25 Nov 2022


 I started the week, sitting in a deep black hole, outside it was raining and a lot of wind. 

The toilet dripped and I couldn't turn off the water tap, I had not enough strength.

I had sent Toby's birthday present twice and my son wanted me to fill in the return forms myself. I didn't even read it all and just sent it back, after all the company was in Amsterdam and I was here in Brussels. I didn't need any paperwork that day. It ended up that he managed everything.

I think he had realized that I was really not in a good shape. Even the best moms break down sometimes. I have hidden so many problems which I had in the last 3 years, because he didn't believe me and thought that I would exaggerate and criticize his father. I couldn't tell him my sorrows and the truth about Rick, this had been a very hard time, where I felt so alone. 

My printer needed a new cartridge and I didn't dare to put in a the new one. I would have loved to sit in a corner and cry. I felt abandoned and alone. After a few tears, I pulled myself together as Isabelle was coming. She cheered me up, fixed the toilet, and made sure that I put the cartridge in properly. All problems were suddenly solved! She is an angel. Isabelle is the person which takes care of me when I need something and represents my son since he lives so far away. 

The next day fortunately I felt much better, did my shopping and also framed the new collage I had done for my family frame.I always update the collage and have kept the old ones since Toby was born.

Then I went over to Adeline next door for a chat. With her maxi family there is always something funny to tell or to complain. That's good for both of us. She also takes care of Rosie when I am in Switzerland.

For the Senior's Christmas celebration in the City Hall I had to book four tickets for us (the happy widows of our building). As it was such a lousy weather outside, I thought, now that you have to do everything via the Internet, I would simply order the tickets by email. The next day I got the confirmation, with the condition that I had to come personally to pick up the tickets. I had to laugh, I was probably the only one who didn't stand in line to get their tickets. 

Since Rick's dead the armchair his son had bought for him for the senior residence, Maria had moved it from my dressing in his room, so that I had more space for the clothes. There it stood for months and I just couldn't take away the cover and empty the chair.

And suddenly in the middle of something I watched on TV, I went in his room, pulled the cover, took two huge plastic bags and separated the things to throw away, the others to give away and some for sale.  Then I was relieved and satisfied, but I also had enough. Now I have to ask somebody to help me to get rid of all these bags. I wrote a little message to my son and he answered me that I have time for doing the rest. Which is also true. But it was a start. 

This morning I looked out of the kitchen window and thought that over night a herd of moles moved into the playground across the street!

Now I wonder what that means ! Wouldn't be surprised if they have planted trees there, so that the kids can't play football, baseball or handball there. Since the Covid lockdown lots of people have become intolerant. Since ages kids played here, and dogs ran around or were walked by their owners.  

At the end of the week I went to see "Lord of the Dance" with Isabel. It was fantastic. The hall is huge for 15,000 people! We had good seats and the hall was almost full. That has been so good for me. For the first time in a long time I felt normal. At least for one evening. As bad as the week started, it ended so well. Isabel made the selfie of us, she loved the show too, which made me happy. She has done so much for me, that the show was only a little Thank you.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

24 Nov 2022



1. Have you ever been on a cruise? If so where did you go and how did you like it? If not, do you have any desire to take a cruise someday? 

Yes and it was wonderful ! We cruised through the Mediterranean Sea. We started in Rome, went to Turkey, Malta, Sicily, Italy etc I really can't remember because it has been a very long time ago I think in 1999 ! Therefore I don't have a lot of photos. It was a huge ship a floating city. There was everything on board and I played in the Casino each evening and won my pocket money for the next day ! Now my dream is to make a cruise to the Northern Lights in Norway/Iceland.

2. Tell us about your Thanksgiving plans...are you hosting? cooking? eating out? turkey or some other main? is it stuffing or dressing in your house? homemade cranberries or cranberries in a can? are pies on the dessert menu? what kind? what are your 'must have' sides? Tell us one thing you're especially grateful for this year.


That's easy ! We have no Thanksgiving as our ancestors remained in Europe, the poor Turkey is safe until Christmas !

This is one my son has prepared for Christmas we were only six. We had to eat turkey the whole week !

3. If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them? Do you drop money 'in a tin cup' that belongs to a person on the street? Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round? 

No I don't give money. Those who are really poor are too proud to ask people on the street. If the person is hungry I would buy something to eat. I don't drop money in a tin cup or whatever, I seldom have cash with me and no coins either. I give clothes, toys, food for a home for battered women but I don't give money. 

4. Have you started decorating for Christmas? Is your tree up? Shopping done? Wrapped?  

No, nothing. I'm scared of Christmas this year. It will be the first without Rick. I am afraid of being hurt because I feel so weak and very sensitive. I 

5. Create your own acrostic using the word THANKS. 

T is for a special time

h is for happiness

a is for an appealing smile

n is for a naturally brilliant mind 

k is for no more kilograms 

s is for being smart

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I have no special thoughts I am fed up of the world cup football (soccer) which is in Qatar. Not only I don't like football but whenever you switch on you TV there is football ! In all languages and on all channels ! It's crazy. As soon as I see a player or a ball I switch channel. As if there were not more important things to do. 

Our electricity and gas bills increase tremendously and a lot of people have not enough money to pay the bills and little shops or bakeries have to close. And then for a stupid football game a whole artificial town is cooled down from more than 30°C to a normal temperature.  I wonder if these machos want to show the world that they have a lot of money. They don't know anything about human rights in their own country.



23 Nov 2022


Raw turquoises

 This is a necklace which I bought when the stones were real and not "tourist" stones

The earliest evidence of turquoise gemstones comes from ancient Egyptian tombs, which contain elaborate turquoise jewelry dating back to 3000 BCE. Egyptians set turquoise in gold necklaces and rings, used it as inlay, and carved it into scarabs. 

The oldest turquoise mines are in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Egyptians called turquoise mefkat, which meant “joy” and “delight.” Ancient Persians decorated extensively with turquoise, often engraving it with Arabic script. Turquoise covered palace domes because its sky-blue color represented heaven. This later inspired the use of turquoise in buildings like the Taj Mahal. You can read more about this special stone which also was found in Arizona and used by the Native Americens  here.

When I first went to Egypt in 2001, I always bought some turquoise jewelry.
At that time you still could find the real stones to a very cheap price, despite the haggling, and also handmade together with silver. Today you have to pay attention because they use a normal sandstone and paint it turquoise. At the latest you realize it when you want to clean the silver around the stone and the color disappears ! It happened to me once with a bracelet ! 

Apparently you can verify if it's real turquoise or not with the help of a lighter or a candle. If the stone remains turquoise in the heat it's real turquoise. Otherwise the color would change. 

I have never tried it but other tourists did.



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21 Nov 2022



linking to AWWW MONDAYS





Saturday it was awful outside ! It was very windy, it rained just a weather to stay home ! That's what I did. But I wanted to see the Grand'Place where they had put up the yearly Christmas Tree. In the past the firs came from Sweden or another Northern country. This year it came from the German speaking part of Belgium from a private family ! The tree had become too big for their garden so that they offered it to the City of Brussels. Thanks to Webcams I could see it on my screen and that's what I saw :

Anyway it remains there until January so I have time to go there when it's not raining ! In the afternoon we had a little neighbor meeting of the 3 widows, the 4th was invited to a birthday from I don't remember how many great great children she has. It was nice for me to ask for addresses, for eventual problems with electricity or if I would need a plumber. We also agreed to go together to the Waterloo Christmas party for seniors which this year has a performance of Gospel singers. 

I also checked my travel documents for my trip to Switzerland, which is approaching and went for a visit to Nicole and this time I could take some pictures.

In fact it is the same building where I attended my paining classes during nearly 20 years. Now it looks very modern and nice inside but the senior residence is a bit old although repainted and refreshed. The rooms are very small, and there is only a toilet and no bathroom ! Nicole now wants to stay there, she is getting used to it, she is well taken care of and the food is very good. Anyway she says I sleep all day when there is nothing to do. There are activities, but or they are too childish for her or too difficult. But she found two ladies who also play scrabble so she was happy. 

It's the official retirement home of the city and not a private one. I personally prefer the home where Rick was it is more familiar and small and cozy, while this looks more like a hospital and is so big that  the first time it took me 15 min until I found her room ! There are miles to walk through loooong corridors. 

On Sunday it still rained and I also had breathing problems. I wanted to go out for a little photo hunting, but the rain stopped me. Finally I landed in the (posh) Waterloo gallery where some people walked around or lined up for the movie tickets. There was nothing interesting and anyway as it was Sunday all boutiques were closed. I returned home, and stopped at Louquette's to choose the day for the Gospel songs and the hour because I have to pick up the tickets.

As you can see the whole parking is wet ! 

Late afternoon Adeline came for the latest news and also to confirm that she comes with us for the Gospel songs.

I also worked a bit on my photo creations which keep me busy and let me  forget everything.