Friday, March 30, 2012

Arturo will be on House Hunters International!

I've posted about Arturo several times as he has been an important figure in our Merida adventure. Not only was he our real estate agent, but he has been our property manager for 5 years as well as developing into a great friend. Now he is becoming famous! 
On May 11, 2012 House Hunters International will feature a segment with Arturo. Here is the description copied from the HHI website:
"San Francisco based couple Betty and Karen are cooking up a business plan down in Mexico and all their friends are invited to the party. The Yucatan Peninsula is a hot locale for adventurous restauranteurs, but when home financing isn't an option can these expat foodies find a colonial home to die for with enough cash left over to fund Betty's venture in southern cuisine? Find out, with professional real estate agent Arturo Novelo, when Betty and Karen follow their dreams to Merida, Mexico." 
Arturo said it was a really fun three days working on this project. I am excited to see it! If you ever need either a real estate agent or a property manager, keep Arturo in mind... he's great!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I was wondering about the doorways...

The newly remodeled arched doorway
I asked Arturo to take some photos of the new arch in the first room as well as the door on the other side of the room. I was worried that having a rectangle doorway as well as an arch in the same room would look a little 'funny'. Originally Roger said that he would be removing the doors of the rectangle opening to use for one of the front doors as well as to copy it for the second (to be reopened) front door. Now Arturo said that he will refinish this first door and make two copies so the door will be put back as seen on the photos, as well as be used as the front doors. So what do you think? Are the two different doorways OK? I'm not sure we can do anything about them but I'd like some opinions! 
The rectangle doorway in the same room

You can see both doorways in this view

The area where the stuff is stacked is in front of the second front door which is to be reopened

Window is closed

The center window has now been closed and the second door will be opened

Here is what the new facade should look like, but the colors will be different!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Another peek at the tile progress

We had a few questions for Arturo last night. He called (via Skype) us this evening with the answers to most of our questions! We were so surprised that he was able to get most of our answers so soon. Another surprise he had for us was that he stopped by our house and took some more photos. So now we can see some to the tile work in progress. When it's finished with the high polish that pasta tile floors get I think it will be stunning.

Carlos' study and library is half done

The upper promenade 
Arturo also told us that when the workers were leveling the downstairs floors they took off a layer of tiles and found the older tiles underneath and it is beautiful! He will be talking to Roger to see if this can be saved and used where it was found or removed and used elsewhere.  Here are the photos of the older pasta tiles revealed. If the older tiles are not chipped they will polish to look look like new. The more colors in the pasta tiles the more expensive it is to make. Keep your fingers crossed that it will be able to be saved!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We have Tiles!

Tiles stacked and ready to go!

Being Prepped

Measuring and leveling

Looking towards Carlos' library, the first row is done!

I received a few new photos from Arturo this evening just before we had our Skype conference call for updates. I thought I would quickly post a few out here as I was pretty excited to see that the tiling has been started in the upstairs promenade. Arturo has promised more photos in a day or two when the upstairs hallway has more to see. I'm excited!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How will my cats like Merida?

I've discussed how we will keep our cats in our yard when we get to Merida. Roger, our architect and I have discussed adding to the wall height by using metal poles and bamboo sheeting. This has been becoming more popular in the Merida area as it helps to keep your pets in as well as other animals out. I would also need to do this on the roof area that connects with the neighboring house. I would hate to lose my pets and cats as well as dogs are just not respected enough in Mexico... although it has been improving. Here is a glimpse of our beloved pets:
This blog as well as our Merida house is named for Bleu-Berri. He is a Tonkinese cat which is a Canadian breed known as 'dog-cats'. They have a very mellow temperament and a tendency to follow you around like a dog!
Bleu would like the Merida weather!
Next comes Kiwi. He is a Siamese rescue. Quiet and mellow, he adventures on his own and keeps somewhat to himself. He does love to hunt, mice, bugs, and has been known to ambush his fellow cats for a quick game of cat and mouse! Oh yea, he does love his catnip!
Kiwi with his catnip!
And finally there is Persimmon. His breed is Ragdoll. Another rescue and truly a lover of a cat. Loves to hunt, loves to snuggle, loves to play in water and loves most everyone he meets!
Persie with my nephew Sebastian

Friday, March 9, 2012

Two steps forward.....

I just received some updates from Arturo. He is right on it. He makes sure he is keeping us updated on the changes and my gosh... today it seems like the house has taken two steps forward. So here are a few of the changes I am seeing!

Beams added for skylight and stone wall for inside water feature done!
Stone wall for my shower is finished
Remember this?

It's improving!
Floors are ready for tiles

Tiles have arrived!

Beams are in over stairwell
According to Arturo everything will move much faster now. I'd love to be planning a trip to Merida, even in the heat....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

6 Decades

Yesterday I turned 6 decades old. I'm just 5 months behind CQ. On my facebook page I had more than 100 happy birthdays. Someone assured me that 60 is the new 40, someone else said that 60 is what you make it by diet, exercise and attitude. 60 to me is no different than two days ago, except that I am closer to the time until CQ can retire and we can be in Merida full time or close to it.
Bathroom(s) updated..check!
The difficult part is that I am ready now.... but my house in St Louis isn't as well as our house in Merida and not to mention our retirement financial plan...
We need to get the NOB stuff ready. I really need to declutter this house, paint and get some repairs done. We have a list of things that need to be done before we can sell this house. Some we can do ourselves and others I will need professionals to do. I am ticking the jobs off the list. New decking, new gutters, new front concrete porch, chimney tuck pointing,  the list is almost endless..
New floors and french doors, lower level..check!

We are in the same predicament that so many other are.... too many ties keeping us from Merida and no way to be there NOW! 

Granite added to kitchen...check!