my left toe

My trip to Merida was fabulous, and heart wrenching, and heart warming, and heart breaking, and as you can guess – it was an emotional roller coaster.

My return was a bit different. I tend to pack light, however, this time I had a few bulky gift purchase requests, plus I was gifted an amazing, and huge, oaxacan bedspread, and Tom was gifted 4 bottles of wine. As you can imagine my suitcase, which should have left me handsfree was bulging, and overweight.

So Wednesday afternoon I decided to head to the mercado and purchase a sabucan to hand carry the big bedspread, and a collapsible roller bag that will be great for future trips but had been left behind when we moved. This was about 4:30 in the afternoon, the mercado at Santiago was closed up, I tried Centro Historico, but none there, so continued on to Galvez.

I was successful, and got an adorable plastic, and stylish strawberry shortcake bag with a zipper top for 35mxp. Please let it hold up through three airplane transfers, and two security checks.

Somewhere along the way I also bunged up my left big toe. Right in the outside corner. It broke the nail, into the meat. Ouch!

So Thursday am, I jam that sucker into my shoes, not sandals, but shoes. The sandals stay behind, shoes are for ice cold planes and returning to frigid VA.

Long story short, it was a miserable day, three plane/airport changes, bunged up toe, large sabucan that needs to go in and out of the overhead. Personal bag with my purse and electronics, as well as a few breakables I am bringing home. Travelling just the way I hate, burdened with bags.

So upon arrival at home in Virginia I pull out a tub and the epsom salts and soak that poor bunged up toe which is now infected, guess I didn't clean it well enough the night before. Tom got the magnifying glass and tweezers and pulled out another chunk of broken nail and trimmed loose skin. Peroxide wash and antibiotic cream and I thought ok, this will be cleared up in no time. WRONG!

Yesterday was 1 week post travel day. Daily, and sometimes twice daily hot saltsoaks, lots of antibiotic cream, and no shoes! I wore runners the day we did a bus and walking tour. Ouch! mostly I was in sandals, my feet were always cold.

Two days ago, after a soak I went to work on it, cleared out more dead skin and found a little sliver of something… this is not easy for a girl with a pot belly to do.

Anyway, today, hallelujah, ojala, only the tiniest of discomfort. Unfortunately I must wait one more day before I resume my walks with the dogs.

so rather than gruesome infected toe shots, now that you've read the gore, I will share a few photos from dog walks before I left on my trip.

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Tom and I did a bus and walking tour in Richmond yesterday.

We are interested in the history of Richmond.

One part of the tour included a short tour of the Capital building.

Fascinating, we had an interesting guide, with lots of interesting tidbits of info.

The favored part for me was learning about the fasces. In the Capital rotunda is a statue of George Washington. The guide gave us lots of info on the symbolism of the statue.

The statue depicts Washington transitioning from General, President, and Statesman to, well, just a regular guy.

Washington is show in incomplete military uniform, sword sheated, using a walking stick, there is a plowblade behind him to symbolize his return to farming. My favorite bit is he is leaning on a bundle of 13 rods, known as fasces. Fasce date back to the Etruscans. The use of 13 in this presentation represents the original colonies, and the fasce themself represent strength in unity. Where one rod is strong, thirteen are stronger. I really like this, and it resonates with me right now.

The fasce are repeated all around the Capital, the most obvious being the fence surrounding the grounds.

It was a pretty good tour, with insights in to several bits of Richmond.

The Capital Guide was great, with lots of information and history.


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Painting with Greenwood

I've been back in Merida now since 12 November. One of the things I do extremely well is procrastinate. And one of the things I kept telling myself was I had plenty of time to take a painting class, or several, with Greenwood. Well turns out I didn't.

So this trip I took a class, if you hurry he has an amazing November special promoción.

Anyway, my friend Patti and I managed to get ourselves sufficiently together enough to be at Greenwoods studio this morning at 9am. I think we were there by 9, and if not we were darn close. (in el barrio de Santiago, Merida, Centro, Yucatan: calle 70 #464 x 55 y 55a)

Greenwood started us out with coffee, then exploring our ideas. He guided us, and we made preliminary sketches, and color choices. Then we practiced techniques, then we got busy.

This was my idea inspiration – this is a foto of a candelabra at Patti's house.

Here are my concept and practice pieces –

and of course, I do not have a proper finished piece foto,
here's Patti being guided through the process –
and here she is hard at work –

I was great fun, and I would definitely recommend it. Even those of you who like me feel you have no talent. Under Greenwood's guidance you will find your voice.

Maya the wonder kitty

Thank you Greenwood, I really enjoyed it.

oh, and then after you can get a great lunch with Lili and Canela, Maiz, y Cilantro. same address as above, awesome fresh homecooked food, always a vegetarian option, and super yummy! their facebook page is Maíz, canela y cilantro

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Blue Apron

A friend was telling me about her subscription to Blue Apron, now if you've ever been to Puerto Vallarta MX you know that the Blue Chairs is a gay friendly area of the beach. But this is not the same at all.

Blue Apron is a home delivery subscription food service. Of course now I know about one, I am seeing them all over.

My friend sent me an invite for a free trial. I signed up.

What you get is a delivery of the portioned needs to create 3 meals for 2 persons. Yes, it is a little more than if you gathered the stuff yourself, but you don't have to buy bulk and pay more and have so much extra, what you are sent you use. That's the part I like the best, plus it takes the decision part away. I don't mind cooking, I just hate trying to figure out what to make.


My first delivery arrived yesterday –

it comes in a quilted cold wrap, and with freezer bags. The ingredients are all proportioned, and labeled, and with detailed recipe and instruction cards.
And although I am pescatarian, they do offer vegetarian options, I did not check for vegan options.
this is the haul for 3 meals for two, It ends up being just about 9usd per person, per meal.
I was quite excited to give it a shot, especially since I will be gone 2 weeks in November and Tom will be home alone. Tom is a follow the recipe kind of cook so this will be perfect for him, cook 2 portions and hopefull eat only one and save the other for later.
So I decided to give it a shot –
And decided to try a recipe the day it arrived. Tom and I worked the prep; cutting, peeling, etc, together. I did the cooking, Tom made the salad, and we both worked assembly.
Here are the ingredients for the Avocado Tempura Tortas.
They really were fairly easy to prep and prepare –
just some peeling, slicing, and chopping. I used one pan for each step so cleanup was easy. Some of you may have concerns over the trash, however, rest assured, just about everything is recyclable/reusable. You can recycle it yourself depending on you communities abilities. Or gather several weeks of deliveries and they will issue you a return lable.
Here are our finished tortas and cabbage carrot slaw.
Like I said, they were very good, fairly easy to make, and best of all, only a little salad was left over.
I think I will subscribe, Tom says, it was good, so go for it, guess that says it all.


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Henry ‘Box’ Brown

One of the things I want to do now that we have the house in a comfy livable state is to start exploring Richmond, and the region.  There is so much History here.

Today we took advantage of an historical Original Richmond Walking Tour. It is one of many tours arranged through The Valentine Museum.  It was a very good tour, about an hour and 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of questions.  We took about the full 1 1/2 hrs, it was just Tom and me, and Liz the Guide.


We saw and learned many things, but one I had heard about and was particularly interested in was how Henry Brown, a slave of Richmond, in 1849 gained his freedom.

You can read about Henry here – and when you do come back and look at these pictures –

The first one is for size, that is Tom, and Liz.  The second shows the box interior into which they have inscribed an outline of the position in which Henry would have travelled, 26 hours! And the last is the plaque at the site.

The story is fascinating, and horrifying, and a testament to our desire for freedom.


There were many other enjoyable parts of the tour, and we enjoyed it immensely.

And then of course there was lunch afterwards.

Some scenes from our walk.


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midlo – powder room

small steps, all things can be accomplished with small steps. And just a few days ago we finished the changes to the Midlothian house powder room, aka 1/2 bath. I like Powder Room.

This is how we bought it – unbeknownst to us with not one, but two water leaks, every little project also comes with a surprise.

I love the green of the walls, unfortunately the sink and commode did not have the same color palette and I really hated them together, and look at that floor, eeeschk.

So as Tom was replacing the window, he found water damage because the trim around the outside of the windows had not been properly sealed. So with much extra extra work the window was replaced. And the window is now properly protected from rain.

Then when we went to remove the floor tiles they just lifted right up due to a leak around the toilet bowl. So more repair work, although the ease with which the tiles came up was nice.

We found this great commode at the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store, 35$. And I found the sink, pedestal stand, and faucet on fb, for 20$. gotta love these second hand bargains.

When we went to look for floooring we found these great black marbeled look tiles at .59cents a square, just at 30$ for the flooring, and they were exactly what I wanted for the space.

So just about 100$ for the facelift – I am quite pleased. (that price does not include the window)

And now, come to find out the original sink and toilet are worth about 500$. They are mid century modern style, and Kohler Spruce Green; apparently very sought after. Come and get'em, super cheap!

One more little project completed.


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the mouse house

Friends of ours had a small wooden deck on the back of their house. The back of the house, is sort of like their front door as it is where they mostly come and go since that is where their parking is located.

They didn't like that little wooden deck, too small, uneven steps, and old and ugly.

They had the deck removed and a beautiful brick landing and patio installed. Unfortunately, well maybe not, a small section of siding is now missing as a result. They had it filled in with a piece of wood, and painted to match the siding. Still, I thought it needed more.

you'll have to expand the photo to see the piece of inset wood
So while they've been away this past week I painted a little faerie/mouse house in the missing siding spot.

They get home today, what do you think? Will they like it?

final step was a few coats of varnish to seal the paint



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