It Won’t Be Long Now…

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my newest Heliconia bloom!

my newest Heliconia bloom!

About fifteen more days and we will be officially moved into our new house! Holy Moly! I can hardly believe it! Seriously…it just seems so surreal to finally be nearly ready to live up in that house that we’ve been working towards for so long. We’ve been really working hard to get it ready and although its going to be ‘just’ livable and not even close to finished, it will be home for us. Once I get past my nerves about all that needs to be completed I know I’ll be a lot more excited. Right now the biggest priority is getting the kitchen up and running. The first step is getting the ceiling finished which should be today. Then they will paint and next up will be installing the floor tile.

Scott and I have been working on making all the base cabinets which are nearly all done. We are only doing the lower cabinets, and not the uppers yet. We’ve gotten all but one base cabinet all assembled, sanded, sprayed with polyurethane and they’re sitting in the house waiting to be installed. This morning we plan to finish up the last remaining cabinet which we sanded and sprayed yesterday, all it needs this morning is to be assembled. After installing the base cabinets we can install all the appliances that are sitting there waiting to go in. We are really excited to get that kitchen ready to use!

Yesterday we made yet another trip to David to pick up a few things. We needed to buy the plywood that we need to board up all the openings that will not be filled with glass sliding doors quite yet. All the big openings that lead out to the terrace will be boarded up. We already had our welder, Ricardo, fill in these openings with heavy rebar to make them secure and now we will cover the rebar with plywood until Scott has time to make the glass sliding doors. The big kitchen window, over the sink is another window Scott will be making. Since that window faces the terrace we thought it would look best if it matches the big sliding doors he’s making. We have all the other windows all installed , they still need a little bit of tweaking, I think they aren’t really totally leveled and secured quite yet. But we are shooting for getting the entire house totally closed up.


We decided to hold off on finishing the master bathroom right now, as its not critical to living in the house. We have completely finished the bathroom in the guest room as well as the half bath in the rec room, so we have two working toilets…well…ahem….not quite working… quite yet. The septic system has yet to be finished and the house is not quite hooked up to the water system yet. Gulp…you see, these are some of the little details that make me a tiny bit nervous. The other little detail is getting the bombero’s (firemen) up here to do the inspection for the propane, which we need for the hot water heater and the stove.

Our crew are all really busting their butts working all over the place.
Javier and Gonzalo are finishing off all the details of the terrace, Ricardo is working on a bunch of welding projects and will be installing the terra cotta tiles on the roof of the workshop as well as the house soon, Arquiles is our master-digger and has been readying that septic system as well as getting all the necessary pipes all connected to the house for our water, Richard and Federico are working like mad men on the kitchen almost finished with drywall, mud and sanding nearly ready to start painting then starting to do the tile work, Chumbo and Orlando are busy doing the stonework on the entry which will look so nice! Many people have told us that when your dealing with Panamanian workers and you want them to get something done in a timely manner all one need mention is that your ‘Mother’ needs it done and they really ‘perk’ up. These guys have a deep respect for all Mom’s! Well…they know Scotts Mom is coming and so they seem to be just about as concerned about making the house nice for her as we are.

Pat arrives in Panama City April 27th and I have no doubt we will pull this off by then. I’m ever so grateful to have her coming for her first visit so that our house will get done much faster than it ever would if she was not visiting. Although I suppose we could have just told a little white lie, but…shrug…didn’t have to do such a sneaky thing! hah! The “Mom” of the Jeffe is really coming and we’re so excited to have Pat here with us and to finally get to show her our new home. She’s lived with us before when our house in California was nearly, but not totally finished so she knows what to expect and will roll with it like a pro. We’ve got a reputation back in our former town for happily living with a less than perfect and not quite finished house and Pat will feel right at home in the chaos that is our home. But, if I know my Mother in law, and I do…she’s gonna really miss not having a Container Store here in Bouquet so she can organize the kitchen and make it as pretty as possible. I’m pretty sure she’ll have me running to whatever might have a few more storage organizing things, maybe Do It Center? Or Novey? hah, who knows…but It will be fun, thats for sure! We went through the same thing together in the past with the house in Los Altos and I must admit, having her here to help me nest in my new house will feel like old times again. I can’t wait. To tell the truth, just typing about it kinda eases my nerves and makes me relax a little. Yes, it will be nice to have her here…


There are a few things that I consider ‘essential’ to living in the house which Scott and I have bought already. With ten guys up here working I felt it was an absolute essential to have some sort of window coverings to give us privacy, right? Right! So we went to Conway and managed to find curtains for all the major rooms in the house. We also bought curtain rods and I found some cute tie backs at La Reina in town. So, privacy is taken care of. Oh, and of course, Scott has not had time to make any interior doors as of yet so I bought some nice curtains to hang in the doorways of our bedrooms a well as the bathrooms. As soon as we have the house totally closed up and lockable we will bring the rest of our belongings that we still have in storage. This may be a job for our trusty truck driver Lito! That way its done in one trip instead of dozens of trips in Scotts little truck! And, next week I plan to go shopping with Luana to find a couple of dressers and some nightstands for beside the beds. We have several make-shift cement block and plywood shelve units planned for several areas, like the kitchen pantry, the laundry room and the closets, this will give us lots of places to put things…one more little project we’re working on, but, shrug, this isnt ‘essential’ so if we need to put those in after Pat gets here, no problem.

That should just about do it, all that will be left to do is move boxes around and make our beds ready to sleep in. Well, one other little thing I have planned to do in preparation for Pats visit is to spray poison all around the exterior of the house and around all the windows to make sure we have no critters in the house! I say ‘for Pat’, but we all know I’m the baby about critters in the house! This is , to me, an essential part of making the house ready for living in it! I’ll be strapping that nice new backpack poison sprayer onto my gardener, Leo, and sending him out to de-critter the place pronto!!! 🙂 Never a dull moment around here, that’s for sure! I look forward to having a few ‘dull’ moments someday! Well…I’m off to get started assembling the last kitchen cabinet, then I’ve gotta sit down and do a little studying for my Spanish lessons! Ugh! This is a real test of my dedication to learning Spanish, thats for certain! If I can’t set aside a little time to study during the chaos that is my life…I’m really going to be disappointed in myself. Iv’e come so far in my learning and I can’t stop now….must….study….Spanish!

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About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

5 responses »

  1. Sooooo close, we’re very happy for you. Can’t wait to see the finished product. So, how long did it take, start to finish?

  2. Ha! By wrote the comment above, so I filled him in on the details (and showed him your early pictures) since I’ve read your blog from the beginning. He’s (well we both are) very impressed with Scott & your expertise. Beautiful mi amiga! Thanks for the update.

  3. Who’d have thunk it moving into your house. This time at least your friends will not steal Scott to do their stuff while you wait patiently to get kitchen finished.
    Well done to you both.

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