Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy 2008~

The best part of any holiday is spending time with family& taking time to enjoy those moments.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yes, Virginia...there is Cold Weather in Mexico at Chrismas!

We are in Torreon for a few days & I am bundling up to keep warm. I am putting on layers of extra clothing. I met Carolyn in the hotel lobby yesterday here at the Marriott Hotel amid the loudly playing Chrismas tunes & holiday decor. Music: too loud, Decorations: nice but quite different from home. While I was waiting for her I was blasted by cold air each time the door opened into the Lobby. I didn't bring nearly enough warm clothing for our little road trip to Torreon. I am feeling the "South of the Border Chill". The cold takes a while to get down here but it has cooled down considerably. Not chill by Alaska or Chicago standards but cold for my thinning blood....Brrrrr!!! (It was in the 30's yesterday morning, go ahead laugh but I am chilled to the bone here) Last night I actually ordered warm milk for a night cap~I am always willing to try something new when I am chilled to the bone & not at home:)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fa, La, La, La, La, South of the Border~

I thought these tiny little dolls handcrafted by Mexica Indians of Central Mexico would be a great little addition to our little South of the Border Christmas tree.

It's the most wonderful time of the year South of the Border. There are so many Christmas decorations & Nativity scenes in Monterrey the streets are ablaze with color. Blink & you might miss it on one street but just around the corner there is generally one more blast of ribbons, nativities & trees to see. My favorite Nativity is the one in front of Vitro Corporativo, the Mary & Joseph figures are made of glass bottles. When the sun hits these large scale Nacimiento figures it is spectacular. Yes, another fantastic sight South of the Border!

This tree makes me laugh with the ultra skinny palm right next to the big Christmas Tree in the plaza at Santiago. Quite a contrast but quite Mexican!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quilting ~ A piece of home right here in Mexico!

I was invited to join the International Quilters of Monterrey Mexico. This group has been going strong for more than 20 years now. I don't profess to be a great Quilter by any stretch of the imagination but certainly hope my skills will improve around these extraordinary, skilled Quilters. They seem to a great group of talented, smart women.

I like the current IQMM monthly project it's the Square of the month & no two renditions are alike. Guess which Quilt Square is mine? ( is in English!) Once all 12 months are completed, each of us will have a wonderful full sized quilt.

The Mercado de Navidad

At the Mercado de Navidad they were selling a whole host of Angels, Marys, Joseph, Lions, Tigers & Bears~Oh, my! Seriously, they sell so many animals it would make Noah's head spin. There are so many typical Mexican Nativity pieces each somehow representative of day to day life in Mexico that truly is quite overwhelming. It is sensory overload on every level but quite fun!

While visiting Mercado de Navidad in Monterrey Jackie & I were amazed by the selection of pieces & parts to the Nacimientos as well as handcrafted ornaments. There were wreaths, pine trees, Christmas pinatas & a wide variety of Christmas decorating items. We really were captivated by the colorful straw woven ornaments with their twists & curvy shapes. Jackie even bought a cute little Arbol de Pino with her "Bunco Earnings"....Yes!!!! She has gone over to the dark side fellow Texas Bunco Babes, Jackie had beginner's luck & won a sizable cash prize. I think she might approve of the game at this point~

Saturday, December 8, 2007

In giving we receive so much.

Each week when I volunteer at Casa Hogar Douglas I feel my heartstrings are touched in a new way. Today serving & helping at the children's home Christmas party was no exception. I have met a group of incredible adults there at Casa Hogar & am constantly amazed by the random acts of kindness which seem to make daily changes in the lives of the kids there. Those children are truly beautiful & give me much more than I can ever possibly return to them.
To find out more about Casa Hogar Douglas check out this site:

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
Albert Schweitzer~

Friday, December 7, 2007

Nacimiento~that's Nativity for the Gringos!

These pieces are all made by hand & have a very Latin Characteristics to each piece.

*The biggest question many people have is why the devil in a manger scene? Historically nativities were used by Spanish priests to teach Biblical parables, stories as well as principals. The devil is there to show that evil in the world is always trying to fight against good. I thought it was strange but it made sense for me to get a little "diablo" for my nacimiento if I am going to have a very typical set. Last year in Coahuila I saw several devil figures holding items representing the 7 deadly sins! There was even one with a hotdog he was roasting on his pitchfork!!!! Hmmm, with certain members of my family hotdogs are a deadly sin...(Okay~a little dark humor at Christmas time, but seriously I saw a few of those.)

I just adore the girl with the pineapples, the family of pigs as well as the colored snake on top of the stone well. I will never find these pieces or symbols which are so typical of Mexico once I leave. I intend to continue to add to this set as I can. As Jackie is visiting next week & I am hoping to take her to a Mercado de Navidad. Typically that type of market has only Pine trees, Mangers, pinatas, ornaments & pieces & inexpensive images for the nacimientos. It is a very cool South of the Border experience~Also a very good place to stroll & have a nice mug of hot Mexican cocoa:)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December South of the Border

DecoraciĆ³n de la casa para la Navidad!

I am putting up a few Christmas Decorations & getting ready for my daughter to visit tomorrow. I pulled out this cheery Royal Doulton plate, a gift from my sister before I moved here last year. It shows a pleasant little Christmas Posada which is far from the way the modern South of the Border posadas are celebrated in this day & age, but I like it none the less. The colors & raised relief make a perfect addition to my Mexican Navidad items. *I had a little help of the furry four legged kind when I set up the Colorful Paper Mache Nativity set. Katerina played with the lightwieght Wisemen & Mary, moving them around. Later in the day I thought Mary looked like she was in conversation with the Wisemen!! Hmmm! Better keep that cat in line~she will have her own Fiesta with my decorations.

This view this morning at daybreak was an automatic tonic for the day! I can't put a price on that~it's the little blessings that keep me daily going forward.