Ecuador Expat Moving Madness (and a Message from the Blog Gods)

Yeah, I know. It’s been months.  I owe everyone who loves me or reads me a lengthy explanation—or even a brief one.  That would be better than none at all, right?

When I got a number of emails in one week, asking if my absence was due to illness, personal injury, or some sort of family crisis, I knew it was a message from the Blog-Gods. An update was called for.

Let’s put it this way. It was a long and crazy summer and, and fall has brought more of the same.  We’ve been without internet more than we’ve had it.  I’ve taken a trip to the US.  My sister has been here twice in less than two months.  I’ve taught two workshops, one a week-long.  We have moved.  And, yes, I was sick.

Recovering from the flu in our new place--

Recovering from the flu in our new place–

But it’s the moving that’s kicked my butt. And if you know Sara and me, you know we don’t accomplish that in just one week.  No, for us, it’s taken an entire summer and then some, a long time to find our way to the other side of town, which, in this case, is all the further we’ve gone—no great big move to Ecuador, no moves to Vietnam or Haiti.  We’re still in Ecuador.  Heck, we’re still in Cuenca, for that matter, only a couple of kilometers further west and up a few floors.

We still have boxes to unpack and art to hang—as well as a huge terrace to decorate. Heck, we even have more painting to do.  We’re far from finished.

Still, the Blog-Gods have spoken. An update, even one based mostly on images, is in order.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy this journey through our surreal summer and, so far, fabulous fall.

Finding a New Home:

I looked online and walked the neighborhoods we liked for two months before we found this 3 level townhouse in the heart of historic Cuenca, one block from Parque Calderon and directly behind the “new” cathedral.   It needed a LOT of work but had enormous potential.  And the emphasis here is on “enormous,” as the place is huge, with enough room to house my studio and enough space to teach workshops.  Here’s what it looked like the day we discovered it.

One of two rooms that would become my studio--

One of two rooms that would become my studio–

Second studio space--

Second studio space–

Not much of a kitchen--

Not much of a kitchen–

What we imagined as the dining room--

What we imagined as the dining room–

Future guest room--

Future guest room–

One of two long hallways--

One of two long hallways–

Sara's office?

Sara’s office?

One of FOUR bathrooms--

One of FOUR bathrooms–

Renovating our Town House

Below are a few photos of the renovation process.  All 3000 square feet needed to be painted; we had to update some plumbing and electric; we replaced two bathroom floors and finished the wood floors throughout.

Sara's office beyond the staircase landing, just after finishing the floor--

Sara’s office beyond the staircase landing, just after finishing the floor–

Getting hot water in the kitchen--

Getting hot water in the kitchen–

I added a chalk board wall to my studio but had to make my own chalk board paint--

I added a chalk board wall to my studio but had to make my own chalk board paint–

Working on the studio--

Working on the studio–

Taping to create stripes on one studio wall--

Taping to create stripes on one studio wall–

Not too shabby in the end--

Not too shabby in the end–

Sara seemed in a huge hurry for me to finish the guest room. Little did I know my sister was coming--

Sara seemed in a huge hurry for me to finish the guest room.  Little did I know my sister was coming–

I'm a messy painter--

I’m a messy painter–

Packing and Moving

We did most of the packing ourselves but had professionals transport two truck loads and carry the contents up THREE flights of stairs.  Poor guys.

Ralph "helped"--

Ralph “helped” pack Sara’s old office–

In the heart of the city center you can only move early in the morning or after 7pm.  Photo of our truck taken from our terrace--

In the heart of the city center you can only move early in the morning or after 7pm. Photo of our truck taken from our terrace–

Boxes piled high in Sara's new office--

Boxes piled high in Sara’s new office–

Teaching Two Workshops

Since we found the place, I have taught two workshops in the new space–a weeklong one on turning ordinary furniture into art and another on card-making.  The latter was called “Gringo Greetings.”  And I have a holiday ornament-making class coming up next week.

–First the furniture workshop in August (only a few photos of this, as I will do an entire post on it)–

Loading the truck with newly-purchased pieces from Rotary Market--

Loading the truck with newly purchased pieces from Rotary Market–

Two men and a truck (Kevin and Bill)--

Two men and a truck (Kevin and Bill)–


Studio set up to welcome participants--

Studio set up to welcome participants–

Snacks to keep us energized--

Snacks to keep us energized–

Loren's work station--

Loren’s work station–

Cuenca's very own "Golden Girl" at work in the kitchen--

Cuenca’s very own “Golden Girl” at work in the kitchen–

Sweet Barb--

Sweet Barb–

And Chris--

And Chris–

Look at these lovely ladies--

Look at these lovely ladies–

Stu's getting every detail just right, for Donna's sake, of course--

Stu’s getting every detail just right, for Donna’s sake, of course–

Let me tell ya how it's done--

Let me tell ya how it’s done–

Can Caro ever paint!

Can Caro ever paint!

Eva paying attention to detail--

Eva paying attention to detail–

Jan finished FIVE tables in FIVE days--

Jan finished FIVE tables in FIVE days–

Jan's work-in-progress--

Jan’s work-in-progress–

A small detail from Stu's table--

A small detail from Stu’s table–


Another detail f rom Chris' bench--

Another detail from Chris’ bench–

And Loren's shelf--(You're on to me, aren't you?)--

And Loren’s shelf–(You’re on to me, aren’t you?)–

And a final tease from one of Jan's tables--

And a final tease from one of Jan’s tables–

–A video with highlights from October’s card-making Workshop (Gringo Greetings?)–

Visiting with my Sister Lynn

My sister visited twice in less than two months, once before the move and another SURPRISE visit immediately after.  We wish we had captured on video her arrival the second time, as I was excited, to say the least, jumping up and down (in my pajamas), hand over my mouth, exclaiming, “What the f***, what the f***, what the f***.”  How Sara or a number of friends, who were in on the surprise, managed to keep this from me probably says more about my stupidity than any overt, secret-keeping skills on any of their parts.  (Dare I name names?)

Lynn with our buddy Juan at Don Colon's in Cuenca--

Lynn with our buddy Juan at Don Colon’s in Cuenca–

Below is a photo of us together and a few others Lynn took while she was here.  My sister is an amazing photographer.

Lynn and Kathy during a planned July visit (and Lucy and ralph)--

Lynn and Kathy during a planned July visit (and Lucy and ralph)–

The sisters during Lynn's surprise September trip--

The sisters during Lynn’s surprise September trip–

Posing while Panama hat shopping--

Posing while Panama hat shopping–

Lynn's amazing photo of Cotopaxi, the second-highest peak in Ecuador--

Lynn’s amazing photo of Cotopaxi, the second-highest peak in Ecuador–

Lynn's image of an indigenous mother and child--

Lynn’s image of an indigenous mother and child–

Lynn took this in a Cuenca mercado (my favorite)--

Lynn took this in a Cuenca mercado (my favorite)–

Looking back on it NOW

Our new home still begs for more paint and picture hanging, but below are a few photos of parts that are finished and, finally, two of the terrace, which needs the most work but has the MOST potential.

My studio as it looks now--

My studio as it looks now–

For paper crafting--

For paper crafting–

Just a few pens and pencils--

Just a few pens and pencils–

The dining room is done--

The dining room is done–

As is the guest room, since my sister was coming to visit--

As is the guest room, since my sister was coming to visit–

The terrace isn't ready yet, but sits in the shadow of the cathedral's domes--

The terrace isn’t ready yet, but sits in the shadow of the cathedral’s domes–

Not a bad view, is it?

Not a bad view, is it?

No more updated photos of the house for now.  I’m saving those for a separate post.

Looking Forward to More Art Workshops

We have an ornament-making workshop ($25) scheduled for Thursday, November 20th (9 am- 1 pm).  It filled up quickly, but we have opened up two more spots, if you’re interested in learning how to make this. (Email for more details.)


Or this.

This includes scraps from a Cuenca map--

This includes scraps from a Cuenca map–

And if you want to wrap your gifts this Christmas in what some consider trash, then this workshop (December 4th, 9 am-1 pm, $20) is for you.  (No joke).  Here’s what you will learn how to do.  (Again, email for more details.)



So there you have it folks. Sorry to have been so absent of late.  Hope you enjoyed the photographic stroll through our summer (and now fall)–our months of moving madness!

Have you ever undertaken a move that proved crazier than you expected? How have the past few months of your life been?

133 thoughts on “Ecuador Expat Moving Madness (and a Message from the Blog Gods)

  1. Oh my gosh there was so much about this to enjoy – it was a visual feast. Loving your new place and all you’ve done to it – but my favorite pic has to be you & your sister in your Panama hats. That’s the pic that says it all = pure, radiant happiness.

    Cheers to you!


    • Hi David! I’m delighted to hear from you this morning. Sara and I are SO looking forward to the time you and Colleen will get to come visit us! Lots of great cycling in the Andes, my friend. Thanks for stopping by!


    • I wish you could participate, too, Christine. It would be fun to have you! Don’t you and Mark need to make a visit to Ecuador for some reason? If so, we have a place for you! Have you all been hit by the snow and cold? Thanks for stopping by this morning, my friend!


  2. WOW, WOW, WOW… How COULD you have worked on line and accomplished so much!?

    What a great and beautiful home and work space!

    Thanks for this incredibly well presented post!

    Hugs from Delaware,



    • Good morning, dear Robert! So happy you think we’ve accomplished a lot. I fear, it has been too slow for me. No issues with impatience for me–no sir! LOL Thank you SO much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. How is the cold and snow in your neck of Delaware? Stay warm, my friend! And hugs to you, too!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dearest Kathy,

        I find as I age that projects appear to take longer. I believe this phenomenon has something to do with being more in the moment and having a more seasoned sense of what time is. “Five-hundred twenty-five thousand six-hundred minutes… How do you measure a year?”

        You certainly have accomplished more than the average working girl! Step back and admire and enjoy you beautiful accomplishments.

        The weather here is nearly balmy today with patchy fog. A great day to view the world from my turret of a tree house and work on my art.

        What you have done and shared with us on your blog is inspiring.




      • Oh, Robert, thanks so much for your wisdom! Love that quote. In fact, the melody is now running through my head. I appreciate your kind words. Enjoy your art-making today. I thought the US was going to have an arctic blast this week. Did that already happen and I’m late? LOL Or maybe it missed you. Or maybe I’ve been hallucinating. LOL Hmmmmmmmm


    • Oh, Val, thank you! Leave it to Beyoncé to say it for us! I have SO missed you, my friend! Remind me NEVER to be away from the blogosphere for this long ever again! Would LOVE you to come visit!!!!! When can we make that happen? Hugs to you, dear, dear Val!


  3. I, too, wondered many times if i had ‘unsubscribed’ by accident, but the internet has been too slow to open any options to checck. it’s great to see all that you’ve done, and your new space is amazing, thanks to hard work from very talented chicas! i’m not surprised that your health failed and your body demanded, ‘Stop or I’ll stop you!’

    it’s great to have you back online!



    • Oh, Lisa, we would LOVE you to come to Cuenca, stay with us, and teach a workshop in our place. Any chance you’d be interested in doing that? We have an expat audience here who would LOVE what you do, as you know. SO, this is just a reminder, and VERY serious invite! I feared you wouldn’t be able to load the photos in the post. Even I had issues. Many more issues with wifi since we have moved to el Centro and have to use ETAPA. Wonderful to hear from you this morning. Hope the weather is good in your neck of Ecuador this morning.


      • hey!
        i went to guayaquil yesterday and made it back as far as manta last night… heading back to jama for a public meeting regarding the beach loss crisis at el matal.

        it’s been great to see the claro usb modem jump from the flatline to skyscraper speeds.. yes, teh images loaded and loaded fast.. too bad i don’t have the timeout for art post/images ready to go for this week..

        it would be fun to come to cuenca for a workshop! there’s an ecuador expat journey tour coming through tomorrow and by next week i’ll know what the next few months wil look like.

        more soon, and thanks! z


      • Jeepers, Lisa! That’s a lot of travel for one day! Good to hear you have a group coming through tomorrow.

        You know my Sara is a HUGE fan of you blog, and she highlights it frequently on her new site Zero Latitude Living and the Facebook blog drop. I didn’t know if you knew that were the one and same Sara.

        Let us know about coming. I think you would get a great group. AND SO happy your speed has improved. I know nothing about this new CLARO thing. Talk to you soon————————


      • well, DUH LISA! i saw that link and didn’t connect it with sara… i can thank the slow claro usb modem that is basically useless way out in the campo… i just went to the site and there’s the ‘scavenging through the seaweed’ up front and center!!! thanks sara!!!

        thank you, as well kathryn! time to log off so that cinderelly can catch the next pumpkin out of town! z


    • well, DUH LISA! i saw that link and didn’t connect it with sara… i can thank the slow claro usb modem that is basically useless way out in the campo… i just went to the site and there’s the ‘scavenging through the seaweed’ up front and center!!! thanks sara!!!

      thank you, as well kathryn! time to log off so that cinderelly can catch the next pumpkin out of town! z


      • Yeah, Sara really loves your stuff, as she should, and has been promoting it. No real reason to know that it was my Sara. That’s why I thought I’d mention it. But, be assured, you have a huge fan!


  4. Loved the update! All in good time as mama always says along with make plans and watch god laugh.
    The coke wrapping paper made me very happy because little bottles of Coke are my thing.
    Looking forward to seeing more pictures and hearing about all the goings-on.
    And,uhm, yes I often steal more chain than I can swim with.


    • I’m so thrilled to hear from you this morning, Katybeth! And I’ve delighted you enjoyed the gift wrap with bottle cap. Sara loves those Cokes, too. Plus, the caps are such a nice Christmas color. Hope you are staying warm. Hugs to you this lovely November morning!


  5. I had to get my coffee so I could sit and enjoy this experience!! So glad you are more settled and feeling better. You two don’t mess around when It comes to decorating and painting. You make each room your own. and then to jump into teaching art classes! Wow! Good for you.
    I love Lynn’s photo of the produce guy, great character portrait. Glad you had a big surprise of you sisters visits! What fun.
    Anyway I think I will move on to the terrace when you are finished! Looks lovely…

    Glad to see you doing well, active as all get out. ((Hugs))


    • You know, I can’t help but love you, Jeff–how cool that you would want to get your coffee first! Thank you so much. And listen, there would be PLENTY of room for you on that terrace–about 1000 square feet of it. And if it rains, there’s always the guest room. When are you coming, my friend? Seriously, you should visit and maybe even move here. This place has JEFT written all over it. Our friends would love you! An awesome LGBT community!


      • I am delighted to hear this!
        There has been no movement on the house, and or my Social Security. Money is the issue at this point. I would so love to be there… It will happen I promise!


      • Oh, I understand. I SO understand. Sorry it has been so slow. However, I just wanted to remind you that the invitation still stands. Just let me know when there is a change. We’d love to have you!


  6. These beautiful photos (and words) make me want to show up in person for your next workshop. What adventures!

    I’ve moved between Japan and Los Angeles, but that was back when all my belongings fit in three boxes and a suitcase. 🙂


    • Oh, Deborah, I am SO thrilled to hear from you! I need to get over to your blog. I am SO far behind. SO happy you enjoyed the journey in images. Gosh, do I ever wish we had only 3 boxes and a suitcase! Hugs to you, my friend. And thank you SO much for visiting this morning!


  7. So glad you’re back! David and I were with you gals from the start! Incredible transformation. I noticed NO pictures of any particular injury? Like TWO bandage fingers raised high!!! Love ya Kathy!


    • Oh, thank you, dear Juan! You know I got an email this morning from one workshop participant raving about how handsome you are! Don’t tell David. LOL We love you guys and have SO loved sharing this journey with our BOYS! Happy Anniversary to your both. Has the diet begun?


  8. That took a full cup of coffee to read and now I am exhausted by all that you have done!!! So glad to read and see your updates—you guys have been so busy and it all looks wonderful. I love your new place and it appears you have found your spot there just fine. Thank you for keeping us all in the loop. As for what have “I” been doing? Trying to sell a house in a market when houses like ours aren’t the sellers so that I can join my hubby in Texas! Patience, I am learning patience again. It is a very long lesson for me. Hugs!


    • Oh, Beth Ann, so sorry the market is slow. Plus, I it’s cold and snowy! I wish I had you hear to teach a workshop in my studio. Any chance a trip to Cuenca might be in your future. We have a lovely guest room with your name all over it–a marital rendezvous in Ecuador! You and Chris are more than welcome! Plus, there would be a good excuse to come.

      Oh, how I LOVED your feline bag lady video! I swear, that thing should go viral. And if anyone is reading this comment you should stop in at Beth Ann’s blog and take a look. It’s very short, but every bit as funny as it is quick!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. And let us know when you all want to visit. I’m completely serious, should it be possible one of these days. Sorry it was SO long.


      • I would absolutely take you up on that invitation to use your guest room. Chris’s new job is very demanding to put it mildly and just this week our plans for Thanksgiving got totally rearranged. I am grateful he has a job but it is very stressful and I worry about that aspect of it, you know? We had planned an overseas trip for Christmas but that is scrapped now too as now he has responsibilities at a plant and not simply a staff role. Life is interesting but hey—I will travel in my mind and enjoy your blog and your adventures !!!!


      • I know a bit about spouses with stressful jobs and being away from them. NOT fun. But if you ever want to come alone or bring a friend, let us know.

        Sorry about your Christmas and Thanksgiving plans. In the meantime, traveling in your mind is the next best thing! Stay warm, my friend. And love on that kitty for me!


      • It’s all good. I had a pity party for one for an hour and then moved on. Life is too short. And we will get to spend time together–just not as much but come December I am going to Texas for a couple weeks at least! Yippee!!! It’s all good. Glass full–not glass half full.


  9. Kathy,
    So glad you two are doing so well. I know exactly where your townhouse is thanks to the picture which included Hudson’s store seen out you terrace. Sooooo much work!!! You two have done a fabulous job – and loved almost every minute of it, I would guess. Judith says she want to take every one of your workshops!!! Thanks for keeping us posted.
    Wayne & Judith


    • Oh, I am SO thrilled to hear from you all this morning! You know, I think of you every time I look in the direction of your former perch above the convent grounds. Wish you all would come visit sometime soon! WE have a room ready and waiting! Hugs to you both! Thanks so much for stopping by!


    • Dear, dear Egyirba, you know, you are the really amazing woman! I have been raving about your writing to the other writing group. Hope you will bring something to read today! See you in a bit, and thanks for stopping by.


  10. Looks like you’ve had a fun, busy, productive, frustrating, and full summer. It’s really good to hear from you. Catching up is a little overwhelming, I can’t imagine what you’re dealing with trying to catch up on all your regular readers. Please don’t be gone so long again.


    • Oh, Lisa, I hear you! Thank you SO much for understanding. It has been a challenge to visit as many folks as possible, but I’m motivated by missing you all so much. Friendship is an excellent motivator, right? Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you all haven’t gotten any more snow. And don’t do an more shoveling. You could hurt yourself, Lisa.


    • Thank you so much, Darla! I’m delighted you enjoyed the photos. Yes, that view from the terrace onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site is the whole reason we took the place. Wonderful to hear from you today. Hope you are staying warm up there in Maine. I think about you when I hear about all of the cold! Thanks again for stopping by!


  11. It is wonderful to see you again.  I was missing you dreadfully especially yesterday. I have not blogged for months but continue reading. A few months ago was diagnosed with breast cancer, have had surgery and just getting ready for radiation but all is good. Am filled with gratitude and recently started feeling a little creativity again, so here’s hoping. You and Sara brighten my days so I hope it will not be so long before you post again. Keep up the beauty and I am glad your flu is done! Good health to all! Chris

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®4


    • Oh, Chris, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been through so much. Gosh, thank you SO much for sharing with me! We will be praying for you, in our own way of praying–and holding you close to our hearts. And, goodness, you sound so optimistic, which is awesome. However, it doesn’t surprise me you would respond with such good cheer. I will work to post more often. Hugs and love to you, dear Chris. Be well and keep in touch!


    • Oh, wow, Bill! Can’t tell you how delighted I am to hear from you! I saw your comment before I left for a meeting and assumed it was your Dad, since he calls me Cuz, as did Bobby. Then I saw the email address and realized it was you. Hope to chat with you one of these days soon. God, I LOVED your interview on Huffington Post Live! Be well, Bill, and I’ll be in touch! You rock, dude! Thank you SO much for your comment!


  12. Hi Kathy, Looks like you have had a very busy and wonderful summer. I loved your photo essay about your classes.

    What a lovely apartment you and Sara found — actually it looks like you have the whole building! Great location! Are you near more of your friends now?

    The photo of you on the sofa with Ralph next to you made me laugh. That’s exactly what happens with Reggie and me. He takes over the entire seating area and I end up squeezed onto one corner of the cushion.


    • Yes, we are the only residents in the entire building. There is an attorney’s office and a doctor’s office but both are only open during weekdays. We have everything to ourselves on weekends and evenings.

      Glad you enjoyed the workshop photos and one of me on the couch with the dogs. Why do we let them that take over like that????? Dog people are SO often alike in that regard. Wouldn’t dare ask them to move over! Sara and I laugh at ourselves all of the time.

      SO wonderful to hear from you, Jackie. Hope you and Reggie are doing well. Ralph and Lucy send barks his way! Thanks for stopping by!


  13. Krazy Kool Kathy!! So enamored with your new place, energy and enthusiam. Wow! What a great location!
    Also, happy to hear you are feeling better and about the lovely surprise visit from your sister. Hope in my next life I get to be you… 😉 So yearning to be in Cuenca.
    Getting dark and colder here in Sfe…good time to snuggle up by the kiva and plan for the holidays ahead.
    Guess what??!! We are bring my sweet younger daughter down to EC for the El Nomad program in Cuenca!! Will be in town by the 4th of January for a few days. She will be taking Espanol at the University and volunteering in a kids program. Loves art classes…so wouldn’t it be fun if she has the time to fit in one of yours in your fabulous new studio??
    Kind Regards from a very big fan…Lannie


    • You’re such a sweetie, Lannie! I love getting your comments–and I’m SO happy to hear you all and your daughter will be here in January. Would love to see if any workshops fit with her schedule. So far we have nothing scheduled until later in the month. Even so, you all should stop by and visit and have coffee or tea with us. We’d love to entertain you on the terrace! Stay in touch! Looking forward to meeting you in person! And stay warm!


  14. What a fantastic update, Kathy! Yes, you’ve been really missed, but I knew you’d resurface when possible! I love the colors and visual beauty of the surrounding landscape, the people and your new home! What a fantastic place to live artfully and with what appears to me to be a constant infusion from a creative muse. I even love the funky kitchen. It appeals to me! I look forward to any time you can share, and will probably return to feast on some of these images. They put a smile on my face. I’ve NEVER made a move that comes even close to your adventure. I’ll just enjoy yours. 🙂


    • How wonderful to hear from you today, Debra! I’m tickled to death that you enjoyed the photos, even the kitchen. Yes, it’s funky, but we enjoy it. I fear the kitchen is not entirely functional, but we could not pass up the view–plus the size and price. Thank you SO much for your kind comment. Hope all is well in your neck of California!


  15. Fantastic post, Kathryn. Your wonderful apartment looks so energised. I love what you’ve done with it. Your terrace will be stunning when it’s finished, and what a view! You’ve done so much in a relatively short time. I’m inspired. 🙂


    • Thank you so much. I have to confess, it doesn’t feel like we’ve gotten a lot done, but maybe that’s the benefit of putting together a post like this and reading comments like yours. Helps me put a new perspective on things. I SO appreciate that. Wonderful to hear from you today!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. OH MY GOSH I WANT YOUR TERRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So glad your absence was due to a mere lack of internet (ha!) and not to catastrophe. I absolutely love your photos. I’m so glad you’re back up an blogging so I can continue to live vicariously through your adventures! 🙂


    • Thank you, Nora. I’m SO tickled to hear from you today. You know, as someone who has blogged for a while, that sometimes you just need a break. I thought I was one of those who would NEVER say that, but it happened. It was good to have a break, but I’m glad to be back. So happy you enjoyed the view. Hope you all are well. I appreciate your comment a whole, whole lot!


  17. I think the majority of moves are crazier than intended. It seems like little unexpected things always seem to pop up, regardless of how much planning and prep work you do in advance. But your new place looks fantastic – all your hard work has paid off nicely! Hopefully you guys will be there for awhile. Thanks for the update and letting us all know you’re alive and well, bout with the flu notwithstanding!


    • Thank you, Mark. It’s always fun to hear from you. And you’re right. Moves are always trickier than they would seem they should be. Hope you and Tara are enjoying your new place and getting to use that fireplace of yours! Hugs to you and Tara and the kids. Keep Portland weird for us! Somehow I know I can count on you!


      • As a matter of fact, last night we were sitting in front of the fireplace sipping tea and cocoa, listening to music and talking. One of the best evenings we’ve had in a long time! And they’re predicting snow overnight. Very early and unusual for Portland, but we’ll see if it actually comes to fruition.


  18. Wow … so much happening, and I’m just super-delighted that you’ve shared so many photos. Surely sounds like you and Sara have been busier than ever, and how fun to have not one, but TWO, visits from your sister. Absolutely adore the panama hats photo … what a treasure! Wonderful that you’ve been having the classes, too, (which look like lots of fun, with tons of creativity). My guess is that your classes will continue to be the hub of many a good time to be had with friends. So good to hear from you again, Kathy. You are looking wonderful, and despite being busy, busy, busy, it sounds like fun! 🙂


    • It’s great to hear from you today, my friend! I’m happy you enjoyed the photos, especially the one with my sister. She’s a sweetie. I can’t believe I got to see her twice in TWO months–and now that I think about it–it was 3 times in 3 months, as I had been to the US the month before her first visit. Wish you were here to take one of my workshops. Somehow I imagine you would fit in SO well! Take care and stay warm. Not sure if you got hit by all of those cold temperatures.


  19. Oh, Sista! What a beautiful home! You two are just blooming away down there! So very happy for you. We just moved into our new home about two weeks ago so my writing has been back-burnered for some time. I have a studio of my very own now, too, though not nearly as spacious as yours! It’s good hearing from you, lady. Send our love to Sara, Lucy, and (from me most especially) to Ralph. So great hearing of your adventures.


    • Oh, wow, I’m SO happy for you, Sista! You have got to be insanely busy, as well. And I’m tickled you have a studio of your own!!!!!! I was thrilled to hear about your reading and loved that you forgot your book. Somehow that strikes me as something that would set a perfect tone. I mean really, that’s what your book is all about, right?! Love and hugs to you and the gang. I will let your boy Ralph know you send him love. He sends a huge wag your way. Wish we lived closer. I miss you!


  20. Kathy, you and Sara (and, of course, Ralph and Lucy) do interior design so well! Maybe when you’ve completed writing your memoir, you should don your Martha Stewart hat and write an illustrated book about doing DIY in Kathy and Sara Style? That’s great news about the classes selling out. And yes, your sister has quite an eye behind the lens. There must be something in your DNA that emphasizes creativity.


    • It’s wonderful to hear from you, V! I’m tickled you enjoyed my sister’s photos. And love the idea of doing an interior design book. I know Sara would love that. Hope all is well in Gotham City! We miss you. Stay warm and be well, my friend! Thanks for stopping by!


  21. New beginning are full of promise and new adventures. Thank you for all the pictures and updates on your move and preparation and upgrades. The rooms are all lovely and the windows–wow! That terrace is going to be one grand area to hang out for early coffee or maybe light dinners if it’s not too hot.
    I’m green but happy for you. 😀


  22. You ladies are over there having great fun, moving and decorating, etc. I have to admit that I’m quite jealous. I wanted to jump through the computer screen and just be there. Bwaaaahhhh! Life ain’t fair!


    • Oh, my friend, wish you were here! We’d love to have you. It has been an adventure.

      Can’t begin to tell you what a kick (no pun intended, I swear) of your post today. The cartoon made me laugh our loud. Wonderful to hear from you today. Thanks for kickin’ on over! LOL


  23. Was just talking about you the other night….wondering what was going on there…thanks ever so much for the update…once again you seem to be increasing the value of the place you live…take care.


    • Ha, ha, Charlie! You have said it correctly, my friend. Nothing like your ability to hit the linguistic nail on its head–or in this case the real estate one! Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the update. Hope all is well in your neck of California!


  24. I am glad you are getting (re) settled. And feeling better? And holy moly you have a country full of artists down there! 🙂

    I’m also glad to see such a colorful post coming from such a colorful world. I swear you and Sara grow colors. 🙂

    I’ve missed you. 🙂


    • I’ve missed you, too, Colleen! You’re right–we love color. And we love Cuenca. Sometimes I want to pinch myself to be sure I’m not dreaming this amazing life I’m blessed with. Sometimes it humbles me so, if that makes any sense.

      Wonderful to hear from you today, my friend. Hope all is well with you and David. It was SO lovely to receive a comment from you hubby yesterday. Hugs to you both!


  25. This was wonderful to see…all the fantastic aspects of your lives. The photo of you teaching the workshop is wonderful; you seem right in your element! Your studio is fantastic; your sister is lovely and I’m glad to hear you are happy and seem to be thriving! Good for you, Kathy! Thanks for the update!


    • Thank you, Cindy. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the photos. And I will be sure to pass the compliment on to my sister. And yes, I AM in my element in that studio, especially when teaching there. I had forgotten how much I enjoy being in front of classroom. LOL Wonderful to hear from you today. And stay WARM!


  26. I LOVE your new space, Kathy. The wait was completely worth it. What a view of the cathedral- gorgeous! As always color is ever present and you know I love bright colors. Sara and you have found a home that speaks volumes about who you are. The wooden flooring is lovely and the house is warm and inviting.
    Your studio is my favorite, esp. the video of your workshop. I would totally be at one of your card making workshops if I lived in Cuenca. By the way, did I miss that it was called Idiom Art? because It is so appropriate for your wonderful work.
    Your sister is lovely, so glad you got to visit with her. Twice. Those Panama hats are beautiful.


    • Ha, wouldn’t it be fun to have you in one of my workshops?! Hell, would love to just meet you in person! You know Sara did the video, which I, also, thought was pretty awesome. Thank God I have her! You are a sweetie, my friend! Thanks so much for stopping by—and big hugs to you, too!!!!!!!!


  27. OMG—you had us with the hats and the bags from a post many moons ago, but now…now you have that veranda and that view and all those wonderful colors in the new place! I don’t do so great with craftie stuff…but I could write a book or 10 on that veranda with some delicious coffee! Great post, glad you two are still living the good life!


    • LOL You comment gave me a good chuckle this morning–and your remembering the hats and bags! That was a while ago, so good for you! I’m tickled you enjoyed this post, as well. And you are SO right–writing is going to be awesome on that terrace! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment.


    • OMG, Mun! I’m SO, SO happy to hear from you! Hope all is well in your world! You are such a dear. I think about you every time I hear about Pakistan in the news, and that is pretty damn often. You are my face of your country! Hugs to you, my dear! Thanks for stopping by!


  28. What a bunch of very talented people you teach. Of course, with such a gifted teacher…

    It was so awesome seeing all these pictures of your move and your new place. Thank you for sharing them with us! It’s really lovely to hear what you’ve been up to, and of course we understand when you are busy ♥ We just miss hearing from you! Thanks for updating to keep us all calm about your wellbeing 🙂


    • Ah, you are dear, my friend! Happy to let everyone know I am well. You are correct, the folks I teach are pretty amazing! I’m honored to have them in my classes. Glad you enjoyed the photos of our new place. Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always a delight to hear from you!


    • Thank you, Sandy. I fear, I’m with you when it comes to not being able to imagine moving so much. We’re exhausted and swear we will die in this home! LOL Wonderful to hear from you, my friend. Have an awesome weekend and stay warm!


  29. Welcome back! Sure have missed your musings, photos and “goings-on” but happy to see that that life has been busy and full for you (pooh to the flu though). Workshops look great! Wanna come back to Haiti and do one here? Be well…..Diane


  30. The colors.
    The photos.
    The words.
    The sisters!
    The ART.
    The house becoming a “Home.”
    The video.
    The unbelievably creative cards.
    Kathryn, I savored every single part of this post.
    Love from Minnesota. xxxxx


    • LOVE that, Kim–FUCKING WOW! What a fun response–especially to someone who Sara says overuses the word “fuck.” It’s appropriate in so many contexts, I seem unable to help myself. LOL Hope you are staying warm up there! Thanks so much for stopping by, my dear!


  31. I second everything Kim of My Inner Chick said. You really have a knack for color, Kathy. I just love what you’ve done with your place and I’m so glad you’re back in the blogosphere because I’ve missed you like the Dickens! And I love the photos of you and your sister. You look radiant with her there. How nice, indeed. Guess what? I must be crazy because I just agreed to go to Brazil early next year to do a teacher training, of all things, as I must first learn the curriculum and how to do. Of course, it would also help if I knew Portuguese. I must be insane. Anyway, how far is Brazil from you? 😉


    • How wonderful to hear from you, dear Monica! So happy you enjoyed the piece and the color, of course. I’m excited to hear about your going to Brazil. It depends on where you will be in the country, but I would check to see if you can be routed through Quito on either your way there or back, as you can fly round-trip from there to Cuenca and back for around $60—always under $100. Cuenca doesn’t have an international airport, but the flight from Quito is about 50 minutes. We’d sure love to have you visit! Guest room is waiting! By the way, congrats on the blogging challenge this month!


  32. OMG, that place is a dream Kathy! And boy, do I know about things not quite going as planned, I have extended my move 3 months and really hoping to be ready by THAT time, lol!!! That studio is sooo excellent,, house score!!! That view, wow, to die for!! (and what a fabulous terrace!) Super chalkboard wall, how fun is that! Can you tell I’m so excited for you and your cool cool place, lol….Can’t wait to see it and take some classes!


    • Oh, Sue, I’m so thrilled to hear from you! Sorry to hear you’ve had to delay the move by 3 months, but, actually, that’s not uncommon. It’s a complicated process with lots of possible hurdles to get over. You will be here in no time. And we can’t wait until you are! Glad you enjoyed our photos of the place. Hugs to you, my dear!


  33. This was so good and so much fun to see and read! Thank you, Kathy. Hugs and love to you and Sara!

    Mindy Shannon Phelps Communications, LLC 238 McDowell Road Lexington, KY 40502 859-619-1642



  34. Thanks for the mega-update … but hey … you’ve been super busy, so no apologies needed. Seems you have much work ahead in your new place, but it will be extraordinary when you are done. Love the view of the cathedral. Cheers to your workshop efforts!


  35. There is so much in this post that I don’t know where to start. Your “not much of a kitchen” really stood out for me because we had less of a kitchen to start with when we moved here so I was practically drooling over yours. lol! How wonderful that your sister was able to visit not once, but twice! Your home and studio are beautiful, and I have to mention that Ecuador really seems to be agreeing with you because it looks to me as if you’ve lost age.

    Awesome post. I so wish I could attend one of your workshops. Who knows? It might happen. 🙂


  36. What a busy summer with a whole lot of different things. Loved the photo of you and Ralph on the couch. Miles takes up the whole couch as well and he’s much smaller. Dogs don’t share well. Love the apartment. And I love what you’ve done with it.


  37. This will probably be very random. 🙂 I stumbled on your blog today and wanted to drop you a line to tell you that I enjoyed reading your “mafia” posts. I found this so randomly today. . . here’s how . . there is a horrible, stupid new reality show on A&E called “The Godfather of Pittsburgh”. I live in Irwin, PA – about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh and my husband works in the ‘burg and I grew up in the Mon Valley and we are always in the burg so out of curiosity I watched the show. It’s awful. . . but afterwards I Googled Pittsburgh Mafia or something just to do some reading and eventually I was reading your blog posts. Totally enjoyed them. Just thought I’d drop you a line and tell you so. Happy Holidays!


  38. Pingback: The Power of Community | Lisa A. Kramer: Woman Wielding Words

  39. I’m being naughty and have nipped in here to write a comment on your ZERO post! I read it with tears in my eyes – testament to the humongous talent you and Sara have for making this world special…whatever you’re doing. I can’t help thinking that the blogging Gods were winking too, with your mention of a Vietnamese coin…we’re moving to Hanoi in August! Very excited. Also very funny that my pretty innocent WG site is not accessible here in Qatar…apparently the censors aren’t happy with me! Best of luck with the launch party – wish I was there. xx


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