Tag Archives: teenage life in rural Mexico

Ladykiller’s room remodel

With respect to my son’s new status as a ladykiller (see Knockout), it was time for another room remodel. He’s already gone from the Spiderman themed decor to a simple red and blue theme (see Tianguis), but he was ready for something more adult.


BEFORE the remodel

The first thing to go was the red paint. He chose a cream color to go with the rest of the house. OK, two coats and that was done. The blue trim around the windows and door stayed though as an accent color.

Then there was the bed. We had purchased the bed with a four-year-old in mind. It was only about a foot from the floor which allowed him to easily get in and out on his own. Well, my son has grown since then, so the bed was no longer at a comfortable height. There was also the issue of the two center bars having broken off. So now, when he would lay in the bed, the sides of the mattress would bow up, enveloping him in a cushioned cocoon.


As my husband had made our bed stand, he said he’d make another one for our son although he’s far from proficient in carpentry. This involved cutting and drilling and quite the afternoon project. Myrtle even lent a hand with the power inverter. Finally, it was done and the bed in place.


My son also wanted new sheets. I had brought Spiderman sheets from the States oh so long ago, and although they were still in good condition, he wanted something more grown up. I dug around in my things and found a cream sheet set. Looking good!

His blanket had disintegrated this past winter, so he needed a new one. I dug around some more and found enough material to make a blanket for his bed on my treadle sewing machine (See Seamstress). While I was at it, I made a bed skirt, pillow case, throw pillows, and matching curtains.


Everything came out of his room and was carefully approved before reentry. That gave him quite a bit more space. His armoire was bursting at the seams, so I set about searching out a chest of drawers to complete his new room. The first week was a total bust as I had forgotten that Moroleon stores traditionally close Thursday afternoons. Ni modo. (Nothing more to be done) I’d have to come back.


I found a lovely handcrafted set of drawers, but when I asked the price, I nearly fainted. 6,500 pesos! Well, as that was almost the cost of 5 windows for our second floor, it wasn’t going to happen. We found another set of drawers at Coppel for about $1,500 pesos, but the workmanship was just awful.  We finally found a set of drawers at a roadside tent outside of Valle de Santiago.  It was also $1,500 pesos and real wood. That’s the ticket!


Then there was that matter of a new headboard.  The black metal headboard from his old bed was too short.  The guy doing our windows (See Window Installation) gave us a headboard, but my son didn’t like it.  So we took a trip to San Pedro, which is where we usually stop on the way back from immigration stuff in San Miguel Allende.  We checked out several furniture stores.  One store had one we were interested in, but the muchacho (boy) who was running the joint was down the street at his mother’s buffet.  We waited a bit but then left.  On the way back, we stopped at a carpinteria (carpenter shop) to ask about prices.  We didn’t really like any of the models that he had available, so we went to the guy who did our interior doors.  My son sketched out what he wanted, and the guy said he could do it for $500 pesos with delivery in 2 weeks.  Trato hecho (It’s a done deal!)


Then since every growing boy needs a mirror to admire himself in and to do his hair, we set out on our quest for a mirror.  Again, we were frustrated with the quality and availability.  It took several months, but finally, one of my students happened to be remodeling as well and had a metal framed mirror that didn’t match the new decor. Said student’s mom offered me the mirror and I snatched it up.  We brought it home and oops, the wind knocked it over before we had it hung and the mirror shattered.  So now with 7 years of bad luck, we had the glass replaced and hung it up right away.  With repairs, it ended up costing $500 pesos, but my son was happy with it.


His room is still the freshest in the house and now mostly uncluttered too.  Of course, the uncluttered part didn’t last long.  You know teenagers.




Filed under Construction, Parenting Challenges and Cultural Norms

Life in Mexico–from the perspective of my 13 year old son

Have you ever wondered what life is like for your children?  As an adult, I’ve come to accept the hardships and limitations of our life here in Mexico, although sometimes not as gracefully as I should.  When I read my son’s guest blog post, I had the opportunity to look at our life through his eyes.  I hope you enjoy his little contribution.

My life

by guest blogger WPFT.

La Yacata

I live in a small neighborhood called La Yacata. It’s called La Yacata because it has a small mountain of stones in the middle of it. There are like 7 families that live there, and we are pretty many neighbors even though we live a mile away from each other. My grandpa and my uncle live up the hill from where we do.  It’s mostly trees and rocks and stuff. The roads are very badly paved. Most of my classmates and most of the people I meet think I live in a cave because we have no electricity. They don’t know how to survive that way. However, our living conditions are ok compared to some people because we are comfortable with the money we have, but we could still get more.

finished front

I’m in the second grade of middle school. I get up very early, at 5:30 am and go to school until 1:40 pm. My grades are pretty good. I like math. I don’t like physics and art. There are 45 kids in my class. I would like if the school had grass on the fields so that it’s more comfortable and easier to play there. (See Why we chose to send our child to public school in Mexico)


After school is over, I walk to the school where my mom works and play on the computer awhile. I like to play Minecraft, Halo, and Fable. I like to come to the school to play because we don’t have electricity at our house.

At 4:30 pm I go to soccer practice until 6:30 pm. During training, we run and jog. I train as a goalkeeper. The other kids make shots, and I stop them. I play goalkeeper on two teams. The difference between the two teams is that one team is made up of 12- and 13-year-olds and the other team are 15+-year-olds. I play with them even though I’m only 13. The little team is pretty good. We’re in third place on the ranking board.


After that, I go home to tend to the horses, goats, chickens and cats for about 2 hours. And let’s not forget about our dog Chokis. I give them water and feed them. I take the goats and horses out awhile so they can eat. The horses eat grass. The goats enjoy eating short grass and tree branches. With the goats, sometimes it’s very difficult to take care of them because they run around. There’s not a day that goes by that Chokis doesn’t go with me and the animals. Most of the time I listen to music while I’m out with the animals. I also like to read a book. When I bring them in, first I bring in the goats because if I bring in the horses first, the goats will run away. And then I go back and get the horses. After that, I give them water and feed them for the night. (See Our Family Hobby)


Enjoying a book on Kindle!

Then I read and go to bed, preparing myself for another day. Sometimes I play on my laptop when I take it home. I read with the flashlight in the night. I like to read adventure books. Sometimes I watch a movie on the portable DVD player. I like to watch comedy movies. I used to play on my phone, but now it has a tumor, and I can only see one corner of the screen.  I have no idea when my mom is going to buy me a new one.  I wash my face a lot, and then I go to bed.

movie watching

Watching a movie on my DVD player.

On Saturdays, I go to the school where my mom works and use the computer and listen to music. I do a Portuguese course on DuoLingo and play Minecraft or watch YouTube videos. After that, I do my homework and take out the animals….again.


On Sundays, I go to wash clothes and then to my soccer game in the mornings. In the afternoons, I read a book and help my mom clean the house.

everybody helps out

A picture of a younger me doing laundry!

Sometimes my life is very boring because I have nothing to do or brothers or sisters to play with. Sometimes my mom is very annoying because she wants me to do boring stuff like write this blog post. My dad is very annoying because he makes me do stuff when I’m doing something else.

My life would be better if we had electricity and a fair amount of money and less animals because sometimes they are just too much for me to handle. Overall, life is medium-good, but it could be better.

See it in video format!





Filed under Animal Husbandry, Carnival posts, Education, Guest Blogger Adventures, Homesteading, Parenting Challenges and Cultural Norms