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“The time has come,” the Walrus said,”To talk of many things:”-the Walrus and the Carpenter

Garapatas, cute name for a store?

There is a chain of woman’s clothing stores, (or is it shoe stores?) called “Garapatas”, which means ticks. The first time I saw the sign, I thought that is a weird choice for a store name.Fat bloated blood filled insects are not my idea of a fashion forward image. Maybe I am not hip enough to understand or else something is missing in the translation.Ticks creep me out, which is why we’ve always used Frontline on Mr. Dog until about a 6 months ago. I decided to stop because Mr dog doesn’t run through tall grass or hang out in places where he could get ticks. I thought maybe it would be better for him not to be absorbing any chemicals if it wasn’t necessary. Imagine my horror when we discovered ticks in his ears. We’d been out of town and so Mr Dog stayed with our friends. While he was off living the life of Riley, a new cat ...

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Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead

How was your Halloween? Halloween and Thanksgiving are my two favorite holidays.  Ironic that I moved to a country that doesn’t celebrate either. La Primera said that she was going to dress up La Nieta as mid-life crisis guy since LN looks like she has a receding hairline. I told LP to enjoy being in control of the costume choices for as long as possible. In addition, I reminded her of the October 10th cut off date for costume requests that I enforced until they got old enough to do their own costuming. Costume request deadline started when LP was 3.  Early in October LP had announced that she wanted to be “A sah-ran-cha-la” for trick or treat. Having no idea what that meant, I asked her what one looked like. She looked at me like she thought I was a blithering idiot and replied in a serious tone,”You know, Mommy, a hairy spider!”. I spent the  week before Halloween ...

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Change comes to our lives

Over the years we’ve adapted to many things, accepted things that we would formerly have never stood for. We like to think of this as flexibility, not lack of backbone. A stiff backbone keeps you from bending after all. Tuesday seems to be a hectic day and lunch often gets forgotten until the last minute. This can lead to lunches prepared from canned black olives and peanut butter followed by cheese quesadillas when my blood sugar plummets. That is why I have Domino’s Pizza on speed dial. Tuesday is two for one day at Domino’s. After the worst Hawaiian pizza ever, I swore off Domino’s pizza forever. Like mañana,  forever, seems to have a different meaning in Mexico,I ordered pizza again Learning my lesson it was not on Tuesday nor was it a Hawaiian, I can take only so much ham like lunch meat . As usual the dispatcher wanted to know how I would be paying. Cash, but I ...

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Confession

There is quite a bit of bad press about Mexico. Most of it can be characterized as fear mongering. On YoListo there have been recent posts inquiring about the dangers. All of this has gotten me thinking. Am I afraid? Yes, I am. The traffic makes a nervous wreak.Several of my girlfriends have announced that they will help me get my driver’s license. It isn’t as if I don’t know how to drive. For several years I made my living as a professional driver. Combining that with the normal chauffeuring that a mom with three kids does, I spent an outrageous amount of time behind the wheel of some vehicle or another.The idea of getting behind the wheel in Mexico makes me want to vomit. Narrow streets, vague signage, unskilled drivers and topes combine to create a challenging environment.As a pedestrian, I am fearless, dark allies don’t intimidate me. Walking home late at night, I encounter a group of people ...

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New stuff

Last week we reported to INM for our  appointment. As usual we arrived early, checked in with the guard. When our number was called we received our chits and were ushered into the inner sanctum.When our turn came we handed over our  photo and the sheet of paper with our ID numbers. She asked us  if we had our receipts for fee payment. I explained that we hadn’t gotten voucher sheets yet. We answered a questianaire regarding religion,education and family status put our thumbprints on sheet of paper. While we were paying  our  fees our FM2s were being laminated. By 11 am we left, new visas in hand. Another new thing in my life  is a netbook. I picked out an ACER 10.1 inch netbook. It’s taking me awhile to get used to. For some reason the cursor seems to have a life of it’s own. I will be happily typing away, all of a sudden I find that I am inserting ...

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Time to adjust my expectations again.

Friday evening, La Muchacha announced that the washing machine was broken. She went into more detail, but that was the gist of the announcement. Since it was late, I didn’t do anything about the problem. Saturday morning we’d deal with it and call someone if necessary. Saturday is a normal workday for many people including repair men. Somehow, I managed to forget all about it until Sunday. Husband and I did some trouble shooting and decided that the problem was beyond our abilities. The nut and washer holding the agitator assembly was corroded and none of the various tools we had would work to loosen it. Early Monday morning, I called the phone number of the tecnico (washing machine repairman to you English speakers) that I had used five years before when the drum was out of balance. Amazingly enough, he was still in business. Our conversation went like this. I lead off with “Necesito un tecnico, mi maquina de ...

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Mixing it up

Waking up  confused this morning, gave me a taste of what senility must be like. I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was! Since I have been sleeping in my hammock inside instead of in the bed, I often wake up a little bit disoriented. Three out of the four walls have a door, so depending upon which direction I end up facing I am either looking into the dining room, Husband’s office or into the guest bedroom. Seen through myopic eyes, the views get further distorted. It seems to take me longer these days to adjust to changes. Lack of mental flexibility aside, I am moving all the furniture around, again. It’s one of the advantages of these older houses, a room is a room. With the exception of the bathrooms and the kitchen ( I confess that I did rearrange the kitchen recently), none of the other rooms have a fixed purpose. Put a bed and ...

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Called to task

Like I said before, there is something about the whole visa process that stresses me out. I think it’s a secret fear of not measuring up. My rational mind knows that I have all the bases covered, but the small child who sometimes takes control doesn’t believe me. This morning I checked the status of our application for FM2s, that we turned in on Monday. I saw “report to immigration”, actually it said present yourself to immigration, but that child within said to me “now you are in trouble, you forgot something, or did something wrong”. I felt like I was being summoned to the Principal’s office. Husband thought it might have something to do with our little episode with the court system we had last year. Outwardly, I was calm, I said “we don’t know what they want, we can’t start guessing.” Inwardly, I was feeling like I might vomit. We arrived at 8:45 this time, we were issued ...

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When push comes to shove

Arriving at  8:40 am we were issued number 17. By the time Immigration officially open the guard was on a second sign in sheet and issuing badges numbered in the thirties. That afternoon when the office closed the gates at 1 pm they had issued at least 130 preliminary numbers. Due to a slight paperwork problem, we did a split shift at Immigration so we got to see the beginning and the end. The alpha and the omega of a day at Immigration. The employees at INM are amazing, they smile, they answer the same questions over and over again. We’ve never had a bad experience with the staff at Immigration, ever. The people who come to perform a transaction at  Immigration  are another matter. While we were waiting our turn to talk to the agent and either be sent away or given a new number, we watched the herd. Since we’d arrived early enough to get seats on the ...

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Constructive Language

Yesterday, Husband and I dropped into the big Fernandez store on Calle 70. I don’t know why we don’t go there first when we need construction supplies for our house. They have a huge parking lot, are very close to our house. We have even walked there. Breaking old habits takes conscious effort. I wonder if I need to put up a sign saying “How about checking Fernandez, the lumber yard, the ferroteria down the street, Comex, for it? ” in our bodega? The wait at Fernandez is never very long, the clients know what they want and the assistants are bright and eager.  It’s an easy place to shop, once you know the system. You take a number, when your number comes up on the monitor ,you place your order. The counter person inputs your choices into the computer. While you are paying, a stock person is bringing your merchandise from the back. After matching his computer printout to ...

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