Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project 365, Week 4

I am going to attempt to upload photos for Project 365. Our internet has been SOOOOO slow lately. Ivan's repeated calls to the phone company resulted in techs being sent out on two separate occasions, but their visits weren't very helpful. Basically the company oversold their product. Bottom line: customer demand FAR exceeds their band-width supply. Especially in the summer when thousands upon thousands of tourists flock to town and stress an already stressed system. [Edited: After 3 hours last night I caved and went to bed; the slow internet had "defeated" me, as my Ugandan friends would say. It was just taking toooooo long to upload photos so I'm back at it Sunday morning.]

Not only does this create a problem with posting myself, but also hinders me being able to read other blogs. It takes a sweet forever for pages to load and the snatches of computer time I get don't go very far. So I apologize if I haven't been around in a while. I'm trying!

Tonight it doesn't help that I am having a serious case of DMD* and, as a result, posting twice as many photos as normal. Hopefully the excessive lineup doesn't bore you to tears, and you still come back next week.

Last Sunday the kids got back from camp and although they were flat out exhausted, once they'd partaken of sustenance (i.e., sandwiches and cookies)...
 ...they were ready to tell their families and us all about the week.

Monday morning we had to go into town for a few things. During summer we like to get there early before most of the tourists are awake and flooding the streets :)  I snapped a quick photo of the line at one of the banks, winding out the building and around the corner.
Yes, there's still a cash flow problem and we hear it's going to continue for a few more months!

That evening we had friends over for asado. Ivan was firing up the grill and getting ready to throw on some lemon chicken and red bell peppers. YUM!
I apologize to the squeamish for the raw meat photo. Should I warn you next time?

Tuesday I spent the morning making peach freezer jam. DOUBLE YUM!

Our friends Ruben and Neris came to visit on Wednesday. They have a ministry showing Christian films in churches, camps and on the street. They were on their way home after being in the southern part of the country for two months. Before they could leave, Ruben had to make some adjustments to something under the hood so it would start -- that's a tool in one hand...
...and a newspaper in the other; they've been saving and keeping their eye out for a vehicle that doesn't require quite so much work to keep it on the road... and they'd seen an ad that sounded promising, to check out on the last leg of their trip home. See the "for sale" sign on the window? Anyone interested in an old, well used and on-it's-last-legs Renault 12?

The neighbor in back of us has a nifty little system that makes it easy for us to share fruits and vegetables with him. He has this long hook hanging over the wall and when we have something to give him, we put a bag on the hook, and he can easily pull it up and over the wall :)
Let's see what we had for him this day...

I'd planned on finishing the quilt this week but that was not to be -- there was no batting to be found in the entire city! We hit several fabric stores on Monday, to no avail. So I decided to work on an idea I'd had... sort of a cross between a shopping bag and a diaper bag. I modified this pattern for a fabric shopping bag, making it wider to accommodate the 10" pinwheel blocks I wanted to use in the center, front and back.
I thought the new size made it look more diaper bag-ish :)  I didn't want to mess with a zipper or a flap closure so decided to use a couple of snaps instead. On the ends I made padded pockets with elastic at the top to hold bottles, using the same fabrics as the pinwheel blocks (blue on one, orange on the other).
I also made one pocket for the inside plus the pinwheel blocks are pockets, making a total of five. I figured that was enough and called it good. I had to use two layers of fusible interfacing to stiffen the bag sufficiently so it didn't flop all over the place.  I worked on it a little each day until it was finally finished on Thursday. I have to share one more photo with you; I re-purposed an old curtain panel with some fabric I ADORE (because it reminds me of Monet's garden paintings) for the inside of the bag (see the inside pocket on the far left?).

Friday we had to make a quick trip to Sta. Rosa to fix a couple of things. We could not get over the abundant crop of grapes this year!!!
Ivan severely cut back the vines in June 2009 and we didn't have any fruit last year. But boy, did it go crazy this year! I'm pretty excited to make grape jelly plus grape juice concentrate to use for communion.

A walk down to the river showed it to be a happening place this month. We normally don't go out there during January because the house is always rented. Pretty sure this is the busiest we've ever seen the river -- and the photo shows only a portion of the many people enjoying the water; they're spread out up and down the river (which is pretty shallow in most places).
Ivan had to replace a light fixture in one of the bedrooms and make an adjustment to the water system because of some overflow problems. We also discovered the cold water faucet wasn't working in the kitchen. Plus he'd decided to go ahead and change from a fuse to a breaker system on the electric. Needless to say, he had a VERY busy 24 hours! That's how long we had between renters to get 'er done. While he was doing the important stuff, I took care of some cleaning projects. And I used this...any idea what it is?
Here's a full view of the object in question:
Yep, I mowed. An interesting experience, mowing with an electric mower! We had not wanted to haul the gas mower in the trailer this trip and I figured one time using the 30-some-year-old electric mower wouldn't kill me. Have to say, for such a tiny little thing (the deck is only about 15" x 15") it does a pretty good job. The only annoying part was trying to keep from running over the cord!

Some of you know all about the house in Sta. Rosa. For those new to my blog, Ivan's family built a house there 40-some years ago. It's two hours from where we live now so it's our "go to" place for getaways. It's also a constant and on-going work-in-progress as we chip away at much needed repairs and maintenance issues. For the past two years it's been plumbing, plumbing and MORE plumbing. We think (HOPE) that we're ready to move onto other things now. Anyway, you'll be reading more about it in upcoming P365 posts, so thought I'd clue you in to what I'm talking about when I mention Sta. Rosa. Here's a photo I took before we left to come home:
It's a cute little cottage in the Calamuchita Valley :)

*DMD: decision-making disorder


The Cyber Hermit said...

I am continually amazed by the craft projects you show (being the two left thumbs kind of person that I am). They are really pretty.

Lisa said...

Sorry about your frustrating! Great system with your neighbor...that's how it should be. :) What a pretty background on your blog!

Mari said...

That slow internet has to be so frustrating! Glad you perserevered - lots of good pics today. That shopping bag is marvelous - you could sell those! I love the hook up for the neighbor too, and I'm sure he loves what comes over the wall too. :)

sara said...

today you have made me feel grateful for the little things..things I tend to take for granted...internet, getting $$ when I need it, fulling stock fabric stores, and a/c.

the bag is gorgeous!!!

Mimi said...

It all looks likek such a great adventure!


RaD said...

Love that bag! You're so talented!

I like lots of pictures, so no worries, you didn't bore me any. You should see some of my regular (not 365) posts, now those can get long!

I understand internet problems, well, mine were more computer problems, but they are all about the same and boil down to the same problem - you can't do what you would like to do!

The Bug said...

Mmm, that jam looks delicious! And the bag is really great - I think any mom would love to have it.

It's just so nice & green down there - jealous!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Your pictures always give us such a unique window into life! I can not even imagine waiting in a line that long just to get into a bank.

GREAT produce!


Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Oh and the freezer jam...looks too yummy!

junglewife said...

Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad the internet finally cooperated with you. It is amazing how loooong things can take with slow internet... and then how FAST they are when the internet is working!

Wow, that jam looks YUMMY!!!! I do miss peaches!!

That is such a nice diaper bag, I love it! You are very creative!

Tiffany said...

Love all the pics from this past week. My favs....the river and the cottage. My two boys would just love to be able to walk to the river and take a swim. Our sandbars here in south Georgia are only accessible by boat :( Hope you have a GREAT week!

rita said...

Oh, oh, oh! Messing with my nostalgia--zapallitos, Santa Rosa, the grapes, the vado!!!
I wanna know, what does the neighbor send back your way?
You amaze me with your crafty creations, truly beautiful!
I'd love to listen in on the camp reports.
And taste some of that jam!
I'll pass on the car.

momma frans said...

sorry your Internet is being wacky. I know that's so frustrating. I want to come swim in that river!!

Lhoyt said...

Anyone have any idea where I can get "zapallitos"? I love "milanesa de pobre", which is zapallitos done in the same way you would a breaded veal cutlet. I've never seen zapallitos here in the States.
Yes, I ran over the electric cable myself on at least one occasion. The mower has to be closer to 45 years old! And oh, how wonderful it would be to spend a week at the house in "La Rinconada"!(The neighborhood in Santa Rosa where it is, for those who don't know the area)