At Dusk.....

February 22, 2012

photo (32)
The Farmer and I were driving around the other night...headed to a birthday dinner for
a sweet nephew.  The nephew had chosen Chinese Mexico...and suprisingly
we do have one little place that is pretty darn good.  So the legend in these parts is that the
cook, at the yummy Chinese food place...had actually been a cook at Panda Express in the
United States...but...sadly...was deported back to Mexico.  Sad...only for him...and pretty
happy for all of us in Mexico...who enjoy a little Chinese food from time to time;)
So, while driving to the restaurant we passed the "big park" which is in the city center, and
directly in front of the "big church"...all of this is typical to most any city that you might
visit in Mexico.  On Summer evenings the park is filled with families....
people exercising....and sometimes a large event, or carnival.
 Right now the park is just filled with birds!!
The sun was setting as we were driving by...and the birds were beginning to roost for the night.
I have never seen anything quite like it!  The birds are black with yellow on their chests.
They travel in very large groups, trying to find the perfect tree to spend the night.  It was such
an impressive sight that The Farmer pulled over and just watched those birds...and then told me
to take some pictures.   Well...I didn't have my he took a few with his phone. 
The Farmer has a great eye when it comes to photography and he is a gifted
whatever pictures he takes are great!...And this time was no different....It takes me hundreds of
pictures to come up with a few I am happy with...he on the other had sees it and captures it with
only two or three shots.....I hate it  when that happens!!!!;)  Once again The Farmer has done it....
with terrible lighting....and only an iPhone....he captured a pretty incredible moment!
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The Farmer says the birds have always been here...he has memories from waaaaaayyyyy back about those birds.  They are a piece of life around here.  While I was thinking about those birds,
I wondered this....
How do they decided who is in charge???  Who leads the group of birds???
How do they signal each other??  How do they communicate??
Where does a group of birds...that large...go all day long???
What time do they fly away in the morning???
Those are my questions....
When The Darlings were Little Darlings....we were getting ready to go to church one Sunday
morning.  The Missionary Boy really loved birds and at that time was always wanting to shoot
one with his BB gun.  The Farmer told him that he had to eat whatever he shot...and sometimes
that was pretty interesting...and he did eat basically whatever he we are
getting ready to go to church...these same birds had chosen to roost in the trees that lined
the streets of our community and they were a little bothersome.  As you can imagine, a big group
of birds is both messy....and noisy.  So just as we were walking out the door for church, The
Darlings and I hear and extremely loud.....BOOM....the sound of a shotgun being shot....and
the big group of birds that had settled in a neighbor's trees....headed for the sky.  And then
The Darlings burst into tears!  The sound really scared them!  Our neighbor (to the left Bro. B)
couldn't take it anymore and shot his shotgun into the trees to get those birds to move along.
That same event took place several more times...and the birds learned that they really needed to
find another location to roost....and they did.  Now they can be found in the "big park"....
At Dusk.....

Why I Love Valentine's Day....The Dinner!.....

February 17, 2012

Our Valentine's Day dinner was actually on Monday the 13th, instead of the 14th...
The Darlings had mutual on the we decided that the day before would be great...
it was also that made it even better!;)  We began our evening delivering some
yummy cupcakes to family and a few friends that we may as well call family;)
When we returned...The Farmer headed for the grill to prepare some very tasty steaks
for us to enjoy. The dinner was filled with favorites...The Rooster's favorite was the steak and
sliced cucumbers with vinegar and seasonings...
The Farmer's favorite was the Roasted Asparagus...PreShie's favorite was a perfectly
prepared baked potato...I enjoyed it all!
and we all indulged in a Coconut Cake topped with blueberries and whipped cream!
It is always a treat to have The Darlings around the dinner table...
The Farmer takes advantage of the time to tell them stories...always with some great meaning
at the end;)...They hang on every word he says...he is a great storyteller!
I do love Valentine's Day....



Why I Love Valentine's Day....Heart Attack!!

February 16, 2012


I look forward to this....all year long!!  I love our family HEART ATTACK!!
We begin this on the 1st day of February, each morning before school, The Darlings and their
parents write on a little heart...something the like about the other people in the family.
This year...I found the cutest Post it Notes that were heart shaped...that made the note writing
much easier.  In years past we have used foamie hearts...and doiley hearts..but I love these the best.
The first days are easy...are not too creative...but is on about day 5 that the family
has exausted the "standard" compliments and begins searching for something kind to share...
This get really creative and pretty funny....
We've gotten ALOT of laughs from this PreShie...

My creation
It makes me sad when the time comes to take down the notes...I really love them...and I love
watching The Darlings and The for "their" hearts to see what other
family members have written about them.
It is one of our favoite family traditions!

Why I Love Valentine's Day....The Cookies!...

February 15, 2012


There are MANY reasons that I love Valentine's Day....I love the colors of the day...I love
all the fun traditions that we have established around the day...
and I just love the idea of LOVE for one complete day!
Sunday evening...after The Rooster's Board of Review for his Eagle Scout Award...
The cousins arrived ready to decorate sugar cookies and make a Valentine craft to take home.
They each had one large sugar cookie...and all the frosting and sprinkles you could imagine...
to make those cookies beautiful and yummy!  For some of the cousins...unlimited access to sugary
items is almost more than they can handle..;)...they LOAD those sugar cookies with frosting...sprinkles...
candy and whatever else they can find...and end up with a very very heavy cookie..but they
enjoy every moment!  While the decorating was going on...a rousing game of basketball was happening,
thankfully the group moved the breakable items out of the way....
In the kitchen...the Mom's and kids were chatting...and decorating...and yes...eating
those heavily loaded sugar cookies....when it was time for the cousins to leave...they were all
on a pretty big sugar high.  One of my sister-in-laws said something like...stuff em' with sugar...
and send them home;)  For me that worked our pretty well!  Although I am not sure what happened
once those darling cousins reached their homes;)  I was a fun family evening...when we have moments
like that...I am reminded why we chose to live in this community....
It was the perfect beginning to Valentine's week...the week of ...LOVE....
My creation

The Streets Of Chihuahua...

February 9, 2012

(Our Chihuahua trip continued....)
Each city in Mexico has a very active city is where the majority of shopping is
done. Often there is a Catholic church and a park...where people gather to
socialize.  You will also find many types of "street food" in the city center.
What more do you need???....a little shopping...your friends...your church and some yummy
food.  In a city center you will typically find "Mom and Pop" type stores...there are very
few "chain"stores if any at all.  I like that about this country...people still own small stores and
they often sit in those stores all day long!  They are there to make sure the store is successful.
In Chihuahua the city center is pretty organized for shopping.  For instance, if you are looking
for a pair of boots, a saddle or anything would go to a particular street, where
each store sells just leather items.  I think that is pretty efficient!  At Christmas time "Santa" was
in search of the perfect saddle for The Rooster.  When "Santa" asked around about the perfect store...
with the perfect saddle...he was directed to one particular street in downtown Chihuahua where
everything "saddle" would be represented.  Off he went to the special street...and there he found
many styles of saddles as well as basically every price range anyone could need.  It really made
"Santa's" job much easier;)  So this concept would be the same for most any item you
could be shopping for.  If you needed fabric...there is a street for that....if you need a backpack...
there is a street for that...if you need a wedding gown...there is a street for get the idea.
My creation
This cute Indian lady (above) had set a small table up on the sidewalk and was selling
the items that she had embroidered...the workmanship was really nice.
She was also selling some little beans, that if placed in a little red bag...(she was selling
those too)....and placed into your pocket, would take away any headache that you may have!
You will find many items just like this...sold on the streets of Chihuahua....
items that promise to cure any ailment that you may have!:)
This was one of two parks in the "city center."  This particular park is the shoe shine park.
Every side of this park is lined with a shoe shine stand...each individually owned and operated.
Each little shoe shine guy has his own group of customers...and if they are like me....they
are loyal customers...and will not allow anyone else to shine their shoes.  In our town we
have our own special shoe shine man....who is a VERY interesting man...we have been going
to him for years.  We often gather every pair of shoes and boots that need to be shined....
deliver them to Don Nati....and return late in the afternoon to pick them up....all cleaned and shined.
I don't even have to leave my car...when he sees me drive up...he comes to the car...
now...that is service!!;)  This reminds me that I should really write about Don Nati...he is one
that will live on forever!  He has been polishing The Missionary Boy's boots since he learned
to walk.  The Farmer's Father was also a loyal customer of Don Nati.
My creation

It is very common to see a few Tarahumara Indians walking the streets of any Northern Mexico
town.  They are often carrying small children or babies on their backs.  I thought this young
girl was really beautiful.  She had the sweetest smile...but when it came time to take her
picture...she wouldn't smile!  She had on her back, a newborn baby...maybe a couple of weeks old.
She too was darling!

It is an adventure to walk the streets of Chihuahua...I was taking so many pictures that someone asked
me if I was  journalist..."nope" I said..."just a person who loves the culture of this country..."
Not having been born and raised in Mexico....I can see the cultural differences that are so
present here...even after living here for 20+ years.  Now if you were to ask The Darlings and The
Farmer...they would tell you that this is all "normal"...and ask why I was making such a big
deal out of regular things.  I love that too!! That to them this is just another...very regular....
day in their lives!

Saying Good-bye.....

February 5, 2012

Last week, The Farmer's Grandma passed away.
She was 97 1/2 years old.
Grandma Elma had lost her sight....lost her hearing, but never lost her grace and sense of
humor!  She was not demanding...until the day she died, she was gentle and sweet.
The Farmer's Mother has been with her for several weeks, along with her sisters, they cared
for their Mother with great love and respect.
We returned today, from spending several days with family in Thatcher, AZ....celebrating the life
of a grandma who was so loved and revered by a family that she loved and nurtured for many
years.  Even the littlest of grandchildren felt loved by her.  Before his mission....The Missionary Boy loved to spend a time in Thatcher with a special cousin that he loves dearly.  Whenever he was in town, he would stop by to visit Grandma Elma, always asking if she had something that needed to
be repaired...and if the answer was yes...he would get to work and fix what he could.  She would
reward him with a plate of brown rice and beans....and while he ate...she would talk to him...
she would love him...she would offer bits of advice...and he LOVED his visits with her.
He said that each time he would arrive to see her...she would hold his face in her hands and say...
"Oh...(Missionary Boy) are the most  handsome young man ever!"
and The Missionary Boy would laugh and say to me..."Mom...Grandma is blind!"  and
then he would smile.  She was good to that Missionary Boy...and he loved her!
The last few days have been the most wonderful family reunion.....cousin fest ever!
The funeral service was perfect!
Memories were shared...the music was beautiful....some tears were was just what she
would have wanted!  Her posterity is a tribute to her goodness.
After the service and visit to the cemetery...we enjoyed a yummy lunch at the church..
Again...just being together was a treat!
Later that evening we....attended a small town basketball game....(to watch a cousin play)
we saw a movie....the cousins had some good small town fun!

Saturday we traveled to Mt. Graham in search of snow, which we found and which the
cousins enjoyed to the fullest with the help of an ice chest!;)
And then we ended the day with dinner...with more was great!
It really was a weekend dedicated to family....and the life of an exceptional Grandmother!

Papitas y Pepinos....

February 2, 2012

Our arrival to Chihuahua City was pretty uneventful...except of course for all of
the toll booths that we were required to "visit" along the way! The only good thing
about those toll booths are the extremely clean bathrooms that are close by.  Make a little
mental note about that if you are planning any kind of travel in Mexico. Clean bathrooms
are very hard to find.  Early Thursday morning, after a breakfast meeting....The Farmer guided
us with precision to the heart of Chihuahua City.  The streets are far from straight and people
drive fast.  If you are not on your driving game you will be eaten for lunch!
"Honk if you love Jesus!!"
That is a little note from me to The Farmer...he knows just what that means;)
Anyway, so again, we were headed to another "Farmer Meeting" so The Farmer parked the
car and we began to walk the streets of Chihuahua.  He said...
"I am going to get you something that tastes really good...and you are going to like it!"
And next thing I knew we were standing in front of a potato chip cart.  I can really appreciate
the street chips of Mexico.  The are homemade, and they are YUM!
This cart is a favorite stop of The Farmer when he is in Chihuahua,
and this is why...
It is not just a regular cup of fact there is nothing regular about them!
Here's how it walk up to the cart...the people who work at the cart are often visiting
with each other..or a you have to wait until the conversation breaks...then
you place your order...."A cup of chips...please...." in Spanish of course;)
And then the process begins....the cup is selected, either large or small...fresh lemon is squeezed
onto the chips, and then a large scoop of freshly chopped cucumbers is placed on top.
And then this is when it gets good....
 In the front of the chip cart a special metal rack has been constructed to hold
different bottles of chile.  And any type of chile that your heart included
in the collection of bottles.  The is also a few bottles of a liquid seasoning called is like a Worcestershire sauce and a soy sauce combined... it is commonly used
on chips, on popcorn..and just about everything else in Northern Mexico.
The Farmer has this down to a science...he asks for extra lemon, (which is really lime) juice
on his chips, then he adds a few shakes of Magi... and an extra dose of Valentina, which
is a favorite chile sauce similar to a Tabasco sauce which is very loved in our neck of the woods.
The construction of Papita y an art!
They were really tasty!  I quite enjoyed the chips and cucumbers.
Street food in Mexico is an interesting thing, and a constant adventure.
Thank you to The Farmer for taking me to his favorite chip cart...
on the streets of Chihuahua!
Life is certainly not boring when The Farmer is around!
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