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.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

The Consequences of Inaction

When life gets to be too much I attempt to become a hermit and immerse myself in nature, good books and lovely music.

This past ten days have been that and more with the world situation and a couple of personal things
as well.

I'm like an old turtle, ducking my head in my shell, when there are too many emotional things to deal with on a day to day basis.

Yes, the massacres in Dayton and El Paso had a direct affect on my physche as I'm sure it did on most people.  It was almost beyond belief. Couple that with the fact that many copy cat things have also happened in the past weeks makes me question, "Will this ever end?".  Why all the talk?.  Decisive action needs to be taken to remove assault weapons from the landscape of the USA.  Period.  Since they have to be registered when purchased, supposedly, why not send out letters saying you have x number of days to turn these into the nearest police station or wherever and be done with it.

Too simplistic, well what they did in Australia was just recall ALL guns and then burned them in large piles.  New Zealand recalled weapons likewise.  Why can't the USA? The Second Amendment is bullshit and used by the gun lobby to muddy the waters.

Okay, so that is my say on the weapons of mass destruction.

Next is the treatment of the immigrants coming to the USA for asylum.Those who talk the loudest have more then likely never interacted with Hispanics, Central Americans or Mexicans.  I have.  I know them well.  I have seen their misery and their need to be in a safe place.  I won't go into all my
displeasures.  That would require a short story or book, but truly, the lack of humanity and integrity in how these human beings and families are being treated is beyond inhumane.  The UN says so and so do many countries.  Not to mention the 60% of the US population who is against what is happening to these people.  The breakup of the families makes me shake my head in disbelief.

The most important thing in the world to these people IS their families and their children!  The horror of this keeps me awake at night.  To see the children in Mississippi crying because there was no thought as to what would happen to them when their parents and guardians were detained, is unconscionable.

Yes, three hundred have been released with leg monitors on, but that leaves 370 whose children will probably never see their parents or guardians again.  Because, what they do is detain them.  They have no hearings but eventually one night they load them up and fly them to Dallas or somewhere and bus them to the border and drop them off on the Mexican side, with NO money and NO way to contact their families to let them know where they are.

Don't believe me?  Well, I've met enough of those who HAVE been deported to hear their stories.  The stories are the same and the trauma is still there even after a year or longer.  Can you imagine if that happened to you or your children?  Or anyone you know?

This is not the way.  This is not he USA that I lived in most of my life.  To have friends in the USA now who are afraid to take their children to school or go to work or even go to the grocery store.  It is
hard to believe that the streets of Austin, Houston, little towns in Mississippi and who knows where else are living with this fear.  The fear for themselves, their neighbors and their children.

I have read many, many books on the prelude to Nazi Germany.  If you think what happened there cannot happen in the USA, you better stop and look around.  It IS happening right now and has been for the last two years.

Where will the USA be in another year or two if something isn't done to stop this?  I hate to think..........of the consequences of inaction.  Think about it............

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Kindness Diaries

Traveling on "roads less traveled" has always been a passion of mine.  The above photo was the "road", I use that term loosely, from Creel to Batopilas.  It was a six hour trip to go ninety miles.

Believe me, midway through it was apparent to me that I should have believed all that I had read in the past about the danger and length of this trip.  Add to that, once one reached Batopilas, the thought struck that one had to go back up that road!

Imagine, though if you started out in a yellow 1971 Volkswagen Beetle convertible?  From Anchorage to Argentina!  That was the beginning of a series that I just finished watching on Netflix called "The Kindness Diaries".

Leon Logothetis drove through snowstorms, thunder and rain, freezing cold weather and sometimes pleasant weather without a penny in his pocket and survived on the kindness of strangers.  That means he had no money for gas or food or lodging.  The segments are absolutely spellbinding but more then that, they are tender and overwhelming to see the outpouring of kindness from strangers such as a wrecker driver, many people offering meals and a place to spend the night.  Not only in the USA, but in all the countries that he traversed!

His 1971 VW Beetle plays a big part in the trip as it breaks down or runs out of gas or swerves into snowdrifts.  His inability to speak Spanish once he arrives in Costa Rica and all points south is also hilarious and touching.

But, more then anything, it is the interaction of Leon with all these people from all over the world that literally touches your heart as you watch each and every segment.  Some are world travelers traveling on a dime. Others are refugees fleeing the conflict in Venezuela and ending up in Peru.  It goes on and on.  Each segment is a treasure in and of itself.

I watched two seasons of approximately twelve segments in two nights.  It is spellbinding and a beautiful commentary on how, when you ask or expect the best from people, seldom are people disappointed.

Leon is a former stockbroker from London who gave it all up to travel the world.  In reading additional information on his website, Leon, I discovered he had a series for National Geographic as well called "Amazing Adventures of a Nobody".  Of course I am going to try to find this series if possible.

As I went to sleep last night, I thought about all his acts of kindness that changed the lives of unsuspecting people he met who had initially befriended him.  Heartwarming is all I can say.

At this time in our World when so many people turn their backs on those who have less then them, it was refreshing and thought provoking to watch "The Kindness Diaries".

If I never see anything else on Netflix, these two nights were worth every penny for the monthly service.  Truly. Hope you take time to watch it and let me know what you thought or how it impacted you.

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

Sunday, July 14, 2019

SUMMER is Here!

When the summer rains come and school is out, SUMMER is here!
The kids got to swim in a lovely, heated pool with their new friend Clark this week. 
 The rains cause the grass to turn green, the birdbath to be full all the time for the birds, the possum, and the butterflies.  The flowers are blooming in profusion which makes all right with the world.
Here are pink geraniums and lavender blooming around this awesome tree that I don't know its name.
 Add to that, if you look at this limb of the peach tree, there are enough peaches for a gazillion cobblers and pies.  Anyone have a ladder?  You are welcome to come and get some before the birds
have eaten them all.  There are two peach trees. The other one is so full of peaches the limb is leaning toward the ground!  Yes, they are ripe and ready.
Even, the hibiscus, with blooms the size of a salad plate, are graciously blooming.  Took this photo from inside the house and even then, the size of the bloom is not diminished.

It is fun to spend my first summer in this new house and the joy of watching the transformation of the surroundings from the rain storms has been a delight. Especially since there are no leaks in this house.  The great thing is the rains come in the evening and night, so we have sunshine during the day and then the sound of raindrops to sleep.

The only creatures not happy about the rain, the hail and the winds, are the thousands of egrets now roosting in the trees across the street and throughout this area.  I heard them squawking last night as
the winds picked up before the rain.  Temps this morning were 52F with a predicted high of 79.

How sweet it is!

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Fourth of July Family Fun

It was a harrowing week!  Truly. I won't bore you with all the details as it was enough to just get through it.  The BEST part of the week was spending the 4th of July with John, Mati and Seb in
their backyard.  Two additions to the family, Corazon and Simba joined us as well.
 John had cooked yummy things like arrachera, Eckrich sausage, both on the grill, along with grilled onions and mushrooms.  I had cooked the ever favorite mac and cheese along with a cherry cobbler.
A real feast!  Not a typical 4th of July feast of hot dogs and hamburgers but really special grilled items.  Did I mention we even had ice cream to go on the warm cobbler?  The kids want the recipe so they can make it at their house all the time. 
 I'm astounded, often, at how much the kids are changing.  Seb is into astro physics! and Mati still loves her "cirque de soleil" trapeze and gymnastic routines.  The above photo makes me giggle a lot.
I remember seeing that look on my girls when looking at their brother, more then once!  But, they all
grow up to absolutely adore and love each other, so I just see the humor in it.
The above photo was my second attempt at another selfie. At my age, I don't need these close up shots of me anymore! truer words have ever been spoken!
And, John, has his father's sense of humor.  He says, but I don't remember, that I always had headbands for them to wear when they were little and they hated them then.  THIS photo is a
message and photo for his sister and my daughter, Julie, who lives in Colorado!
Seb always asks to take photos with my camera.  This time it was all about the new additions to their family.  Corazon on the left and Simba on the right.  Sweet and funny.  The kids are thrilled to have pets again.  Scout died several months ago and they have really missed not having pets.  In fact, I hear that Matilda goes around looking for injured birds so she can nurse them back to health.  Possibly a future vetenarian in the family?

Reminiscing about many of the past 4th of July celebrations always makes me grin.........especially the family events with swimming, lots of food, music and fireworks.  Ooops, THAT is what was
missing - NO fireworks!  Darn...........