Extreme Home Makeover: House Reveal: Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I made a post about my house.  Today I will give you the details about it that you have been waiting for!  (Sorry it took me a while to get this up.  My apologies!)

When we bought the land that our house is on it came with a number of buildings.  Two large sugar cane processing buildings, the main house, a caretaker house, and other structures.  Three out of four of the mentioned buildings were in a disastrous state and two still are (I’ll post more photos of those later).

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DIY: Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace

Hi there!  I’m still having adventures in Ecuador and today I’m going to share something with you that I probably wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t here in EC.

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A couple weeks ago I came up with this idea to make my own essential oil diffuser necklaces as I was felting wool to make more circular felt pad thingies for my store-bought essential oil diffuser necklace.  And I did! Continue reading

Part #2 of the Liebster Award

Sorry it took me a while to do the second part of this….  I had something else I needed to attend to.  Thanks for your patience!  Thanks again Angelaat Magic Art Girl for nominating me for this award!

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I speak Spanish almost fluently.
  2. I don’t paint my finger nails that often.
  3. I have had big life experiences early in my life.
  4. I find scorpions about once a month and have to dispose of them.
  5. Most of the time I have great compassion towards animals (personally, I think I have a special connection with them).
  6. I love working natural yarn.
  7. I love natural products!
  8. I do not like getting side tracked from what is to be done!
  9. I do not bite my nails.
  10. I like to make crafty things.
  11. I hold my pencil differently than most people which has caused one of my finger knuckles to bend.

The Liebster Award

About The Liebster Award: The Liebster Award 2016 is an award that exists only on the internet, and is given to bloggers by other bloggers.

Rules:

1: Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them (if you want you can comment on this post so I can check out your answers).

2: Make a blog post outlining 11 facts about you,

3: Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you.

4: Prepare 11 questions for those you will nominate.

5: Nominate 5-11 new bloggers (those who have less than 200 followers) by commenting in one of their blog posts.

Thank you Angela at Magic Art Girl for nominating me and my blog for the Liebster Award. I was certainly not expecting it!

In answer to your questions…

  1. What is your favorite book? The Bible.
  2. What is your favorite T.V. Show? When Calls the Heart.
  3. Do you believe in magic? No. I do believe in miracles though!
  4. What is something you are looking forward to at the moment? Finishing this post.
  5. What is your biggest dream? Helping people experience a bit of what I know.
  6. Do you like photography? Yes, although I am no pro at it.
  7. Who is an inspiration to you? Jesus.
  8. Where is one place you long to travel to? Switzerland or some old European country that has beautiful castles and old historic buildings!
  9. What is your favorite quote? By G. K. Chesterton, “We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.”
  10. Who is your favorite Avenger? I don’t have a favorite one.
  11. What are three things that you would see the most in your ‘Mind Palace’? I’m not exactly sure what a mind palace is but I’ll try…. God, peace, and rolling hills covered in wild flowers.

 

My Questions to the blogs I nominated:

  1. Were you looking forward to answering these questions?
  2. Who is your role model?
  3. How long have you had a blog?
  4. Have you always had the idea of blogging in your mind?
  5. Do you listen to music very often?
  6. Do you view friendship as something to cherish?
  7. Favorite quote?
  8. Favorite flower?
  9. Favorite person in history?
  10. Would you prefer writing something or making a craft?
  11. How long did it take you to answer these questions?

 

My nominees are:

(If you have already been nominated by someone else and I was unaware then disregard)

Travel with Hanna

Princess Brooke

Love Popsicles

P.S. I was nominated on both of my blogs by different blogs so I have entered fewer blogs as nominees.

 

 

 

 

The Machete Chronicles: Entry 5

Descending towards the lake- September 5th, 2012

As Pedro, Juan, and Ed neared the lake the sun was just rising to its midday position. Once they reached the lake they planned to enjoy a picnic lunch of chicken tamales that Eduardo’s wife, Marcia, and his daughters had diligently packed and prepared for them.

While eating their lunch Pedro was once again reminded of his home where his deceased mother used to cook her lovely meals for the family. But his mother was no longer at home so why should this food remind him of it, he couldn’t understand the reason why it effected him so much. It’s because you’re homesick Pedro You need to enjoy the time you have with Eduardo’s family, you’ll be home soon enough. Pedro stated to himself.

“Mama sure can make delicious tamales, they’re even better than the ones that the vendors sell!” commented Juan.

“That is a true statement my lad, your mother is a very talented cook. I just hope your sister Carolina learns well from her as Marta previously did.” Ed replied.

“Pedro, do your sisters or mother have any special cooking abilities?” questioned Juan.

Oh great just what I needed, more talk about home. Pedro complained.
“Well yes, my late mother was very handy in the kitchen. She knew exactly how to throw together a delicious meal even if we had little food to use. My sister Valeria is also quite educated in the kitchen. Unfortunately Alejandra didn’t learn too much from my mother, her husband Paul cooks most of their meals. That is another reason why I so enjoy dinning with your family. I am truly grateful for your generosity.”

“Our generosity is nothing compared to the generosity that the Lord has for us.” Ed truthfully stated. “Do you know the Lord, Pedro?”

Oh bother, why do they have to push on my sensitive subjects. Complained Pedro once again.

“Ummm well, my fa——LOOK OUT!!!”

Just then what seemed to be a giant cat, a puma, jumped out of nowhere screeching its penetrating scream as it lunged directly at Eduardo.

God if you’re there PLEASE help us!!
Pedro silently prayed as he rapidly drew his machete from its sheath and stepped in front of Ed while holding the machete steadfast in front of him.

The cat came down on the blade hard as he fell towards Ed and Pedro, into the machete’s blade. The puma hissed his last sound, the sound of his death, as he drew his last breaths.

Finally after what had seemed to have been hours the threatening creature had been killed with the help of Pedro’s gifted machete.

It took a few minutes for what had just happened to settle into the three men’s minds. Just a few minutes ago they were safely chatting and enjoying their splendid meal, then suddenly their lives were in mortal danger within a second.

Juan was as pale as a cloud as he stared down at the dead puma. Pedro was silently thanking God for his protection. While Ed had his eyes shut. He was the first of the men to move.

As Ed moved closer to the puma he began looking over its body trying to find the best place to start skinning it.

“Come on boys No use putting this animal to waste, we’ll be stuck dealing with him in the dark if we don’t hurry.” Ed casually noted.

“How can you talk so easily when your life was just at risk? ?” questioned Juan.

“The Lord has been gracious to us, I am very thankful to Him. We must continue on with our lives by glorifying Him.” answered Ed.

The two young men solemnly inched closer to the cat, fearing that it might still be alive. Then the threesome hastily finished up the messy skinning job and began to make camp for the night. This was a much easier task than dealing with the puma which couldn’t be left out in the open for fear of more beastly creatures coming to their camp so they dug a hole and buried the remainder of it.

Not many words were spoken during the remainder of the day as each man was still contemplating over what had happened earlier.

After many hours of restless sleep Eduardo, Pedro, and Juan were finally blessed with happy dreams. How wonderful God had been to them.

Little did they know that when they were to awaken in the morning another unexpected surprise would meet them.

The Machete Chronicles: Entry 4

At the Ochoa Farm- September, 2012

Valeria and her father Ramon had quite a job keeping up with the chores at the farm with Pedro being absent. Since Pedro’s disappearance Ramon’s health had actually improved and the farm was managing just fine even with the fact that they were one man short.

Valeria had been able to talk with Pedro over the phone a few times since his escape. She’d tried countless times to convince him to come back to the farm, but he wasn’t quite ready to return. Pedro had told her of Eduardo, the man he met who opened his eyes about his future and the decisions that he had made. She was happy to here that his new friends seemed to be having a big impact on him. Hopefully they would help him to decide to return.

In Yunguilla

Pedro was having a splendid time in Yunguilla. His sister Alejandra welcomed him warmly even though she disagreed with his running away. He had visited Eduardo and his family many times in the few weeks he had been there. He was learning so much from Ed. With all that Pedro was learning, he hoped he would be able to bring some of Ed’s brilliant farming techniques back home along with some of the money he had been saving. The gifted machete too had come in handy many times with it’s sharp blade as a reminder to Pedro to do what was right.

September 5th, 2012

It was a gorgeous day in the Yunguilla Valley, a perfect day for a hike to the nearby mountain lake. Pedro, Eduardo, and Juan, Ed’s son, had been planning this trip to the lake for over a week now. They were hoping to make it to the lake by mid afternoon so that they would be able to take a dip in it during the heat of the day. Then they would set up camp for an overnight and get an early start in the morning.

After the three men had all their gear gathered they started up the mountain path. It had been a long time since Pedro had gone a hike such as this one, he was hoping that he would be able to keep up with his companions. The threesome chatted here and there along the way stopping every so often for Pedro to catch his breath. He hoped they didn’t regret taking him along since his endurance wasn’t holding out for very long periods of time.

Once they reached the peak of the mountain the men stopped to enjoy the marvelous view. They could see as far as the eye could see from that spot. As Pedro pondered the spectacular view he wished that instead of the small towns in the distance he wanted to see his home town where at their farm the corn was just dying away and the cane was beginning to be planted in its place. Oh, what a beautiful time of year that was. With the birds above them singing a beautiful melody combined with thoughts of home Pedro was taken into a state of harmonious thought.

The harmony of the moment was all broken off when Juan interrupted Pedro, “Pedro I said are you ready to go yet??”
“Ah, yes, yes of course. Sorry, I-I guess I got caught up with the spender of this beautiful scenery, it makes me long for home so badly.”
“Well why don’t you go back home Pedro, I believe you have already learned quite enough about life to be able to continue on with it.” remarked Ed.
“I would love to venture home, but then I would be leaving you and your marvelous family. You have brought me into your life like I was a part of your family. I treasure my time with you, I’m not sure I want to leave it all behind. And besides I don’t believe my father would appreciate my coming back after I ran away like I did.” replied Pedro.
“Son, we are all a family and will remain a family for eternity. It’s not like you would be leaving us and never return again, you will always be welcome to come back to visit us anytime you like. And I’m sure your father would welcome you home in a heartbeat. Now, let’s get to that lake!” Ed stated.

With that they began their descent towards the lake, inching closer and closer with every swing of the machete that cleared the pathway.

Machete Chronicles- Entry 3

August 20, 2012

Pedro peered out the bus window, he was amazed that Yunguilla’s climate and atmosphere was so much like home. He was soon to arrive in the valley after a two and a half hour bus ride. On the way there he had sat next to a very interesting man…

On his way to Yunguilla- August 19, 2012

It was quite the process to get to the valley. First, he had to take a two hour bus from Zamora to Loja. Next, he embarked on a bus to Cuenca that took five hours. He stayed the night in Cuenca at a small, six bedroom hostal.

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He managed to talk the owner into allowing him to work a few hours for the night’s stay as he was trying to save the small amount of travel money he had left. His work consisted of fixing a clogged toilet, some more plumbing, and a bit of gardening. The hostal owner was so impressed with his ability in plumbing that he offered him a full-time job! It was a hard decision for Pedro to make, the pay was fair, but they probably wouldn’t continue to have plumbing issues if he completed all the work and he could be laid off within a week. He had also promised his sister he would be coming soon, so he kindly declined the offer, thanking and telling the owner that he may be coming back this way in the future. The owner in turn thanked him and gave him a packed lunch for the road.

He stepped outside and breathed in the smelly city air, he longed for the trees at home to purify the air to freshness! The sun was directly above him, he would need to cover the few blocks from the hostal to the bus terminal swiftly if he wanted to make it to Yunguilla at a decent hour.
“Where can I find a bus going to Yunguilla?” he asked an older woman as he entered the terminal.
“Just around that corner over there.” she answered as she motioned over to the corner.
“Gracias!” Pedro thanked.
Finally he found the right office, bought a ticket and headed towards where the buses were parked.
“Bus number 53 to Yunguilla, departing at 1:00pm.” he read his ticket again looking for the correct bus.

Once settled in his seat he bought a bag of chips and a water from a couple of venders who had boarded the bus to sell their goods. Just after the venders exited, the bus backed out of the parking lot and was off towards Yunguilla. He settled down in his seat and began to eat his lunch, watching the scenery go by in the window. They picked up a few people on the way. One of these people, an elderly man, took the seat next to him.

Pedro greeted him and then turned back to the window he was previously looking out, ignoring the man completely. The man started talking to Pedro, discussing what he had done that day in the city. Can’t he see that I am not in the mood to chat?! The man continued talking to him, not caring that Pedro obviously didn’t want to listen. He told Pedro he had quite a large farm in Yunguilla and a wonderful family consisting of a son, and two daughters, one of which was married. The man named Eduardo, said that his son enjoyed working on the farm so much that he was over working himself. Eduardo, who had now caught a bit of Pedro’s interest, asked him what he planned on doing in the valley. Pedro’s answers were curt and to the point. He said just enough to satisfy the man, but Eduardo continued to talk. Eduardo’s story was so similar to Pedro’s. He too had run away from his family’s farm around the same age Pedro was and he had met a man during his travels who made Eduardo realize that what he was doing wasn’t a good idea. That man had also shown Ed that God had a great plan for his life. By now Eduardo had gotten Pedro’s full attention. This discussion made Pedro really think about his life. He felt he should go back home, but he was not going tell Ed about the bad decision he himself had made. He would stay a while with his sister, then possibly return home.

Eduardo and Pedro continued to chat during the ride. When the bus came near Ed’s farm Ed offered Pedro a job and place at his farm, and gave him a gift.
“This machete was given to me by that man I met during my frivolous travels as a young man. I want you to have it.  It may come in handy for you one day, it has been a help to me many a time. Please come to our house for a visit, I’m sure my family would love to meet you. I sure enjoyed getting to know you myself! Bring your sister too if you like, my girls are always open to having new friends.” Eduardo said as he prepared to disembark.
“Are you sure you want to give me your precious machete? I wouldn’t want to take away something that really means a lot to you.” Pedro questioned.
“No son, it is yours now, you will get much more use out of it than I will if I keep it. Besides, I have already learned my lesson now it is time for you to learn yours.” Eduardo responded.
“Thank you Eduardo, I really appreciate it, I will try to get out to your farm soon! I enjoyed your company so much on this trip!” Pedro said as Ed exited the bus.

Pedro just couldn’t understand that man, it was as though he knew he had run away and could read his mind!
“Now, just what am I going to do with you?” Pedro remarked to his new, but rather old machete, as he stared down at it.

The Machete Chronicles: Entry 2

August 18, 2012- Running Away

As Pedro was jogging away from the only home he had ever known, he asked God for his forgiveness and help. He knew what he was doing wasn’t fair to his family but all he could think about was the terrible life that he thought would come from staying at the farm. He looked down at his planned route, he had first decided to venture to Zamora where he could see it’s famous waterfalls, then leisurely make his way to Yunguilla Valley where his sister Alejandra now lived, he would visit other towns and cities along the way. Now if he could only manage to get on a bus to Zamora without anyone recognizing or stopping him.

He was able to find a bus without any trouble, maybe the townspeople weren’t up this early. There he sat in the farthest seat back hunched over so that if anyone he knew did come in the bus they wouldn’t notice him. He was finally off to a new life, he thought he would have felt free, but he felt as though he were in chains, guilt elapsed over him.

August 18, 2012- At the Ochoa Farm

Valeria had just woken up at the rooster’s call, she stretched out her sore muscles and peered out the window to see the beautiful day that was to come, what a great day to go to the river for a dip with Pedro! Then suddenly, her morning rise was broken, her father shouted her name from across the house beckoning her to come to him. She did as she was told, finding him halfway dressed and looking furious.

“Father what are you doing, you shouldn’t be out of bed like this, remember what I told you!?” screeched Valeria.

“I am going to find your no good brother, he decided he no longer wants to have anything to do with the farm, he has run away! I am hoping I will be able to catch up with him before it’s too late, who knows where he has gone off to!” Her father Ramon replied. 

She was speechless. How could her best friend, her dear brother, leave them? She just couldn’t understand it, she left the room with a letter addressed to her from Pedro. In it he apologized and said he thought it was best for him and the family, he told her he planned to travel around and stay with Alejandra for a while, pleading with her not to tell their father. That instant she pleaded to God asking him to change Pedro’s mind and show him what a foolish thing he was doing. Later that day she called their sister Alejandra to let her know about the disappearance of their brother. Alejandra was astonished.  

Her father never did find Pedro that day. He must have asked every person in town if they knew anything about him, but nobody seemed to know.

August 18, 2012- In Zamora

Zamora was nothing like what he had expected it to be, the falls weren’t anything special to him, in his home valley they had a couple waterfalls that were just as beautiful, if not more beautiful. It was rainy and cold, as it should have been as it was located on the edge of a rainforest. He had to find shelter. He finally managed to find an old, broken down, abandoned house where he stayed the night, though he didn’t sleep very well because of all the leaks. His father would have never let one of their houses go into this state. “Now, why did I just think about that, I’ve gone all day without even thinking about my family.” Pedro scolded himself, then he tried to get back to sleep, which he wasn’t very successful in.

The old abandoned house-

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The next morning Pedro went on with his journey. He was feeling a bit homesick, so he concluded that he would go directly to see Alejandra from here. It would be nice to see her again, it had been such a long time since he’d last seen her. He boarded the bus and called her to let her know he was on the way, he did not mention to her that she would be his secret refuge.

Stay tuned for next time when the special machete comes into play…

The Machete Chronicles: Entry 1

Pedro Ochoa was an average guy living in a small town in Ecuador until one day he stumbled upon a very special machete that changed his life forever.
Now let’s start with Pedro’s life before he discovered that unique machete. Pedro was in line to be the heir to his family’s precious farm, whether he liked it or not. He had no other siblings who were willing to run the family business, though he would have the help of his sister Valeria to run the Ochoa fruit and vegetable stand, but the thought of being a boring farmer his whole life disturbed him. He couldn’t just sell the farm after his father’s death, it would break the rest of his family’s heart, though there wasn’t much of a family left with the passing of his mother a few years ago and his younger sister Alejandra off traveling with her husband. So he realized he either had to happily become a farmer or run away.
After a few days of thought he finally decided to run away. He had no ties in town so it wouldn’t be difficult to leave and besides there was so much of the world he had yet to see, maybe he could catch up with Alejandra! That night he started planning out his route, he was to leave before dawn, the only thing he regretted was leaving his dying father with his sister to care for him and the farm. Before going to bed he went into his father’s room and kissed him goodnight, later that night he put a farewell letter he had written to him on his night stand along with one for Valeria. Little did he know that if he held by his decision to run away it would leave his family worse off than if he had sold the farm…