The Weather on Lake Chapala

It’s a big topic at this time of year; the weather.  It has been hot, dry and smokey for the past several weeks.  The rainy season teased us a bit last week, but has sprinkled only little bits in the night.  Today is Sunday, Father’s Day.  Happy Father’s Day, Dads.

The forecast shows little chance of rain until next weekend, although that can change in a hurry.

We have been here, full-time, for 4 1/2 years now.  This is our fifth hot/rainy season.  For the ones we have witnessed first hand and my recollection of the last four, for what it’s worth, here in my opinion.  This is the first year we have experienced the “traditional” passing of the season; from winter to windy March to hot and dry to rainy.  By traditional, I mean, chilly winter starts to warm sometime about mid-March dry and hot; low 30’s through April and May, cooling to low 20’s at night and the rains start in mid-June.  That is a typical turn of the seasons.

The years we have been here we have had a bit of rain in January/February.  The land retains a bit of greenness with those few sprinkles in mid-winter.  The past couple of years the rain started earlier than mid-June.  I told you a bit about the rainy season here.

Approaching storm last week

 

This year is different.  There was no rain in January or February and very little since.  And the hot season has been, well, hot.  We have perfected our daily window and drape management skills; closing all windows and drapes mid-morning ( we have heavy fabric drapes) to keep out the heat and opening everything in the evening, including the garage door (closing it at bedtime)  to let the breeze blow through.  We have a couple of fans that blow on us when we sit at computers or in bed.  This year’s hot season seems hotter than the past couple.  And there seems to be more smoke in the air this year.  Either controlled or uncontrolled burns fill the air until some days even my eyes feel scratchy.

I never thought I would come to gratefully, habitually rely on a daily swim in the pool until this hot season.

When the rains does come it comes with a vengeance.  The storm is vicious, loud and terrifies Kaya.  Kaya has always been a pet.  Loud noises scare her to the point where she seeks me out and cowers under my computer desk or comes to my bedside, panting and trembling.  I will get up with her and she sticks to my side like glue.  We turn on the lights and, if the thunder is bad enough, I will close the drapes so the lightning flash isn’t as bright.  I wish I could help her.  Our other pure-bred Mexican street dog snores blissfully through it all.

A couple of week ago a storm hit.  It wasn’t until morning we saw the damage.  A large branch from the pine tree broke free and tried to fly.  It landed on the roof and broke into a few pieces. It was 8″ in diameter at the base and about 14′ long before it broke up on contact.  I didn’t even hear it hit in the night.  That’s how crazy the storm can get.

Terrace roof tiles

There’s the culprit after a tossing from the roof

And sadly, the wind can toss more than branches.  For a couple of weeks, we watched a social fly-catcher pair build and feather a nest up there on a high bough.  They make a nest like a cocoon with an small opening on the side, rather than an open top.  It got pitched off the branch and landed on the lake patio.  Sigh…I placed it carefully on the table in hopes the mum would find it and tend the three, naked chicks inside.  Sadly, no. She flew all around calling them for a few days. Nature can be cruel.

Fallen House

On a brighter note, it looks like they are busily building anew.  Like any house builder, lessons learned from failure will be built into the new construction.

We are anxiously awaiting the “real” rainy season after a stutter start.  I am sick to death of dragging giant hoses and sprinklers around all damned day.  This retired life is hard work!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

She’s Back!

Well, after a hiatus of about a year, Little Miss Bossy Pants is back.  A couple of years ago, okay four years ago, whew, time sure flies! I told you about a purple crowned hummingbird that had built a nest in a long bough of the huge pine tree in our back yard.  No threat was too big for her to confront when she was either sitting on eggs or feeding her chicks.  Squirrels and dogs were divebombed; Mr. Wonderful checking the temperature in the pool met her eye to eye.  When he walked too close she dropped down out of her nest within a foot of his face.  She saw clear and present danger.  He backed off.

Last year, on a visit back to Canada, I bought a nice pineapple shaped hummingbird feeder from a beautiful garden store in Comox, BC called Art Knapps.  It was a great day with Mr. Wonderful and his lovely Mom.  We oohhed and awwed at almost everything in that place.  What a delight for the senses.

I didn’t want to give them food in a plastic container.  Not that there’s anything wrong with plastic…that’s just me.  We buy unrefined sugar from sugarcane in 1 kilosx6 packages from Costco.  I boil water, measure a cup of sugar into a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup, fill it with boiling water and stir to dissolve.  I store the mix in a glass jar in the fridge.  And none of that nasty red food dye some people seem to think is necessary to attract hummingbirds! That crap is lethal for hummers.

I only put about a cup in the feeder at a time; enough to fill the base and a bit out the top so I can see the usage.  That amount would last several days.  I bring it in most nights.

It took her awhile to find it and when she did, it was Hers.

This is AWEsome and it is MINE!

 

She relentlessly chased any intruders off.  Hummingbirds are vicious. I often hear them crash into each other in the chase. I found the body of a bodyslammed interloper on the pool deck directly below the feeder one day.   It was of a different hummingbird species. …sigh.

Another day, I watched for quite some time while two hummers deeked her out.  One would distract her and make her chase him while the other zipped in for a drink.  Not sure why I refer to her as “her” and all the rest as “him”.

If they don’t empty the feeder in a day or two, depending on how hot the day is, I leave it up for the night.  In the morning the feeder is covered in sticky, bat slobber.  Fruit bats have found it at night and they love the food too and don’t care it is day old stuff.  We don’t mind; bats eat bugs too.  Hummers don’t seem to mind bat slobber.  If there is anything left in the morning, they are sipping away.

After watching her defend her turf and zip from the feeder to a tree branch close by all damned day, (she must be exhausted) we decided to buy another feeder.

We brought another glass feeder of a nondescript shape from Art Knapps on a most recent trip to Canada and hung it at the end of the terrace.  Sure enough, she patrolled that feeder as well.  After a few weeks of this madness, she seemed to relinquish a bit of control.  Other hummers found the second feeder and left the first one to her and all her pals/family…for a while.   Now we have lots of hummers of a few different species, on both feeders.  Little Miss Bossy Pants tries to retain/regain control of the pineapple with little success.  She has either learned to share or she gave up.  The pineapple has mostly violet crowned hummers while the other species seem to “own” the second one.

That must drive her crazy.

I am making sugar water almost every day now.  I have sugar on the list for Costco next week.  We’re gonna need it!

This is mine too!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Why Lake Chapala?

One of my wonderful readers recently asked me a question; “What you found sounds like something we would like but how in the world did you discover it?” (Thanks R.)

I must confess, I have not been asked that.  Or, more likely, not in that way.  And what a great question.  The answer comes with a story.

Henry-Miller_web

When I first met Mr. Wonderful, retirement was years away.  A woman friend of mine often talked of early retirement to which I often responded with either changing the subject because it hadn’t entered my mind, or a response like; “I will have to work until I die.”  She is still working part time.

My lovely Mom-in-Law often says her son started planning for retirement with his first paycheque.  I married a planner.

When we met, early talk included when and where to retire.  I had just turned 50.  Retirement sounded wonderous and welcome.  His internet searches, undertaken a few years previous, for temperate climates returned three places in the world including Lake Chapala.  I had never heard of it.  The other two were Kenya and a place in Indonesia.  Neither of them were feasable for several reasons, including proximity to western Canada.  The climate was what first attracted his attention to Lake Chapala.

In January of that year, wedding plans and an early September Honeymoon on Lake Chapala were underway.  We were invited to a friend’s 50th birthday party.  That friend and his twin brother were members of a family I had grown up next door to in a Saskatchewan small town.  We had a great time dancing and visiting.  One member of that family told us he was going on a vacation to Mexico in May that year to check out the location for retirment.  The conversation went something like this; “Where in Mexico are your going?”  I said.

“I’m going to a place called Lake Chapala,” friend said.

“NO Shit!  We are going to Lake Chapala on our Honeymoon!”  I gasped with Mr. Wonderful looking on laughing.

We made plans to get together for lunch when he came back.  We wanted to hear his opinion on the location before we went.  He arrived at my house on his return with his laptop and a bag of information he received from his Focus on Mexico escorted tour.

“Well, what did you think of the place?”  Mr. Wonderful asked before all the gear was unpacked.

“I bought a house,”  friend said.

“Well, don’t bother unpacking all your stuff, let’s go and have lunch and a beer.”  We considered our friend’s response a ringing endorsement of the Lake Chapala area, which is all we really wanted/needed.  We went for lunch at the club house on the Chestermere Golf Course and had a great time with him telling us all about the wonderful people he met and where he visited.  All this retirement talk didn’t really sink in for me.  At that point I was pretty much still resigned to work for several more years.  It felt like a lot of talk; wonderful talk.

We were married in late August and hopped a plane for Guadalajara, rented a Jetta at the airport and zoomed off.  We stayed in a lovely casita at Los Dos B&B in Jocotepec.  We had never been to a village in central Mexico.  Our trips were mostly on the coasts; tropical, touristy places.  This was completely different.  Our first drive up the steep, rocky road (and I use the term road lightly) to the B&B upbruptly urched to a halt by a large herd of goats rushing by on both sides of the car under a cloud of dust.  I thought the early morning (very early) pops of small rockets was perhaps an organic farmer letting off noise to scare away birds from his crops.  I heard that was a bothersome noise issue in the Okanagan.  (We have since learned those loud, obnoxious pops are cohetes/rockets and they are very much a part of the culture here.  We are lucky to live out in the country and the only ones that scare the Bejeebees out of us are when we visit Ajijic.  Sometimes we can hear them from a distance when they are lighting them off on the malecon in San Luis, two kilometers down the lakefront.)

On our second day here, we attended an open house in Ajijic.  The realtor was a stoic, older gentleman.  We told him that particular house was not what we were looking for but could he suggest something else.  I had printed a couple of listing from the MLS that we thought looked interesting.  He turned out not to be the guy we wanted to work with and we walked into the Ajijic Real Estate office with an open mind and two listings in hand that were on the south side of the lake.  Derek Trevethan was on floor duty that day which was extremely lucky for us.

Derek spent the next two days taking us around, mostly to houses on the north shore from a development called Galapogos east of Chapala to Los Sabinos west of Ajijic, all types of examples from bare land to gated communities in various price ranges.  We oohhed and awweed several times.

Then I pulled out my listings I had brought with me from Canada.  “Most foreigners don’t want to live so far out of town.”  He gently reasoned when I showed him my papers.

“We would like to see them anyway,” we said.  And off we went to see two houses here in Puerto Corona.  We fell in love with “Villa Romanza”.  We lounged by the pool at Los Dos that evening and wrote down all the pros and cons, acknowledging the big con was we would have to drive everywhere.  The pro side filled up with non-negotiables and many features added that we could only dream of back home.  The next day, our last day here, we made an offer to the owner at his asking price.  We considered it a bargain and have never waivered from that position.  Derek Trevathan has become a good friend of ours.

We bought a house in Mexico!  A wild thought that ran around in my head for a long time (sometimes it still does.)  And we’re going to retire!  that one took longer to grasp.

That was late 2008.  We went back to work, saved every nickle we could, sold our Canadian house and moved into a modest rental to save even more for the last few years back home.  We planned, had garage sales, gave truckloads of stuff to my boys, jammed everything into a cargo trailer and left Canada January 1st 2013.  (Read the category Our Excellent Adventure for that story.)

We promptly changed the name of our house with a small ceremony (for good luck) to Casa Luna de Miel – Honeymoon House.

 

What’s Cooking…easy-peasy…or not!

I fell for it…twice.  You know those cute, little, time-lapsed videos circulating on Facebook?  The fabulous, “super easy” recipes, photographed in some outer-worldly kitchen where dirtying dishes is a sport (we wash by hand).  The film speeds so fast, it’s hard to keep up, while they plop pre-mixed and pre-measured ingredients together in the perfect sized bowl (I often need to upsize…more dirty dishes). No one sees the prep work and the crafty editing.  The mixing takes a mere fraction of a second; no lumps there.  Pasta is cooked with a finger snap.

Where is the finesse to not only visually appealing but delicious food prepared by a cook showing love for family and guests by sharing meals with them, sharing her heart, taking care of them?  Preparing something as basic and simple as food, fuel for the good life, makes me happy in my soul, deep in my soul.  This is one of the great joys in life.

My mother tried to teach me that.  I’m a slow learner.

I very much enjoy Anthony Bourdain in his world travels; his visits with famous chefs and obscure short order cooks.  My favourite episode was the one where he visited the homes and families, high in the mountains, of a couple of Mexican cooks he employs in his restaurant.  Home is where the chefs learned their craft; from the hearts of their mothers.  The Señoras prepared food for him, by hand, for days.  Moles tweaked with herbs and spices and simmered over an open fire.

“Mexico; our brother from a different mother.”  AB.

I kind of like to show-off a bit…having my guests ohhh and ahhh over something I made gives me the ego-stroking that preparing mac and cheese years ago for my boys didn’t produce. Now, in my defense, I did buy the mac and cheese with the shell pasta and Velveeta cheese; much more tasty in our opinions.

As I was saying, I fell for the cute videos on Facebook, twice.  The first time was for “guacamole onion rings”.

I make guacamole.  I have fine-tuned my recipe over the few years we have lived here, watching Mexican experts, not some foodie blogger from Chicago (not that there’s anything wrong with them).  I mash my avocados (that come from down the road) in an old molcajéte (stone bowl) with a pestle.  I season the bowl first, squishing garlic cloves all around the sides, then chop, dice and mix ingredients it in a molcajéte that has been charred from fire and used for years, if not decades, by someone who understands the nuances and gentleness required for authentic Mexican tastes.  I have been told my guacamole is the best one guest (a long time Mexico resident) had ever tasted.  That makes me feel pretty good.

The guacamole onion ring “recipe” called for squeezing and flattening a glob of guacamole into a onion ring, dipping in egg and a bread crumb mixture and back to the egg to coat and fry and flip in a pan of oil.

Well, that looks easy; I’ll try it.  Perhaps I could improve on my authentic, healthy, delicious guacamole by adding more fat, extra calories and frying it in oil.  Yea, great idea! while Mr. Wonderful looked on….skeptically.

DSCN1565After I peeled out the perfect sized rings, I spliced some of the rest together to make a ring that would look somewhat the same.  One would need several more onions to achieve the perfect, similar sized finished product that were all matchy-matchy in the video.  Note the photo, there were very few the “ideal” size.

I have a new appreciation for my guacamole. The next time I made it, I included an extra bit of patience and love, added the ingredients one by one with mixing in between and went back to serving it with the organic tortilla chips we like so much.  Perfect!

The second cutsey video I fell for was for caprese chicken.  Simple, quick recipe and just so happens I saw mozzarella cheese and grape tomatoes in Costco.  We don’t often see grape or cherry tomatoes here; roma or regular tomatoes are the norm.  I just happen to have a basil plant in a pot on the patio (thanks Loop).

 

DSCN1783DSCN1784So, yea, they plop everything in a pan, all pre-mixed and sliced, then slapped the cheese pieces on top for the last minute or two and there you have it.  They make light of the subtle nuances of timing while cooking and, god knows, I need proper timing!  My sons comment often (a little too often) that, “Mom’s oven timer was the smoke alarm.”  Sassy little buggers.

My caprese chicken turned out nicely; chopped, diced and slow cooked, with a pile of veggies, including napoli cactus; the green strips at the right of the veggie pile.  The love and care, aside from the great tastes, was enjoyed and appreciated and that’s really what Cooking is all about.

DSCN1787

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Twinkle Toes

I can’t stop looking at my pedicure.  And on my lumpy, pontoon feet (size 10), that’s quite a statement.

DSCN1788

I’ve had pedicures at swanky spas in Canada where clients are seated in giant, cushy leather chairs with Wi-Fi and a view of an ocean or fountain, Okanagan Lake or Olympic Park; the foot whirlpool warmly, fragrantly bubbling while the esthetician, duly certified and wearing nurse garb, smiles all the while making appropriate small-talk, and only if the client reciprocates.  I have paid (rather my sons paid for a gift certificate), $95.00 for a paraffin wax pedicure with all the delicate, gentle accompaniments.  My regular visits to a nice woman in our little mountain town in BC were $45 a pop.

$95.00: let that sink in for a minute.

Since retirement and moving to Mexico I fell out of the habit of regular maintenance of my feet, scaling of dried heel skin (ick) included.  And it showed.

I had a pedicure in Bucerias in February where I was asked to totter up onto a rickety raised bench, where I soaked my feet in a plastic washtub of cool water.  The polish was hurriedly applied by a transplanted Canadian woman who didn’t understand her part of the deal where small-talk should only be embarked upon if the client is equally talkative.  I wasn’t.  I was too busy waiting for my perch to collapse.  She suggested I use tree tea oil for my cracked, dry skin.  That peddy cost $250pesos; about $20.00CAD.  The commercialism of the touristy establishments is evident in the pricing of hoity-toity spa treatments aimed squarely at foreigners.

Here on the southside of Lake Chapala, none of the businesses cater to foreigners.  The locals here drive the pricing and most services are very functional.  Our environment is not at all touristy; except for the Guadalajarans who come out for weekends and holidays and would never pay $250pesos for a pedicure.  Perhaps they would in the City with a view of a park or a fountain.

Our housekeeper, whom we adore, made arrangements and accompanied me to Tizapan where I was likely the only foreigner in town.  Tizapan is down the lake to the east of us, about a 20 minute drive. We have been to the market there a few times.  It is a good-sized, nice and clean town with infrastructure improvements going on all the time.

Lucy is a tiny lady with a long mane of beautiful wavy dark hair.  Her small shop is in a strip mall-type building with her certificate proudly hanging along-side a painted Jesus on the cross and an huge arrangement of colourful dried flowers. She heated water on a small hotplate and filled the insulated foot spa with warm water and fizzy spa salts. The surroundings were functional and not at all fancy and ostentatious.

Lucy gave me the best pedicure I have ever had.  She took her time, scrubbed all the damned dry scruff that had set like concrete from all around the bottom of my feet with a combination of a sandpaper tool and a scaler.  It was quite the job.  No delicate treatment there.  She worked away trimming, clipping, filing and buffing.  She massaged my lower legs and feet with a tingly sugar scrub like a sports massage.  It was the difference between having a massage by an aromatherapy/candles/soft music place and a sports massage by a big, muscular guy while the walls reverberated from workouts on speed bags.  No pussy-footing around with Lucy.

Lucy had just as diverse colour collection of polishes as most other estheticians I have patronized. I chose the lovely coral colour she deftly applied in three coats, a forth layer of top coat with drying time in between while visiting with me (in my awful Spanglish) and Chuy.  We had a nice social time with a few of her regulars popping by to ask for her time. I was quite the novelty and they were very kind and curious.  What a lovely experience.  Expect for the fact I locked the keys in my truck, all was wonderful.  She charged me $145pesos, about $11CAD. She worked on me for over an hour.  I paid Lucy double and explained that whenever Chuy is ready, her pedicure is on me.

I am now vowing to get back to having regular pedicures and Lucy is my go-to lady.  No more unsightly feet.  Given their sheer size and unappealing visual, a nice pedicure makes looking down there, and wearing nice summer shoes, bearable.

(We are enjoying a surge in our exchange rate; 14.2 pesos to 1 CAD.  We recently paid $365CAD for $5,000pesos).

 

On Being Lucky

All days here at Casa Luna de Miel are special.  We live in a beautiful climate, in a lovely home that looks out onto a serene lake.  A place of peace and quiet; very conducive to writing a book.

The culture, the food, the many places to see where we enjoy art, architecture and history.  We have learned much.

We have made friends with an array of wonderful, often eclectic people who enrich and enhance our life and our very soul.  I know we planned meticulously to create or invent this life.  I know we spent years making this happen.  But in my heart I know we had such luck, such serendipity that brought us this place.  I must have done something pretty awesome in a past life.

Then a day comes along that lights me up even more.

DSCN1370

For Christmas my sons were here.  We had such a great time; introduced them to our world, our friends, and pieces of our culture that our limited time with them allowed.  One of those friends enjoyed the Christmas holiday with her daughter from Hawaii, and brought her along to some functions with us.  They, along with some other wonderful friends came over for Christmas dinner and a party or two.

One Sunday, the group of writers I share a collection of short stories with hosted a function at the Lake Chapala Society and then on to a meet-and-greet over lunch in the beautiful garden at La Nuevo Posada.  We walked along the shore between venues and pointed out where our house is on the south side of Lake Chapala.

My friend’s daughter listened and strained her eyes to see over the water to our house.   That lovely young woman wrote this poem for my son.  Every time I read it my eyes tear up.

 

Poem entitled, House of Honey, by Lacy Berlin.
Written in dedication of Scotty Shore’s 36th birthday  (copied here with Scotty’s permission).

 

Just there, you see
If you look closely,
Is the largest tree on that side of the lake

That’s where, you’ll see
The house of honey,
Tucked so snug in the folds of the landscape

In the home, under this tree,
Isn’t the sweetness from bees,
But sounds of family buzzing

Crazy as loons, a Canadian tune,
An occasional howl at the moon,
Is what makes it warmly welcoming

A place I belonged, before I knew the song,
That I was fortunate to dance to briefly,
On those too few warm winter nights Music.

Mama (dog)  snoring in her chair,
The grumble of coffee grinding,
From the slurp of grapefruits being juiced,
To the pitter patter of creative writing

It’s a harmony of beauty,
Where young men rest their heads,
When work becomes too stressful,
They can come forget

Adding in their own piece,
Which fits just perfectly,
In this symphony of refuge,
Where they’ve longed to be

In the heart of one woman,
And the man she’s dreamed of,
She treats family and friends that are family together,
And let’s them feel her love

It’s a simple yet inspiring epic,
That will continue on,
And if I am so lucky,
One day again I’ll sing along

And when I close my eyes,
I can still hear the melody,
Of the ballad composed and conducted,
By the woman Bradley

For now it’s a distant living comfort,
Knowing a place like that exists,
Just there, beyond the birds in the reeds,
Under the biggest tree,
Is the sweetest house of honey.

 

And We Love Parties

I know the word “love” can be a much overused, tired word, but we Love visitors.  We Love Parties almost as much.  We’re pretty loosy-goosey about it; we’ll celebrate anything.

We have thrown some wonderful fiestas here at Casa Luna de Miel and will happily attend them wherever and whenever the call comes. We have attended more parties these past few months than in years back home.  Maybe it’s retirement, or maybe we live in a culture and climate that is particularly conducive to celebrations.  Or maybe, we just hang out with a lot of people who like to party too.  Whatever it is, we Love it!

Birthday parties are fabulous.  We celebrate with friends because we not only like to see them often, but we want to celebrate happy events; events that give us all joy, torment about added years be damned!

DSCN1270DSCN1267In December, we attended a birthday party for a woman friend who is also a contributor of stories to our anthology, All Our Words Needed Saying.  The party was held at her companion’s beautiful home in the Racquet Club.  The view is facing west toward Jocotepec.  The Racquet Club is a rather exclusive neighbourhood on the mountain side in San Juan Cosala, west of Ajijic.  There are beautiful homes up there with stunning views.  We can see the lights at night and even from here it looks lovely.

Another friend from one of the Writers Groups I am a member of told us about his approaching birthday.  I promptly asked, “Are you having a Party?”  He told us he had never hosted a party.  “Well, this will be your first!”  How presumptuous of me.

He did, indeed, throw a party and we, and particularly he, thoroughly enjoyed himself.  He lives in a beautiful house on the lake that is filled with stunning artifacts and art pieces collected from decades of international travel for his job with the UN.    We all brought a food dish and what we liked to drink.  He told me he so appreciated my suggestion he is going to throw more parties.  We can’t wait.

DSCN1530

We have friends from England who own a house in our neighbourhood and come to holiday for several weeks each early new year.  They were married in December just outside of London where they live.  When they arrived, our next door neighbours threw a Cake and Cocktails celebration.  Our neighbour bought two cake toppers, used a dremel tool to carve out the brides and popped the grooms together with crazy glue.  The two grooms were different from each other and made a perfect topper for this particular celebration.

DSCN1555We had another fantastic time with friends who live here in our neighbourhood.  The margaritas at our next door neighour’s house are legendary.

 

In March, Vancouver hosted a soccer match between Canada and Mexico; a qualifying match for the FIFA world cup tournament.  We invited a small group of our Mexican friends/neighours.  They were quite impressed with the show Vancouver put on and the record crowd for any soccer game in Canada.  The Canadian press favoured the Mexicans to win and the Mexican press favoured the Canadians.  It was tense.

We had a great time.  Mr. Wonderful lost the bet as the Mexicans won three-nil.  We will be sharing the bet booty of a bottle of Buchanan’s scotch.  It’s a win-win.

I made some festive appetizer dishes for the occasion.  The Mexican flag dish is guacamole, a sour cream based onion dip in the middle and salsa, with the “eagle” carved from black olives and rosemary sprigs at the bottom representing the snake held by the eagle.  The cauliflower/tomato dish is, of course, somewhat representative of the Canadian flag.  What fun!

DSCN1620

In early April, I hosted a cake and cocktails party for some women friends.  A family member was scheduled to arrive for a visit in early April.  She ended up needing to postpone due to a family emergency.  We partied anyway.  We will do it again when the visit is rescheduled.  After all, I told them, we need the practice.  (I neglected to take an appropriate photo…sigh.)

 

We love parties, even when we’re not invited.  We were lolly-gagging out in the pool late one afternoon when we heard music.  Oddly, it got louder.  We often hear distant music from the malecon two kilometers away in San Luis Soyatlan, but this was different.  Mr. Wonderful looked out at the lake and said, “Holy Shit, it’s Batur!”  Batur is a charter party boat built specifically for Lake Chapala.  It has a shallow draft and is equipped with depth sounders and all the modern navigational gizmos.

She was closer and cruised down the south side for a longer time than on visits past.  The music was loud, people were dancing on one deck and seated down for, what we expect was dinner, on the middle deck.  Batur has a 249 person capacity on three decks, a kitchen and six washrooms.  I took photos and waved like a crazy woman.

DSCN1727I love the person at the bow peak posing like the iconic scene in the Titanic movie where John Dawson encourages Rose to stand with arms outstretched.  They were having a blast.

And lastly, we even love parties with our bird friends here at Casa Luna de Miel.  Even when they uninvitedly eat our delicious oranges….party crashers.

DSCN1562

Previous Older Entries