Thursday, June 5, 2014

May, The Dramatic Roundup

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May. In with a car crash and out with an accident on a plane. Yes, a car crash, on May first. Three in the vehicle, three scared people, two fractured bones, and one case of whiplash. The car was totalled. We were lucky – seatbelts, safe distance between cars, and not speeding. Drive carefully, my friends, because even when you are, things can happen.

And then my dad fell on a plane on his way over to visit, so he and my step-mom spent some unexpected time in hospital in London. He’s ok, but what a dramatic month! Hoping for a June so boring the coolest thing I do is watch paint dry in our apartment.

Despite the accidents, I did start and end the month with visits from family, which is always wonderful. 

Reading in English: It was an excellent month for reading! I had heaps of English magazines and new (to me) novels. The best novel was The 100-year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared. I loved The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden, but that was technically an April read...

The Luminaries by Eleanor Canton was amazing! Watch for a rave review soon.

The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult. It’s a freezer book – very intense and I needed a few breaks from it. It paints a chilling picture of how a man was swayed to join the Nazi party in WWII through the stories of Sage and Leo in the present, Minka and Josef sharing their memories, and Minka’s work of fiction. Of course I had to take a sneak peak at the ending and it is not what I expected. 

I also read Proof of Heaven, an intriguing account of a neurosurgeon’s journey to faith. I’m still letting that one sink in. On the one hand, it was interesting to read about someone’s journey to faith and their near-death experience. On the other hand, I don’t need to be convinced since I already believe, and I found myself skipping over a lot of the scientific mumbo-jumbo (sorry doctors, I’m just not that keen on learning about mitochondria). I would recommend this book to people who enjoy science, who have had a near-death experience, or who are kind of on the fence.

My favourite post this month is this one at Tea Rose Home about finding the silver lining in an accident. I am a big fan of Sachiko’s designs and craft ideas, but why I really love this blog is because her heart shines through in every post. I can just feel the positivity flowing out of the lines.

Doing: Since I think turning 30 is pretty awesome, and it makes me a “real” adult, I decided to mark the year by doing 30 cool things. It’s a list I add to rather than cross off. First entry, on my very birthday, I started by going for a hike through a beautiful and dramatic landscape – cool rock formations which are now home to a lot of neat birds and flowers and amazing views of the coastline. In May I rode in an ambulance for the first, hopefully only, time (and it was going fast and had sirens blaring), and I had an MRI, which I think is the closet a person can get to feeling like they’re in the womb. Surreal. 

Watching: Well, I do live in Madrid, so obviously I had to watch the Real Madrid – Atletico soccer match or risk becoming some kind of social pariah. I’m not that into team sports on TV, but this was a big game! It would be Real Madrid’s tenth cup or Atletico’s first, and the first time the two Madrid teams came face to face in a final. So I watched. Sort of – I went to a friend’s for dinner and we had the TV on in the background. I can’t say we saw all of the goals because we were too busy catching up and enjoying the fabulous dinner she made, but we did watch snippets and appreciate the drama (Atletico scored first, well into the game, and held 1-0 for a bit, but Real Madrid came back with a punch to take the win).

Eating: Salad, salad and more salad is what I want as the days get warmer – grilled vegetables with fresh mozzarella drizzled with lemon, olive oil and a little bit of dill. Warm potato-sausage salad. Seafood and spinach.

My favourite pizza crust recipes are here, and the pizza of the month had roasted red peppers, feta cheese, sausage, and spinach.

I have a new favourite muffin recipe that is just perfect for spring. Lemons, blueberries and maple syrup. Yummy. And almond flour – filling. You can find it here. I’ve been crumbling one onto homemade plain yogurt for breakfast.

I’ve also discovered a new food website, thanks to my doctor back in Canada (oh Facebook, how did we share new things without you?). It’s called Goodfoodeating and is written by Jedha, who is currently working on a Masters of Nutrition. Good food, good science.

Thinking about: Cousins, friends, and family - May was a big birthday month, happy birthday everyone! Also the end of school - one month left, and the countdown is on, loud and clear. 

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