Another busy few days

The weather constantly changing, has left me with a cold, but I won’t complain, I’ve heard all the jokes! Most days it is a lot warmer, but we are still getting a fair amount of rain, apparently the ‘Experts’ are predicting that we will have 25% more than usual December and January, and 60% more in February, I would love to know where summer fits in?

I went earlier this week to have the stitches out in my mouth, you certainly feel the psychological effect, once you are back to ‘normal’ , now I am waiting for my appointment next week to be sized for a plate. I think I have come to accept that I am going to be struggling to eat Christmas goodies!

Christmas… well I gave in, and Marcela and her Mum have put up the tree and decorations, I bet it’s too much to hope that they let me take them down on Boxing Day!

I decided to revive a UK Christmas tradition, Christmas pudding, or as some of you know it, Plum pudding, it was an absolute pain trying to find the ingredients, and some I had to substitute, like the soft brown sugar, try to get it here is like trying to find gold dust, I ended up with granulated, and put it in the Bullet mini blender to turn it into powder, which was the closest I could get. Flour is hit and miss, we selected the grain flour we thought was closest to UK plain flour, whether it was, is anyone’s guess.

Cooking apples, don’t exist here, you have two options, both eating apples, green or red!

The Brandy, I had to put under armed guard, Marcela has never tried it, and wants to, I ran the risk of not having any, and I will still need more to feed the puddings, and make the brandy butter nearer the day.

Notice my mistake, two puddings, both in simmering water stood on plates toi keep them off the pan bottom, but I didn’t think to put the lids of the water pans back on, and I think that was my biggest problem.

Despite cooking for eight hours and looking fine when I removed them, other than a bit palid, which some molasses might have resolved (always next year).

when I came to remove them the following morning, they fell to bits, I don’t mind admitting my mistakes, but I’m not rubbing salt in the wound, by showing photos, anyway they taste fine, so are back in the bowls, recovered and stored in the larder.

On the woodwork front, I have nearly completed my router tablesaw wing

I am just waiting on a router bit coming so that I can cut my own T-track into the table top, you cant buy T-track here, maybe in the Cities, but outside, they look at you as if you are stupid.

My old Router benchtop table

I removed the top, and laminated two pieces of scrap plywood together

to make a new top, sanded the old legs

put a bevel on the edge of the new top, two coats of stain three of laquer

and we have a new coffee table for outside on the patio, it’s certainly not fine furniture, but it’s functional!

Finally the part I have been dreading writing about…Pepe! He had his appointment with the Oncologist yesterday, having seen the results of the tests, and examining him, he said that the form of cancer he has, has no cure, so we are looking at palliative care, and he wants to start him on chemotherapy next week, the best we can hope for is slowing down how fast the cancer takes hold. At the moment, the only thing upsetting Pepe, as I think I have mentioned before, is his damaged cruciate ligament, but more on that later.

I have made it clear, that I will not let Pepe suffer from any treatment, I rather he have a shorter happy life, and the Oncologist agrees, he is looking at four sessions of Chemo in three week cycles, week 1: chemo, week 2: another chemical, week 3: rest. However if after the first session, Pepe is seriously ill, of after an ultrasound the cancer has not shrunk, then the treatment will stop, and thereafter it will just be pain relief when he needs it.

Now, all we can do is wait, and hope, I have to say, Marcela held herself together brilliantly, albeit there was a little relapse last night, but being her first dog, it is understandable, so Pepe’s first treatment is next Thursday, but first he has to have an ultrasound to use for comparison.

Warming up!

Maybe the weather is just teasing us, but over the last few days, it has definitely being getting warmer, yes, we are still having tropical storms, roads are collapsing, landslides destroying family houses, but at the same time the cold weather we have been having, has disappeared… for now.

I managed to get my hedges cut, they would look better if I could have access to top the other side on both sides, but at least I’m done!

I decided it was time to change our whole house water filters yesterday, the water was starting to get a tinge of colour in it.

What looks like a crack down the one filter is layers of mud, much the same as when I reported on this on previous occasions. What annoys me, is that nothing is done to upgrade the system, one day the system will collapse, and we will be without water for months, the Water company think our water is great, and the President, says we should all be thankful the Country has clean drinking water, I would love to serve him this muck, before it enters the filtration system.

This was definitely one of my better investments, the filters are expensive, but to have drinking water ontap, is worth it. Our neighbours all have to buy bottled water to drink, and only use the tap water for washing.

Tito has totally recovered from his surgery, back to being my shadow

even so, he still manages to find comfortable places to keep an eye on me!

Wednesday, I go to have my stitches out, where I had the teeth extractions, I am going to have to have a chat, a tooth that was alongside one taken out, is annoying me, I don’t know if it’s because it no longer has support, or if there is a problem, so there is the chance, I may have to have another removed, at this rate, I will be on scrabbled egg, ice cream and jelly for Christmas, because I can’t see me getting the plate before. I’m beginning to think I should take up drinking again.

I went for X-rays on my knee yesterday, ready to see the Specialist next month, we had to leave early, because the main road was shut from 8.30am for a cycling event, we had to make our way across country, thank goodness for 4×4, anyway, we arrived with plenty of time to spare, so went for lunch, and then for the appointment at 1.30pm, only to be told the Order had been incorrectly completed, and the x-rays couldn’t go ahead. I was fuming, so we went back to Marinilla, to our Health Center, and they issued an order for the x-rays two floors above, not 40 minutes to the next town! but it’s not until the week before I see the Specialist.

Work on my router wing extensioin is back on track, the frame is completed, the wing now fits on the sawtable, now it’s just the cosmetic part, I spray painted it today, and on Monday I will buy some laquer, then it will be ready to fit the router, and for that I have to find some longer screws, and here you can bet that wont be easy!

Time to put my feet up, I am in hiding at the moment, Marcela and my Mother-in-law are putting up Christmas decorations, I said I would have no part in it, until December, so they went ahead anyway!

Plans Changed!

As stated, I had an appointment to chat with the Dentist about having a Plate made up, as the number of spaces in my mouth are increasingly alarmingly.

I went for the appointment, the price of having dentures here, is surprisingly cheap compared with implants, so I decided to go ahead, that meant having a tooth that broke off at the gum line removed, so whilst we planned that, I asked him about two other teeth, he had recently repaired, he told me, there wasn’t much tooth in either of them, it was repair upon repair, so 90% resin. I therefore asked if those could be taken out at the same time, to which he agreed, and told me to go and make an appointment.

We (Marcela and I) were walking down the corridor, when he called us back and said he would do the extraction there and then. That certainly came as a surprise, because we had planned to take the Mother-in-law out for lunch. Ten minutes late and six stitches, I was minus three more teeth, but feeling none the worse for the ordeal, so having no time to think about it, was probably a good thing.

Not being a total Party Pooper, I then took Marcela and her Mum for lunch, and I sipped away on a fruit juice, whilst they both got stuck in to a Tomal

Yesterday, Tito had to be at the Vets for 8am, for surgery on his eye, and whilst he was under sedative, they also cleaned his teeth. Two hours later, he was ready for home, with a clean bill of health, oh well… at least that makes one of us.

Pepe has his appointment with the Oncologist on the 24th, having spoken to the Vet, I don’t hold out much hope that anything other than keeping him comfortable when the time comes will work, but I couldn’t get him to commit to that in front of Marcela. He could have had an appointment today, but I had X-rays in Rionegro, I wish we had gone ahead now, because my x-rays were cancelled due to a fault with the authorisation, I now have a new appointment next month, a day wasted.

The router, tablesaw wing, is coming on slowly, and not quite as planned, initially I chickened out of dowelling the frame to the main board, I didn’t think there was enough room, so firstly I glued the frame, and then pinned it.

My wooden clamps came in handy again, they have had some use in this project.

Unfortunately the framing had warped a bit, with it having been left between cutting to size and installation, it wasn’t serious, but it did change the process.

The frame had to be 100% level with the inner board, the only way to do that,was to sand it, consequently the idea of my back board not having to have any finish applied went out of the window, once ready, it will all be sprayed black, with a protective coat on top. I therefore decided, that I would take the risk, and on the three sides, that will be attached to the saw table, I installed dowels, nothing split, that was a relief!

Tomorrow, I am home alone until mid afternoon, so weather allowing, I will be gardening first, as you can see, our floral fence covering is getting out of control.

Time for a trim!

It’s been a Doggie week!

Pepe came home, and has spent most of his time sleeping, which has helped both his recovery from the surgery, and his damaged ligament, he goes out to do his bodily functions without a problem, and is eating all he can get hold of, so no change there.

On Thursday we took Pepe to have his stitches out, all fourteen of them, he was not happy, he has never liked being put on his back, the Nurse couldn’t hold him, so I ended up on my knees, holding him with his back against my stomach, he put up a struggle, but because it was me, didn’t try to bite.

Whilst we were there, Tito also had to see the Vet, he has started with a small lump on his lower eyelid, the Vet described it as a ‘mass’, which scared the living daylights out of us, because that’s how Pepe started, he said it should be removed, to avoid scratching his cornea, but first he wanted a blood test, unlike Pepe, Tito hates being manhandled, being given medication, or anything else out of the ordinary, but because he is small, he doesn’t get many options!

On Saturday evening, we had a call from one of the Vets, Tito’s bloods came back normal, thank goodness, so he is booked in to have the lump cauterised on Wednesday.

Pepe’s Path Lab results had also come back, and unfortunately that is not good news, he has an aggressive form of cancer, and they don’t know if anything can be done for him, so we are now waiting for them to book an appointment with an Oncologist, to see if chemotherapy will help, or if it’s just a case of time. Pepe himself, doesn’t appear to be effected by the cancer yet, he is more miserable, that he can’t run about, because of the ligament, although he is using that leg more at the moment, and he has the sense to wait with his head on the sofa, if he wants to get up, until we lift him. We leave a pillow on the floor under him, so if he jumps down, there is at least a bit of cushioning when he lands.

I am progressing slowly with my table saw project to create an integrated router wing, I do a bit, inbetween Vet visits, and keeping on top of the garden. The problem I have is, that I can’t afford not to concentrate 100% on this, if I make a mistake, I am going to have to start from scratch.

I had some old black laminated plywood from cutting down my Desk unit when we moved house, it’s been used for various purposes over the last two years, now it’s being put to good use, as long as I don’t make a mess of it

So I marked where I wanted the insert, cut a hole in the centre so I could cut out the centre, but then changed my mind and decided to use my router instead.

I formed a template using scrap MDF, then routed the waste, and then a ledge on which to sit the insert. So far so good!

I have now cut the frame that will surround the plywood out of some hardwood, I had in stock, this I will have to attach to the plywood and to the saw table, I thought I had it all sorted, but some last minute checks, threw up a curved ball, so it may be back to the drawing board. I was going to attach the frame with wooden dowels, and then the router wing to the saw table, by slots slipping over bolts in the saw frame, but my measurements seem to be ascew, so I may resort to glue and pins for the wood frame.

I always had an urge to fly drones, but my experiences so far, have been far from encouraging, they have either crashed, or flown off never to be seen again. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was watching a Youtube channel, where a Photographer was showing how you could make drone like footage using a 3 metre selfie stick, yes you read that right, 3 metres!, so I ordered one, now I have to practice, although one benefit I have already found, is that I can take video of my roof, to check on it’s condition, and no ladder, the highest part of the roof, I can video from our balcony. Once I have this mastered, I’ll post a sample!

I am buying as many things, useful and gadgets from Amazon now, because if our President has his way, he, if I understand it correctly, wants to ban all imports, supposedly to encourage people to buy Colombian. I buy Colombian now, but there are many things that they dont make, Colombia is reknowned for making clothes, but few make them in my size, and I am informed by a family Member that there are a number of well known Colombian clothes ‘manufacturers’ who are now importing Chinese clothes and employing staff to sew, ‘made in Colombia’ labels into them. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Tomorrow, its off to the Dentist, to talk about having a Plate made, I’ve decided against implants, at my age I think it would be a waste of money, and as more teeth drop out, the cost escalates, a Plate they can add another tooth or two. I’ll have a better idea after I’ve seen him, but at the moment, that’s the plan!

Back to normality…for Today!

Just in passing, an update on Pepe, Marcela had appointments yesterday and today, so she has done the hospital visit whilst out, I will visit tomorrow, and hopefully Pepe will come home Saturday. I am informed that he is doing great, the Vet has said that, he is a strong brave dog, which we already knew. He is putting some weight on his damaged leg, but that is probably due to still being on intravenous pain killers.

The Vet nurse, took him out whilst Marcela was there, and he didn’t want to return, he kept trying to walk to our car, Marcela had to help get him back to his cage. So far so good, long may it continue, but as we know, it’s early days yet!

Yesterday, I started another project, the Guest bedroom wardrobe can wait!, I am going to make a Router table in my workshop Table saw, it will replace the support wing of the table, and reduce wasted space in the workshop. I have bought a router insert plate, but first I need to get the router table made, and work out how I am going to attach it. There is no rush for this, so it’s going to take some time.

Today, it was wellingtons on, then stick in one hand, and machete in the other, it was down into the Orchard to do some clearing.

There is some native grass, that grows two metres or more high, it’s used for cattle, but since we have none, it has to be managed, unfortunately, Marcela’s Associate, had not cleared it, leaving it to grow up into the Avocado, and banana trees…time for some work.

With a sharp machete, it didn’t take long to cut it all down, finding a few more Lady Finger Bananas (miniatures) nearly ready to pick

After which, it was time to make my way back up the slope, which was no easy task, this was where my stick came in, it’s a heavy duty tool handle, but ideal for keeping me upright.

Thank goodness for the time I had spent, placing old tyres as steps, they certainly came into their own today!

There is a fantastic crop of avocados on the trees at the moment, whether they make it all the way to market depends a lot on the climate, if we don’t start getting some sun, they will remain stunted and fall off the trees, but if summer does come, or at least a few days sun each week, Marcela is in for a bumper crop.

I then mixed up a batch of industrial weedkiller, the neighbour doesn’t maintain their land to my standards, and they have a wild climbing flower, which is invasive, it had grown all over the fence between us, in the orchard, and is spreading across our land, the fence is my responsibility, and since I cleaned it all off 18 months ago, replacing a number of posts, I didn’t want it damaged under the weight, nor do I want it growing into our avocados, so spray it was, and I wasn’t particular, they had cut it back to the fence line on their side, however the root system is also on their side, so if I have killed off any of their vegetables in the process… tough!

The only benefit from their lack of maintenance, was that they have another fruit, cidras / Citrons, which grow on creepers, and one had grown across into one of our avocados, I managed to get 12 fruit.

Personally I don’t like them, they don’t have a lot of taste, the fruit is hard to describe, it looks a bit like the inside of an apple when you cut it open, what taste there is, doesn’t appeal to me, however, I guess if you are brought up with them, then your opinion is somewhat different!

At least that’s another job, scratched off my list, I cut the hedges yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow, I’ll have time to cut the lawns, I might then have some time to sit down with Pepe, when he returns.

Whoever said, retirement was for putting your feet up, must have lived in a Studio Apartment, I have never been busier. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but there are times, when I wish I had more time to pick up a book, or in my case an eReader, and just drift away for a few hours!

Pepe Update!

Pepe was in surgery for two and a half hours, they removed fifty percent of his liver which was filled with cancer, but there are still two cancerous nodules, which they can’t remove otherwise he would have no liver left, we will have to consider Chemotherapy for those, but that’s for the future, after we have the Path Lab results, to see if the cancer can be stemmed.

The stone they thought was in his bladder, turned out to be a fibrous mass on the outside, so they left well alone.

The damage to his cruciate ligament, they have decided will also need surgery, but in three weeks, once he has recovered from this surgery.

This morning we went to visit Pepe, who surprisingly was bouncing, probably something to do with his intravenous pain relief, his tail was wagging, and when he saw the bag of food, and treats, he started licking his lips, albeit the Surgery had given him some food, which he had wolfed down, he is also drinking, and passing all bodily functions, so all is good.

It is slightly different here, in small practises anyway, we were not given direct access the Pepe, so it was fingers through the bars. We didn’t stay too long, because we didn’t want to stress him, at the moment the Vet is looking at five days hospitalisation, which is the best place for him, as he has restricted movement, which would be almost impossible here.

We will visit him every day, Marcela has appointments herself for the next two days so she will visit whilst out, I will go again on Friday, and hopefully collect him Saturday.

I have said all along, that when it comes to my kids, which they are, money is immaterial, but when the cost of the surgery, path lab tests, and hospitalisation, only comes to £245, I am very glad, that I am here, and not in the UK!

Fingers Crossed!

It’s been one of the longest weeks of my life, and it’s still not over…

Just after my last post we had to take Pepe our first son, and Schnauzer back to the Vet for an ultrasound on his liver, as he had been having some incontinence problems from the rear end, unfortunately the morning of the Ultrasound, I had been out, and on my return, Pepe ran to greet the car, and Marcela says, as he went up the steps, he went down.

So we went for the ultrasound appointment early, the Vet said he didn’t think it was the hip but his knee, and he would have it X-rayed as the same time. The process here is somewhat complicated, unless it is a big chain of Vets, most don’t have their own equipment, another Specialist does the rounds, with his/her equipment in suitcases.

Pepe had his Ultrasound and X-rays, and then we were given one piece of bad news after another. The worst being that Pepe has cancer, the Ultrasound seemed to show that Pepe has the cancer in his spleen and his liver, but the Vet isn’t convinced, and wants exploratory surgery to confirm. If the cancer is just in his spleen, they can remove it, and hopefully that will stop or slow the process, but if it’s in his liver, like humans, its terminal. So Pepe goes for the surgery this afternoon.

Now all we can do is keep our fingers crossed.

As for Pepe’s leg, potentially it is just as bad, because, he has damaged the cruciate ligament in his right knee, the same leg as his bad hip, he can’t put any weight on it, the Vet, says he may be able to get away without surgery, and only therapy, but… and it’s a big but, the x-rays showed that his left back leg has elbow joint problems, the bones are not sitting correctly, and the pressure of taking all his weight on the one back leg, could cause that to collapse, if both go at the same time, it’s probably terminal.

Nothing is being done, with his legs until after the exploratory surgery, as if that wasn’t enough, he also has a bladder stone, but as I have told the Vet, it is causing no discomfort at the moment, he is urinating fine, no traces of blood, so if the cancer tests are terminal, then I wont have the stone removed, if they remove the spleen, in so doing removing the cancer, then remove the stone, the Vet is in agreement.

Whatever the outcome today, Pepe needs his right leg seeing to, he is in pain with that, and walking for the most part on three legs, spending most of the day resting, fortunately, he is eating well, and doing all his bodily functions, so we can but hope.

As for me, I went for my Hip Protesis Revision in Medellin the other day, the Specialist is happy with the Hip, but not with the Surgeon who caused the muscle damage when doing the knee block in May, she has given me a list of exercises to do, and I will start them once we have Pepe sorted.

The Specialist also believes the decision by my Orthopaedic Surgeon not to replace my knee, is questionable, she stated it is one view, but now there are Surgeons, who do a partial knee replacement, there are three components to the knee joint, and any one can now be replaced, although there are a limited number of Surgeons able to do the procedure in Colombia, one of her Colleagues does them, and she has referred me to him for evaluation, to see if it would help, my appointment?… Christmas week! thanks a bunch.

I decided it was time for some in house upgrades, the wardrobes in our bedroom, and the guestroom, were DIY jobs, not very professional, but they functioned, since Marcela has a dressing room, I have this small space

This photo is the guestroom, come Marcela’s Gym! however with the changes of climate here, mildew has been a big problem, I started by installing airvents to the outside in both bedrooms, but this didn’t work, it helped when we left all the doors open, but in no way did it solve the problem. I then bought small electric dehumidifiers, and they have made a big difference, they draw so much water, I have to empty them every three days, but the doors still needed to be left open, this was both unsightly, and dusty.

So two days ago, I removed the doors

filled all the hinge screw holes, then painted the frame, with two coats of undercoat, and one of topcoat

It certainly brightened up the room, I painted the draw fronts with the blue chalk paint, I used for the Mother-in-law, and we bought curtains to front the wardrobe, it looks a lot better, and allows air to circulate.

That’s our room done, now for the Guestroom.

Time to wrap up, before you all fall asleep, keep your fingers crossed for Pepe, poor lad he has no idea what’s going on.

I found another Project

The weather has been awful recently, towns and villages flooded, landslides and everything associated with heavy rain, there have been a few hours of sun, but nothing to write home about.

As a result, I decided to look for another project, I had plywood/triplex left over from the last Project, and decided to make even more storage for my Mother-in-law, there were not many options, because to say the Cabaña is cosy, is being generous, so it was down to wall storage.

My Mother-in-law has her own hobby, she makes costume jewellery, and has many containers of beads etc, which at the moment she keeps in plastic boxes under the bed. Therefore a few shelves would allow her to have those she is working with out on display, with easy access.

I decided to go with an all in one unit, rather than separate shelves, as that would have incurred the expense of buying shelf supports.

Nothing to it really, two sides, three shelves and a back board, to support the shelves I cut dados in the side pieces, they will go nowhere, as they are kept in place with glue and dowels.

I finally got to use my home made wooden clamps, they haven’t been used in a while, but proof that, there is always a need, if I hadn’t had them, I would have been struggling.

After a few coats of paint, the unit went up, completing the built ins for the Cabaña!

Maria Elena is back from her travels tomorrow, so we will see what she fills it with, she may have a completely different use for it. Her room is full of colour now, although you can’t see them, as they are being altered, she has brought some bright red curtains to front the wardrobe and dresser instead of doors, with the blue and white… not my taste, but yes, colourful!

Healthwise, my hip and knees, seem to be finally playing ball, I have had little pain, and been able to get a lot done, as well as walk the dogs, but just as one thing is rectified another comes along to fill your time.

I had two teeth repaired back in July, the face of one had sheered last year, had been repaired, but the repair came off after four hours, then another went the same way two weeks later, on the other side of my mouth, but as there was no pain, I left it, which probably wasn’t one of my best ideas, then two weeks ago, I was ill, I wont go into detail, but the pain in my stomach didnt go away, and I thought it might be an infection from the teeth, then catastrophe! another of my front teeth sheered off at the gum line, I already had a gap, from another I had removed in 2014, a gap of one, is one thing, but two!

So I went to see the Dentist, she sent me for X-rays of my whole mouth, and gave me an appointment to see the Dentist who had done the repairs, for him to correct his own work.

When I saw the Dentist, he said the X-rays showed no infection, and he again repaired the two teeth he had worked on, at that time, I said I was considering implants, and was given an appointment for the end of November for an evaluation, however they also gave me an approximate price for the implants, which was nearly a months pension.

I went home, thought about it, and decided it maybe wasn’t one of my better ideas, in addition to the double space, the two repaired teeth are going to come out at some point, that’s another months pension, and with my luck how many more? I have therefore decided to yet again try a Plate, I had one years ago, for the other missing front tooth, as well as two well out of sight, but could never get used to it, and it stayed in a drawer, I’m going to have to try again. I have an appointment for the middle of next month, and the Dentist will then decide if the broken tooth has to come out, or as it has no nerve (that was taken out years ago) it can be left, and the plate sit on top.

It’s all exciting here !

As I said earlier, I have been able to get around more, so yesterday, I gingerly made my down to the bottom of our land, to ensure all is well, it’s certainly still there, but needs some work, weather allowing, I’ll go later this week, on the way back up, I decided to physically count the number of Avocado trees we have, we had always been of the impression it was 50, it turns out we have 46, not far off, there probably were 50 originally, but a couple had to come down, due to work erecting the security fence, and one to make way for a fire pit. The trees are all laiden with fruit, I think provided the weather lets them grow to maturity, Marcela is going to have a good crop.

This morning we took the armchair I bought in January to an Upholsterer, the chair was fine after I had my new hip, but over the months, we have both realised that it is far from comfortable, it was like sitting on a pile of bricks.

Whilst we we at the workshop this morning, he stripped the bottom off, and found that it had been constructed on an 1 1/4″ fibreboard base, no webbing or springs, so he is going to change all that, also the foam for the cushion, hopefully it will be a chair I don’t want to get out of, instead of one I don’t want to sit in.

If this work is satisfactory, we have said we will then take the old Recliner to him, as the seat has more or less collapsed, and the arms wave in the wind ha! ha! That chair is about ten years old, and has been really comfortable, although I am no longer allowed to use Recliners due to my hip, Marcela could make good use of it, but at the moment its been claimed by the dogs!

Time now to stop making excuses to myself, and go do some work…

Twiddling Thumbs!

The car came back looking almost like new, painted and polished

Now we just have to take it to have a couple of the window tints replaced, they have started spotting, again due to heat from the sun, also I have to have the chrome wing mirrors recovered, with a black rubberised film, the existing film has been damaged, when passing other vehicles on the lane outside, as we pull into the side catching it on the hedgerow, no big deal, but just to complete the look.

This week, I have finished the furniture for my Mother-in-law in the cabaña / apartment, it all came together to easily, I started by painting all the parts, as always happens I just finished painting and it started drizzling with rain, so I had to quickly move them all under cover.

Where they stayed for twenty four hours, to ensure it was totally dry. Most parts have four coats of paint. I sprayed all the parts with white emulsion, giving them two coats, as undercoat, then handpainted all the parts that will receive some wear, with a white oil based satin paint, finally hand painting the tops, shelves and trim with a pale blue chalk paint.

Yesterday, Marcela and the Mother-in-law were out for medical appointments, so I got stuck in, and finished building the furniture

Because of the confined space, and it being built-in furniture, this had to be done one piece at a time, starting from the floor up, adjusting bits as required.

However without interruptions, I had it finished before lunch, I was pleased with the outcome, fortunately the Mother-in-law is over the moon with it. It looks like a solid wood construction, having taken the time to cover all the visible edges with wood filler, and sand it down before painting, you would never know it was made out of plywood / triplex. 

Even though the construction was hampered a little by walls that were out of true, I was able to get a reasonable fit, I thought of going round with silicon, but, if they ever have to be disassembled for any reason, silicon, would just cause another headache.

Today, our first port of call was the Vets,  it turns out that Pepe our Schnauzer who is nine and a half, has kidney problems and liver disease, he has had a couple of blood tests, his reading should be a maximum of 86, the first was over 500, and after his first session of medication it came down to 420, but the Vet wants it below 300, so as of today, he is on different medication for another two weeks, and then another test.

The problem we have with Pepe, is that he loves food, he must take after me, he will eat just about anything, and loves fruit, so he will help himself to mandarines of the trees, and if we dont find them first, he will eat fallen avocados, thank goodness he doesn’t have access to the orchard, but even so, with four avocados in the garden area, it’s hard to stop him, also if we are eating fruit in the house, he loves it, bananas, papaya, mango, all that has to stop, he will wonder what has happened.

Now I am wondering how to fill my time, no projects, but plenty of gardening, it looks like I will be getting plenty of fresh air!


Without having the car, and with no appointments, for me, I have had a relaxing week. The Mother-in-law had a couple of appointments in town, the first she went with Marcela, the second on her own, using our local bus or chiva:


They are quite colourful, but open to the elements and damned cold, as well as being awkward to mount, due to their height off the ground, but they are ideal out here in the countryside where there are no paved roads!

I have been continuing work on the built-in furniture for the Cabaña, the wardrobe is now finished.

I painted it white with a pale blue chalk paint trim and top to add a subtle bit of colour, no doors, we have learned from experience in the house, that with the climate here, doors are a no no, they cause condensation and mold, so I have put a curtain wire across the top, and when the Mother-in-law finds a curtain she likes it will be installed.

Now for the dressing table and shelving, this is slightly more difficult because although the wardrobe is square to the back wall, the same can’t be said to the wall side of the dressing table, so I am having to build this in situ, that is slowing things up a little, because I obviously have to give the Mother-in-law her privacy. Each piece has to be cut to fit like the table top here.

The same goes for each shelf and the trim, however all the parts are now cut, filled and sanded.

I was going to start painting today, but although the day started off with brilliant sunshine, the clouds have arrived, along with high winds, so spray painting is off the agenda, hopefully tomorrow.

In addition to woodwork, I have been able to catch up on some of the gardening, cutting hedges, grass, and having garden fires, so it’s been quite a productive week.

This afternoon we should be getting the car back, they rang last night to confirm that is will be ready, and they will deliver, however they told Marcela they will bring it to the end of the lane, a kilometer away, and we can meet them there, why? I have no idea, but if it’s raining they can come here if they want their money.

Time for coffee and biccys, so I will wrap it up for today!