Monday, February 01, 2021
I have already ordered Girl Scout cookies for this year from a delightful granddaughter of a friend.
I had done this long before I found my daughter Jennifer's sash from back in the 70's yesterday. It was just a serendipitous experience. I went in the container that holds all her treasures to fine her tiara from being Homecoming Queen. I wanted to give it to Matilda for her 13th birthday which is coming up soon but, alas, it was not in there.
Imagine my surprise when this was in the container! I had been thinking about Girl Scouts for about a week since I had ordered the cookies! I had thought about how I hoped Hanna would sell enough to be able to go to camp. In the box with the sash were the letters sent home from GS camp from Jennifer!I laughed at the letters and the questions on how to do laundry. Aah, those were the days.
Being a leader and the mother of two Brownies who became Scouts was such a delight for me as I had never camped in my whole life until that experience. Imagine camping with about twenty young girls!
A friend convinced me to be Girl Scout Cookie Chairman back at the end of the 1960's. I had no idea what I had signed up for until the 18 wheeler pulled up in front of our small apartment at the time and began to unload hundreds of boxes, which ended up filling our small dining room from one end to the other and to the ceiling. I still can't get over the visual image.
That was the beginning! But it never really ended because my youngest daughter Julie was a leader for her daughters, all three of them, when they were growing up. She was an incredible leader for more years then I.
It is such a great program for girls.......and boys, I guess now. The skills they learn and the fun they have not to mention the friends they make is a life long memory to cherish.
I giggle remembering some of the experiences! And I'm amazed at some of the others. About ten years ago I was in Houston at the Galleria and this gorgeous, dignified woman came quickly up to me! I had no idea who she was but she enveloped me in her arms and said, "Mrs. Eckrote, I'm Nedra Simpson"
Oh my, the Olympic runner who when she was in the fifth grade outran the entire football team who was at the same dude ranch as the troop was in Bandera, Texas! What a wonderful reunion. Today Nedra would be 59 years old! Wow.
I could go on and on. But, I digress. Here's the information for you to order Girl Scout cookies to help Hanna to sell enough to be able to go to camp this summer or whenever it is possible for free!
https://digitalcookie.girlscouts.org/hanna855955 I don't know why this is not printing out as blue but hopefully this will work.
It is the easiest ordering form that I have ever used. I know it would be more fun to have Hanna coming to your door with her uniform on and wearing her sash proudly. But, in this time of covid that is not possible, so, go for it. Get those Thin Mints or any of the others that you love. Buy lots because you can freeze them!
Munch, munch, munch!
Sunday, January 24, 2021
The changing of the guard in Washington has led many to admit they can sleep soundly now without worrying if someone might accidentally push the nuclear button, went to war with North Korea or Iran or whoever, and had not fired Fauci!
Of all the emotions that went through me this past week, relief was the number one emotion.
Today I realized that this time last week we didn't know if the inauguration would go off without a hitch or a bomb or an assassination or who knows what.
Thankfully none of those things happened on the sunny, snowy day other then the beautiful rituals that we have enjoyed for as long as we have been alive.
My first inauguration that I watched was Eisenhower! We were living with my grandparents in Chicago while our new house was being built. ALL of us, my grandfather, grandmother and I watched it in their little library/TV room. Since I remembered that my grandfather was there I wonder if he was off work from RCA Victor because of the inauguration. Usually he left home before I even got up in the morning and came home late. Anyway, it is a memory of togetherness and pride in our country.
It felt good to watch and have a general idea of what was going to come in the rituals.
Nothing prepared me for the Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. She was like golden sunshine in her yellow coat and red Prada headband. Then when her mouth opened and the most exquisite poem was told to us by her in her eloquent voice, I literally had tears in my eyes! Wow, the gift of the day! Truly.
I have since seen an interview with Anderson Cooper and Amanda. Her eloquence and her incredible intellect came though leaving Anderson almost speechless. She is a Harvard graduate. Not only was her poem beautiful but the lasting image of her self assured behavior was refreshing.
What a lovely day and evening. One that will hopefully erase the horrible and shocking images of January 6th eventually.
It is also refreshing to see that actions are being taken to bring the covid crisis into the forefront with an attempt to get more equipment and vaccines. Let's hope that happens quickly although it seems that it will take time. If we have some sense of normalcy by next Fall, to me that will be success. Sooner would be better but realistically it doesn't seem possible. I SO hope I am wrong.
On to other subjects! The weather here has been extremely mild this winter. Skies blue, temperatures usually in mid 40's at night with highs in the mid 70's to low 80's. Ojala! In another four weeks it is doubtful we will still have 40's at night as our spring begins usually by the end of February.
One of the milestones of this time of year is Candelaria. Hundreds of plant vendors come from all over Mexico with every plant imaginable. Gorgeous orchids, bromeliads, tulips, hyacinths, bourganvillas. The market is set up in a park setting and is usually here for two weeks. Sadly NOT this year! Oh my what a disappointment. I understand because no events have happened since last March which would cause groups of people to congregate. Sad but true.
We are still in the "red" zone which means there are still many closures and people are not supposed to leave home except for essential activities. Oy vey. Most are complying as we hear of friends and family members of friends dying. It is very sobering. In San Miguel we now have had 118 deaths with two more in the last day. Shocking.
Turning inward to continue reading, talking on the phone to friends and family, gardening and cooking along with watching TV is the daily regime. Oh and sitting in the garden in the beautiful sunny, warm weather.
Hopefully you are finding ways to move forward daily! Sometimes it does feel like a slog.......
Monday, January 11, 2021
No, it is not me moving but my son John.
If you are looking for unique, well made and fine furniture and accesories, please look at the photos attached which is just SOME of all that is for sale.
To see and purchase, please send message to WHAT'S App 415 124-4755.
I don't have the information on appointments or pricing so please call the above phone number for
appointment. Everything must sell!
Saturday, January 02, 2021
Hopefully this will post! Obviously in the last three months, Google has decided to fool around
with changing Blogpost and the format is completely different
Well we'll see what happens - it is the fitting end to 2020 where nothing was the same, Ha.
Wowza, it has been quite a while since I sat here. Composed my thought for ya'll and hoped you
would enjoy reading my ramblings. Again, it has been a good thing that we can't see the future
and have to take it "one day at a time". Cause otherwise, I would have said, "Stop, I want off of
this roller coaster ride!"
When I last wrote I had reached acceptance that it was going to be a long haul and so best to
enjoy the ride by being patient, finding things that enhanced life and staying in touch with those
I care about via electronic means. All of that was done.........
Festivities were all virtual! But, better then nothing.....This was the Independence Day celebration with the iconic symbol of San Miguel, the Parroquia church and the main jardin.
On December 18th, two days after my friend Ann Criswell passed from covid, one of my best friends died from a long, long life at 93. Martha Taylor was like a sister to me and in the last twenty years that I have lived in Mexico, that friendship continued to grow. In fact any time I went to Houston, I stayed with her.
We had met in the mid 1990's through the Houston Culinary Guild. I remember the day we met at a luncheon. Martha was a quiet woman who only spoke when she had something to say. Someone was asking her about her latest sojourn to some foreign country and how the culinary world was in this place. She and this person continued to discuss her adventures. At that moment I thought, "I don't know this woman but I sure do want to get to know her!" And I did. She was a Food Historian, had owned a travel business at some point and grown up in Houston but had the most wonderful open mind about cultures, people and countries that I had never heard of until she told me about them.
She kept a separate apartment at Bayou Bend High Rise so when visiting dignitaries such as writers, other food historians or anyone that she knew in her wide circle came into town, she hosted them.
On the Acquisitions Committee for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, I was privileged to go with her several times to their sessions on acquisitions. It was always an inspiring learning experience.
I could go on and on. Never did I show up in Houston that Martha didn't have articles for me to read, a list of restaurants for us to visit that were new in town or an exhibit at one of the many museums for us to peruse. As I said previously, Martha had a huge curiosity about life and everything in it.
To say I will miss her would be the biggest understatement of my life. I'm so devastated by the loss of this dear friend two weeks ago that today is the first time I have even been able to write about her.
To be sure, there will never be another person in my life who exposed me to so many avenues of life that I had never contemplated. Martha was family to me and my family was important to her as well.
Here's a fun, happy photo of myself, Ann, Martha and my dear sister-in-law, Annette having lunch at a relatively new restaurant in The Heights in Houston over two years ago. It was the last time I was in Houston. Having this photo of this sweet memory is a gift of the many times we explored new restaurants while in town.
Moving on to what goes on here at Christmas, I am going to leave you with a couple of fun photos.
FELIZ ANO NUEVO - 2021
Saturday, October 03, 2020
Acceptance has finally arrived! Lethargy has finally gone! Thankful for both. It seems I have accomplished more in the last two weeks then I have in the last six months. It is astonishing.
Tackling projects like going through business files and discarding 80% of things that I moved down here twenty years ago. I have a two drawer lateral file that was crammed full. As I discarded items like the sale of my businesses and my home twenty years ago, I wondered why I had not discarded them earlier. Obviously I did not have as much time on my hands and so now was a perfect time to do so.
I also discovered my little pocket calendars for all the past twenty years. It was shocking to see each day had something to do or a place to go or someone to join for lunch. No wonder the last six months have been a shock to the system. Life may not be as exciting but it sure is relaxing.
An entire trash bag went out the door! It was a sense of accomplishment. As well, as I was accomplishing this task, I realized that it will not be me who will be going through these folders again but obviously a family member after I'm gone, whenever that is. So, for the fun of it, I have started putting funny post it note messages in various files just to let whoever it is, have a fun moment.
In addition to the above task, something that is distasteful to me is paperwork. But, I did update and reprint lists that I use if and when I travel. A US phone list, a Mexico phone list and an Account information list. The last time I was in the USA and my computer would not "open" for me to check these lists on the computer, it was a wake up call. Now I have hard copies as well as updated lists on the computer.
Yes, it has been two and a half years since the above happened, but "better late then never".
Along with the dastardly tasks, some fun things have been done as well. Reading Ken Follett's new book which is part of the group "Pillars of the Earth" and working in the gardens. Yes, this book was as long as all the others but it was as delightful as always. His research and writing, to me, is extraordinary.
Cold weather zapped in at the beginning of last week. Surprise! 39F one morning. Yikes! Luckily winter clothes had been retrieved and the closets are ready to keep me warm. It does get in the low 70's during the day but the house inside doesn't warm up until later in the day. YUK!
As a means of self-preservation, besides still staying home, wearing a mask and self distancing, I am watching less and less of news and instead watching lovely shows on Netflix that are not stressful.
I have also voted by sending my ballot via DHL to the correct agency in Houston and receiving acknowledgement that it was received. Whew! A big accomplishment.
It seems from what I have read in the last few weeks that patience is what is required to survive this experience with covid. Luckily we did not know last March of the expected longevity of the virus or when a vaccine would be ready. Learning gradually has helped me to acceptance. What about you?
The hardest thing to accept is not being able to travel to see family in Texas and Colorado. Yes, we facetime and talk on the phone often but it is not the same as all being together. The photos that I see of friends and family members without masks at events concern me greatly in the USA. Not to mention the large gatherings of people at various political events.
It seems it is best to stay here in San Miguel where, to date, we have had 32 deaths and around five hundred cases in over six months. Now everyone is wearing masks and carefully social distancing. The municipality continues to do an extremely good job of overseeing the checkpoints coming into town and deciding when to open activities. On the first of October the parks were finally reopened. In addition, the bibliotecha (library) has reopened which has many, many activities in addition to providing reading materials.
While checking the webcam of the jardin by the Parroquia church this week, there are more people, but while looking at the people it is obvious that there are hardly any ex-pats wandering around. A quick count looked like there were about forty people milling around on Friday night. No mariachis, no mojigangas and no small children to purchase from the balloon seller because there is no balloon seller either!
The other amazing thing is that NONE of the gazillion of festivities that we enjoy here from Easter to the Alborada to the parades in honor of St. Michael the Archangel were only held "virtually" this year! It appears that Dia de Muertos will not be allowed as well. All of these activities have had thousands of people in the past and the deciders have decided to be very, very careful. Even Air B&B's have not been allowed to reopen.
Thankfully with "acceptance" it seems I'm just hunkering down and enjoying those things that are not a health risk.
Hopefully you are at the same place and taking care. It has been wonderful to receive emails and messages from so many of you telling me how you are coping and what you are doing.
Hang in there!
Friday, September 11, 2020
As I start this post this morning, you might get photos and you might not. Google is running rampant today and no matter how hard I have tried to upload photos, it is not willing to participate.
Just one of life's little aggravations.
Speaking of aggravations, last week at about 1AM on Monday night, I had a BIG aggravation with excruciating pain each time I took a breath. What the heck was my first thought? Covid was my next thought and pain reliever was the last thought.
I made it through the night with no sleep and had little pain during the day Tuesday. Then Tuesday night and Wednesday night were a repeat of Monday night. But, by Wednesday the pain had localized where my kidneys are and due to the intensity of the pain, I went online to Mayo Clinic and read about kidney stones.
My son John had had them about eighteen years ago or so and a few times more since then. Always extremely painful. His doctor had said to drink lots and lots of water.
According to Mayo they will usually pass, the kidney stones with drinking lots and lots and lots of
water. I was doing that like I have never before and finally the culmination and passing happened on
Thursday. By then I was a basket case but grateful for the "outcome". Then no pain since!
In the meantime, one block over at the house of my son and grandchildren, it seems that Corazon the Cat had brought into the house a newly born baby mouse. Matilda managed to extricate it from the jaws of Corazon and save it from certain death. She and her Dad fed it, and lo and behold, Corazon wanted the baby mouse, who was by now named Lily to sleep on her stomach. The pictures are absolutely adorable. I give up. Can't get photos on blog, argh.
The "outside" world continues to intrude, whether it is wanted or not. Even though I limit my exposure to news to thirty minutes at 5:30PM, it seems like the whole world is teetering on the brink of all those things we never imagined could happen!
To counter all that, last Saturday or Sunday night while looking for something to watch on PBS,
there was a Red White and Blue concert from several years ago that was playing two or three hours of doo-wop music and blues. Those "of a certain age" were enthusiastically dancing in the aisles and clapping along to all those WE listened to in our teenage highschool years. It was on PBS Seattle.
How wonderful to see all the groups who had many hits and a few that only had a couple of big hits. Heck the Everly Brothers and Connie Francis both sang! I must admit my toes were tapping and I know I was smiling as almost every single song brought back memories. Later I wrote to the group of friends that played a part in those memories. Some of them also had seen it and had the same feelings. What a nice surprise and a wonderful way to escape the mayhem of the world for a few hours.
We've had much, much, much rain this past week. Lots of it has been electrical storms with big booms of thunder and lightning strikes to light up the skies all night long. Whew. Here in the semi-arid part of Mexico we never complain about rain because we know in another month or so, the rain will stop and then no more til next year!
The flower gardens are glorious at this time. Yes, I have many photographs to share, but you'll have to take my word for it.
If you have read any great books lately, with no violence, please forward your suggestions. I'm ready to order a few books.
And, to end on a funny note that only people living outside the USA will understand I think. I found cornmeal this week in Mexico! I know that is insignificant to most but it has been the bain of my existence to have to bring it from the USA for the past twenty years! NOW, HEB, forty-five minutes away has it. Yee ha. Many other things too that might make you laugh. Fritos, Leseiur peas, Bisquick just to name a few. No more Miracle Gro plant food in Mexico, so now I either have to find another plant food by Vigoro or have someone bring Miracle Gro from the USA for me. Right now I'm using coffee grounds, banana peels and egg shells.
Life is always an adventure!