Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Few Trees Here, A Few Trees There






From Rain Sogged Western Oregon,

After nearly 58 years gravity is uniting with cold clammy rain to pull at my bodys joints. I have made my new years resolution in advance - I intend to plant 580 fruit trees during our upcoming time in Mexico. Not all by myself of course. As soon as we arrive we begin looking for a family to live and work on our orchards. We will provide them with shelter and a fair salary. Over the next 3 years they will tend to the new trees. There is also a government program there to re-introduce native hard woods to the area. I hope to get us involved in this as well. Thinking about the pleasant work in warm climes warms me up from the inside out.

Salud

Monday, November 29, 2010

Waiting & Packing


Hello Late Readers,

Well, I am getting impatient with the slow speed that our home's paperwork is making through the system. We had hoped to leave on December 3rd for Aticama, and we will make the 'pack-um-up, move-it-out-litle doggie' deadline. But it now looks like blastoff will be a week or so later. That will give some more time to work on the exterior of the house and to finish the new daylight basement. Just a delay but, man o'man, my joints are aching for tropical weather!

Salud

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Friend Passes


Hello Evening Readers,

Well, we just received a phone call from Aticama and we found out that a friend died in an auto accident yesterday. His name was Alejandro Santana and he was a good friend to us. 7 years ago he was the President of Aticama and he helped us with our road issues and we have been pals ever sense. Around 80 years old, he had a romantic life for a sleepy tropical ocean village kind of guy. While he did not talk about it, and few knew about it, he was a General in the Mexican Army when he was much younger. Coming from a Peon background this was something special. He was not much to look at as we knew him - hunch backed, toothless, a few strands of hair, bony with a sad sack belly He non-the-less had a flair about him. A hard gentle soul with dark brown eyes ringed in blue cataracts. We had some fine times and I will really, really miss him. I am certain that he is sleeping with the Sirens Of Aticama.

Happy Trails, El General, Viva Mexico!!


Friday, November 26, 2010

A Late Thanksgiving

Hello Leftover Eaters,

Well, due to this years very cold snap and a serious slowdown with the outside work, we decided to have our Thanksgiving a day later. Turned out to be a great idea! Weng and I went shopping at our local Winco early this morning and it was just empty. Everyone shopping at Best Buy on Black Friday.

"When you are out of the Blue and into the Black..."

This year we are roasting the turkey on the barby....

Salud

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Betty's Story


Hello Music Lovers,

In Matanchen Bay there is an organic fruit drying business named Groupo Organico. They dry a lot of organic fruit and send most of it to the USA. A good chunk of it goes to Europe also. Business is good and, last year, the owner, who we will call The Italian (who I have known for over 20 years), sold his business to a guy from Vancouver B.C.. We will call this guy The Musician. Now, this guy got his start in the fruit business long ago by hocking his beloved Fender guitar. And got it back. And hocked it again. And got it back. Now there is a little tropicrock band in the Aticama area.

Well, now. Enter Betty. Betty is an early '70s Ovation 1617 Legend hollow body electric 'silver label' guitar. She was born in Connecticut, where all of the real Ovations are born, and was raised and lived most all her life, until last summer, near a place called Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee. She was purchased new by a woman we will call Dorthy. Now, Dorthy had ambition and she could sing a thunderstorm up on a dry day. She figured that having a fine custom instrument and her long hair and long legs could give her a leg up in Nashville. Dorthy named her Betty, after her mother. Now 18 years old, a lovely springtime and no parents to tell her no, she hitched to Nashville to seek her fortune. After all, Glenn Campbell played an Ovation. And she did OK. Until she met a man named Harry Watson. He was a sweet talking drifter man who knew talent and when he saw Dorthy playing for change at Nashville Union Station he got greedy. They married that spring in 1974 and she had a baby girl in December. Harry got her a booking at the Grand Ol Opery on the same ticket as Dolly Parton. Things went well and a record deal sorta emerged from a badly drunken after show party. Good money in advance and Harry scooped it up and pissed it away with women and drugs. Appointments got missed. Dorthy started doing drugs and Betty, along with her daughter, who we will call Opel, were largly forgotton for too long a time. At 20 it was 'working girl time' and Harry just disappeared, never to be seen again. Dorthy o.d'd so close to the edge more than once but somehow found the will to move on. And she did - to Red Boiling Springs and lived in a back-to-the-lander T-pee. She was an organic farmer. Opel grew strong, went to college at NYU and became an important doctor. Dorthy picked Betty up every afternoon and played 'on the porch music' every day. No drugs, no booze. She loved her Camels though. Betty came to smell like the sweet strong smell of a fresh lit Camel. In the end, at age 57, Dorthy was found on the porch, holding Betty in her arms. She had been dead for days and her face was smiling like the first light of dawn - she had finally found the Note Of Creation, and we poor humans, can only hear that sound once. Opel found her on Saturday morning on the summer solstice. Betty was a torment and wisely put up for auction on Ebay. By now she was worn, cracked and repaired after the really cold winter of '76, her case was long forgotten and her strings were rusty wires. I was the only bidder. She arrived on the Bonny Slope in a box with her story and I strung her, and she sang like the Sirens Of Aticama.

I sure hope The Musician gives her the love she deserves.

Salud

Icy Cold Redux


Dear Warm Readers,

Hoping that where ever you are you are warm, dry, well fed and rested. Yesterday we, here in Portland, had the coldest high temperature for any day in November in the last 25 years! Today may be the same. Not too much got done yesterday, and, during my trip to the market (off the Bonny Slope, down the mountain and to the valley floor, I saw zero outdoor activity of any kind - no construction workers, no homeowners in their yard, no people walking or jogging and only a few cars.

Nice. As quiet as it has been in 25 years.

Salud

ps. the photo was taken at 7:45 this morning. do you see the HMS James Bond on the left?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Big Cold


Dear Readers,

I hope this posting finds you warm and comfortable! An artic blast has frozen us and frozen us good! While not cold like it can be in other parts north of Mexico, it is, for us here in Oregon, very cold. Despite precautions all of our water froze solid last night - one of the tradeoffs that come with living in such a lovely little valley on the mountainside. Lovely nearly 8 months a year that is.......

It is now past 11am and the temp is about 25deg. That is cold enough for the fingers to stop working well outside with power tools. At one time I enjoyed the cold, The Struggle Of Man Over The Elements. Age brings aches in the joints and the attraction of enclosed warm spaces is nearly overwhelming. No school today because of the ice and cold. The kids are loving it. Their joints are new and fresh and strong and resistant to the cold. Tomorrow it is supposed to warm up to above freezing.

Every day the Sirens Of Aticama sing louder......

Salud

ps. the photo was taken this morning from my window

Monday, November 22, 2010

Where Is Weng?


Hello Readers,

There have been a number of folks wondering "Where is Weng?" Well now, I can tell you that she has been busy! It has been nearly a year since she lost her AdSense google ads - a nasty virus took over her computer and did her wrong. Try and appeal and appeal but to no avail! Even Jorge (Tioga's man flesh) put in a good word. Maybe all her readers should mount a 'get Weng's AdSense back' campaign. But, I digress. This has been a VERY, VERY busy time for us!! (the busiest of our life together) The responsibilities of parenthood, working on our home here in Oregon, the long and winding road to getting our place paid off and going into big time debt, not to mention the weather, and preparing for our trip south has taken its toll. By the end of the day she is just to damn tired to deal with anything else. It takes Weng a long time to do her postings and she needs a calm center without distraction to feel good about what she has to say. I am her husband and I miss her wacky writing also!!

Keep Posted for more info.

Salud

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Moon In December


Hello Snowy Readers,

Yup, today we had snow. For a while. Then we had mud, again. Now, here is something cool - my birthday falls on December 21. That will give me a Blue Moon Over Aticama - who could ask for a better gift?

Salud

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Adventures With The Big Fish


Hello Readers & Fellow Travelers,
It is possible that some of you long time Rv's remember the Mighty Dodge 413 Industrial V-8 that powered the premier Motorhomes of the '60s and early '70's. Considered by 'Old Iron Guys' to be the most beasty powerful and lumbering of torque monster ever produced by the hand of man. With a massive 407 real pounds of torque at 2000 rpm, no other Atomic Age Land Whale could come close to its fearsome lifting force. Move 9 1/2 tons of rig and stuff - no problem. Serious machines.

And the Big Fish swims with this bad boy 413 as it's heart. Today, perhaps if all goes well, I will button down the mechanicals and we will begin 'The Load In'. Against long shot odds we work facing south - snow is coming the first of the week and that makes a difference....

Salud

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stress


Good Evening Readers,

We'd all like to think that a palm tree and ocean breeze, sweaty beverage and the sound of happy children playing was something waiting for us all at the end of a hard day.

Others may feel the same about a remote cabin in the woods, a corner view on the 60th floor or an endless corn maze in an Iowa flatland.

The point is this: We Are Only Going Around In These Walking Bones one time. In Old Mexico they still say that tomorrow doesn't exist. The lifestyle example being one of living as happy under the heavens as possible without having to dwell on your future needs. Having a debt free or nearly debt free life is the foundation for life without worry. Many of you readers surfed in through Jorge's site and I expect you understand what I am talking about. Other readers will, I hope, remain befuddled by my stress fueled ramblings.

You see; when I get home at the end of a long day I know that there is a Palm Tree Siren singing to me - melodic tunes of warm enchanting people and places. Sometimes the music overwhelms me with soulful contentment soo intensely that the world around my body grows grey with longing. I have become jaded. The compulsion to live the dream of Ratso Rizo ('Midnight Cowboy') is seductive to all mankind...

"Live Where The Weather Suits Your Clothes'

Salud

Saturday, November 13, 2010

End Of An Era


Good Rainy Morning,

A very busy week. There are a million and one things to do before we can finalize our blastoff plans for Aticama. The house is still a week or more of very hard work to do, The Big Fish has a week of mechanical work to finish, a few more meetings with teachers for the childrens education, and, of course, getting the deed to our house and property. Sleep is difficult. The brain never stops but the excitement level is high, just a bit soggy from the Oregon rain. One step at a time!

Salud

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Day At A Time And Doing What Needs To Be Done


Good Morning Readers,

That old expression "One Day At A Time" sounds so comforting! Well, it works well when you have little or no responsibilities to anyone other than yourself!

Most of the rest of us need a Plan. 40 years ago I only needed a Daily Plan, then I entered into a Weekly Plan around 35 years ago, followed by a Monthly Plan about 32 years ago, then back to a Weekly Plan about 24 years ago. The Weekly Plan then became a Yearly Plan 16 years ago when I married Weng. 10 years ago it became the Ten Year Plan.

Which brings us to today. Crossroads Time. I have always been a 'pay as you go' person and, generally, it has served me and my little family well. For much of the last 10 years nearly all of our spare time and energy has gone into building our Bird House in Aticama. This comes at a cost and that has been the neglect of our home on the Bonny Slope here in Oregon. The place has been a wonderful fair weather home but the rains in this tiny, tiny valley had eaten away at the ancient wooden bones of this century old outside world refuge. Last summer we decided to repair the place and it has keep us so busy that we began considering the Big One - A home equity loan. Millions of american homeowners do it, and with some heavy heart we have decided to do it. It will take less than 3 months to spend what will take 10 years to repay.

The new 10 Year Plan.

Salud

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Leaves Are Falling, Thinking About Aticama



Hello Readers,

As of this writing, we have lost about half of the leaves on the trees here on the Old Bonny Slope. Rain has started and, with the return of non-daylight savings time we will enter into the rainy, mostly sunless long night winter season. I am thinking of Aticama. Right now the weather is perfect! Upper 60's at night, near 90 during the heat of the day. Soon Dean the mobile mechanic will have installed the automatic transmission in The Big Fish. She is moored in the cargo dock and we will soon begin the 'Daily Little Bit At A Time Every Day Load In'. Usually takes about a month to outfit one of these Beasties for Liftoff..... Look for photos later...

Salud

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Duty To Country


Good Morning Americans,

No matter who you believe will guide our country to a bright future for our children, it is your responsibility, in a free democracy, to Vote!!

Make sure that all of your friends do also.

Salud