In Part 2, I had just completed pouring the concrete workbench in Cynthia’s new Glass Bead Making Studio. Since then the concrete has cured and I have installed the window, made and installed the door, and built a ventilation system (I always want to misspell the word ventilation as ventillation. But now I remember that one of the Ls got sucked out by the fan…). I also disassembled her very rusty electric kiln, repainted it with a high-temp paint (her choice of color), and reassembled it.
Here is a photo of the door. I made it by welding a 2″x2″ square metal tubing frame and insetting (spot welding) a panel from a piece of scrap shipping container siding. I sealed the panel to the frame with my favorite goo, windshield urethane adhesive. It will be painted the house color. We will use this same design for the security doors inside the house. These doors are strong. Damn strong:
After all that was complete it was move-in time, so she and I took a day and moved her out of her old critter-infested studio in the kiosko by the road at our rental house. She considered it more like a mercy evacuation and was quite delighted. Here is her new studio with just a bit more organizing to be done; you can see the window, exhaust, her torch, kiln, and glass storage rack:
I built her glass rod storage rack a couple years ago. Each tube stores a particular glass rod and she has already outgrown it. So I welded a couple carriolas under the existing tubes and will fabricate about 75 more PVC tubes for more storage.
I still need to fabricate and install trim at the ceiling, but that will have to wait until my bending brake is completed.
In other news, Cynthia came with a package deal of two cats, Harry and Bob. Cynthia will do anything for her cats or anyone else’s for that matter. Here is a photo of her in Colorado, rescuing a neighbor’s cat from a tree:
Here are Harry and Bob:
One night Bob (short for Bob Bob) went out the cat door. He and Harry are usually back by curfew but during the night I noticed that I was sleeping better, as Bob usually announces every hour on the hour, punctuating the quiet night air with typical Siamese chit-chat “meow-meow.” Just enough to wake me, oh joy, although Cynthia usually sleeps through it.
In the morning I got up early and went looking for Bob. He was no where to be found. I alerted Cynthia and she began calling him with her high-pitched, “Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob Bob.” He usually comes running, just like a dog, but this time he didn’t. We canvassed the yard to no avail.
The day passed with re-calling and re-searching, but still no Bob. Days and nights passed and the grieving of the possible end of a twelve-year relationship began. Harry wouldn’t eat and Cynthia was frantic.
At day nine we had come to terms with reality. Usually in the tropics a dead animal will quickly bring the circling vultures, but not in this case. So we invented the story that Bob had been taken by a snake, probably a boa, because no body was found.
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while, and this is the reason. Our household was just in too much turmoil.
But then on the morning of day ten, just as I finished my breakfast oatmeal, I received a call (in Spanish) from our neighbor’s housekeeper. She reported to me that the gardener had seen a black cat duck into a culvert under a side road by their house. Cynthia wasn’t dressed yet, but I was and was at the house a few minutes later.
The gardener was waiting for me, sitting on a rock by the culvert. He gestured to the twelve-inch culvert. I got down in the mud and cautiously poked my head around the pipe. Sure enough, I could see Bob in silhouette, crouched about mid-pipe. I called, he meowed. I called, he meowed. I called, he meowed. It took the better part of fifteen-minutes before he felt safe enough to emerge from his neighborhood-dog-proof hideout.
I gathered the unpleasantly-fragranced beast up in my arms and brought him home to Cynthia. Tears flowed, and Bob had a lot of explaining to do.
Our household is again back to normal. Cynthia is overjoyed, Harry is eating again as fussily as ever, and I am really happy that our tale of the boa wasn’t true.
And Bob is again going outside, but not venturing far from home.
Bonus Photo: Here’s a photo I took from the roadside scenic overlook, overlooking the town of El Valle down in the volcanic crater. The time is shortly after sunrise. The sun is beginning to stream down into the crater and is burning off the wispy cloud cover. This area of Panama has such a primal feel:
That’s all for now. More soon.