The little girl

Returning to the Hacienda today from a downtown restaurant where I enjoyed chile en nogata while my child bride chowed down on arrachera, chorizo and guacamole with totopos, we passed a new but humble business near our home.

We stopped to purchase half a pollo a la penca for another day, more to test the new establishment than for needing chicken right then. She went inside, and I waited in the Honda. This kid sat on the stoop. I reached into the backseat for my trusty Fujifilm Finepix and took a shot. She never even noticed, even though I was sitting so near.

That’s the chicken-cooking pit behind her.

A yard corner

pilo

ABEL THE DEADPAN yardman came at 10 today, as he does every summer Saturday, to mow the grass and edge with his weedeater, leaving the Hacienda with a fresh feel.

What you’re seeing in the photo is a yard corner that faces the dining room window, so we look at this a lot. The rock wall is about eight inches high and 12 feet across, and it was built by a guy who rang the doorbell years back, hunting paid labor.

Normally, I would have just told him sorry, no, but he was quite persistent and pleasant, so I hired him for a few chores around the yard. This was one. He wasn’t very talented, but he got the job done. The plant was already there. It’s a philodendron, which I always thought was a smallish plant, and maybe it is above the Rio Bravo. But not here.

I have another philodendron in the small green zone of the Downtown Casita’s carport. That plant too has attained monstrous size, and makes quite an impression.

Not much on the Hacienda agenda today. I’ve been fooling around with an updated Windows 10* that took almost three hours to download last night while we watched Netflix, and my child bride has been housecleaning. Around 2-ish, I’ll drive to our roasted-chicken joint a ways past the neighborhood plaza and buy lunch to go.

In addition to chicken, we’ll get rice, cole slaw, chorizo, and a couple types of salsa. Before the Kung Flu, when my wife was selling her pastries on the downtown plaza every Saturday afternoon, this was always our lunch before heading off. Her business has been on hold since March, but we still eat the roasted chicken most Saturdays.

We do lunch in the Hacienda dining room, and admire that philodendron.


* I was strong-armed into doing this by my H-P All-in-One desktop machine that I bought over a year ago. This was its first Windows 10 update.

The music man

New Image

ABEL THE deadpan yardman came right on time, 10 a.m., yesterday to execute the yard’s weekly trim, which started late this year because the rain started late.

I used to mow the yard myself. Then I mowed half, and my child bride did the other half. Then we abandoned the chore completely and hired Abel who lives on the other side of the sex motel, which is very convenient for all involved.

At first, he mowed, and I continued edging with my weedeater, and I also swept the trash tossed on the Romance Sidewalk by the mower and weedeater. Then one year, I decided to let Abel do the edging too. He has his own weedeater, but I provide the gas. And just last year, I turned over the sweeping to him too, taking myself entirely out of the process, which a fellow of my vintage deserves.

Over the years, I’ve gradually increased his pay, and I did that again this year. I give him 250 pesos for about 90 minutes of work, which ain’t bad down here. If he does more than the basic trim and sweep, which he often does, I pay more.

Abel, who has a wife and kids, does not have a normal, fulltime job. What he is primarily is a trumpet player. He’s part of a musical group that once had an old bus of the Greyhound variety, which was parked on the street outside his house. But they sold it a few years back, probably because they couldn’t cover the maintenance costs.

Abel says they’ll be getting another, but I think that’s wishful thinking. It does provide a certain panache for a band to pull up to a gig in its own bus.

When he leaves, I flip the mower on its side down by the front gate, and hose the undercarriage which is jammed with grass gunk. I still do that part.

I then sat yesterday on a web chair on the yard patio, put my feet up, removed the straw hat which protects my snow-white cranium and breathed in the lovely day, which it was. The air was cool. The sky was blue. The lawn looked great.

And from the neighbors’ yard, I heard a rooster crow and a horse neigh.

Then it was silent.

And later we ate roasted chicken from a place down the way.

The Mexican relatives

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WHILE MY surviving Gringa relatives — all two of them — above the Rio Bravo have vanished, lamentably, into the shadows of the past, I have no lack of family that I’ve married into.

I took this shot downtown earlier this week. One of the newer relatives is that smaller example in the middle. Her name is Paula Romina, and she’s very nice, not quite 2 years old.

Paula Romina thinks my child bride hung the moon.

And so do I. That’s not my child bride holding Paula Romina, however. That’s her mama, Margarita.

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This young woman is named Alma, which is  Spanish for soul. She is the widow of our nephew who died two years ago at 32 from cancer. We took the nephew to the state capital for chemo treatments almost weekly for a year, but it did not work out.

They are good people. Buena gente.* A picnic is scheduled this afternoon, and the main dish will be roasted chicken.

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* With a couple of exceptions.