Robins

A short update on the suicidal robin.

After she built the nest she laid three beautiful blue eggs. She still attacks the windows but only in the morning now. She’s close to the wood pile so I have to wait until she’s away feeding before rushing over to grab an arm full of wood.

Peter took a few pictures of the eggs as did I, but I didn’t keep asking them to say “cheese.”

Updates to follow.

 

 

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Suicidal robins and other stuff

A few years back we were awakened at daybreak by a pounding on our bedroom window. I was a robin supposedly attacking his own reflection.

This didn’t happen again for a while but this year they have been relentless. They have been attacking our windows in pairs and I noticed that they also have a go at the neighbour’s windows too.

The last time it happened we put up a picture of a hawk and that ended the problem. This time, however, they are way more persistent. maybe it’s one of those seven-year cycle things. Who knows!

One of them, who has been attacking the back of the trailer, not the window, the trailer, is completely nuts. I left my step ladder leaning on the trailer and the darn thing built a nest on top. I just hope I don’t need to use it for a few weeks.

I promised a friend in Mexico that I would practice my guitar more and have been doing so. I went at it with a different attitude this time and am trying to keep it more simple. It seems to be working so far and I’m improving slowly. I still won’t risk singing though. But perhaps that is what I need to do to keep the robins away. I have to do it now as I have to go for more hand surgery in August and will be out of commission for a while.

Our veggie garden is coming along slowly. It’s the first time though that I have failed to grow radishes. The stupid things went to flower with no bulb on the root. Oh well! there’s always next year. The garlic is looking good! A critter, probably a cat, dug up part of it and seeds got redistributed so now I have stuff coming up all over the place. So now I have surrounded the garden with mesh.

Two o’clock is down tools and wine time when we light the fire in the chiminea and relax. Two o’clock, however, sometimes starts much earlier. Soon though, we won’t be able to light up anymore as the season is getting dryer., so campfires won’t be allowed.

I managed to watch all the hockey playoff games (without the Leafs. Sob!) with our super duper antenna. I even managed to catch the last game of the NBA series. Go Raptors! Even though I don’t follow basketball.

I was happy to see that the NBA commissioner gave credit to Canada for the invention of the game and that finally, it had come full circle. I wish he was the Commissioner of the NHL to give credit to Canada for inventing that game instead of trying to make it an all American game. Okay, Rant over! Go Leafs!

 

Allison?

Sitting at the trailer by the fire, well I was, Rosalie was playing with her darn Instant Pot cooking up some sort of delicious meal when we got a call from Julie. “Come and see the baby squirrels,” she said.

We hustled over and discovered that she’d taken a draw from her bathroom and under a layer of insulation (stolen from our trailer we later found out.) we saw that it was filled with six baby squirrels. She put it outside in the hopes that Mum would find them and take them away.

Apparently, the reason they called me was they thought that I would dispose of them. Wrong!! The babies were so cute I wanted to adopt one or two of them. I could punch someone in the chops but when it comes to killing things…no way.

I was worried about the new babies so suggested that they put them by the entrance hole to the trailer that Mum had used. Mum, however, had already been there and seen the babies and was a bit confused as to why they weren’t in the trailer.

Ron and Julie watched Mum, after finding the babies and giving them a good scolding for straying,  took them back to the trailer one by one and hid them somewhere inside once again.

I was a little put out as I hand fed Allison for two seasons and she had her babies in Julie’s trailer. I would rather she had them in ours. I won’t pursue that idea though as I just the look from Rosalie at the mear suggestion of it.

But wait! I was outside working when I almost tripped over a familiar critter; Alan! I was really surprised, I think Alison and Alan are not the same squirrel as I thought. Although I didn’t quite feel right about that. Alison was hesitant were as Alan was more in my face.

He immediately went to the end of the fence where I usually feed him. Rosalie wanted to see if he had boobs so I held the peanut high so we could get a good look. What a pair of perverts! But no boobs that we could see.

Mike thinks that Alan may be involved with the new pups but none of them even looked like him. I think Alison is trying to trap him, the hussy.

The debate still rages though. I noticed that Alan has teats. (nipples to the peasants) but I’m still not sure if he is male or female. I did ask but he seems disinclined to answer.

Anyway, I have decided that I don’t care what gender he is, He will remain, Alan, even if he is a female. The poor gender confused little critter.

Living in a 5X10

Now that we have made the lifestyle changing decision to sell the condo, we had to consider what to do with all the stuff we have in storage. We have had a 10 x 10 storage space for the last year but decided that now we are down-sizing further, we don’t really need it.

We have decided to sell most of our stuff.  A lot has been sent to be sold on consignment and we sold some privately but there are still more personal bits and pieces that have to stay.

Getting rid of stuff can be traumatic but the other side is, that our plan includes an escape clause that says we have enough resources to be able to buy new stuff if we have to. That can be a lot of fun. And besides, it’s only stuff.

Surprisingly, for both of us, this hasn’t been a very difficult experience. Rosalie has always been something of a pack rat and I’m proud to say that she has parted with a lot of stuff I thought we’d be stuck with forever.

The process of moving from a 10 x 10 to  5 x 10 was the hardest part for me. The obvious question of course is, will what we have left, fit in the new location? The only way to check this out is to actually go ahead and do it. We have never been ones to shirk for stepping off the edge so we just went ahead with it.

We wanted our new storage unit to be a little closer to home so we rented a place in Parksville just twenty minutes from the campground. It was cheaper and the whole place is energy self-sufficient. There are solar panels and windmills everywhere.

Our car, actually we call it our little truck, has been amazing both when we moved from the condo to the trailer and now into the smaller storage unit.

We went to the old storage and I, with a look of despair on my face started to sort things out. This for consignment, this for Sally Ann, this for garbage and this to be moved. I, of course, had Rosalie to support me and keep me going; I just wish she wouldn’t kick me so hard.

We opened a lot of the boxes and wondered why we were keeping this stuff in the first place. We took three large carloads to the Sally Ann including a chest of drawers that we should have parted with years ago.

I had built storage shelves from 2 x 2’s, that had to be dismantled and reinstalled in the new unit so we had to empty it before moving it. We moved carloads of stuff and eventually we found that we had moved it all.

Surprisingly, when we had finished we were left with room in the new unit for yet more stuff. I just hope that Rosalie doesn’t see this as she will find ways to fill it to the top.

Home again

Home at last. This home anyway. We feel as much at home in Mexico as we do here.

When we came back we decided to leave our laptop in storage in Melaque to save space on the flight.

We have an old laptop at the trailer that I planned to use so all was well. Problem was that the old laptop refused to cooperate. It decided to retire permanently, It hicked, it coughed, it died. She is Kaput!

We had to have a computer as we need to do our financing: pay bills etc. Why are we always paying bills: why doesn’t someone give us money for a change,

We had bought a less expensive machine for the last three laptops and they lasted about two years so this time we decided to get a better quality one to last for a while. We drove to Courtenay to find a Best Buy store.

I have always been down on Mac computers because they are so proprietary but I did know that their hardware is the best. My Daughter Lisa is an Apple nut and I give her a hard time about Macs so she will be sitting back and giggling when I say that we have bought a Mac book.

It’s taking a bit of getting used to but I’m managing to sort it out. I’m also finding that they are not as proprietary as they used to be. I can even run Windows on here if I want to. Not that I want to. One of the reasons for not getting a Windows product was because it is becoming so invasive and always updating at an inconvenient time.

We are happy to be back at the campground but have a lot of cleaning up to do after the storm in December. The arbour in the centre of the fence is no more. The top of a white pine tree snapped off, rolled along the fence and wiped it out. We also had some snow problems with the car tent but Julie and Ron sorted those out for us. Thanks, guys.

Some of the damage done. It missed my garlic plants though.

The TV antenna that Peter and I put up last year was totally wrecked. The pole it was mounted on snapped off and I found the antenna in a thousand pieces. So I’m missing the Leafs in the playoffs. We also lost a gutter from the snow load.

The tree hit the table and severely bent two legs but didn’t break the glass.

All is not lost, however: we got Xplornet satellite WiFi install on Thursday. I’m getting so desperate for WiFi I gave up pub day to supervise the installation. So I may get to see a game or two if the Leafs last that long. GO LEAFS!!

I’m writing this seated by the campfire with Rosalie. The rain is beating down, but we are under the gazebo and have wine so we don’t care. After a daily 30 deg C in Melaque, you would think we would be pining to go back. Not so! We enjoy being here in Canada even if it is a lot colder. We love this place, are really enjoying our new lifestyle and looking forward to catching up with our Northern friends.

Scorpion

I was sitting minding my own business just after Rosalie left for bed when I saw what I thought was a gecko but turned out to be a scorpion sauntering across the floor. They look kind of funny. I always imagined them walking with their tails up but this one was flat to the floor. Of all the times we’ve been down here I have never seen one. Rosalie has now seen three.

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Okay! How do I deal with this thing? First, call for Rosalie, it cuts my chance of being stung by fifty percent and I know she’s a lot braver than me; yea right! Well, she did stand behind me and urge me on. I decided to use the old glass and a piece of paper trick so I grabbed a large plastic container and moved in. The fight began.

He wasn’t giving up without a fight. When I finally managed to get the container over the beast I could see his stinger bashing against the side of the container and knew that he was a tad pissed off. Next, I bravely slid a thin plastic cutting board under him. Again with a fight. He was a game little bugger and wouldn’t cooperate at all.

When I finally got him under control I took a closer look at him. They are nifty looking creatures with eight legs, two claws and that nasty little stinger.

We took him outside and I tossed him over the gate to his hard earned freedom. Of course, for the rest of the evening I was nervously looking about for more but fortunately didn’t see any. The next morning I was telling Gerry next door about it and told him I had thrown it over the wall into his patio. Fortunately, he didn’t believe I could be so mean.

Believing that to know your enemy is a good thing, I googled ‘scorpion stings’ and logged into the Mayo Clinic web site. It appears that they are no more dangerous than a nasty wasp sting although far more painful.

All we have to do now is find a name for him. Steve would be good but we already gave that to Peter’s squirrel. We are both somewhat leaning toward ‘Cyrano.’ He doesn’t have a long nose but does have an impressive tail.

Thinking back, I should have thrown him over the back wall from our bedroom window with a tiny parachute and instruction to get that f***ing rooster. That would teach him to wake me up at four am.

The experience was a little unnerving but a least it wasn’t a spider.

 

It’s almost time

Five and a half months have just flown by. Looking back, we did a lot of stuff while we were down here: from horseback riding, trips to PV, eating out and chasing the music, to learning Spanish. It’s been a lot of fun. And then we also had friends and family stay with us or a week or two.

Last weekend being a holiday, there were hundreds of Mexicans from the interior here. The beaches were covered with people having fun. But now they are all gone. We had a drink on the beach yesterday and the whole place seems deserted. There are more stores closed than usual so I think the locals are powering down for the end of the tourist season.

It’s a little strange walking around town. There are very few Nordenoes any more as most have gone home over the past few weeks. Also, we are used to people dropping in as they head uptown, but now, nobody! Gerry and Elaine are still next door and a few other people but that’s about it. We’re starting to feel a bit isolated.

Vic and Suzanne went home on Thursday so the night before we went with them to dinner with friends, Ray and Tere. He is from Ontario and she is Mexican but now has her Canadian citizenship. They also brought her sister Imelda along. They speak English very well and gave us some pointers to help with our Spanish.

We ended up at their home sitting around their pool drinking wine and tequila. We had visited them a few weeks ago and received the grand tour. It’s large and bright because Tere made sure when they built it, that glass blocks were inserted in the concrete ceilings. There is a central courtyard with a large dipping pool and at night it’s lit with fairy lights. It was a good night all around with great company.

Learning a new language has been fun. We have probably doubled our Spanish words and phrases. I can now ask for a beer in four different ways instead of two. I’m very proud of Rosalie though, she doesn’t get stuck very often and when she does we use Google Translate. But it turns out, we can’t totally rely on it.

I came up with my favourite saying “Mi esposa no dice mas” (my wife says no more.) We didn’t think it was quite right but Google Translate said it was, so, good. I used this phrase several times. I did get a few funny looks but mostly I was understood.  It turns out we were right. I was saying, “my wife no says more” After trying a couple of other translator apps I now use the correct way to say it.

There have been a lot of setbacks when learning new words and phrases but we plod on. We have heard things people say, that we thought were wrong, only to find out we were the ones off base. If we do get stuck we ask friendly, English speaking Mexicans for help, who have helped us out many times and seem to love doing it.

This year I was determined to try and use Spanish more, no matter the ensuing embarrassment. The more I use it the more confident I get. I sometimes come up with a Spanish word that has been buried way back in my noggin but then can’t remember what it means.

The problem I have is with understanding when people speak to me in Spanish. They speak very quickly, but I’m noticing that I can pick out more and more words in a conversation now. Numbers still mess with me though. I recently gave a shopkeeper thirty pesos instead of thirteen, he was good enough to give me change, so all was well. Now I have enough money to order two more cervezas in four different ways.