Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 8 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, April 20, 2008

What's Goin' On



Here is this morning's snow. It is our third snow in three days. Very, very pretty stuff, but doesn't Mexico sound better?


A week ago Saturday, we had a 75 degree day, unusual Pacific Northwest weather!


It was gorgeous and when I was out in the truck, I saw sooooo many people buying annuals and trees and roses. That was a booming plant sale day. And now, after all this snow, the nurseries will have a second round of it when all those folks have to come back and replace their frozen flowers. I ALWAYS wait until Mothers' Day to buy and plant my baskets and other containers. I learned my lesson years ago when I lost all my flowers in late April during a freeze...




The photo below shows a glimpse of the pond through the snowy trees and bushes.



The tire swing, lonely and still, in the woods....(KD, don't look at this photo).....it's just a tire swing ...Snowy branches below.....


So, here is the update:


Bill is still tiling and getting bathrooms ready for the countertops. I think he has a new profession because his tiling is awesome. I will be showing you photos as we get closer to having that done.


I am still running errands in the truck.....gasoline is up to $3.69 locally....so I am trying to make as few trips as possible and that takes very careful planning and organization. The door place messed up our hardwood door order, they neglected to measure width wise and not all of our doors happen to be 30" wide, so we are dealing with that issue and I don't want to talk about it further. I will really get cranky.


So on to the good stuff!


Spanish is coming along great!! We are studying past tenses already, even though I don't really have the all of the present tenses down yet...., but I feel confident that we will be able to communicate in Alamos. Next week, after class, we will take Violeta to our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Puerca in Kirkland.


Even though a lot has been going on, it still seems incredibly slow to me, and somedays I think we are moving in slow motion. I am just so ready to go.


And so much rain has set more than a few projects behind schedule. Craig has not been able to stain the house. The gutter guys can't put in the drain system, and so on and so on....




In the photo below you can see the old retaining wall and how it is falling apart. The ground behind it leads up to the earth house hillside.


So, Don and his crew came out and removed the old wall and during the night a torrential rainstorm washed much of the hillside away. I worried that if it did not stop raining part of the deck would go with it.
The rain got worse after this photo and much more of the dirt washed down.Eventually the rain stopped and days later the guys were able to clean up all the debris and put in the new retaining wall which we are very happy with. I especially like the new steps which lead up to the new flagstone pathway that goes along the earth house hillside.

Back to what's going on inside the house.


I am the 'not so happy about it' owner of a door staining department in the living room. I did not like painting the walls and I don't like staining doors either. But I am working hard at it, and I think it will be done soon. I am staining doors that actually fit in the spaces they are supposed to fit into. I won't go into what we will do with the doors that don't fit in their spaces and I want to end this session on a HAPPY NOTE!!!!!!.


We can't even walk in the living room, it is full of doors, but they will be a nice addition to our house.


I told Bill that we will not have doors in Alamos, just those hippie doorway beads.




Our little casita in Mexico has just gone through a Mexican type of probate, so now we are put on the list of house closing dates. Are we at the top of the list or the bottom of the list? We don't know........


Evidently things are a little behind schedule down there as well. So, there is nothing to do beyond keeping up the remodeling project here and hope the rain and snow go away. Oh and keep watching cable tv while we have it!! What in the heck happened to ICE ROAD TRUCKERS, my best show. I thought it was coming back on with a new season, and if you have been keeping up with this you know that is part of the reason we even have cable...




Oh, well.....
I just took the photos below within a 3 minute period. The Cascades are beautiful this afternoon!

We have been so lucky to keep seeing many wonderful people we know. Whether it is at the grocery store, the post office, at Steve's birthday party, Starbucks, Lowes, the library, the gas station or just two trucks passing in opposite directions on Tolt Hill, honk and wave!...we see so many people every day and it's giving us the chance to keep saying goodbye to all of you!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Roger That and 10-4 Good Buddy











A bright beautiful sunrise this Saturday morning. This is gorgeous and 30 seconds later, I took the photo below. Last night the sun turned parts of the valley gold............still lots of new snow on the peaks.I have a new job........truck driver lady.
Yes, a week ago I learned to drive the truck.
It took a few spins down the hill and back, with Bill in the passenger seat, passenger driving, but I am good with it......as long as I focus on my immediate area. If I glance at the passenger seat I realize how wide el trucko is and I get a little clammy. I have to go very slowly down the driveway so I don't take out any more lights, and parking? Forget it, I definately take up two spaces, but other wise, it is all good.

So, I plan to recap for you my entire week as the driver of the truck, doer of all road required jobs so Bill and anyone else working here can just stay here and get the job done....


On Monday:

I went to the nursery in Snohomish for the Thundercloud plum trees

I went to Lowes 3 times

I went to the door store in Seattle

I went to the gravel pick up place 3 times

total mileage: 438


On Tuesday:

I went to the gravel pick up place 3 times

I went to Lowes 3 times

I went back to the nursery

I fit in a trip to Starbucks

I went to the pharmacy

total mileage: 260


On Wednesday:

I went to the dirt pick up place 4 times

I went to Lowes 3 times

I went to Fred Meyer

I went to a different nursery

total mileage:190


On Thursday:

I went to the bark pick up place 4 times

I went Lowes 1 time

I went to the market

I went to buy Carlos (new Carlos) lunch

total mileage: 135


On Friday:

I went to BMC to pick up lumber

I went to Lowes 2 times

I went to the bark pick up place 3 times

I went to the door store in Seattle

total mileage: 224


There is no such thing as getting in the truck and going to all these places and then going back home. There is also no such thing as one stop shopping.... Everything that Bill needs is spread out all over town.

Don't even think about calculating the gas costs for me. I am ignoring that part of the driving.

However, if you add up the mileage it comes to 1,247. From our home, it is 1,220 miles to Tucson, Arizona, where we plan to get our storage unit. From there it is another 500 miles south to Alamos. I could practically be laying on the beach somewhere in Mexico by now......
A few things are left in our living room.....and in the photo below, you can see the balcony above the living room where Craig will do some touch up when he gets back from spring break at the beach (where I am NOT)
These are the new thundercloud plum trees, and the flagstone pathway that Carlos made. The earth house is to the right. These trees, from nurserytrees.com are gorgeous and I highly recommend the drive to Snohomish to get a few for your yard.....


Outside the truck is waiting for me, wondering why I haven't started her up yet. Be there in a few, spanish class this morning...

Roger that and 10-4 good buddy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

FISH!!




Look at these fish!! Aren't they gorgeous??? See, there are two? They are out in the big pond in the back yard. The one on the top is Queenie and the one on the bottom.....I didn't even know was in the pond!!

Then I started looking more closely and there about 7 fish!! I am so surprised. You should go to the News Page of the Glass Pond Studio, http://www.glasspondstudio.com/ and you can read all about the huge heron that speared and feasted on all of our 2 foot long japanese koi.


It is so exciting to have new fish. We have had Queenie for about 2 years. I got her from my friend Linda's pond. Linda (Grande 7 sugar mocha) has huge gigantic fish like we used to have, but she has nets and all kinds of gidgets and gadgets that go off now and then in order to keep away the heron.
One day when I was over there, she stood with a net on one side of her pond and tried chasing some of the big fish across the pond where I was supposed to sneak up on them with my net and bring them in. I was going to take a few big ones home to put in our lonely empty pond. Well, the only fish we could get was Queenie and she was 1 1/2 inches long and covered with black spots.....now she looks like she is 3 inches long!!!! Very exciting stuff!




It really doesn't get any better than new fish you didn't know you had, but I do have a few other interesting topics. The photo above is of the earth house next door to us. That is a garbage can on the very top.

I am taking this photo looking east to the Cascades, our house is on the left and this is the underground earth house on the right. It has not always looked this clean. That is Carlos in the photo. This is not kitchen Carlos, this is yard Carlos. He has just finished clearing this entire hillside of blackberry bushes and shrubs and assorted dead things of which I won't bother mentioning names.....just little creature things.


When people come visit and are worried about getting here because they think we live out in the middle of nowhere, we always say we are next to the earth house. That usually makes us easier to find, but generates a lot of interesting conversation because people don't really believe there is a house in there. Bill used to tell people it was a former NASA bunker...some people had to think twice about that. Especially those who were here the afternoon a huge round silver something lifted off of the mountain tops across from us.

Here is another photo below, now facing west.
There really is a house in there.



I LOVE THIS PHOTO!!! Now it is just like the Christmas tree photo in my very first blog. You will have to turn your head because I do not know how to turn the photo.
Above the ladder there are about 10 more feet of wall. Around the 6th rung of the tall ladder is where I have stopped painting. The main reason I love this photo is that this is Craig's ladder and he has to get on it and paint the rest!!



I also love the photo below. It tells me how much I will miss the Northwest. I took this last night, just as the pink glow of the sunset reflected its colors on the Cascades. I have always loved the mountains, the mystery and the magic of them. I will miss these mysteries, but am looking forward to the magic of the Sierra Madres in Alamos.....

Now, I have to go out and help Carlos pick up some of those little dead things before Cookies and Ashes find them.....











Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Hate Painting

What a gorgeous day April 1st is.

I just took the photo above. After a stormy night that was filled with thunder and lightning and beautiful big white snowflakes, this is what we have. There is now a lot of snow in the Cascades. Hopefully the valley will not see too much flooding this spring.....




Here is last night's snow. Snowflakes were huge and without wind, they reminded of us the snowfalls we had when we lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

As you can tell from the title of this little story, I am really tired of painting. I have been painting since March 3rd, the day after I left my job with Starbucks. Sometimes when I am really moping around and feeling sorry that I have had to do all this painting, I think that if I were still working I wouldn't have to paint!! How fun is that thought!

But, I also know that unless I want to still be here in a month, I have to keep plugging away at it.



So, here is the status of the situation.

I still have a few walls to paint....the good news about that is Craig is also here painting. Parts of our house have 20 and 30 foot ceilings. So he is painting everything above where I have stopped (at 8 feet) and then, he will stain the outside of the house. Nice....

And this is what is happening at our house today....Bill is still working on the bathroom downstairs. He has put in the cabinets and tiled the floor. Carlos is cleaning up the earth house hillside which is right next door to us. Dave is pressure washing the outside of the house. Craig is painting...I am not.....everytime we turn around there is something to be done.......



Now some really great news...I fixed our cable tv! I am very proud of myself! I finally figured out how to hook it back up. We have never been huge tv people and as you know already, we only recently got Comcast cable. I just did not know how much I would like watching it.

So, the first night we watched Living with the Mek. I had terrible dreams all night about pigs chasing me and after I kept falling off bridges onto bamboo sticks, we decided to give up that show.
A brand new Ice Road Truckers is starting soon, and of course, that is why we got cable and the huge tv in the first place!! So now the huge tv is across the street at our neighbor's house and our tv is very small, but we will soon see my favorite show.
We will just have to move our 2 chairs a little closer to the screen.....and wear our glasses..
Now, I am going to the nursey to buy some planters and plants to brighten up the deck and we will hope the snow is done for the season......