Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Thanksgiving That Was 2020

Update:  Our friend Irma passed away last night after six weeks on a ventilator.  QEPD

The days are passing and this year has flown by.  Who would think that, when you spend all of your time at home?  This isn't the first time in history and it won't be the last.  The first recorded pandemic goes back to Athens in 430 B.C.  This will happen again and just like today, many people will die and we'll go on and it will become part of our past.  Sad though that in the 21st century we are losing so many lives to ignorance.  On the American continent from Canada to Patagonia, 725,000 human beings have died from the virus.  I do know that in Mexico six national ex-secretaries of health have agreed that the actual number is 285,000 in Mexico.

The sad news today is that our long time friend, Irma, is now on a ventilator and in critical condition.  She is not expected to live.  How did she get the virus?  Her brother came from Texas to visit her.  He crossed the border into Mexico with no COVID testing, temperature check, nothing.  Funny isn't it?  The Mexican government has agreed with the U.S. and Canada to keep the border closed until December 21st but the Mexican border has never been closed.  Americans and Mexicans who are U.S. residents are traveling back and forth freely.  Turns out, Irma's brother was positive.  He's back home and recovered but he has left his sister to die here in Mexico.   We have the government to blame for not doing its job.   As I have said, we are averaging one friend or colleague every two weeks dying from the virus.  One is too many.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos of nomad rvers who rake in the money producing rving videos.  They have what they call tribes and even though the members come and go and meet up again, they use no protection.  This is a statement from the online Arizona tourism webpage.  "As of November 2020, there are no restrictions or Covid-19 testing requirements for individuals visiting Arizona".   You know what, it's selfish, ignorant, and pure bullshit.  Apart from politicians, business owners should be fined and some even jailed but the real burden lies on the general public.  As I have always said, on this blog no one is banned, deleted, or chastised for their views or comments.

We spent Thursday fixing dinner.  With just the two of us, we opted to stuff a chicken.  I guess I make a pretty good stuffing.  Last year at Barbara's in SMA, we left dressing at her house and said we'll be back for leftovers.  We waited too long!  She didn't have any left.  We've been picking on ours since Thursday.  Yum!  Juan made his delicious green bean casserole with new potatoes, bacon, and mushrooms.   Of course, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy.

I also made some yeast rolls for dinner.  Here they are popped in the oven.  The yeast was bad so they didn't rise as much as I had expected but they sure turned out good.  We're not complaining.

We also rented White Christmas which I haven't seen since I was a kid.  We loved every minute of it.  Good music, dancing, storyline, and cast.  I really enjoy classic movies.  I rented this one off of Amazon.  Easy to do, you order and in seconds you can start watching it.  I connected the laptop to the flat screen.

We also Zoomed with my oldest brother who is over 80.  He and his girlfriend had dinner with his son and their family who live a block away.  All four of my nephew's family work and study from home and have rarely left the house.   They tested before Thursday as to not take any chances.   His other kids he said can't be trusted.  Some say Trump has told the truth and masks are not required.  I pray they don't get sick.

Be safe out there.  As the experts say, camping is a good Covid activity, gatherings are not.  Be safe, and lets get this over with.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

For Rvers And Ex-Pats Who Are In Mexico Now Or Are Coming Soon

Please post your comments.

1)  What provisions have you made in case you become infected with Covid while in Mexico?

2)  Should the vaccine become available while you are in Mexico, how will you obtain it?

I ask these questions because the cost of COVID care in a private Mexican hospital is between 980,000 and 1,350,000 pesos (49,000 and 65,000 USD).  ´

The IMSS universal care may take you but will charge you similar rates as a private hospital.  The death rate for intubated patients in IMSS is 78% and in a private Mexican hospital is 17%.

Should you want to return to the U.S. or Canada while infected will they allow you to travel via land or air?  I really don't think so.  Medivac maybe?

The Mexican border is officially closed until December 21, 2020, although the Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has also stated they will not close it to tourism.  A pretty stupid statement.  

Be safe out there, wear your mask.  Dr, Fauci says restaurants are your worst enemy.  You can't eat with a mask on, everyone is talking, laughing, coughing and spitting food particles all around.  Not a good thing.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

We Just Cannot Let It Go - November 20th

This photo taken during the week is a giant picture frame sculpture.  It is located along the river that runs through Monterrey and if you pass it just right, you can capture this view of our famous Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Back Mountain).  For me, this represents the somberness we are now living with 5300 deaths here in Monterrey and now 102,000 deaths nationally bringing the Covid death rate to 9.8 per 100,000.  

With all due respect, I wrote this in the morning after listening to our illustrious president go on for two hours recounting the great Mexican Revolution.  Here is what it says:

A Brief History of the Mexican Revolution

Obregon and Calles killed Pancho Villa.
Venustiano Carranza killed Emiliano Zapata.
General Herrera (under Obregon and Calles) killed Venustiano Carranza.
Jose de Leon Toral, a Catholic leader of the Cristeros war (Catholics against the government), killed Alvero Obregon.
Then, Calles was exiled to the U.S. by Lazaro Cardenas.
And after 110 years, Mexico continues to live in poverty.

I'm not sure why we are still celebrating an event that has only driven Mexico even further into extreme poverty.  The whole thing was one giant power struggle.  The names listed above were the "heroes" of the revolution.  You know Pancho Villa and Zapata, the others were regional or national presidents in a very short period of time.  They all killed each other.  Zapata in the south and Pancho Villa in the north were actually rivals in the fight over supposed liberty.  

In our continued fight for our fair share of tax pesos in the north, the alliance that has been created between 10 states continues.  I always try to present facts such as those above and these below.  Sorry for the bad photo but I took it from the news this week.   This is the percent of the informal economy that exists in Mexico.  The north with the least amount and the south with the most.  Yet the south receives the majority of the redistribution of taxes.  I have found some very good statistics which I will be posting show the amount of taxes paid, types of taxes collected, and the amounts of redistribution to the states.  This chart though pretty much sums it up.  How will we ever overcome poverty?  I ask you.

With all of this free time and the cool weather that has been coming our way, I decided to fire up the oven to make a cake, some muffins, and this weekend more bread.  Here is a delicious homemade pound cake covered in the best chocolate icing I have ever made.  There are two ingredients in the frosting that aren't exactly secret but they are specific.  One was the brand of butter and the other the chocolate. 

Incredibly good and I doubt it will last very long.  What the heck.  It's winter, we are in lockdown and a few pounds will come off even though I continue to exercise.  Fauci has said that camping is good, not rving in an rv park.  So we may still get a chance at the end of this month to take off for a couple of weeks and do some "camping", hopefully boondocking.  I spent most of this morning getting the rv ready.  After we had the metal work done on the new battery and gas LP trays, I had some issues with the holes that were made to secure the LP trap to the hitch.  The holes were worn out and too big.  Today I used something similar to JB Weld.  Worked great.  

I cleaned the Mr. Heater and fired it up so we are good to go for cold nights.  We still remember waking up on that return trip from Mazatlan high up in the mountains of Durango.  No LP, no heat, and the temperature was -9C.  Worst of all, no way to make coffee.  That will never happen again!

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Things People Say

A couple of Canadians have shipped their rvs to the U.S. and then flown over to pick them up so they can continue south.  Here is the stupidest comment anyone could have made regarding people who will do anything to get around the rules.  

"This is funny.  Y'all getting riled up over people being resourceful and not breaking any rules."

True that no rules were broken except for those that show any sense of scruples or common sense not to mention morals and values.

Wisconsin is on fire with the virus and people there are heading down to Mexico.  Heck yes, come on down and spread a little more of the good stuff around.  We only have 98,000 official deaths and as many as 183,000 including unreported Covid deaths. 

The state of Chihuahua is on fire and even though Mexico City shows orange, it's more like reddish-orange and they are closing businesses again as cases are rising.  People can't follow the rules.   Fauci says, "stay home, if you have to eat out "one more time" before the big wave, eat in an outdoor restaurant and at least 10 feet from other diners",  Good luck with that.  

Fauci also says to take vitamin D and at least 1000 mg of Vitamin C.  Here's what I take on a daily basis.

Our good friend Irma who has been in the hospital for two weeks was intubated last night.  She may not make it.  

Landscapers start next week.  They will be burning patches of a weed invasion that has started to take over.  Then they will turn the soil, add new topsoil to those areas, fertilize and then put down new sod.  That will be the first step and I think we will hold off on the rest of the decorative work until January.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Autumn Leaves Must Fall (No Politics Here)

"Autumn leaves must fall".  Here we are in November and the trees aren't turning color but the leaves are dry and falling.  We had a good hurricane season which brought rain and well-needed moisture to the ground.  Now, however, we have been in a dry spell for four weeks, not a drop of rain in sight.  The air is crisp in the early mornings and warms up to the mid 20Cs during the day.   Open windows, fresh air, and light breezes throughout the day.  This picture is the everyday view of my power walks.  They get longer the cooler the weather gets but I prefer daylight savings time.  Darkness brings fewer people out and about and for me, that's what mornings are all about.

Covid update:  Our friend Irma is in ICU with the virus.  She is recovering.  Another good friend, Rolando, lost his mother this week to Covid.  She was 84 and lived alone.  Someone went to visit her and gave her the virus.  Today Mexico has had 94,000 deaths and continues to rise.  

I am two months behind on my cardio check up so I went ahead and pulled out my file and ordered some blood tests.  I went in early morning after a fast for blood work.  I did just about everything and my cholesterol is low, glucose I need to retest it was borderline, PSA extremely low, but one thing puzzles me.  I had urine tests and my calcium is low although we take a daily calcium tablet.  I just don't feel comfortable right now going to my doctor whose office is in a hospital.  Although he is the medical director of the hospital and says everything would be fine, in my head it's best to steer clear for a bit longer.

What to do during a two-week high alert lockdown?  Bake and cook!  I tried my hand at no sugar, low-fat whole wheat blueberry muffins.  They turned out great but they aren't sweet enough.  Warmed with a touch of honey makes them super delicious.

I'm not sure what happened Sunday morning.  You would think by the looks of it that we had family over for breakfast.   We just got "batter" happy I guess and made enough pancakes to last a couple of weekends.  Wrapped them up and put them in the freezer for future enjoyment.

Town square during lockdown when I went for my blood tests.  Restaurants are open and people were there enjoying the great weather but the plaza was roped off and business is way down.  Everyone was masked but they aren't locals.  Locals are convinced the have a "special" DNA that protects them.

I've mentioned before that people make assumptions based on a limited personal experience and I run across them on a daily basis reading Mexico forums, Facebook, blogs, and YouTube videos.  A YouTube couple claimed they couldn't find Dr. Pepper anywhere in Mexico.  Not that I give a rat's behind about Dr. Pepper as we don't drink sodas, but their experience was limited to a couple of small towns where they have lived over the last year.  Dr. Pepper is available in Mexico and Super 7 or Seven-Eleven has it on the shelves and also in supermarkets.

Another was the lack of building codes in Mexico and water shut off valves.  Mexico does have building codes but when someone decides to build their own house they have the opportunity to avoid those codes by being cheap and having a contractor who doesn't care.   As you know, we are always looking at homes for sale both new and pre-owned, and have never seen a house that didn't have water shutoffs under sinks, toilets, showers, etc.  Our house was built 25 years ago and all the water connects have shut off valves.  Opinions based on limited experiences are what can spread rumors about life in Mexico or other countries.

It reminded me of Tioga and George and his famous statement that ATMs were not available in Mexico.  Well, at the time in San Quentin, Baja Sur, there wasn't one when he needed it, hence the statement.  BTW, I checked his blog yesterday and it is still up and running.  I read what happened in the first week of November for several years.  The guy had a good life as a boondocker.