Falling fruit, dead dogs & Mexico City

apple
A rare, intact apple from the neighbors’ tree.

THE CURSED fruit has begun its annual fruit-fall.

It started recently with the apples from the neighbors’ tree, the one that hangs over our wall. Next on the list was our pear, then the sour orange, and this morning I found the worst of all, the cursed peach.

All of that stuff has to be picked up by hand, my hands. It’s a nuisance.

I did find one apple this morning that must have just sailed over the Hacienda wall because it had not been gnawed by critters. Maybe I’ll eat it. It’s organic, of course, so I can feel smug in my battle against global warming.

Or something like that.

On a positive note, when January rolls around, that peach is gonna be history. It sits on a section of grassy yard that’s going to be turned into a beautiful patio. Gotta love concrete and stone.

Aside from that apple, all the fruit I scooped up this morning was toted down the street in a bucket and heaved into the customary ravine.

* * * *

A smelly surprise!

That’s when I encountered the surprise, not a pretty one.

I always throw my green garbage at the same spot on the ravine’s edge because it’s the most convenient place to set my feet.

There it was, just over the edge, not down in the ravine at all. A dead dog, and not just any little dead dog, not a chihuahua, not even a terrier or pit bull. It was a German shepherd. He smelled rank. Someone had tossed him there.

I’ll have to heave my green garbage farther up till he decomposes.

* * * *

Bound for the Capital City!

We’re off to Mexico City in a few days because something wonderful has happened.

We’re renting our condo there to a nephew who’s entering the prestigious Instituto Politécnico Nacional. He likely will be there at least five years.

I might be dead in five years.

Our condo is walking distance from the school, plus it’s furnished, even sports Van Gogh prints on the walls. The best part, however, is we won’t have to make periodic trips to the chaotic capital anymore, and we’ll earn a little cash.

We’ll be meeting the student and his parents there next week to hand over the keys. This makes me very happy.

 

Summer is a good time

aloe
The aloe vera that soon will be larger than the house.

SUMMER STARTED a week ago officially, but it actually started hereabouts some weeks back, the real summer. When it started to rain.

I was walking up the Romance Sidewalk this morning when I noticed a hummingbird sitting casually on one of the aloe vera spikes. He didn’t seem concerned about anything much, and why should he? There are blooms to be sucked. Plenty of them.

Hummingbirds are brave, not much put off by people nearby, and this guy was like that, but he didn’t stick around while I retrieved my camera.

elyssum
Sweet alyssum barely holds on over the winter, but rain revives it quickly.

Cool, wet, sometimes sunny days are the norm till October or so.

I never walked up a Romance Sidewalk or any sidewalk in Houston all those years I lived there and spotted a hummingbird sitting on a huge aloe vera.

I never wore a flannel shirt in late June or long pants except to go to work. It was very different then, and it’s better now, especially not having to work at all.

But I’d prefer being younger, just a little bit.

bell
Ivy sneaks through the bell hole from the other side where it mostly covers every inch.

Grappling with greenery … and apples

barrow
Philodendron on right. Aloe vera on left.

IT’S OVERCAST this mid-morning and 64 degrees on the upstairs terraza.

Abel the Yardman is coming later to cut the grass, so I decided to do some overdue plant trimming in advance. Out I went at 9 a.m., my tummy full of bagel and cream cheese.

The first victim of my clipping shears was the philodendron Xanadu, which grows here to mammoth proportions. Secondly, I attacked the aloe vera which, similarly, buffs up like mad.

I stacked the philodendron cuttings on the floor of the Garden Patio to be chopped up later and dumped into a very big bag. The aloe vera will be tossed into a ravine out back where I have Abel the Yardman throw green garbage.

pile
Philodendron cuttings await fate on Garden Patio floor.

What about apples? The grumpy neighbors on the side opposite the sex motel have an apple tree abutting our property wall. Little thought was given to placement when they planted it years ago. Now it’s big and leans over our wall insouciantly and dumps apples into the grass in summertime.

How nice, you may think. Actually no. When I find them, they invariably have been gnawed by unknown beasts, leaving them fit for naught good.

I pick them up and throw them away.

But enough of this. I now must water the potted plants on the downstairs veranda. They are thirsty and don’t care that I’m writing this.

Life goes on below the Rio Bravo.

Soggy Sunday in late Spring

dangle
Sheep’s tail relishes the aftermath of rainfall this morning.

IT RAINED yesterday, and it rained again this morning. It’s supposed to rain this afternoon. We embrace this even though we’re not sure of the cause.

It could be the start of the five-month rainy season, or it could be due to the hurricane out in the Pacific, or it could be both. No matter. We’ll take it.

Sunday is a good day around here. There’s a certain sameness to Monday through Friday, and Saturday is devoted to pastry sales downtown. Sunday is up for grabs.

There is some routine to Sunday. My child bride usually irons. We invariably go to a restaurant for lunch, and we usually watch a Netflix movie in the late afternoon.

But if we wish to change all that, we have the right.

Every morning of the week, after croissants or bagels at 8, we move from the dining room to the living room and plop down into the cushy sofa for a spell. Put our feet up. It’s one of the best times of the day, every day.

If the light is just so, a cobweb or two around the big living room becomes visible. We really should have a maid, but we don’t, mostly because we are solitary people who don’t want anyone underfoot. So my child bride does the best she can, ever bitching about why didn’t we build a smaller place.

I help a bit, but most of my work is in the yard. Plus, I’m ancient.

mesa
Even the Jesus Patio table welcomes the rain.

The rain has cooled things considerably. We didn’t have the cooler blowing upstairs last night, and we only turned on the ceiling fan in the bedroom. The tower fan stayed in the off position.

Not only is it fresher, but we’re feeling good, which is notable due to both of us having some health issues in the last few months, things that appear to be resolving themselves. Sunday is usually a great day.

Even better if you’re feeling fine.

plant
From the downstairs veranda this morning, also enjoying the cool air.