Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wednesday 31 January 2007: Sarah and her Flamingo puppet friend send Heidi their greetings on this very sunny day!

Sarah says:

Good news: back hurts less after going to sleep at 9:30pm last night and resting a lot. Bad news: Must continue to really take it easy, which as you know is very hard when full of energy. It would be easier indeed if I always felt as off and tired as yesterday because then I could simply just listen to what my body was telling me. Mostly it tells me I feel great since the prosthetic disc was placed in my spine back in mid-December! Other news: Meet my mom's flamingo puppet. Heidi is a flamingo fan so this particular photo is for Heidi. Flamingo puppet sends you its greetings Heiditje and hopes you are having a great day and looks forward to feeding you good stuff tomorrow a lunch! No news: I am totally loving the following CD right now: Johnny Cash - American III. Nick Cave's The Mercy Seat is just amazing! That is the first Johnny Cash cover I heard a long while back and it grabbed me so fast by the gut. The lyrics are fantastic but it is the way the Man in Black (Cash not Cave) sings it like he means it that gets me! You can hear a sample of it via this link. I also can't ever stop playing Nick Cave's CD And No More Shall We Part. I love how on that CD, Cave keeps asking where his nurse is! It conjures up such images of need. My absolute favorite song on that CD is called Sweetheart Come. It is one of my favorite love songs of all time actually. It is so very moving. You can hear a tiny bit of it and the whole CD at via this link. And now I shall part...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tuesday 30 January 2007: Sarah is out walking with her mum while little Yma is asleep and giving her mum some rest

Heidi says: My little girl is asleep (it's afternoon now) and I am glad. It is really good that she wants to do this as she really needs it! And I do too. I have been having a tough week. I will try to explain to you. It is bizarre. I am really happy to be a mum, Yma's mother. It makes me proud and complete. But the last week has been exhausting me so much that I had all these mixed feelings. This has nothing to do with how much love I feel for Yma. There is no doubt about how much I love her. But for me, as my own person, something went on in my head and I couldn't stop it anymore. I am still breastfeeding and I'm sure it has to do with that. I have always said that I wanted to breastfeed Yma and so I did and I am very proud of myself for doing this. I am giving my daughter the best, my best. And I don't want to stop, not yet. But since a week, I am losing my energy. It's gone. I wake up in the morning at 7, feed Yma, and go back to sleep, together with her. Then at around 10 I wake up and let her sleep another hour. At eleven she gets her second 'meal'. Then I wash Yma and let her play and hold her when she cries. From 2 pm on, I feel totally wasted and without energy. I feel like I lost myself. I don't find the courage to make myself beautiful, to dress nicely and to put make-up on. I miss my friends (Wout, Alexander and Katrijn) and want to do things with them, but when I try, it stresses me out because Yma is with me and she gets upset quite easily. I want to email Fej like we used to do, but I don't find the time or energy to keep it up. (I do miss you Fej!) I see Sarah quite often but it's also hard to do stuff together, as having a little baby doesn't allow you to do whatever you want. When we sit in a tearoom, and Yma starts to cry, I get totally stressed and can't really handle the situation. Then I can only pay attention to one person, and that is Yma, and nobody else can help me 'cause I am in my own world. I know I should learn to handle these situations without all the stress, but up till now, I just can't. I guess that is where my mum comes in. I remember her as a stressed out mother on lots of occasions, and now I understand why. You want the best for your child, and you would drop everything to make your child happy. My mum seemed to be able to live with that. But I can't. I need relief. Soon. I need exercise, cinema, a night out with Nico, to a restaurant or sauna or whatever, my friends to talk to... I need so much. And it's al so close. 'Cause within 2 months, I will be back at work, sharing my baby with different people who will take care of her while I work. I will have stopped breastfeeding and Yma will be eating of a spoon and drinking milk out of a bottle. And will look back at this period, and I will feel nostalgia. And I will think "that was one of the best periods in my life ever". By the way, I think my mum shouldn't have dropped everything for us. Maybe she would have been less stressed out if she would have had some time off from us little monsters... My poor mum...

Anyway, the thing is I am struggling with being a young mother and sometimes I even dream of my old life... Yep... There, I said it. Not that I want it back. But I remember how easy it was. And sometimes I want that easy part back. For one second.

Cause Yma stays. Forever! And that makes me happy! And now I'll get her out of her warm little bed. And cuddle her and give her thousand kisses! (I will get over this. I always do. I am strong, in my own way :)) )

Sarah says:
It's great to see you here Heidi and for you to let us into your head with such honesty.

I have nothing to add really other than I have a back ache that is pissing me off and making me nervous today. It started a few hours ago. It sucks. Other than that, today I got my eyebrows plucked. I took a walk around a bit. Now I will rest the night away. Yesterday I got my webcam working and tried it out with my buddy and frequent Face The Day Guest from afar, MS. You can see the result of our webcam chat in the photo below. Time for me to lie down. I feel off.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday 29 January 2007: Heidi isn't ready to face y'all just yet and both Sarah and Heidi could use a naked happy dance around the house indeed...

Sarah says:
Heidi is in hiding right now till she gets over a little exhaustion that's going on in her and I am wondering what to do next to entertain myself. Maybe, like my fave Post Secret entry this week below (which I believe Face The Day viewer ASG made the right call on), maybe just maybe a good naked happy dance will do the trick! Oh Calgon take Heidi and Sarah away...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday 28 January 2007: Sarah's kid starts her own Face The Day with her own Heidi and Sarah gives you the evil eye...

Sarah says:
Happy Sunday to y'all! My house smells like lovely grapefruits right now thanks to a burning scented candle. It's a calm day. Really no need for my evil eye - just didn't have a better photo. I have been enjoying good music all day so far! Thanks to Heidi's mentioning of lots of different bands over the years I have known her, I have become open to stuff I might not have delved into. For example, we all know Heidi's face is on the latest Devendra Banhart album. Well, yesterday my husband came home with Devendra's old CD called Rejoicing in the Hands. I am LOVING it! It's fabulous cloudy Sunday living room music with grapefruit scent in the background! And then there is the fantastic The Decemberists The Crane Wife CD, which if you are fast enough you can hear on Luisterpaal right now. I am so enjoying 3VOOR12 luisterpaal these days at home! All those great CDs at my fingertips to listen to from start to end!
Check out my kid below starting her own one day Face The Day sight with her new best friend!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday 27 January 2007: Sarah finds heels that won't break her back so finally she might be able to wear skirts and dresses again!!! And dance!!!

Sarah says:

It is not easy to find high heels that won't hurt your lower back. I have had to basically live in Clarks or Mephisto shoes and sneakers for the last few years, meaning with the exception of one nice pair of Clarks cork/wedge summer sandals, I have no shoes I can wear skirts and dresses with. Not until today anyway!!! By chance I just found me a decent pair of high heel Clarks shoes. Generally Clarks are more old-lady style, though they are improving a bit year by year as more people suffer from back pain I guess. Last time I was in London, I spent a whole evening trying on every pair of half decent, half stylish Clarks shoes in a Clarks shop. Not even one pair felt or looked decent. Today, I randomly tried on the ones you see in the above and below photos, and they felt so good right away! As you can see, they are made with a very flexible rubbery sole and heel. That's why they can only ever really be half stylish. The material also has to be very flexible so you get a soft textured leather, which isn't as pretty as a nice, smooth, stiff leather. But alas, it is better than nothing and now I am about 5 foot 8 (1m74) at least and that makes a great leg for a good dress! I just want to feel womanly again! Talk about self-esteem (see Heidi's comments yesterday)! It's hard to feel pretty in casual clothes every single day with the same sneakers time and time again! The right shoe, the right dress, the right outfit and KERPLOW! You feel good again! At the sales, I fit into a lot of nice skirts and dresses and long shirts, all which absolutely need a heel. Now I have a pair of heels - not the prettiest in the world but believe me, they will do for sure!!!!!! Yippy! Don't underestimate how a good shoe can make your day! Now it's time to do the dishes and then read a book for the rest of the day while BLASTING Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti! I love that aspect of being home alone - I can totally BLAST music and sing along. Maybe I'll even dance along with my new and improved spine in my new high-heels! (don't worry - I'll be careful and I'll actually wait to even wear these until 3 months after my operation just to be safe...)

Heidi says: hi! All well! Watching 'supersize me'. Until now I still don't hate fastfood, but we are early in the movie... :)) Bye!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday 26 January 2007: Sarah gest piggy and Heidi looks like she's had it...Even the upcoming weekend can't excite these gals for the moment...

Heidi says: How do I feel? Euhm, dead? Out of energy, very tired, exhausted, no self-esteem,... That is why I gave myself a DIY-facial. Maybe I'll feel a little better after... Babies are exhausting! But I love Yma! Always and forever!
I look forward to the weekend because I am not alone wih Yma but Nico is home and we can do stuff together. I love my little family life, and I cannot understand how single moms survive. They must have a lot of inner strength. RESPECT!

Sarah says:
Heidi rang my doorbell for a quick pic before she headed out for a walk. We both seem to be in annoyed and annoying moods. Just not pleased really. No idea why. Tired. A bit bored maybe. As for me - hungry (back to two weight shakes or one shake and a bar a day and one good meal - pathetic I know but I want to keep losing weight - just a tad more - and not getting any exercise at all isn't helping me...). Today the weather is also grey. When you are home all week, the weekend looks less exciting! As for my weekend - well - my husband, kid and mom are all leaving me tomorrow to go to Holland for the day and evening and I of course am staying home because it is too long a car ride and day for my back and all. So tomorrow will be me alone and probably bored. I hate to be such a wanker about it all but you can only read and watch TV for so long and it's not like I can clean the house or anything. I will take a walk somewhere for sure just to get out at least. Who knows, maybe I'll enjoy it. It's just all this quiet is too quiet! I like action!!!! If the doctor let me, I'd put on my Superwoman cape and go out and save the world! Anyway, despite all, I do wish y'all a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday 25 January 2007: Sarah tries her webcam out! It's trippy fun! Her mom finishes writing her book and welcome Erika Dionisio to Face!

Sarah says:
Yippy! I set up my webcam! It's a bit trippy and takes getting used to and lacks a good set-up, which I have yet to find. It's fun for picking your nose and sticking up your middle finger and acting like a kid. Speaking of kid, it will be fun for my kid. Fun for her to talk to some family members and friends that are far away. Cool - another check off my checklist of getting done all those little things I have been wanting to do but haven't had time until now - while stuck at home.
A visitor should be popping in soon for a cup of coffee. After that, well, reading a book I guess? What else. Not a lot of options left... I know, I'm complaining now. I'm sorry. I'm really bored. Come February, I'll try to have some projects I can do at home, which don't require lifting and bending and all that. Any suggestions?
Now back to listening yet again to yet another Sigur Ros CD. Heidi hooked me up nicely with those! Maybe I'll see Heidi later...

Later Sarah adds:
So now that my webcam is working, I had my friend Erika (generally known here as E-Rocker) on Skype and I flashed her a few times and flicked boogies at her! I pointed out to her that when you google her name you almost come up with nothing on her, which is rare these days in this internet world we live in. So I told her that I would mention her full name here and post a photo (she's been on here before but not with full name) just so if anyone ever googles her name in search of their long, lost friend, that they might find her here. I can remove her from here as fast as I put her here so if too many people seek her out, no worries! (that's a joke by the way). Anyway, please see below photo from my wedding day in New Paltz, New York in June 1997 with my best pal who I met when we were both 15 (20 years ago my gawd!!!), Erika Dionisio! Mrs. Erika Dionisio (recently married to and impregnated by Mr. Neil Smith) is welcome here at Face The Day any time. I will see her at her wedding ceremony in October in New York and I'll get to meet her baby boy, which is due soon! Well, E-rocker aka Erika Dionisio - as I know you never visit my blog, I hope that one day a google search of your name at least takes you here accidentally. We.....
And in final news today - My mom just burst into tears from behind her computer because SHE JUST FINISHED WRITING HER BOOK!!! Congratulations moeder! Good work!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday 24 January 2007: Sarah rests today, has her weekly mask and welcomes special guest Janine with Six Feet Under season 5!!!!! Heidi stops by!

Sarah adds later:
Heidi just stopped by for a quick tango and a photo! Good to see her and YMA as usual! Good to see she's feeling a bit better and that she has a smile on her face. And YMA, jeez Louise! is that YMAtje cute!!! She was like a little, lovely old Vermeer painting today in her wool hat and dress! See for yourself in this photo below!
Earlier that day...
Sarah says:
Heidi has a mask picture for you too from last week, which never made it on Face The Day. Maybe she'll get it on here soon. So after my fall yesterday, I am happy to report that besides a burning knee, I really feel 100% okay back-wise, so I am of course totally relieved about that and now more aware, as someone pointed out to me, that I am probably not as vulnerable as I fear I am. I am stronger than I think. Nonetheless, I am taking it very easy today just in case. I did my daily walk to get some money, fill up my phone (mostly to send sms's to Heidi), pick up a sandwich at Bio Planet and return some DVDs at the video store. Before all that, I washed my hair and had a mud mask.

Later, my lovely expat Face The Day guest Janine stopped by (as you can see in above photo) to deliver the Six Feet Under Season 5 box set, which she kindly took care of ordering for me (thanks to my SFU addiction brought on by my NY buddy E-rocker who kindly supplied me with the first two seasons and my expat pal Lyndsay who supplied me with the rest)! Now I can finish the whole series with my mom before she leaves here in a week and a half. When she is gone it will be so quiet and lonely here! It will be really hard for me to be at home alone everyday until I return to work. It's boring! I just hope I whip through a lot of good books during that time. I have to find something easy-going yet constructive to do with my time - other than be a TV addict! Books are the answer I guess...

Hopefully we'll see Heidi's lovely face here soon - though she told me she's having a bad day today...

In other news, I saw someone I recognized via Greyn's ex guitar player Peter on the VRT program De Rode Loper this morning. His name is Tom van Damme (formerly of the band Jaman - see his photo below) and he's performing in the pop musical Doe Maar. Here's a link to the play in case any of you want to see it. Click here to see more about it from De Rode Loper itself and click here to see Tom and his friend / bandmate / fellow-actor's blog: Twee Belgen In Holland.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday 23 January 2007: Sarah has a very special Face The Day guest today, little AVD! Isn't she a cutie! Later Sarah has a little fall! She's ok!

Sarah says later in the day:
Don't worry! I am really okay. I tripped and fell on my knee and hands - not on my side or back so I am really okay. It was just very scary and made me shaky because I only had surgery a month and a half ago and that seemed like way too soon to have a fall. What scared me so was just imagining what could have happened if I had fallen harder or slipped onto my back or something more severe like that. It's Murphy's Law I guess that the one time a year I fall (if at all) would have to be so close to having just had back surgery. It sucks. But again, I am really okay though I will lie down for the rest of the day and night and tomorrow too just to be safe. You can fall anytime, anywhere. It was just one of those why me, why now moments and it turned the day into a bad one for me just because of the natural worry that came with the fall.

Sarah says:
Once again, this is a photo from yesterday. I expect I'll see Heidi later on so I'll snap a today's shot then I hope, though yesterday Heidi popped in and we forgot to take a photo! We were too busy talking about clothes and hair, the silly girls that we are.
Anyway, please meet my special little guest star AVD. She's the daughter of my good buddy AVDG. I had the pleasure of being able to keep an eye on AVD yesterday afternoon. Another beautiful child of another beautiful friend. It is so fun to watch friends' kids grow! We are all getting older - but in a nice way, with lovely kiddies surrounding us and keeping us young when not wearing us out! AVD was a very sleepy-headed gal yesterday. We were playing with My Little Ponies that Heidi's sister gave my little girl and AVD fell right asleep. Maybe it's me! I either have a very calming effect on kids or I bore them to sleep maybe. In the above photo I look all happy and AVD looks all mad at me - like get away from me you crazy-camera-hauling English speaker! AVD's mom had to leave too quickly to have a cup of coffee and a chat but happily I'll get to see them all next week for lunch! I look forward to it... Nothing like having visitors these days!!! I long for them as I go a bit stir-crazy in this quiet house! I need NOISE!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday 22 January 2007: Sarah welcomes another Face The Day Guest, Hugo Valcke, and his lovely banjo creations while Heidi is doing her daily task...

Heidi says: just doing my job (Sarah adds: WOW! What a great photo Heidi! Seriously, IAVPOY!

Sarah says:
These photos are from Sunday evening and not from today since my Sunday photo was really from late late Saturday night. If I happen to see Heiditje today, I'll snap a today's shot!
Please welcome Guitar/Banjo fixer and builder Hugo Valcke to Face The Day! He's also the manager of Belgium's beloved singer, poet, artist Willem Vermandere and he's involved with supporting the Buddhist cause (Tibet cause) and busy with highlighting it during the upcoming yearly Ter Vrede Festival in Diksmuide. Last year my mom met him through my husband and they talked guitars. This year, Hugo was nice enough to stop by with two samples of his banjo work, which you can see below. It's such detailed work.
Don't you think that when my hair goes grey and I get a little older I'll sort of look like Hugo? Look at the photo above. We sort of look alike. It's the glasses and hair type maybe. Who knows!
Here is my mom with Hugo. We had a nice afternoon and my mom made us a tasty dinner! I'm really going to miss my mom's cooking! My husband will be lost without all that good food. We have really been spoiled by all these delicious meals. My mom has had as many visitors here as I have. She fits right in. Maybe she's a Belgian at heart - other than being cold all of the time and wearing earmuffs, gloves and capes in my house all day long. I made my mom buy some new clothes! It was time for a little style make-over! She looks young already but now, with the new clothes, she looks even younger. Can you believe she's 64? She looks great for her age.

Above is one of Hugo Valcke's wonderful banjo creations using Mother of Pearl. It's all detailed hand-work. I have to add that my husband's new shirt in the above photo is pretty beautiful too! My husband got a haircut and some new clothes and he's looking great!! In this house, it's like we are all having makeovers. Anyway, back to the banjos!
Above you can see some more precision carving work by Hugo Valcke on the neck of this banjo in progress. Nice job! I wonder how it will look when all done.

Anyway, it was a good Sunday afternoon and evening and weekend in total. I continue to feel awake and alive and pain-free. I still can't believe it! I never thought I'd feel this good again! I am really tired today after the weekend - I won't lie. So I still have to rest a lot obviously and build up my stamina slowly but surely. But I feel like a ball of energy - almost spastic without being able to be really. I know I have to take it slow and easy but my mind is twirling and twirling. It's all good...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sunday 21 January 2007: Heidi is still in Oostend and Sarah is still introducing you to new Face The Day guests. This time it's Hilde!

Heidi says: We had so much fun at the sea. We were staying at some sort of 'Benidorm in Flanders'. Now, everybody knows what Benidorm stands for: eat, sleep, eat, eat and eat. Oh, and the people who stay there are mostly not so young people. And there we were, six, no, seven young people (if you count Yma as a young person). So what do you do as a young person at this 'resthouse' to entertain yourself? You start making jokes about everything you see around you. At our first breakfast, we see this man sitting at the table next to us, holding a coffee jar above his head, to ask the waitresses for more coffee. But we gave it another explanation: this man was trying to win an eating competition! And his first competition was to drink as much coffee as possible. So he was holding the coffee jar above his head because he just emptied it all by himself and he wanted to show off! Since that moment, everytime we were at sitting at the table to eat, we were pretending we were competing with that man. I know, it might not sound that funny, but you should just have been there! It WAS damn funny!

Sarah says:
Now it's even later early early Sunday morning around 1 am! Still wired. Damn coffee. Still happy and gay. Please meet Hilde - another Great Dalmuti! She plays that game well too. She's a player! Too bad our photo came out a little blurry - but it was just midnight when we took this shot - time to call it a night. (UPDATE: In case Hilde is reading this, I had a comment from somebody saying that you are very cute and a beautiful woman! Have a good day!)

I think I am feeling spastic and full of energy because I had visitors and I felt alive! More and more I feel more and more alive since the back operation. This fake disc in my spine has not only made me taller, it has changed my life already just a month after the operation. I cannot believe how freaking good I feel. I cannot believe I lived in such agony for the last two years and in such on-and-off pain for the last 8 years! I feel so happy and thankful to feel this good. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to have all this energy back. I am thanking my lucky stars and just hoping this goodness lasts! I have heard you can feel great the first few months and then the pain returns in other spots. I am prepared for that of course but obviously hoping that won't be the case.
My back is tired now and it has been a long day. It's time for bed - if my brain ever shuts off!
Here's my favorite Post Secret entry this week about staying in bed while everyone else is working... To be honest, I actually don't really like staying in bed and I would rather be at work. But I will say that life is easier when one person in the relationship isn't working. There is just more time to get other things than work done. It leaves you not only more time for your kid, but also more energy and more desire to spend time with your kid. And I have to add that it is nice to be relaxed for once and not have weeks full of stress and finding time to get things done. It is good to be at ease and not all wound up by a work day. With all that said, it is also very boring to be home and my brain does feel like mush. Plus, so much of my self-definition comes from a job well done and being challenged and active that it is hard to feel like a whole person right now, so-to-speak. I do look forward to going back to work but I have enjoyed this constant state of ease to some extent. I do not look forward to the tug and pull of work, wife hood, motherhood, friendship and all the other obligations going on all at once again. That's life, I know. But there is something to be said about turning down the stress and obligations levels and not spreading one's self so thin. It's a mixed bag really! And the grass is indeed always greener on the other side. As for the postcard - well, if only I was a good sleeper and a napper then I could be enjoying all that but I am not, so mostly I'm just bored at home watching the clock...

Saturday 20 January 2007: While Heidi is hopefully having fun in Ooostend, Sarah has a blast with her Face The Day guests Steven and Tilly!

Heidi says: weekend at the sea, with only a little bit of stress!
Sarah says:

I am coffee wired right now! Head buzzing. Full of energy. Running at the mouth! It's after midnight so actually Sunday and I drank too much strong coffee so sleep is not an option for the moment though it should be as I have had a long, good, full day! Today my whole family got great deals at the sales, which meant everyone was happy and gay! Tonight we had some fun and funny visitors, two of whom you can see in the above picture. I welcome Steven "Moonlake" Tanghe and his wife Tilly to Face The Day! Steven isn't in Moonlake anymore but maybe you remember him from that Kortrijk group, which he sang in once upon a time. More recently he recorded a song with the Kortrijk band Hawai and performed it with them at De Kreun. If you are interested, here's a review of Hawai's new CD, Keep The Wild Nudes Ahead. I really love this CD. You may have to listen to it a bunch of times to get into it but once you do and really give it a chance you will grow to love it I'm sure!

Now back to Steven! He's busy making music with his new band, which he's calling Marathon. Keep your eyes and ears out for his new stuff! I am curious what it will be like!

Tilly and Steven kicked our butts in the game we played, as usual. They are ALWAYS The Great Dalmuties! It was a very, very gay night indeed.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday 19 January 2007: Heidi and Sarah get all goofy-headed for you on this fine sunny pain-free day!

Sarah says:
Praise the Lawd! I got up early to get my kid ready for school and went back to sleep because I had had a really bad non-sleeping night and felt kind of ill and slept on till noon! Guess what, I feel much better now and it is sunny and warm out in Belgium today with half the wind as yesterday! I took my little walk to Heidi's before she loaded up the car to head out to a family weekend in Oostend and we snapped this happy, cheesy photo for you with the hopes to spread joy and fun and good times into all of your weekends!
I am still bored and the weekend may also be boring most of the time and next week too and February for sure but I feel good and that is the best best best thing of all right now! I think I'll have to have a second walk today too because the weather is so grand. Next week the winter will begin here. It's about time! Heidi just finished Carnivale Season 2 and has lent it to me. My husband and I have been dying to see season 2! I should be ashamed by how much time I spend in front of the TV these days but Six Feet Under, Carnivale and soon Battlestar Galactica are such great series it seems. I have heard from my brother that HBO's The Wire is amazing as well! Maybe that can be the next series to watch. Now, it's time for me to start a new book: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
While reading it, I'll listen to my favorite CD right now: Sigur Ros - Agaetis byrjun

Just for fun, check out our photo from the same day last year! Gotta look back sometimes! We look sort fo the same I'd say although Heidi looks healthier now I think and I look older now by a few years or so...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday 18 January 2007: Meet Sarah's replacemement SW who popped in on this very windy day for a visit! Sarah loves visitors!!!!!

Sarah says:
This is my replacement at work SW. She's doing a fantastic job! I can relax while she is at the wheel. No worries at all! She stopped by for a quick visit at lunchtime and it was good to see her. Seeing her made me miss working! I am getting so bored staying at home. But it is for the best and I have no choice so...
Today is very windy! Gusts of 60KMs! Crazy stuff. Even a bit scary to tell you the truth. My windows are rattling. There's tons of paper and garbage all over the streets because the recycling was out to be picked up. I ran outside and collected all the stuff from one of our bags that blew open and all over the place and I moved it and all the paper stuff back to our garage! Then I saw the garbage trucks coming and ran out to put it all back but I was too late! So it will be another two weeks of the stuff sitting in my garage. Oh well.
I finished a book last night (Digging To America by Anne Tyler) and will begin a new one right now. Not sure which one though. Hard to choose!
Well, I am sort of even more blank than usual today with nothing to really report! I'm bored and feel trapped in my home!
I think I want more visitors! It's good to be part of the living from time to time. I feel like input from the outer world will do me some good so anyone out there who perhaps wants to visit, feel free - but call first!!! No pressure! I just say it because some people have said they would like to visit but for the first few weeks I was not up for visitors at all. Now I am! Do I sound pathetic enough?????? I apologise if I do! Now I had better go listen to the wind and read!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday 17 January 2007: Sarah loves her new sweater and internet (Skype and Yahoo) telephoning and webcamming!!! And Heidi makes another comeback!

Heidi says: Hi everybody! Finally I found some time to upload a picture and to chat with you a bit. Although... This is one way communication. That's alright! I'll make it short so you don't have to listen too long! Yma is doing great. She is growing and growing... It makes me proud but sometimes a little sad too. There will come a time that she will be too big to hold her in my arms. Snif... But that time ain't now! :)) Yma is asleep right now. She needs an afternoon "stop" nowadays. That is good for the both of us. She gets new energy and I get to rest a bit as well. Here is a picture from 14 January 2007: Yma as a bandit. Or pirate lady.
Sarah says:
That's my new stripey sweater! I had tried it on months ago but didn't buy it because of the price and because of how it needs to be washed to stay nice. But now during the sales it cost 10 Euro in place of 40 Euro! I am so happy I found it again. I love it. It's warm and cozy like a good sweater should be! By the way, I only just woke up so that is why I look so tired in the above photo. I am really tired today! That's the pattern: one day active and the next day kaput. My back feels better but also feels really tired - like I need to lie down a lot today and take the pressure off of it! I will do my best. Shall finish the book I m reading today and watch Dr. Phil and Oprah soon! This is my morning ritual I'm afraid...Pathetic, I know!

Here you can see my kid and my friend Mona from New York talking by Skype to each other yesterday. Mona has a camera on her computer so it was all in real time as you can see by their tongues sticking out! This is such a great thing! I know it has all been around for a while and I am just jumping on the bandwagon but how cool is that to be able to not only talk for free via the internet but also to be able to web-cam the conversation so it sort of feels like the person is in the same room with you! I mean just look at Mona's head up there! It looks like she lives in my computer! I sort of like Yahoo phoning better because you can leave voice messages for free too when the person isn't available. With Skype I think for free you can only talk in real time or leave a chat message. Anyway, all you need is a strong internet connection, a microphone of some sort (often built in to newer computers) or a simple, cheap headset that you plug in and there you go! Well, first you must download the program(s) for free (Skype or Yahoo for example) and then off you go! I must sound like a kid in a candy store, I know, but I just can't resist free phone-calling! It's fantastic when you know people all over the place! My friend Carmen in Russia has been telling me to get on Skype for ages already! I should have listened to her! Once you try it, you wonder why you waited so long! I guess I feel this way because I am home now for these months and need contact with the outer world more frequently or something! But maybe even when I am back at work I will be in contact more because it is free. It will be great to not have such a huge phone bill all the time. It will also be fun for my kid and me to be able to see who we are talking to on webcam sometimes! A whole new world of communication! So any of you who haven't tried talking this way from PC to PC for free, maybe try it out! You'll probably be pleasantly surprised!!! Man, Yahoo and Skype should pay me for all that free advertising!!! Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tuesday 16 January 2007: Sarah wears her first turtle-neck in years in her efforts to try new things and break old moulds!

Sarah says:
Horizontal stripes, white shoulder wraps and now turtle-necks! All the things people with my body size and shape and double-chin-no-neck head are always told they shouldn't wear! Little did I know! I feel fine and even great in these things. I will not listen to such myths and fables anymore! Those days of buying into all those messages are over. Try! Try! Try!
Just to keep up to date, my back pain is still slightly there but I am feeling all right other than just a little nervous about it! The good news is, I slept straight through the night last night and had a fabulous and restful sleep for once. It seems I am almost there, other than this little wretched pain that snuck up on my lower back again. Let's just hope it passes soon!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday 15 January 2007: Sarah takes it easy with Valerie and then Heidi and their babies!

Sarah says:
Heidi and Yma stopped by after Valerie and Fre left. It was a good, simple day. I didn't over-do myself I took it easy. I still have that back pain from yesterday and am trying not to worry about it though it bothers me. It is really hard to measure what is what. I am paranoid I think. I just can't go back. Can't. That would be so sad! Don't you like this photo of me and Heidi? Look at Heidi's eyes and my eyebrows! Lovely.
Above you see Valerie and Fre, Greyn's ex-guitar player's wife and baby. Fre is such a smiley-faced kid. He looks so much like his dad Peter. I miss Peter. I miss Greyn a lot sometimes! It was a joy to see Fre and his mom! All these lovely kids! I can't wait to meet by friend E-Rocker's kid in October when I go to New York for her wedding ceremony. The baby is due in April. I just can't wait to see her genes passed on. As I said, all these lovely babies of all these lovely friends...

Here is my favorite Post Secret entry of this week about finding very hard to throw out your child's artwork. I know that feeling well. I have a fresh new pile of my daughter's paintings and drawings from school last year that I just took off the wall to replace with the times-tables. I just don't know what to do with it all. I want to save each and every bit of it! But it is too much! It is such a little dilemma every time. I am usually so good at throwing things out. I am not a pack-rat at all! But throwing any part of my daughter out at all always feels wrong. There have been times I have thrown stuff out and she has found it later in the garbage and has gotten so hurt and mad at me because of that. What to do? What to do? What to do?!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday 14 January 2007: Sarah wears white and makes a self-portrait and hates to report she has a little lower back pain today...

Sarah says:
My friend Joke visited today and brought me the white shoulder-only cape/drape you see in the above photo. I would never have chosen such a thing for myself. First of all it is white, which can make you look bigger and second of all one would think it makes my broad football player shoulders even more broad and football-player like. Seems I was wrong about those two things just like I was wrong about horizontal stripes. All of these things look quite okay on me so it goes to show you. Now I'll try stuff I would never try before and often I am pleasantly surprised. In 2007, I do not want to use words such as "that's not me" or stuff like that. Take chances! That's what I am saying! Try new things and break old moulds!!
Last night we played a game in which we had to write a description of ourselves based on the letters in our names. It was fun for my daughter who is learning to write these days. We also each had to draw a self-portrait of how we see ourselves today. Below you can see the one I drew of myself. If I drew it today, I'd put me in a white shoulder-wrap!
Sadly, this afternoon my lower back started to ache a bit. Maybe it's just period pains and cramps. I really hope so. I hope I haven't done too much. I am feeling too good and maybe not resting enough. I am trying to rest and think I am resting enough but it is so hard to know! I just hope by tomorrow the pain is all gone!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday 13 January 2007: Heidi and Sarah take yet another walk on yet another day...and Sarah is In De Gloria and not pregnant!

Sarah says:
It's a same old-same-same-old kind of day! Heidi and I met for a walk to the center. Oh one bit of news! You know my checklist of the three things I need to be normal to really get on with total healing and recovery from my back surgery? Well, my intestines are still not totally working right for me and my sleep patterns are anything but good, but this morning my monthly friend came for a visit and I am happy to say that though 8 days late, this is proof I am not pregnant!!! And if I were pregnant, it would have had to happen while under anesthesia in the hospital!! Just kidding. Anyway, I am just glad my body is getting back to normal! That alone makes this same-old-same-old day a great one! And I was joking about being pregnant of course!!!! Not possible these days!

For all you In De Gloria fans, of which I am sure there are many, if you haven't seen the results of the Radio 1 name-your-favorite-In-De-Gloria sketch, check 'em out here.
It's hard to argue with the results but I also have to add the sketch with the bungee jumper who craps his pants
I guess it hits my scatological funny bone!
I wish you English speakers out there could watch the sketches via the above link, but they are in Dutch. Anyway, give it a try and see Belgium's funniest people and best comedy writers and actors at work! Man I wish some more of this sort of high-caliber comedy would come on TV soon! With all the crap I have been watching on TV lately, it would be a huge relief!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday 12 January 2007: Sarah stops to smell the flowers in this warm Belgian weather and also sees the REAL color of her mom's hair finally!!!

Sarah says:
My house smelled so good all of a sudden and I had no idea why! Then I saw that some flowers were blooming! How very pretty. Spring is on its way! There has been no Belgian winter at all!
I always wondered what my mom's real hair color was! Today she got her haircut and here it is! She is grey as can be. Not a true red head. Now I know and now you know too!