Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in El Fuerte

Feliz Navidad from El Fuerte, Sinaloa, where we spent several days at Christmas. These girls could not get enough of Senor taking their pictures in the Plaza. Besides pretty girls, the Plaza in El Fuerte is filled with huge palms and fig trees and sparkling water fountains. The large Palacio, which covers several blocks, is on one side of the Plaza. There was a large dance here on Christmas Eve and our hotel, which is on one side of the plaza, was really vibrating to the live music.

Here is one of the walls of our hotel, covered in Trumpet Vine. The vines are really thick, but they could not keep out the music!The church, on yet another side of the Plaza, has one steeple, is very small and does not ring its bells for service. There is a Mariner bell in the Plaza and it rings every quarter hour. The fourth side of the Plaza is filled with small shops and small outdoor restaurants. Below Senor has read the menu many times and is trying to wait patiently for his Huevos Rancheros.

Down the street from the Plaza is the mercado. These streets are filled with shop vendors. Below are tubs filled with fish.

Hats are on every street corner.

Meat is drying below and it will be pounded into a fluff called machaca.

Panela, a whole milk cheese that is delicious fried on the grill, is drying in a cheese shop.

After filling ourselves with food and buying a sparkling hat for Ian, we walked down to the malecon that follows the El Fuerte River.We walked up the hill to the site where a new fort was built in 2001. No one seems to know where the original fort was, so this looked like a good spot to reconstruct it.

It is now a museum and one of the exhibits is a photography collection preserved by San Diego State University. The photographs were taken by an American photographer in the 1800's.

Here is the view of the river from the fort.

We watched a lot of Christmas movies, in both Spanish and English, and we also watched a lot of soccer. A tour bus came in from Phoenix, filled with Japanese and American tourists on their way to the Copper Canyon. Most of them did not have coats to take to the canyon and we wondered how they missed that part of the brochure as it snows this time of year there. Even in El Fuerte we were wearing coats in the evening. They were very excited though as the only stop between Phoenix and El Fuerte had been the Obregon Wal Mart.

It was very relaxing and good to be away from the house for a few days. We found a phone at the OXXOO where you just start dialing the number and pay when you are done. Five pesos a minute. We were able to talk to KD, but could not get through to Ian. We knew he was busy and finally talked with him after Christmas Day.
So, another Christmas.............. I think it is getting easier.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too.
adios, linda lou

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday is a Good Day


Yesterday afternoon a lovely Mexican Senora who lives down the street came ringing our cowbell and she and her small granddaughter gave us several dishes of sugared mincemeat empanadas and some bowls of other tasty desserts that I don't know the names of.

One is a deep fried taco that starts to melt as soon as it hits the tongue and it is so sweet and good. It was definitely a welcomed surprise!

After filling up on these treats Senor went out and caught this sunset, which was so unusual. The clouds were almost black against the pale crimson pink sky.

Then this morning we woke to an overcast day, filled with swirling fog. We thought we might get some rain and colder weather, but this has all burned off and it is much like a nice fall afternoon.

We decided to give the children in Umberto's family sweets for Christmas. To children here in Alamos, a sweet or dulce as it is called in Spanish, is candy. Anything from tootsie rolls, to peanut candy ground into little cakes, to sweet caramel milk cubes, m and m's, peppermints, a sweet is a candy.

I asked him on Tuesday how many ninos lived with him now. He said..............four. But by noon when he left he changed his mind and said there were five.

So I went to the Mercado for candy and wrapped boxes.
Last night I set up the boxes, and tried to divy all the individual candy types equally, but it did not work out. So I threw it all in a pile again and just put an even number into all five boxes. If they are anything like my kids, they count to make sure they have the same as the next person.

This morning Umberto told me the ninos were coming at ten am. I had planned to just fill a garbage bag with the boxes and send him on his way, but promptly at ten, the cowbell rang and there were four ninos, with a young woman in her twenties.

I had met some of them before. There are three girls, two of them are the children of one of his daughters, the other girl and a boy of four are the children of his daughter who walked them to the house. The missing child, an eleven year old boy who is Umberto's child, was visiting his Uncle in Obregon. So, there are indeed five. They all live together, with their tv, in their two room house.

I arranged some plastic chairs out in the yard and we had cookies and juice and tried to talk. The young mother, who looks pregnant, laughed a lot but did not understand anything I said. The eleven year old girl laughed a lot and said she understood everything I said. The three girls and the missing boy are all in school, they like to play 'pony' basketball and football. The older girl likes to get her nails done. The younger girls like to have their long ponytails braided and they all like tv.

And, I am mad at myself for not getting a picture.
To their gift boxes of dulces, I added two bags of Christmas mugs filled with single nescafe packets and cammomile tea for them to give their abuelo and abuela (grandmother and grandfather, Umberto and his wife) on Christmas morning.

Then we ate more cookies and I told them thanks for visiting and they left.
On his way out the gate the little boy already had a trail of candy wrappers behind him. It was all very short and sweet.

Today is Thursday, one of my favorite days of the week. Senor has his weekly bridge game. I can count on a free afternoon. but, it is a busy day and having the ninos here today made it even more jam packed.

On Thursday mornings, I go to a great exercise class. A woman who lives several blocks over hosts it in her large sala. In the photo below, you can see the view from her portal. It is magnificent. That is a huge old rubber tree in the foreground and Mt. Alamos in the background. Her house is for sale in case you want to come down and buy it. You can visit..................... Look at the houses for sale and see if you can tell which one this is!

As soon as I am done with exercise class, I hop on new old bike and whip as fast as I can to this place........................

This is where the Alamos History Club meets each Thursday, in the Agave Room of the hotel.
You are a little familiar with the History Club already. It sponsors the Day of the Dead altar I put up in the Museum each November. But the club is much more than that.

Its ongoing research includes that of Alamos historical homes, and the history of Alamos and Mexico.
Frequent interviews of both Mexicans and Extranjeros (foreigners) and presentations add to the increasing historical knowledge. The club also encourages the study of both Mexican and Extranjero genealogies and collects stories about the mining days, traditions and people of the Alamos Municipio. It even sponsors field trips and guest speakers and maintains a bibliography of many resources published on Alamos.

All so fascinating to me are the Extranjeros who have lived here since the sixties and during History Club, while we munch on cookies fresh out of the oven and drink thick coffee, they pull information out of their heads like a magician pulls a rabbit right out of the hat...................dates, names, certain circumstances.............. they are walking encyclopedias like I have never seen or heard before. They know all the Mexican presidents, in order, and the names of their entire families and what their professions were. They know when Pancho Villa did what it was he did and why, historically, it has been proven he did it. They could write a book on Maximilian. They know who betrayed who.
They also know much more than Mexican history. They know who was shot and buried in the Panteon and who shot him. They know who died in town while playing poker. They know who lived in which home at which time. They know the names of peoples' ancestors and where they originated. They are amazing to me and I just never tire of the meeting and listening to them speak.

When Thursday rolls around, I am out of bed before daylight, which is not coming now until six-thirty nine. I am ready to get started. The exercise class is tedious, but I see it is working for me, but it is really the History Club that makes Thursday a great day.

As you begin to plan your visit to Alamos, make sure you are here on Thursday, put it on the do to list, put it in the calendar. You will not want to miss it. Below are more photos of the meeting room.

You know FAOT is right around the corner and you really don't want to miss that either! The banners advertising the musicians are already hanging from telephone polls and the Palacio. Soon I will post and get you into the FAOT spirit!

In the meantime, que le vaya bien and I hope you are having as great a Thursday as I am!
adios! linda lou

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mighty Fine Pictures by Senor

Buen dia!
Last night Senor told me he would be waking me up at one-thirty to go out and see the eclipse. I did not think he would even wake himself up, but he did and we set up our chairs in the backyard.
It truly was mesmerizing and I am glad we were up to see it. He took the photos below and I am so impressed. I think the wavy out of focus ones are my favorites.

And yes, it really was that color!

A lot has been going on here in the daytime.
Below, Senor is busy working on his wood forms.
This form made the concrete piece below and it is one of several that will be placed on top of the columns they will soon be pouring. The bowl full of ladrillos made the center hole.

Below he has poured a square that will become the base of the column. It will have to continue to be built up and will look like the base in the second photo.

I have no idea what the longer form is for. I meant to ask him before he left for bridge today.
The rebar inside the form is the location of a half column and then, beyond that will be a row of long windows that will be above the kitchen sink.
That could not possibly be the beginning of a kitchen wall, could it? I really doubt it. I was told that is a long, long way off. So, I have no clue. What do you think it could be?

Somedays the picture gets a little clearer to me. In between the column on the right of this photo and where the new column is being formed, will be one of the french doors that leads out to the portal. I can really almost see it.

I am off on new old bike to the Post Office. Senor lost the postal box key, so he is yet, in trouble again. I will not tell the mail lady the key is missing. I will give her cookies! I know she will open the box! I think there will be Christmas cards in there and that will be good because I have had a few melt downs. I am not going to call them breakdowns...........yet. Just meltdowns that started when I did some online Christmas shopping for KD and Ian.

I thought about naming this post, senor is trouble again, because he is......over the key. But that is getting old with the amount of times lately that he has been in trouble.
So, we will go with the eclipse, since he did such a good job of getting us up to even see it and the pictures look mighty fine, too!
adios, linda lou

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Call for Christmas Cards!

Buen dia. Not much is going on around here.
The weather is good and it is prime working time, but not much is happening that I see that I can show you. Senor would scoff at that remark I am certain, long enough to tell me that there is always something going on and I just do not see it.

And then, I would say to him........okay, I like to see it, so do something I can see, please.

While I am being patient with whatever it is they are doing that I am not seeing, I am doing some decorating for Christmas, very little, but at can see it.

Here is the wreath below on the metal door that opens to the West Wing where we are doing most of our sitting. I added fuego tree needles and some bells to a fake evergreen wreath I bought in the mercado. Next to the door I put the new little Christmas tree, a fig. After spending several days last year searching Navajoa nurseries for a 'pinus tree', and do keep in mind that the spanish i is pronounced e, and not feeling comfortable about trying to find one this year, we went with a fig, or a figgy, as I call it.

The yard is filled with colored lights hanging from trees and red balls are shining from the trumpet vines. It is very colorful at night. Inside is nice and cozy. I have some red glass garland above the fireplace and some pretty candles all around. Of course there are a lot of furniture pieces leaning up against the wall, but the fire in the fireplace keeps it all warm and inviting.

Poinsettias in the window sill really add a punch of Christmas color.

So, this is me, right now, just doing whatever each day brings my way. We have been to several festive holiday parties and some small dinners with good friends. I have been to a few 'ladies only' get togethers. I had an open house here for the Glasspondstudio and it was nice that so many ladies came to see the new glass.

I don't seem to have the same difficulties and worries over the kids and Christmasses past that I had last year and the year before. I did tell Senor if I begin to fall apart, I reserve the right to say we are packing and going to the beach.

Please, don't forget to send us a Christmas card this year!
Linda Lou and Senor, Too
Postal Apartado #71
Alamos, 85760
Sonora, Mexico
It was such a treat last year to pick up so many cards and letters at the Post Office, many from people we did not even know.

There is a nice breeze blowing, gently rustling the leaves of the palm fronds. The white winged doves are playing in the little plastic water bowl I set out for them and Cookies is lounging on the warm concrete outside the door.

I do see this is a lovely day, so I am sending it your way!
adios, linda lou