The work of winter

Sprightly and happy in the summer.

This is how the golden datura looks in the summertime, but when winter freezes descend, it gets knocked for a dreadful loop, turns brown and ugly, and that’s when I whack it back, the same every year. The datura does not care. It bides its time till spring.

Bare bones in the winter. Datura wood is very soft, easy to cut.

Between first breakfast at 8:30 and second breakfast at 11, I grabbed the proper tools, and attacked the drooping, brown datura, or what was left of it, and returned it to basics.

The last three nights have brought freezes, and here’s how the cold left the sole remaining stand of banana trees. We once had three. Now we have just one, one too many.

Isn’t this just delightful? Photographed this morning.

Lying in bed before dawn today, I got to thinking. Every year I am faced with this problem. At that moment, a lightbulb lit over my head. Do what I’ve done to most all the bothersome plants in the last few years. Whack it down! The decision was made.

Right there lying in bed.

And that’s what I’m going to do. I won’t whack it down personally, of course. Too old and shiftless. That’s why God made workmen. I will hire it out. I have guys. They will remove the banana trees and then cover the area with concrete and stone, which is the only way to guarantee the banana trees will not return.

The buggers have underground runners.

Visible in the bottom photo, between the bananas and the back of the Honda, against the orange wall, is a raised area of concrete and rock. That’s where one of the other stands of banana was removed a few years ago. Now a pot containing nopal sits there.

Long ago, when I planted the first stand of bananas, a Gringo friend here who hailed from Florida warned me against it. I ignored him, which I now regret. One should always pay attention to Floridians who warn against banana trees.

Surprisingly, when I told my child bride of the impending banana removal, she did not moan, a happy surprise because she almost always opposes plant removal. She opposes plant removal because she never works in the yard. The yard is my headache alone.

I don’t know why she’s on board with this plan. Maybe because the banana trees are so butt-ugly this morning. I wish the freezes would stop, but winter is young.

The tail of October

Here’s my little pumpkin for Autumn 2020.

Back in my newspaper days in Texas, I always marked October’s arrival with a small pumpkin that I sat atop my office computer terminal. In time, even a few of my coworkers started doing the same. Well, one at least, that I recall.

Now I don’t have the fat computer console we used in the 1990s, so I sit my little October fruit atop the Epson printer just a tad to the left of my H-P screen.

Autumn brings changes, and one happened this morning as I told Abel the Deadpan Yardman that mowing is done for this year. The rain has ended, and some yellow spots are appearing in the grass. In time, the whole lawn will be brown, dead and crunchy.

I know Abel wasn’t happy with the news since it’s a good little chunk of change for less than two hours of relatively easy toil once a week. No matter. It had to be done.

He still has his day job, tooting a trumpet.

Speaking of toil, I enjoy witnessing the ongoing house construction across the street. You may recall that one guy alone is doing the work. Well, mostly. His wife shows up to tote some stuff for him, and a couple of times a month, a younger fellow chips in, but it’s primarily a one-man operation.

He was working this morning, but he took off for a spell. Noon shot.

A sharp eye will notice that he’s building his own wall to the left directly abutting the property wall of his neighbor, as he should. It would be cheaper and faster to just utilize the neighbor’s property wall. When the sex motel was built next to our house, the owner should have done the same, but he opted to take advantage of our property wall.

Our town is one of Mexico’s primary Day of the Dead destinations for tourists. Due to the Kung Flu, festivities were cancelled a month or two ago. Then, due to complaints from business owners because it’s a YUGE income generator, it was back on again. And now it’s off again.

The graveyards will be closed to tourists and, if I understand correctly, to the locals also. Sad situation, both spiritually and financially.

We’ve been told to build our altars in our homes. We usually do that anyway. Well, my child bride does while I sit, watch and offer moral support from the sofa.

It’s a lovely day here on the mountaintop. The sky is blue. The air is cool and breezy, and we’ll be dining this afternoon on ravioli from Costco. Yum!

Saturday morning in the barrio

Abel at work today.

Saturdays are pretty routine as are the other six days of the week, but Saturday morning is when Abel the Deadpan Yardman comes calling with his weedeater. I provide the mower and gasoline for both machines.

Why do I call him deadpan? Well, he can smile. I have seen it, but not often. He’s been cutting the grass and doing the occasional other yard chore for years, ever since I got too shiftless to do it. He has never said a word to me beyond responding to a question.

Nary a peep.

As mentioned some weeks back, he’s more a musician than a yardman, specifically a trumpter with a local noise band.


I did some yardwork before he arrived at 10. I cleared out a small area that was filled with both sweet alyssum and weeds. The latter was getting the better of the former, and they could not be separated, so out they went, the whole little zone.

Next I watered the potted plants on the downstairs terraza before resting on a rocking chair with a glass of green juice and collagen that my child bride whipped up.

The sky is overcast, and it’s cool. says my new Kindle and its cover will arrive today. I hope so. It left San Miguel de Allende a bit after 6 a.m. I don’t know why it was in that Gringo-infested burg since it started its journey my way from Mexico City.

Climbing rose crept into the datura bush.

And that reminds me. There’s a big encampment of people in Mexico City’s Zocalo, citizens who want our megalomaniac president to resign. I hope they are successful. Someone in the opposition PAN party has introduced legislation, or something, to have the president’s mental faculties examined. Makes sense to me. He’s a whack job.

The encampment in Mexico City. Power to the people!

We’ll be having chicken, beans and rice for lunch today. I hope the Kindle arrives soon because I want to go downtown this afternoon and put my feet up for a spell.

I deserve that. I’m verily pooped.