Monthly Archives: November 2012

Progress

Sometimes when your neck deep in a project you just don’t believe your making much progress. Today I took stock of how much I’v gotten done in only a few hours since being robbed of my wallet.

I have contacted and gotten my information corrected at;

U.S. Army

Civil Service

Social Security/Medicare

Health Ins. Co.

All three credit reporting Cos.

Bank

Chase M/C

Still to do are; South Dakota DMV, Mexican DMV, visit Soc. Sec. Office in California for new card.

If anyone notices something I missed please tell me so I can get it done quickly.

I went to Mexican DMV today and I needed a light bill and a medical exam, I got the medical exam by a doctor at a pharmacy no problem it is a certificate with a stamp and everything for $8.00.

 

Categories: Baja California MX, bank cards, Mexico | 2 Comments

The Agony Goes On

Trying to iron out the difficulties I got myself into by being robbed yesterday. I have been on the phone and internet. Social Security has been the biggest pain, I tried their on line system to change my address and get a new card, but the system just wouldn’t accept my information. I called the SS telephone number and after listening to the usual announcements waited on line for an hour till a very nice man came on and took my information and said I might get a new Medicare card in four weeks! Yikes! I hope I don’t need it in that time. The easiest organization to work with was the Army. Once logged in on their site I went to the section that had the information about direct deposit change the information and it was done! Simple, clear and quick. My Civil Service Check I have exchanged information with the Office Of Personnel Mgt. and have yet to hear from them. I still have to call Social Security again to change the direct deposit information there. I wonder if I will have to wait another hour? Blue Cross Blue Shield on the other hand was easy to deal with and they said I would have a new card in ten business days or less.

I still have to sort out what DMV wants back in South Dakota, I may have to give them a call to get the list of docs needed. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I still have this nasty cold thing going on and that adds to the misery. It should be over in a couple of days if it is a cold. I’ll be glad to say good-bye to it enough already with the sneezing, coughing and crappy feeling.

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I Was Robbed !!!

I was robbed ! My wallet was stolen today ! I had to travel to Calexico to pick up my medications because my messenger service just could not do the job. I got to Walmart after stopping at the bank and I went to the automotive dept. and set up for my car to have the oil changed. I then went straight to the pharmacy and as luck would have it I had my medications I ordered over the phone waiting for me. I ordered another medication and paid for the first. Then went shopping for my other stuff later I returned to pay for my last remaining medication and noticed my purse felt light! Yup it was light alright it was missing my wallet!

The bad news is my wallet is gone so are my; driver’s lic., medicare card, social security card, Chase Credit Card, other ID’s etc. Also about $120.00. That is enough aggravation right there! Getting all that replaced is going to be a pain in the ass.

The good news? Was that all my other credit cards and cash were on me not in the wallet. I had gotten one of those new credit card holder that are called Alum-a-wallet and most of my credit cards were in it and it was in my pants pocket because I had just stopped at the bank to get cash. I put the cash in my pocket too. I put the Alum-A-Wallet with my debit card in my other pants pocket because I didn’t want to be fumbling in public putting cash away. The other money was in Pesos I had made a withdrawal the day before in Pesos(4000.00) and didn’t want to risk being stopped by some cop looking for his xmas bonus and demanding that I pay a fine seeing all that cash so I hid it in the car, when I got to Walmart I took it out of its hiding place and put it in my pocket just before the attendant came over to sign me up for service. Otherwise I would have been out a lot more money and in a lot more trouble.

Gee, I had to go to the States to get robbed ! Isn’t that something? I have already started the process to replace the other cards it is just going to be a big pain in the ass getting all those ID’s replaced. I did get my much needed medications and some other stuff at Wally World. However on the way back home I noticed my RPMs on my car are higher than normal I think the transmission is about to take a dump. I’ll check with my mechanic tomorrow. There goes more money ! Ya just have to go with the flow I guess.

Categories: Uncategorized | 9 Comments

The photos I promised

Here are the photos I took recently with a little explanation on the photos. Our road got graded recently, around here that’s a big deal as it hasn’t happened in about seven years.

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We had our annual home owner’s association meeting today. We got to meet the children we support through various charities and got some information on the plans to bring in city water to the camp and how much it will cost each of us. We also got a report on the Volunteer Fire Dept. and the charity they support through their fund raising. This year Pete’s Camp is helping ten children with expenses regarding their schooling. The money raised pays for their school supplies, uniforms and lunches at school.

Later tonight was the fireman’s ball, they had lots of food and music. They also sold T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats the profits help maintain their equipment and help their charity. I bought a sweatshirt, looks nice with the fire dept. logo.

Categories: Baja California MX, espats, Mexico, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX | 1 Comment

Happy Holiday

I got to spend the holiday with neighbors across the street from me and we had a lovely dinner I had baked sweet potatoes, bread stuffing, a corn dish, a very nice homemade cranberry sauce and there was a nice wine to go with dinner. There was lots of conversation and after dinner we sat outside on their patio and enjoyed a fire in their fire pit with their two lovely little cocker-spaniel dogs keeping us company. Some other neighbors came by to visit and buy preserves from Diane, she makes wonderful bread and butter pickles, jams and jellies for sale. She is also an artist, she carves gourds into the most beautiful works of art and sells them here and in CA.

This morning was the annual yard sale and I just missed getting a rattan sofa and chairs for my house-someone beat me to it by five minutes ….darn. Later in the morning I had an appointment in town to get a manicure. I haven’t done that in a long time. This time I want to repair two hang nails that were bothering me and I know if I didn’t do something I would rip the nails and cause myself a lot of pain.

Wednesday was my big day at the dentist’s office I had impressions made for new dentures. My old ones are several years old and loose. The upper denture has been repaired once already and is very thin so I’m getting both done for $750.00. I think that is a good price compared to what I would have to pay in the “old country” where I got quoted a price of a $1000.00 and up and most likely they would be made in Mexico anyway.  So next wednesday I get my new dentures I hope they fit well.

New garden project; I am having paving bricks put down to make a path from the pedestrian gate to the front door. This has involved in a lot of discussion and questions about mundane things like where to put the gravel taken up and how many bricks wide etc. Then there is the layout; the garden wall the gate is in is not parallel with the house so the angles are odd. It will work out with a few adjustments. I’ll post some photos later of project.

There is the homeowners association meeting tomorrow. This is my first one so I’m not sure what to expect. I’ll make a separate post for that if it is interesting enough. Then I have to make a trip to town and see if my medications have been brought back from Calexico. I pay to have my medications picked up at Walmart and brought down to me by my mail service. That should have happened wednesday, but there was a problem the messenger didn’t give the right date of birth and couldn’t pick up the medications, so they are trying again today. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to get myself up to Calexico and pick it up. That’s a long trip and I don’t look forward to making it.

This has been a busy week here with the races a Mexican holiday an American holiday and the homeowners association meeting, yard sale and the usual coming and going to my Spanish class, shopping for new plants, I’ve been busy, busier than I would have thought I would be. So much for a boring, dull life in a small Mexican fishing village!

 

Categories: Baja California MX, learning Spanish, Mexico San Miguel, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WELLS FARGO VISA PART DEUX

Wells Fargo Stagecoach

Wells Fargo Stagecoach (Photo credit: www78)

I thought over my problems with Wells Fargo last night while in bed and this morning I called them back and a modicum of satisfaction. I figured it out somebody at Visa/Wells Fargo decided to automatically change the payment method on the credit cards to catch people unaware of the change so that when the automatic payment was sent to the checking account of the credit card owner there would be an over-draft; causing the generation of a fee for covering the overdraft and transferring money from savings, if there was any, or generating a fee for the over-draft freezing the account and causing mayhem for the account holder(s).

The sneaky bastards are generating new revenue by causing over-drafts by changing their policies and methods of paying their credit cards. Bastards!

I called them back and the service rep. couldn’t reverse the automatic payment, but could reverse a payment that I had made – so I had her do it. I wasn’t the most pleasant person she came across this morning but I wasn’t crude-just curt and to the point. I’ll make another payment later, around the first week of December. There are damn few things I get my way on, but paying bills and keeping the banks/credit card companies on the straight and narrow is one of the joys of my life. BASTARDS!

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I Hate Surprises

I was checking my Wells Fargo Accounts this evening and had an awful surprise ! The bank decided I needed to pay off my Visa account ! I don’t usually have a balance for more than a month on my Visa or any other credit card. This past month I bought tires for my RV and that I put on the card so I could pay over a couple of months and keep a higher balance in my other accounts ….WELL I guess not ! Somebody at Visa had other plans for my money!

I hate it when the Corporations make decisions for you and then say you did it to yourself. I just want to scream, yell and kick something – they screw over you and say “oh sorry …have nice evening!”

I’ll survive the this of course as I’m very cautious with my money … well not all that cautious or I wouldn’t have built a house in Mexico during a bad economy !

I think I’ll have a Cuba libre’ (rum and coke w/lime) maybe two ! 😉

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo (Photo credit: kenteegardin)

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My Immigration Experience To Date

Warning: I am not a lawyer or immigration facilitator and I have not confirmed the information in my post with officials of the Mexican Immigration so I could be full of what makes the grass grow green and we’re not talking about water :-O 

Last year when I arrived here in San Felipe I came prepared to make Mexico my home. Soon after arriving I applied for an FM-3 visa which, at the time, was the first step in the process to become a permanent resident of Mexico. FM-3 is for retires and certain others who work in Mexico. As in all countries that allow immigration the rules, laws, and regulations are complex and the interpretations of these laws and procedures vary from office to office.

Since I obtained my FM-3 the Mexican government has made some big changes in their immigration laws. This has caused some confusion and consternation in the ex-pat community in Mexico. For one thing the amount of income needed to qualify for what is now called a Residante Temporano (which was FM3/FM2) has increased and local offices have increased it even more. The income is based on the daily minimum wage in Mexico City 64 pesos times 400 days. This is a significant increase and there will be some foreigners who will not be able to meet this new requirement. After four years with the Temporary Resident Visa one applies for the Permanent Resident card similar to the U.S. Green card. The level of income for this card is also higher; 500 days times the minimum wage in Mexico City. The advantages of the Permanent Resident Card is that one doesn’t have to apply or renew every year- after a year one can apply for Mexican Citizenship if you desire or remain here as a permanent resident.

Confused yet? Got questions? So do a lot of people who live here that are not Mexican Citizens. The rumors are flying and the answers are not coming fast so more rumors are flying. Some people who need to know about the changes are going to be blindsided when they show up to renew or apply for their visa. Nothing is the same as before, some will be pleasantly surprised others will be upset and disappointed. The warning I got from my facilitator was; ‘there is going to be a new administration this coming year in Mexico City and things could change some more”. I don’t think it would be a big change, but perhaps some the income requirements will change or some administrative processes will change.

Based on what my facilitator told me I now will have to be a Temporary Resident for 3 more years then I can apply for permanent resident. The nice thing is I have applied for all three years, this time, so no more renewals.

For more information about the rules and regulations of the new policy in Mexico I suggest going to Rolly Brook’s site and reading up on it as this issue is more complicated than I have described. http://rollybrook.com

San Felipe Sunrise

San Felipe Sunrise (Photo credit: Russ May)so no more renewals. In the meantime I am studying Spanish in hopes of becoming more functional in the language of my new home country. I now have much more empathy for those that immigrate to any county, it is not an easy task and getting assimilated is an enormous task.

Categories: FM3, moving to Mexico, Retiring to Mexico | 5 Comments

Baja1000, Spanish and more plants

2007 Baja 1000

2007 Baja 1000 (Photo credit: Mark Hintsa)

 

2007 Baja 1000

2007 Baja 1000 (Photo credit: Mark Hintsa)

 

I have been busy, as usual, somehow I have a lot to do even though I’m retired. I have found a new Spanish teacher and I go to class almost everyday five days a week. I think I’m making progress although at times I’m at a loss for a word or words. I think this will help my Spanish; when I have learned enough I’ll take an intensive course for a few weeks were I will have to use only Spanish every day all day and live with a family where I will have to us Spanish while living with the family. After all that maybe I will be able to speak Spanish just well enough to get by.

 

On another note I’ve found another plant nursery thanks to my neighbors and I bought more bushes and trees. I bought two palm trees and two bushes and six petunias. I have planted all but one palm tree; that tree will get planted this week. The palm trees are for ambiance as they don’t give much shade. The petunias are for brighting up the place with some color. I’m hoping that the nursery will get some other flowers later.

 

This coming weekend will be the Baja 1000, many of the contestants have been here for a few days with many more expected. This is an exciting time here with lots of social activities and lots of noise including fireworks and music as well as the roaring of engines of the race contestants. Then they go home and all is quiet again.

 

My kitty has been showing her age lately. She spends most of her time sleeping and when she moves she is very slow and she cannot jump as well as she used to do. She is still a loving kitty and enjoys attention and purrs as good as ever. I will be heart broken when she passes on we have been together for a very long time about twenty years.

 

The weather has been very good here; last night it was a bit chilly and windy so I got to use the heating element in my A/C unit and it worked very well of course the heating element uses electricity so that will make the electric bill larger when we have a cold spell. How high the bill goes will depend on how cold and how long the cold stays.

 

Petunia

Petunia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Baja California MX, San Felipe Baja MX | Leave a comment

A quiet Sunday

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I awoke with a purring kitty next to me; usually she wakes me up once the sun is up or she is hungry today she decided to wait till I got up. Then she did her usual bit of walking in front of me and meowing and looking back like saying “come on Mom feed me”. Of course she got what she wanted. I then made breakfast for myself today was waffles and coffee which I ate on the veranda. The sun was up and very bright so I sat in the shadow of one of the pillars and enjoyed my breakfast listening to the doves calling to each other – beginning of a nice day.

Of course even though it was sunday there were chores to do. I had a list of things to get done; wash the tile floors inside and out, water the plants move some plants around vacuum some rugs and clean up the kitchen including the stove. After doing all that I made lunch and took a break with kitty to give her some attention. Since Shelby died she has been staying very close to me often looking for attention at odd times of day. I think she misses her buddy Shelby and is afraid I’ll go away like Shelby.

This afternoon I have been thinking of ways to get more Spanish in my life. So I have reprogramed my television to only play the Latin channels so that I am forcing myself to listen to Spanish as much as possible. I may have found a new Spanish Instructor my first class will be monday we will see how that goes. I have to get back into the Spanish learning mode if I am going to become a resident of Mexico.

The lot next to me has been bought by a couple from California and they have made an RV pad and built a shed for their stuff. I guess the plan is to come here from time to time and build their house. They worked hard for three or four days putting in long hours improving their lot. I hope it all works out for them.

Next week looks interesting I’ll be going to Spanish class and I will be making appointments for my pedicure and massage, visiting the plant nursery so things are coming together here in San Felipe.

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