28 April 2007

Los Tijerales

Gay Pride, Aliens y La PatriaThe celebration of a roof raising is a sacred event in many cultures and in Chile Los Tijerales are a great excuse to get together with the friends you haven´t had a chance to see while you were busy working on your house and also to thank those close friends who have supported you day in and day out. A view of the principle roof and the beginnings of the extensionInstead of a traditional barbeque, we served fish with empanadas del horno and toasted much beer to our three passionate flags handing from the highest part of the roof: gay pride, aliens, and la patria. Also,
Marcelo invited two of his students, volunteer teachers from Japan, who shared the Japanese tradition of throwing candies from the roof to bless the house. A good time was had by all and the sun shined gloriously. May our roof be blessed and now for the rest of the house.

23 April 2007

Roof Raised and the Pines Start Coming Down

Down from the roof just in time
The day of San Jorge, we finished installing the principle roof of the second cabin during a brief break in the clouds, the last nails pounded in as the wind shifted from South to North, the mist returning to rain. Pondering the work to come with the sound of chainsaws in the not-to-far distanceWe paused to reflect in the work done in little less than a month’s time without electricity, impressed at how our muscles had grown and our luck in learning new skills, but also a little daunted by the remaining tasks at hand. As if plaguing our thoughts, that same night the chainsaws in the pine plantations crept closer than ever before, tearing holes in the night with the shattering of trees and the grinding of machinery in the darkness.

09 April 2007

Rafters and Rain

Moises smiles, the last rafter in place, lucky 13After a weekend of heavy lifting and overcoming the fear of heights, 13 roof rafters were finally in place and the second cabin began to take real shape, but the return of Autumn rain sent us in a rush to cover the whole structure with plastic sheeting, creating a bizarre scene in the forest reminiscent of NASA’s invasion of Elliott’s house in the movie E.T. Fastening down the plastic as the rain starts to pour; Trigo ever attentive to the front-gateStill, only a slight set-back as there are always support beams to attach and walls to finalize under the plastic.

And the stray dog that followed Christine home from the busstop some weeks ago and who we have come to know as Trigo (for his wheat-like color), was finally granted the permission to stay, even though he did participate in the eating of our baby ducks. El Bosque continues to teach us many lessons in patience and understanding.

03 April 2007

Septic Ready

Horacio oversees the final connections on the new septic systemWe welcomed Loreto back from her quick visit to Santiago, where she put her house up for sale, with a new and fully operational septic system. Thank you, Chayito! Once again we could return to washing the dishes inside the cabin and flushing the toilet, though Rocky insists on continuing the family tradition of “making protests” in the pine plantation across the street (good dog). The remarkably sunny weather continued and we plugged away at the second cabin supports and scaffolding, (with the amazingly precise aid of a new hand saw that really shows the difference of having good tools; thank you Bahco of Sweden!) hoping to get the roof in place before the more typical rains of Autumn return.

01 April 2007

Feliz Cumpleaños Carlitos

Horacio poses for a photo of the progressThe first vertical beams, to become the front porch supports, were lifted into place on the second cabin and we began leveling concrete footers for the “extension,” which, should all go well, will contain the bathroom and a small sunroom for Christine to study in the morning light. It was also the 10th birthday of dear Carlitos, Marcelo and Queno making a trip to Los Molinos in the late afternoon to wish our shamanic friend many happy returns of the day. Feliz Cumpleaños, Carlitos!