what I make, thrifting and more

Posts tagged ‘callanetics’


Hello dear readers,

This morning I was a bit slow getting up, no time to walk the dogs before breakfast. Every morning I have to see to it that son 4 goes to school with something in his belly, takes his ritalin and packs all the right books and his lunchbox. He is getting better at doing everything himself but I still have to check to keep him out of trouble at school. They don’t seem to get that ADD is not something that magically disappears when you have a coach to guide you twice a week and that he is not forgetful on purpose. They still think punishment will help him remember to bring the right books or keep an appointment.

Anyway, as I was going to go out with our dogs after he had gone off to school, I was no longer in a rush to get back home. So we took the path up to the dyke and walked along it a bit further than usual. I am still amazed sometimes that I am able to do so, just six months ago I would have needed a wheelchair to go this far and now look at me! Admittedly I am glad to get back home and rest for a bit, because I still feel my back, but I am slowly but surely progressing every day and pushing myself to go al little further every time. It is good exercise and combined with callanetics and healthy eating habits it has made me lose seven kilo’s already.

Looking down on the pond where I usually walk

Binti and Chewbacca have spotted some ducks


The wonder of beans and a discovery

Good morning friends!

I’m all exited today for I have learned my last new callanetics exercise and this means I’m nearly ready for stage 2 of the program! I’m definitely making progress here.

I’m growing Snap Pole beans in my windowsill and yesterday I looked at them every time I sat down at the table and every time they had grown a bit! Isn’t it wonderful how fast they can grow? I just love looking at the little leaf appearing and all just from a little warmth and light and water.

And this morning…there it was

It’s so nice to take the time to watch things grow every now and then.

I’m still going through boxes of ‘stuff’ in the attic and getting rid of a lot of unwanted items to clear some space to be able to put away the things we do need. I was going through a stack of  old books, I’m not sure where they came from but I’m guessing a house clearance we once did, when I saw this

It’s an account of the help that was given to Belgian refugees during WWI in our region. I know I kept it at the time to look through because I thought it could be interesting, but I never got around to actually read it. Yesterday I did read some of it and was very surprised to see a familiar name

H. Russcher was a member of a committee to support the foreign refugees in Tholen. My grandmother’s name was Russcher so I was immediately interested. Could this be a relative? I have done some research into our family tree and new that my gran’s dad came from a town called Meppel in the eastern part of the Netherlands so it was likely that the name was not a common name in Tholen. When I looked it up in my notes I saw that he had been a fishmerchant and that he had owned an inn in Tholen.

My gran’s name was Aaltje

I have been searching the internet but have found no proof yet ( I did find some brothers and sisters of my gran who were missing from the family tree) . But I phoned my parents and my dad ensures me that there were no other people by the name of Russcher in Tholen or surrounding villages so I am 99% sure this could either be my great grandfather or maybe (less likely because of his young age at the time) his son who was also called Hendrik. Now isn’t that exiting? And my dad tells me the inn may no longer be an inn but the building must still be there in the old town centre. Wouldn’t it be fun to go see it?

It was also interesting to learn that lot’s of food and clothing  and bedding had been sent from Canada and Chicago! They must have needed it badly for there were only around 6 million people living in the Netherlands at the time and in about a month they were accommodating around 1 million refugees! That must have been quite an effort. People were living in makeshift shacks in large barns, in churches and schools and in people’s homes when they ran out of places to put them up. It must have been hard on them during the winter months in a small drafty shack, often with a lot of children

Babies were born

Chart of the influx of refugees, mostly by boat and train. Tholen is just a small town but they had a 1000 refugees at the time.

But all the reports say that the Belgian people did not complain. They were given meals, soup most days (beans and peas) and porridge on friday and on sunday potatoes, unions and carrots with some meat. In fact they had it so good that the government had to gently persuade them to go back home to Belgium when there was no immediate danger any more! We Dutch were getting a bit tired of their Burgundian way of living, they were just too loud and cheerful for us Calvinistic Dutch people and also people were starting to worry about Belgian workers taking their jobs.

It would be interesting to go to the archives one day and see if there is more to find about how it was in Tholen at the time and maybe some photographs as well.

Have a good day.

Fun with a vintage book

Hi everyone!

This morning I woke up in a misty world. Doing my exercise in front of my bedroom window wasn’t much fun with nothing much to look at. But now the sun’s coming out again and the mist is clearing up.

My Callanetics exercises are going well and I’m starting to notice some difference, I’m actually developing some muscles! Wow this really works! And it makes me feel full of energy in the morning. I’m definitely motivated to keep it up.

Last night I was in no mood for complicated stitching or knitting so I had some fun with the pages from an old book using kid’s glue (because I’m like a toddler with glue: I get it all over me 🙂 )

























I am thinking about an idea with vintage paper and butterflies for my dad’s birthday I’ll be back soon with the results.

I leave you today with some pics of Binti on her new pink beanbag. We had this bag stored in the attic and it was destined for the charity shop but she jumped right on it and was so happy with it we decided to let her have fun with it this summer. She is going to have a very nice place to sleep when we’re in the garden!

Hope you have a very good day today!

Flea markets and presents

Hello dear readers,

Yesterday was such a busy day with some unexpected visitors that I didn’t get a chance to post.

In the morning Hubby and I went to two flea markets in villages nearby and this is what we found

this lovely hall lamp. I like the shape and the look of it with the grey metal coming through but I still have to repaint as big chips of paint keep falling off. It was a bit too expensive actually, we usually don’t buy stuff over 5 euro’s and this was 7.50 after some haggling but I liked it too much to let it go.

For when I’m finished with the first book, which will be a while yet I’m afraid, but it’s good motivation. It was 1 euro

I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s to hold in your lap while peeling potatoes. It was handmade by the man in the stall and he was sooo proud of his work 🙂 It was just 1 euro.  I’m still in doubt if I will leave it looking like this. I would like it to be all white but then again, I also like to keep it like the man made it.

I also came across this Wade whimsy. I used to collect these as a child when we went to visit my aunt and uncle in Britain. They somehow got lost over the years but whenever I see one in a charity shop or flea market for less than 50 euro cents I take it home with me. This one was 20 cents.

When we got back in town we went to a shop called Action and I got this

some pretty pink nail polish for less than a euro, to celebrate the lovely spring weather and to go with this…

the first high-heeled shoes I’ve bought in I guess over 10 years! They were just 9,95 so I thought I could risk not being able to walk in them LoL

As it turned out I could walk in them although a little pain was involved as I blister very easily. But I so love the look I am going to wear them regardless of the blisters. I’ll just cover my toes in plasters and look pretty 🙂

In the afternoon dear daughter in law came visiting and she brought me presents, isn’t that sweet?

She had been on a shopping spree in a local shop before opening hours with a friend who works there and had brought home lots of nice things for bottom prices

She gave me this lovely tea-pot door stopper, which is way to pretty to sit on the floor and be played with by the doggies maybe, so it now sits on the coffee table together with these lovely candles I have yet to unwrap. One is magnolia scented, mmmm lovely

She also gave me this lovely frog to go outside on the window so I can read the outside temperature. I have a thing about frogs and toads, don’t know why and I used to actively collect them until it got to be a little too much to display. Now they just sit in a box in the attic waiting until I find a nice wall cabinet to put them in. I don’t actively collect them myself anymore but sometimes the kids give me one and I love them.

I’m also making thing out of old books and loving it, such a nice idea. These are the first things I made, more to come soon…

Have a lovely sunday!


A very good morning to all.

It’s another beautiful spring morning over here and I’ve done my exercises (5 more repeats! 1 extra exercise). I’m ready for another day with my nose stuck in papers getting ready for a telephone meeting with our lawyer (sorry can’t reveal what it’s about yet, you never know who’s reading your blog after all) This time I’ll be sure to take my work outside to enjoy the lovely weather.

I’m still working on my peg bag project and I hope to be able to have it finished by the beginning of next week

Hubby has bought me this to add some colour to the garden

I also have some runner beans on a saucer in the windowsill to sprout and later put in big pots

Dear daughter in law asked me what I want for my birthday in April…

at first I said I would like to have this

It’s made out of willow and would be stronger than the bark ones we have now. But then we unexpectedly received some vouchers for the local nursery and I can now buy them myself.

So I have been thinking about a wish list and this is what will be on it for sure…I’ve fallen in love with Namaste bags. Normally I don’t care much about the latest fashion and accessories. I can’t afford to buy anything new so I just do my own thing and use what I like, not what fashion dictates. But for Namaste I will make an exception as they have bags that are very useful for a crafter like me and look just beautiful

This is what I would love to own

It’s for circular knitting needles

For all knitting/sewing/embroidery notions

I’m sure I could fill this up quite easily as well, don’t you just love the colours? As you may have noticed looking at my hair 🙂 I love bright colours and having never been a girly girl before I now, at 47, suddenly love feminine things and pinks

I’ll share some of the other things on my list later

have a nice day


Hi everyone!

This morning I would like to talk a little bit about the exercises I have been doing since starting this blog.

Having a bad back has made it difficult for me to find a way to stay fit and frankly I had just about given up on the idea of exercising altogether until I found a book on Callanetics. In the past physiotherapists have made me do things like sit-ups. It caused pain doing them and I wouldn’t be able to walk or do any other activities until my next appointment, let alone repeat the exercises at home due to severe back pain.

Now I learn that in doing sit-ups 85% of the muscle-strenght you use comes from your back and just 15% from your stomach! No wonder I couldn’t do it. And that is why Callanetics works for me : I never have to put too much strain on my back. I am now up to 16 different exercises and I have had no problems so far.

What I also like is that I can safely do this on my own. No sweating or being out of breath is involved, which is important when you haven’t done any physical activities for so long like me. You have to be very careful when you start exercising after a long period of inactivity, you could easily injure yourself or worse if you have no instructor to guide you. With Callanetics I feel there is no danger of hurting yourself so long as you listen to your body and don’t overdo it in the beginning.

The exercises have come from the exercises a dancer does, and I do recognize some of them from when I used to take Jazzballet classes in my teens. I used to like stretching then so it’s no surprise this appeals to me now.

I’m very proud that I have now reached the starting number of repeats for most exercises (not the newer ones). It may not sound much, 25 repeats, when the goal is 100 repeats, but since most muscles haven’t had much use in 15 years or more and considering the short amount of time I have been working out I think it is quite an achievement and I am starting to feel the effect during the day.

Just to show you what I’m talking about:

Quick Callanetics Stomach

Have a great day!

Vegetables and thrifting


It was supposed to rain this morning but it seems the wind has blown most of the rain clouds away already. I’m hoping it will be dry and sunny later today because I want to go out for a walk with Binti. I’m still exercising everyday and I’m now up to 20 repeats and slowly nearing the end of stage 1 of the program, but not this morning. Yesterday I did some planting and I’m still suffering from backache because of it so I’ll do walking instead.

I also hope to finish another cross stitch picture my mum made a while ago, just a few more back-stitches to do

Yesterday we went to a flea market in Hansweert and we bought a glass coffee table for son 2 for just 5 euro’s

It has the shape of the one in the left picture (sorry forgot to take a picture) and the legs of the one in the right picture.

Instead of the legs he plans to use a Chevrolet car engine.

I also found this milk jug to replace mine that had a chip, 50 euro cents

And Hubby wanted these hose connectors (2 euro’s)

On the way back we went to the Dorcas shop to buy these shoes for son 2  for 4 euro’s

A new basket for the cutlery, also 50 euro cents

This will get a fabric liner later

When we got home it was time for lunch and in the afternoon I had to plant my vegetables I had also bought that morning

5 cabbage turnips, 10 lettuce plants and 10 endive plants

My veggy patch is almost full now, just a few herb plants will go in later and maybe something small along one of the sides.

It is still a bit too cold for some of the plants to go unprotected so a frame for a polytunnel was put up


a bit of plastic for a temporary cover. We will be going to son 1’s workplace later this week and buy some polytunnel-plastic designed for the purpose.

I also mowed the lawn. No we do not have a lawn in our yard, but this is how son 2 calls the hair on his head 🙂

And I made an insert into the neckline of a new t-shirt he bought online the other day, which was way to low-cut.

I cut the front out of an older grey t-shirt and put it inside the new one

problem solved

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