Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Correction

Well, it seems I did use the wrong term. A blogger buddy who has lived in Mérida for quite some time and who actually speaks Spanish, tells me that La Muchacha means "the girl" and is the term Yucatecans use to refer to their household help. As we would say "housekeeper", they would say "the girl". While Daughter does help around the house, she doesn't help enough to have earned the title of La So now I have to come up with a new name for her.

There's the ubiquitous DD...Dear or Darling Daughter, to which I would add a 3 to denote which DD. I have 3 girls, so she would be DD3.
Or YD...Youngest Daughter.
Or Hija, which my friend tells me is daughter in Spanish.

Now here's a little funny about how to say that. In Spanish, the "h" is always silent. "I" is pronounced as "ee" and the "j" is pronounced like an English "h" but it's said in the back of the throat. So it sort of comes out sounding like ee-hah. Which is remarkably close to Yee-haw. Daughter is a born comedian and we joke a lot in our family, so I'm going to get lots of mileage out of

So which one to use? I'm going to go for YD. It'll be quicker and easier to explain later on, should I have to.

Eight more days

In 8 more days, Nov 6th to be exact, we'll be flying down to México. Myself, Señor B, our youngest daughter, whom I shall refer to as LM3, LM being short for La Muchacha which I'm pretty sure is Spanish for daughter (someone correct me if I'm wrong) and her best friend (BF). Both girls are 20-somethings. BF has never travelled internationally and is excited beyond words. She tells me that she has been counting down the days since we booked the tickets several months ago.

Being typical girls, they both wanted to pack their suitcases full "in case they wanted to wear this or that item." Living 5 hours from family and making the drive once or twice a year, I've learned how to pack light. I *used* to be one of those women who overpacked. Not anymore.

They were both agreeable to me making a packing list for them. We talked about taking clothes that will co-ordinate to increase wearing mileage. We have a washer and dryer at the condo, so I told them they really only need to take a week's worth of clothes. Told them they only need one flat iron between them and discussed a few other things. And then I made the list.

Apparently my list sucked...LOL. So we went over things and I explained why I made it the way I did. We negotiated a few extra add-ins. They both have their suitcases about half full which was the goal. Our condo still needs some things and I need the girls to mule stuff down for me. Señor B and I will be sharing a suitcase. He had a hip replacement this past June and needs the other one done. He was told it would be shortly after the new year, so keep your fingers crossed for him. Because he gets around on crutches, he's not able to haul his own suitcase, so we have to share, leaving no extra room in ours to bring anything down.

Some people have asked why we don't just buy what we need down there. Wish it was that easy. Not everything that NOB'ers (North of the Border) are accustomed to is available there. Or if it is, it's not always in stock. So you might go to a store, not see what you want and assume they don't have it. But it might be there next week. When we're only there for 3 weeks, we don't really have time to fiddle around with that. Also, things aren't always of the same quality that NOB'ers are used to. So we're taking some things with us.

I have a box in the basement that I've been adding to, according to a list I made up a year ago of things needed to stock a house. We took some things with us in Jan and also bought when we were down there. We were focussed on the essentials so the kitchen is still pretty spartan. Now we can add some extras. I'll have to go through the box to see what I think we'll need the most.

Well, that's it for tonight. Hasta luego.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Snowed

OK. So. Seems I can only upload pics from Picasa Web albums. This should be an

It snowed today. My back yard this morning.

Our view of the gulf.

Need I say more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Joining The Blogging World

OK. So. I read lots of blogs but this is my first attempt at creating my own. I'm not very tech savvy so this thing will take a bit to figure out. I see some buttons on the post bar thingy (yes, that's a technical that I don't know how to make work. Yet. The site is pretty basic right now. I'll figure out how to jazz it up later. Please bear with me, and forgive my mistakes, as I stumble along.

I've started this blog so that friends and family can keep up with our travels. I don't do Facebook (has there ever been a more vile, privacy invasive creation?) but would still like to share our holidays. This seemed a logical arena in which to do that.

Señor B and I bought a condo in Progreso, Yucatán last Oct. It was everything we were looking for...close to the beach (there's one row of houses between us and the beach), 2 bedrooms and well within our price range. We even had to check with the realtor to make sure it wasn't a typo.

It's brand new. In fact, it was still being built when we went to check it out. You know, to make sure there was actually a condo to buy. It's about 850 sq ft and looks like a typical apartment. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, living room and small storage room that doubles as the laundry room. The deck extends the full length of our unit and we can access it from both the living room and our bedroom. It has 9 foot ceilings (I think). Maybe they're 10. High ceilings are typical in México. This is so the hot air can rise and help keep things a bit cooler lower down. We have a view of the Gulf that would be better if the neighbour across the back alley didn't have that danged tree in the way. Wonder if they sell Round-Up in México? Just kidding!

Purchasing it was uneventful. Because it's a new dwelling, there were certain details we didn't have to concern ourselves with. Buying a previously owned home entails different paperwork. For instance, if the previous owner has a handyman to whom he owes money, that handyman can come after you, as the current homeowner, for back wages. So it's important to have a paper stating that said handyman has been paid and is released from the property, so that you're not responsible for his wages. Weird, I know, but it's not Canada and we can't expect another country to have the same laws that we do. There are other things involved with purchasing pre-owned homes that aren't typical in Canada. This is just one example.

Having a condo means no yardwork. Who wants to do yardwork when they're in paradise? Not us! Our condo fees include the yard guy, pool maintenance, wifi in the condo, gas, and tap water (which they say is safe to drink but we're not that brave yet so we get our drinking water from the truck that drives through the neighbourhood). The fees also go towards the wages of the administrator, the guy who collects the fees and is in charge of looking after the complex. Property taxes are...get this...$23.00 a year. Makes one wonder how the city can function. But they do. Obviously, they have other methods in place that work for them. Again, it's not Canada so we can't expect things to be the same.

Señor B and I will retire in 2015 and plan to be snowbirds to Progreso. For now, our little place is our destination for our annual winter getaways. I hope you enjoy reading along.

Hasta luego.