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, July 1, 2013

That's my Story

 Buenas tardes!
 Here are a bunch of photos and quick little captions to show you what the house has been doing. Then I am going to tell you a story.

 First, I want to say the second half of the contest continues on. There was a huge electrical storm last week, but we weren't here. And that's part of the story.

 The West Wing seems to be under constant change. This is how it looks now. The couches have been pushed back to the wall in anticipation of huge rain and wind storms. Cozy, for sure and pink.
 The fireplace continues to grow. It will probably be ready around Christmas for chestnut roasting.

Three gorgeous iron chairs. That's part of the story.

 Nice little spot when the sun is out, easy to shove back for more protection in case of enormous amounts of rain.
 Remember the rubble? gone, gone, gone, but there is a huge pile of it in another section of the yard.
 My new beautiful climbing rose which I hope will one day cover the pump house roof top.
 The rose in the foreground outside the pump house. And our new three ficus trees, which we shall not cut into shapes of rabbits or turtles, they will roam as free as they wish.
 There is that other pile of rubble I mentioned, beyond the cement mixer on the right.
 Pretty jasmine I am trying to train to travel overhead from one column to the other. All an experiment as Senor says it will need to come down when column plastering day comes.
 The portal, as it looks from where the jasmine vines in training are located.
 A look, from the wicker chairs, at the game room, that will hold all of our belongings once the fake kitchen comes down.
 The game room window and the wall with its little niches.
 Inside the game room, looking out to the wicker chairs. Beneath that black plastic is a beautiful piece of wood that was once one of the vigas in the original West Wing.
 The door that leads from the game room back out to the portal.

The fans, installed and working, do wonders on hot, blistering sunny days.

So, there you have it, in pictures. Now let me tell you my story. As I said, there was a storm, but we weren't here; we were in Hermosillo, getting fingerprinted so our VISA paper work can be sent to Mexico City, where apparently the VISA card making machine is kept.

We had not planned to go. We did not even have a car to go in. Our car had been in the transmission shop in  Navajoa for well over a week. They kept saying they would call when it was ready. I was so stir crazy that I was considering getting on the bus and riding it to the border and back. Then one morning I said to Senor............let's just get on the bus and go to Navajoa and see what kind of shape our car is in. We yelled 'salida' to the driver on the outskirts of Navjoa and after making our way through a standing room aisle filled with school kids and clucking chickens, we walked the few blocks to the shop.

New old car was just sitting outside the fence, on a dusty street, covered in dust, looking very lonely. As we got closer we saw what appeared to be youth baseball team slogans written in the dust covering the windows. Senor saw the 'jeffe' and asked him about our car and he said it was all ready. Since this was new old car's return visit to the shop, the 'jeffe' explained, in Spanish, to a confused Senor, what he had done to it and since we had paid a considerable sum the first time only to have the same problem occur again, causing us to return it to the 'jeffe', he said, 'no charge' and Senor certainly understood that Spanish.

We thanked him and got into new old car and immediately realized that it had not exactly been lonely. There were empty ketchup and mustard packets all over the backseat and the left over wrappings from several youth support sports jock straps. It seemed our car had a few adventures without us.

 It started right up and quickly drove us straight home where, on the computer, the VISA store (this, my new word for the Immigration office helps me cope with the stress of going there), indicated that we needed to come to Hermosillo as soon as possible to move forward with the VISA process. We decided to get back into new old car and go. Within the hour we were back in Navajoa and heading north.

Near the town of Vicam, the Yaqui tribe has erected a blockade on the main highway. It has made a huge impact on commerce and tourism. This blockade is over water rights that the Yaquis believe belong to their tribe and not to the government who believe the rights belong to the government. We were prepared for a wait, but we also thought we could probably find a way around it.

When we got to the blockade, a lovely old Yaqui senora pointed us in the direction of a side street, which we followed around town to the other side of the road block. On the way, we encountered at least a dozen other road blocks, very young children holding up ropes, asking for a peso for our passage. This was their dusty dirt road, we were making it even dustier and we gladly paid each rope block a peso. The children smiled, dropped their ropes to allow us to pass as their mother's threw buckets of water in front of us to ease the dust. After this fifteen minute detour we found ourselves on the north of the blockade and continued on.

The VISA store closes at one. We knew we would not make it so we detoured to San Carlos, where we really only like to go for tacos and if we have to stay overnight, the tv at the Tetakawi Hotel. I looked out of our hotel room after taking a break from watching the Food Channel and there were three old iron chairs sitting in the dirt by a tree, all alone. My sister said to me, from far away, get those chairs, get those chairs, girl. So, after a quick talk to the man at the desk about the abandoned trailer park and the chairs, I did just that and we now have three pretty iron chairs, without seats, but pretty nonetheless. Thank you, Kax, for telling me to get those chairs.

At the VISA store, early the next morning, we were told we were both getting Permanent Residence VISAs, which surprised us. That is what we were applying for and we knew that at least one of us would get it, but the horror stories we had been told, suggested that either we did not make enough monthly income to both get that type of residency or the store was just going to flat out say, NO. We confirmed and double confirmed we were both getting that VISA and the person behind the counter double confirmed that there is no expiration date. It is indeed a permanent residence card and we will NEVER need to renew it. That means we will NEVER need to go back to the VISA store. But, then, we have found that when in Mexico, one should NEVER use the word NEVER.

Now on the road again, a trip to the new Lowes in Hermosillo, another dusty side road trip around Vicam, a quick trip to Home Depot and WAL MART and we were home by six.

As we wait for the actual cards to come back to the Hermosillo VISA store from Mexico City we are trying to figure out the best way to nationalize our car. As soon as your residency changes from temporary to permanent, you are no longer allowed to keep a foreign plated car in Mexico. You are no longer allowed to have a temporary import permit (sticker) on your car, in fact, you can't even get issued a temporary car permit at the border. We are attempting to determine the logistics of that and decide what is the best thing to do. I am sure that will be another exciting story to tell.

For now I have to go and clean up the fake kitchen. Earlier I was minding my own business, relaxing out under the West Wing fans, in a wicker chair, when I heard some glass crashing in the kitchen. I rushed inside to find our garbage all over the floor and a few of the herb and spice jars broken among the litter and no sign of Senor on the floor, thank goodness. After a few seconds what I did see was one of the big iguanas, as it jumped from behind a bin on the floor and up onto the table, where it missed its mark and slammed back down to the floor. Senor came to help and we turned up the radio volume, hoping that would drive it out. Then we threw a few paint thinner soaked rags inside the door hoping the smell would drive it out. Then Senor got a stick and while I trapped it on one end, he tried a 'pretend attack' which had no results at all. We decided to leave it alone and hope it would get bored with the contents of the fake kitchen.

I went back and sat under the fans and waited. Before long, all two feet of it sauntered out as if it was leaving a restaurant at noontime and crawled up the wall and over the roof top. I scrambled over and shut the door.

And that's my story.
que le vaya bien! linda lou


~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

WOW what a great story girl!!! And I'm so glad that you listened when I told you to GET THOSE CHAIRS!!! What neat chairs they are! What a week of adventures in Mexico! So happy that you share them with us! Your Casa is looking wonderful!!! xoxo

Ian Huntington said...

Linda your house is really coming along - so advanced from when I visited you four years ago. I am so happy for the both of you.
Congratulations on you residency visa! Another issue to celebrate.
Looks like I may never retire in Alamos after all. I have to admit that I am splendidly happy in La Misión, Baja. Just two more years until my big "R." Weather is a lot cooler and there are no 2 foot reptiles in the kitchen.
Miss Alamos - wonderful memories - and would really love to see your casa when it is finished. Is a house ever finished?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your permanent resident status! Love the photos - the casa is looking fabulous. The chairs are great. The iguana in the kitchen .... not so much. ;-)

Jacqui said...

Congrats on your permanent residency, that's a great outcome. The house is really coming on now, great to see the progress. Love your rose.

Trish said...

Oh Linda! Your home is REALLY coming along. Those outside columns could not be more beautiful. El Senor is talented TOO....tee heee.
Love your new iron chairs. Hey, good things come to good people.
AND congrads on your new permanency.

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

hola everyone, thanks for all the comments. I have been so bad to not answer, but here I am....answering>
girlie, yes, would not have the chairs, if not for you!
Hey, Ian, I think we will just have to come to visit you!
Yennifer!!! thanks, it is getting there and yeah, the iguana....not sure what to do about that family...
hi Jacqui, thanks, I am happy to see more progress, too and Trish, how great to hear from you!! It is definitely coming along!
take care,
Linda Lou