We’ve now arrived back in Mexico City and are getting organzied in our very little guesthouse/hotel room.

The week of cooking classes were fantastic.  I have ton of pictures of course and will try to get some more posted.  It wasn’t quite the “experience” we expected but we did have a good time.  Among a couple of things was the internet access…..which wasn’t!

the door to our room at the hacienda

the door to our room at the hacienda

Weather was just how it was predicted to be so no surprises there.  Pleasant through the day and a bit chilly at night. Today though was horrid…..rain, thunder, wind and darm cold.

This was definitely not a holiday that Ken would have enjoyed!  He was rather picky foodwise and the fact that there was not really anything to do in the evenings probably would not have gone over very well with him.

I probably would not recommend this trip except maybe for a bunch of friends that enjoy each others company or need time to do some catching up.  There were only two other gals….who were fun and interesting…but not nightowls.

The internet seems to be pretty good here in the city….but it is Mexico and you just never know!



Off To Mexico!

In just a few minutes I have to head to the airport!  You would think, being retired and having all the time in the world now, that I would be really organized…..well I’m not!

I finished packing this morning and still have the last couple things to throw into the bag.

Roofers are here, the gutter guy is on his way, which is a good thing because it’s pouring rain and my yard not only looks like a dump site, but a swampy one too boot!

I know there is internet access both places we’re staying but not sure if it’s in the rooms or just the lobby/house so I will try and post as often as I can.  We have quite a few free afternoons, so I’m hoping for some down time to just relax.

Hasta luego!


It Looks Like A Garage!

Trusses arriving!

Trusses arriving!

How exciting!

The trusses arrived bright and early yesterday morning and by the time the guys left at 5 there was a roof!  It’s really starting to look like a garage now.

This morning, early but not so bright, the garage door company arrived to do the measuring and for me to pick out which doors I wanted.  I ended up with just the plain old ones with squares….like the other neighbours.  Made sense to me to be consistent and I don’t need anything flashy for there that would stick out.

They're up!

They’re up!


roof on!

It looks really good and I’m really quite happy with the whole thing.  Today they’re building the little “skirt” (?) roof that will be over the rest of the garage and the front door….it’ll all tie in with the roof on the new part.  The same thing is being done at the back.

Tomorrow the roofing goes on and the back door and two windows go in.  The garage doors should be here by Thursday next week.

By the time I get home it’s pretty well going to be done.  They’ll start the inside drywalling etc. after the slab is poured (early next week) and the garage doors are in.

Today I have the last bit of laundry to do and to START packing.  Everything is ready to go and just needs to go into the suitcase.  I’m packing more sweaters than I usually have to pack for a vacation.  The temps through the day down there are pretty nice…into the mid 70’s but in both places, Tlaxaca and Mexico City, the night time temps are down into the 50’s….I’m also packing a coat just in case!  And it looks like a fair amount of rain in the forecast too, so I’ll through in my trusty little travel umbrella.

Now that I’m more of less organized, I’m getting excited about this trip.  Bad timing of course with the garage……I had really thought it would have been done and finished by the time I left…..oh well.  Crap happens.  I’m not planning anymore major renos, at least until next year, so will certainly make sure that any holiday planning is coordinated a little better then.


Trusses Today!

How exciting!  They’re arriving a day earlier than expected, so I’ll at least see some of the roof started before I leave.

As usual I didn’t get done what I’d planned yesterday but all was not lost…..I managed to get to the metal recycling place and came home with $16 and I also got to my bank to put money in my “holiday account” for spending money once in Mexico!

Today I’ve got another “to do” on the list, which is to get a lock for the new door from the garage into the back yard.  That should be an easy thing to do, right?  How difficult can it be and just how many different kinds of door knobs etc. are there……I guess I’m going to find out!

Hair will wait until tomorrow and if it doesn’t get done, it’s not a big deal.  I do have to get to the foreign exchange place at the mall this morning…..that will be the first thing I do.

It’s already after 9, I have to be back home by 11……and I’m not even ready to leave the house yet!  Argh……I really do enjoy lazy mornings as opposed to those get up, throw on some clothes and out the door days.  This might be a bit of a bad habit to be getting into!  There isn’t usually anything so pressing in the mornings that I HAVE to rush around, but when there is, it’s hard to get my act together…..and I don’t like it!

Did I say how much I’m looking forward to this vacation?  I know it’s not going to be a terribly relaxing one but it’s a different kind of hustle and bustle when you’re on vacation…..one I can handle!


Another First…..

This morning, I’m off to the metal recycling depot!  I’ve never been before and I’m not sure that Ken ever had reason to go either.

slowly working my way through the pile(s)!

slowly working my way through the pile(s)!

All the old soffit (sp?) stuff from under the carport had to come down…..has to be drywalled and mudded for safety reasons ie carbon monoxide.  My neighbor told me about the recycling place and that they PAY you for your scrap metal.  Who knew that??  He thinks I might get $20-30 out of it…..that will be a bonus if I do.

Yesterday wasn’t terribly productive.  Just too many things on my list of “to do’s” so needless to say, hardly any of it got done….I don’t know why I do that!  I did manage to get another load of garbage off to the dump.  Bev was my helper again….I really owe her big time!

A little bit of house cleaning got done and one load of laundry….at least it was something.  Today I’m not setting myself so many goals.  I’ll get the soffit stuff loaded and off to the recycling depot and then I’ll head to the exchange place at the mall (how convenient is that!) and have a quick look for a rain-type jacket. If I get anything else done….I’ll pat myself on the back then!

Bev and I were talking yesterday…on the way to the dump….about how my thoughts have changed over the last six months.  There were so many times when I’d sort of feel sorry for myself having to do everything….because there is only ME.  If something went wrong, if something didn’t work, if I was in a situation where I didn’t know what to do……there was always Ken there to either do it, or at least tell me what to do or how to fix it.   Sometimes I’d even get angry with Ken!  How silly is that?  I’ve somewhat gotten over it now…..at least most of the time.

I don’t think that way as much anymore….except maybe for this garage business!  But I’ll have learned a few new things by the time this project is finished, which will hopefully be of some value further down the road.

I guess this is all just part of learning to live alone……or getting used to living alone.  You have to be independent…..I am responsible for ME and all the messes that I get into.


My hanging basket is still looking pretty good, considering the weather we’ve had over the last month.  It’s been blown around, poured on and it’s still blooming like crazy.  It’s almost time to take it down though, which is too bad because it adds so much colour and makes the deck look so much brighter…..


Walls Are Up……

looking good!

looking good!

from the inside....because it's pouring!

from the inside….because it’s pouring!

Roof trusses should be here on Friday!  It’s coming along pretty quickly….my builder is a very hard worker and means business when he’s here…..no stopping, other than for his lunch!

Today I have to sit down and go over the budget.  I’m pretty sure we’re over just because of that sump/culvert thing and the new drainage system but I think there might be a couple of other things as well that came up, like the insulation.  Hopefully not too much, yet!

He factored in some leeway…..ie over “costing” a few things,  just to be on the safe side and also allowed $500 miscellaneous for each type of expense like materials, framing, labour etc.

He’s taking today off, which I have no issues with at all, so I’ll get out and do all the stuff I have to do for my vacation.  It’s not that I can’t go when he’s here but I’m nosy and I like to hang around just in case anything comes or he has any questions.  This is when I miss Ken so much!  I miss him all the time of course, but this would have been his job.  He would know what the heck they’re talking about when they ask questions or want to tell me something.  Sometimes I’m like a deer in the headlights!  I look at them with that “huh” look on my face……they may as well be speaking a different language!  Luckily the builder and my BIL are very patient AND very good at drawing pictures!!

This is when I start to get excited and a little stressed over a holiday…..just a few days to go and still so much to do!  Not really, except in my head, especially at bedtime or if I wake up in the middle of the night, I think about everything that I need to do, need to get, what to pack and on and on it goes.

Thank goodness my daughter is here so I don’t have to worry about the cats or any other house type stuff, which certainly helps in the “think and worry” department.

I need a new jacket…..maybe I’ll go shopping this afternoon….after I load more of the wood/garbage into the truck, after I get my hair cut, after I pick up a few groceries, after I get some pesos from the exchange place, after I go over my building budget, after I clean the kitty litter box, after I throw in some laundry, after I…………..oh crap, maybe I just won’t do anything today!!


Thank Goodness It’s Monday!

Five months ago I would never have said that!  But after one heck of a busy weekend, I’m glad it’s back to sort of normal…..if having a construction job going on could be called normal!

I was busy but I also had a lot of fun.  Saturday I babysat….which was fun.  There’s a little guy that lives in the cul de sac that is the same age as my grandson.  They play really well together and on Saturday afternoon, along with my older granddaughter they set up a juice stand….made with raspberries they’d picked from the back yard.  The neighbours were great….they all came out to buy a glass!  I’m not sure if they actually drank it….but the kids ended up with $3 each at the end of their business day!

I was out Saturday and Sunday night.  Yesterday was spent cleaning up, inside and outside….at least as much as I could.  Today is dump day…..it really is!  Friday it never happened as planned and no time over the weekend so I’ll get that first load there today….before it starts to rain!  Argh….at least it’s only supposed to be for a day or two and not a lot.

This morning was very nice….I could actually just sit and relax out on the deck with my coffee.  There isn’t going to be too many more of those kinds of mornings.  It’s quite chilly out there until the sun pops over the neighbours house.  More and more birds, different birds every day, so great to just sit and watch them.

More framing today and I think the slab may be poured tomorrow.

On the Mustang front…..it’s running!  Still work to be done but they were really surprised that after just sitting for 8 years, after putting in a new air filter , changing the sparkplugs and setting up a jerry can to use for gas, it fired right up!  The engine purred….no knocking, nada!  He’s got more to do of course…..disk brakes (so I don’t have to use all my might and two feet to stop!), some new tires……it will actually be drivable again.  It’ll just get moved to my BIL’s for storage until the garage is done but I’m getting excited about being able to get it home, where it belongs!  What will I do with it then?  That car meant so much to Ken…..I can’t just let it go.  It’s not worth a lot in the state it’s in, even after the engine type work is done, and I’m not sure I could sell it.  I’ll just hang on to it, drive it every now and again, maybe get some of the body work done one day…..I don’t know


Best Bard Ever!

The Comedy of Errors was by far the best Bard play ever!  We arrived early enough to find free parking, which was a good start to the evening!

stage set for The Comedy of Errors! Most of the gadgets moved!

stage set for The Comedy of Errors! Most of the gadgets moved!

The weather was perfect too….all I needed after intermission was my pashmina thrown over my shoulders.

The “steampunk” version of this play was great!  Good acting, lots of little innuendos added here and there which make for a bunch of chuckles and laughs all through it.

The garage is coming along…..trusses should be here by the end of next week, so it would be nice to see them up before I leave.  I picked the roofing out yesterday and hopefully that will be on and everything framed and closed in by the time I’m back.

more framing!

more framing!

I didn’t get to the dump yesterday so will go this AM.  BIL arrived because a couple of issues came up with my overhang/eave thing which means I may not be able to have it over the front door.  I’m afraid that might look a little odd, so I’m hoping they (builder and BIL) can come up with a solution so I can still have that!  Drainage is all in, gravel and backfill is in too.  Framing will start on the new part next week, which will be exciting….I think!  And I hope we’re done with any surprises.  I was not expecting the insulation thing, so $$$$ that weren’t budgeted for.  The digging/excavating also went a little over budget because of the loads of dirt, stumps, and roots that he had to dig up.  And of course re-routing the drainage…..which lucky for me the builder could do himself.  There is no mention of an inspection of it being required BUT who knows with the city…..they may just assume that we’d know….I don’t know.  To be on the same side we took pictures of it all around and at various points when it was being filled….I’m really hoping it doesn’t even come up but if so maybe the pictures will suffice!

male House Finch!

male House Finch

feeder traffic jam…..three of them!

Birds, birds and more birds!  They must be getting ready for winter….stocking up on feed, which they store tucked under branches, leaves, eaves, gutters and wherever else they find.  There were traffic jams at the feeder yesterday so I filled up another dish, which I just sat on top of the BBQ…..now there’s traffic jams there too….somes two or even three of them either in it or perched on the edge!  They’re incredibly entertaining to watch……



IMG_5114Great progress is being made.  Framing has started.

The backfill guy is coming today and along with doing that he’ll also be bringing the gravel/stone stuff for the slab in the new part of the garage.

While ripping down the ceiling (?) part of the old carport, which has to be drywalled (building code requirement for garages), we discovered that I have crappy insulation, which would explain why that one bedroom was always so cold in the winter!  I’ll be getting that redone.  I initially thought the room would be a lot warmer once the garage is closed in, and it probably will be, but since I’ve gone this far I might as well do everything right…..right?  It’s a few more bucks that weren’t in the budget to start, but I think probably worthwhile in the end.

I’ve got a load of the old wood (shed, construction junk, fence etc.) in the truck ready to go to the dump today.

tarped up and ready to go!

tarped up and ready to go!

My buddy Bev is coming along for the ride.  I’m going to see just how much it will cost for this load and then do some math to see if I’ll save myself anything getting rid of it myself.  To get a bin in it’s going to be at least $500+.  I have the time to do the dump runs, so don’t mind as long as I’m at least saving myself some money!

Tonight is Bard on the Beach night!  http://bardonthebeach.org/    It’s going to be a great evening.  This year we’re seeing A Comedy of Errors…..with a “steampunk” theme!   Will definitely be fun.

A new bird came to visit the feeder this morning.  I think it’s a wren or tit of some sort.  It was hard to tell even after looking it up in my bird book.


some type of wren or tit?

Migration is starting already so now is the time of year that I  see a lot of different birdies stopping by enroute to their warmer climes.  I honestly could sit for hours out there and just watch them.  The little chickadees are the most fun and are around all year.  They come in “swarms” but usually only one at a time will be on the birdfeeder (there must be a “pecking” order!)…..the others queue up on the railings, the hanging basket, the downspout or whatever else they can perch on…..AND poop on!  That’s the only downfall…..along with cleaning the kitty litter box every morning, I also have to get out on the deck and clean the railings!  But it’s worth it just for the pleasure I get from watching them.

Today I’ve also got the exciting job of picking out shingles for the roof!  Not quite as much fun as say getting some new furniture and hopefully not as frustrating as getting my new carpet!

Lots to do….busy is good 🙂


Framing Will Start Today

Not on the new part but for the new walls on the existing carport.  The new area needs another couple of days for the concrete to “cure”.

drainage system in place......just about ready for the backfill!

drainage system in place……just about ready for the backfill!

The new drainage system is just about finished now.  The sump/culvert thingie was relocated to the side of the driveway instead of UNDER it, like it had been for eons.  This way IF there are any drainage issues down the road, at least we can get to it without having to dig up the driveway.

It will be exciting to see the start of the walls going up…..everything is coming along  quickly, so I’m really happy about that.  It’s not going to be anywhere near finished before I leave for Mexico, which is what I had hoped for but with all the plan reviews, visits to city hall and the one week delay with the variance board meeting, it is what it is!

I’ve been sticking pretty close to home the lasts couple of days because of suppliers/service guys, or whatever they’re called, needing payments…..my cheque book is getting a work out for sure!

This has given me a chance to get some of the papers cleaned up, laundry caught up and an attempt at going through MORE junk in the spare room….that is really overwhelming.  I figure if I spend 1/2 and hour each day in there…..that is about as much as I can stand before I want to cry……and either put something away where it belongs or chuck it, I should be done by next year!!  Seriously, that room is worse than my “garage” room in the basement.

yes, that's it!

yes, that’s it!

There are boxes of stuff….more paper, half packed boxes ready to go to Value Village, bags of wrapping paper/bags, dishes that need to be put in the cabinet instead of being on top of it, the accordion file with all Ken’s medical stuff and journals (what should I do with all THAT??), there’s a couple of bags of material that I bought TWO summers ago for recovering the outdoor chair cushions which never got done, there is a Harrods bag full of stuff (ticket stubs, maps etc.) from our last trip to London (2010) that needs to go into the album I bought for that trip, which is also just sitting in there.

I was saving this room for a rainy day but we’ve already had a few of those and I haven’t even opened the door…..except to add MORE stuff to the collection….argh.

Bit by bit…..that’s all I can handle.  It should never have gotten to the state it’s in but crap happens and I just didn’t care about it for so long.   I would eventually like that room to be the computer room/office……one day!