House of horrors

phil
Seven feet high! Doesn’t look it. I just finished whacking it back.

I DON’T WANT this to become a gardening website, but awful things merit mention.

The plant in the photo, a philodendron, is about seven feet tall.  Before moving to Mexico, I thought philodendrons were little, potted plants for the home. Only sometimes.

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Better Homes & Gardens says this about philodendrons:

(It’s) one of the toughest houseplants you can possibly grow. Whether you choose upright or trailing/climbing types, they are perfectly happy in a home setting. Even people with so-called “black thumbs” are usually successful at growing these plants. Philodendrons are very low maintenance and can sit idle for long periods. You can train them up a trellis or simply leave them to their own devices — philodendrons will survive no matter what.

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By toughest houseplants, they don’t mean tough to grow. Quite the contrary. It’s a tough customer. Very low maintenance? Will survive no matter what? No joke!

Not only does this grow easily. It multiplies. It started with one little stalk about a decade ago. Now it has many and continues to add more. And the plant is creepy. As it grows, it tosses “stuff” below. It’s the sort of stuff you’d expect to see in a werewolf movie, the scene in which the villagers discover what happened in the forest overnight. Oh, gross!

But this is one plant I do not plan to remove because it doesn’t toss trash over a wide area, just at its base. I do wish it would stop the proliferation of stalks, however.

I foolishly planted another in the small, carport, garden area of the Downtown Casita. It too is beefing up at a remarkable pace. I never seem to learn.

trash
The wheelbarrow contains just a bit of the gooey, grim material found at the plant’s base. The photo does not do justice to the miserable stuff.

Glass, blooms & design

glass
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.

walk
Doing the glass walk.
drop
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.
New Image
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

second
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.

Dismal month of May

yard
Sea of crispy grass. In eight more weeks, this will resemble a jungle in Chiapas.

WE’VE JUST BEGUN the worst month of the year. The best month is November, but this is the miserable month of May, the final wheeze of the dry season. Next month will bring the refreshing, daily downpours.

But for now, it’s dead grass and dust. We keep the windows closed for the most part to keep dust and heat outside. Well, what passes for heat here, which is a cakewalk compared to a summer in New Orleans or Houston, my old haunts.

People here complain about “the heat.” My child bride is especially prone to this. I snort and tell her she should spend a few summer days in Texas or South Louisiana. Then she would know heat. What we have here in May is a bit of discomfort, nothing more.

Speaking of the daily rains which are heading down the highway toward us, we’d like to get the entire glass roof atop the upstairs terraza in place before the skies open. Next Wednesday marks a month since I paid the deposit. They’ve installed six panes, and they have about 50 more to go. I’ll stop by their place Monday to bitch and moan.

Other news is that a nice couple just vacated our downtown Casita yesterday after a two-month stay, so it’s available for vacation rentals now. Just so you know.

For you, a special price. The Moon discount.

But back to May, we’ve actually been blessed a bit this year. It seems less unpleasant than previous Springs. We’ve used the air cooler less than usual upstairs in the evenings while we munch on salads and watch Netflix. And while it’s a tad warm in the bedroom as we drift off to sleep with the windows open, when 5 a.m. arrives it’s quite chilly.

Mornings are good here. Most things are good here.