Friday, October 29, 2010

Settled in and exploring my estate!

Seems to take longer every year to get settled in. The first time Ron backed the fifth wheel onto the pad catywampus, and we sorta liked it like that. Left it overnight, because it was getting dark anyway. More room when you step off the steps, instead of having to be careful you don't fall off the pad. But it turned out we'd need about 6 sewer hoses to reach the septic, and we only had one. So the next morning we moved it.

Helps tons to have the garage now. That sucker's getting full!

There's only one rig down in the park so far, the Beckers. And currently only us, Eileen, and Jack up here on the hill. So it's very quiet, peaceful, and perfect weather.

However. I've been attacked by No-See-Ums. According to my research, this species is locally called Jejenes, nearly invisible to the naked eye, tiny pricking feeling when they bite, but then OMG! About 1/4 of victims are allergic to them: gigantic hugely itching welts. I have about 75. The nasty little buggers go right through the screens, of course, so I also got bitten in bed at night. I was warned about them, so we loaded up at Cabelas with 100% DEET. They are not even slightly inconvenienced by it. They may even prefer it. Supposedly, when it's windy or cooler, they'll go away.

In the meantime, I'm wearing long pants, long sleeves and socks and shoes. This causes sweating, so am showering 3 times a day. Taking steroids: oral Prednisone, slathering on hydrocortisone cream, and during the hotter parts of the day, hiding in the fifth wheel with the windows closed tightly and the AC on. It's a total bummer. Can't go outside. Ron has about 950 bites because he's outside in only shorts all day, but they stay tiny red dots on him, no swelling, no welts, no itching.

Those are not freckles...

Although early this morning it was really breezy, so I chanced it. Took an hour stroll around the desert, and took some photos.

We have volunteer Datura plants this year, very beautiful, very deadly. The flowers only open at night, so I don't have a decent photo of that, but they're white with lilac throats and big spiked pods. The flowers smell heavenly, but the rest of the plant stinks to high heaven.

My garden has suffered in my absence. Caterpillers attacked my poor baby limon tree, and it doesn't look good. They're huge, ugly, rear up with these orange horns, and hiss at you.

But the cacti that need nothing from anyone are doing fine. I transplanted these last year and they're still alive.

We went to dinner one night to the Beckers, lots of laughs and TERRIFIC chicken! She put a garlic/herb/cream cheese dip under the skin of the chicken. Poor Maggie also looks like she has chicken pox from the Jejenes. She and I sat there slathering stuff on our bites the whole time.

Here's a funny story. Now! It wasn't at the time...

Wednesday, my neighbor Eileen needed to drive to Hermosillo to get new tires and take her dog to the vet. Her spare tire was shredded, so she wanted me to follow her. I picked up my friend Delfie in Bahia de Kino on the way, for company and as a translator. It bears mentioning that Hermosillo is huge, sprawling, crowded and confusing, and the only places I know where to find are Costco, WalMart, Sam's Club, and Home Depot.

We all stopped for gas at the first town, Calle Doce, about 30 miles away, but they didn't have diesel for me, so Eileen said we'd go to the next one outside of Hermo. Eileen is, how should I say this, a fearless driver. Passing a lot, ignoring the speed limit, etc. I had trouble keeping her in sight, and worried I'd lose her in Hermosillo.

After about 20 more miles, she turned LEFT (remember this, important later) into the gas station, where we filled up and used the restroom. Drove over to where Eileen was still waiting for gas (legs practically crossed, as she wouldn't leave her vehicle to go pee). After admonishing her sternly to stop trying to lose us and that I was categorically unwilling to go over the speed limit, we said we'd pull around and park at the Oxxo (like a 7/11) to wait for her.

Within about a minute, we heard her shout, and saw her behind us waving "Let's Go!" It took us another minute to back out of our spot and pull back into the highway traffic.

Immediately, no Eileen. We could NOT believe it, RIGHT after asking her to keep us in sight, she was GONE. We had NO clue, really, how to find her in that city other than she'd mentioned tires at Costco, after the vet and picking up her friend Lisa.

Delfie and I proceeded to verbally castigate Eileen for the next 30 miles. We were blistering, unforgiving, and fluent. Right up until we saw a sign that said Bahia de Kino 36 KMs. I looked at the rear-view mirror, which read W. (For West.) We had turned the wrong way leaving the gas station, and were almost home.  
Having completely spaced that we'd turned LEFT into the gas station, we just went the direction Eileen's car was facing when she hollered "Let's Go!"

So we turned around and drove hell-bent to Hermo. Passing and speeding, risking the Mordita "cop" by the airport. Arrived an hour and a half later than Eileen, who we DID find eventually, right where the Costco Tire guy told us he sent her. She was pretty frantic. Said she drove about 20 mph, stopped and waited for us, etc.

The worst part was how awful we felt for badmouthing Eileen during that 30 miles. The funniest part was Delfie and I not even recognizing Calle Doce when we drove back through it, plus Delfie kept remarking at all the "new shops" and "new landscaping" outside Hermo, which was actually Calle Doce, which I know intimately. I actually said once, "Oh yes, they're building TONS". Delfie hadn't been to Mexico in two years, and cannot be blamed whatsoever.

I'm trying to blame it on steroid toxicity...