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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?

Buenas tardes.

Since my last post a week ago, we have had ten drops of rain. That is it.

It was most exciting a few days ago when the clouds were dark and thick and there was thunder in the distance and suddenly Senor stood and ran for cover...................only to discover it was Cookies clawing the rug. Well....................said sounded like rain.
Most of our cloudy days have been like the photo below. Nothing more, but with Hurricane Alex about to make landfall on the eastern coast of Mexico, we may just get some rain soon.

As I mentioned in the last post, we discovered we truly can get live soccer on the internet. We have watched soccer daily now since June 14th. What a life!
You are either a fan or not a fan, but we could run the fan club for any of the teams, those eliminated and those still in the rounds.

Soccer is not too importante in Sonora. Baseball and boxing are more important, however soccer is big in many other states and Mexico produced a game booklet which also is a lottery of sorts, but I have not figured out how one would play it. So, I use it for score keeping. Mostly it is full of glossy photos of skimpily clad girls who look like they have been run over by wild animals. But it is a fun little score keeping tool.

When we have had breaks from watching soccer we have actually run outside and done a little work.

Senor suggested, after seeing me painting the cupboards, that it might be time for me to paint the portal vigas. So, in between yesterday's two games, I did that. Then while we watched the afternoon game, Umberto and Chuey began placing the placas.

We are pretty sure we are the only people in town with white-washed herringbone placas.

Also, while we have been watching soccer, Umberto and Chuey have finished the concrete columns in the north wall. Senor is always out there, working with them, pouring the concrete, troweling it down. So, I am sure they wonder what we are doing in here. Umberto is deaf, so he would not hear us yelling and screaming as a goal is scored. Chuey listens to ranchero music on his cell phone and totally ignores us unless we are communicating with him verbally.

Tomorrow, they will begin adding the cap to the wall. It will be like the one below. Senor will work with them, as there are game breaks today and tomorrow.

With the game break on, I have also finished a few things. And I have started a few new things.

I completed painting and glossing the candlestick holder. Senor still thinks it is a kindergarten craft project. I like it, but it will need a different candle someday.

A wonderful lady offered me the use of her 'how to paint wood furniture' books. They are full of design stencils. Unfortunately, all of the directions for painting are in German. I went and bought carbon paper at the Mercado and will copy the designs onto the cupboards and just cross my fingers and paint.

Below are the some of the designs I plan to use. It is going to be very busy. I think that lots and lots of different designs will help hide my mistakes.

While I was at the Mercado, I decided to make a bedspread for the bed. Now, this is a very long term project. But I think it will work, don't you? Below is the first embroidery attempt since 1970, when my sister and I removed the leather tops of our Dr. Scholl's and replaced them with these cute strips of muslin that we embroidered.

So, tomorrow is another FREE day and I should stay out of the Mercado. Who knows what other project I might come up with.......
I'll leave you with this. On June 18th, we celebrated two years of living permanently in Mexico. As I have said many times, I don't know where the time goes here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Buenas Tardes!

Below are a few photos Senor took of the last four evenings. We could see the clouds building and feel the wind picking up speed each of the first three nights, but then, it would all come to a swift halt, the crickets would begin to chirp, the birds came back to feed, our excitement waned and Cookies yawned with boredom.

Then BINGO! Last night we hit the jackpot. The wind beat the clouds into a frenzy, the rain fell as Zeus cracked his whip and the horses thundered across the sky.
The cat scurried in under the bed, the towels went down at the doors and we hid in the kitchen tool room after being caught off guard.

When we are not waiting for rain, we are busy with our new discovery.
World Cup on the computer, Live.

So we are getting in two of the morning games and we are thrilled. For a few days we were reading it on Fan House, play by play.

Then a friend sent us a link and we are so surprised that it has worked for four days now.
I am always paranoid about these things, especially since my Playlist was taken away and then, did I tell you AOL took away my free radio? I just about lost it when that happened. I was in the middle of listening to Dallas Master Gardener, Neil Sperry and waiting for Delila, the food goddess of Houston. Then poof, it was all gone with the blink of an eye.

So, we hope this good live soccer connection stays with us through the finals.

Of course, it means very little is being done on the casa......................but, World Cup only comes once every four years.

If I were to ask Senor to take a photo of today's late afternoon sky, you would see the same thing as in the picture above, but the sky is even darker. So, on this, the first official day of the rainy season, Dia de San Juan, we expect to see more rain.

Glenn Ian, you guessed the 25th for the day the rain would begin and as they began on the 23rd, You are the Winner of the Contest!

adios! linda lou

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bridge Day!

Buenas tardes. Here is the morning's sunrise. Believe me, it was breathtaking. But they are all breathtaking in this brilliant colorful way.

And I see everyone of them. Early.

I am up every morning by 4:30am. Sunrise comes a little after 6, I think. I tend to lose track of time. And we do not have a clock that works properly. In the middle of the night it changes time, on its own. I actually think maybe Senor does something to it as it is on his side of the bed. Maybe he does this in order to get more sleep. When it is 6am, the clock might read 3:10am.
We are not getting any World Cup and it has me over the edge, so I am trying to stay busy.
And since I do not have a tv full of soccer channels, I am trying to be creatively busy.
So I have put myself in paint mode, fast forward, do not stop.
Painting the cupboards in the bedroom and in the kitchen tool room is my first plan. The cupboards look exactly alike. I am just painting them with a flat latex white........that will be a lot of coats of paint.
Later I will get very creative and add a bunch of color. Maybe they will become a brilliant morning sunrise.
These cupboards will be sawed in two and moved to the closet. Senor has measured and it will be a perfect fit.

Brown cupboards.

White cupboards.

So, this afternoon, while I waited for the second coat of white paint to dry, I made some boxes.

These are just old brown boxes I probably bought at Michael's ten years ago. Sometimes I just amaze myself when I think of what I sold, or gave away or threw away in order to make a clean move to Mexico. So I try not to think about that. Then, I see what I kept and I get all warm and fuzzy. I know that sounds mushy but then, this post today is about ME. So I get to write whatever I want. And when I found these old boxes in another bigger old dusty box, I got very excited.

Now that I have painted them and put the lids on (yes, after the paint dried), I can't get the lids off. I think they will make a nice little focal point on some shelf someday, don't you?

So now I will get back to the white cupboards and add a little yellow in the middle panels, then while that dries, who knows where the paint brush will take me?

Hey, it's a 'Bridge Day'! So, maybe I will paint the tree trunks white, Senor would probably never notice. Or I will paint a big flower on the wall of the West Wing. Or I could paint the white ceiling fans bright fuchsia or cover the bathroom wall with big yellow dots!!!!!!
There will most likely be a follow up to this! adios, linda lou!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One Point for Mexico!

Buen dia. I cannot tell you how glad we are to be back in Alamos. We have decided that Hermosillo is off our to do list, tomorrow, next year, the year after. Of course, one has to drive through it to get to the states. We will put the truck in drive and close our eyes.

Below is the much dreaded Immigation building there. We arrived at 8 sharp, when the doors are supposed to open and there were already 4 people ahead of us. Below, the felow, on the right sitting down, has been told he has to fill out an application online. His Mexican girlfriend stormed out of the building and drove off. We have no idea what that was about. The man at the counter, in the picture below, left as well.

Okay by us, we were that much closer to standing at the counter ourselves.

Once we did get to the counter, we thought things were going well. There is another new form to fill out there and the attendant does it online.

There are alot of questions on this new form. They include your height and weight and where you work and the number of children you have.

Then, place of birth, place of residency (OMG WE HAVE ALREADY GIVEN ALL THAT TO THEM). I could see we were actually going to get our cards, so I made no complaints.

Fingerprints, signatures here, signatures there, they do not make it easy.

There are some errors on Senor's form, but we did not catch it until after the attendant had clicked the save button. One line states that he moved to Mexico from Minnesota, which is not the case. When it came to my form, it was printed that I moved to Mexico from Germany. I started my ranting about then and spent several minutes explaining I was only born in Germany and never lived there. This appeared to be very confusing to all 3 people who by now were helping us. The 3 included Nurse Ratchet whom we had hoped would be on sick day. Finally I got them to get Germany off the form and Washington State on. But I do not think they like to change anything once they have typed it in.

This application was attached to the old FM3, put in a big stack of other papers and we did not see it again.

I am going to try not to go into any more details over this. But after 2 hours we left with our new cards. Parting words from immigration were that we must show this card upon leaving and re entering Mexico. We waved and smiled and left the building.

Below is the link to the new online application should you need it and front and back photos of the new little card. Under the juicy fruit wrapper is a photo of Senor and then, dates of birth and card numbers and signatures hidden under the other areas.

We drove straight to the hotel and crashed.

Later, after watching the delayed broadcast of the 3 World Cup games of the day, we made a quick jaunt to the Plaza and the church. I think we were each secretly looking for something to rekindle our feelings about Hermosillo, looking for something that would make us want to come back again.

We were surprised to find the church locked up, that never happens to any of the churches we visit in Sonora. The Plaza was as non descript as we remembered it, no water fountains flowing, hot and dusty sidewalks, very few vendors, old women begging for pesos. So, a few more reasons to not go back.

Only the church and a beautiful iron gazebo were worthy of a photograph.

We spent another day watching World Cup Soccer, which is the only reason we decided to turn this trip into a 4 day, 3 night stay. The 3rd night we drove to San Carlos. Eager to watch more soccer, we had the television on for the early Sunday game at 4:30am, only to find that the sports stations being broadcast in that area were more interested in rollerblade boxing, car racing, tennis, baseball and the americas cup. We packed up and left.
At the Wal Mart in Obregon, we watched Germany play Australia. Senor wanted to go to the camping section and get 2 chairs, but I convinced him that might look wierd.

I would say the highlight of this trip was eating in the taco stand below, on Saturday in Hermosillo. The 2 brothers are watching a re run of the Mexico SudAfrica game. Their faces and their creative game sign tell the rest of the story.

One point for Mexico!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Use it at Your Own Risk.......................

Buen Dia.
Thanks to those who made rain predictions. I will keep you posted.

But to let you know how the days are progressing, to the south, Mt Alamos cannot even be seen here late Saturday as the clouds have it fully covered. I thought it might go ahead and rain, but it didn't. Here is Saturday, but looking north. We were surrounded and even Senor said...........rain. There was none.
Same two lovely trees, same direction, Sunday night, definately a lot of wind and most likely..............rain...........Not a drop fell.

Monday night, to the northeast, beginning to billow, but nothing happened.

Back to the north on Tuesday night and the clouds quickly became a brilliant show of lightning that stretched from the north to the east. But no rain.

More of Tuesday night's brilliant billowing clouds to the north and east.

I am eager to see what happens tonight. I can feel it, this accumulation of energy and strength. And I know that it will continue to gather and gather and then, it will let loose.
I only hope it does not happen while we are gone.
Yes, we are going.....................back to Hermosillo and the dreaded Immigration building. I finally reached them yesterday after many tries, and the lady said..................they will be ready Friday morning.

Would you trust her?

Below is a copy of the new brochure from Immigration. Look at the second photo.

I WANT this guy! I want him to wait on us. I want him to renew my FM3. I want him to be just as he is in the photo, all smiling and happy and doesn't he just look like a very helpful guy? Doesn't he look like he knows what he is doing?

If we get told on Friday there is some kind of problem I am going to pull out this brochure and tell them I want to talk to this guy only. I will communicate only with him.

Below you can see that the FM3 which used to have to be renewable every year for five years and then a new one had to be applied for, is now good for renewal for ten years.
That only makes sense as the renewal is more expensive than getting a brand new one, so there will be more money now for Immigration. I think this is okay.

Now here is the letter the lady sat down and typed for us and made us sign.
She wrote it all in caps.
(POST NOTE on June 17th, 2010) !!!
Per the original post, after much consideration, I have removed the original letter.
After retranslating the original letter and racking my poor brain which has low memory capacity and talking it over with Senor and with input from a neighbor as well, we believe that most people will need the letter below to renew their FM3.
(certain people in certain situations may need other letters, because our visas state that we can work in mexico, that is what happened to us, we needed more letters)
Bajo protesta de decir verdad y apercibido de las sanciones que corresponden a quienes proporcionen informacion falsa ante la autoridad migratoria, en los terminos de los articulos 116 y 118 de la Ley General de Poblacion y 247 del Codigo Penal Federal, el suscrito manifiesta que los datos asentados y la informacion que acompana a la presente solicitud son verdaderos y que no tiene restricciones de ingreso o estancia derivadas de una resolucion migratoria anterior.
The interesting thing is this information is already on your own application when you fill it out. It can be found right above the lines where you will put your signature and date. So, if the letter is already there, why do we need to write it out again? I have no idea.........once again, each situation may be different, so use it at your own risk.
Linda Lou

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Choose Your Day

You know it is hot when you see this..........................poor Cookies, he is roasting. We may have turn on the mini split for him. Look at this! It defines the entry steps to the front door of the casa. Of course, there is no front door, there are no steps, but you will get the idea, I think. I believe Senor said the steps from the front door will be flush with this new little wall. But then, there are a lot of times when I think I know what he said, but it is just the opposite.
The passenger door to the street will be in between the two concrete columns on the right.The front door will be where the first space is in the wall, hidden there behind the branch of a fuego tree. In the lower right you can see the little wall. Senor is cutting the tiles and Umberto is doing the rest of the work.

A bucketfull of bouganvilla oversees the project.

I have decided to have a give have 48 hours (until 6pm PST on Monday night)
to guess the day the rains will begin here in Alamos.
The person coming closest to the date will get the earrings below. They are from my Wildflower Collection and are called Rocky Mountain Lilly.
The official day of rain is on every Sonoran calendar and it is June 24. It is called Dia de San Juan. Please read the comments and try not to guess the same day as someone else because then I will have to have some kind of what time did the rain start, how big were the drops, how many inches fell, which tree grew a foot in an know, that sort of thing.
You have to have a blogger account to comment. It is an easy account to set up and you do not have to divulge any information about yourself.

You choose your day................ adios for now................linda lou