Two Birthdays and an April Fool

Saturday was Ron’s birthday! About a week ago, Pauline Davis told us about a good restaurant they’d found—the Palomino—which had great steaks and salmon. I said, “Sounds awesome! We’re going there for Ron’s birthday.” So Friday evening a big group of us from Teca Once went there. The restaurant’s specialty is steaks, and they did not disappoint. I ordered one called Filete a la Bacanora. The size of the steaks on the menu was in grams, and since I don’t speak grams, I had no idea how big the steak would be. When it arrived, it was roughly the size of half a cow. I had all I wanted, Ron had all he wanted (after eating his salmon), Tom Deaver had all he wanted (after eating his Cesar salad), and I still had enough left over for lunch the next day for me and Ron. However, my steak was not the biggest one at the table that evening. The Barnetts ordered one called a Tomahawk. When we saw it, we called it the Fred Flintstone steak. It came out hanging on a bone. They cut it off the sliced it at the table before serving it. As they sliced it, Tom Deaver said, “That’s not a steak. That’s a roast!” He was right. It was probably as big as the roasts I cook for our family for Sunday dinners! Even with all that food, we were all tempted when the waiter showed us the desserts. I told him (in Spanish) that the next day was Ron’s birthday, so he needed cake. I said that meaning we would be ordering dessert, but the waiter apparently thought I was saying he needed a cake, not just a dessert, because AFTER we finished our dessert, the waiters all came to the table with a cake! Our table sang “Happy Birthday” to Ron. Normally Ron does not like that kind of thing, but the restaurant wasn’t full and it was just our group who sang, so he enjoyed it. We took the cake home to eat later. We left the restaurant with full stomachs and much lighter wallets!

They finished my steak by pouring flaming Bacanora (an liquour from Sonora, Mexico) over it. The alcohol burned off leaving a nice smoky char on the steak.

I had already taken one of the slices of my steak off the platter when I took this photo.

This is the tomahawk steak.
     
This is Tom Deaver's Caesar salad. Most people think Caesar salads are Italian, but they were actually invented in Tijuana, Mexico. However, it was an Italian chef who invented them. They are very popular here, and we've seen them in a lot of different forms--same ingredients, just different arrangements.

   
Here is Ron with the cute cake the restaurant gave him for his birthday.

Saturday, Ron’s actual birthday, we took a walk through the park, watched General Conference, went to the tianguis between sessions to get produce, and talked to our kids and grandkids on the phone. As we were leaving for our walk, I told Abram, who was at the front desk of Teca Once, that it was Ron’s birthday, and joked that he was my April Fool. (Abram seemed to catch on to what that meant quite easily.) Just as the morning session of conference was ending, there was a knock at our door. It was Abram and Leila (the Teca Once manager) bringing us tacos for Ron’s birthday. That was so sweet of them! Leila’s birthday was earlier in the week. We celebrated it on Tuesday evening. Vicky Deaver made a beautiful cake and Pat Frandsen provided trick birthday candles that Leila couldn’t blow out. It was fun. We appreciate so much all Leila does to take care of us missionaries, and we adore her!

Leila with her cake.
     

     
You might notice the crutches behind Debbie Barnett. She stepped off a high curb a month and a half ago, landed funny, and did all kinds of damage to her knee. The Barnetts are going home for the birth of a grandbaby and knee surgery for Debbie.

As I said, Ron is my April Fool, and for those who are wondering, yes, I did keep alive the tradition of pranking him on his birthday. First a little background. Ron and I sold our car to our son when we left for our mission. When we went home a couple of weeks ago to meet our new grandson, I wanted to buy a car so we would have one when we go home in less than three months. We looked at cars, but Ron said he wanted to buy a new one and we should order one. I agreed reluctantly, but said I want a car waiting when I get home, and if there isn’t one there, I’ll be upset. Ron has been working with a car salesman in Idaho Falls (Tyler) and has a car ordered. So, one day this week Ron had to run home from the office for a few minutes to get something. We are seldom apart here, so I took advantage of those few minutes and called Tyler to enlist his help. Saturday when the first session of conference ended, Ron noticed that he had three missed calls from the same Idaho Falls phone number. I figured I knew who it was, so I encouraged him to call back to see if it was something important. Of course, it was Tyler. As instructed, he told Ron that he’d been in contact with the factory, and our new car would not be ready for 6 to 8 months. They talked for a few minutes. Ron told Tyler to go ahead with the order, but said inside he was thinking, “What am I going to tell Dayle!?!” Then Tyler said, “I’m supposed to tell you one more thing, Happy Birthday and April Fools.” Ron burst out laughing when he realized it was a joke. Another win for me!

Michelle has been off work for a couple of weeks because she was getting married! Pat Frandsen works with us in our department, and the Deavers spend a lot of time in our office, so they know Michelle well. I suggested we all go in together and buy her a nice wedding gift, and they all agreed. So one evening we went to the Uriarte Talavera store in Polanco. Certified Talavera pottery is only made in the area around Puebla, and Uriarte is the oldest and most prestigious Talavera producer (according to the internet.) We went to the factory when we visited Puebla, and I wrote about it then. You can order Uriarte Talavera online, but they only have two stores—one in Puebla and one in Polanco, which we stumbled upon several weeks ago when we went to that neighborhood for dinner. I always love looking at the beautiful hand painted pottery, and to be truthful, I’ve coveted it a little. After we selected Michelle’s gift, Ron asked the saleswoman how much it would cost to buy dinner plates and have them shipped to the United States. I was stunned. As I said, I’ve been wanting Talavera dishes, but they are pricey, so I’d given up the idea. But my sweet husband hadn’t given it up for me. He had me pick out my favorite pattern, and he ordered a set of 10 dinner plates for me. The dinnerware is produced after it’s ordered, so it should arrive in Idaho about the same time we go home in June.

    

     

     

This is the pattern I'm getting for my dinner plates.

After that we went to the Mandolina restaurant, which we’ve eaten at before. The evening was so lovely that we wanted to eat outside. Ron and Tom Deaver asked the maitre d if we could eat in their outside section, but he said no they’d prefer we went inside. Fortunately, Pat Frandsen does not speak Spanish fluently, and she didn’t understand what he said. She kept pointing at the outside area and saying, “There.” The next thing we knew, they were pulling two tables together for us so we could eat outside.

     

Pat Frandsen was taking the photo and Tracy Frandsen (who met us at the restaurant) hadn't arrived yet, so there are two empty chairs at this table.
     
Vicky Deaver and Pat Frandsen at the doorway into the Mandolina.

This week our work took us to the Auditorio Nacional. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t go into it again, but it is an impressive venue and the people we’ve dealt with there are always gracious and wonderful to work with. The Auditorio sits right next to Campo Marte, a military complex. I don’t know what is further inside the complex, but from Reforma Avenue, it looks lovely. I had to take a picture of this amazing Jacaranda tree in full bloom.     


Lastly this week, I want to introduce you to my friend Maribel. She is Netza’s secretary. (He is the director of temporal affairs for the Church in Mexico, kind of like the Presiding Bishop for the area.) Her desk is right outside our office. She is trying to improve her English and I’m trying to improve my Spanish, so we decided to help each other. Tuesdays and Thursdays we spend her lunch hour tutoring each other. She has been drilling me on numbers, which I struggle with. At our last lesson, she said random numbers between 12 and 5,000 in Spanish, and I had to write them down in number form. I had half a page of numbers in four columns, single spaced, when she stopped. Then she made me say the numbers back to her in Spanish. It was tough, but I did it with very few mistakes. (Sesenta and setenta always throw me.) I feel like a kindergartener who is so proud that they’ve learned to count to a hundred.

     

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