Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feria del Maestros del Arte

As part of the hunt for xmas ornaments, Ruby and I took a drive to Lake Chapala, where they hold an annual art fair on the yacht club grounds. There were weavings from Oaxaca, paper art, loads of just astonishingly gorgeous ceramics, which Jalisco is renowned for, Huichol beadwork, paper mache, and many other forms of artesania. We dined at a lakeshore seafood joint (but not on fish from the lake, which would surely kill you, now if not later) and generally enjoyed the gorgeous weather and views.

Just call me Martha

Once it sunk in that our Christmas ornaments would not emerge out of the chaos of our HHE (household effects for those of you not living the vida loca of the foreign service), I entered a period of denial for a while. And then it was November, and then it was Thanksgiving, and then it was time to panic. So Ruby and I have been combing the art fairs and markets for ornaments (and scored quite a few) but I also felt compelled to try my hand a remedying the situation at home too. I found these little sequin appliques in the downtown merceria district (all things related to sewing, knitting, etc.) and then just did a little felt backing for them to augment our growing ornament collection. A word to the wise--glue guns are very dangerous, especially in the hands of a crafting amateur!

Monday, November 8, 2010


On the Day of the Dead, after a tasty breakfast at Cafeto (salsa poblana to die for, no pun intended on such a day), we took Ruby downtown to see the catrinas. The Day of the Dead appears to be a more private affair here than in Mexico City, where public altars abound, but we did find a beautiful one dedicated to journalists at the Museo del Periodismo. Mexico has recently earned the ignominious honor of being perhaps the most dangerous country in the world for journalists to practice their craft, so there was more than the usual poignancy here due to Mexico's current paroxysm of violence.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When in need of a little extra oxygen...

...take a walk in Parque Colomos. This is our neighborhood park, just a few blocks away. There is an entrance fee, a whopping four pesos, that goes to maintain this beautiful green space (to pay the gardeners who are responsible for its half-wild, half-manicured look, along with the bike cops who make it very safe). And given Guadalajara's pollution levels, which have worsened dramatically in recent years, I'm not entirely kidding about the oxygen. You must stay on the trails, as it's an ecological reserve as well. On the weekends, families mingle with joggers with most of the former headed for the horse rides and Japanese garden with its overfed turtle and koi population, while the latter hit the trails. The hills, plus the altitude here of about 3000 meters, make the running tougher than one at first imagines but the refreshing scent of the pines and eucalyptus put a little pep in your step too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Domingos de via recreativa

On Sunday mornings, Guadalajara shuts down traffic on two major avenues downtown so that its citizens can stretch their legs on foot or on wheels. Iris and I cruised with the stroller, while Ruby tested her treads and Mike worked his. It's not a bad workout, if you figure it's more like interval training than a sustained run. This past Sunday's ride was punctuated by catrinas positioned along Avenida Vallarta in honor of the Day of the Dead.

Monday, November 1, 2010


We found and remorselessly killed our first black widows on Halloween, of all days. A mama and her little man had made a home behind a pot on our patio, all too near to Chucho's bed. I confess the size of the mama, with a jelly-bean-sized abdomen, took me aback, until I heard just how huge they can get later that night at a trick-or-treating gig. Ours was apparently quite puny, I now understand. Much to my chagrin, keeping them and all the other bichos at bay seems to necessitate dousing at least the entryways with a bit of poison now and again. Ugh.