Tag Archives: living in rural Mexico

A Horse of Many Colors

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Cookie waited until we had left for the U.S. last month to have her anxiously awaited baby. My husband was over the moon that it was a boy and promptly named him Red, although I’m not sure the name quite fits him. He’s a mahogany color if anything, with yellow socks and a black muzzle with what looks like mascara rings around his eyes. Horsey people say that the color the hairs around the mouth are will determine what the final coat color the horse will be. So I guess we’ll just wait and see with little Red.

He’s friendly and smart and thinks he’s a dog. This angered Puppy so much that he ran away for a few days right after Red arrived. Puppy wasn’t interested in yet another new friend. He got over it and came back though he has made his new hideyhole where the food is kept because Red can’t get in there. 

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Cookie is an excellent mama, if maybe a little too protective of her son. One day the little Chivita (one of the triplets) managed to get into the stall with Cookie and Red, only mama wasn’t having any of that. She bit Chivita’s tail clean off. Needless to say, Chivita isn’t as curious about the new arrival as she was before. Her tail healed up just fine as well.

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About a week after our return, we had our one and only baby goat of the year. I think she was premature because she was just so small and wasn’t up and around as soon as most of our little ones. She’s doing fine now though, so it’s all good. We haven’t come up with a name though. Suggestions?

Some of our goats are in heat now and our hunka hunka burning love macho goat can’t seem to handle all the hormones in the air. He’s become aggressive. He’s butted the door until it has come off its hinges. He’s butted the wall between the goats and Lady until it fell over. If this keeps up too much longer, it might be time to trade for a new macho.

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Uncategorized

Little by little…

The rainy season has kept our travels to a minimum lately. However, we have been doing this and that to the house.

Gate after

The improved gate to prevent the invasion of zombies (or peering neighbors) got painted. We used paint we already had, so it didn’t cost too much. Enough paint remained that we painted the front window and the garage door. They needed another coat of paint since it’s now been over 10 years since they were installed.

Then, my husband made a patio in the area between the animals and our house. During the rainy season, this area got quite muddy, so it’s a nice improvement. The bricks are not cemented down, so if we decided to change the purpose of the area, it won’t be a major hassle. Puppy loves it!

The rain did a number on one or two of my framed puzzles I had hanging on the wall. The water seeped through the bricks and molded them up. Fortunately, only one was unsalvagable. This issue necessitated a thin layer of cement being spread over the outside wall expanse. It was no more than a half of day’s work for my husband and son and has greatly improved the impermeability of the wall.

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And finally, we installed two more solar panels, bringing the total to 3, to increase the overall power production. We still need to get some more batteries, but that will have to wait until the next paycheck.

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Filed under Construction

Unbelievable Residents

So things are picking up in La Yacata. I’d like to say that this is a good thing—but it’s not.

The other day a guy came to find out exactly where a lot was that he had bought. I told him that the certificate he had was not the current valid one and that he should get the new one (which is blue instead of cream) from the previous owner. He went back to the previous owner who said that he didn’t have it. When he came back to report,  I showed him a receipt for the new certificate in the papers that he had been given. I then realized that he couldn’t read. So I marked the receipt with an orange spot and told him he needed to go back to the previous owner, show him the receipt and get the new certificate. If the previous owner still refused, then he needed to get his money back because the previous owner had plans to resell the lot to someone else, making double the profit and leaving a mess for the new owners.  What do you know? The previous owner “found” the blue certificate. Now that all that was in order, the new owner decided that he wasn’t going to register the lot in his name because, you know, there’s a charge of a $100 pesos and all. And I’d saved him way more than that. Whatever.

The next big adventure with certificates began with the neighbors down below. The lady met me on my walk one morning and asked about getting a certificate changed because her sister had bought a house in La Yacata. Curious, I asked which house. Why, Chuchi’s house, of course. Now, Chuchi doesn’t have any houses in La Yacata. When I said that, she said the house on the corner. Oh–well, that house doesn’t belong to Chuchi but to the original owner. She showed me a certificate Chuchi had made. It was white (which means it’s the second round of certificates that Chuchi gave out) dated 2010, when Chuchi wasn’t the president of the association, made out to Chuchi, signed by Chuchi, and property rights ceded to the lady’s sister by Chuchi. I laughed and said this wasn’t a valid certificate. She said Chuchi said it was. I told her I’d take it to Super Prez, but that I really doubted he would legitimize it. I mentioned that if Chuchi were the owner he should have a contract from the original owner saying so, or receipts of payments. She said Chuchi didn’t pay for the lot but received it as payment for his services as “encargado” person in charge. Again, I said that he should have something from the original owner saying that.

Chuchi’s house, built with the ill-gotten gains filched from the community and on a lot he has no claim to.

A week or two later, I stopped by Super Prez’s office and saw another certificate made by Chuchi, signed by Chuchi and ceded by Chuchi, only this one was cream (meaning it was from the first batch of certificates) and had a date of 1998. Since the lady down the road hadn’t mentioned this to me, I supposed she dropped it off at the office herself as “proof” that Chuchi was the owner. While I was there, Super Prez called his secretary and I talked to him on the phone. He said he didn’t have any intention of validating that certificate because the property in question still belonged to his dad, furthermore, that lot was our backup plan to pay the lawyer with. We still owe most of the balance on the court case occasioned by Chuchi. Then he said that the person who Chuchi ceded the certificate to was his own wife. Well, since the lady down the road is his sister-in-law, that would make sense even though she presented the situation to me as if it were a different sister living in the US, not the one married to Chuchi.

Now the lady down the road isn’t speaking to me as if any of this is my fault. And this after I explained she needed a power inverter to use the car battery and then sent her along to the guy who sold us the solar setup to get her own. No good deed goes unpunished I suppose.

The chicken feather guy’s compound. Chickens, pigs, horses and cows!

Finally, there’s the chicken feather guy who you know is the bane of my existence. He evolved from chickens and pigs to cows and horses (sold for meat). Only as cows and horses eat more, he’s decided that he’d let them out all night to forage instead of buying more feed. Whatever crops were still alive despite the heat wave have now been devoured. Of course, the chicken feather guy puts his cows and horses back in his compound before anyone is up and around in La Yacata. So, naturally, it’s our new horse Lady that is the culprit even though she’s never untied or unsupervised.  

Then the other night I’m pretty sure the chicken feather guy was auditioning for a role on the Walking Dead because he certainly tried to recreate that scene where Neegan rolled a car into the compound with the radio blaring to attract zombies and Maggie had to run it over with a tractor. Too bad I don’t have a tractor.

He must have gone up and down our road 10 times with his radio at full volume playing that horrible banda music. Each time he passed our house, the automatic sensor light went on and he slowed down and backed up so that it went on again. I think he thought we were turning on our light to express our displeasure or something. Then he’d go past AGAIN and sit in his car, music blaring, in front of the neighbor’s for a bit, then circle around the block for more fun.

I asked my husband if he’d ticked the chicken feather guy off or something. He said that he didn’t think so since he hadn’t spoken to him in over a year. So the best guess is that someone, probably the horse guy, said that we had said something about him to somebody and this was his revenge.

I can’t wait to see what lies in store for us in La Yacata next!

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Filed under La Yacata Revolution

Lady’s Arrival

My husband got it in his head that he wasn’t complete without a horse. Our last horse, Buttercup, had been traded for some of the sheep we currently have. Instead of making this purchase on his own, like he did with Alto, he decided to talk to my son and me about this possibility. The next day, he drove me to Jacales to see the horse he was thinking of buying. She was lovely but too thin for her height, which was considerable. The owner couldn’t say exactly how old she was, but she still had her baby beard, so we are estimating that she is under a year old.IMG_20180522_105910.jpgWe took Zombie girl and a new sheep my husband had traded one of the black boy twins for to the market in Purandaro to sell. We also took Mary but she didn’t weigh enough for her to be worth selling, so we brought her home again.IMG_20180523_093108.jpgMy husband asked two different guys with trucks that have high rails how much they would charge to go and get this horse in Jacales. One said $300 and the other said $400. Both were overpriced for the distance. Our own truck, which would get there and back on $200 pesos of gas, doesn’t have high sides and there was a risk the horse might jump out on the way and get injured.

My husband decided to investigate a road that runs from La Ordena to El Moral as a possible way to bring the horse to our house without being on such a large road since he was considering bringing it home with my son leading her on the motorcycle.

I’m always up for an adventure, so we were off to La Ordena. We asked an elderly lady with her umbrella if we were on the right road. Her eyebrows went sky-high.  Yes, this was the road, but she wouldn’t say if it were passable even by moto.  On we went. Just as we came to a fork in the road, we encountered a small herd of bulls. We pulled to the left crossroad and got out of their way. We had red shirts on and all. Well, my husband had on a red shirt, mine was sorta purple but I’m not sure what sort of color spectrum bulls have and wasn’t taking any chances.IMG_20180524_124722.jpgAfter they passed, we headed down this road that although rough, was still drivable until suddenly it wasn’t. Going just a little further was a mistake and we headed back the way we came in the blistering heat and no floppy hat for me. Halfway back, we ran into another cattle herd, a bit larger this time. My husband turned the moto around and we backtracked until we found some bushes we could hide in. You may laugh, but my husband has a healthy fear of bulls, having grown up in rural areas. While he felt confident that if he were charged, he could climb a mesquite tree, he wasn’t so sure about my mesquite climbing abilities.IMG_20180524_130414.jpgWe hid there for about 10 minutes until we were sure the coast was clear. My husband decided that he would not be bringing his new horse this way after all.

While we were waiting for my check to be deposited since the sheep sale was short of the $8000 asking price, I asked my husband what name he thought he’d give her. We’ve had Black Beauty, Spirit, Shadow, Joey, Alto and Buttercup to date. I suggested Lady. His response was “Black Lady, like Michone” (from the Walking Dead.) Umm, no. That’s not what I had in mind at ALL! I offered a few other suggestions, but Black Lady stuck.

Early Friday morning, he headed to get the guia (permit) to move the horse. Every year, my husband, who has a registered brand, adds an imaginary horse to his patente (registration). This new horse could, therefore, be registered as one of those horses without a problem since she came without papers or brand.

In the end, he decided to pay someone with a properly railed truck to bring Lady home. He cleared out Joey’s old stall and escorted his new pride and joy in. She seems to really like it with us but gets nervy when we out of sight while she is tied outside.IMG_20180527_081452.jpg Since the rainy season is fast approaching, we hope she’ll be able to fill out some on all the lush greenery found in La Yacata for those few months. I’m not sure exactly how my husband plans on feeding her in the dry season, so we’ll see how it goes. For now, he picks up an armful of freshly cut alfalfa every two days from a truck that cruises around town for $120 pesos per week.  He also gets a full back of corn leaves in exchange for a costal (feed bag) and 5 pesos from the guy who sells elotes (corn on the cob) from the back of his truck in town. Then we still have some dried alfalfa bales and a few dried corn bales which should keep Lady and the sheep happy until the heavens open up.IMG_20180523_153455.jpg

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Filed under Animal Husbandry