Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fat Tuesday

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Here in Ajijic, the days preceding Lent are celebratory and full of interesting activities like parades, art shows, mariachis and other type bands in the plaza, plus storing up the fat before the fast with lots of eating and drinking!Men seem to enjoy dressing up like women at the parades. I think they signify the devil/evil then are transformed to good. The pictures tell the story better than words. Men on stilts. How do they do that on the cobblestones of Ajijic? Broken ankles are the most common mishaps here due to the uneven cobblestones!
Peacock float.
Men discovering their inner feminist!
Fish float.
Disney inspired; I see Cinderella. Just regular horses. We hear them clip-clop past our house morning and evening.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I've Got the Winter Oranges & Reds

Monday, February 20, 2012 So many of you are suffering through cold weather, no mail and closed banks today for President's Day and I am basking in the flower and sun-filled patio
of the B&B we are staying at this week in Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico. From here we could here a parade pass by; a preamble to Mardi Gras, I suppose. It was a little strange to hear a celebratory parade at noon on a Monday work day, but stranger things have happened here in Mexico! We arrived last Thursday and so far it has been a nice relaxing pace. Our B&B is filled with 9 other very nice couples many from various parts of Canada, so the conversation at breakfast is always lively. Yesterday the main plaza in our little town was also very lively with Mardi Gras doings. We went to a parade
where among other things, people dress in devilish masks and through white flour on the heads of unwitting observers.
Others who follow along later also throw confetti.
What is the significance, you ask? The "bad devils" are throwing flour and then the "good devils" counteract it with confetti! As the only foreigners in the group where we stood, I wondered if we would fall victim to being covered in flour. We were spared, but a young man who was standing right next to us got a good dose and it wasn't just a sprinkle but the devil mashed it right into his hair! Our days waffle between taking walks to see the sights
, walking to find a meal and crochet and books to read. The sun is very intense here at 5,000 feet altitude, so we have to take care to cover in sun tan lotion and pace ourselves!Deciding what to bring along, crochet-wise, is always a challenge.This year I brought along quite a few bead-crochet projects. The beads travel compactly and it is one of my favorite types of crochet. I also brought along a WIP (work in progress)which has been hibernating since I started it here last year! It is a heart pillow top with very poorly written instructions. It just wasn't looking right and got thrown into the frustration pile. Determined to finish it in a, perhaps, more relaxed and non-pressure atmosphere, I am proud to say that it is finished! I will have to "finish-finish" it when I return home as far as making the fabric pillow goes, but that is a piece of cake! The crochet is done and this is what it looks like:
Another strange project i brought along is a booklet of Barbie Doll clothes. "Strange" I say because I never allowed my daughters to have Barbie dolls when they were growing up. I fell into that category of feminists who just didn't see the need for flaunting the female figure at that young age. However, I picked up this booklet at my CGOA chapter pattern exchange and now appreciate the projects as a pattern reading challenge. I have started with the "party dress" which has an abundance of ruffles and is quite interesting in its construction. It's turning out to be just a "3-night project" and next on this list will be the wedding dress which is quite elaborate. If someday my granddaughter decides she wants to play with Barbies, I will be prepared with a couple of interesting outfits! My International Free Form Crochet Guild (IFFCG) Challenge project for 2012 is due March, so I brought that in progress to hopefully get finished too. It will be somewhat of an International project his year sinceI will have to buy fabric here in order to finish it. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Crochet Delivers

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 I was delighted to be asked to teach beginning crochet to a patient in the OB department of my local hospital last week. Many of you who know me, know that I have a background in nursing, so this is not such an odd request. Also, the last non-crochet job that I had was at this same hospital in the Adult Day center where I worked as an activity specialist. I had a weekly crochet group there and it was amazing how therapeutic the weekly crochet was for my clients with dementia! The lady I taught had never ever crocheted and she caught on real fast. Her baby is due in April but her water broke two weeks ago! So, needless to say, she is one bed rest and was beginning to go stir-crazy! Her doctor was looking to provide some activities to keep her mind occupied and she expressed interest in learning crochet. I took her yarn, hook and a basic how-to book and spent an hour with her. She was working nice even single crochets by the time I left an hour later. I didn't want to wear her out by staying any longer than that. Once again, crochet has come to the rescue as a therapeutic activity. Crochet delivers, but let's hope her baby boy has not delivered yet! Because of the Hippa laws, I will likely never know, but what I do know is that she now has a skill that will come in handy for years to come! My last class in the series of three at the bead store finished with a bang on Saturday! The shop owner had her appendix removed on Friday night before the class was to take place! Carol had the foresight to call one of the students and get the key to her somehow so that we could continue with class. We had a steady stream of customers coming in and out of the shop and we took turns helping them during class. The student, now experts in crochet for two weeks, took to the wire crochet very well and by the end of class were thinking of their own ideas of how they could incorporate multiple bead deviations with the wire. Sweet success! I learned a thing or two also!