Sunday, February 19, 2012
Could it possibly be four years since Matilda was born? It seems like yesterday that I drove like a racecar driver to Celaya for her birth. Four years, amazing.
She has gone from being a little cooing baby to a serious little girl, at times. This photo shows her serious side. She was busy thinking.
What joy she has brought to my life, as well as to all others. I'm continuously astounded at her intelligence. She will ask questions that are profound. Likewise her memory is all encompassing. Just a few days ago she was looking in my purse. I asked her what she was looking for and she told me my lipstick. She remembered me putting some gloss on her lips back in December when they were dry! Little things like that.
We've had so much fun in the last year dyeing easter eggs, baking cupcakes, piling up on the bed to watch movies, just to name a few things. We've been to the park, played in the garden and gone on hikes looking for rolly pollys and other creatures to investigate.
To see the world through a child's eyes is a treasure. To remember to be as soft and loving as they are is another gift.
I have been so blessed to have been given seven grandchildren to observe, to love, to laugh with and to be amazed at.
I'm a very lucky woman.
Happy Birthday Matilda! I so look forward to each and every time I'm with you - to see you grow, to learn, to giggle and to play.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
One never knows what to expect on a daily basis here in Mexico.
Today my walking path that the children use to walk to the primary school across from my house became a road. Not happy about this development.
It is a path that has had very little traveling vehicles. This change of events has occurred due to the fact that the closest parallel road, Homobono and Cuesta de San Jose, are trenched down about six feet as a huge pipe for a sewer line is installed. The work has been going on since November. They're finally up here at the top of the hill and ready to close the last block that allowed people to bypass this dirt walking path.
The bulldozer arrived at about 9AM and left about 5. Somewhere midway in the process I just HAD to go find out what the future was going to bring to my house right next to the "new" road. It seems that ALL traffic coming up the hill will be coming by my house for "no longer then a month" according to the Transito man. We'll see. Although they have been relatively prompt and on time on other projects in the last couple of years.
Our conversation was laughable. I've learned to say, first off, "Mi Espanol es muy mal". It always brings a smile and a reply from each person that their English is likewise. So thoughtful. Then we launch in........they talking very fast, me talking in Spanish and English. Hysterical.
What the man did NOT tell me was that the trees next to the house and the small patch of grass that I have nursed for eleven years was going to be hacked up by the guy in the red shirt. I'm very philosophical about this kind of stuff.
Either it will grow back or it won't. The trees certainly are history but they were here when I got here so I don't have any claim to any of it other then watching the birds land on them.
I wanted to have the guts to ask them to smooth out the dirt they put on the side of the road. I didn't have the guts.
Someone I know relatively well is running for Mayor. If he wins, I'm going to present a landscaping plan to him to turn this into a mirador for people to come and see the canyon and presa. I've floated the idea to the garden club but they already have lots of projects.
If everyone could observe all the families and individuals who walk to the edge of the cliff or just stop in motion to enjoy the view, they would understand how this could be a lovely setting. It wouldn't take much if the appropriate materials would be used.
I think, after Cuesta de San Jose is reopened, there will not be traffic again. Other then foot traffic. We'll see........
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
It has rained over two inches and been colder then a rat's ass in Alaska for the first eleven days of February.
Hunkered down in the only room that I could manage to keep warm, I've been reading and watching great DVDs. It has made the time go faster. That's for sure.
I laughed out loud when I picked up my latest copy of Texas Monthly with the illustrious Governor of Texas on the cover.
He is being awarded the Bum Steer Award. Read all the little things they've put on the cover. I love the irreverance of this magazine. I read it from cover to cover as I do with Smithsonian and National Geographic. Sometimes funny, informational and irreverant. Thank heavens everything in this world doesn't have to be politically correct!
With Molly Ivin gone and George Carlin gone, I find few who delve into things and say those things that others dare not. Have you noticed that too?
The movies I've been watching after stopping at Juan's and paying 40 pesos per DVD have been many of the nominees for Oscars. Some of them have been "The Descendents" (ok), "The Artist" (very interesting cinematography in black and white)and "A Better Life". A Better Life, in my opinion, was the best of all. Hope everyone sees it.
The best of the best however has been a BBC series called "Around the World in 80 Gardens". A couple of months ago, quite by accident, someone lent a segment to me on the gardens of Mexico. It was excellent. I had been to all of the gardens and the descriptions and photography are very well done. My joy at seeing more segments on Australia, New Zealand and India captivated me. Hours melted away as I was transported to other continents. Other climates. Seeing flowers that I have in my gardens but never knew where they originated was the biggest surprise. Quite exquisite scenery.
If you're in San Miguel, go by Cafe Etc and ask Juan for the BBC series on the gardens of the world. So, so enjoyable.
It made me forget the rain and the cold..........for a few hours at least.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Just like this beach dog that I observed recently, I'm trying to be patient while it rains, and rains, and rains some more. Add to that the cold - it's only 52 right now outside. It's only 62 INSIDE with the heater on!
This is NOT an adventure that needs to continue much longer, por favor. Tomorrow it will be one week since the sun has shown. Oy vey!
This, along with other things, like the fact that my electric bill for the last two months was 4,356 pesos are things that those who think EVERYTHING is perfect in Mexico don't take into consideration. Hmmm, I realized just now I've been whining and ranting way too much this week. Perhaps it is the lack of sunshine along with the rain and the cold. The electricity has been going off and on, hence the cold in the house. Sorry for complaining.
I did enjoy watching this beach dog patiently waiting for whatever scraps each table would pass to it. I at first thought the dog belonged to this table of people but then watched her move from table to table. Sweet, quiet and patient. That's how I strive to be - just don't succeed very often, as you well know. Darn.
Hope wherever you are reading this today that you have sunshine and warmth.
Thursday, February 09, 2012
I ran into someone recently who has lived in Mexico for several years. In our conversation this person said, "You know I have a really hard time relating to the people of Mexico because I feel that their culture is so inferior to ours in the USA".
You can imagine how hard I had to fight to control my impulse to knock this person to the ground. I took a deep breath and commented that that was a shame and that possibly it would be helpful for this person to become educated about the history and beauty of the culture. A blank look came back to me.
Then, in an attempt at being civilized, I told him several stories of why I feel the culture is gentile and far more cultured then the US's because of many reasons. One being the longevity of the culture versus the USA's. And then I began to tell this person of many stories to illustrate some of these things that I have personally experienced.
It soon became apparent that this person was not only not listening, but that no matter what I said, their viewpoint was their viewpoint, sadly.
Those comments have rolled and rolled around in my head for several days. It is beyond my understanding why someone would live in a country that they didn't respect the people. Much to my dismay, this person isn't the only person I've come across who issues forth with the same old, same old statements about crime, corruptness and uneducated masses.
It somewhat reminds me of growing up in Louisiana where the same old things were said about the blacks. I don't understand why some people have to feel superior over another group of people, whoever they are.
Can't we all just get along? What happened to learning about other cultures and embracing the differences and learning from them. Sheesh, it drives me crazy.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
I seldom drink. Except when I'm at the beach. At home I limit myself to Capt Morgan's Rum. No more then two drinks. But at the beach I'm always in search for the perfect pina colada. Never do the bartenders put much alcohol, so I order two pina coladas. However, look at how big they are - geez. this one looks like it is leaning due to weight.
Blooming trees with totally azure blue, unpolluted sky.
Sunsets - first from Barre de Navidad and lastly the last night in town from Melaque.
Life is good.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I'[ve been a shell collector all my life. Well, since the late 60's when we moved to Texas and were in close proximity to Galveston. My kids too loved to look for olive shells, sand dollars and shark's teeth from the time they were teeny weeny until today. It was always a fun contest to see who could find the most, of, whatever. I still have little tins here in Mexico of shark's teeth and sand dollars. There is a certain time of the year to find sand dollars. It must have been in the summer from the looks of how many I still have.
Shells that we used to find on the beaches of Galveston are now very very scarce. Such as olive shells. Such a beautiful dark brown shiney dotted shell. Oh, and the sea beans. Haven't found one of those in about twenty years.
The photos on this post were not found by me but by my host at the beach. Aren't they exquisite? They are sea urchin shells. I actually coveted them and wanted a few to bring home but didn't have the guts to ask if I could have some.
These were found right after the hurricane in October on the beach in front of the house. With that driving surf, it is amazing to me that these delicate, translucent shells weren't just a bit of broken pieces. The soft lavender color couldn't be improved by anything mass produced. Nature at its best.
I have quite a few different shells that I have carted from house to house over the last 40 years. The most precious to me though is one that my youngest daughter bought for me at a shell shop in Galveston when she was about 4 or 5 years old. Each child had been given a dime or quarter to spend back then and Julie, with her money, bought this shell for me instead of buying something for herself. I doubt she even remembers this, but each time I see it daily on a shelf in my dressing area, it touches my heart. Life is good!
Monday, February 06, 2012
I haven't stopped missing the water yet. In this case, the Pacific Ocean. The sound of the surf. The different shades of the water depending on the time of the day. The way the sailboats look in the late afternoon sun versus in the morning when they sail out.
Somehow looking at my little reservoir in the canyon and out on the lights of San Miguel doesn't have the same effect right now. Somehow.
It is very, very quiet here at night. No sounds. I had gotten used to sleeping with all the windows and doors open at the ocean so I could hear the surf at night and the birds in the morning at sunrise. NOW it is just very quiet.
I know "this too shall pass" but right now I have a hankering to be barefoot again in as few clothes as I can get away with and not in socks, sweats and a jacket! Bah humbug.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
In this "other world" that I was in for over a month, the animals roam free - even when they aren't supposed to. It was a little disconcerting at first. If they didn't come in by dark, I wondered and worried a bit. But then I found out they always came home. Either for water or food, eventually.
Paloozo, the horse would either wait by the patio or stick his head in the back door for me to either feed him a daily carrot or an apple. We soon became friends.
Friends had two of the biggest dogs I've ever seen. Fearful looking at first, but look how they played with each other. They were just big babies.
The little white boxer puppy Blanca, who is now four months old, loved "adult beverage time" every day as I always gave her an ice cube, or two. Here she is patiently waiting.
I had never seen a horse lay down and use its head to rest on. Paloozo made me laugh out loud at this behavior. The brown horse is the neighbor's, but the two horses are inseparable. Grazing and resting together.
Last but not least the goats! They made me laugh daily. A neighbor farmer faithfully drove his four-wheeler to his adjacent land every morning between 7:15 and 7:30AM to check on feed for the goats, the herding dogs and other animals on his property. I presume he also checked to make sure the gate was closed. But within an hour or two of his departure in the morning, here came the goats. They ignored the herding dogs. Completely. Their leader was the goat with the bell. If she walked to the cliff edge, they followed. If she went down to the beach, there they went. Even the little hobbled one. Even funnier, though, was that these goats wandered all over the place all day. Somehow they knew when it was close to 6PM and the return of the owner on his four-wheeler to check on them. I presume he came to feed them because they made a beeline back to wherever they came from before he got there and he was none the wiser. Clever, weren't they?
Interestingly, none of the animals were bothered by the antics of the others and they all seemed to live in peaceful harmony with a "live and let live" attitude. A good lesson, don't you think?
Friday, February 03, 2012
The "path" is little more then a cow path with ruts, dips and dives, arroyos, and large embedded boulders in the road. No place for a lady with a Pathfinder. But, there I was many days heading one way or the other to either get to paradise, where I was staying, or leaving to "go to town" for groceries or to check the internet once a week or so OR to use my cell phone since where I was staying had no service.
No faster then 3 miles an hour was my speed. Once I almost went off the side of the road into an arroyo and thought "Lordy, I would HATE to have to walk either way"! It was a test........each and every time.
I decided to focus on the beauty of the path. The different times of the day what would I see? Who would I see? Etc.
"The Cowboy" on his beautiful horse leading the cows from one pasture to the other on a daily basis was the most beautiful, funny and favorite event. I just hung back in the car, never crowded them and just enjoyed the journey. I felt like I was seeing a Biblical scene. When the cowboy would get to the next pasture, which took almost ten minutes, he would ride to the side of the road and indicate for me to go on.
The "cowboy" had the most beautiful face. I would wave and smile and say "gracias". He would smile with his very high cheekbones and slightly slanted eyes. Very Asian look. I so wanted to photograph his face but didn't want to offend him or make him feel uncomfortable so I took these photographs.
One day while heading back to the herd he had long, long grass hanging from each side of his saddle along with his shiny, metal milk cans that he used to milk the cows. At one point the grass slipped off. Without indicating that he knew I was behind him, he stopped, reloaded and then with a very gracious sweep of his hat, he turned and acknowledged my presence. A grand gesture, I thought. I estimate he was in his late 60's or 70's. What a beautiful sight.
My intention is to enlarge the photos, frame them in a three or four photo frame and mail them to my friend to give to him. I doubt sincerely that this man who lives in the ranchito has ever seen a photo of himself.
Besides my adventure of watching the cowboy, there were egrets, parrots, wildflowers and other assorted creatures. Oh yes, a coatamundi. Not as large as the one that came down my chimney here in San Miguel though.
Then one day as I came around the curve, the road was a pile of rocks. No way for me to move. I looked up and a man gave me the universal Mexican sign for "wait a minute" and I did, patiently wait. Lo and behold a bulldozer came around the cliff and cleared the road! Amazing. Boulders, trees, dirt - all was cleared in a very short time and I was on my way.
I came to realize that although that path was 2 KM., it was a transitional journey from paradise to civilization and back. As I drove it more and more, I didn't even notice the unevenness of the road or the rocks, I was too busy watching for the next surprise.
Truthfully, I can say, I have never driven a "path to paradise" in the USA. Especially one with a cowboy and a coatamundi! VIVA Mexico!