31 Jan 2015

Moments that reinforce your faith in humanity

First a bit of personal context.

Once upon a time there were three crazy sisters who lived in a big old house in Mexico D.F. with a spotted dog whose tail could leave whip marks on your calves, and of course their parents. Life on weekdays was "same'old, same'old" (wake up to dog kisses, breakfast, school, homework, dinner, bed), but life on weekends was FUN! Because on weekends instead of three sisters there were four! Actually for a few years there were five, but one of them left the country with her bio-mom.

But back to the four "sisters". There were two crazy redheads, one wild curly haired sister, and then the littlest one who was crazy enough to allow one of the redheads to cut her hair one summer (to a disastrous result). For many, many years, sister number four would appear on a Friday night (or sometimes Saturday) and remain until Sunday night. So wild was that curly hair that her bio-mom would have to come by in the mornings on her way to work to tame it because her non-bio mom had no experience with crazy hair! Those weekends meant hours playing games (like hide and go seek in the dark, cops and robbers, Legos, ponies, playing dress-up even when it wasn't Halloween, bathing the dog and pups, board games... you name it!), watching scary movies (someone was a huuuuge fan of Freddy Krueger! *shudder* and someone else would insist we always watch a Disney movie after and frequently all sleep in the same room) or listening to music (someone was a huge fan of NKOTB, yes the same someone, no not me). Weekends frequently involved big lunches/dinners with lots of extra people, which meant KP duty for the four girls. Big kitchen with plenty of space? No problemo! One washed, one rinsed, one dried and one put away. Usually while reciting scenes from Mafalda or a movie or a song. Only time KP was ever considered fun. (And if you don't know Mafalda go learn Spanish and start reading asap! Only one of the best comic strips EVER!)

Result of digging through the "costume chest" a lifetime ago...

But all good things must come to an end. Notably parents' jobs in certain countries... and the three crazy sisters had to leave, while the wild curly haired sister stayed behind. There were visits, letters, calls, e-mails etc. But not quite the same is it with borders in between? But sisters will be sisters. No matter the time or distance.

For many, many, many years now this fourth "sister" of mine (you knew I was one of the redheads right?) has been living a new life near 'Frisco, getting to know her family there whom she barely knew before (that's what used to happen to families when geography got in the way, in  the pre-internet era), ever so patiently waiting for a life-saving kidney. None of her very large family was a match, and she was never ever placed at the top of the transplant list. She's spent years with regular visits to her friendly dialysis machine, having medical tests done on a regular basis, getting congratulated when she gained weight, chastised when she lost it. And unable to leave town and her dear dialysis machine behind.

Then shortly before Christmas a miracle happened! A friend of hers got tested, and was a match! And that friend said: "my kidney is your kidney". Woohoo!!! 

Kidney "sisters"

And yesterday my little "hermanita" - after having said farewell to her "dear" friend the dialysis machine - got her new kidney. She is now laying back in a hospital bed enjoying the effects of a shiny new (slightly used) kidney. And we're all over the moon for joy. And oh so thankful that someone selflessly said "Test me. Take mine. Have a new life!". 

And here it is:
Yes. This is a healthy kidney. About to be transplanted.
New life.

If you ever need something to reinforce your faith in humanity think of this story.

Now we just need our "sister" to get on a plane to Spain and get the four sisters back together, pronto! ;o) (of course that also involves bringing one in from the US and another from the UK... but the "parents" are in Alicante so Spain wins!)

17 Jan 2015

Reading Resolutions

True to my New Year's Blogging Resolution, I'm back! :o) Ok, so it's been 2 weeks, but that's better than 2 months, right?

Just wanted to jot down somewhere another of my 2015 resolutions, this one involving reading.

Last year I signed up for the Reading Challenge on Goodreads, more as a motivation to keep track of the titles I read during the year that the actual challenge in itself. I signed myself up for 50 books, figuring I could handle 1 book / week with a couple of weeks extra just in case. I almost made it too! 47/50 books, not bad! (some of them were longer than expected...) But as I was reviewing the list of books, I realized I needed to switch up my reading a bit! In 2014 I read mainly 2 authors (Bernard Cornwell and Diana Gabaldon) because I got absorbed by two fabulous yet looong series: The Saxon Chronicles and the Outlander novels. Then I also read two old series that have been favorites of mine since childhood and adolescence: the Anne of Green Gables stories (Lucy Maud Montgomery) and the Wolfwalker series (Tara K. Harper - who seems to have disappeared after publishing the first book in a new wolf walker trilogy years ago and has me desperate to read what comes next! *sob*). Another thing I noticed was that I only read 1 book in French and 1 in Spanish. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

So this year I'm setting myself a double challenge: read the 50 books as planned (signed up again on Goodreads), but this time more DIVERSITY in the reading! So less Historical Fiction (my favorite genre), no never-ending series, and a significant increase in books in French and Spanish!

5 Jan 2015


I'm a little bit late to the party... but Christmas in Spain doesn't end until Epiphany tomorrow so I can still say: