Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Message to my Dear Blogger Friends

At the moment * I need time!

I'm thinking of you all.
Thanks for your support!
PS:* link.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Info About the Previous Post

Now -- I've tears enough to come to you my dear PIpke

For those who want more explanation about the previous post: A Dramatic Turn, please send me your Email address.
I can't talk about it openly on the Internet. It's all too precarious.

Thanks for your kind comments.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Dramatic Turn

Today, something dramatic happened in my life folks, something where I can't talk about openly on my blog.
Once I started both my blogs in good spirits with the aim to tell Pipke's life story but at the moment I lack the courage to really go on. I'm totally collapsed and I really don't know if I will ever come back.

I've still published the previous post because I had written it already months ago and I had so much pleasure with it.

It was good to know that you were here and that you stopped by from time to time.
Actually after Pipke died, telling her story became a new aim in my life. It kept me going on, but unfortunately ... this time ... what happened became too much for me.

Thank you for your kind comments, for being a reader or a follower and a friend.
I don't know what the future will bring but at the moment I'm not able to go through with my blogs.
If I would come back then I will let you know.

I will let this blog to rest, together with my dear Pipke, the love of my life!

Life is full of beauty.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
Be happy!

I wish you all the best and take care.

A Combination of my Favorites

This time about something completely different, *although .....

Probably you've already seen on my profile that one of my interests is: Classical music.
I think now these days it's a kind of music that's rather being ignored by younger people.
Most of them prefer to listen to contemporary music, and I can really understand them. Mostly contemporary music sounds cheerful, and I must agree – that's not so often the case with classical music. Actually – any piece of classical music is bound to touch the sensitive string in every classical music lover's heart. If you are downhearted you best don't listen to it. I myself, I'm not always in the mood to listen to it because it makes me sometimes melancholic but nevertheless I like to hear it so now and then.
When I'm in a cheerful mood then I listen (and/or dance, all by my self) to contemporary music, I really like it too.
Now I want to explain how I came on the idea for this post.
I was surfing on the Internet and I came by coincidence on this YouTube music video. I discovered there that they combined the things I love so much: a part of one of my favorite piano concertos of Serguei Rachmaninov supplemented with beautiful sensitive images and text.
If you love classical music then you will probably know this music piece.
OK – it's an emotional piece but If you are not in the mood to listen and look at it then please don't do it.

Info: Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer and essayist.

I have seen an orchestra play this piece in a real concert hall on November 25, 2006.
It was really a fabulous experience. The sound was overwhelming, something completely different than when you hear it on the radio or on your CD player.
It was performed by the Symphonic Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Pietersburg.

The pianist was Igor Tsjetuev. Here you can hear and see him play an other piece of the concert that I attended (click on link).

Actually this was the best performance that I've ever seen and heard. He played the piece with so much power and diligence, it really gave me goosebumps.
I have this music on CD, but It has been a long time since I've listened to it. In fact: my CD player stayed closed since mid-August last year. This was at the time that Pipke became ill for the very last time.
Anyhow, I really love the images and the text they've added to the music. I find it a wonderful combination of beautiful things, things that matter in life!
Life is full of beauty.
Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces.
Smell the rain, and feel the wind.
Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
Be happy!

I still want to add.I discovered something very interesting after I had written this post in draft. Did you know that: Classical music also pulls at the heartstrings of people in a vegetative state.
If one plays music to vegetative patients, their heart rate changes in the same way as that of healthy controls, suggesting that music can affect the neural systems of emotion even when conscious thought is impossible.

To Jeannie and Jen: do you remember the hilarious conversation which followed on the comments of this post.
It went about: "**een scheet in een fles"?
I said there : "And now I go from one extreme to an other, I will listen to Rachmaninov's piano concertos n°1 & 3"
Well -- the piece that you could hear here was the piece that I referred there.

(For those who don't know it: literally translated to English **this means: "a fart in a bottle".
If you want to know what the English proverb is for this, read the comments on this post:):) LOL.)
Maybe you're surprised -- but yes -- I can be funny and naughty too.

PS: I said *although because it goes again about "feelings", but it shows the way I am and how I feel.
I just hope that you don't get bored with it.
(Actually I had prepared this post already two months ago but hesitated to publish it because it was again all so sensitive.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oh oh, I've Got Hearing Loss

This problem started already more than one year ago.

First I noticed that - when I was in a crowd with much background noise, I couldn't understand people well. Actually – I often thought: people don't articulate well these days, I really wasn't aware that there was something wrong with me.

I also often noticed that I didn't hear the phone ring when our TV set was on. The same thing happened when our front door bell rang. But after we'd bought a new TV set I was really surprised that I had to turn the sound almost on his loudest. Therefore I went to an auditory centre a few weeks ago to get my hearing checked.

The diagnose really baffled me folks. I've never realized that my hearing was so bad.

Actually – I even couldn't believe it and asked the lady of the auditory centre if the measurement was right. She confirmed that it was correct, there was no doubt.

I have a loss of 80 percent of the high tones, and 45 percent of the low tones.

The result is that I must wear a hearing aid on both ears.

I have the misfortune that I can't wear a hearing aid that sits inside the ear, because in this case my own voice might sound too loud for me. Therefore I have to wear outer hearing aids behind the ears. Luckily they are rather small.

Actually, I still can't understand that this happens to me. No one in the family has or had such a problem. I never wore a head phone (which is very bad for your hearing) and I was never exposed to loud music, I've always avoided it.

Of course I can't complain, there are much younger persons with a hearing problem.

For me it's even not abnormal – It comes with aging – so I have to take it as it comes.


Always stay positive they say!:)

Shall I wear them or not?:)

I only hope that I will get used to the hearing aid set. It will be a great adaption for me because my inner ear is no more used to hear so much. Actually – my hearing specialist says: if I would not wear hearing aids the hearing nerves would die slowly because they receive less and less sound incentives. If hearing loss is not treated, brain can "forget" how to hear and understand speech.

So I had luck, I was just in time. If I would have waited longer, then the damage would have been much worse.

Now my hearing will “likely” remain stable. Actually – that's what I hope.

Therefore I want to warn you.

If you experience even the slightest change in your hearing don't wait to get your hearing checked.

Better too soon than too late!

Growing old sucks folks.

Take care of your hearing!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An Encountering with Kindred Spirits

Some time ago I promised ter-o-fla to write a post in answer to her comment on my blog: Life Story of a Duck.

This was the comment that she wrote there.
Just recently my Mom mentioned talking to a stranger about their experiences with their dogs - this man had a young bouvier, the type of dog my family had when I was young - and it was very nice for my parents to talk to the man about the dogs; what they do, how they act, etc. It brought back lovely memories, but also the sadness because - of course - they are all not here anymore. (at least not here in the same form)”.
I told her that it was a coincidence that also I had a conversation with an old lady about animals and that I could almost compare this conversation with her story, it even ended in a friendship.

Well then – her follows my story.
A few months after Pipke had died I was waiting at a railway crossing together with a 77 years old lady accompanied by a greyhound.
At that very moment the alarm bell started to ring and just thereafter the barriers went down.
From the moment that the bell began to ring I noticed that the greyhound began to shiver very heavy. This really wasn't normal behavior, I had seldom seen a dog so afraid. The lady had to reassure the dog, she kept him close to her and gave him a cuddle. After a while he was more at ease. I thought: this dog must have experienced something very bad. So – I asked the lady if the dog was perhaps a rescued Greyhound, and yes I was right. She had adopted him one and a half year ago. He came from Spain where they really mistreat these animals. She told me that he was still afraid of the bell, probably he had heard this sound many times during the greyhound races. It must bring up nasty memories to him.
She also told me that she was a volunteer worker for a Charity Cause for Greyhounds.
After the barriers went open we walked further and we chatted for a while. I said I admired her commitment and that it was good that there are still people like her. She described the situation when he arrived at her home after being rescued. He was frightened of everything, he trusted no one. It took a long while before he could overcome his fears. Now he trusted her completely. He was now her best mate, the sunshine in her life. Every day she walked with him at least one hour. It was good for them both, it kept them both in form.
After a while we said goodbye to each other and while she went away she waved at me and said: hope to see you again!

Only a few days later, I met them both again, but this time at an other spot. “What a coincidence” we both said.
Again we chatted for a while and she asked me where I lived. She could speak so full of love and warmth about animals. They were the purpose in her life since she became a widow. I told her nothing about Pipke, I wasn't yet in the mood because I had still too much grief. After having a pleasant chat we said goodbye and as the time before we hoped to see each other again.

Then one week later I saw them both again – but this time together with an other old lady accompanied by a smaller dog.

This time it was at a whole different area. It was actually on a middle path between two parts of the village on an uncultivated land. She told her friend: “this is the lady where I spoke about”. And of course – you probably can guess – again there followed a conversation about pets. Her friend told me that her dog was also a rescued dog. She had adopted him after her previous dog had died. She had found him in an animal shelter.
He was mistreated, skin and bones, and he had a skin disease. She nursed him and it had taken almost half a year after he was cured. It was a cute little critter, a kind of everything: a mongrel. Very at ease he lay there waiting on the grass while the greyhound sat on his bump observing everything.
Then the lady with the greyhound said: "I'm so happy that I have him. You must know -- I became a widow two years ago. Two months later my previous dog also died and I must tell you, although I loved my husband very much, I had more sorrow when my dog died than when my husband died. The love you get from an animal is so very very different, it's unconditional love, they take you as you are. That's something you can't always say about humans. Actually the love that you get from an animal is the best that can happen to you".
The lady with the mongrel fully agreed. She also was a widow, they both spend much time together now. They walked the dogs together as much as they could.

Then I told them that also I had lost a pet not so long ago and that I was still sad.
They asked me which kind of pet It was and they were very surprised to hear that it was a duck. They asked me a thousand questions. I had to tell Pipke's story. They wanted to know everything about her and when I told them that she was a white crested duck they asked me if I had a picture of her. So – I showed them two pictures of Pipke which I always carry in my wallet. (One with Pipke on my arm under the Rowan tree, and one of her, laying on my breast one day before she died.)
They were very touched by her. I told them that we have many images of her and that they evoke lovely memories, but also much sadness because at the end we had to put her to sleep.

At that moment, while I was looking at Pipke's pictures I got tears in my eyes and they both tried to comfort me. They embraced me and gave me a big hug, it really gave me a warm feeling. They both had also experienced the loss of their beloved pets. They knew how it felt, and the lady with the greyhound said: "though the bond between you and your pet is very valuable, the importance of its loss may not always be understood by other people. I've experienced it. The difference lies in the value that is placed on your pet by your family and by society as a whole and for me my dog was the most precious".
They understood that Pipke was very important and dear to me. They both felt for me.
Meanwhile the time had flown by, we even didn't realize that we stood there more than one hour talking about our beloved pets. It really felt good to have met kindred spirits and that I could share Pipke's story with them.
Now it was time to go, and we embraced each other once more. We waved at each other and said one more time: hope we meet again!
When I looked around I watched them for a while. I saw them walking on with a smooth step, while the dogs frolicked cheerful up and down. This was such a warm and lovely scene, you could see that they “all” were very lucky with each other.

In this case the dog whisperer Cesar Millan would say: they are a happy well balanced pack.

Now it has been a while since I have seen one of them and I wonder how they are doing right now.
My thought are with them and their beloved pets, they really radiated warmth and love.
I hope I will meet those two lovely old ladies and their lucky dogs once again.
I will not forget their warmth and kindness. The small gesture of the hug meant a lot for me, more than they will ever know.
I'm gratefull for it.

PS: ter-o-fla, my family also had a bouvier when I was young. On this post you can see me together with him.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The End of Men

"Machos have had their best time"!
Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed. These are the first sentences of an article in my weekly magazine of September 7.
It quotes an article that appeared last July in The Atlantic Magazine.

Now mothers say: We want a girl!.
These mothers look at their lives and think their daughters will have a bright future their mother and *grandmother didn’t have, brighter than their sons, even, so why wouldn’t they choose a girl?”
What a privilege those girls have. I really envy them a little.
They are the lucky ones. What a great future they have, I wish them all success!
That they may conquer their place in society!
I would say -- go for it girls!

PS: *I'm also a grandmother.

I still want to add: I had written this post in draft before I'd read Jeannie's exceptional beautiful story.
Actually hindsight seen I find this post is a complement to her story.
It shows what previous brave generations of women have achieved with their battle for the equality between men and women.
Probably the courageous old lady in Jeannie's story wasn't in the possibility to study when she was young.
Now her dream came true!
It's only so unfortunately that she couldn't enjoy it long.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


one year ago it was the saddest day of our life.
That day we lost Pipke.
In loving memory I dedicate this poem to her
You came into our lives for much too short time
a time we wouldn't trade not even for a million dime

Then before we knew it the years have flown by
and then all of the sudden we had to say good-bye

It was exact one year ago that we had to say our good-bye

I then held on to you very tight as you closed your eyes

Your spirit has flown home on the wings of a dove

into God's loving arm's; in heaven above

Over the days we've shed many tears

but the memories we have will live on for years

We feel your presence and we know that you're near

you're keeping us safe and calming our fear

We think about memories from years past

when you were young and strong, and could run so fast

we remember all the great times that we all had

how you always made us happy never made us mad

They were the best and happiest years we had

we'll always look back on them and never be sad

We look forward to the time we'll be together again

and we thank the Lord for such a great friend

Now you run and play up in Heaven above

cradled in God's arms covered with his love

Playing by the Bridge waiting for the day

we come down thru the meadow to the bridge to stay

The love that you showed us we'll never forget

because to us you're one very special pet

You're like a star in the dark of night

always watching over us with the Lord's light

So now we take time to remember you most beloved friend

you will always be with us even to the end

We'll always remember you the way you were

one lovable huggable soft pile of feathers. 

May 25, 1995 – September 14, 2009

I'm lost without you sweety
click on hugs to watch youtube film

Poem written by John Quealy and addapted by Fran

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Box with Keepsakes

I came on the idea for this post after reading an article in my favorite weekly magazine. It brings me back in time because once I had a memory box.
It wasn't a luxury box but rather a very ordinary cardboard box.

Anyhow: The article that I mentioned above went about the film “*To kill a mockingbird”
This year this film became fifty years old and for me it's still one of the best films I have ever seen.
It's superb on all counts. It's a great adaptation of *this memorable novel written by (probably you will all know this) the American writer Harper Lee. She's an Alabama author, she only wrote one book – and it was a good one.
What has this to do with my memory box you shall say: well the opening scene of this film starts with a memory box, almost one like I had, although mine was a little larger.
This particular scene is still stuck to my memory. I love the sound of the tikking clock, the cheerful humming of Scout, and the rolling and bouncing of the marbles -- it's all so simple and oh so sensitive. The combination of the images and the music are so touching and so beautiful chosen, for me this scene is a real masterpiece. After so many years -- and seeing it severall times over again -- it still gives me goosebumps when I look at it.

Therefore I would like to show this scene

Info about the links!
Post update:  July 25, 2013 . 
I could restore the link above.
I will leave the second link here below so that you still can listen to it.
Post update: October 20, 2012.
Dear readers. Today I've discovered that the original openingsscene of the film is no longer available. It's really unfortunate that you can't see it now, therefore I want to let you hear the main theme of the film.
Click on this link to listen!
I hope you enjoyed the music.

Now back to the main topic

What was sitting in my box with keepsakes!

I was born in the middle of World War 2, so I had not much when I was a small child but I cherished the little things I had.
Unfortunately but not much that was sitting in that box has survived all those years, just some drawings that I made and one of my first books: The Story of Little Red Riding Hood (in Dutch: Roodkapje), my first Communion church book (I was raised catholic) with within it a little handkerchief edged with lace (it was a present for this celebration) and a few communion cards.

Once there was a little Jesus image glued on my prayer book but as you can see my little sister had torn it off, she had also scribbled with a pencil on my story book.

Here you see me with my prayer book, wrapped in the little handkerchief in my hands.
This picture is now 61 years old!

Then at least: the most important object, my doll. I called her: Hilda.
She's almost 60 years old now. My aunt made this doll for me after her little daughter Hilda (she was her only daughter) died of leukemia. She became only 8 years old. If you see pictures of Hilda she looks almost like the doll. She also had very blond short hair that curled outside, she seemed to be made of porcelain. She was such a pretty girl.
My doll is made entirely of cotton fabric and is stuffed with kapok inside, only the head was bought. One thing is regrettable but actually it didn't bother me: she can't bend her legs and arms so she can't sit. But despite this shortcomings for me she was perfect. My aunt also made her cloths.
Look how proud I was at my Hilda.
In this Christmas tree you can see the **Christmas balls and stars which we had made ourselves.:):)

Now you can see that the time has gnawed at the fabric, it starts to fall apart at some places.

You can also see that her cheeks are worn off because I cuddled her so much!
I will cherish her for the rest of my days.
I couldn't show you much, but these items have a great sentimental value for me.

When I look back on it, time has flown by, much much too fast!
One thing I know for sure: the time hasn't gnawed on
"To Kill a Mockingbird".
It will remain intact for always.
It's easy to enjoy and hard to forget.

Very special stuf!:):)