Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mom's annual visit

My mom comes from California every year, and we do something different.  This year a friend of mine mentioned a cool Amazon river trip, so we asked a couple other friends and made it happen. Four of us left from San Jacinto by bus to, 8 hours later we finally arrived. Beautiful scenery but a looooong day.

Next day after early coffee,  our tour guide and two other ladies picked us up and off we went. We had a full day of travel by van, ugh...sure wish we hadn't spent all day the day before on the bus. The area we were traveling had had some serious land and rock slides due to rain, so we got to see some really horrific sights, of course that meant some wonderful waterfalls too. The road was closed to trucks, so the usual stop for lunch was closed, so we pressed on til about 4:30 where we stopped for the night.

After a good nights sleep and breakfast we again took off East. Finally we got to the boat launch...where we waited...and waited,  and waited. 

We were waiting for a couple more people for our canoe, finally we were loaded and ready for...a couple hour boat ride, yippee!

We did see an Anaconda, very small and maybe some birds, but it was an uneventful long boat ride, and we were all very ready to not be sitting down!

The Eco lodge we stayed in had several little cabins, solar panels for some electricity and hot water, but for the most part off the grid! Everything came in by canoe. We had no wi fi, and could only charge our devices from 6-10pm when it was lights out! And wow, was it dark!! So, after what seemed like weeks getting there, we were finally in the Amazon (but it really wasnt, hahaa) 

More to come, so stay tuned...the adventure continued!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

What have I been up to?

My mom recently asked if everything was ok, she had not seen a blog post, in well...a while! Life just runs one day into the next, and then a whole month has gone by, wow! For most of May I was house and dog sitting,  doing some painting and sewing projects and hair.

While in San Clemente house sitting I had some projects to do, while a local artist was doing another mural. 

And Francisco's latest...

What an amazing talent he is! Jealous!!
I also made a new sign for them, as the first one I made was fading, and just not as bright.

Another friend moved into a new place, so I made her a sign too.

Sewing project was dog bed slipcover,  and did some dog bone shaped toys out of the  fabric scraps, but they did not last long

Always something to keep my occupied, even if its just a book on the patio. Mom visits next month, and we have a real excursion planned, so...stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ecuadorean Easter

Semana Santa is a big deal in Ecuador. (Holy Week) Our local church had remodeling done recently and had services starting on Thursday night.  Friday morning the procession of the cross started at the Boca and they walked to San Clemente.  

There are "stations of the cross" set up along the way, and the devout stop and pray. Some people dress the parts and act out small scenes.

At the end many go back to the church and have a service. Many businesses were closed on Friday and the weekend beach goers was smaller than usual. 

School here in Manabi starts again after Easter, so many families were busy getting ready. The weekend was also about life, and many ecuadorean enjoyed family day at home. No Easter baskets filled with jellybeans or chocolate bunnies here, no colored eggs...but stay tuned, the adventure continues. 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

House sitting

One of the great opportunities I have now is house and dog sitting, I get to stay in different places and houses and get paid! I only charge $15 a day, but have realized I may need to up my prices for multiple dogs or challenging dogs. This last one was a handful. But the house and location was beautiful and worth it!

The couple recently sold this house on the beach in "Crucita" and were traveling to see where they wanted to move to next. Ocean front has its problems and they were ready for something else. I ask the owners to stock the fridge and cupboards for me as not all of the houses are close to towns or tiendas, this was one of those. Probably 3 miles from the Boca going north and 1-2 miles south til one got to a town center. And this was still a very small town, not Crucita proper.

Perry and I always go a head of time, to meet the dog and make sure we all get along,  so far we havent met a dog we didnt like. (We may not like them by the time their parents come home, hahaa) This is Wolfie, a 3 year old German Shepherd who for the first couple days would hump Perry every minute, thankfully that subsided. But he was big, loud and required daily walks on the beach and showers after.

Beach walks everyday was the easy part, we all had a wonderful time. And had a very relaxing 5 days away. I did a lot of sitting on the patio reading and watching the waves and sun.

What a wonderful place. I am so blessed and thankful for my life. Since the weather in the States is warming up, more expats are traveling so my house sitting jobs have started back up. I am booked almost all of May and into stay tuned, the adventure  continues!

Saturday, April 6, 2019


There have been some interesting wildlife visiting around my corner of the world. A couple weeks ago my friends the fishermen who park in front of the old house caught this Oarfish.  They are said to predict earthquakes,  and when one surfaces an earthquake is imminent.  Needless to say, some folks were worried...and a week later we had a 6.5 in Salinas, with up to 50 aftershocks. 

Luckily the earthquake and aftershocks did little damage.  Can't believe how big this fish, and little Zadkiel is. He turned 5 this year, I remember him so small and timid, now he wont shut up when he sees me. Que lindo!

This Bull shark showed up in San Clemente yesterday. The fishermen were able to get him turned around and back out to sea. 

And this morning I was in my bedroom and kept hearing the owl. I knew he sounded close, so got up to investigate.  And here he is looking at himself in the window. 

Another gorgeous day, and you never know what will show up, so stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Work in Progress

Sometime last year a  couple bought a house down on the Boca, and immediately when entering the man, Dave knew he wanted to change the column into a palm tree. They approached me about the task, and I got my mind going. At first he thought paint, but I really wanted something three dimensional.  A little research on Pinterest and my plan was in motion.

I wanted to make the trunk less square, so bought chicken wire to soften the edges. I had originally thought I would scrunch the wire, but it didnt seem to need it. I literally stiched the wire together to secure in place.

At times in my research I thought of using brown paper bags, or the unbleached paper towels found in gas stations, but decided on burlap once I got to the fabric store. Cut the burlap into strips, frayed one edge, and again stitched the strips to the chicken wire.

The palm fronds I did at home and brought the day of installation.  I opted for two very similar greens, for depth. My original plan had been to glue wire between the two pieces of fabric, but that wasnt working. So plan B was sew a channel in the middle, and slip the length of wire in it. I put a solution of Elmer's glue and water on the fronds, to stiffen the "leaves" but really didnt see much difference. Oh well.

I made six fronds, and after installed realized we needed more. I went back to the fabric store, but being Christmas all the green fabric was sold out. Dave and Debbie had to go back to the US to work, so the palm tree is only partially finished. But we ALL are happy with the stay tuned, the adventure continues!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Wedding Celebration

An expat recently married an Ecuadorean and I helped host a pool party for them yesterday. My biggest help was in the decorations, I knew I could do some things on the cheap, so nobody had to spend a lot of money,  first I looked at Pinterest, then my fabric stash.

I came up with the idea of streamers from scraps of fabric and when I realized what colors I had the  most of, a theme was started. (Also turned out to be the brides favorite colors) Patty went to the big city and bought some ready made things, and thought she was buying tissue paper, but it turned out to be felt, no problem, I said I can work with that. So Saturday I spent making felt flowers and strips of fabric for the streamers. Both turned out lovely, if I do say so myself.

We had guests bring their own beer and wine and a snack food, not to mention their bathing suits. Weather called for rain, but the day was perfect! And a wonderful celebration of fun and love.

Vicky, the bride and many pool goers

Towards the end of the afternoon, there were probably more than 50 people there. Expat and Ecuadorean. This house was recently completed, and is a great place to host a party, I brought my umbrella for more shade, and we borrowed chairs.

Elections are over, and life gets back to normal...and one happy couple start a new life together. So, Stay tuned...the adventure continues!

Friday, March 22, 2019

Election time

For several months now many candidates have been promoting their agendas and putting up flags,  banners and posters. They drive around with loud speakers and try to gain popularity.  Since it is rainy season one of the things they have been doing is improving the streets and drainage systems,  going around to the smaller communities and helping with their individual problems hoping to gain votes.

This guy happens to be local San Jacinto and so of course is the popular choice here. He is running against the current "Mayor of Sucre" and another man, one who was early to get his banners out, must have dropped out of the running, because I havent seen his red banners anywhere lately. Sucre is our County and Manabi is our province. 

Many a rally and parade in the past several months and some people get very energized,  and others just dont seem to care. (Like many countries) One thing here is on election weekend there are no alcohol sales, and they ask you not to consume either. I understand, I have lived in other places where they want the voters clear headed and not inebriated.  It is mandatory here to vote between ages 18-65 and with so many people living in out laying areas volunteers actually go out and collect votes,  thus the 3 day ban on drinking. They start Friday at noon and elections go thru Sunday at noon. Invalid people and those without transport get to vote from home,  wow what a different concept, others will go to their local schools and vote on Sunday.

Expats get all worried that they will run out of alcohol,  but in my 5 yrs here, since most of us aren't eligible to vote (must be a citizen, not just a resident) they sell to us. always, stay tuned...the adventure continues.