What A Year What A Year Adiós 2021

2 Jan

I fell into 2021 which required a cast and a lot of inactivity. An indication of what was in store perhaps?

Some of my blog posts for the year included among other things, recipes for garlic soup, spaghetti sauce, broccoli slaw, and dog food.

I renewed my passport in an adventure to Playa del Carmen.

Taking the bus and being careful.

Shared my quilts and my art.

Lone Star

Had dog adventures which included a trip to the vet after much chocolate consumption.

They look so innocent. I think Luna was, but not the evil pug.

Reviewed a few Netflix movies.

Provided some tips for dealing with emotional trials and tribulations.

And documented two trips to the States which included Lisa’s back surgery.

What a year, what a year! Here’s to 2022!

Much love from DOS TORTAS.

No Muddling

26 Dec

A friend recently commented on Facebook about muddling through in 2022. I had to give it a think and decided, “no muddling for me.”

I want to live a happy life. There’s something about getting older, I’m less willing to put up with bullshit, I mean muddling. I want clear communication, peace and connection. None of these things comes easily or naturally to me. But I’m willing and continually work at it.

This sweet video is an absolute inspiration. Maybe you’ll find something in it for you too. Enjoy and Happy Holidays.

DOS TORTAS

Pave Paradise And

19 Dec

put up another hotel.

Three new apartments across from us. They’ve been sitting empty and unfinished for a year.

We bought our property in 2012 in Bacalar, Mexico. The town is situated on a pristine lake, the second largest in Mexico. At that time the village of Bacalar was small and not particularly memorable. I always thought that if not for the Laguna, no one would give Bacalar a second glance.

A new Private Property sign and fence near our house. The jungle has been cleared by two men and a machete.

During the Covid shutdown, construction was booming in Bacalar. There are new hotels on every corner, sometimes two. The president of Mexico is pushing the Mayan Train project, a tourist train that will connect the major cities and ancient pyramids of the Yucatán. We’re talking 8,000 additional visitors a day. Those tourist dollars and jobs are hard to pass up.

A hotel has blocked our street. We can no longer walk the dogs along the lovely Laguna coast road.

One of the reasons that Bacalar has been so attractive to foreign residents is the lack of US tourists. A four hour drive from Cancun keeps people with a week vacation in the all-inclusives in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The addition of a fast train will change all that.

Tourists will be funneled to many of the quiet Mayan villages.

Not only will the construction of the train tear up the jungle but it will overcrowd the ancient sites of Palenque and Calakmul. Bacalar may be building hotels like crazy but the rest of the infrastructure is sorely lacking. More tourists means more boats which means more pollution in the water. Seasonal floods are already washing pesticides and fertilizers into the Laguna. The striking blue colors near our house are slowly dying.

Crystalline water that is threatened by development. (2012)

What does the future hold for Bacalar and Dos Tortas? We talk all the time about what will be our Plan B. For now we stay put. If and when the train goes through, we will have to make a decision. Stay tuned.

DOS TORTAS

Allergic To Breathing

11 Dec

Austin Texas aka the allergy capital of the world has cedar fever. Ask anyone who is afflicted. You’d better book with your allergists a year in advance. Burning eyes, drippy noses and yes, sometimes fever make winter a time to be dreaded in Central Texas. Also it is intermittent. One year I’d feel smug as everyone else suffered and the next year I’d want to do myself in.

If you’ve ever heard the saying, “wherever you go, there you are,” well this moment I’m in Bacalar and the sugar cane is in full bloom. I thought I had escaped allergy season in Texas. Not so fast.

This week, on our way to Chetumal, the fluffy sugar cane flowers were waving in the wind. Sugar cane pollen is a known allergen causing runny noses and all the other symptoms I’ve been experiencing this week. If there’s anything in the air to be allergic to, it finds its way up my nose.

Certainly one option.

So I’m feeling a bit under the weather and trying to stay rested. One suggestion is to stay indoors as much as possible. For one, I practically live outdoors as our house is very open to the elements and second, my dogs just don’t cooperate. Maybe I’ll start wearing a mask!

DOS TORTAS

The only way to be sick.

It’s Good To Be Home

5 Dec

I left Austin via magic carpet this past Wednesday on the first flight out scheduled for 8:30 am departure. I had a rental car to gas up and return. International flights require arriving at the airport three hours ahead of time. My sleep was restless so I got up and was at the airport waaaaay too early. Oh well.

I arrived to a rainy Cancun which made locating the car a bit of a challenge. Our house sitter had left it for me ten days prior. I prayed it would start, and it did! Much gratitude.

There was bumper to bumper traffic leaving the airport and construction along the Playa del Carmen highway. My gas tank was getting low and I planned to stop on my way out of Tulum. Way too many travelers had the same idea. There were long lines at the gas pumps so I crossed my fingers and kept going. True to the season I hit a thunder storm which slowed my progress. By the time I made it to the next gas station, I was feeling nervous and coming up with contingency plans.

I made it home to Bacalar safely and spent the first few days putting out fires. One of them was no internet and thus the tardiness of the blog. I’m sitting here watching large, fat, black squirrels prance on our coconut palms. Their antics make me laugh, breathe, and relax. It’s good to laugh. Welcome home.

DOS TORTAS

https://youtu.be/zJ6VT7ciR1o

Time For A Kick In The Butt (Mine)

27 Nov

Time spent in the US has sometimes been surreal. I want to click my ruby slippers three times and be home in my jungle house in Bacalar, Mexico. Dang, I left my ruby slippers home!

1999 commitment ceremony before we could legally marry.

While visiting the States I have needed to address some health issues. There is more technology available and I have good health insurance so why not. The trouble is, the outcomes have been a bit disconcerting.

2012/2021 (one new granddaughter)

High cholesterol– This is nothing new. I have had the same results in the past. I hunker down with my diet but then don’t follow up to see if what I’m doing is working. In Mexico there isn’t an annual exam per say. I have had my head in the sand.

High triglycerides– Sugar is my Achilles heal. At home I eat almost none. In the US I get sucked in to the SAD (Standard American Diet). Too much nibbling, too much sugar, too much food.

Pre-Diabetic– This diagnosis really threw me. With a Masters in Health Education I have always prided myself in eating well and exercising. Truth be told, I haven’t been understanding how my aging body, well, ages. I have been lazy and am paying the price.

View from the kitchen window.

My answer came from a friend who recommended an online application to keep me accountable. In just a few days I have learned that I am not exercising as much as I think I am, I am not eating as well as I think I am and I need help.

My seventieth birthday is in February and I am using it as both a goal and a marker. The doctor in Austin gave me little assistance other than take this pill and eat less carbs and red meat. As much as I hate to document everything, research shows that it works. Simply keeping a food journal reduces weight and most of us can use to loose a few. If you’re interested in knowing more about the application, leave your email in the comments.

DOS TORTAS

As Thoughts Turn Home Toward Mexico

21 Nov

As my time to return to Mexico from Austin, Texas looms on the horizon, I have such mixed emotions. I wish I could be in two places at once, which always happens when I have to leave my dear wife. My departure requires her to be more independent, fixing her own meals, arranging transportation and most of all, finding support that is not me. All of it while juggling medication and healing from major surgery. She’s a trooper, I’m the one who’s nervous.

How I’ve been passing the time in Austin.

I do get the bennies of returning home to the jungle of Southern Mexico, seeing the dogs, returning to daily swims and sleeping in our bed. There is also much to be done. We have been navigating a lot from the US, including my mother-in-law’s care and clogged toilet. Daily messages from our workers, house sitter and MIL do not make for peace and quiet.

Home sweet Bacalar.

This week we will celebrate the US holiday of Thanksgiving. It will be a lovely visit with family and a delicious meal round a large table. A day devoted to gratitude while gazing on the faces of those we love is a good thing. We haven’t been in Austin for Thanksgiving since 2012.

February 2012 My 60 birthday.

Whether you’re in the US or somewhere else on the planet, take a whole day to devote to being grateful. I find that listing things I’m grateful for and WHY helps me to connect more to my heart.

Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to write, connect and hear from followers around the world. I appreciate each of you. So Happy Thanksgiving and catch my socially distanced hug.

DOS TORTAS

Sometimes A Distraction Is What Is Needed

13 Nov

Life continues to be about healing from back surgery for Lisa. We are both spent from handling the daily basics. Our wonderful house sitter in Bacalar keeps us supplied with photos of the adventures of Stella and Luna. Maybe we should change the name of the blog.

Stella loves her pillow on our back porch. We are missing our pups.
We know who runs our house. Luna was never allowed on the furniture until a house sitter changed all that.
It’s hard to believe she is blind.

Off To See The Wizard

7 Nov

With Lisa showing progress and less pain after her recent back surgery, I thought a chance to tootle off to San Antonio for an art show might be possible.

The weather was predicted to be a perfect autumn Saturday and the Goddess did not disappoint. I decided to avoid the interstate and headed into the Texas Hill Country. Lovely vistas and rolling hills made for a far more beautiful drive between Austin and San Antonio, Texas, a two hour excursion.

I had to pull over to capture the predawn mist.
The day was off to a lovely start.

My dear friend of over 45 years was participating in the Art Stroll. She is a wizard of fiber arts.

A whimsical fish pen case, a little sketching in my journal and an inviting art space.
A fish theme perhaps?

My favorite part of the day was talking to fellow artists about their inspiration, materials and process. I have sold at similar events and understand the time consuming work that usually pays very little by the hour. Many shoppers seemed willing to pay for unique, one-of-a-kind items of jewelry, quilts, paintings, ceramics, etc. I certainly was.

I am always fascinated with impressionist/abstract work.

I also got to sit with Allison and catch up. She is the consummate fiber wizard and I love to she what she has created on her handy dandy sewing machine. I had such a good time ❤️.

DOS TORTAS

Everyday Miracles

31 Oct

Lisa’s surgery went well on Monday and she came home to where we are staying on Wednesday. Ever since we’ve been doing the pain management dance. Why is recovery always more challenging in the middle of the night? She’s experienced high fever, muscle spasms, leg weakness and pain at the surgical site. I’ve called the after hours service twice.

A Visit From Her Surgeon

As of today she is able to walk to the bathroom by herself (with a walker), her pain is better managed and she is sleeping less. We appreciate and give thanks for every little improvement.

First Walk Within Hours Of Surgery
Temporary Home In Austin

As for me, I think the doctor jumped the gun to diagnose a fractured pelvis. The X-ray was not very clear and there seemed to be no other explanation. However several days later, the pain miraculously disappeared! I am in no pain and went for a walk today. It truly is a miracle because I do not know how we would have managed otherwise.

DOS TORTAS

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