Friday, January 29, 2010


I've been putting off Twitter for a long time, but I finally gave in. ;-) I've been following some people on Twitter, but didn't open an account. A friend convinced me it's easier to follow by having my own account. That's true, so... I'm twittering!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A. Vogel workshop

The last week I've been in and out of bed / couch. At first I just had a sore throat, but later the rest of a nasty cold or flu was added. In between I've been doing things. :)

A. VogelLast Friday I was invited to do the workshop "In balance" at the A. Vogel / Biohorma headquarters in Elburg. It was quite a drive and I wasn't feeling that well, but I really wanted to go! I arrived around 10am. One by one the participants came in. The welcome was very friendly and warm. All the Vogel people we encountered that day were like that. You could feel they really like their jobs and vouch for the Vogel products. The whole atmosphere felt very good.

After the welcome we were divided in two groups. My group first got a presentation about the company, how they work, the philosophy, some products and A. Vogel himself by a very enthusiastic man called Marcel Brienne (he starts talking when you visit the Dutch Vogel website). I already know and use Vogel products, but it was very interesting nevertheless. He had also brought some little jars with raw materials.
my selfmade oils
When he was finished a nice lady explained and helped us to make our own oils. There was a lot of stuff to choose from. I made two oils: the first from 80% almond oil / 20% jojoba oil with lavender, camomille and marigold, the second from 100% jojoba oil with thyme and rosemary. It was a lot of fun!

Next stop was the factory to take a look there. We got white coats and hats for hygiene. We have seen all the departments from processing to bottling with information and explanation by factory personnel. In another room a public health inspector was checking things.

Then it was time for lunch! The tables were full of delicious dressed rolls and other yummy things. After lunch we watched a short film, an introduction before we drove to the A. Vogel gardens. Everything was still covered in snow, but the gardener made the fields come alive while he told us all about 'his' gardens. I definitely want to go back in summer to see the gardens in bloom! The gardens are in a protected country estate, but always open to everyone. In the shop on the nearby farm we drank hot chocolate (or gl├╝hwein) before we drove back.

There were drinks and snacks to welcome us back. We sat for a while before it was time to go home. To my surprise we got a bag full of Vogel products and a Vogel umbrella as a goodbye gift. Wow, what a day! I really enjoyed myself and learned a lot in the process. The long drive home full of traffic jams couldn't even spoil the fun, although I was sooo glad when I got home!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


windmills in FlevolandMy country is a land of windmills. Of course you all know the old-fashioned beautiful windmills, but we also have a lot of the modern wind turbines. And there will be more to give us more energy in an enviromentally friendly way.
Last Friday I participated in a citizen's panel, that looked into locations to place a lot of new windmills (and replace old ones) on request of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. It is an ongoing project which started early 2009. The project manager gave an introductory talk about the plans and what was expected of us. Then we split up in groups to discuss four of the possible locations from a citizen's prospective. Several experts were present and available for questions. Wind energy is a good thing, but of course there are pros and cons. Our country isn't very big and when you rule out areas of dense population, nature reserves, airports and flight routes there isn't that much left. It was a very interesting afternoon and it feels good to be a part of all this. Nothing is decided yet, but we and our suggestions were taken very seriously.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

End of the aftercare group

In August I started an aftercare group for people with an eating disorder with Chantal in Haarlem. Unfortunately we had to call it quits last Monday. The group we started with said goodbye one by one and we couldn't find enough new participants to keep the group going.. We did all we could think of to promote the group and to make it known, but the response wasn't enough.

In December we had 3 people. Then one of them stopped to get more intensive therapy. One other was very enthusistic, but after one cancellation we didn't hear from her again. I tried to contact her by mail, sms, phone... nothing! I really don't understand; I hope nothing serious happened.

And so we ended up with only one participant. When I contacted Chantal about it, she had more bad news. She has to stop because of health issues of her own. I know another woman that wants to step in, but into what...? The foundation of the group is gone. We could only pull the plug...

I feel disappointed. Everyone always says there aren't enough aftercare groups in our area, but when there is one there aren't enough participants. I know I did my best, but I'm sad about it nevertheless. It was the right decision to stop, but it feels wrong...

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

COT #30: getting warm

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.

It's been a while since I posted for Cats On Tuesday. After a lot of dog-talk it's cat-time again!
Outside it's cold, colder than usual. We are having snow, hail, glazed frost... and there's more to come. The cats have their own methods to keep warm!


Freyja claims the central heating in the kitchen.

Bastet & Arwen

Bastet snuggles up to Arwen.


When Maia doesn't join Freyja on the radiator, she's on a pile of fleece blankets.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Unconscious Mutterings (week 362)

UM logo

click image to visit the UM-site

365 - days in a year
Tombstone - rest in peace
Dumb - ass
Intrusive - pushy
Fat - rolls
Axe - Boom Chicka Wah Wah
Planned - order
Spike - Buffy
Bleach - hair, teeth
Shopkeeper - customers

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year

We had a very quiet New Year's Eve, just the two of us and the pets. Foofur is scared to death of fireworks since some brat threw a squib after him in his first year. The cats don't pay much attention to the fireworks. Arwen noticed it but wasn't afraid during the day, just when it all started together at midnight she squeaked a bit. We turned the music on TV louder when we went out to watch the fireworks.

So... the New Year has started. I don't like looking back on 2009, too much painful memories. I hope 2010 will be better in every way. My biggest wish is for Ron to find the right job soon. It's about time and he really needs and deserves it: a new challenge, an ego boost and a nice paycheck.

In the new year I'm taking up a whole new challenge on my path. After the letdown with the Temple of Ara I needed a new perspective. I found it thanks to our Lowland Systers fairy goddess mother. She brought me into contact with a friend of hers, who'll be the teacher and mentor in my training of Alexandrian Wicca. It feels very good and I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Welcome to 2010!

Happy New Year!!!

May you be blessed with
warmth in your home,
love in your heart,
peace in your soul
and joy in your life.