Sunday, 30 November 2014

It's Coming! It's Coming!

Hope my talented sister Diana doesn't mind my using one of her photos. Yesterday she posted this and three other photos of her creations on facebook. I chose the first photo she posted, but let me assure you the other three lamps are just as lovely. She doesn't post a lot on facebook - just for birthdays and things she makes. I'm going to show one of my friends who has a lot of talent too what my sister has made. Yesterday afternoon, Chris and I went to a craft show hosted by Elvira, whose house it was in, and my friend Inma. Together, they call themselves two bee-z. They do a lot of beautiful work with wooden pallets - things I love, but which are a bit too big for my little place.

Before going to the craft show, we went out for our monthly lunch, and I got another birthday present. By the way, we had meatballs again. Wednesday evening was when I officially celebrated my birthday. It was a bit of a disaster for Chris, because she had an emergency meeting after work and didn't get to the restaurant until nearly 11 pm! Of course, we'd been there since 9.30, so we'd finished by the time she got there. Oh well, the dangers of having your own business.

Here's one of the presents I got at the restaurant. I know from looking at it you might think cologne (I got that too). That's what I thought at first was in the bottles. One of those lovely bottles contains oil and the other one vinegar. I received so many nice gifts, which I won't list in detail. One of them came from my sister Jackie. She sent a necklace with a stone that matches my ring. The necklace arrived a few minutes after another 'present'.

Don't they say bad things come in threes, it never rains but it pours, etc.? Not too long ago it was a short circuit and problems with the alarm. On Tuesday my printer stopped printing. The only thing it wanted to do was eat the paper. Now I'm pretty technically-minded and patient, so I tried and tried to get it working again. By Thursday, I'd decided the only solution was to get a new one, since it would almost certainly have cost more to have it repaired than to get a new one. That's the 'present' that arrived. I finally got a wifi printer!

Hope everybody enjoyed their Thanksgiving dinners. I can't believe it's coming, it's coming! Christmas is but a few weeks away. Hopefully next Monday I'll have off and can start some preparations. It must be so difficult for those who've been off work to face Monday. Hope it isn't as bad as you imagine and your week is even better.   

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Short Shorts

After a short debate with myself, short shorts is the title I've chosen for this week's post. Firstly because I've had a very ordinary week with not much going on, I've decided to minimize my blog. Ordinary can be good, don't you think?

I finally decided to get my hair cut this past week. Since my university days, I've worn my hair short. I know I should go to the hairdresser's more often as it is, but I generally find some excuse to leave it until it's impossible to do anything with it. When I called to make an appointment for Tuesday morning, I thought I'd dialled the wrong number as a male voice came onto the line. He assured me that yes I'd called the right number, so finally, after so many years going to the same hairdresser's, I get my hair cut by a male hairdresser. I've always said that I prefer to have my hair cut by a man, because they understand when I say I want my hair short and that it is, short short. I don't think he's been a hairdresser for long. It took him about 45 minutes to cut my hair, but I'm pleased with the results.

Today is my birthday as perhaps those of you who are on facebook are aware. My photo shows a lovely warm jacket from my friend Cielo. I don't really need another jacket as jackets and coats are like others' shoe addiction. In other words, I have too many. I love the colour though, and it's reversible. Our weather has warmed up some so that it's a bit too warm for the jacket at the moment.

For all of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a safe enjoyable holiday. I won't be having turkey and dressing until Christmas (I hope). I've chosen a Greek restaurant to celebrate my birthday with friends. 

I do ask those of you who pray to pray for my friend June. She's having tests. She was at first diagnosed as having a bladder infection. Now doctors think it might be kidney stones. I know how worried she is. 

Wishing all a happy Thanksgiving and week. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Fireworks and Other Sparks

I know that November is a special month. After all it's my birth month, Thanksgiving for some and Guy Fawkes Night, which is where the fireworks come in or they should. Instead, I woke up during the night on Monday to sparks coming out of the wall near the fuse box. The show seemed to go on for a couple of minutes before it finally stopped.

To say last week was a difficult week for me is putting it mildly. By the time Wednesday rolled around, I'd had first the technician from the alarm company in as there was a conflict between the alarm and my internet connection. It's the second time they've been in to solve the problem between the alarm and the fiber optics connection. In the end, he put in a new alarm. That was Tuesday morning and the day it was raining buckets, so you can imagine between the repairs and the rain what my floors looked like.

 When the electrician came to fix my short circuit on Wednesday, I was already without lights in the living room and bedroom and this left me without a landline phone, internet and the bloomin' alarm. The alarm kept reminding me every so often that there was a failure. I was freezing, because last week was wet and cold and I couldn't put on the heating. I was shivering more from fear of how much the repairs were going to cost. At first, the electrician said I'd need a new box, which in the end he decided wasn't necessary after he'd repaired the burnt wires. Best of all, the repairs were free as I would only have to pay the materials. So for now I've got electricity, phone and internet. The bad part here is these aren't free.

Kris in a comment on my post last week asked about the winters in Madrid. I know this sounds strange given the dry summers with extremely low humidity levels, but I actually find the winters colder in Madrid than the ones I remember from Kentucky, and I think it's because the humidity goes up in the winter. At this moment we have 75% humidity that we'd almost never see in the summer. At least today we've got some sun mixed in with the clouds.

Hope next week I have more pleasant topics to write about. It would be wonderful if I always had exciting things to share, but that doesn't often happen. I know some of you think that what you have to say isn't interesting, so you stay away. I'm always happy to see when you've posted something. No matter how dull my week has been, I enjoy sitting down and writing about it.

Wishing everyone a pleasant week ahead. I know how busy some are going to be soon. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Duvet's On The Bed!

Who would have guessed just a week ago when people were still sitting outside at night having dinner in restaurants that this week would be hurry up and put the winter quilt on the bed and put on the heat! Well, autumn has finally made an appearance, and it looks like it's here to stay for a while.

Most British people call this kind of quilt a continental quilt. It was one of my purchases when I went to England years ago. At that time nobody knew what they were in Spain. I've slept under electric blankets but much prefer a continental quilt, although maybe an electric blanket is easier to control. The continental quilt uses your body heat to keep you warm, so I've discovered wearing more clothes to bed doesn't make me so hot. I've managed to find a couple of covers for it that aren't too 'loud' as they tend to be sometimes. The only problem there is the company I got them from no longer exists.

Tomorrow is a holiday for most I suppose - not for me as I have class in the afternoon. I won't complain too much, because most of my friends work on Saturdays. The problem with this is when we have lunch together on Saturdays, like yesterday, it's always after 3 p.m. It was good to see our friend Judy who just got back from the US. Too bad she missed the verotoƱo, or all that lovely weather, here.

I have to share a funny story with you before I call it quits for this week. On Fridays, I sometimes have coffee with my friend Cielo. I saw she had some lovely roses and asked her who had bought them for her. She told me she'd bought them for herself and the two bunches of 8 of the small buds only cost 2 euros. That's 1 euro for 8 roses! I told her I'd seen a report on TV about this 'miracle' creme selling in the supermarket Lidl for 2 euros, and, of course, people were fighting to buy it. The supermarket was limiting 4 jars per customer. You can't imagine the number of people waiting for the supermaket to open! She laughed and said she saw the roses in the next shop when she'd stopped in at Lidl's to buy that creme. Sadly, but logically, the shelves were empty of the 'miracle' creme. If you find it, it's called Cien Q10. 

Hope you enjoyed my story and that you have a good week too.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Getting Ready for Winter

The other day when I was reading my friend Terri's post, I remembered a funny 'nightmare' I'd had the night before. I was travelling somewhere, though I don't know where. A taxi had been called and was waiting for me at the top of a steep hill. Oh how I love climbing hills - not! Since the taxi had arrived, I was hurrying to leave, but remembered to grab my Kindle. Then someone told me it was going to get cold. I, of course, was dressed for summer and hadn't bothered taking a jacket or coat. Wherever my destination was, I found one of my old jackets there, so I at least had something to keep me warm.

When I first came to Spain and lived in a building with central heating, the heating was always turned on the first day of November and went off the last day of March no matter what the temperature was, which almost always was still too cold to be without heating of some kind. Now I don't have central heating, but haven't had to put the heating on yet, but it's just a matter of days before it'll start getting cold inside too.

As you can see from my photo, I've started taking out my winter clothes, washing what needs washing and ironing that pile you see on the right. This is just part of it, but I'll leave some for tomorrow night or Tuesday. That's one of my warmest pullovers hanging there. I don't need to iron it, but the only way I could get a good shot of it was hang it up temporarily. My friend Chris made it for me more than 20 years ago, and it's still in perfect condition even if it has stretched a bit. I don't mind that at all, because it covers my butt. As for the ironing unless it's something that just needs a touch-up, I can only do it if I'm listening to music. How do you make ironing less boring?

Our Indian meal to celebrate Chris's birthday was okay. This particular restaurant is popular and always full I suppose because it's very chic, but it's also more expensive and the service is extremely slow. For some reason the owner, who is Aborigine from Australia is the only one who takes the orders. On Wednesday night it was nice enough for people to still have dinner outside, so logically there were more people than usual, with all the tables outside full too. Another problem we had was that one of our friends didn't see the message about the Wednesday night celebration. I felt bad about that, but posted the message to our group on Whatsapp. Like Terri, I'm so looking forward to having the time to do what I want to do. Maybe I can organize the gatherings better then.

I'm sure my post next week will include something about the cold weather. As a matter of fact, the mountains will get some snow on Tuesday and we'll be getting some rain. Good-by sunshine, hello darkness. The time change has brought us night at 6 p.m. anyway. Still, hope we all have a good week.