Good Morning all you wonderful Bloggy buddies. Hope everyone is well and looking forward to the upcoming seasonal events which will be upon us very soon. Tomorrow, we'll be heading out to Mesilla, NM for their annual Dia de los Muertos fair. I love going there every year and seeing all that is "skelly!" Also, if I get a chance, I might head out early tomorrow morning (early...hmmm) and visit the local artist fair in Downtown El Paso. Might have time to visit the Occupy Wall Streeters who are also there till Nov.
Last Sunday, I was sitting in our living room reading the paper and enjoying my first cup of coffee when it happened....JEHOVAH'S WITNESS'! Are you kidding me...Sunday morning...why aren't they in church?? Around here, the JW's usually speak "English very few," so I was prepared. As soon as I answered the door, they smiled and began talking...I immediately told them in Spanish, "Soy Judia," "I'm Jewish." The said "oh" then asked if they could leave their literature anyway...I said no gracias.
Now I'm not completely telling a little white lie, my great-great grandmother was a Jew, an Irish Jew...didn't know they existed, but apparently so. My dad thought maybe that part of the family, my maternal, was a result of the sinking of the Spanish Armada off the Irish coast circa, 1588. So some ol' relative, who was a sailor on one of those vessels, swam his way to the beach, and was absorbed by the Irish culture. Now my question was how in the hell was he able to practice his religion since the Spanish weren't particularly tolerant of Jews and the Moors??? He, like so many Sephardic Jews, hid their religious practices and attended Mass like good Catholics, did all the Catholic stuff but come the Sabbath evening, Friday, they did their Jewish stuff on the sly. A few years ago, there was a surge of local Mexican-Americans who realized they were descended from these Jews who jumped ship, or so we think. They realized that even though they had been reared Catholic, there were some unusual traditions within their Christian festivities, so they officially became Jews. I can't recall any kind of Jewish traditions intermixed with our Catholic ones, so I suppose my great-great grandmother left all that in Europe when she married my great-great grandfather in Paris and then immigrated to Mexico...go figure. However, I grew up in predominantly Jewish neighborhood, Catholic school girl by day, Jewish pal by...well, after school. All my friends in my 'hood were Jewish, and I always felt very comfortable...part of the family...their "Bubies" (grandmothers) were great cooks, always feeding us kids and they were very much like my Mexican family, very festive, loud and lots of laughter!
Now going back to the JW's. I do have a very funny story concerning these very charismatic, religious, hard-working people. This happened many years ago in my previous life, when I was married to the dentist, the father of my 3 children. It was one early summer day and I decided I needed to clean out the garage, which had accumulated much junk, as many of you are aware of garages doing....it's as if the junk lays eggs, they hatch, making more junk!! Anywhoo, I found this nasty, very stinky rams skull that my brother-in-law had given his brother, my ex, after he hunted, killed and ate the beatsie. There was still down on the horns and fur on the head and it had been bagged up in a garbage bag in that hot garage for who knows how long. So I decided I was going to throw that nasty thing away. I went out into the driveway and there, up the street, I spotted a group JW's. It was then I was hit with a very bad, but absolutely wonderful idea...wickedly wonderful. I closed the garage door, took the skull, inserted it into an old broom stick, went to the hallway closet where I had my grandfather's black, wool, cape with a maroon velvet lining.
A side story here, my grandfather grew up in a small town in Northern Mexico in the state of Sonora. When he was a boy, the wealthiest man in town wore a little black beret and a black cape which he had purchased in Paris. My grandfather thought that this was just too cool, so when my "Pachito" became a successful bidness man, he did the same. He and my grandmother went to Europe on the QE II and when he was in Paris, he bought the cape, however, he got the little beret in Barcelona, Spain which was more symbolic of the Basques than Spaniards...my grandfather's family were descended from the Basques, so it just made sense for him to honour that part of his heritage by wearing the beret. Well, when I was a kid, I loved that whole ensemble. Every Saturday when they came over to visit, I would don his cape and walk around the house in it, acting like I was Dracula's offspring or something. When he passed away in June of 1972, 6 months before I married the a-hole. My mother came home from taking care of things at the funeral home in Juarez, Mexico, which is right across the river from us, and she brought with her the cape and beret. For some odd reason, my brother, Fred, got the beret, but I got the cape! I still have that wonderful piece of black wool hanging in my closet right here in my office. Don't know who will inherit it since none of my children have shown any interest.
Ok, so back to the JW's....I waited patiently for the bell to ring and it finally did!! I answered it, wearing the cape and holding the rams head on a stick!! I also applied red lipstick (when I was teaching Vacation Bible school one summer in that other life, I heard one of the Baptist ladies say I was one of Satan's minion since I wore red lipstick, nails and my hair was tied up in a bun and I made scarves into partial turbans for my head and wore big earrings...yea, I really stuck out among those ladies). Damn, I wish I had a camera, because it was a mongo Kodak moment!!! My daughter, Andria, was watching this from her bedroom window which was adjacent to the front door. I thought she was choking, but was actually in hysterical laughter. So I asked them with this rather large, Cheshire Cat smile if they would like to come in since they might be thirsty...they politely refused. They asked if they could tell me about their faith and I told them only if they would take a minute to listen to mine!! One woman screamed out, "Es bruja, es bruja," "She's a witch, a witch!" You have no idea how I had to maintain my composure because I wanted to do exactly what Andria was doing, go into total hysterics!! I've never seen a group of people run down my walkway as fast as these people. Needless to say, I was never, EVER visited by them again at that address.
I really don't know which was funnier, the ram thing or the nanist thing. Oh well, I'm condemned no matter what, but I think I'll be in good company!! LOL Quite frankly, I believe God has a wonderful sense of humour, just consider the penguins and orangutans....and lest we not forget the sloths!!
Before I hang it up for the day, I wanted to show you some of my new little ladies. I was never much into the images of Frida Kahlo since she's been done soooo much. I had a drawing prof that always said she was so over-rated and had become cliche. I think she was just jealous especially after seeing her work hanging up during one of the faculty shows...oy!! Now I have loved Frida since I was a child. Once while visiting my grandparents across the river, I noticed a magazine in my grand's living room. It was like Mexico's version of Life magazine and they had a full article about Frida and Diego. I was about 8 years old, so that would have been 1960, some years since they had both passed; she died in '54 and he, in '57. Anyway, they had photos of their work, of them, their home in Mexico City....it all was intriguing. I asked my grandmother is she had known them, typical for a kid to ask that. Of course she hadn't and called her, "Esa Comunista y su sapo!" Which translates to, "That Communist and her toad!" I guess my "Machita" wasn't a fan, but I was, immediately. When I was in Mexico City back in '69, my friend and I went to her house...wasn't ready for the public, but we got to see it from the street. When I returned for my honeymoon with the ex in '73, we were planning on going, but I had drunk the water the night before at a 4 star eatery and the water wasn't 4 star...Moctezuma found me!! So anyway, here are a collection of my little Frida Christmas ornies that can be purchased through moi, if anyone is interested. My Etsy shop needs a mega overhauled so they won't be there.
I'm planning on making more...just had too much fun making them. The one on the far left has a new owner, my dear friend, Judy, who was my partner in crime back in high school. She's the one I wrote about in an earlier blog about our adventures in Mexico City back in '69. Her birthday was in Sept., but last night was the first time either of us could get together, so I gave her one of my Fridas. We celebrated at Chili's, her pick. I told her last night I hadn't been to Chili's in a few years since every time I ate there, I'd get food poisoning. I told her that whatever I ordered was going to be deep-fat fried to insure that nothing lived on!! I ordered little sliders and they came with a side salad but Judy told the waitress about my experiences there and they brought her the side salad instead...she passed!!! LOL
Also, wanted to show you my little pumpkins I made for my grandsons. The one of the left went to Aiden in Chicago and the one on the right to Austin. Now my guys in Austin feel I should send them one every year....maybe I better stock up on those fake pumpkins at Michaels right now while they're at 50% off.
I also got my paper mache masks from my buddy, Judah. He's such a sweetheart...said he wants to be paid in a decorated mask...going to gesso it today!! My daughter also found some of those coffins at her Michaels near her house in Austin, so I should be ready for more Halloween fun early on next year then I'll invade Michaels in August for my paper mache stuff...sigh, Halloween in August, or is it July??
Well, my friends, as always, I got a bit mouthy or fingery, but hope you all have a wonderful weekend and have lots of fun...love this time of year!! Peace out and Nano-Nano.