Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Heat, What Else!

Simply Magnificent!

Well I'm happy to report that I'm suffering from a head cold in 45C heat.  The temperature has remained above 40C now for over two weeks.   It's all those preschoolers that want to give me a hug, handshake and a kiss.  Yikes!

Still working on my pension.  There is an error in my name that has to be fixed.  When the system was first set up for the Mexican 401K, the field for names was not long enough.   Remember that we use both paternal and maternal last names and my passport and birth certificate has both Christopher and Michael.   The SS system just has Mi in the field and it doesn't match.  I went to this building below to make the change.   Literally, they estimated the day I went, there were over 800 people making some type of transaction be it birth certificate, name change, corrections, the list goes on.  I was there in a long line for only 20 minutes.   Amazing what technology has done.   Still not fixed, I found the problem and I have to fill out a two-page form and they will do it.   No big deal.  

Because I always worked for myself, I still have over 60 weeks pending to start my pension, or as they say in the U.S., quarters.   I can pay that last year and start my pension.  Once I have the name changed I can get more details.  Very exciting.  

I went to Saltillo recently to work in two schools.   I will return on the 30th for a training with teachers in a preschool.   I love working with little ones, they are so open to new things and pick them up so quickly.   Here is a picture coming off of the toll highway from Saltillo to Monterrey.  The publisher pays my expenses and requests I take the toll roads.

You're probably wondering how the palapa is going.   Since my last post nothing has changed.   Just as I had said, they came up with other projects which now have priority.   They did come today though, starting working on installing the roof when they discovered that the sheets of galvanized tile roofing did not match the four that they had installed.   Now we have a huge delay.   I hate to say it, but that's Mexico.  I hope we get it resolved this week.

My nephew will be here next Tuesday the 4th and we were hoping the palapa would be finished.  It's not going to happen.  Oh well.  I finished painting the spare bedroom, washing the miniblinds, windows and protectors on the windows.  I called a guy to come and finish the rest of the house.  I'm not doing it anymore.  I'm through with house and yard work.   

I took this picture of the presa near our house.   The lowest the water level has been in 25 years.  They are attempting to send 1 cm per day after evaporation to raise the level but at that rate it would take a year.   Believe it or not, as I write this blog post, it has started to rain.   A few days of relief from the heat.

I want to go to SMA for a few weeks and have Juan meet up with me and then go to Valle de Juarez for a couple of weeks.   I can't handle the heat anymore.   One of my readers, Barbara, has been kind enough to let me stay at her house and I may just take her up on her offer.   You all know me and I like to have company but I don't like to be company.   Weird I know.  

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I Just Got An Idea

Let's begin with the contest and the winner.  Dee was the winner and she pegged it right on the money.  Congratulations Dee!  You'll be receiving a LivingBoondockingMexico mug.  We'll be in touch so we can send it in the next two weeks.  We'll be making a trip to McAllen on the 23rd.  

I did it just to see how many people would participate.   There have been 111 readers on that post and only 22 voters.   Boo hoo hoo.   Could have won a coffee mug!

We are trying to slowly eliminate stuff from the house just in case.   I found a bunch of videos that we had taken years ago before when video cameras were popular.   Our trips to Hawaii (we took three as we were on a Hawaii kick).   That's when travel was much cheaper than it is today.   We made grand trips out of it.   We drove to McAllen and spent the night and had dinner with friends.   The next day we would fly to Los Angeles and spend another night and go shopping.   After, we took our flight to Maui.   Those were fun days.   Now the prices, thanks to deregulation and the failure of it that followed, have left us with exorbitant airfare pricing and little selection of airlines not to mention all the extras they charge now.

Anyway, before I get too off track, we have videos of our very first rv trip and our then new to us, Trailmanor travel trailer.   All these miniature video tapes are going to be converted so I can download them and share "some" of them with readers.   You don't want to see all of them but a couple would be fun.  

What got me started on this?   I was on my morning 8 km walk yesterday morning listening to my favorite singer, Astrud Gilberto.  She sang Oh Gingi.   That song brings back special meaning.   On Christmas vacation back in 1999 while we were living in Monterrey, I went for my morning jog.  Believe it or not I used to run 10 kms every morning on very steep hills if you know Monterrey.   Coming down a hill I heard some meowing and took a look in the bushes only to find, on that cold and foggy morning, kittens that had been thrown away.  One was still alive.  I promised her that if she was still there when I returned I would take her home.   She was and I carried her home.   We had listened to Astrud the night before and I decided to call her Gingi.   We miss her a lot.  

All of our pets have been rescues.   Imagine if we could have adopted kids.   We'd have a house full.

On to other news.   I am looking for a free place to stay in SMA the end of July and first part of August.   I have been asked to return to EdCaminos, the volunteer group that teaches underprivileged kids in the city.   

Our palapa is coming along albeit slowly.   That's okay, we weren't in any hurry and it should be done in the next week pending the new tile floor and the kooldeck application.  

It's hotter than hell here already topping 100F most days.   The good news is that I received the electric bill yesterday for the last two months (bimonthly billing in Mexico).  Shocking difference.  As I mentioned before, they lowered our rate and also extended or doubled our usage, passing that limit would put us in a commercial rate.   We used 562 Kwhs in two months; pool filter, well pump, A/C on extremely hot nights.   We wait until 5:30 p.m. to turn on the air in the bedroom to watch PBS news and have happy hour.  We have been leaving it on all night sometimes in the last month.  Yikes.   I read the meter daily but this new minisplit we installed is very high efficiency.  Plus, we keep it at 26C with the ceiling fan on low for circulation.   Keeps the humidity out and we sleep well.   So, bottom line, the bill was 493 pesos ($27U.S.) for two months.  The same usage last year was 992 pesos or $55 U.S.   

This is a huge relief.   We now feel a bit freer in our use of A/C.   The pool helps to keep us cool as well and the water level doesn't change since we fixed the leak.   We have a 2 ton minisplit in our living/social area but it hasn't been turned on in over two years.   Now, maybe we can enjoy it once in awhile.