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Browsing articles from "March, 2013"
Mar 29, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

As you know, we are staying at a farm — Simple Choice Farm.  So I’d like to give you an idea of how it’s working.  The idea is to be a sustainable community.  There are 6 dwelling places on the property, and several very large “plots” where planting is already taking place.  In fact, some things that were planted only last week, are now sprouting up very beautifully.  That’s what a little rain and a lot of sun will do for a garden!  Funny thing.

In this photo, I’m standing directly in front of the house where we’re staying.  Kris took the picture facing out to the West.  So behind me (also to the West) are the four major divisions of the garden.  The pumps have been put in so that when the pool is finished, if water is needed anywhere on the property and there isn’t enough rain to water, it can be pumped from the pool cistern.  It is a very slick operation about which I don’t know a whole lot more!  (smile)  I only know that it’s a very smart idea for being able to always water your plants.

I didn’t get a picture this a.m. because I forgot to.  But I will show you soon how the melons and the tomatoes and all are already doing.  It feels funny to see plants growing so well and it’s still March!  Only in the greenhouse at home would we see things begin to sprout out.

Exciting things are about to happen.  Kris and I decided to bite the financial bullet and stay in town for three nights so we could get a feel for the city center.  We’ll be staying about 8 blocks from that big pink church in last blog’s post.  We will be near an organic store and restaurant.  It’s about 1/8th the size of Oryana, but it truly has some good stuff.  And we’ll be investigating some other things while we’re there too – like the public library, the Easter parade on Sunday and other cool stuff.  So here’s me at dusk in front of the garden plots.  (p.s. the hot tub is nearly complete).

In The Garden

And YES it’s definitely cool enough for a jacket after the sun goes down!  Great for sleeping too.  We really, really like this place.  Just in case you were wondering.


Mar 25, 2013

Palm Sunday in San Miguel

Hi Guys!

Today has been a delightful day.  So I’m going to share a little bit with you.  First a history lesson so this all makes sense.  Before the United States took away part of Mexico and turned it into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the Native American Indians traveled all over the place.  What we, in the Northern Hemisphere, think of as “our” Indians, are really just a part of the indigenous peoples who lived, worked, hunted, and had a life with no Texas/Mexico border line running along where it does today.  So, guess what?  The parades here that have Native American Indians in them look very much like the same Native Americans that we know North of the border.  Funny thing!

On the way to lunch we saw a small, local Palm Sunday parade.  You’ll see it in the photos.

Again we went to church.  Again we had a fabulous lunch in yet another wonderful Mexican restaurant.  Kris and I each ordered a stuffed portabello mushroom with all sorts of good things and topped with a hefty layer of parmesan cheese, with rice and a very delightful sauce.  I ordered a citrus salad which is featured in this blog.  Well after taking a picture, we decided to share it.

We had had a bit of appetizers with very very hot sauce which Kris had warned me was way too hot for my liking.  So I didn’t have any, and it took  her a few minutes to get over the one bite she had.  She left part of the chip and all of the hot sauce off to one little side of her plate.

When my gorgeous salad arrived, and after the photo, we decided to share it.  Well, the waiter saw me attempting the feat to put half of the salad on her plate and asked if he could take it and do it for us.  So he did.  Then brought the plates back and we had our salad.

I asked Kris how she like it — it had grapefruit, oranges, apple slices, lettuce and almonds.   She was enjoying hers very much.  I said it had to be the hottest citrus salad I had ever tasted.  My eyes were watering, my nose was burning and my lips were about to flame off my face.  She said hers wasn’t hot at all.  I thought that was really strange.  Well. . . . you have probably guessed it by now.  When the waiter brought the plates back, he got them mixed up and she actually got my plate and I got hers – – – which had the chip and hot sauce that had been too hot for her to eat underneath my salad.  The four of us laughed and laughed.

I will guarantee you all that I have never in all my born days eaten ANY salad on earth that was as hot as that salad.  Of course I survived just fine about 1/2 hour later!  ha ha ha  We were with Joe and Mary and a good time was had by all.  I’d sort of like to go back and have that salad again without the hot sauce!

Another new thing today (to my knowledge) was my first visit to a building over 450 years old.  The two churches that are pictured on the photo website are very very old churches.  Think of it.  As I was standing there, I was looking at stuff that has existed since 1600.  It boggled my mind.  I’ve never been to Europe, so I haven’t had the opportunity to be in buildings that old.  But it was quite a thrill to read the history.  It’s all in Spanish so I didn’t include it here.  We took taxis up and down the hill to save our legs for the real fun of wandering around the shops and all.  What an awesome day!  It was in the 80’s and quite warm.  But when you step into the shade it’s suddenly cool.   Verrrry nice.

We’ve included some photos of us posing with our new hats.  When you’re in the sun — they are very nice to have.  And, I’m getting a tan!  Eat your hearts out!   – – – and enjoy the photos!  (oh yes, I still had to fix food and do laundry!)

Cooking Again Laundry Again

Church Again

This is the “pousada” (hotel) where we went to church and then. . . .

See the rest of the photos by CLICKING HERE

Then click on Palm Sunday in San Miguel when you get there.  Talk to you soon!

Mar 23, 2013

When “Same” is Fantastic!

We were talking with our neighbor Mary this morning and commenting on how positively beautiful the day was.  She said “Yes, just another day in paradise!”  We all laughed, but couldn’t take our eyes off the hills and the gorgeous sunrise and the pink clouds.  Then we talked about the sunset last night . . . same song, a little variation on the verse.

Then I thought about several things that when they are “same” are not boring, or irritating or unwanted — love, no war, joy, a happy and full heart, appreciation for beauty, delight in the simple and beautiful things that come our way, sharing compassion with those in need, caring for animals no one else cares for.  My — the list is long — much longer than this.

What is for sure is that if what is “same” is wholesome, loving, caring and helpful and fills the heart with joy then the “same old, same old” becomes the “same” new –  everyday.  Neat, huh?

This is one of the photos Kris took of the sunset on the evening of the spring equinox.  Just totally awesome.  That is followed by one of the sunrise pictures I took this morning!  Ahhhh the pause that not only refreshes, but fills your heart to overflowing!

Spring Equinox Sunset1

The following photo is entitled “Almost Sunrise” .  I got up this a.m. and took this photo out the back — see the mountains?  We have them in front and in back and so we have these glorious colors every morning and evening.  Hope you enjoy them!

Almost Sunrise

Mar 21, 2013

Sticky: Learn Spanish Quickly Amigos!

A N N O U N C E M E N T  (drum roll please)



Most of you who read this blog, know that we started studying Spanish a LONG time ago in hopes it would do the trick. Well we can find the bathroom and do lots of things.  However we did find the the course we were studying did not have as much to do with daily life, the markets, the restaurants and renting a house, etc. as we found we needed.  It was much more focused on business life.  And the set of CD’s was too heavy and bulky to bring with us.

(and ordered I might add) A fantastic Spanish Language Course that is on target for what you use when you walk downtown — or out in the front yard to converse with the Mexicans who are right here working. It’s real life Spanish. It’s only $67 to buy the whole course to use on your computer. (Something like 70 MP3s + ebook)  If you want them to send physical disks, it’s more – $110 I think. Anyway, if you ever wanted to learn Spanish — this is definitely the way to do it.

We are loving it!

CLICK HERE!  To Access This Awesome Course!

Mexican Doll

Mar 20, 2013

How Did You Wake Up Today?

Do you ever wake up feeling like a prickly pear?  No matter what anyone says — you can’t be nice no matter what!  Your words may sting like these little spiky things  . . . .

Prickly Pear SMA


Did you wake up more like the light that shines on everyone and illuminates their day??

One Sky View SMA

I’ll tell you this, if you need examples from nature to make a story about life and attitude — you can sure find them here in San Miguel de Allende!  Everyday there is some new thing to open your eyes and make you stop and think.  Of course, you know I like that kind of thing anyway, but as I looked at one more beautiful sky photo, I was impressed with the difference between the light of the heavens shining down to illuminate everything — right out of dark and even menacing clouds, and the prickly pear cactus that really hurts anything that comes close enough to touch it  — voice of experience speaking — what is it like I asked??? Silly me!  As usual, even if things aren’t going quite as we plan in a day, we have the choice to make them different!


Mar 20, 2013

Strawberries & Patience & the Link Between Them

Today we went to the street market.  I bought a pound of strawberries for 70 cents, 3 lbs. of white potatoes for 70 cents, 3 huge tomatoes for 74 cents, a pound of fresh and very beautiful green beans for $1, and a huge bag of mushrooms for $1.  So that was my shopping spree (and dinner was terrific).

But the strawberries were the most spectacular sight we’ve ever seen.  Now look very closely at that photo.  Think — how long must it have taken to put that display together.  Yes, it is absolutely solid with strawberries.  There is no box, no stand, no big bowl underneath them.  It is an entire pyramid of strawberries.  This has got to be the perfect picture of Mexico!  Slow, methodical, beautiful, purposeful, and time spent to make something more attractive and different.

The other photos are taken inside the street market.  We went with Joe and Mary.  It was, again, very fun!  Very noisy and tiring too, but very interesting.  I also bought a bar of Neem soap for $4.  Now that’s not far off from the cost at home.  But nice to find it nevertheless!  Now think long and hard about these strawberries and the metaphysical significance!  LOL

We Had Some Tonight and They Were Deeeelicious! (With fresh whipped cream of course!)

Strawberries Anyone

Very typical scene for a street market…..

Street Market

Hats Anyone?

Street Market Hats

If you haven’t been to the Spiritual Discovery Circle yet, here’s the link:

Mar 19, 2013

Oh the Joys of Laundry! (for real)

Today I did the laundry!  Now that’s not only earthshaking just because I did it (Kris most often does), but because we have no clothes dryer available.  Our dear neighbors (once again) offered us the use of theirs.   So when I asked what they do, I was shown the clothesline in the backyard.  It’s one of those sort of octagonal kind that have tons of wires going octagonally around, with lots of little plastic clothespins.  Very cool.  I remember Grandma and Mother doing that!

Today was a sunny day in San Miguel — temp was about 78 degrees and there was a breeze blowing about 10 miles an hour.  I washed 5 loads of clothes, hung them up and they all dried in less than 3 1/2 hours.  Now that beats our gas dryer at home all to pieces.  We simply can’t get them dry that fast in a dryer.  And tonight the sheets will smell so nice and fresh.  Ahhhhh!

Besides, to tell the truth, it was a peaceful and joyful activity, outside in the sun and breeze, nothing pressing, no phone, no TV, no car, no schedule, no problem, and I enjoyed it.  Yes, the joys of laundry —  are for real!Laundry Day

Mar 18, 2013

What a City – What a Day!

There is no other way to put it except to say today was perfect.  Maybe all days are . . . but this one just seemed perfect-er! We went to church with our neighbors Joe and Mary Hamilton, and then they took us on a tour of San Miguel de Allende.  First they treated us to lunch at a place we never would have found on our own — you know the type — go two blocks, turn right, go one more block turn right at this door and it’s the restaurant!  ha ha ha  Lunch was superb – fresh and plentiful!

After lunch we think we walked a “hundred” miles on cobblestone streets and saw wonderful things.  Things that San Miguel is known for were in front of us — after six years of planning and setting the intention to go — there we were — standing there taking pictures, laughing, drinking lot of water, going in little shops and simply having a great time.  [Just so you know – walking on cobblestone streets for the first time after 22 years was an experience in focus, centering and balance!  big chuckle]

So the rest of today’s blog is going to be a photo tour – starting with the hotel where the church meets — looking out the window of the room, then on to lunch, and finally our first tour of the city with it’s colorful houses and shops, and it’s streets crowded with cars and people all making room for each other.  I hope your computer will open all the photos.  I only chose a few out of the 80 or so we took today.  Enjoy

UU 1

Hotel Where We Went to Church

UU 2View Out the Window of the Meeting Room

Lunch After Church

Lunch after Church 2

Lunch Was Great!  The Waiter Speaks English – VERRRRY Nice.

Mary & Joe Hamilton

   So Happy Together in San Miguel

Joe and Mary Hamilton – Gracious, Fun, Knowledgeable                             Kris and I at the Central Jardim (Garden)

The rest of these photos are random shots of stuff we basically know nothing about (!) but are simply the way this city is.  We enjoyed the sights and sounds and the fun.  It was St. Patricks Day AND it was the day of the Fiesta Cultural Cubana.  Mexico and Cuba have a long-standing good relationship.  Much of what we hear about Cuba in the USA is far from their reality.  In Mexico the relationship is celebrated.  There were parades, bands, floats, clogged up traffic and thousands of people.  It was quite fun actually, and totally unexpected.   Click Here for Photo Slideshow. . .

Mar 16, 2013

Oh the Joy of Sunrise and Flowers!

We woke up and got up at 5:45 this a.m.  By 6:30 the sun was rising over the hills to the back of the property.  We looked out towards the West from the porch and loved the sun bouncing off the hills far away.  So Kris snapped a photo of me and here I am enjoying the beauty of a sunrise looking West!  I’m sorry it’s not quite as dramatic in this photo as it was in person.  Where it looks like fog or clouds is actually the sun so bright that it doesn’t even show properly.  Well. . . you’ll either have to come and see for yourself, or trust me!  (smile)


Later in the afternoon, our neighbors and new friends needed some stuff at the store.  And Joe needed to get his glasses fixed after the dog knocked them off.  So I asked if I could ride with him to pick up a few things myself.  What fun that turned out to be!  On the way home I was talking about getting some flowers (flores) for Kris.  He immediately pulled into a little tiny town and said he knew where there was a flower shop.  Was that ever cool!!I bought Kris a dozen roses with all the trimmings as seen below with me sniffing them.  How awesome.  All for less than $7.


And tomorrow — Sunday — we will be going to the Unitarian Congregation with Joe and Mary for the first time.  Then off to brunch and a bit of seeing town in the centro.  We’re having such a “rough” time of it!  (big smile)

Mar 15, 2013

Oh Boy!

One of the joys of visiting a country where they have the kind of food you love at a price you can afford, is that you get to have them basically whenever you want.  Last night I paid for that pleasure!  Oh boy was it ever a short night.  Today I’m a bit shaky, but with lots of electrolytes and good fresh water, I’m holding my own!

Another “Oh Boy!” is the pool.  Now I will say that it hasn’t been warm enough to actually want to go swimming yet.  Our high here has been just 70 degrees once, and 40’s at night – no central heat.  We are wearing triple layers inside the house, and even had the oven on today for a bit to take the chill off.  Today it might have gotten to 60 degrees.  Still gray.  Hmmmm did we bring this with us?  Ha ha ha.

So here are a couple of photos of the swimming pool progress with the hot tub at the end.  Now my intention is that it’s going to warm up, they’re going to finish the pool and hot tub, and the sun will heat the water, and we’ll be able to swim in it before we come home.  You are invited to hold that intention with me!

Just so you know and aren’t totally shocked, we are going to look at some other properties while we are here.  We have found some very nice things and think it would be nice to look at options.   This Sunday we’re going to visit the Unitarian congregation in San Miguel.  We’re riding with the neighbors.  (I probably told you that already.)  We’re looking forward to exploring a bit next week . . . if I can control myself with the tropical fruits and gluten bread.  For those of you who have been in Latin countries, you know their freshly baked daily bread is irresistable.  I think I will find it easier to resist at this time however!  Tee Hee!

Here are the photos:  1 – the future hot tub

Future Hot Tub

2 – the swimming pool – they finished painting the white walls inside today and then washed them

down.  That’s why you can see a bit of water in the bottom.

Pool Progress2

3 – Here is the full view of how it sits.  It will sure be a beautiful site when it’s done!

Pool Progress1

Mar 14, 2013

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

We have finally arrived.  We got in right on schedule yesterday afternoon.  It’s been a gray day, not terribly unlike Suttons Bay, with a HUGE exception — it was 78 degrees.  Actually by the time we got to San Miguel from Leon, it was dark and so, it was a lot colder.  Even though it was a gray day, I decided to have Kris take a couple of photos of me so you could see where we’re staying.  We decided to move up to the 1 bedroom zen house.  The view is spectacular — looking off to the round mountains to the West.  It’s really beautiful.  And there are chickens — and the pool did not get finished yet — and I’ve been grocery shopping twice (I love grocery shopping) and so far, have acquired easily twice as much as I would have anywhere in Northern Michigan for the price.  The sweet “Honey Pineapple” was $1.25 for a huge one.  Mangoes are are about 79 cents a piece for the great big huge ones.  And we bought an enormous Papaya (one of my favorites) for $1.00 (about a foot long and 5 inches in diameter and really sweet.)  The price of gasoline is about the same as home so it’s expensive.  More soon.  We’re definitely glad we came.

In this first picture, you can see the swimming pool in the upper right hand corner.  It’s going to be finished in the next couple of weeks – so they say!

Linda at Zen House2

Linda at Zen House1


Be sure to check out if you haven’t seen it yet.


Mar 9, 2013

Something Happened Last Night

After all the rush and confusion in packing and making decisions I realized something.  Somewhere in the chaos, I released all the unfinished details, the packing issues and the travels, and began to get really REALLY excited about going.  First of all — I’ve never been to San Miguel de Allende.  Secondly, for 5 weeks???  Are you kidding me?

Kris and I were laughing last night about this question:  She asked me — “Do you ever feel like we’re making a huge mistake?”  After very little discussion and much laughter we decided that when you wait 20 years to take a vacation, you have the opportunity to get very scared because it’s such an unknown!  ha ha ha

I think it’s a very good sign when laughter picks up big time again, don’t you?  If you don’t take a vacation often enough I guess the price you pay is wondering if taking one is a big mistake!  Now that’s funny.

In case we haven’t said so, we are telling all of you who helped us get here THANK YOU!  You know who you are and you know our hearts are filled with gratitude for that help.  Please enjoy this lovely day.


Mar 9, 2013


Have you ever felt like this?  Whoa — at this stage of the packing game, I’m about to call for search and rescue!

Lost in maze

Well this is definitely how I feel tonight!  Whew!  Decisions — and it all has to be under 50 pounds!  For 5 weeks?  Are you kidding me?   I’m not there yet — I can still lift the suitcase!  ha ha ha

A good night’s sleep will probably help cure this terrible packing disease.

And I was being such a good girl and checked to make sure everything was okay and found two of my seats had been cancelled and I was not on the flight from Houston to Leon, and again was not on the flight from Chicago to Traverse City — at 11 p.m. no less!  I freaked – naturally – and then called them!  I will say it took me 20 minutes to move from the robot to a real customer service person.  But she got us all signed up with side-by-side seats just like I had done back in November.  Hmmmm.  I wonder who had cancelled them?!  I can actually sleep without fear tonight — I really do want to be on that flight!  All set!


Mar 7, 2013

You’re Here at the Beginning!

Linda at beach7 (2)

It’s pretty cool to have this blog up and going again!  Lots of things have worked out so that I can share with you things of interest to me and, I hope, with interest for all of you who choose to follow me!  Our home is occupied, our dog is being taken care of, the chickens have a new home, and we are set to enjoy Mexico.  So. . . this is truly a new blog even though, of course, my name hasn’t changed!  (smile)

I’m going to be putting links to interesting places, people, things, personal growth, spiritual cool stuff, and lots and lots of photos here.  Check back often and you’ll actually catch me putting things on here! Have a most delightful day!  I’m going to.

Links You Will Like

  • Connect Globally Connect with people around the world in the countries of your choice. Information, real people, real discussions!
  • Uruguay Insider Great newsletter on Uruguay and lots of nitty gritty details you will love! Check it out.