Monday, May 2, 2016

I'm A Lousy Blogger

A bit tongue in cheek but I haven't been posting much.  I mean the blog name says it all and I don't see much happening.   Some people travel in the winter and work in the summer.  For us it's the reverse.  This year I have from June 30th to September 1st.  We'll be heading to a folkloric dance festival in Zacatecas the first week of July and after that probably the sierra in Jalisco.   I may put some feelers out on Bill and Dot's Facebook page for a house sitting job or a cheap place to park the rv.  I go out to the rv almost everyday to check things out.   The batteries and the solar are just incredible.   I sit there sometimes thinking of all the places we've been and where we will go.  Every trip is a new adventure.

The last couple of months we have had a nightly visitor who has been cleaning out the cat food dish.  We caught him on camera several times and I had look for a tlacuachero or a possum trap.  But this wasn't a possum.   A beautiful cat that has been living on the empty lot next door.   Some distant cousin of our cat Little Bit based on his size, markings and color.   They never played together but would observe each other.

Well, last week I heard someone in the food dish but with a ferocious appetite.   I tiptoed out to the living room and there it was.  I ran for the front door and then for the patio door closing this baby in.  He literally destroyed the mini-blinds in the studio.  He scaled the windows, screens and blinds.   We were in a panic.   We grabbed a rope, made a noose and slipped it around its neck.  We turned the cat carrier on its end and dropped him in.  

The next day he was off to the vet to be cleaned, fixed and ready for adoption.   It took only three days before someone was looking for a cat to hunt mice in his ranch house.   This guy fit the bill!  We are happy to have fixed another one.   

Then on Sunday, I went to buy the newspaper and I was met by a beautiful Irish Setter mix.  She was starving.  I bought her some cinnamon rolls and she scarfed those down.  I'm looking for her now and hope to rescue her.  She is a real charm.  She may have moved on though.

This Friday is a holiday and we will be going to San Antonio on Thursday afternoon.  A major hailstorm passed through the area about 10 days ago.   Our house, along with all of the neigbors, sustained damage.   We'll see when we get there.

I'll be back on the road the 17th of May heading to Mexico City for two days and then to Merida where I will be the plenary speaker at a convention.  Have you heard of Electracy?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What A Bargain!

Sunday morning and we decided to go out for tacos and a stop by Home Depot to look at some things and get ideas.  This afternoon I'm going to Mexico City but I'll return tomorrow in time for happy hour.  I didn't want to stay out too long this morning so I could prepare my things and pack.  

Arrived to Home Depot and they were having a clearance sale.   Can you imagine the surprised look on my face when I saw a new Weber Q with all the instructions and complete (sans box) for $88 dollars?   I sure couldn't.   Unbelievable when just yesterday they had the larger one at HEB for 9000 pesos.  Yikes.  

Now we have one for home and one for trips.   I just need to find a place under the bed to store it in the trailer. 

We also got a nice fountain for the front yard for half price and three small appliances for $289 pesos; a sandwich machine, a toaster, and a coffee maker. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Matamoros to Reynosa and Home

I think we have recovered from our trip to San Miguel de Allende with Norma and Croft.  They had it tough because after a week of partying they had to drive back to Arizona.  I hope they had a good time because I know we did.  One of our best trips and it wasn't in an rv.   Now that's weird!  Renting is a good option if your not a full timer.  I guess it depends on how much of a rig you buy and good the gas mileage is.  The drive back and forth was a blast.  I know I'm retelling the story but it was a good one.

Back to work and on the road.   No sooner did I get back to work and I worked in two different schools in the RGV.   Amazing, the state of Texas is one giant corruption pit.  More police, city officials, mayors, etc.  all caught up in the drug business, casino corruption and it's not just with Mexicans.  One case the whole city counsel is in jail since last month for corruption with Vietnamese.  This S@#$ makes me laugh.   

Went to school on Wednesday and Thursday and some major changes are taking place.  I've worked at it for almost three years now and things are starting to happen.  I think I have one more year there and then it's time to move on.  I found another school that needs some restructuring so I am putting together a proposal to present next month.

Thursday afternoon I went for a trip to Matamoros.  I know you're thinking, Yikes!!!  I rode with the representative and his boss insisted we drive to Laredo and then cut across to Brownsville.  I said no way to that.  We crossed at McAllen and over to Brownsville and then took the bridge to Matamoros.   Spent a difficult night there.  I've got some kind of bug and I want to not say it's Dengue.  But the signs are pretty obvious.   

We stayed at the Holiday Inn and I had  a nice room.  The rep didn't want to pay for two rooms and I had to tell him that I don't share rooms.  Too old for that.   Only problem was, when I went to bed one of the black out curtains was missing.   This is a big problem in hotels.  People think because they are staying just one night they don't report issues and all of a sudden the room is a disaster.   So I did what any good Mexican would do.  I had to find a way to tie the inner and outer curtain together.  Hey, it worked!

Visited a huge private school that has kindergarten to university with over 1000 students.   Nice people and a great time spent with them.  On the way home I said to the rep, "Let's not be silly."  We took Hwy 2 from Matamoros to Reynosa on the Mexican side.  What a wonderful highway, smooth as silk and the countryside is in bloom.   I would recommend Brownsville/Matamoros to anyone.  It is a major port and they move people fast.

On a side note, we redid the yard.  We had the trees cut back and new grass put down.  14 cubic meters of dirt, 500 sq meters of grass and fertilizer.   The trees are in bloom and the grass has taken root.  Time for it's first cutting.   

Not sure what to do for summer yet.  I would like a job in the U.S. to add to my SS but if I don't I want to go to Valle de Juarez for two months.  I need to get some serious research and reading done.  Any ideas for a job?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

From San Miguel de Allende To Monterrey

As I always say, there is an end to everything and so ended our wonderful week of vacation with Norma and Croft to San Miguel de Allende.  Apart from the fully-equipped house we rented, the walks and talks around town and on the trip back to Monterrey were fantastic.   We made stops along the way to buy strawberry syrup, coffee and bathroom stops, and of course the dreaded checkpoint that lasted over two hours with complete chaos.  Mexico showing it's best side.

Overall the trip was rated five stars by my account.   We didn't do without a thing.   We had a fireplace at night, a spectacular terrace overlooking San Miguel as well as the famous Jardin.   Good times had by all and I have to say one of the best pics of our trip although Juan Manuel was the photographer and not in the photo.

Our day trip with Robin and Steve to Atotonilco was another highlight.   We spent the morning in the numerous thermal water pools relaxing and sharing things we had or would liked to have done.  Several trips into the cave for a hot steam bath and then back outdoors.   After a side trip to Dolores Hidalgo for a quick tour and one of their famous ice creams.

Tuesday market in San Miguel is a huge event and we took advantage of that as well.   The colors, smells, people, and activity make you always want to return.  When I was there last summer I went twice a week.  Fresh fruits and produce not to mention all the wonderful foods that are offered from gorditas, cabrito, borrego, enchiladas, pancakes, pizza, well you get the idea.

Although it is quite expensive, it's something everyone has to do at least once.   The experience of the roof top patio at the famous Rosewood Hotel.  The views are incredible and truly a photo op for anyone wanting a memory of San Miguel.

Even the trip back home was as I said earlier.   Stops for lunch, bathroom breaks, they always gave us something to talk about.   Politics was a topic in the car, would that surprise you?  But we enjoy that along with religion and this was the week for that chat.

Once back home we took a day for recovering and then on Tuesday headed about out again perusing the markets here by our house.   Fountains, talavera tiles, food, furniture.  We shopped a lot but didn't buy a thing.  That was the fun part of it.

Our last night together took us out to the pool for a relaxing happy hour before a fantastic dinner of tuna sincronizadas.

Then on Wednesday, off they went.  Down roads that would lead them back to their wagon and from there all points north.  Thanks guys for a memorable week of fun in Mexico.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Visit To Fabrica Aurora and El Jardin

Every picture tells a story so I'll just leave it like this.  We are having a blast with Norma, Croft, Robin and Steve.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What An Evening

Steve, Terri, Mike, Me, Robin, Norma, Croft and Juan

We spent the day with Norma and Croft.  We headed out to the offices of the SAT, where taxes are charged and paid.  Our new friends we met thanks to Paula and Jer, Louis and Doris, had an issue with a new tax being charged for truck campers.  We made a date to meet at the offices but once we were there they had closed for the week since this is Spring break.  It wasn't on their website but we tried to help.  Doris made a wonderful loaf of bread for us and we enjoyed it this evening with some great grilled cheese sandwiches Norma cooked up.

After that we went to the Tuesday market and walked around.  We got to show Doris and Louis a bit about the market and then we saw them off as they are heading back to Quebec tomorrow morning.   Nice couple and I hope we keep in touch.

We had lunch at the market.  Croft had fried fish and shrimp and Juan and I split an order of enchiladas.  We agreed to a nap and then we went to the rv park at San Ramon where Robin and Steve had arrived earlier this afternoon.  

Once we arrived at the rv park we found out that Terri and Mike Church were right next door to us.  What a coincidence.   I couldn't recognize them from the road because it was getting dark.  Then, Steve's neighbor came over and Terri approached them and she said "Chris, and Juan!"  Yikes.  Who knows who you'll run into. 

What was supposed to be a quick welcome and happy hour turned into almost four hours of chat and conversation.  You've just got to love rving.

Tomorrow we are all meeting at Fabrica Aurora which was originally a textile fabric and now houses many art galleries, furniture shops, antiques, and more.  After, we have a lunch with Barbara form Bab's Blog.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Two Pairs To San Miguel de Allende

As you know, Norma and Croft arrived on Friday by car from Arizona.  We spent two rainy days at home.  We got out for some shopping and dinner one night.  

We packed up the SUV and headed across the mountains to San Miguel de Allende on Sunday.   The bus left right at 7:30 and the driver was happy about that.   It was rainy and cold all the way across the mountains as well as soupy-thick fog.   I was going to say that we crawled along but wasn't so.   We made very good time.   By the time we came down the other side the clouds and fog broke and it was sunny and warm again.

What would have seemed liked a long day passed before our eyes.   We made a few pit stops along the way, talked up a storm and the three copilots kept an eye on my driving.   The roads were packed with holiday travels from all parts.  Cars piled high with carriers and the like.   The big "parador" or rest stop at the toll booth entering San Luis Potosi was a zoo.   Restaurants were packed and so was the parking.  I had made arrangement with the real estate person to meet at 6 p.m. but we arrived to SMA by 4:30.   Great trip no doubt and my new GPS took us right by the house twice before we got the idea.   

Beautiful rental, a bit pricey but well-deserved after my 11 weeks of being on the road.   You can tell by the pictures we will enjoy our stay here.  The maid will be here two days this week and we can call someone to come and prepare dinner if we'd like.   

Today (Monday) we are going to stop by the rv park in San Ramon to visit with a couple who has some doubts about their Mexican entrance permits and the amounts they paid.  They were recommended to us by Paula and Jerry.

Also this week, Robin and Steve will be stopping by and we will all have lunch and tours.   We can meet them halfway as they couldn't get a spot in San Ramon.