Friday, April 23, 2010

Small Things

We're at home. We've been puttering all day. Brian's a bit cranky. The power goes off. It doesn't help. Shelley doesn't care. We try to edit the blog together (the computer's battery is still working) and end up in multiple crabby itty bitty disputes over wording. The power went off at 2:30 pm and didn't resume until 3:42. We survived.

There's some appropriate old saying about tempting the fates which we can't remember right now. In any case, the day after we posted the blog about being healthy since we arrived here, Brian got some sort of gastric thing and for the first time in almost 2 years, we didn't make it down to the park on Sunday. He stuck close to the bathroom for several hours and then he was okay.

Monday we shopped and Shelley made cabbage rolls. On other occasions when her "Nordic" cabbage rolls have been made, they've been compared (and not necessarily favourably) to Ukrainian cabbage rolls. Shelley reminded Brian of this rather pointedly and was pleased to hear only compliments this time.

On the boat, everything seemed to be corners, hard wood, metal & sturdy foam. Shelley often tells the story about how she was covered in bruises the first 2 months living on the boat until she learned to avoid bumps. When we bought our furniture for our apartment in Cuenca, it was decided that Brian deserved a man's recliner. We bought the recliner at great expense and he's really enjoyed it since. Shelley rarely sits in it, having claimed 3 pillows and a length of their couch as her territory. A few weeks ago, however, she sat in it to schedule TV for a night at home and noticed it felt odd. Apparently, Brian has sat to the right hand side of the chair for so long (to accommodate Fredi on the left hand side) that the chair is now squished down in such a way that sitting in the middle feels odd. Someone asked us the other day, while in a restaurant with Fredi on Shelley's lap, if we felt Fredi got enough love. They were being facetious (of course) but can you believe it (?) we actually question this of ourselves from time to time.

As Brian's income tax refund had hit the bank, we celebrated by walking downtown on Tuesday and picking up a new blouse for Shelley. Some may ask why Shelley got a new blouse when it was Brian's refund that came in. Don't. We then stopped by the market to pick up roast pig as we hadn't been able to get some on Sunday. Brian sorely missed it and the lady at the stall gave him extra crackling for Fredi (perhaps because she missed him too). That evening we met some friends at Tiestos for dinner. We were the first to arrive at the restaurant when it opened at 6:30 pm but by 8:30 the place was packed and people were waiting for tables. Tiestos is always a treat and we really enjoyed ourselves.

At the suggestion of a friend, we met for lunch at Maria's Alemania, which is a Germany bakery with a lunch restaurant in the back. You have to order what you want from the hand written menu at the front of the store and then go back to the very plain seating arrangement and they bring you your food. We had a large meat crepe, a large shrimp empanada, a vegetarian empanada, a small lasagna, a slice of Hawaiian pizza, 2 waters & 1 juice for $10. On the way out, we all had a hard time choosing from the wonderful looking cookies, squares & breads but ended up with a chocolate confection, an apple strudel and a small loaf of cinnamon bread. We heard the chocolate confection wasn't that great but Brian ate his strudel all in one sitting and exclaimed it had apples, nuts & raisins. A great place to go for a light lunch!

Six months ago or so, one of our steno chairs broke. The hard plastic holding the back to the chair split. Thus the back fell off. We got some crazy glue and fixed it. That worked for about 3 months and then we got some more crazy glue and fixed it again. That worked for about 3 months again, at which point Shelley began campaigning for a new chair. When we originally bought our steno chairs the modestly priced ones were between $40 & $80. When we started to look for a new chair they were all priced at between $60 & $120. Brian figures this had something to do with the now year old 35% surcharge on imported goods. In any case, we wandered the streets Wednesday and Thursday checking out office supply stores and finally went back to the place where we bought our original chairs. There we found a nice chair for $70 and because we paid cash they gave us a $3 discount. (Whoopee) We caught a cab home, ensconced our new chair in what Shelley calls the computer room (Brian prefers den) and took the old chair down to the trash. We figured someone would grab it before the trash people picked it up & as a matter of fact, when they garbage truck arrived, the chair wasn't there. With a little know-how and a couple of tools it could be fixed. Unfortunately, we had neither.

Thursday evening Brian boiled up some rice & put it in the fridge over night. Friday afternoon he went crazy with the wok and made Chinese fried rice. It's apparently better if you make the rice the day before and refrigerate it because it prevents the rice from clumping up. Friday morning we went for a walk in the neighbourhood and stopped in at SuperMaxi for a couple of things for the fried rice and at Punto for a cake. Many cakes in Ecuador look good but are tasteless. Punto's cakes are good! We're going to have guests over Saturday for lunch so we're almost ready.

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