Texas to Mexico

Discriptions, pictures, recipes & monologue of life for a Texan in Mexico. The Mexico experience...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Night time driving in Mexico
We crossed the border at Nuevo Laredo and headed towards Torreon at dusk. We vowed not to drive in the dark in Mexico but pushed on to get back to Torreon before Midnight. After seeing things sort of materialize that weren't there in the desert~I think it will be the last time we make that journey at night.

Katerina rode back to Mexico in a much better frame of mind than the rest of the passengers. Could be her soft little accomodations! At the border no one even noticed a cat much less her much sought after paperwork!

Starbucks Coffee

One thing I miss about the good old US of A!!! Whenever we are home I try & get my Starbucks fix! It is easy to obtain since there are now 5 Starbucks in Round Rock Texas. Mexico has Cafe Buzz which in now way compares, blah! I wonder at what point Starbucks will arrive in Mexico. A very good question to ponder with a certain niece who is employed with the java mega chain! I wonder how Starbucks would be pronounced down here in Mexico?


“How will our children know who they are if they don’t know where they came from?” John Steinbeck

The old stone water trough.

Old Decker Ranch House

Deacon's House~ Decker Ranch, Kyle Texas

Old Kyle Cemetery

While home I had took the opportunity to go to Hayes County & took some photos of places that mean so much to so many in our family & beyond.

The measure of one’s character is not what they get from their ancestors, but what they leave their descendants.


Molly's November days in her backyard!
The dogs really were driven crazy by the neighborhood squirrels while we were home for our brief holiday. Molly & Jack kept a close eye on the back yard for the daring little rodents. The squirrels made mad dashes from tree to tree with nuts they were gathering. While the dogs never seemed to catch up to one of the lightening fast squirrels, their suicidal runs through the streets of Oak Bluff for nuts occasionally don't quite work out!

Molly & Jack & "nemisis" the crafty Texas Grey Squirrel!

Grey squirrel~

The squirrels always seem to live another day to harrass the dogs!


Molly was extremely happy Turkey Day arrived. She had seconds of Turkey! In fact I believe the animals all had seconds more than once, hmmm!
Thanksgiving meal was a group effort which was wonderful. Each of the girls made a dish~yes, even Jacqueline! There were some sad faces the next day however when the Aggies surprised the Longhorns on their own turf in Austin. (Lauren, Jacqueline, please wipe those frowns off your faces already!) The Longhorns will be national champs again, just not this year unfortunately.

Thankful for family!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Border Crossing @ Laredo
StreetVendors in Laredo a whole lot for sale!

When we crossed the Border at Laredo it seemed like the entire population of Northern Mexico was either trying to cross one of the 3 International Bridges or selling something at the crossroads to the motorists waiting to drive through the immigration checkpoints. It was rather like a traveling Mercado. Vendors were walking through the crowded streets selling everything from grilled corn & jewelry to Mexican National Flags items & huge Corona beer mugs! An hour & 15 minutes it took to get through the crowded streets of Laredo.


Friday, November 17, 2006

The Thanksgiving trip!
We hope to beat the crowds & not have a long wait at the border on our return trip for Thanksgiving. We have our papers in order, the papers for our car & the most important~paper work for the cat!

Things have changed in Laredo since "NAFTA", or at least there are more bridges now & the Streets of Laredo are paved! ....Streets of Laredo, part of a ballad I believe. Acually, most of the roads in Mexico feel like this more or less when you are driving on them unless you are on the new super highways. The highway outside our neighborhood at Las Isabeles can really jar the teeth out of my head! The truck traffic is probably the reason for the poor road quality here. The big new toll roads are very nice & as well maintained as those in the states.

Our Goal at the end of the Road!!! Turkey with all the trimmings! Lauren has taken on the job of preparing the stuffing this year!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Home to Texas for Thanksgiving, a great place to be from~Texas!

Round Rock Texas , Home Sweet Home!

Katerina has been practicing for her trip home to Texas! Actually..... there is no practice for a cat to ride 10+ hours in an auto. There will be kitty tranquilizers on hand if things get too hairy! Of course we are just happy to be coming home to our girls~turkey & family gatherings aside~ we get to see the UT ,A&M game on an American t.v. station & won't have to take our chances with our Latin American cable, as unpredicable as it is!

Allie, Molly & Jack are getting ready for their south of the border "kin" to arrive.

The girls are getting excited about Thanksgiving(photo outside a Walgreens in Bulverde Tx. not withstanding)!

Thanksgiving back home in Texas, what we are thankful for. Amen!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Great balls of fire,
love those peppers!

Capsicum annuum

Spicy food at every turn here in Mexico

John & I heard someone remark that Mexican men lived on the average of 10 years longer than their north of the border contemporaries, peppers being the reason. Don't know how truthful the statement is but there are alot peppers consumed in Mexico. The size, colors & species are really overwhelming in the grocery stores here. Even by Texas standards there seems to be a truck load of variety here.

This popular bean dish is originally from around Monterrey, Neuvo Leon, one of the first regions to enjoy beer! This recipe is a meal by itself!
Frijoles Borrachos~Drunken Beans

1 lb. Pinto Beans
2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
2 tsp. Salt
1/2 c. Cilantro, chopped
3 slices Bacon
1/2 lb. fine-ground Chorizo (Mexican Sausage)
1/2 c. Water
1 Med. Tomato, sliced
2 Serrano Peppers
1 Chili Ancho~Dried Red Chili found with peppers
2-3 Chili Petines~Dried & threaded onto a toothpick for retrieval later on!
4 oz. flat Beer
In a large pot bring Pinto beans to boil & soak with cover on & fire off for 1 hr. In the same pot bring the beans to boil again & add garlic, salt, cilantro, chilis petine & bacon. Continue to add water when necessary. When done, beans should be soft texture. Separately, brown Chorizo for about 15 min. Boil tomato slices & whole Chili Ancho & Serrano peppers in water for 10 min., then blend until smooth in a blender. Mix with Chorizo into beans & add beer. Simmer another 15-25 min. Serve hot with fresh tortillas.

*Mexican Bean Pot

*Bandera Mexican Bean Pot The bandera style of pottery is quite distinctive, as it is thusly named because of its red, white and green colors - the same colors that comprise Mexico's bandera nacional (national flag). Red is commonly used as the background color, while the green and white are used for the decorative details.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Now & Then in Ojuela

Ojuela Mine & Puente Colgante, Mapimi Durango

I found this wonderful vintage photo of the Ojuela Mines when they were in full scale operation at the turn of the last century. The mines then supported some 3000 workers who lived at the community of Ojuela and traveled up into the mountains on the narrow gauge railroads that also retrieved the deposits from the mines. After my 4 previous postings about the visit to the mines & our visit to the museum in Mapimi & hearing about the American influence at Ojuela I did alot of on line digging & came up with this & thought it was of note! The bridge was tilted then to allow the carts loaded with the deposits to come across the bridge easily. I also found the New Jersey connection very odd. I can't imagine what engineers from New Jersey must have thought about this untamed area of Mexico then.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Pancho Villa~not in swimming trunks!

Sleepy little town of Mapimi~1598 A.D.

After our trip to the mine & defying gravity at the Hanging Bridge of Ojuela we visited the sleepy town of Mapimi. The town dates to 1598. We visited the old 1772 church where I was suprised to learn that there was a notice posted about a couple's intentions to be married at the church & it is posted for a period before the wedding.
The purpose is so anyone who is going to contest the upcoming union will come forward! This is still very common in small towns in Mexico & dates back to a Papal Cannon of centuries past. How times have changed in the rest of the world. I am assuming the wedding was to take place as announced this evening at 6pm. We did not stay to attend the wedding! Apparently in a small town like Mapimi everyone would be invited to the wedding, even visitors. We also visited a museum celebrating Revolutionary Heros. There we had a guide who showed us photos of the Ojuela Mine when it was still in production as well as a photo Pancho Villa in his swimming trunks! Of course this image was very strange since I heard stories as a child from Great Grandaddy about riding with the Texas Rangers chasing Pancho Villa into Mexico. This stately gentleman in the swim trunks shown with the visiting dignitary somehow didn't look the part!

Rodolfo, John & Natalia were fine!

Yes, I was scared!!!!
A true Fear Factor!

The Hanging Bridge Freaked me out just a little bit!!!