Festival, Oconahua 2014

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During the end of September, Oconahua hosts their annual harvest festival and people from here, who now live in other áreas, generally travel back for the celebration.  During the daytime, there are certain promenades through town and the photos shared here are of  people from town with horses and tractors, and also people walk holding decorated corn stalks.  We usually stand outside Ana’s mothers home to watch and enjoy.

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Scythe On!

I have something in common with the Grim Reaper; a scythe!  Before leaving the states I heard about a low tech method of clearing the land in the form of a scythe.  I read a lot, visited many blogs where they were discussed and thanks to Tom G. of Portland, I got a site to order all the items needed.  It’s actually fun and easy to use; now I need some grain to mow down….these pics are of me cutting weeds near Mom’s cabin.

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Two Birthdays; Same Day; Different Years

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On September 13 last year, little Michel was born as a gift to Angel….it was his birthday also!  Michele and Angel are siblings; born on the same day but different years obviously.  A party was held at their grandmother’s house, Lucy, and we attended.  The normal cake for a celebration is called “Tres Leches” which is a white cake soaked with sweetened, condensed milk and cream.  It tastes as rich as it sounds, yummy.

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One of the bakeries in the next town made this huge cake for both of them with Minnie Mouse for Michele and a tractor for Angel.  Things are different here; the party officially “started” at 3pm but by 5pm there were hardly any guests.  I was informed this is normal.  The next day I was told that the guests showed up about 6-7pm.  Party on.

The following pics are of Lucy (the grandmother), Ernesto (first cousin smeared in cake) and a few other folks.

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2 Weeks In; What’s Next?

We have hit the 2 week mark and yesterday we had Ana’s family over for spaghetti and “ceasar” salad.  I took the opportunity to fix spaghetti when I discovered real parmesan cheese at Costco, fabulous!  A few years back, I could not find some if my life depended on it.  Things change and so does Mexico…now we have parmesan cheese AND internet in the house; woot!

Everyone ate to their hearts content, I remembered what it was like to have small children in the house as I watched them run and crawl about on our covered ample porch….we have so many sharp items laying about and at least I got the porch cleared where we ate our meal.  “Cena” is what the late afternoon/early evening meal is called here in Mexico and it begins about 2PM and lasts until around 5PM when people usually go back to work after eating.  That’s right, they come home to eat their largest meal of the day and then go back to work afterwards.  If we need anything before cena, we must hurry to the stores before 2 because in this part of the world, they close during cena.

Besides eating parmesan cheese-influenced spaghetti, we have been cleaning, killing bugs that moved in the house, washing clothes, hanging clothes to dry (I think we need a propane dryer as during the raining season they don’t dry very fast even on our porch), shopping, getting paperwork done (the truck and I are almost legal!), getting cats acclimated to Mexico, learning more Spanish, being volunteered to teach English, ordering furniture from carpenters, watching birds, spraying chili/soap on the beans growing on the land (organic way to reduce bad bugs), learning about cisterns and pumps… setting up our water filter and testing the water.  Whew!

Next?  Get quotes on a covered, screened in place to wash clothes out the back door.  Build a storage place on the porch for Ana’s tools.  Research what can be planted here in this season (veggies, etc).  Budget for next project on the restaurant/B&B.  Build a pizza oven.IMG_2722

Weather like Seattle? What the????

Today the weather is really Seattle-like; rainy, dark and grey.  I did not sign up for this.  Not fair, not one little bit.  Better news; we found Costco in Zapopan yesterday and stocked up on toilet paper among other goodies.  Very exciting I might add as it takes a lot of crazy driving skills to get this far outside Oconahua.  Trust me.  I know we will get used to it over time or we will just keep taking the local bus which takes 3.5 hours to get to downtown Guadalajara.  Far less stressful, takes a lot of time but hey, we are retired!

IMG_2702  The other 2 pics are from the front yard; one is a round lava ball that probably came from the volcano, Tequila, when it blew centuries ago and the other is of a plant we put in last year which was a small aloe vera and is now huge.

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