Tag Archives: Mexico

Animal Updates

Since we are trying hard-core to socially distance ourselves, our only regular companions these days are our animal buddies. Those of you with pets will understand how much comfort furry friends provide. Those of you who don’t, ought to adopt yourself a fuzz-buddy or two. The pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, vaccine or no vaccine, and neither should you. Having some four-footed company will keep away the quarantine blues.

Fred and George Pupper are in the doghouse. Mostly Fred. One day last week my husband didn’t latch the gate correctly. Fred swooped in and caught two of the three rabbits housed in the back. We are assuming he thought they were large rats. Fred is an excellent rat catcher. Cocoa witnessed Fred’s transformation from fun-loving friend to killing machine and is still a bit traumatized by it all. Anyway, Fred must be tied until something is done with the final rabbit. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.  

We finally rehomed Terry. He has a bigger play yard and seems happy enough. He’s the only dog there, which he really needed to be with his dominance issues. Four dogs were too many for our little compound.

We had a bit of drama with Fuzz. Someone (my husband) left the front door open and Fuzz strolled out. There were people having clandestine family gatherings on our road, at least two groups. Well, one of the groups decided to take Fuzz with them when they left. He’s been cat-napped and we are so sad. We are still a bit in shock. I mean, after going through two near-death experiences and the deworming process, someone just ups and takes him. And his first time venturing out the door too. Well, what type of behavior can you expect from people having clandestine family gatherings during a pandemic, right?

Anyway, we are up to 6 kids in the Flores Goat kindergarten. They are just big enough to go out with the adult goats on the foraging run. My husband traded one of the older chivos for a borrego, so now we have a single borrego. He isn’t too old, less than a year perhaps. He likes to play with the kids. Up and down the road they go. Yesterday, the youngest chivita got “lost” and hysterically ran towards the horses that were tied out front. We all watched in horror, sure that she’d get herself trampled. She didn’t, but that ended recess for the day.

Rojo is being saddled trained. He’s doing well. Lady has figured out how to open her door and has been letting herself out nightly. Fred and George don’t mind the extra animal, but she’s eaten all the leaves off the coffee, nispero, and granada trees. Someone (my husband) needs to do something about that.

We seem to have founded a palenque (literally noise place but used in this area to refer to a place with many roosters mostly trained as cockfighters). We have 6 roosters in addition to 4 hens somehow. Although we aren’t training cocks, they fight continuously causing no end of noise throughout the day. I’m hoping some of them can be rehomed, sooner rather than later. It’s quite a cacophony in the morning. 

If you’ll remember, the neighbor’s cat Garfield had a litter of kittens a few weeks ago. She had them in the abandoned house on the other road. My son tried to encourage her to keep taking care of her babies by leaving food and water. After a few days, the kittens were gone. We feared the worst. There are stray dogs, coyotes, and all sorts of other dangers for newborn, helpless kitties.  However, the other night, two of Ms. Garfield’s offspring came to the front door for a handout. One looked like a mini-Garfield and the other was black and white. My son and I joked that they were meowing something that resembled “Mom told us to pick up the food order and here we are.”

Sadly, when Fuzz was cat-napped, so was Garfield Jr. The remaining kitten took up residence in our wood pile out front, so we brought her in after a day or two. There’s room and we have all this cat stuff. She’s a much sweeter kitty than Fuzz was. My husband hasn’t taken to her though–perhaps it’s too soon and he is still grieving Fuzz. Or maybe because Manchas (Spot) is female. Cocoa isn’t sure what to make of her. He wants to play, but Manchas is having none of that. We’ll see how it goes. Cocoa misses his Wrestlemania buddy.

We continue taking the Puppers and Cocoa on multiple walks around the block each day. That bit of sunshine and fresh air makes everyone happy. And year two of the pandemic continues….

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Filed under Animal Husbandry

An 18-year Old’s Birthday in the Time of Coronavirus

This month, my son turned 18. We had planned a trip to Instituto Nacional Electoral for an IFE (voter’s registration card) after getting a Mexican passport from the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores but the INE is closed and I’m really not sure what sort of documentation with a photo my son can use otherwise, so we are stymied there.

Then we had planned a trip to San Miguel de Allende to renew my son’s passport. However, although the Consulate has hours by appointment listed, the U.S. State Department says there are significant delays and passport applications could take months. 

Without a passport or IFE card, my son can not apply for a driver’s license in Guanajuato, although that office is still open in Moroleon. Without ID, he also can not open a bank account. So, none of these things will happen anytime soon. 

Normally, we have a little get-together on my son’s birthday with some of the Flores relatives. That didn’t happen this year either, although they would have come had we asked, social distancing notwithstanding. We’ve elected to self-isolate as much as possible. Of course, everyone thinks we are overreacting, but after that serious several-week episode of fever, dry cough, and fatigue my son had in February, that may or may not have been COVID-19, well, better safe than sorry. 

Instead, we had tacos and some red velvet cake from a box. Even this required a masked trek to the carniceria, fruteria, tortilleria, and the abarrotes. My son declared himself well satisfied with the meal, though so it was worth the effort. 

There were no gifts this year since Amazon is not delivering to Mexico at the moment and Amazon Mexico charges 4x the amount for the same products. I did order some clothing items for him from Zulily which is still delivering to Mexico, but there is a considerable delay in shipping, so who knows when that package will arrive. It’s not like he goes anywhere, so if his pants have become highwaters and his shirts ride up over his belly, no one but the three of us (and our animal kingdom) see it. 

So what has my son been doing during quarantine? Pretty much what he was doing before, really. He is still on track to graduate from online prepa (high school) from UVEG in a few months. When that happens, his diploma should have his picture on it, so that would take care of one form of identification for those official documents mentioned earlier. Of course, the local UVEG is closed, so I’m not sure how that will play out, but he has a few more months of classes anyway.

We’ve put off talking about future plans for the moment. Is college even an option anymore? The last few classes he has to finish are designed with a vet degree in mind. We’ll see.

He’s been playing an online game with his friends called Don’t Starve. In it, he must learn new skills to survive a foreign habitat, including basic first aid, hunting and gathering, food storage, farming, and self-defense. If there ever was a game designed with today’s situation in mind, this would be it! My son’s interest in our small stockpile of medical supplies and long-term food storage has increased. We’ve always been focused on local foraging as well as animal husbandry and have recently added on to our kitchen garden. The information he has absorbed because of our lifestyle he has used to his advantage in the game, making him an in-demand team player. 

skulduggery

He’s been reading the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy as well. I ordered this set a few months ago in paperback, so he’s able to head out under a mesquite to read and at least get out of the house for a bit. 

Of course, there are The Puppers to keep him occupied, and now Fuzz Lightyear. Things might not be as exciting as I’d hope for my son at 18, but everyone under this roof is healthy and safe, with enough to eat, enough to keep themselves busy, and well, that’s really enough. We’ll just take it one day at a time for now. 

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Filed under Cultural Challenges

Quarantine Thoughts

Moroleon, GTO under quarantine

You’d have thought with our quest for self-reliance in La Yacata that we’d be prepared–or at least more prepared than the general population. Maybe you’re half right. We aren’t worried about the 4% increase in the CFE bill. We understand that toilet paper really does grow on trees (and which leaves to stay away from). We know how to pay for things at the ATM so our internet won’t get cut off, although I have to admit, that process was rather complicated to learn. 

We also aren’t strangers to entertaining ourselves. I have my piano, my son has his guitar and classwork and we have books and movies and puzzles and even video games, along with our animal kingdom to entertain us with their silliness. My son has become quite the helicopter dad when it comes to the Puppers. I swear, at least three times a day he calls me over to the door to tell me what cute thing Fred or George has done (or was frustrating thing Terry has done).

We also have several projects in the works so that my husband isn’t lacking for activities to do either. More on those as we finish them up over the next month or so.

tudors

What I’ve noticed is that my hypervigilance when it comes to pandemic survival technique strikes when I least expect it. For instance, I was watching The Tudors the other day and sandwiched between the gratuitous sex scenes and religious debates, London was hit with a pandemic of the “sweating sickness.” Curious, I tried to do some research on it and it turns out scientists still don’t know what caused that particular, deadly malady. The disease up and vanished after running rampant from 1485 -1551. 

So, watching the series, I took particular note of what survivors did. Guess what–quarantine seemed to be the name of the survival game. People left London in droves, heading to remote country estates if wealthy or suffered in crowded, unsanitary conditions and died if they weren’t. 

walking dead

Then I went through a period of binge-watching The Walking Dead. I have to say that as stressful as this pandemic is, I am so thankful that it hasn’t spawned zombies. Anyway, the survival techniques that previously I chuckled at, are now analyzed for ideas that I can implement in La Yacata. The communities that were created, like The Kingdom, the prison cell block, The Hilltop and that factory thing that Neegan set up, well, they all had their pros and cons. My back garden (which will be described in agonizing detail in an upcoming post) was inspired by Rick’s prison compound. 

gentleman

Then there is the idea of isolation that has been on my mind. A few months back, my book club read the book A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles about a Russian aristocrat sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across from the Kremlin. How he not only endured but thrived in his new life is well worth a read. 

I am mourning some of the activities I had been looking forward to. My son turns 18 next month and I had been planning on getting his IFE, both his US and Mexican passports, and helping him open his first bank account. I even hoped for a trip to Tennessee in October. All of these are on hold now. I nearly despaired when I read that things might not get back to normal for two years. But then, I have to remember, that we can only live in the present. What may or may not happen in the future is still so uncertain. 

So today, well, today is enough. I’ll talk to people struggling with their own issues around the world in my English classes and I’ll write an article or two for money. Then I’ll water my plants and marvel at the miracle of nature or read a book or work on a puzzle or play the piano or call my mom. I’ll make something from our small stockpile of pasta for lunch and decide how long I can put off going to town for more food. This evening I’ll watch a movie and look at it through a survivalist lens again and bug my husband about that next project. And it will be ok. 

Copy of Everything will be all right in the end.

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Filed under Health, Safety and Security