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.

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

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, 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


 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.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We Live on a Nice Street

Hola, we are good, but we are lazy.
I don't think I posted at all in July, but that's okay.

 I don't have much to say. 
I think it is just the heat.
 We have had lots of rain and it's pretty green around here.

Things always slow down in the summer at our house. The piles of books and DVD's grow, naps get longer, walks get shorter, and projects get swept along with the dust into the corner.

We originally had some grandiose plans for May and June, preparations that would take us closer to beginning work on the inside of the house. We had hoped to remove the big L shaped wall prior to the rainy season and start working on the indoor floors and walls.  Remember those concrete tiles I was acid staining?

Instead, in May, we had to let our worker go.
 I won't go into details, but after five years with us he decided he had more privileges than he really did. 

Then it became obvious that staining tiles out in the hot sun was not going to happen. Then we took a look around and decided it just felt good to not have anyone else hanging around here. So, we are going to keep taking the summer off.

After the rains and the heat have diminished we will start back on major  house projects.

 Instead we are doing little things that will lay the ground for bigger stuff later.

Senor has already started his tomato plants and topped off the garden beds with a good mix of manure and soil. This year we will actually trim our tomatoes which got so out of control last year.
 He is also getting us ready for when that wall does come down. The fake kitchen is that room will be moved into this room, the game room. He has installed a sink and counter tops, all temporary, but ready to become the new fake kitchen.

I have moved the kiln outside and am working on glass projects.

These are the front panels of the wall sconces for the game room. Eventually I will add copper wire designs to them. But I am not having luck finding copper wire down here, so it may be something I will add after ordering the right gauge from the states.

Each front piece is 7 1/2 inches and there will be two panels on the sides of each front, 4 1/2 inches wide. Perfect for the game room. I'll show them to you again after I get some copper wire.

I like summer here, even though I often bottom out at the end of the day when the heat is suffocating. 
I like the clouds as they billow and roll into magnificent domes, the wind as it charges through the yard, ringing the wind chimes and scattering the cardinals and doves, the rain as it drives in sheets, flooding, but cleaning the concrete.

 Alamos continues to be a good place for us.

After six years we can still say we are happy here and...........don't we live on a nice street?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Night's Storm

Buenas tardes!
Lots of clouds have been brewing around this place every day, and while we have had 1.7 inches in our barrio, spread out over a 3 day non consecutive period, and a little rain and a little thunder and a little wind and a little lightning here and there, 
last night's midnight storm was a humdinger and since the contest began on the 24th this year, it is the biggest storm closest to that date.
And since I am the boss of the contest, I pick last night's storm to really begin our rainy season, as far as our contest goes. Please realize that I am not smart enough to be the boss of the rainy season itself.
Alamos resident, Gail Morden, came closest.
Guessing June 29, 5:30pm, put her 6.4 hours and minutes from the start of the storm here at our house.
Felicidades, Gail! You get the earrings!

I am certain those lightning bolts were right outside our window and I lost track of the power outages we had. But I guarantee that when there is a power outage in our bedroom, during a rain storm, in the summer, there is no air to breathe.

We only received 1 inch here in our rain gauge, but it happened fast as the storm lasted less than an hour, moved out, but returned around 2:30am to add more electricity and wind.

I am sure there were a lot of unprepared people out there.
 I know I was unprepared and have spent the better part of the day sweeping rain out of the open air sala, that is of course, the unfinished living room.
But it is good to have watering the yard out of the question.

There could be more rain this afternoon. I just hope it comes before dark so people have a chance to gather their belongings, put their bikes and donkeys under cover, put up a blue tarp where needed, and close the windows, which is what Senor was running around doing at 1am.

Congratulations, Gail! See you soon with delivery and can I pick up my basil plant then, too?
Mil gracias to everyone who joined in the fun!
Linda Lou

Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Sweet Cookies

 We have lost our sweet cat, Cookies, or 'Dawg' as Senor and I so frequently and fondly referred to him.
 He died very peacefully in his sleep, and he had been sick for awhile.

Normally I would probably not share something like this, but he was a popular cat. A lot of people knew him in Carnation, and people came to know him on the road during our travels south to Mexico.
 Here in Alamos, he had a lot of friends, and we think he made a lot of friends through the blog, too.
 More people asked about Cookies, the cat, than about us.

In general, he was not the most outgoing cat to visitors to the house.
 Often when we had guests he preferred to watch from a distance, although with certain people he would be very friendly, rubbing against them and practically begging for attention.

He loved catching and eating lizards almost more than he loved laying completely still on the asador with the fake doves, secretly waiting to attack when the real ones came around to eat. 
His day time sleeping arrangements were made under the coolest palms, in the dirtiest dirt, or on his back on the cool cement tile floor, and at night I often found him on top of Senor's stomach, rising up and down as Senor snored away peacefully.

He spent his night time hours in and out, in and out, and he required much more attention than a newborn baby. All twenty-three pounds of him kept our cupboards full of Whiskas, his favorite food next to chips and  cheese licks.
His regular cleaning and washing schedule always occurred, on the bed where Senor and I sleep, at promptly two am and included a thorough licking of our faces and hair.

Cookies had many accomplishments: 'Lizard Slayer', Hummingbird Chaser', Keeper of the Asador', and 'Flower Crusher' are only a few, but his greatest accomplishment will always warm our hearts when we think of him.

 We arrived in Alamos, in June, 2008, with loads of belongings and the two cats, Cookies and Ashes. After we had been here for around a week or two Ashes was suddenly missing.
 For days we called her, we walked the streets looking for her, we had the announcer truck travel through the barrios letting people know that we had lost our white and gray cat who had a tail that curled up high over her back. We were so sad, but Cookies was even sadder.
 He would not eat, he was listless, it was obvious he was heart broken.

Then late one afternoon Cookies was missing.
 We did not see him through the night and through the next day. We didn't know what to think.
  I sat in a chair in the yard and cried. 
We had not been able to part with these two cats that belonged to our kids who had both just gone off to college, we could not have left these cats behind in Carnation, nor could we have given them away, we brought them so far and now, they were both gone.

Late the next evening, Cookies came back.
 He was panting heavily, his eyes were cloudy, his fur was matted, he was drenched from a rain storm. He collapsed at our feet and we rushed to give him bowl after bowl of water. 
We had no idea where he had been or what had happened. We were just happy to have him back.

Around fifteen minutes or so, after Cookies had returned, Senor heard a squeak and looked up and there was Ashes, sitting right on the concrete at his feet.

Cookies went to get Ashes and bring her back home.
Sweet Cookies! August 1993-June 22 2014