Because we have been extraordinarily lucky, we have a spare room in our apartment. In this spare room is our computer and a rescued Norfolk Pine tree and books we haven't yet read and pictures of our children & grandchildren, a couch that magically turns into a bed if we need it as well as our collection of Dowager memorabilia. From time to time, when Brian's on the computer and Shelley's finished a chapter, she comes in and sits on the couch, feet up, with Fredi in her lap, and looks out the window. Just outside the widow is a hummingbird feeder and often there'll be one of 3 kinds of hummingbirds flitting around, making decisions about feeding and then flying away. Beyond the hummingbirds are buildings on a hill and a huge skyline, stretching past the window and up into beyond. There is always quiet for a while, sometimes a long while, with Brian computering and Shelley watching the sky, Fredi content between knees and warmth. After a time though and always, Brian will talk to Shelley, telling her of his adventures on the web, mostly seeking boats but sometimes looking beyond into other worlds. And then it's over. It's time for Fredi's walk, or time to make dinner, or time just to move on.
Ok, for the third time, we awoke in the morning, did our morning ablutions, all the while steeling ourselves, and then walked up the street to the dentist's office. Remember that Brian has a pathological fear of dentists. He's sure that he's a reincarnation of Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man. ("Is it safe?"). Everything was good in the office and the dentist took Brian in first. It's a shallow cavity, the reason for Brian's return, but it needs to be taken care of. Brian was as brave as he's capable of being and the dentist was very proud of him. Next Shelley's turn. With some poking and prodding and looking around, the dentist proclaimed Shelley's teeth were much better. They didn't even need to be cleaned. Shelley was overjoyed! She would have turned cartwheels if she was physically capable of it and had room. Brian has to return in a couple of days just to make sure the filling is OK and then we're scheduled once again in 3 months. (Old teeth take lots of care.) That afternoon Brian put together his Chinese fried rice (with shrimp) and chopped vegetables for stir frying and boiled chicken wings to later mix with oyster sauce because we were having company that evening. Shelley had made a pineapple upside down cake the day before as well as putting together some appetizers on Tuesday, so we were well prepared when our company arrived. The food was good, the company was great and we had a very nice evening.
"Let's have an 'in' day" Brian told Shelley on Wednesday morning while having a quick lie down on the bed after chores. We compromised and just went for a walk around the neighbourhood; Fredi needs it, you know? The rest of the day was spent reading & napping, computering & watching TV. Shelley put together her out-of-country Christmas cards as they'll have to be mailed soon and we ate left over fried rice and pineapple upside down cake. All things considered, we pretty much throughly enjoyed our day. More of the same was had on Thursday, except we met some friends at Tiesto's for dinner.
Once again it was time for a run to the CB Carolina Bookstore, so on Friday we packed up our read books and headed for the #14 bus. When we arrived, we could hear Lee upstairs conducting a Spanish class but Carol was nowhere to be found. We wandered around the store, picking out our supply for the next while and waiting for the counter girl to tote everything up. We then stopped in to Bananas next door and Brian picked up a turkey sandwich with all the trimmings. The mornings see to be pretty clear and warm these days but by late afternoon it usually starts to rain. This is good. The river looks the way it should, but it sure makes you want to be tucked into your home by then.
Several people have tried to get us interested in various volunteer projects. While we're quite willing to shoot the endless projects a bit of cash, we gently explain to them that we're pretty content with our cozy little routine (Shelley's ennui notwithstanding). We genuinely admire those who do give their time and understand how important it is (both of us have done a fair bit of volunteer work in our pasts). It's just the thought of meetings & schedules makes us both instantly and very tired.
A Canadian friend of ours, currently living in Manta, was in Cuenca for a couple of days, so we invited him over for breakfast. Shelley made french toast casserole and Brian fried up some hash browns with bacon & tiny green onions. Peach slices & yogurt filled out the menu. We had a marvelous time, catching up on about 2 years worth of news and learning about our friend's plans to build a business in Ecuador.
Please note, all the pictures on this blog were taken by our friend Holly. They are the last in a series of 15 fabulous pictures of insects she graciously let us post on the blog. Thanks Holly!