Thursday, April 03, 2008

"Tear down that wall!"

As I write this ~ while standing up in the kitchen because we've taken all the furniture out of the living room where my "office" is ~ Fernando is up on a ladder scraping the peeling stucco off the "weather" wall. This is the wall that faces southeast that gets the heaviest beating from the rains. It is almost impossible to keep out moisture, and flaking and bubbling of the stucco is endemic to all our houses here. Not only does wet seep in through the walls it also blows in through the open doors and windows. It's called The Beach. He has found a weak spot where the accumulation of wet and salt has rotten out some of the original bricks, cdement and stucco used in the construction so he is going to tear out part of the wall and re-cement it. You can see the rebar that holds the whole thing up. If it gets corroded through, the living room is toast. The rebar is treated with an anti-salt product as soon as it is put up but the disintegration is almost inevitable. Treatment with cellador ~ sealant ~ helps retard total destruction.

And we are having guests up for drinks tonight and a dinner party tomorrow night! Aye carrumba!, what was I thinking?

Elias has arrived. He's the electrisista. Not the 14-year old who worked with Jaime. This guy's at least 25! He rewired our house a couple of years ago after the Patient kept getting shocked whenever he turned on the garden faucet. Even I know that shouldn't happen. So for 100 pesos he reset the wiring pattern, redistributed the electrical loads (we have two meters), and fixed the hot spot. He's here today to hang new light fixtures in the living room. We have been living with a hanging bare bulb.

We rarely turn it on, preferring instead the much more flattering indirect side lighting. But we were in a restaurant in Patzcuaro that featured hanging canastas (baskets) with lights. We decided it would be a good way to camouflage the bare bulbs and would be quite a nice addition to the living room. Tomorrow Elias will return and put in a dimmer switch so we can make the light a bit softer.

He will also re-hang the light in the kitchen over the new work corner, set a new fixture into the wall upstairs ~ the "kid" put it on the outside of the wall; it needs to recessed to avoid the rain ~ and replace a salted-out socket on the terrazzo. Fernando doesn't do electricity! Little by little things are getting finished just in time for our departure.


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