19 October 2012
It's been busy here in the past week or so. A week ago Wednesday Frank did the paperwork to get the car I mentioned the last post, and on Friday we took possession. It's a cute little red one (you might have seen the pictures on Facebook), and it's a convertible. Frank says he's too old for a mid-life crisis, but there you are. It's perfect convertible weather here. I drove it to the grocery store the other day with no problems (not that I expected to have any with the car, but I had not driven to the store before even though I had walked there). The only hairy bit was that an unexpected bicycle race came down the road. At first I thought it was just a club with a few riders, but a few minutes after the first group of about 20, another couple of hundred came.
Last Friday was a get-to-know-you party at Max's school. Everyone was asked to bring a traditional food or drink from their country, so we brought a three-layer dip of guacamole, bean dip, and salsa. I would have liked the bring Mom's seven-layer dip, but there is no such thing as sour cream here! It was nice being able to drive there rather than being dependent on the bus. Max really likes driving with the top down, but I think we need to keep his sunglasses in the car so that the air doesn't hit him in the eyes so hard.
Then last Saturday Jade arrived! Our plan was to go out to the shelter here in Lagos and see what dogs were available and then get one the next week, but one of their volunteers lives just around the corner from the marina and she was fostering a dog at her apartment that we met. Jade is a Portuguese Podengo cross, although we're not sure what the "cross" is. She had a rough time before coming to us, having been rehomed with a family who left her outside by herself all the time and didn't feed her, so she's pretty scrawny. She weighs about 11 kilos (24.2 lbs.), although I would like to see her gain about five more pounds. She doesn't eat much, but I'm thinking that might be from the stress of being rehomed again. In any case, she is the best-behaved puppy I think I've ever met. Admittedly, she is five months old, so she's old enough to have learned a few things, but it was nice to realize that she's quite well housebroken. She had one accident the first night we had her, but that was my fault because I hadn't learned her signals yet. At night, once she is satisfied that we are all in for the night, she'll go to bed and be quiet until the morning. She can hold it from about 10PM to after 7AM! I'm impressed.
Her downside, of course, is that she's a puppy and loves to chew. Frank's slippers hold a special place in her heart. Why is it that puppies always want what they are NOT supposed to have rather than what they are? Why are slippers and other shoes so much more appealing than rope toys and Nylabones?
The weather is getting cooler, but still nice. Yesterday was the worst day so far. It rained all day long and never got above 62 or 63. The thing that cracks me up is how offended I am that it rained. It's been so nice for so long that I had almost forgotten what rain is like and how dependent I am on the weather being nice to do things easily. It didn't help that it was also the coldest day so far, but we all survived in the end. t went out to school to help out in the afternoon and the kids went outside in spite of the weather if they wanted to. Max did, of course! The teachers weren't kidding when they said at the beginning of the year that all the kids need raincoats and rain boots! I also need to send him another change of clothes because they all get incredibly dirty sometimes too. There is this special mud out there that gets into EVERYTHING, so it's just play clothes for school here!
Max is picking up some Portuguese, and it's obvious that he understands more than he can say at this point. I am doing a course with Babbel online, but that's unfortunately dependent on the quirkiness of the internet. At this point, I can say hello and ask someone where s/he is from. That's more than I could do before, but not nearly as much as I would like to do!
Max has also started an art class here at the marina with an artist who has a gallery here. He's only been once, but he really liked it. They've added another soccer practice during the week in preparation for games on weekends, but Max missed the first one last night because it was pouring rain.
Now that we've got the car and the dog, it's time for me to get into a little more structured routine. Wish me luck, people!