Tuesday, January 30, 2007


M and I are going through a time with lots of decisions. Planning a wedding and buying a house are both pretty expensive, important things. I think it's hard, because they both cost a lot of money. And, especially the mortgage, is an expensive commitment for a long time.

Where do we have our wedding, and what choices do we make? Do we have a reception? What kind of dinner would we like? How many people will we invite? And who do we not invite?.
And then the house... What kind of mortgage do we want? How much money do we want to invest in the remodeling? How much money do we want to spend on our house every month? Which bank do we choose, and for how long do we want to set the interest?
Deep sigh.
I have trouble making choices. Sometimes I find it hard to decide which pair of socks to wear today. And now there's all this.. Thank goodness I have my M to share this with. I know I want to marry him and I know we want to buy the house. So even though it requires a lot of thinking and a lot of time, we'll figure everything else out!

And, totally off topic, here's a little music:

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Just the way

Reading She's blog, I was inspired to post a little bit of music on my blog. I am, after all, a music teacher!
So here it is. "Just the way you look tonight", by Frank Sinatra. It's such a moving song, it always makes me a little teary-eyed. I love the lyrics, the arrangement and the way Mr.Sinatra sings it. So here it is...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Chicken pot pie

Yes! I've done it!!! I've created my very own recipe for chicken pot pie!!
When I lived with my first American host family Schwan's chicken casserole soon became one of my dishes. And when I moved to Those Crazy Jarboes, TheeGeneral's chicken pot pie soon took its place.
Since I've been back in the Netherlands, I've had these occasional cravings for this wonderful dish. But unsweetened pie crusts are not available here, unfortunately. So about 6 months ago I started to browse the internet for chicken pot pie recipes. And, using some of my own Dutch common sense, I came up with a good alternative for a pie crust: ready made deep frozen puff pastry dough (bladerdeeg). It tastes really good.
Want the recipe for the casserole? Here it is!

Dutchnic's chicken pot pie (serves 4)

You will need (these amounts are all relative and depend of what I have in my pantry and freezer):
- 500 gr. chicken breast
- about 2 cups of frozen peas
- 2 big carrots, sliced
- an onion, cut up
- 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 herb bouillon tablets (but you can also use l. chicken bouillon)
- some dried sage (about 2 tablespoons)
- 50 gr. flour
- 50 gr. margarine
- dried garlic, salt and pepper and of course
- 4 slices of frozen pastry dough, taken out of the freezer

Start by dicing the chicken breast and seasoning it with some dried garlic, salt and pepper. Using a few table spoons of olive oil, fry it in a skillet until brown. Keep stirring and make sure it browns evenly. Add the onions and stir until those are nice and soft. Add the bouillon tablets, a liter of water, the frozen peas, carrots, potatoes and sage. Let simmer for a while (about half an hour or so) until all the flavors mix up nicely.

In the mean time, grease an oven dish. I always grease the outside edges too because that's where the dough will go.
When the 30 minutes are over, strain the chicken soup but make sure you keep the bouillon. So don't pour it down the sink!

Put the vegetable/meat mix in the oven dish. Melt the margarine in a small pan, adding the flour as soon as the margarine is melted. Stir until brown, then add 1/2 l. of the chicken bouillon and keep stirring until you have a nice thick sauce/gravy. Pour the gravy over the vegetable/meat mix and cover the oven dish with the pastry slices. I usually seal the slices together, rubbing over them with a wet finger and cutting it until it has the shape of the oven dish. Using a fork, make a few holes in the crust so the hot steam has a way out.
Bake in a 200 C (about 400 F) oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy!

PS: No, don't worry, I haven't eaten my chickens. But since this is a chicken recipe, I thought they'd make a good illustration..

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stormy good things

My country is currently going through the worst SouthWest (which means rain and horrible 110 km/h (68 mph)) storm since 1990. It's lovely to sit in the house, drink tea and watch the news while I hear the wind going crazy around the house. I don't have to go anywhere (M drove to work today, instead of riding his bike, so he's getting some groceries that we do need) so I'm staying in!I feel a lot calmer than I did on Monday. It's been a good decision to cancel my exam. So now, instead of complaining, I'm making a list of good things that happened to me this week.

  1. I went to the market Tuesday to buy myself some flowers. I figured, if I have to spend so much time in my house, I might as well make it look really pretty! I was tired of all the green plants in my house, nothing was in bloom except for some crocuses a friend had brought me over Christmas break. And I'm Dutch, so of course I bought some tulips!
  2. My amaryllis is in bloom, and it's so pretty! I love to look at it.
  3. On Wednesday I went to the garden center to buy some other plants, among which this orchid. It's small, but so pretty! The picture is a little blurry but I love it.
  4. Last night I took the tv-IQ-test, and according to it my IQ is 128. I like that figure, it makes me feel smart :P.
  5. And because I had nothing else to do today and was out of cookies, I decided to bake cookies. So now the kitchen and living room smell really good and we have something fresh to nibble on tonight.
  6. Last but not least: after taking a few days vacation, both the chickens laid an egg today.

It's so much better to be able to list good things than to complain. But sometimes it's good to complain too (relieving anyway). I hope you're having a good week too!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Tonight I was sad and felt sorry for myself. It was because I made a decision. I feel I won't be able to do well on my practical music exam which was planned for 19 March. I had been worried and stressed over it, even losing sleep (which is weird, if you have mono).

That's why I decided that I am going to try and postpone it. Today was a bad day, all I could do was lie on the couch, basically. I did a few loads of laundry but didn't even feel like putting the clean clothes away. But I did make that decision (which was also a lot of work!).That's why I called my counselor and told him about my worries and how I felt like postponing. He totally understood and said he expected the committee to agree, because this was on medical grounds (and not lazy grounds, which tends to happen sometimes). But when I hung up the phone I was not a happy camper. I called my dad and cried, and then I called my best friend and cried. She immediately came over (even though she lives half an hour away). I was happy to have her company. M was away (Monday is his fireman-night) and I felt lonely. All I do is sit in this house, by myself, not being able to be my usual self. She told me all the sweet things I wanted to hear, and said I was totally entitled to complain. And that helped, so now I'm going to bed (once again)...

Saturday, January 13, 2007


After browsing and trying on 10 or so wedding dresses on Tuesday, I narrowed the choice down to two. But really, I knew which one I liked best.

Today mom, mom-in-law and sister-in-law went to the store with me and helped me confirm my initial decision. They all loved it too.I bought my wedding gown! It makes me feel so pretty.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Sheila tagged me a while ago. And after thinking for a week or so here it is. The assignment was: name and explain five things that we don't know about you yet. At first I wasn't too happy to be tagged, but then again, why not?

  1. I'm a counter. I count how many people were at someone's birthday party, or how many buttons are on my new jacket. I weigh things when I cook, so I always know that everybody shares equally. I count the pages in the book that I'm reading, so I can keep track of how long it will take me (or has taken me) to read a certain amount of pages. I count the number of plants I plant in my garden, so I have equal rows. And so on...

  2. I skipped a grade in elementary school. Apparently I learned how to read and do math really quickly. And because the 1st and 2nd grade (group 3 and 4) were taught by the same teacher, it was really easy to move up a grade. I took advantage of my extra year by going to the United States as an exchange student when I was 17. But most of you already knew that.

  3. I can't stand repetitive noises and sounds. Don't click a ballpoint any more than necessary when I'm around. And please don't tap your nails on the table continuously while you talk. Don't chew your gum with your mouth open so I can hear the sound. And turn off that kitchen timer! All these things drive me crazy, I can't stand them, especially when I'm tired.

  4. I get really attached to things. I have a hard time throwing out clothes or shoes (even when they're ripped or stained) because they all have a story. Remember this and that that happened while I wore those sandals? Remember the lovely aunt that gave me this otherwise really ugly teddy bear? It used to drive my mother crazy... I still have loads of keepsakes in a box in her attic.
    M really had to get used to my thing-attachment, but we found a way. The other day my alarm clock that I had had since I was 11 broke. I had already bought a new one, but the old one was still on my night stand, or so I thought. It wasn't though, because M had thrown it out. He knew that that would be hard for me. And now I could blame him... :)

  5. I didn't get my first "real" kiss until I was a month away from my 18th birthday. I always wanted to save that for someone I was really in love with, and not some sweaty fellow eight grader that just thought it was time..
    But my first real kiss was like a Hollywood movie. You know what, I won't tell you about it yet. I'll write about it later...

And since this is a game of tag, Yoastie and Cltgrace, you're it!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Slow germs

It's been a while since I last posted anything about my health situation. Which is good, because I don't want to bore you all with daily updates on how I don't feel better..
Before Christmas I hoped to be able to partially go back to work after Christmas vacation. Well, forget that! I am so not better yet. I still need 12-14 hours of sleep a day and can't do without my daily nap(s). And with buying the house and planning the wedding on top of everything else I've had some difficulties falling asleep at nights. That's annoying, to be in bed, and know that your body is really tired but yet stay awake..

Today I made some decisions. I e-mailed some people and did some planning. I asked some questions to my guidance counselor and thesis person. I arranged a drummer, pianist and guitar player to play in my band at my practical music exam. I started to think that I can ask the committee if I can postpone this exam a month of so, because of my medical situation.

All in all: I physically don't feel any better yet, but my head feels a lot lighter than it did last night and the night before. I'm sure I'll be able to sleep much better tonight. I just need to give in to the mono (again or still?), and not start working on things that I know I'm not ready for yet. My doctor told me not to go back to work until I had had the feeling that I had just had a week off, with normal energy level. I'm not there yet... but then again, it's a little better than it was in November and December. So there is a little progress!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Chicken news

Tandoori the rooster was a very noisy animal. He turned out to be noisy at the most annoying times. He cried 27 times at 4:30 in the morning on Christmas day, for example. So when my uncle offered to adopt him I was only glad, because our neighbours had started to complain.

After I had given him away, I only had 2 chickens left: Kerrie and Miss Tok. I decided to give them a good start of the new year: I was going to clean their house. Their house is half of the chicken shed. Usually when I clean it, they walk around in the other half of the shed until everything is in order for them to go back. But that day they decided the world was bigger than the chicken shed and walked outside. When they were on the lawn I thought they looked so cute that I would let them be outside. After all, they couldn't do any harm.
But then the neighbour and his hunting dog came walking through our yard, on the way to his business which is on the other side of our house. The dog discovered the free roaming chickens and dove right in. I heard a lot of noise and saw the chickens fly away. We could easily catch Kerrie but Miss Tok was nowhere to be found. I was all worried, but at the end of the afternoon she was found by M's father and put back in the shed.

While she was away, I had found an internet ad for chickens for €2, only 10 km away from here. So I called the guy and M and I picked up 2 new additions to the hen house last night.
So now we have four young ladies in the hen house. From left to right: Ellen, Kerrie, Miss Tok. And the little girl on the left's name is Kuifje.