Sunday, February 27, 2011

Project 365, Week 9

We had to go to Sta. Rosa to take care of some business early in the week. It was a quick trip there and back, going Monday evening and leaving Wednesday morning. I'd promised my son we'd get photos of the sign going into town and thought you might like to see it too.

Our friends had told us the grapes were ready to start harvesting. Yes, yes they are!

It wasn't until Thursday I was able to get photos and video uploaded to show the flash flood we had Tuesday while we were out there. The arroyo is dry 99% of the year, but we happened to be there during the 1% it wasn't. Here's the video I shared:

We both came home with mild cold symptoms but Ivan's has grown into a full-blown head cold. That didn't stop him from going to the lot on Friday with Charlie and another guy to weed whack, mow and tame the jungle that was there.
Didn't they do a great job?! We have to find out from the municipality when we can burn the piles of brush. Oh, and notice they finished paving the other side of the street :)

They've also got the curb and gutters in on both sides of the new costanera along the Rio San Antonio:
Progress abounds! Unfortunately the surveyor stood us up once again (I think that's the fourth time) so we're still waiting to determine the exact boundaries before we can install perimeter fencing.

While Ivan was working over there, I was busy at home with the huge bag of grapes we brought back with us. I made two batches of jelly, one using a package of Sure-Jell I'd brought from the U.S. and the other using the recipe given by several older women here who don't use any pectin at all but simply cook the juice and sugar down until it starts to thicken (which takes a sweet FOREVER, by the way). I didn't bring canning jars with me, thinking I could buy them here. WRONG. So I've been saving jars (from olives, pickles, jam...) and used wax to seal the jelly in -- hope that it works! I'd never made grape jelly before and wasn't sure what to expect. It seems to me that the flavor of the no-pectin jelly is extremely intense, almost medicinal, while the Sure-Jell batch seems rather wimpy compared to it. I think I need to try again, aiming for a middle ground.
(no pectin jelly on the left, Sure-Jell on the right)

But that will have to wait since we're heading for Uruguay and our annual missionary conference! NOT looking forward to the travel part (15 or more hour trip) but I am excited about seeing the other missionaries... and singing in ENGLISH! I'll know all the words! WOOT!

So this weekend has been a busy one preparing for the trip, getting the annual report finished, rounding up all the stuff we need to take, packing...
But I did want to share something else that happened that is WAY cool! Two years ago we had our conference nearby in Bialet Masset and when I was admiring a plant, one of the staff offered me a cutting. And this week it finally BLOOMED!!!
Here's a close-up:
I have no idea what kind of plant or flower this is. Any ideas? [Edited to add: Ivan just reminded me that SIL Sharon had already told me this was a type of carrion plant. I'd just forgotten :)]

That's all for this week. I doubt I'll be able to post next week since we'll be traveling back from conference, so I'll meet you back here in two weeks for the next installment of Project 365!


SusanD said...

Very unusual flower, but very pretty. The wax seal should work just fine. WOW! Such a color difference between the two batches. Enjoy the conference and have a fabulous week. Blessings, SusanD

Mari said...

The lot looks great! The flower is so unusual - very cool to see something like that bloom.
My Mom used to make current jelly and seal it with wax. It should be fine.
Have a great time at the conference!


What an awesome flower! Loved the jelly too. My mom always sealed her jelly in wax. Have fun at your conference.

The Cyber Hermit said...

That flower looks like something from Star Trek (nerd alert!). I don't think I've ever seen anything like it at all.

The sign to Sta. Rosa made me think that the mascot came there in the 60's and never left :)

I hope you enjoy your conference and singing en ingles (can't do accents so you'll have to imagine "ingles" has one where it's supposed to :)).

Betty said...

The lot looks great! Ivan did a really good job.
Hope you enjoy your conference and the time with other missionaries!

Lisa said...

Wow....that's VERY close to flooding.

The lot looks beautiful...that's hard work, but also very rewarding.

Great job on the jelly...that just seems like more work than I will ever be willing to do, but its so yummy!

semperfi said...

Love the flower, how unique. Thanks for sharing

Ladynred said...

Great pictures you have here and looks like summer!

Project 365

Mimi said...

That flower is so stunning and unique!

Your summer weather always makes me jealous!

Hugs & love,

Anonymous said...

What an interesting plant! I've never seen anything like it.

I always look forward to seeing what adventures you have been up to--like making jelly! I haven't made any in years, but it puts store bought jelly to shame!

Anonymous said...

What an interesting plant! I've never seen anything like it.

I always look forward to seeing what adventures you have been up to--like making jelly! I haven't made any in years, but it puts store bought jelly to shame!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

totally jealous of the grapes, my grandma used to put wax on her preserves, but I do not have a clue how long it will keep that way.

way cool blossom, it looks almost plastic...very interesting!

have fun on your trip....


RaD said...

That flower is soo cool! I like the sign too, and yes, your man did do a great job on the yard. Have fun at the conference and stay safe!

skoots1mom said...

Love that shot looking up river and seeing the houses on the hillside; beautiful!!

What i found on the carrion: one of the Stapeliads, a plant group from Africa whose odoriferous nectar mimics the stench of dead animals. (sorry...don't smell the flower)

For folks accustomed to the pleasant aroma of honeysuckle and roses it may seem strange for a flower to produce "Eau de Landfill," but such odor merely demonstrates that different plants competing for different pollinators may do so in different ways. While some flowers attract insects with sweet smells, others such as Carrion Flowers--including our classroom Stapelia gigantea and the closely related S. mutabilis (above right)--produce a fragrance that brings in various dipterans (flies) and other insects more accustomed to feeding on roadkills.
(if you notice a lot of flies coming in the might want to move the plant outside)

momma frans said...

that flower is crazy looking! very cool! I'm jealous of your fresh grapes.
loved the pictures this week. it's beautiful there.

rita said...

Glad I'm late coming to your site 'cause it's fun to read all the above comments.
So, have you smelled the carrion?
I enjoyed all your fotos: the casita, the arroyo, the uvas, the costanera, the frascos dulce, the flor...
and the SR sign! BTW, did you get my Ppt?

McCrakensx4 said...

that is one cool it. hope you have a great trip. those grapes look big and fat. I love grapes but not grape flavored anything...a little weird i know!

The Bug said...

Love that sign into town - it's a lot of fun. And that flower is amazing! Looks sort of Dr. Seussian to me...

Enjoy your trip - hope Ivan's cold clear's up!

Oldfangled said...

What an interesting plant! And I can relate to the flooding... our park is completely submerged, and I have been pumping out my basement every day for the last two weeks.

Lori: Teacher Turned Mommy said...

great pictures, what a unique assortment. hope you have a great week