Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Whew, It's Hot!

Well, the heat seems to have arrived early this year.  It’s been in the 90’s most every afternoon, so it’s a good time to stay inside under the ceiling fans with plenty of cool water to sip.  This isn’t actually much of a problem for us now, since our schedule seems to have eased so we can enjoy those lazy afternoons.  Of course, now we have access to a pool as well.  The humidity is creeping up a bit, perhaps to 35 or 40%, so it’s not like the Maine heat and humidity, but it’s hot, and the sun is more intense, of course. 

We haven’t been doing too much exciting.  I finally completed my first two crowns with our young, kind dentist, and I have one more to go.  I’ll start that process next week.  Here is a photo of Dr. Alberto Garcia in his office, which may be small in size, but large in competence, kindness and interesting conversation.

Because I am part of the Ajijic Writers’ Group, we often have occasion to attend events to celebrate one of my friend’s new books.  This week, Judy Dykstra-Brown, hosted such an event.  She is one of the co-authors of the book, Maria Agaves, with whom I shared a book reading/signing event last year with my second book, Agave Blood.  You may recall we named the event, Two Agaves, No Tequila.  At any rate, Judy just published her book of photography and poetry, Prairie Moths.  Judy grew up in South Dakota where her father had a farm, and where rural life was tough and lonely.  He poetry captures these South Dakota days in her life.  I think the book is one of the best published here by a local author.  She also displayed some wonderful and unique sculptures she created form “found objects.”  Here are some photos of the event.  From the top, Judy with a poet friend of mine, Rob Mohr; some of Judy's sculptures, and another poet friend of mine, Michael Warren with his partner, Joan:

From the local newspaper this week, an article relates the good news that the number of cases of the mosquito-borne illness, dengue fever, has dropped by 96% over the same period last year.  Let’s hope it keeps up! 
Some readers may be wondering about the incidence of drug-related violence in the area.  I am very happy to report that, as far as I know, there has been no more of this type of violence since I reported on some incidents in Guadalajara last January.  We are grateful for that and continue to feel quite safe here at Lake Chapala. 

This week is Holy Week, or Semana Santa, and so the lakeside area is inundated with Tapitos (people from Guadalajara) relaxing with their families.  This is the biggest vacation week of the year.  Restaurants are busier, the price of fish at the markets is higher, and Ajijic is getting ready for its annual reenactment of the crucifixion at the base of the mountains.  There are many celebrations going on and, as usual, I don’t know what each one is for.  We usually stay home and avoid the crowds and the traffic!

We’re still enjoying our “meatless” diet and are experimenting with many vegan dishes.  I eat sardines for lunch several times a week to get some omega-3 oil in my diet, and we often enjoy seafood when we eat out, so we’re not vegan, but we are trying to eat healthy foods!  I am walking up the mountainside with Chuy each morning, and Pixie is back in her regular yoga class. 

We’re planning our annual trip to Maine in July.  We will be staying in the same condo in Kennebunk for most of that time, but it looks like we may make another visit to Philadelphia as well, as well as to Gloucester to see my brothers, Brackley and Fred, and their families.  Eric, Crystal, and Isabelle are planning to come for a week, again, and we are looking forward to that, obviously.    We will be going online to find a house sitter to look after Chuy when we're gone. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finally Settled in Villa Nova

Finally, we are in our new house. Hallelujah!  Since we sold our house so quickly in December, we’ve been in transition and most of our possessions have been boxed up waiting for a more permanent home.  Of course, we had to get rid of many things all over again because the house we are renting has, literally, everything we need.  But now, at last, we are moved in, able to relax and enjoy this beautiful setting. 

The community where we are living has four “villas” and a casita.  One of the other villas has a woman from Alberta who seems very nice, but she is gone a lot.  One of the other villas is owned by a Mexican couple from Guadalajara who apparently come out sometimes on the weekends. The casita is occupied by an artist, Gravy,  who is very friendly and gives Chuy biscuits.  When I let Chuy out into the common garden area, he makes a bee-line for Gravy’s casita; he’ a fast learner. 

The house is the most comfortable we’ve lived in since we came to Mexico.  It has comfortable furniture, a beautiful kitchen with nice appliances, ceiling fans in most rooms, a washer and dryer in an outside atrium off the back of the kitchen.  There is lots of closet space and two bathrooms with a whirlpool tub in the upstairs one. 

It is MUCH more quiet here than in the village, and it seems reasonably secure.  There is a gate which we need to activate with a remote control, and the doors are protected with iron grates. 

Here are some new photos:

Chuy and I take our morning walk up into the mountain area where some of the streets give access to some beautiful homes.  The neighborhood is very beautiful, so I’ve included some photos:

Not much big news otherwise.  I am still working through the slow process of getting my crowns finished.  And I have been following the Red Sox season which has started miserably, at 0-6!  UGH.  Of course, I discussed the Red Sox poor performance with Chuy who reminded me that there are 156 games left and that they are beating the Yanks so far today, 6-5.  I think he's too young to understand about the Red Sox. But I like that he's so earnest!