Thursday, July 10, 2014

It's July and we are almost there!

I have been so busy preparing the St Louis house for sale that I have been seriously lacking in time or motivation to post for awhile. Add a serious family issue (not with us but with someone close to us) and there have been constraints there as well.
But a milestone has been reached. Yesterday the photographer came to take photos of the house for the MLS. But what we went through to get there has been amazing! I have been working on closets and storage for months... I have given furniture to friends as well as family members. I have packed and loaded items to a rented storage garage. I have trashed stuff, donated stuff and given stuff away. I am really not a hoarder or a shopper and I don't know where or how I got some of this stuff!
A week or so ago we had our consult with the home stager.. she went through the house and pointed to almost 75% of our furniture and artwork and gave us the "get rid of this and get rid of that", "move this here or move that out" routine/ It was shocking how much more work we had to do! And than she started on how to stage the yard and deck!
Before that we had spent thousands of dollars on having a new deck rail installed, chimney tuck pointed, paint and supplies. For out large living and dinning room we hired someone to paint while I tackled the smaller bedrooms. I am so tired of painting...I told Carlos I never want to paint again!
Now we have to prepare for the open house on Sunday and that means all the stuff we hid in the closets, garage and cupboards have to be cleared....So while the end is in sight the job is not done! However, Merida is in sight and that is the carrot on the stick!
Here are a couple of the rooms staged..... Pray that it sells quickly!

And here is some of the stuff to still figure out what to do with!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Things are coming together...

The logistics of moving are a nightmare! Not only do we have to stage and declutter our home in St Louis, and get it ready to sell but we have to work on the visa's for Mexico. We are continuing to build parts our home in Merida as well working on all the hassle of moving the stuff we want to bring . And I do have to mention we are taking our 4 cats.
3 of my 4 cats, L to R, ragdoll, tonkinese and maine coon..the siamese was shy..all rescues

However we have made some strides! I have sold many bookcases and other furniture on Craig's List. A hundred year old dinning set was given to cousins in Iowa and was picked up last weekend. I'm so happy as it was a wedding gift when we lived in York, Pa and I wanted it to stay in the family!. They also took the black forest cuckoo clock.....I have all Carlos' books packed in boxes as well as our mask collection, some dishes and pottery. Now I am working on CD's, DVD's and photographs.
Most all of our other furniture, couches, chairs, end table, beds and desks are spoken for. Next I will go through linens and bedding and decide what is good enough to move and donate the rest...perhaps to a rescue organization.
While I was in Merida two weeks ago I asked someone if there was something they wished they had brought but did not and I was surprised by the was lamps and lamp I have decided to bring a few of my lamps.
Meanwhile in Merida we have added a few new to us pieces of furniture and it's getting more comfortable. There is so much space I don't think it will ever look cluttered, but just in case I have lots of closets and storage spaces!
New Upper Cabinets

New to us Couch in First Room
Brought a small TV down in my suitcase.... really surprised customs!
We have received information on shipping a container via land from St Louis to Panama City, FL than by sea to Progresso, Yucatan where it would go through customs and than overland to our home in Merida. We were surprised how reasonable a 20 foot container is.. Of course we would still need to hire a customers broker which can be pricey as well as store our goods here in St Louis until one of us has a permanent visa... still it is under the $'s we had allotted for the move!
So I am still painting rooms and fixing small items and we hope that by the end of May or Mid June we have our house here in St Louis on the market....cross your fingers it sells fast.. and for a great price!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We are pool challenged..

This is the first time we have ever owned a pool. We have never lived in an area where having a swimming pool made sense..New York was way to cold  and Missouri had a short pool season too. Plus with the additional home owners insurance that would be needed in the USA it was cost prohibitive to consider one. So now we have a pool in our Merida home.
We went to Barroso, our closest pool store and had a pool technician come to our house in December. He spent an hour with Carlos explaining how the equipment worked as well as what chemicals were needed and what they did. Carlos even took notes!

When we arrived on Easter Sunday, the pool water was clear and so Tuesday it was going green and by Wednesday it was pea green! Yuck! Thanks to research and videos on the Internet we realized that we had an algae problem and quickly went out to get the stronger chemicals that we needed. Carlos shocked and scrubbed and vacuumed until by Saturday the pool was finally looking blue again!
It was so enjoyable to swim several times a day and at night the water was like velvet!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Part Two : Anylu

When you enter our casa, you walk into one of the original rooms of the house. It is huge! The approx. size is somewhere around 15 feet by 25 feet with 18 foot ceilings. The ceilings showcase some beautiful beams called vigas. We are using the right hand door (twin entrance ways were common) as our main entrance and wanted to give it a foyer feeling. Thus Carlos and Roger decided that a huge mirror with an entrance table below where we could put flowers would be a great welcome. Anylu had the mirror designed and it is now installed. Simply beautiful. Enough said!
The door to the right is our main entrance

Looking left to the far end of the room

This mirror is huge and is a beautiful addition, and see how it reflects the beams!

The last part of this project was to add some under sink cabinets in two of the 3.5 bathrooms. The first being our master bath off the upstairs master bedroom. Here there is a double sink with tile counter. We wanted enough room to hide all the toiletries as well as toilet paper and clean towels. Anylu designed a very nice hanging cabinet with double doors, three drawers as well as cubbies to hold clean rolled towels. As this floats above the floor we can clean underneath it easily. 

The last items are in the new casita where the bathroom has split vanities on either side of a doorway. Here Anylu designed and installed smaller versions of the same cabinet. Should be very functional!
Right side of doorway

Left side of doorway

I will be so excited to see these wonderful additions when we visit our house next month. We are so busy here in St Louis working on all the projects with our house here, getting ready for the big move...Just not enough time in the day!

(all photos by Anylu)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anylu comes through!

When we were in Merida in December, Roger our esteemed architect, scheduled us several consults with different vendors for some ideas Carlos, he and I had. One of these was Anylu who is responsible for all our kitchen cabinets and other woodworking like doors and window of our house. Carlos and I had decided that we would like a few minor changes done to the kitchen as well as some additional cabinetry done in other rooms of the house. So Anylu came over for most of an afternoon and we discussed what we were thinking of. She came back with designs and some prices and we were on board with all of her designs and thought her prices, while not cheap, were online to what we were thinking of spending. Today I received photos of the install and I think they are fabulous!
In the kitchen we had the wine cooler and small rack moved to make room for three drawers, to correct that there were no drawers in the kitchen...were was I going to put the junk got to have one of those! The wine cooler and a larger wine rack was moved into the entry way of my large walk in pantry. Later we will add a iron gate door to give the illusion of a wine cellar. We also had two upper cabinets and the microwave shelf encased in wood.

Before photo with wine cooler and small rack

the new cabinet

The inside showing the drawer within a drawer

Upper cabinets with the microwave shelf

The wine rack will hold 98 bottles


The second part of the project was Carlos' personal space, the upper floor study. It was designed to be a large multi-purpose room and at 15 feet by 25 feet, it  is just that. Here Anylu designed a beautiful wall of bookcases as well as a floating credenza and an alcove cabinet.
Carlos desk will go over the pasta rug

Several glass doors will protect artwork

floating credenza

the alcove cabinet

Part two will continue soon and I show the rest of Anylu's great designs and contributions to making Casa del Gato Azul the house of our dreams!
(all photos by Anylu)

Friday, March 7, 2014

I'm living in chaos...

or at least disarray. It has come to the time to get serious about clutter, collections and clearing our house. It's time to pare down to bare minimum of what we are taking to Mexico, need to show the house, give to family member or just plain get rid of. It is really hard work! I have sold several large pieces of furniture on Craig's List, my cousins are coming to get the dinning room set, and I have already passed on the depression glass and black forest cuckoo clock.I have to figure out what to do with the thousands of other items that are stashed everywhere! And the books...oh the books! I have emptied out 4 bookcases in one room...and sorted them into three piles...donate, send to Mexico and give to my sister! Just to give you and idea , I have 4 more bookcases to go! Another cousins came and took for her church more than ten garbage bags full of clothing and other items... and now I have about 6 more bags, most of sweaters not needed in Merida...
Some days we are so overwhelmed and on others we just wade it and get some done. After all our reward will be living in Merida!

In progress

Staging area

We have so much glassware.. much that we hand carried from Czech Republic

going to Merida with us in April

This is next!

Boxes waiting to be filled!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Our Trip to Merida Part 2

It was great fun having the Ana and Sebastian in Merida. They both loved the house and spent much of the time at the house in the pool and exploring everything. Sebastian was really good about hanging the wet towels on our rooftop hanging area. It was all a new experience for him to use clothes pins and hook the wet towels and swim suits to the rope. He thought it was fun! Both of the kids liked the malls and the activities at the jumping, the decorations and of course their first time ever ice skating!

In the meantime us adults did what adults normally do but without snow! So Happy New Year to all!