Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Resolving to do something (anything) as part of some silly New Year's Eve proclamation of intent has never worked for me. It's not that I don't get things done. It's that making unrealistic promises to myself, such as "I'm getting off sugar"just sets me up for failure. I'm NOT giving up sugar. I will honestly try to reduce my consumption, but there's simply no way I'm giving up chocolate. At this stage of life, I'm not going to deprive myself of such little pleasures even if it shaves a few days or months off my lifespan. I mean, isn't dark chocolate healthy? Like red wine?

However, there are some things I (we) need to get done in the coming year. So, I resolve to make the best attempt that I (we) can to:
  • Starting one room at a time, go through every closet and drawer, emptying and boxing all but non-essential items.
  • Have a huge yard sale to try and make a few bucks off another man's treasure.
  • Anything not sold goes to Good Will.
  • This is a BIG one - sell a condo that we own, even if it means taking a hit. Like everywhere, prices have gone down -WAY down. 
  • Plan for an estate sale when we have a firm date for moving to Mérida. We have a few nice antique pieces that someone else can enjoy for years to come. Upholstered furniture (thanks to los dos perros y el gato) will probably go to Good Will, unless someone wants to go to the expense of re-upholstering or slipcovering. It's good stuff, just worn.
  • Pray - every day - that the Tampa to Progreso ferry becomes a reality in 2012.
  • Complete the photography course (so far, I've finished 3 of 12 modules with fairly good success)
  • Work diligently on Español                  

Friday, December 16, 2011

New York Times - 36 Hours in Mérida

Pastel mansion
photo with point & shoot Jan 2011

Elisabeth Malkin spent 36 hours in Mérida and managed to pack quite a bit into her brief visit to our city. The 3/4-page article appeared in the December 4th issue of The New York Times. One has to agree that such a prominent spread in the Times is not to be taken lightly. Three colorful photos at the top of the page include a table full of food at Chaya Maya, a folk dance presentation, and a group of people bicycling on the Paseo de Montejo. She describes Mérida as "a languid city of pastel mansions and evening promenades"and states that "the city, now one of the safest in Mexico, is an architectural jewel."

I couldn't agree more. In fact, it has been said that Mérida is THE safest city in Mexico.
Will a feature article in the Times generate increased tourism? Let's hope so. Tourist dollars are good for Mérida and for Mexico. Narco violence has taken a toll on the tourism industry and without help from sources like Nancy's blog The Truth About Mexico  (Mazatlán) and videos like the one below, Mexico will continue to suffer. I found this video on You-Tube and it had only 118 views. Feel free to help spread the message.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My first "submitted photo"

The first module of my photography course consisted of ten photo-shoot scenarios, in which I had to pick from a list of  photography equipment, lenses, etc., and defend my choices. The second module assignment was more technical. I actually had to use my camera for four exercises, all on manual mode, that included various aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings. I then had to describe the changes observed in each photo as the settings were changed. I spent almost an entire day working on this assignment, which also included a photograph of an "object" from around the house. It was to be simple, yet artistic. My first try was a shot of an interesting bottle of men's cologne sitting on top of the toilet tank, along with a small burning candle. I suppose the title would have been "toilet water." Not good. I then thought of shooting a scene that appeared to be black and white but was actually shot in color. Below is my submission.

Espresso with slice of lemon and morning paper

My tutors comment: "Very cool, looks like a shot from some old 40's detective movie." I can't say that was the intention, but hey, I'll accept his observation. I suppose the headline about gunfire prompted his association with a detective movie. I was thinking more along the lines of contradiction - something as innocent and relaxing as an espresso alongside the harsh reality of the morning's headline.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Catedral de San Ildefonso makes it on "The Dish"

While browsing one of my favorite political blogs from the past (I say past because I no longer have much interest in US politics),  I was surprised to see a photo of the cathedral in "The View From Your Window" feature of Andrew Sullivan's blog, The Dish.  Scroll down the page on the link for December 3 and you will see the photo. There is an ongoing contest to see which photos are published and eventually make it to a nice coffee table photo book.

There's something a little strange about the photo. Can you see anything unusual? I'm a little curious to know who might have submitted the photo. Could it possibly be that Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco snapped the shot from the balcony of the Palacio del Gobierno? After all, it would be the view from HER window.  It's doubtful, with her tremendous responsibilities, that she would have the time for such trivialities.  I've been tempted to submit something from Mérida but now someone has beat me to it. Congratulations to the anonymous submitter.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Doña Tere's, coffee beans, viveros & random photos

Just more of my random shots

One of the nice things about meeting new friends in Mérida, especially those who have lived here for a while, is that you learn about some really good places to shop or eat that are off the beaten path and that would take some time to discover on your own. One such place is Doña Tere's, a favorite Santa Ana cocina economica, which has been featured in Yucatan Living. Besides the fact that we can walk out our front door and be there in less than two minutes, the food really is quite good - simple, yet flavorful, home-cooking. Just order from the blackboard, grab a cold soda or bottle of water from the fridge, and you are quickly served a bowl of black bean soup, the entree (usually chicken or pork), a serving of rice, several slices of fresh lime and pepper and a bowl of warm tortillas. All for about 25-35 pesos, depending on whether you order the half serving or the whole serving. I ordered the half serving on two occasions and walked away completely satisfied. Try to get there before 2:00PM as this is a favorite eating spot for students and albañiles working in the area.

Another great find was a shop- in Itzimná I believe- that sells fresh roasted coffee beans from Chiapas.  It is imperative to be able to find good coffee, because it is doubtful that we will be able to get shipments from Nespresso to Mexico.  Plus, we should be supporting the Mexican economy now that this will be our new home. I don't have the exact address but will be happy to find it if anyone is interested.

Ruben accompanied me to a couple of viveros (nurseries) where I purchased some new plants for the garden. Both were just a short drive from the Centro and the prices were considerably cheaper than similar size containers in the US.  Now I just have to learn which plants are not targets of the infamous leaf-cutter ants.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to school

In the past I've said that I am done with school. No more studying, exams or writing papers. No more prodding myself to remain disciplined and focused. When I retired, it would mean pursuing only those things I deemed to be fun, interesting and without deadlines or proficiency requirements. No more yearly competency exams ( the same dozen or so modules with the same test questions year after year ) required for my job. I would be free to ignite my long suppressed creative energies. It can be difficult to allow those energies to surface, even when needed to help alleviate the stress,  if saddled with a highly stressful job that can leave one so completely drained that days off and brief vacations are needed to simply recover.

Two years ago, when I decided to cut back on my job to half time, I began to dabble in painting with acrylics. I never had any professional training, just a desire to see what I could accomplish trying my hand at abstract pieces. I've found painting to be fun and relaxing, although I'm not so certain that I'm really any good at it, outside of a decent understanding of color and texture.  I'll continue painting when we get to Mérida on a permanent basis, but I've also uncovered an old dream of learning photography.

I finally purchased a decent digital single-lens reflex camera which is a huge step up from our old point and shoot camera. A highly rated DSLR, the T2i is not a professional camera but is quite good for a "serious" hobbyist. A good camera is needed for exceptional photography although the essential ingredient is the artistic ability of the photographer. My artistic nature, long dormant, has begun to surface and I am excited about photography. However, the mechanics of digital or film photography is about as foreign to me as quantum physics.  Canon T2i for Dummies is not sufficient to teach me all that I need to know

Enter The Photography Institute. I'm possibly in over my head, but I enrolled in a 24-week course in professional photography. It's online, so I can pace myself and take up to a year if needed to complete the course. This will most likely slow down my blogging, but I should have some interesting photos to share from time to time. And I might even discover a way to make a little income when we finally get to the Yucatán. You know, enough for a little travel to places like Palenque or Xalapa.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The waning days of Autumn

Fall is a beautiful time of the year in Virginia. The light is spectacular and the colors amazing. The brilliant gold of the incomparable ginkgo now lies mostly on the ground. The drab gray days of winter will soon be here and I will dream of warm, sunny days in the Yucatán.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Living in Mexico

When we tell friends and colleagues that we will soon be retiring and moving to Mérida, the reaction is usually "that's wonderful!" "Where IS that?" and "why Mexico?" What I want to say, but don't, is that "you probably wouldn't understand  unless you've been there." Most of our professional colleagues are younger, upwardly mobile suburbanites with children, new homes and vacation dreams of ski resorts and luxury cruises to tropical islands in the Caribbean.

Not that there is anything wrong with all of that, but those kinds of places have never been on our radar.
Give us fascinating history, glorious architecture, diversity and a rich cultural heritage. Our first visit to Mexico was a few years ago when we visited two friends who were staying the winter in the wonderful colonial city of Oaxaca. Arriving late at night, as our taxi drove us through the dark, deserted streets of the city, we were both thinking that this would not be a place where we would feel safe. We met our friends, settled in for the night and when the morning greeted us with bright sunlight, we discovered what so many others before us had found. We began to dream of moving there and living in one of the old colonial homes. Once back home in Virginia, we realized that this was not the time and Oaxaca was not the place for this dream to materialize.

Fast forward a few years to Mérida. We began the research a year before actually visiting the city, using the internet to read everything that had ever been written about Mérida and the Yucatán peninsula. We discovered all the good things people had to say as well as 'more than we needed to know' about an unfortunate situation within the expat community. Through the various blogs, however, we started getting to know some of these folks and discovered the valuable and useful information they have shared about their lives in Mexico. They are truthful about the difficulties of living as a foreigner in this country, but also marvel at the opportunity to be a part of this magical place. Were it not for these bloggers, who chronicle their daily lives in Mérida and other cities across Mexico and who tell the truth about Mexico,  our decision to make this huge transition might not have been made. It is with anticipation and great joy that we have begun this journey. Hopefully, along the way, other potential wanderers will read of magic and truth in these pages and strike out on a similar journey.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buying unrefrigerated eggs

We bought our very first eggs from the small supermarket on calle 60.  We've read quite a few comments on various blogs about the fact that, in the Yucatán, eggs are not refrigerated prior to selling. We eyed the shelf displaying eggs in the typical container, without a top, sealed with a clear wrap. I noticed a few people picking up the carton of a dozen eggs and reading a label attached to the package. I assumed they were checking the expiration date. On further inspection I realized that the date (fecho) on the carton was the date the eggs were packaged and presumably hopefully laid. I say this because the dates on various cartons were anywhere from one to three days prior to the current date. I picked a carton with the previous day's date (the freshest), we finished shopping and headed home.

How could millions of people in Mexico eat these unrefrigerated eggs day after day without some horrendous gastrointestinal disturbance? From what I've read about this issue, once you refrigerate them, keep them that way. If out at room temperature for more than a couple of hours, the eggs will sweat and this allows bacteria to enter the egg through the shell.  Look for a date no more than three days from the current date and you should be fine.

By the way, the eggs had a deep golden yolk, tasted fresh, and were delicious.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Taking the bus in Mérida

Last week we joined a friend for lunch at a favorite local restaurant in Campestre, a Fraccionamiento on the north side of Mérida. We called Juan, our trusted taxi driver and Spanish teacher, to drive us to the restaurant. I say Spanish teacher because he will ask us a question in his fairly good English and when one of us answers, he repeats the answer in Spanish and then waits for us to speak. He'll be driving along and will read a sign out loud and then wait for an answer. I've teased him that we should come down for a month and pay him to drive us around all day teaching Spanish while he practices his English.

After lunch we decided to take a bus back home and asked our friend how to go about selecting the correct bus. Her response was that most of the buses heading south pass through the Centro. She then demonstrated  how to stand at the edge of the street, extend an arm outward as if hailing a taxi, and have an earnest look on your face in order to convey that you intend to get on that particular bus. Hey, it works. For six pesos ($0.45) the bus took us within about three blocks of our house. The cost is a small fraction of a taxi ride and because most locals take the bus, one is certain to pass by every few minutes.  In addition, the ride is more comfortable than sitting in the back seat of one of those mini-size  taxis.

Thursday, mid-afternoon, I remembered that I needed to get to a fabric store to get either pillow inserts or the Poly-Fil to "do-it-myself." I was told that there was a large fabric store just past the new underpass on Paseo de Montejo. I walked over to calle 60, extended my arm and with an earnest look on my face, hailed the next bus headed north. I took a seat and rode for a while when I suddenly realized that this bus was not going where I needed to go. As the bus approached a stop light, I saw a sign for Prolongación  Montejo to the right. I stepped off the bus, headed east and after about three blocks, as luck (or fate)  would have it, ended up on the north side of the underpass and just a few blocks more to the fabric store.

"Do-it-myself" Poly-Fil in hand, I saw a bus headed for the Centro and jumped on. This time it was standing room only and I was carrying three meters of Poly-Fil that I had stuffed into a rather small plastic bag. Holding on to that bag with the other arm extended overhead grasping the hand rail for support was a little tricky. When the bus finally stopped downtown, everyone got off but me. The driver looked back as if to ask why I was still waiting and simply said "Centro" which meant I should get off.  I had no idea where we were and did not recognize the street, but I got off and started walking - even numbers north and south, odd numbered streets east and west.

Several blocks later ( I lost count), walking in a very gusty late afternoon breeze, I made it home where I had a glass of tea and stuffed my pillows, knowing that I must  re-read Yucatan Living's article Taking the Bus in Merida -2.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Colonial facades in Mérida

There are many beautifully restored colonial and mid-century modern homes in the Centro, but there are also homes that are abandoned and neglected.  The variously colored facades are nice to look at , but I find that some  of the homes which have not been restored exhibit their own special color, texture and beauty. They can provide an interesting subject for the photographer. Layers of peeling paint can expose a myriad of soft, faded colors and crumbling plaster reveals interesting spots of exposed mamposteria, the thick limestone walls which defy destruction in this intense tropical climate.
All images taken in Santiago. I think these all were abandoned homes, but if someone is living inside,  please excuse the intrusion.  Double click on image for a larger view.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Latin American Bloggers Conference

Rubber tree leaf from Alberto's
Close-up, simplicity, eliminating the unnecessary
Search engine optimization, tight focus, 1-2-3 photography, "work the scene", editing software, monetizing. We spent an entire day of our brief and valuable time in Mérida at the 4th Annual Latin American Bloggers Conference. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Not only did we receive useful information and tips on a variety of topics related to blogging, the icing on the cake was the opportunity to meet many wonderful fellow bloggers from Yucatán and at least one other state ( Mazatlán, Sinaloa).  I can say in all sincerity that it was a pleasure to meet everyone. Newcomers were warmly welcomed into this diverse community of bloggers and lovers of Mexico.

The day began with a few of the attendees meeting for the breakfast buffet at Cafe Chocolate, a popular eatery for expats and locals. As soon as we sat down at our table we met Debbie and Malcom from Virginia Beach, who are now living out at the beach near Progresso. It is indeed a small world.  There are a few other expats from our corner of Virginia and we hope to meet them as well.

The morning session consisted of Marc's presentation on enhancing your blog site with great photography, a presentation by Barry on a useful editing software that can be used to set up the post and  directly publish to the blog site, and a panel of eight or so bloggers who answered questions and offered advice.

After lunch we divided into two groups, Blogger and Wordpress, then shared information and received tips from some of the more experienced bloggers. The day passed quickly and, truth be told, we were a little tired after absorbing so much information. The evening was pleasant, a couple of friends dropped by for a brief visit, and we ended our day with a walk to Gran Plaza for our favorite sorbete.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back home to Mérida

After what seems like a long, ho-hum summer, we are finally back home for a visit. If "back home" sounds a little strange, well.... it is. We are not yet here permanently, but coming for one of our semi-frequent visits seems like coming home. After a long 12-hour day in three airplanes and four airports, we arrived in Mérida at 7:53 PM. Our flight from Houston departed IAH at 6:40 PM, so we arrived in just over an hour although the flight time is approximately two hours. This is all thanks to Mexico for initiating Daylight Savings Time a couple of weeks before the United States. DST fools the mind but not the body.

We had been in the house about 15 or 20 minutes when Alan suddenly noticed that these two mirrors were missing from the front sala. We've been burglarized, I exclaimed!  We were puzzled that nothing else appeared to be missing. I immediately placed a call to Ruben, our faithful and extraordinary property manager. Oh, the mirror to the left of the entrance door fell and the glass was broken. He had removed the other mirror and had taken both to a repairman to attach a heavier guage wire and brackets.  I will need to speak with the owners of the store where the mirrors were purchased. An employee of the store installed them and one would assume that it would be done properly.

After we calmed down a bit, we headed out for a late dinner. We ended up at a new Taco place down at Calle 60 y 59.  I can't remember the name, but something about "spinning top" (La Trompo??).  These are not your Tex-Mex tacos, but Yucatecan style and quite good.

Full stomach, fresh linens on a comfortable bed - all we needed for a good night's sleep..

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feet Be Ready

Only 8 more days and we'll be arriving in Mérida around 9 PM and then a brief ride in a taxi will find us at home on Calle 47-A.  Alan hasn't been down since May and I was last there in hot July.  We are anxious to see how the house has fared during this intense rainy season. Is the tropical foliage green and lush? Have weeds overtaken the rock covered garden areas? Hopefully, the gardener, who comes about every two weeks, has done much of the work.  What about inside? Have there been any leaks and has the paint begun peeling? The previous owners had said that yearly touch-up painting is necessary. That means we still have until February.

Has the issue with CFE (the electric company) been resolved? A more thorough explanation will be forthcoming, but let's just say that a bill was mailed to our address, in the previous owner's name, for the period from September, 2010 through June, 2011 in the amount of 35,000 pesos (at today's rate 2,582 USD). We  bought the home in February, 2011, but did not change the account to our name because they were staying until the middle of April and there was no meter. They were being billed a flat monthly rate (or so they thought), so we left the account in their name until around May 1.  A new meter was finally installed either in June or early July. It seems that CFE decided to estimate their monthly usage ( most likely based on the fact that there are seven mini-split units in the house) and back-bill for all those months. We were instructed to pay the bill within 10 days, or what? I'm assuming it means that they will stop electric service. I placed a call to the previous owner and he is filing a complaint with CFE. His final statement indicated that the account was paid in full. I instructed our property manager to pay the May-June amount, which is our responsibility, and we will wait to see what happens. Oh yes, the reason they had no meter was because the original meter was faulty and they would lose electricity for 4-5 hours every day. It took CFE over 10 months to replace the meter. I was going to save this story for another time, when the issue has been resolved, but this is as much as I know right now. I'm keeping fingers crossed that we have electricity when we arrive on 1 November.

About the feet. For the past year I have endured a fairly severe plantar fasciitis. Essentially this means that the plantar tendon is inflamed and causes pain in the heel and arch of the foot. Standing on hard floors for long periods (as I often do at work) results in my feet feeling as though I have badly bruised them by jumping on hard rocks. I hobble to my car in the parking garage wondering if I will ever be able to walk again without pain. Sitting for long periods and sleeping also result in pain on arising, which dissipates after an hour or so. When I was in Mérida in July,  I was not able to do much walking. Just going from the house over to the Paseo Montejo or to Plaza Grande was very uncomfortable.

Long story short, I finally saw a podiatrist who started me on stretching exercises, arch supports, icing the feet nightly and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. I saw him today and told him I would be in Mexico for 10 days, so we decided that an injection of steroids into each heel would be in order (it didn't hurt as much as I anticipated). Here's hoping I will be able to walk as much as I like for our entire stay.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ocean View - October 16, 2011

There are times when a late afternoon stroll on a nearby beach is just what's needed to clear the head and quiet the mind.

The cure for anything is salt water --sweat,  tears, or the sea.
        Isak Dinesen

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Owl- omen or nature's pest control

Supposed home of the owls
When we purchased our home in Mérida, it came with a name - Casa de Las Lechuzas (Home of the Owls). We were told by the previous owners that a family of owls had found a home at the top of an old water tower at the rear of the property and we have, indeed, spotted them each time we have been in Mérida. When we first saw the word lechuzas, we did not know the meaning, so a Google search led us to discover that in certain Latin American  cultures the owl has a sinister side - something about witches turning into lechuzas and people dying. We are not solidly on the superstitious side, as others might be, so just in case, we will not be placing a sign on the facade of our house proclaiming its name. Don't want to scare any one away.

We have, however, decided that having owls around offers some welcome benefits. For one thing, owls are carnivorous scavengers, preying on insects and small animals such as mice, rats and rabbits.(Reminder:  keep small cat inside at night - dogs ok, too large to fall prey - do not adopt a mini-anything). This is a good thing because we have no neighbors on either side and I can only imagine how the back yards are overgrown with weeds and littered with crumbling plaster.  Now that I think about it, we have seen no mice, rats, or hares, and about the only insects around are those tiny mosquitoes that seem to be everywhere. I've read other blogs complaining of the voluminous ant infestations, but we have seen only a few ants here and there. Not sure why that is, but I doubt that ants are on the owl's menu. It would be nice to have an iguana or two, but are they not tasty to owls (I've read that certain albañiles have been known to capture one while working on an expat's house)?

all images Hassle-Free ClipArt

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just in time for Halloween

I have noticed an abundance of spider webs all around my house in Virginia, walking head first into the ones hanging from tree branches. They have also been nesting in the shrubbery. The other day I walked out the front door and this guy was poised, just between the porch and the door frame, patiently waiting  to trick an unsuspecting somebody into becoming a treat.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - a political post

The 99% vs the 1%.  A movement is underway in the United States which could become a revolution.  Unlike the Viet Nam War protests, mostly played out on university campuses, Occupy Wall Street is happening in cities and towns all over the country. What began on the real Wall Street, in New York City,  is blossoming and the powerful are starting to feel concerned. This unrest is unlike the Tea Party movement which advocates a return to 18th century utopia where everyone carries a gun, taxes are unrealistically low, gay people simply disappear, and a constitutional government sits in the halls of Congress and does very little in the way of governing. Gimme my liberty back, but don't you dare touch my socialist security check or my government-paid prescription plan. Occupy Wall Street does not yet have a leader, nor does it have a clearly articulated message, but getting Wall Street Banks and corporate America out of politics seems to be the primary focus. The buy-out and control of both Democrats and Republicans with large corporate donations, to fund multi-million dollar campaigns and influence legislation, is at the root of the problem - power, greed, and capitalism gone awry and lawmakers unwilling to let go of unjustifiable ideological positions for the good of the people.

Here is a sane and rational description by a leading economist.

The opinion expressed here is my own and is not intended to provoke, harass, or
sway the leanings of you right-fielders. Comments, whether agreeing or disagreeing, are welcome.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who dat? Saints and Méridanos

New Orleans Saints

Panama City Beach, FL
photo courtesy Dean Galloway 2004
Oyster Po'Boy
New Orleans
I had heard, but forgotten until recently, that Mérida and New Orleans are sister cities. New Orleans happens to be my favorite city in the United States and most likely one of the reasons we were drawn to the Centro in Mérida which, in many ways,  reminds us of the French Quarter.  To demonstrate solidarity, Mérida officially celebrated the New Orleans Saint's Super Bowl victory in 2010. Actually, Mérida maintains sister city status with 12 other cities throughout the world, including the Mérida in Spain and the one in Venezuela. On November 13, 2003, Panama City, Florida (where Alan and I lived for 10 years) came on board. Like the Yucatán , PCB has miles of beautiful white sand beaches and some of the world's most delicious oysters and seafood.

In Florida, we lived three blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. In Virginia, it's a 20-minute drive to the Atlantic Ocean and in Mérida we are about 25 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. We have never lived right on the beach, but both of us have always lived near water. The thought of being land-locked  causes me to feel slightly claustrophobic.

other images from Google

Monday, October 3, 2011

Attention all you Divas

There's more than one way to tango, and apparently it only takes a diva. I discovered Tango Diva by accident and couldn't help but wonder if our own Yucatango has seen this site, which states:

They inspire, conquer, and transform; are fearless and leave lasting impressions. . .

Feeling left out all you men out there? Don't fret. There is an annual "Diva Man Issue."

I looked a little further to see if,  in all of their travels, the Yucatán was mentioned. All I found was this review of a luxury hotel in Tulum. 

Maybe I associate the word 'Diva' with women like Madonna, Diana Ross, J-Lo, Shakira, or Lady Gaga.  I don't think it takes a "diva" to inspire, conquer, and transform, or to be fearless and leave a lasting impression, but if so, that would make Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, and hundreds more women...divas.

I'm perfectly content being a non-Man Diva, thank you.

Wait! I'm a non-Man Diva.
That's D-I-V-A

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spring Has Sprung, Fall Has Fell...

Winter's coming, and it's cold as .... usual. I saw a tee shirt with that logo and I wish I had it! Actually, we've had no fall to fell, so far, in Virginia. The high today was 58F with a low of 45F expected. That is not all that cold, but it sure feels like winter to me. If this keeps up, 90F in Mérida will feel very nice. The weather is consistently fickle in southeastern Virginia (even without climate change) and we occasionally have a year with what seems like only two seasons - hot and cold. One thing we've had in common with Mérida this year is heat and humidity. It's almost as if we have been living in a cloud for the past few weeks. Hurricane Irene brought over 10 inches of rain and it seems as if it hasn't stopped.

Speaking of climate change; we no longer refer to it as global warming - too Al Gore or too scary for many people?

Here is an excerpt from a DC Poetry Slam piece by "2Deep the Poetess."

...Enchanted by the thought that she [Mother Nature] will
images from Google
always be there for you
There will be no lullabies to calves
Or education to angel fish
as the schools are empty below the sea
Which is rising,
Turning continents into Stationary
As they too
Never saw the iceberg
Because it was rising at their ankles...
--From Mother's Nature, by "2Deep the Poetess"