Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Yes, that is moving days, plural! However, neither rain nor breakdowns nor dark of night kept Casita Colibrí (the name moved, too) from moving twelve years of furniture, art and artesanía, kitchenware, clothing, books, and massive container garden to its new home.

Day one began at 4:00 PM and consisted of four trips and a little rain to move from the old casita to the new — hauling furniture, boxes, and some of the smaller plants. Some of it was carried down the dicey stairs and some went over the balcony. Needless to say, the crew of five, plus yours truly, were worn out when we called it quits at 10:00 PM.

With all the furniture ensconced in its new home, the task of day two (postponed a few days due to mechanical issues with the truck) was to move the trees, their ginormous pots, the chimenea, and worm-rich barrels of soil that I have been cultivating for several years. It wound up taking two trips and almost four hours to lower the plants, etc. from one rooftop and then hoist them up to another. Oh, and did I mention, having to detour several blocks due to an accident? Another day of sheer exhaustion!

However, when all is said and done, everything arrived safe and sound, save for one cracked pot. Of course, that doesn’t count the sore backs and the revenge of cactus thorns. Willie Delfín and his crew were amazing.

Now the decorating and landscaping fun begins!

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View from Casita Colibrí yesterday morning.  Ahhh…

Blue sky, African tulip trees in foreground, churches in mid-ground, mountains in distance.

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Have I mentioned there is a weaving business that operates out of the apartment complex where I live?   Most of the operations have recently moved offsite — apparently, not so the dying.

I returned home on Tuesday to find a fire roaring…

Large metal pot propped up concrete blocks over a fire

A dye bath roiling…

Galvanized metal bucket filled with roiling red dye bath

Luci and Luís rinsing and removing excess water from newly dyed cotton yarn…

A man and woman wearing rubber boots walking on wet yard

And, a new view from Casita Colibrí…

Red newly dyed yarn laid out on cement sloped slab; tree leaves in foreground

Hanks now just “hanging out” above the looms…

Hanks of pinkish/red yarn hanging above looms

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Yesterday, the clouds gathered, the sky darkened, and about 5 PM…

And, yes, I did jump!

However, it’s no laughing matter for the farmers and folks who live near rivers.  Río Atoyac, which runs alongside the heart of the city and which one must cross to reach the airport, rapidly reached flood stage and breached its banks in several places (Noticias has video).  In addition, because the ground is already supersaturated, mudslides have already begun to occur in the mountains.

CONAGUA explains that the large area of atmospheric instability over the Gulf of Tehuantepec along with tropical depression 13 in the Gulf of Mexico (that’s the one threatening Louisiana), are the moisture-laden culprits.

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Adios, mosquitos

It’s the rainy season; that means it’s also mosquito season… and they love me and my ankles!  This year, I surrendered to the adage, the best offense is a good defense.  Using plastic mesh, duct tape, and velcro, I fabricated an ugly, and somewhat difficult to navigate through, screen for my door.

Green screen on door

Defense exhibit 1

It helped, I even got used to the green color, though the center opening was problematic.  However, heat and dry air followed by heat and humidity were not kind to the glue on the back of the velcro that secured the screen to the doorway nor to the duct tape holding the coins weighing down the screen.  After two months it began coming unglued, as did I!

So, I relented, loosened my purse-strings, and called master carpenter Juan, who has so ably come to my rescue on previous occasions.  He took measurements last week, drew up a plan, built the doors, and arrived yesterday to install them.

Juan, with drill, installing the new screen door

My hero, Juan

What a difference a real screen door makes!  Looking in…

New wood frame screen door

Defense exhibit 2

And, looking out…

Screen door from inside apartment

Defense exhibit 3

With my new door, stash of citronella candles, and repelente natural, it’s adios mosquitos!

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And now a pause in our Semana Santa coverage…

Yesterday was a momentous day at Casita Colibrí.  I arrived home just in time to watch the removal of my late, previously mentioned, but definitely not lamented, baby-size tinaco and the installation of my gigunda, new, and much wished for, tinaco.  It was a sight to behold!

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These guys looked so young… but worked efficiently and seemed to know exactly what they were doing.  I sure hope so!

Fingers and toes, but not eyes, are crossed that this will, at long last, solve my every-other-day lack of water problem.

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Church bells and scorpions; I must be back in my new home.

My return to Oaxaca was long and bumpy, with thunderstorms populating almost the entire trip.  A rocky ride was had by all.  The pint-size Embraer landed at 11 pm — pretty late for Oaxaca’s little airport.  However, as we alighted from the plane, the land crew provided welcoming umbrellas to protect us from the downpour, as we dashed across the blackened tarmac to the terminal.  With luggage retrieved, green light received, and boleto purchased, I jumped into the waiting and wonderful white airport van.

First to be dropped off, I pulled and dragged my suitcases up the two flights of stairs (trying not to awaken my sure-to-be sleeping neighbors along the way) and into the waiting embrace of Casita Colibrí, only to be greeted by carpenter’s tools strewn about and my bathroom door off its hinges — evidence of a project that was 2/3rds completed when I left six weeks before.  Not a problem, I told myself.  Then, my toilet wouldn’t flush.  No big deal, I told myself.  However (drum roll, please), when I came face-to-face with a scorpion in my bathroom sink, that WAS a problem!

I tried to be a “grownup” but it was my first real live scorpion and it totally freaked me out.   Eventually, I managed to send it on its way to the big alacrán casa in the sky.  I will spare you the details but suffice it to say, among other things, it involved saran wrap and duct tape.  Scorpions tend to carry on their scorpion business at night and, needless to say, sleep has not come easily since my close encounter.  However, like a good former reference librarian, I’ve done my research and discovered that the sting of the local variety of scorpion may be painful but is generally not deadly to healthy adults, lavender is used in France as a repellent, and people in the US Southwest report success using cedar oil to keep these creepy creatures out.  Now to find one or both…   In the interim, I reluctantly purchased and used one of several toxic sprays found on Soriana’s shelves — moderate peace of mind must be achieved if I am to get a good night’s sleep!

It took almost a week, but unpacking has finally been completed, suitcases stored, apartment has been tidied, carpenter has put my bathroom door back on, I’ve  fixed my toilet, and the pantry has been restocked.   I again awake to church bells chiming, geckos chirping, and colibrís zipping across my terrace.  My African Tulip trees are in bloom…

… and tonight I’m going to watch the Guerreros de Oaxaca play the Piratas de Campeche with my best friend in Oaxaca!  It’s good to be home…

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