Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fun or Money?

Which is it?  Fun or money? 

At work, ‘fun’ is much more than just having a giggle. Fun means working in a business where you believe in the vision and the ethos. That’s where ‘fun’ begins. To do a challenging job well, every day, you have to be doing something that has meaning to you. Fun on the job means working with people you like and respect. Fun at work includes collaboration, mutual support and a strong bond of shared goals. Fun means winning more than losing, continuous learning, constantly growing as a businessperson, and doing something you know impacts people in a positive way. That’s fun. And it includes traditional fun too. A workplace where we can have a laugh, where we can socialise easily, enjoy each other’s company and celebrate group and individual success. A job that enhances your self-esteem and sense of worth. That is fun.   Source:  Greg Savage

But what about money?  
Many people do their jobs simply because they need the money. While it’s possible to have fun in these situations, and while it’s possible to be passionate about jobs that get the bills paid, if your primary motivation is simply getting a paycheck, you are much more likely to feel burnt out at times. If things don’t go right you may feel more put-upon rather than feeling the sense of challenge that a passionate person might feel. If the job begins to feel stale to you, money as your motivator may not be enough to keep you feeling content. You may find that it’s hard to pull yourself out of bed and that you are dragging yourself to work. The weekends may seem far too blissful and far too short.  Source: Greg Savage

Which is it?  Want or need?  If it's a need, there is no question.  Money is overrated, and often leads to a higher levels of stress and less quality of life, especially if the job is something you're not passionate about and you're working all the time.  Chase your passion, be authentic and money will come, otherwise you might find 10 years have passed and you're miserable wondering where the time went.  Source:  Georg Moncrief

Fun is decent motivation in the short term, good money is decent in the longer term, but  fun becomes boring soon enough if you're in an environment without growth prospects, and money is no perfect substitute for a feeling of ownership about your work.

Mel chooses to work more for fun and though she realizes that work will not make her "rich" in her job, she is able to organize charity party every summer to support cancer, where through donations, she helps to sell cakes and cooks 150 hamburgers (and she does not even eat meat!) collaborates in educating youngsters,  meets people of different nationalities,  monitors varied activities....


And still have time to relax in her free time.

Life is a journey, enjoy every moment!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Eight gifts that do not cost a single cent

Eight gifts that do not cost a cent

There is nothing like the satisfaction on settling for a perfect gift, something that shows how well you know the recipient and how much you care about your relationship with them. Contrary to what most people think and influenced by many advertisers, the most meaningful gifts are often the ones that cost less money or none at all.  Check out the the list below.

The gift of listening. But to really listen, not to interrupt, yawn nor criticize.  Just to listen.

The gift of affection. Be generous with kisses, hugs, pat in the back and handshakes,... these small actions demonstrate  affection to family and friends.

The gift of a smile. Fill your life in images with smiles, drawings, caricatures, and your gift will say "I LIKE TO LAUGH WITH YOU".

The gift of  written notes. This can be a simple "THANKS FOR THE HELP", a detail such as this can be remembered for a lifetime.

The gift of a compliment. A simple and sincere "YOU ARE LOOKING  GREAT",  "YOU DID A GREAT JOB" or "IT WAS A WONDERFUL MEAL" can make a day  special.

The gift of a favor. Try to do a favor everyday.

The gift of solitude. There are days when there is nothing better than being alone. Be sensitive to those days and grant this gift to someone or request it from others.

The gift of grateful disposition. The easiest way to make people feel good is to say simple words such as: "HELLO" and "MANY THANKS". Friends are treasures, that can make you get angry and smile, who gradually learn to listen, to encourage you and are always ready to open their hearts.

Pictures from Google except for the first one.

Let us all be generous with giving gifts, it costs us nothing and does a lot of good to any recipient.
Have a pleasant day and a happy gift giving!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Life is good in Las Ventas, Madrid

Today, instead of the usual bullfights held in the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas a famous bullring located in Madrid, a total of 80 companies  put  more than 300 of their  typical region's products   among varieties of vegetables and honeys, artisan beer, liquor and cheese. Under the slogan of "Cómete las Ventas" (eat  the sales), regional government took the initiative of inviting visitors to taste and get to know the products under the seal of quality "M" products.  The Community of Madrid's main objective is to introduce among large retailers, and bring to the public's knowledge, the quality and advantages in consuming local products.

There was a long queue of more than 250 meters when I arrived at the site past 8pm.  But I did not mind because the queue moved quickly and I happened to have a Filipina behind me to chat while we waited to enter.  The weather was also favorable with a high about 27ºC an accompanying cool breeze and a shade.  Before I knew it, I was already taking pictures inside.  It was the first time that I had the chance to enter the bullring since I never was interested to see a bullfight.  Seen from the inside, it was not as impressive as from the outside.  Constructed in a Neo-Mudejar style with hand-painted tiles, having been opened in 1931 and the arena being one of the largest in the world, it is certainly one of the most emblematic buildings in Madrid.

There were several free samples to encourage people to buy...

Lots of different kinds of artisan beer...

as well as gin and liquor...

different types of fruits and vegetables all grown ecologically...

There were several food trucks too.

I decided to wait in line to try their regular beef hamburger.  There was queue everywhere but then the pleasant smell of the grilled hamburger nailed me to the spot.  This time, I was lucky to be behind a charming young man who almost kept me company the whole time and amused me with short chats.  It was almost closing time and we still had not been served.  Lucky me, I got the last regular beef hamburger and did not have to wait for my turn but it was offered to me because what was left was only ox meat (2 Euros more expensive) and the guy who was before me gave me the opportunity to buy it since he wanted two burgers, one beef, another ox.  It was very good but quite expensive, 6 Euros which is approximately  the size of a kid's hamburger in McDonald's.

I ate my hamburger outside on a nearby bench.  Before I left, I took more pictures.  

It was almost 11 pm when I got home.  It was an enjoyable experience and to think that I only spent 6 Euros...  It made my day!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Life is a one way street

In life you cannot turn back
No, you cannot change the days 
from night to morning.
You must always move forward,
day after day, year after year,
You cannot remain stationary,

No one can detain the time.
There are many crossroads,
for that, observe the lights:
excessive greed,
maddening selfishness, 
unhealthy jealousy,
those are the red lights
in the traffic lights of our life.
Stop, because behind them
are only winding roads
and hidden cliffs.

Friendship, forgiveness, help,
tenderness, are green lights.
Go ahead without any fear:
be loving and kind in dealing
daily with people and things.

Allow the engine of your heart 
to be always running and don't you foget
There is only one key
to have a secure contact:

I learned that one can never go back,
that one should not ever try to go back
that the essence of life is going forward
Life is really a one-way street, isn't it?

Translation from: Agatha  Christie

But love is a two-way street, not a traffic boulevard.  If the traffic is not going your direction, then it's time to pick a better road.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Permission to dream

There is nothing impossible 
because the dreams of yesterday 
are the hopes of today and 
can become the reality tomorrow

Don't let the day end without having fed your dreams. Don't  allow yourself to be defeated by disappointments. Never  allow  anyone to keep you from  the right to express yourself, which is almost a duty.

Don't give up your desire to make something extraordinary in your life. Don't stop believing that words  and poetry can change the world. Because come what may, our essence remains intact. We are human beings full of possibilities. Life is both a desert and at the same time an oasis, it knocks us down,  hurts us,  teaches us,  and  converts us in protagonists of our own history. Don't ever stop to dream, because in  dreams man is free.

Do not fall into the worst of errors, silence. The majority live in a frightening silence. Do not  accept resignation. Flee!  scream on top of the roofs of this world.   Appreciate the beauty of simple things, and also the simplicity of beauty.

Don't betray your beliefs, we all need acceptance, but we cannot row against ourselves, that would transform life into a hell. Enjoy the panic which causes to have life ahead. Live it intensely without mediocrities.  Think that within you lies the future and face the task with pride and without fear. Learn from those who can teach you. There is none so wise who cannot learn something new, as neither is there a man so poor to not have something to teach. Learn!! but above all learn to live. Teach!!! Don't let life pass you by without you to  live it...

Translation from:  Author and source of photos by Carlos Manuel Oliva

Yes, with love everything is possible

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Trip to Salamanca, August 31

Salamanca is an ancient Celtic city in northwestern Spain that is the capital of the province of Salamanca in the community of  Castile and León.  Its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

It is one of the most important university cities in Spain and supplies 16% of Spain's market for the teaching of the Spanish language. Salamanca attracts thousands of international students, generating a diverse environment.

It is situated approximately 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of the Spanish capital Madrid. The University of Salamanca,  which was founded in 1218, is the oldest university in Spain and the fourth oldest western university, but the first to be given its status by the Pope Alexander IV who gave universal validity to its degrees. With its 30,000 students, the university is, together with tourism, a primary source of income in Salamanca.   Wikipedia

These are what we have seen in our short stay in Salamanca:

1)  Church of San Esteban - unfortunately, we missed the entrance schedule to the church. 

2)  The Cathedral of Salamanca-  When we speak of the Cathedral of Salamanca, in fact we are referring to two churches joined together.  First, there is the old cathedral dating from the 12th-13th centuries:  and then the new one from the 16th century.  Spain Info 

The Old Cathedral is in the Romanesque style with the outstanding Gallo Tower. Inside this temple, the construction of which began at the end of the 12th century, is the San Martín or Oil Chapel. The main reredos, which dates from the 15th century and was created by several painters with Dello Delli at the head, is also worthy of note. The mural painting which covers the vault is the work of Nicolás Florentino. In this great pictorial work it is possible to see the image of Christ at the Last Judgement. The Old Cathedral attracts the eye of the visitor due to the beautiful tombs of the bishops' and members of the nobility to be found inside.


The New Cathedral, built  by Churriguera, houses the image of the Virgin of the Assumption, carved in 1626 by the sculptor Esteban Rueda.

The views from the floor as Ron took the pictures by placing  the camera on the floor of the cathedral.  Excellent focus with no stiff neck!


It is interesting to note two mysterious figures that appear on the lateral side of the entrance to the cathedral.  One of which is an astronaut and the other is a dragon eating ice cream. The New cathedral being built between the 16th and 18h centuries and there were no astronauts then, how and why did it get there?  Source of info and photo:  Cultural travel guide.  The astronaut figure dates not from the 12th century or the 16th century or even the 18th century, but from 1992.  The New Cathedral was undergoing restoration work during that period, and the person responsible for the restoration, Jeronimo Garcia, chose to engage in a bit of tradition by "signing" his work with a contemporary symbol representative of the 20th century: an astronaut.

The temple's Baroque retrochoir is very beautiful and contains Renaissance images such as that of The Virgin of Loreto and those of Saint John the Baptist.

The huge Choir

Eucharistic Pelican (ancient Christian symbol, with a mother pelican piercing her own chest to give blood to her chicks). The legend was that in time of famine, the mother pelican wounded herself, striking her breast with the beak to feed her young with her blood to prevent starvation. Another version of the legend was that the mother fed her dying young with her blood to revive them from death, but in turn lost her own life. The pelican symbolizes Jesus our Redeemer who gave His life for our redemption and the atonement He made through His passion and death. Moreover, Jesus continues to feed us with His body and blood in the holy Eucharist.  The symbolism of the pelican

Can you spot Ron in the picture?

The new cathedral has two organs.  The gospel and the epistle organs.

Chapel of St. Joseph

The chapel of our Lady of Sorrow
3)  Plaza Mayor

4)  La Casa de las Conchas.- The House of Shells was constructed during the 15th century. The architecture includes Gothic, Moorish and Italian styles. In total, there are approximately 400 shells on the exterior of the building. Some say that the shells are either a symbol of love or just a decorative addition to the outside of the building. But others believe that they are the symbol of the Order of Saint James.  Walking Tour of Salamanca

Today, it houses the Salamanca public library and  a tourist information office.

Included in the picture is the so called  "La reja del amor" Love bars.

Walking around

 5)  Casa Lis.-  Also known as Museo Art Nouveau and Art Déco, it is a museum of decorative arts, with exhibits dating from the last decades of the 19th century to World War II.

The bulk of the works in the Museum are utilitarian objects designed under careful aesthetic criteria. This duality makes them interesting as a document of a time and a way of living in Spain. Wikipedia.  The Museum has 19 collections that highlight fiberglass, dolls and chryselephantine, onyx, bronze, porcelain...  So far, it is the most beautiful museum that I have ever seen.

Too bad cameras are not allowed,  but here are a few that I found in Google.

That was a very good trip, short but satisfactory, thanks to Ron.  And from the words of Cervantes who knew the city well:

Salamanca enchants the will because once you have experienced its placid character, you have to go back".