Sunday, 26 July 2015

Goodbye July, You Were Hot!

Who doesn't remember as a child thinking Christmas was never coming, or who didn't enjoy those long long summer holidays? Well, the other day I posted on a friend's page on facebook that there were only 50 Saturdays until Christmas. Now it's either 49 or 48. 

Also some schools in Kentucky are starting the first week of August. That is so early! One of my sisters and one of my cousins posted about Ohio's no sales tax offers for school supplies and clothes starting the 7th (I believe) and lasting a few days. What a good idea! Most of my cousins on the Smith side live in Kentucky across the Ohio River, so hope their families can take advantage.

Because July has been so hot (and June before that), I can't say I've got a lot accomplished this past week. Here's my bottled lavender oil (that I've also shared on facebook). I mentioned earlier in the week that I was waiting for the alcohol in it to evaporate. One of my cousins suggested heating it. The recipe said to let it sit for about a week. I don't know about you, but I like to do what the recipe says - at least the first time I make something. Besides, heating it might ruin it somehow.

 I managed to do more de-cluttering, and that's my plan for when I finish here. I will have to agree with my friend Loretta who says there will always be some clutter in her house. There will be in mine too. I found a bottle of Martini that I know came from my other house at the very back of a cupboard. I'll bet it's over 20 years old, but has never been opened. I'll be giving that to my friend Chris.

Chris, Jenny and I went to the Chinese for our last meal with Jenny of the summer. She's off to England until the 5th, and then she and her husband are finally going to the States in September. I say finally, because they always go on these adventure holidays. Well, they are going to visit Yogi, so that will be an adventure I hope. 

Chris was talking about the telling off she got at the doctor's. She said she'd gained half a kilo since the last visit and hadn't been eating a lot because when it's hot most people don't eat as much as they normally would in the winter. Jenny and I both agreed we hadn't lost weight either. Jenny says she's big-boned, which for me isn't the same as overweight and Chris is. I really think Jenny is at most a size 8 (British size 10), because she gave me a lovely jacket a few years ago and I had to give it to one of my younger sisters.

I didn't intend to ramble on so much. Hope everyone is enjoying a restful Sunday and the coming week is good.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Little White Lie

Last week I promised to let you know if scrunching up newspaper and placing it in a smelly plastic container would get rid of those horrible smells. Well... it did somewhat, but not completely. At least the newspaper smelled like the plastic after a couple of days. I added vinegar and let the container sit for a while before washing it again. In the end, I put some food scraps in it and threw it away. So that's my white lie! I didn't try anything else and just threw it away.

You never know if something is going to work until you try it. Here's one that I know works. It's one I forgot to mention last week since I was obsessed with the plastic container. To view your photos on Google +, it's not necessary to go to your Google page. Type in and it takes you directly to your photos. My friend Terri shared some hacks on facebook the other day, and one of them was storing a tub of cottage cheese upside down in the fridge to keep it longer. I said that wouldn't be useful for me, because I could eat the whole tub in one sitting. I love cottage cheese that much. It's something that I've loved since I was little, and it's something whose taste or size hasn't changed.
Yesterday was one of the best days we've had this summer. I went out at a time that I don't usually if I can help it. You know what they say about mad dogs and Englishmen. I had looked up the times and places that the Town Council comes around to collect items like used or old oil, used printer cartridges, mobile phones, etc. I saw that they would be at the bullring on Tuesday between 1.30 and 3 pm and a few more places within walking distance. One of the places was on the corner of a park near my house - the one that Zara and I used to go to. Okay I was looking at a PDF file, but it said the van would be there between 12.00 and 1.30, so I went out at about 12.30. I saw nothing that looked like a van where I could leave what I'd chosen to get rid of. According to the file, they didn't operate in August, but it's still July, isn't it? This is the photo I took last night at about 9.30 pm when I went out to throw away some more paper. It was the first time we'd seen clouds for quite a while. You could tell the weather was nice because all the benches were occupied, and the outdoor cafés were full.

Speaking of outdoor cafés, I suppose I'll meet up with friends Chris and Cathy tomorrow at the one round the corner since they've installed a cooling system. I don't know if you have this system in your outdoor cafés. A lot of the bars and restaurants here have installed them where a mist of cool water shoots out and brings down the temperature. Then in the winter the bars have heaters for those who want to sit out, especially smokers.

Enough for this week. Hope everyone has had a good weekend and a good new week ahead.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

Hacks and Books

If only I'd known this before! I don't know if this works, but it's worth a try. It's too late for my laptop as it's on its second battery which doesn't hold a charge for very long now, so the computer is always connected. I do this sometimes with my ipad, but don't know if it works. I do know that if you charge Apple products in airplane mode, they charge quicker.
I forgot the 'before' photo on this plastic container (called 'tupper' here in Spain). Okay, I don't need more plastic containers, but I don't like throwing them out if they can be used again. The 'before' photo would have shown a big sticky label. You know one of those that could be soaked and scraped for a week, and you'd still have globs of glue on it. I removed as much of the paper as possible and then covered the label with my homemade Goo Gone (an oil and baking soda paste), leaving it on overnight. The next morning I wiped off the paste and washed the container. Now there's another problem. The container still smells like what was in it before. Here's the solution:

Place wadded up newspaper inside and leave overnight. Although it did smell better this morning, I think I'll leave it another night. If that fails to get the smell out, I'll try something different. After all this effort, I'm not throwing it away!

What takes zero effort on my part is reading. I've spent a good deal of my life doing that ever since I learned how to. These are two of the books that I've reviewed on goodreads and given 5 stars to.

 Margeret's Ark by Daniel G. Keohane is about a woman named Margaret and many others like her who have dreams in which they are instructed by angels to build arks; each ark is to hold 30 people and no animals, and the instructions as to where and how  the arks are to be constructed are very precise as is the date the arks are to be finished. Yes, Margaret is a religious person, but don't be fooled in thinking it's only about religion or you have to be a believer. Even an atheist has a heart I hope.

All the Dancing Birds by Auburn McCanta is about a woman who finds herself the victim of alzheimer's in her late 50's. Whether it's a sad movie or story, I tend to cry and I did in this book. Alzheimer's is an evil sad disease that always causes pain for both the sufferers and their families Even though you don't know these people personally, you feel for them.

What impressed me about the writings of these two authors is that this is the first novel for both, and, in my humble opinion, the two are well written. The main characters in both novels are widows too. I'll be looking forward to reading more from these two writers.

Speaking of arks, I've seen a funny caption with two cats that says something like: Noah called and he's picking us up. Another one with a skeleton looking out the window that says: Waiting for the rain to stop. We have the same old story here with extremely high temperatures, only I keep my shades pulled down. The other night, a friend who is going through menopause said she could no longer go to places without air conditioning. I must remember to tell her to keep a light jacket with her at all times when they go to the US this September. I freeze in places there, especially restaurants and supermarkets. 

Hope everyone has had a good week despite the weather and the coming week is just as good. Until next time.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Orange Is The New Hot

The other day I was reading a fun little blog called The Square Peg. The theme of that day's post was terrorists, and not perhaps the kind that you may be associating with the word 'terrorist'. In the author's story (and he is a professional writer), the terrorists were a couple of mockingbirds that were attacking people and this my friends was the 'breaking news' he was watching on his local channel until the signal was lost, which was too bad as by then there was an alligator moving up behind the reporter. A dangerous place to live I fear!

Before I get to the point of  'my story', let me say how much I enjoy S. Stoner Bradley's 'The Square Peg'. The posts are lol's. Anyway before reading about the mockingbirds, my story is that I'd just got an e-mail from the embassy saying they'd raised the threat level to 'high', which is not surprising after the recent attacks on France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Somalia. Also earlier I'd read a joke about a squirrel that attacked a motorcyclist. Of course, the title I've given this post also refers to the weather. It's best not to look at the daily 100º + temperatures in store for us continuing, I guess, as long as we don't get anything, like a storm or air from Norway or somewhere similar,  to cool things down. I don't know what you think, but I think these are a lot of coincidences, and don't pay any attention when I say not to look at the temperatures all the time, because I do. Last night my phone said we had electrical storms in the area. They must have been silent and invisible, and there was certainly no rain to be seen, only cloud cover.

What else is orange? Well, the gazpacho and the sauce from the meatballs I had yesterday at the restaurant I go to with friends. I stopped by on Tuesday morning to order the meatballs. You know this is the place that some of us have been going to for years. The new people who have taken the place over after the owners retired will surely do well if they continue treating their customers as well as we've been treated. By the way, if you've seen the photo of gazpacho on my facebook page, mine usually comes out red and not orange.

In my last post, I mentioned weighing the necklace I got. With the chain, it weighs almost half a pound. I say almost, because my kitchen scales are in grams.

That about does it for today. Hope everyone's 4th of July weekend has been good. Have a good week.