Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Doing The Covid Two-Step

19 Sep

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the two-step is a dance frequently performed at a country western bar in boots and cowboy hat. Back in the day, it’s where I met my Sweetie, twenty-seven years ago this week. No one would have put money on us, yet here we are.

Gay bars in the 90s.

These days, the only dance we’re doing is to avoid Covid infection while traveling in the U.S. One, two cha cha cha.

Pharmacy shelves are empty.

Rapid home tests are as elusive as the proverbial needle in a haystack. I believe folks have boxes at home next to stockpiled toilet paper. My daughter orders rapid tests online at 4am when supplies come in and sell out quickly.

Last week we got news that my former sister-in-law succumbed to conspiracy theories and vaccine avoidance. There are so many sad stories of needless death, it’s difficult to turn on the news. RIP Val.

Fingers crossed that we get to talk to the surgeon this week and schedule Lisa’s spinal fusion. It’s been another one of those dances, slow, slow, quick, quick.

At least I can share photos of our pups who are doing well at home in Bacalar under the care of our house sitters. Enjoy.

Luna enjoying a hot stone bath.
Stela harassing my MILs cat.

DOS TORTAS

Get Vaccinated

The Broken Cookie

12 Sep

When my kids were little, it was not uncommon for them to have a meltdown at the oddest times. After a fun day at the waterpark, some seemingly inconsequential thing would trigger a full blown scream-fest on the way home in the car. We called it the broken cookie syndrome.

One of my favorite pictures of our kids.

It makes no sense to try and talk a child out of a tantrum. A broken cookie tastes the same as a whole one. But after a day of trying to hold it all together, the slightest infraction ie the broken cookie and the wheels fall off.

That’s what happened to me today. We have been four days of caring for our three year old twin granddaughters. We sang songs, read stories, did yoga, drew pictures, and walked to the park, all the things you do with young ones to pass the day. Let’s not forget naps, baths, and bandaids on skinned knees.

Our bundles of fun.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a volunteer gig to help out their parents. Except, the girls were supposed to be in school all day and our job was to transport to and from, feed them dinner and put them to bed. Easy peasy right? Runny noses from allergies made it impossible to go to school in the time of Covid. We thought they would get better as the week progressed but they never did.

Wonderful artwork by the girls in my journal.

Today I had my own broken cookie. I made a broccoli slaw which was a first for me. Raw broccoli, carrots and a peanut sauce. The slaw was my own version of a Pinterest recipe, substituting what I had on hand. Yummy. It was a bit of work and I was excited for dinner.

Lisa came to ask what she could do support dinner prep and I suggested she slice up some tomatoes and cucumbers for the burgers. She misunderstood and added them to my slaw.

I have NO idea why it upset me so badly. I wasn’t mad at her. But I found myself sitting in the bedroom in a senselessly boohooing. Dear God what is wrong with me? I blame it all on a broken cookie . The straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. BTW the slaw was still delish.

DOS TORTAS

Broccoli Salad (This recipe lends itself to many options, adding pineapple or apple is nice too)

4 well packed cups small broccoli pieces, stems removed (~2 small-medium heads of broccoli) you can grate the inner stems too.

1 cup thinly sliced celery

1 cup shredded carrot

½ cup dried cranberries

DRESSING:

½ cup plain nondairy yogurt

¼ cup vegan mayo

3 tbsp tahini (or peanut butter)

1 ½ tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp white miso (optional)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

¾ tsp fine grain kosher salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

Cheesy Roasted Sunflower Seeds

½ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds (or peanuts)

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

¼ tsp salt

Just Take The Next Step

5 Sep

We have been NOB (north of the Mexico/US border) for almost six weeks. It has been a full on vaca which includes dodging Covid, eating favorite foods and hanging with the grands.

Up very early for a flight out of Austin.

There’s nothing terribly profound to share. We’ve been enjoying the amazing produce that abounds in Northern California. Figs are in season and are able to be picked off a neighbor’s tree. Heavenly.

One of my favorite fruits.

Temps are a bit lower than Lisa likes, but I am quite content. I just didn’t bring enough warm clothes. Living in the tropics, our wardrobe is limited in that department.

The local farmers market is always a treat.
My art journaling continues. Produce inspires.
Stela has put yoga on hold. Rainy cool weather in Bacalar has her ready to snuggle.

It is such a strange time we’re living in. Lisa’s mom got very sick with the flu. Thank God she didn’t have Covid but there was certainly a lot of anxiety until test results came back. Hang in there. Somehow we’ll make it through.

DOS TORTAS

On To Another Adventure

29 Aug

Our time in Austin, Texas has been renewing for our spirit and relationship. Lisa and I haven’t spent time alone in several years. Do you believe it?! Between Covid, her mother, and the dogs, well, it’s probably a lot like your life.

Morning on the Sunset Valley Greenbelt.
One must be up early to beat the Texas heat.
I love the majestic trees of Central Texas.

With the help of family, friends and Uber, we had a comfortable place to stay and transportation. Our house sitters have taken care of hearth and home and the dogs.

Back in Bacalar, Stela has taken up yoga. Resting pensive pose.

We are very grateful as we move on to the next part of our adventure, visiting California.

Bald Cypress

I miss the trees when we are in Mexico. Then again, Austin doesn’t have Laguna Bacalar.

Thank you sitters Dino and Lei for the updates and photos.

Time to pack.

DOS TORTAS

Painted on the overpass along Ladybird Lake hike and bike trail.

Beholding The Art

22 Aug

Guest blog by Father Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

When we look at art, we are usually quick to judge its value according to our own preferences based on style, color, size, location, and even country of origin! However, there is another invitation—one that goes beyond our likes and dislikes—and that is to simply “behold” it. Many of the apparitions in the Bible begin with “behold”—usually uttered as a command, an invitation, or perhaps a call to a different style of attention. In a sense, it is a giveaway that, in fact, we can and need to “switch gears” once in a while to be ready to perceive what is about to come at us…

From the house where we’re staying in Austin.
Our son.

Once we decide to behold, we are available for awe and wonder, to be present to what is, without the filter of our preferences or the false ledger of judging things as important or not important. A much broader, much deeper, and much wider field of perception opens up, becoming an alternative way of knowing and enjoying. The soul sees soul everywhere else too: “deep calls unto deep,” as the psalmist says (42:8). Center knows center, and this is called “love.”

I invite you to “behold” something today. In my experience, you will seldom be disappointed. Find a bit of ordinary beauty—a print, a sculpture, a photograph—in your home, online, or at a museum—and gaze at it until you see it as one instance of a manifestation of the eternal creativity of God. Allow your “beholding” to move the work of art beyond its mere “relative truth” and to reveal its inherent dignity, as it is, without your interference or your labels. It becomes an epiphany and the walls of your world begin to expand.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Just This (CAC Publishing: 2017), 99–101.

The yard at a friend’s house.

I have written of the inspiration I receive from Father Richard Rohr. (Finding Inspiration). His daily posts this week are about appreciating art in our daily lives. I have been keeping an art journal during this trip to the US. It’s been fun and a different way to collect memories.

My friend Roberta.

It’s so easy to be critical of my art but I’m not going to go there. I’m enjoying a different way to chronicle my visit and invite Spirit into my life.

DOS TORTAS

Cloudburst

14 Aug

Whenever I come across something that gives me a good belly laugh, I have to share it with my partner. But when it’s a fall off the couch, tears and snot guffaw-fest, it has to go on the Dos Tortas blog.

This week we watched Cloudburst with Olympia Dukakis on Netflix. I began by not paying much attention but was soon completely riveted. I’ll surely go back and watch it again. The zingers were flying fast and furious and absolutely hilarious.

https://www.imdb.com/video/vi2691547161

The fact that this movie came out in 2002, before lesbians could legally marry in the US, means that I am waaaay behind the times in my movie watching. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Thirty-one years together.

DOS TORTAS

Mask Distance Vaccinate

8 Aug

As Austin, Texas moved into stage 5 this week, the highest Covid warnings were put back in place. People have been admonished to cease circulating and cover your face, even if you are vaccinated. And of course, get the vaccine.

We planned our trip from our jungle paradise to the US when conditions had vastly improved and we had gotten our vaccines. Having spent the quarantine to date in Mexico has gotten us used to masking up before going anywhere. Unlike Texas, Mexico has no problems requiring masks. We are hoping that wearing a mask and only hanging with vaccinated, careful people will get us through. Fingers crossed.

Our son building a climbing structure for his kids.

It has been wonderful to see family and a few friends. We had a small outdoor gathering of my former coworkers on Thursday. Many cancelled, however it was so good to see people whom I have known and worked with for over twenty years. Everyone is in various stages of retirement. One couple is visiting from Portugal where they recently relocated. What fun!

Please add us to your prayers as we navigate the crazy times we live in.

DOS TORTAS

Wake Me Up When We Get There

1 Aug

During my time working for the State of Texas, I flew frequently for my job. I arrived at the airport with just enough time to slip on board the plane to Houston, Corpus or El Paso. If meetings ended early, it was easy to jump on an earlier flight. And there was no additional charge!

Mexico City Airport

When 9-11 happened, the addition of a security line increased the amount of time necessary to arrive at the airport. An hour flight from Austin to Houston took so much additional time in a security line, that it was often easier to drive. Fees began to pile on for rescheduling flights. Flying became less fun.

We travel light. Unfortunately Stela had to stay home.

Our recent trip to the United States from Mexico, after a year and a half in quarantine has us thinking twice about the future of travel. Add to the experience is the fact that none of us is getting any younger. There are additional fees for everything, checked luggage, seat selection and even water on the plane. Each airline has different requirements for proof of health, an application to to be downloaded and filled out or paper to be signed. So much screening! To leave Mexico City we had to get up at two a.m. to be at our flight three hours ahead of time. We knew it would be different but nothing prepared us for the actual experience.

Lisa takes a snooze.
Fun times with the grands. Makes it all worth it.

At the same time, we are excited to see family and friends. We can no longer isolate in our jungle paradise, although I will be supremely happy to get back when our tasks are completed and we make our way home.

DOS TORTAS

When The Dog Ate Chocolate

24 Jul

Have you ever have a day that started off one way and ended up in quite an expected place? That was our Friday this week, in spades. We had an appointment for Covid tests in preparation for the trip Monday to the States. Off we went to Bacalar with our house sitters in tow. The plan was to drop them off at the mercado, get our tests and then meet up to show them our favorite shops and explain some of the unfamiliar fruits and vegetables. That was the only part of the day that went according to plan.

We returned home to a peculiar and unfamiliar sight. There were bits of foil wrapping torn up all over the living room. Mmmm. Had someone gotten in the trash?

It seems our house sitters had some lovely good quality chocolate, unopened and wrapped in plastic at the bottom of a backpack, a perfect treasure hunt for a highly food driven, blind pug with an exceptional nose for trouble.

Who knew such a little dog could get in so much trouble.

Poor Luna who we later surmised had nothing to do with the caper, but got caught up in the tsunami of activity that followed. A quick calculation of the amount of chocolate consumed, weight of a tiny pug and the possible consequences, had them both bundled into the car and off to the veterinary clinic.

Luna said she was innocent.

The doctor was in the middle of another emergency and had us leave the dogs for observation. What a crazy day.

Stella and Luna spent the next few hours crated at the clinic and then home, with Stella passing chocolate diarrhea and vomit for the next few hours. The worst part was her inability to settle down, wandering in circles, disoriented and running into things. (Reminder, she is blind). It took until far into the night for her to finally quiet enough to sleep. This from a dog that sleeps most of the time.

We are so grateful that it was not worse. Dogs can die from chocolate poisoning. With two days until we leave! At least our sitters were not trying to find a vet, handle a sick dog and google translate, “damn dog ingested chocolate” in Spanish.

The good news is that the Covid tests came back negative. And I thought I wasn’t going to have anything to blog about this week. A shout out to our sitter who acted quickly and insisted we go to the vet. Disaster averted and two very scared moms relieved.

DOS TORTAS

Breathe Relax Have Fun

18 Jul

This week we pack.

Unfortunately Stela will not be going on our trip to Austin, TX.

Our first trip north of the border in two and a half years has required much thought and planning. Beyond the usual acquisition and preparation of house sitters, the reservations for transportation (air and ground), arrangements for Lisa’s mom, housing and visiting family and friends, we have the fear of Covid swirling in the mix. How will things be different? God only knows.

Somehow lots of hearts have worked their way into our home.

A friend imparted wise words this week as I expressed my fear and anxiety. “If you are overly afraid of getting sick and dying, you will also not be living.” So we will be cautious and do our best to relax.

Our bathroom mural and outdoor reality.

Once the doors to the plane close, I will take a deep breath. Maybe I won’t wait until then. Breathe, relax, have fun.

DOS TORTAS

Emilie Vardaman

travel and random thoughts

midwife87505's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Dead Kennedy

: A journal of a very slooow marathon swimmer

The Soulful Word

Intuitive copywriter + content creator: word whispering magic for lightworkers

View From Casita Colibrí

gringa musings from a rooftop terrace in Oaxaca

Your Hand in Mind

Musings of a human factors engineer after her brain was released...

Adventures with LoLo

PUERTO RICO: "Isla del Encanto”… "Island of Enchantment"

Our House In...

Living where we are

Surviving Yucatan

Smoothing out Mexico's rough spots.

A Boy and Her Dog

Traversing the Border between Butch and Transgender

Surviving Mexico

Adventures and Disasters

Just Another Moment in Paradise

Snippets of an Adventure's Life in Cozumel, Mexico

Perking the Pansies

Jack Scott's random ramblings

Mexico Retold

There's more to Mexico than meets the media

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Amazon Express

From the most distant source to the sea.

Biketrash Holiday

Adventures on Two Wheels!

%d bloggers like this: