Monthly Archives: October 2012


I wanted to note that the CuencaGlutenFree User’s Group is holding their November 14 meeting at the San Sebas Cafe where several gluten free choices are offered.  Noon to 2 pm.

This is a great development for those in Cuenca who do not eat wheat/barley or rye, whether for dietary needs or simply as a choice for health.  There are vegetarian choices as well.  The menu for Nov 14, lunch meeting is as below.  Please email   if you plan to attend – indicate your dining selection for the convenience of the restaurant.

Please turn out to support San Sebas’s Lindsay Barlow’s effort to meet the dining needs of Cuenca Gluten Free!



Soup of the day Cup 2.00 Bowl 3.50

Burgers Without Buns

1/2 pound   Special ground patty, served with fries, gluten free corn bread and house Salad

$ 4.75  Sebas Burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and basil mayo

$5.50  Burger with avocado, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, red onions and jalapenos

$5.50  BBQ Burger with smoked cheddar, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and BBQ Sauce

$5.50 Mushroom Herb Burger with sautéed mushrooms, herbed cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce and tomato



$4.50 Blue Cheese Salad with red onion, tomato, cucumber, and crispy bacon

Add chicken for 1.50

$4.50 Greek Salad with red onion, kalamata olives, cucumber, tomato and feta cheese

Add chicken for 1.50

$4.50 Chipotle Salad with avocado, corn, black beans, grilled peppers, queso fresco and cilantro îime vinaigrette.

Add chicken for 1.50

Past Weekly Specials

$4.75  VEGETARIAN BIM-IM-BOP: Brown rice bowl with sautéed carrots,
mushrooms, zucchini and beam sprouts. Topped off with a. fried egg and sauce

gluten free cornbread croutons topped with jalapeno and cilantro ranch dressing.

$4.75  MEXICAN QUÍNOA BOWL  Quinoa., black beams, queso fresco, tomato,
corn, avocado and creamy chipotle sauce

$5.50  LUAU SALAD  Lettuce, grilled chicken, bell peppers, green beans,
cucumber, red onion, mango, Carrots and macadamia nuts with sesame
balsamic vinaigrette gf dressing

Cuenca Gluten Free Group to meet at restaurant


Happy Quilting in Cuenca


Life in Cuenca, Ecuador continues to be great. I have lived in Ecuador nearly 18 mos now and feel more settled all the time.

About 6 wks ago, I was put on medical “house arrest” for a few weeks to address a torn meniscus. Medical tests showed that I also have arthritis in both knees and a couple of other knee issues. It is kind of trying, discouraging…  Oh, age issues… but not the end of the world, certainly.  So for about 6 weeks, my days revolved around heat, ice and the usual array of interventions to improve the outlook for my knees. I have had the best physical therapy in my life here.  Medical care was available the same day I requested an appointment and I was able to get a second opinion on the same day.  The costs of an x-ray and other tests were reasonable – total for two appointments with  doctors, several tests – all came to $145!  So, I worked hard and have some hard work ahead to keep things moving well but no surgery at this time.

Probably the biggest adjustment is having only one trip per day up/down the stairs from the sleeping/office area to the main part of the living space. This is challenging because my sewing studio is on the second floor and a typical day used to include about 10 trips up and down the stairs for various reasons.  But cutting that to one trip per day has reduced pain dramatically so it got my attention.

A zoo quilt for grandson Logan, due to be born on US presidential election day.

I plan my day carefully… and my husband is nominated for saint award because he has done a lot of “fetching” this or that, shops for groceries,cooks dinner and washes the dishes and is doing a great job of all the above.  Gee, my knee may hurt for a long time.  Lenny is a true gem.

So what does one do on “semi-house arrest”?  I have recently completed some quilts.  I usually work for a few hours in the morning on the current quilt project, then come downstairs to check the garden, answer email and do a few other things.  Today I was watering when a large insect staggered across the small patch of grass.  His wings were wet so I had a chance to get a fairly good look at him.  His features were amazing to behold.  He was about 3.5 inches long with a shape similar to a grass-hopper but much more delicate and elegant.  His legs, body and head were brilliant deep blue, an unreal glistening color.  His wings were a deep rust yet were transparent when they opened.  His eyes were very obvious on his huge head and he WATCHED me as I tried to position myself ever closer to him to take a photo.   He would turn his head to track me and then turn his body toward me – I am not sure if he was menacing me or bluffing but it was a little spooky. I kept telling him I did not want to harm him – I just wanted a good photo of such a handsome specimen.  But I did not say it in Espanol so he remained concerned by my interest.

Unfortunately I could not find a camera that would take great shots of the insect so I only have a couple of shots on my phone – its not a smart phone, either.  I later said that is it also not “smart” to have several cameras in the house but none of them work for one reason or another.  Soon, the large insect visitor dried off enough to fan his wings for a bit and took off like a helicopter, disappearing over the garden wall toward traffic on Avenida de las Americas.  I believe his type may be a rare visitor here.  With our alpine nights, we get very few bugs. Anyway, it was a treat for me to see such an exotic, colorful, HUGE flying insect. I wonder if he lives in the jungle?

Here are more photos of quilts:

This quilt is for a toddler girl.  It is the first quilt I have sold.  I have since been commissioned to make two more quilts for grandchildren. Quilts are not commonly found in Cuenca, EC so I feel like the quilting queen!


I a giving this quilt to my 4 yr old grandson, Blake.  It has dinosauers on both sides!

Skateboarding dinos.  You have to love it!

I will see the grandchildren soon.  Going to Oregon for the birth of my daughter’s second child. I will see the 2 grandchildren who live in San Diego because my son’s family is going to Oregon for Thanksgiving week – a grand reunion for all of us.

And this brings me to gluten free Key Lime pie:

Key Lime Pie was a hit at a recent dinner

The Cuenca Gluten Free User’s Group meets monthly, with the next meeting this week, on Wed, October 17, from 10 am until 12 noon.  Meeting is held at my home, Los Alamos 3-66 y tres de noviembre, about 3 blocks away from Super Maxi on Av. de los Americas. The guest speaker this month is from San Sebas Cafe.  Increasingly local restaurants want to serve the needs of those who do not eat wheat.

Cost is $5 which includes coffee or tea and a safe gluten-free snack.

All for tonight.


Cuenca in October


Cuenca is a beautiful city any day of the year but today seemed especially gorgeous.  The sun was intense, the sky incredibly blue,  huge fluffy clouds kept the afternoon from being too warm.  It was a perfect day to water plants, shop in El Centro or do just about anything I could think of.  Me gusta Cuenca!

I have not posted for awhile.  Injured my knee, I was commissioned to make some baby/toddler quilts, some other stuff –  so I”ve been burning the midnight oil in my study getting some quilts completed.  Wow, that has been a fun job!  I met a wonderful Cuencana who is a quilter so we have enjoyed talking about patterns, exchanged some books and are browsing at fabric stores.  We have found to date lots of cotton mixed with polyester, beautiful fabric.  So what happens if one uses fabric in a quilt that has some polyester in it?  Does anyone know?

The fabric is in the $6 per meter range which is a little over a yard and the fabric is very wide, 54 ” or more, but it is kind of thin.  Yet there are some beautiful bolts, lots of cute children’s drapery and bedspread fabrics. The clerk at the store today said that much of the fabric is made in Pakistan.

Last week Ana Maria and I visited another fabric store where they had thousands of bolts of fabric, none of it 100% cotton  –  but all of it is made in Ecuador.  Beautiful fabrics for formal dresses, many choices for  pajamas, t-shirts, work clothes, etc.  It is really fun exploring like this with a new friend.  The way she found me is through reading this blog – and I am very grateful! She is very kind with an upbeat personality so a fun development in Cuenca for me.

Here is the completed quilt for Logan who is expected to arrive on election day, 11/07/12.

El Centro was buzzing with activity today at 3 – 5 pm as we walked from store to store.  We passed a family furniture business where workers were busy putting together rustic outdoor furniture.  We were stopped by an Ecuadorian gentleman who said he and his son are opening a new restaurant next week where they will serve Mexican and Italian food.  His English was superb – he spent his entire adult career in Naples, Florida and recently returned to Cuenca.  Music was blasting from one store.  Things were hoppin’.
This brings me to something I want to mention about Cuenca.  Everywhere you go, you see people you have met  before.  The market, the central square – Parque Calderon, waiting for a bus, at the swimming pool.  Cuenca lives like a much smaller city.  The suburb Len and I lived in before relocating to Ecuador had a popular YMCA.  It was on the edge of my neighborhood, less than a mile from my home. I swam there over a 6 year period.  I can count on one hand the number of times I saw someone I knew.  What a difference.  As I have said many times, most Cuencanos are friendly,calm, trusting and kind.  It creates a wonderful city vibe.

Tomorrow, an exciting event – the Windhorse Cafe is serving a lunch that is all gluten free. This is a terrific development for those of us who do not eat wheat/rye/barley.  My husband, Lenny, and I are going to lunch to support and enjoy this development.  Thank you Lucy and Criag!!  Windhorse @ Calle Larga and Hermano Miguel.

This week end, I plan to start on another baby quilt for a new child born a couple of weeks ago.  I am hoping to complete it before I go to the United States for a visit with my children, grandchildren, friends and extended family. When I sew each morning, a beautiful male hummingbird buzzes up to the window after working all the flowers on the tiny balcony.  He has established rights to our little garden and seems to be preparing for a mate.  He chases any other birds out of the one big tree and keeps a watchful vigil over the area throughout the day.  He is larger than the hummingbirds we saw in the US.  His coloring is plain greyish green at one angle but flashes iridescent as he moves.  He has deep purple feathers running down his chest – almost like a tie.  A local woman told me that this type of hummingbird is endangered.  I hope he convinces a female to join him.  My studio looks out on this lively unfolding of nature.  Lots to do and such a joyful place to be working on beautiful fabrics.

Hope you are enjoying a terrific week.