Oct 20, 2014

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE VOLCANO - Part Two: The one and only, ¨Hooray for Hollywood¨ (and other emotional outbursts)


My family moved to Los Angeles,  mid-December 1957, from the State of Washington.

I absolutely hated leaving the Pacific Northwest. My growing up life had been joyous in Washington  (and visits to Southern Idaho to Grandmas house in the Summertime).  What I mourned most (and I did for one year) and disliked leaving, was the romance I had with the outdoors and I missed my childhood friends too. I loved nature, mountains, fresh water lakes, armloads of Lilacs, apples picked from trees and the beautiful white almost-warm snow in the Wintertime to romp in. I had spent my lifetime running barefoot during shady Summers. Life was ideal and I knew it. I assumed nature was proof there was God and I still do (add a delightful friend or lots of them).  I also loved my accomplices in childhood and I wrote letters to them frantically posted with 3 cent stamps (so they wouldn't forget me).  They did.

Before, in Washington, our beautiful/cozy White Christmas´ were decorated with  EMERALD GREEN pine wreaths, trees and garlands. Christmas trims would soon be replaced with less-lush/spindly and heavily flocked expensive Christmas Trees (flocking came in colors if you wanted to match them to your house. Ug!) shipped in from Canada!   Bougenvillea was in bloom on those stark and Sunny Days of Southern California at Christmas'! Oy vey! ¨Ice plant¨ grew in every parkway and replaced ¨ice cycles¨! No way!  How I hated the bright Sun beating down on me/us at that first Christmastime as we raced to buy gifts for some of the many ¨Clark, Bramley, Cross, Jones, Taylor/etc¨ relatives who had become Californians before us!  I remember the jammed packed May Company, The Broadway and Buffum´s best. My Dad had a brand new, extra spiffy new job starting January 1958.  He had been promoted to Industrial Sales Engineer for all of Los Angeles up to Santa Barbra and had all the very biggest and high volume military and aircraft clients in his portfolio -- life was good as I pouted about readjusting and not finding ANY pleasure (or glee) under the Palm Trees...I hated Los Angeles!

My Mom and Dad made the transition as pleasant as they could.  They made great effort to find  a comfy/modernish stucco home (it needed work) and then proceeded to turn it into a charming place to live.  My parents were great that way with Mom redecorating (including doing all the painting with white fabrics wrapped around her head to protect her coiffed hair) and Dad doing the large backyard garden and front drive and lawn. Dad painted the stucco on the house medium PINK with WHITE trim.  They built a high redwood fence (there was a huge/acres open wild green area behind the property of our house.  We gleamed (we always had, albeit in WHITE with dark GREEN trim in our Northwest earlier life)!   Then, came the patio, the indoor/outdoor living the planting of Dichondra (and the everyday fight with Crab grass). WE were true Californias now. We went to the Philharmonic Auditorium downtown L.A. for Light Opera, visited Farmers Market to shop for giant Avocados, saw West Side Story at Grauman´s Chinese Theatre, ate/loved Mexican Food and leaned to Body Surf at Redondo Beach. My life was about to unfold before me in ways that made me extra glad to be alive...differently! 

Hooray for Hollywood!




Under Len´s Lid, was the name of the weekly column I wrote as Feature Page Editor for the Narbonne High School student produced/journalism class newspaper: The Green and Gold.

to be continued    

Oct 12, 2014

THE OTHERSIDE OF THE VOLCANO - Part One: Remembering far away spaces/places on a Sunday morning in Guatemala

The Fuego Volcano, Sacatepequez, Guatemala

October 12, 2014
Dentro de mi cabeza

Dreaming (day version) about more adventures?  My whole life has been jam-packed with adventure. Real ones, tiny *regular* diversions like climbing apple trees, swimming, fishing, building snowforts and regularly starting neighborhood dirt clod wars at construction sites. My well organized group of childhood friends also enjoyed performing in small, yet extravagantly attempted,  plays/dramas that I produced/directed (I insisted on controlling the *creative* even then) with neighborhood kids on our back carport stage.

A pretend Hollywood?  


No script. Garage dressing room, old Halloween/whatever costumes (Moms make up - would she miss it?) and front center seating, Orchestra and Balcony on the grass (depending on the incline or use of garden furniture). Buttered Pop Corn and Lemonade available (at a price). Oh, the joy of big clear starrynight sky in the Summertime.  I can taste it right now. I can see the stars as I wondered about infinity.  Night has a tasty flavor  in Eastern Washington State where I grew up.  So does the freezing cold, delicious, water gulpped out of the garden hose.  I knew God was up there, high, high in the sky, smiling down on us...who wouldn't? I never thought of why not? Afterall, we were/are fascinating creations of God, every one of us unique! I knew that, I was told! Our show of shows traveled from house to house, night by night, with cardboard scenery, and a loyal cast of actors. We became a road troup immediately after the first nights performance! Premier! RAVE REVIEWS (what else were parents to say about such non-stop cleverness in the late 1940´s into early 50´s? )  Applause! Applause! Applause!

Off we went to the next welcoming backyard the next night (with a potential bigger audience) Bravo!  We had nothing to hit but the heights!  So, we hit ém! Thank you folks!


I love adventure, I love the not knowing, the wondering about what if, the making up something fascinating from nothing. The silliness. The blundering. The overdoing of it all!  Exaggeration could be my middle name! I have quite a vivid imagination and it often takes me where I have never been before.  I´m gifted with what seems to be an extra measure of mind inventiveness. I never ever minded being alone entertaining myself (still) and my Mom often said to me ¨How you DO go on, dear!¨ Yes, I confess, I do (I may be even worse now because I am living in a remote village in Guatemala speaking Spanish.  That Spanishspeaking every day slows my ¨how you do go on¨ way down.  That is, until I am around other English speakers...yak, yak, yak!

  Once upon a realtime, we, Parents/Lenny went to Seattle to visit my sister Marilynn at her sorority on Parents Weekend (University of Washington).  We stayed high-up in a very modern circular hotel by the name of the Edmond Meany. Wow! We had a suite and late at night, while my parents were sleeping in the bedroom I would stare for hours out the huge living room windows with the dazzling view of blinking, nightime Seattle.  What I thought about was people in love.  I wondered ¨how many people were making love in Seattle at that very moment? ¨  I loved the thought that there were tens of thousands of people enjoying romance. I love romance, that has never changed.

I also wondered if there were people like me making love outside the Edmond Meany Hotel...could it be there were other people like me? Blinking in the twinkling night, seeking bliss on a weekend night, Seattle, Washington, 1956.



There were! (I found out a few years later in Los Angeles)
to be continued

Sep 24, 2014

¿Cómo está usted? : The importance of being Leonardo/Leonard and deciding the way to see *things* on a rainy afternoon

Here we are.  How are you?


¿Cómo está usted?


It's a pounding rain kind of afternoon at the foot of the Fuego volcano, Sacatepequez, Guatemala.  I have been bordering on very depressed all morning.  Things! Things in the real world of making deals, observing legal forms, seeking professional  help on a couple of business issues. I continue to do my best to contribute with rigorous and honest participation at most levels of life.  Sometimes it seems rocky, makeshift or impossible. Am I trying too hard?  Preguntas.

How can it be that almost everywhere I look there is ¨difficult¨ behavior being revealed these past days. Even manipulative, sometimes tiresome and now and then occupied with those who are less than straight-forward with me?  Is it always about them or am I not paying close enough attention to reality and what's what and what's not what?  Frustrated, or am I  unwilling to allow the world around me as it REALLY is to sink in?

Perhaps my ´basic decency¨ and inner most ¨common sense¨ making mechanism is overreacting again?  Well, maybe, maybe yes and maybe no.  I get tired of trying to do the right thing and getting struck/stuck by/in some/any kind of silly far-too-flawed-human embroglio? Big or little, size doesn't seem to matter. It's obviously a challenge for me to ¨get over¨ my hope that some kind of personal/lofty perfection will be rebounded...at least not in/around the overly-hopefilled me.  So, acceptance seems to be the key when nonsense, mine and other peoples, seems overwhelming.  Keeping in mind that it's not always about me. It REALLY isn't, it helps mucho and gives me cause for calm.

Then there is the good side of things. (and I want more, more, more my addictive nature whispers to me)

Good side of things do happen regularly.  How can I doubt the integrity of nature taking it's course properly around me? Life without my scorn happens in  a good-way?  It does. Often. I love the life I have been given.  I love the life I live in Guatemala in my ¨maturing¨ years.  I love running next door for hot corn tortillas (tres tiempos) and I love meeting my neighbors and being addressed as Don Leonardo and being respected in everyday kinds of polite and tiny ways.  A grin, a nod, a cheerful ¨Good Afternoon¨ from a barefoot/bronze-golden  ¨ancient old man¨  or ¨anciano¨ who is probably the same age as me.

I belong to the world around me and that is a very BIG deal. I've evolved as fitting in did happen over time.  I am assimilated into the slow, the friendly, the genuine touch of basic humanity as it presents itself around me...it walks up to me, it waits for the bus in front of my house, it laughs with me when we are caught in the pouring rain and it understands, most of all, it, life at the foot of the volcano that nobody is PERFECT.  People, humans, fruits and vegtables are a big combination of  fresh, ripe, maturing and rotting/rotten...nature does have levels and a timeline.  Nature has integrity as it reveals all.

Sometimes I forget that everything and everyone is part of the mix of life progression and SHOULD be  (I don't get to choose who is worthy and who is not so gifted)..

Reality just takes some getting used to.

The rain stopped.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonard Clark Beardsley



Sep 11, 2014

I REFUSE TO DIE FROM THE OLD MAN GRUMPY DISEASE: Saying no, letting go, ignoring bigots, avoiding blowhards, distancing oneself from self-righteous ignoramouses, greedsters and thieves! Smile!






I woke up in the middle of the night.  I just didn't sorta drift in and out of a deep sleep...I almost lurched bolt upright.  Thankfully I was covered with five (out of six) dogs that were sleeping in my room...the fan was whirling, the window open and all was well.  I felt immediately happier, just the presence of my dog friends does that for me.  I love dogs and I love human beings too (mostly, but reserve right of refusal) but I get VERY tired of the nonsense I encounter from some walking around REAL people who seem to have lost all touch with  reality/sanity.  Reality and its companion of common sense.  Grumble, grumble. Grumbling is what older people do?  I don't want to end up with a terminal case of the Grumpy Disease! I think it is cureable, vamos a ver.




I think common sense must be a dying personal quality/trait or you get more or less of it as you get older.  It is either that or I have been running into much in the way of out-of-control sociopaths, cutestriving opportunists, dodge and bobbers plus a few greedsters, a handfull (or more) grown ups whose Mommies must have told them they could have whatever it is they wanted (instead of accepting a more humbling ¨no¨ means ¨no¨ or live with  ¨maybe¨). Or, maybe their Mommies slapped ém around too mucho...and always said NO...who knows, not me!  My Mommie was sweet, pretty and wholesome as emotionally wholesome people can be.   Ask anyone in my family, I lucked out!


Throwback Thursday, Me and my Mom!

Anyway, after a short English/Spanish conversation with my dogs I decided to ¨let go¨ with the annoyance I felt for selective-humanity.   I think I am fine as long as I keep to my longstanding rule to behave myself, keep an keen eye on the sometimes overly-clever-in-me, and accept the often screwy behavior of others (as long as it doesn't HARM others or me - no playing pretend that IT doesn't or won't if it does/will)...it wasn't a bad dream afterall. I just had a middle-of-the-night spiritualike wake up spot-check-call that almost immediately turned into gratitude just for ¨being¨ alive, now and before now, and of gladness for having such a full-run-full-up-mostly-good in my life.   You see, I am just now 71 years old (it came upon me suddenly).  I have had a colorful/action/creative-packed life and I come from a loving family (who ate Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding every Sunday afternoon - proof if ever there was!). I have been loved deeply by friends and lovers who are/were dear to me/forever and I am loved still (in spite of creeping grumpiness disease). I LOVE, I love, I love those around me both living and not anymore (friends far away and some whom I have never met but thanks to the internet know quite well).

Thanks be to God (who I visualize to be a powerful force way beyond infinity)

I am one very fortunate olderdude who is very blessed and I know it!

Now, it's time to go down to my studio and paint!

Have a great day (be nice, and I will try and be nice too),

Leonardo RIcardo
LeonardClarkBeardsley
(at the foot of the volcan de Fuego, Guatemala)  

Sep 2, 2014

THE TWISTED DANCE OF THE SELF-DECEIVER (righteousness on the run)

*Things*  often are not what they seem to be!

Here I am watching another version of the old human ¨hustle¨  again!  I am simultaneously observing the age old game of trying to believe that words have virtue when spewed out by those who make a special point of explaining their less-than-first-class self-righteous  religiouslike intentions.  It's the handywork of the christianlike religious zealot when carving a place for their quackery in society.  Won't we just SEE their LIGHT? Oh, but if only they could convince me and all the others of the ¨good¨ they do (like it or not) ...no doubt my lunch would digest and my faith in human nature would be restored again...if only they were capable of being honest with themselves and us!

I learned a very long time ago what ¨good character¨ represents, so, I most often represent it.  I know,  it would be so much better for the world if Leonardo and everyone else just had ¨good character¨ to begin with, but, alas, no soap.  I know it would be much easier for you all to get filled up with glee thinking that I am nicer than I really am, but I won't deceive either you or me...the REAL and responsible thing is what I must be...a good start. Agreed? 

As I cautiously continue being the REAL me (mopping up as I go along) I have the opportunity to notice the REAL in you too as the months pass trudging my personal path of destiny. 

Currently, I  have spent a year+ observing a mittfull of first class sociopathic = relgious pretenders. A wonderous cluster of selfdeceivers preaching sermons featuring overly twisted earbenders meant to impress me and others with their self-proclaimed ¨spiritual¨ worth/worthiness (or a least keep us in silent wonder/mouth-dropped-open awe). Makes me carsick even without a car...such a mess they make when they pontificate! Please open the window and let the words/odor of these do/nothing dead-beats deplete.  Whew, makes my bellyache and my head pound when petty/righteous feckless are hanging around playing their own PRAISE SONG.  And they do, and they are...why won't they go away and NEVER come back another day?  Perhaps they will, even with fairly good mileage they OUGHT be running out of GAS soon! Hot air escapes and bloated egos go boom.

I am sure you must know who they are and I bet you have met a dozen or so of religious-chizzlers too...all cotton mouthed, less than prestine and not even really clean intentioned (no matter how they fuss about self-honesty). They promise to pray for you and even me too which I am not sure is a good thing! 

I am tired of greedy-grabby and whole-self-centered back stabbing religi-con-artistas for Christ.  I know many are emotionally sick but my compassion is running on low. I know I have little patience for the shifty, the unwholesome, the careless bullshitter around me...I know it's time to stop playing catch and/or trying to follow the bounce in their curve balls...praise the Lord but FOR GOD SAKE please do something about  selfcentered opportunists and their dangerous stupidity that no longer can be disguised as good-intentions...self will running riot, untreated emotional/spiritual illness  is especially offensive when displayed by those who claim alcoholic recovery while acting out insanely.


I'll take it! Leonardo Ricardo


Aug 20, 2014

100+ YEAR MAYA TRADITION IN GUATEMALA: ¨Convite¨ costumed street dances illustrate the Maya, the Conquistador, Mexican Dances and mix in the contemporary world as it impacts the spiritual elements around us in Guatemala!


DANCING IN THE ALTIPLANO - K´iche´ Maya, 101 Anniversary in Santa Cruz, de Quiche last SUNDAY - Henry Leonardo Minas Veliz , my art assistant traveled there.



Every year in some of the towns in Guatemala, on regularly scheduled annual dates, we have ¨Convites¨ which are costumed street parades. These extravaganzas, and they really are, have groups who are invited to participate. These groups plan a year in advance their elaborate costumes and dancing messages. Originally over one hundred years ago (that we know) the ¨Convites¨ displayed the local cultural mix of Conquistadors and Indigenous interpretations of their mix into each phase of contemporary and local society, also there is a heritage of ¨Mexican Dancing¨ that was also ¨invited¨ to participate. The organizational approach of these ¨dance´societies¨ reflect the way they see themselves connecting with the outside world...it's a great a colorfilled mix. 





Last weekend my art assistant Henry and Glenda his wife traveled to Santa Cruz de Quiche for the famous annual, this year celebrating 101 year tradition. Henry returned home with videos and many photographs of the spectacular event...I will share some here so you can SEE how we have become inspired to paint ¨Convite¨ paintings, murals and even ceramics...they have already become a fascinating new direction for us because, like the dance groups, the imagination level is limitless...it's all about absorbing influence from NOW and centuries before NOW! 



I love the ¨Convites¨ and in our town of San Miguel Dueñas we will ¨ritual dances¨ after the procession of the VIrgin of the New Year, December 28th, mid-day, in San Miguel Dueñas...really fascinating and I think I will plan a lunch party around it and after the Virgin of the New Year passes my house we will then see the CONVITE FANTASTICO de San Miguel Dueñas, come visit ...vamos a ver, but for now, here is more of a glympse of what appeared before Henry, Glenda and their baby at San Cruz de Quiche last Sunday: 



REAL PEOPLE, REAL TRADITIONS, REALITY can be FANTASY, INTERPRETATION!  MORE CULTURAL WONDERS of the WESTERN WORLD in GUATEMALA!


Leonardo/Len

Aug 13, 2014

GENUINE - THE REAL GUATEMALA: The lushness, the delightful truth, the reality of the people and the great energy of everyday life among the MAYA! Leonardo Ricardo (video)



Visit Guatemala v.3.0 (Updated version) from skycamguatemala on Vimeo.

HERE WE ARE IN GUATEMALA, CENTRAL AMERICA!

Mira! 

Note: There are NO huge/wild gangs rushing around or legions of starving children in the streets/etc. What there REALLY IS here are a few fundraising crooks selling faux U.S. Green Cards and ¨safe passage¨ to the U.S.A.  

Most people, Guatemalans and guests (NGO's, the Peace Corps, Religious organizations) are adding positive acts building stronger communities with wholesome energy that simply add to the increased all-around everyday life of regular Guatemalan citizens.  There is a sincere and eager interest in cultivating improved education/health life in this beautiful and historically important part of the Western Hemisphere. 

Guatemala is a lovely place which is also named the ¨Land of Eternal Spring.¨

The very best thing you can do to help STOP illegal immigration is to help the economy here, visit here, add your expertise here, join in right here in my little town, San Miguel Dueñas, at the foot of Fuego Volcano (export flowers, vegetables and coffee farms) or ANYWHERE in Guatemala to educate and elevate..don't exploit or discriminate! One more suggestion is to evaluate the financial transparency of any volunteer group or NGO you  may wish to help...some are better than others in the trickledown department.

SAFE, SOUND, EAGER and HARDWORKING -- predawn into night, beat that!

Leonard Clark Beardsley. I am one of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens enjoying the great gift of living a full life and right NOW, especially grateful to be a guest in Guatemala.  Please come visit us, you'll love it.  As a longtime Guatemalan friend once said to me ¨Guatemala, you either ´get it´ or you don´t¨...I think I do and I think you will too.

Thanks to SkyCam, Guatemala
Thanks to Visit Guatemala
Thanks to The Maya culture
Thanks to The Land of Eternal Spring


Aug 4, 2014

INFINITY and LEONARDO RICARDO: ¨As a child my mind drifted far away into the vastness of not knowing¨

The way I see things makes the world be things

I feel drawn to write/blog a few of my recent thoughts/feeling.


I have always lived beyond the boundries of what I was expected to see and who I was expected to be.  As a child my mind drifted far away into the vastness of not knowing, into trying to make sense out of infinity.  Often I tell my Summer stories of sleeping in the outdoors and staring up at the stars...then beyond the stars.  I sometimes wondered how it could be that I didn't know where infinity would end?  Then, what space or place would come next?  Beyond the finish of infinity scared me a little.  It wasn't the not knowing that frightened me it was the stark understanding that I was so physically present when gazing into the BIG *it*  The BIGNESS and who, why. what, where and WHEN of it all!  Would I fall in or jump in? Would I be blindfolded and do a back flip into wherever there was?

Early in my childhood I realized I was *different* than others.  I knew I had longings of the larger than life variety and I knew I was a person  with different  longings than most of you-s.  What was the spell binding thing that took me far away? What was  the close-inside-of-me place lusting for space in my own safe backyard? Why did I have the built-in freedom to imagine such beautiful and colorful things that were both real and not-yet-seen in my early life?  Was I different, foggy or the same?  I now think it was the extra romancing of the possibilities of life that was perking inside of me.  My life and my eagerness to know about yours too.  Silently I decided what I must do, both with and without your approval.  Very early I discovered things were, in fact, not what they seemed to be (or ought be?)...my reality and imagination went wild in a good way as I played and romped and laughed and fished and planted and tasted every little attraction to be had around me.  I snuggled up to life.  As a child I was fearless. Life liked me back (mostly).  I always knew that in order to thrive I would need to operate both in and outside of the box, the boundries, the rules, the shame game the snear and those wavy ¨good¨ lines.   Infinity gave me permission to go as far as life would take me which meant way past the end of it in my minds eye.

Infinity has, it does, it will and I thank the God of my vivid understanding. I thank that same wonderdrenched God for letting me share life with all of you.  Some more than others, some closer up than others.  Now and before now it is you who still shine brightly for me dead or alive.  You are still there and here and I know who you are even from afar...you validate my innermost passion for life and you have not gone far away from my heart. I kiss you back. 

I love you


Leonard Clark Beardsley
Sacatepequez, Guatemala

Aug 1, 2014

CONCERNED ABOUT RETALIATION: Ugandan court invalidates anti-gay law, ¨Null and Void¨

¨The anti-gay measure was enacted on Feb. 24 by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality among African children¨
KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.
The panel of five judges on the East African country’s Constitutional Court said the speaker of parliament acted illegally when she allowed a vote on the measure despite at least three objections – including from the country’s prime minister – over a lack of a quorum when the bill was passed on Dec. 20.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga , Parliament of  Uganda
“The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was a quorum,” the court said in its ruling. “We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally.”
The ruling was made before a courtroom packed with Ugandans opposing or supporting the measure. Activists erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law is now “null and void.”
The anti-gay measure provided for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also allowed lengthy jail terms for those convicted of the offenses of “attempted homosexuality” as well as “promotion of homosexuality.”
Frank Mugisha, a Ugandan gay leader, said the ruling Friday was a “step forward” for gay rights even though he was concerned about possible retaliation.
Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, an attorney for the activists, said the ruling “upholds the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda.”
Lawyers and activists challenged the anti-gay law after it was enacted in February on the grounds that it was illegally passed and that it violated certain rights guaranteed in Uganda’s constitution...please read it all:

Thanks to Nicholas Opiyo, Esquire/Uganda
Thanks to Stephen Kavuma, Judge/Uganda Constitutional Court
Thanks to Frank Mugisha, Ugandan gay leader
Thanks to Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi,, Esquire/Uganda
Anglican Archbishop  (emeritus) Henry Orombi of Uganda,

WHO IS MORALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MURDER OF  ANGLICAN INTEGRITY/UGANDA OFFICER DAVID KATO?

 http://leonardoricardosanto.blogspot.com/2011/01/attn-archbishop-henry-orombipresident.html


¨The religious leader called on Parliament to expedite the passing of the Anti-homosexuality Bill into law to combat same-sex marriages which threats the moral fabric of the Ugandan society...¨ HERE   (There already IS a NO SAME SEX MARRIAGE Law in Uganda)


http://leonardoricardosanto.blogspot.com/2012/06/archbishop-orombiuganda-his-dangerous.html

Jul 7, 2014

THE FIVE A.M. EARTHQUAKE WAKE UP CALL: Good Morning from Guatemala, America Central!

Garden at the Foot of the Volcano, 4´x 4´ , painted on stretched panel
Good Morning friends and visitors,

This morning I had a roller coaster ride and it didn't leave my bed.  It was a 7.1 Earthquake that presented itself up near the Mexican border (150+ miles Norte).  Dogs barking, we have four, birds chirping and flapping and Gold Fish acquariams splashing.  I have an adjoining bathroom to my bedroom (on the second floor) and I always dash in there because it feels safer, is over the laundry area downstairs and only has small windows at the top of one wall...I met Juan Carlos there.  Juan Carlos said DID YOU FEEL IT (the bathroom has a door that opens to the second floor corridor too)? YES, I felt it as it was probably the longest/strongest terramoto/tremblor that we have had in a very long time. 

Somehow I am not very afraid when the ¨shake ups¨ happen.  I don't know if it is because I grew up in Los Angeles, went to college in the San Francisco Bay Area or experienced big ones in Mexico D.F...it's just that I don't become terrorized, I seem to go with the flow as I wait for them to stop...grabbing on to walls as one does on a boat. Juan Carlos doesn't seem afraid either as he laughs about being tossed out of bed...DID I FEEL IT, yes, Juan Carlos, I DID!

All is well.  Above please note my painting ¨Garden at the Foot of the Volcano¨  just to reassure you that the sun is shining, the birds are back to full-fledged chirping, the doggers have had breakfast and we have had our morning coffee...the blossoms are opening and our garden continues to grow.  I love life, thanks for checking on us.

Leonardo Ricardo
San Miguel Dueñas
Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Central America