Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back To Normal

As I write this weeks blog entry title, I can't help but laugh knowing that our "normal" is most people's chaos. After what seemed like an eternity, Rod is finally home for good and our life is slowly returning to its chaotic normal state. We are now busy playing catch up in all the areas that we were unable to divide and conquer. Rod and I have always been a team and we seem to move mountains when we are together, but divided for any amount of time and we are like two lost sheep.

In Rod's absence it didn't take me long to realize that running two automotive shops was not in my forte. While we were all very thankful that he was able to be with Dad through the last couple of months, I missed having my other half. Dad had the last of his chemo and radiation treatments a couple of weeks ago and came through like a real trooper. I think that he was the pillar of hope for the other patients under going treatment. Now all we can do is wait to see if he gets a clean bill of health when he returns to the doctor in about a month.

 Mom & Dad On Their Wedding Day

It's hard to believe that in approximately three weeks we will be back in Ecuador to pick out the finishing touches for the house. After that the holidays will be back upon us and we will be back in Houston for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Rod's sister Phyllis will be coming in from the U.K. this year to spend the holidays with the family, so we are looking forward to a really special holiday season.

Mom has been in California the last three weeks helping her sister recover from hip surgery. Bob stayed behind to work on organizing for the move to Ecuador only to be confronted with the wild fires that were raging out of control in East Texas. Thankfully the fires were contained before they reached the town that my Mother and Bob live in, but with the drought continuing, the threat is ever present. Mother Nature seems to be on a roll this year, between the tornadoes we experienced this past summer and now the wild fires it seems this has been the year so many have been put to the test.

This week's entry promises to be an easier read than the last entry I wrote. As Rod says, I lost him after  the first paragraph. Sorry if I bored everyone to death, but I felt it was my duty to try and help save some unsuspecting soul from the grief I went through and am still going through with my stolen laptop.

Our Ecuador house is finally becoming the polished gem that we knew it could be. I have to admit there were times we thought we had purchased little more than a lump of coal that would prove to be the albatross around our neck, but the last couple of months have reaffirmed our faith. The house has literally begun to transform before our eyes.

 View From The Garden Towards The Back Of The House On Top Is The Terrace With The Glass Roof, Below That Is The Patio Off Of The Main Kitchen And Below That Is The Bottom Floor Patio That Leads Into The Garden.

Carlos sends us pictures religiously each day and  we wait anxiously for them to arrive in our in box as if we were little children waiting for Santa to come down the chimney with a pack full of gifts. Instead of the dread we once felt when the email server alerted us to confirm a large message download, we now confirm the download without a second thought. As with any project, not everything is perfect, but considering the fact we are doing the majority of this remodel from another country, I have to say that it is now going incredibly smooth. It seems we have finally found an architect that shares our vision and Carlos steers our ship strong and steady.

Building The Back Garden Wall. The Niches Will Contain Our Collection Of Saints We have Yet To Acquire

A View Of The Back Garden Wall From The Patio Off Of The Main Kitchen

Since Rod left Ecuador, we have brought in a couple of more carpenters to work on the doors and windows. There is so much woodwork to be stripped and stained. Some of the doors and windows are being rebuilt as the original ones were beyond repair. The cabinet maker has started the bathroom cabinets, the iron worker has completed some of the railings for the patios and the master carpenter has been working on the spiral staircase. The workers have been busy plastering the walls and preparing them to be sanded and finished. The cement base has been poured for the floors and we will soon be laying the brick and wood to finish our floors.

 Readying The Walls For Plaster. Some Of The Wood Windows, Doors And Wainscoting That Have Been Stripped

Laying The Cement Foundation For The Floors

Our Beautiful Iron Railing On The Top Terrace

Looking Up Towards The Chapel From The 2nd Story

Can You Tell I Love Our Railing

As smoothly as things have been going lately I can't help but be a little nervous at the thought of seeing the house for the first time since all of these changes have taken place. There is always a nagging thought in the back of my mind....  will I like the stone walls? will there be outlets where there are supposed to be? will the rooms look small? and on and on.

Our Newly Stripped Altar In The Chapel

In the meantime Rod has been busy doing what he does best, and that is finding a bargain. The ebay king has been purchasing sinks, plumbing fixtures and lighting fixtures for the Ecuador house and in the process saving us thousands of dollars. He has purchased so much at this point we are wondering if there will be any room for clothing in our suitcases after we stuff all of our buys into our luggage to bring with us this next trip. Hopefully customs will not give us any trouble this time. We had a tense moment last trip when we brought all of the electrical plugs and receptacles down for the electrician. The customs agent was very curious to know why we had so many electrical items in our suitcase, I'm quite sure they thought we were setting up a business.

This Is Cuenca! I Dream Of Being On The Terrace And Looking At This View


  1. This is starting "to look like the real deal!" Hope I get to visit and see it in person. It's nice to take something old and make it look old, but new... if you get my drift. Have fun and remember all of us who are waiting patiently to someday find our own place at Planet Zero!

    Many Blessings!

  2. OH MY Shelly --- you, Rod, your mom, and Bob are my new heros!!!!! I wasn't sure but this is truly amazing!!!!!!!! I wish I had your guts. I once said that if I ever found myself on my own I would move to San Francisco and sell my car. Then I was convinced I would finish my life in Italy. Here I sit in safe security in my darling little house in Pasadena looking at the photos of the magic you're creating and envying you soooooo much. I can't even begin to express how proud I am of you. Your dad would be blown away (not to mention Grammy and Grampy). If we did anything right, it was coming up with you as a member of our family. Hugs and kisses------Aunt Sally (and so proud to be!!!!!)

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