Friday, December 27, 2013

First package sent.

I hope you had a Merry Christmas.  I did.  Mike and I drove up to Cornelia to spend Christmas with my mother, sister, and nephew.  We exchanged and opened presents the moment we got there.  Isaiah is ten years old so he gets very excited about opening gifts. After opening presents we had a wonderful lunch prepared by my mother.  She is the best cook and always makes sure she has everyone's favorites.  She served a turkey that she prepared in the crockpot.  It was so moist and delicious.  And, there was macaroni and cheese, green beans, roasted brussels sprouts, dressing, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, ambrosia, pecan pie, brownies (prepared by Isaiah) and a chocolate chip cookie cake.  I'm sure I left something out.  While there Isaiah decided to cook some cornbread for us.  Who knows...he may grow up to be a famous chef!  How fun would that be?

The first package is being sent via FedEx today to Ecuador.  I boxed up blankets, clothes, and a pair of sandals.  This is a test shipment to make sure it actually gets there and that nothing is missing.  I will let you know if it is a success or not.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Yesterday, I posted a message on expressing my interest in an English teaching job in Cuenca.  My e-mail has blown up with responses.  I'm retired but I refuse to sit around the house all day.  I figured I would get bored after six months and would want to teach/tutor part time.  It appears, that if I choose to, I could get a full-time teaching job almost immediately.  I already have an interview set up with one language school.  Just four or five months ago I never dreamed that I would give up a twenty-two year career in Accounting and move to South America to teach English as a foreign language.  Life is full of surprises.  I am glad that God gave me the intelligence and guts to do such a thing! 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Two weeks ...

Two weeks and we are headed to Quito Ecuador.  We will then stay in Quito for about two weeks while we finalize our residency status.  Once we receive our Cedulas, green cards, we will move on to Cuenca where our apartment is waiting.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.

Monday, December 16, 2013


It took a few days before I was able to write about this.  Scooter went to be with his new parents Friday, December 13.  Cory and Abe were very excited about adopting Scooter.  When I left Scooter had already made himself at home.  He ate his dinner, sniffed around his new digs a bit, and then settled down to chew on a rawhide stick.  One of his favorite treats. I miss him a lot.  However, I know it is for the best.  He is now in a great home with wonderful people to care for him.  I will miss my little Scooter. The only dog I ever loved.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I visited New York City Saturday thru Tuesday.  I was finally able to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was something I wanted to do for a very long time.  Saw a lot of famous paintings and sculptures, among many other works of art.  Spent an entire day there.  However, one day is not enough time if you want to see the entire collection.  I hit the highlights and came away feeling happy.  It was also a pleasant surprise to have experienced snow falling in NYC while walking around Times Square and while viewing the holiday window decorations at the many retail stores. Happened upon an organ recital at St. Thomas church.  Walked in and enjoyed the magnificent pipe organ. Also enjoyed a coffee at Trump Plaza while drying off and warming up a bit.  Got to see the Christmas tree and ice skaters at Rockefeller Center and witnessed a marriage proposal on the ice! The hotel was located in the Financial District.  Outside the window I had a great view of the new World Trade Center buildings and could see a little bit of The Empire State Building.  One thing I noticed in NYC is that everyone was so nice and pleasant.  It was definately a trip to remember! Oh, and I got to be a witness for a same-sex couple that got married at the City Clerks office.  And, they recipricated.

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Monday, December 2, 2013


Please try the link below.  Hopefully, it will direct you to my Flickr site and all 260 photos I took in Cuenca, Ecuador.  Headed to Columbia, SC in the morning to visit my dad and step-mother.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Officially TEFL/TESOL Certified!

Still having difficulty calming down from the excitement of visiting Cuenca Ecuador and renting an apartment.  I just cannot believe how easily things are falling into place.  Seems this was meant to be.  And, to top it off I received my TEFL TESOL certificates!

Thanksgiving day was fun.  My mother, sister, and nephew came to visit and we enjoyed ham, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, roasted okra, peppers, and brussels sprouts, chicken strips, biscuits, and dessert.  Yummy! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Great news!

We got the apartment we wanted in Cuenca!  3 bedrooms, 2 baths, balcony, patio, and the best roof top views of the city. Everything is falling into place as planned. I promise to post more details about the trip when I get home Wednesday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cuenca, Ecuador

We left Atlanta Thursday evening and flew 5.5 hours to Quito. Then, we took the one-hour taxi ride to The Bonanza, by the equator, where we spent Thursday night. Friday morning we met with our residency advisor and then flew to Cuenca late Friday afternoon. Arrived here around 8:00pm. Staying in a Hostel, La Casa Cuencana, only $12.00 per person per night. Room is comfortable with plenty of hot water for showering. The Hostel offers a complete breakfast for $2.50. It includes eggs, ham, toast, yogurt, granola, coffee, juice, and bread. Plenty of food to get me thru the morning.  Explored Cuenca by foot and then boarded a double decker bus to tour the city. Absolutely beautiful!

We walked around the city after the bus tour and stopped for lunch at Cafe Austria. Enjoyed typical Ecuadorian food...lentil soup, salad, baked chicken breast, rice, and pineapple for dessert. All for $6.50 per person.  We walked a bit more and explored the local Mercado. That was an interesting experience. Fresh fruit and meats. They also had eggs, rice, and pasta. It was sort of like a farmer's market. We then stopped at a coffee bar, had a few drinks, and watched the local youth enjoy what appeared to be a local talent show.  It started sprinkling rain so we headed back to the Hostel and took a 30-minute nap.

After our nap we headed back out and had pizza at a local joint. It was great. Good food and service. Walked a little more and returned to the Hostel. Now, getting up to date on email and writing this blog.

One thing I must keep in mind is that the sun is fierce here. Must wear long sleeved shirts, jeans, and a hat at all times. I wore a short sleeve polo shirt today and my arms are burned a little bit.

For some reason I am unable to upload pictures from my iPad. If you want to see pics before I get home please friend me on Facebook. I will be uploading my pics to my Flickr account too.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The closing on the house was a success yesterday.  It took only 15-minutes!  The buyer's agent said it was a record.  Being an all cash transaction contributed to the simplicity of the process.  We can now move forward with the plan to retire in Ecuador.  Will be travelling to Quito Thursday to meet with the guy getting our residency status and then will go on to Cuenca for a few days to see what it's like there. 

No other news at the moment.  Will keep you updated on our trip to Ecuador next week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Almost done!

The move from Monroe Drive to 26th Street is almost complete.  Should be finished tomorrow.  Now I have to start going through boxes to decide what to sell, donate, or give away. The apartment looks like a storage unit. However, I am sure it will be worth it to start a new life in South America.  Plan A for my pup Scooter did not work out. Still need to find a home for him. Let me know if you or someone you know is interested in meeting him.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

So far so good...

It's been a few days since I posted anything so I thought I better get you caught up.  The past week has been nothing but packing and moving to the temporary apartment.  I never knew how much stuff I had until I had to go through it all.  I have moved a lot over in my MINI but each time I go back to the house it looks as if I have done nothing.  Oh well, I will keep at it.  Will move the big pieces over this weekend.  Closing on the house is 11/15 at 9am.  Excited and ready to move forward.

Got the official word from the International TEFL Academy that I am all done with my certification and that I received an "A".  It was a lot of work but it is all behind me now.

Thought about observing "Movember" and growing a beard and mustache.  My facial hair was so white that it made me look older and tired.  So, this morning I thought I would try something different.  A pic will be posted below. 

I have already met a few of my new neighbors at the apartment complex.  They all seem nice.  I just wonder what type of work they do since they are always matter what time of day.  Maybe they are all retired too???

Gotta get back to unpacking now.  Just wanted to check in to let you know all is well.

As promised, here is the pic... (forgot to mention that I cut all my hair off too)!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beautiful Day!

It was a perfect day for a drive to NE GA to visit my family.  I was able to spend time with my Mother, my Sister, and my Nephew.  My mom cooked fried chicken, rice and gravy, turnip greens, macaroni & cheese, quinoa salad, roasted carrots, and rolls.  And of course for dessert we had delicious cookies and cream cake.  Yummy!!!

We made a quick trip to Wal-Mart and then I headed home.  Went to the apartment to hook up the TV, phone, and Internet but was unable to activate.  So, I came home and did an on-line chat with Comcast.  Found out I will have to call tomorrow for assistance.

Friday, November 1, 2013


My first official day of retirement.  I slept until after 8am and walked around in my undies until noon.  I think I'm going to like this!

The party last night was awesome!!  I will not post pictures in order to protect the guilty!!

Missing my former co-workers already.  Wondering what they are up to today.  That's LaSandra in the white shirt and Vickie is in purple.  LaSandra asked that I post something juicy.  I promise that I will.  Just keep checking back here.

Make sure you enter your e-mail address over on the right side of the blog so that you will receive a notice when I post updates.  Gotta run!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Submitted final assignment!

I submitted my final assignment tonight related to my TEFL certification!!!  Only two more days until retirement.  Everything is right on schedule.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Today is my Birthday!

I turned 49 today.  It was another busy day but not as busy as yesterday.  I spent most of the day completing a TEFL assignment and I submitted my Practicum documents.  One more assignment to complete, due Thursday, and I will be finished with my TEFL certification course.  The past eleven weeks have flown by. 

I did take a break from studying to have lunch at Chili's.  I had the ribs and fries.  So very delicious and the perfect birthday meal. 

Just finished paying bills and going through receipts.  Getting ready to relax and have a beverage or two! I see the hot tub in my future too!!

This is my last week at Rollins.  I am retiring on Thursday, October 31.  Does not seem real at the moment.  I guess it will all hit me Thursday.  After that the work of a different type begins.  I will go through every room in the house and decide whether to keep things, sell things, donate things, or toss them. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm tired

WOW!! A very busy day today.  It started at 6:00am.  My friend Billy and his friend Sean came over and we loaded up the furniture and Big Green Egg that Billy purchased.  Dining room table and six chairs, sofa table, and the bedroom that consisted of a queen sized bed, two bedside tables, a dresser, and a wardrobe.  Then, Sean bought the Ford Ranger! Just my MINI left to sell.  Then, Allison and her husband Dave came over and we loaded up the china cabinet.  Then, Mike and I loaded up the two leather chairs and ottoman's and delivered them to Lance in Smyrna.  After that we enjoyed a late lunch at Monterrey Mexican Restaurant.  If that is not enough, we came home loaded up the breakfast table and chairs and hauled that over to the apartment on 26th street.  Ready for more?  Then, we came home cleaned the hardwood floors in the bedroom, where the furniture that Billy bought was, and moved the bedroom furniture from the spare room into the master bedroom.  Then, Mike cleaned some in the basement.  Now, I am tired and my legs hurt. 

Tomorrow, I will spend the day completing my assignments for the TEFL Academy.  I have one assignment due tomorrow and my final assignment is due Thursday.  Hopefully, I can complete, or nearly complete everything by tomorrow night.  AND, tomorrow is my 49th birthday!!!

The house is starting to look empty but I don't feel sad about it.  I am so excited about retiring and starting a new life in Ecuador.  I will miss all of my friends and family.  However, I will be coming home on a regular basis, hopefully four times a year.  Life is so short.  I need to take this opportunity to enjoy it. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013

It's hard to believe but it is only two weeks until I retire. I am really looking forward to a slower pace of life without the trappings of technology and "stuff."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 10, 2013

My first attempt at blogging. Word is spreading at work about my retirement on October 31st. Paid deposit for apartment today. Lease begins October 23rd. The plan is to move to Ecuador in January. Very excited. Looking forward to the adventure.