Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seeking Good Home

Way back, when we first set up housekeeping here in Cuenca, we bought an indigenous wall hanging; all miniature figures of people & animals & birds & trees & plants & the sun & the sky & a house or two, all tiny stitched onto a background, very reminiscent of "Grandma's quilt". The hours of work it would have taken to make this project is staggering. We'd used two-sided sticky tape and affixed it to our bedroom wall and thereafter commented to each other that we should get it framed. You know how it is: we never got around to it. A couple of weeks ago, Shelley was vacuuming in our spare bedroom and elbowed one of the pictures hanging on the wall. It fell. The frame broke as well as the glass. Since we were going to the framers anyways, we decided to finally get our wall hanging properly fixed up. They're going to stretch it on a frame & then put a wood border around it. As always, the cost was extremely reasonable and we'll pick it up in a week. Right now our wall looks very bare without that whimsical scene covering it.

It's been raining the last couple of days and we've actually slept with all the blankets on (no foot poking out at the bottom). When we've taken Fredi for her walk her underside gets wet and her feet up to her knees get quite dirty. Brian plops her into the kitchen sink and gives her a foot bath when we get home. In any case, we had planned on taking Fredi to the Paque Paraiso on Thursday but felt we'd return home with a bedraggled, dirty, damp dog, so instead went for a walk in the neighbourhood on nice, clean, relatively dry pavement. The down side was, Shelley discouvered a fern plant she wanted and a pot to go with it, so we had to take turns carrying it home.

"I'm worried we'll run out of room on the patio!" Brian told Shelley.
She merely shrugged, admiring her fluffy green wonderful new plant.

We're scheduled to go out Thursday evening to a place called the Terrace that is supposed to cook wonderful beef. Anyone who's done any sort of research on Ecuador knows that "wonderful" beef is not that easy to obtain here. Thus, a small walk in the neighbourhood was enough to satisfy during the day. Brian talked to his friend Jan for 2 hours on Skype. Jan's been work-related galavanting around the United States (Washington, D.C., Orlando, Florida & New York City) and had popped back home to Holland for 2 days before he's off to China. We get tired just thinking about his schedule. Shelley read her book, played Scrabble on the net & generally lazed around until our evening out.

Have we mentioned retirement is W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L!?

Brian had steak & Shelley had a burger at the Terrace and both were great! The place was packed with people waiting to be seated and there were people out on the terrace even though the night was a bit cool. The decor is very North American but with several TV's blaring (as is the Ecuadorian way) and a full house thus, the ambiance was noisy! We had a bottle of wine ($22) so the bill for the both of us was $45. A bit pricy from our normal evening out but still quite reasonable. It appeared a good time was had by all.

The weather was a lot better by Friday morning. We had several chores to run downtown and were delighted that the sun was shining. Brian and Shelley, yet once again, discussed the possibility of purchasing a bigger TV (the word "helicopter" went unspoken). We went down the appliance street and Brian popped into several stores doing due diligence regarding pricing. (Note: There seems to be a penchant for alike stores to sit side by side on the same street. Thus, there's a cloth street, a small appliance street, an electrical (e.g. light bulbs, etc) street, a camera street, and so on...)

"Go ahead and get one" Shelley told him. "I won't make you feel guilty even though we have perfectly good little television that our daughter wanted before we left Canada and that you wouldn't give to her."

Brian professed that he couldn't just go out and buy the TV without total capitulation from Shelley. "Apparently I require total capitulation" Brian told her.

Shelley smiled (you know that small small smile) and shrugged. Brian then discouvered that in fact, he didn't require total capitulation. After many false starts: going to the store during siesta, not being able to get it to work, having the man from the store come by the apartment, juggling the things on our shelving unit, cursing the ancient gods of power cords & remote controls, guess what? We now have a brand new 32" flat screen HD colour television in our front room and a perfectly good little TV in our storage locker. (We'll eventually give the little TV away to someone who can appreciate it & give it a good home.)

Brian had stopped into the Comisariato store in Quito when he was there with Sammy & picked up some sausages & curry powder & a jar of crushed chili peppers that we couldn't find in Cuenca. We decided on Saturday to take a walk to the Comisariato Popular on Av. Remigio Crespo Toral 236 y Juan Iniguez to see what they had. No great sausages, no curry or chili powder but Shelley did pick up a bulk size liquid hand soap and a couple of other items that SuperMaxi doesn't carry, so the trip wasn't a waste. Brian had arranged to meet someone at the La Europa on Remigio Crespo for one of their surprisingly good Nescafe cappuccinos, so Shelley & Fredi caught a cab home with her items and had themselves a rather luxurious bath (not together!) while they had the apartment to themselves.

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