Out of chaos, comes opportunity…right?

Well, time to take stock, I think. We’re halfway through our lease and what do we think of Cuernavaca? Frankly, we like it just fine. But DF still calls. And I think I mentioned in the last post, Whisky, Tango, Foxtrot – we’re going to DF and we’ll bite the cost. That’s the current plan. People laugh (well, some people laugh) because our plans change. I have friends who don’t ‘get’ change. But that’s ok. We don’t ‘get’ standing still (unless life is perfect). We are constantly in flux and motion.  Always trying to develop a better plan. We relish living in different environments and trying different things. We are bored very easily (can you say ADD – LOL?). And right now, here we are in Mexico with very few restrictions, other than we need good , strong internet every day. And not to say we don’t want to settle down. But are we done looking? Not yet. Something fantastic might be just around the corner.

cuernaeiffelWho knows, though. If the right house shows up in Cuernvaca at the right price, we might consider it. It would need to be the forever keeper, though. And I’m not expecting it, but not ruling it out. I like owning. Don’t care to rent. The retail is good here (groceries, box stores, restaurants), the weather is glorious and the proximity to DF is the thing. But we would rather be in the city. Now that we’ve come up a bit in (rental) budget, I think we will probably find something. How have we managed to come up in budget, you might ask? Well, some is rationalization. As in, we won’t have a maid or gardener or pool guys to pay there, so we have more to spend on rent. Plus, we’re willing to pay more. It might give us more incentive to try and make more – but we do work pretty hard now. Otherwise, until we buy a property anyway, we have lots of unused credit if we need it. Not that we like to normally use that kind of money for anything but investments, thus the Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot. Experiences. It’s all about experiences.

And I am still making good money on the stocks – enough to pay our rent down here in Cuerna. So maybe I can ramp it up and make enough to pay rent up there. It’s probably all in what you believe you can or cannot do. And of course, I’ll be careful. I only buy into things I believe in and have researched to the hilt. Some of my solar stocks have been a little volatile with the oil prices but they are a longer term hold.I’m liking Apple again (I sold a month or two ago) but it’s the exchange rate that scares me. Oh well, things to ponder. I’m going well with GoPro and Shopify. I’m looking to buy another solar company stock and maybe a renewable energy stock. We’ve paid for 9 months rent so far (out of these stocks) with lots left in the “gains’ column for the last three months (we move it three months at a time because it’s so cumbersome). We will figure out an alternative soon to wiring money, it’s a pain. We are going up north for most of September so it might not be that soon. And I may not be posting much in September as I’ll be on the road. It seems like such a long time to be away but I’m sure that the time will fly by when we are there.

binoctestI looked at houses when I was up in San Miguel recently. Unfortunately, the one that we thought might be an option isn’t really. It was outside the city, which is our first criteria. It came with tenants, which was perfect as an investment to hold for later down the road. But they turned out to be friends of the owner, paying a very nominal rent and ready to move. Sure, we could buy it and then go out and find tenants, but we can do that anytime, any town, any house. This house looked appealing because it looked turnkey. But alas, not so. It was a cute house and would have made a great little cottage hideaway in some years from now but didn’t work out. I could see us there in the future, but we can’t take on another project (finding the right tenant), plus it was priced high for what it was. We’ll monitor it. I was also reminded of how cold it was while I was there (for 36 hours, basically, but two nights). And this is August. Shawls at night and forget the flip flops. I guess there are worse things. I could wear boots. Who knows where the bloody spinning wheel will land in the end – but next stop is Mexico City, I hope.

We’ve had company from California come and go, and are expecting more visitors this weekend. No rest for the wicked, idle hands and all that. Time marches on, that’s the one thing I can say for sure. But I haven’t had any epiphanies lately. Except that we do not want another pool. It’s nice enough to be able to take a dip when it’s hot, but it’s not hot-hot that often here. From about April 15 – May 7, it was hot enough to swim.  Once the rains came, the place cooled right down. Hot tub, yes. Pool, no. But we’ve almost always known that (since our last pool, haha, which is the new LOL).

cabanasunWe like living outside the way you do down here. So down here, more outside, less inside works well. And it’s easy to be in the city here because you are behind walls with lots of green and grounds. Yet, should you need something, it’s just over the wall for the most part. And it is nice to be able to go to DF for the day, as I did on Sunday. So it’s not like Cuernavaca is off the list, really. It’s just the whole buying thing – this is a dead market. And if we bought, we could not count on selling if we changed our minds. I guess everything is a compromise and you just have to decide what it is that is worth it, and what isn’t. And they have mosquitoes here during the rainy season. I guess one could fix that (with lanai-type netting) if one owned.

Old dog was sick yesterday, really sick. I’ve been nursing him today (working at the desk in the bedroom, which we normally use to watch TV on the big apple screen, even though it’s not good to watch TV in bed, but that’s another rant). He appears to be getting better, albeit slowly. He took a bit of boiled ground beef and rice (only gave him a tablespoon). So far, so good but he’s interested in food and that’s a good sign. I’ve been slowly making him take water (from my hand). He’s drinking a bit on his own now. No idea what it was, but possibly he ate something odd (which he normally doesn’t do).

gardensFour (five?) days later – old dog was fine for a while. He came out of it slowly but right back to normal, eating, playing. For about five days. Now he’s sleeping a lot again. Not throwing up but he didn’t eat yesterday. This morning he showed mild interest but didn’t eat much (a teaspoon, if). He’s alert. He came to bed with us like normal last night. He’s drinking water just fine, and he could stand to lose a bit of weight, but geez this is disheartening. He’s  getting old (10.5 at least). As long as he’s happy, I guess. He doesn’t seem to be in pain. But we need to schedule a vet visit, I guess. Just to make sure. No invasive treatment, not doing it. That would be for my benefit, not his. But this may not be that. Here’s hoping.

Our company has come and gone. We had a good time, went to Tepotzlan, went around town a bit, the Zocalo, a couple of restaurants. Fun – we’ll visit them on the beach sometime this winter (these are the friends from YVR who built on the Pacific near Barra de Navidad). But now it’s time to hunker down and get some work done.

As we prepare to leave to go up north (me for three weeks) – we have hit our six month mark and are on the downhill side of our lease. I really can’t believe I’m gone for three weeks – it’s a long time to be away, sleeping in other peoples’ houses and beds. I put a lot of people into one trip but that’s the only way to do it – because this is the only trip I have planned back to Canada and I want to visit them all. We’re voting down here in Mexico – our special ballots will be sent to the Canadian consul in DF. And then we’ll courier them, signature required, back to Ottawa. We still have a home in Canada, which has been designated our primary residence until 2019, we have a Canadian corporation that pays taxes, we pay personal income tax (are residents of BC for tax purposes), we have BC drivers’ licenses. Yet, in five years, even if all of those facts are equal, we won’t be allowed to vote unless we move back to Canada physically. But five years is a long time.

There are some nasty reviews of the former blog turned book – and some good ones. The nasty ones say I’m negative. I admit, I am negative about 80% of the gringos I meet. Guilty as charged. I’ve given it some serious thought and other than San Miguel itself, which is a town entirely based on the care and exploitation of those gringos, I’m not negative about Mexico or about Mexicans (just gringos and gringo towns). I love it here.

dfI found a *tiny* place in DF with a big terrace on the edge of Condesa that we could lock in now for March when our lease expires. One of us has to go have a look because it’s small. It’s a 2nd floor (and top floor) apartment above a cafe/internet on a leafy green street with about 500 sf of terrace. And 420sf of inside. A two burner hotplate, a hotel room size fridge and I think a microwave. There is a small sink. It would be like living on the boat again, but in Mexico City and with a big terrace under leafy green trees. I have just the lights for that terrace already (bought them at Costco, on spec, some time ago).

Breakfast at the cafe is included. We could eat our main meal out in late afternoon and have something small at night at home. There are tiendas and produce and flowers on every corner. You know, I don’t think there’s a couch. There’s certainly not a TV. It may be impractical. And what kills me the most – it’s the same price as this house we are in now in Cuerna. Which is huge. Probably 2,500 sf plus casita plus office. Plus pool, and gardens and “grounds”. Two full kitchens with dishwasher. Huge flat screen TV (2 of them). 3 bedrooms, outdoor living room, dining room and formal indoor living room. Separate cabana area with wicker furniture. Or 420sf apartment with a fridge that will hold 12 beer and nothing more. We are so in flux about what we’ll end up doing.

I would like to get settled somewhere. I really would. This three months here (after we left our house we sold in San Miguel) and three months there (the second rental in San Miguel after we sold our house) and four months there (Vancouver Island, re-leasing our house) and a year here, now three months in one DF place — it’s getting old. I think we’ll have to think about this. It would be better to go somewhere in March where we plan to stay for a year or two. It really would. I’m talking myself out of it, aren’t I? It’s early. I’ll keep looking.

For now, my next task at hand is to get more work done on my major project before I leave, have a great three weeks out of town and then come home and hunker down again. I need to get some miles under my belt, this month has been a disaster for work (although I’m making up for it in the last weeks).

dodgraveyard Day of the Dead is supposed to be authentic around here – being across from a graveyard, I don’t doubt that. Then it will be Christmas. But my big fear on this upcoming trip, if I’m being honest, is the dog. I think I need to get the vet to come out to the house and give him the once over before we leave. He’s due for his Rabies shot but we can ask the vet if it’s necessary for an older dog who is not outside the walls. If he’s just getting old, that’s the best we can hope for. So I’ll chant a little and hope for the best (and keep you posted).

We’re all getting older I guess. That’s what my friend Alex noted, that I don’t seem to understand that we’re all getting older. I do understand that we are all going to die (including the dog), that’s been front and center for a while for me as a Buddhist. But I don’t think a lot about not being as mobile as I am now. And I guess I should. But first, let me get through the dog and this upcoming trip. Then we’ll talk about getting older. Fair enough? Remember: Canta, no llores.

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