Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Saturday, 27 October 2007


That'll teach me for complaining. We had such a long period of super-dry. Now we have floods. Our house is on high ground, so it doesn't affect us, other than my very waterlogged flower pots.

This photo of a tiny portion of São Paulo wasn't taken by me. It is a Terra news photo:

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It does give you a fairly good idea of what the city is like at the moment. I'd say its rather damp here, wouldn't you?

The photo at the top is mine though and is a photo of quebra pedra, a weed (or should that read 'volunteer plant'?) that I spent a very long time uprooting until one of the locals saw me and berated me for uprooting what is considered one of the 'sacred herbs'. 'Quebra pedra' translates literally to 'stone breaker' and is used as a remedy for kidney stones. The locals swear by it. It is a very pretty herb, the raindrops on its dainty leaves looking like tiny jewels.

This afternoon, we were meant to go into the village to enjoy the neighbourhood's 80'th birthday party. Vila Zelina is a Lithuanian community and was established in 1927. The celebration was to take place at the square. Pity it was a washout. This photo was taken at the square on a sunny day, the usual gathering of old (and not so old) men playing their dominoes. The dominoes table is always occupied, regardless of the time of day.

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Friday, 26 October 2007

Rainy day

little bubbles float
down the stream
along the sidewalk
dancing, popping

tiny raindrops splash
on my face
touching my cheeks
feathery light, teasing

a puddle shimmers
in cloudy reflection
on my path
rippling, lapping

a watery fantasy
clouds play games
on a rainy day
dripping, sprinkling
© tint

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Raindrops are falling on my head... *insert music note*

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See what happens when you complain? We have gone from hot and dry to cold and wet. Overnight, the temperatures dropped and it is now cold with constant rain. Make that cold by Brazilian standards, with temperatures averaging 18°C (64°F).

In honour of this auspicious event (unaccustomed rain), I present you with one of Tat's favourite treats, Bolinha de chuva. Actually, it was a friend of hers that introduced us to this local confection. 'Bolinha de chuva' translates to 'little rain cake'. Every time this friend would visit, she would haul out the pot and the flour and make bolinha for us. She loved cooking at our place, as she wasn't allowed to at home. Herewith, my translation of a Bolinha de chuva recipe...

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Bolinha de chuva (I added the Brazilian version of the recipe just as a curiosity)

Temperature: Hot
Difficulty: Easy
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Makes about 70 balls

1 pinch of salt
about 1/2 cup of milk
4 tablespoons sugar
2 cups flour
1 level tablespoon of baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cinnamon
oil for deep frying
3 cups of sugar for making the cinnamon sugar for sprinkling


In a bowl, mix flour, eggs, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add milk little by little with a mixer until you have a smooth batter. The mixture is ready when it starts to keep the shape of the balls. Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan to deep fry the balls. When the oil is hot, put small balls into the oil with a spoon. Fry the balls until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a straining spoon and place on paper towels to drain off oil. Toss balls in cinnamon sugar and they're ready to serve/eat/whichever-comes-first ;)

Portuguese version:

Temperatura: Quente
Dificuldade: Fácil
Tempo de preparo: 10 min
Rendimento: 70 unidades

1 pitada de sal
cerca de 1/2 xícara (chá) de leite
4 colheres (sopa) de açúcar
2 xícaras (chá) de farinha de trigo
2 ovos ligeiramente batidos
1 colher (sobremesa) rasa de fermento em pó
1 colher (sobremesa) de canela em pó
óleo para fritura
3 xícaras (chá) de açúcar (para misturar com a canela em pó)

Modo de Preparo:
Coloque numa tigela a farinha, os ovos, o fermento, o açúcar e o sal. Aos poucos, adicione o leite e misture com um batedor até obter uma massa homogênea. A massa estará no ponto quando começar a formar bolhas. Em uma frigideira, coloque bastante óleo e leve ao fogo. Quando estiver bem quente, coloque pequenas porções de massa, com o auxílio de uma colher. Frite os bolinhos, deixando-os dourar bem. Retire e coloque sobre papel toalha para absorver o excesso de óleo. Em seguida, passe os bolinhos no açúcar e na canela e sirva.

Footnote: I am about to totally lose it with Blogger.com. I have to reset my password every day and I know it's not me. Its the same one I have used ever since starting with Blogger. I simply reset it to what it was and it works. Enough already :(

Monday, 22 October 2007


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Do you see patterns in everything? Do you look at the clouds and see teddy bears, giants, mountainous landscapes? I see patterns all over. In the shower, I amuse myself seeing people, animals, flowers and all manner of other fascinating shapes in the water droplets collecting on the tiles. I will look at the pattern formed by the leaves blown on the grass or the moss on the ceramic pot outside. Heck, I see patterns in the oil in the pan and (shh, don't tell anyone) have even been guilty of photographing those patterns

I took bunches of pattern photos yesterday. I can't post them all, obviously, but see what fun you can have with these...

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The patterns on the bark of the Eucalyptus tree

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The patterns in a nest in the ground. I have no idea what nest this is. Giant ants?
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A piece of bark on the ground?

This last photo has me chuckling. I was hunkered down on the ground and kept having to push Romany away. Me on the ground with him takes him back to his puppyhood and he loves it. I couldn't get him completely out of the photo. See if you can spot Romany ;)

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Just up the road

Yesterday, Jorge and I went for a walk to the crematorium up the road. The man is crazy... it was extremely hot and he opted to go right after lunch. I came home looking like a broiled lobster. The dogs flitted from one shady patch to the next. Even hyperactive Dingo spent a lot of time just lying in the shade.

Guess which one of the two is laid-back Romany and which one is hyperactive Dingo. Of course, you can't see her tail whipping back and forth in this photo. I personally think she's a clockwork dog and needs to wind herself up all the time.
The crematorium grounds here is where everyone goes for their exercise, to walk the dog and to just get out a bit. Its the only place around here with any amount of green... if you can call it green. Everything is dead. Between the heat and the lack of rain, there was very little green to be found at all.

If you didn't know where you were, you'd have sworn it was Autumn with the banked up mounds of crisp brown leaves.

The crematorium is divided into two parts. One part for the wealthier, with little headstones and the other part for those whose dedication is far greater than their purses. Ashes were sprinkled around trees, flowers planted, signs and ornaments put up. It was my first visit there. I had avoided going there for so long, thinking it would be depressing, but that wasn't the case at all.
I do hope we get rain soon. Brazil isn't meant to be a dry country... at least, not this part, although a part of me is grateful because, on a more personal note, the dryness is far easier to deal with than the humidity.