Saturday, May 31, 2014

Charcos y Lodo

While on a Chapala message board they play this game of name "the first rain" date ... our first 3 days have come and gone. Their game rules are so strange nobody has won yet even though it has rained quite a bit in the Chapala area. Here when we have our huge charcos (puddles) in the street and lodo (mud) streaming down the hill in Cihautlan to cover highway 200 .... we have rain.

Thanks to hurricane Amanda for breaking a 5-6 month dry spell. Amanda reached a level 4 hurricane but was far enough offshore that we just felt the rain around the edges.  Not much surf and just a nice breeze for 5-6 days. Weather reports say lightning and rain storms for next week but until another LOW comes up the coast it's very hard to tell. So I borrowed these Melaque street shots from Canal235 and a link to their weather fotos around the area. 




Canal235 also had a foto of the piling installation of the new bridge 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm not Blackie

We loaded up Blackie in the car on the way to Melaque yesterday afternoon and stopped by the house of the people missing the dog.

I handed him to their 12 year old while they all said it's not Blackie. Since they are missing their dog for over a week and the 12 year old's face lit up we were able to talk them into accepting him as the new family pet.

After we left Lorena told me the story of the 12 year old.  When born in the General Hospital in Manzanillo his anus was not connected to his intestine and he was unable to eliminate. The hospital didn't give him a complete physical, sent him home and he soon got very sick One failed attempt to repair him but eventually had a colostomy.   The internal infections effected other major organs and they expect he will not live a full life. He still visits a specialist in Guadalajara every few months.

Happy and sad story.  Seems like there are so many kids/people here that are not physically well due to incomplete medical care ... or no care at all because of a lack of money.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Meet Blackie


This little guy has had a rough week.  He escaped from his owners while visiting neighbors and somehow ended up in my yard. He kept popping up around the yard for 2 days and I thought he'd taken off until Hugo spotted him behind the patio.  He still didn't want any human contact and there was food and water in the yard so we let him do his thing. All the while asking people who he belonged to.

Yesterday was 3 days since I'd seen him last and I opened up the pump house to top off the pool and there he was. Totally ready for water and food .... and I gave him a couple hot-dogs (slowly). Now I'm his best friend but he likes everybody.   Not quite friends with dog and cat yet.   That doesn't matter as we found the owner today and he's coming over a little later.  Good little dog and not a yapper !!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Street Soccer Mexico

Street Soccer Mexico

 

This week, the Video of the Week takes us to Mexico. Approximately 20 million people live in the country’s capital city, including almost two million underprivileged children and young people, some of whom call the streets home. 

Street Soccer Mexico’s mission is to help precisely these young people by using the power of football to take the youth of Mexico City off the streets and lead them onto the football pitch. 

Bryan Diaz is one of these young people. He left home to begin his life on the streets at the age of 10. He was addicted to drugs, involved in criminal activity, did not attend school and had no job. Football was the furthest thing from his mind, but then he discovered Street Soccer Mexico.

This week’s Video of the Week tells how Bryan dealt with the hardship of living on the streets, why he is seeking to re-establish contact with his parents and how he has blossomed into a promising young goalkeeper.

"Street Soccer Mexico" helping children and young people

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cranberry Mysteries

I'd noticed this bush for a few years because of it's shape but back then it was less than a meter high. This lot is directly behind mine and I'm often over there chasing ant nests that love my Ivy. The next time I noticed it was because it was suddenly a tree. Suddenly being something like six months but also many months without rain and nobody waters it..  

Wonder Tree

The Berries

Hugo passing by noticed a neighbor harvesting the berries and he asked about them.   She said they are Arandanos (cranberry), are medicinal and she makes an "agua" out of them.  I tried a couple of the red ones and they had almost no taste. Cranberries are a vine that grows on the ground or a bog .... can't be a tree.

So looking up Arandanos it seems there are 450 varieties so I guess there could be a tree in there somewhere.   Then they are almost all listed as growing in northern climates, nothing about Mexico let alone tropical Mexico. Search for "Arandanos Mexico" and tons of them are being sold on Mercado Libre and are not cheap. Someday I may find out more about this interesting mystery but I'll take my time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Orange Squeeze

That's the way to make orange juice. Found an inexpensive large bag of oranges and put my 150 pesos "extractor" to work. Few parts, easy to clean and works perfectly.   Generally oranges are not that cheap here and I don't think many are grown in this area.

Jugo de Naranja

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 15th

The web site was activated early this season with the low that swept in about a week ago but normally today would be the day. Sure were hoping for a little rain but didn't get it and none is showing for the future. I was forced to leave sprinklers on over night so my garden can get at least a little water that they let loose.

Today we're off to Manzanillo for some shopping and Burger King for the kids.

TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC HURRICANE SEASON, WHICH WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS, HURRICANES, AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE 15, 8, AND 4, RESPECTIVELY.

THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2014 IS AS FOLLOWS:

NAME           PRONUNCIATION    NAME        PRONUNCIATION
---------------------------------------------------------
AMANDA         UH-MAN-DUH       MARIE           MUH-REE
BORIS          BOR-EES          NORBERT         NOR-BERT
CRISTINA       KRIS-TEE-NUH     ODILE           OH-DEAL
DOUGLAS        DUG-LUSS         POLO            POH-LOH
ELIDA          ELL-EE-DAH       RACHEL          RAY-CHULL
FAUSTO         FOW-STO          SIMON           SY-MUHN
GENEVIEVE      JEH-NUH-VEEV     TRUDY           TROO-DEE
HERNAN         HER-NAHN         VANCE           VANSS
ISELLE         EE-SELL          WINNIE          WIN-EE
JULIO          HOO-LEE-O        XAVIER          ZAY-VEE-UR
KARINA         KUR-REE-NUH      YOLANDA         YO-LAHN-DA
LOWELL         LO-UHL           ZEKE            ZEEK



THIS PRODUCT, THE TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK, BRIEFLY DESCRIBES SIGNIFICANT AREAS OF DISTURBED WEATHER AND THEIR POTENTIAL FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION DURING THE NEXT FIVE DAYS. THE ISSUANCE TIMES OF THIS PRODUCT ARE 5 AM, 11 AM, 5 PM, AND 11 PM PDT. AFTER THE CHANGE TO STANDARD TIME IN NOVEMBER, THE ISSUANCE TIMES ARE 4 AM, 10 AM, 4 PM, AND 10 PM PST.

A SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED TO PROVIDE UPDATES, AS NECESSARY, IN BETWEEN THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS. SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS WILL BE ISSUED UNDER THE SAME WMO AND AWIPS HEADERS AS THE REGULAR TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS.

 NOAA - National Hurricane Center - Eastern Pacific


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A CFE Bird Story

It took two visits to the CFE office and a month and a half for them to show up to cut the neighbors mango tree away from my power lines.  It usually gets done twice a year because they refuse to cut the tree way back. I'd be tempted to pay to have the whole thing cut down but it's huge, would not be cheap and not my responsibility.

I wondered why the CFE guy was taking his time at first but he had spotted a birds nest and was carefully cutting it out with his machete. I was on my roof taking the first picture and he motioned to me, did I want the nest and the one baby inside.  He was able to maneuver his crane over and handed me the nest. I had no idea what to do but I guess you have to try.   I remember trying to feed baby robins in a shoe box when we were kids and none of them ever made it.

My first clever idea was in the rebar which was above where my cat can reach.   Then I thought about sun and wind exposure so tied a palm frond over it.  Yesterday afternoon and again this morning the parents were buzzing around and making a real racket and I never saw them at the nest.  All I could figure was it was just too exposed or unnatural so I checked out my Neem tree for a spot.   It's good and well protected but if my cat really wanted he could get up there. When I moved the nest there was a lot of I'm hungry noises so he's healthy and maybe the parents will like this location better.   Last photo is a parent in a neighboring mango tree.

Ready to cut the Mango

Nest in rebar

A little more shade

New spot in the Neem tree

One of the very unhappy parents

Monday, May 05, 2014

Hurricane season almost here

Evidently this is a yearly event about this time of year. I was searching for further info on today's activities and found 2 from previous years. What it is, is a Hurricane Hunter aircraft from the US has an open house at the Manzanillo airport (ZLO). They are probably making stops up and down the coast. Pacific Hurricane season starts May 15 and we are almost there again.

My neighbors have only been to the airport once when we picked up a lost Gringa a few months ago.   I figured this would be an education for both of us so of we went combined with a stop in Cihuatlan.  The problem was I had no idea this would be so popular and we found 100's of people waiting.   The schedule said Noon to 6PM but dignitaries and special people got to take the tour first.   Then the couple hundred who got there early had to register, be given a pass and ushered through at 30 in a group.  Not only would the wait be well over an hour  but standing in line in the sun was not on our to-do-list. So we sized up the crowd, took a few pictures through the fence and headed back north.   If I remember next year I'll go later in the day when things have calmed down.

From out by the drive

A little closer through the fence

Lineup to enter the rear

Line of people a couple hundred yards long

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Life of a Toldo


These things are great and have 100 different shade reasons to use them.   I ran into this one in the Chapala Walmart and it was surprisingly well built.   I bought it with the intention of using it here in Melaque. I put in 3 cement anchors on the left so it didn't fly away.   Before it came down it was construction shade, shade for the car, shade for a few parties and rain protection for cement and mortar.  I eventually built a large carport and laundry room behind that foto so it was starting to be in the way.

Then comes a community fund raiser at the weekly futbol games and women selling snacks and drink needed shade to sit in.  Of course I loaned it to them for that.  Somewhere in the 6-8 months of fundraising it was also shade for 2 church functions, a plaza fiesta, one school function and a birthday.   

Hint: If you want these things to last a long time, make it yours and be in charge.  With 15-20 people in charge the cover was in taters in less than a year.   Hugo more or less patched it together for a large pig-roast party yesterday ..... and today a neighbor came by asking if he could use it for a wake.   A friend had died and they like to put up shade in front of the house. All I could say is ask Hugo.  It's his now??

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Muchos Festivales

Dia del Ninos was yesterday and you probably didn't notice unless you have pretty close contact with kids in your neighborhood.  The day before were parent-teacher meetings and we found out Euriel has been goofing off in school and not doing homework. So Euriel didn't go to the activities yesterday (castigado) and got more bad marks for not participating. 
In Mexico, Children's Day is celebrated on April 30. It is also known as "El Día Del Niño". On this day teachers in schools organize the day for their children. In some schools, lessons are suspended for the day. They organize games, music, and the children bring in their favorite foods to share with others. Some families also have a day out with their children. There are special activities for the children in parks and sports centers. Sometimes, also, the children will be given presents by their families. This is the day when children are honored in Mexico. Children's Day in Mexico started in 1925.
The rest of us went to Cihua shopping and Nahima  saw her favorite color on a cake.  Might have been more fitting as a Saint Patrick's day cake but what the heck.    Bought a bunch of hamburger and french fries for a food party later today.   Someone suggested putting up the pool again because it's certainly hot enough so I surprised them when they showed up in the late afternoon for pool and cake.

Nahima's green cake - chocolate inside

Throwing the girls in

Just like last summer

May 1st is Labor Day

May 3rd is Dia de La Cruz - or - Dia de los Albañiles (cement/brick workers)

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo which some say is not celebrated in Mexico but is a National Holiday.  At least a school holiday.

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
Euriel School Fund

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