Sunday, May 31, 2020

Why is is so necessary to change all the time?

Hello everybody again!

Yes, my try-out post did publish, let's hope this one will do the same. It seems necessary to change change Blogger every now and then, for a part I understand, but sometimes the new isn;t always better. Sigh! We will have to live with it.
I already had trouble to find button to make a new post. By kind of accident I found out it is the "+" orange sign at the bottom ritgh ot the posts page.

Good, so far, so good we will get the hang of it, I hope.

Weather here has been great. We had last week average of 21-23C(depending on where you live in the country), lots of sun, sometimes a bit too much wind, but that will get less too next week. There was no rain which is a pity, we could do with some.
Last week Jan was watering the garden and told me afterwards it has become kind of difficult to use the hose any longer because at different places little tiny holes showed where the water came out too. Hmmmm, you could use it perhaps still as a "watering system"LOL, but a new hose had to be bought. So I fid=st checked with some DIY stores what kind they had. There are two not all too far from us, so I went to the nearest one and found a good one for not all too expensive but from a good brand, 20 mtrs. long, enough for our garden. We already had all connections so that was found and bought quick. At the same time I bought a two armed small spot, to place on a wall cupboard in the living room. we had one there but that one was old and didn;t give enough light and the bulbs gave up quick, now we have leds and it is much better.
So I was a happy camper.

Oh, in one of my posts I was telling you about the sound that suddenly was lost?
It was in Firefox, but I tried Microsoft Edge(with is default of course) and there I have no problem. I tried to find out the trouble with Firefox on the net, but for me it became too complicated, so I must find somebody who is more agile with it, who perhaps could help. For the moment I use Edge when I need sound and for all other still mostly Firefox(I am so used to that browser).

In the garden it is time that the slugs show themselves, you know! I know they are needed in the garden too, and also the birds and frogs seem to like them, but I don;t want to have an over ivasion of slug families, because they like to eat leaves of my plants(not all but several species are very liked by them LOL).
So I started this week the slug hunting, best time is late evening around 11.00 a.m.or bit later. And there are always some. But much more if Jan has watered the garden that evening(or it has rained and nice temperature). At that time you see me going out with a little plastic bag, an old sugar tongs(great for it) and a little torch.
By now I know the "gathering places"and I am rather succesfull catching them.
I know, it isn;t very animal friendly, but I don;t want to use any poison. and I could use perhaps some traps, but there they die too or drown, so I appologize  to all slugs, they just have to stay away from my plants!!!
I am sure there are plenty left for the frogs and birds and also enough that still can do their thing to make sure there will be a next generation next year LOL!!

Anyway, one of the evenings Jan too was in the kitchen and suddenly called me to the kitchen door and told me that I just mist a bat, that had entered the kitchen and thank God also flew out of it! I know that there are lots of bats in our neighbothood, but it was something special to have one in the kitchen, of course.

May be he or she was checking already for Halloween, who knows. perhaps it saw one night at the front the with on broomstick that hangs at the street-side looking window???It could be a sign for it, that this might be a good address to visit with Halloween??????

All together it still has been a rather quiet week, we do our thing, Jan is almost not going out, only if he has to go to hospital for an appointment or so, of may be to bring a trash sac to the container in the street. He is of course also into a risk group, so it is best he stays in as much as possible. Lucky we have the garden and it is now good weather so he can go there, do a bit of work or just sit and make a puzzle.
He also has a bit of trouble with his breathing, part of it because he smokes, but some of the being short of breath after some effort could have to do with vane around the heart that has narrowed. He will have an intahe conversation by phone the 9th of June about a catheterization. The doctor already talked with him about it, and Jan agreed to have a stenth in the vane. They could do it in a one-day admission in hospital, perhaps a one night stay over.
We'll see what the doctor tells us the 9th of June.
A little bit of tensive times coming up. It shouldn;t be a trouble some operation, but I will be glad when it is over and all goes well, you know???

After the 1st of June several business will open up again here, as well as basic schools(already) and secondary or high schools. It all is done very graduately and slow. For some people it seems to be too slow, understandable also, but there also is still the fact of public health and we should care for all. so there is still the distancing, which is sometimes very difficult to hold on to.
Let's just hope that in a few months life can be lived as before, may be a little bit better even, may be people will stay a bit more concerned about the people around them. 
It is a strange time and it will stay that way for a bit longer.

In the mean time we sould enjoy small things as much as possible, be happy with some good weather, picking up some hobby's we almost forgot, and not forget to smile every now and then.
Wishing you all a wonderful week, in good health!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Will I have a few sunflowers later in summer???

Goodafternoon everybody!

Today it isn;t such nice weather, off and on there is a bit of rain, it is cloudy and temperature is around 17C or something like it.
We had some fantastic really warm summer days earlier this week. And it felt so good. Think it was around 25-27C, for certain here in the garden.
But..... next week we will have better times again, temperatures should go up to 20-23C, with very little wind, almost no clouds. So better times are ahead again.

Looking back to past week, I really cannot remember doing a lot of things LOL!
I know I did things, and I know I took one or two days of almost doing nothing at all and just enjoyed that !
But .... one day I just needed something I could only get in city centre. As we don;t have to use face maks yet, and trams are still very little used, i thought it might be a good idea to quickly go to the centre and back. Gosh, how disappointing it was to walk there! First still lot of shops were still closed, but in front of the ones that were open there were rows of people waiting to get in. My goodness, what a sight! I was lucky that the shop I needed to go to, had almost no waiting row so I was ready in rather short time. Quickly went to another, I was lucky again and I went home again. Specially some large shops for clothing had loooong rows! No, at the moment it isnlt the same to have a nice shopping outing as it was before that Covid -19 stuff!
And I am afraid it will still last for some time. It is a strange world at the moment, don;t you think so????

I am happy we have the garden, there were already lots of days we could enjoy the sun and look to the blossoms and the birdies. We have quite some color already from different flowers, and the borders come alive every week a bit more.
Oh, I've tried something I saw somewhere in a gardening program.
It isn;t anything special, probably many people tried it, but I thought it could be fun. As I have birdseed, it contains all kind of seeds, most of it I guess is from grasses and such, but there are also sunflower seeds in it and it seems they are of several species. So i took some of them and put them in a little pot with some soil. And nature performed it's miracle! In about 3 days already I had three seedlings popping up there "heads". Now I will have to wait still for a long time to see if they will grow enough and if they will give flower. But I was happy has a little child, really. Now I've took some more and put those too in a little pot. Who knows, may be I will have sunflowers late summer and may be even different kind of sunflowers, that would be really awesome!

We already have some beautiful bushes and plants in our garden, but there is still
some space left here and there for something more. And after I saw that more or less jungle or tropical small garden in Gardeners World programm I would like to do something like it also with my garden, hahahaa. I already know I will not succeed in that extent, but I could try, couldn;t I????
There are quite some plants that look jungle-like or tropical like that can cope very well with our climat in Holland. So now I am searching and looking around on internet to find out which plants and flowers I could use and of course looking at lots and lots of examples of little gardens in jungle-tropical style.
To achieve the best, I think I would have to digg almost all up and re-position things and so on. Well, I will not do that, It would be too straining and too much work. But with small adaptions and changes I think I could achieve already something. So first I will arrange parts of my garden just in my head(the best thing to do ROFL),  and look more on internet etc. And may be some day, hopefully already this year, hahaha, I will make a start with it.
First of all I would like to have one or two plants-bushes with big leaves, that already makes a big chenge, I think I have already two ferns that grow really well and are of some size, that are good starters already for the look.
Okay, let me dream, may be part of it will happen, may be not, but it keeps me busy.

Yesterday, by the way, I made a simple, but very tasty and also quickly done dinner. I found in a Polish supermarket a Ukrain Borscht(that's a soup), made of freshly frozen veggies, so you could say it was a freshly made soup. Just had to put some water and a stock cube in a pan with the frozen veggies(lots of beetroot, some carrot, some bell pepper, celery). Boil it for abut 15-20 minutes and ready! And it tasted really good.  Worth repeating it every now and then.
Following that I made two portobello's (rather big mushroom) , seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and filled them with chopped ham and mozarella. That in the oven for about 15 minutes. And two other, plain mushrooms that had some size, I filled with herbal butter(with lots of garlic in it).
They had to be in the oven for about 10 minutes. We had a tasty meal, yeah!

And after I've made you feel perhaps a bit hungry I will finish my post now.
Hope you are all safe and stay that way.
Till next week.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Going back to almost Summer?

Goodafternoon everybody!

Temps are rising again and they were quite cold this week. Specially the Northern wind made it feel even colder! But now we have rising temps, bit less wind and it will be coming from other direction and later this week we might have around 24C! Probably only for a day or may be two, than going down to around 20C. And that still is good, we have a lot of sunshine, we could do with some rainshowers every now and then.

Jan had an appointment with the cardiologist last Monday(or so we thought accorcing the letter we received). But, lucky just in time before Jan would leave for the tram, the doctor called to ask how Jan was feeling and if he had thought about placing a stent in a vain near the heart. We were surprised that the doctor called, but he told Jan had a phonecall-appointment. It didn;t say so in the letter. Well, no matter, it was even easier like this. Jan said he would go for the stent, so he will get another appointment now for some tests I believe.
It will be better to take the stent because otherwise he would have to take a medicin for it and that cannot guarantee completely that the vain will stay open. And he already is taking some pills for all kind of things and he decided to take the stent.
Further news on it is to come later.

We had a "normal" week, as far as you can speak about normal in these times. Till Friday afternoon. I came home from some grocerie shopping and Jan told we had no tv. There was some code on the screen, one that normally is no big deal. You just have to switch once or twice between channels and usually you have tv again. Not this time. 
I didn;t hesitate and called customer service. Wow, I had contact with someone in a few minutes! He could check from his place our connection and said we probably had some tumers in the box malfunctioning or rather broken. Hoorray! And now? No tv during the weekend?
No, the guy tried to make a connection for us again, we had to start up the box I guess twice and oh miracle, we had tv again. Of course we are crossing fingers it will stay this way. Only once yesterday  it did the same, but I switched on the mediabox out and on and it worked again.
Still the guy(who was very patient and friendly) said to us he would send us for all security a new mediabox in case the old one really would die.
I hate happening those kind of things And with us they seem to happen always just before the weekend!!

And now suddenly I have no sound on my laptop.I don;t have sound on very often, but it is nice to have when watching something on you tube or another video with usic or speech. As far as I can remember I somewhere last week had still sound. So I tried some things, no success. Then called a windows help desk. Very nice guy. He did let me try something with removing an update, but that didn;t help. If so, I could call back again. I will do that somewhere next week. I can do without sound for the moment.
But is is annoying and it seems a lot of people have that problem after updates from Windows. Hmmmmm, I wish I was really good in programms and technics of computers, but I am not. I am glad I can work the things I really need, that's all. 
May be it will be working again after a new update from Windows???

This morning I was busy for a little while in the garden, re-potting some
grown seedlings. They are still small but hopefully they will grow harder now. The good weather will help to it too.
As experiment I planted 3 sunflower seeds in a little pot, I picked them out of the birdseed I have. Very curious now to see if they will really germinate.

Oh, so sad news. I always watch Gardener's world on the BBC( you can watch the episodes also on the link I gave last week of Floratube) and Monty always is accompanied by his dogs, Nigel, the oldest and Nelly(and now he has another one Patty). But Nigel has croosed the rainbow bridge! He was 12 years old.
Of course he had a good life there, but I couldn;t help that I shed a little tear. And I could see Monty had some trouble telling it on the camera. And at the end of the programme there was a little film with some lovely shots of Nigel during his life. Isn;t that a sweet idea?
It happens when you have pets, but it's always a difficult moment.

Starting the 1st of June we will be obligated to wear a facemask in public transport. You can imagine there is again a run on those non-medical face masks. And usually you can wear them only once. So best is to try to make one yourself, and one you can re-use after washing.
There are lots of you-tube video's where you can see how to make all kind of different masks.
I did make already one this week, it took a bit of time to figure it out, but I managed to finish one and I think that the next one will go much quicker.
I used this tutorial for it:
I have no sewing machine, so did the side sewing by hand and so this was a good one for me. And I will try also another one from this link:
Perhaps it is of some use to you?

One thing is sure. It keeps us busy, and these are really not too difficult and you can make one in short time, specially when you have made one and built a first try experience LOL.

Good, now I will go into the garden for a little sit down, then I wil make us a potatoe salad and we will have some slices smoked salmon with it. Sounds quite decadent is it? Well, you can treat yourself once in a while with something special. 

Garden time!!!!!!
Have a good week and please stay safe and don;t go into crowds or so.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Slowly some things start up again

Goodafternoon everybody!

Gosh, we had two really fantastic days the last two days! It felt if there was a start of Summer. Okay, all week wasn't bad at all, we had sunshine and nice temperatures. (nice means around 17C or so).
But....... already this afternoon weather will change and next week for larger part we will have temperatures of around 13-14C , which is quite a drop from yesterday(around 23C).

This last week you see several plants take a sprint in starting to bloom, like my climbing rose. Suddenly I have four or five opened flowers on it and lots of buds.
It's only a pity there is almost no rain. Okay, I am not really a rain-fan, but it is necessary at times and it is rather dry. Not good for the farmers at all, they already ave hard times, they have troubles getting their produces of the land and if they manage, it's hard for them to sell them.
This corona virus is really a bad thing, not only for health, but also for economy.
Still it is around us and we cannot think it is almost over, it will not be untill there is found an adequate vaccine for it.

I had qquite a little shock this week due to my friend Heidi.
On Tuesday morning I received a phonecall from her, telling me that she was in hospital and on the isolated ward. She already felt no good for a few days and so she called her lung doctor and he adviced her to go to the ER and have a check.
That was Monday  somewhere afternoon.
They immediately took a test and one good message was she didn;t have Covid-19. It could have been bad for her!!
They couldn;t find the cause of her not-feeling good, aong things pain in back in the lung area and lungs itself. Very strange. Well, she had to keep a good eye on herself and if things got worse she had to call immedaitely and then go to Amsterdam(there they are specialized in her lung disease).

It still is a strange thing that suddenly happened to her, but I am glad it isn;t Covid-19.

Life is still about the same here. We do our thing, Jan still isnlt going out on the street, I do, but only for the grocerie shopping or really necessary things.
However I took a little trip on Friday to the market. I really needed some fresh veggies and some cheese. To the market I took the tram( very few people on it), and back I walked home, because it was such nice weather. At the streets people really take good care to keep the distance, as well as in most shops.
So I thought I had enough gymnastics done and could have a really quiet day yesterday. And I did so. Spent quite some time in the garden, first a little work in it and then sat down and read a gardening magazine and watched the birds coming around for their food.
It was ever so nice.
Today it still is rather nice outside, so I will take advantage of that when I've finished this post.

From tomorrow on some things are starting up again, as primary schools, sport clubs for young children,  hairdressers, and some more things. All under comditions of course of being safe, keeping distance etc.
And as for now public transport will ride more shifts starting 1st of June, but we will be obligated to wear face covering in it.
I can understand it, because in transport it will be difficult to keep the distance. There are still quite some discussions going around if face covering is really helpful( and then I mean the non medical face-coverings). Perhaps it is, perhaps not, but okay, I can understand that in public transport it might be sensible.
So I bought some for Jan and me, and I am looking around on internet for a simple and yet rather good mask. And there are lots of people who offer video's on you tube to make them. There still is some shortage in face covering, so better to make them yourself and it is much less expensive.
Of course you could find masks on internet, but be careful, there are bunches of people who take advantage of the moment and ask extortionate prices!

Good before the sun disappears completely, I will finish the post and wish you all a good week in safety!

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Another week in partial lockdown.

Goodafternoon everybody!

Weather report: not bad weather during the past week, only temperatures were a bit on the lower side, around 13-14-15C,but there was quite some sunshine, we even had some rain(hoorray, the garden loved it!), pity sometimes there was too strong wind.
But....... it seems next week the temperatures will rise again to around 18-20C, which is a happy thing.

What happened this last week? Well, in fact not really much, In Holland we still are in soft lockdown, meaning we still are advised to stay home as much as possible, work from home if you can, so much of the measures still stay the same, but as from 28th of Aprilthere will be some changes, e.g. primary schools can reopen after 11th of May,if they keep the distance policy, some sports for youth can start training(till age of 12), and other sporters can train out or inside with regard to the 1,5 mtr distance, so for individual sports that is already something.
There will be tests for the teachers available, they say.
Well, slowly there is a start of back to kind of normal, but it will take more time. Around 20th of May we will hear if more things will be tolarated again.
It all is annoying and sometimes hard to maintain and I can understand people who get impatient, and it's hard for the ones with no job at the moment and also small businesses which have to survive somehow, although there is a big fund from government to support them with some money, but I don;t think that is enough.
Still I think it is wise and sensible to re-open economy and to relax measures step by step, till there is more grip on the virus. 
Health is something of the most precious things.

Nevertheless I was out quite a bit this week, doing all kind of shopping just needed. Yes, I am the only one here who is doing the grocerie shopping or other shopping needed, specially in these times.
So some things aren;t available in nearby shops(or there aren;t any of the needed shops close), so I walked quite a lot around.
I know, you say I could buy things online, but I am of the old fashioned made stuff LOL, so I have to go to shops. 

I had to pick up medicins for Jan and me, then the usual grocerie things, of which I cannot always find it in the nearest by supermarket, as it is not a very big one. Needed to get some soil for pots in the garden, yes, I know, it isn;t of life importance, but I like to keep Jan busy a bit, so I went for that too(and of course I bought some little plants too hahaha).
In between all that there is cooking meals, cleaning around in the house a bit, helping Jan in the garden every now and then, well, my days are filled with all kind of things that take all together quite some time.
The walking is good for me, although I felt that this week it was somewhat too much, so yesterday I took a really easy and lazy day and it felt wonderful!.
For out dinner yesterday I also was lazy but still managed to have something quite tasty.
The other day I bought some pulled pork meat, and I had still two small ciabatta, so I made it like this:

Cut open the two small ciabatta, layed first two slices of salt junk(cooked and salted meat), slices of tomatoes, then slices of mozarella, then lots of the pulled pork, put the top of the ciabatta on it, then in the oven for about 8 minutes, took it out, put some lettuce on top of the pork and also some garlic sauce, and that was our meal. It was really yummie! Of course you can put on this kind of bread anything you like.
These ciabatta "rolls" were already kind of half baked. I have no idea how to call it in English, but you can buy lots of little rolls, or french bread etc. this way. Very handy to have.

The blanket I am knitting is growing. I finished the second panel and now an knitting the third. Still some work to do on that, but it keeps me busy.
Now about time to finish this post. Soon my laundry will be ready, have to hang it out to dry, then I might sit down again for a moment with a garden magazine(I bought several in a thrift shop, they are of some years back, but who cares???) I LOVE to look into those kind of magazines, it always gives you some ideas and every now and then some good information about a plant you might have.
Oh, the week before I watched Gardener's world(I try to do every in the season) and I saw there someone who had quite a small garden but made something fantastic out of it. I have a link to a video for you from this episode (hope it works everywhere), the part of the garden is about halfway the episode(but all is nice to see if you like gardening and specially when you have one).
(the episode of the bbc itelf don;t seem to work abroad, at least not for me, so I am glad I found another online that has episodes of it, if I want to see something back). Oh, and if you go to homepade, there is lots and lots more to see of beauty!

I wish you all a very good week, hope you are all safe and keep it that way!