Friday, December 26, 2008

Cabin for Rent in Sequim, WA

I have been emailing Gordon in Oaxaca. He works for Tierraventura, an ecotourism company, and it looks pretty cool. Check out the links.

Anyway, Gordon has a neat cabin for rent near Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. It is listed on Craigslist. Pictures and the ad info follow:

Charming off-the-grid hand-built home in the woods. The 12 volt electrical system can be charged by solar panels or generator. There is garden space and well water. Stable neighborhood. Quiet and beautiful location. Wood and propane heat. The house is mostly furnished and there is an upright piano. The 5 acre parcel is shared with 1 neighbor. First & last month's rent and a $500 deposit.

If you are interested you can contact Gordon at

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Iglesia de San Fernando

Bliss came over to our apt just after 8pm last night, visiting with Mike and Sitka before the short walk to the church. I have walked around the entire perimeter of Iglesia de San Fernando many times, yet until last night I had not stepped over the threshold.

For Christmas Eve Mass the church was beautifully decorated with poinsettias, greens and a multitude of candles. Bliss went right to the choir area where Lolita was already in place at the organ. The choir members all wore red shawls or scarves and looked very festive. The priests were smiling, the incense was wafting, and there were many families as well as solo visitors to the church.

The service began and even though I didn’t understand the language or the Catholic traditions, I enjoyed the sense of community and love exuding from the people surrounding me. The choir sang many familiar carols and I found myself singing along in English.

After Mass Bliss and I wandered out to look at the Nativity set up in the newly constructed grotto in the church’s courtyard. When I went back today to take pictures the gate was locked so I could only get a shot of the rear of the grotto.And this shot of the steeple that can be seen from many vistas in Guaymas.Notice the CLOUDS??Very unusual for Guaymas, but perfect for a quiet Christmas at home. Happy Holidays to you and your families!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve in Guaymas

It is sunny and 72F here in Guaymas today and earlier I had on shorts, a t-shirt and sandals.

But I have changed into hardly ever worn LONG PANTS and a light sweater as Mike and I were very happy to join Lolita and her large family for their big Christmas Eve feast this afternoon. On a sad note, Lolita’s housekeeper’s father passed away on Monday evening…leaving Lolita to do all the cooking! See Lolita with her daughter, Lolita, below.
But cook she did and it was wonderful. My favorite dish was roasted chilies with onions in a dreamy, creamy sauce. It had “heat,” but not so much that I could not take another bite. And another bite. And one more bite…oh, and then there was the homemade carrot cake!

I am not Catholic, but tonight I will go to the 9:00 Mass at Iglesia de San Fernando (Lolita’s church just 2 blocks away.) Both Lolita and Bliss will be singing in the choir tonight and I have wanted to hear them for quite some time!

Mike, unfortunately, is not feeling too good today and I doubt that he’ll make it to Mass. He has been fighting a bad cold and cough for over 3 weeks. That, combined with the wacky anti-seizure meds he takes every 8 hours, has wiped him out. He’s not eating much and he has lost a lot of weight. It may be time for a trip to the US to get another opinion on his medical situation.

But for today, we are together and quietly enjoying the day with Sitka!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Adios mi amigo Richard...

Well, today was a sad day. Richard from Scotland accepted a teaching position with Colegio Americano here in Guaymas and he will begin on 1/5. Coincidentally, Crystal from Maine has done the same.

Colegio Americano offers teachers apartments at no charge and this morning Mike and I helped Richard move from the “Lolita compound” to the new apartment. Crystal moved in to her own new apartment (same building) a couple of days ago and she and her friend Raul (another former employee of Colegio Navarrete) came over to welcome Richard to his new casa.

We’ll still see Richard (and Crystal), but it won’t be the same as having him right next door. Good luck Richard and we’ll miss you more than you know!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sitka Update

We can not say THANK YOU enough to everyone who has posted, emailed or called about Sitka. The support has been overwhelming and we appreciate it so deeply.

Sitka is doing okay. She is back on her thyroid medication, the fish oil supplement to keep her coat healthy, and her supplement to keep her hips limber. She is still quite weak and her hind legs are having a tough time supporting her. But she is getting out in the yard (on her leash!) to “do her business” without any problems.

We also wanted to provide a little more info about David, the man who called me about Sitka last Thursday. David was the guy that had tied a rope to Sitka’s collar and Mike had seen him walking Sitka right past our driveway (see post.) But David had given Sitka to some guy who responded to David’s radio announcement as the guy claimed to be Sitka’s owner. When David saw our newly posted flyer in Centro, he went back to the lying guy and got Sitka. Then he brought her over to our apt.

David is an unemployed athletic trainer and when I invited him into our apt, he said the reward ($5000 pesos, about $500 US dollars) was not necessary. We insisted he take it and he said we could not imagine how valuable this money would be to his family. We all hugged and cried. It was the perfect ending for both of our families.

Sooo, the next time you are faced with a BIG PROBLEM, don’t give up hope. Listen to everyone’s suggestions. Take action. Be brave, but be ready to be disappointed. We had several calls, text message and an actual visit from a family – all of whom said they had Sitka, yet not one of them could produce her. You can imagine how I felt when David called…another false lead. But it wasn’t! And we could not be happier.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Sitka Post

On November 7, 2008 our German shepherd, Sitka, ran out of our apartment in el Centro Guaymas after a street cat and she was GONE…

Today, on December 18, 2008, Sitka was returned to us (again – her first escape was in late October – after living here since June!)

A man named David called me at 2:10 today and said he had found her, but that he had given her to a man who claimed she was his. (He had used the Guaymas radio announcement forum to advise that he had found a German shepherd.) David had seen our recently posted flyers in el Centro with her picture and he knew that was Sitka!

Long story short, David met me at Hotel Ana this afternoon and had Sitka in his van. I knew in a heartbeat that it was her. I grabbed her and began to weep. And then I grabbed David and we both wept. He knew he found Sitka’s mom and I knew I had found Sitka.

I never really thought we would find her (again.) And I will get a new dog tag made with our Guaymas contact info ASAP. It is so weird. After that long. Our Christmas came a whole week early! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It has been a crazy couple of weeks at school. Tomorrow St. Mary’s Preschool students (even the 2 year olds,) along with the Primaria and Secundaria students from Colegio Navarrete, will perform the annual Pastorela event at the Civic Auditorium here in Guaymas (5:00 if you’re interested!)

The preparation for Pastorela has been intense! Rehearsal after rehearsal, measuring the kids and having costumes created, creating props and decorations – and more rehearsals! I never know when the Music or Physical Education teachers will come into one of my classes and take my kids away for rehearsal. I have heard the songs so many times that I find myself humming them at home or when driving around town.

And yesterday the Colegio Navarrete students did a full rehearsal on the St. Mary’s Preschool outdoor stage. Wow. I guess I hadn’t realized how BIG this event is! Plus, I just found out that the teachers will be on stage, singing and dancing to the final song. Yipee! I love the stage.

Three more days of teaching, posados (Christmas parties) for the students and the teachers on Wednesday, and then VACATION until Jan 5. I am soooo ready for that. I just finished my Lesson Plans for that first week in January and I have almost made it through the toughest part of the school year.

On another note, I have created new posters and increased the reward amount for Sitka. On a suggestion from the San Carlos Forum, I added “No questions asked” to the flyer and I plan to hand them out to Guaymas police tomorrow and plead for their help. On a suggestion from the parents of one of my students, I plan to put ads in 2 newspapers, El Impartial and La Voz del Puerto. She’s been gone for 5 weeks now, but I have not given up hope of finding her. If you have any info, please call me at 622.111.7973.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years ago today Mike and I were married in a chapel in Seattle. It was a very small wedding and we all went out to dinner at Las Margaritas Restaurant in downtown Seattle to celebrate after the ceremony. My parents videotaped the ceremony and the dinner and all the shots of tequila. The next day Mike and I flew to Maui for our honeymoon. It was heavenly!

Today I made Mike a lei from construction paper at work and he’s wearing it now! And he had roses delivered to our apartment and they are just beautiful! We are going to hunker down tonight – and watch that videotape – and enjoy a night together without any other concerns.

If anyone had told me we’d be living in Mexico ten years ago I would have laughed. How serendipitous that we picked Las Margaritas Restaurant to celebrate our wedding all those years ago…

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kickin' It At 53!

Yesterday I turned 53 years old. And I have to say that this is the first year that I feel OLD. Those little kids are taking their toll on me!

But they were so cute yesterday. At about 1:00 someone came to my class and said we all had to go up to the Music Room on some ruse…we went and all the other kids, teachers and staff were there with my crown and a birthday cake. A crown is traditional for birthdays at St. Mary’s Preschool. Of course, I wore it for the rest of the day!
When I got home Richard and Francisco (Lolita’s grandson) had just hauled a small filing cabinet into our apartment. This was something that I had been looking for (for all these Lesson Plans I’m creating) and Mike had little Lolita pick one up at a flea market. I was so surprised!

Mike had invited a few friends over and we had chips and adult beverages…it was quite nice! Plus, I got a couple of great bottles of wine and a lovely pair of slacks. Here are teachers Richard and Crystal.
And it was back to school early this morning. But check out this sunrise from our front door. Paradise…