Saturday, May 30, 2009

First day in Amsterdam ~ part two

On our first day in Amsterdam, after we had taken a short nap to recover from our long plane ride, we went on a sightseeing canal boat tour. Mr C had already been on one, many years ago when he visited Amsterdam as a young man, and said it was something I would enjoy doing. I have created a slide show of the pictures I took as we navigated the many canals on the hour long ride, so you would get a feeling of seeing the sights through my eyes.

I am just learning how to play with Picasa slideshows, and it appears, if you click on any of the pictures, you will be taken to that particular one, where you can read any captions I have added, and also you can leave a comment.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

First day in Amsterdam ~ part one

After an almost ten hour flight in a cramped Airbus A-330, we arrived at Schiphol airport, where we collected our luggage and made for the train station, where we bought our tickets for the 20 minute ride into Amsterdam. The ride was smooth and quite comfortable which pleased us, as we were both very tired and were anxious to reach our hotel to get some rest.
As we rode along, I could not help but notice the graffiti on the walls of buildings, fences and anything else which could be used for what I thought was more like an art form than mere graffiti. Via the Internet, I discovered that the graffiti is indeed an art form. Read more here.

Our first glimpse of one of Hollands many, many canals.

A view of the train station in Amsterdam.
The number of bicycles in Amsterdam is staggering, and seems to be the best way to navigate the often very narrow streets.

Our hotel for the first night in Amsterdam.

The room we had in the Golden Tulip, although small was very comfortable and nicely decorated.

These two pictures are actually of the room we stayed in on the two nights before we left to return home. The room we stayed in upon arrival in Amsterdam, was the same layout, but was decorated in a pretty shade of blue. You can see how long and narrow the room is, and instead of a queen size bed, there were two, longer than usual twin beds pushed together.

From our room window we could look down and across at the interesting old houses across the narrow street.

If you click on the picture you will see on the front of the brick facade of the building on the right, a hoisting beam with a hook on the underside. This was, and still is, the way furniture or any large objects were winched up from the street below, in through the door below the beam, and on into the house. They had to use this method as most times the doors into the houses were very narrow, due to in the past, houses were taxed on the size of the doors they had, and also the stairs in these old homes are very narrow and steep.

From one of the hotel's hallway windows we had a great view of the old houses and buildings.

Notice how there is no room at all between one house and the next. Every little bit of extra space was used. We could look down on some nice little rooftop patios people had created.

I could not get enough of looking out the window at all the old houses, and thinking, if only the walls of those old buildings could talk, what fascinating stories I would hear.
This is the end of part one, come back for part two, our trip on a boat through the canals of Amsterdam and pictures of the fabulous buildings and streets of this old city.
Mr C. has a post up, so if you want a different point of view click HERE

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Home, exhausted, but ready to do it all over again.

We arrived back on Whidbey Island yesterday evening, very tired but happy that we had such a wonderful experience in the Netherlands.

I have so much to tell you about our trip it is going to be difficult to know where to start, which be soon, as I have to download and edit many, many, pictures. Also I am not feeling very well, as I think I am coming down with a cold. Mr C. is still in bed resting, after an extremely uncomfortable journey home. It appears he has a very bad cold instead of the allergies, we thought had caught up with him the day before returning to USA.

The day before we left the Netherlands, my honey did walk with me to the flower market even though he felt unwell. (what a wonderful guy) I bought many packets of flower seeds, and the woman in the market stall, assured me they were packaged for taking back into the USA, but when we arrived back here, I found out at customs, they were not, and they were confiscated. I almost broke down and cried right there, in front of the customs officer.
I have since found out I can buy this particular brand of seeds here in the States, and I also learned ‘ do not take the word of everyone, especially those who are only interested in getting your money into their cash drawer, instead do your own research” So I have learned a valuable lesson.

I did not go to the Netherlands with the intention to shoot in the European steel challenge match, as Mr C. did, but after some persuasion, I did use the gun, kindly lent to me by one of our new friends, and shot the match. I had fun even though I did not do as well as I wanted to,due to shooting an unfamiliar weapon.

I will try to get a post with pictures, up as soon as possible. Keep checking in.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We are here in Amsterdam

Hi folks, If I don't make a whole lot of sense, it is because I am running on no sleep for close on 27 hours, coffee, apple strudel and pot. *chuckle* I suppose I had better explain myself.
We arrived at our hotel very early this morning, and bless them, they had our room ready for us. We checked into our room and lay down for a very short nap, which was not much for me as I do not sleep during daylight hours, then we went strolling the streets. It is quite something to walk around and smell mariuhana (sp) coming from some of the coffee shops. Mr C. says I am not supposed to take a deep breath as I walk by, I said "really, why not?*laughing.*
We took an hour long canal boat tour which was fantastic, and I clicked happily along with my camera, so I should have many pictures for show and tell. On the way back to the hotel we bought some of the best home made icecream I have ever tasted. good thing my jeans were a little large on me before we started out on this adventure.
That is all for now, we really need to get some rest.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I am so excited.

Yes I know I have been tardy in posting this past week, but I have been very busy. Not only have I been working, but I have been trying to get all "my ducks in a row" ready to leave for Amsterdam on Wednesday. We will arrive in Amsterdam too early in the morning to check into The Golden Tulip, our hotel, so we will leave our luggage in their holding area, then go and look around until check in time. MrC and I will be spending the first day and night here before getting a ride to Winterswijk, where MrC. will be shooting in the European steel Challenge.

We will be staying in another in the chain of Golden Tulips in Winterswijk. Looks nice doesn't it?
The indoor range is within walking distance of the hotel, which will be very convenient for us. As Mr C. is shooting his match on Saturday,we will stroll to the range on Friday to check out all the proceedings, and of course do a little sight seeing there and back.
I have been doing some Internet research on places to eat which will not strain our meager budget. I have found a chain of vending machines for food, and will NOT be using those YUK I hate vending machine food. I think our best bet is to buy our food at one of the local outdoor markets or supermarkets, and perhaps eat at a nice restaurant now and again, if it is not too expensive.
If anyone has been to Holland and has some good information, please let me know. My contact email is on the side bar.

Our excitement rate is up another notch or two, now it is almost time to leave on this adventure of a lifetime.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How I spent Mother's day

I spent much of my Mother's day playing in my garden. The weather was warm so what better way to spend the day.

This is the area I tackled. We had some old Junipers and a Pine tree removed from along here. Right close to the bottom of the step is a stump which we cannot remove as the roots have grown beneath the steps and if we were to pull the stump out, the steps would probably be damaged, and we do not want to replace the steps at this time. Instead I have decided to plant around the stump.

After dragging the two large logs out of the way, and dumping in a couple of wheelbarrow loads of amended topsoil, I planted some succulents a friend gave me and some I had in a pot in and around the stump. I am hoping, as the stump weathers and the succulents grow larger, this will become a somewhat attractive little garden.

Behind the stump I placed two columbines, one a pretty pink and the other purple, and on the right a Thrift with showy white flowers.

To the right of the Thrift, is a trellis with fragrant sweet peas planted in front.

Have you ever had a feeling someone is watching you? this was the case as I was busily planting around the stump. I looked behind and there sat this cute little guy watching me. I bet he was trying to think of a way to go over, or get under the chicken wire I have around the garden, so he can feast on my new plants.

Planted on May 10th 2009

I have a fondness for Snapdragons which were found in both my Grandmother's and Mother's gardens. My brothers and I would pick the flowers from the stems and squeeze them so the 'mouths of the Dragons' would open up. I am sure any kids who have been around these flowers, have played with them in the same way.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I went to put the new plants around the stump behind the carport. This where I had dug/ripped out the roses which were always a pain in the "you know where" when I attempted to weed this small strip garden. Those tough roses are continuing to thumb their noses at me, so to speak, and have put up new shoots where I thought I had dug/ ripped them all up from. Sighhh!

Perhaps in the future these will also be removed from this garden. The rose on the right is a particularly tough customer, as it has chosen to sprout under the eaves of the carport where is does not receive any rain, only water from my irrigation system in the summer months. We will see how long it lasts *grin*

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Gladys (Glady) C Kelly
JULY 7 1922 - SEPTEMBER 1 2006

Mum, thank you for all you taught me. Thank you for letting me play in the garden with you, for I now have a love of gardening as you and your mother before you did.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Alphabet for old people

New Alphabet

A is for apple, and B is for boat,
That used to be right, but now it won't float.
Age before beauty is what we once said,
But let's be a bit more realistic instead.


A's for arthritis;
B's the bad back,
C's the chest pains,
Perhaps car-di-ac?

D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight, can't read that top line!
F is for fissures and fluid retention,
G is for gas which we'd rather not mention.

H High blood pressure--We'd rather it low;
I For incisions with scars you can show.
J is for joints, out of socket, won't mend,
K is for knees that crack when they bend.

L 's for libido, what happened to sex?
M is for memory; we forget what comes next.
N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low;
O is for osteo, bones that don't grow!

P for prescriptions. We have quite a few,
Just give us a pill and we'll be good as new!
Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu?
R is for reflux, one meal turns to two.

S is for sleepless nights, counting our fears,
T is for Tinnitus; bells in our ears!
U is for urinary; troubles with flow;
V for vertigo, that's 'dizzy,' you know.

W for worry, NOW what's going 'round?
X is for X-ray, and what might be found.
Y for another year we are left here behind,
Z is for zest WE still have -- in OUR minds.

We've survived all the symptoms, our body's deployed, and We're keeping twenty-six doctors fully employed.



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The birdhouse fairy came by

On Tuesday evening, my honey opened our front door and I heard him say something about bird houses. As I looked out the door to ask what he was talking about, I saw the four bird houses neatly lined up along the edge of the top step. We were both very puzzled as to where they came from, neither of us had heard anyone knock on the door. The only person I thought would leave this nice gift, would be my gardening friend, and partner in crime, Lorie. I called their home and when her husband answered, I asked if anyone at their house knew anything about four bird houses left on our front porch. He denied knowing about them, but finally admitted, yes, his wife had left them there. She thought they would go with all the others which hang along the front of the carport.

I truly have the greatest friends. Thanks Lorie.