Living in Mexico: Remodeling my home and morning at the market
This morning, getting ready for my next vacation, I went to the Ajijic street market. I needed to stock up on dog food. I needed to make enough of it for a month!
I picked up three bags of mixed chopped raw vegetables (ostensibly provided for soup lovers) for 5 pesos each. Saves me hours of chopping. Then, I headed to the market in Chapala for ground beef heart. Two kilos for 14 pesos. Finally to the staples lady to buy brown rice from big barrels. I felt like a real local after the trip.
The first time at Chapala's mercado, however, is a bit overwhelming. Sides of beef, pork, and more are hanging from the racks on one side of the building. Desserts, fresh juices and fresh flowers are in the middle and at the opposite end, fresh fruits and veggies. I always get an orange juice to go. That means they pour the juice into a glass to get the correct amount and then into a plastic baggie. After inserting a straw, they tie the baggie around the straw and voila! It's packaged to go.
Now I have to cook the rice, put the veggies into my blender to finely mince them, add some garlic and oil, then mix it all together with the beef. Freezer bags will store three day's worth at a time.
The only problem is, I don't have access to my kitchen.
I am remodeling.
I decided last month that I was not going to buy property and build my dream house. Instead I am remodeling what I have. I'm also expanding my office/sewing room and putting a fountain in the front patio.
What this means in real terms though is weeks, maybe months, of having my house filled with workmen from 8:30 to 6 p.m. Oops! They just went to lunch, so I can get into my kitchen for something to eat. I'll finish this later.
This morning, I have workers laying tile in my bedroom, preparing the kitchen cabinets for paint (and finding termite-rotted wood which now needs to be replaced), dog groomers in the laundry who are trimming and bathing Max and Maurice, and the real estate agent for my new condo buzzing about needing paint colors. It almost makes me feel like I might be in the U.S. again. I need to slow things down a bit.
Tuesday, I take off on a premier bus line, ETN, to Manzanillo for five days. I'll meet the lady who "house sat" for me last year at a condo near the beach. The bus trip is 4 hours and 15 minutes.
After Manzanillo, I return home to repack and am off for a week to Jekyll Island, Georgia, where some of the world's most famous doll makers will be teaching classes. American Airlines is picking up my airfare, thanks to a $1,000 coupon they gave me when they bumped me off my flight to Ireland last year. Thank you, AA.
Then, I'm off to California for a week with my son and friends and finally back to Mexico where I'll stay in Guadalajara with a friend and take another week of intensive Spanish language lessons. If I could just find someone to practice with, I could remember so much more. My maestro (he's in charge of my remodeling) understands English but doesn't speak it well, so I speak in English and he speaks in Spanish. It works out fine for both of us.
Yesterday I received a rejection from a publisher I sent my book proposal to. She responded exactly eleven months and three days after I sent it to her. It was a Xerox notice on a 3x8-1/2 piece of paper. They don't even waste a full piece of paper on rejections anymore. At least there was a handwritten note suggesting another publisher I should contact.
Ah well, after the remodeling is done, and I've finished setting up my new condo for rental, I'll get back into writing. It's nice not putting guilt on myself if I'd rather make a doll, sculpt or play on-line Scrabble. Did I mention yet that I can play Scrabble on-line with folks around the world? This morning as I looked out over my beautiful garden, I thought:"What would I be doing now if I hadn't come to Mexico three and a half years ago?"
Working in Corporate America. That's what.
Okay, I'm off to prepare for my next vacation from retirement. Keep those cards and letters coming. I'm having such fun meeting so many of you when you actually get down here. In fact, two of my readers will be my neighbors at the new condo. It's a small, small world.