Happy Revolution Day!

Handkerchief:  8 pesos
Horse:  25 pesos
Shirt:  49 pesos
Jeans:  98 pesos
Boots:  159 pesos
Carrilleras (Bandoliers):  30 pesos

Seeing Jack dressed up as a Revolucionario for the Revolution Day parade: Priceless!

Viva la Revolucion Mexicana!

(A big thank you to my friend Nancy for providing me with the English word for Carrilleras.)

All I want for Christmas...

Dear Santa Claus,

I know it's a little soon to be writing you, but I'm kind of hoping that you'll bring me an early Christmas present. 

You see, I'm a mom and a blogger.  And I live in Mexico.  Interesting things happen almost daily.  I like to capture those moments in photographs, for both my family and my blog friends.   My camera isn't a fancy one.  It's a point and shoot Sony something-or-other.  Even though I'd like a new camera someday, what I really want is a set of rechargeable batteries. 

Buying batteries isn't my problem, but keeping them is.  Of the last pack I bought, I only used 2 for my camera and the rest of the batteries were used for remote controls, wall clocks and an endless number of battery-operated toys that you brought my kids in previous years.

Had my children not used my latest batch of batteries for evil their toys, I would have been able to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moments from my brother-in-law's birthday party last weekend.  How often do you attend a party where one of the guests, with the voice like one of The Three Tenors, sings with the quarteto?  It was a spectacular performance.

My favorite moment from the party, that I still can't believe I didn't get on film, was when the quarteto was taking requests from the couples at the party.  Everyone had a song or two that they wanted to hear, but Hubby drew a complete blank.  Instead of suggesting song titles to my Hubby, the lead singer asked for my name, then huddled with the rest of the band for a few minutes before singing a song they wrote just. for. me.  "Leslie...tus ojos...tu voz...tu sonrisa...Leslie..."  (Leslie...your eyes...your voice...your smile...Leslie...)   Sigh!  It was the most beautiful and romantic song I had ever heard.  One I will probably never hear again. 

If I had rechargeable batteries, I'd never miss another moment like that.  I would make sure to keep my batteries charged, just like I do with my Kindle.  (That's how I was able to keep the party guests informed with up-to-the-minute news of the Pacquio vs. Margarito fight.) 

So please, Santa...Could you bring me some rechargeable batteries before Christmas?  I wouldn't want to miss something special that could happen at any of the celebrations in the coming weeks, like my in-law's anniversary extravaganza and Hope's 13th birthday.

Not only would you be helping me, but you'd also be saving the planet.

I promise to make you an extra batch of those delicious cinnamon cookies that you love.

Hope to see you soon. 

Mama's Losin' It

There is beauty in laundry...

Yesterday on Facebook, I mentioned that I am thankful for the pile of dirty laundry, because it means we have clothes on our backs to keep us warm.  And today, thanks to the combination of the crisp morning air and the bright sun, I watched the way my patio filled with steam while I hung my laundry to dry.  There is beauty to be found in all that we do. 


Friday Fragments

More bits and pieces of what's been going on as of late.   

*We bought a new car!  (When I say new, I mean new to us!)  It's a red Ford Explorer circa 1992. (The year I graduated High School!)  I've ALWAYS wanted one since I first rode in one when I was in college.  It was love at first sight.  The only downside is that it's a stick shift.  Remember, I don't know how to drive stick!  (See Driving Miss Leslie)  But I think I'm finally ready to learn! 

*Speaking of driving...I actually drove today!  I helped Hubby deliver a little Nissan truck that he did some work on.  Nick went along with me for the ride and spent the whole time praying.    

*My health is much better.  I went for a short walk yesterday (my first in almost a month) and didn't get all wheezy.  Same thing happened today.  I was actually able to walk to pick up Jack from Kindergarten.  Bye-bye coughing and bronchial spasms.   

*My in-laws' big 46th anniversary extravaganza is just 3 weeks away.   Hubby's brother and sister will be flying in from California!   This will be the first time that all 6 siblings will be together at the same time in I don't know how many years.   

*Tonight, while I stood on my sidewalk talking to Hubby and my eldest brother-in-law, I saw a shooting star.  At first, I thought it was a falling airplane.  Then I thought it must be a cohete (firecracker). When I finally realized what it was, I couldn't think of anything to wish for.  How is that possible?!  My first shooting star and no wishes whatsoever!  Of course a minute later, I had a few wishes, but I'm not going to tell you about them, because if I do, they won't come true.

What would you wish for?

    Mommy's Idea


    Day of the Dead...

    Everyone knows I love holidays.  Christmas.  Thanksgiving.  Halloween.  Easter.  The list goes on and on.  So it might come as a shock to learn that there is one holiday that I haven't fully embraced...Day of the Dead.

    It's one of the few holidays that my Mexican grandparents didn't celebrate.  November 2nd was just another day.  There were no colorful altars built for deceased friends or relatives.  No offerings with their favorite foods and beverages.  No sugar skulls.  Not even Pan de Muerto.  I knew nothing of the existence of Dia de Muertos

    It's not that my grandparents didn't care about the deceased, because they did.  There were countless visits to the cemetery, to tidy up the graves of my brother and Gramm's third husband, when I was a kid.   Weeds were pulled.  Tombstones were washed.  And fresh flowers were placed at each grave.  While we worked, Gramm would tell us stories about the deceased.  I loved hearing the stories about my brother.  They always made me feel so close to him, even though I never met him.  Same with Gramm's third husband, my mom's stepdad.  Although, I do remember freaking out everytime I washed his tombstone, because Gramm's name was on it.  (Sidenote: Gramm is to be buried with her third husband when her time comes.  The tombstone already has both of their names on it.  All that is missing is the date of Gramm's passing.) 

    I've gotten off topic a little, but the point is that I was taught to remember, respect and care for the deceased.  But I never learned about Dia de Muertos.

    During the six years that Hubby and I lived in the States, no mention was ever made of Dia de Muertos.  Not by Hubby, his relatives, our Latino friends and neighbors nor by the people at our Spanish language church.

    We arrived in Mexico just days before November 2nd, and the holiday passed, practically unnoticed.  It wasn't until the following year that I learned that Day of the Dead was such a large celebration.  It was the only thing the news programs talked about.  I searched all over El Mercado that year for sugar skulls, with no luck at all.  No one I knew had built an altar, but I noticed a steady flow of people taking flowers to El Panteon (the cemetery).  And I got to taste my first Pan de Muerto.

    I got to build my first miniature Altar de Muertos the year Pappy passed away.  But like the other two that I've made since, it was for one of the kiddies'  homework assignments.

    Like my grandparents, Hubby's family doesn't celebrate Day of the Dead.  Not because they don't care for the deceased, but because they believe we should shower our loved ones with flowers and gifts while they are still alive to enjoy them.  And I couldn't agree more.

    So, while I may never get to take part in a big Dia de Muertos celebration, my thoughts are filled with memories of those that are no longer with me.

    Godspeed to all of you!