We were warned that maintaining one of these old colonials would be an ongoing process of simply keeping up with the problems that result from damage caused by the unrelenting climate. Other problems unrelated to the elements occur as well. We discovered on our last trip that there was a leak in the irrigation system that, with every timed watering, resulted in a huge puddle of water between the pool and the back wall. The water runs out into the area in back of the studio and sits there for an hour or so waiting for the slow drain. The plumber/irrigation system/electrician stopped by at 8:00 AM on the dot (as he had promised) and assessed the situation. There is a receptacle beside the pump room/fountain where all the PVC pipes converge. It was about 2 feet deep and full of water. He will return late this afternoon when the water has drained and he can get to the pipes. We also noticed a small amount of water in front of the bodega that houses cistern, reverse osmosis filtration system and hot water tank. He will also check out all of those systems. He will also clean and adjust all the sprinkler heads that are clogged with mineral deposits and blocked by plant stalks. This is all nothing really serious and should be easy to repair. When we are here full time, it will be easy to keep the sprinkler heads clean and aimed in the proper direction.
Oh, and the namesake of our casa, Las Lechuzas (the owls) are still here. They were out hunting last night and screeching up a storm. When they fly from their home on top of the tower, in the moonlight, they appear totally white. They allow only a brief glimpse and then they are gone.