Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Estoy echando la flojera

Well, I have gotten a few needles from friends and family....We stink at blogging frequently. The pressure is mounting and I say manaña. (It is now officially an "I" statement as I have had ZERO input from the boys. I have the needle too, but it's wicked blunt.)
So I say, as Mexicans do, "Estoy echando la flojera" which literally translates to "I am throwing out the laziness" and this is a valid and accepted statement with little or no judgement attached, but it usually elicits a chuckle and knowing smile. If you are invited to a friends party and you want to go, but your legs are too heavy to carry you out the front door, or your head is rested too comfortably on your pillow while watching a telenovela (soap opera), you just say "aahhh, lo siento amigos, estamos echando la flojera, a lo mejor, nos vemos manaña". (So sorry, We're not coming but see you tomorrow). This is what makes this country awesome and lame. For now, I am loving it and you can make whatever judgements you like. I am just throwing out the laziness.

None the less, I am eager to post a few pics of recent. Tony and Julie Hensley visited us (first time from the Hensley side!) and we believe they were charmed and hooked on San Miguel. YEAH! Julie has a stellar camera, Todd left ours somewhere like on top of the car and I rely on my Iphone. So thanks to her, I have some sweet shots of Dias De Los Muertos Nov 1-2 2011 and the less than stellar Halloween experience.

Nov 1 Dias de los muertos. El Jardin.

Can you see our boys watching from the fence?

Children Play, Dancers Pose.

Los muertos caminando/ The walking dead.

The boys on OCT 31. Our ofrenda at home.

No Reeses, but we got Tamarind Chile on a plastic spoon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Higos Frescos

Kerry and I were walking down Ancha de San Antonio, the busiest, dirtiest street in San Miguel. It's the main artery in and out of the city. We were on our way to the Papeleria with our "lista utiles" which is the supply list for the kids first day of school. Originally I expected to do this task with Marky and Will by my side to teach them how to prepare, organize and get ready for their first day of school again here in Mexico. But when Kerry stopped by to say hello with Mac, her 9 year old son who had been stuck hanging out with his mom for two weeks before we all arrived, I caved. How much easier would it be to leave all three boys at home and walk down a few blocks with my delightful friend. Overall a much more pleasant experience for both parties, so out the window went the "lesson on preparation" O'well.

We stepped out my enormous wooden front door and off we went. As we were catching up on what had happened to each of us over the summer such as loving our time with loved ones, too much eating (there was a lot of food types we adore back home such as sushi, sourdough bread, lobster etc), driving a ton and dealing with road rage (we have become a bit too laid back in Mexico and obviously pissing off US drivers left and right) when we were suddenly interrupted by this ancient Mexican man with a tattered bag filled with something he was peddling. His mumbled opening sales pitch was lost on me. Kerry immediately replied, "No hoy senor, gracias" while I peered into his crumpled brown bag and saw a bunch of sumptuous figs- dark, juicy with a delicious aroma. "Ooh, wait a minute, these look pretty perfect." He said, "Cincuenta (50) pesos senora, un buen precio". It was too much, not the pesos but the figs as I knew I was the only one in the family who would eat them. I replied,"Media bolsa senor, 25 pesos" (half the bag). I had my own bag ready and open while he piled in 1/2 and then continued while I protested but he would have none of it....I sighed, then laughed as we agreed on 40 pesos for all. Both finished the transaction pleased and hands down, they are the best higos frescos I have ever had in my life. It's these snippets, these quick unexpected moments in time that stick with me and what this journey is all about. And of course, I am happily consuming all of these luscious "higos"- by myself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PUPPY UDATE!! Los cachurros son preciousos!

Many hours in the box snuggling the pups.

Common sight at our house

This has got to be one of the most darling pics on the planet....Indie is the best mommy in all of dogdom
Pablo reminding us that when he was Will's age, he was going to have a puppy farm when he grew up.

Una sorpresa para mi cumpleanos!!

Kung Fu Kata and Miguel (Birthday Boy too!) Antes de un gran fiesta! I thought we were going to an intimate dinner after sunset drinks at The Rosewood and was already super thrilled- New jewelry from my favorite Virgins, Saints and Angels from Pablo- mi novio!
45 is a big number if it's the amount of cookies you ate....Not so much if it's the year you are turning despite the hazing and " abuelita vieja, "  (old little grandma) comments I have received of late. But I dish it out plenty so I suppose I just need to smile and take it....Which is just fine....Especially when blissing out in a crowd of  gorgeous men!

So my darling Pablo (aka Todd) who has his finger on my pulse thought it would be grand if he threw me a surprise party as a few other San Miguel friends also are blessed Aquarians. "In style" is all I have to say- 10 piece Mariachi Band that hiked over from the Jardin and knocked out with all their hearts some fabulous Mexican Ballads and a tasty TACO stand complete with Mama, Papa and nino running it-Dancing tunes after the mariachi thanks to Sam, All of our kids running everywhere, having a ball and Homemade Desserts thanks to Monica and her sister (the other birthday girl) and loving friends and family to pull it all off!! It was such a special birthday- I will never forget it. Thanks sweety and everyone who was there!
Jorge belting out a mexican cancion filled with passion, no? Check out that 10 piece band, que padre, eh?
One of my favorite Trios....or should I say Trias? Ann, Janan and Mary who helped make the party a ton of fun!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Explanation of traditions by Jenny with a little help from Wikipedia!

El Diablito antes de explosion! The Devil before the explosion!
During the Dias de los Muertos Celebration part of the fun was the blowing up of papier mache charactres such as El Diablo, La Bruja, La Ballerina, El Payaso etc (Devil, witch, ballerina, clown etc) that was filled with a few treats and trinkets. The fuse would be lit, children eagerly awaiting the explosion just a few feet away then a mad dash to retrieve the dust covered candy, body parts etc.....Of course this was done in front of the church AFTER the blessing of the horses so added to the excitement was the hilarity of the children scrambling through poop! We covet the body parts the kids retrieved and they are part of the color paper flower arrangement on our coffee table. When we asked the locals what this all means? Solamente para la diversión. Only for fun! Pobre diablito! Above "Smithereens" photo by local photographer- It's brilliant!!
Danza de Los Voladores de La Papantla, Veracruz (Dance of the Flyers) is a traditional dance from the pre-Hispanic period. According to Totonac myth, at least 450 years ago there was a severe drought that brought hunger to the people. The gods were withholding the rain because the people had neglected them. The ceremony was created, to appease the gods and bring back the rains. The tallest tree in the nearby forest was cut down, with the permission of the mountain god, stripped of branches and dragged to the village. The trunk was erected with much ceremony. The youths climbed the 30 meter pole and four jumped off while the fifth played a flute and drum.

Further unwinding and finally they reach the earth.

Little Mason Hillers fascinated with the toy Voladores

The cloth across the chest symbolized blood. The hat is adorned with flowers for fertility, mirrors represent the sun and from the top stream multicolored ribbons representing the rainbow. These costumes are made by the voladores themselves The four ropes are each wound thirteen times, which times four is fifty two, the number of years in a Mesoamerican solar cycle.The caporal then bends fully backwards to acknowledge the sun, playing all the while. The four voladores represent the four cardinal directions as well as the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. The caporal represents the fifth sun. The four voladores seated on the cuadro face the caporal and at the appropriate moment fall backwards to descend to the ground suspended by the wound ropes. As the ropes unwind, the voladores spin, creating a moving pyramid shape. As the other voladores descend the caporal plays the “son of goodbye” and dances on the narrow platform

Amigos y hermanos. This was last fall after the torrential downpours of Summer in San Miguel. Come October the hills are green, flowers are blooming and all we want to do is be in nature. El Charco de Ingenio is 10 minutes by drive from our house. The botanical gardens have lots of footpaths, estuaries and peace which make for a pretty good Sunday afternoon.
Natural wildflowers in bloom.

The grass is so tall in November. Will is getting the "itchys" making his way to Daddy

Love my big boy. Still hanging with the family, so we are cherishing it because who knows when the social switch will blast off and he will not want to join us on all our excursions. Hopefully no time soon.

Ninos de la colonia

This is the boys and their friend Pablo de Ciudad de Mexico. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Indie y Pipo a la playa

The beginning of young love: Deserted beaches,  playing fetch at sunset, Indie away on vacation with the MacDonald family and Mommy and Daddy 1000 miles away.....And the boy in the next palapa; Don Pipo de Guanajuato, a handsome but typical Mexican Mutt who only had eyes for our California Girl. Noses touched, slimy tennis balls shared and daily swims in the sea....It was love without language issues, green card conversations or cultural blips. A blissful week for Indie indeed, yet it ended too soon with an  uncomfortable meeting of the padres."SHE WHAT??? WITH WHO?????
We need to meet the parents!"

 March 1st: Eight weeks passed and Indie was a bit depressed wondering why she has doubled in size? Where did her svelte figure and explosive energy go? She lays on the couch dreaming of days on the beach. Her peeps are busy constructing a oblong box and keep calling her to come look....what's the big deal? It's not round and much too large to retrieve....nor is it edible. (side note: mommy has been super sweet and feeding her tons of food, humming something like "eating for nine")

Well, March 2nd rolls around and Indie acts very strange as she consistently checks out what it's like under mommy and daddy's bed or how it feels to lay in mommy's closet despite the 30 pairs of shoes. Her peeps keep commanding her to come lay in the stupid box..... Five hours later the world is a very different place for her. She has birthed 7 darling puppies yet one sweet, helpless pup wasn't meant to be.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tequila or Mezcal?

Me das uno por favor!

Fiesta Day.....Typical scene above... I curiously wonder if they are pouring mezcal or tequila. Before I just figured tequila since I had never heard of mezcal...Now that we have learned a thing or two... I believe most of the time they are pouring mezcal. But the mystery still applies: Tequila makes you crazy and mezcal falls into the "You don't want to know, just BEWARE" category. So with all this elusiveness, I naturally wanted to find out more...

Driving by Agave Fields in Jalisco
All tequilas are mezcal but not all mezcals are tequila. Tequila Jalisco is like Champagne France. The ancestors of Tequila Jalisco made true tequila by steaming the heart of the blue agave plant- Has to be 100% agave, no other substitutes are allowed (7-8 other types of maguey/agave plants are used in the fermentation process of mezcal) The state of Oaxaca is the heartland of mezcal production. Which makes sense as the fermentation process distilling sugary plants into alcohol was introduced by the Spaniards (which they learned from the Moors). But how does this apply to the mystery of Mezcal??? I am still learning, but so far I have concluded that mezcal is often home made in smaller batches, smoked, and can have all kinds of other "stuff" in it...So beware is good advice!  But whenever throwing back a shot or just taking a cautious sip, it's "Salud, Amor y Dinero!"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ya febrero?

8 months logged in Mexico. 5 months since I have blogged. Hmmmm time to do some catch up on some major experiences that are embedded in our grey matter. Pictures are best and I promised myself to do less writing. I still pinch myself and can't believe that we are here...It is SO COOL!!
And yes Andy....Amazing, AMAZING!!!!
Classic shot of resting mariachis on a slow weekday night in the jardin....getting a kick out of Jim Carrey's Liar Liar.

"Alborada" means dawn- which is the time that this fantastic parade begins...we partied all night, nourished ourselves with greasy street burgers (hamburguesas grasas) and continued til the wee hours with all the other borrachos (drunks) dodging cohetes and fuegos (fireworks) that were shot into the crowd...Crazy fun night. Our friend Sam received a black burn hole through his sleeve and  deep into his arm while Tom wrestled to the ground a young dude who stole his camera....Not proud, but definitely story worthy!