Tag Archives: family

A Time For Reflection

23 Sep

It’s Sunday (my usual day of blogging) and nothing has been posted, written or is even dancing around in my head. I am in Bacalar, Mexico to handle an immigration deadline and I will be going back to California in a week to finish the commitment to our daughter and her family. 

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Our beautiful granddaughters.

I think I really want to spend some time this week listening. Our home in Bacalar is such a place of peace and quiet. California with our twin granddaughters and two year old grandson has been a challenge to my sense of calm. I believe that peace is not a matter of circumstances but a choice. My listening is about what I need to consistently make that choice.

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A lovely little shower moving across the Laguna. Can you hear the thunder?

I know this is out of the norm for my blog. It’s where I’ve been lately and trying to decide whether or not to share it. So here goes. What do you do when you need guidance that talking and thinking does not provide?

DOS TORTAS 

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Quote

Off The Beaten Path – Ticul

19 Aug

For the next two months we will be visiting our children in Northern California, helping with the integration of two new family members.

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Our newborn twin granddaughters Analise and Sara.

Please enjoy his earlier blog post from May 2015. September begins our sixth year of retirement in Bacalar. Life is good and we are so grateful for these babies and the chance to support their parents in getting them off to a good start. What are you grateful for?

DOS TORTAS 

via Off The Beaten Path – Ticul

What You Won’t Find In Bacalar

5 Aug

I have spent over five years describing retirement life in the far reaches of the Mexican jungle. There are blog posts on murals, mercado’s, pyramids, dogs and small town living. For the next few months we are in Northern California, USA taking care of our daughter’s family as they integrate two new members. 

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Our granddaughters born July 11, Sara and Analise

Some things I’ve noticed that we DON’T have in Bacalar:
Hot Air Balloons

There is a local festival here every June so it’s no surprise that we’ve seen balloons overhead the last few mornings. What better way to see the wine country? Unfortunately the sky has been hazy due to the fires burning north of here. Maybe we could get some balloons over Laguna Bacalar. I’d be up for a ride. How about you? https://youtu.be/C6-mO46u9hc

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Wild Geese

I’ve been seeing geese overhead and grazing on the lawns of the high school when out for an early walk. They’re so majestic and noisy.

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Cherries

We might occasionally get cherries at the grocery store in Chetumal, but not like those that are available in Northern California. We’re going to the farmer’s market later today. Cherries are number one on my shopping list.

Our Kids

It’s wonderful to be retired and able to help our daughter and her family. It really does take a village.

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Enjoy your life today. It’s the only day you get.
DOS TORTAS
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Gallery

Bread for the Dead

5 Nov

Enjoy this blog from Casa Colibrí on Day of the Day events in Oaxaca. 

Pan de Muertos in Tlacolula mercado - October 29, 2017

View From Casita Colibrí

When Día de Muertos approaches, the panaderías (bakeries) work overtime to fill their shelves and counters with Pan de Muertos — an egg based bread, sometimes elaborately decorated, but always with a cabecita (also known as a muñeca), a little painted flour dough head, at the top.

The most intricately decorated bread comes from Mitla.  For a few years, Mitla held a Pan de Muertos fair and competition, with prizes for decoration.  Alas, because their bread is in such demand, the feria was halted two years ago as the bakers put a priority on attending to their customers needs — this is their livelihood, after all!

However, the small pueblo, Villa Díaz Ordaz picked up the slack and last year began holding a Festival del Pan de Muertos.  The village is off the beaten path and the festival hasn’t yet drawn much in the way of tourism, but it’s a…

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It’s All About Relationships

11 Jun

Making the decision to move to Mexico required many considerations. One of them was Lisa’s mom, Alice. Lisa left her California home at nineteen and only returned for the occasional family visit. Alice made a few forays to Texas but their relationship was not close. What to do?

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Lisa and Alice. They’re relationship has blossomed.

Alice was feeling increasingly isolated and her capacity for self care seemed to be diminishing. We felt like she would have a more vibrant and varied life with us and decided to invite her to live in Bacalar. After a rocky adjustment, life has settled into a new normal. I decided to ask her a few questions about her decision to move with us. It was a fun chance to connect and get to know her a little better.

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Alice’s 300 sq foot house on our property.

What made you decide to move to Mexico? – First and foremost to be near my daughter. I never really liked Bakersfield and I was ready for a change. My siblings all have their families and I was ready to do something different.

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A secure front door, media room and tiny kitchen.

How has Mexico surprised you? – I had visions of donkeys and huts. People are poor but they work hard. I am always amazed how kind they are. I like that people are not stressed. It’s such a peaceful environment.

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A porch makes the house feel spacious and comfortable.

What do you like here? – I love my house. I also get to see things I’ve never seen before like pyramids, villages, churches and markets. I would like to do more traveling.

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One of the few tubs in Bacalar, a colorful bathroom and cozy bedroom. A design all her own.

What do you miss? – I really miss driving. (we both laughed, as her driving was a problem in CA) I miss going out at night. Sometimes Bacalar is a little too sleepy for me. Truthfully I don’t miss much. I’m really happy here.

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Saving a visitor stuck in the fence and corralled by the dogs.

We talked awhile and agreed that it’s hard to connect with other foreigners here. People live their busy lives in Mexico much like the US. The responsibility is ours to reach out. It’s not easy but very worth it.

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Texas Fun

9 Apr

The Tortas are having a blast on our annual trip to Austin. The weather has been perfect and our stay comfortable thanks to the loan of a house and car by friends. We feel very grateful.

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Port Aransas on the Texas gulf.

No trip to the coast would be complete without renting a giant unicorn floaty-thing. Hunter and Grandma rode the rough surf taking in faces full of water. Hunter loved pushing me off the raft. Building sand castles took me home to my childhood on the Jersey Shore.  The kids and grands camped in the trailer with the dogs. The Grandmas got a hotel.

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Grandma Lisa, Sophia and Dad play in the tide pools.

A visit to the State Aquarium rounded out the weekend. Otters, sharks and stingrays, oh my. Everyone had a great time and the kids slept on the long ride home.

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Great Grandpa joins in the birthday lunch. Sophia loves her hat and all things pink.

A birthday lunch to kick off a celebratory weekend for Hunter who turned six on Saturday. He reads and does math and creates Lego masterpieces. Quite a kid.

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Making funny faces.

We are having so much fun. Life is good.

DOS TORTAS

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Lawn signs seen about Austin.

Out And About

2 Apr

The Tortas are on vacation, I know, maybe it’s better to say, the Tortas are NOT in Bacalar for the month of April. We are visiting family and friends in Austin, Texas. As a result, there will be an nominal effort at keeping up the blog. 

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Grabbing a selfie with our good friend Roberta at our favorite breakfast spot, Kirby Lane.

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A respite to contemplate and relax.

Since arriving, I have been in a state of anxiety at landing in a big city and driving around at a gazillion miles an hour. People don’t make eye contact and are focused on their devices or wherever they are headed. Having lived here forty years, everything feels familiar but foreign at the same time.

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Texas Bluebonnets

Today I went for a walk on one of Austin’s many lovely green belts. It was just what I needed! There was cool air, fresh fragrances and lots of friendly dogs and their walkers to greet. In Bacalar, we live outdoors so much, that we feel claustrophobic in the US. Note to self, get outside and connect with nature IMMEDIATELY upon arrival NOTB (north of the border).

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Prickly pear cactus blooming.

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A trail to explore. 

We’re off on an electronics-free weekend camping trip with kids and grands to the Texas Coast. Hopefully I will have some pictures for next week. Until then, if you want to reach us, please use email or FB Messenger and do get out for a walk, wherever you live.

DOS TORTAS

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All In The Family

5 Mar

Last week I made a trip NOTB which included a visit to my Atlanta family. Border crossing both ways was smooth sailing, unlike our Thanksgiving trip last year.

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Pam, Jane, Joan, Patricia with myself (bottom left).

My mother’s brother Jack (97) and my Aunt Irene (93) preside at the center of a large family with so many grands and greats, they’ve lost count.

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In celebration of their recent 75th wedding anniversary.

My uncle flew in World War II and if you get him talking about his flights over Japan, he is sharp as a tack. My aunt, not so much. Her dementia, and short-term memory loss however, makes life with my uncle quite bearable.

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Lt. Col. John E. Marder decorated Air Force Pilot.

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The lovely Irene.

The visit with my cousins was quite wonderful with promises to do it again soon. Busy lives and long distances get in the way. They are closet blog followers, so this shoutout goes to Joan, Jane, Patricia and Pam. Cousins are the best.

DOS TORTAS

 

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