Blogs from Baños, Centre, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 29th 2022

As promised at the end of my last blog entry, here are some pix of the finished patchwork quilt. Danielle and I worked together on it for over four months. It was a long and arduous process with many fits and starts, pauses and changes, ideas and discoveries. When we first talked about her coming down to stay in my rental apartment for six months, part of the agreement was that she would help me with the project that had been percolating in my mind for so long. I am incredibly grateful for her knowledge, skill and patience as we waded through each step of the creation of this masterpiece! First I unearthed all of the fabric bits I'd been saving for over 30 years. There were clothes from Bali that shredded after three washings, scraps ... read more
The Finished Quilt
Proud Artistes
Elegant Birthday Lunch

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 25th 2021

Making my home my own has been an ongoing labor of love (interwoven with periods of frustration and many lessons to learn). Many thanks to Zahra, seamstress extraordinaire, for helping me to re-cover my headboard with the remainder of the neckties. It completes the ensemble with the recycled tire ottomans (ottomen?) that we previously created together. It turns out that I loved my new duvet cover sooo much that I went out and bought another one and Zahra turned it into drapes. My new best friend Chris had just found some skinny bamboo pieces, exactly what I needed to hang the drapes from the top of my sliding glass entry doors. My fabulous carpenter, Leonidas sanded the bamboo and made small wooden supports to create just the look I had in mind. Two very bright street ... read more
Duvet Cover Drapes
New Brick Patio
Cracking Walls

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños November 6th 2021

I'm free!! Free of the constant banging of the worker with whom I shared a cement block wall for five years! My new master suite is complete and it is a dream come true. Is it possible that the finished project is even more beautiful and functional than I envisioned it might be? For decades I have imagined creating a liveable work of art, and I am now inhabiting the brick and mortar reality of those imaginings. I am infinitely grateful to all who helped me bring my vision into being. I am especially grateful to my carpenter whose hard work was integral to the beautiful space we created! Almost six months ago we began the flooring process with a trip to Puyo, an hour away on the edge of the Amazon basin. We selected each ... read more
CiCi Approves
My Dream Closet
Finishing Touches

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños August 26th 2021

So, it's already September and my construction project still isn't finished...almost!! But it seems like it's been 'almost' for over a month. Argh! This last little push seems interminably slow. Right now the hardwood floors are going in, even as we are still working out kinks - like persistent dampness and leaks in the roof & the staircase. It's been a journey...and in true construction fashion the job has ended up taking twice as long and costing twice as much as originally planned! As the architect told me (and I totally believe this) a remodel is much more difficult than building from the ground up -- since you have to deal with all of the existing factors. In my case it's been moisture in the walls that are shared with neighbors, rotting hot water pipes and ... read more
Glass Risers
Staircase from Below

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 22nd 2021

Hello Friends! Fasten your seatbelts because this blog entry has a LOT going on!! I've tried to put the photos in some sort of order, but my life is kind of topsy-turvy right now and so is my brain!! My home is completely "patas arriba" (paws up) as they say in Español which affects my thinking and my daily routine, but I'll make it through. Keeping my eyes on the prize! I had the good fortune to participate in birthday celebrations with several different friends! Also, special visits from other friends. My social life is reactivating a bit...and it feels good. My seamstress friend, Zahra and I drove a half-hour down to just past Rio Verde where Melinda and her partner Franco have a sweet little hostel and campground called Pequeño Paraíso. Mel wants to update ... read more
Rami and Daphna in Baños
Ladies' Luncheon
Birthday Luxury

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños April 3rd 2021

Even during a pandemic I managed to enjoy my bday! The day before (which is always Valentine's Day) fell on a Sunday so I arranged for an outdoor luncheon with 10 friends. The best restaurant in Baños, Swiss Bistro, had just re-opened in their new location -- the gardens of a lovely hotel (Ali Samay) - centrally located but not well-known (they mostly work with tour groups). I wanted to help the owner (my dear friend Patrick) jump-start his new and improved dining experience by re-introducing our gringo group to this formerly favorite establishment. A couple of the attendees didn't feel comfortable dining at the same table with so many others, so we arranged for a separate table for them a few meters away from the group. It was a bright, sunny day as we gathered ... read more
Scary Caves!!
My Fave Family!
Fly Niton

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños February 7th 2021

Hola loyal blog readers! Let me begin this entry with a WARNING - the following includes a slightly graphic description of a medical procedure. If that kind of thing makes your stomach lurch, skip down to the 4th paragraph. (haha, now you're all curious and will surely read right from the start) In early December when I returned to Ecuador from the US, I planned to stay in Quito for a few days to deliver some of the things I'd brought for my friends and also to have a colonoscopy. (oh joy!) Since I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease 20 years ago, I'm supposed to have my colon scoped every three years...and I think it's been at least five since my last test (but who's counting?). I stayed with my 92 year old friend Margarita that ... read more
Up in the Clouds
Vibrant Hydrangeas
Baños from Above

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños November 13th 2020

November began with a delightful visit from dear friends, Nancy and Chuck. They are an older American couple who live in Cuenca and I got to know them well during my many visits to collect donations for the BIB Bazar secondhand shop. Always generous with their home, their time, their donations. Chuck went to pick up garage sale leftovers and stored them, helped me pack the truck up, and they've always opened their home to me. When Nancy was getting ready to redecorate their guest room, she asked me which fabrics she should consider for the curtains in "my room." Nancy and Chuck are avid travellers and take several long cruises each year. Quarantine hit them especially hard but once things began to open a bit they set off adventuring within Ecuador, getting to know the ... read more
I Survived the Hanging Bridge
At the Base of the Waterfall
Double Birthday Joy!

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños August 5th 2020

As we complete our fifth month of quarantine I find that I am more reflective...looking inward, focusing on details. During my daily walks up the hill with CiCi, I notice each new bloom and there are bazillions of wildflowers and fascinating plants. Awed by and grateful for the ever-evolving natural world around me. My little lemon tree is producing prodigiously (I once counted over 70 lemons!) and I closely observe each blossom (future lemons!). This crop of lemons is taking awhile to get fully yellow but they are huge and juicy, sweet and luscious. I only need to squeeze 3 lemons to make a pitcher of sugar required! I'm told that they are Meyer lemons, the best of the best according to the locals. It is a joy to be able to gift 6 or ... read more
Lemons, present and future
Snowy Summit
Grey & Cloudy

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños May 24th 2020

Quarantine, coming from the Italian word quaranta (40) is Cuarentena in Spanish cuarenta (40) but here in Ecuador we’ve been in isolation for twice that amount of time with daily 2 pm to 5 am curfews, permission to drive a vehicle only one day a week (based on the last number of the license plate), and requirement to wear a mask in public and disposable gloves in the grocery store. There are road blocks at either end of town and provincial borders are closed around the country, allowing only food supply vehicles to cross. As of this writing all domestic and international flights are grounded. Those arriving on humanitarian repatriation flights undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government approved hotel. My friends who just got back to Quito were not even given a key to ... read more
Daily Scrabble Joy!
After the rain...
The Healing Power of Nature

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