Monday, 28 May 2012


Hubby is getting himself green fingers. He planted two Photinias this weekend and a Wisteria.


The previous plant also didn’t survive the - 20 °C frost so we replaced it with a wisteria vine which will grow along this arbor.


It can take up to two years to successfully train a wisteria vine to grow up this structure. During this time we will have to water it continually, and prune back the excess vines. According to the experts: in the winter is a perfect time to prune it back considerably. It will grow even more in the spring, giving us a healthier vine next year.

Wisteria vines are a very fast growing vine. This is one of the reasons for buying it. But the primary reason, I love this Blue Moon.

Blue  Moon is also known as a very strong vine. They can grow upwards of 20 feet (6 meters) long with very thick vines. The pressure they can exert on a structure when they are growing around it is tremendous. So hopefully this structure can withhold the pressure Happy

While all this work was being done, some else was relaxing!IMG_9320

Here are some shots of the photinias




Couldn’t contain myself and had to buy this blooming basket with the common Verbena, Helichrysum and Petunia’s.



Got to read this!

Please go to this blog. In the Sunday Tasmania this was quoted: "young  stressed professionals are now taking up needlepoint as a way to relax and enjoy the benefits of their labour, and medical experts are supportive of embroidery as an effective way to improve creativity and mindfulness". Had to share Winking


Do you think this applies to quilting too?

What makes me me?

I’ve been raised bilingual! I don’t know what came first, Dutch or English. I think English as I don’t remember much before my 5th year. My kindergarten years were spent in the Netherlands but after that all my schooling till my 18th was in English. Oops, I forgot that year in French. In Niger I spent 6 months of my third year of primary school at a French school. Due to the massive age difference, some of the other pupils were teenagers, my parents decided to pull me out of school and home teach. Around my 8th I was for a little while trilingual. According to others, I was fluent. Sadly, I don’t speak or understand French anymore. 

Why am I writing this? Bilingual people seem to be better at problem solving Clown. However, our vocabulary isn’t so vast as those who only speak one language. It also takes us a little longer to think of the right word for the object. Are any of you bilingual? Do you recognize this? I do. ‘Others’ usually don’t have the patience and my fellow countrymen regard me a little stupid in certain situations when I can’t find the right word. I even have colleagues who make fun of me! What they don’t know, is that bilingual people perform better in verbal and non-verbal communication than monolinguals. Sadly, this fact isn’t broadcasted! Integration in Dutch society means you have to be part of the group, you are not allowed to be different. When you are different, like the Amish practice, you are shunned. When holding a mirror to society, or to others, it places me in a difficult situation. I can read them, but they don’t seem to be able to read me! I am not like them Angel

Bilingualism sharpens the mind. The bilinguals, as researchers have found, manifested a cognitive system with the ability to attend to important information and ignore the less important. In terms of monolinguals and bilinguals, the big thing that researchers found is that the connections are different. When monolinguals solve a problem, and they use X systems, bilinguals will solve the same problem, using other systems. In reading nonverbal cues bilingual people are faster too. Why? It seems that when looking in their brains through neuroimaging, it appears that bilingual people use a different kind of a network that might include language centres' to solve a  nonverbal problem. Their whole brain appears to rewire because of bilingualism.

Now I understand why I am different, but the problem I need to solve is how to act when I’m surrounded by monolingual people.

When bilinguals speak, write or listen to the radio, their brain is constantly trying to choose the right words but simultaneously keep the alternatives in another language in the background. This  explains why I am really bad in translating! I think either in English, or Dutch. I separate the two. More and more psychologists and neuroscientists think that language is so interwoven with thinking and reasoning that people behave differently depending on the language they speak at that time. That would certainly be consistent with my own experience, people say that I come over differently when speaking English than when I speak Dutch. I also feel different when speaking English or Dutch. In other studies it was found that value judgments and emotions differed too depending on the language the subject predominately spoke at that moment. This I notice a lot! My value judgments and emotions differ from the ‘others’. This might explain why I often don’t feel as if I fit in and why I am ‘shunned’.

I’m grateful for being bilingual. It has brought me a lot. The only thing that I don’t like about it, is that I often feel I’m not being understood. What can I do to change that?

Do I continue to try to participate or withdraw? I’m inclined to say, withdraw Striaght Face and concentrate on something else. I really can’t wait till the ‘others’ try to understand me! I need to find a place where the ‘others’ will accept me for who I am and don’t try to make me like them.

Lucky for me, there are some people who do understand me but their IQ, EQ & SQ are way off the charts. One of these persons, is my hubby Blushing

Had to voice this! Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

An opinion is (your) reality!

It is hard to change an opinion once the ‘other’ has formed it. I encounter it nearly every day. It is only frustrating if other people’s preconceptions place false limitations on you.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. ~ Albert Einstein

Opinion is a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. We all know the old saying about opinions and everybody having one. Opinion can become reality with additional information that produces certainty but until then it is only opinion. An opinion can be perceived as reality because all known information leads one to that conclusion. Again, there is nothing wrong with having an opinion but it is important to remember that it is an opinion and not reality.

People seek out and remember information that provides cognitive support for their pre-existing attitudes and beliefs. People do not like to be wrong and often feel uncomfortable when their beliefs are challenged.

Other people's perceptions of you may be wrong, but rather than wasting time complaining, getting even or defending yourself, take action to change their opinion.

Their are many ways to achieve this. You can change your experience with others simply by changing the way you perceive them, even when they haven’t really changed. When you change your perception of others, you change the consciousness you attract from them and you also literally change the way they are. You create and attract everything into your experience including your interactions with people. Your perception of others create what they are towards you, therefore changing your perception of them changes them.

No matter how honourable the intentions of my communication (verbal or non-verbal), the message the listener hears (interprets) is not what I intended. This happens to me a lot and I sometimes wonder if this is due my cultural background. My upbringing is so different to my friends and colleagues living here in the Netherlands. Another reason could be my IQ or EQ ConfusedSo if the response is not what I expected, than I use all my senses (seeing, hearing, and feeling) to read all 3 perceptual positions to build rapport. However, I too respond to the map of the world I hold in my head. The map is based on what I believe about my identity an on my values and beliefs, as well as my attitudes, memories and cultural background.

One of the first things we learn, is that not everyone shares our point of view. To understand a situation fully, we need to look at it from different perspectives. You build understanding by looking at it from first, second and third position.

How do people perceive me? Sometimes they see me as a competitor which is threatening. Other times they know I’m right but as they are unable to change the situation they lashout and belittle me.

Are you seeing (observing) or are you ‘seeing as’. Sensory input is always ambiguous, the interpretation selected is the one most likely to be true given what’s been perceived in the past. Perception is an active process.

I’m debating why some perceive their reality to be the truth as I believe that the real world itself is an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain. And so, "when different perceptions battle against one another, the truth has a way of getting lost." For "in reality our perception is often clouded, by expectations, by experiences." "Truth is a battle of perceptions. People only see what they're prepared to confront." Emily Thorne (born as Amanda Clarke) in TV-series Revenge.

The double infinity symbol is for acknowledging the balance of Ego and Soul, Matter and Spirit, as they are expressed within the physical form. Maybe this symbol can be my anchor too!

How do I try to influence the situation? By trying to build rapport. In terms of building rapport, I am the message. If I don’t believe in my message, how can I ask people to listen to me. I’m really trying hard to master all 3 perceptual positions to build rapport in challenging relationships. It is useful to assess an event or outcome from several different perspectives: from our own perspective, from the perspective of another person and from the perspective of an independent observer. In situations where there is little or no understanding or progress, they can provide a way of developing new understandings and creating new choices.

I’m trying really hard to understand so that I can be understood. 

Then again, sometimes I think I will chose the easier path, change my reality!

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.~ Martin Luther King. Jr.

Attitude for gratitude – week 21

I hope everyone is enjoying this 3-day weekend as much as I am. Today (Whit Sunday) we are commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the remaining 11 Apostles of Christ. Pentecost always falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday. Tomorrow is the holiday celebrated after Pentecost.

Beaming after my visit to the GP last Tuesday. Got a chance to take some great pictures! I’m really enjoying ‘freezing a moment in time’.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life – Proverbs 13:12

The past months I’ve really hoped certain things would turnout ok. Slowly acceptance is taking place that it won’t. I need to change!


One thing I’ve learned the past 3 years! I need to stop waiting for change to happen, I need to change and ‘it’ will change with me. At the moment I’m satisfied with where I am, and hope soon that I again be of significant value for society.

I’m blissful to realize I’m on the right track. Last Thursday I was at a great symposium. The content really inspired me. Loved the presentation given by Patrick van der Pijl and had to buy this book afterwards:

I’m going to reinvent my life WorriedDo check-out this site, here. It is also a great tool to change your career but also to change the organisation! Making strategic decisions becomes a lot easier using this tool.

Friday was a day that started out great but ended with me feeling very sad. People form impressions by what they see, hear, feel, and sadly we can’t change this perception. You know it is bad when their perception becomes the truth!

"And when different perceptions battle against one another, the truth has a way of getting lost." Quote by Emanda from the tv-serie Revenge.

So here I go again and for that I’m grateful. I love pioneering, I love a adventure.  The only thing that is holding me back is the fear of failure and time. I do hope I can change my destiny in the near foreseen future!

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Sven Goran Eriksson


Blessed with these two new photinias. They look a lot healthier than the ones removed last week.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012


A bicycle ride to the GP provides these kind of pictures.

IMG_9236  IMG_9254






Sunday, 20 May 2012

Attitude for Gratitude – week 20

Reading this book: A simple act of gratitude by John Kralik.

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. Denis Waitley.

From personal experience I can say it is good to look at the many things in my life for which I’m grateful. As many know I write from the heart. It is than really great to receive your comments and e-mails letting me know that my post has touched you too.

I’m thankful for this 4-day weekend. I needed a little break, to put things into perspective. To keep my fingers occupied I’ve done some stitchery. I’ve also started on another baby Jane!




Delighted that Hubby did the heavy work. Yesterday, we  concluded after speaking with our local gardener that the Photinias - 'Red Robin' -  that we planted last November didn’t survive the –20 degrees Celsius frost of last February.


Here it is being dug up. Getting two new ones delivered next week!


Hubby also planted these! A hedge on the side of the house.


Hoping these new Taxus will grow quickly. I really wanted them to be a little taller but then they wouldn’t have fitted in the car! Still, I’m happy how the side patch is turning out. For those curious, I did some weeding and racking the debris together!

I’m sure this cat is grateful for his life! Doesn’t he look relaxed basking in the sun?


Feeling upbeat after my shopping spree with mum. We went to Germany to look for some shoes. In one of the shops, I was told I had too small feet. They don’t carry my size. Northern German women have large feet. Left a little disappointed as they had some great shoes I would love to own. Guess I will be going to Brussel next time. Last year I had a very successful shoe shopping spree there! So hopefully you will find me soon on the Kleerkopersstraat in Brussel Winking. I’m sure my mum is looking forward to this little trip. I did get a nice denim skirt in Aschendorf and a tank top and jacket (which I can wear casually but also to the office) in Leer.

Little forlorn Wednesday evening! First I though it was a spell of food poisoning, but as I still feel a little under the weather I guess I got a stomach flu (nausea, diarrhea and headache). Thankful I’m able to write this post, but pleased I can take a nanna nap (longer than a power nap, shorter than a proper sleep) later in the day.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Relax, dream, create

A picture says a thousand words!





Relax, Dream, Create.

Doing two things at the same time! Making progress on the ‘Twas the night before Christmas stitchery (will one day be a big quilt!) and watching Revenge (tv-series).


Teddy & me on the big lounge!