Thursday, December 29, 2005

Overdue post

Busy, busy, busy and a lot of sleep because of the fatigue. Some things I forgot to tell about (or didn't find the time):

My mum is feeling a bit better thanks to the new medicines. I'm still doing most things for her. She doesn't dare to go outside alone, so last week I took her with me for her christmas shopping. She was very tired afterwards, but glad to be out again. Just in time, because it's snowy and slippery in the streets since Boxing Day.

The weekend before christmas was a very busy one.
Fridaynight Llewella celebrated her graduation; she's a certified dentist now. I wanted something original, so I filled a glass vase with candy in the shape of dentures and teeth and topped it off with two candy teats (also dentures). -picture- I had made a card to go with it, again with a dental theme. We enjoyed the party very much.
Saturday I drove to the Tulip Inn in Hilversum for a day of training and consultation for volunteers of the SABN (see this post). It was my first time and very interesting. We got a peek at the new website, that will be launched in January. Much better!
Sunday I was at the Midwinterfair in themepark Archeon. I met a lot of acquaintances and friends. Gaialynn was there in a wheel chair; Archeon is big and walking distances is still too tiring for her. It was so good to see her again, she looks great. Here is a picture of us in the storyteller's cottage. I had a wonderful time, but didn't buy much: a Tinkerbell ornament and a clasp for my cloak.

Thursday the 22nd the SFGA celebrated Yule at the home of one of the members. I was early and helped to decorate. This is the Midwintertable with branches of pine, mistletoe and berries; of course completed with a lot of candles to celebrate the returning light after the longest night. We didn't do a ritual, just enjoyed a very pleasant evening together.

Friday before christmas we sat front row in the local theatre for a cabaret performance called "Antiquariaat Oblomow" by Van Muiswinkel & Van Vleuten. It was the last of their performances with this piece, so we had something extra at the end. I liked the show very much!

Saturday I was invited to join in at the christmas breakfast of my former aquajogging group. I had to stop because doing both aquajogging and aquaspinning is too expensive. I still have contact with some of the group and Joke is still a member of both groups. It was a nice morning in good company. In the evening I had a bad headache and went to bed early.
Christmas day started with the smashed car window, but got better later. In the afternoon we paid a visit to Joke & Leo, where my mother was too. We dined at home.
Boxing day we drove to Breda, where we spent the afternoon and evening with WonderWillow and his mother. I had bought them both a little present, Wonder a book about art and his mum a book about cats. We were all dressed up: Ron in his wedding jacket and I wore a red skirt & blouse and make-up (wow, second time this year!). The dinner was veeery yummy! Later in the evening IJs en Llewella joined us. When we drove home it started snowing more heavily, so I was glad Ron was at the wheel!

This week Ron doesn't have to work. Well, at least not at his job... Leo and Ron really did a lot of work downstairs. The kitchen area ia almost done. They worked hard to get the section ready where the machines will be: washer, dryer and dishwasher. My mum did our laundry for the past few years, but it's too much for her now. It was finished today! More pics in our online album of the rebuilding downstairs.

Tonight from 8pm until midnight is Robbie-evening on Veronica TV: The Making of Rock DJ, The Show Off Must Go On, The Robbie Williams Show and The Making of Intensive Care. Yay! You know where to find me this evening......

Sunday, December 25, 2005

So this is Christmas...

And what have we done... deserve this?
In the middle of the night we heard the doorbell ring. We live across a pub, so we thought people coming out of it were being "funny" by ringing all the doorbells in the street (wouldn't be the first time). However, it kept on ringing, so Ron went downstairs to answer. It was the pub-owner with some strange story (obviously impossible). Turned out our rear car window was smashed... ***insert term of abuse***
Fortunately we have a garage, so Ron drove the car in and we went back to sleep. Well, sleep... Not much I'm afraid. In the morning Ron called CarGlass and he could come and get a temporary replacement window almost right away. They'll have to order a new window, but it will be there later this week. We were glad to hear the insurance covers the costs, except € 68 for our own risk. But still........ Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Yuletide wish

May this Yule bring you
love, peace, health and good fortune
in the coming year!
Love and light to all
whatever your faith or path
Best wishes for a merry time!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My mother

My mother hasn't felt good for some time. Last week it got a bit worse. She is short of breath and keeps too much fluid in her whole body: esp. legs, but also behind her lungs. Her GP gave her pills to drain it off. He suspects the fluid behind her lungs comes from her heart, so he referred her to the cardiologist. In the meantime she can't go outside alone, take a shower alone, etc. So I run her errands, do her shopping and keep her company a lot. I live nearby and I don't mind. I just wish I could do more (like housekeeping things), but I lack the energy.
I'm worried though... She has a history of heart problems (5 bypasses, 2 serious coronaries) and is almost 70 (in February). She's still smoking way too much, but I've stopped commenting on that years ago. It's useless. I hope we'll be able to see the cardiologist soon.
If you can, please: light a candle, send some energy or just think of her. I'd appreciate everything anyone can do!

17.46u: I've made an appointment for January 11.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

And I love you so...

How do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1770-1850)

Today is our tenth wedding anniversary! We are together much longer (almost 20 years), but I love to think about that very special day in 1995. In the beginning of 1995 we were engaged for seven years. We had been saving for a wedding, but every time something important had to be paid first. Somehow I felt we had to do it that year and I always wanted to get married in December (under the tree!). Ron had asked me several times, so we happily agreed. The next year my dad suddenly died and I knew why we had to get married the year before…

We didn’t want a big expensive event; we just wanted to be married! The wedding ceremony took place at 9am (free!) and we only invited my family and a few friends. My sister Joke and my friend Cynthia were my witnesses; Ron had asked both his brothers-in-law. The party was at our place for the rest of the day. On the day itself we sent self-made cards to everyone else. We had dinner with my family and the witnesses at Dinges, our favourite restaurant. They had even decorated the place for us! This is the last picture taken of my dad, with my mum in Dinges.

I hadn’t planned a fancy dress, but after I couldn’t find anything suitable my sister offered to buy me a “real” wedding dress. Ron helped me pick one (away with the stupid superstition the groom can’t see the dress before the wedding). Up until today I’m sooo happy with the dress and the way I looked. It was the very first (only?) time in my life I felt beautiful and content with myself. I must have radiated all day! Compare my sister and me at her wedding (in 1980) and mine.

The pictures were taken by friends, but unfortunately the camera of the one who took most of the pics turned out to be broken. So we only have a few good pics and some blurry ones.

Kiss, kiss, kiss!

Aaaaah, reminiscing...... I could go on and on, I remember every second... the (just in time) self-restored old BMW that broke down the evening before the wedding... the very sunny but bitter cold weather... Ron having high fevers... the first very surprised and then proud look on the faces of my parents when I got out of the car in a white wedding dress... taking pictures in the park... the honeymoon in the bridal suite of De Eemhof (Centerparcs)... so much more...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Last year I came across a very interesting weblog: PostSecret. I still read it every week.

It all began with an idea Frank Warren had for a community art project. He began handing out postcards to strangers and leaving them in public places, asking people to write down a secret they had never told anyone and mail it to him, anonymously.
The response was overwhelming. The secrets were both provocative and profound, and the cards themselves were works of art, carefully and creatively constructed by hand. Addictively compelling, the cards reveal our deepest fears, desires, regrets and obsessions. Frank calls them "graphic haiku", beautiful, elegant and small in structure but powerfully emotional.
As Frank began posting the cards on his website, PostSecret took on a life of its own, becoming much more than a simple art project. It has grown into a global phenomenon, exposing our individual aspirations, fantasies and frailties, our common humanity.
Every day dozens of postcards still make their way to Frank, with postmarks from around the world, touching on every aspect of human experience.

The text above is part of the inside-cover-text of the PostSecret Book which I received today. It's an extraordinary collection of secrets, a hardcover full-colour 288-pages book. A portion of the proceeds from the book go to support the National Hopeline Network (1-800-SUICIDE), a 24-hour hotline for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it. I ordered my book at Amazon (where you can see the cover and some of the cards), but it is also available at Borders and independent bookstores.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Spaß in München

Last Thursday very early in the morning we jumped in the car to leave for München (Munich) . We were invited by Ron's friend Rob to celebrate his birthday over there. Rob is born in München and often visits his friends there. One of those, Jacqueline, celebrated her 40th birthday this weekend. The plan was to go with 3 Dutch couples, but the others had canceled. Their loss!
Ron and Rob drove together, so we stopped a few times to switch. We didn't have any traffic jam, but somewhere along the Autobahn (German motorway) we were directed to stop by German customs. We had to hand over our passports and an officer searched the car for drugs. He was surprised to find out that one of the Dutch passports belonged to someone speaking Bavarian fluently! Rob explained and they talked for a while. After some time we could continue our journey. The landscape en route was beautiful: snowy mountains...
I won't go into all the details, but we had a great holiday! We spent one day in the Deutches Museum which was very interesting! Of course we visited the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market), actually two! The biggest one was at the Marienplatz in the center of München. We have done and seen a lot, but 4 days isn't quite enough! We wanted to visit a German friend not too far from München, but lacked time unfortunately. We also would have loved to see the BMW museum. Ah well, I hope there will be a next time!
Yesterday morning we drove home, lookin back on a wonderful unexpected but very welcome holiday!