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Candice
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It's true we have lazy days here in San Pancho, but they are fewer and farther between lately, and this past week was anything but. We said farewell to two of our new favorite people, Maggie Savoie and Marie-Christine Arpin from New Brunswick, who had given us many hours of stunningly good music during their stay in the pueblo. They performed on Sunday the 15th at the gallery's Sidewalk Series to a large and appreciative crowd. Meanwhile, and for weeks, the many residents and visitors who volunteer at entreamigos, our magnificent community center, were working long hours preparing for one... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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If you've been reading this blog for a while, or if you've visited the La Casita Mágica Gallery facebook page, you've probably already seen this painting, either featured or off in the background. What you may not know is that I painted this picture from a photo I took here in San Pancho on May 24, 2010. I was walking to the beach from a house I was renting while creating this one, when I noticed this child in a grubby corner and was stopped in my tracks. I only took one shot, apologizing to her as I did it,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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My birthday wish this year was to fly away. Not for the sake of avoidance, not in a plane, not because there was anything wrong. Rather, I wanted to get away simply to have some clear space in which to relax and reflect and be alone with the man I love. So that's what we did. We disappeared for twenty-four hours, first to a beautiful beach and afterward to a warm and welcoming little hotel high on a hill overlooking the entire bay of Puerto Vallarta. The hours on the beach were precious. Sand, waves breaking, nothing to do but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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As it turns out, Sunday tumbled into our arms as if it had slipped on a banana peel. Craig and I were almost late to our own shindig, which is becoming a habit. Once again, we worked until we either had to get dressed or go grubby. While Waldo and Lidia took a carload of wine and food to the gallery, I hurried upstairs, looking at my phone for new messages. I had reason. Half an hour previously, while I was still in a flurry of frantic activity, I had received a text from Joaquina. As I mentioned in my... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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I'm excited about Sunday. We're opening a new exhibit at La Casita Mágica Gallery. It's going to be super. We've been working on it for some time, and we'll be bustling and preparing until the last second, I've no doubt: it's what we do. I'm surrounded by lists again, nothing new about that. I've artists to see, items to gather, a big day in Vallarta tomorrow picking up prints and cardboard and food and the ingredients for sangria. Meanwhile, Craig has been finishing a couple of new paintings, one of which will become a gorgeous San Pancho poster that will... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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Here in San Pancho, a sudden breeze blew through last week. Turned out it was all of us breathing a deep sigh of relief as the Christmas and New Year crowds dissipated like fog in a hot sun. In a matter of hours, there were tables available again in the beach restaurants from which one could actually see the sunset without umbrellas and visitors blocking the view. After two weeks of tourists loading the little counters with snack food, tequila, beer, and diapers, one could actually approach a store cash register without standing in a line long enough to take... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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I had to go to La Peñita today. The two tables I'd ordered from the wood workshop were ready, and so was the Weedwhacker. Also we needed to have some keys made for the gallery, and I had two belated Christmas presents to buy. The presents weren't belated because I'd forgotten to buy them. I hadn't even known about them before Christmas. It wasn't until the 26th, when I'd been driving down a teeny little dirt street nearby, that I had been accosted by one of my little girl buddies who is tiny and bossy and has no problem whatsoever... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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Last Sunday, December 14th, Craig Downs and I were honored to welcome the community of San Pancho to La Casita Mágica for a grand opening fiesta. La Casita Mágica, dressed for company We barely made it ourselves, as we were both fairly fried from the weeks of work leading up to our opening night. In fact, we were still working during the hour preceding the announced start time. We dressed in record time, abandoning some of the costume flourishes we had planned, but Craig had time to don his top hat and brocade vest and cowboy boots, and I had... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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How very odd is life on this planet. I'm sitting here at the big terrace table across from Craig. The table is cluttered with notebooks and business cards, drawing tools, scissors, two phones, two computers, assorted paints and brushes, coffee cups and water bottles, and a tiny delicate green moth. Only moments ago, as I opened this web page to publish some photos for you, did I realize and share with Craig a rather amazing fact which I'm now going to share with you. If you've been reading this blog for a year, or for nearly five or somewhere in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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I'm not all that sure that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so just let me say that, all evidence aside, I'm still here...-ish. Today is Monday, the first of December. In two weeks from yesterday -- that is, on Sunday evening, the fourteenth of December -- Craig and I will be hosting a grand gala in order to inaugurate La Casita Mágica, our new art gallery. We are busy. You don't even want to see the lists I have surrounding my computer, some with half the items crossed off, others with circles and stars and exclamation points and looping... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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I left you last week at City Museum, one of my new Favorite Places in All the World. Let's go back again today. I want to tell you more about its creator, Bob Cassilly, whose prodigious talent, energy and imagination made this place what it is. He was a hands-on kind of guy who helped his workers transport an entire Ferris wheel, made in 1940 and discovered in a barn, to the roof where it was reassembled. It works. I know because we rode it. Across from the Ferris wheel looms a giant praying mantis he sculpted of metal. We... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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I've just returned from a whirlwind nine days in the city of Chuck Berry, Lewis & Clark, T.S. Eliot, cotton candy and the ice cream cone, all of which got their start in St. Louis. We went in order to see people and for me to meet the friends, family, and city of Craig Downs, who also got his start in St. Louis and was the best private tour guide imaginable. We had a fabulous time. I found St. Louis, despite its recent well-publicized troubles, to be vital and intelligent, an historical monument in itself, full of fine museums and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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On Halloween night, Craig and I went to Baja Taco and sat at a table on the sidewalk. The other tables outside were also filled with Halloween-loving candy-givers. It was Craig's first Halloween in Mexico. He went well supplied with two giant bags of candy. And of course, we wore costumes. Meet Morticia and Gomez. Craig had no idea what to expect of San Pancho's version of trick-or-treat. It was a little slow at first, as Mexican children, like Mexican adults, prefer waiting 'til just the right time to begin a party. As soon as it was really dark, out... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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Yeah, I know it's October. Where you live, nights have cooled. Days, too. Perhaps you are watching leaves turn shades of vermilion and copper and the frost is on the pumpkin. Lucky you. According to Curt's weather page, sanpanchoweather.com, our heat index today reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit....again. This morning at 8:12 a.m., today's low was 79.6. I was at the little butcher shop down the street yesterday buying a chicken and talking with five Mexican women, all residents here, and believe me, they were not happy either. They eyed my sheer cotton top, which was the only thing I could... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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On Friday the fourth of September, San Pancho began the nine-day festival that I've not seen for several years, having spent my Septembers in other places. The festival reaches its peak on October 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of this pueblo. If you're here, you really can't miss it, even if you'd like to. The fireworks (cohetes, big bottle rockets) announce the dawn every morning at 4:45. They explode again at noon, then again around 6 in the evening when each colonia (neighborhood) has its own parade to the church, during which parade... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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Last Sunday I was honored by an invitation from Lidia and Waldo, my two excellent friends who make my life in Mexico easier and sweeter and with whom I share the responsibility of caring for Casa Luz de Luna. They and their three children are a precious piece of my world. I feel always that we are family, so to be invited to a very special event at the home of Lidia's parents tickled me no end. Miguel Ponce Beltran, Lidia's papa, was having a birthday. Every week for the five previous months, each of his six children had contributed... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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We are in Ajijic, Jalisco, beside Lake Chapala south of Guadalajara. It is the weekend of celebration for Día de Independencia. On Saturday, Ajijic opens the festivities with their festival of globos. Globos, as you may know, are un-personed hot air balloons made of tissue paper held together by tape and heated by flaming fuel. Small ones are marketed here in Mexico, three foot tall balloons which are glorious in their beauty and fragility. Even these take the cooperation of three or four people to launch, as all hands must pull aside the tissue during the lighting process to allow... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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So as I was saying, Jalisco's high country is on the same planet as San Pancho, but it's a different world. We drove the long and winding road behind Puerto Vallarta and began our ascent, leaving behind glossy jungle and air the consistency of peanut butter. In less than two hours, we were in San Sebastián del Oeste and pine country, relishing the feel of coolness on bare arms. The following morning, after a night of cozy fleece blankets and mountain air, we drove the long and winding road down the other side of the Sierra Madre and into the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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Just back in San Pancho after a little road trip. Happily, it cooled down some while we were away, a result of the two hurricanes off the coast I suppose, which did no damage here. We went down to the beach in the early evening to see how it had changed with the recent wave action. Sure enough, the beach is flatter than it has been in many months, the dunes erased, the estuary water escaping directly out to the sea instead of languishing in front of the beach restaurants causing no end of problems. We ordered a couple of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
I write this at 9:20 pm from my favorite hotel, an old hacienda in San Sebastian del Oeste in the mountains east of Puerto Vallarta. It was a lovely drive with hardly any landslides, considering the humongous storm that hit Vallarta and San Pancho and the coast mountains last night. We are on our way to Ajijic tomorrow, down the curvy mountain road into the agricultural valley of Mascota then through sugar cane fields in a shortcut to Lake Chapala. On Saturday we will go to the festival of globos, weather permitting and I sure hope it does. You remember... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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We'll start this one in a field of dreams. One thing I've noticed is that fields of dreams are all different. I think we all have them: that raw material from whence our dreams are born into reality. They can be about things we want to do or about how we want to be. They can be vague or precise visions of the future we desire, or treasure troves of collected wishes, ideas, inclinations, or stuff. They might lie fallow for long periods during which we either ignore them or step timidly around them, not bearing to look. Over time,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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I'm going to introduce you to three people in next few posts. I don't know them very well, but I know what they do, which is what I want to tell you about. High up on the east slopes of Mt. Rainier, where, at 6400 feet, the paved road that reaches the Sunrise Visitor Center is the highest paved road in Washington, I encountered Sierra Willoughby. It was serendipitous, as most good things are. Craig and I had taken our time down below in the Grove of the Patriarchs, which we visited in my last post. We drove leisurely up... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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I didn't mean to. I had every intention of publishing another post right after that last one. Then my son came for a visit to the Northwest and so did Carol, after which packing happened, which believe me was a long-term project. Then there were all the last minute errands and shopping that are always necessary when leaving the States for an extended time in Mexico. And meanwhile there was the having fun part. We boarded an Alaska jet last Thursday morning. We had one of those dream pilots who fly the plane over the top of every magnificent mountain... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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...Can a Person Take of One Frigging Mountain?? Let's find out, shall we? Last week, we spent five days in another perfect cabin, this one in Ashford, just outside the gates of Mt. Rainier National Park. We'd been gawking at the mountain for weeks, the Seattle area having enjoyed some of that crystalline summer weather that is the reason people stick around up here. These days are like the toy in the Cracker Jack box, the rainbow Easter egg in the spidery grass, the fat ripe blackberry hiding in the sticker bushes. And there was Rainier dominating the horizon, hovering... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2014 at San Pancho Vida
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We are on our way to Rainier, once known as Tahoma, "the mountain that was god". We will have no internet for five days. What we will have is more opportunity to explore this little blue planet and what it means to be riding along on it. In the meantime, the Perseid meteor shower approaches its peak. Here in northern Idaho, we've seen a dozen meteors in the past two nights, and we'll be stargazing as much as we can in the coming nights. The Perseids reach their peak this year around August 12, but now is the time to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at San Pancho Vida