(Post 124 of 263. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr. As I mentioned in the post announcing Bast’s passing from COVID, I thank everyone for your generous donations to the original Fundrazr campaign, which resulted in sponsored 263 posts. I will continue to honour the commitment to write those 263 posts, but I will not commit to more. The link above is to a new campaign to help Bast’s family.)
It’s been a busy few days trying to get my house and yard back into shape.
Saturday afternoon was a bit of an adventure. I had my handyman scheduled for Sunday with a long list of to-dos, including to fix the roof over my entrance. For this, he needed a few roof tiles, “tejas.” I’d been trying for what felt like forever to find just five tejas. Everyone I contacted would only do bulk orders. I finally found someone on Marketplace who had a few left over from a project. I thought that while the exterminator was here and I had to be out of the house for an hour, I could pop out to pick up the tejas as the seller was quite near me (I was amused that I had to go to a tailor shop to pick up roof tiles!). Well… I had to wait almost 30 minutes for an Uber. And then the Uber to take me home never showed up but I got charged. Turned out there was a problem with the app on Saturday, as it was inundated with requests. This made me realise just how ready I am to get a small, city-friendly car… I was debating what to do — walk home (about 40 minutes), try another Uber, call a taxi, when I saw a taxi parked a block away. I had not had luck with taxis here, but this guy was available for a fare and I was desperate! He got me home fast and didn’t overcharge me. Maybe I broke my bad luck with taxis streak…
The exterminators messaged me just as I hit Chuburná centro to let me know they were done. I was happy to be able to tell them I was literally two minutes out. When I got in, they gave me instructions, including how to take care of B if she somehow managed to get into the product, and then I settled in on the porch with an Oxxo picnic to wait until I could go in again.
Sunday was another biiiig day. I can’t believe the luck I had to have my guy scheduled for the day after the renos ended! He fixed the roof, painted the patio wall, did maintenance on my automatic gates, and then washed all the terraces. Last month, he had left me with a very long shopping list and he was surprised that I had everything, but was annoyed that he’d forgotten his trowel to do the roof work. I was a bit smug when I told him I’d bought one of those too!
I had a lot of deadlines for Sunday, jobs that kept getting pushed and were due by Monday morning. I worked till past 1AM so that I could ease into my Monday, but, of course, I ended up not sleeping well. Augh…
Monday, I was thrilled when my cleaning lady showed up early to help me get the house back in order. I knew we would not be able to get everything done, so I confirmed that she’d be able to return on Thursday and then set out the priorities. First was to prep for my contractor to come back and help me move some furniture and do a final few things. Well, that didn’t happen. Not a huge deal, but I was going to pay him an extra for that, so he lost out. At any rate, it was a big cleaning day. I worked ahead of my cleaning lady with the shop vac since Amazon kindly delivered a few days early, on Sunday, an accessory kit with crevice, furniture, upholstery, and other tools. I vacuumed all the furniture (the sofa has never looked so good!) and blinds, and then went into the floor corners with the crevice tool before she mopped. Even so, she was going through water like nobody’s business and the floors still didn’t look clean after two passes. We didn’t even get to the kitchen. During all of this, I found time to start putting my bedroom back together and conclude that I need to figure out more storage for the master closet room.
While all of this was going on over the past few days, I was messaging back and forth with a lady on Facebook Marketplace who had an IKEA Poang chair and ottoman for sale, my dream reading chair and which is nearly impossible to find in Mexico. I thought I had one when I moved in, but it turned out to be a fake that broke after enough use for me to know that I wanted the real deal. I tried to get the lady to organise delivery because I simply did not have time, but she’s new to town and had no idea where to start to find a guy with a truck, or a “flete.” I told her, “I really, really want the chair. I need a couple of days and then I will have time to figure out the pickup. Can you pretty please hold it for me?” She very kindly agreed.
Yesterday, Monday, I went through my list of contacts and came across the name of a very nice man who came to remove trash from my yard last year. Hmm… I had the chair pickup to do, as well as trash to remove, and some furniture to move. Three birds with one stone, maybe? I contacted him and asked if he could provide flete service and meet me at noon today, Tuesday, at the lady’s house, which was about 10 minutes from my dentist, where I had an appointment today. He said sure! I came out of the dentist, messaged to reconfirm, and he said, yep, he’d be there at noon. I headed to her place in an Uber and chose to wait under a tree on the corner across from her house. 11:55, five minutes after I arrived, he showed up! I couldn’t believe my luck at having such a solid list of contacts that I can get things done so efficiently here! We loaded up the truck and headed back across town. I enjoyed the trip as this was the farthest I’ve been from home since last March!
At home, they brought the chair and ottoman upstairs for me, then cleared the trash pile. I then had them move my old (VERY heavy) desk pieces into the carport so they are out of the way until I manage to sell them and also move the also VERY heavy double bed from the current guest room to the next guest room! Phew! I hadn’t asked for a quote, but figured all this would be around $1,500. They asked for $1,300. So I’m really starting to know what things cost here. I gave them the $1,500, plus cold Cokes, which I now always have on hand to give to help!.
I really appreciate how I’m starting to have a support team of reliable workers who show up when they say they will and get stuff done. Sometimes, knowing someone is just as important as knowing how to do something. I know lots of people who have been in Mexico for ages who buy into the myth that all Mexicans are unprofessional and unpunctual and who would be shocked that my guys showed up on time today. That’s not how I want to live my life here, always expecting people to disappoint me. I’ve been through a few trash removal guys and I definitely have one now who’ll be my go-to.
I still have a massive to-do list before I can really reclaim my house. Everything in the kitchen needs to be washed. I need to sort out blinds, a bed, and storage for the bedroom. I still have the landing to clean up. The old guest room needs to be empty and cleaned then refilled with what I need to turn it into my play room. And then, the old office needs to be emptied, cleaned, and turned into a neat storage/overflow room. I’m taking it easy from work this week and the screen-free time and physical activity are just what the doctor prescribed (literally) to try to get my sleep patterns back on track.
I’ll sign off with a bonus Bonita pic. She’s rarely a snuggler, but our time together has been so precious these last weeks that she’s taken advantage of every second she has!