oh my Merida

Merida, Yucatan, MEXICO

is seriously, a very interesting place to live. Yes it is unspeakably hot at times, yes it is unspeakably humid at times yes it is dirty and littered most of the time, yes the streets are terrible, well if you live South of 59. Yes there is serious corruption, although things are changing. Yes there are things that someone will not like.

However, there is a beauty…the archtecture, the vignettes of life, the people, the flowers and plants, the pace of life.

One amazing thing are the artistic and cultural events that the local government sponsors for the people.

We have seen art exhibits by Dali, Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, Russian Ballet, Cuban Ballet, light shows, floral displays, symphony in the park, music, dance, theatrical performances such a wide variety of cultural and educational events. And all free. Yes, free!

OK, some think it comes at the expense of other things…fixing a pothole, replacing a streetlight, etc. But what is life without art, beauty, and diversion?


While in Merida the past few weeks we took advantage of several such free cultural events.

One was a light show, http://www.filux.info/. It was amazing, the number and variety of people in attendance was astronomical, the displays went from simplistic to mind staggering.

Another was the Camino de flores. https://youtu.be/tirQ9jjGyTA One block long street next to a park was blocked, an elevated walkway was established and the street below was designed to display a variety of very beautiful and interesting floral/plant arrangements. And again, the attendance has been staggering. I love seeing the people, all types of people enjoying such events.




Today Tom and I walked about the plaza grande, or main square. It felt touristy, I usually just pass through getting from one place to another. Bittersweet, leaving a place I enjoy so much.


But I must admit I have been enjoying Richmond very much, I am sure you will see and hear more about it, especially now that it is warming up. I do hate cold weather.


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I am having a bit of an emotional day.

We have been back in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico for 16 days. It's been a fun whirlwind 16 days. We had the closing and sold our house here, have visited with many many friends, not done much touristy stuff, but have eaten out quite a bit. We also sold my car, and even looked at smaller houses that would be easier to pack up and leave for long periods of time.

I am one of those personalities that needs down time, alone time, to recharge. Tom is recharged by people, and activity. So amazingly he is really enjoying himself, and I am feeling a bit drained, strained.


We spent some time in our old neighborhood last night. Ate at the corner cocina, saw some neighbors, walked by my 'former' house. I had to run my hand along the walls and door frames. Very emotional.

Now I am thrilled with the lady that bought my house. She loves my house, and garden, and I know she is going to take care of it, love it, enjoy it, and make it her own. I also now consider her a friend. Still, it was/is emotional. I had created my sanctuary in that house and garden.

you can visit our (Sherry's and mine) house at http://www.dreamhousemerida.com

Although I have returned every few months since moving to the USofA, I feel a bit distanced this time. As if I am cutting ties. Not with the friends, but with the place. This is no longer 'home'.

I now need to create my sanctuary there. The place I run to for emotional calm.

Of course the current political system is not helping. I am very concerned about the direction and leadership of the USofA. I continue to hope for the best, but am consistently confounded, and bewildered.

We will be home Monday. I am looking forward to it. Although there are worries about the transit through TSA, Customs, Immigration etc. Gads, the stories you read about.

oh how I will miss this glorious heat.


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my Merida

Once again I am in Merida, this time Tom is along. It is always amazing to get back, I do love it here. And as in most things, there is a love/hate relationship.

We have many friends here so trying to see as many as possible in a short period of time is exhausting, but we can rest when we're old.


Oh, just for those interested, my brother is doing much better, the cancer has stopped growing, seems to be in check, again, and the every 3 week treatment regime seems to be doing the trick. Unfortunately it is a 9 hour drive each way to the treatment facility.

Our mom continues to deteriorate, and is now living with youngest brother and wife. Wife quit her job to become fulltime caregiver.

Back to Merida, my oh my how quickly things are changing here now. Things change, and they stay the same.

The questions about trump never stop. Friends and acquaintances who used to travel to the USofA for shopping, vacation, professional conventions etc will not return after many recent experiences where they were treated poorly and felt fear and intimidation by immigration and customs officers. It is a sad era when good people refuse to enter, visit, enjoy, travel, and spend money in your country.

In fact some people are going to rather extreme lengths, and expense to keep from even traveling where there is just a stopover in the USofA.

2018 is Mexico's next General Election. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka amlo, is thought to have a very strong lead as the next pres. He is about as anti usa as trump is anti everyone else, well except russia it seems.

amlo's anti-america stance has been a huge reason for his previous defeat. usa and mexico are/were allies. check out this search link for many stories on the upcoming election prognostications – https://www.google.com.mx/search?q=mexican+presidential+election+2018&rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS711US711&oq=mexican+presedential+election&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.16517j0j7&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

Well anyway, back to our current time in Merida. We have a few appointments to look at houses. I am thinking a smaller house, with less garden and maintenance will make traveling much easier. As much as I love my house and garden, and you know I do, it is a big commitment.

But now I am thinking we should wait till after the election. I mean if amlo does win, and if trump has done even more damage to this fragile relationship, what will become of all the expats living here? Their homes? Their investments? Will we be treated as badly as we are treating immigrants in our country?

Back to lighter subjects, we have been going to lots of favorite restaurants, a few events, and sitting and visiting with as many friends as we can. And one lovely side effect of eating out so much is we frequently run into people we know.

Yesterday we stopped in at the graphic bakery for some fresh loaves, and a visit with baker/graphic artist/printmaker Manolo Taure, and ran in to galería la escalera owners, Gerardo and Janet, lovely surprise. and that is Merida, a lovely surprise around each corner.

well time is running out, as I have running out to do, so more later.

besitos a todos!


Posted in Everyday Stuff | 14 Comments

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

Posted in Everyday Stuff | 1 Comment

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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