Tag Archives: retire to Mexio

Rocks In My Head

25 Jun

Writing a blog about life in Mexico seemed like a good idea when I started in 2012. As we near the end of our fourth year of living in Bacalar, I did not expect my time to be filled with dealing with my aging body. Two weeks ago was the first time I missed an entry due to illness. Having always been healthy, and I admit, judgmental of others’ aches and pains, I feel the need to tell the truth about what’s been going on. I’m a mess.

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Sunrise from my hammock.

I thank God for the healthcare system here in southern Mexico and the excellent doctors. My motto has always been that a doctor’s is a second opinion since mine is the first. Lately I’ve needed second, third and fourth opinions.

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Isn’t he a cutie? Our internist Oscar Rosaldo.

Back in February I had a sudden and severe headache that took me out. After a day in bed, it resolved itself and I went on my way. Several months later, as we were leaving for Texas, it hit again. Time for that second opinion.

My doctor Oscar sent me for a CT scan which he reviewed with a worried face. There were white spots on my brain that he said were calcium deposits and sent me to an arterial doctor. The arterial doctor did a sonogram of my carotid artery and declared it normal and sent me to a neurologist.

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Painting to stay awake.

The neurologist sent me for an EEG which was a most interesting experience. I had to stay awake all night before the 8:30 am test. It’s been many years since I stayed awake all night and I had concerns if I could do it. It turned out not to be terribly difficult after all.

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The test involved wires attached all over my head which read brain activity during waking, sleeping, lights flashing and numerous other instructions. It turns out that I actually do have rocks in my head and it’s thought that they’ve been there a long time and are not responsible for my headaches. Sigh.

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So I came away with a prescription for migraine medication, having eliminated a tumor and seizures as the cause of my headaches. That’s the way it is with headaches, process of elimination. Since then I’ve had a virus with fever followed by strep throat. I am now on antibiotics and coming out of it. At least I have a comfy hammock to recover in. Gratitude abounds. DOS TORTAS.

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The Kayaker Or The Photographer

4 Dec

I knew a professional photographer who wanted to take his own fiftieth birthday portrait. He set the scene with a throne, crown and regal cape to mark his auspicious anniversary. Setting up to take the shot with his foot, he expressed frustration. When taking the picture, he became the photographer and was no longer the king. He had to get someone else to capture his royal essence.

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This morning I set off early to enjoy the sunrise from one of my favorite places, my little blue kayak floating peacefully in the middle of Laguna Bacalar. The morning was cool. We had rain overnight and the sun was beginning to show on the horizon.

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Love the clouds ☁️

I pushed off as quietly as possible. Sound carries and everyone was still asleep.

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Our house as seen from Laguna Bacalar

As much as I wanted to capture the beauty that I was experiencing and share it with you, I had to put the camera down and simply be. We are so used to seeing the world through a lens and “sharing” it through any number of social media sites that it’s easy to miss the experience entirely.

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I hope you enjoy the pictures I did take, but the seabirds soaring overhead, the changing colors and the breeze will be stored forever in my memory. Make your own memories today.

DOS TORTAS

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Benefits of Friendliness

1 Nov

Driving in Mexico, we think nothing of being pulled over by youngsters with machine guns. We smile and are relaxed, but then again, we are Dos Tortas.

The upper portion of our hutch. Skylights above add natural light.

The upper portion of our hutch. Skylights above add natural light.

Bacalar is thirty minutes north of the Belize/Mexico border. Because of illegal entry and the smuggling of goods, there is a checkpoint before entering Bacalar from the south. Vehicles are flagged for inspection according to a selection process that is not obvious to us. However, a large black pickup with Texas plates….

The window between our living room and bedroom. There will be a bifold door to provide privacy when desired.

The window between our living room and bedroom. There will be a bifold door to provide privacy when desired.

One week when we were making numerous trips up and down the highway, making purchases for the house and going to the bank, we were pulled over several days in a row by the policia estatal, state police.

Keeping the dogs from digging in the garden. Aren't I clever?

Keeping the dogs from digging in the garden. Aren’t I clever?

The usual questions, Where are you going? Where are you from? What is in the truck?

This time I told the officer that he knew us. I reached out to shake his hand and introduce ourselves. His face lit up with a big smile. He clearly enjoyed our response. Now every time we pass the check point we wave and guess what? They wave back. We haven’t been stopped again.

Day of the Dead. A chance to tell stories and fondly remember our ancestors.

Day of the Dead. A chance to tell stories and fondly remember our ancestors.

I’m sure others have horror stories about being stopped by the federales. Once in college I had a machine gun aimed at my face. Being Dos Tortas or two old women makes us pretty invisible. Not being afraid makes us respected.

DOS TORTAS

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Taxes and the Retired Expatriate

15 Feb

Let me start by saying that Lisa is in charge of taxes. She tells me what to do and I do it as we prepare for a trip to the States and a visit with our accountant. This week I found myself in a familiar place, stressing about money. It happens every time we fly to the States which involves airplane tickets,  car rental, eating out and the laundry-list of purchases that we intend to bring back. My stomach knots, my head spins and I don’t sleep well. It’s not fun for Lisa and certainly not fun for me.

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Trumpet Vine at Casita Carolina

This morning I was doing my tax assignment, gathering my W-2 and investment balances. The fog lifted and I came to the conclusion that I DO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY! Stop it, cut it out, quit!

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Blooming aloe on the patio. The bees love it.

As a partnership of two women, we have never made the big bucks. I have a small State of Texas retirement, social security and a portion of a former spouse’s retirement. What I did right was save a portion of every paycheck as soon as I made any money. I maxed out my IRA’s for years. Even though friends and fellow employees poked fun at my taking the bus, bringing my lunch, and general modest living.

Orchids on Cozumel Island

Orchids on Cozumel Island

This morning I did the math. I gave myself thirty more years on the planet, subtracted what we’ve put aside to build the house, and added in my retirement checks and voila. I’m fine. We’re fine. I have nothing to worry about.

Petaluma, CA last summer.

Petaluma, CA last summer.

It really has nothing to do with money, but my frame of mind. Remembering to be grateful, throw in all the people who love me and I really never have to be afraid about anything, ever. Relax, breath.
DOS TORTAS

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Honey have you seen my….?

4 Aug

Have you seen my phone, keys, wallet, Ipad, recharger, badge…? So much stuff to keep track of. This week I let go of a big one, the badge. I remember when it wasn’t necessary to swipe a badge to enter a building or an office. No picture was hanging from my lapel to identify me as NOT an intruder, crazy gun toter or perpetrator of domestic violence.

Wednesday was my last day of state employment. I was touched by the kind sentiments of folks who expressed sadness over my departure. The question of the day was, “are you excited???” Funny enough, I wasn’t. We have a huge adventure looming on the horizon with much to accomplish in the next two weeks. However, I did finally hit excitement yesterday when we set a departure date, two weeks from today! Yesterday we signed papers to put the sale of our house into the very capable hands of our dear friend Suze Miller. Once we depart, the house will be staged and sold rapidament (gracias a Dios). Until then, I will be very busy.

No More Stinkin Badge

No More Stinkin Badge

One last thing, we had a family get-together last Wednesday to celebrate my retirement and got a surprise gift we didn’t expect. My youngest son and his fiance are expecting a baby in January, a little girl, Sophia Aria Fisher. Life just get’s better and better.

Hunter's getting a sister!

Hunter’s getting a sister!

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