This lovely fellow has been eating our pepper plants!!! Sanchez noticed something was eating the plants, and found one this morning. Then this afternoon, Juana came running to Doug because she had found two more. She wasn’t about to touch them and squirmed while Doug did. They had a good laugh, but meanwhile the pepper plants which were looking so healthy are being chewed up. It is amazing how quickly this worm can consume one plant. Research on the internet tells me that the Trichograma Wasp will eat these guys and rid your garden of these pests. Where in Peru would one find such a wasp?? We’ll be trying some organic remedies such as spraying the plants with detergent ladened water and cayenne pepper.
Meanwhile our carrot plants are doing extremely well. They really like their location and are growing well. The spinach and the basil didn’t do very well. We do have flowers coming up as well and it’s so cool to see them bloom.
I drove up to El Alto this morning (10 kilometers) to a pharmacy owned by a good friend of ours. I went to say hello, happy New Year and to pick up our medications. Not all pharmacies carry the meds we need, but since Lily owns her business, she is able to stock it all for us. “Prescriptions” drugs are definitely handled differently here. Most of the meds we were taking in the states were by prescription only and the pharmacy required a doctors approval for refills. Here, if you have a prescription, you just hang on to it. When you are out of the meds, you just go back for more. Most times the pharmacy doesn’t even ask you for your prescription. Also, a lot of meds that are by prescription only in the states are available over the counter here. When you go to buy your meds, they ask you how many pills you want. You can ask for one or thirty for a month. Most times they have enough for 30 days, but usuallyt don’t carry the inventory to give you more than a months worth. And Lily gives us our meds for her cost.
The one medication I take, Cymbalta, for depression, is not widely available here in Peru. There is one pharmacy in Lima which handles it. The cost is similar to what you would pay in the states. They do have a promotion where when you buy two boxes, you get one free. This has been in place for the last 2 years. It helps, but it’s still expensive. Lily tells me there is another brand which is equivalent to the Cymbalta, but is significantly less expensive. I’m a bit reluctant to try something different since it was such a process finding what actually worked for me. However, I will give it a try. I can always go back to the Cymbalta if it doesn’t do the job.
We encounter this sign everytime we drive through El Alto on our way to Los Organos or our house. As you travel north, El Alto is at the top of a huge bluff. If you were to travel west toward the ocean, you would wind around a very curvy road down to Cabo Blanco. Cabo Blanco is a small fishing village and is known for being a hang out for Ernest Hemingway. There is a restaurant in the village with photos of Hemingway and catches of huge tune and marlin.
If you continue along the Pan American highway, you will drop down toward El Ñuro. The highway has upwards of 32 curves (depending upon what you call a curve); most of these curves being switchbacks. It is always slow going down this hill. Just as hit the top of the hill, you see this sign. I’ve wanted a picture of it for a long time, but haven’t usually traveled with a camera. When the Peruvians warn you of a steep grade…they really show it. And yet, half-way down you encounter another sign but with the usual grade. Ah, such is life in Peru.
Doug’s Christmas gift is finished and ready for hanging. This quilt taught me a lot about techniques I had not tried before. The individual pieces of the quilt were fused to a fusible web, cut and then fused on to the background. These pieces were finally sewn down as close to the edge as I could get. Doing this kind of applique (without turning under every edge) opened up a whole new world for me in quilting. I suspect “old school” quilters ( and they may take exception to this label), would not consider the raw edge quilting as true quilting. Any feedback from them would be received with great appreciation.
One of the latest pieces I’ve done is as a result of doing “Mandalas” or “Zentangles.” At its most basic form, it’s just doodling. I’ve used this kind of “doodling” as a kind of meditation, and have found creating these to be very rewarding. Some of what I do isn’t great, but I still pull out some creative energy each and every time I do one. This seems to be a key for me. If I don’t have anything creative going on, I can feel depressed and down. These mandalas are quick; generally less than 20 minutes. Maybe I will use them for something else, maybe not.
This one is entitled “French Horn.”