Where you go, I will go; where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people for your God is my God.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

And then there was one…

Last night after Bible study, my suegra and my IMG_0287aunt came over for a little bit.  My suegra went over to look at the fish and exclaimed, “Oh!  Que paso?!”  I went over to see that one of the fish, affectionately known as Bebe was on his side near the bottom of the bowl.  It was confirmed  that he had passed away.  So down the great white bowl he went. 

The reason for his death is still undetermined.  I’m sticking with the story that he was sick when we bought him and it was only a matter of time.  I have nothing of the guilt for his passing. 

My apron…


I love the gal.

We first meet a few days before I moved back to Mexico. I had been on the hunt for a good apron, but had yet to find one. She was bright and cheerful looking, and I smiled the first time I saw her. We met at the clearance rack too, so that made her even more beautiful.

She comes in handy for all sorts of things…

* a towel when needed.

* a conversation starter with the neighborhood women. “Where on earth did you get your apron?! You don’t see anything like that around here.” Aprons are all the rage for housewives here….especially the ones over 50 like most of my neighbors. Mine is unique with a pretty flower and everything.

* She keeps me dry while washing dishes or doing laundry.

* And she keeps my clothes clean while cooking. [If you have ever seen me cook, you know it’s a must!] Never mind that I don’t remember to put her on till after I have made a mess of myself.

* When not in use elsewhere, she adds color to the entryway.

* And it is always fun to see what’s in her pocket at the end of the day.

{Edit: I am using this post from the past to link up to The Little Pink House for “Apron Week at the Little Pink House”}



A mango close to it’s last day.  A  yellow apple.  Juice from an orange. 

I had some fresh fruit that was not-quite-so-fresh any more, but still not bad.  I needed to use it all up, so I put it in the blender, set it on a low setting to make a chunky orangemangoapplesauce.   

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today’s Dinner




Roast with chipotle salsa on top of tostados with lettuce.  Creamed corn soup topped with fried tortilla strips.  And mandarin water to wash it down.  

Little things say “You are loved”

Like this beautiful drawing of myself IMG_0280done by my six-year-old-cousin. 

A Monday.

 IMG_0258Yesterday, Rafa was sent by his work to run errands in Xalapa, the capital city of our state, which is about an hour away.  Xalapa is much larger than out little town of 30, 000 people, is full of arts, hills, street vendors, parks, architecture, and because of its lower altitude, spring is in full force there already.  Rafa was told to accomplish the errands and then enjoy the day.  I was told I could tag along too :) 

So after breakfast we set off on our bus.   After a few hours, a few taxis, and several miles of walking, we accomplished the task at hand, and then enjoyed the rest of the day as told.  By that time it was late afternoon, so we got something to eat, decided on a movie to see, ran a few personal errands, and spent the rest of the time window shopping and talking.  We got to the bus station that evening to discover that it would be an hour and a half before the next bus would leave.  So we set out on foot again, not really knowing where we were going.  We came  upon a little cafĂ©, so we ordered our favorite [cold] beverages and waited out our time there. 

We ended up back home around 10:30 tired and content.  My vote is that Rafa should be the errand boy all the time!

Saturday, March 26, 2011



“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:21

I wrote this verse out on a card the other day.  When Rafa saw it, he said, “Hey, isn’t the other way around?!  That where your heart is, that’s where your treasure will be?” 

Many times we interpret this verse that way.  That your resources,  go where your heart is, but in fact it’s the other way around.  Your heart goes where your resources are.  In how I spend my time, what I prioritize, what I choose to think about,  where I put my money and my talents, leads and changes my heart. 

Our hearts are tricky, deceitful, and change often.  The hearts that belong to Christ are a work in process, but we  can choose where we lead our heart. 

It has been said, “You are what you have been becoming.” 

And its true.  What I invest in today will have its fruit, good or nasty, tomorrow.

So I ask myself, where is my treasure? 

Thursday, March 24, 2011



Normally during the week I will write blog posts, save them on the computer, and then publish them once I have internet connection. 

Over the past few days I have thought of many things to  write about, but now that I actually have the computer open, I cannot think of one of them.

To make the short story even shorter, we are here, happy, and well. 

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today,  like most 007 (2)most Mondays, I go to the local open-air market.  There you can find just about anything, including clothing, batteries, sewing supplies, fresh fruit, meat, free range eggs, or the hen!  

Today I arrived home with a pineapple, more strawberries, tomatoes, nuts, a  wooden hand-carved spatula, and my favorite purchase, two goldfish. 

My neighbor’s four-year-old granddaughter named the white and gold one “Bebe”  and the pure gold one’s name is yet to be determined. 

Sunday Night Beverage

Fresh squeezed  agua fresca de limon (limeade) after a day of worship, resting, good food, and enjoying being together. 

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Saturday, March 19, 2011


Started from hard dried corn. 

Cooked with cal, allowed to cool, and washed. 

Taken to a local miller. 

Mixed with lard, salt, and chicken broth.  

Stuffed into corn stalks and filled with vegetables and cheese or chicken and salsa verde

Placed and cooked in a pressure cooker.  

Yum.  Nothing quite like it. 

[Note:  no pictures where taken.  my hands where too busy and I was enjoying chatting away with the woman of my family here as we worked.  to see what the process looks like, come on down for a visit!]

Lo que hace el amor…

“Hay, lo que hace el amor!” 

“Oh, what love does!” 

A phrase I hear often after explaining to some curious person how I ended up here, living in a country and speaking a language that are obviously (sometimes painfully) not my own.  Yes, love is what brought me here, but not the love most people think….

People attribute it to  the love Rafa and I have for each other, but that love is only a chapter in a book that contains a love story that is still being written.  A story primarily containing two people. Me and my Savior, Jesus Christ.  It was His love that brought me here….and our love story goes way farther back than the story that began a little over a year and a half ago between me and Rafa. 

The love that won a little girl’s heart when she first realized she was not good enough.  And that she could never be good enough to win the favor of God. 

The love that held together the pieces of that same heart as shattered when she  realized that people fail.  And it hurts.  

The love that worked for years, in many ways, and using many different people to loving teach that little girl that she was forgiven, and thus should forgive. 

The love that is the redeemer of souls, and the Savior of lives. 

The same love taught that girl who she was in Him. 

And lead her to far-off places and back again.

Through that love she learned to love and be loved. 

It was HIS love that worked in her life and heart for years, leading her to learn Spanish. 

His love that at the same time was winning over the heart of a hard working young man in Mexico.  

His love that brought them together as friends while hiking for hours in the mountains of Mexico.  

And that same love held them together for almost a year with thousands of miles in between them and hours of long, hard work.  

And eventually brought them together as husband and wife.  And took that girl back to Mexico. 

His love….that is now using the abundance of time that girl has, without a job, or kids, or BFFs, or brothers and sisters, or countless kids to play with, or TV, or Wi-Fi….that HE loves me.  That HE is enough.  All that I need and should want.  In HIM is life.  That HE wants my heart and everything I am.  HE wants to be number one in my life. 

HIS love brought me here….to win my love again. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chilling it….


006 (2)One of the unique things about living here, is living without some of the modern conveniences that I grew up with. But, people here seem to know all sorts of different ways to get around that. The culture here is designed for lack of modern conveniences. Some people have them, and others don’t.  For example, the other night we wanted to watch a movie and have popcorn.   We went to one of the little neighborhood  stores in search of the desired treat.  I heard Rafa ask for microwave pop-corn, and I thought,  “I must not have understood. He would not be asking for microwave pop-corn, cause we don’t have a microwave.”   Sure enough, the man brought out a couple of bags of microwave popcorn and asked us which type we wanted.  We told him and he disappeared around the corner.  A couple minutes later I heard popcorn popping, and he brought out our bag. We walked a few house down back to our apartment,and enjoyed our popcorn and movie. 

Another think we do not have is a refrigerator/ freezer.  We both like our water/tea/lemonade at least chilled if not with ice.  There are two solutions I have found for this.  One is, at the local neighborhood stores. (the front room of someone’s house, most of the time.  They buy things in bulk in the center of town, and sell it for a bit more right down the street.   There are probably five within one block of our apartment.)  There you can buy bits of ice for a few cents.  The other solution we have found is to fill up a metal water bottle with said beverage and immerge it in our water cistern we have on the back patio.  The water there is cooler than room-temp, and within 20 minutes we have a nice chilled beverage.  

Adapting to a different way of life can be challenging and fun.  It has certainly been teaching me the difference between my “must haves”  and my “I would like to haves”. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does your table have holes in it?!

A question many asked after seeing pictures of our apartment.  The answer WAS yes, but as of today, the answer IS no! Rafa had the table built, and it is designed to have pieces of glass in it.  We had not had them until today, but now we do.  And if I do say so myself, it is lovely.   

So no.  My table does not have holes in it. 

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What’s cooking?




Yesterday we had leftover mole, so Rafa taught me how to make Enmoladas  (don’t count on my spelling of that one!)  They are pretty much enchiladas made with mole sauce instead of with salsa.  We filled ours with scrambled eggs and some type of salted meat. For a  person who is getting used to the unique taste of mole, these where d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.  And I appreciated them even more because we used leftovers and ingredients we had on hand….

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I am growing to love our little apartment.  Its become a place I love to be.  For the curious and prosperities sake, I took some pictures of the kitchen as it is to day.  Its unique and simple.  Perfect for our family of two.


^ Looking out from the kitchen to the front door.  Off to the right is the dinning/living room.  Here there are more than a few nails in the wall and holes where nails have been, but we are not aloud to make our own, so we have become creative with the existing ones. There are four by  the door, where we have a clock, my apron, a bulletin board,  and a spare one for keys, scarfs, or a purse. 

>  The bar top where the picture above was taken.  Here we have a tin for utensils, on for tea, the salsa bowl, a cup for sugar, and a candle. We currently eat at this bar too.   The napkin underneath was my great-grandmother’s. 


IMG_0212<Taken from the other side of the countertop, the stove in the background, and my crockpot with tonight’s dinner on a chair in the foreground.  In the oven I keep the pots, pans, and mixing bowls. To the side of the stove is our cooking/drinking water and a tray with cups and pitchers on it.




To  the left, is the sink and some counter space.  and the back door leading out to the patio.  The kitchen has no cabinets, (a normal thing in this area) so I took an un-occupied curtain and made a covering for the space under the sink.  Under there I keep appliances groceries in a large cloth bin, cleaning supplies, and kitchen utensils. The countertop holds the dishes, and the drying rack. 





Strawberry Jam-


When we arrived here last week, to my delight I discovered that strawberries were currently in season.  That afternoon we bought a kilo for 20 pesos…and then they were gone within two days.  On Monday, when we went to the open-air market, everyone was selling a kilo for 15 pesos.  I bought another kilo and decided the goodness should last a little longer than two days.  We ate some fresh, and one afternoon last week, I had some sweetener,  cooked them down and canned them.  And now that they are on their way out of season, we have some as back-up!

At the market I also tried a mouth-watering black berry, but they had a high price.  I was told that in a few weeks people will be bringing in heaps of them from their farms.  Yum….anticipation!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Something I need a lot of these days.  And grace. 

There is just a lot I do not know.  How to say something, how to fix a certain dish, where to find something and in which store.  How to do some of the very basic things of life are different from what I have known most of my life…and without help I just would not be able to do it.  I mean, have you ever tried to carry a five gallon bottle of water down the street to your house to use for cooking and drinking?  Neither have I.  I had to ask someone else to help me. 

I am surrounded my people who want  to help.  Rafa.  New family…both blood and in Christ, neighbors, and the lady at the local store who bares with through my explanations of what I am looking for.  Or tells me “6-7” when saying 67, referring to how much money I owe, cause well, they say numbers so fast here, that I still cannot hear the difference between 60 and 70. 

But here’s the catch.  I do not like asking for help.  Admitting I need it.  Or allowing someone who has offered to help, to actually help. Its embarrassing to admit that I actually need help.  Humiliating. I prefer to labor through it on my own.

But that’s not an option.  So I am learning…to ask, and accept, help. 

My Garden

Well, the beginnings of it at least. Fresh herbs.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011



There is something refreshing about looking out the patio door and seeing clean hand-washed laundry drying.  Or maybe its just the sense of accomplishment.

Monday, March 7, 2011



The day the local open market. 

I made plans with my suegra and tia Ana yesterday.  They would pass by the apartment sometime around mid-morning and we would be on our way.

So after breakfast and saying goodbye to Rafa, I sat down to finish my tea and figure out the week’s menu.  I made a list of everything I would need, then proceeded to  look up the Spanish version of  words I did not know. The family came and we were off.  I have been to this market before and I thoroughly enjoy going…the smells, the sounds, people watching, taste testing… Having my list in Spanish helped a good bit but, as with English, the dictionary word is not always the word that is used locally. The word “yeast” did not work out for me, and based my description of it, I walked out with baking soda instead of yeast.  But I learned something!  And no worries, I ended up with yeast eventually. 

And thus began the shopping adventures….

Sunday, March 6, 2011

La Bienvienida



After going to the center of town with Rafa to pick up a couple of things yesterday afternoon, I opened up our door to find a host of people there.  My new extended family.  With the help of Rafa, the gave me La Bienvienida or “The Welcoming” to Mexico and to the family.  Delicious food, a herd of young cousins, a few house warming gifts, a rousing game of “Hot Potato” and cake where all included in the evening.  We thoroughly enjoyed it all.  After everyone had left, Rafa commented on how much he loved seeing our apartment full of people.  I couldn’t agree more and hope it becomes common-place in our life and home. 

Settling in….

We got back from the beach a few days ago.  We arrived to a house that had nothing resembling order and set to work.  The next morning we woke up, had breakfast, and I stood at the door and watched Rafa walk out to work.  Judge if you will…but all I wanted to do at that moment was crawl back in bed and cry.  It seemed like we had just begun to be together, and we were about to pass a whole day without each other.  Instead of running back to bed, I cleaned up from breakfast, opened my Bible and poured my heart out to the Lord, writing it all in my journal.  Sometimes it is  good to be alone.  God changes me (and my perspective) when I am alone with Him.

I moved to the other bedroom that is serving as a storage room, to begin organizing the mountain of stuff. No sooner had I lost myself in sorting clothing, and I heard the front door open.  I was not sure who-in-the-world would be opening my front door.  And in walks Rafa.  He extended his time off to a whole week and would not rerun to work till Monday.   And so we have spent the weekend settling in together.  And our new “real life”  starts tomorrow. 


*A preview of the kitchen.*

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Two sets of footprints.



We are thankful to have the opportunity to spend a little time alone.  And away from everything.  We are staying in a quaint costal village for a few days.  

We spent a good part of the day chasing down crabs and scouting out the pretty shells.I found myself watching myself, still thinking in disbelief, “We are here.  Together.  Without a ‘good-bye’ in sight.”

To say we are enjoying the time and companionship would be an understatement.