BEDS AND TABLES AND BOOKSHELVES, OH MY….

June 22, 2011

Ok, we are rocking and rolling. The walls are up, the floors are poured, the electric and plumbing is almost installed. We have been designing doors, windows, kitchen cabinets, bookshelves, beds, tables, chairs (everything custom built by local craftsmen) …making decisions on flooring, counter tops, wall colors. Greg’s been sanding and staining, I’m finishing the website. The project has taken on a life of it’s own. I continuously marvel at how it all is getting done. IT ALL GETS DONE… and we may even have time to visit the beach today if the sun holds out. I love the green (can you say “rainy”) season, but I miss our beach day.

Enjoy the pics! (Please, click on photos to enlarge.)

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

June 6, 2011

The main house is chugging along. The crew comes back tonight from their long weekend. They will pour the concrete for the floors and then start on the roof. This is a good thing since the rains have begun. Seems as though we are still on schedule, even with the (last minute) addition of the training space on the second floor. Due to budget and time constraints we are putting a nice size platform over the communal room (accommodating up to about 16 people) which commands stellar views of the ocean, mountains and pool. Next year we will commence with the construction of the originally planned 1,200 square ft training space. So, in the future we will have the option of two spaces for practice. I guess that’s just how it was meant to be. We didn’t plan it, but it actually adds another dimension to the main house we hadn’t considered!With each road-block, there seems to be a solution that winds up better than the original plan!

(For full size view, click on photo.)

Wahe Guru!!! A cup-o-tea and much progress at the building site.

View from north-east corner. Dining room on left, open patio/lvining room, upper training space on right.

View from north-east corner, kitchen/dining room on the left, open patio/upper training space on right.

View from kitchen across courtyard to open patio/living room.

View from dining room into kitchen.

View from the entrance.

I'm... BAT Dog!

AUTUMN IN COSTA RICA?

May 7, 2011

The seasons are changing here in Guanacaste. The rainy season is upon us. It’s a slower start than what we expected, but the little rain we’ve had so far has been painting the landscape a luscious, deep green, and foliage is growing, seemingly overnight. Yesterday morning, under the overcast sky on our way to Spanish lessons, Greg and I both felt a hint of “autumn” in the air. Yes, it’s spring, but since the seasons are a bit opposite here, it only makes sense. No, it didn’t make me want to go put on my wooly sweater and boots, but it was a nice change. The days are still hot, but seem to be gradually cooling down just a bit.

The House is going up quite fast. All the walls are up now, and when the crew comes back from their weekend they’ll be starting the roof over the kitchen and the second floor training space over the communal (living) room, where the view is fantastic. So, it still looks like we are on target for our early 2012 opening date!

Enjoy the show! (To control the slideshow, roll your mouse over the picture.)

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TEENY, TINY UPDATE

April 30, 2011

1) Vivero = Nursery = begin the landscape process = a big knot on Karen’s head as the limb from the tree that Greg is trimming drops on her head.

2) Puertos y Ventanas (door & windows) = resolve “unfinished” issues = “What? No screens?!”

3) Stairs to the 2nd floor practice area = “What is THAT column doing THERE??!!” = “NO NO NO no no no no…………..” = TBD

4) Official end of The Season = Pasquale & Jonathon and Daniel & Katherine (and their two beautiful daughters, Oceane & Blue) our only neighbors and nearby friends, LEAVE all at the same time = ūüė¶

5)…. and it POURED DOWN RAIN, this evening which brought a beautiful coolness, and so we are “cooking in comfort” tonight, here in our little “love shack”…

Believe it or not, it actually IS all good (todo bien)!

OOOMMMMMMM....

SEMANA SANTA

April 20, 2011

View of The House from the road...

It’s Holy Week here in Costa Rica. After today everything basically closes down until Monday. However, here in the Nosara area, it’s filled with guests and there is a festive, holiday feeling in the air as our crew begins to wind down for their (extra) long weekend. They do work hard and have been making good progress despite the faux pas on the part of the ferreteria (hardware store). We’re still waiting for them to correct the order so the crew can finish the kitchen floor. The roof is going on the 1st cabina, which means that next week, when they return, they can begin installing the bathroom and electrical fixtures, and grouting the ceramic. After that, its just touch-ups on the doors and windows and the final coats of Marbelino on the walls.

The House is shaping up and the back-hoe finally was able do it’s job with the hole for the pool and re-placing all the dis-placed earth from the construction. We also sent him out to the “back 40” to smooth out an area for our garden. There are a LOT of rocks at the surface, so we need to dig a little deeper to see what we have and if it will be a viable spot… keep your fingers crossed!

Measuring for the pool depth.

A peek from the dining area.

New gravel on our driveway...yay!

Filling in the dining area with some left-over earth.

Roof in progress.

Ahhh... just in time for the rainy season!

Tarzan man.

LA CASA DE LAS HACIENDA DELICIAS

April 5, 2011

Wow… the walls for the main house (and our HOME) are going up quickly. We are making changes on the fly as we see the spaces emerging day by day. To tub or not to tub… lets move that bathroom wall, we need more space in here… that closet has to go…

We’re really beginning to get a sense of what “living” here will be like. Hopefully, sooner, rather than later!

Remember, you can click on the pictures to make them bigger!

View from the small bath, looking towards the kitchen - garage roof in the distance...

Greg and Victor scoping out the space of the office, double checking the Vastu calculations...

Shot from the eastern entrance. The open space you see between structures will be a patio with a covered observation deck above - 360 view of mountains, valleys, sunrises and sunsets...

Another sunset view of from the entrance...

View from our bedroom - 4 really big windows overlooking the Garza cove...

Fire in the hole... (or future pool).

DO YOU “LIKE”?

March 27, 2011

TA DA… We have chosen a name!… However…. I would like to ask a little favor: those of you who are not already “likers” of our Facebook page: Sanctuary For The Soul, we are asking that you go there and click the “LIKE” button at the top of the page. Upon reaching 1,000 likes, we will launch the official name! We’re very excited, and we will be launching the official website this summer. YAY!¬† All this social media stuff has really allowed us to begin building our community… a GLOBAL community! We have already met so many wonderful people through this amazing World Wide Web. People keep telling us we are an inspiration, but what we have been feeling is a tremendous amount of support from family, friends and people we don’t even know – and that support sustaines us.

So, please, pardon my shameless begging – if you have a moment, click on the Facebook [ F ] icon in the sidebar to the right – or on this link: Sanctuary for the Soul and when you get there you can “LIKE” us!! Feel free to pass it on… the sooner we hit 1,000, the sooner we can ann0unce our name!!

Many thanks!

BORDER CROSSING : aka : the INFAMOUS VISA RUN

March 26, 2011

Up on Christ's hill with San Jan del Sur behind us.

A couple of weeks ago it was time for us to renew our visa. Basically, this means leaving the country to get our passport stamped, so we can stay another 3 months. A common way to do this is to cross over the Nicaraguan or Panamanian border for a few days. Of course, we talked with several people who have done it in various ways; driving (not an option, since you must have owned your Costa Rican registered vehicle for 6 months), by bus and by parking at the border and walking across. We opted for the latter, with the help of a Nica who told us where to park and walked us through the process to the “other side”, where his friend (they ALL have friends)¬† had a taxi and would bring us into San Juan del Sur, a beach town about 30 minutes away. I chose not to take out the camera at the border for several obvious reasons, but I’ve included some shots along the way and of San Juan del Sur. Somehow, Nicaragua feels very different than Costa Rica – first off, the roads are better! (Why, I don’t know.) The people are friendly and San Juan del Sur is sweet, but very touristy and filled mostly with young, partying travelers.

I think the trip would have been better had it not been clouded with the bad news of Remy’s (our male cat’s) liver cancer. We dropped both cats off at the vet on our way out of town, to get check-ups since they both have lost weight and Remy hadn’t been well with vomiting and diarrhea. All of you who have been following this blog, know the challenge it took to get them here. We are very sad, but still grateful he is here with us. The visit to the vet was an incredibly stressful one, but he is feeling better with the help of some medication and homeopathic remedies. We will keep him comfortable and soak up his love for as long as we can. As my friend, Donna, said “It was very nice of him to make the trip with us.”

Just because we are “living our dream” doesn’t mean we get off scott-free. These are the things of life and happen no matter where you call home. We are blessed in so many ways and it is our honor to shepherd Remy through this transition.

Please, enjoy the slide show below. You can rewind, stop or advance at your convenience.

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WATER TANK…RIP

March 11, 2011

The view is now complete. . .

The water tank… this is the real end folks. The real, real end.¬† May it Rest In Peace.

We thought for sure that we would have to spend more money and another week with Jackhammer Man. Two evenings ago,¬† when we checked in, there was still two walls up and an 18″ floor of pure concrete and steel, and Jackhammer Man had only been able to make an insignificant dent after working on the floor the entire previous day. Us three, Greg, Victor and myself, stood around the partially destroyed, bone of contention, shaking our heads and shrugging our shoulders. The glaring thought that kept coming to me was… “we need a miracle.” We had been considering dynamite, acid solution (?), and then Greg found a product that you poor into drilled holes and as it dries it expands and fractures the concrete, enabling the back hoe (pronounced Bob Hope in Spanish) to scoop it away… none of these easy solutions.

We had been out all day yesterday and when we finally got our chance to go survey the progress, Greg stepped up to the hole where the tank once was, looked in and said something like “oh my”… preparing for the worst, I approached and saw DIRT! All dirt, no more tank, or rebar… our pool is half dug! It FELT like a miracle.

All of you who have been following our project since the beginning, know that this has been the bane of our existence. And, we had no idea how difficult it would be to remove. The tank stood it’s ground proudly to the very end. It almost seemed a shame to have to dismantle something that was build SO well. It seemed it just wouldn’t die… until I acknowledge we needed a miracle… I have the Universe to thank… and a crew of some very hard working men!!

A site for sore eyes! May it Rest in Peace.

THAT WATER TANK… and more

March 5, 2011

Just a short progress note, but I wanted to share the latest up on our hill-top…

ok, maybe this COULD be a pool... NOT.

Ok, we are finally seeing some progress on this water tank. The pictures here are from two days worth of work. They managed to get the top off, and it will be interesting to see how they approach the walls. We have the jackhammer and operator for a week (I feel like we’re back in NYC!). We’re going on day 3 now and hopefully, it won’t take the whole week – or at best, no more.

By the way, I have to tell you, all these guys are working their butts off in the hot sun and they are always polite, greeting us with smiles. One of the really big things that have impressed me, as we weave ourselves into the fabric of this country, is that the people are wonderful, kind, gentle people who really have a “can-do” attitude. At least that has been OUR experience.

In the meantime, the “living room” of the main house has walls! This room will be partially open to the court yard with windows exposing a view of the water, mountains and sunset. When we stand at the back end of the property, where the future yoga shala will reside, you can look down on the cabinas along the ridge, then up the ridge to the hill-top where you can see the living room walls through the trees – it kinda has a Stone Henge feel. But, you can really see it coming together. The land really is beginning to vibrate Vastu already! It is magical…

The "chill-out" room... you can feel the vastu vibes already!

Oh, and just a reminder – if you haven’t already – please go to our Facebook page, Sanctuary for the Soul and “Like” us. We are preparing to launch our name once we have¬† 1000 “Likes”… pass it on!!! The sooner we reach that number, the sooner we can share the news!


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