Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No More Back Pain, Thanks to a Tiny Sink?

This blog is on a different note, having not much to do with the wonderful life we have here in Costa Rica, but more to do with living a simpler life and making the best of it. If anyone has followed our first year abroad, we began our life in Atenas, Costa Rica living in a beautiful, modern home in Roca Verde, an exclusive, residential gated community on a mountaintop. We knew we would spend more money in the beginning because we did not know the lay of the land and used a realtor. We could have found a better deal, but with a 40' shipping container on the way from the states, we simply wanted to find a safe home fast, plus with 2 small kids, sometimes we chose the easy route:) I am definitely not knocking our first home because it was still inexpensive for what it offered. We had 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and high ceilings with ultra modern finishes and most of the home was made of glass with some awesome jungle type views and a small green space. It was quite impressive for the measly $900 per month we paid. The kitchen had an amazing 6 burner stove/oven with a middle griddle plus bread warmer and plenty of cabinets with granite countertops and a huge center island on which we often made cookies, cakes, breads and pizzas
The kitchen did not have a dishwasher, but it did offer 2 deep sinks that were always filled with dishes. We were always washing dishes since it was easy to just load the sink up and for some reason, the faucet was deep in the back of the sink, making the chore of washing dishes a pain in the back, literally. We had to almost lean on the lip while washing and still had back pain. I constantly complained about my back hurting and how we needed a dishwasher in our next house; which of course, only made my husband sigh and say, "We came to Costa Rica for a simple life". By the time I was full-bellied with the baby, around 6 months into the pregnancy, Matt started taking over the dishwashing duties because I had a hard time reaching the faucet. Then he started complaining all the time, and I was in no rush to give him a back massage, being so pregnant. So we examined the design of the sink and assumed the lip was left large to keep the water from splashing on the floor. 
The very nice kitchen looked beautiful, but killed our backs. When we moved here, we decided to forgo paper plates and paper towels because they are very expensive here and we were wasting them. Anyone who has small kids knows, they eat like 8 meals a day and make many messes. We calculated spending over $40 per month on paper products in the kitchen which ends up being $500 annually which is inconceivable. So we use towels for messes, real plates for food and linens for wiping our mouths. No more wasting money on convenience which results in lots of dirty dishes. SO, wrapping this story up, we decided to find some more affordable diggs when our lease was up about 2 months ago, leading us to our new home in San Isidro de Grecia. It is an older home with larger rooms, lower ceilings, less glass, fewer cabinets and a tiny single sink with a huge yard and real grass. When I first looked at the sink, I told Matt it might not work and I did not even think we could fill our water bottles under the tiny faucet. But since the yard was so awesome and it offered an outbuilding for Matt to continue his Beef Jerky business and the price is so great, we signed the lease at a whopping $450 per month. Upon moving in, I asked Matt to build me a hanging pot rack to alleviate some extra cabinet space for our dishes and hang a small spice rack above the sink, he did and they work great. 
With such a small, low sink, we do not let dishes pile up, we actually wash them as we go, and have even taught Max how to wash his own dishes, now that he is almost 5 years old. The greatest part, no more back pain.  Yes, water bottles do fit under the faucet and I have no problems washing anything. I use a short pitcher to fill up pots and dog bowls that don't fit, being more resourceful. So, I have come to love my new, old sink, especially since our backs do not suffer. This house might not be as fancy as the last house, but our kids are happy now that they have a large yard to play in with their neighborhood friends. We are embracing our simple life and we love our new, old house. Pura Vida!

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