Monday, May 31, 2010

The Water Saga

This morning, true to my original intentions, I went to the Water Commission to apply to get the water for the lot. On the way, I met with Peter and Jimena, who were also on their way to the Water Commission. Jimena told me, tongue in cheek, “…expect that you’ll have to return at least once or twice”, hmmmm.  Since I’d already gone once concerning the fine, I surmised naively that this would be technically at least, my SECOND trip. Wrong!

I had brought all the paperwork that I surmised they would want to see in the original and even made copies of ALL. An impressive portfolio, in my humble opinion. Wrong, again! It proved to be an overkill, but with one tiny exception. . . one form had to be filled by the Delegado who comes to Santillan (a colony of Tequisquiapan) twice a week. So, on to see the Delegado tomorrow night right here.

A little report on the works NOT in progress. The wall fencing is finished in the rough but needs to be water-proofed for the two bottom layers that will actually be covered with dirt, on the side where water tends to run. I’m looking for a mason to do the job. He’ll also be involved in plastering (with cement) the rough walls of the bodega. The problem with finding the right mason is that the work is too much for the odd weekend job—it would involve too many darn weekends—and not quite enough for a whole week. Or so I’ve been told. The rainy season is about to be on us some time in June. Yeah, I know, I’ll keep LOOKING!

Besides, it’s really hot! I mean HOT! Thank goodness for the RV generator and air conditioner. They are put to good use for a number of hours daily. Although the Gypsy Mutts do seem to mind the noise, I notice that they stay put, except for when I go visiting somewhere. Yesterday, I lost them for a couple of hours. They had spied their mum walking by with other animals and—courtesy of Queenie who graciously bent the r-bar holding the fence—they joined the four-legged congregation for a look-see of the neighbourhood. I was livid, then worried, then finally relieved when they showed up just before it got too dark to see anything.

I’m going to need a BIGGER FENCE. . .

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Water in Santillan

For the first weeks of my boondocking on the lot I got the problem of water solved. First dig a hole, then drop the water tank, get a friend, who knows all about it, to connect a hose from the tank to my RV’s 12 volt pump, add a faucet and voilĂ  water galore right into the RV, and even outside to feed a hose.

A very friendly lady in Santillan had accepted to let me connect my hose to her daughter’s tap, a couple of lots down from mine. Her lot is yet to be built on and all was ok just as long as I paid the water bill promptly—which I was soooo happy to do! I really appreciated the gesture since getting my own connection would prove to be a bit involved, which I’ll explain further on.

Everything went relatively well. While the cement wall was being built, a LOT of water was required. Uriel, Teodoro’s helper would string out the three hoses early on in the morning, fill a large drum for the water required for the cement as often as necessary, and once in a while, fill my water tank as well. When the work day was over, he’d pull in the water hoses and so on day after day. The first bill came to 18$ pesos, the second one to 40$ pesos (less than $2. the first month, and about $4.00 the second one). All was fine under sun. We had done nothing illegally, or so we thought. . .

. . . Until an inspector from the Water Commission spied the hoses strung out across the road! He took pictures, went to the office, checked whose tap I was using and. . . abruptly, the water was cut off. The friendly lady received a notice that she was being fined 1,089$ pesos for dispensing water illegally, and a reconnection fee of 250$ pesos would be required if she wanted water back. Me? I was flummoxed. How could such a good deed be penalized? There was no way I’d let her pay and I was not going to dish out $$$ without first presenting my case.

So my good friend Guadalupe, the friendly lady and her daughter, and I all went to the Water Commission to deliberate the situation. I’d taken photos of the wall almost finished, the RV in which I lived, the numerous trails around the lot where sheep, cows, and numerous dogs roamed, showing the REAL necessity for a woman living alone in an RV to be surrounded by some sort of barrier. After thorough explanations, the Big Boss finally relented and cancelled the fine, the reconnection fee, and even allowed me one month to get my own tap from up the road instead of down. Oh, and he warned about reading the fine print--when I get my contract, I’ll make sure that I do!

This is a bit more involved than one post, so I’ll explain on a coming one

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. Just need to state that next Monday, I’ll begin the saga of getting my own water meter.

As an afterthought. Things do get done in Mexico. Only, differently. And they take a tad longer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dealing with Pests – and Gypsy Mutts*

Aside from my little adventure with the hijacking of my blog and email accounts, I’ve been dealing with the two gypsy mutts* having a case of demodectic mange. This is the mange that affects puppies that have been weaned and whose immune system becomes deficient. When I’d first gone on the road fulltime, I tried to foresee as much as possible of potential problems. So I took with me a couple of books written by veterinarians, one of which I found a real treasure, “The Nature of Animal Healing”, by Dr. Martin Goldstein. He advocates boosting the immune system rather than administering a highly toxic remedy to the puppy.

So for the past month, the girls got a couple of heaping teaspoons of ground linseeds a day. I couldn’t find the linseed oil at the natural food store in Tequis, just the seeds. Once a day, they ate a sardine or two mixed with their puppy dry food. I also added real meat and vegetables to their dry food. When out of sardines, caps of cod liver oil went down the hatch of each. To be on the safe side, Queenie got the same treatment. I had bought a systemic treatment that had been recommended but chickened out at the last minute. It was so toxic that to administer it you have to wear gloves. AND… it kills fleas, intestinal parasites, demodex mites, and any and all living things that the puppy might harbour! I wonder what it would have done to their already weakened immune system! In the morning and at night, I put a mild disinfectant on each patch and covered it with Vaseline. More on Vaseline further on.

Anyway. . . I’m delighted to report that the scaly patches have now gone. Hair is growing where it ought to grow and in the right colours! What itching they had is now a thing of the past. Wow!

Now as to Vaseline. I once had a couple of foster children, two sisters aged 6 and 3, who arrived at my house totally infested with LICE. The nits were so numerous that their black hair appeared salted with dandruff. It wasn’t though. Those nits hung on tenaciously. After a few weeks of trying all remedies on the market, the pests kept re-appearing. I was both desperate and angry so I decided I’d choke the life out of those pests PERMANENTLY. I copiously spread Vaseline on each girl’s hair, neck and ear areas at night and covered it with a shower cap overnight. The next morning, I sprayed Pam on their hair and worked it through real well to soften the goo. It took two or three shampoos to get rid of it all. The result? Their black hair looked sooo luxuriant and was finally and totally FREE of lice and nits. The problem never returned.

As to the gypsy mutts*, if the diet had failed to work, I would have resorted to Vaseline before trying the highly toxic remedy. I probably would have had a hard time catching them and holding onto them long enough to give them a shampoo or two but it would have been worth a try.

* This would be Gypsy Mutts as in Wandering Puppies.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Got My Blog BACK!

After more than a week attempting by all means to get access to MY blog and MY gmail account, I finally succeeded! I’m so sorry that you may have been pestered with a request for urgent money. NO, I was not in Scotland, nor in Canada, nor in Sweden, remaining safely on my lot in Santillan, but worried that some kind soul would respond to these scammers’ request for money. I attempted to warn as many people as I could, directly or indirectly. If nobody did, THANK YOU!

Some 5 or 6 weeks ago, I had received an email (or so it seemed) from Google urging me to confirm that I wanted to keep my account open, or else it would be closed. The logo and all appeared legit and all that I was asked to provide was my name, my date of birth and my password to the gmail account. Since no financial transactions had ever been associated with my gmail account, I was totally unsuspecting. What a mistake! Both the blog and gmail account were hijacked and I was prevented access to it all until today. This, after surfing the net in search of means to rectify the situation and numerous requests to Google (they are a tad hard to reach, I’ll admit. . .) to reinstate me as the legitimate owner of the account. Thanks to Google that the truth finally prevailed despite my foolishness in responding to what I should have suspected was a scam.


I really missed publishing to my blog. Whether I ever heard directly from you or not, I still had a sense of warmth and closeness sharing my little adventures with you. If you have remained faithful despite the (Nigerian, I think) phishing scam, another heartfelt THANK YOU!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On New People in One’s Life

Sometimes, usually only after a while, it becomes evident that new people one encounters are simple catalysts that precipitate change in one’s life. Even when, at first, they appear as benevolent, potential friends whose relationship you may want to cultivate, yet, as the relationship develops, you begin to realize that things are not quite as they had first appeared or you expected them to be. But, you will tell me, it’s hard to let go. Much hope had been vested in that friendship-to-be. . . just look at how things have changed and how new horizons have opened up in your life! Well, that’s just it. Their role is over.

It was my case with people who shall remain nameless. I had put so much hope in the budding friendship that what failed to materialize felt almost like a betrayal. I suppose that we had all put our best foot forward (quite natural, you will say, shaking your head and rolling your eyes…).  But, as is said in French, “Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop”. Its equivalent might be, “A leopard cannot change its spots”. Nevertheless, it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth, even if nobody had ever forced me to bite into anything out of my own volition. My doing. Pity that I couldn’t shake the disappointment.

A new awareness came to me in re-reading my old journals. The gist of what had occurred became so evident that it felt as if a cement block (my apologies, I’ve dealt with much of that stuff lately) had hit me over the head. Their role in my life had simply been to introduce me to the path that would lead me to realize my fondest wishes! Duh. . . Now, that makes it very easy to let go of any expectations from anyone else but me. Just those expectations that I put upon myself, knowing full well that all that I can control in my life, is me, my thoughts, my attitude, my actions. (Thank you so much, Dr. Wm. Glasser, for Choice Theory!)

All of a sudden, my mouth is no longer filled with gall but with the sweet nectar of life. My life. At any given moment, it can be a clean slate filled either with optimism or despair. My attitude makes the whole difference. So does the outcome.

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Looking Back

Keesha & Teddy - Clear Lake Night before last, in search of something to read, I came across my journals of three years ago. Mildly curious, I plunged in. I had just then finished watching “The Secret” and following the instructions, built a Vision Board with great enthusiasm. A Vision Board is a visual representation of what dreams, visions, or plans for the future one wants to realize or accomplish in one’s life. On it I put the photo of a house in Yuma (it was up for sale for just under half a cool million), a photo of my two cherished dogs, Teddie Rottweiler and Keesha Shepherd, both passed away and terribly missed, then candidly imagined myself winning the lottery (hah. . . dream on BIG if at all!). To my mind, it was the only way through which I’d get a house. I had always had dogs—and lived in my own house when with dogs—and knew full well that short of having my own place, I’d never have the right to have two large dogs in a rental. My choice of Yuma, Arizona, reflected my wish to be in a warm and sunny climate. Also, I loved the closeness to Mexico and its vibrant culture.

Little did I know that I was putting in motion universal energies (quantum physics) that would eventually materialize my deepest desires.

Needless to say I never won the lottery. In fact, I stopped buying tickets after a period of dwindling funds. I had let go of the seniors’ apartment and reluctantly of my little cat Tweetie, so named because she didn’t meow, just tweeted like a little bird. As a tiny kitten, she had been found in a dumpster by the previous owner. A few months after I had let her go, she died of an acute feline disease. I was heartbroken. I missed her very much.

Not so with the seniors’ apartment. It had been the most disheartening place imaginable. The majority of residents simply shuffled about, covering an ever diminishing perimeter of activities, resigned to simply wait for death to liberate them from a barely liveable existence.

I took to the road again and had to overcome a bevy of problems, not the least of which were two surgeries to correct the smashing of my right elbow. Neither worked. I was torn. How could something that felt so right be filled with so many hardships? Oh, well… at least I had my Queenie! And I was free and mobile. Like a turtle, I went wherever I wished with my shelter over my vulnerable self.

I will not recount here how I ended up in Santillan, boondocking on my own lot, right now saving so that I can eventually build my own little house. In retrospect, I know NOW that our thoughts are, together with a firm belief that they can become a reality in a time to come, the primary engineer of life events that will eventually manifest them. I NOW realize, with absolute conviction, that what we think (and resultantly feel) we bring about. I may be living for a while on a construction site, but it’s mine. I wasn’t even looking for a lot! My house is as much here as the future mighty oak is potentially alive in the acorn. And… technically… I am in my own house, albeit on wheels!

PICT0014 Two puppies, sisters, just as close to each other as Teddie and Keesha had been, were literally DROPPED at my doorstep. Now, while I cannot honestly state that gigantic Queenie reminds me of diminutive Tweetie, nevertheless her great ambling presence conveys the tranquil love that Tweetie’s velvety paws had.

Who woulda thunk?

My cup runneth over.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010


    My apologies to my friends/family/readers. I haven’t been able to post anything for a while. More problems than a dog has fleas . . . Problems with obtaining water, getting a valid cell phone, wrongful information, deceit, betrayals, false friends. The list is too long.

I will be going to some officials to get things cleared up tomorrow but it may be a while before I get to the bottom of things and finally get access to the correct information. I’ll keep everyone posted on the blog.

On the plus side, the walls of the fence are finished. I am looking for 005a carpenter who can install a large chain link gate until I can afford a high one entirely made of metal. The gate will be wide enough to let me go through with my RV or let trucks come on the lot with deliveries. It will cost a bit more than chain link. The narrower opening is for a people door.

Teodoro has begun construction of the bodega. I004t should be finished by early next week. Again, I will keep everyone posted as soon as developments occur.

The fenced in area was to have been my garden. However, at this altitude, the seeds simply dried and died up in the implacable sun. It would have required TONS of irrigation. April and May are the hottest months in this climate.

Guess that’s life. What went up must come down. In th003e definite down phase in which I find myself now, things can only go up. I’m looking forward to the upward phase.

My living quarters, boondocking and all, are nevertheless giving me a feeling of home. It goes for my three girls, too.

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