Despairing of the Roof Project

So what have we been up to? ROOFING! Yep. The roof to my son’s mini-abode is finally done! Let me tell you, I despaired of it happening at all! Here’s how this construction adventure went.

If you recall, I lost my main source of income in March and spent several months living on a prayer and painstakingly earning just enough money to pay the internet before landing some ho-hum jobs. In August, my cup runneth over with the Chinese company, and I had classes every day. Since I was pretty sure that wouldn’t last (and it didn’t), I decided that the best use of those funds was to go ahead with the roof project.

I still didn’t have quite enough moolah gathered, having not taken the 15% increase on building materials into account, so the materials guy in town agreed to allow us to have the necessary items “fiado” (on credit). I have one large outstanding bill remaining, but I hope to have that paid with my next paycheck. 

With the materials taken care of, the next step was to rent the framing wood. My husband went to a few different places. It seemed that their policies had changed since the last time we put on a roof. Now, instead of paying when the month was up, we’d need to pay part upfront. I wasn’t thrilled with that, but it is what it is. 

Next up was getting the framing wood in place. Unfortunately, my husband was unable to do this vital part of the project. Because the wood rent was a daily charge, and fees were mounting, so he hired someone to put up the wood. Well, he found someone to do it, and I paid him to do it. It was yet another additional expense, but it got done. 

After the wood was up, it was time to hire the colladores (roofing crew). This part actually went pretty smoothly. In fact, it was the easiest roofing day we’ve ever experienced. The crew boss was competent. My son was on hand for any last-minute needs. And I stayed out of the way. Yet again, I didn’t take into account the 6% rise in the cost of labor, but I managed to pay the guys (and buy beer and carnitas). 

The next step was to wet the roof daily for the setting period (22 days). Some days, Tlaloc obliged, and it rained. Other days, my son had to haul buckets of water through the hole. Bruce liked to hang out while he did this but was anxious when he disappeared into the sky. 

During the setting period, we had a few earthquakes ranging from 7.7 to a measly 3.0. The epicenters were mostly in Michoacan, a hop, skip and jump away, so we did feel the shaking in La Yacata. Fortunately, the roof seemed to have sustained no damage. 

The past weekend, it was time to take down the wood. The process took just 2 days. Further construction will need to wait until my finances recover, but pretty much everything else will be less expensive than this roofing endeavor, thank goodness.

Second floor roof–complete

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Natural Healing — Mejorana

Photo credit: Sten

Mejorana’s medicinal properties were brought to my attention when Chencha, the local curandera, prescribed me an infusion with equal parts romero (Salvia rosmarinus), mejorana, and tomillo (Thymus vulgaris) for my upset stomach after I missed a limpia (cleansing) session. These herbs should be boiled in 1 liter of water. Strain and add the juice from one limón (Citrus aurantiifolia) and a teaspoon of honey. It has an extremely herby taste however it proved to be quite effective.

So down the rabbit hole of research, I went. Mejorana (Sweet marjoram) has two botanical names that are considered synonymous, majorana hortensis and origanum majorana. In Mexico, it’s often prescribed for digestive problems, menstrual cramps, and diabetes. It should not be used in large doses during pregnancy because it has hormonal-altering components. 

This herb is a Mediterranean native and was brought to Mexico with the Spanish conquerors. It is similar to oregano in flavor but slightly sweeter hence the name ‘Sweet Marjoram.’

Studies have shown that mejorana is antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, antiparastitic, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory. It has both liver and kidney protective properties. It naturally reduces the sensation of pain and fever and is effective in the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea. Other studies have demonstrated mejorana is cardio and gastroprotective. Additionally, mejorana works to restore hormonal balance and has antidepressant-like properties.

For digestive issues, drink 2 cups a day of an infusion made from fresh cuttings. Use 1 finger-sized sprig for each cup. If using dried mejorana, use one tablespoon for each cup of water. For headaches, dip a cloth into the infusion and cover the eyes with it.


Interested in discovering a path to wellness through traditional medicine? Discover Mexican herbalism with common remedies used today in the Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico series.

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Back-to-School for Writers Bundle

Well, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get ANY writing done this summer. NOT A PAGE! Teaching summer sessions kept me occupied full-time every day (even days I didn’t teach because of lesson prep). But now that most students are heading back to in-person learning, I’m hoping to have a few hours each day to work on my passion (researching herb properties and writing about them). 

Along those lines, I have a goldmine of goodies for writers for you to browse this month.

The Back-to-School for Writers Bundle created by Stacy Juba, Emma Dhesi, and Kat Caldwell is a one-stop landing page with over 20 authors, editors, productivity experts, and book marketing experts giving away 30+ tips, tricks, worksheets, and ebooks for FREE. 

When the trio asked me to be a part of the Back-to-School for Writers Bundle, I jumped at the chance because I knew that you could benefit from these resources to help you finish your book in 2022. My contribution is my FREE e-course Is Self-Publishing for You?

Along with my listed FREE course, more than 30 other FREE resources are listed, all in one convenient location. So go ahead and browse, picking and choosing what you currently need to jump-start your writing this fall. 

This landing page will be available until September 10. It won’t cost you a cent to check it out, and you might find exactly what you’ve been looking for among these FREE resources. Let’s get back to writing, shall we?

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