Monthly Archives: November 2012

Commence Tree Chopping!

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Our tradition has always been to drive up into the mountains and chop down our Christmas tree on the Sunday after Thanksgiving . This year it seemed a bit premature because it’s not even December yet! But , oh well! Up to the mountains we went!

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Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving Day!

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Natalie and Pat and Mariah joined us

It was a beautiful warm sunny thanksgiving day and as usual Scott and I spent most of the day happily preparing a delicious meal to share. This year my house was just too cluttered with boxes, tools, and just a general explosion of messiness to invite many people over so we kept it simple.

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“Will You Tell Us About What’s Not So Good?”

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This week a good friend asked me a very good question, ” Will you be honest and write about things you don’t like when your living in Panama?”. My answer was,”Yes!”. I don’t expect to like ‘everything’ about living in another country. As a matter of fact I expect there will be many things I miss about living in the states and many things I don’t like about living in Panama. Truth be told, there are also many things I don’t like about living in the states. That being said, I’m not leaving the states to run away from anything in particular , that to me, would be foolish. I think no matter where you live there are aspects of life that are less than perfect. Who ever said life was meant to be perfect anyways? I don’t know, but I for one, am not in search of paradise.

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The Holidays are Fast Approaching !🎄

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The holidays are fast approaching! Or should I say the holidays are UPON US ! Yep, that’s more like it! So begins the endless Christmas commercials invading our TV and radio waves! All the retail stores in our little town are decorated to the nines! ( Let the commercialism commence!) Yep! I think it’s safe to say it is now ‘officially’ , “The Holidays!”. Beginning this week with Thanksgiving , tumbling into Christmas tree chopping down and decorating, then a slew of holiday parties, whammo! It’s suddenly Christmas eve and then finally New Years Eve! Whew! Deep breath! The coast is clear to begin a new year!

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And…..Let The Packing Begin!

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Well, here we go….. Packing! I’ve got all the necessary material needed for packing up boxes. Bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper and boxes galore! I’m ready! Rolling up my sleeves…. And here It goes! Now, I’ve been living in this house for eighteen years! Lucky for me I’ve had a couple of opportunities not too long ago to ,’edit’ my material possessions . First when we had to move out of the house for our remodel . We moved into the studio cottage in our backyard and rented a storage container that we kept on the property for all our household possessions . Before moving out of the house we got rid of quite a bit. Then two years later we moved back into the house and I realized much of what was in the storage container we really didn’t need. If we lived without it for two years do we really need it? I think not! So again we cleaned out unnecessary possessions before moving back in . More recently when Pat moved into our house I had yet another glorious opportunity to purge .( Can you tell I love getting rid of things?) I had to clear out two bedrooms so I got rid of even more things that I really didn’t need. Yet here I am again, purge time! And I’m stunned by how much stuff I still have! So, here we go again with yet another opportunity to clear out excess material possessions! What to keep, donate and attempt to sell in a massive yard sale? There are many things I can pack up right now like some of my many dishes, wine glasses, serving platters, a few decorative things , mirrors , things we will be bringing with us but we don’t need right now.

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Bubble Wrap, Boxes, Packing Tape and Storage Spaces!

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Today we began shopping around for packing materials in preparation for packing up our belongings. We found the best pricing through Uline. Of course the best pricing is for buying in bulk, not a problem. We ordered all the necessary packing supplies, bubble wrap, packing tape(54 rolls!), packing paper,about 140 various sized boxes just to get us started. This all came to a whopping $1,100.00! Yikes! All these goodies have been shipped to our home and should arrive tomorrow!(11/6/12).

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One Beautiful Master Bathroom DONE! Yep, DONE!

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It’s so beautiful! For those of you who haven’t been to our house, there has not been any finished cabinetry anywhere since we moved back in about five years ago. Not because Scott was being lazy, noooo, but because he was busy remodeling other people’s houses. It just wasn’t possible for us to survive on one income while he devoted his time to finishing our house. Now that we are sprinting to the finish line we are making it work by the skin of our teeth. When Scott and I set our sights on a goal we may run into a snag now and then or we may be faced with the necessity of a detour of some sort, but we get to where we want to go eventually in spite of how difficult it may be. So every time we reach another milestone I rejoice! This master bath completion.. Is cause for rejoicing!!! I have 16 drawers in that delicious bathroom! And actual cabinet doors, with handles!! It’s amazing how much you appreciate little things like drawers! More than appreciating the joy of cabinetry, I’m massively proud of Scott and the meticulous workmanship that goes into the cabinetry that he is custom designing and producing himself. He is my Renaissance man!

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Scott’s next big project !

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Yep! He’s set his sights on making a wooden kayak! Oh! Not until AFTER our move to Panama! Don’t worry, he’s got plenty yet to accomplish here , there will be no veering into another project!😜 We had planned to try to find a second kayak to take with us to Panama just in case we find people we want to take along. So he was doing some research online and discovered a site that sells the plans for these beautiful kayaks and I imagine he had heart palpitations ! He proceeded to read all the reviews and comments from people who had purchased the plans and made their very own kayaks . According to my extreme ‘do it yourself’ guy it doesn’t look too difficult. He seems to think from what he has read that most of the people who wrote reviews about their experience building these boats were novices and that he would have no problem building his own. They really are quite beautiful and woodworking is something he is passionate about sooooooo, a custom, handmade wooden kayak we shall have! It will probably be a good idea to get in touch with our friend Al who lives in Boquete( he is a very talented wood working artisan ) to see if most of the materials required to attempt this project are easily acquired in Panama or if we should bring them in our container. This I know for certain, when Scott decides that he is going to do something, he will do it. And if you could see how excited he was to show me this discovery you would know why I said,” Go for it!”. BUT….. I will have cabinets in my house FIRST!!!! And a beautiful closet too, right girls! 😁. Closets first Wooden kayaks last!

Kayaking at Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing

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The familiar smokestacks that are a landmark in Moss Landing

What a great day we had on Sunday(11/4/12) kayaking at Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing with our friends. It’s NOVEMBER and the weather was unbelievable! It was nearly 80 degrees and so sunny and warm! Our friends met us there. They rented a kayak and we all had a great paddle through the slough. There were, as always, countless harbor seals, sea otters, pelicans, seagulls, and many varieties of birds to enjoy . But of course the highlight of the voyage is always picnic time! We just love to scout out just the right spot to chill out and enjoy a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers while taking in the abundant beauty that surrounds us. I love nature!

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Planning, Scheduling, Never Ending Appointments…

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Every November I buy my new appointment book for the approaching year. Thus begins the tedious but necessary task of setting up my calendar of appointments for several hundred very loyal and very organized clients. Some people schedule a haircut every four or five weeks, others have cut/color every three, four or five weeks. Then there are my once a week folks who just have a wash and blow dry on a regular weekly basis.

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Shopping for International Health Insurance

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In between making cabinets , sanding, staining and nailing, Scott has been collecting quotes for international health insurance . There are many variations of different ways to go with regards to insuring ourselves for health coverage. There is a discount plan offered by the local hospital in David, Chiriqui. This covers 70 percent with no deductible costing $54.00 per month for the two of us ($700.00 per year) This plan would only allow us to use the local hospital in David. So if we were traveling anywhere outside Panama or any other area of Panama we wouldn’t have coverage at any other hospital . Overall coverage seems to cover $15,000.00 per year , so if anything catastrophic happened we’d be responsible for the balance. This could potentially be a large bill but not nearly as devastating financially as it would be in the states. The cost of health care just isn’t nearly as horrible as what we are accustomed to here. Even when we turn sixty years old it’s only $90.00 per month for the two of us. Given the low cost of medical services in Panama $700.00 per year would go pretty far. None of these insurances cover dental or vision but paying out of pocket is easily affordable.

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COFFEE!

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I love coffee, it’s the first thing I do every morning, make a pot of coffee. I just love to have a leisurely morning browsing my news and sipping on a hot cup of coffee, with a little cream, of course. It warms my hands and then the rest of me as that hot liquid slowly goes down my throat. You can imagine my joy at knowing that my future home is chalk full of coffee plantations! No Starbucks , but lots and lots of fresh grown coffee! Who knows, I may even have my very own coffee plants right in my backyard ! There is a place in Boquete where I can bring my coffee beans and they will roast them for me. I think that sounds great! Or if I’m not lucky enough to have my own coffee plants there’s definitely no shortage of fresh, delicious locally grown coffee to be found all over Boquete ! ‘Starbucks’, who?? 😝 One more thing I’m looking forward to!