Monday, December 15, 2008

Cleaning up the Courtyard

My sister Jan and I used to garden together in Victoria, so what do you think was the first thing we did when we got into the overgrown courtyard in Mazatlan? Right you are. We started whacking back the dead branches and cleaning up the overgrown vines. Well—I actually asked her to bring her secateurs and gardening gloves, because I knew that we would have to do that work.

Yesterday morning the three of us cleaned up the outside of our little casita and made it just beautiful. Harry hauled out the dried up banana and palm branches, Jan pruned and I swept and cleaned. Then we strung up twinkle lights in the arbor and fashioned a little shade for the open bulb from a piece of cardboard. Now we’ve made the place ours. It looks just lovely and we eat all our meals out there. There's a funny kind of concrete table top built over an electrical box that has plants and bricks and pots and sculptures. We've created a little altar there....not that we're making sacrifices or anything, but it's very pretty. Here's a view of the courtyard from behind the "altar"....

This is in stark contrast to the garden in the rest of the gardens at Fiesta Apartments, which are so overgrown it’s like the deepest jungle. Also because of standing water it’s full of biting bugs. We wouldn’t ever have to go over there except for one thing—that’s where the wireless internet signal can be picked up. So a couple of times a day one or the other of us hoofs it over to what we now call Bugville to keep up to date on goings on at home.

It’s fun having Jan here as we can introduce her to Mazatlan. Besides walking the beach and swimming in the waves, we’ve gone down to the historic old town area for a nice lunch and a visit to a museum and gone shopping at the MEGA store. This is the Mazatlan equivalent of Save-On-Foods (with the addition of an extensive liquor section). Most Gringos do their shopping there as it’s huge and has just about everything including stuff that Mexicans don’t normally buy. They even have a fellow speaking English who goes around and asks Gringos if he can help them find something. We met a retired couple from Alberta waiting for whole wheat bread to come out of the bakery’s oven. There is even a section where you can buy imported cheeses like Gouda or Feta. It’s an excellent place for people like us to shop—and the prices are pretty good too.

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