Monday, March 24, 2014

How Was The Move to Bacalar?

Well where to begin. (I hope you are not sorry you asked)

The move itself went well, with an orchestra of cats singing and howling in the car for six hours. The movers came on Friday night  and took all the boxes and things, and were waiting for us at the intersection of our rental house when we got here Saturday afternoon. I had drugged the cats just a little, so it wasn't so stressful for them. Moving five cats went well. 

There is a little hitch in renting this house***. It is a large house on a hill at the edge of Bacalar town. The house is very ODD, but it is big and was the only house for rent in Bacalar!  It is reasonable, at $450 usd a month. 5,000 pesos.






We are across the 'road' from Avenida 5, FIFTH AVENUE! lol.  In the pic below you can see the 'avenue' just outside our gate. 




This is our view from the patio and my room. 




My desk is set up on the 2nd floor looking out four windows and an open door leading to the big outdoor patio. We are above most tree tops, so bird watching is excellent. I will say that no matter how depressing the news is in the world, as I sit at the computer reading about it, and how the trolls people comment about it; all I have to do is look outside, listen to nothing but birds and palm leaves swaying, and I feel quite unaffected. Thus, quite objective, I might add.

Here it is as if the world is not falling apart, here is harmony of nature and people working with it not against it. Moving here was a great decision. Although my methods are lacking in business sense, I am disappointed that there is yet another interim time to wait til i can get into MY house in Buena Vista. Especially with the odd circumstances of this interim wait. However, I must admit it is MUCH more pleasant here waiting as I look out over this beautiful fresh water lagoon. And I must admit I am getting closer. This is a multi-step procedure for me but I am taking it in stride. I'd have to be an ass to complain about living and working with this view! :-)                           (I work at night a lot)



Pablo has a job. He's waiting tables at a new restaurant/bar in town. His beach sale fell through. I'm not surprised. It might be the best thing to just sit on that property for a while. The beach north of Mahahual is developing and slowly moving more north. The property we have is really a special one, inside a bay, so what if it collects a lot of sargasso. It has this great blue hole out in front and the cabañas are very well constructed and practical. I am going to have time for us to go there on my day and a half off!  I've connived a day and a half off.  I work so many hours on the weekends I am exhausted for days. I have to work on that somehow. Since I am not settled into this house at this time, I don't quite feel like I can schedule my free time. I can't find half the things I am looking for. Grrrr. 

Pablo's brother, younger brother, only brother, came to see him in Merida. he had lost his job and was really depressed and lost. Pablo invited him to Bacalar, and he showed up here a few days after our arrival.  He went and got a job waiting tables the second day. Then he surprised us with the arrival of his girlfriend. She got a job the next day.  There is one really fun and popular restaurant in town, on the lagoon, with reasonably priced food and activities - art show some nights, music on Saturday nights, and both Erwin and Alejandra are waiting tables there, La Pirata. 


At first i was not pleased that our domestic population doubled. but I figure, hey, Pablo is the older brother, he wants to help his younger brother, it makes him feel more responsible and gives him something other to thing about than himself. (and me)(I also cannot forget how much my older brothers have helped me throughout my difficult and stupid periods of growing up, which at nearly sixty-one i am still processing (pathetic). I cannot deny my best friend the chance to help his younger sibling, in turn helping his own self-esteem)  The brother is really quiet and a nice guy, as is the girlfriend. They are helping us with the rent and expenses so i cant complain there. The house is big enough for all of us. They are younger and might want a more exciting town with bars and action. This isn't it. But they seem to appreciate coming home to sit out on the patio and just look at the lagoon. It is mesmerizing. It changes colors all day long. It may sound lame but it is fantastic to watch the sun and or moon rise over the water.  and stars. and hear just natural sounds. OK, we hear the roar of an occasional truck passing on the highway which isn't that far away..........no biggie.

Across the street from us we have a balneario. That is a public place people can enter the lagoon. Most of the lagoon front property is privately owned and the beach access cut off to the people. We checked it out and there are several places to get into the lagoon. It is really calm in there even with a strong wind. It is always breezy or windy here and that cuts the heat. The hot season is kicking in really early this year as it did last year. It is only march and we are nearly reaching 100° - mostly mid 90°s but it's coming fast.  It is nice to have the water access right across FIFTH AVENUE. hahaha. 




Now, what is weird about the house?*** The owner is still living with us. He is kind of a strange guy, but likable.  he is trying to get to Italy to be with wife and kid. when we got here with tons of boxes and things there was room to pile them up in a large corner. in the meantime, i.e., since we moved in march 1st, Luis downstairs has been 'packing' up.  he has a large building below us that is where the night watchman sleeps and Luis also uses it for storage.  All my stuff is still in boxes. Finding just what I need for short term was hard even though i packed all kitchen and foodstuffs and tools in a few easily recognized boxes. my marking of boxes was not perfect. so many haven't been opened. I pack using my sheets and towels and t shirts to wrap memorabilia, so my stuff is absolutely everywhere IN Boxes. That is driving me a bit crazy. lol. Finally, Luis is packed up and ready to go. He awaits our rent payment of April and has asked for May so he can afford his ticket. Luckily there are four of us to split the costs of living here. That is actually a help and it is nice to have nice people around - and we are family since we have the two brothers here. Pablo has never spent so much time around family and i think it grounds him.  

And so things are fine on the comfort level of the house other than I don't want to go downstairs and see my boxes all a mess.  In other words, I want the owner to leave. I don't feel free in the kitchen. I haven't eaten as I would like to this month and I can feel the difference. I feel sluggish and tired all the time. Probably to do with the level of stress i reached in Merida and the extreme change of pace in a place like this.  

In one week things should be better. The owner should leave for Italy. I can tackle my boxes and find what I need. I can feel at home in more than just this ONE room. I can spread out. I need to spread out. 

The cats are still in the house. They can't go outside because they are scared of the dog. The house comes with a rescued dog who is very skittish. I didn't want them out the first week or so, and now we have to wait and figure out a system where the cats can explore the yard without the dog chasing them. Because Buster wanted to see what it was like outdoors and that dog scared him. He is old and grumpy and not happy about moving again. He somehow got out and has been missing for over two weeks. I search for him , call him, and try to think of which way he went. Is he on adventure or is he in trouble or is he dead? I am sickened by this. Today I will go for a walk in a new direction and look for him. He was lost in Merida for two months so I haven't given up all hope. Close to it, but this morning I had a dream that Buster was crawling toward me because his back legs were injured. He has arthritis there. So I will keep on searching. My feet are swollen from sitting too long at this computer. I haven't written sooner because I had a lousy flash drive stick that wouldn't let me even load a photo, or do my work properly. If I wrote emails I would run out of time even faster! It was so expensive. Last week 'they' finally came and installed a satellite dish and I have great connection now.  I work 8 hours this evening so I figure it is a good day to try to get some info out about how things are going on this new adventure. Tues, tomorrow, I will not even check the computer. It is my day off. (then i remember all the organizing and unpacking i have to do and get confused. have fun or get organized?) (I know I will feel better having fun when i am organized)

The rest of the cats love the patio outside on the 2nd floor outside both bedrooms. 
The house is really nice upstairs but unfinished. The downstairs is dark and strange but it is big and with Luis's stuff cleared out and once we actually move into it, it should be much more comfortable.  I am frustrated waiting for that. Just keep waiting. And get through this week, give him money for rent and his damn plane ticket and let us occupy the house we are renting. sheesh. 


Almost all is well, just Buster is missing.............



Friday, November 15, 2013

Just Another Day in Paradise.....by Lucy Ricardo



Just another Lucy Ricardo day.......one of those days when everything goes awry. I would like to share the events of my day yesterday, because I can't even believe I could make such a mess in one single day. Truly a Lucy Ricardo series of stunts. The good news is I didn't injure myself. That IS the only good news of this story. Read on,

Nov. 14, 2013

I woke up at 8:30am, early for me on a day I don't work til 11am. I decided to do a few projects before work. First the bottled water guys showed up, who deliver potable water on Mondays and Thursdays. I was down to half a 5 gallon bottle, so it was imperative I refill the other three botellones. The water guys agreed to come back after the first round on their route so I could get water for the weekend.


After performing my morning ritual on the throne, so to speak, I flushed and as I grabbed my deodorant the Afrin nose spray I have fell into the toilet. My natural deposit had not all flushed thoroughly and there was still some in the commode. Shit, we don't even put toilet paper in Mexican toilets because they don't process anything that isn't natural very well. But by some hideous twist of fate the Afrin was swallowed up by the big white phone, I mean throne. I had to take action, as disgusting as it was. Yes, I reached in, way in, and no Afrin. I went for the plunger to see if I could plunge the crap down and plunge the Afrin out. I plunged and plunged to no avail. The water came up clear, thanks to the gods, but there is a tube of Afrin stuck somewhere in my pipes. Of course I scrubbed my hands thoroughly and decided a full body shower might help me forget the memory of digging around a dirty toilet.


The project I had in mind was to soak the few pair of flip flops and tennis shoes in a big tub. They were all moldy in my closet due to all the wet weather we have had. Instead of soaking them in the tub in the OUTSIDE shower, I decided to use MY shower. I set the tub down, put in the shoes, threw in some soap and bleach, and turned the water on full blast to fill the tub.


I decided to wash some clothes and headed out to the laundry room to start that task. Then I decided to go to the atm machine at the ADO, withdraw money for the water, and enough to pay my cable bill across the street from the ADO(bus station). I had really screwed up my cable expense this month by making a couple long distance calls that ended up costing me a couple hundred bucks more than my usual cable fees. Since I have Skype, Google Talk and ways to communicate without adding cost, I usually use them if I talk to anyone, but it seemed like a fun idea to not be tied to the computer to talk to a couple good friends. And really talk things out. I was pretty shook up about that bill because money is tight since I bought a cart that I am paying for and won't have the horse until I sell this one. That should be house. But you get the picture. I was upset with myself on two counts. The cable bill and my impulsive nature.

Once I got to the ATM, I put in the card and I entered my pin number. Not the correct pin number, instead I entered the last pin number I had in Kona, Hawaii, six years ago. Don't ask why i went blank, just a slightly panicked brain fart I guess. I tried a second time, and realized I had forgotten my pin. If you try a bad pin three times the machine will keep your card. So I trudged home with no money but debit card safe in hand, cable bill still unpaid, crying like a fool, stuck in the 'what in the world is wrong with me' mindset. I decided to calm down, work my first shift, and try again after that since I had 2 hour break before my second shift.

By the time I'd done all this, it The was time for my 11am shift to begin. I got home and walked into the house I was SHOCKED to see the entire house flooded. Well, my bedroom, bathroom, the dining room, the major bathroom, the studio, and heading toward my office and the kitchen. There must have been at least inch of water EVERYWHERE. Evidently I forgot to turn off the faucet in the shower, and the tub acted as a plug for the drain. The water was just gushing out and spreading as far as it possibly could. I completely broke down then. I called my housekeeper who had just cleaned the day before. I asked if she could come help me out of a big jam. She agreed. Ok, help is on the way.

I signed in to work my fist shift. I started as usual, and immediately had intermittent internet connection problems. Earlier as I walked to that ATM I saw cable guys working and I walked under their ladder. I am not superstitious, or shall I say I was NOT superstitious until now and will no longer walk under ladders. My internet came and went. My phone is cable too so that meant I couldn't communicate my work problems to my co-workers by phone. It was intermittent and I managed to get the message to someone at work. I tried to call Pablo in Tulum because he knows my pin number. A friend had to help me with that one because my cell phone has no money on it, it is basically my alarm clock. Period. I cleared cache and cookies, I rebooted. Still intermittent cable. I swear it was the least productive two hour shift I have ever had. I unplugged the modem, waited a few minutes and reset it. The problem persisted. I was mentally unplugged too! Holy Toledo what a day.

When the shift ended and I had two hours to clean up all my messes. My housekeeper and I moved furniture, tried to get to all the water. I took clean SOAKING WET rugs outside to dry, just washed them on my knees with a brush last week! I carried the items I had piled on the floor ready to pack up outside in an attempt to dry them out. I have been packing little by little because I believe this house sale and purchase will work out in the end. I don't know when, I don't know how, but it has to and it will happen. Jim used to say, 'when something has to happen it will." Meanwhile Magda moved all the water back outside and to drains etc. She de-flooded and I tried to save my things.

I found my pin number, wanted to slap myself for forgetting it... went BACK to a different ATM so the other one didn't snatch my card. I had no time for a trip to the bank to explain my brain freeze if I lost the card to the machine. I managed to make the withdrawal from the new ATM and walked 6 blocks back to ADO where there is an Oxxo, a Mexican 7-11, where they accept cable payments if they are timely. You don't mess with cable here, or they will turn you off so fast.............I paid the cable bill. When I got home the water guys showed up and I got my water. I had withdrawn more money to pay my housekeeper for cleaning the house a second time in two days.
Things were pretty much under control by the time my 2nd shift started. My computer was working ok after the cleaning and rebooting and everything I could think of to end this nightmare for the rest of the day. Except for one new little hurdle. De repente (all of a sudden) it started raining pretty hard. I carefully walked outside and took all the things off the line and brought them inside to hang around the house with fans on the wet items. I had mistakenly put another batch of clothes to wash, all the things that were soaked in my 100 year flood. Those things had to go into another room with my remaining fan while I worked my shift sweating since all fans were being used as clothes dryers. I had to carry in allllllllll the items I'd been piling on the floor to pack up a little at a time because it was all still a little wet and slippery. I set things out in front of the industrial fan so they could dry out.

The house that was so neat and tidy the day before was now looking like something out of HOARDERS. or just some crazy terrible housekeeper. I had put things outside to dry, moved furniture to get behind it, etc. I had to drag all those things in to the fan blaster area. It was a scene to NOT have to behold. I have been packing things up little by little because I am determined to sell this house and move to my new dream house in Buena Vista, Bacalar. I think I cried again and then calmed down, two clonazepam later and an ibuprofen later, and was able to do my shift.

Things were better from then on. I watched Thursday night football, had a good dinner, and just tried to forget hell thursday. The good news, my team won.

Just another day in the life of this stumbling soul. I hope this provided you with a few chuckles, because looking back it is pretty funny, even though it cost a little more of the sanity I have left. LOL. If you would like to make donations to my cause, send me some virtual working brain cells.

Yours truly,
Lucy Ricardo

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I LOVE CANADIANS!

Back in 2010, which seems like ages and ages ago, I published a 'Rant', and duly labeled as a rant, about who the expats in Mérida are.  Evidently some with a sense of humor responded agreeing or disagreeing with me.  Today I received a very nasty response which has prompted me to remove my OPINIONS from my own personal blog, which I thought was a place for opinions.

Opinions are just that.  One's take on a given situation at a given time. It is ok if you disagree with my opinions, but to get nasty and hateful is over the line with me.  I was pissed off in 2010, and yes, in discussions of reputations for poorly tipping tourists, Canadians are always mentioned as first offenders among others. So I won't take that back.  Please keep in mind that I hadn't compared them to Americans or anyone else. It was just an OPINION I had at the time.

This has nothing to do with how I view Canadians.  I know and work with a lot of Canadians, and I think they are a fine people.  I consider Canada to be more together as a country than what I see of life in the USA.  I don't see them fighting over the silliest of issues as I do when I read what Americans say in many blogs and forums. What's more, BC and Alberta are two of my favorite places on earth, and I thought the people were super friendly.  The scenery, at least in Western Canada, is some of the most beautiful and breathtaking that exists. I think Canadians are smart. Today, in the middle of 2013, I don't rant on here anymore, and since life goes on things change, including opinions.

I am not much of a part of the Mérida expat community.  I work and do my own thing. I don't totally relate to the mindset of everyone I meet.  I don't judge the people I meet as I meet them, and let personalities speak for themselves.  There are cliques of expats here of all kinds, there are superficial people as well as some terrific genuine people who moved here because they like the life style of Mexico and its people.  There are plenty of expats who make no effort to speak any Spanish - and that still bugs me as it relays a feeling of superiority, as if my language is more important than yours, even tho' I am living in your Spanish speaking country.  I don't want to even enter into that territory, because it is POLITICALLY INCORRECT.  I know once we are out of studying mode, it is difficult to learn a new way of thinking in a new language.  It would be very helpful because many expats who come to live in México just want to make sure they live exactly as they would in their own country, whatever that may be, just more cheaply.  I think one should want to come here to assimilate, not to try to change the way of life of the native population.  That still pisses me off a little, but I don't get riled up over it.  I just listen to people simply say 'no Spanish' and can't even learn hello, please or thank you.  It takes a while to get used to the difference in life here from wherever we all come from, and I think we need to give into that a bit. Learning what you can in Spanish helps you to understand the way locals look at things in a more clear light. Many of the local people want to speak English, of course, and in that way we can teach each other something, as they struggle with our language they struggle with our horrendous and/or lame attempts to speak to them as well.

I fear entering the politically correct and incorrectness of how guarded everything must be that any person says or does.  And I don't really want to get into a discussion of expats, immigrants, or any of the controversial issues.  I have my opinions of all that, which I prefer to keep to myself.

My lifestyle and outlook on life has changed a lot since I moved here. I came here needing a change.  I made the changes, and I feel pretty easy going at this point.  I don't dislike anyone because of where they come from, and try to not generalize.  I admit I was judgmental and did generalize too much in my outspoken rants.  And it was wrong. When I saw in others what I was guilty of myself, it changed my entire outlook. I am more at peace now than I was the first few years I lived here.  I have accepted the strange way things go and just bite my tongue.  I am no longer the opinionated aggressive Aries that I was when I had the confidence to write and share my opinions.  Much of my optimism toward people in general is a bit jaded, but I just carry on.  I don't cause anyone any problems, and all I ask is the same from others.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Where Have I Been????

Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5uVIlUazg4

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
And where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it,
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it,
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin',
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',
I saw a white ladder all covered with water,
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken,
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you hear, my darling young one?
I heard the sound of a thunder that roared out a warnin',
Heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world,
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin',
I heard ten thousand whisperin' and nobody listenin',
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin',
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter,
I heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you meet, my blue-eyed son?
And who did you meet, my darling young one?
I met a young child beside a dead pony,
I met a white man who walked a black dog,
I met a young woman whose body was burning,
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow,
I met one man who was wounded in love,
I met another man who was woundedin hatred,
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

And what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
And what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest dark forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
And the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where the souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and speak itand think it and breathe it,
And reflect from the mountain so all souls can see it,
And I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

Category:

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If you don't like Bob Dylan, and my link doesn't work, I imagine you skipped to the meat of the update. At least read the lyrics of this beautiful poem that tells it like it is.  

I know I haven't blogged in a while.  I had no intention to stop blogging.  I have plenty to blog about, the problem is I just haven't had the time.  For the past year and a half(almost) I have been working as a (check this out - I have a title) Moderation Specialist.  If I told you too much about it, you'd have to be silenced, so I will divulge as much information as I can with no need for the drastic measures.  I am kidding, not threatening, but I can only say so much. Our anonymity is important.  

I have joined the IIAD.  Internet Internal Affairs Division. No that isn't the name of the company. But the gist of my work is to read and moderate comments on blogs and forums on the internet.  If you've read an online newspaper lately you'd have seen the blogs that allow readers to comment about articles.  Facebook and Twitter also have many accounts that allow comments, sponsor contests, etc.  If you've read any of those comments, you probably can see why moderation is a necessity.  People have a tendency to get ugly, vent, throw blame around, among other tendencies when they can post things anonymously.  Someone has to babysit them and keep them in line by removing unacceptable comments.

At the age of 59, living in México, and still ? years away from my pensioncito? and SS??, I am pleasantly shocked to have found a job at all, let alone work that is perfect for me.  Hey, remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. That's me. I'm a survivor. Even though I didn't choose ONE career, I'm pleased to know that my jack of all trades life experiences would qualify me for a job in the new milennium.  A job, by the way, that has only been in existence since the great internet boom.  Yes, folks, I lucked into this job and have been giving it my all this past year or so.  The first few months there was so much to learn that I had no creative brain cells to use for writing. I crammed my head with procedures, rules, regs, and how to handle the numerous types of accounts and situations that need moderation.

The next few months were a different kind of crazy. Pablo and I have a project (next blog) that was taking a lot of money to complete, so my earnings went to our 'beach project'.  Once I learned several functions, I could cover for others when needed. I also started picking up more regular hours.

With the recent presidential election the blogs and forums have gone crazy.  Truthfully, crazy might not be a strong enough word.  Superstorm Sandy also created a vent outlet for the survivors, and for those who had internet, a place to find answers to many questions. 

This year I have picked up all the extra work available, and as is the usual for me, I dove way too deep into the darkness and found myself with closer to 60 hours a week. This much work doesn't leave me much free time to go out and have fun, which would be nice, if only I had any energy after working a 6,8,10, or 12 hr shift.  

Today is the first entire day off I've had in a couple months. I know, I COULD say no.  When the going gets weird, the weird must get going. Plus when the harvest is ready one must reap. Everything could change tomorrow. What if a solar flare X15 (?) wiped out the internet!  Who knows, really?  

My goal is to work my ass off til the end of the year, and then resume a more normal schedule after the holidays, so I have time to write. I'm itching to write.  I am currently missing those lucid moments when my brain isn't clouded with comments and far too much news intake. 

What have I been up to?  My ears in work. This year I have done many necessary repairs and maintenance on the house and pool.  I've kept up with my other responsibilities, like spending time with my mate and the commando of cats, keeping up with laundry and ( mostly) crock pot cooking.  Of course there were the costly annual fees of the resident visa and the fidecomiso (trust payment for owning a house here)......totaling $1300 USD.  When I had time I spent several hours and visits to the immigration office, paying bills, running errands, etc.  My favorite HOBBY right now, sad to say, is watching TV.  We bought a 42" tv and somehow that makes everything all better. Unfortunately after reading and concentrating on the computer for hours and hours, I don't have the brain cells or eyes (white line fever, it's called) to spend more time on the internet for personal reasons. Thus, friends, forgive me for not keeping in touch.  I've been working successfully on survival, and my usually unattainable position of not having to worry so much about how I'm going to make it! Here or anywhere!  In conclusion, I have arrived at the much desired 'be happy, don't worry' state of mind I came here to find five and a half years ago.  :-)

Oh, and why the song? It expresses things I have seen in my lifetime and reflects those feelings.  It also summarized so much of what I've read in the news about the shape of our world, our planet,  and its inhabitants right now in the present. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Night of the Pitaya Flower

Pitaya (dragonfruit) in May?  The last time I wrote about the dragonfuit growing it was early September. I think July is the normal beginning of its season, but I could be wrong. I'm not sure the first two fruit will survive.  But this time I did remember to take photos of it on its big night out.  This is a series of photos that tells the story itself.  All it needs is the follow up when we see if we get two fruit or not.

The first pic below was taken at 5pm

This photo was taken at 8pm.

10pm

midnight. all opened up.

4pm today, finished, now it'll work on developing the fruit.

If you checked my link above from a previous pitaya post, this is what the plant looks like now.  It seems to like it on our side of the wall.  And we like it!  


Monday, May 7, 2012

Project Gone Wild: The Jardín

The two photos below show the front patio area when I first cleaned it up, filled it with sand, and planted a few plants. The driftwood Pablo and I brought from El Salvador and the seashells were from local beaches.  Later it became overgrown with many of my throw and grow plants I put in.  I can't find a photo of it as the jungle it was of late.  The philodendron has grown up and provided a natural kitchen window curtain, and the papaya tree lived its life and is no longer with us.  



This is where the project called bed, bath and beyond got a little crazy and out of hand.  . When the workers made a mess of my yard with concrete and paint, leaving half my plants in a sorry state, the contractor asked if I wanted them to clean up the yard.  I said I would love that.  Frankly it needed someone else's attention since I haven't been able to get to it.  This project was on the back burner for a while and I thought the cleanup ended when they trimmed the bushes and cut off dead leaves and pulled weeds, etc.  Good old miscommunication.  I must have given permission for a complete landscaping job.


I was surprised when Juan, the contractor, showed up  the other day with Jorge Junior, of Jorge's Organic Farm, here I've linked a copy of an article written by Beryl Gorbman about the productive family farm .  First Jorge brought a huge pile of consumable vegetables for me.  Fresh leafy lettuce, a huge bunch of radishes, bok choy, a huge bag of chaya, several beets, a few mangos, a watermelon and a huge bouquet of spearmint. We are eating a lot of radishes and I have to decide what to do with the chaya, but the rest of the goods were real good eatin'!   Fresh organic veggies and fruits, the best.

In the back yard he planted cilantro seeds, radish seeds, habanero plants, an epazote plant, two sunflowers, other flowers I've not seen before, re-used and replanted all the rootbound pots I had. Jorge got rid of my mosquito collecting plants and replaced them with more useful greenery.  The back yard pics will look better after the new plants get used to their new home.  I'll post them later. 

The front patio, however, went through a major overhaul.  I think the guys just really got into it.  They tore almost everything out.  Now there are roses lining the walkways. They started a flowery vine with yellow flowers to join or replace the philodendron.  Plus they planted grass.  It's a small area of grass but it will be so nice to have ANY grass that I'm looking forward to it. I am also being good about watering.  That's the toughest part for me, being a constant gardener.



I've seen tuberose in the flower market, but now I have one growing in my yard.  They are beautiful and the most fragrant of flowers. If you look closely you can see the grass.

I thought this mix of plants with the canoe and driftwood was quite clever. It proudly upholds and honors the story of the original Dorton canoe, which began back in the early 90's.


Beautiful and fragrant roses.

Chile parado.

Juan is a great coordinator of work projects and Jorge is a very talented landscaper - quite knowledgeable about plants.  Although I wasn't planning such a major change and elaborate garden, it's beautiful and if we have a kind rainy season should look really good in a few months.  If not, pray I become a more constant gardener.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fan Coozies

The summer heat is kicking in here in Mérida, with temps reaching mid 30'sC°, or around 95°F.  We haven't yet reached 40°C, so the hot season is just beginning. The temps are more like March temps, and March felt more like winter than any of the winter months.  We've had bizarre rainstorms, very few of them, but crazy nonetheless. One day we had a mini-hurricane, tornados for sure out of the blue. The wind started blowing crazy from all directions and the lightning and thunder were zero seconds away.  The wind blew the double iron gates of my front carport wide open.  I tried to push them closed in the downpour and was pushed back by the winds. Finally I got them closed, after the filthy flooded street water rushed in.  As you might imagine, this became another facet of the bed, bath and beyond project.   Had to have one lock replaced and another installed.  I found out the winds hit 93kms an hour during that storm.  It damaged several areas of the city, but tornado style, lots of damage in small areas.

This blog is not about the heat however. It's about beating the heat. In this case I mean floor fans and protectors.  Inspired by Lindasita's covering her fans with netting to help keep them dust free, I finally spent several hours to clean each of my floor fans with tweezers, a toothbrush, and a small paintbrush.  My fans don't open. Maybe they are supposed to but they don't anymore.  After collecting half a trash bucket of dust and cat hair, I gave up and gave the fans a little shower.  I was desperate. I let them dry and evidently did no damage to the motors.  Whew!

That same day I took the netting Lynn brought for me and decided to cover ALL the fans while they were ALL clean at one time.  I've seen the results of this practical and simple solution, and decided to just sit down and do it.  Here are some photos.  This project was a success! It may seem a little Aunt Sally's 'toaster coozie' but it was a very useful and worthwhile effort.