Summer cleaning

MY CHILD BRIDE  encountered a nasty allergy in March — first ever — shortly after we started staying home due to the Kung Flu. That staying at home lasted till May 10 when we wearied of it. Now we are out and about since it’s become patently obvious that it’s just another pandemic like the world sees now and then. You die, or you don’t.

Most don’t.

She’s been to two doctors, and various solutions have been offered. The allergy has calmed down about 90%, but she still has occasional flareups, but nothing like what was happening in March, which coincidentally was when she stopped going to the gym religiously, again due to the Kung Flu. She returned to the gym about two months ago.

She imagines a new cause of her problem — sneezing and runny nose — on a daily basis. One, of course, is dust, so she’s been on a cleaning campaign that comes and goes. Today was one of those days, and she tackled the downstairs terraza.

cleaning
Wall stripped of hats. Shelves stripped of clay pots.
bowls
Pots get a good wash.

Inside one of those clay pots, she encountered — much to her dismay — a mummified bat that had gotten himself trapped. That whole pot went into the trash barrel. She also tossed most of the sombreros that had been hanging on the wall for about 15 years, including the cowboy chapeau of my old buddy Al Kinnison.

But I was no slacker this morning. Swallows had built one of their nasty mud nests high on a second-floor overhang in the service patio. A family was there before I noticed it, so I left them in peace to raise the kiddies who tossed plenty of poop to the patio floor. They finally grew up and flew away. Good freaking riddance!

An extension ladder and a broom put me within range, so I knocked the nest down this morning. I’ll be more vigilant next year. I also climbed to the roof of the kitchen-dining room to sweep accumulated dirt that gives algae and weeds a happy home.

I was surprised to find the roof completely dry. Usually, there’s a pool up there throughout the rainy season, but it’s been raining less this summer. Must be that climate-change thing. If so, I favor it. We’re getting plenty of rain, as you can see in the video, but not so much that it causes problems. I shot that video about three days ago.

We’ll be having green pozole for lunch today. Come join us.

Climate change, rain & Trump

skull pot
Pot I bought a few years ago during the Day of the Dead.

THIS “CLIMATE CHANGE” thing has hit us hard, or maybe the rainy season is simply arriving a tad tardy this year. Whatever.

It did rain yesterday, and today dawned overcast and cool, which is how I like it. The grass is showing signs of revitalization, from dreary brown to joyous green. Abel the Deadpan Yardman will come tomorrow for the first cut of the year.

Life on the mountaintop continues, often in a crackpot manner. Though the Kung Flu problem shows no sign of winding down — quite the contrary — our megalomaniac president refers to it in the past tense. Our mayor has opened both downtown plazas for the first time in a couple of months. He’s also encouraging tourists to return.

And our Kung Flu count continues upward.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow with the YUGE Trump campaign event in Oklahoma. Thousands want to go, of course, because we love him. I wish I could go. But it seems trouble is brewing. And rumors.

Here’s my prediction. Leftists will appear en masse in MAGA caps, waving Nazi flags and goose-stepping, a disinformation campaign. I doubt they will riot or loot because Oklahoma cops will not be on their side, and the governor is Republican.

It’s good to be out of the fray and atop a mountain in the middle of Mexico.

Rain in the night & flowers

TWICE OVER the past week, a premature and gentle rain fell in the middle of the night. The datura are blooming as are red-hot pokers, bridal bouquets, birds of paradise and little white roses. The occasional weed too.

I am of two minds regarding the rain, which normally does not begin till June. It’s good in that it cools our world down. It’s bad in that it encourages grass to grow, grass that will need to be cut, and the lawnmower has yet to receive its annual servicing.

red-bopAlso awaiting servicing is the Honda, which has reached 210,000 kilometers. I should have dropped it off at the garage a month ago, but we had this Kung Flu thing that put lots of chores on hold. Same for the lawnmower.

My child bride is getting skinny — well, skinny for her, which is still lovely — due to her gym being shut. What she’s lost is a bit of muscle weight, but the gym reopens next week, we were told by phone yesterday. She’ll be pumping iron soon. The Plague Year has caused many people to get fatter, not skinnier, but she’s always been a bit of a contrarian.

As previously announced here, next Sunday is our official end to staying (mostly) at home, no matter what everyone else is doing. Obviously, the gym agrees with us. I’ve already started to bust out. So far this week, I’ve gone to the post office and a carwash, neither of which was “essential.” This afternoon we’re driving downtown to visit a pastry shop for a sack of breakfast biscuits. I can’t abide by Costco’s version anymore.

During that same excursion, we’ll visit a yarn store because my child bride needs more of the purple stuff she prefers this month for a sweater.

Springtime, usually the most miserable season here, has been fairly bearable this year. Must be that climate change everyone is in a tizzy about. If that is the cause, I’m not a climate-change denier, I’m a climate-change lover.

Events of the day

MONDAY DAWNED chill, gray and ugly. And in the afternoon, it started to rain, which is blasphemy here in February. Climate change. We should do something!

People wonder about folks who retire to Mexico. They ask, “What do you do all day?” The first thing to remember is that chores take longer here than they do above the border. This was very true years ago, but it’s becoming less so now, due to the internet.

After whole-wheat biscuits covered with honey at 8 a.m., I sat before the H-P All-in-One and loaded the website for the state government, specifically the page dealing with car taxes. Dial in the serial numbers and print out the page you take to the bank to pay.

The fee for each of the cars, 926 pesos or about $50 U.S., was the same even though one is a 2009 model and the other is 2014. Twenty years ago, it was necessary to stand in a long line to pay at a government office. Now you take the printed form and go to the bank. Much easier. The bank also has the sticker for the car window.

But the bank visit was for the afternoon. The morning still required other activities like the exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza. Just as we were heading out afoot at 10, José Sosa drove up. He’s the guy who did lots of painting here a few weeks ago.

Now he’s painting my sister-in-law’s coffee shop downtown, and he wanted to borrow one of my ladders. You’d think a painter would have ladders. He has plenty of other gear, but not the ladder he needed, so off he went with my ladder.

I have lots of ladders.

After the second breakfast at 11 a.m., I entertained myself with YouTube videos, and my child bride knitted. Lunch happened at 2 p.m., as always. We had meat pies she made on Saturday plus minestrone I made last week. Mexico life is thrilling.

Then we killed 90 minutes watching a show on Netflix. At 4 we headed downtown in the two cars. She had to pass by a cousin’s house to pick up rent for our Mexico City condo. The cousin is footing that bill for a nephew attending a university in the capital.

I parked on the plaza and walked to the bank to pay the car taxes only to find the bank closed due to a national holiday I had neglected to notice. We have so many holidays, it’s tough to keep up. They usually entail a long weekend no matter the day on which the holiday falls. The holiday weekend is called a puente, a bridge.

It bridges from the weekend to the holiday, and you get more days off. We embrace reasons not to work.

The puente also caused my Social Security payment not to arrive at the bank. It’ll arrive mañana, I suppose. My car tax errand stymied, I headed to the coffee shop, sat at a sidewalk table, ordered a café Americano negro, pulled my Kindle from my man bag, and tugged a scarf tight around my neck. It was raining, cold and nasty.

There were wool gloves on my hands with the fingertips missing. My child bride knitted the gloves. You must have skin showing to flip pages on the Kindle.

crawdadI’m reading a book titled Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, her first novel. It’s very good and, at one point, gave me a chuckle. I knew something Delia did not because I am old, and she is younger. In referring to a school lunch served to one of the characters, she mentioned a “carton of milk.” This was 1952.

There were no cartons of milk in 1952, neither in schools nor delivered at dawn to your front door. Just bottles. Cartons came years later. I miss the bottles.

—-

Tomorrow we’re off to the nearby state capital for our weekly shopping trip, but we’ll have a passenger, our nephew, the kid once known as the Little Vaquero, whom we are taking to an ophthalmologist. He’s not a Little Vaquero anymore. He’ll be 17 next month.

His eyesight is extremely bad and has been for years. His glasses are old, and so are his contacts, which he prefers because he thinks he looks dorky in glasses. His mother’s approach to this situation is: mañana. She does nada. So we’re stepping in.

—-

As I left the coffee shop this afternoon and walked through a light rain to the Honda, I stopped at pastry shop to buy a brownie. It was not as good as my child bride makes — few things are — but it was darn tasty. These were the events of the day.

Now, at almost 7 p.m., it’s still raining and ugly. I blame Greta.