Just one more day!

I believe I have mentioned how much I enjoy working closer to home. This is the reason why! Today was the second to last day of taking this trip to my old job.

Birthday Boy

In the picture

Check this out:





One thing led to another and a number of decisions were made yesterday:

1. We will not get the delicious car.

2. I will not go to my high school reunion.

3. We will try and book a holiday to Czechoslovakia (had to go check out the spelling of that one!)

- somewhere like this....


It used to be that saturdays were spent standing in the cold next to the soccer field watching Tristan play. Now our saturdays are spent looking at cars :-).

We saw a great one today, above our budget, but very delicious! It led to Herman using all his bargaining skills to see if he could get some more off the price. And finally we left, undecided, to reevaluate our financial situation. Keeping in the back of our mind our wish to renovate our kitchen (with my aunts kitchen), fix up our garden, go on vacation this year, and maybe, just maybe, have me be able to go to my high school reunion. Oh dear, that is asking a lot! I don't even want to think about it anymore until tomorrow.

Last night we went out to eat at Big Mama's Steak House with friends. Where, on the lovely menu, we were offered Missisipi crabs, Vegetarianan dishes, Forbiden fruits, Salats, and various other delicacies. Despite the spelling mistakes, we ate well, enjoyed the company, and loved the change of pace. We came to the discovery that the last time we went "out" it was on my birthday and that was only for pizza!

I came home this afternoon and considered house cleaning. Something that I have been "forced" to do in the weekends, due to a rather busy schedule. But instead I permitted myself a break and sat and read without a guilty conscience. Only pity was that the book was hardly worth it. Just a tad too sappy for me. But it was nice to catch a break!

Now I will go watch a movie with Tristan and make him a movie tray. Somehow a movie is not complete without an array of snacks to accompany it. Marinda is out with a friend and will go to the movies on the big screen. Which means I will stay up till she's back home. Hopefully this time it won't be neccesary for me to bike through the pouring rain in the middle of the night to pick her up from the train station!

Instant Gratification

I have mentioned before that I am not the most patient type of person. In fact I love a bit of instant gratification. You know the quick surprise, the unexpected jolt of happiness, the spur of the moment impulse....

Sometimes I can get a such a kick out of seeing something pretty and then just getting it and smiling every time I look at it the rest of the day. Or grinning at a red tulip every time I walk by it. On the other hand, long extended waiting for something that I'm looking forward to can wear me down so much that all the fun gets sucked right out of it and it takes me a while to re-appreciate what's coming.

Take our car for instance. Or rather, take the car that we're still looking for, which is not parked in front of our house, the one we do not own yet. The long search (and I'm not even the one doing all the searching!) has just about drained all the joy of expectation from it. I really do want a car and know it will give me a huge freedom of movement, but all this waiting...... ARGHHHH!

I guess I'm weird that way. If I have a fun idea I like to follow up on it quickly and get things done and let a flow of good feeling carry me through the proces and feel delighted when its done. If I have to sit down and think about it, and look things up, and compare prices, and especially discuss it...... Well, let's just say that doesn't work for me.

Childlike instant gratification..... that's my kind of thing!


Last night I was ruminating on whether or not to chuck this blog completely and just ignore facebook for a while. Because it seems I have nothing to say.

Thoughts aplenty in this tired head of mine, but nothing seems to be coming out that is worth really putting down into words. Guess I'm kind of tied up in the business of work and the trials and tribulations of life in general.

Over the last year or so, a lot of what I have written has come from looking at my life through "strangers eyes", wondering what someone who is not me would make of things. Looking at life that way has offered new perspective and made even the most mundane things seem bloggable. But lately I only seem to be able to look through my own eyes, making life seem terribly dull and definately not worth writing about.

This morning however, I did receive an encouraging word through facebook and it gave me a wee boost. So I walked through the market this morning realizing that that is really quite unique and picturesque and possibly bloggable! There was a nice tang in the air, and the market was not busy yet. I went to the bread stall and got some loaves of fresh bread to put into the freezer back home. All the bread, cookies and cakes spread out made a pretty site. Even the raw fish laid out on slabs of ice has it's appeal at 8.30 in the morning (not much appeal, but a little!).

I'm hoping my tired head will cease to pound and room for creativity will come back. Because really, blogging has been a very rewarding experience, one that I have really enjoyed and want to keep enjoying!


It's 10.00 p.m. Usually I'll be getting ready for bed around this time. Or already tucked into bed reading. But tonight I'm waiting up for my girlie, who has been invited to a party and will be home late. I could of course go to bed anyway, but I won't sleep til she's in, so I might as well stay up!

Tomorrow I have to head to work early while the kids get to sleep in due to their having spring vacation. Not that there is spring in site, the weather is gloomy and grey. Although there are little points of green coming up here and there in the garden, it's still very much winter.

I just came home from a meeting from my new job. Dropped off Marinda at the train station first and two minutes later I was at my desk. I still can't get over the thrill of working so close to home! It was fun too, more work added on to my steadily growing work load, but it's all stuff that is definately interesting! It still feels like I've found my niche here. Hopefully that feeling will hang on for a while :-). Tomorrow I'll have my picture in the local newspaper, along with a short interview.

Marinda is slowly getting better. She's been sick off and on for weeks with vague complaints like stomachache, tiredness, headaches, more tiredness. She had glandular fever more than a year ago, but the tiredness just seemed to be hanging on. On the persistant advice of my sister Lise (thanks Lise!) we finally decided to try homeopathy with her. And I must say, it works! She's really become a lot more energetic lately. Though she cancelled all her dance classes, she's now belly dancing at home with the aid of lessons through You Tube. Besides that she's chatting with friends through the internet and has even made some plans to get together with people again. It's a big improvement which hopefully will continue!

Tristan has a soccer and pingpong tournaments coming up this vacation. Also he seems to be getting more active, though sometimes this action takes unwanted forms. Like his being sent out of the swimming pool due to aggravating behavior. I feel I should be very upset by this, but actually I'm not. He's hitting puberty and sometimes it shows! And I also know that there were no mean intentions behind his behavior, he's just acting out a bit. He's kept on such a short leash at school, that I can't help but understand why he acts up in other places. And he hasn't been able to release his energy in sports due to his injury, so I'm kind of lenient with him when he acts up elsewhere. Does it sound like I'm justifying my leniency? Well, I am! This behavior confirms our suspicion that we need to send him to a creative school where he will be given room to grow , instead of a school in which rules and regulations form a strict protocol.

Herman and I are struggling to keep relating to each other. Our date nights have disappeared into thin air, and the effects are noticeable. That, combined with his long illness and my depressive phase, do not make for a very happy productive relationship. As always, we're working on it! We're getting really good at that! ;-)

So how's that for a long random ramble?


Here's something to do while there's nothing to read on here! It's surprisingly addictive :-)

Click to Mix and Solve


One of the fun things at my new job is the contact that I have with men!

The last 10 years I have worked in an almost solely female environment. I guess social work does tend to attract females more than males! The males that I did run into were often very feminine or very cliche gay.
But here there are lots of men. Lots of bureaucrats of the male species. My boss is a man as well.

So anyway, it's fun to get some male vibes going. It really is different being introduced as the new coworker by a man to a man. It gets just a little bit flirty. And when introduced to a group of men there is certain amount of preening going on. Not a lot, and I guess they would even deny it if they were accused of it, but enough to make me feel nice and womanly and even attractive! Maybe I notice more because there's been such a dearth of men in my work environment in the last years.

I like it though, it adds a bit of spark to my work, knowing I can use at least a smidgen of the flirting techniques that have been lying dormant for so long ;-).


Blogging without posting

I've been doing some blogging without posting, which is surprisingly effective for the communication in the house, but not so effective outside of it.

I read this quote the other day on Conversion Diary . It's from a book called bird by bird, which I have not read! But this quote about writing grabbed my attention.

"If something inside you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Don't worry about appearing sentimental. Worry about being unavailable; worry about being absent or fraudulent. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it."

It grabbed my attention because I love writing like that! When I write from real emotion the words flow and I'm almost surprised at what I write sometimes, at the ease with which it appears on paper (or the internet) :-).
But it also means that some of my writing is for home use only, not available for public consumption. And so it has been lately.

A blog filled with shallow posts.

Bear with me!


Dutch christian tradition leans strongly on reading the Bible after you finish your meal. Actually in really strong traditional families one prays before the meal, prays after the meal and then listens to something being read from the Bible.

We've tried our hardest to do something Bible oriented after dinner. First it was simple Bible stories. Then we turned to more complicated ones. But the kids soon grew tired of the same old, same old stories that they already knew so well. And it's true, a lot of childrens bibles have the same stories in them and don't do much or any explaining. Then we tried a devotional book, but couldn't find one to match both our kids. They have four and half years between them, and sometimes that can be quite a lot! The last couple of months we tried Mocha with Max (called Cappuccino here). But even that failed to entrance the kids.

A couple of weeks ago I happened upon the subject of Adrian Plass, and told the kids how funny he was. And then - LIGHTBULB MOMENT!!- we decided to start reading from one of his books instead. It's not a devotional, it's not Bible stories, but in his humorous way he does write about God and his search for Him.

And, yeah!! it works! The kids listen, and we laugh. So much better than all the complaining we had to listen to :-)

Isn't he wonderful

Isn't she lovely

Today at work

I'm sitting at my work, which is located in the town hall. Right now there's a bride and groom getting ready for their wedding. They're standing in the hall, taking pictures, getting ready for the grand entrance which is right next to my office.

Yesterday there was the noise of the market, out here in the town square. I spent the morning listening to the hucksters hawking their wares, yelling about their lovely potatoes, onions and apples. Or flowers, cheese and bread. It gives such a homey feel to my job :-)

I took one glimpse at the wedding guests and immediately knew what church they were from. All the woman wore skirts and dresses in shades of white, black or grey. All the older ladies wore black hats. And considering that this was a small family wedding, there were just a few too many mentally retarded people to make me feel entirely comfortable.

Inteelt is what we call it here. Inbreeding is the right word in english I guess. That's what happens when one isn't permitted to marry outside of the church, and the church keeps getting smaller and smaller.

Sad, really.

Self -discipline

I just came back from another womans church group. I think I may grow to like them! There were fifteen of us this time. Lots of new faces and plenty of conversation.

The conversation started off with some questions about the trials and tribulations of housework in relation to self-discipline. One woman had us in stitches as she described her vain attempt to organize her day by making daily schedules with her chores written down per hour. She decided to throw the schedules out of the window the first time she went to town and realized she was staying beyond her scheduled time....

Anyway, it made me think. I'm no lover of housework, as you may know.
But I have figured out what triggers me. If I get up in the morning and put in a load of laundry straight away it gets my housework off to a good start. If I laze around, eat breakfast and drink coffee first it's an almost certain guarantee that I won't get anything done that day. Sometimes the mere act of getting out my bucket and putting in some soapy water is enough to get me going, even if I really really really don't want to do any cleaning. One simple action is enough to trigger a chain of housecleaning events. Sometimes just standing up is enough. That's all that I ask of myself at that moment, just to get up!! And then to move on from there.

It makes me happy to know what triggers me in this small area of my life. I hate not having a grip on myself! Once I can understand something I find it so much easier to handle it. Tonight made me realize that although I may often feel incompetent and guiltridden, I do in fact know some things about myself. I'm still learning but I appreciate what I have already learned (even though I might not always put it into practice ;-))


I've been feeling strangely restless lately. What with the two jobs and all, you'd think I'd be feeling exhausted! But instead there's nervous energy twitching in my body. I wander around the house thinking of what to do in the evenings. Too tired to socialize, not inspired enough to write, not interested in the books I'm reading, to restless to play scrabble.... Weird!

And in a funny way pleasureable. Because it makes such a difference to a month or two ago when I was feeling utterly lethargic and without inspiration. I've been thinking it would be fun to do some kind of correspondence course, or join a choir, or do SOMETHING!

Rest"less\, a. [AS. restle['a]s.]

2. Not satisfied to be at rest or in peace; averse to repose or quiet; eager for change; discontented; as, restless schemers; restless ambition; restless subjects. "Restless at home, and ever prone to range." --Dryden.

Any suggestions?



I saw this thing on other blogs where you post the fourth picture in 2007 or something random like that. So I thought I'd give it a try and asked my husband to holler some numbers at me, in an attempt to really randomize my search. But it didn't work! First there was no picture, then there was a picture I didn't really want to blog about, then I asked him to holler again and then I just cheated and came up with this one:

This picture was taken Christmas of 2004. On the one hand it seems only a short while ago, and on the other....
Tristan has his curly head of hair in this picture and is so darn cute and small!! Marinda is her gorgeous self, as ever. My hubby is pretty changeless, and then there's me with my short hair. (like you can't see that!). There's actually nothing else to say about the picture... maybe I should have chosen another one!

We don't have a lot of family pictures though. Looking at this one makes me realize it's time for a new one. Now to get the family in the same spot at one time, all willing and eager to get their picture taken.