The Yellow Beetle and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day*

My day started off beautifully last Thursday. My new glasses were finally ready.  I could now, read, write, sew, and drive again! It was a sunny day; I was wearing brightly colored gauze clothing. My leopard-print flip-flops showed off my bright red pedicure.

From the optical shop I was heading to a closing, and from there to collect some buyers, have lunch with them, and then show them pretty houses. Daisy, our little yellow Beetle had just been detailed and she was bright and shiny.

I made the left turn onto Cinco de Febrero from a side street; I was so happy to be driving and to be able to see again that I misjudged the turn and hit the divider and went up and over. Kaboom!  Down came Daisy. I could feel that the tire was flat. I limped her around the corner and parked.

While I was examining the flat tire and bent and gnarled rim, a kind man pulled up and handed me my hubcap. That was like a gift from the goddess. I had just replaced all four hubcaps. Each one had fallen off over a few weeks. I had waited six months for the VW dealer to finally get four. I asked him to help me with the tire; he said he had no time. I thanked him again for retrieving my hubcap and off he went.

I called the closing attorney and asked him to proceed without me. He said, “Just tell me where you are and I’ll send Jorge to get you.”  Easier said than done. THERE WERE ABOSOLUTELY NO STREET SIGNS TO BE SEEN. I asked a man walking by, he motioned that he did not know the street names. And he walked off. A few minutes later, he came back and said that I was on the corner of Independencia and Cuahtemoc.

Jorge found me in minutes. He set up the jack, pulled out the spare, and then hunted for the lug wrench, there was none! We had clients waiting to sign their closing documents, so we locked up the car, I patted Daisy’s rump and off we went.

We got to the notaria; I was hot, dusty, and thirsty. I asked for a glass of water and was told that this notario publico did not offer any services like that. I asked the receptionist for water. A few minutes later, Jorge, my savior came with a glass of water.

I texted my buyers to let them know I would be late. They answered that they would come and get me. I responded that it would not be long and I could get there in 30 minutes. Dream on. The signing went smoothly. That was the end of the good day.

The accident did not upset me so much as embarrass me. But it was the hours and hours of waiting that ruined my day. We had left the car in front of someone’s driveway. Jorge went to the door to let them know we would be moving the car as soon as the tire was changed. No one was home. The neighbor came out and said that the homeowners would not be back until four. But if they did by chance return, he would explain the situation and point out the ugly damaged wheel. We asked the helpful neighbor if he had a lug wrench, he said no, but there was a llantera (tire shop) around the corner. When we returned after the signing, we asked another neighbor if he had a lug wrench. He did, but it was for an American car and did not fit Daisy. We went to THREE llanteras before we found someone that would come to us in a timely manner and change the tire. While we were waiting, we saw a man washing a VW Jetta. We asked him if he had a lug wrench, he was not the car’s owner, but he went inside and asked and was given permission to lend it to us.  The wrench fit the lugs, but they were on so tight, that Jorge could not loosen them.

And then a hunched man with a leg brace came to offer help! I am not making this up. Jorge went back to llantera number three to check on their progress. He called me to say he was leading the tire truck to me. We agreed on a price, and Jorge was off. The tire was changed in record time. I paid the man, and hopped in the car. Daisy would not start!

The tire man helped me look for the invisible hood latch. By now I was tired, had not eaten, had to pee, and saw the time racing away. I finally found the hood latch. The New Beetles are wonderful cars. They are also completely computerized and we could not figure out where and how to attach jumper cables.

Thanking the goddess for the second time, this time for the magic of the iPhone. I was able to look up the VW dealer and click on their number and was connected at once. We called VW, they said, “NO! Do not attempt to jumpstart that car; it will destroy the computer!” Off went tire guy. I called the VW dealer back and asked for them to come and get the car.  They said they would send a tow truck.

“But you have to pay!”

“Of course I will pay, just send the truck.”

“OK, we will, but service closes from 1-3 so you need to talk to the sales department when you arrive with the tow truck.”

It was 12:30. By 1:30, no truck had come. I called the sales department of the VW dealer, after explaining what happened, where I was and that yes, I knew I had to pay. A tow truck was dispatched.

I arranged for a rental car, and the ever-generous editor of this paper came for me and also paid for the tow truck. I only had $200 pesos in my wallet. She took me to the VW dealer, dropped her kids at home, waited for my next call, and took me to Budget Rental Cars near the airport. It was well after 4:00 p.m. By this time I had eaten one piece of toast at home and two hairy cough drops I found in the car. No lunch, no coffee, no clients, and I still had to pee.

But here is how I overcame this Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:

*In 1972, Judith Viorst, author and poet, wrote a wonderful children’s book called

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day.

Oh Mexico!

Since 1989 my Beloved and I have traveled to Mexico looking for the perfect retirement spot. We have been to small villages, tiny islands and big cities.

Not at all beguiled by the Disneyesque all –inclusive  tourist resorts, we opted for small posadas, charming B&Bs and private homes.  Some were wonderful, some forgettable and some simply awful.

But wherever we traveled in Mexico we had fun, and were open to adventure. We made friends with other tourists of all nationalities. We got to know local Mexicans. We played Good Samaritan one Christmas Eve. We were driving back from Tulum to Cancun. There was a young American woman standing in the teeming rain surrounded by Mexican workers.

She flagged us down. She had been waiting for the bus that never came. We stopped, backed up and offered her a ride. Her companions did not want her to get in the car. They heard about how Americans carry guns. They held onto the car and wouldn’t let us leave. After some sharp words from her, they relented. We headed for the Cancun airport where she was meeting her mother. And we listened as she told her story about running a dude ranch. We will never forget her, and that stormy night and the adventure.

We had the best lobster dinner of our life at a cute restaurant owned by a Frenchman in Playa del Carmen. And while waiting for the ferry to Cozumel, we had a plate of guacamole and chips that is indescribable in its delicacy of flavor and smooth texture.

We were sitting on a wall near the pier, waiting and loving every finger lickin’ scoop. It cost $3.00

This is the Playa del Carmen of the late 80’s not what it is today which would perfectly fit into Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi the opening lines describe Playa del Carmen of the 21st century perfectly:

“They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot”

Whether it was a crepe place in a tiny space on a side street  on Isla Mujeres, a rooftop bar in Puerto Vallarta, a new, formal restaurant in downtown Cancun,where the owner  flamed the Bananas Foster with great expertise, the oldest restaurant with the biggest selection of mole in Puebla, a hopping and hip bistro in Tlaquepaque, or an Argentinean steak house in Mexico City, they all charmed us. And we can bring back the mood, and the food when  we reminisce about our trips.

And as we traveled through Mexico, we were longing to live there. We envied the foreigners already established in their now homeland.  We dreamed and schemed about what life would be like once we retired and moved to Mexico.

Now after eleven years of living and working in La Paz, that magic of the Mexico we imagined can come rushing back  when we hear a song, smell fresh fish being grilled, or the light on the water is just right.

We have magic here. And there are magical places, and wonderful restaurants, but it is where we live our daily lives. That exotic otherness of our romantic notion is gone.

When guests  visit and stay in our HoneyMoon Hut, they tell us how lucky we are. Our lives look exotic.  We have friends, I write for the paper, my Beloved walks to work along our beach.

So when I look at picture like the one at the top of this page, I can smell that special smell of Isla Mujeres. I can taste the succulent lobster of Playa del Carmen. And I want to dissolve into that setting, wearing a white gauze dress. I will be barefoot, and tanned with a ruby red hibiscus tucked behind my ear. My beloved will be in white linen and will hand me a tall cool glass of limonada.

Another Convert to the Cult of Apple; I love my iPhone!

Shipwrecked iPhone! What a better way to show off my new baby then among some old Baja bottles and local shells

“Does it have an off-switch?” asked my friend Julie Sheehan. “Not that I have ever seen.” I replied.

We were having our weekly tete-a-tete over cappuccinos-extra hot, no milk, foam only and a  mini-muffin split between us.

“And” I said, “they can never be more than a finger length away.”

We were looking at Gari-Ellen’s iPhone. She was paying for the coffee and did not hear us. We sounded like two primitives seeing a Coke bottle in our jungle for the first time. You know, like the movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy.

Anyway, I had been thinking about taking the plunge to switch over to an iPhone. They look like a lot of fun and I hankered for one. Coming from Silicon Valley where new technology and gadgets are as important as a new pair of shoes, and having techi-geeks for kids and grandkids, I felt woefully behind the times without an iPhone.

That week my Flip Camera died, and the next day my digital recorder gave up the ghost. To replace the two single-function gadgets would be half the cost of an iPhone, and I would need a still camera and a phone. That’s a lot of junk to schlep around.

As an investigative reporter and a real estate agent, I need to travel light.

So I did it, I went to Telcel and bought a new iPhone. Well I had earned  a lot of points and did not pay full price. And they put the difference on my monthly contract. I am paying a little more monthly, but what an amazing tool/toy!

And in the last three weeks it has become indispensible.

Last Tuesday evening I was going over a purchase offer with my sellers. We wrote a counter –offer, but my scanner was being uncooperative, we needed to respond quickly since the buyers were getting on a plane to Seattle in the morning. So I took a photo of the contract then attached it to an email using my iPhone for all functions, sent it on to the buyer’s agent.

And like every other convert to the church of Apple, I say to all that will listen: “I don’t know how I ever lived without it.”

I can keep my documents in the Cloud, and us Air Print. It’s a camera, a calendar, it has a GPS and it’s an iPod.

I have downloaded apps to make it a flashlight, which I used to read the purchase offer on the way back to my clients home ( my beloved was driving), oh and I love the mirror app, since I have to  use eye drops every hour which often make my eyes tear,  I can quickly check to see if I have Tammie-Fay eyes.

And now they want me to turn it OFF! There is a movement afoot in Mexico asking everyone in the nation to turn off their cell phones for two days. We are occupying cell phone companies-virtually-in an effort to bring our pricing on a par with the US.

I just don’t know if I can do it…can you?

Coffee. The Elixir of Life

This is how my double mocha is delivered at Cafe Gourmet on 16h de Septiembre

Coffee! Just hearing the word, and I can smell that dark, sweet and rich aroma. Just say the word, Coffee, and I can taste it, hot, and strong and wonderful. Coffee, the elixir of life!
Coffee. There was a pot always brewing at our house when I was growing up. We used to joke and say our family coat of arms should have a hand passing a coffee cup.
Coffee. Even as I write this, I have a steaming mug of coffee at hand.
On our last day in the old country,( eleven years ago now) the owner of our local espresso shop said all of our purchases for the day were on the house. “ Well I do want to pay for the twenty pounds of coffee beans I just ordered.” Said I.
The owner was adamant: “ Absolutely not, this is our gift to you. You got out of the rat-race! Enjoy Mexico.”
And so we drove down the peninsula to La Paz, the truck was loaded to the gills. My coffee grinder, coffeepot, filters and mugs were at easy reach.

My daughter's name is Melissa, and she and I love to have coffee together. This sign is on a party salon in the La Posada neighborhood.

We knew about two espresso shops in La Paz, but we were not sure if they sold whole beans, and we- well I – wanted to be prepared.
One shop, Café del Tropico sold whole beans from their family finca in Vera Cruz, and their coffee was divine. They closed up shop about five years ago and decamped back to Mexico City.
We tried roasters here and there in La Paz, but were never 100% pleased.
When we have US or Canadian guests coming down to stay at the HoneyMoon Hut, we ask them to bring us some Starbucks, Verona Roast, whole bean ( decaf). But recently I re-discovered Café La Choya in La Paz. A tiny shop on Colima Street a few block past the police station.
There are no words to describe the elixir they dispense. That is where I buy my beans. Their location is not so conducive to meeting friends and clients. But the owner is charming and has 4,000 followers   including me  on Facebook!

This tiny shop is sparkling clean, they have their own roaster and their own blends. I love their coffee!

Espresso cafes have sprung up all over La Paz. Some are good some are passable. My drink of choice is known at many of the cafes in town, and the baristas just confirm if it is a caliente (hot ) or frio ( cold) coffee day.
My friends and I meet regularly at one of the couple of shops we call home. And when I make an appointment with my accountant, he asks: “At your auxiliary office?” And we both know which café that is!

My friend Gari-Ellen and I meet here to discuss the latest editions of her paper the Baja Citizen. I can never remember the name, so now we never call it by the right name. It is Sunspot, Sunflower, Sundance and on and on.

Coffee. Revolutions have been planned in the “Penny Universities” the other name for coffee shops, great novelists have been aided by the creative kick of caffeine, business deals have been struck, and romances bloomed and friendships were forged over a couple of double mochas.
Coffee.

Palm Tree Removal, The Not So Easy Way! A Tell-All Video.


First there were nine, then there were seven

There were nine stately palms that formed a dramatic backdrop to my house. They stood century over the  bare lot for  near to  30 years. When we  finished  the construction of our home we turned our eyes to the landscaping.

The palms had been painted once a long time ago and the trunks were discolored. So we painted them white from the ground up  about 45 inches.

They looked fresh and crisp and  old-timey tropical resort-like. A few weeks later we had a hurricane that blasted away the white paint! Not to be deterred, we  asked our gardener to paint them again. And they stayed nice and white for a few years. When they started to fade again, we  decided to wait till after Hurricane season.

Well we had no hurricanes, and the season had safely passed and our maid wanted extra work. She is a single mother supporting her 5 year-old son and her grandfather who raised her. She  is about to complete her teaching degree. We want to support her efforts any way we can and she said she likes to paint.

So the trees are crisp and white, but their numbers are only 7.

Our most dramatic  two trees are really a double trunk both rising some 20 plus feet and both slightly slanted like  the perfect tropical trees you see in travel posters.

A palm blight  hit our neighborhood, and the magnificent double palm died.

Fearing that it would come down on our house or the neighbor’s we asked our gardener to take them down. He hired someone to cut them down to  about the top edge of the white paint.

Then he and his son hacked, and chopped and dug at the roots and  only exhausted themselves, they could not budge the critters.

So he found two guys with a pick-up and more nerves than brains and more cerveza in their veins than blood. They assessed the situation, and went off to find a chain.

After hacking, chopping, digging, and then yanking the palms with the chain and the truck, they actually in a fit of frustration smashed their truck into the palm to dislodge it. And they broke their tail light!

So here is the video:

September 11 2011 My Thoughts From La Paz

September 11th 2011 La Paz Baja California Sur.

Like the day JFK was shot forty-eight years ago, September 11, 2001 is a day everyone will remember, they will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when the news came of the first attacks at the Twin Towers in New York.

I was in La Paz, we had just returned from a trip to California.

I was watching CNN, the black ugly smoke was pouring out of Tower 1. And across the screen rolled the words that Secretary of transportation, Norm Minetta had closed all US borders and airspace. It was like an iron curtain had dropped and I was cut off from my country, my homeland, my family and friends.

I had plans to go segunda shopping for patio furniture with a Mexican friend. She understood completely when I told her I was too sad to leave the house. And to go shopping seemed frivolous in the face of what had happened in New York, at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, PA.

And I was afraid to go to town. Mexico’s fate is so closely tied to what happens in the US, I was sure the locals would tell me to go home and take my terrorism with me.

Just the opposite occurred.

My beloved works for a Mexican government agency. His colleagues were surprised that he went to work that day. They stopped in at his office, they sent emails, and they called, all offering their condolences. He did come home early, we were both too sad, and too scared to do much but watch the horror replay and replay.

We were building a swimming pool, and I had developed camaraderie with the workers and would ask them every day if that was the day I could swim. They would laugh and say “No, senora, maybe tomorrow.”

Our architect, their, boss drove out to the house to offer his condolences. I saw him talking to the men. Then a knock came, they were all lined up at my door and one by one they shook my hand, and said “So sorry, we are sorry.” They wanted to know if I had family that could have been hurt. I told them I had family and friends that could well have been at the Trade Center and I would not know for sure for many days if anyone I knew and loved was hurt.

In fact smoke and soot and debris rained down on my home town Atlantic Highlands, NJ, just a few miles by sea to New York City.

In the days and weeks that followed, everywhere I went, Mexicans would stop me and other Gringos on the street and take our hands and say “So sorry, we are so sorry.” My friend , the one I cancelled the shopping day with said there were no Gringos in town for a few days, it felt odd to her, but she understood how frightened and saddened we all were.

Ten years later we honored the dead, and the heroes of flight 93. They took a vote on the plane that was certainly going to be their death trap. They voted to take the plane down and not allow it to hit another target. Ten years later bagpipes wailed in New York and Pennsylvania recalling how many rescuers died.

Ten years later, we feel it like it happened yesterday.

May something like this never happen again…anywhere.

The Toe, The Pedicurist and The Dentist; Medical Care in Mexico

Back in December, I was in my studio sewing away when I heard a thump, a yelp, and an expletive or two. I rushed to the bedroom to find my beloved hopping around on one foot while grabbing the other.

“What happened?”

He said, ”I stubbed my toe on the %$#@ corner of the bed frame.” He flopped on the bed and moaned and groaned. I was mildly sympathetic and went back to work.

In the scheme of things in our life at that moment a stubbed toe was nothing. Little did we know that in less than two weeks we would be boarding a plane to Guadalajara with his cardiologist so that my mate of 29 years could have an emergency implantation of a pacemaker.

Back to THE TOE, it bloomed purple and red; the nail turned brown. The weight of the bed sheet was too much to bear—just like when you bite the inside of your cheek, and keep biting it for days, everywhere my beloved went, he bumped that toe.

“Soak it in hot water” I said.
“Go see a doctor “, I said again.

It was like spitting in the wind. My sage words fell on deaf ears. My interest in THE TOE was, well, let’s say, it was not rapt. I mean, I am in the middle of a particularly interesting segment of Project Runway when he wants me to look at his toe. Is he serious? So it went for months.

Some real tragedies intervened in our lives and The Toe was no longer center stage. I asked around, but discovered there was no podiatrist in La Paz.

Ah, but we did have a very good esthetician (beautician that also does nails). Her name is Rocio and she is a warm, funny, and talented woman. She agreed to try to work on THE TOE. On her first attempt, Rocio could not get near
THE TOE. The pain and related drama was too much.

After the shot of novacaine, waiting for the numbness to happen

So off to the doctor we went. The good doctor prescribed a heavy duty topical cream containing xylocaine. We bought the cream and headed to Rocio’s salon. She was ready with her foot bath and tools.
She applied the cream, crossed herself, and said, “I’m going in.” She did not get far. At her first tentative touch, my darling screamed in pain.

Well I was not letting this opportunity pass; we had him in the chair and his foot in the bath.

“Hey, Rocio,” I said. “Do you think the dentist upstairs would be willing to give him a shot in THE TOE?”
She cocked her head, thought a moment, and said, “Yes, I bet she would. Let me go ask.” So upstairs she went. And came back in a few minutes with a big smile and told us the doc would be right down.

And down she came with one of those giant, scary stainless steel horse syringes dentists love to use. She had two ampoules as well. She asked a few health questions; when she heard that my beloved had a pacemaker, she switched ampoules and fired away. I had to hold him down in the chair. I could feel his pain. But in a few minutes, THE TOE was numb and Rocio got right to work. Did I mention that there was a woman having her hair colored while this drama played out? We probably made her day.

So the cost? One pedicure, a blow dry for me, and the dentist’s visit: $400.00 pesos, around $32.00. The value: Priceless.

Epilogue:
I had been trying for years to get my beloved to enjoy the wonders of a regular pedicure. He would not even consider it. WELL, now he is having monthly pedicures “for medical reasons”. Really, he will not admit he enjoys them, he just says he needs them to keep his feet healthy and he cannot bend like he used to. Whatever!

How to Beat Summer Hell in La Paz? Why With Sangria of Course!

Ingredients for perfect Sangria: cheap red wine, carbonation, fruit, and you

So what’s the climate like in La Paz? Well most of the year it is wonderful, a place where outdoor living is an art form.
And drinking icy-cold umbrella drinks is expected.

But my beloved likes to say we have five seasons here in Southern Baja:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Summer Hell

And what is Summer Hell you ask? It has nothing to do with burly guys and equally as burly girls on motorcycles. It is that time at the end of summer that you northerners might call the Dog Days, but worse.

From the middle of August through September the sun is broiling, the air is thick and steamy and there is nothing to do but escape into delightful, air conditioning. The air doesn’t move, and you wish you didn’t have to either.
This is the time when just hanging in the pool with a big sombrero and an icy glass of Sangria is about as much activity as one can and should muster.

Hang in the pool wearing a big sombrero and holding an icy-cold glass of Sangria

This is the time of year when even the most casual acquaintance that lives in town and doesn’t have a pool becomes my best friend!

I am a gregarious person. And I have a gorgeous beachfront home with a pool. I love to pamper my friends. And it is a lot more fun to enjoy the pool with other people around. So tomorrow I am having the first of my summer “Salad Days at Susan’s Pool” parties. I invited 7 other women to bring a salad and come for a swim.

I am making sangria. And here is the recipe:

Wine:
– I used two bottles of a Santa Silva blend of Shiraz and Cabernet $90.00 (pesos each)
Other alcohol:
– I used 2 jiggers of Controy, this can be skipped or you can use gin, rum or Triple Sec
Carbonation:
– I used Fresca; you can use anything from plain mineral water to any flavor carbonated water or citrus soda.
Fruit:
– 2 limes
– 2 oranges
– 1 grapefruit,
– Fresh or frozen strawberries (I use frozen so they act as ice cubes and do not dilute the brew. I am not a scientific cook; I splash, dash, and dump ingredients. So use as many strawberries as fit in the pitcher or look good to you.)
– ½ pineapple (Pina Miel) or you can use canned pineapple chunks and the juice.
– 2 tablespoons of sugar or a dash of simple syrup. (See simple syrup recipe below.)

Get a big pitcher that can hold two bottles of wine. Pour in the wine. (Or use two smaller pitchers and put half the ingredients in each.)

Squeeze the juice of the two limes, two oranges and one grapefruit into the wine. Remove the seeds first! Then dump the squeezed fruit in the pitcher.

Cover the pitcher and refrigerate.

Just prior to serving add the carbonation. This is where the fun begins, add the flavored carbonation to suit your taste.

Warning:
Taste with a spoon, don’t get sloshed while preparing the sangria. Otherwise you may be a bit wobbly on your pretty flowered flip-flops with a tiny heel and drop the pitcher in the pool.

Add the frozen strawberries. Remember they act as ice cubes so let them plop into the glass as you pour.

Garnish the glasses with a lime or orange slice or even a paper umbrella.

Enjoy!

Simple syrup:
1 cup of sugar and one cup of water, boil till sugar dissolves. Let cool.
Sweeten the sangria to taste.

Soaking in a Tub of Milk and Honey to Cure a La Paz Sunburn

This is where I soak in milk and honey
This is where I soak in milk and honey.

Beauty may only be skin deep.

But when you have dry, itchy, and sensitive skin, it is hard to feel beautiful! And to me, new cures for dry skin sound like a siren song.

I read on the Internet that honey was curative, restorative, and soothing and a good sunburn treatment. And everything you read on the Internet is true, right?

Standing naked in my bathroom, arms outstretched, and drenched in honey, I wondered just how I was going to get through the day. I was so sticky! I could not put on clothes. If I put my arms down, they would be glued to my side. And ditto for slipping on flip-flops. Well, I couldn’t actually put on flip-flops because my feet and the bathmat were quickly becoming a bonded pair.

So how did this honey-dipped Susan come about? Here is the true tale.

Living on the beach in La Paz, Baja California Sur, has its joys, but the dry, dry climate and searing sun make it hard for me to keep cool and my skin soft and supple, not itchy and dehydrated. Added to my daily woes of dry, itchy skin, I had a sunburn that left me looking and feeling like a seared steak.

A few weeks ago on our anniversary, my beloved and I spent the day at La Concha Beach Resort in La Paz. It is an old hotel with a white sand beach lined with palapas. After a lovely, leisurely breakfast, we staked out a palapa and some lounge chairs in the sun. It was a cool, breezy day; the sun felt good. I was enjoying a book on my Kindle when I fell into a heavy, succulent sleep. Sometime later, kids, playing and screeching, woke me.

I felt hot and a little drugged by my slumber, but felt no warning tingle of sunburn.

After a dip in the clear, shallow, warm water, I retired to the shade of the palapa. Our friendly waiter, Francisco, came over with an icy-cold limonada, a wonderfully sweet and tart summer drink with no alcohol.

Limonada photo from laylita.com/recipes2008
It tastes like a margarita without tequila. After a few sips, I started to have chills; I pulled up my pareo, flinched, and almost jumped off the lounge, spilling some of my drink.

My skin was sizzling hot and hypersensitive. Every nerve ending seemed super-charged with electricity. I took off my sunglasses, and saw the red-hot skin of a cooked pierce of meat. It was awful. I hurt; I was shivering. My skin was hot. Every inch of me was toasted. I had been wearing a wide-brimmed hat, so my chin was burned, but the rest of my face was saved. We had taken our little Chihuahua, Coco-Nut for a walk on the beach and my back was crispy as well.
Sleeping that night was torture, every move, every wisp of a breeze, anything and everything caused searing pain. I thought I was going to die. I wished I had died.

The next morning I did some research and decided on the Honey Cure.
What a mess.

You are wondering right now how I solved my dilemma.

I filled the tub with tepid water, added some milk and lowered my sticky self in the tub. The honey became bath oil; it did soothe my skin and it helped relieve the itch and reduce some of the peeling. For the next few days, I mixed honey, milk, and finely ground oatmeal into my bath water and pretended to be Cleopatra. I also cut leaves of aloe vera plants and rubbed them all over me.

Twenty days later, my skin is finally healing, and I am still using milk and honey in my bath, and mixing honey and aloe as a lotion. I wear thin gloves as I type to keep the honey-aloe mixture from dripping on my keyboard.
A little sun block SPF-50 would have saved me from this misery. I cannot begin to explain why I did not use it that day. So I have shut the figurative “barn door”, and will slather on the sun block every day.

Afraid to Travel to Mexico? A Video Tells You the Truth.

“What? You are moving to Mexico? Aren’t you scared?”

These were the words of frinds and family when we sold our house, had the mother of garage sales and left for points south of the border.
Befroe we left San Jose, Ca in 2000, there had been, in our upscale, vintage neighborhood, two murders. There were break ins and car thefts. There were also community picnics, and the annual San Jose Mercury News 10K run came down our street.
It was a wonderful place to lice with frinedly neighbors, cafes, and restaurants.
No one warned us about living in a dangerous place.

Yes, there is drug violence in Mexico. And most of it is fighting among the cartels, much like the Prohibition days of the 1920s.
If you are a tourist in any city in the world there are seedy places that you are warned to steer clear of.
Back in the 90’s , before they were married, my son-in-law came from South Dakota to meet my daughter. They went together to San Francisco. He was mugged.
No one at the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office put out a warning to it’s citizens not to go to San Francisco.
18 million Americans traveled to Mexico last year. did you hear about anything bad happening to them?

Where is the proof of all of this supposed crime, that cause sthe US Department of State to waen people away from an entire country. A country that welocmes tourists and has the most beautiful beaches in the world?
Where is the proof that you will be, shot or kidnapped while soaking up the sun on a white sand beach?
Watch this video and look at a map, and see where the drug related crime is and where you will most likley be visiting.