Where water comes from

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My child bride, sporting her Kung Flu mask, does the mopping.

THE MONTH OF MAY means the cistern must be swept and mopped. It’s the underground tank where the municipal water arrives daily and waits to be pumped to the roof tank from where it is distributed to the faucets inside the house via gravity.

We do this every year. Many people never do it, but we don’t live like that. This became doubly important a couple of years ago when we stopped using bottled drinking water and installed a filtration system under the kitchen sink. It has a separate faucet, and that’s our drinking water now, straight from this cistern.

The water that fills the cistern comes from an underground spring.

The tank, which is concrete, was built about 12 years ago, replacing a “modern” plastic job that was installed when the Hacienda was constructed in 2002-03. The plastic one collapsed in time because it was installed incorrectly, the only error the builder committed because he was “old school” and had no experience with plastic cisterns.

And by pure lousy luck, the day he installed it, we were in San Miguel de Allende. Had I been here, I would have noticed and corrected the bum installation. It was the only time we were out of town during the entire nine-month construction.

But all’s well that ends well, especially when it’s an actual well. This big baby — 9,000 liters — has never given us any problems.

You may be wondering, if the cistern is empty, where is our water coming from? There’s a separate, above-ground tank about half this size, just beyond the photo. We switch to it when the cistern is empty which only happens in May.

We have five tanks in all, but the cistern is the largest.

To empty the cistern, I shut the valve on the pipe from the street, and it takes about two weeks to empty. After the cleaning, the valve from the street is opened again, and it takes three or four days to refill. It’s quite low tech. Old school.

The nonstop knitter

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Morning in the bedroom.

QUARANTINE FOR my child bride presents no problems. She knits. Hours and hours and hours of knitting sitting bolt upright. Women are strange.

Her days pass with knitting and calisthenics, the latter being quite time-consuming too. Her gym being closed has been hard for her. She has been going to the gym regularly for more than 30 years. These days, she tosses back a rug in the living room and finds gym classes on YouTube. She props up the Samsung tablet in front of her.

Then it’s bam, boom, bam, boom! On and on and on. Every freaking day.

After I shot the above photo this morning, I did a Hacienda walkabout, and came up with the photos below. I don’t knit or do calisthenics. Old boys gotta stay busy.

To date there has been just one Kung Flu case officially reported in my mountaintop town, and that person died. In the last two weeks, no further cases have been reported.

Amusingly, on an internet forum dedicated to Gringos in our area, the old coots, which is what most are, are chomping at the bit to get their “Economic Impact Payments” from Uncle Sam, in spite of virtually none of them having jobs or having suffering economically in the slightest due to the Kung Flu. They want their cash!

And that, mis amigos, is what’s wrong with America.

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Ms. Bones has stood 17 years in the living room.
toro
Wall on the downstairs veranda. That iron has a history.
hat
Sombreros in the hallway.
chairs
Rockers, of course. At times, I’m off mine. Allegedly.

The new normal?

masks
Posing on the scarlet sofa. It is scarlet. Trust me.

WELCOME TO our living room in the Plague Year.

So, okay, we’re just having a bit of fun. We don’t wear masks inside the house … or outside either. These tissue ones I bought in a 10-pack for 20 pesos two weeks ago are next to useless. However, I have a couple of good ones en route from above the border that I purchased on Amazon, apparently just in time because now they’re unavailable.

Amazon tells me they will arrive here between May 14 and June 11, which means we can use them for the next pandemic, not this one. And there will be another because the Chinese Commies are intent on world domination by hook, crook or virus.

Note my new buzz cut, a more convenient hairdo in these troubled times. Something you cannot see is that I quit shaving about a week ago. If I keep it up, I’ll resemble a svelte Santa before this is all over. But I will not bear gifts.

My child bride did something wacko with her hair this morning. That’s a housecleaning hairstyle. She would never hit the streets looking like that, I promise.

We’ll be dining in a restaurant this afternoon, so our quarantine is half-assed.

The news in March

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IT’S BEEN BEAUTIFUL of late, and my child bride and her sister think winter is over. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. March is a dicey month. I took the above photo from the upstairs terraza about six or eight years ago. That’s snow on yon mountains … in March.

It did not snow that week at the Hacienda, but it was darn frigid. When the dry, warm days of April arrive, then you can declare winter’s demise, not before.

Just for the heck of it, here’s another photo taken from the upstairs terraza. It was shot in June of last year. Those are the same mountains, of course. Sweet.

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We’ve been a bit busy since we returned from Guanajuato, and we were busy before going to Guanajuato too. We’ve had a circular stairway installed from the balcony to the roof of our Downtown Casita. And now I’m waiting for our painter to finish work he’s doing for someone else in order to paint the Casita’s exterior.

And we have new cell phones, both of us, as of last week, and we bought the same model. Motorola G8 Plus, it’s called, and it’s a big improvement over her previous Samsung and my old Alcatel. There are people who still shun cell phones, which mystifies me. It’s like an electronic Swiss Army knife.

I use mine for reminders, checking my bank balance, using “virtual” credit cards so as not to get ripped off, and I’m a YouTube addict, so there’s that. Right on my Motorola. And there’s a calculator, a call blocker, the app of our car insurance which lets one immediately report an accident while the app pinpoints the car’s location.

How can you live without this stuff? Sometimes I even make calls on my phone. Messages are more common, mostly to my child bride. Speaking of calls, I recently canceled my Skype subscription after many years. It’s pricey, and I almost never used it, mostly to phone my investment company in the United States.

I discovered a better option for me. I have no interest in video calls, but I do need a U.S. number. There are several online phone services that work fine (PopTox, LetsBrik) but they don’t provide a U.S. phone number like Skype can.

It’s a sweet little app called Dingtone. You get a U.S. number, call waiting, message box, all the usual services, and it’s free to cheap. But no video calls. Meh.

I’m writing this at midday on Super Tuesday, so I don’t know the results yet. Bernie gonna win again? Are the Democrat candidates still screaming at one another? Will the Democrat National Committee steal the nomination once more from the crusty, old communist? Will the little-girl-groper Joe Biden be the nominee? Such fun!

As least Pocahontas is flaming out, silly broad. And Mayor Pete has bit the dust. I don’t think America is ready for a gay president with a First Man spouse. More to the point, I don’t think powerful, non-woke nations like China and Russia are ready for it, to put it mildly.

Too soon, way too soon.

Barbra Streisand says the United States could be “extinguished if Trump wins again. Extinguished! You just gotta howl at this stuff. Here we are, nearing the end of Trump’s first — but not last — four years, and the Republic still stands, hearty and healthy.

There are no troops goose-stepping in D.C., no midnight knocks at the door, no blacks hanging from trees. None of those Democrat predictions came true.

Quite the contrary. Things are far better than during the Obama administration. At least America doesn’t have a First Lady who is a cross-dresser.

And that’s enough news in March for now.

Hope it’s a lovely day wherever you are.