Catch-up Blog Post

Monday I spent the day baking to free Steph up for school. Now that we have the books from the States, the school schedule will be more full. I was pretty exhausted from the late night before, so I chose not to go to town to sell.

Alicia came in the afternoon to show us how to make a quinoa dish. She was here until just before chores. I’m glad she’s coming around more.

I also made yogurt on Monday, using the culture powder we’d ordered from the States. My research online did not reveal how much power to add to fifteen liters of milk, so I went with half a teaspoon.

I think that was too much. It became almost like cheese. I decided to strain and blend it to see how it would turn out, and it became a lovely Greek yogurt. I used half of it for yogurt and drained the other half several more hours.

With that, I made cream cheese. It turned out really well. It’s slightly more acidic than Philadelphia cream cheese, but it’s pretty similar. The texture is perfect.

Abbey said, “Why didn’t we order bagels from the States when Mr. Peter’s came!” She thought having such nice cream cheese was a disaster without bagels to put it on. Maybe I’ll have to learn how to make bagels.

Tuesday was a less full day for me, but Steph baked two cakes. The one was for Percy’s aunt, and the other was for Elisabet’s sister’s goddaughter. They both turned out lovely.

I then went into town to sell. It was raining. We’re now on our eighth day of consecutive rain. The sun always comes out some of the day.

When I got to Sra. Γ‰ster’s house, Rafael was there and asked me to come in. He wanted to express his gratefulness for the birthday cake and gift and for my being with him during this difficult time with his mom.

So, Sra. Γ‰ster made coffee and gave me a roll of bread (that I had just brought), and we sat and talked and drank coffee. Then Rafael said I should come with him to the store to eat cake.

I had let Steph know that it looked like I might be late. Sra. Rosita was at the store, too. Elisabet gave us each gigantic pieces of cake and a cup of tea. By the time that was done, it was dark. I decided to do no more stops.

Except, I wanted to talk with Abel. I explained to him that Rafael’s truck is not available because he’s spending so much time in Cusco right now. Abel said he could find another truck.

He said he plans to deliver the cabinets Thursday, which is today. I need to call him soon to see if that’s happening.

On the way home Tuesday evening, I suddenly felt achey and chill. I had hoped to avoid the stomach bug Steph and the children had gotten, but it felt like maybe it had found me at last.

That was troublesome because we had a Wednesday appointment in Cusco to renew Abbey’s passport. I endured an uncomfortable night of nausea, running to the restroom, but never actually succeeding in being sick.

We decided to go ahead with the appointment. I wasn’t worried about infecting the consular because she sits behind bullet-proof glass and there is a ventilation system that keeps chemicals and germs from flowing into her side of the wall. That makes it difficult to slide paperwork in because the air system is blowing the papers out as you try to shove them into the slot.

Everything went well. We have the application off. It was an especial blessing because Steph’s and my physical passports are in the States. The consular is a sensible person and was glad to accept photocopies because she knew us from other visits.

I didn’t feel that bad until lunch time. We got pizza in the food court at the mall. Thank you to my friend Mr. Bill for sending us the money gift for that. Steph and Abbey got coffee and a frappe per Mr. Bill’s instructions. I didn’t feel like coffee. We took pizza home for the other children whom Lucrecia was babysitting for us.

We were at the mall to find ice chests to haul stuff to market. I found two 48-quart chests for about $100. I was pleased. That will make keeping yogurt and milk cool much easier.

After lunch, I felt pretty miserable. I noticed that I could not smell and taste much, and the thought of Covid went through my mind. But by supper, my senses were back to normal.

Alicia called while we were in Cusco to say she’d bought chala (green corn stalks) for me. Though I didn’t feel like it, I went and picked that up at chore time. It was about half a pickup load maybe. It cost S/20 or around $6.00. We can get it for less if we buy a full field at once.

I ate only a couple bites of supper before falling asleep on the couch. I stayed there for the night so Steph wouldn’t be disturbed by my frequent trips to the bathroom.

I feel pretty gross today yet, but I did chores anyway. I ate a bit of breakfast, but it didn’t stick. So, I’m back on the couch. Steph is taking care of school. The baking will just have to wait.

I did get the milk pasteurized and cooling so I can make yogurt this evening. I expect this stomach bug will be finished today. I hope.

Percy took a heifer to Compone market today. He’d wanted to last week, but it didn’t work out for reasons I no longer remember. He wants to see if he can get a good price for Lamar.

And I think that catches us up more or less to now. I’ve heard no news from Rafael today about his mom.

Draining the yogurt
Cream cheese
Cooling before bagging
At the Embassy
Abbey got her wish to go down the escalator.
The two coolers
Lucrecia helped unload chala
The goats like it.
Holding a piece for Doris