Saturday, May 21, 2011


Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands.

I bought a skirt a while ago that was dramatically on sale (that means nobody else wanted it). I like it a lot, and I want to wear it more, however it's made from a lightweight corduroy that catches on cotton leggings. This means I'm constantly readjusting and checking my skirt.

Rinda encouraged me to line it myself. So I did.
While I didn't do a great job (and I learned a few lessons along the way), my $3 skirt is now lined.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

Our neighbor owns strawberry fields, and his wife, Lupita, invited us to go pick strawberries yesterday. I'm not quite sure I understood correctly, but she made it seem like it was the end of the strawberry season. It sure looked that way when we showed up to the field and there was not a worker in sight. However, there were plenty of strawberries to be picked!
Hannah at work
Dana and her prizes
And allow me to be very transparent by showing you a picture for which I was not ready, the wind was blowing, and I was in the middle of telling my mom to "just take a picture of my hands".
 Lupita was out there with us. Her goal was to look specifically for the biggest strawberries.
Oh, I guess we had time for this cheesy photo.
 We quickly filled our little buckets and went home with un monton of strawberries!!
After taking them home it was time to clean and hull the berries. And eat some in the process.
Many hands make light work. We drove there, picked, cleaned, and hulled in an hour and a half. Not bad!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The family is coming! The family is coming!

Well, they've already arrived.

Yesterday began what feels like 2 1/2 weeks of vacation. I'm still working for a few more days, but having my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nieces here sure feels like vacation. Next week we are all (my parents included) heading up to Disneyland for a day, and from there I get to go on a vacation of sorts with my manfriend. So, vacation? Yes!

I haven't taken any pictures yet (bad!), but my mom did take this picture of my brother and I last night. We were forced to sit on the same chair, but decided to pose for the camera. Regal, no?

(By the way, that's a Charles Dickens book. Bro don't mess around!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It's a real word, globeando. The globos is the flea market, and "-ando" is the "-ing" end to a verb in Spanish. So if you are shopping in the globos, you are globos-ing, which makes it globeando. I learned this from a very trusted source: a lady from my church. Aren't you glad you're being educated in Spanish?

Mom and I headed to the globos on Saturday. I scored a cute summer dress for 50 pesos (about $4.25), but didn't find any other clothes. All the clothes are used, and piled on tables, so you have to rifle through them all. I'm not very thorough, so I basically only look for attractive fabric (no polyester, please). You can imagine that it's not every time I see attractive fabric that I find something good. It can be stained, the wrong size, turn out to be ugly, etc. So in the 150 times I pulled out something, I found one good thing. But the one good thing is so good!

I think this is the best way to shop here, for two very good reasons: style and money. Walking into any sort of clothing/department store here, I never find anything that is my style. There's just a different style here, except that all the used clothes at the globos are from the States. Problem solved.  Also, you can't beat the prices. You just can't.

Case in point: Toward the end of our globeando on Saturday, my mom told me she wanted to show me something. She led me to a large bedspread and showed me the pattern. I told her I really liked it, and she asked me if I wanted it, explaining that I could have it for my bed. I jumped at that chance! Somehow my mom knew that this bedspread was exactly my style: red, and a little fun and funky. It's also a heavier quilted cotton throw, which I will happily use to replace my other comforter. And for how much? 150 pesos ($12.75). The best part, of course, is looking it up online and finding it's a comforter from Macy's that would probably cost about $130 new.
Just call me a happy camper!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing favorites

On Friday the daycare staff held a celebration program and lunch for the mothers of our daycare kids. It's really neat that they put this on for them, as many are single mothers and deserve some recognition for the hard work they put in for their families. Most of the daycare kids stayed home, but some came because they were giving performances for the moms. I only got to take a picture of the baby class before I had to run off and do other things.

Now, I'm not going to lie. Ruben, on the left, is one of my favorite students, if not the favorite. For one, he's adorable (just look at him!), he's funny, and he's sweet. When I have him in class he likes to playfully argue with me about what a horse is called.
"Se llama 'ballo!"
"No, Ruben, it's a horse".
"No, se llama 'ballo!"
"Se llama 'ballo!" he says through gritted teeth.
This escalates until he gets up in my face, and with his very best angry face tells me that it is, in fact, a 'ballo. Then he walks away, I whisper "horse", and he comes running back again to argue with me. It's really cute.
 Ruben has a thing for that purple guitar. He will play it right-handed, left-handed, backward, forward, and even move his hands up and down the fretboard as if he was really changing chords.
Gosh, I love that kid. Even when he refuses to say hi to me when I see him at church.

The classroom project is coming along, thanks to our construction guys. Almost done being the structure. We have to wait to finish the whole project until we have the money, but hopefully it will be completed this summer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Now what?

Brrr it's cold here today!

Sunday was U.S. Mother's Day. Tuesday was Mexican Mother's Day (it's always May 10th). Yesterday I had my kids color cards for their mom. I decided to write "Thank you Mom!" and "I love you!", two phrases that my kids know. I told myself over and over that I would take a picture of at least one class coloring the cards, but I always get so caught up in being with the kids that I forget! So, here are a bunch of uncolored cards. Don't laugh at my heart shapes, because I did them all freehand.
 Since I've pretty much given up on the tomato plants that I transplanted outside (and have since given up on life... them, not me!), I planted new tomato seeds last week. They are already this big, and now I don't know quite what to do with them. Do I wait? Do I put them outside in their pots? Do I transplant them? Someone should tell me.
There are two great running giveaways going on right now in the blogger world:
***Hungry Runner Girl is giving away a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes! HOLY COW. I want these.
***RunningHood is giving away Kara Goucher's new book, which, uh, I also want. Also, it's signed, which isn't a huge deal to me (I just want to read it!), but it might be to you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Growing... and not

Run: 3.2mi/33:00

My lettuce is coming along nicely. While the romaine (off to the left) is not so great, the butter lettuce is growing great.
 My tomatoes? Not so much.
I've already planted some new tomato seeds, hoping that I can change things the second time around.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mom Day!

As would be fitting on Mother's Day, I have to give a big shout out to my mom.

Five years ago my mom and dad sold their house - and my mom sold many of her belongings - and they followed God's prompting to move to Mexico. Although my Dad couldn't wait, this wasn't exactly an easy choice for my mom, but five years later she's still here, loving Mexico and its people more and more, and continuing to show major love.

My mom...

has the most beautiful singing voice,
 takes care of interns and others who need a place to eat and fellowship,
 takes care of all of us,
 loves to travel,
 loves to be with her daughter :),
 and is beautiful.
Mom also loves Scrabble and crosswords, reading, and basically being the master of the English language.

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Books: Half Broke Horses

Run: 3.4mi/35:00

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle was a best-selling book by Walls that left people intrigued and appalled. Focused on her own childhood, The Glass Castle showcased a family that was nomadic and anything but normal.
Walls has a special talent for making true stories come to life, and that is still the case with Half Broke Horses. While The Glass Castle is written in memoir style, Half Broke Horses is Walls' attempt to novelize the life of her maternal grandmother, and what a great attempt it is.

The author's grandma grew up on ranches in West Texas and then Arizona, and not only is this book a great reading of that ranch life, but also some cultural exposure to the rugged Southwest, an area and history that I don't think gets a lot of attention. A teacher, an independent thinker, and a feisty, feisty woman, Lily Casey Smith, in a way, epitomizes what you might picture as a ranch woman. Walls does a great job of giving Lily a voice, recalling her memory of her grandmother. It's also a great prequel to The Glass Castle, in understanding how Rose Mary Walls becomes such a free spirit.
I love when I begin to read a book already by 50 pages in I can think of 5 people I want to recommend the book to. I think that's a sign of a good read. Another good sign? Reading it in 3 days.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A little education

Run: 4mi/41:00 This felt so good. Not once did I tell myself 'well, I could cut it short today', and it just felt so right. I think I'm baaaaaack. Also, I still think it's cute every time Lucy refuses to run the last .1 mile with me and instead goes to the back gate of our compound to watch me run past. That little booger.

Today you're going to get educated. I see some things happening, and they're not okay. Those things are called "Americans are preparing to celebrate Cinco de Mayo". You've got your enchilada recipe ready, you've bought your margarita supplies, you're asking your cousin for their best guacamole, you bought tortillas at your grocery store (that's really, really wrong), and you just might be pulling down that sombrero that you got at Chevy's to wear at your party.
I'm going to burst your bubble right now, but I don't want you to cry. No llores.

We don't celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico. It is not Mexican Independence Day. Oh, I know - there are fairs and celebrations and blue light specials on tortilla chips in the States, but no, it's not a big deal here. We don't get the day off.
A Cinco de Mayo celebration somewhere in the States.
I don't know how it happened, but it did. Somehow Cinco de Mayo has become this huge celebration of Mexican culture. That's cool. I know in Portland there's a big fair down on the waterfront. The one day I went a few years ago they were actually having a ceremony for some Mexicans who had become American citizens. It was neat, but also... seemed a little backward. But I digress.

Let's make this short and sweet. Mexican Independence Day is September 16th (1810), and is sometimes called El Grito (or, the yell), because it signified the beginning of the Mexican fight for Independence. Miguel Hidalgo was the head honcho of that.
Hidalgo, in the city of Dolores (which actually means "pains"), near Guanajuato.
They actually start the celebration with a nationally televised yell the night before the big day.

In reality, Cinco de Mayo is a commemoration of a battle in the state of Puebla while fighting off the French in 1862. It was an unlike victory and is celebrated by some, mostly in Puebla. It's just not the national "deal" that we, in the States, seem to think it is.

Another important day in the Mexican holiday calendar is November 20th, the day that started the Mexican Revolution in 1910. They overthrew the government which was being run by Porfirio Diaz, a dictator-like politician who had ruled the country for years.
Pancho Villa (l), Commander of the North, and Emiliano Zapata (r), Commander of the South. Mexican Revolution.

And there you have it. Your little history lesson for the day.

And while we're disspelling myths about Mexico - no, Mexicans are not "used to" the water here. Everyone buys purified water for drinking and cooking. Recently I heard someone say something about a person's body acclimating itself to germs, and he went on to say "Just like the people in Mexico can drink the water and we can't!" While I can't speak for the country as a whole, and I'm sure there are those, especially tribal groups, who do drink the water, the majority do not.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Books: Incendiary

Run: 4mi/40:00

Incendiary by Chris Cleave
Cleave's other book, Little Bee, has been high on my list of literary loves ever since I read it a couple years ago. Little Bee is a terrific story, and I hoped Incendiary would be also.
Not quite. The book is a letter to Osama, from a woman whose husband and son were killed in a fictional terrorist attack in London. While the story is interesting, it's a little over the top for me, and didn't quite hit at the core of humanity the way Little Bee did. If you're looking for better storytelling, better characters, and a better plot, you'd want to check out Little Bee instead.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Random

Part of living in Mexico is appreciating and getting into the sports the locals love. One of them? Boxing. I didn't grow up watching boxing, and I didn't start watching it until last year, when an acquaintance did some explaining on the art of boxing. Now? I look forward to big fights. This weekend Pacquiao and Mosley will duke it out in Vegas. All I know about Pacquiao is that he's a scrappy, inventive, little firecracker who beats up on men taller and bigger than him. His last opponent was a Tijuana native named Margarito.
That didn't go too well for Margarito, and he came back to Tijuana with a pretty sad looking face. Pacquiao's style is well known, and it's broken down in this New York Times article, published today. One of his inspirations? Bruce Lee.

My manfriend reviews food (he's like... a real good writer and stuff). We spent a little too much time watching this kid review items such as Diet Mt. Dew, Fruit Gushers, and other similar items. It's entertaining.

And in more entertaining news, you can read My OB Said What? In case you didn't know (oh wait, you didn't know because I never talk about it), I'm really interested in natural childbirth. Not for myself (right now... for obvious reasons), but for women in general. So this website is both funny and tragic.

And for your heart's desire, just flip through the pictures of this house. You'll drool.