Tag Archives: The Daily Post

Heading South

Heading South

My friend put on her traveling gown
for London was her sort of town
where mouths share tales and shoulders rub
when friends or strangers meet at the pub.

My friend put on her traveling gown
for Paris was her sort of town—
gone to the boulevard to eat
where strangers she perchance would meet.

A demitasse or two, or more,
a shared baguette or petit four—
approachable down to the bone.
Better not to eat alone.

She was a traveler, born to roam
when she was not ensconced in home.
Back home, a cat upon her lap.
Away from home, a well-creased map.

On maps, the south is always down,
be it Paris or London town.
So be not sad or down at mouth.
Our friend is merely going south!

As I grow older, I like to think
one day we’ll meet there for a drink.
Well-versed, our friend will show us where
to sip our coffee in open air.

Or snuggle in for shepherd’s pie
in company fit for roving eye.
To lift a pint or raise a glass
once we have joined her there en masse.

(Word came yesterday that my friend of 49 years had passed away in a London hotel room, where she was just finishing up a month long vacation.  If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, go HERE.)

Marilyn suggested this song which my poem reminded her of.  It is one of my favorites, so I’m including it here…the link provided by okcforgottenman. In his words,  ‘It is Fort Worth Blues, written by Steve Earle in tribute to the then recent passing of Townes Van Zandt. You can see him sing it HERE- in a Townes tribute on Austin City Limits. It’s a worthy tribute to Grimmer, too, I think.’


Wound Around

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    (That’s a tiny banana he is holding up, by the way. Really. You can see the banana skin.)

Wound Around

Howe’er you wrap it––short or long,
it’s hard to beat a good sarong.
Easy to pack, easy to wear,
It hardly takes a bit of care.
If it;s been wound up in a wad,
just throw it o’er the curtain rod

and all the wrinkles will hang out.
Then when you wish to gad about,
just wind it tight around your frame.
Front and back are just the same;
so do not look to find a label,
just wind as well as you are able.

Women? Tuck your boobies in.
Going braless is no sin.
Slim or chunky, all will fit.
Just wind yourself inside of it.
Whether it’s two times around,
or only one, you’re tightly bound.

Then if as garment you abhor it,
there are other uses for it.
If decorating is your passion,
a sarong is much in fashion.
Just press it smooth as you are able
to cover up a chair or table.

At other times, it comes in handy
for it works just fine and dandy
as picnic cloth or bath towel or
mosquito shield over your door.
Use it to cover up your bed
or wind a turban ’round your head.

And when your head gear you unravel,
it serves as nightgown when you travel.
Swimsuit cover up or blanket,
however you may wind or yank it,
you simply cannot e’re go wrong
when you invest in a sarong!

The Prompt: New Sensation––Ah, sweet youth. No matter whether you grew up sporting a fedora, penny loafers, poodle skirts, bell-bottoms, leg-warmers, skinny jeans, Madonna-inspired net shirts and rosaries, goth garb, a spikey mohawk, or even a wave that would put the Bieber to shame, you made a fashion statement, unique to you. Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or current trends you think are stylin’.

In and Out

In and Out


The Lapdog

Dogs that stand outside and seek admittance to within
overlook the worth of what they’ve seen and where they’ve been.
Those of us sealed fast inside yearn to see the world
that we have been deprived of as we lie securely curled
in the safety of our houses, away from chasing cars
and other fun activities kept from us by bars.
We would feel such ecstasy racing after squirrels,
other dogs and cats and lizards, skunks and boys and girls.
We seek to flee the rules that those street dogs seem to flout.
We would have such wild adventures if we only could get out!!


The Street Dog

Lucky little dogs with collars sit there looking out
as though they do not know what life for street dogs is about.
We’d love to have their pampering and their daily feeding.
What they seek escape from is exactly what we’re needing!


The Prompt: Tell us about a time you were on the outside looking in. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-outsiders/




To live in yesterday’s a sorrow.
From the past I need not borrow.
All I need is my tomorrow.

The Prompt: One More Time–What day from the past year would you like to live over again? https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/one-more-time/

Repeating the Truth

                                                           Repeating the Truth

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Truth Serum–You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?

Go HERE for my answer.

Go HERE to see the prompt Truth Serum.

The Most Overused Adjective in the English Language.

The Most Overused Adjective in the English Language

IMG_1445 (2)Quick! What one word would you use to describe this scene behind my house?

The prompt today was, if I could permanently ban a word from the English language, what would it be? Easy easy.  There is a word that has been so overused over the past few years that I cannot stand to hear it used even when appropriate!  If you are my friend, please remember and try to curtail its use. If it wasn’t the word you chose to describe the above scene, give yourself a point.  If it was, deduct ten points and learn to avoid using it. You’ll thank me later! For my answer, go HERE.


One too Few Walls

I lied.  The prompt did come in with 15 minutes to spare before I leave, but it is a prompt I already answered a year ago, so if you didn’t read it then, go HERE.  I will think up a prompt of my own when I get home, or better yet, suggest one as a comment to this post.  Why is it that writing about anything is easier than thinking of what to write about?  You do the hard part for me, please!!!  Okay, off to the second day of the second round of Camp Estrella.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fourth Wall.” You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

¿Quieres vivir en México?

IMG_1293In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Take It From Me.” What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone else that you’ve failed to follow yourself?

I’ve had several friends who have moved to Mexico after I did, and to them all, I offered this sage advice: “If you want to live in Mexico, don’t expect it to be the same as living in the states and don’t expect it to change just because you want it to. We all move here for the charm and the fact that it is laid back and less concerned with running everyone’s lives, but you also need to realize that the reason this is so is often a matter of disorganization and inefficiency. Mexico is a wonderful place, but if you are expecting practicality, reason and expediency, move to Germany instead. If someone had given me this advice before I fell in love with Mexico and let my husband talk me into buying a house here—would I have offered more resistance? Probably not. Herein, I offer than well-known advice: Do as I say, not as I do.

If you’ve been reading my blog for at least a year, you probably already know that I’ve been living in Mexico since 2001 and in that time I thought I’d encountered every illogical thing that could possibly happen, but silly me. When will I learn? A case in point. Three days ago, my doorbell rang. I called out to ask who it was and a male voice replied, “Correos de Mexico.“ The postman? In all my years here, I’d never seen one, at least on my street, let alone my house. Sure, I’d seen them buzzing around on motorcycles with their hot pink and chartreuse logos on their jackets, but it was only in the past 2 years that they’d started delivering mail to my house, and in that time, the only evidence of them I’d ever seen was a bill or two thrown over the top of my garage door—usually with tire tracks on them.

In April, I’d received a Christmas card that had been mailed from Australia on December 25; and on June 10, I’d received two more from the U.S.—six months after their posting dates! So, as you may imagine, I don’t have much confidence in the postal service in Mexico. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I threw a jacket over my nightgown and cracked my front gate door. “Identification?” the postman asked. I got my driver’s license, presented it, gave him two signatures and received in return—a speeding ticket for an infraction on April 15 of this year.

It seems that the government has decided that its a good idea to install cameras in certain vital and much-trafficked places such as the road to the airport and that I’d been caught on camera going 101 kph in an 80 kph zone. This is roughly equivalent to going 63 mph in a 50 mph zone. The resulting fine was 351 pesos, which would be halved if I paid before June 5, but increased to 500 pesos if I didn’t. I could pay at any of a number of given banks, Oxxo convenience stores or 7-11’s. So, I quickly jumped in my car and sped (oops) to my closest Oxxo, only to be told I couldn’t pay there because I hadn’t paid before June 5. But I hadn’t even received the ticket in the mail until June 23, I protested! Where was I to go now?  He didn’t know. Perhaps Guadalajara? It had no further information on the bill.

I drove home in frustration and consulted the local online bulletin board. It seems a number of people had received similar tickets in the mail, all were late and they didn’t know where to pay them. Some said the municipal building in Chapala. Others said Guadalajara. The dread Guad!!! The only times I’d driven there lately, I’d gotten hopelessly lost. I mean three to six hours lost. All the improvements and all of the signs added in the past few years seem to have only added to the confusion. ( It can’t be me, can it?)

Then today, the doorbell rang again. Once more, I threw a coat on over my nightgown. (It was nearly 10 a.m., but I was snoozing late, due to the fact that I hadn’t gone to bed until 3:30 a.m.) Who was it? Correos de Mexico. This time I grabbed my i.d. before I answered the door. Sure enough, another speeding ticket!!!! It was for May 6, 2015 and unlike the other one, it had been marked as mailed on June 15—but hadn’t been delivered until today, June 26. Its due date? June 24—two days ago. Then to thicken the plot, I realized I wasn’t even in Mexico on June 15!! My house sitter had been using my car and I believe this was the day she was going to pick up her boyfriend at the airport. Of course, I railed on to the postman who looked at me blankly. Still not his problem, I gathered. He drove away. I stormed into the house, dressed in 5 minutes and took off to Chapala to try to resolve the matter.

Due to the heavy Friday traffic of Guadalajarans trying to get an early start on weekend revelries lakeside, it took me about half an hour to drive the 10 miles or so to Chapala. I then stood in line at the municipal building, having a chat with a Mexican gentleman who held documents in his hand similar to mine. Were they traffic tickets? I asked in my unique form of Spanish. Yes, they were, he answered in perfect English. Aha! A sympathetic soul, plus one who understood English!!!

I started in on my story, trying to give the short and efficient version and ending with asking if his, too, were overdue. He didn’t know, he said, they were not his. Many ex-pats smarter than me or wealthier than me or lazier than me (or all three) hire locals to do their “official” business for them: paying taxes, registering cars—and evidently, paying traffic tickets. We chatted on until finally, it was my turn at the cashier’s cage. I tried to explain my problem in Spanish. The cashier tried to explain something to me in Spanish but I didn’t quite understand. It seemed as though she was telling me what I already knew—that I needed to have paid by June 5 and June 24, respectively, to get the 50 percent discount and to be able to pay at any bank or Oxxo or 7-11 store. Yes, but I didn’t even know a ticket had been issued on those dates, I protested—and, and­­–.

We could have gone on in this manner for some time if a gentleman had not popped out of a nearby office and explained to me that they were aware of the problem and that two more tickets would be issued for me to pay and these could be paid at any Oxxo, 7-11 or bank. Could I rip up these tickets? Yes I could. And I wouldn’t be fined even more? No. I wouldn’t.

I am home now, sitting and speculating about the efficiency of having to issue and mail new tickets rather than just letting me pay for the old one and giving me the prompt payment discount instead of the penalty. I am also considering the probability that the new tickets will also arrive after the cutoff date for payment. Another thing to consider is the trip my house sitter took to the airport to pick me up on June 8! Is another ticket having a little tour around Mexico before reaching its intended place of harassment? Will all three arrive at once? Will the postman know me well enough not to demand identification?

This long story is meant to illustrate two things. #1. That societies not based on efficiency, timeliness and logical process should not really institute a traffic fine system such as this. I don’t believe I need to discuss this further. #2. That if you have found it incredibly frustrating just to read about this little go-around, then Mexico is probably not for you. Sure, come to the beach for a week and sip pina coladas and margaritas. Go parasailing. Eat tacos. But, don’t drink the water and don’t actually move here unless you have the patience of a saint, the sense of humor of a late night political commentator and better Spanish than I do!!!

Biographical Mixed Tape Play List, Now with Links!!!

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A Testimonial from Morrie (Pictured) the newest in the pack around here:  “Wouldn’t you believe a face like this? I have this to say about Judy’s music mix.  There’s not a dog in the bunch! Go ahead–give them a listen!!! Her taste in music is as good as her taste in dogs. “

First of all, I want to thank Morrie for his endorsement of my musical taste.  When he first came to live here, just a few short weeks ago, his musical taste was no more refined than a fondness for”How Much is That Doggie in the Window” and an ability to sing along on the chorus with “The Singing Dogs.” But he seems to be a clever little dog.  He learned to sit and stay very quickly.  Also how to break into my bedroom through the bars on the grill work at the door.  But it never occurred to me that he was absorbing the culture of the house as well.  So thanks, Morrie, for your vote of confidence.

Now, on to the matter at hand. When I published my list of songs for my mixed tape yesterday, I didn’t have the links attached.  I now have links for all but one, so if you’d like an easy way to listen to a lot of good music, please go back to yesterday’s post  HERE.

While you are waiting, or if you aren’t interested in backtracking EVEN FOR THE REWARD OF SOME REALLY GOOD MUSIC, here’s a song I love (with link)  that didn’t exactly suit my biography. The dog mentioned at the beginning is Morrie, though!!!

Silent All These Years
Tori Amos





I can’t believe that I’m actually going to tell you the story associated with this picture, but here goes! Most of you know the story of how I decided to move to Mexico for a year with my husband, who was very reluctant to spend even a few weeks in Mexico, let alone an entire year!  When he got here and got adjusted, however, it was he who started agitating to buy a house, with the end result pictured here–a house on the side of a mountain above Lake Chapala. The problem was, that shortly after we bought the house and before we could move into it, he passed away.

I moved to Mexico, but memories of Bob moved with me and it was as though he was inhabiting more of the house than the small shrine I constructed in his memory in the entrance hall.  For seven years, I just felt married.  I think I dealt with the loss of him well.  For those seven years, I journaled most days, wrote a book and numerous poems about dealing with the loss of a loved one and other aspects of moving to a foreign country. The thing is, that my heart didn’t go along with my head and in spite of everything, I felt married.

A part of this may have been that I just didn’t meet anyone who triggered that first automatic response that Bob had.  The minute I’d set eyes on him, I suspected he was “the” one. Once I’d heard him read his poetry, I knew he was.  But Bob was gone.  Had been for seven years, and I decided it was time to go about trying to meet someone else.  I joined Match.com and in a year found not one person I wanted to meet, let alone anyone who wanted to meet me.

Then a friend told me about OkCupid and within 24 hours, I had met a number of people I was interested in and the response indicated that they felt the same way.  But Mexico is a long way from the states and the obligation associated with having someone come all this distance made me reticent about encouraging visits.  I wrote to a number of people, and then Jerry came along.

Although we were very different in some ways, our communication was conducted on a more intimate level than any of my other conversations.  We seemed to get to the meat of ourselves and I was intrigued.  He was the first person who made me start to feel romantic again in the way my heart had turned over when I met Bob.  I was due to give a talk at a local lecture series and it might be an indication of how my life was quickly transitioning if I admit to you that the night before I gave a 45 minute speech on Bob’s death and overcoming grief, I stayed up all night taking to Jerry.  That morning, after only one hour of sleep, I gave my talk about Bob and overcoming his loss, but it was Jerry I was thinking about.  That quickly, I had gone on to a stage unmentioned in my talk.  I no longer felt married.

Our long conversations on Skype turned  sensual–not in a cyber sex sense, but in a romantic sense.  When we met, what would the setting be?  What would I be wearing?  What would he be wearing?  What would our first words be?  We constructed romantic dialogues–and this writing was a new and exciting experience for him.  He began to paint again–something he hadn’t done in years–and attributed this new interest in writing and the rebirth of his artistic life to me.

Within a few months, he had decided to fly to Mexico for a 4 day weekend. I’d meet him at the plane.  This was very different from our initial resolve to meet at a location other than one of our homes.  We had envisualized meeting at a beach resort.  I would be sitting at a table with my back to the door.  He would enter and recognize me immediately.  He’d come up to me and kiss the back of my neck.  Then he’d sit at the table and the tension would build as we had margaritas and dinner, a walk on the beach, and. . . .  Who knew what it would lead to?

What would I be wearing?  His choice was a full Mexican skirt and an off-the-shoulder peasant blouse.  Sandals.  He’d be wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Levis or shorts and huaraches or sandals.

When I first heard word that he was coming in a few weeks, my sister and her friend were visiting me in Mexico.  I finally revealed to them the details of my cyber romance and they threw themselves into the task of helping me to find the right wardrobe for our meeting.  It was fun combing the shops for a full skirt.  The peasant blouse was another matter, but we finally found it. They were complicit in my plans–nothing short of a romance comic book come to life.  They left.  Jerry’s arrival was that night.

Unfortunately, in the time between my shopping spree and Jerry’s evening arrival, the weather had turned cold.  As I stood at the airport reading the notice that the plane would be delayed by two hours, I shivered in my skimpy gauzy clothing and sandals. Around me were Mexican citizens in their Levis, Reboks and down jackets.  I was seemingly the only senorita in sight and I was cold!  I went into the warmest spot I could find–a restaurant on the second floor–and asked to borrow a tablecloth to wear as a shawl as I ordered coffee, then soup. Anything to get warm!!! Yes, I felt foolish.

As I waited, I thought of what I knew about him.  I knew he had 4 more years until retirement and that he had saved up enough air miles to travel around the world for a year. He had asked me to go with him, saying he had enough miles for two.  He loved Mexico and wanted to retire here.  He’d been married but had no children. He didn’t drink, except on vacation. He was going to quit smoking, but couldn’t until after we’d met–the tension was too great in the interim. He was trying to lose weight. His favorite food was flan. (I had three different varieties of flan awaiting him in my refrigerator: my mother’s recipe, a killer variety cooked by a friend who was a chef and a diet variety.)

Then, finally, the plane was announced.  I took the elevator down to the first level, stood by the railing watching person after person come out of the doors of customs and scan the crowd.  I was looking for the athletic handsome man pictured in his OK Cupid profile.  Person after person passed.  Then, when I’d about given up hope, a chubby man with a  foolish sort of grin came down the “runway” stumbling just a bit.  Weaving just a bit.  He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.  Could it be?  When he caught sight of me, his grin widened.  At the end of the runway, he caught me in a big hug and a brief kiss.

Even in that brief kiss, I could tell he’d been drinking.  His erratic walk told me he’d been drinking quite a bit.  It turned out that during the 2 hour delay, the airline had offered free drinks to everyone, and it had been a shame not to make full use of the offer. I could understand this.  The conversation on the 45 minute drive home was fine and half way home, he asked me to pull over for a full embrace.  Again, my hopes soared.

That night was as romantic as I might have wished. When we arrived at my house, he put his suitcase in the spare room.  No pressure, he said.  I appreciated this. Loved it, in fact.  We ate.  We danced for hours.  Talked.  Kissed.  He did not use the spare room for anything other than a repository for his suitcase.  It was one of the most romantic nights of my life and the fact that I’d been waiting for it for seven years did nothing to dispel its effect.

The next morning, we slept in.  Or, at least, I slept in.  When I woke up, he was already in the kitchen making breakfast.  We ate on the patio.  The weather had warmed up and everything should have been perfect.  But, when he kissed me, I noticed tequila on his breath. Wasn’t it a bit early to be drinking tequila? He was on vacation, he told me.  When he went back into the kitchen for more orange juice, I could hear him uncapping the tequila and pouring some into his glass.

By the end of breakfast, the tequila bottle that had been full before I drove to the airport was 2/3 empty. By then the gardener was there.  My living room is pretty much floor to ceiling sliding glass windows the entire expanse of the living and dining room that face the  terrace, pool, and back garden.  I’m sure Pasiano was a bit shocked to see me close dancing in the living room with this stranger at 9 in the morning.  It was romantic, yes, but I kept looking up to see Pasiano’s reaction.  He was watering the plants nearest the glass wall.  Now and then when I looked up, I met his gaze and his somewhat stupefied expression.  This was something new in this house!

Over the next few days, we drove around to the other side of the lake, walked the malecon in Chapala, went out dancing with friends.  The entire time, Jerry drank.  When he had said he only drank on vacation, I had not understood that what he meant was that he Only drank on vacation!  Once he hit Mexico–his usual vacation destination–what he did was drink!  By the second night, his libido was somewhat inhibited by the tequila. By the third night, he nodded off the minute his head hit the pillow.  The romance, if not over, had certainly hit some ruts in the road.

Before I drove him to the plane to return to the states, I confided to him that I would  be writing a new book and wasn’t going to be able to devote as much time to talking to him as I had in the past. (Our record marathon call had lasted 9 hours.)  He got the message loud and clear.  The romance quickly cooled.

I went on to meet other interesting prospects and several have come to Mexico to visit, but never again did I invite anyone to stay with me prior to meeting them. At one point, I preferred going to the states to meet prospective love interests–during visits to family and friends.  Some of these encounters have turned out well and I’ve made at least one lifelong friend whom I hope will always be in my life, but I’ve retired the peasant blouse.  Only this picture remains to remind me of my foolish foolish heart and to remind me never again to let it rule my choice of wardrobe!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”  Go to the first photo you find of yourself in the first album you locate and tell us the story of that photograph.