Yesterday, November 1st was a holiday, Fiéis, or Finados (similar to Day of the Dead) and the town shut down to celebrate by going to the cemetery with fancy floral arrangements and honoring their past loved ones. We honored my mother-in-law who couldn’t be there in person by going to the family chapel where Simplicio’s grandparents and uncle are “buried”, lighting candles and leaving the door open for visitors. Definitely different for me coming from a non-Catholic background, but interesting nonetheless to participate in such a special local tradition. Last week we also received our first visitors at the house! Carol Woodrow and her husband Martin have been dear dear friends for years, Carol was my mother’s best friend and her son, Alex was good friends with my brother in high school in San Jose. Carol has become my friend and we have bonded over being cat-loving third culture kids who love art, travelling and shopping!!!! Martin was in Portugal for work and they drove up from Lisbon to see us and spend 2 nights in the house. Not only was their time here sweet, encouraging and fun, providing a much needed break from constant housework and cleaning, but it forced me to clean and prepare the house for visitors and they were able to give some great feedback on where we are. We had a perfect day in Porto, exploring and sightseeing, and I’m sure God was looking out for us because as soon as they left, the glorious sunny days we enjoyed together have shifted into almost constant rain and general dreariness. But, you know, I don’t mind the weather! If I go on a walk or do a treadmill training session, my body is pretty warm for the rest of the day. We have been keeping busy with the house, I have even been cooking again and my studio is almost ready for me to begin producing! Our days have been filled with little tasks, but soon, I think a routine will be viable.