Ten things

Ten things that make me happy right now:

Sunsets. Of course. But also the fact that we’re trying to actually sit on the porch and watch them again. It’s the little things that count

    Headspace. I’ve been completely off Instagram and Youtube for a week now. My goodness. I had no idea mindless scrolling took so much mental energy. Well, to be honest, I suspected it, but I didn’t want to admit it might be better to quit doing that. But it is.

    Knitting. When it clicks, that is, and it did. I’m happily knitting away on the BSJ and I’m thinking to start being active on Ravelry (I have a sleeping account to be able to view patterns) again, just for fun

    Seeing some progress in the garden and actually enjoying working at it. . I do believe I’ll get it under control soon.

    Cats, birds, iguana’s. Love watching them.

    Counting down the days until we go to The Netherlands. Can’t wait to see our grandson. When we last saw him, he was only 18 days old. He wll be 5 months when we see him again.

    The plans T. and I are talking about, for the house and the land we have. It will take years to complete, but we are slowly getting to the point where we know what we want, instead of just calling out possibilities (love those talks too, by the way).

    The wisdom (?) that comes with time. Not too long ago I wasn’t too happy with the plans I mentioned above, since it meant I had to give up my dream to cultivate all the land we have into a giant botanical garden. I’ve always dreamt of maintaining a really, really big garden, but in the past few years I’ve learnt that I’m not a “niche” person, nor will I ever be. I love gardening, but I also want to have time to knit, sew, write, cook and who knows what else I come up with. And I’m not getting any younger. So I’m happy with the two big lots I have to play with (still more land than we ever owned before), but I’m also happy that it’s getting more and more clear what parts will be used for other things eventually.

    My plants. I bought a new one when I was grocery shopping this week. I love the name on the tag: African Queen. I don’t know what species it is, though. Google tells me there are a lot of plants that are called African Queen.

    Being able to list ten things I’m happy about (yeah, I know, I’m kind of cheating here). The cloud of depression is finally lifting, slowly, but steadily.

    And you? What makes you happy today?

    Wishing you all a great start to your week!

    Monday musings

    Happy Easter Monday!

    Is that a thing where you are? It is in the Netherlands, and also here on the island. So despite my intention to start full on blogging again, I’m now on my phone, trying to at least post something, while we’re still in long-weekend mode.

    Today is also Seú, the harvest parade, and one day we’ll go and watch that, but I think we’re staying home today.

    Our weekend wasn’t a typical Holiday weekend, but it was a good one. We moved our new batteries (150 pounds each) to their spot in the garage, cleaned out said garage (which is not an actual garage, too small for even a tiny car to fit in, but it has a garage door) and than I also cleaned out the shed (which is not an actual shed – remember the little outdoot toilet? we converted that to storage for tools).

    I’m always surprised by the amount of trash I end up with after a good clean out. I’m pretty sure we don’t deliberately throw trash in those spaces. Anyway, things look a lot better and organized now.

    Tomorrow marks one year since we traveled to The Netherlands in a panic because my father was very ill and then stayed until late August to help him move to a care home and take care of emptying out his apartment. I can’t explain exactly how, but that time messed me up so badly. I am grateful we got to do all that, but I feel like the tiny bit of roots I had finally planted here were torn off. I didn’t feel at home in The Netherlands either, but I’ve been struggling with being back here too. I’m always on edge because it is inevitable that we will get that phonecall again. I know we won’t have to stay for months again if that happens, but my mind is telling me not to settle down, because I am afraid will be uprooted again. I am trying to fight it, but it’s hard. My first focus is always to get the house and the garden in a “we can leave immediately” state. I haven’t even been enjoying working in the garden; I’m just trying to prepare it to be ignored again.

    I switched to my laptop to write that last part, because typing that on a tiny on screen keyboard was impossible. I wasn’t planning on writing about it, but I think I’m going to post it anyway. Don’t worry, I am working on it. The first step in healing is to know what you’re healing from, isn’t it? And putting it out there may be just the thing I needed to do to make it more tangible.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to make this a sad post again. The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. It’s going to be a good day.

    Wishing you all a great Monday and a good start to your week!

    (unrelated picture of a Warawara – I love their haughty attitude)

    Checking in

    No, I didn’t quit blogging again. I just skipped a post and than another one and before I knew it I stopped blogging completely and had a hard time starting again. I’ve been thinking about blogging a lot, but somehow I couldn’t find my way back. I kept thinking that I needed something worth posting about and nothing seemed important enough to sit down and write about. Silly, I know. Did I ever write about something important? It’s all just simple day-to-day things around here. Knitting, cooking, gardening, pretty flowers, beautiful sunsets… you know the drill.

    But I guess that’s just the problem. A lot of things happened, but nothing I tend to blog about. My husband had a health scare (a new one – I’m used to some things, but this one was different), my father went through another round of pneumonia, I managed to burn myself badly (my teapot spontaneously broke just when I topped it off with boiling water) and my daughter came over for two weeks vacation but got some very sad news while she was here. It’s just life happening, but I guess there’s a limit to what one can handle in just a few weeks.

    Anyway, I’m going to try to get back to it. I feel a bit rusty, but it’s time. I did miss talking to you all.

    Today I just wanted to check in and say hi. Next week I’m going to try “real posts” again (whatever that may mean).

    Wishing you all a wonderful Easter weekend and I hope to be back here on Monday!

    So much pink

    In other garden news ( I know… I hope to have something else to blog about soon): I really, really want to have a lot of bougainvillea in my garden. So when our neighbor was cutting his back, we asked for some branches to take cuttings.

    If they all root (that can take 3-4 months!) we will have plenty of bright pink in our garden. But to be completely honest, I have never done this before, so just hope one of them will grow up to be a big shrub like our neighbor’s.

    I collected the flowers to dry them. They are supposed to have some medical use (need to do a bit more research on that), but I also really like the color. It will be fun to have a jar of them around.

    Back at it (hopefully)

    Oh hi! Sorry for disappearing on you. I was very determined to keep posting three times a week, but when I realized that all my posts would end up with just me whining about feeling sick, I decided to not do that.

    Yes, I was sick again. Or maybe, still sick (I’ve been on and off since September), I don’t know. I had a fever this time, though I’m not sure how high it actually was. I did temp myself and it was quite high for about 10 days, but then I bought a new thermometer (the old one was falling apart and the battery was dying) and that one displayed completely different (lower) temperatures. So weird, but T. had a technological explanation for it, so I now believe the new one. And just like that, I’m fever free. But still very, very tired. I did some garden work over the weekend, but today I just can’t get my body into action and that is so frustrating. The fever was a good reason to rest, but now I feel like I’m just being lazy.

    Anyway, this is exactly what I didn’t want to do. I’m going to try to get back on the bandwagon and post garden pictures and things like that (knitting? yeah, that would be fun – I seem to have lost my mojo though), but if I don’t… well, you now know why that would be.

    Wishing you all a great week!

    An uninvited guest

    Well, yes. That’s one of my garden gloves and it’not empty. It’s kind of silly, we know to always shake out our shoes or garden clogs before sticking our toes in them (our scorpions aren’t deadly, but their sting does hurt like crazy). But it never occurred to me to check my gloves.

    Luckily this glove started moving when I picked it up, so I didn’t stick my hand in it yet. You can imagine I dropped it immediatly (I may have screamed).

    And then it took me ten minutes to get that lizard out. They act dead when they feel threatened, so poking with a stick didn”t work. I was too scared to pick the glove up with my hands (some of these lizards have a nasty bite), so I used my long handled but very blunt pruning shears and accepted the risk that I would cut off the finger of the glove.(I didn’t). After a few shakes the lizard dropped out. It ran off so fast that I couldn’t take a picture of it to complete this story (how rude!).

    Oh my… that was an exciting start to my day!

    I found it!

    I finally found the library! Yeah, I know that sounds silly, but they moved in the summer (when we were away) and I just couldn’t find the adress they listed on the website (google maps isn’t all that acurate here). But two weeks ago, I suddenly saw them, right at the side of the road I drive on almost weekly, because it connects the two supermarkets I go to most frequently. That’s so great!

    I usually get books on alternative medicine or regional history and stories from the library. They have a lot of books in their collection that are no longer for sale.

    What I took home with me this time, top to bottom:
    – in the 60’s a priest asked local people for stories about the past and lore. He wrote them all down without comments or analyzing. His books are such a great source!
    – a book about menopause. I’m still trying to figure out some facts about that.
    – the first book of our famous island herbalist. I bought the other one, but this one is out of print. I have borrowed this many, many times and I’m slowly copying the information in my notebooks.
    – a book about the healing powers of water. Could be interesting if they don’t go over-the-top with the spiritual stuff (that’s an extremely fine line with me)

    I think they also have a good selection of fiction, but I read a lot of novels on my e-reader, so I’m never really checked those out.
    Since I know people will ask what fiction I’m reading: I’m on a Morgana Best binge – if you like cozy mysteries with a bit of paranormal, you should check her out. I just finished 18 (!) books in the Kitchen Witch series and now I’m binging her Vampire and Wine series. I also read Practical Magic and it’s prequel Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman. Yeah, there’s theme in my reading these days 😉

    Things that make me happy

    I’ve been wanting to make a post like this for a while, but I really hoped to get a list of ten and I never got that far. Oh well, baby steps. Three is good too.

    One: Tea. Tea in general, but this tea is very good. And yes, drinking that specific tea means… let’s just focus on the good stuff, okay? (part of me wants to whine about being sick all the time, but I’m trying to keep myself from doing that – and isn’t this a sneaky way to do it anyway?)

    Two: The birds are back! We stopped feeding them because they hardly ate any of that sugar (they are called sugar thieves for a reason), but I guess there aren’t as many flowers anymore. It’s so fun to watch tem.

    Three: The sky. I know, I’m a broken record about this. But it’s true. It’s so beautiful, Sometimes I forget to look, but when I remember it always makes me feel so much better.

    A simple truth

    “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton
    (quote found here)

    I was looking for a quote that would sound more beautiful, poetic, literary, magical, spiritual, I don’t know.
    But this one resonated with me. Because it’s the simple truth.


    I’m having one of those I’m-not-feeling-so-well-weeks (actually it’s week two already) and I’m running out of blogposts. I usually have some prepared, or at least a list of ideas of what I can write, but I’m coming up empty today. I browsed last week photo’s and saw I took pictures of the clocks in our house, but I can’t even remember why I did that. Was I going to talk about time? I do think a lot about time, so I probably was.

    But what was the POV for that post? That you might want to stop time, stop aging, but you can’t? That I suddenly find myself to have moved up a generation? It’s true. Since my mom died I am (at 51) the oldest woman in our immediate family and now that we have a grandson, I feel that shift even clearer. I’m “oma” now (people have been asking what I’m calling myself. “Oma” is the usual word for grandmother in Dutch, so I’m sticking with that). Lots of thoughts and feelings about that, but was that really what I wanted to share? I don’t know.

    Or was I going to say the opposite? That no matter how much time passes, I find that I actually didn’t change all that much, even though I have so much more life experience? I can cope with things better now, at least on the outside, but on the inside? Still that shy, insecure little dreamer I was 40 years ago.

    Maybe I was just going to muse about how time seems to fly some days, while other days just won’t end. But we all know that, don’t we? Time flies when you’re having fun.

    Or was I going to write about my poor time management? About the fact that I’m just not capable of keeping a schedule and fitting everything in? I wrote about priorities a few weeks ago, but well… eating my own words now. I’m having a really hard time deciding what is most important. All the things I want to do seem equally important and I really want to fit them all in, but I could use an extra hour (or five) every day.

    Anyway, to be honest I don’t even have time to write elaborate blogposts today. I have a long list of other things to do. And a headache. Oh well, I’ll manage. And at least this ended up being a blogpost of sorts.

    Hope you all have a wonderful day!