Monday, October 25, 2010

Taking a family portrait

We wanted to take a new family picture, including Kirstin, who isn't in Honduras very often, and with our new daugher, Iris. We had a hard time with the weather, which turned hazy and made it difficult to show the mountain of Celaque in the picture, as we'd desired.

Here's the photo which we've chosen as the potential winner:

In addition to dealing with the weather, it is always challenging to get one photo in which nine people all look pretty good at the same time. When one of those people is a slightly disgruntled 8 year old boy, the challenge becomes even greater. Some examples:

Of course, the very best picture of all is one in which the kids were intentionally goofing off . . .

Considering all of our challenges, I think we managed to do pretty well, although I'm still hoping to improve the color and brightness a bit!

Friday, October 22, 2010

My sister's visit to Honduras

My sister did a whole series of posts on her blog (, with tons of pictures, about her recent trip to Honduras. It's always fun for me to see things through someone else's eyes, since I've been here long enough to have forgotten some of the things which used to seem unusual or remarkable!

This link will take you to the most recent posts on her page. She's not done posting about Honduras yet - her most recent post was titled: Day #7 in Honduras -- Part # 1 -- Touring Gracias and preparing to leave. So, there's at least one more post about Honduras coming . . .

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pictures from the Wedding Ceremony!

The groomsmen and Russell entered from the side.

First in the procession was the tiny girl who cut the ribbons which had been stretched across aisle.

Next came our son David, carrying an open Bible.

The two ring bearers . . .

. . . followed by the boy bearing a basket of fruit.

The two are carrying the lasso, which is used at the end of the ceremony.

The girl attendants processed in, but here they all are at the front, awaiting the bride.

Russell and Iris exchanging rings.

The kiss!


Friday, October 15, 2010

More Wedding Pictures

My sister, Pam, posted pictures from her trip to Honduras on her blog and on her facebook site. I hope you enjoy these pictures. I will still be posting some more here myself, I promise.

Pam, by the way, came down to make the cake for the wedding, and she did a wonderful job, don't you think? This task included schlepping a lot of items down from Maryland in suitcases, like the cake pans, the Crisco, delicate pre-made icing flowers, the decorating equipment, the cake topper, etc.

Thanks so much, Pam!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pre-wedding pictures

I received pictures from my mother and my sister, both of whom attended the wedding. Here are a few pictures of the final minutes before the ceremony:

Everything was in place.

Family members were ready and waiting.

Some last minute repairs to the cake were required.

There was last minute primping, of course.

Cooking for the reception dinner was progressing nicely.

Guests began to arrive.

Gradually we all entered the room where the ceremony would take place.

Of course, the guest book was signed.

Pictures from the ceremony will be coming along soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now I am a Mother-in-Law

Yesterday was Iris and Russell's wedding. It was wonderful! I only have a few pictures on my camera, but here's a glimpse of the day. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few more pictures from friends!

Here they are getting Iris' train settled as the ceremony begins. There were more attendants than show in the picture, plus all the children (flower girls, ring bearers, and the ones carrying the lasso, fruit basket, and Bible).

This was the main area for the reception, where the food was served, the cake was displayed, and the bride and groom had their table.

Immediately after the ceremony, friends reorganized this room (where the wedding ceremony was held) for additional seating at the reception dinner. We estimate there were about 300 guests!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What life looks like, since the lightning strikes

Now that we've had two inverters fried by ground surges of electricity (related to lightning strikes about 600' from our house), we're limping along on a minimal amount of available power. We now have only a tiny inverter working, and it can't process very much battery power into usable household electricity. Here's what we've done, to keep things running.

We removed several of the solar panels from the roof, so that less power would be flowing into the system - we hope that not sending this excess power to our batteries will help them survive until December, when the new batteries are due to arrive.

The tiny inverter cannot run the refrigerator at all. We have chosen to continue to use the fridge, rather than using a cooler. We regularly put bags of ice in the fridge and freezer, and then we run power to the fridge twice each day, using our gas generator. While we cool down the fridge we also run any other appliances which use large amounts of energy, like the washing machine, the grain mill, and the shop vac. Of course, this system doesn't keep the food in the fridge as cold as when the fridge is plugged in full time, so we've made a few changes. We cook our hot meal of the day at lunch time, and we try not to make enough to have any leftovers. Leftover foods go bad really quickly in our current situation. We've used up all the food that had been stored in the freezer compartment before the lightning strikes, and now we purchase small amounts more often, using the freezer as if it were a very cold refrigerator, storing all meats, cheeses and dairy products up there. The freezer doesn't get cold enough to freeze anything, so we don't have ice, and we don't store anything long-term in the freezer.

We actually have the computer on most of the time now, as the inverter is willing to run either the computer or the TV/VCR, and we need to keep one or the other running to use up power out of the batteries during the daytime, so the batteries aren't charging up too much.

In the evening, when we're running the generator for the fridge, the sun is down, and so no power is coming into the batteries from the solar panels. During this run of the generator we also charge up the batteries, so we have enough power to run lights, and computer or TV/VCR until bedtime.

This has all been quite easy to do, and wouldn't be much of a problem except that we'd rather not have to run to town so often for ice and perishable foods, and it's expensive to run the generator so much.

In just a few days, our wedding guests will start to arrive, and they'll be bringing us a new inverter. Then, we'll be back to limping along with a sufficient inverter but not enough batteries.

Who knows what will be next?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stone Walkway, part two

This makes me feel really happy. Thanks, family!

Today's Family Project: Stone Walkway

We've been working to create a tiny yard in front of our house/bodega. This is both for looks, and to keep down on the dirt that comes into the building. Most of the top of our property is dirt and rocks, because we had to use heavy equipment to push the ground around, to create a flat area for construction. Today, all of those rocks are coming in handy, as we put together a stone walkway.

Earlier this year, we hauled in topsoil and spread it in front of our two buildings. These areas were fenced off with some temporary wire fencing, and grass seed was spread. We were fortunate in our timing - we had a spell of dry weather, and we were able to control the watering by using a sprinkler. If we'd had natural rain, it would have washed away the seeds, as it rarely rains here that it doesn't pour. Even after the seeds had sprouted, we were in a continual fight to keep the soil and young grass from washing away during rainstorms. But eventually, we won this battle!

Here's a picture of the front of the bodega, when it still had the fencing around the grass on one side. You can also see that we had a very functional, but not very attractive, cinderblock walkway up to the front door.

With the wedding coming up, and guests visiting, I was hoping (nagging?) for the installation of a better looking front walkway.

Today is the day! Here are some shots of the current action at my house:

Stay tuned for more photos as the work progresses!