WE’VE BEEN dreadfully wet of late. Not Houston-style, but extra wet in our own way, and it’s due to two factors.
One, it’s the rainy season, and it rains a bit every day. But, in addition, we were getting almost nonstop rain for a spell due to a hurricane out in the Pacific. Not Harvey but Lidia.
When hurricanes run amok in the Gulf or Pacific, we get extra rain sometimes, and that’s all we get, which is good.
But the sun was out this morning, so I did some yard trimmings, cutting dead stuff, picking up nopal fruit that had fallen to the grass. You need gloves to do that latter, as I discovered painfully some while back. Nasty little spines.
And I refilled the birdbath, which I had not done for days due to the rain keeping it full. However, I noticed today there were tadpoles in there, so I dumped it out, and refilled.
During the morning activities, I needed something from the downstairs closet and while in there I got in a sharing mode. I don’t think I’ve ever put a closet photo here, so …
The closet is across from the downstairs bathroom and next to the bedroom. You enter from the hallway. It was my idea, and it baffled my child bride at first because it’s as big as many — perhaps most — bedrooms in Mexico.
I hired a carpenter to build shelves that don’t just abut the wall but extend outwards, giving much more storage space. It’s an idea I got from the late, great Al Kinnison (R.I.P.) who had such a closet next to his kitchen. He lived downtown.
While I’ve been writing this, the clouds have grown, which may cause a problem for my morning exercise walk around our nearby plaza. I think I need to get going.
While my child bride is up to her neck in dough, sugar and strawberries out in her own kitchen by the big gate, preparing for the weekly pastry sale on the main plaza downtown, I have my own responsibilities.
I start with wiping off the glass-top table on the Jesus Patio. I swipe the web chairs while I’m at it. This is done most every morning, not just Fridays.
The birdbath can be quite yucky because birds have no sense of personal hygiene, so I have to change the water and wipe clean that ceramic, which I purchased in Dolores Hidalgo.
The plants in the big pots in the veranda must be watered. I do that at least once a week, Friday, but sometimes twice. Some plants have been changed since last I posted this scene.
I sweep daily too. Well, nearly.
Surely, you’re wondering where I get the water to irrigate these plants, and that provides me the opportunity to do something I recall showing just once before.
* * * *
The Garden Patio
This is the Garden Patio, such a lovely name for the most butt-ugly part of the Hacienda. If you visit the Hacienda, you will not see it unless I lead you there.
Look at the top photo. The Garden Patio is behind that red wall on the left, and the only way to get there, aside from a gate to the back street, is through that narrow, arched opening.
This was a grassy area, more of the yard, after the Hacienda construction ended in 2003. I have since had everything added. The clay-tile roof, the concrete floor, the shelves.
Those two big, black trash bags await the garbage truck. One is yard garbage. The other is non-biodegradable kitchen trash. The white barrel on the left is for kitchen stuff. The big, black can to the right stores yard garbage.
I am too shiftless to compost. Sorry.
* * * *
Those two big, black bags ended up atop the garbage truck which arrived around 2 p.m. while we were eating fish burgers, sauteed vegetables and rice prepared by me.
* * * *
Weedeaters and me
I‘ve long had a love/hate relationship with weedeaters, and now I have a new one in the Garden Patio. Even though Weedeater is a brand name, I’ll be lowercasing it because Mexicans use the word to refer to all trimmers regardless of make.
Weedeaters, in my experience, are colossally temperamental. They are cranky to start and prone to stop running for no good reason whatsoever. They can be infuriating.
I’ve had a Truper weedeater and a Weedeater weedeater here at the Hacienda. I loathed them both. Two years ago, I switched to an electric, Sears weedeater, which runs fine but there’s that mile-long cord to contend with.
Last year I learned that Abel the Deadpan Neighbor who mows my lawn with my lawnmower has his own weedeater. He started doing the trimming too, but his weedeater is prone to frequent siestas, undesired timeouts.
In a moment of madness last week, I purchased a gas weedeater, a German Stihl. I then remembered I couldn’t let Abel use it because Mexicans abuse tools that aren’t theirs, so I hope Abel’s weedeater keeps siestas to a minimum.
Meanwhile, my Nazi Stihl will rest in the Garden Patio.
* * * *
All the yard gear in the Garden Patio was stored for years on the opposite end of the property, out by the front street wall and under a red-clay-tile roof there.
My child bride’s pastry kitchen now occupies that space. You can see her walking out there Friday morning in the following photo. She was unaware of the photographer.
Speaking of plants, one of my favorites is multiplying madly as everything does here. They are the spikey ones you see below. I don’t know what they’re called, but they multiply like, well, like us Mexicans. Catholic plants. Good breeders.
So there you have it, Friday, a busy day, at least until 3 p.m. when all is done, lunch is eaten, dishes are washed because I don’t procrastinate with dishes.
And then it was off to downtown to sit on a sidewalk table with my Kindle and a café Americano negro.
FALL MAKES me want to do something. It puts a spring into my step.
In just the last few days, the presence of autumn has become more obvious. Leaves fallen from the peach tree litter the Jesus Patio, and the summertime dawn temperature of 60 has plummeted to 58.
So, this morning, with that spring in my step, I cast procrastination aside and decided to do something. First, I did what I do every Saturday morning, and that’s water the potted plants in the veranda.*
Dave Brubeck played Take Five through the living room window.
Energy up, I cleaned the glass-top table and web chairs on the Jesus Patio. I brushed dust and bat crap from the shelves along the veranda walls. And I swept the floor.
I cleaned the psychedelic ceramic birdbath and changed the water. I swept the Honda carport but not the Nissan’s.
I stuck my head into the bakery workshop and said hi to my child bride, baking in a cloud of flour. It smelled good in there.
I walked upstairs and oiled the squeaky parts of the gym set.
Fall has always been my favorite season. When I lived in Dixie, it was as far as you could get from the next summer swelter. There is also a certain sadness — a tristeza — involved, but a sweet sort.
In spite of that, fall holds optimism for me. It inspires hope, and that’s always a good thing. It’s fall, not spring, that reminds me of love.
* * * *
* I am reading my third excellent book in a row about India by William Dalrymple. There are lots of verandas in India, and I like the word. Plus, it applies to what we have here at the Hacienda. So veranda will replace the old “downstairs terraza.” The upstairs terraza will remain a terraza because it is not a veranda. It’s mostly uncovered.