It’s October!

by Judy King 3. October 2010 15:45

I’m so disappointed to have let a week go by without posting here – but I’ve a VERY good excuse. No, the dog didn’t eat my homework, but the result has been the same – my hard drive not only crashed, it burned…died…left no survivers. 

Thankfully, I’d backup up most of my information just four days before the death of the computer – but, I didn’t back up my email addresses and information (that’s a pain – get safe guards in place, now!). I can claim ignorance with the loss of 10-12 finished, ready-to-publish blog posts to same me time during deadline times.

So, I had no prepared material for you blog readers during the extremely busy time of moving into a different computer. The only thing I can compare that process to is getting the car back from the mechanic or body shop after several days – you know the feeling…the mirrors are off, someone changed the radio pre-set stations, there aren’t CDs in the player, they took the stuff out of the glove box and put it on the floor while they worked on the dash, the seat is in exactly the opposite position – it takes forever to make it feel right again.

The good news is that I made the deadline for the new issue of Living at Lake Chapala’snew October issue. It was up and running on September 30 about 7 p.m. as usual.

Since it’s now time to get the articles ready for the October 15 issue of the Lake Chapala Review, I’m the editor there, too, I have a great surprise for all of you.

Today and tomorrow I’m teasing you with the preview of the articles in the current October 2010 issue of Living at Lake Chapala. 

Meanwhile here is the preview we always include in the From the Editor’s Column. You can always read that, whether you are a subscriber or not.

October 2010: Celebrating a Saint, A Virgin, and a Great Rainy Season

With the first day of fall and that beautiful harvest moon in late September, we're trying hard to convince ourselves that it really is fall here at Lake Chapala. If the calendar doesn't convince you, try a trip to Chapala this week.

The huge downtown carnival set up, the stages, blocked off traffic flow and morning and evening processions will confirm that it really is early October and Chapala is well into the novena honoring the town's patron, San Francisco (St. Francis of Assisi).

If you hurry you can still join in the fun and celebration — it culminates on the feast day of the saint, October 4.

(Left:) The Virgin of the Rosary, the centuries-old figure from over the altar in Ajijic's small chapel is feted for the entire of October.


Meanwhile, not to be outdone in the devotion to local favorite icons, the last few days of September were studded with evening skyrockets as Ajijic's favorite Virgin of the Rosary, the patron of the old chapel on the north side of the plaza, moved to spend a night and day in the church in San Antonio and then headed for the church at Six Corners to spend a night with the parishioners there.

On September 30 she was positioned in a place of honor in the front of Ajijic's parish church, El Templo de San Andrés, where she'll receive early morning pilgrims all during her month. Don't miss the grand procession in her honor around 6 p.m. on October 31. It's a wonderful opportunity to see the indigenous dancers, local bands and hundreds of the local faithful walking in a solemn moment of honor and respect.

Lakeside religious processions are always perfect locations to snap wonderful pictures of unusual scenes. Here, at left below, a small girl depicts the Virgin of the Rosary on a procession float while at right, a troupe of dancers near the completion of the hour-long procession.

The Rainy Season and Ajijic's Waterfalls
The annual rainy season which usually stretches from early June to mid-September is still going strong, fueled by tropical storms which are continuing to develop and move up both shores of Mexico. Storms on either coast circle rain-producing clouds up and over the mountains to our high central plateau.

If you've been watching the temperatures and rainfall amounts on http://chapalaweather.netyou've rejoiced with us as we've received more rain than normal this season. We're 5" above normal rainfall for the months of June through September and topped the annual average rainfall more than a month ago. We're standing at over 42" of rainfall so far this year compared to the average of 33.5" per year.

(At Left:) A hiker marvels at a section of Tepalo, Ajijic's triple waterfalls which cascade down through a canyon just above the village.

All that rain is great news for our gardens and for Lake Chapala which this week reached 82% capacity; that's up more than 31 inches from a year ago and tops the 2009 September levels by 10%. It looks like the lake could easily surpass the record high levels of 2008.

Of course the gain in lake water is not just due to the heavy rains here at Lakeside. This summer's storm systems have dropped good amounts of water all along the Rio Lerma basin, and the 11 upstream reservoirs are holding an average of 93% of their capacities — far better than the 63% levels they marked in September of last year. Because they are all nearly full, we know that water will be released downstream for Lake Chapala.

What does that upstream water report mean? I expect that Lake Chapala's water level will continue to rise for at least two more months, and may continue to rise into the new year as runoff and excess water continues to enter the lake from the river.

This year's abundant rainfall has another benefit for hikers, casual walkers and the just plain curious — Tepalo, Ajijic's waterfalls cascading down the mountains just above town.

That's right — Ajijic has a waterfall — well actually there are several falls in this system, lower falls and a series of triple falls up a little higher.

Jim Cook, the resident hiking expert on the Living at Lake Chapala writing team, headed up to Tepalo in mid-September to take pictures and get the scoop so that you can make the fairly easy walk up to the falls, too. Jim gives the specifics in his article, but this is a walk that is doable for most of our readers, even the non-hikers. And if you join the crowds of Mexican families heading up the hill by the Donut shop in the late afternoon, you'll be joining flocks of children, parents, abuelos (grandparents) and even bisabuelos (great-grandparents).

Making the walk to Tepalo is a happy town tradition. You see the waterfall doesn't "run" in drier years — and if "Tepalo is running," you know there's plenty of rain for a good corn crop and a good harvest. Life in Mexico tends to break down to the simplest level of expectations and celebration. Join the fun!

Traveling With the Experts: Tapalpa and Jalapa
I'm amazed at the amount of traveling some of our Living at Lake Chapala writers do each year — yet they still have time to be actively involved with the community, and to write the results of their trips for you.

(Left:) When Carol Bowman headed for a weekend away in Tapalpa, she found some special entertainment for a very traditional event along the way. (Right:) Michael McLaughlin and Anita Lee visited the village of San Antonio near Jalapa — and this bell tower which was constructed in 1546.

Carol Bowman has taken the traveler's prize among the members of our writing team. Although she has just been back a few days from a three-week journey to the Holy Lands, she is filling us in on her pampered weekend away in Tapalpa in this month's Out and About column.

Lucky woman that she is, Carol was able to see first hand one of the most enduring customs of area ranchers and farmers — the pajaretes. She was a little confused, too, when on the side of the road she saw a tent, filled with tables and huge ceramic cups and heard a trio playing ranchero music.

Her driver explained the tradition to Carol and her husband, Ernie, while pointing out the milk cows tied up nearby. It seems that a goodly shot of tequila or grain alcohol, instant coffee, sugar, cinnamon (to the cowboy's taste) are poured into one of the big cups and then comes the milk, fresh, directly from the cow, foamy and warm. As Carol says, it's truly a "breakfast of champions," at least to hear these guys tell it.

(Left:) In the Vera Cruz plaza, all decorated for the September Independence Day activities, Michael and Anita watched a performance of folkloric dancing. (Right:) As Michael explains in his article, the anthropological museum in Jalapa was one of the best he's visited. This sculpture fragment wears an owl headdress.

Last year Michael McLaughlin and his wife, Anita Lee, spent six months traveling Mexico. In this month's People, Places and Things, he writes about their adventures in Vera Cruz, Jalapa, and some of the other small villages, including his favorite, Xico Xico and Coatepec, the coffee producing center of Vera Cruz.

They may not have found the perfect place to live (they report that it's far too hot and humid) but they certainly found adventures enough to last most of us several weeks.

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

Aging with Dignity and Joy

by Judy King 28. August 2010 10:32

clip_image003 As I travel through Lakeside's villages and towns, I continually notice the elderly residents involved in daily life. In Mexico the aged family members don't ordinarily leave their families to live in special homes for the elderly. Those who eventually need assistance in their daily routine find that help right at home, within the extended family.

(At Right:) An elderly San Juan Cosalá resident watches the movements of the caged canary in a carnival game of chance.

The lifestyles of the local elderly extend far beyond knitting, watching TV and games of gin. Great-grandfathers hold small pudgy hands as they walk with tiny tots to the corner and back. Grandmothers rock little ones and help with kitchen chores, while grandfathers weave new seats on chairs and light cooking fires.

When it comes to village social life, everyone participates—from the newest babes to oldsters nearing the century mark. I was amazed when I first watched the participants in a religious procession. I enjoyed the Indian dancers and bands, but I was simply amazed to see the vast number of old folks walking the two or three mile course, some with canes, others leaning on the arms of teenage grandchildren.

edtior-donamaria(At Left:) You’ll meet Dona Maria and several of her Nestipac neighbors in Phyllis Rauch’s Soul of Mexico article in the September 2010 issue of Living at Lake Chapala. Photo by Phyllis Rauch

When I described the scene to friends, we improvised the conversations we imagined would have taken place should one's elders back home have suggested participating in a similar event.

"Now Mother, you know there will be a huge crowd, and it will be hot and dusty. We'll just take the car and park at one of the intersections so you can see it all go by. Won't that be nice?"

"Dance? You want to dance in a procession? Dad, I have so much to do today I won't even have time to fix your lunch. And you want to dance? On the cobblestones? You'll break a hip."

"I really think it would be best if you just stayed at the home in the afternoons. If you insist on walking downtown every afternoon, we may have to look into that elderly daycare service.”



(Above:) It’s not unusual to see people of “the third age” as it is so wonderfully called in Mexico, walking, dancing, playing music in local processions. At right above is Dona Reina, another of Phyllis Rauch’s  Nestipac neighbors from the upcoming Soul of Mexico article)

Since that first procession, I've spotted many of Lakeside's seasoned citizens not just attending, but actively participating in the celebrations, processions, and daily village events. Here’s a look at our Mexican neighbors in their golden years.

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(Left) A tiny older woman sits in the waning afternoon sun near her altar to the Virgin of Guadalupe. (Right) Mama Chuy, the matriarch of an Ajijic family marches home with enough flowers to decorate all of the family graves for Day of the Dead.

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(Left) A group of gentlemen gather every afternoon on their favorite plaza bench in the center of town. (Right) Nearby, their female counterparts exchange bits of daily news as they rest in the plaza sunshine.

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(Left) A grandmother joins friends to watch a San Juan Cosalá procession featuring elderly dancers. (Right) A local couple waits in the churchyard for the arrival of the bride, their great-niece.

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(Left) Proudly 87 years old, a woman unpacks the goods she will sell during an outdoor market. (Right) The peanut seller and his wife, the cascarones (confetti filled egg shells)seller, take a break in the plaza.

Looking around, it's pretty obvious that the elderly in Mexico are cherished, revered and considered a viable part of the community. Precious few need the services of a home for the elderly, they are still an active and vital part of their extended family unit.

This attitude toward the elders is just another of the reasons we so value spending our retirement years here, where young people are taught the value of their elders and we, too, are treated with increasing respect and can learn from and share in the respectful attitudes and benefits.

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

Living at Lake Chapala’s August Issue

by Judy King 1. August 2010 15:14

Wow, it’s the First Day of this year’s EIGHTH month! 
I can barely believe that this month marks the three-quarters mark of 2010. We are having another great year here at Living at Lake Chapala. In fact, nine members of our writing team has been out gathering information for our all new August issue. We've prepared a little bit of everything this month — take a look at this summary of our new articles.

image A Sailor Run Aground

Jim Tipton is introducing you to one of his very good friends in this month's Community Article. If you've not yet met Ken and Lise Clarke, you'll want to after you read about how this Lakeside couple met aboard ship and fell instantly head over heels in love. This is a love story with lasting power — when they reached dry land, they raised a family and then moved to Lakeside for retirement — and so Ken could write his story of the years at sea.

Mexico's Traditional Music

Mexico is a land of eternal music — it's part of the lifestyle — it's part of life. What's Mexico's most popular music? That, like most things in this land of contrasts, depends. There are those who would vote for orchestras playing classical music, or for classic rock and roll. More traditionally, you'd have a giant pile of votes for mariachi — that smooth blend of violins, guitars and trumpets. Earning just as much (or more) devotion from residents in central and northern Mexico would be the bandas — the groups of trumpets, trombones, clarinets, and percussion that play a type of music that sounds a little like a sharply uniformed military brass marching band colliding with The Six Fat Dutchmen Polka Band.

(Left:) A youthful group of musicians — a banda plays traditional music on the Ajijic plaza. (Right:) Bandas of all levels of fame and popularity perform in Lakeside's villages. This group came from a nearby town to play in an Ajijic club on July 17. The big name groups come to town for the annual fiesta and during mardi gras.

As Micki Wendt explains in this month's Out and About column, this isn't all about John Phillip Sousa, and it's not about Lawrence (a-one and a-two) Welk (but it helps if you were in your high school marching band and lived in the upper Midwest near a German or Polish population.) Banda music is a Mexican hybrid, and it's the love of the nation.

You may not think you know banda, but you've heard it — the bad, the ok, the good, and the really good. You're apt to hear it every time you pass a construction site or wait at a stop light behind a car with a throbbing stereo, or hear the marching band marching around town at 7 a.m. during fiesta. So far you've probably been more annoyed than in love, but give this article and the links to some professional videos a chance…you may be surprised!

Mexican banda members are snappy dressers. (Left:) This Chapala group was performing right outside the municipal building one evening — all in white and that shade of hot pink that here is called Rosa Mexicana. (Right:) Ajijic's Banda Incomparable was sporting new suits at last year's fiesta — their logo is embroidered on the back of the jackets.

Really Great Karma and  A Cookbook for a Cause

We're fixated this month on great food prepared by sets of Mexican sisters with great ideas and big hearts. First in the Mexican Kitchen, Harriet Hart is visiting a new restaurant on Calle Hidalgo in Ajijc which is owned and operated by Margarita and Rocio del Castillo. These vegetarian sisters recently moved from their home town — Guadalajara — and opened one of the cutest lunch spots in town — Buen Karma.

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Then former mental health professional Carol Bowman interviewed a trio of Guadalajara women — the Levy sisters — who have turned their skills in the kitchen into a cookbook (written in Spanish) and then turned the cookbook into a fundraising tool with proceeds going toward their pet project — a mental health center in Jalisco's capital city. You'll enjoy meeting the Levy sisters and learning about their favorite non-profit in this month's Health and Safety column.

The New Expat Radio Station for English Speakers

Then Judy is bringing you something very new — online radio for expats! Yep, Amigo Rodrigo is spinning American music on a 24-hour-a-day radio station — along with Mexican news and weather in English, Spanish vocabulary words and other specialty bits of information — and you can listen to it all on your computer. It couldn't be easier. Catch up with all of this in the Feature Article.

Back to School (Times Two) and Attending the Ballet 
What fun, we've devoted two slots this month to how foreigners at Lakeside get involved in the community, and take on some or all of the school expenses for slightly overwhelmed local families. While there are a dozen or more groups and organizations who are creating scholarships to pay the expenses so local kids can continue to attend classes — from Kinder through Grad School — our Cost of Living and Soul of Mexico columns tell how individuals are making a difference here at Lake Chapala.

First up Georgina Russell is back, this time in our Cost of Living slot explaining how she administers a fund for area kids. Who started this fund and this program? A trio of New York kids who were visiting their relatives at Lakeside! Now the US kids come back every year to see how the money they've raised in their home town and New York schools is being put to use here.

(Left:) One of the special joys of being a sponsor to a Lakeside student is being included in graduations, programs and special school events. (Right:) The ballet at Lake Chapala? You bet. And Scott Richards enjoyed it all – see his report in this month’s People, Places and Things.

Then long-time Lakeside resident, Phyllis Rauch explains how she and her late husband became involved in helping to educate the members of a family in their village of Nestipac. While Phyllis dreamed at first of "their kids" becoming doctors, lawyers and engineers, she reflects on how it's all worked out in real life and beautifully illustrates the Soul of Mexico piece with photos of her current (and we suspect her favorite) student Daniela.

Saving the Wild Orchids

Artist Janice Kimball delves into the world of Mexican wild orchids this month in our Homes and Lodging column. You'll enjoy her story of how she came to fall in love with these tender exotic beauties — years ago in the middle of an all-too-long Detroit winter. Now she's on a soapbox, helping us learn to protect the wild orchids from area mountains — and best of all she tells us where to find lovely, not-endangered, plants in local nurseries.

(Left:) These lavender beauties were once wild orchids in the Jalisco mountains above Lake Chapala. They've been blooming on a tree in Ajijic now for nearly 15 years. (Right:) Leave the wild orchids to bloom for another year in the mountains. Local nurseries have a lovely selection of hybrid orchids at very reasonable prices.

Planning for Singles

And to wrap up the issue, Judy is exploring some tips for singles living at Lakeside. It's just so important to form a support group and then finalize some of the necessary plans so that your friends will easily be able to help your children should you be recovering from illness or surgery and when you die. Look for this so very important information in the Getting Here space.

Are you a Living at Lake Chapala Subscriber?

That’s our rundown this month – and now, while you read these pieces we are already working on our Big Blowout Bicentennial Celebration for the September issue of Living at Lake Chapala. We’d love to have you become one of our family of subscribers and we’re betting you’ll love reading the very best online magazine about life in Mexico. Did we mention that subscribers have access to on-line support – we’re always here to answer your email questions! What a deal that is!

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

It’s the Little Things

by Judy King 20. July 2010 21:55

What is it that keeps me so totally enthralled with life in central Mexico? Of course it’s the climate, and it’s the advantageous economy which allows me to live better for less, but far overshadowing both of those things is the adventure of experiencing something new nearly every day of my life.

Where’s the adventure in my ordinary-looking life? It’s in the little things – the details – the ironic everyday experiences that  wry,  unusual, odd, thought provoking and touching when I stop to take a closer look.

Sometimes that means it’s the way things are done:

  • Workers mixing concrete  on the ground – like they’re making a giant pile of pie dough
  • The auto body guys who work in a nearby alley and produce perfection with hammers and an outdoor paint job
  • The guy who climbs trees barefooted and uses only a machete to trim out branches
  • Homemade ladders made from scrap lumber – not OSHA approved
  • Electrical entrances that would cause US builders, inspectors and fire marshals’ nightmares

sanchez More often it’s the people – just being people

Other times that’ means seeing wives riding “sidesaddle” on bikes with their husbands, great-grandfathers and their tiny progeny taking halting steps to the corner and back every afternoon, entire families sitting around a table and singing old Mexican songs, a small boy whispering a secret into an even  smaller girl’s ear, and the way local residents express their deeply-rooted faith and devotion.

There have been times when I’ve seen that seemingly endless connection of spirituality expressed in processions bearing images of patron saints or revered virgin figures.

I’ve seen the outward practice of religious beliefs in the elderly women who struggle with canes and walkers to walk to church every day for Mass every evening.

Most recently I spotted an example of that deep faith during the recent patio construction project. (You read about that endeavor – and how my simple job grew in to a big deal job in another recent post, “The Great Patio Project.”

Jose seemed to be the “new guy” in the crew. He was one of the mason’s helpers, an unusual position for a man of his age, and with his apparent health challenges. I wondered how effective he would be when I saw his  shuffling gait and the slight to moderate tremor in his hands.

As the days passed, I couldn’t help but keep noticing Jose – he had the biggest smile when he greeted me in the morning, the first  back after lunch, the one toting the extra big buckets of sand or rocks – he was determined to show that he was doing his share of the work, and more.

What  I couldn’t miss was  the cross he’d painted on the front of his straw hat. Whether it was a symbol of his faith or a sign of protection he wore it well  -- especially with this T-shirt with the words, “French Riviera” splashed across his chest.

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People, Places & Things of Lake Chapala

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

OK, So Maybe I Can Love THIS Car…

by Judy King 14. July 2010 15:58

Finally!  After four months of searching, I’ve found a new car – well new to me that is…but…while I don’t usually name inanimate objects, she is crying out for the perfect name to reflect her beauty and utility!

car You read about how I hate cars in my April 25 post , “The Great Car Dilmena.” It was written about a month after my 14-year-old Windstar let me down and died – temporarily dead – in the middle of a Jocotepec street.

If you missed that post, click on the title to read it now…

For all of these weeks, I’ve been deep in the throes of searching for a used car. A friend of a friend has been combing the lots in Guadalajara while I’ve poured over online listings of available “Semi-nuevos” as used cars are called here. I’ve learned more than I wanted to know about the Ford Escape, CR-V, EcoSport, PT Cruiser, and similar practical and economical vehicles.

I didn’t want much…just not beige

My requirements were fairly simple. I need room for myself and the passengers who go with me on the driving overviews I use to acquaint newcomers with the neighborhoods, villages, highways and byways of Lake Chapala.

The narrow streets and high curbs (and the topes – speed bumps) here make a vehicle that is high off the ground a huge plus. I wanted something comfortable and easy to get into and out of – both for now, and for the future – I plan to keep this car 8-10-12 years or more and none of us is getting much younger and more flexible.

Trying to be practical and business-like, I told myself that the outside color doesn’t affect the quality of the vehicle and that price and condition are the important criteria. Meanwhile, my heart was chanting and begging, “PLEASE, not gray or beige.”

doorsFour Months – No Cars

Into the fourth month of searching, I was beginning to give up hopes of ever finding a car in my price range that hadn’t been wrecked, mistreated, or been hauling a passel of kids -- Until I  stopped into Farmacia Jessica to visit with my primary physician, friend and Godfather, Dr. Leopoldo Ibarra. 

“What kind of car do you want?” he asked. “What about another minivan?”

Polo explained that his wife wanted a smaller car for all the driving she does in Guadalajara. Hilda lives there during the week and operates their Guadalajara clinic and pharmacy. While she didn’t want to sell her Chrysler Town and Country LTD,  he thought the promise of a smaller car and selling the van to a friend might tempt her to sell her the car she’s been pampering. Over the next few days we made a deal – I didn’t see the car or know about all the plusses it has until the day I drove her home.

I could name her Mentholatum

I’ve never named a car before, but this  sweetheart is so glossy and red (think candy apple with a shimmer of gold/metallic) she’s begging for an appropriate name.

My first idea came from a favorite story of a Mexican woman near the border who called her handyman, Mentholatum,  because he fixed everything.  This car is loaded, but then it doesn’t take much to impress me.; I’ve been driving without a radio since the antenna disappeared three years ago and with the cold air from the AC coming out of the defroster vents. 

dash This car seems a little like Mentholatum – it does everything. There’s no owner’s manual so I’m learning by trial and error. Among all the bells and whistles, I discovered a 4-CD player with an extra set of controls on the steering wheel, and the other day I found a button that shows my gas mileage, how many liters of gas are left in the tank, and how many more kilometers I can drive until I run out of gas.

The message screen told me that it’d been 7200 kms since the last oil change – supposed to be just 5,000. When I checked the invoices saved by the good doctor’s wife, I saw that the last oil change was in April, exactly 7200 kms ago. So I took it into Beto at Hernandez in San Antonio for service. For fun, I had him check the tires – the message told me all were low – I thought they looked fine. Beto looked at the tires and didn’t think they were low either, until he put the gauge to the stem – and added air to all four, not much, but still…how does it know this stuff?

Help Me Name the Baby

So now that you know a bit about her, I’m waiting for your name suggestions – my favorite names seem to revolve around her color – I’ve thought Poppy, Valentina, Scarlet, Sandia (watermelon), and Cinnamon (as in red hots or Fire Stix) and Ruby. I also considered the names of Big, beautiful, courageous women who had voices to match to celebrate all the music in the car. There’s Kate Smith, Mama Cass, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Eleanor Roosevelt – okay, she wasn’t a singer, but she sure had found her voice – and used it.

I considered a religious bent – maybe I could name her for St. Clare, the patron saint of visions and especially of television – she would fit right in with the message board and the TV and 3-disc DVD player. in the back of the car.  

Email me your name ideas 

Send in those cards and letters with ideas for naming my new “baby” to 

I’ll even sweeten the pot…If I select your entry, I’ll give you a free annual subscription to Living at Lake Chapala – with the archived issues – That’s a $64.90 US value – just for the perfect name!

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People, Places & Things of Lake Chapala | Getting Here, Moving and Driving

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.

About Judy King

Judy King

Hi There — Welcome to my little corner of the world. I'm Judy King and I live in the centuries-old village of Ajijic on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest natural lake.

I've lived here full time since 1990, and... [ more ]

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