Cuba and other tidbits

The last time I wrote was January 7th.  You know that feeling you get when you haven’t spoken with a friend for a very long time and there is so much to say you simply can’t cram it in?  So instead of attempting to communicate, you mumble, “I’m fine.  All good.  How about you?”

That’s how I’m feeling now.  So here I go with a brief, probably tedious, synopsis of my life since I gave away my shrunken wool.

We got our car back from the repair shop.  Nearly all the damage done by the 200 pound wild boar is behind us.  Only problems remaining are cruise control, backup and front sensors don’t work, and the back seat seatbelts are still frozen. We need those fixed before company comes in April.  We are plopping friends into our car and sending them on their merry way.  They will need seat belts in the event the boar has suicidal family members romping the streets of St. Petersburg.

I visited the chiropractor several times,  Bronson went to the vet, Jim has been back and forth to the VA (more about that in a future post), our windows were cleaned, and I started going to two new doctors.

Doc’s Outside the Box.  They combine both Western and Eastern modalities.  I am now taking boatloads of supplements each day, recording my food intake and drinking a “delicious” green beverage each morning for breakfast.  It involves ice, almond milk, pink salt, coconut oil, a bit of stevia to mask the flavor, and three scoops of mystery powders.  This concoction is whipped through the blender until it’s a thick monkey vomit green smoothie.  Yum Yum.  You’re envying me right now, aren’t you?

Plus our friends got a puppy, so we get to experience the puppy joy without actually having to train it.  It’s a bit like being grandparents–teach it to be bad then send it home.  Her name is Saylor.

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I saw this in the local liquor store–that was exciting.

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And we got an “I miss you” letter from our cute former neighbor, Erika. She hoped to shame us into moving back to the  ‘burbs.  It didn’t work but the letter made me smile.

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A real highlight of the past two months was a cruise to, among other places, Havana.  That was interesting.  Here are a few photos.  We always like to take a photo of the room before we trash it.

Below, the lady in the upper left picture was a store clerk.  She was vexed we were taking so much time choosing Jim’s Havana T-Shirt. Plus we were short on cash. The stores only accept cash. We ran out. The ATM’s do not respond to US debit cards.

It might not have been a bad thing running out of money….saved us from bringing home a bunch of souvenirs.  You know, those impulsive buys we all make on vacation and later think, “What was I smokin’ when I decided I needed THIS?”

Everywhere are old cars chugging along.  Some have been turned into taxi-cabs. Lots of the residents dress up in native costumes and heckle tourists to have their photos taken, for a fee.

One tourist in our group attempted to sneak a picture of a tall 1950’s costume-clad man.  He (the native, not the tourist) was wearing a fedora, bow tie, striped silk vest, and a white linen suit.  He wasn’t fooled by the attempt and immediately following the “click” of the camera, held out his fedora and demanded, in no uncertain terms, “PAY ME.”  The tourist did.

There are feral cats and snoozing dogs in every courtyard.  Jim stepped in a caca pile.

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Our tour of Old Havana was led by a nice Cuban guy named Juan.  He spoke great English.  I think. But I don’t have great hearing so possibly I’m wrong.  At one point I asked him about all the dogs and cats.  “Are these pets?”

He replied, “Cubans don’t like cats as pets.  They like ducks.”

Ducks?  The only ducks I ever saw that were kinda’ pet like are the ones living at the Peabody Hotel.  They were made famous by the children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings.”    We once witnessed them waddle-march from the elevator, splash in the large restaurant fountain, then toddle back to the elevator.  Those ducks reside on the roof of the hotel.  They are retired after several months at which point they go to live on a farm.  My fluffy aqua colored chick, given to me by the Easter Bunny when I was five, went to “live on a farm” too.  Possibly with a bunch of retired Peabody ducks.

The pet duck scenario had been planted in my brain.  I spent at least half an hour mulling over how one would care for a pet duck.  Do you buy a small turtle wading pool and allow it to spend its days swimming in tight little circles?   Do you walk it on a leash or with a harness?  Can you litter train a duck?  I once had a client with a pet bunny.  The bunny was an adorable black and white floppy eared miniature.   It was litter trained.  So maybe ducks can be too.

After pondering this, and missing a large portion of the tour, I finally approached Juan and inquired, “About these ducks.  How does one care for a pet duck?”

“What ducks?”

“The pet ducks.  You said Cubans like pet ducks.”

He waited for a beat then replied, “I said DOGS.”

Wow!  That was half an hour spent working through a non-existent problem.

Other thrilling stuff has happened since January 7th too.  But I’ll save those adventures for my next scintillating blog post.

Go forth and get a duck.