The nosy neighbor

The Before shot. Way bigger than it appears.
The During shot.
The nosy neighbor.

As promised a couple of weeks ago in Roses of September, the final monster aloe vera has been cut down to size, not totally eliminated as we did with the other one in July, but made more manageable, more petite.

One reason I did this is because when the rainy season fades away, we’ll be hiring guys to uproot the grass you see in the photos and replace it with stone and concrete as my ongoing lawn-replacement campaign soldiers on, perhaps to be completed before I die.

The aloe vera was poking way out over some of the grass, plus it was long overdue for some stern discipline anyway.

The rear gate was open during the butchery yesterday, so in walks the cheeky kid who lives out back, uninvited. I was sitting on the yard patio in a web chair overseeing the aloe vera trimming when he walks up and sits with me. I took his photo.

He had never been into our yard before and was quite impressed.

He, his parents and numerous siblings live across the street in what would accurately be called a miserable hovel. But he has a good attitude and is likable. When I stood up to go inside for breakfast, he walked to the dining room window and peered through the glass. I waved.

The work ended. The guys drove off with the green garbage in their pickup truck to dump God knows where — I don’t ask — and the neighbor boy was ushered out the back gate by me. Adiós, kiddo! Everything returned to normal.

The After shot.

The aloe vera appears as if it returned from a week at Weight Watchers.


Before you depart today, it will be fun to chuckle at the notions of the nutty folks on the other side of the political divide. Enjoy!

It neglected to mention the (half) black president!

Roses of September

It’s too close to the golden datura. They’re bosom buddies.

Like virtually every plant in the Hacienda yard, I purchased this rosebush without knowing what I was buying. The flower is pretty. Turns out that it’s a climbing rose, and I have given it nowhere to climb, a defect I intend to remedy next spring.

With chicken wire.

But until then, it’s just droops. The flowers are nice, however.

I initially planted four rosebushes along the Alamo Wall. I have uprooted two for various crimes, and of the remaining two only one produces flowers, so the other’s time is limited. I just have not gotten around to murdering it yet.

Speaking of plant murder, a crime I have acquired some fame for committing, I have another victim in the sights of my virtual bazooka, the final aloe vera which, like the two I have already committed to the dust bin of history, has gotten too big for its britches.

It’s flowering up a storm, common this time of year.

But I will not murder this one because it’s my last aloe vera, and one needs the medicinal properties on occasion, plus it puts out pretty flowers. It will merely get a close shave.

I’ll have to phone the plumber who is my go-to guy for serious yard trimming. He has access to a chainsaw and pickup truck, neither of which are owned by my standard gardener, Abel the Deadpan Yardman.

Stay tuned. Bloodshed to come.

The dawn of August

blooms
Out in the yard, a’blooming.

AUGUST DAWNED chill and gray. I like the chill part.

The first day of any month brings chores. I pay my Megacable bill online. I do my monthly car checks — air, water, oil, etc. And sometimes the first of the month falls atop other chores unconnected to the first of the month. That was the case today because I had to drive downtown early — to avoid heavy traffic — and check my post-office box, which I do every second Saturday. Only one item in the box, which is about par.

Often there is nothing, which I prefer.

I very rarely get mail these days from above the border, and 99.9 percent of the mail in the PO box comes from above the Rio Bravo, invariably pension stuff.

And since it’s Saturday during the rainy season, Abel the Deadpan Yardman came to cut the grass, something he’s doing at this moment as I write to you.

August is the month when the incessant rain becomes obvious in the yard, which gets very beefed up, so to speak, greenery thick and abundant. It looks nice.

We’ll be having beans, rice and sausage for lunch today, and this afternoon we’ll drive to another small burg abutting our lake to look for some religious thing to attach to my mother-in-law’s tombstone in the not-distant town of Taretan.

My child bride and some of her sisters had the tombstone renovated recently because it was in bad shape. She died over half a century ago at the age of 31.

The Un-greening of Felipe

willy2
The Before Shot.

THE CREW came this morning with machetes and a chain saw, a pickup too.

1
Guys at work.

2
Wielding the axe.

last
No more aloe vera, at least not on that spot.

They got the stump almost level with the ground, so now the question is if it will try to pop up again. Probably. I’ve seen people pour motor oil on stumps in these situations, but I hope not to have to do that.

Background on this work can be seen here.

This ongoing process I dub the Un-greening of Felipe. When the Hacienda was young, and I looked at the yard with the attitude I developed in Houston, I made mistakes. I planted things thinking they would grow as they grew in Houston, a little bit or not at all.

But Lordy! I am now running in reverse. We had three stands of banana trees, and now we have one. We had three monster magueys, and now we have none. We had a towering nopal, and now we have none. We had a trash-tossing peach tree, a pear and a loquat. Now we have none. We had three aloe veras. Now we have one.

The un-greening, still ongoing, makes life easier, and ease is what I crave.