Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

I wrote this slowly, over almost two months. I guess I didn’t (don’t) have a lot to say, since I was trying not to comment on the US political situation and I was alternately gone, sick, in school, then working. But what the hell – it’s been almost two months. I’m going to publish before February by hook or crook. But let’s start at the beginning.

Around here, it’s kind of shocking when we remember that it’s December. The weather, as usual, is glorious. I cannot sing enough praises about Cuernavaca’s climate. It truly is heaven. We’re looking at 22 C during the day (70s) and 15s (60s) at night. For the winter. Which is just fine. We’ll jump about 10 degrees C on the highs and lows for the summer. And sunshine every day. It changes your attitude.

So, I’m back from Africa with not much to say about it, actually. The terrain was not what I expected – it looked much like Haiti (and I hate to say it, but after the earthquake). No wildlife to speak of. We were on the edge of a city of 70,000, but it was quite rural. No birds except what the locals call hawks and I think are a variety of buzzard. And very few flowers, despite being quite tropical and humid. Oil refinery country. It took two days each way to get there and back (3 planes and layovers), which was brutal.  Not the Serengeti or Sahara by a long shot.

I was sick when I came back, still am, but don’t feel nearly as bad as I did yesterday. Not anything exotic, since I had every shot required (Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Meningococcal,Tetanus, Diptheria, anti-malarial, Hepatitis A & B). The list really should have given me some idea where I was going, perhaps? LOL. But now I’m home and there’s a pile of work to be done.

And then I got really sick and just came out of it Tuesday, December 27, at least mostly out of it. There’s still a lot of stuff in my chest. My immune system, normally strong, was royally screwed.

I started school last Wednesday morning (Dec. 28) – Spanish for Business. Monday – Friday, 9-5 for three weeks. The language learning is in the morning and in the afternoon, it’s practical curriculum with field trips to some of the largest manufacturers, orphanages, retail stores etc in Mexico for behind the scenes looks at how Mexican business functions and some of the legal requirements. I’m quite enjoying it. And it continues tomorrow (January 2, technically a stat but not for school). I’m quite tired when I get home, so I am trying to take it easy at night. That’s after three days of school. This week is five in a row.

And did I mention, I felt a loose tooth (molar) on the flight home from Africa. Went to the dentist on the 27th, it’s fractured. Probably from trauma (maybe hitting my head on the ceiling of the bus roof over a bump in the road in Africa). Also turns out I grind at night and clench all day, which has weakened the bone holding the tooth somehow. And it fractured easily. So it had to come out. One hour and 45 minute extraction on the afternoon of December 28. Without being knocked out (first time in 45 I’ve been awake in the dental chair). I’m not even going to talk about it.

And then after school (this session ends January 18), I have a couple of weeks to get the casita painted and I hope a little more fitted out for when a client (friend and former boss) comes down to work for a week. We still need so many tables and dressers and accent pieces. Poco a poco. We are supposed to go north in April/May to sort out storage and ship most of it down here. I guess we should pick the weeks and book it, really.

Oy. I have so abandoned this blog, sorry. Between Africa, Christmas, being sick, dental extraction (and now I’m going for two more appointments, God help me), school, then when that’s over next week  (on the 18th of January), I have lots of work to do on the memoir project (the client is right back into it but I haven’t been able to even open the files yet). And two dental (sedated, root planing, yuk) appointments one week apart in there. My client (the memoir) arrives in Cuernavaca on February 5 to work together for a week. Then I have a week’s worth of work (or more) and then my father and stepmother arrive for 10 days. When they are here, I’ll work in the early mornings and do stuff with them mid-day.

Then, that’s it. No more guests booked, although there was one set invited for sometime in March who haven’t followed up lately but who knows. CW had his son here in the casita over Christmas and he’s just gone home. The workers have been in the yard since November 1, constructing the pool. It’s quite complicated, plus we sit on rock pretty much and a lot of it had to be done by hand.

Although I understand the should go rather quickly now. It will take the plants some time to adapt but they should be in shortly. Which means the water should be in shortly. I’d really like to be looking at something other than this big hole beside the driveway. We are both in agreement, it will be nice to have the workers out of the yard. They’re nice (three guys every day and extras on some days) – really nice – but it will also be really nice when they are gone. We’ve had workmen either inside or outside the house since we arrived. But we’ve accomplished a lot. Still, time for a rest.

Back in the present now (late January). CW is heading to Vancouver on business in late March – I may or may not go, since I’ll be gone in May for at least two weeks to organize the storage locker. What else is going on? Trump just banned all refugees from America and also banned citizens of seven countries, green card holders or not (later reversed the green card part, which was Bannon’s doing anyway). It’s pretty much sent me over the top. It is going to be horrible to watch. I could talk about all the horrid things he’s done in the first week but it’s old news as he’s on to week two now. I shudder to think but today, I’ve been pretty much been able to ignore it as I worked most of the day on the memoirs. It’s sad, the empire looks like it’s falling. I lost one subscriber (out of over 100) when I talked about trump last time. Good riddance. And here’s my new shirt, LOL.

We still don’t have a housekeeper. Not sure what to do. We are having a team come in from a service once a month to deep clean it all. But geez. It’s a big house and help is relatively cheap but we are concerned with finding the right person, plus we don’t like strangers in the house so it makes it kind of tough. But I doubt I can manage it myself. One day a week would be good. And the outside takes a lot of work and tidying regularly as well (sweeping the patios and walkways, keeping the roofs clear of debris). And it’s very inexpensive.

Ok, so that’s it. February 3 and I’ll finally publish. The Jacarandas are just starting, in a few weeks there should be purple everywhere, it’s spring here now. I am having some big thoughts, there’s just been no time to sort them out or write them. Next time, I promise. I hope everyone is having as good a 2017 as you can, given that mango menace. God only knows where we’ll all end up but time will tell. Here’s a song that’s been on my mind a lot lately. There’s probably no question why – the video contains the most iconic newspaper photo of my youth (under the lyrics “and found her dead on the ground”) . I honestly believe there will be blood on the streets soon. Can’t “Orale!” that 🙁



  1. Myron Pstrak Reply

    Thanks for catching us up. Busy times for y’all. Did I miss something? I thought you were moving closer in to Mexico City. We’re very close to listing our home (loved your t shirt) and when it sells we’ll be free spirits. We’ve been to Ajijic and San Miguel several times but I’m thinking we may head to Cuernavaca or Tepotzlan first when we’re free and see what we think. Your books and blog have been a huge help. We’ll have lots of options soon. Thanks!

    1. Post author Reply

      Good luck with your move, please email if I can be of any help with info. We did move to Mexico City but found it too cold and too overcast (possibly smog not clouds…) and decided Cuernavaca was hands-down the best climate we’d ever found… and only 50 miles away. So we hightailed it back 🙂

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