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, April 30, 2012

The New Format Again

Buenas tardes. I see blogger has decided to give me the new format, again. I did not like it before and I do not like it now. So, I will have to do a little research to see if I can switch back to the old format or force myself to give in to the new one. Any suggestions from you old wise bloggers friends?

In the meantime, I have no idea how this will look to you. To me it looks very unorganized. All I want to do is show you the beautiful sunset from last night and how hard Senor is working to get our fans up and running under the portal. You can see him on the ladder in the first photo.
Our days are quite long now, with dawn breaking a little before five am. I am out on the Calle a few minutes later for a morning walk. Temperatures are still hovering in the low sixties at that time. Days are getting very hot and up in the high nineties already. Fortunately we are having brisk breezes so it does not feel that warm. But as the humidity rises the real heat will set in.

At dusk, around seven twenty, the air is filled with the sweet smell of cinnamon and vanilla and musk of the plumerias. Below is one of five pink trees in our yard and we also have a struggling little white one.

I am going to leave it at this until I figure out if I can handle giving up the old blogger and just go with the new format. Senor is out  installing more of the lanterns under the portal, Cookies is snoozing on the cool bedroom floor cement and I need to water a few plants.
Manana.........linda lou

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How Do You spend Your Allowance?

Buen dia.
I am overwhelmed by concerned friends and family. No, please, no worries, we have not fallen off the face of the earth, not been kidnapped at gun point or robbed either, not returned to the states to live and no, the hot water heater is still not hooked up to the propane tank, but the weather is changing and the sun is warming up the tinaca and yes, we are staying clean. Cookies is fine but has put on a little weight, green parakeets are still cruising the back yard, palms are getting taller, Humberto and Senor are working daily on the casa. Did I answer all of your questions?

We went to the sea. Nice and quiet, no left over Semana Santa'ers on extended vacations. In fact, it was breezy and cool and I had to wear a light jacket over my pajamas which I decided to wear that day to the beach, guessing I would not see anyone I knew and knowing that we were not going to the market after. Senor sat at the table under our favorite palapa restaurant and enjoyed the view and I snapped away. Beautiful view and tasty fish lunch to go with it.

When we returned home my sweet little friend, Uriel, the keeper of the most widely acclaimed assortment of Pancho Villa antiquities came ringing the bell. Uriel is a quiet bell ringer, unlike Victor, the tamale boy, who rings non stop until you come out to buy at least one tamale.

So, Uriel stopped by with a gourd that once belonged to Pancho Villa. In fact, according to Uriel, Villa kept his own personal tequila in this gourd. When he was in the mountains hiding from Obregon, and looking for Zapata who had recently cheated him in a card game, Villa's horse became sick. After a few swigs of this tequila, the horse was able to get Pancho Villa all the way to Veracruz.
Pancho Villa kept a nail in the top of the gourd so the tequila would not leak out and of course, two small gourd cups, one for Villa and one for the horse. I enjoy Uriel. Not only is he a good nine year old salesman, he speaks a little English and is very animated, loves Pancho Villa and sure knows his history.

So Senor gets an allowance for Victor, the bell ringing tamale boy, and I have my allowance for Uriel and all of his Pancho Villa artifacts.
Unfortunately, after a few days, the gnats got to Pancho Villa's bottle and I had to toss it over the fence, but I kept the nail. Who knows, some day it might be worth something.
Mas manana y que le vaya bien......................linda lou

Friday, April 6, 2012

Falling into a Surprise

Hola, I went to the church this morning. Every Good Friday, members of the church carry the cross through the streets and the procession that follows sings the most beautiful sweet music.
This event happens every year.
In addition, on each Friday before Good Friday, for many years the procession returned in the evening and visited the Altars of Viernes de Dolores, or Sorrowful Friday. Many homes and businesses constructed religious altars in observance of Our Lady of Sorrows for the evening. It was magical to walk through the dark night and view these candle lit altars. However, the lady who organized this passed away and the night event was no longer held.

So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that as we proceeded through the streets we were going to be viewing altars of Viernes de Dolores. We wound our way over cobblestone streets and up to the Alto Tacubaya barrio where we saw, during the course of several hours, over ten altars. We stopped at each altar and listened while the priests blessed the altar. Then two new men picked up the crosses and we continued on. As we walked everyone sang. Religious music here is like something I have never heard in a church before. It is very folksy, very, very soft, and very moving.

After leaving the Tacubaya hillsides we walked back down to town where we continued to sing and wind our way through narrow streets to even more altars.

Below are three young girls at the cross of thorns, altar #9. They stood completely still through out the blessing until the one in pink sneezed and the little one in purple giggled.

Most of the altars were very simple. Here is altar #7, very simple, yet moving in its display of wood, lace, flowers and candle light. Even though I had expected to see the Good Friday procession, climbing up into the hills of Tacubaya and seeing the simple, but touching altars was unexpected.
I love falling into a surprise and this certainly was one. Alamos, you never cease to amaze me.
hasta manana! linda lou

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Semana Santa Has Begun

Hola. Buenas tardes. que tal.

We are in the heat of Semana Santa.
Above is one of the fariseos. These tribal men come from villages far away during the weeks leading to Semana Santa. For forty days, leading to the Easter week, they travel by foot through towns and villages, wearing masks and dancing to steady drumbeats. Representing the negative forces of their villages, they are instructed by the tribe elders to abstain from washing and speaking. When they dance they signal for money and by giving money you are washing yourself of your sins.

They travel door to door and even when they are far away you can hear the solid beat of the single drum. When they have finished their travels they return to their villages where their masks and clothes are burned or thrown into the rivers and their money is turned over to the village elders.

Several days ago I ventured onto a side street because I thought I heard the drum. The exhausted fariseos had removed their masks and were lying under a mesquite tree, their hair fell against their shoulders in tangled masses and their arms were thrown back over their heads, their chests rising up and down as they snored. One of them was a girl.

As badly as I wanted a photo I was terrified to take one, afraid that they might awaken and knowing I had seen them without masks, signal me for a lot of money because that is probably a sin to see them without masks. So, I crept backwards and got away as quickly as I could.

While the Alamenses take leave of Alamos and head to the beach, the Mexicanos from other towns and cities of Sonora, Sinaloa and even Jalisco, keep coming in droves to visit our Pueblo Magico. They discover the hidden secrets of this town during the day, party hard at night and take their children to the church in the mornings for baptism.

I have been to the church this week to watch several of el bautismo. In Alamos they are done in the morning for many children at once. The children are all dressed in ropon, the white clothes which symbolize their purity. The mothers hold the children while the family looks on and the priest recites to them all. Sometimes I have seen thirty small children at once. The parents leave the church, beaming with pride that their child has been baptized in Alamos, the Pueblo Magico of Sonora.

This Semana Santa week is much more popular than Christmas or any other holiday. School children have two weeks off and college kids bring their ice chests filled with tecate to Alamos. It is a little like a mini small 'Spring Break' in the US. The smell of carne asada is thick in the air and at night there is beautiful music. It starts late and goes all night. Last Sunday, Old Jesus' nephew Iban's party was going strong all night and at four am the tuba player arrived. Senor and I both sat up in bed at the exact time and said............oh,no. Not too long after the church bells called for mass. Other than a complete lack of a good night's sleep, it is an exciting time really for everyone.

Things keep rolling along here. I am still trying to get out of my blogging slump, but really keeping busy with outside activities and the glass. The vacation I had planned to take from glass work did not last long. It is just a real good thing I like doing it.

Senor is back to work after a cold and some ankle problems. The portal roof is almost finished and soon he and Humberto will start on another section of the varro blanco roof that will be over the sala.

And, of course, there is Cookies. Never one to be lazy, he keeps up his daily exercise on the bed.
I am off now, to water palms and hibiscus and nasturtiums and jasmine and lime trees. Life is good. More manana...............linda lou