Thank you Liben!
Have you all been watching the magnificent costumes in Game of Thrones? Everyone is wearing black with winter having arrived. It is as hot as Hades in the subtropics so my title only refers to my Cersei hair color… Once again my hair has turned a magical new color that did not reflect the box but I quite like it. I have some lighter highlights in it and it gives my face some color. Liben is my friend who gifted me some wonderful new outfits that she no longer wears. The off white skirt pictured above still had the ticket on it and fits really well. I even have a bum for a change! My friend Cris gifted me the wonderful necklace, bracelet, earrings and ring set.
I think Cersei would love this jewelry – I certainly do.
Every time I wear this set, I have fond thoughts of both Cris and her mother, who owned the clip-on earrings and ring. The sheer black top is a Christmas gift from Cris, too – she gave me a gift card from a local boutique. How lucky I am to have such generous friends.
Black and White Old Navy dress in the sale worn with a light white jacket from Chico’s outlet. Funky studded sandals from JC Penney many seasons ago.
I don’t usually shop at Chico’s but their crazy sizing is wonderful. I am a size 0 in their vanity sizing… Unlike most places, we southern Texas folks put on summer weight because it is too dang hot to go outside and we can’t exercise. I have some pounds to lose so I finally bought an ‘undergarment'(keep reading to the end and don’t get excited).
This is a better shot of the little black and white dress – it cost just over $10 so I bought a spotted navy one and a pink/navy striped one.
I was browsing through Walgreen’s for toiletries when I spotted these summer dresses for $15. Teddy loves it so it has joined my collection. I am wearing a dragonfly necklace that I bought in Rice Village, a nice little shopping district in Houston close to Rice University.
Do you think they will send me some free ones now?
Finally you can see the delightful undergarment. Of course, I am not a large – I just need some breathing room in this humidity… I can’t stand Spandex and still have nightmares about my Nana’s flesh colored girdle that I had to help her get in (surely some Jesuits designed it)? This new ‘smoother’ is quite comfortable and holds things in right up to the rib cage. If I just did some exercise, like Helen Mirren, I would have a flat tummy and no wobbly bits. At least it gives Teddy something to grab onto!
Paseo de Montejo, Merida
As I walked along this elegant boulevard, the Paseo de Montejo, in Merida, I felt like I was back in Madrid. I imagine the Spanish conquistadors also wanted to recreate a feel of home although I believe the design was influenced by French boulevards.
This pastel avenue of sculptures was located right next to Merida Cathedral and was a wonderfully cool and artistic respite from the unrelenting heat. Most people were not tourists so it was joyful to see residents enjoy their beautiful city.
These wonderful windows caught my eye – such a tranquil Sunday feel to the day. Below is a close up of the detail.
There seems to be different coats of arms above each window. My absolute favorite was the colonnades of the Plaza Grande which was also the original center of the Maya city of Tiho.
I liked this vivid statue in Merida but I mostly took the photograph to showcase the colorful buildings behind. It was only when I zoomed in on the image that I realized that this was Andrès Quintana Roo for whom the state is named. He was born in Merida in 1787 and died in Mexico City in 1851. Not only did he draft the Mexican Declaration of Independence but he was a liberal forward thinking politician whose roles included Secretary of State.
He had a Romeo and Juliet romance with his wife Leona. Her family were Royalists so they ran away to get married. Andrès’ father was part of a group called the Sanjuanistas who fought against native slavery and oppressive taxes to the Catholic Church. Go Sanjuanistas!! We sometimes forget that the USA is not the only country who participated in slavery. There are many African Americans in Texas who have my Scottish last name and I have no doubt that there will be many native Mexicans who are called Ortega, my maiden name. For all I know some of my native DNA might be Maya or from the Mexican region although I doubt it.
We recently had a false rumor around Houston that a statue of Sam Houston was going to be removed because he was a slave owner. Enough already! We don’t need statues of dictators such as Hitler but even George Washington owned slaves because it was the unacceptable norm of the day. My great-great grandfather was a Confederate medic but I doubt he had much choice about his fate. He used the experience to become a renowned doctor in Arkansas. History is rarely sunshine and butterflies but we learn something from our mistakes. I have a long line of ancestors named Sam and/or Houston because he (Sam Houston) was admired so much my family who have native heritage. My father’s middle name is Houston. I was meant to be here…
Back to Quintana Roo –in this state you can clearly see native heritage in the faces of residents. Less Spanish, more Maya. On one side of Andres’ statue was the church of Santa Ana. The yellow towers made the red brick stand out. Look at those flame trees!
Church of Santa Ana
In another neighborhood, I was taken by the contrast of this yellow column against the red umbrellas. Yellow seems to be a favorite color in Merida – so sunny and vibrant!
My good friend Victo Dolore recently posted one of her wonderful short pieces of fiction Post Pains. She asked if any of her readers felt something from a building. Since I am a certifiable ball of emotions and feelings, it happens to me all the time and despite the candy colored buildings of my last post Colorful Merida, the graveyard (pictured above) made the hair on the back of my neck rise. There is something about the bells and the three crucifixes that seems so sinister. It was naturally shaded so that heightened the effect. Maybe it was because Merida Cathedral was once a Maya temple?
The interior of the Cathedral was somberly beautiful but there was no color which is unusual in churches here or in Mexico. Even the nuns were wearing off white habits. Is it the gray of the limestone that bothers me?
Limestone church and a local with her slippers on? Que?
Perhaps it is those little slits for windows (perfect in a heatwave) that upsets me?
Finally, why do I take most of my photographs from a weird angle? I have to straighten most of them but it truly reflects what this photographer sees. My thinking is skewed because of a mental illness, as is my take on life. It is not always negative, however, and like most people I like to be scared (a little). Boo!
San Juan de Dios
Despite my shortened trip to Mérida, I was quite enchanted by the city. They enjoy using color as you can see in the old building above. I tried to research it and I think it may have been a hospital.
The more recently renovated buildings included this lovely candy colored street (below) leading up to Mérida Cathedral.
I particularly like the dappled sunshine on this pink bar and restaurant (below). You can see some of the cyclists meandering around the hot streets.
This busy little colored row of streets was part of the Barrio of Santa Lucia. I love the ‘Muerte’ lady.
The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta
There is something about this photograph that summons up the feeling I get when I am inside a church. Sometimes I enjoy going to a service but mostly I like the silence of an almost empty sanctuary. On this hot day in Puerto Vallarta, it truly was refuge from the busy resort. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is not a cathedral although it is often called such. Perhaps it is because of the beautiful baroque crown that is said to be a replica of Empress Carlota of Mexico’s crown.
I was utterly fascinated by Empress Carlota whose existence was unknown to me. Napoleon wanted a figurehead for Mexico – Archduke Maximilian of Austria. Emperor Maximilian married Empress Carlota (Charlotte of Belgium) in Mexico City 1864. This is a link to the Wikipedia page about the Empress which is an almost fantastical tale of the brief influence of France on Mexico.
church side door
Mexico has held me fascinated since I discovered that many generations of my Ortega family lived in various states of Mexico. Until recently I didn’t think I had any connection to the state of Jalisco (in which Puerto Vallarta is) until I found an ancestor on Familysearch, Felipe de Jesús Quintero Rosas who was born in Poncitlàn in the late 1600s. Don’t Spanish names sound so romantic? I now regret my haste to get rid of mine when I married. I so longed for an ordinary Scottish name so I could blend in. Only as you mature, do you realize how important your uniqueness is.
When I moved back to the USA over a decade ago, I was slightly surprised that there were so many Spanish speaking Protestant/Evangelical churches in Texas. Somehow I thought they would all be Roman Catholic. This car in Puerto Vallarta amused me…😇