The Tattoo

I have never been a fan of tattoos. One of my sons has full arm tattoos on both arms, the other son has none. One daughter has a couple of small tattoos, the other daughter has none. That daughter sort of subscribes to the theory of “that butterfly on your back will turn into a crow in the crack” as you age. But I’ve always said “If I ever see a tattoo that will make me look better I will go for it”. And I did!

I have always been a makeup user since I was 12 and would sneak my moms lipstick out of the house. Mascara, eye shadow, eyeliners, blush, foundations, all became my friends. Loved experimenting with different techniques, trends, colors and applicators. Never would I leave the house with out make up on. It was like combing your hair you just don’t go out in public until it is done.

Tattoo’s have become very mainstream, not just for sailors on a drunken night out. They are quite popular here in Mexico with many good artists. And shortly after arriving in Mexico I ran into my friend Helen who was sporting tattooed eyeliner and it looked so lovely on her, I thought, hmmm maybe? A little more thought and it became a definite yes, I’m going to do this.

So three of us ladies made consecutive appointments. Now this in itself is a bit of a challenge as the tattoo artist we chose, the same one our friend Helen recommended, speaks no English, zero, nada none. And all we have is a smattering of Spanish, not enough for real communication. But we managed to make appointments and all showed up. And the rest was up to her.

She has a cute shop, very clean and nicely decorated in pink, black and white where she specializes in permanent make up. One by one we stretched out in a comfortable reclining lawn chair and we we entrusted our future beauty to her, We all agreed it was more of an irritating and annoying tickle rather than pain. It took about an hour’s time for each of us, longer for me as I was having my eyebrows micro-bladed also

A few hours later I was shocked to see that the process had given me two black eyes. Nobody had said anything about black eyes! But the bruising faded quickly. We knew we needed to stay out of the sun for a week and were given an ointment to put on the eyelids to keep the liner moist while it heals. Each of us went home to our computers for google to give us all the information we needed on how to care for our permanent make up. We knew that tattoos fade in time and might need retouching, at our age probably not an issue! Although I do know that the micro blading does need regular touch ups.

The finished product

JIMI MAMOU SINGER MUSICIAN SOUL MAN

Jimi has always been a bit of a Zihuatanejo legend. Starting when he and wife Judy came to Zihuatanejo at the invitation of Guitarfest and never turned back. Jimi plays, blues, soul, and rock and role from it’s heydays of the 50’s and 60’s into the 2000’s and still draws a crowd. It’s the music we grew up with and many believe, as I do, we had the best music ever.

Wednesday night a film crew was here from California to complete a documentary about the music scene in the North Beach area of San Francisco which Jimi was a big part of.

North Beach was the “happening place” with great clubs that gave many a star their start. Places like The Hungry I, and the Purple Onion, Big Al’s and of course the Condor, famous for Carol Doda who originated topless dancing. It was also the home of the Keene Art Gallery among others. An exciting vibrant place during simpler times. My sister was a chorus girl, dancing at Bimbo’s 365 club the summer of 61.

I grew up in a small town 40 Miles north of San Francisco, and even though we were under age and couldn’t get in to many of the clubs it was still a thrill on a Saturday night to roam the streets of North Beach and listen from the sidewalks and alley ways.

I imagine only a small handfull of those musicians are still around and not many would still be playing. But here in Zihuatanejo we have had the pleasure of spending our winters listening and dancing to the music of our youth, with one of the greats, Jimi Mamou.

I would be remiss not to mention that not only has Jimi blessed this community with his music but he and Judy have been a vital part of the community, one of the original and continuing sponsors of Sailfest serving on boards and committees, working in the background helping to strengthen this community for all the citizens here.

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

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

SETTLED IN AND FEELING LIKE HOME

Thursday evening I went to Puerta Del Sol to her Solo Tres play. From the street as I got out of the cab I could already hear their magical harmonies. One never tires of such beautiful music.

Solo Tres

Upon my return home I noticed something on my balcony, in the dark I wasn’t sure if it was vegetable or mammal but it had to be dead as it wasn’t moving. So I got my trusty boom and swept it off the balcony only to discover it was a fresh cat turd. Now I spent all last year finding ways to keep the little night marauders from using my fern planter as their personal cat box. And finally succeed by topping it off with a thick layer of “Brillo Pads”. Worked like a charm. My plant had flourished over the summer and is truly lush and lovely this year. Please do understand I love cats and several of my own. I have no desire to hurt them, just discourage them. I need to teach them my balcony, my territory!

I brought from home two 6×18 inch plastic prickle anti cat pads designed to keep cats from digging where they are unwanted. I brought them just in case the “Brillo Pads” had failed to work long term. I have now taped one to my balcony railing where they jump up from a lower ledge. Well this morning it was still there and didn’t look like it had been disturbed. Time will tell, but I’m determined to detour them.

The Malecon
Mango Margarita

Last evening I took a walk on the newly redone malecon and it is a lovely wide strolling path along the beach front. All the beachfront restaurants are now in the sand and plenty of room for large families and skateboarders and stroller pushers to all enjoy the path simultaneously. The artist park is lovely, I’m anxious to see it in the day time with artist in it. Stopped at Casa Arcadia for my first Mango Margarita of the season while enjoying a face time call from my Canadian friend, just a little bit of heaven. Signing off KO

The Good and the Bad in the Ugly Season of Covid

I am enjoying the smaller crowds and folks being spaced apart at the beaches and restaurants. But my heart goes out to those who have lost their jobs or have had their wages reduced as a result. Right now Zihuatanejo has moved back to “red” until the numbers drop. Every bar is closed up tight, eliminating more jobs, beaches are closed at night. They say masks are mandatory but while most folks wear them, some don’t, and I don’t see any signs of enforcement.

Plenty of “enforcers”, but little enforcement

Sailfest made a valiant effort to spread some fun and raise money, but it was a very scaled down version of all the usual fun activities. The organizers did find clever ways to do it both virtually and visibly. Kudos to them.

Masks are an entire subject of theirs own. I wear a mask faithfully, I believe in the protection they provide. But wearing a mask when walking or hiking of any distance, I find miserable. I have a bit of trouble breathing and find my self gasping for air like a fish out of water. My mask becomes drippy wet from perspiration, clammy and uncomfortable. But still I wear it and carry a spare. The down side of wearing the mask is I don’t drink as much water as I should as I’m no longer carrying a water bottle to sip along the way. And I sure miss strolling through the streets of Zihuatanejo with an ice cream cone, I really miss that.

What I don’t miss at all are the sidewalks being tented over to form a stuffy, crowded temporary bazaars to sell tacky stuff around 3 Kings and Valentines Days.

What I miss most is friends that didn’t feel comfortable traveling this year and Canadian friends that are leaving much earlier than planned to avoid the possibilities of the high cost of government fines or enforced quarantines.

My favorite view of Zihuatanejo

Signing off KO

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021

I don’t believe there has ever been a year more anticipated and more welcome than 2021. Like we all thought everything would miraculously right itself over night. We knew it wouldn’t be overnight but we sure hope and pray for some real changes to be on the way.

The only changes I can be certain about are the changes I can do myself. I have become a bit lazy, watching too many movies, binge watching seasons of shows and reading late into the night. So New Year’s day I did my own version of a “polar bear plunge” and took myself to Playa Madera at sunrise to do my first swim of the year, well it was just after sunrise, 7:00AM and the water was as warm as a bathtub. I guess the real challenge here was just getting to the beach that early.

Playa Madera New Years Morning

Today I walked my laundry up to the “Lavanderia” at the Kyoto Circle and then continued on to Mega Soriana with my cart to pick up a few supplies. The walk is lovely along the “Parque Lineal”, dotted with playground equipment, benches and lovely plantings. Seeing this lovely long park gives me hope that something as inviting as this will be created along the waterfront. I probably should have walked back also, but walking with a mask on challenges my breathing so I wimped out and took a cab back.

Parque Lineal

My next improvement project is trying to out smart a little black cat that has decided that my potted plant on my balcony should be his person toilet. The plant is surviving, but not thriving and I think black kitty has something to do with this. I found a few rocks and put them in the planter and added wire scrubbing pads. I assume this will not be pleasant for him to try to dig and scratch in. This isn’t exactly a concrete jungle around here there are several nice dirt patches down the alley he avail himself of.

Anti cat devices

Signing off KO

Morgan and the Turtles of Ayotocali

Morgan, my granddaughter, is volunteering at the turtle sanctuary.  She goes out at night and patrols the beaches of Playa Larga and Barra de Potosi looking for signs of turtle nests and for laying turtles.  When nests are discovered they are carefully removed and transported back to the turtle sanctuary’s incubator area and reburied at the exact same depth that mama turtle placed them. Then the nest is labeled with the exact geographical coordinates of  their original location, time and date and any other information they might have about the particular nest.  When a laying turtle is discovered they stay with her until she is finished laying her eggs and safely back to sea.  They do  this to protect the mama turtle from predators, both man, wild dog packs and other wild animals that might be about. Only one in 1000 of the little hatch-lings will live to adulthood to mate and return to the beach where they were hatched to continue this life cycle.  That is why this project is so important.

When the nest hatches in about 60 days the turtles are care fully released on the sand at sunset.  They head towards the light of the setting sun and then swim out to sea. The staff and volunteers are careful not to handle the babies so no human bacteria is transfer to the babies.  And what is best of all you can personally participate in the almost nightly turtle releases.  The staff will give you your turtle(s) in a little bowl and when instructed you gently let the turtle slip out of your bowl on to the sand and the race to the sea is on!

The sanctuary does a lot of work with the local children, teaching them why it is wrong to harvest and eat turtle eggs, or turtle meat.  They have camps during the summer and work with the schools during the rest of the year. If you are in Mexico with children this is a must see project. They will learn a lot about turtles and their life cycle and have an unforgettable experience.  If you are an adult, you also will learn a lot and enjoy the great experience of giving mother nature a helping hand.

There is a $200 peso donation asked for visiting the turtle sanctuary and participating in the turtle releases,and all donations are appreciated.  This is an all volunteer program. They do have programs where for a nominal fee you can adopt a nest and of course T shirts and other souvenirs are available for purchase to help fund this very important program. There are almost always volunteers from the sanctuary at the Eco- Tianguis Sanka, the little Saturday morning market that sets up across the street from the museum next to the school.  They will be more than happy to share their knowledge of turtles and the releases.  Signing off  KO

 

 

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