Sunday, 18 August 2013

Discoveries and Inventions

Is anyone else always thinking about things you'd like to see invented like me? A lot of my wishes have to do with technology. One of the big grips about the so-called smartphones is that they come with all these apps that I'm never going to use, and any app that I'd like to add I can't for lack of space. Okay I shouldn't complain too much as I didn't have to buy the phone. I sure do get sick and tired of freeing up space though! How about having to charge the darn thing just about every day? I can only imagine that someone who uses theirs more than I do mine must have to charge the phone more often. I have made a useful discovery though and that is the charger for my Kindle and my phone are compatible, so one less cable I'll have to take on trips. Wouldn't it be fantastic if everything else were compatible?  And can't someone please invent a dust deleter so as not to waste my finger checking for dust?

If I had to choose a household chore that I abhor, it would be dusting, because I dust today and see more the next day. I remember my mother used to complain about the dust from coal trucks that used to come barreling through their small town. Since they've built a road around the town, heavy vehicles are no longer a problem unless it's a tractor or other vehicle from a surrounding farm. The last time we went through the town we didn't pass a single car.

My photo for this week is a show and tell. Terri in her 'Hodgepodge Wednesday' was talking about chevron patterns. Of course, I had no idea what that meant until I looked on the internet and realised I had a chevron rug. It's not large because in Spain we don't go in for wall-to-wall carpeting (I've never seen a carpeted room here), and it's in the kitchen in front of the sinks. I got it from a Dollar Store the last time I was in the US. It goes in the washing machine easily and comes out perfectly and it came at an affordable price . Maybe a bigger rug or a bigger design would be too much, but it goes well with the floor and also the kitchen tiles. The mop is just a mop that when the head starts falling apart, I can replace it. Did you know that the mop was invented by a Spaniard? It's called a 'fregona' (from the word for scrub) as a 'mopa' is a dustmop or, as we tell our students, a 'false friend'. There are lots of words like this which can lead to confusion or most likely a lot of laughter. I'm sure you've seen lots of examples about the differences in language. I recently learnt that 'lumia' (the Nokia phone) was slang in Spanish for prostitutes. I've never heard anyone call them that in all the years I've lived here, so perhaps it's old-fashioned. I'm almost forgetting to let you know wrapping the stems in transparent film didn't stop my bananas from getting mushy in a few days - another trick that doesn't work.

I'll be taking a short break from blogging as I commented last week. I can't take the weather with me everywhere like I'm always wishing we could, but I can take the internet with me to be able to see what you're up to. I'll pop in to facebook too. Nobody blogs there, so it's easy to leave an update.

Some of you know that I've requested you keep my friend Chris and her family in your prayers. Her father passed away yesterday afternoon. I pray that they find comfort in their faith and know that he is no longer suffering.

Have a blessed week.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Going Bananas

Here's another of my experiments - something I saw in a post on facebook. The theory is that if you wrap the stems of bananas with transparent film (what some people call saran wrap), this will slow down the ripening process. I'll let you know how my bananas go. They're already ripe enough to eat, so I probably won't be able to keep them too long without doing something with them. I've already chopped some up to freeze for my breakfast smoothies. As for the smoothies, I haven't added any berries to them when I add green vegetables like spinach. Still the green makes them a yucky colour. Why can't they turn a nice mint green?

I'm really sorry that my weekly post is going to take a turn for the worse. Last night about 10 pm that certain neighbour who always stresses me out with her drama called complaining that another neighbour (one that she can't stand or one of several she has bad thoughts about) had put up a notice asking others not to throw things onto the patios and the street. I knew before the sourpuss even told me which neighbour had put it up, because if there's a notice that goes up in my building I'm the one who composes it and prints it out (in big, big letters as per usual). Why it should bother her that someone should write and post such a notice I can't say unless she is one of the guilty ones. In the past I've been splashed with water from her cleaning her windows when I've been out during the day. Now she's just called to tell me she's gone to the police to ask them what she can do about her next door neighbour who is encroaching on her property and blocking out the light by hanging her clothes so they partially cover the windows. The constant complainer lives on the first floor, but she also owns a flat on the ground floor, which is the one the drying clothes are blocking the light from. The other day I was invited to witness that the guilty party's clothes were hanging down over a few inches of the windows.

If I didn't have to live in the vicinity of this woman, I'd surely see how ridiculous and funny things are. After all, there can be worse problems with neighbours. Not only do I have to do anything that requires a computer for this person but also have to take photographs for her and print them out. She's never satisfied with them either or with anything really. I've never claimed to be a photographer. Last Sunday when I suggested she get her son to take photos for her, she answered that he never came to see her. I had to hold in a laugh or more at that. I don't have to wonder why he doesn't. Anyway, I'm happy to get a rest from all her drama and trouble soon - counting the days.

On to more pleasant thoughts, but thanks for listening. Only wish I could say I feel better after such a rant. Hopefully I'll feel better when she's no longer in my life. 

Katherine, from the blog Creating Through Life, recently celebrated her blog's second anniversary. My first anniversary on Blogger is this coming Thursday. I have no complaints about this site, but I can't help being homesick for Multiply sometimes. I recently saw that Loretta was giving up on ipernity, and truthfully I don't know why I haven't closed my account there. No one will miss me. Luckily Loretta and some of my other multiply friends are here or on facebook or google +. The funny thing about ipernity is you can't post anything that isn't yours. One of my friends was blocked because he posted a Robert Frost poem. Ipernity has a page on both facebook and google +. Yet they don't allow material from facebook and google + to be shared on ipernity. I wonder what they share on theirs! Sorry, don't think I'll become a fan to find out.

Enough said for this week I believe. Next week will probably be my last post for a month or so. Thanks for the continued prayers for my friend Chris and family. Have a good week.

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Bear and The Strawberry Tree

I missed my calling yesterday, i.e. I was too busy to sit down and write a post. Actually I was less busy this weekend than I'd originally planned to be, but yesterday I spent a good part of the day with some friends from Texas who should be well on their way home by now.

It's always good seeing people you don't often see and remembering old times. I worked with Sue many years ago. She was laughing about the time she, another girl and a boy from my university had gone to Granada to see the world-famous Alhambra and had spent the day walking around in the rain. Later on they decided to find a hotel and go have something to eat. When Don, the boy from my university, went to take out his money that he'd put in his shoe, he discovered the notes were sopping wet and falling apart, so they had to go to a bank to exchange them. Another time I remember he and another person got locked in the abstract art museum in Cuenca (the Hanging Houses).

As for my photo, it's from Madrid. It was taken the summer that Spain won the World Cup in football (soccer). It's the symbol of Madrid and can be found on all the official documents for the city. The statue itself isn't an old one, at least not when I think of old in Madrid. It's from the latter half of the 20th C. I finally changed my cover on facebook and put this photo up. I hope it's more interesting than the spinach dip photo I had to post.

I don't know why everyone is saying good-bye to summer already. It's still summer hot for us. As a matter of fact we're in what's usually the hottest part of the summer. The saying goes that Madrid has 9 months of winter and 3 months of hell (9 meses de invierno y 3 meses de infierno), and we haven't had our 3 months of hell yet.

My friend Chris had to change her plans and go home 3 days earlier because her father, who is terninally ill, was rushed to hospital. Please keep the family on your prayer list. Hope everyone has had a good start to the new week and that the days ahead are just as pleasant.