Sunday, February 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen continues!

Thursday Thirteen is back under new ownership by Carol and Beth. Everything will continue as always, nothing will change. It will continue to be the same great meme it has been for 80 weeks! Leanne has worked VERY hard to make the change of management as painless as possible, just as she worked hard to create and build Thursday Thirteen from the start. Because of that, we are going to be able to continue without skipping a beat.
Thank you very much, Leanne!
Thanks and good luck, Carol & Beth!

Now I'll give you the solution to my TT portraits quiz. No-one discovered it, but I made a huge mistake. I uploaded the pics with the year as filename! If you click on them, you know...
The right order is: 11-4-7-2-1-9-3-5-8-6-12-13-10. How did you do?? To make it easier to see the right order I made an overview for you. Thanks for playing!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Robbie in rehab

When Robbie Williams is in the news, a lot of people around me think of me and tell me. Nothing different this time. On his 33rd birthday Rob checked himself in at the Meadows clinic in Wickenburg, Arizona. He is said to be addicted to prescription drugs (painkillers and anti-depressants). I first heard about it on the web and in a television celebrity magazine. Not exactly the best and most reliable sources, so I didn't believe it immediately. Now it's all over the net and in the media, also in more serious sources. His mother has confirmed it and there is an announcement on the official site, so it's true.
Poor Rob, I feel for him. The majority of articles is paparazzi-style: malicious pleasure, looking for sensation, speculations, insults, etc. So-called friends and old opponents, everyone seems to have an opinion. Leave the man alone! Who cares what Liam Gallagher thinks about it, or Gary Barlow, or whoever..? I'm disgusted to see so-called fans are joining in in the gossip scene too. I'd expect it from people that don't like Rob and/or his music, but from his own 'supporters'...? Luckily there are caring fans too; look at the YouTube video's at the end of this post.
I'm glad Rob reached out for the best professional help. He has defeated his demons before, I hope he'll do it again. Depression is hell. I've been there, still taking anti-depressants myself. His family and friends will be there for him and he'll need them. His real fans will give him a break and just wait for him.
I'm not under the illusion he'll be reading my blog, but I'll say it nevertheless: Rob, all my best and more. You've got my support for what it's worth. Take your time. Beat your demons and come back stronger and healthier than ever!

Get well Robbie!
(created by RobbieWilliamsObsessed and The Robbie Williams Site)

Get well soon Robbie Williams
(created by RacheyBourney)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

TT #29: pictures of me

Thirteen pictures of me

Above you see three pics of me; they were made in 1974 - 1976 - 1978. In my list I'll post 13 other pics of me in random order. Can you put them in chronological order?


2 3

4 5

6 7

8 9

10 11

12 13

Good luck to who wants to try! I'll post the years next to the pictures after the weekend, so everyone has a fair chance.

Oh no... I just found out this will be the last Thursday Thirteen... Leanne has decided to retire the Thursday Thirteen. She says: "There will be no forwarding address, and no change of hands in the Thursday Thirteen management. As the founder and creator, I get the heartwrenching decision of finalizing and closing the door to this baby of mine that I’ve nurtured for the last 81 weeks of my life. I wish you all the very best in your blogging endeavors. Regarding the questions about continuing the Thursday Thirteen, no interested parties have approached me to discuss purchasing the rights to it. If that should occur, an announcement would certainly be made."


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Last week I missed the 4th lesson of my course because we were at Centerparcs. I had done the homework though. Because more people had missed it, we could make it up in short before the 5th lesson started.
I had to take the bus around 11am to be in time. I had put some music on my iPAQ memorycard, so I could listen to it during the journey. That made the 45 minutes a lot less boring!
The subject last week was recovery and what will help when you are recovering. We had to make a rough diagram. It was striking to see what helped everyone. Recovery is so personal; what helps one may be very bad or completely useless for another!
This time everyone was present. It was the last lesson about our personal stories. Next week we are free and the weeks after that there will be quest lecturers, people who are already using their own experience to help others. Very interesting! This afternoon we talked about our motives for putting our experience to use. There were a lot of similar motives, but also differences. I want to do it for more reasons: to give patients something that wasn't there for me at the time, to educate professional helpers by bringing the matter to life, to make the taboo disappear, explain things to whoever is interested.
Because I was so early the afternoon lasted too long. It was getting harder to pay attention and keep concentrated. At the end I was totally worn out. Listening to my music I fell asleep in the bus. Fortunately I woke up in time to get off at the right bus stop! ;-)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Back home

We are back home from a wonderful midweek in De Eemhof, a Centerparcs village in Zeewolde. Monday was a stressful day, but when we got there everything was okay. We decided to treat ourselves to a romantic dinner in Hamilton's Restaurant. The entourage was beautiful and the personnel very friendly. Ron had a "Spear of Fear", officially meant for two persons. I had a very tasty Mixed Grill. My Diet Coke was in a similar glass I have at home, but bigger: o,5 liter. Ron asked if we could buy one, but the waiter was kind enough to give us (a clean) one.

We had booked a cottage near the centre. The view on the back was great. Every evening we used the fireplace. The Market Square has changed a lot since we were there on our honeymoon in 1995. It is built like a little Mediterranean village with differences in height, fountains, plants and trees. Great place to be on Valentine's Day! There are shops, restaurants, a supermarket, cashpoint, service desk and the entrance to the Aqua Mundo. I hesitated a bit to go to the swimming pool, because I was thinking of myself walking in my swimsuit... Stupid, I know. Of course I did go after all. It was great with wave machine, outside pool, wild water rapid, whirlpool, big slides, etc. We've been there several times and enjoyed it very much.

The weather wasn't very good. Most of the time we had rain, lots of rain. But on Thursday we woke up and saw the sun! Ron jumped up to get his fishing gear. He chose a wonderful spot not too far from the cottage. He didn't catch a lot, but it's a great way to relax for him. Foofur and Boris loved it outside too.

After the fishing we walked to the Action Factory. We visited the games hall, where we did some games and let a machine draw our portrait. We had booked an hour on a bowling alley. Ron has done bowling for several years, I hadn't really done it before. The first round was (with a bit of luck) for me, Ron won the second.
Thursday evening we made dinner on the gourmet/raclette set with Wonder and Monique.

Friday morning we drove home. At first we would have another go in the Aqua Dome, but Ron's right ear had been blocked since the last time, so we decided to skip the swimming. He has tried all tricks to open it up again. At home I called our GP. Ron has to put drops of oil in his ear. We are still doing that, but it doesn't help.
I was glad to see the kittens again, I had missed them terribly. And... the computer! I had brought my laptop, but didn't have internet access in the village. Aaargh! Only now I'm catching up; I have been sleeping a lot since we are back home. Resting after a vacation! ;-)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Imbolc on the Brookberg

Saturday morning very early Wonder and I left for Limburg to celebrate Imbolc on the Brookberg with the Children of the Circle. Normally people gather there around noon, but this time we had to be present around 9.30am. To pull down the old sweatlodge and build the new one we needed the extra time. Wonder and I were somewhat earlier so we had time to pitch the tent. As always it was a wonderful group of people. We were with 10 people. Most of them we already knew from former celebrations, the others fitted in perfectly. It was a small group, but that felt okay, just right.

The weather wasn't cooperating very well. It wasn't cold, but the rain kept falling. When it got a bit more dry, we started to tear down the old sweatlodge. With knives and axes we severed the ropes, broke the branches in two and piled them up around the fire place. Then eight of us started to build the new sweatlodge. The old one was made of willow branches, the new one of young birch. Birch stands for cleansing and new beginnings. We bent down the vertical branches over our back to curve them and tied them together. Other branches made a horizontal spiral from top to bottom. The new sweatlodge was ready. After that we placed the stakes for the fence. Then the rain came back and we had to stop.

Because the rain only got worse we confered and decided to do no sweat lodge ritual. It would take too long before the stones would be hot enough for it. At first that was a disappointment, but the alternative programme turned out to be great too. After a light dinner we gathered outside to burn the remains of the old sweatlodge in a big campfire. We did a circle in which everyone let something go. Because of the wonderful experience I had on the Witchy Girls Night I decided to let go of the grief and pain of mum's and dad's death. It won't be away in a moment, but saying it out loud and giving it to the fire starts a process. They'll always be with me; moving on doesn't mean I'll forget or neglect them. It was a very moving ritual for everyone, but we were there for each other.

Back inside the big room was prepared for a special journey. Eight mattresses were put down with candles and crystals in the middle. Benjamin Two Bears drummed while Juniper guided us in a journey. Somewhere in the process I lost her story and went further on my own. I just wanted to relax very deeply and enjoy the drumming. In the beginning I saw fragments like pictures as if I was glancing through a photo album. Later on I just remember the peace and quiet I felt. When we were brought back to the room I felt wonderful. We just lied there for a while and talked. After we had something to eat and drink one after another went to bed.

Outside it kept pouring, but in the tent it was dry and warm. I only woke up once, but enjoyed a good night's rest. We woke up when the aggregate was turned on. I wanted to call Ron again, so I was the last one to arrive at the breakfast. We had bacon and eggs, yummy! After breakfast Wonder and I took down the tent in the pouring rain. When we were ready, the rain stopped!

Because the sky was clearing up, we decided to finish making the fence around the sweatlodge. With combined efforts that didn't take too long. Then we closed down and said our goodbyes. It was a great weekend once again!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mum's 71st

Today would have been mum's 71st birthday. It's the first time without her. I miss her. I'm so glad we threw a big party last year for her 70th birthday. We did it with the thought: at this age you don't know whether we'll be able to do something for her 75th. Not knowing a few months later she'd pass over...
I'm early today, in a few minutes I'll be leaving for Imbolc on the Brookberg with Wonder. I'm glad to be busy today. I 'll remember mum in the sweatlodge ritual. And I'll think of her a lot, but that's okay...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

TT #28: support

Thirteen things about support
Last Tuesday my course 'Working with your own experience' was about support. An interesting topic, so I'm using it for this week's TT! I'll start with the 9 types of support you can get from another person and add a few remarks.

  • information source (you want answers) - Someone with knowledge who can give you the information (facts) you want - I rarely use people for this. My main sources of information are books and the internet.
  • think along with (you want to check your ideas) - Someone who listens to your ideas, thinks with you and offers suggestions to make things more concrete or find a solution - I like this kind of support, someone who does the brainstorming with me.
  • give orders (you want to be told how and what to do) - Someone that gives orders and instructions to do something; once you've done it once you can talk about it or ask questions - I can't think of a situation where I'd need this. I like to know what I'm going to do (and why) before I do it.
  • sounding board (you just want to tell your story) - Someone that just listens to what you're telling, nothing more nothing less - Don't we all need this from time to time? I know I do, frequently!
  • coach ( you want be encouraged) - Someone who is there for you and backs you up - I can't live without that, it feels safe to know you are not alone.
  • teacher (you want to know how to do it first) - Someone that shares his knowledge, outlook and opinions on things so you can make up your mind how to do it yourself - I am always curious about how others do something, but most of the time I end up doing it completely different. :-)
  • advisor (you want good advice) - Someone (preferably several people) that tells you what he thinks you should do; from the advices you choose what feels best - I don't mind to get advice as long as the advisor doesn't get mad when I don't follow it.
  • consolation (you want to be comforted) - Someone that just puts an arm around you and tells you everything will be all right - Often that's all I want! No advice, no solutions, just comfort! It always makes me feel better.
  • challenger (you want to be challenged) - Someone strict that challenges you by asking concrete questions and demanding answers or action and comes back to you about it - That doesn't work for me at all, only counter-productive. I hate to have-to-do something!
  • Of course a combination of the above types is possible!
  • Supporting someone else works as support for myself too. I don't mind people coming to me for support when I need it myself. Helping someone makes me feel better.
  • It depends (a lot) on the person what type of support they can give me.
  • I have learned to ask for support and even specify what type, but the best support is someone who knows you inside out and senses exactly what you need...

Oh my goddess, I'm the featured blog today on Thursday Thirteen. Yay!!! I'm the "oldtimer" (this being my 28th TT-list). The newbie is My Lil' Corner of the World; this is her first TT, visit her too if you can.


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Witchy Girls Night 8

Last night I went to the 8th Witchy Girls Night in Amsterdam. The theme was Imbolc and Luna had prepared the evening. Imbolc is the sabbath of Brigid, the Celtic goddess who in later times became revered as a Christian saint. The festival is called Imbolc or Oimelc, two names which refer to the lactation of the ewes, the flow of milk that heralds the return of the life-giving forces of spring. The colours are white and yellow. All the Witchy Girls wore white clothes, or at least a white shirt or something. The altar was also mainly white. In the middle stood a beautiful statue of the Triple Goddess (see also here). I had brought a little notecard with a cat that mum gave me not too long before she died, in which she tells me how much she loves me. I put it in the west direction (element water), where I was seated.

We did a simple ritual. The circle was cast from hand to hand, after which we passed energy round. That felt very powerful. We lit the tealights on the altar. Sorcha guided us through a pathworking, in which we met Brigid. She had a wonderful surprise for me; she had brought mum and dad! It was so great to see them and hug them. They are fine and told me it is time for me to move on. They'll always be with me; moving on doesn't mean I'll forget or neglect them. Too soon it was time to go back. I shared my experience with the others. I'm so grateful for this gift...
For libation we had 'slemp', warm milk with special ingredients (see the recipe I gave last Imbolc) and special bread from Luna's birth village in Italy. Delicious! There also was milk with honey. While eating and drinking we discussed a very interesting theme: reincarnation. Each of us told about their ideas. The theories are alike but different too. I love to philosophize with others on such an elusive topic!
After we closed the circle, we each draw a card from Sorcha's Goddess Oracle. My card was Kuan Yin, a Chinese goddess who stands for sympathy and compassion. She told me to care as much about myself as I care for others...

Before we left we all got a little present: a tulip bulb with a little card. Mine said "zeal and passion!". I called Ron who had promised to pick me up. In the meantime we talked about the evening and other things. I was home around half past midnight.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Uncle Cor

Tuesday, when I got back from course I looked out the bus window and saw a familiair man. I thought: hey, uncle Cor, what is he doing here? I didn't think about it until later that day. Gerard visited us and told sad news. Last Monday uncle Cor passed away very suddenly and unexpected. I was so surprised. I had talked to him and aunt Corrie about a week ago! He was almost 72 (Febr. 8), but very active and always full of plans. He walked and cycled a lot, seemed quite healthy. I didn't see him often, but he was always friendly when I did and he did a lot for mum (and dad). And now he isn't among us living anymore...
Yesterday evening we offered our condolences to aunt Corrie and the rest of the family. Unfortunately there was only one of his two daughters... This morning Joke and I attended the church. In the little chapel near the entrance I lighted a candle for mum and dad, and one for uncle Cor and his family. Who would expect that his little cross would hang so close to mum's..? My heart went out to aunt Corrie, she trembled and looked so frail. It was difficult to be in mum's church again, but I wanted to do it out of respect nevertheless.
Ron picked us up and we met up with Leo, Gerard and Sylvia on Westerveld, the graveyard / crematorium in Driehuis. Uncle Cor was active in the church and a drama club too, so there were a lot of people. They used the small auditorium, many had to stand against the walls. Several people spoke. I admired his granddaughter who spoke with tears falling down her face, but finished anyway. Uncle Henk had written a beautiful poem that he read out loud. Afterwards we said goodbye to aunt Corrie and the family. To take away the pain is impossible, but I tried to say some comforting words to them anyway.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

TT #27: music preferences

Thirteen past and present music preferences

Sometimes you have an "idol" all your life, others blow over after a while or longer. This week I share some of my music preferences (hard to choose just 13!), as always in no particular order.

  • ABBA - As a child I was a big fan, had all the records, was a fanclub member. I still know all the lyrics and play the CD's I have from time to time.
  • The Carpenters - I love the voice of Karen Carpenter: clear, pure, melancholy and always in tune. I have records and CD's, a very special CD-box with rare material and DVD's.
  • Fame - I was glued to the television when "Fame" was broadcast. The title song and "Out here on my own" were favourites, but most songs are special.
  • Marco Borsato - A Dutch artist who won the Soundmix Show years ago and quickly became a national star. I have been a fan for years, went to several concerts, have all his CD's, but the last few years it became less. I still like his music, but I don't have to have his CD's immediately anymore.
  • Céline Dion - I like almost everything she sings both in English and French, she has a very special voice. There has been a time when I played her CD's all day. I'd love to see her show in Las Vegas.
  • Kenny G. - A musician, saxophone magician. He has worked with great singers, but particularly makes great instrumental pieces. He made the theme of the movie "Dying Young" and won in 1994 the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for "Forever in Love".
  • Robbie Williams - Ha, you knew he would be in this list! ;-) I'm a fan ever since he left Take That. He is a great singer, dancer and entertainer (and drop dead gorgeous into the bargain!).
  • Grease - The first movie of course. Aaah, John Travolta; I had a bit of a crush on him. The music is still contagious. I have the CD and DVD.
  • Barbra Steisand - A timeless voice and icon star. I especially like the ballads, some of them have very special memories.
  • Queen - I love their music. Freddy was one of the best entertainers ever. I've always found him ugly, but still he had that special something. The songs are great.
  • Rat Pack (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.) - My dad loved their music and so do I, esp. Dean and Frank.
  • classical music, esp. Fauré, Chopin, Vivaldi - I like a lot of classical music pieces, but I don't like it too heavy.
  • The Dubliners - I love Irish folk music and their songs are great, both the old Irish songs and their own material. Ron and I still want to see them live one day.


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ amy ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Jeannine ~*~ Candy Minx ~*~ TopChamp ~*~ Nathalie ~*~ Carmen ~*~ JJ ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Karen ~*~ Cheryl ~*~ Darla ~*~ ali ~*~ Vicky ~*~ busy91~*~ Christie ~*~ Annie ~*~ Nancy ~*~ Lady G. ~*~ Wylie Kinson ~*~ JO ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Susan ~*~ MissLionheart ~*~ Rashenbo ~*~ Rebecca ~*~ Heather ~*~ Friday's Child ~*~ Alisonwonderland ~*~ Sunflower ~*~ Dragonheart ~*~ Caylynn ~*~ Uisce ~*~

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!