January 2, 2009

The sounds of Mexico: hammers, chisels and grinders

ARROYO SECO, Jalisco, Mexico - We awoke early today to un otro milagro (another miracle). After taking a holiday for New Year's Day, the ramada builders, the plumbers and the tile installers all arrived and are working today.

And as I write this, the concrete dust is wafting across the property from the plumbers grinding, the martillos (hammers) are cracking concrete to level the concrete for the tile floor, and the amigos who put up the beams this morning for the ramada have disappeared, ostensibly to get more panels for the roof.

I don't expect the third group to return today, but at least the beams are up and we have hope of shade over the trailer.

Ramada progress
Ramada beams go into place

We also seem to be making some progress with our new dog Lucky, who this morning seems more active, more hungry, and at one point growled at dogs outside the fence.

I don't know what he said when he growled, but the dogs turned tail and left, despite the 6-foot cyclone fence in-between them. The Admiral says that we have to treat Lucky as if he is a patient in an Intensive Care Unit: feed him well, make sure he has rest, and don't let him overdo.

Shortly, I have to don the doctor's gloves again to clean his sores and give him an injection. If he keeps recovering quickly, he may get his first-ever ride on the back of a quad in a week or two.

Lucky at rest
Lucky at rest, in the middle of the noise and construction

We also met some of neighbors on our morning walk today, Jose and Victoria, who own a house at the bend in the road at the end of our street. The couple's house looks like an art galleria and is painted neatly everywhere. Outside, they have also created garden spaces that put Sunset magazine to shame.

And most of their materials are leftovers from other projects, or adapted - artistically.

Jose has spent a lot of time in the U.S., working in vineyards in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. He has an impressive collection of wine bottles from the U.S. and has invited us to visit his casa to sample more.

Painted trees
A new species? Or the artist at work?

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