To Move AGAIN or NOT to MOVE!!!!!After moving into Apartment #5 on April 1st, having consistent hot water was not happening! It was the first thing we asked our landlord when we were considering the apartment, and he assured us that "Yes, of course, there's hot water." Well, just because it came out of the faucet hot when he did his demo, didn't mean it would last for a shower, or that it would be consistent throughout the day. So, here we were again - thinking about our next place. I wasn't happy!
Bo is fine with taking military showers, but one of my joys is taking looooong HOT showers every day. When we were living in our Motor Coach for a year, I got accustomed to the RV lifestyle, and taking military showers was one of my sacrifices. Well, I'm not in an RV now, and I want my HOT showers. I also want hot water for our dishes. Wah, Wah, Wah. It now was decision time as we paid for our second month's rent May 1st, still considering a recent offer made to us to rent a house near Parque De La Madre. After renting to an Ecuadorian family with lots of children for five years who destroyed their home, the owners wanted to rent to a responsible couple with no kids or pets. We seemed to fit that requirement for them. So, we went and looked at the house and told the owners if they were able to clean it up and fix some major damage done by the previous renters, we would take it.
We continued to talk to our current landlord about the hot water issue, and he assured us he was looking into it. Knowing this was not an apartment issue but a building issue, our hope for this being rectified without some major expense on his part gave us two options - live with it or move! The thought of moving again made us both weary. Our apartment was becoming "home" and we had already put some time, money, and remodel effort into this place. We didn't want to move AGAIN, but a two-story house? Leaving my beautiful house of 40 years in Oregon had left a void in me. I missed having a house. This house offer was calling me. We decided we would go and see it again after they cleaned it up and fixed the previous renter damage (I'm talking major cleanup and repair here).
In the meantime, we continued to fix up our apartment. Bo reminded me when I asked him if I should put up curtains and continue the remodel since we might move again, "Bloom where your planted!" This is where we were planted for today. To live one day at a time means live in that day and make the most of it. Live in it as if it's your last. MAKE IT GRAND. I was also reminding myself that this apartment had truly "WOW"ed us when we first saw it. It had such potential for my decorator touch, it was in the perfect location of El Centro for us, and the monthly rent was too good to be true. These were the major reasons for staying here. Could I adjust to the intermittent hot water issue???
We began to have friends over for meals. They would tell us how fabulous our little flat was. I continued to decorate. Bo and I found fun art for our walls. We love art! One of our major decisions in our spending was to do it as inexpensively as possible. We were frequent shoppers at the Rotary Market for our furniture pieces. We continued to put lots of love into our little place, and now it was decision time. In a week, we would go and inspect the house that they were cleaning up for us and then let them know our final decision.
Unexpectedly, we ended up leaving for Peru for a couple days prior to seeing the house we were considering. During our three days out of country, our landlord had beautiful wooden cabinets installed in our tiny Ecuadorian kitchen. When we returned from our quick trip and walked into our place, we were once again WOWed. It was a major transformation and it made our humble place even sweeter. I put away all of our kitchen accoutrements and it felt even more like home now. House or Apartment? Now I'm torn. Curtains are up, kitchen is remodeled, painting is completed, furniture is finished. To leave or not to leave?
We went to see the house the next day. Our decision became final. Was I disappointed? A bit, but had it not been for our landlord's generosity with that lovely kitchen remodel, I'm not sure what we would have done. It sealed the deal for us. The house was not up to our standards, though they had been working on it for a month. So much damage had been done by their previous renters of five years, and yet they just cobbled together a cleanup and repair job that I personally would have been embarrassed to show as the final touch to anyone. We couldn't even go into the bathrooms because of the strong unpleasant odors permeating from them. These were things that weren't going to go away, and the work we would have had to put into this house to get it to our standard of cleanliness and living was more than we wanted to tackle or pay out of pocket. It's a rental! We both knew immediately that we would stay in our cozy, clean, easy-to-care-for small Ecuadorian apartment. It had become home in less than two months because we made it our home and our Landlord had once again come through.
We've learned to make every decision here by the peace we sense about it. We've learned to trust our instinct, to watch for those red flags that begin to wave in our faces. We've made some decision errors since arriving in Cuenca, but they've taught us that "when in doubt, DON'T" and if we're already in a bad decision, GET OUT OF IT QUICKLY! Being in the house did not give us a peace. Being in our apartment gives us peace. I quickly made a decision that I would learn to live with the hot water issue and take military showers if need be. I would wait for hot water to do my dishes. It was the only con. Everything else was a pro. So here we'll be, joyfully and thankfully. We came home from the house viewing and walked into our colorful place and smiled. It truly has become and continues to become home more and more each day!
Our Ecuadorian Flat - The Before and After!
|The day we saw this apartment we were WOWed by the windows, the brightness, the openness and spacious feel of this place. I had a vision! To be creative, inventive, and frugal has always been my way to decorate and transform a place. It's my passion!|
|Our place is still a work in progress. It now has warm colors, fun and funky curtains, comfortable Ecuadorian furniture (a rare find in Cuenca unless you have it custom-made -which we didn't), and some colorful art on the walls.|
UPDATE: Over time, we've added beautiful plants, art, furniture pieces. It's even cozier than before!
|My sweet kitchen today! The window opening is framed with a nice shelf over the sink, cabinets are in, and we have a fan and light over our little stove. My "Bo and Linda Kitchen" dream came true!|
They make very wide openings for larger stoves in most places here, so we want to have some shelves made for the sides of our tiny stove unit and hope to create a bit more counterspace above. For now, this is fine. What a difference from that UGLY yellow stove they hauled away.
Update: Side cabinet by stove was made to order!
Now we have more counter area and it looks quite lovely, don't you think?
Update! More cabinets were built to order, and it has given us such a sense of organization and much needed storage in this tiny Ecuadorian flat.
|We bought our unfinished dining room table and chairs at the Rotary Market near 9 de Octubre Mercado. The painting and artistic touch had begun......|
|We could have left it unfinished and just thrown a table cloth over it.........|
|Below, you can see the difference! Our hallway entrance is now warm and inviting!|
Update: Photos and plants add more to the entrance.
Hallway Entrance - before I sponged over the wall....
After: Left wall side is sponged!
The littlest Bathroom - Before!! (I'm blinded by the white walls!!)
Bathroom - After! Bo built me an over-the-toilet triple cabinet with extended shelving over the sink. We also had custom-made cabinets for under the pedestal sink on both sides. We added our lovely towels and delicious bath smells and this is it!
Update: We decided to change the guest room (sold the bedroom furniture) and made it into a TV room. We enjoy our movie nights.
One thing I like about this apartment is that the it is open and the rooms are large. Bo, painting away the white walls in the master bedroom.
We have a master bedroom room large enough for a KING bed. We also bought a triple length wardrobe (for all my clothes) which we put up against the hall-way window to block out light and sound. It is truly our cave-bedroom - and with two white-noise units on each table, we can't hear ANYTHING! It makes for a good night's sleep.
My girl-cave - where I spend most of my hours enjoying my art, photography, and reading.
Not one wall left in our apartment is white - and that makes me happy!