Sunday, May 5, 2013


We are coming up on 3 years here in Cuenca, and sometimes I just have to smile as I listen to those who are new, all the changes and unexpected oddities they talk about... what? Those are just normal now.

I was talking to my mom the other day telling her about a few modifications we had made to accomodate an ongoing problem.. She said.. well when I was young I could live like that, but no more.. Does that mean I am young? I hope so.

When we first saw our home, I was aghast at their idea of a venting system in the bathroom..
Now when we have guests I point it out proudly, and state it works very well and it does not use electricity..
Yep... its a window kind of thing vented into the attic. The light you see is from the skylights set into the roof itself.

Most all of the lights were just free hanging or just the bare bulb sticking out of the fixture. Randy worked alot of them over in most of the house, but in the bathrooms we chose to just leave them bare.. we don't even notice them now...

Our laundry room has a great glass ceilng over it. We grow nice plants in there because of the warmth.. which comes from the sun, as well as the dryer vent.. yep. It is not vented to the outdoors..
It took me a bit to figure it out, but now we have a nice way to use the heat without lint all over the laundry room.

I knew I would find a use for those old black knee high nylons!
In the states there are a bunch of regulations about placement of outlets and what needs to be in a kitchen.. like a vent hood over the stove..and plug-ins not too close to the water...not so much here.. Now these seem normal and I don't even comment on them to "newbies"


As you can see in the  photo above.. off to the left is that nasty plug in. We use a tub in the sink cause we cant find a plug for the sink.. also that yellow thing is our dish drainer. Oh and the black line along to back of the sink.. yep.. mold. Water from the faucet splashes on the back whenever we use it, so the water is seeping under the clear calking.. I get a nice view of the mold. The mold will be removed soon... by someone else while I am out of the house.
We had an ongoing issue with water coming into the house and POURING down the wall..  and some near our electrical components. That is fixed. But we still have our fix in place... just in case.
Surge protector on a box..
While we had guests the water came pouring into the guest bedroom so hard we thought the ceiling tile would break... so Randy poked a hole so the water could come out..we then added this other great idea so we would not have to worry about it when we are not home.. or home for that matter.
The hole for the water to escape.
A place for the water to go
Being renters we are responsible for small repairs.. like the toilets. This house is about 40 years old. The toilets have never been repaired. Only parts fixed as they broke. Randy had enough and called our handyman to come over and replace all the guts of all 3 toilets. We were so excited. Then the reality set in. These were all low flow flushing components. This is our fix
Remove tank lid, flush while adding one liter of extra water..
 We do love our house.. but I thought it would be fun to point out some of the oddites that we now do not even notice, or just go with. We love our life here and have learned to "adjust as necessary".


  1. Even after one year, we know we have adapted a bit. For us, it has helped that we lived in England in the mid-80s -- a lot of things we experienced then, we are dealing with here in Cuenca. And no big. The only time we notice a lot of these little things is when we have to explain them to a houseguest. So funny.

    1. Yeah. and we still love your story about making cookies in the toaster oven!

  2. Necessity is the mother of invention or something like that. Very creative and practical solutions that make perfect sense to me :)

    1. Thanks! I am hoping that most of the "fixes" are this easy.

  3. My sister husband is from England, and this day a lot of these little things still there.

    1. My Sister in law is from England too!

  4. I loved this post, Karen!
    So true about "oddities ... are just normal now".
    And you are as young as you feel, and you and Randy are definitely young at heart!

  5. I thoroughly appreciated the tour through your house and the running dialogue regarding your "adjustments." My husband and I are making plans to come to Cuenca from the U.S., and the biggest adjustments will be in the unavailability of supplements and herbals. I'm pretty much used to acquiring natural thyroid prescriptions (Nature Throid) and adrenal (Standard Process products) supports, and other supplements that handle short-lived conditions as they come up. I'm not too hopeful either, that these things can be ordered and shipped from the states to Cuenca. What's your take on this? Thanks, Rachel Garner