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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I have no idea why but today is one of those days when it's hard to focus or feel attached to my surroundings.  I usually have these days following a productive day - which yesterday was.  So today I plan to just go with my mood and post some random photos.  And maybe a thought or two.

First, I have a request from my daughter, Diana, who wants to see some pictures of our dogs - maybe she thinks we lost them.  But not to worry - they are treated like royalty around here.

Citlali's favorite perch is Diana's and Laura's old crib,which I filled with blankets, etc. and then covered with fabric, that now resides in my new "office" in the second bedroom upstairs.  Yes, the decor needs some work, but for the moment it functions and it is all mine.  And Citlali's.
Poukie's spot is on the floor of my office.  Luckily, he is a resilient little guy and he makes the best of whatever scraps Citlali leaves for him.

Now I want you to see the beautiful bougainvillea that I pass by every morning while walking the dogs down our street.  It's dry season in Mexico City right now and this is when the bougainvillea is even more vibrant than during the rainy season.  It's always been one of my favorite shrubs - unfortunately it doesn't exactly thrive in Chicago.
Remember the pyramids the other day?  The ones in Ihuatzio, Michoacan?  That's where I took this photo of a pretty cute horse.  Or a good looking horse rather.  One of the things I love about Patzcuaro is that every day I see people from the nearby ranches on horseback going down our street, right alongside the cars.  They are simply part of the daily life there.

And finally, these two photos from one of the plazas and outdoor markets in Patzcuaro.  The little boy was chattering away to himself while he played with his toys on the bench.  His parents were next to him selling seafood at a food stand.  In the other photo, I watched the couple for a few minutes while she bargained over buying some dishes.  After awhile her husband got bored and walked away but she persisted until she got the price that was right.  Like husbands everywhere, he just shook his head when she gave him the bag to carry.

Since this is a random sort of day, I'll leave you with this rather long quote:

"Most of the time - 99 percent of the time- you just don't know how and why the threads are looped together, and that's okay.  Do a good thing and something bad happens.  Do a bad thing and something good happens.  Do nothing and everything explodes.
And very, very rarely - by some miracle of chance and coincidence, butterflies beating their wings just so and all the threads hanging together for a minute - you get the chance to do the right thing."
Lauren Oliver

Bye for now,

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Back from Patzcuaro, Michoacan

We arrived back in Mexico City late Friday after spending more than two weeks in Patzcuaro, Michoacan.  We don't have internet in the house there so I haven't posted for awhile.  It's strange but through the years when I knew that someday we would again live in Mexico, I always swore that I would never again live in a large city like Mexico City.  Instead I had this idea in my head that I wanted to reside in a small, colonial town and that's why we bought the house in Patzcuaro and Arturo spent several years fixing it up.  Then I discovered that when we are in Patzcuaro, I enjoy myself but I find that I start to miss Mexico City.  Seems like I can't make up my mind.  However, I think the problem is that I haven't let myself settle down and start a life in Patzcuaro.  Were I to do so, I'm pretty sure that I would be just fine.  And we would add the internet!

We had a great time though and spent several days with some good friends from the U.S. who live in Patzcuaro as well as going places and enjoying the town and surrounding area with friends from Mexico City who now live there.  It's a beautiful colonial town with a large plaza that is one of the largest in all of Mexico.  These pictures are the best I could do.

We went to a pyramid site one day last week that dates back to around 900 A.D.  What is left is the town plaza where they conducted business, had their markets, etc.

I took a few pictures of our house - the one that Arturo pretty much rebuilt over a span of about five years.  It is the old colonial style with a patio in the center and the rooms surround that patio.  We haven't filled the patio with plants yet because we don't spend enough time there and they probably wouldn't survive our absences during the dry season.  It's a house that has plenty of room so if you are looking for a vacation spot in a place where you can just relax and enjoy old Mexico let me know!

There are a lot more photos and more rooms but I'm not going to bore you today with all of them.  Instead, I'll leave you with one of the surrounding landscape.  It is dry season there so everything is not as green as it will be in a couple of months but it truly is a beautiful state.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Condesa - My Kind of Neighborhood

I know that I've mentioned once or twice how much I would love to live in Condesa, a vibrant, fun and dog friendly neighborhood in Mexico City.  Well, I'm about to talk about it again.  We went there yesterday with the dogs and I only became more determined to someday soon move there.  While we live in a lovely suburb called Satelite, it just so happens that I'm too much of a city person and a suburb is too quiet and laid back for me.  I need to see lots of people, activity and dogs around me, to say nothing of coffee shops, book stores, fun restaurants and beautiful parks that make my day.

This is one of the parks that I love.  It is actually sponsored by the pet food company Pedigree and dogs are everywhere. 

Here come two beautiful Dobermans.  We had to get out of their way because Poukie went nuts and decided he wanted to fight them both.  He only wants to do that because he knows we will save him from himself at the last minute.  Goofy dog.

The architecture is a blend of the old (meaning late 1800's to early 1900's) and the modern.  I'd love to live in one of the older buildings - all I need is an apartment.  Two bedrooms would be nice.

This is an example of the modern style.

And here are some of the older buildings.  I love this one as it conveniently has a restaurant on the street level that serves pizza!

There is a coffee shop that I wanted to find because they have a book club that meets there bi weekly.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring the address with me because I didn't know we were going to Condesa until we were half way there.  When I told Arturo that it would have been nice to know where I was going - I thought we were going to look at used cars since our '87 VW is not the most comfortable car around - he told me that two days ago I had said I wanted to go to Condesa.  I said that was true, but since he didn't even answer me when I suggested that, how the heck was I to know that he actually listened to what I was saying.  Not to complain, but I think that half the time that I'm telling him things, I'm actually just talking to the dogs who really do seem to listen to me.  Too bad they can't talk back.

Anyway, all I need to do now is to figure out how to get us to Condesa.   Updates will follow!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Please support your local animal shelters!

Gandhi once said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."  While there are many people devoted to caring for animals, unfortunately, there are many who seem devoted to hurting and killing them.  Chicago has been following the story of Petunia, a young pregnant pitt bull who was purposely set on fire and left on the side of the road to die. She was found and people at the Pittie Rescue did everything they could to save her, but she died this morning.  Her puppies thankfully survived.  This is just one of the stories about Petunia and it is rather graphic as is the picture below:

It is so hard to understand how people can do this to animals and of course, it is equally hard to understand the cruelty that is inflicted upon humans.  For all who have a special place in their hearts for animals, it is heartbreaking.  A dog gives you its heart and soul and all it wants in return is affection and care.  They are helpless in the hands of cruel humans.  For every animal that is mistreated, we fall behind in achieving what Gandhi envisioned for a nation.

The volunteers who tried so hard to save Petunia, and other dogs like her, deserve our thanks.  They volunteer with Pittie Rescue and this is the link to their Facebook page:  You can help and make a difference.  They need foster homes for dogs, people to adopt and love them, and donations.  Even $5 helps and is appreciated.

My husband has an art gallery in Chicago and we are planning to have a fund raiser for this organization.  It will not be until late fall or early 2014 as we are currently residing in Mexico City.  The plan is to have a silent auction of many different items as well as donated art work.  I will post when the fund raiser will take place when I know the date.

In the meantime, every time you hug your dog, or give it a treat, remember how many animals never know that type of love or never receive a treat in their lives.  We have made progress but we must do better!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The January Wedding of Diana and Reid

People most likely thought that my daughter, Diana, and her then fiance, Reid, were absolutely nuts to plan a January wedding in Chicago.  Chicago is not known as a particularly fun place to be during the deep freeze that is called "January".  However, they forged ahead and managed to plan what turned out to be a spectacular wedding (yes, I'm a bit prejudiced) and even the weather cooperated with them as we enjoyed the warmest spell that Chicago has seen for a long time.  It is even more remarkable that they pulled this off considering that they did not live in Chicago and had to plan it from Denver and then from Marblehead, MA following their move there in late July.  I wish I could say that I was indispensable to them in carrying this off, but alas I was in Mexico for most of the time and just about no help at all.  Anyway, enough said and here are some of the many gorgeous photos of that very happy day that we spent with family, our new family, friends and new friends.  (Warning:  I'm not good enough at this for these to be in any sort of order.)

Their first moment as husband and wife.  I think this was right after Diana said "yippee".

Our immediate family: Laura and her husband Pat, my mother-in-law Josefina, myself with Arturo behind me, Diana and Reid, Sonia, my sister-in-law Marcela and her partner Antonio.  We missed Rosana and Alfonso!

Downtown Chicago - stopping traffic on LaSalle St.  I love it!
You can't see it very well, but even the Priest had a huge smile on his face.
And here come the girls taking over Chicago.

I love this one taken in the lobby of the Drake Hotel where they had the reception.  Could be the cover shot for a new TV series.

I'm not sure when they took this one - right before the guests came in maybe?

My three girls.  Laura will probably protest this one being included but it's cute.

That's me looking wistfully at my soup while Arturo gives the toast to the bride and groom.  I thought it would be rude to eat while he was talking but my soup did get cold.  He ad libbed a bit.

This is Gail.  Diana's new mother-in-law and my new friend.

Father and daughter dance to a song from Marco Antonio Solis.

My daughter Laura and my wonderful first son-in-law, Patrick Ford.  Laura and Pat have been married three and a half years.

Diana and Reid strolling to their reception.

Diana loving every minute of her day!

My youngest daughter and forever my baby, Sonia.

I always love the photos of the bride and groom coming out of the church.  Remember this was a January day in Chicago and no one looks like they are freezing!

Such a beautiful couple.  We are so lucky to have two great sons-in-law!

They wanted a lot of photos from downtown.  Diana loves her Chicago!

Seven gorgeous bridesmaids and one beautiful bride.

Love on LaSalle Street.  

I love this with a good part of the Chicago skyline.  We are prejudiced but we believe that Chicago has one of the best skylines in the world!

Reid is the oldest of three boys: from left to right are Trevor, Reid and Alec.

And Diana is the oldest of three girls:  l-r are Sonia, Diana and Laura.

Love the yellow shoes, love the smile and I love my Diana!  What a beautiful day it was that we were able to share with family and friends!