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One of our mini reno projects

8 Apr

Aerocretos de Mexico

What are you waiting for?  Some times all it takes is a little creativity and imagination to turn something old and faded  and useless into something new and useful. This little Casita started out old, faded and not useful. With helpful creativity from the owners, we were able to transform it into something sparkling, new and more than a little useful. Oh and if you want to rent i,t we know the owners and they are really nice people.

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With a major reno underway, the owners had a vision of the end product. A clean crisp and bright casita. Everything was new and improved. Old doors filled in and new patio doors installed complete with Pasta tile inlay on new terrace. Old bathroom gone and new extension build for new bathroom and shower. All new electric, demand hot water, fresh cool tile you name it, it is all new and…

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Lulu and the Moon Soundtrack

25 May

My husband Ken just produced this demo of his original song “Lulu and the Moon”. Every blog needs a soundtrack and this is mine. A little happy, a little sad, filled with longing and a just a touch of whimsy. I am thrilled with it. Ken on piano, vocal and harmony, Miles Littman on upright bass, Matt Moskalyk on drums and Darrell Sandmoen acoustic guitar. Brilliant!

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Ground Breaking News!

20 Apr

Work has commenced at Casa Lulu. First up is getting rid of  the poured concrete all around the house. This will allow us to improve the drainage and will also open up all kinds of landscape possibilities. Here are a few pictures of the work in progress. Breaking ground.

Ken asked his buddy Andy to wander over to the house to take a few pictures. He was particularly interested in seeing this corner at the front. He is really hoping to find a way to get up to the roof and thought there might be room here for a spiral staircase. I’m not as keen on the idea because I have a wicked fear of heights and it is certainly not high on my priority list but it would be fabulous one day. Imagine, sitting up there in the evening, drink in hand, cool breeze coming off the ocean, nothing but stars blocking your view.

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Looks like really hard work and Andy said it was 40 degrees Celsius today. Glad they had a big jug of water on hand. The water is sitting on the steps that lead down from the covered terrace to the pool which is just to the right of the picture.

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These steps lead up to the pool area bathroom and change room. On the right is the outdoor shower. I have big plans for this!f1aff1dbf28bc9fbcb4caf9015881c94 448179b34eeec7391de1479229a8a9f4

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Outdoor shower #1

It really wouldn’t take much to create a gorgeous space here.With a little imagination anything is possible at Casa Lulu!

So, where is Progreso?

15 Apr

When we tell people we have bought a house in Progreso, Mexico we usually get enthusiastic but somewhat confused congratulations. This is primarily because they are not quite sure where it is. Is it on the Atlantic side, the Caribbean or near the Texas border? Even when we describe its location in the Yucatan people still seem to have only a vague conception of Mexican geography. So for all those who want to really know where we will be heading here is a map of the region. Progreso is on the Northwest tip of the Yucatan Peninsula about 25 minutes by car north of the city of Merida.

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Over the next several posts I will highlight of some of the many wondrous places to see and visit in the area. It is a land rich in culture, history and nature. So stay with me.

Meanwhile, on the home front, after a few tense weeks we have finally managed to close on the sale of the property. We really do now own a house in Mexico. How amazing is that? Work commences on some necessary plumbing, electrical and structural repairs on Wednesday. Though not particularly exciting changes from a design perspective they will make our lives a lot better. We are, for example, getting a water softener installed and also upgrading to a solar hot water system. We are also getting the roof resealed and a protective coating applied which will make it nicer to sit up there and enjoy the evening ocean breezes. Ladder anyone? A lot of concrete also has to be dug up around the house to improve drainage so that will open up all kinds of landscaping possibilities. The gardener in me is very excited about that! And there is a crack in the swimming pool which is a number one priority fix! Got to have that pool ready to go when we arrive. So all in all we feel things are headed in the right direction.

Easy, Fantastic Homemade Salsa

27 Mar

We are testing out our TIM, or “This Is Mexico”, attitude which our friend G says we must adopt when something inexplicable happens. So, with our best TIM attitude we are staying calm and not worrying at all that our closing date of March 16 has come and gone and we still do not officially own our house. Shrug, TIM. Que sera sera.

In the meantime, lets make salsa! I was taught this easy recipe by Nancy who is married to an El Salvadorian named Alfredo. It is so good!

IMG_3262Start by placing half of a large can of whole or diced tomatoes in a medium bowl.
IMG_3264Add pickled jalapeno pepper slices. I usually go with about seven. Try fewer for milder salsa or more for spicy hot!
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Puree the tomatoes and jalapeno slices. Add the juice of one lime and the rest of the can of tomatoes. Chop with a knife into bite size pieces.
IMG_3260 Using the chopper attachment, chop one half of a medium onion together with about one half cup loosely packed cilantro.
IMG_3266 Add chopped onion and cilantro to tomato mixture
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Add about half a cup each of black beans and frozen
niblet corn. Mix and allow to sit for one half hour to let
flavours meld
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Serve and enjoy!

IMG_3272            Yum!

Who is Lulu?

14 Mar

Lulu is not a person, she’s a boat. When Ken sent me a picture of the beach taken at sunset with the moon just risen and Lulu in the foreground I was smitten. To me this image was the perfect representation of who we are right now in our lives. Like Lulu we are a little battered and bruised but if you give us a beach to rest on we’ll be happy and the moon will light our path down Mexican way. Lulu and the moon are our inspiration.

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Why Progreso?

12 Mar

Two years ago the Winnipeg Free Press ran an article about Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico which said what a lovely, friendly and affordable vacation destination it was. True to my obsessive/compulsive tendencies I clipped it out and filed it away. Then last year I was talking to a good friend about the pros and cons of retirement. I was resisting ending the working chapter of my life because I did not feel ready to kick back and do nothing all day. Meanwhile, my already retired husband was really wanting to escape the frigid Canadian winters. I felt my working was holding him back. So, with some trepidation, I said go check out this place called Progreso and showed him the article. After a little Web surfing we found him a comfortable, inexpensive, studio apartment in a lovely place called Casa Sol Mar which we booked for the month of January, 2013. Off he went, first flying from Winnipeg to Cancun, riding the bus for four hours to Merida, then taking a cab to the beach town of Progreso. It took him several days to find his comfort zone but once he did he loved everything about the place. He strolled along the malecon, explored the market, toured the side streets, sampled the local cuisine, and began to meet a lot of amazing people. As his month away drew to an end he knew he wanted to stay longer, maybe even forever. He extended his trip for another month and began to look for ways that we could make Progreso a part of our lives. That included searching the real estate sites. Now, as everyone knows, if you’re not in the market for a new home don’t search house listings because you are sure to find one that you just love. And that is just what happened to us.

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