Monday, June 30, 2014

June's "This and That" Photos

We usually carry a camera with us and we stop to take photos that are unique or of interest or just because we can.  Sometimes we can use the photos to tell a story or make a point.  Sometimes we just have "this and that" photos that don't really go together.  Here are some "extra" photos for June

Not sure why there are pop bottles on the rebar on the roof of the house.

Amazing how flowers make an ugly area look very nice.

Bet you can't eat just one!

The creatures trying to get into the house
are getting larger.

This house is for sale.
Something has to be said about the desirability
of the location

This truck comes weekly to swap our
empty drinking water jugs
for filled jugs.

It is possible to pay the electricity bill
by driving up to an automated machine.

Logo for the local Soriano store
plus  the skyscape of Tampico

Garbage cans catch the dripping rain water in Chedraui. 

The driver was off talking to someone so we
snapped this photo as we walked by Friend Horse.
This side of this street (4th Avenue) is in Tampico
 and the other side is Ciudad Madero
Checking an electronic device in bright sunlight.

Hermana Albuja from Ecuador and Hermana Crowther from Orem
are currently assigned to our Jardin Ward

Paul 's New Shovel

Paul's plan is to prepare the ground right there so he can transplant a banana "start" to see if it will grow up to be a big banana tree.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Banana Tree and a Secure House

When we arrived on our mission, we were delighted that we were the proud "owners" of a banana tree WITH bananas growing on it.  We really enjoyed those bananas and look forward to more bunches of bananas.

Not long after the bananas were all gone, the tree that bore them just collapsed like wet newspaper.  We went online and learned we were to cut it down--it had served its purpose.  We know nothing about growing bananas but are observers of other banana trees.  For several months now,  as we walk to the temple, one of our routes takes us by a yard with bananas and THEIR banana tree had more bananas growing--why didn't ours?  So we do what we do.  First we went online to see if information written there or a video would help us and it didn't.  We began to ask people we know what they know about growing bananas.  The answer that we got surprised us because those "in the know' said to cut down the big banana trees and let the little ones grow.  We had two rather large banana trees in advanced stages of growth and couldn't bring ourselves to cutting them down--what if they were right to the point of bringing forth a blossom that would turn into those bananas??

Anyway, as we began to notice the young shoots coming forth, we decided it was time to do what several of our friends with banana trees had told us to do--just cut down the large trees.

  We decided to make a photo opportunity out of the event.  Also we wanted to show our new Mexico soccer shirts that we had just bought so we combined the two occasions--the cutting and the shirts.

Notice the 8" blade we used for cutting a 10" diameter tree !

After cutting the larger tree down, we went to go back into the house and found ourselves locked out. The front door was bolted and the back door which we accidentally closed had a key hole but we don't have a key that will fit it.  How do we get back inside this very secure house?  First of all, we prayed for help and inspiration.  We looked at every barred window and then Paul wondered about taking down a screen to access a window by the front door that doesn't latch tightly.  With a broom handle we might be able to slide the bolt to the side.  Our screwdrivers were securely locked inside, so Paul went to the neighbors house to borrow one.  Turns out that we have nice neighbors.

We removed the screen, used the broom handle, opened the bolt and-- WHEW--entered our secure house!  Then we said another pray to give our heartfelt thanks to our Heavenly Father for His help.

Now we'll wait and watch our little banana shoots as they grow.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday at the Temple

We stood at the door of the temple to take this shot.  Members in the distant stakes ride in the buses for several hours.  After arriving in Tampico, they first go to the Ciudad Jardin Stake Center (the yellow building) to change clothes and refresh themselves (and leave small children with baby sitters there) before coming to the temple.  There were two big buses and one small bus today.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Walking to the Temple

We actually have several ways that we walk to the temple.  
This is just one of them that we often walk 
when we aren't looking for shade or for a ride.
We leave the house and head east and are impressed by the trimmed trees ahead.
We turn right onto this street and keep to the righ while walking.  The line is not a pedestrian path but where the road had been opened up after cement had been poured and we keep to the right of the line.  This is what we call  the "stinky water street" though they have fixed the water problem.
As we walk to the side of the road, we usually meet several cars and buses coming our way.
we pass by Ofelia's hair cutting shop

then the local car wash
we walk in front of the store selling juice and the meat market
we walk in front of the hardware store and the tortilla shop
past the tire repair shop
we turn left down past the bakery (pink sign) 
to the left of the palm tree and radio tower
 is our goal--it is the Angel Moroni.
We walk from home to the temple in about 12 minutes,
which, according to our GPS is 1,100 yards.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Local Car Wash Options

We have noticed that there are many car washing places here.  They range from simple to rather elaborate businesses.  So we began to take photos of those we see rather often.

The first photo is the car wash sign straight across the street from where we live.  We aren't sure what used to be there but this is what is there now.

From what we can see, all anyone really needs to have in order to open a car wash is a place for the cars to park, a sign and water.  Some of these are rather small.

Some car washes offer extra services along with the wash.  The one below offers to vacuum and wax as well as wash the motor. 

Some of the car washes are rather modern and sophisticated.  This particular one has the swirling brushes to clean the cars plus several vacuum stalls to get the inside of the car clean as well as the outside.
Though most car wash signs are in Spanish, some are in English. The "Snack Wash" with this one is where people can snack while they wait for their car.

So people with cars have lots of choices of where to have them washed--unless they do it themselves in front of their house...which we see fairly often.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Tribute from Jim

Compared to my Dad, Rocky Balboa had it easy.

There was no stadium of fans cheering for my Dad. His only fans were in the ring with him - and I don't mean on the other side of the ropes in the corner and out of harm's way, but right there in the ring. If Dad went down, the fight was coming to us. But we didn't know it, we weren't even scared. We clowned around on the mat, oblivious to the beating that Dad was taking. Or we tugged at his shorts, asking why he didn't play with us more, not knowing that Dad could only play when his opponent was laying on the canvas, and this didn't happen all that often. Most of his opponents were a lot bigger and better than he was, and Dad had no training before entering the ring. But, he made the experience as fun for us as he could, and talked to us throughout.

There was no bell, and no breaks. We usually made him get his own water, because, well, why shouldn't he get his own water? He's big, isn't he? He chose to get into the ring, didn't he? I fear we weren't the most supportive team.

Day after day, year after year, he stood in the center of the ring absorbing one body blow after another. Slowly, one by one, we left the ring, some remembering to thank him, some not. He kept fighting for a while after we left. In fact, that was when he did some of his best fighting. He was experienced now and, without the distraction of half a dozen kids, he frequently stretched his opponents on the canvas long enough to spend some time with mom. When he finally retired for good, there was no fanfare or million dollar purse, and certainly no statue in Philadelphia. The promoter just shook his hand, and told him to turn off the lights behind him on the way out.

Now, facing our own opponents, we wish we had paid a little more attention.

(Dad is currently on a mission in Mexico with mom. Probably not fighting anymore, but certainly putting on a clinic.)

Thanks again Dad!
They celebrate Father's Day in Mexico as well.

Life Without York Mints

Sometimes life just gets complicated--especially when we don't have our "go to" York Mint box in the freezer.  We wander through the stores looking for a sweet treat..meaning...chocolate.  Though they are just not the same as a York Mint, we seem to have built up quite a stock of goodies in our freezer. .
Hermana Jordan gave us the chocolate chips
We decided to spread our stash out on the table to see just what we have accumulated.
We like some of the treats better than others.....but nothing can really take the place of our favorite York Mints!