Sunday, March 16, 2014

Life, Taxes and Bananas

I know, no blog for a while but we've been busy working on getting all our tax information compiled to go to our accountant back in the US. Every year we try to simplify things and every year it still seems to take forever. But we are almost there, one more document to add to the pile and off it all goes.

We still try to go into El Centro a couple times a week, often trying out a new eatery. Last week it was The Loft Garden Cafe. They were The Loft Cafe but recently moved to a new location with an outside garden. We opted to sit outside but under cover from the sun (and eventual afternoon rain). We added them to our WiFi list (we now have over half a dozen free wifi spots in town), ordered our lunch and enjoyed the garden laid out in front of us. All the food is made fresh - good for the tasting, sometimes not so good for waiting. We didn't feel the wait was too long but have heard others complain. We will be back!

We have also been meeting new folks who are either here on an exploratory trip or recently relocated. It's always fun to share our experiences with them. Of course food and coffee are usually involved. LOL! This group was meeting at our favorite pastry shop (they also serve regular food), Popacuchu. It's a nice mile walk either way, along the Yanancay river.

Stu has been busy getting the last of our wall hangings hung, we still have empty spaces on the walls and nothing up in the loft at all, but since I bought these in mid-January, it's nice to see them on display. Plus, they help cut down on the echoes!

Me? Busy writing. I have so much on my plate and sometimes feel guilty that I'm spending too much time writing. I found a wonderful writers critique group with Thursday lunch meetings and have been to two sessions. I'll keep going whenever I can. It's fun to hear others read their work and realize that I sometimes have a good comment to contribute. At the last meeting I read the short story that I'm writing for the soon to be released anthology for my author friend fighting cancer. I took a lot away and I'm in the middle of rewriting it now.

A side note on our life here. When we got our last propane tank swapped out we were told one of the valves was bad. We had read that these go bad frequently but aren't expensive to replace. When Stu was out running errands the other day, he picked up two new valves, about $5 each. Yesterday he swapped them out and we then headed off to visit friends (and pick up our new to us stepper). We headed home by taxi in one of the hardest downpours we've seen yet, lots of thunder, too.

Soon it was time for dinner and when we washed up the dishes we noticed the water wasn't really hot but didn't think too much about it. By 11pm when Stu went to take his shower, NO hot water. Nada, zilch, none. The calefon (our instant on hot water heater that is the most common way to heat water here) was firing but that was it. Then he tried the stove, turned on and fizzled out. So he dressed and went out and swapped the tanks. Oops, STILL no hot water.

He took a cold shower (braver man than I) and said he'd look at it in the morning. I slept in and heard him in the utility room banging around. He ended up taking off one of the new propane valves and putting the old one back on. Voila! Hot water. The new ones didn't let enough gas flow through to provide the calefon enough power to heat the water. So tomorrow we will search for the correct one. The new one fit (left) and looked like it would work..

I suppose you want to know about the bananas in the title. We do most of our vegetable and fruit shopping at the local Mercado, less than five minutes away. The last batch of bananas had a Siamese twin! We wondered if it would have one HUGE banana inside or two side by side ones. Today we got the answer and today I hate a half that was a whole!

I will try to not wait so long between blog posts, then they won't be so long. [good luck to me on that]

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