Cozumel Air Show 2016

Airshows celebrate freedom.  Families gather thrilled by flying acrobats sharing precise daring feats.  We applaud excellence and courage and are in awe of the pilots for the risks they take.  We put them on pedestals marveling at their bravery and their moment to moment choices.

Melissa Pemberton - Cozumel Airshow 2016
Melissa Pemberton – Cozumel Airshow 2016

A young American pilot, Melissa Pemberton, just 31 years old, participating in airshows since she was 19 talked about becoming one with her airplane to dazzle us with with dramatic sky loops that pull our attention away from smart phones for an afternoon.  She spoke of being so totally present in the moment, I wondered if she was Buddhist as I have heard Tibetan monks speak in the same way.

Gary Ward flew five hours straight from Augusta, Georgia first time he came to Cozumel
Gary Ward flew five hours straight from Augusta, Georgia first time he came to Cozumel

Another American pilot, Gary Ward from Augusta, Georgia challenged our ideas of what an airplane can do when it appeared that he changed his acrobatic plane into a helicopter with the way he stepped it down to land on the beautiful runway in the Mexican jungle on the island of Cozumel.  When asked later about the move, he answered as if it were no big deal, probably owing to the hours and hours of practice necessary for any master to make things look so simple and easy.

Mario Mena from Guatemala
Mario Mena from Guatemala

Guatemalan pilot Mario Mena thrilled us with both high and low flying acrobatics.  Back on the ground he graced us with a beautiful victory smile as he prepared to go before the appreciative crowd in the celebratory drive down the runway after the flight.  An hour later, things changed.

Airshow Cozumel-1-7Mario’s flying partner Juan Miguel Garcia Salas also from Guatemala seemed to take extra time on the runway before he took off.  Was he studying his notes as he prepared to dazzle us? Was he building anticipation?  Getting centered? Did he doubt something? We don’t know and never will.

Pilot Juan Miguel Garcia Salas about to take off
Pilot Juan Miguel Garcia Salas about to take off

Our expectations mounted until he finally allowed the show smoke to engulf his orange and yellow plane and released the brake.  Cruising down the runway, he made a most dramatic and impressive takeoff.  At 90 degrees from the runway into the air surrounded by the theatrical smoke, the artistry was phenomenal. Three minutes later, however, he was dead.

Cozumel firefighters on the scene
Cozumel firefighters on the scene

His plane crashed in the jungle next to the runway. No smoke, no fire… just a loud thud.  Police, firemen, ambulances rushed to the scene in seconds.  They valiantly chopped into the jungle with axes and machetes but it was too late for Juan Miguel.  It appeared that the impact killed him instantly.

Sad and yet… this young man seemed so happy on the last day of his life.  An hour earlier he was congratulating his flying compadre, Mario, on a job well done, talking with fellow pilots and enjoying the gorgeous Cozumel sunshine and ocean breezes.  And he was doing what he loved.  It looks like Death might have just surprised him.Airshow Cozumel-1-6

Copyright 2016. Donna Marie Carey.  All rights reserved. This may be shared electronically as long as all information and photos as well as author and web page information is kept intact.

The Golden Moon

Two weeks ago, we celebrated a full lunar eclipse.  Here is a beautiful photo of the golden moon that emerged after the eclipse.  Tonight, to celebrate the new moon, I further improve this blog offering by including the post eclipse golden moon.  Enjoy!  October 14, 2015

This is a revised version of the poem I published a couple of years ago!  Walt Whitman was one of my early favorites and he revised Leaves of Grass countless times.  This gives me the courage to go back and improve older works as my writing improves.  Feb. 15, 2015



Eight beautiful women stepped down the beach
Dressed mostly in white,
Caribbean breezes brushed the hair from our faces.

Some held burning incense making figure eights in the air
Others chimed bells and cymbals
I stroked a Himalayan bowl blending in sweet sounds.

We moved on the hard sand in the light surf
Silently chanting our personal mantras
Until we stopped, nestled into the sand like turtles and watched the sky.

Shyly, she showed her light from behind a cloud
A little more boldly she began to emerge
In silence, we watched her show

Until finally, in full splendor
The golden July moon shone upon us.
In silence, we absorbed her blessings.

She then began to throw golden buttery kisses my way.
I thrilled in the ecstasy of this holy moment and thought of you.
I asked her to throw you a few kisses too.

Did you get them?

A poem from Sonam Donnala

Copyright July 2013. Donna Marie Carey. All rights reserved.

Bullies and Bad Ideas

John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck

“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

Still thinking about peace, I wonder what is this in human nature that thirsts for conflict.    Is this something that we just must shrug our shoulders and accept as our lot when we are born into this life.  Or do we have the capacity as a species, as human beings, to use our thinking minds and noble spirits to pursue peace rather than war?  I look into myself and find there have been times when I have fought.  Mainly, the objects I have fought against have been bullies and bad ideas.  I felt empowered and ennobled in my causes.  And yet now, with maturity I see that battle, whichever battle is entertained, causes many casualties.  Some of those casualties are innocent. And in Gaza, it seems as if most of the casualties are innocent.  And yet, in conflict taking sides just inflames things.  It doesn’t add to finding a peaceful solution.

Taking sides adds to the entertainment factor in conflict.  Just think of all the energy and emotion fans expend at a football game.   ( Is fan short for fanatic?)  Sometimes I wonder if the sporting world trains the human mind to support conflict.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I watched the World Cup Finals and cheered.  I am a fan (fanatic) of Rafa Nadal.  And I believe that competition can bring out the best in the human spirit.  But when competition tips over into conflict, I draw the line.  Conflict aims to destroy, healthy competition focuses on bringing out the best.  I believe, we can be fans or supporters of a particular side in a conflict, if we are conscious of what we are doing and not just blindly following emotional pulls.  Better yet, the more noble road is if we support the opposing factions to find peace.

At the base of many conflicts is a lack of understanding.  Then with a tendency to vilify the other party, the facts are distorted in a morass of emotion which builds into a chaotic, unreal mass.   The will to understand the opponent is lost.  The battle ensues – sometimes for years – when the energy and creativity could be applied to finding a peaceful solution.  From that point, a person is free to use their limited life energy for ecstasy, pleasure, joy, serenity, happiness.

Our little town is a microcosm of the world.  What we do here reflects into the larger world.  Why don’t we find peace here so that the world may find peace in Gaza, in the Ukraine.  But maybe we need to step back… all of us… and find peace in our own hearts first.  Yeah, that is the place to begin.  Check out my blog post from yesterday called Idiots in the House for some great techniques.

Better solutions will come from a peaceful mind, a peaceful heart.

The Hawaiians have a very successful method for finding peace in all sorts of relationships.  Called Ho’ Oponopono it includes some very simple words that work like magic in all sorts of human relationships.  Here I will share:

I am sorry

I love you

Please forgive me

Thank you

If you have yet to find peace inside, using these words may be difficult.  But use them first on yourself and then begin to use them with others.  It WILL work magic in your life.   Even Roman Rivera Torres advocated forgiveness with his famous quote published in the Wall Street Journal many years ago.   You might think forgiveness is boring, but it could open the pathway to joy, serenity and peace.  To me, ecstasy is not a boring state of mind.  I prefer it to battle.  How about you?

"An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind."
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”

Idiots in the House

August 5, 2014

Be the change you wish to have in your life
Be the change you wish to have in your life


“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Did Ghandi really say that?  Google says it is so.  So it must be right, right?

But what does this mean?

Lately, peace is on my mind as I see conflict erupt all over the place from the macro to the micro.  All this conflict seems to be born in people’s thoughts, fears, feelings of insecurity, emotional reactivity, inner confusion and incessant mental noise as well as a desire to dominate others.  These are the “idiots in the house” as St Teresa de Avila  said many years ago.

Thoughts and imaginations are like idiots in the house.

Peace is easy.  All we have to do is let the idiots leave our house.  After all, you can’t control idiots. So open the doors, let the idiots leave!   That is, peace is already alive inside of us.  We just have to let go of all the idiots and allow peace to take center stage in our lives.  And not only peace but also serenity and joy.  Just sit for five minutes at a time, relax, breathe deep and invite peace to take center stage in your life.  You will be amazed at what will happen next.

But if the idiots have taken firm control of your house, don’t worry, there is help.  Music, yes music, can help you regain control of your house.  Just listen to Beethoven’s Symphony #7, second movement.  It will put your mind into the proper frequency to let go of the idiots and allow healing to happen.  Just Google it, there are several renditions on U Tube and other places that you can listen to.

Remember John Lennon?  He and Ghandi viewed the world in similar ways.  Look at their glasses!  Ha, they may have even used the same oculist!

Give Peace a Chance
Give Peace a Chance


Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Octopus Potato Salad

July 15, 2014

Just returned from Rio Lagartos, one of the most interesting fishing villages in all of the Yucatan.  Not only do the fishermen regularly net octopus, lobster, and many varieties of fresh fish, they are also known as the largest exporter of Sea Cucumbers in the area.  Containers line up for this precious cargo to be shipped to Japan every year.

Fresh and delicious seafood is common to the area but no one has yet put my Octopus Potato Salad on the menu.  So I am free to share my recipe with you.

Boil whole potatoes with the jackets on.  When cooked, douse them in cold water and then peel and slice.

In a separate pot, boil whole baby octopi until tender, usually about 45 minutes depending upon the octopus.  Cool and then clean and cut into pieces.

Marinade the octopus pieces and potato slices in a mixture of freshly squeezed lime, Cold pressed virgen olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper.

Arrange the potato slices on a bed of chopped lettuce and put the octopus on top.  You can eat this warm or chilled.  I prefer warm but chilled has its benefits too.  Try them both!

Quinoa Amaranth Veggie Burgers

July 12, 2014

Summer!  Time for burgers.   On my quest for delicious healthy gluten free, dairy free food, I came up with this one yesterday, Quinoa Amaranth Veggie Burger.  And I also learned an important life lesson.


Quinoa Amaranth Veggie Burger

My camera tumbled to the ground yesterday and while everything looked okay in the moment, I now know the automatic focus has been jammed….  hmmmmph…  but I didn’t realize this until AFTER I consumed this most delicious veggie burger.  So, please accept the apology for the less than stupendous photo.  I will compensate with a recipe for a super delicious gluten free – dairy free veggie burger and when I get the lens taken care of I will get some more photos.  The recipe yielded 10 burgers, 9 of which are in the freezer now!


Mushrooms sliced and sauteed in a little vegetable bullion with fresh rosemary

Red Quinoa (cooked)

Amaranth (my new cooking buddy)

Chia Seeds

Swiss Chard, chopped

Organic Chicken Eggs

A little Cassava (Yuca) Flour

Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste

Combine all ingredients including the juice from the sauteed rosemary mushrooms.   Form into patties.  If the mass is too moist add a little extra Cassava Flour.  Cook in a skillet with a little olive oil until browned.  Enjoy.

1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa  which formed the base of this recipe yielded 10 veggie burgers.

This combo of edible seeds, gluten free grains, veggies and herbs provides complete proteins with essential amino acids as well as fiber, magnesium (queen of helping to assimilate calcium), calcium, iron, omega 3s, vitamin A and the memory strengthening qualities of rosemary to boot.

Gluten Free – Dairy Free Veggie Lasagna

July 10, 2014

I always knew the day would come.  That is, the day I would have to pay attention to my diet again.  Having owned restaurants for several years, I didn’t pay much attention to diets.  I was more interested in quality control and so sampled every day from the more than 100 items on our vast menus.  I pat myself on the back to say the quality was good because of this personal practice.  However, my waistline grew… seemingly on its own without my awareness.

You know, you wake up one morning and say…. how did I get like this?  Looking back on the road of tasty treats, I realize the detours I took.  So now….   the doctor says, it must be gluten free…. dairy free.    Seems as if the proteins in gluten and the casein from cow’s milk and dairy products slip through my intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream.  And then my strong immune system begins to attack my own body!!  It is happening to more and more people every day.  Sooooo…..

It has become a time to learn a new way of eating and cooking….  without gluten…. without dairy…..

New way of eating
New way of eating

Each week, I receive a basket filled with fresh organic veggies.  And am learning new ways to cook and eat.  Seems like we have been receiving a lot of those little yellow summer squashes lately, so I made a fantastic gluten free, dairy free vegetarian lasagna yesterday.  And for those of you who have been urging me to share my recipes, here goes.


First of all I want to tell you about amaranth.  Here in Mexico, you usually see amaranth, a traditional staple of the ancient Aztec diet, made into honey laden cookie bars.  But I also saw it in a huge bag near the oatmeal.  So I thought, let me try it.  It says gluten free.

First thing I did was to bread and brown the squash with the amaranth and free range duck eggs in a little olive oil.

Here is the rest of the recipe:

Saute the tomatoes that are going soft with and onion and some garlic.  When they all become very soft, add water and a little sea salt.   Let the mixture simmer for the  flavors to meld.  Also add some basil and oregano to bring out the flavors of the tomatoes.   Let sit and then blend all in a blender and put aside.

Build the lasagna like this…

1.  Tomato Sauce

2,  Breaded Squash.  You can use zucchini as well.

3.  Extra slices of fresh squash (Can you tell I had a lot of squash available?)

4.  Slices of red onions to cover the squash.

5.  Chunks of feta cheese.  (Seems as if goat cheese is okay.  Doesn’t have casein)

6.  Layer of amaranth

7.  Layer of squash

8.  Tomato sauce

9.  Get creative with the veggies you have available.  Mushrooms, tomato slices, spinach, lettuce, peppers, etc.

10.  Add some fresh basil and oregano

11.  I used some feta mixed with green onions and I think it added the exact right flavor touch.

12.  Another layer of amaranth.  If you want, you can also add another layer of tomato sauce.

13.  Dot the top with half slices of baby tomatoes

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 – 40 minutes at 350 F or 180 C

Take off the cover and bake for another 30 minutes.

Served with some Kalamata Olives to put this flavor mix over the top.


New Danger: Flying Monkeys in Mexico

Monkey yoga?
Monkey yoga?

Monday morning… monkeys on the roof of my apartment building…  is this a dream?  I surprised the four of them… lounging, grooming each other, languishing in the sun… when I came up to the roof with my Nikon.

At first, they eyed me suspiciously and moved to the edge of the terracotta roof.   Two of them retired into the tree.  The other two, however, looked like they were doing monkey yoga.

Then, one began to move to the street side.  I hurried over the flat part of the roof to find two of them watching traffic go by.  At least that is what it looked like as I began to take more photos.  Just then, the automatic focus on my camera jammed causing me to go manual.

Walking across the roof
Walking across the roof

Actually, I discovered that the monkeys were planning their strategy for a successful leap into the fully fruited Alamo tree out front of Flamingos/Paparazzi Pizza on Highway 307, Puerto Aventuras, just south of Playa del Carmen in Mexico.

Watching the cars go by?
Watching the cars go by?

In a flash, however, one of the monkeys turned and started coming directly toward me.  He got to the edge of the roof, put his head down as if he wanted to head butt me.  I kept on taking photos, some blurry, some clear as I was busy adjusting the manual focus on the lens as fast as I could with a rapidly approaching target.

Does he want to head butt me?
Does he want to head butt me?

Just like brave paparazzi, I kept on clicking and the monkey retreated, joined tails with his brother and sat back down.  Then, the second monkey jumped up and turned my way.  I guess he was going to show his brother how to do things right!  With strong, determined movements that made him appear as if he was a huge spider, he came directly toward me, made menacing faces and loud noises, rose up on two feet in attack mode, showed his teeth and…

Now I know why they call them spider monkeys.  Look at this...
Now I know why they call them spider monkeys. Look at this…

2013-09-09 10.05.47

2013-09-09 10.05.49-1

2013-09-09 10.05.49-2

Then, stopped, turned around and went back down the roof to his brother.  It was actually rather funny but I did not laugh.

2013-09-09 10.05.48

2013-09-09 10.05.56

He did his best to scare me.  But I just kept clicking and fooling with the manual focus.  I thought to run, but knew he could outrun me. I did not resist but did not surrender either.  And I did not feel any fear.

The monkey must have thought…  “We really have a crazy one here.  I better get back to my brother and the fruit tree.”

He turned and I slowly slipped out back to the roof door.

The Alamo tree is full of fruit this time of year in front of Paparazzi Pizza on the lower floor of the apartment building on the Carreterra. The waiters tell me the monkeys come by every day to eat, sometimes more than once.  They jump from the roof into the tree, eat their fill of fruit and then walk back into Puerto Aventuras, an upscale-gated community in the heart of the Riviera Maya that is home to three hotels, numerous condominiums and houses, a golf course, marina, beach and four monkeys.


That’s a monkey for you!


Copyright 2013.  Donna Marie Carey.  All Rights Reserved.

No part of this post may be reproduced without express written permission from the author.

The Orange Dress

We had such a full night
The night before
That I decided to wait
To see you once again

Enjoying the art of waiting
Staying present in the moment yet anticipating
Listening to the sounds
The waves, the gulls, passing footsteps in the sand

I watched my breath
And floated in the pure lands
While a lone sandpiper ran quickly, then stopped
Ran quickly, then stopped

The distinct day forms
Began to blur into a dusky pinkness
The first stars twinkled
Even the sound of the sea softened

And my waiting softened too
No longer sharp anticipation
More like a smooth and natural glide into
The next phase of something big

Settling in and waiting
Would tonight be as big?
Would it be as passionate?
Would the kisses be as sweet?

And then as day was turning into night
A flash from your direction
A golden sentinel of light announcing your arrival
Your door slowly opened

And there you stood
Magnificent and Beautiful
In your new Orange party dress.
Perfect for the night after…
The Full Moon

Copyright July 2013. Donna Marie Carey. All rights reserved.