Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gutter repair

Today, we had some "plumbers" come to the house to replace the gutter in between our house and the neighbors' house.  The bill will go to the landlord. There was apparently a hole in the old gutter, which could cause water to go in between the walls of the houses which could cause significant water damage over time. Our neighbors had noticed the hole a few months back when they were up on the roof replacing a tile.

After they left (around 1600hrs), I took Sammy for a walk. There is a building that is being torn down on "the Dreef". I have no idea what will be going in there, but it looks like they're putting a large foundation in.

I noticed this sign:

Looked it up:

And found that it's telling people there are security cameras on the premises. The cameras have special software that can detect people....pretty interesting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ah Ha!

The other day I was shopping at the Albert Heijn grocery store and listening to the advertisement going out over the P.A. system throughout the store. I kept hearing "Ah Ha" "Ah Ha".......then, it came to me...They were referring to the initials of the store "A.H."!  Ah Ha! I got it!

About once a week I bring a bag of recyclables down the street to put into the correct containers. There are containers for paper, plastics and glass (white and colored glass). It's all quite convenient and clean.


The other day I sent a message to a friend (thanks Sally!!!!) who bakes a lot asking for a recipe for apple pie. That is what I agreed to bring for Thanksgiving dinner. We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving with our neighbors and some friends on Saturday, November 24th.

Since I'd never made apple pie before, I thought I'd better make a practice run.  Since I was at it, I decided to make a quiche too!  Dinner and dessert in one swoop!


Today I met my new friend Louise for tea!  We met at the A.J. van der Pigge

where we had thought we'd go in and buy some tea since the shop she realllllly wanted to wasn't answering their phone. She had walked by Kale Jonker though and saw they were open, so we headed that way on foot.

We each bought some loose tea, then headed out to find a place to sit for a cup of tea!

We found a nice little cafe a few blocks away and sat and had some mint tea. It was so nice to share some tea with Louise!

Yep, still "New Normal"

The other day Andrew asked me if I'm still dizzy (from my auto accident that occurred over two years ago), since I rarely say anything about it anymore. Yep, still dizzy! I have just chosen to stop complaining about it, because it doesn't change a thing!  Sometimes, the dizziness is so bad I can barely stand it...I just want to put my head down and block everything out visually and auditorily. But, instead, I just carry on. Every now and then I have to pause what I'm doing till my head stops spinning.....or go away from crowds and excessive noise. I have a new sensation now of falling backwards. Sometimes I'll just be sitting there and get that feeling-it can be very disconcerting. Most of the time I just put up with it. If I make sure I get enough rest it's not as bad, but I'm still having trouble staying asleep all night!  I wake up in the middle of the night most evenings and can't get back to sleep for a couple of hours. The cobblestone and brick buildings are full of "patterns" which make me dizzy, also all the leaves on the ground in the woods is difficult to walk through-but I do it anyway.

I have come to a place in my recovery where I am starting to accept that maybe this is as much as I'll recover. I'm still doing the "eye exercises", but it doesn't seem to be making much difference. As the saying goes......this is "my new normal"!  If you see me stumbling around and/or suddenly slowing down my walking pace, it's because I'm having a bad "spell".  Thanks be to God that I'm still alive and up and around.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hajenius and Kraantje Lek

Yesterday Andrew and I went to Amsterdam. Andrew had heard about a cigar store that he wanted to check out, and we needed more pods for the Nespresso machine!

When we got to Amsterdam and we were waiting for the tram I saw a woman wearing a new style of pants I've been seeing younger women wearing: Yesssss, the inseam is down belowwwww her knees! I have no idea how she can walk!

First things first....cigars at Hajenius which is located at: Rokin 96 in Amsterdam!  It has been at the same location since 1915.

 The "house" cigars:

After we left there, we walked a bit through the neighborhoods. I had found a hat store on-line that I wanted to check we got out the "google maps" on the IPhone and started walking!

The hat store was no longer there....darn it!

We headed over to Bijenkorf to have some lunch and buy some pods for the Nespresso machine.

In the middle of the store was this display of "Zwart Pete". For the holidays they celebrate Sinter Klaas. He has helpers that went down the chimney and got full of soot, which they call Zwart Petes!

They have beautiful Christmas displays in the store!

When we got back to the Haarlem Train Station, there was an ambulance there...a little unusual!!!

We walked home from the station and stopped at the grocery store on the way. We looked for and found brown sugar!!!


Today was a sunny day!  So, we decided to go out and enjoy the sunshine...we see it so rarely! First we took Sammy for a nice long walk in the woods:

Sammy had a great time running and playing in the woods!


We went home and relaxed a bit then decided to spend the day outside on our bicycles!  We rode over to Kraantje Lek, a cute little restaurant. It's a few miles away through the dunes. We sat and had a beer and some bitterballen:


Veteran's Day in the U.S.A. and St. Martin's Day in The Netherlands!

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S.A.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Veterans Day
 is an official United States holiday honoring armed service veterans. It is a federal holiday that is
observed on November 11th. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

Thanks to all our veterans, past and present, for their service!!! 

Today is also St. Martin's Day in The Netherlands
In some parts of the Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, children make their own lantern and go door to door with the lantern, and sing St. Martin songs, in exchange for sweets.

Martin Luther was named after Saint Martin, as he was baptized on November 11 (St. Martin's Day), 1483.


We decided to carve a pumpkin today for St. Martin's day (since Halloween isn't celebrated here)!