Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fourth time around the Salt Lake

Yesterday was the 56th day in a row that I went for a walk in the morning. I don't ever set an alarm, because if I weren't to wake up in time for a walk I figure I need my sleep more than I need a walk, not to mention that an alarm would also probably wake up small people, which would mean that it wouldn't be as easy as I would like to get out for a walk on my own. Since I like to be home by about 7:00, 7:30 at the very latest, because of the heat once the sun has been up for awhile, the length of my walk generally depends on what time I got going. The last few weeks I've gone eight kilometers almost every day, sometimes a little more or a little less, one day just three because I wasn't up until after 6:30. Last Sunday I walked all the way around the Salt Lake (about 11 kilometers) and really wished I had my camera, so when I was up at 5:00 yesterday, I decided to go again, with a camera. This first photo was taken from the front steps of our house at 5:04 a.m. (If you're one of those people who know how to figure out when a photo was taken and bother to check, yes, I KNOW I need to change the time on my camera...)

Just after I reached the nature trail (just to the left of the middle--the trail is four kilometers long) and turned right, to walk around the lake counter-clockwise. The lights are at the airport.

It's nice and cool in this "tunnel", wonderful in Cypriot July.

Turning and looking behind me about 500 meters from the end of the trail, about 5:20 a.m.

The aquaduct at the end of the trail. After this I was on various roads and paths through fields. The first time I walked all the way around the Salt Lake (three weeks ago), I was often not exactly sure if I was in the right place until I reached another landmark, but it was actually quite easy to figure it out and I never did make any wrong turns.

This sign looks nice and official, anyway...

Take the left-hand one. They stay more-or-less parallel for a bit, but then the right-hand one veers off sharply to the right.

5:40--it was perfectly light, but the sun wasn't quite visible yet.

I found these fence posts amusing. I guess they serve as a visual aid of the boundary to the wildlife conservation area.

A somewhat less than useful sign, since there wasn't really any other way to go...

Sun starting to appear over Larnaka at 5:45.

First view of the Hala-Soultan mosque.

An even less-useful sign post than the previous one, seeing as it's kind of anybody's guess which two of the three possible directions might have originally been meant...

For your reading pleasure if you feel like zooming.

A dairy farm, from the sound and smell. I didn't actually see any cows, though.

The mosque closer up.

And looking back at the mosque after having passed it.

When this bench was installed, nobody apparently expected the water to get as high as it did this winter. Three weeks ago the water was still lapping at the concrete under the bench, and a friend told me a few days ago that during the winter, the bench was actually submerged.

It took me 49 minutes to walk this distance, counting the stopping to take photos.

The walk along the airport road isn't so nice, because of being on pavement, along a busy road, and with little to no shade. This is looking back at the round-about to the old airport.

One of the little salt lakes across the main road from the big one, which is already dried up. I'll be very surprised if the big one dries up this year, though.

At the old airport round-about I crossed the road, because from there to where I turn off, there's a little bit of shade on the right-hand side of the road, none at all on the left.

Finally back to the nature trail.

And another blurry photo of the mosque, from the other side of the lake...

There were some offical looking vehicles on the road between the mosque and the airport road, with men wearing gas masks spraying something into the Salt Lake, which I'm guessing was pesticide, but don't know. I gave them a fairly wide berth and didn't think of taking photos. Then I saw some more of the same vehicles parked, and several men walking around in the water scattering something. Any ideas?

Several months ago, concrete blocks appeared on both sides of the trail at 500 meter intervals. After several weeks, a frame was added on the slanted tops, and pieces of stone were put around the sides. After another couple of weeks or so, mortar was put in between the stones on the sides. That was at least a month ago now, and I took a photo of one of them on the walk. Not very exciting, but I do like having markers every 500 meters.
 And then this morning I discovered that yesterday they FINALLY added wooden plaques inside the frames with the distances to each end of the trail--but of course didn't have the camera with me today.

A last photo of the Salt Lake before leaving the nature trail to head home.

And a final photo while sitting on our front steps, at 7:06 a.m.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our dollhouse

I didn't think to start taking photos until the house had been put together. I was careful to do all the jigsawing while Jacob was NOT home, because I didn't want his comments, and the one time I did some sanding while I was home, I knew I was justified in that decision. Anyway, here are the photos from when I started taking them. Katie and I designed the dollhouse, measurements being decided based on the scrapwood we had.

 The floors and walls are all from the VR-G family, who left us a bunch of scrapwood when they moved to South Africa in February. The front (or back...depending on with which family member you are conversing, and it is UNBELIEVABLE what an argument they can make out of it...) is from another friend (Richard), whose office was closed down in May.

And yes, I measured many more than two times before making any cuts, but there are still some somewhat weird angles. Oh well. I glued and nailed everything--the glue I did buy myself a couple of years ago, and as of yet, glue is the only thing we have bought. The nails were from the VR-Gs. As was the jigsaw, come to think of it. The sander was borrowed from Richard.

 The paint was from Richard's office. Katie and I painted everything, inside and out, white to start with.

 I put a second layer of paint on all of the window and door frames, the ceilings, the back walls of the bottom left-hand room and top middle room, and the outside. Here, the staircase (made from blocks that Lukas donated to the cause) and carpets (from a book of upholstery samples from Sue) are not yet glued down. Oh, and the doors to the outside have high sills because, despite sketching and measuring everything multiple times, I managed to forget that I'd planned for the outside walls to go on TOP of the bottom floor...Then when I wanted to correct that (by cutting out the extra bit of wood at the bottom), Katie insisted that we leave them so that it could be like an ancient Egyptian house to keep the snakes out. I wondered where she learned that...she says that I read it to her. From a book that I have read to all of the children, multiple times. And which I didn't remember.

The wallpaper is from two books of wallpaper samples that I got from a wallpaper store. Katie chose the paper for the bottom right-hand room, Marie the bottom left and top middle, and Helen the other two. Katie chose all of the carpets. (Which are still not glued down in this photo.)

 Here the staircase, complete with railing made from "craft sticks" (I would call them popsicle sticks, but they are called craft sticks on the package, and I don't remember where I got them--probably from a fellow homeschool family that moved away last year), is finally glued into place, as is the carpet. Oh, and I'd added white craft-stick doorsills between the rooms by this point.

 I confess to being pretty pleased with my bannisters. And Jacob wants to make a cupboard under the stairs.

 Jacob started to make this water tank for the roof, but wasn't happy with it and took it apart again, so we still don't have one.

 Helen and Elisabeth playing with the furniture I'd saved from my childhood.

The bed in the back right-hand corner is one of several pieces I bought on Pioneer Day or Fourth of July celebrations in Colfax as a child. (I bought one piece each time.) The black wooden furniture my grandma brought back from Japan. Under the table I see a trumpet that I bought at the Christmas market in Germany shortly after we got married. The things that look like matchboxes are sets of building blocks--I know that I bought them, but not sure when or where, although I'm pretty sure it was when I was still a teenager. The mirror on top of them is from my grandma, and she sent it to me when I lived in Germany. I have no idea where the mice came from, but I know I used them as rugs in the dollhouse I used to have!

More of the Japanese wooden furniture and a birdcage from the Colfax summer celebrations, but best of all is the real lamp, which Jacob made. (There's also a toy lamp, on the tall table in the back, but I don't remember where I got it.) The rug is from my original dollhouse. I saved only two things from my original set: this rug and a rocking chair. I gave the rest to my youngest sister when I left home. I have no idea what Helen and Elisabeth were using the red bowl in the back for.

Here the lamp from Jacob is plugged in and working. He covered the stand and shade with wallpaper. He's also made a ceiling fan, which runs on a battery concealed in an armchair, but he hasn't finished the armchair or figured out how to attach the fan to the ceiling yet.