♥ Cousinly Love

This is for my cousin. She’ll probably never see this, but i just wanted to let her know she’s always in my mind and heart & i’m rooting for her. I love her to bits & i’m so proud of her!


♥ Family Time

6416208835_e9b21d8e59_oChristmas is over & New Years is just around the corner. Can you believe it?

Time has gone by so fast! My Christmas day’s have been spent in the company of some my favorite people; my family. Christmas is a holiday that is traditionally spent with family and i have no problem with that at all; my family rocks!

Christmas Eve was my alone evening, no plans, so i just relaxed on the couch and went to bed early because i had the work on christmas morning (on Wednesday & Thursday morning too). 

On christmas day we had a great traditional diner over at my parents house with my mom’s side of the family. Unfortunately not everyone was able to be there. Some were celebrating with other relatives & my oldest cousin was/ is still in the hospital. Hopefully next year we’ll all be together again, but we all have our family weekend in may to look forward too!

Boxing day i spent the afternoon/ evening with my dad’s side. For many years we spend it at my aunt & uncle’s, but they are retired now and are spending the winter months in Spain. Luckily we did get to Skype! So for the second year now we went over to my other uncle’s, now in his new house. It was so fun because we sort of had an introduction round before we pigged out on all the delish food. The ‘introduction’ of course wasn’t because we don’t know each other (duh we’re a close family) but just to get up-to-date with what is going on in everybody’s life. A great idea that my mom came up with!

But i’m afraid that all that fun and eating took a little toll on me. Yesterday and today i’ve been having a sore throat, earache and a slight fever. No fun, but it’s no as serious that its overshadowing the last couple of day’s. Because despite the aches this christmas was great!

♥ Ring Ring

Not all my friends live in the same town as me, or even close by for that matter, and that also means i don’t get to see them as often as i would like.

We do call & text, (both not very often) see each other every now and then, but also keep up-to-date thanks to Facebook. After we’ve seen each other we, or at least i do, try to keep them up-to-date more, even if it’s just about groceries of something small like that. But for some reason after a while it all becomes less and less. Thankfully it’s not a big deal for all of us, we’re friends and love each other to bits (at least i do) and when we do see each other all is fine.

But i do wish we talk more often. And after ready a post on A Cup of Jo, i think maybe we should make a pact like her friend Kendra did. She and her best friend, who also live far apart, made a rule that they will talk for five minutes at a time. If the call goes longer, fine; but if they have to hang up (to go to work, comfort a baby, eat dinner), then it’s totally cool. Not every call has to be a deep conversation. They can just ring and say, “I’m getting my haircut today, any advice?” or “What cute things is your baby doing?” and chat quickly and hang up. Now they enjoy these little calls all the time and are in close touch.

So next time i get to talk, text or see my friends i’ll bring it up. It’s a great idea right?!

♥ Crabby Old Man

For a couple of months now my ‘beppe’ (it’s Frisian for grandmother) has been living in a home. It’s a great home, lots of activities, a nice room, she has really nice neighbours and is glad she moved from her apartment to the home. It’s been a big transition for her and she’s doing great. But she’s getting older, life changes for her, her world is getting smaller and things that were normal aren’t anymore, but that’s to be expect when you’re her age (she’s 89) right.

So when i came across this poem Too Soon Old  by Dave Griffith on Facebook, i immediately thought of her. It’s a poem written over 20 years ago. The story that accompanied the poem sounded cute, but i’ve seen this sort of thing on the web before so i had to google it and find out if it was true. Well it turned out that someone took the poem from his site, created a false story about it, and started it circulating on the Internet. There are different stories on the web, but that doesn’t harm the  , the poem is still simple and to the point, just like the author intended it.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses?… What do you see?
What are you thinking… when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man… not very wise,
Uncertain of habit… with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food… and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice… ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice… the things that you do.
And forever is losing… A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not… lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding… The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?… Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse… you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am… As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding… as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten… with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters… who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen… with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now… a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty… my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows… that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now… I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide… And a secure happy home.

A man of Thirty… My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other… With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons… have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me… to see I don’t mourn.

At Fifty, once more… Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children… My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me… My wife is now dead.
I look at the future… I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing… young of their own.
And I think of the years… And the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man… and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age… look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles… grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone… where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass… A young man still dwells,
And now and again… my battered heart swells
I remember the joys… I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living… life over again.

I think of the years, all too few… gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact… that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people… open and see.
Not a cranky old man, Look closer… see… Me!

♥ Giving up is no option!

Every year the Alpe d’huzes foundation organizes the Alpe d’HuZes, a cycling event where people will bike up the Alp d’Huez up to 6 times (hence the ‘zes’ (six in dutch) in the organisations name). By doing that they raise money for cancer research. The first time this event was held was back in 2006. That year 66 cyclists participated and raised over €370.000,- Every following edition the numbers kept growing, in participant as well as in money raised.

Yesterday was edition #7. This year 8000 people got on their bike and rode up that French Alp for 1 or more climbs. And they did awesome, they raised more than 28million euro (over 35million dollar)!!!

This edition was special to me. Why? One of my oldest (oldest in friendship years & in age years,  we’ve been friends since birth) and dearest friends was one of the 8000 heroes . Together with her husband (who also climbed in ’11) & 2 good friends, she’s been training for months and getting ready for this major achievement. It has been a journey with blood, sweat and tears.

All day i’ve been glued to my laptop and my phone. I had to keep watching the live feed and checking the app to see how they were doing. And she did Great, all four of them did! My friend conquered that Alp twice! Her husband improved himself and made it 6(!!!) times and the other boys made it to 3 and 5 climbs!

I’m so impressed, in awe and filled with respect & filled with even more pride. Together with the other 7996 heroes they made a difference (yes i believe they did!) to so many people now & some many more the future. Honestly i don’t think i could have done what they did. Well not this time, but maybe someday…

* ‘Giving up is no option’ is the slogan for the Alp d’Huzes

♥ Winter fever

Here in the Netherlands we’ve been experiencing a cold front. For over a week the temperature hasn’t been higher than -4 degrees celsius, with the coldest of -21 degrees celsius friday/ saturday night. The lakes and most of the canals in Friesland (my county) are frozen enough to skate on.

And that’s what i’ve been doing every day since Friday. The first time skating in i don’t know how many years, wasn’t a very good one. The skates were a size to small and my ankles are weak thanks to all the swimming i’ve been doing over the last 20+ years. What to do? Well Saturday i went to the store and bought new ones. I had to and i’m so glad i did. The fun i’ve had the last couple of days have been worth it and i still have at least another good week of skating in front of me!

me on my new skates
First a bit uneasyBut then 2 thumps up!

Saturday morning skating on the Zwette (part of the Elfstedentocht route)