Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's been quite a week!

I wish I could put this post in columns, so I wouldn't have to decide which news is more important to tell. LOL.

Oh what the heck! This is too big to do second.  
The Castle received almost 800 000Euro's from the lottery! Once a year the lottery assigns part of their proceeds to "good causes". Now every one at the castle knows that we are the best cause, but we weren't sure the committee divvying up the money would think the same way, THEY DID!!!!
this means so much! We can start building the Gatehouse and bridge this spring!! This one act, gives me project so much momentum. It will enhance the experience for our visitors, it will give the whole place a new look and WE WILL BE BUILDING!!! Well........ first we wil have to get going on the archeology, which means I will be digging in the dirt, as long as it is not before April 30th.... (second part of the news) After the archeology, and brainstorming/deciding on the best course of action on building the foundation, the building will start. There are plans in place, of simultaneously building the building and the tower roof. The roof will be built and dry-fitted on the square, taken apart and put beam by beam on top of the tower, when it's done...... If I wasn't hurting so bad I would be dancing right now...... 

What seemed so cool at the beginning of the week, seems kinda "ladeedah" after the news on the castle, but it's important and frustrating enough to let you know about it.
I was to do a professional web designer course in Eindhoven (1 hour by train) but I didn't hear anything and about 2 weeks ago, the first part of the information on the course dissappeared from my account, so I started emailing...... no answer, new email no answer, new email. Finally last Friday I heard back.... Course was cancelled due to not enough students signing up and I now had 3 options.
1) wait till september, and hope it would go thru      2) go to Utrecht on Saturday, instead of on a weekday   or 3) do the whole thing online.

I considered waiting till September, but I really want/need to get going on this, plus, if in September it turns out that there's not enough students, I'll end up going to Utrecht anyway, plus it will be winter. With a 3 hour one way travel schedule, I don't want to do it if there is the slightest chance that they'll cancel trains due to frost or snow on the tracks. The 3rd option wasn't really an option at all. I will need the face-to-face interaction on this one! So February 27, I'll be on the first train out of town at 6.40, an make class with about10 minutes to spare. I don't know who figured that having a class that has 3 different busses after you get off the train at the main station is a good idea, but when they said "accessible by public transit" that was not coming up as an option in my brain..... I thought about going by car, but they have 7 parking spaces in front of the building and 21 rules and regulations as to where not to park in the area with a footnote that there is a bigger parkinglot about 20 minute walk away...... (The nearest busstop is only 12 minutes....) But, all this means that I'll be leaving the house at 6AM, and re-enter at 10PM....... thank god it's only 6 classes!  
I checked today, and found another surprise...... The 6 month course, will take 4! YAY! I wonder if the 20 to 30 hour homework took in account that they're shortening the time, or if that was geared towards the 6 month timeframe.... We'll see. I'm still excited to do this, but I'm getting a whole new level of panic attacks!

It's 1.30AM here, so I think I'm going to see if my bed is as comfortable as I remember, but I wanted to share the good news with you.

Don't forget to hugs that loved one!  

Monday, January 25, 2016


Hi there,

I just received an email from a friend, with cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, in various positions, on various, previously never considered to be comfortable snuggle-spots.....and some really inventive ones too :-)

The other day it was about 20 degrees fahrenheit here, and our fuzzybutt wanted to go for his usual after-nap-walk, so I put him in his harness, snapped the leash on him, grabbed the keys and trotted outside........ only to be pulled off my feet by a fuzzy cream colored lightning bolt, trying his darnedest to get back inside. LOL. I had warned him, but would he listen? NAH!

In explanation of the next bit, I have to tell you something. The computer sits on the dining table, next to a small bookcase which houses the printer, dictionaries and some other books, on top of which, is our desk lamp. Next to the computer on the table, under the desklamp is one of Perky's beds....... (Can you see where this is going? LOL)  I've never laughed so hard in my life. After I got his harness off again (I think it was a record in time that he had it on before it came back off) and opened the door from the hallway to the living room he leaped!  He never touched the table, sailed right over it, into his bed and was cosying up to the desklamp as best he could in one move!
The picture is taken on one of his more sedate moments, but it is quite fun when you're working, and one of his paws reaches out, touches your hand, and dissappears back into the basket :-)

Some of the pictures from the email are:  (Actually, it's all of them, they're so darn cute!)

See what I mean?
Nothing to tell on the news front, I was just hoping ease you into the week, and maybe make you smile :-)

Don't forget to hug a loved one?

Friday, January 1, 2016


Have you survived the "changing of the year" ok?  Did you make it till midnight? :-)

Although we weren't able to last till midnight for some years, while living in the US, we have a whole new reason to stay up here..... Fireworks started at 2 PM New Years Eve, and it was still going around 10 this morning..... Perky was in a state. Not flying around the house like he did the first year we were here, but he was definitely trying to get under and in places, we all knew he wouldn't fit, so we stayed up with him. Mike called it good around 12.30, I went and took a nap around 6 this morning. Right now, the little fuzzybutt is laying on the back of the couch, his head on my shoulder, gently snoring and all together too tired to care...... We're good for another 364 days.

We have no plans for the day, no "list" of things we want to do in the coming year, we just want to "do better" in a lot of different departments of our life, as I'm sure do a lot of people. If you watch the news, be it national or international.... there's crap of different proportions going on everywhere, and it's hard not to get gloomy over it. Knowing that that state of mind does nothing to improve the situation, does not seem to change it though.

Just saying HI and apologize if it sounded like I would hiss if anybody wanted contact :-)  Nothing of the kind will happen. I wouldn't want it that way. I think it was more of a "thinking out loud" to keep a close eye on priorities for the next year. To make a plan and work things out around it, instead of adjusting the plan. LOL.

Kitty moved from the back of the couch and wormed himself under the computer and it's starting to get very tiresome to keep the laptop off the lapkitty, so I'll be on my way. I hope this year will bring you all you need, and nothing you don't.

Don't forget to hug a loved one?


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Still there?

Hi there!

I know I'm obnoxiously late with this, and the only real reason for it, is that time got away from me.
No major breakdowns, no fires to put out or out of the ordinary health things going on, just not being able to keep track of time.  You know the nagging things that won't go away, that shouldn't take a whole lot of time to take care of, but inadvertently always do...... That's been my life for the last 5 months or so.

Lots of little things that have been needing my attention adding up to one big time consumer.... resulting in the sneaking up of the Holidays. For being my favorite time of the year, I've managed to have to scramble to get any kind of decoration or even getting in the mood for Christmas for the last 3 years. Even while "doing the chemo-thing" we had more of a Christmas vibe. Go figure!

I DO have a major thing to report, that got finalized the day before Christmas.... I'm going back to school! It's a 6 month occupational course for webdesign. It comes with a 25 to 30 hours of homework-tag and once every 2 weeks an 8 hour class, in Eindhoven. The cool part was, when I told my sister, the first thing she said was: "Cool, you come up the night before, and I'll get you to class in time and rested"  So I'll have a mini sisterday as a bonus. LOL.
This starts in February, and lasts through August. The biggest thing is going to be that on my study days, I will not answer the phone, email or the doorbell...... and if I can convince everybody I know, that just because I'm home it does not automatically mean that I'm available, that would help in the concentration as well. I figured I can study when Mike is at work, and if everything pans out, I will have our little junkroom actually done up as a little office space and I can shut the door if I need to. They're talking about cutting everybody's hours down to 20 a week, so he'll either be working 2 full days and one half, or 5 halves, or they're going to mess his time up so bad, that I'll have to study when he's home... But we'll see when that happens, and deal with it accordingly.

Depending on how everything works out, I may have to put the CT "duties" on hold, or do less, but I hope I can find time for it. It has kept me more or less sane over the last couple of years, and I have the sneaky suspicion that I will need all the help I can get in that department.

The Upswing of the class is, that I will have a way better feel for setting up my business, I just have to figure out how that works, if/how I could work internationally etc. It will be so nice to help pay the bills again. It may take a load off Mike. His stresslevel is way up there, between the currency exchange/bills and the job situation..... If they decide that cutting hours is not enough, and they're having more lay-offs, I don't know what we would/could do if I don't have a steady income.  I hope they take in account that he's breadwinner, but also that he will have to leave, if they cut his job, but I try not to worry about that. If it happens, we will have to deal with it. If it doesn't happen, we will be ok. I'm starting to learn to cross bridges when we have to. Not because I'm getting wiser in my old age LOL, but because I'm too darn tired of everything that's been thrown our way over the last years and just don't have the energy to spare.... Not sure if that is good, or if it will come back to bite me in the butt, but I need to concentrate on getting my diploma, so I can start helping out again.   The major thing is, if I make enough money to support him according to the laws at that moment, he can stay even if anything happens to his job, and although I cannot see him being happy sitting home all day..... atleast we wouldn't be forced to leave the country within 3 months.  Part of the "getting the office set up", is thinning out our belongings, for an efficient move..... NOT a good feeling.

SO, I think you're all caught up, although my brain is so scrambled, I'm wondering whether this update makes a whole lot of sense. LOL.  I wish you a very happy New Year, and hope you had a perfect Christmas, and promise I will try to visit with you more often next year. This year just has been one thing after the other, with really nothing to show for the lack of time when you look it in the rearview mirror...... Hoping for a better devision of time next year :-)

Don't forget to hug a loved one? (twice when they're of the fuzzy variety! LOL) I will catch you next year.

Love and hugs,

PS: If you know of a way to watch The Rose Bowl from here, PLEASE shoot me an email? GO HAWKS!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Checking in

before you start imagining where I've gotten off to :-)

I don't think I've scrapped more than 5 hours since I was here last. It's been so long since I did anything genealogy, that I had to double check if  I had the spelling right, and I can't remember the last time I had a thought that didnt involve finding ways to pay the bills. I know, none of this is keeping you up at night, I just wanted to share that nothing has changed, really :-)

On the flip side, I'm understanding more of how I WANT to build websites that look good, are functional, and just a tad different from "The other guys". Now that I know that, I'm focussing more on how to get that done, than to learn every last little thing there is to learn in ways of programming. I was reading every book I could find, only to get turned around on codes, best practices, order of code to get a certain effect and serious doubt about whether I understood any of it at all... So I decided to take the "learn as you go" approach. You see, I realised that this is the way I learned to scrap, research and how to use any of the computer programs I ever learned.
You figure out what you need to know to get the result you want, and go from there.... And it works for me. Sure I may miss the latest greatest gadget that everybody and his uncle puts on the website, (and every-other-user wishes they had given a miss) but there is time for that, once I have down what I NEED to know to either get customers, or a job. At this point, I really am on the fence on which one I'd rather have, as long as I can pay the bills, contribute and do what makes me happy... I'm good. Having my own business will come... in time.

The house starts to look just that little bit more like we've moved in, and a little less like we're in the middle of the move, although........ there's boxes I've not seen the inside of in quite some time, and if it weren't for a note on the outside, with what's on the inside........... I wouldn't know whether I needed to see inside or not. LOL.

The castle is AWESOME! I love going there, and I really have to bite my tongue when they're asking for tourguides on other days, so I don't volunteer! Most of the customers are nice, not all start out that way, but mostly, they revise their view after the tour. Sometimes there's one I'd just as soon push in the moat, but overall............ I'm having a blast!
We're gearing up for a Christmas market on December 12 and 13. I've heard rumors of hot chocolate, firepits and a jazzband on the square, surrounded by stands, where people sell their wares. I'm trying to convince Mike to go with me on Saturday as a visitor, so when I work the event on Sunday, I'm not tempted to visit.... but it's a hard sell. Mike and Christmas are not what you'd call "on speaking terms". Holidays are a necessary evil to him, and if it wasn't for me loving them so much, I don't think he would give them a second thought. There are 2 exceptions to this....... Halloween and Thanksgiving, but even that is a lot less, since they don't really "do" Halloween here, and there's no parades and/or football to watch on Thanksgiving. But he may surprise the beyiebies out of me, you never know :-)

I think you're caught up, so I'll take my leave, update the castle page with the poster we are putting up around town, and get back to studying.

Don't forget to hug a loved one!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So little time

and so much to do,  to tell and to think about........
 So, since I'm not doing anything right now, let's start with the telling part:-)

I am a tourguide at the coolest project  E V E R!!!!!
It has it's own page on my blog.... Castle Schaesberg. There will be lots to read about it here, and for me lots to learn, and SO MUCH more that I WANT to know, not for the tours, but because I'm naturally nosey about these things! I admit, with hanging head, after 30 years of vehemently denying it, I am nosey. I want to know things, I want to know how people think, I want to see things, I want to learn what makes things and people tick. I always told Mike, when he said I was nosey, "I am NOT, I'm just interested in people!", but I think he may have had it right all along LOL.  Well, now that we have that cleared up, I should tell you a little about the project.

My intrest started on a trip we took, just to keep me from going crazy, after we got here, and I wasn't able to walk half the time. It grew from wanting to finish my 4 seasons scrapbook page to the background of the castle, once I found out they were going to rebuild it in old style. I tried keeping up, but over time, lost the website, and visited several personal pages from people that wrote about the castle. And than, one day in July, I found a link that stated.... Volunteers wanted.  I almost broke my fingers trying to get an email out, and got a response the next day to come on by for an interview the day after..... I did, and got "hired" on the spot. I spent all day on site, getting briefed on the family, the castle, the project, and everything I heard made me more curious.... Not a bad state to be in, right?

The project is, I truly believe, one of a kind. Rebuilding the castle, is not so much the goal as it is the means. A way to re-introduce the old artisan crafts to the younger people. The problem is, there are SO MANY monuments, and so few people that know how to fix things, it's really not funny. The older craftsmen wanting to retire, look behind them, to pass the baton, and there's just nobody there!
We've seen interns from the schools that produce builders and such, that come, get handed a square with instructions to measure and mark a beam, and they look at you with a total blank stare, asking what they are supposed to do with that.... If it's not computer generated, or laserguided, they don't know what it is...... but by the time they leave, they have a few calusses and a new understanding of carpentry :-)
The thing that to me means a lot, is that if they make a graduation project in school, it gets looked at, graded and destroyed.... when they build something at the castle, it gets looked at, graded, and it will stand for at least 300 years more!

The whole project, except for two leading positions, is run with volunteers, interns and the likes. People between jobs, people trying to get back in the workforce, retirees, or people with jobs, that want to invest in the future......... A very varied group of people, with a shared goal. It's a nice place to be in life!

I already had a couple of English tours. LOVING that and hoping for lots more! And a whole bunch of Dutch ones. Average of 8 per day, so a nice turn out.... The trick with those, I've found, is that when I get excited (and what's not to get excited about in this project?) my Dutch really leaves a lot to be desired, and I have to kind of explain the word I'm trying to look for, and hope somebody fills me in on it. LOL. I have found though, as long as I explain that I haven't been back in Holland very long, after not speaking the language for a good 23 years, most people take it in stride, and help me out when I'm stuck. I've been  working most Sundays, if there are 2 people that signed up to be on the grounds, although, since our official opening is this coming weekend, it will pretty much be inevitable to have to be there, and have staff for the register, as well as atleast one tourguide.... So, my leasurely Sundays will be a thing of the past............ and I'm loving every one of them!  I WILL take off the 25th of October, because my Bills are playing in London, and I have high hopes that the game may be televised! WHOO HOOO FOOTBALL!!!! How I miss that!

I'm still working on getting my website set up, but there are snags to having a business here I had not thought of, so besides working on the site, trying to get my head around designing and building the back-end, I'm also trying to find out what I can, cannot, have to and absolutely should not do.........  Never a dull moment, trying to get out from under asking for help from the government, because not only do I have to watch the Dutch laws and regulation, I also have to take in account what will happen if I do business in the US, where to pay taxes, so I don't pay twice, or torpedo Mike in any way....

I haven't scrapped in ages, not sure I still know how. LOL! I do a little ct work here and there, but nothing major, nothing like I did a year ago, and I'm not sure I like that, but I'm not sure where I would find the time either. I'm working on a schedule............ Had several over the last 2 years, none really worked longer than a month or 2, so I'm constantly adjusting, and I have to admit, it's getting tedious. I'm about to make a global To-Do list, and call it good, if I get things done once a month, except for the business part, that needs done daily, as soon as I figure out what it is...... and set a "work schedule" and stick to it, throw the phone off the hook, dis-engage the doorbell and go from there :-)

I have to take the KA in for a fix. The Shocktowers are wore out. Wouldn't have anything to do with the milion or so turncircles and the milion and a half "traffic slow down alleys" they build in the already tiny roads here.... In all the years we've driven old cars with most of them having more than 200thousand miles on the clock,  we've never, EVER had to replace the A-arms on a vehicle, and we've taken them up some really bad roads, and not just once, either :-)  Here, we've done it on 3! And the mechanics diagnosing them, don't seem surprised, while we just about fall over when they tell us, and than they happily tell us that it is a natural occurrance every 5 years or so!?  I think when they passed the law on those circles and alleys, someone made a killing in the stockmarket buying carpart company stock, and probably still is cashing in nicely....

So, on that rant, I think you're caught up, at least on what I can think of right now, and I think I will call it good for now. Hopefully, now that we have a working internet again, I can come back more often than once every couple of weeks. Up to now, I've been doing what absolutely had to happen on line, if and when I could GET online, and print what I thought I might need later, resulting in more paper, instead of streamlining/dumping that was so high on my list of things I needed to do last time I made a schedule..... LOL.
 Right now, I'm on base, waiting for the store to open, so I can grab some groceries, keep Mike company for lunch, and get back home to get dinner started, only to turn around, and go pick him up, so we can eat.... And this weekend is my sisters birthday, so I'll be taking a train to go see her as well.

Love and hugs, and don't forget to hug a loved one?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


It has been A LONG couple of months, and I'm not sure I'm getting ahead of it all, or just keep trying to crawl out from under....... at some points I was just hoping the light at the other end of the tunnel isn't a train. LOL.

Without getting into details, there's been: family things, housing things, job things, pet things, weather things, internet/phone things, neighbor things and car things, and I almost things! Needless to say. I need a vacation! LOL, but all things considered, we're doing good.

I DID take my exam, finally, and when I started building my first website (my own) I realized that the course had in no way prepared me for what I was attempting to do. I know I missed a switch somewhere, but I have pieces that won't go together into a cohesive, and potentially VERY cool website, so I hit the books some more :-)  Well, let me rephrase that... I downloaded the books I could, while I had internet, and read them when I didn't have internet. But no internet does hamper the checking and testing what I learned.... You kinda need internet to upload to the server, or so I'm told...... Internet has been humming away for the last week or so, and I'm getting thru emails, banking, catching up with people (by phone or email) and hope to be into a schedule of sorts by next week. PFFOEI!

Because of the internet thing (6 weeks without is like a lifetime of missed things to look up!) I haven't posted my Point in Time challenge, haven't played with any of Boo's kits (Haven't even been able to catch them come by!) and because of the EU-VAT rule on top of that, I haven't been able to play with any of the beautiful kits from Carena or Monja either, missed a couple of very interesting webinars over at LegacyFamilyTree and I'm sure I missed some stuff I'll find out about later, but what can you do?!

I haven't scrapped at all except for making birthday cards, no genealogy either, just study. Poor me, huh.....? LOL. LOVE to learn, so that's not the problem, its the fact that everything else in life just keeps going, while I'm trying to concentrate that just plain drives me batty at times, but that's a personal problem I think. LOL.

Even so, I'm looking forward to calmer waters, I can tell you that :-) and to start that process off right.... Friday night the zoo will be open till 9PM, and guess who's going..... We'll run errands as early as we can, and than Mike will drop me off, and pick me up at 9..... HEAVEN!  I'll bet it will be busy, but I'm hoping to catch the wolves out this time around.... My niece went a couple of weeks ago, and she said she sat in front of the area for half hour, and never saw them, so I'm not sure what is going on there. I haven't seen them but once in the time they've been here, and that was the first night their enclosure was open to the public.  Keep your fingers crossed for me:-)

I DID start a new thing... Tourguide at the castle I've been trying to get a 4 season photo shoot of. SO COOL! There is so much history in that place I had no idea of! And I get to tell people about it. Last Sunday was my first official work day..... and it was great. Kinda busy, but not so busy you don't have time to enjoy. People walking away with a smile on their face, and a promise that they'll be back to keep track of the changes....... No better way to advocate a new project. There's a long way to go yet (only 30 years or so) but it will be so neat when it gets there.....

My plans for the near future are to get a job, so we can keep eating (always a good idea) and on Sunday, when Mike works anyway, spend my time at the castle, learning and teaching. This will cut down my "down time" to just Saturdays, but it will work out better in the long run. It will force me to speed up my "me time" or at least streamline, and it will show me what is important to me, and what I'm hanging on to, because I have nothing else to do.... So it will be good!  For the first time, in a long time, I'm actually believing that change can be good..... Such a wonderous feeling :-)

This is it for me, for now. If the internet and my schedule keep playing nice, I'll be back in a couple of days, so in the meantime, don't forget to hug a loved one, stay cool (It's going up to mid to high 90's here) and enjoy life.... It's too short as it is!

Love and hugs,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

This is what life has been like since we last spoke......

and I'm NOT the cheetah! LOL.

Got this in an email, not sure where it originally came from.

I will catch you up when/if I can. Soon, I hope.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I hope you didn't give up on me...............

I had no idea it had been this long since I visited with you!

Quick update is in order, I think :-)
- I haven't taken my exam yet. The site is still experiencing difficulties. There's a drawback and an upside to that.............. The upside:  I can keep studying...... The drawback:  I want to move on, but at the same time, I'm a little worried, that if I start looking into things more in depth than what is covered in the test, I will get confused at testing time and "think too much" LOL.
- I am now the proud owner of (yet) another drivers license.  Since our car is registered on base, I had to take my base drivingtest as well, so now, I am pretty much covered for who ever wants to see my drivers credentials: Iowa, Nato, Dutch and Base................. I'm going to have to ask for a bigger wallet!  I'm not the only one though. Since there are a couple of countries that don't like the Nato license and others that don't like the American one, Mike will have to get his Dutch licence as well. He's not looking forward to it. He keeps complaining that his wallet is poking holes in his pants pocket and there is no more room in it for more crap..... :-)
- The Point In Time challenge has been posted at The Studio, on time
- The EU VAT thing is sorted on several sites, and I can shop again. I now can also get back to my CT duties over at DigiDesignResort, if they'll still have me. But to be honest, I've been so busy studying, I have missed the scrapping, but I wouldn't have had much time for it, so  maybe it is time to re-evaluate some things.
- My 6 month cancercheck is over and done with, and I'm all good!! :-) it is so weird. I know I'm healthy, I now have as much chance to get it again, as someone who gets it for the first time and I still go in a flying panic every 6 months, just because that appointment is coming up........... If anybody knows of a way to turn that little bit of craziness off................. I'd be grateful. I HAVE noticed though, that as long as I keep so busy that I forget which day it is... the worry starts a lot closer to the appointment date. LOL.   There's a thought :-)

As I said, I haven't scrapped much. We haven't gone anywhere, and I even haven't been to the zoo. I have severely neglected my friends and family as well, so that will all be taken up in the re-evaluation plan. Mike is off tomorrow, and he said he would take Perky for his daily walks, and I will spend some quality time on the couch, thinking, planning and eeeevalu-atin'. Somewhere, I have notes on a seminar I took about 20 years ago, on time management, and I think I will revisit that as well. LOL.  I guess if your TO DO list only works if you increase the week to 8 days of 32 hours, and downgrade sleepingtime to 3 hours a night..... it's time for a sit down and prioritizing session.

Well, I'm not sure where this mood came from, but I will excuse myself and sit in a corner until it passes, so I don't bug you with it anylonger. LOL. Sorry it has been so long since I visited, and I hope I can improve on the times between posts within a reasonable timeframe.
Hopefully this found you all in good health and spirits, and we'll visit again soon. Don't forget to hug a loved one!?


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


I didn't make the exam, yet. I rescheduled for first Tuesday in April, reluctantly.
I discovered that I will have 30 minutes, to answer 40 questions. Let me tell you, realizing this, I almost immediately reached for the "new email" button to ask for an extension. LOL. Knowing all I need to know, and knowing what I DO know......... Lets just say, I'm hitting the books a little harder!
Bad thing is, having extra time, makes it easier to get distracted, and now I'm still running to catch up.
BUT! ........ You didn't stop by to hear me whine, so I'll leave you be, but please, check in around the 1st of April for the new Point In Time challenge, and an update:-)

Boo is taking a sabbatical, so that front is quiet. Still am not able to go to/pick up anything on DigiDesignResort or The Studio, so all is quiet there too. For a little while longer, I have no time to scrap-for-fun, and no energy to go to the zoo, so no new pictures to play with. I will have to prioritize, go thru my tera-drives, thin out things around the house, streamline the chorelist and work on getting good at webdesign, but I'll be back as often as I can :-)  I'm looking forward to do "my thing" and I know I will need the scrapping to keep me creative, on my toes, and happy, so you'll see pages soon. I promise!

Enjoy spring, and in between sniffing those first flowers, don't forget to hug a loved one?
Talk soon.


Monday, March 2, 2015

WOW, it's been a while......

Didn't think it had been this long since I visited, but there you have it. Obviously, part of my "good intentions" for 2015 didn't make it already, but I had a good reason. Honest!

I didn't make the deadline for the exam. A 10 day migraine made sure of that, but, I rallied and I'm done with the course, and taking the exam March 10th. Now "all" I need to do is study myself silly and find a way to break into my website, so I can learn things "hands on" and I'm home free.

I took today off, to clean house and to scrap a little. You see, we went to the VOC Sailing ship in Lelystad with my sister and her husband and had a blast!
The ship was amazing! When we first saw it, we thought it looked awful small, but there was an whole lot of stuff crammed onto it and also, the closer you got, the bigger it got..... There was a secondary ship they were supposed to build, but after a fire, they ran out of money and stopped the build, so now the ship is slowly disintegrating. The one that we took the tour on was so beautiful. The wood, inside and out, the way things were put together. Splendid! They had little ceramic heads at all the stations that would have been manned around the clock while at sea, and the little fence separating the "working men" from the officers. I didn't know that was done. Of course, Hollywood is not known for its True-to-life portrayal. LOL. They are restoring a Roman ship, found in the same area, and as soon as it is open to the public, I will be in line to go see it. The ship is moored behind a rock breaker, because the IJselmeer still has current, as well as healthy shipping traffic, and they turn the ship every other year 180 degrees, to keep it straight and balanced.  It no longer sails, but it DID sail across the ocean after it was rebuilt. That must have been a sight to see.....

On the breaker is a huge wire statue of a man, squatting down, looking out over the see. It seems an odd place for art, but it somehow fits. :-)

And last Saturday we went to the motorcycle convention in Utrecht. we took the train, and we both had a beer with lunch, because we didn't have to drive. We expected a hotdog, grilled cheese kind of offering, but were surprised with ciabatta's, chicken in peanutsauce and my personal favorite Filet Americain. Now don't think there is anything American about this. It's raw ground beef with spices, jammed on a piece of crunchy French bread. Mike can barely stand to look at it, but it tastes SOOOOOO GOOOOD! I only have it maybe once a year, so it's not too bad. I know you're not supposed to eat raw meat, and that ground beef comes a very close second to raw chicken, but don't knock it until you tried it. LOL. I grew up with it as a treat on holidays, before everything you ate was bad for one part or another, and I have missed it, so every once in a while, I indulge :-)  As a matter of fact, it was the first thing I ate when we came back, even before we left the airport. LOL!

In my "off" hours, I did a little scrapping. Not much, not long, but a couple of pages, none the less.
I'm no longer able to shop, and I had to put one of my ct"jobs" on hold, because I cannot go to the store and "shop" but with study and reading manual after manual on HTML, CSS and the likes, who has time to worry.....

Here are the pages I made.

Booland's part of the Morning Mist Collab
This is the female wolverine at our zoo. It was the first time I caught her outside in the year and a half she's been there. I haven't read that they're expecting baby's, but than, the zoo staff gets surprised with offspring a lot, so I still have hope. LOL.

Boolands kit Love is. The Teddybears just asked for a window to look out of!

DoubleDip Romance over at The Studio.
The March Point In Time Challenge add got posted today.  A little shameless plugging going on here, but it's the 3rd month in a row that I'm on time and I am so proud of me I had to share :-)

Silly as it may sound, I have not been able to scrap the Giants of the IceAge, The Batavia OR the motorcycle show, so there's still some in the works. I'm planning on doing a little every night. Just to unwind, but I have been feeling guilty when I did anything but study, so we'll have to see which part wins. Otherwise, I will get back in the swing of things after the exam(s).

For now, I'm going to quit here and have some dinner (Yes, I'm successfully multitasking today. LOL) and than I'm getting ready for tomorrow, have a cup of tea and hit the hay....

Until next time..... Don't forget to hug a loved one?


Thursday, February 12, 2015

coming up for air......... :-)

Been hitting the books pretty hard. Learning lots, getting more information than my brain sometimes can handle, but I'm still happy with learning, and as long as our fuzzy roommate cooperates and I get away from the books every once in a while, I'm ok. But I realized I hadn't visited for a while, so here I am.

No, I'm not goofing off, per se. LOL. I was looking for a hosting site, to do my "testing of knowledge" before taking the exam (hopefully next week) and came across this "oh so adobrable" site. It's a fox sanctuary in Japan, but..... they are sooooo cute! I couldn't help downloading a picture from it.

Sunday we're going to see a East India Company 3-master in Lelystad. I just hope we can keep the frost off things for the day. Being on the water, on the North Sea in February may not have been such a smart plan, but hey, we decided that weather, unless hazardous to our health or the cars, would not stop us from having fun. Plus, the tickets expire March 1st. LOL. So Monday, I should be all recharged and back to study. I'm almost all the way thru the study materials, and I have 2 shots at the exam, so I have high hopes. (I don't really expect to flunk the first try, but I have no idea what to expect in way of questions, and whether I can check coding for answers, or have to know ...... and there is no one to ask, so I'll have to find out the hard way) 

So, break is over, just checking in. Talk to you after the exam, ok?

Dont' forget to hug a loved one!


Monday, January 12, 2015


Watching the fireworks the other night, looking back on the last year, taking stock of the years since I was diagnosed and the second chance that followed,  I made a resolution.
              This year is going to be BETTER than 2014!
I'm done with being told I'm old, and feeling that way, feeling left behind because of it, being discouraged and frazzled. Especially the last one! LOL.

In order to make this work, I have a lot of work to do, lots of bad habits to break and all of that, starting today.......
- I have till March 1st to finish my WebDesign course, so I will study 8 hours a day when Mike is at work and 4 to 6 on his days off, depending on what the plans are (read  how much we have to catch up on)
- I will thin out the chore schedule, and fit it in 7 days, instead of the days Mike is working
- I will stick to a schedule of going to bed at 10.30 and getting up at 5. No more all nighters, no more sleepless nights for this girl.
- I will make meals from scratch, and 80% will be healthy. (EEK!)
- I will take one day a month, that is completely mine. To do with as I please, wether it be going to an exhibit, zoo (always an option!), the archives in Den Bosch, the National Archives in The Hague, or just hang out and play, read, watch movies. (It depends largely on the budget how far I can stray from the house, but...... It's a thought!)
- I will spend 3 hours a day on household chores, including fixing dinner, and what I don't get done, will roll over to my "short" study day.
- I wills spend 3 hours a day, one website a day, on jobhunt, putting in applications and getting ready to go back to work, and will not listen to the powers that be, that I am too old, too long out of the Dutch workforce and too unplaceable to even help. If they don't want to help, I'll find another way to get to work.
- The first week of March, I will catch up on the house. By than, all chores will have fallen behind at least a little bit, it will be spring(ish) and I'll have to paint the planters, and plan what I want to put in them, and find a way to finance it. LOL. 
- That week, I will make a plan of attack for the next 3 months, including a schedule, that will keep the same hours, and such as the first quarter, and when I get a job, I'll never know the difference, won't be dead-on-my-feet at the end of the day and life will be grand! We will be able to save for things we have been putting off, we may be able to plan a day or 2 away from home, without having to worry that we won't be able to eat at the end of the month, and we may, just maybe, be able to sit back and enjoy for a little while, before stuff starts hitting the fan again. I know, I'm pushing it with that thought, but it could be.........

As part of these "good intentions"............ I will try and visit once a week, and keep you posted.
I used last week to "get it together" in way of tweaking the schedule/task line-up etc. but today is the beginning of a new me :-)

Don't forget to hug a loved one (twice when of the furry variety), and I will talk to you in a couple of days.

PS: The Point In Time Heritage challenge over at the studio is also back on the schedule! And posted for January.....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's been a while..... again!

I have a hard time keeping up these days. Seems like last week that I was here, and I just noticed it has been almost 4.

I've been busy. Busy with finding the Christmas cards, so I could send them out, and realizing I was looking for something that wasn't there, so I made them. There's a couple that got mailed, most will go in Email, and I sincerely hope I don't tick anybody off with it this year LOL.
Busy with trying to get the house in any kind of Christmas mood, and not having much luck. You see,  I cannot find the tree decorations. I found some, but to put 5 ornaments in a 6 foot tree, just doesn't seem right now, does it? :-), so we will have a very minimalist tree this year...... lights only. I finally found a (very ugly) tablecloth that will fit the table. I never thought our little diner was an odd size, but I have not been able to find anything that doesn't looks like it's dropped there on the way to someplace else, or something that looks like it ate the table.  This size is more or less right. It will be a little long on the short side of the table, but you won't drag it off the table while sitting down to eat. (that was a definate must) I got most of what we want for Christmas dinner figured out. Picked up the Pecan Pie on base the other day, still have to pick up the meat and than we're set. Veg is in the freezer, ready to go. And THANK GOD we're going to my sisters the day after Christmas, so I will have at least a little bit of the "Seasons Feelings"! LOL.  Her house is not a Christmas Store contestants, but there's a tree, candles, decorations on all the flat surfaces, and just an overall "happy feeling" when you come inside. The downside, at least for me, is that the majority will be playing Minecraft, so I'll bring a book for something to do, but I'll be huddled near the fireplace, in the company of people I love so life will be good. The kids have been planning on doing this for a long time, and I have to say, Mike has quietly been too. He got the box to the computer down, stocked up on batteries for the mouse and keyboard and when asked said very happily.... for when we go to your sister to play! He'll have a blast! The only thing missing will be our fuzzy roommate, otherwise it would be absolutely perfect :-)  I wondered for a split second if I should take a stab at taking him with us..... but it probably would be a very selfish thing to do to him, so.... no! If he was more like Boo, he would have a blast. New people, a good lengthy car ride, new places to figure out and explore, and room to run, but Perky doesn't travel well. The rest would be cool, but the more than an hour car ride (one way) would put too much stress on him. He's got New Years Eve Fireworks coming, and that can get bad enough. I hoped they'd ease him into it, and start a couple of days early with here and there a thump, so that when all hell breaks loose at midnight on the 31st, he just sits in the window and enjoys the lights just like he did last time, but it's been very quiet this year. We haven't even heard firecrackers yet, and that usually starts on December 1st, when the sale of fireworks starts. Oh well, we'll see what happens. We'll make him hideyholes, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and that's pretty much all we can do. Either way, I'm as ready for Christmas as I'm going to get. I still have to put the emails out, so I will start on that here in a bit, and that will be it for this year.
I've also been busy getting my insurance figured out. The only time I can change is January 1st, but somehow I have a hard time sifting thru the double talk. My insurance takes my deductible as part of the monthly premium, and I can't get an answer what happens if I don't use it. I was told, everybody has a deductible, as if I haven't done this for the last 30 years..... I know I HAVE it, but besides my cancer checks, I haven't seen a doctor all year, so I shouldn't have USED any of it! In their defence, I guess, we got a bill from Mike's heart attack last July (a good 2 years after the fact!) so they're not very quick on sending them in, which means, the insurance can basically keep the money forever, just in case there's a straggling bill out there, but the money would come in awfully handy for paying bills that actually DID hit the mailbox, and are due now, so I want to change companies, to one that will ask for the money, when they actually need it.
I'm still busy looking for a job, but getting a little bit discouraged. I get a lot of age related rejections. The rules say that employers cannot discriminate, but if you get rejection after rejection that tells you that "you do not fit the demographics of the team" it's age related, politely put, but it still boils down to the same thing, or am I being negative? It just makes me more determined to get my web-design business going. I don't even mind if it is a regular job, as long as I can make a living at it, and enjoy the next 45 years of work.  I found out that all the years of benefits I built in the US, may be out the window, by us coming here, and I don't have any benefits built here, so I know I will be working until they nail that box shut, and all I'm hoping for now, is to at least have fun doing it.

On to more fun things....... I'm back on CT for Carena and Monja! YEAH!!!  I thought I finally had the internet conquered, but right after I mailed them, telling them so, it started acting up again. Checked into other ISP's and found out that there aren't any that are wiling to service this town, so we're kinda stuck with what we got. (I do this check every couple of months, not because I'm a glutton for punishment, but in hopes of being able to switch. LOL) I'm hoping for a rapid implementation of optic fiber, so they will want to set up service, and I'll be gone so fast all they'll see is dust :-) and for now.... we deal. But, I have been able to get done what I needed per their rules, so all I have to do is make sure I can keep that up. Boo has been busy, and her kits are flowing at an alarming rate, but she has a little more lea-way on the timeframes, most times, so I can do the pages and what nots, and ship them her way when the internet plays nice.
Downside on having the "fuzz brain" thing so long...... I promised a Point In Time challenge, and have yet to post it. At first, I plum forgot, and once I remembered, I thought that I just couldn't get my passwords straight anymore, and changed them, just to find out that the new ones didn't work either....... Turns out, for once, it wasn't on my end that things were squirrily.... All is fixed now, I saw on their blog this morning, so it's time to try it again after the Christmas mails are out, and hope I can figure out which password stuck. LOL!

Speaking of blogs! The Studio has a blogtrain going, and I saw that several designers have others running as well, so there are A LOT of neat things floating around, there to be picked up for a kind word of thanks to the designers.  I'm hoping to be able to actually do some downloading over the weekend :-)
Also at the Studio, there is an advent calendar with daily downloads. I missed A BUNCH of them, so I'm not even going to try and catch the remainder, but, that's just me.
Booland has her own thing going on her blog, as well....
Go check these out if you have a chance!

Last but certainly not least....... I'm NOT going to try and come back before the New Year, so....
from The Kelley Clan in Holland.

Be safe, hug the ones you love  and I'll 
See you next year!