Thursday, May 31, 2012

Awsomeness is everywhere

even when it looks bad...

* having to wake up at 4 in the morning to catch a flight
-> no traffic!

* the oatmeal I burned my entire mouth on
-> was delicious and a healthy start of the day

* having a huge delay that would make me miss my next flight   
 -> making this a lesson I have to learn... ''relax, everything will be ok, it will all work out"

* running frantically through the huge Houston airport towards my connecting flight, thinking that there is no way I would make it because, technically, it had already left
Pretty nice place, that hotel!
 Thank you sweetheart!
-> making it! They waited!

* being in a too small and uncomfortable seat for a long time, twice
-> chatting with the nicest people and having a cozy time (thank you Vishal, I made it! I'm sorry we counnd't have dinner :) )

* arriving in Colombia but not being allowed in the country by Immigration because I didnt know the name of my hotel
-> convincing them to go ask Tim at the gate because he knew... and seeing him (from a distance) there... after two months!

* finally getting to Tim!

* crazy taxi drive through the city
-> arriving at our heavinly hotel...

I'm in Bogota, Colombia! I'm with Tim!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Time for...

In a few hours I will be on a plane (or two planes)
that will take me to Bogota, Columbia!
That is pretty awsome!

But... it gets even better...
He... will be there!

Art before depart

Wall of art in the
Cantor Center for Visual Arts
in Palo Alto.

My last days in the USA are
calm, restfull days.

It are the kind of days where you go out and spoil yourself to a good lunch,
go on a sunday outing,
take naps,
finish your last projects,
watch a movie,
enjoy great company
and talk about exciting times to come...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bye bye Boots!

Bye bye boots,
with your Belgian roots.

We made it all the way to Half Moon Bay
and this is where you will stay.

I don't regret the wet and stinky feet...
you took me to all those people I have loved to meet.

Boots in the trash can...
The holes in the soles are not repairable...
So... goodbye...


Friday, May 25, 2012

Beauty everywhere

Tiles on bathroom floor.

This morning, I left my hotel in San Francisco to find my final stop in the USA before going south.
I am looking forward to the calmness and cuteness of Half Moon Bay.

My hotel was in a prime location and has been my safe haven in the city maddness...

It was a good preparation for Latin-American hostels/hotels though...

BUT: The sheets and towals were clean, it didn't stink (all of the time) and I loved the Indian family running it.

The prettiest thing in the room: the bathroom door knob.

And... no matter how difficult it is to find... there really is beauty everywhere...
Sometimes you just have to look a bit  harder or find beauty outside the pure and obvious estetic sense of things, experiences, people,

I want to keep doing that... find beauty everywhere...even when it seems impossible...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Walk to Wharf

Through a tunnel on Stockton Street,
I went where America and Asia meet...

After crazy, busy, smelly China Town,
I went further down...

Through where the buildings stand tall
and you wear a suit, not an overall.

After pasta and ''Ciao bella'''s in the Italian neigbourhood,
I surely felt good...

Finally made it to a beautiful Pier
and whispered ''Ocean Wind, it sure is nice to meet you here.''


The line for ''Dottie's''.
I did it ''American style'' this morning...
Waited in line for half an hour (not too bad, especially not with a good book and the sun on my shoulders) and had some yummy food and free ''hot water for tea'' refills.

I gave the plastic wrapped, sugar-pastry, I get in my hotel/hostel for breakfast every morning, to a beggar on the street (they actually do look good, but are not really how I want to start my day). He gave me a big smile, cried out ''oh waw, thank you!'' and started eating it immidiately, while he asked the next person for some change... He made my day!

I wonder how tomorrow's sugerbun-receiver will respond...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life in the City

I am enjoying living the city life...
Today, the girl next to me on the bus, was really surprised when I took out a city map... She totally thought I was a local!

So I am comfortable here and am enjoying finding my way (and actually finding my way) and meeting up with awsome people (like tonight at the sushi place, thank you guys, it was so cozy!).

Buuuut... The city has a lot of sadness and sometimes makes my heart ache and my belly ''twirl''...
There are a lot of people in need, people with really difficult lifes, people crying out...

Like the young guy desperately screaming in the middle of the street
Detail of newspaper box @ Daly City BART station.
''Does anyone here has anything to say about jobs in America? Because it is fucked up and I have none....''.
Or the ghost looking couple, holding hands, with a sad, distant look in their eyes telling me...
''Miss, we both lost our jobs...''.
Or the guy in the wheel chair asking me for money and when I told him ''Sorry...'', he said...
''No worries, I am home, would be worse if I was in Germany, I am right at home...''.
Or the woman dancing around half naked next to the BART station, shouting
''Anyone wants to try this...?''
Or the guy, pulling at the handles of the little newspaper boxes you find on the street, shouting in fear:
"They don't seem to figure it out, why can't they figure it out?''

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Naked runners

The wonderful Michaela and I were in the city (San Francisco) for the Cross City-race ''Bay to Breakers''...

We walked part of the route together with the party people...

I have never seen so many colourful people in crazy costumes before...
I have never seen ''men-women'' from so closeby before...
I have never felt so ''normal'' before...
I have never seen so many penises before...

Sorry, I censored ''it''...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Himalayan Fair

Live Oak Park, a mile walk from
Downtown Berkeley BART Station.

Today I visited the ''Himalayan Fair'' in Live Oak Park, Berkeley.
This is what I got out of it:

* great food and a heavenly mango lassi
* sunschine!
* a beautiful park with a great atmosphere
* kind smiles
* being surrounded by colourful and super sweet people
* listening to the familiar chants (familiar from hearing them in the ashram I stayed at last month)
* looking (only looking, no buying!) at pretty things
* selfpride because I took BART (the metrosystem) all by myself, found the place AND my way back... all by myself!
* a little bit of a sad feeling... because days like these are better when shared with someone you love...

Pretty things for sale.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I am passionate about buttons!
And after today, even more crazypassionate about them!

Today I found a treasure chest...
Mary's ''Exclusive Buttons'' store is full of buttons from the 1920's (OMG that is awsome!)
I was in heaven!

Mary had the store there for 20 years! Her husband, who passed away 5 years ago, was in the button bussiness for 45 years!

I was in the store for about two hours and spent... well let's call it an investment.

I am even more convinced now... El Cerrito, Richmond, California... I was just supposed to end up here!

A button ring anyone?

Mary counting my chosen buttons @ ''Exclusive Buttons''.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A trip to Asia

Colourful bottles in the Asian supermarket.
Today, I took a short trip to Asia...
As in, I spent a big chunck of the day at the Asian Mall in Richmond.
My host for this week was an excellent tourguide! Thank you Chas!

# had a $20 footmassage which took about an hour and turned out to be (almost) full body, rather painfull at times, but oh so revitalizing. I think I am going back tomorrow.
# had a cup of tea with one of the many Asian acquaintances my host has
# visited an Asian supermarket and had some unknown, rather interesting foods for lunch (thank you Chas for pointing out the veggie options, because there was no way of telling)
# shopped around in the Asian kitch stores and was asked if I was a movie star :)
# made a delicious dinner with an Asian curry sauce and got to share some of it

From left to right: a radish thing,
a pumkin something filled with beancurd
and a tofuball with sesame seeds, filled with black beancurd.
The ball was my favorite!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Home for the week

This week, my home is in Richmond.
I am in a wonderful, artsy house in a calm neighbourhood.
Have a private, cozy room in that house.
Share kitchen and bathroom with an interesting and friendly man who gives me all the space I need and the best tips and trics to get me all better...

The house is on Panama Ave. The ones who are following Tims blog ( know he is in Panama, the country.
And this was in my room...
No, I am just right where I'm supposed to be.

Cure numero dos

Homecooked deliciousness.


Cooper, waiting for me to come out of the bathroom.

So... I've felt like I was on the run...
fleeing from...
people who thought I was a walking deseased rat, about to make them sick by looking at them...

But, last week, I found my refuge...
I found people who welcomed me with open arms (literally, hugs! finaly)...
I found a place to rest and heal...
I found cure number 38, a dog to take care of, who took care of me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Moeke, jouw kleine cadeautje
(zat bij je kaartje) was ingepakt
in een klein doosje met deze versierseltjes...

On my mind and in my heart
There is always you
Helping and supporting me
Even when far apart!
Really, what I want to do:
Sipping from cups of tea,
Drinking and talking, as is our art.
As well as exchanging a hug or two...
You are the very best mother my daughter's heart can see!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pedicures and art

Every day, I am richer...
Today, I gained:
  • my first pedicure-experience
  • a selfmade ring
  • some kind and loving compliments
  • a bunch of artists cards for my craft-journal
  • so much inspiration
  • even more love and admiration for the people I allready love and admire
We went to see the final projects of the
graduates from California Collega of the Arts.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cure number 28...

And sunshine in the city means...
awsome shadows!

Resting can be fun!

So my cure is to rest and relax! I realize I am pretty lucky!
My day consisted of:

~ a 50 min yoga session all by myself and for myself (pretty proud of it)
~ a delicious big breakfast and a great conversation
~ a wonderful walk in the parc with the sweetest dog and the best view

Cooper and San Francisco

~ a delicious ''pecan sticky bun''
~ a super cute store and lots of time to walk around in it
~ a second super cute yarn store with... a wonderfull button selection and lots of time to look, choose, plan, look again, ...   I have some more rings to make!

QA in yarn store

~ a trip to the supermarket to get just what I need: fruit, granola and yoghourt and some veggies for dinner
~ a nap :)
~ wonderful and sweet emails of the sweetest friends and family who give me their love and support
~ an easy to cook but delicious and healthy dinner for and with a great friend
~ a little tray of granola for dessert and my crafty stuff to end the day in peace...

Thank you Quynh-An for a lovely, relaxing and fun day!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

American birthday

Today is my American birthday!
8-5-2012 for Europe but 5-8-2012 for the US...
which is my birthday for Europe...

I had ideas to celebrate!
Have some fun and make some noise... 

But non of that will fly...

I have ''mono'' - ''klierkoorts'' - ''kissing desease'' - ''de kuskesziekte''...
(which, just to be clear, I don't know where I picked it up from,
it takes 4 to 6 weeks to show up
and you can get it from sharing drinks or food too...)

Better laugh about it a little, right?

Big change of plans, and not only my American birthday plans...

I am not at the yoga and meditation center anymore and am unsure what my next step will be...
All I know is I need to rest...

And boy! Do you all know how hard that is for me... espacially now and with the plans I had...

But changes of plans can be good and all of this happens for a reason. Maybe I get to learn how to relax and take care of myself more?
One thing I keep learning: life is always unexpected and takes you places and gives you experiences you can't predict...

Isn't that exciting? Yes it is! Mono? A little less exciting...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Meditating in nature

I can't go for big hikes because I am just so tired and not feeling well (which is a big bummer because there are some good ones here),
but we took a little hike up a hill and stopped for a little meditation time with the best view ever.
It was amazing.

No pictures of the view, because I am just not able to capture the beauty of it.... but something on our path and my yoga mat.

Retreat to rest

Taking care of myself at this
amazing Buddhist retreat center
for a Spring retreat.
Asana yoga classes, meditation,
great nature, healthy and delicious food
and amazing and spiritual company.

My bedside table
with the schedule for the retreat.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I crashed...

... it finally happened. After a couple of weeks of not feeling great and being tired, but not stopping and not really listening to myself...
I could take no more and made a few phone calls... In tears.

But I got the care I needed and am on my way to feeling better.

I have a lot of ladies to thank!
- Thank you Michaela, for giving me the hugs I needed.
- Thank you Quynh-An, for wanting to jump up and come get me right there and then. And for just being there whenever I need you.
- Thank you Cheryl, for being there, taking over and taking care. You gave me just what I needed.
- Thank you ''mijn moeke'', for sending me all your loving thoughts and being there, even far away to listen and support me.
- Thank you Dr. Pamela, for being so nice and for reassuring me.
- And Thank you me, for putting away your pride and for asking for help and... for taking better care of yourself from now on... Starting with the Spring retreat up in the mountains where you are jus going to do what feels right and you feel up to!

The army of medication that will help me get better.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The ideal Birthday party

must have:

1. Delicious, somewhat strange and over the top food         
Ice cream sandwich!

 2. Fun games and a birthday boy
Birthday Boy Ed playing
He has deffiniteky
the best style!

3. QA's baked goods! 
Homemade applepie.

4. Awsome people, new friends, sunshine and a park

QA, I love this picture of you!

5. More ice cream then you can handle

And I tried all of them!

6. More awsome people and BUBBLES!

Murph blows the
best bubbles!

7. More fun and games!


 8. An easy clean up and a lot of leftover food

You just eat your
waffle icecream
 cup and it's gone :).

Somehow I got to 8...
Could that have anything to do with the 8-fold path
of Astanga yoga I just learned about?