Saturday, January 23, 2010

Puppy girl!!

Introducing Guita! Her name comes from "tortuguita" - Spanish for "little turtle." It's Ian's favorite word in Spanish right now, and it works for her personality just fine. She's a sweet little rescue puppy: she was found with her siblings in a flower pot in early January and nursed back to health by a foster system. Her birthday is November 28 (estimated).

Here she is snuggling with Ian on her first night with us.

She loves Hugo's old scary mousy toy! Scary mousy won't live long with puppy lovin' of this sort!

Her fleecy ball is almost as big as her, but she's started playing with it a little... Scary mousy is still the toy du jour!

Sammy's lovely, but he's still not quite sure about Guita. This is as close as he's come and as long as he's stayed since Wednesday.

Hugo looking lovely in the sun! He likes the puppy, but he's still a little nervous around her, especially when she makes funny noises. See below for his true feelings about the noises....

She's already grown since we met her, but she still makes Hugo look big!

Sometimes things are still a little worrisome and confusing... but those times don't last too long!

Puppy in the sun!

Happy playing with the cat toys. Luckily Hugo likes the AirDog Squeaker ball-on-a-string, so it's a good trade!

Look at those teeth! Someday they will fill the hearts of the enemy with dread. For now, watch out, box bush!

Looking coy with her ear hung up on a box bush!

The beginnings of a very bad habit....

Hugo tells it like it is!

And the bonus pic of the result of so much playing: she is one zonked puppy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Huatulco (wah-TOOL-co) is a little town on the south coast of Oaxaca on the Pacific Ocean. It was selected for tourism development and has a bunch of big, expensive, all-inclusive resorts. Happily it still has some cute, small hotels. If you don't go around Christmas or Easter, it's a sleepy resort town with lots of empty capacity! We spent a day and a half on a small boat snorkeling and took a one-day trip to a small town called Mazunte with a turtle sanctuary. Our puppy, Tortuguita, gets her name from the turtles and because "tortuga" is Ian's favorite word in Spanish!

The holiday started at a restaurant on the beach with a baked pineapple stuffed with seafood. Ian was in heaven!

We saw grey whales very near the boat on several occasions. They were usually traveling in groups of two or three.

This one went under slowly, but we didn't see it again. Curse the giant lungs of big whales!

This is a jumping ray; it was about one meter across. It jumps vertically out of the ocean, flips over two or three times, and then plunges straight back into the ocean. We saw this one jump three times.

We saw several turtles in the ocean. I believe this is a Hawksbill.

This is the underside of a giant manta ray with a wingspan of around 5 meters (estimated by the snorkel guides). When we saw this giant, the two guides, the diver, and Ian threw on their masks and jumped into the ocean to swim with it. The driver and I stayed on the boat - somebody had to! Ian was totally amazed by the experience, and it increased his interest in getting scuba certified.

The very cool Oaxacan squirrel up in a coco palm....

And it's alter-ego - the rarely seen coco-head squirrel!

We visited an ecotourism location called Ventanilla where people rescue and rehabilitate animals that should be wild but were held as pets. The lagoon was filled with wild crocodiles, turtles, and iguanas. The location is very near a former turtle processing plant that, until 1990, "processed" (read: slaughtered) between 1500 and 2000 turtles every day for their meat, oils, and shells. The government of Mexico and the international community helped the area develop alternative livelihoods to replace the turtle processing jobs.

A big crocodile in the lagoon.

Baby crocodiles at a rehabilitation center. They were born to a female who could not be rehabilitated and will be released when they're big enough to fend for themselves.

Aren't we darling??

Ian loved his big fins and fancy snorkel mask!

Ian saw an eel...

And a skate - a small ray.

We saw fields of multi-colored coral.

There were schools of sardines (the photo hardly does the experience justice)!

And lots of big grey fish with yellow tails!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Expanding family... and big socks!

This is the baby! She's darling and timid, about 7 weeks old, and cute as a button. Her current name is Bella, but we'll give her a better name in the near future. We expect her to be slightly bigger than a Cocker spaniel, but her parents are both unknown.

Her little nose is freckled black and pink, and she has one brown ear. We expect great things for her!

And in other big news, I just finished knitting the biggest socks known to humanity. Ian says they're just about right.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

End of an Era

The big beard's last hurrah: this is its final moment before Ian started the clippers. It was really soft and fluffy, and Ian's looking forward to shocking everybody here. Mexico City has only known him with a big beard! Luckily he has one or two other distinguishing features that will help people recognize him....

The all-new half-n-half look. I'm sure it will be all the rage next year.

There's that handsome jaw-line emerging from the growth....

And finally, clean-shaven!

Hopefully this prevents snorkel seepage and makes ocean swimming lots more fun!