It has been a month since I have sat down and had time to update this blog. As you can see below, we have been very busy!
New Patio Floor
It turns out that we now remember why we gravelled the outside eating area in the first place. Living on a sloped hill is great for the coffee, but a ton of work when you try to level an area. The original gravel dining area was great for any extra rain that tried to come in and being not level was only really noticeable until you were sitting at the table and items would slowly roll down the table.
We decided this was a good time to finish the dining room floor. We had a few extra hands around and how hard could it really be.....
The slope for just the dining area was actually 13 inches and required 2 days and 4 people just to prep the area. We had to add a step up from the kitchen to the dining area to help offset the 13 inches.
Next, we started pouring the concrete. Then, last but not least, we all spent a few days tiling and grouting it. We were unable to buy more of the tile that we already had on hand, so we had to make do with what we could find.
As you can see, the dog is always ready to make our work harder. :) In the picture below, Rick is trying to negotiate with the dog to find a new spot for his nap....haha
Before and After
Then we graveled the walkway to the tour stations. During the rainy season it just stayed muddy and a person could easily slip. Each time we walked down the row, our shoes would get wet and muddy, so with Melvin's help....problem is now fixed!
I did not have a good before picture, but the benches were on grass before it rained so much that it just became a mud pit!
Under Sink Cabinet
Then we finally finished the sink area in the Coffee Can. It has been on our to-do list for a long time now. The sink was functional, so it was not too high on the list. :)
But we (okay, so it was really Rick that did all of the work on this one) finally finished the cabinet under the sink and it looks way better!
The Bug Section
As you can see in the last picture, even the butterfly liked Rick's tour hat, silly creature!
I have never seen tangerines so big! We put the tangerine next to a normal sized apple and I could not believe the size difference. We have to pick the fruit a little before they are fully ripe or the birds will claim the fruit before we can eat it. :)
We do not have pumpkins for Halloween this year, but maybe we can just decorate the tangerines....
While I am talking about fruit, I thought I would add these 2 pictures. The one on the left is a tree tomato (tamarillo.) You cut off the top and use a spoon to scoop out the inside.
Here is how wikipedia describes it: The flesh of the tamarillo is tangy and variably sweet, with a bold and complex flavor, and may be compared to kiwifruit, tomato, guava, or passion fruit. The skin and the flesh near it have a bitter taste and are not usually eaten raw.
The next picture is an orange blossom. The tree is blooming again as we are still picking fruit off of it each day.....I love it and orange blossoms are one of my favorite scents.
My Husband's Weedeater
My wonderful husband bought un upgraded weedeater. The one we have is too short and hurts his back as he has to bend over to use it. He was very excited to get a more powerful one that was also bigger in size. However, it is heavy and comes with a back harness and straps to distribute all of the weight. He says it actually does distribute the weight pretty well.
Now lets talk about the bad parts of this new weedeater. It actually doubles as a bush whacker and is so strong that it flings everything it touches and makes them flying projectiles that can hurt you. After the first time using it, he learned that he needs a face mask. He actually had a few injuries the first time around.
The second bad thing is that it is a little complicated to setup. After he gets all of the straps and back harness on, he has to clip the weedeater to the harness. I had to take pictures of this procedure....words just does not do it justice. :) Silly boys with their over-complicated tools or toys.
We have a ton of things happening in the next few weeks. My family from Oregon is coming for their 1st visit, we will see how they do in the tropics. :)
Melvin has decided we need a rock wall, much like our neighbor, Hector. Melvin is sure that our wall will not fall each time there is a little earthquake....we will see.
We have move visitors coming after my family returns home and we expect the coffee harvest to start anytime. It is late this year and we keep just waiting...
Here are the 2 cuties on the farm this week. However, the caterpillar is not good. Who knew that one of the most harmful things we could encounter down here in Panama was a caterpillar with bad hair. Just a side note, while I was researching the name of the caterpillar online there were many references to a certain U.S. president and that this caterpillar now has a secondary name too....lol.
Below are pictures of:
Each day we are picking ripe cherries off of a few trees, the harvest is not in full effect, but some of the trees have started producing a few ripe coffee cherries.
We found out that the water pipes were never glued together when the plumbing on the house was done....then encased in cement. Along comes a small earthquake and the pipes just pull apart! We (okay, it was really Rick) had to break up all of the cement to figure out why there was water on the side of the house. All fixed now!
The second picture is how you can tell when you are experiencing a true Panama rain shower.
The girl dog had a 1 inch gash in her leg. The vet gave her 4 stitches, but those only lasted a day or so before they were ripped out. So the Cone of Shame was put on her and she was miserable. Her leg is healing now and the only part that was good for her was taking the antibiotics wrapped in cheese. :)
My son does not really enjoy making art like some kids do. He is more of a math and science type of kid. :) However, he had to make this at school and it really adds color to our house. I love it! He even added his name in the form of black spots. I hope he has to make a few more in art class, because I have a ton of bare walls!
As I am going through the results of the Rick Hat Poll, this is my husband:
We are sitting in front of the fire (tonight is s'more night) and he is still trying to justify the hat.
As far as the results go: #6 gets to stay and #1 is the back-up hat. The rest should go away.
I loved the comments. Especially the ones that said they were looking for new hats for Rick and the ones that suggested very bad things should happen to these hats.
Is there any 6 year-old out there that would like wearing this hat while they chase butterflies???? Let me know. Rick says, that I should not make this so restrictive and that you do not need to be 6 or chase butterflies to receive this poor hat. :)
Trip to the U.S.
I spent time with my son!!!! I enjoyed the time with him, but was not too excited about the hot desert.
Coming home, my youngest son and I were put on a plane that had a leak behind the left engine. After having us deplane for a few hours while they supposedly found a new plane (which did not happen, because a wrapper that fell on my seat when we deplaned, was still there when we got on the "new" plane.) Thankfully, we did get back to Panama, but missed our connection and had to stay in a hotel in Panama City. We did take this time to go swimming and play with the outdoor games.
I came home to chores and more chores! More of the trees had red cherries, we needed more drying trays, it was time to rake and mulch leaves and there was packaging green coffee beans. Thankfully, we have some volunteers here. Riga, Molly and Diana have been awesome and have kept the streak of great Workawayers.
Bugs and Bugs
Lots of little critters to see if you look hard enough. These were all taken by Rick, but my favorite is the last picture of the butterfly. :)
I am now back into the swing of things here and will post an update soon. :)