The things we shipped arrived last week! And we’re so happy about that. The past couple of days we’ve been going through the boxes, unpacking a few things here and there and just feeling a lot more at home than before. Oh, and making a huge mess of our tiny studio apartment. But it’s really good to have it all here.

When we had to empty out the Dutch house in March (we had seven days to do that!) we ended up throwing a lot of stuff away, because it just didn’t fit into the trailer we decided to pack everything in. We could have bought a sea container and have more than enough space, of course, but that’s just the thing. More than enough space. We just didn’t own enough to fill it up with.
Some of your belongings weren’t logical to take with us either. Leather couch and chair? So uncomfortable in this heat. Ikea Kallax bookcases? Will be destroyed by the humid air in just a few years. Our mattresses? We were thinking about buying new ones anyway. You get the drift. It would have cost us thousands of euro’s to ship stuff that we would throw away soon anyway.

So we just went through everything we owned and ended up with shipping our bed (sans mattresses), our dining room table, 16 boxes, my sewing machines, two computer screens, and T.’s telescopes. The rest of it had to go.
The last two days were hard. We had to make tough decisions and I had to keep telling myself ‘It’s just stuff!’.
And that’s true. There are so many things that are way more important to me. Happiness and health. Family. Love. Friendship.

I already packed our photos and my favorite books. T. already packed his record player and his music. Those were the most important to us. And then we were exhausted and stressed out because of the time pressure and we just threw some things in boxes and other things in the trash.
Last week I realized that I didn’t remember what was in those boxes. I thought we’d packed my favorite pans, but I wasn’t sure. And I vaguely remembered putting some very personal items (my childhood teddy bears for instance) in a box, but I also remembered dumping my wedding dress at the thrift store. So I wasn’t sure what made the cut in the end.

It’s just stuff. I know. But I was so happy to dig out those teddy bears. The little basket I bought in South Africa. My tortoise pincushion. A quilt a very dear friend made for me. The little rug we bought in Turkey. My grandmothers’ old tins. My wedding veil, gloves, and purse. The little box holding jewelry the kids made me when they were little. My collection of stones and shells that I picked up all over the world. The little jar with sand from Australia. Things like that. Most of it is back into the boxes because I don’t know where to put it, but now I know it’s there.

It’s just stuff. I’d happily hand everything over if I could buy health and happiness for my family with it. And if we ever move to another country again, I may not take all these items with me. But for now, I’m just so happy with those little keepsakes.

A weekend full of sunsets

I emptied out the card of my camera after this weekend and I realized there were even more sunsets than usually. Ha! It apparently was the weekend of sunsets.
We started the weekend like we normally do. At the beach, eating some fries and having a few drinks. We don’t always get to watch the sunset, because sometimes we’re at the beach club and you can’t really see it from there. But this time we were later and still walking around. I actually prefer that time schedule…
On Saturday it was King’s Day in the Netherland and since Curaçao is part of the Kingdom, there was a lot of celebrating going on here too. The two of us walked around on the flea market. I was looking for a basket for my knitting and some other houseware, but all I bought was a Caribean cooking book. Oh well, I’ll keep looking.
In the afternoon we met up with some friend from Germany and the US. It was kind of funny because I was wondering what they wanted to do on King’s Day. They’re not really types to enjoy a flea market. Ha! Well, to them King’s Day is just one big happy hour. I’m not a drinker (just the occasional small glass of wine), so I never saw that one coming.
We just tagged along and went home before they got too drunk. And I took a little time-out to watch the sunset at one of the bars we visited. That (and a nice conversation with a Swiss woman who wasn’t drinking too much either) was exactly what I needed to find the courage to stay a few more hours. For some of them, it’s hard to accept that I don’t drink and that I don’t talk too much, but they are starting to accept me for who I am. I sometimes feel uncomfortable around extrovert (and slightly drunk) people, but I also kinda like who I am, so I don’t want to change just to fit in.
Anyway. Sunday was business as usual. Just the two of us, driving west to visit the maybe house. But this time we did a little breaking and entering. Or actually, we didn’t break anything, since one of the windows and the iron bars that should protect it were already missing. We just stepped inside.
We have been tempted to do that for weeks, but this time we were walking at the back of the house and we finally met the neighbor. So we just told him who we were, had a little talk, told him we were waiting for the tax office and then we would officially get the keys and then just casually mentioned we were stepping inside for a minute. He didn’t care, so we went in. So nice to see the inside again! We just saw it once, but my memory of how it was laid out was extremely accurate.
I took a lot of pictures, but they need some touching up and I’m running out of time, but look at the view from the room we want to use as a living room/ home office! Isn’t that incredible?
After that visit, we had our Sunday picknick (I was going to share the recipe for the salad I made, but it needs a bit of tweaking) and went home for a bit of knitting (well, that was just me) and napping (the both of us, and the cat).
And then we went out again to eat a little snack, have a little drink and watch another sunset at our favorite place.

It was a wonderful weekend.
How was yours?

And bon siman (a good week) to all of you!

The colors of a sunset

Last Sinterklaas I got five skeins of cotton yarn from the girls. They didn’t select them to go together (I just asked for cotton to add to my stash), but when I was thinking about what to make with them, I realised they actually do. So I decided to start a shawl with them.
It took me a while to actually get into knitting again, but now I’m back at it. Can’t stop knitting.
The pattern is just something I made up when I felt the stockinette was getting too boring. I also decided to alternate colors with each pattern repeat. My first idea was to do big color blocks, but this is much more fun. It actually works up pretty fast and I love how it looks.
The colors remind me of a sunset at sea and I love seeing the shawl grow.

Linking up with Frontier Dreams’ Crafting On

Our weekend

We had the most wonderful Easter Weekend. Well, in fact, we’re still having a wonderful weekend, since it’s the Second Day of Easter (that’s a real thing in Holland and apparently also in the Dutch Caribean).
Good Friday is also a thing here on the island, but very different from Holland. Not only schools and offices are closed, but also shops and even supermarkets. So weird. They’re open on Easter Sunday, but not on Good Friday.
First, we thought we’d just keep working, but it was so silent and relaxed around us, that we just finished the most important things and then we went with the flow. T. helped our landlord to fix the remote opener of his gate and then we drove to the west to visit our maybe home (it’s still not ours, we’re waiting for the tax office to respond to a request by the notary now), We do that often, but this time we got out of the car and walked around, dreaming, talking.
Then we went to Mambo Beach for our Friday night tradition of eating fries at Aloha Beach bar and having a few drinks at Bonita.
On Saturday we had a very relaxed day. T. fixed something on our car (the break missed a few bolts) and I decided I wanted the apartment to be clean for Easter. That was a very last minute thought, but it took me only about four hours to deep clean it. That’s the good side of living in only 215 square feet (ha! that sounds so much bigger than 20 square meters!)
I even washed the curtains, which I guess none of the previous renters had ever done before.
Then we just relaxed for a while and read and knit, because we were going to a friend’s house at three o’clock. At least that was the plan, but he got stuck at work. So we delayed the appointment to the evening and just kept reading and knitting.
We had a good evening with that friend, admired his home and got some great ideas for ours.
On Sunday we had Easter breakfast like we traditionally did with the girls. Freshly baked rolls and croissants, eggs and some watermelon instead of orange juice (because forgot to buy juice) Then T. tried to help our landlord to fix a refrigerator, but it didn’t work out. He did have fun with it (can you tell we’re both really ready for a home and garden and stuff of our own to take care of?).
I packed our lunch and we went out for a drive west again, but apparently, everybody else on the island was. It was extremely crowded everywhere. Even on the quiet beach we usually eat our Sunday lunches. People were actually camping there.
We’ve never been on the island on days like this before, always spent holidays home, so this is a first for us. But we liked seeing how people spent their Easter Weekend.
We spent Sunday evening at our usual beach bar to enjoy the (rock/blues) music and the sunset.
Today the local people celebrate a harvest festival, Seu. There’s a big parade, but we’re not sure if we’re going to watch it. If you don’t have connections or money to be one of the lucky ones with a seat on the shaded chairs and benches waiting for the parade to pass by can be quite exhausting.
So we’ll just see where this day will take us. I am looking forward to knitting. Somehow my knitting mojo returned this weekend. So happy about that!
How was your weekend? Hope you had a great one too!

Three on Thursday

Feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. Moving to another country involves a lot of paperwork and here on Curaçao that means you have to physically pick up and deliver forms all over town. That takes a lot of time. I also have someone else’s novel to edit and some writing of my own to do. I got a weekly column on a big online magazine – six of them to start with, but if their audience like me I will become part of the team. I’d also like to write another novel (my 11th came out last month) and I have a lot of bookkeeping and household tasks to catch up with.

But I still can’t keep my mind of blogging. I miss it and the connections I’ve found through it. I like Instagram, but it just doesn’t feel the same way. I tend to think a while about comments before I actually post them and love when I get a reaction, but on Instagram I just press the heart and keep scrolling.
So I decided to try and post on my blog a bit more again. Get into the habit again, visit my list of favorite blogs and comment more often.

I really have to stop myself from making too many plans for this blog though. See #1. For now I’ll just try to post once a week and I’ll take it from there.

How have you been? (I’m going to catch up on all your blogs soon, I promise!)