Archive for November, 2015

Mondays with Melitas – November 23, 2015

Melitas will return next week, but if you want to re-read some of her blogs it is very simple!  Just look over at the calendar on the right hand side and you can go back through all the years that she has blogged with me.  Just click through the years and her blogs are on Mondays on the calendar!

I am sure as soon as she gets her hearing aids and smart phone figured out she will be back to business!

In the mean time….while you are waiting check out the link on my website where you can donate to the children of Miramar here in Loreto where I live.  I volunteer 2 mornings a week there and they have very little supplies.  It is easy to donate and 100 percent of all money donated goes right to supplies.

Muchas Gracias!

Tammy Coia

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Mondays with Melitas – November 16, 2015

mel blog 11-16DISCUMBOBULATED                                         NOVEMBER 16, 2015



Yes, I’m so discumb—– , and it’s all because that smart phone arrived last Monday, and it has me bonkers trying to figure it out. It IS smarter than I, so maybe I will have to just forget about new hearing aids and just carry a chalk board around for people to write down when I ask “What?”

You should be made aware why I’m searching for the answer to hear sounds more correctly. Our friend, Dr. Foxx who has the spa over at Grand Champions in Indian Wells, was telling the Warden how his life has changed since he found these hearing aids which can be controlled with a smart phone — his smart phone is an I-pod, but I am trying to get by with much less expensive android, although some androids are high-priced also. Anyway, it’s possible to cut out the background noise for him. I gotta tell you about the Doctor, Richard Foxx. He’s had quite a busy life — a rated polo player, trainer of polo ponies, a physician, an US Army Surgeon, authoring equestrian and medical articles for numerous magazines. So 4/5 years ago he published a book titled “Spirit Ranch,” and I’m saying you should read it because it takes place right in our Coachella Valley in the neighborhood where I lived for 25 years. You can find it on Amazon. (ADV)

All I meant to bring up was just about Dr. Foxx with his new “ears,” not his autobiography. (I didn’t even ask his permission.) Oh well, if he sues, he sues.

I went back to the smart phone to try to find the application needed to work with the Moto G (short for my phone,) and for the life of me I couldn’t find anything close. Last evening, I had spent a couple of hours flipping through hundreds of apps with no success, but started in again. NO success, so I stopped to rest my eyes, and soothe my “savage breast,” before I have a nervous breakdown. If I don’t find that App. It means I have to exchange for a different phone, and that means more $$$$.

Went out in patio to try to read the paper, but I really don’t know how one can relax reading about all the trials and tribulations in the world today, so what I did was just sit there and enjoyed the “rays” warming my old carcass.

Door bell rang, and there was Maureen Croft, who was going to try to help me with the phone situation. She has a Samsung, and found this app — TRULINK — on her phone right away. (I knew she was really smart, that’s why I had asked to borrow her today.) Not long into her search on my phone, she found Trulink! She saved me those $$$$, and now I am wondering if I will get a bill for her time, and travel time, plus the gasoline. Oh, dear, dear!

Here this story started so dreary with things like nervous breakdowns, and being all discumbabled (another way for me to spell that “is not-a-word,”) then it all turned out so wonderful for me in the end, I’m almost sad that I didn’t put on the story of the Two Old Ladies. But they can wait, and in the meantime, I can now get my new ear plugs, and maybe it will straighten out my rotten disposition. Hopefully.



MELITAS FORSTER                                 MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

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Helping the children in Loreto…won’t you join me?


Miramar Children 4











I was fortunate to have spent the last 5 years of my teaching career at one of the wealthiest schools in the United States. As a teacher we had so much at our fingertips. We had a supply closet that was packed full of paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons, etc. We had a copy center that we would submit our papers to and the next day all copies would be made and placed in our teacher boxes. We were served breakfast and lunch and if we wanted dinner to bring home for $5.00 we could bring home dinner for our family. We had white boards and smart boards. We had computers and overhead projectors and televisions in every room. We had a budget that we could buy extra supplies with that may be needed to do our jobs better.

I remember when I left my job to move to Palm Springs I knew that I could never teach anywhere else again. I had the perfect job and anywhere else would never come close. I spent the next 7 years doing a different type of teaching. I worked with adults teaching about memoir writing. I enjoyed those years very much and then last year I had the opportunity to move to Baja to focus more on a new addition to my business of women’s writing retreats.

I have spent the last 10 months writing and leading retreats and then last week there came an opportunity to teach children once again. I learned the teacher that taught english in one of the poorest communities of Loreto needed some help. Another retired teacher named Kathleen and I drove out to Miramar. The unpaved road with the stray dogs and poor dwellings they lived in gave way to an elementary school in the distance.

Our first day we were greeted by nearly thirty 6th graders. We gathered two groups outside in a circle where we could practice english. Vocabulary and common greetings were what we worked on for that morning session. I glanced inside the classroom to see bare walls and a torn paper homemade map on the wall. The desks looked like they had seen better days when these children’s parents were in school. Some of the desks had no backs to the chairs and some of the chairs had no desks.

Although my spanish is limited we were able to communicate that morning. They connected to a smile and they knew I was there to help them. I left with feeling such a sense of gratitude that they wanted to learn how to communicate with me.

The next day I arrived with my friend David and we worked with 3rd graders and 6th graders again. I had some flashcards we played games with and at the end I gave them each a sticker. As they lined up so excitedly they spoke to me in english: almost all said thank you, some said have a nice day, others said see you tomorrow. I was hugged and hugged and hugged.

As I am writing this from my air conditioned villa that is just steps away from the Sea of Cortez, some ten miles away from Miramar I think of these children. I think of their smiles and gratitude. I know that their lives will be profoundly changed if they learn english. They won’t have to settle on being a gardener or a housekeeper. They will have the opportunity to go to college and learn a trade and become very successful.

Today I saw a new generation of hope for the children of Loreto. I plan on making a difference in the lives of the Loreto people. I can spend the time in the classrooms each week, but I want to encourage you to help, wherever you are.

When I left yesterday the principal came to us and spoke. Silvia, the english teacher translated for her, but in short she wanted to thank us for coming to her school. She told us the doors are open for us whenever we would like to visit.

My hope is that you, my friends in the United States and beyond will help the children of Miramar. I will be posting updates about what I am doing in the school each month. If you would like to donate I have a pay pal link set up at all you need to do is click on Tammy and that will take you to a page where you can see the paypal link to the right. Any amount will help the children of Miramar in Loreto. We will use the money to make copies of worksheets, I will purchase supplies that are needed each month. When friends come from the states I will have them bring things down. Thank you for your help.

Miramar Children 3

map on the wall of the 6th grade classroom

Miramar Children 2

Imagine sitting and trying to learn on a desk like this


Miramar Children 5

6th grade boys

3rd grade student

3rd grade student

3rd graders eager to learn!

3rd graders eager to learn!

working with the flashcards I brought

working with the flashcards I brought

learning to write in english

learning to write in english

proud of her work

proud of her work

stray dogs love the children at the school

stray dogs love the children at the school

fun learning English!

fun learning English!


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Mondays with Melitas – November 9, 2015

LAST MONDAY WITH….. (NOVEMBER 2, 2015)         NOVEMBER 9, 2015


“Late Breaking News” when it appeared on Tammy’s web site, by noon a half dozen of my Dear Readers had posted Replies with some choice remarks. It must’ve hit their funny bones early, and of course I was just thrilled to pieces. I love all the Replies, in fact, I save them and there are some doozies. Some tell me how wonderful the Blog is and some give me a hard time — that I am not being nice to the Warden. Some are so hilarious with their remarks that I go around laughing to myself, so thank you Dear Hearts — just know you are avidly read from Monday to Sunday.

Since this started as a follow-up to the last Blog, I have to reveal we are not going with the “Old Ladies” story that I promised. Those two will just have to bide their time in the wings. Maybe they can be released next week.

Later in the afternoon, I had an appointment with my Hearing Aid expert. I have been going bonkers with these ear plugs I have now. All I hear from other people is how they just hate theirs — can’t hear the conversation, just the background. A lot of people don’t bother wearing their Aids. I have been hearing about a new hearing aid that is controlled with a “smart” phone. It had sounded interesting, but if you know me at all — I HATE THOSE PHONES!

I was told that I would need an Apple I-Phone 5 or better (those run $450.00 and up) or an Android Samsung Galaxy S4 at $174.00, or a Motorola Moto G at $150.00. There is the information I needed, so told the Hear guy that I needed to think it over.

From there we stopped at Staples. We needed a few items and when we were checking out, the cashier had everything on my Staples credit card. Then she was talking on the phone and looking at me and then whispered over the counter to me that they were not accepting my card. Then I went off in a loud voice that I had forgotten to pay the bill in the amount of $2.98! So we stood around, shifting from one foot to the other and finally thought to ask if we could use another card which they let us do. Oh, the ignominy of it all!

Went home and got on the laptop to find the proper “smart” phone that would not cost an arm and a leg. Went to Amazon. They had I-Phones ‘way out of my price range. Remember, I also have to pay big money for new ear plugs. Amazon did have some Android phones that would work and then I phoned our wonderful carrier, Consumer Cellular, to pick their brain. Alba and I have two clam cell phones with 1500 talk minutes a month for a total charge of $42.00. I never use my phone because number one I can’t hear on it, can’t even hear when it rings with these swell ear plugs I have now.

Consumer Cellular has I-Phones starting at $450.00, then I asked about the Motorola at $150.00, and that phone will work with those new hearing aids. I signed up immediately and the lady said that there is a $25.00 discount so it would be $134.00 to change phones. I made it very clear — no texting — NO TEXTING, I MEAN IT. If text is enabled I will personally have the ISIS kidnap you and chop off your head with one whack!

Now, all of you Dear Readers, have all the gathered facts and data if you need some hearing aids that you can hear with.



MELITAS FORSTER                                  MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

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Mondays with Melitas – November 2, 2015

mel blog 11-1aLATE BREAKING NEWS                                         NOVEMBER 2, 2015

Now about today, October 31, 2015, even though it was dark when I woke at 5 AM, it felt brighter (YES, 5 AM! – not a typo error) maybe because my feet and legs were wide awake without the usual aches and pains. I ordinarily lay in bed about an hour waiting for them to catch up to the rest of me. I wasn’t a bit sleepy so just lay there mainly because it was still dark outside – that will change with the time going back to regular PST tonight, but I have things to do, and jumped out of bed — a truthful adjective would be “crawled” out.

First, I grabbed the dark clothes out of the “dirties” basket, and soon had them whirling about in my 20-year old Kenmore washer. (Those Kenmore’s last forever. ADV) [You can read about another great wash day story in my book, What a Life. It’s called “Home Alone”, and you will find it on Page 112 (Another ADV) complete with picture showing the ‘must’ have items which load me down – the phone, and the alert thinga-ma-bob.]

After getting the wash going, I had a cup of coffee to wake up the whole entity, which is “I,” and in fact, I had another cup of Hawaiian coffee for good measure. I figured the old brain needed a jump start to get on with the day and be able to take on the bookwork which had fallen into severe chaos over the past few months. Well, no wonder there was all this mess — take a peek at the 2 photos accompanying this saga. (Not an ADV.) There were, and still are, as a matter of fact, these piles of paper work – Medicare Statements galore (I practically live at the EMC Wound Center), piles of mail begging for a small, or large, donation, etc., etc., etc. You get the idea. In case you don’t get the idea, I’ve already lost you.

The 3 check registers that I oversee (maybe change “oversee” to “overlook?”) were in disarray, so I started pawing over and under some of these stacks, and whaddya know, my Friends — underneath and amongst the jumble, I came up with a check #4523, written out very nicely and attached to its statement, but neither of which were inside the envelope with a stamp. So that’s why that check was “outstanding” for a couple of months, and I couldn’t imagine why Consumer Reports hadn’t cashed it. The check was not just outstanding, it was out laying on my office “incoming,” which never got to “outgoing.” No wonder they were hounding me about this, and I kept ignoring them.

Now finding that check and making the corrections in my check book (and writing another check – and get it mailed to cool them down) helped a little, but the bank said I had $200 more than what they had. Where else did I err? After investigating further, I discovered the error of my ways, but it took the LED light in the brain to turn on and come to the conclusion that I had posted the entry in my check registers for the Discover (my card) and Staples (household card) statements, but failed to go to the web sites to ‘MAKE PAYMENT.” Thank the Lord, and pass the ammunition that the Staples amount was just a measly $2.98, or the Warden would have cut off ALL olives from my diet. It’s bad enough that she has them on the highest shelf right now, where I can’t reach them — I don’t do stools anymore.

If you, the Reader, made it through this highly technical lesson on finance, I have to tell you I just had to get this off my chest. I have another story which was ready, so you will be able to read it next week. It’s about 2 Old Ladies. Exciting!

Moral to this story: One should not leave it up to an old Person to take care of money matters. You just never know —-



MELITAS FORSTER                                    MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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