Thursday, December 24, 2015

Feliz Navidad

Festive Views:
Nutcracker Ballet, Merida

Nutcracker Ballet, Merida

A nice message I spotted on a walk
(my attempted translation - we are in this world to live in harmony, those who know, do not fight each other. resentment not calm, with only resentment patient love ceases to exist)

Nativity scene in the front of a house
At night I saw a few homes which had open windows or doors with lights (luces), Christmas trees (arbols), and full Nativity scenes on display.

Christmas Worship Service at Calvary Centro
I made my favorite Christmas 'galletas' -  Peanut Blossoms

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
With love and gratitude,

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Miércoles Aventura

We took a field trip yesterday. It began at La Pantera Negra B&B with an energy balancing/healing massage by a shaman, Manuel. Actually he does not refer to himself as a shaman (it's just the closest word to use), but more of a wise man with a gift of healing that he loves to share. He worked his magic on our unbalanced bodies and opened the chakras restoring some vitality, energy balance. During my massage, I saw auras for the first time! I saw some blue which Manuel said is a connection with the angels (isn't that sweet?), I also saw some yellow, gray, and white.  When he finished, my eyes and face were brighter, as well as some personal insights I received. I love this kind of stuff.

Afterwards we went to Nolo, a small village, with Manuel and our friend Mario.

George, Manuel, Andrea at tree of life, Nolo
 This is us in front of a 'tree of life' represented by a ceiba tree among Maya. It has a spiny trunk which I scraped my arm on, and Manuel said it is good luck.
These photos are on his Aunt's property, where his Uncle was a revered Shaman.

Next, we stopped at a house which has a cenote in the back. For ten pesos you can go to see, and swim in the cenote. It was cave-like with clear water.

Andrea, Mario, George, at cenote Tixkokob

On our way to a pyramid/archaeological site in Tixkokob, we turned at Hacienda Ticum and found a beautifully renovated hotel, hacienda. The first thing I noticed when we got out of the car was, the quiet! We walked around the property with an employee, Anna, who was very helpful and kind. We also had lunch at the on-site restaurant.

When we left the hacienda it was too late to enter the archaeological park, but we stopped to see where it was and discovered a sisal factory. Sisal is the material used in hammocks from the agave plant, once the 'green gold of Yucatan'.

I am grateful for these opportunities for new experiences and adventures. Yucatan has such lovely villages and beautiful architecture, and beauty in the trees, and Mayan skies.
I also love the beauty of simplicity here. It all adds to the appreciation of living in Merida, enjoying our casa, and being part of an engaging community. La vida es buena.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Poco a poco

George has finished painting the 'blanco accent' wall portions.

I planted two of our new plants in the new pretty pots.

On Thanksgiving we attended a gathering at Gary and Maria's house and met a nice couple, Hubert and Chantal from Quebec. Last week we spent a nice afternoon showing them our casa, and walking around the zoo, complete with the train ride (so much fun for one peso!), and helado.

I am now learning some verb conjugation in my Spanish lessons. It's fun when I am there, but it takes more discipline to study and practice the rest of the week.

We checked out some events on La Noche Blanca Sat. night (Dec. 12). It was a big city-wide event (like an open studios) with free admission to galleries, museums, theaters, and various performances in parks and plazas. We stopped at La Pantera Negra to see friends Isabelle and Jean-Pierre who have a gallery at their B&B. Then we caught part of an ariel/acrobat performance at the Plaza Grande, and then at the Olympia theater we saw performance art with a musician and two dancers that reminded us of something you would see at Somarts in San Francisco. Events here are often at night and we still not accustomed to staying up very late.

On a different note, we have two hammocks and plan to try sleeping in them overnight. This article provides some good motivation.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Room with Foreign Views

George here.   We finally were able to have our Turkish silk rug framed and hung in an appropriate spot in Casa Ganda.  To me, this signifies the merger of our travel past with our current international experiment.

Astonishingly enough, the colors of this catalog rug match with the pasta tiles and the recently scraped walls.  We are working with light, pastel colors and finding that it gives the whole place a nice, cheery, breezy feel.

I then placed a leather bench beneath it and took this picture looking out from our bedroom.

Pondering the photo a little bit, I suppose it can be open to much mystery.  It feels like you can just sit on the bench in contemplation or you may be attracted to wondering what is to the right or lef of the old white doors.  The rug is indeed from another far away country, resting quietly on the wall of another foreign country owned by foreigners.  For me this begs the question, "What is foreign?"

To some perhaps it means 'fear' and to others 'mystery'.  To us, this means, "This is where we've been. And this is where we are. Who knows the future but let us hope it is interesting!"

Gracias for visiting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

el tiempo vuela

Wow, November flew by without one post! Here are some updates and highlights:

Casa Ganda continues to improve little by little (poco a poco) every day in comfort, appearance, and functionality. It helps that the weather is bit cooler now, and more comfortable without using A/C.

Some of my new activities include weekly Spanish lessons, and attending an English service at Calvary Centro.

We had a doorway closed off to create a new window in the bedroom, and had a cement counter built in the bathroom which is still in progress.

We painted the casita, and new doors were installed. We just need a few finishing touches to have it ready for guests.

We had a great time hanging out with our friends Tess and Roger on their first visit to Mérida! A fun thing we did was attend a party at the English Library. Once we all got a drink, Tess suggested we each go to a different table/group of people and introduce ourselves. So Tess goes to the first full table and joins right in.

Roger, George, and I go to the next table with three people already sitting there, and the three of us join them, which I think was kind of funny. Nevertheless, we all had interesting conversations and met new people. Then it was off to Chaya Maya for dinner a second night in a row.

Thanksgiving day started (for me) with a 'gratitude yoga practice' thanks Adriene.
We made calls to our family in the states and later attended a lovely dinner at the home of of Maria and Gary, with great food and more friends.We have so much to be thankful for (even when I forget on the hard days).

After traveling for a year, we now have a cute home of our own in Mexico, in a city where we have community (so grateful!), and friends coming to visit us soon (yay!). Neither of us could have predicted we'd be here in a million years. No matter how long we decide to spend here, Mérida has been an unforeseen blessing.

We bought some new plants and pots.

And here we are in December. To be continued.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Walls have been sealed, and parts still need paint...... a cute ceramic bathroom mirror has been hung...and everything is coming along nicely. George is working hard despite the heat. It has been really hot here.

After finding all the ingredients, I baked my first loaf bread (Aunt Joyce's banana bread recipe). FYI,  350 degrees is about 176 celsius - using the metric system here.

We went to view the altars in Centro at Grand Plaza on Friday:

Happy Halloween and Día de Muertos!