Cheese, avocados & eggs

Within a block of the Hacienda sit three mom-and-pop stores that provide essentials. These stores are called abarrotes, and most are connected to homes, and most abarrotes are tiny, dark and grim. They have eggs and cheese and plenty of other stuff one needs occasionally. Many are crammed with merchandise.

We used to frequent an abarrotes just around the closest corner, but the owner was such a suspicious sourpuss that we abandoned her. This was made more convenient when another opened about 20 feet farther on.

The newer one is run by a woman who is the mother of the sourpuss neighbor just next door. The barrio suffers no shortage of sourpusses. The second store owner has a daughter with severe Down Syndrome, and she has a big dog that sits in the door, obstructing.

We walk down there — it’s very close — almost daily. It’s far more convenient than driving a few miles to the nearest chain supermarket to contend with long, slow lines, hand gel and face masks. The woman who owns the second store won’t win any personality contests either, but she’s nicer than the other one, and it’s got to be hard for a middle-aged single woman with an adult daughter with Down Syndrome.

Plus, the abarrotes owners — just like me — don’t care about face masks or hand gel.

I usually buy tomatoes and avocados. Sometimes cheese, sometimes eggs, and often a package of baked tostadas, which we eat with pozole and minestrone.

Abarrotes remind me of a mom-and-pop store on a red-dirt road in the rural area where I lived with my parents and grandparents in southwest Georgia a million years ago. The main difference is that the Georgia store was far larger than your average abarrotes, and the owners had smiles on their faces. They were glad to see you. I’ve never had the impression that an abarrotes owner was happy to see me at all.

But the convenience makes up for that.

The third abarrotes I mentioned in the first paragraph is behind the Hacienda, not too convenient. We rarely go out the back door.

As I write this Thursday evening, a hog is screaming bloody murder next door. They’re possibly killing it for bacon and ham steaks. That also reminds of my grandparents’ Georgia farm where hogs were murdered for the same reason.

Summer cleaning

MY CHILD BRIDE  encountered a nasty allergy in March — first ever — shortly after we started staying home due to the Kung Flu. That staying at home lasted till May 10 when we wearied of it. Now we are out and about since it’s become patently obvious that it’s just another pandemic like the world sees now and then. You die, or you don’t.

Most don’t.

She’s been to two doctors, and various solutions have been offered. The allergy has calmed down about 90%, but she still has occasional flareups, but nothing like what was happening in March, which coincidentally was when she stopped going to the gym religiously, again due to the Kung Flu. She returned to the gym about two months ago.

She imagines a new cause of her problem — sneezing and runny nose — on a daily basis. One, of course, is dust, so she’s been on a cleaning campaign that comes and goes. Today was one of those days, and she tackled the downstairs terraza.

cleaning
Wall stripped of hats. Shelves stripped of clay pots.

bowls
Pots get a good wash.

Inside one of those clay pots, she encountered — much to her dismay — a mummified bat that had gotten himself trapped. That whole pot went into the trash barrel. She also tossed most of the sombreros that had been hanging on the wall for about 15 years, including the cowboy chapeau of my old buddy Al Kinnison.

But I was no slacker this morning. Swallows had built one of their nasty mud nests high on a second-floor overhang in the service patio. A family was there before I noticed it, so I left them in peace to raise the kiddies who tossed plenty of poop to the patio floor. They finally grew up and flew away. Good freaking riddance!

An extension ladder and a broom put me within range, so I knocked the nest down this morning. I’ll be more vigilant next year. I also climbed to the roof of the kitchen-dining room to sweep accumulated dirt that gives algae and weeds a happy home.

I was surprised to find the roof completely dry. Usually, there’s a pool up there throughout the rainy season, but it’s been raining less this summer. Must be that climate-change thing. If so, I favor it. We’re getting plenty of rain, as you can see in the video, but not so much that it causes problems. I shot that video about three days ago.

We’ll be having green pozole for lunch today. Come join us.

A quiet day at home

pozole

THAT’S CHICKEN pozole of the green variety, lunch today.

By 1 p.m., I was showered and back into my pajamas because it’s going to be a quiet afternoon. All the busyness happened earlier, before 11, which is when we had Second Breakfast. I did some tidying in the yard, gave the garbageman up the street a couple of bags, did our exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza and so on.

I’m writing this just before lunch at 2, our usual lunch hour. While I’ve slipped into lazy mode, my child bride continues full blast as usual. Doing chores. There are no lazy days for her. She wouldn’t know what to do with one, not a problem I have.

We’ll be quite busy mañana because we’re heading down the mountainside to the nearby state capital to run errands that have stacked up for weeks due to the Plague Year. Plus, we’ll eat in a restaurant there, something we haven’t done in about two months, and we used to do every week.

I’ve been watching the Gringos go nuts above the Rio Bravo, and I’m so happy not to live with them anymore. The United States is demonstrating spectacularly why it’s a lousy idea to encourage multiculturalism and diversity. It just leads to violence.

America has been through hissy-fits before, of course, but I was surprised by the numbers of people taking to the streets, the sheer volume which seems much higher than similar uproars in the past. I think this demonstrates how successful the leftist educational system has been in convincing American youth that it lives in a horrible nation.

As for that rogue cop who killed the George Floyd, I think public hanging would be an appropriate punishment, perhaps preceded by some additional Medieval tortures. But let’s not overlook the scores of black citizens who are killed weekly across the nation not by cops but by other black dudes. Where’s the uproar, the trashing of Targets and police cars?

Nowhere in sight.

Our pozole will be accompanied by cheese cubes, avocado, diced onion and tortilla chips. It goes real good with Coca-Cola, but we have none, so it’s gonna be filtered water.

There are clouds in the distance. Perhaps it will rain. We’re about due for the start of the rainy season, which will cool things off quite a bit. Life is good. Here at least.

Mexico is mostly uni-cultural. It works best. We don’t have race wars.

The age of dust

WE ARE IN The Age of Dust. It lasts, more or less, two months, April and May. There is also the Age of Rain, the Age of Freeze and the Age of Loveliness.

That last one runs from November until late December. It is the Age of Loveliness because it has stopped raining; it is not freezing, and there is no dust to speak of.

It is neither hot nor cold. Our world is green, and the sky is blue. It is like that little bear’s porridge, just right.

The Age of Dust rivals the Age of Freeze as the worst of the year, but even those two Ages are pretty swell because this mountaintop is a wonderful place to live.

April also brings our wedding anniversary, 14 years now. Of my three marriages, this has been the longest even though I lived with my second wife for 19 years.

We were married just the final 10.

My Mexican child bride and I had known each other just under six months when we wed in the interior courtyard of her sister’s home on the main plaza.

We did not know each other very well, in large part due to the language barrier. My Spanish was still marginal, and her English was nonexistent.

But we took quite a shine to one another, and 14 years later it’s turned out just fine. I’d do it all over again.

Here’s a photo from the evening in question:

wedding

It was a low-budget affair. We didn’t even hire a photographer. A friend took pictures that were mostly useless.  A professional wouldn’t have that mystery hand in the photo.

There were about 30 guests. There was dancing, pozole and music, part of which was provided by this fellow:

We were married in the Age of Dust, and one day we will be dust, the both of us, likely me first, of course.

But it’s been a spectacular time. If you marry often enough, eventually you get it right. Dust doesn’t matter.