Wednesday, July 21, 2010

13 Songs

Knowing this sounds ridiculous considering we're retired, we decided to take Saturday as a down day. We took Fredi for her mid-day walk and dropped into Jo Mar for some salmon burgers & oysters but other than that pottered around the house, reading, watching TV, talking with the kids et al on Skype and generally being unproductive. It was a lovely day.

Six couples showed up at the park on Sunday and we all had a wonderful gab fest, learning new things and catching up with each other. Later, we of course, dropped in at the public market and bought tomatoes & roast pig. We ended up walking both down town and home again as they were having yet another race on Doce de Abril and our bus wasn't running. This time the race seemed to be a runner combined with another person on a bike?

Fredi & Shelley are lying on the couch watching TV. Well...Shelley is watching TV and Fredi's lying on her back snoozing. They're both covered by a blanket and their heads are sticking out. Shelley goes to give Fredi a kiss on her little furry face and Fredi squirms like a small child to avoid the kiss. Shelley turned to Brian and says: "You know what's funny? Fredi doesn't like to have her face licked."

Brian laughed and replied: "It's ironic that's for sure."

Guess what we did on Monday? We shopped and Shelley made a baguette appetizer and a lemon surprise as we were having company on Tuesday. After shopping and putting together 2 fussy dishes, Shelley blew the wind out of her cheeks while slamming her body onto the couch.

"Tired?" asked Brian in what Shelley figured wasn't a sympathetic enough voice.

She gave him a look and didn't deign to answer.

We ventured to a stationery store on Tuesday and bought some pens. Again, like scotch tape, pens are an item you can buy just about anywhere in North America; at the grocery store, at a corner store, at the 7-11, in a hardware store, in the drug store, etc. etc. Here we make a special point of going to the stationery store and picking up a stock of several. Earlier in the morning Brian had put together his Lowe Family Beef stew in the slow cooker. That evening we had 5 people over for dinner. Four of them were relatively new to Ecuador and we had a wonderful evening talking about our various adventures not to mention some minor individual philosophy.

Out the door at 10 in the morning on Wednesday, we caught the bus down to the CB Carolina bookstore to trade in our 10 books. Carol was there for a change and she and Brian had a good gab fest catching up on all the news while Shelley perused the bookshelves picking out books suitable for the both of us. It was another glorious day and we're wondering if winter is now over?

Last Christmas we missed the traditional Christmas music we grew up with along with snow & sleet & rain & cold weather & tension & hyper salesmanship on the TV etc. etc. Now...some of those things we can live quite nicely without (thank you very much) but the Christmas music thing is becoming a bit of a challenge. We spent time last year, haunting the various CD places that offered plenty of music but not the kind we're familiar with. We went to a Christmas concert put on by Cuenca's symphony and they offered both Spanish/Ecuador Christmas music and North American/English/German songs so we know Silent Night & Jingle Bells et al are not completely unknown in South America, however...we couldn't find any CD's. Just recently, we went on line to look for the Time Life Christmas collection which we had foolishly given to the children before we came to Ecuador. Amazon will only deliver within the United States (we wonder how we managed to get the collection in the first place living in Canada?) and don't offer a download option. We also went on line looking for those elusive songs as a free download. They couldn't be found. Now we understand and agree with the rights of people to make money from their songs. Bing Crosby's Estate should continue to profit their 1 cent from White Christmas however, this doesn't help us in our quest. We did manage to download some familiar songs by unfamiliar artists, some of which are wonderful and some of which Brian vetoed with very little argument from Shelley (bad...bad...bad). This process took Shelley something like 2 1/2 hours and she ended up with 13 songs. How many songs does one play in an evening? In any case, the whole point of this paragraph is to say that some things you'll always miss when you leave your home Country. Others you'll find substitutes for and others will fade away. With diligent searching and more haunting of the CD stores when Christmas comes upon us, we may be able to satisfy our Christmas songs longing. Right now we're 13 songs on our way.


  1. We are coming to Cuenca Aug 4th. I would be happy to bring a few traditional Christmas CD's if you like! Any requests??

  2. We're looking for a compilation CD with a lot of the old traditional Christmas songs on it by various artists. We're still seeking on our own! Thanks for the thought!