Brrrrrrr!

11/Oct/19

It’s starting to cool off a lot here lately. We still have a fire in the chiminea once in a while but go inside earlier than usual.

The final two weeks are always the worst time. We know the season here is almost over and just want to be on our way. However, we do have a lot of chores to do before we leave. We have two RV’s to winterize, now that we bought the motor home.

Peter and I put the car tent up and loaded it down with concrete blocks to stop it from blowing away. The garden is dug and the garlic planted for next year.

We also have a dozen other things to do but most have to wait until the last day or two. That’s when the panic sets in.

It’s been a good year. The weather could have been better but we can’t control that, so we just carry on. We had some great parties, as usual, especialy my 50th  anniversary of arriving in Canada.

We had a lot more doctors’ appointments than usual but at the end of it all, we are both healthy. Rosalie has to have surgery on her carotid artery in the spring but the surgeon said she will be fine until then, so we can go without any health worries.

14 Oct 19

We’s here!

We arrived in Melaque this afternoon. Fortunately, Mike and Pat happened to be in PV at the same time and picked us up. we would have taken the bus but it’s nice by car. We went to Costco and got the essentials, mostly booze.

It was an uneventful flight. We dropped the rental car off at Comox at about 4 am and then flew to Vancouver. We left there at 8:25 am. Our pilot was a woman and did a great job. I did, however, have a few anxious moments as she was backing out of our space. You know, women backing up.

It was great to get back here. Besides the warm weather, it’s just the feel of the place. We feel like we’re coming home.

Our first evening in PV, after meeting up with Mike and Pat, we went out for dinner by the marina. A travelling troubadour accosted us and directed us to the restaurant where he was playing that evening. He also wanted 120 Pesos for three songs.

(Gerry just left after several beers. He dropped in while I was writing this)

Anyhow! The guy’s name was Victor and I told him 100 pesos but he was pretty adamant. He did a fairly good job so when He finished I told him he was worth 80 pesos. In the end, I gave him 140 cos he was a really nice dude.

When we arrived at our duplex we found that we couldn’t get in the front gate. Our keys didn’t fit for some reason. I was sure there was a spare key inside so I climbed over the gate risking life and limb only to find out there wasn’t one. Oh, and yeah, our key didn’t open the main gate either.

Yes, Stupido here climbed over that.

This being Mexico, Mike got a bar out of his car and broke the chain on the gate. So we finally got in. My job, soon, is to replace the chain and lock.

Oh! it’s great to be back, we just love Mexico, except for the cold I got on the plane…

Spiders

Man, I hate spiders! I know there are a lot of people out there who think the same way I do. They are the nastiest creatures known to man (or woman). There are some people who don’t mind them…Oh, you sick fools.

I think they should be abolished. (The spiders, not the sick fools.) They have their uses I guess; eating flies and bugs and stuff but I could do that if I put my mind to it. I think they should be stomped, battered, drowned, sucked into the vacuum cleaner and generally folded, stapled and mutilated.

It’s been estimated that spiders could eat every human on earth in one year.

See! and people tell me they’re harmless. One thing’s for sure, after watching the video attached to the article I sure as heck ain’t going to Australia. And to think that there are about 130 within one metre of us and there are almost three million for every man woman and child on the planet. I don’t want mine, I think I’ll give them away.

When I thought I saw a gecko in Mexico and it turned out to be just a scorpion, I was relieved that it wasn’t a spider. Although they have tarantulas In Colorado that migrate in the millions, they don’t seem to scare me so much. Perhaps it’s because they appear slower and don’t bound around like some spiders do. (Oops, just read that they can travel quite fast.)

When I was a lot younger and installing alarm systems, I was at a home that had a pet tarantula. It was kept in an aquarium where it sat and munched on grasshoppers all-day. I was quite fascinated by it. It didn’t move much and seemed very docile.

The following day I checked on the critter and the aquarium was empty. The owner said he didn’t know where it was but to be careful where I trod. You’re darn right I was careful. I finished that job really fast and got the heck out of there. In an aquarium is one thing, running loose, quite another.

I’m somewhat prejudiced as I’ve been bitten three times by the nasty things. The last time was the worst and took a lot of meds and time to heal.

Notice that I demurely covered my boob

I even woke one morning with one in the bed. I had rolled over and squshed it. It had bitten me and there was a lot of silk where he tried to wrap me up and take me home for the kids. True story. I was told by the doctor at the hospital that spiders don’t bite??? He may be a doctor but he ain’t that smart.

I was taking some wood from the pile earlier today and underneath was a huge wolf spider. In my arachnophobic mind, it was about two feet across. When I had calmed down and stopped screaming, I realized it was a mere three inches from toe to toe. It was still one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. I’m not going near the woodpile for a while….maybe I’ll send Rosalie, she braver than me.

Living without wine etc.

It can be done, I’ve proved it. When the Doc said to cut back on my wine intake I decided to quit altogether for a while. The guys at Beer Day can take a breath now, I don’t plan on being reckless enough to quit that little pleasure. Besides, I couldn’t take the humiliation.

Me when the Doc said to stop drinking and lose weight.

I stopped drinking last Friday (stands up put a hand in the air and declares “I have been sober for four days. Sits down to a round of applause.) I did have a shot of Glayva but that was Rosalie’s fault for getting it out of the cupboard.

I find that it’s been just a habit. After doing a few chores it was time for a glass of wine. Nothing wrong with that. Except, that one leads to two etc. It’s what we retirees do. I didn’t notice much change after the shakes and hallucinations went away. (I kind of miss them, they were fun.)

In the last few days, we have been analyzing our new lifestyle. We do this quite often to see if we are both on track with the idea. I think Rosalie wanted to wait until I was sober. (seriously I’m not that bad.)

We live outside most of the time. Even when it’s raining we just snuggle up in the gazebo with the fire alight, watch a movie and fall asleep. Often we just listen. It’s so quiet you can hear if Alan/Ellen drops his/her nuts. Also, if we go outside on a clear night the stars are spectacular. And of course, there were the robins which gave us a lot of fun for a few weeks. We decided we like it here and don’t want to live anywhere else except Mexico.

I’m so looking forward to seeing this again.

I’m sure most people think we’re mad, which we are but for different reasons. Perhaps we look at them the same way, each to his own. We don’t want to get stuck into a lifestyle we’re not happy with just because everybody else thinks we should. I think we are just a pair of old hippies at heart.

The weather has started to change, it’s more long pants than shorts these days. Even so, I’m outside writing this and Rosalie is sitting at the table working out the documents for our Mexican visa application.

When we decided to try this at the beginning of last year we were a bit apprehensive, but we both think it turned out better than expected. Rosalie was worried about living at the trailer for six months and I was concerned about living in Mexico. We were both surprised that it all worked out fine.

Our condo hasn’t sold yet, but so what? We aren’t in a hurry and there’s always next year.

Now, if only we could sell our excess furniture we would have a bit more room to move around.

Update

Walked out this morning and realized that fall will soon be upon us, definite chill in the air. This is the first year we’ve been here that there hasn’t been a fire ban; a strange summer.

We are counting down to Mexico with just over four weeks to go, starting to prepare for it. So many things to remember: book hotel and car; make sure we have enough wine to come back to; eat up all the freezer food; make a list of all the thing we want to take down with us that we can’t get there, like an Instant Pot.

It turns we can fit an instant pot in one of our suitcases. I can just imagine what the security will think when they see a pressure cooker on their x-ray. I’m tempted to put a bunch of batteries and some odd bits of wire in just to see what happens, but I won’t. I can also imagine a small piece of rope hanging out of the lid we a small note saying “Light fuse and run.” Ah! my weird mind!

Our furniture on consignment in Duncan idea didn’t work out, so we went to pick it up today. We got a free truck from the storage company we use. The last time we got a free truck from Budget it cost $168 so we were a bit skeptical. I had worked out the mileage and estimated the gas at about $60 for a total of about $100, not bad! We went to Duncan, grabbed our stuff drove it back to store in the sunroom. On the way, it was obvious that I had miss calculated the mileage. I probably based it on miles rather than kilometres. So my estimate was off. However, when I topped up with gas I look at the receipt and had pumped exactly $60. Redemption…somewhat.

It’s been a good season overall. We had a few good parties and some great Jenga games. There were also a lot of drop-in impromptu parties. Always fun! Not much money was spent on renos that I wanted to do. The garden wasn’t a great success but it’s in its first year and needs building up. I did get enough garlic and onions to pickle so was happy with that.

I built a bird box for the robins for next year. But I suspect that they will still attack the windows. I put a Canadian flag over our bedroom window and haven’t been bothered since. Must be patriotic Canadian robins not wanting to attack the flag.

My hand is healing well but we did have a bit of a complication. I have a minor rash and it seems to be affecting the healing process so I have to put on some heavy-duty steroid cream on my hand, to help. I  not out of the dressings yet but should be by next week. Other than that the hand is working great.

I had my annual checkup the other day and the Doctor said I have to quit drinking and lose weight. (This is true.) Anybody know of a good Doctor looking for any slightly tubby alcoholic patients?

Wings

Ah! What a weekend.

Rosalie’s sisters wanted to do something for Rosalie’s BIG birthday. So, they invited her down to Victoria where all five of them could get together and misbehave. In the meantime, my two brothers-in-law headed my way.

Vic was visiting a friend in Campbell River so we didn’t see a lot of him, but Gordie had made a new chiminea for me and we wanted to put that together so he stayed with me at the trailer.

Rosalie and I had decided on wings for Gordie’s first night here so she put some in the fridge to thaw out. Unfortunately, it was a big bag. We cooked some on the egg and they were great. The problem was that we had to use up the rest of them.

On Friday the two of us went to Comox to pick up supplies. On the way back we stopped at the Fanny Bay Inn. We spoke to Vic just before we got there so invited him and his friend, Larry, to join us. Which they did about 30 minutes later. Eventually, after about two hours, we all went back to the trailer and finished up the party, but we couldn’t get them to stay to share the wings. So, Gordie and I had to have another go at them.

Vis was going to come over on Saturday so great, we had lots of wings left, or so we thought. When we checked we found that we didn’t have enough, so, instead of driving into town I pulled some chicken legs from the freezer.

Vic arrived the following day and told us that he couldn’t stay for dinner as his wife was having a dental issue in Victoria. Great! Now we have too much chicken again. Before he left the neighbours and some friends dropped by, some wine was consumed and we had a great time.

I had told Rosalie about the wing problem so when I called her the next morning she wanted to know if we were having wings for breakfast, which Gordie and I found hilarious.

That afternoon Rosalie and Gordie’s wife Giselle showed up in the middle of another get-together with the neighbours. We cooked a pork roast on the egg (no more wings for a while) and once again had a great time.

The chiminea is a thing of beauty. Stainless steel and works great. Gordie did a fantastic job as usual.

My hand is getting a lot better. I was at the hand clinic as well as the surgeon’s office today and they were both pleased. I only have to wear the splint at night now, a great relief.

I’m not so sure of the results though.

Bored and more parties

I have been getting a little bored lately so decided to get my latest hand surgery done.

It was originally scheduled for 16th August but they upped it to the 9th. I was good with this as I wanted to get it over with. The problem being, that the Melaque party was on the 11th.

I went meekly to my fate at the surgical clinic and they did their usual great job of getting me fixed up. We returned home and there was a little blood leaking but not enough to be worried about. I had an afternoon post-surgery nap and woke up to find that I had leaked a lot more.

Wanting to get my full monies worth from the surgery, I phoned the surgeon’s office and was told to head back to town for repairs. We did this, the doctor redressed it and I was soon on my way back home again.

I was given some heavy-duty pain killers but fortunately, have only needed one now and again.

We checked the weather forecast and it said there was a 30% chance of rain for the party. I decided that we needed the tarps up and went into my patented one-handed performance. It was quite the trick, including running ropes and climbing ladders.

The day came and people started to show up. I had decided to open my “Taqueria de Christo” again this year and managed to do it one-handed. It was quite the success. I didn’t make any money though as I forgot to put up the piece list. I would only have had two items: Taco con Carne or Taco con Pollo.

The following morning, of course, I had to remove all the tarps, Oh yeah, and it hadn’t rained after all.

While all of the tidying up was going on I got a call from the hand clinic to have my surgical dressing removed and a lighter dressing with a splint put on. They wanted us there at 8:30 am the next day so we had to get up at the unheard-of hour of 6:45.

I had asked for the same therapist that I had last year but she is on vacation. Since I had warned her that I would be back, I thought it was a bit inconsiderate of her.   Or perhaps she was fed up with my whining. Who knows!

The lady who replaced her is very experienced and taught me a few new things. Rosalie, as usual, was standing by taking pictures and generally reveling in the whole gory mess. Between the two of them, they bullied me into a real funky colour scheme for my splint and tie-downs. I don’t know how I’m going to face the guys at the pub tomorrow.

That afternoon, I had a bit of pain so took two of the pain pills. Soon, I was completely zonked out. I must have dozed off at least six times. I don’t like that feeling so I won’t do that again.

Of course, while I was writing this my blog site went down because I forgot to renew it. Maybe I do need the meds after all.

This and that

So, now that the robins have gone we have to find something else to entertain us. I’m all for squirrel soaking. Alan has been as good as always but the new kids are getting a little out of hand. I found one in the bird feeder the other day and he made a heck of a mess.

I waited patiently and sure enough a few days later he showed up. I tried to discourage him but he was too stubborn. He did give me some entertainment though. When I chased him, he tried to jump into the veggie garden. He obviously didn’t see the plastic mesh that I had put up to keep critters out, as he hit it full bore and it had the effect of hitting a vertical trampoline. He did a not-so-graceful backflip and took off cursing me. Boy was he ticked off.

A few days later I caught him in the bird feeder again and this time I had the garden hose handy. I gave him a good squirt and he ran away a few feet and looked at me menacingly. I squirted him again and this time he got the message and left. I’m sure he’ll be back though.

Our garden is coming along okay. I have pickled the garlic. The onions were going rotten so I pulled what was left. They were only small but just right for pickling also. They are drying at the moment and I can’t wait to try them out.

The condo hasn’t sold yet but we have more showing today (Wednesday.) If we don’t get an offer by Friday we are going to try a different real estate company just to shake thing up a bit.

People keep asking us what we do up here all day. Well, mostly we spend our time in Nanaimo going to doctors appointments and beer days. I have to get my hand surgery next week so had to get a check-up for that.

In the evenings, and some times earlier if the weather is not so good, we head for the Gazebo. We light the fire, turn on the TV and watch Netflix, Prime Video or sometimes the local news. All this accompanied by a glass of wine of course. It’s nice all cozied up listening to the rainfall. It gets so intense sometimes that we have to turn the TV volume up.

I’ve been practicing my guitar for when we head back south. I’m doing okay but the hand surgery will put a stop to that for a while. Too bad really as My fingers were just getting nice and toughened up. Rosalie has been doing some of her painting and is planning on getting back to her scroll saw.

Yes, we are still having fun and enjoying the lifestyle. Only another nine weeks and we go back to Melaque. We have an appointment to try for our temporary visa which allows us to stay longer and join the medical system there. We wanted our permanent visa but we don’t qualify until the condo sells. Hopefully, that will happen this week sometime.