I am once again experiencing problems with the internet. Tonight I can get access to my dashboard but not to my blog. Neither can I open either of the lovely blogs where I link this, so I am going ahead and preparing it, and if everything goes to form, I will suddenly be able to do it all at around mid-night!
My first smile today is this happy chappy, who is my ten year old grandson. Annie loves to share photos of her grandies, so I though I´d join her this week. He is looking very pleased with himself because he had just achieved his Rookie Lifeguard bronze award.
And on the very same day he had a letter in the post which contained a much coveted Blue Peter badge. His daddy actually has two of these precious badges still, and he had told his lad about them. He decided he wanted one as well so he wrote them a poem about this, and he got his badge! His brother is a very laid-back seven year old, who wasn´t at all bothered by all this attention his brother was getting, and apparently he was quite happy to settle for a bag of jelly beans. A great attitude to have! (I have refrained from using the boys names as their dad only refers to them as big bear and little bear on social media, so I must respect that).
My second smile today is two of my lovely sky photos. My long-suffering husband probably thinks I´ve lost the plot when I stop in the middle of feeding the dogs to grab my camera because "there´s another face looking at us in the sunset". I have to do it straight away as the clouds are shape-shifters, and each image is only there for a very short time. So here are the two little peekers. I think they both look quite friendly ones, so I smiled back!
I´ll be linking those up to Annie´s Friday Smiles as soon as blogger lets me open her blog.
But I have a few other happy moments to share with you too. When it was my turn to host our Life group here, a couple of weeks ago, one of the ladies was going home to pick her olives because her husband was away, and they were too ripe to leave. So I asked her if I could buy some of her oil when her olives were pressed. I left it too late last year and she had sold out when I asked her. The very next Sunday she came up to me with a 2 litre bottle. It doesn´t come much fresher than this!
For those who aren´t familiar with the way things are done here, if you have your own olive trees and you pick the olives as they ripen, you can take them to a local press. There are several around here and they open to the public from November to late January I think. It doesn´t matter whether you have one crate load, or a lorry full, you join the queue, and your olives are weighed. Then you are given a ticket to say how much oil you can have, which you redeem from further along the line. So you may not get the actual oil from your olives, but it is all freshly pressed, and it is Extra, extra virgin oil! You may think it doesn´t look very appetizing, and it really is this murky green, but it is beautiful to use. I have already decanted some of mine because I am not good at pouring from the big plastic bottles, (even when they only contain water!), so my oil drizzler is a safer option for me! At the press you can opt for the slightly more refined oil which is clear, but for using on salad, or drizzling on bread, this is the best.
Via a friend of a friend.. etc, a lady in our choir heard that I make mincepies, mostly to sell for charity, but this year the mincemeat is too expensive for me to make as many as I usually do. Well she makes her own, something I have never done as in UK it never seemed worth the work when the bought ones were so good, and she decided to make one batch for me. So on Tuesday, at choir practice, she gave me this beautiful jar full of yummy home-made mincemeat. She even put a festive cap on it. Isn´t that lovely? Two batches of my pastry mix, makes around seven dozen pies, and this jar exactly filled them. Perfect! I have made around fourteen dozen mince-pies for the sale tomorrow, but I don´t intend to make too many more this year.
Early last year I showed some little tri-pots that had languished in a corner of the garden ever since we came here, and I had given them a new lease of life by planting them with cuttings off several cacti and succulents that we have. I have watered them when I remember, and on the whole they are still doing very well. Here is one as it looks now.
I have a pair of them, and I ran out of cuttings for the second set, so for the last pot I used a few self-seeded baby gallardias, which did well in the Summer, but they are not as tolerant of my hit and miss care in the Autumn. Recently I noticed that all that remained of them was a clump of dead, brown sticks that resembled a rather untidy birds nest! I thought they were dead but decided that I would not replace them until next Spring. Then it rained, and when I walked past them again, look what I found!
It is actually quite hard to kill anything out here, and all these little babies wanted was a long drink. I shall nurture them now. They deserve to be shown some love, and hopefully, come the summer, they will reward me with some flowers.
Fortunately, although we have had some much-needed rain this week, most of it has fallen during the evening and night, and the days have been glorious. It is not that warm any more, but when the skies are blue, you don´t notice that the sun has lost its power. And some days it has warmed up quite a bit for a few hours around lunch time. I was able to sit outside to eat my lunch today which was nice. And one day in the week, I sat here at my computer and was warm enough to have the window right next to me, wide open. Of course Arwen thought this was for her benefit, and she immediately laid along the sill, enjoying the sun on her back for a couple of hours. And woe betide me if I tried to move her.
I am very happy that I managed to write all my Christmas cards for posting last night, and today I took them all to the post office. (The bill was 59€. Ouch! But as I said to a friend who was also bemoaning the postage costs, I enjoy making the cards, but what´s the point if you begrudge the postage. It is only once a year, so I pay up, and hope they all give someone as much pleasure to receive as they gave me to make them). I thought I was a bit late this year but I just made it by my target date. Tomorrow and Monday are both red days, or bank holidays, here, so the post office will be closed, and I try to get mine away before that. So today I was just in time.
I have been very busy this week making and finishing off cards, and also items for my second craft fair. This is the Gallarte expo in our village tomorrow and Sunday. It is a fairly simple affair, just for the folk in the village really, and I don´t expect to sell much, but I like to set out a good table all the same, and what doesn´t sell will be used by us, or put away for next year. I went up to the hall to set up today, but I didn´t get around to take any photos. Hopefully there will be time tomorrow. It will be busiest in the evening but I can´t be there then as it is our first major choir concert, so a friend is keeping an eye on my things for me. Hopefully by next week I will have written posts about some of my ´makes´for my craft blogs so I will be able to put some links on here.
I started with some sky photos and of course I also have some to close with. I like the first one just because you can see all the little birds flying home to rest. (You may need to click on the image to enlarge it to see the birds!).
The rest of these were taken in the morning for a change. I woke up late to see a blue sky outside with little fluffy white clouds all over it, so I jumped out of bed and rushed outside with my camera to take this.
By the time I was washed and dressed, lots more clouds had moved up from the south-east and they joined up to partly obscure the rising sun.
I rather liked the look of this even though it didn´t bode well for a sunny day. But it stayed clear enough, and warm enough, for me to dry all my washing out on the line so I was grateful for that.
Then I went round to the back of the house, which doesn´t get the full sun until later in the morning. Here the clouds were also gathering and they reflected the rising sun with a lovely pearly pink sheen. It was so pretty I had to take one more picture.
So that´s it for this week. As soon as I am able to link this up I will, so I´ll see you at Annie´s Friday Smiles, or over at Celtic House.
I am truly sorry that I didn´t manage to visit many of you last week. The only spare time I have had to come down here, has been in the evenings, and I have not been able to open any blogs at that time. If it is no better this week, I may have to manage some morning sessions, instead of doing the housework. That sounds like a good idea to me!