Especially in the Azores, where the water is a lot warmer and more transparent than in Lisbon. But I don't love it nearly as much as my mom (who recently learned how to swim) or even as my boyfriend Daniel (who has been swimming as a sport since he was little and loves all things ocean). I love it, but I get cold easily and wimp out. Then I sit on my towel taking pictures of my mom. I love my mom's enthusiasm though, how she stays in the longest and splashes around with pure glee on her face. It's incredible how someone how is sixty-two can find such childlike joy in a simple thing.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
... projects from pinterest.
I found the cutest US map puzzle on pinterest here and it was easy to make. I printed out the printable map, glued it onto boxes with paper glue and cut out the states. It's a fun way to learn the states, which I never did (despite having taken the states test at least three times... my memory is pretty bad). Now I'd just like to have a printable booklet with information about each state!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I have a church literally two minutes walking distance from my parents' house here in the Azores, which makes it very easy to make a daily "retreat" while on vacation. Which is one of the main goals of vacation after all...
"Dear friends, St. Dominic reminds us that at the origin of witnessing to the faith, which every Christian should give in the family, at work, in society, and even in moments of relaxation, is prayer, a personal contact with God; only this real relationship with God gives us the strength to live every event, especially the most suffered moments, intensely. This saint reminds us of the importance of external attitudes in our prayers. That to kneel, to stand before the Lord, to fix our gaze on the Crucifix, to pause and gather ourselves in silence, is not a secondary act, but helps to us to place ourselves, our whole person, in relation to God.
Once again, I would like draw attention to the need to find moments to pray quietly everyday for our spiritual life, we particularly have to take this time for ourselves during our vacation, to have time for this attempt to talk with God. This is also a way to help those who are near to us to enter into the luminous rays of the presence of God, who brings the peace and love that we all need." - Pope B16
Monday, August 27, 2012
...marshmallows and napping.
Other than spending time with family and in nature, relaxing and socializing, of course. I have a cousin who organizes a family picnic every time she comes to visit the Azores. I think it's a great tradition. So does her chihuahua (pictured below).
Thursday, August 23, 2012
I ♥ running on the beach, with my mom…
who is 62 and unfortunately is more in shape than I am
One of my favorite scenes from the movie 7 Pounds (really good, by the way) is when Emily, who has congenital heart disease, is talking about the things she’d like to do if she gets a new heart. One of them is running. She says she thinks about what it must feel like to go running (she’s never gone). To have the wind on your face, feel free. These are the things I take for granted.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Now, I’m not a psychoanalyst or a criminal psychologist, but I did study what in the Middle Ages was called “the queen of all sciences”: theology.
Click here to keep reading...
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Taking pictures at the same place as when I was one...
Daniel went back to Lisbon last Friday (sniff, sniff), but I'm in the Azores, on the island Terceira where my parents live, until the end of the month. Visiting S. Jorge was really special and it really is the most beautiful island in my opinion. There are wild sunflowers everywhere... I love sunflowers. And hydrangeas too. They use hydrangeas to divide the pastures. Then there are all sorts of different, colorful flowers.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Another place we visited on the island of São Jorge was a café where they grow their own coffee in "Fajã dos Vimes". The owner, who was serving the coffee, was nice enough to show us his backyard where he grows the coffee. We were surprised to find out coffee grows on... TREES! Funny how I am so out of touch with something I drink so often. I was glad to see a family that is doing good things to promote home-grown and local. Mr. Nunes was in the café, Mrs. Nunes embroiders bedspreads and such with her sister and their daughter is trying to buy a house to start rural tourism. Yay for S. Jorge!
There were signed dollar bills on the walls of the café. At least two were from Turlock!
The coffee tree has white flowers...
The coffee bean first grows green, then turns red and finally brown...
They also embroider the old-fashioned way, and with 100-year-old patterns! But adapted to modern times because they use cotton instead of wool (it's easier to wash and maintain).
Friday, August 17, 2012
Two of the most fun things Daniel and I did on São Jorge Island were fishing and watching my cousins milk their cows. I happen to have an awesome uncle who goes fishing almost every night apparently the island has abundant fish. We caught lots of chicharros (horse mackerel) and one garoupa (blacktail comber). It was the first time Daniel and I had gone fishing, but it was pretty cool.
Other than having a really cool uncle, I have three really cool cousins who milk cows. We went to see how two of them do it. In the Azores there really are happy cows. And these two cousins of mine really take care of their cows as if they were pets. They know all 55 by name, and choose to milk them out in the pasture, where they have to bend over, instead of in a milking house, just because it's better for the cows.
The cows love it. They are fed while they are milked so they line up (they know their order) and even push other cows out of the way, trying to go for a second time.
I had no idea cows can be like dogs if treated with care... friendly and wanting to be petted. I petted one named "Frou Frou" and she came back next to me a few minutes later to be petted again. She wanted to be petted by everyone and she even leaned her head against Daniel and licked us! It was incredible.