We’re Not Hosting an Intergalactic Kegger Down Here…
Jun 27th, 2011 by David

“Being a “certain” in a world that is uncertain is like sunshine turning the buttercup’s head brightly illuminating the shadows and bringing laughter to the world.”

“And God said, Let there be light and there was light, but the CFE (Mexican Electric Company) said He would have to wait until Monday to be connected…around 11:00 a.m.”

We’re simply enjoying the sunshine!  I was standing in our Mexican colonial


kitchen (read “old” here) the other day and my eyes drifted to the glass art hanging atop our kitchen windows. My daughter and son are both talented in the art department.  Trust me there is absolutely no fertile soil when it comes to art in any bone in my body. Consequently, when I look at pieces of art they’ve created or David’s photography it is with amazement and awe.  Any who, she is a glass artist among many other things and created this circle of warmth for me some time ago. 

Sunshine and Hummingbirds

There gamboled playfully in the breeze among tiffany lamps, laptop computer, pens, pencils and the almost ever-present Mexican sunshine sat a beacon to what the sun’s rays add to our lives.

Sunshine is like finding a good dictionary with a detailed etymology.  Sunshine allows you to study the origin of all that it illuminates setting the mind free to wonder, for instance, how did the long

Copper - Black and White Long Hair

haired guinea pig (not indigenous to Mexico) end up in our backyard?

Copper and Peaches

The humorous part of this diatribe is it is the rainy season here in Ajijic.  Consequently it rains fairly often, mostly at night and, yet, the sunshine usually manages to appear, in a peek-a-boo fashion each day.  It is not like my native Wisconsin where, even if the sun might be shining, it sometimes gets cold enough to freeze the balls off a pool table.  Again, I digress.

We’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet a myriad of people while living in our tiny little village in the middle of Mexico.  People from all over the world and, I suspect, some from off planet (such as myself) who are more attuned to the universe and beyond.  Gotta love um!

The sunshine that literally leaps from the smiling faces of nationals and visitors, snowbirds, expats and the like give warmth to the body and sustenance to the soul.  There are times when a smile can cause me to run up the door, close the stairs, said my jamies and put on my prayers, turn off the bed and hop in the light, all because their smile said have a good night.  Do I, dear reader, detect a fulminating stare, whilst what I have said leaves you flustered, flummoxed and flabbergasted all the while a smile gently begins to caresses your lips?  If so, my work here is done….don’t you wish??!!

Let’s face it life is like a grapefruit.  It’s yellow or red, squishy and has a few pips in it.  My thought, the pips are the people who bring sunshine into the room every time they enter therein.

We have a group of people who have lived here varying lengths of time from a couple of months to over ten years.  Each time one of our blog readers contacts me to say: “we are going to be in town” I round up this eclectic group of wonderful people up and we get together to welcome these travelers into our midsts.  The travelers are not seekers of esoteric knowledge … they simply want to know things like:

What brought you here?

Why did you stay?

Why do the roosters crow all night long?

What’s with the firecrackers?

And things of that sort.  The current residents bring with them copies of instructions on what has to be done, for instance, to get your pets into Mexico to copies of business cards of people who they have used and have been very helpful to them.  They also bring their smiles, warm handshakes, laughter and enthusiasm tempered with “having been there and done that”.

Is this the best place in the world to be?  Probably not.  It is a small village in central Mexico on the country’s largest lake where many people still live in adobe houses, celebrate just about anything by setting off firecrackers, building bonfires in the street as daylight ends sitting around small street vendors carts filled with local delights drinking the ever-present tequila and having a raucous good time.  It is not perfect.  It is not, in many ways, different from where we all come from in the sense that there is both good and bad.  However, in these uncertain times it is a place of almost constant sunshine, temperate weather, a huge number of artists from all over the world, a temperament of welcome, joy, possibilities, inspiration and, yes, lots of laughter.  I’m reminded of my mother’s comment to me about laughter…it’s bad to suppress laughter; it goes back down to your hips.  Consequently, I’m literally laughing my …well you get my drift!  Viva Mexico!

Below are some more of David’s wonderful walk about photography.  Enjoy!


Rainy Season Clouds and Mountains

Malecon and Clouds

Amphitheatre Mountains and Clouds

Clouds Boat Etc.

Hummingbird and New Feeder

We Lusty Bibliophiles
Jun 13th, 2011 by Les

The only true equalizers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you carry beyond the grave is wisdom. ~ J.A. Langford – Author of Langford Pub

We lusty bibliophiles know that reading, unlike just about anything else, is both good for you and loads of fun. ~ Kevin Smokler – Writer

There is a library at the Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic. It is open 10 – 2 Monday – Friday.  There is a library nearby in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco on Hidalgo with books in many languages.  There are many libraries in Guadalajara.

I have been referred to as a bibliophile forever by friends and family.  I am a card carrying member of BBAA (Book Buying Addicts Anonymous) and proud of it!  Over the course of years when I have had a little money I have bought a book and, if I have any left, I just might buy food or clothing.  I have special authors I’ve grown to know and love.  I await with bated breath a new offering from any of them.  Don’t get me wrong and believe me when I say no one would refer to me as Poindexter.  Quite honestly I’m not ashamed to call Tech Support, I’m down right proud to admit my technical ignorance to eggheads everywhere.

I do believe a book is a portal into another dimension as well as a piece of living history.  In my travels I have always made sure I visited book stores, libraries, museums.  Who hasn’t?  From London with its fabulous historical bookstores with wood made shiny having been trod upon by so many people entering their doors and book shelves laden with every kind of book imaginable bending under the weight to, now, the small libraries in the Village of Ajijic…all have been a wonderful adventure.

However there were some sleepless nights when we first arrived and my book cache had begun to dwindle.  I felt as if my inner madman, usually under lock and key, was wandering about free as a well, unbound book.  Let’s face it madness takes its toll and one must always have exact change.

There are bazaars with used books everywhere you look, thank goodness.  One of the local animal shelters who help to take care of the too many abandoned, unloved and uncared for animals has many used books for sale to help defray the cost of caring for these wonderful creatures.

If there is a book sale I naturally gravitate toward it as if a magnet has me within its pull.  The Internet has made it much easier to keep track of what is going on in our mother countries and what a blessing that is to all of us living here or anywhere else in the world.

I used to order books from the states.  It would take anywhere from three to four weeks to get them and, quite often the box had been opened somewhere in transit.  I’m one of those crazy people who take care of the spine of a book when reading and try to keep it in great shape having more then the average person’s difficulty with getting rid of books I’ve already read. When coming down here you must consider the cost of moving those heavy books.

My children gave me a Kindle for Christmas and I was overjoyed…tempered with the thought how can I take pleasure in a good read if I’m not holding a book?  The mere act of picking up a book after a long hard day was soothing and restful.  Books got my mind off of work and often times made me laugh out loud.  Admittedly, the maniacal laugh might have been a little disconcerting to David.  He is now used to it!  With a Kindle or Nook you can have a book in less then 60 seconds!  Amazingly wonderful!!

I’m the type who can’t be without the next book.  There have been times when I was so desperate to read anything I did just that, read anything to distraction.  Suddenly the book that came with my new Black and Decker fry pan was one of the most intriguing pieces of literature I could get my hands on.

It would be like reading Faust today; no doubt it is a classic.  However, Goethe might find himself out of luck trying to sell it to current readers.  I guess emphasizing the humor in the dialog which seemed to give all the good lines to the devil might encourage someone.  Getting a book in 60 seconds probably means I won’t be reading Faust again soon but, if the need arises, I know I could have it with the snap of a finger.

I’ve heard it said many times over the years by people who have lived in countries other then their own, you learn to love the books you have and read them over and over.  A book, written in your native language was a treat beyond imagination.

In closing, I am happy to report, I haven’t lost my mind….I have a tape backup somewhere and, for now, there are many, many books here to keep my fellow bibliophiles happy.  Technology has had mixed reviews over the years.  Now you can’t pry the Kindle out of my hand and, amazingly, I’d be absolutely lost without it.

Viva Mexico!

David has been doing many a walk about (thank you, our Aussie friends, for that wonderful phrase) lately.  Below are just a few of the photographs he’s taken.  Enjoy!

Set Fires on the Mountains Preparing for the Growing Season

Fan Palm

Lake Chapala


Orange Blossoms

Boat Doorway

Shops on Colon

Ajijic Plaza

Tree Lined Street


Palms Silhouette

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© Copyright 2009-2011 David and Les Lawrence, Ajijic, Mexico