Adjusting to our tropical home

The Buddha keeps calm while we go crazy.

The Buddha keeps calm while we go crazy.

We’re living in Mérida only sporadically, but already we can share with you our biggest challenges in adjusting from a snug little wood-frame Connecticut two-bedroom “cottage” to a partly-antique, mostly new-construction cement-and-rock indoor-outdoor-living home in the tropics. [Read more…]

What should I pack? I’ve been wrong before

Our basement looks like the stock room of Williams-Sonoma.

Our basement looks like the stock room of Williams-Sonoma.

We haven’t done a thing to get our Connecticut house ready for an eventual sale. Until yesterday, when I half-heartedly dragged a trash bag into the sun room to begin clearing out some clutter.

I grabbed some old magazines to toss away, paused, and returned them to the table. Then, I left the bag on the coffee table and went into the other room to watch TV.

Actually, two days before I grabbed two hardcover books that I had bought 15 years ago and never read. I was going to take them to work, where we have an informal slush pile of books to give away. Then I put the books back on the shelf. Will I be [Read more…]

Impulse buy at Pier 1: Our table

Could this be the table?

Could this be the table?

Building a four-bedroom house in the tropics took a long time. Furnishing it and finding art and decór will take a long time, too. Maybe longer.

We jump-started the process by buying our former tenants’ furniture, and thankfully for us they have great taste and an eye for quality. (Shoutout to the former tenants, yo!) We came up empty scouring the furniture stores for a sofa, so our designer found one, and she designed a master bedroom bed for us as well.

This trip, we’re again sans wheels, and our first priority was stocking up the kitchen with cookery, and things [Read more…]

A cook’s tour of Mérida’s housewares stores

Restaurant kitchen stuff is upstairs at the Almacenes Anfora.

Restaurant kitchen stuff is upstairs at the Almacenes Anfora.

Here’s why we wanted to live in the Centro. I wanted to be able to walk to things, and indeed, we walk to the Paseo de Montejo and Santa Ana market almost every day. If it’s early, before the heat rises, we walk to Walmart, which is about a mile away. Maybe we’ll get a cab back home if we’re lugging too many things.

But if it’s too hot, or the destination is too far, here I begin to start bumming rides. I haven’t [Read more…]

Sounds carry, but so do the breezes

upstairsterrace680We are coming to the end of week two of our three-week stay at Casa Nana, the house we’ve been building since November 2013. Friends often ask if it feels strange, after all this time ruminating about it, finally being allowed to sleep, cook and eat here. That’s just it — it doesn’t feel strange at all. What’s strange is [Read more…]

TIM: This is Mexico, reconsidered

Fridays are when Casa Nana gets pampered.

Fridays are when Casa Nana gets pampered.

I was rushing around this morning because I woke up slightly late and had to get ready for a contractor who was due to arrive at 8.

Paul thought it was kind of adorable that I assumed the contractor would show up at 8 for an 8 o’clock appointment. I almost forgot the adage that has been floating around the Mérida blogosphere: TIM. This Is Mexico. It’s what we remind ourselves when things don’t go as planned.  [Read more…]