Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the new 49'ers

Today is our 49th wedding anniversary.  We'll celebrate with a bottle of Prosecco and some tasty left-overs.  I mean, after 49 years, what would you expect? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

oh happy day!

First, the 49'ers won and are off to the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.

Second, the inauguration was a splendid spectacle.  I went down to dear Charlotte's house promptly at 10:30, had a ring-side seat, heard the speeches, watched the Chief swear in the President, heard more speeches, and came home happy with the results.  A more upbeat message than four years ago when the nation was staggering under the reality of the economic mess.  Probably not up to Lincoln's second inaugural, but similar to FDR's second.  I wish him all the best.

Then home to check on the progress of Mr. C's malady.  Yep, he's got a very nasty cold and had, thankfully, moved downstairs to sleep so he can cough and sniffle the night away and I will be undisturbed.

The wall is almost done.  I think Pedro, the carpenter, will be here tomorrow to talk about the gate.  I'm still unsure of exactly what I want so I'm going to rely on his expertise about wood, framing, locks, etc.

Great domino game this afternoon in Blanche's upstairs mirador.  Just enough room for two tables of three players.

All around good day.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feliz Cumpleaños, Luly

Last evening's birthday party was very lively, with lots of folks happy to celebrate, good music, excellent posole washed down with cold Tecate. We gathered around the pool in Luly's great back garden party space. Not only was it a birthday party, it was also our opportunity to meet Luly's gentleman caller, Howard, who is visiting from California.    There have been many, many wonderful parties at Luly's over the years, but this may have been the last hurrah.  She is joining Howard in Coronade in March.  I will miss her but have great memories of good times.  Mr. C bowed out, deciding that his cold was not a good thing to give as a birthday gift. The weather was not too hot and the mosquitoes went elsewhere, fortunately.

 While we are basking in balmy weather, this is from daughter Alex in Walla Walla.

She'll be here to thaw out on February 15th for her annual visit. We'll do the usual ~ Dago's, tianguis, perhaps a run up to Colima, a sroll or two on the malecón, and a trip into Manzanillo for a 2-night stay. Mr. C and I will go to immigration to renew our resident visas while Alex lolls by the pool. Then we'll go to a really great restaurant for her birthday celebration dinner.

Comida this afternoon at Fernando's puesto and again, I think Mr. C will bow out.  Fernando said he'd bring a plato of grilled fish and veggies to him about 2 o'clock.  I'll go down to the beach to have lunch with some visitors from Quebec whom I've know for many years.  It all adds up to a nice, quiet Sunday.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

the new wall

I am tempted to go w-a-y back to catch up on the past  few silent, internet-less weeks, but it's all been basically boring, or at least not worth of this space.  I was sick for four of the last six weeks so allI got done was some fine reading, some quality napping, and not much else.

So instead of ancient history, while I am listening to Donizetti's Maria Stuarda from the Met, I'll tell you about the new wall that is now about 2/3 finished.  When we got down in December Fernando suggested that we put up a wall in the front of our lot to keep the riff-raff out, including stray dogs.  He came up with a design he liked, an estimate for the materials and the labor, and last Monday he showed up at 8 o'clock with his mozos in tow.

The lot from the street.  Our house is on the right.

First they had to dig up some beautiful aloe and agave plants (we'll replant when they're finished) and chop down a tree that was right on the corner of the lot.  Next, they dug a trench about 1 1/2 meters deep and filled it with big rocks.  Thus, the foundation.

Next came the filling of the trench with cement and the placing of the rebar to act as the support for both the wall and the pillars to support the gate.

Then the wall was built with cement blocks.

It was at this point that Fernando took a break to supervice the repair on the very top of the palapa up on the 3rd floor. After 12 years the palm fronts across the very top beam were beginning to wear. During any sort of wind storm pieces were pulling loose. A few years ago he devised a solution by using some corregated plastic that was moulded to the shape of the roof and weighted down with bricks strung together with wire. It worked fine for awhile but, like anything here made of metal, the wire corroded and, a few weeks ago the bricks started breaking lose and hurtling down into the front patio. So he has devised a new solution. He sent some young, agile boy up to the top to remove all the bricks, then bolted the cap onto the wooden frame. We'll see how that works.

Now back to the wall.  While Fernando was crawling around upstairs, the builders kept at it.   The brick wall got cemented (it will be plastered white before being painted), and readied the tubes for cementing into place.  This is PVC piping that is centered over a piece of rebar and filled with cement.  The entry was will have a little "awning" that will be covered in tile.

It's now 3 PM and the workers have gone for the weekend but will be back on Monday morning to finish up their part of the fence.  The carpenter will come next week to talk about gate styles ~ solid, slatted, what kind of wood, swing in or swing out, lock or chain, handle or not ~ so I have some research to do tomorrow.  I will go around town looking at gate styles to see if I can hit on just the perfect look.  There are only about four or five different styles; shouldn't take me long.

Meanwhile, the electrician/plumber came this morning, fixed three broken fixtures, a bad leak in the guest bathroom, and will return next Saturday to replace a faucet in our bathroom and try to ream out our shower drain.  I think it's just gotten full of sand.  Victor has a full-time job working for the water agency in Manzanillo and does free-lance work on Saturdays.  So if you can wait, he's very much worth it.  Knows exactly what he's doing.  His house call and work set us back 200 pesos, $16.00.  Thanks, Victor!

The opera has just finished.  It was gorgeous, with Joyce diDonato as Mary.  Despite best hopes,  Mary goes to the gallows and Elizabeth wins.  Again.   Next week, Puccini's La Rondine set in Paris and on the French Riviers. I've only heard this once and am looking forward to it. Puccini is always a gift.

Birthday party this evening for Luly and to meet her Gentleman Caller.  More on that tomorrow.  Meanwhile, here's a beautiful sunset for your weekend pleasure.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Back on the internet.  Back with a telephone.  Back to health.

After patiently awaiting attention from Telmex, six weeks after putting in our order we finally got our internet hook-up yesterday.  And after (not so) patiently awaiting repairs, we got our phone reconnected.  It's good to be back!  My cold, in its second iteration, was every bit as bad as the first, but it has faded and is almost gone, except for a delicate little cough every now and then.  But I think Mr. C is about to succumb, although he's taking massive doses of Vitamin C and swilling cough suppressant.

Much has happened around here during the last couple of weeks.  But right now we are heading off to Tecoman to buy two new door handle sets and a new faucet for our bathroom.  I'll post again, with pictures of, among other things, the new wall Fernando is building on our adjacent lot.  Quite spiffy, I think.

Here's a little snap of Mr. C's gardening efforts.  I think they are tiny tomato plants.  We'll see.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

latest report

We have no phone.

Our internet is so F'd up we may never get it straightened out.

I have another terrible cold.

Otherwise, all well.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

the view from Dago's

Dinner on the beach last night.  Jolly crowd.  Neighbor Nelson is in town which always makes for interesting conversation around the table.  Mrs. Neighbor will be here the end of the month.  Even more interesting conversation.

Chores in Tecoman this morning; first the bacon and cheese shop, then the supermercado for other essentials.  No opera today; uses up too many megs on our little stick.  We're trying to limit ourselves and make 3 G's last a month.  You'd be surprised how much you use in a day or two.

Warm and clear again today, just as it should be.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

après la deluge

The winds finally subsided about 10 PM last night.  This was followed by more than two hours of heavy rain.  Mr. C got up to be sure we weren't getting flooded; the rain comes in under the frames of the sliders.  With all towels in place, we went back to sleep, hoping for the best.  And this is the scene that greeted us this morning; clear, bright, cloudless.  Beautiful blue skies, no wind.  Perfect mosquito breeding weather!  And breed they will.  The little biters should show up in only a few days, ravenous and relentless.   Asi es la vida a la playa.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

the big wind

I want to get this posted before we lose our electricity!  We are having BIG winds tonight.

Check out the palms across the street.  It's been windy since about 1 o'clock.  Fortunately I got right at the laundry issue this morning and got everything done, hung out, dried and folded before it got really cold.  We are also expecting some rain tonight.  Quite a way to start the new year!