Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Downsizing Begins

Today I set up the Christmas tree. It's kind of odd knowing that we only have 2 more Christmases in Canada after this year. I expect we'll come home for Christmas now and again, but I doubt I'll be putting up a tree in the limited time we'll have. And so I wonder, do I get rid of the tree and all the decorations in a couple years, or do I hang onto them for when Señor B and I reach an age that we don't want to be gone so long? Maybe we'll end up deciding to live in Mexico full time. Right now we say no, but never say never, right?

As I was sorting through all the stuff, I decided to get rid of some things. I went through the large box of lights. Because of Señor B's previous hip problems, he hasn't hung exterior lights in years. I asked him if he wanted to hang them this year, even though we only have two more Christmases here. He said there really wasn't much point so I set aside several strands of those old-school lights that have the pointy chandelier type bulbs. I'll either find someone to give them to or list them on a local site that's similar to Kiji. I also have 6 strings of icicle lights that one of our daughters is going to take. Oh, hey. Look what I found. A set of musical lights that blink. I don't want these anymore. And here are three strings of lights that don't work. Why was I keeping these? All these lights lived in a cubic metre moving box. It'll be good to clear that out of the basement.

I also went through all the decorations as I was doing the tree. There were a few that belonged to one of the girls. I'll have to get those to her. Oh, and here are some of those motors for some Ornamotions. Remember those? I've always bought each of the girls an ornament for Christmas so that they would have some for their first tree. They've all taken their ornaments but I must have forgotten to give them the motors because I have about a dozen of them.

I use strings of faux pearls to wrap the tree. I had two very long strands in a colour I didn't want. Why? Gone.

I have some colourful country type ornaments that don't fit the colour scheme of the tree. Many of them are gifts, some of them from our kids and g'kids. I held each one, caressing them gently and...I couldn't do it!! I couldn't get rid of them. Last year I had thought that I would clear them all out this year, but I really don't want to yet. In time, I'll pass them on to whoever wants them. For now, I'll re-purpose them into wall decor. Gotta love push pins. I did throw out several that were not gifts and that were just plain ugly and I don't understand why I kept using them year after year.

So I guess my downsizing was more of a declutter. Still, it was a bit unsettling, in a good kind of way, knowing that it was being done because of our approaching retirement and not just because it needed doing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We're Home

I managed to make it through the whole trip without getting more than a couple of bug bites the first day or two that we were there. For 4 weeks, nothing. Wouldn't you know it...the last night there, I got chewed alive. I woke up Thursday morning to 5 or 6 bites on each leg. I normally wear my jeans on the final trip to lighten the load in my suitcase but I couldn't because the bites itch like the dickens if anything touches them. So I had to wear my shorts. This isn't a problem in México but it sure does garner you some odd looks when you hit the airport in Canada, in December, in shorts.

Thursday morning, Gustavo arrived to pick us up 10 minutes ahead of schedule. In the land of "mañana", this is an astounding event. Liz told us he's always there and always early. I expect this is why he's earned himself a good reputation at the complex. He's a chatty guy who speaks pretty good English. We helped him out with a few words and he helped me out with some Spanish.

We took the bus at the CAME station. Oh my. You come into Mérida on a fairly wide road but the closer you get to CAME, the narrower the streets become. They almost felt like goatpaths. Each turn in the road gave the feeling of being drawn deeper and deeper into an elaborate maze of concrete, traffic and one-way streets. Sure glad it was Gustavo driving and not Señor B.

We took an ADO GL this time. It's not quite as posh as the Platino but it was still nice. I slept almost half of the way to Cancún. I tend to do that. Put me in a moving vehicle and I'm asleep in no time. Señor B finds it amusing.

From the ADO station in Cancún we took an $18USD cab ride to our hotel. We spent the night at the Royal Solaris, an all-inclusive resort. It was cheaper to stay there than to get a regular hotel room and then buy meals on top of that. The resort is pretty typical of most of the resorts we've stayed at. It seemed to be on the smaller size, which we prefer. We're not fans of the mega-sized resorts. The buffet was your standard buffet food and it was all tasty enough. The "concierge" aka Time Share Guy, tried to hide his disappointment when we told him we already had a condo and he didn't pressure us to attend the half hour morning meeting when we declined.

The cab to the airport the next day was a much shorter ride than the one to the resort but it was $30USD. What a rip-off. Whatever. It's still a whole heap cheaper than renting a car.

The flight home was uneventful. We had a layover in Canada which meant going through customs, claiming our luggage, re-checking it, and going through security again. What a rigamarole. If you had purchased any alcohol at the duty-free shop, it had to go into your checked luggage.

We arrived to our home airport shortly before 9pm. The weather wasn't too bad but we had made the decision, before leaving México, to stay overnight. The temperature was much milder than we usually have when we get back. It was -2C instead of the usual -30C. The drive home wasn't too bad. A bit of blowing snow near the city but that only lasted for about the first half hour.

The last 2 trips we've used a new parking company. It's more economical, which is always a plus, but they also offer a couple of services which are nice add-ons. They have a luggage check right there. It's only available for a few airlines and, fortunately, we've been flying with one of the ones they accept.  It's extremely handy to not have to haul your suitcases to, and through, the airport. Upon your return, the van driver asks your name and relays it to the parking lot. By the time we got to the parking lot, the good folks there had our truck running and the young gal was busy scraping the frost off the windshield. I think we'll be using this outfit on a regular basis.

And that's that. We're already checking out flights for our next trip.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time, Gentlemen, Please

Well, the party's coming to an end. We've thoroughly enjoyed our time here and can't believe it's over already. For the past couple of days I keep doing an "I Love Lucy" WAAAHHHH!!!! throughout the day. I'm so sad that we're leaving.

The power went out last night so I wasn't able to post. Not that there was anything of much note. Jorge, a handyman who does quite a bit of work for the complex, came by to install a dryer vent for us. It'll be nice to have all that lint go outside instead of accumulating in the laundry room.

It was almost midnight and there was about 15 minutes left to the show I was watching when the power went out. It was so dark you literally couldn't see your hand in front of your face. I was sitting on the couch and had to feel my way to the lighter in a bin by the fridge. Then the darned thing wouldn't light. It finally did and I made my way back to the candles that are on the end tables by the couch. Got ready for bed, hit the sheets and the power came back on shortly after. I had forgotten to shut off the lights so up I got. Grr!

It's been cool and windy since Sunday. Today was a bit warmer and we thought we might go for a final swim at the pool but it was still too chilly, so we went for a walk at the beach instead. Sunday's storm took some of the beach. The erosion has created several drop-offs that are a good couple of feet high. We were wishing that we had donned our rainslickers, courtesy of Xel-Ha, and gone down to witness Mother Nature's power that day.

There's an abandoned building where the soccer field is, so we went and poked around there. It looks like it might have been a beach club but you can't tell that from the front. In back are two pools, one of them for kiddies. There's a kitchen, showers, bathrooms and storage areas. Another area looks like it was a bar and there's a large open space that must have been used for tables. There are holes in the ceiling where fans would have hung.

I always wonder about the stories behind abandoned buildings. Who owned them? Who were the people who lived there? Why did they leave? Was this beach club someone's dream that didn't work out? Or someone's get-rich-quick scheme that was more work than they had anticipated?

Tomorrow we'll be leaving here at 7am. Gustavo, a local taxi driver who has earned himself a good reputation at the complex, will be picking us up and taking us into Merida to catch the ADO bus into Cancun. We'll stay at a hotel overnight and then we fly out Friday around 1:30pm.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Mish Mash of Stuff

This morning Senor B and I went uptown to run a few errands. First, we went to a store called Bolom Balam. It's on Calle 80 and just off the malecon. Two gentlemen, Richard and David, operate it. They also collect school supplies and Christmas toys to distribute to those who are in need. We've brought school stuff down on previous trips and did the same this trip. Unfortunately, the store was closed so we had to bring the supplies back here. Friend S knows a lady who collects school supplies so we're going to give our stash to S to give to her friend.

Then I wanted to stop at a little store that Liz and I went to the other day. I had seen a wooden wall ornament I liked but didn't purchase at the time. Sadly, they were also closed.

Then to the bank to cash in some American money that we had left over from Cancun. That's an experience! First of all, you have to take a number. There's a machine at the door with several options to choose from. I chose the "Caja", or "cashier", button. The machine dispenses a small piece of paper with a number. Instead of waiting in line, there are padded chairs to sit on. A digital display tells you which number is being served and at which counter. I knew, from reading somewhere, that I would need my passport, so I brought that with me. It took quite a while for the transaction. The teller was deep in concentration while he was typing away on something. He typed, then wrote, then typed some more. I had to sign my name to a piece of paper as well as writing my Progreso address and my home phone number on this paper. He handed my passport to someone who scanned it. At least that's what it looked like he did with it. They're all behind glass and there are cameras all over the place. I didn't want to look too nosey and make it look like I was up to no good. More typing and writing and, finally, the question. "Would you like that in large or small bills?" Small, please. One can never have enough small money in Mexico.

Then we walked to the small mall where the ADO ticket office is to buy our bus tickets to Cancun for Thursday.

A quick stop at a liquor store to buy a liquer that we had been served at Casa on the Malecon the other night and then onto the combi to bring us back to the condo.

I decided to keep my dentist appointment for this afternoon. S&D were going into Merida and had planned on shopping at the Altabrisa mall which is right across the street from the dentist, so I caught a ride with them. I ended up getting a new guard made. I guess my gag reflex made it difficult to get a good mold impression. The new impression went much more smoothly and now I have a guard that fits well. After the impression, they told me that the guard would be ready in 45 minutes. They knew that we're leaving in 2 days and they wanted to save me having to make another trip into the city. Is that service, or what?!

I came home to discover that Liz and Marty had made chili and sent some to our house for supper. I didn't get home until 7:30 so it was nice to have supper already made. All I had to do was heat it up.

Called my favourite granddaughter tonight. That she's my only granddaughter is We had us a good chin wag. My goodness, that girl can talk. *grin*

It's still breezy and it's chilly. We had to close the windows. I know, I know. Wah, wah, wah. How cold can it be if I can still wear shorts. Actually, I had to put a sweater on and, if we'd kept the windows open, I'd be wearing my jeans. It really is cool, even by northern standards.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Crazy Day

Today we attached the mirror to the dresser. What a difference it makes! The one in the bathroom is ok, but it's an oval shape and always felt too small whenever I did my hair or applied makeup. The bedroom is also brighter, a definite advantage if I don't want my makeup to make me look like a streetwalker.

There's a soccer field across the street and there's a game almost every weekend. Today was game day. About mid-afternoon, the wind suddenly started blowing hard. It came out of nowhere. One minute it was calm and the next, it was practically gale-force winds. The chairs on the deck started blowing around so we had to bring them in. It was spitting rain for a while and then, suddenly, it was a torrential downpour. I mean, it was POUR. ING. And the soccer game continued!! Our kids in Canada have had to play in the snow so I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised that they would continue their game but if you could have seen how hard it was raining, you'd be surprised, too. Perhaps the clincher is the same as at home...unless there's lightning, which there wasn't today, the game goes on.

Senor B decided he needed to do a "novelty swim." What's that, you ask? Well, that would be a swim in the pool during the torrential rains. Doofus. I chose to stay dry inside and worked on my Spanish course.

S&D from upstairs came over to watch the Grey Cup. S was cheering for BC so their win made her happy. I don't really understand football but I know enough to realize that Winnipeg pulled off a pretty amazing feat near the end of the game.

The wind is still howling. Our gulf-facing windows go from floor to ceiling and are in 3 sliding sections. The wind is literally whistling through them. It's banging them hard enough that it sounds like someone knocking. Might be tough to sleep tonight. The online weather site says the winds are 22km. I beg to differ. I'd bet money that they're stronger. I think the nearest weather station is Merida. Since it's not right on the coast like Progreso, the winds may not be as strong there, hence the 22km reading.

I have an appointment to see the dentist tomorrow afternoon but my teeth didn't hurt nearly as much this morning so I think I might cancel the appointment. I'll see how things are in the morning.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Did Some Decorating

Today we got the rug hung on the wall. We have a very long wall that has nothing to break up the expanse. No light switches, no corners. Nothing. And with the walls being 9 feet high, we have a huge area to try to cover. The rug hangs longer than it does wide so it fills up a good deal of vertical space. It looks good. I still have a lot of space to fill in the kitchen area of that wall, but that'll come.

We also hung the picture that Theresa gave me. I put it on the short wall between the washroom and our bedroom. You can see it almost as soon as you walk into the condo. That area needed a bold splash of colour and the painting is perfect there.

I might have to go back to see the dentist. My guard is really tight against my front teeth. When I took it off this morning, my teeth felt like they'd been hyper-extended all night. It wasn't until late this afternoon that they felt normal. I have an appointment Monday afternoon. If the guard softens up and stops hurting by then, I can cancel my appointment. I'm really hoping I don't have to go back. I'd rather be spending my last few days at the pool than in the city.

Tonight we went for supper with S&D who live upstairs. We went to Casa on the Malecon, the same place we went to with Marc. We had heard that they offered more than just fish, so we asked. They have chicken cordon bleu and something else that I missed the name of. They're not on the menu, though. You have to ask for them. I had the chicken and it was very good.

I would have liked to have gone down to the town square to check out the action. I've heard that there's almost always something going on there on Saturday nights. But everyone else was tired and, since I didn't want to go by myself, I came home.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Another uneventful day. Not having a vehicle means we don't get out much. Means I don't spend much,

Neighbour Liz had to go uptown this morning and invited me along. I bought some hooks for hanging the rug when I finally finish sewing it. I also picked up a ceramic floor decoration...a couple of lizards on a rock. We went to the grocery store and I picked up a few things we needed. I'm trying not to buy too much at this point because we're leaving soon. But we needed bread and garbage bags. And Coke. Always need Coke. I keep those guys in business.

Pool time in the afternoon. Spanish course and laundry in the evening.

It was 8 years ago, today, that my dad went to wherever it is that awesome fathers go when they pass. RIP, Dad.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Slow, Boring Day

I wish I had something exciting to write but it was a pretty slow and boring day.

The other day, I bought a woven rug to hang on the wall. To hang it, I've decided to turn one end over and stitch it in place to make a rod pocket. Not having a sewing machine means I have to do it by hand but it's actually moving along fairly quickly. Still, I have to sit hunched over and it hurts my back so I can only work for short periods of time. I should get it done tomorrow.

Went to the pool this afternoon and worked on my Spanish course tonight.

One of the condo cats has been curled up outside the screen door almost all evening. He looks pretty content there. One of the other cats showed up and they had a standoff. They growled at each other a couple of times and Cat #1 reached up to swat #2. He didn't even bother to get up. Just did it from his lying down position. Lazy thing. I think he must be Alpha because the other cat gave up right away and mosied off.

The cat fight that wasn't was the most exciting thing that happened today. Well, except for calling Middle Daughter tonight on Magicjack but that's a different kind of exciting.

Yaawwwnnnn.  See? Told you it was a slow day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Seeing the Dentist in Mexico

First, I forgot to mention that when Theresa came to visit yesterday, she brought me a birthday present...a lovely painting she had done and that I had admired on her blog. Isn't it beautiful? The colours are perfect for the condo. Now I just have to figure out the perfect spot to showcase it. Check out her blog for other paintings she's done. She's quite talented.

Ok, on to my experience with seeing a dentist here. Here's the website.

I got the dentist's name and website from some folks, J&L, who are staying in the complex. I needed a  nightguard because I grind my teeth at night. I sent the dentist an email and set up my appointment that way. I emailed Sunday evening and was able to see him today. Wow!! Back home, I'd be waiting *at least* a month.

Since we don't have a car rental, I had to take the Autoprogreso bus in. I needed to get off at Chedraui, a box store here, but wasn't sure where to get off the bus. In my very poor Spanish, I asked the young lady sitting beside me if this was Chedraui and she said no and then started chattering away and gesticulating directions. I told her my Spanish wasn't very good so she said she would tell me when. I actually didn't understand her words but her tone and watchful eye told me what she had said.

J&L had said I would need to get a cab at Chedraui so I told the two customer service guys standing outside, that I needed one. I expected that they would call one for me but instead the young man pointed to the street and said, "yaddayaddayadda...senale...yaddayadda...avenida...yaddayadda." Two words I understood. Ok, gotcha. I need to go out to the avenue, stand near the big sign and flag a taxi down.

Got a cab and gave the driver the paper with the address. The drive took about 20 minutes and cost 56 pesos, just over $4. Four dollars!!! That would have been at least $30 at home. I'm constantly amazed at how inexpensive so many things are here.

I got to the dentist about 10. My appointment wasn't until 10:30 but he took me almost as soon as I got there. Javier, the dentist on the website, looked at my teeth and then Ricardo, another dentist, did the actual work. Both dentists introduced themselves by their first names. It felt odd addressing them that way instead of as Dr. So-and-so.

I'm a high maintenance patient. I don't want to be, but I am. My dentist at home says my nerves are wired differently and it makes freezing very difficult. I've had as many as 3 shots in one sitting and yet didn't freeze.
I also have a weak gag reflex. A trip to the dentist is always an ordeal. Today was no different.

Ricardo put too much mold product into the tray. It squished out and it went too far into the back of my mouth. Thankfully, I didn't do more than gag but the mold had to come out. The second attempt worked.

I was all finished with that part by 10:30, my original appointment time. Ricardo said the guard would be ready at noon and I could come back then. Seriously?! I was gobsmacked that it would be ready so soon.

J&L were also there so we went to the mall across the street and had some lunch, after they took care of some business they had. Then it was time to go back to get the guard.

Javier and Ricardo both speak great English, as do a couple of the girls who work there. The office is clean. His set up, at least the chair I sat in, isn't quite as modern as I'm used to. Remember those little bowls for spitting into, on the side of the chair? That's what my chair had. I haven't seen those in quite a while. But that doesn't matter. I was only concerned about getting a guard that fit and that's what I got.

The very best part? My dentist at home had quoted me about $525 for this. Our insurance company would have paid for half, making my cost about $250. My cost today was 850 pesos, about $63.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Theresa Comes to Visit

Today, Theresa from What do I do All Day? came to visit me. I met her at the bus depot and we walked the 3 or 4 blocks over to St Bonnet's for brunch. At her recommendation, I tried eggs with machaca, which she said was similar to beef jerky but better. She was right. It was very tasty. So now when I see this ingredient in the store, I'll know what to do with it.

After brunch we stopped at Parasina's, a fabric store, where I bought some heavyweight thread I needed. Theresa is a very proficient Spanish speaker so I was glad to have her with me. A transaction that would have taken me quite a while to do with my very limited Spanish was accomplished in mere minutes.

We went back to the condo for more visiting. She regaled Senor B and I with tales of her experiences and mishaps between the Spanish she knows and the Spanish that's spoken in Yucatan. Not all words are created equally and some words that seem harmless will have a very different (and occasionally vulgar) meaning the way it's used here.

Theresa does a lot of cooking and was impressed by a Mexican cooking magazine I had picked up at a drugstore in Canada and brought down with me. She gave me some helpful pointers about some ingredients. I was going to leave the magazine here but I think I'll take it back and study it some more.

Originally, Theresa's husband was going to come out to Progreso, too, but he was a little under the weather and couldn't make the trip. Hopefully he gets to feeling better soon and that we'll have the opportunity to meet him in the near future.

Theresa and her husband live here year round and she found today to be quite pleasant, but Senor B and I felt like melting so, after she left, we went down to the pool for a dip and some visiting.

Supper was leftover soup from last night which I had made using a recipe in the cooking magazine. It was delicious last night and even more so tonight. Soup is one of those things that tastes better the next day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Condo Critters

Technically, we're not allowed to have pets in the complex but we've all kind of adopted a beautiful yellow short-haired female dog. Chica does a good job guarding the place. She chases other dogs away and isn't fond of new people. She also chases the big bad motorbikes and cars/trucks away. I hope she doesn't end up getting hit. Her vigilance earns her the regular meals that she receives. Chica has gotten used to seeing me and Senor B and has learned that we give scratches behind the ears. I'm sure she was abused in the past. If you say "No" to her in a firm voice, her whole body droops and she looks so disappointed to have done something that would make you raise your voice.

We also have 3 cats. I'm not sure if they have names. They get fed but I think they're feral. I haven't seen anyone cuddling them and they're extremely wary whenever we get near them. Earlier tonight I heard some scratching outside the front screen door. I looked over and there was one of the cats using the doormat as a scratching post. He finished doing his thing, then sat there and watched me. He had his neck stretched up in the way that cats do when they're being curious. I talked to him from where I was sitting and he listened but I'm sure that, had I stood up, he would have been off like a shot.

People have said that since the cats arrived, there have been fewer geckos so it's assumed that the cats are eating them. I know that geckos are a good thing because they eat mosquitoes, but they kind of creep me out so I can't say that I miss them.

I'm more of a cat person than a dog person (sorry, dog lovers). I find cats endlessly amusing. I wish our condo cats were more sociable. Ah well. I guess they're being paid (fed) to do a job (get rid of mice, etc) and they don't like to socialize while at work.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Food and Friends

This morning we went to Taco Maya, in Chelem, for brunch with S and D who live on the floor above us. We all had breakfast burritos. They're huge and, at 50 pesos each, an excellent bargain. We all had a hard time finishing our meals. The orange juice was freshly squeezed and as delicious as the burrito.

Taco Maya is a cute little hole-in-the-wall kind of place. There are about 10 tables beneath a rustic cover. The kitchen forms the front wall. The two side walls are concrete for about 3 feet up and the upper part is made of twigs joined together by rope or wire. I'm afraid I didn't take close note of that part. The back wall is formed by some hanging vines behind which are the washrooms and no roof. On the twig walls are paintings and other crafty things. I didn't ask if they were for sale but this is Mexico. Almost anything is available for a price.

Our neighbours, Liz and Marty, invited us over for ribs for supper. We had already taken some shrimp out so we took those over and cooked them up there. We spent a very enjoyable evening on their patio. They're a very funny couple and we laughed until our guts hurt.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Colour Me Happy

The mirror I was having made was supposed to be ready today. Neighbour Liz was taking me in to Merida to pick it up. We decided to get an early start on the day and beat the heat. We arrived at the furniture place about 11am and the guy told us the mirror wouldn't be ready until 3pm. Liz didn't want to drive back to Progreso and then back to Merida so we decided to go shopping. Again. Rough life, eh?

I hadn't yet been to Alta Brisa so we went there to check things out. It's like pretty much any other mall NOB. Lots of NOB retailers and the typical bright and shiny look of modernity. (That's actually a word! I googled it to be sure). Soriana's, which is similar to Walmart in that it has a little bit of everything, is one of their anchor stores and Liz hadn't been there before, either. They have products that her other regular stores don't, so she was excited to find new things. We still had lots of time to kill until 3pm, so we decided to go down to Centro and then come back to Soriana's. We didn't want to leave stuff in the hot truck all afternoon.

Liz doesn't like driving in Centro, so we got a cab. Cost was about 60 pesos. I didn't time the drive but I'm sure it was a good 20 minutes. We had the cab drop us off at a market that Liz said was good. I have no idea what the name of it is and I wouldn't be able to find it again. I picked up a rug/tapestry/woven thing to hang on the wall. Then we went for lunch at a great little restaurant, the name of which I didn't get.

Cabbed it back to Soriana's and picked up a few groceries and some things we needed for the condo. Then on to the furniture store where the mirror was ready. We didn't get back home until about 6:00. Not bad for wondering how we were going to kill 4 hours, eh? lol.

Roberto, the fish guy with the Jay Leno jaw, comes by the complex on weekends. He came today and Senor B picked up some sea bass and shrimp. I'm not a fish fan but I do like the sea bass. That's what we cooked up for supper and it was delicious.

The "colour me happy" part of the day? This evening there was a knock on our door and a friendly "Buenas tardes." It was a relative of the owner of the condo above us. Remember the leak in the bathroom ceiling? She and her young son had come to take a look at it. Of course, Murphy's Law being what it is, it's been dry for the past couple days so there was nothing to see. But...! I had taken a picture of it to document its progress. I showed it to them and the lady had an "Oh my goodness!" kind of reaction. She didn't speak any English but her son, who told me he was in grade 5, did. She makes a phone call and the young man and I chat a bit. We both taught each other a new word...ceiling and mancha. Through her son, the lady tells me that they'll have a plumber come out within the week.

I've read enough posts on other blogs to know that it may, or may not, happen. I really want to believe that they'll take care of the problem. I hope the fact that they even came to look at it bodes well for its repair.

As they were leaving, the boy apologized for his bad English. Is he kidding? I told him that his English is much better than my Spanish. And it is. I'm doing well with my lessons but he's been studying English longer than I've been studying Spanish. Anyways, I imagine he'll be pretty excited to tell his teacher that he got to use his English in a real life situation with someone who didn't speak much Spanish.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tummy Woes

This morning I woke up not feeling well. I felt kind of weak and my tummy wasn't quite right. I had some toast and went back to bed, not because I was still tired but because I just didn't have the energy to be up. Hardly ate anything today and even had a rare afternoon nap. My innards were roiling all day and I thought maybe I'd picked up some bug from eating out yesterday. By suppertime, I was so cold I had to put on a sweater and jeans. Senor B heated up some leftovers and I just had toast. I started thinking I was coming down with something.

As the evening wore on, I started feeling better and better. Now I feel great.

I have no idea what caused me to feel so icky all day but I'm glad it's gone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Didn't Have to Cook Today

The highlight of today was spending time with Marc from An Alaskan in Yucatan . I met him down at the bus depot this morning and we came back to the condo to hang out for a while. For lunch, we all went to a fairly new restaurant called Casa on the Malecon, located on the east end of the malecon. It's strictly a seafood place. We had planned on going there for my birthday but it was closed that night. Lucky for me because I'm not too big on seafood.

We had the usual botanas and we also each got a cup of shrimp broth that was surprisingly good. We all had fish filetes, each with a different sauce. All were tasty but one of them wasn't fully cooked on the inside. The prices seemed reasonable enough for this area.

The restaurant appears to be an older home that's been converted. There were tables on the patio as well as on the grass, which is where we chose to sit. Lots of trees on the lawn gave it a park-like feel, yet the Gulf vista let you know that you were still at the beach. It was a unique and pleasant experience.

Marc is a wealth of information and we learned about different plants and some history about the area. Sadly for us, he had business in Merida and, all too soon, had to leave.

The Bamboo Beach in Chicxulub hosted a Welcome Back, Snowbirds supper tonight so a whole gaggle of us from the complex went. The first drink, as well as tacos, was on the house. The tacos were very tasty and the service was very good. There was a live amateur band that played music from our era. In English, too. The supper wasn't very well attended, though. I'm not sure if it wasn't very well advertised or if there were conflicting events that kept expats away. It's unfortunate for the folks who missed out because it was an enjoyable evening.

I think we have a rogue mosquito in the condo. I've had hardly any bites since we got to Mexico but I've sprouted several over the past 2 or 3 days. Poor Senor B has one of those huge bites that I usually get. While I feel bad for him, I'm glad it's not me this time.

Another norte has blown in but it's not as wildly windy as it sometimes is. The cooling breezes are very welcome.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Roasty, Toasty Day

Last night was so hot that we decided to sleep with the AC on. We usually get such a great cross breeze that we rarely use the AC. But yesterday the breeze was from inland instead of off the Gulf. Inland breezes are what give us the very hot weather.

I can tolerate more heat than Senor B can. (I'm convinced that the stork delivered me to the wrong country). But neither of us can take the humidity. We're used to 20-30%, not the 80% we had yesterday. So on went the AC for Senor B and on went an extra blankie on my side of the bed for me.

We lost power for about half an hour later in the evening and it went out again during the night. I woke up hot enough to have to kick off my blanket. I listened for the AC but it wasn't going. I thought Senor B had turned it off. Then I noticed that I wasn't feeling the breeze from the fan, either. The clock was dark and the lights in the back alley were out. I had to open the window to get some air in the room.

Senor B figures the power was out most of the night. Fortunately, we didn't lose any food.

Today was another scorcher. Liz and I went to Merida and it was much hotter there than in Progreso. Now I understand why the folks from Merida come out here during the summer.

Happy Birthday to Me

Actually, it was yesterday and I had a post all typed up but we lost internet before I could publish it.

Yesterday was hot, hot, hot! We went uptown in the morning because I was starting to feel a little shack whacky and needed to get out of the house. We only rented a vehicle while our friends were here. For the last 3 weeks of our stay, we're without wheels so that means we haven't really gone anywhere.

We took a dip in the pool when we got back and another one after we had lunch and a siesta.

We went to Flamingo's, my favourite restaurant and I had the Yucatecan chicken, my favourite dish. Senor B told Vincente, our fabulous waiter, that it was my birthday. The lights in the restaurant dimmed and the traditional Mexican birthday song started playing. Then he brought me a dessert with a candle in it. I had to make a wish and blow out the candle, same as we do in Canada. The two gentlemen at the table next to us applauded. I guess that must be traditional? The dessert was kind of like cheesecake but it wasn't that. Maybe it was flan? It was ok but it wasn't delicious.

After we got back, we went for another splash in the pool. This was about 9pm and we were the only ones there. It was so quiet and peaceful.

Our neighbour Liz brought over a beautiful bouquet of chrysanthemums with a bird of paradise. I got emails and ecards from friends and family. Senor B and I don't generally buy gifts for each other anymore. I took a photo of the 32C showing on the thermometer and of our vista of the Gulf and tried to post it. Being able to spend my birthday here instead of with the snow back home is gift enough for me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Being a Ginger Sucks

On my family tree there is a branch that leads directly back to the First Nations people. My mom and one of my sisters have the colouring...the dark hair, eyes and skin. My sister can have tan lines within 15 minutes of being in the sun. I hate

Me? I inherited the Celtic part of the tree. Blue eyes, freckles and hair that was reddish when I was a kid. These days the red comes from a bottle. I don't have the typical translucent white skin of the Celtic folks, though. Mine has a slight olive tinge, thanks to the aforementioned tree branch. Still, if I'm going to be out in the sun, SPF 60 is my best friend. Going without it is not an option, not just because of skin cancer but because I'll crispy fry. And that really hurts.

I hate wearing sunscreen. There's the whole ritual  involved of making sure no exposed skin is missed. A line down each arm and worked in. For the legs, a big glob on the ends of my fingers, other fingers rubbed over it to flatten the glob and pat, pat, pat all over the legs so that it spreads more easily. Ditto for the chest, neck and face. Don't forget the ears. When my hair was shorter, I even put it into all the ear crevices. I forgot to do that once.

If you don't wash your palms after applying, and then get itchy eyes...hoo boy. Stings like the dickens. It's sticky. Everything, from your clothes to sand to bugs, sticks to you. I'm convinced that the occlusive layer over my skin makes me sweat more. It feels gross, as if I haven't showered in days. Washing it off involves using one of those nylon scrubbers.

I like being in the sun. I just wish it wasn't necessary to don full body armour to do so.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Slow Day

Being awakened at 5am by a car alarm is not a fun way to start the day. Fortunately, the alarm wasn't because a car was being stolen. The lady who lives across the back alley accidentally set hers off. I was able to go back to sleep and didn't wake up until 9. Surprised the heck out of myself. I haven't been able to sleep much past 7:30 since we've been here.

Today was another slow day. Did a couple loads of laundry and cleaned and organized the shelves in the laundry room. Oye! They were a disaster. Dusty and messy. Things had been tossed willy-nilly. I guess it's to be expected when you share your place with other people. We rent out our condo and there's a cleaning lady who cleans it between renters. It took me an hour to straighten things out.

Lots of pool time this afternoon that included plenty of socializing. I also spent some time catching up on some of the blogs I read.

Carpenter ants haven't been an issue this trip. There have been quite a few smaller ones but they haven't inundated us. I did squash one tonight that looked suspiciously like a carpenter ant so I'll have to keep an eye out.

The condo above us has a leak in the bathroom. There's a wet area on our bathroom ceiling. I contacted the condo administrator to see if he could contact the owner who happens to live in Mexico City but has family in Merida who uses the place periodically. I'm really hoping it gets taken care of.

And that's about it. A much shorter post than yesterday's.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Very Long Update

This is gonna be a long post, folks, so pour yourself a tall one and settle in.

We (Senor B, myself and our friends Dave and Marny) arrived to Cancun on Oct 30th after an uneventful flight. We were an hour late leaving but the pilot put the pedal to the metal and, combined with a strong tail wind, we arrived only 20 minutes behind schedule.

Senor B had booked a van to take us, and our luggage, to a quaint boutique hotel in Playa del Carmen called The Aventura Mexicana* where we spent 3 nights.

The first day there we shopped along Fifth Avenue. Marny got her hair braided and got a henna tattoo. I passed on both. Eventually, we ended up at Senor Frog's* and had a blast there.

The second day we went to Xel-Ha.* The weather was cool and rainy in the morning but by noon it was warmer and sunny.

The next day saw us switching to Kin-Ha Villas* in Cancun. We got another van to take us there. Marny ended up being sick enough to see a doctor which the receptionist at Aventura was kind enough to call. Our friends were amazed that doctors here make house calls. Poor Marny ended up having bronchitis. On the way to the other hotel, our van driver stopped at a couple of pharmacies so she could fill her scripts and went in with Dave to translate and to make sure everything was good.

We spent that day just relaxing at the hotel so Marny could rest up. The next day we went to Isla Mujeres. We rented a golf cart and went motoring around. We stopped for lunch at the little restaurant at the south end and then made our way back to the ferry. We had brought bathing suits in case we went to the beach but we all decided to pass on it.

We had planned on doing the pirate ship excursion in the evening but we had a big mixup with the bus getting back to our hotel and got back too late to be able to go. It was just as well. Some wet weather moved in and Marny still wasn't feeling well. The wet and the wind wouldn't have been good for her so it was just was well that we were late.

The next day, we left for Progreso, stopping at Chichen Itza* on the way. We pulled into Progreso late in the afternoon, stopped to get groceries and then went the condo. Aaahh...home sweet home!

The following day was the Blogger's Conference.* Before leaving Canada, I had Google Earthed the street view from the Autoprogreso station to where the conference was. It was within walking distance and I had no problems.

The next day was Sunday in Merida. Several streets around the big square (Grand Plaza?) near the bus depot are closed to traffic to allow people to walk around. There are many vendors, both food and handicrafts, around the square. We ate street food and I introduced Marny to churros, which she loved. I wanted to take her to the big market, Mercado de Galveraz (?) but I couldn't find it. By this time it was late and we were tired so we decided to go home.

Monday we had a down day and just chilled at home. That night we went to Le Saint Bonnet* for supper. It was ok. Not great but ok.

Tuesday we went to Uxmal* and spent a great day there. We also stayed for the light show which was pretty spectacular. Senor B had booked a room at the Hacienda Uxmal but when we went to check in, they sent us to the sister hotel, The Lodge at Uxmal*. We got a free upgrade which was pretty cool.

Las Grutas de Loltun* was our destination the next day. Of course, Senor B didn't ask for directions before leaving Uxmal and he turned left instead of right. We drove and drove and drove and ended up on a one lane back road. We finally found someone to ask where the caves were and discovered that we had gone the wrong way. We'd gone a long way so it was a very long way back to the caves.

It was late by the time we got back to Progreso so we got pizza at Domino's. There was a hair salon across the street so I stopped in to buy some shampoo and conditioner. I had forgotten mine at home. Can you believe it? A hairdresser and I forgot the most important thing a woman needs! I did have a travel pack of curly-hair products that my boss had picked up and wanted me to try, so I had brought that to try in Mexico's much more humid climate. Still, there wasn't enough there to last me 5 weeks with this mop of hair that I have.

Thursday our neighbour, Liz, took me and Marny in to Merida to do some shopping. Marny has a good eye for decorating and I wanted her to help me add some flourishes to the condo. She gave me some ideas and, as much as I hate shopping, I did manage to spend some money. Got some new lamps and a big floor vase with some stick things in it for the living room. Also new placemats for the kitchen table. We stopped at the store that made our bedroom furniture and I ordered a mirror. I didn't like the ones they had there so I'm having one custom made. I'm just waiting for a quote.

For supper, we took our friends to Flamingos for their last supper here. It's my favourite place to eat. I had my usual there...Yucatecan chicken. It was as yummy as ever. Theirs is the best of any I've had. Everyone had a good meal and I was happy about that. Marny was having a hard time finding things that she liked.

Friday we took Dave and Marny back to Cancun to catch their flight. It was an early day and a long one. We returned the van we had rented for this past week and rode back on the ADO Platina.* Senor B had planned out how to get from Cancun to Merida but he hadn't figured out how to get us from Merida to Progreso. A guy at the ADO station showed us where we could catch the Autoprogreso across the street. We just had to wave it down. Easy enough to do in the daytime but very difficult in the dark when you can't tell which bus is which until it's whizzing past. A security guy must have been watching our failed attempts because he came and asked us if we were trying to catch the AP bus. When we said yes, he showed us where the actual bus stop was, over on the next block...where a bus was just pulling away. Luckily, the buses run every 10 minutes or so, so it was no big deal to wait for the next one. We finally made it home.

We tried to give our friends a variety of experiences, both touristy and "the real Mexico". We showed them how some of the very poor live and showed them some very nice homes that rivaled many back in Canada. We took them to places they said they never would have gone to had we not been with them. We took them on the combis and the Autoprogreso during the day as well as in the evening. We took them uptown at night. We made them try new foods.

Today was a much more relaxing day. We just sort of hung out. I did a bit of housecleaning that had gotten away from me. Went to the pool for a couple hours and one of the guys mentioned an event that was happening tonight in Chicxulub.

Some locals had decided to share Hanal Pixan with us foreigners. There was an explanation on what it was and of some of the customs that go with it. We then had the opportunity to view a couple of different alters that had been set up. Some dancers did several perfomances and one had dance steps that were remarkably similar to those of the native people of Canada. After all this, we could buy food that had been prepared for the event. The money raised went to support the food bank. I had tamales which I'd had, and enjoyed, in Merida on Sunday for the first time. They also served pib which was delicious. Both would have been better if they'd been hot but they were still good cold. I even tried some atole nuevo. It tastes like very thin cream of wheat. It was tasty but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had had a bit of sugar to sweeten it. It was a very enjoyable evening and we were both glad we went.

Now that our friends have left, I'll be able to blog more often. It just seems very anti-social, to me, to be on the computer when other people are around.

*These will all get separate posts later.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

And Snow it Begins

Had our first dusting of snow last night. Just a light skiff that'll be melted off before the end of the day. Thankfully, there isn't any more snow in the near forecast. Still, I'm beyond happy that we'll be hitting the beaches of México a week from today. Woo Hoo!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Biding our Time

Twenty six more days until we fly out. And 41 months until we're officially retired. Not that we're counting or anything. *grin*

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall is in The Air

I have a love/hate relationship with fall. I love the colours and I love the lack of insects. Where we live, we don't get the stunning reds and oranges of the maple trees. They don't grow in this area. We have to content ourselves with yellows, browns and a sort of orangey colour. We have a Virginia Creeper vine that grows on the fence we share with our neighbour. It turns a brilliant scarlet, but this year most of the leaves got blown off before they could turn.

The name of the yellow tree is unknown to me. Poor thing is the first to lose its leaves. It shudders in its nakedness as the wind tears at its last vestiges of decency. The vine behind it is in the same predicament this year. But the elm tree. Ahhh, this is a tree after my own heart. It stays verdant, defiant against the shorter days that urge it to shed its green in the same way that I refuse to give up my shorts and sandals. It's starting to succumb, though, just as I've succumbed to the chill in the air and now have to wear a light jacket.

The overnight low is supposed to reach the freezing point in a few days and the air has that slightly metallic smell signalling the arrival of frost. It might hit the low lying areas tonight but it's windy and that usually helps to keep Jack at bay.

The hate part of my relationship with fall? It means winter is on its way and I truly despise winter. I hated winter even when I was a kid. What kid doesn't like winter? I don't like being cold and my aging joints are disliking it more and more, as well. I don't do well with winter's shorter days. Barely 7 hours of daylight makes for a grumpy Barb.

Ah, well. Only 3 more years and I can say adios to the 6 month deep freeze.

I'm gonna be really ticked off if the world *does* come to an end in 2012.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Some Creepy Crawlies

This green bug was on the outside of the screen door one night. I tried to shoo him off with my sandal but he was pretty much glued to the screen. He ended up coming inside, so I sprayed him with Raid, or whatever it is that we have down there, and closed the interior door, trapping him between the two doors. In the morning, there he was on the walkway. I wish I'd put something beside him for size reference. I seem to recall him being about the size of a quarter.

There was also this orangey-red caterpillar that was crawling along the edge of the pool. He's got spines and someone there said he was poisonous.

Anybody know what these are?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Latin American Bloggers Conference

The 4th Annual LA Bloggers Conference is scheduled for Nov 5th, 2011.

I went last year and had a great time. I'm incredibly shy so it was really difficult to be in a roomful of people I'd never met. I'd read most of their blogs but hadn't done much commenting so didn't even know these folks "cyber-ly". Many of the attendees write professionally or did in the past. I felt like a first grader amongst a bunch of graduates. But they all made me feel welcome and some have since extended the hand of friendship. I'm so glad I went.

We'll be in México when the conference is on. I'm hoping to be able to go again. Our friends who are coming down with us will still be here so I'll have to see how things work out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Flight's Been Booked

We booked our flight today. We'll be coming down Oct 30 and departing Dec 2. Almost 5 glorious weeks of fun in the sun. Well, it won't be all fun. We're homeowners, after all, and there's always some maintenance to do whenever we come down. But, hey, no snow shovelling for 5 weeks so it's all good. :-)

The couple who used to live next door to us, and with whom we're still good friends, will be flying down with us and returning on the 11th. They've never been to México before, other than a quick trip over the border when they've been visiting friends in Arizona. I'm excited to be able to share "our" México with them.

We're flying into Cancún and staying in Playa for the first 3 days, then a couple days in Cancún before heading over to Progreso.

In a previous post, I mentioned doing Snoopy's happy dance. Doin' it again. (Pic pinched from Google)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm Getting "Méxican-ized"

The first time I bought chicken breast at the market in Progreso, the butcher sliced it thin, in a modified butterfly fashion. I learned that this is so it cooks faster, a necessity in the hot, humid tropics. Even we northerners know enough to try to avoid turning the oven on when it's hot.

It seems that those of us with European ancestry are used to thicker slices. I suppose it's because hearty slabs of meat were needed to provide sustenance during the long, cold, winter months, in the days when indoor heating was nothing more than a woodfire and the longer cook time for thicker meat wasn't as big an issue as it in the tropics. Isn't it interesting how various cultures adapt to their environment?

At one of our local grocery stores here in Canada, we have several Méxicans. My favourite deli meat slicer is the little Méxican gal. The first time she served me, she sliced it thinner than I'm used to and I discovered I preferred it to the typically thicker slices.

The other day, I asked for it to be sliced thin but not shaved. The gentleman cut it thinner than usual, but it still wasn't as thin as what my little latina makes it.

Last week I told her that she was my favourite slicer and she beamed. I'm going to have to ask her what setting she uses so I can request it from the other slicers.

I've always said that the stork dropped me off in the wrong country...that I was meant to live in the tropics and not in the frozen North. It tickles my funnybone that I've adopted the preference for thinner deli meat and the practicality of thinner raw meat.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oh Hippy Day!!

Wow! What a ride the past week has been!

I've written that Señor B had a hip replacement last June and has been waiting for the other one to be done. We hadn't heard anything from the Hip and Knee Clinic since Jan when he called them to see if he was far enough down on the list for us to be able to go to México in Feb.

They called us the end of May to say he had his pre-op class on June 6th. At pre-op, they told us they still didn't have a date for him. But we do know, from experience, that pre-op means surgery is upcoming.

Tuesday, the day after pre-op, we got a phone call from the Health Unit, telling us we could pick up the walker and tub bench he'd need after his surgery which was scheduled for June 23rd. I told the nurse that the day before, the H&K clinic didn't have a surgery date for us. She said the health unit never knows about surgery before the patient and we both thought it was rather odd. I told her that June 23 was Señor B's surgery date last year and was she sure her paper said 2011 and not 2010? She was sure.

So, on Wed morning, Señor B called the H&K clinic to confirm. They told him his surgery would be July 6th. WOOOO HOOOO!!!!! We have a date!!! Señor B gets home from work before I do and he called me about 6pm to tell me that there was a message on the home phone. He has a new date. June 10th. As after tomorrow.

OMG! I was already working late Wed but, after I was finished my clients, I had to call my boss to let her know. Then I called my two senior ladies who come for their Friday morning sets, to see if they could come Thurs instead. They could. I had a few other things to take care of before I left town so I didn't get  home until about 8pm. I had started at 8:30am so it was a very long day.

I don't usually work Thursdays but I had to take care of those two ladies and then call all my clients who were already scheduled for Friday and for the next 2 weeks, as I'm taking 2 weeks off to be nurse-maid.

Señor B and I both got home around noon so we could make the 3 hour drive into the city in the afternoon. He had some phone calls to make and then we left. We rented a hotel room for 2 nights and I had to drive in the city. Ugh! I hate driving that big @ss truck of ours in the city. But I managed.

He was scheduled for 10:30am instead of 3pm like his previous one. He was happy about that. He has to fast from midnight and, last time, he was getting pretty hungry by 3pm. Surgery and recovery is about 3 hours so, like last time, I went shopping. There's a mall close to the hospital so I just walked over.

Surgery was a success. He was in more pain today than yesterday, but they tell us that's normal. He's doing extremely well with his physio and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, he should be able to come home Monday.

The running joke for the past couple of years is that when he gets his new hips, we can tango. I always accompany that with a couple of dance steps, with one hand on my tummy and the other out, as if I'm holding a partner's hand. Now that he's got his new hips, I've been telling him, "Tomorrow? We tango. Next week? We two-step. In 3 months, when you're all healed? We'll hulaaaa."  I'm thinking I might have to wear a hula outfit when I go pick him

Recovery at home is about 6 weeks and three months before he can golf or do anything that involves rotating at the hips. The one thing we're both really, really looking forward to is being able to do lots of walking and exploring when we're in México. We haven't been able to do much of that for several years and we're looking forward to all the places we'll get to go and all things we'll get to see.

It's been a very hippy, hippy 2 days. :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Little Things we Take for Granted

Arriving back in Canada, we were presented with some small, but distinct, differences...things we take for granted living here.

The very first thing I noticed was being able to understand everyone around me. In México, I tend to tune out background conversation simply because I have no idea what anyone is saying. In Canada, I can't help but overhear snippets of conversation, because I understand the language.

The currency is familiar and exact. In México, prices are rounded up or down to the nearest centavo. I'm still trying to get their currency planted into my brain.

Here, I can turn on the water tap and have exactly the temperature I want and it'll stay that way until I adjust the tap. There, as soon as the shower temperature is what I want, I have about 5 minutes before it becomes scalding hot or bone chilling cold. And here, I can drink water straight from the tap.

Here, fruit and veggies don't require disinfecting.

Sidewalks here are a comfortable height for stepping on and off. There, they're sometimes a couple feet high. Judging from some photos I've seen, I think this is because México doesn't have a good system for getting rid of water when it rains. The streets become small rivers. So high sidewalks mean people can still walk around without wading in deep water.

Public washrooms. Oh man. Here is where México is so different from NOB. They're much cleaner here than there. Here, we have hooks in the stalls to hang our purses from. There, I usually end up hanging my purse around my neck. Toilet seats. We have 'em. How in blue blazes do Méxicans use a toilet with no seat? Do they really sit on the rim? My knees are getting too old and creaky and unreliable to hover. And why *don't* they have seats? It's a puzzling scenario. TP can be flushed in Canada. On our trip down to buy the condo, it was explained to us why TP can't be flushed. I forget the specifics but it's because of the way their waste system is set up. Something to do with screens and filters getting clogged with paper.

Of everything listed above, I'd have to say that hooks in the bathroom stall is the thing I most appreciate. Toilet seats are a very close second.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We're Home

The drive into Cancún went smoothly enough but I think we got ripped off at the gas station. This is a station near Cancún, not the one at the halfway point on the toll road. We had to drive off the toll road to get to it and then back down towards Mérida again to get back onto the road to Cancún. There was probably an easier way to do it, but this worked for us.

Gas was 124 pesos. I was positive that I gave the kid a 100 and a 50. He holds up two 50's saying we need to give him more. I've read that this can happen. I wish I had been paying more attention.

Flying was a real adventure this trip. At the beginning of our holiday, when we went through security at the airport here, Señor B's new hip set off the detector. That didn't happen in Nov and it was the only time it happened this trip. When we were sitting at the Toronto airport, I thought I heard our names called but figured I was imagining it. I heard it again and, yes, it was us they were paging. So we went over to the boarding counter where the girl scanned our passports. No idea why. The gal never really said. Maybe they were concerned about his hip beeping and they had the plainclothes guy keeping an eye on

Coming back, Señor B's boarding pass went missing going through security in Cancún. I asked a guy to help us and he did. Sort of. He came back and said he couldn't find it. I asked him to look under the roller bars because that was the last place I had seen it. He went over there but all he did was move the plastic bins around. Of course, we couldn't go back out to help him look. All we could do was watch in frustration at his inability to offer any real assistance.

So off to the boarding area we went. We figured they were the folks who could best help us. Talked to the young man there and, after checking out Señor B's passport, issued him another ticket. No problemo. We were so grateful. THENNNNNN...we're sitting in Toronto airport grabbing a quick bite to eat. We only had about 20 minutes from the time we cleared Canada customs to our next boarding time. We had sandwiches and drinks. We were near our boarding gate and could see people lining up so off we went. I went to pull my passport and our boarding tickets out of my back pack. They were gone! I tore my pack apart, to no avail. I went back to where we were sitting but they weren't there, either. omg! What do we do?! I remembered collecting up the garbage from the table and tossing it in a trash can. In desperation, I looked there. Found them! HURRAAAAY!!!!!!

Because we hadn't heard them calling our flight number, we missed pre-boarding and were close to the last ones on. Poor Señor B had to navigate his crutches past all those people. Luckily, we weren't too far down, so it wasn't too bad.

This leg of the trip I was sitting between Señor B and another guy. I hate sitting between 2 men. Men always sit with their legs apart and their arms by their sides, taking up every available inch of space. After a while, my chest starts to hurt and I'm having a bit of trouble breathing. I'm getting worried, thinking I might be having a heart attack. Then it occurs to me that I've been scrunched up with my arms folded over my chest for about 3 hours. My chest has been compressed and my lungs unable to expand properly. So I decided that if men can make room for "the boys", I can darn well make room for "the girls". I gently, but assertively, slide my arms down to my sides, claiming the upper part of the seating as mine. I felt better within a couple of minutes.

Because of strong headwinds, we were about 45 minutes later than scheduled getting into our home airport. It was COLD! omgosh. The temperature was around -30C and there was a nasty wind blowing. I'm sure the windchill was -40 or lower. While we were in the shuttle taking us to our truck, Señor B tried starting the truck with the remote starter but it wasn't running when we got there. He had to start it with the key. Poor truck grumbled mightily about having to start. It screamed, literally. But, thankfully, it started.

Señor B had forgotten his gloves so he had to borrow the extra pair of mitts that I'd brought. I have really small hands so the mitts were tight on him but it was the only option he had. My mitts are girly purple. *giggle*

We stayed at the same hotel as last time. We were on the non-smoking floor but whoever had been in our room last had smoked in there. The room stunk but we'd been on the go for 21 hours and were too tired to complain and wait for another room. Why do some smokers think it's ok to smoke in a  non-smoking room? It's so rude and inconsiderate.

The next day we did a bit of shopping. Señor B got himself a new pair of sunglasses and I went to a few beauty suppliers to pick up some things I needed.

The drive home was worse than last time. Then we only had to contend with snow that was blowing straight across the road. This time, the snow was swirling. Maybe it doesn't bother Señor B, but it totally messes with my perception. Besides blowing snow, we also had falling snow. We couldn't drive more than 90-95km. It was a long trip home, getting in about 5:00pm.

Today has been spent taking care of laundry, picking up groceries and running errands. Back to work tomorrow.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Last Day

Today is our last day for this trip. We so don't want to leave. We enjoy México so much.

After breakfast, D came downtown with us to help us pay our power bill and our taxes. She's fairly fluent and is a godsend to most of us here. We still had a credit at the electric company but I topped it up some, anyways. Here, you can prepay your electric. I suppose it can be done in Canada, but I don't know of too many people who have that kind of extra money lying around. It's so cheap here. I had an 800 peso credit sometime last year and still had a credit of 439 pesos.

The taxes went smoothly. We had all the appropriate paperwork and the name change from the builder to our trust company had already been done. We thought the taxes had been paid last year but the lady said it hadn't. Taxes for 2 years was 456 pesos, or about $40. For 2 years! Incredible.

A couple, M & J, who are staying with S & D upstairs expressed an interest in renting our condo so they came to take a look at it. I mentioned, in passing, that I'd been trying to find a doorstop for the laundry room door. We've been using a sandal stuffed underneath it.

We went back to the condo and had some lunch. Then down to the pool for one last day of sun. It was hot today. Forecast was 35C and I'm sure it was. I even spent most of the afternoon in the pool. Same for yesterday. As I mentioned in a previous post, you know it's hot when I go in the pool.

It's freaking cold at home, though. For the next week, the highs are in the minus mid teens, Celsius, of course. The lows will be in the -30C range. We'll get in to the airport at about 11pm so it's going to be somewhere near that -30. Lord have mercy.

S & D and their friends had gone into Mérida to do some shopping. They all joined us at the pool later. J came to me and said he had a gift for me. He holds out a book. I love reading but thought it was odd that he was giving me a book because I hadn't ever said anything about reading. Oh no. That wasn't the gift. Tucked into his hands, underneath the book, was a doorstop. I've looked around in México. I had even looked in Canada, to no avail. I was so excited. Unless you live here, it's hard to understand how much such little things mean.

We stayed at the pool until the sun was behind the building and we were in full shade. Then we made our way to our place to make supper.

It was hot enough today that we actually turned the AC on. Only the second time this trip. We get such a fantastic cross-breeze through the place that it rarely gets hot enough to use the AC. Tonight, there's almost no wind. Señor B has already gone to bed and said to leave the bedroom window open to get some airflow.

It's strangely quiet tonight. There's almost no traffic. Even the transit bus that sounds like a low flying airplane has only come by a couple of times, or so it seems. It's as though México is mourning with us about our impending departure.

I've only killed 4 ants tonight. Owen and Bindi have been invaded. They found a bunch in their blender, in the space between the base and the pitcher. They also found a bunch inside their oven. I also killed some weird bug that I've never seen before. I thought it was a cockroach but the pictures on Google don't look anything like what I killed.

Those ants are some tough critters! You can't do a gentle squish in hopes of avoiding a mess. If you don't step on them hard enough, they can still motor about. I had one on the wall that I swept off with my flip flop. I accidentally broke it in half. Be darned if the head half still didn't go running!

My feet are still puffy so I'm thinking it musn't be the Chlor Tripolon causing it. You'd think, after 4 days of not taking it, the swelling would be gone. There are some other possibilities that I'm going to try to rule out next trip.

Tomorrow is going to be an early morning so I'd best get to bed. We'd like to be out of here by 7:30am. It should be illegal to have to be up that early when you're on holidays.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


For complete lack of creativity, several of the last few posts have been titled by the day of the week. Boring, I know, but I usually post so late at night that my brain can't come up with any captivating titles.

Today was a pretty laid back day. This morning, we put gas in the car and picked up a few groceries.

I used some of the crab meat I bought from the travelling fish guy to make crab salad sandwiches. They were really good.

It was hot today, around 32C, so after lunch we went down to the pool for the afternoon.

A bunch of us went to Los Compadres for supper. We all had a great meal.

Los Compadres is right across the street from the main square where I went to watch the crowning of the Carnaval queen last night. It's a charming open air restaurant that faces the square. While we were waiting for our orders, there was a minor fender bender involving 2 cars. We got to watch the law in action.

Vehicle accidents are handled differently here than in Canada. My understanding is that both parties have to wait until both the police and an insurance agent arrive. The insurance agent determines who is in the wrong. Their job is not the same as insurance agents NOB. After much talk, and gesticulating by the young lady of the rear vehicle, a ticket was handed out to said young lady. At least that's what it looked like. The other person may have received a piece of paper as well, but he was out of our view so we didn't see what happened with him.

Because of the Carnaval event that was going on tonight, the traffic was very heavy. It had to be re-routed around the accident. It would have been absolute chaos had it not been for a couple of officers directing traffic. We thought we were going to have a difficult time pulling away from the curb but we lucked out getting a break in traffic.

We came home and spent the evening relaxing.

No ants this morning or tonight. My feet are still a bit puffy, the left one a bit more so than the right. My left one is the one that swelled up so badly in Nov.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friends, Food and Festivities

This morning I went uptown with Bindi and J, a lady who's renting one of the condos in the complex. J got a haircut and Bindi got some lowlights. While Bindi's colour was processing, J and I went looking for boric acid to help in the fight against the carpenter ants. We went to 5 or 6 pharmacies but nobody had any.

While I was gone, Owen came over and helped Señor B with a few things that needed doing. He added a little latch to the screen door, changed the lightbulb in the laundry room and added the sweep to the bottom of the door. Owen and Bindi are great friendly and willing to lend a helping hand. We couldn't have gotten better neighbours if we'd asked.

Señor B and I went down to the pool in the afternoon. I came up early to prepare the dish I was making for the potluck that had been planned. I made a fish stir fry that was pretty good, if I do say so Someone had cooked up a couple of fish from the excursion the other day. I'm not a big fish fan and I'm already about fished out from Señor B's catch. Someone else had brought chicken burgers for which I was grateful.

Supper finished up early because several of us wanted to go down to the town square to watch the crowning of the Carnival queen and king. Afterwards, there was onstage entertainment. During one of the songs, 3 young girls were brought onstage to dance with the female entertainer. One of the girls, who couldn't have been more than 5 or 6, completely stole the show with her booty shaking dancing that is typical of Latin America. The singer asked her where she had learned to dance like that and the girl replied, "From the tv."

I bought some churros from a street vendor who was at the square. Churros are soo good. A while back I found a recipe online. They call for regular ingredients so I can make them myself.

I spoke too soon about the ants. Last night, I killed a couple before I went to bed and Señor B said there were about a dozen in the condo this morning.

Re the bug bites; I bought some lidocain at the pharmacy this morning. It's supposed to help with the itch. Oddly enough, the itch is worst in the morning and in the evening. During the day it's almost a non-issue. My feet and ankles are still a bit puffy even though it's been 48 hours since I took that one dose of ChlorTripolon. Weird.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Today I had the pleasure of spending the day with Marc from An Alaskan in Yucatan . Señor B and I picked him up at the bus depot and we all decided to go for lunch. We went down to the malecón and walked until we found a place that didn't have loud music. We wanted to be able to actually visit, without having to yell over "background music".

We ended up at Le Saint Bonnet and we all had very good meals. I had chicken cordon bleu that was way too much for me to eat, so I shared it with Marc and Señor B.

After lunch we went back to our condo, had a good, long visit and showed Marc around the complex. Late afternoon, we took him back to the bus depot.

Marc is an excellent conversationalist and we talked about many different things. We sure enjoyed spending time with him and look forward to seeing him the next time we come down.

After returning from the bus depot, we went down to the pool for a quick dip. Well...Señor B dipped. I just enjoyed what was left of the sun.

A group of us decided to go to Natasha's for supper. I had the BBQ chicken that I had the last time I was there and it was just as tasty as the other time.

We haven't had any ants in the condo for the last couple of days. It seems they've migrated to our next door neighbour's. While I'm happy for me, it sure does suck for them.

I got 4 bug bites last night. My fault for not wearing long pants when we were sitting outside. I've started doing this, following the advice of expats who live here. It seems the little critters are more active at night and long pants keeps them at bay. The repellant that comes highly recommended smells positively toxic so I want to avoid using it, if I can.

I popped a ChlorTripolon last night to help relieve the itch. This morning my feet and ankles were a bit puffy. Last trip down, my left foot became quite swollen and I went to a doctor about it. I didn't have the puffiness after being bitten, on previous trips, so it would seem that the antihistamine is the culprit for the swelling. Guess I'll have to find something else for them.


We had planned on going in to Mérida this morning to pick up some papers from our lawyer but guess who showed up? Glass Guy!

He and his partner got the new shower door installed and it looks great. The old frame had been placed against the wall so there's a gap between the tile in the shower stall and the tile they used for the baseboard. We'll have to patch those up next trip. Hopefully the plaster doesn't get too much water damage before then.

After he got it installed, he said he had to go get the silicone. Why didn't he bring it with him? Because this is Mé So many things are done so oddly here that you just have to laugh. We told them they could take the old doors and frame. What are we going to do with them? So he and his partner loaded them up on their vehicle which just happened to be.....a scooter. LOLOL Oh man. I wish I'd had my camera handy to get a picture of that. They laid all the pieces sideways between them and off they went.

We had no idea how long he was going to be. We figured he'd be back in about half an hour but it was more like 2.

We finally made it to Mérida. We tried to find the lawyer's office but we couldn't remember exactly how to get there and I didn't have the map that we'd been given a year ago when we came to finalize the paperwork. We drove around but gave up. So we went to Sam's Club and got a taxi to take us there and then back to Sam's where we had parked the car.

Mérida is divided into many colonias, or subdivisions. The streets are numbered but each colonia has their own numbering system. You can be driving on 23rd Street but as soon as you enter another colonia the street number changes. This makes it really easy to get lost.

After the lawyer, we went to Home Depot to pick up a few things. Then to a couple of pottery places to see what they had and then home.

Just outside of Progreso, we saw a woman on a scooter with a large cardboard box, the shape reminiscent of something one would put a large picture in...more flat than cubic shaped. The box was upended in front of her face. We thought she was driving the scooter and wondering how the heck she could see to do that. As we passed her, we saw that she was actually the passenger. That gave us a good laugh, especially after Glass Guy.

We didn't get home until about 5:30. I took some fish out to thaw and Owen showed up. And then Bindi. So I decided to ask them to supper and took another package of fish out. We didn't eat until probably close to 10pm, but I've read that late suppers are typical in México. Perhaps because it's cooler then.

The power was out briefly a couple of times yesterday and today. But only about half an hour instead of most of the day.

I've received my first bug bites of the trip. I hadn't posted about it earlier because I didn't want to jinx myself. ChlorTripolon to the rescue.

But no ants today!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The internet was out all day Wednesday, so I'm posting this one a day late.

I had made arrangements to meet up with Theresa from What do I do all day? . I took the AutoProgreso bus into Mérida, getting there a half hour late. Poor Theresa was waiting for me. Theresa took me to several fabric stores. She is a kindred spirit. She and I were looking at different fabrics, touching many of them. Anyone who sews knows the allure of a beautiful piece of cloth. One of the perks to being an adult is that you're allowed to look with your fingers and not just your

Fabric shopping is a very different experience from NOB. You tell a clerk how much fabric you want and they measure it off the bolt, right there. The clerk gives you a piece of paper with your purchase and price on it and then takes your fabric to the pick up area. You pay your "bill" at one counter and then go to the pick up area to get your fabric. I've read that this is fairly typical for many types of stores.

I bought 3 pieces to make myself some shirts for work and a couple of pieces to make DGD (Dear Granddaughter) some dresses. They have fabric that is smocked on the top and not on the bottom. The bottom is even finished. Making a sundress is just a matter of sewing a seam up the back and adding straps, if desired. It just doesn't get any easier than that.

We shopped until Theresa dropped. Well, not literally, but we had to take a break from all the walking. So we went and sat in the Gran Plaza Square and visited a while. We had a lady take our picture but I promised Theresa I wouldn't post it. She was feeling all self-conscious about her appearance, though I don't know why. She's a beautiful lady, inside and out. I had a great time hanging out with her. Thanks for a wonderful day, Theresa.

Took the bus back to Progreso and fell asleep on the way. I'm as bad as a baby for that...put me in a moving vehicle and I'm out like a light. I took the van home and got back about 3:00.

Glass Guy had come shortly after Señor B drove me down to the bus in the morning and told the neighbour that he'd be back at 3:00 but he never showed up.

At 4:00, a bunch of us from the complex went to a Méxican Fiesta which featured a pig roast. There were traditional dances from the states of Jalisco and Yucatán. A mariachi band entertained us after supper. The food was very good but insufficient. Many folks were still hungry. It was supposed to be all you could eat but nobody could figure out how to get a second plate. I'm not sure if anyone asked.

We all left around 8:30. It felt so much later. I was so tired I was even in bed before

I had looked for some ant killer while in Mérida but couldn't find what I was looking for. There haven't been any ants in the condo for a couple days, touch wood.

The light in the laundry room is blown out. We bought a new bulb but, with 9 foot ceilings, changing out the old one could be an adventure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quiet, Peaceful Day

Today is Señor B's birthday. He's officially over the hill. Last year he crested it. This year he's over the I had bought him a card before we left Canada but I couldn't find it when I was doing the last of my packing the night before. I didn't have time to get him another one so I guess I'll have to do that when we get back.

He went on a fishing excursion with a few other folks from the complex. They thought they'd be back around 2pm but they didn't get in until 5:30. They caught lots of fish. Between that and what I bought from the fish guy the other day, we won't need to buy any meat before we leave. We'll be eating fish for the next week. I'm not a big fan of fish. I'm going to have to find some recipes so I'm not eating the same taste for the next 6 days. Señor B has no idea what kind of fish he has so this could be

I spent the day puttering around the condo. I swept and washed the floors, did a couple loads of laundry, the dishes, washed out the fridge and just did a general deep clean. Spent some time online and worked on my Spanish lesson.

I also took some "nice" photos of the condo for some friends who want to see it. I removed all the detritus, trying to make it look as if nobody was here. I moved all the extra stuff, like the suitcases, from each room, took the photos and then returned everything back. That wasted about an hour of my

The wind was from inland again this morning so it was pretty warm in the condo, but not hot enough to run the AC. Shortly after lunch, it switched directions and the place cooled off nicely. I didn't go down to the pool today, though. I just hung out in the condo.

We didn't bother with supper tonight. Señor B said they had ceviche near the end of their trip so he wasn't hungry and I had made myself a sandwich shortly before he got home. We had some ice cream a bit later and we've spent the evening just relaxing. He's watching a creep show and I'm trying to ignore it.

A Hot Day in Paradise

Woke up early this morning. I was up and rolling shortly after 7:00. I don't get up that early at home, even on work days. Sheesh! But it was just one of those days where I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.

After breakfast, Owen, Señor B and I went uptown. We stopped at the glass shop to remind them that we wanted them to come. "Twenty minutes," we were told. So Owen made one more stop and then we went back to the condo to drop off Señor B so he could wait for the glass guy. Owen and I both had to get groceries so we did that after dropping off Señor B.

We agreed that whoever was done first would wait outside the doors for the other. I got there and waited a few minutes. Then I noticed that it looked like the rear lights on Owen's truck were on. I figured he was waiting inside with the AC on, so I toddled on over. He wasn't there so I just stood at the back of his truck and waited for him. I waited about 10 minutes and felt like such a fool.

In México, they have guys who help you put your groceries in your vehicle and help back you out of your parking space. These guys are a godsend when the traffic is heavy. It's customary to tip about 5 pesos. So there I am, a red-headed white chick who is clearly a foreigner, just standing there getting gawked at. I felt like people were thinking, "Oh, look at the Princess...waiting for someone to help her." Ugh.

When we got back to the complex, Señor B said the guy hadn't come yet. Whatever. If he comes, he comes. If he doesn't, he doesn't.

Massages had been arranged for the afternoon and we had decided to get one. We were down at the pool waiting our turn when we heard Owen talking to someone who was speaking Spanish. The front balcony/walkway overlooks the courtyard so it was easy to hear them. It was Glass Guy and friend. They measured up our space, saying they would return Wed am to install the glass. We shall see.

The massage was just as fabulous as the other one. I had a different girl and she did some things a bit differently. Because of my job as a hairdresser, I bend to the right a lot. The muscles on the right side of my body are contracted because of it. This gal must be somewhat experienced because she really worked the right side of my body, digging right in with her arms.

She also massaged my belly...?!  This was a new one on me. Not sure what she expected to accomplish by rolling (because, seriously, how could there be any massaging involved here?) my middle-aged, overweight, birthed-three-babies waterbed belly around. I'm so glad there weren't any guys around at the time. The only man allowed to see that gelatinous, stretchmarked mess is Señor B.

Monday is water day at the complex. Because we can't drink the tap water, we get our water in 5 gallon jugs, just like at home. It costs 20 pesos. You leave the money in the jug and leave the jug outside your door. The water guy replaces the empty with a full one. We leave him a 5 peso tip because we sure appreciate him hauling those heavy jugs up the stairs. I saw him carrying two of them, one in each hand. He must have very strong hands.

It was hot today. The wind came from the south which is inland. It's much hotter than the more typical wind that comes from off the Gulf. I actually went in the  pool. I hate water. I hate getting wet. So you know it's hot when I'll actually choose to get wet. It's supposed to be hot all week so I expect I'll be in the pool quite bit.

It was L's birthday today, so a bunch of us got together under the palapa for supper and drinks. We ordered pizza from Dominoes and it was just as good as it was when we got it in Nov. It was a fine ending to a fine day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Day in Mérida


The power went out again at 8am but nobody knew about it. We were making eggs and toast for breakfast (yes, I was actually up that We have a gas stove so no issues with the eggs. The toaster, of course, uses electricity. The first batch of toast was almost done when the power went out so we had to share the 2 slices. Hopefully the power related repairs are done soon.

After breakfast, Bindi and I went in to Mérida. There's a van that picks up a block over so we took that downtown and took the AutoProgreso in to the city.

On Sundays, several streets downtown are shut down for foot traffic. It was so cool. Lots of vendors set up in the main square and free entertainment, too. While we were there, there was a puppet show happening. It would have been fun to watch had our Spanish been up to it. I could pick out the occasional word and it sounded like it was something about the environment but I could be waaaaay off base. It was so neat to see families out and about enjoying the day and each other.

We came across a beautiful church. I would have liked to take some photos of the interior but there were people inside and, although there was no sermon, they were clearly observing their faith. I thought it would be disrespectful to take pics while they were there.

We met up with 2 other couples from the complex and they took us to some places they like to go to. We went to a market and one of the ladies in the group took a photo of one vendor's display of oranges. The vendor threw something at her, a bottle cap perhaps, and said something we didn't understand. But we did understand that she didn't like the idea of the photo being taken.

Then we went to the Hyatt for supper. We all had the buffet and a limonade. The waiter had told us that the buffet was 180 pesos but the bill said 225. In hindsight, I think the waiter may have added the tip in but I don't know that for sure. Anyways, the meal wasn't worth the price, in my opinion. The food was just ok, nothing spectacular. The limonade was really good, though.

We had purchased a round trip in Progreso and the Hyatt was on our way back. When we boarded the bus to continue our trip home after supper, we had to pay another 15 pesos to get home. We had hoped to be able to use our ticket stub showing that we had paid for a round trip but it wasn't to be. I was tired from walking around in the sun all day (yes, I used sunscreen) so I slept on the way home. I don't even remember the

Bindi had called her husband to let him and Señor B know that they were on their own for supper. When we got back, the guys weren't home. We figured they had gone for supper. They had. I didn't have a key for the condo (we really should get another set cut) so I had to hang out at Bindi's place until the guys got home.

After a short visit, we came home. Only killed 2 ants tonight.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another Day Without Power

The power got turned off this morning, as promised. Señor B told me that it went out at 8am instead of 7. I was still asleep. I didn't get up until...umm...err...ahh...9:15. And even then I had to drag myself out of bed. And I went to bed early! I'm a night owl, going to bed between midnight and 12:30 as a rule. Last night I hit the sheets at about 11:50. That's early for me.

Señor B took a walk along the beach while I was snoozing. I would have liked to have gone with him but you know the saying...You snooze, you lose. Well...I snoozed and

After breakfast, I took the plastic bottles down to the recycle bin and Roberto, the travelling fish guy, was in the alley. I bought some sea bass and some precooked crabmeat. I forget how many kilos of sea bass was in the package, but there are 4 good sized fillets...enough for 2 meals and I got 3/4 kilo of crab. Total was 225 pesos, so ballpark...probably about $18 - $20. I'm looking forward to cooking up the sea bass. We sure enjoyed it last time we were down.

D & V were down there and got some, too. Then Bindi showed up. She was telling us about a fishing trip she's trying to get set up for anyone who wants to go. So we all went over to her place to try to arrange things.

V is a handyman type of guy and helped us fix our sagging vanity, this morning. He had some extra pipe at his place and we had purchased hardware yesterday. He lifted up the cupboard while I set the pipe underneath. Then he shimmed up the countertop and caulked the corners. He still has to come back and screw the metal ring to the cupboard. Señor B is completely unable to get down on the floor right now, so we really appreciate V's help. V also told us how he fixed some other issues in his place. Next trip down we'll probably take care of some of the same ones we have.

After lunch, Señor B and I went to pick up a few groceries. Not too much, though, because of the lack of power. We picked up a roasted chicken, like the ones we can get at Sobey's. Sobey's could take lessons on how to roast theirs. The one we got was so juicy and tender. Puts Sobeys' to shame.

When I paid, I could tell that I could get rid of some change from my purse but I don't fully understand their system yet. Plus, numbers and I are NOT friends. So I dug out a fistful of change and held it out to the cashier to take what he needed. There's always someone to tip so it's good to keep a supply of change, but my purse jingled whenever I set it down. It was time to lighten the load. I'm going to start handing out those centavos, along with my regular tip amount, whenever I tip. Those things are useless to me.

D came by and told us about a practical joke he wanted to play on his cousin, J, who is here visiting. D had mistakenly told him that there would be a Carneval parade this weekend. When J learned that there wouldn't be a parade, he was giving D a hard time about it, whining and pouting in a good-natured way.

We were all sitting down at the pool and D came along and gave us all noisemakers. He had a few Canadian flags that he had brought down with him. When J came down to the pool, D told him that since he couldn't be here for the real parade, we'd give him one. So we all started blowing our noisemakers and waving flags and did a loop around the pool. It was pretty funny.

Supper was the roasted chicken along with some vegetables. We spent the evening at home, relaxing.

No Glass Guy and no ants today.