I have developed a deep loathing for the nasty little critters along with developing a
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
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
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
When 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. 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 very 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
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.
Hand made clothing and accesories
Hat from coconut fronds
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. 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.
Everything in Zihuatanejo is labor intensive, This is how the city streets get swept each morning. Signing off KO
The Senior and I along with friends Dave and Vickie went to Troncones on Friday to stay and play at Mi Casa Es Su Casa before doing the 1.1 mile Sharkfest swim on Saturday. Enjoyed the food and the pool there but have discovered cabs are very expensive in Troncones and in future years will stay closer to Hacienda Eden where us Sharkfesters assemble Saturday morning.
There were 22 entrants this year, with the youngest swimmer being 24 years old and the oldest 79, I was the next oldest. The surf was quite flat which pleases me easier to get in and out of. And I have learned a bit about riding the waves or diving through them and they are not quite as intimidating as before. But nonetheless getting in the water at Majhua was a bit of a challenge as we were walking on rocks for quite a way before the water was deep enough to swim and one swimmer never made it off the beach due to a stingray. Once I get to water deep enough to float then I can get my fins on, I prefer to do this after I have passed the breakers, but didn’t wait today as I wanted off those miserable rocks. Now my fit-bit says I swam just mile and did it in 47 minutes. That’s about a standard time for me swimming in a pool. I was sure I swam more than a mile as the paddle boarders who keep us on course were forever turning me in the right direction. I can’t swim a straight line in a pool and sure try to head out to sea in the open ocean.
This is not a competition, there are no time keepers, most of us are happy to finish
swimming strong, and of course I never want to be the last one in. I had asked the senior to be ready to help me get standing after the swim. I always find it difficult to stand up at the shore edge with the sand and waves pulling you back and with my
new knee my balance is still a bit unsteady at times. Once at the shore edge I had a heck of a time getting my fins off as the breakers, small as they maybe, kept pushing me around and by the time I got the right one off I had done some damage to my 3rd toe. Probably just a sprain, but it hurts and is purple and has me limping a bit. Swimming is easy, getting in
and out of the ocean is not easy for me.
The Senior only had his “pre smartphone” cell phone to take pictures with and then the only way I could transfer them to the computer was to use my phone to take a picture of the picture on his cell phone. So picture not so good. All and all it was a good day, I will keep lap swimming and participating. Signing off KO
We used to vacation in Mexico, now we live in Mexico for 3 months of the year and next year it will be 4 months. The climate agrees with us, I think it actually improves the Seniors health. He gets out much more here, is more active and more relaxed. Folks always ask us what we do in Mexico and my stock answer is “as little as possible”. But that’s not entirely true. The difference between vacationing and living here is how you spend your time. During a vacation you try to spend as little time as possible, grocery shopping, meal preparation, cleaning and organizing. You want to spend every minute possible on the fun things, eating out, buying gifts for friends, beaching, touring. Now that we live here I spend a great amount of time grocery shopping and enjoy every minute of it as it is in its self an adventure. I have checked out all the stalls at the Mercado and have selected my favorites, the ones that are most helpful with my fractured Spanish and have patience as I figure out the money. I know the fellow with the wheelbarrow full of avocados in the back has the best ones and he will pick out 1 for today and 1 for tomorrow. And they will be perfect every time. I know the best strawberry vendor and who to buy my eggs from. The chicken lady knows exactly what I want when I approach her and I have decided on the best fish monger. I love mangoes and have learned how to peel them using a drinking glass, less mess and nice mango slices.
For some thing I do need to go to the Comercial Mexicana which is a super market somewhat like ours, but with less organization, much more clutter in the aisles, some recognizable brands and an adventure all of it’s own.
They have a store here similar to our $ stores, with the same theory, buy it when you see it as it may never be there again. They have a wonderful fabric store with beautiful fabrics at unbelievable prices. I usually buy fabric and bring it home to make something. This year I bought fabric and am bringing it to “the sewing ladies” to make a dress for me. They shortened a pair of pants for me for about 25 cents. The fabric cost just under $6. Signing off KO
I was really happy to be going back to Ixtapa Island with a group of friends. We were going a little earlier this time when the tide would be in and better for snorkeling. I have my new “go pro” camera for under water video photography and I’m anxious to share pictures of the fish. The go-pro is a tiny camera and I have a strap that mounts it on my head so I should be able to swim and the camera sees what I see. That part works well. The difficult part is getting it set to video, as I said it is tiny, about 2 inches by 3 inches and the settings are also very tiny. So I cross over to the Coral Beach from where we all like to gather, sit at the edge of the water, put my fins on and try to turn the camera on. In my “golden years” I have become very farsighted. This translates to I can’t read anything close up with out my glasses. So I take off the fins, cross back over the trail, put on my glasses and set the camera, take off the glasses and walk back and start over on my swim to photo the fish. I do get some nice pictures of fish, but there is more footage of the trail and me putting on and off fins and mask than of the colorful tropical fish. There has to be an easier way.
There is something about the beach that relaxes everyone. It is more that just the drinks and good food, combine that with sunshine and a cooling breeze, gorgeous scenery and everyone laughs, aches and pains melt away,worries disappear. We share stories, tease one another and even the Senor looses his grouchiness.
My wish for everyone is, find the time, make the time to enjoy this kind of happiness. Time is too precious, none of us know what tomorrow brings. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is unknown, but today is a gift, and that is why it is called “the present”. Enjoy your every gift.
Still waiting on my new internet service to arrive, so no new pictures. I’m learning the patience of the Mexicans, there is always manana. Signing off KO
It’s our last full day in Port Orchard, rained so much that the lake is over the dock. But no problem, is 84 in sunny Zihuatanejo. We are completly packed and I’m at loose ends as I have nothing else left to do. And I don’t do “nothing” very well. At least not a home. Begining Monday morning this is where you will find me. I took this picture last year from the road to La Ropa on one of my morning explorations before the “Senor” would wake. Every day I take off on a new direction to explore. The view from our apt. is a little different as you will see in the weeks to come. I intend to share my travels with you thru this blog rather than inudate you with e-mails as I have done in the past. This way if your interested follow along if not I haven’t bored you. Look for me Monday. Signing off KO