The movies have now gone from murdering cheerleaders to selling babies. Tell me again why I watch them late at night and then sleep fitfully. But my goal is to watch five movies in Spanish a week in order to hopefully improve my comprehension of the language.
Thank you to my computer guru Laura for once again coming to the rescue. Like I’m not having problems enough adjusting to Windows 11, my taskbar disappeared last night. Of course she instantly found a link and solved my problem. While I love technology it also scares me. But my WIP is safely backed up every night onto not one but two external hard drives.
The weather here is still hot. Many of my friends back in the USA and in Canada are now dealing with that fluffy white stuff and plummeting temperatures. So I won’t complain too loudly that I’m not walking as much as I’d like to right now.
Apparently I can no longer call myself a nomad. I was talking to a friend and he remarked that I’ve gotten into a familiar pattern of dividing my time between Aguascalientes and the upper valley in Washington. And as Christina and Danny often remind me, I now have my forever home in East Wenatchee.
Two events are coming up in Mexico this month. Revolution Day is an official government holiday on November 20th. But the big one is Buen Fin, the Mexican equivalent of Black Friday in the USA. It goes from November 18th-21st.
My Uber awaits and I’m off to Ags Ladies to meet up with my friends. Today is lunch rather than breakfast.
Did you set your clock back last night? Here in Mexico we did it last week. It was bad enough losing two hours when I got here, but now for one week I had to remember who was one hour back or one hour ahead instead of the usual two when I phoned friends up north. Glad that’s over with.
Dia de las muertos has come and gone for another year. The Catrinas have been tucked away and the vendors are nowhere in sight. Some of the bakeries still have pan de los muertos but that’s about it. The parade on Wednesday officially ended the celebrations.
I met friends for a drink last night on Carranzas. That street is always busy. There are lots of bars, coffee shops and restaurants as well as a variety of other shops. It’s a great place for people-watching and practicing my Spanish as I meander in and out of the shops.
I’m now watching Lifetime movies again in an effort to improve my Spanish. The odd one I’ve seen in English before but most are new so it’s a challenge. Some of them are pretty bizarre. I watched one the other night that was about murdering cheerleaders, most conducive to nightmares if there were any teens out there watching.
Apparently I’m not the only one doing any traveling. My driver’s license has been on the move since September when it was sent to me from Winnipeg. It never did arrive in East Wenatchee and has surfaced once again in Winnipeg this week. I’ve told my son to keep it there as sending it here to Mexico is an exercise in futility. I mean, it couldn’t even make it to East Wenatchee so I don’t expect that it would ever find its way to Aguascalientes. Besides, I’m enjoying using my Mexican Costco card as photo ID.
My friends back home tell me the smoke has cleared and the temperatures have cooled. They’ve even had some snow. It’s still in the 80s here and I’m looking forward to it cooling off a little. Of course, they can keep that white stuff up north. I know some of my Mexican friends are excited about snow but I keep telling them I’d rather watch it on the videos my friends put on Facebook than to actually be there and have to contend with it. That one winter in Washington during Covid was more than enough for me.
Speaking of Covid, there aren’t nearly as many masks on the streets here now as there were when I first arrived a month ago. And the shops that had signs up requiring masks are now letting people in without masks although some still have signs up. Yours truly was a bit of a rebel and totally disregarded the signs anyways.
Alexa’s joke today. A grasshopper hops into a bar. The bartender says, “I’m going to serve you a drink named after you.” The grasshopper responds,” You have a drink named ‘Steve’?”
Hopefully this is the last Washington move. One night in Seattle, two nights in Leavenworth, one week in Dryden, four nights in Peshastin and now I’m in East Wenatchee.
I’ve unpacked one of my two suitcases. I got here Sunday evening so that’s not bad. The other suitcase has things like pastels and water colors. No time for that yet.
I went into Leavenworth yesterday for a SAIL class. Higher up in the mountains so it’s cooler and there is still snow. I’ll be going into Leavenworth again on Thursday for another class.
We watched House of Gucci last night. I am so glad I watched it in English. Had I watched it in Spanish in Mexico I would have missed a lot of the little nuances. Great movie and I highly recommend it.
For all my hometown friends in Canada…..you are now two hours ahead of me. That means I won’t be calling as regularly as when I was in Aguascalientes in the same time zone. Apparently Washington has also decided to do away with the time change starting in the fall.
The featured photo is the view from my street. I just can’t get enough of these mountains. Living on the flat Canadian prairies for so many years will do that to you. The mountains in Queretero always remind me of the ones here in Washington.
Things are looking better for traveling to Canada this year. Doing away with Covid tests to enter the country is a start. And Amtrak is going to start running to Vancouver again.
Yesterday was a great day. The 100 degree temperature didn’t even phase me. And three wonderful things happened that day. You may not consider them so wonderful, but to me they were.
I was delighted to find the absolutely perfect backpack I’ve been looking for. I use a backpack as carry-on when I travel as it leaves my hands free. Because I travel internationally often, I carry way too many documents with me, many in three languages. Over the years, this collection has grown, most recently due to the extended stays in two foreign countries as a result of the pandemic. Throw in a laptop, jewelry, medication and a few books and it fills up quickly. I have outgrown my old backpack.
Wonderful thing number two was going to a theater to see a movie rather than watching a movie on Netflix. The big screen, the suuround sound and no masks! Just like BC….Before Covid. In The Heights is a movie I would highly recommend if you enjoy music and dancing.
Wonderful thing number three was the most incredible of the day. Back in March I had retained an attorney to apply for an extended stay due to the Covid situation. My attorney advised that he had received the official approval from Immigration. What a relief!
My mom always used to say that good things happened in threes. That sure was true yesterday.
Saturday is a very different day than it used to be. One cup of coffee with yogurt and granola. Off in an Uber to teach English for a couple of hours.
Another Uber home and off to the carnicería. He grilled the chicken I bought for me. I’d take a walk to the bakery and do any other shopping and then return to pick up my chicken.
After lunch (yes lunchtime was at around 4 pm) I’d head to the church to teach for an hour.
In the evening I’d explore the Expoplaza area. There were always numerous food vendors. I’d watch the children ride around the square on a burro. I’d listen to music and walk through the San Marcos park.
I’d have interesting conversations with people. A handful understood minimal English but it was a great opportunity for me to practice my Spanish.
Occasionally I’d attend a birthday party or another fiesta on a Saturday evening. And there were concerts close by as well.
Saturday now is very different. Lots of time for that second cup of coffee. I can leisurely make an omelet. No rush to get dressed. No reason to call an Uber. No students to teach.
I take two walks a day. One is before it gets too hot and the other is after it cools off in the evening. Daytime highs are in the low 90s.
This is what Expoplaza area looks like now.
I color, I watch movies, I write, I phone friends and I listen to music.
Actually Saturday seems pretty much like every other weekday now.
I don’t like scary movies. I prefer a good comedy or drama. But lately I’ve been watching scary movies here in Mexico. Many are movies I haven’t seen in decades. Of course I watch them in Spanish. And oh the memories they trigger!
I watched Jaws the other day. It was the summer of 1972 when I saw it for the first time. I was in Rochester, Minnesota for a check-up at the Mayo Clinic. I was not looking forward to the tests that would be done in the following days. My boyfriend was with me and he suggested going to a movie to get my mind off everything. So off we went to see Jaws.
Today that movie seems kind of corny. But back then it was something else. Yes I forgot about all the poking and probing that was to come. But I sure didn’t sleep well that night.
This morning I watched Jurassic Park as I sipped my coffee. The first time I watched that one was with my kids. I believe that my daughter was 10 and my son was 13 at the time. While I was terrified, they found the movie quite entertaining and teased me because of my reaction.
I should also mention that at that age one of my daughter’s favorite movies was also Arachnophobia. So this is where I was coming from. I didn’t stand a chance.
Watching movies is a great distraction from COVID-19.
Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Maintain social distancing. Stay at home. This is all great advice for protecting your physical health.
But what about your mental health? What are you doing to protect your mental health?
If you’re self-isolating, you spend a lot of time by yourself. This is a perfect opportunity for your brain to go into overdrive. This results in an unnecessary abundance of fear and anxiety and ultimately panic. Even if you are at home and have other family members with you, the conversation ultimately focuses on COVID-19.
The art of mindfulness and meditation are two techniques that work for me. If I’m coloring I focus on the masterpiece I’m creating. If I’m watching a movie I really listen to the Spanish and am amazed at how much better my comprehension has become.
I meditate with music and imagery. I’ve even gotten back to gazing at the flame of a candle.
I’ve replaced a great deal of my social media viewing with the above-mentioned. When I want the facts about COVID-19 I go to the Mayo Clinic website. I also participate in discussion groups on this site.
I find online Church as well as Bible study to be important. Both are a great way to stay connected. I also find them comforting.
I also spend less time on the phone although I do connect with the my family and close friends more regularly. Just as long as the conversation doesn’t focus completely on the virus.
Quite obviously I’m spending more time writing. Blog posts are every second day. I’m also working on my next book.
I make a point of going out for walks every day. I lose myself in the beauty of nature. So many trees and flowers are beginning to bloom.
I guess you could say I take a lot of time for ME and I highly recommend it.
I don’t usually watch TV often. I much prefer spending time with people. However, seeing as I’m stuck in the twilight zone, I have added TV to the list of my current best friends.
Friday marks the end of my first two weeks self-isolating. Writing and coloring occupy a great deal of my time, but TV is right in there now as well.
Primarily I watch movies in Spanish. But I find the selection here quite heavy in sci-fi, fantasy and horror which I do not enjoy. Martial arts movies are also popular and not my preference either.
As I write this I’m watching Moana. I enjoy the music. My favorite movies are dramas and comedies. But I have also found other interesting programs to watch.
I saw a documentary the other day on ocean life. I went on safari in Africa another time. I learned how not to smuggle cocaine out of Brazil. And I am mastering the art of cooking such delights as swordfish and octopus, not that I will actually prepare either of those dishes LOL.
I’ve always loved cartoons and the Disney channels keep me entertained. And then there is Los Simpsons.
I haven’t yet resorted to watching movies in English on YouTube. But the crystal ball tells me this is definitely a future possibility.
I used to journal on a daily basis. It’s been quite some time since I last journaled. I thought it might be fun right now as I have a lot of time on my hands. I challenged myself to write a two day journal. After all, my friends up north keep asking me what I do all day, now that I’m self-isolating.Sunday March 29thI woke up feeling very refreshed…..until I looked at the clock. 6:42? Who in their right mind gets up at 6:42 on a Sunday? But I was wide awake.That first cup of coffee sure came early. A cinnamon bun and some cheese and I was revived.I checked out Facebook and left a birthday greeting for my daughter. I then shared a blog post. Next came What’s App and email. Finally it was time to relax and play Candy Crush Friends.Then out I went for my morning walk. The jacaranda trees are in bloom and they are my favorites.Social distancing is easy now. The streets are deserted and I believe I only encountered 3 people as I walked through the neighborhood.Back at home I tuned in to Church of the Rock in Winnipeg. The service is broadcast through Facebook as well as on the website. Shortly after I next went to Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene’s website where I listened to Pastor Andy’s final sermon before moving back home to Indiana.Time to color. I tuned in to Fred Penner’s concert using the Facebook link. Great music to color by. I lose myself in the moment when I color and two hours passed by quickly.Lunchtime. My diet has been mainly vegetarian and chicken. Today I had delicious veggies (high in protein) and rice. This was followed by a cup of herbal tea and a pan dulce. I should add that I usually eat my lunch at around 3:30 pm.Seeing as my lavenderia has closed, I now do my own laundry. That was my next task. I had just finished when I got a beep on my phone. My lives on Candy Crush had been refilled!Soon it had cooled off sufficiently to go on my second walk of the day. Once again I saw empty streets.I returned home and my phone calls began. First up was my friend Becky in Shipshewana. We’re Bible study buddies as well as great friends. We had a lot to talk about last night.The next phone call was to my friend Ann in Leavenworth. We reminisced about our dinners on her deck overlooking the river as well as other times spent together. I wonder how long it will be before I can return to Leavenworth.One last check on Facebook for the night where I found a link from Becky. I then spent the next forty minutes watching the church service that her church in Shipshewana had put on the internet.Time to put my phone on the charger for the night. I realized I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Oh well, a bowl of cereal would have to do LOL.Monday March 30I slept a little later this morning so my first cup of coffee wasn’t until 8 am followed by breakfast. I then spent the morning writing and coloring, aside from a short walk outside.In the afternoon I watched a couple of movies. When the beep on my phone announced that my lives had been refilled, there was also an announcement that I had unlimited lives for the entire week. Perfect timing with this self-isolation going on.Then it was time for phone calls. First up was Cheryl in Winnipeg. Cheryl is awaiting a lung transplant and is totally housebound. No visitors allowed. That means no visits from kids or grandkids.I had a fast salad for lunch.Next was a video call to my daughter Kimmy and granddaughter Maddie in Kelowna. Definitely the highlight of my day to see that little munchkin laughing and playing. I wonder how long it will be before I can hold her in my arms again.Time for a walk around the block again. When I got back I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie on TV in English. So I had that on in the background while I colored.A few more games of Candy Crush Friends and time to call it a night.Today was a quieter day but the time still passed quickly. I think I’m adjusting well to this self-isolation.I also think I made the right choice to stay safe here in Mexico. I don’t think there is a country anywhere in the world today that is fully prepared for this pandemic. Mexico is as good a place as any to hunker down and weather the storm.May God help us all.