Along Highway 90

I always think of how Robert Frank and his family once took a ride down Highway 90 when we drive Highway 90. I wonder if I can see anything they once saw. What could have existed then that remains today? So much along the highway has seen better days but as long as I can remember I have known these sights.



While I find old buildings and relics intriguing, there is no denying the sadness in watching things fall apart. I wish everyone would like to be and could afford to be a preservationist. We visited Del Rio this weekend and found this place. This was one of my favorite houses in town when I was a kid. I had no idea it had fallen into such disrepair. The house is for sale and must be moved. It doesn't look like it can be moved without breaking into a million pieces. I remember when this house looked like a much loved home. Even then I am sure it had seen better days. I always loved the weather vanes. One of them seems to have done better than the other though it is missing it's E.


Fin de Semana

No ice days were to be had this week though it was terribly cold. Each morning found me struggling more and more to get out of bed. I didn't think I could finish the week.  Yesterday evening I was inspired to make soup. My Grandmother taught me how to make pozole and caldo de pollo. She has shown me how to make menudo but I have yet to attempt it.  Pozole and caldo de pollo turn out great cooked on a medium flame in a dutch oven. If the kitchen is filled with the familiar smells of my Grandmother's kitchen, I know I did it right.

Last night I made pozole and topped it with slices of avocado and grated cheese. I had never topped it that way. It was not my Grandmother's pozole this time. I was distracted when I was cooking and sort of rushed it.  I was prepared to be disappointed but I rather liked my neo-pozole. I loved the fresh creaminess the avocados brought to the dish and how the dash of mozzarela cheese reminded me of the queso fresca on the chalupas in Port Isabel. This dinner made Thursday feel like Friday evening so I had a hard time getting up again this morning.


Man with a Camera

"I’m  Mike Kovac freelance photographer. Excitement is my business. I find it by poking, prying and listening. When I find what I want I record it with my camera. It’s fun, money and people. I don’t know which I like best."

The show, Man with a Camera, ran from 1958-1960. It is my newest discovery and I wonder how I missed it this long.  What little I have seen of it reminds me of Johnny Staccato. I'd like to watch all the episodes.   You can read  more about the series here.  Take a look at that camera. With a cameras like that... I wonder if Weegee had an impressive set of guns.


The Legend of Lylah Clare

I caught this film after it already started, I never saw the beginning.  It was the middle of the afternoon  and  I was home ill. I was never really certain if having the flu (the 1994 avian flu epidemic) colored my impression of the film or if it really was that wonderfully bad. It had that gothic camp feel that The Killing of Sister George had and no wonder it was directed by Robert Aldrich, how delicious. I don't think this film is officially available on DVD. There seems to be a bootleg copy for sale on a website. I just found out that the whole movie is now available on Just last year or so when I searched for info on the movie, not much was available in terms of clips and trailers. Now you can watch the whole thing in bits and pieces. I'm not going to watch it until I can get it on my tv at home.  It does stand up well as isolated, campy clips. I think it is worth watching from start to finish if you like camp.
The film The Unguarded Moment (1956) sort of pointed me in the Aldrich direction. Harry Keller directed it and he had an interesting career starting with westerns then went on to Tammy pictures and then Stripes. In between he did The Unguarded Moment. Rosalind Russell wrote the screenplay and it's Esther Williams' first dramatic all just comes together in a style that would appeal to me and lead me down the road to camp, for some reason.


Who was your favorite person to ever sit at a typewriter?


Feliz Dia De Reyes!

Happy 12th day of Christmas. No Rosca de Reyes but we do have really yummy tamales.  The bread usually eaten on this day isn't anything really sweet.  It's meant to be eaten with hot chocolate or coffee. Maybe next year I'll create a gluten free rosca. Since we feel we didn't get enough tamales for Christmas, we decided to just order more from Gardener's Feast and have a festive dinner.

I received an email that was an ad for a retail store promoting a Dia de Reyes online sale. Is this becoming more mainstream, maybe?


11 minutes of minutiae

My skating coach said I have to rebuild my skating legs. I will go in on Friday and do laps of scissors for an hour.

No Rosca de Reyes this year unless we can find one that is gluten free. I have already declared tomorrow night be dedicated to Mexican hot chocolate though. A special batch.

Because it is the year of the rabbit, Artie gets extra, extra special treatment all year. He already has a brand new, spacious abode with loft. Next on the list is a brand new harness and leash in his favorite I put several colors in front of him and he picked red for whatever reason. He  kissed the color card then tossed it and did nothing to the other color cards so I am going with it.

I've been really into teas lately and bought several boxes after Christmas that are nearly gone. I have discovered red and pink rosebud tea. It's a very pretty tea. Rosebuds don't have to make a wimpy tea either. Steeped long enough, it can be strong and fragrant without becoming pungent in any way. One cup leaves me feeling pretty dreamy.

All the seed and plant catalogs have already begun to arrive and they have managed to get me looking at the backyard again. Making plans, deciding on plants,  finally getting a much needed composter. Four, picky, little hens just can't  make up for a composter.

Watched  La Cienaga by Lucrecia Martel because my friend loved it and declared it one of his favorite movies of all times and urged us to see it. It is a slice of life sort of film and focuses on two families living in Argentina. I find myself liking it more and more.  Many scenes overwhelm the lens it seems and it works to pull you into the lives of these people. I didn't always like being there but it was an experience nonetheless.

Caught Mona looking at the tree lights. She loves to do this and it's always so nice to sit with her and  just look at the lights from her point of view. They will be coming down this weekend. We'll all miss it.

The tree is still fresh and green. It will be in it's stand out in the yard for a few weeks. I like looking out the window and pretending I have a balsam growing. Last year I continued to water and new growth appeared before it started to turn an orange-red in March. It was then chopped up and became mulch for the backyard. Part of it was burned in the chiminea in October. It smelled like Christmas and got me started on the holiday thoughts.  Round and round we go.


Las Cabañuelas

The other day my Grandfather told me about las cabañuelas. It is a system of predicting the weather for the entire year in the month of January. It is something he said the old timers would do and it's been going on for  ever. This is how he said it was done: The first twelve days of January correspond with the twelve months. During the first twelve days you write what the weather is like on that day: raining, sunny, if the temperature is average or above or below average.  I looked this up and read it is a system that was  passed from generation to generation since the Mayans. There is more to it but my Grandmother said the rest is so repetitive and it's all right there in the first twelve days, "Just pay attention,  Mija, and write it all down, everything."

So far, February will have a mild northern wind so it will still be cold here, mostly sunny days. March and April will have rainfall and milder temperatures than normal but increasing to average temperatures towards the end of the month. So it seems we'll have a nice Spring with rain. What is exciting is an arctic blast  is heading our way on those days that correspond with September-December. I might just go ahead and use the entire month to record the weather and do it correctly just as an experiment. It isn't complicated, just have to "write it all down, everything".