Courtship by an Angel…


I saved my most surprising tale from Merida for just before Valentine’s Day. As you know, I had a marvelous driver, Angel, who I paid to drive me all over the Yucatan. We are both naturally chatty and speaking different languages didn’t stop us. I had a Spanish/English book and he had Google Translate when we were in cell phone range. When we first met, he asked me if I wanted to travel in the front or the back. It would have been weird to have been in the back, as though he was limousine driver, so I jumped in the front.

We learned a lot about each other over two days. He showed me photos of his pretty wife and children. They had been married for 14 years and he was astonished that I had been married for 35 years (so am I…) I think he thought I was in my mid 40’s and I would have guessed he was in his late 30’s. On the first day, we chatted about my Mexican Spanish heritage and I told him about my mum and dad. He asked me if I was famous which perplexed and amused me. I think it was because I told him I was a writer and my mum was a model. As many of you now know, being a published writer doesn’t necessarily make you ‘famoso’ or wealthy.

By the second day, we had got into a good groove with our Spanglish banter. I was feeling good and I put on some mascara and lipstick. Maybe he thought it was for him? Both days I just dressed in t-shirts and leggings because the rural Yucatan areas are quite conservative. My expeditions were into potentially dusty and dirty areas, so no point in being glamorous. He was very intuitive about what I would enjoy and had asked all the right questions. Yes, I wanted to see unusual pyramids (no turistas, por favor) but I got most excited about handling an iguana and seeing fruit bats. Curiously, when I showed him my photograph of the Carpenter Woodpecker he knew immediately what it was. Perhaps he had worked in another field before driving.

I make a good traveling companion, if my health is good, and I could see that he enjoyed all the laughter. He told me that I was a really nice, funny person. There are police checkpoints all over the Yucatan and I said, “Lento, Policia!” which means ‘slowly, police!’ Angel wasn’t speeding (he was an excellent driver) but he thoroughly enjoyed my mime of what I do when I see the Texas police, braking really fast. They seem less afraid of Mexican police than we are of Texan ones…

About an hour before we returned to Merida on the second day, he told me that I was very pretty. I laughed and said, ‘Pero vieja (but old)’ “No, no” he insisted “Muy bonita”. Finally, I just accepted the compliment. Then he asked me if I liked to dance and my face lit up. Salsa is my favorite, I shared, and it is very popular in Houston. “Do you have lots of boyfriends?” “No!” I squealed, “I am married.” “Did I have lots of boyfriends before I married?” I explained that I married at age 21 but yes, I did have lots of boyfriends. Of course I did!

So, after beautifully predating courting me for 2 days he came up with the final stunning question, “¿Haces trampa?” which means do I cheat (on my husband). Another squeal of NO from me followed by delighted giggles. I have had plenty of propositions even in recent years but I was beginning to think I was getting to my ‘best before’ date. Then I explained that even though my husband was REALLY old, he was very romantic, telling me he loves me most days and that I love him.

We reached the hotel, having previously organized that he would pick me up for my early flight the third day. He ran around to open my door (please take note, Teddy) and we shook hands while Angel looked at me with big brown eyes. Just at that moment a few Europeans appeared across the road. One of the men shouted in broken English, “You should take her!” Angel didn’t understand what he was saying but I thought, “He very nearly did.”

I was a little anxious about the atmosphere on the ride to the airport the following morning, after my rejection of my suitor. He usually turned up early and I was pacing at the hotel door. Then the red car turned up and I ran out with my suitcase. A woman got out of the car – he had sent his wife!! She was really very pretty and charming. One of his little daughters was in her school uniform, for an unusual school run via the airport with a strange blond lady who spoke bad Spanish. It is not the first time that a much younger man has approached me, even when they know my age. I am complimented and fascinated. Perhaps some of the ageism has disappeared from society. Maybe a good figure and a fun personality negate the age barrier? Keep it coming, guys, because it makes me feel fantastic!

PS. Before anyone mentions hashtags, bear in mind that no boundaries were crossed. I was perfectly comfortable and he just asked me questions. As to whether he was a cheater; I am not sure. It was curious that he showed me his wife and children immediately. Perhaps I just enchanted him and he saw a once in a lifetime opportunity with a quirky white cougar who might be really good in bed….

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Welcome home, Teddy!

New flannel sheets!

My husband used to travel much more frequently than he does now but he recently went to Austin for a conference.  By happenstance, the new flannel sheets had arrived; they not only look lovely but feel amazing.  Why flannel sheets in the subtropics, you ask?  Teddy was a Princess Prince in another life and I discovered decades ago that he could really feel a pea under 20 mattresses.  The bed has to be soft and comfortable, yet perfectly made.  My mum knew how to look after him with perfectly ironed sheets and underwear…

SO FLUFFY I COULD DIE!!!

In the back of my disturbed head, I have a secret fear that he will leave home and live in a hotel if I don’t provide a clean, freshly made bed on his return.  Teddy hates hotels so the fear is not based on truth but more of my own distaste of returning to an imperfect bed after staying in hotels (which I love).

Wine and soap

On the dresser you can see a bottle of Pinot Noir and some handmade soap that were my gift for his birthday.  Shortly after I moved to the USA, I started a new anti-depressant that made me ‘high’ and I was finally able to make soaps (a long held desire).  I am so good at it that friends asked me to sell them.  There were a couple of orders for baby shower favors which made me gasp with horror.  Not only did they know the sex of the baby but they had chosen a name!  In the UK we only gave gifts after the birth just in case the baby did not survive.  How do you know if she is going to be Apple or Peaches or Trixiebelle until you see her adorable little face? Eventually I had to come off the euphoric medication and realized I am allergic to the soap fragrances (even the best quality).  Now I just make them on special occasions and never use them myself as I have a prescription Sulphur wash.

So what is the point of this blog?  I love my husband so I make him comfortable and that is one of the secrets to a long marriage.  I make him soaps even though I get a headache and I can’t drink red wine but buy him his favorite.  That said, Teddy is currently in the wilds of Utah, Idaho or Montana – I don’t monitor his movements.  When he comes back, he will have another fresh bed but he is going on a diet because his shirts are tight…  Guess who is going to eat all the meat and booze that he can in Brokeback country???

Happy Birthday Teddy!

He had a six pack…

My lovely husband is 59 39 today…  The handsome blondish guy above is a photo of him in Norway when he was really younger than 39.  What a looker!  He deserves to be spoiled on his birthday for so many reasons but #1 is that he loved his nutty mother in law.  We came as a package, as I was her long distance caretaker.  Her mental illness made her behave very strangely at times.  She would beg us to visit but then be overwhelmed by day 2 or 3.  To illustrate this she would take all the sofa cushions off, leaving us to sit on the hard base.  It drove my aunt and me to distraction but Teddy just put them back on the sofa and pretended nothing had happened.  When she was well, she was absolutely hilarious, full of fun and laughing at both ends.  I have inherited that charming and yet unique trait, along with her looks, her mental illness and a good sense of humor (just as well, really…)

I love Teddy for the following reasons –

  • He loves me (Bunny) despite the mental illness, dodgy hoo-ha and lack of estrogen
  • He makes me laugh; really laugh. We were a great double act at the bank last weekend.  Teddy has a stronger Scottish accent than me and the teller was having some difficulty with the glass and his lack of enunciation so I kept translating.  I told the bank teller that I was a translator for the mentally disabled.  She fell about laughing.
  • He goes to work to provide for me (mostly healthcare but I like to eat sometimes) and he always has. At least I am a skinflint…
  • He smells amazing. Teddy has a penchant for expensive scent and our current favorite is Luna Rossa.  His natural body smell is lovely too and the late Mrs. Stripe used to suck his used underwear (like a Tom Jones fan).  I don’t go quite that far but I do like a whiff of male sweat.
  • There is always some lady with a crush on him but he seems to prefer blonde with a touch of crazy.
  • He loves cats (perhaps that should have been #1). Our feral cat, Katniss, has decided that she will wait for ‘Dad’ to come home to feed her.  Ungrateful little slut!
  • He cries when he watches soppy movies like Despicable Me and insists that we buy the first soft toy that we handled in case it feels neglected (WTF?). He bought my mum teddies from all over the world including the cutest little Harrods teddy with an Aran sweater.  I still have the damn things in the attic because she made me swear never to get rid of them.  In case you are reading this, Mum, they are all happy together with enough room to breathe…
  • When he is drunk, he writes me beautiful little love notes that I keep in my lingerie drawer. The term ‘lingerie’ is pushing it.
  • He loves me despite my unsexy, holey knickers…
  • He thinks I have a great figure but his eyesight isn’t so good.

A tip for older single ladies – date the silver foxes.  They will see you through an elderly, rose tinted mist.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEDDY!

Teddy and Bunny in Fredericksburg a few years ago

Boobs, burgers and snarkiness

This post is a bit all over the place but let’s begin.  I went for a mammogram last week at the insistence of my new gynecologist who is determined to sort out my dodgy hoo-ha.  He has suggested that I take a genetic test to see what cancers might lurk in my future – not as much fun as the Ancestry genetic test.  He has put me on estrogen – top and bottom.  Y’alls know I live in Texas, the land of strange modesty, and when you go for a mammogram, the female nurses delicately slip off part of your robe and pull out each boob.  This time I said, “Look, I was brought up in Europe.  If you don’t mind I am just going to take off the robe and stand in my knickers”.  She laughed and said that in Sweden women just sit in the waiting room breasts akimbo.

She asked me why I was having a mammogram and said I was a little anxious about HRT.  Turned out she is on the same treatment as me and she told me that 98% of women, diagnosed with breast cancers, had not been on HRT.  That said, however, I bet many of them had been on the contraceptive pill.  Then she asked me about my ethnicity and was a tad surprised about the Native, North African and other exotic parts of my DNA.  She noted that I was slim and my skin was in good condition.  In her opinion, people’s eating habits in America had much to do with their health and I have to agree.  It shocks me to see queues of rich people waiting at McDonalds for their lunch (they have a choice).  I would no more eat a fast food burger than fly to the moon.  I do eat processed food from time to time but try to lean towards clean and organic food.  Perhaps there is a tad too much vodka in my life…I’m not perfect!

So…on Saturday I went out early to take some of my fancy dresses to a resale shop.  They only wanted one of them and gave me $4.55 for a dress worth close to $100.  On the way home I gave most of it to the fireman with the charity boot – what a waste of time but he was a handsome guy!   I called Teddy to ask him to get washed and dressed so that we could go out for lunch.  When I got home he was still in his pajamas.  Normally this would raise merry hell but the HRT has a curious calming effect.  FINALLY, after many baleful looks, we got on the road.  We went to a local foodie place that served a perfect lunch.  I had a delightful glass of Albarino from Spain – just faintly pink and dry, followed by a miniature appetizer.  It was four little chickpea fritters with two delicious salsas.  You could taste each individual flavor.  Teddy had a crab and avocado sandwich with micro cilantro (weird but lovely).  To finish we each had one scoop of yummy ice cream about the size of an egg.  That is a perfect portion for lunch unless you are a marathon runner.

I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone and it drives Teddy crazy that I don’t answer his texts (all the more reason not to…)   He asked me if I had seen his text.  No, was the obvious answer but I got out my phone and looked at his text.  It had been sent from a new ‘dragon?’ app where he just speaks into the phone and it sends the text.  I texted, “Good for you, asswipe”, his face was a picture especially when the female computer voice nicely enunciated asswipe.  He then spoke into the phone saying, “I am not an asswipe” to which dragon lady responded, “I – am – not –an – asswipe”.  By this time I was really laughing but became hysterical when the phone auto-corrected his text to “I am not a Muslim”.  My laughter ricocheted from one end of the restaurant to the other.  As you know, I am not bigoted but just love those autocorrects.  I am just grateful that most people can’t understand our Celtic accents.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!🐤🐰

PS   The mammogram showed that I have benign stuff (that’s a medical term) bilaterally. Don’t you panic when it says anything other than negative?

The HRT is turning me into a snarky teenager…

 

Random moments of happiness

mountain-laurel

Mountain Laurel

I am struggling to write and read just now. Many apologies to all my wonderful followers and those I follow for being absent. I have talked about my chronic anxiety and depression many times so no need for any further explanation. Between sad bouts, I experience moments of great happiness, for which I am thankful or life would not be worth living. These are some of my recent moments.

Mountain Laurel

Close up of mountain laurel blossom

Close up of mountain laurel blossom

My lovely neighbor with green fingers gifted me this tree a couple of years ago because it wouldn’t thrive in her garden. I was very anxious because my fingers are not green (blackish) and then this year we had flood, excessive heat and finally a terrible cold snap. Some of my tropical plants died but the lovely Laurel has new growth and exquisite lavender flowers. They have an intense fragrance which my neighbor could smell as she approached my house. I now just buy plants and ask my gardener to place them in the right spot – it is working, so far…

The Dead Grasshopper

dead-grasshopper
This poor little green person probably did not survive the hard frost and fell out of our house planks. He was perfectly preserved and so green. Normally these noisy critters frighten me because of how they jump but I do like their songs. It was fun to really examine his little body and hold it. There truly is beauty in death. After I took his photograph, I left it on the rock. When I went outside later, some lucky bird had eaten a freeze dried snack. I wonder if she thought, “they are usually juicier than that?”

The Tulle Filled Nest

Romantic front door

Romantic front door

This is a photograph of my front door decorated for Valentine’s Day. My Mountain Laurel neighbor loves to decorate her presents with ribbons and tulle – almost too nice to open. I keep them to use myself and had created a bow with pink and white tulle sitting atop the beads. We had a windy day and suddenly the bow was gone. A squirrel or bird probably has a pink tulle lined crib and I just smile at the thought. Maybe they also had the freeze dried snack…

The Syrian limo driver

During my recent contract work, I was paired with a Syrian-American limo driver. He was courteous, respectful, articulate and charming. You probably expect me to say something about executive orders and how nice Middle Eastern people are but the truth is he was Cougar Eye Candy. I am purring softly as I write this. He was tall, slim and handsome with dark hair, white skin and the most exquisite grey/green/blue eyes with long black eyelashes. I flirted outrageously in Arabic and English, wondering what I would have done with him were I 30 years younger…

The Spanish Translation

In a previous post, I talked about the coffee barista from Jerusalem who is Muslim. He works at my local Argentinean/Venezuelan Café. Those two sentences somehow encapsulate the interesting diversity of Houston. This week I went in for my usual cappuccino and he was serving on his own. The lady in front of me could only speak Spanish and although coffee guy looks Hispanic, he can’t speak it. I offered to translate and I think I got three beef empanadas correct. The lady looked Latino/Indio and was utterly confused by the blonde Texan lady translating to the ‘Spanish’ guy. It’s a wonderful world.

More happy moments to come…

Black and blue with RED!!!

Red hair for autumn

Red hair for autumn

Teddy could tell something was amiss. I kept talking about how my hairdresser could cut my hair so that I could grow it long again… Then I asked his opinion which elicited a frustrated sigh. On Friday I woke up and decided to go red. It took three dyes and a sore head, but I did it. First I chose a light red which made my hair go the color of a Biscotti – meh. Then I dyed it dark auburn but it was very intense and too dark for my skin color. Finally I added a dark blonde and went to the hairdresser today to cut it into the color. Although I am proficient in dying my hair, red hair is difficult and by sheer luck the blonde and red worked well together, like unintended highlights. In a week or so, I am going to have it professionally dyed and then will touch up the roots myself.

I am wearing black and gold dangling earrings and my 13 year old boots.

I am wearing black and gold dangling earrings and my 13 year old boots.

While I was at the hairdresser, I went to my favorite thrift shop. What do you think of my blue and black bargain dresses. The longer one was $10 (originally nearer $100) and the tunic was just $4.30 (with an over 55 discount) – I am not proud! I even got my husband an almost new red check shirt for $4 and change.

This is a full picture of the turquoise blue/black dress, which is knee length. I have hematite and turquoise jewelry and my black stilettos which I can only wear when imbibing…I have been known to dance all night and wake up the next morning thinking I have stumps for feet.

I love lacy tights!

I love lacy tights!

On Friday night I was meeting friends and Teddy to celebrate a birthday. Nobody knew about the change in hair color but I would say it is a 90% success. Teddy loves it and friends commented that it seems to suit my skin tone better. It is fun to wear darker eye makeup for the winter and look somewhat Hispanic, for a change.

Bunny and Teddy at the birthday party.  He looks like the cat who got the cream...

Bunny and Teddy at the birthday party. He looks like the cat who got the cream…

Charming Charleston, SC

Honeymoon?

Honeymoon?

I had no idea that Charleston was a honeymoon destination but when I saw this couple at Charleston Market, I thought, “Awwww, how sweet they look”. The local style was reminiscent of Reese Witherspoon’s preppy clothing line and very different from Texas. I felt a bit under-dressed… The Charleston Market was wonderful with endless vendors selling everything from local artwork and food, featuring the famous Sweetgrass baskets. I admired them and the work put into them but was on a budget.

Horse and Carriage in the French Quarter

Horse and Carriage in the French Quarter

Seeing the horses and carriages helped me envision what Charleston might have been like in times past. The traffic was relatively light in the historic area and it seemed as though the carriages were given priority. It is fun to hear the clip-clop on cobblestones.

Shabby Chic

Shabby Chic

This building intrigued me. At first I thought it was derelict and when I looked closely realized that it had been renovated in this way. It was admirable but I am not sure if I liked it. Shabby chic is a fashion that has passed me by. I am perfectly fine with architecture or furniture that is naturally old but not made to look that way. At the very least, the building made me think about it so perhaps it achieved it’s aim.

Theater

Theater

By contrast, I loved this renovated brick building. I guess you can’t please everyone! Below is yet another church the Circular Congregational Church which dates back to the 1600s. I loved the simplicity of it – it welcomed Scots Presbyterians and French Huguenots amongst others. Below is a sad little French grave of an infant son.

Circular Congregational Church

Circular Congregational Church

Bebe Peronneau