Of All The Yards In All The World
Aug 30th, 2012 by Les

So Sweet

Of all the yards in all the world, why did you have to walk into mine?  Our tiny ebony kitten still needs a home.  We are desperate.  We cannot take him with us, though we would surely like to.  The house we leased will accept 2 cats and we already have three.  This little guy turned up here unexpectedly a month ago and has stolen our hearts.  We could not ignore him.  He is playful, funny, sweet and cuddly and would truly be a great addition to anyone’s home.  Won’t you please consider adopting him or taking him and continuing the search for just the right home.  He comes with a carrier, kitty litter box and starter food.  Please email me at or call us at 33.3484.9554 if you can help.  Thank you.

You never really leave a place you love, you take part of that place with you leaving part of you behind.  Much to our surprise we are, in fact, leaving something behind, the ability to party hardy.  We had lunch with some friends today and they mentioned that our good friends Lana and Steve Coffman have instituted a monthly …remembering David and Les party….with the first get together scheduled for their place next month.  I would venture to say Lana is as far of center as I am and I love her to death for it.  Getting the two of us together makes the absurd sound reasonable and, dear reader, if you are planning on visiting Ajijic you can spend time at Steve and Lana’s wonderful Lolita’s Inn and, well, continue the fun.  We plan on staying there when we return to visit!

Also, if you are in the mood for pizza “your way” you simply have to visit the Junky Monkey found on the carretera (mountain side) just past the Waffle House…the pizza is fabulous dahling  And, of course David and I want to thank all of those who put our Adios Party together….Ron and Bobbi, Ed and Betty, Michael and Shannon, Brent and Dale and Joe and Jan…what a memory to take with us and cherish for always.  The Junky Monkey is open Sunday through Saturday…from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (closed Thursdays) and their number is 045.33.1038.4129.

Here are some additional tidbits on our journey NOB…we decided to get our car checked out for the journey.  We have found, since moving here…at least for us…the most economical and best service has been rendered by Carlos at Escalera.  They can be found on the lake side of the carretera at Av. Hidalgo No. 448-B Riberas del Pilar….just past the Seven Eleven (yes they have those here).  Two shocks and 3 tires later…all bolts tightened and service completed…we are ready to hit the road.

As we were driving to Escalera the other day and I casually asked David…do we have to take the airport way to Guadalajara?  You see I am going to drive to South Carolina and David is going to navigate.  His response made me laugh out loud, “it’s the only way out of here”.  Now, please don’t take us wrong…its not that we are anxious to get out of here…its just that I’m driving enough said….not by a long shot…you know me better than that!  Let me explain.  We had our cats vaccinated for the trip as required and bought them comfy carriers.  I also asked our vet if he could provide tranquilizers in case they become agitated.  He did.  Why do I mention this, you ask.  Okay, so you didn’t ask … no luck… I’m going to tell you anyway.

I consider myself a rather calm person who has driven in many countries however, for some reason the drive into and out of Guad sets me back a bit (read makes her crazy as a loon).  David has been with me when I’ve been “set back a bit”.  So, dear reader…the comment “it’s the only way out of here” was more for my benefit then his.  Of course, there’s always the tranq alternative for David…I’m sure the cats will share!  But…if he tranqs himself…heaven only knows where we might end up!

Below is a chart David put together of the miles and towns we shall stop in as we travel toward Newberry South Carolina.  He has already booked us in hotels that accept pets and we will be staying in the Dallas area for one night so that David can visit his daughters and I can visit my brother and his family as well as stop and visit David’s sister before we head out in the morning.  We did the same thing coming down and ran into no problems.























Ajijic-Matahuala MX





Matahuala MX -LaredoTX























Our dear friend Emmie, who is waiting for us at the end of our journey, has gone above and beyond to show us what Southern Hospitality is all about and we are and will remain eternally grateful for all of her help.  She is a special lady.

David has secured our state side car insurance and we have been told, though our license plates are not current (lets talk 3 years behind) we have 45 days in which to get the car registered in South Carolina.  If stopped, we have been told to show the officers our passports which will be dated and stamped upon crossing the border and explain our destination and plans to renew in SC.  It pays to have law enforcement in the family when confronted with these types of questions.

Jim Morrison once said: “I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moment.”

I know…no surprise…I can really, really relate to that quote…in fact I’ve used it before.  Life was so much easier when your clothes didn’t have to match and boys simply were too weird to even think about.  Now there is so much twirling around in my less then adequate head … preparation for the move …. hope that our little kitten will find a safe and loving home …. people who we are leaving….so many….so wonderful….so interesting…so…well, often…unusual….so talented…. that we will miss….beauty…of surroundings, culture, people and the list goes on and on and on…my brain…such as it is seems to be turning to mush.  Lots I’d like to say….little I can pinpoint before the thought simply drifts or propels itself out of my range of thought.  I mean folks, moving is kind of like stylized performance art, not unlike Kabuki…you just have to take a look at our house now!  I’ve got rhythm but David is finding my methods challenging…I venture to guess.  The idea is to be there (duh), to act as though you know what you are doing (well we all know that ain’t going to happen) while at the same time not yanking strands of hair out of your already thinning scalp.   By the time this is all over I’ll need to find a good wig maker!!

One more post before we hit the road….just a little warning so you might be prepared!!




Close Up




The Days Dwindle Down to a Precious Few
Aug 21st, 2012 by Les

Scott Adams the writer of  Dilbert: “Reality is always controlled by the people who are most insane.”

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”  Albert Einstein

Seriously, I’m a realist with a dash of the absurd….what does that tell you?!

Vanish sprayed into a toilet bowl after each use will keep it fresh, clean and sparkling with little effort.  I’m throwing that out now because, if I don’t, I will forget to share that little tidbit of information with you and this blog will have no meaning.  You see folks there is some validity to Montezuma’s Revenge.  The water here is brown…quite often and our Mexican neighbors get their water, just like we do, from the water delivery people who traverse the streets of Ajijic constantly throughout the course of a day.   Consequently, water sitting anywhere for any length of time will turn things brown.  Reality.

For instance I think … again this is me folks … one must be in touch with various parts of one’s psyche.  Dreams, for instance, allow us to be insane…mischievous, diabolical, brave, fearless, courageous, and hilarious etc.  At night as you lay you’re heady down and Morpheus trundles you off the land of possibilities and, depending upon whether we are in REM sleep (rapid eye movement) or NREM (non-rapid eye movement), we may or may not remember all that goes on – it can be a wonderful journey.  Nightmares are another thing.

I had a psych teacher announce to our class in a voice I will never forget…when dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane (lower your voice and push you chin into your chest while pursing your lips…that’s what he sounded like).  Authoritarian comes to mind.  No stretch there…most of us nodded sagely and thought…wow I really did pick the right major.  Jung, oft quoted by many a psych professional, said show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

Where the heck am I going with this….when David and I first announced it was our intention to move to Mexico…the comment: are you insane, became almost a mantra.  I mean really, what sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?  NOT.

The country is beautiful dear reader.  I can speak from experience as I have to merely look out my windows…the Serra Madre Mountains surround our little village resting peacefully on the shores of Lake Chapala.  Blue skies that make you stop what you are doing and simply gaze upward at puffy clouds hovering just above the mountains which are blessed, this time of year, with emerald green foliage and birds of every type flying hither and yon … this way and that.  Color beyond mere thought…seen in not only the flowers but the vibrancy of the clothing worn by many when yet another parade saunters down our street.  Music … making your toes tap even if you have no rhythm what-so-ever.  The list goes on….

Is it any wonder people from all over the world find themselves enjoying this area of Mexico?  There is a very large artist’s colony here – artists of every make and model.  So much to paint, photograph, sculpt…color lending itself to expressive fabric or jeweled art.  Gentle breezes, sunshine to warm you, a culture that is vibrant and alive to inspire you and words simply fall of the page.

Anthony Newly was heard to exclaim..Stop the world, I want to get off.  Yes, get off right here and have a grand time immersing yourself in the less hectic aspects of life on this planet.

Okay, these are my feelings on life in Mexico as I prepare to leave this place.  Let’s face it, no one is going to do a variorum, like some have done on the Bible or Shakespeare’s written texts, because what I have to say…what I’ve said…carries no depth of meaning…it is simply the ramblings of an askew of center, absurd person living in Mexico and observing life around her.  The very same woman who would spend time trying to find out why her cats won’t go near the ficus.  Or, waking up one morning to find everything so weirdly quiet I find myself wondering if I’ve been left behind by the rapture.

As we leave, we take with us David’s marvelous photography.  Photographs that capture our time here and will, no doubt, feed our memories with sighs, smiles, and reminiscence of a time well spend in a land of beauty, culture, intensity, warmth and so very  much more.

Ebony Kitten Looking for a Home

And again I say….our little ebony kitten needs a home.  We are desperate to find him a place of safety, love and warmth.  He is beyond sweet.  Healthy and active.  Interacts well with our other cats.  Has an Egyptian bearing…not a single speck of white on him and, when his golden eyes shut, you simply can’t find him as he disappears.  Won’t you find it in your heart to give him a home?  Please email me at and time and I will answer all of your questions.  Please think about it.

(BTW, the book Two Americans in Mexico – the Humorous Chronicles is now in this huge and unwieldy manuscript form and, hopefully. will find its way to print/ebook some day soon…be prepared!)

Below are pictures David has taken of flowers in our yard.  Enjoy.





Heavens to Murgatroyd…The Time Draws Near
Aug 11th, 2012 by Les

“Your call is very important to us.  Please enjoy this 50 minute clarinet solo.”

Mark Twain: “When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”

No explanation necessary just be prepared to experience pure terror.  Okay, so I exaggerate…a lot…and often.  I think that may be a prerequisite for someone who writes about basically nothing on a regular basis.  Perhaps it would have been better said if I mentioned I experienced poor terror or David, even.  Three years in Mexico and I drove for the very first time into Guadalajara.  I’m talking the central city….not just the outskirts.  The driving in Guad is third on a list of most difficult places to drive in the world (don’t know how accurate the list was or what the criteria was)..the first two places being Mexico City and Rome.

My thought process in regard to this adventure…if I can drive on the opposite side of the car on the opposite side of the street in Dublin…the countryside in Ireland and England, good grief should I not be able to drive in Guad.  I mean I drove right out of the airport…in Dublin….much to the chagrin of my friend who not 30 minutes after hitting Dublin found herself in the foot well of the passenger seat trying to catch her breath…perhaps trying to pry her eyes open…or maybe not!  I mean, just because we made a wrong turn down one of those ancient narrow streets and this rather large red truck came barreling at us with obviously no intention of slowing down and just because there was absolutely no place to go consequently the rear view mirror on the drivers side of the car (which I might add should have been the passenger side of the car) flew off…was really an over reaction on her part.  I think what really put her over the edge was my maniacal laughter.  Actually, much, much later I told her if I’d have done what I felt like doing…I’d have passed out…much more disconcerting than laughter, don’t you think?!

I know we mentioned driving in our last blog in our “Enjoy” “Found Challenging” lists.  However, this driving experience happened after the blog was published.  Just had to share.

The other night David and I got into a discussion of the Catholic Pope’s…how many there have been and, in particular, what nationality were they.  Of course David was trying to remember what the family name of the 16th century Italian Pope was and couldn’t quite recall.  Out came his trusty iPod.  Using voice recognition he said: “16th century Italian Popes”.   What he got was 16th century Italian Oops and you simply can’t imagine some of the things they brought up under that category.  Now that was amazing!!

A few days ago while at lunch with a few friends one of them, our friend Jan, commented on the reason she and her husband Joe are staying in Mexico.  I asked her if she’d please write her thoughts down for me and this is what she wrote:
It is wonderful living here in our little corner of the world with the best weather one could hope for, the most gracious people who share their lovely village and the amazing expats we have met here.  Mexico is NOT for everyone.  You should come and rent for awhile to learn the area, the customs and the laws (which can sometimes be very confusing).  Like Les has said ” non working traffic lights mean GO/sometimes?” & “donkey’s always have the right of way”.   
Our life here is so much more exciting than if we had stayed in the states.  We lunch every Tuesday with about 20 friends, we go dancing once a week at least with 10-20 friends, we go to the local market “Tianguis”, the local “organic market”, the “hot spring spas” and if that is too much…..we just don’t do anything!
Our deepest appreciation to Les & David for their friendship throughout our adventure to move here.  We wish them THE VERY BEST in their new adventure.

Roadside Chat

Jan & Joe Ritchie

Always on the Alert

Another friend, Stella, sent us some photographs she took while traveling around the Chapala area.  The one to the right gives you a glimpse of some of the interesting driving conditions one may encounter while traveling anywhere throughout Mexico.  Another picture, to the left, is of one of the many “roof dogs” seen and heard throughout any village or town, as well.

Below is a list of medical information/thoughts from David and I.  Hope it is helpful to you.


Found Challenging


Les’s Comments    
Doctors   There are many fine doctors here inMexico.  Most of the doctors have been educated in theUSand are bilingual.  Though I have not seen a doctor while down here, David has seen a doctor.  Speaking as an observer, the doctors we’ve seen are informed, willing to listen and seem to be current on health issues, medicines and medical technology.
Medications   Most medications prescribed in the US, at least as far as I have observed, seem to be available in Mexico.  You will need a prescription for controlled medications.  Controlled medicines are those that are deemed as having a high potential for abuse, such as Tarpon®, Valium® and anabolic steroids. If the word ‘controlado” is used, it means that the drug is controlled and you can not buy it over the counter without a prescription from a recognized and registered Mexican doctor. 
Hospitals   Hospitals inMexicohave long been a safe and affordable health-care alternatives for scores of Americans who cannot afford medical care in theUSA. Be it dental treatments, cosmetic surgery, weight loss procedures, general surgery or any other medical procedure, Mexico is one of the most popular places in terms of catering to US medical tourists.With many private hospitals having secured international accreditations such as JCI and ISO, hospitals inMexicohave also taken several initiatives to attract international patients. Many of these private Mexican hospitals have hired English speaking doctors & supporting medical staff.It is recommended you take a time to tour the various hospitals inGuadalajaraorMexico Cityto get a feel for the type of services they offer.Neither David nor I needed to spend any time in a hospital while down here.  We’ve heard both good and bad comments from people who have stayed in the hospital.  That is, however, the case no matter where you go.
Pharmacies   There are two ‘classes’ of farmacias (pharmacies). The most common is sequnda clase (second class), which is allowed to sell all but regulated medicines. Pharmacies that sell controlled or regulated drugs are referred to as primera clase.  Farmacia Guadalajara is where David and I purchased most of our meds.  It is a huge chain and can be found in most cities.
David’s Comments    
Doctors As everywhere, some doctors care more about their patients than others. One told me ‘you can take my advice, or die. It’s up to you.’ I wasn’t really convinced that those were the only 2 options. The doctor’s know what they are doing. There is no question of that.
Medical Test My experiences with medical testing have been mixed. A simple echo-cardiogram inGuadalajaratook far longer than it should have – even a doctor questioned why it was taking so long. The technician seemed unaware of what she was doing, and kept digging her elbow in to a bandaged leg of mine. Doctors here are very inexpensive. A typical visit to a GP may cost $20US, a specialist coming down fromGuadalajara- $50
Special Comment A routine blood test to detect a possible past heart problem cost $90US. I thought that was a bit high. Dr. Rodriguez at the Ajijic Clinic on the carretera is a find. A wonderful man, kind and caring, with a wide store of knowledge. He is my first choice for everything.
Prescriptions   Prescriptions can be refilled continuously without having to pay for another doctor’s visit.

Now on to David’s wonderful photography…please go to (or paste into your browser) to see some of the photographs David has on-hand…the last chance for anyone who is here to purchase them.  If you are interested in any of them…please email David at and he will make arrangements with you.


Cute Little Guy

Sweet Kitten

On another note….the little kitten who showed up in our yard a month ago is still with us.  By the way, it is a “he” not a “she” hence the….I’m knot a blonde statement (which I am).  After further investigation I have confirmed…it is a little boy.  He is precious and precocious, full of energy, healthy, litter trained and interacts well with other animals…all the while trying to look fierce ..which, I’m afraid he doesn’t carry off well.  His coat is so shiny…almost ebony in color and, when he closes his eyes he disappears.  He needs a home badly and would be a perfect addition to any home.  The place we have leased in South Carolinawill allow two cats and we are bringing three back.  So you see as much as we would like to take him with us…we cannot.  As I mentioned in my last post, the shelters here are dealing with feline leukemia at the moment making leaving him in a shelter not a viable option. Please email me if you are interested in this beautiful little guy.  My email address is

And lastly, some friends (actually, I had no idea we had so many friends and we are both grateful to all of them) of ours are throwing an Adios Meet and Greet for us on Saturday, August 25th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Please see invitation below.  If you are in the area, we’d love to have you join us.




Hosted by:  Ed & Betty Garnett, Michael & Shannon Hodge, Brent & Ava Wilson,

Joe & Jan Ritchie

WHEN:                                    August 25th, 2012          2-4pm

WHERE:                                JUNKY MONKEY PIZZA

                                                      123            Carretera (West Ajijic)

(Approx ½ block West of Fonda Dona Lola Restaurant and Waffle House.  Mountain side.)  (There is a pool supply business next door.  It is right before the man that makes the Equipale chairs.)

Cash Bar will be available for wine, beer and soft drinks.

Pizza snacks will be served.

RSVP to:

They say that every choice you have ever made in your life brings you to the exact moment you are currently living.  Heavens to Murgatroyd…Mexicomight just be for you!  More to come.

The pictures below were taken on a recent trip to Tlaquepaquewith our friends Nick and Stella.

Just Beautiful


Front View of Church




Door Handle


A Beautiful Garden in the Center of Tlaquepaque

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