Our friend Holly semi-specializes in taking pictures of insects. When we asked her if we could share some of these pictures on our blog, she graciously consented. Unable to pick out just 5, we will showcase Holly's pictures on a couple of other blogs in the future as well.
There seems to be some difficulty for us getting a hang of this year's "winter". It's been raining a lot more and cooler from time to time and then a day or a couple of hours of heat will bombard us and we get all confused. We seem to feel last winter was warmer, but memory is a faulty thing and it's easy to forget the rainy days when you have, to all intent and purpose, endless days of sunshine coming at you. Don't get us wrong, we don't mind the change in weather. It was one of our concerns when we first came here, that being so used to "seasons", we'd miss them. Here we get seasons but not so severe. It makes a nice change for awhile and you always know the sunshine is just around the corner.
The morning routine out of the way, we walked around paying our bills and eventually ended up downtown where we had arranged to meet a "blog couple" for lunch. They were in town for 8 days scoping things out and arranging an apartment for their return later on this year. We met and ate at the Raymipampa Restaurant then took a "2 cent tour" around town: to the coffee place, to the 10th of August market, down the stairs and across the river and then caught a bus for that Cuenca bus experience. They're lovely people and only had good things to say about Ecuador and Cuenca in particular. They'll be coming back with their own little dog Nick and we all hope Fredi & Nick will become the best of pals.
In something less than 8 months, Brian is going to turn 70. OMG! (As our children would say!) We're prepping for that. We're discussing the event and setting up the situation in our own minds to better cope with it when it happens. Someone famous said, "If I'd known I'd live this long I would have taken better care of myself." We quit smoking over 2 years ago now and apparently have been lucky; Brian has minor chronic bronchitis; Shelley seems OK. We walk every day (Fredi helps) and other than roast pig, eat relatively healthy. One never thinks when they're 13, or 33 or even 42 of eventually reaching 70. There are milestones: 13, 20, 30, 40, 50... and then who cares? The government in most countries gives you money somewhere in your 60's (thank you very much). We're counting on our sense of adventure to continue. Keep on learning; keep on keeping on. (This moment has been brought to you by the Baby Boomer Generation.)
Needing a day off, Brian took Fredi for her mid-morning walk while Shelley stayed home. Brian was attending yet another cooking class in the afternoon (this time Mediterranean) and Shelley's plan was to hide most of the day except for Fredi's early evening walk. Shelley nurtured the plants out on the balcony (watered them, picked out weeds & cut a few back), spent a couple of hours on the computer, read her book and watched a movie. It was a lovely day for her. As usual Brian bounced through the door after his cooking class enthusiastically greeted by Fredi and reported that once again class was a big success. This time the cuisine was generally Mediterranean, featuring dishes from Turkey, France and Morocco. Brian said the big hit was a ravioli with home made pasta filled with lamb and a wonderful sauce, a traditional Turkish dish.
Canada Day (July 1st) dawned bright and sunny and we started the day with a minor disagreement. Some friends had given us maple leaf decorations and Brian wanted to hang them all day and take multiple pictures. Shelley felt that would be unpolitical and thought we should hang them briefly for the picture session and then take them down.
Brian stamped his rather large definitely undelicate foot and exclaimed, "How come we always do what you want!"
Because we were out of hummingbird food, we hopped on a bus to the Mega Hierro True Value Hardware store near the airport to pick up some. We know...we know...you can make hummingbird food from water & sugar & red food dye for an eighth of the price. Nevertheless, we buy the packages because we have this niggling feeling the hummingbirds like it better. Coming back, our bus was diverted and we ended up in a traffic jam and instead of a 25 minute bus ride, it turned into an hour and a half. That evening Shelley suffered, having contracted a cold that decided to come on full force. Several Tylenol, Vitamin C & a decongestant later, she began to feel somewhat better. [Interesting Fredi Fact: Fredi, for the very first time since we've had her, stayed with Shelley the entire evening. We're not sure if she was comforting Shelley because of her cold or mad at Brian because he'd gone out the day before.]
Shelley continued to be quite snuffly on Friday & Saturday, so Brian went out and did the chores and took Fredi on her walk and Shelley stayed home and blew her nose. It's such a luxury to be able to take care of a cold, rather than marching forward like a good soldier going to work, plodding through the chores & generally fighting the whole sick thing. We'd previously arranged to have dinner with a couple Saturday evening at the Terrace, so a Tylenol & a decongestant later, we set out enthusiastically for yet another wonderful meal at this restaurant. As usual the food was great. Everyone except Shelley had filet mignon. Shelley had one of their cheese burger which she simply can't resist. As our friends had just spent 6 weeks in the States, we had a lot of catching up to do. The company was great and we had a lovely evening.