Calvin is HOME!!!!

I am sooo happy. My baby has come home. For anyone who knows me, they know how much this cat means to me. I have had her since she was 5 weeks old. And she will be 11 this April. She is a HUGE cat. Garfieldesque if you will. After combing the streets for hours shaking a bag of cat food and calling her name I was really upset that she did not come running to me. But then I read online that sometimes it helps to leave a shirt or something that smells like you outside. I could not leave food out because we would be covered in cats but I did leave a shirt on my fence post and left our light on outside. About 2 hours after I had gone to sleep I heard this frantic scratching at the door. I ran out to see it was her and it was. I was so happy. She came in ate 2 helping of food and the immediately came and snuggled with me on the bed. She was totally fine - but I was shaken.

I am just so happy to have her home again.

Great Christmas- Bad Homecoming

Well, first let me just say that I have been so happy to have Mom and Neal here for the week. It was great to just sit back with them and relax and really not do much at all. We hung out, ate, cooked, played with the kids. We had a great Christmas with them staying at their resort which was very cool. The kids woke up- well, more accurately they were woken up by a giddy and supper excited Grandpa. Once we let them into the room we set their presents in, they played in the outdoor jacuzzi while we ordered food and just hung out. Ruben had to work a lot but hey... what are you going to do. Here are a bunch of really cute pics.






Now for the bad news. When I got home Ruben told me that he had not seen Calvin (my 11 year old Tabby cat) anywhere in the house. Now, it has been 2 almost 3 days and there is no sign of her. Some of my neighbors are like..."yeah, don't worry- cat's like to rome, she probably chased a bird up a tree or something." Not this cat- This cat is well over 20 lbs and 11 years old. She has a hard time getting into the bed let alone up a tree. I am trying not to get ahead of myself but it is getting really hard. I went through some serious work to get this cat down here from the states and she really means a lot to me. I am sure she is fine but I just want her home.

Vonage!!!! Thank you Mom and Neal!

I am soooooo happy today. For 1) it was just amazing to have my Mom and Neal here at my house and best of all.... doing nothing. Just sitting at the house watching the kids run all over, cooking, the inevitable picking up broken glass. I swear, I think my kids get some secret kick back from the people who make glassware! Actually that is not tooo fair. They are pretty good. The problem is that when we were back home, if something fell on the ground, it was usually fine. Well, here... not so much. If something falls of that table... there is NO hope at all. It is a goner. Oh well, they are just glasses. Yesterday I made my spaghetti with veggies and chorizo. The recipe is on my cooking blog. It is really really good. They really liked it which always makes me happy. It is nice when anyone likes your food but when it was these guys... that meant the world to me. I have realized how my emotion I have started to put into my cooking. It hurts so much to do anything that I have to fight through it. And I have realized while some things get lost in that... cooking gets pushed through and I really invest a lot of my energy in it. I think that is coming through in my cooking.

the 2nd reason I am so happy to have a phone. My mom and Neal brought us a phone from the states and we have our vonage box... so now... I can use my phone as if I were back home. This is a very cool thing for me.

The last reason I am really happy is that one of the gifts that my mom brought for me is all our home videos. A few years back mom had gone through all of our home movies and edited them and made a little collection. I had left mine up in States with all of my other things. Well, this year, she had them all transferred to DVD. A good thing since we do not have a vcr. I was watching some of them last night and it was sooooo cute. I have recently gotten in touch with some old family friends that used to watch me when I was 3-5 years old. (Gotta love facebook) :) And here they were on these videos. It was very cool.

Today we are off to Playa del Carmen for the day.

Momma & Neal are here

I do not think, since the moment I landed in Cancun and saw Ruben that I have been this happy. My mother and my step father are here. Their airplane was very late and it looked like I was not going to be able to see them until the next day. I had taken a shower (with hot water no less) and come to terms with the idea that I was going to have to wait till morning. In order to control my anxiety I had to do something. I chose to make tamales. This although the meat and salsa were KILLER!!!!! My masa was not great. Oh well. I was at the point of burning ,y banana leaves and stuffing the meat when I get a call from a Cancun number. Now, I almost did not take the call thinking it was my landlord... but I did... it was the driver trying t find my house. He had been asking the whole neighborhood.... "donda esta the casa de whieta con dos ninos." Even though not spelt right, they all pointed in my general direction. I was so surprised to see them. I cannot explain my happines. My momma, my Neal. here, at my house in Villas Tulum. I wanted to blog last night but my hands were shaking. Today... usually in the am I wake up and turn on my computer so I can talk to my mom via IM. But today... I woke up , grabbed my book and had coffee. In my backyard that was cleaner and neater then it had EVER been. !!! Mom and Neal came over and we did nothing. Just ate and talked and hung out and ate tamales, and tacos, and read books with the kids. Everything was perfect. I had all of these plans to show them so much and do so much. And it was perfect. We did nothing. We just hung out and talked and ate and played with the kids. It was so amazing. Over the many hours, our conversation went over every subject you could think of. It was perfect.

One thing Ruben and I noticed... there is almost no one, esp. in my family that we could have sat and been that comfortable with... that accepted by. They love us, we love them,,, and all of that was there. In moments that were filled with nothing, but my little house, my kids, good food, and love. It was amazing. I cannot wait to see them in the morning.

Basic services!!!!

Well, after almost 4 months of living in Mexico I have 2 things that I have not had before...1) a bed. This is a very cool development because anyone who lives here knows... you try to keep everything off the floors in order to clear away all of the nasty little- and not so little bugs that share our house with us. And Ruben and I sleeping in a double bed- some of us is bound to hang over somewhere. I hate laying in bed and wondering what little creature might be right next to my hand or foot, and face really. So tonight should be interesting. In a very good way. I must say it does look totally different with the mattress on a bed frame. 2) Hot water!!! I am so happy. It is usually not a huge deal not to have hot water for the showers. It is so frickin hot that the cold shower is awesome. However, there are times that it sucks. I would feel like I was torturing my kids. Forcing them to wash down with what at times was really cold water when the outside temp had more then cooled enough that it was awful.

But not to worry. More and more, day after day we are getting back to normal. I love it. Now as soon as we add a car to the mix life will be just about grand. !!!


The count down for Mom and Neal is getting detailed at this point. 17 hours until they leave San Diego - 24.5 hours till the land in Cancun - 29 hours till I get to see them. I cannot wait. As I am sure you may have noticed from my blog entries.

A lot of the little projects that I was hoping to have done are no where near it, but I do not care. My momma is coming to see me and we are going to have soooo much fun.

I met the most amazing woman tonight

Today I went to town to pick up a wire from my renter. Or former renter... but as I was in town, I decided to stop off for a coffee, call my grandma, and just sit and relax. Every time I go to town, I have the kids. In fact... I ALWAYS have the kids. So today... I did not, they were at home with their Dad. So I decided to enjoy a cup of coffee, and just relax. Watch the tourist go by. It was really nice. I ran into a older guy that I have met before, but only in passing. He asked if I wanted to join his group for a moment and i said yes. This guy, almost 70 by now, moved to this town over 35 years ago. It was like talking to a history book. We had a great conversation and they I realized... oh shit... I am late. Ruben has to be at work. And my husband is not the kind who does well when I am not accounted for. At this point I started to panic and raced home. When I got there, I was too late. He needed to go to work and took our kids over to our friends house. As soon as I got home I ran over there, got my kids and started to cry. I was, and still am sure that he is going to be so mad at me for not being at home.

I was in front of Gabby's house. This is the woman who made the tamales that I wrote about in an earlier post. I went inside and talked to her. More like poured my soul. And she was so calming. My faith is one that is very different then any of the people that I know. And she is a woman who really gets it. It was amazing to talk to her. Just to listen to her stories. And when I told her my concerns. How mad I thought Ruben might be when he got home. She made an excellent point. For one she is not Mexican. She is from Africa, raised in Austria, married to a Mexican and living the cultures of all. Being married to a Mexican man is an educational experience. One of patience, ultimate sacrifice, love and devotion. They have passion. With that comes stubbornness, stupidity and... well, anyway. It is a learning experience. I sat at her table so upset. "Ruben is going to be so mad." etc. etc. and by the end of talking to her. ( and half way through another friend came in and hung with us. An Argentinian woman who is also wonderful, totally out of her element and living here with nothing... just trying to make it and make it better then she had. Now granted I am here against my initial will. But through my... I would call it faith but it feels false. .. my learning.. (maybe that is exactly what faith is) I am learning that here is exactly where I am supposed to be. I do not know... I cannot blog about this yet. I have not worked it out in my head.

My mom made an interesting comment to me... she said.. in regards to my last post... maybe these are thing better left for a journal.. I realized something... this is my journal. And the thought that I have in my head are okay to say out loud. There are very few things in my life that I try to hide. I am not ashamed. I have even smoked weed in front of people that traditionally speaking... I should not have. But I am not ashamed. There is nothing that I do that I am ashamed of. maybe that is why I get so angry when my husband gets mad at me. I just think... "you know what... there is nothing that I have ever done that you would be ashamed of."

maybe I am crazy. Well, to be fair.. I am sure that I am crazy. but maybe this is one of those reason why its true. :) I don't know. I just thin that I am pretty proud of who I am. I do nothing to hurt others. If I do I work really hard to make it right. I am true to who I am, and happy to learn more about who I could be. Why should I be ashamed. ... Maybe there is a good reason but today... I feel like I am in a good place. We will see when Ruben gets home if he agrees. :(

It is getting closer

It is getting hard to control my excitement with my mom and Neal coming. IT is now down to 77 Hours!!!!! I cannot wait. It has totally changed our Christmas. We are going to be around family. It is going to be incredible. I cannot wait to show them my town and all of the cool things here. I know they are going to love it. And the weather is going to be great. I love my momma and I have not seen her in a really long time. I cannot wait to just sit and talk and hang out. The kids are really excited to see Neal too. They always make this funny voice that Neal makes. Sort of a Donald Duck thing. It is really funny. they always associate that and fishing with him. I cannot wait. It is going to be great. And they will land in Cancun in 77 hours!!!! YEAH!!!!!!

In The MORNING!!!

Just a warning... this is more pg13...

I must say that after more then a several conversations with various friends I have come to realize what an incredible life, sex and other wise Ruben and I have. Luckily for me, almost no one in my family, other then my mother... reads this blog. And she knows when to say LaLaLA LaLaLa good for you honey La La LALALALA!!! Sort of a strange place to reach with your Mom. But anyone with a relationship as open and honest as the one my Mom and I are lucky enough to have... you know.

There have been many times in my relationship that I thought that I was being crazy, that i did not have my head on my shoulders... many of those moments were after incredible experiences with Ruben. Then I realized something.... you cannot have true intimacy... true love... true acceptance without those moments.

I am sure there are many people who would sit back and chalk this up to solely sexual moments. And while this and almost every morning are fabulous!!! There are others. Ruben showed a picture of me today of Akilean being taken out of my stomach.... feet still in my ribs but there to show the world. And he talked about it with such passion. there is no other word. Lust, love, obedience, respect, love, admiration.... everything was in his words. "Look what my love did and endured for me... and look at how beautiful she is... and how beautiful they are... how lucky am I." He said so much while saying so little.


That is what makes me so crazy when people tell me to live in the states in order to make it easier on us. Could I make more money... yeah in a day the a would in a week. Would it be worth it... not in a million years. And while I will always love the 2 men that prepared me for my eternal fate... Brian who brought me to the faith and reality of life that I needed and he was so proud of. And Chris, the man that showed me that family is everything. And that families love being that for each other.

I found him. I know it is stupid to say so cheesy... the moment I saw him. But it was. The moment that I saw him, the world ended.

I remember a table sitting there from about noon- in another servers section... that server, Tio as we called him at Chevy's, was an older man with a family, out of place with the young 20 somethings that rome. At shifts end he handed his table to Ruben whom, like me, had worked a double shift. That table, determind to take home his number, which was a common goal, I mean he is..."that hot waiter at Chevy's" asked him... Even 7 Years later I remember the day... They asked him "What kind of girl do you want to marry? " He (I'm sure) gave him the look that drove and does drive me wild... pointed at me and said... "one just like that." It was that night he told me he loved me and hoped that this was more to me then some restaurant fling.

I was almost mad.. ow could he think I would throw away all that I had. And I had a terrific man. One that to this day has mine and Ruben's respect. How could he not mean the world.

And tonight, listening to friends bitch about their lives, their sex lives, their partners honesty. And while I, like all other men and women have plenty to bitch about.... nothing that will ever last 12 hours. Every argument is easy to over come. Even when you sure you never want to speak again... you fight. It is the only thing worth fighting for.

I just feel so lucky. While Ruben and I have had some good ones... I mean some really good fights. Our passion is the issue. It is what gets us through, it is what takes us there in the first place. And it is what we we will tell our grandchildren about in our 80's.


I remember my great grandfather back in Provo Utah, telling me about his wife. All the good and bad that he remembered. And you know what sticks out to me. He loved it all. The Good, the bad, the ugly, the true, the love of his life. Life mine. I love him, even for all the bad, but more for all the good and bad that has not happened yet.

I love him. More the I have ever loved anyone. I am so lucky. He is the one who cements my faith as it is based in love.

138 Hours and counting till Mom and Neal get here.

It is getting so close. I can hardly wait to see my Mom and Neal. It seems so strange how close I feel to them as if we talk all the time and she is right here. I mean, I have lived away from home for a very long time now and I have always been close to my mom. But since my move to southern Mexico we talk via computer pretty much every day.

It feels almost strange that the woman that I have such... meaningless is not the right word ... insignificant chit chat with on a daily basis could mean the world to me to see soon. I mean, when I lived in the United States, even though I was away in Spokane or San Francisco or any of the places in between, it was always just a plane ride away to see them. But now? Even though I know that if I needed to I could hop on a plane but it is not that easy anymore. For one thing, before I left we made enough money to pay for a plane ticket in a matter of a few days. Now, even if we paid no bills, rent or even ate, it would take months to earn up enough money to go back to visit. Everyone asks me.."so when are you going to come to visit?" I just want to respond... " well, when are you going to pay the almost $2,000 that it costs to get me and the kids there and back?" I mean, Ruben's base salary is 2000 pesos a month. At the current exchange rate that is about $167. And what is worse is that people have no understanding that everything in Mexico costs the same as in the USA. A soda is the same price here as there. toys for the kids... just as much. It really helped me to understand why all of my friends that are Latino lived the ways that they did. I mean, to me it was insane the idea of sharing a room with 1-2 3 or more people and I have a lot of friends who have more then that in their room. If they even have a room, one that does not get changed back to the living room in the morning.

Needless to say I cannot imagine when I will be back in the states. I mean, If I had $2,000, even if I was dying to see me friends and family- I would never spend it on plane tickets. I would clear my land, start to build my house, or buy a car so we do not have to walk the 20 minutes to town every day in what is going to be steadily increasingly hot weather.

Missing the snow

I must say that it is hard to imagine a Christmas in 80 degree weather. back home everyone is dealing with snow and wind and as one of my best friends, Josh, put it... "great snuggling weather" Ruben and I have had some days here that were so hot and humid (even in December when it was like..."oh, honey I love you but please do not touch me. It is too hot." Oh well. At least it is nice weather. I bet people back home wish they had a little 85 degree day. Oh well. We are getting very close to Mom and Neal coming and then right after that Barb and Shannon will be here.

You know I just realized something... Ruben may never see his parents again. He will be out of the United States for the next 20 years. Unless there is some miracle. It sort of makes me angry that here is my husband and his family that would do just about anything to see each other and that is an option that does not exist. And then there are members of my family that have well beyond the means to visit and they do not. I guess that says more about me then anything. And one thing I do not get is how worried people can claim to be and yet show absolutely no interest or effort in having knowledge about the situation. I mean. It is not like a daily account is not here in my blog. That seems strange to me. Or that they do not seem to pay attention to the things that are going on. Oh well.

I guess everyone's lives are busy.

Lots of sleep- but no power

Well, the past 2 nights have been filled with many hours of sleep. Each of the past 2 nights have been a 10 hour event. This is a very welcome change as the kids are typically up very early. Last night- more like 4:00 this morning... there was a sudden storm (I think they are called Nortes) came through town. It brought rain that was so powerful it sounded like hail. Not that it could get cold enough here to actually be hail but it sounded like from the bed... then suddenly... a HUGE crash. It sounded like thunder that was literally on top of the house. We all just fell back asleep. When we all got out of bed at 10:00 a.m. rather then the typical 7:00 - we noticed that the light in the fridge was fading. that is strange we thought, it is a new fridge so the light should not be burnt already. And then we realized that everything was fading. the computer turned off, the coffee would not brew... our house is possessed. Now I have been warned that sometimes the water will not flow, or that things that you feel entitled to back home just do not work. And that is just the way that it is. So we sort of just waited to see what the deal was. The answer came shortly. That crash we heard was not thunder, but a transformer blowing up. Fun stuff. But, even though it is Sunday, they are working on it. If it was not the power- they probably would have left it until Monday. But here we are, power flowing to the house. :)

On a much happier note... 147 hours till Mom and Neal get to Mexico!!!!

Grand Cenote foiled!!!

Man, after the typical Mexican 6 day work week my husband was finally off for a day. After living here as long as we have we finally headed off to a cenote. We went to Grand Cenote which is definitely one of the more popular ones. It was very beautiful and we did love going to see it. One thing that sort of surprised me what there was no discount for locals. Almost every where you go, even restaurants, you usually get a local discount. When I am with my husband there is no issue. If I am by myself some people try to charge me so much more. I had a cab driver try to tell me that my ride from the beach to my house was 20 pesos more then it was. I did not have the energy to argue with him. I just told him that he was a liar and got out of the taxi. I did see him another time and refused to take his cab even though he was rightfully next in line. I mean, it was not like he dropped me off at a hotel in town. He dropped me off in a neighborhood that is not for people who are visiting. Oh well, that is his karmic problem not mine.

So anyway, after getting to the cenote- which was stunning, we had a hard time keeping the kids in the water. It has been soooo hot here and so humid all week but today???? Nope, not today. Today was overcast and cold. we finally stopped torturing the kids and headed home. But I cannot wait to go back on a warm day. I would have taken pictures if my camera worked but here are some images from the internet.

The difference a year makes

Okay...this will be short blog entry but I just have to say... to any of my friends with kids close in age.... There is soooo much difference between the kids with even a year apart. My kids are almost as close as you can get without being twins... yet, tonight, my kids for whatever reason, wanted to sleep in my bed... okay.... when I went to move them I was struck. My little girl is not a little girl anymore but not yet a young little lady. Compared to my boy... she is a ...??? Maybe as a mom I am entering uncharted territory.... but she is huge. She is so articulate. she has opinions, and thought and wishes and dreams. Much more so then my almost 4 year old son. She is such... I don't know the term. Maybe there is none. But my little girl is turning before my eyes. It is so special. Having my daughter has opened my eyes to the relationship that I had as a child with my own mother. You view it with different eyes as a kid. When you are a mom and a mother of child that age things are so different. Even when I talk to friends who have kids...although not her age, they understand but are not there yet. I just realized how I am embarking on that ... I do not know the term... prepubescent seems way too soon. Maybe that is my own ignorance or denial. But my little girl is growing.

One thing I am very proud of... as a cancer survivor, and one of a very young age, it has been very important to teach the kids about the risk of cancer. I was lucky I was taught to look out. Had I not, Ruben I would have learned of my lump about 5 years later then I had. It would have been a very different fight. I found it, I beat it and I am fine. But I was lucky. Lena is being taught that it is a very serious risk for her and something that she needs to be aware of from a young age.

Even now people laugh at me for having Akiean's hair so long, and Lena's too but that is not as strange. But they are donating their hair to Locks for Love. This is an organization that makes hair pieces for kids with illnesses that cause them to loose their hair. Anyone who knew me in college might remember my fight with this. I won because I was educated. I cannot believe that my little girl is so young and yet she is having to address this. But here we are.

My message is this... check. check yourselves, check your family and check your men. I was so lucky to know that this was in my family and therefore was prepared. And it can happen to men and even more so.. it can happen to boys... my little girl who should not have to worry about anything... is learning about cancer. Because, she will very possibly have to deal with it. I did... she might, he might. Be prepared. Be educated. And be ready and you will be fine.

Okay... so maybe that was not a short entry.

Exactly 9 days to the hour till I see my Mom & Step Dad



Words, and certainly not a blog entry could begin to capture the pure joy I feel at the idea of my Mom and Step-Dad coming to see me. Not to mention that their trip will be over Christmas. Since leaving the states there has been a real sense of disconnect from my family. I mean, how could their not be? Communication was very difficult at first, if it even happened at all. And now life relies on emails and instant messages. I have never really been an IMer but now I IM with my mother usually every day if not several times a day. If a a day or 2 go by when we do not IM it feels like we have not talked for weeks. And it is not like we really have anything to really talk about. But maybe that is what makes it so nice. It is just all the normal chit chat. Every time I talk to some of my other family member it is straight to business and a quick "how is it all" I mean... my Mom and Neal know everything that I did today and what we made for dinner and what funny thing the kids did that week. It makes me so happy to think that they will be sitting at a table across from me and the kids literally in exactly 216 hours that is 12,960 minutes. My Rent fan readers will love this... that is 512,640 minutes less then the 525,600 minutes that are in my year. And we will be in Mexico for at least 2,628,000 minutes and probably much more. I am soooo happy I can hardly contain myself. Even the kids have a count down. Only 777600 seconds to go!!!!!

Mom and Akilean!!!
Neal and Lena

Life without a camera

I am having a really hard time with out my camera. There have been so many times that I have reached to take a picture and it will not work. It is a real bummer because Christmas is coming up and I want to be able to take pictures of the kids. Today they were running around the house dancing and just being the cutest little things in the whole world. They usually are the cutes things in the whole world. Just about every time we are in a restaurant or the park or even just walking down the street, people are always talking about them. I think Akilean gets a lot of attention because he has such a different look. We keep his hair pulled back and in a braid and he is just a darling and Lena is is usually in one f her little dress and usually dancing. They do get quite the audience. I wish I had a camera... I would show you!!! :(


I had to take a break just then to take a phone call. This has made me very happy because it was my Tara. I am sure her husband would have something to say about that but I think she is mine. She is one of those people that you know will always be there and will always tell you the truth, will make you laugh and will kick you in the ass when you need it. I love her so much and just the idea of her makes me happy. But talking to her, chatting, laughing... this thrills me. She is one of those friends that fills you with a sense of peace when you are having a hard time and they just .. I do not know how to explain it. Any one who is lucky enough to have one of these friends knows what I mean. I miss her and I love her and cannot wait to see her again. Hopefully I will see her soon.

Here she is with her son Jameson. Aren't they cute.

My brother the Sargent


I cannot believe that my little brother Kevin is a Sargent in the army. That seems so crazy. Little Kevin, skinny little Kevin. Not that I tower over a lot of people my self but still. He is on his 3rd tour in Iraq. I am very happy that he will be able to be home on his leave over the holidays. He got really lucky on the timing of his leave. So strange... I remember Kevin running all over my parents huge house getting anything and everything that my friends could possibly want. It was a pitiful but very funny site. I miss him very much.

I remember when I took him to Europe with me when I first went. It was strange because people would come up and think he was Eminem. Now, at the time I had no idea who Eminem was so it threw me way off. But I have to say... he looked just like the young, newly discovered Eminem. I remember we would be at a cafe in Rome or in the Hofbruhaus near my job in Munich, Germany and you could hear people whispering to eachother trying to figure out if it was him or not. It was pretty funny.

But now he is all grown up and carries the big boy guns. (Which look really funny in his hands just because of how huge they are compared to his body) But there he is... keeping us safe. Very strange.



I also cannot believe that this is Lena holding this sign when he came home on one of his early tours. The kids look so little.

I got to talk to my grandma today too. That always makes me happy. She has not been doing great and has been in and out of the hospital. She sounds really good. And I love that when I call her she immediatly knows its me. All I have to do is say "grandma" and she knows. It is nice being the only grand-daghter. I cannot wait to see her.

The local advantage


Well, today we were off to town to change some dollars into pesos and get our basitos de helado, :) There is this one spot in town that we pass all the time. And since the town is so small the guys that ask you to come in and eat finally realize that I live here and let me pass without asking. Maybe that was why when the kids were hungry we stopped off to eat there. It was wonderful. Mario, the waiter was so nice to the kids and to me. We had a great plate of nachos and some Sprites. Then, of course, since it is always hora feliz he brought me a margarita. And not in a glass that I could sink my head into but in a proper short glass that carried in it a "for the local" treat... Don Julio inside. I would never order Don Julio in a margarita, mostly because I cannot afford it but also because it is sooooo good that I would not want to waste it in a margarita. But there it was. A beautiful little glass of heaven, and during happy hour there were 2 (the 2nd followed a little later.) well, after we were sitting a while, in no hurry to go any where because 1) we have no where else to go and it was in the shade and 2) it always helps to get more people in the place when there are some tourist looking folks sitting at the curb side tables, Lena ran off to the rest room. Not a big deal but after a while I started to get nervous. She was taking along time. Now, I am not worried about crime here and every one has been wonderful, however, being American and a woman I am always aware of the risks of kidnapping. I mean, it is a fair concern here in Mexico and one you always have to be aware of. So when Lena was taking more time that she should of I got up to go check on her. The poor little thing started to cry when she heard my voice because she had locked the door (and it was one of the old school slide locks that are really hard to open.) And it was on a door that she did not need and would normally not be locked by someone going to the bathroom. But there she was crying because she thought that she would not get out. She was easily calmed when i told her that there was nothing to worry about and that mommy would get her out in just a moment. The cook was up on the fence with a broom poking through the "window" which is to say the bars that a window might have been in at some time. She was out in a flash, once she was calm and confident that everything would be fine, she had little trouble opening the door. But it did scare her. After she was out she gave me a big hug and disclosed the whole ordeal with tears flowing as if she had just overcome a huge ordeal. But even better... sitting at the table when we got back was a small plate of tuna salad with pico, a fresh Sprite for the kids and a margarita for me. It made for a very nice afternoon.

And Don Julio, you gotta love that local treat!!!

Christmas tree- but no Proof

As, well, anyone who I have written an email to since I moved to Mexico knows... there has been some rough times heading into this month. I miss home. It does not feel like Christmas at all. I really wish I could see my friends and family and listen to KUPL Christmas music--- in English. So- even though we are broke- I absolutely had to buy a tree. Yes it is fake- which goes against everything in my Oregonian body- but what are you going to do. The kids really wanted a tree and I really wanted one too. Christmas has always been a holiday that I have gotten very into - esp. the decorating. It makes me happy to sit in a room filled with red and gold and lights and little santa's. And Ruben and I have collected some great decorations. But this year, there is nothing. So we bought the last little crappy fake tree at the super and came home to set it up and decorate. Now here is where I get really depressed. My camera will not stay on. It was working just fine and now- Nothing. I spent some time on a chat with tech support and they basically said oh well. I take soooo many pictures. And now I can't. We were watching "the Grinch that stole Christmas"- 1st the old animated one and then the new live action one. ate tamales and decorated our tree. But there is no proof. I cannot take pictures of it. And i made the most amazing chicken stock the other day and then made some great soup for my cooking blog--- again - no proof. And when it comes to food- I always like seeing pictures. Anyway. we do have a "tree" but you cannot see it. I might bite the bullet and buy a new camera. I need pictures, esp. at Christmas.

WALMART NIGHTMARE

Okay, walmart in the USA is where people go to find a crazy good deal. You know that you are not getting the best quality and that a 4 year old probably made it, but, with the economy the way it is- people are hunting to save every penny. Well, we are no exception. We took the collectivo to Playa del Carmen the other day to pick up something that Ruben needed. Well, while we were there we picked up a few little things that we needed. Now, many things in Mexico, at least in the Rivera Maya, costs the same as it does in the states. Okay fine. But More????? why are all electronics and toys almost 2 times as expensive? We let each of the kids pick out one toy for an early Christmas gift. They have almost nothing and they never complain. So we really wanted to get them something. Well, as we were leaving Ruben had a puzzled look on his face and stopped at the door for a moment. He could not figure out why our stuff cost so much. He looked over the receipt and almost passed out when he saw that Akilean's "Cars" toy (literally 3 2" cars from the Disney movie and the MAC truck that they can ride in) - something that would have cost us maybe $15 in the US- even at a big store- not the Ross bargain shopping but at Toys R Us. This was 400 pesos. I about fell over. $40 for a damn toy. And not a toy worth $40. And Lena got a barbie like doll. That in the USA would cost $15-18 but here... 288 pesos. That is CRAZY!!!! I was pissed - I really wanted to take the toys back and get something else. 1 look at the kids and I knew I could not do that to them. They did deserve these toys. They have no friends, no toys, no bed, no furniture, all of their movies are scratched and they do not complain. For Lena's b-day we simply gave her a 50 peso little almost token of a gift and she was so grateful and happy and kept saying thank you to us and ran over and showed Akilean. But I will NEVER shop at Walmart again. I could not believe it. I would much rather go to one of the Mexican chain stores and pay a real price. Anyway. Had to vent.

Mayan Ruins





Yesterday was a day full of being home sick. But today was a new day. We woke up in the morning and headed over to the ruins for the day. It was absolutely beautiful. The ruins were built on a cliff above the Caribbean Sea. There is access to the beach below so obviously we went into the ocean. The waves are really good here because of the shape of the rocks. It was really fun. Plus going on Sundays is always good because it is free admission for Mexicans. So I was the only one that had to pay the 48 pesos. I cannot wait to get my papers.

Where is my mom, where is my T?

I am sitting here in my house, very sad because of some current situations and all I want in the world is to talk to my mom or Tara. I need some sanity. I need to tell my current feelings and mood and have one of these 2 women-- and only these 2 women- they are the only ones that get me, that truley love me. Even those moments when you wonder about the sanity of the person that you are with because you already know that they must be out of their mind to be in love with you in the first place... these women... these women know me and love they love me any way. For all of your faults- they love you and understand you and somehow all of your mishaps after the moment of enlightenment- only go to make you more celestial. Well... I am sitting here, without enough money to pay for my cell phone, with 2 sleeping kids so I cannot go to town to call. All I want is to talk to them. To hear, from women whose opinion I trust that I am not crazy. Since the moment I left Portland that is all I have heard. How I was stupid, following my heart like a little girl, not thinking about the real world. Well, I am here, in Mexico, missing my dearest friends and my mom. The people who knew me and loved me anyway. And then there is everyone else. Who even if they love me... make me remember that it is in spite of...?

Mexican despair

I am sitting here totally sad and depressed wanting so much to talk to friends and family and there in no one. I do not even have enough money on Ruben's phone to ask anyone in my family to get online. This is by far the most alone I have ever felt.

Missing Thanksgiving

It was very strange to wake up yesterday and get Thanksgiving emails from people. It was very strange. It is beautiful here and very sunny. So I did not see Thanksgiving coming. I mean, up in Portland and San Francisco it is freezing by now. A clear sign of the coming holidays and everlasting cold weather. But here, there was no Halloween, no big celebration for my birthday, no big celebration for Lena's birthday. So the idea that it was already Thanksgiving came out of nowhere. I have cooked a large amount of food for many of the past several years Thanksgiving dinners, so it felt really strange to not cook anything. So I decided to try to bake something.

I went to town to try to find a number of things that that I would never walk home with, brown sugar, powdered sugar, lemons. These are all very important things in Lemon Bars. So I blended my own sugar and used mandarins. There is a play by play on my other blog.

I also started to miss some people back home. I was reading about many people that I care about being with each other and eating together. Meals are my favorite thing to do with people. Coming together, sharing wine, food stories. People all gathered around the kitchen preparing different things, eating and drinking along the way. I miss hanging out with friends and family. I hope that everyone had a great holiday.


Kennedy and Akilean have invented a new game- simply rolling a water bottle cap across the floor has provided a lot of entertainment. We were walking back from town and the kids got the urge to boogie. So we stopped off and they added their magical touch to the piano.

Delivery

I must say that I have been totally spoiled by the cities that I have lived in. I mean, the idea that you could get just about anything that you could want to eat- delivered to your door- at almost any time of the night was such a treat. Especially when I was sitting in my house, pregnant, as big as a sofa and there comes my french fries, personal little pizza and tiramisu cake!!!! God love SF!!! It was worth paying higher rent and crazy parking fees for the delivery alone.

Well, now things are almost as good. At anytime there is someone driving/walking or biking by the house with things that you never knew that you needed right then. I love the man that hikes into the jungle, bags some plants and then walks around selling them. Or the man on the tricyclo that sells helado. Although I can never figure out how they keep it cold. And one of favorites is the man that walks down the street, pulling a cart full of wood furniture that he made. That is just dedication. Then there is the guy selling pots and pans, or the women who tell about their cleaning services.

I mean everything is just delivered to the house. When we need drinking water, we wait to hear the beep beep of the water truck and run out with pesos in hand. When we need to fill up the gas for cooking, that jingle can be heard for a few blocks. But it is very convenient.

The one that absolutely takes the cake though... is the guy that drives around at night and sells tamales. They are great. !!! I love tamales. I love delivery. I love Mexico. I swear, if the ocean was not 2 kilo meters away IU would never leave my house.

Lena's Day





We took Lena out for her 5th birthday last Friday. She wanted to go to a little restaurant she likes for their spaghetti. Both she and Akilean were wonderful. Not the entire time for sure but for a great deal of time. We had to do the customary day off list and then we were on our way home to make chicken tacos. But by the time that we were done with everything we would have eaten at like 10:00. Not that it would be strange to eat at 10:00 here but for us it is a little late. She picked 2 lum, a great little Italian place. She looks so beautiful. And as you can see, the kids really liked the cake.

For her birthday she got a little plastic purse that is sort of like a small pencil box. It holds a few crayons and a few small pieces of paper. And even while we were giving it to her, both Ruben and I felt bad for not giving her any good gifts like we would love to. Here we were giving her a 50 peso toy and it was the only one that she got. So while we were feeling bad about the gift, we got the best reaction out of Lena. She jumped up a down and was so excited and said "thank you Mom and Dad, I have never seen that before. Akilean look." It was so cute. She is such a love. Ruben and I are so lucky.

Back to life...

Back to reality... hold on... sorry, I had to dance that out a little.

Well, we are in the new house. To say that it is better in no way summarizes how much of an improvement it is for us. First of all let me just say... it has a shelf as well as a bar for the cloths in the bedroom!!! That, combined with the fact that it has a counter was enough for me to carry my belongings on over. But even better, my landlord actually cares about her house. She painted the walls a nice yellow and the "back yard" is a mint green. I love it.

I am spending a great deal of time in the back. There is no counter around the sink in the kitchen so I have taken to doing my dishes outside. I wash them in the basin that is used traditionally for cloths. Once we get some plants in the back it will look really good. Not to mention that I will not have a 5000 peso electric bill and the house itself is 1000 pesos less a month. Once the hot water heater is fixed we will most likely be able to have hot water. Not that it is that big of a deal not to have hot water but it would be nice.



It is funny how much your home comes to mean to you. Your space, your things, the things that you surround yourself with that gets a reaction from you. At first, I thought that I was being very materialistic and then I realized that I was not. It is not that these things mean a significant amount or have value, but when I am doing my dishes, or laundry or cooking... I want to enjoy my surroundings. And in this house... it is much more enjoyable.



Well, only 25 days till my mom and Neal come and only 36 days until Barb and Shannon come. YEAH!!!!

Kennedy's 5th Birthday!!!

Lena has just turned 5 years old!!! I cannot believe it. I am the mother of a 5 year old. That is not the part that catches me off guard. The part that throws me is how old she seems to turn over night. Just today, we took our typical walk to town and went to our favorite helado spot. They have these basitos that are just 10 pesos. They are the perfect little treat. And Lena- when she ordered her helado says..."chocolate en la bajo y cajetas en arriba." I could not belive it. It was so cute. She ordered her helado perfectly.

Well we are going to be with out internet for about a week while we are making our transition to our new house. We will keep our updates on our computer an throw them into cyberland when we can.

Take care..... "catch ya on the flip side"

Mindy and the clan

New Discoveries

The longer I live here in Tulum, the more I discover little things about it that make me love it. As I went to town today, set to find the best deal on our basic needs of fruits and veggies and some pantry basics. I discovered a great fruiteria. I had stopped in once before but did not realize all of the other items that I could get there. It is so far the best deal I have found for tomatoes, lettuce and such here in Tulum. I also got my milk, eggs, bread, chorizo and other misc. items there. And I noticed a large amount of spices. Spices are very hard to come by here in Tulum. For only 228 pesos my fridge had a total transformation. Thank goodness too because I hate being hungry. It is not that we cannot afford to buy anything at all- it is that we have no stocked basics to make most things. So you have to be able to afford all of the items that you need for a certain meal. I wrote in an early blog that maybe it was a good thing that we did not have to store all of the spare Costco items like in our USA house. Yeah, I take that back. There is almost no greater feeling that running out of something basic and then simply opening a drawer and having it again. I really miss Costco. I miss having a car to get to Costco. Here it is the other polar opposite. Everything you buy comes in small packaging. Nothing comes in large containers. All shampoos and laundry soap and spaghetti noodle packs- are like buying from 7-11. That was until I found this store. It has a slightly larger pack of noodles.

****Side note--- I did find it funny when I got here to Tulum, I realized that there are no chain food places- no McD’s or even Starbucks. And I thought that was pretty cool. But… There is only 1 stop light so far in this town. And right there on the corner is a 7-11. How funny is that? I would have been happy if I could have gotten a slurpy but they did not have them. Well, on with the post!!!!****

The weather was wonderful today. In the high 70s. It is just a little overcast- I actually got to wear sleeves. And that is an increasingly rare opportunity. Tonight we get to see the house that we are going to be renting and moving into. I am excited because we did not get to see it to clearly the first time. She said that we could start moving stuff in as early as the 18th!!! :)

Exactly 34 days until Mom and Neal come!!!!!

School Pictures



Since the kids are not in school this year I had totally forgotten about school pictures. We took a walk and took some cute pics. Compared to the ones from last year at the very bottom of this page-- there is such a difference. These are the ones that we have so far. We are going to take some more on the beach. I cannot believe the difference from last year. They have both gotten so big. Kennedy did lose that other tooth. And her hair has gotten so long.

Back online!!!!

Well, Luckily I picked the perfect time to have my Internet cut off. There have been ridiculous situations that I have been thrilled to be ignoring. Had I of had the opportunity I would have gotten sucked into drama where there was none to start. It was literally a self made drama fest. And I called it from the beginning. So anyway I sit here, enemy number 1, because of half stories, screwed words and just negativity. So I am glad that I was lost in the abyss for a few days.
Ruben finally had a day off. He has worked the last 12 days straight. We started off with the "to do" list. There were lots of little things on that list. One of which was dealing with our 5,000 peso electric bill. That is about $500 US. that is almost double the rent of our new house. But after a great walk to town - doing all of the little stuff we had to do. Got ice cream for the kids. Then, we were done and we were off to see our land.



More about that in another post.

After hiking around and getting measurements and ideas, we set back to the house to go to the beach. This is by far our favorite thing to do here. It is amazing. We have been hitting the beach at 3:00 or 3:30 and it is just amazing!!!! Akilean laid on the beach and played with his trains :) and Lena played in the ocean with daddy.

How peacefully they sleep



It is another crisp morning here in the mayan rivera. I do not know why, but ever since I came back from Jordan's I have been waking u pvery early. I like the mornings here. I took a run this morning. It is my new thing. I am going to try to go running/ walking in the morning. It is the only time that it is cool enough to go running and I definatly NEED to be running. One of the best things about living in Mexico is also one of the worst things... fresh corn tortillas at every corner!!! Then there is the down side to eating cheap is that it is filled with rice, beans, pasta etc. Oh well. There are worse things.

Things are getting seriose however. I am not sure how much longer I can live with out a coffee pot. Sitting with a cup of coffe in the morning is one of my favorite things. To get a nice cup of coffee and sit outside as the day warms up or with a nice book. And my mom is bringing me some coffee which makes me soooooo happy. We are getting into our new house in about a little over a week. And I will have just enough time to get the house really cute for them.


I miss the kids waking up and going to school and having kids to interact with other kids. It is a lot of presure to try to teach them from home and teach a new language. We are trying to get better at. I think that the classes at the cultural center will be good until the schools have room. The area where we are trying to build our house is going to have a new school. I am not sure when we will be at the point of building let alone moving in.

But as it stands, everyone is sleeping.

My poor boy.

Akilean is really sick. I hate it when that happens. He has a really bad fever and an upset stomach. I hate not being able to make him feel better. We do not have a ton of options for food. We really need to stock up on the food. The produce is not really something you want to buy a lot of at once. And usually we would just walk to the store, but with how Akilean is feeling, I do not want to risk a huge hike to the store in the hot sun. Especially because the one that is close to us is so much more expensive. Anyway. Akilean is in the mode where he just wants to be held. I better go. I must say I am always surprised that they always have enough energy to fight. Amazing.

Oh what I would not give...



...for a Costco run… 1 good Costco run. And my coffee pot! Ever since I visited Jordan I have been missing it so much. Not even the actual coffee itself but just the act of drinking it, the ceremony in the morning. I could go to Costco, pick up and grind some great coffee beans for $10.

At every turn it seems that we turn around and reach for something that we used to have. Things like lint rollers, extra toothpaste and other toiletries, spaghetti noodles and baking powder. There are so many times that those little things are needed. I have been trying to figure out what I am going to make for Lena's birthday but we are missing little but vital things to make a cake, but the selection is VERY limited and expensive in the little stores here.

I mean, do not get me wrong, we have a lot of what we need, good pots and pans, silverware etc, but there are all of those little things that we had already built up a surplus of. Maybe it is good thing? That way we do not have as much stuff to store in the dark corners of the house. But like, this morning for example, Akilean wakes up with a stomach ache and a terrible fever. Usually I would head over to my arsenal of stuff and pull out what ever would help him most. But I could not. I am glad that I bought a bottle of children's Motrin before I left.

But life trucks on... The rainy season has ended. It is as if someone has turned off the rain switch. That is defiantly not what I am used to from back in San Francisco and Oregon. We are getting ready ... well that is not true, there is nothing really to prepare... We are getting excited about our move to our new house. I think that it is going be better. And not only is Mom and Neal coming to visit for Christmas, which I am just head over heels for, we just found out another duo from Oregon is coming to visit and they will be here for Ruben's birthday!!! I am so excited.

The kitten is getting huge. She eats a ton. Calvin and Hobbs are getting along great now. That is another thing on the Costco list… cat food.

My big Girl is getting bigger everyday!!!

I cannot believe it... Kennedy is about to be 5!!! That is just insane to me. Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks. Not even... 11 days! She has another loose tooth. It is in the front on the right. When the baby tooth came in there were actually 2 teeth that came in. Not uncommon and certainly not a big deal. But now they are loose. I hate it when she wiggles it. And of course she thinks that is just hilarious.

It is a beautiful morning. I woke up crazy early and started to clean the house. I must say, it is very chilly. I really wish I had my coffee pot. That is one of the biggest things that I miss. My Mom and step Dad are coming to visit for Christmas which ahs just made me so happy. To have them here at all but even more so during the holidays is going to be so amazing. I have not stopped smiling since she even mentioned it but now that everything is booked. And they are staying right here in my town. It is going to be incredible.

I have decided the gifts that I want to give the kids for Christmas. I want to get them each a bike, training wheels, the helmet and of course the bell for each of them, as we live in a place where it is ALWAYS nice enough to ride your bike. And I want to get them each some classes at the cultural center. That way everyday we can walk to town with a purpose, (usually we are wondering around aimlessly) and the kids can interact with other kids their age and learn Spanish.

That way I figured they could get some cool gifts. I feel really bad for them. You cannot send things to them from the United States. And even if you can get it through the rules of customs, it is unlikely you will get it passed the customs inspector. Anyway. I thought that it would be a good gift. I think they will really like it.

Well, Lena is up now. It is time to start the day.

Oxkutzcab!!!

Sorry I dissapeard for a few days! I have been visiting a dear friend of mine, Jordan. It was so amazing to see her. She lives in a town about 4 hours away. It is always so good to see her. She like Tara keeps me grounded.

My visit to Oxkutzcab was amazing. We arrived on Wednesday evening and took the kids to the plaza in town. There were beautiful casitas all over the plaza with beautiful decorations and food out, lots of candles and kids running everywhere. It was very cool. They have a nice play area and we had a great time walking around. One thing was for sure, this was not on display for the tourists, as Jordan is literally the only white woman in this town. She commented to me once, that if I "feel like people are looking at you... they are." Everyone was so nice and many people had spent time in San Francisco and even Hillsboro, OR.

Of course as soon as we get there, my camera dies. SO I do not have any pictures currently of the trip. I have some trapped on a disposable camera. We spent a good deal of time every day at their land which is currently covered in Calabasas squash and corn. There are also a large amount mandarin, grape fruit and sour orange trees. We would sit out there after hiking to get back towards the fruit trees, hiking with a 5, 4, and 3 1.5 years old and her 6 months along and me. It was awesome. We would eat our little picnic, flick the ants off the blanket and eat as many mandarins as we could handle. It was great. We walked home one night and found out that it was a very pleasant walk, so we walked to and from the next day. I must tell you every one thought we were crazy. But it was very beautiful, flat great for all those tamales we ate one day. Maybe it ahs to do with living is SF. In SF we walked every where. I remember being pregnant with Akilean and Lena in the stroller and we would go on 4 hour long walks, get lunch, look around, and then catch a cheap cab ride home.

They have the greatest marcado in this town. For one it is the citrus capital so the land is so productive. I bought 20 pesos worth of seeds and I have all sorts of stuff I am getting ready to grow. The only thing that is impossible to find is seeds for herbs. Hopefully I can find those.

I also found out some great recipes. Jordan is a really great cook and uses a ton of veggies. I cannot wait. I am cooking them for my mom when she comes.

There was nothing going on for Halloween but that was okay. Our kids were dressed in their costumes, running around the park and having a great time. For the Day of the Dead we had lunch with our friend from San Francisco and her family. And every other moment we were just hanging out at the house. Drinking coffee in the morning, sitting in the garden with the kids doing loops. It was amazing. And to see all the work that they have done on the house is amazing. It gives me hope.

Well, now I am back and I have to get going on our house. And we are moving into our new rental on the 20th. I am so excited. We will have exactly 1 month to get it ready for my Mom and Neal to visit!!!!

of all the cheap meals...

Well, since becoming landowners, we have become to own nothing else. As a result, we have gotten very creative for meals. Now, I have not purchased ramen in many years, but it has become a staple in the house. The one thing that is very different then before, is that we do not have a ton on hand. Back in the states we had a pantry full of so many items that you could make in an instant... the difference was, we rarely made them. Many things sat in our pantry for too many months. Well, right now, we litterally have a bottle of oil (one evoo and one regular) a small bag of black beans, rice, flour, a little pancake mix and 1 box of cereal, oh, and a bag of bread and a ration of fresh tortillas, oh yeah.. and about 14 packs of ramen. Our fridge is a little better, it has a few chicken breasts, milk and eggs that have no purpose being in the fridge other then it makes me feel better. and a bunch of veggies.
but here are a few meals that we have managed to make on what can only be desctibed as a very tight budget...


last night we made a chicken chow main. Jamie Olover gets the most credit. visit him at http://www.jamieoliver.com/ and then the other day.. when we were truly iron chefing things... we made this take on pasta con carbonara. We used chrizo ( beacuse that is what we had) and the vegies on hand and ended up with... and our lazy version of chicken soup--- mostly something to get our kids to eat veggies ( increasingly rare since we have lived here) is the ramen chicken soup with veggies. ans then we made these great quesadilla/ tacos we threw a few tortilla a slice of cheese, left over meat, some tomatoes, and some letuce on the the stove and walked away with a great meal.
anyway... there is food to have... and that is good.

shell of a home

When I first moved here I focused so much on the negative. How things were not as nice, not as easy and my home was not as good as the home I had built and been forced to leave. and while non of that as changed... there are little things in me that have. now granted... this house, while built with less then wonderful construction... the things that are inside of it, my curtains, my family running around in their underare... (which is the only way to roll here) has become a home. MY home. and I have really grown to love it. Do I wish that I could transplant my old home here... YES!!! but, at the same time, my home is what is in it. and I really feel that lateley.

Life is Looking up!!

I was writting an email to my girlfriends tonight and I thought that it was a pretty appropriate post... there are some things that have happended that have made me very happy. so here is the jist...
things are going well. Ruben has gotten a job as a bartender at a beautiful all-inclusive hotel. http://www.mayapalacerivieramaya.com/ there is the link in case you wanted to see. he has had 3 jobs since we got here but the first few were total jokes. making 100 pesos ($10) a night but tipping out 80 pesos. the math did not work. Well, this one might just work. He made $18 USD his first night- which for here is very good, and we have all met Ruben and if you have had one of his drinks then you know why they tip, plus... I am not biased when I say that he has that... je n'se qua... well, I do know how to say.. he is charming and hot... so they tip. :) what every baby... just bring home the bacon (or pesos as it were) we have also found a new place to live. It is in the same area that we are in now but farther from the frech drain (which is very good) and a little cuter. Not much, but a little. In addition, our neighbor sold us their chair and love seat, coffee table and kitchen table and that makes our house more of a home. It actually looks pretty cute. Although I give more credit to Ross then anyone else. The kids and I were playing soccer outside yesterday (until the neighbors dog appropraitly names "cow" ate our ball) and I met the kids of the "hood". One of them named Jamie about 11 years old brought me a video "barbi" for Lena and then brought me some tamales his mom made. Some of the best I have EVER had. Things are simpler here. sometimes for the worse but like tonight... so much more for the better. life is simple. that is not always good in my mind but maybe good for me. when I went to thank Jamie's mom for the tamales she told me that they have a new kitten that Jamie had found some kids trying to bury alive and they were looking for a good home... well I ask you.... what kind of a person whould I be if I did not immediatly bring him in. So I have. I have a new chair and loveseat, a new table, new friends and new kitten whom I have names Hobbs. :) hehehe Calvin and Hobbs,. so far Calvin hates her, but she will come around. I think it is all the dog hair on the sofas more then the kitten. hehehe.

anyway.. I wanted to tell my dearest friends that things really are looking up. I really miss home but I am sure that things are going to be good for me here.

I miss you guys very much and I can assure you that as soon as you are ready to take a break from hell and join me in paradise... I will be waiting with a plate full of tamales and kitten. I miss you guys. and I love you all very much. Please write soon. My computer, and my cats, are my only solitide. ( I have finished all of the DVDs of the West Wing) hehehe

The gecko in my tree

Okay, so even as i sit here writting my friends there is a little (al be it tiny) but there just the same ... gecko that lives in the tree that sits in my living room. The item that is here for my decoritve pleasure is the home to an animal that i would much prefer not be here at all. But that is just one of the things that I have to live with. But the good news is that with all of the new develpments with technology... I get to listen to my favorite radio station... 99.5 the wolf. And there is nothing that makes you feel quite like home as listening to the traffic in an area that has more cars then my whole town. But... life is good, it is happy and healthy and full of days at the beach and great tacos. Ruben made my all time favorite meal... most likely my favorite because I do not make it. I can but choose not to. Fried chicken tacos. nothing magic, or special just my favorite.
Today was a good day. The weather was overcast, lots of rain, but we sat uner a makeshift palapa on the beach, built our version of chitzenitza and played in the waves. it was a good day. I miss my family and wish they were here. More so I wish they knew what I had here. Why I am ot in a rush to get back to the USA. Even in its worst mometns (and ther are plenty) life is good. It is simple, and that is good. I am not living the life, but I am living a good one.

30 Oranges for 20 pesos!!!

At the current exchange rate that is about $1.55!!!! That really made my day. It is just like my friend Jordan said... if we forcus fo the things that have been hard about making this transition, then all we think about are the things that are hard. But if youfocus on that parts that are great, wonderful, beyond what you could have hoped... then that is what you will think about. My walk home for the store with that days groceries was no exception. I could have been thinking about how much I hate to walk to the store in 95 degree heat everytime I need something, or I can be thrilled about the fact that (driving by my house, of course) was a couple of guys in a truck selling 30 oranges for 20 pesos. They were much greener then I am used to seeing oranges but they had their knifes out ready to sample and they were wonderful. As I started to buy my massive bag of oranges, Ruben yelled down the street (as is also trandition in our new home) and signaled to me that he had already bought a bag of oranges and although a great deal, 60 oranges is just too many oranges. I must say that our snacks these past few days have been really good.

Home Sweet Home

Well, I have finally come back from my trip. And I have to say i am so glad to be home. It was a great trip in that I got to see my family and I got to Andi and Melissa which is always good. I did however infect my loved ones with what has now been dubbed MARS (Mexican Acquired Respiratory Syndrome) hehehe. I was able to get a lot of what I needed done done so that was good. And I got out with some things that are going to make life so much easier. Like towels. I love towels. Once I landed it was so good to see Ruben again. I could actually feel myself getting happier as I neared Cancun.



Ruben and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary in the best way. We stayed home and cleaned the house. setting up the thing I brought from our old house and Ruben building more shelves.



The house is now some place that Ruben and I can relax a little in. And luckily- finding house plants is not the hardest thing to in the jungle.

My Birthday

I am not flying out until Monday which means I got to spend today with Ruben and the kids. We woke up and had margaritas in bed while we watched The West Wing and headed off to breakfast. The kids had some really good spaghetti and Ruben and I shared fish platter. Then I went home and took a nap and Ruben and the kids went to town to get the car for the airport. They gave me a beautiful white skirt and white top and a beautiful necklace. Once we were all dressed we were off to the beach for dinner. Most of the restaurants down in this area by the beach have sand walkways and in a small deck with tables but then many tables are in the sand. We ate out on the beach until it started to rain and then moved inside. As we were getting into our car, we were showing the kids the crabs in front of the car, and that is when Ruben saw it. We thought that it was a crab at first but it was a tarantula I tried to get the camera but by the time I got it out of the bar it was gone. Oh well. Next time.

Right now Ruben is at a job interview. This is his 2nd one so I think that he will get it. And we are just waiting for him to come and get us and take us to the airport. I will be in Portland for only a few days to get a bunch of stuff that I need.

The ups and downs are killing me…

Okay our venture to get some land has been much harder then we thought. A lot of this is just the nightmare that comes to moving anywhere new but especially to a new country. And it is just missing one little piece of one of the 3 possible scenarios to fix something... but when you are missing the stupid little piece to all 3 even though they are themselves all different… that is when you what to throw your face into a mocojete. So now, after all of our hunting, we have found some great land. Since the man would not take a deposit to hold the land for a few days, Ruben and I ran around trying to secure tickets to the United States. And this is already bumming us out because now I have to spend my whole birthday on and airplane by myself and Ruben has to cancel the reservations he had made for us all at this place he has heard me comment on. And no sooner then when we finished our plans did we get the call that the land had been sold.
So down we go again….
But then, the man told us about another seller in the area. It is the same measurements and same price, and the real birthday gift… she is willing to take the deposit. So Ruben has wondered off to see if this might work. I hope so. We have planned a great little house that is going to become very valuable soon. Ruben just got home and told me that we got the land, but I need to bring the rest of the money on Friday. So I am off to the States. This actually works out really well. I need to get so many things from up in Oregon that will make our lives so much easier. The biggest thing… our Vonage box. Our phone line works through the internet so I can use it like I am making a local any where in the US for only $15 a month. Very Cool. We are also desperate for a blender, pot holders, and 2 more towels. So. It looks like my blog is about to get a HUGE update. Sorry for all of the pics. Once I get internet at home I can play around more with all of the cool stuff on our computer.

Seeing our beach for the 1st time


We took a cab out to the beach and saw it for the first time. We had seen a different area but it was really untouched. A lot of sea weed and a lot of rocks. But this… this was clear and beautiful there were very few people. Palapas fill the beach side and there are a few very nice cool beach clubs and bars. Very different from Playa Del Carmen. It is very peaceful and quiet.

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