Our House gets a new "Hat"

Because the El Nino weather phenomenon starts right at our front door, so to speak, we have been experiencing different than normal weather so far this year.  Jan and Feb, our hottest months were remarkably cooler this year.  March was the rainiest we have ever seen--normally no rain--this year 12 days of it!  April was perfect, but May, our "change" month, was just beautiful!

El Nino will hit the US hard in Sep, Oct, and Nov...so be prepared folks...

The heavy rains in March finally got us going on a plan to replace our 40 year old roof.

Since we get a continual onshore breeze, filled with salt, we opted for the same roof we had before.  40 years is a pretty good record of standing up to the ocean winds and breezes.

Here are some photos of our crew working from Bamboo scafolding to remove the old roof...it was no fun!

As you can see the old roof has taken a beating over the years.  Pedro is careful removing the nails, so the this roofing can be used by the locals for their own roofs or chicken coops, etc.

The roof is made of a composition cement and fibre mix.  It is best for standing up to salt air.

Our roof extends over the side of the building by about six feet.  This way it protects the sides of the building from extra weathering, and provides protection from rain on both sides.

In the next two photos, you see Sonia painting all the undersides of the roofing that will be showing from below.Fernando spent a week painting, also...

Here's a shot of our living room with a beautiful sky as a ceiling...

The painting never stops...here you see the crew painting 80 sheets of plywood to be used for the interior ceiling.  You also see a few of the rafters that will replace a couple of bad ones.

During the three week job, we had one night of rain...but the guys covered the job each night anyway...

A better shot of the job, the guys, and the scaffolding...

Sonia did a great job for us...she painted and painted...lots of times if was waaaay up there!

Just to give you an idea about how she earned equal pay with all the guys...

Fernando spent a lot of time installing the new roof...

Here's Alfredo, Sonia's brother, and our Maestro, painting some hard to reach places...

Pedro and Silva did a huge job of being on the roof 8 hours a day for three weeks...

Finally, Rox takes a shot of the living room, after the roof is on, the floors have been sanded, and Sonia has painted all the interior walls.

May was such a warm month, that our crew was thrilled to have an ice cold beer each night when they finished up...Here they are on the last night of the job...mucho more than one beer each...

In order to make the transition from chaotic roof job, to pretty nice looking finished living room, we called on Agripina and a crew of six to clean and dust every item in our house.  It took six people 8 hours to make the change!

You see Agripina on the left, and she is mom to Sonia next to her, and to Alfredo and Cecilia, in the center.  Leanora, also her daughter, is next to Sonia...

This group did a great job for us...and we are proud to say that they are all good friends!

 

Posted on Tue, June 2, 2015 at 08:38AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments

Celebrating a couple of late April Birthdays...

April is a fun month in that we celebrate Roxanne's birthday, and we also celebrate Agripina's birthday.  As you all know, Agripina is the matriarch of our resident family.

Each year we have Agripina and Isidro over on their birthdays to share some drinks, nibblies, and to open some gifts.  We also send them off with beers, cake, and ice cream for a family party later.

She is is wearing her new necklace and bracelet, as she shows off the cake which will be devoured by the rest of the family later.

Some more fun gifts, as she playfully pokes Isidro with a new oven mitt...

Two buddies posing for the camera on this special day...

On Roxanne's Birthday, the family showed up to sing Happy Birthday, and present her with this diabolical Oreo chocolate cheese cake, and enough chicken for banana fritters for two meals...

We were cutting a huge filet mignon dinner out of a large loin plus our favorite twice baked potatoes for Roxanne's birthday dinner, but we enjoyed the chicken and fritters and cheesecake for two more complete meals later!

On the morning of Roxanne's Birthday, we made eggs benedict as a special treat.  Notice that the home grown eggs from Agripina's chickens are a deep yellow.  They taste better than any eggs we've eaten, and the color makes the hollandaise sauce a deep yellow, too!

Just before we had the Birthday Dinner, we were rewarded with this fine sunset...

And here is the Birthday Girl enjoying the whole thing in the glow of the sunset...Happy Birthday Rox!!!

Posted on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 07:39AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

Odds and Ends from the Good Life on the Coast...

Here are a few shots giving you a little update of our life on the Coast:

Rox is starting out on her morning hour walk along the beach.

Our sunsets have been especially vivid this year...we'll include a few in this post...

 

Our hand dug well is producing enough water to keep the yard green--and, great news...we have had four days of heavy rain--yippee!  (The rain's at night--just like Camelot!)

Carnival this year was absolutely crazy in Montanita...probably double the number of attendees as last year...we stayed near home...

Here is a portable bar built by Fernando, one of Agripina's nephews...plus some of the family...with Rox...He did a bang up business in cocktails during the three day Carnival...

And...right next to his bar was a nice girl from Argentina, who was selling terrific pizzas, made in her oven shown right behind her.

A couple of our guests trying out the "flying foam" tubes that all the celebrants use at Carnival...As you can see they are dressed just right for it!

"Pink Flamingos in Ecuador???"  You bet!  For the last several weeks we have seen these guys digging up food off the bottom of ponds next to the salt company in Monteverde.

Coquita is happy to show of her new bed...

A couple more sunsets...

And...Dolphins finally!  We had not seen one dolphin in five years and had begun to fear the worst, but this last month we have seen this pod (what to you call a group of dolphins?) of about 25  grazing in front of us. 

And...we'll finish up with a couple more sunsets...the last one looking like a radio-active skeleton... 

Posted on Mon, March 16, 2015 at 05:55AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments1 Comment

How to ensure good luck and prosperity in 2015--Ecuador style!

Some of the most fun about preparing for the New Year, is all the hoop-la that goes with drumming out the Old Year, and Welcoming in the New One...

Here in Ecuador we see some of the following sights for the several final days in December...These shots were all taken yesterday, and today--Jan 1--they are all gone!!!

El Presidente...

Could this be Scarlett and Rhett?

It is a little disconcerting to see these 8 and 10 foot monsters, but we never see them in front of any houses near us.  For one thing, they cost lots of money compared to the little ones, and they take a big truck to transfer them...

You see tons of action heroes and villains, and lots of "Disney" knock offs...




 

 

At the stroke of midnight...all of these wonderful creations are thrown into a huge fire--and with them all of a person's negative thoughts, vibes, and actions from the previous year! That done, they now begin the new year fresh--what a good idea!

To further cement the good luck, many athletic fools jump over the fire three times...not a good idea if you are on the beach in soft sand...

Rox bought a large bag of seedless, California green grapes to Agripina's family, as another tradition involves eating 12 grapes, and making a wish, just before the stroke of midnight.She says that they say "Buena Suerte" (good luck or fortune) enero, febrero, marzo, abril, with each grape, etc.  as you go through the new year's months...

They also wear new underwear for good luck in life and love...

More fun times come as we watch young boys and men dress up in drag, to become the "widows" of the old (man) year...and they are requesting funds for their support and your good fortune...usually at speed bumps in the smaller towns...


The red devils have a habit of whistling at you as you are stopped at a light, until you break down and give them a little change--to keep the evil spirits away...

And...of course, nobody is allowed to forget the fireworks, as they are lighting up the sky all around!



Last night the fireworks began to go off with machine gun rapidity...not a favorite time for Coquita...so I spent the next 45 minutes  holding her to keep her from shaking, but near the end of the display, there were the inevitable sonic boom type of rockets...and she decided that Rox was the only person to save her from those...she was happy when they were done...

Agripina's daughter was shelling black eyed peas the other day...so these will be served up at midnight feast with collard greens.  Usually this is all served with pork--because pigs are famous for "rooting ahead"...OK...

Here are a couple more shots of the Manijotes...

Since these manniquins are great photo ops...these young folks positioned themselves to be able to wave as the passing cars all took their photos...

 

Another nice tradition is the midnight visit of a close friend...to ensure happiness and good fortune for the following year...

Agripina and Isidro dropped in at about 30 minutes after midnight to wish us well for the new year...

We were in our  bathrobes, and they were in their dancing clothes...their plan--to have a huge family party at their home that would last until 5 am...

We hope all of our friends, relatives and guests all have a great 2015...

Bob & Roxanne & Coquita...

Posted on Thu, January 1, 2015 at 08:38AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments1 Comment

Some more fun times...

Here are photos of a few events that have happened since the Kid's Christmas Party...

We had Agripina and Isidro, our helpful, resident family, over for our annual Christmas get-together...

Isidro and Coquito were posing just right until I took too long getting the camera out...

We had drinks and goodies to eat, and we gave them an assortment of presents, the best which were, a new clothes closet for the bedroom, and most of all a new pillow top mattress with a pretty comforter which were just Agripina's colors.  


They both have aching backs at night and have now reported that they sleep like babies and there is no more back pain!

Each year the church puts on a traveling Nativity show, which is a combination of upbeat Christmas songs and a little like trick or treat...The show performs all over town and each home gives what they can to the cast...

Here are some of the shots...



The kids had been performing for three hours before arriving at our place...so it was a little like herding cats...this little angel was having a little better time organizing shells...There might be a good guess that her name begins with the letter "C"...

The young lady on the left has been singing for us for over 5 years...

Sonia, Agripina, and Rox have just finished handing out 50 baggies full of goodies...

This is the result...Those smiles are worth a million bucks...

Another big event for us was the return of dolphins to our waters after being gone for over five years...they were curious about the surfers...as you can see...

Here's a shot of Isidro watering our place,  using water from the well he dug...we wanted it to look like a jungle, and it's getting there...

I keep telling the people that I am done with counting birthdays...but nobody listens...here are Agripina, Sonia, Cecilia, and Alex bringing me a traditional Ecuadorian dish and a yummy cheese cake...well,  calories don't count on your birthday!

About as good as it gets!!!

Most of that cheesecake is gone already...

And to top it off...we get this dramatic sunset...

Posted on Tue, December 30, 2014 at 03:25AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments
Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next 5 Entries