16 Feb 2024


The week started with warmer weather but still raining. As usual I started with my Blog and phone calls and then came the cleaning woman and we chatted again about her MIL, and the two houses she and her husband should inherit. And finally the cleaning went very quick but I had done my job as advisor.

Meanwhile I had become counselor, comforter, confessor, and storyteller from my youth, etc. I have to pay attention that my room is still cleaned even when we are speaking. Apparently it has made the rounds that people could talk to me and especially laugh. But actually I only laugh on the outside, inside I don't feel like laughing at all, and I'm often  depressed, especially in the mornings. But laughing feels good, despite everything.

We had a nice activity program starting with pre-printed drawings for Valentine's Day of course. I really didn't feel like doing that, I hated it aleady at school, and the pens were half dry. So I made a few strokes and then I told Amandine that I would rather look at what the others are doing. She knew some of my paintings and had to laugh. The others more or less filled in the drawings and I started to calm down my Italian friend, who when she is tired claims her mother. I told her that her mum is traveling and she will get a postcard soon  etc etc. It worked and she continued.

I try to help Amandine more and more, I like it, and we are starting to make a program for Saturdays or Sundays, because there is no activity during the weekend. I don't mind to play games with them, because I never was for playing cards or Monopoli or other things ! Now at 80 I'm making up for it ! But it's also funny because most people have all the marbles in their heads and make the others laugh. One played piano like a professional, and it turned out that she had been a teacher ! When she played a song of Edith Piaf we sang all together and it was not bad at all.

That's how it is, even if the hands of the 100 year old Jeannie are shaking, she still sings very well !

 filling in the drawings

Jeannie and her son preparing a photo with a frame !
And so it goes on and on every day at 3 pm after the afternoon nap.  

For the first time I could walk without difficulties, a bit slow but I am not 20 anymore and said hello to
Jesus, who holds his hands over us and besides is the little house in which the "homeless" cats live

Besides the castle was a convent, with nuns, but had been converted to a retirement home. It has partly been renovated, and there are heavy cases of Alzheimer or other brain damaged residents living here. It is now attached to our 200 years old castle !

This cute little house contains garden tools and ..... 6 "homeless " cats

On the door is written : Attention, cats are living here !

There are 6 in total, all fat and not shy at all. They get food every day, have a lot of baskets and blankets and a vet checks them from time to time.

When I had made my little walk I was really happy ! That was the first time after 4 years that I had walked on grass and climbed a little hill. With boots (!). And I was not even breathless only a little bit. 

The week ended with a meeting with the manager and his team and us. We were all sitting together and were asked if we had something to complain, but nobody had. 

We thanked him for creating such a warm and welcoming atmosphere, for helping everywhere and asking for ideas to make us feel even more comfortable. There was a lot of laughter, drinking coffee and eating waffles and then I went to my room. I was a bit tired because I had previously been to a pulmonologist for a check up and he had told me that my health has improved a lot, of course I was happy. Maybe my new life is really starting now.
Meeting with manager, personal, and residents. He and his assistant are quite young and have very good ideas !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

13 Feb 2024


1. What does love mean to you? 

For me there are two kinds of love. The one I feel for a man or my husband, and the love for people and animals. It's always love, but it is different.

2. Is love blind? 
When you are a teenager love can be blind. Later most of the women pay more attention and can suddenly realize that they were wrong. But there are also humans they remain blind even if they are terribly unhappy or maltreated

3. How do you remember Valentine's Day as a kid? Do you have any special plans for the day this year? 

I only knew Valentine's Day when I arrived in Belgium. In Germany in the 50/60 it didn't exist. 
When I was 17 or so Valentine's Day was only celebrated by couples. Now everybody celebrates Valentine's Day it has more become a day of "Love" ! Even here in my retirement home we will celebrate Valentine's Day and the young residents are between 70 and 100 years old ! 
My heart is not in the mood to celebrate at all, I have lost the love of my life. But I will make an effort and participate in all activities.

4 Are you a fan of the movie genre known as 'rom-com'? What's your favorite (or one of your favorites)?
I don't like simple dramatic love stories  there must be a bit of humor and psychology in it. One I really loved was "Notting Hill" with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. There are a few others, but I forgot the titles 

5. What's something you recently put your heart into? 
Nothing, I still look for my heart which I lost last year. It's too early. I am still trying to find my new life

6. Insert your own random thought here.  
I am glad that I am here in "my" castle, I really feel home in my room which is almost a flat. I have a living room and a bathroom, it's spacious and I am always happy when I return home and are greeted by little Rosie. In fact I think that I am really lucky that I found this place that is not cold and like a hospital, where people are treated like numbers. Everyone is friendly here and I have never seen people fighting. 
She is happy too !
Yesterday was Valentine's day and we were singing and laughing and taking pictures of all residents 
This lady below is 100 years old sitting besides her son. She is as young as a teenager and we became friends !






12 Feb 2024




Linking to  AWWW MONDAYS 





Saturday morning I did my computer work, was interrupted twice by a cleaning woman and a nurse, just to say hello to Rosie. Now she is used to them and also allows them to pet her. Only the one who dared to vacuum, when she sees her she runs away under the bed or other places. And at beginning she liked her, but since the woman has used sometimes the vacuum cleaner she dislikes her !

In the afternoon as there are no activities on weekends, I had proposed to scrabble, unfortunately not all had heard it, so we were first only 3 people but then came Jeanie the 100 year old with her son and a new one with her granddaughter. We talked about the life today which is full of interdictions, and that we have the impression that we go back to the past with their Bio and green things, even the singers are still the same they are as old as we are, the Beatles, Elton John, Mick Jagger etc, whom even Jeannie knew. And then we talked about learning languages and suddenly Jeannie said a long poem from Lafontaine, the fox and the crow, (Le corbeau et le renard) then they asked me to say it German but I had long forgotten, but the granddaughter had learned it in Italian, we all admired Jeannie that she could still say this fable at 100 years. She had also learned Greek and Latin, which at that time was quite unusual for a woman, they were kept ignorant future housewives didn't need that (she told us) and then her son told us that she even did  parachuting !! She probably has to tell a lot of other stories of her life.

Before they all arrived, I went two steps outside and the automatic door closed behind me. I turned around and wanted to go back but the door remained closed and I only had on a light pullover and it was 10°C ! I knocked and knocked but nobody heard me. So I went to the main terrace where another door was. But here you had to ring the bell. Of course on Saturdays nobody was at the reception and I rang and rang and rang, without success then I took my shoe off and banged against the glass ! Hopeless, apparently there was nobody. Then I had an idea, I fortunately had my mobile with me so I called and oh surprise somebody answered. Meanwhile I was really cold and upset and when the woman at the door asked me who I were, I said nr 14 ! let me in. Finally somebody came and opened the door. Otherwise I had to walk all the way around the castle and the convent which was quite a long way !! 

Sunday it was grey and cold. I used the opportunity to try to make a the spring cleaning of myself. Washing hairs, cutting nails taking a shower and put creme on my skin. Suddenly it was already time for lunch.

In the afternoon at 3 pm the sun came out, I jumped in my coat and boots took my mobile to take photos and went out in our park. Others had the same idea, and I was surprised when suddenly they all returned. I continued walking a bit but suddenly  it became too cold so I returned too. And as we were a little group, we stayed in our restaurant which is also the game and action room and gathered around a table to chat. Beside the bar was coffee, tea, and orange, apple, and another juice, cookies and fruits. What a service ! We spent a nice afternoon together and the weekend was over. 

And I had discovered the first flowers of 2024 ..... Snowdrops !