27 April, 2010

More and More Progress

The guesthouse is moving along, so is the grading of the canal banks. So, I'll cover both as they occur.

As you can see below, the canal bank between our house and Doug and Twyla's has been pretty well smoothed out. In fact, you can see Doug and Twyla coming our way with a cooler full of refreshments and snacks.

Nothing like a 94° (f) pool to cool you down on a hot day. And it really does. Our air temp has been upwards of 96° (f) or so the past couple of days, so 94° really does feel cool. Besides, it's almost like being in a spa or hot tub. We aren't worried about the pool getting too warm to get into. Just the fact that we can get in it and even if you get out for a bit, with evaporative effects on your skin, it makes you feel a little cooler, which is good enough for us.
Doug and Twyla Coming For Pooltime
In the background, you can see Pastor Doug. He's helping Robert by supervising the grader which was still smoothing the banks of the canal out.

The grader has even moved over to the other side of our and Elsie's property. Here's a shot of the grader smoothing all that spoils area as well as a bit more work out toward the canal entrance to the left in the picture.
Work on the Far Side
It still is taking a bit to get used to all the changes in the neighborhood. Add to it the changes, suddenly with the guesthouse and it seems like everything is going topsy-turvy.

Plastering the ceilings and walls inside of the guesthouse is pretty much done. There's a couple hose bibs and stuff like that that have to be added so plastering can get done, but otherwise, it's pretty much done inside.
Gaposis in the Utility Room
I'll be making a sheet metal plate to cover the gap above the breaker box panel door. It'll hide the other wires till I'm ready to use them.

Below are some shots of the plastering outside. The first coat is almost completed, as you'll see.
Finishing First Coat
Raw Backside
Magically, It's Done
A couple of days ago, I had to order 40 4-inch concrete blocks. I tried a new block factory, quite a bit closer than Belmont or the others. This one is owned by Israel Gomez on San Andres Road. Reasonably priced and they delivered when they said they would. that works for me.

Delivering the 40 - 4" Blocks
The blocks are needed for the shower walls in the guesthouse.

We're going to have custom-made glass door for it as well. Something else we found that Texaco (pronounced Tex-aco - the 'a' sounds like the first 'a' in actual)  in Corozal can make. Two or three weeks ago, I went in to ask about some screens I was having made. While waiting, I noticed the young assistant working on a pickup truck outside rear view mirror - the old kind. I thought, "hmm", and asked him if he could repair a broken inside rear view mirror. Not a problem. And they did. Apparently, the mirrors take a tapered mirror so the 'day/night' lever feature works. It was fixed as good as new for $5.00 BZD. And I had driven around with it broken into about 8 or 9 pieces for about 2 years.

So, based on that, I was wondering how we were going to get a shower door the right size. One of our workers said "Go see Texaco. They can do it." Well, of course. Why didn't I think of that first?

Yesterday, Dianna and I went out to see if we could find tile for the guesthouse floor and shower. We stopped first at Texaco to see if they really could make a shower door for us. Of course they can. Tempered glass, polished edges, and the fancy gripping hinges and cool looking handles for the door too. Whatever size we want. It takes about two weeks to get the glass tempered and it comes either in 1/4" or 1/2" thicknesses (I think it even comes thicker, but I don't remember for sure). The hinges cost around $80 BZD each and the door (roughly 2'x5') will cost about $300 BZD for the 1/2" version. Is this good or what?

So, on we went to find tile. We stopped first at National Hardware and spent 20 minutes going through most of the tile they have on display... Their display consists of a couple hundred tiles piled on the counter and floor. you have to move each and every one to see what they have. We found one that we really thought would work for the floor (with non-skid grit built-in). We could get it but it would take at least 3 weeks to get here as it comes from Brazil, and as Andy, National's owner said, if they don't have a full container, shipment would be delayed. That wasn't going to work for us.

We tried the next place we'd heard of across the street (in front of, as they say here) the new Cinty's.  He wasn't open. We asked at the auto parts place next door who told us that the guy kept really strange hours. For Corozal, that's really saying something. We decided to go on to Creative Tile and see what they had.

We've had hot and cold experiences in dealing with Creative. If they have what you're looking for, you can usually get it right then. If they don't, the lady seems almost reluctant to order it - and absolutely hates to check other  Creative stores throughout Belize to see if they have something in stock.

Also, I swear their inside displays that they've been working on for two years, haven't changed at all in that time - still half-finished.

Well, this time, we lucked out. We found a salt and pepper looking tile with a nice grit to it for the floors. We also found a rectangular white tile for the shower. We also found an alternating light and dark blue 1" glass tile to use as a decrative band in the shower. Everything was in stock. We paid for it and thought, "Now how do we get 35 boxes of 12" square tile home, plus 4 boxes of the rectangular tile"? Inspiration struck. I called Isidoro, Our Contractor. He was about ready to go out to Consejo for another job he has, but could take the time to pick up and deliver the boxes for us.
39 Boxes of Tile Ready To Use
And, there they are. After helping unload the boxes, I thought for sure that I would be hunting up the Diclofenaco back-pain pills we get here, but I again lucked out. My back stayed quiet - probably because of spending a good part of the afternoon in the pool.

We're making progress on the canal and on the guesthouse. Things are in stock. Apparently, we can get anything made at Texaco that we want. Life is good.


JRinSC said...

I see you guys are really on roll - and it is looking very good. Wish my brick walk project was moving as quickly (never does when you are doing all of it yourself).

One good note here -- Karol is having six rooms painted (not 1 1/2 years old yet) but she's having someone else do this!! I convinced her that I don't bounce as good as I used to!

Keep up the good work down there.


Liberating Recycling Leaders - LRL said...

I always enjoy reading your progress reports and look forward to the day when my wife and I can move to BZ permanently.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

Hey, neat trick - convincing Karol you 'don't bounce back as good as you used to.' I'll have to give that a go.


Hi Harry,
Thanks for the nice comments. When you do arrive, give me a holler, we can have a Belikin!