June dawns beautifully

uno
Fresh coat of paint, a ceiling fan and two curtains.

AND WE’RE STILL working on the upstairs terraza’s renovation. Yesterday it was painted. The same color as before, but now it’s gussied up like a Saturday night hooker.

You can also see the two canvas curtains installed recently to keep out rain. Thursday night, not expecting rain, they were rolled up when a monster storm arrived, and blew in quite a bit of water. Not like in the olden days when we had a lake out there the entire five months of the rainy season, but it was a bother.

My child bride mopped it up early yesterday before the painter arrived.

We’re still grappling with how best to keep rain out. The curtains were my first idea, but due to high winds that sometimes accompany rain, I’m not convinced of their durability. We’re now thinking of awnings in those two other open areas.

The awnings would extend downward enough to keep most rain out, and they would be attached more firmly, and they would not obstruct the mountain view.

dos
Toward the sex motel.

Facing the other direction, toward the sex motel, you see an oddly shaped open space that favors neither curtains nor awnings. Soon that will be closed off with the same reddish-brown canvas of the curtains, but permanently fixed with a steel frame.

This first day of June, however, debuted beautifully. It rained last night but none of it blew into the upstairs terraza, which is how we like our rain. Courteous.

It’s cool and sunny, but it likely will rain later today. May it be a mild one.

Life goes on.

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.

* * * *

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.

* * * *

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.

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.

* * * *

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.

Odds & Ends south of the border

LIFE CONSISTS of details strung together, some good, some bad.

We live next door to a hot-springs motel that was constructed over a decade ago in what was an empty lot where a lonely cow lived. The motel has not provided us with as many interesting moments as we had imagined.

The traffic there is fairly constant. It’s a nice, well-maintained place.

Recently, the owner installed an automatic gate opener in the exit lane. It makes a whirring sound every time it’s activated as satiated customers depart.

We hear the whirring in the Hacienda, and we call it the Sound of Satisfaction.

* * * *

Credit card fraud, etc.

We’ll be going downtown early this morning to the bank. If you get there at 8:30, the wait isn’t bad before you can talk with one of the officers.

We have a number of issues to resolve. My child bride’s debit card is about to expire. The electricity bill for the Hacienda was not paid automatically from our checking account last time, as it’s done for years. And I need a new credit card because we had to cancel one last week due to hefty fraudulent charges.

odds&endsI only use credit cards online, never out in the real world. How do crooks put charges on it? This is not the first time it’s happened, but this week’s bogus charges are considerably higher than ever before. Good thing I keep a sharp eye on card movements.

Due to such perils, I consider four a minimum number of cards. All of my credit cards are issued by our Mexican bank. I had American credit cards when I moved south, but they’ve fallen by the wayside.

Anyway, if you live in Mexico you should have Mexican credit cards.

If you don’t care if your name is engraved on the card, and I don’t, you can pick up another credit card immediately at the bank. Ditto for the debit cards.

Our bank is BBVA Bancomer, the best bank in Mexico.

The worst bank is HSBC.

* * * *

Sonogram of my insides

More has happened on the health front. Recently, I got a colonoscopy, which I wrote about here, Getting a hose up my butt, and then a few days later I wrote a companion piece, An inkling of death.

The gastroenterologist who put the hose up my butt, due to some blood work he found suspicious, recommended I get a sonogram of my liver. I did that yesterday, and the doctor said everything looked okay.

The doctors keep trying to kill me, but I defy them.

The sonogram, done by a doctor not a technician in a high-tech lab in the state capital, cost the peso equivalent of $27.

Beats the devil out of ObamaCare.

* * * *

Nasty little birds

New ImageI’m battling birds. Some years, but not all, I have to fight off swallows around this time who want to build their wretched mud/spit nests on the roof beams along the edge of the Hacienda’s exterior.

They stick muddy spit up there, and I scrape it off from below with a hoe. They try it again. I scrape again, and so on. This has been going on for a week. Some years they bypass us entirely. Most years, actually.

But they are stubborn this year. Some people say it’s bad luck to remove their nests, but I don’t care. They’re nasty.

* * * *

Cheese and chairs

Within two blocks of the lab in the state capital, we found a cheese shop, so we bought some superlative cheese off a huge wheel. We also found a specialty workshop that we’ll be using. It’s a guy who renovates old office chairs.

At this moment, I’m sitting in an elegant office chair that I bought about three months ago at Office Depot. It was a replacement for the previous elegant office chair I had used for many years.

Alas, the old one is in bad shape, even sporting tape on one arm.

How fortunate to have found a shop that renovates old office chairs. When we return next week to pick up the official results of my sonogram, I’ll be dropping off the old office chair. Perhaps it has many more years ahead of it, supporting my butt because I prefer the older one.

Mexicans do everything.

We’ll likely cross the street for more cheese too. It was wonderful cheese.