Tag Archives: flowers

King’s clothing

THIS TIME OF year hereabouts everyone goes nuts for flor de calabaza,  pumpkin flower, or maybe it’s squash in English. Don’t know, don’t care. Irrelevant.

The interesting thing is that the locals go nuts about it. They eat it in every possible form. They crow about it on restaurant menus. The fact that it’s seasonable just boosts the allure.

As you can see, it’s a very pretty flower. That’s my child bride holding a bouquet she bought in the neighborhood plaza this morning while we were doing our exercise walk. She paid 10 pesos, which is about fifty cents U.S.

When flor de calabaza is included in a recipe for whatever and cooked, it loses its beauty entirely, but that does not reduce its popularity one bit.

Today I’m going to reveal something that may get me run out of Mexico. I may have my citizenship revoked. I may receive death threats. Only the Goddess knows, but here goes:

Flor de calabaza has no taste whatsoever. None.

The king is parading in the streets buck naked, and everyone is oooing and ahhing at his raiment. And not only that, as I mention above, when it’s cooked it loses its loveliness.

So what is going on here?

Flor de calabaza is a beautiful flower. And it’s edible. This means its beauty must also make it tasty.

‘Fraid not. So flor de calabaza is merely an idea, a notion, a myth of sorts. I often say Mexican life is like Alice’s Wonderland, and this is a lovely — but tasteless — example.

Don’t tell anyone I wrote this. Por favor.

* * * *

(Note: My child bride admitted a couple of years ago — the first actual Mexican to do so — that flor de calabaza is tasteless. So why did she buy it? To include it in her pastries for the weekly sidewalk sale. Myth sells, amigos.)

The summer scene

WE’RE WELL into summer, and every year or two I like to take a photo from the upstairs terraza to show changes in the Hacienda compound.* One shot, years back, showed a place in progress, rather bare.

But this is 2014’s scene, fully developed:

1

And looking down to the left. The nopal tree is at least 13 feet tall, and the bananas are even higher. On the far side of the ochre wall is the sex motel:

3

Now doing a full turn to the right, out toward the back. That angled tile roof behind the red wall is relatively new. That’s where I keep the lawn mower and garden gear:

4

Abel, the deadpan neighbor who cuts the grass every Saturday morning, had done just that about an hour before the photos were taken. I planted 95 percent of what you see with my own grubby fingers.

I like living here. You really can’t beat it.

* * * *

* Yes, compound. I like to think I’m kinda like the Kennedys. Or the Bushes of Kennebunkport.

Fog of winter

Fog

WE HEAR it’s pretty dang cold above the Rio Bravo.

Here on our Mexican mountaintop, things are mostly following the blueprint. Quite cool to cold in the mornings, then getting mild and sunny later in the day.

Sometimes mornings bring fog, as you see in the photo.

What’s odd this January is Birds of Paradise are in bloom, and Red Hot Pokers too. We rarely see that. Must be global warming. I’m neutral on the global warming dispute, not being a scientist, but did you catch the incredible irony of that research ship that was caught in the Antarctic ice recently? Its mission: study global warming.

Most of the news media chose not to report that point. It damaged their worldview.

What you don’t see in the photo is that our monster bougainvillea has lost most of its leaves and flowers. I’ll get Abel, the deadpan yardman, to take this opportunity to whack it back in a week or two. I have clippers, but he will prefer a machete.

It’s also time for house repairs. Our currently favorite albañil (guy who builds and repairs) will come by tomorrow morning to give us prices. There will be some waterproofing paint, some reconnection of clay ceiling tiles, some reconnection and grouting of ceramic floor tiles, stuff like that. Then we’ll be good as new, almost.

Other things on the to-do list: Tax forms and renewing my child bride’s U.S. visa.

Alone, with flowers

In one direction.

My child bride took the bus to Querétaro this morning to check on her brother who’s been recovering from encephalitis since January. It’s an affliction that doesn’t go away rapidly.

After dropping her at the bus station in the state capital at 10 a.m., I stopped at McDonald’s for scrambled eggs with ham, an English muffin and what they think is hash browns.

I buried it all, except the muffins, in ketchup, and it was quite tasty, reminding me that I was once a Gringo. I love ketchup!

On returning to the Hacienda, I did a little vine trimming, and then I sprawled on the sofa with the Kindle, but reading did not last long till I dozed off.

Later I had a lunch of noodle soup she had made and one of her individual-sized tuna pies, the sort she sells out of her basket on the plaza on Saturdays.

Then I watched half of Being John Malkovich on Netflix upstairs, just half because I’ve seen it before, and half was enough. The Spanish title turned it into a question: Are You John Malkovich? Can’t imagine why they did that.

Then I tossed two bags of garbage into the Honda trunk, and drove downtown, stopping off at a dumpster along the way. I went to the main plaza and had a nice espresso, admired the passing lovelies, and read the Kindle.

It’s a good way to live.

Returning to the Hacienda again, I opened the umbrella on the yard patio, took a seat, and continued reading the Kindle. The sun was falling behind the house. The sky was blue. The air was cool, and I admired the growing garden.

I went upstairs for the camera and took these two shots.

Then I read some more, about a fellow in his mid-20s who sailed around the world alone in the mid-1980s. Incredible.

She’ll be back tomorrow afternoon, and my solo time will end.

She thinks I suffer when she’s gone, but overnight is not enough to cause suffering. I like it. The relatively brief change feels interesting.

Plus, I don’t have to feel guilty about snoring.

And the other direction.
And the other direction.