Friday 31 July 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday 31 July 202 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely girls, how are you all?

Another week has passed, and we have heard that England has quarantine measures for people coming from Spain. Bummer, I can see our trip at the end of August being cancelled. 

But I am here to tell you about my smiles and not my woes, so here goes: My postcard comes from Germany and is all about...bread! 
I love German bread. They eat a lot of rye bread, which I love. I can still remember when women could cut the bread by hand. A loaf under their arm and a large knife carving a thin slice from the bread. Wonderful. Do they still do it that way? Iris? Valerie?

The stamps are from the series of flowers. The flower on the right is Wiesenschaumkraut, or Lady's Smock in English. And the stamp on the left is Kapuzinerkresse, which is a type of nasturtium.
I love the sticker: Keep Calm and Stay at Home.

My week has been good. On Friday, I went walking with my friend and we walked a part of the Via Verde (the green way) which is a disused railway. This stretch included a railway tunnel. That was fun to walk through.
Then in the evening our friends D and P came for a BBQ. We had been looking forward to seeing our friends and having a good conversation. Great.

 No, I did not go to Holland, But my sister, who lives in England (when she's not in Spain) went to visit. Mum has a large apartment with a guest room as well, so we take it in turns to go and see her.

I documented that I had an ice cream. That is unusual, as I don't eat a lot of ice cream. But we had bought those mini magnums, which is just enough for me.
 Sunday is church day. We watch two church services online, then have a Zoom meeting with another couple with whom we form a house group. Then in the evening we do a bit of worship in a farm out in the country.
 Monday another walk with my friend. The abundant produce everywhere in the field lightened our spirit. Look at all these pears hanging over the fence!
After the walk we stopped at a cafe and had some freshly squeezed orange juice. The cigarette vending machine had an unfortunate name...

 On Tuesday I went to the post office to collect my mail, and in the evening hubby and I went to eat pizza in the village (5 minutes walk from our house). More smiles.
On Wednesday a small parcel was delivered. I didn't know what it could be as I hadn't ordered anything. It turns out to be a fake gold ring in a pretty box. Heaven knows what I am going to do with that. It is quite pretty but I don't wear jewelry (apart from a plain wedding band).
In the evening it rained! That is a big smile for us as it seldom rains and goodness knows the soil needs it.
Hubby (plus two other guys) has been working on the irrigation system.

Well, that was my week. Now I'm going to link up with Annie at A Stitch In Time and with Virginia at Rocking your Week Friday. Why don't you join me there?

As per usual, I will put some funnies at the end.

Stay safe everyone!

Tuesday 28 July 2020

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 28 July 2020 - T for little cup of joy and some history, plus a BBQ

reflections for the soul: if you wake up badly ... take a little cup of joy. Good morning)

Hello, Good morning lovely ladies!
Have you got your 'little cup of joy' ready? Then we can join Elizabeth and Bluebeard at the T-Party.

My postcard for today comes from the USA:

A  tongue in cheek statement that I don't agree with. But some people might. I do like a good glass of champagne at special occasions though. The back of this (advert) card reads: 

"When does luxury become a necessity? 
When it's Taitinger's Comtes de Champagne. 
One sip, and you'll recognize the elegance and finesse which are the hallmarks 
of Taitinger's style - and yours."

The stamps are interesting. I had fun reading up on these. Feel free to scroll past all this 'history lesson', as I don't want to bore you.

First of all Johns Hopkins was a very interesting man. Wikipedia writes this of him:
Johns Hopkins (May 19, 1795 – December 24, 1873) was an American entrepreneurabolitionist and philanthropist of 19th-century BaltimoreMaryland.
His bequests founded numerous institutions bearing his name, most notably Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins University (including its academic divisions such as Johns Hopkins School of NursingJohns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Carey Business SchoolJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies).
Johns Hopkins grew up on a plantation. The Hopkins family were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers). In 1807, they emancipated their slaves in accordance with their local Society decree, which called for freeing the able-bodied and caring for the others, who would remain at the plantation and provide labor as they could.
Johns Hopkins is described as being an "abolitionist before the word was even invented", having been represented as such both prior to the Civil War period, as well as during the Civil War and Reconstruction Era. There are several accounts that describe the abolitionist influence Hopkins was privy to as a 12-year-old participant in his parents' emancipation of their family's slaves in 1807.
The Alliance of Progress was another thing I had never heard of. So I went to Wikipedia again:
Alliance for Progress  aimed to establish economic cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America.
The United States government began to strengthen diplomatic relations with Latin America in the late 1950s during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In March 1961, the newly inaugurated President Kennedy proposed a ten-year plan for Latin America:
  • an annual increase of 2.5% in per capita income,
  • the establishment of democratic governments,
  • the elimination of adult illiteracy by 1970
  • price stability, to avoid inflation or deflation
  • more equitable income distributionland reform, and
  • economic and social planning.
The Alliance for Progress achieved a short-lived public relations success. It also had real but limited economic advances.[11] But by the early 1970s the program was widely viewed as a failure.[18]
The program failed for three reasons:
  • Latin American nations were unwilling to implement needed reforms, particularly in land reform.
  • Presidents after Kennedy were less supportive of the program.
  • The amount of money was not enough for the entire region: $20 billion averaged out to only $10 per Latin American.
The Organization of American States disbanded the permanent committee created to implement the alliance in 1973.
So, what have i been up to this week? I go walking with my friend Antonia every Monday. Yesterday we just marveled about the abundance of crops and produce. Everywhere we walked we could see trees laden with almonds, vegetable plots full of produce and this orchard was spilling its fruit over the fence:

 There were pear branches and apple branches, all hanging over the fence.
 Halfway our walk, we came to an industrial estate and we stopped at the bar for a freshly squeezed orange juice and a glass of water.
The cigarette machine in the corner caught my attention as the company was called 'Coronavending'! 

We had a BBQ with our best friends the other day and I had bought lots of meat to cook.

We never even got round to cooking the lamb chops, so the next day I cooked the chops and made a lovely Rogan Josh curry.

 We are still enjoying the kombucha (all raspberry now. It is our favorite flavor). 

That's it from me today. 
Looking back over this blog post, I can see I have plenty of qualifiers for the T-Party.
Happy T-Day all!
Stay safe,

Friday 24 July 2020

A Postcard A Day - Friday24 July 2020 - Friday Smiles

Hello lovely people,

It's Friday again and I'm here to share my smiles from this week and of course a postcard. 
This one really did make me smile. It comes from Germany and it represents the municipa library in Bielefeld. 

On the back it says (in German): "New children's books are like friends from all over the world: 1000 books, CDs and DVDs, now in 42 languages. Exciting, funny, colourful. Come to your municipal library!"

I saw that the sun was wearing glasses, and that made me smile too.

What have I been doing and what made me smile this week? Well, almost every Friday morning I go for a long walk with my friend Antonia. We chat and we pray. When I got home I went shopping in the village. Hubby wanted to come with me as he needed some stuff. That was nice so we stopped at a cafe and had a drink once we finished our shopping. 
 Kate Yetter, one of my blog friends, recommended this book: The War Room, a Christian book about an american couple whose marriage is in trouble. They meet this older lady who teaches them about the power of prayer, and they are able to mend their relationship with each other and with God.  Brilliant book.

Saturday was fruitful and we got a lot of things done. Here in rural Spain, it is much easier to have something made, than to drive to the nearest city to shop for something you need. We needed a metal door, so we got a guy out to measure up. As you can see, we have to wear masks everywhere.
 Sunday the weather was dull and 'close'. And in the afternoon there was a thunderstorm and we had rain! Wonderful!
 A while ago, someone had accidentally driven into hubby's scooter. No one was hurt and their insurance pays for the damage. Monday we were given the go-ahead, and we took the scooter into town to be repaired. I drove behind hubby in the car as we needed transport to come back home again. We had a coffee outside a lovely restaurant that we go to sometimes. We sat out on the terrace. Near where we were sitting, there was this large tube, filled with water for visiting dogs. Isn't that nice!
 Quite a few smiles on Tuesday: I went to the post office to collect my mail. Lots of postcards. And I found a large chocolate bar that I had forgotten about: it was liquorice chocolate from Denmark. I don't need to hide it as nobody I know likes liquorice chocolate. But I love it!
Then hubby cooked us a 'mean' English breakfast, which we had for lunch of course. (I couldn't eat so much in the morning).
 During the night from Wednesday to Thursday, we heard an enormous bang in the night. We thought one of my pictures had fallen off the wall, hubby went to investigate, but found nothing. In the morning I noticed that one of my kombucha bottles (a small one luckily)  had exploded. Must have been a faulty bottle as all the other bottles of that same batch were fine. But I did put them all in the fridge (to stop fermentation), and in the meantime I have made another batch.
Then when I went to the bathroom, I heard a noise and I found a small kitten, and it hid behind the washing machine, and wouldn't come out again. Now we happened to have a cat trap. There is a vet near the coast who neuters street cats, so that they don't become large colonies of feral cats. We have helped the cause by trapping cats who cannot be handled and taking them to the vet. It's a cage with a trap door. The cat comes in lured by some food and the door shuts behind him. Well, it worked a treat with the little kitten. We did not take it to the vet though, but just released it outside our house and it ran off.

That was my week. How has your week been? Join us at Annie's at A stitch In Time or/and Virginia at Rocking Your Week Friday.
As per usual, I have put some funnies at the end. 

Have a lovely weekend,
Stay healthy,

 Did you know they had  Zoom meetings even in the Middle Ages?.....

Tuesday 21 July 2020

A Postcard A Day - Tuesday 21 July 2020 - T for black & white, a lake and some food

Hello lovely girls. It's Tuesday again! How that week flies!
It's time for the T-Party hosted by Elizabeth and Bluebeard. Please join us with a beverage of your choice.

I would like to show you a postcard I received this week. It is a black and white photograph entitled: Neith with Tumbleweed, Paradise Cove 1986. It is by photographer Herb Ritts.

Wikipedia says: Herbert "Herb" Ritts Jr. (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) was an American fashion photographer and director known for his photographs of celebrities, models, and other cultural figures throughout the 1980s and 1990s. His work concentrated on black and white photography and portraits, often in the style of classical Greek sculpture, which emphasized the human shape.

Born in Los Angeles, to a Jewish family,[2] Ritts began his career working in the family furniture business. His father, Herb Ritts Sr., was a businessman, while his mother, Shirley Ritts, was an interior designer. He moved to the East Coast to attend Bard College in New York, where he majored in economics and art history, graduating in 1975.[1]
Later, while living in Los Angeles, he became interested in photography when he and friend Richard Gere, then an aspiring actor, decided to shoot some photographs in front of an old jacked up Buick.[1] The picture gained Ritts some coverage and he began to be more serious about photography. He photographed Brooke Shields for the cover of the October 12, 1981 edition of Elle and he photographed Olivia Newton-John for her Physical album in 1981. Five years later he replicated that cover pose with Madonna for her 1986 release True Blue.
Ritts was openly gay.

The stamps are beautiful.

The large 'Forever' stamp is a Post Office mural.

“Kiowas Moving Camp” (1936)
Anadarko, Oklahoma
One of the Kiowa Six, a group of 20th-century Native-American artists hailing from Oklahoma, Stephen Mopope (1899–1974) designed a multi-part mural depicting Plains Indian life. Mopope and Kiowa Six artists James Auchiah (1906–1974) and Spencer Asah (ca. 1906–1954) painted 16 murals with tempera paint directly to the plaster walls in the lobby, including “Kiowas Moving Camp.” They can be seen at the Anadarko Post Office in Oklahoma.
Anadarko got its name when its post office was established in 1873. The designation came from the Nadarko Native Americans, a branch of the Caddo, and the "A" was added by clerical error.[7]
In 1871, the Wichita Agency was reestablished on the north bank of the Washita River after being destroyed in the American Civil War. The Wichita Agency administered the affairs of the WichitaCaddo and other tribes. In 1878, the Kiowa-Comanche Agency at Fort Sill was consolidated with the Wichita Agency.

In 1901, the federal government allotted the lands of the Kiowa, Comanche and Arapaho Reservations, and opened the surplus land to white settlement. On August 6, 1901, an auction was held for homesteads and town lots. Around 5,000 people were living in "Rag Town" on the east edge of Anadarko awaiting the auction. Although 20,000 people were present for auction day, Anadarko's population dwindled to 2,190 in 1907.[7]
Agriculture has been the principal driver of the local economy, since the Washita Valley has been good for crops and livestock. The second pillar of the local economy has been Native American affairs.

I'm sure Elizabeth knows all about this, but for me as a European this is all very interesting and I hope that others have found it interesting too.
Now a bit more about me (us). Last week we went to our weekend home to check it out and do some cleaning.

Hubby focused on the outside and I cleaned the kitchen, including this old thing:

It's my old Kitchen Aid. The 'head' is fixed and that makes it awkward to get the paddle out. But it is a splendid machine and still works a treat.

In the evening we watched a DVD and had a glass of Baileys. 
The next day we went to our favorite restaurant, which has re-opened, to have a meal:
I had a char grilled chicken breast and hubby had his ham, egg and chips (not on the menu but made especially for him). My drink is a Radler (beer with lemon).

After our meal we drove to the nearby Negratín reservoir, to see what the water level was.

It was just below normal (the white bit).

The colour of the lake is actually turquoise and it's very beautiful.

Sorry, my finger got in the way.
The hill behind hubby is called Jabalcon. My header photo was taken from the top of Jabalcon by a friend called Edu.

Yes, we have to wear masks even there.

Lastly, when we were home again, it was time to open our first kombucha bottle. I asked hubby to carefully open it, in case it would explode everywhere. (Excuse naked upper body. It was very hot )

I had done a second fermentation with raspberries. (I had tried nine different fruits and flavorings, but raspberry is our favorite).

And it was absolutely delicious!!

That is it from me today. I wish everyone a very happy T-Day!