What I Want on my Altar de Muertos


Dia de Muertos isn't one of those holidays that I've always celebrated.  But with each year that passes, I embrace it more and more.  So much so, that I had planned on building my first Altar de Muertos this year for my grandmother, who passed away in December of last year.  But with my suegra's (mother-in-law's) recent passing, the pain and loss is still too fresh for us and I couldn't bring myself to build an altar for anyone.

Earlier today, we visited El Panteon (cemetery) to take flowers to my suegra, and then walked around to admire all of the beautiful altares, with various ofrendas (offerings) that included items like cigarettes, tequila, beer, and pan dulce (Mexican pastries).   Seeing all of the different ofrendas got me to thinking about what I'd want my family and friends to include in my Altar de Muertos, some 50+ years from now.  So, I've compiled a list...


Suggestions for my Altar de Muertos:
(In no particular order)
  • A toy laptop and/or tablet, to represent my love of blogging and social media.
  • A camera, because I'm constantly taking pictures.  My hubby jokes that my camera is glued to my fingers.  
  • An American flag, because no matter how long I've lived in Mexico, I'm still an American girl at heart.
  • A Mexican flag, because I've come to love this beautiful country as my very own. 
  • A cookbook, to represent my love of cooking. 
  • A rolling pin and whisk, because I love to bake.
  • A bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola, because it's my beverage of choice. Glass bottles only, please.  No plastic! 
  • A bottle of red wine, because it's my grown-up beverage of choice.   
  • An eyebrow pencil, because I can leave the house without any make-up on, just not  without putting on my eyebrows first.  
  • A Spanish/English dictionary, to remind everyone that I worked as an ESL teacher.
  • Gerber daisies, because they're my favorite flower.
  • A Jack-O-Lantern, to represent my love of American holidays.
  • A Cow, because it's my favorite animal. 
  • Something leopard print, like maybe a scarf, to please my inner Peggy Bundy, who makes most of my wardrobe choices.  
  • Candles: In lieu of the traditional veladoras (candles), I'd prefer vanilla or cinnamon scented candles, because I like things that smell sweet, like dessert.  
  • Food offerings: I'll be happy with pretty much anything, just don't forget to include coffee, chocolate chip cookies, Sabritas adobadas (seasoned potato chips), and Dulce de Calabaza (candied pumpkin).
  • Personal items: Books, movies, and music cd's, because they brought a lot of happiness to my life.  
I know this list probably seems kind of morbid, and in the past, I never would have even considered posting something like this out of fear of jinxing myself, but sometimes I can be a little dark and twisted.  But most of all, I like to think that it's because I've come to accept, appreciate, and really like Dia de Muertos.  

What would you suggest for your Altar de Muertos?


Celebrating Thanksgiving Every Day in November

Each year for the month of November, I like to count my blessings each day by writing what I am thankful for that day, because I think it's important to be thankful on more than just the fourth Thursday of the month.  It's something I've done for years in my journal.  And in the past years I've done it on Facebook and Twitter.  But this year, I thought it would be fun to keep track of all of the things I am grateful for in one place, here on the blog.

At the end of each day, I will come back to this post to write what I am thankful for.  What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Thankfulness...

Day 1:
I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads to shelter us from the cold.

Day 2: 
I am thankful for modern-day medicine!  This morning I woke up feeling achy and feverish, with a sore throat and an earache in each ear, and no desire to get out of bed.  But thanks to some cold/flu medicine and antibiotics, I was able to celebrate Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) with my family.

Day 3:
Today I'm thankful for big, warm, and fuzzy blankets!  I'm still a little under the weather, and with the crisp, chilly weather outside, there is no better feeling than curling up under my big, warm blanket.

Day 4:
I am thankful for the end of Daylight Savings Time!  Here in Mexico, we "fell back" a week before those of you in the US, and I must say that I am loving it!  No more late sleepless nights for me.  By 10:00pm, I can barely keep my eyes open.  And by 10:30pm, this former night-owl is sound asleep.  Zzzzzzz......

Day 5:
Today I'm thankful for a couple of things.  I'm thankful for days that don't go the way I had hoped, even though they wear me out and leave me feeling a little overwhelmed.  But at the end of that bad day, I know I'll have another chance at a better day tomorrow.

I'm also thankful for my job.  It gives me something else to think about besides housework and homework.  I couldn't ask for better students. And I love the fact that I get to drink a glass of wine while on the job.

Day 6:
I'm thankful for my Hubby's sense of humor and his ability to make me laugh over the silliest and simplest thing.

Day 7:
I'm thankful for cups of hot tea, that help soothe and relax me after a busy day of being a wife and mom.

Day 8:
I'm thankful that our truck is still running and that the only problem with it was that it ran out of gas.

Day 9:
I'm thankful for my father-in-law and the time my kiddies get to spend joking and listening to their grandpa's stories.

Day 10: 
I'm thankful for getting to sleep in on Saturday mornings!

Day 11:
I'm thankful for hot showers and coffee.  But I'm most thankful for gas.  Without it, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the first two items mentioned.

Day 12:
I'm thankful for Hubby's shop, which provides us with the means to pay for the roof over our heads, the clothes on our back, and the food in our stomachs.

Day 13:
I'm thankful for my wonderful kiddies and the time we get to spend together.

Day 14:
I'm thankful for care packages filled with goodies from the US.  And I'm thankful for the wonderful friends who are a tremendous blessing in my life.

Day 15: 
I'm thankful Facebook for allowing me to reunite with old friends and family members with whom I had lost contact with.  And I am thankful to have those people back in my life.

Day 16: 
I'm thankful that one of my students is a doctor, who changed my inhaler to something that is really helping with my asthma! YAY for being able to breathe!

To be continued....