Whew…

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IMG_2280 I’m exhausted! And Scott is, kickin’ butt! I had to abandon my Spanish classes just for this two weeks. I just could not focus on studying, both mentally and physically. The amount of work we have right now is a bit daunting, to say the least. The good news is that this time next week we will be officially living in our new house. We will be a total disaster area but, shrug…who cares! 🙂

As Scott’s been managing endless projects up at the house its been up to me to manage our move from the casita to the house. I’ve had tons of offers of help but his seems to be one of those things that seems maybe even more work to have help. Crazy, I know, but I just feel good doing this little by little, just me and my SUV ! We made several trips to our storage and have brough over most of our boxes from there. So, I decided to empty some boxes from storage in order to have some way to pack up things in the casita. The fun part is that we don’t quite have places to put things yet. The kitchen is currently being worked on and so I can’t put anything away that belongs in that area. We plan to put in some temporary cinder block and plywood shelves in the pantry, but I am patiently waiting for someone to have time to do that. Meanwhile, as I’m moving things into the house I’m mostly stacking things in the master bedroom until I have places where I can put them. And, let me tell you….its about nearly bursting with ‘stuff’!

We will also have about ten shelves in the laundry room , but the plywood for those shelves also needs to be cut. So, at the moment, I’m trying to organize as best I can. Being the brilliant man that Scott is, he has already gotten my closet all set up! (Smiling!) So, I’ve gotten to hang up most of my clothes. And…on that subject, gulp, I have way too many clothes! I need to take time to really go through things and decide what I will donate and what I will keep. I should probably invite my friends over first and see if they want anything. I know my closet seems pretty big to most people , but ahem…It’s nearly bursting. Ugh…I need to work on this.

We still have a few important things we need to move from the storage unit. The other bed for the guest room, the washer dryer and thats about it. The pool table, kayak and elliptical machine can just wait a bit longer. As I type all this I begin to feel a little embarrassed by how much stuff we have. And, when I think about how much we got rid of before the move I can’t help but feel a bit materialistic! And, as I schlepp all these things into the house under the watchful eyes of our workers I find myself feeling kinda greedy by the amount of ‘stuff’ we have. I can’t help but wonder what they are thinking of us. Well, thats a subject for another post, gulp! 🙂

The next morning….

Its Thursday already! Sheesh! As luck would have it we’ve been having several set backs with our much needed progress. I forgot to mention those little bumps, cuz, well, there have been quite a few. While we are managing to get past these little ‘hiccups’, its been pretty frustrating at times, especially for Scott. You saw pictures of that lovely bathroom…well..ahem…after testing the toilet, we were faced with a gushing leak on the outside wall of the bathroom. You do remember that houses are are built with concrete here, right? Well..out came the jack hammer! Ugh!!!! Boy am I glad that bathroom was on an outside wall! The leak was found , turned out to be one of the Pex tubes had a hole in it. Scott has installed all the Pex inside of plastic tubing just for such an incident. So, aside from the jack hammering part, it was an easy fix. For those of you who are not familiar with Pex, as I understand it, Pex is a flexible tubing used in the states for plumbing. Here they mostly use the white tubing that we use for sprinklers or they use metal that corrodes easily and the thought of having that inside concrete walls gave Scott Chills! hah! We have tried our best to use materials easily found here in Panama but things like plumbing we decided to order from the states.

So, the gushing leak from the bathroom was our first little bump. Then theres the little brass part that makes it so that we have water to the kitchen. Excuse my elusive descriptions, I’m not savvy on the proper names of such thingys! hah! But, this one little copper thingy is some thing that attaches to the Pex tubing and sends water to the kitchen, which is kinda crucial, right? Right! Well…being the rather, shall I say, ‘unorganized’ guy that Scott can be, this one little part seems to have disappeared in the clutter that is his workshop. He managed to come up with a plan that’ll work. He got online and ordered this little part and two nipples he needed for the body sprays in the shower and sent them to his Mom’s house. She should receive them in the mail today (Thursday). We will not have water to the kitchen for a few days until she arrives, but , shrug…no biggie!


Oh! Then…. The….Water heater issue! Ugh!! No hot water is a real issue in my mind! I know, I’m a wimp, I’ve embraced that little reality about myself, so get over it! hah!! This gal really really likes hot water. It’s one thing to be in the jungle, in an outside shower, with nature all around, knowing its just one or two showers and its hot so the cold water is refreshing, but at home, everyday? (Lyn, this is me thinking about your wonderful outdoor showers at your jungle lodge…Rambala Jungle Lodge! For those of you who are unfamiliar…..the outdoor showers there are not a challenge, but a luxury !) This one little thing is on my short list of ‘must haves’. Everything was going smoothly with the installation of the water heater, I know I’m gonna sound like I’m not being especially realistic when I say we tried to use materials readily found in Panama when I say, we had these water heaters shipped in too. Ugh…well…we first bought TWO instant hot water heaters here and they both conked out on us! We are fans of instant hot water heaters and so decided to ship them in from the states. Well, I digress. So, Scott got it all installed and connected to the plumbing and as my dear sweet husband often does not make sure all the parts are where he needs them, he realized that the control panel which makes the thing actually WORK , was missing!!!! OMG!!! This is when my Tranquilo nearly went away! I mean Really AWAY! Deep breaths Holly…. The frantic search for this little control panel commenced. We searched everywhere and could not find it. Scott began to search online to see if he could order one…yes he could, but it would not get to his mom in time to get it here. It would be weeks without hot water. Deep breaths….Scott then told Federico that La Jeffa es muy enojada porque no aqua caliente! Federico then began to help with the search and low and behold he found it!!! Hallelujah! Federico! My hero!! Tragedy averted once again!

So, a gushing water leak, no water to the kitchen, and almost no hot water…but, all resolved…sorta… then, the next little setback has been the installation of the backsplash for the stove. We bought a stainless steel backsplash with a warming rack built onto it for behind the stove. Also above the stove we have a pot filler. Turns out the pot filler, which needs to be installed on the wall behind the stove, in order to, you know, fill pots, would need to be attached to the stainless steel backsplash. which meant cutting a hole in the stainless steel then attaching the pot filler onto the back splash. This didn’t go so well yesterday. I heard a lot of cursing and some loud yelling coming from that area of the house. And at the end of the day, Richard was mighty quick to get the heck out of there and was sitting in the car first, he’s usually last! Long story short, Scott is still working on figuring out a way to securely install this part of the stove….from what I understand the pot filler is not cooperating , maybe he needs longer screws to make it secure, it seems to just be sorta wiggly and I think there is a problem with it maybe dimpling the stainless steel part of the backsplash? I don’t know, but he’s not happy about this. I’m certain he will sort it out eventually, but for now it may be not quite right. This backsplash part has to be installed before the stove, so I think he may have to just install it as best he can and then go back to it later.

So, today Scotts big goal is to get all the appliances installed in the kitchen and as these things go, I’m pretty sure we will find that we have some glitches to deal with once again. We sure do miss Home Depot were you know you can easily go and find what you need. The ice maker on the fridge, the valves under the sinks, the dishwasher hookups…all these things I’m expecting to find we need one thing or another to property install them….or..who knows, it could all just go smoothly! hah! But, I seriously doubt it! My usual ‘optimism’ is waning, as you can see. But, my optimism about Scotts ability to find a way to make things work out never wanes! That guy is the ‘Can Do Kid’!!! I’m seeing some cracks in his Tranquilo now and then, but he never stops smiling and occasionally giving a little chuckle about one thing or other.

Oh! HAh… I almost forgot…Last night after I took the guys down the hill at the end of the day we were in the kitchen working late trying to see what the dishwasher and the sink in the kitchen would need, Scruffy was out front and she started barking and barking. She doesn’t usually bark so I knew someone was here. I went out to investigate and saw that it was Luis, the Panamanian guy who is in charge of our water board up here. Luis occasionally shows up looking for problems with water pipes and such. He’s a good guy, but, he’s quite chatty. And, our late night work would be done, I just knew it. If you know Scott you know he’s not the most ‘chatty’ guy around. But, I think it was actually a good thing for Scott, he and Luis ended up just shooting the breeze and it was probably a good thing for Scott to take his mind off all the little problems he had run up against that day. In the end I think Scott was glad of the little chat and even though he was really beat he was very polite and stood out there chatting until I got there to save him. I waited a respectable amount of time to give them time to talk so as not to be rude, and began to turn off lights and lock up the house. I walked outside and told them it was” tiempo por Cena”. They said their goodbyes and our day ended. And, I’m so proud of Scotts ability to ’shoot the breeze’ all in Spanish, Luis speaks no English! That chat was a great end to a hard day and I’m glad it ended that way.

It’s nearly 9am and Scott has gone off to Ivan’s (the sorta equivalent to Home Depot…emphasis on Sorta!) for his list of things he needs today. Richard is hanging curtain rods so I will go up and see about putting curtains in up there. I’m in a holding pattern today until I get all the shelves I need to start putting things away. I can’t really bring anything else up there until they are done working in the kitchen. Who knows what the day will bring, I’m sure a project will arise that I can tackle and lets all keep our fingers crossed that Scott does not teach our workers any more English Curse words today!! Hah!

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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. A girl,has to have her things, I love the size of your closet. Most of all I just be came a follower of you blog, and I love reading about your and Scotts, adventures. I plan to come check out Panama, in a year, to find where I want to settle down. I’d love the mountains, but afraid Volcan, might be to isolated for an older single woman. We’ll see, when life isn’t insane for you any longer, and you have your feet up in your new home, would love to pick your brain. :).
    I need name of a good lawyer to help , me. And dependable shipping company, where your stuff actually arrives in Panama. Lol
    You really have writhing gift.
    So my dear, good luck, your almost at the home stretch, the two of you.
    I wish you and Scott, and pets, and your new piece of heaven, many blessing.
    Whitney

  2. I have no idea where to start mi amiga, you’ve got so much packed into this post. So here goes… OMG you two are seriously amazing at so many levels. Hang in there! Mariah

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