Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This and That for September

We take photos of things that catch our eye as we are out and about each day.  Some of the photos develop into a story and have a blog of their own and others don't.   Here are the miscellaneous photos that we took during September. 

We noticed our neighbors had to take care of a water leak in front of their house.  Our house is located behind this house and we access it through the little alley way by the palms in the background.

About a block away from out house, they had poured a new sidewalk and had added a designer tile.

This is what a water leak hole looks like after it has been patched.

The Tampico Temple has a very long white metal fence around its perimeter grounds.  Paul figures that the fence is approximately 1/4 mile long.  The fence is made of metal and we live in a humid climate.  When the inspectors came they said that the fence is beginning to oxidize and needs repaired.  From what we have noticed, the workmen grind the old paint from each rail, paint the bare metal with a protective coat and then repaint the rail white.  There are at least 1/2 dozen men working on the fence each day and we are sure it will cost thousands of dollars to do all the work.  When we asked Hno Saldivar (former temple president) if they had done this before, he commented that the entire fence had been redone at least twice since the temple was built in 2000.  The black car in the photo is one of several parked along the side of the temple that someone has just parked and walked away from.  With four or five of these cars together, it begins to look like an unsightly automotive graveyard.  We were told when we first arrived that the church had paid to have other cars hauled off only to have the empty space fill up again but Hno. Briones said that wasn't the case.
Mexican Independence Day is September 16 and we saw these colorful typical children's clothing in the local grocery store. We took a photo instead of buying them. A little girl was dressed in a similar dress at our ward party.  
Not only were the stores' decorations preparing us for Mexico's Independence Day, they are also preparing us for Halloween and Christmas.

We were rather surprised to walk into H.E.B. earlier in the month and found not only this refrigerated shelf empty but they were systematically emptying all of the refrigerated shelves in the store.  We asked what was happening and where do we find the spinach.  A man helped us and said they were replacing the refrigeration unit.  When we asked how long it would take, he said they had begun early that morning and planned to have it finished the same day.  We happened to be in H.E.B. a day or two later and were amazed to see that it was all back to normal again.
This is the ATM that ate our Visa and it took from July to September to get a replacement card that works.
Located at the front of the H.E.B. grocery store.
Walking along the road we saw a sign reminding people to get in training for the 5K & 10 K races on November 9.  We won't be joining them.

The "camaron" (shrimp) is in a lot of stores and advertisements here like the beehive is in Utah.  This is a sign over the Camaron Vaquero or "Cowboy Shrimp" a seafood restaurant

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Evening at the Beach

We decided to go to the beach this evening just to get out of the house.  It seems that there is something different to see each time we go and this time was no exception.  We noticed there was foam all along the shoreline about 6 to 8 inches thick.  We asked three people why there was foam and got three answers.  One said because there is fresh water mixing with the salt water.  The next said because it had rained so much.  The third man, an experienced fisherman, said that the rain had raised the height of the river and that it was dumping all of it's filth into the ocean.  The foam was the result of the pollution washed in by the additional rains.  We asked if it affecting the fishing and he said "no."  It didn't seem to bother the bathers either.
have a great time in the foamy water

asking the locals about the foam
dried foam
waves washing in under the foam
fresh water (right) and sea water (left) coming together
We walked the length of the pier and saw guys fishes, families watching.
our first time to see guys fishing with nets

There were many well fed "mapaches"  (a type of raccoon that seems to have longer legs than those in the US).

this man was selling food for the mapaches from his bicycle
but they are expert beggars. 

these guys were stalking us aware that we were eating something (our granola bars)
and they stayed with us for at least 300 yards

 This is the rising river with the floating pollution being trees in these photos along with small things that we can't see..

fishermen heading out for an evening's work
The sun set at the beach while we walked back to the bus stop, making a cool ending to a nice break from the house

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Bit of Repair Work

We have noticed smaller holes to repair various water leaks but this one was so big that it really caught our attention.  The back hoe operator said that the drain water line had collapsed and they were replacing once section of it and perhaps will continue their repair work for a couple of blocks if needed.  The situation is still being investigated.

Because 2nd Avenue is a fairly major street, they were doing this work on a Sunday when traffic is minimal. 

Trimmed Trees

We have been impressed with the way people trim their trees to look so creative and nice.  We became aware today that there is a practical reason to keep them trimmed.

If the residents don't keep their trees trimmed and away from the power lines, the electrical company will come and help.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Our First Ward Mexican Fiesta

Our ward Barrio El Jardin, announced there would be a Mexican Fiesta at the church to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day. We first met in the Primary room and began with a song and prayer. This part of the party was geared for Primary children.
These primary teachers handed out sheets of paper to write down facts about Mexico to share that others might not know.  Paul wrote that the city of Aguascalientes is the geographical center of Mexico. That means that if you have a map of Mexico and balance it on a pin, the point of your pin would be located at Aguascalientes.  Sherryl made a frog with her sheet of paper.  We aren't sure what happened to these papers since they were gathered and not mentioned again.  Perhaps they will read them in Primary.

Hermana Saldivar sang a song about Mexico's Independence Day and then had the kids join her.

The Primary is not very large but they are cute kids.

We moved into the cultural hall where there was more room and were too busy eating and visiting to take more photos!  There were about 40 adults by the time everyone had arrived and a lot more food..  We were told that the Young Single Adults had a dance later in the evening after we had gone.  

From Sherryl's journal:
"Paul helped turn on the A/C since it was hot and the adults sat in the chairs lining the walls.  There was a paper hop-scotch in the center of the floor for the kids and a dart game for the kids and they had a great time.  At first it appeared that they were placing the YSA leftovers on a table and after 7 p.m. people and families from the ward began to arrive with their dishes and put them on the little table and a few were up filling plates.  Hno. Acosta asked for a blessing on the food.  He then brought Paul and I plates of lasagna and that was good.  Hna. Acosta asked if we wanted tostadas and we said we did.  They have crisp little fried corn tortillas and she smeared black refried beans on those and queso molido and handed them to me on a plate.  We had a lime pop to drink and I finally got up to look at what was on the table and tried the sliced poblano and the mole.  Paul was sitting by Hna. Diaz and asked how to make mole and apparently it is from pumpkin seeds.  Hna. Perez had brought the mole and said would write down the recipe.  More people came and it got louder and louder.  We spoke in English to a RM named Adrian for a while.  We tried more food that Acosta prepared by putting mayo and cheese on large [9” x 12”] crisp chips and she and I talked about the cheese store near our house.  People began to leave and we decided it was time to go as well.  We walked home in the evening breeze and were home by 9 p.m.  I had eaten quite a bit and was happy for the walk."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spanish Dichos or Expressions

We have been introduced to several Spanish expressions and want to share a few of the shorter ones.  Below are 17 of these numbered from 1 through 17.  Lettered from "a" to "q" is a list of English equivalent expressions.  Keep in mind that the expressions don't exaction "say" the same thing but usually "mean" the same thing.  We asked two or three locals and they agree that these expressions are valid here.

For those acquainted with Spanish, the challenge is to match the Spanish with the English.  The answer key will be posted in a day or two.  

01. Cuentas claras, amistades largas
02. Perro que ladra no muerde
03. Más vale tarde que nunca
04. Mala hierba nunca muere
05. No hay rosa sin espinas
06. De tal palo tal astilla
07. Borrón y cuenta nueva
08. Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo
09. El amor todo lo puede
10. Quien espera desespera
11. Barriga llena, corazon contento
12. Cada loco con su tema
13. Mucho ruido y pocas nueces
14. Donde hay humo hay fuego
15. Donde pongo el ojo pongo la bola
16. Poca veneno no mata
17. Al enfermo lo que pida

a. Give to the sick whatever they ask
b. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
c. Love will find a way
d. A little venom doesn’t kill
e. To each his own
f. A chip off the old block
g. A full belly and a happy heart
h. Wisdom comes with age
i. A bad weed never dies
j. I hit where I aim
k. Let bygones be bygones
l. A barking dog doesn’t bite
m. A lot of talk without results
n. Every rose has its thorn
o. Better late than never
p. Good fences make good neighbors
q. He who waits, despairs

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Mission Home Road

On July 6, 2104 we went to the Mission Home and were unprepared to see what had happened to their road.

So we decided to keep track of the progress.  By July 21, the rains had quit and they could smooth the road.

We went back again on July 28 and saw more progress since they had brought in rocks.

We missed much of the progress since we left town for our two week temple maintenance break.  By these photos on September 1, they had poured the cement.  Hermana Jordan said the cement needs to cure for 23 days before they could drive their cars on it.
This  dirt barrier blocks the entrance to their street.

But the road construction continues on the next block.

From Crockett Chronicles - 31 August 2014:
The mission home is located on a street that has been under construction for a few months now.  We have been watching the progress and taking photos from time to time.  The Jordans can’t park in their driveway and they can’t even park in front of the mission house or on the street and haven’t been able to since construction began.  He parked at the end of the street and around the corner after waving to the construction workers whom they are getting to know very well.  When we asked how they feel about their road being dug up, he said he will be happy to be known as the president who finally got the road put in.  He asked us if we knew the story of that road and we didn't.  Apparently several mission presidents ago, the city records show that the work on the road was completed and their muddy and rutted street is officially considered a paved road in the city records.  When the former mission presidents would talk to the city officials about paving the road, they would be told that the road has already been paved.  What proof do they have to show that the roadwork has been completed?  Well, it is by the receipts they have neatly filed away from years ago, showing the contractor had been paid for the completed work.  President Jordan spoke with one of the secretaries in the city office who is quite savvy about how things are done here, and mentioned there should have been an inspector coming to check on the progress of the work.  The secretary just shrugged and said that the inspector was probably on the payroll as well.  So the city is once again paying a contractor to pave the road in front of the mission home.