Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 8 years. Okay, okay, now it's been 9 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, December 7, 2013

Incredibly lucky people.............

 Buenas tardes. I have been gone for eleven days. I went to Texas for Thanksgiving and left Senor here alone, to finish the casa by the time I returned.
joking.........I did go visit family for Thanksgiving and when I came home the casa was NOT finished.
But, Senor always has something exciting going on in his back pocket, so lots of new little things were what I noticed when I returned.

Some of you have been interested in the fireplace that he is building in what will be the game room. Here are some photos to catch you up to date. He uses some little yellow tool that measures angles and stuff like that. I will go see if I can find it..........nope. He probably keeps that between the mattresses. He says it is a critical tool. I know nada about his tools and stuff like that. I just know it is important and so far, the one fireplace he repaired and the two he has completed work pretty darn good. So, it is an important yellow tool. 
 I don't know how he knows all this stuff. People ask me that all the time. I ask him. Some of it he just knows. And some of it the internet knows.
 Here is the latest idea he pulled out of the back pocket. He had our iron worker make him eight lanterns. Our iron worker is not artistically inclined on his own. Senor, whom I have discovered over the years, is extremely artistic, draws a picture for the man and the man makes it.......as closely as he can. I know if Senor wanted to he could most likely build a blacksmith shop out in the backyard and do this iron work himself. But so far, thank goodness, he has not shown any inclination of being interested in that.

Below are the eight lanterns. He is coating them daily with muric acid to get them to rust all over.

 Now, these may not exactly be your kind of taste in lanterns that will hang over your sala. But we have very eclectic tastes and when we started this casa we decided this is our house and we shall make it be the way we want it. Four rusted lanterns will hang from one side of the beam and four on the other. I am absolutely in love with them. They are me.

So, everything is just moving right along and I am very happy about it. Don't ask me when it will be done. The saying around this town is, it's never done. But that saying alone makes me stop and look around me every day and say to myself....................I can't believe we are living in Mexico and doing this...............talk about incredibly lucky people.............that's how we feel.

Okay, enough of the sappy stuff. I have a gazillion projects going on too, you know. Senor is not the only talented person around this place. I have suddenly become a Catrina doll maker and it's not really what I had planned. But I have sold a custom doll, so I am working on her..............you saw Vanessa and Gloria, right? I am pretty sure I blogged the sisters. I have not named this custom doll. When I am done, I will show you and someone can name her for me.
I have also finally figured out how to drill holes in my glass and that is opening up big doors for me. Hmm, hmm, hmm, I am also still working on my felting circles. Did you see those? And I am still trying to get my i tunes on my mp3 player, and that takes talent I do not have.

I am fixing to cook my mayacoba beans before bridge is over. So, que le vaya bien................linda lou

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bricks

 Buen dia! Thought you might like to see these bricks we have laying around. These have been fired using a special technique and have beautiful colors in them, yellows, reds, browns and black with an overall yellow base color. Very, very nice.
 Senor is using them around the fireplace hearth in the game room for his fireplace.
 He will also be using them in the main bathroom and in the kitchen.
 Meanwhile, it is raining and through the rain you can see Humberto is bricking up the main Sala fireplace. It will be plastered over eventually, but I think the brick looks really good. This is the standard ladrillo, or fired brick, most commonly used around here.
 You can see the mantel has been put in. Senor spent a few long days awling the pine and piecing it together with iron slats that a local iron worker made for him.
 And here, at the other end of the house, Senor is back to work on the fireplace after two quick runs to the hardware store.
What am I doing, you want to know, while they are busy with bricks. I plan to take a quick nap, even though it is only 8:30am............................

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Lady of Balvanera

 Yesterday morning I walked to La Aduana with my friends who consisted of my usual companion and a friend, and two of her sisters and a neice and another niece and her young son and the seventy three year old Papi of the sisters.

Like the past four years, we met across from the Pemex at four am. The first thing out of my mouth after the hugs and kisses and saluds to everyone's families was how slow I am going to be walking........this hurts, that hurts, this other thing hurts.................so, they don't really hurt, but I want to go slow and the girls are always so very fast. Now I have been walking for a month out to the arches and back home at a good clip so I think I can keep the pace, just not for two hours.

But, Papi decides to set the pace and I am just rolling in excitement because I know he will be slower than the girls.
 But he is not. He is unbelievably faster.
Well, they are all related, so it must be in their genes. We arrive in record time. Just slightly over one and one half hours.



I was mesmerized this year by the bell ringer. I have never noticed a bell ringer up in the tower. But of course there has always been one, it is just the first time I have actually seen him.

The procession from the church was very late this year. So we sat in the church for a very long time. But we were so early that hardly anyone was even in the church. later it became so packed that we could not get back in. We hugged and kissed other people as they walked down the aisles and listened to the bell ringer ring the bells.

 The painting is of the Virgin of Balvanera and in the shrine below is her statue. Legend says the statue was actually brought here from Spain where it was discovered hidden in a cave. I am not sure how, in Spain, they knew who she was when they saw her in the cave, but they did and they sent her first by ship to Mexico, and by mule train to Alamos and then, to La Aduana.
Legend also says that  in this area, the Mayo Indians saw a lady on top of a cactus. They thought she needed help so they built a pile of rocks to climb up and reach her. Once there, they discovered she had vanished and in her place was a rich vein of silver. The church was built to commemorate the site and was named Nuestra Senora de Balvanera, and La Aduana became one of Mexico's richest silver mines. The town was also the tax collection site for any silver coming by mule train out of Alamos. The cactus growing in the church wall represents the cactus the Virgin was seen on.

  Below is my favorite view from inside the church..........the outside.


We went back outside to greet the procession which walks to La Aduana from the church in Alamos. This is the very first time I have seen people walking barefoot and on their knees. In the photo to the left you can just see that the husband is holding the woman's hand as she enters the church on her knees.

Over the next week many people will be seen on the highway as they walk to La Aduana to pay respects to the Virgin. Since last year they have been making mantas, or requests to the Virgin for a variety of reasons, for better health, better jobs, more food,

 more money or children. If their prayers were answered they must now make a pilgrimage to the church to thank the Virgin.

................me? I'm not Catholic................ I have never made a manta, but when I am walking I think of a lot of different things; sometimes my health, especially if the girls are really trekking and I forgot to take ibuprofen or use my arnica................

................sometimes if it has been a cold walk, I have thought of Senor, back in bed and under the covers.




..............I think about the girls I am walking with, their families, their jobs.

...................... I look up sometimes and think about the stars and the universe and how I think we got to be here................

.................but, I won't lie, part of the reason I walk here is to get my corn. There it is on the right..................cut off the cob, put in a cup filled with the juice it has been cooking in, a huge spoonful of butter, a bigger spoonful of mayonaise and then all the toppings, cheese, chili powder, chili sauce and lime. Yep, I know what it sounds like and it is delicious...............I just mix it all up and gobble it down. 






Here are four of the mujeres that I walked with. My sweet amiga is second from the left and I feel lucky to know her. Everyone else was getting their churros.










And here's Papi, first to get there and first to get his churros.






So, now the week continues with a steady flow of pilgrimage. And on Friday and Saturday nights, in La Aduana, the fiesta will become more important than the Virgin. We have never been there on the weekend nights, but during the day there are many vendors with all kinds of things to sell. I think Senor and I will go out there and look for a treasure.
Right now I am waiting for rain. I went to Navajoa this morning and it poured and I think it is now on its way here. On the other hand, it could go right around us!
Hasta Luego....................linda lou

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Our garden.

 Someone once asked us why we put in a garden. I think we said.........because we can.
 There is something very calming about growing your own stuff, even though you can walk to town and buy vegetables and fruit very cheaply here. There is something even relaxing about seeing little tiny lettuce seeds that you had to plant twice because the doves kept eating the seeds.
 There are even funny things in our garden, like an electric fence around the corn bed. It's cheap and low voltage and has a switch to turn it on and off.......... it isn't a people fence, it's a squirrel fence.
 Senor touched it when he first put it in and got a little zizzle. Then he forgot it was there.
 Recently when he was observing his corn grow, he accidentally leaned into it, got another zizzle.......won't even hurt the cat, he says. I see the dove in there a lot, waiting for something. They probably know the trick by now and are just waiting for Senor to come out and observe and forget about the fence. I am certain they watch us as much as we watch them.
 Here is the giant portal tomato. I think this is year 4 for the seeds to produce.
And here is Senor the other night, on his birthday, with his hostess cupcake and his present, sharpies.

Day of the Dead is tonight and for some reason I have decided to stay home. I was in the Panteon all week long, working on graves and working in the Museum as well, on the History Club altar. Then we were out last night at the Festival Calaca and we will be at the Festival Sunday night. I think I am needing a little rest.

The sky is very dark and cloudy and we are waiting, hoping to get some rain from Tropical Storm Eighteen_E. So, I am going to go look at the sky now.
manana, manana, manana..........................linda lou

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Lovely time.......

 Hola, Buen dia! I have been a lazy blogger, but believe me, we have been busy.

A week ago we took a little time off to celebrate my birthday. It poured rain on that day and the following day, here in Alamos. We had over five inches of rain in our barrio. It was a little chilly, but definitely a feeling of fall.
 I went for a walk in the rain, we went for a drive in the rain, we went to my favorite taco stand for lunch in the rain and grilled burgers for dinner in the rain.

 And really, the main request I had was the first fire of the season in the new fireplace.
So, I laid out the tools and asked Senor to light the fire.


 Immediately it started smoking. Not at all what we expected. This is Senor's second fireplace to build from 'scratch'. And he has repaired one other inside the casa. It isn't like he does not have experience. I think we were both pretty surprised.

It took him about 30 seconds and he yelled............whoa, we have plastic and wood over the top............
He rushed out into the rain and scrambled up the ladder which sank more deeply into the mud as he climbed, tore off the wood and plastic, came back down the tilting ladder and repaired the fire.  (For those of you who thought the fireplace was an after thought, it will eventually have an amapa mantle and be plastered to the top).


que le vaya bien and if it's your birthday, then feliz cumpleanos!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! linda lou
I settled into a comfy chair in front of the fire while Senor went out in the rain and grilled burgers.
Lovely time................

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Night Ritual

Our Sunday nights look like this.................muy rico a pollo..........
Hope you're having a great Sunday night wherever you are!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and Depressions

 

Hola! Here are some clouds we had on Monday and Tuesday. We had three inches of steady rain at our house on Wednesday. It started in the afternoon, fell over a long period of time, and our yard was a flowing river, with little lakes every few feet. But when I went out later there was not a lot of standing water in town and the Chalaton Arroyo was dry. 

Senor has kept an eye this morning on the satellite and it actually shows us in the northern spread now of Hurricane Manuel, which has evidently been down graded to a Tropical Storm after coming ashore near Culiacan.

 There is absolutely nothing happening here. It is very still and quiet, a little overcast and very warm,and no breeze. In fact I don't hear any birds, just the horse neighing in the field next door.

 It is a little unnerving knowing something might be out there. That is how it was the day Norbert hit; quiet, still, hot. Manuel has already done enough damage to Mexico. We don't want anymore. So we will hope for just some rain and wind and nothing more.





Independence Day in Alamos was packed with people and great photographic opportunities. I'll show you some of those photos later.
Right now, lunch and siesta and the waiting game begins.
Que le vaya bien. Linda Lou

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Serious Business

 Buenas trades. The garden beds are still being worked on. In the first photo you can see Humberto is adding more bricks to the raised bed that will hold lettuce, spinach, chard, peas, onions, herbs, that sort of stuff.

Senor added some more bricks to the tomato bed below.
 The long bed in the background is the one we put in last year. Senor already has it planted with Minnesota corn and the drip system is hooked up  and ready to drip. I don't think the fourth bed, the cutting garden, will go in this year. That's okay, I am in no hurry. But I am looking forward to all those vegetables, especially the tomatoes which will come from the giant portal plant and the baby reds from last year.

Someone asked me, why do you want to mess with growing your own vegetables...........i said, because we can........................
I suppose that answer is decent enough.


The tropical storm, Lorena, whose name I misspelled previously gave us nothing yesterday but this afternoon looks very promising as the wind is picking up and the clouds are rolling down off Mt. Alamos and over Rancho Colorado.

The Pueblo has put up a new flag at the Mirador and I can see it from our portal. I used my telephoto for this shot, so the flag is not quite that close.!! I do not think it is a half mast flag. Instead I believe that is just as high as it goes.

Each morning now the Paulita schoolchildren (ages around twelve through fourteen) are practicing their bugles and drums, in preparation for the sixteenth, Independence Day. It will fall on a Monday so I imagine it will be a larger than usual celebration. It also comes after a pay day, the fifteenth. So, Fiesta time soon!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cereus Cacti





Hola!
It amazes me what a cactus can produce. The top three photos are of two different cereus cacti blooms. These are up in the mesquite tree.  Supposedly night blooming and for one night only, ours lasted two nights and bloomed through the daylight hours as well.
The last photo is an orange cereus and I could just never get a decent photo. I only saw it at the end of its bloom stage, after it had collapsed.

We have had some remarkable storms, most of them coming in front of tropical storms over the East Pacific. In fact right now we are getting a little chipichipi from Hurricane Lorraine which looks to be over the southern tip of Baja and heading north. Of course we don't want anything building up in the Sea of Cortez; that is how we got our big visit from Norbert, but we do want the rain.
I'll leave you with this mist over the mountains...............