• Glenn Wilson
    May 14, 2022

    Bonnie Lee Black wrote: Every evening now I make my escape. I set up a sort of art studio surrounding the comfy cushions of my favorite chair, an armchair with ample arms to accommodate all my stuff – tubes of paint, plastic palettes, cotton paper, a selection of brushes, a couple of water pots, paper towels – and I become a watercolor painter. Not an aspiring professional one, of course. My highest aspirations are to enjoy and escape.

    As my mother often told me (but I never listened then), painting is a balm. When I’m painting now I have no worries, no headaches, no abdominal pain, no anxiety about anything. I get so focused, so carried away with what I’m doing, I don’t have a care. No doubt there are other ways to achieve this kind of bliss, but this way is legal, affordable, and harmless. So it suits me best.

    As I know I’ve mentioned before, I like to paint landscapes most of all. There’s something about that dividing line – the horizon line – that guides and grounds me in the painting. ...

    Continue at The WOW Factor: Escaping into Landscapes. More #WOWFactor.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    May 10, 2022
    From Lola Cortina.

    Dear Friends and Sponsors:

    We are happy to invite you to come to a rock concert with a San Miguel band called “The Pacients.” They honor a Mexican rock band called “Zoe,” playing and singing their songs.

    All the money of the tickets will benefit Santuario Felino Rey Ashoka, A.C., to fulfill the needs of our cats (shelter costs, food, litter, medication, sterilizations, etc.)

    Saturday, May 21st, 2022
    7 to 9 pm

    El Sindicato Auditorium
    Recreo #4, Centro, San Miguel de Allende.

    $200 Mx

    Tickets on sale at
    Café La Ventana, Sollano 11, Centro
    Dusty Puppies, Guadiana 17 A.
    The day of the event, tickets will also be sold at the entrance of El Sindicato.

    You can also buy them by PayPal and please send an e mail saying you sent the money. Thanks.

    Or you could do a transfer to the Santuario Felino Rey Ashoka, A.C. BBVA bank account
    Number: 0111175807, CLABE: 012680001111758072

    We graciously receive donations!

    Looking forward to seeing you there!!

    More info Lola Cortina 4151010840.

  • Glenn Wilson
    May 7, 2022

    Bonnie Lee Black wrote: Martha Stewart and I go back aways. We’ve never met, but our lives have followed somewhat parallel paths. We’re about the same age (she’s three years older); both from New Jersey; both were models when young, then later became caterers in New York; we were both about the same size, shape, and coloring; both gave birth to one child, daughters, born within days of each other in 1965; both love cooking, homemaking, gardening… The list goes on and on.

    She’s uber-famous, of course, and I am not. But that’s quite all right with me.

    There was a time, though, when I achieved a modicum of Martha Stewart-like fame: when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in my early fifties in Gabon, Central Africa. This experience struck me as funny at the time, so I wrote about it humorously in my Peace Corps memoir, How to Cook a Crocodile (Peace Corps Writers, 2010). Here, to illustrate, is an excerpt from that true story in the chapter, “The Martha Stewart of Gabon” ...

    Continue at The WOW Factor: The Martha Stewart of Gabon. More #WOWFactor.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    May 1, 2022
    Origin of the tradition

    According to history and legend, it was Empress Elena, mother of Constantine, who on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, probably in 326 AD, went in search of the cross on which Christ died, supposedly finding three crosses afterward. to carry out some excavations on the Mount of Golgotha; two of them were from the thieves and the third was from Christ. To find out which of the three corresponded to that of Jesus, Elena decided to touch a mortally ill woman with the three crosses in succession. The first two of hers made no impression on him, but when she was touched by the third cross, she stood up, miraculously healed, thus realizing that the Holy Cross had been found; since then on May 3 the anniversary of the discovery of the Cross is celebrated.

    The Holy Cross in Mexico

    ... The celebrations of the Holy Cross in Mexico, and mainly in the indigenous communities, show this syncretism, because on the one hand the discovery of the cross is remembered in the Catholic sense, but at the same time the celebrations are related to nature and mainly to the agriculture ...

    The patron saint of masons and masonry laborers.

    Another important fact of this festivity, particularly in Mexico, is the fact that the Cross became the patron saint of masons and masonry laborers. The masons in our country, usually place a Cross adorned with natural or paper flowers in the upper part of the buildings or houses under construction. Vázquez tells us that this custom dates from the time of the illustrious Fray Pedro de Gante, who was the founder of the first school in Mexico.

    Among the mestizos, the masons are the main ones in charge of preparing the festival of the Holy Cross, supported by the entire community, since in most cases, it is the entire community that covers the expenses of this celebration. Within this, in addition to the ecclesiastical activities, such as blessing the Cross, decorating it with flowers (paper, canvas or natural), holding a special mass, and perhaps a short street procession, we can find the burning of bulls, contests for children like the stick encebado, or sack competition, as well as dances like the Pastoras and the Cowboys; mealtime is accompanied by pulque, tequila, or some other drink and, enlivened with mariachis; at night the dance is organized with popular music groups.

    The feast of the Holy Cross (sp) | English.

    See also: Mason's Day: Why is it celebrated today and what relationship does it have with the Day of the Holy Cross? (sp) | English.
  • Glenn Wilson
    April 30, 2022

    Bonnie Lee Black wrote: Some years ago, when she was in her sixties, she told me, Sher Davidson attended a conference for women in business, where each participant was asked to stand in turn and give a five-minute presentation on her life and accomplishments. When Sher sat down, the younger women sitting on either side of her gushed, “Wow, how did you manage to do all those things in just six decades?!

    When I heard this story, I thought: Those women should see Sher today.

    Last week Sher, who now lives outside of Portland, Orgeon, USA, celebrated her eightieth birthday; and her list of accomplishments is longer and more impressive than ever. ...

    Continue at The WOW Factor: Sher Davidson: At Eighty. More #WOWFactor.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    April 27, 2022
    Latest Daily Changes: *
    • SMA: no new deaths, 2 new cases.
    • GTO: 1 new death, 24 new cases.
    • MEX: 39 new deaths, 1,190 new cases.

    SMA: 317 deaths, 6,026 confirmed, 5 suspected, 5,708 recovered.
    SMA: 317 deaths, 6,024 confirmed, 5 suspected, 5,708 recovered (previous).

    SMA: 7-day daily average of 0.3 new confirmed cases and 0.0 deaths. 2 new cases have been confirmed in the last week, and 4 new cases have been confirmed in the last two weeks. The most recent death from Covid in SMA was reported on February 27. *

    SMA and GTO Covid data, averages, and graphs: Google Spreadsheet.

    Guanajuato Covid Statistics: SMA (<< click for 'latest').

    GTO: 15,090 deaths, 282,945 confirmed, 404 suspected.
    GTO: 15,089 deaths, 282,921 confirmed, 322 suspected (previous).

    coronavirus.guanajuato.gob.mx (<< click for latest and the full chart of municipalities). (GTO numbers also available at Twitter @SaludGuanajuato.)

    Mexico Data and Interactive Maps
    Click here for the current data and interactive maps.
    MEX: 324,173 deaths and 5,735,115 confirmed cases.
    MEX: 324,134 deaths and 5,733,925 confirmed cases (previous).

    MEX | USA | Canada | World (click for latest).

    Johns Hopkins
    Mexico | World (click for latest).
    MEX Vaccination Status
    About 68% of the population has at least one shot.
    About 63% of the population has a full vaccination scheme.
    * Covid case numbers have always been undercounted in Mexico, the state of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. Based on national estimates from UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) the actual number of cases in Mexico has historically been about 10 to 20 times more than the officially reported numbers.

    * Also see: Understanding Mexico's Covid Statistics. October 12, 2020.
    The Actual Number of Covid-19 Cases in SMA. July 16, 2021.
    The Delta Variant and the Covid Third Wave in GTO. July 17, 2021.
    SMA Covid alert. July 21, 2021.
    The Delta Variant and the Covid Third Wave in SMA. July 24, 2021.
    Click here for the most recent Coronavirus Dashboards.
    Covid data comparisons ("New" cases, etc) are between the two most recent official reports. Official SMA and GTO data is released in the early afternoon (sometime after 2 pm) and Official Mexico data is released in the evening.
    Feedback? Please leave a comment below or email .

    More news sites and Twitter feeds are on our Links page.

    More in the category News and Views.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    April 23, 2022
    Bonnie Lee Black wrote: What are the chances, I wonder, of moving to another country and finding, quite by accident, that three other people from your little hometown in northern New Jersey, USA — women who actually attended the same high school you did at about the same time — live there now too?

    That’s been my happy experience in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. My “homies” here include retired business executive and active SMA volunteer Suzanne Bacon, watercolor artist and teacher Linda Whynman, and visual artist Kathleen Cammarata – all of whom I’m now getting to know in ways I never did when we were girls growing up in ‘Jersey. It’s been a joy.

    In March I attended Kathleen’s last Open Studio of the season at her lovely home in the San Antonio neighborhood of San Miguel. On that occasion I took this photo of her beside one of her works-in-progress at the time, depicting sisters:


    Continue at The WOW Factor: Kathleen Cammarata: Painting Connections. More #WOWFactor.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    April 21, 2022

    Don Day wrote: “I don’t get Trip Advisor. A little hole in the wall like El Pato is constantly in the top ten and a gorgeous place like Bovine is down in the 200’s.”

    I could have taken it a step further. How can Bovine be one of the 120 best restaurants in all of Mexico according to the Guía México Gastronómico and not even be in the top 120 in San Miguel?

    I have an answer. And I think it’s a definitive answer. Bovine has the super chef Paul Bentley but El Pato has the super charmer, Pilar Ortiz. ...

    More at Don Day in SMA: Pilar Ortiz. And the power of personality. More #DonDay.

    El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes is located just south off Calzada de la Estacion down a signless street that’s just east of the bus station. It’s worth the struggle to find it. The restaurant is open every day but Tuesday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm but might close earlier if they run out of lamb.

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    More in the SMAFAQ category Cooking.

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  • Glenn Wilson
    April 20, 2022
    As most of you know we have recently made some changes to the SMAFAQ daily newsletter. While we have been doing that we have made more substantial changes to the News Wire Mexico website and daily newsletters.

    What is News Wire Mexico?
    It is a news aggregation service for Mexico that allows you to easily access current news by various Sections.
    Art (and Entertainment), Business (and Politics), Food, Health, Nature, Security, and Sports are currently in the newsletter.

    And to access news by Locations:
    Mexico City, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, and San Miguel de Allende are currently in the newsletter.

    From the newsletter you can click to see more articles for each of the sections.

    The News Wire Mexico newsletters are available in morning (6 am) and afternoon (4 pm) editions and in English or Spanish. The News Wire Mexico website updates every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with new articles from over 70 sources. A few 'top stories' are kept at the top of the list for a while and the newest articles added right below them. Only 'new' news (most recent 24 hours or so) are shown on the main site but you can also access the daily archives (which go back to August of 2020).

    The News Wire Mexico website is the source for almost every news article that appears on SMAFAQ and they appear on News Wire Mexico sooner (sometimes much sooner).

    You can click the links below to see samples of a recent News Wire Mexico afternoon newsletter.

    News Wire Mexico Daily PM Newsletter.

    News Wire Mexico Boletín Diario PM.

    If you would like to try one or more of these free newsletter, you can subscribe here. Select the ones you would like to add. Use the unsubscribe link near the bottom of your email to unsubscribe or remove subscriptions.

    Feedback and comments welcome. Leave a comment below or email me at
  • Glenn Wilson
    April 15, 2022

    Bonnie Lee Black wrote: Three weeks ago, in the question-and-answer segment of a reading here in San Miguel de Allende I participated in, a woman in the audience asked each of us readers to share the secrets of our writing practices. With limited time, we three authors – Cynthia Claus, Ellen Akerman, and I — couldn’t say much. But, I realize now, I should have at least credited Julia Cameron with one important aspect of my writing process, my Morning Pages.

    Like countless others who read Julia Cameron’s 1992 bestselling book, The Artist’s Way — which has been translated into forty languages and sold more than five million copies to date — I was inspired to make a lifelong habit of writing every morning soon after waking. This is writing not for publication but as an exercise in thinking, observing, reporting, inquiring, imagining, ruminating, and praying on paper.

    To me, this practice is akin to a pianist’s daily finger exercises — a way to “stay in shape” for the real creative challenge of writing for others’ consumption. And, I’ve found, it’s sometimes possible that snippets of these morning notes and observations can later be incorporated into a publishable essay or book. ...

    Continue at The WOW Factor: Julia Cameron: Seeking Wisdom. More #WOWFactor.

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