Thursday, June 23, 2011

Men at Work

How can you NOT love Robert! I mean, just LOOK at his "ladder"! He had planned to do all the structural work for the roof by himself but....

...he realized that if he hired a crew of experienced hands, THEY could do it and he could go surfing.... which is what he did. (You can scroll down to the entry "Starting Little Fires" to get a glimpse at the completed roof, though the roof was not the point of that photo.)

Oh, and then for the less challenging work, well, how about a cup of coffee? What you're seeing IS true in the moment -- our dear friend Guillermo sips hot coffee (made by me) while his wife Sara slaves away stripping bark for what will become really cool arched corner bracing on our new structure. You'll see.... just tune in here next fall. (these two are parents of Ariana, Sandra, Memo, and Flori, btw). Doesn't look like Robert's inclined to work either. In truth, the men HAVE been working, and hard. They deserve the shade, the seat, and the sipping.

NOTE: I just discovered that you can double-click on any of these teeny photos and get a good quality enlargement -- should you want to.

Mothers' Love...

Let's begin with little Dana (Dah'nah). Happy, confident, delightful child who waves at me even from a great distance, big grin on her face. Her initially tragic story is told in the entry "Honoring Edith" found in the Dec. 7, 2010 blog. She is the little sister of my beloved Luis, also found in even earlier blogs. Edith, Edith, your children are doing very well. You have graced our lives with them. Happy Mothers' Day.

Sweet friends of ours through all these years,
blossoming into young women...
dressed up to celebrate Mothers' Day

Mothers' Day at the elementary school in our little village,
and every kid had a song and dance routine to share...
It was of course, all too cute.

And here is just a sampling of the adoring mothers --
many more than appear here...

Childs' Play

I'm a perpetual child when it comes to artwork... and a friend whose mandala work is stunning suggested I try using black paper for the background. So, experimenting with cheap crayons, pencils, and then with more expensive "crayons" and pencils... I came up with these....

BUT! A mere child of --gosh I think he's still only 4 (FOUR) -- did this with what was sold to me as a magnetic tic-tac-toe set. Some imagination. Catches my eye, there on our door:

Garden of Eden

This is my favorite photo... mymymy, small miracles.

Can you see our guest among the ripening mangoes?
We're grateful for all comers.
We have four huge trees, all ripening and dropping mangoes at the same time...
hard to even give 'em away.

And this is my second most favorite photo.... The Enigma.
No-one planted it. No-one waters it. It just growed.
This is right next to our entry steps, up to the porch.

Ah! La Coneja / The Rabbit!
Ariana has come to LOVE our kitchen-sink fresh salads and races over to help prepare and share. Happy to oblige. It was SHE who first called US rabbits for eating fresh foods. Then -- at the tender age of 12, she tried something new -- and loved it.

Nice, huh?
Our ramada in repose. Come relax in a hammock with us. We have more. You can make out the mangoes in the distance --suspended green balls; but do you see the perfectly ripe papaya (bright orange) between the green posts, glowing between the two hammocks? Like all villagers, we have many little gardens, and keep all walking spaces cleared and swept. There be tiny venomous snakes and insects that can hide in weeds and grasses.

Starting Little Fires...

This ain't Colorado --
Well aware of the horrific conflagrations in the Four Corners area, I wanted to contrast that situation with the one we have in our little pueblo in Mexico.
You can't hardly START a fire here.

SO! With the pix below, you can put your cursor on them, and drag them over into the blue space to the right and see the whole photo clearly.

Note my lighter is held to a small pile of dry leaves, surrounded by a carpet of dry leaves...
By the way, you can just make out the roof of our little home in the background.
Every day I kneel down amid the carpet of dry leaves and set just such a small blaze.
I'm actually burning TP beneath those leaves, as we have no toilet yet --
important to keep the environment clean of such trash, y'know.

My mischievous grin is precisely with this blog in mind -- how you cannotcannot do this in the Four Corners. And I'm about to turn my back on this, and walk away, not a care in mind...

....because I know full well that the fire will self-extinguish within moments.
Here it is, completely out, all on its own -- bone-dry leaves all around and a wind, too!

Here's a HUGER conflagration, set deliberately, just behind our living area....

....and all present could care less.
You can just make out the blaze beyond the walking man in white --Robert, who set it.
(NOTE: drag this photo to the right to see the finished roofwork mentioned in another entry)
All in all, this is quite a blessing.
Everyone here cooks their meals over open fires.

Surfin' Safari

The surfer stands tall, checking the waves....
Yes, that would be Robert atop our ramada.

...and afoot through the jungly growth and across the river, he is greeted by whimsy.

Ah! He reaches the seashore -- that's Robert with the yellow/blue board.

He will join the parade of surfers heading toward the surf.

(Alas, the pix I have of Robert surfing are in a format I cannot post here!)

Recycling Awareness

Your garbage kills the life of the sea.

The beach is for everyone. Take care of it. Recycle.

Save the sea. Use less plastic. Recycle for the sake of Life.

Love your planet. Keep Saladita clean.

Recycling is Life.

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Check Twice -- Cut Once"

Hmmmm...... "check twice/cut once." So if you check twice, you end up cutting ELEVEN times?

Maybe we´ve just been in our sweet pueblito too long. "Once" means "eleven" in Spanish, in case you don´t speak the language. But "eleven cuts" is rather annoyingly accurate...

What I refer to is this: we are feverishly trying to finish the roof over our new bathing/etc structure before we drive back north (pix of construction work are scattered in previous entries in this blog). However, it gets devilishly hot VERY early in the morning and only gets hotter with each day. I say "WE" but it is mostly "HE" -- namely Robert -- who is up there on a ladder, balancing on unsteady boards, measuring and handling a running saw, and wielding a hammer and nails. I remain below, in order to set out food (such as I have) and cold drinks..... and hover nearby to pick up anything important that might be dropped, or needed.

So yeah! In the heat, he has measured but not always managed an accurate second check -- and thus has made -- well, MAYBE as many as eleven wrong cuts if ALL were added up... but there have been far more accurate cuts, mind you. But with all that is left to do in order to get the roof finished so we can drive back north, it began to look like a late June takeoff for us.

So! MILAGRO (miracle) in the form of one very big oversight! making it all turn out all right.....

Momo sauntered up the driveway early this morning -- dear friend who always greets us with a big "Sayonara!" and the occasional "Konichiwa!" He sized up the situation quite accurately and said he had some friends nearby who are experts in putting up these kinds tile rooves (roofs?)... and went off to bring them by.

THEY sized up the situation VERY accurately.

The slope of our roof is not steep enough for water to pour down along the curved valleys of the tiles (teja) without leaking. They demonstrated with real tiles and real water. They were right.

On the ground below the structure, we have a beeeeg stack of clay tiles (red tejas) -- now useless to us. The young men gently recommended that we use galvanized roofing such as we have on all of our other structures.... (Incidentally, the slope on all of our other roofs is as gentle, so what did we know? We were just keeping a visual conformity, I guess.)

One kinda wishes they had come by before we had poured the tall cement posts at carefully measured heights... heights measured to create a gentle slope.

The Blessing is this: since we can´t use the tejas, and since Robert is thoroughly exhausted with the work he has already done from the ground up, and since this kind of work is what these guys DO, and since they are available and ask a reasonable fee -- we came to town today. We ordered a properly measured amount of galvanized roofing to be delivered to our place pronto.

Tomorrow, these guys will set to work, and Robert will unwind and go surfing in the continually great waves (what a season, I mean WHAT A SEASON! for boarders and boogiers alike).

All´s well that ends well.