End of an Era

A somewhat pretentious title for a last post, but it kind of feels like the end of an era to me! I wrote my first post on September 12 2007. My expectations were high, and the writing was something I truly truly enjoyed for a long time.

Lately I've not had as much enjoyment in writing. Partly because I feel like I'm repeating myself. It is our second spring here in this house and there's only so much one can write about holland, flowers, and bike rides in the surroundings I think! And I feel like I'm on repeat emotionally, continually going over the same things. There is a lot I would still like to write about but a lot of it is to personal to be posted here on the net, so I'll probably end up writing a diary instead. One meant for my eyes only, with my hubby peeking in now and again so that he can make an attempt to understand what's going on in this head of mine.

I have gained so much through blogging though. Writing really has helped me maintain some perspective. I remember with fondness (and some longing) the days that I walked around eager to get started on writing, to share some trivial insight, or the highlights of my day. It's really been a lot of fun!

I'm also glad to know that I will be able to read back through this blog, to recap what has really been quite a turbulent period in my (our) lives. I've written about our move to this little town, our trip to Ethiopia with my road trip being the ultimate highlight. I've written about the different jobs I've had in that time period. The one in Utrecht, the one in Zwolle, and the one I have now. I've written about the different sicknesses that have kept our family busy. Herman with his ulcerative colitis, Tristan with his hemofilia and alopecia, and Marinda with Pfeiffer and all the "lovely" after effects. I've written about family and friends and marriage and raising kids. This blog pretty much covers it all!

Just looking back through all these old posts makes me smile. I'm thankful for the internet, for the opportunity to get out and write and have people comment, for being able to literally look back on a part of my life. I'm glad blogging encouraged me to look at things with fresh eyes, to see beyond the mundane and see that things are special.

Maybe someday I will get back to blogging again. In the meantime, I will leave this blog up for those who want to browse. Comments, as always, are welcome! And if you want to ask me a question or get in touch please feel free to write me at eliseblogs@gmail.com.

Thanks everybody!!

7 quick takes


This is how the kitchen looks now. Improvement is coming in bits and pieces accompanied by aches and pains from my husband. Thankfully we've been fed at friends and family over the last couple of days, so there has been no more need for back yard cooking! Hopefully this weekend all will be up and running again and we'll be able to enjoy this beauty :-)


Work is a joy and a pleasure. Yesterday I teksted the following message to some friends: "Perks of the job; sitting in the sun by a windmill with coffee". I am going on lots of work visits to the local volunteer organisations. Over the last couple of weeks I've visited youth projects, homes for the elderly, an art gallery, schools, a home away from home for handicapped children and the windmill. I love it!

Marinda is home sick again. It looks like the flu. Tristan is lying on the sofa complaining of a stomachache. We are still in the flow of having a child or two sick at home at least one day a week. Today it's both of them....


Our front yard is blooming mightily, thanks to my friend Alize who gifted us with bags of bulbs.


I can finally walk up the stairs again without my knee twinging in protest every time! And with two staircases in the house, this is a real blessing. I will have to think twice about jumping on the trampoline again. I think I'm beginning to feel my age, whether I like it or not!


Currently reading Isaac Asimov. Love me a good robot story!


Just writing these 7 quick takes makes me realize how much information I throw on facebook through my status updates. Sometimes it's hard to think of what to write, seeing as I've already written something about it on facebook. Makes me wonder if I should toss one or the other.

Have a great friday everyone!


Renzo found and scanned these pictures and posted them on facebook. I just had to put them here as well :-).

This picture was taken on United Nations Day at ICS (International Community School of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). At this school United Nations Day was celebrated with a parade of flags of all the countries that had students in the school, followed by presentations from several countries. This particular year, my mom decided to steal the show with us kids. I was at that odd awkward age where it's only just acceptabel to stand on stage and sing, it verged on being painful!
We sang "twee emmertjes water halen", that's what I remember for sure! Funny thing is, we hardly spoke dutch at all at home, and didn't sing much dutch either. We might just have learned that dutch song especially for that occasion!
A couple of years later, back at the school after three years in the States, I was the flag bearer for the dutch flag. There's a picture of that somewhere!

This other picture is much older. I was showing it to Marinda and only then realized that my parents were much younger than I am now when this picture was taken. In their early thirties perhaps? Strange to think of them off discovering the world with four kids in tow, while I sit here, ensconced behind my computer, limiting my travels around the world to reading peoples blogs!

I think we look pretty good though!


So today is day two of our kitchen revamp. Yesterday, after a long afternoon search, we finally found the tiles we wanted to put on the wall. We ended up getting floor tiles! Less shiny and more robust than the usual kitchen tiles. I hope it works! Almost anything is better than the icky color that the tiles are now.

I was telling Herman that I'm glad I didn't realize how much work was going to go into fixing this kitchen up. The dust, oh my stars, the dust!! As you can see right here....

it was not a misty day... it was the dust. Which obviously penetrated the house right up to the eaves. I have now "cleaned" downstairs, but I guess the rest of the week will be spent dusting and dusting and dusting...

This is our outdoor kitchen. Sounds pretty fancy, hey? I did actually cook on here this evening, on an electric burner. Thank goodness for good weather!

The hot water was off downstairs, so Herman had to lug pails of hot water up and down the stairs for me so I could dust a little. And I had to get the water from my soup from the hose outside:-). Later tonight this will all be covered up with plastic and tomorrow will be a day of rest.
I'm just hoping nobody will come by and steal the pans and tupperware that is still stored in the cupboards!

For Renzo and Joy

On facebook, my brother and sister asked me what my favorite memory of them was when we were growing up. Here is my answer, written down for posterity:

Funnily enough, my fondest memory of both of you, is of both of you together.

Remember how we celebrated Christmas in Ethiopia? Gathered around our Christmas branches? Mom and dad had always secreted away presents that they had bought the summer before.

I think the first year I went to RVA I came back from Kenya with Christmas gifts for everybody, so there was a nice pile under the Christmas tree. You two decided you wanted to join in the fun and got all secretive. Pretty soon the pile started growing, with a mismatch of presents wrapped in all kinds of paper.
I remember opening the presents and feeling such a surge of love for you two. You had wrapped up your own teddy bears and other personal items and given them to us. It was so sweet!

The next year I was blessed with the gift of a silver ring, picked out personally by one or both of you. It was a silver filigree ring with a flower on top. It was truly ugly! But I don't think I ever let you know that. I still have that ring by the way. The fact that is was given to me by you two makes me hang on to it :-).

Although we grew up together, I don't have a lot of memories of you. I'm so glad I have gotten so many more memories over the last years! It's been such a pleasure getting to know you both as adults and becoming friends with both of you.

Love you!!

p.s. does my memory serve me correctly, or do you two have different memories of what I just wrote down?


Lise, my sister, asked me when I would start writing on my blog again, instead of posting pictures. I replied that I didn't know what to write about so she suggested I write about the fights we used to have. So all that I write here is not my fault, it's hers!

Lise and I have an interesting history. Though I am the oldest, she was the fighter, and paved the way in a lot of things. She had fights with my parents, she had a boyfriend before I did, she went out before I did, she did a lot of stuff before I did!
I think a certain amount of competitiveness was there at an early age.
She drove me up the wall, regularly, when we were small. I remember learning how to count to ten before I lost my temper purely because she would make me so mad I would want to rip out my hair, or hers! The last time I lost my temper with her was when I was fourteen. We were watching Little House on the Prairie. It was summer time and our days were planned around watching Little House on the Prairie (I wept when the programming changed and it didn't show anymore). We settled down in front of the tv and got into an argument about who got to sit where. I ended up sitting in front of her at which point she started to nudge me. Again, and again, and again and again.... Like a dripping tap, you know the feeling! So I asked her to stop, several times (at this point Lise may have a different version of this story :-)). When she didn't, I totally lost it. I turned on her and beat her up and then left the room slamming the door so hard behind me it caught on my heel. I ended up weeping tears of frustration while cooling my heel under the tap outside.

I can't remember ever losing my temper with her after that!

We used to share a room. That was not a wise choice that my parents made! I love reading at night and she would moan and groan until I would finally turn off the light. Her half of the room was always the nicest. Even if I got first choice of halves her half would always look nicer. She had impeccable taste in designing then, and still does now. I used to be so jealous of that!

Since then besides being sisters, we've become friends. Having kids has wiped away a lot of differences. I don't lose my temper, we respect each others differences and we like to get together, even though it doesn't happen often enough!

So Lise, here's a little of my version of our past. Any comments? ;-)

Love you lots!!

One healthy boy

This is what I love to see going on in our garden in the evening after dinner....

Much to be preferred over this.....


We came home to these:

and these:

A little view of Gorinchem

We took a little side trip on sunday and went to Gorinchem.
The weather was lovely, and so was the town!

Anniversary Dinner

See the squint? That's because the sun was actually shining!

and the nachos were yummy!

All that Glitters

View inside the toilets of the cinema in Breda.
I blinked, and blinked, and blinked again, and then went for my camera!


We're off to Breda for our 17th wedding anniversary!