A few days ago my computer had a massive fail. I had clicked on updates thinking it was no big deal and I was wrong. My computer had a total meltdown. I thought I was safe in that I had it backed up with another hard drive. Sadly that drive was defective and I only got a little bit of information back when my computer was rebuilt. My computer had to have a new hard drive installed and had to be reformatted. Luckily, I had the original operating disks. Sadly I have lost all my photos except those I posted on my blogs. I’m still processing this event. I also have the photos in the media files for this blog which is a help, I guess. Life goes on.
OH, Joy! I found a lot of my photos have been saved by Google so I haven’t lost everything! YEA!
It seems I can’t leave anything alone I have to have a project. I don’t do the manual labor anymore I just come up with the idea and hire out the work. This time it is an extension of the patio to make the surface more comfortable to walk on and place furniture. Here are a few photos of the beginning of the project.
I think it will improve the use of the patio and make walking from the car to the house easier!
Since the last post, I’ve been very preoccupied first with a family visit to my home in Punta Banda which is just south of Ensenada Baja Mexico. Then with health issues and my ongoing projects here in San Felipe about 120 miles south of Mexicali Baja Mexico.
First the visit with the family, I was on pins and needles as this was important to me that they have a good visit and learn to understand a little bit about why I live and love Mexico. Imagined all sorts of problems occurring like delays in their flight to San Diego and my missing their flight because I got lost in traffic or car trouble. Or, maybe some incident happening that would destroy their visit and their impression of Mexico. You see, I’m a champion worrier and prepare for the worst. As it was everything went smoothly with meeting the family; my son his wife and my grandson at the airport. We had made plans to stay at a motel in San Diego the first night because their flight arrived a bit later in the evening and I don’t like to drive at night.
The following day we drove to the border. Crossing any border these days can be a problem if you are not prepared. I’m always prepared and made sure the dear family was prepared also. It turned out to be a none event crossing into Mexico. We drove along the Pacific Coast and the sun was out showing us lovely beaches and surf; a lovely trip.
The drive is a little over two hours so when we got to my house I could tell they were tired of the ride. As soon as they saw the beach from the house they were delighted and ready for vacation mode. The family enjoyed the beach, horseback riding on it and flying a kite trying to use a kayak in the surf and just walking along the water’s edge collecting shells and other little bits that washed ashore. We dined out frequently and got to meet some of the people I know and seeing how friendly people are Americans and Mexicans. They got to ask a lot of questions about Mexico and my life in here. I was in teacher mode and loved it.
Too soon the vacation was over and we had to cross the border again this time back into the US from Mexico. Crossing through Tiajuana Mexico is arduous the wait times can be long for two hours or more. We endured a two-hour wait till we got to the Officer checking us in which we were passed through quite easily. Soon enough we were at the Airport saying our goodbyes and hugs all around. It was a nice interesting experience seeing Mexico through my family’s eyes.
I am having trouble uploading photos so that will come later in another post!
This is a little story about my trip to the US.
I’m lucky that I live close enough to the border with the US that I can use my medical insurance and Medicare, while I still have it. I had an appointment with my US Doctor about some x-rays on my hip and a follow up on another problem. I also needed to go to my Broker’s Office, the closest one was in San Diego. I needed some tax documents to finish my US taxes and I had upset the Security Folks at Charles Schwab because I didn’t know the answers to the security questions they asked to reset my password. Seems they gather information from databases from all over the US. I can tell you these databases are not complete nor are they accurate. I was forced to go to the nearest Charles Schwab office to get my 1099 which was in San Diego CA! So here is the story about that trip!
I’m in San Diego at the Howard Johnson’s Motel just off the I-8, exit 5. How I got here is a long story. The trip to and through the border was uneventful. I got to the Doctor’s office on time then the waiting started. I waited an hour to be taken in and given the usual blood pressure temp pulse weight thing Then I waited for another half an hour more. I was wondering if I was being put on hold on purpose when the Doctor showed up. I was informed that I have Osteoarthritis in both hips and that it is not in its worst stage but at some point maybe five years from now I’ll have to have a hip replaced. The pain and weakness going down my leg is another story and she recommends that I have another MRI. Basically, she said there is nothing they can do for the Arthritis other than pain medication. The MRI may show a nerve being blocked or about to be blocked causing pain in my leg and weakness. We also discussed my another problem and she prescribed a medication and warned me it was expensive. I went to Walmart and checked the price and was floored, it has a copay of $300 dollars! And, I have really good insurance! I declined the prescription, my problem isn’t that bad, yet.
By now the time has slipped by and I have to get on the road to San Diego. I got gas and headed to SD and got here about 4 pm. But the exits to my destination were closed! I tried getting to Charles Schwab but the traffic was at a standstill. I pulled in to Motel 6 and found the there had been a gas main break and the whole area had been under evacuation orders and no rooms were available for five miles. So back out into traffic again and it was crazy. I found Howard Johnson’s and they had a room and it was under the corporate group as Travel Lodge and I have their club card so I got a discount of about $17! I had dinner at the nearest restaurant they had the dryest meatloaf I’ve had in years! So now I’m waiting for tomorrow to see if the roads are open to Charles Schwab so I can get my tax info and get back to San Felipe.
This is the following day and all is well or so I think. Last night I couldn’t sleep if it wasn’t one thing it was another that bugged me from a light in the bathroom that stayed on to bright to some lady walking back and forth in high heels and another talking loudly till after 2am! I got about three maybe four hours sleep. In the morning I went for the so-called breakfast, and was informed it was against the rules to take food out of the breakfast area! When I checked in I was told to sign a page, a whole page of rules, but the page was not given to me so I’m supposed to know the rules with just one glance? I was glad to leave that place and find the Charles Schwab office which now that the emergency is over with was not that difficult and the ladies there were very nice. My 1099 is thirty-two pages long! I’ve seen budgets for a government office shorter than that! Once the 1099 was in hand I stopped at Denny’s for a real breakfast and as quickly as I could I got on the on the road and out of San Diego! All the traffic made me nervous and stressed I’m not used to Freeway traffic and not knowing the area I was getting a bit frustrated.
I’m home now in San Felipe where I belong nice and calm. My kitty was glad to see me. I sure am tired and a little hungry as I skipped lunch today. I think I will go to town and have dinner there and cool down my emotions from all the driving and stress.
Like anyone, I’ve had my ups and downs lately. Health wise I have a recurring back problem for years and lately, it has been getting worse. It was time to see if it could be treated and made less painful so I made an appointment and was referred to have an MRI done. MRIs are not fun, for me, the noise and laying for so long a hard narrow bench not moving was torture. Now I’m waiting for the results if this test. We’ll see what is recommended to fix this problem.
I am having some work done on the Beach House. The bathroom with the tub is being redone. The tub had seen better days and was rusty and gross. I am concerned about the subfloor and walls of the bathroom as one never really knows what is going on in there. I hope nothing serious is amiss in those dark regions if there is it will have to be refurbished. I want all this done before my family arrives St. Patrick’s Day! If not oh well.
I did have the Mexican Saltillo floor tiles resealed and according to my rental agent, they look a lot better. I think one day I’ll have the floors updated with ceramic tile. The dishwasher is still not working if the parts don’t come in soon I may just go to plan B and replace the dishwasher. Still waiting for an estimate on the termite problem the first man was asking too much money for the job.
I bought some new lounge chairs for the beachside deck, they are a bright red so the should go with the red umbrella I bought. Having two houses is keeping me busy which is not a bad thing. I thought I would show some photos of the flowers on the front patio.
I have two projects at my house in San Felipe. One is getting the airstream trailer updated so guests can stay in it and the other is the garden wall between my neighbor to the south of me which it seems I am the project manager of that construction. Then there is the house in Punta Banda just south of Ensenada. I have several projects there. Project one is to repair and paint the deck on the beach side of the house. Project two is to replace the wood on the driveway gate and fix the wooden door to the front patio. Project three is repairing the front patio deck or removing it. Then there is the trash that has to be hauled away. I almost forgot I also have to get the termite man back as something is eating the wood in the laundry/storage room.
When I was retiring I was so worried that I would have nothing to do with all the vacant time on my hands. It seemed like I was always at work or going to work or coming home from work that I had very few hobbies that I could enjoy. I owned a sailboat but didn’t get to use it much. Now I’m as busy as ever.
Last night just off the beach here at the house in Punta Banda there were at least two big fishing boats at work with their lights on. They worked all night and even this morning as the sun came up they were still at work fishing.
The wooden handrails look nice and sturdy too. I met another neighbor his name is Rick and he lives across the street with four dogs he has been here fourteen years. That is two neighbors I have met Dusty and Rick.
Now if the Glass man shows up with the window glass and the handyman shows up today will have done better than I expected I already have had the Gasman show up and put some LP Gas in the Gas tank I was down to 5%, not a good thing to run so low on gas.
Time for lunch so I’ll close now. Write will write more later.
Friday night I went out to dinner at a place called Sharky’s. It was interesting to see so many people out for dinner after thursday’s feast. Of course it was Surf and Turf night; Steak and Lobster and from the looks of it and the way folks were eating it this is a big hit with the locals. I opted for something a little smaller breaded fillet of fish with rice and veggies. Well, I don’t like steak anymore and the lobster looked too big for me. The fish was good and filling especially because it came with corn soup.
I returned home to the Beach House and spent the evening on the computer while listening to soft music and watching the fire in the fireplace. Yes the fireplace works and I have bought some artificial logs to burn in it, looks pretty.
This morning I awoke and I heard the fog horn in the distance and sure enough the fog was rolling in, welcome to the Pacific Coast! Now I’m trying to decide to stay one more day or leave. Isn’t there a song about “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” ? Oh, here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN1WwnEDWAM
Here is a picture of the fireplace in action;
Here is a photo of the fog about to roll in;
I’d post a Photo of the fog, but what’s the point?
I needed to visit my new house in Punta Banda to sign some papers and to check the house out for any repairs and or improvements. I have been here since tuesday afternoon and I’m still in love with the place. The weather has been very good not to cold just cool and sunny. The sound of the waves coming ashore along with watching them is very relaxing to me. At night I can hear the waves and puts me to sleep. I find myself watching the waves for a very long time they are a great time waster.
I thought the location of the house would be good for a view of Ensenada lights at night and I was right ! This photo below doesn’t do the lights justice but it is the best I can do without a tripod and timed exposure. I have been busy shopping for the house. The house will be used as a rental from time to time so it needed a microwave oven. I got one at COSCO which is about a half hour drive from here. I also got some pillows for the couch and a few items for the kitchen.
Here is the photo of the lights at night.
Here is a video of the waves coming ashore click on the photo to get the video.
My trip has been a successful one in that I have gotten a list of things to be done all minor and through the rental agent have someone to do it! I’m really liking this house and through the agent I have learned more about its history which explains some of its quirks. I love quirky houses 🙂
So as I’m driving along in traffic I get a phone call and like a good motorist I pull over at a convenient spot and call them back and it is my Real Estate Agent with the news that my offer was turned down. She says the owners are firm on their price and to think it over for a couple of days and let her know what I want to do. I drive on and when driving the cross peninsula highway in Baja Mexico you have to keep your mind on the business at hand this is a road with lots of curves and drop offs so no daydreaming. Still I was mulling over how much paying full price would effect my account balance.
By the time I got home I was thinking I could pay full price because I really wanted the house. When I called the Agent back she informed my that the owners had dropped the price a little bit just for me! Oh! I jumped on this deal ! Now comes the mundane stuff; transfers and leases, yadda, yadda, yadda. I’ll walk you through it so you’ll know what is involved in buying a house on the shore in Baja. For now I’m just tired from my trip.
Just in case you have started this blog here are some photos of what I’m going on about. Click to enlarge of course. This house is beachfront property on leased land has 3 or 4 bedrooms two baths an enclosed front patio and a deck on the beach side with views of the mountain, islands and the Port of Ensenada !
View of the beach
Front patio as you enter
Outside of the house entrance to the left and driveway to the right
Living Room and Dinning Area
I have submitted an offer and now I’m just waiting to see what the reply is going to be. I went by the house and took some more photos, they are posted below.
First the outside
Outside of the house entrance to the left and driveway to the right
Front patio as you enter
Bar and dinning area on the patio
Now the inside
Bedroom with fireplace
The house is now configured for four bedrooms plus in the garden house there are beds.
Now the views
View out of the living room window
View of the mountain and the sea
On A Clear Day you can see islands farther out