Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday TO you!

Happy BIRTHday dear Ludi...

HAPPY birthday to you!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Windowsills

I'm a little late this year doing my fall decorating. We went on a long-weekend trip in the middle of the month, so I think I was just putting everything off until after that. Plus fall seemed to come a little late here. The leaves were very slow to change, and the neighbors across the street still has flowers on their balcony, so I'm a little off-kilter.

Now that fall is in full-swing, I've done my windowsill decorating for the season.

by the kitchen window

I looked at the garden center first for small pumpkins and gourds, but they were OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. €4.99 for a medium sized gourd.

I passed on those.

by the Mac Room window

Then we went to the place we've gone the past two years. A little road-side shop in Belgium. I got 6 medium gourds for the same price as the big box garden center. The overwhelming cow smell was thrown in, free-of-charge.

Generous Belgians.


The leaves, acorns and hazelnuts were gathered in various areas. Also free (minus the odors)! You'd never really know I live in a city, huh?

It's hard to believe it's almost Halloween. Time is just flying. Soon it will be snowing.

eeeeeeeee! *squeals in happiness*


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cleanliness is next to...

Have you ever noticed how a dirty house kind of sneaks up on you? Especially the bathroom.

You go about your daily business for a few days, and it’s not that bad. I mean, if The Queen were to come visit, you might be horrified, but for us normal folk, it’s just fine. Then another few days (weeks?!) pass, and you don’t really notice anything out of the ordinary. And then one day you catch something from the corner of your eye and it’s SHOCKing how filthy things have gotten! How could I have missed all of this CRUD for so long?! Eeegads.

So I spent last weekend deep cleaning the bathroom. I hate cleaning the bathroom. Soap scum, hard water spots, calcium buildup. Though vinegar works FANTASTIC on calcium buildup. And I've read that baking soda makes a great bathroom cleanser too. Has anyone tried it? I didn't try it this time, because it's hard to find baking soda here. There isn't enough left to waste it on the bathroom. (Cookies are waaaay more important.)

I remember thinking in the middle of the project, “this would be easier every time if I would just do it more often.”

Wonder if I’ll remember that next time I notice it needs just a little tidying?

prolly not...


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Relaxed Sunday

Hi there! Thanks for dropping by! How have you been?

Do you know what today is? Besides Sunday?  It’s 10.10.10! Isn’t that the coolest thing? Babies born today have a great birth date. People married today have it easy. No matter how you write it, it’s always October 10. Day then month? 10/10. Month then day? 10/10! Even better that the year is 2010 too. Don’t you love it when those things happen?  And we’ll get another two of these before we’re too far along in the years to be all matchy-matchy. November 11, 2011 (a Friday) and December 12, 2012 (a Wednesday). Will you plan anything special for those days?

In other news, we booked a weekend trip for this coming weekend. We’ll be going to the Black Forest region of Germany. It’s just a 4 day/3 night trip, but hopefully it will be packed full of hiking and other relaxing things. Maybe a little retail therapy, even. The area is supposedly known for cuckoo clocks, too. Anyone want a cuckoo clock? I’ll take lots of pictures and post them for you all to see. It will be nice to get away for a bit. I love Maastricht, but it’s great to travel and see other places!

Have a great week, if I don't see you sooner!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Driving in Maastricht

is terrifying.

I have been driving for ... uhh...never mind how long, just since I was 16, and I have never been that scared driving. Well, maybe when the roads were covered in snow and it was dark, but never in broad daylight in perfect weather!

I had my first driving lesson on Monday. My American license does not transfer here, so I have to do as all Dutch people do, and take lessons. Since I have to take the lessons anyways, I decided it's time I learned how to drive a stick shift. Besides, the car we own is a stick, so if I want to drive, I'd better learn how to drive THAT, right?

The shifting part wasn't really the most terrifying part. It was all of it put together. The Dutch drive much more aggressively than Americans do. Rarely slowing down for anything, and squeezing between the tightest of places to make sure they get from A to B in the fastest time possible. Plus, we don't have a lot of people on bikes/mopeds in America. That's another thing you have to watch out for here. And there are people EVERywhere.  And the roads are very narrow. And the trucks (buses too) are very wide.

"More gas..."

"Not so fast with the clutch..."

"Slow down..."

"Into 3rd..."   "Don't look at the gear stick!"


"Look both ways..."

"Slow down, but don't stop..."

"Never take the inside of the wheel."
Meaning, if you're making a turn, don't flip your hand over and hold onto the inside of the wheel with your hand upside down to make the turn. Think about it. You know you do it. What's wrong with it? I have no idea.

All of it added up to a very stressful hour's worth of driving lesson. I am already having panic attacks about the next lesson in a week.

I wonder if it's worth it?

Yeah, it probably is.

I wonder if they have a package that includes valium as an after-lesson aperitif?