April 2004

The sun’s been out for about a week…I guess we were due for some rain. It’s rained almost all day yesterday, and I think it will start up again today.

It’s funny how refreshing it is now that we’ve had a break. The house is not quite dried out…or maybe it is. I guess I’ll never be satisfied until there’s no mildew smell in the spare room…and I guess that’s never gonna happen. You can still see black specks of mildew on all four walls in there…I’ll likely give bleach one more try before the new people get here. I’d like them to see this house in the light we saw it when we moved in. I remember how happy we were to get this…it’s really a wonderful place when you look at what’s available here. I love the fact that we have our own walled-in yard, and a covered/lockable garage…it’s just in the last four months or so when it started molding that it’s gone so far downhill in my estimation.

Well, it’s about two hours later and the sun’s out. There are still a lot of clouds…I hope the rain is through. I’ve been folding clothes with Oprah on. These last few months AFN has been playing Dr. Phil and Oprah with almost no commercials…so I get an hour and a half of mindless TV in the mornings. I often wash dishes and clean up the front part of the house with those shows on while waiting for Teresa to arrive. She continues to come over three times a week. I enjoy spending time with her, but lately our sessions have been only about her. She continues to go to class and actively work on her English…I see her improving, and I feel badly that I haven’t been studying my Spanish. And then on the other hand I think that we only have 11 weeks left here, and then we’re going to Atlanta…there aren’t as many Spanish-speakers there as there are in Texas or California. I have a pretty good vocab and a great accent…I guess this is as far as it goes until we have kids. I’m really excited about raising bilingual kids…I hope Tj and I can pull it off.

There’s so much that I haven’t blogged about lately…I have at least three sinkfuls (or is that sinks-full??? who knows how to pluralize this word?) of dirty dishes right now, though.

Last Saturday Tj and I drove up to Murcia to pick up his new car. Ricardo (the car salesman) has been such a dingo. Besides the fact that the car’s been in Spain for over a month just sitting in Jerez while Ricardo messed around, he called Thursday and said that he would express the paperwork and plates to us Friday. We were supposed to get to the dealership Saturday at 11:30 and have the guys put the plates on the car and start getting the paperwork in order. Ricardo would be there as early as he could (he drove from Rota that morning…it’s about 5 hours), but he was worried that he wouldn’t get there in time (the dealership closes at 1:30 on Saturday). Well, Friday we got a call that he’d forgotten to send us the plates! He told Tj to go and get some plates made…I couldn’t believe he just told Tj to do that. It’s not our responsibility, it was his. So Tj found out from a guy at work where to go, but of course the place was closed for siesta, and then he didn’t go back. We got a call from Ricardo when we were about 20 minutes away from the dealership…he’d been driving around Murcia for 20 minutes looking for the place. We found it just fine, and he showed up about 10 minutes after us. He brought the plates and while they were being put on he showed us all the features. We’ve already put 300 miles on it!!! I think Tj’s in love.

It’s been ages since I’ve updated…how time flies. The first half of last week I spent moping around the house. I┬áreally kinda wondered if it was hormones…but the sun came out around Wednesday and I’ve felt better since then…it must have been the constant rain. The change I’ve felt has been amazing, actually. I think part of the problem is that I know the mold is just gonna continue to take over the house until we have a chance to dry out. With our move date getting closer and closer we need a chance to see if anything is unrepairable and needs to be thrown away. The bad thing is that I know when mold is there, but not always when mold is not there. I know that sounds confusing, but…I finally confronted the big box of molded coats. Several of the coats were old/small enough that I washed them here (the others I’m taking to the cleaners). So I rubbed them with detergent and let them sit, and then washed them and hung them out. They’ve been on the line for two days now…they look ok, some of the mold spots are gone, and some are just faded…does that mean that the mold’s gone? or not? We also have a few particle board closet shelf units that have mold…I guess I’ll just wipe them down with bleach and then set them outside for a week and call them done. I’d hate to bring them to the US and then a few months down the road find mold growing in closets over there. *sigh*

The second half of the week I spent cleaning up around here. It’s been so nice to open up the house and let the breeze blow through.

I’m halfway through with putting up my London blog…I’ve got it all written out, but the pictures are taking longer than I expected (as they always do). I should’ve just put up all the text and let the pictures happen when they happen…we’ll see.

Tuesday I biked over to Angela’s and she showed me how to make lemon curd…it’s the best!

juice of 1 1/2 lemons
6 tbs butter
1 1/3 cup sugar (9 oz)
3 eggs

Put the first three ingredients into the top of a double boiler…the top bowl should be microwave safe. Bring to a boil and then turn the fire down; stir with wooden spoon often.
Blend eggs in separate bowl…don’t let this get too frothy. After sugar is completely dissolved add eggs to double boiler and turn fire up; stir continuously. Curd will begin to thicken immediately. Stir for several minutes until froth is completely absorbed.
After at least three minutes place mixture in microwave for 1 minute full power. Remove and stir, blending well. Microwave 1 minute more. Remove and blend well. Let cool.
Eat by itself, or on toast with butter, or on plain cookies (like vanilla wafers). Yum!

Well, I have more written but Tj’s heading off to bed to read some material for work tomorrow. Think I’ll join him. I’m reading The Fountainhead now. I started it years ago while working and got fed up with it halfway through. It seems like a movie from the 40’s; it’s a little melodramatic…I’m gonna read it all the way through this time, though.

I haven’t been using this blog to its full capacity. I’ve been so down in the dumps lately, and poor Tj’s been so patient. I think I’m beginning to wear on him, though. I’ve been crying for the last two days, and I was just so blah for several days before that. Tj’s so easy-going, but I think I’m beginning to bring him down. I hate to write so much here…but I guess that’s what I have this blog for.

Man, I feel so gripey today…it’s still raining! Normally I love the rain, especially when I’m staying indoors. But I really really really need my house to dry out. This mold is driving me nuts!

Another wonderful thing about living in an almost 3rd world country: I noticed some water on my kitchen floor this morning. We use butane heaters in the house and apparently when they’re used a lot (like yesterday) they sweat a lot. I guess maybe in the past the sweat has evaporated pretty quickly, but with all this rain it’s just pooling on the floor. So now the bottom of my pantry is a puddle of water (a bag of flour, canisters of oatmeal, etc.), and I had my backpack on the floor with some items from my purse inside…so they’re soaked. Lots of fun living here! I’m counting the days.

Of course there are many great things about living here…I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Guess I just needed to vent a little.