Tag: haciendas

Silence of the hens

WE HAVE ENTERED a new era at the Hacienda.

For almost 16 years, we have endured various, usually minor but persistent, problems due to the gang of chickens running wild next door.

Because of the sourpuss neighbors’ apple tree that abuts our property wall and because of the chicken flock’s fondness for snoozing up there at night, the fowl have long noticed the literally greener pasture next door.

New ImageSo they jump over. Oh, not all that often, but too often for my taste. Thankfully, they soon weary of this new world or perhaps they miss their sisters, so they flap back over the wall to where they belong, their familiar world of pigs, dogs, horses, etc.*

Recently, something odd happened. A hen leaped over and decided to stay. I addressed that challenge here if you missed the drama.

Two days ago, while I was standing on the upstairs terraza admiring the lovely morning, I noticed something next door because the terraza offers a clear shot of the neighbors’ yard. An enclosure of chicken wire, and inside that enclosure were all the darn chickens. Trapped!

Even better, the new chicken coop abuts the wall on the far side of their property, not on our side. And yesterday morning, unlike all mornings for years, the dawn cacaphony of cackles was drastically reduced. The coop, unlike the apple tree, seems not to encourage sunrise conviviality.

With luck, this situation will continue, but things tend to fall apart in time next door, both literally and figuratively. Our fingers are crossed.

One wonders if the neighbors missed the wandering hen who came here and never returned, or if building the chicken-wire coop so soon after was pure coincidence. No matter. All’s well that ends well.

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* You always want uninvited migrants, i.e. illegal aliens, to do precisely that, go back where they came from as soon as possible.

November at last

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WE HAD TO shove the rainy season out of here this year. It was stubborn.

But now it’s gone, and the best month of each year is upon us, just a bit tardy in arriving. Though November is the best, December can be good too, depending on the mood of Mother Nature.

January and February are too cold (at night) and this can bleed over into March. Then April and May show up, the nastiest months of all. Dry, dusty and, at least upstairs at the Hacienda, way too warm for our druthers.

It seems the rainy season was evicted here Tuesday night by a cold front that, while it did bring some rain, also dropped the temps into the high 30s. It was nasty on Wednesday, got better on Thursday, and then it dawned quite lovely on Friday. which was a typical November day.

I was sprawled on the Jesus Patio yesterday, enjoying the sunny, cool afternoon, doing nothing of note, and watching the chicken walk around the yard.

I noticed a reflection in the living room window, a mirror of the property wall that was behind me, the aloe vera bush and part of the peach tree.

So I snapped the above shot.

Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes this morning to mow the lawn. I’ll ask him to catch the chicken, and maybe he can. I’ll tell him to bring his kids to help.

But yesterday was beautiful. With luck, today will be the same. I’m optimistic because, after all, it’s November, every year’s most delightful month.

Falling fruit, dead dogs & Mexico City

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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.

 

Vista of a Mexican yogi

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View while sitting cross-legged on the faux Persian rug in the living room. Ommmmm.

LAST DECEMBER, I wrote here about throwing my back out, as they say, rendering myself a temporary cripple.

I’ve had that problem now and then for decades, far more before my last divorce,* but it usually cures itself in four or five days. Last December it lasted two weeks, which had only happened once before. It was a hard time.

But it woke me up. Though I’ve done somewhat light exercise on a regular basis for decades I had begun to get lazy about it, and that matters.

I have a gym set here at home, and my schedule had been thrice a week, and I cheated occasionally. I now do it five times a week. I still cheat some, but not often and not without good reason.

I also do a 20-minute, rapid walk around the neighborhood plaza. Again, I was known to cheat, but now I’m cheating far less.

A new element is some light stretching exercise. I call that yoga, but it’s not. It’s stretching. I do short stretching of my back in the morning before getting to the gym set, and in the late afternoon after returning from my usual café Americano negro on the main plaza downtown.

That afternoon session is longer and involves lying and sitting on the living room floor atop a faux Persian rug. Sometimes I even light incense. I’m invariably alone at that hour, between 6 and 7.

While sitting, I’m getting the view above. The lights are out, and the late afternoon sun is out thataway. Thought I’d share the view with you.

* * * *

* It’s an issue with a psychological element.

(Note 1: Aging is no fun though I appear to be holding up better than most geezers my age. Last September I wrote here about a crippling heel spur I had developed. There is no good solution to that except for surgery. I chose to do nothing because it only bothered me now and then. I thought it was permanent, but it lasted eight months and vanished. Just recently. How about that!)

(Note 2: Unrelated to anything written so far but included just to keep you up to date on Hacienda joys and sorrows, a lightning strike on Monday fried our Samsung 32-inch LED smart TV, our TV-cable box, and a wifi box. The surge entered via the TV cable, not the electric wires. I have a surge protector by the TV, but I only had the TV power cable connected to it. The surge protector also has the option of running the TV cable through it, but I had foolishly not done so, an expensive oversight. As for wifi, I have two services, which is how I am communicating with you right now.

(I’ve already purchased another TV and connected it to Netflix, which is all I watch anyway. Our TV cable provider is a company called Megacable. Its service is abysmal, so Lord knows when the second wifi will be restored. I really don’t care about the cable TV, but my child bride watches it while she irons.)