Sunday, November 28, 2010


Since my return from the States, we have been in a whirlwind of getting ready for Thanksgiving and moving into our new rental home.

When you rent an unfurnished place here in Cuenca it is really unfurnished. No appliances, no shower rods, mirrors, curtains or even light fixtures. The upside of this is that most landlords are very happy to let you do any upgrades to the house, at your cost! We got a great landlord who is going to split the cost of most of the upgrades. So his offer of 60/40 was definitely a bonus.

Here are some pictures of our first tour through the house when the house was still occupied.

Living room

Family Room

Dining Room

We decided that white was not our idea of a paint color so when I was in Oregon and Washington, Randy went paint shopping with our good friends Chela and Alex . Then, Randy and Arturo our new friend and also Facilitator ( had the floors sanded, buffed and sealed with 3 coats of varnish. They were the old parque floors that had to be waxed..and there were parts that were loose so it was like a big jigsaw puzzle! I returned to a fresh new home. I was not allowed to see the house until the last coat of varnish was dry.  Here is the empty house during its big "reveal".
Brenda Eddy Green, in the entry way

All shiny and new looking floors those are individual pieces!

Clarke Green, Living Room

Family Room

Clarke checking out the old Dining Room area

Randy Kimbler, where is the light?

View across the entry into the NEW dining area.

Upstairs landing. Looking into Master and 2nd bath
We had ordered furniture before I left for the States, and we had an agreement that it would be delivered on the 27th.. Thanksgiving day. Well we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Arturo & Beccas late that evening. But no furniture was delivered. The next day the furniture people called to say that as they were loading  they dropped one of the nitestands and it broke so they were not going to deliver any of the furniture... Arturo was not having any of that and after some very rapid Spanish they agreed to bring what was not broken the next day.. in the morning.  Morning came and went. Arturo's mother Chela is a wonderful cook and they called to say she wanted us to come over for Crab! Oh yum! So we walked over at 1:00. At 1:45 Arturo received a call that the furniture was about 5 mins out and was someone home to take delivery? Poor Arturo, he can eat about 10 crabs (hey they are small) so he was really disappointed that he had only devoured one when the call came. Randy I think on the other hand was happy to get the furniture and be done with the time consuming crab.

I stayed behind, working my through the crab Ecuadorian style.. ugh. eating part of the goods in the head and some icky brown stuff near the lungs.. its supposed to be a delicacy but I am happy to say, I did not take any pictures of it or my face while quickly drinking some lemonade! I have to say here, the crab meat was very delicious, and if I was not so lazy I would have eaten more, and the head makes a very handy little bowl to put rice, encebollda, and crab juice.. yummy!

At 3:00 I called Randy to see if there was some issues with the furniture. Yep.. the deliver truck broke down and the delivery folks had just gotten there with part of the furniture.. in the back of a pickup. At this point it was a race in front of the on coming Thunderstorm. They made it; and now we have a bed set up, and the furniture for the living room. We are still waiting on the dining room and coffee table as they are being hand made by the fellow who made the humidor and stereo table.

Old dining room, we like it as the living room

Another view of the living room door into kitchen

Family room, with this and that in here until we get more settled

Other side of Family Room

Entry with the handmade rustic buffet

2nd floor landing, we made it the TV area

Randy unpacking in our bedroom

Our new bed w/o its nitestands. We used boxes..

I think Randy, Chela, Alex, Arturo and Becca deserve a round of applause (insert here). They did a great job, and I am happy to say, I didn't have to lift a finger...well until we moved.. and then somehow I kept staying behind to unload.. hmmm I think I need a round of applause too...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


 It is nice to be back in Cuenca. My trip home was nice, and I really enjoyed visiting with my mom, family and friends, but I was really surprised at how homesick I got! We have only been in Cuenca 5 months and its already My town...

While in Oregon, we went to visit my cousin, and stopped for lunch in McMinnville, Or. They were all ready for Halloween with carved pumpkins.. very large pumpkins!

After talking with Randy and he discussing my Censo issue.. (I left the original in Cuenca) Randy decided to DHL the card to me, to avoid any issues I might have coming home. That was a quick $31.00.

After spending two weeks at my moms, I was graciously driven to Washington by my friend Glenda. As I heard it there was an arm  wrestling match and she won... or was it short straws? I always get those confused..
We had a nice quick(5 hrs) drive back and then hit the town...who says old ladies can't rock the town?

While there, our friend Eddie came by and brought over all of Randy's purchases, as well as the drill that he had picked out for Randy. Here's Eddie.. soon we hope to be hosting him in our home!
Side note: Due to technical brain did not function... I do not have any photos of Glenda! MY HOST... how RUDE! Glenda, sorry... the blog world will not have a face to put to your benevolence!

Here are photos of what I unpacked from all the boxes of stuff that Randy ordered. Yes, it took 4 suitcases, one weighting in just under 70lbs!

Add his stuff to my stuff... well you get the idea.

Here are two little devils that I have personally missed very much, and I am happy to say they both still are as sweet as I remember.
Martha Ruby..
Elijah.. Eli, Big E, or just E..
I tracked my son, Adam, down at Dennys where he works and we had a nice talk. I did not think he would go for the whole "take a picture with mommy" in his work place, so again, no pictures as proof!

My daughter, Kelsey drove down from Ellensburg, WA to visit and drive me back to Oregon.. I think we even did a off key rendition of Over the river and through the woods to Grandmothers we go! I did manage to take a photo of Kelsey.
Oh she is going to get me for this one!
As you can tell she has a great sense of humor, and I like to think she got it from living with her "fun" mom!
She even finds meaningful moments in candy...
Before we took off for Oregon, we stopped at a friends coffee and bakery shop. Its called Sweet Beans. We loaded up on enough sugary delights that I dont think we stopped talking until we got to Salem... hours later!

Here are some pictures I took as we drove through the Columbia Gorge Scenic areas..

Why do they call them tug boats when they PUSH?

Wind Farms on the hills

The mighty Columbia River
Awesome rock bluffs
Mt Hood

John Day Dam, and Mt. Hood

My driver.. Kelsey

Mt Hood.

I think you get the idea I loved the view!
My brother and sister-in-law came by and brought us dinner, so we all enjoyed a nice visit. Its getting cold in Oregon and my family believes in staying warm and keeping a good attitude!
Well here is another that I am going to pay for..
 Kelsey left on Sunday afternoon, and my brother came over at 3:30 in the morning to drive me to Portland to catch my plane. He works midway between Salem and Portland so he offered me a lift. My plane left on time, there are no tragic stories to tell about PDX.. it ran like a well oiled machine and I was off to Atlanta... oh wait, this plane stops in Minneapolis.. Minnesotta? I checked and rechecked my ticket.. there must have been some small print, but yes we did make a stop. I had to reboard in an hour to continue to Atlanta. In Atlanta I only had a 40 min space between the flights... I was in row 38.. this plane has 3 seat on each side.. that is six people per row.. the plane was FULL..228.. people had to get off before was a long time getting off.

I HUSTLED, got to the gate... they were all boarded.. uh.. waiting for me?? Yep thats what the flight attendant said.. I sat down, all in a dither, and a flight attendant comes up to me and says that it was noticed that I did not have a return ticket from Ecuador. And that my visa is a tourist visa. I said, no I am a resident, I showed her my censo... oh bless you Randy and DHL.. she seemed very embarrassed to even be asking me but was happy I had documents to make the powers that be happy...

I was so very happy to see Randy in the airport in Quito. I had quite a time finding my bags.. there are so many planes coming in that they take the bags off the track and pile them on the floor... a system I am sure will be remedied when they get their new airport done.

The Eugenia Hotel was full so Randy got reservations at the Chalet Suisse Hotel. It was ok, for the money.. $40 it should have been nicer. I joked to Randy when I got into bed... ooh good, I can scratch my back on the sheets! The room was big, view was good until daylight.. then you saw all the icky buildings right next to you. There is a new Casino added on so we were thankful we were not in that wing. I guess the rooms are nicer over there, but very noisy. We wont return to that hotel. They were very helpful and friendly, but I liked the Eugenia much more.
Nite view from Chalet Suisse room
 We rolled out of bed bright and early this morning and purchased tickets on Air Cuenca for a quick 45 min. flight home. I love this airline.. you barely get airborne and they are feeding you. I am hoping the airline can manage to stay in business.. there were only about 18 people on a huge plane..

Tomorrow we may go over and check on the progress in our new rental.. we are assuming quite a few improvements on it and I can't wait to see how they look. Randy has been busy trying to get it all done before the end of the month so we can move in... did I say I am very happy to be home... yep, I am..