Sunday, October 14, 2018

Silence is Golden

In the past, many friends who lived on the outskirts of San Miguel would talk about how quiet it was where they lived.  I had sort of a ho-hum attitude about that because I thought where I lived was extremely quiet. 

Well, it used to be, before they started the construction of the Aqua Hotel using jackhammers, bulldozers and other assorted noise making equipment.  Add to that the new street, called Cuahtemoc, which used to be a dirt walking path.  It abuts the bedroom wall of my now "previous" home.  The point is, it came in increments along with the new pavilion and the fact that someone discovered that sending off the fireworks from right behind the house caused an echo effect.  The worst, literally, in eighteen years, was my last night in the house before the movers came at O-dark-thirty the next morning.  Every thirty minutes, starting at 9:30PM to the point that at about 3:30AM, I opened the door and yelled "Alto".  Never had I done such a thing before.  It was a waste of breath as in about five more minutes more went off and shook the house.

Reluctantly I moved to the outskirts, truly.  I was not sure what to expect but what I did not expect was the absolute silence, with the exception of birds during the day, that I have experienced in the almost three weeks that I have been here.  The first night I could not sleep.  It was SO quiet.  All I could hear was the refrigerator going on and off on the other side of the house in the kitchen! 

It is an unexpected gift.  A welcome one that I did not even know I wanted or needed.
I do believe that I have finally found my "retirement" home!  That may sound strange to most of you.  After all, I have not "worked" since I came to San Miguel.  But, au contraire.  There were so many things to take care of, everything, for both houses including paying all the bills for utilities and everything along with maintenance and more.  NOW, I have nothing.  Nada.  It is ALL taken care of.
I'm ecstatic.

Not only about that, but about the house itself.  It has twelve foot ceilings which give a "loft" feel to the space.  Huge floor to ceiling windows in each room which gives spectacular views of the yard, the trees and the wildlife.  No, the wildlife does not include the resident skunk from before or the coatamundi or the feral cats.  But, I'm happy to report a squirrel or two, doves galore, hummingbirds flitting everywhere and other birds that I have not yet identified.  Oh yes, and egrets were dancing on the skylights the other night.  No way I could imagine what the sound was, until I looked up in surprise.

The neighbor who lives on the second floor is a delight.  So quiet and thoughtful.  He's a computer geek, his expression, not mine.  I forget he is up there because he makes not a sound, at all.

Can you sense my joy, in every word?  It is because I was so worried that I might be making a mistake.  I can categorically tell you, it is all good, no mistake.

The inside is just about ready to photograph.  Art is being hung tomorrow evening.  Something I can no longer do - climbing on a ladder, darn.  I'll share photos when it is ready.

Thanks to all of you who wrote to me during my angst and exhaustion of the marathon move.  It did help temendously.  Thankfully that is over and now we can go on to more fun adventures and posts on more interesting topics. 

Thankfully.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The "Last Gasp" on the Hill

It occurred to me that since I have no idea when the satellite is turned off and my computer is disconnected, how long it will be before I'm able to communicate with the world again.  Better
get a post off before that occurs.

So here it is.  The twenty one days of appointments to sell furniture is over.  The HUGE sale yesterday was very successful and the door to the guest house is closed and locked until after the move on Tuesday.  Then I'll address the left over art, linens, books and a few more little items.
I'll get a charity over here to pick it all up by the weekend or whatever.

Then it will be a "forward looking" operation.

Someone will enjoy the fruits of my labors in my gardening endeavors.  It was fun while it lasted.


There were so many people at the sale yesterday and as always, some memorable moments.  The grown children who were age 7,6,5,4,3,2 and 1 when I moved in came to see me.  Their Mom was at work but they wanted to buy furniture and other assorted items.  They did.  Then we sat and talked about all the kites I used to bring them from Texas so they did not have to use garbage bags to make kites.  I was thrilled that they remembered.  The oldest, now 25, remembered all the little toys that I used to bring back and then we would sit on the curb and play.  Must admit, I got choked up while talking to them.  The kids lost their dad to cancer about five years ago. One of the finest families that I have ever had the privilege to know.  I'll miss them.

So many stories, so little time.

See you on down the road, or to be more exact, on the other side of San Miguel!


Sunday, September 16, 2018

A "Bunch" of Bloggers

What happens when more then one or two bloggers get together?  More fun then a barrel of monkeys.

It happened a couple of weeks ago when Steve of Mexpatriate fame who lives in Barra de Navidad was here in San Miguel for a month.

We gathered with  Billie of Reservations for One along with Al of Rancho Santa Clara and his husband Stew, myself and Steve.

A recording of the conversation would have been a hoot.  We covered so many topics of conversation that my head spins just thinking about it.
You CAN click on the photo if you want to see us up close......  Left to right, in the photo is Steve, Stew, yours truly, Billie standing and last but certainly not least Al.

I think we have all "known" each other for about fifteen years.  Billie and I perhaps longer.  It is like
"Old Home Week" when we can gather together as we did that Sunday. 

Our delicious luncheon meal turned into at least two hours of laughter and conversation.  It is an interesting phenomena to meet  people who write posts and compare notes.  It is also fascinating that
each blog writer has his or her own style. 

All I can say is it sure was delightful to see these friends and to giggle and laugh along with discussing  all the funny and interesting topics that crossed our minds.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

On the Downhill Side - Literally!

When I move to the Fracciomento, Los Frailes, I will be about 400 ft lower in elevation!  So, literally,
I am going down hill.

It has been an interesting, stressful and exhausting fifteen days of packing and staging everything for the GRAND sale that has been going on every day except Sundays since the first of the month.

Everything has been done by appointment so that I'm not inundated with people which I could not
handle alone.

Thankfully two magnificent friends came one day and one labeled everything (and I do mean everything) in both houses while another came that afternoon to price things.  I had already made
a price list of the BIG furniture items, but there is so much more then that.

It was not apparent to me that there is so much art, books, decorative items like Mexican folkart, dishes, kitchen stuff and still drapes and curtains.  On the Civil List I mentioned that I had ceiling fans to sell and was totally shocked at the outpouring of people who wanted a ceiling fan!  Who knew?  Problem is, I don't have anyone to take them down, so I have put that scenario on hold until I find someone to do that.

It is a great sociological study to see what people buy or don't buy even though that was what they initially say they are coming for.........People are fascinating.

I've met several people who live in the area where I am going - the hinterlands.  But, it gives me a
small glimmer of hope that all will be well.

One of the most unexpected experiences has been nearly everyone who has come to the sale exclaims about the gardens and wanders around enjoying the beauty.  Others exclaim about the house with the stone walls and arches.  Others exclaim about the views.  Most ask "Why are you leaving such a beautiful place?"  To put it mildly, that has not helped my psyche.  But, I'm pushing myself downhill.

Here are some of the things still here for the sale.  There will be a public sale on September 22nd from 10AM til 2PM.  Then whatever is left, if worth it, will go to a consignment store or to Alma, who has a large sale once a month to fund the Old People's Home here in San Miguel.


                                                                                                                2 barstools SOLD


And, a few more things that I'm surprised have not sold as yet.  Three more shopping days before the Public sale.  To come and buy, email me at babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com for appointment Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday..............of this coming week.

                                                                                                                          Coffee Table SOLD


I'll either see you up here on the hill or "down the road" after September.  Happy  Trails!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

HUGE San Miguel de Allende Furniture and all Furnishings Sale NOW - By appointment ONLY

A herculean task has been completed.  All the items for the giant sale of two houses furnishings have been labeled and priced.  From a sectional sofa down to extra silverware to all kinds of kitschy and needed items have a label and a price.  To me, it is truly amazing.  Two thousand square feet of stuff.
Wow!

Here are some of the items that I have photographed:

 Custom pine armoire from Patzcuaro.  Place for TV (which is for sale) and drawers for clothes or whatever.  6000 pesos or $300USD.
 Custom made cabinet for storage - Also from Patzcuaro.  6000 pesos or $300USD.

Evos wheat colored sleeper sectional sofa, US made.  SO comfortable.  Can be used in present configuration or split apart.  The chaise could be used in another room and the center piece is the queen bed, which also could be somewhere else.  The sofa under the painting could be used separately.  So someone could furnish many rooms for the price of 30,000 pesos or $1500USD.
Sofa was recently professionally cleaned and is in near perfect condition.  No rips, no stains - only
comfort.   SOLD

Many decorative items.  Come and buy.  Many things are one of a kind and you will never see anything like it again such as the Catrina on the kitchen counter made by the Great Master toy maker, Gumercindo.
                                                                                                                    SOLD
                                                           The trunks are great for storage.SOLD
                   Beautifully woven with straw are two barstools, one in red and another in yellow.
       SOLD                    Catrina made by Gumercindo for me.  She will bring a smile to your face.
                                       
                                                Paintings from Tonala purchased in the 1980's
 SOLD                    Famous Georgia O'Keefe poster brought from Chimayo, New Mexico
                                 And, an old ox yoke used as a pots and pan holder in the kitchen

These photos are from just one house.  In the other house is a queen size bed, two bedside cabinets with a drawer and cabinet.  An orange chest of drawers and much much more..........

Two televisions, SOLD     two refrigerators SOLD one only six months old.  Drapes, linens, everything you need to set up a kitchen.  Too much to list.  Surely you will find much that you want and need.

Contact me by email at babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com to set up an appointment from now til it is all sold.  Onward!


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Imagine!

Imagine having been a prisoner of war.  Imagine being 6'3" and sleeping with your limbs pulled up behind your torso because you were kept in a five foot cage for six years.  Imagine the brutality of
your captors over all those years.  Imagine not losing your mind, but, rather, in your mind, building
an imaginary building, one brick at a time one day.  And, then the next day, tearing it down one brick at a time until the next day when you rebuilt it, as a way not to lose your mind.

Just imagine!  I knew a man who experienced that horrific life.  I saw him sleeping with his limbs behind his torso.  I can tell you that this former Navy Seal, head of his team, seldom talked about his experiences, humilitation or abuse.  He did not have to.  It was apparent every day in his limp and his need for quiet a lot of time and no loud noises.

Many things in the current administration in Washington have caused me great sadness and anger, but
the demeaning of John McCain by the current president has been, to me, the lowest of the low. 

It has all been brought home in the last hours, as the tributes to John McCain and the photo footage of
this man have been on TV for us to share in his life story.  He was the first to talk about his flaws, his failures and all of that, but he also was one of the great patriots of our generation.  His ability to overcome his capture, to not harbor rancor and anger at his captors, speaks volumes about his character irrespective of all the other accomplishments in his political life.

So, just IMAGINE what he and so many POWs and Veterans went through in all the wars that we have participated in.  For anyone to cast aspersions on even one single veteran, to me, is the height of disgusting.  And, then, for it to be the President of the USA who was a draft dodger sends my red hair flaming.............

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Traveling down Memory Lane.........without leaving Home!

One of the unexpected pleasures (if there are any) of moving is discovering or seeing things that have not seen the light of day for quite a while.

Like eighteen years in a few cases.  In that case, it was a whole package of flamingo drinking straws with little puffy flamingos clinging to the straw. Originally purchased for a party - now they DO need to be used.  They are paper, not plastic.

Boxes are being packed.  Items are being set aside For Sale.  It is happening.  One day at a time.
Slowly, but surely.

Interestingly, as I have looked around at all to sell, many memories have returned of the acquisition of this item or that.  EVERYTHING has a story.  Seldom are things purchased in a store, but, rather
from the individual which provides rich and evocative thoughts.

Take the first item that I am reluctantly relinquishing.......An assemblage by Anado.  It was purchased ten years ago when he was just beginning to make a name for himself.  It is so detailed and delightful to look at, especially since the angel twirls and the old bakery case adds an eclectic element to it.

When I saw it, I just had to have it.  Well, since then Anado has become quite a well known "outsider" artist with unique and quirky creations.  Nothing like this, which makes it very special to me.  In researching what to ask for it when I sell it in a few weeks. it was interesting to note that it had increased significantly in ten years.  So parting will be such sweet sorrow, but maybe the dollars will help to form a nest egg for upcoming necessities.  Hopefully the new owner will enjoy it each day as I and my grandchildren have...

Then there is Haitian art.  This is one of the signed pieces purchased from a Haitian man in Montrose in Houston over thirty years ago.  We talked about Haiti, why he had left and what he hoped to achieve in the USA.  Often, thoughts of that man cross my mind.  Now, especially after the earthquake in Haiti and the loss of so much old art, the four signed pieces I have by different old Haitian artists have increased in value as well.  At one point I did track down one of the artists and he now lives in NYC while making a living as an artist!
See what I mean?  The emotional attachment and the stories?  Remember the "paint by number" phase in the USA in the 40's and 50's?  That would be 1940 and 1950!  Well, my sister swears that
I did this painting.  She had it framed and sent it to me for my 65th birthday.  Truly there is no way
that I remember having done this.  But, no one argues with their big sister......It is time to pass it on.


The "hubcap woman", so named because her head looks like it was made out a hubcap is signed.  It was a gift from a dear
friend.

Not only her smile, but her gold wings, always make me smile as I walk by her on a daily basis.  Surely she will
bring a smile to her new owner.
This limited edition bronze by John Dawson, an internationally acclaimed artist who has been featured in many, many one man shows and art publications came to me when my involvement in
the Neurofibromatosis Foundation was an all consuming part of my life.  NF is often mis-identified
as Elephant Man's disease.  A friend's son had the disease and in the 1980's it seemed to me that I needed to get involved in finding a cure for this disease by volunteering to educate people about the disease.  Serving on the board of the state chapter was a labor of love.  Then when Children's Hospital in Boston identified the gene that causes the disease, it was a victory for all the thousands of people who have the disease and the volunteers and doctors working on a cure.  NF is more common then Muscular Dystrophy or Cystic Fibrosis but it is a "hidden" disease meaning many people do not go out in public, etc.  There has been much progress since the 80's.  Check it out online.  This explanation of the disease helps to explain why there is no face and a mask on the sculpture.  To me, it is very poignant.

So, each and every item is a walk down memory lane of a time in the past when something was acquired because it had a meaning to me.  If you notice, color seems to be a recurring theme, except for the bronze.

In the new house, color will be subdued.  With much less wall space and much less display space,  lots has to go.........it is time.

My loss is your gain.  It would be so wonderful if things that I have treasured would pass on to friends, blog readers and people who like these things.

Here is something that once I did purchase , the need to get it to San Miguel was quite a story.

It was purchased in Mexico City from "Victor" who procures museum quality items to sell to museums.  It is an extremely old "danced" headdress from El Tajin used by the Voladeros when they do their ceremonial dance while up on the pole on a tiny platform and then circle down to earth in many revolutions.  I have not been able to identify what bird the feathers are from, but it is quite a large piece.

Here is how it got to San Miguel.  A friend said her husband was flying into Mexico City and renting a car and driving to San Miguel.  She said he would not mind connecting with Victor in the Historical District and bringing the headdress to SMA.  He rented a small car, too small for the headdress, and had to go back to rent a bigger car so it would be able to sit upright in the back seat!  Can you imagine someone being nice enough to do that?  Well he did.  It sure adds to the magnetism of the piece.  Displayed better then I have done, it could be a "feature piece" spotlighted on a wall - especially if you like indigenous clothing.  It is a "one of a kind" piece.

Life is a greatly traveled road......especially at my age.  But, the fun is, I don't even have to leave home with all these memories to share with myself.........and you!

Stay tuned!