Indeed, another one bites the dust. How can it be 2020? I was very worried about all the automated banking and computer stuff 20 years ago as we waited for the countdown to 2000. And nothing happened. Tom Petty again (most of the things we worry about don’t happen anyhow).
Anyway, it’s the end of January and we haven’t even done our annual plans yet. Sometimes it takes until February. We’ve had house showings – four since January 6 – so it’s difficult to plan this year out since we don’t know when we’ll go. But we’ll do them soon if there are no offers forthcoming. They all say they like it – one is coming back next Saturday with an architect – who will advise them if they can make the changes they are thinking of. Fingers crossed. But if not, we have another showing booked already for February 15 – a potential buyer from Austin.
I’m kind of worried about the old friend who was going to come over Christmas (while on a break for their chemo treatment) but wasn’t well enough. Last I heard, he was having a bad time of it last week. And after unanswered emails and WhatsApp messages this weekend, I’m really hoping he’s in the hospital for treatment. He’s done 12/16 treatments but the last one was very hard on him. We don’t really know anyone in his circle anymore (he moved to San Francisco then LA) – he’s our only contact for him- if you know what I mean. Ok, next morning. He’s having a bad patch – but he replied by email later last night and I’ll try to talk to him today. Phew. Being old with sick friends is like constantly waiting for bad news. Although to be honest, every time the phone rings since my mother died (November 17, 1989), I expect it to be bad news. And of course, now being 30 years ago, it has been bad news a few times.
Speaking of old, I look old. Really old. I just renewed my Irish Passport and the photo is SO much older than it was 10 years ago. I look really old. I can’t emphasize that enough. There’s a reason you never see a picture of me. I’m thinking about plastic surgery. Just thinking about it (it’s pretty cheap down here and well-done – I have done some research and have a recommendation from a friend who has done it and looks great). My jowls are the problem. Although I’m not really that vain, I don’t think. I don’t know if I will or not. When we sell the house, we will each buy something. Mine is either a facelift or a hot tub. Tough call, LOL.
I *know* this is the time when we get wrinkles, but I think the Mexican water (showers) has been part of the problem. And maybe a bit the way I eat sometimes. Oh yeah, we’ve embarked on a new eating pattern – we’re trying to do plant-based as often as possible. Easy enough to do at least five days a week and the other days, we can add small amounts of chicken, seafood/fish or eggs. Or cheese. Which aren’t really plant-based. But I’m going to try and avoid beef and pork entirely. I think I might break down and have the odd burger or odd bacon sandwich. But to be honest, we probably eat beef or pork three times a month now. If. It’s better for us and for the environment.
I’m kind of excited about the plant-based part. Lots of beans, lots of Buddha bowls, sweet potatoes. Corn, cucumber, edamame. And as little processed as possible (not hard) and as little sugar as possible (harder). And little dairy. I already use oat and rice milk. Almond milk in my coffee but weaning myself off because it’s bad for the environment. Butter is the hard one to give up. But hey, it’s a project.
Because we all know that when I don’t have a project, I tend to kick the cat. Or spend too much money on eBay. But mostly I buy shit to resell when I get back up north. Getting lucky the odd time but I haven’t had any huge winners this round (like the gold watch I got once in the bottom of a “box lot of old jewelry” for about $20. But really, I do it too much. I bet I have 30 pairs of vintage sterling Taxco designer earrings. Maybe more. I do wear them but when we get up north, they go on the chopping block, one pair at a time (most are in the $75/pair range, USD). And I’ve got 20 or 30 Taxco sterling bangles to sell (in groups of seven), which is how they wear them down here, seven on each arm, called “mis semanas” – my weeks.
I’ve bought a lot of old Asian jewelry lately – it fascinates me. I bought a book about Jade – lots to learn. Really another category where if you know what you’re doing, you can pick up expensive pieces very cheaply on eBay (and at yard sales, particularly in Vancouver). But it’s all a mug’s game. Kind of like a savings account of jewelry that grows with decent interest. I guess that’s why people used to keep gold buried in the back yard.
So, I’ve been through this plan before but the talking it out is really for me. To get the plan firmly in my mind. When the house sells, we go to La Paz. Not sure how. I *think* we may ship the car. With a simple document, we are legal and insured (because of our foreign plates vis a vis CW’s permanent status, it’s illegally in the country). The pass gives us five days to drive it out of the country (or to the Baja where an import permit is not required and we are legal forever). So, why not take the pass and drive? We don’t want to drive three days through Mexico and then overnight on the commercial ferry. It’s the three days through Mexico. Oh, sure, we could do it and we probably won’t get in any situations but I’m saving my risk tolerance for investments. Plus, have I mentioned that the dogs want to kill each other?
This is all just a very tentative plan. Hinging on hiring a specific mover who has a large truck with a back seat in the cab and says you and your pets are willing to come (he hauls a long trailer) along with the stuff. So thinking I will send Chris and Rosie with him. I will head out in advance a few days if not a week and get things registered (power, cable, internet) and food in the fridge. PJ will board with the trainer for a couple of weeks. Then, we’ll get the trainer to fly him to La Paz (2.25 hours from Mexico City). Or maybe all four of us will go with the long haul trailer – there seems to be room (F350 with extended cab). PJ would have to ride in his crate in the truck bed, and we’d have to stop for a nice long walk in the middle of the day. And get separate motel rooms.
Complicated yes, but this is Mexico and our dogs fight (badly). Never mind the cartels, I don’t want to spend three days in a van with two dogs who want to kill each other. You probably wonder why we don’t give one of them away. Well, Rosie is 12.5 years old. She’s not going to be with us a whole lot longer. PJ, while only 2.5 years old – has a severe heart issue and is an expensive dog (monthly meds). That said, he’s perfectly healthy on the meds, strong heart and all according to the vet. He’s a more difficult placement (we already had Rosie’s dogsitter offer to take her and she would have been delighted but we’ve had her forever and can’t do it). We’ll see about PJ. It’s a big ask to get someone to adopt a dog who takes 10 pills at five different intervals during the day (even if we pay for them). This is one part of the journey that I think has to be fluid. But we have a *base* plan.
Then, after a period in La Paz (the length of that period dependent on the ‘when’ this happens) – hopefully, I’ll find a place up north and go secure it. A rental at first. And hopefully in Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver). But what happened to the Island, you say? We have the Airstream (mid-reno) for weekend getaways to the Island. We also have a pre-sale condo in Nanaimo that will complete in late spring. It’s clear that we can’t live there with these two dogs. (How we are going to get a 12.5-year-old dog to Nanaimo from La Paz is another question – she’s too old to fly, I think, but that’s for later.) So, we’re hoping that if we can’t sell the assignment (still legal in BC, I almost fell over) – this Mexico house is sold by the time we need to complete the sale and we can just do a bridge loan to ourselves for the very short term and list it new. The condo market is hot in Nanaimo, although everyone is screaming because the ‘time on market’ has increased 24% to 42 days. Only 42 days! Try seven months and counting!
So, lots of things to sort out but for the moment, we aren’t looking at the whole staircase – just the first step. Which is getting us and the dogs to La Paz. Of course, that’s the first step after the house sells. Which hasn’t happened yet. But will. I’m also trying to get north for a few assorted things that need my presence, including the Airstream and a used car (might as well, we spend a fortune on rental cars and we seriously need a vehicle on the Island). Like really used. LOL. But it won’t get many miles on it.
Sooo, it’s Sunday. A week ago yesterday a local couple viewed the house and loved it. They came back yesterday with their architect and still love it, are super enthusiastic and their agent says that she will present an offer tomorrow (Monday, a holiday down here – Dia de la Constitucion).
AND we just were told we have another showing in five hours (today). Funny how that happens. I’m not going to count my chickens (eight months listed and counting, I’ll count those) but I think yesterday’s people may be the right buyers. I will keep you posted. Not yet time to drink champagne and dance on the table – but maybe time to buy a bottle and put it on ice (we drank every last one in the house on New Year’s Eve).
In closing, I’d like to mention that my Uncle Rick died on Friday morning. Suddenly – an infection caused Diabetic Ketoacidosis and he was just gone, poof. He sure was a favourite of mine, and he and Aunt Dawna were such a great couple and the family (including five grandkids) were very close. May he have safe passage and may Auntie D. find some comfort in her memories when she is ready. We never know, folks. Eat that donut. Buy those shoes. Fly first class (just wanted to throw that in there LOL). Good-bye Uncle Rick, via con Dios – you were one of the good guys.
I will keep you updated on the house. Wish us luck.