Wednesday, February 25, 2015

random harvest

Yesterday I was gazing out at the big palm tree in the back garden and noticed it was laden with coconuts ready to harvest.  I mentioned this to Fernando and he said he'd have someone take care of it in the afternoon.  While I was away getting beaten at dominoes he brought a gent over who, I presume, climbed up the trunk and cut down great clusters of fruit.  Here's what I saw when I got home.

But never fear!  There are plenty more where these came from.  In fact, here's next year's crop.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

back home

We're out of Jack's and back home, loving the remo as done by Jaime and his crew.  Pictures tomorrow. We've had very sporadic internet but things seem to be working OK.  We came back on Saturday night and man, am I glad to be here.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

attention dog lovers and NASCAR fans

and anyone else who loves a fabulous read by an outrageously gifted and imaginative writer.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

living room remo: Phase IV weekend pause

It's 3 o'clock in the afternoon and the workers are done for the day and for tomorrow.  That gives us time to get a few things done over here.

sofa repainted and looking fresh and bright

ditto the bookcase
Everything in the living room is done except the two big walls.  Waiting for the cal to set and dry.  And we are having particularly wet and humid days.  It started raining lightly last night as we were leaving Dago's and didn't quit until this morning.  During the night we had some heavy rainfall that got into our bedroom at the house through the open slats.  It puddled up on the floor, soaked through the bottoms of some storage boxes we had stacked against the wall, got some books wet and wicked up the drapes.  Nothing is ruined but it's a mess.    Fortunately the work crew has not started painting on the outside walls yet but I was hoping any further rain would hold off until the new roof protection got laid down.  Alas, no, but so far the living room ceiling doesn't show any water damage.  Jack reported we had 1" of rain.  We recalled the Valentine's Day about 10 years ago when we had a huge storm; thunder, lightening, flooding.  This wasn't that bad.  We just got a good soaking.

The kitchen walls have been repainted, the cabinets repaired and repainted inside.  I can't wait to move back into it.  It is such a big, bright spot to work in.  This is the corner cabinet that was so moldy and scummy we thought it was going to have to be rebuilt.  The top was cracked and looked like it was going to fall apart.  The corner wall up to the window was black with mold.  But now, good as new, smelling like a rose (or fresh paint!).

kitchen corner, mold-free!
The purple wall on the upstairs terrazzo  got a refresher coat and looks so bright and pretty.  Next week will begin the work on the outside walls including stripping off ~ actually peeling off ~ the old paint which has actually bubbled up, split and can be pulled off in great strips.  Glad it's them, not us doing this dirty work.  This is, of course, providing we don't have more rain to slow them down.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

living room remo: Phase III cal

The living room walls are curing nicely as the gang moves on into the kitchen to finish repairs to the cupboards, walls and shelves. 

sofa wall with cal, a white cement that helps hold paint.
this wall is so smooth.  ready for paint in a couple of days.
 We went to the paint store (again) this morning and bought paint for the living room/kitchen, purple terrazzo wall, and a roll of membrana that goes on the roofs under a couple of coats of the waterproof stuff. Tomorrow we’ll go (again) and get more exterior wall paint, the actual waterproofing paint and one more cubeta of white for ceilings and downstairs bedroom/bath walls. Then the blessed weekend arrives and we don’t have to go anywhere or buy anything except shrimp at Dago’s and maybe lunch at Chuy’s on Sunday. Plus by 2 PM on Saturday we can get into the house undisturbed, log on to the internet and waste an afternoon web crawling.  I probably won't be able to listen to the opera on Saturday ~ The Magic Flute ~ and that's a real bummer.

 I think I have come up with a new tiling project for Eve. I’ll explain what I have in mind ~ and why ~ after I talk to him and see if he thinks it’s actually possible.

Just finished reading “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Quite a wonderful story. I recommend it with 4 ****. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

living room remo: Phase II cement

(The reason this print is so odd is I did not originally write in in Blogspot.)
I have very little internet time ~ maybe 5 minutes after the workmen have left.  We scurry over to the house, hook up the modem, send and receive in a flash and then come back to the apartment.  I am writing this on MSWord and will copy and paste it onto the blog tonight.  It’s quiet in the apartment right now so it’s a good time to get caught up.  Mr. C has taken Jack into Tecoman to do battle with Telmex over his lack of phone and internet lo these 13 days.  The rumor was that technician would be in town either Monday or Tuesday but alas, nada.  So Mohammad is going to the mountain to see if he can get some action. 

More information about what we’re doing to the house.  The living room walls have been patched, re-patched and then patched again over the years.  The “sofa” wall is a weather wall.  It’s on the east side of the house that gets all the rain.  The cement has become porous over the years, holds the moisture, the paint bubbles up and looks awful.  Then the cement cracks and there you have it.  So we decided the only thing to do is to take it down to the bones and start again.  Monday morning Jaime and co. started in, as you saw in last evening’s  posting.  When they were finished we had two Greenwich Village loft-style walls which I sort of like but aren’t really the style of the house.  They also opened up some large sections of the ceiling where water had leaked through the impermeablizante and membrano that cover the roof.  (That needs to be completely redone, too.)  Yesterday they spent sanding the bare bricks to a smoother finish, enclosing some exposed electrical lines in new plastic hosing, and then re-cementing.  The new cement was smoothed, the wite Cal was slathered on, and walls will now cure for a few days before they are painted.

 Meanwhile, the workers will move on to the kitchen.  The same thing needs to be done but only on the east wall and on a smaller scale.  One of the countertops is beginning to crumble from beneath and the tilehas cracked and has to be taken up, the structure rebuilt, then the top retiled (another job for Eve).  Everything gets very moldy in the cupboards and drawers but by emptying them all out before we go and leaving the doors and drawers open we might not have as bad a case of mold and stink.    That’s the plan for the season’s departure.

When we went over to check on progress in the mid-afternoon, the place was a mess; cement droppings from the front door down the hallway up the stairs and into the living room.  Dust an inch thick.  I groaned inwardly, thinking of the horrendous cleanup we’d have.  However, when we went back last night at about 7:30, it was absolutely pristine; not a fleck of cement where it didn’t belong, no dust, no debris.  I remember Jaime’s rules of engagement the last time he worked in our house:  nobody leaves until everything is cleaned up and put away.  He does a walk-through while his crew awaits the verdict.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

living room re-do: Phase I destruction

Here's what has happened so far.  It looks like we've been hit by heavy mortar fire.

This is the "sofa" wall.

This is the "bookcase" wall opposite the sofa. 

This is the "bookcase" wall.

They've taken it right down to the original bricks.  Jaime assures me that the walls are completely sound; it was the stucco finish that was cracked.

Here's what's left of our walls, in a pile on the streety1

More tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

the best seat in the house

The two half-baths are done at last and I couldn't be happier. Here, from start to finish.

first phase of demo.

new collar for basin
new tiles

completed tiles

new sink

outline for mosaic gekko

Now let's move on upstairs to the more "formal"  bath (not my description; Eve decided the downstairs was baño loco and the upstairs mas formal.

here's where the upstairs started

demo'd and new sink collar
beginning the new tile
two sizes; larger is backsplash
never hurts to have some extra help and inspiration (plus this was a way of making up for a shortage of four tiles)

basin we bought in Dolores Hidalgo a couple of years ago
this corner is an optical illusion
almost done

So there you have it.  Two new half-baths all updated with new everything; tiles, faucets, toilets.  I am so happy with how they turned out.  Eve is a tiling genius and it was very well worth waiting for him to be available for work.

Now it's on to the rest of the house.  Deterioration never rests.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday odds and ends

Here are some random photos I want to get off the computer's desktop.

Garden in the rain last week.

geraniums in front garden

palm fronds

la nochebuena

This is a photo of Friday's dawn sky smeared with all of these gorgeous colors.  It was taken on the front balcony at 7:30 AM.  Later in the morning I was picked up by three friends for a day of shopping and errands in Colima.  Meg managed to get the sofa and love seat equipal into the back of her Tahoe truck and off we went.  I dropped the furniture off for its face lift, then it was on to look for fabric in the center of town, followed by a stroll around the zillions of tiny shops.  We had lunch at Cronos.  After a nice relaxing couple of hours we hit WalMart, moved on to the Festerbond store (they sell paint products) and then on home.  It was altogether a very successful outing on the Shoppers' Shuttle.  Good fun.  Dago's for dinner.

This morning we started seriously dismantling the living room and kitchen in preparation for an invasion on Monday morning by Jaime and his crew.  We went in to Tecoman to begin the great paint purchase.  First off three 19-litre (5 gallon) cubetas for the outside and the ceilings.  There will be about seven more purchased before we're all done.  We are moving over to Jack's tomorrow to avoid the dust and noise and plan to be there for about 10 days.  May not have internet part (or all) of that time but I'll do my best to keep you up-to-date on the progress.

I leave you with a picture of this charming chap taking his afternoon sunbath.

Tomorrow being the last day I'll have internet for sure for who knows how long, join me for the great bathroom unveiling!  You won't want to miss it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Moonset, 8 AM this morning.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Vicky

Today is the birthday of my beloved sister Vicky, 1947-2009.  I miss you every day.  Hope you're having a fine time wherever you are.   I hope it's in the 7th Arrondisement in Paris where you said, "When I die I want to come here."

Monday, February 2, 2015

cool, damp Monday

We've had a spot of rain here over the last few days.  It started about 3 AM Saturday morning ~ after the party, fortunately ~ and kept up at a light drizzle most of the day.  We had been without either phone or internet since Thursday night; it seems a big truck or bus tore down the low-lying lines a block away and everyone lost phone service.  The lines and cables were lying in the street at the corner.  Telmex showed up, looked around, drove away.  Then on Saturday morning a truck showed up with more cables and fixed some of it.  Jack still doesn't have either phone or internet.  We got everything back just in time for The Tales of Hoffman at noon.

The rest of the weekend was cool, overcast and gloomy, and this is a puente weekend because of the observance of Constitution Day today.  But unfortunately the weather is so bad that very few people showed up for the long holiday.  We went down to the malecón for comida bundled in long pants and long sleeved shirts.

It's  overcast and cool today with intermittent showers and some rumbling thunder.  Tianguis for the usual supplies.  Today I included a trip to the meat shop and bought an oxtail.  The whole thing.  Not in plastic wrap; a long, whip-like thing that the butcher cut up for me so I can make my favorite oxtail soup during this nice cool weather.  In the service of absolute accuracy, he cut off the dry, hard end that's tough and inedible.  I got the rest.

Still waiting for Eve.  Maybe tomorrow.

PS:  Re. the critter in my last post, what's worrying me now is that on Sunday morning it was gone and not by Mr. C's doing.  So now I don't know where it is, inside or out.  Think about it.