Settled For the Long Haul

I learned my first winter on Isla just how long five months really is and that it’s worth getting comfortable and settled. So I was much happier in my rental casita the second year. Coming here to Chelem for a full half year and knowing that I would mostly be in my own space with most of my things, it was imperative to me that I make myself truly at home so that I could restart healthy and positive routines in all aspects of my life.

So Friday was mostly a work day with some chores interspersed, like watering the huge garden.

I hadn’t yet made a proper meal here and rebaptised all my kitchen things, so mid-afternoon, I went through the fridge to see what I could make considering I really didn’t have that much in there. Well, between the onions, limes, and and wheat tortillas my hosts left, the peppers and chicken I’d picked up at Costco, the cumin and chili powder I’d brought from Canada, and some manchego cheese and crema I happened to have on hand the logical answer was fajitas! It was one of those meals that made me wish I had someone to cook for. I ended up having leftovers to make at least two lunches.

This morning was a much needed lie-in. I had a bit of work to do for the weekend and got started when I received around ten a message in reply to an ad I’d posted on a “garage sale” group on Facebook. I’d asked about puzzles and a lady in Chuburna, the next village over, said she had some and I could come by this morning to look at them. I thought she was offering to sell me a lot for $200, but she wanted $200 each. She’s lucky that I know puzzles and that all her Ravenburgers were most definitely each worth that (basically half price) or I might have laughed at her. At any rate, I couldn’t resist a half-price Ravensburger, so I got this Van Gogh puzzle:

I also got another non-Ravensburger with colourful cupcakes that she let me have for $100 when I pointed out that there was a sticker on it for $170. I have hours of entertainment ahead of me. In fact, the Van Gogh alone could take me the next six months, so $200 well spent!

The rest of the day was spent between work and sorting out the rest of my suite and my office space. Which reminds me that the WiFi in here is very flakey and that I would not have been able to have my office in here if I couldn’t get hardwired. So I was really grateful to not only have the billion feet of Ethernet cable I inherited from my winter at Croft’s, but also a way to get it to the modem, in the main suite, without much effort (there’s a window in the bathroom that goes into the pantry of the main suite and from there I just ran the cable behind furniture to the modem).

Mid-afternoon, I got a craving for a cuppa, which made me laugh because of the climate. I was going to “settle” for a hot chocolate (Abuelita!) when I remembered I’d picked up some loose Earl Grey when I did a Bulk Barn run in Moose Jaw for spices! So I got my cuppa after all, and in my favourite mug to boot. I might have shared the story of it, but here it is again. It’s a panorama scene of the Las Vegas Strip highlighted by a magnificent sunset. I saw the mug at a gift shop but was not willing to drop $20 on it! I could afford it, but it was the principle of the thing. Anyway, the next day, at Circus, Circus, I put a quarter in a slot machine and won enough tickets to redeem for the mug! 😀

I got creative in organising my space. I really didn’t want to buy much since a lot of my storage needs will be resolved next month when I get the desk and bookcases. So in the meantime, I moved a little unit that was by the wardrobe closer to my desk and stacked in its place the three boxes I can’t unpack yet or store in the humid bodega (books and DVDs). Then, I covered them with a blanket and put the plant back in its place. 🙂 Looks ridiculous, but better than looking at the boxes!

I did something similar by the door. I really needed a place other than the couch to drop my purse. The shelf I built for protecting the printer in transit has proven to be some very well spent time and material. I used it as an end table on Isla and it made sense to do the same thing here! I have a box full of footwear under it and the whole thing is covered with the fabric I bought on Isla for that purpose. Notice my own mat by the front door. The mat I was left was much larger, but it was white and that was going to be way too much upkeep.

Here’s my suite now. I put my rainbow blanket across the foot of the chaise longue to protect the couch fabric from possible dirty feet and that’s my own blanket now at the foot of the bed. I want to replace their bedding with my own at some point, but I love the look of the orange sheets so much that I’m not in a hurry to do that. 🙂 The desk looks cluttered, but it’s really not that bad and will look much better once I have the real desk in here that will let me hide cables. I found that cute little pink bucket to use as a trash can for next to nothing and the pink one on the desk was bought for my kitchen on Isla.

The old “plant stand” is next to the desk and has a drawer and a couple of shelves behind doors for storing office bits. On top, I put my collection of brass candle holders that I started collecting in Wisconsin in 2005 as well as the soapstone mule my friend Donna gave me that keeps me from being too nostalgic about Canada and the glass rakia flask I won in Belgrade for knowing the most Serbian (still laughing about that). I hope to find a cork that will fit it. I’m glad it made it all the way here intact!

Most of my treasures have made their way to Mexico with me. I obviously can’t hang anything on the walls here, so I rested artwork around the room. My raven:

My print of Alcatraz is by the door and the painting my sister made for me is across from the foot of the bed. By the globe, you can see the only painting of mine that has survived and then all along the back of the “desk” are my plaques with my favourite quotes on them.

And here’s my Egyptian papyrus:

The bathroom looks much better! I’m leaving the suitcases and tub of clothes there because I’m afraid they will mould otherwise.

My own towels are hanging, blue for the shower, white (and gigantic) for the pool. It’s purely a coincidence that the containers are the same colour as the towel. I had zero storage in this room and the two containers that best suited my needs in terms of size happened to be the same colour as the towel. One of my new tumblers was blue and was therefore the obvious toothbrush holder. 🙂 And it’s also a coincidence that my shampoo, body wash, and bath mat match. 😀

Here’s my room from the bathroom with a bonus shot of my charge.

After taking these photos, I went out to play with him for a bit, had a nice swim (taking the time to skim the top of the pool and pick up big pieces at the bottom — it’s been windy!), and then played some more. I know, I know, it’s a tough life… but I’ve earned it! 🙂

12 thoughts on “Settled For the Long Haul

    • I normally can’t live all in one room, but with all the outdoor space and the huge kitchen, I’m not feeling cramped! 😀

  1. It’s probably not possible to live in Mexico and not be colorful! You obviously put great store in having your things and surroundings “just right”. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to be able to accomplish this? ;->

    Virtual hugs,


    • You would be surprised by how hard some expats work to have very bland homes… I’ve also noticed that the more economically advantaged Mexicans are, the more they move towards blandness.

      I used to be such a slob, but now I appreciate having a beautiful and orderly home. It is good to be comfortable!

  2. Your home for the next six months looks lovely and inviting to come sit and relax with a cuppa or a glass of wine and a book.

    You have to really like puzzles to spend $14.45CAD on it. Where will you set it up? Other than your suite and the kitchen can you use the rest of the house?

    • Or a beer. 😉

      I do like puzzles! Ravensburgers are super high quality and worth every penny. I’m going to do the puzzles on one end of the kitchen counter since it has tons of lighting and is so big with lots of seating. Seems about as perfect a puzzling area as I’ve ever had. $14.45 is a small amount to pay for the hours of entertainment I’m going to get. I’ll be putting my Spanish lesson podcasts on in the background.

      As for the house, There’s another suite identical to mine and there’s also the master bedroom, bathroom, and the main house has its own living room (off of the kitchen). I’m limiting where I’m living to have less upkeep.

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