Last updateTue, 22 Apr 2014 12pm

Back You are here: Home Columns Columns Jeanne Chaussee

A valentine

Here in Mexico, February 14 isn’t a day for lovers only – good friends are included in the date’s felicitations. It’s not a bad idea. Most of us are going so fast all the time that we forget to let our friends know that they are appreciated. Pick up that phone or boot up your computer and let your friends know that they are in your best thoughts. Happy Valentine’s Day and Dia del Amor y la Amistad!

Put your pants on

Lakeside doesn’t actually have a dress code but it wouldn’t hurt visitors and foreigners living here to be more sensitive to what’s acceptable to the local Mexican community.


The wizardry of the internet is really the stuff of fairy tales. We sit at a little machine in our own home (or even on the bus or, God forbid, when we’re driving) and put ourselves in touch with virtually the whole world. Most of the information I receive to fill out the columns I write each week comes to me in email form. It’s terrific.


Those of you who think you are getting away with driving your dogs to other people’s neighborhoods so that they can run on someone else’s lawn, irrigate every hedge and leave fecal calling cards all over the place should be warned — you are not going unnoticed. Others are watching and some have taken videos.

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays

As much as I’d like to ignore the whole thing, the fact is the holidays are upon us. No. I don’t mean good ol’ Thanksgiving and Christmas (though sooner or later they have to be dealt with, too) but those favorites of all who live in this village: Revolution Day followed by nine days of homage to the town patron saint, San Andres.

Stay home

Yes, I know. You all have important things to do – places to go, people to see, meetings to attend, errands to run – but absolutely nothing that can do without you for a few days.

Charity begins…

Anyone having lived in the Lakeside area for any length of time is aware of the many charities operating here. We take care of sick kids, students, old people, all sorts of animals and just about anything or anyone else that comes along.

No kill

I’ve heard through the grapevine that several of our readers are hell-bent on annihilating the local squirrel population. The little critters (sometimes called fuzzy-tailed rats) can be destructive. They can wipe out every plant in the patio in one night (they usually move in large groups). They are also fond of using insulation from the inside of automobiles for nesting. It’s easy to understand why they make gardeners and others a little peeved.

Watch your purse

One of the first harbingers of the holiday season is a rash of purse- and wallet-napping. It appears that 2011 won’t be an exception. Several phone calls from distressed residents reveal that those very clever thieves are already at work.

All is calm

‘Twas the night before Christmas (in 1970) and I was busy wrapping presents for my three little girls in the third floor attic of the house. The stockings were already hung. The tree was up. The fire was laid to be lit the next morning and my husband was finishing assembling a bicycle (he actually read the directions) and an impossible child’s oven (that didn’t have directions). We always went really big at Christmas and loved for the kids to see mountains of presents (for them, for our cats and for family expected later in the day) under the tree. I had forgotten the name tags for the gifts but wasn’t too worried about that. After all, I’d be able to remember which presents were for whom because of the paper I was using and by putting them in specific piles.

Try to remember

Certainly autumn in this little bitty corner of Mexico can match the splendor of anywhere, including New England, about which virtues are extolled and songs are written.

The press 101

It’s that time again. Lots of folks interested in publicizing their projects and events are making good use of the Internet.

They’re arriving

Like the fields of orange and yellow wildflowers growing along the highways and byways of Lake Chapala, a sure sign of fall is the influx of newcomers and snowbirds seeping into the local population. The stark realization they are here generally comes from overhearing conversations in local restaurants.

The Racket

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Just when you felt like breathing a little easier with the special day for the sainted patron of the village accomplished, the blare of the snare drums, Souza-phone, trumpet and clarinet of the neighborhood band is back on the street.

What price beauty

We’re supposed to be all dewy-eyed and overwhelmed with sadness for the poor actors and actresses whose cellphones have been hacked. Now their private numbers are public and, even worse, their private parts are exposed. Seems that what has to be incredible narcissism mandates that one keeps nude photos of oneself on one’s own cellphone. I understand why, in the throes of bliss, a nude photo of the object of affections might come in handy. A furtive glance at the loved one’s hot “bod” when we’re supposed to be working or studying could certainly buoy up a mood or even eroticize the afternoon … but getting that kind of thrill from looking at your own hot (or not) body?

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