Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
And then, before you know it, it's Wednesday again and you haven't written a post for a week. Time flies... It's not that I haven't got something to write about! :-)
I'm making my own lavender oil. I'm using the cold and slow method: lavender blossom in a jar, fill it up with peanut oil and put it in a sunny place. Daily shake and turn the jar. It already smells wonderful, but it will take some more time to be ready. Then I can sieve and bottle it. Pictures: after shaking, close-up and after a while.
Ron is working again, starting with 3 days, 4 hours. They have given him something useful to do, that makes use of his skills and experience. He's really enjoying it. It's strange to be home alone again, but I'm very happy he is so much better. I wouldn't wish such a burn-out on anyone...
Mentally he is getting there again, but unfortunately his back is playing up now. He has severe pain and got painkillers and physiotherapy twice a week. I hope it will soon be over!
Last Friday I picked up Wonder in Rijen to go shopping in Breda. He's slowly progressing, but still has a lot of pain. It's not easy, but he is making the best of it. He started a correspondence course in coaching and counselling. That will be an excellent addition to his own business. He works together with a reintegration bureau to put it on the map when he's ready and able to work again.
He really needed to get out of the house and do something else though. Breda is a wonderful city. When we walked into the city centre Wonder saw something moving on the street. It was a little tit. I carefully put it in my hands. It couldn't fly and was trembling, but otherwise it looked fine. We looked around, but couldn't find the mother, the nest or other birds. We walked into a square with grass and trees. There were other tits but also some cats, so we couldn't just put it on the ground. We asked a telephone book and called the local pet shelter. They agreed to pick up the little one at the Tourist Office, so that's were I left him behind. In the short time he had gotten used to me somehow and protested softly. The girl there was very nice and asked my mobile number. When the tit was taken away by the people of the pet shelter, she called me. My little friend was doing fine and he'll survive. Good news!
The weather was good and we had a great time. Not all shops were easily accessible for the wheelchair, but we managed okay. We lunched in an outdoor café. We bought the same book by Erika Dühnfort about Irish deity, heroes and druids. Of course we visited some "new age" shops like Chi Levenskracht (they sell the Chi essential oils, but are no longer related). For dinner we stumbled upon a wonderful tapas restaurant: Plan B. Sitting outside, looking at the people passing, we were served by the very friendly owner. The tapas were very yummy!
It had been quite a busy week, so we didn't plan much for the weekend. Nevertheless we didn't have very early nights... Saturday evening we went to Rons sister and brother-in-law in Beverwijk and were home late. Sunday evening we picked up friends at Schiphol Airport; they came home from a holiday on Crete. We stayed for a while and it was late again. :-) Fortunately I have slept a few times during the day.
Yesterday I mustered up my courage and stepped on the scales. The last few months have not been my best food-wise and that's putting it mildly. So I knew the figure on the display wouldn't exactly please me. Well, it didn't. In fact I was a bit shocked: 112 kilo (247 lbs.), aaaaarrgghh!!! I know I did that all by myself and I know what I have to do now. Not going on a crash diet, but watch my intake and make it better, more regular and healthier again. It's a lifelong assignment, or curse... Or as Garfield puts it:
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
"There's a legend about a bird... that sings just once in its life more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree and doesn't rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. The whole world stills to listen and God in his heaven smiles. For the best is bought only at the cost of great pain or so says the legend... But when we press the thorn to our brest we know, we understand, but still we do it."
Last week's TT has caused a certain effect on me... Or rather, remembering The Thorn Birds has. How did I ever forget about that wonderful book by Colleen McCullough turned into a just as wonderful tv-series? Well, I didn't! I must have read the book a zillion times. The series had me glued to the television. I cried quite some tears for Maggie and Ralph. I found out that at the beginning of next month the Dutch DVD-box will be on the market. Guess who has it pre-ordered..? ;-) (edit May 22: already got it, yay!!)
When I heard the first notes of the main theme by Henry Mancini I knew every note of it again. The instrumental version is great, but the sung version by Monica Mancini still touches me too... I had the soundtrack on a cassette tape, but I'm sure it's available on CD now.
I'm a silly sentimental and hopeless romantic...
And I wouldn't want to be anything different!
You know I will follow
Anywhere the heart goes
I will go until I know
All life can be
Love can hurt when you go
Anywhere the heart goes
Don't you know it isn't easy
I hold you inside where my love never dies
And you will always live somewhere in me
If you want to follow
Anywhere the heart goes
I will be here when you want me
Any way you want me
And good years bad years
Would all fall away
If I knew that your heart
Would follow my heart
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Last week I promised you some pictures of Freyja, Bastet & Maia enjoying their playing tent, so here they are! Bastet likes to sit and/or play inside the tent. On her own Freyja likes to put the tent upside down!! Freyja and Maia like running and fooling around together, one inside one outside.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Yesterday Ron and I have visited a meeting of the E46-forum of which Ron is a member. E46 stands for a certain production series of BMW, the one we are driving: 3-series from 1998 to 2006. The meeting was organised in Sliedrecht at and around the premises of WheelsOnline, specialist in rims /tyres & BMW-parts and the sponsor of the forum. The weather was good. E46's arrived from all over the country (and Belgium and Germany). It was a very impressive line of cars! In the picture at the bottom of this post our car is the last one in line, but the line got longer and longer after we arrived. In total there were around 90 cars present, from very basic to completely equipped with everything possible. There were stands with BMW- and car-related stuff, for example Meguiar's Car Care Products and Dr. Vinyl repairs. We admired the cars and other stuff, talked to other forum members and Ron bought some maintenance tool. All in all we enjoyed ourselves very much!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
But oh my goddess... there are so much more I loved!
But oh my goddess... there are so much more I loved!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
When cats are playing, I can watch them for hours... Fortunately my 3 darlings love to play! I caught Frayja & Maia on camera while playing on top of my computer desk:
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Yesterday I went to the 8th Conference of the Pagan Federation International (PFI) Netherlands in Lunteren. Last year I couldn't go, but this year I had bought my ticket in January already. I had planned to go with Wonder, but that was before his accident. It was too tiring for me to first pick him up and then drive to Lunteren. It looked like he couldn't go, but one of the girls from the Ara group had the solution. She lives in Breda (near Rijen) and she took Wonder with her. She had to work first, so they came in the afternoon.
I had to drive for about an hour, but had trouble finding a parking space. Fortunately I was in time for the opening ritual at 10am, a special ceremony with elements from Zoro-Astrianism, old Persia and Turkey, etc. It included interesting information, a poem by Rumi and a derwish dance. Very impressive!
I met a lot of people I know: from the Witchy Girls, Ara-group, PFI-workshops, etc. I talked to a lot of them and met some new people in the process. In the big hall were stands with books, gemstones, livewood and other stuff. I didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look around. I met the Chocolate Witches; two perfect things come together, withcraft and chocolate! ;-) I knew one of them from a meeting in Haarlem.
The first workshop round I attended a workshop by Elliot Rivera. For more then 30 years he is working as a spiritualist and medium. Elliott was initiated as a Santero more than 18 years ago in New York City. He is a priest of Yemaya for 17 years, and was initiated in Palo Mayombe more than 30 years ago. The workshop was called "Connecting with the ancestors". After some interesting info he led us into a powerful guided journey to meet one of our ancestors. Afterwards some of the group shared their experiences.
The weather was very hot, so I took a break and went for a walk in the nearby wood with some others. We encountered a little snake that turned out to be a hazelworm. When we got back, I joined the people outside on the terrace in the shade.
Wonder arrived just in time to join me in a workshop about chakras by Flora. She told us some general information and showed 7 mandala drawings, her interpretations of the chakras. they were very beautiful! Then it was time to do something active. For each chakra we learned a tone to sing / hum and an exercise to activate each chakra. Nice experience!
After another hour outside, talking, drinking, etc. Wonder and I attended a workshop by Marian Green: "Spells, charms and chants". I really like her way of teaching, very clear and down-to-earth with a good dose of humor. As always I learned a lot! In June she will be in Amsterdam again for a weekend workshop; I'm already looking forward to it!
The closing ceremony was performed by Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, the Magister Templi of the Temple of Starlight, and people from her temple. She studied occultism at the Servants of the Light school for Occult Sciences, and is fully initiated in the Golden Dawn tradition. Ina is senior supervisor for the Servants of the Light in Europe. The closing ritual was called "Re-membering of Osiris", ceremonial ritual with beautiful costumes and devoted performance.
For dinner we had an Indonesian buffet, very delicious! In the evening there was entertainment in the big hall with the band Stargazer. We were sitting outside, where it was much cooler! Wonder and I concluded the evening with a yummy Italian ice cream. I had to walk a few minutes to my car, but the weather was still lovely. In about an hour I drove home.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Wednesday morning April 30th Ron and I left early to pick up Wonder in Rijen. It was Queen's Day in The Netherlands and for the first time in ages we didn't go to the street markets! With a fully packed car we drove to Hengelo, where we arrived at the location before noon.
The weather forecast was very bad for these days, but when witches meet... :-) It was dry and sunny! One by one the guests arrived in the afternoon. In total we had a mixed group of around 45 people: men and women, young and older, beginner and advanced, people I knew and new people. As usual with this kind of events everyone got along fine. We had brought Foofur, who had the time of his life with all those people to cuddle him!
We had a barbecue for dinner. With all the food together that everyone brought we could have fed the whole of Hengelo! We didn't have a lot of barbecue space, so it took some time before everyone had eaten something. In the meantime the entertainment for the evening, Philip and Theresia from Donderelf, had arrived. They decided to cheer up the barbecue with some music. Philip wore a mask that fit the occasion!
Around 7.30pm it was time for Sylvia Pleiter to present her oracle set Akasha's Kracht (Akashas Power). It is a set of 49 beautiful cards and a book. The cards are made by encaustic art, a way of painting with bees wax by using an iron. She is a great artist! In a frame she had the cover of the set and seven of the cards. Afterwards she sold and signed sets. Of course I bought one! Apart from the beauty it also works very good as an oracle and the explanations are to-the-point.
After a short break we enjoyed a great performance by Donderelf. Philip told 3 stories (The Raven King and two Arthur-stories) and Theresia accompagnied him on the harp. As always I was enchanted... breathlessly I listened to them. The last story was the absolute high, they exceeded themselves. You could have heard a pin drop. I know I might sound over-enthusiastic, but believe me... they are worth no less!
At 11.30pm we gathered around the campfire for a little ritual. It revolved around wishes for someone else everyone had written before. By throwing them in the fire we gave the wishes to the universe to manifest. A nother beltane custom is to jump over the fire with your spouse, friend, etc. to celebrate and empower the relationship. We had it planned, but the fire was too hot and too big. Pity, but it was the sensible decision not to do it.
After the ritual we stayed around the campfire to chat, eat, drink and have fun. Some people had brought instruments. One man even played the didgeridoo on a vacuum hose! The atmosphere was great and the weather still fine. Before I knew it, it was 3am! Ron didn't go to bed at all, but I had to; I really needed to rest! I shared an air-bed with Wonder. We slept deep, but the morning came way too early! Some people slept outside by the campfire.
It took everyone quite some effort to wake up the next morning... Too little sleep and for some too much alcohol. In the kitchen I found a mess, I didn't know where to start! We had planned a breakfast together with the group, but that didn't work out. In the morning sun most of the guests recovered slowly, each at their own pace.
Around 10am the workshops started. Luna Verde gave a belly dancing class and Els from Het Kruidenatelier did a workshop about herbs and their use. Both were very much appreciated. In the meantime things were prepared for the big ritual in the afternoon. The Maypole and the wreath with white and red ribbons were put up. It looked wonderful!
After lunch Jacqueline Zirkzee presented her book Het Heksenhuis, of which Wonder, Ron and I attended the official presentation 10 days ago. Since then I finished the book and it is great! Jacqueline told us very interesting details, things we (I) didn't know about the persecution of witches through the ages up until the present day. She read aloud a thrilling but scary part of the book. Afterwards she sold and signed her books.
Time for the ritual! The participants were smudged in the circle while Wonder and I waited around the corner. When everyone was ready we were smudged to and entered the circle. At that moment we heard thunder in the distance. It was a wonderful ritual and it felt very good. Wonder read aloud the guided visualisation while I kept an eye on everyone. During the dance around the Maypole while plaiting the ribbons a downpour fell on us. It only added to the joy, we had a lot of fun! The shower was over after the dance and the sun returned. Soaking wet we finished the ritual. I think we really did a good job!
We had something to eat and drink and then it was time to clean and tidy up our stuff and the location. I was looking forward to going home to rest, but at the same time I didn't want to go. It had been two exhausting days, but more than worthwhile. We had a fabulous meeting!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Wednesday and Thursday we had the Beltane-meeting in Hengelo. We had a great time, everything went very good and I think it was a big success! The weather was much better than the forecasts had promised. The drumcircle and ritual were intense and beautiful. I'll share the rest of my story and some pictures later, because I'm still recuperating.