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Dad and Carl
A photo I took of my dad at work when I was home in Canada. Got lucky that he was cutting the hair of a good family friend while I was there, AND wearing the t-shirt I’d brought home for him! If only I could have gotten him to stop talking for two seconds so I could get the photo.  If you ever wonder where I get my gift of gab… there you have it.

I’m a little out of it at the moment but I feel like writing so I’m going to have one of those blurb moments where I just go on about whatever is on my mind.

I’m a little worried about my dad, even though my mother keeps telling me not to be.  I’m not worried in that OMG He’s gonna die!! kind of way, rather just concerned because his heart troubles continue and now he needs to have a defibrillator put in his chest in January.  It is put in the same as a pacemaker would be, only rather than keeping the rhythm like a pacemaker, the defibrillator will give him a jolt to start his heart in case it stops.  I know it’s not as scary as it sounds but he’s my dad and any operation will worry me to some extent, especially since I don’t fully trust my mom not to try to make it sound less serious than it is.  She lies with love.

I am dying to start decorating for Christmas but every year I promise myself that I will wait until December 1st. Will I make it this year?  I’m not sure.  I have a lot on my mind at the moment and it would definitely make for a good distraction.  Plus, it’s already the 24th and there’s only 30 days in this month anyway. It’s practically the first already!

Bald Eagle
When I was in Canada I got lucky and saw a bald eagle in a tree in someone’s garden.  I did not, however, see a moose that I could get a photo of.  After watching like a hawk as we drove the trails, I saw one on the side of the highway on the way to the airport to come back to Holland.  I swore, a lot.

I am in the middle of a big issue with my gallbladder.  If you are friends with me on Facebook you’ve seen me bitching and moaning about it a lot lately.  After almost three years of being told I have acid reflux, I had an ultrasound done that found that I have stones in my gallbladder with a small one in a bile duct.  I had 10 hours of pain one day while I was in Canada and was taken to the hospital by ambulance on Monday, where they told me my gallbladder needed to be removed but since I don’t have a fever or infection, that it can wait.  I’ve had attacks since but they’ve given me painkillers. Now I am trying to get it sorted as I want it out ASAP.  There are some other medical procedures I need to have done in January and I want this taken care of first.


After loads of test drives and visits to car dealerships we have finally decided on what our new lease car will be.  For months we hummed and hawed over whether we were going to go with the Toyota Prius or the New Opel Astra Turbo, which is what we have as a loaner at the moment, and love it.  In the end we liked them both the same and decided it would come down to the money.  We were fairly certain that the Prius would come out more expensive, but that turned out to not be the case.  By the time we got what we wanted (built in GPS, etc) on the Astra, it turned out that the model of the Prius that we wanted was actually cheaper AND had more included in the package.

Xander enjoyed driving them both quite a lot, but since he’s at a client that is a bit further away and is constantly getting stuck in traffic, the automatic gearshift in the Prius was looking more and more attractive.  We liked the look of them both, but also liked that the Prius had the little extras like the video parking assist in the back, the HUD (Heads Up Display) and other bits and bobs that made it unique and fun.

So even though we really love the Astra we are driving at the moment, we did end up choosing the Prius.  With the 14% tax we got more bang for our buck with this car over the Astra which was 20%.

Oh, and after our last car and our current rental both being borrrrriinnnng silver, we decided to go with something a little more fun – Barcelona RED baby!!  We are also getting it with a solar roof/sunroof, pretty sweet.  Unfortunately, it won’t be with us until around March, so we will get to spend some more time with our lovely Astra in the meantime.

Today I bought a pair of pants at the thrift shop across the street because they were cheap and they fit.  They are also a smaller size than I have worn yet, FIVE sizes smaller than what I was wearing at my top weight.  At €7,50 I was taking them no matter what they looked like, because I could GET.THEM.ON. and was so chuffed with myself.  Even though my husband told me they make my ass look funny and when I asked what he meant by funny, he said flat.  After years of an ass that left a room two minutes after the rest of me did, I certainly wasn’t deterred from buying them.  I will take flat any day.

As a celebratory gift to myself for losing 80 lbs, I bought a pair of boots.  Boots with heels.  Not overly high or skinny scary heals, but high enough thick and equally scary (if you are me) heels.  In an effort to embrace my girlie side, I decided it’s time I started wearing something other than sneakers and (don’t judge) crocs.  I’m not sure if this is just a phase, but I’m giving it a go.  I wore them to walk the dogs, and I wore them to the car dealerships today.  I only felt like I was going to twist my ankle once or twice and I didn’t either time, so I’m taking that as a good sign.  I do wonder if I will ever get used to the clomping sound as I walk.  I’m definitely not going to sneak up on anyone wearing those bastards.

The boots only go up above my ankles and I sort of hate that because my legs are still too fat for higher ones.  Even when I was thinner (I was never actually thin, just not so fat), I couldn’t wear them because I had big calves.  Mark my words, one day there will be a post of my feet in tall boots. MARK MY WORDS.

Of course, by that time they will be out of style, but at least I’ll get them on sale.

I’m still trying to make this as much of a homemade Christmas as possible but not having felt so well over the last while has really put a dent in my ‘work schedule’.  Some things probably aren’t going to get done so I will have to buy a few gifts.  It’s not too bad though as I have managed to make a fair few.

I’ve been cutting back drastically on my time on MSN Messenger and other internet stuff.  Except Facebook, I seem to spend even more time on Facebook now that I’m not chatting.  I’ll have to work on that, but it’s probably because that’s where most people contact me now.   When I was in Canada I enjoyed just being out and about and LIVING without feeling so tied to the internet, I really wanted to continue that when I got home.  It also helped that they upgraded MSN Messenger and made me hate it.  It’s the beginning of what will be a slow process of weaning myself off the internet, but I know I’ll be better for it in the end.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going anti-internet, I’m still a big geek… I just am tired of worrying about not being available to people or like I’m going to be out of the loop or something.  I get so much more done when I limited my time on MSN or the internet in general. SOOO MUCH MORE.  I need to try to keep getting more stuff done, which means always trying to spend less of my time online.

While I was in Canada I bought plastic weatherproofing for the windows in our flat.  I probably moaned about it a number of times on this blog, but we have HUGE windows with only single glazing and some pretty big aquariums.  In the winter we get a lot of problems with draughts and condensation.  A friend told me to try this stuff that you stick on the window frame and shrink with a hairdryer, and so far it seems to be working!  Our windows still fog up a bit in the middle but not like they used to.  We’ve (knock wood) not had any waterfalls off our windowsill so far this year.  Should save a bit of my sanity and some money too since we won’t be trying to compensate with the heat all winter.

I’m thinking of changing my 101 List to something by another name.  Maybe a Tammy-Do list?  Get it? Like a honey-do list only… whatever.  I keep coming up with things I want to add, but then it won’t be a 101 list anymore. It’ll be a 102 list, or a 134 list and that just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  So I need to change it so I can add tons of more crap I want to do at some point.  Any ideas?

Ok, I’m done.

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her 'new' country.

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  1. Im goign through the same thing a bit with my Mom. She is in poor health and needs to make some drastic changes. It can be hard being away like this because you aren’t there in person to really see how they are doing.

    I hope the GB mess it fixed soon and finally be done with it. I can’t wait to see you in your new shoes sometime :)

    Im hoping to get our tree this weekend but if not I hope before my birthday!
    Sonya´s last post ..The BEST Blondie Recipe!!

    • Yeah I have the added issue of my mother always trying to stop me from worrying. So I never know if I’m getting the real story or not haha

      Can’t wait to see your tree!

  2. Go girl! I’m excited for you!

  3. I’m another Canadian living in Utrecht – I enjoy your blog.

    Anyway, just had to pipe in with a link to Duo boots (duoboots.com) They sell very cute boots measured both by foot size and by calf size. They used to have a fitting room in Amsterdam, but it’s closed, but they do still ship to the Netherlands from the UK (also to the US and Canada I believe) and they have good customer service. I’ve got a couple pairs from them and I love them. I’m an ex-rower and ex-rugby player, so no way I’ll ever fit normal boots even if I lose the weight I’d like to, so I’m very happy they exist. They have sales fairly often.

  4. I hope you are feeling better soon and it is all sorted out. It does not sound very nice and the hospital didn’t sound very helpful.

    I know a little bit about what you are feeling about your Dad. I’m also going through the not quite OMG feeling with my mother as she will have to go on dialysis sometime soon. She’ll be fine and have just have to plug into a machine each night (making her a cyborg) which they make very easy and will most likely mean she has cleaner blood than me but we can’t help but worry can we. They are our parents after all. We’re allowed to worry :)

    We have to arrange a time to meet up at some point :)
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  5. Barbara Stoutjesdijk-Lyddane

    I’m totally jazzed that the window shrink wrap is working!!!!
    I loved it when I had a rental, I actually hung my Christmas lights up in the space between the wrap and the window, so I had Christmas lights until April when I unwrapped my windows!!! lol

    • Oh what a great idea! I’ll have to remember that next year. We have most of the living room done now except for one small window. They are currently repairing our window frames and we weren’t sure if they would have to open that window or not so we left it. It REALLY is making a huge difference. Thanks for the suggestion!

  6. I found that as I lost weight I had more shoe options. My feet are wide, and that’s ALL bone structure, not extra weight, so I still have trouble finding things that fit, but the weight loss made a lot more styles comfortable for me. I have a pair of short boots that I’ve had for years – they have a chunky heel, maybe 2 inches. Pre-weight-loss I’d be miserable if I had to walk farther than the curb to the door with them on (so they only came out for occasions that were mostly seated), but now I can wear them for quite a bit longer and even with a decent amount of walking and they’ll be comfortable. I’m still completely uninterested in stilettos and mostly uninterested in heels above an inch, but I’m able to wear them more.

    Funny you mention higher boots – I am waiting today for UPS to show up with a pair of boots from Zappos that claim to have an “extra-wide” calf. I do not have skinny chicken legs and never will – I’ve got some athletic calves. We’ll see if these fit! <3 Zappos for the free return shipping if they don't.

    • Holy crap, the boots fit perfectly! (Well, my left foot is still a tad swollen so that one’s tight but once it’s down to normal size they’ll be great). But the calves are plenty big!


      • They look like awesome boots. I’d never be able to order online though as I have the same problem. My feet are wide but short so when I get shoes to fit in the width they are always too long. With the thick calves on top of that I just know I’d pay a ton in shipping back and forth trying to get the right ones :P I absolutely must try shoes on in the shop. Even then I often regret getting them because after wearing them I realize the fit is wonky :P

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