May 30, 2009

Palingsoap, or "Sachie and the Eel"

Now that Puschkin is getting older, we try to enrich his diet with different snacks. Today on the menu: eels. He used to get totally wild about that years ago, but today he sniffed, smelled, licked and just walked away. Okay, we'll try something different next time!
Of course the others could eat along, but the only one who really liked it was Sachie. Of course. Eating is his no.1 hobby!

ps: yesterday I had such an awesome day at Brigiet's birthday but my camera hasn't left my bag during the day. Being there and celebrating was just enough.

May 26, 2009

Let's hope the mailman hurries...

A box? What's in it?
Nothing? Well, not anymore, everyone knows boxes are for cats!
It's going to Sweden? Those people who shared their vla with me? In that case, I'm aboard!

May 25, 2009


Sigh. It's one of those days/nights again.
Friday was a good, actually a very good day, but the bill came when evening fell: exhausted, felt like the smallest sound or touch would make me burst out in hysterical screaming. Or something like that. So, counted my blessings (the main part of the day was nice) and went to bed early with an extra pill and a nice book.
We had planned a birthday visit to my brother in law, but I was still at the edge of screaming, so we stayed at home. Slept all day.
This morning there was energy again, hooray!
We went for a cup of coffee, nothing big or fancy or far from home, just coffee. And I enjoyed being outdoors. But then I noticed the joy was overwhelming me. Too much, too fast. Heard myself talking faster and faster, more and more unfocused and I knew if I'd give in to all the ideas that were dazzling in my head, I'd lose control and happiness would end up in tears.
But hey! I was aware of this mood swing while it was happening, and that's such a difference with years ago! The swings are unwanted, but I can now guide myself through them. Well, at least this time I was able to do that. Often it occurs so rapidly that I'm in the middle of it before I realize what's going on.
Anyway, I told Albert. He'd already noticed ;)
Agreed with him and myself that the rest of the day should be very quiet, without activities that invite my head to go spinning. We had dinner, watched some tv, I registered some books and then it was time to go to bed.
Awww, couldn't focus on the book I was reading and was too restless to meditate. Ideas, ideas, ideas, all waiting for me to explore. Tense, so tense.
Couldn't resist the urge to leave the bed, so here I am, in the middle of the night, sipping tea, smoking. Maybe trying to find words for my feelings helps?
We'll see.
Going back to bed, try to get a few hours of sleep before the day begins.
Good night!

May 22, 2009

We <3 Wageningen!

Today we got to spend some time in Wageningen again, always a joy!
Some pics:

<-- yikes, me no like this plant tower!

<--- is she trying to pick up old men? is she hitch-hiking? no, she's expressing her love for oliebollen! (but she didn't buy any - good girl!)

<---picking up a "from Holland to Sweden" proof box at the post office

<--- tea time!

<--- probably our favourite spot in Wageningen. Is it because the café is called "De Kater" (the tom cat)?

<--- bright white hairs pop up in Albert's beard; I simply adore them! (and the owner is cute as well!)

<--- book release

<--- another book set free

<---but this one I just bought, so it can stay with me for a while. A friend tipped me about this writer and I kept seeing these books everywhere. How could I resist?

<---and this reminded us of that same friend :)

<---waiting for the bus

<---little surprise for one of the cats

<---Albert, realising sunglasses would be handy

<--- me, thinking it's forbidden to smile when you're wearing sunglasses...
Bye, Wageningen, see you again soon!
(oh and please give us a house, we want to grow old(er) here!)

BookCrossing generosity

Yesterday a heavy envelope landed in my mailbox. I wasn't expecting anything, so what could it be?
When I saw the BookCrossing sticker on the back and the name on the front, I already started smiling: a present from another BookCrosser! Whooohoooo!
Last year I joined a gift exchange initiative (Holiday Gift Giving) and it was a blast. Sent out lots of envelopes and received even more wonderful gifts. Big ones, small ones, all chosen with care and received with a big smile.
I wasn't aware there was another Gift Giving project going, but sweet Shemchin remembered my wishlist from last year and sent me presents anyhow!

This all came out of that envelope: 2 books on making cards (inspiring, very different from the books about that topic I've seen before), a wooden bookmark, a BC key fob, a BC pin, All American candy, 2 boxes of clove ciggies (a brand that's not available over here) and a huge amount of BC stickers.

Thank you Sheila, you're so full of surprises! <3

May 18, 2009

Anger Management

Frustrating morning. Tried to explain something and just couldn't find the right words to make it clear. I feel so stupid when that happens!

In my head it's all rather clear and when I'm writing or talking to Albert, I can make my point. Why is talking so different?

Took a little walk to the nearby store, did some groceries and sat down on a park bench until the tears stopped flowing.
Noticed my bag matched my mood very well ;)

May 15, 2009

of this & that

Got a new cell phone, one with a camera on board of course! Here we had coffee in Wageningen.
We had a nice seat here...
...and left a book :)

Very interesting: my shoes match my shirt! Whooohooo!

Laminating the bookmarks that just got printed. A little gesture in memory of a fellow BookCrosser.

Oops, these strings are hairy!

And so is my little helper :)

May 10, 2009

books books books

BookCrossing seems like a perfect way to create some space on your book shelves, doesn't it? You register the ones that you don't want to keep and release them.
When I started being a BookCrosser 2 years ago, I was afraid I'd be out of books in no time. My collection has always been large, but there comes a point when even my shelves get empty, I thought.
Think again! With BookCrossing comes interaction with other book lovers and everyone is eager to share & give away.
Like some time ago, when I discovered I liked the Nicci French books. Buying them all, even 2nd hand, would be quite an expensive idea. So, I offered the books I had in my posession for a trade on the Dutch forum. Swapped the French's I already had for new ones and I also received French's as a RABCK (Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness).
There are meetings very often and most people bring loads of books along so others can choose new reading material. I don't think people come home empty handed from a meeting :)
And then, there's the fabulous Moem! She lives in a big place with a huge amount of books. You see, friends of hers have a second hand book shop for a charity project and that shop clears the shelves a few times a year. The remaining books are stored at Moem's place. Boxes and boxes full of books, just waiting to be registered and released! Every now and then, Moem organises "Dozendag", which can be translated as Boxing Day, because it sure feels like that! BookCrossers can come to her place at those days and take home as many books as they can carry.
Discovering a cheap place for second hand books doesn't help in reducing my collection either. Four books for 1,50 euro; can you imagine what a paradise that is for yours truly? :)
I still had a huge pile of books waiting to be registered and since the room is getting crowded, I decided to use this Sunday to prepare the books for registering. Putting labels inside on which I can write the BCID code once the books are registered and putting stickers on the covers to mark them as BookCrossing books.
Well, they're all ready for the next step now: filling out all the info needed on the BookCrossing site, browsing for reviews, getting a code and writing that code in the book. So, a a lot of work is waiting. Such nice work to do!
Some of the books I'll read before releasing them, a few of those will end up in my Permanent Collection and the rest will be set free!
Molotov was a big help by testing if the piles were stabile. Nope ;)
The post-it on his back says: I'm not lost, I'm on a journey. Hmmm, would CatCrossing work as well? ;)

May 7, 2009


Am in doubt a little. Post this pic or not?
I like my new glasses, but am also a "bit" insecure if they look okay on me.

As a child, I think I was about 10, I got glasses for the very first time. My god, did I hate them! I picked the frame myself, but I'm still wondering what I was thinking...ah well, it was in the eighties and huge glasses were trendy.
Later also a retainer was added, the kind that goes all around your head. Put these 2 images together and you know what I looked like back then:
So much metal in the face, no wonder kids made fun of me. I often left the house in full gear and took retainer & glasses off when I was around the corner.
At a certain point I just refused to wear my glasses anymore and the retainer was replaced by a more subtle one.
I probably have a lazy eye, discovered too late to fix it with an eye patch...lucky me?? Anyway, it means that one eye is far worse than the other, so the good one compensates. Hasn't been a problem for years.

When I was 19, it started to bother me that I couldn't read what the teacher wrote on the black/white board, so I got me a new pair of glasses, Lennon-style. I liked those, but often forgot to use them. A year later I lost them and I just went on without.

My eyes got worse, I think a combi of age and diabetes. When I noticed I couldn't even read the subtitles on our widescreen tv from the sofa anymore, I knew it was time to do something about it. I bought contact lenses and am very satisfied, but the downside is that reading with contacts in is really exhausting for my eyes. So I take them out when I want to read or use the computer. Not a big problem, but I read so often during the day and all that poking doesn't make my eyes very happy.
That's solved now! I'll use the contacts when I'm outdoors and use the glasses for watching tv. And maybe I'll get confident enough to wear them outdoors as well...

Spreading the word(s)

Some numbers:
members: 769,350
books registered: 5,585,416
good karma: priceless

May 6, 2009

Vom Himmelhoch Jauchzend Zum Tode Betrübt

Woke up inspired today.

When Albert left the bed, I gathered my drawing/sketching gear, made myself a cup of coffee, put on my mp3 player and started drawing. Went into "flow" mode (that's when you're totally caught up in that moment, that activity) and thought: yeah, Julia Cameron is right in The Artist's Way, being creative is opening up yourself and letting the flow go just through you.

One of the drawings had the effect of filling in a mandala for me: totally focussed, tracing the lines that I'd drawn before, the joy of adding colour and noticing colouring works for me this time (most of the time I only draw black & white).
Then a new idea came up in my head, but as I started working that out, another, even better idea bubbled up, so switched to that.
In the meantime I was singing along really loud, probably ear-damaging for people around.
And then: oh, I nééd to share this fantastic flow! Text message to a fellow creative mind, running downstairs to post a yell on the BookCrossing forum, ran upstairs again, went on with the drawing and noticed my hands had started to shake and my heart was pounding in my throat.
Tried to go on, I know what these signs mean: the hypomanic episode is coming to an end. Wanted to finish my drawing while I still had the flow, but my fingers refused.
And there I went...
The big ball of empty darkness in my body started to grow rapidly and I felt like throwing up. Said to myself: take care of yourself NOW, don't let it come self harming far!
Took a few xanax and went downstairs again, straight to this blog to write. Sometimes this helps to calm down enough to stop the fast breathing and the panic. Don't know about this moment, still feel like going to explode. No, implode.

Also want to catch this moment, because afterwards it's almost impossible to explain or to even remember how I was feeling.
Don't know where this comes from, have been feeling restless for several days already, not knowing what to do with myself and my moods. Couldn't even focus on reading a book, not even a magazine, which is very very rare in my case.

At the moment I feel kinda high, but not on a nice level anymore. Or high? Yeah maybe, it's like I'm staring into the abyss, just one foot on the edge, trying to keep my balance.
Scared? Just a little. I know what's in the abyss, been there done that. Will survive.
But it makes me mad, why don't hypers just slowly fade away instead of spoiling the fun like this?! Aaargghh!

What I need to do right now (yep, I know the Xamantha manual by heart although I often try to ignore it) is a big mug of calming tea, a few ciggies and either some more tranquillizers or a tiny bit of herb smoking. Then a jug (kruka^^), calm music on my mp3 and just slip into a soothing daze. Sounds easy but it's gonna be a struggle, cuz my head is still spinning with all kinds of creative impulses and it's so tempting to give in!
Maybe write all the ideas down on a piece of paper first, than I won't have to worry about forgetting those anymore.
Well, this is one of the sides of my borderline disorder.
Enjoyed the show? ;)
I hope, by doing this, to give the outside world a little peek inside so they can understand me a bit better. It may be impulsive to post this on my Light blog, but I think the things I wrote could barely be used against me.
Ah well.

PS: there's a sequel. It's on my 'heavy' blog.

May 5, 2009


Albert is wondering if his beardbrother M. is skilled enough to teach him this traditional form of folk art...
(yep I know our sense of humor can be very childish!)

May 2, 2009

Not Light At All

Thursday, around 13.00h, I switched on my pc and opened Internet Explorer. Frontpage of Google: "drama on Queen's Day". Oh my, I thought, would Beatrix' hat have been caught by the wind? Did one of the princesses break a nail? Maybe our future king threw up?
Clicked through, not very awake yet. Hmm, a video. Okay, show me!
Fell silent while watching. I think most of the people have seen that video by now and know what I'm talking about. If not, it's easily found. I don't feel the need to put it here and neither do I feel the need to show one of the horrible stills.
Usually when things happen that 'shock the nation', I'm quite calm about it and seem to be following it from a distance. This moment, there was no time to take a step back before watching the news and it hit me straight in the face.
Turned on the tv to follow the news and in the meantime I clicked on a link. Different video, in which you see the car hitting people. And there, on the concrete of the streets, this tiny person caught my eye. The brakes in my head refused; I hád to know if that girl had survived. The videos and photos didn't give much hope. Saw a photo that was taken right at the moment she smacked to the ground.
The girl is still alive, that's all I know one day later.
Seven people died, the car driver is one of them.
The royals are shocked but unharmed. Well that's a relief... :-/
We heard more and more about the backgrounds of the 'mad driver', a man in absolute despair. It makes you think: how would I feel if I had been in his shoes? And how would I have acted? I think I wouldn't have exploded. I'm an imploder, I think. At least, I hope I am.
The drama behind the drama doesn't take away the horror of the pain the victims and their loved ones are going through, not at all. Maybe it's even worse to know that if this man had been an imploder, the little girl would be sleeping in her own bed right now, maybe still tired of all the waiting and the rather boring parade on Queen's Day. I don't know.
I'm just so shocked.