Eternity is in love with the productions of time. William Blake

Archive for April, 2010

Easter Vacation Adventures, Part Two

Welcome back!  Easter, naturally, comes next.  Kale’a and I drew a picture for the Easter Bunny, complete with carrots fresh from the garden, which taste soooo sweet!  Sweet raw carrots are a delight.   The Easter Bunny delivered well, of course, with not only sweets but some gardening tools just for Kale’a, flower seeds, a mini rose and bubbles.

A mother/daughter drawing and fresh carrots from the garden for the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny delivers good.

Easter breakfast complete with a basket of red dyed cordonice eggs and princess bubbles.

We drove to Jorge’s sister’s house in Salvaterra dos Magos. about an hour east-ish of here.  There was the 5 of us, Tia Lisa, her sons Pedro and Miguel, Jorge’s and Lisa’s mother Leonor, and Miguel’s fiancee Isabel.  Kale’a, being the only grandchild so far, was spoiled with some presents and lots of play time with Isabel–more puppies, even!  There was no shortage of food, including I think 6 desserts (unfortunately my belly was not feeling well, but I was able to enjoy and partake).  After lunch Bruno took his drum out to the old praca dos toros that is part of the land; I hung out with him and said hi to the horse, who tried to nip me.  A bit later, the horse and the various dogs started a chasing ‘game’, where they would take turns going after one another, in seeming seriousness.

Jorge (my father-in-law) and his sister Lisa, Easter

A mesa (the table), Easter

Isabel, Grandma Leonor, Tia Lisa, Teresa & Kale'a, Easter

Tia Lisa's house, Salvaterra, Easter

Bruno plays the drum at the old praca dos toros, Easter

The horse.

The old praca dos touros

After lunch and meeting the horse, Teresa and I went for a walk through town.  There is a falconry there, which was not open, but we sat in front of it for a while and chatted, enjoying the sunshine.  I took some pictures of little houses and azulejos (Portuguese painted titles) that I liked along the way.

Little pink house, Salvaterra dos Magos, PT

Azulejos. Salvaterra dos Magos

Little tiled house, Salvaterra dos Magos

Detail of decorative azulejos, Salvaterra dos Magos

The Monday after Easter Teresa, Kale’a and I crossed the Rio Tejo in Lisboa to go to the beach in Caparica.  As you can see in the pictures, Lisboa has a sister bridge to the Golden Gate in San Francisco, the Ponte 25 de Abril!  The waves are much gentler in Caparica, so Kale’a and I got our wetsuits on and got in!  If you want to see utter happiness, you have to see Kale’a’s face when she gets in the water.  Pure water baby.  She caught some little waves, and got caught on the head by the waves.  She looked a bit confused but that didn’t stop her.  I went for a run–which is my favorite because I get all hot and sweaty and get to jump in the water.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's the Golden Gate Bridge . . . No, it's the Ponte 25 de Abril, Lisboa!

Ponte 25 de Abril with the Cristo Rei (like the one in Brasil)

The surfer girls!

Kale'a is bodyboarding!


The Tuesday after that, we went further south into the Alentejo.  We took a ferry in Setubal–it was Kale’a’s second time on a ferry, but the first time she remembered (the 1st time was in Seattle with Molly when she was 1.5).  The coast is beautiful, green and full of wildflowers speckling the fields with color.  We stopped at two different beaches; the second one we had all to ourselves!

The Three Graces on a ferry ride, Setubal.

Kale'a likes the ferry!

My dear ones!!

Porto Covo

A few weeks ago we met the lovely folks from Maternar:

We immediately hit it off, and ended up inviting them to spend an afternoon with us (most of them live in Lisboa).  We had a lot of fun hanging out in the sunshine, eating yummy food and playing with the babies.

Maternar potluck

The kids at lunch.

Maternar potluck. So many babies!

Happy Spring everyone!

Easter Vacation Adventures! Part One.

Spring is here and we’ve been busy with this and that.  It’s been a long time since I written any Portugal updates, so I am going to include lots of pictures in this one!

Our first adventure was a visit from a friend of mine from college, Joanna.  She lived across the hall from me freshman year, and we were always friendly but never hung out after that year.  After re-connecting on Facebook she told me she was coming to visit a friend of her (Sarah, below) who is studying azulejos, Portuguese tiles, in Lisboa for the year.  So, I made a new friend and re-connected with an old one, who incidentally also does cranio-sacral work.  Kale’a and I had them over for lunch at the house, then went to the Moorish Castle: and

We had Indian food for dinner, with Bruno, at a restaurant that serves Indian AND Italian food (but not a fusion of, thankfully!).  The next day Kale’a went with Teresa off to the market in Malveira, and I rejoined the ladies for a visit to the Quinta da Regaleira, one of my favorite places in Sintra: and

Kale'a partakes of water at the Moorish Castle

Sarah, Kale'a and Jo, Moorish Castle

Sarah in the Initiation Well, Quinta da Regaleira

A door I like, Quinta da Regaleira

Jo and Sarah at lunch, Lord Byron Cafe, Sintra

In news closer to home, Kale’a is no longer the only princess.  She crowned Qaboos, our year old German Shepherd, the other day.  Doesn’t he look like a cross between a Wookie and a teddy bear?  I don’t think Chewbacca would have tolerated being ornamented nearly as well.

Qaboos, the other princess.

Spring at Quinta Al Bustan!

The quinta is in the full bloom of spring:  fruit trees are blooming, chicks and puppies abound, and in the picture above, the field is half plowed–the ground was too wet to continue.  Yesterday, more than a week later, it was plowed again, and today we planted onions, potatoes, pumpkins, beans and corn.  In our little garden, which is fenced off to keep the dogs out, we also planted tomatoes, carrots, radishes, red pepper, broccoli, calendula and holy basil/tulsi–thanks to Lauren, Travis and Gavin, who sent us the motherload of organic seeds!!

The Puppies.

Any one raised a practicing Catholic knows you can’t eat meat on ‘Good Friday’ (for reference, Good Friday is the day that Jesus died, and Easter is the day he rose from the dead).  It is a tradition here that everyone goes down to the beach to pick mussels–so off we went!  It was my first time, which seems silly since I grew up in New England and then moved to the California coast, but now I know!  It was fun, and the mussels were very tasty, if a lot of work.  Kale’a loved them.

The reluctant bunny on the way to the beach

Magoito Beach, before you can see all the little ant-y humans

Magoito Beach, complete with mussel-picking 'ants'

Teresa and Kale'a, Magoito Beach

Teresa, Kale'a and zee mussels.

Me, zee girl, and zee mussels

Mama Ocean.

Mama Ursula.

Kale'a stares down the mussel.

I scrubbed and washed, Teresa steamed (she did her fair share of washing to start), and Kale'a ate!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of part one.  It’s almost midnight in Portugal!  More to come tomorrow.


Ursula et al

Happy Rebirth! (Happy Easter/Ostara/Passover): The Wild Iris, by Louise Gluck

Bom dia and good morning!  May that which has been sleeping inside you, inside the cool earth of winter dreams, be reborn into the freshness of spring with all the love of life.



The Wild Iris

 At the end of my suffering
 there was a door.

 Hear me out: that which you call death
 I remember.

 Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
 Then nothing. The weak sun
 flickered over the dry surface.

 It is terrible to survive
 as consciousness
 buried in the dark earth.

 Then it was over: that which you fear, being
 a soul and unable
 to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
 bending a little.  And what I took to be
 birds darting in low shrubs.

 You who do not remember
 passage from the other world
 I tell you I could speak again: whatever
 returns from oblivion returns
 to find a voice:

 from the center of my life came
 a great fountain, deep blue
 shadows on azure sea water.

Louise Glück

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