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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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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!

Mexican Critters #2

17 Apr

I was absolutely stunned by these beautiful photos and fabulous descriptions by zoologist, photographer and author Cherie Pittillo. I can’t wait to catch a glimpse of this bird when we settle in the Yucatan. What a character! To read the full piece please click on the link below.

http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2013/04/backyard-birding-in-merida-and-beyond-what-bird-is-that-groove-billed-ani-2/

All photos and quoted text by Cherie Pittillo

Groove-billed Ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris, Garrapatero Pijuy (Spanish) and ch’ik bul (Mayan)

Groove Billed Ani

“Upon closer look, that Jimmy Durante-like schnozz, which is actually its upper bill, is unforgettable. It is a short, thick, large, curved bill with ridges and grooves. Groove-y!”

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Groove-billed-Ani-in-sunshine

“The Groove-billed Ani is common in tropical lowlands as it ranges from S. Texas and Mexico down to N Chile and N Argentina. It frequents lawns, pastures, haciendas, fields, roadsides, orchards, forest edges, and even marshes.”

Groove Billed Ani

“Besides that grooved bill, its flight is characteristic as it rapidly flaps its wings a few times and then glides a short distance down to another tree or bush. It pauses for awhile and may call before it advances in the same manner. This pattern is repeated. When it arrives to its desired tree, it may hop up sideways from limb to limb until it reaches its target perch.”

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.

Mexican Easter Bunny? The Tehuantepec Jackrabbit

31 Mar

The Tehuantepec jackrabbit is the most endangered hare species in the world (2)(5) (6), and, like other hares (Lepus spp.), is recognised by its long legs, large hind feet and huge ears (2) (7) (8), which can measure up to 12 centimetres in length (2). The hair is coarse (2), and the feet are well furred (7). The upperparts of the body are a rich ochraceous buff, washed through with black, and the back of the neck bears a buffy stripe, which separates two narrow, black stripes that extend backwards from the base of each ear. The ears are buff coloured, with whitish tips, while the throat is yellowish and the underparts and flanks are white. The legs and rump are pale whitish to grey, and the tail is grey below and black above (2) (5). In spring, the fur may become more worn, with the upperparts faded to a more yellowish colour and the black stripes on the neck visible only as black patches behind the ears (2).

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To read more about the go here

Starting to dream about design.

29 Mar

Just heard from our lawyer and the glitch that has been holding up closing on the house should be fixed by Wednesday so, fingers crossed, things should be able to move forward then. So I have been allowing myself to dream once again. I ordered several books from the library for inspiration. First up is this one, Casa Yucatan, by Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr.

Casa YucatanLusciously illustrated and well sourced, this book is the perfect starting point for understanding the colours, textures and styles of  the Yucatan. The cover photo is of a walled courtyard which I could create between my two casitas here. Hard to imagine? Well, I like to dream big!

Hows this for a palette? The house is already yellow and white so adding a few punches of pepper colours will add just the right spice. Don’t think old colonial Mexico think more hot mid-century modern.IMG_3275

 

Love the Multi coloured steps. I see this on the stairs leading up and down from the terrace in the hot pepper palette!

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One of these for the concrete couch on the terrace. Perfect!

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I would love to have stairs like these leading to a roof top deck.IMG_3313

And finally, I can just picture this in the large casita.

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Can’t wait!

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!

Life after Mérida, Debi in Richmond

Bits n Pieces of my life as an Extranjera in The USofA after spending 10 years living in Mexico.

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