Hi everyone. My first smile today is a link to a video. If you love cats, especially big ones, do watch it. I guarantee you will smile. The caption reads (approximately),"Will the lion feels the earth on his skin for the first time after 13 years imprisoned in an iron cage". I couldn´t help but think of those lions that were caged in the trailer at the back of our house a few weeks ago. I bet they´d like to feel the earth on their skin! I couldn´t manage to link the picture to the video but you can watch it by clicking here.
I make no apologies for my second smile today, although you have all seen similar ones before. It was time to get my big white cat Arwen stripped of all her matted fur. So here are the before and after shots. BEFORE
They had to trim a lot of her face hair this time, but they left it a good shape, and I think she is rather pretty. She is also so much more comfortable, and therefore more happy. She has even deigned to sit on my knee for a few minutes this week. She also still has her furry boots on, but for the first time, she needed to have her tail shaved. It just has a little tassel on the end, like a lion. She has to be put under anaesthetic to have this done as she is not very friendly by nature, and can do quite some damage with her claws and teeth when she doesn´t approve of what you are doing.
You can just see that she has folds of loose skin under her tummy from where she was just used as a kitten machine by her previous owners. She was only around 3 or 4 years old when I took her in, but she had had several litters each year. Goodness knows how they managed to mate her. He was a brave tom cat! She doesn´t take kindly to sharing her space with other animals, nor people, though she just about tolerates me. Seeing as she lives in my craft room she doesn´t get a lot of choice about that!
So lets look at the highlights of my week. Hubby arrived back from the UK safely on Monday. It is good to have him home.
I had two successful jam making sessions early in the week. I made lots of cherry jam with the fruit I bought on our outing last week, and I´ve already sold half of it.
I had to make some new labels fast as I hadn´t made cherry jam before. I made a template for my jam labels to fit the sheets of labels I can buy at a local stationers, and once I have made them for any given fruit, I save them in a file so I can always print out more. By law, if I sell my jam in a public place, I am suppose to list the ingredients in Spanish. I often see jam for sale at local events without this, but I try to comply with the law. The two jars at the end are stoned cherries in brandy in the lower jar, and the top one is cherries in Ameretto. I have to be very strong willed and put those away in a cupboard for a year before I try them.
On Sunday, my friend at church gave me another tray of nectarines, and I had about a kilo of apricots in the fridge, so I mixed those together and made some more jam. So my cupboard is quite well stocked again at the minute.
I have been working on finishing off a few more blankets for Africa. I know our main shipment went across to UK last week, but I have a friend who is driving over in August and she is going to take a few more things for me if she can fit them in her car. I had several blankets that were almost ready. Sometimes they are just a bit too small and I need to crochet a wider border on them. Also some of my Wednesday group have been helping me by sewing squares together, so that is more blankets that need edging. Going through my box of oddments I came across a big square of bright pink knitting. It was a big square to make in one piece, but sadly it was still under the required minimum of a metre square. So this week I found a set of blue, green and purple squares and stitched them all round it, and then did a very simple burgundy shell edging, and now that one is finished. I think it looks rather nice.
The summer weather is here at last. We´ve been hitting thirty most days, and higher in sheltered spots. So here is Chris cooling down in the pool. Miki is the only one of the dogs who will come within a mile of the pool, even when we are in it. The other two creep up onto the porch and and sit watching. I´m glad in a way that they don´t jump into the water, like some of my friends dogs do. The chlorine is very bad for them, and their hair blocks the drain enough just blowing in from the yard! I haven´t been in much yet, but I think I will be next week.
At lunch time today we had to drive over to the hospital in Almeria. Chris has rheumatoid arthritis, though luckily not too severely, and he has an appointment with his specialist every six months. He was pleased with him this morning and said he needn´t see him again for year this time. Chris says he feels a fraud sometimes when there are others there so much worse than him, but it is because it was recognised early and he has had such good treatment here, that he is continuing stable, so we are grateful for the medical care they have given him.
After the hospital we decided to drive down to the beach for a drink before going home. Almeria is the capital city for our province, and it is unusual in that it is bounded on one side by a long stretch of sandy beach. When you fly into Almeria airport, you feel as though you are taxiing along the beach , it is so close to the runway.
It was mid-afternoon by then, so the hottest time of the day, and the beach was almost deserted. We walked along the lovely tiled promenade, with hardly another soul in sight.
But when we went into a chiringuito - beach café - there were some people in there having lunch. I sat sipping an enormous Tropical smoothie, and I took some photos from under the sun shades, looking along the beach towards the harbour, and the mountains beyond. But when I came to transfer them onto the computer, I found that I had left the SD card in the computer slot last night, so my photos had gone into the very little bit of internal memory on the camera. This shouldn´t have been a problem, but I have never had a USB cable to connect it to the computer, and the socket on the camera is not a usual size, so it has to be a specific one. So first of all I went on Amazon.es and ordered the right cable which will be here early next week, so the problem won´t arise again. But not to be defeated, I wanted the photos for this post, so I balanced the camera and brought the pictures up on its LCD screen, and took a photo of the screen with my phone. I then duly uploaded them to the computer and edited them a bit, so the quality of this picture, and the one above, is not good. They have a checkered pattern on them that makes them look like they are paintings on a textured canvas!
Where there´s a will, there´s a way!!
A couple of other things to be grateful for.
1. My quiet time first thing in the morning. When I have sorted out the cats, and fed the dogs, I take my breakfast out to the back of the house where we have a couple of benches and a table. It is too hot to sit there for most of the day in the summer, but first thing it is in the shade. There is only the green zone in front of me so it is very peaceful, and I sit listening to the bird song, and watching the swifts ducking and diving after any bugs that flying around. They are amazing acrobats. It is a good start to the day.
2. This morning I went for my monthly diabetes and blood pressure checks, and I was very pleased as my blood sugar count was almost down to where it was when I was taking two tablets a day. Six months ago I asked the doctor if I could try taking one and do the rest with a more careful diet, and she reluctantly agreed. I am not quite there yet, but there is a real improvement over last month.
3. We have had some family health issues over the last couple of weeks, but now everyone seems to have turned the corner and is doing much better. We were particularly concerned about our grandson who is twenty. He had, what we now know was almost certainly glandular fever, and he was very poorly. It will be some weeks before he is right back to good health, but he is eating and drinking again, and no longer in bed all day, so that is good news.
So now I will close with the one lovely sky we have had this week. I had closed up for the night when I just caught sight of it through the kitchen window. When I went out to take a photo I found that the light was bouncing off the clouds so that it was surrounding the whole house, which is quite unusual. So then I went out to the front of the house and took a picture there too.
Isn´t that lovely?. So now I will go and link up at Annie´s Friday Smiles and Rocking your World at Celtic House, and I´ll see you again next week.