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.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Best Toy Ever

Hola! Hola!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I was so happy with the little pine tree that I decorated in the yard a few days ago that I decided to do another one. This one is a little larger. You can see the little tree in the back, to the right. I know it just looks like a blob of light, but that is the little tree. The new tree is well over 5 feet tall and while I am not sure what kind of tree it is, it is very lacy leafed and does not appear to be losing any leaves with the cold weather.




When Senor came home from bridge, he said.....................oh, that's cute.

Later, in the dark he said.......................that's very pretty. And wow, he did not say anything about Thanksgiving.

KD called on her way to have Thanksgiving with friends in Boulder. Ian called to say he was going up to the Pass to snowboard. They seem happy on Thanksgiving Day and able to take care of themselves just fine.

Senor and I will be going to have dinner with friends later today. KD said...........oh, how nice, mom, a new tradition for you.................

Now, this will be the first year of many that I have not cooked a turkey, but next year might just be a little different story, because, look what I have!

That is a GE Profile Convection/Microwave/Combination oven.

Can you believe this? A couple we know brought it over to our casa several days ago. She said................i don't need this thing right now....................do you?

HAHAHA!!

He said...................well, if you break it, don't give it back.

Really, can you believe this?

I am estactic. I don't know, is that how you even spell that word? I don't care, it really doesn't even describe how I feel. I tell you I am doing cartwheels and flips over here.

I just reheated my coffee in the microwave!!

I offered to cook my friends' turkey for them. Of course, they said..........no.

That is good though, because I have never used a convection oven and although I have the manual, I have been researching that type of cooking all morning.

My little 9x9 toaster has been good even though the temperature in it will not go over 300. I just found this out when I tried to bake some lemon bars for an event. They would not bake, even after an hour. I finally put a thermometer inside and discovered the problem.

But, now I have a real oven to bake in and Senor can buy some bagged popcorn.

This is good stuff.

This is the best toy I have ever had in my life!

So, for all of you folks who are waiting for your succulent turkeys to come out of your own oven, do something for me. When you sit down for dinner this afternoon, ask everyone to gather hands and give thanks to your oven. Be grateful that you have it, clean it carefully, take good care of it.

I know I will, and someday I will return it to our friends. I will not break it and it will probably be with great sadness that we part, but in the meantime, gotta go bake some cookies!

adios! linda lou

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Miracle of Sorts

Buenas dias!

I never imagined that not posting for almost two weeks would generate such a stir. I have received quite a few emails from people wanting to make sure we are safe and sound here in Mexico.

Believe me, we are fine.

We have been very busy..............that is all.

So, it will take some time for me to bring you up to date and I promise, I will post again soon. I do not want anyone worrying needlessly about us!



Now, take a look below at that beautiful sunrise, layers and layers of pretty colors!

It is colder here at night and harder to get up in the mornings. Daylight is peeking through around six twenty, right about the time Cookies starts licking my face........................ he is a wonderful alarm clock.

Ian has come and gone.....when he came back with us last week, Cookies ran right to him and tried to climb up his legs and into his arms. Ian enjoyed his little room and Cookies slept with him every night and followed him around the casa and yard. He really did not let him out of his sight.


We had to lock Cookies inside the first few days when we left the house because he wanted to follow Ian right out the gate.


When Ian and KD were here in August last year it was so hot we did very little. So we made up for it while Ian was here. Walks to and around town, shopping in the Mercado, eating out at some new sidewalk vendors we had not tried before, a trip to the Tiangus, to La Aduana, the beach at Huatabampito, the parade for the Dia de la Revolution.....................and on and on.




Take a look at some of the photos.

Below, we are eating barbacoa ( barbequed beef) soup with a friend at a stall near the arroyo.






Ian and Senor are watching Yolanda weigh shrimp. We want two kilos, about four pounds.

Yolanda gets her grande camarones from the Sea of Cortez. Senor could eat them every night.





Now, Ian and Senor appear to be reading the local paper, El Imparcial, while waiting for Huevos Rancheros at Cocina Economica. This is a wonderful little cafe at the bottom of our street. The white board on the wall tells what is available for the morning.





Below, vendors line the alameda on the day of the Revolution. Vendors are there every day, but for this celebration, a few more have set up tables and tarps. One vendor is even trying to make cotton candy.


We are waiting with the rest of the crowd for the parade to begin.

Here is the fruit cocktail stand. You can buy a large cup of fruit and if you want, the vendor will sprinkle it with salt and salsa. I always have both on mine. Senor won't even have the fruit.


Finally, after a very long wait, the mayor, in the blue shirt and tie, with his wife to his right and over one hundred municipal workers behind him starts the parade.



The focus of all parades here are the children. Many of them were dressed in native costumes, or like Spanish aristocrats, or mustachioed Pancho Villas. Still many were in their school uniforms.

The girls below are nurses and carried small clear doctor bags.



These are the young aristocrats.













These are the older aristocrats.



Lots of cheerleaders and pom pom shakers were in this parade. They danced to the Mexican version of 'Hey, Mickey", my favorite song from Bring it On. Surely you saw that movie, it's about a bunch of cheerleaders who have competitions and of course, their egos get in the way and then, there are boys, they get in the way, too.

The boys are always the buglers and the girls are the drummers. They have been practicing for three weeks now, the same song, over and over. You can hear them all over town as the wind carries their notes.










We saw in this parade many sporting activities. We did not realize how many teams there are for different sports. The biggest sport in Alamos appears to be gymnastics. There were probably ten different groups performing flips and jumps and cartwheels and as many putting together pyramids.


The pyramid below is being formed by one of the COBASH (high school) teams. There probably were seven different teams.












Lots of clowns and dolls on stilts.

Below the bomaderos (fire department) begin to put together their pyramid as the fire truck keeps moving. We saw volleyball teams, boxing teams, baseball teams, basketball teams and soccer teams. Many of these teams also constructed pyramids. We saw so many pyramids I might rename this parade......Dia de La Pyramid.


Ian and Senor pooped out and walked home after the parade, but I followed the crowd to the Palacio, where each group in the parade then performed on stage for the mayor and his wife, who sat at a wooden table to the side of the stage. It was like seeing the parade again, but in slow motion.

I have many more photos and will try to get them on flikr one of these days.


The following day we took a long trip to the Tiangus (Sunday morning market) and in the afternoon Ismael came and repaired Ian's computer which had a virus. In the states, Ian had been told to dish out three hundred dollars for the repair. Ismael repaired it for under twenty and as he was leaving Senor mentioned we do not have wireless. Ismael was astonished, especially when we told him why. If you recall..................Senor forgot our password.

Ismael walked back to the bedroom and did something for less than a minute on our laptop........................now we have wireless.


On Tuesday, we went to Yvarros, a small fishing town on the sea and bought some perch from one of the bodegas. We took the back road out of Alamos, toward El Fuerte and went to the town of Masiaca and then, to the sea. If you are one of those persons who still insists the back road out of Alamos is paved all the way to Highway Fifteen, or even to El Fuerte, believe me, it is not........................dream on...........................


Shrimp and ponga boats in the bay at Yvarros.




The perch lady below, in her bodega. Senor is trying to strike a deal. He gets three kilos of perch for eighty pesos. That is good, but that is alot of perch.


Then, on to the beach at Huatabampito, where Ian stands out at the water's edge. What is he thinking, I wonder.............where are the girls in bikinis, where are the palapa huts, the pineapple drinks..............................

Later he commented to Senor how nice it was to not have any vendors coming around selling jewelry or ironwood dolphins.


We added to the seashell collection.



Then, Ian said it was too hot for him.



Back at the casa, Ian rode new old bike around the yard, afraid to go out in the street because I refused to take off the pink flowers. Cookies followed him like a dog.


The nearby town of La Aduana hosts a huge three day celebration beginning on Friday, the twentieth. We went out on Thursday to check out the preparations.



Cookware and dishes seem to be a big hit here. There were at least ten stalls with this stuff.
Everyone walks to La Aduana for this festival. They walk for miles, they come from Navajoa, which is fifty kilometers away. How in the world do they carry all this stuff back home, I wonder.


Lots of fancy bread in this stall.

Lots of pretty sweets in this one.


This is the church at Las Aduana. On November twelfth, there is a procession from Alamos, that begins at four in the morning. People walk to the church, Nuestra Senora de la Balvanera. After arriving at the church around seven pm, a religious ceremony is held and the traditional deer dance is performed. Throughout the following week, pilgrimage is made from all over Southern Sonora, by foot, by thousands of people to the church, and of course, the three day festival which includes alot of Tecate.



It is the cactus below that makes La Aduana so popular. Legend says that Mayo Indians saw a woman on top of the cactus. They tried to reach her and help her down, but suddenly she was gone, and in her place, was a huge vein of silver. It was a miracle.
I guess the miracle was that a mine was created and silver came from it and thousands of people flocked to both La Aduana and Alamos, making it a very wealthy area.Of course, later Aduana and Alamos both became ghost towns.
Below are a few photos of the old silver mine.







And the rolling, velvet hills that surround this small town of four hundred people.

So, of course I cannot list all of the things we did with Ian. It was a wonderful time.
Cookies was a basket case when we returned home from the airport, without Ian in tow.
He meowed for days. He still goes in during the day and sleeps on Ian's bed. We have to pry him away at night and force him to come into our room. It would be too easy for him to get trapped in that room. But time will help him feel better.
Me?
I miss Ian terribly, but again time will work wonders................
Senor?
He is busy working on the casa, but I saw how hard he hugged Ian when they said their goodbyes.
Tomorrow will be a new tradition of sorts, for us............... Our first Thanksgiving, without KD or Ian. If you remember, last Thanksgiving Senor and I flew to Colorado, where both kids were in the same college. That was convenient and it was wonderful. Now, even they are far apart, one in Colorado and one in Washington. But they have good friends to spend the holidays with. They will be happy.
Fortunately, we have very good friends here who have asked us to spend Thanksgiving with their family. We are lucky. We will be happy.
After Christmas last year, we planted our little Christmas pine in the back yard. Last night I decorated it with little tiny lights.
Senor said..........................that is illegal................ we have not even had Thanksgiving yet.
I said.........................does not matter...............they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here.
Then I put on a Christmas cd, much to his chagrin..........................
Last year, I could hardly listen to a Christmas song. I really had a hard time not getting to spend Christmas together as a family.

So, maybe this is a good sign, a miracle of sorts, that I have already listened to a Christmas cd and have already decorated a little Christmas tree.






Say goodnight, little Christmas tree in the yard.................................adios, Linda Lou

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am in a Hurry!!!

Hola! I know, I should have written sooner, but I have been so busy!

Here is a favorite little painting of mine. My mom painted this. Hi Mom!!!!!!!
Hills and hills, filled with bluebonnets. Now, I am showing you this because I have hung it in the laundry room so it can help add a little warmth and decor to the room.

Now, why would I want to do that?
Because Ian is coming tomorrow for a week. And he is going to have to sleep in the laundry room.

It is all good. He does not read the blog. If he did read it and saw his accommodations, he might decide to just stay home.
You can see it below. Of course, the nicest thing is the new ceiling. The second nicest is, he has a bed. What more does a twenty year old kid need than a roof and a bed.

During the last year I have had a few pangs of guilt, especially last year when Ian called one day to say he had to sleep in his car the previous night. He is very independent and I think, was actually proud to tell me that he could take care of himself, even if he was homeless.

Of course, the reason he was homeless was he decided to drop out of college in Colorado and had driven back to Washington state without really thinking about where he would be sleeping.

So, that is history and a darn good story for another day.

Now look below and you can see the bed in the laundry room, two twin beds stacked on top of each other, covered with a quilt my grandmother made.

The beautiful ceiling and new lights.


See how I have cleverly covered up some of Senor's wiring in the back. Since there is no door, I have cleverly put up sheets there as well.

Another nice touch, seashells on the little ledge above the bed.




Cute, huh? Do you think he will like it?
Well, I am in a hurry! I have to go!
Senor just returned from the mercado and he would like to read football! adios! Linda Lou

PS: Wednesday four hour bridge games are a hit!!! I love it!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Home Alone

Buenos Tardes!
Senor snapped this the evening we returned from the Panteon and All Soul's Day.
We went to mass at the Panteon that evening.
We are not Catholic, but it was something we wanted to participate in.

Interestingly, it was held outside a tall chapel that was very near Ida and Walter's grave. Afterward, we sat with a few other foreigners who had adopted graves in that same area. We saw many mexican people we knew and they came up to see us and say hello. It was a wonderful experience and we felt very welcomed by our friends. I think they seemed very happy that the foreign graves were being recognized and cared for.
We stayed for several hours and then headed home.
The next morning the sky was mottled with pink and lavendar clouds.
So, this afternoon, I am 'HOME ALONE' and thrilled about it. I do not get much time here in the casa all alone. Senor is usually working and Umberto is often here as well.


BUT Senor is playing bridge this afternoon. I am very happy to see him go and do something and so excited to have him gone. Do not misunderstand that.



His mother taught him to play bridge and poker when he was young. He tried to teach me to play bridge, but I do not get it at all. There are alot of bridge players here in Alamos and I happened to mention to someone that he used to play and VOILA!!!



He spent alot of time this morning, reviewing the game, opening bids, strategies, and all kinds of good stuff. He printed out so many sheets of paper that he broke the printer. He promised as he was leaving that he would fix it................later.



So, I am just messing around..................doing nothing................and it feels good. I stay very busy when Senor is here. He stays busy, so I stay busy.


I should go out and work on the fence, but I am working on one last little section and it is right in front of Jesus' porch. Only, Jesus is not back there. Someone else is.
On Sunday, I was working there and I came face to face with a new old man as he started walking back to the bathroom that is under the tarps. At first I thought it was Jesus. He was wearing Jesus' black and red checkered bathrobe. But he looked me right in the eye and it is indeed a new old man. This man said.......buenas dias.........................Jesus never said that to me. He always yelled at me......agua! Senora! aqua! Quiero agua! agua!


I always ignored him. I am not going to be his water girl, especially when his sister lives thirty feet away. I do wonder where he went............


So, was I saying I should be working on the fence? I might take a nap instead.


I want to show you one last picture before I start my nap.
Remember the hot water heater we bought last year?
Well, summer came quickly and the sun really heats up our black tinnaco, giving us nice warm water.
Now winter is coming and I do not think there will be any hot water because the hot water heater is still in the box.


But, you know what? We have roofs now on those back two little rooms and that is so much more important than installing a hot water heater.
And I am so happy Senor is interested in taking some time off and playing bridge.
I will look forward to him coming back, but for now, you know what I mean..............
WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!! I am home alone!

adios...................linda lou