The cusp of Hell

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Grass turning yellow and grim.

LIFE IS ABOUT to get even lousier!

Next week we enter the first of the two worst months of the year here, April and May. They are dry and warm, a warm that comes indoors at night, especially upstairs where we have our evening salad with Netflix, and becomes incredibly stuffy.

The low upstairs ceiling does not help.

We strip to tank tops and skivvies. We have no air-conditioning, but two years ago we bought some sort of water-tank cooler, and it assists a lot upstairs, but it’s loud. For the bedroom downstairs we purchased an oscillating tower fan, which also is a boon.

Why we waited 15 years to make those meager moves is a mystery. Before we just suffered with a pedestal fan upstairs that blew heat around.

Downstairs, we had an elegant ceiling fan in the bedroom that was nearly useless. A saving grace of downstairs is a higher ceiling, especially in the living room. But even in the bedroom, the ceiling is higher than upstairs.

April and May are incredibly dry. The mountains turn brown. The campesinos burn fields, which sends ash and dust everywhere. You’d think we’d open the windows in the warm months, but we close them instead, keeping dust out and a bit of cool inside.

Spring is not a joyous time at the Hacienda. We just buck up.

Don’t visit in spring.

Beds of our lives

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King of the Hacienda.

THEY SAY THAT, as you age, you require less sleep. Oddly, over the past decade, I have morphed from a seven-hour man to an eight-hour man, defying that rule.

I do not know why.

Lights out between 10:30 and 11 p.m., and I usually wake up at 7. This morning I woke up at 7:30, becoming — at least for a day — an eight-and-a-half-hour man. I was refreshed!

Being worry-free helps one sleep, and I have little to worry about. Sleeping with a young, beautiful, Mexican babe puts one at ease. I got it made.

That’s our king bed up top, had it about a decade. It’s the first king bed I’ve ever owned. Grew up on twins, then doubles — called matrimonials in Mexico — and then upgraded to queen on landing down here. Finally, after being married quite a spell, we got the king.

You enjoy lots of space on a king, which you likely know because I suspect most people have kings these days. At least people of the age that hang around my edge of the internet.

In a recent post, Confessions of a Cracker, I briefly mentioned sleeping as a kid at my grandmother’s house near a window where I felt breezes and listened to crickets. The bed on which I slept was an antique, wood, spindle bed, I think they are called.

That was the very bed on which I was sleeping in my Houston home before my second wife tossed me out onto the street unceremoniously. I had inherited that bed.

In my new bachelor digs in a downtown Houston high-rise, I slept on this bed.

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A happy bed for a miserable man.

I may have been miserable during that time but, by God, I slept on a happy bed! I had painted that bed myself due to being a Renaissance Man.

My daughter owns that bed now. Unless she doesn’t.

I renewed bachelor life, involuntarily, in 1995. For a year or two, I was not an eight-hour man. I was lucky to get four or five. I was a Valium man.

A few days ago, the wood, spindle bed came to mind, and I emailed my second ex-wife as to its whereabouts because I had left it there where it stood when I segued from married man to miserable bachelor man. I asked if she still had it.

Her brief reply: Long gone.

Damn! But so was I. Long, long gone.

Oh, the suffering

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Ivy on the Alamo Wall is returning.

TODAY DAWNED marvelously and not for the first time.

It stormed and rained for most of yesterday, but this day has a different character, a smiley one.

I read a news story this morning about the poverty income level in the United States and, yet again, noticed that our income only slightly betters that number.

It is laughable.

I also scan news stories occasionally that report the necessary income to retire in the United States, always an incredible amount but likely realistic for up there.

If only more folks had the nerve to get out of Dodge.

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A bumper crop of red-hot pokers.

The top photo shows the Alamo Wall and its condition today. I had Abel the Deadpan Yardman trim back the ivy some months ago and, like most Mexicans, he got carried away.

Extremism’s in the Latino blood.

My fault really since I know of this local trait. I told him to trim it, and then I vanished inside the house. Big mistake. When I went back outside, the wall was almost bald.

But it’s a renewable resource, requiring patience.

The second photo displays one of our red-hot poker plants. It’s called cigarro in Spanish. It’s going bonkers this summer.

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Veranda

We’ll be doing lunch today at a restaurant on the shore of a nearby lake, not our local lake but another, nicer one a few miles distant.

This life of poverty can grow on you.

Oh, the misery!

Embrace the misery

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Sitting still.

BEEN A LOUSY week because I’ve had a cold. I loathe colds. When my child bride gets one, which she rarely does, she pretends it’s not there, ignoring it.

She even works out at the gym, which is nuts.

I don’t ignore it. I embrace the misery, and misery there is in spades. I sit still until the cold goes away.

It’s been a full week so far.

Mexicans, at least the ones I know — mostly relatives — ignore contagion. Not even the most horrific affliction — leprosy, you name it — will prevent the social smootching.

It’s appalling.

But they’ve learned not to come my way with their hugging and kissing if they’ve got a cold. I bolt like lightning.

The photo is not recent. Actually, it’s seven or eight years old, but it captures my mood this lamentable week.

If the Goddess smiles upon me, perhaps I’ll be back to normal mañana. Jeez, I sure do hope so.