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activities for cooler weather

As the firecrackers scent the air with gunpowder and create patterns in the sky, I am reminded of various folk remedies to end drought, where rockets are shot into the air to bring down rain. The rains have finally come, nice long afternoon showers cooling everything off. Saturday, I scattered  flower seeds in the gaping maws of the huge cement pots where the skeletal Flor de Mayo trees are planted. Little seedlings seem to be sprouting, I can’t wait to see what I’ve sown because I indiscriminately broadcast the remnants of the outdated seed packages I have been saving.  The only planned sowing were Swiss Chard in a package label something like rainbow silver beet which I hope to see poking through  the zatar (also known as oregano grueso) in my big bushel sized tub. Gardening has been taking a backseat to my other activities, the yard is looking tamer these days. The gardener and I seem to have settled ...

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Between the raindrops

Saying that we’ve been having rain every afternoon doesn’t convey how much rain has been falling. We’ve narrowly escaped the infinity pool experience by draining several inches of water at least twice in the last week. This is even after the pool guys have been here and drained their customary three or four inches while cleaning between cell phone calls. I’m not complaining, the boys show up and clean the pool every week, it just takes them longer than when Dad is there to supervise. Being housebound gives me an excuse to work on my Mom Make Me This projects. When I found out that La Primera pins things to Pinterest, I asked her to make a category of stuff she would like me to make. One of the items was a crocheted dress for La Nieta. She didn’t specify for which one, but it looked like a toddler style to me. After reading the pattern information, which didn’t seem ...

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Organizing my life

Sewing isn’t the only thing that I’ve been doing. I also have been slowly organizing stuff. All my clothes came out of the closet and sorted into three piles. Replacing elastic seems to be my number one repair, elastic doesn’t fare well in this climate. All my sweaters were folded and put on shelves. While in Costco, I found a solution for keeping them neat. I grabbed a couple of Sony display boxes, the kind that have only three sides and I’m using them as cubbies. An email to my craft group yielded various shoe, cereal and other boxes to turn into organizers. My first project was making magazine holders. It’s a fairly easy process. You mark the side however high you want the front (4 to 5 inches is good) and cut a slanting line to the top from the front and back. Painting or covering the boxes is optional. When I finished my first box, I discovered that ...

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Mail call

Availability of goods and services is an important consideration when moving to a foreign country. Overall, Mérida does pretty well. However, some specialty items either can’t be found or are very expensive. The solution is to buy them NOB. Shipping to Mexico is expensive and sometimes unreliable. The solution is shipping items to a friend or relative’s home NOB and having someone mule it down. What did I get? Duct tape and spray paint! “Duct tape and spray paint? they don’t have duct tape and spray paint in Mexico?” you ask. Of course they have duct tape in Mexico, you can buy it at Home Depot or the grocery store. It’s readily available,if what you want is the common silvery gray stuff. I, however, am the proud owner of zebra striped duct tape. Duct tape is great stuff, they make prom dresses and wallets from it.I once did an emergency repair on my car using duct tape and a pencil ...

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Hustle bustle to get ready

The Time Travelers’ Ball is this weekend. Today is the last day to get tickets.Tuesday, I went out in my underwear to see if I could sell some tickets to the general public. Not that I would have gotten arrested for indecent exposure. I had on a pair of old bloomers and petticoat from my Dickens’ Fair days and my princess line slip, right side out this time, underneath my 1860s corset. Generally my corsets are pretty plain, since I wanted to attract some attention, I decorated it so it would match my hat. This hat used to be black, but I recovered it in red.  The pattern is from Denise Dreher’s excellent book, From the Neck Up. It’s being worn by a tiny lamp in the photo. Having  lent it to a friend for a hat contest, I can’t take a  photo of it on my head. Anyway, it looked good with the red and black stripes I put ...

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Too much sun

Running errands after my painting class is not one of my brightest moves. On the one hand, it’s easy to catch the 66 Iberica bus to C 57 x 56 y 58, on the other hand, 2:00 is bad time to be out and about in the Yucatan sun. One of my last stops on the way home was the bank. Calle 65 x 62 y 64 has several banks located on it. The bank we usually use is the north side of the street, the atm machine inside an air conditioned chamber. Normally, we do our banking early in the morning, today, I arrived around three. Which is why I found myself on the south facing slowly baking wall in a long line wondering why I decided to get money on the quincena. I comforted myself with thinking since it was payday,the ATMs would have lots of cash available. Poor planning all around. Arriving home hungry and crabby, I ...

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Caught up in the Christmas decorating spirit

Needing a Christmas tree, my friend, BK created one. BK and I work well together,though our tastes are very different. She claims that she is too left brained to be creative. It’s not true, as evidenced by the Christmas tree she made. We went shopping and looked at the available artificial trees,but none of them really fit the bill. I kept saying you need something tall and skinny to fill that space and pushed forward my idea of a two dimensional tree using swags. “I have some chicken wire, maybe we can use that?” BK mused. Enthusiastically, I agreed, I pictured an advant-garde  tree adorned with a few ribbons and large sparkly balls. BK had other ideas. She bought garland, white LED lights, and Christmas balls in gold and silver. She ended up with was a narrow eight foot tree  tastefully adorned with organdy bows and clusters of ornaments. It looks like an expensive boutique designer tree. Not at all ...

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Crazy idea? Just my style.

Quilting is not my thing. The idea of quilting is intriguing but the reality of it is that I don’t have the patience, precision nor persistence to plan and pull it off. Quilting started as a way to save money, piecing scraps together to make new blankets and has evolved into an art form. It’s all gotten rather expensive,in my opinion. The fabrics aren’t cheap by any means, but if you’re going to put that much energy into something, you want it to last.  However, there is one type of quilt that does call out to me, the crazy quilt. I have bits and pieces of crochet, embroidered handkerchiefs and blouses and other bits and pieces. I am thinking of making a quilt out of all those things. Not a big one, just a small one.  It’s another way to whittle down my fabric stash.Even though the turbans and pantaloons took up quite a bit. There is still more in ...

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Not Miss Muffet

 Here is my Duct Tape Double wearing the witch mask and costume. She is just waiting for her borrowed hat to complete the look. I made her arms and a head. The white eyed look didn’t do it for me so I reached through the blank eye sockets and drew some eyeballs. I must of gotten the angle just right because they seem to track you as you walk back and forth in front of The spider is pretty big, I was going to make several but he took up all my stuffing. I had a bag of new fiberfill and three old pillows so I expected to be able to make several spiders.  It’s been quite awhile since I last made any stuffed toys. The eyes gave me fits. I made two little eyes on the side of the head but they didn’t seem correct. Finally, I  looked up spider eyes. Turns out that there is a wide variation ...

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