Tag Archives: southern Mexico

Sometimes the Hardest Things Are the Most Wonderful

8 Feb

Who knew a week of watercolor painting could be so exhausting? Was it fun? Hell yes! Did I learn a lot? Most definitely.

16th Annual Watercolor Workshop.

16th Annual Watercolor Workshop.

But probably the biggest gift was a chance to immerse myself in a group of women artists for a week. They were my cheerleaders when I felt discouraged. Every evening we gathered with our day’s work for critique. We were vulnerable, sharing our process and self-doubt. How often does that happen? Their suggestions for added color here and more definition there, made my paintings pop and kept me grounded.

Caroline, Kim, Teresa

Caroline, Jo, Teresa

The work we produced was epic. It was painting-on-demand with no chance to walk away for a few days and let things percolate. We were on the clock with a showing on Saturday. As much as I hate it, magic happens under pressure.


The community celebration on Saturday was a multi-cultural event with great music, delicious food, new and old friends and a chance to sell our work. The owner of Aluxes, the hotel where we painted on Wednesday bought almost all the fabulous paintings made of his hotel.

Aluxes Hotel and restaurant, Bacalar

Hotel Aluxes, Bacalar

No one broke even as we turned around and bought each others’ paintings. I may not have a house yet, but when I do, it will be full of memories and Rendezvous beauty.

There was a bidding war for this painting. I loved doing it.

There was a bidding war for this painting. I loved doing it.

Rendezvous entertainment.

Entertainment by Escenario Libre

Finding the words to wrap up the week’s workshop fails me. Painting was the medium for the connection, which if you think about it, is the truth about life in general. It’s always about loving each other first, is it not? From that base life can be really lived. What a fabulous lesson brought home by this wonderful experience and these lovely women.

Thank you all for leaping with me.

Thank you all for leaping with me.

The Tortas Welcome Their First Texas Visitors

2 Nov

The week leading up to Day of the Dead has been busy. It is a fun time of year in Mexico and we got to share it with our first visitors from Austin, Pat and Don. Many people have said that they would visit us. Pat and Don have been the first to show up. I vanpooled to my job at the State Health Department with Pat for many years and we have kept in touch.

Art showing in Chetumal for Día de Los Muertos

Art showing in Chetumal for Día de Los Muertos

We got to show off our town, visit the Pirate Fort, swim in Cenote Azul and shop in our lovely mercado.

Cenote Azul

Cenote Azul

The weather was perfect for a boat ride to float the channel and enjoy botanas,  a glass of wine and snacks near Bird Island. Turn up the volume and enjoy the cacophony.

Thank you Gabriel and Monica.

Thank you Gabriel and Monica.

We called ahead for a memorable sunset and Mother Nature did not disappoint. Our gift was the most spectacular sunset imaginable for our friends. We anchored for the birdsong, lightshow and good company, a perfect evening.

Breathtaking Beauty for our guests.

Breathtaking beauty for our guests.

Pat and Don boarded a bus for the Cancun airport on Tuesday to continue the second leg of their trip, visiting Oaxaca. Oaxaca is known for its Day of the Dead celebration. I hope the rest of their trip was as enjoyable for them as their visit to Bacalar was for us.



No Regrets – A Year Later

24 Aug

This week marks one year since we backed out of our driveway in Austin, Texas for a new life in southern Mexico. We pulled a cargo trailer loaded with all our worldly possessions. There were two kayaks, two bicycles, a rug, couch and lots of tools and yarn that we couldn’t live without, or knew we couldn’t replace.

Off we go!

Off we go!

We had gathered information, visited Bacalar, retired from our jobs, burned our bridges, and took a flying leap. For you who have been following us from the beginning, you know that we were so excited. We were off on Lisa and Alex’s big adventure.


Looking back over the last year, I would say unequivocally that I wouldn’t change a thing. We have had so much fun. For you who are considering your own adventure of any sort, I have a thought.


Has it been perfect? Not by a long shot. Have we had doubts, fears and disappointments? You betcha. Have we made mistakes? Tons of them.

A friend who I hadn’t seen in awhile and who knows me well commented on how peaceful and calm I have become. It’s true. We have a word here – tranquilo. (tran key low). It’s the only way to live.




Waiting in Texas

12 Jan

The Tortas have been recovering from our adventurous drive from southern Mexico to central Texas. We’re hanging out with our youngest son and his family waiting on the birth of our first granddaughter (Sophia). Lisa’s mom arrived and will be driving back to Bacalar with us at the end of January. I remember playing the waiting game, with babies who refused to be born on anyone’s time but their own, and with a move to Mexico over four months ago. Actually, we’re still waiting to close on our property in Mexico, build and move into our home there. The builder has been selected and first payment made, so we wait some more.

The computers are fixed and the IPad replaced. We are working our way through the purchase of items that are difficult to find in Bacalar – yarn to finish a project, a battery for my watch, new running shoes, lube for my bike chain that rusted from three months of neglect.

I think this week will be pretty low key. Lisa came down with a bug yesterday and we’ve been dealing with fever and other bodily fluids that need not be mentioned. A challenge is visiting friends in Austin, over an hour away, while waiting on Sophia. We’ll probably arrange a get-together on short notice and hope folks can come.

The challenge is always to appreciate the present and not constantly look down the road to some better time or situation. Thanks for visiting with the Tortas. What are you waiting for to be happy?

The Newest Torta

The Newest Torta

Hunter and GrandmaLIsa

Hunter and GrandmaLIsa








So much for waiting.

So much for waiting.


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