Saturday, December 12, 2009

Judi meets Sir Heimlich and other Santiago Adventures

The Restaurant Patagonia

A Catholic Church on Plaza del Armas

Two Gals preparing to imbibe and have a blast!

Note: My mother has graciously allowed me to be a guest writer on her blog as we traverse Chile. If she does not approve what I have written, she would be free to edit, however, she cannot remember her password and therefore...this is all the truth!
December 9
Mom's plane arrives on a sunny Santiago, Chile morning, along with 4 other international flights and clears customns and immigration. She walks right past me, out the airport as I stand staring at the television screen showing passing out of customs. We eventually find each other and sit to have a celbratory beer in the cafe! We grab a cab for 13,000 pesos and are spirited into Santiago. We had a lovely little suite in Sa Foresta, which is an old hotel situated at the foot of historic Santa Lucia Hill (Cerro Santa Lucia). The area is quiet, filled with eclectic cafes, restaurants and next to the hotel is a little piano bar called Bar Don Rodrigo, which will come into play later.

After unloading the bags, a frenzy of "Oh! Oh! Look what I brought you!" we had the living room part of the suite completely strewn with the contents of mom's suitcase, and having strummed my new dulcimer a bit, we headed out into the city, Just a short walk around the corner is a wonderful corner restaurant with sidewalk seating called Patagonia Alma del Sur (JV Lastarria 96) which serves what it calls "traditional Patagonian fare". To there credit, they did have lamb meatballs. We chose a pot of four-cheese fondue served with grilled eggplant, zuchini and toasted bread. It went well with mom's house white wine and my Kross Stout. We sat under a jacaranda tree watching the locals come and go, dodging some of the best looking street dogs I've seen. The day is warming up quickly as we pay the check, and wander up the street to catch a cab to the Plaza del Armas.

Every city and even almost every small town has a Plaza del Armas, Santiago's is SPECTACULAR! Cobblestones stretch out from the center where towering traditional and contemporary statues stand side-by-side with giant palms and indigenous trees. Benches, people, protesters, street performers, political rallies and impromptu parades fill the square. Every side of the square is bordered by magnificent architecture. We wandered into a church built in the early 1700's and mom was hard pressed to stay standing up...the frescos, the Stations of the Cross, the carvings, a group of Evangelical Catholics singing some sweet song and flicking candles. We aren't Catholics, but the sense of something powerful and overwhelming permeates the sanctuary. I think it's the archetecture and people. Mom says, "Get me out of here, I'm tempted to turn Catholic!"

We visit the Correos Chile building, also old, and spectacular, built over 200 years ago with a four-story atrium and fabulous wrought iron and beveled glass. It is packed now because of the Christmas holiday, but lines move quickly.

Back out in the plaza, we find a table at a little cafe and order bottled water and watch people. An old man with a small bible skirts the area around the outdoor cafe declaring in Spanish and English that God is love, and Halleluja! A Pinara parade pounds by with young people waving flags and passing out flyers for his rally later in the day. The Presidential race appears to be a happy affair, with people singing and marching, the Pinera's, the Fries, and various other candidates are all represented by happy people. Mom works her way around the plaza snapping photos of all the chaos and fun. Later, as we are working our way down a pedestrian street to a corner to find a taxi, and after checking out an underground public restroom facility, we find ourselves in the middle of a LOUD and vigerous protest against all the chain pharmacies...A large group of people with horns, whistles, confetti and signs stop in front of a Cruz Verde pharmacy, beating drums, chanting, shaking signs, blocking customers in, and customers out. The clerks and pharmacists stand inside and say nothing, and after five minutes or so, the lively group moves on to their next store after writing something on the windows in red paint. No police come and beat back the protesters, in fact, a couple of Caribineros on foot patrol walk by on the other side of the street unconcerned. We are swept up in the protest for a half a block and caught up in the spirit. Mom and I give the thumbs up and the protesters cheer back with us. Someone offers to take our picture with a protest sign, and we are suddenly having a blast with our new-found cause...not that we really knew what it was, but I guess we were caught up in the fun and freedom of being ABLE to protest without getting our knees cracked. It was fun. We parted with our new-found comrades at the corner and caught a cab back to the hotel to rest and wind down.

Back at the hotel, we stretched out on our beds, opened the double window onto Cerro Santa Lucia and let the noise of the city in. We yapped, caught up on old friends and family. I couldn't keep my hands off the dulcimer and after a few minutes picked out "Storms Never Last" sang along. We dozed a little, then decided agains showers and hair re-do's, and around 7 pm we headed downstairs to Bar Don Rodrigo where I have arranged for the piano player to play "As Time Goes By" for Mom. We hit the bar and order Chelado Shopps, watching as the seven-fingered bar tender squeezes lemon on the rim of our mugs and splashes in some hot sauce in the draft beer. He sets a small dish of peanuts mixed with raisins on the bar and we chat with two young fellows sitting next to mom. Mom is having a blast, and I am having a blast seeing mom have a blast.
She is CHARMED by Santiago. The nice cars, she says! No junkers. People sweeping the streets. The small band of clowns beating drums and passing the hat. The lack of beggers (compared to Costa Rica and Panamna). The quainty restaurants and cafes. The Hotel we are staying in...a little worn, but quaint and more than comfortable. "You can smoke in the room?!"
Down in Bar Don Rodrigo, the bartender asks me something, and out of the corner of my eye I see mom stiffen with her face in her hands. She's making jerking motion in her torso and I realize in a nano second that she is choking! I stand up and say are you choking and she nods furiously. In one motion I lift her off her chair, turn her around and do the Heimlich in three quick jolts and she gasps. Everyone is frozen for a moment, then I hear a collective sigh. Mom can breath, but I have released a hot gush of gastric fluids into her esophogus and as she sits on her chair and tries to compose herself she lapses into a coughing spasms so hard that I get her into the bathroom and it takes several minutes until the spasm has calmed enough for us to head upstairs to chill out. We consider going to the hospital, but after 20 minutes, the spasms stop. An hour later we are out the door, and on our way to Azul Profundo (111 Constitution) in Bella Vista for seafood appetizers and pisco sours.

Fudors lists Azul Profundo as best seafood restaurant in Santiago the past two years in a row. While slightly expensive, it's reasonable and definately some of the best seafood I've ever had. Mom loves her pisco sour and implores me not to let her have another. We choose Parmesean Scallops and a lightly smoked salmon plate with cheese and capers. Excellent! We walk a bit after our late-night snack, peeking into other restaurants which are just now gearing up. It is 10pm. We grab a cab back to La Foresta and the elevator is out for "routine maintenance" so we tromp up to our fourth-floor room and collapse.
(Mom tells me later that when she was choking and I was yanking her around like a rag doll as I performed the Heimlich, the only thing going through her mind was, Oh God! Please do not let my dentures fly out of my mouth!) And Mom.
We will post a slideshow of good photos later on her blog here. In the meantime, we are attempting to keep it clean and simple. on the blog for the present moment. More later....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Soon, on my way to Chile

4 more days and I leave to arrive in Santiago on the 9th to meet up with my wonderful daughter, and head out for an adventure. I have no idea what she has planned but whatever it will be, will be wonderful. Seems like it was a long time in coming, but now so sudden and it is time.

I was in Ohio for Thanksgiving with her brothers and their familes. What a wonderful time we had. Only 7 of the 11 grand children were there. Would love to have them all together sometime.

Here' wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

Ms. J

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adventure Announcement

This the one Vicki wants me to do, so here it is

I am going to Chile in December. Not sure of the specific dates yet.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A beautiful sunny Sunday

Yes, it's another beautiful day in the mountains. And isn't technology great.

I have been sitting here in the U.S. and chatting with my youngest son, Jeff, who is presently in China, working. He's been reading Vik's blog finally. and as many times as I say I miss the Girl, I miss the Boys too. They all want me to come live with them, but..........................I am happy and contented right where I am.

Jeff is my youngest, married to a lovely gal, and they have 4 children. 3 girls and 1 boy, all great kids. The oldest is in college. And Jeff and a couple of the kids have been up to help me here also. So has Vik, but she and I seem to get involved in things other than working on the property.

So peaceful and quiet this morning, no animals roaming. Where I sit I can look out a window and see in to the woods, and nothing but a few squirrels skittering around.

Not sure what I am going to do today. Maybe strum and pick would be a good idea since I have done much of it for a week.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lukas has been entered into a contest and needs all the votes he can get.
Will you help him? Just click on the link below once a day for a week. His mom sure could use the Million$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Thanks to all for your help

Friday, August 7, 2009

I've been busy, busy

Doing what, not much! But was getting ready for a son and a grand daughter to come for a week. They have been here and gone home. My son said he had to go home to rest before going back to work. He worked his butt off up here and my place looks awesome. A good time was had. We didn't do much, but enjoyed. Went out for dinner a couple of times, they went rafting on the Ocoee River. I stayed home, lol. Last night was "All you can eat" pizza downtown.

Before they came, last Sunday, Aug. 2, I had a Dulcimer workshop that turned in to a Jam Session. What a lot of fun that was!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had 6 dulcimers, a guitar, drum, and a fiddle. And instead of in a backroom as usual, we played in a public hallway and many people watching us. Lots of neat comments. We did sound good.

While family was here, they had a good time riding my 4 wheelers in the woods and the forest. The grand flipped hers over backwards, was not hurt. but landed on her back with the 4 wheeler on it;s back section. She held it up with her feet until her dad got back to help her. Yes, she had a helmet on. He says it scared the crap out of him, but t hen he laughed every time he told the story. A couple of years ago, I ran mine UP a tree, and had to make a leap of life. They are a lot of fun but can be dangerous.

BTW, now I am in my 7th decade as Vicki calls it, lol. I don't feel a lot different, but sure wish I could do what I could about 3 decades ago. I try! I guess that is why I have sons........and a daughter.

My canine kids have been a bit of a handful lately. Lukas, the weimaraner was bad the other day. I was in process of baking some cinnamon rolls, turned my back and he ate the whole pan full. 8 unbaked rolls. I grabbed the bottle of peroxide, drug him outside and pured it down him. 5 mins later they came up. I felt sorry for him, but had I not done it he could have bloated and died. Later, he stole an apple from the bowl on the counter and ate the whole damn thing. They can have apples but not the core and seeds, which he did.

One of the beagles, the little one as we call her. When I got her she weighed 50 pounds and needed medical care. But vet said she had to lose lots of weight first. She was put on a diet and I managed to get 25 pounds off of her, so last Tuesday she had dental done.
They took 6 back teeth and had already lost 2. and she had major infection. SOOOOOOOOO, she is doing great, and on antibiotics. Another procedure for a large lump under her leg will be done soon.
The other beagle, I took off 15 pounds. But, almost lost her this week. She somehow got up on a workbench in the shop and got a box of d-con poison. Out came the peroxide again. Then she hid out in the bushes and we had to hunt for her. Luckily she was bringing up the poison, and I made her bring up more. Vet had me take her in next morning for a Vit K1 shot. She is fine now

It is very quiet here now, again, and I have no idea who will be here next. Vicki? I don't think she is coming to the mountain this year. I miss that girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yesterday was a good day on the internet. Vik and I chatted for hours while she was really trying to get some things done to finish moving to her ponderosa, but I think we both needed the day. I laughed, I cried, miss that girl and it's going to be along time yet before we get together. But that will give me time to teach her dulcimer how to play a few songs. The latest is "Wildwood Flower".

I've been a bit lazy lately when it comes to work on the mountain. Tomorrow the boys will come and do the mowing, weed eating and picking up all the fallen tree limbs. Even with no winds, the limbs seem to keep coming down. Just so they stay off the car and house. I have had to move them out of the drive a few times.

New "future" neighbors are up here now and making plans to build in the lot next to me. It will be nice to have them there and will only see the roof top of their home. I have known them for several years, and both are very nice people. She is from Russia, and they met online years ago. Not the usual....................................And he is as big around as he is tall, she is little. I am looking forward to them being here. Maybe I will have some new recipes for Vik to try out.

Mr. Redfox hasn't been around lately, and hope he doesn't. But I am ready just in case. There was something in the side yard, outside the fence, last night and Lukas woke me up at 4:00 this morning to go out. Whatever it was took off when I turned on the outside lights. But Lukas still let it know it was not welcome.

This afternoon I will be going over to another mountain to inspect another friends home that was just painted. They live in Florida and want it checked out before I give the painter his final check. I am sure it will be fine but will take pictures for them. They also had some wood on the deck replaced so will have to check that out to. Maybe I should become a home inspector, lol. I am sure I could do that since working with DH for so many years. I use to find things wrong that he would miss. This is the house we worked on the first time we came to this area.

Today, my t.v won't be on much. It's Michael Jackson Day! Enough of that...................

Well, time to go to the dump since we don't have that service. It's once a week trip at my house, and do it on the way in to town. Need batteries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great day everyone...................Sure do miss that girl! But won't be long and I will be missing one of her brothers. He calls me nearly every day, and always have email from him. He's leaving for a long hiatus in China. Going to miss that boy. The other one, oh well, I know where he is, and will be.