Dia de la Revolucion — Mexico Independence Day

Mexico’s Revolution Day (Dia de la Revolucion) is a national public holiday that celebrates a 10-year revolution that began in 1910 to end the struggle against dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz Mori.

Our town celebrates with a grand parade comprised mostly of the children — school groups, dance groups, sports groups — with a few cowboys and their horses thrown in. After all this isn’t just a beach town. It’s also ranch country.

Here are some little revolutionaries.























And their ammo.













More revolutionaries.























Traffic in Mexico

Not at all an unusual sight in our area. Often we see the riders in town too and using their cell phones while the horse makes its way seemingly unguided.


Storm watch and the useless Internet

The Mall in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta)

Stores? Of course. Our favorite is the Liverpool department store. Click here

Decorations? Of course:


And fun for the kids!

There is also a “jumping place” ie trampoline area that the munchkin particularly loves. For more about the mall click here







They Came – Billie Milholland

I thought this book might be interesting. It’s not. It’s fascinating. And frustrating. As I read about each woman, I invariably wanted to know more.

What inspired Milholland to undertake the enormous task of gathering all these bits of information together? Billie writes, Women in our small Canadian prairie town didn’t have first names. They were Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Day, Baba Yewchin. The day I realized I didn’t know the first names of either of my own grandmothers was the day I began specific research of They Came.

The stories are often hilarious and more often harrowing.

Edith Vandiver Scoggins and her babies were alone on the homestead when her husband went away to work on a road construction crew. Their cows wandered everywhere because they had no fences. Every evening before Edith went looking for the cows, she tied the baby into a high chair in the yard. She stationed her toddler beside the chair, with strict instruction to sing at the top of her little lungs. The dog sat beside her and howled. As long as Edith could hear the racket, she knew her children were safe.

Milholland included a recipe from each of the women. Edith’s daughter remembers her mother’s good thick Potato Soup. I love this bit of Edith’s recipe. Cube potatoes as small as patience will allow, until you have a full pot.


European settlement of Western Canada was both rapid and dramatic. People came from all over the world to take advantage of cheap land ($10 for 160 acres/64.7 hectares). Women most often came with parents, or followed husbands and brothers. They traded extended family life in familiar landscapes imbued with ancient histories for life in an undeveloped country with few roads and rough, new communities full of people from diverse cultures, speaking dozens of different languages.

We know the stories of men who settled and developed the West, but of the women, except for a handful of rich and famous, we know little. They Came tells the heroic stories of 113 women who came to Western Canada from somewhere else between 1890 and 1950. Following each story is a recipe, something the children and grandchildren remember fondly….

See more here:



Who knew a book about math could be so entertaining?

Who knew a book about math could be so entertaining. Thank you to my Venezuelan friend who introduced me to this book. Originally written in Portuguese, she received a Spanish translation and here it is in English.



May 6 was the National Day of Mathematics in Brazil. This day was chosen because it was the birthday of Julio Cesar de Mello e Souza, a maths teacher from Rio de Janeiro, who was also the author of Brazil’s most famous literary hoax, O Homem que Calculava (The Man Who Counted), which is also one of the most successful books ever written in Brazil.

It’s a hoax because when the book was first published in 1932, it was said to be the work of an Arabian author, Malba Tahan.  

Melle e Souza created Tahan because he realized that it was easier to get published in Brazil, during the 1930s, if you used a foreign pseudonym. Apparently Brazilian publishers didn’t have much faith in local authors.

Mello e Souza created an elaborate history for Malba Tahan. Born in 1885 near Mecca, he had travelled all over the world, including – bizarrely – a 12-year stint in Manchester where his father was a successful wine salesman. Malba Tahan had died fighting for the liberty of a group of Bedouins in the desert.
When Mello e Souza began writing as Malba Tahan, only the proprietor of the newspaper that printed the stories was in on the joke. For several years no-one knew that the famous Arab author was actually a local maths teacher whose other passion was collecting porcelain frogs. When eventually Malba Tahan was outed as humble Julio Cesar de Mello e Souza, however, he was famous enough for it not to matter.