Category Archives: Construction

Step Right Up

The final project on my son’s house for 2022 was the stairs to the rooftop area. I insisted on these because it’s such a pain to get on the ladder and climb to the roof to check the solar panels and tinacos. 

We went back and forth about the design. I thought it should be on the opposite wall from the stairs to the second floor. I also rallied for a set of spiral stairs in the middle around the support beam. But in the end, since it was my husband who made them, they were positioned beside the fireplace over the first flight of steps. 

As with most recent projects, this one took WAY longer than it needed to. However, it was not costly. The rebar, sand, and gravel were all leftovers from the roof project. We did need to buy some additional cement mix, but that was only about 1000 pesos total (about $50 USD). Then the wood framing was rented, but not expensive (about 40 pesos). 

So the steps are finished. Hopefully, 2023 will see enough funds to finish the very last brick project, a small room with a door that opens onto the roof. Whoop!

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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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A bit of hard work and a little woo-woo

I feel like it’s been weeks since I last updated the blog. I’ve been working overtime (at unbelievably low wages), mostly teaching Shakespeare to Chinese 10-year-olds.  Let me tell you, that isn’t as easy as it sounds! However, it’s all for the greater good. You see, I’m busy manifesting my son’s abode/future income generator. Some parents help out with college, but I’ve decided that this would be more practical. 

Unfortunately, it’s been slow going this year, much slower than I expected. First, I had that bump in the road economically when I lost my primary source of income. I spent 3 months looking for something that would work with our wonky internet, limited power during the rainy season because of our solar setup, and my skill set. Then construction materials have been steadily increasing in price. Although the new construction is half the size of our house, the roof is going to cost just as much. But it’s coming along, and we hope to have the skeleton done by the end of September. 

If you have learned anything from reading my blog over the years, you’ll have already realized that I’m one determined lady (my mom called me pigheaded, but same difference). I’ve managed to create a life that I love in rural Mexico from scratch. Sure there are tough times, but I see these as opportunities for growth and change (albeit sometimes with some whining in the process). 

Not to toot my own horn too much, but when getting electricity the traditional way didn’t work out (See La Yacata Revolution), I found a different path via solar. When traditional publishing wouldn’t touch my books because of their limited appeal to readers, I figured out how to self-publish. (See Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico). 

These accomplishments weren’t just strokes of good fortune. It took an incredible amount of effort, self-education, and pigheadedness on my part (thanks, Mom!) to manifest. And this next goal, building my son’s castle in the sky, is no different.

That’s not to say I did these things single-handedly. I’ve had help. I took classes online to learn about permaculture, solar electricity, and self-publishing. My husband is a phenomenal builder when the spirit (and my nagging) moves him. We wouldn’t nearly be as comfortable without his skills. My son is helping me with the Spanish translations of my books so I can reach a larger audience. AND I keep my positivity up through a variety of positive psychology books, courses, and daily affirmations. 

I know it sounds a bit woo-woo, but I truly believe I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have without that last little bit. I could have given up after the first couple of dozen failures. But I kept my eyes on the prize, and with creativity and hard work, I did it! (I’m still working on manifesting those Victorian babe arms, but I haven’t lost sight of the goal.)

Most of you that read this blog are probably already living your best life. Either you are already set up in Mexico or are in the process of getting things together to make the leap into the new life you have envisioned. But, if you are like me, you are probably surrounded by those that are still held back by limiting beliefs, negative emotions, and fear. And this next little bit is meant for them.

If you remember, I paired up with Infostack a few months ago when they had their Writer’s collection, Write Publish Profit. Well, this month, these fine folks are offering the Unlimited Abundance Super Stack, the perfect gift for those that are still struggling to create a fulfilling life.   

From August 23 – August 26, you can get this super stack for $49. After that, the price goes up to $67. Whether it’s your money or your life (after all, wealth is relative) that needs a bit of a boost, you’ll find something to light that fire within this bundle. 

I’m not going to do the whole song and dance routine here, but you can find out more about this bundle by heading to the sales page and checking it out. And if you do decide it’s just what you need, then know that I’ll get a small commission for your purchase. A win-win scenario, if I do say so myself!

Time to get back to class!


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