Thursday, December 31, 2009

Whirlwind weeks

Wow, I haven't blogged in ages. Part of it was because we went to Canada for Christmas. I had a nice Christmas card that I was putting together with pictures of the gang here, but I never got it finished. Maybe next year.

Memory is hazy but here are the highlights of the last couple of weeks:

- Minina finally is almost as good as new. She must have broken a leg/foot or torn muscles or ligaments as she clung to the side of the house before taking a tumble. But she's doing well now, so that stress is gone.

- Bennie and Stefan made it here safely, and we spent some time together before we left for Canada. Oh yeah, one of those days was my birthday! Bennie treated me to a meal at La Bruja. Other than packing suitcases, I don't remember what else we did on my birthday. We reviewed all the ins and outs of the house and the animals. I forgot to tell him that Maya steals tomatoes and eats them so we have to hide them.

- We flew direct to Toronto on WestJet - my first time on that airline and I was impressed and will definitely fly them again. A much better price than Air Canada.

- Immigration in Canada pulled Miguel over for secondary questioning, despite the fact that he had a visa. They would not let me stay with him, so I waited for luggage while he answered a few questions - nothing he didn't understand, so in the end it wasn't a problem. But I was angry - what a way to welcome guests to your country - force them to get a visa and then delay them a little longer when they arrive. He took it in stride, says it's their job, which I guess it is...but it still made me mad.

- In Canada we shopped, we ate some of our favorite things there - Swiss Chalet, ribs, Greek food. We tried to go to my favorite Italian restaurant, The Capri, but found it gone - just a sign in the window "For Rent" and no indication if they'd moved. I have since found articles on the internet that indicate it was a sudden closing and there is legal action, so I'm hoping it is temporary. The Capri was in business 55 years, as long as I've been alive, and it was THE BEST Italian food.

- On Christmas Day I cooked a pot roast and a turkey. We ate the beef and saved the turkey for Boxing Day, the day my family comes to visit and feast. In the morning we watched Jen and Miko open gifts and then we drove down to see Niagara Falls in all its icy glory...

- On Boxing Day we did a little shopping before the family party - found some good bargains, and even better ones the day after, specifically Bath and Body Works - their lotion/spray/gel line of buy 3, get 3 free. So we bought 6 and got 6 free, and I smell wonderful - of jasmine. Back home for the party and I got lucky - Jen and my sister-in-law both had left-over pies, so I didn't have to make any. And since my sister and family couldn't come, I skipped making the ham, so it was a little easier to prepare, and there was plenty of food

- We were each allowed two suitcases and two carry-ons with WestJet, so I packed 8 bags of stuff - our clothes, and then stuff for the apartments and a few gifts for the kids here on Isla. I don't know how it all filled 8 bags, but it did, and nothing was over-weight.

- The morning we left Canada it was snowing, so I have pictures of Miguel standing in it - he likes me to take pictures of him standing in snow, but he never stands still - he is constantly moving his head and looking around and it's hard to ever get a good picture. But here's one...

- We arrived in Cancun and both were told to go through the Mexican residents line, so we were through in just a few minutes, collected our bags, called our friend Luis, and were off to the ferry. We were only home 5 minutes when the phone rang for Miguel and then Scott arrived with a cart of friends. Scott didn't stay and Miguel had to go over to the apartment as his sister had arrived from Oaxaca - with a large group in tow. And so it was a quick welcome home. Bennie and Stefan told me all about their stay and their adventures and when Miguel got back we went to La Bruja. Miguel spent the rest of the evening running around trying to get food for 9 people and figure out where they were going to sleep over at his property (not in the apartmens, they were rented). I didn't see it, but it sounds like they hung hammocks all over the place - including the kitchen. I'm glad I wasn't there, to be honest - too much commotion for me. And poor Miguel, he was not feeling well - sinus headache and runny nose - all he wanted to do was go to bed, but first he had to take care of his visitors.

- It comes in Threes. Bennie lost his camera in a taxi or on the bus. Stefan lost his crown off his tooth. And yesterday, after 12 loads of laundry, two of which were the comforters and bedspreads for the apartments, Miguel lost the bag off the back of the golf cart. It rolled off and when he went back for it, a woman told him that a lady came by in a moped and very quickly scooped the bag up off the street and made off with it. I'm not sure why anyone would pick up a bag of someone else's laundry, but she must have seen what it was and wanted it. $150 of bedding gone, and so...

- This morning, after a quick breakfast, we went to Cancun to try to replace the bedding. Costco no longer had the nice comforters, so my sage green color scheme in the Luna Studio is compromised with a lively navy blue with splashes of green and yellow. We went to every store we could, but really came up lame - cheap bedding that will fall apart after a few washings. I think a lot of Mexicans got comforters and blankets for Christmas - they just aren't to be found, especially in queen size. So I guess I'm in the market for something from Canada - I've already called Jen to go to Costco to see if they still have the comforters there in Canada.

- When Stefan called yesterday about his crown, I had to look in the couch, and under the couch. I don't know about you but there are things in there, and under there, that are sort of yucky. So since I had it all pulled out anyway, I did a total cleaning of the entire living room, including wiping down all the pillows and cushions on all the seating areas. I even cleaned the inside of the window screen because the Fabulosa I was using smelled great and I thought it would be a nice way to freshen the screen. So now the living room is done, on to the dining room.

- Our first guests at the B&B for 2010 arrive on Jan 2, and from then until the end of March we will be hopping. I am anxious for the good fruit to start coming in as winter fruit just doesn't do much for me. I am most interested in the yellow mango - it's been three months now, time for it to show up again on the shelves.

I guess that's all for now...have more but it will have to wait until next year. In the meantime...

Happy New Year to All!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Luna Studio Bedroom

Took pictures today. Still have to hang the new curtains and find something for the wall, but at least those horrible orange curtains were removed and I could take photos. As suspected, Miguel was not the one who hung the orange curtains - I knew he would know better.

The bedroom sits between the kitchen and the bathroom. The kitchen is large - about 12x14, and the bedroom is about 14x14. Lots of nice airy space, we are pleased with the finished (mostly) apartment.

Here you go...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Odds and Ends

Minina is home! Other than a swollen nose that is still making her sneeze a bit, she seems fine. She is confined to our bedroom to keep the other cats from pestering her and to keep her from being too active with the stairs and flying around looking for geckos. It seems nothing is broken (other than probably her nose) - she is one lucky cat.

Many thanks to Delfino for once again coming to our rescue with a pet emergency. I really don't know how he does it, there are so many animals at the clinic, he's always busy, and there are so many sad outcomes. Thankfully this was one of the happy endings.

And now...Introducing the Luna Studio! Part of Capi's Apartments, this studio is on the third level of Miguel's property.

We've already had our first guest, even though we really weren't expecting to be ready until the end of the month. Here are pictures of the kitchen and bathroom, the two more labor-intensive rooms to get completed:

I wanted to take a picture of the bedroom too, but after I spent Friday evening putting what I thought was the finishing touches to the room, including hanging white curtains over the window, I discovered today that someone had taken down 3 of the six curtains and put two orange ones right in the center of the rod????? Goes really well with the nice sage duvet, I'll tell you. Whatever was whoever did that thinking? Miguel is so picky with what he does, I can't believe he would agree to such a ridiculous thing for the curtain. I know why it was done - to cover some windows down in the other apartment as there is a couple sleeping in the bed in the living room and the orange ones probably were too flimsy. But why put the orange ones up in the studio when there were already three other white curtains there? Now to figure out a way to get rid of the orange without offending him.

I also need to find something to put on the wall in the bedroom - it looks quite bare with just the white walls. Maybe I'll do something like I did in the Minina Suite last week?

Here is the picture of my solution to the lack of pictures in the Minina Suite:

I need to do something to straighten the bottom hem, but that was one of those things on the job list that didn't get touched yesterday, and now I'm a day behind, so we'll see - probably after Christmas.

The last bit of news - Miguel won 10,000 pesos yesterday. Whew! We can pay the brick-layer and buy the rest of the floor tiles for the studio terrace. That guy has good luck. And of course La Bruja knew about it - he greeted Miguel at the market yesterday morning with "that was your number that hit". Yup, it was.  :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Change of plans

I don't know why I ever try to make plans. A job list. It seems that something usually happens to disrupt the day.

Today it was Minina. She apparently fell from the third-level terrace. About 25 feet. I was sitting in the living room and heard a commotion outside, and when I went to look there was Minina at the door, right beside Blacky. Blacky, who doesn't like cats, was being pushed aside so Minina could get to the front door and be let in.

Something about the way she came in made me wonder how she got to the front door. I went up to the second-level terrace, where Miguel was watering, and where he often lets Minina out with him, and where she often jumps through a small hole in the wall and goes over to the neighbor's roof.

Miguel said Minina was not with him, and when I told him she was on the ground, he immediately knew she'd fallen from the third floor where he'd left her. I went up to see if I could tell where she might have fallen. I was looking for the vines to be pulled away from the house. I couldn't see anything.

Back downstairs to check Minina and she was walking around, although she seemed scared. And then I heard her sniffling. And saw the end of her nose that looked like it was dirty.

Ok, so she fell from the third-level and hit her nose. She went right to the food bowl but didn't seem to want to try to eat the dry food. I opened a can of food and she ate hungrily. Well, at least her jaw seemed ok.

I took her up to our room and she settled on her favorite chair covered with her favorite blanket. She sniffled and sprayed bloody liquid - not much, but enough for me to be concerned about a fractured skull along with a broken nose. Her pupils were fine and she could open her mouth equally on both sides. She seemed to want to put her head down but didn't seem able to find a comfortable position. Maybe facial fractures as well?

I laid on the bed and watched her, and as the sun hit her chair, she rolled over and snuggled up like she always does with the sun. She cleaned part of her body, and tucked her head under her paws and dozed off. But she continued to sniffle and sneeze, disturbing her sleep. I called Delfino, much too early so just got to leave a message.

Eventually Minina wanted to come over to the bed, there is a blanket on the bed she likes too. So I put her on the bed, and she settled. I went down for breakfast, and when I got back upstairs, I could see that Minina was not as comfortable as she'd been.

She was favoring her right front leg, and the fluid was still bubbling out of her nose. Not a lot, but enough to make her sneeze to clear her nose. Her breathing is slow and normal, so she's not in shock or having trouble breathing. I am hoping there are no internal injuries.

Finally Delfino called and told me he had a couple other emergencies but would then be back at the clinic. I took the cage and put it on the bed, expecting a struggle with Minina. But...she got right up and went in, as if she felt safe in there.

We hauled her to the vet on the golf cart, which she didn't like one bit. She is there now, and will stay there for observation for head injury.

There is a dog there being treated for head injury as well - got hit by a car yesterday and is on medication to reduce the swelling in the brain. I hope Minina will not require that, but if she does, she's in the right place.

We were supposed to go to Cancun today - a doctor's appointment and a few errands. I have cancelled that until tomorrow. And I'm not in the mood to do any of the chores I had lined up - I think I'll go and lie down.

And now we sit and wait to hear from the vet. I am hoping for good news.
Just stopped by to see Minina. She is doing ok, the vet is not all that worried about her but he is keeping her overnight to continue observation. He has given her meds for inflammation and pain. She certainly broke her nose, and without xray, we don't know what else, but she's breathing ok so that is good news. Fingers crossed she will continue to be ok. Thanks everyone for your comments.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Where did the week go?

We have been busy - busy with guests, busy cooking and cleaning, busy with final apartment preparations, busy with animals, and busy being exhausted.

Our houseguests are a delight and so much fun to see them enjoying the island and their vacation. I have yet to meet our apartment guest, something I try to do the first couple of days they are here. But the timing hasn't worked out - we went by a couple of times and she was either out or sleeping. She was going to come over yesterday but then the golf cart went in for repair. Maybe today.

The dsl modem also died, which meant a trip to Cancun and Telmex to exchange for a new one. I took the opportunity to pick up final 'stuff' for the new apartment. Miguel thinks I love shopping - he's wrong, I just love having everything organized and part of that organization meant shopping for things for the apartments.

No internet at the house is very inconvenient, but there is now an internet cafe right around the corner from us, so that allowed me to check in while we were 'down' at the house.

A visit to Telmex used to mean hours of standing and waiting for my turn; I wasn't looking forward to the day. I took a book. My number was 89, and they were currently serving 85. Very different than the days when I had 30 numbers ahead of me. They had six chairs in front of a tv and a screen displaying the numbers, so I sat down and prepared to wait. I decided not to get into my book in case I missed my number.

So I sat and people-watched. The booth closest to me finished with its client, but then she took her purse out of a drawer and puttered around and then got up and left - supposedly for a break.

Then another booth finished with its client, but the woman took out a mirror and applied lipstick, and puttered around, and then got up and left too. Great - I was hitting break time - this was going to take longer afterall.

But it was really only about 20 minutes, and the booth around the corner called my number. I handed my phone receipt to the guy, along with the dead modem, and he quickly searched in the computer. He handed me a box from the pile on the desk and told me to just hook it up and it would all work. Really? Could it possibly be that easy?

After Telmex I walked over to Walmart, and at the end of that shopping binge, I called Luis to pick me up. We went to Costco, Sorianna, and two drugstores to finish my errands. I completed all the things on my list in two hours - zoom, zoom.

When I got home I was tired and reluctant to even try to hook up the modem - just wasn't in the mood to fight with technology. But I hadn't checked email at all that day, so knew I needed to get on it in case there were reservation requests.

I hooked up the modem, and couldn't believe that it all worked. I still had to hook the router into the modem in order to get the phone working, and delayed on that for a couple of hours, anticipating a struggle. But in the end that worked like a charm too.

So we're once again back to normal - 'normal' as defined here at Casa Susana. We're still tired and busy - Saturday is D-day to have it all together at the apartment. I can't wait to see how it looks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Improvising 101

Actually, I'm probably more in the advanced class of improvisors - living in Mexico forces it into you. I pride myself of being at least as good as many of the locals, and in some instances, maybe even better.

The latest episode has to do with those fuzzy pictures hanging in the guest room. Yesterday I took them off the wall intending to dust off the fuzz, but sadly discovered that they are beyond salvation. The mats and the frames are ok, but the pictures and the backs are in the garbage.

What to do? The wall behind the bed is riddled with large screws (and a couple useless holes that were failed attempts) where the pictures were hung. Guests are arriving today.

I pondered just hanging the empty frames back up - the 'new' picture would be the white paint on the wall behind.

I pondered cutting up an old map and gluing it to the wall and hanging the frames over the pieces.

But the bedroom is pretty and romantic, and neither of those options left me with the beautiful room presentation I wanted to give our guests.

Maybe I could hang something else on the wall?

The only blankets I have that would be suitable are not at all the right colors or texture.

Of all the sarongs I own, only one 'might' work. The shade of blue was not a match in the room, but it didn't look bad. So I tied the fringe to make a hook on each end for the end screws, and threaded the other screws into little holes I frayed along the edges. Other than the wrinkles, it was acceptable.

But acceptable was not what I had in mind. So off we went into town, to the small market stalls near the hostel. Getting there was a feat with all the road work being done.

The first road we tried ended in a dead end with both left and right turns leading to mounds of sand. I took the opportunity to remind Miguel that he will come across similar mounds when we go to Canada, except they will be white and cold. Snow!

We turned around and went the wrong way back down the road we'd come from - there was no other choice. But why we went the wrong back up the next road I don't know, as we could easily have driven around to the end and approached from the correct direction. I've learned not to ask.

With the market stalls just on the other side of the torn up road, Miguel gently drove the golf cart over the curbs. I didn't think we'd make it, but Limey (our golf cart) is like the little engine that could. I think he liked the challenge.

While Miguel turned the cart around and parked, I browsed through the sarongs and found one with just the right color and pattern. Task accomplished, back down the road we went, this time pointing in the right direction.

We encountered the same high curbs, and for some reason Miguel decided this time to help the golf cart. He got off and picked up some pieces of interlocking brick that were lying strewn in the road. He placed the pieces as a makeshift ramp, except my eye told me that the pieces were too far apart. No matter, one of them worked and we climbed the curb again and made our way home.

My idea was to just tie the sarong fringes to the screws, but the sarong was too narrow to make it all the way across. So I turned it sideways and played with different options of tying fringes to different screws. The end result looked like a shirt for a chubby, short-waisted person hanging on the wall. Sort of with bat-wings for sleeves.

For a while I thought I'd settle for that, but finally I took another look and I hated my creation. So I decided to sew a hem along the side of the sarong, and thread a small cord to hang from both ends. I sewed the hem last night.

This morning I went searching for a thin cord. We probably own some, I just don't know where. I found a piece of cooking string in the drawer in the kitchen, and it looked the right length. Maybe it was meant to be?

I took the string upstairs and measured - it was perfect! The ends were falling apart, but I had enough string to make my 'hanger'. Now - to get that flimsy string threaded through my hem.

Normally I would use a large safety pin, but I have been up and down the stairs so many times that I just couldn't face it again. So I took off my hoop earring and looped the string through it, and then threaded my earring through the hem. It worked great!

I made some slipknots on each end and arranged the sarong, nicely tucking over all the screws on the top edge. The only problem was that the sarong hung over the wall switch - guests would have a hard time turning on the ceiling fan or turning out the lights. I would have to make it shorter without more sewing.

I folded, I rolled, I tied...and finally settled on pulling the sides up and tying them to each other, sort of like folding the sarong in half. It looks great, just like it belongs there. In fact, I think I'm going to forget the pictures and keep the sarong.

My only concern is the string. Since it was already falling apart on the ends, I hope it holds together for the week our guests are here. Hopefully by then I'll have found a permanent hanging solution.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What have they been up to lately? - part 2, Loco

Loco just spends his life being Loco. Crazy, goofy dog, running and jumping and getting all excited when he hears me pick up my purse and the keys rattle. Loco knows that sound and it usually means I'm going out, and he assumes that means he's going too.

Sometimes I'm not going out, I'm just moving the purse or fishing inside for some cash for Miguel. Ah ha - fooled ya, Loco! As he circles and jumps around me, he finally catches on that I'm not going anywhere and he gets a look on his face of pure disappointment, and then flops down on the floor.

Sometimes I am going out but Loco is not - usually when we are off to Cancun. With Loco standing at the door waiting for us all to leave, we tell him he's not going, he's going to stay home and protect the house. First there is a look of disbelief, and then hope, and then acceptance - all flashing across his face in a few seconds. He knows the drill, and moves to the corner of the couch while we close the door. As we walk out the gate he's up in the window, watching us go. What happens after that is anyone's guess, but we think Loco and the cats sleep while we're gone.

We try to keep Loco confined to the property except for his toilet needs. Miguel is a lot more relaxed about it than I am though - if he is out in the road chatting with someone, Loco is running about here and there, and often I'll go out and ask where Loco is and Miguel says he's around. And he's not. He's down at the corner, and lately he's been getting bolder and is around the corner, or even down on the next block near the lagoon. This drives me nuts for a couple of reasons: he is not supposed to be out running around, he chases other dogs who are not doing anything other than just walking along the road, and he has no street sense - I worry about him getting hit. Slowly I am working on Miguel, as he is the source of the problem by allowing Loco out in the first place. It's a cultural change for him, so it is happening slowly. Poco a poco.

To add a wrinkle to my attempts to confine Loco, he has now learned how to open the gate. Thanks to Tres-patas, the little dog from down the street who unfortunately was hit by a car on the main road. But before he died, Tres-patas would sit on the outside of our gate and wiggle the doors back and forth until the latch gave and the door popped open. In all the years Loco has been confined inside the property, he never tried that technique, but after he saw how it was done, he can pop the gate open in a flash and be out in the street. I put the hook across the gate but with the latch popped, the doors open enough that Loco can squeeze through the small gap (Negra cannot, she's too chubby).

When I go to the store or over to feed my neighbor's cats, I have to keep checking behind me to make sure Loco did not open the gate. Often I will be coming back home only to come across Loco at the corner. He knows full well he has done wrong, but he doesn't really care - he just runs as fast as he can back home. Under my breath I mutter - "could we just FIX the damn gate!?". But Miguel is busy, and I've learned that all things will get done in good time. Maybe not MY timeline, but in-good-time.

Loco would rather ride on the golf cart than anything else in his life, including eating. He will stop a meal in order to hop on the cart and go somewhere. He stands with his hind legs on the floor and his front legs on the front of the cart, ears flapping in the wind. He looks like he could take off at any time, like the elephant Dumbo. Tourists love to see Loco on the cart - he is in many pictures and movies taken by tourists, and has generated many smiles.

You may remember a couple of months ago I wrote about Loco and his itchy skin. At the time Delfino wanted to test his blood, but one thing or another prevented us from making the clinic by 10 am on any given day, and then Loco had an acute episode of itching where I had to call the vet and get Loco started on a treatment plan of Prednisone. Now that the drug is out of Loco's system and he seems well again, we finally got him to the clinic for the blood test.

Yesterday afternoon Delfino came by with the results. Loco's platelet count is very low - 35,000 where the normal is 250,000-500,000. What is causing this is unknown at this time, but the primary suspect is the tick disease, Ehrlichiosis. About four years ago Loco had a positive test for this disease when he was tested for heartworm. The vet at the time said that because Loco was not sick, it just meant he had had the disease at some point in his life and carries the antibodies. The vet treated Loco with a precautionary dose of antibiotics.

Loco cannot take the monthly tick prevention because he is allergic to it. So the only prevention we have is a rigorous search for ticks - almost every day. I've read that if the tick is on the dog less than 24 hrs it is not likely to infect the dog, so I try to check daily. Loco will even let me know when he has a tick - he'll scratch in the area of the tick and then come over and nudge me - wanting me to take a look and get the tick off him. The ticks are different sizes, so I don't always find them. But Loco loves the process of searching - he stretches out on his side and closes his eyes and submits to the sensation of fingers moving over his body and through his fur. Miguel calls it his massage.

So Loco is now on another regime of antibiotics and vitamins with iron. As well, Delfino wants me to cook chicken and rice, and add cheese and yogurt to his diet. We also need to keep Loco from hurting himself as he could hemorrhage without sufficient platelets to clot the blood.

In two weeks we'll retest Loco's blood, and hopefully see a rise in the platelets. Much as Loco's goofy behavior sometimes drives me to distraction, I'd much rather see him healthy and goofy than sick and lethargic. I will post an update when we have the results.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I know what I'm going to do this weekend

We went out driving last night. On the east side, just past the church, we smelled farm animals. The slaughter house is much farther down, it wasn't that. "Oh, it's the cows", Miguel said.

"What cows?", I asked. We don't have any cows on the island. Or should I say, we never used to have cows.

Miguel gestured to the empty field, and since it was dark, I strained my eyes to see the shapes of cows. Aging has affected my night vision. I saw nothing.

And then we came upon it - a bull ring set up at the far end of the empty lot. Cars, trucks, people, food stands, and a busy bull ring. A packed stand, from the looks of it. And I didn't look long because I know what a bull ring means, and I'd rather not have to think about it.

"Do they actually kill the bulls here?", I asked Miguel. He said he didn't know. He knows, he doesn't want to think about it either.

I don't understand how anyone can derive pleasure out of watching an animal tortured and then killed in the name of 'sport'. But judging by the number of people in the stands, there are plenty who would argue that it is entertaining. It's an argument they'll never win with me. I'm one of those people who actually likes it when the matador gets gored - I'm on the side of the bull.

Continuing along the road and then crossing down to the lower boulevard in La Gloria, we came upon the zocalo. Miguel told me the mayor had lit the Christmas tree the night before, and there it was - a tall, beautiful tree in the center of the square.

And the square was hopping, despite the fact that it was a school night. Carnival rides are set up, booths are set up, and families and tons of kids were enjoying the event.

There were food booths, and everything smelled wonderful. There was a booth with row upon row of sunglasses...three stalls worth. Who has the patience to look at all those sunglasses to find the perfect fit?

Other booths were set up with household items. I love looking through their stuff, and their prices have always been very reasonable. And since we're in the process of setting up the Luna Studio, we need some of that stuff.

So this weekend I know which carnival I'm going to - the one in the heart of La Gloria. The one with the happy ending.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chimp sighting in Cancun

We went to Cancun yesterday. As we were driving along one of the three-lane roads, on the inside track, I spotted something odd in the truck in the outside lane. There were vehicles between us but I had to take a second look as gaps in the traffic permitted.

What I saw was a big surprise. A pickup truck with the passenger window open wide, and a large chimp sitting on the edge of the door, with most of his body hanging out the window.

The truck was going in the same direction as us so we got glimpses of the chimp as we drove along. The chimp was relaxed and taking in all the scenery. I saw that he was holding onto the side mirror with his foot.

The expression on the chimp's face was quite 'human' - which led to discussion of our ancestry. Was Charles Darwin right? And if so, how do Adam and Eve fit into the picture?

Of course, none of us have the answer. Sometimes we think the animals might be the ones with the answers - the intelligence we see in their eyes says that they would have much to tell, if only we could understand their language.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baseball Caps - not just for wearing

The baseball cap is a versatile part of the wardrobe here. Men, women, and children all wear them - frontwards and backwards, like everywhere else in the world. They are fashionable, they block out the sun, and they cover the hair to prevent it from being blown by the wind.

But in other parts of the world do baseball caps serve other purposes as they do here? Like:

1. When being chased by a dog, a cap quickly removed from the head and swung in the direction of the dog will usually make the dog back off.

2. When the seats of the golf cart are wet after an unexpected rain, the cap is used to dry off the seat.

3. When entering a home with wet feet, the cap is placed on the floor and used as a mat to wipe the feet.

4. When encountering a crab trying to cross the road, the cap, held at the side of the body of the crab, will gently steer the crab in the desired direction.

5. Keys, coins, and other odds and ends are placed in the cap at night for safe-keeping.

6. The cap can be tossed over the head of a sleeping cat in order to annoy it - sort of revenge for all the annoying things the cat did to you while you were trying to sleep.

7. The cap can be used to relocate a lizard walking down the center of the road. Place the cap over the lizard and then pick it up and toss it into the plants at the side of the road.

8. The cap can be swung at a pesky fly, and if lucky, will knock the fly out so a cat can eat it.

Miguel has a nice collection of baseball caps. When I was travelling, I wanted him to realize how much - so I would pick up a cap at every airport I encountered and present him with the stack when I got back to the island.

Miguel even has a few real baseball caps, including the local Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays. I also bought him a cap with the Toronto Maple Leafs logo, and since he doesn't really know about hockey, he has no idea that the cap might not bring him much luck.

But whichever cap he was wearing the day he touched the high-voltage cables, it protected his head when he slammed down the stairs. The gash that got opened would probably have been a lot worse had he not been wearing the cap. So I'll put this as #9, caps protect the head.

I can't think of one more, which would make the neurotic part of me happy to have a nice round number like 10. Anybody?