Friday 29 March 2019

A Postcard A Day - Friday 29 March 2019 - Friday Smiles

Good morning lovely ladies! Happy Friday to you! Lets think of the past week and what has made us smile. 

I received a few postcards through Postcrossing that were especially for my birthday. (Birthdays are in the profile). The first one comes from Switzerland. I love black and white photography and this older lady is wishing me happy birthday with her snazzy spectacles. What a hoot! I love it!
The stamps are great too. The one on the left is from a series of railway stations. This particular one is Fleurier, in the Val de Travers. The ladybird is from a series for special occasions. Those occasions where people send each other mail. Congratulations, good luck etc.

 This next card comes from Moravia in the Czech Republic. It is a birthday card and has birthday wishes on it. All the flowers surrounding the photo are glittered, but it is not visible in the scan.
 The stamp is large and impressive: It features the Czech crown jewels. Visible are the St Wenceslas Crown, the Royal Scepter and the Royal Apple. They are Stored in the Crown Chamber of St Vitus in Prague , where they are brought out only on special occasions.

 This week I have had lots to smile about. Saturday was my birthday and I wanted to invite my friends, but the weather was not so nice so we had to stay indoors. Still, we had a nice gathering. I had ordered an ice cream cake and I got the candles out ready. Someone took this picture with the candles showing I would be 86. I don't think so...
 I quickly put them the correct way. We were laughing so much that we continued to cut the cake and eat the ice cream. Until someone reminded me that I hadn't lit the candles and they hadn't sung 'Happy Birthday'. Oh dear. 
 I had a sponge cake too, so we put the candles on that and this is me blowing out the candles. You can see there isn't much left of the ice cream cake. It was delish.
Here is a photo of me and all my girl friends (the men are there too but they are keeping themselves out of the picture) . Only the three ladies in the foreground are actually Spanish. In the back row nationalities from L to R: US, Irish Rep, Netherlands, Peru, Mexico. 
That is it from me today. Now I'm off to Annie at A Stitch In Time and Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday. 

As usual I finish with some funnies I found on the internet. The engineering flowchart is so true. I think my hubby has one that he follows.

Have a great weekend,

Tuesday 26 March 2019

A Postcard A day - Tuesday 26 March 2019 - T for olive pips and lots of coffee

Hello lovely ladies, How are you all?
I thought these birthday cards were just perfect for T-Day. Yes, it was my birthday on Saturday and one of the things I like about birthdays is opening my cards over breakfast.

With all those birthday cards I'm not showing you postcards today.
I also received a few hand-made cards:

 This first one is from my hubby. Where did you get that? I asked, as it is difficult to find birthday cards here in in-land Spain. He had spotted a box of cards at the vets and had gone back later to get me a card.
This one is from a friend in the UK. Her name is Claire and she sends me a card every year.

I will post some birthday photos on Friday.

Last week hubby hooked up the trailer and we drove to Olibaza, an olive processing plant, to buy olive pips. They are a product of the process of making olive oil. We buy them now for next year as they have to dry out over the summer.

Here is an article from their magazine translated by Google. The pips or stones are translated as 'bones' but I'm sure you get the gist.

The olive bone as fuel for the oil mill and the home

If you are interested in the world of olive oil , you will know that one of the most important residues generated in its production is olive stone. But perhaps you do not know that that bone can become a magnificent clean fuel .
A normal olive olive campaign can leave in Spain up to 450,000 tons of bones that, traditionally, were taken to landfills. But nowadays it is very common for this waste to be recycled and used as an energy source .
If you have ever seen an oil mill, you will have seen the piles of bone and pulp that remain after pressing the olives. Well, that organic matter, once dry, is considered a first level biomass. Biofuel  producers crush the bones and use them to feed biomass boilers . They can be used directly ground or pressed in the form of pellets , small tablets of compressed bone sawdust.
The good thing is that you can use this biomass for the stove or the boiler of your home . And also the own oil mills use it to feed their boilers and generate the heat that some processes of their work require.

Olive bone that produces clean gas

As you know, biomass is very low pollutant and, thanks to it, it avoids burning more harmful fuels for the environment. But, in addition, there are processes to make it even more efficient and clean . For example, if the bones and pulp are subjected to a gasification process, a gas can be extracted from that biomass, which, once burned in the boilers, is more efficient in generating energy and even cleaner than direct burning. of the bone. 
Thanks to these systems, the olive bone provides a clean fuel and contributes to the olive oil industry being more sustainable and helps to protect the environment.

We use the pips mixed with almond shells as fuel for our stoves. The almond shells are relatively large and mixing them with the pips makes them 'flow' better through the hopper.

First stop: the weigh bridge
Then we drove round the corner to a mountain of ground stones/pips.
The chap came with the digger and filled our little trailer.
I walked around to see a bit of the installation. They have a special department for organic products (which they call 'linea ecologico'):
Before paying (10 cents a kilo), we had to weigh again on the weighbridge and the difference is what you pay for. This trailer full cost us 36 Euros.

On a different day, we also had business in town (Baza), and we had coffee at the bus station that we happened to pass. They always do a good cup of coffee:
Here they don't do lattes, cappuccinos and mochas etc. It's café, or café cortado (small glass that I am drinking, espresso with a dash of milk) or café con leche (hubby's drink). You can have black coffee with more water in a larger glass, and that is café americano. I sometimes have carajillo (black coffee with a dash of liquor in it. I like anis liquor). And for people that like sweet things: café bonbon. It is very popular here.
The bottom layer is condensed milk, but it is very sweet, so I don't usually drink it.

As if I didn't already have enough beverage references for T-Day! If you want to join the T-Party, make sure you have a beverage in your blog post and rush over to Elisabeth and Bluebeard who are hosts for this party.

Did I show you my haul of coffee? I have a Senseo coffee machine that works with pads. The make is Dutch and in Holland I can buy all sorts of fancy flavours. But here in rural Spain I can only get normal coffee. Well I happen to like a mocha, which is coffee with a bit of chocolate in it. Senseo's version is called Cappuccino Choco. 
I went online and I could only buy ten at a time. So I got ten!
That's it from me today.
Happy T-Day,

Friday 22 March 2019

A Postcard A Daay - Friday 22 March 2019 - Friday Smiles

Good morning lovely ladies,
How are you all? I hope you are smiling, as there is always something to smile about. 
I had happy mail in the form of some postcards. They always make me smile. This (rather strange) card comes from China. It was sent by Pinkie who lives in Wuxi Jiangsu (near Shanghai). She says the card shows her favorite cartoon.
The stamps are gorgeous. The left two have what looks like fireworks and I imagine they represent the Chinese New Year (But that's just a guess). And the stamp on the right has two children with rucksacks enjoying a beautiful view.
 The second card is the cover illustration of an old book. It is Punch and Judy (1942).
 Punch and Judy is a puppet show really, but someone must have written a book with stories about Punch and Judy. I went on the net and found a few more illustration from the book:

The card was sent to me by Pranab from India. There is a slogan printed on the back of the card: 'There is nuffin like a Puffin!'.
The stamp shows my favorite animal the turtle/tortoise. I find them fascinating. They look so pre-historic. If only they could talk...

This week the weather has not been so good. Just as well we made the best of it last week. We ate outside last Sunday and hubby cooked some pork chops on the BBQ.
  I had made a salad and we had this with some slices of home-made brown bread. Yumm!

Yesterday was my 'play-day' when I disappear into my craft room and 'play' all day. I did two more Pocket Letters. I can't show you those yet but I'm going to show you the ones I made a couple of weeks ago, which have now been received. 

This one went to someone called Lucie who lives in Hungary.
 The second one went to Zoey in the UK.
But I have not received anything back. They were private swaps (outside the group). So I don't think I will do that again.

As usual I will put some funnies at the end for you to chuckle at.

I'm going to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and with Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.


Tuesday 19 March 2019

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 19 March 2019 - T for a mail bear, a mail box and a pocket letter

Hello, Good Morning! It's Tuesday again and time for the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bluebeard at Altered Book Lover. Please join us and bring a beverage.

As most of you know, one of my hobbies is Postcrossing, a worldwide postcard swap. I like to show you the lovely cards that I receive, sometimes with their stamps because they can be very interesting.
This card comes from Germany but has a quote in Dutch from Anne Frank.

A young Jewish girl named Anne Frank (1929-1945), her parents and older sister moved to the Netherlands from Germany after Adolf Hitler and the Nazis came to power there in 1933 and made life increasingly difficult for Jews. In 1942, Frank and her family went into hiding in a secret apartment behind her father’s business in German-occupied Amsterdam. The Franks were discovered in 1944 and sent to concentration camps; only Anne’s father survived. Anne Frank’s diary of her family’s time in hiding, first published in 1947, has been translated into almost 70 languages and is one of the most widely read accounts of the Holocaust.
The Westertoren church tower as Anne Frank saw it 
It is a great miracle that I have not given up all my expectations, because they seem absurd and impractical. Yet I hold on to them, despite everything, because I still believe in the inner goodness of mankind.                                                                                                                                                        I grew up with accounts about the occupation in the Netherlands during WW2. My auntie survived Theresienstadt concentration camp (she was only 12 when she was separated from her parents and sent there, but she survived and lived to write a book. She only died recently).
My maternal grandmother hid two Jewish lads in the attic and my mum, who was engaged but still unmarried then, had to walk them (one at a time) at night after curfew so that they could get some fresh air. If they met anyone in the dark streets, they would hide in a doorway and pretend to be a courting couple. Both young men survived, as did my family. 

The stamps are quite pretty too. The one on the left is a water lily and on the right you see  Dessau-Wörlitz.

The second postcard comes from Russia and features a Russian mailbox. Sent by Lena who lives in Samara on the banks of the Volga river.
The stamp is clearly about the World Championship soccer in 2018.
I've made (and sent) another pocket letter. Here it is without the transparent 'pocket'. The theme was 'Rainbow' and we had to use different colours. 
Then we all got assigned a partner. I had requested a partner in Europe as I didn't know how much the postage would be. My partner was Kat from Florida who lives in Malaga (Spain). This is what she sent me:
At the back she had also put some little thingies (as I did too) including a teabag of white tea, washi tape and some fun paper clips.
It all came in a large envelope in which she had added a load of other goodies. 

It felt like Christmas! She has received my pocket letter and was very happy. Phew, it was my first one, and I think I 'passed the grade' so to speak.
The best thing of all though was a hand written letter introducing herself. I was delighted with that personal touch and I will definitely hand write my letters in future.

I have been spending (wasting) time on Pinterest looking at mail art. I found a cute bear image which was down loadable and I printed it on Kraft paper. 

Here is the link to the website of Naomi who creates this lovely mail art.

One of my Postcrossing partners wanted their card in an envelope, so I printed one on kraft paper, cut it out and hey presto, a fun item of mail. The address is a post box, not a real address, so it doesn't matter that I publish it.

Lastly I have bought two new 'teas' at our local supermarket (called Lidl). They are called infusions as there is no tea in them.
The purple one has apple, hibiscus and orange peel, natural aromas, cinnamon stick.
And the red one: hibiscus flowers, dehydrated grapes, elderflower, and sour cherries
We are drinking them and they are very nice.

Lastly, just to put a smile on your face...
Have a great week,
Greetings from sunny Spain,