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.

Who’ll stop the rain?

after
After: With the rain gutters.
before
Before: No rain gutters.

SPRING APPEARED over the past few days. I’ve sported short-sleeved shirts thrice. One is brown-checkered, one yellow-checkered and the third was a rose-colored linen.

We’ve replaced winter’s goose-down comforter on the king bed with a wool blanket that, we discovered on the first night, was inadequate for the cool air that flows in the window.

Another blanket will go atop it, but the goose down is retired till next winter. Short sleeves are in order for daytime.

Spring on the mountaintop brings numerous changes. One is the hour switch, that irrational nonsense that soldiers on yearly out of pure inertia. That happens next weekend.

Yes, the schedule is slightly different than what happens north of the Rio Bravo.

People tend to think — people who do not live here — oh, boy! Springtime! Fact is that it’s the worst season. It gets stuffy in the afternoons and evenings, and then there’s the dust.

The rainy season changes all that, cooling things off and inspiring Mother Nature to go full-tilt green. It’s nice.

That arrives in June.

Since we built the Hacienda 13 years ago, we’ve had endless problems with the downstairs veranda flooding from water that runs in during downpours.

Finally, we’ve done something about that. It’s a two-prong solution, the greater of which you see in the photos:

Rain gutters!

Common sense would have had them installed long ago, but common sense often is in short supply in our house.

The second prong is work done on the floor under the fourth arch you see in the photos, the rear, left.

It’s an entryway and previously was flat, providing a sweet path for blown-in rainwater. It now has a gentle incline urging rainwater outward instead of inward. Duh!

I’d like to jump completely over springtime every year, going straight from the goose-down comforter and coats to the rain of cool summer. But the Goddess ignores my opinion.

But by October, we’ll be asking, Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Last man standing

sonyUNTIL THIS week, I was the last man in the modern world without a Smartphone. But I have folded.

Sure, I had a cell phone, had one for years. It would do calls, messages and, well, that’s it. I was a Luddite in the phone department. The Hacienda has no landline.

I had never bought a Smartphone because I already spend too much time online, plus the phone keyboards are too freaking tiny for my manly paws. It’s annoying.

The primary reason I upgraded was that the old phone’s sound was lame. I frequently had trouble understanding what was being said* through that antique gizmo.

My new phone is a Sony Xperia C1904 that came onto the market in 2013. I bought mine used for 1,200 pesos, about 65 U.S. bucks, on Mercado Libre, which I’ve been wanting to try for years. A reseller in Mérida shipped it to me via DHL.

It’s not one of the huge ones. It measures 2.5 inches by 5 inches. I bought a nice case to carry it on my belt. I look very hip.

I have no contract. I just pay for the time I use, which is how I want it. I don’t need a contract because I don’t communicate with lots of folks. My personality remains the same.

My phone number did not change.

* * * *

* Say what?

Vista, 2015

october

PLACES, LIKE people, change over time. I climbed the circular stairwell today to take this year’s roof shot. The one I posted recently in black and white on Mood piece was a photo from a couple of years ago.

The horse shot was fresh though.

We’re off to Palenque, Chiapas, for a week later this month. Will be my first visit since 1999 when I flew down there from Houston to attend an entheogen conference. It’ll be interesting to see the jungle again.

It won’t be interesting to sweat, but there’s no avoiding that.

On returning we’ll start some work here at the Hacienda. The driveway up from the street, behind the stone wall and not visible in the photo, will be renovated with a nice mosaic design. The windows looking out to the upstairs terraza need lots of work and varnish.

There’s a weed-filled dirt strip that runs the width of the property between our back wall and the street surface that we’re going to fancy up with rock and cement even though it’s not our land. Community service.

toiletAnd we will replace the toilet downstairs. The current johnny was purchased in the talavera capital of Dolores Hidalgo in 2002. It has a painted desert scene all over it.

Though interesting and lovely, it’s a bit undersized and has never been very practical. We’ll replace it with something modern from Home Depot, and the old toilet will start a new life as a planter in the yard.

No one has thought of that before.