New neighbors en route

When we built the Hacienda and moved in more than 17 years ago, we had neighbors directly to the right, a vacant lot across the street and a vacant lot (with a resident cow) to the left.

Now we have a sex motel to the left, the same neighbors to the right, and what appears to be a house under construction across the street. Exactly what’s going on there is a mystery. The property owner lives about two blocks away. We asked what he was building, and he told us he was just putting a wall around the lot.

But that is baloney, the sort of baloney the locals voice on a regular basis. It’s going to be a house or some other sort of edifice. We hope it’s not going to be a salon de fiesta, a rental space for parties, which are quite common in Mexico.

But that’s unlikely … he said optimistically.

***

This morning, I made my biweekly trip to the post office downtown to check my box. There was nothing. If what I read is correct, Trump is mailing me a check for over $2,000 to ease the financial blow the Kung Flu has dealt me. Of course, I have been dealt no financial blow whatsoever by the Kung Flu, or the China Flu as Trump likes to call it.

Love his sassy humor, don’t you?

I’ve given some thought to what I would do with that dough. First, I’d have to figure out some way to cash a dollar check here in the middle of Mexico. There are exchange houses, but I’ve not used one in ages, and I rather doubt they would react well to a check for over $2,000. My bank will not accept it. Too early to fret about that. It might never arrive.

But if it does, I’ve decided to give a good chunk to a niece and her husband who recently opened a small business in the nearby state capital. They sell cheeses and other dairy products, but cash is a problem for them. They bought a used display case, which immediately stopped working. Trump to the rescue!

That he dislikes us Mexicans is a bald-faced lie.

***

Let’s move on to weather, something that interests everyone. This rainy season has been the lightest I remember. Maybe it’s that “Climate Change” Greta is so hysterical about. If so, I’m a fan because the rain has been quite sufficient for the yard, but not so much that we’re wading in mud for months, which is usually the case.

Hooray for Climate Change!

We have happy plants.

June dawns beautifully

uno
Fresh coat of paint, a ceiling fan and two curtains.

AND WE’RE STILL working on the upstairs terraza’s renovation. Yesterday it was painted. The same color as before, but now it’s gussied up like a Saturday night hooker.

You can also see the two canvas curtains installed recently to keep out rain. Thursday night, not expecting rain, they were rolled up when a monster storm arrived, and blew in quite a bit of water. Not like in the olden days when we had a lake out there the entire five months of the rainy season, but it was a bother.

My child bride mopped it up early yesterday before the painter arrived.

We’re still grappling with how best to keep rain out. The curtains were my first idea, but due to high winds that sometimes accompany rain, I’m not convinced of their durability. We’re now thinking of awnings in those two other open areas.

The awnings would extend downward enough to keep most rain out, and they would be attached more firmly, and they would not obstruct the mountain view.

dos
Toward the sex motel.

Facing the other direction, toward the sex motel, you see an oddly shaped open space that favors neither curtains nor awnings. Soon that will be closed off with the same reddish-brown canvas of the curtains, but permanently fixed with a steel frame.

This first day of June, however, debuted beautifully. It rained last night but none of it blew into the upstairs terraza, which is how we like our rain. Courteous.

It’s cool and sunny, but it likely will rain later today. May it be a mild one.

Life goes on.

Life’s little things

downtown
I took this shot Saturday afternoon while sitting near the big plaza.

LIFE USUALLY consists of a series of little things, and mine’s no exception.

First, I had a gut infection a month back with symptoms similar to those of a year ago that inspired me to get a colonoscopy, which declared me clean of life-threatening stuff. This time, I visited a new gastro man who gave me pills that are returning me to normal. Getting old is not for sissies.

Second, I electronically filed my IRS Form 1040, and within 60 seconds of sending it down the electronic highway to Austin, I spotted a YUGE error. For the first time in my life, I have to send an amended 1040. Trouble is, you cannot e-file an amended 1040. You must stick it into snail mail.

Lord knows when they’ll get it.

Third, my child bride and her sister are going on their annual pilgrimage to the nearby town of Tzintzuntzan. This is a trek across highway, hill and dale on foot, and it lasts about three and a half hours. That takes place on Tuesday coming, so I’ll have much of the day off.

I’m not pilgrim material.

Fourth, it appears we may make it to March without another freeze. Normally, March means we’re home-free, freeze-wise, but not necessarily. One year we sailed freeze-free through January and February and then got walloped in March. There was snow on mountain peaks in the distance. The Goddess can be malevolently playful.

Do not turn your back on her.

snow
Early March a few years ago. Shot from the upstairs terraza.

Spring brings gobs of dust and crunchy, brown grass. It’s no fun, but it’s not freezing either. The dust is worse because it lasts weeks, months, till June when the rains begin. Spring is the pits in these parts.

Fifth, two weeks ago, workmen finished removing the red-clay roof that covered part of the upstairs terraza. It now sits bareheaded. The blacksmith promised the steel structure that will support the glass that will cover the entire terraza will be installed early next month.

New Image
Upstairs terraza awaits its new roof of glass and steel.

Sixth, of no interest to anyone but us, but I’ll mention it anyway — since it’s a little life thing — is that I’m canceling my longtime internet provider of 18 years. It’s a local business that was the only game in town when I moved to the mountaintop in 2000.

But things have changed drastically since then. Our television cable company, Megacable, also provides internet for just 100 pesos extra, about five bucks. We have that, and it’s fairly reliable. Having two providers is necessary here if you want to always have WiFi.

Is that true above the border?

The new No. 2 is Telmex’s Infinitum, which was installed earlier this week. It seems to be working fine. Now I have to break the cancellation news to my original provider, a business run by a fellow I know here. His service has always been quite good. My main objection is a butt-ugly antenna that now soars over the upstairs terraza. It will have to be removed anyway to install the new steel-and-glass roof.

Little life things. It would be boring without them.

Interminable municipal improvement

THE POWERS THAT be here on my mountaintop, the people who run the town, started major street and sidewalk renovations two or three years ago. I forget how long it’s been. It feels like forever.

It’s been nonstop since it started.

Previously, the cobblestone streets (some were just concrete) were in very bad condition. Same goes for some sidewalks. That’s all changing now.

The work seems interminable because it’s so labor-intensive. There are two elements involved. One is the surface of the streets and sidewalks. The other, just as important, is upgrading the underground drainage system.

Flooding was a serious problem during the daily downpours of the five-month rainy season. June to (or through) October, depending.

I’ve really enjoyed watching this work. Unlike above the border where everyone fears getting sued, so construction projects are walled off, nothing is walled off here. You can walk right up and watch, even making a nuisance of yourself.

I particularly enjoy the drainage aspects. What you see in these photos will be just manholes from the street surface, but look what’s below.

street2
Close up.

I never spotted anything like this above the Rio Bravo. Maybe they were doing it this way, but you couldn’t get close enough to see due to lawsuit fears.

If you fall into a hole here, it’s just your tough luck.

street
Not so close up.