Tuesday, January 13, 2015

all in one day

How much action can one expect in a day?  Well, we had our share today.  Here's the story.

The morning started easily enough.  First some nice coffee to wash down the usual dry, relatively tasteless pan integral muffins I bought at yesterday's market.  Then some bustling about getting the house tidied up for Chuy's 10 o'clock arrival to clean.  I thought I'd take a shower first, get it out of the way, etc.

WHAT?? No water?  But we've been pumping water from the cistern into the tinaco every other day.  Mr. C checks; no water in the tinaco.  Que paso?  So call Chuy and tell her that she doesn't have to come this morning because there's no water.  Well, she'll send Fernando over immediately.  He arrives, checks things out, thinks it's the pump switches that control water from the well and the cistern.  There is indeed a loose wire but even when fixed the pumps don't work  This is definitely a job for Elias!  Fernando goes off to hunt him down.   After conferring with him in an animated conversation, one with a lot of hand waving and head scratching, Fernando heads off to Armeria to buy new parts for the switches.

Next to arrive is Chuy to clean anyway.

Then Jaime arrives to give us the estimate on the painting job.  He and I discuss how much paint to buy ~ A LOT~ and what color goes where.  I will paint numbers on the walls to let him know if it's #1 (the darkest), #2 (the medium) or #3 (the lightest).  Yes, a paint by numbers operation.  He gives me the estimate (I am stunned by how reasonable it is to paint a 3 story house and redo the living room walls and paint it and the kitchen.)  I smile, we shake hands, he leaves saying he'll be back about the 10th of February to start.  The interior work will take about two weeks because of the time it takes for the stripped walls to age enough for painting.  I shoot off an email to Al confirming we can rent his apartment.  He says OK.

Meanwhile Fernando returns with the new switch box, this one all plastic with NOTHING to rust.  He's happy, I'm happy.

Then Elias shows up to dope out what's what with the pumps.  He soon discovers that the city water pump is basically buried in sand.  Why?  The infestation of land crabs.  They live underground in the sand and had burrowed into the pump room.  Here is what their presence looks like.

I saw these sand piles a couple of days ago and knew exactly what they were.  Before we cemented the front garden I would see evidence of the crab invasion.  Now you can see what it looks like.  But these little critters had gotten into the pump area, clogged up the works and shut down the cistern pump.  Elias gets busy digging out the sand ~ it smells awful ~ then disconnects the pump and takes it away to clean it.  BUT, by this time the well pump is working fine.  Then he tells Fernando that what he bought isn't the right thing so Fernando goes back to Armeria to buy a different control box and some poison to take care of the crabs.  He returns, leaves the new switch box and the poison on the front table and disappears.  He has a doctor's appointment in Manzanillo to find out when he's scheduled for knee surgery.  He'll be out of commission for about 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, I still haven't had my shower.   Mr. C and I rig up the hose to go up into the tinaco to fill from the well.  Works just fine.  So I finally get to have my shower, flush the toilet, wash the dishes, etc.

The next thing is the arrival of Eve (a-vay) ~ short for Everado ~ the tile maestro, to see what needs to be done in the two half baths.  We talk about tiles, designs, colors, the basins, etc.  Basically I turned it over to him and said, in essence, "you do it!"  With someone as talented and artistic as he is that's the best way.  When can you start?  How about this afternoon?  Fine, I say.  He leaves and I haven't seen him again.

I went off to the Tuesday domino group thinking that by the time I got home the two bathrooms would have been demolished.  Got home.  Nada.  It's possible mañana.  But that's OK because we have to buy more tiles, some pegamento (grout) and new faucets.

Tomorrow this madness may start all over again, except for Jaime who is working on another job out in the colonia.  We expect to see Fernando, Elias and perhaps Eve.  Meanwhile, here what the evening sky looked like off the balcony on this very busy day.

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