Thursday, May 29, 2014

Celebrating with the Celts

If you want Fine leather work, you can count on Alejandro Ballesteros whose leather artistry is evident. From his backyard workshop all manner of enchanting items are designed and crafted to each individual taste. This time Sombra was asking for a special collar for her first time to the Astures and Romans festival, a week of living history in Astorga. This Celtic rune became the preferred design, but doubled and with the letter "S" incrusted at the center.

Si quieres un trabajo en cuero fino, puedes contar con Alejandro Ballesteros cuyo arte en cuero es evidente. Desde su taller detrás de su casa diseña y fabrica para cada gusto individual toda clase de artículos encantadores. Esta vez Sombra pedía un collar especial para su primera vez en la fiesta de Astures y Romanos, una semana de recreación histórica en Astorga. Esta runa celta se convirtió en el diseño preferido, pero se duplicó y con la letra "S" incrustada en el centro.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Amapolas y El Club Atlético Madrid

Northern Spanish Country - the hills in spring.
Striking red poppies and other wildflowers sprinkled here and there in full bloom.

Also, in full form and in red, El Club Atlético de Madrid, pictured here. Tonight they played another team from Madrid for the European championship. How crazy is that? Out of all of the European teams, both finalists are Spanish teams and both from Madrid!
Despite all of Enrique's shouts and jumping up and down, El Atlético lost to El Real Madrid, 1:4. Some are happy, however, because I hear singing in the street below. There are always happy winners, just not those dressed in red tonight.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Dancer, Model and More

If you dance with your heart, your body will follow. 
Si bailas con tu corazón, tu cuerpo lo seguirá.

Handcrafted jewelry and apparel, Iddea Viva
Painting for Teresa who is still glowing and carrying a beautiful smile across her face.

The first of a series of stellar youth, I Remember When (they were just kids.) 
Primera de una nueva serie de jóvenes estelares, Les Recuerdo Cuando (solo eran niños).
Enjoy and celebrate them with me. 
Disfruta y celébralos conmigo.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Babel Bliss

While drinking my morning blend (spinach, a carrot, pineapple, a ripe pear and banana, two kiwis) whey protein, ground flax seed, and guava juice) the morning sounds come up and through the kitchen balcony doors where I'm at the table and listening to a dialogue between a 9 language boy and a 6 language girl.

At first I watch them, then I just close my eyes and the languages weave in and out of my thoughts. Phonemes jumping up and down, having a big party - a dance party couldn't beat this, interesting, exhilarating, fascinating. The last time I felt a similar exhilaration I was listening to lectures at UCSD with Risa, a day there to visit and getting an intellectual soulful.
Speaking of Risa, today is her day, 24 years young and beautiful. Shouting out a big Happy Birthday; she's my joy. And today, in birthday celebration we've planted roses. Not just any roses, but red and candy cane striped climbers in bright blue terra cotta pots.
The language of planting to say I love you.  Do you speak garden? Maybe you speak service instead and doing for others speaks a similar message. I wonder what love languages the 6 language girl and the 9 language boy speak?
This week I found a message written by Risa when she was only eight years old. At such a tender age she cared about people and all living creatures. She wanted people having enough clean water to drink. She was as compassionate then as she is now. I marveled to think at how much she was already purposed in the direction of loving and serving. For though she speaks both Spanish and English, sprinkled with Jamaican Patois, Arabic and a few other bits and pieces of languages of countries visited. But, her most striking language is altruism, passionate pleas to help the world around us.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Tiles

Azulejos del Día de la Madre
Tiles on Mother's Day

Your children will be like jewels.
Jeweled and precious, adorning the walls of your life.

You will be as proud of them as a bride is of her jewels.
They are your delight, your joy.

como los adornos de una novia.
Sí, tus hijos serán como las joyas de una novia.
Isaiah 49:18

Mother's Day in the US comes a week later than in Spain. This means that I was already thinking about mothers a whole week early which is good since that way I have a chance at being timely with my mailed sentiments. This year I did something special for my mom. It kept me up late and filled my coffee break moments and was the nicest gift I've discovered for her in years. Wish I had a camera for the moment she reads it.

Mother's Day in the US was always a church service and a brunch to follow, mother and mother-in-law treated to a meal with special desserts and recognition. It's a day of flowers, of lace tablecloths, of spring coffee or tea chats in the garden.

This year in Spain, it's a color.  Blue.  Remembering; deep waters, reflective and still hopeful blue.

Hours later after this post, from my four loves.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pan y Queso

So, what does a vegetarian who has sworn off meat and dairy for years do when eighteen artisan cheese factories from seven provinces of Spain come together for a fabulous cheese festival, the Feria 'Más Queseras' to sample and buy some of the most exquisite cheeses in the country?  Well, she'd like to say she'd stay firm in her convictions, but the truth is quite the opposite. In fact, farm specialty cheeses are her weak point and it is impossible to resist these small and local artisan wares. Moreover, these particular cheese factories are all led by women, giving the fair its name, and they are all found all along the ancient pilgrimage, The Way of Saint James or Via de la Plata. Astorga is at the crossroads of both ancient thoroufares.
Pan con queso, sabe a beso. Yes, bread with cheese tastes of a kiss.
Pero, ¿Qué hace una vegetariana que ha jurado quitarse de la carne y los lácteos durante años cuando dieciocho empresas artesanales de siete provincias de España se reúnen en un fabuloso festival donde catar y comprar los quesos más exquisitos.  Bueno, a ella le gustaría decir que se mantuvo firme en sus convicciones, pero la verdad es justo lo opuesto. De hecho, los quesos especiales son su punto débil y le fue imposible resistirse a estas artesanas de pequeñas empresas locales. Además, estas empresas queseras están lideradas por mujeres, lo que le da el nombre a la feria, y se encuentran todas a lo largo de la ruta de peregrinaje del Camino de Santiago o de la Vía de la Plata. Astorga es la encrucijada de ambos caminos.
Numbered below are the cheeses that were so good they came home with us. As you can see, it was a fair sampling from the provinces of León, Cantabria and Zamora.
Los que vinieron a casa con nosotros: compramos
1- uno de Facendera; cosasyquesos: pastablanda- queso madurado de cabra, un queso rústico de la montaña de león. Elaboración artesanal (León).
2- Quesería La Brañuca de Bejes, Picon Bejes Treviso (Cantabria)
3- Hircus, Queso de Cabra elaborado con leche cruda y madurado con mohos (Zamora)

El domingo, día 4 a las 21:15 tuvo lugar la charla sobre "Emprendedoras en el mundo rural y otras realidades provinciales."