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.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Remember This Day?

Remember this day?
This is how we looked three years ago on this Memorial Day weekend. Loading the truck and the U haul, under a gray and cloudy sky. As a last minute thought that afternoon Senor slipped his fake plastic doves in the back of the truck and how did I miss seeing them until we were just about to go across the border? Imagine my horror at what looked like dead doves fixing to be transported into Mexico.Some days this all seems like yesterday and then, somedays it seems so long ago.
Either way, I can truly report we are still having fun.

And it's been a busy week. Without boring you too much, we have had no water from the city, not counting the days anymore. There is a new rumor that part of the water pipeline that services the city from out near Sabino Lake is missing............whatever.

Senor and Umberto spent the week working on the huge beam that will span the center of the house. Below they are laying the rebar and the electrical cables that will be inside the cement beam.Here the form is up and extra help has arrived and after ten hours the cement has been loaded, bucket by bucket into the wood form. Now I was very excited about this because once that beam is up, the vigas can be laid going west to east and after that, the roof goes on. I say I was excited until Senor said it takes twenty-eight days for the beam to cure. I started to complain and he said to watch it or he would let it just sit there for longer. So I closed my mouth and just went about my business.

And my business has been painting a bread box. I will show you that a different day because I am busy today getting paperwork ready. We are heading up to Guaymus manana to renew our Visas. We generally go to Hermosillo to do this, but we are tired of going there. It is not our favorite town, so we will try going to Guaymus.

Everyone has an opinion about something and we have had folks tell us that you have to always go to the same office to renew. Well that does not make any sense so we will try Guaymus and see what happens. I am more interested in going to the beach for a couple of days. So in between renewing the visas, we are going to take a mini vacation.

So here we are, Memorial Day weekend and once again, we will be on the road and I am sure I will spend a bit of time, thinking about the day we left the Pacific Northwest and set a southerly course.
What a wonderful and exciting adventure. Que le vaya bien, linda lou

Monday, May 23, 2011

Water Stealers

Buenos dias!
Well, on the fifteenth, I was excited, woke early, energectic, thought for sure we would have a blast of water from the city, nada.

Then, foolishly, on the twentieth, I repeated that routine, nada. So, I do understand now, the water department was just trying to make me happy.

We got in new old car to take a drive and without really planning it, we ended up at the Rio Cuchujaqui.

The water is beautiful there, shimmering in the sunlight, but you can see how dry everything else is. The only green things anywhere are the mesquite trees.

In the photo above you can see the long narrow bridge that we had to drive over. It is fairly steep, with a hairpin turn at the very bottom, but worth it to see the quiet flowing river. I don't know exactly where it is flowing, but not to my house for sure.

There are so many rumors in town about the water situation and they keep getting more and more ridiculous, and while I am not into spreading rumors, these are worth repeating. People now say that the city had a huge brand new pump, ready to be installed in the well out past the cemetery, the pump was left unwatched overnight, it was stolen and there is no more money to replace it. Senor thinks it would have taken a big forklift to get a pump that size out of town and surely, Policia or someone would have seen it going down the street in the middle of the night.

Personally, I like another rumor better. The mesquite trees are lush and full, a deep brilliant green. You can see them as they work their way up the dry brown mountainsides and wind through the dusty valleys. Their roots can go several hundred feet undergound or so it is said. The mesquites are stealing all of our water!

Soon we are going to have Umberto dig down into our well a little ways and see what's up. We would like to see if it is even lined with bricks or perhaps it has crumbled in or maybe there is something in there that should not be in there. Maybe our mesquite roots have spread there and they are constantly slurping up that surging water below.

Until 'Soon' happens, Umberto and Senor are just fixing to pour the biggest beam of the roof top. They have finally completed the wood form and the rebar square for the center. Any minute they will be starting.

In the meanwhile, there is NO water today, but it is a beautiful day, very breezy, not too hot.

I think next week I will start the contest, as I did last year, for guessing the day the big rains will start here. I will look through the glasspondstudio and choose a beautiful prize. Check back soon for all the details on that.

So the flies are swarming, the mesquites are stealing all our water and the dry hillsides are turning drier, this big beam is going up and the beautiful breeze is tinkling the windchimes, wow, what's not to love!

...........................wherever you are, que tengas buen dia! linda lou

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Decorating Little Houses

Buenas tardes!

Below is the update on the newest cute little house. This one has been cemented, so I believe it is permanent.

To the left you can see our neighbor's little house. We definitely have a cute and unique little roof. We will eventually have a total of five of these little houses on top of the casa.

I am already thinking well beyond Senor. I could probably send a strand of Christmas lights up there and light up the roofs of the little houses for the Posada. You know me by now, and I would definitely do that. Wouldn't it look cute? Should I do white or colored lights?

And I would have to do it while Senor is at bridge so he will not have the opportunity to say............. nope, no way, ABSOLUTELY NOT.............well, where is his holiday spirit?

Speaking of bridge he is out at it again and this is the third time this week. When he does that he comes home and can't function, says his brain is completely fried, so I do not know what he is thinking. I cannot tell a lie, I like some afternoons to myself, so I don't mind, well, you know, as long as the work gets done in the mornings.

Occasionally, at History Club or when I am out and about and run into someone, a lovely older lady, she will say to me.......oh, your husband is so nice.......he has excellent bridge etiquette...............he deals very well..............he is so proper........he is very, very meticulous (I hear this one a lot)..............i so enjoy playing bridge with your husband.

Well this is very sweet and he really enjoys playing with all the ladies, both young and older. I am very happy they enjoy playing with him. And once in awhile another man will play, but more often than not, it is Senor and the ladies.

I know he must have good bridge etiquette and good card etiquette in general, and he learned that from his mother. He also passed that etiquette on to our children who are great card players and very patient and understanding even with their mother who has to be reminded how to play gin rummy. People ask me why I don't learn bridge so he and I can play together......HA! I would rather stay home and swing from the chandeliers, well, if we had any.

I do, however, have creative cooking skills and this also part of the reason I could never play bridge. I can't follow a recipe. I always speed read (thank you Dad, for teaching all of us kids how to speed read) right through the recipe and almost always leave out something, so I am sure I could never follow the recipes and rules for bridge.

As I write I am braising ribs over the mesquite fire at the asador. I saute'd a bunch of scallions, garlic, onion and peppers, made a nice white wine roux and added browned ribs. The electric bill will come in about five days and I am sure I braised us into a high bill bracket with all of the hot plate braising I did in February, March and April. So this is my third asador fire braising and so far, it's worked well. I just have to keep the fire going for at least three hours, hard to do on a hot day like today. But I go out, put on a log and rush back in to the bedroom where I have the air conditioning on.

Tomorrow is a big day, it is the fifteenth. Remember? More water, Senora, on the fifteenth or twentieth of May! That is what they said and maybe we will find out manana what it might mean.
I think I will take a short siesta before I need to run out and throw another log on the fire. I am on Hour #TWO!
I also need some time to think about my holiday light decorating. I can easily put an extention cord up on the outside of the big house and decorate those little houses. But I still think I could not have a fire, unless, maybe the lights could go up the sides and on top and not near the openings? Do you think the little house would be too hot? For instance, if I were gone and Senor lit a fire...... He may have excellent bridge etiquette, but his response to little surprises like that is not very proper............

Friday, May 13, 2011

Little House

Buen dia! Good grief, blogger is being in complete control today as I cannot move any photos.
So just go with the flow.

I thought maybe I could get through this post without mentioning the W word, water that is. But, nope, sorry, no can do. The W word is always on my mind. We are getting 3 hours of water at a fine tiny trickle. We got more water in an hour and a half three weeks ago than we are getting now.

I went down to the Palacio and took a risk................we have muy poco agua in mi casa I said with a big smile on my face.

I have been hearing all kinds of stories about people in water distress, unhappy people who really need their water. Apparently if you pay your bill, and you can prove you are not getting water, the city is obligated to deliver water. Unfortunately we don't fall in that category because we are getting a few inches every day. But I thought I would just politely mention that there is a problem at my house, too. You know, conversational stuff, oh, by the way............

The lady at the cashier's window gave me a huge smile, she is always very nice, but she seemed truly surprised that we were not getting much water. She called in the boss from the next room. The boss looked at my bill and said (and I am translating here) are not getting any, i am getting some water, not should be getting lots of water, he said....well, i am not, i said with a really big smile.......he left the small room and returned will get a lot of water on the fifteenth or the twentieth of the month, he smiled and she smiled and i smiled and i said gracias and que la vaya bien and they smiled even bigger and said...........a usted. And I left. I am not the confrontational sort.

So we will just see what all that was about. Does it mean we will get a lot of water on one of those days or a lot of water, all the time, starting on one of those days. Or does it just mean, ahh, gringa is not getting the amount of water she wants, let's just tell her she will get more to make her happy. Well, they did smile a lot and that made me happy.

All right enough about the W word even though I walk, eat and sleep it.

Take a look again at the photo above and I will fill you in. You can see the unfinished portal in the foreground, the ladrillo wall of the 'kitchen to be' behind that. The white wall of the existing casa behind that will be coming down (with the exception of the far right door) and will all be the one big room. Is that clear? The completed portal ends where the ladder is leaning against the portal.
You can also see how DRY everything looks.

This morning Senor and Umberto are up on the roof trying to create one of these things you will see in the photo below. I call these little houses, but they are the top of the chimney. This one belongs to our neighbor.

Now Senor is very creative and so is Umberto and Senor tried to explain to Umberto that this is what he wants, but he wants a different roof. Then Senor made the mistake of letting Umberto work for awhile alone while he cut bricks and when he went back up on the roof he discovered Umberto had gotten a little too creative.

So Senor made him tear down the little house (it had not been set in concrete yet) and they got in the car and drove around town looking for the kind of little house Senor wants. Now Umberto is back on the roof and Senor is cutting more bricks. I asked Senor if he knew what he was doing and he said no. I asked him if Umberto had a clue and he said no, but they were more confident after their drive through town.

This is the little house before the drive. Look at that beautiful, DRY, mountain.
Later today I will get up there and take a better photo of what the little house looks like now. Then the following two photos are just of the completed section of the portal. I think it will give you a good perspective of where construction is.

Some days blogger seems to cooperate and others, there is practically no controlling it and it does just what it wants. In fact I just previewed this post and it's all in Spanish. Good grief again. Usually when it does this I find it always post in English, but I guess you never know.

This afternoon I am off to a music practice, working on some new songs with my good mandolin playing friend. One of the COBASH students, who is a excellent guitarist, will join us and hopefully before too long we will have a music fest.

I suppose Senor would like to get on the internet and research the little houses because I just went out to check up on the progress. He is walking around up there, shaking his head, and I think they have taken down the whole little house now.

Funny how Senor has no problem constructing a big house but when it comes to a little house.........

que tengas buen dia! linda lou

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hot Mexican Legends

Buenas tardes.
Now just look at this picture. Senor with a blowtorch. Of course, this is not unusual, but it is the first blowtorching he has done since he blowtorched his thumb and spent the afternoon at the hospital.
If you look closely the flame is going and he could easily become distracted and blowtorch himself again. He is blowtorching a copper water pipe.
I kept looking at this one spot on the ground thinking, I didn't put water there. I didn't water anything near that spot. Still, every day it was wet. So I dug my fingers down in there and water just oozed up out of the ground and we discovered a leak in the pipe. All water proceeded to be shut down and off for about a day until Senor repaired the pipe.

A few other water related things happened this week. Of course it would be exciting news if I could tell you we have had lots of water, but I know you want the truth. We are getting a few inches in the cistern each day. And I have to keep reminding myself every day that water gets rationed in the US, too.

Then while Senor was taking a shower one day, the water shut off completely. After I supplied him with a few buckets of water so he could get the soap out of his eyes, he was able to figure out the drains were clogged up with silt sand and adobe dirt.

Then the pump broke. We had no running water inside or out for about four days. Both Senor and Jovito, the man who drives the little red tourist train, worked on it and the pump was finally fixed.

I am always looking for the bright side and while it was just on the outskirts of my mind, I did get away without having to do dishes for several days. The down side was I still had to cook.

We have had four or five loads of water brought in. I forget now, but we never seem to catch up.

There are a lot of flies around town, seems to me more than usual, and a friend's gardener says Mexican legend says excess flies in May, means a good rainy season. Normally I am swatting them left and right, but suddenly I welcome them, they have become sacred little rascals to me. I hope they bring all their friends to town, they can camp in my yard, as long as they bring rain.

I asked the gardener a block over about this. He says...............ah, si', flies means a wet summer, little black flies means a wet summer and lots of wind and rain and storms............we needs to feed dees flies, so they will stay around especially because it is so hot now....................

Whooweee and has it been hot. Dry and hot. Hot and dry.

The Cinco de Mayo parade was hot. Not too dry as many of the kids on the back street where we watched the parade were throwing water on each other and vying for positions in the shade.

Overall, whether the kids really wanted to be there or not, because of the heat, they all seemed happy. I am showing you only a few of my parade photos, my favorites.

I do love these little girls.

too hot to march..............

too hot to play............notice the heavy wool coats............

this is dedication.................

giggling boys, second row back................

and what must be one hot iguana............

So, it was hot...............blah blah blah. We are not really into the hottest days yet. And that's because it is dry. We should be relishing this weather, eating it up like candy, like there is no room for anything else but this weather. Yet it is just a little taste of what is yet to come.

So, I went to town. I bought Zukar, the Mexican sugar that turns brown when it is boiled with water. It is what I feed the hummingbirds.

But tonight! A special dinner! I am putting out little silver bowls of cooled boiled sugar water to attract the flies. Sugar water because I am sure they will want to stick around after they eat. Silver because I want them to feel special and loved.

Then, we will cross our fingers that Mexican legends hold true.

Que tengas buen dia!