The morning rooster

Walking through the living room just after dawn, I noticed this rooster. The light was coming through the window some distance away, but light travels. It was an illustration of what I had been thinking about earlier. As I head off into dreamland every evening, I hear dogs in the distance. When I wake before dawn, I hear roosters.

It’s usually not a tranquil world here, but you grow accustomed to it.


The garden grows

We’re firmly into March now and, the Goddess willing, there will be no more freezes, so I decided to call Abel the Deadpan Yardman to come over from where he lives on the other side of the sex motel, and trim the Willy-Nilly Zone. That’s the area just off the downstairs terraza where things grow wildly, i.e. willy-nilly.

The Willy-Nilly Zone has two sides because the sidewalk marches through its middle.

Side One, before. The monster aloe vera long lived here.
Side One, after. At the top left are bridal bouquets that haven’t bloomed in a few years.
Side Two, before. Bridal bouquets, red-hot pokers and at the rear, Birds of Paradise.
Side Two, after. Too early for flowers, but now they have space.

Less clutter lets one breathe easier. The days are beautiful here now, but it won’t last long because Springtime is the worst season hereabouts. The landscape gets drier and browner, and dust becomes a problem, which means my child bride wants the windows shut at all times, and they usually are. The only exceptions being at night, especially the bedroom windows, when Springtime stuffiness is challenging.


I say I hope the cold is gone now, but that’s not a given. Look at this photo from March 2016 that I snapped from the upstairs terraza. The milder weather has inspired me to change socks. My winter sock is a wool blend from Costco. My new springtime — and perhaps summer too — sock, also from Costco, are Pumas.

I am fond of pumas, panthers, whatever you want to call them, due to an entheogenic vision I had 25 years ago, which was the inspiration for the Hacienda’s front door, a design of my own making.

The Idaho potatoes

The two taters I scored today on the plaza.

Every Thursday, a street market appears on the neighborhood plaza. And we circle it six times because we circle that plaza six times afoot every weekday, our exercise routine. The walk is more interesting on Thursdays due to the market and the people. The rest of the week, the plaza is abandoned, still and quiet.

Today I spotted something special: Idaho potatoes, which are not common hereabouts. Other, less noble, potatoes are easy to find, but not Idahos which make the best baked potatoes. I bought two, which I will bake on Sunday and serve with broiled salmon.

Freeze-zapped bougainvilleas.

The weather has improved spectacularly the last couple of days, and we’ve doffed the heavy duds for lighter attire. With luck the recent freeze was the winter’s last, but one cannot count on that. Once in March we had snow on the mountaintops that are visible from the Hacienda. Mama Nature is fickle.

But it’s about time to call Abel the Deadpan Yardman to come and trim the detritus and tote it away. Normally, I call him earlier but I’ve been lazy this year.

And speaking of potatoes:


I’m emotionally damaged due to what’s happening above the Rio Bravo. Unlike my frequent political posts during the Golden Era of President Trump, I’ve stepped away from it to a great extent. Why bother? It’s a lost cause, and fraud and imbecility reign. As the Blond Bomber would say: Sad.

But, just for fun, let us address some points:

  1. As I accurately predicted here on the morning of Election Day, the Democrat Socialists stole the vote. There are numerous ways to do this. One is that you actually stuff ballot boxes. There are videos of that being done. Two, you initiate mail-in voting, which is tailor-made for cheating. Three, you spout “news” for four years that consists of lies and misrepresentations, which influences the huge voter pool of dimwits. A combination of these tactics works best, obviously.
  2. No sooner did Sleepy Joe, who is a senile front man for radicals, enter the Oval Office than he began killing jobs and opening the border to illegals. He’s ending energy independence. And there are moves afoot to legislate stupidities like men and women are the same. He’s making kissy-face to Iran and China. If you’re unaware of this, you should stop reading The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The most important part of the entire disaster is that the Democrat Socialist Party got away with stealing the election. The significance of that one element cannot be overstated. It’s simply unprecedented, and takes the United States down a very dark path, and the entire world with it.

Diversity at work.

But enough of that. I’m in Mexico, and darn glad of it. We also have a dreadful president, but since Mexico does not affect global events like America does, it matters little except to us Mexicans. And I found Idaho potatoes today!

Thank the Goddess for small blessings.

Passage of time

The House of Horrors. Well, not really. There were good times … I think.

Saturday dawned in a lovely mood which inspired me to get off my lazy keister and do yard chores I’d been noticing and ignoring for weeks. While out there, I began to think about how long I’ve lived here at the Hacienda, 18 years. This is not how my vagabond life played out in the past. I rarely lived anywhere for long.

My previous record was in my youth when I lived in the house just below from ages 9 to 17 when I graduated from high school and headed off to Vanderbilt University where I lasted just a few short weeks before dropping out and enlisting in the Air Force.

The Jacksonville suburb of Arlington.

My parents were the first buyers of this house, into which we moved in 1953. The window on the right was the living room. The one in the middle was my bedroom, and the one on the left was my parents’. My sister’s bedroom was on the other side of the house.

This photo was shot about 10 years ago, I think, by my daughter who was passing through Jacksonville, Florida, which is where this is. What strikes me most about this photo is the front yard. My father worked at night and enjoyed gardening in the daytime. We had a lovely yard, and now there is nothing.

Those huge trees were not there in the 1950s. Neither was the sidewalk.

In 1953, this area was a brand-new subdivision of the postwar, growing middle class — Levittown in the Florida sunshine. Now it appears to be a working-class neighborhood. The owner (or renter?) probably drives a delivery truck, or he works at Auto Zone.

I lived there with my parents and sister almost a decade, and it was my longest home stay before constructing the Hacienda 40 years later. Taking third place in the longevity list would be the house at the top where I lived nine years with my second ex-wife before she tossed me unceremoniously onto the cold, dank pavement.

She lives there to this day, thanks to me. She’s done a lot with the place. When we bought it, the kitchen cabinets were the original knotty pine from 1955, which is when the house was constructed. I really liked that knotty pine, but she had it all torn out after I departed, and now it’s modern. I’ve seen photos. She also constructed an enclosed “sun room” out back. If I’m ever in Houston again, I’m gonna request a tour.

But I doubt I’ll ever be in Houston again.

As Thomas Wolfe said, well, you know …*


* Likely the first literary reference that’s ever appeared in The Unseen Moon. Tip of the sombrero to Steve Cotton, a maestro at it.


Update: Here’s a more recent photo that I grabbed off Google Street View.

And in 2020.

Bye-bye, bananas

Following the last freeze, and what made me decide to eliminate the bananas.

In recent years I’ve engaged in a campaign to make the yard more user-friendly. I’ve removed lots of plants that I ignorantly installed way back when. Some, however, were here when we purchased the double lot in 2002. Monster nopals, humongous bougainvilleas, pear trees, peach trees, gargantuan magueys, to name a few.

And my gardening chores have diminished accordingly.

We once had three stands of banana trees, but we were down to just this one. Tuesday was its day to die. In its place we now have a nice concrete and stone “table.” I plan to puchase two big decorative, clay pots to sit atop the stone.

Below you see the work under way.

A machete brings the banana trees to an ugly end on Tuesday.
The finishing touches of the murder. Rocks wait their chance.
The coast is clear! Ready for the new look.
And it gets started from the right side.
Miguel, my main man, sweeps away loose ends today.
And a new era is born at that end of the Alamo Wall.