Retiring to Mexico

Update on life and projects

A few weeks ago I wasn’t feeling so good, I had pressure in the chest that would last about fifteen minutes and then go away. I got worried and drove back to the US and went to an ER to get checked out. As a prior heart patient I thought it was the prudent thing to do. The kind folks there checked me out and kept me overnight to be safe. In the AM my Cardiologist checked my tests out and made an appointment the following day for a consultation. Then I was scheduled for a stress test the next day. The results of the stress test didn’t come in until the following day. The results show I have some scaring that may be causing some problem with the arteries contracting therefore I’m another medication to help keep the arteries open. The medication seems to be working.

On another note; I had to have some work done on the house. The roof need to be recoated. Every five years the roof needs a new coat of roof sealant . While the men were here coating the roof I had some garden work done. I had trees planted and other trees and bushes pruned and the garden cleaned up. All day there was work being done on the house and garden. The garden looks neater now and I feel better after having the roof sealed. We don’t get much rain here, but when we do it is a gully washer and a leaky roof causes a lot of expensive damage.

Here are a few photos, nothing dramatic, about the work that was done. The truck was filled up with debris from the garden twice.

I am getting close to having lived full-time for six years in Mexico at the same address. I have never lived that long in one place in my life. I also have never been happier. Mexico isn’t for everyone there are lots of differences between Mexico and the USA some nice some not so nice. I am still learning the language, and finding out things about the culture yet my desire to remain here is as strong as ever. I’m an odd duck,  I am happier living in a country other than the one of my birth in a land who’s culture and language I don’t fully understand than in the country of my birth. I wear the label Expatriate with pride !

As an aside I’m writing this as my housekeeper is cleaning my house and we are chatting back and forth about the house who called what her children are doing and what I should buy in the store for cleaning supplies, all in Spanish! Which gives me a smidgen of satisfaction as I flunked Spanish and French in High School ! So take that you teachers in High School !

 

Categories: Baja California MX, learning Spanish, Mexico, Retiring to Mexico | Tags: | 2 Comments

Two Projects at once

I wanted to upgrade the AC for the house and get a mini-split put in for the living/dinning  room and also get a mini-split put in the Airstream. I got the two ton unit for the house and the one ton for the RV. I could have gotten an RV AC for the Airstream but they aren’t as efficient as a mini-split. This RV isn’t going anywhere so the mini-split seemed like a good idea even if I almost cried when the installers cut into the skin of the Airstream. I’ll get over it and so will the Airstream. Later on there will be a roof built over the Airstream and a wall around the bottom with a patio and steps made of  brick and lots of plants to break up the austere look of metal and brick.

Still a long long ways to go on this project.

For those not familiar with the Mini Splits here is a link that tell all about it; https://learn.compactappliance.com/mini-splits/

Here are some photos of the work;

control head of the mini split inside the Airstream

Compressor on the tongue

The work still needs to be neatened up this is a work in progress photo.

Categories: Baja California MX, Mexico, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

I got work started on the Airstream Trailer

Today I get working on the Airstream; taking trash to the dump removing the sofa and wiping down surfaces and clean out cabinets. There was a lot of dirt, dust and rodent droppings to clean up. There was an older generator inside too and I got that out of the rig. I made a couple of trips to the dumpster and still have work to do tomorrow cleaning the bathroom and cabinets. I’m happy to be working on this project. It will take a while to get everything done and I’m sure there will be problems as I go along.

Here are some photos;

Bath is next to be cleaned

The carpet has to go!

Cleaner counter and sink

Where the couch was

The couch cushions and other stuff is out

Categories: Baja California MX, Retiring to Mexico | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Race time in San Felipe

This is the week of the big Baja 250 race and the town is getting full of people to watch and to participate in the race. Lots of folks dashing about in various vehicles in racing gear. The crowds of folks will be downtown for the festivities and ceremonies along with lots of police and support personnel. The big rigs have arrived with more on the way, some folks are flying into our little airport in their planes and helicopters to join in the race. Soon the Police helicopters will be hovering over the town keeping an eye on the crowds. All great fun for many of the folks who live here and enjoy the Races.

I don’t like crowds, I think it is because of my suspicious nature or maybe because I’m getting old, tired and cranky. I visit town for very short periods of time to get errands done and then leave the whole scene to the younger set.

I did go into town today because I wanted to have lunch with my friend Irene at a restaurant on the Malacon (the street in front of the beach). We had a lovely lunch of shrimp tacos with cheese and guacamole with chips and for drinks we had non-alcoholic margaritas. We made  quick trip along the Malacon to see what the vendors had for sale. Then home again as my housekeeper was there hard at work while I was living the life, having lunch with a friend.

17632442_10158562712820061_192973968877103291_oSometimes I feel like I’m living the life of a Grand Dame having breakfast with friends or lunch maybe dinner out or at a friend’s house, a house keeper doing the heavy work cleaning my house. Gardening in the morning after nice walk through the neighborhood and chatting with neighbors. In a way I do “Live The Life”.

 

Below are photos of Juana my housekeeper she cleans my house and teaches me Spanish too. She is a Doll!GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Categories: Baja California MX, beach mexico, Jardine, moving to Mexico, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Beach Bonfire

Sunday evening I joined the neighbors for a beach bonfire to celebrate the full moon. This has become a tradition for the neighbors to gather on the full moon to have a fire and share food and beverages on our beach while connecting and sharing our stories. The evening was warm and the fire large thanks to the men folk who had gathered lots of wood to burn. Here are some photos of the occasion. Life is good here 🙂

Categories: Baja California MX, beach mexico, Mexico, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX, Sunsets, Weather in San Felipe, why Mexico | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

What I do all Week

Monday; Watered some plants and filled the fountain in the early morning, later went to breakfast in town (Chumpos).

On the way home I paid for my TV $50, checked my mail bought fuel for my car came home played on the computer until lunch went to lunch at Road Runner Cafe, had a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy. Returned home took a nap for an hour and half. Later checked the computer and thought about going out for dinner, but changed my mind and stayed home and had a bowl of cereal for dinner. Watched TV and played on the computer till bed time.

Tuesday; Filled the fountain checked the garden had an english muffin and coffee for breakfast got ready to drive the ladies to yoga meditation. Washed dishes sprayed the house for mosquitos as I saw two in the living room. Started this blog. Noted that the sun is coming up much later now.

I stopped by a friend’s house to confirm that we were going to breakfast tomorrow and then visiting an immigration facilitator later that morning. All is good I’m driving tomorrow.

I then had lunch at the camp cantina; 13138764_10154144259548648_2372979228226720421_n

hamburger and fries with a soda I had the place to myself. This evening I stayed home and made dinner; mashed potatoes, peas and kielbasa with whole wheat bread. I am not fond of cooking for myself as I make a big a mess cooking for one as cooking for four.

Wednesday; I was wide awake at 4:30 am! There isn’t much to do at that hour. I made a pot of coffee took a shower got dressed made my bed, toasted an english muffin watched the news on TV and played on the computer. Oh, I hunted down the charging cord for my tablet, I hadn’t seen it in a few days since the housekeeper was here. I found it in with my other cables in a basket I think the housekeeper thought that was where it was supposed to be instead of plugged into the wall. After she has been cleaning I find things in different places than I expect, it is sort of a game-she has her places for things and I have mine.

I usually water my plants and trees on Wednesdays so I started that early this morning. I have a soaker hose around three sides of the lot and that saves a great deal of time however the rest of the garden needs to be watered by hose and I have to move the hoses ever 15 minutes to get all the trees bushes and flowers watered. The hoses are on timers so I don’t over water or waste any.

Wednesday night I went to dinner with a group of friends at a local restaurant there were about twenty or more people there and it was quite a lively group. I had the Mexican combination plate; taco, chili rellano, burrito, with rice and beans every thing was good love chili rellenos, a big green chili stuffed with cheese rolled in seasoned flour and fried, a slice of haven. After dinner some of us moved on to the Pets’s Camp Palapa Bar for drinks and a chin wag. I finally just had to leave as I had been awake since 4:30am.

Thursday I got out of bed late and had to rush around and get ready to go to town for breakfast at Chumpo’s Restaurant where I met another group of friends for breakfast and more chin wagging. I had the breakfast special modified to my liking; two eggs over easy, Mexican beans, whole wheat toast and decaf coffee. Here is a photo of the gang lovingly referred to as the Lizards;
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After breakfast and feeding the local kitty her breakfast I went across the street to the Tattoo/Beauty Parlor1410814_690738617625818_333634678_o and made an appointment for a hair cut. Then I went to the local water office and put some money on my account 500 pesos or about $25, which with what is still in the account will last me for a couple of months. Then I went to the local plant nursery and checked out their new stock didn’t buy anything. From there I went to the local supermarket and bought groceries and some pastries. By the time I got home it was almost 12 noon. As I was getting out of the car I noticed a dog running in my neighbors yard and then I heard her owner calling for her so I alerted her where her dog was and she got the cute little bugger and all is well. I unloaded the car put groceries away and enjoyed a cup of coffee and a muffin I just bought.

Pete’s Camp Annual Poker Run, a race that isn’t is this weekend and people come from all over for this event. This is a description of a Poker Run;

Poker run – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker_run
A poker run is an organized event where participants, usually using motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, horses, on foot or other means of transportation must visit five to seven checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each one. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run.

San Felipe has several Poker Runs sponsored by various organizations throughout the year usually the route is off road and bumpy I don’t participate as my back wouldn’t allow it.

Last night, thursday, I went for dinner at Padrino’s Italian Restaurant in town. I had a desire for one of their pizzas the Padrino’s Special. I met lots of friends there were tables full of them as usual there was lots of chit chat and pizza was delicious. 14601024_10157633800515061_616202711905055005_nThat’s the bartender Steve making the horns in the back he’s good bartender and looks out for us. As usual I left early and was home getting ready for bed my nine O’clock. Because it is race week we had some folks shooting off fireworks tonight, no big deal I just worry about my friends pets who get scared when they hear them. That all came to a stop about ten O’clock.

This morning friday, I got up a little later than usual made coffee and putzed around I have a hair cut appointment at noon and I have to go to Sunrunner Mail to mail off a letter today so I have plenty of time to putz about my house and garden. I went into town for my haircut and had lunch at the Taco Factory Restaurant1233596_470612633046333_1584807933_n they have these tacos made with shrimp and cheese that are delicious so I had two. I went home only to discover my cell phone was out of money so later I went back into town and paid some money to have time on my cell phone. I was across the street from Padrino’s Restaurant so I went over met couple of friends14522943_10157638345505061_5259438712859476203_n

and I had steamed clams for dinner they were perfect after a few non-alcoholic drinks  I went home and watched the news on TV and caught up on Face Book.

Saturday; I took a trip to the “Old Country” as I had to have my vehicle inspected by Customs and Border Protection as it is a new vehicle to me and it took months to get added to my Sentri Pass. Turned out to be a non-event everything went smoothly the officer there was very nice and I was on my way in just a few minutes. NOTE TO SELF; Denny’s is extremely busy on sundays go early or find some quieter place. Shopping and the trip back to San Felipe was uneventful.

This past week was a very busy week compared to the hot months of July and August as the winter visitors are coming in and the Mexican and American holidays are just beginning, but give you an idea of how I spend my time.

Categories: Baja California MX, Diary, Pete's Camp, Retiring to Mexico, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

October update

Health wise the bypass has been a success I don’t have much pain just very little in the sternum area must be a nerve that hasn’t healed yet. I have returned to my social schedule of meeting friends for breakfast four or five days a week. I go out for dinner twice a week unless there is something interesting in town then I go out for dinner again. I had a spate of dizziness a few times, that seems to have past. I also have been victimized by a by-product of the medications I took while in the hospital and I now take on a twice daily basis, hair loss. The meds interfere with the growth cycle of the hair and it falls out. Being a rather vain old lady I was distressed at this development so I purchased a couple of wigs to wear while I wait and see if the hair decides to grow again. The brown one is favored by my acquaintances over the white one I like them both.

Now, I mostly have the old age complaints; frequent potty runs at night and nagging heart burn on occasion. My back problem, the compressed fracture of T11, still gives me grief from time to time – I don’t think that will ever go away. So there I am repaired for now and getting on with my life.

I am content for now to remain in San Felipe until I get the itch again to move on so I’m going about my business of making the house here more comfortable. I just had a wall built to replace the wire fence between my lot and the lot to the north here are the photos;

I will be making some other changes to the house changing the front wall design, the a wall to the south of my lot then my house will be more protected from the wind. I have also ordered ornamental iron work for the veranda to dress that up a more make the house more secure. I’m looking for an RV trailer to park on the lot and use as a guest house. I would like a silver one that I can remodel and skirt so it would be updated, functional and comfortable. It is in the dream stage now, we’ll see if this comes to life as time goes on.

Today I went to the annual opening of Cowpatty’s a bar located about seventy miles south of San Felipe. The seasonal opening is the unofficial start of the “season” here for the Gringos that spend the winter in our fair village. There are some Gringos who live here year around like myself who enjoy this social bonding. Some people come from a great distance to be at this event in remote part of Baja Mexico. Lot’s of renewed friendships and catching up on who’s coming back this year and who did what while away and who couldn’t make it and why-quite the gabfest. Plus the quaffing of local beer and occasional other beverages of the adult variety was indulged in. I wasn’t driving today so I got in a few myself.

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Last night I got invited to a neighbor’s house to enjoy some drinks and nibbles with other neighbors it was a delightful time chatting away about the goings on of our neighbors and what they have been up to and their plans for the future. There were some dogs there too so I got my puppy love. The food was delicious and quite the hit. This same group meets on a regular basis for our Wednesday dinner out at a local restaurant. This is an energetic group that travel frequently to the US, Mexico and other lands so there are lots of stories.

I love my life here in Mexico more friends than I can count lots of things to do and good enough health to enjoy it! I’ll post again when I have something to say 🙂

 

 

Categories: Baja California MX, Mexico, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX, Uncategorized | Tags: | 5 Comments

The Recovery

On April 11, 2016, I had a double by-pass operation and all appears to have gone well. I spent another week in the hospital recovering and I must have done well enough as I was released to my own home in San Felipe Baja Mexico. Two dear friends and neighbors came to get me at the hospital and scooped me up and tucked me in the car and drove me to El Centro CA to spend the night before crossing the border the next day and the, to me, long drive down the coast and through the mountains and over the dry lake to my little house in the little Pueblo, San Felipe, I call home.

Upon arrival we had a meeting with my caretaker Maria who was contracted to take care of me and stay over night at my house just in case I need assistance. This turned out to be an excellent arrangement. She is experienced in caring for people and is a kind and gentle person. She speaks a little english which is fine with me as I got to use my Spanish and that made me use my brain. A week passed quickly and with many visits from neighbors and friends I began the process of healing.

May 2nd, I had a follow-up visit in La Jolla CA with the surgeon and I got a lot of questions answered about my health and the progress I was making and got positive encouragement from him and his staff that I was doing very well and to keep on with the regimen and to make an appointment with the recommended Cardiologist in El Centro CA in two weeks. The trip back to El Centro was uneventful and a good night’s rest prepared me for the shopping the next day and the trip back to San Felipe.

I didn’t realize how much effort I had been putting out on this trip to La Jolla when I got to my house I was exhausted and my old back injury was giving me a lot of pain. The following day my back was giving me more pain than the by-pass operation did and I had to use some pain medication to calm it down. When the following day arrived, thursday, I felt much better and I was ready for my hair appointment in town. I got to get my hair done and I felt much better about myself even though in my opinion I look like something the cat has been playing with I’m still pale and drawn looking. While in town I got to talk to some friends and that always cheers me up.

So, now I’m resting at home; I’ll have Maria come in two times a month for a while to keep house for me and I’ll see the Cardiologist in El Centro. One of these days I will be well enough to get back to driving my car again and going about my usual schedule. I hope.

As for selling my house here in San Felipe; I have taken it off the market and I’m reconsidering my options. There are many advantages to living in San Felipe and I have many caring friends here and at this point it is unlikely that I will leave here. I may go on trips and vacations, but San Felipe is home. I hope when needed I return the kindness and love I received when I needed it.

Categories: Retiring to Mexico | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Signed up for Spanish Immersion Class

I have, once again, committed myself to learn Spanish. I have signed up for a class in Guadalajara that is full immersion supposedly no english spoken. I just took a test for class placement and promptly failed it, so now I’m dropped down to a lower level. I’m supposed to receive another test in email and we’ll see how that goes. The plan I signed up for is a month long course at I. M. A. C.  a well known Spanish language school. I will be staying at a local inn four blocks from school in Guadalajara. My concerns are that I’ll be in over my head, in a class full of smart energetic college students or smart, sharp business professionals and I’ll be the only less than stellar student. I’ll write weekly posts on my experiences while at the school.

I also plan to spend a few weeks in Lake Chapala to get a feel for the place once again and see if it is a fit for me. I may look for a house to rent for the summer to look over the area at a more leisurely pace before committing to moving there. The weather is a big draw for me as it doesn’t have the cold winters like Baja has and it doesn’t have the hot humid summers that San Felipe has. Also San Felipe is close to the border and if I need anything up north or to visit family it is only a day’s drive. Also I have lots of friends in San Felipe and I would miss them dearly, there is a lot to consider between the two places before making a decision.

Today I spent a little personal time getting a manicure. Before I leave for Guadalajara I will get my hair and feet done so I’ll look and feel good for my new adventure. Here is a photo my me getting my nails done at my favorite shop in San Felipe.

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Categories: Adventure, learning Spanish, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX, Spanish School, Uncategorized, Weather in San Felipe | Tags: | 4 Comments

I’m Cold tengo frio :-(

The past week it has been cold here, at least by our standards, the temperature is in the sixties during the day and low fifties during the early morning and a few night lower into the forties, yikes that is cold for here. I have found that I need to dress in layers to be comfortable. I worry about my flowers but they seem to be doing okay so far.

Morning breakfast club has seen a drop in attendance because several members are out of town to visit family or to do some shopping in the “Old Country”. I don’t like crowds so I’ll put off my shopping till after the holidays.

I did get some needed work on my truck done. The truck was wearing out tires on the front at an alarming rate and after visiting the local Alignment shop I was given a list of parts to get while in the “Old Country” and now they are installed on the Green Beast. I have noticed a difference in how the truck feels driving on the highway. It seems to be more stable not wandering on the road. I just hope that the tire problem is cured. While it was in the shop the brake pads were changed as they were very low. I feel better that all this work has been done. I am keeping a watchful eye out for a car with Mexican plates to replace the truck with. I am going to be a permanent resident of Mexico in a month and the law states I can’t legally drive a foreign plated car. That law isn’t enforced here very strongly as there are to many foreigners driving around, but at the border when they check your visa, things could get dicey with Mexican Customs and I don’t need that aggravation.

I am glad I have the fireplace on these cold nights it may not give out a lot of heat but the fire its self gives the living room a cheery feel to it. I also have a portable heater to help keep temps reasonable as well as electric heat for those rooms that need a bit more heat like the bedroom. I also have an electric blanket and that keeps me warm too. I also have a portable electric heater in the bathroom that I turn on and heat that room before taking a shower, with the hot water and the heater it gets nice and warm in there.

I have been looking at other homes here in town and so far haven’t found anything that makes my heart go pitter-patter. I’ll keep looking as the homes for sale come and go.

 

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

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