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!

Right now

Right now I am…

:: listening to the “top 4000” on our favorite radio station. This is a yearly compromise in our house. I’d love to be full on Christmas music right now, but I don’t think T. would be able to tolerate that. Also, I love hearing all those great songs (most people voting have more or less the same taste as we do) and we will have Christmas music when it’s actually Christmas.

:: not sure what to think of the weather these days. When we arrived in The Netherlands last week, it was extremely cold for the time of year. We do have periods of -10 degrees C (14 F), but usually not until the end of january. Christmas is often warmer then Easter (really, not joking), so the whole country was actually getting excited about skating and real winter stuff. Well, it’s raining now and it will be +10 C (50F) tomorrow and the rest of the year. Oh well… For us it’s still cold anyway.

:: looking forward to seeing R. (not disclosing his full name, sorry) again tomorrow. He’s so beautiful and cute and I’m so grateful that we were able to visit him when he was only one day old and will be able to see him a few more times during these first weeks of his life.

:: still struggling with jetlag, or maybe just with my “normal” fatigue and insomnia (I got sick the month before we left and never fully healed). It’s frustrating, but I’m trying to fully enjoy the short time we have with our family. If that means I have to live on chamomile (at night) and coffee (during the day), it’s okay for now. I’ll deal with the aftermath when we’re back home.

:: promising myself to fully focus on my health when we’re back home.

:: hearing the rain on the roof

:: feeling grateful to have that roof over our heads. It’s not home, but it is ours and that takes away a lot of stress. When we were renting, I was always a bit OCD about other people’s germs, but also very scared to damage something. Also, it’s so great to just know where everything is, both in the cabin and in the village.

:: thinking about Christmas Eve. We’ll probably go to the new parents’ home, but I promised I’ll prepare and cook diner, and we’ll all chip in to get things cleaned up afterwards. I’m not going to make it complicated, just simple food we all love. Thinking about doing veggies and potatoes in the oven, but I need to ask if they have sheet pans. Or just buy them. Add some nice meat (the new mother is very excited to be able to eat red meat again) and find ourselves a gluten/dairy/soy/nut free dessert (ha! that’s impossible, but luckily I’m the only one that has all those allergies, not to mention overreacting to sugar – I usually skip dessert).
No matter what, it will be great to have Christmas dinner together again for the first time since 2019 (I hope I didn’t jinx it by writing this) and that’s what’s most important.

:: wondering if I’m finally learning not to stress about things like that, or if I’m just too tired to worry.

:: wishing you all a great start to your week!


I am reading a book. Well, I am reading many books. Most of them just simple novels that I fly through in a few days (I love “paranormal cozy detectives” and luckily my ereader subsciption has a big supply of those). But this book, I’m just reading slowly, one chapter at a time. I’m not going to tell you what book it is, because that would kind of force me to write a whole lot of words about what I think of it and frankly, I’m not sure at all if I like it or not.

But in one of the very first chapters, the writer mentioned that we live our lives in cycles. Not just our hormonal cycles, but in many, many ways, far beyond that. She then proceeds to compare those cycles to the moon cycles and the seasons. I can relate to moon cycles, but I really don’t like that most books with nature based philosophies assume everyone lives in a region with real, distinctive seasons – I never did and a lot of of us don’t. But I digress.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. You know, I have this image in my mind of how (or who?) I’d like to be. And sometimes I am that woman. But other times, I’m not. I always blamed myself for not being consistent, for “falling off the bandwagon”. But life is not static. We move in circles. Or ideally in an upward spiral, evolving and growing each time we go around, but I guess it takes a lifetime to really see that growth.

But the point is, it’s not wrong to have ups and downs, it’s part of the cycle. Like dark moons and full moons, like ebb and flow, and – okay – like winter and summer.

So now I’m trying to accept that, and I’m striving to understand my cycles. In all aspects of life.

Energy levels for instance. That’s a big one for me. I have very active days, but they are always followed by days of exhaustion. People tell me all the time that I should spread my activity, but that just doesn’t work. Or they just think I’m exaggerating my being tired, because the other day I was fully capable of doing so much.
And then I feel frustrated being so “weak”. But since I’m trying to incoorporated this idea of cycles in my life, I am slowly learning to accept that I have these tired days (sometimes weeks). Because now I have hope. The active days will come again.

Herbs are a big part of my life, but sometimes I’m almost obsessed with studying and using them, and other times I’m just drinking my chamomile tea and leave it at that. And it’s the same with my other interests and hobbies; knitting, sewing, writing, reading, gardening, photography… I always feel like I should stick with one thing and immerse myself in it every single day. But my interests come and go, and come again. I’m not inconsistent, I’m just moving in cycles.

This way of thinking actually helps me to understand myself better. And more importantly: to finally accept myself for who I am.

And that’s why I’m sharing this. Because maybe you need to hear it too. It’s normal to have lesser days. You can’t always be a full moon, high water, or a summer. Sometimes you need to take a step back. And that’s okay. Time will turn and good days will come again.

Getting there

Thanks for all the well-wishes on my last post. I’m getting there. Still not feeling completely up to writing comprehensive sentences (and probably overthinking my posts way too much because I’m a bit off emotionally) , but defintely better than last week.
I’m sorry for posting a non-post again, but don’t worry, I am working on real posts for the rest of the week, so I hope to be back with something a bit more interesting on Wednesday.

Hope you’re having a good start of the week!

Hi there

Oh, oops! I really wanted to post something today, but the day just slipped away (it’s 4:30 PM already). They all seem to do that, lately. We’ve been in full lockdown for over a month now and it’s wearing us out. But the numbers are going down fast, so it is working and we hope life will be a bit more normal soon. Not that we would have been going anywhere these past few weeks. I’ve been sick a lot, moving from ear infections to headaches and back to ear infections again, and ending with just plain exhaustion. Though that last part (right now) may be a side effect of the vaccine I got last week. 

In happier news: we decided to book a trip to the Netherlands. A few weeks ago, I told T. that all I wanted for my 50th birthday (in a few weeks) was to visit the children and yesterday he decided it was time to do just that. We leave next Tuesday (!), so I have one week to get my act together. You know, clean the whole house, loose that weight, get the garden done, finish work, get my body into shape, …

Ha, just kidding… Sort of. I know I can’t do all of that, but I do want to get my act together. Leave the house at least semi-clean and have a plan for the rest when we return. We’re only staying there for a week, so it’s not a big deal to leave things undone, but I hope it will be a bit of a reset. We’re staying in a hotel, so all I have to do that week is sleep, eat and visit people I love. It would be nice to come home and not pick up my stress and depression where I left it.

I just got off a phone call with my dad. He didn’t see the text message I sent him yesterday, so he was delighted when I told him we were coming. We have a big trip planned for September, when one of the girls is getting married, but I often worry that he won’t make it to that date. It feels good to know we’ll see him next week. And maybe I’ll stop worrying if I can see with my own eyes how he’s doing.

Anyway… I guess I have to make a list of things to do and – more importantly – a list of things to let go off.

Wishing you all a great week!

My week – habit style

Had a productive morning, called my parents after lunch. It went downhill from there. I have a hard time accepting things the way they are.

Wrote 5,000 words again. Thought about photography. Despite everything that’s going on my creative side seems to be waking up.

Driving to town, thinking out loud, I felt I could handle it all. But I lost my train of thought in the shops and now I don’t remember what made me feel that way.

I felt like it only gets worse every day. But then we went for a swim and all was well with the world – at least for a while.

Life going (more or less) back to normal feels surreal. Curfew was pushed back to midnight, so we stayed at the bar until after nine just because we could.

Woke up feeling hungover (only drank water last night), went to the beach, and did nothing all day. My mind is working hard to make sense of things and that takes a lot of energy.

I started the day right, but then I lost my energy and focus. The rest of the day was… well, there’s always tomorrow.

inspired by Habit Blog

My week – habit style

When Elizabeth mentioned Habit was back, I was really excited. I used to love the pictures and words they posted back in the days and I always wished I could do something like that too, but I never really felt like I got it. But times have changed and I’m in a blogging rut anyway. So stirring up my love for photography and limiting myself to 36 words might just be right for me right now.
Here’s last week (starting Tuesday).

I may not know (or use) all the fancy words, but I do know what really matters. I’m eager to learn more, but I need to trust my experience and intuition too.

:: :: ::

My body wanted a lot of salad, and I was happy to oblige. Gathered with friends (we’re allowed to do that again). Didn’t realize how much I missed these people until I saw them again.

:: :: ::


Had a painful night. After way too much stress-related grinding and clenching, my tooth didn’t agree with the carrots I snacked on last evening. Writing was rather productive until I started doubting myself again.

:: :: :: 

Work went well (wrote 5,000 words), the rest of the day is a blur.

:: :: :: 

On my birthday I allowed myself to do whatever I wanted, so I ate all the wrong things because that was the easy part. Not sure if that was the best way to go.

:: :: :: 

Felt inspired to take self-portraits. Didn’t recognize the woman in the picture. These past few months really show.

This weekend

This weekend I…

:: realized that our we-were-supposed-to-be-in-the-Netherlands period ended this Friday. I can’t explain it, but I feel a lot better now. Like a fog has lifted. Easier to accept that we couldn’t be there, now that we would have been back here again, I guess.

:: went on a little road trip with T. on Friday. Lockdown had been lifted here, we are allowed to be out on the road each day again and shops and restaurants are open for business (under strict rules of hygiene and social distancing). We thought we were only going to see if our favorite restaurant was open for take-out (we were craving pizza or fries). It wasn’t, so T. proposed to drive all the way to Mambo Beach to see if the place we used to buy fries at was open. It was! And the beach bar next to it was open too, so we stayed for a drink.

:: worked in the garden on Saturday. I have a lot of plants in containers and I had seedlings that needed bigger containers. Have I told you how much I love working with plants and sticking my hands in the soil? Only about every time I mention the garden, I think?

:: went to the beach with T. We did have a beach date with a large group of friends, but they wanted to go to a paid beach, that warned that they would close if it got too busy. So our friends decided that, to make sure they got in, they would be there at eight. In the morning. Well, good for them, but that was not our idea of being free to go whenever we wanted again. So we worked in the garden (me) and on the computer (him) and then we went to a free, local beach. And that was great.

:: sent my mother some roses. She’s still hanging on and though she’s not feeling too well and very tired, she’s still determined to live what’s left of her life to the fullest, enjoying every minute that she can connect be out in the garden, smell the roses (literally – she loves flowers), and connect with all the lovely people visiting her and me calling her as often as I can.

:: received love from a distance from my girls on Sunday. Messages, phone calls, money wired to us to “do something fun” (I think I want to use that and my birthday budget to buy some citrus trees). I tried really hard not to think about how Mother’s Day used to be (busy with visits from the girls and to my mom) and soaked up what I got.

:: totally forgot to take pictures to go with this post, so I grabbed an old one.

Wishing you all a great week!

DITL :: look what he built!

Last Friday I didn’t know yet that I’d decide to keep doing the day in the life blogs, but to do combine Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for a Monday post and do Monday through Thursday on Friday (um, does that make sense to you? – doesn’t matter, it does to me). So I didn’t really take pictures of what I was doing, except for this one of me grating ginger. I’m trying to make ginger oil.

On Saturday, I spent a bit of time in the garden, but I had a headache (again!), so I mostly sat in the shadow and read (an Agatha Christie novel – The Pale Horse) and we had this beautiful sunset.

On Sunday we had a lot of visitors. Of the iguana kind, that is. I guess they’re hungry (it’s been dry for a while) because they’re coming closer and closer, hoping to find some greens.

I spent a lot of time with this book lately. It’s about the medicinal herbs that grow or are widely available on Curaçao. Very interesting, though I wish it had better pictures and/or drawings of the plants. I don’t think I can identify them with the information in this book. But we’ll see if the internet can help with that. I was planning on visiting her garden (where she grows most of the herbs and trees she mentions), but it’s closed because of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, T. got busy with scrap wood (beams from the rotting balcony we removed and ceiling panels that used to be in the kitchen) and built me this planter table. Isn’t it great? He even added some protection. The birds seem to love some of my seeds.

And then he was on a roll and built me two other ones that fit exactly under the windows in the kitchen. We were out of screen material, so no protection here. You can vaguely see the plastic bottle I used instead. In the other planter, I started aubergine from the fruit and turmeric and ginger from the roots.

Loved the meal I made (I don’t always do). This was minced meat, a yellow onion, a leek, a zucchini and a little can of small red beans. I added shredded turmeric and black pepper for taste.

Sunset. My camera didn’t really catch the colors again. It was a much deeper red.

A bit of knitting to end my day. The shawl is going slowly, but it is growing.

How was your weekend?


DITL :: 4.8-10.2020

Good morning! Trying to catch up again (though I have a really hard time to find words today). This was Wednesday. I decided to be done with that headache and went shopping.

I did it! And that was all I did that day. It’s still just a headache (no cough, no fever), but it keeps going a lot longer than normal.

Dinner. Boneless chicken thigh,  Kippendijfilet, beansprouts, zucchini, eggplant and a can of green pepper puree.

It looked nice and it was edible, but that “a tart and citrusy flavor” of the puree was not our thing.

I forgot to take a picture until the sun was already down, but the sky afterward is always nice too.

Thursday morning. What a night! Had nightmares about lions and tigers attacking my children. I have those sometimes and usually, that means that I’m sick. It’s still just a headache though.

The moon is setting, the sun is rising.

Ah, there he is. Every. Single. Day.
It’s one of those days again. I wish I was more productive, but I’m just too tired, can’t concentrate, can’t see clearly and it hurts too much.

Anyway. At night T. makes a fire in the bbq again.

And I make a simple salad. On the bbq: chicken leg, corn cobs and beef.

And then the sun is down again.

Friday morning. I slept rather well and I feel a bit better. This is part three of that series of books about the woman from New Jersey that solves murders (but not because she’s so good at it). The keep getting better!

I finally felt up to doing some work. Taxes done for the month (and the quarterly ones too). Now I can try to stay away from the computer this weekend.

I did a load of laundry,

made the bed,

and did a little bit of cleaning in the bathrooms.
It’s not much and I was really tired when I finished, but it felt good to pick up a bit of that daily routine again.

My second avocado is coming up! I posted a link to a tutorial on how to grow avocado earlier and those people really want me to link to them again (I got emails about it), but the truth is I didn’t follow that tutorial. I just stuck the pit in soil, watered it and had a lot of patience.
This does me want to do something with my other plants and in the garden, but I’m really tired again, so it will have to wait.

I decided to take some time to update my DITL blogging (but I’m not sure if I want to keep this up) and now I’m going to knit and watch some youtube. That’s not computer free, I know, but it does feel like a nice start to my weekend.

Wishing you all a great Easter weekend!