Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Nine reasons why the cold wave that grips San Miguel doesn't bother me that much

To hear folks in San Miguel groan and kvetch about the cold snap during the past several days you'd think we were at the dawn of a new Ice Age.

Our cleaning lady showed up Monday seemingly mummified under numerous layers one of which might have been a blanket.

The follicly challenged visiting minister at our church last Sunday wrapped his head with a scarf and shivered while waiting for the service to begin. He and his wife live in Tacoma but San Miguel's cold seemed to get to them.

I'll have none of that. As a matter of fact, I'm rather enjoying the coldish snap we've been having which has brought overnight temperatures down to only 27 degrees F.  For Canadians that's probably downright balmy.

Reason #1: Colder temperatures make our morning walks, about two and a half miles, brisker and a better exercise. So brisk was our walk yesterday that even our dogs were dragging, begging to go home already.

Reason #2: We get the chance to have lunch on our tiny table in the front patio, which we don't use during the summer because it's too hot out there.

Buen provecho.
Reason #3:  We get to drive forty five minutes with our friend Ron to the town of Adjuntas del Río, where the main industry is making mesquite furniture, and where they'll sell you a pickup-full of scrap mesquite for firewood for about $20 dollars.

Wintertime entertainment for $20 dollars. 
For any environmental hypochondriacs out there who might be wondering if the wood was harvested responsibly, using ecologically sustainable or renewable methods, I can only say,  "In Mexico? Yeah. Sure."

After picking up the wood the three of us went on for lunch to Dolores Hidalgo to fill up on pork carnitas wrapped in corn tortillas and condimented with chopped onions, parsley and a hot sauce, a  gastronomic pile-up the Mexican Dietetic Association considers the epitome of well balanced meal, especially if you wash it down with a beer or two.

Reason #4: At the end of the day we don't have to go out looking for our cat Fifo. With this cold weather Fifo is finished with his rounds and back at the kitchen door by noon.

When it gets cold, it's better inside.
Reason #5: We get to light up our fireplace, which on a cold winter night becomes the centerpiece of our home, particularly during Christmas.

That's when Stew decorates the mantle with lights wrapped around a cardboard crèche his parents bought at a Woolworth's in Cedar Rapids, Iowa about sixty years ago, and which he has carried around since, along with three cement gnomes which are planted in our front patio.

Christmas and a wood fire. 
Some of the plaster figures in the crèche still have prices, ranging from five to ten cents. The population of the crèche increases yearly and now includes some sheep made of sugar (from Mexico's Day of the Dead) and an outsize Christmas ornament in the shape of a beagle.

Reason #6: The cold weather makes us grateful for all the time we spent designing and building a "green" house that includes, among other features, adobe insulation, skylights and large south-facing windows that let in the sun to help warm the interior.

Our large east-facing window in the bedroom awakens us with views of the sunrise over the mountains and reminds us that no matter how cold it gets here, at least we have nearly constant sun as opposed to the wintry penumbra that makes people up north seriously consider jumping out a fifth-story window in February.

Reason #7: We bring some of our succulents and cacti inside where we get to admire anew their amazingly weird beauty.

Vacationing succulents. 
Reason #8: The cold snap might finish off the damn grasshoppers before they eat up everything in the yard.

Here's hoping for the end of the grasshoppers
which seem to be getting bigger. 
Reason #9: The best reason came this morning when we read that Roy Moore, devoted Christian and child molester, had been defeated in Alabama. That gave the Sleazeball-in-Chief  and his former sidekick and freelance saboteur Stephen K. Bannon, a richly deserved poke in the eye.

Merry Christmas, Roy. 
That news made me feel warm all over, no matter how cold it is outside.

I'm really psyched to celebrate Christmas now.

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14 comments:

  1. You made me smile! And I had to look up four words!

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    1. Actually one of my five-dollar words was wrong. It should have been "follicly challenged" instead of "follicularly". That's what happens when you try to show off.

      thanks for your comment.

      Al

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  2. Nice write-up about your take on the cold snap. Perhaps you enjoy it more than some due to that fireplace that projects heat outward. Or the dead grasshoppers.

    Not surprisingly, I was quite disappointed that Roy Moore was defeated. The sex charges were almost certainly Trumped up as has become SOP from Democrats. Moore is a bit over the top, I admit, even a little wacky, but he would have voted correctly in D.C., which is more than we can say for the flaming leftist who won. How do I know he's a flaming leftist? A friend in Alabama whom I trust told me.

    Oh, well. We still have the Donald in the White House, a breath of fresh air.

    A premature Feliz Navidad to you and yours.

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    1. Felipe: Unless you're dealing in theosophy, science fiction or alchemy, facts and truth are crucial in any human endeavor, particularly democratic government.

      Since Trump arrived in Washington, truth has taken a beating. The guy lies so much it's downright pathological. I think the phenomenon is called "mythomania." Then he waves off whatever news or facts he doesn't like or contradicts his fantasies. You seem to fall into the same trap by dismissing the allegations about Moore as "Trumped up" (pun intended?). Either way that's not the way to run a railroad much less the government.

      Treat yourself to an analysis of Trump's vs. Obama's lies in today's NYT (https://tinyurl.com/ycjhf63v) It's interesting and don't tell me it's all made-up stuff by the liberal media.

      And to assert that Moore may be a scumbag but he would vote "correctly" in the Senate is really lowering the bar right down to the ground. Regardless of political views we deserve better in Congress.

      al

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    2. I read that NYT "Lie Analysis," and it struck me as an amazingly partisan hack job and not really to be believed. I think the entire NYT suffers from Trump derangement syndrome. And if you disagree, go back and read how many of Trump's so-called lies are dismissed with "unsupported." An unsupported statement may be a lie, but simply being unsupported doesn't support that allegation. Had they held Obama or Schumer or Pelosi to the same standard as they held Trump, they'd have an equally long list.

      The reason that people without TDS (Trump derangement syndrome) aren't worried about Trump's lies is that all politicians lie, and this year we've learned that many a so-called respectable media organization lies too.

      Don't get me wrong. Lies are bad. But to think that Trump is somehow multiples worse on this than Obama is laughable.

      Buy the way, I was delighted that Moore lost. I disliked him before the allegations about his pedophilia were revealed.

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    3. Kim: Your take on truth, Trump and politics requires two types of pretense, neither one very palatable.

      Either your pretend that Trump is not a lying, unprincipled dirtbag, and that all reports to the contrary are just "fake" including whatever is published by "entire NYT".

      Or you pretend that his lying and morally unmoored behavior is just par for the course among all politicians.

      The first pretense requires sticking your head up your ass and ignoring reality. The second would have you give up on democratic, fact-based governing.

      al

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    4. The second is more my viewpoint. And though I haven't entirely given up on democratic, fact-based governing, I have come to the conclusion that it's a lot rarer than generally supposed. Is that something wrong with me, or something wrong with the system?

      I prefer to believe the latter, but you may believe the former. By the way, before you reach your final conclusion, look at the work that the Pew Foundation has done on the discrepancy between public policy and the majority views as to what policy should be (as revealed by polling). You'll find a wide gap between the policies that the vast majorities of Americans support and the policies that are actually in force. This type of methodology suggests that the policies that the top 1% want are what we have. You could also watch the Noam Chomsky interview on Democracy Now that was done within the last year.

      So yes, lying and morally unmoored behavior are the norm in politics. Personally, I consider the denial of that to be a problem in and of itself, but I'm open to other, well-argued viewpoints.

      But you're still free to consider me an unhinged lunatic.

      Cheers,

      Kim

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    5. Kim, I hardly consider you an unhinged lunatic and I tend to concur with your pessimism about fact-based governing by either political party.

      From what I read, I believe that the growing income inequality, which the new tax cuts hardly address, is a time bomb. The appeal of Trump, and his cabinet of billionaires, to the very people who are getting screwed is but one sign of the triumph of irrational politics. It doesn't bode well.

      I have a book by Chomsky on my Kindle reading list, but I have to finish first another about New Delhi which is interesting but kind of a slog. Delhi came after Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which not being born in the U.S., I had never read.

      Merry Christmas to you and may you find the Mexican of your dreams in 2018.

      al

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  3. For us in Mexico it just makes it more like Christmas. Even Mexicans here in the north feel the same saying with the dusting of snow, cold weather, and cloudiness, it´s beginning to look like Christmas!

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    1. One evening, six or seven years ago, we went outside to find fat snowflakes twirling down from the sky. We were really excited. The next day the patio furniture was covered with about two mm. of snow and so were the mountains, giving the landscape a totally new look.

      I wouldn't mind a repeat of that.

      al

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  4. Your reason #6 resonates with me. After 17 years of dark, short days in the Pacific Northwest, today we’ll enjoy 11 hours of daylight in Mexico while our friends in Nanaimo BC will have just 7. The old saw that you can’t change the weather ignores your opportunity to change where & how you experience weather. Enjoy!

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    1. I remember that in Chicago during the winter it wasn't so much the cold temperatures or the wind, but seemingly perpetual darkness. You'd go to work and return home in the dark. That gets really depressing. In our visit to Iceland, the folks there told us that at Christmas they only get four or five hours of light. That would drive me back to drinking I think.

      al

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  5. "chopped onions, parsley and a hot sauce"
    Not cilantro?

    Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas.


    Saludos,
    Don Cuevas

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    1. OMG! Yes you're right. Cilantro, not parsley. That shows you how much I know about cooking or herbs. Thank you for pointing that out.

      al

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