Sunday, December 15, 2013


This return trip, we took our time --  not just zooming from Colorado mountains to Pacific coast and back.  Ah, Patzcuaro again... always pleasing.  And this time, we also went to Guanajuato.  Besides being a beautiful town built on steep rolling hills -- which we enjoyed driving through:

......we also knew that there was a museum containing mummies.  We were expecting to see royal mummies from the Aztecs, in all their finery and posings.

Not so.  Yet, we were entranced....   That is to say, the way one would be entranced whilst looking long and thoughtfully at ever so many individual mummies, now housed in glass boxes -- each one caught in whatever pose that their untimely death caused, even tiny babies.   They were ordinary Mexicans caught by a cholera epidemic in the 1830s, and stored in dry caves which preserved them. You can google the mummies of Guanajuato for more photos of what we saw, and more information...

 But ah....  there is a delightful anecdote w/r Guanajuato:  our experience with a professional guide.  As we approached the perimeter of the town, several hills/valleys away from the center -- we came upon the kiosk of tourist info,  and a friendly fellow approached us, offering to be our guide. He said that the roads were very winding, and the tunnel system (tunnels?  what's that about, we wondered) is very complex.   It is very easy to get lost and confused.   Jojo was rather abruptly rude to him (commenting later that he used to be such a "guide" in the Philippines, scamming tourists with tales of how they'll get lost without a guide etc...)  Myself,  I was inclined to believe this guy,  and since our time was short (late afternoon), why not hire him? 

BUT! we didn't hire him, and blundered towards town, descending into and out again from the first set of perplexing winding intersecting tunnels.  This town is riddled with the underground tunnel system -- who would ever have suspected that a small picturesque town rolling over various steep hills in Mexico would have a snake's nest of tunnels BELOW the picturesquely colorful buildings and winding streets above?

Anyway, when we emerged into daylight, we came upon a roundabout -- more choices!  We were utterly perplexed with no idea what to do next.  We pulled to the crowded side of the narrow busy winding road with its many side roads branching out,  and out came our simplified tourist maps....

After a polite passage of time as we puzzled over the maps, up to our window walked the very same professional guide -- offering, once again, his services.  He had followed along behind us on his motorcycle(!)...   knowing full well  that we'd get all tangled up in the road system of roundabouts, hills, and tunnels.  I gave Robert that Look,  and he nodded,  and we hired him.

As our guide zoomed ahead of us on his motorcycle,  I was delighted to read the back of his black leather jacket:  "TURISTA RESCATE"  ( Tourist Rescue)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Apparently there were 5 puppies .... the four brown ones I watched over and found homes for, and all along, there was a fifth  one, mostly white...  I am told, now, that our next-door neighbors had him in their care all that time...

Anyway, upon our return to our village home after 4 months away:
The moment we approached our humble digs for the first time since we left (last June), who should come running out to us -- from across the road, where he now lives -- but Coyote, so ecstatic to see us that he bowed his head as he GRINNED, walking sideways, tripping over his own feet and falling, tail a mere blur of joy....  When he reached my outstretched arms, he collapsed on the ground, belly up and there we were:  me scratching his entire body while he wriggled ecstatically.

Not long afterwards, there came Manuela --who we learned has been renamed Pantera (Panther).  She approached me in exactly the same overwhelmed-with-joy fashion.

Pantera y Coyote  --perritos felices, en buen salud.  They now come by daily for long visits, of course, but we never feed them.  We merely provide water (and cannot resist petting them).

What about Guantes and Pirata?

A few days later, we drove to the next village up the road from ours....  The couple who adopted them both are good, responsible, loving people, but the news is less joyful.

Guantes (Socks) is dead.  He was the first of the puppies to appear in our yard -- a starving, stumbling, pathetic puppy...  the very sight of whom made me spring from my hammock to give him water, and search for some kind of food that is good for puppies...  The Beginning...

Alas, while living with his owners, he got into some chicken bones.... As we were a told as kids when I was growing up -- never let dogs get into chicken bones....  But Guantes DID get into chicken bones.  A bone or bones, lodged in the throat of dear Guantes, and he did not survive the trauma.  I did not ask for details.

As for Pirata...  He is healthy, but I see no light in his eyes.  He showed no recognition of me, nor even interest when I offered him a sniff of my fingers... He just plodded solemnly to his little resting place by the front door of the beautiful  cottage (surrounded by flowers and veggie garden) -- and plopped down.  He did not move after that...  I have no idea what.... to think.  As a human, I entertain the idea that maybe, though he recognizes me, he is deeply grieving for his beloved brother...

What is happening NOW, is the white brother-dog (name slips my mind but its a good one), and Coyote have taken to sneaking onto our porch (where we sleep while it is still raining at night) and curl up up very nearby, under the table, so very very near to us.... and then hop off of the porch if we glimpse them.  They "know" better!    (Curiously, this white brother greets me in the same ecstatic manner..  even though I had no interaction whatsoever with him... basically unaware of him before.)

And Manuela?  Manuela is permanently injured (folks here do NOT take dogs to veterinarians).  She was chasing a little motorized vehicle, got hit, and badly damaged one back leg.  She now hops on the other three, holding the injured one in the air....SOMETIMES putting weight on it (and she does not wince when we touch it all over, checking for injury).... so there is vague hope she could heal.  She has not been joining her brothers in these clandestine sleepovers on our property.  I presume she sleeps at her own digs just across the road.

All three of these guys remain ecstatically happy to see us every day.  Again, we do NOT feed them.. They have owners now.  We just keep water available to them, that's all... Oh, and we DO pet them.  Can't NOT pet them.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


In the previous post, I left a cliffhanger....  WILL the puppies get beheaded?
The answer is no!

It's a great story -- email me if you want to read it.  I had to assume the mindset of the Mentalist during the thick of things!  Now, all is well.

Short version:  They were all adopted by thoughtful, loving people.  Better yet, they were adopted in pairs -- even better yet, the pairs were the way the puppies had sorted themselves out.

SO!  Coyote and Manuela are sharing a home together just across the dirt road from our place,  and Guantes and Pirata are together as well, in another village not so very far away.

What I share here are a couple of photos (out of many)....

Here is starving, frightened, homeless Guantes -- we could NOT resist those eyes. We began to feed and water him from the first moment he stumbled weakly into our jungly back yard.  When he regained some strength, he went off and brought his sister (Manuela), and naturally, shortly after that, Pirata and Coyote showed up.  All four were mere skin and bones, like this...

But give 'em a couple months of good food, good water, and good lovin' and you get this, with Guantes (on the right) leading the pack:

The families who adopted them needed dogs to work with them in their fields -- to head off thieves like raccoons, for instance.  But also.... they welcomed the dogs as "amigos" they said.  They smiled as they said that, while watching their dogs cavort about with each other.

All's well that ends well, and this is a good place to end this story.  I'm kickin' back and.... watching the beautiful clouds in the beautiful blue sky.  That's what the Mentalist would do, too.

Friday, May 24, 2013


That about sums up the progression, and the mix of opinions, on what to do about a litter of cute puppies.  They were abandoned in the riverbed  near our village by some passing city-dweller.  A common practice this, for such folks to drive to some remote village like ours here in coastal Mexico, push the puppies or kittens out the door, and drive away.  Problem solved..... for them.

For us, it was just the beginning.

I am writing,  again, about our life in a little village along the great coast of Mexico -- the only gringos in this sweet, peaceful place.

We were lounging in hammocks in the shade of our home-built ramada one afternoon -- after a day in the surf.   Just one little puppy, all bones and weak and exhausted, wandered into our backyard where we were.... He could barely walk, stumbling, falling, and lying down to rest... Neither of us could stand it, of course.  I got a plastic container and filled it with water, while Robert unearthed a bag of dogfood bought from a previous year's concern.  The puppy sated himself, and collapsed awhile, then came over to lick my hand and....   then took off and returned with his sister!  We fed her, too.  Then, surprise, the other two brothers joined them.  Four adorable sweethearts.

Not surprisingly, they stuck around -- and took up sleeping against the back wall of our casita...  Very sensitive, gentle, and intelligent creatures,  quickly responsive to our slightest  messages.  A simple "Sssssssttt!" is all they need for warning.  For instance, they know that they are not allowed to come up the stairs onto our porch, nor into the casita.  And of course, they are so playful now -- big puppy piles and chases all around our land, then coming to us for petting, and to give us passionate licks before racing off again.

And so began the progression of solutions.  Our first solution:  we tried to donate them to the no-kill animal-rescue place in Zihuatanejo but the place is full, and also, any animal donations must already be neutered.

Next, the thought of putting them in a bag and tossing them into the ocean was offered (NOT supported by me -- though I do know that this is how my Uncle Herb dealt with the many litters of kittens on his Minnesota farm).

Then... in fact, we are still in this stage...  there is the hope of having them adopted out.  Some success there.  Coyote and Manuela have been accepted by our neighbors just across the dirt road from us (oh, yes, we named them all, which -- of course -- only strengthens our attachment...mine anyway....alas)!!  So!  Twice a day these two now go over there, and these neighbors feed them.  The puppies know just what time of day that is.  Their new owners  do not --however-- pet them and play with them.  Thus, the puppies still spend their days at our place playing with their littermates....  and sleeping in a puppy-pile there by the side of our house.  Hopefully, when we return Stateside, they will bond more with their humans.

No such luck, however, with sweet Pirata (for mascara´d eyes like Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean"), and gentle Guantes (meaning gloves, for the white four feet;  pronounced  HWAN-tays).

Robert gently, firmly, nixes the idea of adoption --  which would entail carting them back and forth between US & Mexico just for starters.  However, the wife of our closest dearest friends offered a compromise to that!  She says that she will come by everyday for the four months we are gone, and feed them.... (but as a fellow human being, I can imagine that this could become quite an unrewarding burden over time).   Yet clearly, she and I share the attachment and tenderness for them...

And then there is the Final Solution, echoing the first one mentioned above.  It came up again, as we shared breakfast on our porch...   Both her practical husband, and my practical husband, offered a more concrete solution.  Each of them have made a vicious, fast, hacking gesture while indicating a puppy's neck.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Corky Carrol and The Green Flash

With a title like that for this silly essay, one might well conjure up images of a svelte surfer careening down the face of a huge wave, keeping just ahead of the crash -- then catching his place right at the mouth of the Green Room...  Make that a huge tube with a thunderous crash following along just behind the surfer....  Can you see him do a couple of cool swoops, maybe let himself slide back into the tube, out of sight for a moment, and then explode back out again?  Flashing in and out of the Green Room.... yeah, call him the Green Flash.

But no.  Oh, I have seen that kind of action, but this silly essay is not about that.

It's not even about the Green Flash, per se.... though I now have actually (and recently) SEEN this phenomenon.  Yes.  It was a clear, clean horizon, no clouds and no fog hovering above the vast expanse of ocean.  The beautiful bright orange sun sank slowly below the horizon of the sea and just at that moment of setting --there it was, a small green flash of light, right where the sun had been.  It seemed to last, for it burned into my eyes and I could see it superimposed upon whatever I gazed at afterwards -- a bright green it was, like new grass.  I have been walking out to the beach at sunset for many years now, hoping each night to see what I now have seen.  I will, of course, continue to watch the sunsets, but I digress.

This silly essay should probably be deleted, but I have time on my hands on this particular trip to town, an hour's drive from our humble digs in a small Mexican village.

Perhaps you could say it's about what a delightful gentleman Corky Carrol is.

( As an aside, may I compliment him on his performance last night at a favorite seaside resort restaurant here in Mexico.  He played lead singer and lead guitar, backed up by his band (an iMac computer).... and thoroughly delighted the packed house of friends and admirers with his repertoire of favorite songs from over the years.  But this silly essay is not about that, either. )

Lifelong surfer, man of fame for his surfing skills, Corky has a home on the beach where .... well, where I personally go boogie-boarding.  This essay is NOT about surfing.  It is about boogie-boarding, sorta.

At the end of a great, long, bouncing fast boogie-ride on a whoop-and-holler wave, there I was, just starting to pull myself back to an  upright stance in the waist-deep water, when Corky came gliding in, directly in front of me.

I stood up quickly then, with a grin -- completely unaware for just a moment, that the top of my swimsuit was below where it should be.  My womanhood was in full view.  Corky was cool.  While I quickly rearranged things, he showed no reaction to that at all...  Instead, he commented on how great the surf was today, talking to me as a comrade among wave-riders.

Ah... and when I shrugged and said, that I was just a boogie-boarder, he QUICKLY replied, quite sweetly (with no insinuations at me) -- and with a big smile -- "Hey!  You're a girl who likes to boogie!"

As an addendum to all this...  Corky's lovely wife, who is NOT a surfer, has expressed an interest in coming out to boogie with me.