Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March Fishing on the Joe

Tom at the take out.
Tom, Mark and I, loaded up the drifter and drove down to the St. Joe River for a day of fly fishing.  The drive down brought rain and then snow, but once we got to the launch the snow quit and a good day began.

It was cold but the water was running clear and fast. We started fishing streamers and nymphs, but by the end of the day we were throwing smallish black stoneflies. These floaters were the ticket and we were able to pull in some St. Joe hogs.  All in all, a very nice day.

Cold fishing selfie.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Onward to the Coast!

We drove over to Westport to visit our friends Don and Caroline for a few days.  The drive was uneventful and we made very good time, leaving Post Falls at 7:30 AM and arriving at 3:00 PM. We set up the camper in their neighbor's driveway; it is flat and those folks are somewhere south in the warmth.

Like most times we have visited, the weather has been on and off rain, clouds, and sun.  We had a big dinner with all the family in attendance and then went to bed by about 10:00 PM.

The next morning we went to the beach and walked. Kobi and Linda loved it. Kobi rolled in some stinky beach mess and Linda ran in the sand trying to avoid the waves. I moved along at a leisurely pace, looking for float balls and collectible beach junk. I didn't find anything but took some pictures and tried to keep the dog out of the ocean.

I found a crab shell on the beach. We had talked about crab shell markings the night before when we were cracking crab that Chris had dropped by.  Chris had pointed out that there is a wolf head in the natural design on the back of the crab.  Look closely and you should be able to see it.  Well, unless you are Caroline. She said she never could see it.

As part of my afternoon job list, I was asked to see if I could repair a lawnmower. I checked it out and couldn't get it to work. Then I Googled the problem and found that it was probably the spark plug. We drove into town and purchased a plug that was said to work and brought it home.

I installed it and the mower started on the first pull. What did we do before Google? 

Tuesday, March 08, 2016


It's Tuesday and we are settled in. The sun just came out today after three days of gray. We will have to get used to clouds again.  Our trip back was the easiest we have had in a long time. No late flights. In fact, most were early. Easy reentry into the US, and nothing to make you think "I hate travel", except the long hours of sitting.

The house was great when we got home. Fatima had kept things in order and there were no problems encountered to speak of. We had a ton of mail, that turned into a few items we needed to deal with and a huge bag of recyclable paper that went out to the garage. Our new credit cards were here so we had to deal with that. All in all, not much for being away three months.

We haven't watched TV since we left so we took the leap and called Direct TV and disconnected our satellite antenna. Our bill for this service was $102.02 per month, that's $1224.24 a year that we will save. To replace this I spent $200 on two items, an antenna to pick up local HD signal and then a blue-ray player that hooks to the internet for Netflix. This should satisfy the TV need until we can get completely off the tube. This project saved us $1000 a year so I am going to buy a new fishing rod. Just kidding!

I uncovered the camper and we have it ready to travel down to pick up Kobi. While we were gone, one of the electric camper lift jacks came apart and so I had to call for a repair part for it. Take away $180 from the TV savings to repair the camper.  The part is not essential until we take the camper off the truck, so I have some time to work on the repair.

When you get home, the one thing you notice right away is how much money you spend compared to the cost of living in Mexico. It is phenomenal! Vegetables at the market are a prime example.  I bought a small bunch of green onions yesterday for $1.29. In Mexico, that bunch would have cost me 2 pesos. The exchange is about 17 or 18 pesos to the dollar so you can figure that out.

Also, you can't use your credit card in Melaque, (we only use our debit to get cash) so you never just pull the card out and spend. Everything is cash and so you think about how much you have and what you are buying all the time. You never spend on unnecessary items!

OK, a few unnecessary items.  While down in Melaque we bought some T-shirts, a couple dresses, and finally, we had a rug made for our house. The rug is beautiful and we have hung it in our front room.

Linda has been in contact with many of our friends at the bungalow where we stayed. They had some great stories about the guy that moved in after us. It makes us feel good to be missed, and we really miss everyone from Casa Grande, Las Palmas, and Casa Pink!
The painting is almost finished!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Won't be Finished

Yvan, one of our Casa Grande friends and volleyball junkies is a wonderful artist! He asked me to take a photo of the volleyball games at Las Palmas and then he started a painting using the photo. It is a spectacular work, but we will not be here when he finishes.

I was able to get a photo the first day and then another shot yesterday. His paintings are in oils and the two paintings of Linda and I, though not finished, are very cool. I wish we were able to be here when he finishes, but Yvan promises to sent us a photo of the completed work.

The first day of the project.
The final results should be amazing!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Winding Down

Our time in Mexico is growing short. A few days ago Daren and Marcy hopped on a bus and headed north to PV, where they are today, and will fly out soon. I took a couple photos while they were here and so I posted them below. We had such a great time with them while they were here. It's always sad to see friends move on. They sent us a SPOT message when they got to PV. We looked at it in Google Earth and were amazed just how big PV has gotten. We probably won't be visiting there anytime soon.
Daren and Marcy on the playa in La Manzanilla.
Una margarita en las rocas, sin sal.
On Tuesday we went to Barra and took a boat taxi over to the beach restaurant Mary's. Jill and Barry have a friend down named Jay and we wanted him to experience that bit of Mexico. The food at the restaurant is always good. I had some bean and cheese tacos and for 30 pesos they gave me six. I was stuffed!

 Sitting in the shade at our table you can truly get a picture of the haves and have-nots. Yachts and huge sailboats moored about the lagoon, as their inhabitants come and go. Next to us a few local children swim and play while street vendors cruise back and forth hoping to make a sale.  It looks to me like the have-nots are happier than the haves. We are so glad we can do this each year and hope to be able to continue for many more.

Shopping in Barra.
Every conversation at this time of year includes talk of flying out of Melaque. Linda has started not sleeping well as she plans what needs to be completed before we leave. Clothing needs washing, kitchen supplies need packing, our luggage is a puzzle and we need to figure out a configuration that allows us to fly home with everything we want to transport home.  I am ready to go. I have loved the stay but it is time for us to get back to Idaho.  I'll probably post again before we leave so until then, take care!