Things are really coming together…

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This place is really beginning to feel more and more like a home! Even without having electricity its feeling so cozy and homey. The generator works just fine for providing power, who needs electricity! hah! I have to keep our gasoline tanks full, but I don’t mind. Even though Scott may be getting a little tired of going outside at night before we go to bed and in the morning when we get up to start the generator, we’re not feeling like we’re missing out on much not having electricity. Eventually we’ll have power, our architect has told us that our electrical plans are at Union Fenosa (the electric company), for approval for our permit. He had already gotten the permit but it was not for the correct amount of amps. So he had to amend it. As soon as we have the permit we’ll be ready to have the electrician pull the wire through the conduit which Scott already put in the ground . Although….we still need to buy the wire and we had to special order the two transformers which have not yet arrived. So, who knows how long that whole process will take…and as long as I have my handy little generator all is well in my mind.

It seems every day we get another thing done, just yesterday the gas guy finally came up here and installed the two 100lb gas tanks. This is so much better than the two small 20lb tanks that only last about a week. Even though the smaller ones are much more economical at only about $4.00 to refill, these big babies will last about 3-4 months, depending on our usage. The larger ones are much more costly to fill though, about $74.00. But It’s nice not to have to fill it so often. Last week Scott spent some time helping me hang pictures and a big clock. We found the perfect mirror for the bathroom. A big 32″ x 39″beveled mirror that fits perfect above the sink. And the finishing touch on the bathroom has been the wonderful shower heads and body sprays that work so much nicer than that nasty ol’ pipe with water pouring out off it that we had before. So luxurious! Oh, and how I appreciate such things. The final detail for the bathroom will be the frameless glass shower door which we just arranged today to get a quote for. Right now the shower curtain works fine. We actually have two shower curtains because I installed one to act as a door since we have no interior doors quite yet. Scott is planning to make all the doors along with all the cabinets. Remember all that wood he bought???? Well, he’s got some woodworking to do! He’ll do all the interior doors, a front door (we just bought a cheap one for now), the cabinets, the exterior soffits will all be wood and also the trim around the windows and base boards too. But that’s not happening anytime soon.

At the moment Scott’s about to switch his focus from the casita to the main house up by the workshop. The foundation is done, they just finished yesterday. So the next step for Scott is to do all the installation of the pipes that will run under the floors for gas and sewer and water. This means he wont need the entire crew of workers up there working. He’ll only keep two guys with him to help with all that work and the others will be spread out working on various different projects. Ricardo , Carlos and Martin will be working on installing all the ceramic tiles on the roof of the casita. Richard will do the tile on the terrace of the casita, Javier and Daniel will be working on hardscaping around the casita, like the walkway to the front door and the retaining walls out front. Scott, Arquiles and Federico will stay up at the main house working on the gas, water and sewer lines for the next couple of weeks.

The only major thing pending on the casita, besides parking spots and outdoor walkways and stairs, is to get all the windows either repaired or replaced. We made our biggest mistake so far with the windows we bought. I think I’ve mentioned this before. Many of them have no screens, one has a broken pane of glass, all the awning windows just aren’t even functional and need to just be taken out and replaced. The guys who we purchased them from were just the nicest guys, really friendly and prompt, but zero idea what they were doing. And no follow through. We don’t even want to call them to do some of the things they said they would do and just bailed on because we’d rather just find a different window company to replace and repair the shoddy work. We always knew that this casita was a trial run for when we do our main house. We’ve really learned so much and now we have a different window company who we’re hoping will provide the quality of windows we want.

We also haven’t done the exterior painting yet. We aren’t in a hurry to decide on the color we’ll use because we plan to do some stone work on certain areas. We’ll use natural stone on the retaining wall that runs along the road up to the main house and workshop, that same stone we plan to use on some areas of the exterior of the house , casita and workshop. We’ll use this same stone for build in planters and other accent areas. So we have yet to have had time to drive to Chame where we are told there is the best place to pick out natural stone. Its about a 6 hour drive. We think it will be best to pick out paint color to blend with the stone instead of stone to match the paint color. So we’ll just hold off on painting until we nail the stone down. So for now we have a cement colored house and we’re going with it! Hah!

I bet you’ll be glad to know that we have a vacation in the works! Yep! After all this grueling work building we have a really exciting trip to Peru planned at the end of April. And even more exciting is that we’re going with our good friends Bond & Luana. We’re all really excited to see Machu Pichu and all the other amazing sights in Peru. We’ll be gone for nearly 3 weeks and have decided to give our guys a month off. After the bad experience we had the last time we left for a trip to the states we think it makes more sense just to stop work while we are away this time. Just to be on the safe side. I’m hoping to find someone to stay in the casita while we’re away. We don’t really have to have a house sitter but if I can find someone who wants to stay here for a few weeks that would be great. I know my neighbor Kat will be happy to make sure Copper is cared for if I cant find anyone so I’m not too worried. Scott is really hoping to get the roof on the main house before the rainy season starts which is mid to late May, so we shall see if that happens. And you know what it means when the roof on the main house is up! Yep! Another Mondongata!! whooohoooo!!! Our third and final party…well….you know that’s not true! When we’re all done building there will be a raging party happening up here!! A celebration , maybe we’ll even get some fireworks! Oh boy! I can’t wait!

Boquete has a new Brewery in town. So I have to end this post now so we can get down there and meet our friends for a beer. Well, us girls, (not all ‘us girls’, just two of us…I wont name any names!hah!) aren’t big beer lovers so we’ll be brining our own wine, we got permission from the brewer already so we know we wont be upsetting anyone! Of course I’ll have to see if I can peel Scott off of his video game first! eye roll! Its been a great day today, just enjoying our home. And like I said, it’s beginning to feel more and more like HOME with each passing day. Life is good…

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10 responses »

  1. Really nice, Holly! I love the shower and the countertops in both bath and kitchen. So much hard work going into this project that you both certainly deserve a vacation. Then you can post pictures about your trip, haha, which I will really enjoy!

  2. Love it when you send pictures…everything looks great, must be a nice feeling to have all your stuff around you. Can’t wait to see the main house, will you rent out the Casita once your home is completed…have a great vacation

  3. looks amazing! my favorite parts are the lights 😉 can’t wait to see it and the upper lot! so crazy looking at those pics and remembering what it was the last time i was up there…. you guys are awesome!

  4. You guys did such GREAT job on the casita! Looking at the foundation for the big house, I realize how complicated it is to build a house. I am amazed that Scott figured all that stuff out! I’m so glad you have your own place to hang out in! Can’t wait to come see it!

  5. I can’t believe I’m just now commenting on this. We LOVE what you’ve done on the casita – it looks so cozy and homey. All of your finishes – wall tile, interior paint, floor tile – are simply beautiful. If this is your trial run, the main house is going to be fabulous!!!

    Wish we could be the ones to stay in your casita for the three weeks you’ll be gone. We’d have been happy to do it if the timing had been right. I’m just glad you’re getting back to Boquete sooner than I thought. May 8, right?

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