Little by Little

Every day we make a little bit more progress!  Eddie has spent a lot of time installing our security system and working on the gate. He is currently painting the metal on the gate  black.  Next he will be applying marine varnish on the wood and painting the walls a dark green.


Eddie is working on installing the electric gate opener.


While waiting for the kitchen cabinets, I spent much of my time cleaning up the dust, which seems to be never ending.  Just when I think I’m making a dent in it, someone comes over and creates more of it!  The kitchen cabinets were installed two weeks ago.  It took the workers two full days to do the work.  They are beautiful!  IMG_0881eIMG_1102eIMG_1104e

The granite counter tops were installed 10 days after the kitchen cabinets. It took them a full day to do the work…and you guessed it…they created more dust!  The fine white dust was everywhere.  Unfortunately, they had to cut the hole for the kitchen sink inside the house and that made things even worse.  When the workers took their breaks, I would vacuum up as much of it as possible.


In February, we drove to San Jose to a huge warehouse where we chose the granite for two of the bathroom vanities and the kitchen counter top. This is just one isle of many in the warehouse. It seemed to go on forever.


This is one of three granite slaps that we chose for the kitchen. It was amazing watching the crane move the slabs from one place to another.


Danny and his worker getting ready to make the first cut for the sinks for the master suite bathroom vanity.


Here they are working on cutting the hole for the kitchen sink. Despite using a shop-vac, the dust found its way all over the house.



The granite is absolutely gorgeous!  Danny and his guys did a fantastic job installing it. 


The pass through from the kitchen to the terrace. This was Eddie’s idea and it’s a great one.


The outdoor kitchen.  We’re calling it the Rancho. Eddie really likes his beer refrigerator!

As soon as the granite guys left, I started cleaning up. I have become obsessed with getting rid of all the dust!  The next morning, Eddie sealed the granite and it was hard to wait the six hours for it to set. I had only a week to do the unpacking before I head back to NC for a six week visit. I really wanted the kitchen to be all organized for Eddie who is staying behind to continue to work on the house.  He has a long “honey do” list.


The unpacking frenzy has begun. I’m finding it a challenge to find a spot for everything. This kitchen is half the size of the one in Chapel Hill and I admit that I have too much stuff.



Eddie enjoying his first dip into the pool. This was taken before the granite was installed.


Rusty and Olivia are best friends!  Rusty is six months old now and Olivia is around a year old. Lopez our former caretaker gave us Olivia so that Rusty wouldn’t be lonely.

Moving Day

Before we could move in our things from storage, we had to fix up the drive way.  Over the course of construction, the builders made a mess of it and the rains made it worse. They mixed the concrete in front of the carport and the excess material made the drive way at least a foot higher. Of course, they didn’t want to clean it up. So, we had to hire a backhoe to come in and do the work. It was amazing how the back hoe guy leveled everything. He made it look so easy. He dug up all sorts of construction debris that we couldn’t even see. Fortunately, the builder took care of disposing most of it.


A few days before our stuff was going to be delivered, we drove to San Isidro to supervise the transfer from the storage area to a big moving truck.  All of that went well.  Everything was there.


Then, on moving day, the big truck arrived at the bottom of our hill bright and early at 7:15 a.m. Eddie met them there to supervise the off loading onto a smaller 4 x4 vehicle to get everything up our steep hill.  I was at the house checking off the boxes as they arrived. The movers earned every penny of their fee.  It took all day and they must have made 100 trips up our two staircases. Good thing most of the moving guys were young!


The craziness began when our kitchen cabinet maker decided to come by unannounced to install the kitchen island and microwave cabinet. In addition, our furniture guy came, too!  He brought our bedroom furniture and installed our closet on site. There was wood dust everywhere while the movers were bringing in all our stuff!


As it turned out, even though it was hectic, we were so glad to have a bed to sleep on, a place to put our clothes, a make shift kitchen using the cardboard of the refrigerator box on top of the island and having a place to put the microwave.



However, the builders had gone AWOL…so no running water inside the house . We had to use a make shift sink with a tub and shower in the outdoor shower.  In addition, the electric wasn’t totally operational, either.  We only had one outlet that was directly hooked up to the breaker box. At least the builder had completed the septic system, so Eddie got our master bath toilet hooked up.  (Good thing Eddie is a handy guy or we would have been in bad shape.) But, did I mention that we have great Internet?  It took Eddie several months to get that arranged and thanks to some help from our neighbors, the Kalon Surf Hotel, it happened!  We discovered that there are many things we can do without for a time, but Internet is not one of them!!!

P.S. Moving Day was on Monday, February 15, 2016.  A month has gone by and there is still a lot of work to do. Every day we make a little more progress. We’re hoping to get the granite counter tops installed tomorrow…wish us luck as this is the third time he has rescheduled!

Our House is “Finished” – Week 39

Well, as you all have probably guessed, we have moved into our house!  Unfortunately, the house wasn’t ready for us, so we have been frantically working on it to make it livable. And, it hasn’t been easy!   This is why we have been off-line for these past four weeks.  The move was absolutely crazy…bordering on chaos.  But, before we get into the big move, let’s get caught up first.


This slice of Cristobal wood is going to be hung on the wall above the kitchen bar.  Eddie is preparing the hooks on the backside of the piece.


A piece of rebar and a notch make a place for hooks to hold up the wood piece.


Eddie uses a template to locate the hooks on the wall.


Workers hoist the wood up the scaffolding in preparation to hang it.  The slice of Cristobal is very heavy.



Success!  Now, down comes the scaffolding.


The entry gate is taking shape.


Manglillo wood is used for the gate.


Eddie is installing a water meter.



Eddie and Marvin are working on the water line from the storage tank to the house.


Eddie is installing the water booster pump and filtration system.


Rusty the cat is checking on the progress of the pool.


The pool is almost ready for water.


This is the plumbing for the pool pump and filter.


Eddie is installing supports for the big shelf above the bar.  Again, Rusty is supervising to make sure all goes well.



A big slab of Cenizaro wood makes a beautiful shelf.


The carpentry crew are installing the interior wood doors.

So, you have seen that we have been very busy these past few weeks.  Ellen has been cleaning like crazy.  Dust is everywhere!  It’s a never ending battle trying to keep up with it.  The next installment will be about moving day.  Stay tuned!