Window treatment

window
Nice, clean, fresh windows.

THE FELLOWS just packed up their gear and garbage and hightailed it out of here, thank the Goddess.

Since Monday at 8:30 a.m., we’ve had workmen underfoot, two of them, usually. They were doing renovations.

We hire guys to work here about once a year because a Hacienda requires love and care.

The principal chore this week was to refurbish the windows in the upstairs terraza, the first time that’s happened since we moved here almost 14 years ago.

I should have taken a “before” shot, but I didn’t, and now there is only the “after” shot above. But trust me, it was nasty. There are three windows, but the photo shows just two.

For two days, the fellows sanded by hand and electric sander. They went down to clear wood. Then they stained. Then they laid a varnish that’s also used on basketball courts.

It’s tough stuff.

They also painted most of the downstairs veranda, plus parts of the house exterior. There were other little details to boot.

They were here two 10-hour days and one four-hour day. I bought the paint, but the work cost the peso equivalent of about $235 in U.S. bucks.

About three weeks ago, another crew removed and replaced the tile floor in the upstairs shower stall. The work took two days, and set me back $55 for the labor.

The peso-buck exchange rate is very sweet right now.

terraza
Yellow and green are fresh. The red is the same.

Mexican palette

back

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.

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.