Saturday, February 28, 2009


Yesterday I bought a basket of strawberries. The weather has been very warm, and since Irapuato is the major producer of strawberries in Mexico, I just had to buy some. "Some" meaning about five or six kgs. (about 10 pounds). They are very cheap here. The basket cost $6o pesos (about $4.oo dollars).
What, you may ask, do I do with so many strawberries? What I usually do is use them for strawberry "water" (agua de fresa), milkshakes, and strawberries with cream. Since they spoil very fast, I slice them, and layer them with sugar. Then I put them in small bags and freeze them. Whenever I am going to make a milkshake or water, I just toss the frozen contents into the blender and presto.

This is a typical strawberry basket. There is even a strawberry market
that only sells them. I had already taken
out some of the contents. It is
sold full to the brim.

Right after disinfecting them. Aren't they beauties?

Little does this strawberry know what it's fate will be.

A dusting of sugar, and plop, into my mouth!!

Layers of sliced strawberries and sugar.

And for desert, strawberries, cream, and sugar.

If you ever come my way, I will treat you to this. That is, if you are not allergic.
Have a great Sunday!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

¡¡Felíz Cumpleaños, Mama!!

This is my beautiful Mama. Today is her birthday. She is the best Yoga teacher in Puerto Rico (literally). Her students love her, and of course I love her more. Mama, I want to wish you a happy birthday, and I hope I can see you soon. Te amo siempre, muá.....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hombre de Alambre.

My oldest son found some wire lying around, and shaped it into a "man". I hadn't seen it till recently. Since I've been watering the plants, it's gotten wet and rusted. But I like the way it looks. I stuck it into this miniature cactus pot.

Wire man. I like him.
Have a great beginning of week.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Febrero loco, marzo otro poco......

February is crazy , March a bit crazy also...

In many parts of Mexico, February is the windy month, including a few days in March also. Here in Irapuato the winds started this week.

Today I washed some sheets and tablecloths and hung them on a line I have on the roof (90% of Mexicans line dry their clothes, about50% have the lines on the roof, very typical Mexican). The wind made those sheets move wildly, making very loud snapping sounds. Stuff was dry in 15 minutes.

Love the blueness of the sky....

Took a look towards the hill next to our street, and
saw a pastor driving his goats down it.
I consider myself lucky to live next to this hill.
I can frequently see things like this....

Beautiful Sunday....hope yours was the same.

Friday, February 20, 2009


First of all to blogger friend, Candace, thanks for you comment!!! And the photo was taken in Puerto Vallarta. I've written about this place before. We love the place!!

About the mosaics. After seeing the kids get excited about the previous art project, I asked my coordinator if they could do something equally creative for Cultural Week, and she gave me green light. I contacted local artist, Guadalupe, so she would come, and direct the mosaic making project.

I really enjoyed this activity (although I didn't make anything!! I'll go alone to her workshop and create something on my own). Most of the kids really got enthusiastic with the activity. Some got tired easily, but finished their project.

Guadalupe let them design whatever they wanted, with only one indication: not to draw the details too small, because the glass pieces would be difficult to cut to the right size. It's very funny the difference between a real artist, and a teacher: while she gave them total liberty, I would have given them instructions to follow, and would have wanted them to follow a pattern. I've got a lot to learn.

The technique is pretty simple. White glue (like Elmer's), fine paintbrush for applying the glue, glass tiles and pieces, her glass cutting pliers (this is an expensive tool, about $60 dollars. I swear I would buy it if I had the money!!), and the material to fill in the gaps between the glass pieces. Guadalupe charged them approximately $4.00 dollars, and took all the materials for the kids to use. The kids took about 2 1/2 hours to make the mosaic, and Guadalupe came the next day to fill in the spaces. I think it was pretty cheap for an original work of art. Most gave the finished product to their parents as a Valentine's Day gift.

Anyway, here are some photos of their progress. Unfortunately, I didn't take my camera to photograph the final result.

Guadalupe cutting some glass pieces. She also makes some
beautiful melted glass

This last one was one of my favorites after it was all done. It looked
really different. Guadalupe
made the mixture to "fraguar" it. I don't remember
how it's said in English. I think it's grout.

I like to promote anything local (artists, coffee shops, etc.). I have nothing against Starbucks, or Wal-Mart, hey, everybody has the right to make a living. But there are so many good stuff right here in the neighborhood, that I think it would be pretty wasteful not to consume locally. What do you think about consuming, or using your local services and products?

I hope you have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Art stuff.

The school I work at is bilingual. That means that they have double the classes than at any "normal" school. For example, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. they have normal Spanish classes (grammar, history, social studies, math, science). Then from 11:30 a.m. they have English classes (grammar, spelling, reading, science, written and oral expression). They also have music, phys. ed., and social work. That's a lot of stuff going on. So there is really little time for Art.

A few weeks ago I decided to make a project with them in which they analyzed a famous art piece. Then the would connect written expression (a biography of the artist), sequence (a time line with world events of year in which artist made his piece), and grammar (using adjectives for describing the piece). Lastly. but not least, they would bring material to make their own interpretation of the piece.

They got really excited about this. The girls' piece was "Les bétes de la mer" (The Beasts of the Sea) by Henri Matisse, and the boys' was "Electrical Prisms" by Sonia Dalaunay.
Some children (6th grade) showed great interest in making their own creation, but sadly, many made exact copies. Some were just gazing into space and could not come up with any original idea for the project.
I feel kids of this generation are being deprived of their imagination. Too much T.V., X Box, Wii, etc. is doing all the thinking for them, thus the lack of imagination. Some had great ideas, but after a few minutes, lost their patience, and ended up doing a generic version. Same thing happened with the mosaics they made last week (will show in a later post). They want everything instanly, with no waiting, no fuss.

I am planning on continuing with these types of projects for the next few months to see how they react.
Hope this helps them get interested in using their imagination and creating .

Here are some photos. A bit of everything. Some originals, some copies. At leat they did something with their hands, which I think is a great thing. One step at a time.


They were asked to use the same technique (collage),
and keep the sea theme. These are not bad. Some were exactly the same.

Some of the girls' work.


Some of the boys' works.

This one was more or less the same.

But this one I liked.

My son did me the favor of changing the header of my blog. I wanted a photo of my own, so we looked for the instructions, and for a first time we think it came out pretty good (the best is that it was free). Another way of creating. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Semana Cultural.

At last I'm putting up some photos from Cultural Week/Science Fair. A lot of work went into this, so you better put in some nice comments!!!

We were working for a whole weekend (Friday afternoon to Sunday), but we feel good about the job done. The students were very excited with their parts, and did it extremely well.

Opps! I forgot to tell you the theme. It was Great Classics of Literature. Some of the titles were: The Secret Garden, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Jungle Book, Hansel and Gretel, Alice in Wonderland, and a few more more. Mine was Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

We could adapt the story any which way we wanted. I decided to make a laboratory in which Dr. Frankenstein's assistants were busy helping him make the Modern Prometheus (the novel's original title). The students talked about the circulatory system, the nervous system, a bit of microsurgery used in face reconstruction, and the brain. Dr. Frankenstein wasn't at the lab so his assistants explained everything. The assistants used lab coats and were supposed to look kind of crazy (spiky hair, shadow under eyes, etc).

I've only got two photos of Loli's Journey to the Center of the Earth, and I'm only posting one.

This is Loli's classroom (by the way, she has bronchitis, so
if anyone reading the post know her, give her a call).
She had a chamoy fountain. You know those chocolate fountains
into which a person dips fruit into it while the chocolate is melted?
She filled it with chamoy
and gave slices of carrots and jicama. Since chamoy is red
it looked like a volcano (not seen here).

This is my classroom. Old anatomy photos, black tablecloths, candlesticks,
"wrought iron" on the windows.
The kids liked how the decoration came out.

In the back you can see a photo of Frankie.
Here students explained microsurgery and how the first "project"came out
pretty crummy looking. The photo beneath the red paper showed
the improvements on the new "project".

Yes, much better!! The girls chose Brat Pitt as the best
prototype. Girls will be girls!!

In this part, the circulatory system was explained. False blood,
intravenous material, syringes, and my Christmas lights.

The last station was an explanation of how the brain worked.
(Check out the hair!!)
The students here are starting to uncover......

People were really spooked out with these things. And they were even
offered a bit of this brain food!!!

These brains were really cool...literally!!

A delicious shrimp cocktail (some with surimi or octopuss) ,
made with gelatin and some
roasted peppers on top.
They were really good, although very few ventured
on tasting them.
Wonder why?

We're now giving bi-monthly exams. We have a lot of stuff to check. So hold on if I don't show up regularly. I'll be back as soon as I can.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Día de San Valentín

To all!! Family, friends, and people I've just met, please have a wonderful day full of Love from everybody and to everybody!
(Mosaic made yesterday by a 3rd grade student.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Still Alive.

Just resting after a chaotic weekend preparing for cultural week, and two days of presentations and activities. Will try to put up photos tomorrow. I'm just very, very tired, and I still have to hand in 3 exams this week.
Will leave you with photos of where I wish I were now: El Faro in the state of Michoacán (Pacific Coast). We camped here last summer.

Enjoy your week!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Día de la Candelaria

Today is the day in which those who got a "baby" in the rosca de reyes on Three Kings Day (Epiphany), had to make a celebration with tamales. Also on this day, the "Baby Jesus" from the Nativity, scene is "levantado" (lifted, or put away).
Our group of friends from school who got the baby on Three Kings Day, decided to have the feast on Friday, and instead of tamales, they decided for pozole. A few brought their babies, and we had a pleasant time. And the pozole was delicious!!!

Pozole with radishes, lettuce, onions, oregano, and lots of lime juice.
In other places in Mexico they also add avocado, white cheese,
and even sardines!!

Lolis's wicked sauce made of chile de árbol.

Lolis enjoying her pozole.

Claudia and Lourdes eating their tostada with cream. Mmmm!

And the "babies".

Also, today at church, there is a ceremony to bless the candles used during the year for religious purposes.
Have a great week.