Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We tried to put up a tree. Normally we put it up and decorate it immediately. This time we put the tree up in the evening with the intent to decorate the next day. When we got up the next morning the cats (Freyja in the lead I'm sure) had ruined the tree. By a miracle Arwen wasn't very interested in the tree. We didn't have time to decorate unfortunately, so we patched up the tree as much as possible. The next morning Freyja & Co did it again... Enough is enough; we decided to clear away the tree until next year!
A week before christmas Ron got sick again. Not really a flu or something, but he had headaches, stomach- and intestines trouble. Only on christmas day he felt a bit better. Just in time, because we had invited Joke to come over for boxing day. Needless to say we missed Leo a lot, but still we spent a lovely day together.
Now we just have New Year's Eve and then the holidays are over. In Dutch we call it Oudejaarsavond (Old Year's Eve); strange huh? January 1st is New Year's Day here too.
Ron and I will stay home for the pets. It's Arwen first New Year's Eve. Although she doesn't overreact at fireworks when we hear it now and then, we aren't sure how she will react to a lot of fireworks at once. The cats aren't really interested. Foofur is afraid, but as long as he is near me he is okay. I'll give him Reiki like I did last year; it helped calm him down.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I miss the people who won't be there for yet another christmas...
I miss the ones that won't be there for the first time...
I love you, I miss you...
Someone I've loved all my life
Someone I played with and laughed all night long
Someone I think of when I hear that song
Someone is missing at Christmas
Someone has left me alone
Someone so close even though we’re apart
Someone who’d finish the sentence I’d start
Someone whose love is my favorite gift
Someone whose presence is my Christmas wish
Someone who always was here
Someone is missing this year
Candlelit snapshots of Christmas gone by
You in your favorite chair
Memories like snowflakes melt in my eyes
I look and you’re not sitting there
Someone whose love is my favorite gift
Someone whose presence is my Christmas wish
Someone is missing at Christmas
Wait… someone is touching my heart…
Someone has heard me and answered my call
Someone I love is not missing at all
Someone is with me at Christmas
Someone’s right here in my heart
Someone I love is with me this Christmas
And will be each Christmas to come!
Listen to the song here.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
In the afternoon I went to the PFI pub moot in Zeist. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces, some of which I hadn't seen for quite some time! The theme was "A Day for Doreen", looking back on the Charge of the Goddess Conference in London on September 13. It was to honour and remember Doreen Valiente, 10 years after her death in September 1999. I would have loved to be there myself, but that wasn't possible so this was second best. People who have been there shared their stories and Morgana told us more about Doreen and her Charge of the Goddess. She let us hear a multilingual version of the Charge spoken by native speakers, very impressing!
On the way back from Zeist to Amsterdam (to bring two friends home) the weather was very very bad: storms with heavy rain. It was tiring for me to drive, so I was glad we arrived! I decided to stay in Amsterdam; there was no time to bring the car home. Luckily I found a parking place near the location of the shamanic training. Later in the evening when I went home I wasn't that lucky... Someone had smashed the car in the rear on the driver's side. A lot of damage (light unit and bumper) and no sign of the perpetrator. Grrr....
The shamanic training was very interesting again. We did a trance journey in which we focussed on a goal that we didn't achieve this year. Something we really wanted and tried to do, but somehow didn't seem feasible. Then we transferred it into a little candle and let it burn on the altar in the middle of our circle. As a group we did two rounds of blessing the candles.
After the break we made a journey to the realm of the elves (Alfheim). I stayed on the border and later retreated. The energy in Alfheim was too fast for me at this time. It was still a special experience!
Monday, November 09, 2009
In the afternoon Wonder picked me up to go to a lecture in bookshop Donner (book paradise of 6000 m2) in Rotterdam. The lecturer was Jacob Slavenburg: cultural historian, authority about gnosticism and related issues, translator of the complete Nag-Hammadi writings). The theme was his new book that appeared on November 1st: "Het Grote Boek der Apokriefen" (The Great Book of the Apocrypha), a comprehensive work in which virtually all Christian apocryphal and secret writings from the first four centuries have been incorporated. A very interesting subject by a great lecturer!
Sunday I attended the third evening of the shamanic training. Linda had invited a female friend she has worked with for some time. Our group was asked to do a soul retrieval ritual with and for her, a cross-over between shamanic ritual and family /systemic constellations. I had an active part. It was very impressive and most importantly I think we helped her in her process. Afterwards I felt tired but also satisfied.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Today I'm joining hundreds of bloggers across the world in a movement called "Blogblast For Peace". Bloggers will unite in a global cry for peace in this annual event. One day. One voice. All it takes is one post. Won't you join us?
I first participated in 2008 with a globe filled with the word "peace" in a lot of different languages. This year I chose to speak for the innocent animal victims that suffer in the name of human wars.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Samhain is the witches' new year. The circle is round, the wheel turns. The veil between the worlds is thin. We remember those who have gone before, especially the ones that left us during this year's cycle... We pay respect to ancestors, family members, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. There is room for mourning, but we also celebrate their lifes. In the dark silence you can hear the whispering of new beginnings. Balance in everything: dark-light, day-night, life-death; no one without the other...
I hope the new year brings
light to balance the darkness,
laughter instead of tears
and love to conquer all.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tonight I went to the live broadcast of Robbie Williams' first live show after three years. He was opening the BBC Electric Proms in London. He played old songs and new ones from his forthcoming album Reality Killed The Video Star. This was the set list:
2. Come Undone
6. I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen
9. No Regrets
10. Won't Do That
11. You Know Me
14. Video Killed The Radio Star
Just one heartfelt tip for Rob:
Please, PLEASE, find another stylist!! When you are in great shape like this you shouldn't wear baggy trousers and some vague shirt.
pictures: property of BBC Electric Proms
(to see more follow the link)
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
It started off as a wonderful way of getting to know other blogs / bloggers and get some extra traffic to my blog. I've made a lot of contacts, that I'm still very happy with. I've made sure I bookmarked them all!
The last months Entrecard evolved in a way that doesn't suit me and my blog. I've waited to see whether it would change, but it didn't. The sponsor ads system started today. I don't like sponsored ads this way, but if I wish to opt-out it'll cost me $5/month or $50/ year! So I decided today was the day to stop participating.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Last Sunday I started the Shamanic Training by Linda Wormhoudt in Amsterdam. It lasts until the end of this year. I know Linda from her book "Goden en sjamanen in Noordwest Europa" (Gods and shamans in northwestern Europe), which is one of my favourites.
This first meeting's theme was getting to know each other. We were with almost 20 people. I only knew 2: one of the Lowland Systers and someone I met before in a witches cafe and on the Brookberg. The group is very diverse: in age, male and female, in background. Linda told about shamanism and what we are going to do. We did several exercises to get to know each other better.
After the break we made a shamanic journey. I had difficulty getting into it. The trance was there, but I was stuck. The spirits / ancestors came to me, because I obviously couldn't come to them. They told me I have to take care of myself, insert a break when I need one, put myself first. I should meditate more. Hmm okay, I guess that's my answer concerning the roller coaster... :)
Near the end of the evening Linda asked us to put support, energy, strength etc. in a flower for a group member that couldn't be with us. She was waiting in a hospice for her father to die, they gave him up but the dying process took long. An awful situation for her, but inside me an irrational feeling of rebellion bubbled up and demanded attention. I was angry! At least she had time with him, I wished I would have had time with Leo! I decided to share it with the group and that was the right decision. At that moment I burst into tears and let it go. Linda put another flower in the circle, for me! Then everyone did their thing (rattled, sang, meditated, etc.) to charge the flowers. Because I had expressed my feelings there was room to give the other flower some energy and support too. The flower is now on my altar.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The last week I got a nasty cold and that forced me to let go for a while. I was exhausted and couldn't do much. Because of the coughing and sneezing I didn't sleep much at night, not very beneficial too! I'm slowly feeling better now, but to be honest I almost fear being "all better". I'm afraid it means the roller coaster gets in overdrive again. I'm so tired of it... How do I ask the universe to give us a break...?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Yesterday afternoon he was with Joke at our home for my birthday, looking forward to go to the gym. Afterwards they would come back here, but instead we left the visitors to go to the gym and later the hospital. Last night and today I stayed with Joke to make all arrangements and for support. I'll be there for her for as long as she wants me to, and thereafter. Tonight she wants to be alone, so I'm home now. I let her promise to call me when she needs me. If she doesn't call, I'll go to her first thing in the morning.
How I wish Tempus (the demon of time) from Charmed really existed to manipulate time and bring back Leo. The thing I want to do most for my sister is the most impossible...
It is so unfair, so cruel, so incomprehensible. Why, why, WHY??? Why Leo???
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The cats are getting used to the idea of having Arwen around. They each have their own way. Bastet makes friends and follows Arwen, nuzzling up against her. Maia is curious but cautious, inspecting Arwen from a distance (or closer when she thinks Arwen doesn't notice). The pics show how Freyja treats the little newcomer.
I was combing Arwen on the table, when Freyja joined us to see what we were doing. She waited until I was ready and Arwen showed some interest.
that was too close, Arwen!
okay... I'll keep my distance!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
You can see more pics of her in my Facebook album "Arwen".
Last Monday was the first meeting of the aftercare group in Haarlem. Chantal and I take turns to lead the group, I started. One woman had to cancel the group, because she couldn't find a proper babysitter (she has a child with special needs); she cancelled the night before. Another didn't show up and doesn't react at all. A third woman didn't show up, but had e-mailed about it very short before we met. With the other cancellations we only have 4 women in the group now instead of 11! The women know each other from the selfhelp group they did.
All in all it wasn't a nice way to start. I started with the announcements and info. After an introduction round we took a break. After the break we tried to make an inventory of subjects to talk about, things that are still difficult to deal with, etc. We talked, but the communication didn't go smoothly. It was a bit remote, stiff. Of course this was the first time, but I noticed it made me very insecure. I was asking myself what I did wrong. Looking back I would say I didn't do anything wrong, but still... Ah well, we won't give up, it will get better!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Last weekend we got an envelope addressed "For my mummy and daddy". Inside was the picture of four beautiful Berner Sennen pups. Rons sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews and nieces had decided to give us a pup. Not to replace Boris, that's impossible anyway, but perhaps fill part of the void he left.
My first reaction was: no, it's too early! We wouldn't have looked for another dog this soon ourselves. The gesture was very tempting though. We talked about it and decided to give it a go. I needed some days to work it out in my head, but the closer today came the more I got used to the idea and looked forward to it.
And now we are so happy to have her! She's so sweet and beautiful. Foofur and the cats are curious or ignore her. She's used to dogs and cats. She'll find her place in our household. And she will be loved (already happening)!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I'll do the group with Chantal. We already have enough participants, because most of the self-help group wants to do an aftercare group together. With a few others the group is ready! I'm really looking forward to do this. It's a bit exciting too, I'm nervous but in a good way. There are still some things to do, but that will be okay. We'll meet fortnightly on Monday evenings from 7 till 9 PM in Haarlem.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
A lot of dog talk lately on my blog (and more to come...), so it's cat-time today!
Freyja, Bastet and Maia have several scratching posts, but the little one they use the most. It's right next to my computer desk. They scratch it (duh...), play around it, sleep against it. In short: they love it! See for yourself:
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday evening when I called him to make a walk, he couldn't get up. Eventually he could, but he was very wobbly. I called Ron and we walked straight to the vet (just around the corner). He checked everything he possibly could, but it all seemed to be normal. We got painkillers for him and we had to watch him extra this weekend. We were very worried...
During the weekend it didn't really get better. When he walked for a while it got a bit better, but the overall tendency went down. Yesterday it got worse. We decided to go to the weekend vet. She checked his blood, but couldn't really do anything for him. We decided to go home and visit our own vet today.
Ron checked him during the night. This morning we walked to the vet with a heavy heart. As if we knew... and in a way we did of course. It turned out to be a brain tumor that caused all the problems Boris had lately. There wasn't anything we could do for him, except letting him go to prevent further pain and problems. He didn't deserve to suffer, so we could only take that one difficult decision... We stayed with him until the end, both crying our heart out. Leaving him there was so hard... We miss him sooo much... The house feels so empty... Foofur and the cats (esp. Bastet) are looking around, wondering where their big friend is. It hurts sooo much...
Friday, August 07, 2009
We first walked around the grounds to see all the stalls with things to buy, the stages, artists, etc. Monique was accompanying us with her little daughter Dominique. We met a lot of friends there. The weather was fine, dry and mostly sunny. Most visitors wear special clothes: pagan, medieval, fantasy, etc.
Among the bands playing on the two stages was our favourite folkband, Rapalje. Unfortunately they were stashed away on the little stage. They don't deserve that and the public disagreed completely. Still, their performance was one big party, great as always!
In the Pure Fantasy tent I bought the supernatural thrillers "Wolfmaan" (wolf moon) by Tisa Pescar and "Angstdroom" (anxiety dream, nightmare) by Mel Hartman. They signed their books for me too. At the time both are only available in Dutch. Tisa and Mel have a website together to promote their books.
Next to the big stage stood the "wickerbeast". A wickerman is an ancient Celtic ritual piece of art, made especially to fill with all sorts of gifts to the gods/goddesses and spirits of nature, after which it will be burned as a sacrifice. Everyone can put something into the wickerman to sacrifice to Lugh and the spirits of nature. In the evening, during a performance by Omnia, the wickerbeast was set on fire. Before the end of the rest of their performance Ron and I walked to our car, so we didn't end up in a traffic jam. I was exhausted, but had a wonderful day!
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. WRITE THAT SONG DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag 10 friends - I won't! Play if you want, and add your link in a comment.
5. Everyone tagged has to do the same thing.
6. Have Fun!
IF SOMEONE SAYS 'ARE YOU OKAY' YOU SAY?
My heart belongs to me (Barbra Streisand)
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Oxygene 02 (Jean Michel Jarre)
WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Feel (Robbie Williams)
HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Wytches' Brew live (Omnia)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
Heal the pain (George Micheal & Paul McCartney)
WHAT'S YOUR MOTTO?
Essence (Steve Vai)
WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Unchained melody (Righteous Brothers)
WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
One fine day (Robbie Williams)
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
September morn (Neil Diamond)
Suspicious minds (Elvis Presley)
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
The Whole of the moon (Waterboys)
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Coffee, tea and sympathy (Robbie Williams)
WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Just can't get enough (Depeche Mode)
WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Home is where me friends are (Rapalje)
WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Wonderful life (Black)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Seamisai (Laura Pausini)
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Hijo de la luna (Mecano)
WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
Imitation of life (R.E.M.)
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
I can't believe you're in love with me (Dean Martin/Joss Stone)
WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Take it easy (Eagles)
Friday, July 31, 2009
A new album is in the making and rumours say Rob will go on tour in 2010. I can't wait!
Monday, July 27, 2009
The radiologist showed us what he was doing and explained what we saw. The kidneys looked good, structure and size okay. In one of them was a little cyste, but it was so small that couldn't have caused Boris' symptoms. His bladder showed an inflammation, he has cystitis. His prostate was enlarged. These things together explain all the symptoms, including the aggression towards the dogs he attacked.
With the results we went to our vet. He chemically castrated Boris to bring the prostate back to normal proportions. He got an antibiotics shot and pills against the cystitis. To gain the weight he lost we have permission to spoil him rotten. :) His food is very good, but he needs more fat and a little extra to come back to his normal weight. In three weeks his urine and perhaps blood will be tested again to see how he's doing. His hotspot is almost healed.
Of course the radiologist and vet can't look into the future, but there's no immediate cause for worry, nothing life-threathening. Yay!!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The best option now is making an ultrasound of Boris' kidneys. We got the telephone number of a specialised radiology clinic. We called immediately, but they are on vacation until August 10th. We don't want to wait that long! Then I remembered the vets of the pet shelter have equipment to make ultrasounds. We have an appointment for this coming Monday! We also have the number of other specialist-radiologists in Amsterdam, but they couldn't be reached anymore today. So we 'll see about that after the weekend.
I still hope it's something fairly harmless that can be treated. I know there are other possibilities, but I don't want to be doom-mongering. Boris isn't getting worse at the moment. We go out with him more often to pee, he eats and drinks good... *fingers crossed again*
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
When we got home he was a bit apathetic and wanted to be taken out a lot to pee. We blamed that on the transition of being home again and inside most of the time. He has always drunk and peed a lot, but we decided to go to the vet on Monday to let him check just to be sure. He also had a foul smell with him.
The Sunday before that we went to the woods as always. When Ron and I are together the dogs walk without a leash. They are friendly and playful and don't do any harm. Boris went swimming in the big pond. When we had almost finished our walk, a dog came towards us. Boris was wagging his tail and they sniffed at each other. Suddenly Boris attacked and grabbed him in the neck and wouldn't let go. Ron had to come between and jerk him away. We were flabbergasted! Luckily the other dog had long hair and didn't have anything. At that moment Boris seemed furious, but within minutes he was normal as always. Now we were really worried!
That Monday the vet discovered a "hot spot", a localized area of skin inflammation and infection, hidden in the thick fur in his neck. He said the attack most probably was caused because the other dog touched the hot spot. I hadn't seen that, but it seemed plausible. We got something to treat the spot and left.
In the last two weeks we took care of the spot, but it doesn't get better. He still is a bit apathetic and he lost weight he can't really miss. He got more incontinent. Yesterday morning when Ron got up, Boris was laying in his own urine. We went to bed late that night, so he had been out only a few hours before. We went to the vet yesterday and again this morning. We have collected some urine, blood has been taken and he has gotten Prednoral ( a shot at the vet's and pills for home). The urine and blood will be tested and we'll get the results tomorrow or Friday.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
In Lier several herbs were growing along the river Nete or nearby. I decided to take some St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and Camomile (Matricaria chamomilla), because there was plenty of it. Early in the morning Ron and I made the beautiful walk along the river and picked the flowers. From each plant we only took a few; we didn't want to harm them! Unfortunately a week later the banks were mowed to the ground...
I didn't have jars with me, so I temporarily put the flowers in Belgian milkbottles. I added "arachideolie"(peanutoil?) to make macerates (explanation). At home I put them in pharmacist's jars. They are now upstairs, in the window-sill or outside. I think I'll filter and bottle the oil during the next full moon.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
We are back from a wonderful vacation in Lier, Belgium. We stayed on the private property of friends, a lovely cottage surrounded by nature in the middle of nowhere. The river Nete was around the corner. Foofur and Boris could come with us and they had the time of their lives. Outdoors all day, watching the beautiful trees, birds, waters, etc. The weather was very good, although towards the end it was a bit too hot for me. I've slept a lot, read a pile of books, walked with the dogs... We have enjoyed ourselves very much. We relaxed and charged up our batteries in a way only nature, peace and quiet can provide!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
until the beginning of July (probably around the 3rd-4th).
Feel free to read and comment.
I'll visit you as soon as I'm back online!
For Entrecard droppers:
If you have advertised on my blog before,
I'll try to return the favour a.s.a.p.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Who the heck am I?
Tink asked that I post a photo, so here you go. That’s a picture of me on Halloween 2007. I am wearing a mini police officer uniform while my husband went as an inmate. (You can see my jaunty cop hat in the photo.) He took this photo after we returned from a DeVotchka concert. I know that most people pick their ‘best’ photo. I hate having my picture made, so this is close to the ONLY photo of me. But, honestly, I’ve looked exactly the same since I was about five years old. I’m taller, but I truly look the same.
What’s this blog tour about?
I am going from blog to blog introducing people to the Alex the Fey thriller series. The first in the series, The Fey, was released this February.
At its most basic level, The Fey is about a young woman, Alexandra Hargreaves, who was cruising along in her life. She had a wonderful job, a great team of people to work with, a handsome devoted husband and a wonderful home. In the wink of an eye, everything changes. We meet her at the moment of that change. And then, everything gets worse. (Click here to read the prologue to The Fey.)
The Fey is a fast paced thriller that will keep you riveted to the page from start to finish. The romance will warm your heart. You’ll even laugh at the antics of Alex and her friends. There’s an amusing stick figure synopsis of the Fey posted here.
The Fey is released a chapter at a time at AlextheFey.com. The electronic edition of The Fey will be available in November, 2009. The Fey is also available in paperback.
If you are in the US, the easiest way to get The Fey is via our Create Space store. Please feel free to use this code: BCUCBDDB for a 10% discount. Amazon also carries The Fey.
If you are outside the US, the cheapest way to get the paperback edition of The Fey is to order a signed copy. The shipping is included in the purchase. (For whatever reason, I’m able to ship the paperback for a fraction of what Amazon charges.) The signed editions are availabe at AlextheFey.com.
Why would I want to read your stupid book?
I think the same thing when I see these blog tours. And actually, that’s a really good question.
First, you should know that reviewers find The Fey to be a ‘thinker’s book’. Besides being a ‘page-turner’, The Fey is about realistic people who try hard, struggle, fail miserably, and get up to try again. Many people who read The Fey cannot put it down until they’ve completed it. The Fey is just a wild ride from start to finish.
Are you sick of cookie cutter plots? Nasty people? Unrealistic situations where the hero never fails? The entire Alex the Fey thriller series is filled with interesting, dynamic characters that will steal your heart and mind. The most common comment I hear from people who’ve read The Fey is that they think about the characters in the shower. I think that’s pretty cool.
What’s the future of the Alex the Fey series?
Learning to Stand, the second in the series, will be published in February 2010. Learning to Stand revolves around a central question : How will Alex pick up the pieces of her life and move on? And how will her friends, family and loved ones manage as she steps forward to living her life again? Of course, readers can expect the same kind of exciting, page turning adventure as was in The Fey.
Who I Am, the third in the series, will be published in February 2011. Who I Am is a deeper, more personal look at the main characters in the Alex the Fey series. Confronted with events in their personal and professional lives, the action adventure revolves around their choices to overcome and move on.
There are a total of eight novels planned at this time. So far, the first three, The Fey, Learning to Stand and Who I Am, are in various stages of complete. Learning to Stand is undergoing one last version change and Who I Am is in rough draft form. As I mentioned before, The Fey is available in paperback and serialized at AlextheFey.com
Thank you for your time. Tink will select one person from the comment list to receive a signed copy of the Fey.
Note from Tink
I gladly let Claudia hijack my blog for a day! She is a wonderful person and an amazing author. I have just read The Fey and I can honestly tell you Claudia didn't say a word too much. The book got me immediately and I didn't want to put it down. Unfortunately I had to sometimes; yesterday I read until 2.30am...Oops! One of the reviews on the website says: “The Fey is a romance for people who hate romances; a thriller for people who hate thrillers. If I’d read this on a bus, I swear I’d have missed my stop.” and that's exactly right!
After a few days I'll put the names of the commenters on little papers and pick one blindly, so... take your chance and leave a comment!
Sunday, June 07, 2009
On the beach in IJmuiden between sea and dunes is a beautiful lake. We always walk from the dunes through this natural area to the sea.
Foofur likes the dunes and the dry sand on the beach, but he dislikes getting wet paws and hates the waves.
So this is quite a unique picture! Normally I carry him on the wet area. This time there was water between us and he decided he really wanted to be with me, so badly he even crossed the water, getting wet paws.
On the other hand Boris loves it all. When he gets permission to go he sprints to the water. He loves the sea!
He runs through the breakers, swims and comes back, just to dive in again. We were enjoying watching him so much, we forgot to take a picture when he was swimming. :)
Completely soaked he came out of the water, shaking himself dry close to us... Over the beach and through the natural area we returned. With a very satisfied sigh he jumped in the back of the car. A perfect day!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
We didn't know exactly what to expect, but Ron really wants to move on. If this employer hasn't got work for him, then another company! When we arrived the man from the personnel department told us we had to wait for the manager after-sales. That was a surprise, because he told Ronbefore that we would have a talk with him alone.
It would soon be clear why that boss was there too. The tone of the talk and the whole atmosphere were ice-cold, blunt and very unpleasant! Other talks they said things like "win-win-situation" and "we'll do our best", but that turned out to be b******t!
Perhaps they had expected the Ron from before, but he's much better now. He was assertive and clear without being rude or impolite. I said some things too. When the tone became almost aggressive, Ron stopped them and said he wanted to end the conversation before he'd say something he'd later regret. They made very clear they want to get rid of Ron as soon as they can...
Ron will look for another outplacement bureau himself and make an appointment a.s.a.p. We'll contact a legal specialist to see what our rights and duties are. They said things that aren't completely legal in our opinion. It's a real pity it came to this, but if this is what they want, they'll get it..!
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Remember Maia when she was very little? I was taking care of her when her (then) owners were on vacation. In the beginning she was very shy, but she was always waiting for me on the stairs.
After a few weeks she came to live with us. It just had to be this way, Maia belonged here! Freyja & Bastet accepted her without too much problems.
And now our little princess has turned 2! She still is and I think will always stay little and thin. Just before her birthday we had her neutered, because she was driving everyone crazy with her screaming. She has recovered fully. She still wants to be close to me all the time, but she has found her forever home and loves all of us. And we love her! One of her favourite places is on top of the cabinet, where she can oversee everything. And yes, the dirty paws on the wall are hers... ;-)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Last Sunday we gathered for the walk: ("my") Ron and I, my sister Joke and her husband Leo and 6 other friends drove to the parking lot near the entrance, where Ron was waiting for us. The weather was good: sunny and dry. A lovely day for a walk in beautiful nature! From time to time Ron stopped to show us a herb and to tell us all about it: how to recognise it, the name, family, what it is used for, etc. Everyone was enjoying theirselves and at the same time we learned a lot! I won't say I remember everything, but it's a start!
After the walk most people came home with us to drink something and chat. Ron picked up his wife Gerda and came too. We were unanimous: we want a sequel in the not-too-far future! Ron agreed to guide us again, but we haven't set a date yet.
A lot of people made notes and pictures. Ron made pics for me and I've put them in a Picasa webalbum. The name in Dutch is under the picture, but if you have the English or Latin name, or any remarks: please add them under the picture!
Our guide Ron didn't want anything for his work, but we didn't agree! I got some money from everyone. Yesterday I bought a nice card and signed it with all the names. Ron has a love for birds too and an big aviary in his garden. His female zebra finch had just died so I gave him a new one on behalf of the group as a thank-you-gift.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I arrived in time to attend the opening ritual by Boann & Dagda. The horn blowed to gather in the big room. Dagda welcomed everyone to the conference and referred to it as "a gathering of the tribes". The Dutch conference has always been international with foreign guests and ex-pats living here. The "tribes" are the different pagan paths: druids, witches, asatru, etc. They all come together in a wonderful meeting. I always encounter lots of friends from the pagan community. Boann and Dagda called upon Angus Og and Bride in Gaelic. At the end of the ritual we were all invited to walk through the Bealtaine fires. The best opening ritual I have been to so far!
There were workshops all day. I started with a lecture by GardenStone about Asatru. He has a lot of knowledge about it, being an Asatru himself and having done a lot of research! After that I went to a workshop by Frigga Asraaf of Het Rad (a network for Asatru) about Seidhmothers and -fathers. She first told us how she got in contact with them; they live in the astral ancestor realm. We did a short pathworking to meet them, so we can do it more extensively when we are on our own. After that we were "weaving a web" by singing a chant together while 4 people in the middle were visiting the Seidhmothers or -fathers again. The energy was very strong!
Later in the afternoon I attended the workshop by Boann and Dagda about pagan Irish funeral rituals. They shared a lot of information in a very personal way. Especially the part about "Keening" was impressive. A lot of people let their tears go and the group felt very warm and close. After this very intense time I went to the talk by Kit Berry, the author of the Stonewylde series. (Remember?) I met her and Mr. B. (her husband) earlier and she signed my books for me. She's such a friendly woman and a warm personality. She told the listeners about how she came to write the books and how she found her pagan path. It was great to meet her and hear her talk. She sold all the books she brought with her.
In and around the building were stalls with all kinds of "pagan stuff". I got my Nehalennia book by GardenStone, that I ordered in February. I also bought some incense (granules). Another book called "Under Valkyrie's Wing" was signed for me by the author Annemarie Skjold.
When I wasn't at a workshop I had chats with friends. Some of them I only meet at the conference once a year, others I see more often.
The closing ritual by Boann & Dagda was as good as the opening one. We were blessed with water by Bride. In the end we all got a ribbon to tie in a tree to celebrate summer. It had been a wonderful conference and Lady Bara, the organizer, was thanked in words and with a big applause. I stayed for dinner (yummy Indonesian buffet) and went to the Italian iceroom across the street with a little group for dessert. There was a party with a live band in the evening, but I was too tired and decided to go home. A great day!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
When bride and groom walked into the town hall, the local duo "Wel & Wel" welcomed them with a song called "'Eén Simpel Woord" (One Simple Word). The ceremony in the wedding room was beautiful. I missed my parents all day, but right there it brought me to tears. I felt they were present, moved and proud. Next to me on the front row were two empty chairs, their places... Gerard's oldest son Michael was one of the witnesses. Sylvia's son Rick was just too young to be a witness, but the registrar included him in a different way: he did the hammer blow to seal the wedding.
After the ceremony in the town hall everyone drove to the party location. A banner with the theme of the wedding invitation was hanging in the entrance hall. We also made the picture on top of this post there. The room was nicely decorated with doves, hearts and balloons. Instead of a book Michael had made a triptych on which all the visitors could sign their names and wishes.
The party was adorned with local singers of which Ron and I liked "The SoulBrothers" the best by far. We made pictures and enjoyed ourselves. Just after midnight we went home, but I'm sure the party lasted a lot longer. :-)
Monday, May 11, 2009
I'm familiar with the runes and their general meanings, always attracted to them but never explored any further. This workshop provided just what I needed. For example we did a very good exercise. We picked a rune, but didn't look at it. Holding the rune Harmonia guided us in a pathworking. Afterwords we wrote down our experience and only then looked at the rune. I had Dagaz; the images and impressions I got in the pathworking fit the description perfectly! We also talked about bindrunes, the Norse mythology and other interesting stuff.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
We arrived late in the afternoon on Saturday and were welcomed in a very warm and kind way. It was good to see a lot of familiar faces, but also a lot of new ones. At first I thought: "wow, 40 is a lot", but it worked out for the best. It wasn't possible to talk for a while with everyone, but that's okay. I didn't have to. Ron and I just wanted to relax with friends in a beautiful area, that's what we needed. And that's what we got!
In the evening we performed a wonderful Beltane ritual. I didn't bring the right shoes, so I decided to go barefoot. Ron was responsible for the fire. We chanted a native american song while we were smudged. One of the girls guided us into meeting the elements, the perfect start of this ritual. Of course there was a Maypole; very different from last year, but just as nice. We laughed while dancing around trying to get the braiding of the ribbons right. The result was not-too-bad. :-) Ron did the drumming. To end the dancing he gave one stroke on my drum. It wasn't heavy at all, but he went right through the drum! Such a pity, but we'll try to give it a new skin.
After the ritual most people gathered around the fire in the fire pit circle. Until late there were people singing, playing instruments, talking, etc. I went to sleep as the first one; I was exhausted!
I slept like a baby and woke up in the morning. Ron was early too and we decided to take a walk in the park behind the location. It was very quiet and we heard and saw a lot of birds. When we got back most of the group was awake. After breakfast the workshops started. I participated in a workshop by Yvette and Tonny of Insentro (Centre for emotional realization and coaching) called "Identifying with our thought" based on The Work of Byron Katie. It was all about experiencing, very interesting and I learned a lot.
After the workshops it was time to pack, clean up and saying goodbye!