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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Alamos Rain

I like that Senor likes my sense of adventure. He rarely complains whenever I suggest we do something. And if he did complain it would be to simply crinkle up his nose in an 'I'm not so sure about that' look, but he would still go.
So, a few days ago when it began to sprinkle, i said............let's go for a drive.............Senor drove and I took photographs. ...and soon the thunder and lightning and wind came along and it poured rain so heavily that we had to pull the car over to the side of the road.

These are certainly not the prettiest photos of Alamos. You cannot see the charming and magical colonial architecture. You can't see the bouganvillea and trumpet vines spilling over the walls. But you can see how the streets and the arroyos fill with water when it rains. And you can see what happens if you decide to cross the arroyo.

You can see the high curbs and sidewalks, which by the way, were not designed like that so folks could stay out of the water running in the streets. They were high so the men and, especially the ladies, could get out of their carriages and go directly into their homes and businesses without having to step down into the street.

 So that's how it is when it rains here in Alamos. We have been getting some good heavy rains and are not experiencing the water shortages we had last year. But we have only had about fifteen inches according to our rain gauge and record keeping here in La Colonia Barrio. That is less that half of our average, so we hope to continue to get more rain through the end of October when the season ends.

Today there is not a cloud in the sky. Senor and Humberto are working on one of the walls and making the frame for a door way. Each time he comes inside Senor says it is going to be a really hot day. Fat cat Cookies is sleeping in the shower stall, on his back with his four paws splayed out comfortably to the sides. I am going to go get some laundry done.

Hope you are having a good day wherever you are.
que le vaya bien....linda lou

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Then and Now Photos

Hola.  I have been thinking a lot lately about how far we have come with this casa and I have put together a little picture story for you........and for me. It reminds me that we really have come a long way.

When Senor first stepped onto the grounds of this  place in November of 2007, I knew he had a vision for it. I was not so sure about it. I kind of liked the casa down the street. It only needed painting and some general work. But when Senor said..........and then, what will we do...................of course, I the world. But he was not ready for that. Pretty soon, I recognized I was not really ready for that either. And we wanted to buy a house in Alamos. So, we bought the casa.

In the photo below the realtor is walking away and leaving us there to walk through the knee high weeds, the busted out windows, around the burro poop and to the next stage of our Mexico.
The first big things to happen were the adobe wall and the gate.
 In the photo on the right, from 2007, I stood and watched Senor. I knew in an instant we were not choosing the house down the street or the one with the big concrete swimming pools that eventually would become filled with mud during Hurricane Norbert. We were not buying the casa on Rosales with the huge arched door ways, amapa beamed ceilings and a dining room big enough for thirty. This was it.

I think he stood under those old canalis for an hour and suddenly he took off, walking the casa, walking the grounds, pacing off his steps, putting every single detail in his photographic memory and  back home in Carnation, by January, he had the whole rebuilding plan drawn out on paper, and he has seldom swayed from those original ideas that came to him on that November day.

And here, below on the left, is that same side of the casa where he stood. Below that is the original East facing front with the tile inserts we knocked out and two photos top and bottom of what was behind the concrete. In both I have just knocked out the last tile and am taking a siesta. There is a small photo of how that looks now, with the wall gone, the huge support beam and the opening to what will be the front door in the back ground.

Below is a present view into that same area.The L shaped wall in the right background, right behind the white chair by the column, will come down and this will be the large sala, or living area, with french doors in between the background columns, enclosing the house.
In these photos you can see how the addition of the portal has changed the casa.

 Below the view is out to the yard, what could be seen of it then through the tiles, and then, the view as it is now from the same location, just about where I was sitting in the chair. The french doors that will enclose the sala will be between those foreground columns.


 The older half of this casa, which was a ranch house on the Rancho Colorada, is over a hundred years old and an enormous bathroom was installed at a later time. We took it out and it is now the closet in what will be the master bedroom. You can see the closet in the second photo.

 Below is the old stable and then, the remodeled stable. The following two photos are the old kitchen of the ranch house as we first saw it and how it looks now. It will be the master bathroom.

In the photo below is the newer section of the casa, built most likely in the sixties. When we bought the casa, these two doors on the left were the only livable rooms in the house, both being used as bedrooms, both with working bathrooms attached.

 And below you can see the change, and what will be the kitchen window on the right and the extension of the adobe wall at the very end.
And now at the opposite end. Eventually the wall to the left of the open door, where the fake kitchen is now, will come down and so will the adjoining wall to the right. This will make the sala one big living area. The wall on the other side of the ladder has already been removed and over it is where the huge support beam is now.
The door Senor is opening is the one on the right in the photo above this one. You are looking at the tile that surrounded the room where we removed the back wall (where the you can see the ladder).

Well, are you exhausted? I am. It looks like a lot of work to me. These days Senor and Humberto are working on the actual wall of the house at the north end, outside the bedroom door. As soon as this room is complete, with walls and ceiling, the fake kitchen walls will come down and the entire sala will be exposed as one big room and we will see how I feel about things then. Senor says we are very near the time when nearly all of the outside frame and support work will be done and that sounds good to me. Notice how that is worded, we are very near being near the time of the next step...............well anyway, I just wanted to share this with you.
I am pooped out from loading and moving photos around, but I hope it is all fairly clear to you. Senor is off at his bridge game and it is time for Cookies and me to siesta.
Maybe....hasta manana.........Linda Lou

Monday, August 13, 2012

stromspower outagesand nointernet

we hadaweek ofstorms andwere without powerforawhile, then withoiut phone and internet. Ourphone isbackbutstill no internet. Over a week now and wemissedall thefinalOlympic soccer games and all theother goodstuff likewomensweightlifting which is nowmy2nd favoritesport, nexttosoccer.thosewomenareso strong, especiallytheones from Polandwholook liketheycould lifta semi ineachhand and neverbreak a sweat.

so Iam downin the internet cafe and thespacebaron thisold computer keyboard doesnotspace andit is also switching backandforth fromenglishtospanish. Itried tochangesome of my misspelled wordsand wholeparagraphs getdeleted. lotsof kids in here,playingcomputer games and yellingateach otheracross theroom, very lively andthe plug insdo notworkso I cannot show youanyphotos.
.I ameatingcookies,yum.

 Iwas in here saturday tooand it was super hot and humid. the lady nextdoorsellscorn tamales from herlivingroom and teysmelled so great. Then right outsidehtecafe doorsomeonetied upa burro toabicycle and the burropooped.

duringopneof the storms senorbackedhte caro utof thedriveway andthegateslammedinto thefront bumper adtookit part wayoff the car. sosenoris home fixingthe bumper because Itold him Irefuse todrive new old carwiththe bumper hanging off thefront, firstwhati f it fallsoff and idrive overit_ then hewill just have moretorepair.....we hadtogototownyesterday andeveryoneknows our carad theyjust staredat us and i was ineedto go because Iam walking.

anyway just want tolet everyoneknowwe are still aliveand it is superhot here and humid and we arereading lotsof goodbooks.

Telmex says the problem isin their officeand notwitho urmodem, soha, whatdoes thatmean..LOL, Idon'tgetit, but the internet kidtells melots fo peoplehave no internetsincethe storms......Ihave togo home and practice weightlifting infrontof the rotatingfan............hastaluego,lindalou

Thursday, August 2, 2012

man, I am feelin' gooooooooood.............

I just popped a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Why is that a bag of popcorn only pops about 3/4's of its kernels? Or could it just be my borrowed microwave, or maybe I need to check the power level or something. Bajajaja, out of curiosity, just went and did that, it was on 2. Anyway I ate the whole 3/4th's bagful and put the un popped corn out on the asador for the doves. Senor did not get a single bite because he is off playing bridge this afternoon. Thank goodness!

I feel like we have been cooped up in the bedroom with the fake mini split since we returned from Colorado. In all fairness, feeling that way has been my own sense of ease in thinking it too hot, or I am just still too tired from the trip, oh, I am so lazy and so I will just lay down on the bed and read a book. I am pretty sure Senor has felt the same way. Really, I have spent the last 3 weeks since returning from Colorado doing....nothing. Cooking has been a chore, we have eaten a bunch of stuff out of cans. Sweeping? absolutely not. Laundry? too big a job. Washing dishes, forget it.

So today I snapped completely. I mowed the lawn, I rearranged the fake kitchen, I pulled the big weeds at the bases of all the palms, I organized the laundry glasspondstudio shop room. Cookies followed me around, meowing each time I returned to the kitchen for a new plastic garbage bag and when I went near the bedroom door he howled to get inside so we could lay back down on the bed and read or snore the day away. He demanded I stop every half hour or so and stroke his back by grabbing my ankle and tugging as I walked by. As soon as he rolled over on his back and I gave him the once over I was off  leaving him in despair.

I did 2 loads of laundry I brought back dirty from Colorado, I went and visited my 90 year old neighbor who was taken by her loving family back to live in the states while we were gone and then quickly returned because she missed her Alamos home too much and really let them know about it. She kissed me and said I smelled like old garlic and what had I been cooking and I said nothing really. Really, nothing......

I walked around the corner to Pancho's little store for a Nestle's dark chocolate and almond ice cream bar, and ate it before I got around the corner and went back for another one. I changed the sheets on the twin beds in case someone comes to visit and I organized all the magazines, Sunset in this pile, Martha in that pile, Phoenix Home and Garden over there.
Then I threw away all the refrigerator food that should have been thrown out before we even went to Colorado.
Man, I am feelin' gooooood.
 I think Senor must have a little snap as well, but he would never admit to that I am sure. However he has been up on the roof this morning, spreading some permeable in the hot sun and checking on a few things here and there.

He and Humberto went and got that pile of ladrillos and Humberto is working on one of the walls now that will be on the casa side of the portal. I am seeing shape here, people...........

 I just sense a change, you know.
And that's all right. I am good with it. I feel like I drank a couple of pots of energy and I only get 1/2 a teaspoon of caffeinated coffee a day. Maybe it was the double dose of sugar in the ice cream, but this peculiarity began at dawn with the pull of the mower switch, long before my 1/2 teaspoon of taste luxury and that smooth chocolate. So, maybe I have been Rip van Winkle'd and just did not know it or maybe I needed a long rest. Or I have been sort of like the microwave, I just needed my power level checked.

Okay, I guess I made my blog point and oh, that is good, too. I must be back in the blog swing and man, I am feelin' gooood.
LOL and hasta la vista, baby! Linda Lou