KAYAKING AND AN EXPERIMENT IN COOKING

I was planning to kayak with a friend this morning but Sunday didn’t work for her so it was solo kayaking for me. I went early a the surf is usually calmer  then and easier to launch and return. Left from La Madera beach and circumnavigated the bay. At the IMG_1687mouth of the bay I had intended to go out just a ways into the ocean, but I think the tide may have been coming in as there were some low rolling waves at that point and I decided it might be too much work. I’m not a novice kayak-er, I have one of my own and have done several Puget Sound trips, but I’m not a strong kayak-er.  Hell, I’m not a strong anything anymore. And due to previous experience landing thru the surf I planned to hop off before the waves break and swim or walk the kayak in.  But as I approached the shore the surf looked to mild that I went for it. And shouldn’t have! The surf pushed me sideways a position you never want to be in a kayak . As I started to hop off the kayak it, came with me and dumped me in the sand with the kayak on top of me. I could lift it up but could not flip it off me.  I lifted up I think 3 times long enough to catch a breath before the next wave came,  then some one came and lifted it off and I was finally able to get up and walk in. When I have rented a kayak here before the staff was a little more attentive as to helping you get in.  I think in the future just before I come in I might call the Senior to be available for one of my ungraceful landings and render necessary assistance.  Also in the future I will  get off before the waves and float it in.

We are trying to empty out the freezer before purchasing any more meat or fish and

IMG_1691
Not pretty, but it worked

plan carefully for out last month so we aren’t giving a lot of stuff away.  We still had 1 pack of left over turkey from Thanksgiving so I decided to make a turkey pot pie, a favorite of the Senior’s. Of course no rolling-pin, no pot pie pan and no turkey gravy. But mushroom soup worked for gravy.  I rolled out the crust on tin foil using a large jar of beans. and a small 2 handle sauce pan doubled for a pie pan. I then baked it in our portable oven.  It came out surprisingly good. Not bad for someone who isn’t much of a cook!  Signing off KO

 

 

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, NOT FOR ME AND MORE CONSTRUCTION

Living in a second floor apartment with an Iron security gate makes it difficult for a drop by visitor. I thought it would be so great to have a hanging rope that would ring a bell  and then we could throw down the key and out friends could come up.  Its nicer than hollering from the street which due to traffic noise out side and TV noise inside isn’t very effective.  After much searching I found the right bell a lovely brass bell, this was after

IMG_1611
My beautiful brass door bell

 

the Senor said the bicycle bell I had previously found would definitely not do.

To me every thing is a simple process, hang a rope, with the bell tied to the railing and let our friends know about it. Not so with the Senor.  He is more logical. No a rope wouldn’t last , heavy fishing line would be better, and would need to strung thru a series of eye hooks to position the bell in the most advantageous position for us to hear the bell and not bind He installed it as planned but the command strip eye hooks would not stick on the cement railing and the bell bound against the iron railing when pulled hard and someone cut the fishing-line and removed  the pull handle. So now he has a plan be requiring supplies from home. So maybe next year.

IMG_1584
They moved 2 cement truck loads by wheel barrow to make the cement  floor of this restaurant

The construction project behind our apartment has been a great source of entertainment watching a crew of about 5 men  build this restaurant behind our apartment from the ground up.  They work very hard in very hot weather and it is all manual labor. The only power tool they have used is a “tamper” to compress the soil after the dirt has been redistributed all over the site by wheel barrow.  It sounds like a helicopter that is going to take off only it never takes off.  They also have a manual tamper.

IMG_1590
The man in the green shirt and white hat bought sodas for the crew

 

Last Friday they poured the concrete floor over interlaced re bar. Two cement truck loads were wheel barreled from the front of the site and distributed through out it. It attracted the attention of a tourist whom I’m sure was a cement truck driver back home.  He conversed with the driver inspected the the truck was obviously quite interested in the project and then did the nicest thing.  He went to the store round the corner and returned with cokes for the guys. Definitely a very nice, kind, thoughtful person! Signing off KO

 

Blood Moon Over Zihuatanejo and the Search for the Elusive “Blue Tooth Dongle”

I find myself busy and not always sure what I have been busy with. Time goes by so fast.  It’s hard to believe we have been here 3 months already. Everyday here is interesting, not like when you are on a tour and every place you go is spectacular, but interesting none the less. Watching the progress on the building behind us is interesting, observing everyday life in mexico is interesting. And from time to time you get invited to a party

that is spectacular. We were invited to attend the full moon party at a friends 5th floor roof top. Not only was it a great party with tons of great food and drink it afforded one of the most spectacular vistas of Zihuatanejo. On one side was the setting sun, on the other side the moon rising over the town and in front lay Zihuatanejo Bay.  Even with out the Blood Moon this party is always spectacular.

Not only is our TV not blue tooth capable but also it turns out that neither of my computers are blue tooth equipped. My wired head phones have fallen apart and I wanted to replace them with  wireless. Hence the need for a blue tooth dongle to make the computer blue tooth comparable.

Not a single dongle to be found in over a half-dozen “eltronico” stores that  I have ferreted out.  Which is no small task as my Spanish is limited.  So when I ask in my very basic Spanish if they have a blue tooth dongle and they say no but proceed  to give me rapid fire directions as to where I might try, of which I may only recognize a word or two. Finally one store says they will order it for me,  might be here in a few days. Which in Mexican time and can mean any time in the future.  KO

Mosquitoes! Bah Hummmmbugs

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

img_0973
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

img_0318
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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

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.

img_1163
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

img_1164
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

img_1166
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

img_1157
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.

img_1161
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.

img_1169
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

IMG_1112
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