Friday, April 23, 2010

Animals and Instincts

I think I used to be a mama cat or something, because I know at a glance when one of the animals is 'off'. We've had a long streak of good health lately, so I guess someone was due to get sick...this morning it was Cappuchina.

I knew as soon as I saw her on the chair this morning that she wasn't feeling well. Her fur looked fluffed out and her face had a preoccupied look. She didn't get off the chair and try to get in the front door like she usually does - that was a major clue. And she didn't accompany Loco and I down the road when I took him out for his potty break - second clue. The last clue was that she wasn't interested in the food I put down for her, she just stayed in her chair.

So I left her there to recuperate herself (animals have an amazing way of knowing how to get better). When I swept the side passage I found a wad of feathers, so I bet she ate a dove and was feeling full, or it made her sick. My instincts were proven correct a few moments later, because Cappuchina went off into the garden, dug a hole, and proceeded to pass a lot of gas and liquid stool. I was hoping it was just from whatever she ate, not an infection. By midday, Cappuchina was almost fully recovered, and now she seems back to normal. Probably something she ate. Like a dove...

Speaking of doves, I saved the life of one the other day. I was lying on the bed in the downstairs bedroom when I heard the dog's dish on the front terrace get knocked over, and then a fluttering of wings. I wondered if Cappuchina had ambushed a bird stealing the dog's food, but knew that if that were the case, there wouldn't be anything I could do to save it. The fact that there weren't any bird noises made me think the bird got away.

But as I laid there I heard fluttering and rustling in the plants. So I got up to check. Cappuchina wasn't around, so I looked in the side passage, and there she was, sitting and pondering a bird. I watched as she stuck out her paw and took a swat to make it move. As I got closer I saw that it was a baby dove, sitting with its back pressed against the wall, and no hope of escape. For some reason Cappuchina came when I called her - maybe she was bored with the bird. I put her in the house and went back to check on the bird. It seemed ok other than its feathers were all ruffled and it looked terrified.

I decided to give the bird time to recover from the shock of being caught so I swept the floor. As I headed out to feed the neighbor's cats, I took a peek at the bird and it was still sitting in the same spot, but it looked less ruffled. When I got back from the neighbor's, I got a shoe box and a small towel and went to get the bird, thinking I would relocate it to a safer area (even though all my cats were safely out of the way, there are other stray cats around). The bird was not there, but I heard a rustle behind some boards at the end of the passage. As I approached, I was thrilled to see the dove take off and fly away. So happy it had survived and hoping it would have learned its lesson about cats. The feathers I saw this morning make me wonder though.

Today I cleaned Loco's ears with a solution intended for pet's ears. Then I put him out on the back terrace so he could soak up some sun. As soon as he laid down, two cats were upon him - Maya at the back of him, sniffing his tail and feet, and Minina at his head. Minina was going crazy over the smell of Loco's ears - she kept rubbing her body against his face and then poked her head into his ear and licked. She licked his mouth, his face, but mostly the inside of his ears.

Something about the smell of the cleaning liquid stimulated Minina's instincts. She thought Loco was pretty sexy and she was doing her best to put on a show and gain his attention. She rolled around beside him, she licked him, she raised her back end for him, she stretched and preened. Remember, Minina is spayed. And Loco is a DOG, hardly interested in a sexy cat. And besides, he already has Maya, he's HER dog.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Glad to see me - Part 2 (what the neighbors heard)

Now that I have described what it's like to come home to the brood, I will write about what the neighbors hear. Neighbors who live on the other side of the wall and cannot see, they can just listen.

(coming through the gate) "Luna, what's the matter? Why are you there if you don't like them?"

(at the front door) "Cappuchina, leave her alone, and no, you're not going in".

"Blacky, move away from the door. MOVE!".

(opening the door) "Loco, wait".

"Hi Maya. Minina, stay back, you're not going out".

"Luna, come, it's ok. Luna, come on. MAYA! Minina, vamos".

"Ok, good girl. Loco, you stay out there and wait, I'll be right back".

"Smokey, stop that. Maya - knock it off. MAYA!!".

(back out on the terrace) "I know you have to go to the bathroom but I have to wash my feet. Just wait".

"First I'm going to the store, before it rains. You guys (meaning Blacky and Loco) stay here, I'll be right back. Loco, you WAIT."

(down at the store) "Blacky! Get home. Go on - GO!"

(walking down the road towards home) "Loco, bad dog, you opened the gate. Stay down. Stay DOWWWN! You idiot, get inside. Inside. INSIDE!!".

"Ok, since you dogs probably went to the bathroom during your escape, you can just wait until I give the cats their tuna. Cappuchina, I'll be right back. No, you don't have to go inside, just hold on, ok?"

(inside the house) "Tuna, who wants tuna? Luna, come on."

(the other cats in the kitchen) "Meow, meow, meow, MEOW!" (translation, would you hurry with the tuna already?!")

"Smokey, get DOWN! Geez!"

(the cats) "slurp, mnmnmnm, smack, smack"

"Smokey, let her finish, it's not yours. Maya, you too!"

(on the front terrace) "Here you go Cappuchina - enjoy".

"Ok Loco, it's your turn. Bano! Blacky, you're next..."

...and on and on it goes...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Glad to see me

Just got back from a quick trip to Cancun - I was gone about 3 hours. When I left, three animals were outside - Blacky and Cappuchina (they are always outside), and Luna (she is in and out). Blacky and Cappuchina were on the terrace, as usual, and I suspect Luna was on the second-level terrace, to get away from the world, as she tends to do. Inside were Loco and the three musketeers - Minina, Maya, and Smokey.

As I entered the front gate, Luna started wailing. She was sitting on the terrace with Cappuchina and Blacky, but she hates them both and is noisy about it. Why she sat there is a mystery, other than it had rained hard and maybe that was where she went to get dry, hated siblings or no hated siblings.

Cappuchina was parked at the side of the front door hoping for an opening to get inside when I opened up. Blacky just sat in the way in front of the door, thumping her tail on the terrace. I stepped around Blacky and unlocked the front door, knowing Loco would burst through, with one or more cats lurking behind him.

I thrust one foot in the direction of Cappuchina to keep her where she was, and then flung it over towards Maya, who was waiting to see who was at the front door. With Luna still wailing, I opened the screen door as far as I dared so she would have as much space as possible to bolt her way into the house without being attacked by Blacky or Cappuchina (all in her imagination, or mostly, I think) or letting the other cats out. From Luna's point of view, gaining entry to the house is like a maze - avoiding the two on the outside and also avoiding the cats on the inside waiting right by the door. I continued to swing one foot back and forth to keep the inside cats from getting out while Luna decided if it was safe enough to enter.

Luna growled at everyone as she ran through the door. I then entered the house, closed the screen door and stripped off my shoes, socks, and jeans - forgot to mention that the roads in town were flooded and so I stepped into a high puddle with my new shoes and my feet were soaked. Thinking that the flood water was probably not very clean, I grabbed a bottle of liquid soap, put on some shorts, and headed back outside to wash down my legs and feet.

I wanted to walk to the little store around the corner to pick up some tuna for the cats while it wasn't raining (the skies overhead are still dark), so I left Loco, Blacky, and Cappuchina on the front terrace, locked the front door, and closed the front gate. I instructed Loco to wait for me, I would be right back.

As I exited the store I spotted a familiar dog - Blacky. Yup, she was out running loose, which meant Loco was out running loose too. My neighbor happened to be standing on the corner (must have been waiting for tortillas) and she told me that Loco was out. I yelled at Blacky to get home (and amazingly she obeyed - usually she runs harder in the opposite direction), and as I rounded the corner I spotted Loco up by the tree across the street. Standing there watching me.

With Blacky obediently back in the front yard, I ordered Loco to return as well, but he wanted to run and jump and play, and so he did his road maneuvers while I tried to keep him from jumping up at me with his wet paws. Finally we both entered the yard and I closed the front gate, unlocked the front door, and everyone who should be in was in and everyone who should be out was out.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Smokey decided to run her claws on the corner of the sofa. Maya grabbed the bottom of the sofa and pulled herself along the floor. Minina was looking for a chance to beat up Cappuchina through the screen.They all vied for attention.

Coming home is such a joy, everyone is so happy to see me!

But...right now Cappuchina is whining and picking at the front screen door trying to open it, so I guess I'd better go and feed the cats their tuna. Gotta keep the kids happy.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I don't know if there is a saying such as this or not (but if there isn't, maybe there should be?):

"One person's logic is the next person's perplexity"

Part of my perplexity is the language - things don't always translate literally so sometimes I miss the meaning, or I understand it differently than was intended.

But some things that I do completely understand in translation, still leave me shaking my head in amazement that it made sense to anyone.

The little hamburger stand that we like, near the lottery booth, used to open around 7:30 pm. While sitting on the parked cart waiting for Miguel to buy his tickets, I pass the time watching the activities at the stand. Sometimes it is early and they are cleaning the cart. Sometimes the woman who owns the cart is frying up a pile of onions in advance of opening up. Sometimes I've hopefully gone over before 7:30 to see if I can order, only to be told they won't be ready until 7:30. Sometimes we wait, sometimes we don't.

When the clocks were moved back in the fall, I was surprised to see the stand doing their opening activities early. I went over and asked if they would now be opening earlier. The answer surprised me. Basically, I was told that since the clocks had been turned back, they would be opening at 6:30, which used to be 7:30. Why the change in the time would have any effect on their hours of operation is a mystery to me, but all season they opened earlier. Now that the clocks have moved forward, I'm curious to see if they are once again opening at 7:30. Because it would make sense, wouldn't it? (scratching my head at understanding any of it).

Our golf cart is a mechanic's dream or nightmare, depending on whether you are a mechanic who just sees dollar signs or rather one who sees the pain in the neck that this golf cart has become. My mechanic winces when he sees me, so I know he'd rather forfeit the money and be done with this thing, once and for all.

But without the funds to replace the cart, we keep fixing the issues, and since they are inexpensive issues, it makes sense to keep the family vehicle running for as long as we can. With all the issues we've had, Miguel has learned quite a bit about the mechanics of the golf cart, and often he is able to do a 'repair' (well, maybe not a repair, rather a patch fix) without bothering the mechanic.

Starting the golf cart in the morning is an ordeal. Just pumping the choke no longer works. We have to lift the front seat and change the gear wheel to neutral (so we can rev the engine without it going anywhere). Then we squeeze the black hose as we step on the gas pedal. Finally we push the little clip forward, which seems to control the flow of gas. And we keep doing this until the engine kicks in. Once the engine kicks in, we keep the engine going to warm it up. When we think the engine is sufficiently primed, we flip the gear wheel back, replace the seat, hop on and hope we go somewhere.

But we now need another little thing to get us 'going somewhere'. Even with the engine warm, the accelerator pedal just doesn't seem to be able to pull gas into the engine upon take-off. So Miguel rigged up a piece of fishing line that he threaded through a hole he drilled to the front of the cart right at the driver's seat. With one hand on the choke button, the other hand pulls on the fishing line which pulls gas into the engine, and off we go. Once we start moving, Miguel lets go of the fishing line and the accelerator pedal does its job. Until we have to stop at an intersection, then he may have to yank the line once again. Just depends.

We have taken the cart to the mechanic numerous times, but this little issue just never gets resolved for any period of time. So the last time we had the mechanic work on the cart, Miguel explained the issue to the mechanic, and showed him why he has to use the fishing line, even though that was not why the mechanic was fixing the cart (that time it was the micro thingy that controls the electricity to the cart). I think Miguel was hoping the mechanic would fix the issue once and for all. Mind you, we've have several mechanics try to fix this, so it is not a simple fix, apparently. And here's what happened:

The mechanic returned the cart with the new micro thingy replaced. He lifted the seat to show us where he had replaced the part. And when Miguel mentioned the difficulty we have starting up the cart, the mechanic explained about using the choke, etc. And then, much to my amazement, he said that if none of that worked, he could always pull on the fishing line! Dead serious!

Later I commented to Miguel that it was very odd that a mechanic thought his rigged up fishing line was the solution for a cart that didn't want to start. I guess the logic is that Miguel has found a way to address the issue, and it works, so why look for another solution? Shaking my head on this one too, but living here makes one realize that some things you just have to go with. This is one of them.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I really am getting old!

A burning pain at the side of my ankle and a sore heel on my left side, a sore area under my right foot, weak joints and another little issue led to an appointment with my doctor in Cancun yesterday.

It hurts to walk, and I want this all cleared up before I head off to Norway - because I want to be able to walk through the airports, not be pushed in a wheelchair. I blame the foot pain on the shoes I wore for a couple of months instead of my usual crocs. They felt great at the time but I did notice my feet felt more tired than normal at the end of the day. I switched back to crocs about a month ago, and the right foot is better than it was - I'm sure it will recover with more time. But the left foot, it needs help.

My joints feel flimsy. I can barely lift myself out of the tub. If I get down on the ground, I can't get up without holding onto something and hauling myself up. I don't have the same strength I used to have in my hands. I don't know when this all started, but it came to a head when we were in the store a couple of weeks ago and I got down to look at something on the bottom shelf and realized I could not get up. Miguel had gone off to look at something else, and I fumbled around looking for something to grasp to pull myself up, finally finding a sturdy shelf to hold onto. How embarrassing!

So now I'm on medication for inflammation and seizures. Of course I don't have seizures, but the medication for seizures can also be used to relieve the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia (something I've suspected I might have but have never pursued it with a doctor). Without a diagnosis from the doctor, I'll just say that I'm on these meds and hopefully they will do whatever it is she hopes they will do.

The medication for inflammation is for plantar's fasciitis, the cause of the pain in my feet (she thinks). She told me to go back to wearing my crocs, which I had already done. But I can't wear flip-flop crocs to Norway - it's still cold there. So I asked her where I could buy good shoes in Cancun, and she advised a store called "Flexi", in Malecon Americas.

Of course, I did not know anything about Malecon Americas, but it sounded like it belonged with Plaza Americas, and my doctor confirmed - "yes, it's the new part".

Oh my gosh - what a new part it is!! It is huge, full of name brand stores, many of which you see in the US. Luis, my taxi driver, parked near the entrance, but we still had to walk quite a ways to find the shoe store (of course it was the last one before you get to the connecting part with the old mall). Along the way I spotted a food court, full of American-style fast food joints. The old part of the mall has a Mexican feel to it, but this new part is all American - modern, shiny, and glitzy. I'm not sure who will be shopping in these stores, but obviously there are a lot of people with money living in Cancun who will be spending some cash there. I guess it's nice to have that option, we do lack quality clothing stores here (and I'm assuming they had quality clothing stores - I didn't actually pay much attention because I'm not much of a shopper - just get me to the store I'm looking for, buy my shoes, and get out).

I found a traditional pair of shoes that I can wear with pants or blue jeans and I'm hoping the shoes will stay as comfortable as they felt when I tried them on. They cost $500 mp - less than I expected.

I had a few other little errands to run while in Cancun, so by the time I got home my feet were pretty sore. Knowing I would be too tired to fix anything to eat, I bought a Big Mac at the Ultramar and gobbled it down on the ferry ride back to Isla. Sometimes a Big Mac just hits the spot.

I am not sure how I am going to do on these medications - I am feeling pretty groggy and it's a medicated grogginess, not my usual just plain tired grogginess. In fact, I think it's time for bed now. Nighty-nite!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The third-level

 We get up early, partly because we are awake but also because there are chores and animals that are on an early schedule as well. We actually look forward to getting up, because we know that morning cup of coffee is waiting. Usually Miguel prepares it all the night before; we just have to get up and 'push the button' to start the drip process. While the coffee is dripping, we take out the garbage, let out the cats, take out Loco, turn on the hot water heater, clean out the litter boxes, and sweep the terrace. The person who hit the kitchen first is responsible to 'push the button'. If one of us is lolling about in the bed, the smell of coffee brewing is enough to coax the person to get up.

When I was working we'd sit in the living room to drink our coffee; browsing through bookmarked sites on the internet, reading email, and catching up on the news on the tv. On weekends we'd try to remember to take our coffee out to one of the terraces so we could enjoy the morning, but routines are hard to break, and mostly we continued to sit in the living room and ignore the beautiful outdoors.

Now, without pressure to get through the morning routines in order to spend the rest of the day working, we are more relaxed and really enjoy our morning cup of coffee outdoors. When we have guests we can't go upstairs so we go out on the front terrace, swinging in the hammocks while chatting about the garden, and giving attention to Cappuchina, who joins us in the hammocks. But when it's just us here, we often go up on the other terraces, scolding ourselves for not enjoying them more often.

Here are some pictures from a recent morning when we decided to go up on the third-level terrace. I started taking pictures looking over the beautiful blue waters towards Cancun, and moved around the terrace. Follow me as I show you what I saw.

Looking south-west across the 'jungle' in our colonia. Before Hurricane Wilma killed them off, we had wild parrots living in the trees in our jungle.

Looking down at the front hedge and the living roof over the front walkway, and the second-level terrace.

Looking south-east across the lagoon towards Colonia La Gloria.

Looking east towards the Caribbean and mid-island colonias.

Looking down at Miguel's plants on the second-level terrace.

Looking north-east across the lagoon towards the mainland.

Looking down at the cats out on the back terrace.

Looking west toward Cancun.

The terrace itself.

When I was working, we rarely enjoyed this terrace. You might say I woke up and smelled the coffee. Literally.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

24hrs in my life

Just because I think it's ok to eat pizza for breakfast doesn't mean that I should share it with Smokey.

Here I am with two dogs who are supposed to protect me. The first is under the bed, scared of the thunder. The second is crouched in the corner by the front door because she's scared of the monster bicycle parked beside the nice dry corner where I placed her bedding. Only Cappuchina, the cat, understands why the bicycle is draped with sheets of plastic to provide shelter from the blowing rain.

6 am is just a little too early to scoop out cat litter to make it out to the curb for pick-up.

For the next 12 days I am going to try living downstairs to see if I can get my sore ankle better. Not sure if the stairs are aggravating it, but it is aggravating me - I do not like handicaps!

My new cell phone is confused. When I bought it yesterday I tried to register it in Miguel's name at the store. When I didn't get confirmation back, Luis (my taxi driver) suggested we go to the Telcel store directly. We did, and they took a copy of my FM3 and said they would register it in my name instead. Now the phone works, but it keeps asking for a CURP, so it must still think it belongs to Miguel. Only another trip to the Telcel store will clear up this one. Good thing I have to go to Cancun again anyway.

Three pretty blue bikes at Sorianna and not one was flawless. The first had a torn-off handle grip, the second was missing some paint on a key joint, and the third made a horrible squeal. So I'm stuck with pink. Guess that guarantees that Miguel won't be borrowing it.

Doubling a dough recipe, even when the book provides the doubled recipe, can result in a liquid, sticky mess that requires lots more flour to even be able to handle it. Sort of changes the flavor and texture of the crust, I think I'll stick to the normal recipe instead.

Last night's pasta craving resulted in cold pasta salad and hot pasta with Miguel's cherry tomato sauce augmented with pizza sauce. Along with a cold chicken salad sandwich, my tummy was content.

Working on some ideas for web pages, will start coding in a day or so. Right now I have some tax papers to sign and fax back.

The rain last evening and this morning means I don't have to water the gardens for another couple of days.

Thinking about swirling some darker paint over the concrete steps on the inside staircase. No matter what we do the footprints show up. Maybe a darker paint will blend in?

Miguel told me to be patient with the cats. No problem, I told him. Well, last night was a problem. I had to get off the couch numerous times to get Smokey to stop tearing my papers. Finally I wrapped them all in the tablecloth and put them on a stool. She found them and tried to get at them through the cloth. So I put a huge sweater over the pile, that fixed her.

Just received a call from Telmex. "Buenas noticias!" (good news), they claim. Hmmm...for whom, I wonder? For once I listened to the spiel, and it sounds like I'm going to have the same stuff I have now but will pay less - 300 pesos less. We'll see. Maybe the competition with Yoo! (Cablemas) packages has them scrambling to keep customers. Why am I leery?

Sorry, but even though the loudspeaker sounds excited about the circus, I'm not. Those poor animals tied to the trailers look unhappy. But at least this year I'm not listening to "Ooh Aah, Ooh Aah Aah....walla walla bing bang" for days and weeks on end.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Miguel and I both love gardens. Gardens of plants, flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, potted plants. Recently I discovered a small breakfast nook at the back of Cafe Hidalgo, and I couldn't wait to share it with Miguel.

We went to Cafe Hidalgo for breakfast a couple of weeks ago and the back garden table was free. We sat back there and enjoyed the peaceful terrace. I ordered the same vegetable crepe I ordered the first time - tomatoes, cheese, and green olives. Miguel ordered eggs and ham. We were stuffed and Miguel commented on the quality of the food - taste, clean, nice presentation.

Knowing how Miguel really doesn't like to eat in restaurants, I was shocked when he suggested we go to Cafe Hidalgo again last week when we had to go into town in the morning. We found our garden table occupied but the waitress told us the people were about to leave, and so we said that if they left before our table had food on it, we would be moving.

And move we did. Once again enjoying the potted plants and the serene setting.

A garden is a commitment. A commitment to water, to trim, to replant, to nourish. It starts like this:

And it can end up like this:

The plants in the second picture were started across the street by Miguel, each being a baby of the parent plant in our garden, including the palm tree that sprouted from a coconut from the palm in the corner of the picture above.

The yellow-flowering vine covering most of the front of the house all comes from two vines that I planted at the side of the house. The vines create a living 'roof' over the path to the front door, and they cover the top of the wall on the second level. Our next door neighbor has asked us to allow the vines to creep over to his upper terrace - giving them shade and privacy from the street.

To the right of the gate there are cherry tomato plants growing, and we have harvested three bowls of sweet cherry tomatoes resulting in some delicious sauces. Last year Miguel grew cantaloupe and watermelon out there, sprouted from the seeds of our compost. We also have some pineapple tops that have taken root, so I am hoping we'll end up with some lovely pineapple plants, and maybe even some sweet honey pineapples!

Sometimes I feel like concrete is pouring out of every nook and cranny of this island, but if you take the time to really look around, you will find lots of signs of life. Animals, insects, birds, reptiles, and plants - all living life here on this tiny island.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dentro del Jardin (within the garden)

Our garden home attracts plenty of local fauna - butterflies, geckos, lizards, iguanas. Our cats spend most of their days out on the back terrace, where there is a small planter garden in one corner, and a couple of large potted plants in the other corner.

The back terrace is where we store our old BBQ (that we no longer use). It's where I hang our clothes to dry, and where I feed the cats their daily ration of tuna or canned cat food. The scarcity of canned cat food here means they are getting a can of tuna instead, and I can tell you - they are NOT complaining a bit, in fact, they are in love with tuna. Tuna costs just one peso more than the canned cat food, so it's not exactly breaking the bank to give them this treat, although I wonder if it is healthy for them - anyone know?

The cats play on the back terrace, using the plants as camouflage to ambush each other or a passing insect or gecko. The lack of small lizards back there is proof of their hunting skills, unfortunately.

The other evening I was back there taking clothes off the line and one of those wasps with 'boots' on the ends of its legs was buzzing around. Smokey was in hot pursuit, and took one leap straight up into the air - probably jumped a good 4 feet - I had no idea she could jump that high, I was impressed. She missed the wasp though.

Yesterday I went out to hang clothes on the line, and was amused to find the cats perched like this:

The 'cage' that Smokey is in used to be a wall air conditioning unit protected by bars (it is not a cage). When we removed the a/c, we left the platform and the bars, and installed a window. The cats fight over that ledge because they get to look in at us in the kitchen, but still have a great view of the garden. The tin roof protects them from rain, sometimes I really have to coax whoever is on the ledge to come in when it's raining, they feel so comfortable there.

Maya loves the coolness of the utility sink, it makes a perfect cradle for her.

All the cats love sleeping on top of the old BBQ, covered with a nice towel to give them padding - this is their second-favorite spot. 

What were they looking at?

This iguana is HUGE, and he is not a bit timid, he stayed on top of the wall as I hung clothes. He walked along, keeping an eye on all of us down below. And the cats were keeping an eye on him too:

I pulled up a chair and just sat and watched, wondering what would happen if the iguana came over to the plant roof above. The metal holding up the plants has rusted through and the weight of the iguana would be too much for it, I think. I got a broom ready in case, not sure what our cats would do with a huge iguana, and not sure what the iguana would do if it fell to the terrace below. I pictured lots of blood, not sure who's it would be.

But no worries, the iguana took its time sizing up the situation and eventually meandered back to the other corner. The cats got bored.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What to write about...

Can't decide and am feeling lazy, so here's a picture to enjoy:

This was taken by my brother on the way home from town one evening. This is taken from our side of the lagoon, and makes me remember all the evenings I used to take my coffee down to the lagoon and sit on a bench and just enjoy the reflection. Sometimes it was a moonlit night. It used to be so quiet I could hear the gentle lapping of the water along the shore. The walkway around the lagoon is used a lot more now, and could use some repairs. But the benches are still there, and one night I should talk Miguel into going down there and just sitting with our coffee. It's so pretty.