Tag: Hacienda

My year’s transition

fish

LATE YESTERDAY, around 6:30, I was standing at this seafood stand on our mountaintop town’s smaller plaza, the one  where the ancient, colonial library abuts. I was enjoying a shrimp cocktail.

Like Christmas Eve, I was flying solo, but there was no hotel waiting. All I had to do was drive home, lock the big, red gate, put on my jammies, write this and slide into the king bed well before midnight.

And that’s exactly what I did. My child bride, yet again, was overnighting with 500 or so of her closest kinfolks, but this time it was downtown at her sister’s home on our big plaza.

One day earlier, on Sunday, we had planned to lunch at a seafood restaurant on the ring road because we knew going downtown would be difficult due to tourist traffic. But the traffic was far worse than we’d imagined. We were stopped dead in our tracks in less than one block from the Hacienda.

We switched to Plan B, which was devised on the spot. We went away from town, not toward it. We drove to another town, Quiroga, to hunt a restaurant. We parked on one end of Quiroga’s main drag and walked almost entirely to the other end before spotting a Chinese restaurant.

And that was lunch. It wasn’t bad.

Returning down the jammed main drag afoot, we sat a spell on a steel bench in Quiroga’s main plaza for a bit of people-gawking. Then, on the way to where the Honda was parked, we bought an ice cream cone and shared. Vanilla with Oreo bits.

Driving toward home, we passed through another little town with the odd name of Tzintzuntzan. Can you say Tzintzuntzan? Just outside Tzintzuntzan, there’s a series of stone-carving businesses.

I stopped and took the photo below. Then we went home.

Yesterday, my child bride was busy most of the day fixing grub for last night’s New Year’s Hoopla with her 500 or so relatives. In the afternoon, I went downtown for a nice café Americano negro on the plaza. Then the shrimp cocktail. The traffic was quite light for some reason.

Then I came home and did what I already told you I did in the paragraphs above. I hope 2019 is a fine year for one and all.

I’ll continue what I’ve been doing for many years, which is not much of anything aside from awaiting the Grim Reaper. I find it suits me.

carved

She does do windows

maid
That’s Maria on the ladder. She’s kinda short.

PROBABLY MOST people in Mexico, especially the foreigners, who can easily afford domestic help have domestic help.

While we have a maid who does monthly cleaning at our Downtown Casita, we have not had a maid here at the Hacienda in about 10 years. Neither of us like people underfoot, even if those people are lessening our workload.

My child bride has done most of the housecleaning for years, and I have done most of the yardwork for those same years. It seems fair enough, though I think I get the better part of the deal especially now that I have almost abandoned yardwork, turning it over to Abel the Deadpan Yardman.

But housecleaning here came mostly to a standstill when my wife broke her left arm almost two months ago. I picked up some slack, mostly ironing, but actual cleaning, well, it got a little grimy hereabouts.

Finally, we surrendered and called the maid, the same one who cleans the Downtown Casita. Her name is Maria.

There is a second reason we have avoided maids. They steal. Of course, they don’t all steal. Maria has never stolen anything from the Downtown Casita, and I cannot imagine she would steal anything here. But our last maid stole, and I know that it’s a common risk with domestic help.

We would leave home while the previous maid was here, giving her free access, access she took advantage of, which we noticed during the months after we let her go for other reasons. The robbery only became obvious later.

Clothes, music CDs, etc. Lord knows what else.

So we have a new rule. We never leave a maid here unsupervised. We will stick to this rule even though we have complete confidence in Maria.

There is one problem I have noticed. Both Maria and my child bride are gossip hounds, and if they’re in the same room together, Maria’s work tends to slow or stop while the mouths run. Why do women chatter so?

Maria came last week and this week, and things have gotten tidy again. We will likely hire her once a month in the future. Or not, depending.

We still dislike people under foot.

Blowback from the break

SINCE MY CHILD bride broke her arm recently, life has taken some significant detours here at the Hacienda.

Some affect her more than me, and some affect me more than her, but everyone is affected. Perhaps the worst part is that she cannot go to the gym, something she’s done regularly for about 30 years.

This is driving her nuts.

Since her car has an automatic transmission, and her broken arm is the left one, and she’s right-handed, she can still drive, but she’s nervous about it, so she’s not driving. I am now the full-time chauffeur.

She cannot easily put cream cheese on her bagels in the morning or orange marmalade on her croissants. I do that for her.

Neither can she iron clothes, which she’s done since we got married. I am fully capable of ironing clothes, and I ironed clothes all the time during my previous marriage. Now I’m back to ironing clothes.

But I don’t do it as well as she does because the occasional wrinkle does not bother me. I’m more laid back about creases’ locations.

She still sweeps and mops, but not very well. Oh, well.

When she showers, I have to tape a plastic bag around her cast. She does remove it, however. We’re using lots of bags.

Which brings us to her hair, which is curly and very long. There’s not much she can do with it wielding one hand so I have been drafted. I am not good at it. Sometimes she looks goofy.

Her weekend pastry sales on the downtown plaza have been suspended, so she’s unemployed. I continue her benefits, however.

Today ends the first week of this new life. According to the doctor, it will continue for another three to five weeks. We’re praying for just three.

Neither of us had broken a bone before, and neither of us had lived with someone who’d broken a bone, so we’d never given it much thought.

It’s kind of a pain in the butt.

Hacienda happenings and pilgrims too

New Image
Some pilgrims travel this way.

HOLA, AMIGOS. It’s a lovely day at the Hacienda, and here’s what’s happening.

I am alone today, abandoned by my child bride who, with her sister and the nephew formerly known as The Little Vaquero, has gone on a pilgrimage. The trio is walking to a town about 12 miles distant.

They left at 10 a.m.

This is an annual event, and hundreds of folks hereabouts do it. But not me. I have no desire to go on pilgrimages. It’s a religious event — Catholic, of course — but that’s not why my trio does it. They just like the walk, which takes about three hours.

They switched to this pilgrimage two years ago. They previously went on a far longer one to a town called Caracuaro to visit the “Black Jesus.”

I once went on that pilgrimage, years back, out of curiosity. The traditional way is to walk, but I drove because I am a lazy pilgrim.

I walked through throngs of other pilgrims in the streets of Caracuaro, some on their knees. I ate tacos and beans, and I came home. It was my only visit. The Black Jesus will have to get along without me in the future.

I said I was alone today, but that’s not quite true. There are workmen here. January and February are when we do renovations at the Hacienda. It doesn’t rain in January and February normally, so it’s a good time for renovations.

We’re having work done on some windows, and there’s painting too. I’ll have a full post on that in a few days because I know you’re curious.

Meanwhile, here I sit, alone, while my pilgrims stroll in the sunshine.