Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My year according to Facebook

Facebook has a nice application called My Year In Status, that makes a collage out of a random set of statuses you posted on Facebook in 2009. Mine turned out like this:
Facebook 2009
(click image to see it bigger in a new window)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Christmas is over. Finally a bit of a white christmas this year. All the snow is gone now, but the weatherpeople say 2010 will start very cold in The Netherlands. There is even talk about an Elfstedentocht soon. I hope so. We'll see!

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

Happy Holidays!

This is our x-mas card for this year. As they are sent some time ago and most people will have received it, I can show it here. We made the picture on the first snow day over here. Arwen loves snow, but that was to be expected. She had loads of fun in the woods. It wasn't easy to let her sit still with the reindeer tiara. It took some time and patience, but we succeeded. :-)

~*~ Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!!! ~*~

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve... I'm feeling melancholy...
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 is missing at Christmas
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

Merry Yule!!!

Blessed Yule(tide), Happy Winter Solstice
to you and yours!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pagan Sunday

Last Sunday I had a pagan day! :-)

Pagan Federation InternationalIn 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

My weekend

I've had quite an interesting weekend! Saturday started at 8am with a lesson aguajogging. I've done that for quite some years. Joke has aquaspinning lessons with me, but also continued the aquajogging. This time they could bring someone for free. It was fun!

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

Blogblast for Peace

Peaceglobe 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

Blessed Samhain

Samhain blessingsSamhain blessings to you and yours!

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...

happy new year
I hope the new year brings
light to balance the darkness,
laughter instead of tears
and love to conquer all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rob is back to stay!

Robbie Williams live
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:
1. Morning Sun
2. Come Undone
3. Blasphemy
4. Starstruck
5. Feel
6. I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen
7. Supreme
8. Deceptacon
9. No Regrets
10. Won't Do That
11. You Know Me
12. Angels
13. Millennium
14. Video Killed The Radio Star
I could see Rob was a bit nervous in the beginning, but he still is that amazing singer and entertainer! Not that I ever doubted he wasn't... ;-) I loved the show, especially when he sang the song he wrote for Ayda and she was singing back to him. Definitely a happy couple, great to see! I really like the new songs, I'm looking forward to the new album. There's a lot of hit potential in it for sure! Video Killed The Radio Star isn't on it though and that's a big miss in my opinion; the last song of the evening was a smash hit for Rob!

outfitJust 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

Farewell to Entrecard

Perhaps you noticed, that the Entrecard widget is no longer on my blog. I decided to quit and cancel my account.
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.

(image copied from Crazy Working Mom & On The Bricks)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shamanic Training

I don't want to get into it too deep, but Phyllis Curott / The Temple of Ara and I went our separate ways. I still appreciate everything I've learned, but the arranged initiations were cancelled indefinitely and the new plans of the temple didn't fit my ideas and expectations. It has been a huge disappointment, but I decided to move on... I'm still considering different options. The group Ara Lowlands will continue under a new name: Lowland Systers.

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

Stop this roller coaster, I want to get off!

It feels like I lost control of my life. It's a roller coaster ride gone crazy. Things keep happening, not one by one but all together. Before one thing is settled, two others just begin. Every time we try to get a grip on the situation, it only gets worse. The cycle of life is spinning out of control. The balance is lost. I don't get time to deal with everything that's happening. If you're a regular reader you know what I'm talking about, and I can't tell everything here. There's even more... And I've had enough of it! Full stop, NOW!

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

Goodbye Leo...

Leo & JokeYesterday evening completely unexpectedly my brother-in-law Leo passed away (cardiac arrest), only 55 years old... . CPR was done immediately as it happened at the gym. They tried everything possible at the gym, in the ambulance and in the hospital. Alas, it didn't work and Leo was pronounced dead around 10.15pm...

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

COT #29: Freyja & Arwen

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.

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.

paws together

touching paws


closer together


that was too close, Arwen!


okay... I'll keep my distance!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Busy busy bee

Wow, raising a puppy and training her to relieve herself outside is hard work! Last Wednesday we had the first time puppy-training with Arwen. It was a lot of playing and learning while playing, but it's a start. She met a lot of different dogs: big and small, nice and not-so-nice, etc. Yesterday she had her second vaccination. She grew 1.35 kilo (3 lbs) in 1 week, although she still has diarrhoea most of the time. She got tablets Panacur for that and we're trying to regulate it by keeping her on rice and chicken for the weekend. I think keeping clean will be easier when this problem is solved. But besides the problems and fatigue we're still very very happy that she's part of our family now! She's adorable, cute, playful... our sweetie pie!
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

Meet.... Arwen!

Meet the newest addition to our family! Her name is Arwen. She is an almost 8 weeks old (young) Berner Sennen (Bernese Mountaindog) pup. We picked her up today.

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

Aftercare group

In 2005 I did the training to be able to lead a self-help or aftercare group for people with an eating disorder. With the help of a professional health care institution and other volunteers I tried to set up a group. A self-help group started, but the aftercare for people who had Binge Eating Disorder (BED) didn't get enough participants. After a few years we decided to leave it for a while. Some weeks ago I was approached to lead a general (all eating disorders) aftercare group. I didn't have to think long! And now we are preparing to start next Monday!

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

COT #28: scratching

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.

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

Goodbye my friend...

BorisWe had to let Boris go to the rainbowbridge...
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

Castlefest 2009

Last weekend Ron and I went to Castlefest, a medieval / pagan / fantasy festival in the gardens of castle "De Keukenhof" in Lisse. Castlefest is a festival to honour the sun, which at the Celts was worshipped as the god Lugh. The old Celtic harvest feast Lughnasadh is held in honour of this god. Up to this day heathens and Celts alike celebrate this feast yearly around the first of August, which is also the time of Castlefest!
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

Take it easy

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
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!

My heart belongs to me (Barbra Streisand)

Oxygene 02 (Jean Michel Jarre)

Feel (Robbie Williams)

Wytches' Brew live (Omnia)

Heal the pain (George Micheal & Paul McCartney)

Essence (Steve Vai)

Unchained melody (Righteous Brothers)

One fine day (Robbie Williams)

September morn (Neil Diamond)

WHAT'S 2+2?
Suspicious minds (Elvis Presley)

The Whole of the moon (Waterboys)

Babe (Styx)

Coffee, tea and sympathy (Robbie Williams)

Just can't get enough (Depeche Mode)

Home is where me friends are (Rapalje)

Wonderful life (Black)

Seamisai (Laura Pausini)

Hijo de la luna (Mecano)

Imitation of life (R.E.M.)

I can't believe you're in love with me (Dean Martin/Joss Stone)

Take it easy (Eagles)

Friday, July 31, 2009

New RW site!

new RW websiteLast week there suddenly was a countdown on A new site was on it's way! Monday I visited the totally renewed website and may I say: it's a lot better than before. Well-organized, easy to browse, no Flash-content and... the official forum is back! I haven't been forum-ing for a long time (any forum that is), but after my first visit I was hooked again. Oops, oh-oh..! I've kept in contact with some of the regulars on the old forum through social networking sites, but that's not the same. One by one everyone is returning to the official forum, the F-gang (F for Forum) is back in town!!
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

Good news!!!

This morning we called the veterinary specialists clinic in Amsterdam for Boris. They could squeeze us in to make an ultrasound of his abdomen: kidneys, bladder, etc. Without any problems Boris let us put him in the awkward position on his back. Ron held his head / front and I was at the back, but we didn't really have to hold him tightly. His belly was shaved, water and jelly applied, but he didn't utter a sound.
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

Results in - still no clarity

The results of Boris' urine and bloodtests told us that he has severe kidney problems. They aren't working hard enough, but it's not clear why and how it will go from here. It can be an inflammation of the kidneys, or a tumor, or they can be slowly shutting down, etc. Drugs and/or a diet are useless at this point, because the vet doesn't know the cause of the kidney problems.
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

Boris isn't well

Boris in LierOne time (just before we went to Lier in June) Boris couldn't hold his pee and let it go, although I had taken him out for a walk not too long before. Strange but not immediately alarming. In Lier he had the time of his life walking around outside all day on the property. We checked him every day for ticks and took them out. He swam a lot and was very happy.
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.
*fingers crossed*

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Making herbal oils

temporarily in milkbottlesSt. John's Wort along the river Neteat home in pharmacist's jars

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

I'm back!

Foofur and Boris walking along the river Nete

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

She's not there!

I'm not online from somewhere today
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:
keep visiting, keep dropping!
If you have advertised on my blog before,
your ad will be accepted automatically.
I'll try to return the favour a.s.a.p.

see ya later

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And the winner is..........

winner The FeyMOUNTAIN WOMAN !!!

Congratulations! Enjoy The Fey!
I'll bring you in contact with each other to close the deal. :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Fey Blog Tour hijacks Tinkerbell!

The Fey Blog TourHi! My name is Claudia Hall Christian. You may know me from my blog, On a limb with Claudia. I asked Tink if I might hijack her blog for a day to promote my book, The Fey. She was generous enough to agree. Those of you who know Tink know that generosity is certainly one of her many strong points.

Who the heck am I?Claudia Hall Christian
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 bookcoverThe Fey is released a chapter at a time at 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

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

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

Dogs at the beach

Last Thursday Boris got his yearly pre-summer trimming treatment: cutting, extensive brushing, shearing, decimating, etc. He looked much better after it! Yesterday the wheather was good, so we decided to go to the beach. Boris loves to swim in the sea and that's very good for his skin and fur.

all pictures: click to get the big picture in a new window

beach lakeOn 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 on the beachFoofur likes the dunes and the dry sand on the beach, but he dislikes getting wet paws and hates the waves.

Foofur getting wet pawsSo 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.

Boris into the seaOn the other hand Boris loves it all. When he gets permission to go he sprints to the water. He loves the sea!

Boris in the breakersHe 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. :)

wet BorisCompletely 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

Work Ron

Yesterday we went to Ron's work. We hadn't heard from them in a long time, so some weeks ago Ron had called the medical officer. He sent Ron's employer a report with the advice to call and talk with Ron. It took 2 weeks before the call finally came. Because we couldn't make an appointment right away, the man from the personnel department promised to call back that same afternoon. He didn't, and after two weeks Ron decided to call the medical officer again. He was surprised that there had been no other contact. He called the personnel department and urged them to call us. And then finally we could make an appointment, for yesterday.

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

COT #27: Maia is 2 years old

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.

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.
little Maia
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.
the three goddesses
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... ;-)
Maia on the look-out

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Herbal walk

My brother-in-law Ron has been game-warden / forester in the dunes near IJmuiden, De Heerenduinen. He lived in the dunes with his family. He has a lot of knowledge about plants, trees, birds, other animals, etc. Some time ago I asked him if he would want to guide a group in the dunes with a focus on the herbs that are growing there. He agreed and I started organising.

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

PFI Dutch Conference

go to PFI websiteSaturday I went up early to drive to the 9th annual PFI Dutch Conference in Lunteren (right in the geographical centre of The Netherlands). It wasn't the best timing to go right after the busy day of my brother's wedding, but I wasn't going to miss the conference either!

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

My brother's wedding

Leo & Joke - Gerard & Sylvia - Cora & RonLast Friday my brother Gerard got married to Sylvia. They are together for some years now and they are a good couple. May 15th 2009 they made it (more) official! Gerard looked handsome in his black suit and Sylvia wore a very beautiful ivory bridal gown with a lovely back and a chapel length train. Gerard is a huge Ferrari-fan, so the wedding car was no surprise (except perhaps the colour): a yellow 348 GTB. They made pictures with it on the racetrack at Circuit Park Zandvoort and (without the car) on the beach. A friend of them showed up at their home on a motor, dressed up as a girl. He made a burnout on the parking lot.

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

Spiritual runes

The Spiritual RunesYesterday I've been to a workshop by Harmonia Saille, an English author and Hedgewitch, at a friend's place in Amsterdam. It was a workshop in 2 parts, but unfortunately I missed the first part a few weeks ago. Luckily Sorcha was so kind to share her notes with me, so I came a bit prepared for this second part. The subject was "Connecting with the runes", based on her upcoming book The Spiritual Runes. It's not the umpteenth book listing the runes and their meaning, but a guide to help you make a spiritual connection with the runes. It includes rune philosophy, mythology, divination and magic.
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

Beltane 2009

Last weekend Ron and I celebrated Beltane on a meeting with 40 other people in Hengelo, the same location where we celebrated Beltane last year. This time I was just a guest, although I did have a role in the ritual.
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!