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Food Glorious Food

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Food Glorious Food

I seldom write about food. I have mentioned traditional foods associated with holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Years ago I wrote posts about the cooking classes I took in Mazatlan. I may have also referred to the odd restaurant here and there.

Food in Mexico varies in nature from place to place. A torta is very different in Guadalajara from a torta in Mazatlan. My vote for the best tamales still goes to Culiacán. Gorditas in San Luis Potosí are not as tasty as the ones in Aguascalientes. So far Mazatlan is winning when it comes to sopa de tortilla. Hands down the best pizza is in Tlaquepaque.

I will begin by writing about the Cocinas Economicas I frequent here in Las Flores. These are basically places where you buy prepared foods. There is always a variety of cooked food available and the menu changes daily. One that I go to has tables and you can eat there. I did that often last year when I didn’t have a fridge or microwave. 55 pesos buys you soup, a main course, two sides, salad, a generous portion of agua fresca and of course, tortillas. This translates to US $2.91.

Yesterday I picked up chicken milanesa (3 large portions), chicken stew, beef stew, California style mixed veggies, salad, spaghetti, 3 chili rillenos and vegetable soup. Yes, that will easily feed me for the week. Total cost 265 pesos or US $14.04.

All ingredients are fresh. There is not a can or a frozen product used in the preparation of these foods.

Needless to say I do eat out as well. Because I am allergic to fish and seafood, I am unable to give you an idea of the cost.

A cheeseburger with fries and a soda averages 85 pesos or US $4.50. A large pizza averages 110 pesos or US $5.83. A quesadilla averages 25 pesos or US $1.32. I could go on and on but you get the picture. It is inexpensive to eat out.

I must admit that in the morning I prefer to have yogurt and granola for breakfast. But I do go out occasionally for gorditas.

Chicken rosticerias are high on my list as well. I picked up a whole roasted chicken for 70 pesos the other day or US $3.70. In the grocery section Walmart sells a half of a roasted chicken with salad for 35 pesos or US $1.85.

A friend who owned a cafe last year also cooks for me often. A delicious home-cooked meal is delivered to my door for 60 pesos or US $ 3.19.

Food prices vary from place to place as well. When I lived in Mazatlan I found the cost of food to be almost double, but it is a big tourist area. When I lived in Guadalajara the cost was about the same as here. In San Luis Potosí It was lower.

Wherever I have lived the fruit and vegetables have been fresher and cheaper than in Canada or the USA. What better way than to start your day off with a half litre of fresh squeezed orange juice for 20 pesos or just over US $1?

Many restaurants deliver and there is also the option of Uber Eats. But I have yet to use these services.

Now if only I could find some moussaka here in Aguascalientes….

Propósitos

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Propósitos

2020 has arrived. A new year. A new decade. And a hot topic here in Mexico is “propósitos” or what we call in English “resolutions.”

When I lived in Canada, popular resolutions included losing weight, exercising regularly and working harder to earn more money. But what I’m hearing here in Mexico from friends and students is very different.

The common propósitos here are more spiritual in nature. Students tell me they want to study and be more successful at school. Friends tell me they want to spend more time with family and attend church more often.

As for me, I want to preserve that inner calm that I have worked so hard to find. Inevitably it will change some of the relationships I have with others in my life; some for the better and some for the worse. But that can’t be avoided.

I’m also determined to spend less time in front of a computer screen. I have bid farewell to many of the games I used to play online. I apologize to those I no longer send lives to. But I want to commune with nature a little more this year.

On that note, I went for a long walk this afternoon around my neighborhood. One of the first things I noticed was the oranges growing on a neighbor’s tree.

Further on down the street I noticed the beautiful red blossoms on a poinsettia tree.

I then meandered through the park where I regularly color. But this time I left my gel pens and coloring book at home.

I admired the blossoms emerging on bushes and trees.

I gazed solemnly at the lovely cacti.

And I felt at peace.

Adiós 2019 Bienvenida 2020

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Adiós 2019 Bienvenida 2020

I was in San Ciro de Acosta, San Luis Potosí when this year began. About two weeks later I traveled to Aguascalientes City, Aguascalientes.

A frenzy of visiting fourteen museums, countless churches and beautiful parks followed. I also went leather shopping in León, Guanajuato and visited the pueblo mágico of Calvillo.

Three months flew by and I found myself on a flight to Seattle from Puerto Vallarta. And shortly after I arrived in Leavenworth.

The months I spend in Washington state are filled with activity. I volunteer at church, teach fitness classes, belong to a book club, play bridge and am active at the senior center. But of most importance are the friendships I’ve made over the years and the time I spend with these special people.

This past summer I also took a side trip to Kelowna to see my granddaughter. Madeline was just a few weeks old the last time I saw her and at 17 months she was now an active toddler.

Other highlights of my time in Washington included Vacation Bible School at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene, as well as attending the 9/11 service at Spirit of America in Cashmere.

All too soon fall arrived and I boarded a flight to Guadalajara. A short bus ride followed and I was back in Aguascalientes City.

I’m staying in the Las Flores area again. Last winter I found a church close by and it felt like returning home this winter. I truly am blessed to have a church family here in Mexico as well as in Leavenworth.

This winter has been very different. I am not running around playing tourist. I’m taking time for ME instead. I do have friends here and I am teaching English a few hours a week. But I find time to color and to go for long walks. I am really focusing on my Spanish language skills. Because I live in a very Mexican neighborhood where virtually no-one else speaks English, I am totally immersed both in the culture and in the Spanish language. I also watch movies in Spanish with no English subtitles.

Other than one trip to Culiacán, I haven’t traveled much this winter. However I do have some travel ideas for 2020.

I spent Christmas with friends and will be attending an event at my church on New Year’s Eve.

This is my last post for 2019. At this time I’d like to thank all my readers for taking the time to follow my blog posts. I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2020. May it be another fabulous year for everyone!

Farewell To Another Decade

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Farewell To Another Decade

It’s pouring rain here in Aguascalientes and unseasonably low temperatures have graced us. It’s a good day to sip herbal tea and to watch movies. And to write a blog post.

New Year’s Eve 2009 was when I rang in the second decade of the millenium. At the time I was with friends from church and living in Winnipeg.

In 2010 I was on a tour up in the Copper Canyon in northern Mexico. I rang in the new year in El Fuerte with friends. We had dinner at the hotel where Zorro was filmed. Zorro himself appeared at our table just before the fireworks began at midnight.

I have celebrated New Year’s Eve with numerous friends from all over the world every year since then. I’ve been in Culiacán, Guadalajara, México City, Mazatlan and San Ciro. This year I will be in Aguascalientes to welcome the year 2020.

The past decade has been one of the most exciting times in my life. “Growth” has been the key word in describing my experience. I embarked in a new career in a foreign country. I learned a new language and assimilated into a different culture. I’ve celebrated holidays with new friends from all over the world.

I’ve lived in and explored amazing areas in Mexico that I’d never even heard of before. I went on an amazing train trip in the Copper Canyon, I climbed pyramids in central Mexico and I walked barefoot in the sand on numerous beaches along the Pacific coast. I’ve visited several magic towns and have enjoyed the local cuisine in most places, menudo aside.

Mexicans marvel at the fact that I am a single female and travel solo at my age, especially when I settle down for a while in a new place. I thrive on exploring new places and meeting new people. I have friends of all ages and backgrounds. I have a family in Culiacán who have adopted me and I am the proud abuelita of four amazing grandsons.

And just when I thought that Mexico was absolutely “it”, I discovered Leavenworth. This quaint Bavarian village has captured my heart. I’ve made good friends and we’ve shared some great adventures together.

All of these experiences have contributed to my growth. At this point in time I am really living life to the fullest.

Farewell to the second decade of this millennium. Welcome to the third decade. Can’t wait to find out what comes next!!!!

Sentimentality

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Sentimentality

As I sit here with a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie on in the background, my thoughts wander back to a conversation I had with my friend Florence when I was in Leavenworth this summer. Maybe it’s a combination of the holidays and the family Christmas in the Hallmark movie. But sentimentality is on my mind.

Florence was about to move out of her home in Leavenworth, a home she had lived in for 35 years. She lamented the fact that her children wanted nothing although she had offered them so many things that she and her husband could not take with them to their new home in Wenatchee. I could so identify with that. My experience was similar when my marriage ended. It’s obvious that the next generation is not in the least interested in the treasures we have accumulated. That sense of sentimentality is definitely missing.

I remarked about how in my past I had been extremely sentimental and how I no longer have those feelings about “things.” While I do have fond memories of my china and silver, I also have no need to host formal dinners anymore. The Moorcroft and other antiques belong to another life that ended when my marriage ended. In actuality, the hardest items to part with were the handmade birthday and Valentine’s cards my children had lovingly given me over the years.

But I do recall many a time when I used my mother’s or my grandmother’s china. I recall polishing the silver tea service my aunt and uncle had given us for a wedding gift. And so much more.

Florence and I agreed that our children will never know these feelings. And we wonder if someday our children may regret that they didn’t keep some of these things…..

How Do You Do It? Part 2

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How Do You Do It? Part 2

In Part 1 I focused on my first eight years here in Mexico.

When I returned from Leavenworth last fall, I had some health issues to deal with and found myself in Guadalajara for a couple of weeks. Next I went back to Mazatlan for a weekend. I then spent a week in Culiacán with my family.

Now fully retired, there was no school or private students to tie me down. I wanted to explore areas in Mexico where I’d never been before. I wanted to live in a Mexican area far removed from all the expats and snowbirds that had been my experience in Mazatlan for three years.

Scrolling through Facebook one day, I noticed some posts in one of the groups I belong to with photos of an area in San Luis Potosí. I messaged Bonnie for more information and we chatted back and forth. Bonnie is from Texas but moved to San Ciro de Acosta when she married a Mexican a couple of years ago. Her mother was around my age and had just moved down there as well. Days later I found myself on a bus headed for San Luis Potosí.

Bonnie and her husband met me in Rio Verde and drove me to San Ciro. They then took me around the town and helped me find somewhere to live.

My plan was to stay for three weeks or so. But I wound up staying for two months. Bonnie, her mother Connie and I all became good friends. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s together.

It was hard to leave but there were other areas in Mexico to be explored. So I once again turned to the Facebook groups to decide where to go next, making specific inquiries about Aguascalientes City.

I received a text on Messenger one day from someone asking how I liked his hometown. I didn’t recognize his name until I looked back on a two year old thread when I’d been living in Mazatlan and had been looking for an opthalmologist. I replied and told him I hadn’t realized he was from San Ciro. His response was that he was from Aguascalientes and he thought I had already arrived there. I told him I was still in San Ciro but would welcome any information he had to share about Aguascalientes, especially pertaining as to a good area to stay. He put me in touch with his nephew Fernando.

Fernando has a cousin Raul on his mother’s side of the family. Raul has hotels in Aguascalientes. I now had somewhere to stay so off I went.

I had done my research and thought that one month would be sufficient for the museums and churches I wanted to visit. Nope. It turns out three months wasn’t enough and I returned to Aguascalientes at the end of October.

Of course by now I have put down a few roots and made some friends. I also found a church close by. Aguascalientes is my home base this winter until I return to Leavenworth in April.

I hope these posts have given some insight as to how I am able to do what I do. I’d like to add that I’m a single female in my late 60s. It’s a myth that you have to be young to do what I do. I never had the opportunity to do this when I was younger, so what better time than NOW?

How Do You Do It? Part 2

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How Do You Do It? Part 2

In Part 1 I focused on my first eight years here in Mexico.

When I returned from Leavenworth last fall, I had some health issues to deal with and found myself in Guadalajara for a couple of weeks. Next I went back to Mazatlan for a weekend. I then spent a week in Culiacán with my family.

Now fully retired, there was no school or private students to tie me down. I wanted to explore areas in Mexico where I’d never been before. I wanted to live in a Mexican area far removed from all the expats and snowbirds that had been my experience in Mazatlan for three years.

Scrolling through Facebook one day, I noticed some posts in one of the groups I belong to with photos of an area in San Luis Potosí. I messaged Bonnie for more information and we chatted back and forth. Bonnie is from Texas but moved to San Ciro de Acosta when she married a Mexican a couple of years ago. Her mother was around my age and had just moved down there as well. Days later I found myself on a bus headed for San Luis Potosí.

Bonnie and her husband met me in Rio Verde and drove me to San Ciro. They then took me around the town and helped me find somewhere to live.

My plan was to stay for three weeks or so. But I wound up staying for two months. Bonnie, her mother Connie and I all became good friends. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s together.

It was hard to leave but there were other areas in Mexico to be explored. So I once again turned to the Facebook groups to decide where to go next, making specific inquiries about Aguascalientes City.

I received a text on Messenger one day from someone asking how I liked his hometown. I didn’t recognize his name until I looked back on a two year old thread when I’d been living in Mazatlan and had been looking for an opthalmologist. I replied and told him I hadn’t realized he was from San Ciro. His response was that he was from Aguascalientes and he thought I had already arrived there. I told him I was still in San Ciro but would welcome any information he had to share about Aguascalientes, especially pertaining as to a good area to stay. He put me in touch with his nephew Fernando.

Fernando has a cousin Raul on his mother’s side of the family. Raul has hotels in Aguascalientes. I now had somewhere to stay so off I went.

I had done my research and thought that one month would be sufficient for the museums and churches I wanted to visit. Nope. It turns out three months wasn’t enough and I returned to Aguascalientes at the end of October.

Of course by now I have put down a few roots and made some friends. I also found a church close by. Aguascalientes is my home base this winter until I return to Leavenworth in April.

I hope these posts have given some insight as to how I am able to do what I do. I’d like to add that I’m a single female in my late 60s. It’s a myth that you have to be young to do what I do. I never had the opportunity to do this when I was younger, so what better time than NOW?