Our frightful times

A sidewalk singer who posed for me.

We are in the midst of the Day of the Dead hoopla. It’s the 22nd time for me and, like the 18 years I lived in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, the newness has gone poof! Now it’s just a big traffic jam.

No matter. We drove downtown yesterday afternoon. We had to park blocks away from the big plaza due to traffic and the closure of some streets. In time we made it afoot to the family coffee shop where I sat with a cookie and coffee, and took some photos.

The guy above is one, and the girl below is another. She is the granddaughter of a friend of a friend who happened by.

It’s her everyday makeup, she said.

This last photo is what we used to call lagniappe in New Orleans. It’s a little something extra, a gift. I shot it last week while strolling downtown. If you walk directly down there, turn right half a block, you’ll be on the main plaza.

It was a quiet, lovely afternoon. Unlike yesterday.

The mirror angle

One of the countless nice things about living here at the Hacienda is that wherever I look, I see pretty stuff. This is particularly obvious in the early morning, late afternoon and evening. Blame the light.

Take this shot for example. That’s a lamp I bought about 20 years ago. It’s handmade locally from some type of plant fiber, and it was one of my first purchases after moving here to the mountaintop. It’s rested atop the chest of drawers in our bedroom since we moved in.

It’s reflected in a floor mirror framed by pressed tin which was, I suspect, made locally too.

“The perception of beauty is a moral test.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Fine September day

That was yesterday, but we’re hoping today will be equally delightful.

We’re approaching the end of the rainy season, thank the Goddess, which is always the attitude about this time each year as we wade in water, mud and overabundant greenery.

This was a celebratory week due to my child bride’s birthday on Wednesday. We headed to a snazzy restaurant here that normally exceeds our budget wishes, but birthdays warrant exceptions. It was the rooftop restaurant in the Hotel Casa Leal on the main plaza.

It’s a “boutique” hotel, and we are boutique-y people. At least we were on Wednesday.

Here are two photos I shot from the restaurant.

This town has changed so much, mostly for the better, in the two decades I’ve lived here, it’s astounding to me. I landed here by pure happenstance. There was little planning involved.

Since I’m posting photos, here’s one that’s primarily for my amigo Phil up in Arizona who’s taken a particular interest in the construction across the street that’s been plodding along for months, done almost entirely by a single man, the owner.

Last week, the two steel “curtains” and door were installed by an outfit that makes such things, blacksmiths. It took one day. I am impressed that the owner ordered an entry door that sports a little pizazz. Most would have chosen the standard, solid, black door.

Stay tuned, Phil!

The dawn of autumn

Wheelbarrow and tools await instructions.

There were indications yesterday, but this morning confirmed it. Sunshine and 70 degrees. I skipped my customary exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza, choosing instead to get some yard chores completed.

I declare the rainy season done for 2020. It normally continues into October, even beyond, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case this year. I remember one year that it rained on September 30, and that was the end of it. I bet we’re seeing something similar now.

¡Qué bueno!

I put on my tennis shoes and my long-sleeve T-shirt due to the sun. I trimmed one of the bougainvilleas back. I whacked the stand of bananas. I scrubbed the birdbath and filled it with fresh water. Related to that is the location change of the galvanized tub where water waits for terraza watering purposes.

During the rainy season it sits under a drain pipe from the roof, endlessly refilled. Today, I moved it to its winter position under a faucet from a water tank in the Garden Patio.

New digs for the water tub.

I dug up some weeds. I trimmed sagging roses abutting the Alamo Wall. My child bride mixed me a glass of green juice with collagen.

Fall was my favorite season above the border because the contrast with summer was so stark. It’s less of a switch on my mountaintop, but it’s still delightful. Delight has been in short supply this year, one of the worst of my — and likely yours too — life.

Hacienda birds enjoy this colorful spot.

After doing my duties, I sat a spell on a rocking chair in the downstairs terraza. I watched a hummingbird sitting on a twig of the orange bush. Then he took off to dine on aloe vera flowers. I took his cue and stepped inside for cereal.