Archive | October, 2015

Mexico Dodged A Bullet

25 Oct

I find it hard to believe the media. Was hurricane Patricia an anomaly or was it hype? Either way, I’m very happy that there wasn’t catastrophic damage and loss of life to the people of western Mexico. 

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Thanks to our friends Karen and Skip of Tulum for this perspective of our distance from the storm. Mexico is three times bigger than Texas.

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I lived in Okinawa, Japan for two years and experienced two typhoons. A tornado once touched down across the street from our house outside of Austin, Texas. We were unscathed through it all. My first experience with a category five hurricane was Katrina. I was working for the Texas Department of State Health Services at the time. I volunteered to help and was assigned to work in the command center. What an eye-opening experience! Between hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes, the world has learned the hard way about preparedness.

Before

Before

After - The kitchen shelves were installed this week. I'm still in awe.

After – The kitchen shelves were installed this week. I’m still in awe.

Living so close to the coast, we have different preparedness needs than many. Our main concern is wind. To that end we will install hurricane shutters on the Laguna side. The house is a concrete bunker and there is a drainage system both inside and out.

A fountain and pond on the north side of the house.

A fountain and pond on the north side of the house.

Texas has a great preparedness website if you need help. Any emergency plan is better than none. One thing we will be sure to have is a can of gas. Stations ran out of fuel as people headed inland to avoid Patricia. My daughter who lives on the U.S west coast fault line has a kit for her dog as well. As new dog owners, this is new territory for us. What’s your plan? DOS TORTAS

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Rainy Day Sunday on Laguna Bacalar

18 Oct

It seems Mother Nature decided to make up for this year’s lack of a rainy season on Laguna Bacalar, all in one week.The birds love it and lord knows we need the rain. The sky is grumbling and showing no signs of letting up. Gotta love it.

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Our ramp turned water slide.

It’s been a good opportunity to see how all the landscaping in our new house manages runoff. But mostly it’s been a forced stay-at-home opportunity to relax. We’ll have to do some tweaking on the landscaping, but all in all, it looks pretty good. The big challenges living here are wind and rain. It comes with the territory in this most southern part of North America.

The carpintero came yesterday to install an interior door. His progress is slow since most of his work is done outside. The door is stunning, so we don’t mind waiting. This week we will have kitchen shelves installed. ¡Gracias a dios!

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Jose Lewis master carpenter.

We also managed to get some artwork on the walls. Lisa and I bought a lovely wooden wall sculpture in Valladolid on our Tour de Yucatan this past June (2015). The colors match perfectly don’t you think?

Our Lady of Guadalupe, sacred Catholic icon.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, sacred Catholic icon.

I was raised Catholic and The Virgin of Guadalupe has always been the female expression of God to me. It actually seems like our house was built just for her.

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View including the porch.

Another piece that we bought on the Yucatan trip was a mother and child mestiza woman. She sits in our little rainy-day bamboo garden.

The bamboo explodes with growth in the rain.

The bamboo explodes with growth in the rain.

While we are enjoying the cool weather and adjusting to life in the jungle, we continue to heal, Lisa from back surgery and me from chikengunya (see We Plan God Laughs) All is well, just very wet.
DOS TORTAS

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The Day After Christmas

11 Oct

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I call it the day after Christmas syndrome because when I was a kid, Christmas was the biggest deal in my life. My dad would wait until we kids were asleep and work all night to create a huge “wow”. We tip toed down the stairs at five a.m. to a sparkling tree where none had been the night before. Bicycles had been assembled, trains circled the tree, roller skates, and sleds. Of course it wasn’t all at the same Christmas, but it feels that way in my childhood memories.

Early picture looking up from the lower stairs to the Laguna. Before.

Before.

After.

After.

Christmas changed over time. As I became older and more jaded, the day after a much anticipated event was always a let down. My expectations were bigger than the thing itself. The “stuff” I acquired  became my happiness along with the adrenaline that came with it; happiness with a bow and sprinkles.

Before

Before

After

After

This week could have been one of the largest “Day After Christmas” events in our lives. More than two years in the making, we moved into our dream home AND we got electricity! We could easily see how much work there is left to do. Instead there’s been nothing but gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. No Day After Christmas disappointment here. Just peace and joy in success. We were happy all along.

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We Plan God Laughs

4 Oct

We planned one back surgery and ended up with two! After days of severe pain and numbness, following spinal fusion, the doctor reopened the surgical site to clean out the wound and remove the spacer he had inserted five days prior.

We stayed in the hospital a few more days. Any plans of returning to Bacalar over the weekend were shot to hell. While Lisa was in surgery, I got a clear-sky hospital view of the lunar eclipse.

Forgive my goofy photo. It's what happens with no sleep and high stress.

Forgive my goofy photo. It’s what happens with no sleep and high stress.

We had so much unexpected support during our eleven days in Merida. Our Airbnb hosts visited the hospital with flowers and food. Our friends Gabriel and Monica left a family reunion to be with us in the hospital. The love was overwhelming. The owner of a little hotel we’d stayed at showed at the hospital and took me to dinner. I can’t even describe what it was like to be so cared for.

Now here’s the kicker. I’m sick. I came down with a mosquito born illness called chikengunya. The main symptom at the moment is fatigue. It’s taken me hours to write this blog. So I will post a few exterior house photos and call it quits.

DOS TORTAS

Our lovely entrance. I looking for a bench.

Our lovely entrance. I’m looking for the perfect bench.

The path around the front.

The path around the front.

North side with our little stand of bamboo.

North side with our little stand of bamboo.

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