Sunday, 25 January 2015

My Cold and Flu Trial Remedies

I don't know about you, your family and friends, but it seems to me that just about everyone has either a strong cold or the flu that doesn't seem to want to let go of their victims. I doubt that the air we city dwellers breathe helps us get better either. It's always good when we have rain or it's windy to help reduce the stagnant air.  Here are two of my home remedies to try out.

The first one is Vicks shower disks, a recipe I found either on Facebook or Pinterest. I got about a dozen disks out of the recipe I used. In theory you're supposed to put the disk on the shower floor when you take a shower. That way, with the steam from the hot water, the vapours should help you breathe better. I gave some to two of my friends. The first friend couldn't even smell the disks when she opened the jar. Because the smell is really strong, that tells you how unwell she is. Both say they're going to put the disks in a pan of water instead of in the shower. Well, whatever works.
Then here are my sweets for sore throats with honey, lemon, sugar, ginger and a bit of cloves. This is something that I saw on Facebook and decided to try. They, unfortunately, didn't come out as hard as they should, and I had to sprinkle lots of powdered sugar on them before I put them in the tin. I was uncertain about the results, because I have problems with fudge hardening too. I should have known when some of the drops started spreading. Madrid is 600 metres above sea level, so things cook differently sometimes. Another drawback to being so high up is that you tire easier than you do at sea level. I always notice a difference in my level of energy when I go to the US. I guess it could be that I'm on holiday too.

As I write this, I'm touching wood that I haven't come down with a virus yet. I did develop a cold sore though (that's a virus!), so that tells me my immune system is weak. Maybe fighting off all those germs and other viruses? Thank goodness for Carmax and the cold sore salve I got from Kathy. 

One thing I want to mention before I call it quits is a text message that I received this week from a friend. The text mentions a whole list of cold and flu medicines, among them Benadyrl and Contac, which supposedly all contain the ingredient Fenipropalamina. This ingredient the text claims has caused deaths due to bleeding on the brain and has been prohibited by the FDA, and the text warns people in Spain not to buy medicines with it in them. One that I use sometimes is called Frenadol, and it's not on the list. Although Frenadol contains caffeine, it makes me sleepy, so I have to be careful how I use it. As I say, I don't know if the message I received is true or not. I suppose I could do some research on it. I sure haven't seen it on any of the pages I consult in English.

I also suppose I'm rambled on enough for now. Hope everyone has a good last week of January, and don't forget those in need of prayers.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

No Snow Yet!

On Friday I posted on facebook that we were to get some snow in Madrid today. Some expert from the weather service was even quite certain we would. Well, so far the only precipitation we've received in the capital is a bit of rain, which is good too since it helps to clear the atmosphere. Of course, it's not too late in the day or later night for the rain to turn into snow.

For now I have to be content with an old photo taken in our Retiro Park of people skating on the frozen lake with the Glass Palace in the background. This brings back memories of when we were little and weren't at all frightened of skating on the frozen pond on the farm where we lived. The pond must have been well- frozen like the lake in the old photo, because I don't remember any of us breaking through the ice. Unlike these people, we didn't have ice skates though.

Nothing much exciting going on in my part of the world. It was discovered earlier in the week that one of the terrorists had been in the Madrid airport with his wife and another man the day before the attack in Paris. He drove back to France the same day while his wife and the other person flew to Turkey. The authorities have no record of them having stayed in a hotel. Then early Thursday morning a 20-year-old who said he loved living to the limit over shot that limit when he fell from an iron railing that he was trying to walk along onto the  path of a train. His friend attempted to rescue him, but by the time he got to him it was too late. Too much alcohol and not enough common sense. No good news there.

I did get my new washing machine finally on Tuesday by which time I had two loads ready for it. When the men who brought and installed it took out the old one, a trail of water came out everywhere. The lady who cleans our building had already mopped the hall outside my door at that time, so she probably wasn't too pleased. I mopped up the mess inside and then I mopped the hall. At the time she cleans it's almost impossible that someone isn't coming in or going out. 

The other day I discovered some cool tricks for framing photos on the internet. I think it was on Unskinny Boppy that I follow on facebook. The original photo I used was of a forest in autumn. For me the photo almost looks like a painting. On top of this photo I placed a note which I had recently received from my friend Kathy in Missouri. She makes her own lovely paper. What do you think? Do you like it? I find all kinds of good tips on the internet.
I can't think of anything else to add except my uncle, who is a World War II veteran, celebrated his 93rd birthday yesterday. My sister Jackie and lots of my cousins were there to help celebrate. And if we do get snow in Madrid, I'll let you know. Take care and have a good week.   

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Yellow Rose

On Friday evening I opened the facebook page to a photo which initially brought me joy until I read what was written under the photo. It was a photo dedicated to a friend who had recently passed away. Although I knew she was critically ill thanks to another friend, I was unprepared to hear about her death.

I've 'known' Diana since the days of Y360. She was one of the first persons I added to my friends' list on that social platform. Then when Yahoo decided to shut down Y360, we 'met' again on Multiply, and when it closed we had facebook in common.

Over the years, we exchanged life experiences, stories (we are both baby boomers) and I always enjoyed reading her poems and The Simple Woman's Daybook post. She was just that - a simple and wonderful person who will be missed by those who were lucky enough to know her in person and those who knew her on the internet. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. Rest in peace, Diana.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Last Day of 2014

In my younger (wild?) days, I used to always go to parties, and I mean parties, on New Year's Eve. With my group of friends, we'd go to a party of someone that one of us knew. Then when we got tired of that party, or we'd hear of another party, we'd leave. Certainly nothing like young people nowadays who want to attend macro parties with thousands of people and, in my opinion, horrible music.

Home is the best place to be, because there are too many noise makers going off. I feel bad for the poor animals who suffer from all the bangers and fireworks of these days. My Zara didn't want to go out at this time of year. The most she would go was round the block.

So here's my New Year's Eve now. While I'm preparing dinner, I have the annual Madrid Marathon on TV. It's a 10-kilometre run with both amateur and professional athletes. The race for the runners for fun starts well before the one with trained runners. This runner from Kenya won. I think it's almost always someone from this part of the world who wins.

While I'm preparing dinner, I set the table and drop a couple of candles in glasses of water to make the table more festive. At this time I also prepare my 12 grapes which are the custom to eat at the stroke of 12 a.m.

This New Year's Eve I tried duck a l' orange without the sauce since the duck I bought was already seasoned (yes it was a bit dry), and the orange is mandarin. I usually make a chocolate pudding cake for dessert, but this year I opted for just ice-cream. Then, of course, it was cider to toast the new year, which I prefer to cava (champagne).

So there you have my last day of the old year - not that I went to bed early. The only way to do that in Spain is to wear very good ear plugs. I spent some time on facebook and sending messages on Whatsapp, then reading until I got sleepy and things were quieter outside.

One unusual thing that happened on Christmas Eve during the King's speech was a fireball was seen crossing the Spanish sky from the south to the north. Then on the 2nd, two tragic things happened. One, a man from Somalia I think, pushed a 28-year-old national policeman in front of an approaching underground train, killing the policeman and the man who pushed the policeman is (or was) in serious condition, because he fell too. I usually stay away from the TV and the news at the weekends, so I don't know his condition. The second event was a man in the train station who claimed he had a bomb. It turned out to be just a water bottle the man with mental problems was carrying in his backpack, but it caused a great deal of panic and the station had to be evacuated. Two horrible acts that witnesses will not soon forget.

Tomorrow I think I'll start taking down my decorations. I'll have to start the new year with a new washer too. My washer of 15 years has said enough is enough. My intention was to get a new one after I'd had my flat re-done. Anyway, hope everyone who reads this had a good holiday and a good first full week of the new year.