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?


  1. Just reading all that made me dizzy!

    There´s a lot I could comment on but I think what struck me most was what you said about how unfortunate it is that old crafts - and craftsmen/women - are dying out. Computers have a lot to answer for,,both good and bad, but in this case mostly bad...and sad.

  2. I´ve finally found the time to take a trip to the castle....well, virtually, through your blog and I have to say that the spooky castle by moonlight photo would be absolutely perfect for today. By the way, you´ve just got to visit Scotland sometime. You can hardly move in my homeland without tripping over a ruin...and, by that, I don´t mean the drunks falling out of pubs at closing time...