Friday, December 17, 2010

Exito otra vez

The floors are done (minus some threshold molding)

The storage unit is empty and all of our stuff is under one roof.

I got to sleep in a real bed last night.

And now I am packed up, hitting the road, and looking forward to seeing my cousin in Baton Rouge tonight!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our big back yard

Now has a compost bin! Still waiting final touches after our drill is  unpacked. But I have to say this is my finest ever recycled pallet bin! Turns out, the pallets that flooring comes in are much nicer than the ones you steal from behind the grocery store!

These pictures were all taken from the same spot. The second chain link fence you see is our property line. Beyond that is a bike cut through and a small common area.

Looking towards the SE corner. There is a street directly behind our house.

Still from the same spot - looking towards the house and the Florida Room. If you look closely, you can see the sofa bed where I have been sleeping for 3 weeks. 

Looking directly at the back of the house - on the left is our bedroom window and on the right is the kitchen. Need to buy a ladder so we can clean all of the leaves off the roof!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lighting dilemma

I knew we would want to replace the large fluorescent fixture in the kitchen eventually, but that's going to happen sooner rather than later since I caused the collapse of all the support and plastic panels when I was trying to peek at what was underneath.

Plus, our ceiling gets raised a whole foot!

Minus, we have to live with this until we have new fixtures are installed.
 For the new lighting, my idea is to have small, recessed lights installed along the perimeter. There is already one recessed light installed over the sink, so hopefully this will be doable.

And below is the inspiration - tray ceiling, recessed lighting, no upper cabinets. Our kitchen now has light colored, tile floors, but other than that, I am trying to stick to this design - I love it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Busy bee

Lots of work over the weekend to get ready for the movers this week.
Picking up & unloading a pallet of hardwood - happily acclimating in the house.

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! Don't think these light fixtures had ever been cleaned.

And the most fun: unpacking wedding gifts!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Home improvements

New kitchen floor!
New bathroom floor!

New digital, programmable thermostat! Keeping the house at an even 68 degrees to acclimate the hardwood flooring in preparation for its installation on Monday. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vida cotidiana

One of the big things about daily life (vida cotidiana) in Mexico City are the myriad street vendors. Each has a unique call/whistle/bell and when you hear them, you can walk out your front door and buy gas, water, tamales, take out your trash, or even get your knives sharpened. I was very happy to be headed home early when we heard the distinctive whistle of the knife sharpener. It was fun to watch him pedal backwards to run the sharpening wheel.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Creative eating

What do you eat when you have no oven or microwave and thus no way to cook at all?
Cesar salad

Cereal (mmm...grapenuts)

PB & J

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For the sake of posterity

a week late posting, but we're official!

The extra frugal ecologist

When signing up for garbage service, without thinking I selected the smallest garbage bin possible. We are just two people and with composting and recycling, we shouldn't generate much trash at all. Unfortunately they make garbage bins smaller than I thought possible.

Meet greenie. Note the regular size recycling bins and my legs for scale.

 The space inside is even smaller, as half of the carton is taken up by the wheels and metal bar...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Decisions, decisons...

I found a clear favorite with the porcelain tile - though I really wanted real travertine. But choices for everything else are overwhelming.

or grid?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Money well spent

Took 3 guys 2 hours to remove the vinyl in the kitchen and entry.

And most exciting to me: the guys took out the shelving unit so that the laundry can be in the pantry hallway. We just need to get a hole cut to run the exhaust through the attic. Apparently this was never done originally.
 The machines will be closed in and hidden from sight with bi-fold doors.

The Horror!!

Some of what we've been up to with the new house...
ripping out hideous 30 year old wall paper - nasty!!

sadly these light fixtures are staying for the time being...don't you feel like you are in a cafeteria??


mirrored silver wallpaper ceiling - classy!

 happily, the bathroom has nice off white tile in the shower, unhappily, it has this silver bamboo wallpaper
more metallic wall paper, this one is bronze. And the blinds? You guessed it, metallic bronze!

Yay for tiled master shower with no tub.

Hopefully this will all be tile by mid next week!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Where have I been?

Fun Thanksgiving with family, a brief Austin trip, a drive to the new house, and now this!!!

Ripped out carpet, pried out tack strips, and realized that our stained concrete floor was going to be a lot harder (and more expensive) than anticipated. The stain doesn't stick to any paint or other contamination so with out pouring a new layer, we might be left with a splotchy, sad looking outcome.

Suddenly hardwoods sound like a good idea!!

The new plan: Travertine (or porcelain that looks like travertine) in the entry, pantry, kitchen and hall bath. Hardwoods in the master bedroom and study, leave the oak parquet in the guest bedroom and living/dining room. Note where I tried unsuccessfully to remove the vinyl.

Choices are overwhelming, but I think we have decided on this dark oak (checking out one more store though...) and a light, travertine-like porcelain tile. Fingers crossed I can get everything so that installation (well, first vinyl removal) starts tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


TD and I hadn't even thought to visit Teotihuacan, so its a good thing Papa FE spoke up about wanting to visit (I believe the words he used were "I've been wanting to visit mywhole life...". We rented a car Saturday afternoon and so were able to arriveearly on Sunday before the crowds.

The site was incredible - the scale and layout reminded me of Tiwanaku in Bolivia - but much more impressive because of the pyramids
In front of the pyramid of the sun

sooooo steep!

Pyramid of the Moon

the frugal family at the top

Which we shared with these pilgrims (?) dressed in white singing hymns. We were lucky to arrive early - the pyramid was crawling with folks after a few more hours.

Incredible to think that at one point all the pyramids and structures were covered with stucco and murals like this one. Also incredible that these are original pigments from 1500 years ago!!

The temple of the moon

These structures lined the Avenue of the Dead and had temples or other religious buildings on top.

The sun was intense - this was TD's solution...

Looking down the Calzada del Muertos (Avenue of the Dead) towards the pyramid of the sun and the Ciudadela (the citadel). The avenue is over 2 miles long!! At the height of the city, at least 150,000 people lived here.

 Pyramid of the Sun from the south west.
More bones...over 160 people were sacrificed during the construction of the Pyramid of the Plumed Serpent.

Temple of the Jaguar

The Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl (plumed serpent)