corn dolly

corn dolly
original art work circa 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Frustration with Immigration as l head South

What a summer this has been, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado and of course my beloved location in Northern California, the Monterey Peninsula.

In this moment l am giving thought to all my past and present amigos who continue with their wonderful lives on the Monterey Peninsula.  l especially want to note several deaths that have occurred since l last wrote on this blog.  One was my special, sun, music, fun partner in all sort of travel, dance, music and just love of life...........Julia............l miss her terribly and my heart/soul fills with grief over such a brief lifetime for her............the other Rosemary.............who welcomed me to the youth of my old age when l turned sixty.  Rosemary is one of the reasons l advocated for all issues feminine, peace, politics, environment, and at one time in my life as another amiga so wisely said to me recently  "work and politics kept me alive"........and so today when l seem to be a slug and only want to read books like  "50 Shades of Gray"...... l feel l have earned my "place in the world to do only what totally pleases me"  and recently or over this summer, that is exactly what l have been doing as much as possible.

This brings me to the subject of immigration..............which has been such a pain in my backside.........paper after paper, however, none of what is asked for until you are sitting across the less than helpful office person is written, just their word and then l stop to think what the hell...........l have lived off/on in Mexico for the last twelve years, colorful, drama, why would l think that anyone who has to go through immigration gets any sort of allowance, follow the rules, no exceptions, for any l am feeling much like a chastised child caught in the cookie jar...........oh but this is really an adult world............where those with whatever little power they have at times can and are a bit brutal...........enough

l leave for the November  with or without my   residente  temperal papers or go just like all the other tourists on a six month visa .

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oaxaca, California, New York, Italy, Spain

June 17th, Coronado,

A year has passed since l visited Oaxaca, California, New York, Italy and Spain.  Somewhere in the clouds, all that l wrote about a year ago has been lost and so now trying to recreate the experience from memory is the challenge l  am feeling l might be able to here goes..

Oaxaca, of all the years l have traveled in Mexico still continues to be one of my favorite places to visit.  l could write using all the touristy glitz that is written about Oaxaca but in the case of Oaxaca, much of it is true.  Utley and l left Vallarta and drove the coast route all the way to Puerto Escondido before crossing the mountains to drop into the valley of Oaxaca.  Oaxaca City is a great place to stay and has so many interesting sites.  We were fortunate in having several months to explore the city and at the same time visit the many different areas around the valley.  Oaxaca hands down has the most variety of handmade, hand painted, craft, artistic, talented, persons that l experience through out Mexico. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Whew, am l really back on my own blog??

l have no idea even where to begin, the winter season in San Pancho flew by so fast.  lt was a winter season filled with friends, friends, new and old, party, eating until l went on a and creative, artistic, talented amigos through out the pueblo to keep me jumping from one event to the next.  Needless to say l would not want to miss out on a darn thing going on from the wonderful morning walks with Glenda and Canela, to the parties at night with Lorman, Michel, Utley, Joel, Gloria, Roberto,  Sandra, Beto  and anyone else who can keep up with the pace we seem to have living on the coast of Mexico.

Life is just so different and enjoyable for so many reasons, as l sit here in Coronado thinking about my wonderful time in Mexico,  l realize this morning l was overwhelmed with emotion crossing the Coronado Bridge into San Diego.........the scenery was spectacular, last night the full moon..........will be here in Southern California for about another ten or so days before l travel to Bend Oregon.........

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Bit of This/A Bit of That

Today is the second day of a  sunless sky.  Usually this part of the Coast of Mexico is sunny, mildly warm, gentle breezes, but this season the weather has been a bit of this/a bit of that.......

Sorta like l woke up feeling this morning........many days l wake up with a smile raring to go and other days l throw my feet to the floor and wonder if my legs are going to work, forget the smile.
Actually tho, l find less and less to complain about while at the same time l find more to worry about. l usually just chalk it up to what lately has become, as well as my peers favorite subject  and that is aging.

Living in a semi-resort area six months over the last ten years here on the Coast of Mexico,  begins to give a whole new meaning to ex-pat, living in two countries, lifestyle.  One cannot help but notice how unaware some women are to the culture of their host example recently .........walking at the tienges on a Sunday and spotting an over fifty year old body in a two piece bathing suit........unaware or insensitive to where she was at and that also goes for men with their shirtless humongous beer belly's waving at you as they walk by. What are people thinking?  Do they care or do l care?

The other "hot" topic is around the separation between the ex-pat community and the local community......all the semi six monthers have housekeepers (some still refer to them as "maids") and gardener's, other than that not much community with the locals.  The ex-pats do not speak Spanish and after ten years of lessons still butcher Hola, que tal?  The local community is gracious because we pay for that graciousness but very few of the locals invite you into their homes and want less to do with you if you have no money........And my experience is far to many deny this reality, want to believe we are anything to most of the locals other than visitors in  their country and are tolerated as best the locals can, a sorta love/hate relationship or a bit of this/a bit of that.

Which brings me to why l continue to come back once l take my sunglasses  off.........could be my training as a social worker continues to follow me where ever l go...........l cannot escape myself.  Maybe it is after all just aging, not complaining nor worry and just after all a bit of this/a bit of that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Whew,  l must admit l am determined.  l finally figured out how to finally manage to get back to writing a new post.   After a few months  (since my arrival in November) of gallivanting otherwise known as partying and finding time to do little else............l was determined to sit down and write about a recent event that has once again taken me totally by surprise.  Thus my determination/ l age if l do not consistently repeat  an activity l soon forget about it until l want it and then l have to stop, focus and really think about what n' the he..... l am doing.

A gang of fourteen of us gathered last Saturday for our very first Thanksgiving dinner in March.  We all travel, play hard, have a million other "things" to painting, traveling, visiting, entertaining others and myself.........and of course shopping...........(just ask my amigo Utley)
but l digress and l really want to talk about this wonderful event l am naming " Thanksgiving celebration  in San Pancho".........l cooked a turkey (thank you dear daughter Jen for sending me back to Mexico with a huge roasting oven)  doctored up some  stuffing mix, opened up some cranberries............and the rest of the menu was made up by those who attended.............corn bread, mashed and sweet potatoes, gravy, string beans with almonds, green veggie salad, and the  piece de resistance ambrosia every ones favorite fresh pumpkin pie...........and less l forget.........for appetizers spring rolls.............what a table immediately got into a very happy mood with three bottles of wine..........and we were surprised with some of the best music l have heard with Fred on harmonica and Drew on much to be thankful for...........Julia  who hosted the event at her casa with views of the jungle and the ocean, sunset not to be over looked..............good, good friends, spirit, food, all of us who attended the event begin to travel again, promising to celebrate Thanksgiving again next year probably in March.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

San Pancho, San Pancho, San Pancho

So much to write.  This morning l woke up hearing the chickens all over the neighborhood crowing, the birds variety of sounds in the palm trees.   As l sit here with my cup of java writing under my palapa patio  l am giving thought of where to begin.  So, l will begin as close to when the adventure of the move South began.  Moving to Southern California is now just about becoming ol hat. Reuniting with a dear daughter, grand-children and their routine of navigating three different freeways to drive Sofia and Matt to school, early morning football games for Matt, cheerleading for Sofia......well l am so thankful for a son-in-law who loves early morning Starbuck coffee as much as l do.  The view of the new San Diego Library in its final stages of completion from the Coronado Bridge is a sight to behold...........the view from the bridge was a constant reminder of how far across the state of california l was all ready.  Southern California, San Diego area closer to the border has such strong links to a more tri-cultural, tri-lingual energy that l enjoy observing and being a part of my adventure.

Joining family and friends l attended the  Change of Command event for my son-in-law on board the USS Halsey on San Diego Bay.  Earlier in the morning it had rained, but by the time we arrived for the ceremony, huge white clouds, blue sky and a magnificent view background greeted us for the ceremony.  Utley flew from San Francisco, Freda flew from New York, other friends of my daughter and son-in-law flew in from other parts of the country.  We, the close family members were escorted aboard the ship to a small private reception before the ceremony. Thankfully, l wore sensible shoes climbing small stairs, elevators, etc., to arrive at the top deck where the reception was being held.  The change of command ceremony was moving.  For years now l to have traveled following these adult children and grandchildren as they have moved and my son-in-laws career in the Navy brought him to this point as Captain/ Commander, Destroyer Squadron One.  After, the early morning reception, we attended the actual event.  The ceremony began with the arrival of the official party, the parade of colors, the national anthem,  guest speakers, awards, and very moving remarks my son-in-law gave  regarding his career.  Now the huge transition for him and the family as he settles into a very different phase in his career on land. After the ceremony another reception, a huge event for about three hundred that included a cake with the names of all the ships under his command,  USS Benfold, USS Higgins, USS Halsey, USS Gridley, USS Stockdale, USS McClusky, USS Rentz, USS Gary.After this reception Utley, Sofia, Matt and l escaped back to the Navy Lodge before the next reception to play Monopoly.  We attended the smaller reception, less formal and more fun at the house for another hundred.  A week later l drove over to Tempe to meet another amigo, Fred who planned to drive South with me.  l had decided earlier this will be my last driving trip across Mexico so l brought a car l will leave here and begin flying back and forth.

The drive South was quick and easy.  We made a short visit/detour to Alamos. The furthur South we drove the warmer it was becoming and by Mazatlan, l was feeling the humidity........Arriving in San Pancho after celebrating Halloween a week earlier in Tempe (those college kids know how to throw a good street party) and Mazatlan..........Fred and l joined  Utley, Julia, and others in celebrating Day of the Dead  celebrations.......and the parties have not stopped........hard to find beach time when l am out every evening eating street tacos, attending a wedding of one of my favorite amigos , listening to wonderful music, or enjoying the James Bond movie, or attending a gallery opening and soaking up the very, very different lifestyle l live while l am here.  Ahhhhhhhhh la vida loca.

Friday, September 28, 2012

THe life of a gypsy

l have a dear friend who becomes nervous at this time of the year when she begins to hear me speak of the voices of the  Sarena's beckoning me  back to the South.  She refuses to acknowledge my gypsy lifestyle and prefers to playfully name me a "hobo."  The truth however, gypsy or hobo my feet begin to itch, my heart begins to long for the smells, sights, friends on that part of the Coast of Mexico l lovingly refer to as "home".  For a long time l refused to believe that l was more than a visitor, but more recently l am acknowledging to myself  that l now live   between two countries. 

Living in two countries at times is  really a challenge.  The first expectation is  the hardest to let go least it was for expectations that   nothing had changed, l was just visiting another country but the longer my visits have become (now  closer to nine years) l realize everything imaginable had changed.  For starters, food, money, language and time.  ln Mexico manana can really mean maybe tomorrow, next week, month or maybe never.  Who knows??  And really who cares??
Suprisingly, everything important does eventually get taken care of.  The limited resources at times offer the opportunity to improvise or make do, and in my world growing up where instant gratification is the norm, it offered two options...........accept the way it is or return to the states. Obviously my choice was clear, l let go of  many of my expectations and the results of living in two countries will continue to be a highlight of my life.

l love my life here also, l phone for repairs, most of the time the repair person show up on time, tools in hand, and importantly with the supplies needed to do the work........very few mananas......l love going to Target just to see how much l really do not need...........Nordstrom Rack is another subject and l cannot or will not ever pass up Marshalls at the border in Southern California.......and living here on the Coast of California, daily being surrounded by the rugged mountains, deer, wild turkeys, hawks  flying   overhead  that l watch from my deck.........

As l have aged l find what has become most, most important to me are the relationships l do have.  Loved ones have died, and l have grieved the loss of family member over needless disagreements so that "my family" has now become very different than what l thought it would is such a journey l am so fortunate to be taking, enjoying, loving.

l leave now for Southern California, then onto Arizona where l will travel to the mountains to paint the fall colors and then begin what will be my final drive to the state of Nayarit, San Pancho........after this drive l will begin to fly back and forth...........ahhhhhhhhhh the life of a gypsy.