Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 1, Project 365

This has been around for a while, and I loved the concept: a picture a day for a year. However, knowing how unreliable the internet is anywhere we travel here, I didn't think it would be practical for me to try.

But then I heard what Sara from Make Music From Your Heart To The Lord, Eph. 5:19 is suggesting: Posting a week's worth of pictures each Sunday. I think I can do that!

Since the year began in the middle of the week and today is January 4th, I'm just posting four pictures today. Remember, these were taken with the only camera we have right now, the one on my cell phone. So the quality isn't stellar (but then neither is my photography skill). Our camera did make it to Argentina but seems to be stuck in Buenos Aires with friends. Not sure how or when we'll get it.

I have mentioned a time or six that we have a peach tree. The hubby has spent hours (and I do mean HOURS) peeling and slicing. But we still have plenty on the tree. Here's proof. He does the hard labor and I get to play with the fruit, making cobblers and pies and other yummy treats. I posted the recipe for this peach cobbler yesterday and here's how mine looked, fresh out of the oven. It tasted SO GOOD with vanilla ice cream!

I couldn't wait any longer. It may be a month or more before we can get the study/sewing room set up and I have a NEED TO CREATE. So I set up my sewing machine on a folding table and just started playing with fabric. I've seen some wonky block quilts on a few websites and I just loved their playfulness. Here's one of the six blocks I've made so far.
And finally I'd like to share a rose from my yard with you. You can pretend I've given it to you in a bud vase ☺

Week 2, Project 365

As promised, more pictures from our early morning walks...

There are many reasons for walking early in the morning: starting our day out on a good note, avoiding the crowds of tourists, walking when it's cooler... But there's another reason, a hidden reason and I'm finally going to 'fess up. Any other time of day and one of the THREE gelato places we pass on our walks would be open. And I would be tempted, oh yes I would!

The walks can still be hazardous even without Venezia's. Most mornings we're really good and come home to eat yogurt and homemade granola. BUT one morning the peaches were on my mind and I kept coming back to a particularly tasty way of using them: over pancakes! Mmmmmm, good! Buttermilk pancakes with powdered sugar and peaches and a side of homemade sausage...what could be better? My food pictures aren't coming out all that well. The color is just washed out. Maybe the indoor lighting? Next time I'll take the food outside and see if that helps ☺ But this food didn't last long enough for a trip outside. It was SO good!

My sidekick on walks, with the peaches, in all of life, is the sweet man I'm proud to call my hubby. He encourages my obsession with being creative in whatever form it takes me...quilting, crafting, writing... He is one of the biggest blessings in my life and I'm so thankful for him!

Week 3, Project 365

Many who read my blog are from the U.S. where y'all are suffering through some bitterly cold weather right now. Even my southern pals are shivering in the single digits. So to remind you that winter doesn't last forever -- the U.S. is NOT Narnia before Aslan! -- I offer some photos from my yard... I was pretty excited when the hubby pointed out we have morning glories on our wall! I adore morning glories ☺ The roses just keep blooming. Since I found the box with bud vases last week I picked a few to enjoy inside. The pine tree isn't in our yard but at the house in Santa Rosa. This is going to be one ginormous pine cone! Hard to tell in the picture, but it's about 6 inches long. Okay, enough nature pictures. We were downtown this week and I had to make a pit stop. This was the sign on the door of the stall. "Please put the toilet paper in the waste basket. Thanks" There were trash cans on either side of the toilet.

I may have mentioned a time or four that I love doing laundry. Weird, I know. A big part of why I enjoy the chore is that my darling hubby built me the cutest and handiest little washing closet. It has a shelf above for all my laundry paraphernalia, a large hook beside the washer so I can keep hangers at the ready, and it's all safely ensconced in a cabinet on my patio that I can lock and keep secure when not in use. I tried taking a close-up of my washer which is another big reason I love doing laundry but I couldn't get a decent shot. Maybe next time.

And finally I leave you with a (not very good) photo of something that caused GREAT REJOICING AND LOUD HALLELUJAHS when the hubby brought it home. For those new to my blog, I have been searching FOR FIVE MONTHS for this. While Argentine food is amazing and I love it, I have been sadly, sadly disappointed in the cheese selection. Every cheese I've tried (except the hard ones like parmesan) are bland, bland, bland. Like most Americans I have an ongoing love affair with... After months of fruitless search when, yeah, we had even contemplated giving showed up in our grocery store!

Lest you get too excited, though, we're pretty sure it's a limited time offer. We've had this happen with other things we like a lot; one day they have it, the next they don't and when we ask, we are told it was just for that one time. So, the hubby is going to take the wrapping to our favorite little cheese store to see if he can't get it in on a regular basis. The cheese IS produced in Argentina so it shouldn't be that hard to get. We hope! 'Cause we are so lovin' the CHEDDAR!!!

Week 4, Project 365

It was 99° yesterday and felt like it was over 100°. Especially in our house because we had the power off for most of five hours while installing the ceiling fan/light fixture in the kitchen. As a former facilities maintenance manager AND one who has his residential builder's license in Michigan, the hubby gets agitated and frustrated when he has to contend with poor workmanship and things just done the wrong way. And so it was yesterday. Whoever wired this house was either color-blind or extremely lazy.

Anyway... On to pictures from the week. I didn't remember to take a photo every single day, but I did most days. So I'm fudging a bit and including seven photos even though they only cover 5 days. You'll forgive me, won't you? This is the 'empty' lot next door that's not so empty. A man who is a building contrator has been using the space to store tear-outs and other materials. Now that the actual owner of the lot has moved back from Italy and wants to build a house there, these things have to go. Yay! The bed installed! This happened Monday afternoon. For the first time since the end of April we have a bed at regular height. We decided we like it ☺ Wednesday was my day "off" and I spent a portion of it sewing. I'm working on pillow shams for my bed and I found the exact shades of brown, cream, taupe and light aqua in my fabric stash. The quilt was a clearance item picked up for way less than I would have paid just for the fabric, but they didn't have any of the accessories left. I dyed an old bedskirt brown to go with the "ensemble". Sounds so Martha Stewart-ish, doesn't it? I know I shared a similar photo last week, but this one is DIFFERENT! It has five blossoms instead of three LOL I can't help myself, I'm totally loving the roses! Between my cell phone camera and poor photography skills, this isn't the greatest shot, but I really wanted to share the corner of my yard right by my front door. I think you can probably make out the red and yellow rosebushes (2 of the 13 in our yard) and oleander bush (tree?). What you can't see are my geraniums, hydrangeas, agapanthus, and a few spider plants but they're there, just out of the photo frame. Good thing I'm not a big fan of bottled salad dressing. Not readily available although Wal-mart has started carrying a few. Notice the price on the shelf below? Well, that's in pesos of course. But still. Basically over $8 per bottle. And you know those Salad Mists are tiny bottles. Guess what I didn't buy? But I was happy to find real marshmallows and even Frosted Flakes! We never ate a lot of Frosted Flakes at our house for breakfast; it was more of a late night snack food ☺ But we've discovered it's also good in the morning..."breakfast of champions" and all that. Oh wait, that was Wheaties. Whatev. It was just a nice little taste of home.

Week 5, Project 365

I have only taken four photos all week. I'm just so frustrated with this cell phone camera! Trying to get a decent picture is so hard and I just threw a little tantrum and didn't go near it all week except to document our little art project on Thursday.

So. Technically I have dropped the ball with Project 365 hosted by Sara at ...Make Music From Your Heart To The Lord.

Then I had a little brainstorm this morning. Since I didn't have any photos to look at from this week, I began browsing through my old photos.

And became quite nostalgic.

I must stop and confess that I am a very weird person. Although I love my family and friends and quite enjoy looking at their's the places that move me most. When we moved from Indiana to Florida many years ago I was homesick. But when I started looking through my photo album, it wasn't the people who elicited emotion. It was my house. Now in my defense, it was my first house (actually only house as we've never owned since then) so of course I had feelings for it.

That's when I realized I'm a little different than most people.

Anyway, as I was looking at photos this morning I once again found myself drawn to places. But you know what? I'm also realizing that it's because the PLACES remind me of PEOPLE and the memories associated with them. Now I don't feel so bad. Weird, yes. Bad, no.

And I decided to share a few photos of my favorite places, starting with the parsonage where we lived for ten years. I have a lot of photos of this place, mostly close-ups but I chose this shot to share with you because I loved, loved, loved my trees which can be seen in all their glory here. Obviously, having lived there for ten years we have many, many, MANY memories tied to it! The last years of our kids living at home, sharing the house with the other associate pastor for six of the ten years, hosting countless youth activities and small group meetings and parties and sewing days and... It's simply my favorite house.

Before we lived in the parsonage, we spent nine years as houseparents within easy walking distance of the Hillsdale College Arboretum. In the early years on nice days we'd pack up our schoolbooks and a blanket to sit on and go have school there. It's always been our first choice for picnics. Or just to get away and take walks along the many paths, to one of the old stone pavilions or around the lake. Actually the whole campus was a favorite place. We spent many happy hours in the library and often attended concerts, plays or free lectures by visiting guests. My favorite was Dave Thomas of Wendy's fame. But we also heard Margaret Thatcher, Dan Quayle and many others over the years.

Dear friends who own a cottage in Ludington, Michigan, were always generous with it. The initial use of the cottage actually led to our spending a year in Africa, a story for another time. But I can't begin to tell you what joy this place brings! Just the thought of Epworth makes us smile ☺ Do you have places like that in your life? I hope so! Here's a photo taken from the porch, looking out over the rooftops of other cottages and Lake Michigan during one of its stunning sunsets.

From my blog title you can infer I'm from the south. I was born in Kentucky, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As the saying goes, You can take the girl out of the mountains but you'll never take the mountains out of the girl. How true! I love my mountains with a passion that cannot be adequately communicated but only felt by fellow southerners. Amen? Amen!

While I love the place of my birth, I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel! And when I married my hubby I guaranteed a lifetime of travel ☺ We can frequently be found in airports, often looking just as tired as when this photo was taken. (this was at the end of a short-term mission trip and one of the youth grabbed our camera and took this photo -- and I'm glad they did!)

The very first overseas trip I took was to Argentina. Shocking, isn't it? LOL My hubby wanted his wife and kids to see where he'd grown up. We came for a month, from mid-December 1996 through mid-January 1997. We had a blast visiting the different places he lived (his parents were church planters so they moved every few years) but our favorite was the last place. My hubby went to high school in Santa Rosa de Calamuchita which was a little pueblo of around 3,500 then (it's up to around 13,000 now). The family still owns the house, just two hours from where we currently live, so it's still a favorite place to get away to and enjoy a little country. Located 4 km from Santa Rosa, it sits about a city-block-walk from the river, along a dirt road lined with eucalyptus trees. My hubby helped his family build the house and stone fence so of course it's very special to him.

And that brings us to where we live now: Carlos Paz, Argentina. Population: around 80,000. Located at the end of a valley, spreading out beside a lake and up the mountains. Destination for many Argentines on vacation so in the summer a crowded, noisy, busy place with about a million visiters. Much more tranquilo the rest of the year ☺ But summer or winter, it's the place where God has called us. And that's reason enough to love it! Can't possibly get the entire city in a shot because it's so spread out, but here's a little slice of it.
Thank you for indulging my walk down memory lane. I hope I don't get kicked off Project 365 for deviating from the stated purpose! Our camera is supposed to travel from Buenos Aires to the interior week after this so hopefully -- and thankfully -- I will soon be able to post lots and lots of happy photos ☺ Meanwhile I promise to go back to using the cell phone camera this week so next Sunday I won't have to cheat.

Week 6, Project 365

I may have mentioned my love of laundry a time or seven. I get such pleasure seeing clean towels (or clothes or sheets) marching neatly down my line ☺ Street performers abound during the summer months. These ladies from the Andes wearing typical clothes from home and playing their wooden flutes draw quite a crowd. Their music is hauntingly lovely. This was as close as I could get, so I tried to fade out all the tourists along the edges. As you all know, I'm VERY careful to drink only bottled water now ☺ I'm guessing the blood work will show that we didn't entirely eradicate the parasites in December and they've returned with a vengeance. But it's not because I've been lax about the water! Here's a bottle I had this week. Notice how the design on the label is repeated in the lower half of the bottle. I just thought that was a great design and marketing fairly screams "Fresh mountain water from the Andes!" A common sight at most Argentine gatherings is an asado (Argentine bar-b-que) but this was bigger than usual to accomodate the crowds attending the Encuentro Anual de Colectivdades (International Food & Music Festival) this week. Without a flash, the photos hubby took that night didn't turn out very well but I played with this one until I thought it was half-way presentable. I thought the sepia effect went well with the old fashioned outfits these folk dancers are wearing. We've harvested our first tomatoes! With these I made fresh salsa which we dipped up with tortilla chips (found some at Walmart!) and along with supper last night we each enjoyed a bowl of teeny tiny cherry tomatoes lightly salted. Little bursts of fresh garden goodness!

I'm one of many participating in Project 365 and you can check out the others by visiting host Sara from ...Making music from your heart to the Lord.

Week 7, Project 365

The camera is here!! Alas I haven't had my paws on it except to download all the pictures that hubby took this week. LOL Next week it's MINE! But for your viewing pleasure I present the photolistic stylings of my dear hubby (is photolistic even a word?). Oh, and you can click on any of the photos to enlarge. Fresh tomatoes every day. Yum! We have a tall wall all around our yard, but if you look up, up, up and over you see this. Look carefully behind the palm tree in the center of the photo and you can see the double "M" on the mountain. There's some kind of carnival ride there called "Magic Mountain". And I hear it's a fun place to hike -- not that I've ever done it, but some crazy
people find that sort of thing enjoyable. Being empanada aficionados, we can tell you these are the BEST empenadas in town! Just that right combination of sweet and savory with a perfect crust that's light, not heavy. Meat pie heaven! Pablo and his family own this ferreteria where hubby spends a lot of time (and money) finding things we need for the house. He's our very own "helpful hardware man"! It's traditional to clap while singing the Spanish version of "Happy Birthday". We had a fun time, and a great meal, with new friends Sonya and Jaime when we celebrated Jaime's birthday this week. Jaime's actually from Peru where birthday fiestas last for five days, so he's been getting calls from all over the world this week from far-flung cousins who continue the tradition with celebratory calls -- at all hours of the day and night, depending on where they're currently living! The yacht club hosted a regatta Saturday and since we live a block from the lake, hubby took a lawn chair and walked over to watch. Looks like he found a pretty good viewing spot.

And now head on over to Sara's to see who else has linked up to participate in Project 365 this week. It's muy interesante to see a photographic record -- a true "snapshot" if you will -- of a Week In The Life Of...