The phzzzzt! of welding

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The work begins. Getting those beams up there was no laughing matter.
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Late Wednesday, most are in place. Just lacking shorter ones on the left.
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Shot from atop the roof Thursday morning. The fellow in the black shirt is Alfonso, the blacksmith honcho. It’s his business that’s doing all this. It must be a good business because he lives in a very fancy home.
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Mostly done. Just lack the cross supports and the paint job. And the glass. Probably will also have some canvas awnings/curtains on this side.

THE BLACKSMITH and his boys appeared Wednesday morning and began installing the metal framework of the steel-and-glass rooftop over the upstairs terraza.

Most of the work was completed Wednesday. They returned yesterday to continue. Yet to be done, as I write this Thursday noonish, are cross pieces that will support the glass between the beams. And all of this metal will be painted like the house, “Seacoast Red.”

This will be a major change in the look of the Hacienda, but we’ll have a dry upstairs terraza during the rainy season for the first time in 16 years. That’s what matters.

The total price for the metal frame — material and installation — is the peso equivalent of about $3,700 U.S. The glass will be another matter. Stay tuned.

Ton of steel

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side

WE’RE INSTALLING a metal-and-glass roof over the upstairs terraza, as some readers may recall. This decision was made after 16 rainy summers in which the upstairs terraza turned into a small lake, rendering it useless for anything.

The lake problem resulted from the builders’ not installing the terraza floor with any incline toward the small drain holes. It is level. This was done because we did not explain adequately that the space above the downstairs bedroom was going to be open.

Maybe even we did not know it at the time. I don’t recall. We hired no architect, and we were winging it. It’s akin to being your own lawyer at your murder trial.

We lived with the annual six-month lake out there until a straw broke the camel’s back last summer — a small leak into the bedroom below. We had previously replaced some of the ceramic tile in the terraza because it had buckled. That happened twice in recent years. But the leak did the trick. Serious action was required.

Two neighbors of our Downtown Casita had installed a glass-and-steel ceiling partially atop their house, making a nice roof patio. It looks good, so we decided to do something similar. They told me what it had cost, and it was reasonable. And they had hired a contractor to handle everything, making things simpler for themselves. Smart.

I contacted the same contractor, but he never responded. Screw it, I said. I’ll do it myself. And it will cost less.

First, we hired the same blacksmith who did the work on the neighbors’ house. After he installs the framework, we will buy the smoked glass elsewhere and pay to have it installed by that separate business.

The blacksmith arrived Tuesday with four guys to deliver the steel beams and columns, depositing them in our yard. Be back later this week, he said, to do the installation. While the neighbors’ price seemed reasonable, I had neglected to notice that our upstairs terraza is far larger than the domo (that’s what it’s called here) over their home.

We were flabbergasted at the quantity of it all.

The size of our framework dwarfs that which tops their house. After the installation, the metal will be painted the same color as the Hacienda. Rojo costamar. Seacoast red.

But first the blacksmith must return and install the frame. Hope he doesn’t take long. You never know with those folks. It only needs to be fully done before the rains start in June.

But I want it done far before then. We’ll buy some patio furniture. Maybe throw a fiesta. You can all come. Whoopee!

A couple of pictures

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THIS ATTRACTIVE woman was sitting nearby the other day as I was enjoying my usual afternoon café Americano negro on the downtown plaza. She has a familiar look, but I can’t quite place her.

And the kid? Got no idea.

And later the same day, at night, I was descending the stairwell at the Hacienda on my way to the king bed when I paused at the scene below and said to myself, “That’s interesting. I’ll take a photo.”

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Winter windows

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Bedroom view which is full of golden datura much of the year. But not now.
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Living room. We made the stained glass years ago.
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Dining room. That’s the new yard patio out there.

IT’S COLD outside, but the view from inside is nice nonetheless.

The skies are blue, the air is chill, and all is right with the world, if you don’t think about the lack of gasoline. But I filled up yesterday, so I’m happy.

The cold I caught over two weeks ago is finally winding down, and it taught me a hard lesson. Don’t remove my long johns in winter.

I donned them in December, and later removed them for just one day, 24 freaking hours, and that’s when I caught the cold.

We’ll be heading downtown before noon today to make yearly payments. Property taxes on two houses and water bill on one, the Downtown Casita. These are done in person at City Hall.

I paid the property tax on the Mexico City condo online last week. Water bills for the Hacienda are paid monthly, same for Mexico City.

The only other annual fee is that for two cars. I do that online too. Oh, yes, the post office box. I paid that at the post office two weeks ago. About 15 bucks. All these things are quite reasonable, a pittance compared to what you Gringos and Canucks pay where you live, poor babies.

Inexpensive living with wonderful window views.

And all the tacos you can eat.

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(Update! When we got to City Hall to pay our stuff, the entrance was blocked by POPs (Pissed-Off People) demanding to get paid for something or other. This is not a rare occurrence in this country. We’ll have to return to pay some other day.)