Monthly Archives: March 2011

Baño project Days 6 and 7

Today being Saturday is a short day, just a 3 hour stint and then…………….. relax. I’m extra glad for this as today is my B-Day (Jill’s) and though we’re not much into birthday fanfare, a little extra quiet is greatly appreciated.   And things have been pretty quiet around here. It used to be that the nights were filled with “town” noises. In the past, San Pancho roosters seem to have all failed the “Crowing at Dawn” class at Rooster University. They would cock-a-doodle-do ALL night long. One rooster crowing in response to another and so forth, sending the message across  the pueblo in an undulating current of continuous sound. This would only be interrupted by a dog barking in response to another dog roaming into a neighborhood other than their own. Or maybe a little cumbia from the radio of a late night party somewhere nearby. Oh and let us not forget our Saturday night disco in the town plaza, which we’re happy to say has not been held the last couple of weeks.  No, as of late, the nights have been ohhhh so peaceful.

Canas gives a great demonstration on the art of twisting many strands of wire together for stronger hold. These wires help hold the sides of the forms together that shape the concrete columns. In the core of the unfilled column is a tower of rebar. The wooden form encloses that tower and then from the top Canas pours concrete in to be left to cure. It’s amazing watching watching what they can do with rebar, concrete and wooden temporary forms.   Not to mention the way they use pieces of PVC cut down the center the long way to form beautiful rounded conctrete edges.

Check out the engineering in this staircase. Notice there are no supports between where it turns at the bottom landing to go up and the second floor of the house.
……………………..and then there was the end of the day, “Goodnight Irene”.

  Now Day 7 brings a bit more upward movement but a good deal of behind the scenes plumbing, kinda important stuff! Now Canas must have lost his other hat, or maybe it finally fell apart because today found him wearing this fine chapeau he fashioned out of an empty cement bag and wire, stunning, simply stunning.

…………………………….and a daily walk on the beach, aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Baño project, Days 4 and 5

So the dust has been flying here withvarious genres of Mexican music bellowing from a busted up boom-box with an occasional accompaniment from either Beto or Canas. Lots of laughter! Passersby who know the guys are working here will hoot their names from the streets and are answered by their own names being tossed back at them. Listening to Beto talk can not do anything but make you smile. The singsong characteristics of his speech is a trait that we have always loved. Yesterday while lunching on the rotisserie chicken from Berta down the street (more in another entry) we were talking about this and realized it was a natural inflection that some spanish speaking people have embraced personally equal to an art form. In Spanish a question is recognized as a question not by the addition of words such as the English Do? Can? Will? …………..but instead by inflection: think of saying “Do you have pets?”. In Spanish you would say “Tiene mascotas” Now the literal translation is, “You have pets “. Butttttt if you say the “mas-CO-tas”  with your voice lifting  in the middle of the word in a questioning tone it becomes a question.

I believe we already mentioned that this bathroom is being constructed within a hardscaped path that already existed. Presently we have 3 bathrooms in all within the house but when we have a social gathering here guests have to go through a bedroom to get to a bathroom. It will also offer a place for sandy feet fresh from a beach stroll to be washed off. 

Thought this ground floor bathroom is being fit into the pre-existing area it is being built strong enough to support a larger one that will eventually be built on top of it cantilevering out over part of the garden. Both of these bathrooms are part  of a larger plan which will be Linc’s Coffee Shop/Used Book Store here in San Pancho. Yep, you heard right, he’s even going to roast his own beans.

Baño construction at Casita Cielo Azul in San Pancho.

So, we’re in the process of having a bathroom built for poolside/party use. It was born from the need to fix an “issue” that caused us damage here in last years flooding. The only flaw in our initial construction was that the path that went from the pool area to our bodega (store room, laundry room) angled down causing what we named, “El Rio de Julio” or “Julio’s River” after the man who designed and built it. We lost a few motors on various appliances but our friend/plumber/electrician/pool man (Jose) Morales jumped into action keeping all losses to a minimum and fixing what he could.

Day 1 of construction was mostly destruction. we’re trying to avoid encroaching on the garden and so we’re building along the lines of the original path structure. Pounding with sledge hammers for hours, chiseling to even out the surface and the installation of a few rebar towers.

We have a crew of 3 men working on the actual construction. Beto, the mason who headed up all concrete aspects of our original construction is here once again for this mini project. He’s back along with a guy nicknamed “Canas” (grey hair) and the new addition of Hugo, Beto’s son in law, Hugo.

Now on to Day 2.

Okay, you may not see too much change from Day 1 to Day 2 but things are starting to , take form, haaa get it, TAKE FORM.


Now, we thought we would stick a couple of ambient pictures in here. A garden shot and a sunset from our rooftop.