Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coming into the heat!

Our guests treated us to some wonderful goulosh!
Well, I've been busy....it's been the cold season and I not only had two sets of visitors (Sweden..but Hungarian and San Jose, CA) but have spent lots of time just doing...daily things! And I am still 'doing'.
I've loved showing the Merida area to guests. Both sets of visitors took advantage of the great dental care and had some work done...think teeth cleaning as well as dental in-plants. One also went to our dermatologist. We went to Progreso and ate fish, we visited my favorite Maya ruin of Mayapan and just spent some quality time sipping drinks around the pool as well as at our local cantina!



Than I got a message from my favorite sis that she would be taking a cruise with a friend and they would stop in Cozumel! Haven't seen her in a couple of years and it didn't take much persuasion to get Carlos to agree on meeting her there for the day! We took the bus over to Playa del Carmen using our discount INAPAN cards (like aarp) than the ferry to Cozumel. We stayed at hotel Casa Mexico right across the street from where the cruise ship docked. A great time was had by all! 
Me, Connie and my sis!

Me and my sis!

Now Carlos is in the states for a three week visit to see family as well as to do our taxes and a bit of shopping and I am here in Merida holding down the fort...so to speak! 
Our next set of visitors will arrive from Czech Republic in several weeks, followed by our Danish friends in July and our German friends in August. BTW, these have all been exchange students we hosted back when our son was young! (We hosted 14 different kids and have remained in touch with all) Now they are all grown up and have families of their own!
We have been busy doing other things too... Again we proctored the Artist Studio tour and was assigned to the same great artist, Paul Lorenz..


We've gone on cantina crawls, attended art gallery openings, installed a new master bathroom sink we had made for us, played with new software and just lived here in the wonderful city of Merida!
Another fun cantina crawl with our Canadian friends!


copper sink

New app called Dreamscope, had fun making my cat into art!













Monday, November 30, 2015

Time has gotten away from me!


My gosh the time has passed so quickly. Just this morning I put on the Christmas tree. It's a first here for me in Merida, MX. I've been here for the last three years at Christmas, but it's only this year that my 'stuff' arrived and I have my decorations collected through the years. What I didn't realize was how insignificant a 6 foot tree looks in a room 15 foot by 25 foot with 18 foot ceilings....and somewhere along the way my angel for the top of the tree has gone missing!


Back in August I went to St Louis for several weeks. The grands were having their birthdays and I really wanted to be there. It was a great time. I not only got to spend lots of time with them, but I also filled three suitcases of things  I needed here in Merida. I reconnected with friends from many times of my life, work as well as church friends. It was great!
I brought pinatas for the grands parties!

Coming back to Merida was not too bad, for the first time I traveled from Cancun via the bus by myself! The most difficult part was schlepping all the extra bags I brought!
Once I was back I had the beautiful repaired pool to swim in, lots of ideas of new foods to cook and plans to do some decorating our home. 

Lots of stir fries as I brought back gluten free sauces!

Working on perfecting the Cauliflower Pizza!
We are settling in. We've made more friends, Now have been here full time for one year and are still pretty happy with our decision. 
Hopefully I will start blogging again on a more regular basis..our calendar is filling up with parties and fund raisers for the holidays so I should have a lot to report on.
Carlos' birthday fish dinner!







Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Solved!



We moved down to Merida full time in November of 2014. Soon after arriving we filled the pool and thought that we would have lots of fun time cooling off. It was not to be. For an unknown reason the pool water kept decreasing. There was some kind of leak! As we are not pool savvy we called some people we had worked with previously to come take a look and the saga continued..... 7 months later we gave up on this group and proceeded to find our own expert.

Even the cats missed the pool! To make a long story (shorter than the 9 months!) we now have an equipment room below ground...

The leak was found and repaired....

The pool was filled.....


And Carlos has been enjoying both day and night swimming....


I have been in St Louis for the last several weeks and I will be enjoying the pool when I return. Now I wonder which cat will be the first to fall in this time!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Recreation In the Yucatan: Tunich International Craft Fair



Today, late morning Carlos and I decided to brave the heat and head out to Dzitya to attend the Craft Fair. It is crafts from several of the Mexican States and what makes it international is the country of Columbia send some crafters. Add a huge stage with programs for children as well as adults, lots of local food booths and a few kiddie rides and you have a fair Mexican Style!

We arrived in the small town of Dzitya, which is just a few mile outside of Merida, at about noon. No traffic to fight at all, and there were plenty of flagmen letting us know where we could park. At just 15 MXP (less than 1.00 US) the flagman waved us into a spot in the shade.
Dzitya is known for the artisans who work both in stone as well as wood. They design and make beautiful fountains, sinks, statues out of ticul and crema maya (types of stone) , as well a wooden bowls and religious artifacts.

We didn't buy much except for some cold drinks, but we did make an important contact with a representative from Santa Clara del Cobre village in central Mexican state of  Michoacan where copper sinks are made...We will be replacing our sink in one bathroom with a copper trough sink, so now we can send her measurements and receive back some designs and prices! Here Carlos talking with the rep...


And the one international booth!



Most of the entertainment is in the evening hours as the fair is open until late in the evenings. We may go back later in the week and listen to some of the music. Today it wasn't crowded and it was nice to wander around with a cold drink in hand and look at some of the beautiful craft items.For me it was a day well spent!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Recreation In the Yucatan: Hanging Out!

Pat cooks while David makes some tasty drinks!
Tonight was a special treat for us. We were invited to go to see Dave and Patrick's new place just a short walk from our house. We meet them last November but it's only recently that their place is 'finished' and they are here lock stock and barrel..well that's actually four dogs, a cat and all their furnishings!
Their place is beautiful....and it is all coming together for them. On August 1 they will open as a boutique bed and breakfast. Called Ochenta y Dos  this is a relaxing, charming place to stay while getting to know Merida. Even more than the comfort of this bed and breakfast is the knowledgeable hosts that will make your stay be the best vacation!
Tonight was spent relaxing gathering around the kitchen island, enjoying some yummy appetizers and drinks, petting their dogs and just chatting about everything under the sun! The hours flew by quickly. Before the sun set we did get a quick tour of their place and I managed to take a few photos before I got engrossed in throwing the ball for one of the dogs...
If you decide to book at their bed and breakfast there is a message room, and pool as well as a steam bath. Luxurious!




Sometimes the best nights are just hanging out with friends.....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Harnessing the Sun's Power -Part I




About a month ago we contracted to install a solar power system that will help us control our costs of electricity here in Mexico.
 Electricity is expensive. The Mexican government gives a subsidy to minimal users but once your household use goes into the 'uses a whole bunch' range, it mores than doubles in price and it is very difficult to get our of that range! Add a couple of air conditioners, a pool pump, a water pressure system, cistern pumps, a couple of computers, TVs etc and you would soon be up in the maximum price range. So we decided to go solar!
The first company we talked to, never called us. The second company came out almost immediately and talked to us. This is who we contracted with. The price was reasonable, technology has advanced and we were happy to be able to place the panels above our second story terrace as a sort of roof. This would make our terrace much more usable and I wouldn't have to do the 'OMG it raining and dash to put cushions away'.



Just two weeks after the contract was signed our 12 panels arrived from Mexico City. We set them in our living room to await the special iron mounts that were being constructed. The mounts also arrived soon after and the install proceeded.






The view from the upper terrace !
So now we have the panels installed, the system connected to our electrical panel and soon our electric company will come and install our special meter that will measure both used and produced so that we can monitor everything. CFE, our electric company gives us a credit for what we produce and applies that against what we use. Our credits are on a monthly rolling cycle and credits expire after 12 months. 
Our system is comprised of 12 solar panels , using micro inverters that handle two panels each. In using this system we can add extra panels by two if we have further need to harness more sun....We will also have an on-line monitoring system to check that everything is working as it should.
Now if only CFE would show up!



Friday, July 17, 2015

Recreation in the Yucatan: BASEBALL!



The Leones de Yucatán are a Triple-A level baseball team playing in the Mexican League. Their home games are played at Parque Kukulcán in Mérida, Yucatán. 

Compared to the US or Canada tickets are very affordable and most Thursday are ladies night when women get in free. Last night was our second Thursday night game...we love a bargain! For 125.00 MXP (or about 8.00 US) we sat right behind home plate up about 6 rows. And remember as women get in free on Thursday that was per couple! BTW, parking was a whopping 15 pesos! (1.00 US)
We arrived last night with Canadian friends Dwight and Fran. Two other couple who were to attend, were unable to because last minute illness (we had attended a bar the night before and maybe the bar food was a little sketchy) So we climbed into our seats and prepared to enjoy the game. Now here individual seats are not reserved but the section where you will sit is, so you just go find the best seat in your section! 


The night was pretty and the crowd was getting settled in. 
Just to mention about the vendors...I have never seen so many different types of food sold at a ballpark...churros, turnovers both sweet and savory, kibis, totas, chips peanuts, popcorn, sweets for the kids, beer, water, soda, cappuchino , wings, dips..you can can find almost everything!

However one of the favorite snacks both here at the ballpark and any Yucatan event is marquesita, a Edam cheese filled rolled wafer....fresh and hot it's delish!




 And then the rains came!



Oh well, next time we may get to see the whole game!