Hola. Days are getting shorter here already and the sun has taken a swift dip to the south bringing small shadows to areas of the casa where the sun has beaten now for months. Days are almost unbearably hot this past week as the humidity rises and we are spending longer hours in the bedroom with air conditioning and piles of unread books and magazines.
Often we hear the 'chute, chute' and short whistle of the mama quail outside our window. She paces the top of the ladrillo wall and looks cautiously down the other side and into the field. Over the spinning of the ceiling fan and the soft whir of the mini split, we hear little 'chute, chute's' and peeps from the other side of the wall, as the babies follow on the ground in the field. Often she hides herself in the lacy green branches of the fuego tree and calls to them. We wonder what she must be teaching them.
The rains continue to make gardening a chore and I tend to only mow what is in the shade in the morning and then, yet another section later in the day when it is shaded. The result is a very lop sided looking lawn with huge sections of closely mowed grass next to patches of weed that are two feet tall because there is never shade there. I spend a great deal of time visualizing how the lawn will look when it is covered with flagstone.
It is too hot for anything to bloom but the pink vine. It covers the stable and thrives in the heat. The ground below it is dusted with tiny pink petals.
I do most of my cooking early in the morning, creating all kinds of interesting meals that we will then eat cold later in the evening after it has cooled off. We will sit under the portal, watching the lightning in the east and eat cold chayotes, a Mexican squash, that I have baked with garlic and butter. Sometimes a little smoked chuleta, pork, will get sprinkled on top with onion and black olives and capers. If it is too hot outside, we might watch a soccer match inside on the computer and feast on sliced cold chicken dipped in sour cream mixed with a little sugar and hot sauce. Ancho chili marinated cold meats with sharp cheeses. Barbequed oysters and buttered toast. Jicama and beet salads. I am becoming an expert at preparing food that will be eaten cold.
Once in awhile Senor will cook at the asador. This always seems to happen when rain is not expected but comes anyway. A few nights ago, I thought the scene looked suspicious and worthy of being investigated. I saw him fanning the dying coals................that is my new hair dryer, i said, what are you doing.............. He tried to explain that there is so much humidity in the air he can't get the flames going. I unplugged the dryer, took it from him and put it back inside in a new hiding place. I have not even used it yet. I have an old hair dryer. I gave him that one to put in his asador cooking collection.
The vigas continue to go up outside the West Wing, on both sides of the big beam. Senor claims that the roof will be up there by October.
The days are so hot, I cannot imagine he will be able to continue working at this pace to have eight feet of roof on by then. I am not pushing it. They start at seven. Senor works for an hour and takes a break, puts in more time, another short break. Humberto starts and does not stop. Senor says Humberto is used to the heat, used to working in it. I watch Humberto's water pitcher and fill it at least twice every morning.
I am watching the grass grow in the driveway. One day soon I will get out the weed eater and take care of it. I am too busy cooking to do it this week.
These grasshoppers are all over the yard. This is one of the smaller ones. If I could keep the grass down I think there would be less of them. There are crickets all over the place. They love the grass. Walking sticks are on the screen doors. Scorpions and tarantulas on the portal highway. Eerie iridescent green frogs lumber through the rain when it falls, their slow long legs shovel their bodies along. Bats fly low, under the portal, scooping up mosquitoes and fireflies light up like Christmas lights in the plumerias.
There is a snake in here. I like to think it spends more time at Iban's new old Jesus's casa than in our yard. There are caterpillars on the yellow belled tecoma trees, a dirty white and gray cat under the fig tree in the mornings watching the cardinals peck at the seed on the asador.I want to go out and mow this now. It is going into the shade and even though it is hot out, I think I could get most of it. I will think it over.
Last night we went to a party, and after an hour or so, the wind suddenly picked up and the thunder hit and the lightning struck and we scrambled home to find the power was out. We are ill prepared for power outages here. We have no batteries, no lanterns, few candles. We sat in the dark, under the portal and watched the storm. I left my lawn mowing sneakers out in the storm. They are still wet, too much humidity in the air for them to dry. I suppose I could go and get the new old hair dryer I gave Senor and try and dry them out. But there is that new book I picked up at the youth hostel the other day. I need to add all this new fired glass to my online Etsy shop. I talavera'd some wooden napkin ring holders and they need one clear coat of varnish. I still have my on going embroidery projects. I can think of a lot of reasons reason to let the grass have its way today. It will still be there tomorrow.