November 30, 2007

A new skirt! 15 more to go!

At this point I've lost count of my skirts, but this is a new one. I haven't worn it before. I'm feeling a little bit better, but I am so thankful it's Friday, because I could use the rest. There is one more reason to be thankful for today - it's payday! Woo hoo! I'm thankful for every peso I receive!

I bought today's skirt at the artisan fair at Parque Hildalgo, along with Skirt Seventy-Something last month. I have two colors here in Mexico: magenta or bright pink and aqua. This skirt is aqua, made of hand-woven fabric, and is a wrap-around skirt. It kind of looks like a dish towel, so this is my dish towel beach skirt.

Let's see.... where did I and my dish towel skirt go today...

This morning my AP kids and I went to StarBucks on an Art Walk. Check out the art on this truck...

T a c k y ! ! !
Incidentally, the Venti size here in Mexico is less coffee than the Venti in the US, because of the ounces versus milliliters thing.

Today's TGIF took place at a great little restaurant called El Brujo (The Wizard) in the Romantic Zone. It was the BEST meal that I have had here in Vallarta. I ordered the coconut shrimp and a piña colada, but the garlic guacamole and garlic bread were also tasty tambien! The coconut shrimp is not on the menu, but if the kitchen will make it, get it. Or have someone at the table get it. The portions are HUGE, but so is the flavor!
I ♥ garlic & coconut, and I am not ashamed to admit it. It was a pricey meal, but so worth it. I will have to get back there soon. Dang, it was so good!

Check out this tree next to El Brujo. I wonder how old it is?

The final stop for the evening was at Light House Foods in Old Town. This is the home of the "sausage wizard." This guy makes fresh sausage daily. I'm so excited because I've been craving spaghetti and now I get to have it with Italian sausage. I also bought some breakfast patties, which he said was his speciality. I sure hope they're good, but something tells me they will be better than Jimmy Dean's. (That's Big Bad John's Texas sausage.)

Thank Goodness It's Friday!

November 29, 2007

16 skirts left...

16 skirts and counting! I chose today’s skirt because I will not be working with clay today, though I may use paint… we’ll see, AND because I am in love with my Chachos. They are so comfortable to wear! I honestly don’t know how I managed without them. As long as I wear pink, I can wear my Chacos hence today's skirt. Skirt 6. Today’s skirt is pink with lots of bright pink flowers. I haven't worn it since I last blogged about it May 7th. It never seemed right in Dallas, but it fits right here in Mexico.

I was trying to capture a photo like the one I took May 7th. It's funny to think about the last time I wore this skirt, seems so long ago. So much has happened since then. Do our lives really change that drastically in the span of 7 months, or just mine? So many of my changes have occurred for the better. But I can't help but wonder, where will I be 7 months from now? Where will I be one year from now?

I did a lot of TCB-ing today. Cleaning up and such. I also let my boss know that I will not be here next year. I'm getting married.

November 28, 2007

17 more skirts! (Skirt 34)

17 more skirts, I'm wearing Skirt 34 . I'm also wearing a T-shirt and my Chacos... basically it's the uniform of I don't give a $%@#. I'm sick. Tengo desfriado. (I have a cold.) I have some medicine, but I don't know what it is... It's all in Spanish. At least there's fresh squeezed orange juice at school. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm!

I decided to eat a hot dog today instead of the lunch I brought, because I love, love, LOVE hot dogs! After I paid for $9, I went to put the ketchup on my dog only to discover that the innocent unsusceptible red squirt bottle had Valentino Hot Sauce in it. I mean, duh! Didn't I see the BOX of ketchup next to the salad dressing???

I've gotten used to boxed milk, juices, spaghetti sauce, and other condiments, but this was a complete surprise to me. Sometimes, I really feel my “Americaness.” My poor dog was covered in hot sauce, which could have been great for all I know. Lupita and the other lunch ladies got a huge laugh out of it and kindly gave me another dog. It could have used some grilled onions, but it will do. At least they have the fresh squeezed OJ in the mornings... I've gotten used to that.

Speaking of getting used to things, my internet and cable had been out since early this afternoon. Silence is golden, but thank God for Vonage. It's my lifeline to my love. This new “silence” makes me realize how much I rely on technology to get me through my daily life. This afternoon I took this moment of silence all for myself.

I should really do this more often.

November 27, 2007

Let the countdown begin... 18 more skirts!

I'm trying something different to pass the time quickly. Not that I'm not enjoying myself here. The weather is nice to come back to, as is the beach, the beautiful sunsets and actually my job. How bad can it be? I am blessed to work where people come to vacation! However, still have to TCB, and learn to enjoy myself while doing so.

Today's skirt is 24 hour Skirt or Skirt 20. I worked hard in this skirt last time I wore it. It's super utilitarian, making it easier to run around in and TCB (Take Care of Business). I have a lot to do this week, actually before I leave for Christmas break. I'm making a list...

This is Naomi's skirt. I thought it was so pretty with the sequined bamboo on the panels. The glimmer caught my eye in the sunshine today.

One of the things that I want to do is to begin to paint the classroom walls. There are some beams that I want to paint some Essential Questions on, and various walls and corners that are crying out for colorful/graffiti style art related vocabulary. I think this will really brighten up a dull classroom and be very helpful as most of the students at my school are learning English as their second language. Feeling like Michelangelo, I began to paint a color wheel above the classroom door. It's the perfect nook. But, the colors are drying too dark and I was attacked by the blue paint. (Sigh...) I guess Skirt 20 has now turned into the official painting skirt, or perhaps a Jackson Pollock Skirt. If you ask me, my skirt looks better with paint splattered all over it. It gives it character, a history... Every splotch and color will now tell a story, and that makes me happy.

We've started our unit with clay this week, today with Pre-Frist and Kindergarten. It's been entirely too long since I have touched wet clay, and it was such a great feeling to squish the clay between my fingers. I know my kids enjoyed it too, they are sooo cute!
I had to order the clay mixed and by the kilo. Before I knew how to order the clay, I had heard a story about a previous art teacher digging clay by the side of the road here in town... I wonder if that is true? I'm standing on 50 kilos here, about 100 lbs. All this means is that I have to fire a kiln sometime this week... Hmmm... hope I can remember how! At least the instructions are in English.

I attended the National Honor Society induction ceremony this evening. After being attacked by blue paint and being up to my elbows in clay, I wanted to dress up and wear heels. Here I am with one of my AP students. She's doing so well in school, and I am really proud of her. Actually, I am proud of all the inductees. This is a group of students who do so much for the community here in Vallarta. I don't remember giving this much to the community when I was in NHS, and service is the one of the main objectives. I still have my pin, but these kids are walking away with so much more experience than I had at their age.

November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Skirt(s)

On the airplane. On the way home I had an entire row to myself.

Thanksgiving Day in Dallas... It snowed.(?)

Putting up the Christmas tree...

Some things that I miss in the states: Driving the Jetta & Cheez-Its

It was so great to be home! I loved seeing my family; it'd been way too long since we have all been together. All in all, it was a fabulous and much needed trip. I am sooooooooooooooo thankful and truly blessed to have this love in my life.

Only 24 days (18 skirts) until I am home again, but who's counting?

November 21, 2007

Skirt Seventy-Something

Another new skirt. I'm getting pretty good at bargaining. This skirt cost $250 pesos but I talked them down to $170. I bought it at the artisan fair at Parque Hildalgo, Skirt from November 12. It's still going on. I had some gift shopping to do!

I believe the fabric is woven by the Huichols, an indigenous group that live in the Sierra Madres. It's beautiful, sturdy, bright, colorful red fabric. It's a wrap around, but it doesn't really wrap all the way around, because they are smaller people. I love it because it's easy to wear on the beach and in the city. There's even a secret pocket sewn in the inside, perfect to keep pesos in.

Well folks, this is it for me for the week. I'm going home to be with my loved ones, eat some turkey, watch some American football, and wear boots with my skirts. It's going to get down in the 30's! How am I going to cope? I am so excited beyond words; I've had a big smile on my face all week! Not to worry, I'll be wearing a skirt and will update about my travels when I return.

Remember to give thanks for all that is good and delicious in your life!

H a p p y T h a n k s g i v i n g ! ! !

November 20, 2007

Another New One

I'm pretty excited to wear today's skirt. Actually, I'm just pretty excited! Anyway, today's skirt is new, another gift from Pam. It's white A-line with black piping at the bottom and a big black flower on the front. I wasn't able to zip it up a few months ago, it fits perfectly now... It's going to be a short week at school. Today is my only full day, and tomorrow I go home! Yippee!

On the bus... wherever the day takes you.

I got so many compliments on my skirt today! Thanks Pam!

I had a pretty inspiring day today with lots of art making.

Kindergarten cut and torn paper collage self-portraits.
This is Jorge's self portrait. He is getting an award next week for following directions. Yay Jorge!
In AP (my advanced class) we are working on a major project incorporating a crane of some kind. One of my students brought her work today and it's going to be amazing. It's a cut glass origami crane. Her parents are artists and own a glass gallery called Galeria Em near the Marina. I've been wanting to check it out, so I went with her after school to her parent's workshop.

The following pictures and video clips are for my kids tomorrow, as the trip inspired a teachable moment.

Skirt and colored sheets of glass


Soldering iron


This looks like a candy shop to me!
Do you see the crane by the yogurt cup?

Putting the puzzle together...

Video 1: buffin'
You may get vertigo watching this video...

Video 2: wrapin'

La tortuga - "Mom's (Estela's) masterpiece"

Mariano's work

Outside the Marina, you can't miss it.

I've got a whale of an idea...

Thanks for the tour Jimena!

November 19, 2007

Una falda más para mí

One more skirt for me...

I made this one from a hideous dress that I bought here in Vallarta for $100 pesos (about $10 USD). I bought it because of the light-weight lacy fabric and the two black bands that run across the top. They are made of black grosgrain ribbon, and I am a sucker for anything that has ribbons. This dress was from last season in the tent/baby doll style that is so popular now. It didn't look right on me, and honestly I can't imagine it looking right on anyone... Anyway, it's better now. I took it to the tailor by my school, there's a word for it in Spanish but I can't remember it now. It only cost $20 pesos ($2 USD) to take out the seam, cut off the fabric and put the zipper back in! Excuse me, but that is SUPER inexpensive! I think it could be a lot shorter, but I can fix that when I bring my sewing machine back from the States. I sewed the two bows on the left from the ribbons that I cut from the straps of the dress. I'm happy with it.

I had a very important Skirt Project meeting in town tonight. It's going to be a great year next year and I am really excited about the possibilities! Just strolling around town...

I know what you really want to see...

Can you believe I live here?

Falda en Yelapa

Skirt 72 and I went to Yelapa this weekend.

In front of the water taxis in Boca de Tomatlán.

Yelapa is a small fishing village about 30 minutes south of Boca de Tomatlán. It's only accessible by boat, or water taxi. You can catch a water taxi from Playa Los Muertos in Vallarta for $100 pesos or Boca de Tomatlán, about 17 km (10.5 miles) south of Puerto Vallarta for $60 pesos.

Isn't this gorgeous? Taken from the water taxi.

The view of the beach in Yelapa behind lush tropical foliage.

Teri Jo's skirt on the road in Yelapa. No cars here, just mules and horses. It's a small town, about 1,500 people live here. I had an amazing meal at Pollo Bollo, flank steak for $55 pesos ($5.50 USD). Yelapa has everything you need, except an ATM...

In the hammock in our condo. This is living! That's a zipper in my navel. There's a reason for everything... I'll explain later.

View from my hammock.

There is phosphorous in the ocean, and at night the water glows. I didn't get to see the glowing ocean... Guess I'll have to come back.
The stars are so beautiful here. It's hard to see them from the city. My friends saw three shooting stars the night before.

This is JC, short for Juan Carlos, Jarvis Cocker or Jesus Christ. hee hee. JC slept above our beds protecting us from evil mosquitoes and spiders. He hardly moved from his rafter all night!

Here's a trick I learned in Yelapa.

Leave a bucket of water outside your door. That way when you come back from the beach, it's easier to wash all the sand off.

El rio Tuito (Tuito River) empties out in Yelapa. This view was snapped on my morning walk. I had to hike up my skirt and cross the Tuito River to get to Hotel Lagunita. The hotel serves the most amazing breakfast I have had since I've moved to Vallarta. I had a chorizo and queso omelet one day, and French toast made with brioche the next. They had fresh squeezed juices (the carrot and orange combo is the best!) and huge, Texas-sized delicious fresh fruit smoothies. Mmmmmmmm! It doesn't take much to make me happy!

xoxo from Yelapa!

Bench in Boca de Tomatlán, waiting...

November 16, 2007

Asian Inspired Skirt

I've mentioned already that it's Geography Awareness Week. The entire school has been studying countries of Asia. Today, we are going to display all of the class projects and the kids are going to perform some dances that they have been working on all week. Everyone was encouraged to wear "Asian dress." IF, I were in Texas, I know exactly which skirt I would wear, except that I didn't bring it with me.

Today's Asian inspired skirt is Skirt 47. My skirt and blouse were made in India, and my shoes were made in China.

Can you see some of our cranes behind me?

Today I learned that Geography Awareness Week is actually advocated through National Geographic. The kids did a great job and there was such great energy! From Russian dancing to oral reports on Nepal to a Burmese fashion show, the assembly was excellent, complete with iced green tea and Chinese fortune cookies.

Below are some of the projects and skirts from today's
Asian Assembly.

This is Nancy's skirt from Comercial. Comercial is my neighborhood grocery store and it's a bit like Target in the US. Every year they pick a foreign country and sell imported food, clothes and furniture. This year is Thailand and this is one of the skirts that they sold. I'd secretely had my eye on it, but I convinced myself that I didn't need another skirt. Though it would have been fun to be twins... And look! I totally didn't see the T-shirts! How cute!

The 5th grade girls performed a very graceful Thai dance. The nails and sarrongs were a great touch.

Here are some of the 1st graders Japanese inspired scrolls.

The kindergartners learned about India this week. This is a colored macaroni mandala that they made together as a class. Some of the girls in the yoga class performed today too. They were so cute in their downward dog and tree poses chanting Om.

I am inspired...

November 15, 2007

Skirt 56 ~ Otra Vez

Yes Christian, this counts as one sketch...

We didn't get them all strung... oh well, they'll get the idea.
Looks like rain, weird for this time of year...

Grades are done. I'm wearing the EXACT same outfit that I wore in Skirt 56. At least no one knows that here in Mexico.

I'm so tired this morning... I'm not really that into my skirt. Honestly, I'm quite apathetic to it all... Maybe it's because I haven't had my coffee yet? Maybe it's because I've been up since the crack of dawn? Maybe it's because I'm ready for my three day weekend and a little turkey and dressing?

Who knows?

Another day to TCB, and that's a good start.

November 14, 2007

TCB skirt

Time to TCB today! TCB stands for Taking Care of Business. I learned that at Graceland 2 years ago, and it has since become my mantra when the mountain seems to high to climb...

Today's Mountain...
1. Grades are due tomorrow.
2. We still have to string 1,000 cranes with the full cooperation of my students.
3. Try to stay calm and cool.
4. Oh, and there is no water at my place.

Skirt 7.
At least the pool is full and functioning again, AND my friend Laura is engaged!
Yay! C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S chica bonita!

November 13, 2007

Skirt 37

Skirt 37 is an oldie but goodie. No matter how I feel, I feel better when I wear this skirt. It's made from colorful scraps of antique Sari fabric, and it's reversible, check out Skirt 48. I wonder if I switch it in the middle of the day if anyone would notice...?

My skirt was made in India, and this is geography week after all. In fact, most of my favorite skirts are made in India...

I receieved 9 compliments on my skirt this morning.

Everyone needs a tabula rasa...

And a fan for this heat!
And, no one noticed I changed to the other side of the skirt in the middle of the day...

Anyway, Yay! We finished the cranes... I stopped counting, but we have well over 1,000. Now, we have to string them all.