Tag: house

What a difference a brush makes

Finally doing some much-needed maintenance on wooden ceilings.


Phase 1 is the lambriz, thin tongue-and-groove. Next are the beams, in a darker color, for which I splurged and bought an angled sash brush. Which, believe it or not, is a big deal. The only place I could find one was in Tienda Inglesa. Yes, the supermarket.

And, of my goodness, does it make a difference!


The bottom brush is typical of what you find in hardware stores here: with short, coarse bristles that tend to spread.

Perhaps when next up north I’ll wander through Home Depot and salivate.

Hot water restored to the barbacoa we don’t use!

I sometimes wonder why I don’t do more homeowner projects, and today witnessed with awe the efficiency with which a highly-recommended plumber (not this one) repaired one of the results of my hanging some plastic gutter (a gift) and downspout to restrict growth of wet stuff on a wall near the barbacoa. (Note how well it worked: not.)


In drilling holes for the “Tacos Fischer,” the local name for plastic wall anchors, I managed to discover the hot water pipe for the barbacoa (which was a parillera before we enclosed it). To clarify: 1) a parillera (open) or barbacoa (closed) is where you gather with family on Sundays to eat meat meat meat, slowly slowly cooked over coals. Unless you don’t have family here, in which case you make it into a sort-of workshop; 2) discovering a hot water pipe does not constitute a happy result of trying to anchor screws in walls.

The plumber worked with surprising efficiency. Instead of tink-tink-tink with a hammer and chisel, he brought a mini-jackhammer that pulverized the wall in seconds to expose …


… not just the plastic water pipes (you can see the hole), but — see that orange a few centimeters above? That’s the electrical feed to the barbacoa. 220 volts. Ouch.

OK, I maybe be clumsy. But I’m lucky.

The whole repair — plumber and his son, and equal amount of time spent inside cleaning and rebuilding a valve that fed this line — cost UYP 600, or a bit over USD 25.

And, so typical here, they’re gentle and pleasant people, concluding the transaction with a handshake.

The beginning of a place to park


Though draining water runs down the middle of our street, it has deep ditches on either side, and limited width. Not a good place to park. But if people pull into our driveway in a car, they block us in, and if more than one car, one blocks the other.


So the last couple days have been busy, and the hill is no more. Now to try to get something to grow out there besides the one bush we transplanted from the back yard.


Today it was gas-bombing the casita (little house) for termites in the roof. Yesterday it was cleaning the grasera (grease trap) which was overflowing, which smells (probably) like spilled and broken human guts. My son gagged. I had to complete the task on my own.