February 27, 2010

* Last Day with May

Went over the the property today with Bill.  No one was there.  Usually the crew works 6 days a week here, so we aren't sure why they weren't their.  Couldn't get in.  No photos.  Yes, I'm disappointed!  We are going back on Monday.

May treated me to lunch today.  Had a lovely time, at a little restaurant called Hecho Mexico.  Very pretty courtyard with gardens, fountains and birdies pecking at crumbs.  Great food.  We spent a most enjoyable afternoon chatting about our time here and enjoying the ambiance.  May ran into one of her old friends.  Interesting woman.  Had a career with the CIA.  No, I didn't ask any questions.

After lunch we went to a huge appliance store and viewed the inventory.  No under counter fridges, so I am still on the hunt.

We were walking along, chatting merrily, when a large procession appeared in the distance.  As it grew closer we could see it was a huge funeral.  In front of the hearse, three people carried statues of saints incased in wood and decorated in flowers.  Mourners followed.  Then the hearse.  After that crowds of mourners, all on foot.  I was saying to May, I had been witness to two funerals and there were Mariaches following the funeral.  Here there were none.  However, there was a parade of people, all costumed and masked.  Everything from day of the dead costumes to clowns.  I have no idea what that is all about.  They were acting very happy and in celebratory mode.  I am very interested to find out more about the customs at funerals here.  I did snap some photos of the parade.

All in all very interesting.  I want to learn more.

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Sunday, February 28, 2010

Feb 28

Cloudy / PM SunCloudy / PM Sun
Hi: 74° 
Lo: 45°
Day: Partly cloudy skies. High 74F, humidity 30%. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 11
Night: Clear skies. Low 45F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

"While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil."
~    John Taylor

February 26, 2010

* Time Out

A new bouquet to brighten both our days.  Aren't they gorgeous.  I managed to have a 'do nothing' day because I felt 'crappy'.  I canceled the trip out of town to get appliances.  I managed to walk to the market for flowers (thought that would cheer me up), to the drug store for electrolites to drink, and to the produce store for fruit which I thought might give me some added nutrition as I was not at all hungry.

I trudged back up the hill to the casa, breathless and dizzy, made myself a hotwater bottle and climbed into bed.  Honestly, I spent most of the day sleeping.  Tonight I'm still not feeling 100%.  Hopefully tomorrow morning I will be raring to go.

In the morning Bill and I are going over to the house.  The wall is finished.  It will be fun to see what other progress has been made.

In the afternoon, May has invited me out to lunch.  I am meeting her at a lovely little restaurant called "Hecho Mexico" at 2:00 pm.

I have a few other errands to run.  Hope tomorrow goes better than the last couple of days.

The other day when I was walking it was interesting to note all the statues which look down upon me from roof tops.  I always feel like I am being observed, watched over, or taken care of in some way.  Odd feeling.  I snapped this shot.  Enjoy.  Look up .... look way up ....   Can you hear the music?

That will do it for today.  You, my dear Grumpy Marshall, are not even getting your weather report.  Take care.  Over and out . . .

February 25, 2010

* Altitude

Altitude and I are interesting together.  It is well over a mile high here - so you don't have to be on a 'jet' to belong to the 'club' here ... lol.   Just when I feel adjusted I have an attack of altitude sickness.  I do realize this time it was my own fault, although I needed some prompting to remember.  I had an early morning breakfast with my real estate agent Bill.  Lovely way to begin the day ... mail energy with a sense of humour.  Just the ticket.  On the way home I found myself quite off balance and dizzy.  Didn't think much about it, however, by the time I reached the casa, I was feeling horrible, so I went to bed.  Felt somewhat better when I woke up, so trotted off to art class.  Describing my symptoms to Nina, she immediately clued in .... your dehydrated.  Well, that rang  bells for me.  It used to hit me when I was living in Santa Fe.  I really have to remember to drink lots of fluids.  Wine and coffee don't count!  On the way home from class I paused in the Jardin for a limonada and was beckoned over to sit with a woman on her own.  About my age, from Toronto.  A nice break.  Pulled myself together for the rest of the uphill journey.  Honestly, dehydration really takes it out of me!  Don't want to be doing this too often.  I have a horrible headache tonight.  I'm hitting the hay early.

Class was fun today.  I did a lot of work on the 'environment' or background.  When I brought it out at home, it suddenly occurred to me  .... I got the meaning of the painting!  The woman looking over the water is actually seeing her own reflection ... her own divine being within.  It, of course looks nothing like her earthly body and she is astounded by the symbolic nature of what she sees.  The painting will evolve a little differently now I think.  I would like her reflection to look like 'water' .....

Here's where I left off today:

So, there we go.  My 10 lessons are over with Nina and I have opted to see her just once a week for the remainder of my time here.  The house will take priority.  I will miss two days a week.

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Friday, February 26, 2010

Feb 26

Hi: 74° 
Lo: 43°
Day: Sunny skies. High 74F, humidity 25%. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 11
Night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 43F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
"I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition.  If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely."  ~ Kim Basinger

February 24, 2010

* A Busy Day in SMA

I think I have mentioned Sylvia before.  She is the lovely lady who invited me over to her home and have a look at what is possible in the renovating department.   Her pets are rescue dogs, and I fell in love with her white pit bull, Paloma.  Does this ring a bell????

Today, I met Sylvia for a early lunch in an old courtyard.  We, of course fell onto our favorite topics of decorating, renovating, building, and making something unique out of unlikely items.  By the time lunch was over, we were pumped.  Sylvia suggested she show me a couple of her favorite haunts.  Off we went.

I'm looking for a piece of wood to make a long narrow table for my kitchen area.  Ideally, it will seat four.  One at each end, and two slightly 'off centre' from each other.  This way, you can still accommodate four people and have a narrower piece of wood.  I have been contemplating an old door for this purpose.  We, naturally, took photos ....

This is the door I am thinking of cutting down into a table. At the moment, it is my favorite.  I would have a metal base made so people would have more room for their feet and legs.  However ....

 Other, more rustic doors are also attracting me.

These chairs are fun because they are related, however  not quite twins.  Very comfortable with the rounded cain backs, and could be upholstered on the seats.  What about cowhide????

Sylvia fell in love with this piece.  Long and lean with lots of character, it would be perfect in her house with soaring ceilings.  Personally, I want to run away with the candle sticks!

Allow me to introduce you to Sylvia.  Very much at home in SMA, she adores the place.  We have much in common.  Besides junk shops, old stuff, garage sales and good food, we are both Cancer Survivors.  I hope our friendship will continue.  I think we will have fun together.

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Feb 25

Partly CloudyPartly Cloudy
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Day: Cloudy skies. High 69F, humidity 25%. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 11
Night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 44F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph

"It's the best feeling in the world when you meet new friends that you can't stand to be without."  ~Author unknown

February 23, 2010

* An Exquisite Day

It's difficult to explain how much I have enjoyed this day.  Every inch of it.  Every moment of it.  Every breath of it.  Simply exquisite.   So, as a fairly analytical person, I ask myself ... "What has made this day so exquisite?"  I've pondered it, however, in the end, who really knows.  Was it my mood, was it my train of thought, was it my expectations, was it my desire?  Not sure.  'Nough said.  Why should I analyze it to pieces?  It was, as I have already said, simply exquisite.

Late this morning (I'm not an early morning kind of girl), I met with my foreman, Carlos.  Yes, I have taken possession, he is indeed, my foreman.  When I arrived at the property, it felt so very different.  I have built houses in Canada.  The building site is always full of noise, big equipment digging, engines roaring, cement trucks emitting cement, men yelling over the noise of all things mechinical.  Today, it was so very very different.  The energy was gentle.  There was no noise.  Five men were altering my home, brick by brick, all by hand, silently and gently.  I absolutely have no doubt this will alter the energy in the finished product.  I felt content.  Even amongst the rubble, I felt 'at home'.  A place of belonging.

There are a couple of issues.  The floor is not level and the building is not square.  Because the bathroom is wider at one end than the other, the shower and washer will be switched, allowing for a larger shower at the other end.  The floors are not level.  Between the two rooms there is a difference of about 3 inches.  Cement will be added at one end to level the floors.  The plaster seems to be falling off every time they try to make a new alteration.  I have sent an e-mail to my architect.  I'm sure the entire place will need to be replastered.  These are the issues of renovations.  The excellent news is the building is structurally sound and built solidly.  No extra support will be needed in order to build up.

I took some photos.  It's important to me I document the progress of this project.  It's part of the fun and excitement.  Here goes ...

"All Lady D's Men", including my Foreman, Carlos, second from the left.

Lady D with her men, except Carlos, who is taking the photo.

All the doors and windows gone.

A view looking out.  The window on the right will be bricked up and the door will become a double door.
It looks to me like they are up at the counter to order a coffee.  However, this is the beginning of the wall coming down.  It will become an arch, which will open up the entire room.

 The wall at the end of my garden is rising nicely.  Two more men working on that.

The mountains will be the view from my roof terrace.  This was taken out of the window.  I think the roof garden view will be spectacular.

One last look before I leave for the day.

I took 'my men' a big bag of fresh pastries from the bakery.  They loved it and I loved doing it.  I guess that set a standard!

Next, I was off to art class.  A few minutes late because of my meeting at the property, however, I had consulted with Nina.  I'm feeling so much more comfortable with my art.  I do feel a little loosening.  A little 'letting go'.  Not a lot, however I am feeling a difference.  My latest painting is done.  I am moving on to the next.  I have entitled this painting "The Guardian".

Began a new painting today.  Right away, I saw what it was.  Amazing.

You can see where I have drawn in blue paint with a brush.  It is a woman, looking down at some sort of 'spirit', 'saint', or other protector.  There is a bridge behind.  That's about all I know for now.  It will evolve!

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende, for Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feb 24

Hi: 59° 
Lo: 33°
Day: Mostly cloudy skies. High 59F, humidity 35%. Winds NNE at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 11
Night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 33F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

"Everything has its own place and function. That applies to people, although many don't seem to realize it, stuck as they are in the wrong job, the wrong marriage, or the wrong house. When you know and respect your Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don't belong."  ~ Benjimen Hoff

February 22, 2010

* Happy Birthday to May!

It was May's Happy Birthday day.  Turned out she was more or less sick as a dog, and didn't feel up to a party!  (:o(   ... so sad.  Instead of taking May out for a fabulous fish dinner at her favorite restaurant, Wendy arranged a gourmet cake and we all went to May's house.  The cake is very traditional Mexican and is made with three different kinds of milk.  It is so moist it simply disappears into the taste buds of your mouth while you swoon, ooooo and ahhhh.  Your mind disappears into some unknown land of cake ecstasy.  Extraordinary.  I don't dare get the receipe.

May was wrapped in the love of her friends in SMA and received loads of flowers, some wonderful miniature figurines to put in her infamous nichos, and a gorgeous shawl to warm herself in during the chilly spots of the long journey home.  May will be flying off in a week.  How quickly the time has gone.

Interesting tidbits:

All the different kinds of home made ice cream you can order at a stand in the park.  It is some of the most pallet tickling ice cream which has ever touched the tip of my tongue.  Better than Italian!

Many people here still get their shoes and boots polished.  I watched this fellow for at least 15 minutes and he was nowhere near finished.  It's like taking your car in to have it 'detailed'.

The 'Shoe Shine Senors' lined up in the Park.  Some awaiting customers.

A Mariachi Band waiting to play

The very first female Mariachi's I have ever seen.  Things are looking up.  This is still a very macho society.


Another beautiful hand carved door in the city of Delores Hidalgo

And so, another day has slipped away into the past.  I sauntered home from Mays enjoying every step.  Along the way an old court yard beckoned me in, and I enjoyed a delicious dinner of fresh jumbo prawns and wine. Birds snacked on crumbs of bread around my feet. I sat, relaxed and enjoying the ambiance of my surroundings. The trees, the birds, the waiters all in white, the soft music drifting in from behind the arches.  The days seem to come and go here, somehow undetected.  Dawn and dusk mingle together and night fades away to morning again like the seamless threads of a silkworm.  I am still enchanted.

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Tuesday,  February 23, 2010

Partly CloudyTue           Partly Cloudy      High of 78     Low of 39
Feb 23

"Old Time, that greatest and longest established spinner of all!.... his factory is a secret place, his work is noiseless, and his hands are mutes."  ~Charles Dickens

* Laundry

Well, somebody has got to do it!  Laundry has been a priority today.  When I first came here I took everything to the "Launderia".  Somehow it all went bad .. very very bad.  I've been avoiding it ever since and do my own washing by hand.  Today, I caught up on washing, colouring my hair, doing my nails etc. etc.  It catches up with a girl when she's busy!  Later this afternoon Thea, who also has a casita in this building, came up for a glass of wine.  We sat on the roof, chatted and watched the sun set.  Very lovely.  I worked on my 'abstract', which has turned out to be not so 'abstract'.  Maryjo, the manager of this place spent the evening here.  We discussed decorating, building, getting the most from a small space, making houses maintenance free ... all the great stuff women talk about when they are building or renovating.  It was fun, and we helped to finish the bottle of red I was desperately trying to consume all by myself!  Such difficult lonely work.  : )    Marijo has just purchased a piece of property overlooking a lake about 5 minutes out of town.  Naturally, her head is runneth over with creative ideas, and she is having trouble sleeping at night.  So, between the two of us, there was no room in the room for a third, if you get my drift.  (You could not have gotten a word in edge ways had you been present.)
I think I might have added an ear to the left hand side of the head since I took this photo.  Other than that, it's still pretty much the same.  Not sure if it's finished.  Will have to look at it over the next couple of days and decide.

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb 22

Hi: 70° 
Lo: 49°
Day: Mostly clear skies. High 70F, humidity 25%. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 11
Night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 49F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
"A face is like the outside of a house, and most faces, like most houses, give us an idea of what we can expect to find inside."  ~ Loretta Young

February 20, 2010

* Which Road Will Take Me Home

Had lunch with a lovely couple from Canada today.  Pat and Merv.  They have been coming to SMA for 12 years.  This is the first year they have not driven.  I've been asking for opinions of everyone who drives here about which routes they take, where they stay, good hotels etc. etc.  Pat and Merv drive down through Great Falls, to Arizona then cross at a tiny border crossing in New Mexico and straight on through to SMA.  It takes them 7 days.  I've heard people doing it in 5 days, however, they are driving 8 - 10 hours a day.  I don't want to do that, especially if I'm alone.  So, I'm going to have to do some good research on this.  I like the idea of missing LA altogether.  Even if there is a 'ring road', with my luck I would take the wrong clover leaf and end up in Watts at midnight.  No, I think an alternate route would be fine.  Research, research, research.  Decisions to be made.

After being at the casita the other day, I walked down the 'big hill' to the market, then took a taxi from there.  Didn't see another gringo all the way down.  I think I can walk down, however, coming home will be another thing.  A bus or taxi is in order, especially if I am carrying anything.  Took some photos on the way.
note narrow sidewalk!

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 21

Partly CloudyPartly Cloudy
Hi: 69° 
Lo: 46°
Day: Partly cloudy skies. High 69F, humidity 30%. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 11
Night: Partly cloudy skies. Low 46F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

"All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination." ~ Earl Nightingale

February 19, 2010

* Beginning

I love 'beginning' projects.  Beginning is always very exciting.  Carlos (the foreman) and I met at the house today to discuss the electrical and plumbing plans.  I want a few changes, so we will have another meeting Monday or Tuesday.  The bricks are all there.  The look of bricks all stacked up ready to be made into something is lovely.  The colour is beautiful.  The shape is stunning.  Can you tell I like bricks?  Especially the Mexican bricks, the are a little more orange as opposed to red or brown.  That pleases me.
Two workers are building the wall.  A brick layer/stone mason and his helper.  The digging has been done, now the foundation wall is being laid.  The bricks are next.
This is my sink for the bathroom.  The one I bought in Delores the day Cavanaugh, Blanca and Carlos took me.  I'm in love with it.  I think it will look smashing with the terracotta tiles on the counter.

This morning I had breakfast with Kate.  Another Canadian woman who spends a great deal of time down here.  We are considering driving back down here in a convoy.  Timing will be everything ... so we won't know if it will work for some time.  Kate has driven the route many times by herself, so she is an old veteran.

Yesterday I spent an enchanting day with a lady I met on the web before I left Canada.  Her name is Patti.  Patti has (I lost count) about seven dogs.  All rescued from the streets of San Miguel.  Most of them were sick and starving.  Patti has saved these dogs, she has spent money to treat them with proper medication and feed them the best food.   The house is filled with the pure unconditional love of animals.  It is palpable!  Each and every one of them adore Patti, and Patti adores each and every one of them.  I really needed a dog fix, so it was the perfect place for me to be.  They all come to you at once.  I just wanted to put my arms out and pick them up in a huge bundle!  So gorgeous!

Patti has been in SMA for 5 years.  She has a lovely walled home with lots of space for the dogs to run and play.  A covered porch with beds for all the 'kids' when it's raining, and inside the house at night.

We lunched on a incredibily tasty homemade pot of chile - I sort of got the recipe in my head and want to try it.  Fresh Mexican buns accompanied.  Before din din we had water melon and a wonderful raw vegetable (I've forgotton the name) sprinkled with chili.  For dessert a home made banana loaf with cream cheese.  The afternoon wiled away over red wine, chatting and loving the dogs.  I thoroughly enjoyed your company, Patti.  Once again, Thank you!

Somewhere since I posted last I've had a meeting with my favorite Real Estate Agent, Bill and another art class.  

Tomorrow, I'm having lunch with a Canadian couple.  Will keep you posted.

Here is my ever evolving piece of art.  More work to be done .. however ... getting there.


Grumpy Marchall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feb 20

Cloudy / PM SunCloudy / PM Sun
Hi: 69° 
Lo: 45°
Day: Mostly clear skies. High 69F, humidity 40%. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 9
Night: Clear skies. Low 45F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Your body is free but your heart is in prison. To release your heart, you simply reverse the process which locked it up. First you begin to listen for messages from your heart—messages you may have been ignoring since childhood. Next you must take the daring, risky step of expressing your heart in the outside world. . . . As you learn to live by heart, every choice you make will become another way of telling your story. . . . It is the way you were meant to exist. If you stop to listen, you’ll realize that your heart has been telling you so all along.
Martha Beck, "Finding Your Own North Star"