Friday, March 27, 2020

Mazatlan Rv Park Fire - Punta Cerritos - Offer Of Assistance

If you know of anyone who was in the rv park fire last night and needs some type of help, we are here.  Be it translations, the consulate in Monterrey, or a place to stay.  We have room here at the house and the rv.

Anything we can do to help.  They can email us at

or you can email me and I will give you our cellphone number.

It' s time to help other Mexico rvers that may be in need during this troubling time of the virus, closed borders and so much more. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Mexican Shelter In Place - It's Easy

I was going to say that unless you live in Laguna de Sanchez, which is up in the mountains from our house at 5000 ft with a population of 250, you won't be able to do this.  That's no longer true.  All of the construction material; tile, cement, grout, quartz countertop, stove, and window were all ordered online from home.  Sure they had to come and do some measuring for the countertop but I did send them approximate dimensions that I had taken to get the estimate.

Today, all of these places will deliver wherever you are.  It may have a price, but nonetheless, t is possible and makes "shelter in place" much, much easier.  Did I mention grocery shopping?  All the major supermarkets in and around metro areas have home delivery and the persons pulling the orders have criteria for choosing the best of produce and notifying the customer of out of stock and possible substitutions.  

I have watched videos of how to spend your time during the Covid-19 and creative things to do.  Go clean out your closet, paint some walls, wash the curtains, bedspreads, fancy pillow covers.  Dye some things and mix up the color.  You can get all you need online right here in Mexico.  

And for you special Costco and Sam's addicts who need "real" cheddar and "real" butter, well you can get that online as well and have it delivered to your doorstep.  Pay at checkout online, leave an envelope with a tip for the delivery driver if you wish and have him drop your order at the front gate or door.  

There is nothing agonizing about all this and by doing these things you'll be much safer if not safe from all the virus and bacteria.

Which leads me to another point I may have already made this week.  Viruses serve a purpose.  There is nothing on this planet that Mother Nature has not thought of.  Could it make you sick or kill you?  Sure, that's what nature does and we are all part of that big process.  Let me tell you if you think human beings are the la ti da of the planet well you have another thing coming.  This planet survived billions of years without us and until our great coming out party, survived just beautifully.  It wasn't until the last couple of millennia that the planet started to take a turn for the worse. That was when we came up with ways to save ourselves from all that ails us.  Because of that we now have extreme overpopulation which has brought deforestation, heating of the planet and the extinction of species not to mention the ease of spreading viruses. 

Go have a drink over this one and then you might be able to enjoy the fact that as we destroy the planet you can watch a movie in the comfort of your own home with the A/C or heating on and sip on a cool drink from that behemoth of a cooling device we call a refrigerator.  Remember 1918, there were no cooling devices, and shelter in place would have been extremely difficult, non-existence of ventilators and modern anti-viral drugs.  We should consider ourselves lucky.

Shelter in place, it's easy.  There are some who will find it difficult but I can't cure everyone's ailments.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

You Know The Saying - Here I Sit Broken Hearted

Here I sit broken-hearted, tried to rv but never got started!

Actually, while all of this is going on we are having the kitchen remodeled and they just finished the tile work today and installed the first of several new windows.

Monday the new countertop comes and the new appliances may take another week.  I ordered everything online not knowing what stores will be open or closed. Funny, I haven't purchased a kitchen appliance in over 20 years and didn't realize how hard it is to find "white" ranges and refrigerators, but I did.  In that regard, life has become a lot easier shopping online.  I saved quite a bit by doing so. 

I've spent much of the days in the rv because I'm not good at hammers banging on concrete walls.  I'm working on my abstract for a conference in October but the initial submission is due on the 28th of this month.  I guess you could say I'm driveway camping and that works for me.  Hopefully, we will get out of here next week at least for a few days.

Cleaning out the cabinets was a nightmare.  I give them a good superficial dusting once every couple of months but taking everything out I knew I was going to find some not so good things.  Time to put things out to pasture and I did.  I set five small appliances that are either broken or worn out in front of the trash can.  Two hours later I went to close the gates and they were gone.  Good and good riddance.  

We watch PBS on YouTube and there is little to nothing about the Covid-19 in  Mexico or Central and South America although the cases are multiplying.  In Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, all three presidents are back peddling and changing their stories from one day to the next and I don't attribute that to the situation but rather lack of planning and in some cases out and out lying.  

The Mexican president is the worst.  This last week he said he wasn't worried about the virus and that he would continue to travel on commercial airlines for official business (putting at risk the general public as a president and a possible carrier of the virus).  He continues to travel to promote himself as if he were campaigning, kissing and hugging women and babies.  His last trick came the other day when he said he carries his protection with him.  He took out his wallet and pulled out two amulets.

Trump isn't any better going from "this is a hoax" to now we have to get serious.  The three stooges from North America are all alike.  

As you may have heard, Mexico and Mexicans are still slow to take this seriously and it has gone from open events down to group events of 5000 or less.  Although last week there was a concert in Mexico City where 43,000 attended and 27 showed signs of the virus.  Around our parts in the countryside, it's business as usual even though the mayor did close the waterfalls, the lake and most of the tourist attractions.  Guess what?  They are still letting people into the lake with a huge weekend and evening parties.   When you have a large population of uneducated people this is likely to happen.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Two Funerals And A Canceled Rv Trip (Temporarily)

But there is saving grace.  Read on.

When I studied to be a teacher, this was required reading, "All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten".  Rule number 15 applies to this weekend. " Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup - they all die and so do we".  Sad, but reality and so it was.  Juan's cousin passed away after a long battle in the hospital and at home.  Also, the great art director who formed the dance group 30 years ago lost his mother at age 94.   QEPD.  Here are some pictures of what a funeral home looks like in Monterrey as most of you are only familiar with small rural towns in Mexico.

This is a picture from the website but you can see it is not an austere funeral home and has valet parking along with three floors for chapels, cafeterias, sales, and of course the viewing rooms.  

This is where they have a mass and you can invite your own priest, minister or rabbi and of course they have a small temple as well.  

The waiting area on the fourth floor where we attended the viewing (velorio or wake) for our friend's mother.  Here in Mexico, we don't use the normal embalming process.  It is for three to four days maximum because you have the wake in the first 24 hours and the burial the next.  Bodies are not embalmed to last for decades like in the U.S.  There is no concrete crypt or container of any kind for the casket.  You're dust in less than six years.

Priorities, and we had to do those things.  Taking into account the threat of the virus, which few Mexicans take seriously, we went and attempted to avoid all the risks but, I'm telling you, people here just don't give a shit.  Now the numbers are rising and Spring break has now become a month-long and even though people are urged to stay at home, good luck finding a spot in a resort, a beach, or a mountain lodge.  I guess the whole world is nuts except for us and this was a hoax created by the Chinese to take over the world.   

I still have the SUV hooked up to the rv.  I figure as long as we are out alone and in the open air, we are following the rules.  I'm not going to the gym and will do my workouts at home and walk my 10 km or more.   

This week there are two days of exams at the high school and then the break begins.  I am mapping things out.  I had never used iOverlander, and now that I am looking through the website, I find it kind of worthless.  It's all about shitty roads and staying in Pemex stations.  

Friday, March 13, 2020

Ready To Roll - Three Day Weekend

Benito Juarez, president of Mexico, was born on March 21st, 1806.  He was a great president but his time has come and gone but our current president lives in the past and praises this man.  

Okay, so it looks like borders may be closing and people are heading to them.  Could it happen?  Most likely.  Mexico isn't ready for the pandemic, some will scoff and laugh it off but it happened in 1918 and millions died, more than 72 million to be exact.  

Living in the 21st century has lead us to believe we have a fix for everything.  Mother Nature has her own fix and she will determine the outcome.  We have intervened with modern medicine and vaccines which in reality is quite contrary to what nature's plan is.  We are mammals like every other animal on the planet and now there are just too many of us.  Yep, our job is to reproduce but that only works well as long as we don't intervene in the process.  Whoever needs a place to stay should something happen, you can stay here with us or at our resort south of here. 

We haven't had the rv out for months and I got a wild hair and decided it was time.  I'm still not convinced about safety but we are only going an hour from the house.  The poor trailer, it hasn't moved in so long the tires have leaves from fall stuck to the bottoms.  I gave her a bath and started everything up.  All systems go!

I'll post some pics over the weekend.  The kitchen remodel is underway and the tile work will be done starting on Tuesday.  

Sunday, March 8, 2020

House Updates - My Check From Uncle Sugar - Travel Thoughts

Here we are in March and you can tell there is definitely something going on with climate change be it nature's way, manmade, or a combination of both and I stick with the latter.  The grass is still dormant.  I tried watering this week as the temperatures had gone up to 25C and sunny days but it won't budge.  The trees started to bud and that has stopped also.  

"Ed" sent my check.  You know, that guy on U.S. television commercials that says no matter how little or how much damage was done he can get you a better check?  Not really, Uncle Sugar deposited my first social security check and five months retroactive as I had applied in August 2019.  Not sure why it took so long but now there's more money to burn on home remodeling.

There will be some painting, caulking, and touch done on the outside of the house.  The pool will be drained in the next week I think even though we may have visitors at the end of the month.  It would still be too cold anyway but it would look nicer with water.  Who knows?  They may just have it done.  I always wanted a granite countertop.  We settled on quartz along with new kitchen tile.  The appraisal came in on the house and a neighbor is selling his quinta that is a rental with just a pool and no house for a hefty sum so we may just get lucky.  We will attempt a FSBO first before looking for a realtor.

Since I am home most of the day after the gym except for my late afternoon 10km walks, I have started painting some of the interior.  I wanted to touch up the baseboards, front door and bay window ledges with Minwax, it has a light varnish finish with stain.  I have used it a lot but Home Depot has stopped ordering it and the shelves are running dry.  Behr Paints is the replacement but I don't want to take a chance right now.  I found a super easy application called Watco Danish Oil, a heavy oil with a stain that leaves a great sheen.  It works wonders for tired wood.  So, as Juan says, if it's wood, watch out because it's going to get oiled and he's right.  I even started attacking the furniture as well

We were planning on a trip to Ecuador but with the Covid-19 hovering overhead, I don't want to be stuck somewhere or put in quarantine when we get back home.  We're taking the rv out this next weekend as we have a three-day weekend.  I have turned the hitch shank upside down to lift the trailer a bit to see if that helps with the very minor sag in the SUV.  Also, the new toilet is wanting to be installed but it doesn't seem to line up with the old one.  I don't like drilling holes in a floor when I'm not sure what's underneath.  We'll go for a spin, try out the new modifications and I guess take a Spring break trip here in Mexico although I'm not too thrilled with all the noise, hootenannies, heavy drinking and overall lack of order that Semana Santa brings.

I guess I need to update my blog profile now that I can say I am offically retired.  Stop the clock!