Shake Rattle n Roll

This is one of my favorite things the kids have done this year.  I could watch this over and over and over again.  And just one more time because it makes me happy 🙂

When we came to Hotel Perico virtually nobody in our family knew how to dance….because Everette and I were both raised with the belief that dancing (and the environment in which it took place) was sinful.  We’ve not passed that belief on to our children. However, because Everette and I don’t know how to dance (well, we did take some ballroom dance lessons back in 2007 but we suck, big time!!) we haven’t actively sought to change the absence of it.

Thankfully we’ve had some Leonard-Ladies full of spunk who’ve taken it upon themselves to give some instruction to our stiff offspring.  Tina started over (US) Thanksgiving last year and the young ones in particular were willing to get on the dance floor and wiggle their booties.  Then her cousin was here for the summer and she taught the kids some moves.

I think you’ll be surprised by who the dancers were, and the moves that they choreographed.  Enjoy it Here.



Wedge of Lime and Robin Egg Blue

We’re settling in for a while.  We live Life on the Whim so we are never quite sure When, Where or How we will be living our lives from one week to the next.  But with my sister now here in the area we’ve decided to settle in a bit more, and we’re welcome to make improvements to our 2 hotel suites.

So we’ve taken the Liberty.

When we came to Hotel Perico the interior walls were ecru, with 2 bedrooms in baby blue.  The suites are naturally pretty dark so we wanted some spunk and color.  We had busied ourselves with sanding and repainting some wood furnishings we already had in our space, or salvaged from the excess of the hotel.

We were already incorporating Robin Egg Blue.  And Fire Engine Red.  Wedge of Lime just didn’t seem quite right for me.

Improvements is “in the eye of the beholder” and nine of us behold things quite differently from one another.  Why on earth I let the 15yo pick the paint…Gosh, I don’t really know.  Except that when I complained to Everette that the newly filled-in-doorway-become-wall in her room had left brown cement-mud all over the other wall making it look like splattered mold, he suggested we paint them before moving two of her sisters into the same room.  And to get a better deal on the paint he wanted me to use the same color elsewhere in the suites so he could buy a 5 gallon bucket.

Maret has artistic flare, and definite ideas of what works and what doesn’t.    As much as I admire her fashion, color-sense and creativity,  I now know that we don’t like the same greens.

Green is my FAVorite color, soothing and serene.

We’ve used greens in various tones in several of the houses we’ve built, and I’ve always been happy with them.  But, Wedge of Lime…a bit too yellow for me…over-powering on big spacious walls.Wedge of Lime

I thought it was a mistake after I sent Everette to the paint store to get that humungous bucket but I forewarned him not to judge.  To just get the paint and be quiet about the whole thing.  He’s had enough experience to know that at first paint on the wall can look atrocious but when its got flooring and fixtures and things put on the walls it can make a huge difference.

So he bought it.  “Does Shrek mean anything to you?” he said while he repeatedly wiped imaginary snot from his nose and flung it on the walls.

Support– Thanks Hon.

We started with the girls room…Danaka and I got the two walls done the first night, so we could move her bed in the next day.  I was getting tired of the renovations, the upheaval, the mess of displaced foodstuffs.  Not to mention I was stretched past my comfort zone:

  • I was working on a guest blog post that needed pics of our ‘home’ but I wanted the reno finished first so our place looked more colorful;
  • we were having a ‘1,000 Days of Travel’ party and I wanted to put together a montage of our travels but only had time to get the first video-of-many done;
  • the internet was a constant nemesis, saying it would take up to 111,050 minutes to load up my video to share with the world….do you realize that’s more than 77 days to load ONE 8 minute video???
  • the kids were doing their second Murder Mystery Dinner and I fell into last minute dinner-rescuer;
  • we were having a BBQ with another big traveling family in a few days;
  • and then the following day Everette and Mitchell were flying north for work.

So we needed the push on…or I would be insane by the time the guys returned from BC, having lived in disarray for an unnecessary month.

In the pic below you can see the wall where there used to be a doorway.  It was filled with brick, then mudded over.  The tiled step was hammered out of there, too.  That’s the room we first applied the Wedge of Lime, but in the pic it looks much more yellow than it really is.

Doorway bricked up, step removed, walls mudded then painted with Wedge of Lime.

Doorway bricked up, step removed, walls mudded then painted with Wedge of Lime.  Three girls and a big dog share the ‘upper patio’.

My sweet husband got a start on the big kitchen project Saturday morning along with Danaka, making it happen to please his slave-driving wife…who was once again suffering from sciatic pain.  And he sent her (ME) off for an hour-long body massage with hot stones while he painted love messages on the kitchen wall.

The long kitchen/bedroom area BEFORE

Two ends of the same space.  Our original kitchen that we added a cabinet to on the floor for more counter space.  But no oven/stove, and the fridge was in the other space which was really the teens bedroom (with no door).

Two ends of the same space. Our original kitchen that we added a cabinet to on the floor for more counter space. But no oven/stove, and the fridge was in the other space which was really the teens bedroom (with no door).

The kitchen (no more bedroom) is long and not the greatest functioning, but we are thrilled with the improvement and the addition of a full-size gas oven/stove!!  These pictures give a much better idea of what the Wedge of Lime really looks like.  Vibrant and Fun!

Our new colorful kitchen.

Our new colorful kitchen.

I LOVE the Robin Egg Blue cabinet and shelves.  We have a larger open space for baking now.  There’s a bit of space at the window we hope to add a narrow bar table and a couple of stools for sitting and looking out to the cobblestone driveway through the shrubs & trees outside our window.

The art, shelves and cabinetry have totally calmed down the Shrek-green and now we are all starting to love the fun of the colors.

Good choice on the color, Maret.  You did well.

What rooms next?  Not sure if we’ll do any more of the green.  We’ll have to think on that one.

We did, however, add some red to the main bathroom.  We had a difficult blue to work with, and I had drawn a blank as to what to do with it.  Until I saw a line-up of spray paint can lids in royal blue, that smokey blue (our fixtures) and bright red.  That gave me the idea and so I just painted the cabinet doors, and a towel rack with the red to add that apple-splash.  So the bathroom is red-white-and-(not navy)-blue.

I distressed the red doors and white boxes to make them look older so I didn't have to repaint the entire box.  Cheat, I know!!

I distressed the red doors and white boxes to make them look older so I didn’t have to repaint the entire box. Cheat, I know!!

Now we have to stay long enough to enjoy this rainbow of colors.  And maybe I can sneak in a bit more of that Robin Egg Blue somewhere.

Seriously Epic

That’s the dog’s full name.  Seriously Epic, but we call her Epic(a) for short.


Epic, our awesome dog.

Maret informed me that I hadn’t actually done a post about our new dog so here it is!

For decades our kids have asked for a family dog.  Back when we had just Layne and Rauchelle we did the dog thing for awhile.  We dog sat Banjo {that was a sorry excuse for a dog.  However, I give him more credit than I naturally do for chihuahuas that are more like overgrown rats than dogs (sorry to chihuahua lovers, but I’m free to have that opinion ….and I know I’m not alone!)} but Banjo was in a sorry state: old, nearly blind and deaf.  Before his owners had even left our acreage I thought that dog was going to die either from heat stroke or a seizure, especially when he rolled into a pot hole in the drive way and he couldn’t get up!  Like a turtle on its back Banjo yelped and yelped, and snapped ornery-like to anybody who offered help.

About the same time that we were dog-sitting Banjo we rescued Keisha from the SPCA. A beautiful Alaskan Malamute who easily fit Banjo’s head in her jaw.  Keisha thought we didn’t notice her slowly climbing on to our lap; first her chin, then a paw, then another one.  We would chuckle, knowing the back paw would claw at our lap, at which we put a stop to this 75 pound lug climbing right atop of us.

Keisha wasn’t with us for all that long.  But during the winter Everette created a harness to connect her to a sled to take the girls for a ride.  She LOVED to crouch down and pull….malamutes are made for that.  She was a wanderer, a chicken-stealer, a howl-er clearly related to wolves.  Eerily, she disappeared from our lives that summer.

We had better luck with our kittens, Gemana and Charlie (Chaplin) that lived long cat lives for about 18 years each, quite an accomplishment for outdoor cats on acreage with hungry bald eagles and such.

Traveling just doesn’t seem conducive to having a dog.  Maybe taking the four-legged family member with you when you Hit the Road, that’s understandable (and expected?).  But seriously, why get a dog when we’re already traveling?  Packing 9 of us in a 15- passenger van is bad enough, then to add a dog-breath creature?  Crazy.

Well, some people see a dog as protection (like a gun)…but still legal to cross international borders.  Sure, Epic might be a good guard-dog, alerting us to people approaching our abode.  But that isn’t the reason we got an intimidating black dog with a good bark (that jumps from fright if I toss an empty cookie box within earshot).

The real reason we got let Maret get a dog was because honestly…dogs are her forte.

Forte: a person’s strong suit, or most highly developed characteristic, talent, or skill; something that one excels in.

We weren’t absolutely positive this was going to be a smart move, to take on not only a dog for our big traveling family…but getting a BIG dog!!  Crazy!!  But we did.

“Dixie” was a rescue dog.  About the time that snowbirds headed north before Easter she showed up, abandoned at a construction site in a wealthier expat part of the Lakeside Community here at Ajijic-Chapala, Jalisco state, Mexico. The racquetball community of people took it upon themselves to make sure she had food and water every day while they posted pics online and FB to try and find her a home.  She was looking like she had been taken care of, so she wasn’t an actual street dog out supporting herself.  But two weeks passed; she was unsheltered and chilly in the unexpected heavy rains of early April (rainy season doesn’t start until about June 15th).  When it was apparent that “Dixie” had sustained a gash on her left back leg that needed attending, John coaxed her with food and she willingly hopped in his car for a ride down to the vet’s office.

Dr Louis stitched up “Dixie”s leg and housed her at the clinic for a few days while a notice went out for somebody to be able to foster her until a permanent home could be found for her.

In stepped Maret.  She had been monitoring the needs for fostering pets here in the Lakeside Community, had even offered to do some of the fostering but none of it had worked out for her.  Yet.

After spending usually 6 days a week last winter volunteering at the dog ranch, she was wanting something more hands on, so me-thinks, something she could have more positive effect on rather than just washing bowls and taking dogs for short walks.  Some entity to pour her love and knowledge into on a 24 hour basis.

Over the years Maret has invested hundreds of hours researching dog training and behavior mostly via YouTube.  Her and I often end up in discussion about the different philosophies behind dog training (Dominance Training  vs Positive Reinforcement) very much like the differences in child training of which I can totally relate.  So although I am typically not interested in dogs (and even afraid of them!  Yes, a slight phobia) this was something that united us.

We agreed to take “Dixie” as a foster dog, to help her mend back to health, put some weight on while we waited for her fur-ever family to show up.

"Dixie" the first day

“Dixie” the first day

She was somewhat timid, wary of her new place, the tight quarters to share with 9 humans.  She bonded with Maret almost instantly, following her throughout our suite.  Every time Maret got up to move “Dixie” was there immediately.  And of course, Maret was the one to feed her consistently so her attachment increased exponentially with just that gesture.

I didn’t feel (much) intimidation from this large black dog in our home.  She accepted petting and quickly revealed her silly bum-in-the-air-for-an-intense-rub idiocyncrosy.  At least half of her body sways in each excited wiggle, adding weight to that moving thick tail (ask Laars how that feels at his 8yo height!)

The vet figured she was about 1-1.5 yrs old, still very much puppy.  She showed her good side to us enough that we decided within 24 hours to change her name to Epic and make her ours.

Well, really she’s Maret’s.  She is responsible for all things pertaining to the dog (except paying the bill…she puts in what she earns but not being able to work here in Mexico is a bit limiting to a 15yo…but keep your eyes peeled regarding her incredible digital art for your 4-legged friends….coming soon).  And in just the 3 months we’ve had Epic Maret has done fantastic work with her.  Epic is quite a quick learner, and Maret has taught her many things (Gracias, Victoria Stilwell & your Youtube videos) in a short period of time.  They appear to have a great relationship.

I know there are times when Epic seems to go backwards in her training and Maret gets frustrated, but I equate it pretty much to parenting and homeschooling.  You think your kids have learned a new lesson in life only to discover a (temporary) set-back.  Such is life!

The hotel is full of dog owners, and many comment about the natural relationship and intuitiveness Maret seems to display with all the dogs.  No wonder she’s been getting dog-sitting jobs frequently now!  She picked up some ideas at the dog agility that was held here at Hotel Perico, and even received some individual training by some of the event organizers.  And she’s considering developing a career with dogs (possibly) in the future.  We didn’t let Maret get a dog just because she asked….we felt there was something erupting from within her, some talent trying to spring forth.  Seems like we were right.


For Travelers and Dreamers…..Time Sensitive

I just became aware of this Paradise Pack, the Ultimate Bundle where 20 Traveling Gurus share their resources to help the rest of us start or continue to develop our businesses so we can live the lives we’re dreaming of.

Check this out…..

Go to for more details.

Manicured Palm Trees

Ever wondered how the Palm trees get such smooth and tidy trunks?

Honestly, I’d never thought about them.  I didn’t grow up with palm trees in my evergreen landscape so I didn’t know what a wild palm looked like.  Palms to me were the manicured ones that lined the streets in San Diego and Maui.

Until we watched Juan trim the palms outside our suite here at Hotel Perico.

Collage trim palms