Thunder’s Just A Lot Of Noise

When I was 15, I began working at a summer camp called Kiwi Day Camp. It was run by the New York Association for Brain-Injured Children. (Yes, they actually named a camp for children with disabilities for a bird that can’t fly.) The camp director loved to play “records” on rainy days when we were all confined to the auditorium. He had a favorite record and I found most of the songs annoying, especially the one about thunder and lightning. So, of course, every time there’s a storm, that song loops in my head.

We are in the midst of a huge storm that started during the night and, since misery loves company, I thought I’d share the song with you.

Listen while you look at the pictures (which you can click to make bigger).

THUNDER… LIGHTNING… AT 4 A.M.



“When the thunder comes with a boom boom boom,
we get out our drums and we ‘roon-toon-toon'”?

THUNDER… LIGHTNING… THUNDER… LIGHTNING…
… AT 4:30. I WAS TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP.

AND AGAIN… SO GRATEFUL FOR OUR GLASS CURTAIN!

THE CAFE, MY FRIEND, IS BLOWING IN THE WIND.
NO LONGER ANY NEED TO USE THE DOOR.
THE WAITRESS’ STEAMING WET SHOES.
FORTUNATELY, THEY DIDN’T START SMOKING, WHICH IS PROHIBITED.

You’ve Got A Spot To Fill

You might remember that we had a glass curtain installed to enclose our entire terrace. As a result, winter has been transformed. No more cyclonic winds. And no more decimated plants. San Geraldo planted a collection of Amaryllis bulbs in a long pot outside the living room doors so that we could enjoy the blooms while inside or out on the terrace. They’ve been blooming since the third week in November and show no sign of stopping. We’ve read all the special instructions for caring for amaryllis bulbs between blooms, but won’t take the trouble. The chiringuito (beach bar) across the street, has three large stone planters filled with Amaryllis that bloom dramatically every spring and are left to the ravages of the weather the rest of the year. They’re thriving. Maybe ours will, too.

(Click the images to “Amaryllisize.”)

YESTERDAY.

“… at least a preview of Easter…”

Dusting For Prints

The terrace is coming together — slowly. But that hasn’t kept the cats from lounging in the sun and exploring their newly safe and always available space.

The monk parakeets have been spending an awful lot of time in the palm tree right out front. Dudo and Moose have, therefore, been spending an awful lot of time at the drain hole hoping for an errant bird.

San Geraldo vacuumed the terrace but not before the boys tracked dirt and dust all over the house (although they both deny it).

(Click the images and see if you can identify the prints.)

MOOSE INSPECTS THE MESS AND
THE CAT-EATING VACUUM CLEANER.
THE PIANO BENCH.
DUDO: “I DIDN’T DO IT!”
MOOSE: “WELL, DON’T LOOK AT ME!”
DUDO WAITS WHILE MOOSE WATCHES THE TREE.
AND DUDO TAKES HIS TURN.
“DO YOU BELIEVE THOSE CLOWNS?!? AS IF!!!”

Open A New Window

YES, I KNOW THERE ARE STREAKS.

We still haven’t finished putting the terrace back together since the installation of the glass curtain. We got sidetracked by a trip to a new-to-us garden center (called a vivero). It’s a half-hour away and our new favorite place; having a car sure makes a difference.

We bought six large amaryllis bulbs and San Geraldo planted them in a long planter. We hope to have the same year-in/year-out success as the restaurant across the street (click here). We ordered a potted amaryllis for My Mother The Dowager Duchess every Christmas. As we selected our bulbs at the garden center, I had a moment of panic that we hadn’t yet placed this year’s order. Oh yeah…

So, we’ll instead think of her as ours grow and bloom.

The new awnings (toldos) have been opened and closed again. We’ve had the windows completely open, partially open, and closed again.

Today’s temps — a frigid 10C/50F earlier and now a chilly (Oh, please; I know) 18C/65F — have made us really appreciate the warming effect of a glassed-in terrace.

Dudo has been out there soaking up the sun. (Click the images to turn up the heat.)

BOTH AWNINGS DOWN.
I’M ABOUT TO REMOVE THE BOTTOM SCALLOPED VALANCE.
WINDOWS SLID. AWNINGS DOWN.
AWNINGS UP. TWO WINDOWS BLOCKING THE INSIDE CORNER.
A NEW WAY TO KEEP THE CATS OFF THE NEIGHBORS’ TERRACE!
THREE WINDOWS STACKED AGAINST WALL. 
WE’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES LOVING IT.

The Glass Curtain

We had our entire terrace enclosed in a glass curtain (cortina de cristal) this week — glass panels that slide individually to the ends and then fold in to stack vertically. It’s like adding another 30 square meters (323 square feet) to our living space and it looks incredible. And San Geraldo can no longer complain about the cyclonic winds destroying his plants and making his life miserable. The furniture and plants aren’t back in place. But we can get that all done today even though it’s raining!

(Click the images for crystal clear views.)

I was up at 7:30 every morning to greet the contractors. I didn’t enjoy that part of things. However, Thursday morning’s 7:30 sunrise — which I would normally sleep through — made it all worthwhile.