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Apr 5, 2009

Yesterday evening, after having visited my mother, I thought I'd take a stroll through the woods near my home. The distance between my home and the woods is approx. 3 kms.
After about 15 minutes, Rui suddenly disappeared. He has a little red flickering light on his harness, but I couldn't see the light anywhere. There are a couple of parks nearby and I suspected him to have entered one of the other parks. I got into the car, drove to the next park and parked there. I went in and called, but he did not show up. I was getting worried...
I got into the car again and decided to drive home to get my bike and go back to the woods to try and find him. Before I got home, I drove around the parks very slowly, but no sign of Rui.
Then I got to my street. In the park across the street, I saw a flickering red light. It was dark and I couldn't see the dog, but there were some people there with dogs. I parked, got out of the car, and went to investigate. They turned out to be two women from the neighbourhood with their dogs (2 each), and Rui! One of the ladies had caught Rui and held him on one of her leads.
They had recognised Rui and couldn't believe that he had come all the way from the woods. There are two female dogs in heat in the neighbourhood. He probably picked up their scent in the woods, and followed the trail back home!
I was soooo relieved that he was safe and sound, and that he could also find his way back home, in case he ever gets lost again.
He will not be allowed off lead for the time being.

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Posted: Apr 5, 2009 6:27am
Apr 4, 2009

This is sooo sad...

Today I heard from my son-in-law that beautiful sweet neighbourhood Boxer Babs died tragically while playing on the beach with her owner.
I found an article about her death in the local newspaper this evening. The article mentioned that she was the fourth dog this year that had died on the beach.
Babs and her owner were playing with a ball near the beach bars.
Her owner threw a ball, Babs ran to fetch it, when a vehicle from the Municipality came driving very fast and ran her over. The vehicle drove on and stopped some 30 meters further. The man claimed he hadn't seen Babs. How can anyone not notice a Boxer?!?!?
Babs died half an hour later in her owner's arms.
Babs was still quite young and reminded me a lot of my beloved Cody.
Last week was the last time I saw her. She always came running to greet me in a typical Boxer way. So sweet...
I am very sad that she will not greet me anymore.
Of course I very much feel for the family who misses her dearly.
Another Boxer angel went to heaven. I'm sure Cody will show her around.

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Posted: Apr 4, 2009 3:35pm
Apr 4, 2009

It seems that I have to get to know a "new" plant every Spring...
I've been roaming the woods near my home for years and I've always been attentive to the plants that grow there, especially in Spring. Yet I had never seen this plant with these delicate beautiful flowers. Now suddenly I discovered that the woods are filled with them!
I just don't understand I'd never seen them before... Where was I, or: where were they?
Curious as to what the name of this plant was, I took a picture, went to the (Dutch) plant database to compare, and found out that it is a Corydalis (it has Dutch names, but I couldn't find an English name for it).
There are two types of Corydalis: the Corydalis Cava, which has a hollow root, and the Corydalis Solida, which has a solid root. I have not been able to determine whether it is the Cava or the Solida. Perhaps someone here will be able to help me?
Anyway, I will never forget this little plant and I will look out for it every Spring from now on. I read that it will "disappear" soon, so I will have to enjoy it while it still blooms and is visible!
NB: according to Wikipedia, both the Cava and the Solida are poisonous.

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Posted: Apr 4, 2009 1:28am
Mar 6, 2009

Today I received a message from Hepzibah's husband, telling friends and family that Hepzibah has passed away peacefully yesterday evening.
She had been very ill and spent the last month in a hospice, first in Voorburg and a few weeks ago, in The Hague, closer to her husband and children.
I knew she was in her final stages, but the news still came as a shock.
Hepzibah was such a beautiful person. I only had the privilege to know her for a short time: she came to work at the Foundation as a part time (on call) receptionist, but when we first met, I felt a "click". I liked her. Very much. She was different, she was very interesting, she was very intelligent, and she had so much to tell the world. I enjoyed my conversations with her.
It was an enormous shock to everybody to hear that she was very sick, in fact, that it was incurable. We couldn't believe it.
She left the Foundation and spent the last year of her life trying to fight the disease that had hit her so hard, and she spent as much time as possible with her husband and children.
The last time I saw her was approximately in September 2008. She was walking along the Royal Stables in The Hague, with her daughter. She looked beautiful and frail. She seemed happy. I will always remember her like that.
Another beautiful soul has left this earth and went up to heaven.
I am grateful to have known her.
I am very, very sorry for her husband and two children and her other family members and friends.
She will be missed so much!

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Posted: Mar 6, 2009 12:38pm
Feb 22, 2009

I'm worried about my 17.5 year old cat Kareltje. He suffers from hyperthyroidism and has an infection in a cyste, for which he has to take antibiotics twice a day. He also gets thyroid medication. Since a couple of days he started hiding in the shower. This morning he even laid down on the wet floor. He has also been throwing up lately. As he is already so old, I'm really worried that it may be his time to go.
I pray to God that I don't have to have him euthanised, but if he shows signs of suffering, I may have to take that horrible decision...
Kareltje has been part of my life for the past 17+ years. It will be a tremendous loss if he goes over the Rainbow Bridge. I do realise he can't live forever, although I wish he could.
I got some extra goodies for him, like (beef) liver, chicken hearts, (beef) minced meat, and some premium canned cat food he likes. I really want him to feel loved and spoiled.

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Posted: Feb 22, 2009 2:10pm
Feb 11, 2009

In de tuin met Tante Richarde

I "discovered" my safe spots!
I had a cognitive therapy session today, in a small group of 6 people.
At the end of the session we did a little meditation. Up to now I have never been good at meditating. My thoughts keep wandering as I always try to imagine a nice place: a beach...but there has to be some trees as well, like a woodland park... I also want some mountains and a lake, I want animlas in it... etc. etc.
Today the therapist told us to go back to a place or situation where you felt safe. That was really an (inner) eye opener! Immediately I went back to a situation where I felt really safe. I was a child again (perhaps 6 or 7 years old). We were at my great-aunt's Richarde, in Bilthoven. We had been there for someone's birthday (must have been aunt Richarde's birthday). I really loved going there. I was tired, and my dad took me on his back. I was half asleep, my dad was standing with me on his back. I smelt his scent, I heard his voice, with the voices of the other people in the room in the background. I felt safe again!
Then my mind started wandering again, but it wandered off to other safe spots I had known when I was a child. I was staying with aunt Richarde, and was laying in the garden, surrounded by fir trees, reading Tintin comic books. The sun was shining, the scent of the fir trees was around me and I enjoyed my aunt's company and I loved reading. Suddenly I found myself back in The Hague, in my grandparents' house. They had a very large house, with a restaurant (their restaurant) on the ground floor. I was in a very soft and warm bed, above the restaurant. They had a band playing in the restaurant, and I heard the sound of the bass pounding. I felt safe then, too. Another lovely and safe place was in Summer, on the beach. Falling asleep in the warm sand. The sound of the sea and of people I loved (my parents, my grandparents) and other people around me. I didn't have a worry in the world.
I was so happy to have discovered these safe spots!
This evening, during tango rehearsal, when the band was rehearsing and I didn't have to sing, I closed my eyes and "rehearsed" going to my safe spots.
We had to find a symbol for our safe spot, but I haven't found an adequate symbol yet. Perhaps I just think too much and want to find a perfect symbol. It will probably come to me when I don't think too hard.

 

The picture shows, from left to right: my mother, aunt Richarde, me, and my father (my father died when I was 16 years old - he was only 47)

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Posted: Feb 11, 2009 2:13pm
Feb 8, 2009

Today was a "funny" day. We had snow, rain, hail, sun, wind, and no wind.
I took Rui to the Belvedere Woodland Park again. Laika was in her own home. We met a girl with her dog, also a Portuguese dog, like Rui. The two dogs played together for a very short time, before they lost interest in each other. In the evening I had dinner at my mom's. The children came for coffee and took Laika, so I could take her home with me again.
All in all I didn't do much today, besides playing around with my photos, and uploading some tango songs onto the memory card of my mobile phone.
I took the picture of the moon while taking Rui for a walk in the small park across the street. It was a bit misty and the moon was half hidden in the mist.
Tomorrow the moon will be completely full. Let's see what that brings us...

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Posted: Feb 8, 2009 4:23pm
Feb 8, 2009

It was a beautiful day and I took Rui and Laika to the nearby Belvedere Woodland park. Rui "socialised" with many dogs. I kept Laika on the lead, as I am not sure if she would stay with me.
It was the first time I took both dogs by bike. I used the splitter on the springer, which was actually quite a success. I had to use the brakes most of the time, as Laika tends to pull a sprint and drags everyone and everything along...
In the evening I had a lovely dinner with my friend Snjeska. We laughed but we also cried over the loss of Nea. It was the first time we met since Nea passed.

All in all it was a lovely day.

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Posted: Feb 8, 2009 3:57pm
Feb 1, 2009

Today was the first beautiful Sunday on which there were hardly any cars parked in our neighbourhood. That is because today was the first day of paid parking here... I have mixed feelings about it. I feel sorry for all those people who want to take a stroll on the beach (people come here from all over the country). On the other hand, it was nice and quiet today. The streets were empty and there was a lot of parking space.
I didn't go to the beach today. Instead, I took the dogs to the woodland park. Altough it was very cold, the sun was shining and we had a lovely walk.
In the evening I had dinner with my mother at her place. Then I did some more homework for the courses I am taking.

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Posted: Feb 1, 2009 3:11pm
Jan 11, 2009

Today I took quite a long walk on the beach with Rui.
It was quite cold, but I was well dressed, so it didn't bother me too much. Again I picked up quite a few sea shells (I couldn't resist the temptation) and I had nowhere to put them, so I took off one of my gloves and put them in there to keep them safe. Result: at least one cold hand...

Rui had the best of times. He ran around, greeted and growled to, a lot of dogs, sniffed many places and items (there is still a lot of remains of the fireworks lying around on the beach) and peed on them.

The beach is still quite empty without Cody and he was on my mind all the time.
I imagined he was walking beside me, playing with things he'd find on the beach.
Also a bit of text for my farewell song from my work was running around in my mind. I should write them down before I forget...

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Posted: Jan 11, 2009 4:55am

 

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Lia De Ruiter
, 1, 1 child
The Hague, Z-H, Netherlands
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