Vista, 2015


PLACES, LIKE people, change over time. I climbed the circular stairwell today to take this year’s roof shot. The one I posted recently in black and white on Mood piece was a photo from a couple of years ago.

The horse shot was fresh though.

We’re off to Palenque, Chiapas, for a week later this month. Will be my first visit since 1999 when I flew down there from Houston to attend an entheogen conference. It’ll be interesting to see the jungle again.

It won’t be interesting to sweat, but there’s no avoiding that.

On returning we’ll start some work here at the Hacienda. The driveway up from the street, behind the stone wall and not visible in the photo, will be renovated with a nice mosaic design. The windows looking out to the upstairs terraza need lots of work and varnish.

There’s a weed-filled dirt strip that runs the width of the property between our back wall and the street surface that we’re going to fancy up with rock and cement even though it’s not our land. Community service.

toiletAnd we will replace the toilet downstairs. The current johnny was purchased in the talavera capital of Dolores Hidalgo in 2002. It has a painted desert scene all over it.

Though interesting and lovely, it’s a bit undersized and has never been very practical. We’ll replace it with something modern from Home Depot, and the old toilet will start a new life as a planter in the yard.

No one has thought of that before.

31 thoughts on “Vista, 2015

    1. PS: Perhaps someone could bring down from above the border a couple of those yard flamingos, pink. And a black-kid statue in livery holding his arm out with something or other. Now all that would elevate the toilet planter somewhat, I think.

      One has to consider the big picture.


  1. The commode picture brings up a question: Is it against the law in Mexico to remove manufacturer labels, stickers etc.? Our home is about 20 years old and all 3 toilets and sinks had the remains of stickers on them. Well, we removed what remained of those suckers and things look much nicer now. If our deeds are discovered by the authorities, do you reckon we’ll publicly lashed or possibly deported?


    1. Jeff: If memory serves, deportation is the penalty for Gringos. Hanging is the penalty for natives.

      So you noticed the remains of the sticker at the foot of the toilet, it seems. I tried to get that sucker off a number of times with only partial success. I finally gave up. It is really stuck on there. The fact that it’s almost impossible to see just standing in the bathroom made it easier to justify leaving what remains. I guess I could have removed it with kerosene or thinner. Just never did.


    1. Andean: So, that makes two votes against the planter. We’ll have to consider this issue a bit more. The fact that it’s a nice decorative throne cuts no slack with you ladies?


        1. Andean: Your comment says: “You’re kidding about that toilet planter, right?”

          Sounds like you think it’s a bad idea. Ms. Shoes above reacted negatively to the idea also, so that makes two votes against the planter.

          So I don’t see where you are going here. Color me slow.

          By the way, I don’t write essays. You’re thinking about Steve Cotton. He writes essays. I just write posts. I am a simpler man.


  2. lovely view!!! and i love the toilet planter idea — have seen a few and may have one myself someday. so, to those who don’t like the idea, just curious. what do you think is wrong with doing that? o.k., felipe, don’t put me to shame by saying you were just joking.

    tomorrow i am off on a weekend of hiking and enjoying a matsuri (japanese festival). hope you and the señora have a great one!


    1. teresa: now we have a yea vote on the johnny planter and from a woman to boot! and i will not shame you by saying i was joking. i was not. it’s a longstanding tradition in those hillbilly backwaters where i was hatched, and they did not even have colorful talavera thrones. they only had your standard white.

      actually (ms. shoes take note), it was not my idea. my wife first voiced it.

      enjoy your hiking weekend!


  3. A toilet planter? Hahahaha… the perfect “bubba” touch for a former Texan.

    But I think I’m going to come down on Ms. Shoes’ side on this one. Not consistent with the taste level of the rest of the place.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where there’s probably a host of local and state laws against such things.


  4. If you do it well, it won’t even be recognizable as a toilet and tank until you get quite close, especially since it’s talavera.
    I had the junior model once, a ceramic bedpan with a willy tube that I had in the back yard. My wife hated it. Women don’t get that kind of humour. I vote yes to your much respected impeccable artistic flair!


    1. Kris: I appreciate your artistic and moral support. One cannot fail to note the line between the sexes here on this pressing issue. The only male no vote so far has been Kim who is, well, you know…

      It also had occurred to me that, since plants tend to grow maniacally here, a fern or something overflowing would disguise the “planter” to some extent while leaving just enough of the lovely talavera visible.

      Bedpan with willy tube?! Lordy, I’d like to see that.


      1. It was the only one I’ve ever seen, found it in the basement of an old house we bought. It was pretty drab, dark brown. A talavera one would certainly brighten your day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Felipe: My vote would be to make a planter out of it for sure. Heck, I’d even leave the sticker on it.


      3. Kim is, well, you know… a member of a minority which is known for its good taste and design flair.

        Go ahead. It’s OK to say that. And if you were single, I or any one of my co-religionists would be happy, indeed delighted, to help you avoid the immediate demerits that having a toilet planter would give you with the opposite sex.

        And don’t worry. This isn’t the first time that a gay guy has a better grip on what women want than straight guys.



        Liked by 1 person

  5. My maternal grandfather, a retired newspaper editor, had a house and property on Rice Lake, near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. My family would spend a couple weeks there every summer when I was a child, swimming, fishing and picking wild blue berries. The Chippewa harvested wild rice on this lake.

    I remember that my grandfather had a three-seater outhouse in his yard. Instead of being ornamental, it was very functional.


    1. Andrés: I’ve been around for quite a spell now. I spent much time in the rural South of the United States. I’ve seen plenty of outhouses, both retired and still functional. But I cannot remember if I ever actually used one. I think not.

      My mother, on the other hand, grew up with one.


  6. Very artsy, I think, but I think you’d have to crack it a tad, like they do with the old ceramic clay pots, have stuff growing out of the top and bottom, maybe tip it on its side with the lid a’kilter a bit. I think purchasing a French tam, long cigarette holder, a vivid colored scarf and a carelessly slung camera would complete the picture as you jaunt about the grounds taking pictures of the flora and fauna about, not to mention birds, gotta have pictures of birds, maybe perched on said crapper. I have a vision.


    1. Bob: You do have a vision, and it’s quite a vision. Not sure it’s one I can completely produce. As for cracking the crapper, that’s an idea I’d not come to. Not sure I can do that without it totally collapsing into shards, which would suit the lady folks here quite well..

      I do not have a tam, but I have a beret somewhere in the closet. I’d have to put a candy cigarette in the holder. I have vivid scarfs already, a camera too. Maybe I could somewhat make your vision come true. I’ll wait till you get down here, however.


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