The facelift continues

The sour orange tree stands bravely amid the mayhem.


After the second day, yesterday, of grass removal, we clearly see the entire area that will be filled with stone and concrete — to my happiness and my child bride’s horror.

The work crew arrived at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and finished digging up the cursed grass, which was added to the monster pile left the previous day on the street behind the Hacienda.

When the two of us headed downtown at 4 for fun and games, a dump truck of black sand had been deposited out there, and the guys were shoveling all the removed grass into the same truck, and it was hauled away. Good riddance.

Earlier in the afternoon, a mountain of cement bags was delivered.

The speed with which all this was done is impressive.

Today at 9:15 a.m., a dump truck of rocks was left out back next to this pile of black sand. Luckily, the mountainous area in which we live suffers no shortage of stone.

Yesterday’s delivery. Looks like volcanic ash.
A partial cement delivery arrived yesterday.

Stone & concrete en route

It’s a joyous day here at the Hacienda. Well, for me. For my child bride, it’s a horror. If it’s green, she wants to keep it. If it tosses fruit to rot on the ground, even better.

The team showed up this morning and started the process of removing a large part of the lawn and replacing it with stone and concrete. The work will also include some purely decorative touches.

The honcho on this job is Miguel. That’s him on the right in the white shirt. He is an artist, plus being a really nice and honest fellow. The other three are just the muscle.

More to come as the work progresses. I have no clue how long it will take nor how much it will cost.

End of the first day, about two-thirds of the grass that will go.

Marketplace on the plaza

As has been mentioned many times, weekday mornings find us — sometimes just me — doing exercise walks around the town plaza.*

Most of the time, the plaza is devoid of activity, but Thursday is an exception. A street market is thrown up from scratch, and all manner of things are sold, used clothing, fruits and vegetables, pots and pans, galvanized tubs, most anything made of plastic, a dairyman selling cheese and yoghurt, you name it.

The morning walk is more interesting on Thursdays.

In one sector, the smells of cooking dominate. And that’s where I shot this photo.


In other news

Since the annual monsoon ended a couple of months ago, I’ve been eager to get started on another phase of grass removal and replacement with stone and concrete.

Alas, my main construction guy has been tied up with building a large home somewhere. But he phoned almost two weeks ago to tell me that he could start here in about two weeks. That two weeks was Mexican time, but at least he has me down on the list.

Alas, that work may keep us trapped here over the Carnival weekend. Mardi Gras is March 1, and we like to get out of Dodge due to the drunkenness, the racket and general confusion.

But maybe we’ll get lucky. I pray so.


*I used to say the neighborhood plaza, but I discovered recently that I live in a separate town from the very nearby principal mountaintop burg. Silly me. Where was my mind?

Tacos in a window

The young chef grills beef, onions and chiles.


We renew our post office box every year in early January. It costs the peso equivalent of about $15 U.S., well worth the outlay.

I opened the account 21 years ago because the rental where I first lived had no mailbox. The mailman — and it’s always a man — just tossed everything over the wall where it landed on the ground, a particularly bad system during the five months of the monsoon.

Here in the nearby burg where we live now, the problem is even greater. There is no residential mail delivery at all. Mail is dropped off at two or three places, small stores or homes, where the owner has agreed to serve as a pickup point. I’m sure they get paid for that.

So your mail is first delivered to a neighbor, near or far, and you must go to that neighbor and ask for your letters. At times, no one is at home, and you must return. I do not like that system. But I do like my PO box. And I get so little mail that I only check the box twice a month.

But this afternoon we headed to the post office to renew the account. Coming as no surprise, the paperwork was not available, and we were told to return after the 15th.

It was lunchtime, so we crossed the street to an eatery that consists of a few uncomfortable tables and benches in a small space. The grub is prepared in the window over a homemade BBQ grill.

I shot the photo with my phone as he grilled my beef.