Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pictures worth a thousand words...

...and then this.


Getting ready for the "Get Rid of Everything You Own" garage sale.
Unfortunately, we have just begun to move stuff out to the garage (staging area).
I am sure that Brennie may have something intelligent to say....
all I can come up with is "Too Much Stuff".
The plan is to have the garage sale this coming Saturday which is 6 days away.
The 10-day forecast on only predicts one day of rain
(thunderstorms) for the next 10 days.
Do I really have to say which day it is?

You can click on the pics to see more glorious details.

Yes I have decided to sell the Harley,
but probably not in the garage sale.

I wish I could say that all that junk is Brennie's.
Hey, wait a minute, I can say exactly that.
That must mean that the cool stuff is (was?) mine.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


1. Sell house - done
2. Hire some day labor - easy to do
3. Have day labor move everything into driveway - easy enough
4. Acquire gasoline - again .... easy
5. Combine items from steps 3 and 4
6. Strike match
7. Call cab for airport

It is not possible that this is an original idea.
I am pretty sure it is not even illegal.
Another couple days and Brennie might insist on the honors of step 6.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What keeps me going...

With only a month to go until closing on our house, the intensity level has been dialed up a notch. We are surprised with how difficult this process is. When a friend asked me the other day what this process feels like, I replied "imagine condensing down everything you have accumulated in your lifetime to one large suitecase". She was stunned into silence thinking about it. We're tense, tired, and - ok - a little scared. There are days when I wonder "What were we thinking?? This is just plain nuts!" And then I go to one of the blogs of our friends who live in Ecuador and I'm reminded of the 'why.' Friendship, health, adventure. No time clocks, moody bosses, or homework. Lots of sunshine. Ahhhhhhhh. We have earned our day in the sun.

The other day I tied ribbons around the keys to our Cuenca apartment and placed them by each of our computers. When I start feeling down, I glance up and know that our Camelot awaits.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Are they clean?

One of the reasons I love my new Blendtec is that whipping up a glass of fresh fruit or veggie juice a breeze. I've always heard that the concentration of vitamins and nutrients lay just under the skin, in the seed, and in the greens part of the fruit. So, in goes the whole tamale (cut up of course) but I found myself wondering..."how clean is this stuff we're consuming and what's the best way to clean produce before eating?"

I've been using a pricey product for years to clean my apples but it's doubtful I can find it in Ecuador. I went to the computer for answers and found this article published on the National Public Radio website. Good old vinegar to the rescue!

Here's another recipe I found developed by Virginia at the Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her disinfecting procedure uses white vinegar (or cider vinegar) and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (the same as found at the drugstore). These are nontoxic, inexpensive and work not only on fruit and vegetables but can be used to sanitize counters and preparation surfaces, including wooden cutting boards, as well. Here’s the method:

Put the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide into individual dark-colored spray bottles. Spray your produce or work surface thoroughly first with vinegar and then with hydrogen peroxide. Then rinse the produce under running water or wipe the surface with a clean wet sponge. Viola! Life is good.

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OK now....let's get some perspective on this whole blender business.
This is Clarke here (not Brendita)

That blender is insanely expensive if you are just going to make juice and smoothies and soup and other (stupid stuff) with it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

From the softer side....

Greeting card philosophy of life.

I went shopping today for a thank you card to send to the OT team at my recently completed clinical site (only one more to go!) As some of you know, I went back to school a couple years ago after losing my job in the non-profit sector. Yes, I already had a masters degree but wanted to do something different while getting my foot in the medical field where the good paying jobs are. So, off I went back to school at the age of 53 for an AA degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant with classmates my children's age. And then there was the "detour" to Ecuador...

Anyways, back to the greeting card. I found a card that fits my outlook on life, and probably many of the folks who have pulled up roots from a comfortable lifestyle to move to a foreign country with a different culture and language. "Why did you do it?" is one of my favorite questions when I meet new expats because I enjoy hearing the variety of answers. I finally have my reply ready for when I get asked the question.

"Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather a skid sideways, champagne in one hand, body thoroughly used up and worn out, screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!"

That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.

Enjoy the adventure~
Brenda (and Clarke)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just Gassed Up The Pick-Up

$55 to fill er up.
220 Cuenca Bus Rides
(440 if you are >65)
30 Taxi Rides