February 18, 2009

My funny little valentine

A lot of little things have been going on here lately. First I have had an invitation from the Naval Comandante’s wife to come eat at the ladies auxiliary monthly breakfast (and to join their social group? this is not clear.) They have a naval hospital here for which it seems that they raise money. Unfortunately that is the same day I also have invited a couple of my gringa buddies who live in Mulege to go to a luncheon and fashion show with me that is to benefit the Mision de Santa Rosalia, the old mission church in Mulege. Esperando is buying me a ticket for the Navy breakfast and telling them to let me know when it is next month so I can attend. What a wise man he is.

Valentine’s Day here in Santa Rosalia was a really special day to celebrate love—but also it is Friendship Day. Esperando and I were invited to another tamale fest with the whole office of about 25 people. We were served frijoles charros (bean stew with ham and green chile in it), handmade tamales from someone’s Mom, and a blended drink of papaya, water and ice. It was all very delicious. I was given Valentine’s candy from the Mexican secretaries in the office, from the Mexican men in the office, and a huge bouquet of roses and other mixed flowers from Esperando. We noted that the same promoter of cock fights for Christmas and New Year’s was also featuring a cock fight for Valentine's. How very romantic!

My internet service went down several days ago, oh woe is me! It seems the guys working on the phone pole outside disconnected our two phone lines and then reconnected them back wrong so each line was going to the other phone—which meant the internet wasn’t rerouted to the right phone. I almost had withdrawal, except I went in the mornings with Esperando to the office to use the internet service there for a little bit. The guy came to fix the internet this morning and I still felt enough joy and happiness from Valentine’s to want to plant a big kiss on his forehead for bringing me back online (but I restrained myself). Isn’t it funny what makes you happy?

February 9, 2009

Color has taken possession of me

Today the moment of truth came for painting the exterior of Casa Abeja. Last week I had selected paint colors for windows and doors, window and door frames, and exterior wall colors based on an especially attractive color scheme Hermana and I saw in Taos. Today Esperando had me go up to the house and look at the colors I had chosen which were roughed out so I could verify that I liked them. It was then I realized the exterior wall color was identical to the existing one and somehow it wasn’t our house if we didn’t change it a bit. And without the adobe colored walls that had made the jade green doors and teal frames look so fantastic in Taos, the aqua paint I had selected didn’t work so well. The upshot is we had to stop the painter from finishing out the wall color and make a new trip to the paint store to change the color scheme.

When we first started discussing exterior paint, Esperando told me we were only going to buy a small quantity to “test drive” because of my propensity to want to fine tune colors, so he was expecting this reversal. We drove slowly through town so I could look at a few other buildings and focus on exactly what color scheme I really wanted and by the time we reached the store I knew what to get. The frustrating thing at the paint store is that their paint samples are bound in a 15-page book with 30 chips on each page and no way to check to those chips you like against the other chips on a backing page. I decided I better keep my scheme simple with colors I knew would work together because I couldn’t easily do any chip comparisons. So now I have selected a much deeper shade of aqua with more of a blue cast, an off-white trim for frames, and deep golden yellow stain for doors and windows.

Still that was probably the easy part—now we had to get the paint mixed and pay for it! You wouldn’t think a store that just sells paint could be so busy in such a small town, but I swear 15 people came in after we had selected our paint. The paint mixing machine was broken so the paint had to be hand stirred. The stirrer person got involved in an extended conversation with some other person wanting to buy paint, so our paint was seriously overstirred while we could have been paying for it. Then they waited on an old lady, even though we were there first. By the time we left the store 40 minutes later you could barely move so many people had come in. We bought two gallons of oil-based paint and one container of thinner to the tune of US $70. Esperando thinks the paint is highly expensive here especially considering its poor quality. And he still doesn’t believe me when I tell him that the color choices I made today are perfect. Just like a man to not believe a word you tell them.

February 6, 2009

You own a dog, but you can only feed a cat

It’s been pretty hectic at Casa Boleo lately, but not due to any guests. Esperando has again been involved in a kitnapping heist to trap Mrs. Moustache so we could get her spayed. Penelope declined to attend the entrapment ceremony so she is clueless about what may happen to her in next few months. We think she is in the process of raising a litter of kittens and will see if they show up before we deal with her next. We took Frida to get spayed also. And now the maid is inspired to get her female cat fixed. The smallest kitten Carmen tagged along to get her first shots; she is too young for spaying yet.

Thus I ferried a carload of three cats back and forth to Mulege, an hour away. No sooner did we get home with dopey sore cats than good old Dash went and ate something rotten and spent the rest of the night throwing up. Do you know how unpleasant it is at 2, 3 and 4 in the morning to crawl into a dog crate with your bursitis arm and clean up the mess only to repeat the same scenario again? I really didn’t want to have to turn around and drive back to Mulege the next day so I called the vet and she told me not to feed him for ten hours, and then only water, no food until the next day. Fortunately that worked really well and he has recovered yet again. He is getting chicken and rice which he loves, I almost wonder if he eats crap just so he can have the chicken and rice.

Both Winnie and Carmen were very worried about Frida when she was returned to the house. The anesthetic had a very nasty effect on her. I was supposed to keep her calm, but she turned into a twirling dervish and Winnie sat transfixed outside the crate observing her, clearly knowing she was beyond condolence. She spun and climbed the crate in continuous motion for 20 minutes, screaming the whole time and twirling in circles. It was pretty ugly, and I finally had to move her into something small where she had a really limited range of motion. Only then did she finally calm down enough that Winnie could approach and make comforting meowing noises.

This morning Winnie was feeling like a blue meanie and I had to chase him away from beating up Frida who is feeling better but still not recovered. His solution was to flatten himself and crawl under the bureau meowing for Carmen to come out and play so he could vent his annoyance on some helpless little thing. Such a melodious chirping you never heard. For 15 minutes he called and called. Wise kitten that she is, Carmen remained hidden in her drawer.

The vet told me to keep Mrs. Moustache in a crate for one day before surgery and one day after without food and water. When I opened the crate she split so fast she was beyond even being a blur. This morning she came waltzing back after a 3-day absence as if I was the greatest person on earth, and oh, please could I feed her? Amazing! I thought I would never see her again. I often wonder if she has a real owner, although she spends all of her time here. If she does,what do they think about the shaved belly and incision? Alien abduction!