Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections and Wishes for 2012


This is a post that will go to both my blogs.

In my little corner of the world where there is a spirit of benevolence and generosity, I try to stay away from news of mayhem, violence, discontent, extreme selfishness that negates others’ needs, hatred, pursuits of materialism at the exclusion of uplifting ones … the list could go on.

While I’m far from claiming that Tequisquiapan is paradise, I reckon that it inclines one—not everyone… but certainly me-to pare down on material concerns and spend time on spiritual considerations. I might add …as it behoves me at this stage of my life. So at the end of 2011, please allow me to share some reflections with you by first admitting that my heart is filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the inspiration that sent me to Mexico; gratitude for the strength and determination to build my own little house; gratitude for the help that I found along the way; gratitude for this wondrous world of clear blue skies and shining stars; gratitude for my family and friends; gratitude for my readers that validate my continuing to write; and I could go on.

For a number of years now, I have read accounts on NDERF of people who have experienced clinical death and been resuscitated after crossing over. Those who have had a positive experience, and even those who at first had a negative one, at times very frightening, followed by a sense of being helped into a more positive one, ALL relate that the overwhelming memory that they bring following their experience is that of LOVE.  And that their lives are changed forever. They also become aware that each life has a particular goal and they choose to return to accomplish it.

For me, a source of inspiration has often come from Marianne Williamson’s writings, and in particular “A Return to Love”. Permit me to quote a few gems:-

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”

“We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present.”

“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. ”

Since the thought precedes the deed, I’ll have to remind myself of these inspiring thoughts to turn my behaviour into something that not only brings me peace and contentment, but results in a kinder disposition towards the world and its living creatures.

While I’m far from being keen on resolutions at the beginning of a new year, there is always room for improvement. As an Aries, patience is not my main virtue. It has finally dawned on me after reading about all these NDEs and reflecting on my life, that my goal in this life is probably learning more patience… and more forbearance. Here I am in a new country where I’m investing the later part of my life learning to build a house. I have now been living in my RV on my lot for pretty close to two years. A little at a time, I see my little house going up, yet may not be able to live in it for another year if all goes well. I’m doing this in a small place where at times, one may miss many of the amenities up North. The combination of these two certainly constitute a lesson in patience and forbearance. So I pray that I will finally master these two instead of sometimes chafing at the bit.

This morning I came upon this prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Shamelessly, I borrow from many sources for my own personal edification. At times, from Christian ones, at others from Sufism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Native Spirituality, even Moslem… It is my deepest belief that ALL religions form a pyramid at the base of which is a great diversity of beliefs and religious customs, and at its apex, the Source of Creation, the Universal Intelligence, the Great Spirit, by whatever one may name It.

Here is the prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

Oh, Divine Father, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved, as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I think that it could very well be a universal prayer regardless of any religious content, but based on convictions that would make for a better world if adhered to.

Not an easy task, but let me add that however much I fall short of it, I’ll probably die trying.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

People’s Reactions to Seniors and Old Age


I guess nobody wants to be reminded of their mortality. Yet, the statistics are dead on (pun intended) as each birth leads inexorably towards death. Then finally reaches it. You’re probably thinking that in this holiday season, what a subject to dwell on… But not a day passes by without my thinking about it. Not out of a morbid sense; just as a matter of fact.

Then, I’m also constantly reminded of it by people’s reactions at the sight of seniors, (that includes me) from family members or close enough acquaintances with whom an old person might be familiar. But I’ll get to this a bit later on.

For now, let me cite an example. Strangers, but not all, sitting on a bus for instance, seem to look right through the older person or after a short glance, look anywhere but directly at the senior. We’ve donned the cloak of invisibility… Thus, by pretending lack of attention or awareness, it justifies remaining sitting down until it’s time to get off the bus. Much younger people seem totally oblivious and continue their chatting or listening to whatever they were into until their bus stop while we hang on to the overhead pole for dear life. Speaking just for me, I choose to leave at a time when there will be seats available so that I don’t have to deal with standing up in a moving vehicle.

A particular annoyance is about offspring who deem it necessary to intervene when seniors contemplate a change or simply a job to do. As if the sight of a wrinkled face, gray or white hair, triggered the need in younger persons to offer “help” in the form of suggestions, but more often than not, definite advice? My friend has an unmarried daughter in her mid-twenties still living at home workless, who constantly advises her mother on how to dress a table, how to arrange furniture, how to do the laundry, how to do this and how to do that. A few weeks ago, my friend’s daughter even advised me on how to hammer a nail!!!  My friend often leaves her house to pay me a visit just to escape.

I admit that I don’t know what prompts a daughter or son to counsel a parent about life… when to stop RV’ing for instance… or how to organize one’s life or one’s house… when and where to move. And I’m not referring here to seniors who definitely show signs of diminishing capacities, but to those who are still in full command of theirs. Neither do I allege that all adult children do this, although I reckon that many do. Do we really appear so clueless that anyone short of our 20 to 30 years’ experience or more over theirs warrants intervention?

Let me offer some remarks that would help smooth out relationships between adult children and their senior parents:

Gray hair does NOT indicate rotting brain;

Wrinkled hands do NOT indicate inability to deal with household chores… but reluctance to do some; sometimes, we’d rather smell the roses or listen to the singing bird;

Shorter steps do NOT indicate incapacity to move but perhaps ill fitting shoes or corns;

And let’s face it… refusing certain invitations or activities does not imply that we CANNOT participate… just that we HAVE NO DESIRE TO. After a lifetime of experiences, many have lost their appeal.

A more tranquil approach to life does NOT mean we lost our spirit, but just that we’ve already done it all.

Let me compare seniors to onions. When we were teenagers, we thought ourselves immortal. At 15, doesn’t one know all about life? But a few strikes as we moved into adulthood and later on taught us. And as we progressed through life’s experiences, we found out that it was costly to insist on making all the mistakes by oneself just to learn. Life is too short and we couldn’t make them all. Layer after layer, we let go of expectations that were unrealistic and got to learn who we were at the core. Our goals became more attainable simply by virtue of self-knowledge.

I know that sometimes, we take longer to make a decision. That’s because we have lived long enough to have repented of hasty ones. In our fifties, we may have chosen to hang on to a more youthful appearance. But that’s a lot of work and eventually, we accepted the correct time since we simply couldn’t stop the clock. A self-evident truth that doesn’t spell defeat but wisdom.

Perhaps it is that all that we have let go of is not worthy of keeping.

There are cultures that cherish and honour their seniors and even seek their advice. Now, that’s turning the table!

I’m inviting all seniors who wish to offer comments to do so. Not necessarily gripes, but little quirks that are sometimes an affront to our age and capabilities.

Next week, back to construction.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Health News–and a Prelude to “People’s Reaction to Old Age and Seniors”


Well, it seems that the crisis is almost over. Yesterday I went to the General Hospital in San Juan del Rio, a brand new building open for only 3 days. Spanking new!

Before I go any further, let me state something with absolute certainty. I am blessed with very good health. I can’t recall the last time that I had a cold or the flu, and this without flu shots. Before I took to the road again, I passed a complete medical with flying colours. No high blood pressure, no sugar or diabetes, no cholesterol, no this, no that. And I must add that this surprised my physician as he kept scrolling down his form with increasing surprise. He’d collected 6 vials of blood for thoroughness.

So last Wednesday, when I went to see a doctor in Tequis, I had checked on the internet for symptoms of CO poisoning and I could have been a model case. This, plus the belated awareness that I had been delinquent in ensuring a sufficient admission of fresh air whenever I used the heater out of reluctance to let the cold in. In addition, the symptoms of nausea and vertigo were not exactly recent. I’d used the heater since the beginning of November and they had become progressively worse since shortly after. Yet clueless, I had remained ignorant of the connection with the gas heater. No longer.

Basically, I was hoping that the doctor would listen to my tale and direct me to where I could get a gasometrical blood test—it measures the percent of CO in the blood—and then point me to where I could be administered pure oxygen, the prescribed antidote. Nothing of the sort happened. After checking my blood pressure, which turned out to be 159/80, an acceptable reading given my age, he flatly stated that there was no way to get the test here, gave me a script for meds to relieve the nausea and another for the vertigo; not without adding a request for a test on lipids. My last cholesterol test had shown a level of 183, which is quite acceptable. Of dead animals, I eat only chicken and fish and am in the process of phasing them out. Reduced risk of cholesterol.

I got the meds, took them, with hardly any improvement. So I headed for the hospital. The triage nurse filled her computer form, had another one check my blood pressure—by then 159/100—and flatly stated that my problem was probably high blood pressure! By then it was about 2 pm. So on to the emergency bed where I was instructed to take EVERYTHING off. I was then hooked to an IV saline drip (one of 2) on the doctor’s order (whom by the way I NEVER got to meet), and supplied some blood for a gasometrical test… and… got my blood pressure checked. This time 159/83, which this new nurse qualified as ok.

Three hours passed. 

At that point, I’d gotten increasingly agitated. Darkness was soon coming, my dogs were outside without benefit of light or shelter, and it would be another 30 to 35 minutes for my ride to come from Tequis to pick me up. No results from the test. No visit by a doctor. The nurse came to check my blood pressure, this time 180/108!!!! My hospital stay had to come to an end or those numbers would go through the roof. I calmly got dressed and signalled to the nurse to PLEASE remove the second drip, which by now had been fully administered. The triage nurse came and asked me to sign a form stating that I had voluntarily (and gladly) decided to exit. Done.

For the sake of clarity, I’ll add that there were 3 nurses on duty and 4 patients in the emergency ward. A nurse said that she’d be by to remove the drip.

Another 50 minutes passed.

(I’d been a student nurse in my younger days but had opted out after a bit less than one year. It could be that I’m not the ideal patient, as the saying goes.)

I removed the needle from my hand aware that my ride was already way past halfway to San Juan, made a mess of it, apologized, got a bandage on my hand and walked out, everyone clucking disapproval. I never got the results of the gasometrical test.

I later learned that I had been referred to as “the lady with the respiratory problem by the intake worker!!!”

I knew with absolute certainty that I was suffering from CO poisoning. Logic and common sense dictated it. I’d now been blessed with high blood pressure, chest problems, not counting being too mentally challenged to know the difference between any of them, this in spite of claiming ownership and knowledge of a body in which I’d lived for over seven decades…

This post will be followed by another one with the second part of the title addressed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Alarming Experience


For the past 5 to 6 weeks, the nights had been getting very cold. The residual heat from the day would keep the RV comfortable until around 2 or 3 a.m. I usually keep the kitchen window, which is approximately mid-way from the front to the back where my bed is, confident that there was enough oxygen to sustain life with my propane heater on. I’d fire it up for some hours before getting up.

For the past 2 to 3 weeks, I’d been feeling terribly dizzy just moving my head from side to side, especially in bed. Upon waking up, I felt very lethargic and despondent. I’d ascribe it to Seasonal Affective Disorder and think no more about it since I’d feel better during the day with the sun shining.

Yesterday was altogether different. Attempting to get up, I had a very hard time focusing my eyes. Everything was twirling around. I knew that I had to get up but vertigo and nausea were a problem. I had to use the walls as props to keep me upright. Then, when I caught sight of myself in a mirror, I saw that the white of my eyes was the colour of a ripe tomato. I looked like some vampire and that scared the living daylights out of me! Scared doesn’t even come close to describe the way I felt.

My thoughts were a jumble of trying to figure out what was going on. But when I focused on the colour red, something finally hit me. I recalled that in cases of death by carbon monoxide poisoning, the skin turns bright cherry red. I immediately shut down the heater and opened all windows and door. Then went outside to take great gulps of fresh air. It helped a bit, but still, there was no way that I’d make it even to the bus stop to get to Tequis for medical help I was so unsteady on my feet and couldn’t focus. Did I panic? You bet! To make matters worse, I could get no signal on my cell for over two hours.

Eventually, I got a signal and went on the internet to check what were the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning … OMG! I needed help and called Yvonne. She came to pick me up and we drove to Tequis to a doctor’s office. He said that taking a blood sample for analysis was useless as there was no diagnostic service for CO poisoning. All that he could do was prescribe something for the nausea and for the vertigo.

Reading further on the internet later in the day, I reviewed how long I’d been having the symptoms—for weeks, if not longer. I read that it amounted to chronic poisoning! I figure that since the symptoms had gotten progressively worse, the gas had accumulated in my body, and could have been fatal within not much time… minutes! I figure that I had reached the acute stage.

In retrospect, I realize that I should have known better when I’d light up my propane gas heater and left it on from the wee hours in the morning till I’d get up. . . and I had done it nightly since early November.

You would think that coming from the Great White North as I do, I’d be more hardened to the cold. Not so. I can tough it up during the day but am accustomed to nights made comfortable by central heating. I’m getting a little better but understand that only with time will the symptoms clear up completely. The vertigo bothers me and I have yet to get rid of muscle and joints pain where there had been none before. SAD was not the culprit in my increasing depression and lack of mental acuity and a bevy of other symptoms, which will disappear as I get rid of the CO in my blood.

The dogs had it better than I did, being close to the open kitchen window. My bed is way in the back in a very enclosed cubbyhole. Tina had not been herself for a while now and I’d been flummoxed as to what was troubling her. I should have been awake to her signals.

My determination to finish the house is now being informed by a sense of urgency. I simply cannot face another winter living in the RV. Money has never been a pursuit in and of itself, just out of necessity. It is now.

However, I must add that I’m very thankful for being alive after this episode. It had been a matter of minutes…

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Post Notification - the Term Followers

Just a quick one to confirm that by subscribing to the new post notification as explained on my post of yesterday,  any new post is emailed to the subscriber. Also, please read Tesaje's comment and suggestion on yesterday's post. It is another way of being notified of a new post.

I fully agree with Tesaje about the term "followers" being somewhat pejorative as I added in my comment following Tesaje's. If you also agree, would you so advise Google, please. I will.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Post Notification–Followers

I sinned by ignorance. I had assumed that once a reader has signed up as a Follower of a blog, it automatically ensured notification whenever a new post was published. Wrong.

So I had to correct this. I have added an option just above the caption Followers to allow readers to be notified whenever a new post is published. This will save time as I assume that every follower had to check the blog each time just to find out whether something new had been added. Just enter the email address at which you wish to receive notification. You will be asked by email to confirm to Feedburner your subscription to that service. That’s all. You don’t even have to be a follower.

I created a new email address without registering as follower of my blog and received the email. I confirmed on the link to Feedburner and from now on, I’ll be receiving notification of any new post. I’ll keep my new email box active just to check whether all who wish to be notified receive the email.

Costs and a New Project & Bernal


I’m happy to report that my construction expenses were unusually low this month. Here they are:

Tall ladder 1,271.
Cement 224.
Bricks 860.
Labour for 5 days 2,750.

Total $6,610.
Or around $500. dollars  

This is good as it will leave me enough to start a personal project, that of making my dining room table. I have already bought the materials, wood table legs, plywood for the table base, glue, screws, and ceramic tiles. Roberto, an architect who had to give up architecture because of an accident that cost him one eye and damaged the other, has a shop that sells handmade ceramic objects, tiles, wall sconces, lavabos, etc.

Yvonne knew the shop and we went there a few times. As I browsed the tiles, I fell in love with a French design. Very graciously Roberto lent me a few tiles with which I could “play” deciding on a design. It was fun and I finally was ready to order the tiles. It took quite some time getting them, they’re made by hand.

I took a photo of the tiles arranged in the design that I want for the table top; it is below. It is not complete; there will be an additional narrow border of plain half tiles and an outer border of wood trim. I still have to find the grout in a colour that will match the background of the tiles.

Here’s a portion of what the table top will look like:

Brick Arch 014-1

The kitchen area of the combined dining/kitchen will include an island that will act as a demarcation between both sides of the large room. I’m thinking of using a similar ceramic border for the island. I find it enjoyable to design and absolutely exhilarating to see a project become reality.

Also, I had planned on having vaulted brick ceilings in all the rooms except the bathroom where the roof will have to be flat to support the water tank. The latter feeds water by gravity. But I changed my mind and will have the bedroom roof also flat and reinforced with re-bars. The roof will eventually serve as a terrace from which I can gaze at the scenery, which includes the Peña de Bernal, some 12 to 15 km from home.

For the curious, the Peña de Bernal is one of the few monoliths in the world that include Gibraltar. It was formed 100 million years ago and has probably shrunk with time. It is solid rock and at its base is a small pueblo San Sebastian Bernal. Here’s a link to it:


I may not have much to report until after New Year’s Day, so in the meantime let me wish to all a Merry Christmas and a most enjoyable Holiday Season.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brick Arch–Last Wall to Go Up


Here we go with yet new workers… but these are here to last, I hope. They are both very industrious, professional, and incredibly multi-talented. I will introduce each to you on the job.

The very last wall to go up, and it’s a beauty! A while back I had recalled some of the old but beautiful apartments and houses in Old Montreal and NDG, many with a whole wall made of bricks. Even though it isn’t usually done here, I decided that the wall separating the living room from the kitchen/dining room area would go up in bricks. I had plans to have both sides in bricks but had to opt for one side only because of many factors—time constraints, solidity and durability of wall, and its being combined with the entrance door opening in the dining room. So that side will be covered and painted.

Luis is the artist that was elected to build the arch. Below is a photo of the starting point. First a beam resting on studs and absolutely level. On that beam are blocks that will be the base over which the arch will be built. As you can see, there are bricks that constitute the form of an arch over which some mortar is applied. This base will be temporary. The rounded part is determined from a wire nailed in the center of the bottom beam and stretched from one side to the other.

Brick Arch 013-1

If you double click on the photo on the right, you’ll be able to see the wire hanging down from the beam against the middle stud. The photo on the left shows the form that is the temporary basis for the arch.

Brick Arch 008

Here is Luis, a master mason in my view. Brick Arch 003On the photo below, he shows how a number of strings strategically placed will keep the shape of the arch constant and the whole thing level. He constantly checked the proper placement of the bricks by means of a string that he would run against the structure as he was building.


The photo below shows the strings that Luis has strung from side to side to remind him of the proper height and level. I tried to coax him into the bright smile that he usually has but I think that he was a bit shy or the sun was in his face.

Brick Arch 004

Once the mortar has sufficiently hardened, it has to be “cleaned” by scraping some off to a regular depth everywhere. This was done by a homemade implement consisting of a nail in a piece of wood. Thinking that it would make the job easier, Yvonne brought a tool that is used in Holland to do a similar job on the left. But in the end, Jesus went back to using his self-made tool that he exhibits in the photo below on the right.

Mason's tool 002

Further down on the right is Jesus in front of his handiwork with the tools. The smile says it all!

Mason's tool 001

Jesus’s job is to mix the mortar and carry it to Luis, to water the bricks before they are used, this to ensure proper “sticking”, to prepare the planks that will be used to make a form into which concrete will be poured for the castillos. The castillos serve to cement together the walls, around the door and window frames.

Whenever he runs out of things to do, he helped me mark the places where electric outlets will be located. He marked the contour of each box, then indicated whether the wire would come from above or from the floor. Here’s an example:

The photo on the left indicates a box for a wall switch in the bedroom wall with the wire coming in from above. With the help of my new generator, he then sawed right through the bricks or blocks and chiselled each by hand, as shown on the photo below.

Brick Arch 006-1Brick Arch 011

As I’m finishing this, both Luis and Jesus are preparing to pour concrete into the forms to unite the brick wall to the side ones.

This will be it for construction in 2011. I will post before next year and will resume the construction tales at some time in January.

I will post the costs separately as I have to gather up my bills.

From an idea, then to a rough sketch followed by a more detailed plan… and now to walls standing solidly on the Mexican soil. What a journey … and it’s not over! 

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Never a Dull Moment…

The past week has seen more activity of a sort that one doesn’t really wish for. My new guys working for three days from November 30 to last Friday are Luis, a mason, and Jesus, his helper. Since the helper has a bit of free time between chores for the mason, I had asked Jesus to help me check on the state of my batteries used for the house, in conjunction with the solar energy. The panels were on the RV’s roof and COVERED with dust. The batteries are housed in a very small cubbyhole difficult of access. They are the Deep Cycle type and quite heavy. I had long suspected that they might need an addition of distilled water. The problem was that I could not locate where to get distilled water around here. First difficulty. The second was swiftly on the heels of the first one; who would help me do it?

That task took a number of weeks to complete as I was (as all of you are probably aware of…) without wheels. I was finally successful in locating a place where the right stuff was available and bought two liters. Then, I had to wait until I found someone available to help me with that chore. More weeks went on without any kind of progress, until Jesus (the helper) came into the picture. I’m sorry to state that this is often the difficulty and frustration of dealing with what we, up North, would consider daily humdrum realities of life. (I’ll add that living in Mexico has many redeeming qualities… and that they fortunately far outweigh the problems).

Jesus quickly warmed up to the task. I have two 6 volt batteries connected in a series and a 12 volt one connected to the others in parallel. (For the purists out there, I know that it isn’t the ideal method, but it was all that my cubbyhole could hold.) I asked him to disconnect first, then to hold together those wires that were connected together and label. He did his very best but it was mid-afternoon and he was tired. The sun was getting low on the horizon as we’re more than 6,000 feet above sea level. Unknowingly for him and unbeknownst to me, he created a short circuit.

When I looked at the regulator, I saw that from a reading of 9.8 (a terrible reading) it was rapidly going down to 8…. then 7.1, the final reading. That’s when I remembered that I should have covered the solar panels before proceeding with checking on the batteries and adding water to the cells. To my eyes, tragedy had struck because of my lack of awareness. The inverter was uncheckeable reading totally blank as was the regulator, the fridge would not start for lack of sufficient power to generate a spark, and neither was the water heater. What to do?

Nothing, other than to cover the solar panels (albeit a tad late for that!) light up the candles and pray. Jesus had called on a friend who was a full-fledged electrician but could not, and should not have either, come this late in the day. Diego (the electrician) came promptly at 8 A.M. yesterday, the following morning and I had to tell him my sordid story of neglect. Not a proud moment in my life. His first task was to check on the state of the batteries. My 12 volt one registered at 2.8!!!!! Honestly, I thought that short of fervent prayers to the God/ess of Batteries, nothing could be salvaged.

We took it to town for recharging (using his car) and left it there. The 6 volt ones were both ok. Then, Diego’s car gave up (in despair?) shortly after he’d gotten home from Tequis. He came back a few hours later with a 12V fully charged but only by taking the local bus with the battery to make it back to my lot. All of that had taken from 8 AM to about 3 PM, allowing an hour for lunch. Diego went to work. Very professional. After high school, he had taken 3 years to complete his requirements for Industrial Electricity. In Mexico, there are 3 levels—Domestic, Commercial, and Industrial—the last requiring one year more of schooling. He was so generous with his help and time that I decided right then that he would have the contract for the electrical installation of the house. His pay? $300. pesos a day; that is about $25.00!

The long and short of it is that I again have power, in spite of my failings, and can use my computer. This kind of problem is why I opted out of RV’ing full time. As available as were the helpers and the knowledge of full time RV’ers in the beautiful Arizona desert, there were 5 more months of uncertainties on the road where qualified help wasn’t always available or was frightfully expensive. Tomorrow or the day after, photos will be taken showing the construction progress. It’s awesome! I swear endless gratitude to the Powers-that-Be for always providing me with the kind of help that I need. Uncanny!

So let not my small tribulations be a deterrent for getting on with your dreams and projects. We, as women, do not shirk and wither away from giving birth, do we? And men, do you shy away from producing offspring despite the hard labour and commitment to come in caring for them? If you have children, you certainly know what I’m talking about.

So I go on. As you also must go on. Life isn’t always easy, but it’s certainly worthwhile!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saying Thanks


Although I don’t believe in having just one day on which to show our appreciation for all the gifts and blessings one enjoys in life, perhaps this day is extra-special to also reflect on what those gifts and blessings are.

As for me, I am extraordinarily grateful for my new life in a new country. Don’t think for one minute that I can’t appreciate how blessed I am with health and vitality. Those gifts that permit me at my age of 72 to start anew with creativity and hope for the future. When I thought that the rest of my life would be spent in the RV, I’m given this opportunity to design and build my own small house. I love a challenge and this one could hardly fit me any better combining as it does art, practicality, organization, and determination. What’s not to be thankful for?

I am grateful for both family and friends here and everywhere. I am grateful for the chance, even in the “boonies” to connect with the world at large with my blogs and for all those who read them. I am grateful for my three dogs who teach me what unconditional love is.

I pray that in turn, my little adventure may help others to accept that it is never too late. I wish you all a song dancing in your heart, a head thrilled with a dream, and the health and gumption to forge ahead and make that dream come true.


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Construction News and Latest on my Dogs


First generalities. Although Demetrio and Ruben had done good work, they had become a little slack on hours—by quite a margin. So I called on Benjamin, the Maestro de Obra, (otherwise known as the Big Kahuna) for both Yvonne’s many projects and my little one. Benjamin nodded his head and decreed that the work should have advanced more rapidly. He sent me two new men, both masons, one as the mason, the other as his helper. They were Julio, Benjamin’s brother, and Juan, their nephew. The work progressed at a pace that I hadn’t witnessed before—to my great delight!

Now all the outside walls have been erected. It’s quite interesting how they proceed. First the walls go up to the half-way mark and they are promptly “secured” one to the other by armed concrete at the main junction points. Then the second phase sees the walls all the way up to about 23 cm from the desired height. Over those a cadena will finish them up with armed concrete over all the walls and partitions. This to keep a strong base for dome ceilings as they are made of bricks and they exert considerable pressure in an outward fashion. This would cause cracking and fissures in the walls.

The photo below is the partition from the dining/kitchen looking to the bathroom on the left and to the bedroom on the right.

20 novembre 2011 001

20 novembre 2011 010-1

The castillo on the right will be filled with concrete to secure the all brick partition to be built next to the existing walls. This partition separates the dining/kitchen from the living room.





The photo below on the left is the other end of the partition to be built. Left of the photo is the metal part (assembled by hand) over which concrete will be poured. To the right is the form made to accommodate the concrete. The opening will be the entry door. The photo on the right shows the concrete base over which the brick partition will be built this coming phase.

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The photo below is the northern wall of the bedroom. I wanted only glass squares way up. The headboard of my bed will be in the middle of the wall. I wanted to offer as little opportunity as possible for the cold wind in the winter to enter.

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20 novembre 2011 008

This is not a new one on the right except for the llamarada vine in glorious bloom. I had feared the freezing nights of last winter had killed it. I’d had to cut it back in the spring to about one foot tall. In time, the whole wall will be covered in those bright orange blossoms that attract bees and hummingbirds.

A last note. The floors will come last. Enough tepetate will be packed in to leave just enough space to pour more concrete to line up to the top of the black waterproofing at the base of the walls.

I asked Julio what the life expectancy of such a house is. His prompt reply? At least a whole lifetime!

Below are my expenses:-

Details Cost in Mx. pesos
Bucket waterproofing 373.
Cement blocks, cal (limestone) and PVC tubes 1,813.
Red bricks or walls 450.
PVC tubes for drainage of washer, more cal and cement, metal wire to assemble forms 913.
Generator, 3,000 watts a good deal at Costco 4,474.
Travel 200.
Labour – Ruben for waterproofing 250.
Labour – Julio and Juan 2,600.
More blocks! 115.

TOTAL $11,188.

Here are the latest photos of my dogs. I don’t know how Queenie manages to squeeze herself into a tight ball, but she does for her night sleep. Tina usually presses herself very close to Queenie and Tasha uses the vacant space to stretch herself. Of course there is a bit of distortion on account of the perspective.

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When I had Tasha spayed the third week of June, the veterinarian stated that she had to be AT LEAST 8 months old. I had found her on March 5th, a tiny puppy that appeared to be only 5 to 6 weeks old, with her milk teeth and puppy fuzz. A quick calculation made her to have been about 4 months old! Hard to wrap my head around this one… but I did notice how quickly she’d shed her baby teeth and her puppy fuzz. Still…

This is how she looks at one year old.

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Just for comparison’s sake, here is Tina who will be 2 years old a little before Christmas. She has to be the sweetest dog I’ve had, ever.

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Not a prize photo on the right, but one that shows the difference in size between the two. As to Queenie, she’ll remain the Queen in size and character, except that at more than 9 years old, her muzzle, chin (practically her whole face) and paws are turning white.


Finally, a dilemma that continues to disturb me as I can’t make up my mind. On the one hand, I sorely miss having wheels. On the other, on account of my limited resources, construction has to go at a snail’s pace. I’m so longing to be in a REAL house, in regular size furniture, and with a bath and shower instead of just the shower, and have more than about 50 square feet of living space. I will have been boondocking on my lot for close to 2 years now. I moved on the lot on February 23rd of last year, 2010. The first year to pay for the lot, get water connection, septic tank, and a cement fence.  Construction has been going on for 5 months and space and amenities have diminished gradually as we went on. I’m sorely tempted to halt construction for a couple months to put money aside and resume construction in February, or even March and employ workers to finish the job more quickly.

Yvonne keeps reminding me of The Secret so I try to visualize $5,000. dollars dropping from the sky any time now. Then my decision would be to finish the house and settle down, THEN get wheels.

Who says that I can’t dream?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Welcome and a Quick Update


Welcome to new Followers! I’m so gratified when my blog gets read. I do hope that some of my “discoveries” living in Mexico can help others. Do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions.

My computer came back home and, according to Tony, didn’t need any fixing. The so-called broadband is the culprit. I’m investigating other means of keeping me connected; unfortunately, not many options are available. Imagine, if you can, clicking for close to an hour just to get to the Yahoo opening page… I often give up before the hour is over, hence long delays between postings.

I will be taking photos of the walls, all but one are now up and standing! The wall between the living room and dining/kitchen will be coming up at the end of November. Then construction will have to take a few months hiatus so that I can put money aside to get WHEELS. Not only is it time-consuming to go via public transportation to shop for basic necessities, it is tiring as hell!

I’m counting on posting over the weekend when offices will be closed and fewer demands will be made on the Telcel connection. Also, I’ll have new pics of my girls. Tasha has grown like the proverbial beanstalk. She’s longer, taller, and leaner than Tina.

More coming up in a few days.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tequisquiapan–The Pros and Cons and an Admonition


Something is occurring in my little part of the world that gives me pause, and I’ll explain.

Tequisquiapan lies at over 6,000 degrees of altitude smack in the geographical center of the country, by longitude and latitude. The central part of Mexico is considered the colonial part of the country with an ideal climate. It is also very secure. That I can vouch for. Tequis, as we fondly call it, is a rather small town; the municipal district of Tequis is still under 65,000 inhabitants but not by much.

The municipio of Tequisquiapan is an extended region that comprises many colonias such as Bordo Blanco, El Tejocote, La Trinidad, Fuentezuelas, La Tortuga, Santillan and more. If I mistake the term colonia, I will stand corrected. These outlying areas are small and still totally Mexican in terms of population and character. Even downtown Tequis is still unsullied and has kept its authentic charm. I shudder thinking that it would change to accommodate those resisting to become part of it.

Permit me to introduce some quotes and demographics for other areas. San Miguel de Allende has been an expats choice for retirement since the 1930s. When I worked in the travel business some 45 to 50 years ago, it was known for the quality of its light and attracted mainly artists. It also lies in the central colonial part of the country. However, it is quickly losing the very qualities that drew literally thousands of residents from other parts of the world. Here I quote, “The recent boom drew an even larger flock of snowbirds (mostly American)…”** As you can imagine, the housing market has also seen a tremendous increase in prices, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the native population to keep up with the lifestyle of expats who come equipped with dollars and pay in pesos.  “Foreign residents number from 8,000 to 12,000 with about 7,000 of these from the U.S. alone.”** Here’s another quote, “Old timers started grousing about its Disneyfication.”** 

I went for a visit a few months back and am loathe to return. To me, downtown felt more like California than Mexico. The climate and architecture are still Mexican but you hear more English than Spanish as you walk downtown San Miguel. Prices in the shops are really really high and many of the native Mexicans you encounter on the street are selling one thing or another when not begging. What a pity…

** For more statistics and comments, do a Google search for San Miguel de Allende. I would also suggest that anyone who is contemplating retiring to Mexico first do a thorough search on the internet. Ajijic and Lake Chapala have been dotted with gated communities where the residents don’t have to learn Spanish and manage in encountering hardly any of the native population. Perhaps it would be more attractive to you? Baja California is more expensive than mainland Mexico, but also closer to what one would expect to find north of the border, in either country. I unearthed a site about Lake Chapala titled “Gringos on the Lakeshore”… that says it all. Check it out.

Here, there is a very small number of expats who will not learn Spanish and are attempting to lure compatriots so as to form an exclusive group of people to befriend and with whom to converse and mingle. The same probably happened in the places I’ve mentioned above and perhaps others, as well. I contend that anyone who moves to a new country be ready to assimilate and if not blend, at least integrate, with the native culture and population. When I visited San Miguel, one lone figure remains superimposed in my memory. One very tall woman who was walking close to the museum who had an expression so haughty, almost disdainful, that I felt myself cringe.

So here, please allow me to shout it, IF YOU COME TO MEXICO, PLEASE BE READY TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE! If being surrounded by another ethnic population is bothering you, why come? If you constantly decry what you have left behind, obviously you yearn for it; remain where you can have it! If you feel so alienated in a brand new (to you) culture, why in the world would you come to Mexico?

REFRAIN FROM COMING FOR FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS ALONE. You will end up disgruntled, constantly criticising, comparing a developing country to an industrial one. Things are NOT like they are on the other side of the border. The infrastructure is still lacking many of the developments of the richer countries up north. Shopping and entertainment replicate the culture and people of this country, hardly those of the U.S. or Canada.

Speaking strictly for myself, I find it exciting to be admitted in my new surroundings by people whose language I’m learning, and whose culture fascinates me. This unique blend of an ancient indigenous people and another old culture, that of the Spaniards, has a quality that I find enticing, almost exotic. I’m rereading “Iberia” by James Michener for the second time and this helped me tremendously to understand Mexicans. Please educate yourself about the country and its people to find out whether you can accept it wholeheartedly so as to avoid feeling compelled to import what you left behind. It would be unfair, unjust, and unthinkable for Mexico or any part of it to lose its charm and authenticity.

Yes, BE READY FOR A CULTURE SHOCK, But consider it a learning experience, not an exercise in comparison and judgment. And I promise you’ll really enjoy the country and its people.

An Impossible Week--a Recalcitrant Computer—News on Construction


The week of the Day of the Dead saw an influx of tourists from October 27th up to the middle of last week. Impossible to access the internet because of s…l…o…w……a…s….m…o…l…a…s…s…e…s connection on account of so much traffic. I would usually give up after an hour or more of trying without success. Sorry.

Then over the weekend, try as I might, I still could not have access to ANYTHING starting with my opening page at yahoo. I suppose that I had to come to the conclusion that there was something wrong with my equipment. I bought software to speed up my PC and it helped, but just a little. I have problems with the DNS and when I checked my downloads, I realized that for months now, NVidia had failed to update…

So I’m taking the contraption tomorrow to Tony in town in the hope that he can straighten up things. So I may not be able to post for a while.

The walls are up and taking photos is delayed because of what precedes. Also, I’m having difficulties in accessing both blogs and my email boxes. Never a day without some frustration… guess my task in this life is to learn patience.

I got my generator and was able to do my own laundry in my own washer for the first time in 20 months. I never imagined that doing laundry would give me so much satisfaction, almost elation! But it did. Go figure.

I’m working of a post about moving to Mexico for many good and all the bad reasons. Coming as soon as I get a more cooperative computer.

I’m posting this on both my blogs and apologize for this tardiness.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Great-Granddaughter Brianna


Went I planned my trip to Calgary in the spring, it was with the hope that my timing would coincide with the birth of my great-granddaughter. No go. My granddaughter Rebecca kept being late and I had to come back to Mexico and await the news. Brianna was born 10 days after my return. Poor timing on my part…

Then, after Brianna was born, my iffy Telcel ISP kept interfering with my receiving or downloading any file of importance. Understandably, as we all do with a first child, there were photos galore. Rebecca, my only grandchild, was not content unless she’d send me upwards of 75 pics. No go in getting any of it. I had to find a way.

Well, a few are better than none. My son just sent me by email the latest pics of Brianna. She’s almost ready to crawl at 6 months of age. Isn’t she a cutie?











Pretty hard to conceptualize. My son is a grand-daddy! Brianna seems to enjoy the thought. . .

Clear and Present Information

Yesterday, I got an email from someone who said that readers would feel more of a connection if I showed a recent photo together with my name. My published photo dated from 50 years ago. I thought that perhaps I was short-changing my readers and published my recent passport photo. But just overnight. A comment by Tesaje made it obvious how that move made me feel vulnerable, almost coerced into doing something that went against the grain. I removed it, as well as my old one. Another factor that to me is more important than the way I look or did, is that I'm doing something that requires courage, determination, and more youth than one should possess at my age. So instead of being frozen in an image that is 50 years dated, or a present one that does NOT represent my true nature and character, I thought I'd do away with a picture frozen in any time at all. As to my name, which is an ancient French name, I've gone all my life by a nickname that would be associated with one very young and elfin like Audrey Hepburn. I am neither one nor the other. So please accept my decision to be portrayed by what I do, not by what I look like. I reveal myself with raw honesty in my words and my deeds. I hope it will suffice. Besides, I do gaze at the stars and here, where no street or city lights interfere with the darkness of the night , they sparkle as millions of diamonds in the night sky. I never tire of it.

I have changed the way of viewing the archives. They now begin with the oldest down to the latest. I moved on my lot in February 2010. I’m still in the RV; it will probably be my “home” for months to come. I realize that I haven’t toured much around and reported on it. But it will come when I have a car or van.
Back in January 2010, when I’d decided to move from Tequis to Oaxaca, it was with the idea of contacting a family of artisans living in Teotitlan del Valle, some 17 km from the city of Oaxaca. They had been introduced to me by the family son who lived next to Yuma, AZ, on the Mexican side. He had insisted that I would get help from his dad in finding a lot on which I could live in my RV while paying for the lot. On the very day just prior to my leaving for Oaxaca, some compatriots showed up at my casita on Juarez and invited me to dinner at their home in Santillan.

I went, detailed my plan to go to Oaxaca and was asked “… why go all the way to Oaxaca? There’s one lot right here for sale!”  The transaction was agreeable to both seller and buyer and that’s how I ended up boondocking on my lot for one year during which I paid for it. At the time of the purchase, I knew nothing about ejido lands. Didn’t know that they were unserviced lots and that much effort and money would have to be spent first in getting water, second that electricity was not a given. However, the 3 families belonging to a religious group had secured all this at considerable expense and one of them had a 15KVA transformer on his lot to which I’d hoped to get connected eventually…

Many attempts were made by one after the other of the members of that group to convince me to join their church. In vain. What I hadn’t known when I bought the lot was that their goal had been to develop a compound grouping members of the same religious persuasion. But I remained adamant in my resistance to join them and slowly became persona non grata. Particularly since I was told that I was in cahoots with Satan, being an astrologer. This meant that I would be isolated, a definite problem given that I have no vehicle. Fine… I thought. No sense crying over spilt milk. I’ll use public transportation and I’ll make other friends. I did.

Let me explain a bit about ejido lands. After the Mexican Revolution, land that had been kept in the hands of a few while most of the native population was forever indebted to the rich owners of haciendas and ranches was redistributed. The seized lands were meant to help the native workers farm FOR THEMSELVES and were thus divided up with the very specific goal of agriculture. Each area was and still is governed by a group of people called ejidatario. The sale of any lot was and is subject to the approval of this governing body, and requires every member’s approbation to convert the land into residential lots. This is the story in a very condensed nutshell.

I had to make the best of it and honestly, I was quite happy with my living conditions, hard as they were sometimes. I was consumed with learning Spanish and did so in order to get information first hand. There has been a mini-boom in construction around me, all by Mexican nationals, and we are soon to number 7 families wanting electric power. Electricity in Mexico is governed by a federal agency with a certain latitude given to individual states. In Querétaro, I hear that a minimum of 10 families is required to apply for power, the costs of which will be shared by each one. The 3 families who had their private network have been subject to very high consumer fees, some 10 times the normal cost. It appears that they might want to join our group to make up for the minimum of 10 families. All this is an ongoing saga. I will post any new development as it occurs.

I received all kinds of information and counsel from expats and from Mexicans. Often they were contradictory and I still have to separate genuine information from personal opinions. This is why, after listening to many, I opted for drawing my own house plan along Mexican standards. It made sense to me since I live in Mexico. I also want to be a part of the local population as a full-fledged participant. I have nothing against ivory towers, only as an ornament. I have no wish to live in one.

The bottom line is that I’m happy. I have my three dogs, and even though they can be a pain at times, they are equally fun to be with. I love them and love having them. I have genuine friends whom I would trust with my life. Since I have never yearned after riches, I’m satisfied with my pension and will accomplish my goal to one day live in my own personally designed house. Without any mortgage! I admit to having a certain pride in this.
I hope that in posting this, it will be a warning to those who would like to move to Tequisquiapan, to take old information with a grain of salt. If you have any question, I will be happy to give up to date information and get it if I don’t already have it. I have seen in equal measure people coming here with the intent to remain, leave disgruntled, as I have those who came, saw, and now live here content.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Change of Plans


While construction has been going well, even if slowly, I find myself obliged to put things on hold for a while. The walls will be up by November 4th. At the end of November the cadena over the walls will be built and that’s as far as I can go this year.

With my limited income, I’m proud of what I have achieved so far. But it meant cutting it too close to the bone at times. Now I definitely need transportation and much more urgently, a generator. The days are getting shorter and there are not enough sunlight hours to allow my batteries the use of my computer, or even the lights, in the evenings. So it’s been reading by candlelight and a miner’s forehead light. At some point last month, I would have been in trouble had I not received help from an anonymous donor. That’s a generous gesture for which I will forever be so grateful.

I will be looking for a gently used van already licensed in Mexico. I could probably find a better deal in the U.S. but I don’t think that I would be allowed to buy and license a vehicle without a proper state address. My driver’s license is from Alberta. Plus there would probably be an importation fee. I’m aware that many drive a U.S. vehicle bought here. But I don’t want to be without insurance and I know that many locals drive without any. I’ll have to check on the law. I’ll have time while I’m putting $$ away.

This doesn’t mean that I will drop my blogs. Trust me, I do have a lot to relate and I will. So next Friday, I’m off to Querétaro to buy a brand new 3000 watts generator at Costco. It should be powerful enough to allow me the use of my washing machine instead of roughing it by hand. We do have Costco, Home Depot, Office Depot, Sam’s, and Walmart here. Some in San Juan, some only in Querétaro, and some in both cities. 

I was in Querétaro with Yvonne and Margaret last Tuesday and was thrilled first to find the generator, and second to find Cabot’s aged cheddar cheese from Vermont. Delicious! And available at Costco only. Sorry to admit it, but to a northerner the locally made cheeses are way too bland. Probably to offset the spicy dishes? It would make sense. Same with the cream. I haven’t yet developed a tough enough palate to partake of the Mexican spicier dishes. I’m trying though.

Hasta luego.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Celebrating our Imperfections


Yesterday I received an email from my friend Yvonne and it really touched a sensitive spot. I decided to elaborate on these feelings, knowing that so many others had probably felt the same way at some point in their life. I posted it on my other blog then realized this morning that this topic was NOT of a metaphysical nature. So here it is. I guess I’m once again on my soap box. . .

The photo that I have posted on my blog is as I was in my early to mid-twenties. Is it vanity that made me publish that photo? Perhaps… but I’m not so sure. A lifetime of feeling less for being more is hard to let go of. This photo was taken for my passport when I was going to France to join my fiancé in Marseille. I also had a visa for the Congo to go visit my sister. I did go to Marseille for a few months. Never made it to Brazzaville.

To make a long story a bit shorter, after a few years of living together, I realized that my fiancé was never going to get married, at least to me. He kept saying how beautiful the girls on the Riviera were with their incredible bodies being flaunted on the beach in Nice and Cannes. How did it make me feel? Ugly, unworthy, and unlovable. I wasn’t slim enough. . . even though I had starved myself for weeks living on grapefruit and boiled eggs. I got slim ok… but still, it wasn’t enough. Finally I got sick to my soul of feeling rejected for who I was. So after 5 years, I left him despite his assurance of his deep love for me.

On the rebound, with my family condemning me for my leaving him, I met with a man who wanted me as I was. . . or so I thought. By then, my health was not at a peak… but I was slim! After four painful miscarriages, I was able to conceive and gave him a daughter and a son. My body felt these assaults and, as if in an attempt to cushion me from pain, I got  f a t. Oh the F..  word, it isn’t the four letter word that is an insult to our spirit. It is a much shorter one but how much deeper it goes, slicing through your heart and your essential being and the last vestiges of any measure of self-worth.

Are we children of God? I think so. I do believe in a Supreme Creator who must love all of us in our imperfections, for why would he/she/it keep on making that many of us falling any distance from perfection?  Far too many beautiful young girls go through anorexia, bulimia, self-flagellation in this search for a goal that may never be achieved. Why are we so engaged in a short body life when eternity will eventually greet us as beautiful, powerful, incredibly loved spiritual beings, a reflection of our Creator? And here, I DO mean a genderless parent, all loving, all accepting. When we make these harsh judgements on ourselves, we are doing violence to our essential spirit. I did.

I can’t speak for men. But at some level, I think that, if they fall under the supreme judgement of the media, they must feel of lesser worth for having a slight paunch, for hair missing above their forehead, yet having so much more unwanted coming out of their ears and nostrils. Does it affect their sense of self-worth? I can’t say. We are ALL so judgemental. And judging is so far away from loving genuinely, isn’t it? 

When Yvonne sent me this quote from Einstein, it plunged me in old unresolved pain and deep hurts. If we are NOT the body, how did we get so far away from acknowledging our true essence, which is spirit?

Anyway, here it is:


There are many models of us, two-legged creatures. When we limit our vision to that of a perfect body, an engaging smile, or clear blue eyes, we are SHORT-CHANGING who we really are. If an acknowledged genius says this, perhaps we can take note.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Latest Construction News

What a pleasure to see the second phase of the walls going up. We began with the living room on the west side, then moved on to the south side with its arch window. Thus far, all my plans and measurements had worked well. However, when it came to the arch window, I had not taken into account the cadena over all the walls that would measure 23 cm high. So I lowered the size of the arch window by 20 cm and it looks ok.
Here is the wall on the west side of the living room with two side by side windows above the floor to come by only 60cm (a tad over 23in.) and 1.2cm tall (almost 4ft tall). Their width is also 60cm. Please refer to my previous post for the south and east plans for the living room.
Second Construction Phase 002
Over each window and door a cadena is built as a support for the weight above the each. Here the castillo between the two windows anchors the wall into the bottom cadena. Once all walls are erected, another armed cadena will go up to support the roof of each room.
The window across the room is the living room window on the east side.
Now, here’s my pride and joy. My arch window on the south side of the living room. This photo shows how Demetrio first built a base in wood, levelled, over which he used blocks and small bricks to make the form for the arch. Over that he put a coat of smooth mezcla or cement with a high content of lime. He then built another form to cover both front and back sides of the arch and poured cement into it.

And now is the finished arch. In my opinion, a work of art. The top part is also a cadena that forms a complete support UNDER the cadena for the roof to come. The cadena above the arch is poured together with the castillo to form a whole support and anchoring system.

Second Construction Phase 007
The black part at the bottom is waterproofing of the bottom cadena. The last stage of building will be the filling of the bottom part of all the rooms of the house with tepetate over which  wire mesh and concrete will be poured.
The green vine on the cement fence is llamarada, with bright orange blooms that will attract hummingbirds and bees. The photo below is the view from the outside.

Second Construction Phase 001
The photo on the right below is the east side of the kitchen. The window will be above the double sink. The PVC tube is already in place to dispose of the grey water in a below ground system. The septic tank will receive only the sewage from the toilet.
Second Construction Phase 004-1

Here were the expenses
Description Cost        

Cement 7 bags

100 cement blocks 500.
New hose and faucet 91.
400 red bricks 720.
100 cement blocks + 7 bags cement 1284.
150 cement blocks + 1 cement bag 862.
Labour for two weeks – mason and helper 5100.
5 kg metal wire 100.
PVC tubes for later use 355.
Lot clean up by Ruben and waterproofing cadena 250.

Total for two weeks

Made a mistake and showed $5100. twice. It should have been labour for two weeks.

Too many things on my mind...

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