Soggy Sunday in late Spring

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Sheep’s tail relishes the aftermath of rainfall this morning.

IT RAINED yesterday, and it rained again this morning. It’s supposed to rain this afternoon. We embrace this even though we’re not sure of the cause.

It could be the start of the five-month rainy season, or it could be due to the hurricane out in the Pacific, or it could be both. No matter. We’ll take it.

Sunday is a good day around here. There’s a certain sameness to Monday through Friday, and Saturday is devoted to pastry sales downtown. Sunday is up for grabs.

There is some routine to Sunday. My child bride usually irons. We invariably go to a restaurant for lunch, and we usually watch a Netflix movie in the late afternoon.

But if we wish to change all that, we have the right.

Every morning of the week, after croissants or bagels at 8, we move from the dining room to the living room and plop down into the cushy sofa for a spell. Put our feet up. It’s one of the best times of the day, every day.

If the light is just so, a cobweb or two around the big living room becomes visible. We really should have a maid, but we don’t, mostly because we are solitary people who don’t want anyone underfoot. So my child bride does the best she can, ever bitching about why didn’t we build a smaller place.

I help a bit, but most of my work is in the yard. Plus, I’m ancient.

mesa
Even the Jesus Patio table welcomes the rain.

The rain has cooled things considerably. We didn’t have the cooler blowing upstairs last night, and we only turned on the ceiling fan in the bedroom. The tower fan stayed in the off position.

Not only is it fresher, but we’re feeling good, which is notable due to both of us having some health issues in the last few months, things that appear to be resolving themselves. Sunday is usually a great day.

Even better if you’re feeling fine.

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From the downstairs veranda this morning, also enjoying the cool air.

Facing springtime with trepidation

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Banana trees making their annual comeback after being whacked back to nubs.

WITH LUCK, winter and its too-frequent overnight freezes is behind us, not officially, of course. That happens later this month.

As challenging as winter can be — we have no reliable heating system — the real bear is springtime, specifically the months of April and May. It gets stuffy in the house in the evenings, particularly upstairs where we wind down the day with Netflix and munch our salads in recliners like old people.

As we have no reliable heating system, we have no cooling system whatsoever. Of course, the upside to this situation is that our electric bills year-round are the peso equivalent of about ten U.S. bucks per month.

Bet you’re not feeling sorry for us now, huh?

Sometimes in the evenings of April and May it gets so stuffy upstairs that we turn off Netflix early and flee downstairs where it’s always cooler due mostly to the considerably higher ceilings, especially in the living room.

We have a fancy ceiling fan in the bedroom that we only installed about five years ago. Aside from looking elegant, it does squat. It’s only usable at the lowest speed because higher speeds make lots of racket, and that interferes with sleep.

Last year I said: I’m mad as Hell, and I’m not taking it anymore. Just before the cooling, summer rains arrived, I purchased one of those tower fans that sits on the floor. It does all manner of fancy stuff, but it’s still a fan. We’ll use that downstairs instead of the elegant ceiling fan.

That leaves the more serious problem of upstairs. A fan helps, but not much. I’m going to buy one of those “coolers,” which appears to be a fan with some sort of water system. Some you can even drop ice into them somehow.

Buy a room air-conditioner, you say? No way, José. It would murder our electricity bill. I’m assuming the cooler won’t do that, and if it does, it won’t be as bad.

I’d never heard of these coolers till last year when I noticed them in our only department store here on the mountaintop. The store is Coppel, a Mexican chain. I’m leaning toward a cooler made by Symphony. If you have any experience with coolers, I’d like to hear it.

Meanwhile, spring inches closer. The grass, in spite of some rare winter rainfalls, is turning brown and crunchy. I took the photo above this morning. The banana trees are making their annual comeback. They’ll grow high, eight to ten feet.

I used to have three batches of banana trees, but I had two removed and the area cemented. Otherwise, the bananas would have returned like the living dead. Below is a rock-and-concrete table where a batch of overbearing bananas lived for years.

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This mesa is about 15 inches high. No bananas can break through that, amigo.

Feel of fall

WHEN I LIVED in America, October was my favorite month.

serveimageSome folks love the arrival of spring. I imagine most of them live in the frozen north. But I loved the arrival of not just autumn but October.

October has a distinct sensation even though fall arrives in late September. I lived 98 percent of my 55 years above the Rio Bravo in spots that sweltered in summer, so the arrival of autumn was a blessing, a relief, a sigh.

Where I live now we do not swelter in summer, so the transition to autumn is not such a big deal. Our big deal is the move from occasionally unpleasant, bone-dry spring to cooler, wetter summertime.

But the feel of Gringo fall stays with me, and I felt it today for the first time this year. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to put into words, but you know it when it touches you.

I was on the upstairs terraza sweeping this morning, taking advantage of the fact that most of the floor was dry because it did not rain yesterday or last night either.

And I said to myself: This feels like fall, and it did.

I love it.

Good and bad

sunrise

WITH SO MUCH bad-weather news happening, I thought it would be uplifting to show good weather. This is a photo taken from our upstairs terraza … a few years ago.

There is other good news. Not weather, dental.

Since I recently had a tooth implant inserted in my upper jaw, we revisited the mouth of my child bride. When we met in 2001, her dental history was typical of Mexicans. When a tooth problem appears, you don’t fix it, you remove it.

Yeah, I know. Incredible.

At 41, she had removed five. All were in the back and not visible when she smiled. The situation,  however, created a problem later due to the spaces, so she got two bridges, also not readily apparent, but bridges are a bother, or so I’m told.

So she’ll be getting implants too, four not five. The dentist said she could easily ignore one at the very back. She begins the process in a couple of weeks, and it will take, as mine did, three months total. This will cost a bit over $5,000 U.S.

We’ll pay cash. Donations accepted via PayPal.

I wonder what four implants would cost above the border. Lots more, I am sure. Likely $5,000 each.

* * * *

Bad news

Now the bad news, also in the medical category.

Recently, I had a sharp pain in my left heel whenever I walked. When I was not walking, I felt nothing.

I visited a clinic here, a hospital actually, that’s part of a church complex. I’ve known two people who died in the clinic, but it’s a good option if you’re in a rush, and it’s cheap.

But that’s not the reason I went. I went because my heel was hurting, and my usual doctor wasn’t available.

The clinic’s right off the main plaza downtown. The doctor consultation was $4. He immediately guessed the problem correctly. Osteoporosis! But I am a poster boy for not having osteoporosis in all categories save one: I’m old.

I am not overweight. I do not drink. I do not smoke. I eat healthily, a salad a day and better. I take calcium tablets. And I’m a guy. Mostly, it’s women who get osteoporosis.

I have a girly affliction!

The Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.

To confirm his guess, the doctor pointed me over thataway to get a couple of X-rays of my foot. Cost of the x-rays: $22. That was done immediately while the doctor sat and waited.

Really.

Seems part of the bone in my heel went elsewhere, leaving a little peak that dug into my heel pad on walking.

The doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory gel plus pills that do much the same.

He told me to get a glass bottle and rub it sideways over the peak twice daily to make it gradually less pointy.

I have done this now for two days, and it’s really helped. I did my daily exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza yesterday with no problem.

And I’m doubling my daily dose of calcium.

Getting old is a bitch.

* * * *

(Update: Online research, plus having my X-rays on hand, has convinced me that my problem is not osteoporosis but a heel spur, a much nicer diagnosis. Tip of the sombrero to Al Lanier for pointing me toward heel spurs in his comment below. This means the clinic doc misdiagnosed. The good news is that treatment for the two separate conditions is basically identical.)