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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

La Villa - Virgin of Guadalupe

We visited La Villa today and walked around with the dogs, visited some shops and met up with a couple of old friends of Arturo's who have a wholesale business there.  La Villa is where the Virgin of Guadalupe visited Juan Diego several hundred years ago and it is located in Mexico City.  People from all over Mexico and Latin America make pilgrimages to La Villa to pay homage and some are looking for miracles.  The picture below is of the old church - it is listing to one side and isn't used for celebrating masses any longer.  They have built a new church right next to this one that is ultra modern.  

Pope John Paul II celebrated a mass at La Villa in 1987 and this statue was built to memorialize his visit to Mexico.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This and That

I don't really have a plan today - just a post to catch up a bit.  I've had a bad cold the last couple of days and wasn't up to doing a lot of things.  The sun has finally come out and the warmth feels good!  The dogs spend most of their days lying on the patio, getting too hot so they come in to drink water, and then go back out in the sun.  What a life.  

Citlali wants food - as usual

One of Poukie's favorite spots

I'm working on making items for the second store that I'm going to open.  I'm calling it "Marna Mae Creations" and it will focus on crocheted and eco friendly items.  Almost everything will be listed at much lower prices than my aprons are priced.  It will interesting to see what happens but I'm excited to be starting something new.

My knitting is going slowly.  I ripped out the pink shawl I was working on and started over with a different pattern.  The original pattern was all counting and I couldn't converse with anyone or watch TV while knitting.  Since I tried to do both it was full of errors and I just couldn't stand it anymore.

I also have been working on the outline for the mystery novel I am writing.  Still a lot of research to do but I'm have so much fun with it.  There are so many excellent blogs on writing and publishing that are really helping me out.
Here is one last picture - can't remember where I took it.  Poukie and Citlali are really traveling!

These dogs get around!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Volunteer to Save Turtles in Mexico

Mexico is the home of more reptile species than any other country in the world.  Unfortunately, many of those species are now endangered, including several types of turtles.  People kill the turtles to eat the meat, some believing that the meat will enhance their virility.  Others collect and sell the eggs, as well as crocodile skins, to simply make money.  Some restaurants offer turtle eggs and meat as delicacies.

Fortunately, there are groups, some of which are sponsored by the Mexican government and other by international groups, that are working hard in different places in Mexico to save turtles and other species, as well as plants that are endangered.  And the really good thing is that they all want volunteers to help out on a range of interesting projects.  For example, Projects Abroad has set up a camp called "Campamento Tecoman" on the Pacific coast of Mexico, with the main emphasis on saving the Olive Ridley Turtle.  Volunteers there patrol the 30 km. stretch of beach and collect turtle eggs to place in incubators.  Eggs that are not collected have little chance of survival!  Volunteers also research extensive birdlife, study other mammals, reptiles and plant species.

Olive Ridley Turtle

Banderas Bay, 100 kms. from Puerto Vallarta hosts another group under the Global Volunteer Projects umbrella where volunteers again gather eggs from the beach to place in incubators. When the eggs are ready for hatching they return them to the nests and then guard and monitor them.  Four main turtle species are found at Banderas Bay - the Olive Ridley, Black Turtles, the mighty Leatherback Turtle (the largest of all sea turtles) and some Hawksbill Turtles.  Peak season is between late June and February.  Volunteers have the opportunity to go into the local rainforest to monitor the ecosystem and help with reforestation work.

Leatherback Turtle

I'm ready!  Anyone else want to go?  Check out the sites and you may find yourself making those plans.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lincoln Park Zoo and Rainy Mexico City

I know that I have nothing to complain about - especially since so much of the United States is experiencing such awful droughts - but I am getting a bit weary of all the rain this summer in Mexico City.  It's been raining most of today and we probably won't see the sun for another four days.  On top of that it has been raining, sometimes pouring and hailing, almost every afternoon for the past two months.  I've been wearing a sweater more often than not.  Ok, I'm done complaining.  At least for today.  Now I'm going to travel in my mind back to Chicago.

One of my family's favorite places is Lincoln Park Zoo where this picture was taken.  Ever since our two oldest girls were babies, we have been regular visitors and have enjoyed watching the zoo babies grow over the years and the new ones arrive.  I don't think much compares to the simple pleasure of strolling through the zoo grounds on a sunny day, eating popcorn and chatting with those you most love.  From left to right:  Laura, me, Sonia and Arturo.

Here are my son-in-law Pat with Laura, and Arturo making one of his infamous faces. Luckily we are all used to it. Pat is a Chicago Bears fan as you can see.  As well as the Chicago White Sox and Bulls.  Oh, and the Blackhawks.  Let's hope the White Sox win this year!

Our oldest daughter Diana isn't in these photos since she had already gone back to Denver when they were taken.  However, it is telling that when it came time to select the location for her formal engagement photos, she didn't hesitate in picking Lincoln Park Zoo - of course!  The pictures below are of Diana and Reid back in April, 2012.

 Unfortunately, you can't see their faces very well as I was usually too far away.  Luckily I was not the photographer that day.  They wisely decided to have a professional take the pictures.
 They went through a couple of wardrobe changes.  My daughter, unlike her mother, plans ahead.
I took a lot of bunny pictures when the kids were too far away for me to take a photo of them.  There actually were four rabbits and they were all playing together.  They absolutely refused to cooperate and pose together for a picture.  So I had to settle for one.  I suppose if I were a bit quicker with the camera I could have at least gotten two of them together.  I'll have to practice!