Monday Monday

Marinda is off to school. She's got exams this week, so she's really been doing her best to get some good grades. If she does well she'll probably be able to pass this school year. So I hope it works for her!
Tristan is another story. It's driving me to desperation. He's never been sick, aside from his hemofilia. But the last couple of weeks have been terribly with him feeling sickly a lot of the time with vague complaints of headaches, stomaches, lack of sleep and so forth and so on. And I can't figure out if there's really something physically wrong, or if he's not doing well at school, or if the move is affecting him or ..... I have to push and shove to get him out of bed a lot of mornings and if there's one way to get the day of to a brilliant terrific positive start, then that certainly is the way.... I'm not a morning person.
So here I am, on monday morning. Part of me is happy that I havn't started working on mondays yet so Tristan can stay at home and get some more sleep. Most of me is not knowing how to cope with this situation.


The other day I cancelled my subscription to two newsletters that have internationally oriented jobs in them.
That statement may not sound very exciting, interesting, stimulating or important in any way at all to anyone but me.
See, for the last couple of years I have been avidly searching for my dream job. I had high hopes of finding a job which meant that I would be able to do some travelling and be able to incorporate some of how I grew up into my work. I have given up. Or maybe that's not the right thing to say. I seem to have lost my drive. And that's happened since I went back to Ethiopia this Christmas. And I can't seem to put into words exactly why it is that this dream of mine has disappeared. I do know that it's left me feeling slightly lost and out of wack. Like some essential part of me has gone missing or something.
Maybe just being back in Ethiopia has helped put some missing pieces into place. I felt that I would be filling a gap in my life by finding an internationally oriented job. In Ethiopia I discovered that I didn't want to neccesarily live there, I just wanted to feel at home. Just being there felt perfectly right and yet I knew that moving there would not make that feeling last forever. And searching for my dream job would also probably not give me that same feeling of belonging. I guess that feeling goes much farther than simply location or activitities. It has something to do with what goes on inside me, something that I can often be quite clueless about.
So, for now, I will get involved in my new job. I'm quite comfortable there, and much less insecure than I thought I would be. I even tell jokes, and have people laugh! It does feel strange and uncomfortable not knowing what I am moving towards. I have no dreams, no vision for my life right now and I don't particularly like that.

11 hours

11 hours of work drains a lot of energy.
Let's leave it at that........

Interview with my dad

When I was in fourth or fifth grade the teacher had a habit of inviting parents to the class so that we could interview them. We then had to write down the interview. This is what I wrote when my dad came.

October 29, 1980

An interview with Mr. Dad

Mr. Dad is a physiotherapist. He works at A.L.E.R.T. He exercises with his patients. He goes on field trips to villages to prevent leprosy. He has one son and three daughters. His first name is Wim. His wifes name is Mariet. He likes his job a lot. His favorite food is from Holland. His favorite colors are pink and purple. He liked Norway the best of all the countries he went to. He went to seven countries in Europe. The disease of leprosy is not harmful. His favorite fruit is mango. His favorite sports are soccer and tennis. His least favorite sport is mountaineering. I am his oldest daughter.

I read a couple of the other interviews I wrote back then and to my surprise I am in contact with most of the people whose parents I wrote about! And all of that thanks to Facebook.
Reading through my little book and the pleasure it gives me is one of the reasons I save school stuff for my kids. I want them to be able to hold on to something that they made when they were small.


I read a book today by Nora Roberts ( River's End). About three pages into it I figured out "whodunnit". I kid you not. And yet I finished reading the entire book! Couldn't work up the energy to check the last page to see if I was right, so I just continued right into it. And then got all bothered about the totally unrealistic sex scenes going on in it. My goodness gracious me. I don't know about you but nothing like that goes on in my life! I don't think it's humanly possible to live up to that kind of standard ;-).
Though as teenager books like these just fed my romantic soul with all kinds of illusions. I read a book about that too, called The Cinderella Syndrome. It was a good book about how often women are fed a lot of drivel and get unrealistic expectations about what romance and relationships are all about. The subtitle is "don't poison your future with fairy tale thinking". There is a lot to be said for being realistic, after all that is what we deal with every day!
Or does someone out there have a fairy tale relationship and a sex life that is up to "romance novel" standards?

currently reading Girl from the South by Joanna Trollope

I'm dreaming of a white.....

I'm dreaming of a white Easter? A white Christmas definately, but a white Easter? But it really was a white Easter. Much to my amazement. It hasn't snowed since September and now all of a sudden the world is turning white. Tristan had a blast playing in the snow, piling it on the trampoline to jump with it and throwing snowballs at the windows.It is still Easter here because of the strange dutch habit of spreading holidays over two days. So we have Christmas and Second Christmas day. And Easter, and Second Easter day. Don't ask me why! But it makes for more days off work and it's helpful in spreading around the family obligations. Dinner at the parents one of the days, and dinner at the parents in law on the other day. Or in our case, brunch with the in-laws today. (and an infinately more fun dinner with friends yesterday!)

Ode to my dryer

The funniest thing just happened. I want to write a post about my joy of having my dryer working and thought I'd google dryer and poems and see what came up. Nothing did, but then I googled Ode to a dryer and got a number of hits! Apparently being happy with your dryer is not an uncommon phenomenon and bloggable. And here I thought I was being original!
My mom has said I should get a dryer for years now, and each time I've waved her advice off, saying I was happy just hanging up my laundry. Today I converted. I'm a total dryer fan. What a joy it is to do 3 loads of laundry and have them dry and clean (but not yet put away) by the end of the day! No more racks filled with wet clothes slapping me in the face when I go up the stairs. No more walking up with a load and realizing "oh, bummer! I still have to take down what I hung up last time!". I am one happy camper!

Job Offer

Much to my surpise and terror, I got offered a couple more hours of work at my new job. The terror is due to the nature of the extra hours. Their Public Relations person decided to quit her job so they're left with a lot of stuff that needs to be done. Despite their questions about my dutch language abilities, they have asked me to fulfill that position (besides which it's also cheaper to have me do it than find someone else on short notice!). Kind of scary though! I like writing, am also pretty good at presenting stuff to people but it kind of worries me to have the final responsiblity on newspaper articles, websites and other stuff. I'm leaning toward taking it on though. It's an opportunity to try things out and I could do it for a trial period as well. It would also mean a more pleasant work rhythm for me. Two days is just really short to do a good job. So if I can spread my time over 3 days then I'll have more time to stay in the flow of things instead of feeling I have to re-start my job every week. And it's extra income, always welcome after this period of joblessness!

currently reading: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
(stayed up late last night reading Prizes by Erich Segal)


A good friend came over today. One who is not content with "fine" as the answer to "how are you?". That can be really, really annoying! Especially if you're not in the mood to go beyond fine.
But there's also a really good side to all those questions. In the past her asking questions has forced me to put many many thoughts and feelings into words. It has helped me find out who I am. It has also helped me discover who I am not. It has made me realize that there's more to me than even I think sometimes. I'm very grateful to her for taking the time and energy to listen, and to keep asking questions, even when I sometimes shoot daggers at her with my eyes!


Efficiency is my middle name according to my sister. She said this when I was calling her with my cell phone while biking to the store. Something I have often done in the past, getting my calls done while biking to work or back, or to the grocery store or whatever! Thinking about this made something fall into place for me. I have an inner resistance to skyping with people, but didn't know why. Well efficiency is the reason! Because, when I skype, I can't do anything but sit in front of the computer and talk. While I could be doing dishes, hanging up laundry or clearing up rooms. Things I regularly do when talking on the phone. I don't even like sitting down in real life and talking with people, I'd rather be doing something and talking at the same time. Some of my best conversations have been while scrubbing toilets, doing laundry or doing dishes (or walking, or biking, or shopping....) .Pretty aweful hey? I don't feel the same about IMing with somebody, because then I can chat with more than one person, write a letter, google or do numerous other things while chatting back and forth. Yes, I'm afraid efficiency is indeed my middle name, much to the detriment of my social contacts sometimes......


Read this the other day:

"We mothers are a sorry lot. No matter what we do or don't do, our children find fault with us. We either do something to soon or not soon enough."

Agree or disagree?

currently reading: Dead Sleep by Greg Iles


Called the hospital this morning, because Tristans arm still hurt. Then we had to go to the hospital, because they wanted to check it out. And this time they did find a little fracture. So he's got his arm in a splint with a bright green bandage around it. He doesn't mind at all. And aside from the fact that we had to spend 3 HOURS in the waiting room (which was located in the basement, with no fresh air) I don't mind either. Too bad we pumped him full of his clotting factor though. Could have saved our medical insurance quite a number of euros by not having to do that!
We've had plenty of hospital experience with Tristan. 4 operations will do the trick! And again I was affirmed in my feeling that as a mom, in a hospital, you have to keep an eagle eye on things. Keep the ears and the eyes open, because a lot of hassle can be prevented that way. Mommies really do know best in a lot of situations!! I'm often grateful for my love of reading "Where there is no doctor" as a kid, and for the fact that I worked in a hospital for a while.
It was weird to be back in that hospital because I worked there for a number of years as a secretary on the radiology department. I even saw one of the doctors I used to work for and I saw a work schedule hanging up which looked exactly the same as when I used to work there. Funny to see how things stay the same when you've moved on so far as a person!

Reading Orgy

Today I read three books, one of which I started last night. That's about 800 pages of print. I'm not sure if I should be ashamed or proud.

What I read was the following:
- The Windmill by Stephanie Gertler (really liked that one!)
- The Girl who loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King (pretty good as well, not too much "spookiness")
- The Loner by Josephine Cox (predictable and much to sweet for my taste)

The books were accompanied by large quantities of snacks. That is definately not something to be proud of.

Methinks I'm trying to hide from something............

Ahhhh, love!!

Marinda's got that gleam in her eye, the one that means someone has caught her fancy, the twinkle that makes her look cute and perky and makes her all bouncy and bubbly. And she's willing to go out IN THE RAIN to take photographs with someone. The last time she had this gleam it led to her to taking walks until she had blisters on her feet!!
Ahhhh, love......

currently reading: The Loner by Josphine Cox


I just opened my blog, saw my last post, and decided I'd better write another pretty quickly to cover that one up.... I think pathetic would be a good description of my state of mind when I wrote it! But a big thank you to those who decided to ignore my patheticalness and write that you love me anyways!!
It's friday morning, I'm sitting in my bathrobe again trying to work up the energy to get myself dressed and in action. I excuse myself by telling myself that I have already done something by checking the internet to find a hotel for our 16 year wedding anniversary (coming up in April). The kids are out the door, dressed and in their right minds. I had a busy day yesterday, so I'm allowed to lounge around in my bathrobe, right?!? But still, all my logic still doesn't assuage the guilt. (I have a fast link to the dictionary to check out the spelling on my more complicated words. Assuage is a lovely one, isn't it?)
There's not much to write about right now. I'm going to make a list of smart, lively, intelligent, witty, unique, in-depth subjects that I will write about the next coming days.
Suggestions anyone?

Nobody loves me

Nobody loves me is what I half jokingly say when I don't have any messages on my cell phone, or no e-mails. Half jokingly indeed, because part of me feels neglected when there's no signs of life from the outside world. And why this subject today? Well..... NOBODY SENT SYMPATHETIC MESSAGES AFTER MY POST YESTERDAY!! Poor me, poor Tristan :-(
Nobody loves us!
Sadly enough, I'm only half joking. I'm seriously feeling just a tad sad....
So will somebody please add a comment to this post to reassure me?
Thanks so much!!

(I dread to think nobody will. Oh dear, what have I got myself into by writing this down!!)

currently reading I am the Clay by Chaim Potok

Flying Leap

Tristan took a flying leap off the trampoline on to the ground today, resulting in a badly sprained arm which with him means a pretty bad bleed. So the afternoon was focussed on injecting him, going to the doctor, then going to the hospital for x-rays, and then back home and injecting him again. He's now moaning in pain, so I'm not sure how much sleep we will get tonight! Poor guy thought he'd follow the example his friend set. I hope he's not cured of the trampoline for good as it's a great thing as long as you kind of behave yourself. But for now it means no soccer and a lot of extra injections to get the bleed controlled.
So I'm off to get him to bed and as comfortable as possible. And then off to bed myself as well. I find incidents like this very draining on my energy levels.

currently reading Cradle and All by James Patterson

Good and bad habits

Can somebody tell me why it's so easy to keep up bad habits and so darned hard to start good ones? Even when you KNOW that the good things really are good, feel good, make you feel better, and lead to a longer and more satisfactory life??
I went to the gym today and rediscoverd how good it feels to get my body going again. Yeah for me!! But why, why, why did it take two months for me to reach this point? Really, I am the most frustrating person I know.
Anyway, it felt good, and I have now committed myself to this gym (meaning that I now have to pay my monthly dues. And if that isn't an incentive, then.....). I aim to go twice a week. Once to do the cardio and weight stuff, and once to do the slow motion concentrated Pilates stuff.
It feels real good to get more good habits going on my life again!
( I have used the word good way to many times in this short post. Please forgive my lack of creativity!)

currently reading: Vets might fly by James Herriot


The kids had a two hour session of Monopoly today. I did not offer to play with them. I do not like Monopoly! My love of games stops right there. Marinda was at Renzo's house last weekend and they played at least 5 games of Monopoly. She brought the game home with her and now has Tristan hooked. And when one of Hermans brothers came over to eat the other day, he joined in the game as well. It looks like a new hit in our family. At one point this afternoon both kids were standing on their chairs, claiming it gave a new perspective to the game!


Every evening there's a news program for kids on the tv. Headlines made simple, and some fun information thrown in. Today the fun was about an artist who makes "art" out of poop. Yep, that's right. Not only did he make art out of poop, he also got a chance to show his "art" in a gallery. He walked around the gallery telling the viewers which poop belonged to his wife, daughter and son. The poop was encased in seethrough plexiglas, placed on plates, or formed into pie pieces.
Now I am writing all of this down rather factually, but let me tell you I don't feel very factual about it! Deep down I find it disgusting, in more ways than one considering the nature of his art, that anything as silly as this can be labeled as art and is taken seriously in any way at all!
My brother is an artist, no questions asked! And yet he gets no media attention and has to struggle to survive as an artist. Yet somebody who plastifies poop is deemed worthy of mentioning on the kids news...
What on earth is this country coming to!!

I'm going to add what I'm reading to my posts from now on. Keeps you and me informed about my "intelligent" reading habits (ha!)!

currently reading: Three Fates by Nora Roberts

Impressions of my town

Welcome to my town!

A field of crocus leading up to a war monument

Flowers and plants for sale outside my local supermarket

Tristans classroom

A street close by with my favorite trees

Beautiful farmhouse just a short bike ride away!

A little pang

I went to the library today with Tristan. He is not usually a reader, but has to do a book report for school, so what better opportunity? While in the library I gently tried to steer him towards the Chronicles of Narnia. He didn't go for it. And that gave me a pang. I've given up getting Marinda interested in the books I used to read (and sometimes still do). Like the Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prarie. I know it's utterly impossible to get Tristan interested in Anne or Little House, but maybe, just maybe he would be interested in the Narnia books? Helaas, helaas as they say here (it means unfortunately, unfortunately) I couldn't tempt him enough. Instead he went for a book about two kids and a german shepherd dog who get into exciting adventures with diamond thieves.
It gives me pang because there's not much of my youth that I can share with my kids and books have been such an important part of it. A lot of my memories include loving books, and books influencing the way I think and feel. The books I mentioned above are an integral part of me growing up and have helped form my character. Writing it down like that makes it almost sound ridiculous. Oh well....
I'm consoling myself that sometimes, in a hopefully far future, I may have grandchildren that I'll be able to pass my book loves on to!

Hello Goodbye

There's a dutch program on the tv that I love watching called Hello Goodbye. It's based at the airport. The host of the show walks around the airport talking to people. When he hits on an interesting story he interviews the people involved. It's pretty much live tv from the airport. I love it though, because the airport is a place where all kinds of stories come together. He interviews parents waving goodbye to their children, whole families waiting for their adoptive cousin/sister/niece/nephew to come, loved ones waiting for one another. It's great! And either leaves me smiling or crying, depending on how the story goes.
Programs like this, or programs with reunions, or programs where adopted kids look for their biological parents appeal to my sentimental side. I wipe away a tear, or smile and live vicariously through them. I don't cry much in real life, maybe I get enough out of crying for others!
I think my liking these shows has something to do with how I was raised, but I have a hard time explaining why.

Good morning world!

In my bathrobe, mascara smeared under my eyes (I have yet to master the art of removing my makeup before I go to bed!), eating bread with fruit sprinkles, coffee close by, kids out the door (Marinda forgot her lunch AGAIN!), blue sky, watching the neighborhood awake, reading mail, reading blogs. Time to make a list of things to do today! One of which should surely be going outside and getting some of that sun. I will write it down right now, that will help me to really do it. (Seriously, I just stood up, got a pen, and wrote down "go outside" on my list).
My head still aches from dreams about getting caught in underwater caves and not being able to breathe. What kind of symbolism is involved there??
On my list for today:
- going outside
- cooking some kind of indian food (with the help of a package, shame on me)
- a little bit of shopping
- if I can at all manage to get some willpower... sign up at a gym
- loads of laundry
- dishes
- reading (a book by Kathy Reichs at this moment)
- going to the library to see if they have season 3 of Lost
- answering e-mail
- and whatever else comes on my path

First day of work

Aside from the fact that I had to feed my headache some aspirine on a regular basis, my first day of work went really well! I got thrown before the lions (as the dutch say). Hardly any time to slowly get used to my new job, explore the different work methods, get to know my colleagues in a meaningful way, install my computer just the way I want it... Nope, just got to work as quickly as possible with a maximum amount of urgency. It works for me! Though halfway the afternoon I was surrounded by different piles of paper realizing that making priorties is going to be a big part of this job. But I like the setting, and I like the colleagues so far, and am glad to get my head working again.

Frustration oozing out of every pore

It's 10.15 p.m. I still have to iron some clothes for my first day of work tomorrow. I spent the day picking up Marinda from my brothers place, (got lost on the way due to the wonderful navigator crashing down), picking up Tristans coat from my sisters place (he left it there last time we went to visit), going to an awefully boring church service, cooking, doing laundry, doing dishes, cleaning up after everybody and hearing the kids whine about how much work we make them do (as if!!). I'm nervous about work tomorrow, I am angry at myself for not fitting my clothes, tired of Herman being tired and I didn't get enough sleep. And I forgot to inject Tristan which means I have to get up extra early to do it tomorrow morning.
So no wonder frustration is oozing out of every pore. I came back from bringing back my father in laws car (was so pissed at myself for leaving it until this late!). I saw the trampoline and decided to have a nice long jump on it. I did, and even enjoyed it, but unfortunately I didn't manage to jump away my frustrations. I don't think ironing away will work either, but I still have to do it! This is the end of my frustrated tirade.... GOODNIGHT!


This is me in 1989. Banquet at RVA. Havn't worn a dress like that since my wedding in 1992 (though it was peach colored, not black!). But that is going to change in may. I bought a red silk dress for my sister in laws wedding!

Night terrors

You ever notice how things seem so much worse at night? It was storming awefully last night, I woke up because of it. Hail and thunder and wind whistling around the house. I woke up so much I started worrying instead of sleeping. And worrying at night is never smart because things get so out of proportion.
Last night I worried about Tristan, who is now on his way to Amsterdam to be on a kids tv show (it will be broadcast live, so I get to see him in action. That is, if they bother to point the camera his way!). So I worried the car would crash, he would fall off the bleachers, a camera would hit his head. I worried that they wouldn't let him wear his bandana, his SOS bracelet would get lost, and that he wouldn't make it back safely. Finally I fell back asleep and woke up this morning wondering what on earth was I doing all that worrying for?
I did send him on his way with some extra meds though, and handed him over to a mom that I thought looked responsible. He should have the time of his life being on tv. Always fun to get a look behind the scenes!