Friday, September 7, 2012

I'm easily amused

So our amazing mule, George, picked up some items I sent him in SD, brought them to Mexico, shipped them from FedEx and they're coming here.  I had our mail service send them on August 30th, he picked them up on Sept 4th and flew here.  I've been obsessively checking the status and all day it has shown that it was at FedEx in Toluca.  George was sure the package would get here by Monday but watching no movement since 11:19 this morning I had grave doubts, assuming it would be a long trip by truck.  HOWEVER, it appears FedEx operates by plane here!  I think I've been in-country too long as I (naturally?) assumed everything travels by truck.  However, it is nice to see that even FedEx adheres to the normal 2 pm to 4 pm siesta as evidenced by tonight's status:

Sep 7, 2012 5:07 PM En la estación de FedEx local CANCUN, MX
Sep 7, 2012 4:07 PM Excepción de entrega CANCUN MX Negocio cerrado - no se intentó
Sep 7, 2012 1:19 PM En estación de clasificación de destino CANCUN MX
Sep 7, 2012 11:19 AM El paquete llegó a las instalaciones de FedEx TOLUCA MX
Sep 7, 2012 11:19 AM Salió de la estación de FedEx TOLUCA MX
Sep 7, 2012 2:55 AM Salió de la estación de FedEx TOLUCA MX
Sep 6, 2012 9:49 PM El paquete llegó a las instalaciones de FedEx SAN LUIS POTOSI MX

Getting packages/mail here is like Christmas time.  We NEVER get mail - mail just doesn't work in this country - so we don't try.  When I import with Merkalink or get a mule to bring stuff down it is such an incredible treat.  So thanks to George and Ebay, I have a present for Ellen and some new running shoes for myself.  Oh, and maybe the mail also.  Not sure.  I've also been tracking 2 packages I Merkalinked in.  One took forever because I had to "convince" them to bring in used clothing and while I got the stuff off Ebay eons ago, it only arrived at Merkalink August 20th.  We spent about a week hashing out details of used clothing and then made the bank deposit (payment for services) and on 8/27 they finally began the import process.  I swear that package took longer to go through import than any package we've imported before.  Course, so did the other (new stuff) so maybe they got a slow guy that day.  IIRC, it took 3-4 days to go through importation but we finally have movement.  Estafeta shows that while it left Laredo, TX on 4 September, it took 3 days to get to San Luis Potosi from there and today hit SLP.  Pretty sure Estafeta does not fly.  Not sure when to expect it, but this is Sissy's birthday present, so of course it is late.  I have hopes to see the packages by the end of next week.  That would only be a month since they got to the importer.  And that is the FAST option here!  See why we prefer mules? 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Summer update

We're pretty much pure evil.  Sissy was NOT looking forward to her 2nd day of school but she was a real trouper, trying to find her way.  I've been working on her all summer trying to wrap her brain around going to school and finally she agreed to go.  She wasn't looking forward to it.  She was very worried about the lack of language and what would be expected of her.  She was also worried about being behind in math.  She was looking forward to the uniform though which totally surprised me.  She went along with my suggestion and pretty much went with the faith that eventually she would look back and recognize it was a good decision and would be glad (in the long run and, TBH, I wasn't sure HOW long of a run that would be) she did it.  I really expected it would be maybe early next year before she would be "okay" with going to school.  Go figure, but it has been 2 weeks and 1 fight (mine) wiht the art teacher and she seems very happy there.  She has made a couple of friends and has one who writes her homework down for her and one boy who is always looking out for her, making sure she has the right books, etc.  She is working in groups with other kids and being exposed to lots of new ideas and situations.  It is a huge change for her and were we not so isolated here with absolutely no kids other than siblings to interact with, she'd still be at home.  But so far it has been a positive change, even in her opinion.  She is taking a huge variety of classes; Geography, Biology, History, English, Spanish, Mathematics, Dance, Art History (and practice), Computer, Physical Education and I might have missed one or two in there.  For now she is doing the Art History homework in English but everything else in Spanish.

Ellen has returned for a 2nd year at Ak Lu'um.  It is a strict Waldorf school from the veggies produced at school for their organic lunches to handwork as math.  She loves it there and it really touches her soul.  Unfortunately the school only goes up to secundaria so these will be here last 2 years there before she joins Sissy at Papalote.  Both girls took sailing lessons over the summer and had a great time and continue with horse riding.  I am hoping to convince them to continue with sailing or start swimming at a brand new pool in town (with transportation directly to/from school).  We'll see.  Pike spent the summer babysitting two boys from the US and I'm hoping to get him back on track academically in the next week but that has been an uphill battle recently.  He also refuses to do any interaction in town and is very isolated here at home.  I'm quite worried about him but outside forcing him, he's just more interested in staying in his cave playing Xbox all day.  Jesse has decided he really wants to experience another year of music school so instead of heading back to the US for college he's staying here with us (can't complain about that) for another year at El Playarte.  I've made our financial support (he is legally an adult) conditional on him taking online college classes, but like his brother, he is much more interested in Xbox than anything academic and I'm quite worried about both of them.

The dog has recently broken his hip (falling onto the tile from the 2nd floor) and now that he isn't in constant pain we're constantly battling with him to STAY and not walk anywhere.  This has proven to be quite a challenge.  Luckily we only have 4 more weeks of this.  I have a triathlon end September in Cozumel and another end November in Cozumel and I'm alternately freaked out I'm terribly under-trained and hoping for a good time.  I also found an interesting 10K in Tulum I'd like to do, mostly because of the great rates we'd get if we stayed at the host hotel.  Course with it being only a week before the triathlon, the $ outlay is concerning, but it is quite tempting.  Jamie and Jesse completely replaced our kitchen sink recently and only needed 1 day of abanil work for it to fit and then a couple days of fixing leaks but we now have a super deep sink and one without a failing bottom.  So, life keeps going on and so do we.  Not sure where we'll end up but we're doing fine so far on the Caribbean.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

summer fun

The project for this summer was to get Sissy out in the world, get employment for the boys and get Pike out in the world, interacting.  Since Jesse and Ellen are both in school and they're not the hermits their siblings are, they were left alone.  So for MONTHS I'd been promoting the idea of sailing (no takers) and windsurfing (no takers).  FINALLY the boys realized that windsurfing was not the same as parasailing (head-brick wall) and professed interest, but alas, it was too late.  The girls ended up going to the sailing class with first 2 of their horse-riding friends and yesterday, 3 of their friends.  Yesterday I decided to scope out a way to see the class (as Jamie had simply left the kids at the dock where they were taken by panga to a more remote area) and perhaps combine my swim workouts there if the area ended up being constructive to swimming.  (in the picture, sissy and ellen are in the boat on the right)

Yesterday, Jamie got the kids formally enrolled in the class (they just showed up for the first one and the instructor let them participate) and work was quite light so I headed off with him.  I really should have brought my swim suit because I'm still fantasizing about how great the swim there looks to be.  I really should not complain about my options here as I have a 150m bay outbound and 150m inbound route I can take or a 12ish m pool (all measured with Google Earth) but I hate the barracuda that follows me around incessantly and yesterday while watching the kids class we all saw a turtle and I'd much prefer tortuga to barracuda.  So there's that.  It also looks like there is windsurfing instruction going on during the sailing class (instead of 10am, which is not attractive to Jesse due to time, kinda like Middle of the Night to him) so he might be on board with that.  It is a little bit concerning to me that Jamie and I are both more athletic than our children, and especially our teenage sons.  Something in my mind has a big problem with that as well as concerns for their cardiovascular systems.

We have dubbed this month the Month Of Birthday and have been celebrating Jamie's 50th all month.  It started basically because I'm senile.  Jesse came to me one day in June and asked if Jamie's birthday was coming up and I mumbled "yes" while paying attention to something else, but honestly, I can't blame it on that as we had MULTIPLE discussions about what we were going to do and get, etc. and it wasn't until the actual NON-BIRTHDAY that Jamie let us in on the fact that we were a month early.  So I figured we'd just turn it into a month of birthday (as he turns 50 this year) to celebrate this milestone.  We have had root-beer floats after hard bike rides, a week of "Dad does no dishes" and other stuff.  I think by the time his birthday rolls around he's going to be a little bit too used to the glory and glamor so we'll have to figure out something there.

I think I have Sissy convinced to go to school in the fall.  She knows some of the kids in her proposed class (1st of secundaria) and will have Jim, the teacher Jesse liked so much, for English and History.  she is doing well with homeschooling and she really enjoys it but she interacts with No Children and she needs interaction.  I'm not convinced that SCHOOL is the answer but she is so timid and afraid to try anything new I think she really needs a nudge to start trying new stuff.  I'm worried she will continue to self-limit due to not being completely comfortable and hope having friends already attending there will help her along.  Ellen LOVES her school and just yesterday said she missed it already.  It really speaks to her soul and they are die hard Waldorf there.

I need to see if I can find backups for the old hopalog and see if I can restore it but for now I hope to start updating here.  Pictures to come.

Monday, February 20, 2012

the weekend in pictures

Sunday means I take the dog for a walk.

then a stop at the cenote.

And Monday means the maid came and we played Settlers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

hot water

We have 2 tanks to heat water. We have hot water in the recamera (back) shower, the kitchen sink, the front bathroom sink and front bathroom. Both bathrooms run off their own 7L tank. When the tank runs out, it is cold shower time until the tank has been refilled (couple day process). We keep thinking about a large-capacity nonportable tank but have never really gotten around to it. Maybe someday.

When I was working with Sissy on her schoolwork yesterday it really hit me that I am really going to miss that next year and maybe I shouldn't be encouraging school. I know she really misses having a friend and interaction with other kids but man, I'm going to miss doing grammar and literature, etc. with her, and I know her English education at school will definitely be lacking.

I really need to get Pike back on track for the PSAT. He visited Ellen's school the other day and said it was a school he would have loved to have gone to. Sissy hated it and Jesse calls it the "hippy school." Guess Pike and Ellen are a lot more alike than just looks. The two look like twins in their baby pictures.

We're all battling some form of gripe and I didn't even run, bike or swim yesterday. I hardly worked. I did, however, totally clean up the front upstairs and now we just need to go through books and toys of the girls. I'd like to make that a screen room of some type up there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

the best part of waking up...

I got really tired of paying for Hopalog and decided to pop over to Blogger for a while. I'll have to add up my costs for and see what I'm paying on a yearly basis to decide whether I want to go back or not.Link

I really, Really, REALLY fell off the blogging bandwagon. It just doesn't seem like there is enough time in the day, but since I started this whole thing as a chronicle for the kids, it also doesn't seem right to just stop. But then again, it is just mundane stuff, even though it is in a different country, it is just the same with more or less red tape/hassle than the US, depending on what you're doing. So it is difficult to figure out what to post. But I know the grandparents would appreciate it.

One of the last things i think about at night is a cup of coffee in the morning. I have no idea why. I guess maybe I'm seriously addicted, but I really do just like the taste of a cup of black joe. So I sang him the little jingle. Jesse is off to school this morning but the other 3 are in bed. Ellen is still sick enough to stay home (and she loves school, so that's saying a lot) and the maid comes today! So 2 things to look forward to, maid and coffee. That's pretty much enough for me. We got a norte come in the last couple days and it was cold enough that Jamie magnanimously decided we could do without AC last night. That's HUGE for him and it was lovely for me. I hate that damn AC but do enjoy the work it does sometimes.

OMG the MAID is here! The maid is here! the maid is here. I honestly think, with a husband who is in charge of the palapa but doesn't think cleaning is part of his job description, she has saved the marriage. Well, close.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 2008

Lazing about with nothing to show for it but this lousy post

You are SO lucky! I have been surfing the internet All Day Long but have been rendered impotent from posting anything until this moment. However, benevolent being that I am, concerned for your lack of (albeit boring) reading material, once un-imprisoned, I RUSH to update this forgotten wasteland. Thank you, thank you (catches the well aimed roses).

We had a MARVELOUS time on Cozumel, dahhhhlings. We loved the B&B; it wasn’t 5 star and anyone used to resort areas would probably not be happy with the lack of wireless, cat fight in the pre-dawn hours that sounded like it was coming from our patio, the drain on hot water when six bodies shower at once and the lack of blankets (I am still wondering about that one; maybe to keep the A/C use down?) but to us it was heaven. We had a fridge that was Read the rest of this entry »We had a fridge that was cleaner and worked better than our palapa fridge, a hot plate, cooking and eating stuff, blender and CAWFEE machine (and FILTERS!!!). It really doesn’t take much to impress us, but we really loved it there. Two wonderful king sized beds, a cute bathroom, AMAZING hardwood (which gave us ideas for our lower kitchen cabinets) and just such a cute layout. We had a fresh fish “restaurant” (someone’s home) next door with wonderfully fresh fish (we picked our meal).  Ok, I’ll stop gushing about the accommodations and instead gush about Carnaval.

I was so happy with our choice of Cozumel to introduce the kids to Carnaval. It was a wonderful family party with lights and color and dance and music and kids and babies and magic. Channel 10 from Cancun ran a float/bus with a live camera and feed; channel 35 from somewhere else did the same. There were parades each night and we mistakenly assumed that Fat Tuesday would be the comfy crowd we encountered the other nights but we were quite wrong; all of Quintana Roo must have shown up along the malecon but it was still a lovely celebration. Necklaces were thrown from the crowd, to the crowd, scrambled for by the kids and handed to bystanders by adults. As I headed crowd downstream, holding tight to Sissy’s hand on Tuesday night, a parade participant took one from his neck and placed it over my head.

We spent the days at the East beaches and never went snorkeling; the water and air was just too cold. I finally broke out my shorts for a few hours the day we left but honestly, it was just too cold for our thin blood, though the kids really enjoyed the beach (as evidenced by the photos). We’re seriously thinking about taking Aunty Chris over when they visit. Water should be much warmer then. We really didn’t see the touristy parts until the night we left and without Carnaval, saw the downtown and malecon the way the cruisers must see it and honestly, it looked like a different world.

It seems that a stomach virus is rolling through PaaMul as our Canadian neighbors are sick, Ellen fell ill today, and I am dreading the roll of illness through our family. We spent much of December sick (those airplanes wreaked havoc with our immune systems) and until Ellen fell ill I’d forgotten about illness. So it would appear that January was sick-free. Ellen is not a happy camper when sick and I generally lie about in bed with her, one arm trapped under her feverish body. She has now progressed to the point that I can turn on lights and take short breaks and she will now watch DVDs. You know your kid is sick when they won’t even watch DVDs/TV.

We still haven’t decided much about the kitchen. I had a contratista (contractor) come over and give us a quote for the cabinets; he suggested a concrete base (over the lovely tile) so that the wood would not come in contact with the floor (and water). He assured us that his (extra fee, natch) termite treatment would allow the (cheaper) pine to last a whole FOUR years. His quote was around $26K. Our local carpintero, who was able to put in our upper cabinets now must work under the control of the restaurant owner which increased his presupuesto another $5K to $14K. He estimates 10 years for untreated pine and since he isn’t nearly as slick as the first guy, I tend to believe him more.

I had our contratista for the work we had done on the palapa come out and give us prices for the rebase (concrete footing) for the gabinetes (kitchen cabinets), tiling the bathroom and tiling the roof of the recamera/bath. We’re still waiting for one more carpintero who comes amazingly recommended, I’d love to see some of his work but since we’d most likely be working with pine, I wonder if his talents might be wasted on our lowly job. At any rate, we’re on Mexican time. And after seeing the lovely doors and cabinet doors at Tamarindo, I’m rethinking the whole cabinet design. We do, however, have a door for the bathroom and the boys will no longer be forced to barricade the door with the towel rack. Jorge is coming tomorrow to install it and I’m sure the boys will be in heaven.

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jonna // Feb 2, 2008 at 2:08 pm
    OK, I gotta ask. Why make cabinets from pine? You know the termites are going to eat them it is just a matter of how long it will take. If you make the cabinets - walls and shelves - of concrete and only the doors from wood it would last a whole lot longer and probably be cheaper too.
  • 2 Joan // Feb 2, 2008 at 2:42 pm
    I think I’ve clicked on your web page 10 times today, just to look at that beautiful sunset, sigh. If only these clouds, rain and snow would disappear.
  • 3 jody // Feb 4, 2008 at 11:40 am
    Cozumel sounds heavenly. Would you stay at Tamarindo again? We usually stay at Playa Azul because of the beach, but Bill might like to try something different this next time.

Much ado about little buggers

A quickie update while I still have my brain. We’ve been keeping VERY busy ridding the trailer of pests. We have moved out for sleeping, into the recamera and have been cleaning every square inch, emptying the entire contents and bombing. Interspersed with looking high and low for boric acid and/or diatomaceous earth, we’ve been pretty busy. The good news is that the roaches are now dead when we find them.  The bad news is that our use of poison may have significantly altered our brain functions.

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dr Paul // Feb 8, 2008 at 12:16 pm
    “may have significantly altered our brain functions.”
    No, living in our family for so long, that train left a long time ago :o)
    love, dad
    PS> And I’m not sure it was a bad thing….
  • 2 jody // Feb 8, 2008 at 1:29 pm
    Glad they are history. Hate, hate, hate those little monsters. Blek.
    Mia cut her hair today. Gah! I have never had a child do that before. Must be a girl thing? She actually did a pretty good job….a little layering around the face, but kept the length in the back…I cried, Bill laughed.
  • 3 Natalie // Feb 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm
    Milo our cat had a nice bath after rolling around in the posion under your trailer. And is trying to lick himself dry??? Im wondering if he’ll get dumber than he already is. LOL

Cans of fire

I think I might have to experiment with posting every other day or something more frequently, because once you stop for a while it is SO HARD to start again. I’m overwhelmed with minutiae and boredom at the same time.  We emptied the trailer of each and every object possible. We pounded it with poison for a good week and when we stopped finding dead roaches we let it breathe. We’ve been airing it out for a good couple days and are waiting for our good neighbors, Deb and Ian, to bring us diatomaceous earth before we put everything back inside. Which means we are living in the land of clutter. I used almost all the storage/vacuum bags and even borrowed a couple plastic bins (after filling all of ours) which are stacked all over the palapa - both upstairs and down. The good news is that the trailer is really lightweight now. We have all been sleeping in the recamera of the palapa and it is incredibly sweet to either watch the morning sun steal over the jungle or watch the wooden beams and guano of the palapa turn golden in the morning light, depending on which window you choose.

I’ve begun removing tiles from our kitchen floor in preparation for cabinetry. We decided to go with concrete cabinets and wood doors. Of course, we still don’t have an abanil on site, but I’m pretty confident it will happen some time this week. Or next. Still waiting on the absent carpintero to install the bathroom door. Promised at least two weeks ago? Almost all our tile is expensive talavera (handmade) and it would kill me to cover it with concrete so I’m taking each tile up (so far, 2 damaged beyond repair, 1 usable and 6 without damage) and we’ll probably use them to re-tile the bottom of the cabinets.

Some flu-like illness has made its way to the Yucatan and at least one kid has been sick the entire month of February. I personally, was down at least 3 days with two days of up and down on either side of the three. Jesse has been dying to ride the waves in Tulum but we haven’t had a full day of non-sick kids to do it. Jamie and I have been dying to get to Merida and house shop, but again, no non-sick kids. I did, however, take out a goodly amount of concrete and block (and repair it afterwards) to make the trailer exit from the palapa quite a bit easier.

We’re looking very forward to my sister’s visit in March and figuring all the places we want to visit. We will start with Cozumel, hit Ek Balam, Coba (maybe), Akumal, Punta Allen and Valladolid and these kids better start getting better or they’ll be left at home.

Each night that we stay out too late shopping in town, we pass the cans of fire along the highway. The police are very vigilant about the speed limit just south of town (80kph), which is quite the anomaly in Mexico, and use cans of fire to alert the nighttime driver of their presence and their radar guns. Never ceases to amuse us.

There was SO much more in my head to post but this should clear the stoppage and I promise to post more frequently.

It’s a good thing we live in Mexican time

Some time ago (don’t remember, but more than a week, could be two) I ordered a part from the brand new Ford dealership in town. I put 1/2 down (140 pesos) for a new car door lock. They expected it in 10 days and were going to call me when it got in. I went back a little while ago and the person in control was at lunch. Again, they’ll call. I think we’ll go back today and see if it is gathering dust somewhere.

The day that the brand spanking new City Club opened, I got a free eye exam and ordered two boxes of contacts. That was probably the first week of January. I put 1/2 down (250 pesos) and was to have been called when they arrived. We go to City Club at least once a week, so I recently stopped in (it had been over a month since I ordered) and checked on the status; they still hadn’t arrived and the optician was alarmed it had been so long. Eh, we’re in Mexico, right? She was going to get right on it and call me Monday (that was a week ago the day before yesterday). I think we’ll stop by soon and see how it’s going.

My dentist created a new tooth for me from composite and ordered a post to begin the crown work. This was at least a couple weeks ago. I really expected him to contact me by now but maybe he just got sick. I’ve also been meaning to email him but just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe today.
Our Costco membership expires on Friday and according to the last person we spoke to (Costco Cancun) we could only receive our 2% rebate on the exact day of expiration. Not such a huge deal and I’m sure it can be circumvented (if, in fact, it is correct) but we’ll head there today to get tires for the van and see what we can do about the membership. We don’t use it much down here anymore
(with all the stores in Playa) but we do in the US.

We are waiting for a quote from one contratista for our cement cabinets in the kitchen. Don Manuel (who did our recamera and other cement work last year) came by yesterday, but since he didn’t show up on Monday, I had started the job of tile removal and didn’t want to turn it over to him. He also gave us a kind of high quote so I’ll let him think about it before I negotiate with him. We’ll probably get going on Thursday (unless he continues to show up a couple days after he’s supposed to) or next Monday. Of course, if the guy I think will come in really high comes in at a reasonable rate, we might have him do it. I know Manuel is hungrier though and the other guy has lots of work lined up, so I’m leaning towards Manuel anyway. Jamie wondered yesterday if we couldn’t do the work ourselves (considering all the concrete work I’ve been doing anyway).

Around the first week of January I ordered some medical transcription materials. The company had some trouble communicating the invoice to the importer (Merkalink) and after much negotiation and emails and calls, the package was cleared yesterday. It is in San Luis Potosi as I type and you can follow the journey here.
And that is Mexico on Mexican time.

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dr Paul // Feb 20, 2008 at 5:15 pm
    We first ran into Mexican Time in San Felipe, while we waited for the Christmas Parade to begin. The publicized time of 5.30p passed and no one, except us, had a concern. The folks in the crowd chatted, the kids played, the vendors vended, etc. By 7.30p and no parade we had pretty much got into it. What difference did it make if the parade started at 5.30 or 7.30 - enjoy today as it comes to you. Kathleen’s email signature pretty much says it well:
    Look to this day!
    For it is life, the very life of life.
    In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence;
    The bliss of growth,
    The glory of action,
    The splendor of achievement.
    For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision.
    But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
    And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
    Look well, therefore, to this day.
    * ~ Sanskrit Proverb *
    love, papa
  • 2 jody // Feb 21, 2008 at 7:36 am
    It used to take me about 24 hours to adjust to Mexico time, but now when we go (which the last time has been way, way too long)I get into it on the plane after my first drink.
    I love your moon pics….it was overcast and foggy here, so we missed the eclipse. We’ll catch it in 2010!
  • 3 michelle // Feb 21, 2008 at 10:56 pm
    AMAZING photos. we grabbed a quick glance at it as we ran outside to look, but then ran right back in as it was -8 outside. it was still a beauty!
  • 4 Kerry // Feb 27, 2008 at 8:44 am
    OHHH!!! Your eclipse photos are great Kathy!!! My girl did a science fair project on the moon and when we get back from the fair this evening I’ll have to show her. Just gorgeous!
    You can see her project on my blog btw - click on the pics and you can blow them up to read it.
  • 5 Christina // Feb 28, 2008 at 12:01 am
    Loved the eclipse pics too. How did you do it? Love to all, C
  • 6 jody // Mar 5, 2008 at 11:19 am
    I was listening to some Buffett this morning and was reminded of your post about Mexico time.
    OOhhhh Mexico, baby!!!!
    Way down here
    You need a reason to move
    Feel a fool
    Running your stateside games
    Lose your load
    Leave your mind behind
    Baby, james
    Oooh, mexico
    It sounds so simple
    I just got to go
    The sun’s so hot
    I forgot to go home
    I guess i’ll have to go now
    Americanos’ got the sleepy eyes
    But his body’s still shakin’ like a live wire
    Senorita with her eyes on fire
    Don’t you know
    Ohh Mexico
    It sounds so sweet
    With the sun sinking low
    The moons so bright
    Likes to light up the night
    Make everything alright.

Norte numero 32

It is absolutely FREEZING here today and yesterday. We’re starting to scrounge for socks and shoes but Jamie cavorts around in shorts and short sleeved shirts while the rest of us are robbing the birds for their feathers and stuffing the down into our sweatshirts for extra warmth.

We headed to Tulum last Sunday and decided we would do this (or some type of trip) every Sunday now. We had such a good time and forgot how simple and beautiful it is to get out of the “drudge” of living in a palapa on the Caribbean. Seriously, though, we are generally working on palapa stuff or killing cockroaches (thanks to Deb and Ian, we are now armed with both Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth) or reading to the kids or washing the 37th load of dishes or the 179th load of laundry and before we know it the day is gone. We haven’t even been exercising for the past week; no Yoga and no walks as we’ve been directing the abaniles in our concrete kitchen cabinet job. Jesse has been jonsing for a Tulum trip, the only beach the boys have been able to boogieboard, and every Sunday something conspired to delay the trip another week.

So it was wonderful to finally hit the road and head south and see all the changes the past couple months have brought to the carretera and surrounding area. I have had an itch to explore the Sian K’an for longer than Jesse has been jonsing for Tulum and as we somehow managed to get an early start, I decided we’d kill some burning sun time by exploring the Biosphere. The kids were too antsy to explore but agreed to come back the next week so I can get my Sian K’an fix so we headed back to Tulum and had an amazingly enjoyable day; so much so that we decided to make it a weekly event.
After getting a couple bids on the kitchen cabinet project, I decided to give Manuel the opportunity as he seems to have less of it than the resident contractor, David. Unfortunately, Manuel never showed and David met his price, so we had David start the cabinet job and are so happy we did. They did a wonderful job and we couldn’t be happier both with the job, the time they took and the ability to now put stuff away instead of dumping it into Rubbermaid tubs.

Since that job seemed to go so swimmingly, we decided to finish the top of the recamera and put a proper finish to the floor. We purchased some tile during our last trip to Home Depot and figured out a design. Yesterday, Daniel (the cement worker) laid all the tile and today he began the floor finish work. I had headed to Comex (the paint store) to get the opinion of the professionals as to what (if any) color to add to the cement, what color of cement (grey or white) to use and whether or not the polvo (calica) would add a color element. Thus armed, I headed back with materials and after Daniel finished tiling today he began the mixture of color, cement (blanco, natch) and polvo to make the floor finish.

I had previously arranged to take some kids to an Art Class given by the Casa de Cultura, so I left Jamie in charge and headed out. I returned to utter chaos. The abaniles were completely unable to make the color turn out; they started with red/chocolate and made the transition to dirty pink; neither of which have a chance to complement the tile. They needed to wet down the existing concrete and as such Jamie, Jesse, Pike and the neighbor boys ran around ala Dick van Dyke, moving couches, bookcases, the fridge, stove, laundry, etc. as water cascaded all over the inner area of the palapa AND the inside of the recamera.   Dirt and polvo covered every surface of anything in the palapa (and since the trailer has been emptyied to combat cockroaches, that means EVERYTHING), cement splashed everywhere from the comedor to the new kitchen cabinets. It was a mess of epic proportions. All I could do was laugh and make dinner and hope that tomorrow brings us a solution for the floor upstairs. I’m sure they’ll figure something out but I hope it doesn’t involve large quantities of cemento blanco as that stuff is about twice the price of the cemento gris.

I’m going to be REALLY ready for Sunday this week!

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jody // Feb 29, 2008 at 7:45 am
    Oh man! I love it that you laughed and made dinner.
    Life there sounds really wonderful, even with the cement mess!
  • 2 michelle // Mar 7, 2008 at 12:45 am
  • 3 Aunt Kathy // Mar 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm
    If you want cinnamon stars, POST! How many do you want for you and the family?
    Aunt Kathy