Aug 31, 2008

Stash Bustin' Sunday

Today I finally finished the mittens that I started in the wool that I bought from The Knotty Sheep - Lover's in a Rose Garden. I felted them a bit after finishing. I think they're pretty! They should be warm, too!

I also made a wine cozy. Very quick project, and so useful! Everybody knows that we need to keep our wine cozy! Actually, it helps to keep the wine at temperature after it's been chilled.

It turned out nicely, so my next one will be more decorative and festive! Guess what you all are getting for Christmas this year! Heh, just kidding. I don't have THAT big of a stash...or do I?

Mom, who really keeps their wine cozy?

Aug 30, 2008

Limitations on dog ownership

This week the city of Jesus Maria announced a limit of one dog per apartment and 2 dogs per house. People are outraged.

It's easy to understand the outrage of the people, and it's also easy (for me) to understand the city's position on limiting the number of dogs per household. There is a $250 fine for those discovered to have more than the allowed number of dogs.

I know most people here love their dogs. Many depend on their dogs for company. But they also have a terrible habit of putting the dogs out when they go to work, to the store, or go visiting for the day. I understand that, too. When I lived in the US, I always put my dogs outside when I went to work. An unsupervised dog in the house can become bored and develop irritating, destructive, and disruptive habits if left alone for hours. But the difference is that I had a fenced back yard for my dogs to play in while I was working. (For the record, Celeste has a comfy crate that she spends her unsupervised time in, with chew toys and her favorite fuzzy sleeping toys.) Few people here have a yard or garden that the dog can spend time in, so they turn the dog out into the street for the day. The consequence is that dogs are often lost, hit by cars, or taken in by other people. This leads to loud and long complaints by the owner who feels that he has been wronged. It also leads to huge mobs of dogs roaming the streets, getting into fights, and causing mischief, and loads of unwanted puppies (neutering is not a common practice here in Peru.) People all over the city complain that they can't live in peace because of the noise of barking dogs in the street.

Now there are long and loud complaints about the limitations being set by the city.

I sympathize with both sides. I know it will be heart wrenching to have to choose which dog to keep and which dog or dogs to get rid of. Some people have an amazing number of dogs...8, 10, or 12 dogs in their homes. I also know that the courts are filled with disgruntled dog owners who have turned their dogs out into the street for the day and discovered that the neighbors have "stolen" them and won't give them back. However, it is not uncommon to see sick and dying dogs in the streets, and I often think that if their owners cared one iota, the poor things would be home, at least in a familiar place instead of lying alone on the sidewalk.

Most of all, I sympathize with the dogs. I suspect many people will simply solve their problem of too many dogs by turning the excess dogs into the street. I imagine there will be a dog pound in Jesus Maria's not too distant future.

Aug 24, 2008

Wallace TV

Check out Wallace the pit bull, high-flying Frisbee-catching dog extraordinaire! Check out all his frisbee buddies, too!

Sock progress

The first sock is finished:

And the second sock is well on the way:

And Celeste is soooo glad that we have a room with a view (and an ironing board, a vacuum cleaner, some books, a sofa, and a potted ginger plant that she hasn't eaten yet.) There's just nothing better than staring into the neighbors' laundry room:

Aug 23, 2008

Everyday Oddities

Every once in a while, I write about the things that happen on the city bus that I ride to and from work. The ride home today included a singer, three candy sales people (one of which was under the age of 10 years), and the "low-light" of the ride was a man who shoved two 4 inch screwdrivers up his nose and was ready to go for a sideways insertion via the ears.

The man proudly proclaimed, "I can do this because I am not from here...I am from Arequipa!" Several people wondered out loud if this was a common phenomenon in of Southern Peru.

Everyone was cringing in anticipation. I had to stare at the floor when the first screwdriver started up into the apparently empty brain cavity. I glanced up once to see him passing down the bus aisle with both screwdriver handles on the end of his nose. I kind of wish I'd have had my camera, but I don't know if I could have looked at this guy long enough to take the picture. The woman in the seat next to me gagged softly and whispered a prayer. Several people crossed themselves as he passed by. One man offered to pay him 30 cents to leave and the bus driver invited the man to exit the bus at his earliest convenience. Apparently the offer of 30 cents was too much to pass up, because he very quickly took his leave after collecting the coinage.

I arrived home to find a small white carriage with a white pony waiting patiently outside my apartment building. I think it must have been something for a little girl's birthday, but I'm not sure. I went upstairs to get Celeste so she could "do her business" outside, and when we went out of the building, we stopped to admire the pretty white coach and the beautiful pony standing so patiently...and then the coach door opened and a man stepped out and began to put his clothes on.

Things like this make the hair go up on Celeste's back..and my hair stands on end every once in a while, too.

I guess it takes all kinds...

walking with Celeste

More tour with Celeste:
Typical multi-family houses here in this area. Let's go past the Universidad del Pacifico! Very modern and beautiful!

Here's Club Moquequa. We've never been inside, but it's a cool color, so we included it. In Peru, many people enjoy painting their homes and businesses with bright and interesting colors. Inside, though, things tend toward the earth tones, or dirt colors, as Celeste likes to say. Maybe that way dirty handprints and pawprints on the walls don't show so much. (Okay Mom, I get the hint!)

Aug 20, 2008

Down the street

"I don't know what 'Sonccollay' means."
This morning Celeste and I took a walk down the bike path. You have already seen part of the bike path to the left. This time we went to the left. Join your tour guide, Ms. C., to take a stroll past one of the most requested restaurants in Lima, Sonccollay.

If you look closely, you can see the sign that says, "SONCCOLLAY".

They specialize in Pre-Incan cuisine. I have never tried their food, but I love passing by their place. In summer, they set their outside tables with Incan-style pottery. I don't know if people really eat using this pottery but it looks very interesting. Now, in winter, the pottery is taken inside because of the daily drizzling rains that ruin unfired pottery if left out in it.

Isn't it an interesting-looking place? I think Pre-Incan cuisine includes the purple potato, purple corn, and alpaca meat or llama meat.
Tomorrow: more of the sights along the bike path.

Aug 17, 2008

A fool for color

I have been thinking about my fiber habit, and have come to the conclusion that I'm a color addict. It all started back when I was a kid, and somehow we ended up with a couple of kaleidoscopes...

I spent hours looking at the colors and designs as I turned the barrel on my 'scope...

...each one unique...

...each one beautiful...

...and then the kaleidoscopes tumbled into the land of Idonknow, where all things go when they've left the hands of children. It's kind of like the place that lost socks go, but more distant, with less chance of returning to the land of Ohmygosh Hereitis!

So, it's any wonder that I have this in my fiber stash? And this?
Is it any wonder that I have one of these spindles now? (A note: this is not my spindle, but an example of the type I have. I'll post a photo of mine when I get the photo program figured out again)

Or this whorl on my spindle?

Color. It seems to be all about color.

Aug 10, 2008

The honeymoon's over

There are a lot of homeless people here (and also a lot of drunks) who sleep in the park or in the median between streets or on the sidewalk. Those places serve as beds and bathrooms to these people.

This morning O took Celeste to the park to run. They left happy! They returned angry, disgusted, and disenchanted with each other.

Apparently Celeste discovered that the trees in the park serve as commodes for the homeless. She went wild. One moment, she was O's darling gal, running free and beautiful...and the next she was this ghastly canine creature, eating a pile of YUCK at the base of a tree. The toilet paper had been left over the pile, but Celeste brushed that aside with a deft flick of the snout. O gagged, then screamed, Celeste took one more big gulp and ran off to fight over another pile with two or three other dogs. By the time O snapped the leash back on Celeste's collar, he was sick to his stomach and outraged that she would lower herself to such an act, and Celeste was outraged that he would have interrupted her at such a lavish meal. They returned to the apartment and without mincing words, O told me that he couldn't look at Celeste today, and why, and went back outside to wax the car - for hours.

Celeste waited for O at the front door, but he didn't come in very soon. When he did, he simply stepped over her and went into the bedroom to change his clothes. She followed him, but he shut her out of the room. Later, after we'd eaten at the table and Celeste had eaten in her crate, he lay down in for a nap and Celeste crept in to find out what his big problem was. Shortly thereafter, I heard Celeste barking at O, O yelling back at her, then he ran out of the bedroom with Celeste close on his heels. He snapped her leash on her again and out they went to the bike path.

Apparently they worked out their differences, because at the moment, they are both in the bedroom, both on the bed.

We had a short discussion about dog habits and those little disgusting things that endear the mutts to us and that completely turn our stomachs. Celeste is the first dog that O has shared his living space with. She has taught him a lot, and obviously opened his eyes to dog life, but I know this morning, she went too far. By the time they arrived back at the apartment, she knew it, too. I think he has forgiven her now, but there are no kisses being given there.

The honeymoon is over and reality has set in.

photoless far...

We had a virus attack on Friday, in the form of a McAfee 2009 update. It wiped out everything. We had to start from scratch with a newly formatted hard drive. We have no pictures, no files, WAH! Luckily, O has one of those little portable memory things with all his files for the classes he's taking, and luckily I have put photos on my blog here, and have saved things in my e-mail, but everything else is gone. At least we have a working computer, and didn't have to buy a new hard drive or something! And, since we're here in Peru, where it costs less than half of what it might cost in the US for repairs. O almost cried when he thought we'd lost Celeste's baby pictures, but - TA DA! They're here, on the blog, and some are on Flickr.

So, with a clean hard drive, I get to start to fill it up again, and I'm also going to get MYSELF one of those little portable memory thingies to save photos and patterns and whatever on.

My classes this month have doubled. Last month I had a leisurely 2 classes: one at 7 - 8:30am and one at 8:30 - 10:00 pm; a nice part-time job, working 4 hours daily, Monday through Saturday. Now I have 4 classes, still starting at 7 am, and ending at 10 pm, but my afternoon is full with the other two classes, and I have one class to observe in the morning, too. I'm tired. I have about 3 free hours to go home in, and in that time, I sleep. Not that working 8 hours is such a hardship for me - I've done it all my life! - but the schedule is hard to get used to.

My classes are delightful, though, for the most part. My students are creative and mostly motivated. I am having a blast with them, and I hope they are enjoying the classes, too. Yesterday, my Saturday class presented their projects. The theme was Peruvian folktales. They were to translate a folktale into English and illustrate it with at least one picture. I learned all about the Sun God's children, Manco Capac and Mama Occllo. I also learned about Tupac Amaru and how bats came to be. Very interesting! I think I'll have another class do this folk tale thing again sometime. I loved it and the students had a good time with it, too!

Aug 4, 2008

Avocado Annie and a knit-along

Remember last year, when I started a couple of avocado trees in jelly jars? And remember how Celeste loved one of them to death? Well, the OTHER one has survived - survived Celeste love, survived living nearly a year in a tiny clay pot, AND survived being transplanted into a nice-sized pot. Here she is, Avocado Annie:

I spent my weekend doing some experimenting. I plied a lace weight yarn with itself, and loved the results! So, I did some more, and these are going to be my next knit-along socks. The first skeins I plied (I believe this is known as "cabling") were grass green and "Pasture Berries" colorways. I really like this combination. It makes a little more substantial yarn for socks, which I need because my choice of dpns is limited to size 3 and size 8. Nothing smaller, nothing larger, and nothing in between.

And the second pair of skeins that I plied were in the "Pasture Berries" colorway.

After I finish my first Odyssey Rock Ranch knit-along socks, and have figured out all the mistakes that I made along the way, then I'll use this one to make a "good" pair - hopefully no mistakes. Right now, after ripping and ripping out row after row, then re-knitting to rip again, my yarn is getting a little fuzzy-looking. My mantra these last couple of days has been, "I'm smarter than the string...I AM smarter than the string...", which brings me to a picture of my first sock in this knit-along (like my tanned leg? heh, just overlook the stocking...I'm just home for lunch and Had to see how my sock was coming along):

I'm not done with it, obviously, but am closing in on the foot! The clock pattern is messy, but my second try at this will be much better, I promise! I have been learning SO MUCH with this project, and having fun with it, too! So grab your needles and join me on the Great Wooly Works Knitalong!