Saturday, June 20, 2009

Coming to you LIVE from the Calamuchita Valley

We headed to Sta. Rosa yesterday afternoon so the hubby could finish the bathroom project. Last week he and a friend replaced pipes leading from the main bath to the septic and then he had to wait for the cement to set up in the bathroom floor where the repair took place. The plan was to replace the tile floor and re-set the toilet this weekend.

Things aren't exactly going according to plan.

First off there was a problem with the float valve which didn't shut off completely so the floor not only didn't dry but actually got a little wetter. So he drained the tank (which is in the wall, not the back of the toilet) and mopped up as much as he could; now he has a small heater and a fan going in there to speed the drying process.

He also forgot a few tools. Not a big deal, this man knows how to improvise! But it will just make the job a little more complicated.

It was quite warm yesterday (short sleeves!) but the house was COLD when we arrived. Did you know water condenses on cold block walls? So it was damp as well as cold. Brrrr! Hubby built a fire once... twice... three times before it finally caught. The free wood is pretty green and still holds a lot of moisture. It's also pine so it burns quickly. But it's still FREE.

(He noticed this morning that the firebox on the heater is in pretty bad shape so once winter is over, he plans to overhaul the whole heater and repair/weld whatever needs it so that it functions better next year.)

He also put together an older thingymajobbie that you hook up to a small propane tank to create an instant space heater. So he called the propane delivery guy first thing and in less than an hour he brought a tank out for us.

We set that up in the back bedroom near the functioning bathroom and left it going all night. Did a nice job taking the chill off and drying out the space. Have I mentioned cold causes condensation on block walls?

I brought flannel sheets and more blankets this trip so we were toasty warm in the "new" bed we bought from our neighbor in Carlos Paz. I also brought a nice, thick quilt my friend Lori made for me which is backed in flannel. Mmmmm, can we say snuggly?

We went into town for a few groceries last evening about 8 p.m. and I should know better than to go on an empty stomach. I indulged in several snack treats...some honest-to-goodness tortilla chips (Mexican cuisine is becoming popular here) and a small can of Lays (as in potato chips Lays) salsa. Later today we'll see how it all tastes. I'm making soft tacos with chips and salsa on the side for lunch.

I also bought something from the bakery section that looked a lot like glazed donuts. They weren't. The hubby laughed and laughed at the expression on my face when I took the first bite. Rather than a soft donut, it was a crunchy pastry called rosquitas. I did get the glassadas part right, though. Not bad at all, just not what I was expecting.

At least it didn't have dulce de leche in-or-on it.

Not that I have anything against dulce de leche. I'm quite fond of it. IN MODERATION. But people, they put it on just about every.single.pastry. From cakes and pies to candy, cookies and "donuts" and any other kind of sweet you can think up. It gets a little old.

The ants here don't seem as fond of sweets as those in the U.S. These ants are particularly fond of wood and wood products. So their 'stuff' looks a little like dark sawdust. They've been very busy since the last time I was out here -- there was a huge amount of their 'stuff' under the kitchen sink. Yuck! We came prepared, however, with a full container of ant poison. They are as, if not more, productive as the ants in Carlos Paz. Ants everywhere are preparing for winter it would seem.

Although the warm weather we've been having would make a Michigander think it was Spring instead of fall/almost winter.

In contrast to yesterday's sunny skies and temps in the low 70s, today is chilly and overcast. The overcast part might have something to do with the fact that the internet is really, really, REALLY slow this morning. I hope it's sufficient to post this once I finish writing it.

Last evening, just after I had the computer up and running, my daughter skyped me and it worked! That was a first for out here. We talked for just over 40 minutes without any problem. Like I said, yesterday was clear and I am pretty sure that affects the connection (which is via cell phone frequencies, not through cable or a landline telephone because there are no telephone lines out this way).

I have a lot of cleaning to do this weekend. Sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning the baths, scrubbing down cupboards... But I did bring the baby quilt which I hope to finish by Sunday so I can give it to the parents of the almost-three-month-old child. I have five more blocks to quilt and need to finish the hand-sewing part of the binding.

Am trying to figure out what I want to do about the next baby quilt. I had a really cute idea if it was a boy, but since it's a girl I have to re-think my design. I'm torn between a bright primary colors quilt maybe featuring hot air balloons and a soft, pastel and very pink girly design with lots of floral fabrics.

I also brought my homework. Of course. I'm working on the subjunctive now and it truly makes my head hurt. We don't use the subjunctive much in English but it's used frequently in Spanish. Me parece muy importante que entienda el subjuntivo.

Y'all have a great weekend!


Lhoyt said...

Sounds like a busy time. I'm surely happy that you are getting a chance to use the house. I had noticed the last time I was there that the WOODSTOCK burner was needing some work. But what can we expect from a 50+yr. old appliance? Then there is the toilet thing. I've often wondered why such a system continues to be used, when so many other things (e.g. telephones) have advanced so much. And "rosquitas glaceadas" does sound great

sara said...

you are so lucky that your husband is that handy!!!! there are so many small projects I need done around here, but need to hire someone...but need $ to do that...oh well!!

My boys are going to Brazil in July for a mission weird to think it is winter!

Mari said...

You have been really busy! Keeping everything working and clean in both places does give you things to do!

skoots1mom said...

you're a busy lady, for sure.
i've spent the morning reading blogs, clearing dishes, reading blogs, washing clothes, and working on next week's weeks go so much better when i plan them ahead.

eager to see your quilt

congrats to hubby on all his hard work...he'll really enjoy knowing that system is updated...they are a lot of work.happy father's day!!

rita said...

Glad you intend to 'entender el subjuntivo'! You heard about Dad Hoyt, even later in his missionary career, determining to master the subjunctive. And he did!

dulce de leche, Argentina: peanut butter, America

How wonderful that you are looking after the Hoyt resort!
Sorry about all the extra problemas & hormigas.

baby quilts...
Next Friday Kristie finds out about our #5 grand/boy?girl?
Can't imagine I'll ever get into making such elaborate gifts. I just end up babysitting!

Elijah was here overnight so they could celebrate their 11th anniversary. They just left after picking up Malachi also who arrived from summer camp.