Saturday, October 31, 2015

Who Serves Spinach on Halloween?

I loved my mom.
And, I love fresh spinach.
But why, oh why, did it seem like my mom always cooked spinach for our Halloween supper?

I know that you think that I am pulling at straws to find a blog topic today, but this spinach/Halloween thing has been on my mind for years. 

Whether it is true or not that Mom served us spinach for supper before we went out for Trick or Treating is debatable, I am sure, but it must have happened at least once. Otherwise, why would I remember it? Or keep telling anyone who will listen that my mom cooked spinach for us on Halloween?

Oh, the things we remember from our youth!

Happy Halloween! 
(And no spinach tonight!)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween Prep in Germany

The Counts Dracula

Besides our large American family with lots of nieces, nephews, and grand-nieces and grand-nephews, we have two blond Dutch "heartbreakers" who live in Germany. As you can see from the photo, they are ready for Halloween next weekend.

Wishing all of you pranksters a perfect Halloween on the 31st!

No Tricks, but Lots of Treats!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Good Part of Coming Back Home

Nismo and Flip welcomed me to our son's home after my mom's funeral yesterday. If the rain and wind of Patricia allow it, I will be traveling back to my Dutch hub at the Beltway Apartment tomorrow.

This wheelchair and I have tested the airlines the last two weeks! Hopefully on November 10 the wheelchair can be packed up and left in The Netherlands, and I can get back to walking life in Louisiana. 

This has been a vacation to write home about. 

Wonder which family members will be interested in my travel tales like my mom always was?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Buiten Oosten or Buiten Westen?

Have you been looking for a good Airbnb in The Netherlands?

Well, here is one that promises fresh air and a bed. 

Not sure what they might serve for breakfast!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Mom's Blog

My mom passed away this morning. For over a year she wrote a blog that she said was about her family. Actually what she wrote was about her life, and I am glad she did.

I love you and will miss you, Momma. And thank you for leaving me the words to remember you.

Click this for Virginia Darline Ridge Chapman's blogspot.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

You would think that spending 6 weeks in a wheelchair with a broken foot would give you plenty of time to blog. And it does give time! But if you do not do too much or go anywhere, there isn't much inspiration for blogging. 

I have pretty much mastered the art of maneuvering around the apartment. We now know that if this situation ever happens again, we could live in this apartment. The only hinderances are the outside door threshholds, and there are solutions for that. And actually my in-laws (who were the original owners) had ramps installed everywhere, and we removed them when we moved in. How dumb was that?

But we do sometimes leave the apartment. And my hub is learning every single time how to make managing a wheelchair an easier task. 

Saturday we were invited for afternoon tea at a friend's home. Long story short, my hub had bumped into his best high school friend's younger sister while getting a new lens for his glasses. M. recognized my hub (I think she thought he was my father-in-law!), shared a few family/friends memories, and invited us over to visit. So Saturday we went to M. and her partner's home and enjoyed a few hours of stories and remembrances of "life before Linda." It was indeed interesting to get another perspective on what life must have been like in the family over 40 years ago. M. is nine years younger than my hub, so her outlook was not always the way my hub had described things. Even family member relationships were different. This all made for a fun afternoon.

Before we arrived for our tea visit, we saw this

And this

And we visited a Thrift Shop nearby and bought enough yarn to keep me supplied here from now until eternity, a "gently used" red suitcase, some kitchen baking tins, and a glass cake pedestal that may never hold an American style cake (since my hub hates them!).

Tomorrow we will head out for another drive in the country. 
Must keep those wheels rolling!

Don't Panic--Have You Watched This?

Last evening we watched a very, very interesting presentation by Swedish professor Hans Rosling concerning what we should know about the world population. When you have some "down" time, give this video a watch.
Click here for facts about world population.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Lamp with a Story (Revisited)

You can now also follow me on Instagram at Wetcreek.

Here is the lamp that we never planned to own. But now we do!

And here is the story: 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ryanair Keeps Wheels Spinning

Before making our short trip by plane to Italy, one of my followers reminded me to "milk" the wheelchair part of my recent life. I laughed, but spending most of my waking hours confined to a wheelchair is no joking matter. I feel old, labile, and downright useless! And the labile and useless part seemed to influence our flights to and from Italy.

It all began with requesting wheelchair (our own) assistance before going to the airport in Weeze, Germany. When checking in very early, we were treated courteously with an offer to check in one of our carry-ons for free. Then a kind attendant helped us scurry through security. My wheelchair even got "dusted" for drugs, and I got the "pat down." Then we waited with the other passengers for boarding the plane, having read that we would be last and being told we would be first. Next we rolled up the Priority Lane and were "rolled" onto the passenger bus. When the bus driver asked if I could take a few steps, I said, "No." [If I plan to get over this foot break, I have to keep insisting that I can't take any steps. So I have been consistent with this.]

The driver rolled out the ramp and zoofed me up onto the bus with the other passengers. When we got to the plane, he zoofed me off. Then the real fun began! When there was a lull in the passengers ascending the stairs to the plane, I was whisked out of my wheelchair and secured with a seatbelt in a narrow airplane aisle wheelchair. Slowly, but surely. I ascended the stairway (I was facing away from the plane) as the chair with special wheels pulled me up into the plane. Inside the aircraft I was asked if I could take a few steps. "No," was my answer,  and I was rolled to my seat. In the meantime, my own wheelchair was quickly folded and stashed into the belly of the plane.

When we arrived in Bergamo about 1 1/2 hours later, I expected a similar experience. But this time I traveled in the airplane wheelchair to a movable lift and met up with my own wheelchair. After a brief ride across the tarmac in the lift, we were brought down to ground level and then I was wheeled through baggage claims and out to the rental car bus .

Super service, Ryanair!

The return flight yesterday was just as well orchestrated as the flight last week. This time instead of a couple of bus ramps, a strong man said, "Don't worry, madam," and managed my wheelchair up and down bus entrances. And I had the same buckled up ride on the staircase, but this time going down and in the freezing rain.

Ryanair, you get a 10+++ in ratings for handling wheelchairs and passengers!!!

How you can do all that for a flight ticket that costs only 9.99 (10) Euros per person is a puzzle to me? 

But I am game! 

I will fly Ryanair again, but hopefully without a wheelchair!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eternal Sunflowers

Vintage sunflowers at Casa Crito. 

They were located inside in the corner of the living/dining room for over 30 years and are now outside in a corner of the yellow balcony. 

For sure Vincent would have approved of my photo.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Too Close for Comfort

Fall 2015 at the Beltway Apartment 

We have been here one week today, and my Dutch hub has taken up my walking challenge without even realizing it. He hasn't stopped running errands and pushing me around (this time really "pushing me around"in a wheelchair) since we arrived. It is a shame that I left my pedometer at home. He could have racked up some good steps for me!

Today we left the Beltway Apartment for an appointment with our "eye guy." My eyeglass prescription from a year ago is still good, but my husband needs a new lens. After the eye exams and lens order were made, we "pushed" on over to the supermarkets. I usually love grocery shopping, but since my mobility in the kitchen and in the supermarket is slow and limited, my hub has taken on the shopping job. At the first store, he had only one item (my muesli) to buy, so he left me outside the jewelry store next door. After I checked out the silver bargains, I turned around to watch the passing shoppers going by me. 

Immediately I remembered I was in The Netherlands. Although I had backed my wheelchair up against the jewelry store wall between two parked bikes, pedestrians were walking incredibly close to my broken foot. 

Now who could miss that Smurf leg? Well, a couple of shoppers came within an inch of knocking my broken foot off the wheelchair footrest.


No eye contact, but foot contact! 

That was too close for my comfort!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


We are at the Beltway Apartment, and just the fact of being here causes me to miss lots in my life.

I miss our son, but we will see him at the end of the week when he joins us in Italy.

I miss our beagle Flip, but he is enjoying his stay-cation with his buddy Nismo.

I miss my mom that I have been hovering over for the last four months, but she should be going home from the hospital next week.

I miss my own bed, but I have learned to nap in my recliner.

I miss my homemade Greek yoghurt, but I have learned to enjoy Turkish yoghurt from Lidl.

But mostly, I miss walking!!!!! For someone who has become addicted to walking over 7000 steps (approx. 3 miles) everyday, sitting in the wheelchair or chair all day and night is killing me.

Anyone want to take on my walking challenge the next 5 weeks? 
promise that you will make both you and me feel better. 

Keep Walking! 

(You may even MISS a few calories. ;))))))))))

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Zero Turn Training and Mending (quilts)

My husband is quite excited that I am getting some practice in this "zero turn" procedure. I think he is ready for me to share the grass cutting chores in Wetcreek, and this wheelchair driving is getting me right into the groove. 

If all goes well, we will go outside this afternoon in the warmish Dutch sunshine to try out my newly acquired skills. I just need to find a pair of gloves to protect my hands from blisters and, of course, sharp and tight corners.

Don't need anymore bruises. My left leg has a lifetime supply!

And I have been mending this "found" vintage quilt while I am mending. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Got Wheels!

Borrowed wheelchair

We have ordered a brand new wheelchair. In the meantime, this one from an official organization that lends out medical equipment will do just fine.

Now nothing is safe!

Lady driver! Watch out!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Found Treasure

One physio-therapist's trash is Linda's treasure.

Two weeks ago on my way home from the hospital visiting my mom, I saw these wooden crutches propped up against an old worn out office chair and a stoel out on the curbside waiting for the garbage truck. I passed them and then circled back to pick them up and take home. 

Why do I gather up other folks' garbage? 

Don't we have enough junk of our own?

Well, not any perfectly good wooden crutches!

The crutches stayed only a few days in our garage propped up against the wall.

Now they have flown across the Atlantic and are here in The Netherlands propping me up!

Just wish that my guardian angel had done better than just provide me with crutches. They may be helpful, but with a hurt left knee and a broken right foot, I NEED a wheelchair ASAP! 

Trips to the WC are much too painful, too dangerous, and too many!