Tag Archives: Things that make life fun

Sunday October 28, 2012: Anniversary

Daily stuff:
My car is fixed again, they called at 10.15 am Wednesday that I could pick it up again. It wasn’t cheap but at least it’s safe to drive again.

We’re still working on the fleas problem on Bella. I disinfected the entire house but she still has some fleas. I brush her everyday to get them out. The anti fleas medication I have been using so far doesn’t seem to work anymore and I bought a new and stronger brand at the vet that I applied on her today and hopefully that helps.

Yesterday morning I cleaned up the garden for the last time this season. I won’t be doing anything in it till next Spring. While I was working in it, I suddenly noticed that R. was standing there with a camera. Not my best shot and definitely not my best outfit (these are my cleaning clothes). As you can see, Bella is not much of a help either, all she does is inspect if I am doing it right.


Tomorrow is our anniversary. Since we’re not married we celebrate the day that we moved in together: October 29th, 1994. Usually we go out for dinner on the day itself but because it’s on a Monday and the restaurant we wanted to go to in our village is closed on Sunday, we celebrated Saturday night.


Dinner was delicious: we started with a salad with mushrooms and bacon and a fantastic dressing. After that we had pork tenderloin with brie cheese. And for dessert R. choose pannacotta and I have chocolate pie.


Weekly workout review:
Not a very good week. I’ve noticed that after every 2 great weeks, I have 2 louse workout weeks. Time to change the pattern.

Bella and Fran’s Autumn challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Autumn (Thursday December 20): 90 days
Success: 33 days
Fail: 4 days



Friday October 12, 2012: Animals edition

Daily stuff:

My cold is much better, except for a running nose and some sneezing and coughing I’m much much better.

Tomorrow we’re going to a concert. It’s a Dutch band called “Doe Maar” who were extremely popular in the eighties. They quit after a couple of years because their popularity was too much for them. They wanted rest and no more yelling fans everywhere they went. You were either a Henny Vrienten fan (2nd left in the photos) or Ernst Jansz fan (at the right in the photos). I was into Ernst Jansz when I was about 16 years old. They sing in Dutch and I loved (and still love) their music too. A couple of years ago they had a reunion concert where R. and I went too.

Doe Maar in the 80's

Doe Maar in 2012

The concert tomorrow has a theme: Symphonica in Rosso. It’s with a big symphonic orchestra and most guests will be wearing red (I’m wearing red pants). They also have a lot of guests, most of them all other popular Dutch bands from the eighties.

Looking forward to this concert very much.

My week in animals:


Bella said: No, I don't want to play with you!







Yesterday morning a cardio session of Turbofire. Turbofire is one of the Beachbody programs I bought and I love these programs. They are intense and have lots of variety in the workouts which I like.
Total time: 44 minutes.

Another run in the rain this morning, it was even raining harder than last Saturday. But I live inHollandand it rains sometimes (a lot) here and rain runs are part of the deal, especially in Autumn. So I sucked it up and went and felt like a totally wet but awesome badass for doing the run.

Run-walk ratio: 5-3-5-3-5-3-5-3 (20 minutes running, 12 minutes walking)
Weather: rain, wind,9C(48 degrees)
Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:32:00
Last song on Ipod before finish: Train –Fifty Ways to Say Goodbye

Knitting update:


Friday October 5, 2012: Tennis groupie of retired tennis players

Daily stuff:

Yesterday was a big success, it was such a fun day. We started with a lunch followed by a presentation by Jacco Eltingh, former multiple grand slam winner in the doubles. He spoke about top sport related to work. It was very interesting. I admire everyone who is a professional sports men or woman, no matter what sports they do. They have to have so much self discipline to perform at such a high level. It was so interesting when he told about his professional career as a tennis player. Right now he’s a very succesful business man who owns 4 companies.

Did you know that an average top tennis player, plays about 3 matches a year without injuries? Every other match they have some kind of injury of pain but they don’t give in to that and keep going. It reminded me of Shelley and Helen, both have (or had) foot injuries but both didn’t give up. To me, they are top sporters too.

After that it was time for the first tennis match between Richard Kraijcek (Dutch tennis player, wonWimbledononce) and Carlos Moya (in 1990 he was in People’s list of 50 most beautiful men of the world and he still was handsome). Even though they are both retired, they still could play tennis at a high level. Kraijcek won the game.

After dinner I watch a double between Ramon Sluiter and Goran Ivanisevic (he’s funny and still hits the aces he’s famous for) and Mansour Bahrami and Paul Haarhuis (former partner of Jacco Eltingh). They had some jokes during the match which made it very fun to watch.

The last game between Ivan Lendl and Andrei Medvedev I passed and stayed in the hospitality unit.

During dinner Jacco Eltingh came to our hospitality unit with Richard Kraijcek and chatted with our guests for a while. One of the men kept saying I should ask them both if I could let my photo taken by him and they didn’t mind doing that when I asked them. Just before that I was walking around and saw Ramon Sluiter and asked him if I could get a photo. So as of yesterday I’m a retired tennis player groupie LOL.

With Jacco Eltingh

With Ramon Sluiter

With Richard Kraijcek. I said to him “you are so tall”. He answered “well, you’re pretty tall yourself too” 🙂 but I felt quite short next to him.

This is not a tennis player but one of my favorite managers I work for and with


My week in skies:

Tuesday October 2nd

Wednesday October 3rd

Friday October 5th


Yesterday morning I did a workout of The Firm Express. The workouts are short but intense, this one had cardio and sculpt excercises.
Total time: 20 minutes.


This morning I did yogalates. I did 2 workouts of 15 minutes of the DVD: one for the upper body and one for the lower body.
Total time: 31 minutes.

Knitting update:

I started on my sweater. Knitting goes fast because of the bigger needles and the fact that I use 2 or 3 yarns at the same time. I had bought 1 yarn of every color but after knitting this, I already had to buy new yarns of the light grey color.

Wednesday October 3, 2012: My second running career

Daily stuff:

Today marks the start of my second running career.

Running hasn’t been going well almost for a year now and I started the 7 weeks to 5K program again today, I had some thoughts about it during that run this morning. I know I can run a 5K, a 10K, a 10 miler, I even trained for a half marathon. I can do that once running is going well. But it’s not good for me to keep looking back to what has been. It’s better to look forward and first work towards a 5K without walk breaks and in a faster time. Once I’ve done that, it’s time to look at what’s next. One step at a time, one run at a time. There will still be bad runs but my goal is that from this point on my running will go better than the past year.

Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. My manager and I have organized an afternoon/evening for our franchisees. We’re going to the Tennis Classics. The Tennis Classics is a tournament played by retired tennis stars. We start with a lunch followed by a presentation by Jacco Eltingh (multiple grand slam winner at the doubles). After that we will watch the first tennis match between Richard Krajicek (Dutch tennis player who wonWimbledononce) and Carlos Moya. Then it’s dinner time and after dinner there’s a double between Mansour Bahrami/Paul Haarhuis and Goran Ivanisevic/Raymond Sluiter followed by a match between Andrei Medvedev and Ivan Lendl.

Unfortunate Pat Cash (who I found so cute when I was young) is injured and replaced by Andrei Medvedev whom I don’t know that well.

After the last match we will have drinks and then it’s time to go home. It’s going to be a long day (first I have a meeting in the morning) but I think it will be fun too. I will try to make as many photos as I can.


I’m a lousy stretcher. When I do a DVD I do the stretching after the workout but I hardly stretch after a run. One of the workouts of X-TrainFit is stretching that I did yesterday morning and I have to say it felt very good to do nothing more than stretching for a while.
Total time: 26 minutes.

As said, this morning I started 7 weeks to 5K again and it went very well.

I do find something very annoying of running in the dark. I wear a yellow safety jacket over my running jacket, I wear lights and in a few weeks I’m going to use my head lamp again. I make sure cars and bikers see me. But I see a lot of bikers in the morning that don’t use the lights on their bike and that’s annoying, not to mention dangerous. There’s nothing I would love to do more than yell at them that they need to put their lights on but it’s dark and early and you never know if someone gets angry and I don’t want to take the risk of getting attacked. But it sure is annoying.

Run-walk ratio: 3-2-3-2-4-3-4-3-3-2 (17 minutes running, 12 minutes walking)
Weather:rain, windy,11C(51 degrees)
Distance: 3.9 K / 2.5 miles
Time: 00:30:25
Last song on Ipod before finish: TheJacksons – Can you feel it

Tuesday Dinner 

I made a recipe from my Light Cooking magazine: steak tartare with the sides rolled through crushed nuts, potatoes with herbs and red onion out of the oven and stir-fried spinach with garlic and pine nuts. It was delicious.

Book I’m reading

George R.R. Martin
A Song of Fire and Ice – Book 4 A Feast for Crows

TV shows I watched last week
Game of Thrones,Dallas, Parenthood, The Mentalist, True Blood, Mad Men, Necessary Roughness.

Monday October 1, 2012: New month

Daily stuff:
Can you believe it’s already October 1st? Only 3 more months before this year is over. I love the beginning of a new month, it always feels like a fresh start.

Yesterday we had a perfect Autumn day: sunny, not cold. A perfect day to go to the forest for a walk with Bella. We went to the estate “Groeneveld” because it was the closest. But boy, it was almost like the daily traffic jam. It was crowded with people, children and dogs. Seemed like everybody had the same idea and went out for a walk.


I took complete rest this weekend. I needed to recover from being sick and it helped.

I’m doing pretty good with my home workouts lately but running still sucks. When I started the 7 weeks to 5K program, the first 2 weeks went very well but after that it was mostly my motivation to run that left me. So …again I’m starting over with the program. It doesn’t feel good to continue and struggle on.

Weekly workout review:
Due to being sick at the beginning of the week and the recovery time, my workout week was a bit low but that’s okay. I’m better now and ready to pick it up again.

As for my results of September, not much to be very proud of. I did the same amount of workouts as I did in August, running miles the lowest of this year. What is positive is that Bella and I walked most of the days in September.


Bella and Fran’s Autumn challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Autumn (Thursday December 20): 90 days
Success: 10 days
Fail: – days

One of the friends we sometimes meet during our walks:

Dinner Sunday

We had such a delicious dessert yesterday. Tiramisu Dutch style. Sugared biscuits with on top of that mascarpone mixed with a little bit of sugar and orange juice. On top of that “advocaat”, I think you can compare this to eggnog (Amy help me out here) with chocolate sprinkles.

Cross Stitch:

Worked on the Asian girls this weekend.


Monday September 24, 2012: My jubilee day

Daily stuff:
What a great day we had last Friday. Everything was so well organized (it was nice to be on the other side for once, usually I organize things and know what’s coming). Everything was kept a surprise till a few minutes before we arrived at the destinations.

We left with a bus at work at 9 am and drove for a little more than an hour. We arrived at a restaurant/hotel in Zuidwolde (Drenthe). There was coffee and lots of cakes and pies to choose from. We were split up in 2 groups. R. and I had to dress in a white overall and the other group in army clothes.

We went outside and there was an old English red bus (no photo) to take us to the next destination. We still had no idea what we were going to do. We thought maybe paintball or something like that. We arrived and it became clear: we were going to drive a buggy.




That was fun, not everything was in the woods which was a pity because that were the most fun parts. Riding through the woods made it clear why we had to wear the overalls: we had mud all over us when we returned. After 2 hours we were back and switched groups. Our group put on the army clothes (no photo) and we did a puzzle ride in a jeep with another couple.


This was fun too and took another 2 hours. After that the red bus was back and we returned to the hotel where we were in the morning. There we could freshen up and have a glass of wine and talk about the buggy and jeep rides. When it was time to leave there were 2 horse trolleys waiting for us that took us to the restaurant where we would have dinner. We never had been in one and it was fun.

We arrived at the restaurant that had 1 Michelin star which means it’s very good (One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard). And it was good. We both loved it and we never had a dinner that was so good. Every bite was a pleasure and I ate very slow to enjoy every bite and taste the flavours. Every course had a special wine with it and the wines were so tasty. Not every pic of the food turned out that well but I want to show you.

First course: Filet American with hot peppers, red onion, pickles, goat cheese and quinoa.

Followed by: Cod fish with a cream of white beans, rettich, bacon and cauliflower.


After that a ravioli of Parmesan cheese and balsamico, a ragout of cabbage and sellery and sauce of mushrooms.


Main course was veal with bacon, earth pear (no idea what the English word is) en smoked lentils.


Dessert: Strawberries with lavender, wet cake of white chocolate and lime, sorbet ice of apple and basil.

During dinner our director called every jubilee up front and told something about him or her and we got a present: a beautiful pen with my name engraved in it.



We were home after midnight and tired of a busy but fantastic day.

 Weekly workout review:

I didn’t run at all last week. I was supposed to run this weekend. But last weekend I had signs that I catched a cold and after Friday where I had been cold the entire day, I didn’t feel all to well this weekend. Yesterday after dinner I got flu symptoms and was in bed around 9.30 pm. Today still not feeling well, I mostly have stomach and back cramps on and off.

Bella and Fran’s Summer challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Summer (Friday September 21): 67 days

Success: 38 days

Fail: 29 days

More walking days than non-walking days but for the Autumn challenge we are going to try to do better than this challenge.

Bella and Fran’s Autumn challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Autumn (Thursday December 20): 90 days

Success: 3 days

Fail: – days

Thursday September 20, 2012: Jubilee at work

Daily stuff:

I won’t be blogging tomorrow. In December I work 10 years at my company which makes me a jubilee this year (they celebrate 10, 20, 30 and so on at my company). R. and I and all the other jubilees this year and their partners are invited for a surprise day. We don’t know what we are going to do. All that we know is that we have to be at work at 8.30 am and will be back at 11.30 pm, we have to bring clothes that can get dirty and it’s somewhere about an hour drive from work.

There will be taken photos all day but I’ll bring my own camera too so I can tell and show you on Monday what we have been doing.

R. brought Bella to my Mom before work this morning which means she isn’t at home now, which is always weird and I already miss her. I’m going to pick her up Saturday morning.

Yesterday it rained while the sun was shining too which means: rainbow! I love rainbows. You can also see on the picture a piece of the carport with the roof I cleaned last Saturday and the wood of the garage I cleaned.



Tuesday morning I did a P90X workout: Kenpo X. First time I did this workout and it was fun, fun, fun. Lots of boxing moves but explained in a way that I could follow it and no complex moves either. I loved this workout.
Total time: 58 minutes.

I didn’t run yesterday morning. I’m having a hard time getting used to the dark and colder weather early in the morning. From last year I know it will pass but it couldn’t get me out of the door yesterday.

This morning I did a sculpt & tone Zumba workout. Again: fun, fun, fun. I had 2 fun workouts in a row and enjoyed them both very much.
Total time: 44 minutes.




R. does maintenance at a fish factory on Tuesdays and he brought home some microwave fish dishes. It is a new product and they wanted us to try it. I have to say that it tasted pretty good although I don’t think I would buy it when it is available in the supermarket.


I had to use up some things in my fridge like mushrooms and potatoes. We had a piece of beef with mushrooms, baked potatoes and carrots with peas.


An oven dish I have made before: minced meat with herbs with red cabbage and mashed potatoes. Very easy to make and always good.

Book I’m reading

George R.R. Martin
A Song of Fire and Ice – Book 4 A Feast for Crows

TV shows I watched last week

Private Practice, Necessary Roughness, Mad Men,Dallas, True Blood, The Mentalist, Parenthood, Game of Thrones.