Monday, October 28, 2013

Cooking with Padre (sort of) - Chiles Rellenos con tocino

As I mentioned in my last post, Padre came over for dinner yesterday but didn't have time for a cooking lesson, so instead I found a recipe for chiles rellenos from a Mexican cooking show and made them: a MAJOR hit with all of us!

Here's the recipe. It takes some prep time, which can be done up to a day ahead, but it only takes about 10 minutes to cook.


4 chiles poblanos
1 can frijoles refritos (frijoles negros taste better than the more common tan kind)
4 oz white cheese, preferably string cheese or monterey jack

3 roma tomatoes, cut in chunks
1/4 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic

Prepare the salsa:
This is a VERY basic salsa recipe, so if you have a favorite one you like to make, go for it, or add whatever seems appropriate to this recipe. DO NOT USE PURCHASED SALSA - that's a completely different thing!

Cook the tomatoes and onions in a pan (with or without a tiny bit of oil) until they're softened. Put them in a blender with the garlic and a cup of water (or broth, if you have some). If you want to add some heat, add some Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste. Once it's been liquified, heat the mixture in a small pan on LOW heat (don't let it boil!). It should be served warm.

Prepare the chiles:
On a gas stove, lay the chiles (one at a time) over a high open flame and char the skins well, turning with tongs frequently until they're uniformly blackened and stop snapping (I generally do 2 chiles at a time, on 2 different burners). The more charred they are, the easier it is to remove the skins. If you have an electric stove, put the chiles in a wide pan on maximum heat & do as described above.

Put the chiles in a plastic bag, close it and let them sweat for about 10 minutes to soften the skins further. Remove them from the bag and scrape off the skins. You can do this with your fingers, or with a paper towel or with a knife. Be careful not to tear the meat of the chile! This is messy, so I do it over a bowl.

Make a small slit in each chile and carefully cut out the bump with the seeds, making sure not to cut away the stem. Remove the seeds (don't worry if there are a few left - cooked poblano seeds aren't hot). Fill each chile loosely with frijoles refritos (about 1/4 per chile), and lay a slice of cheese on top of the beans. Take a slice of uncooked bacon and wrap it tightly around the chile, using it to cover the slit and keep the contents from spilling out. Fasten it with one or more toothpicks. At this point the chiles can be covered and left on the counter for a few hours, or even refrigerated.

When you're ready to cook them, put them in a wide pan on high heat. Turning frequently with tongs, cook them until the bacon is sufficiently cooked (it should still be soft - not crisp). If you want to, you can then put some shredded cheese on the top and put them in the oven for a few minutes for it to melt, but this isn't necessary - it's completely a matter of presentation.

Serve the chiles with the salsa to spoon over. Since I forgot to take pictures of the process of roasting the chiles, here's a link to a site that describes (with pictures) how to roast poblanos if you don't already have experience in doing this.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week Ending 27 Octubre

Just in case anyone was wondering what's been happening down here this weekend, I'm linking up with Wanda for

FRIDAY - Rebecca, whose blog Renaissance is one of my favorites, had a post recently with a photo of a fruit wasp (BTW, she takes the most amazing photos! And since she lives in the country they are particularly wonderful. And her posts are SO refreshingly self-revealing and centered on her faith). Anyway, I'd never seen a fruit wasp in person and was astounded at how large it was. Fast forward 3 days to Friday, and as we were starting the mass at the small community where our team goes to minister, a whole slew of these things showed up! HUGE, I tell you! Happily, nobody got stung, at least not during mass, although one boy had a big bump on the back of his head from having been stung earlier.

SATURDAY - I had suggested to the team (above) that we pray a novena together for the people in the small communities served by our church. For those of you not familiar with novenas, here's a post I just did about them. These communities have so little in the way of spiritual resources, and although there are many needs it seems that the people in the communities don't see themselves as being capable of meeting any of them. Thus the need for a novena to implore God to provide what these communities don't currently have, so that His love can be spread abroad.

Anyhow, I spoke with Padre about this and he spoke with the two nuns who head up the team, and they asked me to find an appropriate novena on the web that we could use. After much searching, I realized that I'd have to put something together using several existing novenas, and that's what I spent most of the day doing on Saturday. At the end of the day the Pirate suggested that we go to our favorite restaurant for dinner, which we did, and when we got home at 8:00pm we set the clocks back (in Mexico Daylight Savings time changed this weekend). That was unfortunate because we were both exhausted and wanted to go to bed, but we knew we'd have to stay awake until at least 9:30 (Standard Time) or we'd be waking up at 4:00am. So we got onto Youtube and watched a bunch of clips and documentary TV shows in spanish until our brains felt like they were made up of noodles, and we gave up and went to bed.

SUNDAY - was a "cooking with Padre" day with a twist. Padre didn't cook up one of his recipes because he was SUPER busy this weekend (a quinceañera in one of the outlying communities, a wedding back here in town, and a regular evening mass yesterday, plus baptisms after the noon mass today). So I found a great recipe for chile rellenos on TV Once (pronounced own-say, which means eleven). This is a PBS-type channel run by one of the big universities in mainland Mexico, and I discovered a cooking series on it, with all the recipes available on its website (in spanish of course). Rather than give you the details on this post, I'll do a separate post tomorrow with the recipe in english. It's quite simple, and wickedly delicious (bacon is involved!). But just so there's at least one picture to this post, here are Padre and the Pirate talking about church stuff.

Bendiciones to you, dear readers!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Novenas, anyone? For non-Catholics too

I'm really hoping that my non-Catholic readers won't just blow off this post when they see that it's about something so obviously Catholic as novenas. Please try to see this through to the end - it's about PRAYER!

Being a relatively new Catholic (2010) I'm just learning things that are probably second nature to everyone else, one of those things being the efficacy of novenas. For you non-Catholics out there, a novena is a prayer prayed for nine days, the point being that our importunity has weight with God (see Luke 11:5-8, Luke 18:6-8, and of course "ask, seek, knock"). I've prayed several intercessory novenas this year and have been astounded at how effective this method of praying is. If you're not familiar with novenas, and want to read some stories about their effectiveness, buy "Nothing Short of a Miracle" by Patricia Treece (my new favorite book that I think everyone should read).

The description says it perfectly: "God doesn't need humans to work miracles for Him, but it certainly seems His good pleasure to perform great miracles by means of human prayers and human hands."

Since the Church has been using this method of prayer for a couple of thousand years, there are hundreds novenas that already exist in printed form. Many of them are prayers directly to God the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, and many of them ask the help of specific saints as prayer partners and role models for the specific situation you're praying about. You don't have to use an existing novena prayer, or ask any saints to be your prayer partner. The main thing is to show God by your actions that this issue is REALLY important to you and you're desperate for an answer. So none of the "oh Lord won't you buy me a brand new Cadillac" kinds of prayers here. Most novenas are intercessions for someone who is really ill, or in dire straights, or in danger of some sort.

Since I'm just learning about the many saints we have as role models, I'm wanting to learn about their lives and find out who can be most helpful with specific issues. I have a wonderful book on saints, Voices of the Saints, by Bert Ghezzi, with stories of 365 saints who really come alive through his short (1 page each) but excellent biographies. I've bought several books on saints since I got this one, and this is by far the best compendium. It's definitely worth getting as a hardback, since it's a great book for the whole family to read from on a daily basis. The Pirate and I started reading this every day before we became Catholic, and found it to be an inspiring book about brothers and sisters in Jesus who faced the same difficulties we face today, plus some that we will never have to deal with!

So, back to the novenas. I've got a couple of questions, for any of you readers who have engaged in praying novenas. Rather than asking a single saint for prayer support, I figure why not assemble a prayer team? Maybe because for decades I was on intercession teams in the protestant world, but it makes sense to me that "in a multitude of counselors there is safety" and my experience has been that prayers tend to be more focused and deeper in a group than one's individual prayers. Have you ever made a novena with more than one saint? And have you ever created your own novena rather than using an existing one? I'm sure hoping that someone will take the time to respond!

BTW, I found an excellent general-purpose novena that acknowledges the good example of a specific saint (of your choosing) but is directed to Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This would be a novena that could be used pretty easily by non-Catholics who want to try out this ancient way of praying. The problem is - which you'll know if you followed the link - it's in spanish. However if anyone would like a translation of this prayer, I'd be glad to send you one. Just leave your email address in the comment box, or click on my profile which will take you to Google+ and you can click the "email" icon there and send me an email directly.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week Ending 19 de octubre

Here's my contribution to

This weekend didn't have much of a story to it in comparison with last weekend, but it was sweet nonetheless. Friday was the Pirate's birthday. I treated him to breakfast at our neighborhood cafe, and as we were walking there (it's two blocks from our house), our neighbor passed us in his car, waved and said "Feliz Cumpleanos!" That was odd - we rarely see him and have never had a real conversation with him. How did he know that it was the Pirate's birthday?

About 2 hours before we were due at the church for the Friday mass, one of our friends texted me saying, 'tell David feliz cumpleanos from me'. How did she know? I hadn't told her, and David certainly hadn't.

At the end of mass, Padre called out to the Pirate just before he recessed into the sacristy, "Feliz cumpleanos, David! Muchas felicidades!" Now that one I can take credit for since I had told the church secretary that it was the Pirate's birthday and asked Padre to include him in the prayers at the mass (which he did, but I don't think David heard his name). BTW, the church secretary is very discrete and wouldn't have spread that news around; besides, she doesn't even know our neighbor, who is American. Mysterious!

On Saturday we decided to go to the nearby swimming beach for a treat. As those of you who read this blog may remember, our local beach, though lovely, is too dangerous for swimming. The nearest beach where you can swim is about 7 miles away, beyond the next town. The area around the beach is being developed into a tourist spot: luxury condos & beach houses, inns, and a "private beach resort" which consists of an outdoor restaurant and offers surfing lessons. That's where we headed.
We usually only go there when our grandkids are visiting, so this was a rare event. We spent a lovely day hanging out, eating (nachos & steak) and drinking and reading.

I read "Nothing Short of a Miracle" by Patricia Treece, a book that you must drop everything and buy right NOW! What amazing stories of saints and healings that have happened recently! It's a great faith-builder, and although written by a Catholic about Catholic saints, the author is careful to explain things to non-Catholics in a way that makes these stories a blessing to any reader. In short, it's a great read for anyone who would like a faith boost.

And of course, we went in the water. That was the first time I had ever been in the Pacific when the water was bathtub temperature! In Alta California the Japan Current runs down most of the length of the state and makes the water quite cold, and even in SoCal, where people can go swimming and surfing without wetsuits, there's still that initial shiver when you hit the water. Not here, not this month! The temperature was absolutely perfect.

I know this post might stir up some wanderlust, or longing, or (heaven forbid) even envy, but context is everything. The Pirate and I lived through the years of wrangling kids, working at less-than-ideal jobs, having more bills than money, living in unfinished houses, etc. that most of the bloggers I read are dealing with currently. I'm older than any other blogger I know, and I'm here to tell you that there's abundant life after all the struggle. Hang in there, and keep your focus on the giver of all good gifts, and He will delight your heart as He has ours.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Feliz cumpleaños, mi querido


Red: As a young girl I had dreamed of marrying a redhead, and LO! You showed up and captured my heart. The first time I saw you, God spoke to me and told me that I'd marry you. You laugh, because I didn't know God at the time, but He knew us, and if He can speak to donkeys he can speak to confused teenagers as well. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Dog: As everyone knows, "faithful" is the natural adjective for a dog, just as "devout" goes with "Catholic", or "giant" goes with "redwood". FAITHFUL is God's banner over you, as well; it is the name that He gave you, and you are the embodiment of faithfulness.

Pirate: Pirates capture our imaginations with the adventure and romance of lives focused on making the most of the opportunities that arise. Like a pirate, you delight in wandering the seas of possibilities and discovering the treasures that are to be had with a bit of clever experimentation.


What a propitious set of initials: WDY. It seems that your life simply conformed to the shape of your initials, first in a redwood forest, with an enterprise built around an ancient woodworking machine, then by a circuitous route through Silicon Valley to a comfy wood shop filled with sawdust and antique planes, and on down to Mexico, under a palapa, making beautiful objects to sell in a local gallery. But better yet, your passion for wood has found an outlet in teaching orphans to make and sell woodenware, giving them a skill that they'll be able to earn an income with when they're adults.


Your poems are exquisite. Your essays are tender and funny. Your creativity is perfectly expressed in your writings, and your works are gifts eagerly looked for by those who receive them.


You've had that guitar longer than we've been married, and the sweetness of what emerges from the combination of you and the guitar is something that I can only hope to attain in our own relationship. You were born to worship, and you draw others to worship with you. You were born for joy, and you invite others to share the joy of music. I am blessed beyond my wildest hopes to have married a troubadour whose heart is fixed on God.

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint's day we're singing it for you

Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.
Wake up, my dear*, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you

Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn

El día en que tu naciste nacieron todas las flores
En la pila del bautismo, cantaron los ruiseñores
The day you were born all the flowers were born
On the baptismal font the nightingales sang

Quisiera ser solecito para entrar por tu ventana
y darte los buenos días acostadita en tu cama
I would like to be the sunshine to enter through your window
to wish you good morning while you're lying in your bed

Quisiera ser un San Juan, quisiera ser un San Pedro
Para venirte a cantar con la música del cielo
I would like to be a Saint John I would like to be a Saint Peter
To sing to you with the music of heaven

De las estrellas del cielo tengo que bajarte dos
una para saludarte y otra para decirte adiós
Of the stars in the sky I have to lower two for you
One with which to greet you and the other to wish you goodbye

Monday, October 14, 2013

Festival Weekend, Part 3

Click on the links for Part 1 (Friday) and Part 2 (Saturday).

Sunday was the last day of the festival, and the main mass was going to be held at the baseball stadium. The events would start with a cabalgata (a procession of rancheros and others on their horses).

We had to get some music equipment to the stadium before things got crazy, so we drove to the church at 10:30 to pick up a couple of amps and some microphone cables. As we drove in, Padre and Martin (the seminarian) were leaving for the perigrinacion with the caballeros (horsemen). We drove to the stadium and dropped off the equipment as they were beginning to set up the platform.

Then we walked to the center of town in hopes of meeting the cabalgata and walking with them back to the stadium. After waiting around for quite awhile the cabalagata finally arrived, with Padre, Martin, and the altar servers in front along with a band playing ranchero music and the queen and princesses of the festival.

As an aside, this was the first year that the local government got involved in the festival by including non-church activities like crowning a queen and her court, having a sponsored bike ride, etc. Those without any awareness of the centrality of the church in our community's social fabric (read: tourists and most of the gringos here) could easily miss the reason for the festival if it weren't for Padre making sure that everything we as a church did was out "in the public square", tied in to everything else that was happening. He's like Pope Francis - he wants to take the church out to the people!

When we got to the stadium the platform for the mass was ready and the music team was setting up below.

The caballeros processed in front of the platform and Padre blessed them by sprinkling them with holy water as they went past.

Then they all gathered in front of the platform for the duration of the mass. By that time it had started to rain - not a heavy rain, but a steady one, which is why the caballeros are wearing hats during the mass. It continued to rain through the readings, but then stopped and the rest of the mass went smoothly.

The rector of the seminary in La Paz concelebrated the mass with Padre, and several seminarians were the lectors. Our small town currently has two young men in seminary (they both entered last year), with another considering it (the one in the photo below). The offering for this mass was given to the seminary, and in addition there is a group in town that collects money every month for seminary support. We're very serious about preparing the next generation of priests!

Once the mass was over, the caballeros milled about on their horses and I was able to get a picture of one on his mule with a traditional ranchero saddle, much different from the western saddles in the US. The chaps are built into the saddle, which makes a lot of sense when riding through cactus, as you can imagine. Unfortunately, there are very few rancheros who still use these saddles - the "standard" western saddles seem to have gotten the upper hand around here.

It wasn't quite 2:00 and the next event was going to be some competitions involving lard (greased poles, etc.) but we didn't want to wait an hour for them to start. Instead, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant owned by one of the brothers of a family in the church, and after that went home for a nap.

As a post script, the rain held off until early the next morning (today). It has been raining HARD all day today (tropical storm Octave), although when we looked at the satellite images on the web it didn't look like much. On the ground, however, we have received much more rain from this storm than we did from hurricane Juliette in September. We're glad for the rain, but gracias a Dios the main part of the storm didn't hit until after the festival was over.

What is the religious climate here in MEXICO?

Jen at Conversion Diary does an annual post to see what the religious climate is like where her readers live, and she is especially interested to hear from those of us living outside the US, so here's my 2 cents' worth:


I live in a small town of 5000 or so. The main church is, of course, Catholic. There are two other options here: a pentecostal (Four-Square) church pastored by a Mexican, which meets on the grounds of the local children's home, which he runs (maybe 100 people involved?), and a Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah's Witnesses (this is quite small - maybe 20 or 30 people). In addition to the main church on the plaza, our parish has chapels in each of the neighborhoods in town (5 in all) and mass is held at each of them each week as well. Masses at both our main church and the chapels are generally completely packed. All ages attend.

Very easy, since a large portion of the population here is active in the Catholic Church, and even those who aren't are "friends of the Church" (not dismissive as so many are in the States). This would apply to any community here in the state of Baja California Sur - the proportion of active Catholics is high, and the rest (except the gringos) are culturally Catholic, so disposed toward the Church.

Christianity - Catholic, of course!

Many - maybe most - of our friends over 40 years of age come from really large families. My closest friend down here is one of 17 siblings, and there are many with 6 or more siblings. However, that generation tends to have 3 or 4 children per family. The generation currently having children? It's hard to tell, although I can tell you that there are many more babies and young children in this population than in similar sized groups in the US - MANY more.

Fifty years ago in our part of Mexico everyone was Catholic. Now only about 90% are. However, the understanding of the faith is much better now - there's not the mixture of Catholicism with other things that was so common back then. Our bishop is a former seminary rector and has done a heroic job of elevating the quality of catechism in the diocese, not only for children, but for everyone. Priests have a wealth of teaching material that the diocese provides, and they themselves are much more educated than priests had the opportunity to be 50 years ago. That was still a period of repression of the Church in Mexico: priests weren't allowed to wear cassocks in public (or even to vote) until 1998, and the Church was still struggling to rebuild after the Crucero war of the 1920's. At that point in our state's history there was only ONE priest to service the whole territory, which is about the size of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut combined. All the other priests had been killed by the atheistic government or had been exiled. Now our state has a little over 100 priests to serve a diocese of over 500,000. Poco a poquito....

Yes, Mexicans aren't as bombarded by the materialist consumer message as residents of the US are, and they have a much stronger family orientation as well, which of course is a major factor in happiness.

This was taken this weekend during the festival of our patroness, Nuestra Senora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar).

Click on this link to see what the religious climate is like in other areas.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Festival Weekend, Part 2

For Part 1, click here.

On Saturday we woke up later than usual, and before the Pirate had even gotten out of bed we got a phone call from the coordinator of the music team saying that Padre wanted them to play for the noon mass. This surprised us since we hadn't even known there would be a noon mass, but we rushed through our morning chores and went down to the church. Apparently this mass hadn't been publicized to the local parishioners because it was primarily for the people from the surrounding ranchos & poblados (small communities).

The church was all decked out in flowers, many more than usual.

I saw two older women, very proper, both with fashionable hats on, sitting in the front pew with a group of people, apparently friends of Padre's from elsewhere. They had come in before the others and had spent quite a long time kneeling in prayer. At the end of the mass, Padre greeted his friends, who had come from Guanajuato, and had one of the older women come up to tell us why she was there.

A year ago she had been with a group of Padre's friends who came here to help him celebrate his 15th year of being a priest, but she was unable to walk. I'm not sure what infirmity she had, but I believe it was some sort of cancer. While she was in our town she prayed for Nuestra Senora del Pilar to intervene on her behalf, and promised to return if she was healed. Well, our Lady did intervene - the woman was healed, and that's why she was back this year, to give thanks for her healing!

After mass was over, the Pirate went to find whoever was in charge of the sound system for the evening mass in the plaza while I watched the altar servers practicing. Then we raced around town to get our grocery shopping done before we had to return to the church for the Big Event. The bishop would be there because we had a large group of children and adults being confirmed.

The music team got all set up off to the side of the stage:

The plaza filled up:

And the mass started. There were rain clouds overhead and it started to sprinkle, but the rain held off through the entire mass. However, the sky was quite dark, even considering that it was early evening.

Our bishop is an excellent preacher, and the homily he gave was a clear call to the confirmands to receive the grace that God offers them to reach out to the world as servants of the Kingdom of God.

Then, of course, the rite of confirmation:

The music team played a song during communion in which a verse was sung, then the Pirate played his guitar without singers, then the next verse was sung (this was to draw out the song over the entire time of communion, which of course was unusually long). The women around me all remarked on how lovely his playing was, and they were right! Instead of his electric guitar, which he usually plays, he had his old favorite, the acoustical Hummingbird, and the sound was wonderful. He has a special gift of worship through his instrumental playing and it's quite obvious to all who hear it.

We got home early enough (8pm) that I was able to write the first post in this series. Next up: the cabalgata on Sunday!

I'm linking up with Wanda forWeek Ending with this post, although I have one more post to write to finish describing this very full weekend. Come back tomorrow for my last post!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Festival weekend, Part 1

This weekend marks the final 3 days of the festival of Nuestra Senora del Pilar, our parish patroness. There's so much stuff to "show and tell" that I'm going to break it into 3 parts, one for each day. Here's what happened Friday.

We arrived at church just before 8:30pm in case the Pirate had to set up the equipment for the music team to play at mass. Since none of the other musicians were there, he decided not to set up, and sat down with me (a rare occurrence!) just as Padre was beginning to lead the congregation in praying the rosary. Usually members of the various groups in the church take turns doing this before the main mass every day, so having Padre lead us was a treat. Behind him is Martin, the seminarian who is serving at our parish for the next year.

Since the evening was dedicated to honoring Nuestra Senora del Pilar, the statue that is usually in a niche behind the altar had been taken down and put where people could go up and pray (family: the people don't pray to the statue, they pray to Jesus while they're standing in front of the statue reflecting on the meaning of that image, which in this case signifies the church standing on the pillar of faith, which pillar is Christ).

After the rosary, which as all you Catholics out there know was focused on the passion of Christ (it being Friday), we had a half hour of singing a beautiful song about Nuestra Senora del Pilar: one song, half an hour! While we were singing, people were still coming up and reflecting on the importance to have faith like a pillar that stands firm.

While all this was going on the fair was going full force right outside the church: the noise of the rides, the midway, the crowds chattering, and multiple bands playing. There were four bands that I counted later: one mariachi, one reggae, one Mexican rock, and one undetermined style - each within a hundred feet of the others.

Inside the church our attention was focused on worship, and the background noise seemed to me an apt reminder of how our enemy is always at work to distract us from keeping our hearts firmly fixed on God. Our congregation did a great job of ignoring the distraction!

Mass started at 10pm, and instead of the regular music team we had a mariachi band which one of the church members heads up. It's always a treat when they play at a mass - same songs that we usually sing, but with the trumpets and accordion in addition to guitar.

When mass was over Padre asked for a show of hands of how many people were planning to stay and sing the songs that are traditionally sung as part of this fiesta, ending with Las Mananitas (sung to Mary) at midnight. Most of the group raised their hands, so the regular music team (including the Pirate, of course) plugged in and joined in.

I was too tired to stay, so I headed outside, and as I was leaving people were streaming into the church (after 11pm!). I took a few pictures of the fair:

That's supposed to be the Statue of Liberty, which is the centerpiece for a kiddie car ride.

Then I went to the car to try to sleep until the Pirate came. At 12:45am he arrived (apparently nobody wanted to leave right at midnight), with a couple of bags of churros - the perfect fair food - and we headed home to collapse into bed.

I apologize for the blurry photos inside the church. I need to be wearing my glasses when I take pictures because I can't tell if they're blurry otherwise, but I also need a camera has better zoom capabilities than this one: most of those photos were taken of something far away that I was trying to get a closeup of. I'm hoping that at least one of the 3 Wise Men reads this blog and will bring me the gift of a better camera on Epiphany (which is when people receive gifts here in Mexico, rather than on Christmas day).