Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We're Sorry about all the Quotation Marks

Once again Fredi has proven that she is no slouch. She finally figured out that manically running between the two of us without instruction didn't provide a treat. Now she runs exactly to the middle of both of us, lies down and waits for one of us to call her, "Aqui!". Up she gets and runs to get her treat. Now that she seems to have mastered coming on command, we're sort of trying to figure out what other tricks we should teach her. She knows sit (which is a good one) but neither of us are really into the "sit up, lie down, roll over" routine. This is not because we don't think it's wonderful when a dog knows how to do this, it's because we're kind of lazy and now that she comes and sits on command we're more or less satisfied. Fredi's main job is to be cute and she does this well. What more can we ask of her?

We met our Canadian friend and another couple at La Fornace on Remigio Crespo and spent an enjoyable 3 hours getting to know each other and eating spaghetti, pizza & pepper steak. We talked about our various adventures getting to where we were that evening. The couple had brought their cat with them from California and that cat's adventures arriving in Ecuador meet, match & exceed those by many a human. Not for the first time, we talked about the differences between those from the U.S.A. and those from Canada; but in the end reiterated how friendly we felt the U.S. Americans were. We all agreed despite our various adventures and because of them, we were very pleased to be in Ecuador and enjoying this wonderful country.

With the straightest of faces, Shelley turned to Brian and informed him that because the garden was now large enough they "needed" a gnome. It turns out Brian thought gnomes were a decorative item; he didn't realize they kept "bad spirits" from taking up residence in your garden. In any case, off we trekked to a terra cotta "factory" in our neighbourhood and picked up both a gnome & a (you got it!) fish vase for $15. We also stopped at Punto and splurged on a few slices of their cottage roll. Shelley & Fredi sat outside while Brian went to purchase the meat and their wonderful fruit gravy. Fredi was quite worried Brian was never coming back...but he did.

Second Sunday in a row, we trucked downtown to see what was playing in the gazebo in the main square. There was a wonderful salsa band making everyone watching sway and clap their hands. Because it was Mother's Day the flower vendors were packed with customers and everywhere you went, small time vendors were selling red flowers, balloons & stuffed toys. There was quite a crowd in the square, likely because a lot of people were out with Mom but it all seemed quite festive. Shelley invested in a new bra ($2.45) ~ perhaps not quite up to the quality she's used to ($40 - $80 in Canada) but it'll last for awhile and who can beat the price? We bought a pound of corn meal at the public market ($0.25) and a barrette for Shelley's hair ($0.50) so you can see we managed to stay on budget. Mother's Day brought emails & text messages from the kids and apparently there's a card in the mail somewhere, so of course Shelley got a bit weepy for awhile, but all in all our day was pretty good.

Poor Fredi got bit by a bee. We were out for a walk and there were a bunch of bees hovering in the low grass and suddenly Fredi yelped and went running for her Papa. It seems to have bit her on her right hind leg, higher up on the haunch. She walks around 3 legged and is feeling quite sorry for herself. We checked on the web and they told us not to worry unless the swelling was excessive or the bite was near the nose and head. Even when she's lying down she keeps her leg up in the air and is somewhat sulky. Frankly, having been bitten by bees ourselves, we're allowing her vapors for a couple of days. As it turned out however, a couple of hours later the swelling was down and she was using all 4 legs for walking again. Stoic little thing, isn't she! (See pic of wet-Fredi.)

The demented school master across the street had a "guest" singer this morning. Our alarm clock was Ava Maria for a change. Not the best rendition we've ever heard, but not bad. We've got guests coming for dinner this evening and will be spending the day sporadically cooking. Brian's making his curry special. Shelley likes to tell his story about being a child in the logging camps in British Columbia Canada. At that time a lot of the "in-country" loggers were of East Indian descent. Brian's Mom learned to cook curry from those loggers and their wives. Brian tries to keep up the "family" tradition although he uses Patak's Curry Paste. We have to "smuggle" it in with friends from the U.S. and Canada when they come for visits.

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