Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Stuyvenbergh Stop

First of all, I had the good luck and pleasure of being in Brussels the last two days! Donica had to be there for business meetings and since she finds it easier to get there by train than plane (seriously!), this time she asked if I'd like to join her. Are you kidding me??!!



And because Dutch-friend Astrid loves to do photo-hunts with me, we asked her to join me for the day on Tuesday, which she did! Two crazy women with their cameras!

Okay! That's the introduction.

As we were going from here to there on the Metro, we passed through the Stuyvenbergh station and noticed several "statues" lining the metro/underground walls on either side of the tracks. We didn't have time to stop but both of us mentioned that we wanted to, to see them better and take pictures.

So I took the mental note and went back on my own the next day (yesterday) to see them for myself...all 7 of them, as follows:















While on the train back to Amsterdam, as I PhotoShopped the images, Donica tried to find info about them on the Internet. You can read more about them here, but basically they are life-sized terracotta statues "which refer to Queen Elisabeth's last residence, the Stuyvenbergh castle" and are an "homage to the queen's love of art but also to the royal family." The artist is Yves Bosquet.

In the process of discovering this art at this station, Donica found out that there is art at ALL the Metro stations, making the Brussels Metro its own underground art gallery. In fact, you can take your own tour and buy the book and/or download this file to see it all for yourself.

So, Donica, when did you say you have to go back to Brussels again??!! I know two crazy women who have another photo-hunt in mind!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Many Women Does it Take...

...to change a light bulb in Amsterdam! That would be THREE, if you count the photographer!

First of all, our Dutch friend, Astrid, was with us here in Amsterdam yesterday to attend a k. d. lang concert...our birthday gift to her for her birthday.

In the meantime, the hallway light bulb outside our apartment door was out and we decided to have her help us change it (in case it would be different than the States, of course, and she would know!).










LET THERE BE LIGHT! Now we can see the keyhole on our door instead of having to read it like braille. HA! Will wonders never cease!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Boomnetting

Someone on my other blog just "accused" me of being "all over the place," and since that's true to my Gemininity, I'll be the same here. HA!

Donica keeps reminding me that I'm not yet done with all my Australian pictures from April/May, so my goal this Amsterdam trip (we arrived yesterday!) is to finish them. I just PhotoShopped this little series of shots from when we went out on a boat to see Magnetic Island from the water. We got to snorkel...







...and something I had never heard of: boomnetting! I didn't do it because I wanted to take these pictures, but it looked like a blast!



This is a step-mother (right) and daughter who were the only ones on our ride who did it. The mother is smiling at her two little sons who were scared to death about what they were seeing.













It took a long time before they both figured out where they needed to be on the net without being dragged out to sea!

What a blast! I totally got my education that day. I had no clue there was such a thing as boomnetting. Where have I been all my life??!!

Okay, back to photoshopping Australia!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Reunioning

I think I am forever blowing bubbles! OOPS! I mean...forever processing photos!! :)

HA! But I love it! We got back on Sunday night from our July 4th reunion with my Hart Family in Michigan. You could go back into my Archives to this time of the year for the last 3 years and see a different version of the same thing! It's always the same and yet always different. We all keep growing up!




The lake, of course, is the central focus for reunioning during the day when the weather cooperates. Sun or shade, take your pick. There's something for everyone!




Nephew Paul is a graphics designer and was the one who encouraged me last year to buy the above Canon lens for my camera. So I brought it his year for him to "test" on his own camera. He loves it. If I ever find it missing, I think I'll know where to look.




In this picture there is a g'ma, g'daughter, mother, daughter, aunt and niece. That's the fun thing about reunions! Wilma is my SIL, a real Dutch lady, and we know what that means to me. She's holding her g'daughter, Clara. Niece Shari in the center is the mother of Emma on the right. Can you believe it!




For me in particular, I'm mesmerized all over again by the wee ones. Little great-nephew Aden (above) stole my heart last year. He and I are both #3 children in our nuclear families. I think I'll really be watching him like a Mother Hen.

Little great-nephew Asher (below) represents the awe I have over the simplest of things that I treasure.





This year there seemed to be more activity in the water than past years. I wonder if it's because the wee ones are getting older and are enjoying it more. So that means the g'ma/g'pa generation (mine) is more involved as well. Reunioning!




And all kinds of little conversations take place anywhere! That's what gives us so many dear memories of the cottage. Three generations are represented here.




Nephew Peter is one of the favorite cousins for the second-generation cousins. You can see why. The reunion-connections are built every year and keep getting bigger and bigger. Squirt guns help.




Then you have the reunion between sister Susan and her g'daughters who are separated throughout the year by several states...Illinois and Florida. The Michigan cottage becomes an oasis in their reunion-desert.




BIL Don (like his son, Peter) knows how to connect with the kids in a way that makes him a favorite. My g'son Nicholas and his cousin Audry know how to wiggle their way in. Uncle Don, incidentally, teaches 3rd graders...Nicholas' grade this year! Nicholas becomes google-eyed when he imagines what it'd be like to have Uncle Don as his teacher!




Sister Nancy does not know how to stop, period. But that was her heaven, to make all kinds of pillow shams and curtains for the cottage. And a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down! But she loves it and is good at it!




Some of my favorite times are the quiet times when you actually can rest, meditate and slow down. Daughter Amy with Nicholas had a few quiet moments before the Tribe arrived after we first got there. In this case, we reunion with the cottage, Hukilau, and get reacquainted!




And at the end of one day, nephew Eric rowed the boat across the lake while 3 of the cousins swan across...and then back again. This is a rite of passage as the cousins get older. It happened to all of us!




Sister Ruth and I are keen on finding those early, quiet moments when the lake is still and calm. This is what we live for...those quiet moments, after all the hubbub.

Family reunioning doesn't really get better than this. I finished my photo album yesterday and sent it out to the family. Every year we all want to "document" our time because the kids are growing up way too quickly. What will they look like next year??!!