Leveling up to 36

Everybody has phases. Good ones, bad ones, “meh” ones. I have frequently blamed Mercury in Retrograde for stretches of time where nothing seems to quite fall into place the way it should, and at least 50% of the time, Mercury was indeed to blame (conveniently). This is not one of those times. On the eve […]

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We bought land! Now What?

Almost a year. That’s how long it took us from the moment we first saw the property we fell in love with to the moment we signed the papers that made us its official new owners. Well, 11 months to be exact. Ten, maybe, if you count from the moment we decided we wanted to […]

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Learning from Pain (and Puppies)

Last night, we had our first puppy crisis. If you recall, life with Mojito is pretty wonderful – he’s curious, clever, clumsy, adventurous, and full of energy. Although I’ll never understand quite how it happened, the puppy got his leg stuck between the last step of the tiny house we live in and the tiny […]

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A Day in the Life

From recent conversations with friends, it has become clear that many of you wonder what in the world we are doing, not big picture but on a daily basis. So, here’s a taste of what a Cramooz day sort of looks like-ish… Ever since the arrival of “Mojito the mutt” – our adorable puppy born […]

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Recipe: Kiwi-ginger jam

The kiwis had been sitting in their crates for weeks, freshly picked off the wooden structure the male and female plants grow on right as 2018 slowly turned the corner and settled in. We tried to make a dent in the harvest by eating kiwis for breakfast, as snacks, and by taking bags of them […]

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On Learning Portuguese

Or why you should learn the language when you move somewhere. Aside from not quite understanding why anyone would move to a foreign country and not make the effort to learn the language, in Portugal my experience suggests that depending on other people’s grasp of the English language may not be your best bet. This […]

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The Olive Harvest

When we agreed to participate in the Vinha da Manta olive harvest, my mind conjured bucolic images of a team of volunteers bundled up in the cold November mornings but stripping down to t-shirts as we worked in the warm sun throughout the day, shaking down olive trees and gathering the fruit they delivered on […]

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The 7 Stages of Bureaucracy

Portugal is an amazing place, and there are many, many reasons why we chose to relocate here. However, I would be crazy if I said it was perfect, and delusional if I did not mention the biggest challenge we have had to deal with: bureaucracy. We knew this going in, of course, and accepted it […]

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After the fires

Background This year, Portugal has as usual suffered from innumerable fires. Some had natural causes, linked to how dry the year has been, and others were initiated by human intervention – whether unintentional (such as a government worker cleaning the side of the road, his blade hitting a rock and creating a spark, and voila) […]

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