Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Stroll...


Looking through the reeds of a pond you can get a glimpse of my friend's house. She has a lovely park-like garden and last Wednesday afternoon we went out for a stroll. The weather was so mild and the light so soft, the lavender smelled so sweet and the grapes (both red and white) were hanging on their vines, ready for the pickin'...






At the pond everything was quiet with some Dragonflies (= Libelles in Dutch) flying around and a slight breeze just touching the reeds...




And a bit closer to the house we still found some flowers in bloom, touched by the late Indian Summer that we are still experiencing.



What a lovely afternoon it was, until the sirens started to scream nearby and a child's life was lost. This rose is for Jackson Roos...


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Boterham Met Kaas... (cheese sandwich)


Mr. G. took extra good care of me today: he drove all the way to the Dutch bakery in Bothell to buy some authentic Dutch bread: YUM!!!  {big, big smile}

I've been feeling quite under the weather for the past three days (a cold, some aches and pains and all my usual energy seems to have been drained) and this simple thing of a Dutch cheese sandwich (unfortunately the cheese wasn't Dutch) just made my day.

I know, on the surface it looks like any old kind of bread, but believe you me, it is not! It is Dutch bread and oh boy, I could eat a whole loaf! (I'm on slice number 4 now) Sometimes you just want something from home, even though it hasn't been my 'home' for the past 22 years, but I'm sure you know what I mean. You can't get much more 'homey' in The Netherlands than having a 'boterham met kaas'.  (except for maybe a 'boterham met hagelslag' but I will have to special order those chocolate sprinkles)

I will show you the pretty pics that I took in my friend's garden a few days ago a bit later ok, but for now I just wanted to share this (for me) blog-worthy moment...  <wink>


Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Kiss From A Rose...


This was the title that I already had in mind for my post, but unfortunately it now also has a second meaning. As my friend and I were strolling through her lovely garden yesterday, we heard sirens, many sirens. After picking up my kids from school and checking the news online I read that a 12-year old boy accidentally hanged himself on a zip-line in his back yard. His mother found him. 

If that wasn't bad enough, I later found out that this little boy was actually the oldest son of my orthodontist whom I had seen just 24 hours prior to the accident. Their last name is Roos which means Rose in Dutch. So so sad...


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Inspiration...

Master C. is running right at the front here...

I'm inspired! This time I don't mean creative inspiration but physical and mental inspiration. Just look at all these high school students run!  This was last week's Cross Country race (3miles = 5k) at Magnusson Park in Seattle. Our team (in the dark green shorts and white shirts) all started off right in the front, what a sight.

Master C. on the right battling it out with one of the fastest 
runners in the league.
(he didn't make it in the end, but he tried!)
Every time I see Master C. run he makes it look so effortless and graceful. And every time I see him I think to myself: I wish I could run like that...

Now I have to remain realistic and no, I will never run like that. But oh boy, I am actually running every other day and every time I go out I can run longer and it feels better and better! Yesterday I ran 7 minutes in one go, then walked for 3 (to catch my breath) and then I ran another 2 1/2 minutes all the way home. That was almost 1 mile!!! (= 1.5 km) Wahoo!!!!  {big smile}

--  **  --  **  --

Last weekend we had a taste of early Fall and we had to wear jeans and sweatshirts all of a sudden. In the mornings at least, because in the afternoon the sun would come out and everything was quite peachy again. The temps are right around 70F / 20C these days and it is just lovely.
I will be wearing a light fleece jacket today to Little Bit however, since things are always pretty chilly in the barn. Now with all the running I've been doing, I feel a lot better at Little Bit again also since a lot of walking (and schlepping of heavy saddles etc) is involved. 

Oh, before I forget: look at this fabulous find I found on the side of the road the other day: (the rack)

Yes, there is the wii-fitness balance board in the foreground.
I use that for about 30 minutes after every run...
"Nazdravja" Carla!
(little inside joke between myself and my sister)

This postcard rack only cost $15 (about 10 Euro's), it fits a ton of cards and it actually rotates! {smile} Now I just have to find a good spot for it...

Well, that was it for now. Not much blog- worthy- stuff going on over here, but I just wanted to check in with you to let you know I'm still here and still reading all your blogs of course. (always the best source of inspiration) Toodles!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Breathing...



I'm in the middle of designing a Senior Yearbook page for Master C., which means going through all the pictures from these past 18 years. All these memories evoke a lot of emotions. Remember to keep breathing...

I've picked some fresh spearmint from the yard and have brewed several cups of tea. Keep breathing...

To keep the mind calm I've sewn a new tablecloth and some matching napkins out of an old sheet I found at Value Village last week. Inhale ~ Exhale...


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spicing It Up Cathrineholm Style!

Inside frame size: 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches
(10 x 15 cm)
Over the summer I've been working on this little cutie!

No, I did not design this myself, but I did make the pattern. I just love Jan Skacelik's work so much and thought it would be fun to turn one of his mid century modern prints into a cross-stitch print. Here is the original one from his website:


It is very tricky to copy something into a cross-stitch pattern, but I still think it looks alright and I had fun making it. I'm even thinking of making another one!  {smile}

--  **  --  **  --

Well, it is Sunday morning over here and the sun is coming out. Once again the promise of a beautiful day. We've been experiencing the most amazing Indian Summer over here and the rest of the week the temperatures will be between 25 and 27 C. (around 80F) Not bad at all, especially for the Pacific Northwest!

Mother Nature does show us that Fall is just around the corner. This is what I noticed out of my kitchen window just now...
Gorgeous colors right!
We will be working on some college applications and such with our eldest this morning and then this afternoon we are invited to a grand house-warming party. Our friends that were building a new house on Lake Washington, moved in a couple of weeks ago and are ready to celebrate. A good thing the weather will be so nice and warm, because they are expecting around 150 people I think and the house is certainly not big enough to hold us all. We'll be hanging out on the dock and sipping our drinks in the sunset. Like I said earlier: not bad at all!  <wink>

"Sitting on the dock of the bay..."



Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend At Last...


I just love these Cone Flowers. (Echinacea) Just look at them!


Yesterday it was so hot! Too hot even to sit in my lounge chair outside for too long a time, so I decided to take a little stroll through the yard. Even though most plants are on their last legs by now, there is still a lot of color and interest around.





Quite a few interesting critters about also!

This was a big bugger!
I'm suspecting a nest in the wet area underneath this log...




Running update: today I ran 4 minutes in a row (woot woot) and after I had caught my breath I ran another 2. Once I made it home after about 30 minutes or so, I spent another 30 minutes on the wii-fit doing some yoga and some balance exercises. Those are good for the cool down as well. Today I spent three hours at Little Bit right after all that exercising and I have to tell you: I'm pooped! 

My ankle (the one that I broke three years ago) started playing up again on all that uneven footing, so now I'm going to enjoy some more sunshine in the backyard with my leg up, and a bit later on I think I will open a nice cool brewsky. Hoorray for the weekend!  {smile}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hazy Days...

The brief burst of rain and lightning from last weekend sparked a lot of wildfires on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. This morning the wind was coming from that direction and it brought with it lots of haze and smoke from those fires.

The fires are threatening quite a few structures and lots of people have had to evacuate, not to mention all the animals that live in that rural area. Very bad situation indeed... (all this is many, many miles away from us so don't worry!)

Pretty colors early this morning though for us:


I added a bit of an orange glow to the pictures,
but most of it was already there naturally...

I think the wind is turning again so that is better for us, but Miss M. will be driving that way (Grand Coulee Dam) this weekend to cheer for her friend who will be running half an 'Ironman'! That is some crazy running, swimming and bicycling race, worse than a triathlon. Can't be good with all this super bad air in that area...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Late Luscious Lavender...

This late in the season and we still have some blooming Lavender. So beautiful in the early morning light...
I'm off to Little Bit after a two month hiatus. Can't wait to see all the horses (and the riders and the other volunteers of course) again!  {smile}

Monday, September 10, 2012

Some Sewing At Last...


Yay, late last week I finally finished the first sewing project since last June: behold 'New Look #6106'.

Earlier in August the lovely Marcha ( 'Post van Mars' ) sent me one yard of an Amy Butler fabric and I thought that it would be perfect to re-start my sewing with. I chose a simple skirt, just to gain a little bit of confidence and I think it worked out quite nicely.

I already wore it last Friday when I went out  for some pottling with Tif and we made quite the pair! <wink> A few days later I found a matching cardigan at Target (it is also green with white polka dots) et voila, a new outfit was born...

I am currently working on a more complicated dress from 'Project Runway' (#1880 for those of you interested) in a very small black & white gingham print. I'm taking my time, no rushing necessary...

Dry Streak...


Well, our almost record breaking dry streak has come to an end: it rained overnight, the first time in 48 days!

This was quite alright with me since everything was just bone dry. Now everything is bright and green again (except for the grass which is still pretty crispy looking),  it smells nice and fresh outside and you know what? The sun is shining again!  {smile}

Here some impressions from early this morning...






--  **  --  **  --

Yesterday I ran 3 minutes straight for the first time in my life. Miss M. was there to encourage me, and encourage me she did! {smile}  Thank goodness I have two days off now since I'm a bit sore... (I also did some yoga and fitness on the 'wii-fit' and I can definitely feel those lunges!)



Friday, September 7, 2012

Couch Potato...

New shoes and spandex: off I go!
A few days ago I came across a Face Book post by a fellow blogger friend of mine (Stardustshoes) who was starting the 'from couch to 5k' training plan.  Lots of people were getting excited so I thought I'd have a look at it. Since I had just bought new running shoes last weekend I did even better and have actually started with the plan!!!

I just finished my second day of running (so I'm on day 3) and I'm feeling pretty darn good! Today I ran three times during my 30 minute walk. (2 mins, 1 1/2 min and 1 min) In between I needed to catch my breath because boy, my lungs were hurting!

I know that a two minute run doesn't sound like much, but I have never been able to run. Three years ago I really tried my hardest to get fit. Went to the gym three times a week, hired a personal trainer etc. I did get a bit trimmer and definitely fitter, but I didn't see much result (yes, I did actually want to see something change after all that effort!) and I still couldn't run for the life of me! Very frustrating I can tell you. 

And then I broke my ankle (missed the last step of the stairs) and all fitness plans went out the window and have stayed there until a few days ago. I really don't enjoy exercise of any kind and will not have any crazy plans now either, but a bit more fitness in my life can only be good right?
Little Bit will start up again next week and that always a lot of walking and hauling etc so that will help as well...

At least all this walking and running gives me a nice high afterwards so now I'm off and will go and finish that skirt that I started last week! Toodles!

This is where I do the running part of the program.
Not many people around as you can see (and no bears for now!),
just the way I like it...  <wink>

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Underneath It All...


Another lovely day here in the Pacific Northwest!

I spent the morning at school as an 'ambassador' for Little Bit (the horse therapeutic riding center that I volunteer for twice a week) in order to recruit more High School volunteers. On the way home I stopped by Target and had a nice little shopping spree and after all that I spent several hours sunbathing in the back yard, whilst reading 'Mansfield Park' by Jane Austen...

The sky is just so blue and everything is just so bright. Again, sucking it all in before it all disappears. (after this coming weekend)

Today I thought I would show you 'underneath it all'... (yes, sing along with Gwen Stefanie now!)  <wink>









Small Blessings...

It had been quite a while, but yesterday two knitting friends and myself went on a little field trip. Down south this time towar...