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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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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.

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.”

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

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