Archive for the 'Life As We Know It' Category

You Can Go Home Again

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

I guess I’ve been busy for the last, oh, seven years.  Can’t believe this blog has been idle that long.

Anyway, we got hubby’s Green Card and moved home to Boulder, CO.  Back home where we both belong.  We bought a house in a neighborhood we’ve wanted to live in since we got married.  We can see Long’s Peak from the front porch swing.  We can be in Boulder’s endless open space with a 2 block walk.  Now we do winter, and we no longer die from being too hot and humid all the time.  We joined our old gym, which came conveniently loaded with lots of old friends.  We shop in our old stores, drive roads we’ve known for years, see random people we remember from forever ago.

I may no longer be nomadic.

It’s almost stunning how easy it was to come home.  And it’s also similarly stunning how little I miss Mexico.  I miss people in Mexico, I miss that tight got-yer-back expat community, but don’t miss how catty we’d get, how inbred it could seem, like we were in a fishbowl swimming around and around.  No fishbowl anymore.  I worry about Mexico, I watch the news, and worry, a lot.

I sometimes miss being able to pick fruit in the park.  I never miss needing to pick up garbage in the park.  Litter is rare here, because people don’t throw it, and because we have garbage cans, bear-proof garbage cans.  We even had a bear once.

I love being home.


Ushering in 2009

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I feel I should write a post that ushers in the New Year and dismisses the Old Year, or something. So here goes.

I began 2008 with a lot more money in the bank than I ended it with. I’m a long-term investor so I’m not very bent out of shape about it, it will come back, but I did like having more money.

When the year began the exchange rate between the Mexican Peso and the U.S. Dollar was such that our house was worth more than twice what we originally paid for it (in Dollars). At year end our house is worth quite a bit less in Dollars, though still more than we paid for it. That’s frustrating. So now I’m really rooting for the Peso to gain strength against the Dollar again. Go Peso!

I began 2008 thinking that selling real estate in Mexico was something I might be good at. By May I’d been stabbed in the back on two big deals and had come to believe that if you lie down with wolves you might not get back up again. I love looking at real estate and have a strong understanding of real estate investing, so I may still help my friends find places to buy, but I’ve learned that I have to keep it light and not think of it as my work.

In 2008 my web design business made more money than ever before. I learned to be more efficient. I got faster and more importantly, I grew more realistic about what I can do for clients.

In 2008 I missed my kid way too much. As one friend told me recently “it makes you old before your time to live away from your kids.” I was happy to see her at both Thanksgiving (In November) and at Christmas, so we ended the year very close. But it still rots not to live with her.

We began 2008 with 10 cats and 1 dog. We ended with 8 cats and 2 dogs. Overall the house is happier with 2 dogs in it. But we still miss the two cats that died, one of them left a sister-cat who still cries for her, the other left his mama who isn’t close to any other kitties.

I’m not one for making lots of New Year’s Resolutions because I think it sets one up to fail. But there are several things I want and need to change this year. My one Resolution is to stop working on weekends. And I think if I stop working weekends I will automagically change other things that need to change because I will be taking more time for me and will be less stressed.

Here’s wishing you all a happy, fruitful 2009!

A Whole Lotta Nothing & An Umbrella

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Boy are we lazy around here. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing. But it sure is a thing to be reckoned with. My daughter is here, for Xmas, and we are having a very nice time. But we aren’t DOING anything. I mean we are walking the dogs, and cooking, and cheating when we play Trivial Pursuit, but besides that…we are just being really lazy.

I guess with her here I feel that trying to work would be rude, and likely frustrating, so I’m not even attempting any work. And she has no agenda. So it’s been easy to fall into not having any goals at all.

Christmas was nice and mellow here. I cooked much of the day. And we watched the movie Wall-E on DVD (cute). And we played our own special version of Trivial Pursuit where we don’t even bother to ask the useless pink questions that are always about some long-dead movie star neither of us can name and instead we hand-pick better questions about science, geography or history.

As far as loot went we all pretty much picked out our own gifts and then wrapped them for each other. So the actual Christmas gift-giving didn’t involve much surprise. But everyone was getting what they wanted, so it was satisfying.

The one gift I wanted which I didn’t get was a new patio table umbrella.

The old umbrella has a problem. Well, it has two problems. One of my cats, who shall remain nameless, decided to climb a ladder that was leaning against the house. And when she reached the top of the ladder she decided to jump onto the top of the patio umbrella. Well, that umbrella is 4 years old, so she went right through it and made a big hole in it.

But wait, there’s more. A few days after the cat jumped through my patio umbrella a second cat, who shall also remain nameless (only because I’m not sure which of the 8 it is), did the same thing AGAIN. So now the patio umbrella has 2 huge rips in it from cats falling through it.

The story is cute. But the umbrella really looks awful now. So I think we should either buy a whole new umbrella or replace the fabric on this one (its parts all work fine). But we haven’t gotten around to deciding which choice is better. So we do nothing.

I do hate that doing nothing thing. Though I am awfully good at it.

Not Important and Not Urgent

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Well, I’m baaack from the States. And I’m fighting with my ever-present urge to blow off all things important and focus on not important things.

While in the states I actually read an article from Oprah’s magazine, “O”, (previously I was an “O” magazine virgin). The article was about how manage your time effectively. Basically the idea was that you write down every single thing that you think you need to do and then you categorize each item by the following:

  • Important and Urgent
  • Important but Not Urgent
  • Not Important and Urgent
  • Not Important and Not Urgent

Apparently, from what the article said and from personal experience, most of us do those things that end up categorized as Important and Urgent as well as those things we would categorize as Not Important and Urgent.

So the lesson is to make your list and then throw out anything that you would categorize as Not Important, whether Urgent or Not Urgent.

Now this sounds all good and fine. But there’s a problem. And that problem is that I seem to be addicted to Not Important and Urgent. I should marry Not Important and Urgent. I get all hot and bothered by Not Important and Urgent.

I also have a strong affinity for Not Important and Not Urgent.

So I’m thinking I might need to start a support group. Anybody wanna join me in fighting my addiction to all things Not Important? We could meet and have coffee and spend half the meeting discussing local chisme (gossip) and finally get around to talking about the Not Important things we should NOT DO right about when it’s time to rush off to our next Not Important activity.

Come on, step right up!

OK, if you want to read the original article see here: Urgent! Urgent! (Or Is It?)

Well, I may not get anywhere with this Not Important thing, but at least I’m no longer an “O” magazine virgin. (I’ve still never seen a whole episode of her show though.)

Land of Plenty

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I’m struck by how much extra there is here in the States. There are yard sales all over here (with the Mainer accent they are called “yahd” sales). And each time I see one I’m struck by how much stuff is being sold for next to nothing. People here simply have more than they need. Most of them do not realize this, but it becomes clear when you see what they are getting rid of and how cheaply they are willing to part with it.

This is different from Mexico where lots of people don’t have what they need. My yard sale experience in Mexico is that they come in 2 flavors:
– First you have the normal Mexican yard sale where items are being sold well past their prime, but prices are high. A pair of beat-to-shit old ugly shoes for $10 USD, used DVDs, complete with scratches, for $5 USD, an 8-track tape player for $15 USD, etc. It seems that a yard sale is seen first as a chance to make money. Getting rid of things you don’t need seems to be secondary.

– The second type of yard sale in Mexico is the “ex-pat who didn’t make in Mexico” yard sale. These are usually great sales because the ex-pat came to Mexico thinking they would love it. They buy a new living room set from Liverpool and they fill an apartment with nice new things. They often adopt a pet. And then one day they realize that Cancun is not what they thought it would be. They decide to leave and they liquidate everything as fast a possible and high tail it back to the States or wherever… I love these sales. But each time I hear of an ex-pat who is moving back without taking their pet(s) I get furious (I’ll save that rant for another day).

Here in New England the yard sales are not just full of good cheap stuff, they are full of interesting antiques. I keep seeing nifty chairs and couches that I wish I could buy and fix up. But the last thing I need is more stuff in Mexico that I have to haul back to the U.S. So I’m waiting until we move back to the U.S. to indulge in buying things I don’t need…

Don’t Bury Me

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

As I sit here listening to the NPR story titled Inventor’s Ashes Buried in His Creation: Pringles Can I feel compelled to make a public statement.

I do not want to be buried in the ground when I die. I can think of no greater torture than to be stuck underground for all of eternity. I am claustrophobic and I don’t much like the dark. I have no desire to be consumed by worms, or worse, to be embalmed and then not consumed at all.

I do not believe there is an after-life and I don’t believe in ghosts (much). But it is my solemn promise to those I leave behind when I depart this world that I will HAUNT YOU if you inter me! I swear it!

My wish is to be cremated and scattered in the good places! If my people need a spot on this earth to call mine then they have my permission to take not more than a thimble-full of my ashes and place them just underneath the sod so that I can still see light and so that my matter will quickly become part of the grass above me. Anything more than this and I will haunt, make no mistake!

I Didn’t Say That

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Right now my book club is reading Christopher Hitchens’ Portable Atheist. And I have also just finished Hitchens’ God is Not Great. So at the moment I am well-steeped in religious philosophies, and especially in the shortcomings, of the world’s major organized religions.

I won’t get into the big stuff right now (like whether God exists), maybe later (just you wait). But I do want to address a couple of things that always seem to get said to me in times of need (and as such seem to fit into the religious space).

One of them is:

Everything happens for a reason.

This is said with absolute conviction. To me this is like saying “your keys are always in the last place you look.” Of course they are in the last place you look because you are not so stupid as to keep looking for your keys once you’ve found them, are you? If you look for a reason, you find a reason. Did it happen for a reason? Or were there consequences of that event that didn’t suck? It’s not very likely that every consequence of an event will be bad. You can always find a silver lining and attach a big pile of meaning to it. So it all happens for a reason, a reason that we recognize after the fact, almost as a justification for an event that we are unhappy enough about to bother to say “everything happens for a reason.”

If you followed me through that then I’ll keep with it…

The next thing people always seem to say, or maybe it’s just Mom (who has a Ph.D in Religious Studies) who says it, is:

We are always where we need to be, learning what we need to learn.

This is patent bullshit. I don’t need to be raped and murdered to learn whatever special lesson that holds. We humans are capable of great subtly and, dare I say it, inference. We can watch someone else go through hell and realize that perhaps we don’t need to go there ourselves. (Well, sometimes, some of us, with some kinds of hell.)

There are some lessons I don’t need. I don’t need my attorney to be shot in the face 2 blocks from my home (yes this happened), it’s not a lesson that’s important to me. I don’t need my husband to be afraid of being kidnapped when we are eating shitty tacos from a street vendor (he is). I don’t need to see yet another street dog that has been killed by a car at high speed and lays, pathetically, in the middle of the highway getting slowly ground to an unrecognizable pulp by the repeated cars that hit it (this happens daily here). I don’t need to walk down the beach and find large quantities of drugs washed up on the shore (I know nothing).

If you think these are lessons worth learning then be my guest, fucking learn them! I think this statement is something that is said by people who don’t have enough lessons under their belts and feel compelled to latch onto whatever lesson passes by (sorry Mom). And maybe, just maybe, there are more lessons to learn when you live in a 3rd world country, where suffering is a common everyday experience.

Thank you, good night and God bless…or whatever.

A Moment of Grace

Monday, May 19th, 2008

I’m feeling honored. A close friend of mine, a single woman who is 20 years my elder, asked today if I would be one of her emergency contacts in case she gets sick. Perhaps this sounds morbid, but I am deeply honored to be seen as stable and trustworthy enough to be on the short list of people she would let herself need if all hell broke loose.

I’m also honored because Gary over at The Mexile complimented my blog. He writes well and his blog is really about living in Mexico, so it has real value to people interested in Mexico. In fact, Gary’s blog makes me interested in Mexico City which is something that husbandito, who is a chilango (person from Mexico City), cannot manage to do. I think Gary was just being nice; my blog is actually just a long grumpy rant written by someone who types too quickly, does too little and doesn’t really want to live in Mexico. But I appreciate the compliment.

Muddle Headed

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Sometimes I know exactly what I want to blog about. Sometimes I have several distinct blog post ideas in my head. Other times I feel the blog post ideas build up but don’t seem to be able to separate one from another. This stalls my process and usually means I don’t blog at all, which makes the whole thing worse, of course.

This past week was like that, 15 different half-formed blog posts floated through my head, but none of them became defined enough to warrant any actual typing. So I’m posting now just to post something, to clear my brain and get back to intentional blogging.

My illness of last week became a week-long fever (hence my foggy-headed state). I functioned for part of most days, but by Friday I was just a feverish lump. Friday and Saturday I didn’t accomplish shit. I hate days like that, forced days off that are no fun. If I’m going to not work I want to enjoy it, dammit. But I’m finally better now, I feel strong and fully here again. It’s about time.

Oh My Aching Head

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The last time I had a cold was almost 5 years ago, just after we moved to Cancun from Colorado (USA). And I contracted that cold on a trip back to Colorado, I didn’t catch it here. When we lived in Colorado I got at least one cold a winter, sometimes more. And with all the dust in the air there (it’s high desert there) my sinuses would bother me often, cold or no cold. So I was a tissue-carrying girl back there.

Here in Cancun I don’t get colds. At least I didn’t. I’m coming down with one now. Husbandito came home from work on Saturday suffering the early symptoms of a cold. By Sunday it looked to me like a mild flu, he had fever and chills and sniffles and was generally miserable. He’s better today (Monday), the fever has broken and he’s feeling better. But now I’m getting it. Bah humbug! I don’t want to get sick. One of the best things about living here is that I don’t get sick, and now here I am with a headache and a stuffy nose and that pre-fever feeling. Yuck!

On the other hand I guess I should be happy that catching a cold is news, right?

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