It's Wednesday evening. Brian is out at his vegetable cooking class. Shelley & Fredi cozy on the couch watching a Keanu Reeves movie Shelley's never seen before. Fredi hasn't seen it either but in this instance she doesn't much count for anything. It's raining outside. For the last 2 days it's rained from about 4:30 to 6:00 pm and then stopped but it's not cold. The cold has virtually gone. Shelley no longer wraps herself in a blanket while watching TV in the evening and Brian no longer wears his sweater. Ecuador winter is ending and the long long summer is about to begin.
Several months before we left Vancouver Canada, they changed the telephone system to include the area code. Thus numbers were 604-555-5555 instead of just 555-5555. Dialing long distance within Canada one would add a 1 before the number and then all was well: 1-604-555-5555. Ecuador doesn't seem to have a grouping system. Numbers are sometimes listed as 075 555 555 and sometimes 085555555 and sometimes 09 5555 555. Land line to land line numbers are 5555555 but if you're calling cell phone to land line it's 07 5555555 and they don't always list the 07. Dialing into Ecuador with the country code adds even more mystery. The first number (zero) is dropped, the country code is added and then numbers become 593 95 555 555 or several other permutations. Dialing to the United States or Canada from Ecuador adds even more mystery where suddenly zeros become important again 001 604 555 5555. Get it?
Spoke too soon: woke up Thursday morning and it was raining and chilly out. We had planned on going downtown and getting Brian all measured up for his new clothes, but just couldn't bring ourselves to splash through the weather. One couldn't live in Vancouver Canada if one didn't go out in the rain. All coats had hoods and most people routinely carried an umbrella with them. Here we have the luxury of deferring an outing for another day if the weather's bad. In any case, we took Fredi for quick walks outside, read & napped and generally had a nice locked-in day. We'd previously been invited out for dinner that evening so had something to look forward to as well. Our evening out was fun. Fredi had a friend to play with and we had interesting folks to discover. Dinner was bean soup, toasted cheese sandwiches & banana pudding for dessert and it was all quite delicious.
Well, once we got down to the nitty gritty on Friday, measuring and picking out material, it turns out Brian's sport coat & dress pants are now going to cost $190. He goes back for a fitting in 5 days and picks up the outfit a week after that. They'd originally told us it took 3 days to have the suit ready. It's not that we're in any kind of a hurry. In fact, we prefer the longer time line, in that things are more likely be ready on time. We'll of course, let you know how it turns out.
Speaking of suits, friends of ours brought a couple of outfits for Fredi and we'd previously bought her jammies & a rain coat. Shelley realized Fredi now had 5 outfits. For a dog that hardly wears clothes this seems like a lot. Brian is mildly appalled at being the owner of a designer lap dog with a closet full of clothes. He drew the line at booties, however. In any case, we're showcasing pictures of Fredi's outfits on this blog. Fredi doesn't mind getting into her sweater or jammies when it's cold in the apartment, but she got kind of cranky when Shelley changed her outfit 5 times in a row. By the way, these same friends brought us a copy of the Time-Life Christmas CDs. Our daughter mailed 2 CD's of various Christmas music and Shelley made up a CD from the web. Thus, we now have plenty of North American style Christmas music and thank everyone who contributed to our Christmas well being!
Saturday we walked around the neighbourhood, dropped into Jo.Mar and picked up some frozen white fish and generally had a quiet day. Sunday we went down to the 10th of August market and picked up roast pig, a rib roast, 6 tomatoes & a bunch of green onions ($8). Later we went to the park, met several people, gabbed for 2 hours and then caught a cab home in time for Brian's nap. Monday we went shopping and Shelley made Peanut butter squares Alternative # 1. Next a team effort was required to try a pesto recipe Brian picked up at one of his cooking classes. (In a food processor crush 3/4 cup walnuts, mix in 1 - 2 cup Basil &/or Parsley, add olive oil until mixture thickens, add & mix 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, add & mix garlic to taste (6 cloves) and pepper.) We'll use the pesto on Tuesday to make appetizers for the people we've invited over for dinner. (Rolled puffed pastry cut into squares with a dab of crab pate, pesto, sun dried tomato, emmental cheese & a fresh shrimp, then wrapped in a bundle and cooked for 20 - 30 minutes.) Brian also made a pot of rice as he was planning on making shrimp fried rice the next day as well.
Although we didn't spend the whole day on Tuesday cooking, great portions of it were taken up making our menu for the evening: appetizers, fried rice, sauteed vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini & asparagus) & fried white fish with Hollandaise sauce on the fish & vegetables. We were also planning on having a bowl of vanilla ice cream & a peanut butter bar for dessert. Our guests arrived at 5:30ish in the evening and we gabbled and ate and drank wine and ate some more and gabbled some more and a good time was had by all.