Dog Rescue & Leaving

DSCF1049Maret’s 6 days a week of volunteering at the dog rescue is coming to an end, as is the other kids’ dog walking.  And before we left town sweet Gudrun Jones wanted to honour the kids by having a picnic/bbq on Easter Sunday complete with an Easter Hunt.

Appropriate 'tables' at a dog ranch!

Appropriate ‘tables’ at a dog ranch!

Corinne, Elaine, Leigh and our girls with puppy Katrina.

Corinne, Elaine, Leigh and our girls with puppy Katrina.

People were comment how much we look alike, Toveli and Mom.  So we had a picture taken of us, but neither of us thought we looked that much alike!

People were commenting how much we look alike, Toveli and Mom. So we had a picture taken of us, but neither of us thought we looked that much alike!

Dyed eggs hiding high and low.

Dyed eggs hiding high and low.

Found Treasure

Found Treasure

Gudrun and Dryden

Gudrun and Dryden Jones

Katrina

Katrina

Earlier in the day we had brought ‘home’ one of the rescued dogs for a few hours because of a request of Maret’s.  It was a dog walking day, when she has time enough to spend one-on-one with a dog of her choice.  The last few weeks she has focused on Katrina, a puppy who liked to pull constantly on the leash, and gnaw anything in site.

Maret spends time during the week watching dog training videos so she has a better idea of what to do with Katrina in the limited time she has to commit to her training and development.  She’s managed to have Katrina pulling less on the leash, got her to stop chewing on her fingers, and progressed to simple tricks.

There is no doubt in my mind that it will be difficult for Maret to adjust to not working at the dog ranch six days a week.  It’s what she’s been living for for the last 2 months.  She knows that great adventures still lie ahead.  But that doesn’t make the leaving easier for her.

PS News is out that some people have started up dog fighting in Chapala.  Last night there was an attempt to break in and steal dogs from the ranch.  Gudrun was told about it via a neighbour, and reported it to the policia just this morning on her way up to the ranch.  After delivering dog food and the day worker (Martin) Gudrun was heading out when the policia surprisingly showed up.  Very quick response, in a society where dogs aren’t respected at all.  Three trucks with about 8 officers mostly in street clothes but with weapons strapped on their thighs or semi-automatic weapons in their hands, they walked around the ranch taking pictures, collecting information from Gudrun and Martin.

There were no dogs missing from the ranch, but supposedly 1 or 2 roaming dogs were snatched from just down the road.  Killed and used as bait.  Not a pretty thought.

PPS  I’m currently reading Gudrun’s book she gave me.  Fascinating historical fiction of one family’s experiences of life during WW2, including those who supported the Third Reich and those who hid Jews.  If you purchase her book the proceeds all go to running the dog ranch.

Week in Review 20/4/14

Although we’ve been travelling a lot as a family since 2007, temporarily living in new communities for days/weeks/months or even a year or two at a time, there are certain times where our lives seem to be turning directions on a dime.

This feels like one of those times.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see where life and travels take us!

This past week I shared about Urban Farms Co, passionately engaged in solving world food shortage.  All of us can be tackling the problem, whether we go big scale or we grow our own salad greens in containers on our apartment patios. Every little bit will help.  What are you doing?

We are blessed to have Laars in our family, bringing up the rear.  Though at times he’d like certain members of our family to NOT be part of the family, (and vice versa) we focus on the better things in life and what we can learn from one another.  One of the great things about Laars is his tender-side, the cuddle-right-up-lay-on-you closeness he craves (but when its hot and sweaty, this isn’t so great!) and the flowers he loves to bestow on us.  Another thing is his creativity.  Following after 8 siblings who all have artistic & creative flare he has lots of built in competition but he manages to find his own little niche.

Toveli has her own artistic abilities and interests.  Besides her aquarium, there are these fairy dolls she’s been creating since her Rainbow House shortly before we left Vancouver Island. During our travel she’s been creating Fairy Worlds in deserts and fairy farms on beaches.

Katherine

Katherine

Emily

Emily

And finally, we moved this week and I shared about our newest abode, the apartments.  Settled for a few weeks, then we’ll be off travelling again.

We Just Don’t Fit in One

We don’t mind squeezing….have you seen us in our van, in traveling mode?  Like sardines.  Some people want to peek into our van as we are just about to pull away because they are curious as to how our large family actually pulls this off…  Nine of us in a van with all of our worldly possessions, and not pulling a cargo trailer.  Pulling nothing.

We suck in deeply and don’t exhale completely until we’ve reached our destination!

Seriously, finding accommodations other than our own tents can be a nuisance, or sometimes down-right depressing.  When we aren’t camping for Free on the beaches in Mexico, they want to charge us per head.  Even when we are providing our own accommodations (i.e. tents) and we are just seeking some toilets and a safe place to park our van, they may ask as much as $800 MX, that’s nearly $70 Cdn, for a place to pitch our tent.  Multiple places have each claimed this is  what it costs them for water usage by this number of people.  Gag!!  I’d beg to differ, but I walk away.  We drive away.

We’ve stuck around Ajijic/Chapala for various reasons, but one is because the managers of Hotel Perico are so gracious and accommodating & its cheaper than our gas bill can be when we are in traveling mode.  They bent over backwards to find suitable accommodations for our large family and realizing our expenses were coming out of one pocket they made us a deal we could all agree on.  While they had vacancies they wanted us to stay.

This is Holy Week, the hotel industries busiest week of the year.  They can make better money off of two separate holiday customers than this Canadian family taking up 2 suites on a discount.

With Everette and Mitchell away for 2 months working in Canada, its been wonderful to stay put and safe at Hotel Perico.  But the kids and I packed up on Monday and went down the hill to move into 2 separate apartments (managed by the hotel manager, too, that’s how we came to know about them).

The purple flowers fall down on the van while sweet aromas waft upwards.

The purple flowers fall down on the van while sweet aromas waft upwards.

Parking inside is very tight, but we at least can fit our van through the gate.  However, its a safe neighbourhood where I can leave the van parked on the street right outside my bedroom window.  The neighbours are a mix of gringo and Mexican, and their has been no break-ins.  Neighbours leave their vehicles parked out on the street also.

Parking inside is very tight, but we at least can fit our van through the gate. The neighbours are a mix of gringo and Mexican, and their has been no break-ins. Neighbours leave their vehicles parked out on the street: I can leave the van parked right outside my bedroom window.

One suite is nice and spacious with a fantastic kitchen.  But only one bed.  And the other apartment is 2 bedrooms but much smaller.  So we took 2.   Although they are next door to each other they are not attached.  There is an outdoor storage/patio area and set of stairs inbetween them.  At least we have teens who are old enough to stay in an apartment by themselves at night so this mama doesn’t worry.  I share an apartment with the youngest 4.

We have the suite on the left, plus the suite to the right that isn't in the photo except the front corner.  In between is a patio/storage.

We have the suite on the left, plus the suite to the right that isn’t in the photo except the front corner. In between is a patio/storage.

Swimming pool in the courtyard.

Swimming pool in the courtyard.

Some beautiful plants around the courtyard.  Banana, orange and pomegranate trees are just the beginning.

Some beautiful plants around the courtyard. Banana, orange and pomegranate trees are just the beginning.

The living room in the small apartment rarely gets used, except by me when I need some quieter and cooler space to read.  Otherwise we are always over at the spacious suite.  (I think this will likely become Mitchell's bedroom when he returns)

The living room in the small apartment rarely gets used, except by me when I need some quieter and cooler space to read. Otherwise we are always over at the spacious suite. (I think this will likely become Mitchell’s bedroom when he returns)

Have a look at this studio suite….lots of space so that’s where we hang out for the day.  The kitchen has lots of work space & there are plenteous tables for us to work and play at.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

Living/bed room

Living/bed room

Entrance to toilet room and a separate shower room plus a closet.

Entrance to toilet room and a separate shower room plus a closet.

One of the multiple work areas

One of the multiple work areas

Everette will be back real soon, and then we will be back on the road to explore more of Mexico before our tourist visas expire next month.  But for now we are settled in.  Free internet, a pool, lots of art supplies and the kids seem happy.  Read aloud books at night, a shared episode or two of Supernatural, bowls of popcorn.  Life is good.

If only our 2 men were here with us.

 

 

Speaking of the Boy

Rhino Boy

Rhino Boy

Laars has high regard for the feel of something.  He’s a very tactile boy.  Sitting in a room waiting for his mom he will sit on the floor and run his hands continuously over a textured wall.  Or he will lie down on cool tiles, or place barefeet on cold surfaces like the back of a leather couch, or a cold appliance.

So he loves working with modelling clay, and is constantly cutting up paper into a kazillion pieces.  Sometimes they are bigger chunks that he can re-construct into some form of beauty.

Little Pink House

Little Pink House

A Boy & His Flowers

DSCF1016

If we aren’t careful, Laars will pick all of the pretty flowers that grace the grounds of Hotel Perico.  Ever since he was big enough to toddle solo to pluck a flower, he’s been picking flowers for his mama and sisters.  He’s usually asking me, “Will you marry me?” with that Laars smirk I love so much.

Today he reached up and asked if he could rub my cheek, just because.

So I have these beautiful flowers beside my bed, a gift from Laars.  I also have the same kind, a single flower, that I had pressed under the weight of a book.  When he gazed upon the flatness he demanded to know why I had sat on it!

God, I love that boy!

A bouquet Laars gave to Toveli, just because.

A bouquet Laars gave to Toveli, just because.