Bougainvillea and Moonlight

MY CHILD BRIDE headed by bus to Querétaro Monday morning on family business, but I stayed here at the Hacienda.

It’s always strange being here alone. There are aspects to it that I enjoy, but the negatives outweigh the positives.  I’ve grown accustomed to her face.

About 7 p.m. I headed outside to walk about the yard for no other reason than to stretch my legs, but I noticed yardwork that needed to be done. It was still light out, but the moon loomed in the sky. It was day and night.

I grabbed clippers and trimmer. First, with clippers, I removed some aloe vera flowers on stalks that had lost their will to live. The moon watched.

Dropping the clippers, I turned to the hedge trimmer and rounded two of the smaller bougainvilleas, the ones that are still controllable. Then I bent over and pulled some weeds at their bases, weeds that I should have pulled weeks ago.

I’m getting lazy. Years ago, I would never have let those weeds grow to that extent. You get older. You cease to care about some things.

I was in my pajamas, or what passes for my pajamas. Flannel pants with Garfield the Cat all over them and a black T-shirt from Lands’ End.

Getting darker out and feeling that I’d done enough yardwork, I came in for the traditional evening salad and foccacia bread.

The Goddess willing, she’ll be returning tomorrow afternoon.

And evenings will be normal once again.

Barrio going gentry

casa 1
Before.
casa2
After.

WHEN WE moved here 15+ years ago, this house was not there, and neither was the one to the left that you can barely see. Neither was the sex motel next door.

About a decade back the one peeking from the left was built, and a man about my age and his wife moved in. The fellow owns a small clothing store downtown. He is really nice guy, and his wife is a sourpuss.

About the same time, construction began on the pale yellow house, and then it stopped and sat for years looking like it looks in the top photo, gray. I’m thinking it’s a retirement residence for the owners. Maybe they live in the United States and are returning to their Mexican roots.

That is quite common.

About two weeks ago, workmen appeared on a daily basis to finish the place and gussy it up, so now we have this view. I like it.

The house is still unoccupied.

A sharp eye will notice something in the top photo that is missing in the second photo. That’s right. The monster nopal, which I had removed recently.

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Día de la Raza

Yesterday we celebrated Día de la Raza, Race Day, which is when Mexicans celebrate their race. There was a long parade of mini-buses downtown, men on horseback, and the obligatory racket.

There is one problem with this scenario, however. Mexican is not a race. Neither is Latino.* No matter. Race is celebrated even when it makes no sense at all.

Any excuse for a party. ¡Viva la raza imaginaria!

* * * *

* Mexican is a nationality. Latino is an ethnicity based on commonalities like religion, language, culture, etc. Latinos come in all colors.

Betterment, municipal and otherwise

street

OUR TOWN and our home are improving daily.

While I’ve shown you segments of our ongoing street and sidewalk renovations downtown on a few occasions, I’m going to show you yet another!

Two of the four street sides of our spectacular plaza — one of Mexico’s nicest — are finished. Above is the third, which is just curing before being opened too. The fourth and final, the street outside the family coffee shop, is about half done.

Sidewalk renovations will follow, both on the street above and then on our side, which will, at least temporarily, disrupt my child bride’s Saturday pastry sale.

But we’re also doing improvements here at the Hacienda.

stairs

Behold! A new stairwell. It goes to the roof of the dining room/kitchen, an area that has been accessible only by ladder for the past 15 years.

It’s necessary to go up there sometimes to unclog rain drains, plus other details, and I’m getting a little long in the tooth for the ladder routine.

A blacksmith made, painted and installed the stairwell for the peso equivalent of about $340 in Gringo cash.

So up I go via the new stairway to the roof of the dining room/kitchen:

roof

It’s kinda grungy, but it provides a great view. Maybe a nice, ceramic floor would be a good addition, and then a table, chairs and umbrella. Party time!

The angled roof just beyond is the ceiling of the downstairs terraza. And in the distance, you see a freshly painted house, yellow, a new development. That place was built about 10 years ago, and it just sat there vacant with a façade of gray concrete till recently. But it’s still vacant.

More on that later. Our street is improving.

Life goes on.

Of bones and death

bedroom2
Out the bedroom window this cool, overcast Monday.

I HAVEN’T issued a recent update on my child bride’s broken arm.

On Sept. 28, two days before a month had passed (the doctor initially said it would require four to six weeks), the cast came off. Since neither of us had ever suffered a broken bone before, we were clueless about the process.

While an X-ray indicates the arm is healing nicely, we did not anticipate the effects of one month of having an arm immobilized. Things happen to muscles and tendons, painful things. Well, mostly after the cast comes off.

But she’s doing exercises and soaks in warm water, and all is improving, but it’s not back to normal. Patience.

Worst of all for her is not being able to return to the gym. This has been the longest spell of no-gym in her 30 years of gym fanaticism. Again, patience.

But she’s driving her car again, and dealing with her own hair.

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Weather-wise

We’re approaching the middle of October, which means we’re nearing the end of the yearly, five-month-long, daily deluges. The Day of the Dead arrives Nov. 2, and sometimes we get a rain on that candlelit night, messing things up in the cemeteries, but then the rain is gone till the following June.

With luck, the Day of the Dead will be dry. I’m told the corpses prefer it that way.