"Other news" of course meaning all things not related to having a house void of foster animals and/or the emotions attached to leaving Mexico next month. Those two things have taken over my brain of late but not in an organized fashion. So there will be no writing on those topics. Yet.
So again, In Other News...
My ever enterprising daughter, Brynn, has appointed herself the English teacher for our neighborhood. Unfortunately I did not get a photo of her advertisement before it disappeared, but last week there was a sign on our door that read "Clases de Engles. Miercoles y Sabado 1-2:00. 20 pesos por cada persona." She spelled "ingles" wrong, but other than that it was remarkably legible!
On the touchy topic of dogs, Brynn has also been busy. Check out this photo from Renegade's veterinary appointment with Brynn. Hmm...no wonder he growls at her when she picks him up.
Let me translate her awesome first-grade-I-live-in-Mexico spelling for you. The examination checklist includes the following items: ears, nose, mouth, tongue, privates, feet, x-ray, neuter. And you'll notice that by neuter it says, "Not good." Who really knows what kind of torture that puppy endured at the hands of this pre-veterinary student, but I am happy to note that my children definitely understand the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. Bob Barker must be proud.
Shoes. I finally ordered myself a pair of Zapatos Magicos. I needed to wait until the end of our time here so that I wouldn't have to (a) look at them longlingly wishing I could wear them outside or (b) give into the temptation to wear them outside and promptly ruin them in the dust and nastiness that lies in the street outside our door.
They are machine washable, but I didn't want to take any chances. And I didn't want to order more than one pair (they aren't cheap) but I really wanted a cozy pair to wear on chilly Colorado mornings. So here they are, in all their PINK glory. I think PINK is not a color any of my friends or relatives would have predicted for me.
As one friend commented, "Ah, zapatos magicos. You gettin' your hippy on?" Yeah, maybe...I dunno. Maybe gettin' my cozy on. They're made by the mom of one of Brynn's friends out of yarn she brings back from Argentina. I'm so in love with them I'm thinking about ordering another pair in a different style!
The girls already have their own zapatos magicos, which they wore all over Chicago last month. I didn't see any other kids wearing zapatos magicos. Or flip flops, come to think of it. I might have been the only person in the city wearing flip flops. Go figure.
Our beach is covered in dead sardines. I'm really sorry I don't have photos, because no explanation I could give would adequately describe the numbers of flopping, gasping fish we've seen on our beach lately. Brynn tried to toss some back into the water a few nights ago and after throwing in a few hundred, hadn't even made a dent.
Some confluence of variables like tide, temperature, currents and who knows what else is driving sardines by the millions near our beach where the bigger fish round them up, drive them to the surface, and eat them. The sea birds, like the gigantic pelicans and what we lovingly call the "dinosaur" birds, swoop down for them. The waves bring the sardines crashing to shore where they suffocate by the thousands.
Because I am SUCH a trooper, I have continued my ocean swims (did you know I've been ocean swimming?) despite the madness. Okay, maybe I haven't totally continued. I went once last week when there was some fishiness in the water, but yesterday my swimming partner and I chickened out. There was a bit of a red tide plus dive-bombing sea birds, sardines visibly jumping around on the surface of the water and dead sardines, eels, and other fish all over the beach. We went for a walk instead of a swim, but the other end of the beach was clean so we hopped in there for a quick, fish-free swim.
Yesterday I ordered two square meters of tile for our kids' bathroom back in Colorado. I really have no idea how big a box containing one square meter will be or how well it will fit into the car on the way home, but there were 90 tiles per box and we need about 140 tiles for the upcoming bathroom project, so I had to buy two boxes. We'll find room.The tiles are handpainted traditional Mexican tiles which will go with the handpainted sink I got at a market for a STEAL of 400 pesos (about US$32). It seemed like a steal. If I got ripped off, please refrain from commenting about it.The tiles, on the other hand, were probably a ripoff. I paid about 1000 pesos for those. They're just plain aqua -- the same color as the background of the sink. Since they are all handpainted, there is some fun variation between the tiles.
Here is the plan for the bathroom: walls tiled in white up to about 4ish feet (probably subway tile to keep it consistent with the kitchen and our eventual master bath makeover). At that point, we'll switch to the aqua Mexican tiles. Two rows of those and then finish with a few more rows of subway tile. White honeycomb/hexagonal or similar tile on the floor, new (hopefully bigger?) vanity. Maybe one that actually has a drawer or two in it? That would be nice for a bathroom that belongs to two girls, don't you think? New countertop -- probably white or white-ish, maybe Caesarstone or Formica or similar. Lots of other details which will be revealed at some point this fall (I hope). My plan is to renovate the bathroom this fall during the days while the girls are at school. Maybe dumb. We shall find out.
I'm going for a touch of fun Mexican in the bathroom. Not "Oh, my...I've been transported to Mexico." If (or...ahem...when) we get tired of it, we'll just take out the sink, right? Or maybe the sink and the counter? The wall tiles should be neutral enough to stay. I hope.
In the last bit of "other news" before I wrap it up for the night...we're doing some work on the Cherokee. Scott's beloved Cherokee has been a member of our family for six years now. We're just a few thousand miles from hitting 100K and have decided that, even though we'd love a used Honda Pilot with three rows of seats, the Cherokee will probably stay in our family for a while. We're not the kind of people who go out and spend $18,000 without a REALLY good reason. Plus, the Cherokee is Scott's and, let's face it, he doesn't really need a car. He can ride his bike to work so why bother spending a ton of money on a new car for him? Luckily, he is of the same opinion. I think.
Anyway, we're taking advantage of the cheap labor rates in Mexico and getting the car fixed up. So far...we've had the transmission worked on THREE times and it finally seems to be running right (after emptying all of the transmission fluid from the entire transmission all over my dad's garage. Still feeling guilty about that). We've done the 96,000 mile service, including the "optional" work for Cherokees that regularly endure rough or overloaded driving conditions. Why, yes, we do in fact drive up and down our Mexican street every day. That, in itself, qualifies as rough conditions, I think. Next up is the windshield replacement, the NEW paint job, the new speakers (the front driver's side speaker has been dead since the day we bought the car), and a total wash and detail of the car before heading home. At home, all of this stuff would cost way more than the total value of the car. Here, it will probably total under $1000. Totally worth it. Way better than $18,000 for a new car, don't you think?
Maybe I'll get my brain around the fact that we're going home in less than a month (actually, four weeks from TODAY) or maybe I'll figure out how I feel about all of our foster animals being gone. And then I'll blog about what's really going on.