Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Horse tranqs and ex-cons

Got in to Newark on Thursday night and it is not at all surprising that by friday afternoon I was a useless pile of snivel and snot. But at least I was in MY house with MY baby. We got right in to the Christmas spirit and dressed the tree. 

We exchanged one gift. We had both had the tree in mind when shopping and I got the perfect topper in Mexico.

James got me an Elvis impersonator angel. Duh what else?

Cozy Jones is reading Hoyles encyclopedia of card games, a christmas present, wearing slippers from Rosemary, another present

We have decided to not move very much for the next few days. So a few hours later Cozy Jones on the couch in the dining room, with Cali relatives on the phone. 

In other news, on Christmas morning I was asked to be MRS. Cozy Jones and I accepted of course. There is already light planning in the works and for anybody that wants to mark up their calender skip ahead to September 2012...

After presents and and surprise engagement speeches we played some cards (our latest game is SPITE & MALICE. Lots of fun even though the name does not exactly embody the Christmas spirit...) and started fixing the JULBORD. The Swedish Christmas smorgasbord. The center piece is of  course the ham. We had an 8 pounder and it cooked in the oven until the thermometer showed 160˚. After that we mixed 2 egg yolks, some mustard and sugar and brushed it on. Then pour bread crumbs all over and back in the oven for about 15 minutes. 

James is in charge of the deviled eggs. He mixed the yolks with mayo, mustard and some capers. The topper is roe.

I made the press cucumber the night before. Some white vinegar, sugar, salt and dill and something heavy on top.

Jansson's temptation is a must on the JULBORD. It's simply scalloped potatoes with anchovy.

James made the gravlax when I was still in Mexico and I'm very proud of him. I made the hovmästar sås.

Meatballs and prince sausages from IKEA are a must.

We enjoyed our little meal all by our lonesome and then our friends from down the street showed up for some cards and desert. Quite the perfect little christmas!

This was in my Mexican gift bag. Organic Mezcal, you can drink it but also use it to take paint off the walls.

The snow started coming down on 2nd day of christmas. We bunkered up and I sniveled my way through Gone With the Wind and we enjoyed it immensely. When you watch a 4 hour movie in one sitting you know you're on vacation. Or unemployed... 3 days after Christmas we had to get off the couch finally.

Ugh. The cottage.... Long story short, our last tenants moved out on the 15th. I try so hard to keep this blog positive and happy but what happened here is just crap. The last few weeks of them living there was one cuckoo email after another. Unfortunately James had to deal with it since I was away. Strange complaints taken out of thin air and blown way out of proportion. Things had been trashed in the house by the dog and other factors and the return of their deposit was looking mighty bleak. When they realized this they got up and left what seemed like in the middle of the night. Garbage still around, furniture on the lawn and a general nasty mess. An eyesore of a mattress that had been sitting around for months already leaning against the house. If you are as poor as you told us then how can you just throw your deposit away? Now we are stuck cleaning YOUR mess on our vacation. 

Anyway, we decided to give the old place a complete overhaul and we are painting it. We hope that our new tenant that's moving in on the 1st will want to make this her home for awhile. Welcome.

It was a strange Christmas to be away from my family though. Grandpa Erik passed away on the 22nd of Decemeber. He was 96 years old and lived a long, rich life. Until only a few years ago he would ride his bike around Örebro. I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandparents and have MANY fond memories. 

Morfar and my uncle Per-Erik, mom's little brother.

Here's almost the whole gang. Grandma Anna-Lisa, Grandpa Erik, Uncle Per-Erik, Aunt AG, my mom and dad. Missing are my sis/Giz and cousin Anna. We're going for a short walk to have a fika honoring my grandmother's 90th birthday. That was almost 5 years ago. 

And of course there was another week in Mexico. We drove from San Cristóbal to Palenque on tuesday afternoon. The ride was fine and went pretty quickly. On wednesday we revisited the ruins. It's such an incredible place.

One last snap of the cam girls of The Blue Eyes. With the wind in our hair and the sun on our faces. In the back of a pick up driving to our last location in the San Cristóbal area.

We filmed in a preserve with animals from the area. Some were in cages and some just dropped in for a visit.

Goodbye to the Unidad, grips and electrics. A fine bunch! 

The Blue Eyes has been wrapped for a week now. It was a HARD movie but I love a challenge and looking  back on it I'm really glad I went.

Jake has been moving along with the master bedroom and the pastry shop. Jose and his team sheet rocked, taped and primered. Then Jake came back and started trimming the windows.

This is the wall where the bed will be.

The east wall.

The south wall.

Closets and entrance to the bathroom.

He also did the wood wall in the pastry shop and that deserves some before and afters. This is when the J's gutted the place. 

They found that the foundation was falling apart and that our Azaleas were poking through the rocks.

Their solution was to build the wall out and pour cement inside. It also helped hide the plumbing for the upstairs bathroom.

This is the wall today. We found rough sawn boards at Ghent Lumber, 6 inches wide and James has put 2 coats of primer on so far.

The depth of the wall gave us a really nice boxed window.

Jake has also trimmed the windows in the pastry shop. We are very close to painting down here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Closing in on Christmas!

I fly back on Thursday. I can't believe it. Sososososo homesick at this point. Mostly because Christmas is around the corner and everyone is facebooking about their damn trees and decorations and I am stuck in a cold hotel room. 

James has kept me updated on the house and lots has happened since I have been gone. There will be a mega post as soon as I get home with all the goings on. Jake finished our wood wall and James is already painting it. The sheet rock is done and the floor wood will be delivered. We have decided to go with radiant heat in the addition instead of radiators so installment of the floor and going ahead with the tile in the bathroom has been postponed a bit.

James sent me a preview of the wood wall in the pastry shop. 

So 3 days to go. Shooting 1 1/2 more days around San Cristóbal and then a 5 hour journey BACK to Palenque for 1 day of shooting by the ruins. Thursday morning - fly to Mexico City and on to Newark. Phew. The tree will be in place and supposedly the salmon will be graving. By 10pm on the 23rd I will be sitting on MY couch with a glögg in my hand enjoying a fire with my sweetie. 

So I left off at the end of hell week and mentioned San Juan de Chamula. It's a small town about 20 minutes from San Cristóbal and we have been told it's a must see. The main reason is the church in which the Tzotzils come to worship. It is a big open space with a marble floor covered in pine needles. The walls are lined with cases that hold mannequins of Catholic saints. The Tzotzils are deeply Catholic but there is a lot of ancient Mayan tradition sprinkled in. Families sit right on the floor and perform the ceremonies. They stick dozens and dozens of candles in varying sizes and colors right to the marble and then chant. We watched one man sway a bottle of Pepsi over the candles and then he poured a splash on the floor between the rows. After that he swayed a bag of eggs over the candles and then he rubbed his wife with the bag. According to Wikipedia the Pepsi is a substitute for cane sugar liquor. The family right next to them was using Coke. One woman sat with her 5 rows of candles and 2 children and a live chicken under her arm. Again, according to Wikipedia, that is a sign of some real trouble. Photography is strictly forbidden in Chamula so I have only mental images of this incredible place. 

The week that passed was a little easier. We shot mostly around our hotel and 2 days in friendly mountains. 

Friendly and beautiful...

The frost is lifting and the sun is coming over the mountain.

Tio is our assistant locations manager.

Sound department gets a ride...

...up a hill.

We had about 20 Tzotzil extras on Saturday. And the the rule of no photography went out the window. How can you not immortalize these gorgeous faces!?

The homeless country pooches had the time of their lives when we rolled in and gave them our catering left overs.

The hardest one so far not to pack in my suit case. Say hello to Daisy.

But my heart belongs to Paul. One of our principals. Didn't know so much joy could exist in one little body. 

When he starts squirming around this is all I can think of...

Speaking of catering... whoa's all I can say. They have fed us exceptionally well. Variation every day and tasty as all get out. My favorite dish is the Sopa Azteca, they served it twice and I could have eaten it every day.

Tortilla soup with crema and queso. Belly ache from eating toooooo much. Yum.

Marietta's and my emo band. In the collectivo from San Juan de Chamula.

I'm going to miss the colors here. I fully plan to incorporate them in to my house. The kitchen plan has drastically changed in the past 4 weeks... 

Next time I write I will be IN my house, stuffed with ham, prince sausage, gravlax, meatballs, herring and Jansson's temptation!

That concludes the Mexican portion of this blog. We now return to our regular programming.