Just another average sunset in paradise!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

News from Aticama

I got a great email today from a couple of followers who winter in San Blas/Aticama!  Sharon and Gene travel all the way from Canada to San Blas each year and we met last winter at El Chaco RV park.  They are the couple who first introduced me to Sara. They attended a Thanksgiving party in Aticama and both of my dogs crashed the party.  They reported that both dogs seem happy and healthy and are being well cared for by my friends and neighbors.

I hope to be sharing time with my dogs and friends soon.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The countdown begins

With surgery behind me I have made plans for my return to Aticama!  I had several choices including flying from Tijuana to either Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta.  In both cases I would need to take a bus back to Aticama.  When I first started checking into air fares flights were available for around $100.  but have now risen to nearly $200.  The good thing about flying is that I could be in Aticama in time for New Years.  The downside is that after airfare, bus fare and hotel expenses, I would be out about $350.

A second alternative came in the form of an invitation to join some friends in their RV for the entire trip to Aticama.  I met Brett, Sharon, Bob and Gloria at El Chaco RV park last winter.  Both couples have large motor homes and caravaned to Mexico all the way from British Colombia  This year Brett and Sharon are bringing their motor home and Bob and Gloria are caravaning with them in a car.

A winter bar-b-que at Hill Top House

As of today,  I have a doctor's appointment on the 2nd and then on the 3rd, my brother and I will drive to Laughlin, NV and meet up with Brett and Bob in Needles.  We will then proceed south to Aticama with a few stops along the way.

Monday, December 17, 2012

What do I miss most?

The sea!

One of my favorite songs is "Cool Change" by the Little River Band.  Following is the first stanza of that song:

If there's one thing in my life that's missing,
It's the time that I spend alone,
Sailing on the cool and bright clear water.

There really is something special being out in the middle of the ocean with the wind and the waves providing the only sounds.  It is really not all that different from sitting on the patio at the house in Aticama.  The surf and almost constant breezes combine to provide a gentle symphony 24 hours a day.  Depending on the season, the rain will join in with a gentle percussion accompaniment.

This symphony includes a great view, fresh air and a feeling of serenity.  I spend 3 or 4 hours each day just sitting there and letting my senses absorb the beauty that surrounds me.

Is it just me or do you think I may be a little bit homesick?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A vacation from vacation?

Living in Aticama is like being on a permanent vacation.  While I spend my days in the house and on the patio, each night I sleep in Dod to escape the mosquitoes and jejenes that are sometimes annoying.  This is really not much different from the time I spent on the road in Dod spending the days outside and the nights inside.

I now consider Aticama to be my permanent residence so traveling North to Bakersfield is like a vacation.  My brother Rick and his wife Karen certainly make it seem that way as they try to discourage me from doing any type of work while I am here.  Like a typical vacation, the food is great, the company wonderful and there are many things to do that are not available in Aticama.

Just like my actual vacations in the past, I will be sad for this one to end but I know it must.  Hopefully in the future I will be able to plan my vacations here just for enjoyment and not medical reasons!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fast Recovery

When I first noticed that the bump on my head was growing, I went into Santa Cruz to visit Doc Eladio.  Eladio owns the pharmacy and internet cafe in Santa Cruz.  I met him several months ago and we became friends quickly.  After looking at the bump and squeezing it (way too hard for my liking), he said I should watch it for a few weeks and if there was no improvement I should go directly to the U.S.  No improvement occurred so I headed North.

The lump, at its largest, was only about 1 1/4" across and about 1/2" thick.  It also had a hole in the middle which went all the way down to the skull.  I took pictures of it but decided not to save it!  It was pretty gross.

Today is the 5th day after surgery and following doctor's orders, I removed the dressings.  I was totally surprised to see the length of the incision and the 60+ staples used to close it.  The doc who did this is a plastic surgeon so hopefully the scars will subside over time.

I can't wait to see my new hairline after all the twisting and stretching!

While I don't normally wear a hat, I think I will need to decide on some type of head-wear for the foreseeable future.  I can't decide between a hat or a bandanna.  Any suggestions?

The pain following surgery was some of the worst I have felt in my  life,  but after just 5 days it has diminished drastically and I have gone 24 hours without pain medication.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Missing my dogs

Sarah has been with me for almost a year now and one month before I left Aticama, Lobo showed up.  Lobo and Sarah make a great pair and provide me with hours of entertainment and companionship.  They compete for my affection and any time one of them comes over to me for a pet, the other's head is sure to be right there.

Lobo was never very far away from me and he even slept under Dod at night and was right there to greet me each morning.  When I left for Bakersfield I made arrangements for a friend to feed them daily but without me there they apparently changed their habits.  Lobo decided to go on the road and was missing for two weeks.  He finally surfaced in La Palma (a small village about 2 miles northeast of Aticama) and a friend noticed him there and brought him back up the hill.  Sarah, who had always been very timid (almost afraid) of other dogs attached a German shepherd and lost, exiting with a large puncture wound on her shoulder.

Sarah on the day we met!

Now both dogs are hanging out with my neighbors on the hill.  Inland from the house on the hill is an arroyo about 100 yards across.  There are several homes on the hill across the arroyo and a majority are inhabited by Americans and Canadians.  Before Lobo arrived, Sarah would take a morning hike and visit most of the houses around the area to say hi to her dog friends and beg for treats from the neighbors so everyone is familiar with her.  Lobo would hang our with me but after I left, Lobo joined her on her morning walks and became a welcome visitor at many homes.

Thanks to my neighbors I get regular reports on the dogs and am happy to report that they have settled into a routine now and are staying close.  I am really looking forward to our reunion in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Surgery Successful!

I came north to Bakersfield in late September to have a growth removed from the top of my head.  Being an optimist, I firgured that it could be accomplished in a few weeks and that I would be home for Christmas.  That plan did not even come close.

My only health insurance is Medicare backed up by Medical and it took 9 weeks to go through all the channels and get approval for surgery.  I would provide details but it makes my head hurt just to think about it!

I am happy to report that the surgery was successful and 72 hours later the pain is subsiding.  Even though the growth was only about the size of a golf ball cut in half, the surgeon had to make several long incisions in order to be able to stretch the skin to cover the space where the scalp had to be removed.

More good news is that two of my Canadian friends are heading south to Aticama shortly after Christmas and have invited me to ride down with them.  Now I can spend Christmas with my brother and his family and be in Aticama in time for New Years.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas comes early in Bakersfield

First, I want to apologize for ignoring my blog for such a long time.  I don't know what caused me to stop posting but I will try to do better.

When I arrived in Bakersfield in late September my plan was to have a growth removed from the top of my head and return to Aticama.  Since this would mean that I would not be in Bakersfield for Christmas, my brother Rick and his wife Karen decided that I should receive my gifts in October.  Actually, the gifts started the moment I walked in the door.  The kitchen counter had been redecorated with 5 big bottles of my favorite scotch:  J & B.  The only thing I could think of to say was: "I like what you have done with the place!"

The gifts started with two great pairs of flip-flops as they are the only footwear I use.  The big Christmas gift was a new laptop computer to replace the one that was stolen in Aticama.  I shopped and researched for almost a month before deciding on the Lenovo.  I had never heard of this brand before  but in a Google search for "Top Ten Laptops"  three Lenovo laptops made the top ten.

This little computer has all the bells and whistles with a 500 gig hard drive and 6 gigs of memory.  It also has a built in camera and microphone so I will be able to Skype from Mexico.  It's so nice to have a wonderful family!

After a month I can report that I am completely happy with the performance of the Lenovo and would recommend it to friends.  I have been busy loading the hard drive with music and movies so that when I return to Aticama I will have mucho entertainment.