So now it is really official…

by Marissa on

How things suddenly can change…

A little after the wonderful Christmas dinner we had at the house of my aunt and uncle (Marion’s parents), Richard came to me and asked me if he could have a little talk with me.

A bit confused because this is not the normal way of acting for Richard, I followed him to the other side of the room.
There he looked at me and I could see he was nervous. While stumbling over his words, he told me that he was very happy with how the things were going between us and that he was very glad with the change that I have brought into his life.
And then the question came… if I was ready for the next step in our relation!

The first thought that I had as a reaction was “Shit! No!”.
In many talks Richard and I had about our relation we agreed that we took it all easy, no hurry or pressure on anything. And now suddenly the next step? Moving together or even marriage?
Richard must have guessed my thoughts by the expressions on my face. Quickly he explained that he didn’t want any big steps. No moving together or anything. He only wanted to make it a little more official.

After thinking on this for a moment, I had to agree that maybe after all this time it would be good to make it all more official.
We talked about this for some time and we agreed that “engaged” (or “verloofd” in Dutch) sounded pretty nice.
By coincidence, I looked in the direction of Marion and Rob, the big smiles on their faces made very clear that they knew what was going on here. Richard admitted that he talked with Rob about this.

After asking me, he told the people that were present at the dinner. People reacted very enthusiastic. Many congratulations and hugs. And I swear I saw some tears in the eyes of my mother (Maybe she was thinking that her little she-devil was finally tamed? Well, no.. :P).

So now we are officially engaged. Does it feel any different? No, not for me at least. For Richard it confirms that we will go on together (not that there was not any doubt about that). For others it will make things more clear and that is good.

So this weekend we will go to Enschede to replace our friendship rings by engagement rings….

Wooaa, who would ever thought it: I am engaged! *SMILE*

Photo by zelle duda on Unsplash
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Really, this has to stop…

That people are not happy with “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete), I can understand in a way (I say understand, not agree!). “Zwarte Piet” is often displayed as a clumsy, no too clever person. And quite as a stereotype. So yes, I can understand that people don’t like that.

But now all of a sudden it seems that a lot of sayings involving animals are anti-animal…

In The Netherlands we have the saying “Iemand blij maken met een dode mus” (“Making somebody happy with a dead sparrow”, meaning to promise someone something that seems to be nice or good, but turns out to be worthless or useless). Well, it seems this is not acceptable any more.

Same goes for sayings as “Beat a dead horse” and “Take the bull by the horns” should not be used any more.

I am mostly considered as “Politically Correct”, but even for me this is going too far!

I was not surprised to find out that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was behind this all. They are known for this extreme kind of actions. Just a little browsing on the internet shows that PETA is fully ridiculed for this action. And as far it concerns me, right so!

If you really want to do something for animals then there are so many active ways to do so.
Go work as a volunteer at an animals-shelter. Help clean up deer parks. Work at a petting zoo. Start eating meat from animal friendly farms or stop eating meat at all. There are so many ways to help animals.
But not by this, sorry I cannot call it differently, bullshit… (Oops, I assume that “bullshit” is also not proper to use anymore…. Whatever!).

Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash
(If you wonder why I have chosen to use this photo with this article, it shows how I feel when I hear bullshit as I describe in this article)
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Marissa, Marion, Jennifer and Richard informed me that they started to receive spam through the contact form here on the weblog. I will investigate en solve the issue (add protection to the contact form or find a better solution).
For now I will disabled the contact form as spam is something we really don’t want!

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by Rob on


Begin this week a colleague was so kind to bring a dish from her homeland (and surrounding countries if I have understood correctly). This dish is called Zapekanka and she made it herself.

Looking around on the internet it shows that Zapekanka originates to the Ukraine and Russia (and most likely some more countries in that area). I found English names for this dish as “Cottage Cheese Cake” and “Farmer Cheese Coffee Cake”. But I was told not to refer to it as cake. So I won’t. *grin*
Anyway, more about this later on in this article.

When I tasted the Zapekanka, among the many very nice tastes, there was one flavor I recognized, but I could not place right away where I knew it from. It triggered a memory from long ago, so to say. But still I could not pinpoint it down!

Curious about this dish, I looked up a recipe on the Internet and I even found one in Dutch. And looking at that recipe it suddenly hit me like a bolt out of the blue: “griesmeel” (semolina).

When I was a young boy my mother often made “griesmeel pap” (semolina pudding). And I have to admit that over then I disliked it. But tasting it now so many years later the taste is rather interesting, to say the least.

Funny that a taste can stay that long in your memory!

But back to the Zapekanka… It seems that it is very popular in the countries of its origin.
One thing is very clear when you search the Internet, Zapekanka can be made in many ways and variations, but as far I can see now it is always prepared in an oven and egg is always an ingredient.
I saw variations with eggplant, mushrooms and fruit. And that makes it very interesting to experiment with.
Yes, I surely will try to make Zapekanka myself.

I really love these dishes from other countries and specially when they taste as good as Zapekanka *THUMBS*

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Christmas Cactus

by Rob on


I think that the Christmas Cactus is one of most common houseplant around. In Dutch we call this plant “Lidcactus” or “Kerstcactus”. The scientific name for this plant is Schlumbergera truncata.

So you may wonder why an article about a plant that is so common.


Well, I have one Christmas Cactus that is very special for me. It is a cutting from a plant that once belonged to my grandmother. My grandmother passed away in the year that I was born (22 March 1963 to be precise, so just before I was born).
Have a cutting from this plant, that has been so long in our family, makes it very special to me.

And now the days are getting really shorter, it starts to bloom (hence the name referring to Christmas).


After it has bloom I will move it to a bigger pot with fresh soil. But before I do so I will take some cuttings from the plant and let them grow roots, so I have these when something goes wrong with moving the full grown plant to a bigger pot.
The change that anything will go wrong is very small, the Christmas cactus is a very strong plant. But with this plant I don’t want to take any risk.
Which may mean that after moving the plant I will have a number of new plants from the cuttings. 

There are already several people I know interested in them *HEART* .

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WordPress 5.0

by Rob on

I just upgraded our weblog to WordPress 5.0 and the upgrade went well without any issues, just as I am used to with WordPress.

The most important change of this new version is that there is a complete new editor for writing the articles added.
This new “Gutenberg Editor” is block orientated and is more or less “what you see is what you get”.
I am fully aware that this new editor will take time to get used to… Ergo: I need time to get used to it! *WINK*

By now I found one issue and that is cannot be displayed centered anymore. This might be an issue with the theme that is used.
I will look if I can come with a solution for that. If not, I may have to look for a theme that supports this new editor fully, which would mean that we can use all the new features offered through the new editor. So maybe I will have a look at a different theme anyway.

I would like to encourage the authors of our blog to play around with the Gutenberg editor to get familiar with it. And if there are any issues, please let me know.
For the time being the old editor, refereed to as the “Classic editor” is still available to use. Although I have to say that I have no idea how long this will be the case.


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