Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday & Tuesday 30 & 31 July 2007: Sarah's good deed ends her up in the hospital and feeling angry at herself and her back..

Sarah says:
Gotta be fast here because I can't sit for long thanks to my helping an old woman who fell on the ground yesterday. I did what anyone would do - I lifted her to safety without thinking about my back. She was hurt and in danger and I was there. It was on the second lift when I had to get her up from the curb that I felt something in my back. I could walk and everything - no pain there - but I could feel the area of my back where I have the prostheses (L5-S1) swelling up and getting sort of stuck. I called my doctor and he said to go home and lie down and take a heavy pain-killer - de-sweller. I did that and had a rough night. Plus I just felt panicked inside and angry at myself - hoping I haven't gone back to how I was pre-back operation.

Anyway - this morning I woke up completely stiff after a really bad night of little sleep and I went to the hospital. The X-rays show that my prosthesis is fine and in place - totally unaffected by the lifting. What we don't know is if I tore a muscle in the meantime or strained the disc above the prosthesis. Time will tell. I have to rest for one week straight so everything can heal up properly just in case and I have to take pain killers this week.

I am most likely totally fine and have the same sort of pain reaction anyone even with a good back might have to picking up a heavy old woman from street level to standing level. Because I had a back operation only 7 months ago, I am of course paranoid and so very afraid of any sort of back pain as I have been pain free since the operation and loving it and revelling in it!

I will be pain free again I am sure as no damage was done to the prosthesis! It may take a week or two or three but then I'll be fine. Knock on freaking wood, I will be fine! I have to be!

This totally sucks because it hurts, makes me scared and makes me angry at myself. I know I should not have lifted that woman up 7 months after heavy back surgery. I should never lift anything heavy again in my whole life thanks to the back surgery! I know! know! But when someone is in need, you help them. I was the stronger one at that split second and I did what anyone would do - what had to be done. I would probably do it again. Or maybe now that this happened I really would know better...

Anyway - I have to get over that part of all this. What's done is done. I just have to rest up now and make sure I heal. I missed Face The Day yesterday as you can see from today's title - combining both dates... And I may miss a couple of days more -- depending on how I am feeling and how long I can sit, etcetera... Heidi gets back today so maybe she'll keep this up if I can't or maybe Face The Day will have a little holiday! We'll see! Let's hope I am feeling fine and you see me back here as soon as tomorrow!

The moral of this story is: Ask for help if at all possible before picking someone heavy off of the ground... and rest when something hurts....

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday 29 July 2007: Do you like Sarah's new shirt? Sarah can't wait till Tuesday when her kid and Heidi return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sarah says:
I got a new shirt yesterday in the sales. Isn't it colorful? I like how a new colorful shirt can make you feel renewed and colorful! It was a good weekend with ASG and TSG. Good fun, good friends, good food. I just have to get through the next two days and then my kid will be back from camp and Heidi will be back from vacation! Pathetic, I know but that's the truth. I miss them both and I can't wait to see them both. It's obvious why with my kid but maybe less so with Heidi... Well, you see, Heidi was at work when I was on vacation and now I am at work when she is on vacation so this is going to be about 6 weeks without really seeing each other in the regular every-day way. I feel like she's a stranger now and I am too her it's been so long! Not really, but c'mon! You know what I mean. Heidi is my everyday friend, confidant, gossip-pal, buddy, chum. I miss her and the kid! It's time they both return. I'm at my best around them both usually so it all makes sense and Heidi and I have a lot of catching up to do and a lot of plans to make!

So below is my Post Secret pick of the week about wishing it wouldn't hurt so much when making love. Well, for the 8 years before my recent back operation, I could have easily been the writer of that post card I hate to admit, though it is no secret to those who know me well and I am not ashamed of it or anything... But man did it suck because you just feel so abnormal for not being able to really enjoy something that felt great once upon a time and then didn't for years. It hurt. It hurt horribly. My whole body hurt horribly for years and any major movement hurt it more. I am so glad I wasn't making all that pain up or imagining it or hiding behind it. It was real. We found out after years of searching and of my feeling totally inadequate what was wrong and we found a solution to my back and body pain! But the body remembers pain for a long time and you kind of have to re-learn trust and relaxation and enjoyment. Slowly but surely! All's well that ends well! I hope the person who wrote the below card can find out what causes her pain and find a solution too! It's too easy to think you are the problem. Doctors will tell you you are the problem. Most often I bet you aren't the problem and there might be some very clear explanation with a solution... Believe me I know...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday 28 July 2007: Sarah meets up with her far-away ex-expat non-Belgian friends in Brugge and makes some great Stuffed Peppers and Feta salad!

Sarah says:
It's always nice to see my far-away former ex-pat friends -- not former friends - but former Belgian expats who moved away and left me behind... ASG, originally from Oregon, moved to Scotland and then to The Netherlands and CC, originally from South Africa and Canada moved to Russia. They still both somehow show up on Face The Day a lot so I guess I see them more than I think. The above photo was taken in Brugge tonight just after we all saw the play "Fanny and Faggot" put on at The English Theatre of Bruges by Tema Theatre Company.
"FANNY AND FAGGOT examines two distinct moments in the life of Mary Bell; her trial when accused of the murder of two small boys, and her escape from the open prison in 1977, where she spent the weekend on the run in Blackpool and lost her virginity."

It was a decent play acted by pretty good actors. I was just really pleased to see some theater in English in Belgium. I miss that. I love going to the theater. I love a good story. I'll surely go again.

Before we went, I made the below dinner of vegetarian stuffed peppers and a salad with mixed greens and feta cheese - really easy and really dang good and healthy. And look how pretty! Man I want to open a lunch cafe and make such stuff when I am like 50 years old. That's one dream I hope comes true. I will make colorful food that makes people happy and healthy!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday 27 July 2007: Sarah is happy it's Friday and that she'll see some good friends this weekend...

Sarah says:
It's Friday! It's the weekend! Yippy! I'm actually smiling in today's photo. My zits are semi-clearing! I have a new theory by the way. What I am starting to see is a pattern which I can test with the help of Face The Day photos each 14th or 15th day of my cycle. They say that women are supposed to look their best at the time of their ovulation. What I realize about myself is that when I get these kinds of acne outbreaks on my chin, they generally start when my ovulation starts and start to heal up when my period comes. Here's my theory about that. I have half the normal size uterus. I have only 1 working fallopian tube too. The other one is cut in half -- the middle basically never even existed. This, according to my gyno, probably all happened when I was forming in my mother's womb in the first three months.
Anyway -- I tend to look my worst at the 14th day of my cycle - when I start to ovulate. My skin gets all funky. My body bloats. My eyes shrink. I think because I have inadequate reproductive organs that my body sends out the signal: "don't reproduce with this woman". This could be nature at its most basic level trying to promote birth. My body makes me ugly to tell people that I am not a good candidate for making a full-term baby. I mean yeah - I made a beautiful, healthy child luckily -- but she did arrive 6.5 weeks too early. And as I only have an egg passing through a viable ovary every other month, there is less chance for me to get pregnant. Plus, with low oestrogen levels at the beginning of conception, there is more chance of a problematic pregnancy, as I experienced.
Anyway, the point is, I need to go get my hormones checked because something doesn't feel right. Again, I'm not at all worried. Just annoyed with the feeling of imbalance.
And this is a good theory! I need to work on it further but I am sure I have some good points. I am so happy with my one kid and don't feel the need for more kids really so I have no worries. I think you sort of know when you don't want more kids. There is always a little uncertainty, but I think you know...
So I want to thank my body for making me very ugly at ovulation time, thus somehow preventing me from being pursued for baby-making as I am done with baby-making!
Have a good weekend folks!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday 26 July 2007: Sarah is plum-tuckered out - but for no good reason at all!

Sarah says:
Man is this a bad period! It's whiping me out. Stealing away my energy. I'm plumb-tuckered out! And with that, I have nothing much to say here.

One thing - a few of you have asked for the link the blog of a friend of mine (maybe of yours too) - Valerie, the wife of my ex-band Greyn's guitar-player Peter De Wilde. Peter is going through a pretty tough time right now and Valerie is too. Blogs are a good way to get stuff out of your system. Anyway, we can all only wish the best for them and send really good karma and thoughts their way and support them in whatever ways we know how. Here is the link to Valerie's blog. It's in Dutch so it's only for those of you who know the language.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday 25 July 2007: Heidi is in France on vacation and Sarah is trying to llo French but it's not really working thanks to her pizza-zit face!

Sarah says:
My zits are actually starting to heal and dry up and be less painful and my period has arrived - yet again - like clockwork! I can't believe it was a month ago I was in London! Time sure flies! Where did all that time go? Where did my vacation go! I miss my vacation badly! I don't feel rested yet. What is that! What does it take to feel rested! I wish I knew. I am far from rested. You can just see how tired I am in my face. Maybe because there just hasn't been enough sun.

But the great news is that me and Marv had a nice drink and ice-cream on a terrace in Kortrijk tonight while our kid is away - and we got a post card from her today so we know she is okay and she is happy! You can see it below and read it if you know Dutch and click on it to enlarge it. She says she misses us but that camp is really fun and she'll tell us more later. She's back in 6 days! These days are going very slow! Only vacation goes fast it seems! But we have nice stuff ahead. Our buddies ASG and TGS are paying us a visit this weekend. The weekend after that my kid and I will see some old friends and also go to the sea to see other friends. The weekend after that my husband's good friend from Holland will visit us for two days and after that my husband, our kid and I will go to a B&B in Wallonia for two days where there are horses and animals and a pool and lots of trees and green and quiet and rest. It sounds fantastic! So vacation isn't entirely over thankfully. Weekends have good stuff to offer.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday 24 July 2007: Sarah hides behind her hair like she did as a teenager so you can't look her in the eye today or at least she can't, you...

Sarah says:
The below song is in my head and on my mind all day, all night, all week. Otherwise, nothing much to offer. I hide behind my hair. Can't give you anything today. At least there's the suggestion of décolleté... Good rhyme, I know it. PJ Harvey is amazing. If you haven't got her CD The Peel Sessions, do give it a listen. Great stuff.

PJ Harvey -You Come Through (from Uh Huh Her) (here's a link to a video of it on You Tube -- such a great version of the song...)
We are waiting
For the summer
The sun will bring back
Treasures for us
Come on my friend
Drink to good times
Golden wishes
To your health and mine
You come through
For me
You come true
For me
You be well
For me
You come through
For me
I'll be lifted
On this our holiday
I'll take you my friend
I'll take you with me
You come through
For me
You come true
For me
You be well
For me
You come through
For me

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday 23 July 2007: Heidi is leaving for her vacation in France tomorrow as Sarah goes back to work and soaks up the rain...No pain, no gain...

Sarah says:
Oh I have nothing to say today! The rain and clouds say it all. Look at my face. Look at my painful skin filled with ugly zits. How I look is how I feel today. It's 18:35 and I am already in my PJs! My clothes were all wet from the rain. The ends of my pants were soaking wet and rubbing against my ankles - since lunchtime today! That is one of the yuckiest feelings there is! Heidi leaves us tomorrow for a long week of holidays in France. I hope she gets some good weather!

I am thinking about my kid and wondering if she got all wet today and if after she got dry. I hope it doesn't keep raining. I should have packed her more long pants and sleeves. I hope she's not too cold! I hope she's having a lot of fun. Today was not fun for me at all. I know I sound annoying and like a complainer, but it was a rotten day. A really rotten day. I feel like I am in a coma. I feel numb again.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday 22 July 2007: Sarah finishes her vacation with Marv and a book and plays connect the dots with her zits!

Sarah says:
It's the last day of vacation for me and Marv. In honor of the rest of our vacation, we are being low-key and lazy today - reading and listening to music and chilling out. He's reading a book by Michel Houellebecq called The Elementary Particles. I'm reading a book by a great writer, Joan Didion. It was her book Salvador that caught my attention in Journalism school. That little book has some amazing writing. A while back I read a bunch of reviews for her book The Year of Magical Thinking and it has been sitting here for over a year waiting for me to read it. It's time I started reading again. I tend to read in extremes - start a book and have to finish it in two or three days and then another book and another and then I am done for a few months. I can't pace myself with reading. I sort of speed-read and have to know what happens. So here I go...

But first let's play a quick game of "Connect the Dots" of my zits! I have so many - it's painful. Honestly. I have to go to the gynecologist I think. A couple of people told me that if zits form in a circle around your mouth that it is related to your ovaries - and they have been aching lately. I'm not worried as I have had check ups and stuff - but I have the feeling this is even pre-menopausal stuff. I could be wrong - I mean I am only 36 - but I am kind of incomplete when it comes to my reproductive organs and I wouldn't be surprised at all if they function strangely from time to time and if menopause starts early for me. My hormones are out of whack. I have never taken any sort of pill or anything and sadly, maybe it's time I do to get some hormonal balance and maybe to stop all these zits and all that hair growth on my face... If it comes down to everything being okay and this just being a aesthetic thing, I can live with zits and hair I guess and won't take anything! Though I will go ahead with that permanent hair removal starting in October, which I have mentioned here before. But if there can be some hormonal balance with some help from something, I would consider it at this point I think. Anyway, I'm going to get some blood tests and examinations and see what's up.

And last, below is my Post Secret pick of the week. An easy sentiment I know but I like the idea of wanting to write fortune cookies that would brighten people's days. My daughter would say something like what is written in the post card below. So innocent. That need to spread joy and love. I think my version of it would be handing out fresh-made cookies to everyone I meet. I wish it were easy to make people happy. There are so many people I would like to inject a little more happiness into right now. If only...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday 21 July 2007: Sarah and Marv say goodbye to their kid for 10 very long days as she goes to sleep-away youthclub camp....

Sarah says:
The above photo might not look like much but if you click on it it should enlarge and then in it you should see our kid on the train with a nervous smile and me with my camera catching this moment and Marv looking on nervously. This is the first time our daughter will be away for this long with people we don't know well. It's emotional. It's a big step. It feels like a Rite of Passage. She seemed so timid today and little but tall. Her arms were folded up almost the whole time as to hold back a cry. She's trying to be brave and she is indeed very excited but this is a big deal for her and for us! These will be some long 10 days for us. We will enjoy them for sure as will she - but I can't wait to pick her up at the train and to get her first postcard!

Below you can see her with her two camp leaders - already playing tricks on her. She had no idea about the two fingers above here head! It's all so sweet and silly and lovely and and and... Well, it all feels strange. I have to get used to this. I will. We'll all have grown when these 10 days are over.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday 20 July 2007: Heidi and Sarah meet again with Heidi knee deep in poo!

Heidi says: There is a smell, it smells like a shit! In my basement no less! Yep, the whole basement is filled with stinky water. Time to clean! Thanks to my dad, we did the thing in 4 hours! Now I am tired and am going to rest a bit. I deserved it!

Sarah says:
Just back from Heidi's where there is a smell, it smell like a shit, as Borat would say! Heidi's basement got pretty wet from the morning storm and she was up shit's creek without a paddle and left holding the shit-end of the stick - so to speak - the poor gal! Luckily her dad came to help her wade in the water and I got to watch YMA while Heidi and her dad went to the container park to get rid of some shit - literally. So Heidi's day began pretty shitty, which pissed her off - but hopefully this means she'll have a great vacation with all the bad luck behind her!

In other news, my zits are now growing to unseen proportions. It ain't perty! That's for sure. The one next to my lip is aching with its own pulse. But that's okay! It's only a zit!

I get my toe-nails done late this afternoon - a pedicure will be nice. And it's time for a follow-up sugaring again today. A little pampering on this - my last day of vacation - will be nice!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday 19 July 2007: Sarah hangs at a pool finally!!! on her next-to-last day of vacation and watches Rob Roy with her recent Scotland trip in mind!

Sarah says:
Today was quite vacation-y! Sat at a pool and read magazines and slept. About to watch a movie - Rob Roy - which I have been wanting to see since my Scotland trip. Good food of chicken salad tonight that I made for my in-laws who will watch the movie with us. See my vacation-pool dress in the above photo? It's also fun. Fun! Fun! Fun! Gotta go watch the film!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday 18 July 2007: Heidi is still missing and Sarah has no cavities - just sore gums from b(r)ushing too hard! Sarah loves her kid so much!

Sarah says:
Look how much I love my kid. Man I love my kid. This vacation's best moments have been with her and her smiley head! She's a joy! She's going to sleep-away youth-group camp soon for 10 LONG days! My oh my I'm going to miss her. I'm glad she'll go though. She's an only child and needs to be around other kids more. But those 10 days are going to be difficult ones for me and my husband I think. We have to learn this still - and we will - but this is a big test!

Today I went to the dentist and am so relieved to report that the pain in my tooth, which I thought was a cavity, is not a cavity! This means I have still never had a cavity! That's great news. Thing is I brush too hard - especially on the upper-right side because I use my right hand. The dentist says I have to stop that and only rub toothpaste on the sensitive area for a week - so not brush it - and it should go away. I hope so because for the last months and months I have pretty much avoided even using that part of my mouth. When I drink, I swish it to the left side. When I chew, it's always with my left side. I'm going to have a lopsided face if I keep this up!

Vacation is almost over. That bothers me. I want more! Heidi's vacation starts in a couple of days, the lucky gal!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday 17 July 2007: Sarah wants a photo of Heidi on here!!!! But settles for one with her dad Charles Ingalls and her sisters Mary and Laura!

Sarah says:
Now that my brother SDM is gone and no visitors are coming and I have till the end of the week before my vacation ends, I thought it was high time to spend some family time with the best dad in the world Charles Ingalls and my sisters Mary and Laura. Today, Pa, Mary, Laura and I tended to the animals and wet fishing in the creek. It was great! When Nellie threw a party to get votes for the school election, Pa said we had to have a party too so that people would vote for Mary. Sadly Nellie bribed all the kids with candy and they never showed up for our party. The other day, Pa let that little boy who played Willis ( as in "what you talkin bout Willis") in Different Strokes stay at his house. He was even allowed to go to school with us - the first black kid in our school ever! Eventually he decided to go back to his mom but in the meantime we learned the important lesson from Pa that everyone is equal. Today we learned that even the school idiot was worthy of being elected class president and that nobody should bully anybody else! Pa also showed us that he'd do anything and everything for us, including risking his life in the mines, when Mary got sick and needed money for some major operations. I can't bear to tell Pa that I can see into the future and that soon Mary will go blind. He'll be shattered. As if our lives in our Little House on the Prairie aren't challenging enough! I love my family!

Hey Heidi - no photos? Too busy maybe? I'm going to track you down and snap you woman!

Lastly - YES! All those spots you see on my face are pimples indeed! I am a pizza face again! My chin is a battlefield and I have a third eye! Any suggestions?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday 16 July 2007: Sarah misses Heidi and feels very sad for some good friends going through a tough time today...

Sarah says:
It's so hard to hear bad and difficult news about people you care dearly about. You can only have hope. You must have hope. I hope some good friends of mine who are going through a very difficult time right now get through the difficult period ahead with as little pain and anguish as possible. My thoughts are so with them right now. I can hardly think about anything else. Somebody I know, unrelated to the above situation, wrote me the following email the other day and it hit home hard today:

"I have told you all so many times that the movie "A Fish Called Wanda"taught me that life 's course is essentially random as you can be killed by a safe falling from the sky. As you know, on July 5 my pulmonologist confirmed to me that I am fine four years after my cancer surgery. The next evening, my pulmonologist was killed by a hit-and-run driver at age 48. So I am alive and he is dead"

Life is indeed so very random. Enjoy every moment of it as much as you can while you can and try not to sweat the small stuff as the saying goes...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday 15 July 2007: Sarah goes to Lille and Ieper yet again but has a pretty great day anyway - in the sunshine!!!!! Happy B-day to Sarah's bro JM!!!

Sarah says:
I am so tired right now! I should be in bed! My husband and brother are watching Little Britain DVDs as I update this blog-thingy. It's too late for all of us. Almost midnight! I was up till 4 am Friday and till 3 am Saturday. I haven't done that in a while!! And this morning we were up at 9 am to meet some friends to go to the Wazemmes Sunday market in Lille. It's a great place to go for fruit and veggies and flea-market sort of stuff. I want to go again when I have more time. It was my first visit there after so many times in Lille. I didn't even know this huge market existed. It was a great way to start a Sunday.

After that we picked up my daughter and headed to Ieper (yet again!!!!). But it was great because the sun was beaming! The Last Post was very noisy tonight and not as moving as usual therefore. I did see the flower wreath left on Thursday by Queen Elizabeth II. So many tourists this time - probably left over from her visit. We went to my daughter's favorite red restaurant and had a great meal and some fabulous ice-cream with fresh fruit. Good day! But now I have to sleep long and hard.

Here's my favorite Post Secret entry of the week. There weren't any I could directly relate to but this one from an adopted child thanking his/her parents for adopting him/her is moving. I often dream of adopting a child. I'm not sure what stops me. It comes into my head a lot but then it never goes further than that. I wonder if it ever will. It seems like it won't. But life can change all the time and very randomly so you never know what your future holds. There are so many kids who need homes. That's a certainty. I don't know if I am a coward or lazy or selfish or normal. All I know is that I wish I could help children who need love and help and a home. I hope to one day somehow...

And last but not least:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my oldest brother JM!

I hope he's having a great day! He's now my only brother of 5 who hasn't visited Belgium yet! I hope he does but I hope not too soon because I don't think I want to go to Brugge, Ieper or Lille again for several months!!!!

Saturday 14 July 2007: Welcome Face The Day Guest Star Kaiser formerly of the band Moonlake and future-ly of Marathon....

Sarah says:
The photo above is of me and Kaiser at Kortrijk Conge. He told me his whole name, his real name - but I forgot it. So Kaiser or anyone else reading this who knows him, leave a comment with his name please - other wise this will feel incomplete. So who is this Kaiser-dude anyway? Well, he formerly played in the Kortrijk band Moonlake with former Face The Day Guest Steven Tanghe. This link leads you to some old interview with him and Steven and other members of Moonlake. Anyway, Kaiser and Steven are now playing together in a new band called Marathon. Their CD is due to come out in about 10 years from now. What more can I say about Kaiser? I don't know. I don't know him all that well. He's a nice guy. He's single for all you single ladies out there and he's pretty cute - so he might be a catch! What can I say about Kortrijk Conge? Well, it was fun to be out and about in Kortrijk running into people we know and seeing some good stuff and some not-so-good stuff. I can't say I enjoyed the Jimi Tenor Big Band very much at all - just not my thing. The best thing I saw the whole night, which took place at 2 am, was Etalala prepared through the Passerelle dance company along with Kortrik's Polydans company. Etalala took place in a shop and shop window with the 7 female dancers inside, behind the glass, and the audience outside in the street. It was a very jovial and frivolous dance act done by teenagers I think. They were all very smiley and lovely to watch. Great setting. Another performance called Ewout D'Hoore also didn't really do it for me. It was in a great location - the old Post Office in Kortrijk, but it went on too long and wasn't far out enough or funny enough to make an impact or statement. It was with 5 people I think at a "swimming pool", which was really just an empty room with some water thrown on the floor. The swimmers got naked in front of us so there were a lot of body parts to be seen - they put on their swimsuits and the flopped and slid around on the floor or blew up rafts -- or sang lalala. It was good for a little bit but then dried up, so-to-speak.
I had a good time at Kortrijk Conge but mostly that had to do with the general atmosphere rather than with the entertainment. My main conclusion is that Kortrijk is such a great place to live!

Friday, July 13, 2007

FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!! of July: Heidi and Sarah look a bit greasy, shiny and silly today and Sarah goes to Brugge again! And welcome Hawai's Hans Corne!

Sarah says:

Lots of photos today I'm afraid. Above you can see me and Heidi looking smiley and sweaty. The day started chilly and rainy but turned hot and toasty later on. Below you can see Heidi and me with my brother SDM. Notice Yma's hand made it into the photo as well. Doesn't Heidi look a bit nuts today. Everything all right Heiditje?!
Below you can see my and my brother's shadows. He looks like a giant and I look like a fat dwarf... But do notice how sunny it is. We took that photo in Brugge. Yes - I went to Brugge yet again!!!! I enjoyed it because it was sunny today. I pretty much always enjoy Brugge and Gent so I can't complain but I am getting kind of sick of seeing the same things. Twice in a week is a bit too much really. If I were just going to these cities to shop or hang out, that would be one thing -- but it's the showing these same places over and over again to people -- in a way I enjoy that and in another way it gets kind of boring! Oh well. It was nice to be out in the sun and I ate some really great soup and walked a lot! Can't complain.

Can anyone tell me what sort of bird that is in the photo below? It was huge and pretty in a tree on the water in Brugge. It was just chilling out there. What is it? It's legs aren't long enough to be a Blue Heron. Its beak isn't long enough to be a Pelican. Anyone know? Heidi? I'm sure you know. Do tell! I want that one...

And last but not least, below you see Face The Day special guest Kortrijk band Hawai's bass player Hans Corne. I saw Hans tonight at a lovely BBQ and had to take his photo. These days Hans plays in Hawai. He also played bass in Two Russian Cowboys. A long, long time ago he also played in the band Ego with Greyn's former guitar-player Peter Dewilde. I think Ego was one of the first bands I saw play in Belgium. When the old Greyn band lineup, which was maybe still called Horus, was looking for a new bass player a very long time ago, Hans also came to chat with us but didn't choose us! Luckily not because he found Hawai and Hawai are great! I really like their newest CD. You can hear some tracks from it via this link. You can see Hawai perform in Rekkem tomorrow night the 14th of July at Kotweekend for Euro 6 at 18u. Right after that you can see another fine Kortrijk band Hitch. I suppose Hitch will start at around 20u or something. By the way, Greyn played their worst gig ever in Rekkem two years ago at Kotweekend. I think we even got booooooed! We played well that night but the audience was there to see The Van Jets whose place we had to take at the lsat minute because they had to play our early spot as they had another gig to get to. There we were, this little band that nobody knew. It sucked. But it was also sort of fun really...

Anyway, thanks Hans Corne for being a Face The Day Guest today... Here's a Face The Day Secret: Heidi and I always enjoy watching Hans Corne on stage playing bass. We have discussed the fact that he looks pretty sexy up there on stage several times.... Go see for yourselves!

Oh - one last thing - while in Brugge today we stumbled upon a wedding at the city hall. It turned out to be a wedding of two women - lesbians. It was kind of funny to be standing next to some other Americans watching it and over-hearing them realize it was a lesbian wedding. Belgium was one of the first countries to make same-sex marriage legal. I'm happy and proud of that. It should be legal if you ask me. Everyone has the right to be happy. But a lot of people do not agree with that and the people I was standing next to today in Brugge were certainly people who did not approve of gay marriage at all. I am glad they were confronted with it. If they could just look beyond the fact that there were two women standing there just married and see that there were two people in love standing there just married - maybe they would open their eyes. But maybe not as well. It seemed perfectly normal to me. But I guess that's because I live here now where it is legal and not very talked about anymore as opposed to in America where it remains a hot and difficult topic...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday 12 July 2007 part 2: Sarah wants you to look at Heidi's Face The Day entry today below before you look at this one please... Today in Gent...

Sarah says:
Sorry to bogart today's Face The Day - I don't mean to. So please just skip down all the below photos and first see Heidi's entry today with lovely photos of her and Yma. I couldn't just add my photos from today to hers so I had to make a part two entry. Sorry Heidi! Finally you put photos on and this is how I reward you!

So today I went to Gent with my visiting brother SDM. We went to the Belfry ( see above photo with view) and to some churches and wandered around in the rain and ate at the vegetarian restaurant called Panda. Good stuff. I love Gent. It is my favorite city in Belgium. Nice vibe. Great place.

Above you see one view from the Belfry. Gent is so pretty. Even in the rain.
Above and below you see my brother being a beast in the Belfry tower and stairs ...
And most importantly below you see something very special, which my other brother NSM has named the "man bucket" I think. It's something very surprising to Americans apparently because your privates don't seem so private in one of these handy standing pee pots! You just climb up in the middle of the street or sidewalk and take a pee with people passing right by you. You see these everywhere in Belgium and also in Europe I am guessing - but not in America it seems. I think they are a fantastic invention. If only there were the equivalent "women bucket" that was so fast and easy to use. Another good thing about these public "man-buckets" as pointed out by my sister-in-law JO, is that because men are busy using them, the other closed-in urinals stay cleaner as there is less man-pee being sprayed on the seats... I think my brothers should try to bring these man-buckets to America!

Thursday 12 July 2007: Heidi spends the day with Yma

, Heidi says: I think she has my eyes!!! What, did she steal my eyes?? Bad Yma! Bad girl! Noooooshe is so not a bad girl! She is super! She is treating me so good! We are having the best time today!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday 11 July 2007: Sarah celebrates Flanders National Holiday in Kortrijk at the symbolic 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs statue and makes fish!

Sarah says:
Hey Heidi - why don't you upload a photo of your self from home deary? We miss you here.
Above you see me below the commemorative 1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs statue, Kortrijk and Flanders one claim to fame. Today, the 11th of July, is the Flanders National Holiday. Some people get a little nationalistic on this day - for example, the right-wing party sort of claims it as their own holiday - but it has greater meaning than that. Here you can read a little about what goes on with this day in mind. We headed into the center today because there was some kids' stuff going on but it wasn't that exciting really so I ended up going shopping with my daughter and mother-in-law and my brother and my husband and my father-in-law went to some exhibits in the city. Non-eventful day but man oh man did I make some good fish for dinner, which you can see below. Such an easy recipe and such a great taste! Tonight I think I'll force my brother to watch Borat. He hasn't seen it. Every Jewish person with a sense of humor should. Every person with a sense of humor should actually! It's just funny. Borat is so simple and lovable really...
Tomorrow I was planning to take my brother to Ieper but forget that!! The Queen of England is going to be in Ieper tomorrow. As much as I would love to be there when she is, the traffic will be crazy and the place will be packed. I think I'll go Friday or Monday instead. So I guess it will be Brugge again or Gent perhaps. We'll see! I'm kind of bored of all these cities. But that's what you do when you have visitors and I always have fun walking around outside.
Oh - I forgot to say that though I had no pain during my bike ride yesterday and I have no pain today - last night as soon as I got into bed I did have that awful leg feeling going on for a long time -- the same one I had just after my operation which stayed for a while but finally went away with time. Well -- sadly it came back due to the riding I guess, which sucks. Seems I have to take things slow still. That's frustrating! I'm getting more out of shape then ever again and feeling fatter again and unfit. I was hoping that bike riding would be a start of something good but man did my legs hurt last night and it wasn't just muscle pain. It felt like that same damn nerve reactivated. I had to take a pain-killer. It was the first pain-killer I have had since my operation. It made me sad to take it. I guess I'd like to believe I am stronger than ever because I feel so good - but I suppose it's important to be reminded sometimes that I have limits and have to be aware of them. Oh well.... I can still bike ride but perhaps at a slower pace and fewer miles.

and last but not least, I meant "cleavage" yesterday, not cleaage! Sorry no cleavage or cleaage today ASG!!! And who left the other comment yesterday? I can't figure it out!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday 10 July 2007: Heidi and Sarah have a quicky in the car! And Sarah has a new hat for the summer! Woo Hoo!

Sarah says:
It's a day full of quickies! Running around. All over the place. Getting stuff done! Now I am about to go on a bike ride with my brother and Marv. Fist bike ride I have done in a very, very, very long time! I am excited to see if it hurts my back or not. I'm a little scared too. I'm a wuss and a nervous biker! This is a test! We'll see.... Like my new a hat?
Sarah says later that day:
Look how happy I am in the above photo on my bike for the first time in ages enjoying the sun and ride and the road. Sorry for the cleaage shot but this photo showed the least at least! It was a great bike ride! I have no pain other than in my arse from sitting on a hard seat. It was a two hour ride. I'm just happy I could do it with no trouble and with a lot of joy! Now this feels like vacation!
Below you see my brother SDM and good old Marv. I haven't even introduced mt brother to my husband -- only to Marv as he's the most important one these days! See all the green in the photo? That's like 5 minutes from my house. Kortrijk can be so nice sometimes. Man do I hope to get fit and get on a bike more often and get into good shape. I was afraid about my back getting shocked while on the bike but no problem at all. Only my legs and arms felt a little strained and tired just because I am so out of shape. It's a great day!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monday 09 July 2007: Sarah's brother SDM arrives and her brother NSM and his wife JO leave... Oh brother!

Sarah says:
Above you see my brother SDM, who is two years older than I am and who flew in from San Francisco today. (he lives in Oakland, CA.) And below you see my brother NSM, who is 4 years older than I am, my kid and my brother's wife JO at the airport just before we picked up my other brother. One in and another out. I have 5 brothers you know. Good thing that another one doesn't come every time I drop one off! My brother above has never been to Europe before so I guess I'll be going to Brugge, Ieper and Lille yet again!!!! But that's okay. If the sun ever shines here finally, I can enjoy a day outside walking around anywhere and everywhere! We'll also hit Gent and do some very Kortrijk-y things as there will be a lot going on in the upcoming week. It's a different sort of vacation than I usually have but it's calm and cool and just fine with me. I bought a new hat today! Kind of like my winter one you always see on here but a summer version. I'll wear it tomorrow in a photo if I remember. I also got some other stuff at the sales but not a lot at all. We were too late. All the good stuff is sadly gone!

By the way - do you think I look like my brothers at all?

Where's Heidi? I miss Heidi! It's hard not to see her everyday! And when my vacation ends, hers begins! I need my daily Heidi does.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sunday 8 July 2007: Heidi is in the dark and in need of vacation and Sarah's daughter is Sarah's light as Sarah enjoys her vacation!

Heidi says: tired and tired and headaches. Let the Holidays begin!

Sarah says:
Today we had a big brunch, went to Brugge and ate dinner at the sea in Oostende. My daughter has been such a joy these vacation days. We are really enjoying each other's company! She's a ball of sunshine, she is!
So Post Secret is finally up and running again. I didn't relate to any this week other than the one below about the show COPS and how the person who sent in the card is afraid of the COPS reruns because obviously this person was on the show doing something bad no doubt and wanting to run away from that time in his/her life but is unable to because people might see him or her on the show. The only reason I like this postcard is because I used to like watching COPS back in the day and I will never ever forget the BECAUSE I'M UGLY episode. This woman gets questioned in the back of the police car. She's getting a bit violent to the cops. They ask her why she's doing that. Why she's trying to hit them with her hairbrush. She cries out: "BECAUSE I'M UGLY"! It was so funny and sad. I worked that into many a situation, quoting that poor lady as often as I get the chance. I would love to see that episode again! Once I even wrote to a COPS forum to ask about that episode. I even got all happy because there was an answer!! But it was Heidi who was answering me!!! Tricking me. It was so funny. I think saying "BECAUSE I'M UGLY" is the perfect defense for anything you have done wrong. We all should use that phrase from COPS sometimes. Next time anyone asks why I did something they don't approve of - I know what I'm going to answer....

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Saturday 07 July 2007 other wise known as 07/07/07 - the day of good luck... Heidi and Sarah feel lucky to have YMA as a Face The Day special guest!

Sarah says:
YMA is way too cute. She's showing me and Heidi up! Good to see her and her mom as usual! It's sunny in Belgium today! Slow, easy day. Nothing much to say here...