Wednesday, January 31, 2007

5AM - Peeling garlic calms my soul.
I love to peel garlic the slow way, which sets the mood for preparing a meal. And so does XM Radio Channel 77, recommended by my friend Michel the photographer. These two things, set my pace at slow.

I enjoy food preparation soooooooo much! Going slow makes food prep last.

12:30PM - The rain storm.
You might call this rain storm a drizzle. The rain drifted in from the Pacific Ocean to dampen the earth here in Santa Rosalia.

But here in the land of little rain, this storm is BIG news. Sometimes only a foot of rain falls in five years. So this deluge will be the topic of conversation for awhile.

People here will be asking, "When was the last time that rain fell in January?" Perhaps nobody can remember, it has been so long!
Rain on MsTioga's window.

5:30PM - Burning the cut lime trees.
During the late morning today, I tried so hard to burn the lime trees that are on the ground in front of the garden. Only about half would burn. It would not be a good thing to head south with this pile of rubbish remaining.
This is what is left after this morning's burn.

If this rubbish were cut in small pieces that would fit into the incinerator/barrel, that would get the job done. However, then came the rain. Trying to work in the rain was not a good thing. Soon my jacket and pants were soaked.

Deciding to wait out the storm did not work. By 3:30PM, the rain had been coming down for three hours! When the going gets tough, the tough take a nap.

I woke up at 5:30PM and there was no rain!! There was still enough sunlight to continue the burn. The ashes in the incinerator were still smoldering. As the cut branches were put into the barrel, they dried out and soon came a nice fire. By the time dark came, nearly all of the rubbish had been burned!
Incinerator/barrel after the rain started.



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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

7AM - MsTioga reveals the secret.
Good morning! This is MsTioga typing at you. I receive lots of email from readers asking,
"Are you ever scared about staying out in the boondocks camping?"
"Isn't it dangerous camping in Mexico?"
Many readers write,
"I would not have the courage to do what you do, so I live vacariously thru your blog."


When I first met Jorge back in 2003, right away we both decided that we would not be afraid to do the things we wanted to do. Fear crept close a few months later when I was having mechanical problems that cost a lot of money. That was when Jorge wrote his "Creed" which reads:

My Creed
"I do not run away from my dreams
because of fear of what might happen.
I have faith that no matter what fate brings me
I shall overcome."

Do Jorge and I ever get afraid? Yes! But right away we just shake that fear off. Because fear has no place in our lives! Actually, if you are going to be afraid of something, it should be of letting fear stop you from achieving your dreams!

That would be a terrible thing to endure. What kind of life would that be?!

8AM - Fence brace.
Chito and Jorge were wondering if the new fence was supported well enough. This morning, Jorge added a fence brace. An old water pipe was driven 5 feet into the ground. The brace is connected to this pipe.
The braced fence.

10AM - Orange U disappointed?
Have you found that oranges often do not live up to their promise? Nice skin and color, and the right firmness. Inside it is often dry. Grapefruit however, seem to be nice and juicy. We love grapefruit.

This morning the view from MsTioga's breakfast table is fantastic. Little Mavicito captured this pic while sitting at the table looking out MsTioga's windshield.
Hill Camp is a gorgeous place!

5PM - Heading south Thursday morning.
Did you read in our 2007 Trip Plan [click on HOME below] that we will head south in February? Plans have to be made for that trip.

One of the things that we needed to do, was to provide for the care and feeding of our chuparosas [hummingbirds]. Chito has been very interested in the chuparosas lately and asked for the plastic flower to be moved to his "cuartito" [little room].

In the pic below, Jorge hangs the flower in the cuartito. Do you see Victor thru the cuartito window?
Jorge hanging the flower.



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Monday, January 29, 2007

1:30AM - Working in the early morning?
Jorge did not feel sleepy. Thinking about the exciting things coming up soon about repairing MsTioga drove sleep away! We on The Team are Vagabonders-Supreme! We do what we want, when we want.

The air-return register needs to be repainted. Do you remember that we took off the register a few days ago in order to look at conditions behind it? The register has some rust on the bottom that needs to cleaned off. In the pic below, Jorge cleans the register with a wire brush. And he is in his pajamas! Wow! What a guy!!
Jorge wire brushes the register.

Where the register lives.

10AM - Breakfast at the airport.
Did you know that Santa Rosalia has an airport? Well, it is more like a landing strip. We have filled up on propane gas, and plan to eat breakfast at the airport.

The landing strip is maintained, and perhaps 1/2 mile long. The old hanger behind Jorge is ready to fall down. In the pic below, Jorge points toward Santa Rosalia.
Santa Rosalia International Airport.

2PM - Beatriz shoe store.
Chito told Jorge that he bought his shoes at the Beatriz store in Rancheria. Jorge went to Beatriz, and found shoes that he liked. Jorge had never bartered before, and decided that he would do it today.

When the man asked Jorge how he like the shoes, Jorge replied, "They are OK." "Would you like to pay for them now?", asked the man. Jorge told the man that he was waiting. "What are you waiting for?", asked the man. "I am waiting for you to begin bartering!", answered Jorge.

The shoes were listed for $375 pesos [$34US]. The man reduced the price to $300 pesos [$27US] The shoes are leather on top.
Jorge's new shoes.

5:30PM - God bless the puppy that has got its own!
Do you remember the little puppy named "Manchiti" that Victor fell in love with? This afternoon, Victor found Manchiti near MsTioga. She was very weak, and could hardly walk.

Manchiti lived with a family along the little camino below Hill Camp. About a week ago, Manchiti got sick and couldn't eat. It is impossible for Manchiti in her condition, to walk up the steep camino to Hill Camp. The family that she lived with, must have dumped her near MsTioga.

There was nothing to do but to take Manchiti to the veterinarian in El Centro. We were shocked to learn that this vet, was an irresponsible man. He did not want to take Manchiti and to do what is right by this little dog. There was nothing to do but for me to walk away.

God bless the puppy that has got its own! And the puppies that do not have their own suffer.
Manchiti on a better day.



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Sunday, January 28, 2007

6:30AM - Carrosserias in Mexico.
Have you ever heard of a "Taller de Carrosseria"? This is the name for a "body shop" in Mexico. [taller=shop] A carrosseria fixes you up when you smash up your car. These shops work with metal and fiberglass.

MsTioga has many things that she needs done. Some of these things are major items. To do these things in the USA, is cost prohibitive. For example, painting MsTioga in the USA might cost $4,000 for a one color job. In Mexico, the same paint job might be $1,000US.

One of the things that MsTioga needs, is a new roof. Her current roof is rubber [EPDM] and is 16 years old. MsTioga has been asking that her new roof be made from fiberglass. Everybody on The Team agrees that a fiberglass roof is a better idea than a rubber roof. A carrosseria could be used to install a new fiberglass roof.


Mr. Sunny has been asking for his solar battery bank to be moved from MsTioga's bedroom, to an outside compartment. There are six batteries in this bank, and they need to be regularly serviced. We want to use one of Joey Bed's slideouts for the new battery bank setup. Mounting the batteries in a slideout would make servicing easy. Also, the battery bank would be outside instead of inside. One of MsTioga's outside compartments would have to be modified to accept a Joey Bed slideout. A carrosseria would be able to do these modifications.

When Jorge drove into Hill Camp on the day we arrived in Santa Rosalia, he banged into the concrete water tank. That bang damaged MsTioga's right side. Another thing for a carrosseria to do!
The bang that needs repair.

12 Noon - Sunday is values day.
Reader Benyamin from New York City wrote a few weeks ago asking about Sunday values.
"George,
I noticed that you have been writing about your values most Sundays lately. In the past you did not write often about your values on Sunday. Why did you change?"

Benyamin is very observant! After making my new goal for my 69th year, I put the pedal to the metal with my values. My goal is to spend much of every Sunday thinking about my values.

On Sunday I do very little work. For example, in the garden I only use a leaf rake, no heavy duty tools. I do not work on the fence project on Sunday.


3PM - Efrain the water guy.
Efrain is my friend. He works for SAPA, the water company. Yesterday when Michel the photographer's camper banged into the huge water pipe as he was leaving Hill Camp, we followed Efrain to the carrosseria to get the bang repaired.

Efrain took a big chance taking off from his job to show us the way. Water management keeps a close eye on their men in the field thru 2-way radio. That is the kind of guy Efrain is! He took a chance for us.

When we leave Santa Rosalia to head south later this week, our first nite will be spent at Efrain's little rancho in San Luciano, a few miles south of here.
Our friend Efrain.

4PM - The curve ball.
I once had a job in the San Ramon, California. I was a salesman in 1989 for "Automated Systems", a small company that sold computer aided design [CAD] software and related hardware. I was the AutoCAD specialist.

In the morning I would join the millions on eastbay freeways. Often I gritted my teeth when the traffic backed up. I had to get to work on time! I never missed work. Work was my highest priority.

Then came the phone call. A doctor at the Veterans Hospital in the City of Martinez told me that my Uncle Joe was in bad shape. Perhaps I should come now.

All my thoughts about my job flew up in the air! I left work, and worried my way north to Martinez. I did not return to work for two months. Everything had changed.

I had received a curve ball in my life.
I would receive several curve balls in my life. I never got the picture right until after I was diagnosed with the biggest curve ball of all. In November, 2001, I found out that I had cancer.

Now I believe that my priorities are right-on-target. Every single blessed day I am living my life for the here-and-now, the now-of-time. And you know what? I am no longer ever lonely. I no longer dread the future. Never long for the past.

God has blessed me with understanding, and I am sooooooooooo grateful.

Jorge at Hill Camp.

5PM - Making supper with Victor looking on.
Supper tonite is gruper fish simmered in garlic butter. While I was cleaning the garlic, Victor was watching and trying to help. Victor is only seven years old, so it does not take him long to lose interest and begin to entertain himself.

Soon Victor was rolling around and falling off the bench seats onto the floor. I went to get Little Mavicito to take a pic, but when I returned, Victor had stopped playing. As soon as Victor saw me with Little Mavicito, he staged the pic below. I did not even say anything about him posing. He did it on his own.

Of course we cannot ever know the destiny of children for sure. But Victor is giving very strong clues that he will be a delightful, entertaining and highly intelligent adult.
Victor staged this show.

5:30PM - Presentation is everything.
When my friend Michel ate supper here a few evening's ago, we had the same food as I am preparing tonite for myself. However then, I poured the fish/garlic butter over a bed of rice.

Tonite I changed the presentation, and placed the fish with butter sauce in a separate plate. What a difference! The rice absorbed much of the fantastic flavor of the garlic when Michel was here. Next time, amigo mio, I will do better, OK?
Fish in butter/garlic.

Sundown - Jorge looking north.
We imagine that somewhere north, Michel is camping in some wonderful place. He is seeing a gorgeous sunset. The same sunset that Jorge and Little Mavicito see right now. Amazing!

Jorge at sundown.



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Saturday, January 27, 2007

8:30AM - Michel heading north.
This morning, our friend Michel will be heading north. Everybody on The Team is happy for Michel, because he will be heading toward exciting adventure. We had a fantastic time visiting with Michel, here at Hill Camp and walking with him in the Pueblo of Santa Rosalia.

In the pic below, Michel talks with Jorge about where he will be Camping this evening. Perhaps at the Dos Palapas at El Tomatal where Jorge and MsTioga stayed in November.
Michel leaving Hill Camp today.


4PM - Change in fence.
Reader Mike wrote suggesting that the fence would not sag if a rail were rotated 90°. In the pic below, we have rotated the bottom rail 90°. Thank you, Mike!
Reader Mike's suggestion.


One section of fence is complete!
Lassie inspects the complete fence section



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