Wednesday, May 29, 2013


"Beware of those who know how to write, for they can cause you to fall in love without ever touching you." - Anonymous
"Cuídate de los que saben escribir, pues tienen el poder de enamorarte sin siquiera tocarte." - Anónimo

"I do not want to just read books;
I want to climb inside them
and live there." - Anonymous
Photos from the article in Astorga Red Acción
"Un libro abierto es un cerebro que habla;
cerrado, un amigo que espera;
olvidado, un alma que perdona;
destruido, un corazón que llora."
Proverbi Hindú

Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering to be American

This entry is a message on Memorial Day from a Spanish father to his American daughter who has received a great deal of criticism for her active role in asking for a speedy and fair trial for the inmates at Guantánamo Bay:

Esta entrada es un mensaje de un padre español a su hija americana quien ha recibido muchísima crítica por su actividad en petición de juicio rápido y justo para los detenidos en Guantánamo.

Risa, what you are doing expresses a commitment along the lines of the best values on which the Constitution of the United States is based.

Risa, lo que estás haciendo expresa un compromiso en la línea de los mejores valores en los que se fundamenta la Constitución de los Estados Unidos de América.

We are all equal before the law. This is the base, the guarantee of liberty and of justice; the guarantee of democracy. We are all equal before the law, yes, including criminals of every kind. Terrorists too. Everyone has a right to a fair trial.
Holding someone indefinitely without trial is not only unfair at any time and place, it is also illegal in the United States of America and in the other democratic countries in the world where there is governing law.

Todos somos iguales ante la ley. Esta es la base, la garantía de la libertad y la justicia; la garantía de la democracia. Todos iguales ante la ley, sí, también los delincuentes de cualquier tipo. También los terroristas. Todos tenemos derecho a un juicio justo. 
Retener indefinidamente sin juicio a alguien no es solamente injusto en cualquier época y lugar, es también ilegal en los Estados Unidos de América y en cualquier país democrático del mundo donde rija el derecho.

This weekend we saw the Lincoln movie twice. The film shows the difficult processes that led up to the approval of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution:
“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Este fin de semana hemos visto la película Lincoln dos veces. La película muestra el difícil proceso que llevó a aprobar la decimotercera Enmienda de la Constitución que dice:

“Ni la esclavitud ni la servidumbre involuntaria existirán en los Estados Unidos o en cualquier lugar sujeto a su jurisdicción, salvo como castigo por un delito del cual la persona haya sido debidamente convicta”.

It is the same spirit that governed and is found in the Sixth Amendment:
Es el mismo espíritu que regía ya en la sexta enmienda:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.”

"En todas las causas criminales, el acusado gozará del derecho a un juicio rápido y público, ante un jurado imparcial del estado y distrito en que el delito haya sido cometido, distrito que será previamente fijado por ley; a ser informado de la naturaleza y causa de la acusación; a carearse con los testigos en su contra; a que se adopten medidas compulsivas para la comparecencia de los testigos que cite a su favor y a la asistencia de abogado para su defensa."

Risa, I'm proud of you for many things, including your stance on this.
Risa, estoy orgulloso de ti por muchas cosas, también por esto.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Apricots and Frangélico

Our little townhouse became enveloped in the deliciously intoxicating smell of yellow cake infused with Frangélico, that Italian liqueur made from hazelnuts. Then, after mass, the said cake, was deliciously topped with cream cheese, apricots, coconut and slivered almonds.  The Frangélico glass flask of a Franciscan looking monk screamed at me when I was trying to decide the best choice of liqueur, one appropriate for a former seminary student.
Enrique's Frangelico Apricot Cream Cake
1 package yellow cake mix/paquete de mix de tarta amarilla 
3 eggs/huevos 
1 cup/taza, 250 cm3 buttermilk (goat's milk w/lemon/leche de cabra con el zumo de medio limón)
1/4 cup liqueur Frangelico
1/4 cup vegetable oil/aceite vegetal

Frangélico Cream Frosting/Cobertura:
1 cup (225 grs.) fresh apricot halves / mitades de albaricoques frescos.
(gently mashed leaving some whole/suavemente machacados dejando algunos enteros)
1/3 cup (79 ml) Frangelico liqueur/Licor de Frangélico
1 (8oz) package cream cheese (8 oz = 225 grs)
2 cups (473 ml) confectioner's sugar
Slivered almonds/Almendras laminillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (170 grados C). Grease and flour with butter and confectioner's sugar the pan(s)
• In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, buttermilk, 1/4 cup Frangélico and oil. Beat for 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour pan(s).
• Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. When cool, slice each layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers.
• Make apricot filling by combining drained apricots and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons amaretto in a blender. Process until smooth. Place bottom layer of cake on serving dish. Spread 1/3 of apricot filling on cake layer, then repeat with other layers. 
To make Frangélico Cream Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and Frangélico liqueur until soft. Add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Add apricots, coconut and almonds. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Viejo Molino de Cela

Today I found myself reflecting back to this same calendar day a year ago, last May 23rd when we slipped away for an overnight stay at a charming 17th-century mill on the banks of the River Tuerto.

The Viejo Molino de Cela was the perfect retreat for a birthday celebration, being only a ten minute drive from our city of Astorga.
There abundant wisteria gracefully laced its way through the lattice for overhead shade
above a private patio for refreshments and intimate chats. 

The Old Milll of Cela’s estate was surrounded by the river on all sides and a terrace that provided a view of its garden, whose lily pond I found particularly enchanting.

After a long walk through the woods we were delighted to return to find we could play table tennis next to open fields of green and in the company of a friendly horse who came to say hello during our rousing competition. 

Although we liked all of the classic-style rooms we especially liked ours with wooden floors and a private marbled tub.

Later that evening we were served a delicious vegetarian meal upon request of carrot soup with fresh baked bread and vegetable pie in the spacious dining room over the river.  Unforgettably rustic and romantic to the very last detail like this birthday note from proprietress and author, Mercedes Unzeta Gullón. Her book, of which I'll write more later, came home with us, of course. 
Happy Birthday Memories, Enrique my love. Here's to many more to come!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

La Espiral del Viento

Cuatro grandes obras del escultor grancanario Martín Chirino:
El Pensador, Raíz, Mediterránea y
la Espiral del Viento.
 La Calle 18, Triana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
Canary Islands

There are people, who for unexplainable reasons are so part of us that our existence and theirs are coiled one inside of the other. They are at the very center of who we are and what we love. They are the wind spiral of our soul.
Hay personas, las cuales por razones inexplicables son parte de nosotros, que nuestra existencia y la suya están enrolladas una dentro de la otra. Están en el centro del corazón de quienes somos y lo que amamos. Ellas son la espiral del viento de nuestras almas. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dedicated to Pequeña Palmero

I love her, my mom.
Happy Mothers' Day!

La quiero, mi mamá.
¡Feliz Día de la Madre!

Wendy Lousie Palmero (Akerstrom adopted surname,)
Huntington Park, Huntington Beach,  1946 (?)
"We're not the Hallmark mother, just the Velveteen Mothers.

The angular, hard edges of perfection are being sanded down by all our scrapes and falls, till we’re round and soft and can get close enough to each other to just hold each other.

Only when you’re broken are you tender enough to wrap yourself around anyone.
Only the broken people can really embrace.

Find each other and hold onto each other and offer the hug of the broken who know the relief that homemaking is about making a home, not perfection, that motherhood is a hallowed space because children aren’t commonplace, that anyone who fosters dreams and labor prayers is a mother to the child in us all."  - Ann Voskamp,  Mother's Day is for the Birds