Monday, June 30, 2014

June Roundup

Ah, June. The last day of school, the first day of summer. Bright red fruits and chilled Spanish soups. Cool mornings and hot, sunny afternoons. June was a transition month, with temperatures rising to prepare me for the coming white hot days - and nights - of July and August. Classes are over and after a week off, tomorrow l head back to school for half days. El verano has arrived and I love it! 

It wasn't a boring month, but it certainly wasn't as dramatic as May, and for that I'm very thankful. Work was busy with wrapping classes up at school, and things are coming along on the home front. Hopefully next month I'll be writing about moving in! 

What I'm Into
i'm linked up with leigh, check out her june!
Going: To Ikea waaaay too many times. They should hire me - I know where everything is and all the names... Our house is coming along slowly but surely and now the fun (sort of) part begins – decorating! Demolishing was good, watching construction ok, but picking out furniture means we’ll be moving in before you know it. I hope. It’s been a long process and we are ready to go home!

To Patones. A last-minute trip with friends turned out to be my favourite day of the month - the weather was just right (heat was bearable and there was a breeze), the hiking trail was the perfect length for a morning hike, the views were gorgeous, the food was yummy and the company was excellent. 

To school for the last time - I'll be working at day camp, but my last class was on Friday the 20th, and as much as I love those kids, I sure am glad to be done! Students and teachers all need a vacation - we've worked hard this year! Plus, it's getting too hot to study!

Reading in English: Any Known Blood by Lawrence Hill. Wow, a good read. A review of The Luminaries, which I read last month, suggested it would be hard to find anything as compelling to read after it, and during the reading, I was a little worried - it was so good! But Any Known Blood did the trick. A totally different style of writing, but a tale just as compelling, a kind of flashback family saga partially inspired by the author's own history.
meeting mr tumnus - source and good article at this link
The Chronicles of Narnia, minus The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (I lent it to someone and don't have it back. Time to fess up - who has it!?!?). I love this series and I read through it over and over. My favourite is of course The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but I also always enjoy The Magician's Nephew. It's a great "origins" story, and the characters pop up now and then in the later books. The Last Battle is a gentle reminder to follow Truth. It's the saddest book, not because of death, but because of falseness and how quick people believe in it. 

Watching: The season finale of The Americans. I say the finale, because while I sort of watched Season Two, I did a lot of drifting off to sleep while Tall Guy was watching it (did I mention it's been a busy month?), but the last one was extra action packed and had a twist. It had two, but I guessed one of them, so it doesn't count.

I tried watching Game of Thrones, but I just can't get into it. Other mega popular series I've had this problem with are Breaking Bad and Walking Dead. Anyone else ever have this problem?

During my week off from commuting (I babysat, so I wasn't completely free...), I enjoyed watching the news during breakfast. Normally, I wake up, get ready, put my coffee in a travel mug, and fly out the door. Last week I sat and enjoyed my coffee whilst catching up on current events and discussing politics with my father in law. Very civilized.

Eating: Jam and preserves I made myself, from fruit grown on the family farm (a batch of loquat preserves and a batch of apricot jam). Pioneer wannabe or earth-friendly citizen, either way, I have lots of good stuff to put in my cupboards. Now I just need the cupboards to be installed...

We've also been having a lot of salads and chilled soups. My current favourite is melon soup with a crisp slice of jamon serrano on the top.

And I can't leave out the oatmeal-raisin cookies. I don't make conventional cookies very often, because Tall Guy and I would just gobble them up, and that's not healthy, but for my last day of school I made my aunt's special oatmeal-raisin cookies, and they were so good. They put all other cookies to shame. The box I took to the staff room was empty within minutes, and not by me (I limited myself to one cookie at work, having "tested" a few dozen at home...)

Drinking: Iced lattes, iced tea, basically anything icy cool and refreshing. You can tell by our diet that it's getting hot over here!

Thinking about: World peace and my classroom rules. I wrote about that here.

And jobs - see below. Lots of thinking about jobs, but not worrying. Sparrows get fed, lilies get clothed, and I will get a job. So jobs are on my mind in a big way, but also a positive way - I don't know what I'll be doing in the fall, but I don't doubt I'll be doing something.

Doing: Babysitting a tennis racket-wielding, cape-wearing cowboy. And doing lots of laughing. You can read about that here. He read Dr Seuss's ABCs all by himself out loud to me in English on Thursday. It nearly brought tears to my eyes, so proud of that little cowboy!
my school crest

On the other end of the spectrum, I'm doing a meditation course through an app on my phone. It's called Headspace, and it's fabulous. In 10 minutes a day you can learn to quiet your mind and your body. 

Tall Guy and I are also procrastinating - we have to finish refinishing some furniture, but we're just not feeling it. It's too nice outside to be inside working during our free time!

Listening to: Nadia Fay. Love! Her voice reminds me of Blossom Dearie, and there's a lot of great acoustic guitar. I first heard this song playing in the background on a German TV show dubbed over in Spanish about people who live in cemeteries. Hello, random? Welcome to TV in Europe. Anyway, "Home is not a house, but a feeling" is quite appropriate for a show about where people live, but it was kind of sad that the people on this particular show lived in cemeteries. "I need a place to rest my head" could take on a new level of meaning, so let's just not go there. Anyway, it's a very sweet song, and Nadia's voice is a June afternoon.

Hymns: a hat trick last Sunday, with Morning has Broken, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and Make me a Channel of your Peace. A joyful noise indeed. 


  1. I love your blog title! I am also a tall girl - 5'9" - and it does seem to be quite the defining factor in life at times. A great coin for a personal blog. I enjoyed reading your post. Best wishes with your furniture and moving adventure!

    1. Thanks! I am nearly 6 feet tall and living in Spain, which makes me a kind of giant, so it's always nice to hear from other Talls!

      I will have some pics from the move soon, I hope, including our "tall" features (higher than average counter tops, sinks, shower, etc).

      PS I love your blog name, too!

  2. No. How can you read Narnia without The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe? Sadness.

    1. I know! (Seriously, who borrowed it??? Hand it over!) At least I can watch the movie... I would pick up a new copy, but I am holding out until I find the same edition so it will fit in the box. :)

  3. Glad you're at the decorating stage on your house! So fun. I have no desire to watch Breaking Bad and even less desire to watch The Walking Dead. You're not alone! I want to read the Game of Thrones series but I'm not sure if I'll watch it. Some things are best left to the imagination.

  4. The 'tall' caught my attention! I'm short (well, average); but I feel short because my husband is 6'4'', so is his dad, his sister is 6'2'', and my girls are tracking to be as tall as the rest of them. I've resigned myself to the fact that my children shall tower over me. :)

    Also: I was skeptical of Breaking Bad. But the husband keeps watching it while I'm around, and I've gotten into it, just a bit.

  5. Hi there! I'm visiting from Leigh's link-up, and I love a good global/traveling blog! :) I am with you on some of those popular shows. I didn't make it through one episode of Walking Dead, even though a friend said I'd love it. No, thanks!

  6. Thank you all for stopping by and I'm glad to know I am not the only one who is not so keen on the hottest shows.