Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chacala Beach with Geema and Geepa!

The wonderful Geema and Geepa came down for a visit, and here are some pics of our perfect trip to Chacala Beach.

Geepa and Cubby watch the sun go to bed.

Boats and beautiful sky.

Unprompted sisterly closeness.

Even with 7 people traveling in a 7 person van, we had to have room for the guitar.

Cubby was a little worried about coconuts falling on his head - so he'd put his hoodie on for protection.
We were a little worried about them falling on the van.

Fresh coconut, just like the Philippines. Except here we (I) ate them with chile, limón and sal.
A heaven. 

Daddy and Birdie show Cubby how to jump the waves.
Chacala was the perfect beach for kids - long, very slowly sloping shore, with gentle waves and silky sand. It helped that our house was right on the beach and we could hang out in our palapa while the kids frolicked.

Couldn't get enough of the sunsets.

Three generations watching the pelicans dive for breakfast.

Whale watching. As Cubby would say, "That is really cool!"
We all hoped that the whales were smart enough to not come up right under our little boat.
Birdie: "I feel like every wave we go over is a whale!"

This one was particularly close. You could see all the scars on his back - which made a big impact on the kids. The girls kept asking why he would have so many scars. "What is he running into? Isn't the ocean just water?" 
Just chattin' in the sun.
One of my favorite memories: walking the entire shoreline in each other's foot steps.
Deevie: "Dad, it's like there is only one set of feet!"
Daddy in a deep, booming voice: "My child, that is when I carried you..."
(I may have been the only one to get that.)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mexican Corn Husk Doll Making

I have SO many ambitions when it comes to crafts.  And living in Mexico adds a whole other dimension to my dreams and desires.  (Yes, I am that passionate.)  Everywhere we go we see handmade things that I want to try at home.

Well, I actually managed to do something! With the kids even!  And we survived!

I saw a package of corn husks at our regular grocery store - sold for making tamales, and decided to try my hand at the corn husk dolls I've seen in Guadalajara markets.

One package of corn husks, bought for 7 pesos.  That's about 55 cents.  You heard me, FIFTY FIVE CENTS.

Soak in water for 15 minutes.  They needed a weight to keep them from surfacing.

Lay 4 even-ish husks on top of each other (I trimmed them a bit to make them the same size, and cut a straight edge at the top).  Tie with string about 1.5 inches  from flat side and pull the two outer layers over the tie to make the head.

Tie the husks together again to make the neck.  Roll another husk and tie the ends to make wrists.  Insert the rolled and tied husk between the four layers (two on top, two underneath).

Have cute kid hand hold what you have so far and snap a picture.

You can tie knees and ankles for boy dolls, or leave husks untied at the bottom to look more like skirts.  But as Deevie pointed out, EVERYONE has knees and ankles so you really should tie those in all the dolls.

Cut out cute clothes from felt scraps.  The girls especially loved this part.  You can attempt to glue gun these clothes on, only to find out it won't work - like we did, or you can go straight to sewing the clothes on.  It works much better.

We've added the dolls we made to our Christmas supplies to bring out each year.  The perfect memory of Guadalajara.  The smaller ones in particular make great Christmas tree decorations.  

My next ambition with these is to make an entire corn husk doll Nativity set.  (Why did I have to say that out loud?)

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I'm reviving the blog.  Now.  Here are some pictures of Mexico I submitted to the 2013 calendar put together by the Guadalajara US Consulate Community Liaison Office (CLO).

Happy 2013!!
Wonderful Balneario San Juan Cosala in Ajijic

Beautiful views!

Cactus fields on the way to Guanajuato


Guanajuato Basilica and that gorgeous Mexican yellow
Guanajuato Basilica

Guadalajara Zoo inhabitants

Sunrise over San Miguel de Allende

Vendor selling Mexican Independence Day wares

Mariachi, performing for Mother's Day celebration planned by the neighborhood husbands

Agave!  Waiting to be roasted at the Jose Cuervo Tequila factory.
Happy Travels.  A nice farewell at the Hacienda el Carmen.