Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Weeks 11/12: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

We're only home for part of the day and I'm trying to get caught up on laundry, emails and other internet-related endeavors -- like getting this post up -- before heading back out this afternoon.

Saturday, March 14

I opened up the 2.2 lb. bag of dark cocoa powder our area director and his wife were gracious enough to bring when they came to visit last month.
We did find a source for dark cocoa powder here recently, but the flavor is lacking. It's not horrible, but it's not great either, so I'm really thankful for people willing to bring things like this when they come.

Sunday, March 15

Donato and his daughter came over this afternoon. Ivan and Donato left to look at some property and were gone for a couple hours, which gave me a chance to get to know Erica better. She just recently came to stay with her dad.
In the U.S. Erica would be considered legally blind. Even though she wears super thick glasses, to see anything she has to hold it about an inch or two from her face. The church gave her a new Bible with large print today, to make it easier for her to read the Word.

Tuesday, March 17

Magdalena went with us to Cordoba this morning. The goal was to get new cushion foam and fabric. Magdalena is re-doing her son's futon and I'm redoing the cushions on our love seat.
We both managed to get the foam we needed, but Magdalena didn't buy any fabric after seeing the prices. Made me glad I already have what I need for my project! I'm planning to use the upholstery weight denim I brought back from the U.S. several years ago (only paid $4/yard for it!). Everything we saw today was at least $15/meter and most of what I liked was closer to $30-$40/yard. Yikes! But I did take a few photos. What do you think of this scooter fabric?

Thursday, March 19

Arrived in Sta. Rosa last night. Ivan was up bright and early to work on the leaky roof over the back bedroom. That room is an addition and has a flat roof, so we have had problems with it over the years. Then we took a walk down to the river...
...and around the neighborhood to see the progress. There are currently four houses being built in La Riconada (the name of this little development) and we enjoy seeing what's been accomplished between visits.

Saturday, March 21

The purpose for this trip (besides fixing the roof) was a long-planned men's get-together over the weekend. [Ivan asked me to come along so I could take care of meals and dishes on Friday/Saturday.] Four of the guys arrived Friday evening, and the rest today. There were a total of twelve guys (one arrived after I took these photos).

This was originally scheduled for last weekend but it ended up getting changed to accommodate some of those attending. A prior commitment meant we had to leave after dinner on Saturday.

Sunday, March 22

The prior commitment was a church retreat starting today. This evening was the commissioning service for Rodolfo, who is now a deacon.

Monday, March 23

Each morning and evening we meet together for fellowship and teaching, but in true Argentine style, the afternoons are reserved for naps (siestas) and then a little snack (merienda). Sunday and Monday it was nice enough to have merienda outside.

Tuesday, March 24

After merienda on Monday and Tuesday the men and women met separately for about an hour before the evening session started. It was a pretty large group and everyone hadn't arrived when I was taking pictures, so this photo is just a portion of the 22 ladies at the retreat.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Week 10: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Wednesday, March 4

Ivan picked two roses and put them on the shelf opposite the loveseat so I can enjoy them while working on the computer.
Some of my treasures are displayed on this shelf. I managed to cut off half of the frog that Tina painted when she was 9 or so. The picture is lovely on it's own, but it also reminds me of the wonderful time we had with friends in northern Michigan where Tina learned new watercolor techniques. Next to that is one of the prints I bought in Ireland. I absolutely love thatch-roofed cottages, and the yellow ones make my heart go pitter-patter so when I saw this print I had to get it.
In front of those, in a metal "bowl" I picked up for 99 cents and spray painted aqua, is a blue hand blown glass paperweight (also picked up in Ireland) and a lovely striated glass orb given to me by Mari at My Little Corner of the World (isn't it gorgeous? It's supposed to go outside, but for now it brings me a lot of joy on the shelf).
Two of my Jan Karon books form a little pedestal for a beautiful bowl made by my BIL, Mike. Somewhat hidden by the vase of roses is a green pillar candle. Do you get the idea I really like blue and green?
What you don't see is the other half of the shelf with another watercolor print, a metal pitcher and a tall Alice blue glass vase. Our casita may be tiny, and we try to keep clutter to a minimum, but I so enjoy having pretty things to look at!

Thursday, March 5

Today was our big once-a-month shopping trip to Cordoba, and I was especially happy to (finally!) find a GF mustard at one of our stops.

Friday, March 6

Ivan spent a couple hours mid-day helping a friend while I watched the kids and made lunch. They had so much fun using dominoes to create towers.
The guys were pretty hungry by the time they were finished and more than ready for a late lunch while the kids moved on to playing Pick Up Sticks. (Anyone remember that game?)


Saturday, March 7

Good friends from Buenos Aires were in the area and spent the day with us. Ivan and Ricardo went to church together back when they were in junior high!
Ricardo and Graciela were some of the first people I met when we visited Argentina back in 1996.

Sunday, March 8

Have I ever shared a photo of the church we attend? I can't remember if I have or not. Anyway, here's a picture of the front.
It occupies two storefronts that were combined, and when we're having services the metal shutter on the left is rolled up, exposing a large picture window and the door. The other shutter is kept permanently closed (just solid wall behind it).

Monday, March 9

This is a screen shot of Tina's status on Monday, the fifth anniversary of her first date with Kyle.
We're all happy that he was right about her being "the one"!

Tuesday, March10

Normally Ivan has a men's Bible study on Tuesday nights and he spends some time during the day finishing up the lesson while sipping yerba máte (herb tea customarily served in a gourd shaped cup).
But the Bible study was rescheduled for Wednesday after we received word that our friend Julio had passed away. We went to the viewing at the funeral home in the afternoon and spent time with the family. Even though Julio has been quite ill since the end of last year, his death was still hard on everyone, especially his granddaughters.

Wednesday, March 11

This was my first funeral and I don't know if they all follow the same formula. There was no service at the funeral home, but Magdalena had asked Ivan to share briefly at the graveside service. Afterward everyone remained while the casket was lowered into the ground and three cemetery workers quickly filled the hole (seriously, it took less than 5 minutes; those guys are fast!). And that was it.
It was my first time in a cemetery here, and I was surprised to find that in addition to the regular grave sites, they have what -- at first glance -- appears to be small developments of tiny houses, but are really graves.
Each one was very different from the next and the next...
I am intrigued and plan to ask my friend Marcela about them. Or maybe Rita or Lynn could fill me in on the history of this type of grave?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Weeks 8 & 9: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Thursday, February 19

I've mentioned we're having a much milder summer due to all the rain. This morning it was a brisk 60 degrees inside!

Sunday, February 22

I rarely take my camera to church, but decided to this morning. I took a lot of photos but this is my favorite:
I think I like it so much because this grandma radiates joy being with her granddaughter. I feel this way about my grandkids too!

Monday, February 23

We pulled out of the driveway at 7:05 a.m. Just outside San Francisco (Argentina), we stopped for a picnic lunch at a small airfield. This was the second time we've done that on the way to conference, so one more time and it becomes a tradition, right? No idea where we were when we stopped for our second picnic late in the day. We'd been traveling hours and hours by then; I just know I was more than ready for a break from sitting in the car! Ivan drove the whole way, so I'm sure he was just as ready to stretch his legs, too.

As usual I packed too much food. I'd turned the meat from a whole chicken into chicken salad, which we ate wrapped in lettuce leaves, and we also had picada (ham, cheese, olives), with GF cheesy biscuits, and GF brownies for dessert. (The brownies were my treat all week, since the only dessert I could eat off the buffet was the fruit salad, and half the time it was all gone before I got to it. I averted my eyes while walking by the cakes and pies and other yummies.)

After traveling 14-1/2 hours, we arrived at the hotel where conference is being held this year. A bed never looked so good!

Tuesday, February 24

Here's a picture of one side of the buffet with a wide variety of salads and cold or room temperature vegetables.  (The other side was filled with desserts.)
I pretty much ate off this the whole time, since they only had meat I could eat three times the whole week. The rest of the time they offered breaded meats and one time a shepherd's pie (gravy made with a flour roux). Mostly I just ate the roasted vegetables and simple marinated salads (mushrooms and carrots, cabbage, eggplant, etc.). I tried to be careful, but it was really hard since I didn't know what all they put into the salads and vegetables. As it turns out, pretty sure some of it had gluten. After a month of being migraine-free, the headaches have returned, and so has the psoriasis on my feet. Majorly bummed. A lesson in how careful I'm going to have to be when traveling or eating anywhere outside our home.

Wednesday, February 25

I didn't take many photos at the ladies tea, and none of them were great. I do like this one I'm sharing because it shows the pretty table -- and one of the other women being silly. We do like to have fun!

Thursday, February 26

Each afternoon the staff would set up coffee, tea and juice in the dining area.

Friday, February 27

We always take a group photo at the end of conference. This year one of the staff at the front desk used our camera and took photos from the balcony overlooking the lobby. This is everyone, including the team from Hawaii that came to take care of the kids, and the speaker and his wife.

I failed to take any photos on the way back to Argentina on Saturday. It was a really long day. The driver's side window got stuck half-way down so Ivan had to take time out to stop and maneuver it back up. Good thing, too! We were then able to run the air conditioning while it was really hot, and it kept out the driving rain when a storm hit later in the day (it rained the last six hours of the trip). He just couldn't roll it down for tolls. I thought we were all done with auto repairs, but I guess not! 

I'm sorta kinda recovered from the trip. Depending on where conference is next year, we might look into what it would cost to fly instead of drive.