Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weeks 44, 45, 46 and 47: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

October 22 - November 22

It's embarrassing that I'm posting a whole month's worth of photos in one shot. In my defense, we have been a little busy. But I also admit I haven't made P365 a priority this past month either.

It was obviously ridiculous to try and winnow it down to one photo a day during the time Jon, Nat and Adalyn were here, but I finally decided I'll just do a whole separate post about their visit and then it was a little easier to choose representative photos for each day.

I also plan to do a separate post on the arrival of grandchild #3! Elizabeth Ann, henceforth to be known to one and all as Betsy, was born November 9th! You might want to prepare yourself to be barraged by photos of my adorable grandchildren in the coming week :)

Thursday, October 22

Ivan made gluten free bread for the first time and it was yummy! We'd already cut into it and buttered a couple of slices before remembering to grab the camera.

Saturday, October 24

While looking for a place Jon and family could stay the few days they'd be spending in Carlos Paz, we ended up across from this hotel that was getting a new roof. There was a line of men on the roof, one on scaffolding half-way up, and several on the ground, forming a human chain for getting the freshly mixed concrete up to the roof and quickly spread. It's quite fascinating to watch the rhythm they establish as they swing buckets full of heavy, wet cement from one to the next.

Sunday, October 25

Election day in Argentina! It ended up with a tie so a run-off was scheduled for November 22. When I went to google something that day, this popped up, showing the ballot box in the colors of the Argentine flag:

Monday, October 26

Ivan finished putting the drywall up on the ceiling of our hallway. Here you can see the last little bit he had to cover. Completely forgot to take before pictures, so this is all we have of that project.
So glad to have that done! He got it taped and mudded and would have had it painted by now, too, but he fell victim to food poisoning which put him out of commission for a few days. Not fun!

Friday, October 30

There's a large seibo tree down the street from our physiotherapist. It was in bloom and absolutely gorgeous! The bright red blossoms are the national flower for Argentina (and Uruguay). Notice the carpet of petals that have already fallen to the ground.

Saturday, October 31

We make monthly shopping treks to Tadicor in Cordoba. We like it much better than Walmart (although we still have to go to Walmart to get a few things that Tadicor doesn't carry).

Thursday, November 5

Jon, Natalie and Adalyn arrive!!!
It was so fun to finally meet our funny, curious and adorable granddaughter in person!

Friday, November 6

A tour of our fair city of course took us to Lago San Roque where Jon snapped this photo of us with Adalyn:

Saturday, November 7

Our friend (and my Spanish teacher) Marcela invited us over for lunch. Adalyn was entranced by the nine puppies that were only two weeks old!

Sunday, November 8

While her dad and mom spent the day and night in Cordoba, we thoroughly enjoyed having Adalyn all to ourselves :) She is such a little ham!

In the evening we visited Magdalena. I'd made a Shutterfly photobook using pictures from the past seven years, since Ivan first met Julio (who passed away earlier this year), and Jon brought the book down for us (since I do not trust the postal system here at all). Magdalena was thrilled with the book, and charmed by little Miss A.

Monday, November 9

Welcome to the world, Elizabeth Ann!
Betsy weighed 8 lb. 8 oz. at birth and measured 20.25" long. She's a beauty, just like her mama!

Tuesday, November 10

After traveling down to Sta. Rosa on Monday, we set out to enjoy some peaceful time in the country. A storm had swept through the night before, so roads were muddy and there were a lot of limbs and leaves down from the heavy winds. But we enjoyed our walk through the neighborhood anyway.

Wednesday, November 11

Nat put the cutest outfit on Adalyn and we got a few photos before she whipped the bow out of her hair. Girl's not a fan of hair doodads!

Thursday, November 12

We went out for lunch and after she was done, Adalyn got hold of the lemon from her dad's plate. She makes the funniest faces, but she actually really likes them and kept sucking and making faces for quite a while. Funny kid!

For supper that night, Ivan and Jon got busy in the kitchen. We ate well!

Friday, November 13

Had to get some family photos by the "Familia Hoyt" sign. Little Miss A was tired of the photo session by this point and it was all we could do to hold onto her :)

I absolutely love this photo of Jon, Nat and Adalyn taken down by the river!

So many great memories from their visit! We are so happy they made the long trek down. It wasn't easy, traveling so far with a toddler, and we are beyond grateful for such a gift.

Saturday, November 14

No photos! I took a bunch but something happened to the memory card in the camera and I can't get them off. Jon's going to look into what we can do to try and salvage the photos so maybe I'll have a photo later on.

It was a sad day, as we had to take them to the airport and say goodbye :(

Friday, November 20

Back out to Sta. Rosa, so I could do my annual washing of the cushion covers, and re-organize the kitchen cupboards again, as we prepare for the summer season. So many people use the house and everyone has their own idea of where things should go. When we were out there with Jon and Nat, I found the three parts of the salad spinner in three different places!

You might remember I made the cushion covers using some nice indoor/outdoor fabric so they spot clean pretty easily. But once a year they do require laundering, and I'm always so surprised and pleased with how clean they turn out. You can see them hanging on the line in this photo I snapped through the kitchen window.
Although the main reason for the picture is to show how a severe hail storm shredded many of the leaves and decimated most of the clusters of grapes that were just starting to form. Afraid we won't have enough to make grape jelly this year.

Saturday, November 21

Ivan was busy finishing the sermon for Sunday, his binder, papers and Bible spread out over the sofa, so I got all comfy on the bed and used headphones to watch an episode of "Escape to the Country" on youtube. It's sort of a British House Hunters, and I cannot get enough of those quintessential English cottages, converted barns and Georgian houses. I'm quite addicted to the show!

Sunday, November 22

Guess what?! Google has the same picture they had October 25 -- only this time it's for the presidential election run-off. No news yet on who's ahead; we'll just have to wait and see who wins!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 43: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Friday, October 16

The quilt is finished! When I initially designed it, I'd planned to add thin sashings between sections and a wide border all around. As you can see, the design evolved and instead I ended up adding wide "frames" around each section, which made the quilt longer than normal. But Tina is okay with it, which is all that counts.
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think the color blocking packs a bigger punch than mixing the colors all together would have done. I used mid-century modern motifs in the quilting, too, to stay with the theme.

Sunday, October 18

Mother's Day in Argentina!  It was especially lovely to have two ladies attend who haven't been there in quite a while. Adela suffered a stroke several months ago and still has trouble getting around, even with a three-legged cane and help.

You may remember Desirée from the baby shower photos in the P365 post of June 20th. Their little Thiego was born not long afterward with some health issues which have kept them home. But this Sunday her husband stayed with Thiego so Desi could attend church with their daughter Delfina.

This had to be a difficult holiday for Alicia, her first Mother's Day since her son died. Her mother passed away this year, too. Despite the sadness she's endured, Alicia is faithful. She's honest about how she's hurting, but she gives thanks for God's goodness in the midst of her suffering.

Monday, October 19

Loooooooooong day! Started with an 8 a.m. appointment with the physiotherapist who's helping me with back pain. Today she showed me some more exercises to do each day that will stretch the lower back and neck muscles. Then it was off to Cordoba where I had another appointment, this time with the ear specialist. This was my view while we waited to be called back.
Taken with my phone, it's not a very good photo, but shows that doctor's waiting rooms look pretty much the same wherever you go. The appointment went much as I'd expected; the doctor recommended I continue with the medication since I still have occasional bouts of tinitus, vertigo and hearing loss.  

While we were in Cordoba we ran some other errands, too. Ivan was able to get the heating elements he needed to fix our toaster oven, we did some grocery shopping and stopped for lunch at our favorite restaurant, Viejo Lobo. It's one of the few places I feel comfortable eating out. I snapped this shot of Ivan while we waited for it to open.

Tuesday, October 20

Ivan met Javier for coffee this morning. He took this picture, because the store in the background has the same name as Javi's wife, Carina.

Earlier Ivan had received a text from one of the stores in town that carries gluten free products. They make and sell empanadas, pizzas and other goodies and just started offering at-home delivery. Pablo sends Ivan photos of what's available, so I put together a collage with two of the photos:
We bought a variety of empanadas and also a box of baking powder since I was almost out. I can see the home delivery being especially handy during the crazy summer months when we don't want to go downtown because it's so crammed with tourists. I put the packages of empanadas in large zip locks and stick them in the freezer. Super handy when we have friends drop by around merienda time, or on days when I'm completely knackered and don't feel like cooking.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Weeks 41 and 42: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Thursday, October 1

Ivan attended a three-day conference in Cordoba with other men from our church. Sponsored by 9Marks, the focus was on expository preaching. Juan Sanches from Texas was one of the speakers.

Friday, October 2

The conference included various sessions by the different men as well as a panel discussion.
From left to right: Juan Sanches (pastor/elder at High Point Baptist Church in Austin, TX), Sugel Michelén (pastor/elder at Iglesia Bíblica del Señor Jesucristo in the Dominican Republic, as well as author and lecturer), Edgar Aponte (Director of Hispanic Leadership Development at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC) and Ryan Townsend (Executive Director of 9Marks). 

Saturday, October 3

Ivan enjoyed having Joaquin ride back and forth with him each day. This young man has such a heart for God and was pretty excited to meet Sugel Michelén.

Sunday, October 4

Some days are too exciting for words. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? So do you think I could blather on for 1,000 words about vitamins and supplements?
You betcha! But I won't. I'm a fan of Shaklee's Citraboost because it means I don't have to swallow quite so many pills. I have a strong gag reflex and the Citraboost, a powdered supplement I mix with orange juice, makes my start to the day a lot more pleasant. The lovely light green pill is the medication I take to keep the vertigo at bay; very thankful that it works 99% of the time.

Monday, October 5

Almost everyone I know has aloe plants, because they thrive in this climate. This isn't the first time I've shared a picture of them, and probably won't be the last. These happen to be in our neighbor's yard, but you can see the tall brightly colored blooms all over town right now.

Tuesday, October 6

Ivan took the camera to Bible study and took a bunch of photos, so I put together another collage.

Friday, October 9

I posted this on facebook, as well as my last blog post, but I'm sharing it again here too. I really do think it's a thing of beauty!

Saturday, October 10

Ivan met up with José Luis, an old junior high buddy, and another friend, and the three stayed at the house in Sta. Rosa while enjoying an aviation event in Alta Gracia. He didn't take many photos, but I have a few to share. On the way to Alta Gracia, they stopped briefly in Belgrano so the other guys could buy some gifts to take back to Buenos Aires. It was a mob scene, since the town celebrates Octoberfest all month.
Ivan, José Luis, and Marcelo

Inside sessions on aviation history and construction.

Outside planes to look at. 

Monday, October 13

I took this photo a few weeks ago, showing a row of trees in front of a hosteria on the costanera where we walk:  

This type of tree grows so fast that people cut it way back every year. I've always thought it looks like they've gotten a butch cut. But, as you can see, they leaf out nicely come Spring every year:

Wednesday, October 15

We're in the home stretch! I'm attaching the binding to the quilt and then it will be FINISHED. I used the machine to attach the binding to the front and now I'm folding it over and hand sewing it down on the back.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Purple thistles

One of the joys of walking along the costanera is the multitude of flora we encounter. Some were intentionally planted, like the wisteria and roses I shared in the last Project 365 post. But others are weeds.
This purple thistle definitely falls into that category. They're thorny, invasive and can be truly obnoxious (especially if you're trying to get rid of it).
But aren't they beautiful, too? I love the symmetry of the bloom, the way the color radiates out from the center, and how straight and tall they stand.
I remember when dried flower arrangements were all the rage back in the 80s and my more talented friends would go on nature hikes to find beauties like these to dry. Although the color dimmed a bit in the process, they remained a lovely shade of purple which added a nice pop of color in their arrangements.
In recent months I've been thinking a lot about how God made me. After a long time of being extremely discontent with my lack of skills and abilities for the task at hand, God gently and lovingly reminded me that He made me the way He did for a reason. I'm still puzzling that one out, to be honest, but I'm understanding more and more that not only am I His beloved daughter, I am unique. One-of-a-kind. Nobody else has my genetic make-up, my history and experiences, my skill set or eccentricities.

Like the purple thistle, I can be thorny and obnoxious, but also beautiful in my own way. God has shaped me into the person that I am. I have value because God gave me value.

He is also teaching me to be more present in the moment. By that I mean I'm not always rushing through the day, thinking ahead to the next thing on my "to do" list. I'm learning to relax, to set more realistic expectations and be okay with the curve balls that inevitably get thrown my way. I'm learning to rest (boy, is that a hard lesson!) and enjoy just being, and not always worry about doing.

I'm learning to accept my limitations. Over the past few years they have been mostly physical ones. But sometimes they're related to my abilities, or my capacity.
Ivan and I have been reading a lot of books together these past few months. Following is a list in the order we've read them. As you can see, we've got rather eclectic reading tastes :) What's been the most fun is the conversations each book has generated, on topics ranging from ontology to hospitality to shame to innate ability to relationships... Frankly, we've covered so much ground I cannot possibly summarize it all with a few words. But seriously, Best.Thing.Ever! for our marriage -- and it's only taken 36 years to figure it out!

Originally recommended by a friend who knows Kay personally, I also saw it mentioned on a number of blogs. I read this out loud to Ivan a few months back when he was down several days with the flu. It's a missionary autobiography, but not like any you've ever read before. It's raw and real and it blew us away.

This had been on my wish list for a long time, so I grabbed it when it was marked down for a week. Part memoir, part cookbook, this one reminded us why we love to feed people: It's not about the food, per se (although we do love food!), but about the relationships we develop around the table. I love that here in Argentina they have a word for it: sobremesa or "over the table", referring to the conversations that take place at the table. I know I've mentioned before that a lot of Argentine homes don't even have a living room, because all the living takes place around the table.

A ton of buzz in blogland moved this to the top of my list as a must read, especially after I watched this...
Don't let the funny deceive you; Jen does a great job injecting humor but this is one serious book. We devoured it in a matter of a few days. Afterward I went back and wrote down bits that touched a nerve. Like this:
"Maybe we can exit the self-imposed pressure cooker of "calling" and instead just consider our "gifts". The former feels like a job description, but the latter is just how God wired us. Certainly we are gifted for specific faith work, but gifts can be ordinary stuff in the middle of real life. Your prayer gift? You can use it on random Thursdays, on the phone with a friend, in the quiet early morning hours. Your gift of teaching? It may look like a class or a career, but it could very well be over lunch, through an e-mail, or in your own home. Your special capacity for encouragement? Sister, that gift is needed everywhere, every day, for every person."
We loved the book, and then ended up watching the multi-part video series about her previous book, Interrupted.

by Madeleine L'Engle
The first in an autobiographical series Ms. L'Engle called The Crosswick Journals, we found it to be very thought provoking as well as entertaining. Her writing is to be savored, and lends itself to reading in small segments.

by Brené Brown
We were still reading "A Circle of Quiet" when I came across Dr. Brown's name again. I'd first heard her mentioned in the book "Quiet" by Susan Cain, which I read last year. Her work sounded interesting and I mentally filed her name for future reference. I've seen it a few times since, but what tipped the scales was the link in a post on The Quiet Revolution to Dr. Brown's TEDtalk on vulnerability, after which we watched her TEDtalk on shame. While every book generated a lot of conversation, it was this book that started some big changes in our relationship. For the first time ever we were able to talk through some issues that have plagued us our entire marriage. After that ringing endorsement, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the next book was another one by Brown...

by Brené Brown
At the bottom of the front cover, it says "If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall. This is a book about what it takes to get back up." To get a taste of what the book is like, read this article in Tech Insider about what Brown calls her "number one life hack".

My Name Is Asher Lev
by Chaim Potok
After so much of the serious, I felt we needed a little fiction for fun. So I chose one of my favorites by Potok. And we really did enjoy reading fiction for a change, but surprisingly enough, this book generated just as many conversations as any of the others! The complex relationship between Asher and his parents, the interesting Hasidic culture he grew up in, and the way his gift was viewed, all made us think about how our position within a family, within a community, shape us.

We are almost done with this one. The only drawback to reading together is that I don't want to interrupt our reading to stop and write down things that really speak to me. But with this book there have been a few times I've had to stop and write something down.
"And finally, I began to listen to the gift of limits God gave me -- limits related to my personality, temperment, gift mix, and physical, emotional and spiritual capacity. This opened up for me a new world of surrendering and trusting God in the midst of obstacles and challenges."
All of these books have taught me something about God, about myself, and about my position in Christ. Some of the lessons have been painful (think thorny and obnoxious), but others have filled my heart with gratitude that a loving, gracious God has made me uniquely His.