Saturday, 30 April 2011

Gratitude post – week 17

This might become a short post but than again I’m not so sure about this.

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” ~Cynthia Ozick

I’m really appreciative for having found this book. I’ve only read the first 10 pages and I’m enthralled. Wow, her writing style is captivating. I want to keep turning those pages. Her word choices are grand. Something to aspire.

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This is what one reviewer (Wendy Smith) said: There are passages in Marianne Wiggins's eighth novel so piercingly beautiful that I put the book down, shook my head and simply said, "Wow." I completely agree with this.

Thinking of getting this book too. Thanks Oprah for putting this one on your booklist.

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I think I will be indebted to Johnson & Johnson for a long time for coming up with this product. I usually get some when I’m in the UK as I haven’t been able to find it over here, in the Netherlands

image I’m thankful that I’ve had the summer flu. This hopefully means I’ve build up some resistance that will get me through the summer.

I’m thankful that we are having a sunny spring with nice temperatures to match. I do know that the farmers are praying for some rain and I wish them lots of rain over their pastures and fields but please let the little area around our home remain sunny for a little while longer. If the weatherman is right, I think I will get what I wish for.

I’m grateful that a friend showed me that looking at the world differently can create so many more possibilities. My narrowness thinking closed me off from seeing the alternatives. Het gave me a push. Do watch this. It might change you for ever!

I absolutely love quotes and there are some brilliant ones out there. Quotes let me ponder! The ones I choose this week, say something about my state of mind Wink

Life has taught me to think, but thinking has not taught me to live.
Alexander Herzen

I advise you to say your dream is possible and then overcome all inconveniences, ignore all the hassles and take a running leap through the hoop, even if it is in flames.Les Brown

I’m still in a bliss after watching the royal wedding.

Have I mentioned that I really love this magazine? Got this months issue when shopping at our local super market.

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Last but not least, I thank Weber. The company has engineered this great gas grill. 

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We will be having another BBQ-meal tonight. We are trying out the Reggae Reggae Sauce.  I’ll let you know if I’ve become a fan. By the way, I really should get an iPhone. Even Levi Root provides an app.

Royal wedding

I might have been one of the only people who thoroughly enjoyed watching the royal wedding of Kate and William yesterday. At least this is what the journalists and friends of mine want me to believe. 

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Photo from the NRC: Reuters / Dominic Lipinski.

Although I was hoping for a more passionate kiss, I had to do with this.

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Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald: Getty Images

Aren’t we lucky to live in this day and age. Having front row seats. I’m truly blessed.

Today is another day of celebrations. It is Koninginnedag or Queen's Day which is a national holiday in the Netherlands. But we are not like the Brits and create a bankholiday. As the 30th of April is today, a Saturday, it feels like any other weekend, only lots of people will be partying. Queen's Day celebrates the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands and is supposed to be a day of national unity and "togetherness" (Dutch: saamhorigheid). The tradition started on 31 August 1885, on the birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, later Queen Wilhelmina. Since 1949, after the accession of Queen Juliana, Queen's Day is Queen Juliana's birthday on 30 April. Although Queen Beatrix's birthday is on 31 January, she officially celebrates her birthday on 30 April in honour of her mother.

This is our Queen: Queen Beatrix

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As the Monarch, Queen Beatrix uses the Greater Coat of Arms of the Realm, (or "Grote Rijkswapen"). Very flashy.

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Sadly our family doesn’t have an coat of arms. We are common people Smile. Although I’m Dutch by birth I still get the jitters when I hear "God Save the Queen" it is an anthem used in a number of Commonwealth realms and British Crown Dependencies. This happened to me again yesterday. I remember singing it when I was a small child at primary school (in Sydney, Australia). Then at a certain stage we started to sing "Advance Australia Fair" which didn’t become the official national anthem of Australia until 1984. Which was after we left Australia and came to the Netherlands. So why do I remember singing it at high school? 

I also remember singing the America National Anthem. I won’t try to explain the goosebumps when I hear Barbara Streisand sing this. I visited a international school when I was 6 and 7 years old in Athens, Greece. Everyday at assembly we said this with our right hand on our heart while the anthem played. 

I pledge allegiance to the Flag
     of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:

     one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.

My ears zoom in when I hear these anthems. My body is on a all alert. Sadly the Dutch National Anthem - Het Wilhelmus – just doesn’t do it for me. I find it very depressing. I know this might not make me sound very patriotic.

I’m not much for crowds. Actually, I prefer to avoid them. So I will be basking in the sun in our backyard, enjoying the serenity.

Have a great day.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Update on Zoë’s quilt

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If you try to imagine 3 rows and 3 columns when looking at this quilt, you will imagine 9 blocks. I’ve done 7!! Not much more to do before I reach the end of this project. Well not quite, I still need to think what kind of binding will I put on.

Underneath you see a happy & content quilter.

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Linden & hydrangeas

The Linden trees are really growing and I think we got the little buggers (the aphids) before they created too much damage. I so love these Linden trees.

The hydrangeas are doing well too. But I do detect a blue hydrangea here and there. I’m sure I ordered only pink ones. Is it the soil or did we get some ‘others’???

2011_04_29_Zoës Quilt & front garden

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Oh happy Day!

Dreaming: to be able to sing like this. This gets my rhythm going. To be able to sing in a choir like this one, would give me joy. Where can I sign-up.

Did you know that this is the only traditional Gospel song ever to crossover and become a hit on the Pop charts. "Oh Happy Day" is a Protestant hymn that dates from 1755. Absolutely amazing that this hymnal is that old, 256 years old to be exact.

I think now I know why I like this song too.

George Harrison claimed he got the idea for this song from ‘Oh happy days’.

I realize I can’t sing like the lead singer Sylvie Desgroseilliers from the Choeur Gospel Célébration de Québec. But I can pretend when I drive in the car!! This is like my own little studio where I can pretend to be the lead singer Smile 

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days. I think I’ve caught the summer flu, early!! Getting my rhythm back with ‘oh happy days’. But going back to bed now to get energized.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Reflective Tuesday

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. Quote by John Burroughs

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Monday, 25 April 2011

the sign is up!!

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This afternoon Hubby hung up the sign above my study door. It looks pretty neat!

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.  ~Cynthia Ozick

Some other gratitude quotes

Gratitude is the best attitude.  ~Author Unknown

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.  ~Eric Hoffer

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Alpaca Australian Wool

A little while ago my sister became the sole agent for The House of Alpaca Pty Ltd for the following countries: The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. She has her own site up and running, click here. A childhood friend of my sister and her husband started their business in 1993. Do check-out their site.

I love alpacas and love their wool. I don’t know why I like them. Must have watched too many episodes of McLeod’s Daughers Wink.  I really would have loved to have visited the Alpaca show in Westerlee today. But it is a 2 hour drive, which I really didn’t feel like taking. Naturally my sister is going. Can’t wait to see the pictures she took.

Check-out this YouTube clip. This was filmed on an alpaca farm in the northern of the Netherlands. 

Here is a clip of some alpacas having fun.

I dream of owning a herd of alpacas one day. Well maybe not a herd, four or six alpacas will make me happy. I can imagine them in our (future) paddock. I sometimes pass an alpaca farm down the road. It is a beautiful and relaxing sight seeing them grazing in the paddock. Taking care of them will be time well worth spend. Maybe I will also take up spinning and knitting than Smile. In the mean time I will just stick to quilting.

Love this picture. Got it from this site here.

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This picture symbolizes new beginnings. Like most of us I too associate new beginnings with Easter and Spring. I’m also wondering where the name 'Easter' came from? It seems that pagan traditions gave us the English word "Easter" which comes from the word "Eostre". Rituals related to the goddess Eostre focus on new beginnings, symbolized by the Easter egg, and fertility, which is symbolized by the hare (or Easter bunny). The Anglo-Saxon word for April was "Eostre-monath" (the month of openings). Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ during Pascha, which derived from the Jewish festival of Passover. Pascha was most often celebrated in Eostremonath. You see the word Pascha come back in most translations of Happy Easter.

Regardless of one's religious inclinations Easter has always been associated with Spring, rebirth, and new beginnings. It’s a time to discard the burdens of the past and to make a fresh start.

Happy Easter

Vrolijk Pasen (Dutch)

Hyvää Pääsiäistä (Finnish)

Glad Påsk (Swedish)

Pasg Hapus (Welsh)

Joyeuses Pâques (French)

Gratitude – week 16

Friday was a good day. In the afternoon a friend helped me up-date my cv and gave many handy tips on how to use LinkedIn. Love learning new things and really appreciate it when friends make things a little easier. The day only got better as in the evening I was treated to a dinner at restaurant ‘de Waag’. When the dessert came they made it all special to celebrate my birthday. The dessert was brought to the table while they sang ‘happy birthday’ (in Dutch Wink). Lucky for me not too many people saw that I was blushing Embarrassed. But it wasn’t only my birthday this week. No, hubby celebrated his birthday also. Here is picture of the happy couple.

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And no, you can’t have a birthday without balloons.

I’m tickled that we could have another family BBQ in the garden. It is becoming a regular thing. Saturday afternoon was absolutely beautiful. Sunny weather and around 25 degrees Celsius. What could you wish for, more?

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I got lots of birthday cards. The postman delivered a few every day for the past couple of days. Always happy when you notice that friends remember. Actually it makes me ecstatic. Facebook is another medium to receive birthday wishes. The great thing about Facebook, they pop-up throughout the day. I’ll relish these messages till my next birthday comes along. 

Delighted with Easter weekend. We had ourselves a yummy breakfast this morning. 2011_04_24_easter breakfastWhen looking back I noticed that I’ve never voiced my appreciation for my camera. I love my Canon PowerShot SX120 IS. I wouldn’t be able to post these colourful post without my camera.

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I’m grateful to you bloggers that leave a comment but I also love you lurkers. At the moment I have around 600 visitors visiting my blog every week. Many of you are regular visitors. I would love to know who you are.  

The weekly horoscope for coming week makes me happy. You feel the winds of change blowing. If areas of your life seem stuck, you grow more determined to change them as the days go by. Where you can make a great start is within, beginning with your thoughts and emotions. As you change these and use your power of imagination to visualize what you do want, you will begin to draw it into your life. You have an option this week - either stay as you are or do something positive.

Let the new week come!!

Country strong

I just love country music!

Enjoyed watching Country Strong, the movie, this morning. Smitten after hearing Garrett Hedlund’s voice. I think I understand why it is his trademark.

Wishing I lived in the country. But than again I nearly do live in the country! I‘m able to drive along country roads, see horses, alpacas, cows and sheep in paddocks. I see farmers ploughing their fields, tractors driving by and dairy trucks collecting milk. I hear birds chirping to their content, swans resting in paddocks and ducks waddling to pounds. Country life is the way for me!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

TLC

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Our lime (linde) trees need TLC. The leaves are already infested with plant lice. The Tilia is an ornamental tree and its massive foliage provides us with lots of shade in the summer. Plant lice (aphids) are destructive insect pests damaging the leaves on our lime trees.

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The aphids attack the tree by sucking the sap out of the leaves. The symptoms are very visible on the leaves in the form of multiple puckered marks. Hopefully hubby got the buggers on time.

By the way, the hydrangeas are showing amazing growth in only 5 days. Can’t wait to see how it looks in a months time. Will take a picture frequently to show how they are developing.  

the quilter

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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

new blogger

Sometime ago I met a quilter through Facebook. The funny thing is that she lives pretty nearby. A week or two ago she too started blogging. Please welcome her and visit her blog.

At the moment she is visiting America and experiencing the Amish life. Enjoy reading her adventures.

In May I will finally meet her in person and hear about her trip. But I can’t wait to see her quilts, the quilts in progress and all the stuff she bought in the States.

Mini bee – late posting

Last Monday I was all excited as I received a reminder that the mini-bee would start around 7pm. No problem, as I would be home on time as I was in a part of the country where there is not much traffic congestion. So I sent a sms back, letting her know that 7pm was okay. To my surprise, she let me know that she would be waiting. Here I was thinking it was planned at my place. Luckily, she doesn’t live too far away. I was there in a jiffy and so on time. 

Two of the blocks of Berna’s new quilt in progress.

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‘Tis the night before Christmas - stitchery

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Close-up of Berna’s second block. 

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The quilters at work.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

reflective moment

‘What we resist persists’ – Raphael Cushnir

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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Happiness

Hope Pure and Simple

Just click on play to watch the movie and create happiness!

Gratitude post – week 15

This is becoming a regular weekly post. Sunday, I go and sit behind the computer and reflect on the week that has past. I don’t write down all my thoughts, but just sitting here and reflecting, is kind of meditative and I love it. Usually, I go and sit after breakfast. This week, I’m posting a little later than usual as I first had to play a game of golf!! Had a lovely morning. Drove to the golf course at 7.15 am. Our game started at 8am. There is nothing like an early morning game. It was nice and peaceful. The only sound to be heard were the birds chirping loudly. We came across lots of swans. They were not deterred by the golf balls flying past.  2011_04_17_golf

What am I thankful for this week. Being able to enjoy a morning like this one.

Yesterday, I was thankful for hubby and a friend pitching in to help plant new hydrangeas. I love this plant. I decided to try the Endless Summer® . They seem to bloom on both the current season's growth as well as the previous year's growth. They also seem to handle our climate better.

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I’m beaming after finally being allowed to plant them. Tried ordering them in March but it was still too cold and therefore not  available. Well Friday afternoon I was able to pick-up 16. They nearly didn’t all fit in the car. Looking at the result, I wonder how long they will take before they start to bloom.

I love pink!! Sometime in the – near – future the front garden will look like this.

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I’m smiling after finishing another baby Dear Jane. More about this on the other blog Happy

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Grateful that Teddy is feeling better and I didn’t have to visit the vet.

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I’m trilled that I’ll be going to the quilt exhibit in Veldhoven beginning of May. This year’s theme is ‘Rhythm’. Hoping to see some beautiful quilts than.

I was jocund after meeting-up with a friend who I hadn’t seen for 18 months. We caught up with all that has happened the past months, while enjoying a lovely meal at a terrific restaurant. I love it when my low salt diet isn’t a issue.

Feeling a little blithesome past couple of days. Sadly, I can’t go into more details Smug

I’m eupeptic after putting away all the winter clothes and hanging the summer clothes in the wardrobe in our bedroom. It is a chore that I love doing. 

Last but not least. I want to share that I’m looking forward to week 16. It is Easter, next weekend!!

Remember; ‘you are always only one choice away from changing your life’ Marcy Blochowiak. I think I’m finally going to take the first step!! I’ll let you ponder on what this might be.