Under the mango tree


Casita & Mango Tree

Egads, I realized that I’d better write a post soon, people are starting to wonder where I went. There’s just not much to report at the moment. Things are settling in and we’re both very busy. We’re delighted with the weather. The rains have come, at night. And some of the thunderstorms are spectacular. Keeping it down to a cool 25, 26C during the day (80-ish F). And probably 15 degrees (60F) at night. It’s perfect. It doesn’t rain in the day as a rule, which is great. The herbs are all just kicking along. The mango tree is dropping 25 mangoes a day. Unfortunately, they’re pretty ripe by the time they fall off. Our friends tell us that we need to take them before the rain. Sure, they’re 40 feet up the tree! Next year.

Although, I doubt we’ll be in this house next year. The owner really wants to sell it, not rent it. He’ll probably want to put it back on the market at the end of our lease. We could stay, I’m sure, on a month to month if need be, and have him start showing it. And take our time looking around for another house. For now, we’re just going to rent. At least as long as we own the Vancouver Island house. That’s what I figure. And I’ve been reading (in order to edit) the old posts. I don’t want another house here just yet. Not after all the trouble with the last one. It was stressful, to say the least.

On the other hand, I’m very tired of moving. We knew that this was a landing pad, so I guess it’s one of those ‘get a helmet’ solutions. I’m not going to start looking until January. Which isn’t actually that far away.

I’m almost done editing the eBook. I’ve added a prologue, epilogue and practical info section. And I’ve easily cut the original content in half in three edits – from almost 200,000 words to 100K. A dear friend is giving it a read and highlighting more that needs cut. Then I need another complete edit from start to finish and we may just be there. When I launch the eBook, I’m going to shut down the blog portion of the old website. But leave the rest of the info and website up. I’ll keep posting – but under another domain. You’ll be the first to know.

mexclip5As noted, we’re busy. I’ve got two assignments I’m working on, both ongoing, plus I was trying to devote at least two half-days a week to editing the eBook. It’s going to be titled: Mexico Gringo: How to move to Mexico without going crazy. I am an expert after all, I’ve done it twice now. And it’s somewhat based on Amazon search statistics. ‘How to” is big, in the millions per month (number of times searched) as is “Mexico”. I’m reading a lot about marketing eBooks and learning some very interesting things. And yes, I’m still moving stocks around inside our TFSAs. And still in the black. We’re using that black to pay our rent down here. And it’s working so hey, it’s part of my mixed farming/fishing efforts.

Plus, I have my two paying gigs. One you know about, ongoing, the memoir project. The other you know about, too. The home decor magazine job I found on Craigslist two years ago. It’s back in full swing again. I like it, it’s comfortable, that job. Sustainable long term. The memoirs are a great job too – but just not permanent, they end somewhere. But there are a lot of great stories, so it will go on for a while.

Charlie has a rash on his face. We’re trying to get an appointment with a dermatologist – it started to come out yesterday and we’re hoping it’s not Shingles. More likely prickly heat rash but we’ll see. It just started coming up yesterday and the whole thing is putting me in a bit of a tizzy. I guess it reminds me of the appendix. Here we are again in a strange city where we don’t know doctors and I can’t even speak the language. I fleetingly consider how simple a process this would be in Canada.

Brazilian Grape Tree

Brazilian Grape Tree

I’m just in a mood, I guess. Not sure where it came from, other than  not knowing what to do. That’s a good enough start. It’s thrown me right off my game and got me thinking crazy things. I’ll try to control myself. We have a Brazilian Grape tree (Jabuticaba). The flowers, and oversize grape-like fruit grows right on the tree trunk. It’s most unusual. It smelled like Jasmine when it was blooming and the bees were just swarming it. I’m going to make jam – it’s supposed to be good. The fruit itself tastes like a cross between a grape and a lychee. It’s a nice – if somewhat unusual – fruit. Apparently it doesn’t travel well, so you won’t be seeing it up north with the exception perhaps of Whole Foods, and very occasionally. We don’t yet have Whole Foods in Mexico, but I heard they are coming. We do have City Market – which is very comparable – in Mexico City.

Ok, I’m back. We’ve been to the Dra. – Doctora – and Charlie indeed has Shingles. Good to know and he has creams and pills (five different pills, two creams) for it. Should take a few weeks to get rid of – it’s the lurking virus from Chicken Pox, apparently. And if you ever had Chicken Pox, you can get Shingles. It just happens. I don’t believe I have ever had CP. Which actually means I can catch Chicken Pox from his Shingles, but the Shingles themselves are not contagious. I think I had a CP vaccination, some 50 years ago. It’s probably expired. Geez, Louise. The internet has too much information.

cmarket3So, it’s a lazy weekend. I’m cooking for the dogs now so I’ll start that. No more crappy store bought food. I take whole chickens and boil them down to smithereens, including all the parts and pieces and down here they even give you the feet in a bag. I take out the bones, although many disintegrate. I add carrots and whatever green vegetable we’ve got (especially anything on the verge of being only fit for soup) and I add coconut oil and either brown rice or vegetable pasta. Sometimes I add quinoa. Today, I’m adding a few beets. They like it a lot and it lasts about a week. We give them other bits and pieces – any leftovers of ours, especially proteins, go into the mix. I’ve got some fish (pollock) that I wasn’t fond of – frozen stuff – and I’ll put a couple of those in the pot today, too.

We don’t even eat that healthily.Well, we do, but they probably end up with a more balanced diet than I do. I’m still not big on greens unless it’s a Caesar (especially baby grilled ones) or Swiss Chard chips. Or asparagus. I’ll do spinach in things because it’s inoffensive that way. I try. Although they are getting the pollock. If I don’t like it, I’m not eating it covered in sauce just because I bought a six month supply at Costco.


Home sweet home (for now)

We have really settled in, I must say. We’re into a routine. Same as last time. Up in the morning about 6am, coffee in the outdoor living room, on the computers to check the news of the world. Many mornings we have fresh fruit shakes (using coconut milk) – they come out more like smoothies. And they’re good for you. Then we migrate to the office, a separate (light-filled) high ceiling building. Where the real work begins. Although sometimes, depending on what I’m doing, I’ll stay at the glass dining table in the outdoor room to work. I’ve worked in the cabana too. That’s probably my favorite place. Not sure why I don’t do that more often.

Not crazy about having a maid twice a week, although on those days I stay in the back office with the dogs and work all day. She’s a nice, older lady who’s been with the house forever. Takes her a long time to do stuff but she irons like a goddess. And these are days when I get a solid 10 hours work done so I should look at it as a blessing. I’m kind of bored, now, truth be told. And that’s a dangerous place for me to be. I’m much safer when my mind is occupied with a million things. That cat thing, you know. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have so much work at such a potentially dangerous time. And I just keep focusing on that.

Cabana Sunrise

Cabana Sunrise

You won’t see much of me until the book is out and the website(s) have been adapted. I need to put my head down and square my shoulders and just get it done. It’s an extremely boring subject to me, because I’ve been living it and analyzing it for almost three years. So it’s hard to get excited about it, but the content exists already, the heavy lifting is done and I’ll just get on with it. It could have a better title (what do you think?) but I really *am* working off Amazon search statistics with Mexico Gringo: How to move to Mexico without going crazy. And it needs to come up in as many search screens as possible. I’m also deep into lessons on how giving away 5,000 – 10,000 copies can really impact your sales, in a good way. It seems to be worth advertising the free copy. Downloads, even free downloads, drive momentum. As does word of mouth. And search terms.

I am giving myself a deadline – July 1 to have the book ready to convert to Kindle-speak (I think I will farm this out) and the cover done and to be working on marketing. Which is really only two weeks away so I’d better get at it. Life under the mango tree goes on. Still no idea what we’re doing, feeling very vague this week. New moon in Gemini on Tuesday so maybe that will open my eyes to things new paths. Signs. Today, I’ll look for signs. That’s always fun. Remember:  Canta, no llores.

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