Funny Money

Okay .. the best way to exchange $$ for pesos (or most any currencies) is at the good old ATM.

Driving south to Loreto, I stopped – as usual – at the ATM in Ensenada, although admittedly, at a different location

Think it was the Bank of Nova Scotia – or something like that.  I should already have been wary.

Dutifully, I pushed my card into the slot, entered password, agreed to pay the service fee, entered the amount I wanted to exchange – $400 US … and what pops out?  Not the expected pesos, but $400 USD.

I stood staring at the machine in disbelief, and of course, it couldn’t talk back to me, couldn’t answer my questions.

Why had a Mexican bank given me US dollars????  Guess I will never have the answer, but it did force me to wait another day to withdraw – this time to peso success!

Go figure .. part of the adventure of every day living.  🙂

Trouble in Paradise

Doves' Nest in shelter of palm outside my window

Wow .. Knock me over with a 2×4.  I’ve just experience the worst of gringo hubris

While away, my neighbors – Roger Calvin and Susan Gordon – went to the Municipality and got a permit to clear cut the narrow canopy of foliage that had been planted in the community walkway next to my house.  The foliage was a bird habitat, provided a modicom of privacy and shade.  The reason for their permit (as presented) was to access the beach with their boats – while there is a new, wider, smoother, firmer access 1/2 block to the south.

The act was vicious and cruel, and taken while I was in the United States.  I replied to an email request to trim the tree on the front, that I would arrive on Friday and would take care of it – bring it down to the roof level of the house.  Knowing that I would remain absent, they rushed the process … and now, all is gone ..

Hubris ..

To them I say :

Without understanding the value of habitat – shade, oxygen, shelter and food sources, you clear cut a narrow habitat.

You never saw the doves nest, repeatedly, and the tiny birds fledged from the tree outside my bedroom window.

You never heard the finches and sparrows as they fluttered inside the tree to keep cool under the burning sun.

You never saw the cardinals dance on top of the branches, their flashy yellow bodies like golden arrows in the morning light.

You never witnessed the ruby throated hummingbird flittering from golden flower to golden flower.

You never experienced the woodpeckers chattering, bouncing, tree to tree.

You never saw the butterflies, the mariposas, fanning themselves in the shade .. again, shelter from the brutal sun.

You just arrived, stripped away a greenbelt, and  removed a narrow canopy of privacy.

Cynthia Comes North

"Chef-tess" Cynthia Wagstaff

I got lucky.  I haven’t been able to get south for a while – business and personal stuff have my ankles shackled to the motherland …. But in the midst, my friend from San Juanico, Cynthia Wagstaff, came north to visit her daughter and stay with me for a few days in Laguna.  We walked the beaches, watched the sunset from the Rooftop at k’ya, filled our tummies with delights from Micheal Kang’s 5′ Restaurant, and wrote, talked, laughed and enjoyed being friends and women.

Before she left, she volunteered to cook for a party we threw together for her to meet some of our friends.  Fish tacos was the menu of choice – what else for Baja devotees?  Along with the amazing tacos, she prepared salsa fresca, a yummy guacamole with pomegranate seeds, and a special sauce for the tacos.  We ate like kings!  Guests included Racheal & Brett who own a home in Cabo and are moving south for a couple of months, Carlos & his girlfriend Sara from Florida, Michael and Janet, and Cathy.

Good friends. Good food.  Good conversation.  Sunset from the deck.  A perfect southern California evening.

Rough Day at the Office

Hard Day at the Office

It’s a challenge, but somebody’s got to do it!  Love seeing my neighbors gather on the sand spit, revealed only during lunar dragged low tides.  All it takes is a beach chair, a cool drink and a gathering of friends .. and voila!  A new version of the office water cooler.

We should all find ways to spend more time like this.  It feeds the soul, the heart, the mind .. and rejuvenates our energies for other challenges.