Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Going Too Fast


Tomorrow's March already! We leave for Minnesota April 20, give-or-take, and it doesn't seem possible that we've been here 4 months. I'm not ready. While I miss my grandbabies' faces and voices achingly and constantly, I know I'll miss my sea and desert almost as much.
Nora and Dylan at Lake Mille Lacs

Ruby and Eli

Garden, sunrise hits Tiburon Island.

I have to work this summer, the LAST summer, then I'll be forever truly retired and indolent. At only 58 years old, I feel beaten down by my life's work and struggles, and am entirely prepared to never again have to bow in humility to the corporate monsters. Maybe I'll even learn to sleep past 3 AM.

Our last couple of weeks here haven't been very eventful or even memorable, but in review, they've been more productive than I would have predicted. Ron has been busily improving our landscaping. He's transplanted scores of desert cacti and trees, and humped rocks for outlining gardens and walkways.
Path to garage, baby cacti both sides, rock border. It'll be "paved" with flat cobblestones.

More rocks and cacti.
More rocks and cacti.

He also spent a few days sitting in his Man Cave, sanding and crafting an ironwood walking stick. It's gorgeous.
Master Carver

I've been churning out an expanded line of eclectic shell/leather/beaded jewelry for my Etsy shop, reading some very good books, and enjoying lunches out.
Etsy-bound jewelry

Lunch at Jorge's, Delfie's birthday. Those red beers are Micheladas, dark beer with clamato juice, chili-lime, and salted rims. Mmmmm!

We did do a couple of local explorative trips, poking through the remains of a couple of old haciendas, and a bit of beachcombing/clamming. Hectic pace, eh?

On the way home one afternoon, I saw an odd flash of white to my left and hollered "STOP!" And Ron stood the truck on it's nose. (A friend said her husband would have just said "For WHAT?") There were two Desert Bighorn Rams, full-curls, not 100 yards away. Only a couple of miles from our casita. And can you believe we had BOTH the camera and the camcorder at the ready? That never happens.
Desert Bighorn Sheep

Most of this winter I've been experiencing digestive urgencies. I still don't know what's occurred this year to cause this, but it's not been debilitating. Just a nuisance, and I have needed to stay near my friend-the-toilet a lot. If it remains an issue (Get it? Issue?) when I get back to Minnesota, the VA will sort it out.
Mi Amigo

Tomorrow is payday and my monthly trip to The City for resupply. This trip will include buying a mattress at WalMart. Two friends and I are going to make a day of it, have a good lunch somewhere, and manage to fill our truck to overflow capacity.

Then on Thursday, some more of "The Girls" and I plan to shop the segundas in Calle Doce, where I intend to assemble every metal bedframe there until I find one that fits my new mattress. Danny's Segunda has at least 75 of them.

This Saturday there's a craft sale at another RV park in the village, and I'm taking a table to try to raise a bit of cash selling the felted wool stuff and the new jewelry. Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Random Photos, click on them to enlarge.

Taken by Pat Evans on Valentine's Day, our 29th Wedding Anniversary

Rocky, age 14.

Neighbor Don, visited us briefly during trip to close up his house. Will be battling a major health issue shortly.

Old quartz mine area
More quartz

Moonset over Tiburon Island, 0700
Sunset over Tiburon Island, 1815

Big pottery shards from old hacienda

The Day The Starfish Died

My catch of the day: Bunch-o-clams, bunch-o-unoccupied olive shells, and my starfishes. Beer included to indicate sizes.

My Gardener!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where Else But Mexico?

Valentine's Day Pig Roast
WHR Kino Bay

It was delicious, served with stir-fry vegetables and baked potatoes, cuisine prepared by Eddie, AnnJane, Jim, Karen, Delfie, John, and Enrique. Everyone dressed up in their Island Finery, and a great time was had by all.

And I've had gastrointestinal distress since. Oh well, it was worth it...

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I was too exhausted yesterday to blog this.

Thursday, 1PM, Ron said he's going "scavenging" in the truck. He does this maybe once every week or two. Asked did I want to go. I truly debated, then said no. I had a couple of projects going, plus was still in my jammies. I asked what was he going to scavenge? "Rocks". I said to take the walkie-talkie. Off he goes.

At 4:30 PM, when the sun sinks low enough to blind my view of the computer screen and I have to move the curtain, I first began thinking that he'd be pulling up any minute now, and I'd better thaw something for supper.

At 5, I began trying to raise him on the walkie-talkie, but no response. I put the pizza in the oven.

At 5:45, the sun went below the hills on Isla Tiburon, and I went up on the roof with the binoculars and the walkie-talkie. Nada.
Roof view, DAYTIME

I instant-messaged my friend Bette, who is just about as paranoid and OCD as I am, and whose husband John also goes scavenging. She wasn't logged in, though, and by the time she replied it was fully dark outside. She said they'd be right over to get me and we'd go find him.

John had recently shown Ron an area called Rolling Rock beach, and we were all thinking he'd gone back over there. Lots of bad road to get stuck on. Up til that point, mechanical breakdown was #1 on my list of what I should obsess about, followed by medical problem (cardiac event, another stroke, snakebite), and lastly FOUL PLAY.
Typical "road" to Rolling Rock Beach, DAYTIME.

Rolling Rock Access . Click on it, and click Satellite in upper right to see area. Can zoom out upper left to see entire coastline. We searched all that.

John drove all over those roads in the pitch black dark, with Bette and I keeping up each others spirits outlining just how much trouble Ron would be in for this. No truck. When we got back to the gate and saw it still unlocked, my fervent hope that we'd missed each other died. Now there was an actual pain under my sternum, probably acid reflux.

We don't have a marine radio, but our neighbor does. So we rousted Morris and debated whether to get on the radio or go down to the park and organize more searchers. Morris said to get Eddie. Eddie's the WHR park manager, a local, knows everyone and everything.
Eddie with his girls...

Eddie actually passed us in a big hurry at the entrance to the park. We followed him to his place, where he gets out of his truck and said "There's some stupid schmuck stuck on the beach at the Christmas Tree". Sandy said, "Hopefully, that'd be Ron. He went missing." My chest pain went away. Apparently two Mexicans drove to the park and told Jaap that some guy sent them to bring help.

So up the beach we all go in a caravan, Jim and Les in his big truck with the Mexicans, Eddie in his little truck, and us three.

Six miles up the beach we find Ron, the truck sunk to the chassis in the sand at the water's edge. He was fine, freely admitting that he'd fucked up, and didn't need anyone to expound on that. Jim wisely had left his truck back on firmer sand, having seen earlier the section where Ron was stuck. John and Bette went home (and discovered they'd locked themselves out and had to break into their own house).

After much digging, a failed attempt to pull with Eddie's little truck, and determining that the tide had stopped coming up, it was clear we'd be waiting til morning for the tide to recede, and would just leave it there.

So Eddie, me next to him, and Ron and the Mexicans in the back, drive back towards Jim's truck (Jim and Les are walking) and Eddie veers around it on the wrong side. The beach side, where it ends in a little hook at high tide. As a chorus of "NO EDDIE!" floods the little overburdened truck, Eddie's now stuck in the sand as well.

 Where Ron Got Stuck
and where Eddie got stuck below him.

Also no hope of getting it out until morning. Two trucks stuck in the sand. Ron says he's staying, has a full gas tank, can run the heater, and the tide isn't going to wash him out to sea. We all go home in Jim's truck.

I spent a sleepless night worrying about CO poisoning, banditos, the waves making the truck engine inoperable and hence no heat, you name it and it consumed my night.  But the next morning, even before the sun was up, they were back on the beach digging, shoring up with planks, and VOILA! They're out.

Ron paid the Mexicans for their efforts, thanked everyone else profusely, and spent the day eating, hydrating, and napping. As did I.


Tell someone where you're going and when to expect you back.
Walkie-Talkies aren't very reliable. We'll be getting a marine radio shortly.
One truly needs to keep important papers (like license numbers) somewhere BESIDES in the truck.
And a flashlight IN the truck.
And drinking water, in case you're stuck somewhere for a long time.
And most of all, we learned these friends of ours are priceless.

Bette and John


Bill with his bride Pat

And to the other rescuers that I don't seem to have photos of:  Phil, Jaap. Thanks again, and we hope to pull YOU out of a mess some day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

THAT'S Entertainment!

Our neighbors Danielle and Norm live in a fifth wheel here. Last week they added a mobile home, and it was THE event of the month.

First, you must understand The Road. Our Dos Palmas neighborhood ("The Hood") and the Western Horizons RV Park are 10 miles from Kino Viejo, and the road is dirt, sand, rubble, rock, washboard, you name it. They actually sell T-Shirts that say "I Survived the Road to WHR." And once a year, intrepid RVers drive their quarter-million-dollar 40 foot motorhomes out here, very slowly. That 10 miles has been known to take 2 hours, depending on road conditions. To bring a MOBILE HOME out here promised to be a sure occasion for a party. Lawn chairs, beverages, cameras, and where else but my roof, right across the street?

Rooftop Voyeurs
It took them an hour to get from Kino Nuevo to the beginning of The Road. And then 3 hours on The Road. So when we finally heard it was en route, we IM'd everyone and gathered for the spectacle. A few of the men went up to The Arch to remove enough of the adjacent posts and fencing on it's left side to allow it to make the turn, as nothing fits through that arch.
We saw it coming down the road, watched it make the turn onto our street, and then the fun started.
So far, it was only missing one tire, a casualty of The Road.

The plan was to pull right, then back it onto the prepared pad. That's their fifth wheel in the back.
So now it's on the pad, but catywampus, so he pulls it back off and...

...when trying to avoid taking out the neighbor's trees and cacti, it gets stuck in the soft sand. So now my husband Ron has to pull the tow truck and the mobile home out with our poor, abused Chevy truck.

Which works, but when the tow truck driver backed it up again, it got stuck again. So Norm had Ron pull him back out, told the driver to drive it all the way out and come in from the other direction.

He runs over a 2 foot tall column of seashells that mark the driveway and breaks the concrete top of their septic. And Norm's looking demented. And we're all on the roof ROFL. Mind, it wasn't funny, but there was alcohol involved. The video segment where the driver takes out 1/2 a Palo Verde tree didn't come out, unfortunately, but now there's a broken window and missing siding, and we're slightly worried about Norm, who's begun gesticulating.

It does finally get onto the pad, straight, without further incident. They have a bit of work ahead of them, aside from the window and siding repairs, but much more roominess to look forward to. And if Danielle needs help finding furnishings for it in the segundas, luckily there's a Professional Segundian across the street.