Storefront update

After one week.
After one week.

ONE WEEK down, and how many more to go?

Progress has been spectacular on the storefront construction. Below, you see how it started and, above, you see how it sits this morning. The section that juts out from beneath the roof will be the small lavatory.

The "Before" shot.
The “Before” shot.

We had 10 big glass bricks left over from a Hacienda alteration a decade ago, so we included them in the storefront walls. It gives a touch of architectural interest, plus it will add natural light to the interior.

Snazzy, ceramic floor tile will be installed. Thirty-five square meters should arrive later this week from Guadalajara. That and the john and sink for the bathroom. I’m looking forward to seeing the septic tank dug. It will be lined with brick and will be old-school, I imagine.

The roof is traditional clay tiles and nothing more. The tiles sit atop wood beams. The workmen will remove those tiles and add a layer of wooden boards atop the beams. Then the tiles will be replaced above the boards. That work will simply make the ceiling more substantial. A mostly daily photo update can be found here.

The workmen — two principals, a painter and a helper — arrive every day at 8 a.m. They work 10 hours Monday through Friday and six hours on Saturday. This is typical. The painter is doing work on the Hacienda that is unrelated to the storefront. Stay tuned. More updates en route. Related post here.

Broken faces


IF YOU HANG ceramic masks from the property wall with the cheap twine the seller provides, thinking you will install stronger rope later, but you rarely do, then sooner or later the masks fall and break. You’d think I’d learn, but I never do.

I salvage these broken pieces, and they sit forevermore on the ground or somewhere else solid, a graveyard of faces propped up like the mummies of Guanajuato — death on display for our unseemly amusement.

Shower scene

Where Felipe shaves.
Where Felipe shaves.

The upstairs bathroom isn’t very big, but its shower stall is about 50 percent larger than the norm, and the showerhead is higher than most because I had it installed up there.

My head is higher than the norm too.

An advantage of designing your own home, which we did a decade ago, is that you can make things fit you. All my life, shower stalls have not fit me. The showerheads were never high enough. And mirrors were too low.

Most homes are designed for midgets, as I see it.

Above is a shot of the sink. We bought it in the town of Dolores Hidalgo, which is one of two places in Mexico famous for ceramics. The other is Puebla.

With the exception of a tiny bit of green trim, the upstairs bathroom walls are entirely black and white tile like you see here. Everywhere. From floor to ceiling and inside the shower stall too.

A sharp observer will note the electric outlet. Not only is there no ground-fault circuit interrupter, the face plate is metal, enhancing the opportunity for self-electrocution. We Mexicans love living on the edge.

We like our electrical outlets like we like our women: hot and dangerous.

The toilet, off-camera to the right, is dark green, and the seat is wood.  The toilet in the downstairs bathroom was purchased in Dolores Hidalgo too, and it’s a painted desert scene, all over, inside and out.

But the upstairs green john was bought in a local hardware store.

As I said, this upstairs bathroom is very small. You can just about touch all walls while standing buck naked in the middle.

The shower stall has a skylight, a nice detail, and the only other aspects to this bathroom are a wood shelf above the john, a small table for reading material beside said john, and a clothing rack by the door.

The clothing rack rarely racks clothing. I use it to hang the day’s clean skivvies while I shower, just so you know. The shower’s water pressure is minimal because we don’t fuss much with high technology.

We like our technology like we like our sarapes: floppy.

During my morning showers, I prop open the small window so steam can escape, plus I can hear chickens, dogs and whatever music the neighbors are playing too loud. I bet you don’t hear chickens where you bathe.

I like the sound of chickens at dawn — and sunshine through the skylight.