Friday, January 19, 2018

Three Kings Holiday

I had honostly forgotten about Three Kings, maybe San Jacinto doesnt do as much as San Clemente and it wasnt a big deal. It started with a band and dancing being advertised, and then as it got closer, Jan 13, people were getting ready. Three of our expats (maybe who looked like kings?) were invited to join, the procession started with a candle light vigil on the top of the “mountain” and they walked into town to the Nativity scene, where they met the newborn Jesus and his parents.

They had paper mache camels, and such cute costumes. The expats bought and threw candy and after the procession, the band started. I remember now wondering why the Nativity scenes were still up, long after Christmas, but it is because the Kings have not arrived to visit Jesus yet, afterall they were coming from very far away to meet this new baby.

It looked like everyone had a great time, here in Ecuador, any excuse for a party! Lots going on in this warm part of the world, so stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Beautiful Gifts

I am not getting rich with my painting, not by a long shot...but I am enjoying the praise I am getting, and the smiles from the locals. A restaurant in San Jacinto recently asked me to paint some murals; at one time my friend Leo was managing this restaurant and I painted for him, so I guess they knew I was cheap. We had agreed upon $20 for two half walls. Again, I came up with the design, knowing what I could accomplish in the time frame.

We actually had to reschedule a couple times, because business was slow, and they did not have the money. Even on the day agreed, upon arrival with my paints, they said they did not have the money, but I was there, so I was going to paint. ( had even taken a $2 taxi, my paintbox isnt light) We decided I would paint for breakfast lunch and then some...

The space was small, but way awkward, and I dealt with rain in the morning, and full sun in the afternoon. I had not planned on words, but they wanted ‘em, so I actually had to go back the next day...I love my (nonpaying) job! But, that is true ecuadorean fashion, give a finger, and they want your shoulder!

I had to go back and get my paints the next week, and he did say he knew he owed me more there is that, and boy did I not see everyone and their brother while painting on the malecon! (Smile)

Tomorrow I go to paint another restaurant, family of this one, but he assures me I am getting paid, AND fed. Bonus, today as I was carrying by paintbox from the taxi to the restaurant, a couple ladies recognized me from the newspaper...hahaa, so famous!!

Here are some more beautiful gifts I painted for my friend Leo. He is starting a memorial garden, and these are to remember important loved ones. We hung them amongst special trees and plants at his mothers house.

These are some Christmas presents I made for friends. Petals of plastic soda bottles, and beer bottle tops. The latter, a little plainer. They both were loved. Mural tomorrow, and so much more...the creativity just flows here at the beach, so stay tuned...the adventure continues!

Feliz Anos Nuevo

My new years has been busy, well...semi-retired busy. I’m not waking to alarm clocks or anything crazy like that! Had the girls over for new years eve, played games and had everyone home safe by the time fireworks started. I got to see cool ones from every direction off the balcony, then to bed.

Started a house sitting job on the 6th, and Perry and Chance have had many a morning and afternoon romp on the beach and yard. Chance is a very large 7 month old puppy...

This house job ends this eve, and another starts this afternoon...only one day, but then tomorrow after the other dogs I am off to another restaurant to paint more murals. AND having happy hour with new friends in the house they built, that I have never seen.

Also a coffeetable I am waiting for to be delivered, and will give it a fresh look with paint, as well as a mural at this OTHER new house before their housewarming party on the 20th! So as you can see, it is turning out to be a busy and prosperous new year. Hope yours is too. Stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Navidad 2017

Since moving I have a new group of friends, two couples and a single lady who lives in my friend Cynthia’s beach house, they have adopted me into their crazy lady group and I am enjoying the festivities. One night before Christmas Pam and Bonnie invited us all over for snacks, ornament painting and games. We all brought a dish, and I made an early Christmas present for them.

Our ornament painting was a bust, but all the snacks and the Cranium game was wonderful. We had such a good time, Jerri invited us all over for Christmas eve, again we all brought something and we sat outside all afternoon enjoying the breeze and new stories. We grilled steaks, had baked potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans and I brought crockpot bread pudding for dessert. Pam and Bonnie brought cookies and we think maybe next year we will do a cookie making party instead of the ornaments...(they all agreed I should paint them alone...)

As this is “winter” we have moved to our hot season, the rain hasnt started quite yet, but it is toasty. So MANY people enjoying vacation and the holiday at the beach, what beautiful sunny days we are having! This was from our beach walk on Christmas day, low tide was 2pm...cant ask for much better

Party for Anos Nuevo at my house...the “girls” will come and bring snacks, we will visit, play games and decide if we want to meander into town (I think not) and probably all be home by ten, hahaa. Stay safe out there in the world dear ones...Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays , Happy New Year and many well wishes for all. As for me...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Coastal Christmas

It never "feels" like Christmas here, for a couple obviously is the warm weather, and two the small amount of Christmas decorations around town. I learned early that decorations, of ANY kind are a frivolous expense, and in the past almost four years, they have come down in price, it is not something that every house on the block has.

After my battle with the fleas, I thought maybe I would build a tree, and decorate. These are ornaments I made the past couple years, the tree was fast, and cheap, hahaa free...

And I made a wreath for the front door. Mom had brought these napkins from IKEA, and they worked. Cardboard base, and cut and glued the napkins on.

Every year San Clemente has a Nativity scene, and large tree in the Center. This year the Nativity got bigger and more elaborate, and the tree was made of plastic water bottles. It takes a village...

I cant get this to cooperate, so will end this post here. Enjoy your holidays, whatever your weather. Rememeber the reason for the season and give the gift of Love. Stay adventure continues.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The battle of the Fleas

What a mess! I had to throw a mattress over the balcony and sleep downstairs, because the fleas were so bad upstairs. On Tuesday I purchased Borax and Salt mixed them together, and sprinkled it liberally everywhere upstairs. And retreated to live downstairs for the next ??? Up to two weeks, I was told.

I stayed downstairs for two days, and when I went back up, the population was dramatically decreased, but the salt had absorbed all the moisture it could, and I didnt think it was working anymore. I didnt have anyone going to the big city for more Borax, so I just bought more table salt, and in another day I was able to go upstairs without a single flea jumping on me. (Good thing too, it was hot downstairs)

Perry was a problem, as well. He was only upstairs for a minute, but he had tons of them. I made him a salt bath, but it was very awkward, ex-street dogs arent huge fans of baths. But I remembered a pool We found recently, and I had an idea...this isnt the pool, but it is very similar. Concrete, and the ocean water fills it everytime it comes over the rocks at hightide. There was quite a bit of sand on the bottom, so we could stand and he could soak.

He wasnt crazy about it, but it helped his flea population too, we are going every other day. A little unconvienent but cheap fix, glad I had a downstairs to retreat to, $4.30, better than $70 the exterminator wanted for the first treatment. Learn something new everyday, so stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A couple of things from Facebook

I often run across intersting things in my Facebook news feed, as it is almost all local Ecuadorean these days...well today I almost fell off my chair, when what did I see? ME! In a news story...haha, I'd actually forgotten I had talked to this young man one day while painting.

Translation of the article

 The tranquility of the sea enamoró
Would he return to the US? - No never Why? - It's perfect here! Express Peggy Adams.

Wednesday 06 December 2017 | 04:00

Adams does not change San Jacinto for anything, he does not think about returning to his native California, in the United States. Consider that this beach has it all.

He has been a resident for four years in these sectors of the Charapotó parish in Sucre canton.
He lived for two months in Crucita, but the tranquility of San Jacinto and San Clemente made her stay there.
With his brush he shaped a large multicolored fish. In the United States, she cut hair at a hairdresser, in San Jacinto she takes care of pets and paints murals. "Here I also cut hair to gringos," he adds, laughing.
The citizen considers that the climate is perfect and the beach is her complement, also believes that the costs of food and housing are very economical unlike the United States.
"It's really cold at the moment," explains the American. The temperature in California is between 7 and 8 degrees below zero, while in Manabí from 22 to 25 degrees.

During her stay, she has vacationed in Quito, Cuenca and Manta, but the beaches of Sucre, her Creole food, seafood and tranquility do not let her return to her hometown.

Other cute photos I found recently from a school play. I absolutly love the costumes, Pinochio, and our little buddy Zadkiel as one of the dwarves...wish I could have been there.

And a group of touring artists from several countries doing what they do best up in Bahia to the north. Wow, put my little fish/whale to shame! Check out these truly talented artists!

Looks like I need some more practice! And I do have some new jobs coming up, the restuarant next week, and a plea for some more furniture stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Awwww San Jacinto

I really do love San Jacinto, while house sitting there for the past two weeks, I realize how many people I know, and care about and why shouldn't I? Afterall I lived there for three years. I was able to see fishermen and kids, my friendly tienda ladies, my old neighbors, and even had several people I didnt recognize stop me and ask where I had gone. (They say "I lost you" "where did you go?")

I was commissioned by Cynthia, my friend and owner of this house to paint a mural on the garage wall. She had had some graffiti there once, and thought a mural would stop it from happening again. I had some ideas, and just could not make up my mind, so I asked Cynthia to choose. This was what she chose.

Here was the wall I had to use as my canvas

Getting started...

At this point I wanted to paint over and start fresh, I was NOT feeling it, but I pressed on, knowing that often I am not pleased until more layers happen. Fishermen walked by and said "Is it a fish or a whale?" And I would say " yep, more or less"...

I chose something that I wouldnt ordinarily do, because I had so much time at the house. But I neglected to remember that painting on a wall, in the sun and wind...well, isnt something one wants to do for eight hours I would start getting sloppy and stop for the day. Or go in when the marine layer and morning clouds wore off, but as the two weeks were coming to an end...I had to feverishly start painting the ever so time consuming "fiddly bits".

Did not quite get finished, but the only thing left I am going to do, is paint a border around the rectangle patchwork. That should be easy, and I can walk down at low tide one of these days to do it. That was more work than I anticipated, but everyone who has seen it loves the color and vibe it brings.

Perry and I returned home on Monday morning, to find fleas had multiplied in the closed up house, yuck! They were so bad upstairs I had to throw a mattress over the balcony, so I could sleep downstairs. I now have a Borax and salt mixture sprinkled everywhere to kill and dehydrate the eggs.

So, it is bittersweet, good to be home, but fondly remembering my time in my beloved San Jacinto. All the neighbors enjoyed hearing me tell them that I would return, my heart was in San Jacinto.

I was stopped by ecuadoreans today on my beach walk, wanting me to paint a mural at their restaurant, I said of course, but maybe next week...I need a break. So, stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving Gringo Style

When we first moved here Thanksgiving was a big deal, but as time wore on, the Gringos who were doing it got tired. So last year, after a couple without, some expats did a smoked turkey at the El Norte watering hole Meiers, $5 a plate, and well it was a success...

110 people RSVP'd to the Second annual Meiers Thanksgiving for the Gringos. Happy Hour on Saturdays is two for one mixed drinks, so he honored that til it was time to eat. A couple people brought sides, three bean salad, cranberry, another gringa brought shrimp cream cheese dip and crackers on all the tables.

Dinner was served around 4, and was well recieved, turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy and steamed carrots, plus the sides I mentioned. Next year I think others said they would be willing to bring more sides, but it was plenty.

One of the resident bakers brought a mixed platter of different dessert breads, and the pumpkin was just the right end to the meal. A nice buzz, a full belly and some time of thanks with new friends and neighbors.

So, as November comes to a close, and cold weather and busy holiday season descends North america, all I can say...Better you than me! I am perfectly happy with my palm trees and 80 degrees. Stay tuned, the adventure continues!