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I was just wondering…

Often, I find that the word I grew up using isn’t the word that they use here in Yucatan. For example, enchufe is replaced by the word contacto, that’s an electrical outlet or socket in English. I’ve grown accustomed to getting blank looks when I speak Spanish, but I wasn’t prepared when the same thing happened to me in English! At a recent meeting of the Merida Writer’s Group,I read the first draft of the sugar chapter in my book. I used the word soda, mainly because I didn’t want to signal out Coke or Pepsi but wanted a generic term. LG explained that in the part of Canada she is from, soda means bicarbonate of soda or maybe carbonated water, like in the phrase, “I’ll have scotch and soda, please.” My curiosity is piqued, I’ve been pestering all my friends, asking them the generic term for soft drinks in their home region. Now it’s your turn,II need your help.What ...

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Success with photographing a painting!

Faire Brat Following Calypso and EricC’s advice I think I have the glare problem licked. Not glazing this portrait probably helped too. I learned quite a lot from this portrait. At one point, the lad resembled several faire brats of my acquaintance. I almost left it like that. I also had a problem blending flesh tones. Putty is not an attractive skin color, no matter how skillfully rendered the rest of the portrait is. The painting class is designed for us to finish a painting in one four hour session. I’ve realized that this format is a guideline, it’s okay for me to take longer. Faire Brat took much longer, I started it last week, worked on it for several hours between classes and finally finished it during this week’s class. Having our teacher point out things that were eluding me, helped so much. Saying that painting is a profound experience for me sounds pretentious. However it’s true. It is ...

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I made jelly!

Not being able to sleep I started making jelly last night around 10 pm and I finished this morning at 7am. I did go to bed around 11pm, so I really can’t say that I stayed up all night making jelly. I did my internet research, I also looked at every cookbook that I own and finally settled on a recipe for Jalapeño Jelly to adapt. This recipe for Pineapple Habanero Jelly looked really good too but it called for pectin which I haven’t found or made yet. I did a cross between the two. My recipe can be found here. I didn’t have any fresh cranberries so even though I was making a half recipe I used almost as much water as the original recipe called for, I also used an entire bell not a half,so my recipe still yielded almost 4 cups of jelly. I wasn’t sure if my granny smith apples were tart enough so I still ...

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A word to the wise

I just read this piece of advice. I wish that I had received it and more importantly followed it when we first came here. Before you need one, get the name of a good attorney and a good doctor, then investigate them. If you should ever need one, you won’t have the luxury of shopping around. I might also add that the attorneys on the list provided by the American Consulate are on that list because they have expressed a desire to work with Americans, not because the Consulate is recommending them. There is an ancient Chinese curse that goes “May you live in interesting times”. My times are indeed interesting.

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recreating from scratch

Re-creating, recreation, that is the theme for today. I got my computer back yesterday, the technician backed up all my files that weren’t applications, so in theory I still have all my photos and files. You no doubt noticed that qualifying in theory, because I haven’t figured out where they are hiding. I have looked but no luck so far. Then I also lost all my bookmarks, which made me realize that my blog roll is not up to date. My to-do list is growing. On the re-creation theme, I am intrigued by alternative energy and housing. My longtime dream was to be self-sufficient, I wanted a small homestead and an energy efficient home. The Earthship concept fascinates me, but what I really love are underground houses. Cob houses which look like Hobbit houses are my favorite. Sadly, none of those techniques are really appropriate for where we live.They depend upon a resource that is scarce here, soil! The only ...

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