Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grasshopper and Backdoor

Yesterday's big happenings in Jocotepec Mexico

Large grasshopper in my lime tree (limon)

My back door around sunset

Monday, April 19, 2010

Concepcion de Buenos Aires

My first short expedition after hernia surgery not quite 3 weeks ago. Short because even extended sitting makes me uncomfortable and they say 4-6 weeks is normal recovery.

So anyway a drive down the south side of Lake Chapala was the plan maybe to Petatán and see the pelicans if they were still there. Thoughtful me without my map I didn't know how far Petatán was and made it as far as Cojumatlán - both in Michoacan. Cojumatlán is a large town and Sundays are the day for everyone to meet at the plaza. Couldn't find parking within 4 blocks and didn't feel like being the only gringo with a camera in the huge crowd - so back to Amacueca and maybe head inland.

A friend told me about Concepción de Buenos Aires somewhere off the new road to Mazamitla as being an attractive place to visit. The turn off is about 10-12 miles up the hill from Amacueca to the right. Putting that name on a road sign is next to impossible so you'll see something like - Cocep de BA. About 12-15 miles on this secondary road full of not very deep potholes appears the gates to Concepcion.  Without a map in this area it's hard to tell if you are in Jalisco or Michoacan.

The town reminds me of a number of Colonial mountain towns like Tapalpa, Mazamitla or even Patcuaro with the tile roofs, buildings painted similarly and lots of wood. However this town was only founded in the 1850's and became head of it's municipio in the 1880's. The sign on the entrance to town says - 'Land of the friendly people'

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mexican Folk Art

Ancient Mexican Art
Mexican pottery is one of the most popular and most ancient Mexican folk art forms, according to Nicole Mullen in her book, "Mexican Folk Art," 2004. Earthenware pottery was made by hand using coils or molds, then fired at low temperatures in bonfires. Mexican folk art in ancient times also included masks made of carved, painted wood, as well as other materials such as leather, clay and gourds. Other ancient forms of Mexican folk art included basket-making and paper arts.

Not only do I like this little book but also like the 'Scribd' format. There is both a Tile pages mode by also Full Screen

Mexican Folk Art

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Street School

My Neighbor Kids

A Blog Movie with Class

Julie and Julia (2009)

I don't know how many Blog movies there are, maybe a few more, but Julie & Julia is a good one and a real story. What a deal to have your Blog project first turn into a book and then a movie.

Seems Julie is a bored government worker and a wanna be writer. She somehow comes upon Blogging as a project to express herself and stay busy. She can't Blog her daily life for fear of being discovered and loosing her job. Instead she decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and Blog it. That's 500 and some recipes in 365 day.

At this point the movie jumps back in time documenting Julia Child's entry into an all men's French cooking school in Paris. Julia goes from cooking school just to keep occupied to the notice that her famous book is being published and everything inbetween.

Julie's success starts with her Blog being mentioned in a New York Times article and goes from there. Two women that start at the beginning and end up with huge success. Cool movie and very well done.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Highway Tuba Vendors

Even though this section of highway 54 is actually in Jalisco it's the gateway to Colima. They have been working on widening the section over the canyons for about a year but now it looks like they may be adding another lane or two. With so much hillside to move they have had to close one lane in a few places for the last month.

Stopping traffic for extended periods for months requires vendors and sure enough the Tuba vendors from Colima are stationed at each stopping point. Tuba is a palm drink made from the sap of the tree. It originated in the Philippines and was imported during the Spanish Gallon trade

Tuba Vendor

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My front gate project

This is my front gate and I had to put up a wire mesh for two reasons. The neighbor kids down the street got a new puppy that loved to squeeze thru the bars and harass my cats and poop in the yard. The kids were also ringing my front bell a couple times a day asking for the puppy back.

The second reason is when I'm gone I've been leaving food in the garage in case the 'caretaker' can't get the cats back in the house before she leaves. My cats don't mind very well. Of course this garage food was available for any hungry cat in the neighborhood. So now that I'm back a few cats that I don't know feel welcome to come in the house when I'm not looking. They also have a habit pooping in the middle of the lawn.

Today I bought 8 meters of this wire mesh and I had a roll of wire. 8 meters because I was thinking of going two levels high (meter each) with this new fence/gate. Just as I was finishing the car gate about 6-8 kids came over and reminded me that the smaller person gate needs to be covered or the puppy could get thru. I agreed but was gonna probably be a tomorrow thing for me. They were just too enthused to wait for tomorrow so we cut a piece to fit and they did most of the wiring the mesh to the iron bars. Even tho they had not done anything like that before they really tried hard in total earnestness. Cutting the wire, twisting the wire and I only had to give them a few hints.

End result is it is done. Not like I would have done it but it works. And this is Mexico and these were well behaved kids learning and trying. After they had to do somersaults in the grass and take home a few pomegranates (granadas) and limes they found in the backyard.

My front gate

The wire mesh

My neat wire twists

The kids work
The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa

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