock and come up. The problem is when folks come we don’t always hear them so they stand beneath our balcony and call out to us. If the TV is on (when is it not) or if there is much street noise we still don’t hear them. To resolve this problem I picked up a bicycle bell with plans to attach it to the balcony railing and hang a rope down off the balcony. Seemed simple to me,and if I had been left to my own I would have had it up weeks ago and maybe it would have worked. But the Senor has taken over this project and now it has become a feat of engineering. Planning, thinking, needing supplies and tools. I’ll let you know if it ever gets done.

I’m still fascinated by the little things, produce delivered on baskets balanced on heads, bicycle deliveries, and fruit carts every where. Colorful artwork is popping up up all over. Zihuatanejo has a new mayor and improvements are being done all over the city. The tile covered sidewalk roofs are being repaired or replaced. New streetlights have been installed. There is one off our balcony that never worked. We were glad as we figured it would shine in the bedroom. It was replaced with an led light that just shines down on the street and side walk not in our room. Perfecto!

signing off KO

Mexico, How It makes me happy

This is me celebrating my sons birthday with a mango margarita. Too bad he wasn’t here to enjoy it with me

Let me state to begin with I’m happy just to still be on the planet earth when so many I have cared about are not.  I am so happy to be here in sunny Zihuatanejo where the aches and pains of arthritis and other old age maladies seem to disappear.  To a great extent this is a society that subscribes to the “be happy, don’t worry” train of thought.  I couldn’t agree more, by nature I am not a worrier.   Either fix it or forget it.

Erica opening her gifts

Our friend Brenda who is both our friend, local barkeep and our cleaning lady has this adorable 8 year old daughter Erica.  Erica is going to spend the school vacation with her Abuela (grandmother) so we gave her  the Christmas gifts today. How wonderful it is to see a child truly excited over the immediate gift, not just racing on to the next one. A few coloring books and some colored pencils and a carton of “hatchables” little toys that come out of eggs should help to keep her content while visiting the Abuela out in the country with no internet and minus all the modern conveniences. Her happy smiles made us happy.

We have purchased our second piece of art fom the same young up and promiing artist, here she is signing it for us. This will pretty much complete our decorating.  Signing off KO

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