Mexican palette


SWEEPING THE Garden Patio at the back of the property yesterday, I noticed this combination of colors.

You don’t get this type of view often above the Rio Bravo. It just wouldn’t look right, so people rarely do it. But this is very Mexican. You’ve got your strong contrasts of yellow, green, red and the clear blue sky. You’ve also got your water tank up there, something that’s usually black.

There’s the white tank of the solar water heater too, a gizmo that heats water sometimes, and sometimes not. It disappoints me. The yellow building is the sex motel next door. Only at its rear is there a third story that houses the laundry, a room with washers but no dryers. There are clotheslines in there!

Since the sex motel has only eight rooms, and it doesn’t stay real busy, that works out for them.

Lots of color pleases me. And living here is an endless delight.

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.

Hacienda facelift

2014IT’S NOT ALL about the storefront here at the Hacienda these days. Part of it is about changing color, a new look, a new frock design. An old girl desires change. Above, you see a fresh yellow around the upstairs terraza exterior. Previously, for 12 years, that area was green. See below, a photo from almost a decade ago.

beforeThe painter is also going to refurbish those windows. They are dry and flaked. He’s scraping them down to the bone and will repaint with some product that’s used on basketball court floors. The sun is brutal in the mornings, unkind to wood, and drastic measures are required.

You see that maguey in the top photo, the one with the stalk that shoots up over 20 feet? It’s visible in the second photo, just barely, at the bottom, off-center a tad to the right, tiny. Not the bigger, dark green maguey, which is long gone, but a smaller, lighter green one, below, muy chiquita.

And the walls are going up today on the storefront.

This morning there was frost on the lawn, so winter is on its way. We sit 7,200 feet above sea level where the air is clear, the sky is blue, and black vultures and ravens circle overhead at this moment.

Night designs

 Night art

WHEN NATURE calls at 3 a.m. or so, I throw back the cotton sheet and woolen blanket. Yes, a blanket because, even in July, it’s cold here at night, so cold we keep the bedroom windows shut. Only the bathroom window, this small one you see, is kept open, a sort of air conditioner.

I stand and walk across the hall directly into the bathroom where I am treated to night designs. Whether the little window is open or closed, and sometimes it is shut due to the cold, the designs are there, waiting like on a gallery wall, backlit by the big light atop a pole on the other side of the street, far away.

Datura leaves.

So I sit. I sigh. I stand. I head back to the bedroom, giving one final glance at the night designs.

Night art — brought to me by serendipity.