Category Archives: Construction

A bit of remodeling–Upstairs

Although I had my heart set on a solar electrical system, even gone so far as to price it, I realized I was putting the cart before the horse.  Before we make manifest electricity (my home improvement goal for 2018), we needed to finish the upstairs.  So since my husband decided not to return to work in September, that’s what he’s been doing.  Of course, it’s now January, and we still aren’t completely finished, but we are closer than we were.

In 2016, we were able to put the roof on the second floor and then put in windows but for quite some time it remained uninhabitable. We used it to store junk.  It was dark and dusty.  But all that was about to change!  


The first step was to patch the walls.  This is my husband’s least favorite construction activity, so it took about 2 months for him to complete it, one buto (bag) of cement at a time.  Not only did the walls need to be patched, but they needed afinado (refined), which meant a second round of patching, only this time with beach sand rather than brown sand.

As for flooring, oh my, was this a hassle.  When we built the house 10 years ago, we installed a lovely brown tile in the kitchen, both bedrooms, and bathroom.  The outside porch eventually became an interior room but did not have any tile.  Therefore, we hoped we could find something similar to it to tile the back room, stairs and then continue upstairs.  No such luck.  The tile we had used had been discontinued. We went to 10 flooring places and looked at floor models and books until we were cross-eyed. We’d find something we liked only to be told that they only had 3 boxes left.  Or the color was good and there were enough to complete the job, but it was WAY out of our budget. We weren’t just tiling one room, but an entire floor, steps, and the back room. Finally, we found something that had similar tones although was completely different in the patterning and went with that.

Buying all the tiles at once was a major purchase and construction had to be delayed just a bit since we also needed to buy the pegasolejo (cement for laying the tiles) and bujilla (grouting).  But just like the wall patching, little by little it got done.



Filed under Construction

Too Much Signage


So the other week, I noticed a lone worker digging a hole near the crossroad to La Yacata and I started to speculate. I thought to myself– maybe they were going to put in a light, perhaps solar as there are no connecting wires. That section of road is extremely dark at night and there has been more than one fatal accident at the intersection.

The lone worker dug steadily for a week. Each day, I was more and more convinced that it would be a light. After all, the town was putting in MORE lights every few feet on several of the main thoroughfares. Literally, less than 10 feet from existing lights, light posts were going up. There were even a few solar lights installed near the new CAISES. Yeah, baby! Our time had come!cam05234 cam05235

Imagine my disappointment when I came home one day towards the end of the week to find a HUGE green road sign, and then another. As the road that we live on dead ends in La Ordena, how much traffic does this road really get? Certainly not enough for such a HUGE sign. I guess it’s for the occasional lost cows that wander about. This way to Morelia.


Take a look at how many signs there are in the 2 km between La Yacata and the intersection. Of course, not one can be seen at night, due to the lack of LIGHTING in the area.

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I have no idea what the smaller sign means. Women dragging men?

I have no idea what the smaller sign means. Women dragging men?

Meanwhile, there was a lighting celebration going on in town for those newly installed street lamps. Now it’s so bright when I take my son to school in the morning that I feel like I need to wear my sunglasses.

Just goes to show, there’s just no accounting for town spending practices.


This post was proofread by Grammarly.

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Filed under Construction, Driving Hazards, Electricity issues

A room of her own–fixing the roof

With the rainy season fast approaching, it was imperative that the roof was fixed.  It wouldn’t do to arrive and find that the beds and computers got wet.  My husband agreed to do the work and even called the owner to name his price.  So the arrangement was instead of paying rent this month, I would buy the materials and pay my husband.


The roof had already received a coat of impermeabilizante (waterproofing), hence the red color, but as there were holes in the cement, a layer of paint wasn’t enough to keep the water out.

First, the roof needed to be swept and the accumulated debris disposed of.  The house was not constructed very well.  The rainwater pooled at the sides and over the years corroded the roof, leaving it in its current dilapidated condition.


This cement tinaco (water storage container) is at least 20 years old.

Next, the holes in the ceiling were filled in.


Then the chipopote (tar) mixed with gas for easier spreading was applied to the worst spots.  It’s possible there will still be one or two minor leaks, but we won’t know until the rainy season arrives in full force.


Finally, the ceiling received another coat of plaster.  I wasn’t so worried about the cosmetic appearance, but my husband thought it should at least look passable.


It’s been more work than I imagined getting the place into a comfortable state for working and I’m not finished yet.  The bathroom still feels icky and even though we don’t use it for showering, it’d be nice to fix it up a bit. It certainly is better than it was! I have to keep in mind that this isn’t my house though.  It doesn’t pay for me to invest in unessential repairs.




Filed under Construction, Water issues

Outdoor cooking

We use a gas stove and gas hot water heater since we do not have electricity in La Yacata.  However, with the price of a tank of gas skyrocketing to $477 pesos in January, it was time to take some preventative actions.  

We had an extra bag of cement left over from the last project and my husband came across a grill top in one of his treasure hunts, so he determined that now that our porch was covered, it was time to make that outside cooking area he’d been promising for 10 years.

So that’s what he did.  He went back and forth as to whether he’d make it all out of cement or frame it with bricks, but as we were out of bricks, he went with the cement model.

It took 2 days to complete.  We were having carne asada (grilled steak) before you know it.


Of course, it was time to get some new cast iron pans.  Cooking over the open flame makes tasty food, but sure does smoke the pans up.  So I ordered some at Amazon Mexico.  They arrived a week later.  My husband is incredibly happy with the pots. He’s even requested a large soup pot for other dishes he has in mind.  


Maybe it’s time to search out a cast iron tea kettle for the morning coffee!

With the price of gas increasing yet again in February, pretty soon we’ll be heating our bath water over the open flames too!

This post was proofread by Grammarly.

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Filed under Construction, Electricity issues