Friday, February 23, 2018

Sometimes life throws you a curve-ball

Max - September 2017

About nine months ago we adopted an adorable black and white part-terrier part-whatever dog, because he looked like a cousin to our almost-famous Sparky, plus the new guy desperately needed a home.
He was known in his neighbourhood as Max, although I think he should be called Hoover because the dog enjoys his food. He had been living rough for five years, sleeping in the street until someone accidentally ran over him in January of 2017.

Max - Janaury 2017
Dr. Delfino Guevara and his dedicated crew at Clinica Veterinaria de Isla Mujeres patched him up, and Eileen Regn of H.A.L.O. (Helping Animals Living Overseas) found him a caring, but temporary foster home on the island with fellow Canadian Sylvie Staines. Then when Sylvie returned to Canada in May, Eileen began actively looking for a new fur-ever home for Max. We said sure, we’ll take him.
He’s a very affectionate little guy. He worships Lawrie as the first man who ever treated him kindly, and Lawrie loves him.
Lawrie and the boys! Sparky and Max
But in January of this year my sweetie, Lawrie, was diagnosed with a debilitating disease – PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. The left side of his body doesn’t get the messages from his brain as quickly as the right side does. PSP creates serious stability and mobility issues for him.
Max likes to run and greet Lawrie with his paws on his knees, or to spin in happy circles. It’s just too risky for Lawrie having so much activity while he is trying to move around in the house. 
From existing on the street for five years to living inside a house Max has progressed well in nine months that he has been with us. The funny thing about street dogs is that besides not knowing how to behave inside a house they don’t know how to play. We have taught Maxie to play fetch with a tennis ball, and he enjoys it. He swims in the oceans, runs up and down the beach and fetches anything he can including discarded plastic bottles and other bits of ocean junk.
Max - learning to swim

He is housebroken, which he wasn’t, but he will have to adjust to your schedule. We are early risers and the boys zip out for a quick pee before we have our morning coffee, then we do a longer walk before breakfast, later a short afternoon respite for them and writing break for me, and finally a quick pee before bed. Once he settles into the new routine you will find that he is quite capable of ‘holding it’ for quite a few hours. He just needs to know what to expect from his new family. If you have a fenced yard, well, that would be doggy heaven for him!

Sparky and Max in our carito de golf
Maxie is still a little timid with new people until he gets to know them better. Having said that, we have recently had eight men working in our casa on Isla Mujeres for two week, creating a main floor bedroom and bathroom for us to accommodate Lawrie’s reduced mobility. Max has been totally calm and accepting of the guys coming and going all during the day.

The first time I tried to put a harness on Max he was very nervous, but now he knows that it means he is going out for a walk or a ride and he is happy to cooperate. He walks very well with a leash and harness, better than Sparky who likes to pull me where he thinks we should go. The biggest difference that we notice between the two male dogs is Sparky will add his ‘mark’ at least thirty or forty times on a pee-walk, while Max usually has a huge pee and just gets it done! The look of pure relief on his face is comical.
 
Max on left - Sparky on right. 
Max had to figure out how to climb or descend stairs, which were a big mystery to him. Learning to get into a golf carts or a car was another new experience, and going for a ride has become one of his favourite activities. He will play fetch for hours with a tennis ball. I say “Ready?” Then toss the ball and he will bring it back. “Drop the ball.” I pat him, and he’ll do it again, and again. When he’s had enough running he will keep the ball and carry it back to the golf cart.
 
Sparky and Max not sure about the renovations to their house
He enjoys his big comfy bed and his toys, which would go with him. He still carries his very first toy that Sylvie gave him a year ago. The blue and grey elephant is dog-eared and dirty, repeated washings are unable to remove his loving slobber. It’s his favourite. I have to check his mouth before we go out for a walk otherwise the elephant might be dropped and forgotten when an interesting bird or crab claims his attention.

Lawrie with Max greeting him at ferry

As for kitties, we had a black feral cat E.B, who tried to move in about the same time that we adopted Max, but she decided that the rules were not to her liking and moved on. In the meantime she frequently clawed Maxie in his delicate the nose as she was passing by, so he has a healthy respect for cats, especially black cats. He hasn’t been a barker, but he likes to play-growl when excited. 

He needs someone who is kind and patient, and he will return your love a hundred-fold. Giving him up is a heart wrenching, but unavoidable decision for us.

Max is one of the characters in my next novel, Book #3 Tormenta Isla, as a dog rescued after the hurricane that hits the island. So, he'll be a semi-famous pooch that someone can brag about to their friends. I will include a couple of complimentary paperback copies of 'his' novel for his new family.

Max gets a cameo appearance in #3
We have asked our friends at Isla Animals and H.A.L.O. to help us find him a new home as soon as possible, as Lawrie’s condition is changing daily. Both of the animal rescue societies have the experience to get him to you, with the proper health certificates, anywhere in Canada or the USA. He has to be out of Mexico before the airline heat-embargo deadline in late April or early May. After that, pets aren’t allowed in the cargo hold until later in the fall.

We would really prefer it if Max could be re-homed off the island as we don’t want him trying to find his way back to our house, but that condition is very negotiable. 

We’ll do anything to find Max a happy place to love and be loved.

If you are looking for a devoted pet, who yearns to be your very best friend – let’s talk, as soon as possible.

Life tossed us a curve-ball, and we have to whack it back.
Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie
 ~
Are you missing your little piece of paradise?
Get your Isla 'fix' with the exciting Isla Mujeres Mystery series!

There's Trouble on Isla, Big Trouble!
  

Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast and furious
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017

Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books  available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords


 Treasure Isla - where it all began!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Captivating and authentic
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017


This was a truly fun in the sun kind of mystery, with an authenticity that was simply captivating. Set on the island called Isla Mujeres, not far from the better-known Mexican resort of Cancun, it follows the misadventures of two girlfriends, who on a drunken binge manage to wander onto the grounds of a cemetery and find a treasure map stuck in a crevice of an old pirate tomb. Jessica, from Canada, and local pal Yasmin both work at a tourist bar/restaurant called the Loco Lobo. Soon their boss Carlos and a handsome attorney named Luis are involved in the girls’ illegal hunt for pirate gold. Toss in a bad dude running from a string of crimes in Key West, and it’s the start of an addictive new mystery series.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords






Friday, February 16, 2018

It’s our favourite time of year, Carnaval!

The senior Isla women's group.  

There’s loud music, and outrageously flamboyant costumes, and laughter for five days.
At four in the afternoon on Sunday, the dance groups were scheduled to assemble on the old airport runway across from the Navy base in preparation for the first parade. 
Of course this being Mexico where everything starts at least two hours later than planned, there were only two groups who were on time – one being a collection of my friends who decided to debut as dancers this year.
Las Brujas de Isla Mujeres
Their ages ranged from mid-thirties to mid-seventies, and they were all born someplace other than Mexico. Las Brujas de Isla Mujeres the Witches of Isla Mujeres are all gringas, foreigners.
How did this come about?
According to Garnette Hardesty, Betsy Snider started it off by posting a video in September to her Facebook page. (Most of you will know of islanders Betsy Snider and her husband Tony Garcia because of their fabulous photos of life in Mexico.) The video Betsy posted was an amusing rendition of the Wolfshager Hexenbrut Witches Dance. She hinted to Bev Willard and Garnette that it might be a fun idea for this year’s Carnaval parade.
Our friend Melodie
Bev suggested that maybe Garnette could create a Facebook page to see if anyone else was interested in participating, so she did. Garnette and a few friends sent out invites to others asking them to join the Facebook group. 
Bev, who was visiting family in the US prior to Halloween, offered to bring back costume supplies for anyone who was interested. 
Those two actions really got the ball rolling.
Starting January 6th, the eclectic collection of women began to practice the dance steps, sometimes at the Parque Gaviota in Colonia Salina Chica, or on the Malecon behind the Cultural Center, and sometimes at the home of one of the other members.
Garnette - the green-faced bruja
At first they shuffled and stumbled over the unfamiliar routines and then they started to enjoy the dancing. They worked the choreography at twenty different daytime and evening rehearsals, so often they all knew the words to the song by heart. Without costumes. With brooms. And then with complete costumes and brooms. 
On parade day, Sunday February 11th there were twenty-seven witches set to scare the living daylights out of the crowd. They strutted and danced their way along Rueda Medina, from the airport north to Jax Bar & Grill. The audience loved them. Afterwards, the fun and laughter was evident in their many back-and-forth messages reliving the experience.
More witches - Sue Lo in centre
For the second parade on Monday February 12th, the dance troupe was a little smaller. Several dancers had conflicting obligations helping out at the opening night of the annual Island Time Music Festival. But the ones that performed for the second parade had as much fun as the first time, despite tired feet, sore knees and aching bodies.
The parade dancers included: Barbara Beck, Margaret Chiffriller, Melodie Deschamps, Esther Ellis, Charlotte Enroth, Kitty Goldberg, Jo Hall, Garnette Hardesty, Jan Johnson, Karon Kailles, Christina Keiffer, Anna Krallis, Ruth Lacey, Brenda Lamonica, Jeanette Lawrence, Lindell Lehrer, Tammi Lewis, Arla Licata, Sue Lo, Karen Mickool, Trina Noakes, Pattie Packard, Christina Rich, Layla Sanders, Ann Shannon, Cindy Tucker, and Cyndi Yates.

Colour and music!
And a final note, a special thank you note from Garnette:

There are so many people to thank, and so many behind the scenes collaborators who helped get this off the ground, to make it all happen. The Municipality of Isla Mujeres, Dr. Antonio Coronado Rojas Secretario General, Carlos Ruben Perez Martin Centro Cultural Isla Mujeres, Betsy Snider, Beverly Willard, and Steve Broin the owner of Casa Sirena.

Glenn D, Lee K, Ann, Melodie D, Steve B, Roger H, Jerry E, Peter C, Gail-M S, Margaret C, Gail M and Ashley B for their assistance with planning, music, electronics, technical support, make up, costumes, music, drivers, equipment, water suppliers, plus the after party planning and hosting.

The boys!

Most of all I want to thank the dancers for their determination and dedication.
~
What a great idea! And a great bunch of women. We hope you are game to do it again in 2019.Top of Form

Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie





Beautiful costumes


~
Coming soon Isla Mujeres Mystery #3 Tormenta Isla


Friday, February 9, 2018

February on Isla Mujeres is jammed with fun, dancing, music, and food.

February is the shortest and the busiest month on Isla, plus we are currently undergoing major renovations in our little casa on the beach - so this week's blog is all about the visuals because my overworked brain just can't string the words together.

Willy and Deb at Captain Dulche's - F. Teny photo
February 2018 started off with the spectacular wedding of two beautiful friends, Deb Crinigan and Willy Chacon.

Lynda and Lawrie in the church
We, being good little Canadians, got to the church early.
Fifteen minutes later the pews were filled 


More people still arriving - the bride is waiting!
~
Then the next day was Superbowl Sunday with the underdogs winning the championship.


Philadelphia
13-3-0, 1st NFC East
9
13
7
12
41
Final
New England
13-3-0, 1st AFC East
3
9
14
7
33
 ~

A couple of days to catch our breath and it’s Carnaval 2018 starting Friday February 9th.






                                                        ~
And by the time the exhausted islanders catch their collective breath again we are into the annual Island Time Music Festival with a lot of amazing musical events taking place all over the island. 



Cheers
Lynda and Lawrie


Are you missing your little piece of paradise?
Get your Isla 'fix' with the exciting Isla Mujeres Mystery series!

There's Trouble on Isla, Big Trouble!
  

Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast and furious
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017

Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books  available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords


 Treasure Isla - where it all began!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Captivating and authentic
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017


This was a truly fun in the sun kind of mystery, with an authenticity that was simply captivating. Set on the island called Isla Mujeres, not far from the better-known Mexican resort of Cancun, it follows the misadventures of two girlfriends, who on a drunken binge manage to wander onto the grounds of a cemetery and find a treasure map stuck in a crevice of an old pirate tomb. Jessica, from Canada, and local pal Yasmin both work at a tourist bar/restaurant called the Loco Lobo. Soon their boss Carlos and a handsome attorney named Luis are involved in the girls’ illegal hunt for pirate gold. Toss in a bad dude running from a string of crimes in Key West, and it’s the start of an addictive new mystery series.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords





Friday, February 2, 2018

The fun differences!

Lawrie and his younger brother Freddy Medina - party time! 
Mexico, as a nation, is politically incorrect. Here greetings between acquaintances, friends, family members or co-workers are a hug and an affectionate buss on the cheek. 
It’s the culturally acceptable greeting and not thought of as sexual harassment.
Between men the greeting is usually a hand-slap fist-bump and then an arm around the shoulder guy-hug. Handshakes are rare, and usually reserved for formal, first-time introductions.

Setting up for a birthday party
Many of our Mexican male friends have no idea what to do when a foreign woman shoves her hand out for a handshake, instead of leaning in for a kiss. I experienced a number of limp, finger-tip shakes before I realized I was, in their view, behaving oddly. 
Now I just hug and smooch ‘em! 
Lawrie has always loved hugging, but in Canada he was afraid that he would be accused of sexual harassment so seldom indulged in affectionate greetings. Here in Mexico, everyone loves to hug which makes Lawrie a very happy man.
Another day, another birthday party!
To our Mexican friends family is everything. Life revolves living with or close to your family. If you don’t have children, parents, siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, and grandparents underfoot you are to be pitied because you are alone. 

The average family home is noisy with animated conversations, loud music, and unrestrained laughter.
Faith defines life in Mexico. In most of the G-8 countries, USA, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, and Italy your job and your income defines you. Here, what you do for a living is not important.
Quinceanos - complete with entertainers.
Education is valuable but human dignity counts for more. Manners and respect for others are important as a means of peacefully co-existing in a boisterous and frequently crowded household. 

Education focuses on culture, art, tradition and history. Learning to play and instrument, or to sing and dance is far more important than an expensive degree that enables you to serve coffee at Starbucks.
You are responsible for yourself. There are no high-priced lawyers suggesting a huge lawsuit for a personal injury if you trip on an uneven sidewalk, scald yourself drinking hot coffee, touch a live electrical wire, or fall into an unfenced swimming pool.
Dress well, eat well.
Canadians and Americans tend to lean more towards volunteering their help and financial assistance to local charities, with an expectation of local celebrities contributing their fair share.

In Mexico it is not as prevalent, people rely on close-knit families to help out in a financial or medical crisis.
Appearances matter but people are not obsessed with being young, thin and beautiful. Being well dressed and eating good food are far more important.
Lupita's Quinceanos.


And most importantly, family events such as engagements, weddings, a child’s first birthday, baptisms, a young woman’s fifteen birthday known as quinceaños, birthdays for any family member and wedding anniversaries are celebrated in grand style. 
The fiesta may last all night and includes amazing food, drinks, decorations, beautiful cakes, music, dancing, and possibly fireworks.
Mexico is a very special place, and we love our life here.
Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

Are you missing your little piece of paradise?
Get your Isla 'fix' with the exciting Isla Mujeres Mystery series!

There's Trouble on Isla, Big Trouble!
  

Book #2 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery Series

5.0 out of 5 stars
Fast and furious
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017

Yasmin and Jessica are back and the gold they found in Treasure Isla is still haunting them, especially when Carlos, their boss at the Loco Lobo, and Yasmin’s new lover, is kidnapped. No spoilers here, but his captivity and the girls’ efforts to free him, with the help of Carlos’s pals—including local Isla Mujeres fishermen and a Mexico City cop—are the crux of this fast-paced story. Lock has created not only a compelling and authentic setting, but a well-developed ensemble cast. The next Isla mystery can’t come fast enough.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books  available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords


 Treasure Isla - where it all began!
5.0 out of 5 stars
Captivating and authentic
By CA reviews on September 26, 2017


This was a truly fun in the sun kind of mystery, with an authenticity that was simply captivating. Set on the island called Isla Mujeres, not far from the better-known Mexican resort of Cancun, it follows the misadventures of two girlfriends, who on a drunken binge manage to wander onto the grounds of a cemetery and find a treasure map stuck in a crevice of an old pirate tomb. Jessica, from Canada, and local pal Yasmin both work at a tourist bar/restaurant called the Loco Lobo. Soon their boss Carlos and a handsome attorney named Luis are involved in the girls’ illegal hunt for pirate gold. Toss in a bad dude running from a string of crimes in Key West, and it’s the start of an addictive new mystery series.

Available on Amazon e-books $2.99 USD
or Paperback $11.99 USD

Paperback are also available on Isla Mujeres at the Jenny Penny Boutique, Art Fair on Thursday evenings, or from the author. 

E-books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords