Sunday Morning 5/29/2022: Another Hot Week

Meeting the Senior Nomads was the highlight of the week!

We were out an about a bit more this past week, although we still tended to feel tired and worn out by early afternoon, both from the altitude and the heat. We would have normally considered Tuesday’s 30-minute walk over to Centro for hot chocolate and churros easy by any measure but by the time we arrived on Tuesday we were both very tired, overheated, and I was struggling to catch my breath. We followed our chocolate treat with a long visit to the big Tuesday market and completely wore ourselves out. We felt better on Wednesday when we met with the Senior Nomads, although once again the heat turned out to be our nemesis later in the day and we returned home exhausted once again. Thursday we did our weekly supermarket run but took a taxi back to our apartment and spent the rest of the day cooling off. On Friday we changed our brunch destination because we didn’t want to face another walk the heat, and yesterday we decided to skip a visit to the organic market in favor of staying home and staying cool. We still ended up having a fun and interesting week that included meeting the Senior Nomads, touring the Fabrica Aurora to enjoy the art, antiques, and other beautiful goods for sale there, and visiting the giant Tuesday municipal market.

A tiny fraction of what can be found at the Tuesday Market (plus the produce we bought).

I have been on a quest since we arrived to find a simple clay pot for cooking beans, an olla de barro or olla frijolera. They’re widely used in Mexican households, so you’d think they would be an easy thing to find, but locating one in SMA took some effort. Brett and I were sure someone would be selling them at the big Tuesday municipal market, the San Miguel Allende Tianguis, but even there they were not to be found. Although we came up empty-handed with the olla, our visit to the market was still quite an experience. First of all, the market was HUGE, set up in four giant halls under tarps, with quite literally everything for sale: clothing, tools, garden supplies, candy, spices, produce . . . everything and anything you could think of. I think the only things we didn’t see were live animals or bean pots. We visited all four halls and looked at everything, asked several people about where to find an olla and were pointed toward possible vendors, but a bean pot was not to be found. We did fill two shopping bags with produce while we were there that included two melons, a kilo (2.2 pounds) of fresh strawberries, a bag of onions, another of potatoes, four avocados, a giant head of garlic, and three mangos, all for less than $10 USD.

After a delightful visit with the Senior Nomads on Wednesday morning, Brett and I walked through the Fabrica Aurora for a while, enjoying all the art on display and for sale and the many other gorgeous items available, including fabrics, jewelry, ceramics, antiques, and more. We fell in love with and purchased a very small (4″ x 6″), affordable piece of original art that will easily fit into our suitcase and didn’t break the bank. We then headed back to the Mercado Artesanias as we’d been told that’s where we’d most likely find an olla, and at the very end of the market, in one of the very last stalls, there they were! The vendor had several beautiful painted ones that were unfortunately way too big for our needs, but we found a smaller, simple clay olla and for just $5 USD brought it home. I bought some Flor de Mayo beans on Friday and tonight I am going to cook up a first batch in my pot!

My olla frijolera is very simple. Most pots have a handle on each side but because this one is smaller it has just one. The pot can be used directly on a stovetop, either gas or electric.

This past week the Fiesta en honor a la Santa Cruz del Valle del Maíz passed right outside the gates of our complex. The group visits various neighborhoods around the city before their main fiesta and last week was our turn. The festival has not been held for the past two years because of COVID.

El Valle del Maiz is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. The majority of its inhabitants are of Chichimeca or Otomi origin, and during its festival, which takes place the last weekend of May, people venerate the Santa Cruz, in a mixture of Catholic and pre-Hispanic traditions.The celebration venerates a Catholic symbol, such as the cross, but also performs indigenous dances and rituals like the blessing to the four winds, part of the Chichimeca culture before the Spanish domination. The main objective of the festival is to give thanks for the blessings received during the past year and ask for a good rainy season and an abundant harvest.

The costumes were colorful, fascinating, and some were a bit scary. Almost everyone in the parade was dancing though and the participants threw candy to the audience. The whole event was incredibly noisy, and we were glad when the parade passed to another location.

Although she looks sort of benign in this photo, Brett said this woman “had the moves like she was going to make someone dead.” One neighbor said she was the scariest thing she’d ever seen.

The video was taken by a neighbor. The music was actually VERY loud, and there were also VERY, VERY loud mortars being repeatedly fired. Although the parade and costumes were interesting to watch, the whole complex was VERY happy when the parade had moved on and quiet returned.

This morning I am thinking about:

  • What we accomplished this past week: We did a lot of walking this past week even though it was hard at times – we still haven’t completely adjusted to the climate here although Brett is coming along faster than I am. I’m thrilled with my olla frijolera – it’s just the right size for the two of us. Fingers crossed I don’t burn the beans tonight!
  • What we’re looking forward to next week: We don’t have anything set on our calendar other than brunch on Friday. We’ll probably head into Centro or another neighborhood once or twice for something – we want to check out the organic market on Saturday, for example – but otherwise plan to stay home to rest, save money, and keep cool.

We’ll definitely be returning to this cafe again: two cups of creamy, spiced hot chocolate with freshly made churros (three each) for just $6.25 USD.

  • The ways we saved: We purchased a couple of things this week beyond groceries (the piece of original art and the bean pot), enjoyed a delicious brunch on Friday, drank Mexican hot chocolate and churros on Tuesday, and made a couple of stops for coffee, but still stayed within our spending limit. We ate leftovers most of the week and no food was thrown out or wasted.
  • Good things that happened: Meeting the Senior Nomads was the highlight of the week, and we wish we could have had a longer visit. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet again before they leave SMA in June. We found some new places to eat, I found a bean pot, and we tried out a great new supermarket (La Comer), which can best be described as a high-end cross between Target and Costco with prices like Aldi.

We may be in Mexico, but Brett and I have spent most of the week feeling sad, depressed, and incredibly angry following the horrific mass shooting event in Uvalde, Texas last Tuesday. What’s made the incident worse beyond the horror of the children’s and their teachers’ deaths is the constantly changing story of what happened that day, especially why it took anyone in law enforcement so long to confront the shooter. The United States has become the alcoholic who refuses to admit he or she has a drinking problem. I have to wonder what has happened to this country when an 18-year-old, who can’t buy alcohol (including beer) or a handgun or even a single bullet for a pistol, can’t rent a car or legally take on many other responsibilities, can still walk into a gun shop and purchase two high-powered, semiautomatic military-style rifles and a huge amount of ammunition in order to go shoot up an elementary school (58 magazines were discovered at the school, over 1,650 bullets). Why does anyone need to own a semiautomatic rifle such as an AR-15, guns whose design and sole purpose is to kill a lot of people in a very short period of time? I am not opposed to gun ownership for hunting, personal protection, or sport, but I draw the line at the easy purchase and open carry of these weapons of mass death. Last week’s tragedy has nothing to do with reinforced doors, or a good guy with a gun. Ten people were massacred at a grocery store in Buffalo the week before this, and the good guy with a gun, a former police officer, was killed by yet another 18-year-old shooter wearing body armor. Are we supposed put in place door control and bulletproof plate glass on every public building in USA? The Las Vegas shooter fired from a hotel window; do those need to be controlled as well? Last week’s tragedy may have been the result of a mental health issue, but every other country in the world has citizens suffering from mental health issues, and mass shootings happen extremely rarely if ever, and when they have occurred, laws are put into place to restrict further tragedies. What these countries have that the U.S. lacks are sensible, well-regulated, sane gun ownership standards and laws. The reason for repeated mass shootings in the U.S. is the enhanced availability of guns and a culture that venerates the ownership of them. Think of all the many things that require effort and registration in our country, from getting a driver’s license to buying Sudafed or having certain prescriptions filled to being allowed to vote, and compare those to how easy it is to buy a gun, especially a semiautomatic rifle, even if you’re only 18 years old and perhaps have some mental health issues. I pray that the beautiful children and their teachers who were slaughtered last Tuesday, and the 10 that were killed in Buffalo, will not be forgotten, that we as a country can finally admit we have a serious problem and the direction we’ve been traveling has to change. There has been sweeping legislation passed that has cut drunk driving deaths in half. There are penalties for underage drinking, overserving, and driving under the influence. Sellers are closely monitored & taxed. We can do the same with guns and stop this madness.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, when we honor those service men and women who gave their lives serving our country. Brett and I are planning to watch Saving Private Ryan on Netflix tomorrow evening, but there are other great movies to watch that honor the day and the sacrifices of those who died: Glory, Courage Under Fire (a personal favorite), Platoon, Gettysburg, The Hurt Locker, and many others. I hope everyone will at least take a moment to remember the service members who died in defense of our country and honor them in their own way.

This past week was fun but busy, and also somewhat exhausting, so we are planning to slow down this coming week and keep outings to a minimum and enjoy our surroundings at the complex. Temperatures will be in the 90s again this coming week, and as has become obvious these past two weeks, I don’t do well in this kind of heat (especially when altitude is added to the mix). I’m grateful we’re staying in a place where we can retreat, relax, and stay cool and comfortable. I hope everyone had a good week as well, got a lot accomplished, and are looking forward to a great week coming up!

19 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 5/29/2022: Another Hot Week

  1. The market and also the parade look amazing! Yes, Memorial Day is a day of reflection, and thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I agree about your gun statement.

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    1. The market was very interesting but doubt we will go back because we can get the produce for similar prices in other places around town. We have a fruiteria (fruits and vegetable shop) just down the street – I bought 3 avocados and a bunch of cilantro yesterday for $2 there – and the avocados were all perfectly ripe!

      I sadly think the gun situation is going to get worse before it gets better – I’ve been reading about an upcoming Supreme Court case that will probably remove even more of the restrictions already in place.

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  2. I agree on your gun statement. I, actually, don’t think ANY gun should be sold to a person under 21. I also think a gun owner should have to produce a license to carry in order to purchase. The license could be connected to background checks and classes…and mental health check. As for, “they can get one in the military”, yup- but military issue are locked in the armory…Parents of people under 21 should be liable if a gun is obtained. This would be a good start to a stop of the madness.
    Heat is not my friend. I understand your fatigue.
    I so miss markets…..Those look amazing.
    Hope things go well this week.

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    1. Supposedly Congress is voting this week on whether anyone under 21 should be able to buy a gun. I read the last five mass shootings were done by those 19 and under, so it would be a small step. I am curious though where these young people get the money to purchase these guns (they’re not cheap) or are they getting them on credit or ???

      The heat continues. Supposedly it is going to break soon, but May is the hottest month here and miserable for everyone.

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      1. We figured the Texas person spent between $2-3,000. He quit his job several weeks before at Wendy’s? They say he used a debit card? There was only one gun shop in town. He did not drive, How did he lug home two weapons with 350 rounds without being noticed? So many red flags here…no excuses should be taken. We have to stay on our leadership to enact stricter licensing.

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  3. Forgot. Glory and We’re We’re Young and Soldiers are our go to Memorial Day movies. Did you see that the Army is renaming some of the Confederate general forts? Benning will be Hal Moore! They chose some amazing people to rename the Forts. Moving forward.

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    1. That is good news about the forts, and long past due. There are several people who should have forts named after them (like Omar Bradley).

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  4. Laura, your words go to right to the heart of what we as a country allow to happen time and time again. How do we convince others that we are in the grip of corruption…….the NRA literally finances GOP politicians. Until we break that vile connection I fear nothing will change. How many more innocent children and adults are we willing to sacrifice for the greedy wants of a minority?
    As for your travels…enjoying every minute of your newest adventure!

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    1. And who finances the NRA? That’s the deeper and more disturbing question.

      We are glad to be in SMA, although the heat still drives us nuts. According to our host it’s due to break soon . . . I can’t wait!

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  5. These markets look so colorful and lively! The produce looks plentiful and fresh. A good habit to wash everything, being extra careful never hurts.
    I am ready for Memorial Day, I finally got my kitchen back from the remodelers😃! My father-in-law was a WWII veteran and we always honor him on this day. He didn’t talk too much about the war, he just felt it heavy in his heart. He was one of the Iwo Jima soldiers. Very seldom he’d mention a few things about that time, such as eating burgers made out of sheep meat. I suppose he just wanted to forget the atrocities he witnessed. War is a terrible thing, it destroys everything and everyone involved.

    This brings me to the gun issue in our country. As a lot of people watch in disbelief how children in schools, people in grocery stores, churches, or other places of worship, out on the streets or in movie theaters and festivals die, some politicians come up with the craziest ideas to fix what needs be fixed. Some cry for arming the teachers or transforming schools into some sort of fortresses. Others say that schools should have only one access gate- how approx 600 students should walk in before school and get out at dismissal time through one gate remains a mystery to me. All of a sudden is about schools, not guns. Unbelievable!

    It seems like people who have the duty to protect all of us and have the power to do it are intentionally choosing to protect only the loud ones crying for their rights to own guns and have gotten really good at waltzing around the real issue: there are wayyy too many guns in our country and wayyy too many of them are in the hands of the wrong people and/or there are assault weapons which belong to war operations, not to households. So yes, I so much agree with your point of view. There must be a better way to do guns in the US. I, like many, also have the right to go to the grocery store or to a movie without the fear that someone woke up in a bad mood that morning and decided he/she will kill some people to feel better. Who is protecting my right?

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    1. The big market was so interesting, both what was for sale and the people shopping. And the cooked food for sale! It looked delicious but we went with full stomachs so didn’t stop but we wanted to!

      As I said earlier, I think it’s unfortunately going to get worse before it gets better. What would have been a simple argument or fist fight before are now turning into gun fights, and it looks like an upcoming Supreme Court ruling could make that even more likely, as well as allowing people to carry guns on subways, buses, trains and maybe even planes. We can change but I don’t know if we have the will yet in this country.

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  6. Laura, your thoughts on the event in Uvalde and other places are well written. I agree completely. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook school I thought everything would change. Nothing improved and I fear there will never be sensible gun control. I live about 80 miles from Uvalde and the sadness has crept from there to here. I also can’t shake the feeling that more children would have survived if they didn’t have to wait so long for help. On another very important topic, tomorrow is Memorial Day, thank you for the reminder. We will remember all the service members who gave so much for all of us.

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    1. I think the die was cast at Sandy Hook. When the country was unable to enact sensible gun laws after that tragedy, I felt like there was nothing that could happen to change things, and sadly, the shootings and deaths have only increased since then. The majority in this country, who do want sane, sensible gun laws are sadly being held in the death grip of a minority.

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  7. We looked on horrified at the event in Uvalde…and I worry that my nephew, wife and three children are moving back to Texas (his wife’s home state). I think your statement that ‘The United States has become the alcoholic who refuses to admit he or she has a drinking problem’ sums up the issue well.

    Looks like you are having a fantastic time in Mexico!

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    1. I can only imagine how the rest of the world looks at the U.S. and the madness of what’s going on here and our seeming inability to do anything about it or want to do anything about it.

      So far things are going well here and we’re so glad we decided to come to SMA. We’ve got two more months to explore and eat!

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  8. To help with altitude adjustment, buy some dark, leafy greens to cook. Stew them down and eat warm with your beans, or chilled for salads. This will help supply the iron and B vitamins you need to support erythropoiesis, the process of generating new red blood cells. Since you are not eating red meat, the greens are your best source of these nutrients.
    Try this Asian style greens. Cooked, then chilled greens, salt or a little soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, garnish with red onion refrigerator pickles.

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    1. We have been eating greens! But, I could be eating more. And, somewhat surprisingly I can find all those Asian ingredients here. I am missing Asian food, but am planning to make some sweet-sour tofu soon and some other dishes. My favorite Asian greens dish is greens cooked with soba or other noodles, then tossed with sesame oil, grated ginger, and soy sauce. Can be eaten either warm or chilled – yum!

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      1. It’s a very easy dish to. make – just cook the greens in the same pot with the soba, then drain and toss with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, etc. I do the same with greens and pasta, but toss with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, and then top with toasted pine nuts. Yum!

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