Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday 30th September 2010…road trip!!

Sara and I leave tomorrow afternoon for about a 10 day road trip to Alberta to visit with Sara’s family who in Calgary and Lethbridge.

We are both looking forward to the trip and seeing family and some spectacular country…. a first for me…..

The teeth are great and I have had no issues or pain at any time throughout the ordeal.

I must be doing something right another winn last night for me at poker… in two weeks now I have won 4 dollars…more than enough for a tank of gas for Bonita!!!!

Happy October tomorrow…

Map picture

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday 28th September 2010…….the new look!!!

Well after hours in the dentist chair, numerous freezing injections and a huge hole in my bank account……

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The major work is now complete my implants are healing very well and when I come back from Mexico in the Spring new crowns on the implants and done!!

Tuesday 28th September 2010…the new me!!!

Well I finally recovered from the wet conditions of the games I reffed over the weekend.

Sara and I seem to spend most of our time down stairs in the suite but it is looking really good and the new tenant moves in on Thursday.

We are planning a road trip leaving Saturday to go to Lethbridge, Alberta to visit Sara’s family, her Mum, Grandmother, yes her Grandmother!!!!   and sister.

I am leaving in a few minutes to go yet again to the dentist another long session but the completion of all the work on my upper jaw….so the new me will be available for viewing this afternoon……

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday 25th September 2010……this and that..

I almost needed an armoured car to escort me back to Duncan after my poker winnings on Thursday…….Sara arrived home safely and the work on the suite is still on going….the new tenant moves in next Friday, she is a single Mum with an 4 year old girl and an 8 year old boy, they seem really nice.

The weatherman was predicting a huge nasty storm for today lots of rain and high winds but this morning it is quite lovely the sun is shining and very pleasant…I hope it stays that way as I have three games to ref today….my first game is a men’s cup game then the rest of the games this weekend are all women’s games, with 2 tonight and then 2 more tomorrow afternoon.

I am going to stay overnight at the bank in Nanaimo and after my games tomorrow I have a 3 hour refresher clinic that is mandatory to attend then I shall come back to Duncan…so a busy weekend.

Hope your weekend is a good one…..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday 22nd September 2010…..CLEANING!!!

Have spent the last two days doing a host of cleaning in Sara’s house, the suite, Ramona, Bonita….anything that didn’t move I cleaned it!!!!!

The sun is shining and it is a lovely day but the long range forecast is not so good…..a busy few days coming up….Sara gets home this evening so I look forward to seeing her….then the weekend is sort of busy we have to get the suite ready for the new tenant, I have to increase my income by taking money off the poker boys tomorrow night and the weekend I have 4 games to ref and a three hour course to attend!!!

My brother and his gorgeous wife Janet leave on Saturday for a two week visit to the Eastern seaboard… New York, Boston, Washington, Toronto and Quebec….the fall colours will be beautiful and I wish them a safe and happy journey……Pura Vida!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday 20th September 2010…what a beautiful province we live in..

My friend Mary sent me these photos which were taken off the rocks on Saturna Island, which is a small Island off Vancouver island.

Map picture


This dog is looking right at that big black thing in the water!!!!



Just a matter of being in the right place at the right time!!!

Monday 20th September 2010…I know you ain’t gonna believe it BUT…….

I did something really stupid last week……..I went on the Internet and from the comfort of home was able to apply for a 180 day permit to take Ramona into Mexico for the Winter.

The permit was approved and within 5 days I actually had the permit in my hand, who says mail from Mexico is slow……so what is the problem your probably asking?

Only when I received the permit did I remember that I obtained a 10 year permit 2 years ago and I didn’t need this new one.  I have no idea why I would have done this cannot even blame it on the drugs for my dental work as I wasn’t on any drugs!!!!

Anyway the problem is that this can get really messy at the border when they see I have 2 permits so in trying to figure out how to resolve this I sent an e mail to my friend Chris who lives in Mexico and speaks fluent Spanish.  Chris has offered to go to his local permit office and try to sort this out for me…so thank you so much Chris.

Chris has a wonderful blog that tells the real stories about what happens in Mexico the site is


I met Chris last Christmas in San Miguel and even climbed the portion of the Bernal Monolith with him and Juan, they are great guys.

Chris has offered his services to many Rv’ers and what a great resource for us to have…..

Anyway Chris thanks and I hope the rain subsides and Hurricane Karl misses your town, cheers Les

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday 18th September 2010…I know I will take some flak……

but just could not resist posting this photo taken this evening in Heather and Kirby’s back yard………

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Saturday 18th September 2010…the Liberation Treatment!!!!

It is now Saturday evening and I am back at the Bank in Nanaimo for the night as I have 2 games to ref tomorrow and after the second game I shall go back down to Duncan and await Sara’s return on Wednesday evening.

I reffed two games this morning the finals at the Senior Games and it was an enjoyable few days and those old guys sure take their soccer very seriously.  It was good to see some of my old team mates and just a good time by all.

One of my special friends whom I have known for nearly 14 years is Mary and her husband Jack.  Mary was the one who helped me years ago with the start up of my computer setting up e mail accounts and giving me lessons.

Mary also is so great at making sure Ramona’s freezer is full of cookies and dinners when I leave on my journey.  Mary has suffered with MS for many years and she has decided to go to Costa Rica next month and under go the Liberation Treatment.  It is worth to Google and read about the treatment.

Mary is very positive and I want to thank her for her kindness and friendship to me through the years and as she and Jack prepare to leave later this month I  would like to wish her safe travels and hope the operation is all that she wants it to be…….good luck and blessings Mary!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday September 2010…Independence Day!!!

This is taken from Mexicoline…


For me the joy is knowing I have stood on the same steps and seen the flags just wish I could have been there to see the parades and tributes!!!!

The History of Mexican Independence


In 2010 Mexico will celebrate its 200 years of Independence with national and local public events. The Bicentennial or Bicentenario actually takes in two celebrations: the first being the Bicentennial of two hundred years since Independence (1810) and the second the no less important Centennial of 100 years since Mexican Revolution of 1910.
Mexican Independence Day celebrates the events and people that eventually resulted in independence from Spain, the country that had control over the territory of New Spain, as it was also known then. Fueled by three centuries of oppresion and sparked by a call to revolt by the respected Catholic priest Hidalgo, the first call to arms was made in the village of Dolores, in the state of Guanajuato. The uprising pitted the poor indigenous indians and mixed mestizo groups against the priviledged classes of Spanish descent, and pushed them into a violent and bloody battle for freedom from Spain.
Setting The Stage
Statue in Mexico of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Shortly before dawn on September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla made a monumentous decision that revolutionized the course of Mexican history. Within hours, Hidalgo, a Catholic priest in the village of Dolores, ordered the arrest of Dolores' native Spaniards. Then Hidalgo rang the church bell as he customarily did to call the indians to mass. The message that Hidalgo gave to the indians and mestizos called them to retaliate against the hated Gachupines, or native Spaniards, who had exploited and oppressed Mexicans for ten generations.
Although a movement toward Mexican independence had already been in progress since Napoleon's conquest of Spain, Hidalgo's passionate declaration was a swift, unpremeditated decision on his part. "Mexicanos, Viva Mexico!", (Mexicans, long live Mexico!) Hidalgo told the Mexicans who were the members of New Spain's lowest caste. He urged the exploited and embittered Mexicans to recover the lands that was stolen from their forefathers. That he was calling these people to revolution was a radical change from the original revolution plot devised by the Criollos, or Mexican-born Spaniards.
Miguel HidalgoGroups of Criollos across Mexico had been plotting to overthrow the authority of Gachupines who, because of their Spanish birth, had legal and social priority over the Mexican born Criollos. When Joseph Bonaparte replaced King Ferdinand as the leader of Spain, the Criollos recognized a prime opportunity for Mexican sovereignity. The nucleus of this movement was a group of intellectuals in Queretaro led by the Corregidor of Queretaro (state official), his wife and a group of army officers distinguished by the adventurous Ignacio Allende.
The Criollos plan for revolution did not originally focus on the manpower of the Mexicans. Instead, the Criollos sought to avoid military confrontation by convincing Criollo army officers to sever their allegiance to the Gachupines. By claiming loyalty to the defeated King Ferdinand, the Criollos aimed to establish Mexico as an independent nation within King Ferdinand's Spanish empire. The Gachupines who claimed authority under Bonaparte's rule would be driven out of Mexico.
Hidalgo had close ties with this group. Approaching sixty years of age, Hidalgo was beloved and greatly respected by Mexicans. Once the dean of the College of San Nicolas at Valladolid in Michoacan (now Morelia), Hidalgo was a well-educated, courageous humanitarian. He was sympathetic to the Indians, which was unusual amongst Mexican clergymen. Against Gachupin law, Hidalgo taught Indians to plant olives, mulberries and grapevines and to manufacture pottery and leather. His actions irritated the Spanish viceroy who, as a punitive measure, cut down Hidalgo's trees and vines.
A Decision Is Made
Gachupines were alerted to the Criollos independence movement by Criollo officers who had refused to join the revolutionary movement, and by a priest who had learned of the plot through a confessional. Hidalgo was among the central figures targeted for arrest on September 13, 1810. The Queretaro Corregidor's wife informed the Criollos of the Gachupines plan. Allende immediately departed from Quertaro to inform Hidalgo.
Allende arrived in Dolores in the early morning hours of September 16. His message forced Hidalgo to make the most signficant decision of his life, a decision which marked the first struggle for Mexican independence and that would distinguish Hidalgo as the national hero of the revolution. The Criollos had not gained enough military alliance to forfeit the Gachupines rule, as the plot had leaked three months before the Criollos target date of December 8.
Hidalgo had three possible options. He could await arrest, flee Dolores or call on the Indian and Mestizo forces. His decision to call the exploited groups to revolution completely changed the character of the revolution, and the movement became a bloody class struggle instead of a shrewd political maneuver.
The Revolution Erupts
Miguel Hidalgo, often called the Father of Mexico. When Hidalgo called the Indians to action, he tapped into powerful forces that had been simmering for over three hundred years. With clubs, slings, axes, knives, machetes and intense hatred, the Indians took on the challenge of the Spanish artillery.
When the indian and mestizo forces, led by Hidalgo and Allende, reached the next village en route to Mexico city, they acquired a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint whose image was of a woman of color. The Virgin of Guadalupe, who was indigenous to Mexico, became the banner of the revolutionary forces as Hidalgo and Allende led the path toward Mexico City and the expulsion of the Gachupines.
Hidalgo later regretted the bloodbath he had incited with his fateful "Cry of Dolores." When he made his hasty decision in the pre-dawn hours of September 16, he had not foreseen the mass slaughter of Spaniards. Before the revolutionary troops descended upon Mexico City, Hidalgo retreated with only a few associates to Dolores, where he would be executed by the Gachupines only a year later. Despite his ambiguity toward the violent class struggle that was the Mexican revolution, Hidalgo is still revered as the father of Mexican independence.
Eleven years of war, decades of despotic Mexican rulers and political unrest proceeded Hidalgo's cry of Dolores. Yet throughout the years of turmoil, El Grito de Dolores, "Mexicanos, viva Mexico," has persevered. Every year at midnight on September 15, Mexicans led by the president of Mexico shout the Grito, honoring the crucial and impulsive action that was the catalyst for the country's bloody struggle for independence from Spain

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday 16th September 2010…let the games begin!!!!

I left Duncan yesterday morning and drove to Nanaimo where Heather treated me to lunch, thanks!!!!!!  I then went to Parksville and visited with Barb and Paco who were in the Provincial Park there for two nights…..…… 30 dollars per night with no hook ups!!!!!

I then drove up to Campbell River a quick stop to show Norma and Croft the finished new TV installation, which looks really good.

It was off then to the opening ceremonies for the 23 rd BC Senior Games.

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Everything was extremely well organised and there are over 3000 athletes competing in 28 different sports!!!

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This gentleman below is 87 years of age and has won over 120 medals in his life time….way to go!!!!

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The torch arrives…

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Afterwards I drove back to Courtney and found the school where the soccer games are being played and parked Ramona there for the night.  Got myself a nice cup of tea and a cookie or three and watched a movie on the new TV…it is very clear and although a couple of inches smaller than the original one it is great and the weight and space saved is huge…

Had a good sleep and woke up to fog that lifted as the day went on…I did three games today..

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I think this looks like me below in the green shirt..

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but it is not!!!

The aquatic centre is a couple of blocks away and I see myself soaking in the hot and then showering.  

I shall come back to the same spot to spend the night and even do a repeat with tea and a movie….

Sara is on her last week of work and comes home next Wednesday when we have to finish getting the suite ready for her new tenant….best wishes to all.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday 14th September 2010…on the road yet again!!!

Tomorrow I leave to go up Island to the Courtenay area for the BC Senior Games…I am reffing soccer games for three days and it promises to be a great few days.  These games are huge and people from all over the Province attend and it is a fun filled and competitive time.

Ramona and her new TV will be my host…….so I will try and post from a library or somewhere when I have time…wish you all a great evening!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday 13th September 2010…the following is from the Newsletter for Casar Hogar where my girls live!!!

It is long as not as nicely laid out in the original Newsletter but I hope you find it interesting….

Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
In this issue:
Mexican Cultural Standards
Why Volunteer?
Santa Julia Congratulates its Graduates
Events Calendar
Wish List
Contact Information:
phone: San Miguel - 152-3709
US - 925-418-8002
How to Donate:
U.S. tax-deductible donations are made out to
San Miguel Community Foundation, noting
Santa Julia on the memo line.
Other financial donations may be made to Casa
Hogar Santa Julia Don Bosco, A.C.
Financial donations may be mailed to either of
these addresses:
US: 5802 Bob Bullock Loop, C1B84/165;
Laredo, Texas 78041
SMA: Recreo 11, Box 165, San Miguel de
Allende, GTO, Mexico 37700
Mexican Cultural Standards
(with gratitude to Warren Hardy for his input)
The cultural values and worldviews of Canadians, Mexicans, and people
from the United States differ quite a bit. Where settlers in the U.S. and
Canada came to take possession of their territories, Mexicans were
conquered. Thus their ways of seeing the world, of holding cultural values
and of relating to foreigners is significantly different from those of their
neighbors to the north.
Living in Mexico, it is important to appreciate the cultural differences. It
may mean the difference between having a rewarding experience with the
Mexican people and having a frustrating one.
All volunteers are encouraged to attend Warren Hardy’s free presentation
on Mexican culture. The lecture lasts only about an hour. Below are some
important excerpts from the presentation:
Core values of three North American cultures
Canadian United States Mexican
Organization Financial Opportunity Respect, Pride and
Cooperation Time and its Control Personal Dignity
Harmony Individual Freedom Trust
Free Time
It is apparent, we don’t all value the same things. There are
significant and fundamental differences in how we approach our
worlds. There is no one value here that is better or worse than the
other; only differences. Knowing and respecting these differences
will make everyone’s time with Santa Julia much more rewarding.
Below are some specific issues which you may routinely encounter.
These are generalizations.
Mexico has a formalized set of manners, called La Cortesia, which is
expected and played out among all Mexicans. One of the more obvious
protocols is the way Mexicans greet each other. In the morning it is
Buenos Dias, in the afternoon it is Buenas Tardes, and in the evening it is
Buenas Noches. This is more than just saying “Hello.” It is the Mexican
way of acknowledging one other. It is accompanied by looking one other in
the eye and smiling. Often they will use a name or title, such as Señor or
Doña. This greeting is an important part of the culture, and when a
Mexican encounters anyone who does not share in the greeting, they are
considered rude.
Santa Julia volunteers are some of the most sensible, sensitive,
and honorable in the world. You have taught us how to
adapt to the girls and Madres we all love so much. Thank you.
continued on next page
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
When conducting business with a Mexican, it is considered polite and proper to have chitchat before
getting down to business. This may include asking about family.
A Mexican’s sense of personal boundaries is very different from those of their neighbors to the north.
They generally are more comfortable with greater closeness. Kisses on the cheek and hugs are at least
as prevalent as handshakes, but we encourage the girls to shake hands in order to learn business
protocol. That said, they are eager, loving girls, so don’t be surprised if they tackle you with a hug. That
said, if their sense of personal boundaries is at all bothersome or uncouth (they should not be allowed
into a lady’s purse or into anyone’s pocket, for instance) please kindly help them understand that they
need to respect your personal space.
The Madres and children are practicing Catholics. They base their faith on the concept that love is the
greatest force in life. They respect all other faiths, and expect others to respect theirs. While evidence of
their faith in love is palpable, the only signs a visitor might encounter are the Madres’ habits, a few
religious images, the children’s chapel, and the prayers the children say before and after
meals and at bedtime. The Madres have a private prayer time in the chapel in their home
each morning, so we try very hard not to schedule anything until the afternoons.
The Madres literally work around the clock. They have a huge number of personal,
interpersonal, administrative, and legal responsibilities. They are truly servant leaders,
and deserve all the respect we can give them. If you encounter a Madre anywhere on
campus or off, be sure to go out of your way to greet the Madre and let her know how
much you appreciate her labors of love.
Cultural Truths
Family is the first Mexican priority.
Meld with, honor, and become part of the Santa Julia family before you expect to accomplish very
Honor Mexican intelligence.
Our hosts are not necessarily as book-learned as we do-gooders from el norte, but their cultural
intelligence will almost always trump ours.
Mexicans are deftly deferential.
They don’t take the credit, so neither should we. Give it to fate. Give it to your mother. Give it to your
host. Just don’t take it!
Mexicans are a formal lot.
We might not think so as we live surrounded by women nursing in public, the perennial boys 45 years
old hanging around the ironsmith’s shop in our ‘hoods, or the kids sucking face all over town, but
Mexicans are a formal people. Always ask permiso. Always say perdon. In fact, always ask. At Santa
Julia, with five Madres in charge, we always ask, “Mother May I?” And, we have an understanding that
their yes mean yes, their no mean no, and their maybe mean ask later.
continued from page 1
continued on page 3
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
Mexican social position is more important than Mexican wealth.
We should always introduce our Mexican hosts with their accumulated power. For instance, “It is my
sincere privilege to introduce you to Madre Teresa, who has a diploma in hog husbandry and cheese
making; who used to be in charge of the Order; and who now is in charge of economics at Santa Julia.”
And, yes, we should actually invest the time in finding out this level of information about our Mexican
Mexican truth is tempered by diplomacy.
So, we might not hear the entire truth until we apply an appropriate amount of diplomacy.
Cultural Questions
Just What, Exactly, Is Our Interest Here?
Save ‘em for a day or sustain ‘em for a lifetime? An offering of wealth? Work? Wisdom? All of the
above? Fine, we’ve determined, for instance, that we’re in it for the long run or for the single project.
We’ve determined that our gifts will be gifts in kind and of the service variety. Is this what the folks we
are attempting to assist will accept? Is this what they will use? Is this what they can appreciate? Is this
what they really need right now? In the venerated words of Stephen Covey, “we must seek to
understand before being understood”.
Can We Be Patient Enough?
We know we have to prioritize. We now know that despite our best intentions, our progress will be
poco a poco. We know that many times our progress will yield one step forward and two steps back.
We know that our work will be like peeling an onion, and will produce just as many tears. But we know
that those tears will be born of both frustration and triumph.
When all else fails, ask, “What am I missing?”
There are likely very large holes in our understanding.
Rules of the Cultural Road in Mexico
Be a servant leader.
Lead through service. Actions and body language do speak more loudly than words, especially if they
are gringo words or Spanish words in a gringo accent.
Insist on rransparency. We should provide it and we should insist on it. Good Mexicans do.
Be grateful for every little thing.
Be grateful for every gift, especially the first, small, tentative one. Everything can depend on our
continued from page 2
Be compassionate, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
Philo of Alexandria, philosopher
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
Saints Alive
Thanks to Gigi Cutler and Don Barbaree
for the tree of harmony and miracles,
shown here with Luz and Ernestina of
Santa Julia.
Thanks to the Texas Podiatric Medical
Association for donations of shoes and a
first aid kit.
Thanks to all who attended the Mi Vida
Support a Santa Julia girl
Half of Santa Julia’s expenses could
be met if 40 people pledged only $100
USD a month to support their favorite
girl in her direct costs (food, clothing,
medicine, school, etc.). In exchange,
you will receive a framed certificate
with a photo of that girl, the monthly
newsletter, and invitations to special
events such as birthday parties.
Create a bright future for a special girl
by contacting Robin Loving Rowland at
Monthly costs for basic needs
Psychology 16
Education 18
Medical 21
Food 33
Clothing 12
Total $100
Why Volunteer?
by Volunteer Manager, Sheila Byrns
Because it feels good... know that you have helped that person, that family, the
community in which you live. There is a deep satisfaction,
satisfaction that comes from doing just one little thing.
Because when many do just one little thing, big changes
It also feels good... have the sense of belonging that comes from being with
others who have a similar commitment; be part of a larger community whose goal is to make that
small change that adds up to being life-changing for someone
or something. be part of a team where the goal is both fun and gives a
sense of achievement — a challenge and an opportunity to
Why Santa Julia?
If you have visited the Santa Julia campus, you know. If you
haven’t, please ask me and I will take you there.
If you have had the opportunity to see those happy little faces,
to respond to the eager connection the girls offer so freely, and
to hear the stories of many of those girls’ backgrounds, you
If you can picture how difficult the lives of these girls were
before volunteers became a part of the life of Santa Julia — so
that instead of begging for funds for very meager food and
living in a rubble/garbage filled environment they now live in a
calm, orderly environment with a focus on education and
preparation for life upon graduation from Santa Julia — you
Thank you for considering one of the more than 200 volunteer
positions available at Santa Julia.
Contact Sheila at
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
Several Santa Julia girls have matriculated from one major
academic level to the next this summer, and everyone’s
happy about it.
Ö Going from pre-school to kindergarten are
Luz and Dulce.
Ö Going from kindergarten to first grade is Guille.
Ö Going from elementary school to junior high school
is Azucena.
Ö Going from junior high school to high school are
Casandra and Maria de Jesus.
Thanks to donors and various volunteers led by Sheila
Byrns and Judy Howe, the girls enjoyed a celebration in
their honor recently.
Next time you’re on campus, congratulate our graduates!
They’re going places!
Santa Julia Congratulates its Graduates!
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
Events Calendar
John and Irene De Leon hug a couple of Santa Julia girls at the
inaugural Grandparents Day party last September. If you are
interested in being a Grand for a Day (mas o menos), please
let us know! Being with the girls was so much fun that John
and Irene have since pledged to volunteer in Santa Julia's
computer lab.
Be a Grandparent for a Day –– or Longer!
The Santa Julia girls miss their grandparents, and many San Miguel residents miss their grandchildren
from their countries of origin. The solution: Celebrate Grandparents Day with the Santa Julia Girls
Sunday, September 26, from noon – 3 pm at Puente Viejo, Calzada de la Aurora 52. Food, games,
swimming, and framed photos of you and your grand girl will be provided for only $300 pesos. Contact
Vincent Gioia at
Already touted as one of the world’s best golf
courses, the recently opened Ventanas Golf Resort in
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, will host
Rotary’s premier International Golf Benefit Friday,
October 29, 2010.
Ventanas, home to exclusive homes, villas, and lots,
is partnering with the Rotary Club to benefit the Casa
Hogar Kids, 144 abandoned children who happily
define themselves by their futures rather than their
Only 144 players will have the opportunity to be the first benefit players on this Nick Faldo course in the
perfect climate of San Miguel de Allende, called by Travel and Leisure this year, “one of the four best
places to live in the world”.
Golfers will receive complimentary refreshments and carts, an awards banquet, and the opportunity to win
a new golf cart, a new quatrimoto four-wheeler or $4,000 USD/$50,000 pesos, and other great prizes.
Sponsors will enjoy international media publicity, complimentary golf registrations, and the opportunity to
share their products and services with the hundreds of people at the tournament.
Additional information about registration and sponsorship is available from tournament chairpersons John
Doherty at and Robin Loving Rowland at
Rotary International Golf Benefit for Casa Hogar Kids
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
Harmony Raffle
If you are 18 or older and have either an address, an email, or a phone number, then all it will cost you is
$5 USD/$60 pesos to be eligible to win a new Quatrimoto four wheeler or $4,000USD/$50,000 pesos in
the Harmony Raffle, benefiting Santa Julia and others.
“Especially in these economic times, it’s important that our nonprofits work together in harmony to meet
their charitable goals,” said raffle organizer John Doherty. Participating nonprofits from San Miguel are
Casa de los Angeles (daycare), Casa Hogar Santa Julia (girl’s home), Hospice San Miguel (end-of-life
care), la Biblioteca (bicultural literary arts center benefiting youth), and the Midday Rotary Club (worldwide
community service).
Representatives of each of these nonprofits are currently selling tickets for the grand prize, a new
Yamaha Big Bear 250cc Quatrimoto and matching red helmet, the value of which is $50,000 pesos/
$4,000 USD, as well as many other prizes, including a vacation package, original art, rocking chairs, a
quilt, and a deluxe stay at the Rosewood Hotel. Watch for the ticket sales tables around town, including
every Saturday at parque Juarez, Sundays at la Biblioteca, and various times in the Jardin, la Luciernaga,
and the Juan de Dios and Tianguis markets.
The drawing will happen Friday, October 29, between 3 and 5 pm at Ventanas de San Miguel Golf &
Resort at the awards banquet of the premier Rotary San Miguel Charity Golf Tournament benefiting Santa
Julia and other children’s homes.
For more information about prizes and online purchase of raffle tickets,
click into or contact:
Robin Loving Rowland,, 152-3709 or 925-476-
8117(US), or buy your tickets from the Santa Julia girls at the organic
market each Saturday at Juarez Park from 9am to 2pm.
Pal Program
Many of you have particiated in our Pal Program, like a pen pal program but via email to When your letters come in English, we send them to the girls’ English teacher for
response. When they come in Spanish, we refer them to the girls’ social worker for response. All that
said, we know that the girls don’t always respond. We recently created the Santa Julia Advisory Council
to help the girls and their miracle-making Madres, and we have two teens who represent the other
girls at the Council each month. We asked them about the lack of responsiveness, and they said that
if there are no digipix attached to their emails, they feel lost as to whom they are responding to. So,
please include a photo of you each time you write, and thanks for befriending the girls in this way to
improve their literary skills!
Events Calendar
Where love grows miracles
Santa Julia Matters
September/October 2010
Celebrate Mexico’’s Independence!
September marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence, and the
40 Santa Julia girls want to celebrate. How much fun to take a few girls to the
various events around town! For more information, contact Santa Julia’s
Volunteer Manager Sheila Byrns at
Count the Beans or Bring in the Bacon!
The girls are not the only ones who are eager to mix it up with volunteers. The
Santa Julia Advisory Council has more than 200 volunteer positions, including
those for accountants and fundraisers. If you have general accounting and
Quick Books abilities, or if you are interested in some of the fun planned on
the fundraising side of the house, please contact Financial Manager Rod Dye
Give Santa Julia the Run Around!
With 40 kids and only 5 Madres, there’s always more to do than can be done.
If you’re the kind of person who loves to stay busy, let us offer you the
opportunity to fulfill on various errands that need running. Contact Robin
Loving Rowland at
On the Road Again!
We have a number of girls over the age of 15 who could really benefit from
driver’s education if a volunteer were available to help?
"I hope to return again to San Miguel and visit Santa
Julia. This was clearly the highlight of my trip to San
Miguel. Working with these lovely girls would be gratifying.
Anita H., Arkansas

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday 12th September 2010…..YES…a handy man ….am not!!!!!!

These are not great photos BUT the work is complete thanks to Croft and today to Kirby…the new TV installation looks great and the door cover is really first class and I am very happy and a lot less weight and an extra storage space..and NO Sara you are not getting it!!!!!!!

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Looks good I think…

I reffed another soccer game today a Ladies Division game…it is quite fun to be in charge of 22 ladies running around on a field…I have been doing this so long that I know most of the players and have a good rapport with them, well I think I do, the game today was played in nasty rainy cold conditions but the standard of football was good.

I am now back in Duncan

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where I have three days before I head out again…this time going up Island to Courtney to participate as a soccer referee in the BC Senior games…..this will be a lot of fun and I have done it before,  this time I shall be reffing some teams with players that I used to play with years ago, good memories but you can bet the farm they will still be chirping at me…..

Soggy weekend hoping for good weather again tomorrow…

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday 11th September 2010..a day to remember!!!



I am a sports nut or what???  Up at 6am on a Saturday morning to watch English soccer……just had time after that game finished to make eggs before I had to sit and watch live tennis from New York….had to leave that to go referee my first game today a youth game, boys under 16 years….it was a good game and those boys had some good skills.

From there it was off to another field to watch the University teams play…

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It was then back to the house to watch the last set of another live tennis match from new York….then back to the soccer field to referee a senior men’s game and all their mouthy comments and then I did the assistant reffing on another men’s team and home by 10.15pm….

So am I a sport’s nut??????

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday 10th September 2010…..another busy day

Yesterday was another trip to the dentist and 3 hours  and 5 injections later I left with my impressions done and my temp bridge and crowns in place and when I return on the 28th I should have my upper teeth all completed.

I then came to Nanaimo and I actually won 10 dollars at poker…yes I know a red flag day!!!!

I am in Nanaimo for the weekend and today it was Ramona’s turn for a repair…I have had this on going brake issue ever since Vegas and I am hoping my good mechanic can fix it today…also took the door frame from where the TV was mounted that Croft did earlier this week and am having it covered so I should get that back later on today and then Ramona is ready….

Lots of little chores to do and then tonight a family movie night….this weekend I have 4 soccer games to officiate so I am hoping I can still blow that whistle with my new teeth!!!!!!


Sara is doing well in Kyuquot and she is managing to get out in the kayak most days when she has finished work whilst on call….

Wish you all a great weekend…

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wednesday 8th September 2010…a clean day!!!

My friend, Karen,  came down to Duncan this morning and we spent 5 hours doing a clean over in Sara’s suite…thanks so much Karen!!!!!

How come it is raining and cold outside??  Anyone???

A quiet evening for me before my hectic weekend starts tomorrow with another visit to the dentist tomorrow afternoon then I am going to Nanaimo for the weekend but more on that tomorrow…

Wednesday 8th September 2010…..facelift for Ramona!!!

Yesterday was a big day for Ramona the installation of the new 22 inch flat screen DVD and TV combo…..My friend Croft in Campbell River had offered to do the work for me…I had to think long and hard about his offer because for payment he wanted me to treat him and Norma to …wait for it…fish and chips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I drove the 160 km up to C. River and Croft was waiting for me with tools in hand…he is a very talented handyman and looked at the work needed and he began by finding the way to remove the old TV.  He did find that it was secured in place with special screws the heads of which were not the normal screw heads and a special screw driver was needed, which he did not have so it required a trip to the local hard ware store for that and other parts we were going to need.

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I bought the parts and back to Croft’s car and then the realization that he had locked his keys in the car sunk in!!!!!!  No problem he said I have one taped under the car….big problem because he could not find them.  So a call to Norma and 10 minutes later she arrives with a huge smile on her face, no comment and the spare keys…a smart woman that one!!!!

So I am thinking do I want this man to work on my Ramona??  Thought I would give him a second chance….

So back to the house and with the right tools….and out came the TV…

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The old TV was huge!!!!  Must have weighed no less than 50 pounds!!!!!

So Croft got to work with measurements, adjusting, screwing, fitting, maybe one or two small curses and the new TV was fitted into place!!!  What was I doing you might ask??   Holding the light for him!!!!!

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The TV looks great and it is so much lighter and the arm it is on swivels and also I can just lift it off the bracket and lay it on the bed for travelling!!!

The space where the old TV was Croft took the frame and with some inventive thought and a piano hinge and magnetic strips made it into a door that swings up from the bottom.  All that is needed is for me to get some fabric to cover the front and then I have a complete new door that opens into quite a large storage area for towels and light things.

It will look really neat and the weight reduction by the removal of the old TV and the extra storage space plus the new TV  is wonderful.

Croft thank you so much!!!!   Also Norma thanks for your input on the door cover and also a lovely lunch.

We then went down to Dick’s fish and chip shop on the dock by the ferry for probably some of the best fish and chips I have ever had.

I got back to Nanaimo about 9.30pm and spent the night here and now heading down to Duncan where my friend Karen is driving down and she has offered to help clean the suite at Sara’s house with me.  Don’t I have just the best friends???

Have a great day out there…..

Monday, September 06, 2010

Monday 6th September 2010…don’t tell me

that is the end of summer!!!  As I write it is dark, cold, wet, windy and a perfect Winter morning…what a shame for the last day of the long weekend with so many families camping and trying to entertain the kids before they return to school tomorrow.

I had a lovely day in Victoria yesterday….what a vibrant city so many things happening and flooded with tourists.

I walked around downtown in the early afternoon..

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The Empress Hotel where Sara and I stayed one night last October.

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The inner harbour with the Parliament building in the background.

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Local artists performing…

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I really like this photo below…. a real Limey shot!!!

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At 2.30pm I went to the very beautiful Royal theatre for my concert!!!

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The show was excellent and I love bands and drums and the fanfare and the tradition.  They played to a packed house and the concert was almost three hours!!!

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After the concert I met my great friend Karen and her son Dan, who I haven’t seen for years and Karen’s partner, John…we went for a nice meal and thanks for paying for me Karen….John and Karen went to a Blues concert and I dropped Dan off at home and drove back to Duncan… was very cold last night and dark by 8pm..fall for sure is around the corner!!!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Saturday 4th September 2010..where does the time go??

It seems that everyday is chocked full with things to do…on reflection I have been retired 4 years in a couple of months and it has just been a whirlwind!!!!

Anyway I stayed overnight in Nanaimo and worked on Ramona and getting some things done as I am taking Ramona to my friend Croft’s house in Campbell River on Tuesday for a make over on the TV and overhead cabinet…you are going to like the new look I know!!!!

I am going back tonight to Duncan and tomorrow I am going to Victoria for the day they have music festivals taking place all over down town and I have booked a ticket for a concert in the afternoon it is the band of H.M. Royal Marines Portsmouth…should be a wonderful concert…

Sara is enjoying her day in Kyuquot she is going out paddling if she has no calls…….best wishes to all.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday 3rd September 2010…Happy Birthday!!


Today is Sara’s son, Gabe’s birthday….So want to wish him a Happy Birthday!!

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Today is also the birthday of my friend and employee for 14 years so Happy Birthday to you also Marilyn…..

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Thursday 2nd September 2010…a busy day..

I left Duncan this morning and drove up to Nanaimo and my family on the Bank!!!!  Again the deer were in the front yard!!

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Did lots of running around getting things done, did some visiting and then tonight went and gave five dollars to my poker buddies…I really do enjoy the poker nights we meet at a local restaurant and then take turn to host the games, we limit it to 20 dollars in chips and when 10.30pm comes around we go home.  The guys are great and we all enjoy the evening!!!

Sara is settled in Kyuquot and I think enjoying being back there for a few weeks….I am staying the night and back to Duncan tomorrow evening… is a long weekend here in Canada so I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Thursday 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...