Thursday, October 29, 2009

Patzcuaro Day of the Dead Candy Market

We are well into the coldest and wettest October that we have had in Patzcuaro in the 3 years we have been here. It feels more like the Octobers I remember in the Pacific Northwest when I was a kid.  The tourists have hit town and the hotels are near capacity.


The Candy Sellers under Portal Hidalgo, Plaza Grande

We are reaching the end of the preparations for day of the dead. The candy sellers have arrived with table upon table covered in candy skulls and miniatures of favored food items, drinks and other things that will be laid out on altars in memory of family members now passed on.



Warning Solid Sugar!

In the background the tents are up around Plaza Grande as the artisans are preparing to move in.  If you haven’t had a chance to see them before,. now is the time. If you would like a sneak preview here is the post I did a couple of years ago on the artisans.
Or, even better, come on down and see for yourself, the artists could sure use your support.


Hmmm, What do I want? It all looks sooooo good.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marilyn Monroe Visits Patzcuaro

As you can probably tell from the things that I post, I love the arts and crafts of the Lake Patzcuaro area. It is a bit of an Easter egg hunt, never knowing where you will find the next prize. Still, it did come as a bit of a shock to me, while visiting my next door neighbor, to see that Marilyn Monroe was in the house!

marilyn blog

Marilyn Muerta En Vida, Viva En Muerte.

Monica was originally from Colima, and moved to Patzcuaro with her charming husband Carlos after living in Mexico City for a number of years. Recently she has been taking some painting classes and the talent that is emerging is unmistakable.

The exhibit she is in is entitled “ La Muerte Viva” , which is a part of the Day of the Dead celebrations here in Patzcuaro. Monica chose an atypical subject for her painting, to illustrate that for death, there are no borders. The work is entitled “ Marilyn Muerta en Vida, Viva En Muerte” which translates roughly as “Marilyn, Dead in life, alive in death” to contrast her battle with depression in life, and the life her image has taken on in death, as a symbol of beauty and glamour.

If you would like to see Monica’s work, as part of an exhibition with almost a hundred paintings. If the other paintings are anywhere near as good, the show will be truly impressive.
Here are the details.

5ta. Exposicion “Colectiva De Pendones De Dia De Muertos”
October 30, 20:00 on display till November 30th.
”La Muerte Viva”
The ex-Jesuit college, Patzcuaro
Top Floor, Free admission.

The Jesuit college is located one block up the hill from Plaza Grande. Check it out, I think you will be glad you did.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lizards Crashing the Troncones Beach Party

Last month we headed out to the beach at Troncones (just west of Zihua/Ixtapa) for a bit of a beach party.  It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Patzcuaro to the beach there.

Ahhhhh, now we are at the beach. Nice chilly beverage in my hand, meeting friendly new people, looking out at the ocean.  Sitting across from me is a gentleman who goes by the handle “Hunter and is a bit of a herpophile. Is that really a word? Probably not, but I have decided it is.  A herpophile is a person who is into snakes and reptiles. Boy did he pick the right party to come to.

Lyre Snake

Lyre Snake AKA Just Another Party Animal!

What’s that? A little commotion in pool palapa, seems a snake has joined the party. Hey, Hunter, check out the snake! Our new visitor is called a Lyre snake (pronounced liar) which of course prompts some timeshare salesmen jokes. I was going to say lawyer jokes but I know a couple of lawyers who read this blog and don't want to have to deal with injunctions!

After the social niceties are over, the snake goes into a bag, for transport into the jungle later, where he is less likely to get decapitated by someone who may object to having a snake come visit their home.

Back to the party. Lots of good nibblies, including some homemade smoked salmon by a lady from Alaska.



Now wait, what is that I see on the beach? Awww, a turtle laying eggs! Off I trot with the camera again. Seems that when they are laying they are running on pure instinct. People and cameras don't bother them, just “NO FLASH”.



A Non Easter Egg Hunt

By the time I got to her, the eggs are all lain and she had just finished filling in the hole, and was working on patting down the sand. As we are watching her finishing up, I see the charming hostess of the party coming with a Tupperware container and a big spoon! Oh no, I hope she isn't thinking turtle omelets! No, it seems that if left the local dogs will turn it into a buffet very quickly.  



Note The Green Beer Can

We all start digging to rescue the eggs and take them to a hatchery a couple of hundred meters down the beach. Oddly, after digging for some time we still had found no eggs.  Please note the green beer can in the picture above. 


Pay Dirt!

When we eventually found the eggs they were about a foot and a half below the can.   So after we all had a good laugh at that, the harvesting started.


tub of eggs

97 Eggs Recovered By Us!

The eggs themselves were still warm and were very much like ping pong balls. We loaded up a total of 97 eggs! Off to the nursery we go.

As an added bonus, there were two other turtles doing the exact same thing between where we were and the turtle nursery. That afternoon just over 300 eggs were added to the nursery!


Mission Complete - For Mom!

As we returned after the visit to the nursery, the dogs were already at the hole looking for any missed eggs. 

A party at the beach and a good deed done, what more could you ask for an afternoon? Could someone pass that pitcher of margaritas please?



Monday, October 12, 2009

On the road to Tupataro


Wild Flowers of Patzcuaro

A Frenzy of Colour!

Turning off the highway from Morelia to Patzcuaro, at the road to Tupataro I was assaulted by a frenzy of vivid colors that demanded to be photographed. Last month I gave you a wildflower preview, but now they are in full swing!


On the road to Tupataro

Velvet Skies

Out comes the tripod and camera. I took a tranquil escape from by errands, and spent some quiet time enjoying the view and snapping the shutter. It truly is a breath of fresh air, for the eyes as well as the lungs! Can you wonder why this is my favorite time of  year?

If you aren't familiar with Tupataro, it is the village with hand painted ceiling I posted about a while ago.  You can see that post here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Magic Sky-Talking Box

With the house for sale I have had a number of people asking about my internet setup here. Now that day of the dead approaching, the number of people who come to visit Patzcuaro takes a big jump. So it seemed like a significant number of the people we have talked to about the house have chosen then to come and look at it. So I thought I would post it here for all to read.

Our internet is provided by a friendly young fellow by the name of Bolivar.
His website is right here>
I remember asking about when it we first got here. Bolivar patiently explained the system to me in his very fluent English, sadly I was listening in gibberish so I ended up with an explanation that goes something like this.

magic box

The Magic Sky-Talking Box or MSTB!

My computer sits on my desk. From the back of the computer is a wire that goes up to a box on the roof that is connected to a small antenna. My computer, through this cable, talks to the box on the roof. We will call this the “magic sky-talking box” or MSTB. The MSTB is pointed at a tower on a neighboring mountain. This tower also has an MSTB, and that is connected to our internet service provider. These two boxes talk to each other rather effortlessly through something called “fixed wireless” which is just a $20 peso word for “Magic”.

The cost for all this magic is just $400 peso per month, plus taxes of course.

The speed that these two boxes talk to each other is measured in something called KBPS. For our setup here we have 1024 KBPS, I am not sure but I think that it stands for
Keeping Bewitched Photons Streamlined”.

1024 KBPS seems to do us just fine! We of course use it for all our internet, but we also use it for our phone service. I use a Vonage system that I brought down with us from Canada, with all my calls being routed through the antenna on the roof.

scoots pot

Scooter AKA Scoots The Cat

Coming back down from the roof top patio after taking a picture of the antenna, I noticed Scoots sitting in pot on the second floor terraza. She looked so cute I had to grab a quick shot. You may remember her from when we rescued her last year in the following blog posting.

You will be glad to know she is doing very well and eats like a horse. Obviously we did not find a home for her. We came here with no cats, and now have 3. Funny how that happens!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Good Morning! Dawn at the Top of the World

I hope you all had a good morning. As I do quite often, I woke up before dawn.
Old habits die hard, and I have usually been an early riser. So I thought I would share what I see as the sun rises over Lake Patzcuaro and Estribo as viewed from my terrace.

Good Morning

Estrebo Poking Out Of The Mist

The mountain you see in the middle is Estribo. I understand it is an old volcano. To the right of it is the lake, and once the mist burns off you can see the island of Janitzio with the statue on top.
The banner you see with the title at the top of the blog, that picture was taken from atop Estribo.

I would love to be able to wax poetical and weave a tapestry of words to capture the mood that settles on you as you watch the sun come up and splash over the panorama. but truthfully, it leaves me speechless.

So, what vista greeted you this morning?


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