26 September 2014

Welcome to the neighborhood.  Trapeador, our favorite neighborhood dog, also welcomes you.  He is the friendliest neighbor a gal could find.  Rain or shine is comes out with tail wagging.  He follows me down the dirt road when I take my camera for a walk.  He offers his approval easily.  So I offer to pat his head frequently.

And while I must be truthful that most days since I've been here it has been rainy, the days when the rain finally passes and the sun comes out are spectacular.  It hasn't fully sunken in that this is where I now live.

We are only about 15 - 20 minutes from town, but once we turn off the main road onto our dirt path, the haphazardness of the city falls away and we are left with nothing but enormous cows, very hairy horses and all sorts of peculiar birds.

24 September 2014

I was a child who grew up on the move.  We might not have traversed very long distances, but nor did we stay in one place for very long.  I share this personal tid bit not to brag, nor to complain, just as a matter of fact.  I know how to pack my own bag and get rid of junk, scour yard sales, and have one of my own.  If we had had a round wooden wagon we might have been gypsies.  My sister will tell you the same.  But from this aspect of life I think I took away three key lessons.  Perhaps there are more hidden in there, but just a few come to mind.  I thought I'd share with you these tips incase you, one day, also find yourself relocating.  

The first lesson I learned is, to clean.  And clean vigorously.  When you arrive at your new destination hesitate not a messes left by previous inhabitants, rid your new space of any shadow of others.  Buy rubber gloves.  Either you erase that past resident, or he will live with you forever.  Learn how to scrub, invest in a good mop.  Swiffers are crap.  Second, make it cozy.  You might be here a day, you might be here a lifetime, it matters not.  Add something green and growing, a candle to drive away bad spirits, carry with you light things, fabrics, pillow cases, something to make it your own.  This is to be your respite from the world.  When all around you is chaos, you need to come home to a home.  Lastly, stick to your budget.  Pottery Barn has beautiful things, but those beautiful things are heavy.  And probably overpriced.  If the winds of change soon blow you in a new direction, be prepared to start over again.  

Last weekend we worked on building some furniture for the casita.  Forget tranquility, the living room was a wreck!  But it is fun to share projects and with very few stores in our small city, this way we can get what we want and make the most of our space, and pesos.  A few more trips to the hardware store and we will get it pulled together.

I think the bedside tables turned out great!

Our neighbors have very furry horses!  I love to watch them come galloping up from the kitchen window.  Still have some work to do to convince Pablo that we need a pony...

22 September 2014

After devouring seaweed empanadas we decided to take a walk on the beach.  Its not quite like beach strolling in Florida or the tropics, but treasures can be found none the less.  We hunted for some shells to decorate our little house and we though about how cold it will be to dive in those waters!

Cochayuyo crudo!

18 September 2014

Nuestra primera casita!

And the neighbor's dog.  We call her, La Terror.  Very frightening, huh?  Loco and Gordo seem to think so.

16 September 2014

Bienvenidos a Valdivia.  After one million hours of travel, the gatitos and I finally made it.  Our little family has been reunited, at the end of the world.  We now reside in southern Chile, the jumping off point to Patagonia and los Andes.  A land with tiny deer and giant trees, sea lions who hang out at local markets, and seasons in reverse.  I have gone back in time, transitioning from summer's end to the beginning of spring.  The mornings are chilly and the trees have just started to produce tiny blooms.  The world around me is very different from where I was just a week, month, and year ago.

My first day here, Pablo and I drove out to the coast.  We followed the road along the river's edge until it opened up to the great big Pacific.  It is very strange to be twenty minutes from that beast of an ocean.  We stopped, to enjoy her grandeur, and also to find some lunch.  We had been told to look for a little house that is half falling off the land into the sea.  There you will find delicious empanadas.  Filled with all manner of sea creatures.  We ordered the recommended Cochayuyo, Jaiba, and Lentejas.  Four filled with seaweed, four filled with crab, and four with lentils and cheese.  They, and the view, were spectacular.

Pebre de Cochayuyo

Crab Empanada

11 September 2014

We're off.  If you happen to be traveling through IND, YYZ, SCL, or ZAL in the next 24 hours you might just see a girl and her cat hiking from terminal to terminal.  Gordo was checked at the gate, Loco serves as my bonafide carry on.  Already its been a bit of a traumatizing experience, but with any luck by Friday afternoon we'll be seeing you in Chile.