Home Sweet Home…


I’ve been slowly writing this post as we’re moving and settling into our new home. I don’t have internet yet in the house so I can’t publish it quite yet. We’re exhausted, but happy, and really busy trying to get all the last minute things done in order to be able to live in our new casita. As I’ve told you before, Scott is always going in so many different directions each day, so often the small details end up being the last things to get done. Small details like, oh, I don’t know, a toilet! And, running water…Ugh! I don’t care one iota about the ‘no cabinets’, thats no biggy. But….a toilet and running water are two pretty nice things to have in your house. Even the fact that we have no electricity isnt really freaking me out, because I know we have a generator, so we have a source for lights. No problema. But no water to the house….that’s gonna be a bit of a problem! And bless his heart, he actually managed to get the pump, connected to the water tank that feeds the water to the casita all hooked up and wired just before our first night staying here. Sadly, the water guys had been here the day we moved, to install the UV purification and the filter system and when the water hit the casita there were leaks, ugh! We called them and they came the next day, but that meant that we had no water on our first night in the casita…meaning, no toilet! ugh! So, it was sorta camping our first night and morning…at least we had the generator so we could make coffee. Well, we don’t have our oven yet , but one of our workers had actually brought a small microwave here to heat up their lunches when they’re working. Its sitting out on our terrace so I used it to warm up water to use in our French press. Coffee in the morning is a must, especially when you have to pee outside! Sheesh! Can I just enjoy one luxury? Hah!

I know I said one thing I was looking forward to about his new Adventure was simplifying our life, but come on…I didn’t mean quite so simple. A girl’s gotta have a toilet. Paleeeeeease! It is Saturday as I’m writing this portion of the post and we got an email from Price Mart, where we bought our oven, it’s there and ready to be picked up. We plan to go on Monday and get it. So we should have that installed by Monday or Tuesday, we shall see. Of course we won’t be able to use it until the gas is hooked up, which requires an inspection by the bombero’s. I’m crossing my fingers this is a simple process, we shall see. As you may know, I don’t have internet at the moment. So I plan to just keep writing this and just publish it as soon as I can. The internet people are coming on Wednesday to get that all installed, so that should be good. We don’t have cabled internet just yet up in the area where we live so its satellite cable with Planet Telecom. Its 150.00 dollars a month for 2 mb. And so, we shall see how that goes. If we want to increase to 3 mb it will cost $200.00 a month. We are thinking that we won’t get cable TV and try to watch what little television we do enjoy watching just by streaming from Hulu or Amazon Prime. We just have to see how well our internet will stream with 2mb. If its too slow we can change to 3 mb, which should be sufficient.

Finally! We spent our first night sleeping in our new casita in the trees. It feels so good to be in our very own home, surrounded by all our own things. Even if all our things are literally stacked up all over the place, its just fun to see it all. All of our worldly possessions have been sitting in storage for about two years. So, unpacking has been like Christmas! We don’t really have a lot of places to put things yet so we need to spend some time organizing and actually figuring out what we will keep in the casita with us and what we will put back in boxes and take back to the storage to wait for the main house to be completed. We probably don’t need ALL Scotts bazillion kitchen gadgets and pots and pans…sheeesh! That guy has so much kitchen stuff, I swear! But, I shouldn’t complain, he does good things with all that stuff. We still haven’t gotten our electricity hooked up quite yet. And we need to figure out how to get the bombero’s up to our house for an inspection of the gas lines, gas will mean hot water heater, which means hot shower! And we should have the water all hooked up today! Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that one! Water is of the utmost importance! Water means toilet! And toilet means no more going to the bathroom outside! Ugh!! Yep….our first night in our little casita was, ahem, shall we say, a bit “rustic”. We have the water actually coming to the casita and we got the pump to fill up the tank, the problem is with the filtration system , there are a bunch of leaks in it. We called the guy and hopefully he sends his crew up today to repair the leaks, then we should be good to go. And even though we have the generator for lights, when that generator gets turned off, its dark! I do love the sound of the wind rustling through the trees that surround the casita, its so wonderful. Copper (our cat), seemed to begin adjusting with very little trouble. Its his 4th move since leaving California and he seems to be less traumatized this time. He actually wondered around and even ate his food. This may seem trivial but its actually really good to see him becoming so adaptable and not so scared.

Today was my day to finish cleaning Kat & Allen’s house. I know I could have hired a cleaning lady to do all the cleaning (only $20.00 for the whole day) but for some reason I just wanted to do it myself. So I cleaned and scrubbed and dusted and mopped my little heart out until I felt like I was leaving it as clean and pretty as it was when they left. I would never want them to regret letting us stay in their home while they were in Virginia. Many years ago my mother in law, Pat, did the sweetest thing that I never forgot. She surprised us when we returned from a vacation by stocking us up on a few staples, fruit, milk, bread, butter, eggs, things like that. I’ll never forget what a wonderful surprise it was to come home to a house that had food. It was so nice not to have to rush to the grocery store. So I did that for them. I’m sure I didn’t get all the things they normally get, but at least they had food for breakfast on their first morning home. I was so excited to have them back home. And I know they were really happy to get back to Boquete. This was our last day to make sure all our stuff was out of their house and moved up to our new casita. And the last few things, the cat tree, our new bar stools and odds and ends were all we needed to take. After we picked them up from the bus terminal we went to a really nice dinner.

Today was my day to focus on unpacking and getting rid of some of the boxes! I was able to get most of them emptied out on Wednesday. We even found some friends to recycle them. Our friends Bruce & Nicole are moving to Cuenca, Ecuador and were happy to take them off our hands an use them for their move. Also My friend Robyn is an artist and needed the bubble wrap for shipping her pieces are art that she sends to clients in the states. So I spent today nesting…happily! In this casita we made a really big closet off the bedroom. It kinda doubles as a laundry room and pantry. So until Scott has time to build actual built-ins, we bought a really big shelving unit from Price Mart and then Scott made a bunch more shelves from cinder blocks and plywood. On one side is the stackable washer/dryer and all the shelves and on the other side is two big bars for hanging clothes. I actually managed to get all my clothes unpacked from all the boxes and boy was I glad I packed all my hangers! I got them all organized and hung up. Ahem….I think I may have brought wayyyyyy too many clothes!! Oooooops! Well…I shouldn’t have to go shopping for like probably my whole life!

We’ve been settling into our new place slowly organizing and getting things put away. This week the Feria started in town and it goes on for like 10 days, I think. Its a really big deal and the town is swamped with tourists who come from all over Panama to enjoy the cool breezes up here and roam around the Feria during the day. At night they have huge disco-techs set up and they dance and party until like 3:00am! Thursday was a holiday but our guys opted to swap their day off for Saturday. So we have an entire weekend with no workers! Yeah! We can focus on organizing our house for a couple of days. I may have made a major mistake this afternoon though…I actually let Scott get all the electronics all hooked up! TV mounted on the wall…stereo hooked up, that may sound just fine to you but the problem is the Play Station! Ugh!! What a dummy I am! I say this in jest, I’m actually so happy to see him sitting on the couch happily playing one of his stupid video games. He’s been really looking forward to having his toys back! And I don’t think I can think of anyone who deserves to relax more than Scott! Who needs hot water?

Today Scott wants to start getting the shower all hooked up. The shower heads need to be installed. Until we get our gas inspection we won’t have hot water. The hot water heater is all installed and ready to go but without gas it doesn’t do anything. So, its the end of the day now, I’m sitting outside on the terrace drinking my wine and soaking up the beauty surrounding me. Ahhhhh…..this is the part of living in Panama I really love the most. Being able to spend so much time outside and never really being cold. I just love it! The casita sits nestled into a thick forest, with a wonderful view of the town below and the volcano across the valley. Really, you have to come visit to appreciate this magnificent place. Words just don’t do it justice. Its the dry season right now and that means its also the windy season. So the wind is really blowing and the trees are just moving too and fro with such force. But the way that we situated our casita our terrace is mostly protected and though I get a bit of wind, not really much at all. We have a wood burning fireplace out here on the terrace and that is one of the things the guys are working on finishing up. I bet most of the rest of the chimney will be done this week and then we can have a fire outside. That will be nice. Scott managed to get the cold water to the shower. He took a CCCCCCCCold shower just a little bit ago. He said it wasn’t so bad but I’m not looking forward to it. And we need a couple more parts to get the shower head in. He actually just let the water come right out of the pipe. The bathroom is very nearly totally functional. We went into David to try to arrange for the guys who make frameless shower doors to come up to measure and start making them. For now I found a perfectly adorable shower curtain that actually looks really cute and will work fine for now. We also went to Nelvy, (kinda like Orchard Supply) and ordered a very nice piece of granite for the countertop in the bathroom. As soon as that gets here, which may be a week or so, (who really knows!), then we can install the sink and faucet and we’ll be totally in business. For now brushing our teeth in the kitchen is gonna suffice! We made our first dinner here tonight. On the BBQ we grilled up some chicken and Scott used the side burner on the BBQ to make Fajitas. I made my famous guacamole and we sat in front of the tv and watched a movie. All is well, and we are finally Home!


Well, Monday started with a bang! Well, luckily not exactly a ‘Bang’, but with a wee bit of drama. When I was driving back to the house after picking up our workers I noticed a couple of policemen standing at the end of our driveway. Hmmmm…”Interesting” , I thought to myself as I drove up and was motioned to stop. Gulp…what’s this? The very nice policeman handed me a very official looking paper which I saw right away had Scotts name on it! Ugh! I had no idea what this was about but I had visions of them taking him away in their ‘patty-wagon’ type vehicle they had parked there. Don’t panic, like I nearly did! Long story short it was simply something we had been expecting to hit the fan for awhile. Remember the matter of our truck being wrecked by one of our workers way back in July of last year ? Yeah, well, the woman whose car was hit, (did I mention she is an attorney?) she has not been paid for the damages of her car and has initiated a lawsuit against us to collect the money. Oh brother! Its just a bummer, but something we will certainly deal with as quickly as possible. The big bummer is that we had hoped that the young man who caused all this would have taken care of it, but , alas, it looks as though it will hit us in the face instead. Sigh. So , I must admit, after we went to the office where we were directed to go to deal with the issue and we learned what the fuss was about I was relieved. Whew! We have submitted the papers to our attorney to learn how we are to proceed. But , I found it interesting that they would use the police as a delivery service. Sheesh! We then headed down to David to try to get a few errands done. Our oven that we ordered from Price Mart was ready to be picked up. And we went to Elmec( the plumbing and tile supply store), and ordered more tile for the main house. Here we go. I think Scott plans to get started on the foundation of the main house soon. And I like the floor of the casita so much I wanted to make sure we were able to get the same for the house. The store in David no longer has it and they had to order it from Panama City.

Today I have wifi! Because I’m spending the day sitting on Luana’s patio enjoying her internet as well as her lovely peaceful terrace and oh…her washer & dryer too…and her hot shower!! Yep! I’m being very productive and enjoying myself at the same time. Bond & Luana are flying home today from their five week trip to the states and boy will it be good to have them home. I haven’t had access to the internet and really wanted to post an update on our move. I love living in our new casita! Both Scott and I had really wanted to find a place to live where we could be totally surrounded by nature and especially lots of trees. And the spot where our casita sits is just so perfect for us. Its fairly isolated and very private and so very peaceful. There are so many wonderful noises that are just nature at its best. Last night , maybe in the wee hours of the early morning I woke up and, laying on my bed I looked out the big window in the bedroom and I could see the stars shining so brightly in the sky. Mixed in with the silhouettes of the trees, the stars were just twinkling right outside my window. There were no sounds of cars, or dogs barking, no sirens screeching past, no airplanes, just the sounds of the wind rustling through the trees. As we’re slowly but surly getting our new home all set up I’m just so happy to be exactly where I am in my life right now. I couldn’t wish to be anywhere other than right here. It’s not the easiest thing we’ve ever done and its far from perfect, we still have so much work to do. With each passing day Scott and I sit down in the evening with a glass of wine and we drop in exhaustion , but its exhaustion that’s more rewarding than words can even begin to describe. We’re working together on an exciting project , one that we feel so proud of and its work that draws us together everyday, and with each new milestone that we reach and each little project we complete we just smile. Let The Adventure Continue!!!


8 responses »

  1. Congratulations on your big move! I’m so glad we got to visit with you and see the casita when we were in town – what an absolutely stunning job you and Scott have done! It was a pleasure getting to know you better. You have a place to stay in Seattle if you’re up our way.

  2. SO good to facetime with you today! And this is one of my favorite blog postings of yours. I can just feel how excited you are to be settling into your very own home! Just to think – it’s been almost a year since we met you and Scott and you showed us your property, and you were just digging the foundations for the casita. You’ve come a long, long way – congrats!

  3. I found this amusing bc my husband and i are in the process of purchasing a fixer upper, halfway across the country. It’s so much cheaper than where we are now, and we too want to simplify. We need electric redone, bathroom, pretty much EVERYTHING so it’ll be a challenge! You kept a great attitude throughout, very inspiring!

  4. Not sure if water is running .. but a bucket of water will do the necessary flush. Congratulations on moving in.. XXX000

  5. Wow! What fantastic news! I can feel your happiness and am so glad you are finally settling in to your own place! Life is good!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s