Sunshine

26 06 2008

One thing about the Netherlands that I love, are the cheap flowers!  I have mentioned this before that I can get flowers here for a really good price.  Yesterday they had sunflowers out in the store, so of course I had to get some.  I bought 10 sunflowers for 8 Euros, basically 12.00 Canadian!  You can’t get sunflowers that cheap in Canada, nor can you get 20 roses for 5.00 Canada, which I did get the other day.  With flowers this cheap there’s no excuse for Frank not to buy them for me, which he has done for just a treat to bring home.  I have a little flower shop right in Emiclaer where I can stock up, and it is right in front of the grocery store so I HAVE to walk right by coming and going.  The flowers call me and I always have to stop to see what new ones they had.  They had peonies a little while ago, but I didn’t get any because they were a bit more expensive then what I wanted to pay.  I think they were 5,99 (euro) for a bunch of 5.  Doesn’t sound like much of a difference but converting it to Canadian, it adds up.  My lavender is also growing quite nicely in the backyard, I’ve also noticed that there is a ton of lavender just growing around Amersfoort, I should go pick it when it is in full bloom and dry it.  But right now I’m just going to sit back and look at the pretty bunches of sunshine in my living room.

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Over use of cellophane.

25 06 2008

There is something I don’t understand in this country, and that is the need to wrapped vegetables up in cellophane instead of letting them be free. If I want a red pepper I have to exam it through the plastic wrap. I don’t get why they would do this, more hygienic? But you can touch the broccoli or zucchini or carrots with your bare hands to put them in the bag. I personally just find it to be a waste of plastic, especially in this day and age of trying to reduce, reuse and recycle. It just gives me more garbage to throw out. I know there is a little farmer up the road where I can go, but he doesn’t always have the vegetables that I need. Growing my own is an option, but I don’t have the backyard space and with Stoney around he does need some grass.  I’m trying hard to do my part with recycling in the house and reducing garbage.  We put all our scraps into the green bin, cardboard boxes are broken down put into the blue bin along with paper.  I use reusable bags to go shopping, not because they charge 10 cents for a bag but because I really don’t need that many bags in the house especially since I buy groceries daily.  So by the produce people, wrapping my veggies in suffocating plastic it just drives me nuts.  Let them be free!  A happy pepper is an unwrapped pepper.





Before and After

23 06 2008

Before I went to Ikea…

After I went to Ikea…

And for those of you wondering, yes that is my bike and yes those are saddle bags on my bike.  And yes I rode my bike to the store and back.  Ikea is about a 15 minute bike ride from where I live.  The smooshed thing is another bed for Stoney, he has his nice one upstairs in the bedroom and this one stays downstairs so that he has someplace to go other then the cat’s bed.  Who by the way isn’t taking it too kindly to having a dog around.





I’ve arrived…barely!

19 06 2008

I’m here, I made it here yesterday around 10:30am.  I’m jetlagged like crazy, sore from carrying the dog around in the pet bag, and craving a fried bologna sandwich that I know I now can not get.  Oh Oscar Meyer… how I miss you. 

The flight was long, especially since I had a jerk behind me that wouldn’t sit still long enough to breathe.  His kid decided to sing “Down By the Bay” as loudly as she could for about 30 minutes and oh the parents thought that it was just so adorable!! They took the glares and eye rolling of the other passengers as praise and not *if your kid doesn’t shut up soon we are going to stuff you in the over head compartment* stares.  At one point the guy hit the back of my chair so hard that I nearly spilled my drink,  finally I turned around and said “Hey.. lets try that again…you get up and hit my chair really hard and THIS time I might actually spill my drink on me”  His reply… “uh….”  Even when they finally turned the lights off so people could sleep, he was still getting up and down, as was the guy next to me who would graciously shove his butt near my face.  I finally said something to him too, but he got it and stopped.

Stoney survived the trip, granted I think the puppy is jetlagged since I’m downstairs typing this and he’s upstairs still sleeping.  His poor little eyes were so tired yesterday they were puffy.  Traveling with him wasn’t as big of a pain in the butt as I thought, and I didn’t get any hassles bringing him into Germany (which by the way have crotchy customs guys)  or into the Netherlands.  So all that panic of shots, microchips, and paperwork was a waste of heartburn medication.  The only pain was going through security when I had to take him out of the bag and then try to put him bag in as gently as possible, where at that point he was saying F-U with his eyes.  I did drug him for the flight and it was the best thing to do for my dog.  He’s way to twitchy not to be drugged. 

After getting to Frankfurt (and FYI that airport is HORRIBLE)  I took a little puddle jumper to the Netherlands.  In record time I got my bags and managed to get out of the airport with out having to go through the Dutch customs since I went through the German ones.  At least I hope so.

Well currently my bags are already unpacked, just junk scattered everywhere.  As for right now it’s 6:17am and I have been up for an hour already.  But I think I just might head back to bed… very shortly…. for a nap.

 





My Bad.

13 06 2008

I know I haven’t written in a while, and well.. sorry.  I have been busy with things here in Windsor, trying to get stuff organize, packed, dog ready for take off, paperwork A-ok, luggage under 50lbs (which let me tell you hasn’t been easy), driving all over Windsor type things for the last week. 

On Sunday we had a family dinner where I had an early Birthday party,  I would show you pictures but since I wasn’t “camera ready” I’ll just delete them and pretend it never happened.  It was nice celebrating here in Windsor before leaving, since I have never in the *ahem* 29ish years I’ve been alive have I celebrated anywhere else.   I know Frank will do something nice for me (wink wink) since it will be my first official birthday away from my family, but still it will be hard.  This year will be a “first” for many things that I normally do here in Windsor, and now will take place elsewhere.  Although I do plan on making it home possibly the following year for Christmas. 

I did manage to get Stoney in for his grooming, and my little devil looks too cute!  I didn’t get a picture of him though since I forgot the camera at home.  However, I did take a picture of the new snazzy jacket I bought him.  Yes the dog has more clothes then I do!  but it’s a Windbreaker type jacket!  Perfect for those blustery Dutch days! Or at least that was my reasoning in buying it.  Oh that and it has the Canadian Flag on it!  You’ll notice the bright red colour with the lovely accents in white, how Canuck is that?  It even has a little collar on it!  Stoney is so used to me dressing him, he now just sits and puts his paw up in a “lets get this crap over with” type attitude.  Which makes so much easier for me to dress him.  Granted he still isn’t keen on hats, must work on that.  Once I get it on him, I’ll take a picture.  Now how cute will he be, dressed in that jacket sitting in the front basket of my bike as we tour around Amersfoort?  Tomorrow the little guy has his International Health Certificate appointment at the vets…aka…suck more money out of Melissa to bring Stoney to Holland.

Other then that, I’ve now experienced enough of the Windsor heat and humidity to remind of this for years to come.  Frank said it does get humid in the Netherlands, but I highly doubt it will get as humid as Windsor.  When you can take your pet fish out for a walk, you know it’s going to be a sticky day.  I had to stop myself from buying too many summer clothes since the climate isn’t quite the same in NL, they don’t get the stretch of hot days like we do.  In fact, the other day Frank complained that he was COLD… as I nearly sweat to death in the sauna we call “The City of Roses” in 32C heat, but FEELING.. yes that’s right, this is what the humidity does, it makes it FEEL more like 38C. 

Mom’s flowers are doing well, we had a few good storms pass though and they managed to survive.  Her peonies have opened fully now, and looked pretty.  But they are so top heavy that they have to be tied up so they don’t fall.  Her clematis vine is growing well too, it’s a double one so there are two different looking flowers on it.  I’m hoping to get out tomorrow and take a picture of the lilies that are now in bloom and there are some other odd looking flowers on the other side of the yard that I need to investigate.  Speaking of flowers and gardens… I wonder how mine is doing….

 

Well I did manage to add a widget or two on the site, one is a news feed for Dutchnews.nl.  This is an English newspaper for events that take place in the Netherlands.  I would like to also add the Windsor Star, but I’m having problems finding the RSS feed for it.  I also added a page, and will add a second one very shortly.  The page “Where I come from”is a brief explanation of Windsor Ontario.  I will soon add one for “Where I live” about Amersfoort in the next coming days.  So look to the right of the blog and you will see the links to take you to those particular add ons.  I hope to get on here before I leave, but if I don’t I will write again as soon as I arrive back in the Netherlands.

Now time to get to bed, since I have another day of running around to do.

 





DETROIT!! 2008!!!

5 06 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS DETROIT!!  2008 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!!





What’s the Pointe?

3 06 2008

On my first weekend back in Canada, my mom, brother and I went to Pointe Pelee National Park in Leamington Ontario.  People living in this part of Ontario has a certain proud feeling about Pointe Pelee, it is a small park but significant since it is the most southern point in Canada.  Located on the 42 parallel which is the same as Barcelona and Rome.  But something is happening to the Pointe, it started a couple years back where the sand spit is shrinking and becoming submerged under Lake Erie.  Years earlier, this is what the Pointe used to look like, it would take you a good 20 minutes to walk from the point of drop off from the tram to the “safe” spot on the point (the waters are extremely dangerous with a very strong undertow, many have died here and as recent as 2005).  But now the point has disappeared right up to the tree lines.  It is kind of disappointing and along with depressing.  They are blaming rising lake levels, along with two marinas on the Canadian side that is disrupting the sand flow.  When the point went underwater it took out a look out tower and part of the boardwalk that was constructed to get you near the point.  Now it’s just a small piece strip of sand and nothing of grandeur.  I hope the problem can be resolved, it would be tragic to lose a great piece of Essex County. 

My brother and I walked the boardwalk again through the marshes, but since it was early in the season everything was brown with just speckles of green and the lilies hadn’t bloomed yet.  We did get to see some wildlife in the marsh, and of course the famed Red Wing Blackbird that is all over the park.  Plus a water snake, a sand piper and a tern.  It’s not easy trying to take pictures on a wooden structure that bounces every time someone takes a step. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   There are over 70 species of trees alone. Nowhere else in Canada are there more species of reptiles (27) and amphibians (20). The zone is also home to 50 species of spiders and insects not found elsewhere in Canada. Acadian flycatchers, Carolina wrens, blue-gray gnatcatchers, red-bellied woodpeckers, and yellow-breasted chats are at the northern limit of their breeding range. But many Canadians call the Carolinian zone home, too. As a result, much of the land has been cleared for cities and used as farm land.

I also managed to take some plant and flower pictures even though there weren’t very many in bloom. The area had a cool start to spring so many of the vegitation was just starting to appear. Also we didn’t really get on to the footpaths that weave through the park, so I wasn’t able to see any that would be hidden from the road. The lilies were starting to just break past that all green stage, but none were open fully. I should go back this week or next to get some pictures of the marsh, that just might be a good idea, if gas wasn’t so expensive! Regardless it was nice to see the greenery and the occasional splash of colour through out the park. The bleeding hearts were in full bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok.. well I’m going to end this blog with one of my favourite pictures I took that day, mainly because I’m surprised I actually got the shot.  It does need some cropping but right now the Wings are about to take the cup again and I don’t have the time to do it… so here it is…

 

Now how cool is that??  Oh just in case you didn’t know from previous blogs, if you click on the picture you will get the full size version of it.  Click on this one, it’s pretty interesting.

OK.. must go cheer now… GO WINGS!!