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Nuts and bolts

Do It Center

Work on the new apartment is back on track (I hope) - our goal is to move before the month ends. Rumor has it that the kitchen cabinets are here (in customs) but we continue with the small stuff while we wait. Jane is doing painting, window treatments and her usual great job as my gofer. I'm back in the swing of things, trying to get the kitchen prep work done for the cabinets and appliances. We're making progress.


Getting all the little "nuts and bolts" you need for this type of project can sometimes be a challenge even when stateside with all the resources available. Here in Panama our choices are a little limited and we often need to visit more than one source to find what we need. Most of the "stuff" we get from either the Do It Center or Novey - think small Lowes or Home Depot, minus the lumber department. For the lumber, we are fortunate to have a Cochez lumber yard about a 10 minute walk from the apartment - pretty amazing when you consider that we live smack in the middle of a very big city.

Cochez Cochez yard

Story: Needed some small wooden shims for my work in the kitchen, so I'm off to Cochez. After wandering around the yard for a few minuets I find what I need, strips of wood twice as thick and half the width of a yardstick. They were just laying around so I gather up half a dozen and go inside to one of the order guys. He can't find the sticks in the computer, so he sends me back to the yard to get an item number and price. First two guys I approach don't have a clue, other than I should talk (remember these "conversations" are in Spanish on one end and English on the other) to a guy in a white shirt. Finally I find the "right guy" in a white shirt - he looks at the sticks, talks to his buddy, and then asks me if $1.50 total would be alright. He writes the "item number" and price on a scrap piece of paper - and TAKES my sticks, I can't have them until I come back with a receipt. Back to the order guy, he was happy, then over to the cashier where I pay, get my receipt and off to retrieve my sticks. After stamping the receipt, I get my sticks and away I go. Just another shopping experience in Panama.

Tomorrow we have some guys coming in to work on a couple of walls (water problem) and to start work on some wooden banisters for the entrance stairway. Maybe some "work in progress" pictures tomorrow. Till then, take care.

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