Saturday, February 1, 2014

Still putting one foot in front of the other...

I have not posted in a long time, but all's well here in paradise. Trying to adapt to retirement, and succeeding slowly. I think I was depressed for a while. After 38 years of being The Answer Man, saving lives, blahblah, it's a bit of a jolt to lose that portion of my identity. But my new identity (Contented Indolence) is making inroads, and I'm in a good place, as they say.

Speaking of good places, when my Dad died from pancreatic cancer (I fucking hate you, cancer) I heard ”he's gone to a better place” and ”it's god's plan” so many times I wanted to punch people. Um, no, he's just gone. And was god's plan truly to make this delightful, noble man waste away in tremendous pain for two years before dying in a hospital? Never getting to see his grandkids get married or enjoy his great-grandchildren? Man, what a jerk your god must be. Maybe say something instead about his love for his family, or his sense of whimsey, or what a mensch he was. 

Sorry for that segue...

So life in beautiful Dos Palmas after retirement? This year's quite different because the RV park we belonged to has been sold and is empty. Some of the RVers that used to come every winter have found spots up here in Dos Palmas, but lots more are simply not coming any more. There are only 7 full-time residents here, but this winter there are maybe 20 more, plus a few in Kino. We get together often for holiday and birthday celebrations or happy hours. There's a twice-weekly poker game, some of the women go in to town for exercise sessions, and the men stay busy repairing water line leaks and wiring thefts. And there's always the beach.

Christmas Day lobster dinner at Marlin restaurant
Luis, our local builder,  came to cook chicken over an open fire,
 a thank you to the neighbors who threw work at him this year.

Bette's birthday lunch at Marisco's

My classy friends, Friday night dinner at Pancho's, best restaurant in town.

I've been spending large blocks of time in My Studio (the trailer) with painting, sculpting, and assemblage. Turns out there's quite a bit of satisfaction in creating art. Who knew? My "canvases" are old, weathered boards, discarded tiles, even rocks, which requires scavenging for them on the beach or construction sites. Or the dump. Also all great fun. You may click on the link below to view my collection.

 Products from Barbilou's Studio

Coffee Cups painting, a gift for Karen-the-caffeine-addict,
copied from one seen on Pinterest.
Polar Bear (with hiney) pendant!

There have been a couple of craft sales, one which had very few shoppers and was a huge disappointment, and one we organized ourselves and was terrific! But apparently nobody had a camera that day. I've also been making these bird feeders from vintage glassware found in thrift stores. They're selling well:

Aside from my studio time, my days somehow fill up with mostly idle pursuits: ATV rides on the beach, trips to town for alcohol and cigarettes, browsing Pinterest (huge time suck, SO addicting) and letting the dog and cat in and out 23 million times a day. Ron and I go to the VA in Tucson once a month for healthcare and to stock up on pet food and good hot dogs. Mexican hot dogs suck. We get to Skype with son Jon Mark, Nora and Dylan often, always a joy. I miss them all so much! Here are their screen shots:

Aside from Jon Mark and sometimes daughter Sandi, we rarely or never hear from the rest of the family or friends, although they all know our Skype service here (a Minnesota number) accepts regular cell phone calls, which are usually perfectly satisfactory. (The VA in Tucson calls a LOT.) We are reaping what we have sown: moving to Mexico and abandoning them all must still rankle. Fair warning to anyone considering retiring here... So if anyone has lost that number I emailed to you all, just email and ask, I'll reply with alacrity.

Here's what I made Ron for Christmas: all our progeny in one place. Great-grandchild, children, and grandchildren. On my antique rod and reel. I sit and stare at it often. Saw it on Pinterest.
Pinterest Picture. They only had 4 to deal with, in fairness...

Mine. Nailed it!

Coming up in February: another Tucson trip this week.This time I'll stay a few days with mi ailing amiga Jan (sidelined with a compressed nerve in her spine and doped up with pain pills) while Ron returns here with Jan's esposo John so John can acquire more stuff. Then our anniversary on the 14th (numero 32). There's a Senior Prom (I kid you not) at Club Deportivo for Valentine's Day. The weather's warmed up beautifully, the sunsets are amazing, and life is good.


  1. Very nice to read your prose and see that you are happy, adjusting to whatever life is bringing, which is the secret of happiness.

    Hope Pat finds a way soon to be at Dos Palmas also and gives me a reason to be there more often with all of you. Mi Canadian pension will be coming soon and - who knows - I may retire in Dos Palmas also and you'll have a French Oldy to join your Gringas! Besitos!

  2. Your artwork is great! I love your whimsical touch and I really like those vintage colored glass bird feeders. Glad you're getting into the retirement groove. Grace (in Tucson)

  3. Hi Baribou...Is the Dos Palmas you live north of Kino Bay and, if so, is there a RV park there? I'm asking you because no one seems to know. Thanks for any help! Neal

  4. Babs, you are one talented chica!

    I hear you on the cancer. Lost my dad 10 years ago at age 63. Way too young.

    Reaping what you sow...I beg to differ. They shall reap what they have sown. The ones who stay in touch will have a better relationship with you than the others. Neither Hubby or I live in, or near, where we grew up and both families seem to think it's up to us to maintain contact. It gets real old, real fast, doesn't it?

  5. What a joy to read your words again, Barb! It's great to see you have adjusted into a wonderful place and are enjoying life. LOVE the creations - all of them!! So sorry about your Dad :(. That just sucks. Thankfully, you have Ron and the wonderful community you are a part of there to keep getting you up every day and having whatever good time there is to be had. Do wish we lived closer!