Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alarming





I accidentally set off my home alarm last night at about 11:30 PM. An ear piercing siren and strobe lights sent the cats flying under the bed and had my parrot not already been in his snuggy, he would have crashed to the bottom of his cage. It took me about 30 seconds to gather my wits, find my glasses and race to the other end of the house to disarm the stupid thing. Just as I was getting my hearing back and trying to lower my heart rate, the phone rang. CRAP! who could that be at 11:30 at night, it's got to be BAD!!!! CRAP!!! Oh, it was the security monitoring people. I had forgotten that I had that service.





You see, I haven't set the house alarm for years. But last night I was glad to have it. Keith and the grand kiddos left yesterday at 4AM for Alaska. On our way to the airport we thought we would stop at Dunkin Donuts. They were not open yet, so we drove right to the freeway. Unknown to us at the time, a woman, dead from a gun wound lay just off the side of the road just a block from our home. I drove by twice and didn't see a thing. It was only around noon yesterday that someone walking bye was able to spot her. It was determined that the body had been dumped there, but it still creeps me out to thing this would happen in my neighborhood.





One of the first things to crossed my mind was that it would never occur to me to have an alarm system in Mexico. Thats what dogs and window bars are for right? Colima Dog will protect me. Good boy!










Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Anticipation




We anxiously wait the arrival of our 2 oldest Grandchildren this Friday. A 13 year old girl and 11 year old boy. Bringing youngsters from Alaska to the Desert Southwest in the summer seems to be cruel and unusual punishment. These kids are not accustom to going more than a day or two without wearing Xtratuf rubber boots and layers of fleece.
Their usual summer generally has them doing everything in the rain and 55 degrees. Juneau summers are a lot like a nasty spring. Soggy softball, muddy soccer and the occasional 70 degree day with no rain and the entire population of Juneau scurries to find something to do outdoors while the weather holds.
The kiddos have been spending the last 3 weeks at their other Grandparents home in New Mexico. They have spent their days helping run the Ranchito. The week with us will be an urban assault on their small town psyche’s.
Papa and I have a long list of activities that should keep us busy and introduce them to a few things rarely available in Alaska.
Shopping, what 13 year old girl would not want to shop in Scottsdale for her next years school clothes?
Shooting a machine gun at our Gun Club- What 11 year old boy hasn’t dreamed of that?
Wet-n-Wild water park- Actually getting wet for the fun of it? The kids are use to being constantly damp and cold. This experience will be new.
Imax Theater. We might re think this one; both kids get motion sickness pretty easy.
Putt putt golf (after the sun goes down)
Watching TV from our pool
Lots of playing in the pool

Floating the Salt River. This is a shallow, slow moving river. The water is so clear you can count the beer bottles and cans as you slowing glide over. You might spot the occasional scuba diver, a volunteer picking up the trash that the idiot humans have left behind. It really is a unique experience floating down a lazy river under the towering 200+ year old saguaro cactus and sweeping Mesquite canopies.

All too soon, Keith will be taking them back up to Alaska. This may be their last summer visit in Arizona. We are hoping that the next trip for them will bring them into a different Country. How many kids can say that they spent their summer vacation in Mexico? I am hoping many would, but especially these two.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eggplant Recipe. In Spanish, Berenjena

I have been asked a few times for this recipe, so I thought I would post it. I love the color of eggplant and I love to eat it as well. I just hate working with it. To do it right, you must get as much moisture out of the plant before you prepare it. That usually takes time and patience. 2 things I lack. This time was the first time I have tried salting the sliced eggplant rather than pressing it. I like the salt technique it worked well but took longer. It left the slices less discolored than pressing, but it did add a bit more salty flavor than I care for. It was fine for Keith.

Above I have cut the plant lengthwise and have salted and left in a colander for several hours to sweat. Occasionally I would dab at them to take of moisture, but for the most part, they just sat there and dripped. Then I sprinkled a little rosemary and garlic on one side and sauteed for about 90 seconds on each side, then transferred to a paper towel.


below I placed a slice of Gorgonzola cheese at one end. If you use a milder cheese you could add more, the cheese was super strong.



Then I rolled them up and skewered them with tooth picks. If you chill these off, you can remove the picks. Mine rarely make it to the cooler before being eaten.










Saturday, July 11, 2009

A tisket, a tasket, I need a bigger basket.









$70.00 worth of groceries looks like a small amount. UNTIL...

(scroll down from here, I don't know why this isn't formatting right)


































I try to load it on my Yamaha V-Star 650. I did get a few looks in the parking lot while I was trying to overload my bike. I certainly got more looks on the freeway.


See, this is reason 43 why I belong in Mexico. People don't give you a second glance when you overload a vehicle. Its a common practice and Mexicans seem uniquely qualified in it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Osprey or Sea Hawk?

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I call these birds Sea Hawks. This lovely raptor makes her living in the Port of Guaymas. They can have about a 6 foot wingspan and are found on all continents except Antarctica. This day she had caught a small orange fish and was very shy about eating it until we left her alone.

Here is a sampling of the fishing fleet. Port of Guaymas has a long interesting history. It not only serves to support 70% of the states sea food catch, it is also a Naval Base, Industrial Port and Ferry Terminal. There have been battles won and lost in this port that include but are not limited to American occupation from October 1847 until July 1848. Also, a French chap Marquis of Pindray takes over the port in 1851 and travels deep into the State of Sonora to the town of Rayon, where a welcome wagon bestows him with a bullet to his head. The English and Germans also found their way to the port.
The below shot is probably the work dock. Many of the ships looked they need some serious TLC.






Thursday, July 9, 2009

Keeping it simple


video


For as complex as Mexico is in it's history and culture, their ability to simplify the ordinary is remarkable. We love the blinking traffic signals that warn you of the impending doom that is just about to t-bone you if you don't either speed up or slow down to stop (then be hit from the rear). Another nice feature is this cross walk sign. It not only counts down the seconds you have, but has a little man in motion. As the seconds diminish, he walks fast and faster and breaks into full blown trot before the red man of doom flashes and horns start honking.


Reason 32 that we will live in Mexico. Simplicity in the ordinary. I guess it makes up for all the complexity of the necessary.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kindle book device-price lowered.

Just and FYI for all my fellow book worms out there.

NEW YORK - Amazon.com Inc. cut the price of its Kindle electronic reading device to $299 on Wednesday in an effort to attract more bookworms and make the gadget a mainstream hit.
The new price is $60 below the tag the Kindle has had since May 2008. The product originally debuted at $399 in 2007.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our 4th of July in Guaymas

We stayed at the Armida Hotel in Guaymas this trip. It is a small place mostly visited by Nationals. The 2nd day there we noticed a large number of 20ish year old men with there young wives and children all having a great time in and around the pool. We saw an older man popping out of his room and pointing to his watch every 10 minutes or so. Before to long, all the young men were gone and only the women and children remained. Then that's when we figured it out, the men started walking by in their uniforms. I worked up the courage to approach the group of young women to ask about the game. Using my poor Spanish, I was answered in perfect English. They were the professional team from Ensenada, the Marineros. They were in town to play the Guaymas Ostioneros.

The game stated at 8PM, so the temperature was not bad, what was bad is the smell. The stadium is located just off the lagoon area that holds the Guaymas fishing fleet.
Because it was ley seca, there was no booze served at the game. I suspect that was the reason for the low turn out, but it did make for an enjoyable time.
We were 2 of about 12 fans cheering for Ensenada. We left after the 4th inning as Guaymas had not scored and Ensenada was ahead by 4.
Other than the language and the smell at the stadium, you would not really notice the difference between American ball and Mexican ball. There were hot dogs (although split and fried on a grill) paraphernalia, Coca Cola, snow cones, popcorn, all the things you could want at a game. What I thought was great is when Ensenada got up to bat, or if they had an error, the sound effects were corny and insulting. Like a baby laughing or Loony Tunes just your basic "nanny, nanny boo boo" stuff. We had a great time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The San Carlos connection

From the left. Me, Bruce (Keith says Bruce is doing is Lucha Libre pose here), Jan, Captain and Bliss.
This impromptu meeting was the icing on the cake to our latest journey into Mexico. Jan and I had been writing for about a month now and we are connected in may ways. One being that we are both Army brats, so experienced some of the same things growing up. We are fast friends and it was very hard to say good bye on Saturday. We are both planning the next visit.
Bliss and the Captain are very interesting people as well. Keith hung on every word that Captain had to say about sailing. Keith loves boats and has always wanted to learn to sail. He knows very well how to operate big power boats (40-50 footers) but the idea of being under sail has him mesmerized. Bliss is a singer and artist and I find that intimidating and lovely at the same time.
Blogging is an odd way to make friends. But it is an effective way. We all have very common interest and the act of writing and reading must reach a very intimate place in our being. Jan and I both have this feeling of knowing each other for years, yet we have only known each other for days. Weird. Odd. Beautiful.

Favorite Taco Stand

We always stop at this stand just North of Magdalena de Kino whenever we are travelling Mex 15. It is on the north end of town on the Free Road. We usually have something new every time and are always very impressed with all of it. There are always many people here, both locals and Arizonans like us. This time we enjoyed Bistec Encebollados y chiles. It was a wonderful burritos filled with steak, onions and mild chiles. Keith inhaled his in just a few bites, then set his gaze upon my lingering last few bites. As we were in a hurry to get to San Carlos and meet the other bloggers, I sacrificed my burro for time. Otherwise, I could tell that he had ideas of spending the day at this taco stand.
The man sitting at the bar was from Tucson, but visiting family in Hermosillo. He stops here going to and from all the time. It had rained the night before, so the parking lot was muddy. While we were there, a DHL truck came bye and the driver placed 6 orders to go. I have no idea if that was part of his delivery service, or if he just really liked the food here. Oh well. Reason 51 that we will live in Mexico. The road side stands are soooo good.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Were outa here!

In less than 24 hours we will be in San Carlos/Guaymas. It is just a short road trip for us. 6 hours one way. I have google earthed the route (actually we have driven it several times) and I think I have found a route that skirts Hermosillo to the west and then connects back up to Highway 15. Maybe someone out there has taken that Westerly route on 15D south to 16 West, then hooks back up to 15?
Anywho, we are very excited to be going back to Mexico and to get a chance to meet up with my new BB (Blogger Buddy) We have a favorite restaurant there in Guaymas that serves 2 of my favorite dishes. Octopus with butter & garlic and Charro beans. I really need to right down the name of the place and this time I will. But it is next to the giant Palapa restaurant when you just start to enter town before the turn off that takes you down to the old Cortez hotel.
Keith and I have ritual road/boat food. It includes, but is not limited to beef jerky, chicharrones,Gater-aide and some salty chips.
We should be going through most of the areas pretty early, and we usually stop in Magdalene de Kino for roadside breakfast tacos, but I think we will be too early.
I am taking the lap top and I will try to post from the road. We will see how that works, or doesn't.
We love to drive. In Juneau, we only had 41 miles of road. So this distance thing is a thrill for us. Keith used to get tired after just driving for 35 miles, now he is good for 15 hours or more.
i know it sounds weird, but we look forward to the smell of burning trash and the humidity in the air. Reason 85 we will live in Mexico.