Archive | April, 2016

Now Is As Good A Time As Any

24 Apr

Did you ever have a plan, idea or project that you put off until the time was right? I had LOTS of them. Retiring and moving to Mexico was going to give me the opportunity to raise from the dead all the things I loved to do but didn’t have time for in the crazy work-life I lived in Austin, Texas. One of them was sewing.

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I am not particularly good at sewing. I haven’t owned or touched a machine in years. But I grew up in an era where ‘Home Ec’ was a requirement in high school, for girls that is. Along with typing, it was the most practical course I ever took.

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Pretty Baby, a tap routine.

My mom sewed because I danced. Three year-old’s dance classes had recitals and recitals required costumes. Moms made them, at least mine did. There were sequins, satin, fringe and marabou feather trim. She spent hours at the sewing machine.

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Little Red Monkey costume edged in marabou that itched like hell.

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Notice the Shirley Temple curls. My mother tried so hard.

There was also the requisite apron I made in Girl Scouts. Not until high school did I start making simple shorts and dresses, mostly to save money. I learned on my mother’s Singer and later bought a Kenmore that I used to make clothes for my kids. By the time sewing began its comeback in the new millennium, I was up-to-my-eyeballs in family and job. Sewing was added to the back burner for “someday when I retire”.

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Girl Scout Brownie Salute

While prepping for the move to Bacalar Mexico, I bought a great little portable machine to enhance my retirement life. It has lots of bells and whistles and is light as a feather. I took it out of the box for the first time this week. Time to take this baby for a spin! It’s been in storage along with the rest of my life for three years. What is on YOUR back burner? DOS TORTAS

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My new Brother portable.

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It’s Noisy In The Jungle

17 Apr

Living forty feet from beautiful Laguna Bacalar, thirty minutes from the southern-most border of Mexico and Belize has its disadvantages, not many, but one in particular. It’s noisy, with screechy birds, and the neighbors.

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Neighbors To The South

Sound travels without buffer over the water. We can hear the conversation on a boat out on the lake from quite a far distance. Strange voices make the dogs go ballistic, barking and being the guard dogs that they think they are. The music from the neighbors can also seem like it’s in our bedroom. Thank God for earplugs.

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Princesa Luna, Intrepid Guard Dog with a Big Voice

It doesn’t help that we live in a concrete bunker and sound bounces and echoes throughout the house. It’s beautiful but a bunker. Rugs help, but not much.

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The Hammock – My Favorite Spot

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Large Windows and Doors for Air-Circulation (no air conditioning)

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The View From the Laguna

For three days this week we’ve been listening to the roar of chainsaws. They seemed close, but it’s hard to approximate with just sound. Yesterday we were in a near panic. Who is tearing up the jungle to pave paradise and put up a parking lot?

I finally walked to the end of our dock with my binoculars. To my surprise and relief there were guys making repairs to the dock that belongs to our neighbor two lots south of us. Such relief.

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Checking Out the New Dock With Neighbor and Fellow Kayaker Teresa

The inconvenience of birds, a party to which we were not invited, barking dogs and the rare sound of chainsaws is not unique to living in Mexico. We bump into each other as humans in so many ways. For the most part, I’m just fine with it. Thank God for earplugs. DOS TORTAS

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Some Things Just Don’t Translate

10 Apr

When I went to school in the 1970’s in Cholula MX, I lived with a rather poor family who rented rooms to students. One day I came home for lunch and to my dismay, found the teething toddler gnawing happily on a boiled chicken foot.

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If you go to the mercado to purchase a whole chicken, the bag usually includes the feet and sometimes the head. While that is a significant ewww for me, the dogs have no problem with it.

There are two words in Spanish for feet. Pie (pee ay) is for human feet and pata (pah tah) means animal feet or the feet of a chair. Once my friends George and Sandy went all over the market asking for “pie de pollo (chicken). People thought they were a bit loco.

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There is a new restaurant in Bacalar that we’ve been dying to try, Pata de Perro, Foot of the Dog. They opened a lovely second story patio overlooking the town square. I had hoped to try their food before writing the blog, but that didn’t happen. Reports are promising.

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I do my best to eat a plant-based diet, but chicken is the primary food in this neck of the woods. Most people raise and slaughter their own chickens and occasional pigs as well. They have to be healthier running around the yard than the poor caged creatures eaten in the states.

We eat mostly at home since the availability of vegetables in restaurants is not much different in Mexico than in the U.S. It is fun trying new restaurants. I will feature them from time to time. Have a great week. DOS TORTAS

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A Tootle To Merida

3 Apr

Living in the U.S. gives one a certain perspective on automotive travel. It probably has as much to do with traffic, ability to find parking and one’s genetic makeup of hating or liking to drive.

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One of the Pitfalls of Driving in Any Country

While living in Mexico is not so different, it really is. For one thing, bus travel is far more convenient, comfortable and cost effective. Five hours on a bus allows you to catch up on your reading and possibly make a new friend. We took a tootle this week and visited Merida, a four hour drive by auto, just down the street and an ungodly distance by my old life perspective.

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Sunrise Outside Our Room in Merida

We stayed in our favorite Airbnb, visited Lisa’s surgeon and SHOPPED. I can go to the dark side when visiting a big city like Merida. Shopping is very limited where we live in Bacalar, Mexico’s southern frontier. Although, when Home Depot opened in Chetumal, thirty minutes away, the old timers pointed out how easy we had it building our house now, as opposed to “way back when”.

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Finally Found the Illusive Costco!

We got quite lost driving in Merida and spent way too much time in traffic. Remember, when asking directions in Mexico, make sure the person you ask knows how to drive. The little man in the taco stand can not likely give directions, unless he pulls out his iPhone and Google maps.

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We Didn’t Overdose Too Badly

After Costco we drove to Progresso, on the Gulf, just for the heck of it. Lunch on the beach proved entertaining; watching people and seagulls.

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Lisa Checks Out the Seafood Menu

For the week after Easter, things were pretty quiet in this little beach town.

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A Favorite Way To Beat the Heat in Merida

We were both glad to get home. There was a lovely birthday party next door on Friday evening for our neighbor Teresa. Happy seventieth Darling. A relaxing end to a very busy week. DOS TORTAS

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