I had a few questions from my treasured readers about that "circus tent" from last week.
"What the heck is, it?" for one.
It is the skeleton of a palapa, which is a common construct in these parts and other parts of the world where palms flourish. Someone long ago realized that those big leaves would make real good roofs. It always tickles me to wonder about things like that. Who thought of it first? Not that this idea wasn't fairly obvious. It wasn't on a par, for example, with the first person who decided to eat an artichoke or jump off a bridge attached to a rubber band. But I digress.
First, you take some sticks...
When you're all done (which he's not) you have yourself a palapa. Palapas come in all shapes, some of them quite fantastical. This one is going to be an oval, which I find to be a harmonious shape, and will be right beside the pool for shade, and also for the simple decadent joy of sitting under a palapa.
Nearby, along the lower edge of the house and over the top of the studio and other lounging-by-the-pool space, we're building a palapa eyebrow. The room faces south and will get a lot of sun, so the eyebrow is for shade and protection. Today we decided how shaggy and long the eyebrow should be. I opted for a peek at the sky so as to prevent claustrophobia, so Palapa Guy will shorten the length of the poles and palm fronds.
On the way upstairs, Lupe's is still at it.
He's working in the kitchen, too, finishing my stove. That Lupe is a milagro.
Rather than buy a normal stove, I decided to build one from scratch. The burners will be built directly into the concrete countertop. We found burners at a gas supply store in Guadalajara, in three different sizes. Manuel, our installations whiz, will plumb them with gas lines and we'll add some heavy old-fashioned grates and stove knobs we found somewhere in Puerto Vallarta. Why be normal when it's so much more interesting to be abnormal? That's my motto.
Next door, in the outdoor living and dining room, Julian is laying tiles like a madman.
We had another tile trauma this week when, as the floor tiles begin to show themselves, we realized we'd been sent #2 tiles instead of #1's. Now, one of my tricks for keeping costs down (sshhhhhh) is that I'm using #2's in much of the house. Number twos are those that come out of the kiln with a little defect: a crack or a heat mark or a slight bow, or some other quirk. Given that I wanted the house to be rustica, I actually preferred the quirky ones. But we'd decided to go with number ones on the main floor because we're using larger tiles and I'd been told that the #2's could be too uneven.
Anyway...we received twos, or maybe one and a halfs. Miguel called his long time friend and tile supplier, Fernando in Guadalajara. Fernando was mortified. He offered to replace them all immediately. I, being a cheapskate, did not wish to pay for one installation, one removal, and another installation. Plus...I kind of liked the way the tiles looked. So good old Fernando offered to refund me the difference, which was a nice chunk of change and a pleasant ending to another "emergencía".
I did request (nicely) that Julian change out a few of the tiles that were more than quirky, which he did not complain about at all. I probably would have.
Francisco Carpenter Guy is installing windows and doors in the casita with his son, Francisco Carpenter Guy, Jr.
See you next week!