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.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Happy 2018, all! Hope that the year will be splendid, with good health, many adventures and at least one wish coming true. 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas!!!!

Song of the day: “All comes down” by Alan Walker and Noah Cyrus. Cute song for sure.

Well, another blog has arrived.Not as long since the last one, but still, I should have been by sooner. Had planned to, but then on several occasions when I had planned to post one, something happened. The editor got back to me with the book. I was sick. Had to work. Always something isn’t there. Anyway, am here now, so let’s see what’s been going on.

First off…if all goes according to plan, we finished the final EDIT of the book yesterday. This was copy edits, so cross your fingers, toes, legs, and anything else that you can think of that this is it, finally. The Copy edits weren’t nearly as traumatic as before. Really basics, like missing words, grammar rules and formatting stuff, so it was done in just a few days. Yay. Got everything ready to send it before the last deadline and happy about it. Time to actually get to the end product, right? Actually had fun during this last one, considering we got to linger (if only a moment) on particular scenes we enjoyed writing.
Here a teaser of the cover...

Had my dinner party the other day. Had planned on a buffet party, but since so many folks turned out to be unavailable on the date, I decided to shift that to a later date (maybe a book party, some time next year, right?) and make it a dinner party for those that had already agreed to come. 

We were with a total of eight + a 1 year old, so it was a nice full evening involving plenty of food (spent about 5 hours on cooking spread over 2 days, so it wasn’t too much work) talk and laughter. Had a nice time, and everyone enjoyed themselves, I think. Had invited littlest brother as well, but he had an unplanned overtime session at work, so the only way he could have made it was to go straight to the station and travel our direction, and still be after eight…an hour after I had planned for dinner to start. The snacks would have tided us over for sure, but still, what with the baby there, stretching it out that long seemed unproductive, so we agreed he’d come the next day for a dinner of left overs. Hah.

Had prepared an elaborate dinner (was afraid I had cooked too much, of course) with hors d’euvres of toasted vegetable bread with herbal butter, small zucchini pastries and a rather sturdy butternut  pumpkin soup. We followed that up with a colorful salad, involving grilled mushroom and  pumpkin seeds and a dressing of choice. Next was the main course of a leek quiche with sweet potato mash garnished with grilled peppers and onions on a bed of raw arugula. Only to end it all with a freshly baked apple pie with whipped cream. Needless to say, everyone was thoroughly stuffed, and I wasn’t left with an excessive amount of left overs. In fact, I had exactly enough left to feed three people the next day for when littlest brother came to visit. Yay!

So all in all, it was a lovely evening, that lasted way longer than planned with everyone not leaving until eleven in the evening, and one guest even spending the night. Considering I had managed to spread the actual cooking out over a couple of days, I didn’t even have a massive clean-up afterward. In fact, two dishwasher loads, carrying chairs and tables back to their original sports and voila, things were all back to normal. I would call that a success!

My new job is official. Finally got and signed my contract the day before yesterday. Will be working for a big catering company, on several locations in company cafeterias, so that will be a nice change from the Wellness branch. I get to mess with food, maybe even express myself creatively in the future, since the manager promised that they try to stimulate creativity in their employees. We shall see how that goes. The company policy does look promising, since they aim for vegetarian since that is on the overall better for the environment, they do not make excessive amounts so there won’t be a lot of waste, and they try to focus on the veggies of the season, which all sounds good to me. They will be serving mostly lunches, which will include sandwiches, soups, salads and other finger food, so that should be fun at the very least. I will be starting in the first week of January, so who knows, the next time I write, we’ll know more. Haha

Spent a couple of days at my dad’s to help out painting his new place. There was a bit of a rush going on there, considering the new floor was going to go in the following Monday and they would have preferred to have the paint on by then. They didn’t make that, but at least the primer had been put on in 90 percent of the house. I had counted on being cold for a couple of days, but it wasn’t. The house needed to dry asap, so the heating was on high, meaning that within an hour everyone was sweating like a racehorse. Hah. Such a long drive, to and from, but it was basically the last time I could actually help, so I didn’t want to cancel.

Luckily by that time I was no longer sick. A week earlier would have been a lot less handy. Was sick as a dog, I tell ya. It all started as the sniffles, with a terrible runny nose, that didn’t seem to get worse than that, only to suddenly sink a day or two after I thought, “Hey, it is getting less bad,”. So there it went, a nasty little cough that stayed high up in my lungs rather than deep down below where I feared it would go, due to experience. Kept up my qigong during the whole thing, which includes several exercises for the lymphatic system and the immune system, which think helped keeping the cold’s damage to a minimum. I do know that normally, in the past, even as short ago as last winter, a could that sunk in my lungs would have been a disaster for a full two weeks, instead it took me 3 days to get over the worst of it. Yay.

There were quite a few cleaning sessions due to the dinner party, of course. Can’t have the house a mess if you get visitors, duh. So walls got emptied of spiderwebs again, floors vacuumed (had done the windows just a couple of weeks ago, thankfully) kitchen and bathrooms scrubbed, and everything tidied. And it looked good. Made relaxing on the night in question a lot easier.

Had to have the car fitted with new brakes…which costs a friggin’ fortune! Added to that, we had to have the yearly check, so the day before the appointment I spent cleaning the inside of the car. Got a cute mechanic so having a pigsty for a car really isn’t an option. Didn’t get to the outside, but considering it is winter and all cars are dirty anyway, I didn’t mind all that much. Instead I washed the thing today and it looks splendid for Christmas dinner with the family down south. Yay. 

Regardless, the car got through the yearly inspection without much trouble, so we’re all set for a year, thankfully.

Helped out at the store again a couple of weeks back, which was fun. Sorted out the majority of the top floor, which had been such a mess lately that they weren’t able to let customers up there to roam about. Not good for business that. Anyway, got most of that done, so I hope that this is now less of a problem…I should probably ask. Totally forgot. Hah

Did find a rather good 2nd hand office chair. My old one was starting to give in to the demands of time and use, so it was a lovely find at the gift shore. Really a rather fancy one, and considering a lot of my work involves sitting at my desk, a good chair is rather vital.

Am all set for this year’s Christmas presents. Found one for everyone that I needed one for, except littlest brother, who I find difficult to find something for, so in the end I decided to make a quilt. Much like I used to back in the day. Used mostly recycled materials, Jeans in this case, so the quilt is in only blue hues. Worked out rather well, despite it being a pain in the behind to make because most fabrics were stretchy, but to different degrees, it made making it all straight rather difficult. Did finally manage so I hope he likes it.

If he doesn’t I’m going to take it back and give it to someone else, or maybe even try to sell it. I’ll let you know how that works out.

Also made myself a quilt. Nothing near as fancy as the quilt, but at least one big stretch of fabric (makes the bedroom look way more dressed I always think) that I’d had lying around for more than two years already, exactly for this purpose. Love my sewing machine for sure. Was nice doing some other activity than working behind the computer. It had been so long.

Lastly I went visiting friends the day before yesterday (a couple that weren’t able to come to the dinner party) and spend the evening there playing with the dog and two babies. Was different, and fun in its own way, even though by then the edit wasn’t done yet, so I didn’t make it too late, and went home in time to finish another 40 percent of the manuscript. Hah

And that makes for today’s blog. There are sure to be things I forgot to mention, but that’s no surprise anymore, is it? Anyways… Wishing y’all HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! And that the past year gave you everything you’d hoped for the last time ‘round!

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.