My plans to blog more frequently were stymied this week. Monday the neighbor's internet worked, but so slowly it was painful (seven minutes to load an e-mail). Tuesday it didn't work at all. Wednesday and Thursday it was up for maybe two hours each day.
Today we came into Cordoba, partly because we had a meeting via skype and thought it might be wise to come to a place where the internet is a little more consistent than the places we usually frequent in Carlos Paz. (And partly to get some necessary shopping done.)
So while we're here, I thought I'd throw up what seems to be my weekly post.
Haven't accomplished a whole lot this week. A head cold and persistent cough have lowered my energy level. Es lo que hay. But there has been some progress on the old "to do" list.
We finally gathered enough boxes for me to finish transferring all our seasonal/too big/too small clothes from suitcases. As you might remember, I had the 'bright' idea of storing all our clothes in the multitude of suitcases we have, making it easy to know where to find them. HOWEVER, as we discovered, suitcases do not stack/store well.
While I'm at it, I'm going through our whole pile -- or should I say pallets? -- of boxes, looking for items we need, and pulling out things I don't think we'll use/wear/need to be sold at a feria americana (garage sale). Our next-door neighbor's daughter likes to hold them, so we're going to see if she'd be willing to take care of the sale for us, in return for half the proceeds. Believe me, it would be worth it!
I'm also organizing the boxes better, putting like things together; for example, all the boxes with kitchen stuff now reside in one stack, another stack contains all the boxes of purged files and office supplies. A master diagram will show what's in each stack, and in what order (bottom, middle, top). Hopefully this will make finding things easier in the future.
It will probably take another day or two to finish the job, but I feel pretty good about what I've gotten done so far. Considering I haven't been able to work on it every day, since we have a lot of other stuff going on.
Meanwhile, Ivan has continued working on the gray water system: digging trenches, laying pipe, connecting the pipes... Like me, he isn't done yet, but he's made good progress too. He's had even less time than me, since he's responsible for handling all the paperwork and bills. No small task!
He also gets out and does more visiting than I do. I go when he's visiting couples or families, but am happy to let him go alone when he's visiting the guys.
One thing we've learned is that he's one of those people who gets his battery re-charged by being with people, while I need some alone time. I think most couples are like that, since opposites definitely do attract!
Anyway, all that to say I've had more time to work on the "to do" list.
Yesterday our friends Julio and Magdalena came over. Since she's a vegetarian, I adapted a recipe for Mexican lasagna to be meatless. They really liked it so I sent the leftovers home with them. I wasn't a big fan. I think with different vegetables, or a bigger variety of vegetables, it would be better. To make up for the lack of meat, I doubled the quantity of beans, but I really think a variety of vegetables would have been tastier. I also sent her home with the requested recipes for the cucumber salad and a creamy garlic dressing I made for the other salad. She really like that dressing, pouring it over her bread as well as the salad.
We always enjoy our time with them. While the ladies cleaned up the kitchen afterward, the men talked airplanes. Ivan dug out the plans for a kit he had, that Julio thought would be helpful as a reference as he designs his next plane. Well, he's undecided whether to design and build an entirely new plane or find an existing plane that needs some TLC and an engine (which he already has). His last plane took five years to build, and he's wondering if tackling another big project like that might be more than he should take on at this point in his life (he's 81).
I mentioned our skype meeting today. We're starting to think about our upcoming furlough and all that it entails. One of the things we'll need is a short video to share in churches. So today we chatted with the video guru at our mission, about what we need to be thinking about/doing ahead of time. He's going to send us a template and links to instructional videos, which should help us get on the right track. We'll get the preliminary video footage and photos handled ahead of time, along with as much as we can do on the video using iMovie. Our first stop in the U.S. will be the mission headquarters, where he'll shoot some high quality video of us talking that can then be added to the video to finish it up.
Now we need to start looking into air fares. Hard to believe that in three and a half months, we'll be winging our way north!
We're looking forward to seeing many of you. That said, be forewarned that we plan to do less traveling this time. We're hoping those who don't live in the Michigan/Indiana area might be willing to come see us this summer instead :) The excessive amount of miles we put on during the last furlough about did us in. I think it was over 16,000 miles in the car, plus flights out to Phoenix and Denver. I get tired just remembering all that travel.
We're blocking out some time to spend with our kids, as well as a few fun things for ourselves. It will come as no surprise that for Ivan this includes the big EAA Fly-In in Oshgosh, considering his love of all things aviation. As for me, I am pretty excited about the AQS Quilt Show in Grand Rapids this August! I've already plugged the dates into my calendar, and set up an alert on my iPhone for mid-May when registration opens. Not sure if I can swing a class or not, but if nothing else, I'll enjoy visiting the show.
We're being a lot more thoughtful and deliberate about our scheduling this time, so we don't feel like we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Last furlough was so chaotic and overbooked and exhausting. We'd really like to have more time to just enjoy with friends and family this time around. Whether that goal is realistic or not remains to be seen. You can't get around a certain amount of traveling on furlough, but we just know we cannot do as much as last time. Hopefully everyone will be understanding, and not get upset if we can't come visit.
Totally changing gears now...
I am SOOOO thankful to have an air conditioner! It has been so hot and humid this week. Hot we're used to, but humidity is a whole 'nother ballgame -- and unusual for our area, but we're enjoying the wettest summer in a long time. Rain=humidity. After spending a few hours working out in the hot, stuffy, dusty garage, it is wonderful to retreat inside the air conditioned casita! It makes sleeping a lot easier too.
Well, when I'm not coughing my head off all night. It didn't take much for Ivan to talk me into going to the clinic yesterday, after Julio and Magdalena left. Since it was a holiday and most things were closed, there was little activity except downtown and the touristy spots, plus we went during siesta so I was the only patient during the time we were there. In and out in less than half an hour! Although I still coughed some last night, it wasn't constant like previous nights. A few more days and I should be just fine.
Summer colds are the worst, in my opinion. You expect to get sick in the winter, but summers are supposed to be different. I told Ivan I do not mind him NOT sharing his colds in the future :) It wouldn't have been so bad, but over the weekend he came down with a virulent stomach bug so for 24 hours we were both miserable. Isn't there a rule about married couples not getting sick at the same time?!
I know it's funny to be talking about how hot it is here, when most of you are experiencing really cold weather. It's 95 degrees here right now. Wouldn't it be nice if we could exchange some of our hot for your cold?
Looks like another storm is brewing. We're sitting in a Starbucks with big plate glass windows at one end. The skies have been getting darker and darker, and we just heard thunder. I'm content to sit here, sipping on a delicious frappaccino, and enjoying some internet time. A lot more comfortable than our garage :)
Since it doesn't look like we'll be getting our own internet connection any time soon, I think it makes sense to just create a little seating area out in the garage since that's where we have to go to access our neighbor's connection. But that will have to wait until I finish organizing the boxes! Poco a poco.
So what are your plans for the weekend? Any projects to work on? Places to go? Things to do? Or do you plan to just kick back and relax?