Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Memorable Week!

The past week started in fine form! My Monday birthday was a significant one, and despite that rather large number, I still feel like a youngster, relatively speaking. I am in very good health, though a little weary some days of the week. My mood is terrific, and the number of good wishes and birthday salutations was enormous! I found it impossible to answer everyone, so settled on a group thank you to all, except for family who each got a personal response. I take occasional naps maybe two times a week, and find this to be invigorating when needed. The days fly by, and although we both resist the pressure to "do things", what needs to be done, gets done, and we are embracing this calmer way of life.

Chris took me to the newest restaurant in Pedasi, "Segreto", for dinner on Monday evening and it was excellent. Mondays are quiet at most of the dining establishments, and this one was no different. It is a small, delightful place on the main road into town. There is a lovely garden with lights outside the big dining windows, lighting inside is subtle and the music is not loud. The owner is an Italian engineer who loves to cook for small groups, and his skills are worth a visit. The menu is quite large for a small place, the house wines are perfect, and there is a fine selection of imported wines to choose from also, including the venerable Chianti. We shared a melon and ham appetizer that was delicious, followed by pasta for me, fish for Chris, each having a glass of the house wine. We followed up with tiramisu (me) and creme brulee (Chris), and the owner provided complimentary limoncello. While finishing dessert, we asked the chef and waitress to join us, and we all shared more wine and limoncello courtesy of the house! A delightful evening all round, and we have found a favourite dining experience to which we will most definitely return. I suggest reservations if dining at the end of the week.

The walkway past our house was started later in the week so we are losing some 6 feet plus of grass. We negotiated to have this relaid at the back, and it is taking a very long time to do this. I think I have convinced the sidewalk layers to leave my lovely slate path alone and to work around it. Thank you Universe! We are now trying to find the cash to get started on the back landscaping.

Our homeless cats come and go on a daily basis. The two wee ones are growing and looking beautiful. The two babes play like any kittens, and seem to enjoy being on our patio.

Fredi and daughter, Lucy

Momcat and daughter, Spazz

Just when we seemed settled with owning two great cats, feeding four outdoor cats, and managing this Cat B&B fine, along came a tiny complication. On Thursday afternoon, Chris thought he saw one of the kittens near our pool. I investigated and found a skinny, little ginger girl we have never seen before. This wee one seemed to be alone, all bones, timid, and weak. We brought her into the house, provided her with milk and some soft food, and she promptly gobbled this up. She was very dirty and crawling with fleas, so we bathed her, killed as many fleas as we could find and put her in one of the carriers where we used to keep Mitzi when she was tiny. Friday morning we trotted her off to see Dr Diaz who examined her, told us she is very anemic. He gave her some vitamins etcetera, and sold us vitamins, kitten formula, and said bring her back in two weeks.  We have named this little scrap "Smudge"as she seemed to have a big dirty smudge on her nose when we first saw her. The poor wee soul is very weak, can barely eat and seems almost lifeless. We are giving her the formula by syringe and hoping we can get her to the adoption stage.

Last night and this morning there was a fairly heavy rain...the first real downpour after several nights of drizzle, and I hate to think of that poor wretch out in the wet weather. We don't really want three cats, but will nurture her and see what develops. Meanwhile, between all the cat care....on Friday, I swam across our pool with NO assistance from my usual  noodle! After over 60 years of fear and embarrassment, I swam eight strokes with utter confidence. AMAZING! I have missed so much over the many years, unable to enjoy a pool or the beach,or to have fun with my family. I was determined to finally conquer this fear, and with the help of a fantastic book called "Conquer Your Fear of Water: An Innovative Self-Discovery Course in Swimming" by Melon Dash, I am on my way to swimming those lengths I always desired. There is some way to go before I get to the goal, but to be on my way is nothing short of a miracle of sorts for me!

Today, I was in town to pay some bills at Western Union, and met an older Panameno called Arturo who told me (in Spanish) that he keeps Playa El Toro clean. We had a fair conversation - some in Spanglish - and it was a good feeling to be understood. I am taking a break from Spanish lessons while I take an online course, and will likely do some private lessons later in the year. Arturo was delighted to know I went to the Buena Vista school and told me he knows the owner and her husband. Panamanians always seem to be pleased that we are learning their language and definitely appreciate our speaking Spanish as much as possible. They correct me kindly when I make a mistake and we laugh together at my mispronunciations.

All told, this was a memorable week. Now to get Smudge growing and thriving and the world will seem perfect again...

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