The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond is a world class museum, housing some of the world most beautiful treasures. From Greek tile floors, Egyptian staute and mummies, wall  paintings, Greek and Roman statues and buriel vaults, to world class masterpieces. It is a place where you can spend an entire day. Stop for an hour and have a glass of wine and a wonderful meal in the Asian restaurant. I never seem to have enough time when I go. One day, I am going early one morning and spend my entire day there. I hope that day come soon.

Homemade Apple Pie…Nothing better

Just got finished making an apple pie. Totally from scratch. There is nothing better than a slice of homemade apple pie at the end of the day. My grandmother always had pie at her house. But her apple was always my favorite. Both my grandmother’s love cooking with apples. One made the apple pies, the other one made the most wonderful apple tarts and apple jelly. Guess that is why to this day I still love my apple pies.  I take 6 golden delicious apples and slice. In bowl I mix nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and cornstarch. I toss the apples in the mixture and fold into the pie crust. 40 minutes later, the pie is ready. Let is cool and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.


That moment of excitement
Blood rushes through your body
Muscle tense
Breathing in deep anticipation

Hand tired and sore
Dirt ground deep into your pores
Scratches and cuts
Sweat beading on your forehead

Frightened and afraid
Praying no one will see
Holding on
Intense excitement

A world seen far away
A time to conquer a new territory
Peers look in unbelief
To be free

The one moment
All young boy dream of
The passage of youth
Climbing trees.


Frighten, alone and sadden
We pass from one moment to the next
Longing for understanding
Hoping for acceptance

Hidden deep within the child
A voice yearning to be heard
Look at me, I am here
Do you not see me?

Alone even in a crowd
Locked deep within a dark prison
We wait for that moment to escape
Does anyone care?

For a child the world is a vast void
Not knowing what lies ahead
Even their own backyard
A jungle to navigate.

Like that child we too
Can be lost in our own world
With just a few kind words
The world is alive again.

Come join our moment in time
Let us make the darkness vanish
A kind word, a smile
Reach out your hand….


This is one good source of information for living or visiting Merida Yucatan Mexico. Take a few moments to read all about one of Mexico’s best cities. We here at Merida Yucatan Properties are listed in this book and are here and willing to make you trip to the Yucatan the best ever. See our website at





This is not to say that there are no American real estate companies in Mérida that I would recommend, or who have demonstrated their professionalism and integrity.  Jim Mann of Mérida Yucatán Properties is one agent whose praise many people continue to sing.  (For the sake of full disclosure, Jim Mann was not the agent who sold us our Bed & Breakfast, and neither I nor my partner have bought or sold real estate properties through Mérida Yucatán Properties.)  Of the real estate agencies in Mérida founded and run by Americans, Mérida Yucatán Properties is the one that, to my knowledge, has the highest customer satisfaction, and it is the one that has tried to “rationalize” the market by pointing out that in 2011, the U.S. dollar continues to fluctuate against the Mexican peso in an unpredictable way, and that the market in Mérida is still recovering from the Global Recession.  But remember, like Jim Mann there are scores of reputable, honest and ethical realtors in Mérida, American and Yucatecan alike, who will look out for you and your interests.


1. You can cook with less oil when you use a cast-iron pan.
That lovely sheen on cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick. The health bonus, of course, is that you won’t need to use gads of oil to brown crispy potatoes or sear chicken when cooking in cast-iron. To season your cast-iron skillet, cover the bottom of the pan with a thick layer of kosher salt and a half inch of cooking oil, then heat until the oil starts to smoke. Carefully pour the salt and oil into a bowl, then use a ball of paper towels to rub the inside of the pan until it is smooth. To clean cast iron, never use soap. Simply scrub your skillet with a stiff brush and hot water and dry it completely. I even sometimes after washing sit back on the burner for a few seconds, this will help you dry the pan completely.

2. Cast iron is a chemical-free alternative to nonstick pans.
Another benefit to using cast-iron pans in place of nonstick pans is that you avoid the harmful chemicals that are found in nonstick pans. The repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to nonstick pots and pans contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that’s linked to liver damage, cancer, developmental problems and, according to one 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, early menopause. PFCs get released—and inhaled—from nonstick pans in the form of fumes when pans are heated on high heat. Likewise, we can ingest them when the surface of the pan gets scratched. Both regular and ceramic-coated cast-iron pans are great alternatives to nonstick pans for this reason. Ever noticed your new non stick pan start to peel…wonder what you are really eating with your food.

3. Cooking with cast iron fortifies your food with iron.
While cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, it can leach some iron into your food…and that’s a good thing. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide, especially among women. In fact, 10% of American women are iron-deficient. Cooking food, especially something acidic like tomato sauce in a cast-iron skillet can increase iron content, by as much as 20 times.

I can remember as a young boy my grandmother having several on the stove cooking. The food seemed to be so much better back then. I am lucky to have one of her old skillets. I make my pineapple upside down cake in this old skillet.  Now it seems it is even healthy for you cook with her old frying pan.


This is one sweet home and a great buy for a vacation home or retirement home. This cute home has a small front yard with a side walkway to the back of the house. Great for parties, folks dont have to track through your home to go to the back garden. This cute home has a large living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The lot is 10 by 40 meters deep. There is room in the back for an addition or pool. Great home, great location, great buy. To see this home contact Jim Mann at



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