Thursday, November 29, 2018

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: November 2018

OK, OK.  I know November isn't yet off the calendar, but close enough for me to make this Thursday post...especially since all the weekends ARE off the calendar.

So, here goes.

These are my Watercolor Sunday posts on Facebook for November 2018:

November 4 (photo manipulation):
"Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning;
for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men."
--Quintus Ennius (239BC - 169BC, considered to be the father of Latin literature)

[Yesterday was the day of SIL Peggy's Memorial Service in Michigan.]

November 11 (photo manipulation):
"When chill November's surly blast Made fields and forests bare...."
--Robert Burns(1759-1796)

November 18 (photo manipulation):
"Now in November nearer comes the sun down the abandoned heaven."
--D.H. Lawrence

"Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar."
--D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

November 25 (photo manipulation):
"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words."
--Titus Maccius Plautus, Roman playwright, 254BC - 184BC


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for November 2018:

(finished on 23 October, posted on FB 3 November 2018)
There's still lots of color left in early November, right?
You can find it if you look for it, even on a gray day.
Happy November, everyone!
(from my 12 x 12 Mandala Kleurboek)

(finished on 28 October, posted on FB 10 November 2018)
Sometimes you go into the mysterious depths and just let the currents take you.
That's what I was feeling when I finished this just prior to our trip to Michigan
for SIL Peggy's Memorial Service on 3 November.
(from my Color Me Happy book)

(finished on 11 November, posted on FB 17 November 2018)
Believe it or not, I actually thought of a snowflake while I colored this 6 x 6 Mini-Mandala,
not knowing many of my American family and friends would receive SNOW this past week!
You can blame it on me????

(finished on 21 November, posted on FB 24 November 2018)
Growing up in my preacher-dad's Baptist church, we often sang
"Bringing in the sheaves, 
Bringing in the sheaves; 
We shall come rejoicing, 
bringing in the sheaves," 
which I thought about while coloring this design.
It seemed appropriate for Thanksgiving weekend.

This ends 3 years of posting my watercolor and coloring designs every weekend on Facebook!
As I have mentioned before, I will now post them sporadically, when the whim hits me,
assuming granddaughter Hailey will take up more of my time going forward.
Thank you to all who have followed me faithfully here.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Hailey Fix at 2 Months

It was 2 weeks ago this coming Saturday when we last saw wee little Hailey, which means she's now 10 weeks old.  I keep saying it but it feels like she's so much older.  Soon we'll be talking only in months and years!

But this post is about when she had just turned 2 months old on 10 November.  We both needed a Hailey Fix.  And because Mama and Papa knew she'd have her first baby shots the next week, they had us come over almost immediately.

This was not a babysitting time.  This was a Hailey Fix!

When we arrived, Eva was holding Hailey, who seemed lathargic...ready to fall asleep.

So when Astrid took her over, it wasn't a surprise Hailey immediately konked out.
It was important to me that I got photos of Astrid with Hailey this time,
which were sadly missing our last time.

Opa Jaap was there, too!

Astrid and Jaap raised Jeroen, father of this child.

Then it was my turn.

THIS is a Hailey Fix!
What is it about wee babies!

Even when they cry, of course.
[BTW, Jaap and I have a great relationship. We love and respect each other.]

This visit we noticed how strong Hailey's neck muscles are.
My hand was always there to "catch" her but she surprised me.

We couldn't ask for better parents for our granddaughter.  Seriously.

Jeroen, especially, as the father, couldn't possibly be more involved/connected/attentive.

In fact, he's the one who always changes her diaper while we're there together.
It's also play time for him and Hailey, when he twirls her around on the table
(you'd have to see it!).

Proud parents.  Proud grandparents.

Three generations.

This is exactly as it should be.
Can you ever possibly love a baby too much, especially one who had such a rough start?!

At one point Mama and Papa were hugging each other and I said:
"The best gift you can give Hailey is to love each other."
To which Papa immediately responded,
"That's not ever gonna be a problem!"

Nighty-night, sweet baby.
You gave us exactly the fix we needed.

Speaking of which,
to all my American family and friends.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bovendonk Revisited: 200-year Anniversary Book Presentation

With that title, you know we've been to this place before, right?...even if you don't remember it!  That's what I love about the archives on blogs like this.

To be exact, it was 4 years ago that we visited Bovendonk, in the village of Hoeven, on the September Open Monument Day that's celebrated every year here in the Netherlands.  It's the day/weekend when you get to visit over 4,000 historic buildings or sites free of charge to the public.  You can see my post from then here.

So, this is what happened.  Father Marc Lindeijer contacted me by email over a year ago to ask permission to use some of my photos from that post for a book he was writing on their upcoming 200-year anniversary.  OF COURSE.  He then chose the images he wanted, I sent them, and he said he'd let me know when the book was done.

Surprise, surprise when a couple of months ago I heard from him again, inviting us to the book presentation on 19 October. YES, we wanted to be there...with the book as payment for my images!

It was a beautiful late afternoon when we arrived outside the gate to Bovendonk.

We were early (you know us) and had a chance to wander around the familiar sights...

...inside and out.

It's not only a seminary but is now also a conference center.
[photo taken of a wall poster]

When the 4 p.m. book presentation was ready to start in the chapel,
the very first person I met was...guess who???  Father Marc Lindeijer himself.

Of course we were one of the first ones there!
It gave me a chance to look around the almost empty chapel, again...

...and sneak up on the organist practicing for his part in the service.
He was the first organist for that organ when he was a student at the seminary.

First, there were formalities with other speakers...

...until Fr. Marc himself gave the presentation of the book he had just finished.

It's in Dutch, of course, translated...  
Bovendonk Seminary:  A Travel Guide through a monument,
"written for all visitors of Bovendonk:  tourists, course participants, wedding guests.
It wants to introduce them to a special place, full of history and experience,
an oasis of peace and a house of hospitality."

When I first met him outside, he was shy, 
but when he talked during the presentation, he was animated.
He talked about the back-n-forth journey of getting the book written by the deadline...
what to include and what not to include!

Following Fr. Marc, Mgr. Liesen, the Bishop of Breda,
presented a copy of the book to the Halderberge mayor, Mrs. J. Vonk-Vedder...

...who then gave her acceptance speech.
Notice her mayor's livery collar (bottom-left)?  It was like sitting in the presence of royalty.

Then, last but not least, another priest called Fr. Marc back to the podium for a final presentation:
a thank-you "gift" from the deceased bishop's office that no one else wanted!
The seminary community decided he should have it.

It represents the back-n-forth of the project.  If you can't take a joke, right?!
[apologies for the dark exposure]

After the presentation, there was a reception in a nearby room.

With a choice of abbey beer or wine, you don't have to guess which we chose.

As we all mingled, the book handlers were selling one book after the other,
with a special that day for all who attended:  €12 instead of €17.50.

Everyone wanted to see the book.

We so wanted to see the book ourselves but didn't dare ask someone else to see theirs!  HA!
[We didn't know yet that my name was on the list for a free copy for the asking.]

We waited and waited, till Fr. Marc finished his hobnobbing...

...and THEN cornered him for a copy of the book, which he promptly procured and signed for me.
I really didn't know I was on the list for a free copy...and could have just gone to get it.
But this was much better...personal time and genuine appreciation from the author!

And then we looked, Astrid and I together... find the 6 images he used.
See how the book looks, indeed, like a travel guide!
It reminds me of all the DK Eyewitness Travel Guides we buy for our trips.

"Bovendonk reflects the desire of generations who have searched for serene harmony with God, 
with themselves and with others...summarized in one word:  peace.
Pax intrantibus is above the entrance of Bovendonk...Peace to those who enter here.
...The readers of the book can also be shown around as a welcome guest 
by Bovendonk in word and image."

Do you hear buttons popping?  Yes, I'm thrilled,
not only for me, myself and I, but for Fr. Marc himself.  He really outdid himself.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Michigan 2018, Again...but with a Tear and a Smile

You may remember that Astrid and I were in Michigan 5 months ago for my 55th high school reunion.  If you had told us then that we would be back again in 2018 (let alone 5 months later), I would have wondered who had died!

It was SIL Peggy, of course, married 54 years to Nelson, the elder of our remaining Tribe.

We never feel good about the circumstance of such a trip but we really did make the most of it, which you will see by these collages both Astrid and I posted on Facebook throughout the week, Wednesday to Wednesday.  We actually returned home this morning.

We stayed with sister Ruth and BIL Don again in a wee town near Detroit.
Arriving at night that first day was so soulful.  We LOVE their farm house.
It feels like coming home for us every time we're there.

Our first full day was filling ourselves up, while walking The Farm.
[Astrid's collage]

Even on a grey, misty day, there are gifts everywhere to be found.

We already love Bishop, the outdoor cat who basks in attention.
But this time we both fell in love with her in a deeper way.
How can you not love a cat who follows you around like a dog!

One day, when we were out-n-about, Astrid snapped this deliciousness from the car.
She received 85 reactions on Facebook!
Pure Michigan.

Midway through our week, on Saturday, was Peggy's memorial service, November 3.
Her last breath on earth was November 17th.

My nephew, Paul, took all these photos at the celebration "parties" following the service.
That's Don and Ruth (top-left) and Ruth and Nelson (bottom-right).
Nelson and Susan are #1 and #2 (bottom-left).  I'm #3 in the sibling lineup.  Ruth is #8 (of 8).
Nelson's son David is the monk.

You can see Peggy's obituary here.

The next day, I posted my Watercolor Sunday image with this quote:
"Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live,
as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men."
--Quintus Ennius (239BC - 169BC, considered the father of Latin literature)

Then it was back to the farm again, with Astrid helping Don out with some of his chores.
[Astrid's collage]

Early on in our visit Don and Ruth told us they were making a Thanksgiving meal for us on Monday.
We found that out in the same moment, I think, when we saw this flock of wild turkeys strutting about.

OMG!  Almost everything of the meal was made from scratch!

During a lull in the day's activities, Don and Ruth power-walked their property 4 times in a row.
Astrid and I had fun doing our casual walking, snapping photos at every whip-stitch.

Astrid and Don even had time to do more outdoor chores that day.  She was in heaven.
And yes, that's moonshine from Don's relatives in Tennessee (top-left).
"Try anything once" is a good motto, right?!
[Astrid's collage]

That evening was the real Thanksgiving feast!
I was the one in heaven this time.  It had been 9 years since I celebrated it last.
Some of you understand why it's my hardest American holiday to miss!

Our last full day was Tuesday, when Astrid and I walked the nearby country roads.
Within the first 5 minutes she spotted what the Dutch call a Witches Circle (aka Fairy Ring).
It was a first for me.
It happened to be on the property of a Vietnam vet, whose son died in the Afghan war (2006),
earning the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  
 I think we all made each other's day!

We continued our walk and grabbed the photo ops as they emerged.
[Astrid's collage]

Whenever I tell Ruth this area is so soulful to me,
she says she thinks all of us carry farm DNA inside of us!

Tuesday night we spent the evening watching the midterm-election incoming results,
going to bed that night wondering what the scene would look like in the morning, Wednesday...
while flying out of Detroit to Newark to Amsterdam.

The DEMS took the House!!!!  Need I say more?

We flew through the night and arrived home this morning by 9:30,
with farm memories still filling us...and thus this above post on FB once home.

I had to share this week, of course...the Tear and the Smile.
You don't forget these milestones...let alone all the euchre games we played!