Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Preparations update

Scott and I are busy getting the house ready to sell and getting rid of the things that will not move with us.  We have boxes for each relative's family and they are being filled with the things we think they might want.  They all live in Minnesota or Wisconsin so we're guessing but hopefully they will want at least some of what they are getting.  We also have boxes of photos that we plan to scan, then give the printed photos to relatives.

It has been two months since my last post and I had hoped that we would be further along than we are but things are going in the right direction.  Here's an update on where we are with the list from my last post:
  1. Sell or donate all furniture in our house.  Update:  We have sold all of the living room furniture, donated the guest bedroom furniture and are posting more to craigslist each week.
  2. Complete the few portions of our house that still need remodeling:  Master bath & entry way being the two biggest. Update:  The new entry door should arrive this week as well as the shower pan for the master bath.  The vanity & tiles for the floor are in the garage.  We've demolished most of the current bathroom & taken down the wallpaper.  Contractor arrives on Monday so we'll begin the construction full time then.
  3. Hire realtor & sell house.  Update:  This obviously needs to happen after #2 but we meet with our realtor next week to begin the paperwork.
  4. Find a new home for our cat, Cleo.  Update:  Cleo is in a new home with my friend from a previous job.  She had a tough time on the drive there but it sounds like she is doing well.  Our house lost a lot of life the day she left it.  Thank you so much to Stacy, Jeff and kids for welcoming her into your home! 
  5. Obtain and have apostilled our birth certificates, marriage certificate, police records, etc.  Also need them all translated into Spanish but we can do that in Ecuador if necessary.  They all need to be within 90 days of applying for permanent residency (cedula) so until we have a date, I'm putting this off.  Update:  We still don't have a firm date so still putting off...
  6. Sell my car.  Update:  Our daughter totaled her car in an accident (thank God the kids were not with her and she escaped with minor injuries).  When we first heard, we thought that we'd jump in the car and drive it to Minnesota but she did not need it right away as it turned out.  She and our son-in-law will be here in February to pick up my car and drive back to their home in Minnesota.
  7. Go through the paperwork filling the office & shred or scan into electronic form. Update:  I killed our home shredder.  I think I fed it too much.  We have brought boxes down to a local shred store instead - they shredded it all in front of us, which was cool.  We have piles of paperwork that we need to scan into electronic form.  Our scanner also died so need to get another one for this.
So overall things are moving forward and the house is full of boxes, piles, and items for our second garage sale.  We are going to have the garage sale on January 26, 10 days from today.  Hopefully it won't rain that day.

I am also working on improving my rudimentary Spanish.  I am making flash cards and practicing with them each day.  The biggest challenge is understanding what is being said by the native Spanish speakers.  In an attempt to help with that, I sometimes listen to ESPN Deportes instead of my normal sports radio stations.  I am thrilled when I understand which product a commercial just tried to sell me AND I know what their phone number is!  I also love it when I know which soccer team won and which lost and by what score.  Celebrate the smallest improvement!

I leave you with some photos from Pedernales, on the coast just north of the Equator.  We drove there in July, primarily so we could cross the Equator and unexpectedly stumbled upon a park where they were holding a contest for food decorations.  Most of them were fruit but we saw a couple made of meat and other things.  When we arrived, the contest was over and many contestants were dismantling their works of art.

 This was the winner.  When I was taking the first picture, someone came over and said that we needed to take a picture of the winning entry!  The first picture came in second.

 Above, Scott is walking up to the park.

 The gentleman who made the meat entry above had already begun to dismantle and eat his creation but still let us take the picture.

 These ladies were making salad for the masses.  It was a fun time!

After leaving the park, we went down to the beach.  Here are some photos from there:
Across the street from the beach.



Until next time,
Emily