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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gracias, Thank You For Coming, and Adios


I feel like I am living in a jungle here. The coyote fence is covered with thick green vines. I did finally get the yard mowed and the weed eater devoured what I could not cut. I slashed one of Senor's bouganvillea, so that is what I get for calling him a name under my breath. I will try not to do that again. Now I have to baby this little plant and try and convince it to live.

Talk about feeling guilty, whooo-wheeee. I should have been more careful.

When I told him about it, and believe me, I pondered that one..............tell, do not tell, tell, do not tell.................he looked so sad. He inspects those vines daily, in the evening. I don't watch him, but I suspect he pets them and talks to them.

All this rain, and I calculate by my gauge slightly over twelve inches, continues to bring out all the wildlife. We are seeing so many birds, many of them babies, like the little male cardinal below. I even saw a small covey of baby quail yesterday morning, running under the portal. They were on a mission and scurried through before I could grab the camera. Cookies was quickly on their tail, but they made the highway crossing easily. Now I do think I would have really felt guilt had he caught one and I had not tried to prevent that. Here is the little guy again against the backdrop of Senor's socks on the line. The laundry was there for three days. I now have a lot of photos of birds and socks.

Yellow bellied sapsuckers were around Sunday morning as well as the Gila woodpeckers, warblers, mockingbirds, house sparrows, flycatchers and magpies. Hummingbirds, a couple of frogs. I saw all of these yesterday.

But, come with me. I want to take you somewhere...............

We are going out to the big palm.

I was out here the other day and standing near the palm I heard what sounded like a rushing stream. Certain that one of Senor's drippers had broken and was gushing water, I checked the hoses and found nothing. I stood under the palm. Stand under it with me. Can you hear that noise? Rushing water, swooshing sounds, rustling.

Now look straight up into the palm branches. That is the sound of hundreds of baby birds, chirping, hopping, rustling, fluttering, flittering, cooing, shooing. They sound like a rushing stream. I have never heard anything like it.

The monkey man comes around once in awhile. He cuts the palms in town so they look nice and pretty like the one below.

A few people have asked us why we don't cut our palm. And indeed, we did have Monkey Man cut it our first year here.

Look below.

In the middle and right half of the photo are three gray -white objects. Two are along the tree line and a third is right in the middle of that bushy business in the center. Multiply those three objects many, many times and you will have hundreds of bats that come out of that palm at dusk. It is fascinating and a little frightening at the same time. But we know they are eating all of our mosquitoes.

I just make sure the bedroom doors are closed and try and sit very still. The air is thick with them. For around half an hour, they fly under the portal and in and out of the columns and right around our chairs.

I am getting more and more used to their neighborly visits, and they are good neighbors because they keep their visits short.
Of course, there is a lot more going on at night. Thankfully, most of it I do not see. I found what look like raccoon prints the other morning. A snake was rustling in the grass between our place and new old Jesus'. I know there are skunks and opossums next door.

And we are seeing tarantulas and scorpions as they have again taken to their well travelled highway under the portal. Now these guys are my least favorite and I have made many posts about them. I just cannot seem to get used to them coming around to visit. And I especially do not like it when they just come right on in and don't even take the time to announce their arrival. They are really just bad neighbors. They come and sit and hang around, look at your stuff, eat your food and blow their nose in your bathroom.

Senor has adjusted quite well, with his feet over the rebar bridge. I drag my chair as far away from the route as possible. I want Senor to keep the shovel close by. I just don't know if I can be neighborly toward them and leave them alone.

Cookies on the other hand, the perfect host, comes out from under the chair only after the bats go home to the palm and if a fast moving tarantula or scorpion comes along, he turns his back on it and walks away. He is a very smart cat.....oh, did we have guests?..............gracias, thank you for coming and adios is his attitude.

Last night he could have cared less about any creatures on the little highway, as he had knocked himself out earlier in the day by first eating the little mouse and then, the lizard for dessert.

Several months ago, two men came by, one with an important red metal box and the other with a hook with a noose on one end. They were giving rabies shots to animals. After much hesitation, and discussion about their jobs and equipment for doing their jobs, we finally caught Cookies, who had seen them coming, and allowed them to give him the shot. Cookies was not happy, but it was over quickly. Before he jetted around the corner of the casa, Cookies turned and glared at them and then, us...........gracias, adios and now, get the %#*^ out of here, is what he said in cat language. True to himself, again a nice host.

I am glad we let them shot needle him. Sometimes I think I need to grab him and get him away from the little things he likes to chew up and eat, and sometimes after the feast, he looks pretty drained for hours. But I never do. That's his thing. Besides, some day, he may protect us from something really, really big.

So now that I have whet your appetite with Cookies' delectable menu, I will show you those crab cakes. On top is sour cream mixed with a little sugar and Sonoran hot sauce and huge caperberries. Martha Stewart oven fries and Navajoa grapes add some crunch.

Oh me, oh my, it is almost three-thirty and Senor and Humberto are still pouring cement into the first viga that will go across the space outside the West Wing. I might show you that tomorrow.

I feel kind of guilty that I did not remember that Humberto's water jug went empty and he came to ask me twice for water and I did not remember to fill it for two hours after he asked. I had an ice cold topochico.

Senor is just drenched with sweat, my t shirt is all nice and clean and smells like Suave soap. The tamale kid did not show up this morning and I don't think either of them has eaten anything. I had a nice bowl of rice mixed with salsa verde and red tomato.

It's only ninety-six degrees out there, but they have been up on the roof all morning. I should feel guilt, but cannot make up my mind if I do or not, it is just so nice and cool in the bedroom where Cookies and I are. I really need to take a siesta and wake up all refreshed so I can decide just how neighborly I will be tonight.............gracias, thank you for coming and adios. linda lou

Friday, July 22, 2011

Name That Casa

Buenos dias. We got over two inches of rain last night. Quite a grand storm, lots of trelampagosa, lightning and truenos, thunder, right over our bedroom. It lasted for hours and hours.

Poor Cookies got caught out in it and during one brief lull, I was able to coax him inside, but before I could dry him off, he jumped up onto one of the beautiful yellow Pier One cushioned chairs, well, you can only imagine what that looks like now.

The good news is we used several very thick towels at the doorway and as a result we did not have any pinacates, the stinky, black beetle type bugs, in bed with us last night.

Even with all that racket through out the night, I slept well and was out on the street at five-thirty.
All of the arroyos are running. Here is La Aduana below. If you recall, during the last big storm the Chalaton and Escondida arroyos were running, but the Aduana was not. There was evidently enough water last night to kick the Aduana into high gear.These guys below just did not want the hassle of going up and over the bridge. Yet for the longest time they could not commit, bridge? water? bridge? water? Finally the one in the plaid shirt just walked through and the water was up to his knees. The other one shook his head, laughed and took the bridge. Almost all of the vehicles did not skip a beat and just plunged ahead.The dozer kept shoveling dirt into the arroyo, for what purpose I am not sure.

Here along the left bank, in the photo below, the city is building a tall stone wall and a lighted malecon that will go for quite some distance along the arroyo. It will be nice walking when there is water in the arroyo. I keep hoping they might find a river to divert. When the water is gone, I will go over and take a photo of what the finished malecon will look like. There is a construction board near the workers showing an artist's rendition.

My purpose for going out this morning was to get a few more photos of some of the lovely wall plaques around town. Many of these plaques just show the street address of the casa, but quite a few of the creative ones tell the name the owners have chosen for their casa.

Now I tried several years ago to convince Senor we should name our casa. We had a little turtle in the stable at that time. I suggested La Tortuga, House of the, he said..................Casa de los Quatros Vientos, House of the Four Winds, because we are one of the windiest spots in town.................absolutely not, he said.....................Casa de Las Campanas, House of the Bells, because we have so many dollar store wind chimes....................NO, he said.................Casa de los Limones, House of the Limes, three lime about Casa de Construccion, no need to say more about, he said, we don't need to name our house, we know what it is called, it is called our house..................Okay, I just let that go. No big deal, we do not need to name our casa.

Below are some of my favorite plaques, some I like because the name is pretty, others because they are more creative in style and even others because of where the owner chose to place the plaque.

House of the Tangerine or Mandarin Orange......................

The Beautiful House.....................

Robert's House.................

House of the Fourteen Little Angels......................

The Lovely House........................

I believe this is the House of the 'family name'.................

The Chocolate House........................

The Hummingbird House..................

The House of another family name.....................

And the House of Sucess or Victory.................

Imagine our surprise just a few days ago when we returned home to find that the telephone pole outside our gate had been named.................9.............and below it Humberto (I now know I have been misspelling Umberto's name) to the large H in smaller letters is umberto. So we are Durango 9, House of me, Senor is a funny guy but he found absolutely no humor in that at all. I am surprised he has not been at that already with a can of black paint.

No, I am not bored! I really thought you might like to see the wall plaques.

All right I am fixing to go and make crab cakes. Did I tell you the fish lady came by with bags of fresh crab? OMG, unbelievable, a kilogram for under fifty pesos. That is two and a half pounds for a little over four USD and it is all cleaned and perfectly good2go.

Then I am going to the bike shop. The gear shifter contraption thingy on the right handle bar fell completely off new old bike this morning. Plop, just like that in the street in front of the Palacio. The guard was not there to see it, thank goodness no one was there to see it. I got off and picked it up and threw it in the basket.

It will be my last visit to this bike shop. A friend sent me a link to fixing it all myself. He said I would probably need to read it through a couple of times. Well, after reading it for the 5th time, I said to myself........there is no way in heck i can do that............... but Senor can, he can do anything............except name a casa................gee whiz..............

Below is a very early in the morning photo of the church steeple, the fresh water covered streets and the green hillside beyond, very picturesque morning. Not many folks out and about, but the street workers were everywhere, sweeping up dirt and garbage that came with the rain. The vendors were wiping down chairs and putting up their tarps. The sweet smell of pastries cooking was on the air. Someone was whistling over here and someone singing over there, very nice. Que tengas buen dia! linda lou

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Pondering I Will Go

Hola, Buen dia.
Look at this. This is crazy. It happened while I was napping. And look at this. This is at the back of the yard, near new old Jesus' place which has been taken over by his nephew, Ivan. This is where Senor has his little orchard and you cannot even see any of the fruit trees back there. Umberto had piled big hills of sand, dirt and adobe chunks back there. Even a mower will not help.

So, we went to Obregon to buy a weed eater. Senor says I broke the other one. Well, I think he broke it. He bought one that does not have to be tapped on the ground to extend the line, which is how the first one broke.
He took it out of the box, showed me all the details, showed me the brand name, showed me which extention cord will work best to get myself out to the fence line, told me how to tie off the cord so I will not lose power, told me not to accidentally cut down any of his little trees. I called him a name. But it's okay, I have noticed his hearing is a little off lately.

I went and tried it out. It took a long time to get it all set up. I got hot, so I quit. I put on a ball cap, put a wet towel around my neck and tried again. Still hot. I walked around to Allende to my favorite little store and bought a frozen Snickers bar. They are very big on two American candy bar names here. Snickers and Milky Way are what you get. I walked home.

I tried again and by now, it was cloudy and around five. I thought it would be a little cooler. Not. I read a Phoenix Home and Garden that I picked up at the thrift store. I tried again. It started to rain. I stopped and took a little siesta. During a lull in the rain I went and took a look. The grass was even thicker and higher. I put the weed eater in the laundry room.

Just looking for something more exciting to do I interneted myself. I put in my first and maiden names. I did this about ten years ago and got, my name, just me. I have a very unusual maiden name.

I would never put in Senor's last name. I know there are hundreds of me. In King County, where we used to live, I finally returned my library card to the library because I was so tired of getting late book fines that belonged to all those other Linda's.

But my maiden name, now we're talking, it has always belonged to a special select few of us. Not.

Now there are five of me. Really no information on any of me, I am from Ohio, I am from Florida. I am in Louisiana and Montana. I can get more information on me if I pay a monthly fee to the people finder company.

So I interneted my maiden name alone. Jeez, the country is over run with us. But again, everyone wants money to tell me about us. I could easily spend a fortune to find out about me and my kinfolk.

Today Senor is playing bridge. I get to do anything I want to do. But sometimes, I just make trouble for myself, especially now that it is like an oven outside and I am cooped up in the bedroom with the mini split on high, looking for ways to entertain myself.

So, I entertained myself by facebooking me. At least that's free. There are four of me. In the profile photo of one of me, I have a black eye. In another I look like I am ready to give a black eye to somebody. In the third of me I am a different color. And then, there was the real me. Well, I think it's the real me.

Then I facebooked my maiden name. I saw my siblings and relatives and a lot of potential aunts, uncles and cousins I never even knew about. From all over the world. I never knew we were so many and it really surprised me. I can hardly believe it. This, a last name that came as if from a fairy tale, but truly attached to a castle in far away Scotland, maybe to royalty, my Big Mama used to say. I want to ask all these people if they really belong to my name and how did they get it.

My parents and I went to new York City once to a Yankees baseball game. I looked in the New York City phone book. Two of us. Two of us living in New York. Now there are more than forty of us. Where is our original special select group? I could have called up both those New York City guys then and said, hey, my great grandfather's name was so and so, you ever hear of him, and they most likely would have said yea. I want to set up my people finder account. Everyone is scrambling to get my maiden name for some reason.

You know what? I should let it go. It's just a name. I have ownership in it, but it's just a name. But, I could just friend them all. Slowly, of course, slowly. Otherwise who knows what they might think, who is this nut. But maybe I will find out things I don't want to know. I mean, who is this me who looks ready for a fight? How did I get that black eye?

Okay, this is good, I need something to ponder so I will not be bugging Senor about all this construction mess and believe me, it is a whopping mess after last night's big storm. And don't even get me started about these little black stink bugs that crawled under our door last night to get out of the rain and ended up in bed with us.

Before I start to ponder, I am going to get outside and I am going to walk around to Allende and get a frozen Snickers bar, come back home, put on my hat and wet towel and plug in my new weed eater and go and weed eat that grass back by new old Jesus' nephew Ivan's little casa. Then I might pick a lemon off one of Senor's trees.

Que le vaya bien and I hope it's good! linda lou

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Even Four Gears Can't Spoil a Magic Morning

Hola! What a beautiful day yesterday here in Alamos. In the morning I set off at dawn on new old bike and headed for the hills. I went out to the archway to test out the new tune job that was done on the bike the previous day. Getting a tune up meant I should be able to get up two hills and out to the archway, in high gear and no time flat.

I still only have four gears and they are all for long hauling, nothing at all for a hill. In fact I had to get off new old bike and foot it several times. I really hate to give up on the bike repair shop, but I think I will look for someone else to fix these gears. By the time I got home I could not even adjust any gears on the right handle.

Complaining is not really what this is about. Most of the Mexicanos do not have any bike gears. I would just really like to pay for a bike tune up and get a bike tune up. I know it is the bike repairman's nature to please and I think he can't fix the gears and does not have the heart to tell me so.

But the morning was almost magical, quiet, secretive. Because I was out and on the move so early, the yellow light filled the sky and it followed me out to the arches where I caught this great view of Mt Cacharamba. I was mezmerized by the color of the forests in the foreground and those just over the crest of some small hills. On my ride back home, the magic intensified as the light was coming on in a different way. Finally the sun had risen in the east and the reflecting light on the montanas to the west was just as brilliant, almost a profusion of chartreuse.
You can see how the deciduous tropical forest has come to life just in these two weeks of rain and it is filled with color.And then, even another lighting change as I rode down into the historic district where the sun had not hit yet in the streets, but the top of the Mirador hillside was beginning to glisten. On Calle Commercio, near the old Black Cat Market, the green parrots came roaring down the street, almost at head level. I could hear their chatter before I saw them and their striking green wings flashed in the sunlight. They swished back up the street and left as quickly as they had come. A bright yellow and black warbler hid on a fig tree branch and watched. A fat green Sonoran frog sat on a doorstep and as soon as I raised my camera to take his photo he hopped under the door and into a place I could not see.

The rain has brought on not only the green tropical forest in the mountains, and scurrying traveling guests, it has caused the jasmine to flower and fill the air with an overwhelmingly wonderful sweetness and it has made the lime and naranjita trees burst with tiny white flowers that emit their fruity scents in the early morning and late evenings. The breeze is steady and the smells drift along from hidden garden to street and back into hiding again. The scents yesterday morning were as notable as the light and on Calle Obregon I rode up and down twice because it smelled so wonderful.

It is a great time of movement, forests going brown to green, creatures in transit, floral scents beckoning from secret places, drifting on the wind, morning skies filled with a light that changes from yellow to pink to chartreuse, afternoon clouds that billow huge white mushrooms only to darken like night just as quickly. A lot of movement, changes and all very magical, of course.

I may only have four gears but they sure got me right where I needed to be yesterday, right smack in the middle of another magical morning in Alamos.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pancho Villa is Alive and Free and He Rides Again

Buenas tardes. It is a muggy hot one.

The sunrise was beautiful this morning and a slight breeze was coming in.

I almost did not get up for my walk. I took the photo and laid back down for a few minutes, just long enough to remember my dream from last night. A friend and I were riding horses in the arroyo. A storm hit and the water came rushing down the arroyo. But we were very lucky because our horses were special horses. They could fly, so naturally they flew us out of the arroyo and up to the top of Mt. Alamos.

Okay, so I got out of bed wondering where that came from and set out on my walk around five am, but by the time I got down into the centro district I actually started jogging to get out. There is very little wind down there and mornings are getting so humid even at that early hour. I have to continue getting up as early as I can to get in a walk, just need to change my direction back out to the soccer field where the wind is. When I got back home I walked by the mesquite tree and smelled something very faint and sweet. Look what I discovered, hidden among all the bromeliads and asparagus ferns.

The sweet little lily is behind the stacked rocks in the photo below. It reminded me so much of finding the first spring trillium in the woods back in the Northwest. Such a nice surprise.

Off to the side of the fake kitchen is a bathroom. There is a shower stall that only gets cleaned out when KD and Ian are coming so they can use the shower. I tend to store stuff in there and forget about it. I was in the shower stall this morning and smelled a very unpleasant odor, not faint or sweet like the lily. Upon investigation I found a bag of bottles I had picked up in the street about two months ago.

I had not realized there was garbage with the bottles. So I took out the bottles and threw away the garbage. Made in Mexico, these are bottled drinks made of vodka and citrus. I have not had one, it doesn't really sound tasty to me, but the bottles are beautiful. Deep, cobalt blue.

I have never had to scrub so hard to get labels off a bottle, but it was well worth it. I am now on a Skyy bottle hunt because I would like to see how the glass would turn out after being fired in the kiln. For now, these four help make a pretty table setting.

Senor has a new old bottle, too.

Soneone rang the bell this morning and Senor went to answer. I will translate into English for you the following conversation:

At the gate, Senor found four little ninos about seven or eight selling antiquities.......................very old, they said................what is it, asked senor.......this bottle belonged to pancho villa, they said.......................really, said senor...............really, said the ninos...............

.................and we have the chain that he was tied up in, too, they said.................. Two of them held up what looked like an old bike chain that had a broken link in it......................this is how strong pancho villa is, they said, he broke this chain in two pieces and then he escaped from jail and rode his horse into the hills where he is right now....................really, said senor....................really, said the ninos..................well, i will take his bottle, said senor, but not his chain, that looks too expensive.................

Fifteen pesos later, Senor gave me the story and the bottle. Where else in the world could a person buy a real bottle used by Pancho Villa for fifteen pesos. What a wonderful little town. What a wonderful life.

I am listening to thunder. And this is what is rolling in across the sky. Wait, someone is honking their horn non stop outside in the street. I will be right back.

The asparagus man came by. Today he is too expensive. Forty pesos for a bunch of asparagus. Good grief, I would buy a real antique bottle that belonged to Pancho Villa for forty pesos before I will pay that for a single bunch of asparagus.

Okay, I have to get ready to go out. Senor is playing bridge and when he returns we are going to a friend's for dinner. I think the wind, rain, thunder, and lightning are going to follow us over there and back. We will have to cross the arroyo.

Through the pouring rain, I will be looking for Pancho Villa, riding his black stallion across the arroyo. The wind will ruffle his silver studded cape behind him and the raindrops will glisten on his heavy mustache. In the flash of lightning I can see he is draped in a broken rusted bicycle chain. With one hand he holds tight to the reins as the water swirls around the stallion's hooves and in the other hand, he is carrying a little bottle. As we drive by him, he will throw the bottle to me and I will quickly catch it in one hand. Que le vaya bien!.............he will yell as he heads for the hills.

Wow, where else but Mexico can you get that?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Three More Inches make Nine Total

Hola, Buen dia to a lovely sunny and bright morning here in Alamos. Everything smells fresh and clean except the fake kitchen where Senor fixed himself a sauerkraut hot dog 2 days ago.

The mountains are already greening up a little and both the Chalaton and Escondido arroyos are running.

I went at daybreak this morning because I knew at least one arroyo was running and I wanted to get photos. I found two running arroyos, both the Chalaton and Escondido, but the largest, the de la Aduana which runs on the norther side of the shops across from the Alameda, was dry.

Yesterday's storm began in the afternoon and by 6, our power was out and the bedroom was flooded. Rain continued to pour in under the door. We were due at 6:30pm at an Americano 4th of July celebration and we decided we did not want to miss it. So we threw down as many towels as we could, made sure we had the lantern accessible for our return in the dark, locked the cat in and ran for the car. The rain was blowing sideways, we could see the arroyo running, and we knew many of the party guests would not be able to cross. About a dozen of us celebrated, and we feasted on a typical July 4th meal of hot dogs, potato salad, cole slaw, and ambrosia salad, along with slow cooked pulled pork and guacamole and chips. We stayed nice and dry under the hostess's enormous portal as we watched the rain pour.

Back home, as I held an umbrella with one hand, over Senor's head, and a flashlight with the other, he fumbled with inserting wet keys into wet locks and click! the power came on.

Inside the bedroom we discovered the towels had done a fairly decent job and while they were sopping wet, the furniture was pretty dry.

Yesterday, Umberto and Senor spent the entire morning impermeabling, waterproofing, the roof again. Upon a thorough investigation, it looked like it did dry in time and there were no leaks in the laundry room and only a couple in the entire West Wing. So we will just continue with the permeabling. Yesterday's storm gave us another 3 inches. That is a total of 9 inches since Friday night. That is really amazing. I am glad to see that there is not much damage around town, other than lots and lots of dirt, much of which is in front of the Palacio, after having washed down from the Volantin Barrio. Fortunately, all the homes up there are good and solid and dirt is all we expect to ever see.

Umberto dropped a note by for us this morning saying he could not work today because all of his roofs are leaking and he did not get any sleep because his wife kept him up all night. Then we could not understand the rest, either he is going to repair his goteos, leaks, or he is going to sleep all day.

Senor is out working on extending the copper tubing from the propane tank to the area of the casa where it will eventually go over the roof and to the oven. That means he is using a blow torch.............

I am on my way to pay the water bill which is around $7 USD since we got very little water last month. Then I will go to the IMSS clinic. I have learned that here in Mexico, you do not get your blood pressure medication for any extended period of time. You get it for a month and then you have to see the doctor in order to get more. So I have an appointment at 9.

After that I will return home and begin a cleaning and drying out process. All the towels are laying out in the sun, getting nice and dry and warm. I will not be washing them, there is no point, they will just all go back down on the floor when the next rain comes. Senor says that will not be today. But when I was out on new old bike this morning, every Mexicano I talked with said the rain would come again this afternoon, I asked them.......what time? Justino said 4pm, Maria said 5. Antonio said 4pm and Chuyita said 5. Trini, or Candy Joe, as he is known, said 5 and Chayo, who speakes English, said 6:15. I wanted to ask all of them to be more specific and give me seconds in addition to the minutes, but Chayo laughed and said......what! are you having a contest or something!

I will leave you with a couple of videos. Que tengas buen dia! linda lou

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Good Sweet Rain

Buenas Tardes. We really got the rain yesterday. Friday was nice but the rain began again yesterday and the rain gauge was at 3 1/2 this morning. The mountains were fogged over and the breeze was still good this morning and we had a steady mist.

Last night's rain told us that we are not prepared for monsoon season. During yesterday's morning rain, I forgot to get out the towels that we always put on the insides of the doorways of the fake kitchen and the bedroom to keep the rain from flooding those two rooms. I forgot to have an umbrella under the portal and Cookies and I were stuck out there for over an hour while everything around us flooded. I forgot to wear my flip flops and my good leather sandals became covered in mud when I stepped out from under the portal and sank into the mud. The wind blew apart our white plastic table and I had to run out in the rain to get the legs.

I forgot and left out two magazines. The roof leaked in the laundry room and water logged a lot of boxes. And the power went out. Right at dusk.

We had to search in the dark for our flashlights which were not where they were supposed to be. Had to find new batteries for the two lamps we have. Had to rush out into the rain and dark and over into the West Wing for candles and matches. While I tried to decide how to finish dinner up without electricity, Senor rushed up the street to an elderly neighbor's house to make sure she was okay in the dark storm. He rushed back only to say she had her candles and flashlights blazing and was sitting nice and cozy, drinking a glass of whiskey. What is our problem, I kept thinking..............

But this morning things were fresh and lovely and the plumeria filled the air with vanilla and cinnamon. We walked up to the Chalaton Arroyo to see how much water might be flowing there.

This is how much there was................nada droplet. So as the day progresses and I see clouds billowing on the horizon and the wind picks up, I am asking myself, did I do today what I said yesterday I would do today.......................did I get more candles, did I situate the furniture so we will not trip over it as we scamble from place to place in the dark...............did I dry out last night's towels to go inside the doors tonight................did I get all the flashlights back in their right places...................did I put an umbrella out under the portal, move the white table, get all the magazines inside, get some buckets out for the laundry room...........

I will be honest. No, I did not do a thing. But, we watched a lot of soccer online today! We love this business of watching the Womens' World Cup, the U17 Boys World Cup, the Copa America, the Sunday MLS games. It's good that games are short.

There are 3 hours till sundown. I think I can get us prepared for another good sweet rain while Senor puts a nice big turkey thigh on the grill.

While Cookies and I were stranded under the portal I watched all the wildlife come out, the birds, the lizards, the frogs. Oh, they were everywhere, having a good old time in all the rain. So, below is a little video for you to see.

Now I am off to prepare in case anything happens tonight. Enjoy the video! linda lou