I’m still here!

Hello everyone!
Yes, it has been a while. Life has been busilly happening while I’ve been away. Work has been crazy with the new ICD-10 billing coming next October, and so many other things going on in my life right now. Many good things! Two of my nieces had sweet little baby girls, hooray! And, our house is on the market. We have had a lot of interest, but no buyers yet. The selling season is starting to slow down with fall approaching, and if it doesn’t sell by the end of October, we will probably take it off the market and relist it in the spring. We still plan on heading to Portugal, and have narrowed it down to start off in Coimbra. We’ve still been selling things here and there and giving things away, and once our house sells it will be a mad dash to sell everything else. We plan on traveling light, and only bringing things of sentimental value. We don’t really have a lot, because we haven’t been living here that long. We both moved in about three years ago, and we didn’t really have much because we were both justs divorced and left most of the household with our previous spouses. That has made it easier for moving, because we don’t have 25 or 35 year’s worth of stuff to get rid of. And, we just aren’t really like that, being attached to things. I do have some things that are sentimental to me, but they will be coming along.

I wish I had more to write about right now, but we are kind of just in a lull, waiting for our house to sell and living life as normally as we can until then. It’s hard not knowing when we will move because I’m just such a planner. I want to book our travel plans now! But, it has given us time to do more research on things like healthcare, working, visa, etc. I’m trying to learn Portuguese, and it’s a little difficult because I don’t have anyone to practice with. I will get there though!

And for now,


Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

This week’s weekly photo challenge is endurance. I snapped this pic of the geese heading south for the winter, and I was thinking of the long journey ahead of them. I don’t really know exactly where they end up, but I do know they travel all the way from Canada to the southern half of the US. It’s also a sign that winter is on it’s way, and reminds me that the snow is not far away. Hmm..maybe the geese are smarter than they appear.


Big Changes Ahead!

Isn’t it funny how life has a way of changing? Sometimes our best laid plans never come to fruition. But, sometimes the changes are for the better. Well, our change of plans is a biggie. As we’ve been waiting for David’s Social Security to be Apostilled, it’s given us time to mull over something that was on both of our minds. How much we will miss fall and the seasons. Now, even though I’m from Wisconsin, I don’t love winter. I don’t mind a little snow at first or even at Christmas, but I tire of it after a few weeks, and I really dislike my long commute when it snows, which can take up to two hours one way. We have nothing negative to say about Panama, and we really enjoyed our two weeks there. I could see myself being happy there. But, I could see myself enjoying Portugal more.


So as we were trying to decide between the two countries, we made a list of negatives and positives. They both had many, but Portugal won, and I must say I’m very content and excited about our decision. One big number on my list was the reliability of the internet and electricity. Internet more than the electricity, because you can always get a generator. Since I will be working from home, even though part time, I need the internet. I could work around a small outage here and there, but that combined with the climate that we both prefer in Portugal, it looks like Portugal is where we will be heading. Also, Portugal is a gateway to explore Europe, someplace I’ve always wanted to go and visit where my grandparents are from. We’re considering the city of Coimbra for any of you out there who are interested, which is a city between Lisbon, the Capital, and Porto, the second largest city. There’s a train that travels between the two cities and it takes about 1-1/2 hours to either city. There are also a few shopping malls in Coimbra, though I’m not really a big shopper, but I like knowing they are there in case I need something. They also have the open-air fruit and vegetable markets, and fish is really big in Portugal, which we love. I’m really thankful that I’ve spend as much time as I have learning Spanish, because Portugal is very close and I’m hoping it will be easier for me to learn. Luckily, I pick up languages fairly quickly.


We still need to sell our house and wrap things up here with work for myself and David, and make arrangements for the actual move. We plan on taking a cruise to Lisbon or Spain, and from there make our way to Coimbra, which is not that far. I hope all of my followers will stay along for the ride, and wish me luck!


Happiness in Life

Today I’m sitting outside eating my apple on break and enjoying the beautiful Wisconsin weather.  Here is a pic of my view.




I have been thinking a lot this week about how different my life will be after I move to Panama.  I’ve been reflecting on what makes me happy after reading a post which my friend Chris Powers wrote, and you can read here:  http://thestayathomegringo.blogspot.com/2014/06/taking-plunge-and-finding-happiness-as.html


I’ve done a lot of work on myself in relation to who I am, how to be a better person, all the usual psychobabble stuff.  I currently go to therapy with my husband.  We have an awesome marriage, and therapy makes it even more awesome.  It helps me  know who I am even more.  Moving to Panama will not change some things for me.  I’m not looking to Panama to find happiness.  I think I will be happy once I move there, but I’m not expecting Shangri La.  But, it will change other things, and I’m hoping for the better.  I’m already a happy person and love my life.  I don’t think I will miss the long commutes to work, or the freezing cold winters.  I might miss the colors and smell and cool breezes of fall, but what I will be gaining in exchange will be far better.  I will be able to spend more time with my wonderful husband who I adore, and we will be able to live a healthier lifestyle.  I’m just not personally motivated to go walking or exercise when it gets dark at 4 in the afternoon on a cold winter day.  I’m looking forward to pursuing more creative outlets that I enjoy.  I do always find it interesting how other people chose Panama and what they like and dislike about it.  One thing I know I don’t want to be is an ugly Gringo or a disembroiled Gringo.  I try to see the good things always in life and look on the brighter side.


What about you, what was your motivation for moving to Panama, and what do you like most and dislike about it?

Giving It 100

In my effort to learn as much as I can about Panama as I can, a friend’s blog I follow was a recent inspiration to me.  In her blog which you can read here http://blog.thepanamaadventure.com, my friend Kris is accomplishing a 100 day challenge.  She was quite inspirational for me to do the same, so I decided to learn a new word in Spanish every day for 100 days.  You can follow me on this website http://www.giveit100.com, and my personal videos here https://giveit100.com/@user31144652485/emy6gx/1.

My word choices will be random, whatever word strikes my fancy for that day, and since I’m just getting over a sinus infection and have a very raspy voice, I decided to have cough syrup as my first word.

This will be a fun challenge and I hope to learn even more Spanish as we continue to prepare for our move to Panama!

Slowing Down

The other day a friend of mine from work and I were talking about how we hadn’t had a cold all winter.  Oops.  I should have knocked on wood!  I’m not really superstitious, but I do have a sinus infection right now.  Not fun.  But, I’ve been going a mile a minute, and our bodies have a way of making us slow down and relax to regroup and recuperate.  So, while I don’t love waking up with a temperature at 2:15 in the morning, it does have me thinking of what is really important in my life.  And the house will get be ready for sale pretty soon, and I really don’t need to stress about it.  Things will work out as they are supposed.  My spanish is really coming along.  I’ve been watching a little spanish t.v.,and I can understand quite a bit!   And so I ramble on….


I don’t have any new pics of the house to post, but I will in a week or so.  Things are moving right along.  The decks are getting stained, lattice, which I don’t really love, but is too much of a pain in the buttusky to remove, is getting painted too.  I love spray paint.  It works wonders!  


So as I’m sitting here updating my blog, waiting for my Tylenol to kick in so I can sleep a little more, I’ve been awake in bed feeling all philosophical.  Not that I actually *am* philosophical, although I did take it in college.  Seriously, like we had to even pay for that course?  LOL.  Okay, good night/morning everyone.   More and better posts coming soon.  

Time Flies When You’re Busy!

Hello to all my ten (I think) followers!  🙂  It’s been a hectic month and I apologize for not posting much.  I’ve been crazy busy with work and trying to get our house ready for sale.  I’ve been busy updating countertops/sinks and faucets, towel bars, painting doors and trim, staining and just general decluttering and cleaning.  I think we will be done in two weeks.  We are just waiting on the arrival of our master bath countertop and sinks.  We had to special order it because it is 7 feet long.  I’m just praying it comes in one piece and isn’t broken which would mean a delay.  I plan on having the old one removed so once the new one comes, bing I can just attach the new faucets and pop it in place.  


That got me to thinking, are home owners allowed to work on their own homes in Panama?  I don’t mean like major renovations, I mean like updating, installing new toilets, changing light fixtures, perhaps a patio, etc.?  Anyone out there know?  I would be curious to know.  I know the plumbing and all that is different, but I’m a very quick learner and have quite the aptitude for that kind of stuff.  Hubby is awesome at yard work and has spread at least 60 bags of mulch so far.  We opted for bags over a big dumpster full because it’s easier and quicker to disperse.  Plus, it doesn’t make a mess in your driveway.  So while I’m busy updating our house, he is busy cooking, which he is so incredibly good at (his parents were both chefs) and doing laundry etc.  What an awesome guy.   


It has also been quite an interesting journey regarding obtaining our residency.  We have all of our documents Apostilled except for HB (hunny bunny) Social Security income document.  We sent it off to the US Dept of State as indicated on the website.  They sent it back stating that it needs to be sent to our state (Wisconsin) Apostille place.  Okay, so off it goes.  Nope, they sent it back too, stating it goes to the US Dept of State in Washington.  So meanwhile, we are starting to feel like we are just getting ready for real life in Panama, at least according to many of you and your dealings with government.  That was meant to be funny.  Insert laugh here.  


Okay, so HB gets all prettified, and wow he looks so handsome when he is dressed up and in a suit, and physically goes down to the Wisconsin Dept of State here in Madison.  The woman there shows him a printout of what the US Dept of State apostilles, and yep, Social Security documents are on there.  Okay, so HB calls the US Dept of State in Washington, talks to someone on the telephone and she says she needs to ask someone, so she will call him back in 24-48 hours, so be sure he has his phone on him.  What?  Okay, so 48 hours later, no phone call.  So he calls again, talks to an awesome lady, I don’t think I should say her name here, and she says send it again, and this time send it directly to ME.  She received it on Monday.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because David’s FBI report expires July 13.  


It’s all so busy, hoping our house sells fast (please no negative comments, I can dream can’t I?), and being able to move before our time runs out.  Or…I need to take a week off of work and go down, but since I haven’t technically “earned” my vacation yet, I will have to pay it back when I leave my job, provided I leave before September.  But, I don’t care, it will be worth it.  So, keeping our fingers crossed and hoping things go well.  Houses are selling pretty well in our area, and we have a nice house in a good neighborhood.  We don’t plan on over pricing.  So….trying not to be anxious.  


So that is what is going on lately.  Here are a few before and after pics to enjoy.  ImageImageImageImageImageImage


Garage Sale

We had a garage sale on Friday and Saturday.  It was more successful than we thought it would be, and it allowed us to declutter and get rid of things we don’t want to take with us when we move.  We also met a lot of our neighbors we hadn’t met before.  We have only lived in our house for three years, and it was kind of funny because they would ask us how we liked it here, and we would tell them we like it a lot, but have plans to move to Panama.  Some had a funny look like, why in the world would you want to move there?  The other half were interested in knowing why and what was there and more details.  A few had even thought about moving there themselves.  It was a fun day and we made enough money selling our unneeded items, that we were able to replace three doors in our garages and I installed a new bathroom countertop, sink and faucet.  Oh, new vanity door handles too.  photo-6

Even the signs that HB had from when he ran for town office were sold.  And someone else bought the saw horses the boards were on. I mean, really, how much better could it have been?!