Six-month project ends

IT’S FINALLY FINISHED, renovation of the upstairs terraza.

The idea was born last summer when a small leak developed that resulted in drops of water dripping into the bedroom below. That was the proverbial last straw after years of having lakes in the terraza during the five-month rainy season.

That’s lakes, not leaks.

Due to poor drainage, the terraza was basically unusable during the annual monsoons and, due to having almost no roof above, it was not that pleasant out there during the months of glaring sunshine either.

It was wasted space.

It’s nice to have peace and quiet here again. And a great spot to sit.

Everything, including the furniture, totaled about $12,000 U.S.

Below are a couple of photos taken during the project.

Removing the small roof of wood beams and clay tiles last January.
Installing glass atop a steel superstructure many weeks later.

Wondering about it all

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Sweet alyssum’s white flowers come to life in the summer.

IT BLEW SO hard last night the broom fell over.

Out on the downstairs terraza, that is. I heard nothing when it happened, just noticing it this morning. Around midnight I got out of the king bed to close the windows in case rain was coming in. Normally, the golden datura bush just outside that window blocks most rain, but you can never take it to the bank.

This morning I found a pool on the renovated upstairs terraza, so I swept it out through the inadequate drain hole. The guys are coming tomorrow (they say) to install the final canvas curtain, which will close off three of the four compass directions.

Right now, we remain at 50-50.

After bagels and cream cheese (lite) with black café Americano, we sat a spell, our morning breather, on the scarlet sofa with soft music, and I thought: Well, this sure is fine. One wonders that if life ends well it cancels or justifies the grief of the past.

Then we got up and started morning chores.

Months-long project marches on

Up close.

RENOVATION OF THE upstairs terraza, which began in January, soldiers on. It would have been done by now were it not for my child bride’s wishes.

And also due to an unexpected entryway for rainwater.

My wife noticed this faux stone tile elsewhere and wanted it here, so here it is. The workman arrived Wednesday at 8 a.m. with his 11-year-old son. I was still in my pajamas.

The kid was cheeky but fun. I asked him how old he is. He told me. He asked how old I am. I told him. I asked his name. He told me. He asked my name. He asked if I had a wife. I do. He asked where she was. Elsewhere. He asked if she speaks English. Not well.

He asked for a drinking glass, a paint brush and a rag and, instead of waiting upstairs, he tailed me all around the house while I collected those things.

He lugged a very heavy bag of cement upstairs from where it sat way out in the carport.

Other workmen have brought their boys on occasion too, but the kids normally never say a word. I think I intimidate them, not intentionally, of course.

The second issue, the rain entryway that caught us by surprise one day when the wind was blowing from just the right direction, was resolved with the cement.

A third issue has also raised its troublesome head. The yellow shade net was an unwise color choice, it appears. It’s going to get visibly dirty very fast. A darker color would have been smarter. I suspect it will have to be replaced in a year or two with a color that shows crap and dead bugs less flagrantly. Life is a learning experience.

My child bride now wants a hot tub out there. Jeez.

Embracing the lifestyle

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Felipe relishes his pineapple.

NORMALLY, EVERY weekday morning, I sit on the downstairs veranda with fruit — usually pineapple chunks — following my exercise walk around the neighborhood plaza.

But this morning, I changed my tune. I went upstairs, took a seat atop one of the new chairs that we purchased from Amazon. They are more comfy than the hard rockers on the downstairs veranda, and I ate my fruit. That’s me doing it.

We’ve been enjoying June since the annual monsoon began a couple of weeks ago. The temps have dropped considerably. This morning around 5 a.m., I even rousted myself out of bed to close the windows. It was chilly in there. I went back to sleep.

My child bride might have been in this photo too, but she skipped on the exercise walk because she was busy in the pastry kitchen, baking for her weekly sale tomorrow on the principal plaza downtown. I usually walk solo on Fridays for that reason.

Since this post is solely about the photo, that’s all I have to say right now.