Monday, June 30, 2008


Can I just say that I really love spending the day with my kids, and my family and my friends?

What a fantastic day.

Now if only the Man were here.

And Chuck.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

sailing again

Went sailing again today, it looked like it was going to be horrid...20 knots of wind and too little crew, but there was another man there, he was in his mid-seventies who totally whipped us at some of the heavy work....*blush*

It was a whole lot of fun in the end, though the weather looked very grim, it turned out great...and the girls went off to see Get Smart, which was pretty funny I am told.

Again, hot faced, wind burned, hair mussed and bone tired, a fun day.

And Spain beat Germany for the European title!!!!

Wahoo! Bet there are fireworks going off in Spain today!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Twitter and computers (grr) and SAILING!!!

Did you see that twitter thingy over there on the right? I'm having fun with the new cell phone, and since the d*mn computer decided to disable the wireless, I have been off line...I'm on a friend's computer. I have to say that one from work is making me NUTS. It won't go on line and when it does it cuts me off, and I cannot download a google tool bar nor am I going to manage my photos?

I hate big brotherdom that won't let me into the machine. I'm using a friend's machine right now, the only work around I could come up with.

The twitter is some cool, isn't it? It's a website you join, and then you can put in text from your laptop (meh) or from your phone with a text message (hehehehehe) I've got it set up sp that they go off to the blog...which is nice cuase if I am off line for a while I can still put up some little notes, and say hi to the boots huh...

On a much brighter note I went SAILING today!!!!

How great is that?

Though I have to say that the hill walking in Spain is not setting me up for an easy time on a boat where almost all of the work is upper body work. (puff Puff) Today was a bit of a work out to say the least, and my hair is a mess, my fingers feel stiff, my face feels sunned and warm and greasy from the lotion, and my arms are kind of heavy.

What a great day.

The girls and a friend and my folks and I all had dinner after - the kids didn't go sailing - what a lovely day. The kids are all sleeping over in one room, I can hear them chatting right now....

Anyway, hope you had a great day, I did.

This is really weird, on firefox, I have twitter, but I am missing two posts. On Safari I have all the posts but only the banner for twitter, on internet explorer, everything is in CAPTIALS like I am yelling at you all the time, though all the posts are there, if a little loud, but no sidebar at all....what are you seeing? Please let me know....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

'puter blues

You know,

Computers are kind of a mixed blessing. They are really handy, don't get me wrong, I love mine. Whichever one it is.

They can also frustrate the living frog poop out of you.

This has been my problem at home, the folks we live with have wifi, and I C.O.U.L.D. not get it to configure. I was SOOOO frustrated.

Then, tonight,





Good day all around in fact, hope yours was too.

And, tomorrow's FRIDAY!!!!!

Now that is something to shout about.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I lost a laptop....

Well, yesterday's post got delayed cause I kinda lost the laptop!

This is something that requires a certain skill it would seem.

I left the office with my lunch bag, my camera bag, my bag with all the notes, and a variety of other mixed bits and pieces, along with the computer bag. There was a lady cleaning and vacuuming in the hall, I went out to the car, put everything in the back, the phone rang, a man and his kid was going by, I took a carton out of the back of the car and headed off to schlep it into my workplace...I was parked right near the door but around the corner. I left the trunk open.

This is a very private and very empty parking lot and the man and the four year old come here every worries.

I get in through the door security and dump the box there, return for another bag...close the trunk, go back into work (with the fob) open about seven other doors, stagger past the lady and her vacuum about four times with the various boxes and bags I need to carry in...

Go back out to the car, and drive most of the way home - about an hour. I get to the grocery store, internally cursing the stupid clear window hatch-back without one of those screen-y things the rental company gave me because I am going to have to haul the computer bag and my work bag, along with the camera around the grocery store with me as I cannot leave them in the car.

I hopped out of the car, opened the trunk and stood dumbfounded and deeply horrified...staring into the back.

No computer.


The possibilities were that I had:

a) left it in the office.
b) put it down in the parking lot and driven away.
c) the man had stolen it, but I was gone so little time and four year olds are notorious for standing around loudly saying things like, "Why did you take that bag from the lady's car?" I was only gone a second, and he comes here every day...
d)...there is no d. Scotty teleported it out of my trunk while I was stuck in traffic.

My choices were to
a) get back in the car and drive an hour and a half back to work, look around, probably set off the terrible security system they have, then drive an hour back after talking to the police because I set off the alarm.
b) call someone.
c) go home and hope for the best.
d) stand weeping in the parking lot at Price Choppers

I couldn't find any of the numbers I would have needed, so I went home after buying my groceries. I briefly considered d, but decided to wait on that one.

Geez Louise....

It was an old 'puter, my workplace has a surplus of the things, and it had no files on it, so there was no real urgency, aside from the fact that I had lost the darned thing.

I have to confess the tension built as I approached my building this morning.

Would it be there, or was I in for a very unpleasant day.

I left it in the office.

Thank goodness.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Of cars and work and snakey times

Hey! Started work today...OMG!!!

Everyone was WAY more, ummm, tense than me...I'm picking up speed though.

We've settled into the friend's house we stay in when we're here in TO, and I am sitting here with my incredibly cool friend showing her how to blog...she can do she'll say hi:

Well, I fed my snake tonight...he's a corn snake...he's orange and red and brown
and my son called him Oregana II....

I asked her why and she says it has to do with a snake story.....

He's called Oregana II, cause we bought a snake and when we brought him home in the car and he escaped....we tried everything to find him, took the car apart as much
as we could, and left a stinking blanket with dead mice in it for two nights
(snakey heaven *peeueeww*) The Snake Man told us he would probably have left the car after two days, but three weeks later there was this smell....we were up north to the cottage and so we took the car apart, low and behold, we found Oregano I....he was not (thankfully) decomposed, we removed him all in one piece, and intered him with a ceremony under a tree....

The Snake Man had packaged him badly (no sh*t Sherlock) and felt he was responsible and so he gave us another - well packaged - snake to take home with us.

Meet Oregana II...

Sorry folks no photo, maybe tomorrow...

The girls were playing with him tonight...he is quite lovely.

Have a snakey evening if that's what suits you...

See ya later.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I got a new cell phone last year, not very long before we went back to Spain. I have to say that my one quick run through of the 200 page manual 11 months ago is not really standing me in good stead right now.

Don't get me wrong, I can make a call and receive one, if anyone called me, but I am having a few problems picking up my messages, I took a photo, and discovered a calendar, I even managed to look at my blog on line with it (how much THAT cost I haven't figured out); but darn it all, it took me five tries to save a new phone number.

The jet lag that is leaving me about as intelligent, witty and inspiring as an aging grey and stinking dish-cloth is not helping of course.

If I could only figure out where I left the manual last year. And our bedding, and our bits and pieces of clothes.

I found my cowboy hat though, and that is certainly very important.

"Soc felic (I am happy)"

Eldest just went by (at 5:40 am, the joys of jetlag) with her breakfast.

"I've got maple flavoured cheerios, pie and chocolate milk!"

The joys of Grandparent's house.

We'd only be able to get the chocolate milk in Spain.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hellos are pretty cool though

Well, we're here...less the man, the dog and my paintings....

I slept in a tent last night on my folk's terrace, and a very very comfy night it was, the flights were dreadful...late late and later including an OJ style gallop through the airport to catch our connection that was then late as well...ho hum.

We've been to the library, have I mentioned just how much I LOVE the Toronto Public library???

I went and bought that too much info? Sorry, but I've never had girly bras before, and that was kind of to get the man over here....

The girls have gone swimming, youngest has done some carpentry with her grandfather, and now they're baking a pie.

Jet lag isn't so much fun, but it's getting better.


Oh, sorry, was I saying something?

I've got the cell phone up and working again, the same number as always for those of you who know it....I had a brief exchange with the cell phone company who did not want to change my plan until the billing date, which wasn't until the 6th. I was not prepared to pay 25 cents a minute for the next 20 days, and pointed out that they needed to come up with a solution or I would simply go elsewhere.

That worked.

Man I am bagged though. *gasp*

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Good byes suck

It was my last day at work, and the kid's last day at school.

Good byes are hard.

It is a shame they have to happen at the end.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The man

The man is going to have to get his own blog. Really. You see, he's now telling me what I should post about, coming up with ideas so to speak, and then today, he and elPadawan have gotten chatting. It's pretty cool, and a charming end to (another) irritating day.

Shall we just say that I spent 8 hours today waiting and in transit for about 10 minutes visit time with two seperate doctors, all mostly useless.

Ho hum.


The man REALLY wants me to talk about this, and I kind of agree it shows potential.

Now, when you go to the library, assuming the lovely library ladies (and gentlemen) have been doing their work properly, when you look at the spines of the books, the titles are all either right way up, or all facing the same direction, so that as you read your head veers from being in it's normal upright position to a tip to the right to make it easier to read.

All very sensible (and honestly not something I ever consciously noticed before, but he's that kind of guy)

Now here is where things get cultural and quirky...apparently (I still haven't noticed this at all, but I am taking his word for it) apparently, the titles in Catalan are every which way, so as you scan the book spines sometimes your head is upright, sometimes it is tilted left and sometimes right...if you are really speed-reading I assume there would be some danger of library induced whip-lash (a whole new class of nerdy injuries opening up...hey maybe even a class action suit against the Catalan publishing industry...then again that and a Euro fifty will get you a cup of coffee)

Maybe the Catalans just are worried about their readers getting stiff necks from always tilting their heads in the same direction and it is a subtle management technique to keep the necks of Catalan readers smooth and supple...who knew?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Original and photocopy.

I am down to the last panicky hours of prep time, between work, two seperate doctors appointments in two seperate cities, plus packing and errands before we can go....


I may arrive with every pair of underwear I own dirty. (Mom, I won't do laundry at your house, I can wait, I promise.)

Ah well.

We managed to submit the Spanish taxes today, thanks enormously to a friend who helped to fill them out, then I completely blew my cool.

When we got home there were three seperate registered letters for the girls and I informing us that we are required to go to the town hall every two years with all of our papers so they can check up on us. Like we are freaking criminals or something.

I am offended.

I asked some co-workers if they had to do this in the US...NO.

I have all my papers, I am legally allowed to be here, but every two years, I need to show up.

I am pissed.

Especially as I need to bring in the originals of the documents, and -you guessed it-photocopies of all the documents.

I may slip a photocopy of my *ss in with it, and that same document about wasting paper, the one that confused the school secretary.

I am really angry about this one. I didn't go today, I would have given them a very unpleasant piece of my mind. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I think about it.


Monday, June 16, 2008

8 things meme from Hula.

1. My family
2. Sailing
3. Travel
4. Raising my kids to be open-minded and open-hearted
5. Living at a sane pace
6. Good food
7. Good friends
8. Kindness.

*whew* that was easier than I thought it would be...wait, there's more....


1. Walk the Camino de Santiago de compostela
2. Live on the boat again
3. Paint more
4. Raise my kids
5. (keep on) Hang(ing) out with the man
6. Live like a semi-hermit in the country with the man for a year
7. Spend a year north of the Arctic circle
8. (Keep on) Leap(ing) at opportunities.


Ignoring the Catalan phrases that are creeping into my vocab...

1. ALRIGHT...actually said to myself, but a signal to the kids that heads are about to roll. It is very effective, even though initially unconscious.
2. Do the best you can with what you've got.
3. Love you.
4. Hurry up!!! Usually delivered at something of a screech. I am a mom, give me a break here.
5. A variety of swear words.
6. All manner of embarrassing frankness about boys and sex and all that stuff...Eldest has to suffer.
7. (I wish anyone was up so I could ask them) Oh, We're you born in a barn? No you weren't. I should know, I was there.
8. Stop complaining. (sad but true)

I have excluded the guttural groan I produce when mediating stupid meaningless argument number 7843 between the girls. And when for the 7844th time I ask if they are being kind, and if they could just stop being unkind, they would probably see their way through the problem.


This is trickier as I am rather orphaned for books here...let me think.
I am going to include what I am reading now...

1. Influencer, which is frankly kind of disappointing. Way to self help-y, not what I thought it would be at all, though still interesting and probably useful.
2. Spinsters Abroad by I know not who as it is under my pillow and the man has gone to bed. She is telling us WAY to much, and showing us WAY to little, despite that it is meh, OK.
3. The Blank Slate by Stephen Pinker.
4. Sota el cel de Tushita in Catalan
5 The letters of Vincent Van Gogh, abridged, again, in with the man so author unknown
6 The Yellow House by ???? I lent it to a student.
7 Oh ohoh...what book is that? YES.... Mother Tongue: the English Language, by Bill Bryson. That took WAY too long, I lent it to a student too and had to look it up on Amazon UK...if you're reading this guys, I don't like the new design, it should be WAY easier to find my own wish list...
8. Gosh...hmm, I should make something up... Do the books I am reading to the kids count? OH, here's one, Traditional Painting in Oils, sent to me by Nomad...sorry no link, it's late and she's on the sidebar.


There is not a movie in the world that I have knowingly watched eight or more times. None.

How about


1. I broke into Russia from Poland when Gorbachev was still in power; climbing over the immigration door with machine guns aimed at me. It's true, I wouldn't make this up.
2. Sat in the living room of a PLO member in Jordan admiring her display of weaponry in the glass fronted corner cabinet.
3. Nearly got killed or badly maimed in Denver making naive assumptions about late night safety.
4. Learned from sheep dogs.
5. Worked (sort of) for a week on a freighter up the coast of Australia from Cairns to the Thursday Islands
6. Moved to Spain sight unseen with nothing but an e-mailed job offer, a credit card, a return ticket and two kids. Oh, and the husband.
7. Not a single crazy thing while we were on the boat, we had to be far too careful for that. It's why we're still here having fun. Well, there was that day with the dingy in the inlet for Atlantic City, but it wouldn't rank if the coast guard hadn't come out and I could have bailed some more.
8. Got out of the car to scream and swear at a poor hapless American tourist couple driving insanely dangerously extremely badly and almost causing a huge accident when I had my newborn baby in the car. Small hormonal anger management problem that day. They probably still think Toronto is more dangerous than Detroit and they were lucky to get out of the city alive.

And now for the hard part, tagging 8 other people for this. I’m not good at tagging, so I’ll throw out some names and if you want to play along, okay. If not, I’ll understand. Feel free to adapt this as you chose...

Okay, I’m closing my eyes, turning around and picking……

1. Beth
2. Beth
3. elPadawan
4. Trish
5. I would tag Nomad, but she'll never read it
6. Dawn
7. Lynda
8. Carla

Have fun with it if you want to.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cold water.

Amongst other things today (saw some Picassos, some Miró's etc etc plus we had coffee and icecream in a café on the beach) the girls went swimming in the Med - there are days when my own life leaves me stunned. Look ma! We're in SPAIN!!!!


Back to what I meant to talk about.

There are, to my mind, two types of people.

Forget all the other fancy definitions. There are the divers and the creepers. Youngest is a diver. Want to go swimming but the water's cold? No problem, she's IN. The occasional shudder but basically she gets in. My sister is the same. My folks too by and large, with the occasional groan and splutter.

I however am a creeper and I always have been.

There is a long and frankly agonising series of zones to achingly wet and gasp past on the way into any water below about 90 degrees F....

The feet and ankles, generally no problem.

Getting the backs of the knees in there's a pause.

Then there are the upper thighs, another hurdle....

Then the waist, again I find strong temptation to bail here as the icy water laps around my previously peaceful and toasty warm belly button.

Once that is accomplished then the armpits...*shudder* *yuck* I don't like this, probably the toughest part, I have spent a lot of time on tiptoes with my arms splayed out and up trying to avoid the inevitable.

Then, then, then, the head duck. I have to confess that by the time I am here it is usually OK....

Watching eldest get in today was hilarious, and would have made a great bit of photography as she inched her way past each cosy zone....


I shouldn't criticise though.

I didn't go in past my ankles.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dance class

Hula sent a meme, and I will do it, I promise, it looks like fun...

but not today.

We've attended the end of year program for two seperate dance schools/groups and can I just say that I don't like the sight of small girls all tarted up wearing next to nothing and shaking their booty in highly sexualised ways, I am very glad my kids aren't up there doing that.

Gyrating small girls
+ near nakedness
+ stages
+ highly sexed lyrics and choreography

for me is just.....


Do you hear what I'm saying?

Something looks all wrong with this and I am not sure why I seem to be the only one who thinks so.

Friday, June 13, 2008


As you can see, I am making progress on the paintings, though to my dismay I have just learned that there are two more weeks of the course, rather than one. For the final class, the paintings and I will be on seperate continents.

*ah well*

Youngest had a crisis at school a couple of days ago. One of her closer friends asked her, when all the kids were rearranging their desks, if Youngest would slide her desk in and they could sit together. So there would have been a large group with all the boys, another with all but two of the girls, then mine and her bud; but after the tables were rearranged, and after youngest happily told us about this at lunch, her bud decided to move and sit with the rest of the girls, leaving youngest to sit all by herself for the rest of the afternoon. tear a chunk from my heart.

After an evening of real anger and real sorrow, along with a definite weakening of that friendship, Youngest solved the situation herself and moved her table in with the boys, which she said is more fun anyway, as they don't whine and complain as much.

Getting to be quite the tomboy that one, complete with the scabby knees. Her favourite song right now is sk8r boi...should be an interesting few is neat watching them grow.

I am getting organised slowly, we leave next weekend... I've got one set of taxes done, and the next we're tackling tomorrow, wish us luck as they're in Catalan, I know where we are living this summer, by and large, and have camps, cars, childcare etc. worked out in broad strokes, Eldest is registered in our second choice school next year, and I have finished all the paperwork for my job here, so all I have left at work is teaching and clearing out my space. There is still a formidable list left to tackle, but most of the big jobs are getting done.


Oh! and to add to the excitement - like I haven't got enough going on - one of my language students from here is going to end up staying with us for a month this summer while she studies English in TO! I can't quite leave Spain I guess, I've got to import a little with me, no? She's in her 20's so no parenting required...I wouldn't consider it otherwise.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Went to the dentist yesterday - it's 6:10 am - I have to say, the modern technology just keeps improving the experience. Now, while I cannot say it was a pleasant experience, it wasn't unpleasant either, she used this little water-spraying grindy thing to clean my teeth rather than those dreadful hand tools with the hooks on the end that they periodically jab into your gums, and which make this horrific noise and crunch as they tear things off.

Sorry, hope you've had your coffee already this morning.

You know what the other really pleasant thing was? Her attitude. Now I don't know about you, but my experiences with Canadian dentists has always been that they try to make you feel terribly guilty that you are not using dental floss three times a day, that it has been six months and *gasp* three days since your last visit, and that you do not brush with the perfect (current) technique. Then they top it off with scare tactics saying that if you don't mend your sinful ways, you will end up and agonized and toothless old hag.


Not motivating.

This was nice! She said that I actually have really very clean teeth, a small problem here, it might be better if you try not to scrub so hard when you brush them, cause it's kind of pushing the gums up there, there as a little more tartar over here, you must be missing it, but overall things are great!

It was also only 45 Euros, not $250....

Mostly though, at the end of the day, I felt collaborated with, not brow-beaten and threatened. Maybe it is just me, but I think I am more likely to mend my evil dental ways faster with this approach, though maybe I'm strange that way.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

That was last night, this morning.....

While eating a tortilla for breakfast....

"Look Mom, LOOK!!!!

It's a perfect circle!

I am a cookie cutter shark !!!!"

Rough day again. Sorry.

Am I the only one who feels compelled to do everything they can to ensure their kids are happy, and who feels crappy when they just can't pull it off?

Good lord, I keep whining.


Monday, June 9, 2008

School, decisions, news and painting.

Eldest is officially enrolled in one of the local high schools, not a school I am excited about, which I find a little tough, but..............well..............we'll wait and see.

As I was handing in my thousand and one photocopies (of which I had everything asked for and then some) I also handed them a notice, in Catalan, from the local hydro company about how the excessive use and abuse of paper is harming our world.

Sadly, she just looked confused.


I went in the hills walking the Chuckster...goodness I like having a dog much more than I ever thought would be possible. I was irritated with myself for walking in our beautiful hills with only a week and a half till we leave for the summer, on a spectacular day and having my head down the entire time fussing about all the crap I am trying to deal with right now.

I COULD not get my head to stop talking. I am not a great Buddhist, so what usually works for me is to stop everything and work it through till I have a plan. That is just what I did. There is a lovely rock in the hills, well, there are several, but it is a logical stopping place for us, so I cushioned my head with my jacket and lay back gazing at the branches over my head and said I wouldn't leave till I had a plan. Chuck curled up beside me, all cozied in, and I worked it out.

Aside from the giant bureaucracy chase I am running, this summer is not knitting together neatly at all, and I am feeling very torn by the demands on me. I simply cannot make everyone happy, so what I essentially did was decide WHO I was going to try hardest to help out, who less so, and who to kindly let one fortunately, but I have made some decisions. Then I was OK....I came home and started putting things into place and I am much happier for that. I cannot say that Chuck really contributed to the dialogue, but it was really really nice to have his company.

I am also feeling crappy because we're leaving him here this year, I won't see him for two and a half months and I feel like a jerk. He's going to be really upset.

Enough whinging.

I was also thinking today about various media outlets: the man tends to prefer the traditional media, for the last several years primarily radio...we don't own a TV, newspaper delivery when traveling on a boat is tricky, and the radio is free, and doesn't add to the garbage or recycling.

I chiefly read blogs. A range of blogs. Strangely enough I find I am generally as up to date as he is....maybe not quite as globally, but in the last couple of days I had heard about the heat in Canada and Northern Europe, and I had heard about the upcoming transit strikes in Europe (all but public transit stopped). I also have read insider's reports about the elections and subsequent chaos in Kenya, the goings on in Burkina Faso, and issues pertaining to the American military presence in Iraq.

It is interesting that there is this entire new field of news sources, self-published, self-edited and openly available. If you read widely enough, there is a balance of views from which you can make your decision; I never like simply parroting the editorials, but prefer to look at the primary material and make up my own mind thankyouverymuch. It is fascinating, the un-agenda-ed, or at least micro-agenda-ed writing that you find in blogs. We do not write in fear of the advertiser's opinions, nor the editor's, nor the newspaper or radio station owner's either.

I find it an entrancing sideways slide into what is going on in the world.

Here at last, for me anyway, are some updates on the painting front, and if I can ever get off the bureaucratic paper-chasing merry-go-round, I might actually finish something before I have to leave.

That would be nice.

This one hasn't changed that much, I have toned down the frame and the background, and I have to trim it so it is centered, as the man pointed out..good think I am a teacher not a NASA scientist, or a tool and die maker....

This blue one changed a bit more, please be forgiving these are works in progress. I will be painting a focus piece on, a fish...this is not how I normally work, but this piece is homework for an on-line painting class.

The one below I have dubbed the monster, and I am really going to have to pull something out of the hat to save it, it is very heavily textured and not really laying back at all.

Please remember that they are works in progress and it is kind of making my throat go tight to post the photos up...I am much less happy with the photos than with where I am going to try an make them go, which unfortunately you cannot see.

The painting below I did finish. Eldest called it kitchy, the man said it was top heavy. I really like it; so there. It comes from something I saw while the man and I were walking around in a small town in Andalucia one day this Christmas, so maybe I haven't conveyed that, but I like it.

Do I sound defensive or what?

Time for bed, hope you had a lovely, bureaucracy-free day.


OK...I was going to post photos of the paintings I am working on, and ones I have finished but I have been overwhelmed by the Forces Of Bureaucracy...I am not a happy camper here, so.....

Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen....I am pissed(off). (sorry Mom I know you hate that word, but sometimes....)

The paperwork and bureaucracy in this country are un-frickin'-believable.

I went into town today to look for the Europe-wide health card. I carefully checked the website for the information I needed and then brought in more. I am learning. (what I really need to do is drag the entire f'ing apartment in.)

I couldn't get the man's card, because I needed a photocopy of his DNI, national ID card, which he has to carry everywhere. SO his O.R.G.I.N.A.L. Spanish passport won't no no, has to be a frickin' fotocopìa of his DNI.

I did get mine.

The girls, nononononononononoNO....they need a NIE, the number I have, but they are ineligible for a NIE as they are Canadian, and I have a European passport. So in order to get them this STUPID health card that extends the care they ALREADY HAVE to the rest of Spain and Europe I have to go through the entire application process for residency permission as if they had just got off the boat from Senegal, or flown in from Ecuador, despite the fact that their frickin' father is SPANISH, and they already have HEALTHCARE HERE.

Then I have to go upstairs for a piece of paper, because our real health card number is not actually the number on our health card, and the number on our health card we cannot actually use for anything but the doctors and pharmacies, we need this other number for I don't know what else. Making stupid foreign people go mad I suppose; and horrors, I don't actually know what my real health card number is, which is not the number on my health card, THAT is another number; nor does the rest of my family, nor most Spaniards either.

*breathing deeply*


*snorting smoke out my frickin' nose*

I'm cool with this.

Then I go to the accountant for the Spanish taxes, get a whole new list of required items, my bank book with our entire banking history for the year (feels a mite invasive that), photocopies of the inevitable DNI and NIE (see above), some bank certificate (???), some other certificate from our bosses (probably a T4 for Canadians), our rent receipts, the children's name and birth date. Not too bad, the bank provided their form with their usual delightful speed and charm (no irony there, they really are the nicest bank I have ever dealt with and then even nicer than that); I spent an hour sorting files and getting the information collated, ordered, and stapled in like groups...good to go.

We apparently don't have to declare our Canadian income. Sounds like a "trampa", which is Catalan for a cheat or lie. Yes, I think that word sounds like something a little different too.

We can do our own taxes it turns out if we don't have to declare the Canadian stuff,(like I want more on the to do list, but I don't want to pay an accountant if I don't have to). A friend is going to phone the help line for me and find out if this is true or not. Taxes introduce a whole new world of vocab my friends, and I don't know much of it.

OK, I'm still cool, groovin' with the paperwork...then I go off to gather the papers required to enroll Eldest in the next school (we still don't know which one, and I am not sure what to do, as this week is the week to sign them up and we don't find out till next week if she got into the school we're hoping for. Kind of weird, huh?) (((I am luvin' these brackets today aren't I.)))

For this, I am armed with a new form with a list of forms, which states that I need:

You guessed it..... DNI and NIE, originals and photocopies,
Original and photocopy of birth and marriage certificate (both of which are doing a grand tour of offices in Ottawa as they swim through the glacial process of pursuing citizenship here for the kids. Then they get to go to Madrid for translation, back here for submission, back to Madrid for scrutinisation and god know what else)

Fortunately, I have two copies! WHAT FORESIGHT!!!

This is even better, the Man and I even had the foresight to get married twice! If you ever plan on going expat, this is a VERY GOOD IDEA. Then you can have papers in two different offices at once! (We had a Baha'í and civic ceremony)

I also have translations of said items (originals and photocopies) which I will take with me on the principle of bringing more than they ask for, then you have a fighting chance of having what they WILL spring on you.

A copy of the form we filled in to apply. (Thank god I kept THAT) Why do they want it, they lost their original????

Original and photocopy of the kids Passport, DNI, whatever.

Certificate issued by the town hall that we do live where we say we do. I am doing so much of this paper chasing that I actually have a copy of this for all of us that is still valid in the house. They expire after three months so you keep having to go back again and again and again.

A contract from work, unspecified whose ????WTF?????? (original and photocopy) The line that asks for the contract (original and photocopy) names the requirement then after a comma says, "if this is what makes you happy". Sooooo, do I not bring it if I hate my job??? Oh the joy of forms in a language you don't completely understand.

Sorry this is getting long, it looks like my day.

Then there are five other forms that I don't need to bring,

Finally this, which I realise at this second I don't have orginised: a photocopy of her last report card (like the freaking school isn't going to forward it anyway) where DID I put that???? (it is six pages long!)


then then then then THEN

At 11pm, in Eldest's room, I discover, languishing, another form from the SAME school asking for this....

-The form we filled in when we applied (I don't have the original, hope they like the photocopy)

-Photocopy of the vaccine records

-Photocopy of her health card

-Our bank info so they can, and I quote, in translation, so that they can do withdraws for things (fancier word) over the length of the course.


Hello, when have you heard of a public school that can just DIVE into your account when it needs to pay for something.





53 Euros.

Remember what the plumber cost? That was 13.

53 Euros is closing in on 70 bucks. To sign up for public school.


Welcome to sunny Communist Russia Spain.

Have you noticed that the two seperate lists, from the same school issued for the same child, only duplicate one item? Can we get the left hand chatting with the freakin' right hand here so we can get ONE list with, say, all the items on it at once????

OH, and the title of the post? I love this. Tinc means "I have"...and if you're really really really frickin' angry, indeed enraged, you use the word rabia, as in rabies...

I have rabies.

Not far off.

A little head twitching?


Some staggering?


Foaming at the mouth?

Batting 1000 here Tex.


PS. I also managed to stop off at the beach...can I tell you how lovely it is? Look what else I found there...look look look!!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Montserrat and dog barf.

Good lord what a lot of public transit today. Hours of it, but well worth it to my mind.

We went back to Montserrat again today, and we had better luck with the weather, we could see for further than about 6 feet. It was quite astonishing to walk up the same trail and discover all the statuary at the side of the path that we hadn't seen!

We didn't go into the church this time, which was OK by everyone. Instead we walked in the hills, well, we took a (very) expensive funicular trip up, then walked down...with the kids along it seemed easier. The views were amazing, and let me tell you, the Russians like Montserrat...they were everywhere! Many of them spoke excellent English too.

Here's some pics....

Montserrat means serrated mountain which you can kinda see, and it is the much beloved spiritual heart of Catalonia, I have to say I love it up there too. The combination of the architecture, the paintings in the museum (we saw Monet, Picasso, Sargent, Renoir (a bad one) Degas, El Greco, etc etc etc...) and the mountains to walk in, along with good cafés all makes for a very nice day.

As they say, location location location....

There were lots of hikers and climbers there as well, something I would like to do a little more of there someday.

And to have a small world moment, I ran into one of my students from where we live! I am really starting to feel like I am slipping edgeways into a corner of the community here, running into Catalans I know in major tourist destinations, though it is a very important Catalan destination to...

A fantastic day. Too bad we can't take Chuck on some of the public transit, he would have LOVED it. Maybe barfed to, he's not so good in cars etc. I hate to imagine what he would do on our boat.

Swab the decks again me hearty's the dogs fouled them one more time!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Paid the plumber today....

GUESS, just g.u.e.s.s. how much the plumber cost.

Go on,

I dare you.

This is the same man who asked for a cloth to clean up the two tablespoons of water he spilt.

This is the same man who then wiped everything down when he finished, including the sink.

Go much do you think?

The answer is in the post below, just to keep you guessing a little longer...

So, what do you think?

And the number was.....

photo by Tesla314 from Flickr

You ready for this???

13 Euros.

Yes indeed...


Holy plumber butt batman!

Which he didn't display I might add.


Friday, June 6, 2008

The to do list that never happened.

I was very slow and dopey this morning.

It shows the impact I usually have. We had the most peaceful morning getting ready for school. Everyone on time, everyone calm, no shouting. I only forgot snack for youngest.

It must be me causing all the chaos...what am I doing?

Either that or I was so somnolent I didn't notice much, and they didn't bother whining to the walking zombie that looked faintly like their mom.

Nap? Check. Two and a half hours for crying out loud.

Paint? Nope.

Work from on line? Nope, internet went down, after my marathon nap I lay on the couch and read.

Pay the plumber? Nope.

Visit the accountant for the Spanish taxes? Nope

Teach? Yes indeed-y and it was OK....

Tutor my favourite market lady's daughter who is failing English? Yup

Meeting on Friday night at 7pm?!?!?!?!? Yup.

Walk the dog? Kind of, three short and pathetics, he didn't get to the mountain today. I slept too much.

Movie night with the family...YES!!!!

Sleep on the couch again to avoid the ambulatory mass of pestilence masquerading as my husband with a cold? Yes indeed-y. I fly in two weeks and then drop into a stunningly intense work schedule. I SO don't want a cold.

Boy was that nap awesome. I had thought of a little gentle, too much effort.

Pathetic, isn't it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another rather long day...blogger is working though.

Another day of overwhelming rushing's a few vignettes

Forgot to give eldest her medicine this morning (only the most important thing I have to do in the entire day) so I was late to work as I had to backtrack to get the meds, then go to the school etc etc etc.

The plumber came, what a dream...he can come back. The few drops of water he spilled he ASKED me for a cloth and cleaned it up himself, then wiped it all down when he left, even the sink!!! OMG!!!

Instead of eating lunch, I visited the doctor, booked the plumber and cleaned the bathroom. NOT my favourite task. I got cranky.

Walking the dog with a friend I had a sandwich with me, and she was kind enough to stoop and scoop for me as I was eating, then she ended up carrying it a LONG way as we were talking so much I never got a chance to eat.

Chuck was such a wimpy mama's boy this morning we couldn't give him his shot (which really does hurt a lot, apparently the medicine forms crystals under his skin) *shudder*. He was whining and crying and jumping and squirming and twisting, at one point we had the needle embedded in his back, and I had to let go of it as he was spinning around, and the needle was doing it's own seperate wild dance. Not prescribed technique.

Add the vet to today's list.

The receptionist and gave him the shot as the vet was away. I handled the needle as the more experienced of the two of us. Poor Chuck. Not a peep, and didn't move a muscle. Like a kid, eh?

The man has suddenly developed a horrid cold. I have a back ache. I am seriously considering the couch. And ibuprofen. I so so so so so do not want a cold right now. SO.

Tomorrow morning I have a few errands. Some chores. NAP is however at the top of the list with PAINT following closely.

Enough of this crap.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

way way way too much.

Yesterday was so unbelievably and outrageously chore filled and overfull that I even found myself with my head under the sink, at midnight, fixing the plumbing.

The problem is further down the pipe where it is embedded in the wall. The part I can reach is squeaky clean though.

Onto the list for Thursday....plumber.

Then after that as I sat down to type a small comment before crashing....blogger closed up on me.

Good lord.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Listen up

I have only one thing to say today.

Eldest and I went back to the hospital (again).

THEY FOUND A PARASITE!!!!!! (I cannot believe how excited I am that she HAS a parasite)


She has to take some pills for three days. It seems ungodly easy after two years.

Please please please let this be it.

Let it be the only problem.

The thinking is that she has a (translation from Catalan here) migrating parasite that she picked up through her skin while swimming. UGH.

Everyone, please cross your fingers for her.

Let this be O.V.E.R....

Monday, June 2, 2008

ummmm, glum, isn't that a great word?


That is a fantastic word.

It is funny sounding and onomatopoeic.

I hate the word rural, probably because I find it hard to say.

I also like resorcinol...a kind of glue, which is also hard to say, kind of like aerobics for the tongue, but somehow I like that word...

I also like made up words like youngests' ovideous. It is very very bad if you get called that.

Then there are the semi-made up ones like galumphs, or glopulets...

Seems I like gl combos...I don't like y's at the ends of words though.

What's your favourite word, and why?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hercule Puré

We watched some beach volleyball today, right in downtown BCN, Youngest was delighted. She far prefers sports to the gallery we were heading to. At least we got a bit of both in. She was largely bored by the Catalan national gallery, which I largely wasn't, then we went on to see some more modern stuff, she found that more engaging, and so did I. It spoke to her in a way she can relate to, in a way that is most relevant to NOW.

One artist, and forgive me, I forget his full name, but he is German and has Hesse as a last name, or something similar...was F.R.E.A.K.Y. but also very funny...Youngest was certainly engaged, lets see if she dreams about it...he had one hilarious section, he was doing some riffs on Agatha Christie...but he referred to Herucle Puréeeee. Heheheheheee

This computer is not a happy beast, it is freezing up over and over and over, and I am having to delete temp files and defrag far far too often for a 'puter that claims to have 56% of its hard drive free. This does not bode well.

Painting continues. We saw some Catalan painters from the 19th C, they are demi-gods here, though on the global art scene less so, that said, they knew what they were doing and there were some lovely pieces...which I cannot link to today as my windows keep freezing up. You'd think it was January in Canada....

I also think that the yellow painting with the doorway may just be done, I am debating the inclusion of one more aspect, but I'll have to look at it for a while and see. This is a good thing as I have so many pieces on the go it is nearly unmanageable. The darned computer is frozen again, I am going to post this while I can, sorry, no pics just isn't in the cards, more likely it just isn't in the computer chips. Grrrrr.

I looked at that painting again, and it's not done yet, more tomorrow.