Tag Archives: tropical mexico

In Search Of Poo

16 Apr

Before moving to Mexico from Austin, Texas in 2013, I had tried my hand at gardening for years with minimal success. Raised, postage stamp, and self watering beds were always fed from the compost in the corner of our yard and the rainwater collected off the roof. We even built a PVC Quonset hut, covered with shade cloth in the summer and plastic in the winter and hung with lightbulbs to survive the occasional freezes of Austin’s unpredictable weather.

One year I had a surprising success with a small bed of strawberries. Our grandson, Hunter would walk in the front door and out the back in search of all the tiny, sweet, red morsels his pudgy little fingers could find. Another year I had a bumper crop of cucumbers and then could never grow them again. Mostly I was feeding the insects. Gardening is both an art and a science, and while I’ve learned a lot, my green thumb seems to be intermittent at best and completely nonexistent the rest of the time.

Hunter and Lisa

I had big plans for coming to the Costa Maya. Surely the tropics would support my lifelong dream of a smaller footprint if not outright sustainability. We would grow our own veggies! We hauled gardening tools and various sundries in our six foot trailer, none of which contributed to our food-growing success.

We do have a lime tree which I planted before the house was built and is producing enough fruit for our use. I have a very sad, sickly avocado and a mango tree that may be large enough to produce fruit before I die.

One sad avocado.

We’ve built a row of beds, hauled in organic soil and again with the shade cloth. Every beginner gardener’s veg, the lowly radish was a dismal failure. Tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and cilantro all withered. This week, with dogged determination, I set off to find manure aka estiércol aka poop (cow, chicken, or goat).

Rancho Bacalar

There are many ranchos out in the less populated areas surrounding Bacalar, how hard could it be to find manure?Our search took us to a corral and house set back off the road looking like something right out of a Texas playbook complete with cowboys, horses and of course, cattle.

Bramin cattle. So beautiful and curious.
The foreman, welcoming and helpful.
Her foal was tearing around not liking that mama is a working girl.

We were directed toward a pile of seasoned dung, filled three trash cans and were off. The foreman told us to come back anytime and blow the horn and someone would open the gate. Mission accomplished. I still won’t hold my breath on the avocado.

DOS TORTAS

MAYBE

Downsize Then Downsize Some More

8 Jul

Retirement and a new life in Mexico provided a much needed opportunity to dig through our stuff and get real about what to keep and what to get rid of. As we prepared for the big move five years ago, we had many garage sales, gave memorabilia to family and the rest to Goodwill. And I thought I was already a minimalist. NOT!

The Day Before We Left Austin, TX

Our son and his family hauled off furniture we didn’t need.

Part of the problem was that we were very unsure about what we would need. It took us two years to begin construction of our house. We also had never lived in a tropical region. People told us not to bring rugs to a humid climate. We did anyway and didn’t regret it.

8694EE63-FFCE-4478-9724-5E1C68CD1FF9

A lot has changed in three years.

I bought a fancy portable sewing machine because I wanted to make my own clothes and wasn’t sure I could get one here. I was wrong, Not only are there many lovely sewing machines sold here, I have hardly touched the one I brought.

1BC52B71-24A6-4036-9842-D869842C994A

A new fence. The trees have really grown.

Other people suggested that we get a storage unit and bring things gradually as we needed them. That might work for some, but it was a “hell no” for us. We were burning bridges and wanted nothing to weigh us down, especially a storage unit.

7AF91C06-36EF-45DD-9FD4-2E5405AFFEC4

Even our bodega got a makeover. The only thing we store is kayak equipment.

Our intention for a new life was minimalist living in a much smaller space. Packing, transporting, unpacking, storing, maintaining “stuff” takes its toll and has a price. Today, five years into living in Mexico, I find that I have had to go through my plastic bins and get realistic about the yarn, fabric, books, videos etc. that were once so important to me. On my last visit to Texas I schlepped back precious pattern books to give to friends. It was time to get real, there will be very little knitting or crocheting in my future.

Becomingminimalist.com

Truthfully I still own too much. Here’s some websites you might find interesting. Poco a poco, little by little… DOS TORTAS

AA215589-35A8-4FC5-82A4-8DB3BFE7B4E8

A Tiny House in Mexico Revisited

25 Mar

via A Tiny House in Mexico

I thought I’d update a few pictures of my mother-in-law’s tiny house. It’s been one of my most popular blog posts. 

445E15F0-733B-4E08-8DBC-3408B94A2205

 

646CBAD8-5D4D-42B2-B742-2468F05EFAB7

Entrance

All is well. Just a stumble. 😂 I even predicted it.

7251B677-D334-49AA-A1F8-E916A6A4CA82

Tiny House Plans

Alice has been visiting California and missing her cozy nest. Her kitty is also missing her.  I think I know more of what it feels like to be a house sitter as Lisa is away as well. Whatever you do this week, make it an adventure.

DOS TORTAS

D5CDB61D-BE4C-4CBE-85E6-53370CEC04BD

 

 

A Day In The Life

24 Jul

Living on Laguna Bacalar, three kilometers (2 miles) from the pueblo of Bacalar makes for a vida muy tranquilo

image

We didn’t know about the magnificent sunrises when we moved here.

Up with the sun about six thirty. Lisa starts the day making coffee while Luna and I walk down to the dock to photograph the sunrise. It’s been our ritual since she was a puppy. She waits at the back door impatiently every morning.

image

We watch the fish, listen to the birds and watch the day come alive.

image

Our rickety dock.

Meditation and exercise play a daily part of the routine. On this day it was an exercise video with Alice, Lisa’s mother. Luna likes to join in.

image

On alternative days we’re off to the gym. This week we had a visit with blog follower Heather and son Jonathan. What a treat when people travel to Bacalar after reading the blog.

image

A trip to the pirate fort and picture in front of the mural is a must when visiting Bacalar.

We visited shops featuring local art and sampled snow cones shaved from a block of ice right before our eyes. We had our choice of homemade tropical fruit toppings, pineapple, lime, tamarind, nance and more.

image

Light and refreshing, not like the syrupy sweet snow cones we’re used to.

What day would be complete without a parade!

I’m not sure what the parade was for, but we never need a special reason to celebrate life in Bacalar. DOS TORTAS

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest and Instagram at dos_tortas.

image

Rainy Season – Lessons in Going With the Flow

22 Sep

Having recently moved to the tropics of Southern Mexico from the desert-like climate of Central Texas, we initially loved the sweet little afternoon rain showers. But then the rain didn’t stop. For close to three weeks it rained, rained and rained some more. A tropical depression invaded the Yucatan in more ways than one. Hurricane Manuel pummeled Mexico from the Pacific and Ingrid from the Gulf. In Acapulco forty-thousand tourists were evacuated and mud slides swallowed a whole community. In Bacalar, the worst we had was mold, mosquitoes, a leaky roof and a few docks under water. It seems like all I had to do was think about my kayak to hear thunder. It’s creepy.

Many of the expats are on their summer jaunt to the US. The Tortas were spending way too much time on Facebook in this beautiful, strange land, so Thursday we decided to brave the elements and travel 2.5 hours to Tulum to visit our Austin friends Karen and Skip. It was a change of scenery and an excuse to ride in air conditioning. Living in the wilds of Tulum has its own challenges. Keeping the jungle from swallowing your house is a full-time job. We did head out to see if the beach had been washed away in the recent flooding, only to be blessed with a beautiful sunshiney walk. Nine months ago during our initial visit to Skip and Karen’s, we were exploring the possibility of making the move to Mexico. They took us to the same beautiful beach as a talisman for all the hard work ahead. Never could we have believed that in nine months our life would be completely different and we’d be living in Bacalar.

When rain flows, it can take everything in its path for a ride, even the Tortas. The opportunities to “let go” abound. We are continually letting go of an old way of life, as well as the expectations for this new one, and we are ever grateful for the occasional sunshine.

Finally the Sun!

Tulum Beach Nine Months Later

Tulum Beach Nine Months Later

Moon on Bacalar

Thought For the Day

Emilie Vardaman

travel and random thoughts

midwife87505's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

A Dead Kennedy

: A journal of a very slooow marathon swimmer

The Soulful Word

Intuitive copywriter + content creator: word whispering magic for lightworkers

View From Casita Colibrí

gringa musings from a rooftop terrace in Oaxaca

Your Hand in Mind

Musings of a human factors engineer after her brain was released...

Adventures with LoLo

PUERTO RICO: "Isla del Encanto”… "Island of Enchantment"

Our House In...

Living where we are

Surviving Yucatan

Smoothing out Mexico's rough spots.

A Boy and Her Dog

Traversing the Border between Butch and Transgender

Surviving Mexico

Adventures and Disasters

Just Another Moment in Paradise

Snippets of an Adventure's Life in Cozumel, Mexico

Perking the Pansies

Jack Scott's random ramblings

Mexico Retold

There's more to Mexico than meets the media

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

The Amazon Express

From the most distant source to the sea.

Biketrash Holiday

Adventures on Two Wheels!

%d bloggers like this: