A Day in the Life in Owl Valley

Sarah Sass from Homestead Uncensored has shared a day in her family’s life in Owl Valley.

Today is a bright blue Tuesday in the first months of rainy season.  To tell the story of today as a constant norm is to cheat dry season’s Sundays when abundance is entangled in drought.

There is no typical day here, only the hope that today is what you have prepared for.

Today will look very different from three days from now when calories begin to run low and water levels drop with no guarantee of relief.  Keeping this in mind puts “today” into context, regardless of abundance or lack.

Knowing that rainy season alleviates as much as it exacerbates helps to tell the whole story of a normal day on a homestead in Mexico.

Our days exist in the vesica pisces of harder and smarter.  The meeting place for comfort and the archaic.

Early morning is devoted to animals.  Scythe cuts back alfalfa.  Corn that came in by the ten-thousands is milled to cover the day’s needs.  Three buckets of river water to fill the trough.  Independent cat finds a mouse while hungry dogs play chase underfoot.

This routine is repeated before the sun sets.  Only then, the cat dines on the day’s last basking lizard.

After the final dog is fed, my day of housework begins while my husband makes a mental checklist of the farm’s to-dos over the last cup of coffee.  Today: Cut carrizo for roofing on the new sheep shelter.  Collect mineral-rich “black gold” from the banks of the flooded river to contribute to the piles of goat manure which will feed baby avocado and citrus trees in coming months.  He leaves for the fields with a machete and shovel.

Coffee beans roasted and ground.  Pineapple vinegar started with breakfast scraps.  Harvest is tucked in to begin their fermenting slumber. Kombucha’s black tea steeps while amaranth bread doubles in size.  I sort lentils alongside the six-year-old as he draws the flags of North America and learns that ‘y’ sometimes impersonates a vowel.

All meals and all lesson plans are made from scratch and consume the entire morning.  Everyday.

Halfway through the morning dishes, there is another chore for the list: replenish the household’s 1200 liters of water from downhill.  Before the well can be uncovered, a neighbor, his wife, son, daughter-in-law and toddler grandson are in our living room.  They have come to invite us to their home for tejate.  In the next hour.

The actual act of drinking tejate is all of three minutes, yet this invitation will consume the rest of daylight.  I send along freshly baked muffins in my place.

With water’s return and a house to myself, dishes are finished, floors are swept and mopped, beds stripped and remade.

Barrels of last night’s rain need filtered for laundry.  It has gotten late and afternoon clouds lurk around the adjacent foothills; it’s best to postpone towels and blankets for another day.

Twenty gallons filtered and divided up between buckets posing as washing machines; in dry season they stand in for bathtubs when only warm water will do.

Sheets, pillow cases and throw rugs washed, rinsed and spun.  By hand.  Everything is washed by hand.

Next up kitchen towels and napkins.

Then child’s clothing.

Finally husband’s.

Beginning the cycle again with my clothes in a week from now.

The shortage of time and covered clothesline drags the chore out over five days.

To avoid musty disappointment, I need to catch the early day heat and pre-storm winds, yet outrun her raindrops.  This takes planning.

Rainy season renders the river unusable as the water takes on the hue of ore.  This limits our laundry water supply to what collects in rain barrels.  Assuming storms don’t lose their sense of direction in the dark and head into other foothills, leaving us dry but with a turbulent river.

Once the river settles, washing returns to the banks where under the shade of soap nut trees and ancient Sabinos, socks are scrubbed one-by-one in the canal while the child digs holes in the sand with a chunk of broken coconut shell.  We watch Kingfisher dive among the shallow waters and Crab scuttle; our footprints in the mud alongside the chickens’.

There is a trade-off for laundering in paradise.  Schlepping the wet clothing back uphill to the covered lines, yoked over the shoulders.

Totally worth it.

Agrarian and domestic toil may only appear harder as their true genius is kept secret.  Fifteen hours of laundry strengthen bodies and determination.  Corn harvest pulls us together for weeks as we shuck and grain and retell old stories.   Eating homegrown and foraged meals around a fire under a canopy of stars fills more than ravenous bellies.  Today is always a great day.

In the last minutes of consciousness, a reflection of the day fills me with accomplishment for all the work that was done.  Gratitude that no one was injured, no animals fell prey, and for the rainy hours, we three spent on a 500-piece puzzle of mushrooms, ferns and blackberry bushes.

Before succumbing to exhaustion, I reach for my husband’s hand, both raw from work.  My mind isn’t on tomorrow.  Only the songs of the tree frogs while a swollen river babbles on about cycles, flow, and human’s faulty need for predictable permanence.

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A Day in the Life in San Circo de Acosta

Hi Y’all. My name is Bonnie Bautista.

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I moved to San Ciro de Acosta, San Luis Potosi in October 2017 after losing everything to hurricane Harvey. My husband is from Ciudad Valles which is a few hours away from where we now live.

 

Our days start about 7:30 am when we wake up to go exercise. I walk while hubby jogs 10 laps around the local soccer field.It usually takes 45 minutes. The weather is normally still cool from the night before, averaging about 62 degrees in mornings.

After our walk, we sometimes walk a few blocks over to a local food stand which sells gorditas. I love the chicharron gorditas. If we return home instead of going to eat then hubby goes on a 10-mile bike ride while I prepare breakfast. Normally it is just eggs and chorizo or potatoes and fresh tortillas although I don’t make the tortillas. LOL Sometimes our neighbor boy, who is 11, joins us for breakfast.

Afterward, we shower and drive to next town 45 minutes away to buy supplies for our taco stand. Traffic and parking are a nightmare. I’ve yet to drive here in Mexico. We park on the side of the road and walk to the mercado (market) for vegetables and other supplies needed daily and often stop for a bite to eat as all the walking makes me hungry.

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Upon returning home around 1 pm it’s super hot outside, about 90-95 degrees, so we take a siesta with the fan going full speed. By 4 pm it’s time to prepare the salsas and meat to sell for that day. We open up at 7 pm and stay open until 11 pm. Thankfully the temperature drops back to the 60s once the sun goes down. We work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The other days we usually go to the Huasteca area to Tamasopo or Tamul or Ciudad Valles. There are beautiful waterfalls in our area.

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Surviving Mexico is a Top 30 Mexico Blog!

award

Much to my surprise, last month I was included in the Top 30 Mexico blogs list compiled by Feedspot along with other more deserving blogs. According to the author, these blogs were selected because “they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.”  Boy, I like the sound of that!

So the top 30 (actually there are only 28) were culled on the basis of Google search ranking, presence on social media sites, quality and consistency of posts, and the opinion of Feedspot’s reviewers. Some of these blogs I follow.  Some I have listed in my blogroll or on my expat resource page. Some are entirely new.  So here’s the list. Quite a number are geared towards expats and foodies!  And then there’s me. HA!

  1. Expats in Mexico – The Expat Guide to Living in Mexico
  2. Mexperience | Experience Mexico Living Lifestyle Travel Leisure
  3. Two Expats Mexico – A Blog for Retiring in Mexico  Read about this blog here.
  4. Mexico In My Kitchen | Traditional Homestyle Mexican Food Recipes
  5. Journey Mexico | Mexico Travel Blog
  6. Top Mexico Real Estate Blog
  7. Mexicocity.com Blog | Interesting facts about Mexico City
  8. Mexico News Daily — The latest news from Mexico  This is a great one!
  9. Reddit | Mexico
  10. Mexican Food Journal – Recipes, Stories & People
  11. Mexican Please | Mexican Food Blog
  12. Muy Bueno Cookbook | Three-Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor
  13. Puerto-Penasco.com Blog | Puerto Penasco Mexico Travel News
  14. Mexican Genealogy Blog | Helps You Find Your Ancestors!
  15. Eat Mexico Culinary Tours Blog
  16. Mexican Food Memories
  17. Mexico Cassie Blog | Deliciously, irresponsibly exploring Mexico
  18. Own Mexico Blog | How to Buy, Move-To, Invest, Retire and Live in Mexico
  19. My Heart of Mexico – Life, food, and family Mexican style  One of my favorites!  Read about it here.
  20. Surviving Mexico | Adventures and Disasters  THIS IS ME!
  21. The Mexico Report – Mexico Travel News & Blog
  22. Mexico City: An Opinionated Guide I follow this one too.
  23. 23. Jim & Carole’s Mexico Adventure
  24. Mexinsurance Blog
  25. Two Hungry Mexicans | Mexican Food blog
  26. Mexico Daily Living
  27. The Curious Mexican | Great Eats and Food from Mexico
  28. Reddit | Mexico City

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A “normal” Day

What is a normal day life in Mexico? Here’s what Jungle Mama has to say about that!

...another day in the jungle

So one may think life in the jungle tropics and a major tourist spot is all about party and that next margarita hopefully minus the cruda(hangover). Reality of full time life is the same more or less anywhere.

Here is mine more or less during the school year. Shake myself up at 6:15am to rise the boy and do mom duties, breakfast, lunch feed the dog…., rush out the front door and take him to school and get an hour of Crossfit in, yes push myself and see how much or little I can do hahahahah.

Then I’m so called free until 2:30. What’s a mom to do… freedom not, son thinks it’s free time!!! Grocery shopping, cook prepping, laundry, paperwork,… wait I can do that anywhere don’t need to be here! But the other stuff that’s different is making sure the gas tank is filled, last week the pipa…

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May 18, 2018 · 5:48 pm