Monthly Archives: September 2017

Almost time for school…

Tomorrow and Friday I am going to a course at Erasmus University titled Women in Leadership. It’s a bit of a role reversal since the interns will have to run the ship tomorrow. They’re having the meetings with the other teams and will be making the decisions. Me? I’ll just be learning 😉

Big C heads back to the UK next week, much to my regret. Last Tuesday night, we met up at Amsterdam Centraal and took a canal boat cruise one last time. We walked from there to the halfway point to the restaurant and stopped for a Gin & Tonic. From there, we went to the REM Eiland Toren restaurant and sat high above the river IJ, having a last supper of the women of DX.

In addition to the three C’s, Eva (made an honorary C for the purposes of getting a group tattoo) was with us as well. She’s been an amazing part of our team and the change movement, even if she has the wrong name. 😉


As for me, well, I am having a hard time with Big C leaving. I know it’s the right thing for her and that there are so many good things in store for her. It’s not like we will never talk to each other again. It’s still a loss. It feels exactly like that too, sharp and pointy. I think when you are fortunate to find people who are willing to accept you as you are and will think wild and big thoughts with you, you should be able to keep them around you always! In this case, I find myself trying to give others the same encouragement and room to grow that our (now) friendship has given me.

Luckily, the Netherlands won’t be out of C’s, since little C is not planning on moving.

In case you were keeping track, Sunday I had a brunch date with Marianne and then my very first jam session. Well, brunch was a success. The jam session was a challenge. I decided that I will do it again but not with that group. The group was fine, the leader was not really equipped to handle beginners. Ironically enough for a bluegrass jam session, he had a disdain for non clawhammer banjo players. I know, right… Only clawhammer (strumming) banjo players are authentic, apparently. Umm, yeah, NOT.

Okay, that’s it for now since the pets are hoping for some attention!

Hello from Pet Mountain…

In case you were wondering what my real job is these days, here’s the evidence.PetMountain

After a day at the office, the first thing I like to do is close my eyes for 20 minutes to recharge my battery. This is also usually the time before the zoo needs to have their dinner. The “meditation pause” makes it easier for all of us to wait until dinner time. As you can see, while the pets have a perfectly great memory foam bed, located to the left, I am apparently a better version of memory foam.

Reporting for duty…

Dogs are my co-pilots

Yesterday we were waiting in Rotterdam for GG to come back out of her house. As you can see, the boys felt it necessary to take to the bridge and keep an eye out for GG or perhaps icebergs or passing dogs. Which came in pretty handy because I closed my eyes behind the wheel and took a nap. Not to worry, I had Astrid safely parked and the engine was off 😉

When we arrived back in the Netherlands on Friday afternoon, I sort of powered right on through to Friday night, going to bed around 11. Well, that didn’t work so well since at 3AM I was awake again and stayed that way until almost 6AM. Right now it’s nearly midnight and I am having a cup of coffee and wide awake. I’m going to have to get this in order since this week is really busy. It starts tomorrow at 915AM and won’t slow down until Friday evening. This is the week that the interns and I are going to Groningen to present on digital inclusion and then I am going to Tilburg to speak to university professors about the same topic, different emphasis. Then there’s the good-bye event for Big C – who is moving back to the UK at the end of the month. Banjo, 57 meetings with organizations and people to make sure we’re making a difference. Ending on Friday with cooking for a homeless shelter with my peer from a competitive company.

Last night was the monthly meetup and I am pleased to say there were 30 women who showed up. A number of them new to the group. It was a really good evening and I hope that people felt welcome. We closed the bar down which is unusual. As I was cycling home, I realized again how beautiful this city is. I wondered again if I am not completely out of my gourd for thinking about leaving it for another city…

Yesterday afternoon, before this picture was taken, GG and I went to go look at another house. It was really beautiful, not a case of internet dating profile photos. It’s not officially on the market yet so now we have to make a decision. It’s not as old as we would like (1853 instead of 1568) but it has the advantage of being insulated and updated wiring and plumbing! Since it was originally a warehouse, the windows get progressively closer to the floor with each level you go up, since they were originally doors. It overlooks the canal and there is a sailing ship from 1909 moored right outside.

There’s another one we looked at yesterday from the outside. It is from the same period and has a built in theatre and cafe that resemble something from a 20s speakeasy or burlesque hall. That appeals to me very much however the rest of the building had been converted to office space and a very questionable apartment in the attic. So we would be looking at a renovation project of 8611 square feet… I think that’s not going to happen since both of us still have to work full time jobs – we didn’t win the lottery tonight ;(

Anyway, it’s good to be back in the Netherlands. We had a great week with the family and I think we collectively decided that next year we are going for an island theme. I’m wondering if I can make a case for Texel? 😉

North Carolina Wisdom…

This sign is posted on the first lookout point on the way up to Chimney Rock. I think it’s all around good advice for going through life 😉

It has been a really busy week. I’m typing this right now from the covered courtyard of the Biltmore Estate. I’ve seen the house on a previous visit to NC before and decided to take the time to catch up on my writing and reading. Rupert, Meredith and GG are all touring the house and Cedric is off walking Charlie through the grounds. Personally, I am a sissy and waiting for the rain to clear a bit before I venture out from under the roof!

We’ve been to the above mentioned Chimney Rock and waited out a rainstorm under the overhanging rock. We’ve been to the summit of Mount Mitchell and hiked the Deep Gap trail. We’ve crossed the border down to Georgia and practiced our bellyflopping, diving and cannonballing off the bow of a pontoon boat in Lake Chatuge. We’ve been to Asheville and toured their Pinball Museum, A-SHE-ville Women’s museum and breweries. In between, we have consumed serious pots of drip coffee and I think 4 dozen eggs. Oh, and the local Pizza Hut hasn’t made so many orders of Pizza Sticks in years.

Tonight I will cook Indonesian food since it is our Last Supper 😉 Nothing like sending everyone off with a belly full of exotic spices!