Sunday, October 19, 2014

Something for Everyone

No particular theme here, unless you consider hodge-podge one!

I'm the worlds biggest procrastinator.  Thus, the long gaps between blogs.  I always have excuses.  But, what got me 'going' today is the fact I have dire rear.   So, it's not like I'm going anywhere too far from the bathroom.   So, might as well crank out a blog, right?   I know, I know....thank you for sharing Dano!

ANGRY RIVERS

After our two coldest months of the year (July/August) we were all looking forward to warming up.  And, it did.  But, we recently had 3 days of non-stop rain storms that seemed to unleash it's fury on us, circle around, fill up, and come back 10 minutes later to pound us with another one.

Cuenca (Spanish for 'basin') is located at the foot of mountains that rise up over 13,000 feet.  Many, many streams and rivers merge together before becoming the four rivers that slice through Cuenca.   So, whenever it rains, the rivers quickly change personality.  Well, after 3 days of steady bashing, the rivers turned into angry torrents, ripping away at embankments, uprooting trees, and in some cases coming within inches of hitting the underside of bridges.   Helicopters flew over to keep a watchful eye out for anything that might go awry.

I stopped the car to take photos.  By the time I walked back to my car, 15 other cars had done the same.  Everyone was watching in awe the power and mad fury of the rivers we all enjoy walking and jogging along every day.

Notice the trees in the middle of the river.
The river rose to the same level as the park grounds, and spilled over.






....and now the movie

video

PET CHEF

After reading how some people choose to prepare their own dog food and knowing a few who mix in human food with the dry dog food, I'd thought I'd give it a spin, too.    I felt bad Gracie, Chip, and Marcelo were having to eat the same 'ol, same 'ol every day dryyyyyy food.  BLECH.  Then again, I wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of money buying stuff from SuperMaxi either!   Enter:  Feria Libre.   I've written about this 'mother of all indigenous markets' before, so I won't rehash here.   Suffice to say I save a lot of money buying fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood at the FL.  

I have a med-sized deep freezer in my laundry room, so freezing and storing is no problemo.   I went to Coral and bought a bunch of Tuperware-like containers for ridiculously low prices.   Probably because they're made in China and, instead of childrens toys, THAT's where they're dumping all their lead in multi-colored lids.  But, I digress.   

I have a food processor, so no problem chopping, slicing, and whipping everything into a frenzy. 

I bought (cheap) fish, hamburger, whole chicken (with face, feet, and organs), peas, avocado, carrots, rice, celery, potatoes, eggs, 

I cooked the meat but not the vegetables.  After all, it was all going to become puree anyway!    I baked the whole fish.  When done, I dropped it into the food processor...head, eyeballs, tail, bones and all.   Envision the famous skit from Saturday Night Live where the Bass-0-Matic was featured.  Why bones?  Once pureed, it's not an issue and someone said it was a good source of calcium.  Ok!  

 After everything was whipped into a puree, I dumped the contents into the containers and into the freezer.

At meal time, I mix some in with their dry food.   Gracie loves it.  So does Marcelo.  Jury was out with Chip....as he took one look at his bowl and said (in a little balloon over his head) "what the hell?" and dashed over to Marcelos bowl to see what he had.  Well, he had the same thing, so Chip had no choice but to go back to his own bowl and begrudgingly eat what was given him.

SAVINGS AT FERIA LIBRE

Ok, so I've written about this before.  But, there's always new readers who come aboard and haven't necessarily read articles of the past.   Just because it's sooooo good, I'm going to recap yet another grocery shopping list result from a recent day at Feria Libre:
  • 3 lbs pork chops = $4.50
  • 4 lbs large shrimp (about 75 pieces) = $24
  • 12 small tomatoes = $1
  • 4 large tomatoes = $1.20
  • 13 seedless oranges from Chile = $3
  • 10 small/med peppers = $1
  • 4 lbs Tillapia fish = $10
  • 5 lbs Sea Bass (Corvina) = $12
  • 6 lbs chicken leg/thigh combos = $9
  • 1 lb linked sausages $2
  • 7 lbs chicken breasts (with bone) = $15
  • 5 lbs filet mignon (lomo fino) = $22
  • 3 lbs large strawberries = $3
  • 10 apples = $1
  • 2 lbs shelled peas = $2
Total cost = $110.....for....

22 lbs of meat
13 lbs of seafood
49 fruits/vegts
5 lbs of strawberries and peas

Eat THAT Supermaxi!!!

MORE ON SHORT-TERM RENTAL GUESTS

Some of my guests of the future (no, not from another planet) have winced at my stories of guests from the past and fear they might end up in my blog.  LOL!!!!

Well, yesterday, I was cleaning the kitchen in one of my units.  In the past, I would find coffee-makers dirty in the water bin because guests would either re-pour their cold coffee into it to reheat it, or send it through a 2nd time in hopes of a stronger yield.  Well, the FRESH WATER bin would get coated in coffee 'dust'.   So, I finally taped a message to all my coffee-makers imploring my guests to ONLY put water in the FRESH WATER bin!!!   But, yesterday, I just so happen to glance into the water well and saw something odd lining the bottom.  I got something sharp and scraped at it.  It was dried soap paste...big globs of it.   You see, generally we don't use the liquid squeeze bottle soap here, We use a paste in a tub and scrape the sponge over it to load it with soap.  Someone scraped a bunch of it off and dumped it into the water bin in a supposed effort to clean the coffee-maker.  I scratched as much as I could to get out the bigger portion, then flushed it with water at the laundry sink, then ran 3 pots of water and vinegar through, then a pot of pure water.  I think it did the trick.  But, had I not looked, someone would've had an awful soapy tasting coffee first thing in the morning.  YUK!!!

Next...

Remember me telling you about the guest who popped off the fitted, elasticized, bottom sheet and said it ripped?   Here's the photo of the aftermath.   Ummm...again...just HOW did it happen?



Next...

It had to happen sometime.   After 2 years, it finally did.   It's fairly common for my guests to depart on a late flight.  But, check-out time is 11am.   Who wants to hang around a small airport for 6 hours, or lug their baggage around town while they kill time, right?   So, many guests have asked me if they could stay in their apt past the check-out time.  I usually agree to it in exchange for their help to re-ready the apt for my incoming guest.  For example, put the sheets and towels in the laundry and run it, sweep, tidy up, etc.   I made this very arrangement with one couple.  We had been communicating that morning of check-out via email, reconfirming the arrangement and the time they expected to actually be vacating.  So, I came to the apt at that time and sat in the stairwell until they came out with their bags...not wanting to rush them.  After about 20 minutes past the time they were due to leave, the hubby came out and saw me sitting in the stairwell.   I said something to the effect 'are you all ready to go?'.   He was baffled.  I said 'you're checking out today, right?'    'No, Dano, we're not checking out til tomorrow'.   WHAT???   'You're joking...you're kidding me, right?'   'No, Dano, I'm not'.   More of this ensued while I thought 'boy, this guy is good at keeping a straight face'.  'But, BUT, I have a guest arriving at the airport in an hour and a half!!!'

I got up off the stairs, blood pressure already reaching limits, and my face beet red, and headed up to the front door of the apartment.  It opened.  There was the wife on the sofa, kicking back, and clearly nothing had been done to ready the apt as agreed.    I was told I was wrong (more than a few times).  He suggested if I could 'find a cheap place' he would be glad to pay for my incoming guest to go there.  Huh?   Why should my incoming guest pay the penalty?  But, I didn't say that.   I was scheduled to leave for Quito the next morning.  That would mean I would have to cancel my trip, cancel my hotel (and get no refund), etc etc in order to move my incoming guest from the 'cheap place' to my apt the following day.  UGH.  

Finally, I logged on to my laptop and onto the website where they booked.  I was mortified thinking I had just done my first major screw-up.  But, I hadn't.    You see, they had originally booked to check out on Monday.  Then, they extended 2 more days with me.  That meant they should check out on Wednesday.  But, they thought it was Thursday and their flight wasn't leaving til Thursday.  After I showed them the reservation details, they realized their mistake and went into a flurry to find other accomodations for their final night and hurredly packed their bags and WHOOSH, out the door.    I had 1 hour to turn myself into a Tazmanian devil and whip the place into shape, then get to the airport to meet my guest.  Which I did...soaking wet in sweat.   

Next...

Just a week or two later...it happened AGAIN!!!!    A couple had stayed in the apt across the hall from the latter for a month.  They were aware what happened with the other guest.   Something lurked in their mind they should check with me as to when their final date was for checking out.   Again, I thought they were just yanking my chain...teasing me...as a joke.  No joke.  They were supposed to check out on Wednesday, but thought it was Thursday.  Luckily, I had no one coming in on Thursday, so I told them they could stay an extra day.

Moral of the story???

If you're travelling...CONFIRM YOUR DATES!!!    Then, CHECK IT AGAIN while you're here!!  Bring your reservation paperwork along with you.  Remember, when you enter dates into reservation systems, they are always 'day of arrival' (check-in) and 'day of departure' (check-out)....not 'last night you're staying here'.

I LOVE DOGGIES

There are a zillion videos on YouTube about all kinds of things, including funny things animals do.   I rarely surf thru the videos as there's just tooooooo much and I have better things to do with my time than plant my face in front of my computer (or I-pad, or I-thingy) all day, read everyone's Facebooks, posts, etc.

BUT....every once in awhile I get a gem sent to me.  This one is a gem.  It made me laugh out loud.   That's when you know they're GOOD.

Click the link.  Go ahead, you know you want to!!!


Hehehehehehehhe...I just watched it again.   Works, every time.

RANDOM PHOTOS


My neighbor woke up one night hearing the thud of rocks falling.  While watching, this entire retaining wall collapsed towards her house!   It was about 50ft long by 15ft tall!!   The IDIOTS who were building the house next door/above her built this wall but didn't put any DRAINAGE BEHIND IT!!!!!



Charming church in a tiny town outside of Playas on the coast of EC.


Church of Jack-in-the-Box???

Dano

My short-term rentals.  Operators standing by!!!!  (Titles are links you can click on)

Smack Dab in the Heart of Cuenca - Apt #1



Smack Dab in the Heart of Cuenca - Apt #2


Grand Old World Colonial in Heart of El Centro


Modern Loft Apt 6 Blocks to El Centro


You Can't Be Closer to El Centro w/o being in it



About Me

My Photo
Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

Total Views