Friday, October 31, 2008

fun and not

One of the really fun things about traveling with other people, having done a lot on my own as well, is that you end up doing a whole lot of things you would never have otherwise done...for instance the Halloween walk at my God kid's school, and youngest REALLY wanted to ride a bike...Hanover is fantastic for we rented bikes, for 7.50 a day...great. We had a blast and she is now a much better rider than she was; when it is flat.

We made it to the Nanas...thanks to the bikes. I took a million pictures, but haven't had a chance to post them....I will have to put up an entire album by the time I am it better when they kind of trickle in...I can post more in total....

I also tasted one of the best hot chocolates I have ever had, though I have to say that the Catalans make WICKED hot chocolate, when it is good....but this was a Dutch restaurant in Hannover...SOOO good....I think Hannover must have one n in German or English and two in the other because I keep seeing the signs both ways, either that or I am wildly distracted....

I also never would have gone to the local swimming pool...(and hopefully not picked up German foot disease while there. Didn't think of bringing flops) but the kids had an absolute BLAST. Youngest did develop a rash afterwards, we had a brief discussion about whether it could be jellyfish larvae again, and decided not.

Glad to be home though. Germany, or at least Hanover gets pretty hairy after dark, even if it is only about 7pm on a Friday. That wasn't so much fun, and what is it about all the groups of drunken/stoned teens, mostly boys, and the lone drunks with GIANT freaking bottles, and the fifteen year old girls on the trams with a bottle of vodka each?

What is that about?

They don't seem over fond of kids in costumes who speak English either...or at least they were practicing a very limited English vocabulary specialising in four letter words starting with F. Ho hum.

Not a warm and fuzzy feeling there. Kind of a nasty sour note to end off a charming day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

art and politics and illegal behaviour

Youngest and I went to the Modern Art Museum here in Hannover...does that have two n's or one? Not sure.


Youngest is kind of mixed about modern is pretty broad overall. It has the advantage that much of it is installation art and interactive and more....playful that way. There is room for the audience that the 'masters' don't allow.

At the same time some of it is FREAKY

Freak you right out freaky...we saw work by Otto Dix, back and white ghastly grave site drawings done right after WWI...Youngest had a look in honour of Halloween after being warned they might be too much...she did a quick walk through.

There was an exhibit on about clothing and fashion..and dressing, I didn't honestly assess it all that much and it didn't seem tightly the end of it, there was a series of photos of models with brand names carved into their skin...scarred over. I am assuming photoshop work here, and the meaning seemed a wee bit obvious to me...not exactly startlingly original...and opposite was a series of fun house mirrors...come to think of it the juxtaposition was almost certainly deliberate, but with youngest there we were too busy turning ourselves into inukshuks, and elastigirls and multi-armed Hindu goddesses...we had more of a dance experience with it...and a giggle experience with it.....and the memory of the carved models behind us were not visible in the least not clearly...possibly intentionally.

Intentional or poor exhibition; I forgot to check if they were the same artist. I assumed not, but if they were it is somewhat more interesting than it otherwise would have been.

There was also a series of works by an America artist..forgive me I forgot his name as well...all the info was in German so I didn't really read it, working with light. Youngest and I went into a booth with a series of dials that changed the colour of the light in the room and was capable of quite fine differences...I took a series of (illicit) photos of youngest in different colour lights as I have an idea for something I could do with them. Would that be like sampling in music or copyright violation..hard to say....

Niki de Saint Phille is amazing, we still haven't seen the Nana's, which are so famous, and may not, we'll see...but they had an exhibit of her work was gorgeous from the distance, playful and colourful, but really very disturbing once you got up close. She seems to have gotten rather more sinister in her work...again I have an illicit photo...the Catalans are generally quite relaxed about photos in galleries (not the Picasso museum though), so I have developed bad habits...I may or may not use them.

This leads me to an interesting thought I read about and have been ruminating upon. There is a growing grey area with copy right issues...I am part of a generation that began to violate copyright rules...photocopying books for classes specifically...then came the kids sampling music, and there are songs out there that are OBVIOUS rips...then came the iPod and others and the quantity of illegal downloading is amazing, and then there are the movies you can rip etc etc etc etc...and I am part of this to some extent...I am taking - a few - photos in galleries of work...and don't see why I shouldn't honestly...if I use them as memory jogs, and may I add that the galleries are AWFUL at providing the images in an affordable want to shell out seventy Euros for the book of a special exhibit. m'kay...postcards, only of the big ticket items, and regular material, not an image to be seen...

So what do we do? Go on line and get what someone else ripped.

Or take a picture.

I am part of a generation, growing up with the internet that believes that access to information, and image and music should be shared, not owned....sold only to the higher bidder. That information is for all of us, for our education and improvement. I keep finding myself having this argument over and over and over again. Sometimes with people of my own generation...can we as humanity ever get ahead if we keep on hogging the ball...environmentally, financially, socially and intellectually? I don't think so and I think this is what got us where we are.

Then there is the marketers argument, (the uber-capitalist, no?) if I post a photo of her recent work, and mention her name on this blog, that is probably copyright infringement, but it is also free advertising?

Where is the line on that, and what is illegal with all of this...?

I suspect the answer to this question will divide down on generational lines.

My boss in Spain thinks I'm an anarchist. Maybe.

I think there needs to be a radical redefinition around the rights of the individual in comparison to the rights of the whole..and that is a global whole. I move against current "globalisation"here don't I. I do want to move towards moral globalisation, don't you think that would be a good idea?

On that note, you may want to check out this video...though it talks to Americans, it speaks beyond that....

Really. It makes me ashamed.

and may I add that I HATE firefox spell checker? Can I get some suggestions here please, not just that obnoxious teachery RED UNDERLINE pointing out my errors in your purely American spelling? GRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Good old google; type the word in, you get related sites and a spell check.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cold wimpy carb needing Canuck...from Spain.

I may have to rescind my Canadian passport, it is so COLD here...and we are not dressed for it at all. I don't like it *whine*

It has been odd being here in a way, there is no time change between Hanover and BCN, but we have been through one. I didn't know how Spanish we had become. I am making dinner at 4:30 and we are going to eat at 5:30. The kids will be in bed by 7pm. I usually start cooking then, still early by Spanish standards, but. Youngest and I are a little out of whack, like a three hour time change. Hungry and the wrong times....

It is partially because the kids I am here with are younger, partially because we all have to get up at 5:45 am in order to get into school on time (OMG) We have to leave the house at 7 am when I usually roll groaning pathetically out of bed, and school here ends at 3 rather than 5 or 5:15.

Whacked with the time.

We've been eating a lot more meat here as well, which has been utterly delicious, but my insides are not used to it...and I am finding that I am hungry a lot and kind of droopy...need those carbs for energy I guess. Odd how it affects you.

What do you mostly eat? We are a carb family augmented by fruits and veg..proteins...meh not so much...virtual veggies, the kids proteins arrive, often the combined type, and if they have one good serving a day, better two, I'm happy. We seem to be thriving.

Where do you fall? Carb? Meats? Dairy? Vegan?

Just asking.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hanover, day 1

Hanover was sunny.

Everyone was totally surprised.

Seems it basically rains ALL THE TIME.

Youngest and I decided that we should seize the glorious weather and wandered around the city. It was however fiercely cold. Bought Youngest woolly socks it was so bad. Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

It's a lovely city, the parts we have seen.....there is this cool red line the tourists can follow through the city, which we did for part of the day...that was neat too...Youngest was most enamoured by it.

I am hoping for one more sunny day so that Youngest and I can go for a big long bike ride around the town where we are staying....outside of Hanover. Fingers crossed.

Gotta go sleep, we have to get up WAY to early for this camper, and I was up WAY too late last night.



Monday, October 27, 2008


OMG stayed up WAY to late talking.....


I just adore Nomad...sorry way to tired for a link...maybe later.

I adore her kids.

Now I am trying to cook sausages for breakfast. Hmmm.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I like packing.

Brings things down to a nice minimalistic vision of what we need.

I always bring a lot of books.

I think I might even remember my toothbrush this time!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Skulls and mushrooms

Messenger account? Check.

Zune? Check.

Don't talk to me about youngest's MP3, that is another topic.

Youngest scored her first basket in a game....a three pointer no less!!!! She is playing WELL. The team won, get this, 45 to 4!!! As youngest put it, they OWNED that game.

Halloween decorations...giant wall decorations of a skull filled chamber, think wallpaper here ladies and gentlemen, five by three foot spider/skeletons wall hangings, masks, scars and the skull from I know not what monsterous human. Hamlet would get a hernia lifting this sucker were it not made from foam.

Went mushroom hunting, all of us. LOVED IT. Eldest managed to slide face in down a cliff (a low one with lots of duff at the bottom. Dignity hurt more than anything, though she has some good scrapes). We didn't eat ANY of them. Though we also found a partial skull (well partial jaw) of an animal..goat??? Two molars were still there, one loose.

14 year old boys can JUMP! We've been watching some basketball and some of those boys have a seriously advantageous weight:strength ratio. But it won't LAST. bwahhhahahahahahah

Friday, October 24, 2008

A rich and extensive vocabulary...that I cannot use.

Getting the Halloween party, planning, talking other families into letting the kids come trick-or-treating, explaining what trick-or-treating is (in Catalan)...debating if I am a cultural imperialist imposing my foreign (possibly dominant) traditions, blowing that away like so much dust in the wind, yadda yadda yadda......

Finished work till I get back from Germany...teaching teens is fun, especially the older teens.

Cannot understand why I cannot get Eldest's messenger account to function properly. She should be able to send messages even when her contacts are off line, but it just ain't happening. Grrrr.

Woke up in the wee small hours of the night because I had to sneeze. Now that was a first.

I couldn't get back to sleep. That wasn't.

Poopety poop.

Teens taught me new very bad words.....never dull.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Running and barking (and carrying and climbing and and and

Had one wild 10 or 15 minutes know when everything happens simultaneously?

Got up to pick up Youngest from school...I was just out the door when the grocery delivery guy shows up - early. Not complaining, but.....

I turn around, take Chuck BACK upstairs and lock him in. He is not best pleased. That anti-barking campaign goes right out the window. He started to go for a walk, then got taken back and locked up and then I am go downstairs with a strange guy who is going in and out of the building THE HORROR!


I start carrying the stuff up the multiple flights of stairs, and let me tell you when you shop for three weeks, it's a few trips...I have still left Chuck inside because he will get into the groceries otherwise...or might.

Good thing I had arranged with the man to pick up youngest at school if he didn't see me there.

On about the third trip up, with groceries piled at the top of the stairs, the bottom of the stairs and in between....the phone rings.

Now let me tell you, our phone almost never I unlock the door, drop the groceries INSIDE...and run to the phone, setting off another volley of barking, again undisciplined. It is Eldest, sick at school.

Ho hum

First of all we have to figure out what to do about I have to go there, do I need to speak to a teacher, how sick is she..yaddah yaddah yaddah...

We decide she can walk home. I go out the door, part way down the stairs, it rings again...I have to go get her.

Incensed dog is locked BACK in the house again...(woof woof woof) and I run down to Youngest's school. Can I just say here that life was easier when they went to the same school.

I found the man there, explained why there are groceries EVERYWHERE, and ran to the school. May I add that it was raining. We are not well equipped for rain...I have an umbrella and all, but my oh isn't the norm.


That all took, about 10 min,

Eldest is fine...I suspect she felt crappy because she left without breakfast....the Man and Youngest brought the groceries in (except the bags outside the neighbour's door, they were probably unsure if they were ours) and everyone ate at some point.

Sometimes the day just up and seizes you, no?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Working with the dog...he looks kind of cowed, and all we have been doing is saying firm no's .... he looks sort of sad. GUILT! Though he is barking less.

We tried spraying him with water for a day a while ago; he was so traumatised we stopped it quickly...he was starting to buck and shy everytime we came near him. Issues.

On another note, I have been feeling so defeated by Catalan lately. It is getting me down. I kinda don't even want to try.


I am trying to convince myself that this is the stale period just before I make a breakthrough to another level of skill. I think not though. I am still missing so much around me (hear that with a whine m'kay?) and I still confuse people and make the most ridiculous statements.


The fact that I have been to two of the last seven classes doesn't help, and the fact that one of the books hasn't arrived from the publishers doesn't help either as it has the answers to all the exercises, along with the grammatical explanations. Makes it a little tricky to figure out what's going on.


I have NEVER been good at handling frustration.

Cranky cranky cranky.

The Catalans describe some students as formigas. Ants. They plug along and work really hard, but they don't get very far for all their effort. It doesn't mean they don't get there in the end, but it is a long slog. I am a formiga with languages. I keep reminding myself that I can still get there in the end.

Then I can start on Spanish.

I shouldn't post so late at night. It makes me sound more down than maybe I am for most of the day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Chuck has started barking at other people more of late. Not entirely sure why, but I DON'T like it. We will be taking some action, and working to stop this behaviour.

Been reading up on line about it. What a jumble of conflicting views.

We're not at the stage where it is a real problem, but I don't want it to increase, and I certainly want it to GO AWAY.

Anyone out there had any success on this front?

I'd love to hear anything that worked.

.....ho hum....the spell checker seems to be working in Spanish. Seems that nearly every word is wrong.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bloglines and underwear

Anyone out there use bloglines? Mine has been acting weird lately...I get no updates on some blogs, then ten all at once. NOT what I had in mind...and it doesn't update...I through a couple of blogs into the blogger aggregator, and there were two there that were more than two hours old that just didn't show up on bloglines.

Is it me?

Saw a woman today wearing...get, a bra (I could see large sections of it), underwear, evidenced by panty lines, a wooly toque with long dangling pompoms from the ear flaps that looked like extravegant hippy braids and a black of those your mama wore under an entire know it has a top and the bottom connected. It had some nice lace trim at the neck and around the skirt.

I know this because this is all she was wearing. She was a big strapping sane looking girl.

I wondered if I should mention to her that she seemed to have forgotten to put on her dress this morning.

Bra straps showing I continue to struggle with.

Open back dresses with regular bra straps creating deep creased horizontal lines across the back...ick.

The entire dress missing?


Gotta check that mirror in the morning before you go out hon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great things all around!

THERE SHE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Dad went out and tucked her in for the winter on Saturday...and sent us photos...most are embarassingly messy and mildew-y...but there she long as that building with a great big crack in it doesn't fall on her, all will be well.

How great is that!

Another great thing?!?!

I am going to get to go and hang out with Nomad and her kids in a week and a bit! I'll be doing a babysitting gig for most of the week...with youngest in tow! SWEET!!

Did you know that a babysitter in Catalan in un/a cangur, as in a kangaroo!??? Now you do...just a little information from Oreneta-land...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a start....

Sometimes I feel like my Catalan is going pretty well, then I get hit in the face with the reality of the whole thing. I still miss A LOT.

Take this morning.

I wandered off to the local sports center with youngest at 7:30 am to drop her off for the warm up for her basketball game today. Hadn't eaten, or showered, or brushed my teeth, or had a cup of tea *GADS* and I had the dog with me. I hadn't made her snack, and we had forgotten her water bottle. No biggie, coming back in an hour or so for the game.

I arrived there, she's wearing her white home game shirt like all the others....and we're all standing outside. That's OK, whatever...I don't really feel like chatting with the other Moms in Catalan at 7:45 am unwashed unbrushed and hungry (and without caffeine surging through my system) so I'm standing a little apart, and all of a sudden everyone bursts into action.

Seems it's an away game and I hadn't figured it out.


RUN home (man I hate running, especially at that hour...unwashed, unbrushed etc etc etc) Chuck was delighted, I NEVER run with him...

Grab the water bottle, a hat as camouflage for the great unwashed, and a book; dump the dog, shout at the sleeping husband what happened and RUN back.

J*SUS CHIIIIRIST.................

One of the other mothers kindly hauled us out to the town the game was in and we sat in a Franco era gymnasium with nothing but a coffee machine and a ferocious cold draft blowing down on us.

The girls played REALLY well but they still lost and we got driven home again. I fed Youngest WHILE she was showering, she was THAT hungry and grumpy...then I ate, showered, yaddah yaddah yaddah....

You know your language skills aren't up to snuff when.....

Friday, October 17, 2008


Remember a while back I did one of those test game thingies and it said I was a hunter....well...heads rolled again.

This time I was at the local sports center after youngest's basketball practice. The kids are heading into the locker room, which now has this fancy card entry system, brand spanking new. The kids have had cards for about 4 days. Maybe.

Anywhoo...there's a pack of kids all trying to get through but the machine isn't working, so the man who works there at the gate, doing I am not sure what, goes over and starts RANTING at them. They all looked kind of stunned, and he told them to go and take a seat on a bench nearby. I didn't understand all that went on as he was facing away from me and it is echo-y, so I asked youngest what was up. She said she wasn't sure but he told them all to go and sit down. Rudely. Very rudely. I had heard.

Now the girls are all hot and sweaty and it is darned chilly there and we are getting on for supper time. The girls had not done one thing wrong and this was simply ridiculous. I got Youngest's pass and went to talk to the man when the coach arrived. He was none to charming to her, but better.

There was no change room for the girls (for the second time) thought there was one for the boys (again)....I mentioned to the coach that he had been quite rude and she went to talk to him (again). Then he let all the girls through. Seems he had actually been locking the gate on them (and they are supposed to just figure this out on their own??? They're kids and their coach told them to go in and shower..)

So the coach and the girls go through, not to shower, they never got that honour, but at least to put the balls away and the guy starts ranting on to some other guy about how ridiculous it all is. You know the tone I mean, that not so faintly mysogonist one that goes,"What a stupid woman what is she doing here anyway? I am totally right and justified in everything I did in that utterly bizarre situation." I am positively livid by now.

Then, oh fatal error, then he turns to me for support, wanting me to nod my head and sympathies when he just yelled at MY kid for no reason, and was obnoxious to her coach and then slagged them all, coach and kids, behind their backs.


I let it rip. My Catalan is not very nuanced at this stage. I called him rude. There are two forms of 'to be' in Catalan, one is a temporary kind of thing, the other is a permanent element of your character. At least I used the temporary form. Then he got really polite to me, and I (heatedly) pointed out that he was being OH SO polite right now, but he hadn't been at all polite with the girls. Then he switched to Spanish.

I told him to switch back to Catalan (this is, shall we say a hot topic around here) and he flatly refused. NO.

English or Catalan


English or Catalan


So I kind of hit his desk and left.

Never was afraid of a good scene.

One of the women in the foyer with us who knows me faintly from my work asked me as I left what had happened, and was upset what she had seen. I explained, as I was leaving, that I didn't like how the man had spoken to the girls, and that now, all of a sudden, he can't speak Catalan. (Grave and hot topic) At least I didn't tell him to speak Christian which is what all the Francoists told the Catalans to do when they were heard speaking their language in public. Things might have gotten out of hand if I had.

Canada is not perfect by a long long way. I am an Anglo-Canadian and I know the Quebecois have more than a few issues with what my part of Canadian culture has done, but let me tell you, if I went into a sports center in small town Quebec, and the doorknob on the entry gate was being obnoxious, I wouldn't have to switch to English to have the argument just cause he wanted to.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Met the teacher....

OK, the much awaited parent teacher meeting at Eldest's school.

The teacher wanted to talk about English. You remember that I was worried she would have to do hours and hours of useless English and then Catalan and Castillian and nothing else???? NOT TO BE!!!

She will be doing extra IT time, extra sciences, with two of the four hours, or is it five...I'm not sure. She will be doing English at her level for another class...I have sent in a package of materials for her to use, subject to the teacher's approval. She will be doing Spanish for non-Spanish speaker material that they have located for her in yet another class, and extra Catalan and Spanish in a normal class for kids her age in two others. That adds up to six English periods, but seems like that's how it is.

I am happy, and she is largely happy.

THEN I brought up the whole 'no one in Africa has a computer or cell phone' topic. The teacher looked rather horrified, but not entirely surprised. I would bet that the I.T. teacher is a bit of a rare bird shall we say. I strongly suspect that mention will be made.

The whole Germany thing...she was h.o.r.r.i.f.i.e.d. HORRIFIED. She was also very very aware of the accurate history of the entire thing. I pointed out that in many countries, such as France or Canada the teacher would probably be fired for saying that at best. I also mentioned that the discussion was not from the text books, but rather a conversational aside on the part of the teacher. We are both hoping that Eldest didn't get the entire context/conversation.

I know enough of school politics to know that she cannot really say anything else to me, but I trust that she will bring it up with the powers that be and she will use the internal systems to work through what has happened. A certain amount of denial is inevitable, but the teachers in question should be more careful in the future, which is the ultimate goal; as in, "shut the f**k up if you don't have a freakin' clue what you are talking about."

I'll ask again in a bit, 'cause it just won't do.

I came away feeling OK, she seems to be knowledgeable, dedicated and straight-forward. I can work with that, indeed I really like that a whole lot, and she has certainly put in HOURS of work finding materials for Eldest and struggling with the schedule. I can't complain about that. I also strongly believe that she will look into the other two issues. She really seems to want the kids to have a good education, and what those teachers said just doesn't fit the bill.


Oreneta is in CANADA!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fruits of the woods.

Look what I found on the trees! It's a little hard to tell without some prespective, but those are ripe (and disgusting tasting) olives!

Look what else is popping up...looks, well, we all know what it looks like...

Here is part of the to start curing them. I'm not sure when though. I imagine it has to be soon.

More anon.

Eldest and school.

Having just passed Canadian Thanksgiving, which we kind of celebrated (curried squash soup, paella and an apple soufflé cake made by the man) I want to say that one thing I am really quite happy about, and thankful for is that Eldest is -so far- really very happy at school.

Thank you thank you thank you indeed.

I have a meeting with the teacher tomorrow.

That should be some good Catalan practice.

I've got a couple of topics to mention too....ho hum.....I wonder what she plans to say. More anon...

I am also wondering what is going to happen with the Canadian elections going on today...I'll have to wait till tomorrow for the results...

OOOOh oh oh oh oh oh OH OHHHHH

I wanted to show you the olives the man and I picked in the hills...I'll have to post that is past midnight and I am not starting to photo edit now...the man and I are going to try to cure them...and I may pick some more. I'll keep you posted. I also picked some pine cones up for pinyons and a pomegranite that the kids have eaten....

Monday, October 13, 2008

You know your in Spain when...

Meet the creature night

Parent teacher night STARTS at 9 pm (dinner time) and goes on till 11:30.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Republ..NO!!!! Better things.

Well my despair at the lack of ethics in a certain American currently-in-power-but-hopefully-not-for-long political party post is all ready....and I can't quite summon the gorge to post it.


The whole thing makes me kind of sick to my stomach


With a good ostrich imitation I am turning my back on the whole mess.

Can I just say that one of the things I find pathetic about being an adult is that I am excited and happy to have a day when I can catch up on work and homework. That is just pitiful sad.

We have been invited to join a team of castallers know, these guys....I am pretty excited, though there are a whole lot of ifs before we get to doing it.

Maybe we should send the nominees off on this sort of training...could help with non-partisan team building don't you think?


Moving right along....youngest started it off, but it would be cool...I am a little taller than average here though, not sure how that would work.....not something you could learn anywhere....I could add another highly local sport to the ones I've participated in....Ice canoeing in Quebec city, racing in the Family Island regatta in traditional (sort of) Bahamian fishing boats and now maybe this...kinda cool I think, if we pull it off.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


I have a half written depressing discussion of ethics, and the lack of them in the Republican party; I am too tired to finish it and it is too late to go to bed that upset.

So instead, fragments of the day.

First off, the other day Hula posted a photo of a BLT...made me a little hungry. Here's mine. I used allioli.....maybe we should make a group of these, everyone post BLT photos and we'll all link?!?!

These are theoretically fruit, but I've never eaten one, and you can't buy them. Makes me suspect we aren't that hungry anymore. They are beautiful though.

Went to the beach in Barceloneta today, got some more sea glass (very little) but some... I love this...I assume it is a sculpture...fantastic.

There were lots and lots of jelly fish....the girls were throwing them back. They are lovely, aren't they?

This fellow was on a wall, Barceloneta was once a fishing village. He looks like he might have been a figurehead once don't you think?

A lot of the doors in the area are VERY thin. Must make moving a drag. And getting a stroller up the stairs; and groceries; and a toddler; and a pregnant lady; and just about anything but a broom.

Maybe this is how we should lock the door. Do you think they bring the chain in with them and tie it to the inside when they are home?

You-know-who is getting into the spirit of things here, a little weed, a little to drink, some football.....a hula lei.....


A more mundane moment, this is the table where the computer goes. The laptop is used quite literally as a laptop. What I have done, which is why I am posting the photo, is put sketching goodies beside the laptop...maybe I'll get something drawing in if it is just so handy. Slow loading pages will be my new friends.

Youngest is off at a sleepover, and Oreneta (the boat) is probably somewhere on the I-90, doing 65mph (maybe a little less, I can hope) more or less due north.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Aground but moving

That's our Oreneta, in the work yard....getting her mast taken down. Our incredible friends from Wahine went down yesterday and pulled the mast (with sheer strength I think...I cannot imagine how they did it. They could probably win one of those Scottish pole tossing competitions) They are simply incredible. Good people we are very lucky to know. If you ever see them pulling into you're home port, be really nice to them, m'kay? Good people.

The truck comes today.

I'm twitching in a kind of exhausted way.

....later...eldest picked up the phone to a southern accent telling her they found the boat. Good to know I guess.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Moms and kids.

Thank you everyone for the words of encouragement, this was sent on to me by a friend...and I got a laugh so I am posting it here.

Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to His own children.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.

And the first thing he said was ' DON'T!'

'Don't what? ' Adam replied.

'Don't eat the forbidden fruit.' God said.

'Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit?

Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit! '

' No Way! '

'Yes way! '

'Do NOT eat the fruit ! ' said God.

'Why? '

'Because I am your Father and I said so ! ' God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked !

'Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit? ' God asked.

'Uh huh,' Adam replied.

'Then why did you? ' said the Father.

'I don't know,' said Eve.

'She started it! ' Adam said.

'Did not! '
'Did too! '

Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?


1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said

5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own

6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

ADVICE FOR THE DAY: Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day




Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Help or company in chaos

I have a very dear friend, one of my dearest friends. I adore her and respect her in every way and look to her for councel.

I take consolation from the fact that she once threw a couch at her teenage son.

He richly deserved it.

She is a great mother and a great human, also one of my few friends with kids that are older than mine; as in she has already survived adolescence.

I didn't throw the chesterfield today and I am glad.

Any stories or advice out there?

Newbie Mom-of-teen is sitting here, ready to listen.....

Monday, October 6, 2008


Virgina Woolf was able to support her writing habit as an early feminist and socialist based on the labour of her (extensive) house staff.

Paid twice to go to BCN because the station had no ticket booth, nor machine. I was forced to ride illegally, then pay to get off, and pay to get onto the subway again. Ho hum

We did PRONOUNS at Catalan class. They are outrageously complicated and I was praying/hoping/entreating the powers that be that the teacher would cover them on a day I would be there (I have to miss 2 of the 5 days) and she DID!!!!

Playing basketball with youngest if FUN.

Moving a boat from another continent is a hassle, but with friends and family like we are lucky to is a dream. A pricey dream, but NICE. Friends are going to prep the boat, and my Dad will meet it. HOW good is that?

I am not thinking about MP3's after Eldest blanked hers out. Just switching that out for now.

E-mails are inefficient means of communication for complex situations.

We started English homework today, those girls have some TOUGH spelling words.

Chuck found and ran away to eat a hamburger bun on our walk. Got put on the leash for that IN THE MOUNTAINS. Bad dog.

Had to write a letter in Catalan to Eldest's main teacher who is.....the Catalan teacher. Good lord, I hope there weren't tooooooo many mistakes.

Better than her English I'd bet anyway.

Ja està... a bit of Catalan for all of you. It means, that's it.

Time for bed, goodnight,


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sea glass

OK Carla, here they are!

These photos came out strange and dark, but dinner is calling me so it's what you get...

Here is all I found yesterday, penny included for scale...great colours, mostly small pieces:

Look at this one...mottled blues and opaque white and a darker blue:

I found a black one! Never before! I got lots of yellows and oranges, a red, many shades of blue, some interesting greens....even some lilacs...a very good day...well, hour or so....

Here some of the yellows I found..they look brighter in fact, the camera has flattened the glow:

Note the purples, very rare!

Had Recuperacións a la casa nostre....cleaned, hung paintings, removed blue tack smudges, cleaned our drawers, tackled Youngest's room...napped!!!

Hope you had a great weekend,



Saturday, October 4, 2008

climbing up

Watching youngest play basketball in neat.

Every week she improves. (they still lost, though she played a LOT better)

I wish I could say that about all (or any) of my endeavours.

Though, actually, maybe my Catalan is.

That steep part of the learning curve is fun, don't you think?

night night.


ps...went sea glass hunting, you should see what I just may tomorrow too! LOVE the beach.

Also had some of this summers fresh ripe right now on the trees almonds...fried and salted. Can I just mention that they tasted like ALMONDS, you know like when you smell the almond extract. Have you ever tried that stuff in hot chocolate. mmmmmmmmm

Friday, October 3, 2008

too tired for wit.

I've got a cold settling in. The flu is called the 'grip' in Catalan, as in: it has you in it's grip. Don't think I have that anyway.

The school was closed this afternoon (welcome to Spain), the hunter is cooling her heels till Monday.

The books that we have been waiting and waiting for are all in. Why they didn't call me to tell me that they have arrived? I am not sure why. That WAS the arrangement.

Moving the boat is suddenly going very very quickly...on a Friday of course, and the office manager of the boat yard is gone on vacation as of today too. Ho hum.

Can't hear out of my left ear properly...getting a cold.

Nap scheduled for tomorrow...for sure.

Despite all that, I'm doing OK and it has been a nice day.

Spent the break at my Catalan class running the halls searching for a guy from my class last year, the only American I know here...I was SO dying to talk to someone about the VP debate...did it make you squirm and turn away upon occasion as well as make you tremble with fear? I was stunned by it. Many times. Not in a good way. At all.

OK, this is fast developing into an obsession..this presidential election.

God's will it seems.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fighting for an education...and rights, ethics, integrity, intelligence blah blah blah.

You Are a Hunter Soul

You are driven and ambitious - totally self motivated to succeed

Actively working to achieve what you want, you are skillful in many areas.
You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.
You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.

An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.
You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.
People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.
You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.

Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Good thing I'm a hunter cause I feel a meeting with Eldest's school coming on. OMG, get a load of this.

According to the teachers there, there are five continents. Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. America, as you may have noticed is a country and oceania doesn't exist, it is a series of islands, mostly volcanic in origin...Australia and possibly New Guinea form the Australian continent, and last time I looked, and according to Wiki, since before the 19th century, it has been either the Americas, but more often the familiar North and South America.

Next. The socials teacher, you know all the history sociology politics and stuff? Well this teacher told them that the Nazis approved of all Germans and wanted everyone else done in. This is at best a rash and grossly simplified overstatement that negates the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of German Jews, gypsies, artists, intellectuals, communists, anarchists, gays, lesbians, painters, thinkers, scientists...I could go on. and on. and on.

Finally the technology teacher told them that there is no point in sending or having cell phones or computers in Africa because, duh, doesn't everyone know, there is nowhere to plug them in when the batteries die. See they all live in mud huts.

The overwhelming, shall we call a spade a spade and say racism here? Hmmm, yes I think we shall, the overwhelming racism of this is the bit that really gets me, and sends me in for a meeting maybe tomorrow. At least they, so far, haven't been teaching creationism like Palin wants to.

Hunters, prepare your weapons.

Yes yes yes, I'll be nice.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stayin' on the farm.

Ýou know those days when you've done so many things it starts to feel like you've been through about three days in one, and what you did that morning seems impossibly distant? Yeah...I know that feeling too.

Thanks for the crossed fingers, I am in level 3!!! *double arm pump* I'm holding my own too so least better than the guy next to me.

One of the things I did today was to dash to the weekly market just as it was closing when I got in from BCN....

My favourite market lady and I were talking about her daughter, who I helped with English for a few weeks last year....she is delightful, and going to school from 3pm to 9:45 pm...what a schedule...she is doing the equivalent of the last two years of high school...or community college, I am not sure which. She is doing a course in administration, and business to prepare her for what she has always wanted to do. She wants to be a farmer like her Mom. Cool, eh?

Another generation on the farm, and her Mom is completely delighted that she loves the lifestyle, bringing up plants and animals and caring for their land.

Makes me feel good.

It is also great to know that there are families that care about where the food comes, and care about providing it. Knowing where our food comes and that it has been grown there for generations is good, and sadly, not so easy to find these days.