Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Isabelle Has Arrived!

Well, the big news now is out of Muncie, Indiana, where Isabelle made her appearance on Easter at 6lbs.6oz. Here are the happy parents, Eric and Crystal, proudly holding their bundle of joy. Pixie will be heading up to Indiana on April 8 to help out, and I'll be heading up on April 22, because I'm not much help. Here are a couple of other photos. She wasn't at all happy about getting her first bath!

Our Mexican friends now say that we are "abuelos," actually Pixie is an abuela and I am an abuelo. And Isabelle is our "nieta." We are looking forward to seeing her in person and starting a long relationship with her.

Meanwhile, back in Mexico, the days are getting hotter, often topping 90 degrees in the afternoon. Although its a dry heat, it feels hot nonetheless. The evenings cool down, but the air is very dusty as the ground is very arid. By June, I can see why everyone is glad to see the rains come. I'm not complaining, mind you, after the brutal winter New England has seen. I'm perfectly happy to endure some warmth.

Speaking of weather, the "snowbird" season is coming to a close, and many people are heading back north for the summer. It seems as thought the majority of these seasonal visitors are from Canada, although I don't know if that is true. We have had many wonderful people attending our UU services this winter. Many of our services have had between 50 and 60 people. In the photo below, we had a gathering of some of our Canadian friends visit our new house and have coffee on the terrace after church. From the left is Margaret, a wonderful poet from Ottawa; Jim, a longtime resident of Thunder Bay; Lynn, Jim's wife from Thunder Bay and a great storyteller; Sharon, a political Junkie from Thunder Bay; Pixie;Sharon's husband Maynard who I plan to do some music with next year--he on tuba and me on guitar; and Leck, originally from Poland but now a long time Canadian.

On Easter Sunday (while Isabelle was making her appearance in the world) we enjoyed a brunch by the lake. Here Pixie and some of her sisterhood dance to the mariachis. Does she look like an grandmother?

We are settling into our new house poco a poco. We now have enough furniture to make it feel like home. We had to have our equipal table fixed. Some of the sticks in the table were damaged when it was transported in the truck. Here Carlos, a master equipal craftsman, replaces the damaged sticks.

As we learned the hard way, security is an important issue here. The homes are generally secure since they are behind walls, but some people secure their walls with broken glass, razor wire, or some other prison-like device. We wanted to leave our walls as is, and all the windows were equipped with ironwork, except the two sliders leading on to the terrace. So, reluctantly, we decided to add security doors which we can shut when we are away, or at night. We found iron-workers who are able to custom design anything with wrought iron. Below is a photo of Juan, who stands proudly next to the black iron security doors he designed, built and installed.

We are finding that a popular style of wood furniture here is called "rustico." This is pine furniture, made to order, and often carved and painted or stained. We bought the rustico TV shelf and end table shown below, and we are working on having a desk and shelves made for the den/guest room. I hope to oversee this work while Pixie is in Indiana being a good abuela.

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