House Home

our first shower

our first shower in la tigra 🙂


In 2006 my husband Felipe and I packed two bags, fifty thousand dollars and the dream of a self sustainable life. We moved to his tiny home town in rural México. We were there almost nine years getting a whopping lesson in dream meets reality.

Four months ago, I packed one bag and left for Nicaragua. I had fifty bucks, and the idea that perhaps Felipe would join me. As followers of this blog know, he did; he came with one bag and 1500 dollars in the bank from selling our pigs.

This is to say, I know a little bit about up and moving to another country. You might guess the hardest part is making it happen, but in my experience, the difficulty is making it home.

When I moved into in my new apartment in Nicaragua I was elated. It was so clean! No crumbling  walls, no stumbling into the forest  before dawn due to broken plumbing, no corners of impenetrable grime. Seven years with no money for house maintenance = hovel. But after a few months of white walls and dark wood I missed character, even if that meant something beyond patina.

I wish I could say I remedied this deficit with something more apparently meaningful say… volunteering or starting to write  a new book, but…I went shopping, at the Nica version of home depot no less!




I bought pillows, and place mats, an apron and wineglasses and a vase! Best of all… I bought two big bright coffee mugs. They aren’t as grande as the big green mug that held my hand as I stuttered through my recitations last year, but  they’re an investment in wake up happy.


Wake up happy!


Felipe visited the Pierda Rahda last week, I’m pleased to report he found River and Monty fat and wild, and our cats still inhabiting the adobe and turning there nose up at the food our caretaker puts down for them everyday. I could have asked him to bring my big green mug, but I feel better knowing it’s there, waiting for me to drink in sunrise under the amate someday.

I guess I am not yet totally here -but I’m closer.

What’s your first step in making a house a home?

8 thoughts on “House Home

  1. I like that you leave something of yourself in another place, it’s a signal of intent to return. Love the mugs, the colours are great and it’s the simple things that make a house a home, a crazy coloured rug, or a ship in a bottle. Personally a few old books are all I need to be happy although working wifi helps as well!

  2. OMG Ste J! I totally need a ship in a bottle!!
    And I did feel more at home when I started putting books on the shelf. Now if I would find to read them. How do you read so much and work full time I need some pointers.

  3. It’s the simple things isn’t it? I think I’d be happy most anywhere with an Internet connection, coffee, running trails and a quiet bar within walking distance.

  4. Haha, honey! I love that you went shopping for home decor. I would have done the same. I’m don’t spend a ton of money on my home, but it’s important to make the space my own. Decorative pillows are a great place to start. So glad you’re settling in.

    I usually know I’ve officially settled in when I dance with a beer in my place to loud music. 😉

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