Archives for December 2015


m and love

My son, Morgan joins the project

Maine in Summer 2016

Sandy Point Destination:
Greg and Lise’s LOVE:

marty and love

Long Time Neighbor Marty and Love

b and love

I add a piece on each beach walk







Morgan and I had a nice 4th of July visit.

Morgan and red dogs

Red Dogs!! We miss them!

M and parents

Morgan with Dustan and Jeanne

m and lobsters









Horseshoes on my beach


Judy in front of Fort Morgan


Zelda’s birthday cake

My longtime ( 52 year) friend, Zelda Chamoff and her sister Judy (my dorm mate at the University of Maine) and I had a lovely visit to celebrate Zelda’s 65th birthday. I loved hearing Judy called Bubbe by her grandchildren.
Judy's youngest


gail and hazel

Gail and Hazel relaxing on the beach

Brenda in Portland

At CArly’s apartment in Portland with Brenda and family












Josh and Marge's grandchildren

Grandchildren Marge and and Josh










Sears Island g,z and me Sears Island Tree

Sears Island is a little gem of a secret!! Zelda, Gail and I explored on a very hot day and enjoyed shade in the woods and magnificent old growth oaks.





Rosanne plays the Cahon

Rose 1SMALL PLANET – Reflections on degrees of separation.

Zihuatenejo is a town of about 100,000 people. I have read, in several publications, that there are about 10,000 ex-pats in Zihua. I would guess that 80% of those people are Canadians and Europeans.  It was a rough winter to be from the United States. The first five minutes of every conversation was focused on trying to find an answer to the question, “Explain Trump”.   I finally decided on a one word answer : UNFATHOMABLE.

So… there are not many Americans in Zihua. For all of you who live your life in several locales, it is unusual to have a people crossover and it is usually a big effort on the part of someone. Imagine my delight when new Zihua friend,  Roseanne,  contacted me and shared she would be playing at the 331 bar in Minneapolis. “Was that near my house?”,  she asked.  Here it comes … about 10 blocks away!  I really enjoyed listening to Rosanne play the Cahon (see picture) and her partner, Don Scott,  sure can pick! As many of you know… I ran around with bluegrass bands in my youth and I know from good.  Rosanne and Don live a block from me in Zihua and I look forward to getting to know them better. Live every moment of every day!!

rose 5 rose 3 rose 2


Last Graduation at Bemidji
My last graduation ceremony at Bemidji was wonderfully soulful. The ceremony was unusually special with a surprise visit from Amy Klobuchar (she is Minnesota’s Olympia Snow…what a great speech…I would vote for HER for president!).

My colleagues and students sent me off with fabulous lunches, brunches and dinners and wonderful gifts…several made by their own hands!

Jessamay and Barbara

Jessamay and I at Brunch

a bob and me

Bob Griggs, partner in starting DLiTE took me for a lovely dinner and gave me a stone carving created by a local Ojibwa man.

a stone carving Bob


Green Mill Send Off



a present Troy

The Dean, Troy, makes art! What a nice gift and lunch, too!

Lynn and Troy

Lynn , also an original PEDL creator, and Dean Troy








a present krisKris at gradKris Nei, presented me with a basket made by her own hands and filled it with a handmade quilt and local artisinal oils and vinegars. Kris, PEDL Coordianor, is smartie with heartie. It does not get any better than that!!


Click Here for Pizza Party Pics





Wrapping Up Zihua 2016 and Looking forward to 2017

Natasha and Antonio

Natasha, Barbara, Antonio and Franco to far right

Installed worksI have truly found my winter home in Zihua.  I am excited to announce that I will be Artist-in-Residence at Quinta Camelinas starting on January 21 – April 1, 2017. This means that visitors are welcome to visit my studio and  I will have a free (only supply fee)  open studio once a week by appointment. I will also be available to host workshops for up to 6 people at a time. I have been a teacher for over 40 years -20 of those an art teacher. Click here for biography info:

I also rent the entire top floor at Quinta and sublet my second room. Details here:

I left several artworks in Zihua when I returned to Minneapolis. Visit Paty’s Boutique La Ropa to see or buy (!)  several small works from La Mujer (The Lady) Series.   Franco’s Gift of Madre Art to me.

Quinta Camelinas has several of my small and medium works. Go see the art and stay for the food at Tonio’s! !!   

Antonio also does special order parties at Tonio’s or in your casa.
ENEFIT. QUINTA IS ON RIO BALSAS (NEAR THE FIRE STATION) AND YOU CAN PARK IN FRONT OF THE RESTAURANT!!!! Click here to see our fabulous Pork with Tamarind Sauce:  Sydney, Roy, Judy and I had a lovely meal together.  Click here for an opportunity to own a piece of Zihua with Sydney and Roy. 

The following works are all available for purchase at Quinta; Read More about the Art at Quinta :

Frida Installed Frida Pearls Hearts Installed
Bridges, B De Del Mar main2

De El  Mar:

24″ T X  18″ W X  4″ D
Mixed Media, drift wood, glass and wood beads, rope,
Rhine stones, waxed thread, oyster shells, coral, clay beads.
Collected by Karen from Zihua ‘s La Ropa.

I walk La Ropa Beach every morning.  The palm trees shade the water line until about 9:00.  I make my way to Patys for yoga  followed by a 90 minute massage for around 40 US dollars.  Life is pretty rough here in Zihua  Read More



Bridges, B Gods MAin


18″ W, 8″ Tall 3″ D . Mixed Media Santeria and Catholic artifacts, holy cards, beads, rattlesnake tail, copal, shell

Chango and Santa Barbara

Being raised in the Catholic religion, I am very interested in the various interpretations of Catholic doctrine I have discovered around the world. Santeria comes from the Spanish word for “saint”  and came to Cuba with slavery.  The African slaves incorporated their magical Yorba religious rites, into the ritual worship of the Catholic Church. The process is referred to as syncretism, which is blending of the two belief systems with a resultant creation of a new practice – Santeria.  Read more:

Bridges, B. Tres Mujeres Main Front

Tres Mujeres  2016   4500 pesos 
Mixed Media –  Found Objects on the streets of Zihua, beads, fabricated icons. Minneapolis, Zihuatanejo, Maine

Appearing at MEZGALERIA Opening: February 13th, 2016 Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Opening on February 2016

La Mujer Series was created to honor and consider the position of power Frida Kalo and The Lady of Guadalupe hold in Mexican culture.  In the United States we refer to the most powerful man in any cultural as “The Man”.  In an incredible gender development…I am suggesting that Mexico has “The Lady”.  I am just not sure which one is “The Lady” of  Mexico. What do you think?    Read More


Bridges, B Basura Main

Basura and Tesoro  2016

 Trash and Treasure

18″ W X 16″ T X 2″ D

Mixed Media: Found Objects from the streets of Zihua, Oyster shell, wood, crushed soda bottle, cast resin jaguars, beads, brash findings, pearls, bronze cross.

This work is a particular favorite of mine because of the pattern which emerged when the crushed bottle was stained with silicone. As we all know, the harm done to our planet from plastic products is profound- in the making, the using and the disposal of. Make trash into art!!  One of the reasons I chose Zihuatenjo (I spent a month in my three favorite places in 2015 -Oaxaca and Merida being the others) was the concern given to the cleanliness of the streets. Zihua is really doing a very good job in this area.


rice and beans 2

Rice and Beans

Linda Fox  hosts a cooking class for reserved guests on selected Thursdays to raise money for the Rice and Beans program at theCasa Para Ninos del Pacifico.   Linda is an internationally recognized chef and Guide Book author 

I brought my Quinta guests Shawn and Shari. Taking reservations for 2017 and  full time resident and future B and B hostess Sydney Byron . Winter resident Jody and her daughter also shared this remarkable experience with us.  Lind’s stories of the early years here in Zihua go back 45 years.  The cooking tips and detailed descriptions of all the ingredients and where to buy them were invaluable!!

This Rice and Beans nutritional program feeds 105 students each week in Zihuatanejo, Mexico schools.   Scroll down to see the student I am sponsoring at Los Ninos program.



Bridges, B Gods MAinMaking Art in Zihuatenejo. Post to visit my studio!
Tres Mujeres
Vida, Amor, Muerte
Basura y Tesoro
La Bestia
La Muer Series
Sista’ Art
Mascara Uno
Mascara Dos
De El Mar

New restaurant opens on Rio Balsas at Quinta Camelinas. Run, do not walk, to Tonio’s which is open 7am – 2 pm everyday!  They will also cook special requests for your party during the evening hours. The menu is authentic Mexican selections prepared by native son, Antonio Evangelista Diaz who was also trained in French cooking in Mexico City where I hear he also learned to speak French!   He shares the kitchen with Quinta owner, Natasha Raess, who bakes German pastries, cakes and bread.  WHAT a delicious combination!  You know you have enjoyed a unique EL PAN experience when you enjoy a slice of Natasha’s heavy grain German bread with Antonio’s home made guava or green marmalade jam spread.

You will love it!  Quinta is located on Rio Balsas but none of the cabbies know where that is.  Tell them to take you to the Estacion de Bomberos. (The fire station). Tell them to take a left (izquierda) after the fire station and then NEXT right (a la derecha). THAT is Rio Balsas. Drive almost to the end of the street and Quinta is on the left.

First Guest Leslie

The very first guest: Leslie



Dining room

First DAy Flowers

First DAy

First Day



pipi room

The classiest Pipi Room in town!












More Food !  Pozole on Thursday from Laurithaa . Several folks in the Quinta neighboorhod are on regular delivery.  60 pesos.  CAll  755 111 64 64  or order on her FaceBook


studio1studio3Puentes  La Escuela

We have been having great fun making art here in my nest at Quinta where I have a studio set up on my balcony where  I have been selling  my art as fast as I can make it.

People seem really interested in creating and being a 40 year veteran art teacher…it certainly has been soulful. Today I am formalizing my little operation which will be called  Puentes  La Escuela (The Bridges School).  See all the amazing work completed!  Makers


Kodak Moments in Zihua

More Food . Thursday Pozole from LAura Nicoles . There are several of us in the neighborhood who make it a regular Thursday experience. 60 pesos.  CAll  755 111 64 64  or order on her FaceBook



I am sponsoring a Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico student.  I am excited to share that I have joined the new initiative supporting the elementary students in the Pacifico program when they move on to Secondario.  The school fees in Mexico are quite the  reverse of  the situation in the United States.  Elementary and Secondary fees are unmanageable for all but the middle class but  University enrollment is more accessible.  So… that effectively denies University attendance, from a practical point of view, to many students from the majority of the Zihua families.

I introduce Kenya Alejandra Madora Sanchez and her sister Natalia, mom Selene and teacher Lily. I meet with Kenya and her family and we practice English and Spanish.  The Sanchez family’s  English is better than my Spanish. As I have mentioned, I am humbled by my quest to learn to speak Spanish. Kenya is interested in being and architect and asked if I could help tutor her in math and chemistry. As all who know me know- this is not my area of strength! I  was shocked to hear that at Kenya’s school, Jose Marti, there is one computer and that is not connected to the internet.  Considering how digital curriculum delivery became my career…this was a bit of that famous cognitive dissonance for me that I am always yammering about. I am not sure why I was so surprised since I require my students to watch “If the World Were 100 People” where it reports that 22% of the world has access to a computer and 90% of those are in the United States and Canada.

I did several projects with Kenya…she wants to be an architect so I had her design her dream house and label the rooms etc in English.

House design Hs design 2 hs design 3

Lily and Selene

Las PAras Nonos 001

With Lily at Para Las Ninos

Las PAras Nonos 002

Para Las NinosJose Marti














Testimony:  The first time I met my Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico student I also met her mom and her sisters.  My Spanish is minimal but we had a great time untangling Kenya’s four names and talking about the similarity and differences in how people from the United States add and subtract names.

I am a retired teacher so I am very interested in Kenya’s goals and the educational training she is receiving to reach those goals.  I met her at her school and even went to her English class where all the 13/14 year olds put me to shame with their English proficiency.

Kenya is interested in being an architect so I gave her the assignment of designing her dream house and labeling all the rooms in English. She did an impressive job and then shared a spectacular oil painting that she had painted. She has the creative and critical thinking skills she will need to be successful in her career path of that I am assured.

Right before I left for the winter I met up with Kenya and two of her sisters at Pizza Loco. The conversation was excellent. I spoke Spanish and they spoke English and the pizza was enjoyed by all.  I would highly recommend participating in this program. Although college is cheap (compared to the US) the Elementary and Secondario fees prohibit access to college to all but the affluent.  You could literally change the world for a  Zihua student.

Barbara Bridges is from Maine and Minnesota and spends the winters in Zihua. Contact her to learn more about her experience as a sponsor: See more about her Zihua experience here:


Bridges,B Amor detail1Vida, Amor, Muerte  2016  

In the collection of Evi Levins,  Mallorca, Spain.

Mixed Media: Beads, found objects

Life, Love, Death was inspired by the much healthier attitude towards death which I have discovered in Mexico. Read about El día de los muertos

Although many believe romantic love is a social construct – I am holding out for the love of my life to roll on by.

Evi at Loot

Evi Levins wearing Vida, Amor and Muerte
You know you are self-actualized when you allow yourself to be photographed with a super model. Perhaps you have arrived to a place beyond caring. Either way…it is an adventure!

Evi commissioned  Amour  for her friends’ wedding.

We met to deliver the art at the unique lifestyle store Loot. You need to check it out. It has appeared in Rolling Stone and they are showing my work!!

Bridges, B. Tres Mujeres Main Front
I was invited to submit a work in a new gallery

Tres Mujeres  2016
Mixed Media –  Found Objects on the streets of Zihua, beads, fabricated icons. Minneapolis, Zihuatanejo, Maine

Appearing at MEZGALERIA Opening: February 13th, 2016 Zihuatanejo, Mexico  Click Here for Opening pictures.

Read more on Tres Mujeres (Three Women)



More Art with Mexican Themes

La Bestia

Sista’ Art:

Mascara :


Vida, Amor, Muerte


Bridges, B Main

Beauty 2016 Mixed Media: Found Objects from the streests of Zihuatenajo, beads, religious icons

Beauty 2016 Mixed Media: Found Objects from the streests of Zihuatenajo, beads, religious icons

 Bridges,B Amor detail1









Chili Queen

Chili Queen

My arrival in Zihua coincided with the annual Sailfest fundraiser for local schools.  This event raises hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I volunteered this year and enjoyed meeting really wonderful people. Offer to help. You will not regret it! 


More Sailfest



L and MArgaret

Margaret and Linda


Auction Queen

I rode on the Patricia Belle for less than $30US. Being from Maine… the opportunity to sail on an 80 foot wooden schooner was a soulful experience







me at Petatlan

MAking a wish at Iglesia

2016 also began with a visit from my friend and colleague, Pat Rogers.
We went to Bara De Potisi for a delicious fish lunch and
Petatlan to buy milagros at the church.
The local Jesus has a unique crown representing the Trinity.  

 Pat’s Pattern Pics

z dog

Iglesia Sentinal

Pat is also a dog person. I have always been interested in cars as metaphor and dogs as metaphor. Recently, I have been seeing cats on leashes around Minneapolis…not sure what the deconstruction of that trend might be!Pat took many pictures of dogs on her visit and promises a perro anthology.

zdog and cat

Gato sneaks on by


zpics6 doggiesJPG


pat and bPat and I took a launch to Las Gatos in Zihua for a beach day. Rumor has it that when Owen Lee passes the current owner plans 80 units. Enjoy Las GAtas now.






Zihuatanejo, Mexico Adventure 2015

Z2 Bomberos
Arriving in Zihuatanejo on March 1, 2015 was memorable because my little street, Rio Balsas, was so obscure that even the taxi driver did not know where it was. I learned to tell everyone I lived a block from the Estacion de Bomberos (the fire station). I watched the Bomberos do their morning workout on la playa Madera on my morning walk. What a job the Bomberos have!


QC6Quinta Camelinas  is in the perfect location, a five minute walk to town, a 10 minute walk to La Ropa  (a beautiful beach with rolling waves) and located in a real Mexican neighborhood with a cacophony of roosters to waken me and a fully stocked tienda ½ a block away. The tienda is like an old style general store with everything, and I mean everything, you could possibly need. At Quinta, Natasha has created a most wonderful combination of authentic Mexican experience and lovely oasis. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the little pool when I arrived home soaked to the skin from my latest adventure.  The fully equipped kitchen and the daily maid service combine to make everything stress free. I have rented the top floor for February and March 2016. It has an extra room which I will be subletting- ask me for details.  See Pictures of Quinta Camelinas here.    View a video of our resident Iguanas here. Please recommend names for them.

My Sunflower Project  Hiku for Zihua

A refuge from Life
Global insights at dinner
Me gusta Zihua

Are you “From Away” as we call it in Maine?
Zihuatanejo is a real working Mexican town of 200,000 + people who seem to have a very easy relationship with the many visitors and expats. There is a very active message board managed by ZihuaRob  which functions as a quick way to find goods, services and friends!

Z5 MAcarelThere are many wonderful people from around the world here fleeing the weather and looking for the relaxed and affordable Mexican lifestyle. We all seem to bond quite quickly. I also had the opportunity to spend time with my friend, colleague and beloved DLiTE art methods teacher, Sally Gibson and her husband Jeff who writes a blog on Wonder  We hardly have time to see each other in Minneapolis but I was honored to be with Sally on her birthday and share her fabulous view and a Mackerel Sky sunset!

Las Gatas Video-Ellen from Canada   Ellen wrote a haiku for the Sunflower Project . Please send me your Hiku.  How will YOU be growing old?

QC EAt Down


I met many Duluthians here this winter. We organized an “eating down the food” fiesta at Quinta Camelinas before we left and traded Minnesota stories. Marcy owns a unique massage facility in Duluth.



Erandi 2I have a very firm commitment to learning to speak Spanish. It is about basic respect. That being said… this goal is more difficult for me than earning my PhD. I studied with Erandi Blanco at the Adventure of Learning Spanish  owned by Yadira Ríos Torres. I am a particularly difficult challenge as a linguistic student because I am almost exclusively a visual learner.  Erandi did an admirable job developing strategies for me and  I was able to have one of my first meaningful conversation in Spanish, my second goal met for learning Spanish! We talked about feminista issues in Mexico and the United States!  I would recommend Yadira’s school without reservation!

KEY FEATURE: Most of the downtown sidewalks are covered so you can run your errands in the shade. This is major.

Must sees and dos:

LG4Las Gatas is a little beach at the mouth of Zihuatanejo bay. You can walk there (do not let people tell you it is not walkable!) or you can take a water taxi for 40 pesos (about $3.00). I enjoyed seeing them que up like land taxis to come in for their people. There are lovely restaurants and a calm Caribbean style beach. Las Gatas has a very rich history which includes Owen Lee (associate of Jaques Cousteau and aqua lung pioneer) and Timothy Leary. Read “Prisoner in Paradise” for a peek behind the curtain of buying land in Mexico. See Owen Here  I read the book and acquired it free from Amazon (Kindle Unlimited). Steel yourself for creative editing!


                                                                           Ixtapa Island
IXISgatorsI found this island to be very similar in all ways to Las Gatas but you need to take a bus and then a water taxi to go there.  The bus only costs about a $1.00 and you also have a nice tour of the Ixtapa road and fabulous bike path. When you arrive at the water taxi landing you walk down through an alligator sanctuary. They were big girls-we left them behind on the mainland!!


TallaThere are several beaches over there. Playa Coral attracts swimmers, snorkelers and divers who want to explore coral reefs teeming with tropical fish but I own a house on the Atlantic ocean and swim there and I would not go in at Coral without a life jacket.  For calmer waters, follow the footpath to Playa Varadero. Again…a nice little Caribbean style beach with the FABOULUS la talla barbequed fish on all the menus. Pescado a la talla is a fish dish where a whole fish is butterflied and basted with a sauce of chilies before being grilled over an open flame.

IXIS musicianThe most interesting sight for me was a one-man band who I interviewed. He told me he makes about $50 a day.  I have seen many of these orchestras and this was one of the most creative.   Hear an Interview with the One Man Band Please ignore my bad Spanish!


Volunteering in Barra de Potosi. There are several wonderful projects in La Barra. Contact the folks below and contribute your passion. I met two amazing women (and I hear there are many more) who have played a leadership role in several projects.  Not just vacationing! I plan/hope to work with several local cooperatives helping develop ideas for gringo/a friendly products for purchase and find my way back to teaching art and English at the elementary schools.

Cooking Class
I reached out to ZihuRob’s message Board looking for information  on Health Care. Linda Leonard was gracious enough to meet with me and was a plethora of information.  She recommends Clinica Maciel and Hospital De Especialdaes. It is also important to note that every Farmicia has a doctor on staff  who can write script and charges 50 pesos (about $4.00)!
Linda wrote a lovely book about her RV experiences in Mexico which is full of first account tips and information.   Living the Dream in Mexico
Want to have an insider tour of the market and then a personally guided trip to his home an Los Achotes (where the bus drops you off to go to La Barra) and where you can enjoy  a cooking lesson with his wife Claudia?  Click below for all the information.
Cooking with Claudia    Alberto’s Services at

Bridges, B Masacara de Aguacate Uno detailMaking Art in Zihua
I created several Body Art works and as often happens in Mexico, stumbled across an astonishing full circle experience. I found these masterfully carved avocado pit masks many years ago and I was recently told there was one man in Mexico City who created them in the 1980’s.  I have been trying to carve the pits and it is VERY difficult!! See my pitiful attempt.  I am thinking this might be a possible cottage industry for future development.   Mascara Uno. Do not faint when you see how much the necklace costs.pits

It has an irreplaceable Mexican antiquity in it. BTW Check out the Victorinox  SwissCARD here. It has a knife, scissors and much more and I have successfully traveled with it for 7 years with having the TSA seize it.