Thrift store therapy

Today I decided that I needed a little bit of help with my not-so-severe, but lingering depression/burn-out/stress, so I drove to town to find myself some rhodiola, because what I read about it is giving me high hopes that this will work for me (disclaimer: don’t take my advice on these things, do your own research and ask a doctor).

On the way home I had to stop at the thrift store, because, you know, that’s what I do. It makes me happy.

Here’s what I found:

  • A book about first aid (because every home needs one, in my opinion and also because I like to read books like that every once in a while to feel prepared for when something happens)
  • A little pouch. I thought I wanted it to organize stuff in my purse, but now I think I might use it for my growing stash of knitting notions (I left the pink pouch Elizabeth made me many years ago at home)
  • Some yarn. I’m thinking about starting a scrap blanket. It will be fun to pick up yarn for that every time I’m at a thrift store and it will provide some mindless knitting. I need that.
  • A giant stack of magazines. The title literally translated is “Country living”, but that’s actually another magazine. Love that one too, but this one is more about the actual living (keeping live stock, gardening, recipes) thought it does have articles about beautiful country houses too. I was tempted to buy the newest one in the supermarket, but it’s expensive, so I put it back. Now I have 13 for not even half the price! I don’t care that they’re older. Ducks will be ducks šŸ˜‰
  • Two glass jars. I have some herbal teas that need jars, or maybe I’ll use them for sugar and powdered milk. Endless possibilities.
  • Not pictured: a little kitchen shelve for herbs and spices. I’ll show that when I’ve hung it.
  • Also not pictured: cooler clothes. Four dresses/tunics and a skirt. I’m finally warm enough to ditch the woolen sweaters.

I paid 30 Euro and 5 cents for the whole lot. That’s more than I usually spend at a thrift store (most of it was for the clothes), but it’s still much cheaper than therapy…

Hello Summer!

Two years ago, a friend and I were talking about the pros and cons of living on CuraƧao. She was born and raised in Spain but lived in Ireland for a long time. We both agreed that we loved the warm weather, but we both missed having real seasons. After that talk I started to take a closer look at the cycles of nature on the island and I noticed that we do have seasons there. They’re just not as obvious and they feel opposite of the seasons in the north. Since summertime in the tropics is when it’s really hot, trees are bare and there aren’t many flowers in summer. Even the birds tend to be more quiet and hidden. In winter nature comes back to live again.

We have been in The Netherlands since April (though we went back for five days to take care of some things because we left in a hurry). I have seen the trees go from mostly bare to lush and green. I’ve seen the evergreens go from winter green to summer green (there’s a difference, I never really noticed that before).
I’ve also welcomed the arrival of warmer weather though I still feel cold most of the time. It’s hilarious to compare my cloths (sweaters, cardigans, leggings) to what everyone else is wearing (t-shirts, shorts, dresses). I really, really try to get used to colder temperatures again, but it’s not going so well. I’ve lived here for almost half a century. How can four years in the tropics change so much in my body system? It’s just weird.

Anyway. Seasons. “Real” seasons. T. thinks they’re overrated. He loves the tropics. Me? I’m not sure anymore.
But I am celebrating the arrival summer today, by noticing the green leaves and beautiful flowers, by trying to soak up the warmer weather and enjoying the sunlight on these long, long days.
(We also have shorter and longer days on CuraƧao, but there’s only 85 minutes difference between the shortest and the longest day. In the Netherlands the difference is 9 hours 7 minutes).

The wheel is turning, no matter where I am. And that’s actually a comforting thought.

A whole lot of nothing

Even though we’re home together almost every day of the week, I still feel like weekends should be a little bit more special. But sometimes it’s just not. We didn’t do much at all. Or maybe that made it special? I was planning on taking pictures, but the blogger in me is not fully awake yet. The picture above is all I have.

It was finally a bit warmer last Friday and Saturday (the rest of the country was complaining it was hot), so part of me felt more alive then I’ve felt since we arrived here, but the other part decided it was time for a three-day-headache, so I spent most of the weekend on the couch (again – I’ve been sick on and off for weeks months now).

We visited my father on Sunday for Father’s day. He was very happy to have all his children together for a little while (we arrived early and left shortly after my sister, brother and sister-in-law arrived).

Despite the headache, T. and I took a (short) walk in the woods both on Saturday and Sunday. I hope to keep that up during the week. I really need to get off that couch more. Living in a tiny cabin with a low-maintenance garden should be relaxing, but I find I’d rather be a bit more busy. Even though I’d like to be one of those really calm and relaxed people, I think I need the thrill of a to do list get me moving.

I do have a rather busy day ahead (well, sort of, compared to what I’m used to these days – twenty years ago I’d call this an easy day). I want to clean the cabin, wash the sheets, maybe organize some cupboards (at least the “pantry” – I shoved everything in there the last time I went grocery shopping and I can’t find anything anymore). I want to take that walk, need to pay some bills and this afternoon one of the girls will be visiting and staying for diner, so I have to see what I can make for that with what I have. T. is at a client’s, so I don’t have a car today.
Oh, and I also want to knit a bit. I was planning to show you the finished project of what I was working on in the picture above, but a few hours after I took it, I frogged the whole thing. Sometimes “winging it” doesn’t work out.

Anyway, it’s time to start tackling that to do list. Wishing you all a great start to your week!


We’re in The Netherlands for a few months because my father is not doing so well.This wasn’t the way I imagined to spend my summer and to be honest, I’d rather be home. It took me so long to really feel at home on CuraƧao and now I feel uprooted again. It’s quite tempting to wallow in frustration, fear, worry and all kinds of negativity.

But that’s not changing anything, so I’ve been trying real hard to stop, take a deep breath and notice the beauty of where we are right now.

It’s actually a very good place to be.

Time for tea

I was making myself some tea this morning and it suddenly occurred to me that this is definitely one of my characteristic things: I always end up buying a fancy teapot (at the thrift store). It may take me a while (on CuraƧao apparently nobody ever makes a pot of tea), but eventually I will find myself one (yes, even on CuraƧao, but it’s not as fancy as I’d like it to be).

Here in our cabin I happily replaced the simple glass Ikea teapot I was using before with this beauty.

Also, how cute are those flowers on the light and the little dish?

I know those simple glass Ikea teapots are perfectly usable and probably make a lot more sense for a vacation cabin that will be rented out to strangers eventually. And who really needs a teapot, a tealight and matching dish for the teabag in a vacation cabin anyway? Most people I know, including my own daughters, make tea in giant mugs and dump their bags in the sink even when they are in their own homes. My inner critic has been nagging me about this for a while now.
But you know what? These little treasures make me smile every single time I use them.
And I do think that’s a very good reason to keep them around.

(I am now on the lookout for a fancier tea glass or maybe even a cup and saucer)


I don’t know why I thought these roses would be yellow, but I love this dark red color they are turning out to be instead.
It’s always fun to get to know a new garden!
(no, we didn’t move again, we bought a vacation cabin in the Netherlands to stay in when we’re visiting family).

PS: I wrote a long-winding post about why I quit blogging a year ago and why I deleted my archives and why I’m back again and a whole lot more about blogging and my life and everything else, but I deleted it. Let’s just see what happens if I start posting again and take it from there.
PS 2: I don’t really think anyone is actually following this blog anymore, but I’m going to pretend someone is reading this. It’s easier to find my blogging voice again that way. But in case anyone is reading this: hi, thank you so much for visiting. Feel free to say hi in the comments šŸ˜‰