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Monday, October 10, 2011

Four Short Stories

I have so many things to write about, but I've been saving them because the events aren't completely done yet.  For example, I'm remodeling my master bathroom, but it's not done yet.   I went to Quito, my car was broken into and my camera stolen (yes, I was stupid and left it in the glove compartment), so I'm missing half of my photos.   I started taking photos of roadside shrines, but I don't have enough yet.   I started taking Spanish classes, but had to put it on hold for a bit.   Soooo....what do I write about?

Well, I guess what I'll do is sorta like what we all do in the kitchen.   Put a little of this and a little of that, plus some of those, and oh what the heck toss some of these and push MIX.  Voila...a complete dish, or in this case, a published blog article containing 4 short stories.  

Roof Construction

Huh?  You're starting with how roofs are constructed?   Okaaaay.   I've mentioned how most houses are built here...with brick and/or concrete.  And, the fact there's very little to burn should one catch on fire.  But, lying underneath that peaked roofline is eeery construction.    Take a look at my photos of the insides of MY roofline.   What forests exist here are primarily Eucalyptus and Pine trees and, in the jungle, lots of bamboo.   There's very little in the way of fabricated 2 x 4's, 2 x 12's, etc.   Most 'lumber' here is rudimentary pieces of wood not having any perfected dimensions.  Throughout the city, there are 'lumber' yards with criss-crossed stacks of wood planks, sometimes 20 feet high, drying out.   But, that lumber is primarily used for making furniture, not in house construction.    When you look at the photos of my roofline, you'll see raw, young tree trunks used in the spans.   Then, a rippled fiberglass-like sheeting is placed over that to provide the primary protection from rain, etc, then tiles overlayed on top of that to create the finished look and secondary level of protection from the elements.

There's virtually no such thing as insulation (as we commonly know it) here.  Ceiling tiles are somehow cemented to a web of bamboo which is connected by wires to the tree trunk 'beams'.  How they get it to look even is beyond my comprehension.   If you lift off a ceiling panel, you're immediately in the attic space.  The ceiling tile is all there is between you and the roof.  Ok, so enough already on roofs!!






The grid you see on the bottom is bamboo to which my ceiling tiles are cemented.  That's all there is between my interior rooms and 'outside'.
 My Martha Moment

I have been trying to find artwork to compliment bare places on my walls but don't like a lot of what I find, or it's too expensive.   Then I got an idea utilizing the 2nds (failed inspection) dishes that Artesa sells (see previous posts).   On Fridays, from 9am - 12pm, the 2nds room is open to the public where you can scour through HUNDREDS of dishes of all sizes, shapes, colors, and uses and buy for 70% off retail.   I bought 39 items for $35.   This is where Martha comes in.   Even though I own a glue gun, I forgot I owned a glue gun.  So, I bought some LocTite and started matching plates of different sizes and colors and created my own pieces of 'art' (though some might debate that term).   Then, I set to finding the right locations to hang them on my walls.  Some went in my kitchen, most ended up in my sunroom.  I could easily lose control and have them all over the house, but I'm trying to retain control and use them sparingly and wisely.  I like them, anyone else who doesn't can 'build a bridge and get over it' (my favorite saying).



My purchases.

I glued some smaller espresso-sized plates to larger coffee cup plates to create more colors and depth.  Then, hung them above my drab kitchen window for a spash of character.

Inter-mixed plates among my wall plants in my sunroom.


Ok....laugh all you want to.   I think it's kinda whimsical and it's not like I hung it in my living room.  It's out in the sunroom.

I'm a Rose-Aholic

I finally admitted it to my family recently.   I need a 12-step program to treat my Rose-Aholism.  

When I had my waterfront house (for sale for $659,000 on 1/3 acre...anyone interested?   ANYONE??) built in Bremerton, WA, I had this huge piece of land as a blank canvas for designing my landscaping.  I swore I would not plant roses because they require so much work to care for them.   I ended up having over 30 rose bushes!!    I can't help it when I see the beautiful array of colors and the fact they produce and produce over and over versus a lot of plants that bloom once and then they're over.   I could make some reference to the similarity of an orgasm here, but I won't.

My house here in Ecuador has a very tiny front yard, divided in 2 sections...about the size of two bathrooms.   As of a few days ago, my inventory now consists of THIRTY ONE roses!!!!    I even cut out part of my lawn so I could put more in.   My resistance is even more impaired by the fact I can buy them at 3 for $5.00!!!!    ARRGGHH!!!!

So, here's some photos of a few of my posies.  Not the greatest pictures because they were taken with my cell phone since I'm digital-camera-less these days.






Varmits!!!

When I did a house-swap with a couple from Salinas back in August, they emailed me one day and told me they found a SCORPION in my master bedroom closet area!!!    I always thought these varmits resided in hot climates like New Mexico and Arizona, not cool high-altitude places like Cuenca!!!  So, I did some Googling and discovered I was mis-informed.  They DO reside in many more common locales than I thought.   That didn't set well with me.

Last week, I went to pick up what I thought was a dead leaf off my sun room floor and retracted my hand just in time because that 'leaf' was a TARANTULA!!!    I've heard they can jump so I wasn't about to get near it.   I stomped on it.  Turns out, it was already dead, probably due to my kitties.  But, UGH!!!   I told some friends about it and they were like 'oh yeah, it's common here'.   UGH!!!!  It was the size of a 50 cent piece.   Apparently, they're not dangerous....nor are the scorpions.  I DON'T CARE!!!!!

UGH!!!!!

7 comments:

  1. Plates look beautiful; love how you used them. Spiders... not to cool, but you could glue a couple to the walls to see how the look. I hear they're a delicacy in some countries.

    James

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  2. I was so inspired by your creativity and how great the plate art looked that I went to Artesa myself and bought a bunch! My glue gun is still packed so I am going to use the same stuff you did. What did you put on the backs to hang them?

    I had no idea there were scorpions and trantulas in Ecuador - GROSS!

    Trish

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  3. Thanks Trish! I bought a packet of hangars for the back of the plates. They look like triangles hinged to a piece of square metal that has holes in it to nail. I used the same glue to glue the flat square piece of metal to the plate and, while it dried (less than a minute), a piece of tape stretched across it to hold it in place. I left the tape on just as a backup in case the glue later fails. Then, it was just a matter of putting a small nail in the wall and hooking the triangular piece over it! You should be able to find the hangars wherever you would buy supplies to hang pictures. Packet of 10 was $2 at Coral.

    BTW...I'm from Seattle, too! Worked at Seafirst/Bank of America, then WaMu ;-(. Born/raised in Port Angeles.

    Dano

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  4. OK Roseman: I have a miniature rose on my windowsill. It only gets late afternoon sun. How often and how much should I water it? I am new to roses and know they can be particular. Thanks! PS: Love the plates!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, I'm not an EXPERT, but I've had plenty of experience with roses!!

    #1 they require plenty of direct sunlight
    #2 avoid getting water on the leaves as this invites powdery mildew
    #3 apply liquid fertilizer (mixed with your watering) about once a month, especially since potted soil loses its nutrients rapidly vs the great outdoors
    #4 roses don't like constantly wet roots (again, invites leaf rust and powdery mildew). Let them get almost dry, then water well. Make sure the pot has good drainage.
    #5 pluck off dead blooms to promote continuous blooms.

    Hope this helps! Dano

    ReplyDelete
  6. So we're not the only ones to have discovered the tarantulas. Yours looks to be about the same size as the one we discovered on our back porch, also dead and we have no cat. I hear they are pretty much harmless but I still don't want to wake up and find that in my bed!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Dan! I just found your blog, and it is great! You make me laugh so hard!! I am from Quito; I've been living in the US for five years now, and being and Ecuadorian that has been living here for a while, I kind of understand what you are going through. I have a couple suggestions for you regarding your posts, that you may consider useful. Write me a line to telmoandres@gmail.com so we I can share them with you.

    -Andres

    ReplyDelete

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About Me

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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.

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