I have had a busy day today, so there is no way this will be ready to post by mid-night. I have a very poor internet connection tonight so I may have to wait until tomorrow to post it anyway, but I will get it written just in case it works.
I had an idea ready to post for my Friday smiles but I need to get the OK from someone to use the photos, and I haven´t had time, so I will keep it for next week.
In the meantime here are a couple of my lovely dogs, showing of their good manners at mealtimes. Because the path at the back of the house is narrow, and I don´t want to be bowled over by them, I make them sit at the gate while I walk around to the kitchen door where I feed them, and then I call them. (I think I showed this photo last week, but I can´t open my blog to check right now). Once they are round, I dish up their food and then tell them to sit in their places. They always go to the same spots, and sit and wait while I put all three dishes down. They don´t touch it until all three are served, but look how Kim´s eyes are fixed on his, just in case it disappears if he looks away. Miki´s much more laid back and she is just looking at me as much as to say, "How long do we have to wait?".
Once I give the word, "Good girls", (Kim´s a boy but he doesn´t mind!), they all dive in and there are soon three empty dishes. Kim finishes way before the other two but he never bothers them, or tries to take their´s.
They aren´t the best trained dogs, and don´t always pay much attention to me, but they know not to mess with me at food time unless they want to go hungry!
So what has kept me smiling this week.
Good friends for a start. I´ve had a few issues to mull over just lately and I´m grateful for good friends to talk them through with me.
Last week I told you I was able to help a friend by translating for her at the medical centre. Well a few days later she surprised me with this lovely rose. Isn´t it pretty?
Some of you will think I´ve lost the plot a bit, but I am grateful for the arrival of Winter - Spanish winter that is! We have had just enough rain to make everything grow, and turn the county side green.
We still have lots of sunny days, but it is nice to change over to my ´mid-season´wardrobe and wear something other than a flimsy sun-dress all day.
It is nice to finally need a douvet on the bed, even if it is only a tog 4.5 rating. Most of the year we only have a sheet over us, but it is somehow comforting to have a douvet back for a few months.
It is good to enjoy warming casseroles and soup. We mostly live of ´something and salad´, but there are limits to how many ´somethings´you can come up with. I love soups and my super blender makes lovely ones.
This one, that we enjoyed this week, was based on chicken stock from boiling up a chicken carcass, but the rest of the ingredients were raw vegetables, a couple of carrots, the stem from some brocolli, half a red pepper, a small hot pepper, some chopped up cabbage and the leaves from some celery, plus some lightly sauted mushrooms and leeks, a cooked potato, half a tin of baked beans, and a little rice from the day before´s curry. So it is a great way to use up the bits that might otherwise be wasted, and it is bursting with goodness. I am rather lazy about food and I could live off soup like that quite happily.
At my sewing group this week, several people were finishing off the lace decorations that they started last week. As promised I sat with my friend and talked her through doing hers. She wanted to give up the first day but I have told her we are going to do it, but I am not doing it for her, so I watch her all the time and stop her if she makes a wrong move. She is struggling a bit, and I can see that she is hampered by being left handed, but she will finish it!
She is sitting at the end of this table, just out of the photo, and I am sitting beside her knitting. The bag with the red and white wool in it is mine. The lady standing up in the orange top is Pam. She is the expert at lace-making and is leading the workshop.
Further down the table the people who chose not to make a decoration, are knitting, sewing and chatting!
And over on the other table there are more knitters and sewers. Look at the lovely Christmas quilt that Elzabeth is making. She is a very talented lady.
So you can see we are a busy little group. We all have our own speciality, but we share ideas and patterns, and help one another when someone wants to learn a new skill. They are a great bunch of friends and I am so grateful for our times together.
This morning Chris and I went to a Christmas Fair at the camping site just outside our village. It was organised by the Vera Town Lions Club, and I try to support them as they have been very helpful to families in this area. It was well supported and there were some lovely hand-crafted items on sale. Needless to say I was tempted by the baking stall, and bought two nice meat pies for our dinner, and a big slab of carrot cake.
Some friends of ours were there with their jewelry stall, and there was a lovely necklace on display. Chris knew that I liked it and he bought it for me. He let me take a photo of it to put on here, but now it is all wrapped up and will be hanging under the Christmas tree in a week or two.
This photo doesn´t do it justice. The little beads are a much brighter turquoise than they look here, but it was very hard to photograph it against black card, in artificial light. The silver chains are in fact all tiny sterling silver beads. They must have taken for ever to thread. Apparently they are know as liquid silver.
Before we left the camp site we called in at the little shop on the site and bought tickets for a concert there on the Saturday before Christmas. We will have just finished two weeks of entertaining other folk with the choir concerts, so it will be nice to sit back and be entertained ourselves. And there is a full Christmas buffet meal before the concert, so that is something to look forward to.
Then, when we got back home we went up to our town hall and booked our seats for the village pensioners Christmas dinner. We pay a little for this but it is well subsidised by the town hall. They take us in a convoy of coaches to a venue just off the motorway towards Almeria, and we have a lovely five course meal with as much drink as we want, and some sort of entertainment too. Because it is meant only for the pensioners in the village, it is at midday, and we will be back in the village by early evening. We went last year and had a lovely time.
After dinner I decided to go and do the monthly food shop. It is not my favourite outing, but I knew it would be quiet mid-afternoon, so it is a good time to go. Once a month I do the rounds of Lidls, Mercadona, and Iceland, and for the rest of the month I just need bread and milk, and fruit and vegetables from the market. One of the things I bought today was this bag of big oranges. The orange season has well and truly arrived and I got this bag of five and a half kilos of oranges for just 2.75€, (that´s around 18p a pound for my UK friends). They look really nice ones, so there is plenty of vitamin C for us there.
When I was taking Kim for a walk the other day I was really pleased to find this branch down under a pine tree. It is fairly straight and has so many cones still on it, so I brought it home. I shall do something with it before Christmas. I kept it outside at first, and sprayed it well to make sure it doesn´t have any livestock hiding in the cones, but I have brought it into the garage now so that it is properly dry before I spray it with snow.
It has been quite a difficult week, I have shared three lots of sad news. Not sad for me personally, but sad for people I am fond of, so I have shared their sadness too. But I am glad that I have still found plenty to be grateful for.
Now before I do my linking up with Annie´s Friday Smiles, and Virginia at Celtic House, I will just show you this week´s sky pictures. I can´t help myself can I? I could sit and watch the sky for hours, though these are all taken between about 5.30 and 6.30. The colours change while you watch them, and a few minutes later they are gone. It has been quite windy some days, especially up high, so the clouds have broken into fanciful shapes, that each catch the rays of the setting sun. I love that short time when the sky is still blue, but the sun is setting. Some of these are so peaceful. A couple of others are more stormy, and of course, there is the inevitable fiery face peeping over the hills at us! Enjoy!
I forgot to add last night, how grateful I am that you take time to visit me and leave a lovely comment. I do enjoy hearing from you all. I apologise that I only managed to get back to a few of you. I had major issues with my new computer. As you may remember, I only had it new back in October and I love it. But in good faith I bought some down-loaded files from a firm I have used before, that is widely recommended among my Silhouette cameo group, and along with the files I imported a load of malware/viruses. They scrambled my internet and made it almost impossible to use, and seemed to be multiplying by the hour. My poor long-suffering husband spent days working on it, trying to clean it up, and hopefully everything is back to normal now. Where would I be without him!! So this week I will do my best to visit you all. Thanks again for following me.