Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More autumn leaves and cats

29 May 2012

More pretty fallen leaves.
 As you can see, the rest of the place is still green as green can be.
 Happy cats flopping on my feet in the sun. These cats have a serious foot fetish.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kaleidoscope Garden

27 May 2012

Busy lately with work, not much to report, just the occasional photos.

The neighbor's red roses peeking through the kaleidoscope of my block glass windows.

And one very old arthritic cat happy in the warm sunshine.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Autumn Flora, Fruit and Fauna

26 May 2012

The one tree on the property with colored autumn foliage has really been putting on a show. The variety of colors in the leaves fascinates me.

A small potted orchid which is still blooming - the blossoms are only about an inch / 2-3 cm in size and such an unusual color.

Starfruit, known locally as carambola. There is a tree on the grounds and I found this fruit so I thought I would try it. Unfortunately when I cut it, it had enough bruised parts that the cross sections didn't look pretty enough to photograph, and the taste - ugh, it tasted like oxalis, which we called "sourgrass" when I was a child. Maybe it's better cooked, like rhubarb.

Amazing moth I found in my house.  To my eye, it looked dark green and iridescent, but when I photographed it, WOW!  Look at the colors on its "feathers". Amazing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Festa Juninha

25 May 2012

Went to a themed birthday party - the theme was apparently something along the lines of "Beverly Hillbillies".

 Apparently in Brazil, hillbillies are known by their strange socks.
... and for having one big eyebrow.
 Note more strange socks below!

 Singing the Birthday Song.
 Speech time!

 One friend gets emotional... poor guy...

 Next we had a game of musical chairs, I haven't played this since I was a child. It's still fun. :)
Time for more dancing.

There were also some traditional gaucho foods such as pine nuts (boiled and served hot "peel-and-eat" from the pan), candied peanuts, and hot mulled wine.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Burst Pipes

24 May 2012

Just after snuggling down in my bed, I heard a "crackkkk" sound followed by the sound of gushing water. I leapt out of bed to see water quickly flooding the bathroom and starting into the living room. Not even takin gtime to put on shoes, I ran to the main house to get the owners, and by the time we ran back, the part of the living room where my computer sits was totally flooded and the water was heading for the bedroom. I tried to use the area rugs to keep the water out of the bedroom, while the owner climbed on the roof of the building next door to shut off the water. (I don't really understand why the water shutoff is there.)

Next came the fun part, trying to mop up as much of the water as possible with towels and basins, so that the carpet wouldn't get moldy. There was about an inch of water on the floor and it all happened within ten minutes. Thank goodness I was home and awake when it happened or the whole place would have been like that old Mickey Mouse cartoon.

Thankfully the weather was still warm enough to have the windows open to help dry the place out.

Here are some pics I took after everyone left and before going to bed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This and That

15 May 2012

News of my life recently... I spent last week with some kind of tummy upset and didn't do much. This week I've started a membership at a local gym, last night was my first workout. I don't want to take all of Brazil home with me around my middle, so I want to slim down before I go.

Speaking of going home, I will be leaving Brazil on July 19th and arriving home in the USA on July 20th. The time seems to be speeding up as the end draws nearer. My remaining time here can now be measured in weeks rather than months - just 9 weeks left. I'm torn between feelings of not wanting to leave here and wanting to see my family again.
I have a few photos hanging around that don't fit into any particular category or event and didn't get uploaded at the time, so here is a batch of random stuff.

Giant chimarrão!!!
Watermelon Havaianas sandals. If they were in the right size I would have bought them for sure. Eu sento saudades de meus amigos melancios ultimamente!
 Moonrise from the balcony at school.
 Practicing my nighttime photography.
 A trumpet flower (?) behind my house.
 The two male cats getting some love.
 A sunset from the upper walkway at school.
 Coffee.  Best perfume ever.
 I love the animal pictures on the money here. I'm not sure if they are reforming all of the denominations, but they have certainly changed the R$50 bill; below are the old and new versions.
 A gorgeous yellow finch (?) outside my window one afternoon.

My new haircut, shown here as it was carefully styled and straightened by the salon... 
...and naturally curly, because I don't have the patience to spend 20 minutes fussing around with my hair every morning.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all moms (natural, adoptive, step, grandmothers, aunts, whatever) everywhere. It is a shame that mothers only have one day a year to be appreciated, because they deserve so much more.

Here is a picture of my mom with my sister and I on a cruise we took together. We had such a good time together all three of us.

I love you and miss you mom!!!