Wednesday, March 30, 2011


As I posted in the last blog we had visitors of the 4 legged kind for two weeks.. where did the time go? We had so much fun with them! Even Randy had to admit he was quite taken with the little "beasties", but figured that was only because he knew they were going to be leaving soon. Here is my favorite photo that I snapped while they were here.
We also now have a visitor of the two legged kind as well. Manon Stephenson came to visit Cuenca last year, and we met during our cooking class. She has returned to set up a house for her family of 4 dogs and her husband, Steve. We are enjoying her company until she finds a house for rent that suits their needs.
Here are the dogs awaiting their owners return today. We kept telling them about it... I think they knew..
Here is the reunion.. I am not sure but I think hugged Randy first... but I could be mistaken..
Fluffy and Corky never looked back when they left...
While out and about we got some interesting pictures of this and that. So here they are.

Well, not very good, but the little sign was for Junior Achievement!

I liked the name of this internet cafe!

We have missed sweet corn on the cob.. we found it at Supermaxi, 3 ears for almost $4. It was VERY yummy!
Yep, bugs in Cuenca, this "little" guy was sucking the life out of our Tomate de Arbol!
Tonite we are having a Welcome Home BBQ for Clarke & Brenda. We twisted and whined until they agreed. I think they are really would rather stay home, but Randy pulled out the big guns and is BBQing Chicken legs and warming up left overs! Who could resist? I know I can't.. I can smell it all over in the house and my mouth is watering!

Now all we need is that corn on the cob... wonder if I have time to go in search of more?

Sunday, March 20, 2011


We have two very special guests staying with us for two weeks. They are tiny well behaved Pekingese. Fluffy is 8 yrs old, and she is the Aunt to Corky, who is 5 yrs old.

Fluffy and Corky know us from our frequent visits to their home, but this is the first time they have been to ours, and to their dismay we cannot have dogs inside our home. Randy has allergies to dogs, so they are boarding in the office which is adjacent to our house, but does not open up into the house..and playing in the yard. This is a new thing for them as they usually have to be on a lease. So the upside for them is no leash.. I ma not so sure they wouldn't rather be in a house...
They were not too pleased with the situation, but after some hugs and play they decided it probably was ok, for now... but we have noticed that Fluffy has a bit of passive agressive tendencies.. she lets us see her irritation by her choice of resting spots.
We were sure that their humans, Clarke and Brenda would be worried so we made sure to send them Proof of Life photos the very next day so they would not worry during their flight back to the US.



Corky and Fluffy have decided that one of their best places to hang out is on top of the picnic table.. preferably with the umbrella up. They keep Randy company when he is out there smoking.

We are looking forward to our next week with them. I am hoping the weather will clear up and we have some sunny days so we can spend more time outdoors with them. I think they are hoping for that as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


We have had several events lately that have thrown us off our schedule... yes, we have a schedule. It is a very simple one,  Randy gets up early, showers, makes his coffee, goes outside to smoke his cigar and then if I am not up by, oh say 10:00; he comes up and asks me if I am ever going to get up. Then after I get around we walk to town and do whatever it was we went to town for. Hopefully we manage this before 1:00. If not we are out of luck until 3:00 when the stores open back up from the lunch siesta. I know in the states we joked about it, but here it is a very living thing that affects anyone who hasn't caught on to the schedule.

So, the first thing that has thrown us off is that Randy was taking his driving lessons. I may have mentioned that looking at the way the folks drive around here, he probably would have to Unlearn a few rules.. such as staying in your own lane and not passing on solid yellow lines or blind curves. His lessons were to be 8 times, but after the second time out they told him he did not have to return for the driving part but to continue with the nite time classes (8-11 pm).

Randy says they must have asked if anyone wanted to take a break during the class, and they all said no... cause there was never a break..3 hrs of very rapid Spanish instruction.. everyone rigidly paying attention, no movement or questions. Randy said he threw them for a loop when he stood and moved to the back of the room to stretch his back. Everyone stared at him and then the teacher resumed the lesson.  So, because his driving class was from 2-4 and lecture from 8-11, we pretty much stayed home.

The second schedule disruptor was Carnival. We did not want to play. We had heard that the stores and restaurants closed down for 2 days during the height of the 4 day madness. We stocked up like it was the end of days, and hunkered down to wait out the festivities... oh how boring. We had been told that it was party central here in Cuenca. Well it must have been in another part of town, because our part of town was dead quiet. There were no parties, we did not see roving bands of people trying to spray anyone. Well our neighbor kids were in the balcony trying to splash folks walking down the sidewalk but on glare from Randy and they backed off.

Oh, Randy passed his driving class and will go pick up his certification from the training company, then, take it to the local police station, and they will give him the official test. Then he will get his drivers license. What was the hurry? No, we do not have a car. I think he just wanted to take it with Chuck and Tom so he was not doing it alone. They all are now very happy to have done it and have it over with.

Randy and Chuck waiting to take their driving test
I have daily proof that signs and arrows are just a suggestion in this country. We live on a street that has three lanes converging into two.. all one way.  There are signs way up the road telling folks that they are not to continue, and signs farther on again telling them they are going the wrong way. It does not deter them. One friend of ours said, its not a problem unless you get into an accident... then its a problem. Well I think these folks thought it was a problem when this Taxi Cab guy tried to go the wrong way. Then when he tried to reverse, his gear would not hold.. they eventually had to push the car back up the road until it was wide enough for him to get out of the way of oncoming cars.

As this last Tuesday was the last day of Carnival, our cooking class was moved to Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) so we could do a cultural tour of Churches. We saw about 3 really beautiful Churches that were open and about 4 others that were closed. I didn't like taking pictures inside but did manage one nice one of the outside.
Towards the end of our walking tour we were laughing about how chilly it was getting, and then we saw this young lady who was taking the layering idea to a whole new level.
Well at least her head it warm.
We are in the rainy season but we have been having some incredibly wonderful sunny days in the 70's. Evenings sometimes have rain and the rivers flow very noisily with all the water coming down the mountains. But lately the rivers are a bit low, but still very beautiful.
We are going to have the pleasure of babysitting our friends "beasties".. Fluffy and Corky. They are very cute, well mannered Pekingese. Their humans are going back to the U.S. for a few weeks so we are going to hold their paws while Clarke and Brennie are gone. Today they came over for a "get to know the yard" visit, so we turned it into a big lunch for 8. It was fun! Lots of laughter and I think the dogs will be ok with us.
Ms. Fluffy, giving us her best profile
 After the lunch and all the guests had left, I went into the kitchen to get to the dishes. Well Karen W. had brought this amazing cornbread, and there was one piece left on a plate with thinly sliced tomatoes.. I didn't even pause... I scooped up that cornbread, shoved the whole thing into my mouth and started to munch... when I looked down and realized that the "spices" on the plate were moving... OH YUCK!  BLEAH! I spit out the bread and rinsed out my mouth so quick.. ants.. yes I had a mouth full of sugar ants.. I coughed, spit and leaped around waving my arms going ooooohhh yuck gargled and then drank a huge mug of hot tea, but I still feel like there are ants crawling up my throat... gross...I think I will go make another big mug of tea...