Happiness returns

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The sun is shining. The frog is happy.

IT’S BEEN MIGHTY miserable hereabouts the last few days. No sun, plenty cold, no gasoline. But this day dawned better.

The sun is out and bright. Air is cool, not cold. Gasoline remains hard to find, but it’s an imperfect world in which we reside.

Noonish, I was sitting on the yard patio. That’s its new name, nothing high-falootin’ or esoteric. The intention was to read my Kindle and relax beneath the umbrella, but I took the above photo instead.

Then I came indoors to check on the lunch I was fixing. My child bride was out in her pastry kitchen all morning working on tomorrow’s goodies to hawk on the downtown plaza.

Barbecue chicken in the crock pot, tomato soup (canned Campbell’s. I’m not particular), and a pile of little pastas to round it off.

food
Simple meal for simple people.

I spent much of the morning transitioning to a new web browser, Vivaldi, which is quite nice. I shun the big boys, especially anything related to Google. For the last couple of weeks I used Maxthon (second time), but it proved too buggy. Plus, it’s Chinese, and I prefer to dodge stuff from China and Russia. China is communist, and Russia is, well, Russian.

Google is communist too.

Another notable event in this happy day occurred when I heard the garbage truck’s bell  clanging on the back street. Usually, I just ignore it due to laziness because I normally leave garbage bags at a dumpster on my way downtown in the afternoon. But the gas crisis inspired me to get off my duff and walk down the street to the truck with a 15-peso tip.

Late afternoon will find me on the big plaza downtown with a coffee, perhaps a chocolate-chip cookie and the Kindle. A happy day.

Post-bagel labor

MOST WORK around here gets done in the morning, and that would be after the bagels and cream cheese.

The labor this Good Friday morning included the yearly cleaning of the underground cistern.

Child bride descends to mop after I had descended to sweep.

Our concrete cistern holds 9,000 liters of water.

The reason you don’t want to drink tap water in Mexico is less because the water didn’t come from a clean source at the get-go. It may have. For instance, our municipal water comes from an underground spring. It is quite clear.

What happens is that almost everyone stores water in an underground cistern. From that cistern, water is delivered, one way or another, to a roof tank, and from there it’s dropped into the house faucets via gravity.

There are variations, but basically that’s how it works.

I have no statistics, but I’d bet a pocket of pesos that few homeowners ever clean their cisterns. I’ve peered into cisterns that you could use for a horror-movie scene.

But we are better than that.

Here’s how we clean ours. First, we turn off the incoming water. After that, it takes almost two weeks to empty as we use the water in the house. Finally, the cistern is empty, and we switch to a small backup tank for a day or two.

We leave the lid open overnight, and the cistern’s dry in the morning. I go down and sweep. She goes down and mops. We turn the water back on, and toss in half a liter of bleach.

Here comes fresh water into the clean tank! Yipee!

It takes three or four days to refill. The municipal water runs six days a week for six to eight hours daily.

* * * *

Other labor

Having finished that work, it was time to reassign cacti.

You’d think that after what happened with the monster nopal that I would have learned my lesson regarding prickly plants.

But I’m stupid that way.

I love deserts and the things that live in them. I used to plant cacti in my yard in Houston, and they never did squat.

The tall ones.

Next to the verandah, there’s this stand of pole cacti that I started years ago with one small one. The tallest now is six and a half feet high.

Another shorter — but not by much — stand nearby provided a cutting about 15 inches tall. It has been planted out by the property wall, and I anticipate a nice stand of pole cacti there in a few years —  if I live so long.

The little bugger.

Being a newbie, it needs a little support from string and a stick.

Following these two chores, I only had to water the potted plants on the verandah, dust the shelves and sweep the floor.

The only other labor for the day will be cooking pasta and broiling salmon. After that, it’s a café Americano negro on the downtown plaza, watching the beautiful tourist babes.

It will be a Good Friday. Even if I’m not a Christian.