Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The last day of the year... A day to look back, reminisce. Of course my parents are always part of that. Although they weren't there physically in 2008, they are always with me. This picture stands in our living room (without the heart). It reminds me of the good times. It is taken during the opening of christmas presents in our former home. It makes me smile. I love them, I miss them, but I know they love me and I cherish the memories!

papa & mama
Time for me to go now,
I won't say goodbye
Look for me in rainbows,
way up in the sky.

In the morning sunrise
when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me,
as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you,
I won't say goodbye
Look for me in rainbows,
high up in the sky.

In the evening sunset,
when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me,
and I'll be close to you.

It won't be forever,
the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you,
when we meet again.

Time for us to part now,
we won't say goodbye
Look for me in rainbows,
shining in the sky.

Every waking moment,
and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me,
as you know I loved you.

Just wish me
to be near you,
and I'll be there with you

sung by Vicky Brown

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

COT #23: Buddha for cats

Cats On Tuesday
CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who share pictures and/or stories about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

I moved my Buddha-statue/fountain from the kitchen to the top of my computerdesk. The cats adore it! They like to drink from it, sit in front of it (praying?), sleep close to it...

Maia drinkingBastet drinkingFreyja & MaiaBastet & MaiaMaya sleeping

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Awards shower

I have received several awards the last month and now I finally have the time to show them! Thank you to all who thought me and my weblog are worth an award!

I love your blogChica & Pumuckl gave me the "I Love Your Blog"-award.
  1. Those who have received this award, can add the pic.
  2. Add a link to that person’s blog who awarded you.
  3. Choose 7 others to receive this award and add links to their blogs.
  4. Leave a message to their blogs so that they know about this.

Lemonade awardDuni at Lovely Purses passed on the Lemonade Award to me.
  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude.
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I love your blogLorianna at Twilight's Muse awarded me with another "I Love Your Blog"-award.
  1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
  2. Link the person you received your award from.
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
  4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.

Butterfly awardBoth Mike Golch at Rambling Stuff and Kat at Candles, Crafts & Whatnot gave me the Butterfly Award.
  1. Put the logo on your blog.
  2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
  3. Nominate outstanding blogs that you follow.
  4. Add the links to those blogs.
  5. Leave a message for the nominees on their blog.

I want to pass the awards on to:
  • all Entrecarders who've dropped on my blog
  • all my furry-friends with a blog
  • all regular visitors
  • did I miss anyone? :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


As I told you before I had my xanthelasmata removed on December 24. They are a sharply demarcated yellowish collection of cholesterol underneath the skin on my eyelids. Harmless and painless, but I saw them with every look and all day. Time to get rid of them!
My appointment was at 7.45am, so I was the first in the OR. The local anaesthetic was the most painful, the rest wasn't. I could feel what the surgeon was doing, but without pain. Before I know it, I was in the recovery room! After some thorough cooling I could go home.
At home I felt a tear in the corner of my eye. It was blood. When I wiped it very carefully I looked straight into the wound on one side. Oops... stitching had come loose (before I wiped). I called the hospital and they told me to come back immediately.
Fortunately the surgeon was just starting with his last patient, so I was in time. I had to wait for a while and then I was back in the OR. The old stitches had to be removed, so I got a local anaesthetic again (ouch!). New stitches, extra adhesive plaster... ready, again!
Now it's getting better day by day. The worst day was the day after surgery, but it could have been worse. I'm not complaining. On the pictures you can see the progress up until this morning.

xanthelasmata surgery - progress

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

COT #22: Freyja loves tea

Cats On Tuesday
CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who share pictures and/or stories about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

Cats are known to be curious, but Freyja is even more curious! Last week I was rearranging my tea drawer in the kitchen, when she decided to come and help me. Being in the way, sniffling the boxes, playing with tealabels and strings, eventually taking over my drawer! :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008


I was way behind on posting. I started 5 posts in the last weeks, but didn't come to finishing them. Today I did! They are posted under the original dates.
So if you visited yesterday and think "hey, those weren't there before!", you're right! You now know why. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Yule!!

May the returning light at Yule
bring you love, peace, joy and health
with all the best for the coming year.

Merry Yule!
Happy Winter Solstice!
(or Litha / Summer Solstice to my friends in the Southern hemisphere!)

artwork: Cynthia Rudzis

Today I celebrated Yule in a ritual with 3 people from the Olympia group (Marian Green studygroup) at Llwella's place. We each brought some stuff to make an altar and it looked beautiful. Obsidian had written the ritual and divided the roles by drawing lots. I got East / Air. I wrote my evocations in English, but we ended up doing the ritual in Dutch so I improvised. I brought incense and feathers.

We did a guided meditation which for me hit the nail on the head. I don't remember the exact words, but it was about your body. You may not like the way it looks, but it cares for you. It's always there, working for you. Of course I've heard those words before, but somehow it came through this time. I felt my body in a way I rarely feel it and realized I love it regardless of the way it looks. I offered my apologies to my body for the way I treated it in the past and in a way still do... My body showed me a warming light inside me that's always there; I just have to (want to) see it.

After the meditation we carved our own candle with the gift we got in the meditation. I realized the candle is the gift, symbol of the light inside me. I carved little suns in it and two sentences: "My body cares for me" and "I love my body". Together we chanted while blessing and lighting our candles.

We also had a Yule log on the altar. After the ritual we did our offerings in the garden and burned the Yule log. It wasn't a real massive log of wood, but birchwood tied together. That didn't matter though and it burned very good. Afterwards we had a late lunch and some treats.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Doctor's appointments

This afternoon I had two doctor's appointments in the CFS centre in Amsterdam. First I had to see the cardiologist. He asked me a lot of questions and did some tests. He made an ultrasound scan of my heart. My cholesterol was too high again (6, should be under 5) and my bloodpressure was also high (170-110). Together with my hereditary load and me being overweight there are a lot of risk factots. He wants to do more tests to look into it further.

The second appointment was with the internist. He also had a lot of questions. He doesn't trust the strange blackout episodes I have since I was about 14. The last months I didn't have one, but there isn't really a pattern. Sometimes I have three in a month and then none for months. I have had a lot of tests and specialists have looked at it several times, but no-one knew the answer except for what it is not. The last tests have been some years ago, so the internist wants me to visit a neurologist. It doesn't hurt to look at it again. I guess!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Midwinterfair 2008

Yesterday Ron and I visited themepark Archeon for the 6th Midwinterfair, a mix of fantasy, paganism, middle-ages, Celts, etc. with stands, demonstrations, live action role-playing, storytellers, bands and lots more. We were there around 11am. The weather was cold but dry.

First we walked around to see what's there. On our way we met a lot of people we know. In a yurt we listened with Wonder to Donderelf. When Theresia starts playing her harp I'm enchanted. When Philip is telling a story I'm under his spell. He told about Baba Yaga and the story of the Raven King.

In one of the buildings was a stand with Tisa Pescar and Mel Hartman. Tisa signed her book for me on Castlefest last August. I brought Mel's first book "De Fantasiejagers" (the fantasy hunters) with me and bought her second book "Droomloos" (dreamless). She signed both for me. If you read Dutch and like fantasy suspense, I can recommend them! This is the website.

At the end of the day we enjoyed a concert by Rapalje, celtic folk music. The hall was packed with people, all enthusiastic. They played a repertoire of requests from fans. I loved it. I was dog tired, but when Rapalje is playing I can't stand still!

If you want to see our pictures, you can find them here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ara Global ritual

We did several RAT's (ritual apart together) with the Ara Lowlands group. Phyllis proposed to do one with the global community. So yesterday evening (9pm my time) people in the Netherlands, Italy and the USA all sat down at their homes to do a ritual together on the astral plane!

I had made a little altar in my room, burned some incense and sat in my meditation chair in front of it. When the drumming started, I was almost immediately in my little hut at the base of the hill. We were putting on our robes; not the usual green ones, but black and purple ones with a hood.
We started walking up the hill in the east. In the west was a sacred well against the side of the hill. The lid covered the well a bit and was decorated with the Ara-logo. The full moon reflected in the water. From the well some water was running into a little pond. A beautiful black horse was drinking from it. I drew some water from the well with a silver bowl. I saw the reflection of the moon in the bowl.
On the top of the hill we gathered around the altar stone on the meadow in front of our temple. I put the bowl with water on the altar. There also were a silver bowl with black salt, an Abalone shell with incense and a cauldron with (controlled) fire. We cast the circle from hand to hand, evoked the powers of the elements and invited the God and Goddess. The Oak Grove grounding exercise was very powerful. All our roots intermingled as one.
The Cone of Power for the Temple of Ara was a very special experience. When we were slowly walking around, the black horse was walking with us in a circle outside ours. When we picked up speed, so did she. At the zenith of power someone yelled “now!” and the horse pranced, while we released the power into the bowl with water. It was a splendid blue-silvery light, that in the bowl started to sparkle and twinkle. I raised the bowl to charge it extra with moonlight. Then all of us took a sip. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and cheerful.
After the cake & wine we thanked the powers of the elements and the God and Goddess. We closed the circle from hand to hand and sang “May the circle be open”. I made offerings on the meadow.
Slowly we walked down the hill. In the west the sea was wild. In the distance was an old four-master bravely defying the waves. At the foot of the hill we made a big campfire and sat around it. We chatted, ate and drank. Some people had drums. Later someone had a guitar and we started singing chants and old songs everyone knows. Until very late we stayed around the fire. When we finally went our own ways, the parting took a while with hugs and kisses. It really felt as if a deep and loving bond was forged.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ara Lowlands in Breda

Yesterday the Ara Lowlands group met in Breda. I picked up the girls from Amsterdam and drove to Breda. We chatted over a cup of tea. It had been a while since we came together, so there was some catching up to do!

The weather was cold but good, so we went for a long walk in the Mastbos. This time not to visit my beloved tree; we decided to walk a marked route. It was beautiful and relaxing.
On a clearing a lot of fir trees were cut. It hurts to see so many trees on the ground, but there was a sign explaining why it was done: to give the smaller trees and plants more light to grow, to get rid of foreign trees that don't belong there and to give the animals some open spaces they need. The cut off wood will be removed and new life can develop spontaneously. We took some of the fir branches to give them a place in our homes.
When we were walking somewhere on a path I saw something among the trees. It looked like a face. In fact it was a trunk overgrown with moss, but somehow it represented the Green Man.
Before we left we cast a circle near a pool and passed energy around.

When we came back, we warmed ourselves with ginger tea and made some plans for the new year. We have set some dates until the initiation. I also told the girls I'm not sure whether I can go to the initiation. I have the money set aside, but I'm not sure it can stay that way because of our current situation. Of course I'll do anything I can to be there, but I thought it was only fair to tell them. They were very sympathetic and kind, it was heartwarming.

After dinner we made a little altar on the table. My new statue ( a little copy in bronze of The Kiss by Rodin) was the centerpiece representing the god and goddess. We cast the circle with sparklers, from light to light; it looked splendid! We did divination, first for the Temple of Ara and then for ourselves. I had brought my Druid Plant Oracle, because I haven't used it a lot yet. For myself I took one card, meadowsweet. To make it short that stands for cherishing and celebrating the stable factors in your life. I have to focus on what Ron and I have together. Circumstances and jobs may change, but we always have each other.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TT #92: update


Thirteen things about my life at the moment
I haven’t been participating in TT for quite some time. A lot has happened and I just didn’t have or make the time, so this week an update will be suitable.

  • The holiday season has started. Yesterday afternoon I finished writing the holiday cards. The tree is up, but nothing’s in it yet…
  • Ron’s nephew and his wife added a new baby to the family yesterday. It’s a healthy little girl called Iris Sophia. We haven’t paid a visit yet, but we will soon!
  • Talking of family news… My brother and his girlfriend are engaged to be married! The big day will take place in May next year.
  • On December 24th I will go to the hospital to have my xanthelasmata removed in surgery. My what??? Haha! They are a sharply demarcated yellowish collection of cholesterol underneath the skin on my eyelids. It’s hereditary, my whole family has them. They are harmless and painless, but disfiguring and awful looking.
  • Ron gave me the best holiday gift ever: a leather-bound, 5 cm (2 inch) thick Book of Shadows, filled with recycled parchment-look paper. I love it!
  • This weekend (probably Sunday) Ron and I will go to the Midwinterfair again in theme park Archeon. It is for the 6th time and I’ve been there since 2004. It’s a mix of fantasy, paganism, middle-ages, Celts, etc. with stands, demonstrations, live action role-playing, storytellers, bands and lots more.
  • Ron got very bad news from his boss. After two years of burn-out he was building up to fulltime working again. He felt good and enjoyed being active again. He was told they were looking for a good place for him within the company to make full use of his knowledge and experience. Well… not really… Last week he had a personal talk with the after sales manager and the head of the personnel department. They evaded to say it literally, but there is no longer place for him with the company. They’ll at least pay for outplacement guidance. To make it even worse, his salary will decrease with hundreds of euro’s, with retrospective effect from September…
  • This coming Sunday Ron and I will be married for 13 years. We are together for much longer (22 years), but that cold day in December 1995 will always be a warm and loving memory. It was a great day!
  • Ron is very happy to have his sisters and their families back after the death of his mother. Although I had my reservations at first because of the past, I must say I like it too. They seem to accept and respect me now. It still feels fragile to me at times, but that’s okay.
  • The aftercare self-help groups we were trying to start in Haarlem and surroundings didn’t work out. Although we were told all the time that there was a big need for these groups and we made a lot of publicity, the applications failed to come. Just a few people wanted to join in. After two years of trying we decided to take a long break. The motivation faded; a lot of work and almost no response. We’ll give it a try again later.
  • This afternoon Ron has an appointment in the Sudor clinic, specialised in hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration). He has tried all the available tips and treatments, but it never really helped. This clinic does surgery, thoracoscopic sympathectomy, in which part of the nerve is burned. The success percentage is 98 %.
  • I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Staying in touch with people I know, but also playing the games. I have a virtual fairy garden, blue cove with fish, an army of snowmen, a green patch and lots more. I play word games, vampire hunting, slot machines, etc. I exchange all sorts of gifts with my friends. I save animals and square feet of rainforest (for real because of game sponsors). Everything is free! In short: I’m addicted! ;-)
  • Next Wednesday I’ll have my appointments with the cardiologist and internist of the chronic fatigue centre. I hope I’ll hear more about what they can do for me.


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

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cats & Dogs Elf Dance!

I saw this at Gandalf & Grayson and decided to let our pets star in their own elf dance video! So without further ado I present to you: Boris, Foofur, Freyja, Bastet & Maia!!!!!!
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pen and paper

This was my daily horoscope for today:

"When's the last time you used a pen and paper? In this day and age of computers, the keyboard has all but replaced these wonderful tools. In the same way that walking provides much more than fresh air, the kinesthetic value of the rhythmic motion in writing with a pen is far more soothing and even healing than most realize. Moving your hand across the page can feel good and unlock places within you that aren't always accessed by typing. Try it today. "
Although I'm a computer addict, I still love to write pen on paper. The above is so right! For me typing on my computer will never replace pen & paper completely, as e-books will definitely not replace real books.
I took the challenge and did some real writing today. Not a form or a list of errands but a letter, a story or a diary; you get the point. So I ask you: when did you do "real" writing? How often and for what do you use pen & paper?