Monday, March 4, 2013

This Old House....Gets A Facelift.....

It seems like just yesterday when we painted the inside walls of this old Panamanian style house that we bought.  We pulled down the drop ceiling tiles only to be showered with 30 years of gecko poop hidden above.  Clyde intentionally knocked a hole in the wall between the kitchen and living room to create a pass thru for light. We had to have glass windows made to cover the openings that were only screens and bars.  Clyde crafted four custom-made wooden doors to fit the huge four-foot wide openings into the house, since there were no doors just screens and steel security doors.

One of the four doors we made


When the rains stopped in December and we knew it was safe to paint outside, we pulled out our paint brushes once again. After picking out a bright green color for the main walls with peach and cream accent colors for the columns, we quickly went to work. Unlike most old surfaces which have many layers of old paint built up over the years, this old house had just one.  And since we used primer under several coats of semi-gloss paint, here's hoping that the current paint will last 30 years or more.

Our Freshly Painted House


One of the things I noticed about the house when we first saw it was the large, but terribly ugly kitchen.  The counter top is over fifteen feet long and sits above many cabinets.  In between the two large windows is a set of open cabinets on top.  Two huge floor to ceiling pantries stand tall in the corners of the room making it a snap to put away groceries.  The ugly kitchen was covered with dirty, cream colored laminate with an old white, stained porcelain sink  in the middle. To make it liveable I painted everything white except for the counter top which I scrubbed to remove the stains.  After all Clyde promised that someday he would give me a new kitchen by rebuilding the cabinets and replacing the sink and counter top. 



About five months ago Clyde did some research to locate teak wood here in Panama, for his kitchen project.  He found a saw mill that actually has kiln-dried wood for sale, and excitedly placed his order.  Although he's bought teak here before for smaller projects, the wood was always wet and would have to sit outside to dry for several months before it could be used. And the seller of the wood wouldn't plane the wood either and for cabinets Clyde wanted good stuff.

After the wood order was placed we quickly went out to buy a sink, dishwasher, granite for the counter top and all the extras that would make us a wonderful new kitchen soon,  But.....you knew there had to be a but....this is Panamá and things never move quickly here which would be the case with the wood.  Apparently this saw mill was new and they hadn't yet hooked up the high-powered electricty to run the kiln.  Supposedly, it would be connected in a few weeks and they could dry the wood and have it delivered to us.  Weeks turned into months and here we are five months later and Clyde actually has the wood sitting outside ready to be turned into cabinets.  It's planed nicely and full of colorful grain which will make unique cabinets. Looking forward to the finished kitchen but not the mess along the way that comes with any remodel, being the neat freak that I am.

A Peek into the huge kiln

About Half of the Wood

Wood Loaded and ready to go!


A better picture of the beautiful grain in the Teak Wood


We still have several outside buildings that need to be painted and perhaps since they're lower to the ground I can work on those.  A guard shack, storage shed and outside bathroom are visable from our bedroom window at the back of the property and bother me more than Clyde.  Also the bars on the windows need to be painted white since they probably haven't been in many years. Since I still have two more weeks of recovery from my surgery before I can get back to my regular exercise routine, maybe now would be a good time to finish up the painting. 

The weather lately has been cloudy with heavy wind gusts due to a cold front in the Carribbean.  While entertaining on our bohio yesterday a gust of wind actually lifted up the plastic table we were sitting around nearly knocking over the glass pitcher full of sangria.  Fortunately not a drop of sangria was spilled and we quickly moved our get-together to another location.  The wind knocked out our power last night and the night before, causing Clyde to run out to get gas for our generator.  But as soon as he returned with the gas the power came back on and the food in our freezer was spared.

We spotted this little fellow on our walk
He was tri colored with some black
but it didn't show up on the picture


Everyday is an adventure here in Panamá and nothing ever goes as expected.  So we've had to learn patience and adapt a new attitude toward life.  After all there's absolutely no reason to do it today since there's ALWAYS manana.....along the gringo trail.



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