Monday, December 25, 2006

Operation sofa (and armchair)

Finding the sofa and armchair at Sears in Leon, an hour away by (a friend's) car was only the first step. We received a courtesy call a week later to say they would be delivering the next day. We really had no worries about how we were going to get them up to our "sky room" because Maestro loves a challenge. Sure enough, he rose to this one.

Here's Juan with the sofa at ground level.

Unseen here, Rafael is hauling on one rope, Maestro (right) on the other, while Juan helps it clear their temporary staging.

OK, now we're at roof level. Next up is to get the sofa up and over the sky room, right.

Lowering it down the far side of our sky room, where we have our wide sliding door for access. That's the dome of San Francisco in the background.

After all that, getting the armchair up (here being hauled up to the roof of the skyroom with Louisa looking on, left) was a snap.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

View from La Pipila--before painting

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Off it comes

With work on our azotea (roof) room nearly finished, the next big project is to remove the old roof above what will be an indoor patio open to the skies. First off is to get rid of the rotten little cover (with the red metal door) to the top of the steep stairs--I was so glad to see it go, before it collapsed. Now maestro Don Gerado and Juan are finishing the job, taking off the roof next to it, so now we're trusting that it won't rain--not too hard, anyway--before they have a chance to install a new drain below. Photos show before and after.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Views from our new roof room

Looking west through what will be sliding glass door to terrace

Door opening in center

La Bufa to the east, through what will be window above our bed

Looking north towards La Sirena and El Meco hills

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Roof studio-bedroom

Monday, October 09, 2006

Meanwhile, downstairs...

Really small upstairs bathroom!

Upstairs kitchen 3, new window

Upstairs kitchen 2

Upstairs kitchen 1

Future bedroom/studio on roof

Maestro Don Gerado, roof room floor

Hector unloading bricks on roof

Juan hauling bricks to the roof

Callejon nearly finished, ours is pink house on right

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Any color you like... long as it's salmon (the city painted the outside of our house, part of their beautification project. No, we didn't have a choice of color!

Also here (photos from Tom last week): vanity sink outline in our upstairs bathroom (toilet will be on the left, shower on the right, but most of the time we'll be able to look right out of the window): and azulejos starting to make our upstairs kitchen look like the real thing.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Unexpected bonus

An unexpected bonus: Guanajuato greenstone (actually a laminated sandstone) is turning up everywhere. David had the albaniles check under the plaster at the top of the stairs...

...and there it is, back in the light where it belongs. (Thanks for the photo, Tom!)
Wonder how much more is waiting to be uncovered?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Still moving along...

...even when we're not there.
Tom just sent us these three photos, of the new baldosa ceiling of the "reja" room (next to the new upstairs cocina); the entranceway brick arch, now that the plaster has been removed; and the main countertop area in the new cocina.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Story of a window

This is what we started with, a typical Mexican window--small and high (and usually with drawn curtains).

Starting the process of opening it up--after pouring a reinforced concrete header beam, the albaniles cut through half the 16-inch thick adobe wall.

The opening's all the way through, awaiting finishing.

Plaster finishes the edges. Now we're awaiting the window frame. The inclined channel below the opening will house the drain from the sink.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Happy hour

Maestro Geraldo, albaniles Hector and Juan, student Juan-Angel, and Louisa

Friday a las cinco de la tarde (5pm) is happy hour here, the guys finish a bit early and we sit around drinking beer and hearing (last night) about Hector's two attempts to gain access into the U.S., swimming across the Rio Grande. We shuddered.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Up on the roof

Sure enough, just as David promised, it poured last night, right after the guys had removed most of the rotten roof. Now they're in the process of moving the water tank so they can take care of the rest of it.

Mexican houses generally have these 750 liter black tanks (photo above) on their roofs, since the pressure and flow from the city water system is very low. Water trickles in during the night, and you have the tank capacity to get you through the day (at least).

Monday, July 24, 2006

El equipo (the team)

Arquitecto (architect) David with two of los albaniles, Hector and Juan, planning the next stage of our project...

...dismantling the rotten roof, to be replaced with a concrete one.

Our maestro, Geraldo, offers a considered opinion from his perch.

While we're at it, why not take out the door frame now? Make it easier to get rid of the escombro (rubble) from the old roof.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Local Home Depot

aka Ferretería La Sultana

Antonio seems to have everything to hand in his neighborhood hardware store.

Zona de construcción

Right outside our house. Not just on Calzada de Tecolote, but it seems everywhere in the city...

Apparently, Guanajuato received a large use-it-or-lose-it UNESCO grant (it's one of Mexico's several "Patrimonio de la Humanidad"--that is, World Heritage-- sites) and has to spend it in the next few months.

Night view from our back window

Monday, July 17, 2006

Primer partido de la cena en nuestro nuevo hogar

Tom and Guille helped inaugurate our new terrace window.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Piso alto, 13 julio

Yet another new window, with two new walls--behind these will be a toilet and shower. Normally door will close off toilet, keeping view intact. That indentation below the window opening will be a vanity sink.

Our lovely "terrace" window in upstairs kitchen

Part of new kitchen/dining room looking back into our "sala"

Looking out from our middle upstairs room through three (count 'em!) new window openings to the church behind our house

Middle room, to be our cozy winter "sala." Note instant window--three hours ago, it was half that size! (OK, the stone arch was already there, but the window started three feet below it.)

Temporary home, gas range in side room. Fridge and potable water container--all the home comforts (shelves even!)

Temporary home, to be 2nd floor patio. Note our very first "real" bed (mattress still in plastic!)