Sunday, October 31, 2010

Maintenance Woes

As full time rv'rs are well aware of, maintenance is of the utmost importance for a quality of life--and also to avoid catastrophes. Ever since I've been boondocking on my lot, I haven't had the luxury of air conditioning or doing my laundry in my new washer. My generator, normally a pretty fantastic workhorse, is also the size of a small horse, and probably weighs as much. It fits in a dedicated cubbyhole that is barely adequate. As a result, the carburetor had not been tenderly attended to for lack of accessibility to the part. It reminded me of Shermie and a remark I'd heard from another VW owner. " change the air filter, first remove the engine..."

In past posts, I related how the husband of a friend set the generator on fire. Since then, I've been looking for a qualified technician who, it was hoped, also had access to Honda parts--not a given in a smaller town such as Tequis.  I'd been given a number of references and checked them all. No such luck in Tequisquiapan. I'd heard of one in San Juan del Rio, but the gentleman was neither available nor accessible. Perhaps gone out of business? Never found out. Meanwhile, life went on.

Finally, I ended up going to Ezequiel Montes last week, a rather torturous affair. Santillan is smack between Tequisquiapan and Ezequiel Montes but public transportation offered only the option of first heading back to Tequis, then hopping on a bus to Ezequiel Montes, which more than doubled up on itself. It's as if from B, one has to head back to A, then go forward to C, passing again right by B. I'm out of breath just thinking and writing about it...

But I found my elusive technician! And joy of all joys, he has access to Honda parts! He was scheduled to come Thursday or Friday, but could not make it. Then we tried for yesterday, Saturday, but he could not make it. He'll be here tomorrow with a helper, a jack, the parts needed, and a lot of good will (I hope).

As an Aries, I have to admit that patience is not one of my most outstanding virtues (but I do have a few others). Perhaps living in Mexico might accomplish the task that my mom held close at heart, to teach me PATIENCE. I'm getting so much practice now that I'll master the #$@%&! thing!!!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Blog

Well it's up. Still needs some tweaking. I'm having a few problems with the template and design. For an unknown reason, the changes that I decide upon fail to get implemented. I'll figure it out...

Thanks to Virago and Dixxe who came up with suggestions for the blog title, I've decided to use both. The blog is therefore called Metaphysical Musings and the description includes the Beyond the Body suggestion. I just loved both. Thank you Virago and Dixxe. The blog address is a tentative name I'd reserved before the suggested titles. Blogger accepted the change to Metaphysical Musings BUT when I try to access it by its new title, it states by invitation only. It doesn't even accept my name even though it's all spelled out exactly identical to ... as administrator. Go figure!

Since I don't own a domain, it appears a bit problematic to have a forum accessible directly from the blog, which is what I would like to implement so as to facilitate communication. I'm looking at alternatives and will post whatever I find out on boondocking blogger as I have no followers on the new blog. If you want to check out the new blog, for now, go to:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Hereafter ... What If? - Part One

This is a topic that's a radical departure from boondocking and rv'ing. But in reality, it touches all of us since, as each one of us is born, each one of us will eventually face death. A statistical certainty. I had chosen to think about it some 35 years ago first by reading "On Death and Dying" by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and later when I went to a talk given by the author in Montreal to further look into it. Since then, I avidly read a great many accounts of people who had actually died and been brought back from either death or the brink of death. Boondocking in remote areas and wild places often fosters such pondering and research. Not out of morbid fascination, but out of concern that one is closer to the end than to the beginning. I've always believed in being ready. And I'm coming to what prompted this post.

Sadly, a few weeks ago, a friend's son met with a tragic death at his own hands at the age of 46. Understandably, a great many people were distraught and wondering: what's awaiting him ... total annihilation of his essence ... eternal condemnation ... or what? In the face of this momentous event, everyone had more questions than answers. And it tempted me to seek answers ... but I refrained.

There is one "occupation" that I failed to mention in my profile. And here, I'll gladly excuse anyone who might be turned off by such a topic. Neither will I entertain challenges, or efforts at refuting experiences that for me, were as real as the first diaper that I wore or the last meal that I ate. Here goes ... and again, this is the time for those who might be turned off from following me further to graciously exit without further comments. For a number of years, I was a medium. It began with spontaneous images at a time when I'd faced tragic events in my life. A huge unexpected development for a self-confessed and confirmed atheist for over 20 years, to say the least! Then, it blossomed some months after I'd begun to study astrology, as if a door to other portals of understanding had been opened. I'll get to this in later posts if there is any interest. So I DO need feedback, or I'll restrict myself to boondocking and the more mundane aspects of life at retirement.

However, be that as it may, I no longer want to tap into information from this other dimension as it depletes me of too much energy. But for the sake of clearing some misconceptions, let me state this; a medium is not someone's attempt at bewildering gullible clients with some hocus-pocus speculations. At least it never was for me. Neither is it cold-reading. For one thing, never was I interested in such endeavours, Furthermore, I have never charged a penny for consultation by anyone. Neither did I advertise this nor seek it; it simply happened when someone in my entourage needed help or it would help a bona-fide client with his/her astrological chart. Also, it was always a spontaneous and totally unexpected "capsule of knowledge" that would always serve someone other than me.

So, in a nutshell, I have come accept that, to the metaphysical known but as yet unproven, my life is but a drop in a bucket full of former lives and others to come. At death, all that is sloughed off is a physical body that no longer serves its purpose. If anyone is interested in my experiences, investigations, speculations, and conclusions, please let me know. Particularly if you might want to share some of your own experiences or questions, or speculations. or whatever. I may start another blog based on the subject of a human being being far more than meets the (physical) eye.

I'd also welcome suggestions as to the name of a new blog. Welcome all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day of the Dead

Last weekend I went grocery shopping and to my surprise and anticipated pleasure, saw that Pan de Muertos was already for sale, two weeks before November 1st. Yum! Some explanations are warranted.

El Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is an Aztec ritual that dates back to 3000 years. To the Aztecs, life was a dream, and only after physical death did a person truly become alive. It is uncanny how those who have had a NDE (near-death experience) report that never before had they felt more alive as when they had flat-lined and left the body. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the celebration lasted about a month. In their effort to convert, the Spaniards tried to eradicate the ritual, which they considered pagan. When they realized that it was an utter failure, they moved it to All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, November 1st and 2nd. It is a celebration to honour the loved ones who have passed on. It is believed that their spirits come to visit on those days between October 31st and November 2nd and nothing is spared to guide them to their gravesite.

People visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried. The families bring blankets next to the gravesites and the favourite foods of the departed. Their graves are decorated with candles and flowers, especially marigolds. A photo (or photos) of the departed is displayed. There are toys for children who died. Traditionally, the infants and children who have passed on are celebrated on November 1st, the adults on November 2nd. Tequila is brought for the adults, or whatever was the departed's favourite drink. Offerings are displayed. Sugar skulls are brilliantly decorated, sugar coffins and masks are elaborately adorned, tissue paper cut-outs are strung across the streets. Special foods are baked such as Pan de Muerto, a pastry made of a rich bread dough with eggs, decorated with dough in the form of bones, and covered with sugar. It's delicious!

In Tequis, the streets are filled with vendors and tons of flowers for sale. It's a veritable feast for the eyes. Far from being morbid, it is as much a celebration of the dead as it is of the living. The connection is in a way never severed. In certain parts of the country music is played and people dance to honour those who have passed on. It is believed that the dead will want to hear all that happened to their families and loved ones in the past year. In cities people prepare an altar decorated with flowers, handicrafts, candles and sugar confections. Copal incense is burnt. A feast of delicious foods is consumed. Deceased loved ones are thus fully integrated into the family, never to be forgotten.

Personally, I am enchanted with the festivity and the spirit of the holiday. After all, when we carry love in our hearts for those who have passed on, don't we keep them alive in a way?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fortitude and Courage - Miners & Women RV'ing Solo

The whole world applauded and breathed a sigh of immense relief today as the first 27 miners were brought to the surface after 69 days in the bowels of the earth. There is even a possibility that by midnight today they will all have reached the surface. Bravo for the miners! Bravo for the rescuers! Bravo for all who sustained them with prayers and well-wishing!
One has to marvel at the immense courage and fortitude these men have shown. I read that for 17 days, in darkness, in 90 degrees heat, not knowing whether they would ever be rescued, they held on. With only 48 hours' worth of food and water, they stretched it into more than 2 weeks for all of the 33 men! It took some serious thinking and a whole lot of altruism. No one died of starvation. Now, I can only imagine what their families went through thinking of their loved ones down under TONS of rock for 69 days... (Actually, I don't think that I can. Honestly.)
I have sometimes received congratulations for "taking risks" and leaving to travel solo and live full time in an RV and later on to move to another country. Well, let me tell you, it was a breeze compared to what these men went through.  Isn't everything relative? Which proves that when the human spirit is strong, it can conquer virtually anything. Mountains! Tons of rock! Darkness! Despair! Venturing out into the unknown! Even the possibility of a slow and agonizing death... A truly far-fetched proposition when it comes to full-time RV'ing.
So, to anyone out there who is thinking of going out solo in a contraption with an engine and wheels (albeit with a bed, a fridge, bathroom, etc.) trekking without a fixed address, yet having the facility of being in constant contact with loved ones, with the freedom to either go on or return, it's a BREEZE! As someone famous once said (I can't recall who did), the "tragedy is not in dying but in dying without having really lived."
We all witnessed the world coalesce toward one single purpose, RESCUE THESE MEN. So let me state my two-bits worth. The world out there is FULL of willing and kind-hearted people who will not hesitate to lend a helping hand. I have experienced this many times over. There is no underestimating the degree of human compassion one may encounter along the way. And that, my fellow travelers, is worth the "risks". That alone can reconcile one with humankind. And in the end, it's so worth it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Apologies to my Readers

Just so you know, I have no control over what gets sent and when. I usually compose my posts on Windows Live Writer and when I'm satisfied, just click to publish.

However, in my last post about llamaradas, I realized when I checked my blog today that I had made a mistake; my keyboard keys are sticky and sometimes, what I type doesn't show up. So I made the correction directly in the blog. Once again, this second time, I made a mistake and had to go back to remove one of the l's in llamarada. Arghhh....!!!

Then, a friend called me and asked why I had sent my last post so many times. I had not realized that once I publish a post, it gets sent to all those who follow my blog the very moment it's published. MY SINCERE APOLOGIES if you received multiple notifications. I promise it won't happen again. If I make a mistake, it will stay for all posterity...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Llamarada - Description and Name

Finally found the name of the lovely vine with bright orange flowers. Here's a description provided by California Gardens:
Pyrostegia venusta will bloom some throughout the year, but the best show is in the late Fall when little else is happening.  That makes the show from the Flame Vine even more commanding.  The vine can be almost completely covered with these brilliant orange flowers.  It also goes by the common names of Flame Flower, Flaming Trumpet, and Golden Shower Vine.  It is native to Brazil and Paraguay.
Thanks to Maria Luz who mentioned that trumpet vine is not what I have, which prompted me to look further and do a Google search. When I clicked on Images, there it was! All that I recalled was the name trumpet.
Anyone depressed or dejected cannot help but grin with pleasure looking at a stone wall brimming with Flaming Trumpet. I can't wait until I see my cement fence draped in all the colours of the bougainvilleas and flaming trumpet!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Gardener's Precious Help - Show and Tell

I haven't posted for a while. For the past two weeks, I've been shopping for plants and flowers. Then for containers to hold them. And to try to find another provider of BROWN soil. My post Something Got Lost in the Translation related an attempt at getting understood (my accent wasn't the culprit, every other Mexican native understands me perfectly!) Rather, I see it as what I would call an inborn tendency of many males of the species to lend only half an ear to the female of the same species... (has any other woman ever noticed this?) We had negotiated for a solid week but I kept ending up with nothing more tangible than hope.

Finally, Samuel the gardener arrived to move some soil--which, not surprisingly was absent. Kindly, he proposed that we both go to Los Coyotes and so we went. Strange how Samuel understood me perfectly... Yet, once more I got the run-around. Fed up, I just cancelled the whole thing. It had amounted to another saga. Then Samuel mentioned that he knew a place so we drove there. I asked for brown soil, was understood and shown it; Samuel checked it, declared it excellent and three measly HOURS later it was delivered.

That was the first stop. I had mentioned that I would like to grow flowers in large ceramic pots rather in the soil. Why? The lot is awfully narrow, and the climate is dry. I'd rather water a dozen or so pots than an area that would require triple the volume of water. Also, growing in large pots looks very Mexican (and I love it). It amounts to having a movable garden!

The place he knew sold not only ceramic pots but plants, trees, cacti, flowers that I knew and others that I was seeing for the first time. I went nuts! No house yet except my RV. But I couldn't live without beauty around. What can be more beautiful than flowers? And hummingbirds that come to sip their nectar? And butterflies? And red birds, yellow birds, birds that sing and others that make unidentifiable sounds?

Ok, enough words. Time for Show and Tell.

This schefflera will grow (I hope) to  top the 6 ft cPlants & boug 012-1ement fence. It's left of the entrance door (to come).







Both sides of the enclosing cement fence will, in time, be covered with bougainvilleas of all colours. Here are some of them. I had to protect them from inquisitive canine noses, hence the chicken wire.

Plants & boug 019-1  

Bodega, dogs, lavadero, flowers 017-1 Plants & boug 018-1

Then I also planted a palm treePlants & boug 015-1 Plants & boug 014-1And two palmettos






In time the 3 llamaradas will show these bright orange colours--loved by bees and hummingbirdsFlowering vine with tiny peaches in back of laundry room-1 (I believe they are called trumpet vines?) If anyone knows, I'd appreciate being advised





Now, here are the macetas or ceramic pots. I couldn't believe how Plants & boug 017-2 inexpensive they were--would you believe a bit under $10. each! They are the large ones holding roses (to bloom again). The puppies are very inquisitive so I had to put them higher up, that is on the rack that used to hold "stuff" behind the RV. In front are mandevilleas (phonetic spelling) with white, pink and red flowers. They're flowering vines that will eventually climb up and around the fence door.

 Plants & boug 006-1 Yes, I've been busy going nuts over the ceramic pots and posies. The round pots were about $7.00 each. I can't recall the name of the flowers.

Plants & boug 001-2

So, you see, I HAVE been busy...

Welcome to new readers. Do not hesitate to email me if you have any question about RV'ing solo, or moving to Mexico in my area--the safest of the country with the most pleasant climate.  I could not speak with first-hand knowledge about other areas.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Saving - The Planet and $

While reading the October Selecciones de Readers' Digest, I came across a small ad that offered software that could reduce my footprint on the environment by reducing the kilowatts while using my computer. For a full-time RV'er this is like manna from heaven.

Electricity usage needs constant monitoring, which is done by the regulator. It indicates the charge from the solar panels into the batteries and the usage, as well. When the sun goes down, unless the batteries have received a full charge, time using the computer in the evenings may be limited. Frustrating. Now, let's not talk about watching television. Anyway, I don't watch it at all. My command of Spanish is not yet sufficient to follow dialogue at lightning speed.

OK. Here is the information. The software is called Granola and it IS FREE. Here's the URL

I'm so impressed!

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