Sunday, October 4, 2015

Slowly Turning to Autumn

Since we've moved here, temps have been well above the average highs and numerous records have been met or broken. I've been craving fall. We headed to the mountains Saturday to enjoy cooler weather and the gorgeous aspens. We had an absolute blast. I miss some of the bright oranges and reds from up north but the topaz aspens against the clear blue sky were stunning. We look forward to more exploring in this new state that already feels like home.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Settling In

We've finally had a little time to settle in, both doing some unpacking and enjoying the balcony and views.

The wildfire smoke has made the mountains less visible lately but we've got plenty to look at. Austin has the webcam on the construction that is going on in front of us and we keep talking about the possibility of an Amtrak trip sometime. The train is about two blocks away and you can see it in the photo.

We got some unpacking done this weekend and hung up some art. We're a little more motivated since Bruce and Peggy will be visiting this evening but there is still work to be done. Not surprisingly, the largest amount of overflow comes from spices, tea, books, and kitchen gear. It has been good to downsize, though, and we will probably never miss having to mow a lawn. Now back to work!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

We made it!

We're in Denver. So much has happened, I haven't been able to blog until now. But check out our view.

Mountain sunset

Basically, I returned from Mexico August 1st and we headed out the 7th. Unfortunately, I woke up sick the day I flew home from Mexico and had some sort of mystery illness that resulted in me feeling rather uncomfortable while packing, loading, and driving for two days. I drove my car and Austin and Stinky were in a huge Penske truck and we arrived in Denver on Saturday, August 8th. The movers unloaded the truck on the 9th and Austin was back to work early the next morning. I had campus meetings and was busy writing syllabi and planning new classes. But we made it and looking out at the city and the mountains every day has been so very delightful.

We are now in our second week here and still not fully unpacked. The apartment building is great but brand new so there have been some minor flukes, like our air conditioning intermittently going out which remains unresolved (the problem seems to lie in the Nest thermostat, unfortunately). The fire alarm was tripped in the middle of the night and we've seen firetrucks here on occasion as they try to figure out what is wrong. There is a truck parked out front as I type, as a matter of fact. There have been blips like that but we are incredibly happy with the location. We can literally take the elevator down to the grocery store (and it has a burrito stand! and a sushi train!), the bank, and Starbucks. A restaurant is also being constructed and we're waiting to see what it is. I walk to take light rail to work. Austin goes to the lobby frequently to get coffee from the fancy coffee machine they have. We're very close to Union Station and the 16th Street Mall so there's plenty to explore.

Longer term, we look forward to some weekends away in CO and beyond. It's early, but we feel like we've found a place that suits us well and we look forward to sharing it with family and friends as the opportunities arise.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


I'm trying to get some photos organized. I haven't had time to do a lot of blogging, much less captioning photos, but here is a link to the album.

Guanajuato 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Daily Life

Veggies going to the produce shop.

Flowers to the florist.

I had to search the large doors to find the schedule for the laundry place (which charges by kilo) and here it was Sharpied on the door.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Las puertas

I love the doors here. I have long seen posters of a collection of doors from a given city or country but they really are cool compared to much of what I see in the U.S. I walk past this yellow one every day and there is something about it that makes me what to know who lives there, what it looks like inside, and more. If I ever write fiction about Mexico, this entryway will be included.

And these are just a few I saw as I walked to dinner tonight. The last house had a beautiful, spacious interior that I could just see through the one open pane and I peered in as closely as I could for a second.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Los callejones

I'm not a fan of selfies but this little alleyway was so narrow, I couldn't resist. This is me on my way home from work.

Bastille Day in Mexico

Glad a friend showed me this new place so I could properly enjoy Bastille Day here in Guanajuato. I attempted to thank the very French chef but he was rather busy making an elaborate cake. I enjoyed a tomato and goat cheese quiche and took home a Nutella croissant which was a delicious treat.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Back in México lindo: mi rutina

I'm back in "my" apartment and was so happy to find flowers and fruit left by Sra. Ana, aromatic on the kitchen room table. Down in the main house, Sr. Lalo was cooking a sauce that smelled amazing but I had to pass on their kind offer of a taste, setting off to meet up with a friend who leaves today. Later that evening, we attended the potluck for the second session of the potluck.

I taught my first class this morning and just as it has been the first two years, I think to myself "I can't believe I get paid for this." Every morning, I get ready while it is still a little dark then head out in the early light and walk down hill past colorful houses with curling wrought-iron balconies that are full of plants. I hit the main plaza and stop to get a tea* at OXXO, a convenience store (and new way to sign letters for my friends who also know OXXO) and head back up hill to the campus. The walk is through a series of tiny alleys (callejones) and steps built into the pathways. My U.S. brain wonders about folks who use wheelchairs or baby strollers and then I refocus because the guanajautenses have always gotten along just fine without my meddling, thank you very much. I continue up the stairs and through the gate into campus patio and up to the second floor where I teach. This summer, I have 17 high school teachers from the Northwest, the Midwest, California, and even the Bahamas. During class, we analyze language teaching, language learning, theories, practices, all the things that I enjoy. Two hours fly by quickly, at least for me.

After class, I'll either have an empanada from the campus stand and sit in the patio or I'll head to a favorite cafe or tea shop. My favorite cafe from last year has relocated into an old house and each room is unique. My favorite tea shop is smaller, with shelves of books all around to browse, trade for, or purchase. Their tea list is great, they have a nice lunch menu, and you can buy things to go like kilos of Mennonite cheese or soy burgers. At these cozy establishments, I grade any homework that has come in, re-read the articles for class, and prepare my lesson. Then I might go to lunch somewhere and the afternoon is dedicated to article revisions and preparing a conference presentation. That and some blogging and other social media including the old fashioned email.

In the evenings, I cook, go out, or get take-out. The menu options here are quite affordable and economical. I check email again, wifi permitting, do a little reading, watch the news in Spanish, shower, talk to Austin, and go to bed early.

*Getting a tea at OXXO means I didn't get the stove to cooperate to make my own in my lovely kitchen.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mission Accomplished

  • Offer letter signed
  • Apartment found and paperwork in progress
  • Did fun stuff in and around Denver (coming soon in another post)
  • Thoroughly exhausted and completely happy
  • Back home now and attempting to appease kitty.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dinner at Rioja

ETA: I blogged from iPad and I'm too lazy to fix the over-sized photos and wonky breaks in the formatting. Just try to let the menu carry you away...

On our first night in Denver, we decided to enjoy a nice dinner out and Rioja was our choice. It was incredible.

We started with a cheese plate. Caña de Cabra: strawberry rhubarb jam; Oriol de Montbrú; fennel-tarragon salad; Quadrello di Bufala: Castelvetrano olive; Schnebelhorn: morel-shallot-mustard

Next, we had appetizer pastas. Austin got sweet corn gnocchi with roasted porcini mushrooms, nasturtium, and crescenza nage. It was very tasty but we agreed my pasta was out of this world.

My artichoke tortelloni with artichoke mousse, white truffle brodo, queso de mano, and chervil. Simply amazing.

Then the entrees. Austin had Alaskan halibut with hearts of palm, purple Peruvian potatoes, kale salsa verse, and red pepper jam. Delicious.
I got the special, seared scallops on goat cheese risotto over beurre rouge topped with a carrot salad. Incredible.

We couldn't turn down dessert. White and black cheesecake: blackberry filled cheesecake, toasted black sesame ice cream, blackberry coulis, sesame nougatine, and black sesame paint. A sweet end to the meal.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Off to find new digs and do a little exploring.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


I started this blog when Austin and I were moving from WI to TX so I could attend grad school there. We have had several moves since then and have spent the past two years in Kentucky. I quickly realized my new position would keep me too busy to update regularly and so this blog sort of faded away. That has changed, however, as Austin and I pursue the next adventure and move to Denver, CO.

There will be much more to update about that, especially since we are headed there on Tuesday to look for housing, but for now, I'm glad to be able to return to writing semi-regularly updates about what we are doing, things big and small, and I appreciate that a few of you requested I restart the blog. My simple pleasure here is the amazing garden our neighbors have; it always makes me happy and I keep telling Austin I'm going to leave them a little thank you note to let them know how very much it brightens my day. I know I have often posted photos of flowers, food, cats, and cups of tea on here and there will be more of that to come. But maybe mountains now, too!