Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Technologus Interrupt-us (there's a pun in there)

So I'm going to share something a little more personal today. Let me bring you inside our home for (what would have been) our normal routine.

W. gets up for work and has a shower. He asked me last night if I would start his breakfast while he was in the shower, in an effort to save him time. No problem.  So we both got up at the same time, basically. He had his shower and I started his oatmeal.

I sat on the couch with the iPad, checking messages from the last several hours (one thing about living in a country/time zone 6 hrs ahead of everyone else leaves much for one to catch up with in the morning). Checked basics like email and chat messages, then I went on Facebook. He was not yet out of the shower and there was not much to attend to with his breakfast except to let it cook. I spun through the feed of the last several hours, checking the usual updates and 'shares' (Weird Al Yankovic's Word Crimes exploded overnight, I see. You should watch it if you're a grammar nazi.. it's fantastic).

He got out of the shower and got his breakfast and sat next to me on the couch. Now, he likes to play a couple of games in the morning before work. I knew this, but I was just trying to finish reading my feed quickly aaand.. admittedly I got a bit caught up in it. "I'm almost there," (to where I last read) I said to myself. Spin. Spin. Meanwhile, he's letting me know gently that he'd like to use it. I keep going. I'm almost there, as you know. He lets me know more. I keep spinning. Now he gets vocal about it and after a few seconds I finally shut it off and hand it to him, but with a look. He takes it, turns on his game and we continue staring at each other. He knows I'm thinking something, but I'm not sure he can quite place what it was.

Finally he gets pissy and says, "You know what, it's not worth it." We're on the verge of a fight. Shuts off his game, hands it back to me and walks away. I sigh and said (too late), "It's fine! Play your game!" I shut it off, throw it on the couch and go talk to him. He's polite, but curt....

"...Nope, I can see it's very important to you."
"Can you please talk to me?"
"Nope. It's okay." (read: not at all okay)
I sigh. I stand at the door, he walks past me.
I huff and get his lunch ready for work, frustrated at this point and starting to get upset and maybe slam a couple cupboard doors.
I slightly shout, "I'm trying to talk to you instead of getting angry."
Too late.
Quiet pause.
I slap his sandwhich together, hating that he's leaving the house for work before talking because now I'm starting to get upset. I didn't want to fester with this all day in my head.

Now before I continue on with the rest of the morning, let me preface with what was in my head. What I wasn't saying -> If I don't get moving first thing in the morning (and I sit around and catch up on Facebook or games or computer, etc), I get nothing done. That lack-luster energy follows me the rest of the day. I hate it. I've already spent the last two days feeling unproductive, I didn't want today to be like that too, so that's why I was getting my Facebook in early. Also, sometimes I feel ignored while he's "in his game" on the iPad and I.. don't exist. So, perhaps I felt a little spiteful and wanted to see how he would feel if I did that. He wasn't seeing my master plan at the time.

He comes in the kitchen, leans against the counter facing me and says he's ready to talk now.
I breathe a silent sigh of relief.
I can't help it though, and tears well up even more while I'm trying to vocalize my emotions. I explained what was going on in my head (the unconveyed thoughts) and he pulled me in for a hug. "I never meant to make you feel less important than a game," he says. The anger melts away.

We talk a bit more and all is well before he leaves the house.  /end scene

Near when I was leaving Canada, I had a small get-together at my house. At one point there was just a handful of us (3, 4 maybe) sitting around a table outside. On the topic, I'd mentioned that when I came here, I was going to keep cell phones off the table at dinner time. I'd *literally* heard guffaws, "Ha!"'s and even one very dramatic/slightly comical eyebrow raising. Apparently it was common consensus I lived in my phone. To me, rightly so; I was trying to stay connected to a partner 6000+ miles away which given time differences and work schedules, wasn't easy. Still, I meant it. I would like those friends to know *cough* I have held true to my word. We've even gone as far as making low-tech or tech-free Sundays. No word of a lie. We barely turn on a device on Sundays. Quickly maybe, if I want to check the weather for the day if we're going out, but that's it. Connecting with my partner one-on-one is more important than any technology device.

So I'm left thinking after this morning; at what point are we allowed to 'shut off' (in whatever manner) and at what point do we engage with our partner?  We all need that time to zone out, to get lost in something that is nothing. Unfortunately, I have opportunity to get mine the 10 hours he's gone for the day, and he only has his in the morning or evening. Who am I to interfere?

Well, that's something we're going to have to discuss further I guess. The convencience of an iPad (or insert small personal tech device of choice here) is super nice, but at a price. We've been hearing the adage for a while now; technology in it's connectedness, contributes to us feeling less connected. How do we find that happy medium? Is it possible to make everyone happy?

So.. I shall continue with my day and try to be more productive than I have been, sitting with this in the back of my head. I'll bring it up tonight and see if we can't talk it out more.

How much do you let technology in your house?
Do you know when to shut off and when to engage? Have you talked about it? When is it important for either of you to have your zone-out time? If one zones out with a device for a set time period, what is the other one doing? Is it something productive? Taking care of kids? Their zone-out time/alone time, too? I think a lot of these things are in our head and we make unspoken rules as we go along, but ask yourself when the last time was you talked about it.

Well, there is ironing to do (who irons anymore? Me doing tablecloths, apparently) and walks to go on and errands to run. The weather is fantastic today; sunny with little or no breeze. The heat and humidity is gone.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Medical...Non Interference

Today's post is coming with a bit of a vent. Warning: there might be language. I'm pissed.  Also.. this has to do with female issues, so if you're squeamish (not that there will be much detail), move along.

I'm calling it a matter that I'm passionate about because... it's about me and my body.  Go figure I would have strong opinions about this. How could I, when the western (Western? Does Western have a capitol at this point?) medical profession usually scuttles me through the system (I think I should type it as, The System. It almost has a body of it's own, doesn't it...) as if I have no voice?  Maybe I should duct tape an 'x' over my mouth. That's right; I don't have a voice because you're (the doctor) not fucking listening anyways.

I went to the doc this morning to do a checkup on my Vitamin D levels. Three months ago we found they were exceptionally low and have since been taking supplements (and getting lots of sun, of course).  I thought we would do new blood tests to check my current levels, but as soon as I told her I was feeling much better for having done so, it didn't seem to cause her concern. So.. do I keep taking the supplements or don't I? I'm confused about this and received no feedback.

Next, I'd given her a list of symptoms I've been having the past 5 months about my cycle, that in some ways have been getting increasingly worse (including pain). I was given a (very) brief exam (literally, 2 seconds) and I was told the following....

1) "Every woman experiences pain during her cycle"
      a) What I heard -> I'm going to dismiss your pain because it sounds normal, regardless of the fact you told me you're doubled over in pain and it feels like / this... / (description held back from the squeamish)
2) Go on the pill. It's the first thing we prescribe.
      b) What I heard -> We have learned to medicate everything, so I'm going to do that in this case, too, without asking further questions. 
3) ..silence..
      c) What I heard -> When you ask me what's causing this pain, I've learned to shake my head and keep in silence because I wouldn't be considered a strong medical professional or person if I told you: I'm sorry, but I really don't know.. because that's our culture and how I've been trained. 

Let me be clear; the symtpoms I gave her are *not* normal. I'm getting so sick and tired of how the Western medical system pushes you through not caring about what's causing your dis-ease, and medicating to cover it up so it's not an issue anymore. That cyst or tumor you have? Oh, we'll get around to it. *said issue explodes*  I'm sorry, you're dead now because we've become complacent.

Now medical professionals, don't go hatin'.  I've worked in health care long enough to know how the system works and I'm *not* discounting the fact that doctors are very intelligent and that some *do* care. We see them for a reason, right?  I'm allowed (right now) to bitch as a patient.  This is the only body I have, and I have to honour it by keeping it as healthy as I can. I don't feel like the current health care System is fucking listening to me; the very same System that was built to care for me when I feel frail, weak, sick, ill, unwell in any way, or at worse, terminal. So how is it servicing me right now? This is the one System that many people lean on for support and care. When you get 10 minutes with a doctor, how are you supposed to connect? How are they supposed to understand what's going on?*

Now, having said all of that, I do see a Japanese acupuncturist. It's the first time ever (I've been seeing him almost a year now) that I've been seeing someone for alternative care (besides chiropractor). I can't say enough about it. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine - and yes, I'm quoting 2 different Eastern medicines, but they do treat along the same values) treats the whole person, not just the dis-ease or symptoms. My acupuncturist has gotten to know me, my disposition, personality and my habits (eating, etc).  He knows when A is off, it's causing a ripple effect for B to be off or out of balance. So you're thinking, why am I bitching about my doctor to begin with when I can just see my acupuncturist? Because (while not necessary) he can treat me better when there's official diagnosis.

After some pushing with my doctor, she's referring me to a gynaecologist to do an ultrasound. That makes me somewhat happy. I can't say I'll stop pushing for answers after that (if it shows nothing), but it's a start.

I'm just so fucking tired of not being listened to about my symptoms. Don't dismiss what I'm telling you as normal when you know damn well it's not!  I just don't get it.. and it upsets me greatly.  It makes me very sad.

Anyways, that's my rant for today. I'm curious if you've had similar experiences, or if there are medical professionals, what your opinion or take on this is.


*Disclaimer; I do like my current doctor for the most part and she's nice enough to get to know me a bit and ask questions at the beginning of an app't. I will say that for her. She has also been right about things in the past. Still, her approach to healthcare is representative of the culture they were raised. She's a bit older and I'm not sure if newer younger doctors come with a different approach.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Need Some Positive!

Okay guys... I'm usually the one to list the "things I'm grateful for" (I do so mostly out of earshot of the blog), but I haven't done it in a while. As I intend to get back into it, I need some inspiration. I would like you to share with me what *you're* grateful for! I would love to hear them! Let's spread some gratitude, people!

List (minimum) 3 things :)

Quote

I normally don't honour dead people in my posts (dead celebrities, for that fact) but I can't not post this quote. Hearing the passing of Maya Angelou the other day was a sad one; I didn't know she was unwell, and her mental attitude towards life is one to be inspired after. I remembered I had a quote of hers that I've hung onto.  I've hesitated posting it all these years because.. because.. I don't really have an answer. It's hit me personally and has been an extremely challenging and every time I go to post it, I can't because I'm just not that strong (as the quote implies).

"Just because I am in pain, doesn't mean I have to be one."
 ~ Maya Angelou

I have not become this person. I try, honestly I do, but this is a level of humanity that I have not (and wonder will not) achieve.  But like I said, she's inspiring, and I do try.. so maybe someday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Unemployment Woes

There have been a million things going on and a million more on my mind, so I haven't the time to write as much as I'd like to. I'm going to write about more pressing thoughts today, though.  I'm waiting for the rain to pass before I go out (though it seems never-ending lately), so it affords me the time.

I was just looking online for work and I came to a roadblock. Well, what I call a roadblock (so it probably means it's not, really. Read: self-imposed).  I was going to forward my resume to this company for a series of jobs they have in hospitality or kitchen help, etc. They asked usual information.. name, address, phone, CV, motivation (what we'd call a cover letter), etc. Then they also want a photo and your date of birth.  Right, cause we all remember how well giving my age went last time. And photo?  Really?  Well, you can see their prorities. Not that I'm saying I feel I necessarily have anything to worry about, but I'm having a rough go as it is, so I don't need reason #563 of why someone won't hire me.

I've been applying for multiple jobs, anything English that I might be remotely qualified for. So far.. nadda.  My dilemma is this: I don't want to apply for jobs that I'm over-qualified for, just in effort to get a job. I don't see why I should have to devalue myself, just to get money. And honestly, I've been doing that the last 20-some years I've been working, so I'm kind of tired of it. But you know the caveat with that... higher standards means less of a chance for a job. Which means we go longer without money. So.. what's a girl to do?  Do I give them my photo and chance it? Do I take that cleaning job that I *really* don't want? Do I start at the bottom of an organization again?

I'm 38. Starting at the bottom, to me, is not an option... but #firstworldproblems (this is a jab at me) .. many immigrants all over the world take jobs they "don't want" and are very "over-qualified for", just to get an income (I once worked with a man in Toronto who was an engineer in India. A bloody brilliant one, too, but because of country-to-country qualifications, he'd have to take certain tests or something in Canada and they costed a LOT of money, so he wasn't able, so retail it was).  So what am I whining about?  Suck it up, princess.

Thing is, I'm not ready to yet. I'm not ready to accept less than I think I'm worth. That's quite a perception though, isn't it, and a hella risky one. Yet I continue to have faith something will come up when it's meant to but... how long will that last me? I have and feel an obligation to provide in this household, so when I'm not it feels like stress (almost more than everything I've just written).

To top it off, there have been external events the past few days that have caused even more stress and things are a little tense around here. Well, they're improving, but slowly and hesitantly. We're both very, very overwhemed, so I apologize if this feels like a 'heavy' or 'down' sort of post.  Just trying to burrow through and make sense of anything else in the meantime. I'm making an active effort not to sink into a depression.

I'd like your feedback; how do you think I should approach jobs? I do not wish for you to comment on my mental state; it is something I won't apologize for and is a by-product of other situations, but any other thoughts are more than welcomed. Do I place value not in myself, but in the job itself.. it is what you make it after all. Or do I uphold my sense of self and sense of value and apply only for these kinds of jobs?

The stupid thing is, I would have had a job months ago if I had computer or engineering qualifications. They need those people like crazy. Quick.. engineering through osmosis. Aaaaand... go!

Be well. We're half way through the week!



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Quote

It's been forever since I've written any quotes. This one spoke to me this week. I hope it does for you, too.

"It's impossible," said pride.
"It's risky," said experience.
"It's pointless," said reason.
"Give it a try," whispered the heart.

~ author unknown

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Change of Course

I originally started writing this post yesterday or the day before and my emotions were at a bit of a low.  They've improved slightly so I am better to write today than before.

The past couple days has seen me change my priorities and course in life.  I was testing a recipe late last week and it didn't turn out (end product appearance wise, not taste-wise) and I kind of lost it.  The only thing I could worry about was how much money I was 'wasting' every time something didn't turn out.  Long story short... we don't have the funds right now for me to start a business and all it involves, so I will be actively looking for a job.  Speaking of which, I applied for a super one over the weekend that would be a perfect fit, so I'll ask for your prayers and positive thoughts, please!! :)  The job closed yesterday, so we'll see after that.

I'm sad with this change, though.  I feel as if I'm leaving yet another dream behind.  It scares me.  I don't want to get lost in another dead-end job, just trying to get by, trying to figure myself and life out, hoping to make enough money to make ends meet (well really, anything would be more than I'm making now) and just clocking enough time until retirement.  I'm scared I'll never come back to it again. Perhaps if that's what's meant to be, I should accept it.  Will I ever stop baking?  No.  I love it too much.  Will I still test recipes to use for sale?  Definitely... but when I'm ready and don't feel the stress of "if it doesn't work out, there's another x-€ down the drain".  Yes, I know every time I bake it's a learning experience.. blah blah blah.. but it doesn't take away what was bothering me at the core.  Since I've changed my thinking I feel a lot lighter and I have more headspace now for other things that have been also a priority (language, finding a job, etc), so it was the right decision.  We're making other cost-cutting ideas and putting them into place, one of which is me holding my membership at the gym.  That also made me sad because I am afraid I might not see my friend as often (we meet twice a week), but we share the same concern so I think we'll schedule time together outside of that. It will also force me to channel my efforts elsewhere to fill the need to be social. There is an organization I've been meaning to get in contact with for volunteering, so hopefully that will turn out.

W. has a birthday coming up on the 20th. I believe he shares a birthday with our friend W.W ;)  I have an idea what I might get him, but I'm not sure what to bake for him. Wait.. I think I have an idea.  *drums fingers together evily*

Everything else is fine.  The weather today is dreary, raining off and on.  Spring and summer - a state of perpetual hair frizziness.  #welcometotheNetherlands

The 4th saw Dodenherdenking (or Remembrance Day) and the 5th saw us with Bevrijdingsdag (or Liberation Day).  We went to a big party in a biiiiiiig park (think the entire square footage of Guelph University campus) where there were multiple music acts and stuff going on. I took a couple pics and can try to post sometime.  The crowds were so much we had to leave, I just coudn't do it anymore.   

Mother's Day on Sunday and we're heading with W's parents to Kruidhof. It's a botanical garden place (all outdoors, I believe) one town over.  I've never been but it seems pretty.  If you click the link and scroll down there's a video (you won't understand it but it's nice to watch) and there's a tab at the top to select English, though you don't get the whole site, just a condensed synopsis.  I believe if you run a foreign language page through Chrome it'll interpret it for you.

I'm already planning my one-year party - July 4th, except we're going to hold it on Sunday the 6th in the afternoon.  I will be sending out an email soon asking people to reserve the date.

Well, I have a lot of language I want to practice today before choir, so I better get moving.  Almost the end of the week.  Hope it's been good to you!




Friday, April 18, 2014

Goede vrijdag

Today is Good Friday (or in Dutch, Goede vrijdag).  We're starting out with sunny weather, but it's supposed to turn to rain.  How fitting.  Today is also my birthday.  I'm forgoing any celebrations to honour our Lord's death instead, and I'm okay with that.  I'm listening to Taize songs, what they would be singing back in Canada.  I always loved Easter weekend at church, it's such beautiful music.  I don't care so much for the songs we're singing now.  Besides not understanding them too much yet, they just don't have the solemn 'feel' to them like Taize has.  We have no soloists.

I was a bit sad the other day about missing normal Easter routine at church, but while I was sitting in church Thrusday night, I got to witness new routines.  Our church is the diocesan church and we had like, 12 priests there AND the bishop, several altar servers, even a female deacon (I think? I'm presuming her position) and incense up the wazoo (it was fantastic).  It's always such a sight to witness such a gathering.

So I'm very curious about tonight's service.  I liked Good Friday service the best at COOL; I think they conducted and arranged it very well.  (A small note to anyone reading from COOL.. I can only imagine how stressed out J. is right now, thus stressing everyone else out.  Try not to kill anyone, eh. Hold fast, it's almost over) ;)

In other news... I have my first client!  A friend of mine has asked me to make brownies for her son's birthday on Monday.  Woot!  I just might throw in something a little extra for the "thanks for having faith in me".  :)

Remember how I said the recipes I'm doing are read by like.. 3000 or so people?  Yeah.. no.  Turns out the magazine doesn't have circulation in the whole town (short of volunteers to deliver).  So it's only read by 1800 people.  Wanna hear something, though?  One of the members of the editors team went to interview the other lady who also submits recipes (has been doing it for years, writes cookbooks and stuff) had my breadpudding recipe page open and the recipe made on the counter!  I couldn't believe it!  And then I worry, right.  Inner diaglogue: "Omg, I hope I gave correct measurements." "What if it turns out differently for her? (and not in a good way)" "What if.. " "What if... "  Bah.  I finally let it go and hoped for the best.

Taxes.  Oh, hateful taxes.  Do not move to another country and do your previous country's taxes.  It's hell.  Hell I tell you!  I can't file electronically, I have to do it by mail.  Which I haven't done yet.  Cause I'm still researching..stuff (best way to go about it, etc).  That will be my focus over the next couple days.

Stuff to do, so I best get to it.  I'm attending my first Stations of the Cross this afternoon (better late than never?).  Won't understand it much, but it'll be nice to see.  Then a choir member invited me over for dinner before we have to go back to sing tonight.  That was sweet :)

Oh.. remind me to tell you about how they celebrate birthdays in the Netherlands, later. :)

May you find time to reflect today and remain in prayer.  Peace be with you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thinky Thoughts

I have a few thoughts that have been building up for a while.  Or that.. my frustration has built up and I'm about to pop my top.  I have all of this... stuff... building up, like un-used energy, and I don't know what to do with it. Let's see what this blog post can do.

An observation I've had of late, is the word 'sorry'.  Europeans don't say it as much as we do.  Not half as much.  That's the one thing I (well, both W. and I, actually) noticed when I first came here, was how often I said 'sorry'.  We interject it into sentences or situations so smoothly and stealth-like.  I won't go so far as to say it's lost it's meaning.  I don't think it has.  I just think that we are short of taking ownership of it or our actions and over-using it.  (Addendum: when I say 'we' I mean Canadians. Americans use it a lot too, but I don't think as much as us, really.)  It came to the point that I would be out and about and maybe accidentally bump into someone at the store.  I would say 'sorry', cause that's what we do.  But when someone bumps into me, they don't say sorry.  I would have a knee-jerk reaction of thinking it was rude of them not to.  Okay, perhaps that's a bad example.  Or they'll cut ahead of you in an isle.  They don't apologize for that, either.  I view it as rude, they view it as simply taking their place.  They all do it and we both approach it with a completely different mentality.  One day a Dutch person said sorry to me and I had to turn around and look at them twice, it was so weird.  Now, don't go thinkin' Dutch people are rude.  They're not.  They're some of the kindest and nicest people I've met.  They just.. approach life a little differently.

Funny story; I was writing a recipe for the magazine and at one point I said (translated), "Feel free to add x, y or z to the recipe as other options." W. chuckles and calls me over and he said, "Um, honey.. this part here where you tell people to "feel free"?  Yeah, we don't say that.  You don't tell people here to 'feel free' to do anything. We were occuppied for 5 years... we just do it." Touche.  Fair statement.  After a bit of a laugh and feeling a little lot bad for potentially offending my fellow Dutchies, we removed it :)

So that's a classic example of their mentality, if it helps you at all.  I can't say I'd act any differently.

I find myself saying more and more that things are different here.  A part of me still expects some things to be the same.  Mass, for one, confession for another (these are just a couple examples off the top of my head).  I think these little 'changes' or frustrations are piling up and I'm not sure how I'm processing them in my head.  Holidays are different.  I've already said they don't have the same "whooplah" that we have for holidays back home.  Things aren't as commercialized here and maybe advertised a week or two ahead of the occassion (not 2 months).  My birthday is this coming Friday and I wanted to celebrate but a) I'm not going to celebrate it on Good Friday and b) this is Easter weekend.  Not a lot of people celebrate Easter (at least, not in our circle) but they may be out if the weather is nice.  I haven't bothered to ask for people over for a gathering, really, because I can't decide what I want to do or when I want to do it.  We also had plans to go away, but since then they have been cancelled.  This weekend is so much up in the air, it's making my OCD twitchy.  The only plans we have is his parents want to take us out for dinner (celebrating a double birthday; his dad's was Sunday) Saturday night.  Mind you, it's at one of my favourite restaurants, so it makes me happy :)  I really want to ask myself what I want and what's important to me.  Sure, there are a few kitchen gadgets I'd love to have (as I say half-jokingly), but I have everything I want; I'm where I want to be with who I want to be with and with a roof over our head.  What more can I ask for?  If I was back in Canada I would be having celebrations (multiple dinners, teas, coffees, visits) with the people I cared most about, but things are a lot different here.  It's rare to go out for dinner or tea or coffee.  If I really want to break it down (and be honest), I think I'm used to the anti-clamatic build up to events, and I'm not getting that here.  It's funny how much you notice it when it doesn't happen.  It's become so cyclical that it feels like something's missing when it doesn't happen.  So then I feel a bit down and dispirited.. and I'm not sure how to process it.

I'm not sure what to do for Easter Sunday.  Usually I would make a nice meal for a friend or two or three after a very full (in attendance) and joyful Easter Mass.  I would bake something special (Dulce des Tres Leche cake, anyone?).  There would be socializing.  And now... W. doesn't care 'cause he doesn't celebrate Easter, and if he's not ramped up about something, it's hard for me to get half as excited.  All of our inner circle doesn't celebrate Easter, so aside from (both of us) going to Mass, I'm on my own.  I have one friend who does celebrate it, but she'll be with her family (and please don't suggest I spend it with them).  I just don't know how to move forward right now.  I miss making a big deal of things.

Well, this post has taken a downturn.  Perhaps I should get up and get something done, move my right hip a bit (have been having problems).  The dishes don't do themselves, unfortunately.

I will talk to W. tonight though, and let him know my thoughts.  It's so easy to stay in your head about things sometimes that it's easy to pass over the fact that your other half can actually help you get over hurdles.  Even if it's just voicing your thoughts, it's nice to have them out in the open and not locked up.  It's easy to become independent (or for me, go back to my old ways), when we're really there for the other person to lean on.  And you know what, it's been a looooooooong time since I've said a prayer.  Perhaps I'll do that in my chores tonight.

Hope your world is treating you well.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Well, the sad fact is that I'm house-bound today.  My chronic health issues have caught up with me and I'm having a bit of a pain day.  On the upside, I have enough energy to be in the kitchen in spurts (though I may need to lay down later), so I'm making grain-free crackers.  They're super easy and very good.  A guilt-free snack.  If you're interested, message me and I'll forward you the page/recipe.

W and I have changed our eating habits and have gone GF and lactose-free.  Basically it's the same diet I tried a year and a half ago.  Except this time.. it isn't going so well.  The more I think though, the more I remember it didn't go so easily in the beginning that time, either.  Still, I don't remember being in this much pain last time.  We've just been in this 2 weeks, so it's still early.  I need to persevere.  All of this is mostly what my blog title is about today.

I have been having a problem deciding what to write about.  A lot and a little has happened since I last wrote and most of the thoughts I have that I think I want to blog about, happen usually while I'm out and not near a pen and paper to write them down.  I always think I'll remember them and I never do.

Life in Dutch-land is good.  Spring has been here for a couple weeks, with the temperatures and greenery to show for it.  With the warm winter, I'm not sure what that'll mean for our summer.  We're getting lots of sun now (I think I heard March was a record) and it's nice to be outside.  I'm slowly putting pots out on the balcony (making sure we won't get anymore frost).

Choir is going well, when I'm able to go.  I'm sick (colds, etc) often since I moved, so I'm not there every week.

As I pass my time here I still can't believe how nice people are (usually, though there have a couple exceptions). I've been excercising my language muscles when I'm out more now. I've been developing more ideas for my business and will slowly start putting them into play. I'm happy I have developed a clearer vision.

Hmm.. I really don't have a lot to write about today.  Perhaps I'll pick another day when I can write something more specific.  I know it's been a while, so I wanted to at least show I was still alive :)  How is your spring going?  Your Lent?  Your diet?  Your friendships and relationships?  I hope you are taking care of yourself and all that is attached to you by faith, love or mind.

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