Thursday, August 5, 2010

Restoration Fun Update 3 (by the Martian)

Where we hide out from the construction, feel sorry for us?
Yes, I notice how the male/female roles work in this small Calabrian town. Some things appear to be 30 years "behind", but from my Martian point of view, it’s all pretty harmless.

The village is now used to me shopping for groceries instead of Di. I did shock one woman when I replied that I was taking the food home to cook dinner.

Although the boys continue to look at me for direction, they have also learned not to dismiss Diana – the architetto. Di changed around the design for the upstairs gas stove after the plumber had shifted the copper pipes and she told the builder about it. Angelo pulls me aside to see if I agree with this change. My Italian may be weak, but I smiled, nodded and gave him my best Calabrese “eh” and the shrug.

Things are moving along.  Remember some of you voted on the shutters we need? After a lot of running around, we are now going to use alumino powder coated dark green. The first carpenter that looked at doing wooden shutters said no when he saw the high bedroom windows involved. The next firm in Santa Maria del Cedro gave us a bid of €6000 for 5 pairs of shutters.  Whether trying to gouge the foreigners or scare us away, we went away to the local shop for alumino at half the cost. We still need Angelo to set up two stories of scaffolding to install the bedroom shutters.

Here are some sneak preview photos. The master tile setter, Pasquale, is a paesano who did the tile upstairs . You get a sense of how it will look against the marble trim around the staircase.

Ange     Angelino staining the ceiling 

Although most of the restoration is taking place downstairs, you may remember that we are replacing our poor choice in heating appliance--a horrible ventless stove that added humidity and sucked out the air in the house to the point that we had to leave windows open to "heat" the place. Di was not happy about having work done where we are living and we thought that maybe it would take place after the downstairs was done (to provide refuge) but that was not to be.  She however, took advantage of my displeasure with the old stove to get a nicer look: 
This stove will heat the place nicely with DRY heat instead of adding moisture like the first one.  The pipe and stove will be surrounded by fire-proof walling made from a material similar to sheetrock. One downside is it is controlled by another remote device. Grab the wrong one and you turn up the heat or start the ceiling fans instead of switching the TV to CNN.

Auguri, Guido


  1. oh my what is the world coming to CNN via the heating system... or did I read that wrongly?

    Caption for the bottom photo...
    now you've taken all the pictures can I please have my dinner?

  2. Wow, Sue,
    You haven't even met Vince and you've got him pegged.

  3. Looks like they are moving along at a good pace. Like the stove.

  4. Thanks, Gil. We are having fun. At least I am. Some days I wonder how we will feel when we are not the center of attention of a crew of workers. We have been ever since we moved here. It's gonna get quiet around here soon.



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