About adventuroustaco

I thought life began at age 30, when I made the move to Mexico. But now it seems that was just a stepping stone in the path God has set for me, as it now seems that life begins anew every day! AMEN! This blog is to keep you informed of what is going on in my journey of learning, growing in and teaching WholyFit devotional exercises. Thanks for stopping by. May God bless you and keep you!

A Tail of Two Kitties

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. it was the age of wisdom of ways to escape our confines, it was the age of foolishness of trying the same. It was the epoch of belief in Mommy and Daddy, it was the epoch of incredulity of everything in our new home. It was the spring of hope of our new life, it was the winter of despair of our new life, we had everything plus tuna before us, we had nothing, if no tuna, before us. In short, the new period of our lives was so much like that of so many other kitties, that some would call it the same old story. But we weren’t just any other kitties. We were Simba and Guerita. I am Simba, and this is our story.

It was a new life for us. We had been kittynapped from our birthplace in the terrifying outdoor jungle where the bugs were bigger than we were, food and water were scarce and monster things on four wheels threatened our very existence. We were to be imprisoned inside a comfortable home with fresh, cool water, ample food, a private bathroom-box and our own clean beds to lay our weary heads. We even had humans to call our own; our own “Mommy and Daddy”.

My sister Guerita, she was the brave one. She loved to climb the highest mountains and race through the jungle. You might laugh at that. You might even say there were no mountains in downtown Zihuatanejo, and that the jungle had been covered by cement by the time we were born. But this isn’t your story to tell, is it? It is ours. And those things you called “furniture” were mountains to us kitties. And a closet full of clothes? That’s your imagination, not ours. That was our jungle.

I was what they called a “fraidy cat”. It didn’t take much to scare the dickens out of me. Those mountains? I had a fear of heights. Guerita could leap from the highest mountain land gracefully on all four paws in the valley below. She’d look up and beckon me to follow her. Of course, I did. She was my big sister, and I wanted to be just like her. So I followed- and always a landslide followed in my wake. Sure – to you, they might have looked like books, pens, papers, coins and bottles of cologne. But I tell you, they weren’t. They were boulders, bouncing down the mountain. It was embarrassing. Mommy and Daddy cringed when they saw me about to leap down from that summit to where they were sitting. They’d say to each other, “Uh, oh! Here she comes!” I didn’t blame them. After all, they were always the ones who got hit with the rocks from the landslide. So you see, it really was the best of times for Guerita, and the worst of times for me.

Back when we were in the jungle, we didn’t always find food. Sometimes when we did, the bigger cats would eat before I did. I was always afraid of them. They laughed at me. My sister Guerita yelled at them. She always looked after me. In our new home, Mommy and Daddy weren’t there all the time. They left us alone, at times with the water dish only half full. Sometimes we had to wait a few hours in between meals. I would cry, and it made me want to eat everything when they finally came home. I wanted to make sure I got fed. Even though Guerita assured me we didn’t have to worry about food ever again, I wanted to be sure.

Being a kitten wasn’t easy. But as I got older, I realized that Guerita was right. It was a far better thing that they had done, to kitty-nap us; far better rest that we would ever have known, if we hadn’t followed the sweet smell of the tuna on that fateful morning. The best of times, we knew, would be here and now and always before us.

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18

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Walking in Daddy’s Shoes: Man of the House

At what age does a cat become an adult? or in Roly’s case- at what age does a cat become a man? My best guess is 10 years old…

I remember when Simba was a kitten in heat, she had this fondness for Vidal’s shoes. I sometimes wonder if that carried on into her pregnancy and into Roly Poly’s DNA. Roly went through phases with sleeping on our shoes, But they were short lived. that is, until he turned 10.

It was 2011; Vidal was getting ready for his annual trip across the country to work, leaving me and the kitties alone. Roly laid across Vidal’s black shoes, as if telling him he couldn’t leave. “How cute!”, we thought. When Vidal returned, Roly started using Daddy’s shoes as his personal pillows. He used mine on occasion as well, but it seems he preferred the manly smell of Daddy’s shoes; the black ones being his favorites.

Then, in 2012, Vidal was again getting ready to leave for 4 months, leaving me and the kitties alone. There was nothing unusual about that except this time around, Guerita was a full-time part of the equation; the Prodigal Cat had returned. A couple of days before Vidal was to leave, Roly decided it was time to take charge. He wanted to show Daddy that he could be the man of the house and take care of the family when Daddy was away. What better way to do that than wear Daddy’s shoes?

To see Roly sitting there with front paws in Vidal’s shoes was just too much! Like a little boy, wanting to be just like his daddy. Looking up at us as if he was already king of the castle, taking his role very seriously.

Yes, Roly took care of us. We never told him the shoes were too big for him; they weren’t. Our sweet little blind kitty was man of the house in absence of Daddy. Vidal returned safely, happy to see that Roly took good care of the family; he wore his shoes well. And Vidal? He brought home a brand new pair of chanclas

Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. Acts 12:8

Road Trip, 1987 – Adventures with Ma: Finding our Roots in Chavinda, Michoacán

The Great Bus Ride

Early the next morning, we headed to the bus terminal for the next part of our journey: Zamora, Michoacán. We had been told to take a first class bus on either the Estrella de Oro or the Estrella Blanca bus.  Cousin Lu had warned us against taking the second or third class buses, as we would be riding with the chickens, according to her. We were also told those would be the quickest, as the other buses made lots of stops. The terminal was huge, the bus was very comfortable. We sat back and relaxed for the ride, I had the window and Ma had the aisle.  The bus departed promptly at 9:00am, out of the parking lot, onto the street, around the corner… and broke down with a flat tire.  It took about 5 minutes for us to find out what had happened, as the bus had just stopped moving.  I remember looking down and seeing the driver standing by the side of the bus, casually smoking a cigarette, as if just taking a break.  An hour later, we were off.  The drive was peaceful, the occasional slow-moving vehicle slowed us down to a crawl at times, until the bus driver yanked the wheel and pulled a Speedy Gonzalez and passed around it. Ma occupied her time by chatting with a very nice university student from Uruapan with a nice, almost angelic face, who sat across the aisle from her. A couple of backpackers joined in the conversation. As it was too difficult for me to lean over and be part of the conversation and not wanting to be rude by asking everyone to repeat themselves, I occupied my time by staring out the window, enjoying the scenery and taking the occasional photo to prove we had been there.  All would turn out blurry with a green tint from the window, making it seem more likely that we had been on a bus on Mars.

 We drove through the countryside and past small towns… well, sort of.  Continue reading

Precious Rubies: The Red Collar

I used to think that collars on pets was for control. Control to be on a leash, hooked up to a runner chain, or simply to control fleas. Not that I was against collars. Growing up, we had a family dog who liked to play a game called “Run Away”, if she was not on a leash or her runner. Mostly, that collar came off when she came inside.

Guerita, on the other hand, loved wearing collars. I noticed that when she was a kitten. I would get flea collars for both her and Simba; Simba didn’t care so much for hers, but Guerita would wear hers proudly, as if it were a diamond necklace. That only lasted a few years until we switched to flea drops after noticing irritation on their skin from the collars.

When Guerita hurt her leg, I at first put the way-too-large harness on her for trips to the vet. After the cast (and the Elizabeth collar) came off, I got her a pretty red collar. Guerita immediately picked her head up and strutted around proudly. The collar had a few decorative studs on it; it seemed as if they were diamonds to Guerita.

Did the collar make Guerita feel prettier? I don’t know. It certainly seems that way. She didn’t like it when I put hats on her for photos, so it wasn’t about playing dress-up. I wonder what those collars signified to her? Was it s sense of belonging? Or was it simply that, just like girls, sometimes putting on a pretty necklace just makes you feel good?

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things you can desire are not to be compared to her. Proverbs 3:15


Stay Cool!

On hot, humid, often unbearable summer days, I often just want to sit under a fan and call it a day. With open-air housing and the ridiculously high expense of air conditioning an entire house here, the interior of our house can be quite hot. My long hair is always up; a glass of ice cold water is my best friend. It’s on agonizingly hot days like this that I think about Simba, when she was a kitten.

Our first home didn’t have much ventilation; it was simply a room added on to the back of my mother-in-law’s house. Before Zihuatanejo boomed with so much concrete everywhere, it didn’t get so stiflingly hot. It continued to change even after we built our home; we used to get a nice breeze upstairs. A two-storey building stopped that, and its brilliantly white walls bounce the heat right into our house. But I digress…

Our first home was brutally hot in the summer. Actually, the room that was built next to ours, which was to be Simba and Guerita’s room, was wonderfully ventilated. But of course, the “kids” preferred to be in Mommy and Daddy’s room with us.

I remember how hot summer was when they were kittens. I had started giving them cold water to drink; Simba lapped it up. As would be her way for the rest of her life, Guerita drank little bits at a time. We would let them in our room for Mommy and Daddy time; Guerita would explore the higher places; Simba found a more perfect spot: On the corner of the bed, with her face toward the floor fan. We discouraged them from jumping on the bed, but when we saw that – how could we deny Simba her place?

When I now hear news reports about people leaving their pets in hot cars or homes without ventilation, it saddens me to hear that some people just don’t get it. Animals do feel the heat! And that goes for the cold as well…  I realize I am posting this when winter is breathing down the necks of those Up North, and it might be a bit hard to think about being too hot.  Just the same, there will be reminders all over the News for the next few months about not keeping pets outdoors for too long.  Extreme weather, be it hot or cold, is not good for any of us – 2-legged or 4-legged creatures alike.

At our end in the tropics, it is only ever heat and humidity that get to us. Days when those days drag me down and I just want to melt under a fan, I picture Simba, and a smile comes to my dripping face. I remember our precious little kitty, getting relief from the heat. Staying cool!

Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.  Psalm 19:6

Scratching with Joy: Daddy’s Chanclas

Dear Reader, you may be wondering what a “chancla” is. The “chancla” is a term that is mostly used in the Mexican culture. It is a word that often brings shudders to people with memories of childhood discipline, that memory quite possibly conjures up a chancla flying across the room. In that respect, a chancla is the equivalent to a belt, or a switch. You see, mothers did not grab a belt or a switch to discipline their naughty child; they grabbed their chanclas: their flip-flops. That trivia is simply for your historical & cultural enlightenment. This story has nothing to do with chanclas used as a discipline tool. This story is about Daddy’s chanclas, and a Roly Poly.

Roly Poly had gone through a couple of chancla phases with 2 pairs of mine. The first was a pair of chanclas that were woven and had scripture on them. I had bought them out of a sale bin, but they weren’t comfortable at all. Roly thought they were, and chose them to sleep upon for about a month. I referred to him again being the Christian cat. He also enjoyed scratching them. The woven tops were scratchy like a scratching pole would be, so that made sense. That only lasted a month, and he moved on. A couple years later, he chose a pair of blue chanclas as a pillow. that’ too, didn’t last long. Just a short phase…

Roly liked to be around Daddy’s shoes for quite a few a few years; they seemed to be very comfortable for him. Vidal always had a pair of chanclas, but Roly never bothered with them. That is, not until Vidal came home from 4 months working across the country. He had returned with a brand new pair of chanclas. Not just any chanclas, but an expensive pair, better suited for his fallen arches. Better suited for Roly Poly.

It started out slowly. Vidal and I would be sitting, and we’d suddenly hear “scratch-scratch-scratch”… We followed the sound and there was Roly Poly, happily scratching away at Daddy’s new chanclas! We told him he needed to stop, and he walked away.

For the next two years, this became a habit. Roly just loved Daddy’s chanclas, and scratched away every chance he got! While we mostly put Vidal’s chanclas up out of Roly’s reach, we didn’t always remembered to do so. Our blind little kitty would zoom in and start scratching away!

The funny thing was Vidal’s reaction. He acted upset, saying those were the most expensive sandals he had ever bought. But he didn’t fool me – I saw the smiling eyes whenever he talked about Roly and his expensive chanclas. And Roly? He was no fool! he knew Daddy bought them especially for him, and he showed his appreciation!

When Roly became ill and started to slow down, the chanclas still brought him joy. Vidal would come home, put his chanclas on and go sit on the couch; usually he would kick off the chanclas and put his feet up. Roly would come right over and start scratching away, even before Vidal even got his feet out of them! We had long since stopped caring about that; at that point, the chanclas were so torn up and no longer safe to wear outside of the house, but we knew they brought Roly so much happiness. It was the way he scratched them: you could see the excitement on his face; you could feel the joy radiating out of him. Even in his last days, Roly Poly still had Daddy’s chanclas- his chanclas- to play with.

I wish, oh how I wish I had filmed Roly scratching away. He was just so giddy when he had his claws in those chanclas! While Roly was always a happy kitty, the happiness he exuded when scratching those chanclas was hilarious! I often wonder- what was the lure of those chanclas? I had chanclas from the same material, but Roly didn’t bother with them. Vidal had various chanclas before those as well. What was it about that particular pair? Did he really think Daddy bought them for him? Or did he think Daddy bought the chanclas to share with him, and that was the joy? In the end, that really was what happened. Never has a pair of chanclas brought so much joy!

And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”  Acts 12:8