I can't predict when I have the time to post a new blog, but check occasionally. I'm going to try at least weekly.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A nice job!

Song of the day: "I miss you" by Clean Bandit feat Julia Michaels. Love this song. Although it is not the nicest chorus to have stuck in your head like an earworm. Doesn't mean that it isn't a nice song, though.

So, what all has been going on then? Quite a bit, actually. My cleaning job ended, thankfully. Not on a bad note or anything, it just wasn't for me what with the new management. Did my notice month, said my goodbyes to the best colleagues, keeping in touch with some of them, and went through all the motions of getting a new job. And I did. Two in fact. Yep, you heard it right. I got two. One's a little less fun. Prepping buses. It is all about gassing them up, dragging a broom through them, putting them in a wash street and then parking them for use the next day. Not exactly challenging, brain wise, but different at least. Hah. This one will be late at night in the weekends. Gah. I know. And it's a cold job in winter, too, considering everything is outside, so if it rains, I'm pretty much scr**ed. The one plus is that I can wear my baseball caps again. I missed those babies.

The other job I got today. Yep. I applied for this catering job weeks and weeks ago and thought it wasn't going to be anything after not hearing from them for all this times, but then last week I suddenly got a call where they asked to meet me. Which was today. Went for a chat at one of their steady location. A company cafeteria, where I was talked through the procedures, what they did, what they were looking for and so on. We discussed terms etc, and considering they had four applicants the manager was going to call me around Tuesday with their decision. So, I went back to the car, thinking it had gone reasonably well, and wham, suddenly my phone went with the manager asking me another question or two before suddenly saying: "how would you like to start next week." To which I assured her that would be splendid, naturally, meaning that I have another job. One that I actually look forward to. And a non-cleaning job to boot. I was afraid that was never going to happen. But it did, so, YAY!

Will have to choose one or the other at some time, considering having two jobs like this will cost me a humongous amount in taxes (40% of one salary), which is not something I much look forward to. Grrr. Bloody taxes. I think I'm just going to use the next month or so to figure out which one I like best and then make a decision.

What else? Well, some stuff with the book. Again. Which got so bad due to contradicting messages that we just made a joint decision to postpone the publishing date by a month. At this point it's a relief, really. There was so much pressure building up that it became clear that it wasn't all going to get done in time.

Did get a peek at our future cover, which is gorgeous! I'm teasing, I know, but they did a wonderful job on it. As soon as everything is sorted out I'll post it here on the blog, of course. I'm curious what y'all will think.

What else. Got another inspection of the house, which was thankfully okay. Was really worried about that, especially because due to edits I'd been so busy that I didn't get a lot of time for cleaning. Got the basics done in time, and we managed to chop away the weeds outside before the inspector came, so all ended well in that regard.

Cooking. I tried a new dish I'd been thinking about for a while. Really nice. Involves white cabbage, carrots and leek, fried in a dry rice with spices, sambal ulek and scrambled eggs. It almost tasted like eggrolls, I tell ya. Added to that I baked tiny nuggets of my chickpea meat substitute and they went together splendidly. No baking recently, much to my regret. Except some bread, but that doesn't really count, does it? Also messed around with some other recipes, of which a couple are ending up in my collection of recipes. I really do need to start packing them all together in the recipe book soon. Got quite a collection going already.

Dratted car is going to have to go in for new brakes and disks, which costs a bloody effing fortune, naturally. And money is already tight this month. Doesn't help either that my phone fell and stopped working, so now I am messing about with Big Brother's old (also broken) one until I can find something affordable. Stupid weak phones. Can't even accidentally drop your phone on the concrete in a puddle so the glass cracks all over. Grrrr. Haha

Came down with a cold last week. Every congested and I had a light fever, but I thought I'd won the battle, having the darn bug under control, only to wake up this morning and feel that it had travelled down my thrown *insert a string of swearing here* I was doing so well. So now I am drinking hot toddies with turmeric. A lot. Hoping that it will help some. Grrrr. I better. I got a couple of cold evenings ahead of me at the bus job, and then off to my dad's place to do a few days of painting in his new house. Will be the last chance I've got, considering work for the catering is going to start next week. Just need to get this friggin' cold under control.

Went to a party of a former colleague a couple of weeks ago. Which was lovely. Got to see a lot of former colleagues and friends, enjoyed some of the food (meaty stuff didn't go down well…ehm, well, not at all actually. Had to carefully eat around the meat chunks in what was otherwise a lovely soup. Haha. Am afraid our host didn't know that we're mainly vegetarian) drank lemonade (I was driving so big brother could have some beer) and basically just chatted with folks and admired wedding pictures and the new house. A lovely evening.

Have made some tentative attempts at starting on a new book project, but considering the process of the one that is getting published constantly interrupts, demanding more time, doesn't help much. Maybe some day I'll fully explain how the whole process went, it's a doozy, but for now I want to stay positive and keep looking toward the future, so it will have to wait. Hah

What else…I'm not sure. Starting to draw a blank here. Very frustrating. Finally caved in on finding decent pants at thrift stores and ordered some jeans online. Such a relief to have some pants that are in one piece available at will. Was down to one favorite pants (you know what I mean, right. For some reason you end up with that one pair that you just keep wearing and wearing until it is ragged and you can't anymore *sob*) but now things are much easier. Yay. Good thing too, since I needed something neat for my job interview yesterday. Had on black jeans with an eggplant purple sweater. Some creole earrings and hair up and, surprise surprise, I looked halfway decent. *wink*

There were groceries to be done, of course. When is that ever not the case. Wouldn't it be grand if you only had to do groceries once a month…I know, I know. If that were the case I'd probably complain about having to do it once a month. Why not twice a year?! Hah. I'm whiny when it comes to groceries, aren't I. Let's just say that I like it that less is spent when you go to a store less. Somehow, no matter what you do to prepare, you always end up doing spur of the moment buys, and they are evil, I tell ya.

As for what more…blanking! Blanking! Have been giving my plants some extra attention. The poor darlings had been neglected a bit during all the rush edits, work, job applications and whatnot. They're all looking a lot better now. Added to that, I've been working on making new ones, which is going well. I always like having some extra little plants that I can use as gifts. Some of them are just so easy to "clone" and so cute once they get started…can you hear how I am basically treating my plants as pets. I do. I also talk to them FYI. What can I say. I love my plantsies.

Also doing some proofreading for other people on the side, and content writing for blogs, so I keep busy, as usual.

Religiously doing my qigong. Not giving that up now that I have finally conquered the evil Plantars Fasciitis and can actually be on my feet all day without wanting to burst into tears at the end of the day. Which reminds me. I have to do my session for today still. Yikes!

So that's it for today. Not going to blab any more useless stuff here. As soon as I've got something nice to share, I'll go on and on and on about it. I promise.

Gotta go!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Another step

Song of the day: "Stargazing" by Kygo. Gorgeous song, but it was literally blaring through my head during the course of the past few days. Hah.

Well, let's get started right away, shall we. It has been a while, I know but the publishing company came back to me, with yet more changes for the book, so I have been working on that full time practically since the last blog…or a week after that. It's been very, very hard (not to mention frustrating) to get everything done while life got way too busy and work took so much time. It was hard to get it all done. The days simply weren't long enough. But another step was taken, at least.

But enough about that for now, there was some interesting stuff throughout the course of the past few weeks, I assure you.
My best friend Tiina came for a visit…for several days in fact and it was lovely, despite me having to share her with another friend living nearby. Had a wonderful trip to the zoo while she was here, spending the afternoon with her in-laws. Was a very nice end of the day, despite the cold temps. A lovely zoo, cosy, with good looking animals and lots of places for small kids to play, which was good, considering we had three kids along.
Before that we went to the local dunes for a nice walk, meaning that at the end of the day we had walked for about five hours in total. My hip wasn't happy with me, probably because I did a misstep at the dunes. Luckily a good night's rest solved that.
Tiina brought me henna for my hair, and was nice enough to put it in my hair for me the second night. Got a nice warm red color again, which suits me well, I think.
Spent another afternoon shopping, which was also nice. Although I only bought a sweater, which I returned right after because I didn't like the model at all.
Was sorry to see her go, especially because it will probably be a long time before we see each other again. Good thing we have whatsapp. Almost as good as seeing each other every day. Almost…but not really. * sigh *

After dropping Tiina of at the airport five days after her arrival, I drove on to visit dad and stepmom, considering I was halfway there already anyway.  Was nice. We talked a while, they showed me the new house, and told me of all their plans, and it was so nice to see them all excited about it. It was really bringing them together again, I think, and that's lovely for them. Went to eat at a nice restaurant afterward. Wagamama. Very good food, I tell ya, and lovely smoothies. A very pleasant evening that I ended with a strong coffee in hopes of it keeping me alert enough to make it home in the two hour drive. It did, just barely. And when I say barely, I really mean, barely. The last couple of miles were with the windows wide open (freezing cold) music on loud and chewing peppermint like a lunatic, trying not to fall asleep. Made it in one piece, so I guess you could say it was a success.

I burnt my wrist, darn it. Was making myself tea in one of those old-fashioned kettles and was struggling to get the whistle off (it sometimes has trouble getting off) only to get burnt by the steam. Seriously, I've got a burn the size of a small lemon on my wrist now. Hurts like heck.

Quit my job. Was already thinking about that for a while, of course, and as a final attempt to make the work work out, so to speak. Finally decided to offer my cleaning plan, more or less a "take it, or lose me" kind of thing because the present way they are cleaning is not working…and I think the new supervisor realizes it. When I turned in my resignation, she even went as far as saying that she would like to use my cleaning system in the future, once she's got a new team. A compliment, in a way, but still, kinda nasty that she is going to take credit for something that I worked hard on for a long time. But then, f**k it. I got enough of that place and the way it functions. Their loss if they wanna lose all their good people. So now I am doing my notice month…well, am half way through it already just doing the basics that they want, rather than the extra mile I am used to going for work. Makes it very unsatisfactory, but if that is the type of thing they expect, it isn't the right place for me anyway.

So, I have been looking for work and now I am facing several options. Got a night job lined up, for which I will start a trial run sometime this week. Yay. Got another option, maybe, at the store I used to volunteer for. They might be able to offer me a paying position, so I've got to think that through. And then today I got a call if I would be interested in another job, near Utrecht, so I'm going to have to think things through well.

I'll keep you posted on how things work out, and on which job I'll settle in the end. They all have their advantages. The store would be fun, the one I'm going to try out this week pays really well and the other…well, it would be an interesting job, more than anything. I'm still hoping to hear from the catering companies I applied for, though. Now those would be really nice. But we'll see.

Cooking wise I have been creative with leftovers on the most part…and a batch of old apples and plums that I, for the life of me, couldn't finish (big brother doesn't like fruit) and made a rather wonderful pie of. I added some spices, some crandberries, walnuts and a spicy crust. Add a little sour cream and Mmmmm. Yummy. Great dessert. I just hope that I can finish it on my own, considering big brother's attitude toward pie. Sorta like my attitude toward chocolate, I guess. Hah.

Had a short interruption of the edit with doing a blog for a friend, a proofread re-write thing, considering it was translated from Danish into rather bad English. It takes some puzzling to make that work, but it is nice enough to do.

As to the book. It is difficult to combine work with the edits. I am tired after work, so usually I will have a nap and then hope I am coherent enough to get some computer work down. Regretfully that was a not an optional thing for the past few weeks, that mean basically spending every free minute on the book, making me work a full-time job at home and a part time job added to that. A bit much, but it had to be done. And is done. Sent the manuscript yesterday, so basically it is out of our hands now, which is a bit of a relief, sorta, kinda. Now I can take a few days to get the house in order again, earn some extra cash, do proper exercises (had to do minimal exercises this past week, just to save time) clean, do some social stuff, and all in all, prepare for what comes next.

Had a few nice get-togethers with friends here and there, except for the last two week, basically. Will be good to have some more time for that, though, including a couple of parties that we've been invited to. A kid's birthday party and a housewarming party, so, that should be fun, right?

Went to the dentist the other day. Remember that tooth that broke back when we had to drive grandpa to the Netherlands a few years ago. It had been bugging me, the edges becoming too sharp, a bad taste (can I just state for the record that I do not appreciate my old dentist having wrecked my perfect record. That tooth was damaged, it didn't have a hole, until he started messing with it. Grrrr) and enough of a problem with it, to warrant a fix. According to my dental pics, there is some damage on a few of my teeth, (I'm guessing from my time with Pica) which the dentist would like to fix, but I'm going to have to spread that out, because for now I am not insured for dental stuff.

Which about sums it up. I am sure there is more that I'm forgetting, as usual, but this will just have to do for now. Will try to write again soon.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Song of the day: “Good for you” by Selena Gomez.  Cute little song, I know. Not the most pleasant one to as like an earworm. Not that I don’t like the song, or anything, but it becomes somewhat monotone if the chorus keeps repeating in your head.

So, time for another blog. Been slacking there again, I know, but life just gets away from me, you know. It’s not an excuse (well, it is, hah) but at least an explanation.

Right. Let’s get this started then: First off, working on adjusting “A Taste Of Life” so that I can send a proposal to my editor.  It’s harder than I had thought, in particular because I need to cut out a lot of scenes that I really like, and put in others to make the plot beat sheet work. Grrrr. I am not entirely happy with that formula, but I suppose that at the moment I am not really at a liberty to forego it. Do have all the bullet points sorted out now, and up about mid-point twist it is all in order. Now all I need is find some time (where I’m not falling asleep) to actually dig into the story and star writing.

Still waiting to hear about Saving Nina. Seems to be taking forever, now that it is lying on the chief editor’s desk, darn it. So frustrating.  All the waiting, waiting, waiting. Makes me wonder if things are ever going to be okay in that regard.

Work has been a challenge. Primarily because my old supervisor quit and a new one took her place. It’s a pain in the behind I tell you, having to get used to a new one, needing to prove yourself all over again with work that you know how to do in your sleep. Added to that, this particular supervisor is not at all open for suggestions, has unrealistic expectations, and on the overall does not communicate properly. I have decided to give it a few weeks, but if it doesn’t improve by then, I am quitting. In the meantime I am keeping an eye out for other available jobs.

The only plus that is coming of this, is that I will be getting three steady days to work on, instead of variables. That means, I got my pick of days and I went for Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, meaning that I can actually plan stuff around that from now on. Yay!

Things have been so busy lately that the house became a mess again, of course.  Took me a day or so to get that all sorted. The disadvantage of a big house, I guess. But considering I love the space, I can’t really complain, despite the large amount of cleaning that is necessary at least once a week.

Been religiously doing my workouts on all my free day (had a few less than I would have liked but what the hey) Qigong, lifting weights and bodyweight stuff. The full routine takes  and hour to an hour and a half, depending on the amount of time I have, but overall, they do me a world of good.

The old dishwasher that came with  the house was working poorly, so one afternoon this week, big brother and I took it out and placed our own 2nd hand one in its place. It is a much cheaper brand than the old one, but at least the dishes come out clean afterward. A big relief that.  Considering the old kitchen counter around the sink isn’t doing all that well. Wouldn’t have dared risk it with daily dishes.

Our clothes dryer (regretfully a necessity in the wet Netherlands) has been going on the fritz lately, so we also took that one apart to see what the problem is. Seems like the pump isn’t working, so we’re going to have to find a solution for that in the near future.

Cooking wise I am still experimenting quite a bit with protein. It is helping with being tired. It really works to have big amounts of veggies with protein for that. Hah. Have quite a few new dishes because of it, that I am seriously thinking of putting on the cooking blog.

Had a few visits, on involving my designer friend. Had a nice visit after a work morning, partly because I was upset with the way things went, so I got to play with her baby a bit. A short visit, but nice regardless.

Been doing some other work as well. First off the wedding blog for the aforementioned designer friend. A nice challenge. Writing content, adjusting photographs to make them look their absolute best and then arranging them on the wordpress blog until it is all an attractive little package. Think it is working out well….especially since I have another blog I assist with. This one interpreting and proofreading one for a Danish friend with a chain of stores who writes a monthly blog with health advise. This one is a bit more complicated than the wedding blog, but also a nice challenge.

Kitten is dong a really good job lately. She’s catching like two mice a week, not to mention an occasional baby hare. She brought in two. Seriously. Grossed me out, but what can you do. She’s a predator and with the mice she is doing her job…not to mention enjoying them as a meal. Hah

Autumn has most definitely arrived. Leaves are turning. Cold wind is sweeping in on a daily basis, and you can smell it in the air, really. I’m enjoying that aspect of the change quite a bit, I have to admit. That special tang of freshness in every breath that you take. It is lovely.

There’s lots of weeds in the yard, which annoys  me. Haven’t found a  strimmer yet. Do need that pretty bad ‘cause this just looks way too messy. Do have someone we can borrow one from in the near future, though, so I’ll post a pic or two once that is done.

My best friend T is going to come visit at the end of the month, so Yay! Am totally looking forward to that. It’s been more than a year now, and I’ve missed seeing her. Regretfully it will only be a 3 day weekend, one day involving her arrival at ten in the morning, and the last day involving her return to the airport. *sob*
Let’s hope the days last.

The new car had a hiccup. Small light went on on the dash, meaning a trip the garage that I’d picked for the future Volvo check-up. Had planned to go anyway, so they checked over the car computer (managed to reset it) and it has been fine since. Also made an appointment for the Volvo, which led to a rather big bill today (maintenance, thankfully, nothing else), and a need for another in the near future, because the brakes are ready for replacements. But, maybe we’ll try to exchange them ourselves, if that is at all possible.

Had my first dentist appointment since we’re back in the Netherlands. Will have to return next month to have a small hole fixed. Need to spread things out a little because I am not insured with my teeth. First things first in that regard. Anything afterward can take its time.

And that about sums things up, I suppose. Not incredibly exciting, but life is moving along nicely. Often I am left to wonder what will happen next. Much like a soap, really. Hah.

Monday, September 18, 2017

On with life...

Song of the day: “Subeme la radio” by Enrique, of course.  Don’t know why I have this one in my head lately, but there you have it. Who can understand earworms anyway. Same goes for Imagine Dragon’s “Thunder” which was going through my head on and on and on for a couple of days this week. Hah.

But, let’s get down to business. Life has been busy again with a variety of causes…the lack of a blog proves as much, I guess. Grrr.
No matter. First thing up is that a couple of weeks ago our zit car gave the spirit. Poor thing never really recovered from the accident last spring, and finally just gave up while I was on my way home. *sob* Had to call triple A for that, and the mechanic declared the little thing dead due to a busted cylinder, which made oil burn directly in the engine. *double sob* The fella towed me home…special experience, that. So strange to drive a car where you basically don’t have any control over. Added to the fun was that his navigating device would have send him in the wrong direction, so half the ride I was hanging out the window gesturing which way to go.

Anyway, that little issue mean that we had to look for a new car, which was what we had to sacrifice a free day for soon thereafter. Spent about 10 hours on the road, going to people who had “affordable” cars for sale. Tried out a total of seven before settling on one that has a wealth of cosmetic issues, but which’s engine still sounded and felt good during the test drive. It was a tough job for sure. Exhausting, too. But seriously, you don’t want to see some of the carpy cars we got to look at. But regardless. We’re two weeks, or so, into the new car now, and it is still running and not guzzling an excess amount of fuel and oil, so…yay!
I mean, I hear you thinking, why on earth do them kids need two cars? But with my other job, and the possibility of another one in the near future, mobility is vital. Grrrr.

Visited my dad and the missus a couple of weeks ago. Got to admire the new place, of which the walls were fully up at that time. Nice big airy place that should be done sometime in November. Fun to see the materials they work with around these parts. Different building blocks. Different concrete for second floor landings. And so on. Made my hands itch to get back into that sort of thing once more. I miss building.
Regretfully that was a work day, without me having had the time for a siesta, meaning that I fading pretty fast when we arrived. Seriously, I was so tired that my skin was itching and my eyes hurting. Still, I could hardly say no to a walk from their rental to the building site…a good 20 minute walk. I should have. Seriously, after that I was just about ready to pass out. Of course I sucked it up and played out the remainder of the evening, until it was time to go home again (1.45 h drive) with big brother even more tired than me, because he had worked longer, even. *sigh* Can’t complain, though. Was a nice evening. Don’t get to spend all that much time with family, so it was worth it.

Did quite a bit of experimenting in the kitchen. Made a rather splendid chocolate cake for a colleague’s birthday, and an egg cake with crème fresh and blueberries for another.
Due to my changed diet with an increase in protein. I forgot for a while and immediately  noticed it in my dropping energy levels. Now that I’ve brought it back up, I’m doing much better again. Yay.
But anyway…I’ve been working with a lot of oven dishes. Lots of egg, garlic and green herbs, which are still by far my favourite. Gawd, tonight I had a most wonderful dish. Lightly boiled rice (in broth) with a variety of finely chopped veggies, some cheese, egg and loads of garlic. Seriously good stuff. Loved it.

The past couple of weeks were busy. Very busy. While the plan was for me to work three days a week, four at most, I ended up working 11 days of the past thirteen with one day spent of the car search, and another two on other obligations that made writing/editing practically impossible for those two friggin’ weeks! That I needed to do groceries (on my own, ‘cause big brother is doing a lot of extra time at work) for the next two weeks, didn’t help any either. No matter. It’s done now. Good for another two…oh wait, ten days now! Grrrrr.

Have been working on “A Taste of Life”, since we chose that one to try next for sending out to publishers. It is hard, though, considering we have to cut out a lot of good stuff to get the word count down, dumb down the writing a bit, considering the style I used was elaborate and mostly in dialect. *sigh* Very disappointing. I’m having a hard time with it, to say the least. Ah well, can’t be helped. The writing style this day and age is just different. Will miss the main protagonist’s wonderfully Irish voice, though.

In regards to the book. The editor finally gave the okay for the latest changes!!! Yayayayay! And Saving Nina is now on the desk of the editorial director so that she can put in her two cents, prior to the book continuing on to the copy editors. One step further, at long last!

Have a new couch…it is lovely, and perfect for napping after a long day of work. It cost only 55 bucks at the thrift store, and, miraculously, we managed to squeeze it in, and on top of the Volvo, rather than spend a whopping 25 bucks for delivery! Yipee! It’s light colored, not too heavy (which is ideal if we have to move again) and comfy, all three perfectly good things for a new couch, right?

Yesterday I visited my aunt, which had been more than 30 years ago (weird, I know, but there you have it). Big brother couldn’t go along, regretfully. Lots of stuff going on at the sauna, including the WM Aufguss, which takes a lot out of him. So I went on my own and spent a very nice evening with my aunt, talking about the past and present, talking about what I did and didn’t remember of her house and  the afternoons I used to spent at her place when I was a little girl, waiting for dad to come pick her up for the weekend. Hah. It was very nice. We laughed quite a bit, and got reacquainted, promising to see each other again, soon.

Had the house inspected from the company that provides me with this place. Was a bit worried, because I didn’t have a lot of time to do a lot of cleaning, but it went okay, except for a mention to battle the weeds outside. Yeah. Like that isn’t on my list already.  Have been keeping an eye out for a strimmer for several weeks now, but still haven’t found one, darn it. We’ll have to get to that.

Spent Saturday helping a friend move to a new place, which meant carrying a washing machine down on set of stair and up two, which certainly was an interesting experience. Added to that was this massive closet that we had to get down in two parts (carefully too, due to glass doors) and a massive couch that didn’t even fit through the door without also sticking out into the neighbor’s apartment. Managed to get it all done with the least amount of damage. But it did take several hours, and made me sore as heck when I had to get to work the next day…only to discover that I had mixed up my days and was supposed to have had a free one that particular morning. Aaaaargh!

Did manage to do most of my exercises. Both Qigong and weightlifting. But regretfully not as frequently as I would like on the most part. If I get more free time, definitely looking forward to doing more of that.

And that sums it up for today, I’m guessing. As usual, I am sure I am forgetting a detail of two, but who gives a bloody heck, in the end. It’s not as if I’m living life in the fast lane these days.  Hah.

Gotta go.