Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Steel Pan Band of Esperanza Azteca Sonora Benefit in San Carlos

This is the Steel Pan Band of Ezperanza Azteca Sonora. There was a fund-raiser yesterday for this group to provide funds to assist in training young Mexicans' on the steel pan.  These kids played between performances of other musical talent from the area throughout the afternoon.  They did a great job and I'm sure their instructors are thrilled.

While we were driving out to the venue, this foggy mist drifted through the Tetakawi Cerro.  There was a huge cloud/fog bank out on the Sea of Cortez that looked ominous, but never came close to us.  It just dissipated during the afternoon, so we had great weather for this beach event.

The event was held at Soggy Peso's, an open-air restaurant/bar that has a great view and even greater sunsets.  They did a wonderful job providing food and drinks for over 200 people at this event.

Shown below are only a handful of the musically talented people who live and perform in San Carlos and who contributed to this event.  I didn't get photos of everyone, since I was one of the lucky people who were requested to collect donations during the event.  And, of course, I had to do a little socializing myself!

 This is Tana Threadgill, Leslie Sahlen and Lorena Robles.

I didn't get the names of these guys but they are a group from the RV park in town and I was told they sing there weekly at a happy hour.  They were quite good.


Sam Rainwater is one of our local TropRock guys, and he writes some great lyrics.

The Dudes specialize in classic rock and can be seen in a few places around town.

In addition to the musicians, there was a great performance of a local dance troupe in town.
This photo shows some of the steel pan players as well as some of the teachers and developers of the program.

At the entrance to the restaurant, we noticed this collection of paintings for sale by a local artist, great colors and he captures the area very well.

And to end the event, there was another great sunset on the beach.  Thanks to Susan E King for coordinating and planning this entire event - great job!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ceramics - Part 2

I have been enjoying my ceramics sessions.  Every member of the group has been requested to make a piece for the show and sale that will be held next month.  My choice is the bowl above, which is probably about 10 inches across.  The glaze I painted it with has little chunks of different colors which, when fired, make spots of different colors, creating this spotted look.  Unfortunately, this was taken by my cell phone, and doesn't show the true colors of the spots, which were bright green.
Lizzie is about 8 inches long and hangs around my campsite.  He was fun to do, but didn't turn out exactly like I wanted him to.  However, I keep hearing other members of the group saying that things don't usually turn out like you expect them to.  Still - he's cute.

This is my dragonfly - my favorite color.  He's now hanging around inside my 5th wheel.  I did two of these, but one is for the show/sale.  The photo of both of them is not as good, but is shown below.  These things are so shiny and reflective that it's hard to photograph.

Now I'm on to other projects, having fun along the way!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

San Carlos Afternoon

Four of us went out for lunch in a small fishing village called La Manga the other day.  When we walked in, this seagull was finishing his lunch - lobster.  There is a sign on a post nearby telling everyone not to feed the birds.  Doesn't much matter, since it's so open they just fly in and snag what they want.  A table just vacated by diners is open target for them.

Pretty good views and it was a bright sunshiny day!

When the seagulls are not eating, they hang around checking on their next target.

After we left that restaurant, we went to another one just to check it out.  This is the interior, which can be made very open by opening all the windows.  Love the palm tree inside, and the hanging lamps are made out of dried palm material.

Placemats are old record albums, with a record in the middle of the table.

Outside, there is a eucalyptus tree that has been split in half for tables with stumps for chairs.  The wide end of the table is about 3 feet across - gorgeous wood.

It was a breezy day, so the kite surfers were out having fun. 

This is one of the neighboring restaurants - love these palapa type structures.

The gate shown below is on a closed restaurant, I guess rope works well for security to keep people out, since it's still intact.  I love their creativeness in fixing things.

On the way home - we came across a 2 bus accident - looks like one bus tried to get in front of the other one.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dog Sitting

No, I have not started a new business, but I am dog sitting - well, 4 dogs and 1 cat down here in San Carlos, Mexico.  A friend who lives here asked if I would feed her dog while she was gone for a couple days.  Sure, no problem, I had met the dog multiple times and he's a sweetie.  Then I find out another friend is taking the trip with her - and they wanted to combine the dogs at one house, where I could stay.

The catch is that the other friend has 3 dogs - and a cat!  Haha - that would make a total of 5 animals - what a zoo!  I ended up counting dogs to be sure they were all present and accounted for!

I went over a couple times to meet the other three dogs so they could get to know me - what a group!  They are all wonderfully friendly animals and get along great with their cat buddy.  The cat was very aloof when I met him, but ended up sleeping at my feet the first night, purring away.  Typical cat behavior.

The largest dog was an ex-working dog and she always stays in the yard at the massive front gate - on guard duty.  She's very impressive-looking, as you can tell by the photo above, and the first day I came over to stay there, I was glad I had little dog biscuits to hand out because she was especially vocal. 

The next smaller one is a very friendly ex-street dog that my friend rescued after she was hurt.  She's so friendly and sweet, and she's up for adoption - in case anyone is interested.  Another one about the same size is older and therefore a little bit quieter than the others, but he will join in to warn people not to get too close.  The smallest one is a large Chihuahua, who pretty much stays in the background of the other dogs because they're more boisterous.  They all do their part when someone drives by, rides a bike, or walks by the house.  There is no problem with security with this crew.

The house is beautiful, the main bedroom is larger than my whole 5th wheel!  There are lots of Mexican tiles, and other artwork around, as well as local, rustic furniture.  The high ceiling is made of large tree trunks with bamboo sticks between the trunks to cover the ceiling, very rustic.  I enjoyed staying there for a few days, but I'm not about to trade in my 5th wheel for a house just yet.

And this is a photo of one of this weekend's sunsets.  The sun had just gone down and creates a glow that happens quite often in San Carlos.



Saturday, January 16, 2016

Exploring Guaymas, Mexico

This afternoon we set out to Guaymas, about 10 miles from San Carlos, to explore the road up to the antenna farm.  There was great scenery at every turn in the road and those antennas are a long way up there.

This is getting close to the top, I estimated that the mountain is a couple thousand feet in elevation, but didn't check at the top.

They built the road by chopping a pass through this tall rock formation.

These were a few of the antennas at the top.

And a couple views on the other side of the mountain.

As we started down, the sun was starting to set and we got some great light on the rock hills.

Of course the sunset itself was dramatic and gorgeous!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Scenes around San Carlos, Mexico

San Carlos is a pretty place, we have great sunsets, as seen in the photo above.  The other day, I was driving around on the back roads and came to an intersection with a few trees that I had not seen here before.  They're quite large and have some nasty little spikes on the trunks.

At the top of the trees, at least 10 feet up, the trunks are green and the thorns get a little smaller.  I remember a similar tree I found in the Caribbean, but I don't remember if it had the green trunks at the tops.

Below are more scenes from around the neighborhood.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ceramics - Project #1

When I got to San Carlos and knew I'd be spending several months here for the winter.  I decided I needed to fill some of my spare time with interesting things.  One of the clubs here has facilities for ceramics, something I'd never done, so why not try it?  I'd like to think I'm artistic in some way - still searching!
My first ever ceramic project is this southwest designed plate, 8" wide.  Very detailed work, silly of me to pick such an intricate piece.  Naturally, I see some problems and will treat that knowledge as lessons for future projects.  Future projects will probably not contain such intricate work!
This is what it looked like when I finished the 3 coats of glaze before it went into the kiln.  Colors were muted and more like pastels, but they say you never know how it will come out until it's fired.  Only some of the glazes had actual color tiles.  Most of the colors are selected from a printed catalog.

My next project will be a lizard - I'll be doing him Mexican style, bright colors.  I have already cleaned him up, which took hours.  When they come out of the mold, there is a seam in the middle which has to be leveled.  Sometimes there are void spots that need fill work or blobs that need to be smoothed out.  I was lucky the plate was ready to go, not so with this next project.