Tuesday, January 22, 2008

At long last....news!

It's been a while, right? I'll admit it. I'm a fair weather blogger. It's hard to type when you're wearing mittens. OK, OK. I don't HAVE mittens down here. But I would be wearing them if I had them. I'm wearing everything else in the closet. Forty four degrees the other morning in Mazatlan! And it hasn't been much better around here. These big thick walls have grown colder and colder and colder, so when I do finally crawl out of bed (comforters, heating pad), I want that sun up and shining.

But mainly we've had cloud cover, and I've resorted to cooking breakfast in the morning, just to get heat from the stove. Yesterday at last we had sunshine, nice warm stuff, and we "natives" shed our sweatshirts, mufflers and socks, joining the hoards of toad-belly white Canadians in shorts and tank tops who are marching up and down our streets revelling in temperatures that don't have minus signs in front of the numbers. It's all a matter of perspective, I suppose.

So, this is a catch up, newsy kind of entry, just to let everyone know what we've been doing since I last "blogged."

We are still getting Christmas cards! The bulk of them arrived the second week in January. I love this mail system -- Christmas lasts so much longer! But yes, I took down the tree. My concentration has shifted to our roof garden.

Here are a few pictures of our new place to hang out. (That's a ha ha hamaca joke.) Note also the chiminea. It's been getting some use. Feels nice and warm to have your back -- or at least your knees -- up against a fire. Almost as heartwarming as a bunch of geraniums!

Another thing that feels nice and warm is getting involved with what's going on in the neighborhood. I've taken on the homeowners' association newsletter, which is actually another blog. Take a look at www.guayabitos.blogspot.com.

I've been painting with oils again, but it hasn't been on canvas. This is a project I've got going for the Friends of La Peñita fundraiser, which will be February 10, at the Hacienda La Peñita -- a block square residence and grounds across the estero from us. They asked for works from local artists in order to hold a silent auction. I bought this unfinished rocker at the market a while back, and decided to go wild. Not so intimidating as a big stretch of white.

But I'll get a crack at canvas soon enough. I've signed up for a ten day oil painting workshop in Antigua, Guatemala, March 15 - 25. If you've read this blog all along, you'll know that last spring I wanted desperately to go to a friend's wedding there, but just wasn't up to it physically. Well I saw the video of the wedding and the fun had by all before and after the event in and around Antigua. So when this opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it! I'll be staying at the Hotel Aurora with another painting friend from here in the Zona.

Another major charity and creative event is the annual Fashion Show -- El Desfile de Modas. It will be January 29, and there are about twenty or thirty models, including yours truly. We had a rehearsal last Tuesday, and there's another one today. As I absolutely tower over every other woman there, I think they recruited me for height -- and maybe size of head. Is this an amazing hat?

Lots of gringo women involved with this project, but lots of Mexican women and men, as well. Several objects: to raise money for projects benefitting women and children here in the area, and to showcase local designers, proving that Guayabitos offers more than fringy beachwraps and thong bikinis.

But the major news was, we had a teen-age college freshman boy in our midst for a week, our nephew Forrest from San Antonio. So our interests were sort of centered there for a while. We didn't travel far away, but hit a few out of the way attractions while he was here.
It had been a while since we'd been up to the
Alta Vista petroglyph site (you can see pictures of former trips if you go to the link Susan's Photo Albums on the sidebar). It was so dark back in the canyon when we reached the pools that my flash kept going off when I shot a few more photos.

We took an afternoon and went to Chacala. The guys went off-road to a hidden surf beach, while I hung around
Mar de Jade, a resort tucked up against the south cliff of Chacala Bay, which specializes in offering holistic vacation packages -- yoga, meditation, vegetarian meals, etc. My friend Victor (Linda's husband, Emily's dad -- see their blogs on my sidebar) goes there once a week to give chiropractic and acupuncture services to guests requesting it. See the pictures? Pretty place! This is my new friend, Anastasia, who is now headed back to California after taking care of Mar de Jade guest relations for the past several months.

I'm going to digress a little here. I am SO impressed by the twenty-somethings (and less than twenty-somethings) I've come in contact with recently. They give me big-time hope for the planet. They're truly wired differently than previous generations. Actually, I believe they're wireless, no strings attached. Multi-lingual, multi-cultural, non-denominational, racially mixed with no particular allegiance except to the planet and the universe. They're digital, requiring no rewind, or fast forward to be "in the moment." When they "want it all," they're talking about experience, not material goods. Tolerant, affirming, respectful, and observant -- most often at the speed of thought. It's like dealing with hummingbirds -- intense concentration and then phwt, gone. But when they do decide to linger -- like the hours Anastasia spent here one afternoon reading and swinging in a hammock, the time spent with Forrest under a clear, starry sky on the third floor deck, the stretch of afternoon spent here at Mar de Jade listening alternately to the waves of the Pacific and the life-thoughts of another young woman who wandered into my life (half Japanese, half English, raised in India, living in Mexico) -- what a gift!

And speaking of lingering, I may have stayed too long with this entry. Like we stay too long at the market Thursday mornings. Just hanging out with friends, having breakfast/lunch (tossed green salad with your omelette at Soley's, garlic toast on the side), trying to hold a conversation over the offerings of itinerant musicians. My friend Char and FOURTEEN friends from Puerto Vallarta came up a week ago last Thursday, and we descended on the Xaltemba Gallery and Restaurant (check it out, they now have a website!) The meal took about two and a half hours.

Nothing seems to go really fast right now, which is just about perfect.

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