Archive for November, 2009

Happy Turkey Day!

Saturday, November 28th, 2009


Marsha, Brad, Mitch, John and fire extinguishers

The highlight of the week was flying to Dallas and driving two hours or so over to Pittsburg, Texas, to spend Thanksgiving with John’s family. Pete and Ginger met us at the lake house on Wednesday, then all of John’s cousins arrived on Thursday for a day of fun, eating and visiting. It was a great trip. Mitch provided the entertainment by bringing fire extinguishers for us to play with (and learn how to use). It was wonderful to see everyone, especially knowing that we will be in Tel Aviv next Thanksgiving. Click to see more photos.

We spent Wednesday and Thursday nights there, then back to Juarez on Friday. It was so peaceful on the lake. We also had fun renting a Prius to drive to Pittsburg. I enjoyed seeing Angie (Mitch and Laurie’s Boston terrier); we also stopped at their house on the way to the airport Friday and met their other doggies.

Last Sunday, we spent a nice afternoon at TFran and Michael’s, trying out his new discada, sort of like a Mexican version of a wok. Sergio from the office made the pan for him, then came over to fry up some fish in it. Tasty! Click for more discada photos.


Sergio cooking with the discada


John in Mexico City with friends last week

Short week

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Since I just posted last Tuesday, this is a short Criplomats week. We enjoyed just hanging out, grilling up some steaks and watching the last episodes of “Rome” after getting home from San Antonio.

Wednesday, I took John to the Ciudad Juarez airport to catch his flight to Mexico City. He went down there to see his old work buddies for a few days. He also spent a morning at the Embassy, meeting with folks and touring the operation. He especially enjoyed visiting with a woman who used to be the staff aide to the Ambassador in Israel (the job John will have in Tel Aviv).

I had Wednesday off, so I went to the dentist and got a few things done around the house. Back to work on Thursday and Friday for me.

Saturday morning I went to a neat arts/crafts fair in El Paso. I didn’t buy anything but saw some nice jewelry and textiles. Unfortunately, John’s morning flight home from Mexico City was cancelled (thanks, AeroMexico), so he didn’t get in until late last night – better late than never!

Remember the Alamo

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009


With Jim and Joan in Bandera

John and I spent a great weekend in San Antonio and got to see some of our favorite people! We arrived mid-day on Saturday, and spent the afternoon and evening with my cousin James, his wife MaryBeth and her cousin Lauri – and, of course, Maverick the Golden Retriever. We had a lazy afternoon visiting, followed by an excellent dinner at La Fogata.

Sunday we played with Mike and Wayne all day. A special treat was finding out that our A-100 friend Jimmi was just up the road in New Braunfels, so we all piled in the car and visited with her for a while. We sat on the back deck of her hotel, watching the Guadalupe River roll by – very pleasant. We topped off the night with an excellent meal at Piati’s.

Monday we headed out to Bandera to see Jim and Joan at their new house, and spent some time tromping around their beautiful piece of land in hill country. The house is great and almost ready to be inhabited.

The best thing about seeing old friends is picking up right where you left off, as though two years or more hadn’t gone by.

We got back to Juarez on Tuesday and were happy to see Flavia again.

For part of last week, I was on my own since John had gone to Las Vegas. I spent last Sunday afternoon at a co-worker’s house for a goodbye BBQ for Whitney and his family.

Tuesday I was in charge of a lunch for a visiting staff delegation from Washington. Wednesday we were off work for Veteran’s Day, but I worked the whole day, just trying to get caught up. It felt great to get some things cleared off my desk. John got in that night from Vegas and so we grilled some steaks.

Thursday after work, I had dinner at Barriga’s with my good friend Pam – always fun to visit with her.

For the last several months, I’ve been mentoring a group of local staff in a Foreign Service distance learning class – they all took their final exam on Friday, and I was thrilled that they all passed – whew!

Click to see more photos from our trip to San Antonio.


Wayne and Mike with Mookie

Happy birthday, Mr. Crippen!

Sunday, November 8th, 2009


Thursday was John’s birthday, and he had a really good day! We had a huge cake to celebrate with the visa section (made by our friend Sharapova), then we went out to dinner with Teresa, Michael, Keith and Whitney at Corralito’s – the manager, Raul, made John a special plate for his birthday pie (made by another friend from work). It was great to see John having such a good time!

It was a busy week all around. Last Sunday, we spent all morning cleaning out closets to start getting ready for our move. In the late afternoon, we went to Kerry’s house, where she had a huge spread of Jamaican food (including an oxtail dish that was good) – we yakked and ate for a while, then came home to relax and watch an episode of “Rome.”

Monday was a holiday to celebrate Day of the Dead. I celebrated by running a bunch of errands in El Paso – I love the Mexican holidays, because in El Paso, it’s business as usual, so I was able to start accumulating medical records from my doctor’s office.

Tuesday was the day that would not end! Erik and I left the Consulate at 6 AM and didn’t get back until well after 8 PM that night – we drove seven hours south to pick up an American woman and her two sons who ended up destitute down there and needed to get home. We brought them to a shelter in Juarez, where they stayed until we were able to take them to El Paso on Thursday to put them on a bus heading north.

Work during the week was busy – the death toll in Juarez is now over 2000 this year, so some of that number are inevitably Americans. It keeeps us busy in the office.

Saturday, John flew to Las Vegas for a magic convention. I spent all day at the Consulate, helping with the holdiay bazaar. After 12 hours of straight work there, I was glad to get home last night and have a nice bubble bath and a glass of wine!


Sharapova and Balbina serve up John’s cake at work


Day of the Dead

Gadding about

Sunday, November 1st, 2009


Dinner last Sunday night at Keith and Whitney’s: Yummy food and I love their pug, Nacho.

Book club on Monday to discuss “The Mouse that Roared”: Fun!

Dinner out with Pam Wednesday night: Three hours of great chit-chat!

Girls-only going away party across the street for our friend Ali: Lots of girl talk!

Friday: Most of the day at prison visiting with the AmCits, followed by a relaxing evening at home with John and an episode of “Rome.”

Worked most of Saturday trying to get caught up, then a fun get-together to give out Halloween candy at Keith and Whitney’s: Again with the pug!

Life’s good.


Carlsbad Caverns Latern Tour