Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The other day, Rowan and I put the honey-supers on the hives. Honey supers are just like regular beehive boxes, but shorter, so that when they are full of honey they will only weigh about forty pounds instead of eighty or a hundred pounds.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Raspberry season is almost over. We pretty much missed it by going to Mexico for most of July. Although Whatcom county produces prodigious quantities of raspberries (I'm pretty sure it is the top raspberry producing county in the country) the season is quite short. For a few weeks everyone is drowning in beautifully fragrant ruby colored fruit, and then - BAM - it's all gone for another year. Lynden puts on a Raspberry Festival in the middle of July every year, and it's a quintessential small-town fair, with a raspberry queen, and all-you-can-eat raspberry sundaes, and a stage for the local kids to put on dance recitals and stuff like that. I was sorry to miss it this year - all-you-can-eat raspberry sundaes are totally my thing.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
The inside of the central dome of Santo Domingo, the largest and most magnificent church in Oaxaca. It was built as a convent in the mid-sixteenth century and now houses a very fine museum as well as, of course, still functioning as a church.
A painting in an exhibit in a gallery downtown. The exhibit was focused around the deadly train journey that so many central American migrants make on their way to the U.S. I haven't the time nor the heart to go into it now, but an excellent book on the subject is "Enrique's Journey." The exhibit, although it contained some fabulous art, was truly disturbing and gave my children nightmares. I shouldn't have taken them inside. I was only looking for a bathroom.
A typical street scene. A typical house on a typical day. Beautiful, isn't it?
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The view from the top of Homero's street. The mountains in the background are the Sierra Madre Occidental, and they separate Oaxaca from Vera Cruz state. It is raining high in the hills.
Homero and Alejandro (my Brother in law and Compadre) in the backyard of Alejandro's and Temy's house. The vines over their heads grow chayotes and zacate.
A young man preparing to don a "torito." The fireworks attatched to the frame will be lit and he will dance around and charge the crowd while sparks shoot out. This torito was part of the calendaria for the Church of the Sacred Heart of Christ's feast day, July 4th. Best fireworks show EVER!
Friday, July 16, 2010
We are back in Oaxaca after a three day trip to the coast. Oaxaca is a nice, medium sized city in a broad valley between two mountain ranges, the Sierra Madre Oriente and the Sierra Madre Orientale (That's West and East, to you gringos). We crossed one of these ranges - 100 miles of unbroken hairpin turns, spectacular views, and incredibly vertical villages - to Las Bahias de Huatulco, a region rather than a single town, with a few scattered towns and a series of a dozen or so gorgeous coral studded bays to swim in.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I did not know that Google automatically translates all my posts into Spanish. Love you, relatives! You guys are the greatest and Mexico is the greatest country in the WOOOOORRLLD!!!
Posted by Aimee at 9:03 AM
Friday, July 9, 2010
Here comes the hate, in a big uncontrollable stream of consciousness flood:
Well, actually all I have time to do is list off a few more things I love, then we are off to the cheap dentist. But the hate is coming, I promise!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I blame it all on a natural aptitude for languages. Way back in second grade, my school started a twice-a-week Spanish class, and my seven year old self loved it. I was GOOD at Spanish - I quickly outstripped my classmates and impressed my teacher. Being the obnoxious little show off that I was, I absolutely adored being told I was amazing and basked in praise, so I looked forward to Spanish every day and worked hard to be the best.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I am having a ball in Oaxaca.
The trip down was long (about 42 hours from door to door) but went off without a hitch. Both planes took off on time, and we got into Mexico City about midnight, local time. Taxi to a hotel (Los Azores, I highly recommend it; clean, cheap, and two blocks off the Zocalo) and we slept for six hours. In the morning, we walked to the Zocalo and took a tour of the cathedral (NOT to be missed.). Then we were off to the bus station to catch a bus for the six hour ride to Oaxaca.
We arrived in the city at about 10 pm, and everyone met us at the bus station. Mama had made a hot dinner, which was a good thing, since we hadn't eaten in about twelve hours, and we all enjoyed some food and conversation before falling into a deep, coma-like sleep.
The weather here has been pretty nice so far - about 85 degrees all day but in the afternoon it clouds over and usually rains for a half hour or so, and in the wake of the showers the air is cool and fresh. The rains have revived the trees and everywhere you look there are flowers: bouganvilla, jacaranda, hibiscus, and so many others I don't know. There is plenty of water now, and we don't have to be more than ordinarily careful (which is to say; five minute showers.) Everyone ere is in good health and good spirits.
Sunday - yesterday - July fourth, happened to be election day across all of Mexico. It also happened to be a very important saint's day and one of the major downtown churches was putting on a procession and a fireworks show. All the major political parties were gathered in the Zocalo with their own fireworks and celebrations awaiting the election results, so we decided to go downtown and enjoy the atmosphere.
Man, I really wish I had the ability here to upload the photos and videos I took. My fellow Americans, I guarantee you you have never seen a fourth of july fireworks display like the one I witnessed last night. For one thing, it would be so highly illegal it's not even funny. There were four or five "toritos," or "little bulls," which are a kind of wearable fireworks display mounted on a paper-mache bull. Young men put on the whole contraption over their heads and run around, dancing and charging the crowd while colored sparks fly in all directions. Other young men jump into the ring to act as "matadores" and dance with the bull. The game is to get as close as possible, sometimes even snatching the armarture away, without getting burned. We were right at the front of the crowd, and the children screamed and laughed and covered their eyes as the bulls charged them and the sparks showered down over their heads.
The toritos were not the main attraction, though. The main attraction was a tower, some eighty feet tall, all made of fireworks. It had two columns of spinning wheels, in six different colors, and a giant butterfly that spun out over the crowd. Further up, there was a peacock with fiery green feathers that shot red flames from it's paper-mache beak. And at the top, I kid you not, there was a larger than life sized crucified jesus, and a spinning crown of thorns with letters of fire that spelled out "the sacred heart of christ." Could there be anything more gaudy, gorgeous, and deeply Mexican than an 80-foot flaming Jesus?
I tell you I was so happy I could barely speak. The tower was very expertly constructed and beautifully engineered so that the sparks died out just as they were about to touch your upturned face, and the spinning wheels threw out great gouts of fire, but all pointed up, away from the crowd. In actual fact I doubt we were any danger, but it felt deliciously dangerous and just the right mix of wonder and terror.
After the show, we had hot roasted ears of corn and then cool ice cream in flavors like guava and tamarind. Then, exhaughsted, we slowly stumbled back to the car, drove home, and staggered into our rooms to sleep naked on top of the covers in the heat of the night.
I slept until 11 a.m. this morning.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
We leave tomorrow morning, 8 A.M. sharp, on our first vacation in years. Actually, I do believe it's the first vacation we have taken (longer than an overnight) since we have had animals. I very luckily managed to contract a farmsitter who seems to be competent, knowledgeable, and honest, insofar as I can judge on short acquaintance. Short acquaintance is all I had, because the farmsittter I had previously hired bugged out on me two weeks before our departure date. Apparently she got pregnant or something. Sheesh.