Happy Bathday

This is part of the calendar that hangs in my kitchen.

Did you know that calendars in Mexico, have the name of the Saints being celebrated for each day? Not too long ago, it was customary for parents to name their child after the Saint that was celebrated on the day of their birth. It is because of this custom, birthdays are not only referred to as cumpleaños, but also as el dia de tu santo (the day of your Saint). Had my parents been living in Mexico, they might have thought about naming me Mauricia, because San Mauricio is celebrated on September 22nd. (I'm so glad that they weren't.)

You can celebrate your dia de tu santo, without it actually being your birthday. Take my son Nick, for example. His birthday isn't until October, but his santo is in March. All because his middle name is Patrick. So on March 17th, most of the family gives him a hug in honor of el dia de su santo, because it's St. Patrick's Day.

Today is Wednesday, June 24th. Just another day, right? Not really! Today is Dia de San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist Day). Today, of all days, is the ONE day you are SUPPOSED to take a shower or bath. The reason being, is that since John the Baptist baptized Jesus, water is Holy on Dia de San Juan Bautista.

May you all be showered with blessings.

With Love,
Leslie Limon

The Rains in Mexico

There is one thing that I have been looking forward to for a couple of weeks...the rain season. Rain season in Mexico, usually starts during the second half of June. Last week we were treated to a couple of light rain showers and one very nice electrical storm. (Thunder and lightening in Mexico deserves it's own blog, which will be written soon.) The light showers don't really count, because it only drizzled for a couple of minutes. The sidewalks didn't even get wet! Some people refer to this type of light rain as Espanta-tontos, it scares fools, like me, into thinking that it's going to be a huge rainstorm. This is usually when I run to the back patio to bring in my laundry before it gets wet!

The beginning of rain season offers us a welcome respite from the heat. The temperatures have been in the mid to high 90's. That's not really bad, considering I'm from sunny Southern California, where the temperatures are usually between 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. But that's "dry" heat. I can handle that! What I can't handle is the humidity. Oh, it's just awful! I really hate walking around with that "sticky" feeling, all day. But don't get me wrong, we'll still have high temperatures during the day, just not the humidity. And with the rains in the afternoon and evening, nights will be much cooler.

Like tonight, I'm enjoying the wonderful sounds of "real" rain falling outside my bedroom window. What a wonderful way to fall asleep. Buenas Noches to all.

With Love,
Leslie Limon

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I Have a Dream

When I was 7 years old, I lived with my great-grandmother, Pearl, in Amarillo, for a few months. What I remember most about that time was her huge garden filled with every kind of fruit and vegetable. She would wake up at dawn to go work in her garden. She would always come back inside the house with a basket full of wonderful treats that she had picked. Then she would proceed to make the best fried green tomatoes, fried okra and peach cobbler. I owe my love of vegetables and southern food in general, to my great grandmother.

Because of Grandma Pearl, I have always dreamed of having my own vegetable garden. Unfortunately, I haven't lived anywhere where gardening would be a possibility. (Mostly due to a lack of space.) For example, the house where we are currently living. Most houses in Mexico aren't like houses in the States. No beautiful garden or yard in the front or back of the house. Only the rich can afford that kind of luxury. But I digress. Our back patio is nothing but cement. The main use for the back patio is to hang my laundry to dry. My children love to play in the patio with our cat, Junior and our pup, Brownie. (Both are doing great!) There are a few macetas (flowerpots) with tons of savila (aloe vera), but those came with the house. Many houses here in Mexico have tons of macetas with all kinds of flowers, but I'm not good with flowers. I love to receive them, but not care for them.

But this week I have been truly inspired. I read a blog that had instructions on how to build a raised garden box! (Click here to read that blog.) This is something that I would love to do. And I wouldn't have to spend much, because hubby has lots of wood in his upholstery shop. I showed the blog to my hubby and children and they were very excited to give this a try. The only problem is, my hubby is swamped with work, and we'd have to wait until the weekend to start our project. I've waited this long, I can wait a few more days. But my children aren't as patient. They suggested we make the garden box with bricks. (We have a pretty big pile of bricks sitting in the back patio.) So, Tuesday afternoon, after we had eaten lunch, the kids and I constructed our brick gardening box.

Now all we need are seeds. On Wednesday, both my hubby and I went to pick the kiddies up from school. On our way home, we decided to stop at the local seed shop. (This store is where all the ranchers buy their seeds and stuff.) The kids went wild. (I did too, a little!) The seed packets cost 5 pesos each. (Less than 50 cents.) Each packet contains about 50 seeds. The kids chose tomato, zucchini and carrots, while I chose cilantro, spinach and basil. We returned home, quite excited about starting to work on our garden. But...somethings missing.

Dirt!!! We don't have any dirt. Hubby says we should drive to the sierra (mountain) for dirt. It's better quality dirt and best of all it's free. Talk about dirt cheap! (We don't have a Home Depot or anything like that here in Yahualica.) This garden isn't going to cost much, which makes us happy. And if our garden is successful, I'm secretly hoping that my kiddies will develop a love of vegetables or a strong desire to eat the veggies from their garden.

As soon as we get our dirt, I will post pictures of our garden and update you all on it's progress. This truly is one of my biggest dreams coming true!

With Love,
Leslie Limon
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In Need of Advice

I find myself in a situation in which no one has been able to provide me with a straight answer. My hope is that by posting this here on my blog someone will be able to offer me some enlightenment, because right now I'm downright confused and have no idea what to do.

So, what is this situation that has me feeling lost and confused? Hope, my eldest daughter, will be graduating from sixth grade next month. In Mexico it's customary for the graduating classes, be it from kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school or college to attend a graduation mass. I'm not too familiar with how things work, but what I do know is that each student chooses a padrino or madrina (godparents) to accompany them to the mass.

My biggest concern is that I'm not Catholic and neither are the kiddies. I have no problem with Hope attending the graduation mass. I think it's a great idea and Hope really wants to participate in this mass with her friends. But... and here lies my dilemma... Can Hope still attend the graduation mass even if we're not Catholic? Most of my daughter's classmates have had their Primera Comunión (First Communion), so they will be able to partake in the Communion part of the Mass. My daughter's Padrino is also Catholic, so he too will probably partake in the Communion. Will Hope be frowned upon for not partaking? Is the graduation mass only for Catholics? Will the people that know we aren't Catholic be offended by us participating in the mass? Does Hope have to go to confession, even though she won't be partaking of the communion? Being that this is my first elementary school graduation, my enquiring mind has hundreds of questions.

I've asked a few people about this and have gotten a different answer from every person I've asked. Some were shocked to learn that we aren't Catholic, others suggested that the easiest solution would be to just convert to Catholicism, and some even suggested it might be best if we didn't participate at all. Luckily, I'm not so easily discouraged. But I would like to know if someone has the answers that I seek. Please enlighten this clueless gringa.

With Love,