Saturday, April 18, 2015

Somewhere . . . Over The Rainbow

The day she came to stay.  Bye sweetie pie!

I haven't posted as there was not much to say other than Missy was in decline.   She's on the other side of the rainbow bridge along with Friend, Gum, Tasha, Gingi and Maggie.  They're together and waiting for my arrival.  I'm sure it will be a happy reunion.  Tails a waggin' that's for sure.   I miss them all so much, too many good memories.

A bit sad about the whole thing but not much else we could do but provide lots of love, care and tenderness.  She/he will not be forgotten and we have many pictures of them all.  

Just like me, I don't want to suffer much.  I'd prefer to hang around to say my goodbyes and then let me drift off into a deep sleep with good music and a video screen in front of me flashing all of my pictures.   

Thank you Missy for being a part of our lives.   We miss you already and we hope to see you in the future.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Trip To McAllen And Back - Missy the Cat

I drove up early Monday morning to McAllen for a course I taught at a local high school.   Monday was the return to classes in Mexico after Spring break so I took off at 6:30 a.m. to beat the traffic.  Made it through town and to the toll highway in an hour, that means past the international airport and beyond to Cadereyta.   Smooth sailing all the way.  At the border there was a 30 minute wait and I was waved right through.  

Did my school visit to set things up and deliver materials.   After, I checked into my hotel and did some shopping that was on the list.   Off to bed early and up just the same.   The students were the best and the reviews were excellent.   Work has been slow because of some corruption that has taken place.  That's corruption in Texas not Mexico.  Turns out that a state official was able to convince school districts to adopt a certain school that has never taught a prep course.   We were left by the curb but it is being exposed in the news.   Interesting. 

Came home late last night arriving about 8 p.m.   Faster going home for some reason than going there.   

As for Missy the cat, he is failing fast and it looks like the end is near.  Not much else we can do at this point but continue the treatment and follow the vets orders.   Sad, but Missy was a feral cat and got into a lot of stuff over the years.   I'm hoping we are doing all we can at this point and it has turned into a waiting game.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sick Cat Update

Headed out early this morning for Monterrey.   The SUV was still in the shop getting the bumper replaced.   Nightmare trying to get it fixed.  Good thing it wasn't severe body work repair, it would have been there for months.   It's still missing the bumper filler or impact absorbing material.  We picked it up anyway and for the meantime it has the original filler.   The part is on order and should be in by Tuesday.

I took the VW to get two new tires.   We replaced one pair six months ago and this is the other.  We ordered the tires from the warehouse in the car in the morning so two hours later they were waiting.  Thirty minutes and ready to roll.  I wanted to get this done because I noticed a bubble in the rear tire yesterday.   I'm off to McAllen on Monday for an event at a high school on Tuesday.

While we were waiting I found this vegan taco stand around the corner.  They are only open weekdays.  I'll have to try it sometime.

On the way home I stopped by the vet to check on Missy's progress.   She was in a room with an IV feeding her electrolytes.   She is eating baby food and when we walked in she heard us talking and began crying, very loudly.   The vet told us the fever is down some, she is re-hydrating and eating.  All good signs.   We are bringing her home tomorrow to start a regimen of antibiotics and vitamin C.  That's pretty much all that can be done at this point. 

There is no cure and the idea is to manage her immune system.  She stopped eating because she had an enlarged lymph gland in her neck which kept her from swallowing and then the lack of food caused her system to collapse.   The doctor (and my research) says she could come back to normal but we need to be vigilant with her future treatment.   So far the total bill is 1100 pesos so we are happy with that.  

The facilities are new.  Looks like any doctor's office and the equipment is all new.  Climate controlled and smells nice.  Some vets are stinky.    

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sick Kitty - Leukemia

Looks like she's been where she shouldn't have been.  We came home from Mexico City and Missy just wasn't looking right.  She was way to close to us as she never has been before.  She was thin and the food bin was nearly full.  She got better the last two days because we were feeding her the special meal they get at night.  I checked the playback on the cameras and it appears she didn't come in to eat the week we were gone.  Unfortunately, we had problems connecting remotely to the cameras from Mexico City because our configuration was not set correctly.   

Last night she had a relapse and this morning we took her to the vet.  Diagnosis is Feline Leukemia.  Treated with antibiotics she should recover.  I had checked her a couple of weeks ago and felt like she had swollen glands but Juan didn't seem to think so.  

He just left to the vet.  She called and said Missy is reacting to the IV and the antibiotics and wanted someone to come by and call Missy down.   I made a list of questions to ask.   Money isn't an issue but the blood tests so far were 1400 pesos.  We opted for just the Leukemia test which was 500 pesos and it was the sure bet based on the doctor's initial diagnosis.

So now it is wait, wait and wait some more to see how she reacts.   She's a feral cat and roams a lot at night.  Although we don't see cats around here she must of come in contact with urine or maybe bitten.  She eats mice sometimes so who knows.  Update later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted . . .

Vacation's all I ever wanted . . .  That was a song by the Go-Gos.   Back home now and after seeing Contessa and Colin sitting in the desert with their motorhome makes me ready to head out again.  I just might.  I have an event in McAllen next week and I would like to go to San Antonio to check on the house.  Sounds like a plan.

So we got up with the alarm this morning.   I could have sworn I felt a slight tremor last night when I got up to go to the bathroom but it could just be an old man shaking.  Shaking what I'm not sure :)

Yesterday was our bon voyage to Mexico City.   We headed downtown and went to take some pictures.   I wanted to go to the Sears building and get a shot of the Bellas Artes from the top.  It was fantastic.  We spent 45 pesos on a cafe Americano and an expresso.   You tell me if the view is genial.

It goes to show you that Mexico City isn't all about the rat race, danger, or air pollution.  It turned out to be a great day.  First we went to Reforma to do a little shopping.  I didn't find what I wanted in a black dress pull over.  I lose patience easily so I said I had had enough of that.  I'm sure I can find it on line somewhere.

Took the Metro underground from there.  What an interesting world.  You can't get lost, it is 100% safe, and everyone is willing to help.  Let's say you don't speak any Spanish but you have a Metro map.  Point and smile.  Even the police will help you and then tell you to have a great day.

The Metro has been around now for almost 50 years and it is still growing strong moving over 8 million people everyday.  Amazing how well-maintained and organized the system is.  Cheap too.

No doubt it gets crowded, but that's what mass transit is all about.

Get this, free internet stations underground.  Where else in America does this exist?

And to boot, bam, all of a sudden you see a ruin right there in the station as you get off the train. How cool is that?

We found a good Chinese restaurant, 48 pesos for the buffet.  As we always say, go where there's a crowd.  We found one.  The place was packed and when we left there were 42 people in line.

We're big recyclers too!  On a refuse collection route you have a paid driver and two workers who share the proceeds from whatever they collect.  They may not belong to a union or receive high wages, but they get what they work for.   It's all theirs and they are very happy to have their jobs.  They never go on strike.

We headed home after a long day of walking, picture taking and just enjoying the day.  We said goodbye to the Zocalo and most of what we had seen.  We had our happy hour last night, wrote our FB comments and hit the sheets.  This morning we had an unusual experience.  We headed down for breakfast and began having our coffee.  The more people showed up and Juan said that someone had a badge on from MacMillan, our old publisher.  Then more came, then it was hellos, hugs and laughs.   All of a sudden here come people we know from Cambridge Press, they too are having a training in Mexico City and of course, all of us have worked with or for each other at one time or another over the last 25 years.   Had it been evening, we would have drank ourselves into a stuper and had a blast recalling old times.

At the airport checking our mail before take off.   Goodbye D.F., you really are . . . .


Monday, April 6, 2015

Sunday In El Centro - Mexico City

After Saturday night's dinner with a bottle of wine and martinis, Sunday was a sleeper.  We went down for a late breakfast and then back to bed for a spell.  In the afternoon we met our friend Heriberto who lives in D.F.   He invited us to a well-known restaurant that has been in the same location for over 90 years.  They now have several other restaurants be Heri chose the original.  A short note on how we know Heriberto.   When I first started working for a publishing house back in 1994 our boss at the time, Michelle, hired us.   She was Heri's roommate for a couple of years.  We spent time together over the couple of years Michelle worked in Mexico.  You may remember we visited Michelle and her family in Phoenix last year.  Heriberto is another Mexican success story similar to Juan's.  Anyway, we had lunch at this old dumpy looking place that turned out to be a real jewel and another recommendation.

Here we are waiting for our service.

The place was packed but the wait well worth it.

Afterwards we returned to the Zocalo and a tour behind the scenes.

A great idea.  We decided to head to Garibaldi square where all the mariachis hang out.  Not what I had expected but it was still a good time and I wouldn't have passed it up.  Below is the tequila store that has hundreds of labels of tequila.

We went to the third story of the tequila museum which has a bar on the first floor as well as the third floor.  There was a mariachi singing on the third floor who asked us where we were from.  We told him Monterrey and he said, "oh, ustedes son codos".  Codo means elbow, but when you tap your elbow with the palm of your hand it means you or someone is cheap.  We take a bit of offense to that and Juan told him, "we very organized and good with our money".  We in the north think that the Chilangos or Capitalinos are spend thrifts and are more interested in appearances.  An age-old fight which continues today.  

Another piece of history is the Tenampa bar.  We had a drink and listened to the mariachis.  We saw lots of gringos in the square here which was really the time all week.  

Took the Metrobus home.   We walked by the famous Bellas Artes theater on our way.   Tomorrow I will show you some interesting things about the underground Metro.  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Next Stop - Xochimilco

A day late in posting the blog but we have been on the go all week.  Yesterday we headed out on the metro and went to the Xola station.   From there we took a pesera all the way to Xochimilco which was about 40 minutes.  Not the most comfortable ride but it was good sightseeing.   There are other modes of transport as well but this one worked great.

We've been to Xochimilco before so we didn't ride the lanchas.  Instead watched other people haggle over prices, board the boats and take off down through the canals.

The rest of the time we toured the town square, the cathedral and the market where we stopped for a quick lunch.

This picture was taken from inside the rickshaw we took while Xochimilco.  It is aluminum framing with thick clear plastic on three sides and a solid reflective white top.  There is room for four inside and the guy pedals the bike.   After the 15 minute ride I thought the guy would be out of breath so I asked him about the bike.  He said it is built with the center of gravity in mind and it is really easy with just two passengers.   

He charged us 10 pesos for the ride.   Going to the canals and back was a total of 11.50 per person.   It was a good 25 kms from the hotel to Xochimilco or more.  I need to check.  I made a mistake on the Metrobus price.  When we transfer, the tap card stores the information and know when we make a same day transfer at no charge.  So to go from the hotel downtown for example, taking two Metrobus lines, costs 6 pesos.   Monterrey is 10 pesos and most don't have transfers.

Last night we went to our favorite restaurant for a special celebration.  La Strega is located on Insurgentes just two blocks from our hotel.  We made reservations for 8:30.   Like always, the food, drink and service were excellent.   Because it was Easter weekend though, the violinists had the time off.   However they played their recorded music which was just as good.  You have to go to this restaurant if you are ever in Mexico City.

This is the capitan.  He mixes a mean martini.   He knows what we like and he served it well.

These pictures were all taken with my cell phone.  It doesn't have a zoom or flash so the night pics aren't so clear.  There are options though that I haven't used or discovered yet.  Still learning.  Love the phone though and it is a marvelous tool.