Sunday, May 29, 2011

End of May

I was going to include a picture that showed what I look like after working an hour in the sun, but well...nobody needs to see that. Luckily I love the heat, but we feel the juggernaut a-coming, as the heat and the humidity intensify towards the end of May.

Our AC drips onto a section of ground at the side of our house, and a plant was growing there that I assumed was a weed. Last year I had our neighbor trim it back to about waist-height. This year it seems to be saying, "I'm a tree, don't cut me back! Look, I have pretty yellow flowers!"

For anyone who hasn't seen pictures of the cruise, here they are. It was a lot of fun.
From left: Carl, Melody, Laurie and Jerry from Cholla Bay, Annette and Ray our hosts-(owners/operators of boat), Maureen, Jill in background, Isabel in pink and white, her guy Kent, and Maureen's husband Richard.

Tina and Lui- she bartends at Pinky's he bartends at Capones.

Kent is a  funny guy- he's in our Spanish class. We're in level two now, Carl and I having both aced the test. Lots and lots left to learn!

Isabel, Naomi and me. Isabel teaches our Spanish class; Naomi makes beautiful and unique jewelry.
Laurie on the left lives out in Cholla Bay, and we've had many wonderful dinners at her incredible house. Maureen is married to Richard, the president of the local Real Estate group. She's also a great and funny lady, and I confess I've never asked her what she does here.
Isabel was the only one brave enough to get up at the very tip of the bow, and it made for a good photo op.

The happy couple:

In other news....

The beach at Las Conchas is unbearably crowded this weekend.
Carl took this shot - Young Christian from next door got to keep one of the puppies that one of the many dogs from next door had. That might be the world's greatest grin.

We can get panko crumbs and real butter from a store in town now. We know, not the most healthy dinner, so we don't do it often. But this was pretty darn yummy. A little dip of ketchup and horseradish, a light salad...mmmmm mmmm.

Adios, hasta luego!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

26th Anniversary

It's our 26 anniversary today. There has been plenty of sickness and health, tons of joy and a bit of sorrow, some richness and some poorness.

It has been an adventure; we've traveled, worked in exciting jobs, and now lived in a different country, a dream of mine since I was little. We see eye-to-eye on most of the important things in life, we challenge each other, and I couldn't have wished for a better partner to spend it with.

Here is a review written by a friend of ours at the time:
If you don't have time to read that, you can just look at the headline on the back, which amused us at the time and still does:

We couldn't get the boat today, but here is what we're doing on Tuesday to celebrate:
It's being catered by our friend Cathi, and here's the menu:
Mini pulled chipotle chicken tostadas served with pico de gallo, lettuce, cheese

Petit finger sandwiches
chive  cream cheese, ham, olive garnish

Greek baguettes
homemade garlic humus, fresh homemade pickled beet, chive garnish

Fruit kebabs
skewered seasonal fruits

Carl and I will not be drinking, in case anyone is worried; but all of our friends drink, so why deny them?

Now, on to the patio!
It is pretty much finished now; we wanted some sort of a fence between the patio by the guestroom and the driveway.

The pieces for the new patio mysteriously appear...

All painted a tasty chocolate brown

Later that same day...

Osvaldo and crew arrive to install it, including cousin Javier and Osvaldo's brother-in-law.

They finished this pretty quickly and I checked it out for reading possibilities.

No longer open to the street, you can barely see me in our private yard.

So now we have a little more privacy from the street.

Or a full view of whatever's going on- our choice!

Happy Anniversary, honey.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Neighbours, birds, trees, birthdays

I had a lovely birthday, courtesy of Carl and some friends. First we went to the spice store, which makes me unaccountable happy.

Then for a long wander on the beach.

Then we spent some time at Pinky's, the pool bar.
My free margarita- Tina makes the best ones in town.

Rosie bought us dinner at Capones.

And then Carl built a fire and we enjoyed our patio.

Our neighbours are a constant in our lives. They are a large family, and I only know some of them. There is Leila the grandmother (or as Carl terms her, Leila the abuela). She is the matriarch and takes care of the whole family. This consists of her two daughters who are baby-making machines, Julia and ...can't remember the other one. They don't seem to have men in the picture. Leila also takes care of various grandkids, cousins, uncles and apparently anyone who happens by.

The kids are the oldest boy, Lalo (Lalo the niƱo to distinguish him from Leila the abuela), Christian who is just at the cute perma-smile age, Pablo the littlest, and of course Diana. Diana's my pal.
Lalo on the wall, Christian on the ground. Sorry about the garbage cans.

Diana gives me little gifts, like a couple of seahorses; every time she sees Shadow, she says, "dog." But she pronounces it in the Spanish way, so it comes out sounding kind of like rogue. Dooog.

She came by the other day with her cellphone, asking if she could charge it. That seemed odd because I know she has electricity at her place. Then she looked around and innocently asked if she could use the computer. Aha! Thought I, that's what she came for. Tricky. Little girl tricky.

Then yesterday she came by to "charge the phone" but we were headed out. So I said, sure! And plugged the phone in, then told her we were leaving. The look on her face said, "Oh, this isn't going the way I wanted at all!" Never one to leave an opportunity unappropriated she asked for a soda (I still call them pops, I'm not that Americanized, but Mexicans call them sodas).

When we got back, she decided to just come over and ask to use the computer. Much simpler really. After she finished, (we had cooked a ham and the house smelled great), she said, um Melody can I make a sandwich? I said sure, and gave her enough ham for a thick sandwich. She asked for mayonesa and a tomato. I went back to the kitchen a few minutes later to help her clean up, and she had two sandwiches about 2" thick. She stacked them up, barely able to hold them in two hands, said thanks and left. I don't know how she made sandwiches that thick out of what I gave her, but she seemed happy.

The other member of the household who makes an appearance often is Andreas. Or that's what we call him, they call him Che-che and his name is Jose. How we got Andreas I'm not sure. He speaks English pretty well. He had been asking for money too often, and he's 22 years old, so a while ago I gave him the "you're 22, you have to start being a man and make your own money" speech.

He didn't show up for months. Then out of the blue he showed up on Thursday. He wanted money for a skateboard. He was all clean-shaven and dressed nice, so I told him I'd give him some work to earn the money. He sullenly helped Carl trim the palm tree, then Andreas and I drove off to find the guy with the skateboard. He wasn't there, so I gave Andreas the generous amount I was paying him to work for us, and told him to find a good deal.

The next day he came by and said he needed more money to buy a skateboard, he had wasted all the money I gave him. I told him NO. He may or may not be back, but if he does come back he's going to get the 'be responsible for yourself and your life' lecture.

Here is an arch Carl spotted at a segunda(yard sale). I think we  got a good deal on the arch and bench, about 1380 pesos or about $110.  Canadians, is that a good deal?

It's going to go against the house wall, then there will be lattice from the house to the garage, effectively giving us a second private yard area by the guesthouse, with an arch entry.
I thought these looked cool standing against the garage wall.

A few shots from our beach walk this morning.

The beach is shockingly crowded!
Dramatic splashing.

Two American Oystercatchers. Cool birds.

My boy. Handsome fella.

We found this Taz remnant.

This is what our office looks like now. We bought red energy saving curtains which block out a lot of the light and make our office into a cozy red cave.