Saturday, November 9, 2013

A completed pool (almost!)

As of Monday, our  pool will be finished - except for the painting! We likely have to wait until mid-December for the last part. November is often the wettest month and anything can happen. The crew will be cleaning up the lot early in the coming week, and we hope to start on that 'outhouse' as soon as possible in the New Year. Steve will be constructing this after all. We like his work, and will recommend him to anyone needing pools, outbuildings, even houses. His crew is totally reliable and they work hard - no slacking!

Our Spanish classes progress. I signed up for another month; at $5 per hour it seems worthwhile and I am learning to speak in sentences. I actually composed a whole paragraph describing our house! I'm impressed with myself. Chris is less sure, and as he is much less of an audio-visual learner than I am, I have downloaded some lessons from 'Synergy Spanish' for him to try. I did well initially with Rosetta Stone, but he found it difficult. It is definitely a very good idea to learn some Spanish before coming to Panama. You can join a local class once settled, learn vocabulary and verbs, and be well on your way to constructing intelligible sentences. Most of our class is well over 60 years, so not so hard as it may seem. Whatever method you opt for, be sure to pay attention to your preferred method of learning. Rosetta Stone is very good, but you are isolated and may have few opportunities to practice. There are a host of online sources, many costing some money. One friend here who has difficulty learning in the group setting, has found several childrens sites and is starting with those! Best of all, is to get out and use the language; don't hesitate, the locals are helpful and although you may cause a few laughs, they will encourage you.

Last Wednesday, I spent several hours seeking a SKY network link to order satellite TV. We have Direct TV, but find it annoying; the picture is poor, there are too few channels, and there are no HD channels. I found a way to sign up online, and within 5 minutes was phoned, completed the necessary instructions and the men were here on Friday morning to install. The picture is perfect, especially in HD, and by paying a bit more per month, we have access to hundreds more channels. Finding our favourite programs is challenging, but give us time! Chris can once again watch his English Premier League soccer, so he is delighted. Now to start using Netflix...

Cagney has been chasing Mitzi - finally getting more exercise, and they 'wrassle' a lot, so all is well there. Mitzi has taken to stealing the wrapped candies from the candy jar, and I even found two under Chris' pillow this morning. When we were moving the dining table for some reason a few months ago, we found 20 wrapped candies under the centre pedestal! Chris had accused me of eating them all. The little minx loves to explore anything new, 'helping' me to cook, or to clean, and generally causing the occasional shriek when she startles me. We have become very attached to her; the two cats are so different and both a delight in our lives.I think we both still miss Bogart because he was a special boy, but adjustment always occurs over time. Sigh! There have been many wonderful pets and the eventual losses...Add to this the four homeless cats we feed, and we need a lot of kibble!

A new toy - aah, catnip?

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