Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Work Day For Brennie!!!!

Today is the last day of punching a time clock for the remainder of my life!

Forever and ever.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


a new MacBook Pro
a new IPAD (pretty cool!)

a pink camera

Not quite like I remember it as a child. I must be confused.


I was teasing Clarke last night about celebrating his birthday in purgatory but mine will be celebrated in Camelot. (Purgatory is this place we are existing as we await to depart for the promised land.)

Happy birthday, dearly beloved. The best is yet to come!

Monday, April 26, 2010



Not bad enough that I sold my tools, guns and Harley. I think that Brennie tossed my cigars sometime during the move.

NOT PARANOID! I know it sounds like I may be a little paranoid. But it's not paranoia if she really is out to get me. I think she has been planning this a long time. I don't think that I can trust her. HELP!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Remember to laugh...(and breathe)

Getting rid of everything you own and moving to a new country, taking only three suitcases crammed with your life's possessions can be a daunting process. "Do we take it, store it, sell it, give it, donate it or trash it" has becomes our daily mantra. Of course, we don't always agree on the before-mentioned options for a particular item but I can say we have learned alot in the process. I can summarize my lessons in four categories. 1) We are not our possessions yet I have allowed our possessions to own me. 2) Guilt is not a good reason to hang on to something 3) Get closure on your unfinished business otherwise you take it with you 4) You gotta find the humor in every situation - especially the tense ones!

Here's a little picture I would like to share to emphazise #4. Clarke's dear sister from California visited the weekend before we left so we decided to fly the kids home for one 'last horrah' in Topeka. Clarke suggested we visit the Agricultural Hall of Fame Museum since we have never been there (I wonder why?). The kids and I vehemently outvoted him in favor of an afternoon at "The World Famous Topeka Zoo". It proved to be a memorable day full of laughter, memories revisited, and goofy fun. I managed to capture the highlight of the day in the photo below. Caitlin accidently bumped Clarke's hat as they were climbing up on the cement gorilla for a picture.

Like I said, you gotta find the humor anywhere you can.

Hasta luego!


Sunday, April 18, 2010


As we transition from a Mid-Century modern 3 bedroom, 2000+ sq' middle class home with lots of 3 suitcases each for the move, there are a lot of things you learn.

  • Only buy things you hate. Much easier to get rid of them.
  • When you are thinking, "Oh but I love that ___________ (fill in blank) so much. I don't think I can get rid of it" Ask yourself, "Does it love me back?"
  • Never. Absolutely never accept family heirlooms. They are a burden forever. The exception is sterling silver or gold. It can be sold by the ounce.
  • Any time you buy something and carry it into the house, carry something of equal size or value out to the trash.
  • Never build extra shelving in the basement. If it is in the basement on a shelf, you don't need it.
  • We were going to put in extra storage in our place in Cuenca. Not after this. If we are not using it, we don't need it.
  • You don't need 2 sets of silverware or for everyday and one for fancy. If you like the fancy, use it every day. If you don't like it.....I don't really need to say do I.
  • If your mother gives you an heirloom and says it is valuable. Get a 2nd opinion.
  • Give your brother the things explicitly left to you in the will that he has always coveted. Tell him that he can pay you or take them as a gift. His choice. It will confuse the hell out of him and it is just good clean fun.
  • If you have some type of glass fronted furniture that displays special stuff, you will be very sorry.

Friday, April 16, 2010



LETS START WITH THE GOOD NEWS: includes Ecuador in it's list of "Top Countries Ranked by Speed". is a nice little website that tests your download (and upload) speeds, FYI. Ecuador consistently places better than 38 countries on the list titled, (again) "Top Countries Ranked by Speed"

The list has 181 countries on it. Makes me wonder what countries are not on the list.

Ecuador consistently beats the well known Internet pioneering giants of Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Gabon, and the Sudan.

Azuay province makes the top ten list for provinces (by speed) in Ecuador. AND on this list, there are only 9 provinces faster! So cool!

1. Telconet SA. ..... 1.56 Mbps
2. CONOCEL .... 1.50 Mbps
3. CENTROSUR .... 1.27 Mbps
4. ECUANET - CORPORACIO .... 1.07 Mbps
5. PUNTONET S.A. .... 0.97 Mbps
6. SATNET 0.80 .... Mbps
7. Satnet Uio Cable Modems .... 0.73 Mbps
8. Satnet Gye CM .... 0.69 Mbps
9. ETAPA .... 0.49 Mbps
10. ETAPA TELECOM S.A. .... 0.64 Mbps

Thursday, April 15, 2010


In the last 10 days I have had a really swell time.

  • I decided that I really should sell my beloved Harley, my guns (yup, I am a Kansas redneck), and that one rug that I really love.
  • Took very few days to sell the Harley. Didn't even advertise. Just told a few people and it was done. Actually the buyer reminded me a lot of Charlie Fiero. He absolutely loves the bike and I liked him, so I feel a little better about it. Plus he doesn't have all the money yet so I get to ride it until he can come up with the balance. Not crying yet because I still have possession of the bike (and a sizable down payment).
  • Selling good guns.....not hard. (Kansas remember?) You don't want to put an ad in the paper for obvious reasons. Once again, just told a couple people. All in good safe hands now.
  • Selling the rug...just took one phone call....gone. Cried only slightly.
  • This whole week getting ready to move from our home into a temporary rental for six weeks. This has got to be the definition of a fine time.

Things I have done in the past that I enjoyed more than I have enjoyed the last 10 days.

  • Those third degree a lot of ways were less painful than the last 10 days.
  • Falling off that ladder and thinking I broke both legs. Again less painful.
  • I had a doctor put a needle in my eye once. I asked him to deaden it first. His reply...."Well now, shooting it with Novocaine would require sticking a needle in it anyway, wouldn't it? Don't blink while I do this." A very pretty assistant held my hand to help with that whole courage and blinking part of it.
  • I used to see out of two eyes. I had a good eye and a bad eye. Only took an instant for the bad eye to become the good eye and the (former) good eye to become something on my face to give it that nice balanced look.
  • Had a really fine testicle infection once (when I had no money). When I finally broke down and went to the doctor, he said he had never known anyone to go through it before without treatment. Doc said it had to be a new record for pain tolerance. (No sh*t!) Not as painful as selling the Harley.
  • Crushed my other testicle (motorcycle mishap) when I was 17. The doctors gave me unlimited supplies of prescription pain killers without question.....and free. I was 17 (remember) yah, I may have gone a little nuts with that whole unlimited free supply concept. Actually the whole episode is a kinda dim memory.
  • Fractured my wrist a few years ago. It was when I had my lawn mowing business. If my wrist was in a cast, I wouldn't be able to operate the hand controls of my commercial movers. So I didn't let them cast it. I just taped it up every day. Yeah, that hurt a whole bunch. But deciding to sell the Harley really hurt. (It was the lawn mowing money that bought the place in Cuenca ..... nice touch there.)
  • Have you ever had a whole bunch of stitches put in your fingers without some kind of shot to deaden the pain? If you go late at night to a military hospital you might be able to arrange it. Dad was retired military, so I could go there for free. As they pointed out...the fingers hurt already anyway.

So anyway, I suspect the pain of the last 10 days will also pass with time. How much time? Well, we will be back in Cuenca permanently in 46 days. So I suspect that 46 days should about do it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beanie Babies and the profound moment...

We did it! Sold the clutter and it felt downright good. The day dawned bright and sunny with an 8 AM start date. People were waiting in their cars in our drive at 7:15. At precisely 8:00 the doors opened and the wild ruckus began. By 11:00, most of the good stuff was gone so we started marking things to half price. It was wild and crazy drawing all sorts of characters (Clarke advertised his guns for sale so take it from there...) Looking back, it all seems like a blur but there is one memory that stands out and makes me smile.

Remember the Beanie Baby craze? Our son collected them for several years and I made a habit of buying one whenever I was out of town on business. He loved them dearly for a couple years and then moved on to a new phase. He asked me to get rid of them so I painfully put $1 on each. (Yeah, they still had the original tags with their names.) It was, for me, the hardest thing to price because I felt like I was selling part of his childhood. The guilt monster was working overtime on this one, yeah baby....

HOWEVER...I'm getting to the happy part. During the peak of the sale, three little girls on bikes rode into the cul de sac to check out the action. They went right to the Beanie Babies and I saw them exclaim with glee at the menagerie of potential new friends. Each animal held a price tag of $1. However, there was one beanie whose price tag had fallen off so one little girl approached me and tentatively asked "how much is this one?". I saw a quarter half hidden in her little fist so I told her I would sell the beanie babies to them for 25 cents each if they promised to give them a good home. Off they went flying on their little bikes to gather up more quarters. They soon returned with pockets full of dimes and nickles. The look of pure joy on their faces as they claimed their new treasures was priceless. The world stood still for that pivitol moment in time as I let go of the Beanie Babies.

And it was liberating!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Started at 8:00 AM Saturday

At noon, everything still there was dropped to half-price.

By 4:00 PM the last remains were at Goodwill, some tables had been returned and outside was all cleaned up. I can't really say it was fun.

At 5:00 PM it was obvious that we still had a house full of belongings.

It is true that most of the furniture has been sold to friends (definitely the bargains of the year). So a lot of the stuff we are using, actually belongs to the new I guess we are borrowing our own furniture.

BUT the best of the antiques, especially the heirloom antiques were still a question mark. One of us wanted to keep it, while the other sees it all as chaining us to the past and just a monumental headache. (FYI: "headache" isn't really the word I was thinking of.)

Well, this morning , Brenda announced that she really wanted to go ahead and get rid of it. YAHOO.

So, do we sell the best of the antiques for a reasonable price in this economy. Not really sure, quite frankly. but we have a call in to the man we call the E-Bay guy.