Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Weeks 24 and 25: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Wednesday, June 10

Our friend Magdalena returned on Sunday from a three week tour of Spain, Portugal and northern Africa. Today we invited her and her son Nestor over for an asado (barbecue). We had lots of vegetables since Magdalena has been a life-long vegetarian, but Ivan also grilled a chicken that we'd brined for several days.
Magdalena took lots of photos but they don't have a computer so she brought the camera over and Ivan set up our projector so we could use the wall as a screen and look through all the photos.

Friday, June 12

I'm slowly making progress on the baby quilt. Finished the rectangular section with a mix of green, gray and white fabrics. It was a little wider than the blue section but that was easy enough to remedy, I just cut 1/2" off one side and voila!

Monday, June 15

I had a brainstorm and decided to make a miniature bag to go with the denim bag I'd made last week. It's not exactly the same -- I used different fabrics and didn't include a zippered top -- but the style is the same.

Tuesday, June 16

It's been getting pretty cold at night, which means it gets cold inside the casita too. Several mornings it's been a chilly 56 degrees, and we haven't even hit real winter weather yet! We have one heater mounted on the wall between the two rooms, but it just isn't able to keep up. Meanwhile we've been storing the corner heater we used on Canning Street, so we decided to make room for that heater in the kitchen, where the gas line is already in place. That meant we had to remove the one and only bookshelf here at the casita. Made me a little sad, but I'd rather be warm at this point!
It's amazing what a small bookcase will hold; we ended up with three boxes and a number of bags by the time we'd finished clearing it off.

Saturday, June 20

Now I can reveal that the denim bag I made was meant to be a diaper bag, which I gave to my friend at her baby shower this past Saturday. And the miniature bag was for her 3-year-old daughter to keep her dolly bottles and things in. (Delfi received almost as many gifts as her mom did, including a little baby bed for her doll.)
This was my first baby shower in Argentina, because it's just not a common thing at all. This was a group effort, with everyone pitching in to help. Someone got balloons, everyone brought treats, someone ordered a cake, several people made decorations, I took a tablecloth... And we totally surprised Desi! We had food and games, and I think really blessed this young couple.

Friends from Sta. Rosa came to visit that day and Silvia went to the shower with me.
Silvia is one of my dearest friends, and someone I've known for longer than most here because I met her the first time we visited back in 1996. Her family and Ivan's family have known each other for over half a century, since her grandmother first came to Christ many, many years ago.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week 23: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

I don't have a photo for last Wednesday. I spent two hours at the dentist, which is not an occasion I necessarily want to commemorate. The appointment had been made for a check-up and cleaning, but the Sunday before I broke (yet another) tooth so my dentist had to deal with that instead.

Thursday, June 4

Today was much better than Wednesday. Ivan and I took off for the day and enjoyed a lovely drive up to La Cumbre and the surrounding area.
It was a perfect day for a picnic: sunny and up in the low 80s by mid afternoon. We finished the day with merienda (afternoon tea) by the lake back in Carlos Paz.

Saturday, June 6

After catching up on housework and laundry, I started sewing.
And Ivan spent the day sealing and painting the exterior of the garage.

Sunday, June 7

It was too dark to take pictures by the time he finished painting yesterday. He got both long sides done and started on the front before the sun well and truly set.
He still has to finish around the door as well as the overhang, and back of the garage. This is one really big garage and I'm impressed with how much he accomplished on Saturday!

Monday, June 8

Finished my sewing project: a box bag (pattern from Frocks and Frolics via Craftsy).
The denim is a dream to sew, the duck canvas I used for the lining is a whole other ballgame. I don't know if all duck canvas is this thick but it was a beast to work with. I modified the pattern, enlarging it, lengthening the handles and switching out the inside cell phone pocket for a zippered pocket. I really like the design, with six large pockets on the outside, and will try it again but using a different (more light-weight) fabric for the lining.

This is going to be a gift, but I can't say more than that yet. I'll share more in a couple of weeks after I've given it to the recipient.

Tuesday, June 9

Another beautiful day in Carlos Paz. I did have to wear my heavier coat on our walk this morning, but once the sun broke through the clouds, it heated right up into the high 60s. Gotta love the winters here! I noticed one of our plants is getting ready to bloom. It's some kind of succulent; any one know what it's called? Because we'd like to know!
I liked the "babies" growing along the edge of the leaves; they fall off and new plants pop up wherever they land.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Weeks 21 and 22: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

I've been a slacker in the P365 department lately, both in taking photos and in posting. We went to Sta. Rosa/Belgrano Friday, May 22, for the launch of a new Bible study but totally failed to take any photos.

Saturday, May 23

The house we rented on Canning had a parrilla which we used on a regular basis and we've really missed having one at this house. For a while Ivan's had an idea and has been gathering materials to make a portable grill. He started with a 55 gallon drum that he cut in half, some scrounged bits of metal, and his welding tools. This is the type of project he works on when he wants to unwind and relax.
He is much more productive when he relaxes than I am!

Sunday, May 24

A little more progress on the baby quilt: two of the three rows for the bottom section are finished.

Wednesday, May 27

Several years ago I bought an upholstery weight denim to make a new slipcover and cushion covers for our sofa. I'm finally getting around to making them. We bought new foam for the bottom cushion (decided to go with one long cushion instead of two smaller ones) and we reused the old bottom cushions, cutting them to size for the back cushions.
This week I hope to get the slipcover made. But first I'm going to watch a bunch of youtube videos on how to do it, because the prospect honestly freaks me out a little. I tried making a slipcover years ago and it was a total disaster; I wasted yards of fabric and had nothing to show for it. But at the time I only had one book checked out from the library to guide me, and I just didn't understand the photos and explanations well enough. I'm hopeful that video tutorials will be more helpful.

Thursday, May 28

Marce, my Spanish tutor, came over this afternoon with all the ingredients to make brownies for her English students at one of the area high schools (she teaches English in several high schools). I shared on Facebook about our baking drama. I was doubling the batches and making them in large 12"x17" jelly roll sheets, but only added half the necessary sugar with the first pan. Second time I forgot the sugar entirely, remembered as I was putting it into the pan, then only added half but, again, remembered as I was putting it into the pan. Good grief! That second pan did end up with enough sugar, but the ingredients had not been added in the right order and it DOES make a difference! Those brownies were fine but had a much denser quality to them. You can bet I concentrated on the task at hand while making the third pan -- and finally got it right!
Marce took the first pan home with her, saying they'd be fine with dulce de leche :) With just the second and third pans, though, we ended up with well over 120 small brownies to share with the kids on Friday.

Friday, May 29

I didn't take a single photo today. Thankfully Marce had her camera and I've used a few of her photos to create a little collage.
Her first, second and third year classes were combined and with so many students they couldn't get enough desks in the room. Solution: remove ALL the desks and let the kids sit on the floor. There were kids everywhere, up against every wall. I don't know how many there were in total, but the brownies disappeared in less than ten minutes when we set them out during the break.

Marce had asked us to share about our year in Uganda, and also a little about the U.S. Ivan put together a slideshow with photos we'd taken in Uganda, and Ugandan music in the background. He could also still fit into the Kaunda suit he had made while we lived there! I hadn't kept my Ugandan dress, finally getting rid of it the last time we were in the U.S. (I'd worn my big puffy gomez exactly once in the past 14 years so didn't feel I could keep hanging onto it for sentimental reasons). I shared about growing up in Detroit and what I remembered about the summer of the '67 riots, and also about moving to Kentucky for three months the following year and how very different that was culturally. Ivan and I spoke in Spanish because we wanted them to understand what we were saying. The focus wasn't on English but on different cultures.  

Saturday, May 30

We went to a Celiac Expo in downtown Carlos Paz this afternoon. There was quite a turnout! I was able to try a lot of different treats: various cookies, bread, chips, cheese puffs... It was a nice way to see what we liked (or didn't like) without having to buy a whole package of something.
I couldn't get near the booth where they were giving cooking demonstrations. The crowd was at least six deep, if not more. I could see the tippy top of the white chef's hat and that's all.

Sunday, May 31

Charlie came over for lunch and spent the afternoon helping Ivan finish his portable grill. Charlie was bending metal rods while Ivan used the grinder.
They were justly proud of their finished handiwork!
We'll be trying the grill out today. Besides grilling some beef, we have some vegetables to throw on too: tomatoes, red peppers and butternut squash. Yum!

Monday, June 1

At the Expo on Saturday we learned there is a bakery in town that's 100% gluten free! I was so excited, I could hardly stand it :) We went on Monday evening and picked up several things: a small loaf of rustic bread that's about the size of a grapefruit, a breakfast pastry for Ivan, some cookies and (what Ivan's most excited about) pie crust so I can make an apple pie!
Although I have't tried to make pie dough, I have tried several times to make pizza crust. It's completely different from regular dough, it's very wet and you have to spread it in the pan with your fingers or a spatula. I've read that with the pie dough you have to put it between sheets of plastic wrap to roll it out, because it's so wet and sticky. So I was thrilled to find ready-made gluten free pie dough!

They didn't have any regular loaves of bread left, but we plan to go back this morning to get a loaf. I haven't had a grilled cheese in well over four months and the mere thought of it makes my mouth water.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 20: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Thursday, May 14

We've been doing a lot better at taking a walk every day. Walking is a win/win because it's helping increase my stamina and, since we're next to the river, the scenery is beautiful. I've mentioned in the past that after we bought this property, the municipality paved the street right along the river near our house. Someone convinced them to save this algarrobo (carob) tree down the road. This tree has become a marker for turning around and heading home some days.

Friday, May 15

It was pretty overcast today but still no rain. Perfect weather for walking, and we actually made it all the way to the bridge by Playa de Oro today! I was pretty "chuffed" as the British say :)

Saturday, May 16

After an exceptionally rainy summer, autumn has been much drier. Which is typical here, and it's not unusual to go months without rain. It hasn't been months, but it has been weeks so Ivan's using the sprinkler to keep our fledgling lawn alive.
Not the greatest photo, but you can kind of see the water spraying out from the sprinkler.

Sunday, May 17

After spreading all the blue and gray fabrics on the bed this evening, I started deciding which fabric I wanted to use where and then laid them out in order. There will be three rows of triangles and parallelograms that form the bottom section of the quilt.
Blank areas will be where white pieces go. Really happy that I have enough left of the white-on-white tiny footprint fabric for this quilt!

Monday, May 18

During siesta Ivan took a pickax and shovel back behind the casita to dig out trees that had started growing right up against the house. We never go back there because the back of the casita sits right on the property line and our fence starts at the edge of the casita. Anyway, when Ivan went to start sealing and painting that back wall the other day, he discovered the trees. What a hot, sweaty job! And in the process he found something that confirmed our suspicions that we have a leak in the wall :(  So he started digging into the wall in different areas, trying to find the leak. We were really hoping he could find and fix it from the outside.
Sadly he wasn't able to...

Tuesday, May 19

...so this morning he tore into the wall inside the house. We were pretty sure it was in the wall between the kitchen and bath and, hoping to avoid breaking up tile in the bath, he started on the kitchen side.
Thankfully he found the leak and fixed it. Or at least we hope so! We're letting things set up and dry out a bit right now. Ivan is helping on a project over at the church this afternoon so when he returns we'll turn the water back on.

Since there has been no water to wash dishes, clean or do laundry, I happily started working on the baby quilt.
This is the top row of the bottom section. After tracing, stay-stitching all the lines on the bias and cutting out each piece with an exact 1/4" seam allowance, I laid them on the ironing board and took this photo for reference. I really don't want to accidentally sew the wrong pieces together and then have to use the seam ripper. See the little blue piece off by itself? I had hoped to use that fabric for one of the triangles but that is some seriously frustrating stuff to work with! While stay-stitching it stretched out of shape. Ugh! So I chose another fabric to use in its place. Now I'm ready to start hand sewing the pieces together, being careful to match points.