26 November 2011

137: Rancho Party, Casa Construction & Pizza!

Last weekend we threw a fiesta to inaugurate the Rancho. We had about 50 people, mostly Ticos (Costa Ricans) and a few Gringos thrown in for good measure. Nephew Scott is here visiting with his fianceé Stacy. John smoked some Texas barbeque and grilled some Tico style chorizo. I had meant to take lots of photos, but once the party started I totally forgot. We had a great time and I think everyone had fun. With so many people, we just didn't get enough time to sit and visit with everyone.

Scott and Stacy left Sunday for the beach at Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park. We haven't heard a word since. If they still plan to fly back home on Monday, I suspect they may find their way back to our place sometime today.

The construction started on the casa this week, so we've been busy getting bids on materials, looking at tile and flooring options, etc. Our work crew started early Monday and they've spent lots of time bending steel re-bar for the the re-enforced concrete columns. We've decided we are going to go with a colonial style roof, made out of clay tile. This will give us great insulation and with a radiant barrier beneath it, the house will always be cool and comfortable.

While we where shopping for construction material, John found the outdoor Pizza/Bread Oven he'd been wanting to get to put next to the rancho. It was delivered it on Tuesday and by Wednesday we had to halt some of the progress on the house so a couple of guys from the construction crew could build a concrete base to set the oven on. Do we have our priorities in order, or what?

Thursday, John scoured the neighborhood for the kindling and logs the power company left behind when they cut trees down last month to put in new concrete power poles. He chopped some of the wood and we now have a nice stack of firewood for the oven. He didn't really have the right tools for chopping wood, so we picked up a big axe at the local hardware store. The hardware store didn't have the maul and wedge he really needs to do the job right. So, we'll keep looking until we find one.

Once the oven construction is done, we'll plan a Christmas luncheon for the crew and they can make their own individual pizzas.

I roasted a couple of Thanksgivings Day Chickens this year, instead of spending $40-$60 USD for a 15-18 lb. turkey. It was great with just garlic mashed potatoes and a salad.

Yesterday, we finished the paperwork and the final step required to apply for our building permit from the city. I turned in all the papers, insurance and plans to the city clerk and she said to allow 30 days processing time before they issue the permit. I won't repeat what John said when I told him 30 days, let's just say it was colorful! Our contractor called his buddy that just so happens to work for the city, in the building permits department. How handy is that?? The buddy said, "No way will it take 30 days, it's more like a week to 10 days." Whew, this means the workers can continue prepping the lot and assembling material. They just can't start to erect the house's structure until the permit is in hand.

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.

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