Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So Many Projects

When you first move or buy a house you get about 2 years of fast and furious projects done before the excitement wears off.  Here in Moca the list of projects is long but only one really needs doing and it is the roof. I don't think I can name a person here in PR who hasn't had a roof problem at some point. Rain and humidity are constant threats and the stupidity of building flat roofs adds to the problem. The Guama house had sloped roofs but they hadn't been sealed on a regular basis and the conditions here (lots of sun, heat, rain) make it impossible to do something and have it stay done. The Moca roof has a few problems. First off the ceiling of the balcony has flaking paint which means there is moisture. Inside we can see where there has been some moisture (I don't think full blown leaks, just humidity problems) and before I do any painting I want to resolve it the best it can be resolved. I trudged up top (the view is great!) and could find only 4 drainage holes on the entire roof! I sent Jeff up with his hammer drill and the biggest bit he had to make more holes. After a couple little rains the water just poured out those new holes! Next is the pressure washing.I usually do this but Jeff is doing the first pass. It looks like they dumped some cement in low spots, water gets under it and...there's part 2 of the problem. With a shovel we have both been breaking off the thin flaking cement. The next thing, after cleaning, will be to brush some hydraulic cement across the low spots then use leveler and then seal it. I used Crosscoat 5500 at the other house but I did it twice in 4 years and may try a different brand this time. So the roof project is drainage holes, clean, clean again, hydraulic cement, leveler, sealant.

When the roof is done I can take my time painting the inside. That project can be done room by room after the ceiling of course. In the meantime I really want to get vegetables started. I haven't missed this season although I am late planting things. Until I get my covered area I figure I will plant where ever I can and harvest whatever I get! We have a lot of chain link fence which is perfect for parcha and for things like these Red Noodle Yard Long Beans - with a name like that how could I resist (plus they are heat resistant).
I bought a pumpkin and harvested the seeds and chucked them near the chain link fence. Now I have too many and have to move them! I planted wing beans also.
I also got a couple chayotes at the Pulguero and planted them along the fence. I hope they flower and set fruit. The real project is to build beds, get a hold of manure or compost to amend the soil, cover the area and get a permanent area set up for year round veggies. This used-to-be-a-dog run will be perfect! I don't think dogs have been in it for years and years (no poo), it is flat, has water and is fenced. The fence will help support the covered top, provide climbing opportunities for cucumbers, beans, etc, and gives me a contained space to take care of. I have a problem of starting too many projects and when I can't see a clear end things continue on and on. I should be able to finish this since it is contained. (then I'll move out to the rest of the "yard"). Here's another view.

Well, digging in the limestone soil is hard, I ran out of blocks, and had calabaza seedlings that needed to move so...I started digging outside the area to clean up along the parcha-planted part of the fence to make a calabaza area. This area has burrs and rotten weeds that are really difficult to dig out. I need a rototiller! I'd like to get a small one I can handle, which means it won't do the initial bed making probably, but if I make the beds it'd be great to keep them soft with a tiller and churn them up once and a while and add manure/compost. Anyone have a good lightweight one to recommend?
Besides the calabaza I got these cool seeds for a "single serving" sized melon! I don't like cold fruit and it is hard to wait forever watching the melons grow and then getting only a few only to put them in the fridge and not want to eat them a second day because they have been refrigerated. With single serving size ones I hope there are more melons on the vine and that the wait isn't that long! 80 days...I think Mayish should be ok. I planted them here, under the mini Jobo tree near a couple zucchini I moved.
I have tomatoes in the front in a pot and a couple I had seedlings of (from the other house) I put in my new bed in the dog run. Other yard projects aren't as big. I still need to get everything I moved here into the ground. Even if it isn't where I want it they need to be out of their pots. I'd like to get a start of these red bananas - they are very sweet.
The front of the house is another project I started and haven't finished. I am still thinking through what I want. I wanted to get the slow growing structure in - the palms. I put 2 bottle palms and 2 fishtail palms. Nothing else will be symmetrical. I am thinking of an eclectic mix of flowers, herbs, rocks, succulents, shrubs and ferns (you can see I am still thinking). Some of what I want in (like ferns) can't go in until there is some shade. I will probably switch stuff out as things grow. I'd like a bird bath too. Maybe crotons instead of looking at a wall (but far enough away to make painting easy).
So lots of projects which is kind of great fun. I really like the planning/thinking part of things and the doing. Once things are done it is boring even though you get to see things mature. With all our land I will not get bored, and a lot of it is more usable than at the other place. I still need a lemon tree, orange and grapefruit, cashew and flowers. Mainly though I want to focus on food. Another huge project though is to cover the deck. I want to cover about 1/2 of it and make a wind screen on part and drop some stairs out the front of it into the yard. It'd be nice to do it before the rainy season so we can sit out there in the wild weather! Ah well - Saturday we'll cave, Sunday dive and work on the roof and every day I will work on digging and planting! It has only been 2 1/2 months so I think  I've done all right!

No comments: