Look-about in late July

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Even ceramic fragments add to decor.

THIS IS SUNDAY, the day of rest according to Christian belief, but I am not a Christian, so I stepped outside this morning after black café and bagels to attend to mounting chores.

I swept. I watered. I wiped and refilled the birdbath. I doubt the birds care, but I do. Appearances matter. I chopped some green detritus and dropped it into a big trash bin. I wiped the Jesus Patio table, and I swept the veranda.

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Oblong pot of something or other.

We wake every morning in the low 60s, temperature-wise, but by afternoon it’s warmed to the low 70s.

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He scares the snails.

A niece and her 1-year-old daughter moved to town yesterday from the nearby state capital. Her boyfriend left her, so she’s coming here to work in the coffee shop. To complicate the matter she discovered this week she’s four months pregnant, a gift from the same boyfriend, but he’s still gone.

One of my child bride’s brothers drove his truck here from his home in Querétaro and moved the niece’s few and quite humble belongings to the mountaintop. We’ll see how this plays out.

Her mother, my child bride’s sister, has four children and has never been married. I think I see a repeating pattern.

Highlands Mexican life is great weather and nonstop drama.

Most of my chores this morning are behind me, so I’ll shower, dress and slip into a Christian-like Day of Rest. It will be nice. We’ll eat in a restaurant.

Two nights ago, lying in bed reading our Kindles, the both of us, a big storm began outside, coming down from the mountains. The bedroom window was open. As wind whipped outside, it pushed the sweet smell of golden datura into the bedroom from the big bush just beyond. It covered us like Chanel.

That sort of thing can deliver sweet dreams.

Strolling the yard

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Señora Bones scares intruders from the Hacienda. Well, that’s the idea.
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Renovated bathroom window. And the beams over both windows are newly varnished.

IT’S SUNDAY, our day of rest.

Saturday is our busiest day due to the weekly pastry sale my child bride offers out of her big basket that’s shaped like a sombrero. We do that downtown on the main plaza.

After the endless hubbub of Saturday, we kick back on Sunday. After watching a strange movie on Netflix this morning — Joe, starring Nicholas Cage — I took a stroll around the yard while my child bride began the lengthy, female process of bathing and dressing before we head out to a restaurant.

I photographed some stuff.

It was a nice morning, mild and sunny. There was la señora Bones, whom I’ve not shown here in a fair spell. She stands next to the Alamo Wall. Then there was a corner of the house, bath window on left, bedroom on right. We recently had work done on the bathroom window, new varnish, new screen.

The plant in the middle is the golden datura tree, which I whack back to a nub for winter. It’s starting to sprout again and will be full of big, gold blooms and a fine smell that drifts into the bedroom on summer nights.

Yesterday, I was sitting in a web chair, lazy style, watering with a garden hose when a goldfinch joined me for a bath. He sat himself on the sidewalk on the outer edge of my spraying and turned himself this way and that, fluffing up his feathers, giving himself a very nice shower. And it was fun for me too. He was only about three feet away.

Though we’re still in the dead of winter, calendar-wise, the pear tree thinks it’s springtime. That’s it below sprouting blooms. The weather has been so mild for a few weeks that the pear has lost touch with reality.

It’s good to live in agreeable surroundings.

She’s hollering up from downstairs now that she’s ready to go eat.

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Pear tree thinks it’s springtime.

Living easy

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LET’S LOOK at how, with a little luck and a bit of forethought, you can leave your old life behind and start anew.

Pay off those bills, chuck those worries, say adiós to the folks who are always annoying you, pack your bags, get on a plane and fly over the southern border.

You know you want to.

Here are some photos that illustrate what you can do with effort and a little cash, less than you might think.

First, there are flowers. The top photo was taken in our yard a couple of years ago. The rains are just getting started, and soon we´ll have this view again. The golden datura outside the bedroom window sent sweet smells to us just last night.

Only lunatics want to live on a Mexican beach because it’s often hot and buggy, a situation somewhat like those folks who always annoyed you. But the beach is great for a visit.

And then you head back to the cool mountains.

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This photo was taken a few years ago. That’s my child bride in a  pool in Zihuatanejo, just a 3.5-hour drive down an autopista from the Hacienda.

This is living easy, and you can do it too. I know you want to.

Pack your bags and wave adiós.

Do it before you die.

The tilted birdbath

daturaWHAT SORT  of loopy person leaves a birdbath tilted for over a decade when it requires only a few seconds to set it straight? That person, of course, is me.

But today I spent the few seconds and made it level. The birds had never seemed to mind or even notice. I long noticed but did nothing. The birdbath is a clay bowl that sits atop a carved wooden pedestal, knee-high. The pedestal is rotting, but that’s not what made the whole shebang off-kilter. It’s sat crooked since it was new.

I took the bowl off this morning, and moved the pedestal from where it’s rested so long. There was grime below, some bugs and a worm that looked perfect for fishing. I swept it all away with a broom, into the grass.

A slight shift to the right and a bit of circular movement set it straight. I put the bowl back on top and it was level, the first time in a long time. The birds still will not care, so this is a strictly human issue.

It’s not like the birds need my water supply right now because it rains every day. Pools and puddles are all over the place. No matter. My birdbath is quite popular, but it will become more popular when the rainy season ends next month and a pool will be darned difficult to find.

Summer has ended, of course. Our high mountain world is wet, and the plants are happy. When we open the bedroom curtain in the morning, this is what we see, the photo above, golden datura in a frenzy of flowers.

The big aloe vera bushes are full of orange stalks. The birds of paradise have come out to play, the plants, not actual birds, which are not mountain fowl. We must make do with the flowers.

I was sitting on the front terraza a spell this morning, admiring it all and thinking what a lucky fellow I am.

But I should have straightened that birdbath a long time ago. A personality flaw.