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.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Old Dirt

Hola! Hola!

Our cow bell was ringing for over a minute. I tried my best to ignore it because I was just into being lazy, especially since Senor and Humberto poured fresh concrete outside the bedroom door and each time I go out I forget it is there. I let the cat out and all four paws sank heavily and Senor almost had a fit because he had to go and get the trowel and smooth it over and it almost made him late for bridge.

So, I thought I would not answer the bell. It rang again. And later, again. That irritated the cat and I had to pick him up and toss him over the still soft concrete. I was up anyway so I went to see who was just dying to talk to me.

It was my young friend, Uriel. I am sure you remember him. He is the ten year old barrio entrepreneur. He is the young boy I buy all of my antiquities from.

Today he had a bottle and he was holding it very, very carefully. Now this bottle, which has a light hint of blue, purple and green to it was only found this morning. It is, according to Uriel, a decent enough find to be put in the museum of Casa Maria Felix. It was dug out of the ground up in the Chalaton at day break, near the alberca, the old swimming pool that is up there.

It is quite possible that this bottle may have belonged to Pancho Villa but Uriel just could not be sure. Venustiano Carranza, once el Presidente of Mexico, was also known to frequent the area and of course, Zapata could have been in the surrounding hills watching him do whatever it was he was doing.

The most significant thing about this bottle is the dirt that is inside. It may very well be over one hundred years old and well, who can resist old dirt? Certainly not me.

I bought the dirt and the bottle it came with for 15 pesos.
I'm quite happy to set it next to all the other exciting antiquities that Uriel brings to my attention.
Que le vaya bien!
LInda Lou

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dia de La Revolucion~ Photos from Alamos, Sonora

Hola, I returned around noon from the parade for the Day of the Revolution and took a two hour nap.
 How is that a parade can make one so tired.....
Maybe it's because I took over two hundred photos. 

I am only going to share a few of them. As you know, the children are so photogenic. 
So, here are some of the children in today's parade.

Monday, November 12, 2012

How Much do I Love This?

 Hola, hola, hola. I take so many pictures. I really am sometimes totally out of control. As I have mentioned I am a wussy photographer. I don't like to get in anyone's space. I often try a secret my youngest little brother, who is a very famous Hollywood camera man, taught me........keep your camera at waist level, stay in the background and click away. Well, when he does it his photos look ready for GQ, but when following professional advice like his, mine look like crap...........sorry, mom, i know i am not supposed to say 'crap'..........

But, LOOK! How much do I love these two photos? So much I can hardly stand it. Waist level, clicking away, staying in the shadows and look what I got. While the bride is messing with her dress back, the photographer is taking photos of the groom. I should win some kind of prize, don't you think?  LOOK at her flip flops, on the ground by the photographer. Really two of the best photos I have ever taken, following some good advice.

I just got back from my yearly walk to La Aduana. I went with a very sore back and returned with a very sore back and a really sore hip. Maybe it's my last time to walk for 2 hours in the dark with a dying flashlight, one hour on a road that is beginning to need new asphalt because it has acquired some new holes and another hour in a deep sand and sometimes rock strewn arroyo. I don't know. I love going so much. I love watching the church procession come in and the deer dancers and the music and and the ladies I walk with and all the people and I love the corn.
Here is a link to my post about last year's walk. At least I think it is a link. It looks suspicious to me. I think it is supposed to have a blue underline. Maybe you will have to paste it into your browser if you want to read more. I could post all my pictures from the morning, but if you read the blog, you have already seen the pictures because they look an awful lot just like last year's. So, try this page or link to see them again.

But here is the corn. The lady pulls an ear from a simmering pot of corn and slices all the kernels off and puts them into a paper cup. She adds a tiny bit of corn juice from the pot and some butter and sprinkles cheese on top.

Then I take it and fill the cup with lime juice and picante sauce and chili and spices and whatever else she has out on the table because I like it all and then after I eat it I want to have another but the ladies I have walked with are heading for the churro stand. So I have a bunch of churros instead. 

Okay then, I am totally pooped and I am just fixing to get out the heating pad and put it on my hip and take a nap.
Hasta luego! Linda Lou

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Festival de La Calaca in Alamos, Mexico

Hola and Buenos Dias! The Festival de la Calaca has returned to Alamos. Truly one of my favorite festivals because of its humor and wonderful caricature art of the calaca or skeleton. The festival was cancelled in Alamos, in 2009, when the PAN Party became the governing body of Alamos, but now it is back with the PRI government. And I am thrilled!

To me, the Calaca is all about La Catrina, depicted so beautifully in the charcoal drawing above by local foreign artist, Katherine Rink Callingham, of both Alamos and Arizona.

In 1910, Mexican lithographer, Jose Guadalupe Posada, created a calavera, a leaflet that made a satirical statement about a garbancera, any person who was embarrassed by his native Indian heritage, one who desired to become more like the French, upper class, well dressed and well versed. During this time many Mexicans were imitating the French and Posada's calavera quickly became very popular. The calavera was made in reference to a prominent person who had died and it said ' those who today are garbanceras, tomorrow will be deformed skulls'. His portrait drawing of a female skeleton portrayed a person with a wide smile and a fancy hat.

It was the famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, who, based on Posada's leaflet and the portrait, created his famous painting, 'sueno de una tarde dominicial en la alameda' or 'dream of a summer afternoon in the Alameda park'. Posada's female face, now with a body fully clothed in fancy dress was the center of the painting, and was standing, in the park, holding hands with Posada. Rivera named the female character, La Catrina, (a slang word for well dressed, elegant or fancy) and she came to represent death and how the Mexican culture understands and accepts death.

In the 1980's, the first clay sculptures were created of La Catrina and today we see her in many forms: clay, paper, wood and iron and bread dough.

The Alamos festival included beautiful altar displays dedicated to some of the deceased family members of the community, music, calaca art work by Callingham and many Alamos students. It also included an alley way filled with art work and lithographs of La Catrina and a variety of los garbanceras. 

 The altar below is dedicated to Alphonse Ortiz Tirado, for whom the famous Alamos FAOT music festival is named after.
 A well known doctor and tenor, the music sheets below honor his love of opera.
 Here is a lithograph of the Diego Rivera painting that shows the full creation of the Catrina. She is always well dressed, with a flair for flamboyance, always smiling under a large hat and always imitating the fancy, well to do of France.
 Below is the lovely cobblestone alley way where the lithographs could be seen and below that, the church, surrounded by ghostly circles, which some of my Mexican friends say are the spirits.

So, I am very happy to have the Festival de la Calaca back.
I will keep you posted on the Catrina puppets I have been working on. And Senor's garden project is moving along so soon I will show you that as well.
For now, the Seahawks are almost ready to play and Senor says I better be done soon. LOL, thank goodness for football online.
Que le vaya bien, linda lou

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dia de Los Muertos~Alamos

 Early yesterday, the Alameda was lined with flower vendors. Gladiolus, marigolds, carnations and mums in many colors were available. The beautiful flower coronas were hung on the gazebo and Alamos was jammed packed with people buying things they needed for their preparations of graves at the Panteon.

I have been going out to the Panteon for the last several weeks, helping a few folks find graves they want to tend through the History Association's 'Adopt a Grave' program. I have never seen so many workers, all clearing brush, washing down grave sites, white washing walls and sites and watering trees and flowers.

This was our 5th Day of the Dead and the Alamos Panteon was the most beautiful I have ever seen it. The crowd was also one of the largest we have ever seen and there were more musicians than you could count on two hands.

 We usually go out the morning of the 2nd and put our flowers or coronas and candles on the graves we tend, then return later for the 4pm Mass and the festivities. But this year we took our flowers with us when we went later in the day and the Panteon was already packed with familes.
Below Senor is putting a corona on the graves of Ida Louisa Franklin and her son, Walter.

 Outside the Panteon were food vendors with tamales and tacos, and tres leche cakes and cream cheese pies and empanadas, and other folks selling all kinds of things, like bubble blowers and sparkly hats from China and huge packages of pots and pans and plastic chairs.
 Then, as is our custom, we drove up to the Mirador to watch it from a distance.
Then we went back down to town where it was very quiet.  But now, it is Saturday.
We are on our way to the Calaca Festival at the Plaza............. let the fiesta continue!