Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sun rays

this was yesterday morning when we drove away from the hotel. in reality it was prettier, of course....
we stayed 2 nights, so last night we could use the gym and pool again. we even had a personal trainer in the gym, so funny! he made us do some exercises...  and after that, we had a very fancy dinner in a very fancy restaurant.... (it starts with an M and ends with an s....)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter sun

since yesterday we finally have a few days off! we drove from groningen to amsterdam with 2 weeks worth of laundry.... ugh (only in amsterdam we have a washing machine)..... as i refuse to use a dryer, i managed only 1 load yesterday evening, as this morning we left again! first to tims grandmother, who turned 99 today!! after that, we drove on to a fancy hotel in the netherlands (we got some discount), we had a walk this afternoon, and then i took the above picture. the sun was shining like crazy!!!  the hotel has quite a nice gym and a pool, so... we used both and then had a nice dinner in a restaurant..... and now its time for the leftover homebaked brownies..... hmmmm.....
tomorrow we both took off from work. jippiejee!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Such landscapes....

no, this is not something you will find in the netherlands..... this was in december 2012 already, when we drove from..... texas to caliornia, or was it nevada. uuugghh. i dont remember exactly! also not which state this is. but i remember this very well. we had arrived after dark, found a cheap motel, and in the morning the landscape turned out to be amazing... as you can see above.... :)
perhaps this year we can once again make a road trip... i certainly would like that!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last post!

last post of 2014!!! this year went by fast, and i didnt post much, nor took a lot of pictures....  several big things happened, though.... the first half of 2014 i was still out of work and i sort of had given up on ever finding a job. when other people started to come up with "alternatives" of all sorts to my joblessness, however nice it was, i felt it truly was hopeless.... while tim was working long days, i just went to the gym, looked and applied for jobs, went to the supermarket, baked bread. days did go by fast, and at some point going to the supermarket became an event all by itself. end of february i applied for a job, right on the deadline (i think there was one hour left). i felt i had all the skills they asked for, but couldnt quite get what kind of work it would be. they actually had another position too, slightly different; but for that one i even had less of a clue what the work would be about. having applied for one, i forgot about the other and eventually missed the closing date on that one. months i heard nothing..... and guess what?! i was invited for an interview, did NOT get the job (became second), but was invited for the one i didnt apply for. and thats the position i now got!! i think its the best possible match, it turns out it has all the elements i was looking for (science, learning (LOTS of) new things, social relevance). but.... around the same time tim got a new position on the other side of the country. so.. when i finally returned to working life, we also had to adjust to living apart. thats not as easy as it seemed, but i am so very happy to be working again (and feel so bad for the numerous people i know that still have not found a job).
other than that, tim got his PhD this year and i could finally expand my shoe and clothes collection... something i could not allow myself while out of work... :)
so... thats about it. the year started bad for me, but really ended great, and i am looking forward to go back to the office again next week, even though my little working-from-home-while-on-the-other-side-of-the-country-with-tim was very pleasant too. it felt like a mini-holiday, work included (sure, i didnt work VERY hard).
enjoy new years eve! and who knows, maybe next year i will post more! maybe not... ! :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Purple ride

soooo... today its purple, which is still my favorite color! this is in the car museum in the hague, where we went the day before tims birthday. i actually wanted to go shopping that day, and that was also the plan when we left the house, but instead we went to the museum and it really took forever to get out of it again. they have nearly 250 cars!!! and even without reading all the descriptions and not staring at each one intently, it took ages to get through the museum. and yes, at some point i was a bit bored! there were just so many, many.... cars..... the highlight for me was the purple car above. its in the central hall, so i had seen it upon entering the museum already..... it was custom made in new jersey in 2008, and the back has room for a harley davidson motor (as you can see here).
the museum was about to close, but there was still time to do some lunging in front of the purple car.... :) afterwards, there was just a tiny bit of time left for shopping...... ah well, it was for tims birthday after all....

Monday, December 29, 2014

More landscape!

and some farms close to our place in groningen. ah well, tims place.... but i bake the bread, also here! :)
today it was just rainy and cold, no snow at all!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter view

this was yesterday, somewhere around groningen. we had a teeny tiny bit of snow...... the roads were terribly slippery, with a layer of ice. but today the lower part of the country had some real snow, and here in groningen we got nothing at all!! so i was a bit disappointed.....
tim had to work (again!) and i went for a bit of shopping. but so did everyone else here. it was crazy crowded..... at least i got some christmas ornaments for almost nothing, for next year... :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry christmas!!

and again its been well over a month since i last posted! in the mean time i have been doing lunges (i am still not good at them, but the instructor in the gym said i just need to continue practising), AND i have been to geneva for work (i was in the united nations building for work, whoohooo!), and tim had his birthday, and what-not....
and then we were in some shop and tried these christmas-glasses...
here in the netherlands we have 2 christmas-days. but tim is working today.... buuh. and tomorrow as well. we left amsterdam sunday evening and drove to groningen, and he has been working in the hospital the 3 days before christmas and i have been working from home (well, his home). with crappy internet, so that was a bit frustrating. but still, i am lucky to have a job where it is OK to work from home, and where its possible to work from home :) and had i been taken those days off, it would have been OK too... but well, i thought. tim is working, so i will work as well...
anyways, i hope you had a great christmas!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lunging on....

several of you have mentioned that you dont think my lunging will become a trend... buhuh. so well, then i will just have to continue doing it myself. or have tim do it, of course..... 
just too bad im holding my bag, now the effect is less, i think.
ah well, plenty more opportunities to try again!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Golden jacket

how can you tell this in the US and not in the netherlands? 
first there is the ATM sign in the window and the ladies' barnes & nobles bag (but the latter of course doesnt mean anything, i still use american shopping bags here). most certainly the pavement. for pedestrians the pavement never looks like this in the netherlands (unless there is some construction going on), and it very often looks like this in the USA. also, the pavement will be more elevated from the remainder of the street (i guess at least twice as high as above). then the shoes; i guess she will exchange them for something more stylish once she arrives at her destination. this is something dutch people never do, but they also dont wear as high heels as americans tend to do (but they often do wear heels, and in general i think dutch women wear more stylish shoes than american women). i actually am seriously contemplating to do as the americans do; comfy shoes for the commute, fancy shoes for the office. i will be so much faster while trying to catch a train, and my nice shoes will stay nice much longer.... but i wouldnt want my colleagues to see that i am a shoe switcher.... hmmmm..... how to solve that problem! :)
and the jacket? i dont think many dutch women would wear one like this, but it was the reason for me to take this pic!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A wedding!

a few weeks back we attended a wedding. but in this pic, when looking back at them, i first noticed the boy before i saw all those in the back. including the pretty bride.... the boy really liked the hat. he had found it. or perhaps his mom put it on his head, i forgot. and the  he just walked around with it. it seemed like nobody noticed, but at least i did... :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

American bike

very american bike (to me also the type of bike, not just the stars and colors, except the basket on the front) parked at a very dutch canal! :)
here you can once again clearly see why many bikes end up in canals....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eehhhmm... art?

at the same museum (see my last post) we also saw the above pieces. a tissue box holder, a vase and a lamp. tissue box says "love", but the lamp is a kut-lamp and the vase a lul-vase. the dutch among you immediately saw that that is pretty weird....!! anyone else..? i suggest you use google translate or something...  :) is it art? hmmm... is it weird? most definitely. would i buy it? probably not.... 
the artist is dienand christe and somewhere i just read that the thing he likes to do most is "annoying other people"... 
the museum btw is the kunsthal in rotterdam. they currently have a very extensive exhibit on 50 years james bond. im not that big of a james bond fan, but i really liked the exhibit. there are a lot of gadgets on view, as well as dresses, costumes, storyboards, etc tec. its very nicely done and it even made me want to see a james bond movie! (although we still didnt get to do that). when we were there, it was extremely crowded (while the remainder of the museum was interesting too, but was quite deserted), so much so that we eventually did the exhibit from finish to start; we actually were able to see more that way.... :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shadow words

a few weeks back we were in a museum and this is one of the things we saw. tim only saw the wires and said; ah no, this one is boring.... but look!! there is a mirror at the end of the wires, a lamp, and.... shadow words as a result.... who would have thought?! how do you do that? but well... quite a complicated way of writing.... :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bed cover

in the fanciest store in amsterdam (i would compare it to bergdorf goodman, i guess), we saw this bed cover. i got tim to pose, and took several pictures, but my camera is getting a bit old, and the one pic where he is really aligned with his new body is missing... (sometimes it wont actually store the pictures anymore. on top of that i lost the lens cover 2 weekens ago. buuh. still need to do something about that). i was really tempted to buy it. were it not for him.... then at least for myself!! but that was before i saw the price.... :)
ah, and imagine the excitement kids will have! im sure i would.... maybe not as a ballet dancer... but i think the cover next to it was a super hero or so.... ;)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Armour boys

yesterday i was too lazy to post, so tim did... :) that was his picture and text, and this is my picture. we like to photograph in different colors..... the pictures were taken over 2 years ago, in lincoln, massachusetts. it was at the de cordova museum, and the soldier you saw yesterday is part of a 5-piece installation named "armour boys" by laura ford, a british sculptor. in the above picture you can see 3 of them, including the one you saw in close up yesterday. (to the far right you see tim and his father). it is no longer on view at the museum grounds, i just saw on the website. 
but... the sculpture references child soldiers and the practice of sending men and women, in the prime of their youth, to fight and potentially die in battle. the artist herself cites a film depicting the death of a Palestinian child as inspiration for armour boys, and is sensitive to the fact that children are all-too-often the unfortunate casualties of war (you can read it all here).
i do miss going to this museum! their exhibitions changed often and the sculpture park was very nice too....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

the soldier

against a tree the soldier lies
his last thoughts linger as he dies
my form preserved by iron cast
my burden falls away at last

tim wrote this

Friday, November 7, 2014

Floating garden

see that green spot next to the boat? a floating garden!! as those living on the water still want to have a garden.... i do wonder whether they can walk on it?!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Big bear...

ah, and me. lunging.... :) after a day of biking through amsterdam (where we passed lunging rembrandt, the fancy gym, the meadows and the marathon, i.e. nearly all my recent posts), we wanted to finally go home. not too far from our place was some roadwork and we had to take a detour. suddenly we faced a giant bear at a rather tiny playing field..... of course we had to stop again so i could take some pictures! (well, tim in this case...)
this bear made of concrete is 11 metres tall.... its called "staalman" (literally its "steel man", as staalmanplein is the name of the square), and is standing there since 2011. the buildings around the square were all recently built. the little park at the feet of the bear was co-designed by the kids in the neighborhood. one of their requests was a sculpture. they asked the dutch artist florentijn hofman (hes responsible for the giant floating duck and other giant sculptures around the world), and together they choose a bear. with a pillow under its arm. the pillow symbolizes bedtime; children should goto bed on time instead of being out on the street till late, so they are well rested again the next day. moreover, the pillow represents moving houses; all the people in the neighborhood had to literally take their pillows and leave their old houses for the new ones to be built....

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Outdoor gym

this is in the amsterdam forest (het amsterdamse bos). it is called "the bosbaan"  and is a rowing lake. but its used for swimming too.... when we were there, again a few weeks back, we stumbled upon the triathlon. well, it was 1/8 of a triathlon (i think). they had to swim 750 metres, then bike 20 km, and run 5 km. when a pool of swimmers was released, the water was not this calm, but soon after it become sleek like above.... watching this all made both me and tim sort of wanting to join as well. but we dont have wetsuits (it wasnt cold, so i dont think it was needed), and we also dont have fancy bikese... would a normal dutch bike suffice as well? then i would try... but all the contestants had fancy bikes and helmets (and some a big beer belly; that convinced me i could join as well!). some would come out of the water and jump right on their bikes. others would change (some would even strip completely). some were in a hurry, others first dried themselves before putting on their next set of clothes. same when to returned for their run... quite interesting to see.....!