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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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What a Huge Compliment!

14 May

As a newbie blogger I have been muddling along trying to write a mixture of interesting posts never sure if I was connecting with anyone so imagine my surprise when today I discovered I had been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! What a huge compliment! very-inspiring-award21I was nominated by my most favourite blogger Rose at http://howdoyousaytacoinspanish.wordpress.com. Rose has been helping me learn Spanish by posting wonderfully funny Tecate Beer commercials and she even offered an entire tutorial on how to cuss in Spanish which I  have already found numerous occasions to put into practice. You really must check out her blog about her time spent in Mexico.

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award is a way of creating community amongst bloggers.

The rules of accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your website.
2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

So here are 7 interesting things about me.

I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada which is one of the most beautiful but also one of the coldest cities on earth.

I will officially retire May 31, 2013 after 30 years in health care. I am so proud to be able to say I have helped save lives!

My husband and I bought a house in Progreso, Mexico this winter and will be heading down there for our first extended visit in September.

I love to garden!

I love to read!

I love to knit and crochet.

I am a proud mother/stepmother of six children, proud grandma of eight grandchildren (with one more on the way) and one cat.

I Hereby award the Very Inspiring Blogger Award to the following blogs which engage my interest in expat living, travel, all things Mexico, and people who are living the simple  life. Cheers to them and I would highly recommend them all to you.

The Artist’s Road

Costa Rica Travel Blog .com

Imagine Mérida

FindingMySelfinPanama

Howdoyousaytacoinspanish

Applecore

The Panama Adventure

Yucatan Bird Club

The Official How To Blog

Aerocretos De Mexico

GALLIVANCE

Kristen Lamb’s Blog

Brown Paper Belle

Belle Grove Plantation Bed And Breakfast

Yucatan Living

 

So take a look at these blogs. They are a real mix of practical advice, whimsy, and just people living authentic lives. Back soon with an update on the work in progress  on the Progreso house. Things are changing!

 

Mi Jardin Se Despierta

11 May

I hope my beginner Spanish has not failed me. The translation of this post’s heading should be “My Garden Awakes”. Wow, does it ever! Less than a week after the last of the snow melted away so many of the perennials have begun to poke up, unfurl, leaf out and even bloom. It never ceases to amaze me that so much beauty can burst forth after the brutality that is winter in Western Canada. There is nothing quite like the joy that comes with the regeneration of Spring. Much as I look forward to taking on the challenges of gardening in the Yucatan I know I will miss the fresh new hope that accompanies the changing of the seasons. I am sure that alone will draw me back to Canada on a regular basis. But, I am getting ahead of myself. I have one more perfect garden season ahead of me before the move to Progreso so here are some pictures of the delights that await me.

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Monkshood an aconite with blue or purple flowers. The upper sepal of the flower covers the topmost petals, giving a hoodlike appearance

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Iris a plant with sword-shaped leaves and showy flowers, typically purple, yellow, or white. Native to both Eurasia and North America, it is widely cultivated as an ornamental

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Yarrow a Eurasian plant of the daisy family, with feathery leaves and heads of small white, yellow, or pink aromatic flowers

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Columbine from Latin columba ‘dove’ (from the supposed resemblance of the flower to a cluster of five doves)

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Sedum a widely distributed fleshy-leaved plant with small star-shaped yellow, pink, or white flowers, grown as an ornamental

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Lungwort a bristly herbaceous European plant of the borage family, typically having white-spotted leaves and pink flowers that turn blue as they age.[so named because the leaves were said to have the appearance of a diseased lung.]

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Remember the brave little silla bud I showed you the picture of in my last post? Well here she is in full bloom with many of her friends.

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And, just in case you were worried, the flood waters have receded.

A Really Bad Decision

10 May

We seriously considered taking a quick trip down to Mexico to check on Casa Lulu in late April. I had some vacation days to use up and a long stretch off in  my rotation which would have given us almost two weeks free. We ended up deciding not to go. Because the work had not begun on the house we would have had to pay to stay in a hotel, bed and breakfast or the hostel which would have made for a more expensive trip than if we just waited until the basic repairs were finished and we could stay in our own home. Also, late April is traditionally a lovely time of year in Winnipeg. A time for shedding winter clothing, donning shorts, getting the bikes out, preparing the gardens and just enjoying the longer, sunny days. Progreso, on the other hand we were told, would be really, really hot. It would be exhausting to head in to Merida in the heat to shop for  the casa or meet with architects. So we decided not to go. That was a really bad choice. With record cold temperatures by mid-April the snow was only just beginning to melt when I took a few pictures on the 15th.

A Glimpse of Grass

There were some signs of life. A brave clump of thyme peeked out from under the snow

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and several tulips even emerged in the warmth of the brick school wall.

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But hopes of Spring were dashed the very next day when Winnipeg got dumped with over a foot of snow. Other parts of the Province were completely snowed in.

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And with the snow came the threat of flooding as the Assiniboine river rose up out our back door.

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Then, having survived the coldest April on record, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it snowed again on May 1st!

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And when I checked the temperatures in Progreso it was a moderate 25 degrees C and sunny. Day after day.

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I could have gone to see this

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strolled along the beach

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and hung out with the pelicans.

So

all in all

a really bad decision

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But there is hope yet. The first sweet silla is in bud.

Ik Kil

20 Apr

As promised, here is the first of several planned posts about things to see and do in the Progreso area. Nothing like starting with a bang! Ik Kil Cenote is just so beautiful it may be the highlight of your visit (other than visiting with us of course!).

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Ik Kil lit by the Afternoon sun.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this natural wonder. “The cenote is open to the sky with the water level about 26 metres (85 ft) below ground level. There is a carved stairway down to a swimming platform. The cenote is about 60 metres (200 ft) in diameter and about 40 metres (130 ft) deep. There are vines which reach from the opening all the way down to the water along with small waterfalls.”

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Amazing

When Ken was in Progreso he visited a small museum which described how an astroid hit in the Progreso area (actually at Chixelub) millions of years ago. This is the hit that many scientists believe led to the demise of the dinosaurs. Bits of the massive space rock broke off  and scattered in a circular pattern creating craters which have since filled with water. Hence, the cenotes!

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.

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