Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The storm

The storm
Last nite a storm arrived in the City of Tequisquiapan. The rain continued for many hours. Lightning and thunder came about every 10 seconds. During the early morning hours the rain stopped and then returned as daylight approached. It is not too cold, only about 56°F at 7:30am.

8:30AM - Camped near Susy's store.
MsTioga has made a Morning Camp near Susy Secoraciones, the store where we are buying MsTioga's new mini-blinds. The blinds are scheduled to arrive today or tomorrow. So, we have made a Camp here to find out about installation.

Our little Honda generator needs to be charging this morning because the rain clouds do not allow the Sun to power Mr. Sunny's solar panels. When I was removing the Honda from its cabinet, the rain water swirled around my shoes as it flowed down the cobblestone street.

11AM - Solar battery bank maintenance.

We are very happy with our computerized maintenance program because it keeps us up to date with our maintenance schedule [link]. It is time for solar battery bank maintenance which is done each month. It takes about 45 minutes to clean all the battery cable connections, fill the battery cells with distilled water and wipe down the battery tops.

During the last trip to California, battery mats were brought back for our battery bank. These mats are designed to absorb any battery acid that oozes out into the compartment. We are extremely happy with these battery mats. Before using them, the floor of the compartment was always a little wet. Now it is dry down there! [link].

If you would like to read more about the TiogaRV Team battery bank, here is a [link] to that story.
Jorge doing battery maintenance.


4PM - What a great time is today!
This is a great day, and we want to tell you all about why!
  • Our new mini-blinds are installed, and they work wonderfully!
  • MsTioga's window treatment included cloth covered side panels. These panels always interfered with mini-blind operation. Today we took those side panels down and remounted the window headers! It looks great!
  • I got a haircut so that I will look decent at Aunt Shirley and Uncle Seymour's party next month.
  • After working on remounting the window treatment for a couple of hours, I was soooooo hungry. I made a peanut butter & jam tortilla sandwich for lunch and a strawberry ice cream sundae topped chocolate syrup for dessert!
  • Took a hot shower to clean up.
Does a day get any better than this? Hmmmmm?
Mini-blind installation.


Remounted window headers.




Monday, June 29, 2009

The sound of silence

6:30AM - The sound of silence
One of the great gifts of living in an RV home is being able to choose the place where to make a Nite Camp. City dwellers may get so used to the sound of traffic that they do not even hear it anymore. However, RVers who get used to sleeping where there is hardly any sound during the nite, may not be able to sleep at all because of the din of traffic in cities or near highways.

Here in the northern side of Tequisquiapan, even though we are near the highway, during the nite it is sooooooo quiet. It is a wonderful gift to go to sleep to the sound of silence!

2PM - Citizenship.

Being an amateur historian carries me to read many things. For sometime I've been interested in the constitutional history of how we got to be citizens of the United States. This afternoon I found a reference in the California State Constitution to the "Treaty of Querétaro." This treaty established the right of suffrage for citizens of the United States and Mexico living within the State of California.

Since I've been living in the State of Querétaro for some weeks now, this reference drew my interest! I found a link to an image of the California State Constitution provided by Google. Apparently Google has gone to the effort of digitizing the California State Constitution. Isn't that something!

The same constitutional section which defines who is and who is not a citizen of the State of California provides that "no native of China" may be a citizen of this state. Hmmmmm?

4PM - Blood pressure.
While visiting with my friends Pete and Jimena here in Tequis, Pete mentioned that he had an automatic blood pressure machine. So, I asked him to take my blood pressure. 131/74.

You may recall that while at the appointment with my cardiologist on Saturday, June 20th, my blood pressure was 150/90! [link]. Maybe I was a bit nervous in the doctor's office.



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Google Earth

11AM - Google Earth
This morning I started out looking at Google Earth to find out more about the neighborhood of MsTioga's Camp. Then I began zooming around the Earth looking at famous places. Have you done this with Google Earth? An hour later I am still messing with Google Earth.

It's neat to zoom to hot spots like, Tehran, Iran and Baghdad, Iraq. And then go to Japan to see the World zooming around.

1PM - More tract homes.
MsTioga and The Team like to wander. We went wandering thru residential neighborhoods here in the City of San Juan del Rio. Little Mavicita and I are both very intrigued by the tract homes in Mexico. How the homes in some of these tracts look soooooo similar is amazing.
Similar except for the colors!
Temperature at 1pm: 82°F


4PM - Returned to Tequisquiapan.
The TiogaRV Team has returned to the City of Tequisquiapan. The north side of this city is sparsely occupied on arid desert land. This is where we have made our Camp.

The homes built or under construction here begin with a concrete block wall. Then the construction continues in relative safety within the wall.
Our north side Tequis Camp.




Saturday, June 27, 2009

Unemployment in Mexico

8AM - Unemployment in Mexico
If you don't have a job in Mexico, the custom is to get something and sell it in order to earn money. Little Mavicita took the pic below during our morning walk. This pic is of a lady standing front of Mitsubishi Electric with a tricycle loaded with corn for sale. The corn is kept warm with a gas fired heater.

This lady worked at the Mitsubishi plant, but got laid off. Her father helped her buy the tricycle. She paid for the pots and stove. Now she sells hot corn to employees of Mitsubishi when they go on break and come to work for the shift change.

Maybe there's really little unemployment in Mexico. But some who sell like this for a living do not earn enough to support themselves.
Selling corn for a living.
Temperature at 8am: 54°F - Elevation: 6,327 feet


2PM - Weekend mercado.
Every Saturday and Sunday in San Juan del Rio, there is a block long mercado [market]. MsTioga made a Nite Camp here during this week. Yesterday afternoon we stopped here and met a few people already setting up their stalls. So, we decided to return today to see this mercado.

At a popular food stand I ate a "huarache", a large open faced taco with beef, cheese, onions and shredded cabbage. Also, a "pambazo", a fried ham sandwich. One stall had a bunch of parakeets for sale. Was I tempted to buy a bird? A little!
The mercado.


A bunch of boids.


A word about Boid.
Little Boid lived with me for about a year. Boid was a wonderful parakeet who had a fantastic sense of humor. You may read a blog post that I wrote about Boid by clicking [here].







Friday, June 26, 2009

A gentle rain

A gentle rain
Just after midnite, a gentle rain began to fall. A perfect rain for the Earth and all its growing things. Is this rain falling on the forest where we camped in San Joaquín. We sure hope so because this rain will make the grass soooooo green!

It is now 5:30am, and the gentle rain continues to fall. A little while ago all of MsTioga's cabinets and windows were checked for leaks and not one leak was found! A tribute to Jose the fiberglass guy and his fabulous work.

A fiberglass roof!
If you began following MsTioga's adventures after the Spring of 2007, you may not know about MsTioga's fiberglass and paint job. MsTioga and The Team were traveling south in the southern state of Baja California, Mexico at that time. We were looking for a fiberglass shop in the City of Constitución. This city has a reputation for having many body shops.

We did not know when we first arrived in Constitución that the fiberglass work that we wanted for MsTioga would be far beyond the ability of nearly all body shops. What we were looking for was a master of fiberglass, a repairer and builder of fishing boats!

Jose the fiberglass guy was recommended to us, and the owner of a body shop actually had us follow him to Jose's shop. You may read about our fantastic adventure at Jose's Fiberglass Shop by clicking [here].



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Worrying!

Worrying!
During the first year MsTioga and The Team became vagabonders-supreme [2003], we worried about finding a place to make our Nite Camp. What would happen if we did NOT find our Nite Camp before sunset? What then?

We would look at maps trying to learn about what was ahead in this day's journey. We would try to guess where would be a good place to stop. Well, guess what happened?

Every nite, no matter how much we worried and were concerned, we always found our Nite Camp. So, we decided to quit worrying anymore!

MsTioga says:
"Today as we are writing about that first year and all that worrying about each Nite Camp, it seems so simple to just stop worrying. It did take more than a year to figure that out, however. So it was NOT that simple.

And that one thing changed our attitude about all worrying from then on!"


What will I do with all my stuff?

If you are thinking about becoming a fulltimer and giving up your stick home to live in an RV, you may be wondering about what you will do with all your stuff?

I'd like to share the story of my Franklin Planner with you. I was not always the easy-going guy who wanders around in his RV taking pics and writing stories. Once upon a time, I accounted for every hour of my day in a Franklin Planner. My Franklin was leather bound. I saved past planner months in an Annual Storage Binder. And I had several feet of these storage binders going back more than a decade.

Thanks to the generosity of Evie, my former wife, I stored a lot of my stuff including the Franklin Storage binders in the ceiling of her garage. After I'd become a fulltimer and when I was visiting in my hometown of Concord, California, Evie asked me what I was planning to do with all this stuff. As it happened, her neighborhood was having an annual clean-up day and a huge dumpster was available for all who wanted one placed in their driveway.

I filled up half of one huge dumpster with my stuff. This included all my once-valued Franklin storage binders. Guess what? I never once since that dumping day, missed any of that stuff.

6PM - Nite Camp.
We have made our Nite Camp in San Juan del Rio with a view looking down on a large tract home neighborhood. Tract homes such as these, are often found in Mexico. Tract homes that are small in square footage, affordable and very similar in appearance.

Little Mavicita has made this a very large image so that you may zoom in to get a close-up view of these tract homes.
View of our Nite Camp neighborhood from MsTioga's roof.





Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Electronically endowed!

1AM - Electronically endowed!
Truck traffic on the nearby Mexico Hwy #57 got too loud for sleeping. So, MsTioga and The Team broke Camp and moved thru the center of San Juan del Rio [SJDR] away from the noise. There is no way that we would know where to go without our Garmin GPS! But with the Garmin, MsTioga drove thru the quiet old colonial streets of SJDR knowing exactly where we were. It is fantastic!

There would have been tons of traffic here if it had been daytime. But at this early morning hour, hardly any cars were driving. We drove to the eastern side of town and made a Camp. Mr. Datastorm went up and put us online. Mr. Wave6, our noble catalytic heater cranked up because it is only 58°F outside.

Isn't MsTioga a miracle home? She has everything!

Going shopping for the party!
If you tuned into our July 2009 Trip Plan, you know that we are going to a party! Aunt Shirley & Uncle Seymour are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. It is also Shirley's 80th birthday!

Aunt Shirley wrote me an email that my usual clothing is a bit too casual for this shin-dig. "...no jeans, shorts or sandals...." I used to have dress shirts, sport jackets, suits, ties, the whole thing. When I became a vagabonder-supreme, all of that stuff got donated to the Goodwill Store.

So, it is necessary to go shopping. And you know how very much I love shopping. Look what I bought. Do I look spiffy, or what?
Jorge dressed to party!




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Belgian Waffles!

Belgian Waffles!
As the members of my immediate family would tell you, I have been on a quest for the Belgian Waffle for over forty years. I am now able make a Belgian waffle that comes out of the waffle iron without sticking, is nicely brown and slightly crispy. Every time, too!

I never use one of those all-in-one package mixes! These never work for me. My waffle batter needs a real egg and real oil and real milk. Heating the iron properly is essential to avoid sticking. I drop a little water in the iron, and if it sizzles it's ready for batter. As soon as the waffle iron is filled with batter, turn the iron over. This gets the waffle batter distributed evenly.

Turn the iron over on the stove every minute or so. Don't peek at the waffle before at least five minutes or the waffle may separate. Better too long on the stove, than too short! Never wash the iron with soapy water. Only clear water. Never grease the waffle iron!
A Belgian Waffle!


The iron.




10:30AM - San Joaquín.

The Team's Plan was to come down to the City of Tequisquiapan, see the cardiologist then return to our forest Camp in the Pueblo of San Joaquín. However, it has been a bit cooler down here in Tequis at 6,000 foot elevation. It is likely quite a bit cooler at over 8,000 feet of San Joaquín.

So, we will be searching for adventure down here!

How far can one act of kindness reach?

Sometimes an incident in a person's life can change everything from then on. Reader Chris wrote about the passing of a loved one. That sad incident got Chris to thinking how things could be better. A lot better!

So, Chris started the Altruismed Project which asks the question:
"How far can one act of kindness reach?"

You may read about Chris' project [here].

2PM - San Juan del Rio.
Not too far south of Tequis is the City of San Juan del Rio [SJDR]. MsTioga and The Team decided to take a trip down there to see what's what!

We drove all over this city, just looking around. When we reached the southwest of SJDR, we made a Camp in a large empty field next to a city park.
MsTioga and Jorge in San Juan del Rio.


Sunday, July 5th - Election Day in Mexico!
Hundreds of cars and thousands of people have come together this afternoon to parade for their candidates in the upcoming, July 5th election. There is excitement here. This excitement is in the faces of the people. In the way they are running around putting balloons and candidate signs onto cars.

When we made our Camp here at 2pm, there was not one car parked near MsTioga.

Election Parade in San Juan del Rio!