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

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

MOTHER NATURE AND HER WEIRD SENSE OF HUMOR

How we all go on bragging about sunny Mexico.  My standard phrase to my friends back home is “86 and sunny every day”.  Evening sail boat cruises and roof top parties have been in the planning for weeks as we get excited about this fantastic full, blue moon event and with an eclipse no less. And here we are in prime viewing area. So what does Mother Nature do?  She decides to mess with us a bit and sends Zihuatanejo clouds! Heavy thick clouds all day long, even the temperature was low, probably never got above 80 all day. Well maybe it will clear up a bit at night. Well, no that didn’t happen either

But somehow it didn’t dampen the party spirit and as we set out for the particular rooftop we were headed for as  one of our group remarked “maybe I should have brought something to cover my shoulders later”.  Almost unheard of needing any sort of a wrap at night. The food that folks brought was delicious and abundant, the company was jovial and the view  of the bay and the town was extraordinary. But  only the briefest glimpse of the fickle moon through a tiny parting of clouds. Quite the sense of humor Mom Nature, not funny.  Signing off KO

THE MANY SHADES OF ZIHUATANEJO

The Senior is TV addicted, and believes we shown own all the latest gadgets advertised.  Admittedly some are very functional but many are not.  He also like catalogs and when he saw the full face snorkel mask he thought I should have one.  Finally we saw a sale price for one so I bought it.  I’ve used it about 3 or 4

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KO with full face snorkel mask

times with varying results.  The first time was probable the best, just a tiny trickle of water at the temple near the end of my swim. Now I have since discovered that I can mount my go pro camera directly on it for under water pictures and have done so the last two times I have used it, but I now have a leak. One big enough where you have to empty it out. Need to do more experimenting, but possibly the weight of the camera on the mask causes it.  I would really like to get some under water fish pictures.

 

Our tomatoes are flourishing, we have about 10,

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tomatoes

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Mystery plant

we just hope they ripen before we have to return home. The attractive weed that we thought might be a coleus. Isn’t! It is still a mystery, it looks like it is a climber and now has developed spines on the stem.  If it behaves it can share our planter box, at least for now?  Any ideas what it might be?

Everything in Zihuatanejo seems so colorful.These Roseated Spoonbill birds are some of my favorites.  They can always be seen at the Refugio at Playa Linda, but I have seen them at the canal on the way to Playa Madera too. This beautiful, colorful candy cart can be founds rolling all over town. It’s as beautiful as a painting.

 

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Roseated Spoonbill

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Rolling candy cart

Awesome New Year Celebrations

New years 2018 has to be some of the biggest crowd Zihuatanejo has ever seen. And from my point of view the best behaved New Years crowd hands down, I’ve been to private parties with more over drinking, pushing, shoving and squabbling than I witnessed last night.20180101_003447.jpg

The night was warm with a bright full moon already decorating the sky as folks strolled through the streets, some on their way to dinner at restaurants, many just out strolling and socializing others, selecting street food and a blanket on the beach. There were young people, old people, children and babies. Teenagers in groups, tourists both, gringo and Mexican nationals, lots of Mexican Nationals.  Part-timers like us socializing and resuming friendships from past. Everyone enjoying the balmy night and anxiously waiting the start of the fire works. The sidewalks and streets of El Centro were jammed with people and the restaurants kept expanding as one more white table was mysterious pulled from some back hideaway along with a set of chairs to accommodate another family wanting to dine there.

Music was everywhere, large speakers at the Zocolo made sure everyone could hear music whether they wanted to or not. Every bar had it’s own music, bands, recorded music and then of course the strolling street musicians.

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Dinner menu at Daniels, very good meal

At Daniels, where we were it was  the great Jimmi Mamou.

About 11:30 folks  began setting off their own personal fire works, mostly firecrackers and anything that makes horrible noise.  At the stroke of 1200 midnight the firework displays began from Playa La Ropa, Playa La Madera and Playa Principal simultaneously.  The sky became one color burst after another, going on and on and on.  Fantastic! When it was over the crowd moved off the beach, some going to dance at the Zocolo other headed back to their lodgings, us back to our apartment.

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Fireworks

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Fireworks

There was no officials to direct traffic, no “in and out” lanes, no one checking for bottles or weapons, no children or small dogs were trampled. Everyone just seemed to move on to where they were going in a surprisingly orderly fashion, especially considering we were elbow to elbow with folks going in many different directions and a large

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Folks on the beach waiting for fireworks

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Busy sidewalk

portion of them celebrating with some form of alcohol.  Zihuatanejo was on her very best behavior!  Happy New Year to all. Signing off KO