Thursday, August 28, 2014

Exhaling

I'm exhaling today as Julie's byopsy reports came back all clear. All is well. NO chemo or radiation necessary. Doctor said he doesn't even need to see her for six months! Halleleuia. What a relief! Everything else is well here and my time in Kingwood has come to a close for a while. I'll be heading to Galveston, College Station and back to Houston for this and that. My family is all well. Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts via email or on the blog post. All is greatly appreciated. Life is good!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Guest House Rental - Follow up post

I'm using someone elses computer.  I've tried to add things to the previous post about the guest house being available but for some reason it will not let me edit the post.  I've tried everything.


So this is what I tried to say.


GUEST HOUSE IS AVAILABLE FOR RENT.


Please see photos by going to the September 29, 2012 post to see all the information.  If interested, please leave a message and I will contact you.


So many people have contacted me in the past two months about a rental but I can't access that information from here!  If you are one of those people or know someone, please contact me


Gracias............

All the News of the Week!

It's just the way things are going..........mostly good, but with a few hiccups.


The drive up last Monday and Tuesday was seemless.  Well, sorta.  Other then two HUGE deluges in the mountains and a three truck pileup.  Other then that, it was a piece of cake.
I was at the border in 8 1/2 hours cause there was NO traffic on the roads on Monday.


Tuesday was a different story.  Especially between San Antonio and Houston.  Every truck for miles around was on that road........to put it mildly.  I persevered and arrived about 2PM.
Whew.  Glad that is over for a while.


Julie was whisked off to MD Anderson at 5AM on Wednesday morning and was through with surgery by 11AM with perfect results according to the surgeon.  By later that afternoon Jewels was texting questions about what was going on and what we were doing!  She's amazing.
Home she came, reluctantly, on Thursday.  She said she liked the room service at the hospital.
You cannot keep this girl down for long.


She has been firmly ensconced upstairs with all kinds of bedside service from kids, hubby and yours truly.........She is even talking and carefully eating regular food! I'm thrilled and amazed.


We'll be off to meet with the doctors on Thursday to find out what is the plan for the rest of the cure.


I've so loved hanging out with the four grandkids.  Sheesh, they're not little anymore and have been so sweet and kind to me.  I'm loving every second of it. Last evening all three girls left for various destinations.  The house was so quiet that I hated it!  Jess has returned to college, and Hannah and Emma had sleepovers. 


Friends and family have been bringing food each evening.  I have only cooked ONE meal, breakfast the other day.  It has been nice as it gives me time to spend with the kids and Julie and Rich!


SO THE OTHER NEWS!


My dear tenant Rick emailed me yesterday to say that he and Gilberto along with Griffen the dog are moving.  Griffen is going blind and they are concerned about him on the stairs.  I'm devastated as I had relaxed since they have a lease til November 2015.  I hate to lose them all!





Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Just the Way It Is.........in Mexico!

                                          A shot of Canal Street in San Miguel at twilight.

Mexico is still a CASH society.  Therefore, if one is leaving town for about six weeks, as I am, one must stockpile money for bills to be paid while gone.  Now with the ATMs only giving 6000 pesos (about $470US) at a time, that implies a couple, if not a few visits to the ATM.  Not a problem..........unless the machines are out of money on the weekend.  Aha, I learned that lesson and will never attempt to get money on the weekend ever again.  Once I had to delay my departure because there was not a machine in town with money on a Sunday!  I kid you not.

So, I've got that experience under my belt and won't ever let that happen again.

I've also learned that the two, only two kinds of meds I take sometimes are not in stock.  If I need 6 weeks worth, the pills usually come in 14 to a box.  Yup, not a month's supply in a plastic cylinder container like in the states, but we must by them in small quantities in a box.  Six weeks worth of two types of meds makes me look like I'm dealing drugs when I cross the border.  So, again, I never wait til the last minute to stock up for a trip.  I started a week ago by going for these meds.  They had one box of each.  Ok, I got those and asked when the others would be in.....manana.  Remember, manana does not always mean tomorrow.  It has been a daily trip not only to that pharmacy but to two others.  Finally today in a panic, I found one box and two boxes of generics at a pharmacy that I don't usually go to in centro.  Whew.  I couldn't leave town without those either.

So, I've got that experience under my belt and who knows what I'll do next time!

Money given to the maid to pay bills - Check.  Money to buy gas and pay tolls - Check.  Pills in suitcase for 6 weeks, just in case I have to stay that long - Check.  Two huge bags of food for Velcro - Check.    I'm on a roll. until.............

Whoops!  I purchase US car insurance for the month or so I'm in Texas.  On Friday morning, after finding out on Thursday that I need to hightail it to Texas, I talked to the agent in Laredo who always handles this insurance.  It is the most efficient and least expensive I've found.  Plus, I've found they pay their claims.   That's another story.  So in our conversation she asked for the number on my Mexican drivers license.  Holy moly!  It had expired four days before.  Sheesh.  I hightailed it, and I do mean hightailed it over there praying it would not be a complicated procedure.  Here's what I took, just in case.  My passport.  My visa.  My expired license. And, last but not least, a bill that shows my name and the address I live at. Often they want this.  I've stopped trying to figure out why............

It turned out to be the most efficient thing I've done in Mexico - EVER.  He needed the license, the passport and my visa.  I walked to a copy place to have a copy of the visa and passport made.  I then had a new photo done, told them I wanted this license for 5 years as well, was fingerprinted - two different fingers - one on each hand - and then given a form to drive to the Government payment office about 10 minutes away.
I came back with the paid receipt, handed it to the man and was handed a laminated drivers license.  All in under an hour.  What a deal!  In Texas they mail it to you and you get it in about three weeks!  AMAZING.

I'm "outtahere" on Monday morning at 0700 to drive to Houston to be a Grammy and "Mom in charge" for a week or so.  My daughter Julie will have her thyroid and lymph nodes removed on Wednesday at MD Anderson.  I'll be in charge of running the house or the kids running me or whatever.  They don't start back to school til the 25th so I'll have them for GREAT company.  Then when Julie gets home from the hospital, I'll be "Nurse Mom" for as long as she can stand it!  ha.

That's the plan, man.  There is a lot more to follow all that, but, for the moment I'm focusing on the first order of business which is get packed, get outta here and get to Houston to my daughter and son-in-law's house.

I'll see you on down the road, hopefully.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Blast from the Past!

In looking for some old photos recently, I came across this one.  It's not really that old.  Maybe ten years old but it reminds me of what it used to be like when driving around Mexico and looking for gasoline! "No Fumar" was an important phrase.  It denoted that they had gasoline to sell.  Be it in an enclosure like this one, which was on the road to Ixtapa or in a tienda, that kept there containers of gasoline near the front door.

At the koffee klatch group this morning, a newbie is in town who just drove in from Texas.  He commented about the number of Pemex stations and the convenience. In the past, one could panic when on empty not knowing if or when the next station would be on the horizon.  In addition, the convenience of not going through any towns.

Ahhh, I assured him, it was not always that way.  In fact the road used to be two lane, not four lane divided highway.  In addition, the two lane went through towns that had no paved roads.  It was tricky, adventurous and interesting to attempt, as one drove in the ruts of the eighteen wheelers until one decided to make a turn.  It was all of the above as you maneuvered your tire up and over the ruts.  One had to really, really want to make a turn as it was not an easy operation.  Rainy seasons were nightmares.  Cars looked like they had just been pulled out of a mud pit.  Come to think of it, that's exactly what it was like.

So now, with bypasses and Pemex stations everywhere, no one needs to keep their tank half full all the time, or pray to find a bathroom soon or hope that the gasoline will be pure.

Heck, once I needed a bano so much,  that I stopped at a house, knocked on the door, whereupon they let me into the room and took me out the side door of the house to an outhouse where I could sit and watch the trucks driving by on the road.  No curtain, no nothing, except a seat to sit on!  Hilarious.

Another time, it was a curtain with a hole in the ground where a woman had to straddle the hole.  I've only done that once, thank you very much.  That was up in the mountains somewhere on a road that had NO shoulder.  Woo eee, that was an experience.  I wish I had photos of the bus in the bottom of the ravine and the eagles that were flying lower then the car.  "High up and dangerous" is not exaggerating that road. 

It was always important, or not, to kind of look at the gasoline in those clear plastic containers to see if it looked rather "clean" which is what they would say.  "Es muy limpio" was what they would tell me........"It is very clean."  Of course it was irrelevant at that point if it was regular or premium, it was gasoline!

No matter how far one was off the beaten track, there was, for some reason, Coca Cola!  Honestly, I figured those guys could have lead the greatest treks, cause they had always been everywhere!

It's fun to laugh at the past and have fond memories.  It's kinda sad that others won't have those experiences, but, the truth be told, I'm not as adventurous as I once was, so I'm glad there are nice Pemex stations with restaurants, restrooms and even gift shop areas in some.

Life is still an adventure at times, but not as much as before!



Saturday, August 09, 2014

Wildflower Season

It's that wonderful time of the year, after much rain, the wildflowers are sprouting from the previoiusly dry, dusty soil that always looks as though nothing could grow there.

I like to drive the back roads where the Pathfinder is surrounded by wildflowers and in fields for as far as the eye can see.  These photos were taken from the car window as I was in a hurry!
I'll do better next time.  It is evident though that the flowers are higher then the top of the Pathfinder!
The colors are orange, purple, fuscia, yellow, white.  A plethora of colors and plant species.  The butterflies and hummingbirds along with the bees are having a field day.  Pardon the pun!

The most beautiful place to be this time of the year is the area around Patzcuaro.  One of my most favorite places in Mexico, the fields full of pink cosmos with black and white cows in the same field are magnificent.

IF I were an artist, I would set up an easel and attempt to capture those images to keep forever.  My only way to capture it is with my trusty little camera.  It is quite a sight.

At my house I've measured 17 inches of rain so far this year.  Twenty-five inches is our usual annual rainfall so we have way more to enjoy.  Hopefully I can get over to Patzcuaro in October to enjoy their wildflowers.
We'll see............meanwhile, I'll enjoy my trips on the back roads around San Miguel.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Such a Civilized Tradition

To me, there are few things more enjoyable then an afternoon siesta.  It doesn't have to be long, but it can be, of course, if you so choose.

In the mornings I jump out of bed ready for the day.  Some days I get a lot done and some days it's a day to pamper myself by reading a book or enjoying putzing in the garden.

Today was a little of both.  Then, around 3PM, I feel that drowsy feeling set in and know it's time to rest.
Usually thirty minutes is enough, but today it was exactly an hour of deep sleep.

This tradition goes waaaaaay back.  Even when I worked, I would close the door to my office and lay my head on the desk for twenty minutes.  Then I'm ready for another eight hours.

Mexico has taken it to an art form.  Many businesses in San Miguel de Allende still close from 2 til 4PM which allows workers to go home for lunch and a little siesta.  So darn healthy.

I've had people say to me, "Gosh, I wish I could take a nap!" and I say, "You can.  Turn off the phone and lay down".  It's that easy.  Try it.  You might be surprised.



Wednesday, August 06, 2014

It Takes A Village

Many years ago, fifteen to be exact, I learned that when something is so big as cancer, one person cannot take care of all aspects of it for their family.

About a month ago, after eight months of going to one doctor after another, my daughter was finally diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  The saga began with her eyes crossing!  So, of course, she went to eye specialists.  One doctor finally said that he could straighten her eye but she needed to find out the cause.

That began a pilgrimage from one specialist to another.  For Jewels it was beyond frustrating and frightening.
When she finally got a diagnosis it was a relief in a way.  Then she and the appropriate doctors could do
something about it.

Today that journey begins.  Julie, who likes to be called Jewels, (and she is a jewel) is at MD Anderson for the preliminary procedures to prepare for surgery and whatever else it entails.  Her husband and four children are great and supportive.  However, it never hurts to have moral support and positive energy
flowing. 

So I ask you, as you go about your daily activities for the next few months, to remember Julie and her family and send positive energy and prayers, if you wish.  It will be greatly appreciated.

I'll be heading up soon to be there to fulfill whatever role I can to be of help...........We, as a family, have been down this road before and know that coming together is the way to care for Julie at this time.

Gracias.