Archive | March, 2016

A Funeral For Myself

27 Mar

I learned how to knit at age six or seven. My mother learned from her mother and on up the line of Irish women who’s lives depended, in one way or another on mastering the skill.

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I Love Making Baby Socks

Over the years I have perfected my skills, spent hours making socks, scarves, hats and more hats. Knitting needles have been an extension of my hands and a serious part of my identity.

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Baby Hunter Wearing One of Grandma’s Hats

When packing my “stash” to accompany me to Mexico, I couldn’t image finding the soft wools and alpaca yarns that I cherished. As it was, I gave away bags and bags of yarn at the garage sales that were our weekend activities as we prepared for our move to Bacalar.

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A Fraction of My Yarn Collection

It has taken us two and a half years to build and inhabit our house in the tropical climate along the shore of Laguna Bacalar. During that time, my boxes of yarn and needles have been tucked away in storage only to be opened this week.

As I fondly handled my soft, delicate yarns and needles, I burst into tears. I am no longer THAT person. I do not need to de-stress with the meditative clicking of needles after a long day at a boring government job. My attire no longer includes a differently knotted scarf every day worn in an air conditioned office. I can barely stand to wear a scarf in this climate, even on the coolest day.

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Our Front Entrance in Bacalar MX

I was not prepared for how this whole experience, retiring, moving and now living in Mexico would change me. I’m not saying that I’ll never knit again. That would be silly.

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Hibiscus Blooming in the Yard, After a Brief Shower

How do you define yourself? What if you lost a particular interest or capacity? Giving up my identity as a knitter came as an unexpected shock. I wonder what other surprises life has for me. The tears lasted a few minutes and the funeral took place in my head. I am so grateful for my life. Here’s to the new me that is changing every day. DOS TORTAS

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Aqua-Terra Firma-Cuisine

20 Mar

Visitors think that three to five days is about right for a trip to Laguna Bacalar Mexico. Of course USers never have adequate vacation, so they exhaust themselves trying to relax and do it all. There is a British couple and their three children renting next door for two months. Now that’s a vacation!

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AQUA
Topping a to-do list is all things water. Swimming is obvious, but kayaking, boating (motor and sail), stand-up paddle and wind surfing are readily available. There is also a must visit to Cenote Azul, a unique swimming experience.

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Cenote Azul also provides a cuisine destination.

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Sunrise Kayaking

TERRA FIRMA

If water sports are not your favorite, maybe land activities such as climbing pyramids (with monkey viewing) bird watching, visiting a museum in a genuine pirate fort or a walking tour of small town Mexico will interest you.

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Howler monkeys rocked the jungle when we visited Dzibanche

CUISINE

Let us not forget activities of the culinary sort.

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Chema, owner extraordinaire of La Playita, eat-drink-swim, best of Bacalar

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Eating at Hotel Laguna, best view in town.

The most important activity by far is not an activity at all, it’s spending serious time DOING NOTHING. Whether it’s kicking back on our roof, sunning on the dock or taking a nap in the hammock, a trip to Bacalar must include time to listen to the quiet and enjoy the breeze.

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Luna knows the fine art of siesta

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Up on the roof

So you see, a visit to Bacalar can not possibly fit into 3-5 days. And this isn’t ALL of it. Please share the blog with friends on Facebook and as always, your comments are appreciated. DOS TORTAS

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A Tiny House in Mexico

13 Mar

We have had two days with spotty electricity. There have been blown fuses, and well it’s a long boring story. So instead, I’ll share pictures of Lisa’s mother’s house. 

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A casita on the property.

When we decided to move to Mexico, Lisa and I discussed bringing her mother to live with us.  We brought her to Bacalar on vacation in February 2014 to see if it would be something she would consider. (See blog archives). She was all in!

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Lovely patio with fountain and stairs to the roof

Little did she know that it would take two years to move into her little house.

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About three hundred square feet, she has one bedroom and a spacious porch.

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Lots of niches for her collections

Bathtubs are not common in Mexico, but Alice wanted a small tub.

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Custom Made by Our Builder David

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Mexican tile bathroom

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Talavera sink

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A small kitchen

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The view from her bedroom

Being close by, Alice feels safe and has us to visit. She has been having fun fixing up her little house and planting a garden. We are going kayaking next week if the wind stays calm. She is having a blast.

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Path to our house and the laguna

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Reader Updates

6 Mar

For the last few months we have blogged about the standoff with neighbors, the house construction, and my fall. So what the heck’s going on? Time to spill the beans. 

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Roof Porch

Our lovely roof porch is ready for furniture, plants, comfy cushions, a ceiling fan and lighting. I try not to be in a hurry and allow a space to speak to me. The accessories will show up, along with my kitchen stools, all in good time.

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Kitchen Cabinets

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Bedroom Artwork

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New Dresser Drawers

All woodwork is custom made from locally harvested hardwood cedar.  We have bathroom, living room and studio shelves left. The carpintero is a master. He moves at his own pace and complains weekly about the difficulty of the work. The bathroom shelves will be curved. This week he scratched his head while taking measurements and said, “pero sí se puede“, but yes, it can be done. He then preens when I tell him that he is just the man for the challenge.

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“Goat”Fence

Ah, the neighbors…we put up what is known as a goat fence on the lower level of the property to allow Luna to be outside off leash and unable to escape. Apparently the neighbors thought is was some sort of claim to their property and tore it down. The municipality will not override the federal marker in the laguna without going through channels, even though we have tons of supporting evidence that it is in the wrong place. Channels take time. I went over to explain to the workers next door that the fence is for the dog only. We’ll see what happens.

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The Goddess Kwan Yin

My hip is vastly improved since my fall six weeks ago. I am without pain and I’ve returned to my usual exercise routine of stretching, going to the gym and daily swimming. Lisa’s mom has moved into her own house and things are quiet. Time to finish unpacking and settle in. Life is good. DOS TORTAS

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