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.

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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.

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*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?

Adiós Abel for now

Yesterday morning in the yard.

Abel the Deadpan Yardman rang the gate bell yesterday, and he entered for probably the last time this year. The rains have ended, so the grass is not growing. Last week, I had him give a haircut to the Alamo Wall, and yesterday he swept dirt from the street out back, a yearly chore.

Later, my child bride and I dined at one of our favorite restaurants before heading to the Downtown Casita for its weekly checkup and watering of the carport garden because, yes, the rains have ended.

Jungle in the casita carport.

Recently, we had tourist tenants in the house for two weeks, and there was trouble with the water heater. You cannot have hot-water problems for tenants. It is very bad form.

So I installed a second heater for backup. They’ll keep one another company, fending off loneliness for those long months in which the place remains unoccupied.

Two founts of hot water.

Excuse the fuzzy edges on the two color shots. I had the camera accidentally turned to an artsy-fartsy setting.

A presentable wall

The Alamo Wall after its trim. The monkey feels free.
The Alamo Wall before its trim. The monkey was trapped.

Before moving to Mexico I never imagined owning an ivy-covered wall, but now I have one. It requires maintenance, however, mostly the ivy, which comes from four plants planted on the side facing the main gate. They were tiny little things when we planted them, but they’ve muscled up significantly, as you plainly see.

Abel the Deadpan Yardman arrived Sunday morning with his weedeater, thinking it was just another Sunday of mowing and trimming the lawn, but the lack of rain has discouraged the grass from growing, so we turned to the Alamo Wall.

This is the first year the ivy has gone over the top and started down the other side. I haven’t decided if I want this or not. Time will tell.

And it’s the first time it’s climbed over the archway between the wall and the Honda carport. I do not want it atop the red-clay tiles of the carport. It may require stern discipline.

But all is good for now.

The other side where it’s fully covered.

As I type this around noon on Sunday, the church bell on the neighborhood plaza two blocks away is slowly bonging, which means someone died. The air is cool, the sky is blue and clear, as you see in the photos. It’s a lovely day for a funeral.

The color tree, etc.

Colorful ribbons did the trick.

A year or so ago — I lose track of time — as part of my campaign to sweep the yard clean of nuisances, I had this loquat tree cut way back to its nubs. Unlike other nuisances, which I’ve simply removed, I left these nubs with a single branch each because I figured my child bride could let it grow big again after I was pushing up daisies.

The plan worked for a while, but then it did not. The tree died, so I have repurposed it, as they say, into yard art. I have a background in colorful art, which you can see here.

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More like my father

My father and I were always like two peas in a pod with a couple of huge exceptions. He had no sense of adventure, and he loathed travel. My sense of adventure long ago landed me here on my Mexican mountaintop, and I loved travel. That has changed, which is something of a problem because my child bride remains a travel fanatic. I lost the travel bug in the past year. I imagine it has much to do with aging.

Like my 18 years in New Orleans, I’m now in another touristy place, over 21 years. I live in a spot where people visit and think, Gee, I wish I lived here. Well, I do live here, and it’s great.

Alas, the pandemic is winding down, and she’s hot to travel! Guanajuato! Zihatanejo! San Miguel! Colombia! Spain! And I’d rather have my fingernails yanked out. I am now in dodge mode, wondering how long I can keep it up.

Meanwhile, she is satisfying her mania for constant movement by crocheting up a storm, housecleaning, fixing pastries, you name it, never a still moment. Maybe I should have married someone closer to my own age, but where’s the joy in that?

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Back to the yard

I phoned my builder a week ago, and he came here yesterday to see what I wanted done. Mostly, I want lots of grass removed and replaced with stone and concrete. There are some unrelated details, but it’s the grass that I want gone more than anything. Alas, he is currently building another house, about the same size as ours, he told me.

So I am in wait mode. We have till next June, which is when the annual monsoon returns. Patience, I tell myself. Of course, I could hire someone else, but this guy is great, and so are his prices.

Speaking of the yard, it appears the rain has retired for this year. The grass has stopped growing, which is good. In a couple of months, it will be brown, dusty and crunchy.

Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes Sunday, and instead of mowing the grass, he will give the Alamo Wall a haircut. The ivy runs amok.

Coming over the top like the Huns at Verdun.

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Honda’s back in shape

As I mentioned a few days ago, the Honda’s air-conditioning ceased to work. We took it to the state capital yesterday where the compressor was replaced. That set me back the peso equivalent of a tad over $700 U.S., money well spent. I loathe heat just as my father loathed travel. One must pick one’s loathing.