this is the archive for the ‘just life’ category:


the other ana campos

that time we went to granada and i found out someone with my name has been busy writing children books…

i really wish i had saved this card to send them! what have your namesakes been up to?

the long run

some time ago, we were talking with a friend who works with kids at risk — many of whom the parents seem to have simply given up on as “too much trouble”… and it got me thinking about the long run.

whether you’re raising kids or doing something else, the long run is always where it hurts. the beginnings feast on our initial enthusiasm, but keeping it up over time requires work and putting the hours in. it’s made of tears and struggle and the sheer boringness of maintenance.

i can get really enthusiastic about new ideas, so inevitably, i end up struggling with the long run, as i believe most of us do. our blogs are filled with links to projects that have disappeared, stuff that stopped being updated, and i’m guilty enough of giving up on stuff too. interests and priorities change, the enthusiasm dries up… and after the initial burst of energy is exhausted, things naturally come to a stop.

and yet, sometimes, they don’t. sometimes, there’s someone who won’t quit, who will put in the effort, day in and day out, because they believe in something strongly enough to pace themselves.

when you think about it, behind every kid that turns out great, or behind every project that turns 10 (or 20!), there are always humans who were relentless and didn’t quit — and that’s remarkable and worth celebrating.

giving blood

despite not being a big fan of needles, i’ve been giving blood since they started doing blood drives in university, back in the day. after moving abroad, we started doing them once a year, our christmas vacations back home always punctuated by a detour to give blood, followed by a trip to the dentist (in that order, otherwise no blood donation!).

ever since moving back though, we’ve been doing them more often, helped by the nearness of faro’s hospital and the nice people that work in the blood department there. although we barely know them, the regularly spaced meetings and intimate questions help to quickly break the ice. even if the boy isn’t giving blood on that specific day (sometimes they don’t need his “special” blood), the doctor will still ask how the husband has been doing… quickly followed by a very pro forma “and have you had sex with anyone else lately”? XD

besides the good karma and not having to pay medical fees, after giving blood 10 times one also gets a mini-diploma… although, in true bureaucratic fashion, it ends up arriving much later. still, it’s pretty neat and this week it was my turn to pick up mine!

i know it’s just a piece of fancy paper, but it still feels like a pat in the back for a job well done. besides, now i’m a certified people’s saver! :)

speaking of which, did you hear the news about mr. harrison, the man with the golden arm? he has a rare antibody in his blood, from which a treatment for rh incompatibility could be made in australia. he retired from blood donating last week at 81, after 1173 donations — and after having saved over 2 million babies with the “vaccine” made from his blood — the same vaccine that my mom took after having me, as our bloods’ rh types are incompatible.

hurray for science and blood donors!

pop-up card

killing a bit of time with a friend yesterday, we fetched our craft supplies, watched some youtube videos and quickly crafted our first pop-up cards! doing one has been on my 101 list for some time, and it wasn’t nearly as tricky as i had thought it would be.

once you grasp the basics, it’s just a matter of cutting, folding and gluing in the right places.

maybe something to incorporate into our tradition of unusual christmas cards? :)

the passionfruit chronicles

i don’t think i’ve ever met a fruit i didn’t like, but passionfruit feels special. the taste is the definition of exotic in my book — sweet and alien-like.

they’re supposed to be fast-growing plants that enjoy heat, and therefore ideal for our southern climate. last year, a neighbor down the street gave us a couple of his own fruits to eat… but having seen their vigorous vines, we jumped at the opportunity to grow our own. we started them in a container back in 2016 and saw first sprouts some weeks later:

we planted them out in the front garden just under the fence, so that they had something to hold on to. after some dormant months, they begun their ascent in the spring of 2017…

fast forward to a year later, and they have taken over the whole thing. had we known they would insist in growing upwards at every chance, we would have made a better effort to pull them sideways while we could… well, too late now.

we also have our first flowers! they’re super pretty, as all passionfruit flowers are. incidentally, did you know where their name comes from? according to wikipedia,

“Around 1700, the name was given by missionaries in Brazil as an educational aid while trying to convert the indigenous inhabitants to Christianity; its name was flor das cinco chagas or “flower of the five wounds” to illustrate the crucifixion of Christ, with other plant components also named after an emblem in the Passion of Jesus.

The name maracuyá or maracujá comes from a Guaraní word meaning “nursery for flies”.

and just this week, we spotted the first fruit! i can’t wait to finally taste it and strike another item off the 101 list! :P