I first started this blog back in 2008 when I traveled from Northern Alberta Canada to Mazatlan Mexico to spend the winter submerged as much as possible in Mexican culture. As I travel back and forth now I will try to keep this updated so you can follow me on my journeys.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Packing up the hillbilly wagon
My friend has traveled to Mexico in her mini-van a few times and has a great packing system that has worked for her. She normally stays down there for 8-10 months of the year so when she goes now she hauls a lot of stuff with her...and dogs. She normally has 4 dogs that she bring with her but she has decided to leave 1 behind, she feels she is too old to travel. She packs everything in banana boxes so that all boxes are the same size and fit better. She can fit 15 banana boxes but there is also a weight restriction on the van. Friday we weighed all the boxes and discovered that unless her and I and Katie (the biggest dog) all fasted until Tuesday we would be over weight. So she had to remove some stuff, which was very sad as she packs a lot of clothes for the orphanages and some had to stay behind. Then yesterday we ended up in a used book store and bought about 20 lbs of books to take with us.....no logic in this at all. Monday we take the van to the weight scales and do a more accurate weighing and that will determine what comes and what stays.
Yesterday I also helped with some winter yard prep (a little different than my winter yard prep) We blew the leaves of the roof so that the eves don't get plugged, we covered the fish pond with plastic so that the leaves don't fill it. It does freeze here occassionaly but never enough to freeze the pond. We moved her annual plants that are in pots under the sun deck in case of frost. They have a lot of plants that we call houseplants outside, in pots and growing in the ground, like the spider plant....it grows like a weed here. Then we pulled the vines away from the shed edges and sides of the house so that termites don't gather there and while doing this I noticed rat poop in places...yup, they have rats here. Not too big a problem in this house and yard because of 5 dogs and 3 cats living here, but they are out there. That pretty much sums up the winter prep, even the irrigation system stays as is. Oh...almost everyone here has an irrigation system in their yard. If you want to grow anything you need a lot of water here due to the heat. Of course I am here during their coldest time of year, it hasn't been warmer than 18C yet, it was only 10C yesterday. Most people here separate their property with vines fences, there are vines everywhere some under control and some not. Also I have noticed that they have a very fine creeping plant that covered the ground in some people's yards, it looks like a nice lawn until you get close and then you see that it is some kind of low creeping plant. I have also noticed that there are almost no weeds here, even in some yards that don't seem to get any attention (where the vines are all completly out of control) there are no weeds.
Another observation is that a lot of people are living in old old homes, homes that would be condemed at home. The wiring in this house would not be allowed, the plug ins are not grounded. People are living in the old old little holiday trailers, you know the kind with the rounded hard shell, but they still have nice yards and gardens....rather quite cute, I can totally see me living like that. There doesn't seem to be a lot of lavish luxury displayed here. We are in a mid working class neighbourhood here and it seems like the people here don't spend their money on things, they spend it on living. Take my friend for example, she is retired and rather well off finacially, made her money in medical field and made some money playing the stocks but there is nothing new and modern in her house. From the old coffee maker (one that I know how to work) to her old little TV (older than mine at home) and like me she does not have a DVD player. She buys used books and used clothes.....nothing fancy here. At just from a quick glances at other people's homes in the nighbourhood it seems the people here have learned to life below their means here where as at home we live above our means. ( So it seems that I can't figure out how to add pictures in an orderly fashion, they just seem to scatter all over)
I've been in the grocery store a few times now and the food is cheaper.....a lot cheaper, even after I do the exchange from CA to US dollars. I went to the bulk food section yesterday to buy some goodies for out migration south and I bought mixed salted nuts for $1.08 lb, the flax corn chips that I love were 0.78 lb, small carton of half & half cream is 0.99. I haven't checked out meat and produce yet, I do plan on doing that....just because. We are doing some last minute shopping today so I will report back with any worth while information.
Here's my tip of the day for you, when packing up to go away for 5 months (regardless of where you are going ) you should at least pack 1 pair of shoes....one pair. I have no shoes, I came in flipflops. You cannot wear socks in flipflops, the toe thong doesn't fit. So I bought some leg warmers and wear them as socks, it's rather quite trendy looking....vogue magazine will be knocking on my door any day now. If you click on the picture it gets big.....really big, you will be way closer to my toes than you ever should be but you will see the amazing wooden floor. My friend just sanded and stained wooden siding and used as flooring, looks amazing.