Priorities / Prioridades

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

MY PAL LUKE turned 4 in November. There was a kids’ party on the actual day. We adults finally had our own little celebration for him over the weekend. San Geraldo baked the cake; Luke was in the mood for vanilla this year. And SG did not disappoint. Just looking at the photos two days later and my mouth waters. Ditto the dinner. Pedro made an amazing paella.

UNSURPRISINGLY, LUKE WAS JUST A bit wired. He had a little pile of gifts to open. We couldn’t wait for his reaction to the interactive world globe we had gotten him. He loved it. Especially the bubble wrap and the box. Ah, to be 4.

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MI AMIGUITO LUKE cumplió 4 años en noviembre. Hubo una fiesta infantil en el día real. Los adultos finalmente tuvimos nuestra pequeña celebración durante el fin de semana. San Geraldo horneó el pastel; Luke estaba de humor para la vainilla este año. Y SG no decepcionó. Solo mirando las fotos dos días después y se me hace la boca agua. Lo mismo ocurre con la cena. Pedro hizo una paella increíble.

LUKE ESTABA UN POCO CONECTADO, como era de esperar. Tenía una montañita de regalos para abrir. No podíamos esperar su reacción ante el globo terráqueo interactivo que le habíamos conseguido. Le encantó. Especialmente el plástico de burbujas y la caja. Ah, para ser 4.

Crocheted Nuts / Nueces de Ganchillo

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

AND ONCE AGAIN, I’m at a loss for words. I received a box today filled with love. It was sent by my friend Susan in the Pacific Northwest. Susan found me via my blog and we’ve been having a running email conversation for months. It’s as if we’ve known each other all our lives. And, still, what she did for my birthday is beyond belief. Susan is clearly gifted with crochet needles. She created a scarf for me that makes me pine for winter. Catnip-filled toys for the cats that have them in ecstasy. Pot holders. Coasters. And even two penis warmers for San Geraldo. Oh, wait, I think they’re actually to slip over the handles on pots and pans to keep him from burning his hands. But I think they’d make pretty good penis warmers. Then for nourishment, there are Original DAD’s Old-Fashioned Root Beer Barrels; enough to feed an army. And bags and bags… and bags… of goodies from Nuts.com, including black licorice and crystallized ginger! I can’t believe Susan’s generosity and thoughtfulness. The gift of her friendship this year has been gift enough.

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Y UNA VEZ más, estoy sin palabras. Hoy recibí una caja llena de amor. Fue enviado por mi amiga Susan en el Pacífico Norte. Susan me encontró a través de mi blog y llevamos meses manteniendo una conversación por correo electrónico. Es como si nos hubiéramos conocido toda nuestras vidas. Y, aún así, lo que ella hizo por mi cumpleaños es increíble. Susan está claramente dotada de agujas de ganchillo. Ella creó una bufanda para mí que me hace querer el invierno. Juguetes llenos de hierba gatera para los gatos que los tienen en éxtasis. Posavasos. Posavasos. E incluso dos calentadores de pene para san geraldo. Oh, espera, creo que en realidad deben deslizarse sobre las asas de las ollas y sartenes para evitar que se queme las manos. Pero creo que harían calentadores de pene bastante buenos. Luego, para alimentarse, hay caramelos duros (Barriles de Root Beer) — suficiente para alimentar a un ejército. ¡Y bolsas y bolsas … y bolsas … de golosinas de Nuts.com, que incluyen regaliz negro y jengibre cristalizado! No puedo creer la generosidad y la consideración de Susan. El regalo de su amistad este año ha sido suficiente regalo.

Come on. What would you use them for (if you happen to be someone with access to a penis)?

Venga. ¿Para qué los usaría (si fuera alguien con acceso a un pene)?

Always Hopeful / Siempre Esperanzado

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

Final thoughts before bidding good-bye (good riddance?) to 2018. May 2019 bring us all a much better world.

Christmas isn’t over in Spain until the Three Kings arrive on 6 January. According to Spanish tradition, they’re the ones who bring the gifts… not Santa Claus. In Fuengirola, they arrive by helicopter… just like in the bible.

Reflexiones finales antes de decir adiós (¿buen viaje?) A 2018. Espero que 2019 nos trae a todos un mundo mucho mejor.

La Navidad no termina en España hasta que los Reyes Magos llegan el 6 de enero. Según la tradición española, ellos son los que traen los regalos … no Papá Noel. En Fuengirola, llegan en helicóptero … como en la Biblia.

Sometimes, the best things in life ARE Free: Luke with his favorite Christmas gift… / A veces, las mejores cosas de la vida SON gratis: Luke con su regalo de Navidad favorito …
… and Moose and Dudo with theirs. / … y Moose y Dudo con el suyo.
There’s nothing quite like sitting at home by the fire on a cold (15c/59F) winter’s night. / No hay nada como sentarse en casa junto al fuego en una noche fría (15c/59F) de invierno.
Family can sometimes be nice but we all need a bit of personal space. / La familia a veces puede ser agradable, pero todos necesitamos un poco de espacio personal.

And patience is its own reward. / Y la paciencia es su propia recompensa.

Paul Blane is still working on The Kings. I’m sure they’ll be ready for the Epiphany. / Paul Blane todavía está trabajando en Los Tres Reyes. Estoy seguro de que estarán listos para la Epifanía.
I’m so looking forward to the end of this season’s pig out. / Tengo muchas ganas de que termine el temporado de comiendo como un puerco.

“Either you get eaten by a wolf today or else the shepherd saves you from the wolf so he can sell you to the butcher tomorrow”  / “O te come un lobo hoy o el pastor te salva del lobo para que te pueda vender al carnicero mañana”

Ogden Nash

They Call Him The [C]rapper / Se Llama El Caganer

La versión español está después de la primera foto.

THE CITY OF Fuengirola has again built their own Bethlehem right in the center of town. (Click here to see last year’s and the year before.) In addition, this time of year a nearby gift/souvenir shop converts to a shop specializing in items for your “Belén,” which is Spanish for “Bethlehem” and which is what an American might call a Nativity Scene on steroids. So, here are some of my favorites from the municipal Belén and, following the close-up of the chandelier, the magical shop called “Merino” on Avenida Condes de San Isidro.

As for the title of this post, I’ve told before (click here) of a traditional Belén figure called “el caganer” (which means “the crapper” or “the shitter”). The tradition (the Belén figurines, not the act itself) began in Catalonia and can be found more commonly around Andorra, Valencia, Northern Catalonia, and Southern France.

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LA CIUDAD DE Fuengirola, ha vuelto a construir su propio Belén en el centro de la ciudad. (Haz clic aquí para ver el año pasado y el año anterior). Además, en esta época del año, una tienda de regalos y souvenirs cercana se convierte en una tienda especializada en artículos para un “Belén”. Entonces, aquí están algunos de mis favoritos del Belén Municipal y, siguiendo el primer plano de la araña de luces, la tienda mágica llamada “Merino” en la Avenida Condes de San Isidro.

En cuanto al título de este post, he dicho antes (haz clic aquí) de una figura tradicional de Belén llamada “el caganer” (que significa “el crapper” o “el shitter”). La tradición (las estatuillas de Belén, no el acto en sí) comenzó en Cataluña y se puede encontrar más comúnmente en Andorra, Valencia, el norte de Cataluña y el sur de Francia.

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Too much partying on the street below? / ¿Demasiada fiesta en la calle de abajo?

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The Three Kings had a nice picnic. / Los Tres Reyes tuvieron un buen picnic.

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What do you suppose he’s smoking? / ¿Qué supones que está fumando?

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Shut that door! / ¡Cierra esa puerta!

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El Crapper. Shouldn’t the bucket be under his butt? / El Caganer. ¿No debería el cubo estar bajo su culo?

And this is what happens when the crapper is uphill from the kitchen.
Y esto es lo que sucede cuando el caganer está cuesta arriba desde la cocina.

Toledo Trinkets And Tasty Treats

Although I have perhaps another 400 photos from Toledo, I’ve decided to save you the agony. You’ve seen enough here (for now at least). However, we did buy ourselves some trinkets at a very special shop owned by a very special couple. The shop is called Arte and it can be found on Calle Hombre de Palo, 19 (a short street behind the Cathedral).

Toledo is known for its Damasquinado or Damasquina (in English, Damascene). It’s the art of decorating steel with threads of gold and silver — and also known as Toledo Gold. Toledo is famous for this handicraft, which is used on everything from swords (Toledo steel), knives, scissors, and other sharp instruments I try to avoid; as well as for jewelry, platters, art, and much more.

Judy bought herself a watch with a beautifully intricate bracelet band, as well as a couple of pairs of exquisite scissors for sewing.

I bought myself a wrist band/bracelet (pulsera in Spanish) and a couple of pairs of earrings.

The earrings are for the two holes in my left ear that My Mother The Dowager Duchess forbade me to pierce in 1994 (when I was 40). Months later, the first time she saw me with my ear pierced, she complained that my earrings were too small!

Although what I chose for myself was not tourist-grade trash (thats not available at Arte) it was very simply done and inexpensive. San Geraldo and I first found Arte on our own. What drew us in was a window display of some beautifully done glass pieces containing Klimt images. We ended up buying a candle holder that stands about six inches (15 cm) tall.

KLIMT’S “THE WOMAN IN GOLD.”

Toledo is also known for its Marzipan (mazapan). I had never been much of a fan of marzipan, appreciating it only as art because I didn’t realize there was more to it than the fruit forms in fruit colors. Then I discovered Spanish mazapan! Below is the box I bought at a very special shop called Santa Tomé. Don’t expect to get a taste. They’re gone. San Geraldo didn’t even get a taste. I thought he didn’t like mazapan. I swear! I really thought he didn’t like it. Honest!

But I’m not as bad as Judyshannonstreetwhat. She bought a box of mazapan and said she was going to give it to Tynan and Elena (Note: Not share with, give to).

A few days later, Judy admitted the plan had changed since there wasn’t much left in the box.

The reason? “Well, I was worried it wouldn’t stay fresh after it was opened.”

THE BOX.
AFTER I REMOVED THE SEAL FROM OURS … MINE.
I THEN ALSO WORRIED IT WOULD LOSE ITS FRESHNESS.



Because I love Laura Nyro and because she says “marzipan” around 4 minutes and 12 seconds into this 5-minute and 7-second song…