Mexican life

There goes the roof tile!

NOW THAT the Jesus Patio has been replaced with simply the Yard Patio, we’re moving onto other renovations, the largest leap of all, replacing the relatively small, clay-tile roof that has shaded part of the upstairs terraza for 16 years with, well, you’ll see later.

It’s gonna be YUGE!

The guys who renovated the yard patio returned yesterday morning and began dismantling the clay-tile roof. It took them just three hours. It would have taken me three weeks, even with help. Here’s how it looked:

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First, you remove the clay tiles which are just sitting there, unsecured.
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Then you remove the boards and beams.
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Then you remove one support column. The other will follow. Where the fellow is standing is where the circular stairs to the roof lived for years. It was relocated about a month ago.

They left after three hours due to having work elsewhere, but they will return this morning to continue.

That space under the clay tiles holds many memories. A hammock hung there for about a decade, and I used to swing in the lovely breezes while reading books. But for some reason I stopped using the hammock and finally it was removed. Habits change.

Most of the upstairs terraza was open to the elements, which are extreme out there. Daily rains for five months, mostly during summer, with insufficient drainage. Glaring sun in winter and spring.

Parts of the ceramic floor were replaced twice because it simply popped up. Then, just a few months ago, water began leaking into our bedroom below. It became clear that a drastic solution was necessary.

We’ll be covering the entire area with steel and tempered glass which, hopefully, will result in the space being useful. It never was very useful before. Stay tuned! It’s gonna be exciting.

Mexican life

Work & Glitches

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Space awaits its cement.
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Cement gets mixed on the floor of the carport.
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And the cement goes in.

WORK PROGRESSES on the replacement of the Jesus Patio.

At top, the space is cleared for the cement. That metal grid is to put bones in the concrete, making it less likely to crack in years to come.

The guys arrived shortly after 8 a.m. — we barely had our bagels down — and started mixing the cement with water and gravel. Where did they do that? Right on the floor of one of the two carports.

In the top photo, on the right side, you can see a grass circle that’s a different color than the other grass. That’s where the cursed peach tree once lived. Aha! And on the far side of the square just above the smaller pile of rubble, there is another circle.

That’s where the damned pear tree resided. Double aha!

* * * *

Gasoline shortage

On New Year’s Eve, word began spreading around the area that gasoline was disappearing in stations in the nearby state capital.

I immediately jumped into the Honda and filled up.

Two years ago, as one year segued into another, this also happened. It got pretty serious and lasted a couple of weeks. And it happened last year too, but not nearly so grievously.

Strange thing is that no one seems to know exactly why. The government offers various excuses, and then there are rumors.

Mexico always has rumors.

This year it’s reported to be affecting four states, and guess which one is the worst. That’s right. It’s mine. And this morning I read that propane gas shortages were also beginning to appear.

I called the LP gas company, and I’m awaiting a delivery.

(And it just arrived!)

So our propane tank is full. That should last a couple of months, so we will survive winter with hot showers.

Mexican life. Never a dull moment.

Mexican life

Hacienda happenings and pilgrims too

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Some pilgrims travel this way.

HOLA, AMIGOS. It’s a lovely day at the Hacienda, and here’s what’s happening.

I am alone today, abandoned by my child bride who, with her sister and the nephew formerly known as The Little Vaquero, has gone on a pilgrimage. The trio is walking to a town about 12 miles distant.

They left at 10 a.m.

This is an annual event, and hundreds of folks hereabouts do it. But not me. I have no desire to go on pilgrimages. It’s a religious event — Catholic, of course — but that’s not why my trio does it. They just like the walk, which takes about three hours.

They switched to this pilgrimage two years ago. They previously went on a far longer one to a town called Caracuaro to visit the “Black Jesus.”

I once went on that pilgrimage, years back, out of curiosity. The traditional way is to walk, but I drove because I am a lazy pilgrim.

I walked through throngs of other pilgrims in the streets of Caracuaro, some on their knees. I ate tacos and beans, and I came home. It was my only visit. The Black Jesus will have to get along without me in the future.

I said I was alone today, but that’s not quite true. There are workmen here. January and February are when we do renovations at the Hacienda. It doesn’t rain in January and February normally, so it’s a good time for renovations.

We’re having work done on some windows, and there’s painting too. I’ll have a full post on that in a few days because I know you’re curious.

Meanwhile, here I sit, alone, while my pilgrims stroll in the sunshine.

Mexican life

Sometimes there’s just too much

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About half finished with this year’s section. Photo from this morning.

I’M A LAID-BACK kind of guy. Don’t like having lots on my plate. Prefer having my feet up on the desk, or up on the table on the Jesus Patio. I’ve always been this way. Some call it lazy. I call it relaxed.

So I’m on edge of late. The biggest bother is the guys out in the yard. They arrive every morning about 8. We hardly have time to eat our bagels before the doorbell is clanging, which means I have to move the cars from Point A to Point B because the guys mix cement in Point B. The Honda goes out to the street for the day.

As I’ve dreamed of doing for years, I’ve begun the process of eliminating most grass from the yard and replacing it with stone and concrete, a process called empedrado, very common in these Mexican parts.

Looks nice and doesn’t need mowing.

The work being done this year will uproot about a fourth of the grass that will be uprooted when all is done in three more years. A big semicircle in the middle of the yard will stay put, the only grass I’m keeping. I’m doing the work in stages every winter.

That’s one thing on my mind. Another is that renters arrive to the Downtown Casita on Friday, and I want to get some plumbing and electrical work done there first. It could wait, but just this morning the Hacienda’s solar water heater sprang a leak, so I called the plumber. Maybe he can do the work here and at the Downtown Casita in one fell swoop.

Or not at all. You never know.

Retirement is supposed to be easier than this. I want the workmen done and gone. I want the solar heater to quit leaking. And I want my feet up somewhere with not a care in the world, reading my Kindle and dozing off now and then.

Now that’s the good life.