Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cappuchina, the day-time indoor cat

Minina, Maya, and Smokey are indoor cats - only allowed out on the back terrace. They spend the day and evening out there, and come in at night in order to sleep.

Luna is an indoor/outdoor cat. She sleeps on the back terrace at night, goes out to the bathroom in the morning, and then usually spends the day inside sleeping.

Cappuchina, until recently, was a strictly outdoor cat, sleeping on the front terrace day and night, and accompanying us with the dogs when we took the dogs down the road for bathroom breaks.

First thing in the morning we open the back door to the terrace and out goes Minina with great enthusiasm. Smokey is usually eager to go out too. Maya - no, she likes to stay in and follow us around and supervise everything we're doing. We're starting to call her Granny. It takes an hour or so to catch Maya off-guard in order to pick her up (ummph, she's heavy) and toss her out.

Luna, previously the queen of the cat pack, is scared of Cappuchina. Cappuchina knows this and will sometimes deliberately follow Luna outside, and occasionally she will even back Luna into a corner. Thus, Luna panics when Cappuchina is around, even when she doesn't have any intention of bothering Luna. Luna growls and then lets loose with a series of cat yowls, even if Cappuchina hasn't touched her. We are starting to call Luna "Kim", after my sister. My Grandmother used to say that Kim would never get kidnapped because if anyone tried to grab her, all she'd have to do would be to open her mouth and anyone would be scared off in a big hurry. Luna has the same ideas as Kim had.

Luna was not the only cat who had a problem with Cappuchina. Minina was very aggressive towards Cappuchina whenever she was on the other side of the front screen door. Maya would hiss and growl but then leave the area. Smokey - she was just curious, not much interested in Cappuchina one way or another. In fact, I recently let Smokey and Cappuchina be together inside, and they simply ignore each other.

It has taken several months, but Cappuchina has made her way into the house. First she started waiting by the door and when we opened it, she would dash in and head for a blanket on the couch. When we caught on to that trick and started blocking her with our foot, Cappuchina took matters into her own paws and learned how to work the screen door until it opened and she let herself in.

As long as all the cats are where they are supposed to be, having Cappuchina inside is not a problem. Occasionally we forget and let one of the cats in from the back terrace. If Cappuchina is sleeping, nobody bothers her, although they may sniff her. Cappuchina doesn't flinch, she pretends to be sleeping but we've caught her with one eye peeking.

If Cappuchina is on the floor, she is inviting attack. Minina will chase her and Cappuchina runs in fear to the front door, where she then lies down to avoid any further attack by Minina. If Maya spots Cappuchina, she will just run at her and knock her over and then run off. Nobody really gets hurt and there are times I'm hopeful Minina and Maya will eventually accept Cappuchina. But it needs more time.

So, Cappuchina spends her days inside when the indoor cats are out on the back terrace. She enjoys snuggling with us or just hanging out. And despite the fact that she and Luna really aren't friends, they have developed a pact, it seems...they can now both sleep on the couch, close to each other, without getting into a battle.

Now we need to work on the other two cats and all will be as it should. In good time...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nap Buddies

Confession time. I like naps. A lot.

A nap takes away the sleepiness, the fatigue. It gives the body a chance to rest and recuperate.

I can nap pretty much anywhere, in any position. Some of my best naps have been while sitting in a chair at the gate at the airport, waiting for a flight.

I can sleep during takeoff or landing but I usually wake up right around the announcements in order to either recline or upright-position my seat. When I'm on a flight where food will be served I force myself to read something so I don't sleep through the food cart.

Most of my naps are taken alone, but I have napped with some close friends - platonic naps, no touching. Not like this nap between Ross and Joey of Friends, which is platonic but a little weird:

These days my nap partner might be a cat, or Miguel. Miguel likes to nap as much as I do, although I'm not sure he plans it the way I do - with him it just happens.

Like right now - he was reading his school book. Glasses on, pen in hand, reclined on the couch. I was working on the computer and heard a gentle snore. Yup, Miguel is sound asleep.

And I think his nap is contagious, because I'm feeling really sleepy right now. Miguel is asleep, Loco is asleep, Luna and Cappuchina are asleep. It's time for me to sleep too. Yawn...

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Woman's Story

Imagine you are an older woman, self-supporting.

Imagine you are responsible for raising and supporting your young grandchild.

Imagine you collect social security and pension, but really need to work in order to make ends meet.

Imagine that the job you thought was secure suddenly ended, and for more than a year you were unable to find work.

I do not know this woman other than via email, when she wrote to me in October asking if our company (I was employed at the time) had any work for someone with her skills (we didn't). We have kept in touch since, and even though I know her situation is not unique, I think her story needs to be told. And so, with her permission, here is K's story.

Mechanical things

To this day I do not understand why there is not a mechanic on this island who can configure our accelerator so it works without Miguel's fishing line hook-up.

The first part to starting the golf cart is lifting the seat, putting the little yellow gear wheel into neutral, pushing on the accelerator cable, stepping on the gas, and squeezing the air hose. Once the engine kicks in, you let it rev for a minute or so, to warm up the engine. Then you quickly put the little yellow wheel back into gear, put down the seat, and hop on.

Here's how it looks under the seat - you can see the little yellow wheel (far right), the air hose (top left), and the accelerator cable with a fishing line attached (center).

Why is the fishing line is attached to the accelerator cable? Because when trying to start up after coming to a stop, the engine can't get enough gas. So Miguel pulls on the fishing line which pulls on the accelerator cable, which pushes some gas through and then we go. Once we're in motion, we don't need the fishing line, it's just to start up from a dead stop. This is the line that has been threaded from the inside of the cart, to the outside where Miguel's right hand can reach down and pull on it as needed.

The big black button on the front is the choke (right), and we have to use that when starting up again while the engine is still warm. Rather than lift the seat, a few pumps on the choke and a few yanks on the fishing line will often be enough to get us on our way.

And so, we had already been for a little drive and the engine was still hot. We had just come out of a dead stop to make a left turn at the corner near the Navy Hospital (remember - dead stop means pulling on the fishing line),  when the golf cart stopped. Miguel again pulled on the fishing line but nothing happened except he ended up with the entire piece of line in his hand. Realizing that something was broken, he got off the cart and started pushing it backwards towards the curb. Loco and I were still on the cart, and I tried to help by pushing back with my right foot on the road. There was a bulldog across the road and Loco was making a fuss and looking for a confrontation, so I had to keep him on the cart. There's nothing like breaking down in the middle of a busy road and having to deal with a dog clambering all over you trying to get at another dog that is simply meandering down the road minding its own business. Miguel didn't have time for it, he just wanted to get us off the road.

Finally I thought there was a chance to get off the cart (to lighten the weight) so I stepped off but just then Miguel pushed again so I ended up hopping on my left leg in order to get my right foot out of the way of the front wheel (Miguel wasn't paying any attention to me, he was watching the road). I tried to tell him to give me a chance to get my balance and help him, but he has tunnel vision and hearing at times like this, and I was talking to the pavement and was on my own to get my feet flat on the ground and not fall flat on my face or get run over by the cart.

Finally we got to the curb and Miguel lifted the seat to take a look. I took off my sunglasses in order to peer inside, putting them on top of the cart. I told myself not to forget the glasses, and twice I put them back on again, but with a sweaty face, they were bugging me so I took them off and placed them on the roof. And of course, as I blogged previously, in the end, I forgot them.

The accelerator cable had broken from its mount. Rather than just leave the cart, Miguel decided to try to connect the cable up using his piece of fishing line. But the line had a knot in it, and apparently he didn't like the knot. So he rummaged in the front compartment and found some weird handle thing and used that to bash the line until it broke and the knot was tossed aside.

Then he tried to create a loop with the little stiff piece of exposed wire and his piece of fishing line, but of course, the wire was far too stiff to allow itself to be tied. And so finally Miguel had to give up, and we left the cart there. As blogged previously, Miguel walked home with Loco and then left in search of a part and/or a mechanic.

Although he had taxi fare, Miguel walked to La Gloria to the home of one of our part-time mechanics. "Sepio" (nickname "Brush") was busy repairing a moped and told Miguel he would have to wait. Why Miguel didn't go one block over to his home and pick up his moped that he stores there I don't know, but in any case, he waited for about 30 minutes.

Finally Sepio was ready and he and Miguel took off on a moped, with Miguel borrowing the helmet of a friend who was doing some concrete work at the home of Sepio. They got as far as the drive-through beer store, just two blocks from our home, when the moped sputtered and came to a stop.

They were out of gas. The mechanic took the cap off the gas tank, placed his mouth over the hole, and blew, trying to force the remaining drops of gas into the line. They succeeded in going another 10 meters or so when they stalled again. This time the men, while seated on the moped, bounced up and down and rocked back and forth, trying to coax fumes through the gas line to keep going so they could get to the gas station. They must have looked ridiculous.

Miguel had had enough of trying to get the moped running on fumes, and said that they needed to leave the moped there and take a taxi to the golf cart. By the time they got to the cart it was dark, but the mechanic fiddled with the little cable and got it connected and off they went - back to the mechanic's house where Miguel returned the helmet, paid the mechanic, and drove home.

And so, with the golf cart once again 'repaired', we are off and running again with Miguel's fishing line solution to a bad accelerator problem - it's the only thing that works. Sort of...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Honest Islanders

So, amidst some negative stuff coming out of Mexico, here is a little bit of reality from this little island...

I have two routers that no longer work and are beyond repair. I salvaged the power supplies and the antennas, and asked Miguel if the boxes should go in the garbage or to the recycler. I'm not sure what he decided, I think he decided 'neither', but in any case, he took them from me and put them in the little cubby compartments in the golf cart (an unlocked type of glove compartment on both sides at the front seat).

The routers have been in the golf cart for almost a week, and nobody has touched them. Miguel did see one guy pass by and do a double-take and come by again to get a better look, but then he went on his way.

The neighborhood cop came by one day and mentioned to Miguel about the routers being there and worried that they could get stolen. Miguel explained the situation to him - they are basically worthless so we don't care if someone takes them. In fact, we wish they would.

Alas, nobody has taken what looks to be valuable computer equipment. We know that if we left a screwdriver or a bungee cable in the compartment that it would have disappeared long ago. We have decided that maybe the routers look like hidden cameras or something, and people are afraid to come close in case they get caught in the act. Or maybe people are just honest!

We were out late this afternoon and had a breakdown over by the navy hospital. As Miguel fiddled with the broken cable and tried to figure out how to tie it (try tying a short piece of stiff wire to a piece of fishing line - isn't going to happen, and if it does, it's likely to accelerate so fast that we'll plow down anything in our path - good thing he didn't succeed, I think), I took off my sunglasses and placed them on the roof of the golf cart.

I should know better. When Miguel finally decided he couldn't tie the two little bits together, he told me to gather my things and get a taxi home (I am still having problems with my feet and cannot walk that distance). I picked up my raincoat and my jacket and the water jug we had on the back that we need to exchange, and went out to the main road to hail a cab.

Miguel followed on foot with Loco, and was home about 10 minutes after me. He gathered up some tools and left, planning to try to buy a part to fix the cable. After he left I wandered around the house and suddenly realized I didn't have my sunglasses (no, I didn't need my sunglasses in the house, but for some reason I thought about them). I searched several times in all the places I could think of, but did not find my sunglasses.

My sunglasses are prescription - they cost about $300 2 or 3 years ago. Not something I really want to have to replace right now. I figured I must have left the glasses on top of the golf cart. Should I write them off or hope that the honest people living here would just leave them there? I decided to go back to look for them.

I grabbed a cab and was delighted when I got to the cart and found my glasses right up on the roof where I'd left them. In 20 minutes or so, nobody had touched my glasses. This is the honesty one often experiences from the people here on this island.

Either that or they thought the router would take their picture if they touched my glasses.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vulgar tourists

A few weeks ago we went to a restaurant along the waterfront. Because of the strong wind we sat under the roof instead of out on the beach, and unfortunately, the table we chose put us right beside some foul-mouthed American men.

It wasn't enough that we had to listen to them swearing freely with every sentence that came out of their mouths. The one guy, the main mouthpiece, was speaking loudly. We heard all about their visit to a local strip club, something I would not have thought anyone would want overheard. I think the men had enough liquor in them that they did not realize, or did not care, that we could hear. We heard...

How one simply knocks on the door and then chooses which woman they want.
How he got far more time than he paid for because the woman didn't want him to stop.
How his wife had not been able to take vacation due to a new job, but she encouraged him to go anyway (I bet she wouldn't be so thrilled to know how he passed the time).
How he was going to ask for the same woman because she clearly loved every minute he was giving it to her.

He tried to talk his friend into going back with him, when the friend clearly really didn't want to go. But the last we heard was they would be heading back over there once their dinner was consumed.

We ate our meal in silence during this distasteful discussion; we just wanted to get away from the men. Later I asked Miguel if he thought people from Mexico would go to the US, sit in a restaurant (not a bar, a restaurant) where other people were seated nearby, and use foul and vulgar language. He thought not, and I tend to agree with him. I'm not sure why some people think it's ok to come to a strange country and foul the air with their filthy language. It shows such a complete lack of respect for the people who live and work here, and for any other tourists forced to endure the bragging dialogue.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Beach

On Sunday we watched our guests head out to the beach, and the smell of sunscreen as well as the knowledge that my neighbor was going to disturb the peace once again, made me decide that we would not sit here and suffer, we would go to the beach. It helped that the humidity was 1000% (ok, I know that's not possible, but it seemed that way). I needed to immerse my body in the sea.

So we jumped on the golf cart and headed over to the little cove across from the Avalon hotel. I love this little swimming hole because it is not over my head, but is deep enough that I can dip and float and swim. I enjoy the sight of the waves crashing over the rock barrier to the east - a mix of wild sea and the calm pool.

There were not many people when we arrived at midday - and I was the only non-Mexican. Although there are lounges on this part of the beach, I am not sure if they are just for hotel guests. We looked for a place to lay our towels, and unfortunately, there is no shade on that beach so we were forced to lay in the sun. Next time I will take a beach umbrella and hope the wind is calm enough to actually use it.

I didn't waste any time getting in the water. This was my first time in the water in more than a year, maybe a couple of years. Although my body was hot, the water felt a little cool until I finally got in and started floating around. As I floated there I gazed around at the beauty, and kicked myself for not taking the time to enjoy this more often.

Later Miguel went in, and he enjoyed it as much as I had. His comments reflected my thoughts - we live here, it's free, and we don't take the time to enjoy it. I think we are going to change that as of now. Much as we like hanging around home, there is something about getting away from everything for an hour or so that relaxes the mind and clears thoughts.

We laid on our towels after a dip, but within 15 minutes we were baking again, so we took one more dip before packing up and heading home, all refreshed.

Well, we were refreshed until we had to pull the golf cart out of the hole in the sand. We had a flat back tire that spun itself into the sand, and it took both of us to push and pull to get out. By then we were sweating again, but the ride home gave us plenty of breezes to cool us off.

Since it was mid-afternoon, we decided to pick up a BBQ chicken at the Kash chicken place near the navy hospital. It has been several years since we bought that chicken, and it was another eye-opener because the chicken was great - a good size, well-cooked, and delicious. I also got the BBQ onion - those sweet white onions we have here - and we split that along with the rice, tortillas, and slaw. Yum!

Friday, May 14, 2010


I think the tamale is an acquired taste. It is only in the last year or so that I can enjoy a tamale. There are a few places where we buy our tamales...

The lady at the ferry dock, sitting on the concrete bench with a pot of hot tamales. These tamales are pretty good, either eaten right away or taken back home to eat later.

A family in Colonia Canotal that prepares them on the BBQ on weekends. These tamales are drier and I would prefer them if only they were not so burned around the edges.

Our favorite tamales get delivered right to our door by "The Tamale Lady", of unknown age but looks to be in her 60's or so. The Tamale Lady first showed up a year or so ago, and Miguel started buying from her. Our neighbors around the corner were looking for good tamales, so we told them to buy from The Tamale Lady. Now, if they see The Tamale Lady, they call on the phone to let us know she is coming around, and they tell her we are home and waiting to buy some of her tamales.

Right now our neighbors are away, so The Tamale Lady just comes down our road. We hear her before we see her. "Tamales". "Tamalitos". "Tamales". Usually we grab some money and go out to the road to meet her.

Sometimes The Tamale Lady is with another lady who seems to be her helper. One dishes out the tamales while the other holds the pot. I'm not sure if they are just friends or family.

Sometimes The Tamale Lady and her helper come when it's not convenient to go to the street (i.e., I'm taking a siesta). The front door is open and there is light on inside, indicating someone is home. But when they get no response to their tamale announcement, they debate - "Si, estan". "No, no estan". (Yes, they're there. No, they aren't). "No hay nadie" (Nobody's there). "No carrito" (no golf cart). They are looking for all the clues as to whether or not someone is home. They don't know, I guess, that sometimes Miguel is out and I am home alone. I lay there chuckling, because their debate is humorous to me. Yes, I'm here. But I'm not answering the door. They are never in a hurry, so they stand there while deciding if they should give us more time to answer, all the time debating if we are or we are not there. Finally they leave.

We don't really  know where The Tamale Lady lives. Sometimes she will be gone for months, and we wonder if she is sick. But then she shows up again - she was in her puebla (her home town), we don't know why.

Lately The Tamale Lady has been coming around by herself. The other night she ran into Miguel down at the corner and said that she was having to work very hard to sell her tamales that night because the politcal rally was on over by the mercado and they were giving away free food, which meant nobody wanted to buy her tamales, even if anyone was found at home. Unfortunately we didn't have any money so couldn't help her out by buying anything ourselves.

Yesterday The Tamale Lady came by around 7 pm, and I went out to place my order. Since we were expecting guests who I suspected would like to try her tamales, I told her I would like 6 tamales.

As she pulled the tamales out of the pot, she commented on the ceramic sign we had out at the curb (a sign for the cab driver bringing our guests). She said that it was a pretty sign, but that she didn't know what it said. She told me she could not read it. In fact, she can't read at all. Nothing. So I told her what the sign said - "Casa Susana". Two words - one my name, and the other due to the fact that this is my house.

She carried on counting out the tamales, and then I asked how much. 12 pesos per tamale, so I calculated 72 pesos. She agreed, and made change for my 200 peso note. I said "You can't read but you can certainly do mathematics!". "Si", she said, "con mis dedos" (with my fingers). She was grinning and held up her hand to show me how she quickly uses her fingers to do the math. I'm not sure how she did it - she never put down the pot but managed to pull 6 tamales out and put them on a plate that she also held, and fished out 3 bags of sauce, AND calculated, using her fingers, how much I owed her.

No, she can't read, but it's not because she is not capable.

I mentioned this to Miguel, and suggested that he might gently tell her about adult school, and encourage her to attend, to learn how to read. He said she would not go, she would be ashamed. But I said he should encourage her anyway. I will remind him the next time I hear "Tamales, Tamalitos, Tamales"...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We are all in this together

Last year, we blamed the lack of reservations from April on to the H1N1 scare. I'm not sure what we can blame it on this year, but listening to the news gives me a pretty good idea of some possibilities.

The economy of many countries is bad, in some cases it is a crisis. Right here on the island it feels darn close to a crisis, I don't know how many are surviving. When we drive around, we see very few tourists. Restaurants are closing during non-peak hours and days. This month feels like September instead of May.

More and more locals are cruising the streets looking for scrap metal they can sell to the recycler. The other day we were broke and Miguel was able to scrape up about $10 by scavenging for scrap metal.

Other locals are going around with carts of kindling wood that they've gathered. Wood that can be used to cook food, saving on the cost of gas.

Cars, mopeds, and golf carts are for sale. In some cases much-needed methods of transportation are being sold off for the short-term need of cash.

Many properties are for sale - some beautiful homes owned by investors. The homes are not selling. Land is for sale - prime land along the shores. The land is not selling. Small plots of land and little concrete structures or even palapas have 'For Sale' signs posted throughout the colonias. And they are not selling.

Locals used to being employed in the construction business are forced to seek work outside of their skill set. Master bricklayers are taking jobs as painters, or assistants to workers in other trades. People are willing to take any kind of work they can find.

The other day we dropped by the dump to pass along a message to a friend of Miguel's. The men working there were in the process of sorting through all the bags of garbage, looking for anything salvageable or recyclable and putting it aside. The dump actually is a lot cleaner than it used to be, but I can't imagine having to open all those bags of garbage and sorting through them. Dirty work, but at least the men are working.

Surprisingly, there has not been an increase in people coming around asking for money; I last got hit up a few months ago by a family wandering through our colonia claiming they'd lost all their belongings in the fire in Guadalupana. No matter how bad your own situation looks, there are others much worse off than you.

I wonder if all the bad press Mexico has been getting over the drug violence is finally really hitting us hard and people are staying away. A few people I know back in Canada and the US have told me about the horrible stories they've read and seen on tv, not realizing that there are lots of places in Mexico that are as safe as their own place of residence.

I also think we have an over-supply of places to stay. We have a few new hotels, and those hotels have a lot of rooms. And more and more people are renting out all or part of their homes; tourists are going crazy trying to find the perfect place to stay amongst all the choices they have now. And the reality is that along with all the new hotels, there are an awful lot of very cute, comfortable places to stay here - places on the water, places in town, places in the colonias. There truly is something for everyone.

Recognizing that we are in low season, we have lowered the rent and are absorbing the cost of the air-conditioning in the units in an effort to stay competitive. But we can't compete with the big resorts and hotels that have partnered with airlines and travel sites to offer huge discounts to attract guests. Although many guests would probably not normally stay in those places, they can't turn down the savings. And in this economy, nobody can blame them.

This is a transition year for us, a year of working through the lack of employment income on my part and trying to minimize the withdrawals from taxable savings while we struggle through low season. The house needs painting, and there are other things that need attention. Maintenance - and no cash to 'maintain'. Next year will be better.

There is property in Oaxaca, property that can support us if we develop it as a business. Once again I am in awe of the patience of Mexicans - Miguel is talking about 10 or 15 years from now. My mind is on THIS year. He is probably closer to the reality though.

I have been pondering about writing this for a while, first thinking I should just keep my thoughts to myself. But today feels like the right time to write. We are broke, but looking around us, we're in good company, and we're still better off than many.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Is anyone wondering if Cappuchina has made it inside yet? Well, wonder no longer, the answer is "YES"! It started when Jen and Kaitlyn were here during March break - they snuck her in and sat with her on the bench. That was when I was still hoping we'd find her real owners, which quickly became clear that WE were going to be her real owners.

Miguel went to Oaxaca a few weeks ago, and while he was gone, I started letting Cappuchina in when all the other cats were out on the back terrace. And while I was in Norway, Miguel started letting her in with him.

Cappuchina has learned how to open the door and let herself in if we forget to hook the latch. She proved that she can be trusted, she uses the litterbox. I think she just wants company, and would probably love another cat to play with...Smokey is probably the best candidate as she doesn't get all worked up about Cappuchina being on the other side of the screen door like the other cats do. In good time, the cats will all tolerate each other - occasional snits can be expected, but I think harmony will prevail.
Miguel went to Oaxaca for 12 days and came back with some great pictures of life there at the base of Mont Alban. I need to spend some time going through the pictures and have him put some words together to explain what the pictures are about. I look forward to the day when I can visit Oaxaca in person (although he already knows I need hot water, electricity, internet, and a bathroom in the same building as the rest of the house, so it may be a while). A tub would be nice too...
I went to Norway for a week to visit my dad and step-mother. This was a personal visit, no pictures to share but maybe a story or two. It certainly was different traveling such a long distance all alone. I was lucky that the volcanic ash did not interfere with my flights.
The weather here jumped from unseasonably cool to very hot. Tonight there is a strong warm breeze cooling things off. It may rain too, but I guess that will be ok, I don't think it has rained for several weeks.
Our hearts are hurting over this oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. For the pollution of the waters. For the harm to the environment. For the tragic loss of wildlife. And for the human suffering from loss of a means to make a living. I hate to see the pictures, it is sickening. I feel so helpless.
Costs are rising on everything here, but somehow we managed to cut $2000 pesos off the electric bill from the previous billing period. We did this by not having any guests during the month of April, by turning off the water pressure pump, and by turning off the hot water heater except for when we plan to bathe. And by trying to control the lights and other uses of electricity. To some degree I resent having to think so frugally, it doesn't seem right to have to think about every single light bulb that is burning. But maybe that's exactly how we should start living - respecting this earth's natural resources and quit wasting stuff. I wonder about our dependency on oil and electricity, and can't understand why we are so slow to move to cars that run on air. Actually, my mind is full of thoughts far removed from life here in Mexico - and I am going to start another blog dedicated to those things that are on and in my mind. I have not decided if I will make it public yet. But I will write, I need to.

Monday, May 10, 2010

So, I'm going to be an "Abuela"

Some time in late fall I will become a grandmother. I am way too young, of course. But it's time, the parents-to-be have been planning for this baby, subscribing to Parenting magazine and who knows what else?

I think it's cool that I found out while she was here visiting me in March. In fact, she asked me to buy her a pregnancy test. My first reaction was "WHAT?!" And then I remembered it was ok - she's married, she followed the prescribed sequence of events - education, job, marriage, and then baby.

I have no idea what they call pregnancy tests here in Mexico, and I wasn't sure where to buy one, but I asked Miguel to take me to a drugstore out in La Gloria. I walked in and asked for 'una cosa por provar si una mujer es embarazada' (something to test if a woman is pregnant). I finished the request with the clarification that it wasn't for me (I bet he was thinking - yeah, sure, that's what they all say).

And so, the test turned pink (I think that's the color it turned), and Jen and Miko are going to be parents. They have heard the heartbeat, and they have seen the ultrasound. The family has seen the ultrasound too. Even though the little tot is just 2 inches long and has only been brewing for about 3 months, I can see it's facial features, and it sure looks like Miko to me (Jen agrees!).

I know Jen would like a daughter, and I would like a granddaughter. Miguel - he wants it to be a boy, and not only that, he claims it IS a boy, he's sure about that. And...if Jen doesn't want it, he'll take it. I'm not exactly sure what he would do with it, but since it's not about to happen, I guess it's a 'moo' point (quoting Joey from Friends - it's all 'moo').

The next ultrasound will tell us whether it is a boy or a girl, so I am waiting for that tidbit before I rush out and am the first to buy a little baby outfit, something made here in Mexico. Although I probably won't be the first, because if I know Jen, she's already been in the stores checking out teenie tiny socks and sleepers.

In June I'll visit Canada, and will hopefully see the baby bump. And this blog will not only be filled with cute pictures of cats and dogs and iguanas, there will be the odd baby picture too. Be ready!