It’s Been a Good Couple of Days

My neighbour’s %!#$@%! rooster has been quiet the last couple of mornings so I’ve had several nights of uninterrupted blissful sleep where I wake up smiling and cosy and content and rested after a solid seven to eight hours of sleep. Lovely. And, yes, I’m still sleeping in my hammock!

Work has been steady and not too onerous. Yesterday, I took a break mid-afternoon and walked to a garage sale in my neighbourhood as the lady had some lamps for sale. Lamps here are super expensive and I’ve been procrastinating on buying more, moving the one that came with the house from room to room as needed. So I was super happy to come home with these beauties! They were $350 each, but I got the pair for $600!

The one in good shape will be a task lamp in my office. The one with rust and spots will go up to my craft area. The finish on them is actually pretty cheap, not stainless steel, and they come completely apart, so I may experiment with spray painting them as there continues to not be enough colour in this house! 🙂

Today, a really important purchase arrived, the next big step to getting back to a truly functional workstation, something I haven’t had since I left for Europe in 2016. I’ve been making do with cobbled together workstations and barely adequate tools while really missing my nearly perfect office in Miranda.

Well, I’m settled for a bit, have space, and business is booming. A 13″ MacBook Air just isn’t cutting it anymore. I’m tired of the tiny display and the processor is too slow to run the Office for Mac suite. So I’m getting a new computer and since the new Mac Mini is better than the current iMac on the market and about 1,500USD (half the price!) cheaper, it’s a no-brainer to go that route even though I’d never considered a Mini before. Since a Mini is a “headless” computer, it needs a monitor. So why not start with that and use it with my laptop until I can afford the Mini?

After some shopping (options are limited here in Mexico), I found for half my budget (!) a monitor by a reputable manufacturer (Samsung) in the size (24″) and finish (matte) I wanted, plus with an HDMI port as I have the adapter to make the monitor work with my MacBook Air. The monitor arrived today and what a difference!

I can’t get over how light monitors are today compared to the ones of old. I actually wondered if the box was empty when it arrived! I have some work to do to get the monitor work as I expected it to (I think I have to play with the resolution), but I can already tell I’m not going to regret this purchase. 24″ is a great size. My last desktop Mac had a 24″ display and I remembered it as being more than enough, hence why I didn’t go for a 27″. I’m certain I made the right choice.

It’ll be really tight, but I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to buy my Mini before the year-end for tax advantage purposes, which is awesome. I otherwise didn’t see myself getting a new computer until the spring!

I enjoyed my new monitor for a few hours and then headed out to pick up yet another garage sale site item. I was going to drive over with Bonita, but my truck battery was dead! I don’t know if I have a drain somewhere or if the battery just simply needs to be replaced. Considering my battery is more than six years old, I’m going with the latter! Unfortunately, I’m parked on the street, so using my new trickle charger is out of the question. I’ll probably skip getting a boost and just have someone deliver and install me a new battery.

So poor Bonita didn’t get her truck ride and I had to hurry to order an Uber as I had an appointment to pick up the item and I knew the lady had to leave shortly thereafter. Traffic was heavy, but we arrived just a couple of minutes late. The item in question was a Corning Visions-brand pot, another of the items on my “when I get a bigger kitchen” wishlist!

This cookware is awesome as it does stovetop (gas and electric), oven and broiler, microwave, and can even go in the freezer! It was hard to gauge the size of the pot from the picture and I was delighted as it was a medium-sized one. The price was a bargain!

I was only 3.6KM from home, the pot was quite light (and I had a bag for it), and the rain had let up, so walking home was very appealing, especially since it was a very walkable route. I’d be in by about 6PM in time to give B her supper. So off I went, enjoying the cool air. Well, I was 1KM from home when the sky decided to open up again! I got in very soaked (thankfully, my purse is water resistant!). I dried off, changed, gave B her supper, and then made myself a curry with one of my last packets I brought back from Canada, a really lovely treat.

So that’s all the domestic excitement over here. Life in Mexico continues to be wonderfully mundane. 🙂

A Very Full Half and Half Day

The most recent big improvement to my life is that I now have a cleaning lady who comes three hours per week. She mostly just does the bathrooms and the floors, but if there’s extra time, I have her do other projects. For example, today, she cleaned the slats of the living room blinds since she didn’t need to do anything in the guest bedroom and maid’s suite as she did them last week and they haven’t been used. It’s quite an adjustment having someone come into my personal space like that, but I like this lady and she does a very good job. I didn’t expect to notice this extra time in my schedule, but I really do!

Last week, she came at 9:30AM Saturday, but this week, she wanted to come at 7AM. I was fine with that since my coffee group was meeting for tacos at 1PM. I could work later Friday night, then get an early start Saturday so I wouldn’t have to go back to work after the taco meeting. So she arrived promptly this morning, did the floor of my office while I finished my coffee, and then we both settled into our groove. I only had one hour of work left to do after she was done, so I was able to call off at 11:30, as I’d hoped to do. I’d actually done a full day of work, earnings-wise!

At 12:30, I headed out to catch a bus to centro. One passed me just as I got to the corner, but I missed it. Thankfully, a colectivo (minivan) went right by after and had room for me. I called to the driver to drop me off at the corner of 62 and 47, so I only had a few blocks to walk to El Lucero del Alba restaurant to meet the group.

El Lucero del Alba is a cantina, so they sell overpriced drinks that come with tons of botanas, snacks. So as long as you come hungry, you’ll get your money’s worth out of your drink! I can’t even begin to list everything that came with our drinks, but it included smoked sausage, squash salsa, beef and mushrooms, guacamole, kibis, totopos, bread and garlic sauce, and more. Quite the spread!

I let the group leader order for me and I ended up with three garlic shrimp tacos that came with a side of spicy tamarind sauce. I had the same complaint about these tacos as I do about a lot of Yucatecan food: they were unnecessarily greasy. Yucatecan food is just so generally heavy and lacking in the freshness of the cuisines of other parts of the country. I’m really quite “over” it, to be honest. I’m still laughing about meeting a lady from Michoacan at Bodega Aurrera the other day and our raving about loving life in Yucatan dissolving into our complaints about food here. I cannot wait to go back to Sinaloa early next year and have some proper Mexican food! At any rate, the tacos were tasty under the grease and I hadn’t had shrimp in ages, so they hit the spot.

After, I decided to head up the Paseo de Montejo to get a few things at Walmart. On the way, I finally stopped into El Triunfo, a home decor store that more than a few expats call “Pier One on Drugs.”

OMG

What. A. Store. It’s an Ali Baba’s cave of treasures, many affordably priced. I could not believe all the lovely things I saw and I could easily furnish and decorate a home with their offerings. I was there ages and, of course, did not come out empty-handed!

I don’t like the background of this image, but I love the water colour coffee grinder. At 95 pesos, I couldn’t leave this behind! I put it up in my kitchen.

I’ve been looking for a tray or something with which to cover the hole in my master bathroom dresser. Triunfo had aisles of super inexpensive pretty serving platters and I eventually settled on this one that matches the pulls. Only $95 as well as it’s plastic, but it looks so pretty!

Next stop was Walmart for cleaning supplies and hopefully something else. I’m still in the process of organising my office. I’m soon going to be switching to the new Mac Mini and will be buying ahead of the new computer a monitor that I’ll hook up to my MacBook Air in the meantime. So I’ve been thinking of how I will organise my desk with my new set up and cable management was at the top of mind. I simply could no longer abide by my existing setup:

I was tired of the dust and the mess and hitting my shins and having to get on my hands and knees to access my iOS device cables. While Googling cable management ideas, I found the perfect solution, a cable organisation box (example here). It’s simply a box into which you put your surge protector and then there are slots for feeding your cables out of the box. This way, everything is contained, easily accessible, and very neat. The problem is I use a ginormous uninterrupted power supply and I could not find a commercial cable box that could fit it.

So when I got to Walmart and found this basket with a lid, I got very excited as it was perfect! It’s exactly the right dimensions and while not 100% dust-proof, it will definitely be heat-proof as the “weaving” will allow for ventilation!

When I need an iOS device cable, I can just pop the lid and expose my former nightmare! And when I just want to charge, I’ve fed the cables out the box so I can just plug in and leave my devices on the box, out of the way.

The setup is going to be further refined when I get my new computer, but it is already a massive improvement. $300 very well spent!

My day wasn’t over. After I reorganised my desk, I started this post, then went to pick up M as he wanted to take me to dinner as a thank you for picking him up at the airport. We went to the Vietnamese restaurant Pho Mx and had a wonderful meal. I then took him to the Walmart I’d just been to, did some translation, and left him to get his shopping while I poked around the grocery aisle and somehow resisted buying a Milka hazelnut chocolate bar — yes, my favourite treat from Bulgaria! Of course, I was much more active there and Milkas were a fraction of the price. So, really, resistance was the only option. But it was fun to see the purple wrapper again!

I did come home with one splurge — I’ve been looking for a storage container for spaghetti and they had a three pack of Barilla long pasta tucked into a decorative metal tin for only $49, so I grabbed one! We then had an adventure getting all the shopping to the truck, parked a couple of blocks away — we’d both forgotten to bring our grocery bags and Walmart was out of bags, tucking our purchases into produce bags! So we took a cart as far as we possibly could (we paid a guy a few pesos to take it back to the store!) and then schlepped the remainder of the way. This is a Walmart that is better to walk than drive to!

I was ready to drop by the time we hit the road again. I managed to get us both home without any detours even though I was partially driving in an area I don’t know well from the driver’s seat and it was dark. It’s so good to be getting to know the city inch by inch. Now, some much needed Bonita time and then sleeeeeep. 🙂