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Candice
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The Mississippi Delta was shining Like a National guitar I am following the river Down the highway Through the cradle of the civil war Thank you, Paul Simon, for providing the music. And now I, too, am going to Graceland, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. Y'all want to come along? Highway 270 in St. Louis takes you to I-55, a straight shot south to Memphis. I sat back to enjoy the drive through Missouri to Tennessee. What I didn't realize, and what Craig had plumb forgotten, was this: Arkansas?? What in tarnation are we doin' in Arkansas?? Turns out we don't... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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We have to say goodbye to our dog. It’s not really our dog, but it thinks it is. It actually belongs to the man kitty-corner across the street, but when I first moved in the dog was in the habit of coming over to my side of the street to lie in the shade, and by and by we got to know each other and became friends. The dog’s name is Cappy, and, when Craig moved in, it loved him at first sight. It’s a real sweet dog. Kind of lazy. It eats the fresh free range eggs it finds... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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It really wasn't until I started receiving emails from confused and concerned readers that I realized it had been over a month since I'd posted on this blog. That's ridiculous. In answer to your questions, though, I'm fine. Not sick, not sad, not locked up in some Mexican jail somewhere. I've just been distracted by other things. Such as helping clear out and close up the gallery until next season, bidding farewell to departing friends... ...and trying to finish all the things I've procrastinated during this busy Year of La Casita Mágica. And designing and writing a couple of new... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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You know those squeezy squeaky toys babies and dogs like so much? Sometimes they're fuzzy and sometimes they're naked, sometimes they're puppies and sometimes they're hot dogs; but they all have a little valve in them that makes a high pitched squeak like a castrated accordion. You know which ones I mean? Cripes, I have so much catching up to do! With the help of the blog goddesses, I hope to get to it all, because if there's anything I can't stand it's an unfinished story, except for somebody telling me the end before I get to it. Let's see.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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I have absolutely no idea what happened to March. It was here, I know, dumping with its arrival over two inches of unseasonable rain, making everyone flee the beach and run for cover and warm clothes. It's gone now, leaving behind a taste of the heat and humidity that are to come. But what about the middle? Let's see. We had lots of guests in town including houseguests Steve and Krystal from St. Louis, who were a sheer delight. We had music at the gallery's San Pancho Sidewalk Series. Twice. The facebook page says so. And also I have pictorial... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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I've been telling people lately that I'm beginning to realize that if one stays put in San Pancho for a while with an open mind, an open heart, and a little patience, everything comes to you. If you're a fairly regular reader of this column, you already know that one of San Pancho's residents is Gilles Ste-Croix. A co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, Gilles--with his wife Monique Voyer and entreamigos, our remarkable educational community center--created Circo de los Niños, the children's circus which will present their 2015 show on March 19, 20, and 21. Over the years, Gilles has brought... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2015 at San Pancho Vida
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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