Day of hope

Wagon

I STOOD in the morning bathroom, admiring my Springtime doings.

I had installed a fresh deodorant stick and a new bottle of liquid soap, little harbingers of a longed-for change of season.

Has winter gone? Not officially, of course, but the Goddess does not always copy the calendar. She is capricious.

Have we really dodged the bullet? Has the worst of winter passed with nary a single frozen morning? Fourteen years here on the mountaintop, 11 in the Hacienda. Not one winter has passed without an overnight freeze. Usually, there are many.

I hesitate to speak of this now because just last year we also made it to March freeze-free. I rejoiced, lit incense, and then … bam! A couple of overnight freezes walloped the yard. That’s the biggest drawback to freezes. It sucker punches the yard, creating tasks for me, cutting and toting out the victims. Brown death is not a good yard look.

If memory serves, however, those freezes fell upon us in the first week of March 2013, and now we’re in the second week, and the forecast says nothing untoward is on the highway barreling down from Texas.

Getting two straight years of moderation affects the yard in good ways. It has really gone to town, so to speak. Things are growing wildly. Why, just this morning, I went out, clippers and whackers in hand, to talk a little sense into some areas. Stern discipline.

There was the drooping vine over the archway between the stone wall and the secondary carport. That same vine, rooted elsewhere, was climbing over the red roof tile of the carport, sneaking over the neighbor’s house a bit. That baby got slashed.

Much of the grass is turning brown due to lack of rain or watering. That’s okay because it won’t require mowing, and it will return in wet June. But one area, just outside the dining room window, refuses to die. I had to weed-eat it into submission.

Last month, with the help of younger, stronger fellows, much of the planting areas were stripped clean. Years of old growth were trucked away, weeds intertwined. Mulch was spread. Cacti were moved. A little brown wagon was bought. An architectural touch.

I am nothing if not arty. Now it’s almost like a Zen garden in spots.

Twelve days to go till the Vernal Equinox. My fingers are crossed. My deodorant is new, and so is the soap. I’m feeling fresh, clean and fortunate.

19 thoughts on “Day of hope”

  1. Don Cuevas: Yep, went Tuesday, returned Thursday. Renewing the visa was stunningly quick and simple. Less than five minutes. Unless you have done something wrong, you don’t even have to go to the Embassy. There’s a separate office in the Zona Rosa. Of course, this is nothing that ever will affect you or the missus.

    Went by that restaurant you recommended, but hastily ran away on reading the menu prices. That’s “moderate” to you? It’s pricy to me. We eat cheap.

    Liked the hotel, which I got off your website, except for one thing: no AC. I think it would be a challenge in April and May in spite of the ceiling fans. Nice hotel otherwise. The area in which it sits is soooo trendy … and expensive to eat in.

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    1. There’s also lots of potentially tempting street food available in that trendy area. Calle Mérida, for example,south of Álvaro Obregón, to at least the corner of Calle Guanajuato. And of course, there’s Bisquits Obregón (a sort of Mexican diner, or more accurately, a coffee shop.). We like it, although haughtier critics may scorn it.

      Saludos,
      Don Cuevas

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      1. Yep, we noticed the Bisquits Obregón. I love their biscuits. Mostly, we ate in the hotel restaurant the short spell we were there. Really good salads and soups, especially caldo Tlalpeño.

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        1. I’ve never eaten in the Hotel Milán restaurant, other than to get a couple of cold beers or a cup of coffee.

          By the way, if you have a need for air conditioning, the Hotel Stanza, down the street to the east offers it. But of course, you will pay more.

          We liked both the Stanza and the Milán, but our present choice is the Hotel Embassy, at Calle Puebla 115. The rooms are spacious as are the tiled baths, the water’s hot and plentiful, wifi works pretty well, and a room averages about $380 pesos for two. The money saved can go to better dining. (The hotel Embassy has no restaurant, but there are plenty nearby, as well as some very good street food.

          Saludos,
          Don Cuevas

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      2. We noticed the Hotel Stanza during one of our walks. I just checked the website, and it is kinda pricey. Our longtime favorite hotel, the Astor, has, alas, raised its prices out of our preferred range. I know you are a fan of the Embassy, but it’s so inexpensive that it concerns me. There is a reason for that, and I imagine the lack of AC is one of them. And I bet there are others. I mean, really, 26 bucks?!

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        1. The Embassy doesn’t have fans, either. Our first stay, a couple of years ago in april, had a lot of heat in the room. But since then, no problems. We learned that rooms on the lower floors are cooler. Rooms whose numbers end in “14” are particularly spacious and isolated from most of the ambient noise. We have probably stayed there 8 times. The only room we didn’t like was the jacuzzi room. It was definitely not worth the extra pesos.

          The Embassy also has the full height mirrors along one wall of the bedrooms. Now, if that’s not a deal clincher, what is?

          The general ample space and the excellent bathrooms at the Embassy have the Milán all beat to heck.

          Yes, the Embassy is the place where you get only one bottle of purified water per day. It’s rough, but we manage.

          Saludos,
          Don Cuevas

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  2. I can hear the Winter Queen cooking up a nice little frost for you before she slinks off to her lair. But she told me not to tell you. She and I are not on very good terms this year. She withheld her moderating chill from Melaque this winter — it seemed like summer. I had to seek her out in Oregon to get my share of cool.

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    1. Steve: Don’t even talk like that. It could screw up the nature works. As for Melaque, anyone who lives there or, in your case, “lives” there gets what they deserve: sweat and bugs.

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  3. Jimping back to a previous post which seems to have disappeared. WHERE’S THE EGGMAN? Posting and picture seem to have gone the way of my socks in the washing machine. I have and will always encourage you to write a completely different blog on the Eggman. I know it may be outdated at this point in time. However, as with all your writings, a good read.

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    1. Larry: You only think that because you are (inexplicably) an Obama fan. Were you on the correct side of things, if you saw clearly, you would think my posts about Barry and his Queen are right on the money as they most certainly are.

      And as I have addressed at least twice hereabouts, I do not rant. They are polemics. Check your Funk & Wagnalls.

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  4. Having a garden is lovely when the weather’s appropriate for enjoying it. But it’s also an almost never-ending task. That is, until it’s covered with layers of snow. Then it’s remarkably little work, but of course also impossible to enjoy. And then there’s that niggling feeling as you survey the frozen wasteland that there will be a ton of branches broken by the snow that need to be cut back, die-back that needs the same treatment, and of course we must first pass through “mud season,” which is that delightful time of year when the ground remains firmly frozen about 4-6″ down, but the surface melts. With the ice layer below, there’s no place for the water to go, hence MUD. Exquisitely squishy, squirmy mud.

    Enjoy your cool dryness.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’re hoping to miss mud season this year.

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      1. Kim: We stayed in a hotel to be near the visa place. Plus, we were there only two nights. Wasn’t worth the bother to open up the condo, which we leave in a state of hibernation when we’re not there.

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    1. Kim: I have never lived in snow. Visited it on occasion. Don’t care for it. It is pretty on Christmas cards, however. I think snow is one of those things best admired from afar, not up close and personal.

      On second thought, I did live in snow for about a month, December of 1962 when I was in an Air Force tech school in Rantoul, Illinois. It was one of the worst winters on record at that time, often below zero. Did not make a snow fan of me.

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