And the days grow shorter

Okay, Chris had his back surgery two weeks and three days ago. Maybe three weeks ago by the time I publish. But I figure if I wanted to use this title, I’d better get at it because the days will begin growing longer in less than two weeks (woohoo).

The surgery went well. There were a few moments of course. Like when he projectile vomited just before getting into the almost new Tesla he was riding home in after surgery. And the first night, he was up every hour or so to readjust his position. But I’m pleased to report that 17 days in, we think all is good. He’s taking the odd Tylenol for pain (the surgery/incision pain) and his back pain is not present. He’s wearing a custom back brace until February 22 – three months in.

Staples are out now and everything is almost healed (this is two days after the op)

Deep healing is four-six weeks, full healing is three-six months, although the doctor said he would be on the three-month end because he’s healthy. He didn’t even say “for your age” which is what CW’s doctor in Cuernavaca adds, every time he says, “Wow, you are really healthy”. Pause. “For your age.” Of course, his doctor in Mexico is 12. (Just kidding. But *maybe* he’s 30, LOL.)

So, this is all great.

We had an issue with P.J. challenging us prior to our trip north for the surgery. Because we didn’t have enough to worry about. Me first. And me repeatedly. If you’ve ever had a bull terrier challenge you, you’d never forget it. But, in the end, I (we) stood him down and instituted a strict training regimen and sent him to boot camp while we were away. We’ve now had 17 days of usually three training periods a day, one with the trainer and two with me reinforcing that I am the boss, not him.

It was scary. For me, not as much because of the breed as it was the fact that I was going to have to put him to sleep if I couldn’t get control. Because of the breed. They can do damage. However, I am very pleased to report that while the work will continue, P.J. has learned who is the boss (see video):

It’s a huge difference compared to a month ago. I’m probably the biggest change and I’ll keep it that way. I’m the boss and I don’t care if he has an enlarged heart that will kill him before his time – he’s still a bull terrier, he’s not a child. I am stunned at how different he is. We have a very good trainer. He has to be good if he trained me, LOL.

Ok, what else? Lots of other things actually. It’s been so long. I’ve been up north twice – once to the Island where I voted (go Justin and Jagmeet), and the Airstream is really coming along. Here’s our kitchen sink area. This place is going to look like a modern farmhouse condo. If that makes sense.

The second time was, of course, for his surgery. We were in North Vancouver in an Air BnB condo (great apt, great location) and didn’t even consider a car for a moment. We are both very fond of walking neighbourhoods (but do not want to live in condo). I saw my old buddy Jan (I always see her, she’s my blood sister and the biggest reason that the universe nudged me to work at Vancouver Film School.) We saw the kids a few times (they were so helpful to us) and I ran a lot of errands and did some Christmas stocking shopping. All by foot.

Our new (tentative, as they always are) plan is to purchase a house with a suite on Vancouver Island but in the beginning, we plan to rent both units out. And we’ll rent ourselves, either in North Vancouver (Londsdale area) or Horseshoe Bay. Must be a walking neighbourhood. Plus public transit in Vancouver is awesome and they have Uber now. And of course, the rental in La Paz. But that’s CW’s choice. I’m sure I’ll find him a few options (it’s the least I can do) but he can pick. I’m happy to spend winters in Mexico but my primary concern is what we live in up north and where it is located. All moot however until this house is sold.

I had a nice surprise. I don’t know if you recall my old friend from Galveston (from almost 20 years ago) who had gone awol. He surfaced and I’m very happy to hear from him. I was worried that something had happened. But all’s well that ends well and sometimes, you just need to retreat and regroup. I get that. I’m just happy he’s alive. That’s what happens when you get to be our age. Someone doesn’t answer an email – you wonder if they died. Sheesh.

And, another dear friend, formerly of Maclean’s Magazine (30+ years ago), who moved to California – may be able to come down for Christmas. We will know, I hope by tomorrow which is December 11 and also a full moon. He’s had health issues and needs to get a green light from his doctor based on some tests. Fingers crossed.

Did I mention that Billy G. is here? Or that we’ve known each other 40 years? We look at each other and ask (out loud) how did we get this old? And then we laugh. Sort of, LOL. He is leaving on Thursday but has been here for just about four weeks. He very kindly came to babysit Rosie while we were gone (PJ was at boot camp) and stayed to give me a hand around here while CW recovers. This is his third or fourth visit to this house – grateful for his friendship and company. Plus, he’s a contractor and super tidy in the house (a little OCD), he cooks and never stops moving. The perfect house guest.

When our CA/Mac friend leaves on December 26, our Mexico City friends (25+ years) with the sweet kids (six and four) will descend for a few days of debauchery. And then Judy, one of my other oldest friends (30 years) who lives in Ajijic, will come on December 30 and spend New Years with us. So full house over the next few weeks – just how we like it. Lots of food and old friends and I need to get some more champagne. I think it’s going to be one of those years. Kirkland champagne, FYI. Because we want quantity (by which I mean three bottles, maybe, it’s not like we’re getting a case). I’m convinced it’s just Vueve in a private label bottle. And it’s about half price. But we probably won’t turn the infinity edge into an ice bucket this time.

And just before we went to bed last night, we got a feeler on the house. They don’t do offers here the way we do up north. They do feelers. Well, the ones who are investing, anyway (not necessarily those looking for a residence). It kind of throws a wrench in things because they always need to move fast – but we’ll see. They have no emotional attachment, they just work using the bottom line of a spreadsheet. But they buy houses. I’ll explain the concept, should it come to pass.

Two days later. No word on the ‘feeler’ on the house. Our friend from California can’t make it as he doesn’t have enough white blood cells and we all know how flying can compromise one’s immune system. So that’s sad but hopefully, he can come once his numbers are back up. In the meantime, we will be chanting for that to happen soon.

We will have Christmas Eve with our neighbour and friend here and then have our frozen turkey tourtiere (from Canadian Thanksgiving) for the 25th, likely mid-day. Once our Mexico City friends arrive, we’ll do a spiral ham (which I actually found at Costco, will wonders never cease?) with french butter potatoes and I’m not sure what else. And we’ll have a second Christmas morning with the young ones. Not that we have a first Christmas morning. I’m afraid it will be a nada December 25 but we’re used to them. Unless we have company, it’s just a normal day. And then, we’ll have New Year’s Eve and that will be another year shot.

Must plan New Year’s Even dinner soon. This is certainly the season for old friends. Always makes me think of Guy Clark. Really can’t believe he’s dead. But that’s another story. The story this December is how blessed we are with our old friends, our new friends, his back, our health, our dogs and each other. And all of you.

May Santa be good to you.




    I sure hope the La Paz part of your life works out. It would be so neat to meet you! My husband Les and I have the bnb (Labocanahotel dot com) in La Bocana,which is 10 hours north of La Paz. We are on the Pacific, we are very remote and our village of pop. 1500 is very cool.

    Your writing is so interesting and makes one feel a part of the story. What a knack. You really should write fiction, if you haven’t already done it.

    There are some Canadians who own the yurts in San Ignacio which is the town right before ours as you head north from La Paz. The new Canadian owners are wonderful but we know the previous Canadian owners better and they still live in San Ignacio: Gary and Terri.

    We also have a house for sale here…My husband also had back surgery. Lots of overlaps. Merry Christmas and happy new year!