A Month of Sundays: 23-30

Day 23 (Sunday, April 5): I’m going to stop reading so much news. I’m going to search for specific stories on google news – Italy, Spain – I will keep up with Canadian news in general and Mexican virus news but I’m not going in search of more Coronavirus information, at least not for a week or two. I will watch the John Hopkins world totals chart, and a few other charts. But we already know what they know. I start on Google general news every morning so if there are breakthroughs, I’ll see the headlines.

We are going to have to get used to the lockdown. In Mexico, we are in official lockdown until April 30 and it may go later. Not *that* many cases here and some governors (such as Baja California Sur) have really stepped up to the plate. They are checking temperatures on assorted highways at military stops from what I hear, and the military are clearing people from the beaches who aren’t paying attention. We are safe and sound inside our walls and the grocery store is still delivering.

They *have* shut down the Heineken plant in Mexico but I think I can live, LOL (they shut down all beer production – not deemed ‘essential’ and it’s not). It’s only until April 30 at the moment. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it stretches on through at least part of May. (Update – by Friday, they said okay, beer is actually essential.)

Almost an emergency ..

I was supposed to be up north a week ago. And coming back April 15. The only reason I didn’t book it was because we had sold the house (or so we thought) and were closing around then. And moving like, last week. Man, things have been a rollercoaster in 2020 and we’re only three months in. FM (google it I can’t believe you wouldn’t know what it stands for, though).


I think while no one knows for sure – the general wisdom at this point is that it could be seasonal and will die off and come back in the fall and be around the rest of the year but hopefully with a vaccine in early 2021. And they are hopeful about possible treatments and cures (drugs) which would happen sooner. Hopefully by fall. So we need to keep the curve flat until it hibernates for the season – and be prepared to hunker down again in the fall if need be.

IF we can sell the house in the late spring and get moved before the middle of October, we’ll make a run for it to La Paz. We can sit out the winter there and then figure out how to get home. For sure there will be no showings until the lockdown is lifted – scheduled for the end of the month but could be extended. The rains come in May and it’s glorious. It’s super green and beautiful from mid-late May through October. Time will tell if we sell in time to make a run for it before wave 2. If not, who TF knows. You know what that means too, LOL.

So, IF we were to show it in May, even late May, I need to really get this house cleaned somehow. OMG. I did dust and washed the kitchen floor, now it’s time to do it again. The whole place is a mess. FFS. Our houseman is super important to us (once a week). He keeps volunteering to come over in a cab – he doesn’t like getting paid for staying home. Same for our morning gardener/handyman. He’s only half a day and he lives about 30 miles away but he’s offering to ride his bike – up the hill. There’s 3,000 ft altitude difference between where he lives and where we live. So sweet of each of them, but no.

I did make the poutine and it was very good. We have been having pretty regular dinners. Tonight is Lobster Benedict (from tiny tales from the big market in Mexico City – frozen).

Day 24: Mid-day. Two walks, typed in some book, emptied the dishwasher and will probably vacuum the entire house when PJ goes with the trainer in half an hour. It’s really a mess. And by the whole house, I don’t mean the guest rooms, those doors are just closed.

Ok, I swept. AND mopped. Everywhere except the guest rooms. I did a fast mop, mind you. Not fun. There’s a lot of dust in Mexico in dry season. But it’s done. I can’t believe we won’t have Genaro for a month.

On the Coronavirus front, Italy, Spain and France *may* have all turned a corner and be on the downward slope of the mountain. I really hope so. Canada seems to be holding her own. We are expecting Mexico to start peaking soon – in a couple of weeks. It looks like the US may start peaking this week but it could go on for certainly the rest of the month as it moves through regions at different rates. I’m trying to not focus on the virus but to stay as informed as possible. I’m not reading any more terror stories, which have been well-done and often first-person accounts. But no more. I can’t. Just the facts, ma’am. And I’m going to trust that the scientists have this, so to speak – they’re on it. And good governments are on it. I’m sorry about America and what seems to be coming – let alone the state NY is already in. I chant for my American friends every day.

I am very aware of how much being able to shelter at home is a privilege. And it’s one I’m grateful for. CPP, OAS (government pensions) plus a few small investments, a book that pays on Amazon every month (The Move to Mexico Bible) and ongoing income (which really varies) from FreshPatio.com. Very grateful to have primarily passive income (although the book requires updating and FP requires new stories, the latter of which I have not done in a while).

Old photo – really a person – in Galveston … you know I love that town …

I still have to smack myself (figuratively) when I play ‘what if’ instinctively and often. And then, when things calm down and ‘what if’ becomes useful in writing, I won’t be doing it automatically anymore. I haven’t really needed it in a while. We are redoing DogStar but I haven’t been writing any other fiction (and have no desire to). We will likely redo the script when we’re done the book. But it will follow the changes to the book.

Day 26: Yes, I missed Day 25. We had another internet outage on one of our providers and I didn’t want to go use the one in the casita. I was going to try to make a serious 4-layer cake (in preparation for attempting a fault line cake). Hahahahaha. Well, it was my first try. The icing was not what it was supposed to be. And the cake tilted because I don’t even have a flat plate here and my cake pans are 11″ frigging inches (8″ pans are called for in most recipes) and I don’t have a cake stand, I had to make one out of an upside-down bowl and a bamboo cutting board. But to be fair, I gave up completely when I saw what the icing turned out to be. I need an icing much stiffer – buttercream maybe. No wonder it looks like this. I did see a buttercream icing/frosting recipe that called for 2 lbs of unsalted butter. The next one will be better.

John Prine died. You all probably know that. From Covid-19 complications. So sad. I really can’t say much more. There was some song in the early 70s maybe (?) that talked about the band that existed in the hereafter: Hendrix, Joplin, Brian Jones (of the Rolling Stones) had a … ah, I can’t remember. I must say, when I heard this news, I did think of Townes and Guy and Susanna. And the picking circle. Jesus a lot of them have died. And I’m only 65. I’ve only been 65 for just under four months. I feel like it’s been longer. I think I think about it too much.

I woke up early this morning thinking about my old friend Kiki, who died last summer. She was the bomb, that’s for sure. I wish she was still around.

We ‘got’ each other immediately. I miss her. I wish she’d been my older sister. I remember reading her stuff in Cosmo when I was in my early 20s and she’d already had multiple husbands. She was so flippant. And her books. My god, she had some funny stories and she was so full of life. The Philadephia Enquirer once said (society column, I’m sure): “There are no eligible bachelors left in Philadelphia because Kiki Olsen has married them all.” Cheers to you, Kiki. I’m sorry we only had a year, I think there was a lot of hell we could have raised, even at our advanced ages. And I’m really glad you got to Paris one last time.

Saw this one day in Mexico City – Kiki got a kick out of it.

So, onto other things like watering the garden (automatic sprinklers, 3 regions right now but I water them manually at the box – not like I have to do much). Why do I do that, you probably think. Our water supply has been adequate (remember it comes from the city to our tanks 3X a week, welcome to Mexico) but the days have been inconsistent or were at the beginning of the dry season. It seems to have worked itself out (I only water the garden on days we have new water – but I water deeply and it’s almost rainy season, ojala.) Now that we are isolating, it gives me something to get outside for at least. And dog walks. And baking, LOL. You laugh. Wait until you see the next cake I make.

Day 28: Indeed, skipped Day 27. I was doing a lot of tidying and outside stuff. The garage and service area are spotless. I washed floors again today. Just two though. The outside terrace was soooo dusty. This is crazy.

I have one last chapter to type in, and then we’ll print up to chapter 19 (inclusive) on Monday, but both read full on through the book continuing with the hard copy until we get our transcribed chapters back. Slow pace really. But that means I need Chapter 15 by Monday. And today is Friday. Hmm. I’d better get at it. It’s a long one, so I’ll break it up over three days 🙂

Day 29: The end of day 29. We finished our entering the current text (up to chapter 19, with the rest farmed out). Will print tomorrow and then will go about identifying the key actions in each chapter. And then I guess full editing steam ahead. So that was good. It’s a Saturday today. Nothing much going on. Walked PJ twice in the morning (my app for how many steps I take says it’s 2.2 km) and then the trainer took him out with the mastiff and another bull terrier for an hour and a half. Good exercise for him, he’s well-behaved tonight. And I’m done with news for now. When is all of this going to end? It’s only 4:30 pm but I’ve got chicken in the oven, a beer open and I’m heading for Pinterest. Manana, folks.

Cascarones for Easter!

Day 30 (Sunday, April 12 – Easter): Printed out Chapters 1-19. Forgot to add page numbers so will add manually. In pen. For now, so we can keep track. Another Sunday. Smoky beans today, Judy’s recipe from years ago. I love these things.

It starts with bacon and onions
Then usually ground beef & pork but I have no pork.

If anyone wants the recipe, happy to share. They are incredible. Sweet, sour and addictive.

Add beans and sausage (farmer’s)
Add vinegar, coconut sugar, dry mustard, catsup and slow cook

So that’s about it for now. This is what they look like when they are done.

The finished product, alongside biscuits or cornbread

So, that’s it folks. Happy Easter. Stay home. Talk to you soon and remember …

Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind.