Sunday, May 30, 2010



We are exhausted. This whole simplifying your life thing can get really complicated ....... and need I say exhausting.

I did have the energy to change the "countdown" on the right.

Volcanos, customs, airlines, the gods, whimsical mishap and dogs permitting, we will be in Guayaquil in 24 hours and Cuenca mid afternoon Tuesday.

But you know what they say.....whenever god needs a good laugh, he looks at human's plans. I hope he has had enough laughs and won't need us to amuse him for a couple days.

Enough. Like I said. Exhausted. Really, really exhausted.

But still....even exhausted, Brennie is still cute.

Camelot, Here We Come!

*Words adapted from the musical 'Camelot' purely for my own merriment.

It's true! It's true! King Clarke has made it clear. Conditions must be perfect all year!

A law was made a distant moon ago there:
The temperature cannot be too hot.
And there's a law forbidding aging
In Camelot.
Big Pharma is forbidden in our valley.
Time clocks and deadlines don't exist.
By order, health insurance is not needed
In Camelot!
Camelot! Camelot!
That's how conditions are.
We sleep until we feel like getting up.
Mosquitos, ticks, and bosses disappear.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial lot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
In Camelot.

Camelot! Camelot!
I know it gives a person pause,
But in Camelot, Camelot
There are no rules and regulations.
We can read for pleasure during daytime hours.
In August our first retirement check appears.
In short, there's simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here in

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Brennie thinks it is really funny to get that 2nd word just a little wrong.

I guess that I could say ...'Estoy jubilado'. But why ruin her fun?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Are we crazy or what?

Bringing the dogs to Ecuador is proving to be a challenging endeavor. I'm sure you've all heard about the process. You have a 10-day window of time to race around like a maniac chasing forms, vets, and government bureacrats while the clock is ticking in the background. And that's been the easy part.

Here's what I'm worried about. We are taking two pampered Pekingese who bark at their own shadows through three flight changes and international customs while lugging six suitcases, one bicycle box, two carry-ons and two dog carriers? Right. No stress there. Then there's that death-defying trip over the Andes. However, I'm sure it will be worth it all once our little darlings are happily sunning themselves on the veranda, alive preferably.

I think Clarke has the right idea. WE take the doggie valiums and let the dogs fend for themselves.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This sign is on the access road into the high school where I teach.

At first I thought....
- Possibly 5 minutes between classes isn't quite enough time for the students?

Now I have heard that the old speed 'bump' signs are being replaced throughout the county with the new and improved 'humping' signs.

So now I am thinking.....
- Time to 'get out of Dodge'?
- Go where the pace of life is, well....different?
- Or maybe just looking for an excuse to put that pic on the blog.

OK...another (stupid) thought. You've heard of speed dating. You know, when people are given like 5 minutes or whatever to talk to a prospective date and then the bell rings and they move on to the next person. Is the speed hump like when the speed date is really successful?

But just gotta love that sign!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

And now for the rest of the story...

Do those stores in Cuenca also sell cigars, computers, music CDs, technology gadgets, tools, or bicycles?

A gracious thank you to the considerate people who took my crazy husband seriously and emailed with supportive words. Are there divorce attorneys in Cuenca?? :-)

See you all soon~


Saturday, May 22, 2010



I am about to call the 'shopping sickness treatment center' or look for a 12 step program.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

OK NOW, WE GOT THESE NEW MacBook Pros........

....I heard that Mac's are supposed
to help you be creative.

I don't know about that.
Maybe it's just easier to be.....whatever.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sage advice for the blatantly naive (or stupid)

Do not...and I repeat, DO NOT watch old videos of your children two weeks before moving to a different continent - no matter how long you have been nagging your partner to convert those old VHS videos. Just trust me on this one.

After a two-day crying jag Clarke finally asked "are we dying or just moving?" Always the wise-ass...


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Packing woes

OK, it's whining time. How many of you who have sojourned before us brought way too much stuff? Yeah, I'm talking to most of you gals out there. It's instinctual, right? After all, we are the 'gatherers'. I have packed (and repacked), unpacked, whittled down, whined, cried, and repacked... and Clarke still has only filled two suitcases to my four. We haven't even gotten to the electronics yet!

I'm REALLY, REALLY not liking this part very much. I'm the mom who always had tissues, super-glue, cookies and Shout packets in her purse. I was keeper of the bandaids, Queen of the boo-boo medicine...Mistress of All Things Needed!!! I can't possibly do this. And then I remember...

It's just stuff.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

From the Softer Side...

It's tornado season again in Kansas. If you are a native of 'tornado alley', summertime means hot weather, ball games, cold beer, fresh corn on the cob... and tornados. For those of us who grew up in tornado alley, it's the time of year when we automatically go into 'weather-alert mode.' We go about our daily business but with a heightened 'third eye' tuned to the sky. It's a tornadoey-cultural thing that probably only us mid-westerners understand.

People often ask us how we can stand to live in a place where tornados happen annually. First of all, tornados are the least of your worries if you choose to live in Kansas. It's the conservative right-to-lifers and redneck bigots that strike greater fear in our hearts. Tornados can be explained and tracked on radar. Oppsie..

OK, Clarke says to be nice so I'm going to reflect on what I will miss about Kansas. I will miss our friends and family, our Goodwill store, O'Douls beer, Kansas City BBQ, our wonderful Kansas thunderstorms, lightning bugs in June, the smell of honeysuckle in the summer breeze, home-grown beefsteak tomatoes - ripe off the vine, our change of seasons. There is nothing more beautiful than autumn in Kansas or the Kansas flint hills in springtime. These cherished memories will be with me always and make me who I am today... a down-home, deaf girl from Kansas who's lucky to be married to a red-headed, crazy, one-eyed military brat who still makes me laugh after all these years.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road~

P.S. Dorothy was wrong.


Thursday, May 13, 2010



Apparently, mowing your lawn (small as they are) is completely optional. If you miss a couple weeks or so, it is fine. You will still have the classiest joint in the neighborhood.

Despite the fact that the lawns are very small, the actual task of mowing is complicated by 2 little items:
1. The beer cans. It is best if you pick up all the beer cans first so as not to injure yourself with flying shrapnel.
2. Dog doo-doo. Seems like the dog of choice around here is the always-fun-to-have-around pitbull. When they do their business in our yard, I pretend not to notice. Maybe they are the ones leaving the beer cans??

I would take some pics to share but most of the neighbors live in their driveways in the evenings. Garage doors open, close to the beer refrigerators in the garages. Must make it easier to socialize with other like-minded neighbors and work on their cars.

I am really going to miss this place.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


This getting ready for a
life in paradise
can be really
tough on a guy.

GEE .....

......I wish I had something interesting to share.

How's this? After 25 years of teaching (elementary, middle and high schools), I only have 13 more days to go. a wild hair and bought both Brennie and I MacBook Pro's and iPads. Holy sh*t. After a lifetime of saving, it was pretty fun to just say .... what the h*ll! FYI, iPads are really cool.

As I told my son....we are now spending the bucks on ourselves that we used to spend on you kids. Not feeling guilty at all.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Lookie Clarke. We can almost see it without squinting!!