Tag Archives: retire mexico

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

Living Life In A Soap Opera

24 Oct

In Mexico telenovelas (television novels) are quite popular, providing the excitement of rags-to-riches story lines, marrying your long lost sibling, narco kidnappings and medical miracles, to name a few genres. However, as Dos Tortas we do our best to avoid drama in our life, but sometimes the theatrics finds us. Sigh.

Life as a telenovela.

We left our lovely home in Bacalar, Mexico on Wednesday to catch an afternoon flight out of Cancun direct to Austin, Texas. All the signs were good, Lisa saw an illusive toucan on the ride up, which is always a good omen. The rainy dark grey sky broke over Tulum and the sun shone through making the ride much more pleasant. Looking out the plane window as we took off, I saw a beautiful rainbow and we landed in Austin under an enormous orange full moon. Little did I know what was to come.

Not the greatest picture but a dramatic rainbow.

The plan was to get all the pre-op out of the way and relax leading up to Lisa’s spinal fusion on Monday. Ah, the best laid plans.

Hunter’s moon over Austin.

On Thursday I woke with an odd pain in my crotch. It stabbed at me when I walked to perform morning ablutions, how odd. As the day progressed it was clear that the pain was not going away nor would it be ignored, but I tried. By Friday I surmised that I had a stress fracture in my pelvis. I have osteoporosis and this is not my first dog and pony show with broken bones. Miracle of miracles we got in quickly at a local sports medicine clinic. An X-ray confirmed my self-diagnosis. Not one of those times I wanted to be right.

There are not enough curse words in the dictionary for how I felt. The doctor recommended follow-up with an endocrinologist, pain management and rest (about two months to heal). I cannot ignore treatment for my osteoporosis any longer. It seems I am a ticking time bomb.

Thanks to a friend, we have a loaner.

My plans to care for Lisa through her spinal surgery just got more complicated. Good thing we went grocery shopping right off the bat. The friends we are staying with are a great help and it looks like Lisa and I will be sharing a walker. This is NOT how I thought it would go. As with all telenovelas there is always an unexpected plot twist. Stay tuned.

DOS TORTAS

Could You Lend A Hand?

16 Oct

I think we are not good at asking for help. Is it women? Men? US’ers or everyone? It is certainly not just me. In a recent conversation with my daughter, she mentioned an App for organizing meals for anyone who needs help. Her aunt and uncle were recently in a car accident, and a friend stepped up to organize meal delivery. MEAL TRAIN is quite popular, especially for moms with new babies. What a fabulous idea!

What struck me right between the eyes is that it never occurred to me to ask for help. My partner is scheduled for major surgery in less than two weeks and I am the chief cook and bottle washer. While I would love someone to step in and organize the whole thing for me, it hadn’t occurred to me until this minute that I could even ask someone to do that!

This week the sunrises were amazing in Bacalar.

I remember when my now 38 year old son was born. Two friends brought food for which I was supremely grateful. We visited for awhile as I sat on the couch nursing my newborn. After some time they made moves to leave, putting on their coats and standing at the front door. Before exiting one woman casually said, “is there anything else you need?” The dishes piled in the sink flashed before my eyes and I took a deep breath. “Could you do the dishes?” They looked at each other, took off their coats and a few minutes later, the kitchen was spotless. It was a tiny kitchen and they had four hands. It meant so much to me, and all I had to do was ask.

Perfect swimming days.

It has been eight years since we left Austin to retire to Mexico, yet I had no trouble listing twenty people who would probably be quite willing to lend a hand. I need to look into the whole thing and see how it works. One thing for certain is that I can use the help and if I don’t ask, I certainly won’t get it.

DOS TORTAS

It Pays To Have A Daughter

9 Oct

I read recently that having a daughter adds years to your life. Having one who is a social worker by trade is undoubtedly another bonus.

2015

While visiting California this summer, my eldest initiated the uncomfortable conversation, “Mom, what do you want at the end of your life?”. I, who am rarely at a loss for words didn’t have an answer. I guess somehow I imagined living into old age with my faculties in tact and one day just not waking up? Ha, a fantasy at best, although I imagine it could happen. Truth be told, I hadn’t imagined anything.

Reading stories.

My daughter used to work in an emergency room where families brought in their elders after a fall, stroke or other catastrophic event. When asked how they and their loved one would like to proceed, she was met with blank stares. We are all woefully unprepared. There are so many things our society ignores. We will all be there someday. Best get on it. We need to have a plan, at least a conversation.

This book should be required reading by all humans.

I have on occasion suggested books on Dos Tortas. One that addresses this sticky topic and should be required reading for everyone is, BEING MORTAL by Atul Gawande. Whether you need a framework to talk to a parent, family member or significant other, this is it. Do it now.

DOS TORTAS

My Life Goes Better With Yoga

2 Oct

I was first introduced to yoga about 1972. I was studying at The University of The America’s in Cholula, Mexico where there was a young teacher who did asanas (yoga postures) out on the commons. He piqued my curiosity and I joined his weekly class.

1973 That’s me on the right celebrating my 21st birthday in Mexico.

Over the years, yoga has come in and out of my life. Before we left Austin for the wilds of Southern Mexico, I paid $99 a month and walked daily to the Yoga Yoga Studio for unlimited classes.

Downward Facing Dog variation with bone. Stela supervises.

Having scoliosis, the bones in my spine have realigned themselves and moved internal organs to places they wouldn’t ordinarily be. I am blessed to have been able to carry and birth three babies and live most of my life pain free. I believe that yoga has helped.

Stela waits for class to start.

I have lately returned to morning yoga practice. My body feels better for it. I’ve long given up having to prove anything. While structured class with a teacher would challenge and improve my flexibility, the times we live in don’t lend themselves to group practice. Online classes require watching a small screen and interferes with my peace. Since I am not a newbie I have a routine that works for me.

Stela masters child’s pose.

Yoga keeps my body flexible, relaxed and focused. It is something that makes a difference in my day to day life. I can see and feel the benefits which is motivation enough.

OMmmmmm. *dog yoga pictures taken by our lovely house sitter Lei Chen

Yoga is not for everyone but if you are so inclined I recommend it as a gift to your body and soul that will last a lifetime.

DOS TORTAS

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

26 Sep

This week we are settled back in Texas waiting for a medical appointment. While sitting out on our friends’ deck this morning with a cup of coffee in hand, I was enjoying the coolness before the Texas heat kicked in later in the day. A hummingbird flew across my line of sight and popped me out of an early morning haze. Staying in the present moment is sometimes illusive, at least it was this particular day. Until the hummingbird that is. Who doesn’t love those tiny blurrs of beauty.

My lovely wife hands me a cup of coffee every morning.

I began to observe and appreciate the sky, trees and general beauty of the Texas hills. I have so much gratitude for our friends who opened their lovely home to us.

Other things that contribute to my joy began to flow through my foggy brain.

Water in all its forms, rain, swimming, showers, and the ocean. Dogs, squirrel antics, birds, and roses with beguiling fragrance. The sky in Bacalar and Texas, sunrises, and sunsets. Then there are vistas, mountaintop, ocean, and even lovely backyards.

Looking for the sunny side of life.
Laguna Bacalar, Mexico

Some days are harder than others but I am always reminded by the evening news, it could be so much worse. I hope you enjoy your day and count your blessings along the way. I try to choose peace. We are still optimistic of seeing the surgeon before leaving Thursday for Mexico. My fingers are crossed so much I think they’re stuck.

DOS TORTAS

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

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.
Emilie Vardaman

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