Thursday, November 28, 2013


I've chosen a new background for the change of seasons and while this background is (conveniently) Dutch, it is not taken by me.  I hope moving forward to catch some decent area pics, but until then, I pull from the templates.

We have had absolutely no sign of snow yet - the opposite of what you're getting back home!  I miss snow.  Christmas isn't going to be the same without it.  Or winter, for that fact.  We've been in the single digits (below 10 but above 5 C) but it is still very cool; the air here is much more damp, usually with 90-100% humidity so I think it feels cooler than what it actually is. 

I am still asking for snow for Christmas :)

Shoe Shopping

I am alive.. and well!  Well, well enough.  Still regaining energy (happening at a snails pace) but otherwise on the mend.  Thank goodness!  That was just... hell.

So a couple days ago I went shoe shopping.  I'm going to join the gym next week (very affordable, compared to back home) and wanted to get suited up.  So I walk in and tell the guy I need new shoes.  He tells me they have a process, and in about a half hour I will have said shoes.  A process.  Okay.  He explained it briefly and while a little involved, otherwise painless and why not.. I had half an hour to kill. 

First you take off your shoes and socks and step on this plexiglass device, which underneath is lit in neon colours.  It tells you if you have high arches, fallen arches, etc etc.  It was kind of cool.  Then he gives you a shoe in approximate size and he watches you run (they actually have a test strip in the store) and you're vidoed (just at foot level); afterwards you review the tape together.  I knew I had a pronation when I walk, but when I run not so much; my ankle rolls slightly inward when I run, but not enough to need anything specific or fitted (I can have a shoe with a neutral heel).  So he brings out 3 pairs of shoes.  The first pair you try on both feet.  You run, he watches.  Then you replace one with another shoe.  Run again.  Then replace one with the lesser-liked shoe.  Run again (this final shoe was a definite no for me).  Then try both shoes of the same pair that you like and walk around/run again.  See?  Involved.  In the end, though, I did get a shoe I liked a lot (Psst.. CS.. they're part purple!).  I've never owned Acics before so I'll be interested to see how these hold up.  He recorded my information for next time which was also nice.  I got a 10% discount thanks to my health Insurance and off I went, shoes in hand.  I tested them out today.  They make me very happy :)

I have never experienced anything like this back home and I've had my fair share of running shoes.  Mind you, I would get them in the mall, and not in "special" stores for runners (where this was) so I don't know if we have those back home or not.  This experience was another example of how things are in the Netherlands (comparitavely); they take the time to do something right the first time and experience (ideally) lesser hassles in the future.  I'm sure it's safe to assume this store has less complaints and returns.

When I bought my winter boots (functional, yet fashionable) I was offered a spray.  Oh, not this again I thought; trying to sell you something you don't need and will never use.  But that's not how the Netherlands works.  They sell you what you need for the product you're buying, not in an attempt to gain more profit.  I discussed this with my (Dutch) friend at the time (my views, opinions etc) and yeah.. different mindset. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sick Leave

Sorry it's been quiet, folks. I'm now living in The House 'o the Plague..or.. The House of Germs. Whatever you like to call it, W. and I are both sick. I'm in Day 9 with a sore throat/bad cough that won't quit, despite cough syrup from the doctor. W. had a fever but it's been coming down and he hasn't been at work all week. The positive in all of this is that we found out we can be sick and tired and stuck with each other for a week and still love each other's company. I'd say that's a win.

So if this ever lifts, I'll be on the soapbox more. Until then, pray I don't go postal for lack of sleep.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It's overcast again today.  The weather is ubiquitous" with the region; rainy, as you hear it is.  I forget how many days it's rained in a row.  I've lost track.

Not much to write about today.  I'm still struggling with the thought process "admitting I'm overwhelmed is a sign of weakness" and I've been thinking more (conciously, if that makes sense) about the move and it's going quite well.  I'm "re"adjusting.  Or is that re-re-adjusting?  Anyways, I'm embracing the change one day at a time... and now... it's time to push through.  Next week I will be getting my feet wet and going with a friend to find out if I can volunteer with the retirement home in town. 

I need to generate an income as things are tight, so I've been looking into working from home and selling my baking.  Unlike back home, apparently you don't have to have a registered (Health & Safety) kitchen to do so (though I believe the rules change if you do catering).  This is nice to know.  I think I will need to register as a business, though, as I'll need to advertise, do electronic payments and declare my income.  What rules are attached to requirements of a business (min work hours per week, etc) still need to be further researched. 

I think importing maple syrup is not a wise business proposition.  This makes me a little sad.  I did a bit of research with expats and they all seem to know where to find maple syrup (usually from Canada; sometimes not), so I wouldn't have cornered the market like I thought I would.  I'm not laying the idea to rest yet, but I'm not sure now is the right time.

My energy has been beyond low lately; I don't feel like doing *anything*.  Haven't been very productive at home.  W. says he's been feeling the same, so I think we'll start taking Vit D supplements.  I know my B12 has not caught up yet (my doctor and I have agreed to disagree on his dosage recommendation) so I might take supplements for that as well.  Not feeling energetic/motivated has also dampened my desire to go to a gym.  If I don't have energy for things around the house, how am I supposed to find the energy to work out? ...despite the desire.  With the added weight, worsening body image and lack of desire, I'm going to head straight into a depression if I'm not careful. 

On that happy note, I think I might go make lunch.  Then after - cupcakes with buttercream icing!  Yum!  I've been putting this recipe off far too long so it's time. 

It's Wednesday, so we're almost there!  Hope the rest of the week goes smoothly for you!

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