Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to my favorite girl!

My niece Raquel

Today is the 12th birthday of my one and only niece Raquel. She is the love of my life and always makes me laugh and brings a smile to my face when I hear her voice or am around her. I just got off the phone with her and just talking to her made my day.

Here she is in Manzanillo a few years ago getting her hair braided

End result! Que bonita!

Here is the "princess" at the hospice in Calgary when we had a Mexican fiesta for my mom. She is holding my friend Camelia's puppy Miko

Happy Birthday Raquel. I love you so much and I think of you every single day. You are a very special girl and I am so proud of you. You are a very wise girl for your age and always inspire me. In some of the things you say (and the way you say them), you remind me alot of mom. She would be very proud of the young woman you have become.

I hope to see you at Christmas sweetie. I miss you so much.
Besos y abrazos

Monday, September 7, 2009

Flying Possums

Yes, that is right. I had an up close and personal encounter with a very scary looking possum (proper name is opposum, I believe). My friend had come over for a visit and we were sitting in the living room chatting when out of the corners of our eyes, we both saw something black and furry flying though the air right outside my front door. When I went out to investigate, I saw a large furry unknown animal being held hostage in Jade’s mouth. I was stunned and had no idea what to do. First of all, I had never seen anything like it and secondly, it was sort of hissing and baring really SHARP teeth. So, there I am yelling the command “drop it” at the top of my lungs. Of course, she did NOT obey and proceeded to fling it around in the air like it was a rag doll. Try to imagine me running around my front yard after Jade with a broom (all I could think of) trying to get her to drop the animal. Well, it is not like my neighbors think I am a little peculiar to begin with!

Eventually she drops it and I bring her in the house. Sure enough, when I looked outside a few moments later, the thing was gone. It was lying there “playing possum”. I thought it was dead! I think my friend was relieved that he did not have to help “dispose” of the animal.

Later on that evening, after my friend had left, I heard Jade and Jackson barking like mad. When I went outside, I discovered that the possum had returned and the dogs had him/her cornered in my front yard. It was hissing ferociously and baring its teeth again. So out I run again trying to round up the dogs and get them in the house before they get tore up by this animal. I was not very successful and it took forever to get them away from the possum and in the house. Before I managed to do that, Jade somehow managed to grab the possum in her mouth and ran INSIDE the house…..WITH the possum. I eventually got her to bring it back outside where I finally managed to wrestle her away. And there it was lying there after the whole ordeal, bloody and either dying or "playing dead" again . I was not sure what to do as it was 1am and all my neighbors were sound asleep. I watched it for a while - it was still breathing but was staying put. After some time, I decided to go to bed, assuming it would be gone by morning. Unfortunately, this was not the case and it was still in the front yard. My neighbor happened to be walking by as I was standing there trying to figure out what to do with it. He explained that the name of the animal in Spanish is "tlacuache" and he picked it up by it's tail and brought it to a nearby garbage pile for me.

After this experience, I found this photo on-line courtesy of Apparently, they have 50 sharp teeth! Luckily, the dogs managed to make it through the experience without any puncture wounds.

Any guesses as to what critter the dogs will find next?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

MIA and general update

The reason for my absence is that I have been really ill. After several days of not being able to keep anything down and being violently sick, and after several trips to the doctor and one visit to the hospital, they discovered I had an aggressive bacteria infection in my stomach and that my blood pressure was extremely low. I am now on some antiobiotics to kill the bacteria and other medication to elevate my blood pressure. After several days of taking the medicine, I am finally starting to feel better and regain some strength. The senora that comes by to collect the rent has been dropping by daily to check on me and last night she said I finally have a bit of color in my face. Apparently, I could have contracted this infection from eating "on the street", ie. eating food from a taco stand or something. This infection wreaked havoc on my body and was definitely an unintentional weight loss plan.

A little progress has been made on the back yard. The fumigation guys came to do their thing and told me that the crazy jungle (my yard) had to be cut down and the moutain of rocks removed BEFORE they could properly fumigate the yard. They offered to do that as part of their service for an extra charge. Well, the extra charge was VERY reasonable and since I was not having any luck getting a hold of the gardener that had been recommended to me, I decided to go ahead and have them do it. They have been here 4 times already and still are not finished but they have made some significant headway in the yard. They managed to get all the grass and weeds cut (100 pesos or $8 dollars) and remove a portion of the large rock pile. They also cut some of the trees back for me. I have decided to get rid of all the rocks and they will remove and dispose of them for 150 pesos (approx $12 dollars). Here are some photos showing the progress. It looks like a different yard! They spent several hours working on the rock pile, but have to return a few times more to complete the mammoth task.

What a difference!

Check out the sheer number of rocks to remove

As for the kittens, we have found a home for another one so I am down to two kittens and have decided to adopt them both. I was only going to adopt one but then after talking to others that have cats and seeing the bond the remaining two have, I feel as though they are part of the family and I could not possibly see another one go. Who knew I would end up being a cat lover?

The iguanas that my dogs like to terrorize continue to live in the trees in and around my yard. I guess they must be territorial and are not too traumitized by Jade using them as a chew toy. Here are a few shots I managed to get of them.

I love the colors on this one

A few of you have asked for photos of my new furniture and improvements I have made in the house. Here are a few shots. I am still trying to figure out a paint color. Any suggestions? I am definitely getting rid of the current light orange/peach color.

One of many ceiling fans I had installed. Check out the orange stripe on the ceiling. Do you see why I want to paint?

The new super comfy furniture

I have talked many times about my Mexican mom here on this blog. Here are some photos from my "Mexican Dad" Humberto's birthday party a few weeks ago. It was a wonderful celebration and they are like family to me.

The birthday boy with the delicious "Tres Leche" cake

His grandaughter made the celebratory sign

Grandson Vicente playing in the pool

Four generations here. My Mexican Mom Christina with her mother, her two daughters and her grandaughter.

A few of you have also asked how my Spanish is coming along. It is going well.....every day I learn something new and my speaking is slowly improving. I have started to read my first full book in Spanish - Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse. I have read it a few times in English so I thought I would attempt it in Spanish. I have a feeling I will be using my dictionary ALOT.

As for my FM-3 Visa, it is STILL not ready. Apparently, some of the banking information which I had printed off the internet will not suffice and I need to get them originals or scanned copies of the originals. Hopefully, I will have this all taken care of next week and they will not need anything more. Crossing my fingers.....