Monthly Archives: April 2015


While I am still listening to Melissa and enjoying the few minutes of peace since the boys are out with Kate, I would be less than truthful if I didn’t say that I am worn out. Emotionally, my batteries are on the 1% level. I am having a hard time channeling the necessary energy to be supportive, social, warm and wise with the world outside my front door. And this is also the week that I chose to jump off my anti depressant. You know, I never really only do one thing at a time 😉

Leaving on Sunday for Vught and while I know it will be mentally exhausting, confronting and frustrating – I still expect to find a away to regain strength and patience while I am there. Perhaps because I am not under any pressure to do anything there but learn Dutch and absolutely not use English. Perhaps because I am staying in an old manor house and will be able to bike around the area. Or perhaps because I will finally be able to get an original Bossche bol like this one

Worth taking a vegan holiday for!
Worth taking a vegan holiday for!

For those of you pastry purists, a Bossche bol is covered in pure chocolate which is what makes it stand out from creampuffs or moorkoppen.

I will use the time to build up my reserves again and recharge the introvert battery. I would like to take my banjo, having just learned Dueling Banjos in yesterday’s lesson. However, dueling by definition means there is someone else involved 😉

Work is very, very stressful at the moment. As much my own as absorbing other people’s stress. Today I was in the Hague for a meeting and driving on the way back, I was tempted to take a turn off into the polder and disappear into a meadow amongst a herd of cows. I had a feeling that lying in a meadow, curled up against a cud chewing cow was a good way to disappear from the rest of the world for a bit. And an opportunity to collect cow manure first hand!

Tomorrow there are more meetings, more people stressing out. I will see Eddie tomorrow evening which will help. Saturday night, I am going with my Aunt, Jo, Pieter, Sjoerd and Marieke to see Tuck & Patty at the North Sea Jazz Club for dinner and a concert. It was a 75th birthday gift to my aunt from all of us because there’s nothing she likes better than going out to dinner with everyone and dressing up. I am my Aunt’s date if you were unsure of the order 😉 I am not really sure who Tuck & Patty are, other than older than me, so I think I will just not look up their music and prepare to be surprised.

I am aware that the overall quality of my life is very good and I am grateful for that. I don’t want to convey the impression that I don’t recognize it and appreciate it. Just lately, things have been piling up and at least I know now when I need to take a break from the outside world. If I don’t post for a few days, don’t worry. If you don’t read anything for a few weeks, then that’s something else entirely.

I won’t be alone tonight

I am still singing along to the incredible Melissa Etheridge concert last night! It was just her and her 9 guitars in the Tivoli Vredenburg, in a concert room that holds 2000 people. It was by far and away the best way to see her ever and I shall be quite spoiled now and find bigger concerts lacking. Perhaps I can show you!

Such a great show!
Yep, that close to her!

See what I mean? It was 2 and a half hours of ROCK GODDESS! It was a good thing that on the way home from Utrecht, we found ourselves in a Stilte (silence) car because I think I needed some time to process and absorb all the incredible feelings from the performance. And I learned that Marjo has difficulty in the Stilte car which I will file away for future reference.

Listening to some of the songs last night and the observations she shared with the audience got me thinking. Well, so did the crowd demographic of what looked like most happy couples. I realized that at some point, if I ever want to be one of those happy couples, I am going to have to listen to both Marianne and Marjo and dip my toes into the dating pool. This doesn’t precisely thrill me since it has been a very long time since I needed to do that. I can only hope that it comes with complimentary swim floats. I’ve spent alot of years of one-sided waiting. In retrospect, I can put on the proverbial boots and kick my own ass for being blind and blindly optimistic. Or I can go Zen and recognize that the choices I made at the time taught me an awful lot about my own capacity and needs in a partner. I think I will probably end up somewhere in between, depending on the day of the week and the amount of sunlight available! We’ll see how this goes, now that I have admitted that I need to take some action if I want to get to that state where there is someone else to take the dogs out in the morning 😉

Speaking of the dogs, George is in a mood today! He’s got his troublemaking trousers on for sure. I nearly fell over him this morning and broke us both when he was so underfoot trying to convince me to feed him an early breakfast when I was trying to get everything organized. And then I discovered that he peed against my purple chair from Mom. Oh, and then there were the remnants of the aluminum container that their dog food comes in, shredded in bits all over the couch and in their blankets. So now I have to worry about George recycling his own food containers through his digestive system. See what I mean? Of course, now they are curled up here in the office like angels.

I have a banjo lesson this morning and then off to the office. And tonight, we have a customer facing event over in Amsterdam Noord so I will be riding my bike to the ferry and taking the 5 minute crossing over the river IJ. Even though it is only 5 minutes, it feels like going somewhere far away. And I have to remember to get stamps to mail my property tax payment back to Seattle today. Tomorrow it is off to the Hague and I forget where I have to be on Friday. In other words, business as usual 😉

Not quite ready for prime time

The good news is that yesterday afternoon I did indeed jump in bravely and make my own tortillas so that the dogs would have a steady supply for the next couple of weeks. Things I learned during the process: volkoren (full kernel – whole grain, I think) flour doesn’t make the sort of junk food flavor tortillas but rather the wholesome flavor kind, rolling pins are not as easy to use as they look, cooking them takes patience in terms of not letting yourself get distracted in the two minute window that they are done.

I admit to being a little disappointed. I had visions of being my own tortilla factory with the boys dancing around the kitchen, out of control, while hoping I would throw them the irregular ones. Yesterday with the doors open to the terrace and the sunlight streaming in, they were more interested in baking themselves in the sun than what I was doing – on their behalf, I might add! I also expected them to be completely over the moon and begging for tortillas. Well, let’s say that while they didn’t spit them out, they weren’t as crazy about them as they are over the ones that I get from the store. When George doesn’t grab a tortilla out of your hands with a look of sheer joy on his face, it can be a little confidence shaking as a cook!

I will try again next time with different flour and hopefully more rolling pin skills so my tortillas look less like random shapes and more like the perfect circles you see in the store. They are not bad, just healthy tasting – which is not always what you are looking for when you eat tortillas so I understand the boys’ restraint.

I did have a Mom moment in the kitchen. I was worried that I didn’t have nearly enough water for that bowl full of six cups of flour. I went back to the recipe three times and realized that my liquid measurement math was bad. I assumed that it was 1/3 a cup of water per two cups of flour when in reality it was 2/3 of a cup. This made me laugh because my mom used to love to tell how my liquid measurement skills were lacking – making brownies in 7th grade where I was convinced that 1 cup of water equaled 16 ounces, not 8 and proceeded to pour that into the batter. The batter never got better, it stayed the consistency of a puddle.

I didn’t go out for King’s Day. I wore my orange when I walked the dogs but I couldn’t face all the celebrating people. I wrote, I cried, did lots of things around the house, hugged my pets and thought a lot about my mom. Since King’s Day will always be on the 27th (since it is Willem-Alexander’s real birthday) I think I can anticipate that it will probably not be a day that I really feel like being happy. Maybe one day it will grow easier but for now it is too close to home.

Tonight is Melissa Etheridge in Utrecht. I am looking forward to seeing her on stage. It has been a couple of years. The last time was at the Woodland Park Zoo.

In the meantime, like the motto of the Netherlands Je maintiendrai, I will maintain and hope that the days get a little easier.

Kings, Queens, Palaces and Orange

It is King’s Day today. The dress code today, whether you are Dutch or not, is to wear as much orange as possible. The more you can combine your orange with glitter, feathers, swim floaties and funny slogans, the more you are ready for the party. Of course, with King’s Day, the night before is King’s night and that is a different kind of celebration. Your orange is discreet. I went out for King’s Night last night, starting in the Leidseplein and then walking over to the Jordaan (some say the Jordaan is the heart of Amsterdam – I can see that) and then back over to Leidseplein and then to the Pijp and finally walked home. Needless to say, I am well ahead for my step count!

Before the King’s Night festivities, I had another royalty experience yesterday. Since Sunday seems to the perfect day to escape the city and to drive, we went to Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn. I had read on the website that dogs were allowed in the Forest Park but not the Palace Park. Makes sense to me, however, to the man guarding the entrance to the woods, it was a security issue. He seemed overly stressed out by the sight of two small dogs leashed up and wanting to go for a walk in the woods. As he called for backup, since he didn’t know which park I meant, he became increasingly more stressed and kept telling dispatch over the radio that he would try to get the point across and keep things in good order while he stopped me from entering the woods. I wasn’t trying to stress him out, apparently it just happened. We slowly backed away from the overwhelmed man and walked the dogs elsewhere before they went back into the car for their nap.

I have a connection with Het Loo. When my Oma and Opa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, we went on a tour of the important historical sites of the Netherlands. My mom, Rupert and I along with Joanne and Sjoerd and my aunt and uncle spent a week in a rented mini van touring. Opa had put together all the sites and the itinerary. Het Loo was on the list. It was magical then (and now as well). At that time, they had more horses in the stables than they do now. They have only two – the stalls hold 88. I was in the stable for a very long time. Opa stayed with me, strolling the courtyard smoking his cigar so I could have horse time. Everyone else was on to the palace already. After we left Het Loo that day, Opa gave me a gift since their anniversary was very close to my birthday. It was a silver horse head necklace cast to resemble the royal coach horses.

Yesterday, while touring the palace and the gardens, it wasn’t difficult to know exactly what Mom’s reaction would have been upon touring Het Loo again. I am struggling a little today. Two years ago, we were setting her and Ninja’s ashes with Oma in Marum. It was 27 April 2013. We had to get an exception because it was a Saturday. I am sitting here listening to her playlist and it still hurts so much. Sometimes I really think that the hole in my life that was my mother’s place will never stop being raw. I still miss her so much and I have so much I want to talk with her about. I do talk to her, at night before I go to sleep. It has helped with some of the nightmares that I have about losing her.

I think about that too, that no one else in my life will have known my mother. And when the pets die, there will be another link to her that is broken. It is enough to make a person cry. Well, I am doing that already.

I know that I am going to be all over the place today emotionally. So, I am going to make use of the tears and incorporate them in to the tortilla dough. That’s right, today, I learn to make tortillas in honor of my mom. She started the boys on their tortilla expectations after all!

I miss you mom.

Peace and Quiet

This morning, I am listening to Sinead and enjoying yet another good cup of coffee. The boys are out with Kate so they will be back this afternoon around 1400. This means that for a few hours, I can work without the watchdog services of the dynamic duo. When they are in the office with me, they are very vigilant and very protective. To the point that anyone lingering too long on the street is subject to a dose of “Get away from our house” barking delivered dachshund style. George just sounds angry, like he might blow a gasket whereas Henry has this enormous bass bark that sounds like he is at least the size of a Rottweiler. Naturally, I appreciate their dedication to their work. It is only when I am in the midst of thinking or on the phone that it becomes a bit too much. Fortunately, our work culture is mobile so I am not the only one who shares an office with canine colleagues 😉

I must say I absolutely love Sinead O’Connor. Have for more than 20 years. It doesn’t matter which album it is, I can always fall into her songs and her voice. One of my all time favorite songs is “Last Day of our Acquaintance”. I remember when I was younger thinking it was kind of an odd song. I didn’t really get it. I will say that it is a song that the understanding is improved by life experience. I was talking with Eddie last week about this song and how I really get it now. Whenever I have a conversation with Eddie, I end up learning something, whether it is about music, terrible off color jokes, musician’s tips or a bit of emotional introspection and growth. And all of this accomplished during an hour of massage – which is how we met more than a year ago and formed the basis of our friendship. Of course, Eddie is also Irish so he gets double points for musical interpretation.

It is grey and overcast today which also suits my mood nicely! Too much sunny weather and I might stop being the Queen of Darkness 😉 I believe it is against the QofD charter to have any sun exposure at all, much less enjoy it. Which I do very much. Yesterday I was walking back from the grocery store and I took the long way and just sat on a bench for a good ten minutes, eyes closed, absorbing the sun. I could call it meditation but really it was just enjoying the sunlight and building up my vitamin D.

I just finished printing out my list for tomorrow. At the conference, I have 29 speed dating rounds scheduled. Oy. I am getting introvert panic just looking at the list. They are all strangers to me so that means with every round I will need to start from scratch. Fifteen minutes per round is 435 minutes of talking. Well, at least my math is not introverted.

Coffee is empty so that means it is time to go back to work 🙂


to going to torture myself with another week of stringent and intense language classes delivered in the methods of the Nuns of Vught. I made the final payment yesterday. And while I was doing that, I thought “Ï could be booking myself a little holiday in Turkey for one third of this cost”. I did the responsible thing though and completed the transaction. So, 3 May I am on my way to Vught via the train.

This did get me thinking about other goals I have though. This year would have been Mom’s 75th birthday and as you know, by coincidence (or not) Andre Rieu is playing in Maastricht on her chosen birthday. I will be going to that and staying the weekend in Maastricht to celebrate her properly. While that is pretty excellent tribute to Mama, there’s one more thing that she always wanted to do and talked about. That was visiting Ecuador. Well, to be honest, she was thinking of taking George and moving there, she already had her Spanish school picked out! I am going to do that next year, go to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. That means in addition to saving for the cost of such an adventure, I am also going to learn to dive in the mean time so I can not just snorkel but dive. It promises to be a life enhancing experience 🙂

Friday night I am off to Rotterdam to see Russell Peters. I think he is hilarious and I am looking forward to hearing something all in English 😉 And Tuesday night next week it is Melissa Etheridge in Utrecht. Which reminds me that I need to buy my tickets for Garbage. I like going to concerts here. Partly because they are more reasonably priced than in the US and because it is a treat. In September, Lollapalooza is coming to Berlin and I am thinking of going. I am still muddling on it because I am not quite crazy about big festivals. Speaking of festivals, we just got a notice through the letterbox that there will be a big electronic music festival at the RAI on the 27th. That’s King’s Day so if last year is anything to go by, there will be floods of orange wearing folk all coming to Amsterdam. I remember last year that there were so many people coming through the park that I wondered if there was anyone left in the rest of the Netherlands! Last year Eliza and I sat on terraces for nine hours during King’s Day. Of course, they were terraces in many different places!

This week I have a technology conference to go to in Utrecht which means that I will have to do a lot of talking to strangers. I think I have something like 12 individual conversations scheduled with attendees. This is the Netherlands so of course, conversations are scheduled in advance for conference attendees 😉 That will take a lot of social energy. I should probably start meditating now to build up the introvert reserves. This will be the second to the last conference of the year. In May, we have a two day one. Perhaps I should just bring my banjo along to recharge – that will certainly create a wide circle of open space around me!

Okay, my second coffee is finished which means it is time to go to work!

Making friends

Yesterday, we went to the Nederlands Openlucht Museum in Arnhem . Arnhem is about an hour out of the city and since the Auto show is happening at the RAI, the whole neighborhood is a bit overcrowded with people coming to drool over cars and all the things that go with them. It also means that we have lost our parking spot for ten days while the hordes descend. With good weather and all of us loaded into the car, we on our way out of the city and into some of the highest spots in the Netherlands 😉 I actually saw hills. Well, two of them.

We each took a dog, Henry was with me and George made his choice for Marjo – figuring someone new would be more likely to let him get away with things and give him treats. We had a great time. Perhaps George enjoyed it more than any of us because he made friends with every type of livestock they had there. He went up to the chickens, until the rooster warned him off. He exchanged very long nose greetings with a sheep. He checked on the pigs and inquired as to what they were eating. The best part was watching him with the big cattle. Their heads are big than George. And they were very curious and so was he. Until he communicated the wrong thing and then they started mooing and getting agitated so we quickly ducked out of the barn to avoid notice and let the Japanese tourists that were trying to pet the cattle take the blame.

What is really cool about the museum is that all of the buildings are original and over the past century or so they have been moved to that location. So it isn’t a recreation of the history of the Netherlands but rather actual pieces of. It was fascinating to see the evolution from the early farmhouses that families lived in with their livestock to the grand land houses. We only covered a third of the museum because it is all out doors and we didn’t get there until 2pm. I learned that people painted their houses blue and their walls not because they liked blue but apparently it repels flies. I had no idea!

The dogs also had their human fans. We were sitting in the square on a bench, people watching and eating pastry, when random children started coming by and stopping in front of us and staring. Luckily I can translate this behavior. It means that they really want to pet the dogs but don’t know how to ask. So I always ask them if they want to pet the dogs and they immediately do. It is a good thing I can translate this because it could be rather awkward when a strange child is standing in front of you and staring.

Today we had a very lazy day since we had walked far more than 10,000 steps by the time we left the museum. We stayed with Beatrix Park and spent nearly thirty minutes just lying in the grass in the sun. I had to memorize a new song for my banjo lesson tomorrow so that has kept me busy this evening. I was hoping to finish my test for my language class but I can’t access it and so it will have to wait until their help desk can send it to me tomorrow. Two weeks from today, I will be going to Vught for the week. I am bringing my bike this time. I am pretty sure that I can fit her in Astrid. Actually, I think I am just going to take my bike on the train. I can strap my carryon baggage to the back and put my computer bag in my basket. And I am set, I can ride to the train station here and from the train station there. And the best part is that it will cost me 8 euros. I am definitely going to do that because when I went last year, I only used the car to get there and leave.

Marianne called today. Our birthdays are approaching next month and she wanted to know if I wanted to celebrate jointly with her again. Of course I said yes because she throws a great party and I benefit 🙂 And this time, I will have more people to invite. With the Dutch habit of scheduling everything months in advance, apparently the invitations have to go out at least one month in advance. This Saturday we will be exploring locations.

I forgot to add that the 30 kilometer roundtrip commute on the bike was successful. My time was not so good compared to last year but we will get there as the good weather continues. Grateful for a sturdy bike and a good massage therapist 😉

Continue reading Making friends

Why am I awake at this hour?

Not sure that I expect you, dear reader, to be able to answer that question. All I know is that I woke up at 332 this morning and that was the end of sleepy time. I tried my usual tricks, breathing, lavender oil under the nose, deliberately not thinking, talking to Mom, hugging the pets and at 417, I just got up and fired up the coffee machine.

The boys woke up too and now they are in their bed here in the office, snoring away after the initial excitement of getting up in the dark. I didn’t feed them yet, otherwise they will be expecting this every morning! I can hear the birds beginning to sing and so far, there is one other household awake in the street judging by the lights.

I have already made it through my pressing work stuff this morning. Now I just have to wait for people to wake up and react. When I first moved here, my colleagues made a point of letting me know that I should not expect answers to my emails that were sent in the strange hours until normal Dutch working hours. I told them that I didn’t expect answers that early, I just happen to be awake sometimes and working and if I really wanted an answer, I would just call them before 9 AM 😉 They didn’t realize that I was joking about the calling before dawn!

I have a banjo lesson later this morning. Probably right about then I will be ready for a nap. It is supposed to be 63 and sunny today so I am looking forward to having as much of the day in the sunshine as I can. I think I might even find a terrace to work from this afternoon. Assuming I am still awake, of course!

Happy Tax Day to those of you in the US. One benefit of being over here, is that I get an extension automatically until June. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to pay though, just a longer time to file.

I am preparing for the first bike commute of the year on Friday. It will be a good way to end the week and the weather promises to be sunny and cool. I hope by the end of the summer, I will be able to make my commute in 30 minutes. That means I have about 20 minutes of improvement time needed. It will also mean that it takes me the same time on my bike as it would going with public transit.

My next pressing issue to solve is thinking about where I will vacation in August. Ideally, I will find a little spot on the sea somewhere that I can take the dogs and we can drive or take the train rather than fly. I would like to find somewhere peaceful but not boring. I can’t decided if I want to stay in the Netherlands or visit some of the countries next door. I supposed it will depend on what I find. You know that people take their vacation time seriously when most things for August are already booked!


Monday morning and I just saw the video from Hillary, announcing her candidacy. Can I just tell you how great it is to watch? I think of how excited my mom would be to see it as well. I was so disappointed last time with the nomination. I have to dig up my Hillary for President t-shirt.

So nice to see a message delivered without the gloom and doom and fear mongering. I am sure as it gets closer to the election, the US political scene will once again turn into a group of poorly behaving adults and their strategists.

My brother, Cedric, called me yesterday. We talked about important and not so important things. We don’t talk often enough and that’s both of our faults. The good news is that he is going to try to make it here this year. I will be glad to have that happen since he is the only one of my brothers that hasn’t been back since we had Mom’s memorial service. Maybe I will get to see him in Chicago too when I invade Rupert and Meredith’s peace and quiet!

The terrace is in order! Saturday afternoon, between rain spells, I put it to rights and cleaned it all up and brought the plants back into line. My tulips are all blooming and just gloriously beautiful. I will be sorry when they are done. If it were possible, I would like to have tulips growing the whole year.

I saw the movie “Still Alice” over the weekend. To say I enjoyed it isn’t the right word because I think of enjoyed as more of a happy word. Perhaps it is more accurate to say I thought Julianne Moore was incredible and I was left thinking about the subject and what it would be like long after the end credits played.

The boys went to the doggie salon on Friday and got their Spring arrangement. They look so very dashing – partly because we haven’t been to the park yet so they couldn’t roll all the cleanliness off. Instead we have done alot of walking on the leash and sitting in the sun on grassy spots. Henry is all about the leisurely sunning in the grass. Today they will go out with their dog group so I am sure the first thing they will do in the woods is roll in something disgusting.

Over the weekend, I have realized that I am a pretty great friend. I mean that from the perspective that friendship means accepting people as they are and recognizing that even if it makes you nuts, there are times that you have to listen to the same concerns over and over again. I can’t tell you how many times this weekend I have used the phrase “Channel your inner Donna Summer please because I am hearing a whole lot of Kylie Minogue coming out of you”. Meaning, of course, that your own inner disco diva can give you alot more confidence than a bubble gum popstar. Friends should be able to do that for each other and certainly have honesty between them so those things can be said. I know that for me I feel very strongly that honesty is important in a friendship. I don’t think the type of friendships that exist without it are right for me. Which is a relief because I like to think that everyone that remains in my life now is honest.

In addition to doing alot of thinking lately (so that I sleep better), I have been making and drinking quarts of ice tea. You could make the argument that it is not yet warm enough but if I don’t start with the tea, the weather will never get warm enough! Like when I was walking the dogs on Saturday in shorts and a t-shirt. It was not really warm enough to do so and my mental images of warm weather weren’t keeping me warm either 😉

Okay, I have procrastinated enough, time to go to work…

April showers bring…

the hope that spring is truly on the way? Or that the time is soon coming that I can put all our jackets away until fall? Or that the time is fast approaching that sunblock becomes a daily thing again? Today they mostly bring grey clouds and this sense of anticipation, will it rain or will it not? And should I drive to Utrecht for my meeting or take the train?

Seriously, I know, not exactly the questions for the ages. Just came back from the druggist. George’s pills are still not in and we ran out yesterday. I ordered them more than a week ago, knowing that Easter would disrupt the delivery process. Now they say they will definitely have them tomorrow morning. We made do on one pill for Sunday and Monday but now we are completely out. George is more disappointed that he hasn’t gotten his spoon full of Greek yoghurt this morning (which I always put his pill into) than anything else.

Back to work today, the long weekend is over. Actually, I did start doing some work yesterday already since the US was working and three days off was good enough for me. Between now and the end of May, there are at least three more long weekends. I could get used to this 😉

Coming out of the woods on Sunday, Henry couldn’t walk. Which, of course, sent me into panic mode because it was Sunday and Easter and where was I going to find a vet? I carried him all the way home – which made me realize I am lucky he is a dachshund and not an Akita. He still couldn’t walk when we got home. I had to carry him against my shoulder like he was a baby and his paw just kept flopping. All of the worst cases were running through my mind: cancer, paralysis, nerve damage, stroke and so on. I got him home and put him on the sofa where he just proceeded to flop around. Luckily, he let me look at his paws without biting and guess what I found? Buried deep in his little foot was an inch long thorn. Buried all the way to the hilt. I pulled it out in one piece and after 15 minutes, he was back to walking. What a relief! I have saved it because it is truly creepy to look at.

I spent most of the weekend playing music, hanging out with people, reading and doing my best to recharge my battery. Of course, in between, I also cleaned the terrace, did all the chores and walked alot with the dogs. To finish up the long weekend, I went out to dinner last night and much to the dismay of my dining companion, they no longer offered the cheese plank as dessert.

Ah, and I also made an enormous quanity of Orange Blossom Iced Tea like they serve at Dub Sea. I only drink a small glass at a time – having one now actually. It is my favorite iced tea EVER. And it reminds me of the people at Dub Sea 🙂

We’re organizing a siblings pizza and irritation session for June when I go to Chicago. It promises to be entertaining, especially since Dylan is probably still not eating carbs which makes him much more irritating 😉 and after he eats two pieces of pizza, he has to lie down on the floor because he literally cannot move. You know, then we take full advantage and offer all kinds of helpful advice, like we could step on his stomach to make him digest faster, order another pizza so he can build up his carb immunity, etc. You know, the kind of things that show that siblings care!

Well, I suppose I should get back to my work day. Luckily, my presentation for Utrecht is ready to go and now I just need to get myself ready. I  am thinking that my yoga pants are not quite the definition of professional attire that I wish they were!