Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's been a busy week

Today is Christmas and it seems like we just got here. We've had a pretty busy week and here's a quick recap.
Monday we went to Mayapan with friends Eric and Mary. We spent most of the afternoon just wandering around, enjoying the sights and drinking in the peace of the ruins.

During our afternoon together I was lamenting that I had never seen a corn broom here in the Yucatan and how much I hated the plastic brooms that was used by (almost) everyone. I even went on to say that Carlos needed to get one and add it to our container that we will ship soon. Than on the way into Merida, I happened to glance to a small hardware store on the street and there it was... a corn broom. We all noticed it at the same time and Eric quickly wheeled the car to the curb, Carlos jumped out and now I am the owner I one fabulous corn broom! It was only 75 MXP too. ( about US 5.50)
Later in the day they showed us a magnificent house we had never seen before. It really looked like something Moorish brought over from southern Spain. Just beautiful.

Today was Christmas day. Carlos had coffee this morning with some of his friends that get together every Thursday morning to talk history and politics. I decorated my palm tree for Christmas.
After spending time Skypeing my grand kids and other close relatives we had the wonderful experience of millions of locust swarming across the skies. It first started with Gus, our Maine coon chirping at something in the courtyard. When I went out to see, I found that he had a locust he was playing with. When I looked up I saw hundred of them, than thousands, than I heard people out front of the house and when I went out there I saw millions! So we got to see the locust as well as meet some of our neighbors. A really busy week!

It's only a little after 8 on Christmas night and we are so tired from our week of activity...Carlos is laying on the couch ready to electrocute any mosquitoes that dare to come near him!

and that's the recap!

Monday, December 15, 2014

What's in my pantry...

Grocery shopping here in Merida is a little different from what I am used to back in the USA. Not bad or anything, just different. First of all we try to get most of our fruits and vegetables at the mercado and than get all of the rest in grocery stores, Costco or at last resort Walmarts. We can find typical American products here. Sometimes you can find something once and than it disappears. So the saying among expats is: if you see it, sometimes use it now 'cause it could be months or more before you see it again! However the expat community has a great grapevine approach in several face book pages that people post what they find and where... and the herd descends on the store and it's gone in no time!

What makes our shopping a little crazy is that Carlos has celiac, an autoimmune condition that makes him intolerant to any type of gluten. It has gotten easier finding gluten free products here.... it's about like it was in the USA 6 years ago. So if we find anything we buy it. Like the pasta above, The main choice here in gluten free is corn based pasta...however it's not our favorite. Whenever we find a brown rice based gluten free pasta we stock up. The same goes for cookies, crackers, and breads.

Sometimes I score big. I've now found half and half at Superama, and yesterday I scored some Italian type type chopped tomatoes in a brand I recognized! Before I could never find broth in a liquid form and now I find it everywhere..

One little thing that I love is some of the packaging here. I love to buy tomato sauce in the little foil type envelopes and the milk in the boxes is great!

Many times when Carlos and I head out to shop we plan on making one, two or even three or more stops at different stores to get what we want. Oh yeah, I also have my muled down from the USA shelf....


Thursday, December 11, 2014

We are all settling in..

Kiwi,Gus and Persimmon nap on the couch
We've now been in Merida for more than 4 weeks. I've had many people question not only how Carlos and I are settling in, but more importantly how the cats are getting on.
I think it's been a challenge to get the cats used to being here. First off, I can't get their favorite foods here, the wet food available is of the most basic kind. I did bring several weeks worth with us but the supply is quickly dwindling. I've bought all that I can find to try and I think I may have something they will eat.... though I am on the receiving end of a dirty look or two.
This house is designed for indoor/outdoor living and for the first two weeks the cats were contained mostly in the main three rooms of the house.

Now I am letting them out but at night I do not. Two of them have gone across the rooftops to the property next door. Gus, the maine coon got stuck and I had to climb over a fence with the help of a young neighbor (who didn't speak any English) to rescue him. Persimmon went over the rooftop and came back without his collar and tags and let me tell you cat collars are very difficult to find here!
Two days ago my worse fear happened when I found Bleu-Berri soaking wet after a tumble and a swim from the pool! Now I didn't see it happen so I don't know how good of a swimmer he is, but somehow he managed to get out and now he gives it a pretty wide berth!
Bleu after his swim

For the most part of the days the cats are looking for places to nap and they have been busy finding ones that either they feel secure in or an area with a great cross breeze.
Persimmon likes the pantry shelves

Gus still likes the couch

Bleu hides in a cabinet crevasse

Kiwi is a fan of cross breezes and the cool tiles

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hanging Your Clothes.....yes, it's zen like

There is nothing better than the smell and feel of sun dried clothing fresh off the clothesline. As sunlight is a natural sanitizing and bleaching agent it's perfect for killing insects, bacteria, and other germs. As a dryer is not being used, energy is saved, which is really a plus here in the Yucatan. 
I find that hanging clothes out is a zen like experience. As it takes time to hang out the load of clothes, it becomes a good time to feel the breeze, check out the roof tops close by and spend some quality time with Kiwi the cat who likes to supervise.
I remember my childhood when hanging clothes was the norm. We lived in upstate NY where the freezing cold of winter had us bring in frozen sheets, and carefully hanging them on some inside lines to finish drying. With six kids I don't think that my mother considered it a zen experience, rather it was just another form of drudgery. She celebrated when a dryer was bought, but as she was a frugal house person clothes were still hung outside when the weather was nice.
When we designed the house I wanted a roof top hanging area. I saw clothes hung on roofs in Egypt, Spain and Italy. To me it made sense. There is usually a breeze over the rooftops and like the places mentioned above, sunlight here in the Yucatan is plentiful and FREE! 
So several weeks ago we finally purchased a washing machine and almost every other day I have washed and hung some clothes. I find it one of the most enjoyable house tasks ever and each night I sleep on the sun dried sheets and my dreams are as sweet as the sheets smell!