Monday, February 28, 2011

The consequences of riding your horse

As a real farm girl having a horse, the whole idea is to actually ride your horse every now and then …

Oh yes, he's so handsome!

And whenever you’re done with work on the dairy, which really never gets done, but you just feel the need to ride your gorgeous stallion (see: How a girl gets a horse), you really don’t think about anything else anymore. You just hurry down from the farm, grab your; “ I’m standing in my pasture enjoying my nice green grass”, horse and you don’t make yourself go into the house, change into good durable underwear and comfortable riding pants, NO you just wear your G-string and jeans and jump on your horse and GO!

After one hour of hobbling around you think, "hmmm, my bottom really hurt’s…"

Chilling in his pasture

And after you get done, and you actually make it into the house, and you find out by looking at your refrigerator (and the little magnets with appointments) that you have to go to the dermatologist for a checkup the next morning, there isn’t really anything you can do anymore to prevent you from disaster…

So, I knew I got myself in an awkward situation and because of that I took my mom with me to the appointment for support.

The dermatologist had to check my ENTIRE body every three months for abnormal spots/molds and I knew I had to go to this appointment I just forgot it was the next day.

 And yes, he is 28 now!

Lucky all my little molds were fine but when she had to check my buttocks, she said, "well…. looks like it’s a bit irritated in this area!" I’m telling you I could just dissapear into the ground right there and then. And it didn’t help that my mom was sitting in the examine room with me and while I was trying to save my dignity by telling the doctor, “no, my husband and I don’t have a crazy sex life, I was just riding my horse yesterday in the wrong underwear”, she pretty much fell off her chair!

Saving my dignity wasn’t really an option anymore….

The nurse practitioner, the doctor AND my mom were all laughing very, very loud and just couldn’t stop laughing while I was trying to hide my red face.

Oh, so much fun!!!

So I decided right there and then I’ll NEVER go horse riding again wearing a G-string, I’ll NEVER forget to look at my little magnets at my refrigerator for appointments and by doing that I make sure I’ll NEVER have to explain why I have blisters on my bootie anymore!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Farmgirl meets tattoo

My very best friend K wanted a tattoo...
I loved tattoo's but not too many and always on somebody elses body... or on hot men...

The HOT man, not anybody i know :-)

On a bright Wednesday in 1999 my friend K and i decided to go get a tattoo. She really wanted one and i thought i go along an support her with this decision. Because everybody knows that the best tattoo's are done in Amsterdam, we decided to take a road trip and go to Amsterdam.

Coming from the boonies this was a big deal. We each told our mom's we were staying over at the other ones house and  skipped town (little village with less then a 1000 inhabitants, that is).

After arriving in Amsterdam we went to go see Tattoo Bob, on of the most well know tattoo artists in The Netherlands, but he was too busy to take care of us little farm girls so we went to another one. There pretty much hundred's of tattoo shops in Amsterdam and we just picked out one that looked the "safest". And luckily for us we found one that looked pretty safe had a female artist what made both me and K feel much better!

K thought it would be a splendid idea if i got one too! It would mean we would be friends forever and had the tat to prove it... Since I'm not very good at saying no (never was and never will be) and she even let me help pick the one, i said yes... OK...

We decided on a four leaf clover. And YES, this should ring a bell!!!

We both could use some luck, in our friendship, in our lives and  defiantly in our love life. What better symbol to use, we figured. And we wanted it on a spot where it wasn't too obvious.  Not too obvious ended up being right above our buttocks, that way if we grew old we could wear old granny pants and nobody would see our tat's...

K and I showing our tattoo after 12 years, It's still there!!!
And my hair was coming back after chemo, YEAH!!!

We went upstairs after the nice artist introduced herself and sat  us down besides a 400 pound guy with no clear skin left, AND getting a new tattoo of a pig, and argued about who needed to go first. K freaked out a bit so i offered (she made me) to go  first. The lady was going to tattoo dry first, so i would get used to the feeling and then she was going to put the four leaf clover for real on my body.

While i was laying there with my booty sticking up, a big fat guy smiling at me and K asking me a hundred times if it hurt... No it doesn't hurt and if it did i wouldn't tell you anyway otherwise you're gonna back out... I got myself a nice tattoo right above my pantie line above my buttocks.  And if i wear low jeans, it is visible. K followed me (i looked really though but it hurt like hell) and got herself a bright new shiny tattoo too!

Our booties!

A couple of months later my mom and i are watching TV. Underneath the TV in a cupboard are the sweets and my mom and i decide while watching TV to eat some chips. "I'll get them." i say and walk over and bend forward to reach underneath the TV in the cupboard....

"What do you have there on your back???!!!" Sometimes when you bend over your shirt comes up and your pants go down...

Oh, SH*T!!!

"Hmmmm, nothing mom". But she saw, and made me turn on the big bright light, asked me if it was real, when and were i got it, with whom i got it and if it was REALLY real. 
And she made me promise to tell dad. The next day.

My dad always told  me if i would get a tattoo he would trow me out of the house. Tattoo's where for bums...

So the next day after dinner (after a night of minimal sleep), i tell my dad i have something to say and show. I pull down my pants and show him my tattoo. My dad looked at it and said, "Well... i always wanted my ears pierced....").

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yoga is NOT relaxing

During all the chemo in 2008 and 2009 my oncologist suggested that I needed to do something to relax… I wasn’t feeling so good (wonder why???) and I needed to make sure that my head stayed on my shoulders the right way.

Now as you might know, “relax” isn’t in my dictionary. So she couldn’t ask for something more difficult, but I figured she knows best so, I should at least give it a try…

I knew that horse riding, which usually relaxes me, wasn’t the solution (see: How a girl gets a horse). I didn’t have the energy and stamina to stay or even get on my horse and I thought it wouldn’t look very good if I would be done with treatments but still had to go to the hospital to treat a broken arm or leg...

So I figured I might try something new.
After discussing several options with the docs, I went on the Internet and bought myself a yoga book.
Two days later I had the book and I was pretty content with myself for trying something new.

I got, like, 5 towels and spent and HOUR arranging them in the right position, and they still didn’t look like the picture in the book (which I can tell you, is NOT relaxing at all).
But I got down on the floor and while glaring at the book several times I tried to get myself into the right positions, I didn’t do much better with myself then I did with my towels….
I tried to follow the instructions and in the mean time also trying to relax and clear my mind about all the stuff that was going on. I spent an hour bending my body into the shapes in which it had never been before…

My theory, “you should do everything you do for one hundred percent or you shouldn’t do it at all.”

The next day I simply could not get out of bed. Everything was hurting, and not the hurt from the side effects! From my little toe all the way up to the top of my head, I was in pain. I defiantly didn’t feel relaxed and because I couldn’t focus true all this pain I missed my opportunity to go to the farm.

I had a pretty tight schedule: Monday afternoon: chemo, Tuesday: side effects, Wednesday morning: farm work, Wednesday afternoon: chemo, Thursday: side effects, Friday morning: farm work, Friday afternoon: chemo, Saturday: side effects, Sunday: farm work and sometimes something fun and Monday morning: farm work before we drove up to the hospital and start the whole cycle again… Not going to the farm made me even more worried because I couldn’t make paychecks for our boys. So end result of the yoga session; no relaxing, more worrying, more stress and even more pain!

And that is and was no good.


At about the same time me and my little brother talked about me having a drum set, I strongly believed that I would be just absolutely fantastic at drumming! I fantasized that it would be my undiscovered talent and while explaining to everybody why I was walking so funny for the next 4 days, “yes, I tried yoga, and NO, I’m not doing it again”, my brother secretly (with the help of my wonderful parents) bought a drum set from one of our neighbors for a really good price and one day of helping them out with our big pay loader.

On a Sunday not long after my fiasco with the yoga, they (as in my family) lured me to my brother’s house and surprised me with a beautiful red drum set. We took it home and set it up. And for the next weeks every time I felt defeated, angry, hurt or REALLY angry because of my sickness (see: What cancer does to somebody like me) I would sit behind my drum set and just SMASHED all my anger, hurt and frustration out of me.

I don’t have any more talent for playing the drums as I have for yoga, but I do feel sooooooo much better after I hit it and it doesn’t hurt as much as practicing yoga!

I found out not everybody deals with stress in the same way, I also figured out some people have different methods to relieve their stress. Apparently mine is hitting my drumsticks in a "tadum tadum tadum" way on my drum set for at least 10 minutes and I’ll be good for the rest of the day….

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Worst plane rides EVER

What do you do if a lady starts screaming “the plane is on fire, the plane is on fire”…?
What do you do when the pilot says, “Only half an hour left till we touchdown in Amsterdam, but hang on we might have some mild turbulence”…?
What do you do when at the end of a flight the police is waiting in the front of the plane to escort you out of the plane…?

You hang on, and ask yourself why it was again that you needed to go on this particular flight!?

Normally I love flying. I don’t mind the turbulence, the “I haven’t showered in 5 days” people sitting next to you, the grandma’s and grandpa’s who tell you their whole life story or the cute boys you meet while traveling by yourself. Three of the over 97 flights I made from 1995 to 2005 I remember like it was yesterday. And NOT because I loved them so much, no it is because it was scared to no end…

What do you do if a lady starts screaming “the plane is on fire, the plane is on fire”?
It was on my flight back from Australia. We had a wonderful time there and I was still in the zone of the beautiful country replaying everything that we had done in my head. I boarded the plane and when we were at the right altitude, all the way over on the other side in the plane, but still in my section I hear some rumors and a lady talking agitated about something… I didn’t pay much attention and put on my headphones to watch the movie. After a bit I get distracted because there are SEVERAL stewards and stewardesses rushing to the lady, while she is pointing outside to the wing!?

Ok, so I put my headphones down and I hear her talking, as in screaming, about the motor of the right wing of the plane being on fire…. OH SH*T!

Of course because all of this commotion there is a group of people who get up out of their seats and stand to have a look, one of those guys was my neighbor who had even more experience flying that I had. He sat down, looked at my pale face and told me not to worry. I was thinking, that is going to be a problem, because my heart rate is up to 300 and were going down….

He calmed me down and told me the engines/motors of a plane are not actually on fire the “smoke” is there because of the wind flow true the motor/engine. I have no idea till this day if this is correct or if he just told me that to calm me down, I just know it worked, we didn’t fall out of the sky and eventually the stewards calmed the lady down…. But my gosh that was a scary 18 ours back home…

What do you do when the pilot says, “Only half an hour left till we touchdown in Amsterdam, but hang on we might have some mild turbulence”…?
It was on a short flight back from Rome and the pilot just mentioned that we were almost back at Schiphol, the Amsterdam airport. We had our snack and one drink and we buckled back up to start landing. But instead of landing (where the nose of the plane tilts slightly upwards) this plane’s nose went almost straight vertical upwards! That was not like it should be, and at the same moment I realize that we were in a strange position for landing, the plane starts to shake… and not shaking like normal turbulence, no shaking from left to right up and down and vibrating ALL OVER constantly! Everybody and I mean everybody didn’t say a word and I started wondering why the pilot didn’t say anything to us about going down, because I was sure that that would happen any time soon. He probably didn’t say anything because he was too busy trying to keep us in the air.

It really didn’t take more than half an hour but I had never been on a plane that did whatever it was that this plane did and NEVER was it so quite during landing. No babies crying, no stewards or stewardesses taking, no gossip between the two ladies in the front of you, NOTHING…

The pilot said sorry for the rough (rough…?) landing and welcomed us to Amsterdam, and everybody in the plane started clapping and cheering, which was one of the best feelings ever! I didn’t have my life flash before me all I could think about was, “wonder how long it takes before we hit the earth”.

What do you do when at the end of a flight the police is waiting in the front of the plane to escort you out of the plane…?
Usually I would fly to my desired destination from Amsterdam. It gives me a good feeling because I been there before, they have lots of security and I know my way around the airport. For this trip I was going to see my friends in Palermo, Sicily. But instead of flying from Amsterdam I went from Brussels, Belgium.
It was going to be two sort flights, Brussels to Rome, Rome to Palermo. Nothing to it!

Brussels to Rome flight was nice and didn’t take more than 3 hours, got off the plane strutted true the airport in Rome feeling on top of the word. Being a blond, 1.75 cm tall AND wearing 13 cm heels, I felt like a super model and I was rocking it. I waited for a bit, enjoying all the male attention of the short but very good looking Italian men, and boarded the plane to Palermo.

Everything was going well and I would see my friends soon.

We landed in Palermo and like always everybody gets up and starts unloading their carry-on’s. The steward said something in Italian, but my Italian wasn’t good enough to understand what he was saying.
It went something like “blalalalalalabla blablabla leontien van de laar blab la blablablablabla”… OH!? Was that my name……???
“blalalalalalabla blablabla leontien van de laar blab la blablablablabla!!!” sounding a bit more angry.
Hmmm, what to do, I could see the steward, but there was no way for me to get there because of all the people in the aisle. I figured it would just be best to wait.

And then the door of the plane opened, and the two cops came in.

I started sweating in places that I had never sweated before. And I knew in that instance that they were going to throw me in jail, and I would never see my parents or friends again. Because Sicilian jails aren’t like Dutch jails….. Nooooo, they are like the ones in the movies!

Apparently the steward told everybody to sit, because slowly I saw the aisle clearing and so this would be the best time to walk up to the front and got to the men who were about to cuff me. But I just sat.

After the steward called my name for the 3th time and looking even more angry I got the guts to get up and walk to the front of the plane. Really not understanding what they wanted or saying I gave them my passport. I figured that was what they were asking for. They started yelling TICKET, TICKET in my face (well actually it was to my boobs, because they were short Sicilian men and I had my heels on). I gave them my ticket and one of the policemen opened it and ripped out a part. The part they should have ripped out in BRUSSELS! So instead of finding cocaine or other criminating things the only thing they needed what my ticket…. I will never travel from Brussels airport again…

Oh my gosh, I’m not going to jail, my life isn’t over and I don’t have to wear a orange jumper for the rest of my life…

They said thank you, I think, and I was the first one leaving the plane. I walked straight to my friends, without waiting or picking up my luggage and started to cry.

Believe me you NEVER want to get in a situation where the police is waiting for you in the front of a plane after landing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Memories of the old days

I love farming!

Love farming 2000 years ago
(at least all the info I have read about that time and farming)
Love farming 200 years ago
(my grandparents, grandparents did a wonderful job)
Love farming 20 years ago
(my dad was, and is, the best)
Did NOT love farming 2 years ago
(2009 was just a shitty year, for all farmers)

And yes, although farming under the circumstances there days
is though, I still love it.

Since I started with the whole blogging, facebook, website (and don't
forget Twitter) thing, I looked up all our old and new pictures to use for
future blogs/posts and I came across some, I think, beautiful pictures
from Bastiaan's family.  And it brings me back  to the time my grandpa
and grandma were still alive and I was very little and loved the way they
farmed. How they operated their machinery, used horses and were
all day every day. And everybody had 2 cows, 2 pigs, chickens and
a horse...

Don't get me wrong I don't want to go back to that time but it is
amazing to me how far we have come and makes me appreciate more
and more about what it takes from those 2% of farmers that is left in
America to feed the world.

And I love the fact that we have beautiful pictures to enjoy and
remember those good old days!

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Salmon with leeks for Liz

My dear friend Liz from Two Maids a Milking had to
go to Canada to attend a seafood summit but because
she got really sick (you should read her blog post
its really cute: Top 5 things I didn't do or see while in
Vancouver) I decide to post this one for her.
'Cause she missed out on her fish!

So Salmon with leeks and cheese here we go! And i
did it like you sometimes see in other blogs with lots of

So what are we using:
- leeks
- carrots
- green bell pepper
- pasta (whatever kind you want)
- Bertolli four cheese Rosa
- Salmon (i used the salmon from Walmart out of the freezer section)
- McCormick Grill Mates Salmon seasoning
- some sea salt if desired, for the pasta

 How we make/bake/ get it to taste good...

Cut your carrots, leeks and bell pepper into parts, you can take
the outside leaves from the leeks and throw them away and don't
cut all the way up, start at the white part and go until the dark green.

  Season your salmon thoroughly with the McCormick Seasoning
and put them in the pan with some olive oil.

Boil some water and put the pasta in and cook like described on
the label, and add some salt if desired. While the pasta is cooking
and the fish is on the fire, you might want to cook your vegetables
in a wok. Make sure you don't over cook them and you might add
some salt to taste.

When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add the Bertolli
sauce and warm it up with the carrots, leeks and peppers.

Put the pasta on a dish, put the salmon on top of the pasta and dress
the sauce on top of the fish and pasta.

Hope you enjoy!!!
Next time we will do a traditional Dutch dish again

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice??? Just a little bit of ice...

So, we didn't go to the DFA meeting in Akron today, and
yes we went to the store to get milk, and Jam (Bas needs his
strawberries) and luckily this morning only one of the 6 guys
who were supposed to work didn't make it.... more worried
about tomorrow though...

And YES, we got some ICE although it doesn't look as pretty
as the next  pictures... my little sister shot these 2
years ago.

Right now it is just white, i can't see my mom and dad's house
and it's only half a mile away because of wind and sleet/snow
ice mix. Dad, my brother and Bas are still on the farm, making sure
everything keeps running...

So far the cows and people are all safe and that is the biggest

Everybody stay warm and stay safe! Hopefully my sister or
i can make some more beautiful pics at the end of this storm!

The side of the barn
were the cows are
safely inside