Saturday, December 09, 2017

Snow in Mexico - lots of it

I have not posted since the one about the furniture for sale as my desktop computer bit the dust on a Saturday night a week ago.  Aaargh.  The computer guy took it to see what he could save and called
once to say it is a "mess" and then no other words.  I'm not optimistic.  

I'm now writing on the laptop which I cannot type fast on, so this IS a labor of love and aggravation.

The excitement around here is the cold, the amount of snow just two hours north of here and the
fact that as I write this, the highway 57 from Laredo to San Miguel is shut down!  Of course, I have
friends supposedly arriving tomorrow who are driving.  I'm so hoping that my email to them reaches them before they attempt to cross the border.

The photos that I have seen show eighteen wheelers backed up for as far as the eye can see!  Yikes.

And, just in case you want to know, YES, it is as cold as "a rat's ass in Alaska" here.  Twenty-six on the downstairs thermometer this morning at 8:30AM!  Brrr.  Sixty-one F. inside the house.  YES, my nose and hands are cold.

But, the solution is to go outside and sit in the sun to thaw.  I'm going to do that in just a minute or two.  Just thought you would want to know how things south of the border are fairing.

One word - COLD!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Exquisite Furniture Sale in San Miguel de Allende

Anyone who has attempted to find quality made custom furniture here in San Miguel has found it to be an adventure. 

There are a couple of good consignment shops and a couple of quality stores with good quality furniture at very expensive prices.

Most of us here wait for Estate Sales and sometimes Garage Sales.  However, most expats sell their houses furnished, so finding  really, really beautiful things is a test of patience and determination.

Well, a friend of mine is selling a GREAT quantity of exquisite furniture made in Mexico City.
The finest of the fine.  Photos below are just some of the items of furniture, art and bronzes.

                                           Beautiful hand rubbed finish on the table and chairs
                                          Slip covered three seater sofa with beautiful frame
                                               Traditional Mexican chair covered in leather
                                                                   Antique armoire
                                                                Lyre back arm chair
                                                       Comfortable rocker
                                              Comfortable and beautiful Queen Anne chair
                                               Barley twist arm chair with beautiful fabric
                                        TWO custom made white sofas in very good condition

                                                                     A bronze
                                                            Nicely framed art
                                                            Exquisite piece
                                                        All iron headboards are custom made
                                                          Custom made armoire

                                                               Another bronze
                                                                    More art
 Believe it or not, this is just a sampling.  In addition there are more tables and chairs, a leather sleeper sofa in black, bedside tables. There are bed linens, lamps and a washer and dryer.  You will just have to call and set up an appointment with Carmen to go to her home and see all of it.  The prices, believe me, are incredibly reasonable.

Carmen is taking calls to set up appointments to see everything.  The appointments will begin on
Wednesday and go on until ALL is sold.  Carmen's phone number is 552-106-8070.  Yes, this is
a Mexico City cell phone but Carmen lives in SMA.  If you are calling from a land line phone you
will put 01 in front of the number.  If you are calling from the USA, dial 011521552-1068070.  Note
the 1 after 01152.  Hopefully this will work!!!  Prices WILL NOT be given out over the phone as it is not even finished being priced............

Carmen will be waiting for your call and to set up an appointment with you.  I promise that you won't be disappointed in the beauty or quality of anything she is selling.  Wish I could have photographed all of it.........

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Daily Life in Mexico.........especially San Miguel de Allende

The other day, as I left the sanctuary of my gardens, to head down the hill to centro, the first thing I saw was that the primary school across the road was having a grand celebration of the upcoming holiday honoring The Revolution.

I knew something was going on at 8AM as I heard the six boys and multiple others practicing their bugle playing and drumming in preparation for the big parade on Monday - supposedly starting at 9AM  I say supposedly because I can assure you it will be near 11AM before it gets to the jardin.

Anyway, the boys have been attempting to play the same tune in synchronization for the last three weeks after school, but playing at 8AM, I knew something was up. The drummers are all over the place and never beating the drums at the same time.  I'll look for them on Monday as that is the day that the little children dress up like Pancho Villa and crew to march along.

Honoring the Revolution is a big deal in Mexico.  It is when the reign of Porfirio Diaz ended and the haciendas were turned over to the people beginning in 1911 virtually ending the slavery of the people of Mexico.  Hard to realize that Mexico did not reach real independence until 1917 - only 100 years ago.  THAT explains a lot.

 I no longer can walk down the hill, so I drive and park in the same lot on Mesones every time.  Even though the door is always closed to not allow more cars, they always open it for me!  Secret - I bake home made cookies for the men who work there and give them tiny gifts of food at Christmas.  They take good care of me and I treasure them.  As I left the car, the man who gives me the ticket had a new pal with him, the dog above.  I had such a chuckle when I realized that instead of a fancy store bought sweater, he had taken a regular shirt, shortened it and put it on the dog.  When I saw the dog wandering around, I said "sit" and he obediently did so and I took the photo.  To be honest, I could have taken him home with me if it would have been possible.  Look at that face......
 I head to the jardin to my favorite bench when I do go down to centro.  As you know, I like to sit and watch the world go by.  Lotsa tourists in town for the three day weekend.  The previous night the taxi
drivers who took me somewhere were bemoaning the fact that on Friday, all the tourists would be arriving again.  They have.  I've been told there is not a hotel room available this weekend!

When the tourists are coming, the hat guys are there to sell hats to them.  It would be interesting to know how many of those things they sell in a day!  I bet it would be an astronomical number.  That, along with the balloon man, who always has to go back for more balloons in the afternoon. 

 As I was sitting there, a little girl went cartwheeling through the jardin.  I don't know if you can see her arms above the bench.  She went from one end to the other and then.........
 turned around and went the other way.  That's her getting up from a cartwheel in the photo below.
Notice, no one is paying attention.  Hilarious.
 As I was heading home later that afternoon, another scene caught my eye.  It was the guys and gals dressed up as chickens who dance around and wave at people in front of Pollo Feliz, a local chicken
restaurant, that is loved by the locals.  Obviously they were having a conference or something and no antics were going on.   The parking lot at Pollo Feliz, which is the largest restaurant parking lot in San Miguel, was packed with cars.
Life is NEVER dull in Mexico or San Miguel for sure!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I Am GLAD I AM A Woman!

Yes, I'm GLAD I'm a Woman, because we are ALLOWED to change our minds!  Actually, all of you changed my mind.  

I have been inundated with phone calls, emails, people stopping me on the street and, of course, the comments on the blog post about having nothing left to say.  It has been an eye-opening experience.

I had no idea that the blog, or my writing, has had such an impact on so many.  From the decisions to travel to San Miguel, move to San Miguel, move to Mexico, or to enjoy the antics of Matilda and has all touched my heart.

A funny thing also happened in the ensuing days since I wrote that post.  I saw something - it's the photo above of Bella, the Basset Hound laying in the middle of the sidewalk in the jardin.  I snapped
the photo thinking, "Oh gosh, that is such a photo of what it is to "just be" in Mexico.  And, then I
had a momentary mental pause when I realized that I was no longer going to be sharing these little
scenes with all of you.

The photo above says a lot.  It's about the pace in Mexico.  It's about the tolerance of others in Mexico.  People walk around Bella and no one thinks any of it.  It's about the serenity that Bella
feels safe enough to lay there, unless of course, someone happens to bring her a treat.

Yes, as all of you know I love Mexico.  I love San Miguel and my life.  And now, I'm grateful to
each of you for letting me know that the blog along with your coffee in the morning is how you start your day.

Here's another photo that I took of the fields of cosmos that were everywhere recently.  
Have a great day!  Stay tuned.  I've been making lists of things that I want to write about.  Sometimes sweet, sometimes uplifting and maybe in the future, even edgy!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Nothing Left to Say.............

 These photos were taken about six weeks ago of the fields of wildflowers that were on my frequent route to wherever.
 It seems that my life has been a "route to wherever" often.  I'm kind of at that point now.  In the past, I wanted to share with you the tribulations and sometimes the trials of life in Mexico or whatever, but
right now I want to be quiet. 
 It seems that after eleven years of writing this blog in hopefully, an uplifting and positive way, I've reached the end of my writing road.
I'm more then appreciative of all your emails, phone calls and comments about how much you have enjoyed the blog.  I'm grateful for the gifts, the cards and your many kindnesses, to put it mildly.

When my son was in college, he backpacked through Europe one summer.  When he returned I asked him what impressed him the most about Europe.  His immediate response was that the people did not talk unless they had something to say!  Very astute comment, I thought then.........and now.  It's time
for me to go.

If I change my mind and have something to say again, I'll be back.  In the meantime, if you have questions about moving here, driving here, what to do when you are here in San Miguel or in other parts of Mexico and Guatemala, just put it in the search box on the right side of the blog and voila, hopefully there will be some helpful information.

See you on down the road..................

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Smoked n Low is the Way to Go!

Today is a blustery, chilly, cloudy and windy day.  Just like the weather was last Wednesday when I made a beeline out the Delores Hwy to check out the new BBQ  joint.

Don Day had written about it the previous week but by the time I read the article on his blog (which is the string of blogs down the right side of Babsblog), the place was not open.  It IS open Wednesday through Saturday however.  I was taking no chances and headed out the first day that I could get there
to taste brisket, ribs and good sides.

When I say it was blustery and chilly, I am understating it.  By the time I left, it was raining! That's okay as I had requested an order of ribs to take home for my family.  Therefore there was a chance later to savor one or two with sides made at home.

Luckily in the comments on Don Day's blog, a reader had said that it was hard to turn immediately in front of the food truck as there was a deep lip to the road and to go down to La Burger, the next door neighbor to Smoked n Low BBQ, and turn left there and then drive on the shoulder to Smoked n Low.

I did.
 As you enter the lot surrounded by a stone wall and lots of flags, one is greeted not only by the sight
of many picnic tables just waiting for customers but the gosh darnedest big smoker that I've seen in a long time.  Woo hoo, this was going to be good. 
 It had been waaaaay too long since I had had good barbeque - four months to be exact - when I was last in Houston!  BBQ is king there and I love having not only the BBQ but the sides.

The last time I had had good BBQ in San Miguel was when Longhorn on Ancha de San Antonio was open.  It was a great place to hang out, have a great brisket sandwich with potato salad and beans and chat with friends.  There was always someone there that I knew.

For one, it was Keith Thompson, who I had met when he first landed in SMA and had a hotel and restaurant.  We had/have mutual friends in Houston where he came from, me too.  He ended his hotel and restaurant days and started over with a little place in a parking lot that eventually morphed into a brick and mortar place called Longhorn.  All of us Texans and others were happy to have a casual place to drop into for every day good food. 

It has been a loss that many talk about to this day, when Longhorn no longer was serving the BBQ
of Keith's touch.

Well, guess what?  Diego Bautista is the owner and entrepreneur of Smoked n Low BBQ but Keith was sitting at one of the tables.  He told me he counsels and suggests things to Diego about what expats want in their BBQ.  It's a match made in heaven.

The tricked out Food Truck is quite a piece of work as you can see in the photo above of Diego.  What a nice young man who seems to love what he is doing.  He has grand plans.  He also is offering catering and special event catering.   We chatted for quite a while.
Finally, I could wait no longer and ordered the plate of brisket and ribs with two sides.  Nope they did not have beans or potato salad, so I selected mac and cheese and coleslaw.  The short ribs were meaty and good.  The brisket was not enough, but that will be remedied next time with a request for more then one small slice!  Good flavor and very tender.  There was no sauce on either the ribs or brisket so I could determine that they were tender and flavorful.

Sorry, but the sides left a lot to be desired.  Hopefully, hopefully, they will add potato salad and beans to their sides.  Others have agreed.  Not enough choice in the sides.

But, it is a relatively new operation and there is always a learning curve.  Having designed and built restaurants (well over 100 of them) in the twenty years that I had my firm, I know that you can never judge a food service operation by one visit, especially when they have not been opened for long.

I'm looking forward to going back out in a few weeks when the weatherman says it will be a warm, sunny day to eat outside, and I'll check it all out again............

In the meantime, here is some info you might want to have.  Telephone 442 247-2489.  They are on Facebook at smokednlow and they even have a website.  They are at KM 7.4 on the way to Delores.

See ya'll out there SOON!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

IF you want to know the REAL TRUTH, Listen to a Seven Year Old!

 If you ever want a straight answer and a reality check, have a grandchild spend the night!  It is always astonishing to me the insight that little kids have into life and everyday incidents.

On the earthquakes - "That's why I'm going to be a scientist, so I can understand when those things
are going to happen before they do.
On the hurricanes - "Ditto"
On the massacre in Las Vegas - "That man was really angry, really sad and really lonely"
On the bulldozer outside the dining room window, desecrating the hillside, and the old cactus that
must be at least fifty years old, "That should be against the law".
We discussed a lot of things in the time Sebastian was here.  He ate and ate and ate.  I cooked and cooked and cooked.  WHERE in the world does a little guy like him put that much food?  Although
I must admit, while he was watching cartoons on Saturday morning, I took this photo and realized his
legs ARE getting much longer.
 The weekend was a triumph for him.  He beat me twice at the card game "Go Fish".  He demonstrated to me that he can hit a ball just as good left handed as right handed. At the same time he told me that that means he is a switch hitter.   We played an awkward game of tennis with a shuttlecock in the garden until we lost the shuttlecock.  He said he was using geometry, so help me, to find it.  He did.

One of the other fun things for both of us was looking at family photos that he had never seen.

Photos of his dad saving dolphins when he worked with US Parks and Wildlife; photos of many family Christmases in Houston before he was born; photos of cousins as babies and photos of he
and Matilda as babies.  His exclamations and questions were a delight.  The most excited he got
was when I showed him a photo of a family reunion at my brother's 70th birthday in 2003 when lots of cousins came from all over.  Seb was thrilled to know he has LOTS of cousins even though he has not met many of them. 

It is a treat to see things through the eyes of children.  There is no filter.  Like when Seb exclaimed that his Uncle Rich had hair and dark hair at that!  Or a photo of me probably thirty years ago and he exclaimed about how young I was............I chuckle now just thinking about it.

As we went to sleep on Friday night, he was talking about all the family and about the fact that he is going to grow up to be a scientist............then there was no more talking.  I knew he was asleep and I also knew that he was still holding my hand.  Ahhh, the joys of being a Grammy.