Where hippies still live

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YESTERDAY ON the main plaza downtown, I noticed this old gent. He looks like a Gringo, not a Mexican, but I cannot be sure.

I’m guessing he took the wrong exit out of Woodstock in 1969 and ended up South of the Border when he intended to head toward Haight-Ashbury.

That strange Americans, sometimes on the lam but usually not, have long moved to Mexico is a fact. But many more normal folks are now retiring here because it’s cheaper, and because they think Mexicans are sooo nice. Earlier on, many came down to escape their lives north of the border. That was certainly my story. Escape.

Speaking of hippies, fellow retired newspaperman and blogger Al Lanier recently said there are no hippies in San Miguel de Allende near where he lives. I burst out laughing because there certainly are, thousands of them.

I’d wager that 90 percent of the mess of Gringos who move to San Miguel were stoned and swaying during 1967’s Summer of Love. Probably the fellow in the photo was there too. But San Miguel’s former hippies are now simply far older and wealthier.

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When I arrived home yesterday afternoon, I noticed this view, the colors and light mostly but the bougainvillea too. This is one of my three bougainvilleas that know their places. My sole monster bougainvillea will join them soon in size and good breeding.

But mostly, I just like the late-afternoon colors. The name of the paint color on that wall is Hacienda Red. Really. But any nincompoop can see it’s orange.

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I subject this plant to stern discipline.

Glass, blooms & design

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Easy does it, boys!

ABOUT TEN guys showed up at the front gate yesterday morning to unload more glass, lots more glass, about 35 huge, additional panes. It’s not trickling in anymore.

They brought just six last time.

This is the most exciting project that’s happened around here in years. The previous most exciting project was the construction of my child bride’s pastry kitchen. That was five years ago. They will both end up costing about the same thing, $10,000 U.S.

We could have purchased two decent used cars instead.

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Doing the glass walk.
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Both the fellow on the left and the far one on the right are standing directly atop the glass, They are braver than I, or they know something I don’t. Likely both.
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End of the day, almost finished. There’s more glass installed to the left.

Seven hours later, they left, eight panes shy up top, and eight smaller vertical ones elsewhere. You can see where those smaller ones go in the top photo. The crew won’t be back till some day next week, they said. Lordy, I hope so.

The next things on the to-do list are to install a ceiling fan and additional lighting. And some system to reduce drastically the force of the sun. We’ll almost certainly opt for a fabric screen on top. Home Depot sells various designs specifically for that purpose. We could install it atop or drape it below, but atop will help somewhat in avoiding hail damage.

It hails like Hell here at times.

We’ll also be installing canvas curtains in at least two areas to reduce the entrance of water from the side during the five-month monsoons.

And last of all, some nice, comfy furniture for the wild parties we’re planning.

All this work and expense is happening because of one tiny leak in the upstairs terraza that cropped up last year. I didn’t think the solution would be so humongous.

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Bye, bye, bougainvillea

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Tried, convicted, condemned.

I’ve finally had it up to here with the monster bougainvillea.

Someone from the sex hotel next door rang our doorbell yesterday asking if I’d mind if they whacked back the large part of my bougainvillea that’s hanging over on their side, tossing red trash everywhere. Have at it, I replied.

Meanwhile, massive mounds of wind-blown fallen flowers accumulate in our yard and in our downstairs veranda. I’m sick of it! So, like the peach tree, the pear tree, the nopal, all garbage tossers, the bougainvillea is coming down. Not totally, but 95 percent of it. I’ll leave the fat trunk and a small bush on top, a bougainvillea bonsai.

It’ll be cute.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be hiring the same crew that removed the monster nopal to return for the bougainvillea. I can’t take it anymore.

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The Moon has a new look. Hope it suits you. I used the same theme when I updated the website last week for our Downtown Casita rental. Life is change.

Curse of bougainvillea

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THE ABOVE SHOWS just a small portion of the fallen bougainvillea leaves I must remove on a regular basis. My patience is running short.

More than 15 years back I planted many things in our yard that I have grown mightily to regret. The nopal tree, now gone. Two pear trees, gone. Peach tree, gone. There are only two major nuisances left, the bougainvillea and a very large loquat.

Just this week, I noticed that a freaking, nasty pigeon is nesting deep in the bougainvillea, no doubt producing more of those large pests. I would remove the nest if I could see it or reach it, but the plant is so thick, that’s next to impossible.

I see her dive in there and disappear. Then there are maternal clucking sounds! If  I’m walking along our sidewalk, and she’s gliding toward the hidden nest, she abruptly detours on spotting me. She thinks I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m sharper than a pigeon.

The damnable pigeon occasionally sits and craps atop the steel superstructure where our upstairs terraza dome will be installed. (Glass is en route, by the way.) Pigeons are a relatively new element in my hardscrabble barrio. I only noticed the first one about a year ago, and now they’re making themselves at home.

If I only possessed a shotgun!

The large plaza downtown is overrun with pigeons now, and people feed them! Welcome! They roost in the attics of the old Colonial buildings surrounding the plaza, making a horrible mess. We wrote a letter to the mayor a few years back, suggesting he put signs on the plaza forbidding the feeding of pigeons.

He ignored us, and the pigeon population continues to swell.

On a positive note, the days now consist of blue skies and cool-enough temperatures. Not only are bougainvillea blooming all over town, but spectacular jacaranda trees too.

And the first flower of our golden datura appeared by the Alamo Wall this week.

Other current events: At this moment, just after High Noon, the folks who live in the hovel out back are blaring music to one and all. Luckily, that side of the Hacienda has no windows save a small one in the upstairs bathroom, so the noise is not a problem.

This afternoon we’ll be lunching at a health-food joint by the docks. Haven’t been there in many a month. Should arrive about 2 p.m. Come join us if you like. Dutch Treat, of course. We’re fixed-income pensioners.

Then later we’ll drive downtown for a stroll around the Semana Santa market that covers the plaza. Some interesting things on sale, but the Day of the Dead market is superior.

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Note: The horror story I mentioned about a week ago likely will appear here on Saturday. I’ve emerged from the grim tale intact. Stay tuned, as they say.

The bougainvillea shot

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IT’S THAT TIME of year again, the time for the annual bougainvillea shot.

I include my child bride for the sake of perspective. And, as in all years, the monster plant has been trimmed back. Abel the Deadpan Yardman did that about two months ago in winter. Yes, this is the trimmed-back look.

My child bride is dressed for the gym, by the way, an every-Monday occurrence, along with each Wednesday and Friday.

Now that I have removed the behemoth nopal, the too-tall, trash-tossing pear, another smaller pear and the trash-tossing peach tree, this beefed-up bougainvillea is the lone, remaining yard annoyance. Perhaps one day I’ll have it removed too.

It is rather attractive, however, and it does not toss rotten fruit, just dead blooms.

When I walked toward the kitchen this morning not long after dawn, I noticed this light play on the wall of the living room, so I photographed it.

It’s a colorful world.

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