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.

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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

So here we are again

Song of the day: “Ocean” by Mike Perry feat Shy Martin. Lovely song. Gives me such a good feeling. Definitely not a bad one to have stuck in your head as an earworm.

Oh my, doesn’t time fly? It’s a been a full year since I gave up on my job at the Wellness and Spa, and where am I? Right back there for two months now. How weird life can work out sometimes, right? If it weren’t for the publishing contract I’d be worried about going “back” so to speak, but since I am now a part time employee, things are vastly different, thank gawd. I mean, in the past couple of months I overdid it a little. We were short staffed, colleagues needed a day off, etc, so I ended up doing four days a week, and even a fiver, which is understandable, but not smart. Y’all remember the state I was in after that year doing an average of 6 days a week, more than 7 hours a day. I couldn’t hack it, because my writing suffered from it. *sigh*

Besides, I’ve also noticed that if I work, more days, I care waaaaay too much for what should be nothing more than a job. It’s not my career,  and doing the job I’m paid for, to the best of my ability, is all I a owe to my employer, right? Right. That doesn’t change that there are moments of frustration, mind you, but what the heck. Gotta learn to let that go.

So. I have not a clue what did and didn’t tell y’all about the last time. I’ll just have to guess. Won’t I. Well, in regards to working out, this part time gig is a lot better than full time. What it boils down to these days is me working 3-4 days a week. Which means top sport for as far as I’m concerned. Those 3 mornings amount to four hours or running at a 110 percent. Scrubbing walls, floors and whatnot, basically hitting all the necessary muscle groups. Yay! That covered, the remaining 3-4 days a week I do a 1- 1.5 hour work-out of my Qigong, weightlifting, kickboxing and the occasional bodyweight exercise. Yeah!!!

The work-outs are really doing me good. Looks like they are just what I needed for my plantars fasciitis. I am barely bothered by that now, even on days when I work and have to walk a lot. Remember, back in the day, when I would complain all the time about how painful my feet were, like I was walking on glass, and no matter what I did, it wouldn’t get better. Well, it is. Such a relief that. Looks like I finally found a way to cure that little affliction. Yay!

Also, finally, had my appointment at the hospital for my varicose vein. Got my leg and veins examined, prodded at, but it turns out that the one still there, is not a new problem, but really just something they missed during my last procedure. Yay. In fact, my veins looked rather good (also an effect of the qigong, I’m pretty sure, considering several of the exercises have to do with improving circulation, which is vital) which was a relief to hear. Regretfully, because the leftover vein is not a medical issue, it is also not part of the insurance. *sobs* But, since it has no rush, other than for vanity purposes, I can just wait, save up some money, and then go to a clinic to have the odious thing removed, myself. Just requires patience, is all.

Did some wonderful experimenting with food of late. Made a couple of awesome cakes. One a chocolate nutty cake for my father’s birthday. He came over for dinner, and to see the new place recently. Was a working day for me, and for some reason I forgot to set my alarm, or I slept through it, and ended up doing a too long siesta, meaning I had to rush dinner. Worked out okay, though. The cake was just about done when he and stepmother arrived. Had a nice afternoon together, a short walk to see more of the area, and all in all, caught up on the past couple of months because we had all been so very busy.

Another cake involved lots of nuts, which was yummy. Also had a great bakmi, which thankfully lasted two day. Had a friend over for barbeque, which was fun, because the previous occupants of the house obviously used the corner of the yard as a biowaste dump, meaning we had a whole batch of home-grown potatoes. Yummy. Also experimented with a cauliflower, involving egg, hazelnuts, herbs and cheese, which worked out really well, for me anyway. Big brother is not a big fan of oven dishes, so I ended up living of the leftovers for three days in a row, which was a bit much. Grrr.

The edit: Oh. My. Gawd. ANOTHER round of changes was requested and I got 4 days for it…did four days…around work. So it was a week. Can’t do magic, and money has to come in, seriously. It’s not like I can just sit down at the computer for four days, all random-like. Jeez. I need to plan such writing sprees, make sure that work doesn’t intervene. And that is just me. For big brother it is even harder. He does full friggin’ days, and what little time is left beyond that…well, that’s why it took a week instead.

We had some arguments throughout, of course, which is never good. But with the time pressure, the proposed changes, it wasn’t all that odd that there were explosive moments of debate about what we could and couldn’t do, that there was frustration and whatnot for the duration. But, we didn’t kill each other, and the manuscript is back in the editor’s court, so…keep yer fingers crossed.

So, before the latest edit request came, I’ve steadily been working on “A Taste of Life”. Been rearranging the chapters, checking out how to fit it into a plot beat sheet, and how to put together a proper synopsis, see if I can shuffle around scenes, get some stuff out, put some new stuff in. See if I can make it work for the publisher so that maybe within the next year we can have another book out. That sure would be nice.

Visited Tenant. She appears to be cooping at the senior home. I do find it sad to see her…degrade is the word, I guess. I remember how she used to practise staying mobile, and active, only to now see her wither away in that blasted chair. I spent a couple of hours with her. We talked, went for a little walk around her home, and then I had to leave again. We did agree that she would come to visit us, which she did. And she really liked it. Actually held out until five in the evening, which was nice for her. She doesn’t get out all that much. And she loved seeing the new place, even though she couldn’t go upstairs, of course.

Other than that…well, not a lot of stuff happened. I know, the glamorous life of an author: working the part time day job, working on the books.  Not a single party to boast about. Hah
No matter, though. I’ll party my own way.