Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 8 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, April 28, 2011

More Little Water Woes

Hola.

The water situation has become worse, not better. We did end up purchasing a tankload of water and I would sure like to know where it came from, smelly stuff in my opinion. Not something I will want to brush my teeth with really.

We have had more than a few days without any water at all coming from the city. When we do get it we are still getting only about an hour's worth. The stories I hear from other barrios are not good. A few barrios without any water at all. So we are lucky to be getting our hour share. The water sanitization companies that sell the garaphones are doing a booming business!

I wish we had thought to ask Senor Franciso Ortiz Soto, from whom we bought our casa, why this old well was filled in with dirt. A number of our neighbors have good deep working wells. I wonder what happened to this one?


It's nice to have flowers blooming there, but I would rather have water blooming. One of these days, months or years, I think we will have to investigate and find out what is down there.


In the meantime, we have what we have.

And one thing we now have is a partially completed portal roof. With the exception of the one little odd shaped placa up there at the top, the portal is finished out to the south end. I still have to paint a few vigas. But that's okay.



Senor says that before long the roof, on the other side of the big beam, will be done out to eight feet, (right about to the edge of the little table), a fan and light will be up and it will be like we have half of the hilton garden room back. Nice. Ho, hum, we will see how long before long is.





The photo above is interesting. Those may be sun spots, but I was well out of the sun when I took the photo. Local Alamenses believe anytime spots like these show up in a photo, it means spirits are nearby. My Mexicana friend insists this photo says we have lots of spirits around our house. They are most likely trying to get used to the portal.


She also told me to look out of the corners of my eyes and not directly ahead and I may see them. I tried that the other night and it isn't easy to do, but she says I should keep trying especially since part of our casa is very old.



Senor came home with a big bag of aloe vera plants yesterday. A friend gave them to him to put on his wounded thumb. I reminded him that we have about six of these plants so he has an endless supply of fresh aloe and no excuse for not getting perfectly back to normal. So today he is at bridge and he is shuffling and dealing.


I have been on glass order fast forward and after this next fire I just might not cut any more glass for a long time. I have a lot of other things I need to get going. This is only one of twenty new pendants and after tomorrow night's fire there should be about thirty more.


So,I am on Antibiotic Round #Three for this kidney infection. But trying not to let it slow me down. The care I have been getting at the IMSS clinic has been great.

This afternoon I will be experimenting on the asador (our grill). I plan to build a fire and braise chomboros, which are shanks, and chilis in a big pot over the fire. I have been cooking these a bit in the past and they are excellent, but on the hot plate for three hours? I think that is raising our electricity bill higher than the kiln. So, first a siesta with Cookies, and then, I will light the carbon and toss the shanks in the pot.

Hoooweee, in the high nineties with a good breeze blowing, keeping the heat at bay.

Perfect afternoon for a hot fire!

Que tengas buen dia! linda lou

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Water

Buenos dias.

I thought you might like to see Senor's big hand. I took this on the day of the accident. Now several days later it is not that big 'looking'. He definitely has a good burn there and is using an antibiotic ointment. He has had to miss bridge twice because he thinks he cannot shuffle.

Word is certainly out about this inconvenience and he has received a number of calls from his bridge friends inquiring about his condition. It has been decided that Saturday he will play and someone will shuffle for him.We are really experiencing a terrible water shortage here. We did not even get any water at all on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Not one drop. This morning we got twenty two minutes.

We were not able to get any more water up to our tinnaca and it is just about empty.

We are looking at our plants and determining which ones we may have to let go. I hope this will not happen, but if more water does not come soon, some of the plants will die. We will get another large garaphon, the water jug, and we will go down to Dolisa and fill it and water the most critical plants. And probably use it for a back up inside the house.


I thought the whole town would most likely be on the same ration routine, but now I am hearing of people receiving water at other times of the day. So just like everyone else we are now leaving our hose open to the cistern all day and night and hoping to get a little more water.
The rainy season does not begin until late June and this is not looking very good.

Another problem created by this shortage is Senor is not mixing any concrete because there is no water to mix it with. So all the lovely beams and vigas are on hold and I am busy thinking we need a larger cistern.

We know people who have sixty thousand gallon cisterns. Can you imagine! Ours holds six hundred! Maybe we just need another tinnaca. Now that is a reasonable possibility.

For almost ten years prior to our moving here, the state of Sonora experienced a terrible drought. I hope we are going to have another.

Wherever you are, give thanks for your water!!
Que le vaya bien! linda lou

Monday, April 18, 2011

Goodnight, Senor

Hola. Here is last night's beautiful full moon coming up in the east. It was a pretty one. And the silhouetted Mt Cacharumba in the west. Our days are getting warm, Saturday was in the nineties, but it has been very breezy and that is keeping the heat in check. Dawn is coming around five fifteen in the morning and dusk, around seven ten. The evenings are very nice and it cools down quickly and I still need my fleece when I am out early on new old bike or old feet. I am still having these blogger problems, it is sort of ridiculous. It is amazing to me that things go so smoothly for so long and then, poof! Someone Somewhere makes a decision that things would be better IF we did this or that, but most of us just will not really know how to do this or that. I switched back to the basic loader and am now able to move my photos around by clicking and dragging, but who knows how long that will last? Ahha! Something new! A new adventure! And speaking of new things, we woke to no water in the casa.
This is true, no water in the casa. Senor is working on the problem. He says there is not enough pressure in the city pump to get water up to the tinnaca. Now maybe this explains why everyone has a hose inserted in their tinnaca. That is how they are filling them.


It's just like blogger technology. I don't understand any of this stuff. By the way, farther down you will get to some dead space which I cannot get rid of, so scroll down and read on.

What I do know is, no running water in the casa means I don't have to dishes, don't have to cook. I can just be lazy.


But first I had to go around this morning to the little aborettes, grocery store, over on Allende. It is a short walk or bike ride. I love this little store. He has everything I need and if he does not have it, he tells me.....come back in an hour............. and poof! It is on the shelf, like magic. His prices are not any higher and the young owner is practicing his English and hoping he can sell enough to stay in business. I am trying to get my staples from him now and he carries dairy, vegetables and fruit, hot dogs, breads and toiletries and has a coke waiting for Senor every morning, nice. Below is beautiful and inviting Calle Allende.
 Butter, Senor's coke and a topochico for me.












 Umberto decided to not come to work today. He stopped by and told Senor he had a toothache.
I saw him on his bike, carrying on an animated conversation with someone and he did not look to be in any pain, nice. Maybe he will be here manana? He has been working on the ladrillo wall here. If you look at the columns you can actually get an idea of where the bi fold metal and glass doors will be. A set will be in between each column and with this wall coming up, I can really get a feel for what this might look like? Have I said that before?

I started this post around four hours ago and I was just fixing to tell you something important and Senor came into the room and said....................now, I don't want to alarm you, but I need to go to the hospital and will you drive me there........well, I was a little alarmed as he had his hands spread out in front of him and I looked and all of his fingers were there.....what happened?................i burned myself with the blow torch...............go get in the car, i said.


We had not been to the hospital before and Senor made light of it and said that this would just be another new adventure. So, we went to the hospital and Senor walked quickly right past all the pregnant girls, right past all the old coughing Senoras and the hunched over little grandfathers and through the emergency room waiting doors and I did not see him again for about an hour. I assumed he was alive or surely someone would have let me know. I tried to explain to the other people waiting why Senor's health was more important than theirs and that in the United States this is not what we call cut the butter. It is simply called emergency. I mean none of the young girls looked like they were on the edge of giving birth and everyone else was upright.


Senor came out with a huge bandaged hand, and I took him home, then returned to the pharmacy for salve and medication. Some friends were expecting us at their home, so I drove us there and Senor proceeded to have a couple of castillo rums and finally told the truth. In the daylight he could not see the flame of the torch and thought the nozzle was pointing one way, when in fact, it was pointing the other way, right over his thumb. Bet that hurt.


So we are back home and he finally has a little food in his stomach and is pretending to be reading a book, but I think this rum will put him to sleep.


Oh, oh, I remember what I was fixing to tell you. Last Tuesday something bit Senor on the ankle and his ankle swelled up as big as the thick end of a baseball bat. He could not flex it and could not walk on it until early Saturday. I kept saying...............maybe we should go over to the clinic or...............maybe we should get you to the hospital. But no, he would not go. I guess he was destined to get over there to have a new adventure.


He tells me now that he is sure we will have water tomorrrow............................goodnight, Senor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Friend Flicka

Buen dia.
It is a sultry overcast day here in Alamos. There is not a lot of breeze and there is a little poof of darkness over Mt Alamos. For days it has felt like rain. It has smelled like rain. No rain.

Water is still being rationed, but in the same manner as I mentioned before. We have it for only a few hours every morning. I went to La Capilla on new old bike the other morning. La Capilla is a pretty little barrio on the other side of the Arroyo Aduana. I saw so many overflowing tinnacas. I was very surprised. But I believe people have figured out how to beat the water system. They are leaving their hoses on all the time. So, once the tinnaca is filled, they may already be gone for the morning or maybe they are still sleeping. And the water just runs and runs and runs. Into the street. Into the arroyo. I do not think we are saving any water, possibly only using more.

Here is my new little friend. I call him Flicka. He, I say he is a he, makes a flicka sound, over and over, all day long. He is a Gila Woodpecker and he has taken over both hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds were beginning to come around and he chased them all away. They would be sipping away quietly and he would dive bomb them, force them off the feeder and take it all for himself.

I filled the second feeder which is on the adobe wall side. He took that one over as well. The good news is the hummingbirds are very smart. When he is busy at the feeder on the east side, they zip over to the west side. But, Flicka is also very smart. He watches them from the Plumeria tree. Wherever they zip, he zips as soon as possible after them. He wants to claim both feeders for himself. Spoiled little thing.

So I considered giving up the feeders, but last night I noticed Flicka has an early bedtime. So the hummingbirds are getting to the feeders late in the day and he is tucked away by his mommy in one of the yucca tree branches.

The feeders will stay up and Flicka will soon get too fat to fly and the hummingbirds will all fly with glee and drink nectar until they can drink no more.
Okie dokie, end of story. I have to water the palms. lindalou

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thanks for the Suggestions

Buen dia! I received some very interesting suggestions in response to my last post and the difficulty I am having moving pictures around in the post. I then went and messed around with a pretend post and discovered that I can actually move pictures by moving the ones I want to reposition to the far right, all others to the far left and slowly drag the ones on the right to their new positions. Headache! No wonder a few folks suggested switching to Wordpress. But, for all I know I will have some other silly roadblock there, so we will move along and see how things evolve here.

Imagine my surprise when I returned home yesterday to see both water jugs empty......hmmm, and Senor off having lunch and playing bridge with the ladies........when he got home he suggested that we might need water............might? might need water? 













Senor has played bridge three times this week. Like I said, I do not mind as long as he gets work done on the casa in the mornings. However, when he has done three days in a week before, after day three he has told me, Never, never, never again. I think this is only the third time he has done it, again.

He and Umberto did work non stop this morning and I really liked that. I was gone most of the morning, but I saw changes when I returned. They were working away on all this electrical stuff and pouring concrete. The electrical wires will go through all of those orange tubes. I think we will have a lot of electrical outlets.
 
 There are a bunch of them right there. I can't imagine what kind of switch plate cover will take care of all that mess. I have already decided a big bushy palm tree will go there, or a pretty carved and hinged box to cover all of it up. We will be opening, shutting, opening, shutting. I think a palm will be easier.
 Below they are putting the wood form against the ladrillo wall and will fill it with concrete.

 They put wires through holes in the wood, attach triangle pieces of rebar which they twist tightly to keep the boards secure and in place.
I am just happy to see stuff happen, it tells me SOMEDAY, this might be done.
New old bike and I have been hanging around town a lot lately. We went to the clinic on Wednesday where I learned the results of the urine test and started a whole new round of antibiotics, so you can guess the results of that test. Again, I saw way too many Mexicanos I know there, I am sure I am supplying them with plenty of gossip.

Yesterday we were off to History Club which will soon wind down for the summer with so many people leaving town. New old bike took a little topple when the tequila delivery truck got a little too close. By the way, tequila is delivered to the restaurant there, and not to History Club.The conversation was very relaxed and casual, with people just remembering wonderful old things about Alamos, things like ghost sightings.

New old bike and I left the house at dawn this morning for a ride out to the new sports complex and a long walk around the soccer track. After a fruit snack and people watch at the Alameda, we went out to La Capilla to the little bazaar there. I bought a lace curtain and a swirly long wood thing that you hang outside. It rotates when the wind blows. Riding back to town I tried braking and holding onto it and it fell out of new old bike's basket. A few wood pieces flew off but I was able to retrieve them all while traffic stopped.

Then we were off to my friend Dolores's home where her maid, Armida and I toasted her with a Starbucks bottled frappuccino. Dolores, who was in her mid eighties and had lived year round in her beautiful casa in the historic district for over twenty years, passed away at Christmas. She and I enjoyed many coffees at her table
under her lovely, flowery portal. For our little party Armida served banana bread and arranged a shrine for Dolores. We raised our glasses and said......Salud, Senora!
I am happy to say Armida and I sat and talked in Spanish for almost an hour and I am pretty sure we understood each other. It was nice to share that time with her.  







There are definitely some strange things going on with blogger. I am now unable to move any text. I am a fairly flexible person, but when it comes to the computer, I do not like change. I can't handle it, it causes me too many problems. You can laugh but I don't even know what a tab is. I don't even know how to make a file. It is a wonder that I can even post to this blog and keep four online glass shops operating.
I guess it is a real good thing I went on the blood pressure medicine.

Well, sweet Cookies has something brown in his mouth. The screen door is closed so he can't come in with it, but definitely time for me to investigate. 
Que le vaya bien! linda lou

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Need Help


Buenos dias!
I need blog help. I can no longer move my photos and adjust them to where I want them to be in the text. I can't click on the picture and move it nor can I move it when editing the Html.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. We recently had someone work on our computer and not much has been the same since. Many of my pages pop up in Spanish and I have tried to correct this to no avail. A number of things I used to be able to do just can't be done anymore.

Moving photos around is very important to a blog post and it is annoying because there is so much I want to show you and now, it will really be the quite the jumbled up mess. So stay with me and maybe someone will tell me how to solve this problem and my next post will then be more organized and you will be able to follow it more easily.

We are having a very dry spell. Water rationing is going on big time. Since I am the water girl, it is important to stay on top of the rationing and keep everything from dying off. Some of our established plants, like the beautiful old plumeria above don't need much water, but our new palms and younger plants need it often.

Days have been warm and windy, with some cloud cover and that helps the water situation, but last week there were so many times when I went out to water only to discover, there was no city water coming in and not much water left in the cistern, which only holds about 600 gallons.

Since I am an early riser, I put myself in detective mode and began to figure out the city system for turning on the water. This must be for the entire city because I imagine one valve somewhere, at some building somewhere, where one person goes and just opens it or shuts it, water on, water off.

The water is coming on very early, maybe before five am. It is turning off around nine am. So, if you have a cistern and the city water feeds automatically, you are good to go. Like us, if it does not feed automatically, you have got to be on top of it in order to turn on your connection to the city water to fill your cistern. If you don't have a cistern or a tinnaco, you are only getting water straight into your house during those hours.

So, I am up early every morning to turn on the city water and fill the cistern so we have plant water and water for concrete or other construction purposes. I am not a water waster, so this all makes me appreciate the way Senor is constructing the roof to catch rain water......someday.

I am also glad we have our washing machine set up as it is to send the gray water to many of the plants between the casa and the adobe street wall. For example, the plants below are flourishing because they get the run off and I seldom water them.



Now this is the snarly part about the photographs. Here below you will see Umberto is chipping away at the ladrillos so Senor can put in all of the electrical outlets for the kitchen to be............this photo does not go here.................
Then here you will see the pretty clouds from yesterday.....................
Then here is the cistern again. That white pipe connects to the drain from the washing machine, so it pretty much turns into a small pond in this area when we do laundry.


And here you will see how nice all of this looks. You can see Senor at the gate and by the way, he is playing bridge three times this week. He said...........is that ok? Well I say as long as you are working on the house in the mornings that is fine. So, here he is busy, very hard at work, buying tamales from the little boys who come around every morning.
Oh, and now you will see a beautiful palm frond. That photo of a new shoot signifies that even though we are on water rationing, we are managing to keep our plants healthy and happy.
And here you can see into the cistern which I am filling as I write. And now what I have to say is I hope someone else is experiencing this blogger problem and can help me get back to being able to move my photos around or I will go crazy.
So enough for now. I welcome all advice. Saber es poder...............knowledge is power............over the blogpost.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Such is Everyday Life

Hola. The other day I went to town.

When I left the house Cookies did not even bother to say goodbye, have a nice time, bring me a treat. So I just left.

I went on new old bike to meet a friend at a lovely little new bistro, Teresita's.
Calle Galeana was completely blocked off due to filming of the Telenovella, but I got through just fine.


Teresita's is a wonderful little bakery and coffee shop. She serves super cappuccinos and lattes. I am so hooked. Her music is good, too, she is bordering strong competition with Starbucks.
Below are a few photos of Teresita's. Huge windows, beautiful tiles, lots of ovens, espresso machines and sticky buns.






On my ride back home I noticed a parade of cars and trucks coming up our street. It turns out that our street became a major thoroughfare for Alamos drivers because of the street closure over on Galeana. It was a huge mess, especially when one of the TBC bus drivers decided he could make the sharp turn at the top of our street. He finally did, after about twenty minutes of backing up and adjusting this way and that. The long line of cars behind him had to back up, in turn, to allow the driver to make amends.

Cookies did not seem to mind. He snoozed through the whole mess.............didn't even say, oh, hi, you're back.......... have a nice time??


Just when I thought Galeana would surely open, Jesus, from down the street, brought his bulls up to a different field. His little boys, riding their burros, swinging their coiled ropes in their hands, herded the bulls in and out of the line of pick ups and explorers, as if they did this every day. I was so in awe of the sight I could not break away for the camera.

Twilight came and the trees and the sky over Galeana were lit up with huge lights for the cameras and the traffic on our street got worse. Another TBC driver attempted the turn in the dark and had to back down and try again. Motorcyclists and bicyclists moved in and out of the cars. Then the little red tourist train decided to come up the street.

Shown below in a rainy photo from last year, the train normally runs every twenty minutes and its route is up Galeana, among other streets, but never ours. The conductor blows the train whistle every few minutes and from our house we can hear it all over town.

The little red train ran until eleven that night.
That's a lot of train whistle.............. right outside our window.

The Telenovella finished early this week and has taken its huge trucks and equipment and directors and actors away for awhile. But this is something they have been doing regularly and I am sure they will be back soon as they have decided to continue filming the show here indefinitely.

I am really hoping they will be done on our side of town.
Ah, well, such is every day life in this small beautiful town in Mexico. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
Brazos.........linda lou