Tag Archives: neighbors

Building a stronger immunity and ….Grandmother?…Gasp!


I know I’ve mentioned the adorable indigenous children who live down the hill from our new casita. I met them after moving into Al & Kat’s place. They occasionally come up here to either play on the grass with their soccer ball or use the outside outlets to charge their cell phone. They do not have electricity at their home and Al & Kat told me they don’t mind giving them access to theirs for charging their cell phone. So, yesterday they came by and I was in the house, holed up as I was recovering from a terrible cold…on the subject of colds…Just a sec, I’ll get back to the girls in a minute. I always consider myself, heck,( I’ll admit), I kinda pride myself, on being pretty damn healthy. I very seldom got sick when I was working as a stylist in CA. If I ever had to cancel my day and stay home all my clients knew I must be really bad off, because calling in sick was not something I did often. I attributed my strong immunity to the simple fact that I was so highly exposed to so many germs, making that afore mentioned immunity mega strong! Seriously, I hardly ever got so much as a cold. And if I did get a cold, Pfffffft! No big deal! A silly little cold would never stop me from going to work or continuing to do whatever I needed to do. Not so with these Panamanian Monster Colds! Sheesh!! What the heck!! I’ve had more colds since living here, I swear! And guys…I’m not talkin’ just the sniffles and a little cough! These damn colds knock me out! And most often they seem to settle in my chest! I won’t even go into the Phlegm…no, really, you don’t wanna hear about that! (eye roll, here!) I’ve counted 5 boxes of tissue I’ve gone through since Monday! So, I’m obviously not a doctor nor do I consider myself remotely knowledgeable about immunity, but I’m guessing (only guessing, mind you), It’s gonna take my immunity a little time to catch up to how best to fight these Panamanian bugs. “hack, hack”….”sniff, sniff”! Happily, I’m over the worst of this one and admittedly, they seem to be lasting less time that the first couple I had. I swear , the first cold I got lasted like a month! It’s crazy how long it takes me to actually totally kick it! But, enough about that!

What was I about to say? Oh, yes….Well, the sweet little girls ( 12 and 14 years old) showed up to charge their cell phone yesterday. I just love to find any opportunity to chat with them so I went outside to do just that…chat. They’re always so happy to see me and they are so good at talking really really slowly so I can understand. They’re much easier to understand than any adult, that’s for sure! They told me all about their mother, who lives at the Comarca and has really long bonita cabello! I braided their hair and told them that me Trabajo en Estados Unidos was a stylista. (I have trouble with words like was ?) They thought that was so great! I also grabbed my computer and showed them this thing on my laptop called “Photo Booth” . It’s an application that distorts your face and its just tooooo funny! They got such a kick out of it and we had fun laughing and making pictures of them! So, the part about this interaction that I wanted to tell you about was the part where it was time for them to say goodbye. They both hugged me so tight and smiled up at me with those big brown eyes, and they say…”You are our Grandmother!”…….GASP!!! HUH??? GRANDMOTHER??? Oh my gosh! Don’t worry, I did not teach them any bad English Curse words! I did contain myself and graciously hugged them back, (tried not to strangle them! haha!) and said, “Ahhh, Gracias!, Buenos noches”.

After they left I began to think about their perception of me as a Friggin’ Grandmother! And….well….admittedly, I suppose that could be. I mean , the kids here do seem to have babies awfully young. So if their mother had them at say 14 or 15 ….well, then I could quite possibly, very realistically , be a Grandmother! UGH!! Well, I’ll get over it ,eventually. They meant it in the sweetest way. And, honestly, I don’t care what title they decide to grace me with, I’m so glad to be ‘anything’ to them. I’m grateful that I met them and who knows what the future holds. I hope I can somehow contribute to their lives in some healthy way that makes a difference. There is a very fine line here between contributing and being taken advantage of so I must tread carefully. For now, if they want to call me ‘Grandmother’ and hug me with abandon, well, I’m up for that! Poco a poco we will see where it goes…

Another Dog in Doggy heaven..



Yesterday, (friday the 13th), My neighbor Margot and I had to put “Boy” dog to sleep. 😦 Do you remember me telling you about the two dogs who had adopted me? Well, when we first moved into this house in Alto Lino I went out to enjoy my new patio and there, to my utter joy, were two dogs waiting for me with tails a waggin’! Well, I love dogs, I love all animals but dog’s are just irresistible to me. These two were just so happy to see me, so I promptly bought some flea medicine and some dog food, (okay maybe a toy or two as well) , and made them feel right at home on my porch. As you know I love spending time sitting on my porch writing and reading and just gazing upon the most spectacular view. But the other thing I love about being outside on my porch is the company of these two dogs. I began calling them ‘boy dog’ and ‘girl dog’, for obvious reasons. Now Boy dog was much more needy and loved attention, always by my side wanting to be pet and scratched. He would often sleep by my feet and then occasionally wake up and make it very clear that it was time to play. Often his ‘playtime’ would get a bit too annoying and I would have to go inside until he calmed down, he loved to ‘play-bite’ and having my hands and wrists and ankles constantly gnawed on became a bit annoying. But he was such a happy guy and I would give him lots of attention. Mind you, both of these dogs do not lack for food! Boy dog especially, was rather chubby, really FAT! I was told that Boy dogs owners died ( I’ve heard him also called ‘Floppy’ and ‘Big Blue’) and he has no owners so he would go from house to house in our little neighborhood and get fed everywhere he went. So this last few weeks I noticed that he stopped eating and seemed very lethargic, no more playtime. Then he seemed to stop coming around at all. My friend and neighbor Margot, who lives just at the bottom of my driveway told me that he was laying on her back porch and that she was very worried about him because he seemed to be in pain, moaning and crying and having a hard time getting up. She called her landlord who kindly came over and took Boy to see a vet. The vet said he though maybe he had been hit by a car and gave him a shot and sent him back home. Margo and I both felt that diagnosis seemed rather strange. Then yesterday the poor old guy got up and slowly walked over to a muddy field where he collapsed and just couldn’t get back up. Margot is a very loving and caring soul and she quickly called a mobile vet who came right away. I went down to comfort the old dog and we both stayed by his side until the vet arrived. It was quickly determined that the most humane thing to do for him was to euthanize him right away. The mobile vet said he felt that Boy had advanced heart-worm. One of the other Panamanian neighbors came out to the field to join us and she and her mother and daughter cried with us as we stood waiting for him to pass. It was a very sad thing, but there was no doubt that it was the right thing to do. After it was over I was planning on splitting the cost of the mobile vet with Margot but the vet said it was taken care of. There is a fantastic organization here in Boquete called Amigo’s De Animales and they have a fund for just this type of thing, so it was all paid for by them. I will have to start donating to that very kind organization. Boy dog was an old guy and he seemed very happy to be cared for by so many people and I have to believe that he had a pretty good life.