The House We Used To Live In

As some of you are possibly aware, one week ago my lovely supermodel wife and I found out we have to find a new place to live.

Yeah, that kind of sucketh greatly.

We really love the place we’re in. It had everything we were looking for when we decided to move here, and it’s three doors down from Phyllis’ house. Phyllis is my wife’s best friend, and she’s also my golf wife. In terms of location, it was perfect.

We’ll be hard pressed to find a better landlady than Planet Janet, but ultimately this is merely an inconvenience to us. I could tell you the story of how all of this got happened, but it’s a real messy personal disaster for Janet.

You don’t need to know all of the details.

Have you ever seen the movie Young Doctors in Love? It’s a spoof of TV soap operas, like, General Hospital. I’ve seen it a couple of times, and because I worked in the medical field, I thought it was beyond hilarious. You might want to check it out if you don’t have anything else to do.

One of the characters is an elderly Mafia don whose family is in a war with a rival family. He ends up in the hospital, and his oldest son disguises himself as a woman so he can visit his father without, you know, ending up getting killed to death in the process. One of the young doctors starts falling in love with her. Him. Whatever.

The young Mafia don-in-training isn’t exactly ladylike. In fact, he/she swears like two drunken Marines, and one of the catchlines he/she says is, “For various fuckin’ reasons…”

That’s why we have to move. Let’s just leave it at that.

It’s not all bad news. We have at least fifteen months to find another home. We’re meeting with a realtor this morning. Several of our friends are keeping their eyes open for us. And we’re following up on any rental leads in the local publications and social media.

I’m sure we’ll find another suitable abode eventually. I’ll keep you posted.

* * * *

Tenemos gatitas! Pequeños leones de la casa feroz!!

For those of you who aren’t bilateral like I am, that’s Spanish for, We have kit-tens! Ferocious little house lions!!

Mika and Mollie. They’re still adorable. They’ve taken control of the house. And us. The little terrorists, with talons of death. Bare feet are irresistible to kit-tens, and they attack out of nowhere. We’ve learned quickly to watch our steps with kit-tens underfoot. My lower legs look like unto I’ve been skipping through a field of barbwire.

They’re growing so fast! They’re about twice the size they were when we brought them home. They’re running and climbing over everything. It’s been very entertaining, and sometimes exhausting, having them around.

Our veterinarian, Dr. Betty, has seen the kit-tens a couple of times for vaccinations. She has fallen in love with them, too. Her partner, Dr. Gaby, doesn’t think our kit-tens are part Himalayan. She thinks they’re part Siamese. Seminese/Semilayan. It’s all good.

* * * *

The Minnesota Vikings lost again. They got beat by the  Los Angeles Rams, who just might be the best team in the NFL this year. The good news was the Vikings made a game of it, and had a couple of chances to at least tie the game before they ultimately lost. The bad news is the Vikings play the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend and they are the defending world champions.

Yeah. The Vikings are probably going to lose that game, too.

* * * *

Virtual Update: My social media BFF’s have been busy. Grecia is pregnant with her first child. Serena is getting back into shape after her second child. Danessa is getting married next year. Mark’s girlfriend broke up with him and he’s devastated.

I still get random requests from young women who are interested in a serious relationship with my money, but I’m less likely to even acknowledge them anymore.

I guess an old dog really can learn new tricks…

* * * *

We just got back from looking at our second potential new home. It was a nice place. Five bedrooms, four bathrooms. The only thing we didn’t like about it was it lacks any scenic views, but that’s a huge drawback.

The first place we looked at was a cute little place in our current development, but it was way too small for our needs. In one of the most generous offers I’ve ever heard, Phyllis said she’d move into it, and we could rent her house.

It’s hard to render me speechless, but that did.

When it comes to our new home, neither Lea nor I are willing to compromise when it comes to what we want. Neither of us wants to settle for something because we’ll probably end up hating the place, and then we’ll end up moving. Again.

I am not a big fan of moving. Lea isn’t either. It’s one of the many things we have in common.

Well, why don’t you just buy your own place then, you might ask. It’s a valid question. The biggest drawback is the lack of reasonable mortgage financing in Mexico. Some financing is available, but it’s not like the US.

We could probably buy our own place, but it would easily wipe out half of our retirement savings, and neither of us is wild about that. Housing and real estate is one area where it’s cheaper in Mexico doesn’t apply.

Someone figured out a long time ago that all of the gringos here would pay serious cash for beautiful houses to live in. A nice house here would cost us roughly the same as it would in Phoenix.

I’m finding it hard to stay focused on writing. Between the kit-tens jumping on my lap to help me type and checking for housing updates every thirty seconds, I’ve been having more than a little difficulty completing two consecutive sentences.

I’m sure there have been times when I have procrastinated about starting a project. Or finishing something I’ve started. Like this blog.

And even though we have something like unto fifteen months to find another house, neither of us wants this process to take that long. We basically want to find a place in the next fifteen minutes. The reality is that our best chance of finding our next place won’t happen until April or May of next year.

Hey, it is what it is. Patience is a virtue. Breathe in. Breathe out.

That’s what I used to tell my patients.

Looks like I’m back in business.

Lookin’ Out My Backdoor

Hey. How’s it going?

It’s been warm here in the Lakeside Area, like, low to mid 90’s warm. As the locals say, muchos calor! Lea and I lived in Phoenix before we moved here. That, was hot. The temperature can climb to 120° there. Even if it’s a dry heat, as Arizonans claim, it still feels like unto being in an oven.

One of my former patients at Aurora Behavioral Health sustained second degree burns from laying down on the sidewalk in the dead of summer. In the interest of full disclosure, the police made him lay on the sidewalk after they put handcuffs on him. I can’t remember all of the details, but even if he was guilty of whatever the cops busted him for, laying him down on a sidewalk hot enough to fry an egg seems a bit extreme to me.

The rainy season should start soon, and the temperature will drop back into the 80’s. We had a false start to our seasonal rains. It rained for about a week a couple of weeks ago. Las montañas de chino started greening up, and then the rains stopped. The Chinese Mountains don’t quite look like heads of broccoli yet, but they don’t look like unto a wasteland anymore either.

The rain here is kind of monsoonal, and kind of not. It’ll rain here almost every night until roughly October. Yeah, it usually rains at night, and only sometimes during the day. Even the rain is polite here. I’ve never lived any place before where rain was so seasonal. And predictable.

Arizona has a monsoon season, but it’s not a monsoon like the monsoons in India where it rains day and night for months on end. An Arizona monsoon is a monster storm of wind and dust that pops up, followed by torrential rain, then the storm abates and dies. Consecutive days of rain in Arizona are a rarity.

The only downside to the rainy season is I have to suck all of the water out of the pool we don’t use every time it rains. It’s basically a really big rain gauge. Rain water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and I’m not a big fan of mosquitoes, so the water must go.

However, it’s not like I don’t have the time. I have a shop-vac. It’s not a big deal, and I like the way the pool looks afterwards. It’s the cleanest vacant pool you’ve ever seen.

And, well, you get kind of tired of the rain after awhile. I know Lea does. This will be our second rainy season. I’ll have to pay more attention to how I feel about the rain this year.

* * * *

My golf game remains a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. I shot the best nine hole round of my life few weeks ago, 45. Then I followed it up with a 54. I haven’t come close to equaling my best score since. It’s kind of frustrating, but that’s golf.

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I’ve gotten better at the Big Three aspects of golf. Most of my drives are things of beauty. I’m getting better at chipping. I’ve had a lots of almost great shots. They would’ve been really great if they had only gone in the hole. I can actually hit a ball that rolls very close to the pin at least half of the time now. And I’m getting better at putting. Most of the some of the time.

It’s those times when my shots aren’t beautiful or almost great that are killing me, and I have at least ten of those in every round I play. Every goddamn stroke in golf counts, even the ones that suck. The trick, according to everyone in the know, is to put all three of those pieces together.

Drive. Chip. Putt. It’s a simple game.

Unless your game is more like this: Drive. Chip, chip. Putt, putt, putt. Oh well. It’ll keep me focused on something besides getting old and fat and bald-er. I have to believe that I’ll continue to improve, and all of those things will fall into place one of these days. Or months. Or years.

* * * *

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We have a ga-jillion hummingbirds at our feeders! They arrived en masse at about 10:00 AM last Saturday morning. We started out the year with about four hummers. When Todd came down to visit, that number jumped up to around one hundred, and Lea happily hung a second feeder on the patio.

On Saturday, we hung a third feeder because there was a cloud of ten to twenty hummingbirds swirling around each feeder, waiting to get a chance to drink. And it’s like that all day. A voracious herd of hummingbirds can empty a feeder in about two hours. Keeping our feeders full and all of our hummingbirds happy has become kind of a full-time job.

Our feeders have six ports for the birds to drink from, and when their numbers are vast, the hummingbirds are actually pretty good at taking turns and sharing. When there’s only a few, one bird tends to become a monopolist, and will chase all of the other birds away.

We had one of those before Saturday. Lea named him King. He perched himself on the edge of my hammock, close to his feeder, and he guarded it with ferocity. When Lea hung the second feeder, he tried to keep all the others away from that one, too. That lasted about an hour.

He still sits on my hammock, but there’s nothing ferocious about him now. He actually looks kind of depressed. I’m wondering if I need to put him on suicide precautions.

Lea made a special trip to El Walmart yesterday, just to buy a half a ton of sugar. It’s a good thing that sugar is inexpensive here…

* * * *

Lea has her hummingbirds back, and I have a praying mantis living on my fern on the patio. I call her Ferngully because, you know, she lives on a fern. 

I think she’s a girl. She was less than an inch long when I discovered her. She’s about twice that size now. I catch bugs and stick them between the leaves of her fern frond. Sometimes she eats them. Others she won’t touch.

Who knew that bugs were picky eaters?

I can’t really say Ferngully is my pet. She doesn’t come when I call her, and she doesn’t know any tricks, unless you think hanging upside-down on a leaf is a trick. She’s very good at doing that.

I want to train her to walk on leash…

* * * *

Not everything on the patio is peaceful and serene. There’s the squirrels. The Spanish word for squirrel is ardilla. I have a different name for them. Pinche hijos de putas.

I hate squirrels more than I hate any other animal on this planet. They’re essentially rats with fluffy tails, and if not for that fluffy tail, no one would think they’re cute. Squirrels are agents of evil. In the Bible it says that Satan is disguised as an angel of light, and so it is with squirrels.

We had hundreds of squirrels in our neighborhood when we lived in Minneapolis. They lived in our trees, and frolicked in the yard. They chewed their way into our neighbors’ house and caused them thousand of dollars worth of damage.

I wanted to buy a machine gun and kill all of the squirrels after that, but my lovely supermodel wife vetoed my idea. She thought they were cute. You what else Lea thought was cute? Flower gardens. She wanted gardens with lots of flowers, so I became a gardener. I removed half a ton of grass from our backyard. I bought a lots of flowers, and our backyard looked like unto a picture postcard.

It was darlingpreshadorbs!

And then one day, for no particular reason, the squirrels decided to dig up all of Lea’s begonias. “Kill them! Kill them all!” my lovely but pissed off supermodel wife hissed. I bought a Red Ryder Pump Action Carbine BB Gun®, and commenced to start to begin to kill every squirrel that entered my yard.

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I gave my air rifle a name. Ol’ Squirrelkiller. I set up a sniper’s nest from the window of our bedroom, and I got really good at shooting squirrels. I killed hundreds of them over the years. But there’s this one thing about squirrels: for every squirrel you kill, there are seemingly two more that move in to replace it.

Just before we moved to Phoenix, I gave Ol’ Squirrelkiller to my neighbor, Lyle, so he could kill all of the squirrels in his yard. I didn’t miss my air rifle when we lived in Arizona because there were no squirrels in our neighborhood. But I miss it now.

There’s a rule of thumb for gringos in Mexico. If you see something you want, or you think you’ll ever need, buy it. It won’t be there the next time, and you’ll never find anything like unto it again.

When we first moved here, El Walmart used to sell air rifles. I wasn’t at war with squirrels back then, but I still wanted to buy one, you know, just in cases. Once again, my lovely supermodel wife vetoed my idea because she thought it was foolish to buy an air rifle I didn’t know I was going to need until about a year and half later.

A week ago, I went to El Walmart to specifically buy my Mexican Viejo Asesino de Ardilla, but El Pinche Walmart no longer sells air rifles.

Madre de Dios!!

We don’t have hundreds of squirrels here. I think we only have two, maybe four at the most. And as much as I hate squirrels, I didn’t want to kill them until they started eating the plants on my patio. When we moved here we started decorating the patio. We bought a lots of ceramic pots and soil, and we bought a lots of plants to put in the pots.

One of the plants I bought was a greenish-yellowish vine with medium huge leaves. It loved its new home, and it grew like a weed, except it was a lots prettier than a weed. It was absolutely gorgeous last year.

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This year, it looks like unto Charlie Brown’s forlorn Christmas tree because the fucking squirrels have eaten every leaf off of it. Repeatedly. As Bugs Bunny used to say, Of course you realize, this means war!

Seeing how I may never find another air rifle, I may have to build one of these:

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I can bombard the house Seigfried and Roy is building below our house with squirrels.

My war with squirrels isn’t the only war that’s being waged in our backyard.

* * * *

We live in a development called Lomas del Lago, Hills of the Lake. The guy who started building here is a guy I call Seigfried and Roy. He’s an ancient German guy who has more money than Croesus. His name is Seigfried. I added the, and Roy.

Seigfried and Roy were a once famous duo of magicians and entertainers in Las Vegas who became known for their appearances with white lions and white tigers. Until Roy was, you know, accidentally almost killed to death by one of their tigers.

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Just in cases you’ve never heard of Croesus, he was the king of ancient Lydia, and is generally accredited with minting the first true gold coins.

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Seeing how he more or less invented money, he had more of it than anyone else in the world. Hence, the term.

Earlier this year, Seigfried and Roy started to construct a house below our house. We weren’t too happy about that, so we mentioned it to our landlady, Planet Janet.

She was something way beyond furious when she heard that.

According to Janet, she had a verbal agreement with Seigfried and Roy. He wouldn’t build anything on that lot, and she wouldn’t have him killed. I’m not sure if those were the exact terms they had agreed to, but they had an agreement of some sort.

Despite their agreement, Seigfried and Roy decided to build a house in the lot more or less right below our house. While the new house won’t completely destroy our scenic view of the lake, it certainly won’t do anything to enhance it.

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And the only way the occupants of the new house below us will be able to see their scenic view of the lake is by hanging out on their mirador. That will totally destroy any privacy we have when we hang out on our patio, and we spend a lots of time on our patio.

Everyone in our development has a mirador. It’s basically an outdoor lounging area on the roof, like unto a balcony. We have a mirador on our roof that we never use. Our patio is huge, and shaded, and you don’t have to climb any stairs to get to it.

Planet Janet has one of the best attorneys in the Lakeside Area on retainer. He has a couple of legal orders to cease and desist any and all construction on the house below us, which have accomplished absolutely nothing thus far. The consensus is that Seigfried and Roy has bribed pretty much every public official in the state of Jalisco, and half of their cousins for good measure.

Janet and her attorney are optimistic that they will eventually find someone that hasn’t been bribed, and at the very least they’ll be able to obtain some monetary compensation from Seigfried and Roy for obstructing the one time scenic view that our house used to offer. At the most, they might have the house taken down.

All of that remains to be seen. No matter what happens, we’re not planning on going anywhere. We love this house. We love this place. We love this time we have here together.

As Duke Leto Atreides once said, “Here I am, here I remain!” So, watch out squirrels. I have resources you’ll never be able to imagine because you’re just a rodent with a fluffy tail, not a highly trained assassin with years of military experience in taking dental x-rays.

Stop eating my plants. Or else!