Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 6 years. Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Doors

 Hola! I have finally finished the first set of doors. You saw a photo of these a few years back when I started them. These doors and cupboards will go into the closet that will be in the bedroom. Below is a photo of what they looked like. I am still working on the tops and will finish those sometime in the future after Senor moves them to the closet which is also sometime in the future. He's going to need to cut the upper cupboards apart when he moves them. I don't know how that will work out so I decided to save them and finish them later after they are moved.
There is one more set just like this and I am slowly working on those.


 The inside of each door is a different color since I had a little extra paint. The paint is acrylic and most of it, with the exception of Pthalo Blue and Alizarin Crimson, I bought in town from the Comex Store. I distressed the borders using a candle and painted on a light Pthalo Blue wash. Then I used paste wax over the wash. I painted polycrylic over the backgrounds and the insides of the doors.
Just thought you might like to see what I'm up to.....

It's a holiday weekend, even though the Dia de La Revolucion is not until Thursday, our town is going to celebrate it on Monday. Most workers only worked a few hours this Saturday morning and will now have a 3 day weekend. Of course, they will still take Thursday off anyway because that is, after all, the real holiday.............................adios, Linda Lou

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Walking to La Aduana

Hola, you know I love it, walking to La Aduana.

 The night, the stars, the cool air, my Mexican girlfriends prattling off 60 words a minute and walking a pace as fast if not faster than 60 steps a minute. I love the Dads coming down the arroyo carrying their babies in their arms, I love the abuelitas, on bent knees, leaning on their canes, scarves woven tightly around their heads. I love the madrugada dawn as we break through it and onto the narrow path that leads to the church, the sound of the deer dancers bells jingling in front of the church, the buen dias from all the people I know inside the church.

The smell of elote and tamales simmering in huge pots, churros, turning and twisting, barely skimming the hot surfaces of oil, champurada, hot and thick, carne asada on the asador at 6am. It's a unique experience.
Along the highway at 4 in the morning.
The walkway into the town of La Aduana, the church lit in the background.



Inside the church




video

The cactus growing in the church wall.

And so, once again, this year was a unique experience.

 My Mexican girlfriend did not come to the house. I was worried about her so I went to her house, where she was suffering on Day 15 from denque fever. After spending some time with her and making certain she would survive, I went home................Plan A........... my walks to La Aduana are over. I had enjoyed them all. I will not have a sleepless night and then get up in the dark and be on the highway at 4:30am.

An American friend emailed me..............was I walking to La Aduana and if so, could she go with me................Plan B...............I will have a sleepless night and then get up in the dark and be on the highway at 4:00am because I am walking with my American friend who will walk slower than my other friends.

My friend takes small, but swift steps. She is as fast as the other girls. I remind her that I am older than she is and we are going to slow down.......NOW.................she says fine, no problem, you set the pace and I go..............SLOW. With the other girls we go 6 miles in one hour and 20 minutes and it takes me 4 days to recover.

I am a little apprehensive when we get to the arroyo. My Mexican friends lead and I just go. I look at the sky, look at the sand, look at the brush and pay no attention whatsoever to where we are.

But it all looks different this morning. Now I see there are roads that lead off the arroyo to the left, to the right, to the left again. Which way do we go............. we hang out at a crossroads like we are busy watching the night stars and wait for someone to come along so we can follow them. We do this several times, but decide not to follow 4 young men off to the left and that's good because here comes a family and they go to the right. But before too long the young men come up on the left and I realize there is probably only one way and you really can't get lost after all. But it's really dark and still easy to feel very disoriented.

Finally after my ankles tell me they cannot go anymore and my left knee will not straighten out I see the first lights of La Aduana and just beg my body to last a little longer.

Over 2 hours and we are in.
Some one has forgotten to tell the Deer Dancers that it is time to be there. So there is no Pascola, no deer dancers. No bells, no whistles, no deer or wolf masks, no music, nothing. We go sit in the church. I only see a few people I know. We visit Our Lady of Balvanera in her wooden box at the altar. We go outside where there is a lot of socializing going on. We learn that there was no money for the Pascola. The dancers do not get paid, but there are transportation costs, food costs, accommodations to be paid for. How much can that cost................

We have elote and churros and wait for the Priest and the procession. When it comes, it is a large crowd. They are all slow and sleepy looking. Maybe they are surprised because the deer dancers always lead the procession into the church.

We have a good time.
We have seen the Lady, the candles, the cactus, the food and drink, we have seen our neighbors. We are sad about the Pascola, but happy we made it there.
I have to think for awhile about it all.
Maybe next year I will drive new old car...................................
que le vaya bien............manana.......linda lou

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Minnie's House

Hola!
Buenas tardes!

Did I just read that my most recent post was September 7? What the 5247! How did that happen.

I have been busy, honest, and here are some of my excuses for ignoring you:

From May to October I worked nearly around the clock on ancestry.com to complete the lineage for both my dad and my mom's side of the family. And I did it, just in time for a family reunion we had in Texas in October. Senor was so sick of me being on the computer.  I was able to put together a nine generation poster for our family and a book as well that traced many of our grandparents back for fifteen generations. And to put the whipped cream on the chocolate my youngest brother agreed to spit in the DNA tube and find out where the heck we came from. And, that's all another story for someday.

Senor and I took most of the summer off, rarely worked on the house; he read a lot while I was on the computer, and in October he and I drove to Phoenix, where he took a flight to Seattle and visited Ian, and then went hunting in Montana and Eastern Washington, where he got the Christmas goose. 
While he did that, I took a flight to Denver and hung out with KD for a week and then she and I flew to Dallas, and went north to Denton for a family reunion. 
Senor and I hooked up again in Phoenix and traveled around antique shopping in Globe and Miami, Arizona for awhile and then got in our shopping in Tucson and Nogales. We were gone almost the month of October and it was great!

But, that's not what this post is about.............

It's about Minnie's house.
It is being built in the lot next door to us. 
It has been going up for about a year now and it was not until last week when Senor and I took a real good look at it and agreed......it's lovely.....and it's a little close.

Originally we had planned to extend our coyote fence along the fence line between the two properties. The coyote fence, made of varro blanco posts is light and airy and rustic. You can see right through it and not lose the vista, but now as you will see in the next two photos, we are taking down the brush and any trees that are right on the property line and are going to extend the adobe wall. We are choosing to do this because if we don't, we are going to be looking right into Minnie's outside lights and her portal. It wasn't until her workers did the outside electricity that we realized this was going to be the choice.
We spent days on the portal, moving our chairs around..........will we see the outside lights from here?........from here?...............from here?

 Minnie's house did not come as a surprise .
 We knew she owned the property and planned to build there someday. And the house they are building is very pretty, but it did take away some of the views we were so fond of.

So here are our goodbyes, most of them are now behind Minnie's house...... 
Goodbye, to the car that gets driven down Loma Guadalupe Hill each evening at 7pm.
 Goodbye Teresita's tall elegant dining windows clad in sparkling Christmas lights.
Goodbye Lynne's happy and brilliant bouganvillia that covers her walls.
Goodbye to the red tipped glows of the miner's evening cigars.
Goodbye Annabelle's outdoor light that flickers on and off in the slightest breeze.
Goodbye to the lady we don't know who gets up on her roof to set up her easel and paint.
Goodbye to Addy's Christmas tree that glows on a cold December night.
And goodbye to the lush date palm that glows at night with a soft yellow light.
So good to know you, but now we will get to know new views around here that will tantalize our minds and keep us always curious.
Now I am starting to feel sappy, like I just rewrote the words to Goodnight, Moon......

Okiedoke, take a look at Minnie's pretty  house.

The house has beautiful arches .From her portal she has outstanding views of all of Mt Alamos and the hills east and west. Her house is definitely in a pretty spot.
In the photo above I am standing right on the edge of our portal. The property line is about three feet away from the edge of the portal. So right there our wall will be pretty close to the edge of the portal. As you can see, her house is farther down in the lot, right about in the middle and her lot goes from one street to the other.

Above, we are taking down the tree that is right on the fence line.We will still be able to see the beautiful tall palm trees on the right of the photo. And right about where Senor is standing on the ladder I think we will be putting a fountain in the wall and some niches for candles. The wall from this edge of the portal will be about as tall as the fence post you can see, so we should still have our mountain view and even more, the farther back on the portal we are sitting.


Our portal, looking the same with its pretty dirt floor. Senor promises we are going to be putting in the sub floor soon. I have actually grown fond of the dirt and it is maintenance free, very little sweeping.
Our cozy sala which is going to be wonderful when it is finished because it is already wonderful now.




And on Dia de Los Muertos as it poured down rain, we lit our first pinon fire of the year.

Que le vaya bien to all our blogger and facebook friends. I promise to get back to you soon! Love Linda Lou




Sunday, September 7, 2014

This Name Norbert

 So, a new Hurricane Norbert has been bouncing around off the Pacific coast. I just read that it is still out there this Sunday afternoon, heading northwest now as a Tropical Storm and as it dissipates it may push some heavy rains over Northern Mexico and the Southern US.

As some of you know we just had a Hurricane Norbert that stopped over Alamos in 2008, and dropped over 11" in under 3 hours.
 Alamos suffered heavily.

So I wondered.......why did someone, and who was it, decide to name this new hurricane Norbert....... and I discovered some interesting information.

The World Meteorological Organization
is in charge of the name game.
WMO, which is an organization of the United Nations, has a 6 year fixed list, omitting Q, U, XY and Z, alternating girl/boy. They just run down the list, they don't have to stop and blink an eye.

 When the 6 year list is over, they start again with the first year. 
So Norbert was on the list in 2008, year six was up in 2013, and they started again this year with the first list (that would have been in 2002). 
2014 begins the cycle again and it will end in 2019.
 If there is a hurricane that causes massive destruction, Katrina for instance, it is removed completely from the list.

Isn't that interesting? Well, maybe you already knew about it, but I didn't and my whole quest was to find out why we were having another Norbert (which thankfully, we are not).

So, then, I wondered, what are we having instead.
Senor had heard at bridge that water may be released from the Mocuzarit Reservoir because it is so full.

We have never seen the reservoir with much water in it, but we have had to date, since June, 24" in our backyard, so we decide to take a little day trip and go see the Mocuzarit.



 As you can see, it is looking pretty full.
 There were 4 or 5 fishing boats out and it was the
                    prettiest we have seen it.

      The small town of Conicarit, about 500 people, 
        on the other side of the Mocuzarit, below.
 The Mayo River, as it flows from the reservoir.

 The Mayo, the foot bridge and the stone dam.
.
Back home this afternoon, I read in an online report, printed this morning by Noticieras Televisa, that 150 cubic meters per second are being released at the generating plant, which can be seen in the background in the photo above. The release is being done in preparation for the possible heavy rains from the new Norbert that could have an affect on low areas around Navajoa, Etchojoa, Huatabambpo and other agricultural areas near the coast.

So what a visual pleasure it was to see the Mocuzarit so full, with enough water that it needed to be released.
Who knows what Norbert will leave behind for Sonora as it moves farther to the north, but what a relief to know that we will not have to endure this name Norbert again for six more years.  

que le vaya bien! Linda Lou

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Alamos Arroyos after a Good Rain

 Hola.
I want to share some arroyo photos with you.
If you are a facebook fan of Glasspondstudio, then you may have already seen some of these.
 
If you have been to Alamos during the winter season when it is typically dry and brown, but nonetheless very full of life, these scenes may make you want to return in the summer when again, the Pueblo Magico is full of life, but very, very green.
 Alamos has two major arroyos, the Chalaton and the  La Aduana.
 La Aduana, the largest, runs east-west through town, on the north side of the Alameda. 
The Chalaton runs the same direction, on the south side, near the foothills of the Sierra Madres, but merges with a smaller arroyo, the Escondido, and then meets La Aduana, on the west side of town, near the barrio Las Delicias.
Of course, for those of you who remember Hurricane Norbert, in October, of 2008, (after Senor and I had only arrived in June of that year), the merging of so much water and the filling of so many small tributary arroyos are what helped lead to the flooding of Alamos that night of the 11th.
 Above is a photo of a roadway that is in the Barrio Perico. It is a great example of how oddly ordinary little places can fill up quickly with water. And this photo was taken after it began receeding.

 Below is the Arroyo or Aqua Escondido which comes south-north down from the foothill mountains and meets the Chalaton up a little higher in between the Barrio Perico and the Barrio Tacubaya.
 In the photograph below you can see the larger La Aduana as it meets the Escondido.
One interesting thing about the rains that led to the filling of these arroyos on this particular day is there was absolutely no water in the Chalaton. So the water rushing on the right has no other influence, it has just come down from the mountains.
And equally as interesting, to me at least, is two days later we had another big rain and the Chalaton was spilling over its banks and in a huge hurry to meet the Escondido.
 The next two photos are of La Aduana as she flows toward Olas Altas Barrio and then, Las Delicias.

 Below, water from both La Aduana and Escondido.
 Below you can see the two arroyos and the hillsides that are lush and tropical. 
These photos were taken in late July and now, in late August, not only is it even greener, but the San Miguelito vines, which are almost neon pink, will start to cover some of the vegetation and then, if we are lucky, the vivid purple morning glory will do the same.
 Again, La Aduana flows on the north side of town, opposite the Alameda, the merchant area of town. On the higher area to the left, near the blue tarp, is the location of the open air Sunday market, the Tianguis. The market stretches the length of the arroyo as it goes alongside the town. And to the right are only a few of the buildings that were so heavily damaged during Norbert.
 On this day that I took these photos, I said to Senor.........now, drive around the whole town and let's see where the water is. After only a couple of disagreements over which way to turn and who was the boss, excluding the Aduana and Escondido arroyos, we saw over nine little small tributaries that had filled with water. Little roadways and low lying areas in between casas, it was amazing how they all filled up so quickly with water.
And this was not a particularly heavy rain.


 And at last, La Aduana, flows quietly near the Barrio La Capilla, and waits for the sun to set.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fallen Fronds

 Hola. Buenas tardes.
 In the aftermath of a heavy wind the other day, some of the fronds came down from the big palm. I'm sorry I missed the fall, it must have been something of a slide, right down the trunk. We checked for bird's nests, but didn't find any.
We were worried that the fall might have disorganized the bats, but they were out in full wing last night,  spilling from the palm like hundreds of indigo ink dots.  

Below you can see the big Mexican Palm and several of the other palms in the yard, Kings, and Triangles, also known as Pyramid Palms. There are also Dates and Mediterranean and Acacia and Pygmy Palms, all doing well. In fact they are thriving in this heat and humidity and rain.

And above, take a look back to the house.
 If you didn't know what we're up to, well, it might look deceivingly finished.
And I say, it will be, by next summer.
 Okay, gotta skedaddle. It's an Etsy workday for me!
Que le vaya bien!
Linda Lou

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rain

 Hola, Buenas tardes.
You may recall how smart Senor is.
Long ago he put PVC pipe inside these last columns of the portal.
We are happy to say they work great. 
The water runs straight through and down the pipes and out in to the neighboring field.
Some day, when we get around to it, we will put in another cistern to collect all of that water. 
For now, I am just happy it works.
Of course, Senor never doubted it.
 
Yesterday's storm was worth the wait.
 The only problem was it came up from the south and the wind was strong and everything got flooded.
 Even with the sala roof over the far end of the portal, we still got a tremendous amount of water everywhere.
Tonight we are waiting for the 80% projected rain storm to get here. 
But, it is so quiet out there, not a breath of air, very still, no birds, no dogs, no cars, no kids skateboarding down the street...... too quiet for a storm.