Monday, November 19, 2018

The "Promised" Photos

It has been absolutely astonishing to me how many people have come up and commented about the fact that I have moved recently to a new home.  It leaves me speechless for a moment or two, until I
think to exclaim about how happy I am.  I truly am!

Finally, after patiently waiting for a new cable to arrive that connects my camera to the computer, it
is now possible to share the reason of my happiness.

Several of you have asked to see photos and when are photos coming, so here we go.

 The house and rooms feel larger then they are because of the twelve foot ceilings and the amount of windows and doors.  IF I did not have furniture in front of the windows/doors, the whole front of the house could be opened to the front porch.  Way cool.  Instead there are screened windows that can be
opened for air and breezes........and to let the warm air in on cold days.  Yes, we have already had a few of those last week.  Lows of 30F! first thing in the morning.  Brrr.

Above is the dining area which is immediately to the right of the front door.
 This little table with decorative items is to the immediate left of the door.  It is a convenient place to put keys, gate opener and my sunglasses.  The table itself can serve double duty if needed for serving or whatever.  I purchased this sooooooooooo long ago at Wreck Hill near Round Top, Texas.  Still love it and it has always served a useful purpose. 
 More big windows in the kitchen area.  The counter surface has a unique shape.  Sebastian, my grandson says it is a great place for playing cards!  Notice I have REAL cabinets and drawers.  An experience I have not had since moving to Mexico.  I had open shelving in the other house. 
 For those of you who have read the blog for a long time and commiserated with me over the fact that I had no stove with an oven - just a six burner cooktop and a counter top toaster oven, NOW I have two ovens - the one in the stove and I kept the toaster oven for small casseroles or whatever.  One of the great things, it seems to me, is the fact that there is a giant sky light above the cabinetry which adds sunshine and warmth daily.  Yes, the kitchen is a delight.
 Another piece of furniture that serves many functions.  Storage, a desk and of course, a sweet piece.  It was purchased here in San Miguel from the people who lived in this house previously, long before I even knew I was moving here!  The karma of this move is a story in and of itself.
This is a photo of the seating area in the large open living/dining and kitchen area.  If some of you "sharp eyed" people notice the grey sideboard, it, in the previous house was pine.  I had it stripped and painted grey.  The same color as the grey fabric pillows.  It gives it a new twist.


 The bedroom, off to itself and entered through double doors with frosted glass windows is sizeable.
Because of that, I was able to create three different areas.  The shelving behind my bed was at the other house and my "handy dandy" painter took it in his pickup truck and painted it the same color as the walls.  Using the vertical space, with the twelve foot high ceilings makes it feel cozy.

And, all designers know that tables with cloths can hide a multitude of things.  The table to the right of the bed has the grandchildren's toy box underneath it!  All they have to do, is pull it out when they are here!  Plenty of play room.
 This is a view of the closets and the view into the living area.  Lots of good seating in the bedroom with many views out the big palladium windows.



It was fun to take some furniture that was in the guest house and the furniture in my house to combine and use in different ways.  The old antique bamboo desk is now a table to use for makeup or writing letters or whatever.  I have had that piece of furniture since the late 1960's.  Still love it.

 Then the last area is where my computer is located along with a dresser with clothes.  Behind the curtained area, which goes the entire length of the room, and is four feet deep is storage for all kinds of things.  Crafts, art projects, sewing, decorations and the stereo as well as a mounted TV screen in that corner. 
 As if the inside is not wonderful enough, here is the porch right outside the front door.  It is a joy to spend time out here reading, eating, listening to music or working on the plants.  I've done quite a bit
of that and do have some plans for the flower beds that are here with no flowers in them.  One will be a rose garden with the bird bath in it.  Another will just be all kinds of flowers.........Yes, a dear friend said I would love working in the gardens but at the time I doubted it.  Now I know that she knew me better then I know myself!
 This view is looking from where you step up to go to the front door down at the end.  I've positioned a little round table there with three chairs.  Several times I have eaten out there.  The window in the far right of this photo is the window that looks into and out of the bedroom area.
 Looking out are glorious trees.  The Norfolk pine has to be at least 80 ft high, a huge flame tree and a giant palm.  Add to that a lemon tree and a peach tree along with a bourganvilla that reaches to the top of the wall with fuscia blooms.
The previous owners had these planter boxes made.  I'm so glad that there was an opportunity to buy them and leave them right where they had intended for them to be and where I enjoy them all the time.


 This little building houses an outdoor bano for when one is entertaining or the kids are out playing or whatever.  Very clever, I think.   Then there is another building that houses the laundry facilities. A washer and dryer.  That is the building in this next photo. 
You can see a bit of the Norfolk pine and the flame tree.  Right past that is a paved area to park
the car.  I also have many plants out there.  

Another factor that adds to the enjoyment of this house is the fact that only to the right of this house is there another dwelling.  I get views of the sunset and the sky from several windows.  Something that I enjoy immensely.

It's a new season.  No stairs is huge.  I'm happy to report that I absolutely have no more pain in my back or knees.  All this has happened in less two months.  A true gift.

Yes, I'm still walking with a cane because I am still having balance issues, but I am working on that!

There are other things that I want to share, but I'll save that for other posts.  Now, you, my family and my friends can see where I live.  It was the RIGHT move in more ways then one.

By the way, if you are reading this and live in Los Frailes, please let me know.  I would love to get together with you now that I'm on this side of town.  If you cannot figure out how to comment, my email address is babsofsanmiguel@yahoo.com.

Onward!



Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Silk Remembrance in Hand from The Great War

No medals or photos do I have, but delightfully, I do have a silk, tiny light blue handkerchief that my grandfather William Markley brought back from The Great War, or World War I, as we now call it.

It is faded although it has been kept in a box by me for at least forty years since my mother gave  her collection of handkerchiefs along with this treasure to me.

The treasure part is not the value of it in dollar terms, but the  possibilities and wondering what
the story was as to how my Grandfather was able to secure such a delicate item to bring to my grandmother along with the fact that it has survived. 

The handkerchief is soft,  light blue silk surrounded by beautiful lace and says Souvenir de France.  It is a wonder that it has survived 100 years! 

It would be a treat to share a photo with you, but I still do not have the cable that was ordered from
Amazon.  The cable will connect my camera to the computer and I'll be able to post photos again.
Word via email came late on Friday that it is in San Miguel.  Therefore, I'll pick it up on Monday and share a belated photo with you.

Back to my grandfather.  We only met once.  He lived in Arizona and was born in Farmington, New Mexico. In fact, his family had the first Navajo Trading Post. This fact was not known to me until a trip to Gallup, New Mexico for the Intertribal ceremonies and traveling on to Durango, Colo. A stop in Farmington at a museum was a grand surprise.  There in the museum was a replica of the Markley Trading Post.                                                                                                                                   


 Although he and my grandmother had  been divorced since my mother was about ten, he came for my grandmother's funeral in Shreveport, La.  It was a brief visit with no chance for conversation that I can remember.  I was a young teen, fourteen years old, according to the Family Bible.

Also, in that Bible, it says that my grandfather and grandmother married in 1908, so this could have been a "love" gift from him to her when he returned.  Who knows?  But, that is the intriguing part.

Looking at this small piece of silk cloth, there are a million possibilities of what the story is about this small token of love and life...........one hundred years ago.

On this anniversary of the armistice of World War I, my thoughts also go to all the relatives, my father, uncles, brother and husband, among others who have fought during other times of war.  IF only there would be no more wars and we could all live in peace and harmony.  Imagine!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

"Life is a Gift but it has Diminishing Returns"

The title is a quote from Eric Idle.  He is the Monty Python Merry Prankster.  I have never seen Monty Python or heard of Mr. Idle, but his  quote in, of all things, the AARP Bulletin, has resonated with me for many days.




Confession time.  Seldom in the past have I read this publication.  It would arrive and it seemed I
was always too busy to read it.  Hence, I would set it on the stack of other publications until I would
then throw them away after a while - never read!

Well, I'm here to tell you that this issue was all about voting and I read it from cover to cover.  It would not be possible to quote off the top of my head from any of the other articles, but this one
has made me chuckle and ruminate on another comment made by the author.

A paragraph began "It's not about you anymore.  You don't matter.  And that takes the pressure off of having to be successful or earn a lot of money."  Wowza, that stopped me in my tracks.  Never have I thought of this time in my life from that angle.  He goes on to say, "You're at the edge of your life at every moment. And as you get older, it's become more imperative to appreciate that."

Amen and hallelujah.  Someone put into words the feelings that have been floating around in my head for the last year and a half.

Guess it is time to kick up our heels and to do whatever we want or go wherever we want because we are at some point on the precipice of extinction.  A very liberating thought, don't you think?

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!