Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 8 years. Okay, okay, now it's been 9 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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moving Sale is Done



I've been sleeping in...so here is the full moon photo from the other evening. I tried to get photos of lastweek's eclipse, well they didn't turn out at all, but this moon photo is nice.


We had our moving sale.

I hope I will never, ever have to do that again in my life. If you are reading this and even thinking you should start letting go of things, let them go now. Don't wait. It is very difficult to spend several weeks dragging all your goods into an area and getting them ready to be sold. I had no idea it would take so much energy.

I did not have any real emotional difficulty getting rid of things, it was just the physical exhaution of lugging things around and getting things in order. Not only did I have enough to fill 5 rooms downstairs, inside, but I then had to put items on the front deck and in the garage and then, out in the shed.
I listed the sale on Craig's List and in the Seattle Times, fri, sat and sun, 9-5.
People came Thursday.
They were knocking on our door at 7am on Friday.

We made enough money to cover gas expenses to mexico and then some. But it's all about letting enough go so that we don't have to take much with us.

Alot of people we know came to the sale and we had some fun conversations. We met no oppositions to our move and most folks seemed ready to come right along with us. Some of our favorite buyers were local immigrant mexican families who seemed intriqued that we would want to move to their country. We were able to practice our spanish which was great because we missed our session with Violeta.

So, we are down to 4 antique chests, 2 chairs and box #39. We are still trying to decide whether or not to take our hand forged iron, made in mexico, coffee table with the goats' heads on it. So, here we are..... I am trying to wind up February. My last day at Starbucks will be Sunday, March 2nd. I didn't go to the big 'shut down and retrain meeting'. I stayed home and watched the democratic debate instead.
I have pulled something in my shoulder and will lay a little low and wait to box up all the leftover things that will go a friend's church auction.
Instead, I am beginning to tackle the mounds of paperwork that I need to take care of. I am dealing with car insurance. We will be buying our mexican car insurance here, online. I am trying to figure out how to get U.S. car insurance for when we should want to come back across the border and into the U.S. for anything we may need....any thoughts on that will be appreciated. I am dealing with notarized sheets and sheets of papers for college living for KD and Ian next year. Next week we are planning to drive to the State Patrol office in Olmpia and get our required letters of good standing.
One last thing before I go. I have not gone through any boxes of memorabilia, I have not seen KD's baby teeth. I have not looked into the box that holds Ian's 21 binkies. I haven't looked at the love letters my father wrote to my mother from Germany, nor the postcards my Grandfather sent to his bride from France during the war. I have put all of those things into my closet. They are piled high to the ceiling. I have not looked at the lock of hair KD cut right before she got on the kindergarten bus and I haven't looked the 21 notes Santa wrote to tell the children to be good and he and his reindeer would see them next year.
That will have to be done soon, I guess......

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spanish Class

Isn't this beautiful?
I took it with my telephoto lens so the mountains are considerably closer than they really are.

The photo above is taken from the third floor balcony and these are the boxes that are good2go2mexico. I am on box #36. That is the refrigerator in the living room. Just waiting for Bill to put down the new floor and the fridge will go back in the kitchen....maybe today?????

And this is the new window that Bill broke...........he turned around with a sheet of plywood and it went right through the glass. You can just see the sunset beginning in the glass reflection. Isn't that nice,... the sunset.
So, we did not have our test on Wednesday. I think Violeta forgot about it and Bill didn't say anything and I decided not to say anything either. But we spent the entire class talking about the election and popular celebrities. We talked about our likes or dislikes of the candidates and the electoral situation and popular votes and super delegates and which states are most important. Then we discussed Brittney Spears and Bill and Melinda Gates.
Now the interesting thing is our entire conversation was in Spanish and I was very surprised at how well we were able to get our thoughts across. Violeta thinks these topics will be very important in Alamos. I can't imagine anyone just coming up to me on the street and asking me if I am a democrat or a republican, but Violeta says it will happen. She thinks people are also going to ask what I think about Bill Gates and all of his money. And while I have never really had any opinions about Brittney, I guess I had better form some real quick.
So we are off to another class this morning. We meet Violeta once and sometimes twice a week at the Bellevue Library. I feel like my Spanish is coming along fine, but I forget alot of it from week to week and if I don't review it, then I really forget it. The good thing is Bill knows the verbs and I know the nouns, so we can almost always finish a sentence.

After my last post, Bill and I made a decision. Whoever is not driving will just read verbs aloud and the driver has to conjugate them and then make a sentence.......works for me, but I will be reading and he will be conjugating....
Because I'm not driving the new truck yet. Bill bought a 2006 Chevy Silverado truck while I was in Texas. It is huge and I think I am scared to drive it. It took him 5 tries to parallel park outside of La Puerca on Wednesday. I am just not ready to embarrass myself like that because I don't even think I could pull-in park it.

Bill still says we are right on track for leaving in mid March. When I look around the house I have my doubts. There is so much to do. We are having the first good2go2mexico moving sale next weekend. I'm working hard on getting ready for it, but we sure have alot of stuff. I discovered a nasty squirrel nest in one compartment of the old studio (shed). The entire time I cleaned it out, the squirrel was in a tree overhead, just screeching at the top of his lungs. I was wondering if he might attack me when I came out of the shed, and in fact, he jumped down on the roof and just sat there glaring at me.

I am also working on my to do list of paperwork. We have yet to get to the Seattle Mexican Consulate for our FM3 visas. One of the requirements for the visa is to have a letter from our bank stating that we are good customers and have deposited at least $1,000.00 into our account for each of the last 6 months. Our bank refused to do it. They said if we get to Mexico and lose all our money, then we might sue them..??? How crazy is that? And it has nothing to do with anything.
So, plan #2 is to get all of the paperwork together and take it along with our bank statements from the last 6 months and see if that will work. If not, then I'm not sure what we'll do. We would have to make plan#3.

We also have to get down to the state patrol in Olympia and get a letter of good standing.....
I'll let you know how it all goes...off to spanish class.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stuff





I just got home from a 5 day trip to Texas; beautiful sunny weather, in the 70's, spent some lovely time with my family and bought some stuff at the airport before I got on the plane to come home. Now back home, you can see from the photo it is cloudy, rainy, cold.....went to Daniel Smith after work and bought a bunch of watercolors and stuff..... the skies over the valley today are beautiful colors of grays, blues and blacks, and white.


I love that word..........stuff. It is so descriptive...stuff. It can mean so much. Literally, so much stuff. That is what we have, stuff.


Kitchen here today, gone tomorrow, generated a few emails. Most of the folks who wrote seemed to think that we are taking our kitchen with us. I find that so interesting, and it's funny, too. I guess people do that, but can you imagine, moving your whole kitchen, sink and all to Mexico????

The truth is we are putting in a new kitchen that we hope will increase the value of the house when we put it on the market.

Old kitchen is on the burn pile right now.


So, as a result of the emails I have decided to let you know what we are taking and what we aren't taking...




NO! we are not taking the kitchen.

We are not taking the boat.

We are not taking our antique bedroom furniture, no beds, no couches.
not taking my huge 8x4 painting I did of the mountains; in the sale if you want it

not taking the tables, nope, no chairs, no piano, no lawn furniture, and not the new HD 47" screen tv we bought last April.





And I want to tell you about that tv. Here is a picture of the first time we watched it..


For 21 years we had abc, nbc, cbs and sometimes pbs. That's all. Our kids begged us for cable and we said no no no.

Then, we were traveling a bit last year, and we got hooked on Ice Road Truckers, the Weather Channel stories and Iron Chef America. I mean really hooked. One night we went and stayed at the Embassy Suites in Bellevue just so we could watch Tom Douglass on Iron Chef.


So, in April of 2007, right before our son graduated from high school, we bought a 47" (or maybe it is 46" ) flat screen tv from Best Buy and had comcast install cable. Our kids were livid.



Ian couldn't believe he would soon be leaving for college and we were finally not just getting cable, but planning to watch it on such a huge new television screen. So anyways, not too long after we got it and started watching it, Ice Road Truckers (my favorite show) went off the air and so did the weather channel stories and now Iron Chef seems to be reruns. So, mostly we are now watching Antique Road Show, Northwest Backroads and Friday Night Lights, which are all either abc, nbc, cbs or pbs.


We are right back where we were 21 years ago.

But we might take our little tiny rabbit ear tv to mexico and if you want the big tv, you better come to the moving sale...


We ARE taking 3 small antique chests that we can't part with

yes, we are taking the webber and the smoker and the rachel ray dutch oven

taking the sewing machine and a small table

taking the china and crystal and silver and the pottery KD made in high school

yes, to the espresso machine, grinder, blender


(if, you are wondering about this, YES, we are taking 26 nutcrackers and 1,303 Christmas ornaments and we will just see what they say about that at the border.....)


yes, the kilns will go and lots of water colors, acrylics, oils, and paper, sheets of glass, torches

Bill's tools can go, too
hmm, let's see, I am really narrowing this down because I can't think of much else..

photo albums ( I know of a lady who scanned all her albums before moving and tossed out the photos, but I don't have patience for that at all)
lots of the artwork we have had for many years
I guess just memorabilia stuff...
and I think that is all the stuff...


I have to go study my Spanish.

Violeta is making us take a test tomorrow and I'm feeling pretty confident because I studied on the plane to Texas and back, plus it is Bill's turn to drive tomorrow and I'll get in more study time. I always used to read the lessons out loud when he drove to class and then a few weeks ago when it was my turn to drive, he would not read the lessons out loud to me. He said I ask too many questions. I got soooo mad about that. So now, if he drives I study by myself. I will bet you he did not study one single thing this last week. I, on the other hand, should ace the test.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Kitchen here today...... gone tomorrow

This is the morning shot from the top of Tolt Hill. The valley is filled with fog, while the world above it is bathed in beautiful sunshine. The northwest is so pretty. I will really miss it, but I can't wait to get outta dodge.......it is 33 degrees this morning.......
Look at the photo below. This is my kitchen and I have cooked in it for 22 years, well as I have mentioned Bill does most of the cooking, but I get to say I baked cookies for bake sales and birthday cakes for birthdays and pies for auctions and used the microwave alot to reheat old coffee and did alot of artwork with KD and Ian on those tile countertops. If there's a mark on them, I know who it came from and when it was made.
see Bill cook....
see Carlos and Juan take out kitchen........
empty kitchen
sad, empty kitchen

I almost cannot believe we are doing this. We have no kitchen. On the first night we had chinese take out, I think I cried through the feast. I am adjusted now, it's all good, Bill is back to grilling outside, no more take out for now, the cats are totally freaked out, but wait till they see their new leashes I bought for them......
Well, Bill went to the Mexican Consulate and I guess my great idea of lista de casa gets a big fat F. We are being told that we have to do the menaje de casa and get a customs broker as well before we cross the border.
lah de dah, I guess if they say so.
So, I am up to box numero 30 and trying to get things ready for the moving sale in late February. In the meantime, I have realized that our house will never look the same now. It will never be clean and tidy so that I can sit on the living room couch and read a magazine, because the couch is covered in boxes and the floor is covered as well...there is a little layer of dust on everything and most of the artwork and photos on the walls have come down. It is almost an eerie feeling, yet kind of exciting, but I guess more eerie than exciting because I know it's going to look this way for awhile and after the moving sale in late February, well, it might just look scary....like a ghost house.
I wonder what they are doing to Durango #9, hopefully someone is busy cleaning and removing garbage and years of belongings and all those layers of dust.....
oh, me, it's a little intense...