Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Taxing Time In The Tropics.....

As time goes on and we live in Panamá longer, my blog posts have become fewer.  Some of the adventure is gone as we've settled in and live our day to day lives here.  And since we make no money from the free information we give out here, I've been concentrating my efforts on writing for money elsewhere. 

People ask us all the time what we do to keep busy and we tell them "plenty."  My days are spent working out, writing and studying Spanish.  In between I manage to find some time for working on my tan, cleaning, shopping and relaxing. Clyde spends much of his time doing little projects around the house, mowing an acre of grass and trimming countless bushes, hedges, shrubs, plants and flowers.  Since this time of year is summer when the rains stop and much of the vegetation goes into hibernation, some of that time will be freed up for now.  When I'm not finding some "honey-do's" for Clyde to do, he's working out and studying Spanish too.  In between all of this we have get-togethers with friends, expat mixers and time spent with visitors at Punta Chame Resort where we use the gym and pool.  Makes me tired just writing about it all.

A few weeks ago after some arm twisting from you know who, Clyde decided it was time to paint the outside of the house.  The old light green color on the house was faded and chipped and probably hadn't been painted in 30 years.  We both agreed that the color should remain green and decided something just a bit brighter would be nice.  The coordinating colors of cream and bright peach would make the colors pop and come alive in this tropical setting.  Within about a week we managed to paint one side and the front of the house using two coats of sealer and two coats of semi-gloss paint.  Of course Clyde had to do the prep work scrapping the old paint off before we could even begin.  With our busy lives we got side-tracked and took a break and now need to finish up the other two sides. 

Our Freshly Painted Front
Same color but a lot brighter! 

This is the side where we started
Because this is our Outdoor Seating space 

Another View of the Side

She forgot to mention that I
redid the cushions in our outdoor chairs
Nothing like upholsetery material on a
 little plastic sewing machine! 
 And the fabric was only $2.99 a yard

After the walls are done we still need to paint the bars on the windows (remember this is Latin America and all homes have bars) and freshen up the paint on the cement floor which is dark red.  And just a word about bars on the windows which I've covered before here, but in case you missed it.  In Latin cultures they feel the way to protect their home is to put steel bars on the windows, steel security doors and barbed wire on top of fencing that encloses the property.  This in no way means the area is unsafe, but merely used as a precaution.  Just like a rich gringo would shell out big bucks for an alarm system to protect his home, bars are a cheaper and simpler solution in Latin cultures. 

Bought this "oat milk" to try it but turns out it was sweetened and flavored with cinnamon.
  Guess they do it to get kids to drink milk.  They offer many flavors in these tiny drink
 boxes that even come with a straw.  All of the "boxed" milk here is ultra-pasturized
 and needs NO refrigeration until after it's open.


Enjoying the dog days of summer here with no rain and temperatures reaching into the low 90's everyday.  Schools are closed for summer vacation as locals head to the beaches with their families.  The trade winds are blowing hard to keep things a bit cooler, making us feel like we're back in windy south Texas.  Since no amount of hair spray can compete with heavy winds, I'm having to keep my hair up most of the time. When it's so windy that my hair gets messy inside the house while I'm trying to fix it, there's not much left to do except plop it on top of my head or pull it back into a pony tail.

Although we became a bit testy over taxes in the tropics over the last two weeks, things thankfully have tamed down.....along the gringo trail.

We passed this old clunker on the side of the road
Believe it or not, this is the exception not the rule in Panama


  1. Could you hear Ray and I talking about you tonight? We anxiously await your blog posts, but we also understand that you are doing other writings and other things in general (staying super busy)! Can't wait to see the pretty paint! The pictures show it looking fantastic :)

  2. Love the minty green look. Looks "breezy" as I like to call it.

  3. Sounds like you all are having a great time, anyone who can write about surgery an make it that entertaining is a heck of a writer! Enjoyed your blog, we are moving to Panama in April, hope to settle around Las Tablas area or somewhere on the beach. Have a great day, ps, Clyde, you get any good pics of the ladies, lol. Leon.


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