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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Walls Have Ears

Buen dia!

Here are several of the glass pieces I have been working on. I am now really working feverishly, trying to get matching pendants and earrings done for a number of ladies who will be going NOB soon, back to their other homes and lives.

I have not actually given you the information as to why I am suddenly caught up in this manic frenzy.

I was sick, just about all of last week.

Terrible back and stomach pains and cramps laid me flat out on the bed, with Cookies by my side and Senor waiting on me. Advil barely took care of the problem. So last Wednesday, I took my self to the IMSS clinic, where I became 'Number Twenty-two' in a long line of Mexican men and women and cranky babies. I saw at least five Mexican women I recognized.

And I waited and waited and waited.

When I finally got to the counter I was helped by the nice guy who loves to practice his English. We talked about many things and then finally about my condition.

He suggested that I return at noon and gestured to the waiting room where about fifty people were sitting. They will all be gone by noon. He wrote something in my booklet and I went home.

When I returned, there were only a few women rocking babies in their arms and talking.
The doctor called my name and I went into the small room. He spoke very good English, he might have been twenty-five.

Based on information I gave him from a January diagnosis in Tucson, and the locations of all my problems, he determined that the January diagnosis had most likely turned into both kidneys becoming infected. I do not think the Tucson doctor gave you enough medication, he said.

He has very soulful, deep and intelligent eyes. They made me confess to him.............i have high blood pressure and have not taken any medicine in over a year and a half. I don't think he believed me. He took my blood have high blood pressure, he said.............yes, i know, i said.....................very, very high, you know..................yea, probably very, very high, i can't leave the clinic without taking medicine for your blood pressure, he said...........okay, okay, i said.

He left me alone. When he came back to the little room he was carrying an armload of free medicine and a print out sheet of what they were and when to take them. I made sure I could read and understand it all. He said I needed to go and give the nurse a urine sample. Across the hall, I knocked on the nurse's door. A baby rocking lady told me she was gone. The receptionist said I would have to return the following Wednesday and bring the sample with me in a little plastic cup. Did I need a cup. No, I have a cup. I took myself home where I fell on the bed completely depressed.

After my first pill, I felt better. But I cancelled all my coffee dates and a couple of luncheons because I was not sure what to expect with all these pills.

And even though I felt better, I did not feel like cooking, walking, gardening or cutting glass.
By Tuesday, I felt well enough to drive myself to the Mercado. Three different Mexican ladies passed me and asked how I was, fine, I said each time. One rubbed her back and I knew she knew. And she had not even been in the clinic.

A Mexican women told me once, we Mexicanos, we know everything the Americanos do. Everything? i asked......... Everything! she replied. We know where you shop, what you buy, what you wear, where you go, who you go with, who you telephone, Everything!

Yesterday morning I took myself and my little plastic cup inside a small brown bag to the clinic. There must have been a hundred people in the clinic, waiting to see the nurse and waiting to see the doctors. I saw quite a few people I knew. A Mexican man asked me how I was feeling. He looked at my brown bag and smiled. I feel fine, I said and I asked how his family is feeling, fine, he said..

I said Buenos dias to as many of the people as I could and when I got a position in a line of about thirty, I noticed many of the women kept glancing at the floor near me. Then, while covering their mouths with their hands, they grinned at each other and giggled. A woman that I can easily converse with in Spanish came quickly over to me, you don't need to wait in the line she told me, just go up to the nurse and give her the bag. I did that and left the clinic as quickly as I could.

After History Club this morning I rode new old bike to the Plaza. It felt good to be out in town and I waved to a few people I know. At the Plaza I feel like I blend in, like I can sit and watch and become part of the green iron bench.

After awhile a woman I know who works in one of the offices nearby came and sat beside me.

Ahhh, haaaaaaaaa!.....she exclaimed..........your shoes, they match today!

When I got home yesterday from the clinic, I remembered all of the ladies looking at the floor around me and this was what they saw.

I asked my friend how she knew about this. She had not been at the clinic yesterday.
Oh, we Mexicanos, we know Everything about you Americanos!!!

Then she smiled and said quietly................ las paredes tienen oidos, the walls have ears.........

Apparently I do not blend in quite as well as I think I do.

Siesta!!!!!!!!!!!!!! linda lou

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Real Update

Buenos Tardes! What a gorgeous day here in Alamos. It is very quiet, a light breeze is blowing from the east, the sun is not too startling as it peers down on us from a soft blue sky. Blip is neighing in the field, Cookies is napping alongside Senor on the bed behind me, Senor's book had fallen by his side and he is snoring away. Yes, a very nice day in Alamos.

Remember, I want to show you something. We are going to walk out the gate and just look down our adobe wall. Now you will notice the colorful bouganvillia mingling with the orange trumpet vine and spilling over the wall.

And here we are, below, at the passenger gate, or what will be the gate one day. Someone said.....why do you keep calling that the passenger gate? I do not have a clue. Maybe when the gate is done and you enter, you should expect to be taken to a world unknown. I have no idea, maybe it comes from having been a flight attendant long ago, gates are just passenger gates.

Now, you will notice as you look at the passenger gate, there is cute little round circle to the right. What is want to know.

It is the plaque I made in clay class at the Museum. Remember that post? If I had time to learn how to do links, I could take you right back to it, but sorry........

I think this is just awesome. The plaque has been laying on a chair in the bedroom to be and each time I saw it, I thought, well just how long before that gets something set upon it and it gets cracked. I am not pessimistic at all, but well, you know.

A lady came to visit. Why on earth do you have that plaque way down there and not by your gate.....................because there is going to be a passenger gate down there and that is where you would want to see the plaque....................a what kind of gate...............a passenger gate, i said...............
Now, let's go back on the otra lado, or other side.

Senor and Umberto put up the beam that will eventually connect the whole length of the house down to the kitchen corner.
Umberto started the wall here.
And here he is beginning the wall that will extend over the kitchen and the kitchen windows.
Here is a somewhat longer view of the area.
So, there you have it. A real update with real updated things.

And now, as much as I would like to lay down and have a lazy nap, I have to go and cut glass.
Que tengas una buena vida!!!! linda lou

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Friend Blip

I have not been lazy and I have not had blog block again.

What I have been is very busy cutting and firing glass. I had a lovely 'Open House' last weekend and it was so well attended. Then, Sunday and Monday afternoons were well attended also, even though I was not having a show. People just kept popping by and wanting last minute gifts. If you were here, thank you so much. It was a lot of fun! If you weren't here, but need something special for yourself, visit the etsy shop at the link on the right or let me know, and I will create something special for you.

Now, I am busy again, back cutting and firing again because I have a large number of Alamos and online custom orders.

In fact while Senor is off trumping and opening and preempting and whatever else they do at bridge, I will be cutting glass.

First, I just have a few photos to show you.
This first one is of a blue jelly fish. One of many we saw when we were out at Huatabampito a few weeks ago. We saw so many, blue, green, copper, silver, gold, very unusual shapes and colors. I am thinking about enlarging and framing a few of them, someday after I do all of the other things I have planned.
Above, some of the gorgeous wispy clouds that have been coming in on the breezes lately. Our days have been in the nineties, but it does not feel hot and there is no humidity. The evenings cool down rapidly and it is cool enough in the early morning to light a fire. This is perfect weather. But I am not crazy, I know what is right around the corner.

So, with this lovely weather has come a good flow of work. You can see the hole has been filled. I was very happy about that.

A lot of 'the season' foreigners are beginning to pack their bags, close up their homes and head north, south, east or west, whichever the case may be. I know that many of them are not ready to go. I feel fortunate to be able to stay.

So, while they begin their departures, a new guest has arrived. He usually lives right down the street, but he has a new home now.
I call him Blip, the horse. He is now in the field next door, along with a burro. This area is right outside our bedroom door, where the adobe wall meets up with the chicken wire that will someday connect with the rest of the coyote fence. Blip stands here and neighs for me to come talk or throw him an old apple over the chicken wire. He gets upset that he can't get his head over the wire, so his patience is short and after about ten minutes, he will turn and walk away.

Cookies absolutely hates poor Blip. He will growl when he comes around and hisses until he leaves. I think he knows Blip wants to be friends with me and Cookies is jealous. He does not want to share us with anyone.

Another special thing has been installed around here and I will let you in on that with the next post.
So, off to work I go!
Que tengas buen dia! linda lou

Monday, March 14, 2011

Etchojoa Cultura Indigenista

Buenas dias!

We went to the cultural indigenous festival on Saturday, in the town of Etchojoa, which is about an hour away.

There were many indigenous tribes there. Represented were the Mayo, Yaqui, Seri, Guajarito, Tarahumara and several others. The women above were from a group of about twelve, who came from the Copper Canyon, outside Northern Sinaloa and I am not sure they were very excited to be there. They were extremely shy and did not want to make eye contact. With them were a few young girls and the older women kept the younger ones very close and occasionally covered the girls' eyes.
Below the Tarahumara are standing off to the side. The woman in the sun bonnet is a Mexican interpreter.

The deer dance, along with many other dances, or pascolas, was performed. I wish I could show you all of them, but at the end of the post you will see one of the deer dances. Toward the end of the video, on the far left a small deer head will come in to view. Many of the other dancers are the wolves and other animals. The leg coverings are made of butterfly cocoons.
Below, a young dancer, wearing the butterfly cocoon and the twelve bells around his waist. The twelve bells represent the twelve apostles.

In addition to information booths, items for sale and dancing and music, the amounts and types of food available, prepared by each tribe, was just amazing.

Above, a woman cooks torillas on a large comal.
There were rows and rows of asadors, cooking grills, and they were all in use.

We saw a lot of beautifully embroidered capes and dresses. Pretty headdresses adorned with beads and feathers and of course, endless masks.

A goat skin drum waits to join in the music.

An old man tunes his instrument.

The butterfly cocoon leggings are for sale, along with masks, corn filled shakers and drums.

After spending several hours at the festival, we drove to the beach at Huatabampito. The sea was very calm and quiet even though there was a steady wind.

The restaurant on the beach and below, Senor is looking for shrimp boats on the Sea of Cortez.

I hope you will be able to open the video and watch the Pascola. Que buen dia!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Deer Mask

Hola! Yesterday I visited a friend who collects Mayan deer masks. I thought you might enjoy seeing these pictures.

This particular style is carved and painted by a young man who lives in the campo, or countryside.
The masks are three colors, red represents Jesus Christ, white represents peace and black, the darkness. The hair is from the Palomino horse. There are four crosses on each mask, they represent the four winds.

There is a design, or pathway, on the sides of every mask, this design represents wisdom to finding the path.

Throughout each year there are many times when the indigenous Mayo and Yaqui Indians of Sonora perform the deer dance, or pascola as it is called. When I walked to La Aduana in the night, that was the deer dance I took a video of and posted for you to see.
Before the wood carver can carve a deer mask, he must dream the dance for many nights. He lies still and in his dream, he will fight the wolves. He watches for snakes, carefully, because an Indian cannot kill a snake, it will bring him bad luck. In his dream, as he dances and fights the wolf, he sees the mask he is wearing and then, he carves that mask.
These masks are carved from the roots of coconut palms.

Below is the wolf mask, created and worn also by Mayan and Yaqui Indians of Sonora.

Tomorrow there is a deer dance in the town of Etchojoa and we are thinking about going. We are still tired from all of our NOB trips and not sure we even want to make the hour and a half drive. But I thought you might enjoy seeing the incredible talent and skill it takes to carve and paint this particular deer mask. Of course, there are many, many different deer masks. Some are oval and made from old wood with just eyes, nose and mouth while others are very elaborate with actual antlers from the deer and glass eyes and ribbon streamers.
It got just a little warm today. In the nineties, but again, a very nice wind has been blowing all day and it keeps the heat down. We are off to a barbeque. Have a great night whatever you are doing!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Up on the Roof

Holy Horsefeathers! It is a hot one today, in the nineties. But there is a stiff breeze so it does not feel so terribly hot and only twenty percent humidity. Both yesterday and today at six am when I got up, the humidity registered at almost eighty percent. Everything was covered with a fine layer of dampness. Throughout the night I could smell and feel that wetness in the air.

Cookies is splayed out on the cool concrete bedroom. Senor is probably dealing a bridge hand right now. Earlier I returned from History Club and I noticed there are a lot of workers up on the roof tops in our barrio. To me it looks like they are up there for a little chat. But later I saw them working. I think they are all permeabling the roof tops, taking advantage of this warmth before the rainy season hits. I have shown you permeabling before. It is a white paint like substance that gets rolled or brushed around on the roof tops. It hardens to a rubber like consistency and waterproofs whatever got rolled.

Below, you can see that Senor had Umberto up on our roof top permeabling as well.

I will take you up on the roof for a looksee. I absolutely hate Umberto's ladder. The guys like it but look at the second photo.

Is this an accident waiting to happen? To me?

Up on the roof now and you can see the white stripes are where he permeabled the roof seams.
The little brick structure is the beginning of the chimney steeple or house. It is in its preparation stages, of course. For some reason that is a big rock on the roof and the structure to the right is the skylight.

Here are the two skylights getting their icing.

And here you can see two prepared fireplace steeples that will look like that one in the distance which is on top of our neighbor's little casita. You can also see this section is bright and white and all permeabled up. So hopefully our roof will not leak this season.
Aren't the mountains gorgeous. We really have a pretty outstanding view from the roof top. Just above the neighbor's steeple, on Mt. Alamos, you can see the squiggly lines of cleared land and huge boulders left by Hurricane Norbert.

Not to be left on the bottom floor, I am fixing to go and paint some vigas. Then Cookies and I will maybe turn on the overhead fan and take a sweet little siesta.