Sunday, November 17, 2019

Notes from November

 It IS the middle of November already and two weeks since I last posted!  How can that be?  I actually got the calendar out of the drawer to see what I have been doing this past two weeks to see
what has made the time go by so fast and there is nothing to report, other then daily life!  How can that be?  Well it just is.

The first week of November was all the festivities of Dia de los Muertos.  What once was simply families going to the cemetery and cleaning and decorating graves, has now turned into a major
commercial enterprise with catrina parades, parties and at least one hundred (I'm not exaggerating)
other activities going on during that time.  It draws tens of thousands of people into our little town.
Our population here in SMA, not the municipality, is a little over 60,000 but surges amazingly during activities like this.  Needless to say, participating is no longer something that I do.  Even trying to get to the little cemetery in San Juan de Dios is overwhelming with tourists, so I live on all the memories
from the last twenty years and let others deal with the traffic and people.

One of the festivities was the Art Walk at La Aurora which is the first Saturday of the month.  All the art galleries put up altars and decorate their showrooms beautifully but this year there were 4400! people there on that Saturday night.  Incredible.  Luckily, I cancelled going and my son and grand kids said that thankfully I did not go as it was so crowded that they could hardly walk. 

Something happened which happens often for John, Matilda and Sebastian.  Readers of the blog recognize them and come up to them, introduce themselves, talk about the blog and themselves and how much they enjoy reading about my family.  The kids are thrilled when this happens.  I heard all
about their conversations when I saw them.  Thanks to the woman from Austin who previously was
with Threadgill's and the woman with "dark hair" who knows me and reads the blog.  Who can that be?

 There is always, always, something blooming in San Miguel!  Fall is always heralded by the blooming of the agaves as these were for many years in my garden "up on the hill".  I don't have
them to see now in that garden, but they are blooming in yards and gardens all over town.  I remember how the white and yellow butterflies loved the blooms as well as the hummingbirds. 
Maybe I'll have to get a few plants to add to the flower beds here just for the glory of Fall.

This last photo is one I took a couple of years ago in the parking lot where I used to park when I went to centro.  It is, without a doubt, one of my favorites!  The dog lives at the parking lot with the owner or operator of the lot.  The man is such a good person who has done so many kind things for me over the years from changing a flat tire to picking me up once when I tripped!  And, if there was not room in the lot, he always made room for me.  In response, I baked cookies and goodies for him a couple of times a year.  Most recently, when I was at the H+ Hospital waiting for an appointment, he came in with his whole family.  In typical Mexican manners of gentility, he brought his whole family over to my seat to introduce me to them.  I was so touched! 

The day I turned around and saw the parking lot dog with a cut off sweatshirt on, also touched my heart and brought a smile to my face.  It still does.  Hope it does the same for you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Riding High

She's eleven years old now.  Forming her own interests.  Two of them are dressage and high wire trapeze and other activities like Cirque de Soleil performs.

Yes, Matilda is becoming her own person.  It is a joy to observe.

A few weeks ago we all went out to watch her practice somewhere near Cineaguita, outside of San Miguel at an amazing training facility.  Here are the photos from the hour long practice.

It is fascinating to see what children become interested in doing as they mature. I wish I knew how to attach the video of her in Ixtapa on a high trapese.  But, I don't, and you will just have to take my word for it that it was amazing to see her let go of the bar and then grab the arms of her partner waaaaay up there.  I'm glad it was a video and that I wasn't there to witness it because I would have been terrified watching her go up that high.  Yes, there was a net below, but still!

Life continues to be full of surprises.  Not daily as it used to be, but that is truly okay.  It is always fun to wait and see what is going to happen next!

One of the surprises this day was that those huge trees that Seb and John are walking under are pecan trees!  I had no idea that pecans grew in this area.  Brought back lots of memories of growing up in central Louisiana where pecans were an industry.  In fact, my little brother and I each year would pick up pecans to sell to get money to buy Christmas presents.  I have always loved to bake with pecans, especially during the holidays.  All year, however, when I bake banana bread, I think some pecans add to the deliciousness.  The pecans on these trees were small and didn't have much meat.  Not something I would spend time picking up.  But, I bet someone does!

After all, this is Mexico! Nothing goes to waste.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Surprises Abound!

Surprise, surprise.  An orchid that I bought at Home Depot or Costco has rebloomed!  When they are bare sticks, I put them outside with hope.  In all the years that I have had orchids, NEVER, have I had one rebloom.  I truly was shocked and did not believe my eyes.

When I brought this in from outside last Saturday it had one pod with a bloom about to open.  This bloom is what opened.  Now there are many pods and many blooms.
Each time I walk by this little nook at the entrance to the kitchen and see it, I mentally shake my head in surprise and delight.  What a gift!

As if that wasn't enough, yesterday the dove who lives in the garden and who sits on the branch of the tree when I am watching me in the evening when I am watching TV was acting quite strange.  I stopped whatever I was doing, sat down, propped my feet up and watched.

It appears that this bird, male or female - who knows, is building a nest up in the big palm tree behind the dried out fronds.  It walks around look for thin branches, picks them up, checks them out and if they are too long or too thick to carry in its beak up to the nest that is being built, it drops it and continues to look for the perfect piece for the nest.

Here are a few photos that I took today.  Now this series was taken in about six minutes, but the bird is spending, literally, hours combing the grass for the "right" stick for the nest.  It has been three and a half hours since I took these photographs and the dove is still out there scouring around for more fill for the nest!
I would say this bird has more patience then I.  I only lasted a few minutes of photographing it.

I, of course wonder, is it the female or male who is so specific in making this nest.  And, I also wonder how long it takes to build the whole thing. 

Earlier this summer, I watched a hummingbird building a nest at the end of the walkway.  What a magnificent structure of twigs, leaves and grasses.  A true thing of beauty............and another gift to enjoy seeing, even now, many months later.

The weather is getting a little gusty and a tad cooler.  My presumption is that nature knows more then we do and hence, the hectic pace of this bird to get this nest ready!

How sweet it is!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

When the "Light" is Good!

It's been a while, almost a month, since my last post!  Time flies........ It hasn't been for any reason other then I have been busy with this and that.  What?  Heck a lot of "that" is just daily stuff that
no one really wants to hear about.

But, the "this" things were deciding to organize all the stuff that was put into the storage shelves
behind the curtain in the bedroom.  When I moved in, I just wanted to get everything out of boxes
and things were not that well organized initially.  But, this time, I definitely went through each and
everything.  The "Tidying Up" lady from Netflix would be impressed.  Quite a few things got thrown away or given away too.  I think I have less now then ever before.  Believe it or not, it is a GOOD feeling.
Working in the garden was something else that gives me great pleasure.  Friday afternoon the gardener came to turn the sprinklers on.  It was about 5:30, his usual time to arrive.  But the LIGHT, oh the light was incredible.  Quickly I grabbed the camera, stepped out the front door and took a few photos of the water backlit by the sun.  Those yellow balls are not tennis balls lying on the grass!  They are lemons.  The tree limbs are bending over filled with lemons.
I have really enjoyed having grass at this house!  It has been since the mid 90's that I lived somewhere where there was grass.  That was a long time ago.  It has a calming and soothing effect.
Light sure makes a difference in photography.  I remember once being at Edward James' sculpture gardens, Las Pozas and photographing the huge waterfall there.  When I saw the photo it was astonishing.  At the time I did not realize how perfect the light was since I am just a "point and shoot" photographer with a tiny little camera. It is still one of my favorite photos.

One last photo to share with you is the little boy keeping watch over the garden along with blooming geraniums and lavender surrounding him.  That little boy has been with me close to thirty years and in whatever garden I had throughout those years.  He lived for a while at my daughter Jennifer's house too, when Christopher was born, but subsequently came back with me in 2004. 
It is possible I'll be doing some traveling toward the end of October.  Plans haven't been finalized as yet.  Other then that, I have sewing to do; books to read; recipes to try; art assemblages to work on and more friends to meet for lunch.  Life could not be more perfect.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Time flies - Two Birthdays This Week! Christopher and Jessica

It is so true that time flies.  It seems like just yesterday, but it was twenty eight (28) years ago that Jessica was born.  In addition, it was twenty one years ago (21)! that Christopher was born.  I do remember both in exquisite detail.

Christopher's birthday is tomorrow, the third of September.  It is an important time for him as he
makes decisions and changes in his life.  We all stand by to hear what they will be and where he will be living.  He now lives in Clear Lake City which is a place near NASA that he spent a lot of his
growing up years and graduated from high school. 

Christopher is the son of my daughter Jennifer, who passed on when Chris was 5 1/2 years old.
Life has had its challenges for him but he has that soft temperament and inherent kindness of
his Mom.  I know whatever his choices, they will be correct for him

This photo is from two years ago when we were celebrating his graduation from high school. 

Jessica's birthday is Wednesday, the 4th of September.  She will be 28.  As my "first born" granddaughter, it is amazing to see her grow into the amazing woman that she has become.  Not that I ever doubted that that would happen.

I came across the photo below just recently.  It encapsulates all the wonderful memories of spending so much time with her in her first six or seven or eight years! 
Then here is one that Jessica sent me just last week that shows the woman that she is now.  Her life too has changed in this past year.  Living in Austin has been the right move for her along with changing careers to something that fulfills and enhances her life.

Truly, it is an incredibly fulfilling feeling to be a grandmother.  To see little human beings become such beautiful people, both inside and out!  It is truly an honor to witness their lives.  

                                 HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTOPHER AND JESSICA!
                                               MAY ALL YOUR WISHES COME TRUE   

                                                                        LOVE, GRAMMY     

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Whoosh! Summer Is Over in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

The kids have gone back to school, the decorations for all the Independence festivities are up on the streets of San Miguel and so, it's time to look forward to Fall.

                                                          First day of school - 2019!

We have had lush rain..........the gardens are exquisitely emerald green along with colorful flowers galore.

 The  hummingbirds love the blooming salvia and zip around so busy!  While the bees are busy in the lavender that stretches across the flower bed in front of the house. Always something to see.

 I've been working on adding flower beds in spaces where there was bare dirt.  I can view this blooming begonia bed, in the above photo,  from my living room as I sit to meditate in the morning.

The doves are my "watch birds" when I'm in watching TV in the evening.  One in particular sits on the limb and looks in at me each and every evening.  There has been plenty of mating, therefore, I'm hoping to possibly see babies sometime in the near future.

The kids have been to the beach, to see Matilda's new horse near CDMX along with all kinds of fun activities in SMA such as birthday parties, swimming and just chillin'.

                                      Maddox's 11th Birthday~Sebastian swinging away below
                                                             Waterfalls in Mexico

It went so fast this year!  Today is September 1.  Wowza.

With our fabulous weather in San Miguel in the summer, there is no place I would rather be.  This morning temps were 51F and it will probably get up to about 78F this afternoon.  The rains come about 5:30 in the evenings and sometimes, if we are lucky, it rains all night.  Truly grateful every
day for this weather and my life with family and friends.

Hope you have had a great summer?  I know in the USA football season is coming up.  Then holidays and fun times.  What plans do you have for the Fall months?

Me, "living in the moment", have none yet!  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Worst Meal in FIFTY Years!

I did not feel like going through old Picasa files to post photos of many of the outstanding and delicious meals that I have had in San Miguel and other places over the last fifty years.  Suffice
to say, I don't miss too many meals, especially good ones.

Ninety-nine percent of the time I'm easy to please.  Besides, often I go to my favorite restaurants
and know what I like the most on the menu of that particular restaurant. 

Back in the day, in my culinary world in the USA, I had many la-de-da meals and can't remember one
that wasn't delicious.  But, you can give me a good breakfast or delicious reuben and I'm happy too.

Fast forward to last week.  I was invited to lunch at the Rosewood.  I had not been there in many years since they first opened.  That time too was an invitation.  I was going with anticipation to see
what their lunch menu was, how the presentation was, what the prices were and lastly, but not leastly,
how was the service along with the tastiness of the meal.

They failed on all counts.  ALL.  Once we finally got a menu, the prices were eye popping even for a bowl of Sopa Azteca or a salad or two Baja tacos!  There were three other tables of people in the whole restaurant as we arrived at 1PM.  Finally we got our iced tea and lemonade. Then it was much longer until we received our order of Baja tacos for my friend and Sopa Azteca for me. 

I must tell you I have never seen or tasted soup that did not taste at all as it should.  It was more like a tomato soup with crushed and shredded toasted tortillas on top.  I ate a bit, but not much.  Highly unusual for me.  At a cost of 145 pesos for a bowl of soup, I hated to waste it but it was not edible.
My friend only ate one of her tacos.  The waiter did not come back to refresh our drinks so we could not ask him to remove the dishes we were not eating.  In fact, it was about 45 minutes before we received a dessert of a bowl of ice cream that we ordered to share. The service was non-existent.

Two hours and ten minutes after arriving, we were leaving hungry.  To add insult to injury, I presented my valet parking ticket to be stamped and the waiter informed me that we had stayed ten minutes longer then the free valet parking and would have to pay for another hour of valet parking. 

No, we did not say a word.  We paid around 700 pesos for the tacos, the soup and two drinks and ice cream.  We left and as we got in my car, we both swore we would never return to dine there.

There are so many excellent grand, elegant, simple and tasty restaurants in and around San Miguel that truly I'm still shocked at the experience we had at Rosewood.  Obviously it is a "tourist" restaurant and they don't care if you ever return!

Be forewarned.