60. Bringing in the New Year with a BANG

Monday 12/27- It’s been a little bit over a week since we spoke to Jose, our cabinet maker. He has had a chance to draw up plans and we’ve had a chance to think more in detail about what exactly it is that we want. We met with him at the house today to take some more measurements and finalize the plans. Once it was all discussed and agreed upon, Jose asked when we needed it ready by? We told him that Geiner said the house would be ready for the cabinets at the end of January. This would give him a month to get everything built. He looked kind of nervous, and said he would do everything he can to get it done by then, but with New Years in there and the possibility that he wouldn’t be able to get his supplies as quickly as he sometimes does, he said he might need until the first week in February. We told him that we could work with that. Since he was doing everything from cabinets and closets, to doors, beds, night stands, tables, and chairs, we asked him to focus first on the

48. Finding a Sitter & Even More Decisions

With our impending trip back to MN we had to get serious about finding a sitter for Breeze while we are gone. Loren and Nancy did say that they could watch her again while we were gone if we needed them to, however now that they are so busy with the mini-golf course being open, we figured that we should see what other options we could find that might make things a little bit easier. We had seen on some of the Facebook groups people asking about and posting recommendations for pet sitters, so we reached out to a few of them to get details. We also decided to ask Stuart and Gem if they would be able to watch Breeze. At least that way Breeze would still be in our familiar neighborhood. They also have a dog (Jet). She is a dog about half the size of Breeze and a quarter of her age. While the 2 dogs tend to bark at each other a lot, we think they would get along and become friends.

They told us that they would be happy to watch her for the first 2 weeks we were gone, but they were going to be out of town for the last week so we would have to find somewhere else for her to go after that. They suggested we get the dogs together and let them get used to each other prior to leaving. That was not a bad idea!

Saturday 10/23- We started out our morning early, as we always try to when we have to leave our house to do something, but today was a little bit different. We were taking Breeze to check out a potential dog sitter to cover the last week we were going to be back in MN. 

We were somewhat familiar with the area that the dog sitter (Paola) lives in but had never really explored there.  It is not far out of the main part of town, but we know that it gets jungle-y in that direction.  When we got there, we were happy to see it was a nice large property for the dogs to play. She has 4 dogs of her own and watches a few more at a time. We spent almost a half hour with her while she told us about how things work when she takes care of a dog. She schedules meet-ups like this with all dogs before she agrees to watch them just to make sure that they are reasonably well behaved, not aggressive, and just feel compatible with the rest of the crew. The dogs aren’t caged, and get to live like family while they are with her. They take field trips to the river at the edge of her property for the dogs to go swimming if they like, and they are always supervised so they don’t run off. While we were there Breeze got familiar with the other dogs and they all seemed to get along fine. She seemed comfortable with Paola and didn’t try to take off or do anything crazy. I know it could be very different if we weren’t there with her, but I do think this will be a good option for Breeze.

Stuart and Gem also wanted to get Breeze and Jet acquainted a little bit more, so that afternoon we brought Breeze to their house for a little while. We sat outside and talked while the dogs did their thing. It started out like most new dog meetings tend to start out, lots of noise and running around. After a little while they got friendlier, and before long both dogs were quiet and lazily lying on the floor while the humans chatted. We spent maybe an hour together, the dogs seemed fine and as long as one dog didn’t try to steal a bone from the other, I think they would get along well for the 2 weeks they would have to live together and become friends.


Bringing Breeze to these 2 places today lifted a little bit of a weight off our shoulders. We knew that she would be in good hands while we were gone. While I know she would much rather be home with Ramie & I, I really don’t think she wants to go through all of the trauma and scariness of those airplanes again, so she’ll just have to stay here. Of course these would be new people, new places, and new dogs, but I think she will enjoy having the company around. 

Breeze & Jet chilling at our house (quite a bit later in time than this blog post was written)

 

Monday 10/25- Recently Geiner has been assuring us that he’s getting close to starting. While he’s been telling us that for a while, I think we are getting closer and closer. This afternoon we met with Geiner to talk more about the details of the house. We met him out at the lot again and pointed out some changes to the plan that we knew we wanted to make and took another look at the layout again to make sure it still felt good to us. We talked about where we were going to put the carport and how the driveway would come into the lot, if we were going to build a little storage shed with outside access onto the side of the house and where that would go, and some of the broader details. After we were done at the lot, we went back to his office to talk more about our tile choices, some of the finer details on the plan, and to meet with Christian, the electrician. Our goal today with Christian was to go through the entire house and tell him where all of the lights, fans, switches, and outlets would be located. This was all completely up to us- they don’t really have code like in the US that tells you you need an outlet every so many feet on the wall or anything like that.

via GIPHY

Just like everything else so far with the design of the house- it is completely custom! We had an idea of what we wanted for lights and fans in each room, but then to go through and decide where the switches for all of those things go (MAN there are a lot of switches!!) and how many outlets you want in your bedrooms or in the kitchen, well, that’s a whole different kind of planning! You don’t realize just how much planning goes into this until you sit down and do it all. Since conduit has to be ran through the floors to the locations of the switches and outlets before they pour the concrete slab, we won’t have a chance to change too much once that part is done, so we better have a good idea of what we want now before we get too far along! Over all, from the time we met Geiner at the lot to the time we were done with Christian we had spent nearly 5 hours with them making these plans and decisions. Slowly but surely we’re taking baby steps and getting closer to getting things rolling!

Wednesday 10/27- The next step that we have to take to get the property ready for Geiner’s guys to get going on construction is to get the electric hooked up. If you remember back when we purchased the property I mentioned that the seller has to provide a letter stating that electricity is available at the property. While it is available (the main poles and lines are there) there are no individual electric meters at each lot yet. These need to be purchased by the property owner, installed by ICE (electric company), and then connected by the electrician. We finally have the appropriate paperwork to go request the electric meter to be installed by the electric company. Today we were going to drive up to Dominical again (after our failed attempt shortly after we purchased the property) to get them to install our meter. First, though, before we went up to their office we had to stop at the lot and get the number off of the main pole nearest to the property so they could verify where they were going to hook up this meter.  Since there aren't street addresses down here, the way to let the electric company know exactly where you need them is to give them the pole number, that way they can look it up in their system and see where they need to be. When we got out to the property we were very happy to see that sometime yesterday Geiner’s guys had been out at our property and installed our “mini-pole” where the power from the main pole would come down, the meter would be installed, and then finally get routed to the house. YAY, this is the first improvement to our lot since we bought it!! (I know, a very small thing, but electric is important, so this is part of a very big thing!).

 

Try number 2 at the ICE office. We spoke to the same guy that we talked to last time (we remembered him, but I’m sure he didn’t remember us) and explained that we are building a house, our contractor is ready for the electric to be hooked up, and we have the needed paperwork all ready to go. He spoke pretty good English so it was much easier to explain this to him than some of the other official things we’ve had to take care of in Spanish (with the help of Google translate). He took all of the paperwork, filled out his things, had Ramie sign where he needed to sign, and in less than 15 minutes we had applied for electricity at our property. I guess that wasn’t so hard! Supposedly in the next week or 2 they would have a meter installed and then the guys would be able to use their power tools out at our lot without having to bring a generator with them.

This time we didn’t stop at Fuego for a beer and seltzer or even at the fish stand for some fresh seafood. We did, however, stop at the produce stand for some fruit for the week, then headed back home. Our job for the day was done!

Pura Vida!

Comments

  1. Hello,
    It sure is starting to get complicated with meters, wire, switch's poles and connections. . It's starting to get serious, pretty soon you can charge the batteries for your tools and do some work on your own. You must also take more photos when the lot is being leveled and framing starts as well as running wire and water pipes. Are the pipes down there copper or Pex which is easier to work with but may be susceptible to bugs and other critters.
    If you have been paying attention to Minnesota's weather you will know that it is a banner year for snow fall and extremely cold and miserable. we are glad to be in the 80+ degree weather in Mazatlán, at lest until April 6m when we return home, to what we know not, it will be a surprise! Have wonderful day, stay safe!

    Ken

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    Replies
    1. Good Day Ken and Eddie! Sorry for the delay with this comment we have been very busy in real time with a lot of house stuff. More to come of that soon.

      To answer your questions, they use very little steel or copper pipe here. Almost all of the pipe I've seen is PVC or CPVC. I've asked about Pex, but the tools to crimp or expand it are very expensive here and most contractors cant afford them. So PVC it is. Also with as many earth movements that happen here the flexibility of the PVC to absorb that movement is another reason. If you burst a pipe on Sunday you can go to the local grocery store and they have the most common sizes of repair pieces you may need on the shelf. Otherwise the hardware stores carry almost everything during normal days.

      I have written a blog post about the construction methods to answer a lot of questions about how things are done here along with a lot of pictures. Its definitely isnt the construction that we are used to.

      Yes, I agree with the weather. We are very happy to be here in the tropics. Although March is the hottest month here I've seen temps hit 110 where we live.

      Thanks for reading and the support! Safe travels back to the US when you head there.

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