Category Archives: Employment

A room of her own–leaving the Little House in Sunflower Valley

Where I’ve been working for the past 2 years

Once we finally got the internet up and running at our house in La Yacata, there really was no reason to keep renting the Little House in Sunflower Valley. The problems the house had with internet, electricity, and leaks, far outweighed any benefits it might have had in the past.

So, since the rent for the month was already paid, we started gearing up for the move at the end of the month. First, we needed to make arrangements to cancel the internet through Telmex.

This was a two-step process. I had to call the company and receive a “folio” number in order to return the modem to the company. The first time I called, I was disconnected. The second time I explained that I wished to cancel the service because of the numerous fallas (outages) and was given the folio number.

The next day we took the modem to Telmex. We couldn’t just turn it in at the desk with the number. We had to tromp up 4 flights of stairs to the “internet” office. Just like when we contracted the service I wondered about the lack of handicap accessible offices. So there, even though we were the ONLY people in the office, we were instructed to take a number from the number machine. We did. We were number 2.

So when the Telmex internet woman was good and ready, she called us over to her desk. I gave her the folio number. Apparently, my cancelation request was entered as a “baja” instead of cancel, whatever that meant. She deleted the transaction and created another one. I had to explain again that we did NOT have phone service with Telmex, only internet service that we would no longer be using.

Then she said I still had one month’s outstanding balance that I needed to pay before she could process the request to cancel. I sent my husband down the four flights of stairs to pay that. When he came back, she made a copy of my permanent residency card and had me sign the form ending internet service in my name.

As both the electricity and water bills at the Little House were still in the name of the owner, I could not cancel those services. I did make sure I had the last bills I paid with the receipt as proof of payment to turn over with the key. Because the bills are bi-monthly, as a renter I would still be responsible for the next water and electric bills. However, since I had paid $1000 deposit, I didn’t see why the outstanding balance wouldn’t be deducted from that, and instead, I would receive about $700 from the deposit.

The owner of the house lives in Yuriria, which is about a 40-minute drive for us, so we went there one afternoon hoping to catch her at home. Of course, she wasn’t there, but her son was. We explained that we would no longer be renting, that these were the last paid bills, and that there was an outstanding balance from the deposit owed to us.

The son refused to take any of the papers and said that he would have the owner call us to “inspect” the house and we could ask about the deposit then.  He asked about this month’s rent. I showed him the bank receipt proving it had been paid. He asked about next month’s rent. As it was still 2 days until the beginning of the next month, I certainly wasn’t paying another month. Fine, then. We didn’t leave the key.

The owner has not yet contacted me. I believe her thought process is to keep the entire deposit. While I don’t enjoy being taken advantage of, in this case, by not receiving the remainder of the balance on the deposit, I am of the mind that karma will take care of the matter for me.

You see, several months ago, the lock on the front door broke, so we replaced it. She will need to break into her own house and have a new lock made unless she calls us for the key. All of which could have been avoided had she done things as they should be done.

The move back to La Yacata took longer than I thought it should. We accumulated quite a bit of junk in the 2 years we rented there. My husband and son are heading to the tianguis in Valle this weekend to turn some of this crap into billetes (money).

In the meantime, I’ve started setting up my home office in the spare room in La Yacata.

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On Being an Herbal Academy Affiliate

Herbal Academy Courses

I’ve tried several affiliate programs and most have not been worth the effort. However, the Herbal Academy Affiliate program has been one that I would recommend if your niche contains herb lovers, homesteaders or tree huggers.

Commission payments are sent out the first full week of every month with an outstanding balance of $50 or more by Paypal. I make a 15% commission on every referral. I get 35% off Herbal Academy’s Online Programs and Herbalist Packages and sometimes I even get to take a course for FREE in exchange for a blog post, There are banners and images galore to make promoting easy. And finally, the courses are of the highest quality which makes it easy for me to rave about.

You can read the Affiliate Terms and Agreements here.

I’ve taken several of Herbal Academy’s courses myself.

Learn how to wildcraft and identify plants confidently in the Botany & Wildcrafting Course!My review of the Botany and Wildcrafting Course is here.Enroll in the Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course My review of the Herbal Self-care for Stress Management Course is here.The Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course by Herbal Academy My review of the Herbal Fermentation is here.

The Herbarium Membership for Herbalists

Herbal Academy also sponsors the membership only herbal online library The Herbarium. There you can find articles, downloads, video, podcasts, monographs, and an herbal bookshelf designed to add to your herbal knowledge. They have also begun a new series of intensive workshops concentrating on herbal treatment for specific conditions. The first course is called Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus.
Herbs for ADHD Intensive enrolling thru October, 21st

But that’s not all! Herbal Academy also has its own store choked full of fun and useful herbal products. My personal favorites are the Materia Medica Journal and the Herbal Starter Kit.A complete Herbal Starter Kit by Herbal Academy

Goods Shop by Herbal Academy – botanically inspired products

So really, what’s not to love about being an Herbal Academy Affiliate?

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Quest for internet

internet mexico

See that tan spot in the center of the country that indicates less than 8% of the area has internet? That’s where I live!

September was a bummer month for me work-wise. Every other day the internet went out. And if it wasn’t the internet, it was the electricity. Even with the UPS, I missed a number of classes and my performance review for the quarter was deplorable. This caused me to exclaim in exasperation one day that we had more stable power with one solar panel in La Yacata than at the rental in town connected to CFE (the Mexican electric company).

So, with that being the case, I decided to see what I could do to set up my office from home rather than continue to rent the Little House in Sunflower Valley with its myriad of problems.

A chance remark had me thinking. One of the ladies that makes tortillas with my sister-in-law is from Los Amoles, which is way up the mountain. She said that they had internet through DishTV since Telmex didn’t have any lines up that way.

Therefore, we spent the day looking for the Dish TV office in Moroleon, which we couldn’t find. Apparently, there had been an office, but it had moved out.

We went to the main TelCel office to see about satellite internet and talked with a representative about 30 minutes. We weren’t entirely convinced on the whole deal. There were a number of requirements, payment upfront, and the fact that my cell phone is through Telcel and often does not have a signal out in La Yacata.

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Then we decided to check out a few other places. SkyTV also offered internet service called Blue Telecom which was comparable to what I have now with TelMex but uses the satellite setup like TelCel. Only, an agent would have to head to out La Yacata to see if there was a signal strong enough for internet reception. Okie Dokie.  But it wouldn’t be today.Captura de pantalla (7)

Next we headed to a place called Wi-Fi Moroleon. The name seemed promising. Unfortunately, their service only extended as far as Los Juzgados (2 km from La Yacata). They did have solar panels though and we bought two.

Then we tried Telecable. However, this company uses electric lines to provide internet. As La Yacata hasn’t any electric lines, it wouldn’t work.

On the way home, we came across a Dish TV car parked in the shade of the mesquite tree. We screeched to a stop and had a little chat with their representatives, who were on their way to a meeting in Morelia. They confirmed that Moroleon no longer had a DishTV office but that internet would soon be available in the area and that they were offering 20 megas which was double any other service in the area. It would just be a few weeks…..well, a few weeks in Mexico could be quite some time.

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DishTv internet service ON coming soon!

The next day the SkyTV representative came out with his stuff and lo and behold, we got a pretty good signal. So we signed up on the spot. We had to pay for the modem outright which was the same make and model that TelCel offers but at half the price. Then to sign up for the service we needed an IFE (Mexican voter’s identification card). My husband has one of those. And we needed a comprobante de domicilio (proof of residency like water or electric). Umm, well this was an issue. La Yacata doesn’t have either water or electric service, therefore, we have no bills to provide as proof. Fortunately, the representative said that the certificado de propiedad (owner’s certificate) that we had for our lots would work. Whew!

We picked up the modem the next day and plugged it in. Voila! Internet at the house. I’m not entirely convinced it will be adequate for teaching online, however. Cloudy days reduce signal strength and just like TelCel, there are periods when the signal drops altogether.

What this means is that I most likely will not continue teaching online once my contract expires in December. As it is, at the Little House in Sunflower Valley I have issues every single class with bandwidth on the lined internet provided by Telmex which theoretically is more stable than satellite internet. So I’m looking at other options for regular income.

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Failing at your own business–Buy Me A Coffee Crowdfunding

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So you know I like trying out different ways to make a bit of cash. And here’s my latest find. Although I warn you, I can’t imagine how this particular setup will make millions for you.

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

Here are the basics.

Buy Me a Coffee is a crowdfunding platform for creators, artists, and writers. I’m a writer now with actual books, so I qualify! Fancy that. In case you didn’t know, you can find my currently available books listed here.

Here’s my Buy Me a Coffee page.

The idea is that instead of buying that overpriced Mocha Cappuccino Caramel Frappe today, you donate $3, $4, or $5 to the creative genius of your choice via Paypal.

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You can also “purchase” exclusive material for the cost of the donation. Right now I have one section of the book I am working on available here.

I’ve set up a low-level goal of $15 just because I never seem to have any luck with crowdfunding efforts. And I’ve added the button to the sidebar on my page and Tumblr.

And that’s pretty much it. I know my current writing endeavors aren’t nearly as important as say the Guatemalan volcano survivor assistance project Genesis is doing here, but nothing ventured nothing gained right?

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