Friday, December 09, 2016

de-barcoing the house

It may not look much to you. To me, that shot is as beautiful as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

What was destroyed has been restored. After living with screen doors Barco had punctured, these doors make me feel as if I am living in a new house.

When Barco lived here, he considered any door that prevented him from going in or out to be just another example of canine oppression and social injustice. Then, he learned he had enough doggy heft to correct that oversight on my part.

He first destroyed one screen door to my bedroom. Then four to the kitchen and four to the library. His coup de grâce was the other screen door to my bedroom. He simply ripped up the full screen.

Fixing the doors while he was still a puppy would have made Sisyphus's rock look like a well-spent afternoon. I had decided nothing in the house would be repaired until Barco made it to his second birthday.

Of course, he didn't make it there. And I dawdled around here for two months without correcting a thing -- until my brother arrived.

Since then, we have been little fix-it bees. The screen doors topped the list.

My neighbor, Mary, is in the process of building a casita on top of her house. Another neighbor, Victor, is managing the project.

He has always been a source of good advice. I asked if he knew anyone who could help me with three projects. Within two hours, two guys showed up, took my specifications, gave me an estimate, and we were on our way. In less than 48 hours everything was installed and in working order.

You have already seen the screens.

The second project was to replace the plastic laminate cover that topped the shower chimney in one of the guest bedrooms. It took French leave (as the British would -- and do -- say; considering their Brexit vote, they may want to re-think that little ethic slur) during our hurricane last year.

Obviously, I did not consider it to be a priority if I was willing to leave it open to the birds, bats, and weather for fourteen months.

The third project turned out to be far more clever than I expected. I already mentioned the chimneys in each of the showers. They are designed to lift the hot air out of the bedrooms.

When I installed the air conditioning for Barco in my bedroom, the foreman told me I would need to block off the screened hole near the top of the chimney. It made sense to me. After all, the hole was desihgned to let air escape my room. In this case, cold air.

What I imagined was a piece of clear plastic laminate that I could push into place when air conditioning season returned, and could easily removed when I no longer required the Arctic blast. Similar to something you would find in a Little Rock trailer park.

One thing I have learned about Mexicans is that when faced with an unusual problem, they will respond with a clever solution.

And so they did. They designed a cover that allows light to pass through, is easy to install, and will stay in place in the face of our weather conditions.

There you have it. A start on de-Barcoing the house.

Of course, Barco had nothing to do with the second and third projects, but this work is in honor of him -- including the woodwork he chewed and the antheria he dug up.

I am not certain why I did not start the process before this sweek. Maybe it was because I knew my brother would enjoy being part of the Restore the Homestead movement.

And so he has.  

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