Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bye Bye Blog

Sweeping at the cabin
I am done with this blog. It is finished and will not have any more entries. My original intention was to create a record of impressions and photographs of our time in Mexico. Continuing on from this point risks straying into the trivial or the repetitive. The world probably does not need to know what books I am reading or that we are having tamales for dinner again.

I failed to capture some things. I love all the mental images I have of old people in town, and the scenes of people sweeping the streets and sidewalks. Pointing a camera at such folks is not something I have been able to do, however. It seems rude. Also I never did get a good picture of a burro... Oh, well, there will always be burros.

Of course, I will continue to knit and to read knitting blogs. I just don't feel like the knitting alone is enough to sustain my writing. Documenting my knitting has been mildly interesting for me, but hardly necessary. It is no big deal.

Thanks for looking in. Adios.

Knitting Paintings

This is a collaboration. I can knit and I can draw but I am afraid of the paints. My mother-in-law, Carolyn, was willing to put her brush in the water and express with color what I had explained. She is good!

The paintings are small, about 5"x7".

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Different Points of View

When Dave and I are in a car together, or when we are walking, he sees things I would never see if I were alone. He points out new cell phone towers, antennas and satellite dishes. Oh look, that cement plant must use that gravel pit. Did you see how much rebar they are using in that bridge?

I have recently learned about the conversion of engines from gasoline to propane. Hadn't I ever noticed that forklifts always use propane as a source of fuel? Well, no, I had not. Construction techniques, motorcycles made in Mexico, storm drains and all manner of airplanes and helicopters may have just passed me by had I not had Dave along to point them out.

And what do I look at? I observe nature as sort of a broad background, but mostly I look at people. I see fresh faced children with gel in their smooth hair, in clean uniforms on their way to school. I see vigorous teenagers in the streets. I notice morbid obesity, the curve of scoliosis and a not-very-old woman with a missing breast and a chemo scarf. I see the uneven gait of arthritis and the raised shoulders and pursed lips of emphysema. I can't help but see garbage everywhere and all the dog poop, but also can't help but notice the unwavering yielding of seats on the bus to the pregnant women and los ancianos, the old ones.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Casting About

A friend brought me 26 balls of yarn in mid-January, which I hoped would last me until our return to the States the first part of April. Half of it is heavier than I thought and does not seem suitable for the scarves I planned to make. I have tried...

All of these attempts are scarves from Scarf Style and all are rejects:

Here and There Cables - too bulky, despite narrowing the pattern.

Ruffles - no drape, too bulky.

Vintage Velvet - too bulky.

So I made a hat, which is okay. It also seemed to head in a different direction than what I envisioned but that is the way it goes sometimes.

Needles: US 8

Yarn: Peruvian Collection Sierra Aran from Elann
2 balls

Pattern: I used the chart from the Fair Isle Jazz scarf in Scarf Style

Monday, February 06, 2006

Plan C

Plan A

We move to Puerto Vallarta for the school year. We will enjoy the mild weather and the luxury of not working.

Plan B

Dave does not have quite enough to do. He is a bit tired of reading books and cooking up chiles rellenos for dinner. He wants to buy a neighbor's motorcycle and cruise around the back roads, just to look around and for something to do.

You can imagine the discussion that ensued, between a former ER nurse and a father of two.

Anyway, it turns out the neighbor didn't have a title for the bike, so the plan was shelved.

Plan C

Go back to Alaska and take the snowmachine in to the cabin. Have fun, Dave.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Here is a strategy that will save you or your medical insurance provider hundreds of dollars. Just wear your reading glasses and your sunglasses at the same time. Who needs blended bifocal autotints?


Friday, February 03, 2006

A Really Long Vacation

We live here, I guess. It seems like we only "sort of" live here.

When we decided to move to Mexico for the school year, my idea of it was total immersion in the language and culture. A year is a long time. We would have our own place, Ray would be in school and we would get to know people in the neighborhood and through the school and through whatever activities we became involved in.

Most of that has happened, though not to the degree that I had imagined. Our year is actually eight months. We have our own place but it is a rented apartment and we are missing a lot of our "stuff". Dave doesn't even have a screwdriver. We have uncomfortable furniture and minimal cookware. There is no hardship involved in this situation; it just makes life here a little less our own.

Ray is in school and we have become friends with some of the other parents. We have had dinners together, gone swimming and we talk on the phone once in a while. But our friendships have boundaries because we are only in Puerto Vallarta until April. I think if we "really" lived here, the friendships would feel less temporary. Dave and I have also failed to learn as much Spanish as I had hoped. This is town filled with English speakers. I am not proud to say it but I have taken the path of least resistance and have slackened dramatically on my study of the language. I learn a bit more here and there, but mostly I get by with what skills I had to begin with.

We have not really involved ourselves with any groups or activities here that would connect us to the community. We thought "something would come up" but nothing really has. We pal around with Dave's parents, we take care of the house and take care of Ray, we go to movies and buy groceries and walk every day for exercise and we are actually busy enough. It is just that our lives seem to run alongside the lives of people who live here and don't intersect with them all that much.

I think the real difference is working. I lived in Zambia for a year and a half and I didn't feel this same sort of funny disconnect. I worked there and I got to know the people at work. It was quite different than this experience. This feels like a really long vacation.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sayulita Fans

Sayulita is about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. It is in a different state and a different time zone and it attracts a lot of people from Juneau. It is hard to know exactly how these things start but one person discovers a place, the word spreads and the next thing you know, you are running into someone you know 3000 miles from home.

A group of friends from Haines, 5 women, 4 teenage girls and 1 man, came down to Sayulita for a week at Thanksgiving. Cris and Laura come down with their families every year for a two week break at Christmas. There are a lot of nice houses for rent near the beach. Everybody likes the warm sun.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


We live in Alaska, most of the time, in Juneau. When we decided to come to Puerto Vallarta for the school year, we invited everybody to come for a visit.

John swills hot sauce from the bottle.

Dianne parasails. (See that speck? That's Dianne!)

Brad and Donna
Brad and Donna, skiers at heart, are waiting for enough snow for the ski area to open in Juneau.
Tim and Sue
Tim and Sue, at home anywhere...