Oct 27, 2007

Oct 25, 2007

Nothing ever comes easy

Let's see...where were we? Oh yeah, the hot water heater. Yes! We bought the heater. And on Tuesday, the man came and installed it. However, he did NOT hook it up electrically. He said an electrician would have to do that, and he didn't bring one with him. How inconvenient, but since we had been without hot water only for ALL FRICKIN WINTER, we probably could wait till whenever the electrician came. But first we'd have to get an engineering consultation, then call the electrician, but he'd have to look first, then come back at a second appointment to install the parts and connect the wires. And, of course, he wouldn't be responsible if he did it wrong.

WHAT??? That was a crock of bull.

This morning, I sent O to the hardware store for the breaker and gathered a few tools. I opened the switch box and took off the face plate. Shutting off the main power to the apartment, I removed the wires to the hot water heater from their little slot and stripped the ends of them. O arrived with the breaker and I connected the wires in the same way that the others were connected...blue on the left, red on the right. Tightened the connectors down, snapped the breaker into place, and yup - time for the "smoke check"! (That's aircraft electrician lingo for "see if you did it right." Yes, I was an aircraft mechanic and electrician in my former life.) And the little red indicator light came on and the water began to heat. We NOW have hot water. Did I mention that O momentarily stepped out of the room before I flipped the breaker on? Heh...men. Oh, ye of little faith. No guts, no glory, I always say.

And, I finished a vest done in a triple curve stitch. The yarn is in shades of pink and old rose. I took several photos of Celeste modeling it and a few of it spread in the traditional way on the bed, but then the batteries in the camera went out and I need to replace them before I can post them.

I am doing one more triple curve vest in shades of blue, and this time a size larger and longer, because I want one for myself. It's about a third of the way done.

AND...I painted the laundry room. No more Celeste finger paintings on the walls and the window sills. It is painted in satin finish, washable paint - salmon color. I can wipe off the dirt without the paint coming off too. I still want to decorate the walls with stencil or border, but there are neither of those items to be found in my part of town. So I'll go to Hobby Lobby when I get back and check out the stencils and stenciling materials. And to Walmart to look at borders...maybe I'll find something that suits me, or maybe I'll get the stuff to make my own. I'm thinking of a sun stencil on the wall, done in metallic gold. Against a salmon background? Ooooo, pretty!

Oct 21, 2007

Sunday stuff

Yesterday, the sun was out and I was bursting with energy! I finished the black circular vest, scrubbed the floors, packed up almost all of my projects to transport to the US, and went walking with Celeste 4 or 5 times through the day. In the evening, we went to Ace Home Center and bought a hot water heater. FINALLY!!! They'll install it on Tuesday. Oh, I can't wait! It will be my first hot shower in almost nine months. I'm so tired of taking a bath in a little wash tub, heating my bath water in the teapot. Then we got groceries and came home to take Celeste out once more, when she peed on the floor. GRRRAAAAUUUGH! She's in that stage where, no matter what we do, she's excited about it and has to pee herself and whatever happens to be where she is. She spent the rest of the evening in the doghouse - literally and figuratively. She managed to do it again this morning, when I was brushing her. The brush touched her coat, and she peed herself. Just little, just enough to make the house smell like a wet diaper, if left for the day. This morning she smells like she spent the night in the dirty laundry hamper, so I'm not sure what she was up to last night, but she must have had a good time doing it.

Today is census day. Everyone has to stay in their homes to be counted, so there are no businesses open, and only places like hospitals are in operation till the census is taken. So last night, everyone was out buying provisions for the day inside. When we went to Ace to buy the hot water heater, it seemed like all of Lima was at that particular shopping center. It took us 45 minutes to find a place to park. Afterwords, we went to the grocery store to get some lunch meat and bread, and it was jammed full of people, desperate to buy goodies for the day at home. I've never seen anything like it. People grabbing at things and elbowing one another aside for a piece of bread - these are not poor and desperate people; they are all middle to upper class ones who eat well every day - acting like so many animals at the feed trough.

Also, today I have no projects in the works. I've finished everything I have started and am in that in-between place where I'm idle and uninspired. I hope that later I can figure out something to do...I have plenty of beautiful yarns to make something with, but today I lack the impetus to choose something and get started. Hmm. Maybe today would be a good day to finish my spring cleaning or get all my yarns wound into balls.

Oct 18, 2007


Look how big and beautiful she's getting to be! She was born on July 4th of this year.

The Illusionist, Mimsy, and crochet...

I recently found a new movie (well, new for me), The Illusionist. As usual, I watched it several times. At first, I thought it was a beautiful love story. But with successive viewings, I began to understand that there was a hidden plot to kill one of the characters. The more I watch it, the more I understand that, yes, it it a love story, but also there is a plot to do away with one of the characters, very meticulously planned. Granted, the character of Prince Leopold is a dangerous one, but I watched the plot unfold and it could not possibly have happened without the cooperation of many, including the chief of police. The more I watch, the more intrigued I am at the subtleties on the plot and the story line. Amazing!

I also am still watching The Last Mimsy. Although there are many who apparently disliked this film, I am enjoying it.

Have you seen these? If so, what did you think of them?

I've also almost finished the black circulat vest. I'm on the last and seemingly endless round of the outer edge. I'm almost out of yarn, and I hope I can finish this without having to rip it out and think of another, less yarn-intensive edging, because I have no more black alpaca yarn, nor do I have more black novelty yarn after these last half-skeins. Then I need to block the vest, and I will not wash it, since there's still no regular sunshine and warmth, and I don't want it to mold. So I'll press it with steam and take care not to melt the gold monofilament in the novelty yarn.

I've got another hat finished that's ready to felt - it's of bright pink alpaca yarn and gray Peruvian sheep wool, one strand of each knitted together. I'm hoping for a nice mauve color, but I won't be felting it here, once again because there's no sign of the sun on a regular basis, and I can't risk putting a wad of mildew on a potential customer's head, not to mention that my hat form (the insert of an ancient tamale cooker) is in storage there at the farm, at least I hope it is...So I'll wait until I arrive at The Wooly Works to do the felting.

Oct 15, 2007


Yeay! My package from Mountain Rose Herbs arrived! I ordered goodies in preparation for the drier months that should be coming. I use their massage oils on my legs because they help my skin and because the aromas are so YUMMY! This time, I chose "Goddess Dreams" massage oil. Although I'm not using the oil yet, I couldn't resist popping open the top to sniff...MMMmmmm. I also ordered a tiny bottle of Amber Patchouli aroma oil. It's a very subtle and lasting perfume oil, just strong enough that I can smell it and still not overcome the room with scent. And I ordered 2 essential oils - corn mint and patchouli. Patchouli gets better as it ages, so I can use it sparingly and if it lasts for a few years, all the better.

I also received a package in the mail from Amazon.com. Doris Chan's "Amazing Crochet Lace" and "Folk Style", by Mags Khandis will be keeping me busy for months! I had also ordered another book, but it hasn't been released yet, and, duh, I didn't notice that fact until they sent me a notice to tell me that it would be shipped when the publisher released it. I hope it arrives before I go to the US! I want to see it!

Oct 14, 2007

The Farm Blog

My sister, Suzzanne, has begun to blog about her wool business and her animals! Yeay! Her blog, Wooly Works, is full of photos of the goats and the alpacas, dogs, kitties, and her girls modeling sweaters. Please check it out when you have time and leave her comments! My old gal, Pansy, is on the header, and what a sweet old face she has.

Oct 13, 2007

Celeste models a doily

The Siberian Siren has stooped to modeling half-finished garments and doilies. Behold the blue-eyed wonder sporting a purple doily and relaxing in the unfinished black circular vest:

It all seems to be okay if she has a slipper near or can rest her head on my shoe.

And here's a shot of the unfinished vest, from my perch above my bed.

A Difference in Cultures

Thursday afternoon, Rosita's mother died. They brought her home from the hospital and dressed her in her funeral clothes. Then she laid in the living room of Rosita's home for a couple of days, until the funeral, which took place today, at about 1 pm. During that time, friends and relatives came to spend time with her - all night and all day - sharing drinks and telling jokes, reliving the times they had with her while Rosita feeds them all. They will continue this through the weekend, and then on Monday, everything will be back to normal.

It's a little different than what I've experienced. I'm not really sure that it's accepted to leave the body in the home for that amount of time, in the US. And I think usually the morticians prepare the body for burial, so they want it as soon as possible. Here in Peru, it seems like there is less done in the way of preparing the cadaver for burial, and the family does it all. Apparently there is no embalming done and most feel that when the body passes into the hands of someone outside of the family, there is a loss of respect for the dead person.

It took me a little time to sort through my thoughts about death and customs surrounding it. O and I went for a few hours to visit with Rosita and her husband, Pastor, but we didn't stay all night, and we didn't have any jokes to tell about dead bodies. And I felt no compunction to kiss the dead woman's cheeks or smooth her hair. In discussing the differences with a couple of friends here, one finds my experiences very cold and unfeeling and doesn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to spend as many days as possible with the body of a fallen loved one, while the other thinks it might be better if things were done a different way in Peru, though maybe not exactly as they are done in the US. I talked with O and told him that although I loved him, if he should die, I didn't think I could have him lingering in the living room for several days while the neighbors cracked jokes about him. That would hurt me much more than help.

I wonder if we in the culture of the United States really are that cold and unfeeling, or if we are viewed as such by the rest of the world. I felt that in my experience, everything was handled very gently and with the utmost respect for the dead and great courtesy toward the family, even though the body was removed from the house the same day of the death. I'm still thinking about that.

I know that there will be more differences in culture that take me by surprise or make me pause to think for a while as I spend more time here. I'm looking forward to finding out what those differences are.

Oct 8, 2007

I want to make this!

The light blue hat may be my next project. I love the look of it, and I want to make it. I want to make it. i think it's time I had a change in the felted hats that I've been doing. They sell well, but they tend to look pretty much the same. Did I say that I want to make the light blue hat? I want to make one of these!

the vest is proven

I was on the verge of ripping out the hippy vest yesterday. I'd made the mistake of reading the review of the pattern book I used while window shopping on Amazon.com. Someone said that everything in the book had to be re-calculated because it was written in Great Britain, and that nothing turned out correctly if one didn't do the calculations to make the proper changes in terminology. AND that the reviewer hated the vest pattern because it looked like a tablecloth.

But something told me to hold off, so I just laid the vest across the back of the sofa and let it rest. Later, Mario and Lili came over and Lili saw the piece on the sofa. Lili is a short, round, voluptous woman - flamboyant to say the least - and she couldn't resist trying the vest on. Holy Smokes!!! The vest transformed her round shape into an hourglass figure and she was THRILLED. She was busy twirling in front of the mirror for a few minutes before I managed to get the thing off her. I guess we'll see how things go. But I know now what to get Lili for Christmas.

Oct 7, 2007

Good morning!

Well, it's late morning, but still a good one! I have photos to share from the farm!

Rose is the unchallenged queen. She rules the pen with an iron.......horn? I think you'd call her the alpha female.

This is my Sunny boy. You've seen him before, but here he is, contemplating the joys of having his ears rubbed.

And here is Sunny once again, just about to deliver the punchline of his latest joke. He's a happy boy and a charm to be with. I miss him.

Here's Pansy, our old Grandma goat. She's a 14 year old Nubian, retired from her milking career. In her prime, she was a gallon-a-day producer. Now she's a babysitter and has her say about what goes on around the farm. Very outspoken and friendly, she's still got an ornery streak through her and really enjoys a good back rub now and then.

Oct 2, 2007

Hippy-style Vest

It looks like a small round tablecloth. It's a little bit too hippy-ish for my taste, but still, I like this piece. It turned out to be a size 14 - 16; too big for me, but on the right person, this could be a knock-out!

Here's a shot of it a few days ago, when I had about 3 rounds left:

And here's a couple of shots of the back of the finished vest:

And finally, the detail of the front...the green top kind of clashes and the wooden button is hidden by the crocheted lace, but I hope you can get the idea of the thing...this vest is for sale.

What tarot card am I?

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Oct 1, 2007

Finally, THE RULES have arrived

Yeay! The English grammar book that I ordered way back in the first part of June has FINALLY arrived. I had one before, but lent it out and it never returned. So, finally, when those students ask WHY?, I can answer. I ordered "English Grammar For Dummies", and the title is exact. I learned by immersion, and never was taught the names for the grammatical structures nor the rules. It simply WAS the proper way to speak, and there was a proper way and an improper way. So, finally, I have the RULES. The students here want THE RULES of grammar.

"The child confessed to have eaten all the candy" does not mean the same as "the child confessed to have been eaten all the candy"...it simply is not the same, but how to explain it to a non-English speaker without THE RULES of grammar? So, since I was not taught all THE RULES in rule terms, I need a book of grammar rules. Yeay. Now I have it, and what's more, it's for dummies, so it suits me just fine.

Along with English for Dummies came PRACTICAL MAGIC, a movie I have loved for years. Stockard Channing is one of my favorite actors. She makes a wonderfully eccentric witchy aunt, and is very SALTY. Just the right touch of magic, wit, and drama to be entertaining. I'm off to watch it now, as soon as I get the cellophane off of it!