Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Little by Little

Patience is absolutely necessary to live in Mexico!  It had been a mission all my life to be so, but it never worked.  Well, at least until I moved to Mexico.  Within a year, patience was my middle name.

IF one is not patient about everything, one might as well get a big supply of TUMS or learn how to chant to get over one's frustrations.  It is so much easier to realize that nothing is worth the previous path just mentioned.  It's all small stuff.

Take the exterior of my house.  The brick wall that faces north had never been stuccoed.  There is no insulation or drywall or anything in the construction of these houses.  The walls are one brick thick!
Therefore, dust, noise and even a trickle of water from a hard rain will soak into the brick.

Many times in the past, I could lay in my bed and hear a conversation at night on the other side of the wall where lovers park........

For about the last fifteen years, I've gently asked the people that I rent this house from to stucco the wall.

Finally at the end of 2015, I sent an email detailing the four things that really needed attention.  Stuccoing the wall being #1.  The first part of March the landlord appeared with his son to interpret and we went over the four things.  He said they would start in two weeks.  Last Tuesday, in April,  he telephoned and said they would come with the scaffolding and materials to start the next day.  I did not get too excited!  But, they did show up....amazingly.  Here is the result of three and a half days of work. Two of the four things are completed.  There is hope.

The stucco has to "cure" or dry for about eight days before it can be painted.  That's okay, I've waited fifteen years. It will be the same color as the front of the house. That is when the painter appears.  I'm thrilled.
 While the stucco man was here and the landlord was paying, I had him stucco this wall above the laundry sink or gardening sink.  Now I'm debating if I want to tile it, if so with what. Or if I want to have a mural painted there or just paint it and cover it with blooming vines.
Lots of these blooming mandevillas or a mixture of that and other vines would be pretty in big pots.  My mind is reeling.  What do you think?  I had about ten design books out last night looking at how to do rubbled (broken) tile walls with a design or basic tile or whatever.  What fun!

In the meantime, when all is dry, I'll have the painter come to paint it the tropical green color that is in the covered seating area.
As you can see, the wall area here was previously an orangey, mango color.  Now it is just a mess.  I had forgotten what a mess construction areas can become.  At least a full day has been spent cleaning up concrete and mess in preparation for painting and getting flower pots and things back in place.

The flowers and shrubs and trees are really now starting to bloom.  It has been a month since we had SNOW.  But, we have also had two nice rains so the photos below show how things have returned to life.
By summer it will be lush and tropical up on this little roof of paradise.

This afternoon, now that everything has been cleaned up, reading on the roof terrace with views of the mountains and canyon sounds like a good idea.  Don't you agree?


Retired Teacher said...

So glad that you got a couple of things checked off of your list.
Mandevillas are lovely. I always plant a couple of them each summer, but unfortunately up here they are not perennial.
Have fun with your project!

Babs said...

Thanks Bill - Plants down here survive forever it seems. AND they are so inexpensive that if something does not make it, one does not despair. I spent 200 pesos, just a little over $10USD last week and the back of my Pathfinder was FULL. Life is good.

sparks_mex said...

Make sure the "stucco" (enjarrar-ed mortar) gets sealed and you use a decent quality semi-gloss exterior paint after sealing.

Hurricane Patricia blew off some of my weather-side paint and water penetrated the brick. Not that you get hurricanes there but a good lesson learned here

Babs said...

Thanks for the info sparks! I have a paint crew here who has done lots of work for me and I have referred them to many who have been as satisfied as I have. They will be doing the work and I know they'll know what to do, but I'll be sure to ask about that. We have Sherwin Williams paint here in SMA. That is what I intend to use.

sharkbait_Cordy said...

I vote mural above the gardening sink...aww just think of all the lovely colors!

Benne' Rockett said...

Boy, do I get this!
Where in the world did you get those whimsical sconces? I've been searching for "faces" for years!

Babs said...

Thanks Cordy. We'll see what happens.

Benne' The faces are from an artist in Tzinzunzan in
the State of Michoacan. I have half a dozen on another
wall. I love them.

marilyn said...

What fun to create a beautiful wall. I too vote for a mural. There are so many great artists there to paint in a style of your choice. Mosaic would be nice too.

I was going to ask about the wall vases......love! them!!! I won't be in SMA until fall but, I'll plan on getting to Tz to get some. Can you give any more details on the artist's location? Or I'll wait until I'm in SMA & run into you there & ask ; -). (I'm hoping that will happen)

Lena J

Babs said...

Lena - It has been years since I went to the residence of the artist and someone took me. However, I have seen them at the Palm Sunday Market sale in Uruapan each year.
Possibly they have them in shops in Patzcuaro. I don't know. Yes, when you get to SMA, let me know.

marilyn said...

thanks, Babs. maybe, I'll see them some where, some day.

Lena J

Anonymous said...

Hola Barbara!

Congratulations on your new stucco! Woo hoo!!! You have such a lovely place there, really, I'm quite envious. And now it's even nicer.


Kim G
CDMX, México
Where we totally get the thing about being patient with landlords, haha.

Babs said...

Hola Kim - Thanks for your congrats. WHEN are you coming down to visit? Or would it be coming up from CDMX? Seriously, you must come here at some point, soon. I'll be gone for a while, but when I return it would be great for you to come up if you're in CDMX!

Hasta luego,