Sunday, May 1, 2011

Neighbours, birds, trees, birthdays

I had a lovely birthday, courtesy of Carl and some friends. First we went to the spice store, which makes me unaccountable happy.

Then for a long wander on the beach.

Then we spent some time at Pinky's, the pool bar.
My free margarita- Tina makes the best ones in town.

Rosie bought us dinner at Capones.

And then Carl built a fire and we enjoyed our patio.

Our neighbours are a constant in our lives. They are a large family, and I only know some of them. There is Leila the grandmother (or as Carl terms her, Leila the abuela). She is the matriarch and takes care of the whole family. This consists of her two daughters who are baby-making machines, Julia and ...can't remember the other one. They don't seem to have men in the picture. Leila also takes care of various grandkids, cousins, uncles and apparently anyone who happens by.

The kids are the oldest boy, Lalo (Lalo the niƱo to distinguish him from Leila the abuela), Christian who is just at the cute perma-smile age, Pablo the littlest, and of course Diana. Diana's my pal.
Lalo on the wall, Christian on the ground. Sorry about the garbage cans.

Diana gives me little gifts, like a couple of seahorses; every time she sees Shadow, she says, "dog." But she pronounces it in the Spanish way, so it comes out sounding kind of like rogue. Dooog.

She came by the other day with her cellphone, asking if she could charge it. That seemed odd because I know she has electricity at her place. Then she looked around and innocently asked if she could use the computer. Aha! Thought I, that's what she came for. Tricky. Little girl tricky.

Then yesterday she came by to "charge the phone" but we were headed out. So I said, sure! And plugged the phone in, then told her we were leaving. The look on her face said, "Oh, this isn't going the way I wanted at all!" Never one to leave an opportunity unappropriated she asked for a soda (I still call them pops, I'm not that Americanized, but Mexicans call them sodas).

When we got back, she decided to just come over and ask to use the computer. Much simpler really. After she finished, (we had cooked a ham and the house smelled great), she said, um Melody can I make a sandwich? I said sure, and gave her enough ham for a thick sandwich. She asked for mayonesa and a tomato. I went back to the kitchen a few minutes later to help her clean up, and she had two sandwiches about 2" thick. She stacked them up, barely able to hold them in two hands, said thanks and left. I don't know how she made sandwiches that thick out of what I gave her, but she seemed happy.

The other member of the household who makes an appearance often is Andreas. Or that's what we call him, they call him Che-che and his name is Jose. How we got Andreas I'm not sure. He speaks English pretty well. He had been asking for money too often, and he's 22 years old, so a while ago I gave him the "you're 22, you have to start being a man and make your own money" speech.

He didn't show up for months. Then out of the blue he showed up on Thursday. He wanted money for a skateboard. He was all clean-shaven and dressed nice, so I told him I'd give him some work to earn the money. He sullenly helped Carl trim the palm tree, then Andreas and I drove off to find the guy with the skateboard. He wasn't there, so I gave Andreas the generous amount I was paying him to work for us, and told him to find a good deal.

The next day he came by and said he needed more money to buy a skateboard, he had wasted all the money I gave him. I told him NO. He may or may not be back, but if he does come back he's going to get the 'be responsible for yourself and your life' lecture.

Here is an arch Carl spotted at a segunda(yard sale). I think we  got a good deal on the arch and bench, about 1380 pesos or about $110.  Canadians, is that a good deal?

It's going to go against the house wall, then there will be lattice from the house to the garage, effectively giving us a second private yard area by the guesthouse, with an arch entry.
I thought these looked cool standing against the garage wall.

A few shots from our beach walk this morning.

The beach is shockingly crowded!
Dramatic splashing.

Two American Oystercatchers. Cool birds.

My boy. Handsome fella.

We found this Taz remnant.

This is what our office looks like now. We bought red energy saving curtains which block out a lot of the light and make our office into a cozy red cave.


  1. Awesome.....don't let the "Natives" get away with anything :p

  2. You make me miss Mexico so..oh much. Now about that lovely bench, move it to the right get rid of the green plastic chairs and put a nice big clay pot full of orange bougainvillea on either side of it. Trust me... I'm Gay, it will look fabulous.

  3. Thanks, Bill. Your fabulous aesthetic will be our guiding star. So far nothing's in place at all. Heck, it's not even going to stay that colour. Hopefully you'll still respect us in the morning. ;^)

  4. Love it, Bill, we're with you!

  5. Yep, that looks like a pretty good birthday to me!
    Your neighbours kill me. Diana looking for any excuse to get into your house and making herself sandwiches and Andreas/Che Che/Jose squandering his money then asking for more - too funny!
    I was gonna say that I love your new bench, (Yes! Excellent deal!) but I'm not crazy about the colour and it needs some bougainvillea climbing up the sides of it...looks like you've got that all covered though. Of course, if that doesn't work out, I think it will also look nice in our front yard against the new wall.

  6. Yes, we're debating the color of arch, bench and lattice. Either a sort of sand color to match the house, or the dark brown of the wood above our windows. Probably the dark brown.

  7. Looks wonderful Mel. Sounds like a fabulous birthday. Makes me envious every time I see the pictures! Kids can be sneaky!

  8. What a great birthday. I love your smile in the spice store and the groovy red curtains in your office. Is it the same Grandma who we celebrated with when I was there?

  9. Thanks, Kerri, you have GOT to make your way down here sometime. Thanks to Rhonda too! It's not the same grandma - we never see her, this is the one to the right as you go out the front door.

  10. I love the arch and the bench, Melody, and I think that you got a good deal. It sounds like you and Carl are having a great time as usual. Kenny and I hope to make it down there next October, not this year as I am off to Italy with Maria in September. Take care,

  11. Sounds like fun, Donna, say hi to Maria for me. We'll still be down here in 2012. Looking forward to your visit.

  12. Happy belated Birthday Mel!! Everything looks great.
    Kids these days--it amazes me how similar kids are--no matter where they are raised (the money story reminds me of something Greg would have done!!)

  13. Thanks, Jen! Yep, they are all pretty similar-thanks for reminding me of that! Cruise was good?

  14. Why don't I have your birthday in my datebook? Looks like you had a good one and it's kinda late to wish you well but then again...HAPPY B-DAY!! Carol

  15. Thanks, Carol!! I don't think I have your birthday in my datebook either, but I don't think that makes us bad friends. How are you and big G?