Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Hi there! Today I've got Christopher T. Werkman as a guest. Chris is also one of my co-authors at Rogue Phoenix Press. Right now the author wants to present his collection of short stories, Girlfriending. That's why he's doing a virtual book tour and there is also a prize for a lucky commenter: a digital copy of this book.

Girlfriending is a collection of funny, sad, and occasionally bizarre stories of characters beginning, ending, or finding a way through some type of romantic relationship.


A detective known for bold courage on the job deals with mental and physical abuse by his trophy wife. A woman strives to overcome the PTSD she brought from battlefields in Iraq so she can become a loving partner. In the title story, a socially dysfunctional man “girlfriends” women he “meets” in obituaries. From liaisons that are real, to those that are imaginary or somewhere between,


The bottle danced an erratic jig. Otis saw it floating near the stern of Bubble Watcher as Andre backed the fifty-five footer into its mooring slip. Otis decided prop wash caused the motion, but even after Andre shut down the grumbling diesels, the clear-glass beer bottle continued to jiggle, bottom-end-up. While other divers off-loaded their gear, Otis watched the bottle continue to wiggle and bob amongst the Styrofoam cups, plastic bags and other harbor flotsam. He realized there had to be a creature hooked on a line tied to the bottle’s neck, engaged in an unending struggle for freedom. The work of bored teens, he figured. Bait the hook and toss it in the ocean—a floating gallows. Otis grabbed the gaff, climbed out of the cockpit and shuffled along the narrow deck-space between the cabin and the gunwale, hoping the bottle would come within reach.
“What’s up?” Andre called down from the flying bridge.
“Not sure,” Otis shouted back. He could snag anything inside ten or twelve feet, but the bottle was out of range. It submerged, then popped to the surface again. Whatever the line held was too small, or weakened, to take it under for long. “C’mere,” Otis hissed, in his raspy whisper. Instead, the bottle moved closer to the algae-coated jetty, green as ripe spinach. Just as Otis decided to get off the boat and try to recover the bottle from the pier’s walkway, it made a break for open water, giving Bubble Watcher wide berth.
Diving in to swim after it was Otis’ only option. He noticed a tampon applicator floating in the coffee-with-cream colored shore-water. A mile or so out to sea, he could count the planks in Bubble Watcher’s hull from a depth of a hundred feet, but in the marina, all manner of waste found its way into the water. Not only that, he had no idea what was hooked on the line. Getting bitten or being speared on the dorsal of a panicky fish was even less appetizing than a leap into the murky water. So, the bottle skittered away, leaving Otis as angry at his own inaction as he was with whoever set the trap.
He jumped down onto the main deck, stowed the gaff and picked up his gear. He dove the summer-warmed ocean in his swim trunks and a tee-shirt. Since Andre, the owner, supplied him with a tank and regulator, he had only to off-load his buoyancy vest, weight belt, mask, fins and snorkel.
Andre climbed down from the bridge and tilted his head toward the jetty. “No treasure?”
Otis hoisted his equipment onto the pier, then glanced in the direction the bottle took. He wanted to tell Andre about the bottle, but the words hung in his throat. “Nah, turned out to be nothing.”
“How was the dive?”
“Spec-tacular. One of those little gals and I found a sea turtle with a wad of fishing line tangled around her flippers. We cut it loose, and she followed us around for most of our dive.” His smiled. “Neat.”
“That ‘little gal,’ the tall drink of water you surfaced with?” When Otis nodded, Andre did a once-around to make sure she wasn’t nearby. “Man, Otie. I was you, I’d be on her like spar varnish.”
Otis winked. “She probably already has a grandpa.” He stepped up onto the stern, then to the pier. “Same time tomorrow morning?”
“Sure. Eleven spots reserved. Probably some walk-ins. Castin’ off at ten sharp.”
“I’ll fill the tanks and have everything good to go.” Otis picked up his gear, walked into the dusty gravel parking lot and discovered the girl they were talking about was parked next to his car. Her shiny red SUV wore New York plates. She was toweling off her robin’s-egg blue aluminum tank. A large woman with olive skin and long raven hair, she was fleshy, but athletic. He judged her to be in her thirties, and imagined she might look at home on a soccer field or a basketball court.
“Hey, Otis.” Her smile came on like high beams. “I really enjoyed the dive. That poor turtle seemed so happy when we cut off the fish line.”
“Yeah, glad we ran across her. Damned monofilament line is ruining the ocean.” The jittering bottle did an encore in his memory as he opened his car’s trunk and laid his gear inside. He almost mentioned it, but as he turned to face her, she stooped to remove the regulator from her tank. Instead, Otis watched the top of her Day-Glo pink swimsuit strain to contain her breasts.
She stood and gave him a knowing look. “I bet you’d like one of these.” She stowed the regulator in the back of her car, and pulled two cans of beer from a cooler.
“There’s the way to my heart, girl. Thanks.”
“What makes you think I’d want your heart?”
“You wouldn’t.” He opened the can and took a sip. “It’s old and worn out, just like the rest of me.”
She laughed hard. “I work with guys half your age who will never be in the shape you’re in.”
“Then they have my sympathy. And what is it you do up there in…?”
“Schenectady. Marketing.”
Otis grinned. “Convincing people to buy what they don’t know they need?”
She wrinkled her nose. “Sometimes. Or what they bought from me a year ago isn’t as good as what I have to sell them today. Companies though, not people.” She closed the SUV’s back hatch and leaned against it, her reflection on the window doubling her beauty. She explained she was a refugee from the dot com collapse of the late nineties and she’d sold software for six years. “The company is moving into a new building in late August, so I bumped my vacation up a few weeks. I get a corner office with a great view of a park, and I need to be there to make sure it’s arranged the way I want.”
“Well, if you have to work, it sounds like you’ve got a great situation.”
“Have to work.” Her laugh rolled. “That’s right, you said you retired. What did you do before you became a dive bum?”
“Michigan State Patrol. Was a trooper for thirty-two years. My wife, Jayne, died a few years back after ten rounds with breast cancer. Right after that, I had a bout with the big C myself.”
For the first time, a serious expression cleared away the woman’s smile. Her dark eyes brimmed with concern, making her even lovelier. “Oh, Otis.” She touched his arm lightly. “You’re okay now?”
“Seem to be. Had surgery and some radiation.” Radiation scared him, especially because he believed radiation exposure from traffic radar caused the cancer in the first place. When the course of treatment ended, he was declared clear of disease, but lacked confidence in his body. To his way of thinking, nurturing cells bent on his destruction amounted to treason. As a trooper, he relied on his body to safeguard his life. Its dalliance with cancer shook him to his core. On the way home from his final radiation treatment, he saw a mid-sixties Pontiac GTO gleaming beneath the wind-tickled plastic flags on a used car lot. Half an hour later, he was writing the chain-smoking salesman a check. The car took Otis back to the time when he was young, strong and healthy. At another level, the control he exerted over such a powerful machine transposed into a feeling of mastery over his body. Otis liked to think of the GTO as an outgrowth of his psyche, although the reverse was probably closer to the truth. “But, yeah,” he told her. “I’ve been clear since.”
“And you had it…where? Do you mind my asking?”
Otis shrugged. “Not if you don’t mind me telling you. My testicles. They took the right one. Managed to save the left.” He raised his eyebrows, amplifying his grin. “Easier to cross my legs, now.”
Dark as she was with a tan compounding her complexion, her blush ripened. “I’m sorry” She laughed. “I deserved that.”

Otis shook his head. “No. You really didn’t. I should watch my manners. I’m the one who’s sorry.”

Author bio and links

Christopher T. Werkman skillfully creates characters beginning, ending, or finding a way through some type of romantic relationship. Girlfriending, Werkman’s collection of short stories, will fascinate, amuse, and astonish. Many of the stories are published in literary magazines and anthologies, but most appear only in this collection. His novel, Difficult Lies, was published in 2015.

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Twitter : @Chwerks

Mini Devils

Cute initiative of Pleegzorg Vlaanderen (Foster Care Flanders). To promote their services and find new foster parents, they've launched an action in co-operation with the national soccer team, the Belgian Red Devils.

The organisation looked around and found kids who resemble one of the team members. Like mini Fellaini's, mini-Kompany's, mini-De Bruyn's, ... Cute indeed! The kids got to meet some of the Red Devils and had a chance to talk to them and get a picture.

What is more special is that three of these mini-devils come from one family: two brothers and one sister. The sister looks like Fellaini with her hair-do and the boys resemble Dembélé and Kompany. The kid's mother is Burundese, their dad Belgian. A nice mix, says the mum, the combination African-European gives something special, just like in the real national team. This is one of the strongest we've ever had.

Let's hope this initiative brings in more foster families for the kids who need them. Too many still don't find a warm home.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Basic pension for everyone?

Here in Belgium, people are mainly concerned with their income, whether it is a salary or a pension. You can only hurt a Belgian if you take away some (or a lot) of his money...

So it's normal people talk about and articles are written when the government changes something to this income. The present government is right-winged, and is concerned to protect the very wealthy. An example: they had a tax shift two years ago, but what is the result? Those who earn the least in some cases get even less, while those who earn a lot get more. That's because the tax shift is based on bruto income, and when it augments you can get into a higher tax system. The highest rate is 50% and that is what most people like myself payed all their working life.

And now they're attacking the pensions. The government has a general feeling civil servants get a pension that's way too high (remark: when we started working, we were told our monthly pay was less than that of a private worker, because a percentage was meant for our pension). So they have announced all kinds of plans.

Fodder for the opposition, of course. Left, socialist and green are in arms already, hoping to find more votes (there are general elections in 2019). Green as well as the socialists propose a basic pension for everyone.

What does it mean? Well, anyone would get a basic sum monthly. If you haven't work a single day in your life, that's it. But those who worked get extra for every year they were busy.

I wonder what will come of all these proposals. Will the present government keep its majority? Or will another coalition has to be made?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August decides to end on a better note

This month of August will probably to noted down as one of the worst in history. Up to yesterday, it was miserable: temperatures which were too cold for the time of year, lots of clouds, often rain. You'd get depressed by it.

But at long last, a turn in the weather came. As of yesterday we see the sun once more and it promises to remain fine for at least a week or so.

Nice for the kids who are still into their school vacation, but not so nice for all those who already returned to work! My sister is among those unlucky. I can go outside as much as I please however, or just sit on my terrace enjoying the sunshine while reading a book. It's ever so nice not having to work anymore!

I wonder what the rest of the year will bring? More sunshine in September and even October? Or will we get a severe winter?

Monday, August 21, 2017

More Than Just a Dog

Today my guest is fellow author at Rogue Phoenix Press Genie Gabriel, who's presenting her new book. More Than Just a Dog can be bought from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher. Genene will giveaway a digital copy of More Than Just a Dog to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop.


Three generations of independent women, driven in different directions by one man’s anger. Until his death reconnects them with their mystical Irish ancestors and wonders beyond this limited human existence.

Trained in the shamanic arts by her Irish grandmother, Chessie Durand travels to alternate worlds to rescue animals in danger. Aided by her Chosen One, an angel dog and a mysterious merkaba necklace, she discovers powers unknown to most humans.

Ever practical, her mother provides a sanctuary for these alien and exotic species stall-beside-stall with barnyard creatures. And when their paradise is threatened by ignorance and poachers and unknown dangers beyond the stargates, Marlise loads her shotgun and joins the fight.


With only a fleeting second thought, Peter entered the coordinates in the computer implanted in his wrist to transport to the cave on Chessie’s farm. His mentor had warned him of disturbances in the stargate that caused several “incidents” and had resulted in the decision to seal it off. However, Peter hoped opening the surface entrance had corrected those disturbances.
This was the most direct route to see Chessie and, after weeks of waiting, he wanted more than to just court her in dreams. He wanted to touch her. Smell the scent of flowers in her hair. Convince her they could build a relationship in the real world.
But which real world? His dimension or hers? Or perhaps somewhere totally different.
One step at a time, Peter reminded himself. After his abrupt departure the last time he had seen her, Chessie might not exactly fall eagerly into his arms. Best he establish a cover story before he contacted her. Thanks to a disagreement between the ruling governments of his dimension, he had some time off between assignments of retrieving endangered species during which he could pursue his Chosen One.
He stepped through the stargate in his dimension, anticipating the look of pleasure on Chessie’s face when she saw him.
”Danger. Danger. Coordinates cannot be guaranteed.” His computer implant transmitted the message to Peter’s brain as his body was sucked into a spinning vortex, faster and faster, buffeted on all sides by angry voices and recriminations until he blacked out.

~ * ~

The rock formations fascinated Chessie as she descended into the cave. However, the hot springs drew her most strongly. She loved to slip into the heated water and feel all her tensions wash away, as she was doing today. She thought about posting a notice at the entrance of the cave informing her family of her private hours in the hot springs so she could soak in the nude. But so far, she limited herself to wearing a modest one-piece bathing suit while in the springs.
Her body floated slightly as she closed her eyes and leaned her head back on a rubber pillow she brought with her. “Ahhh…”
She wondered if Peter would enjoy the hot springs as much as she did. Where was he? Were her dreams of Peter and the cave simply her overactive imagination?
Intuitively, she knew more than fantasies were involved. She hoped by returning to the cave, she could solve this mystery.
With her eyes closed, her mind and body relaxed even more. The water rippled against her skin, soothing and calming. A small wave splashed against her chin and Chessie shifted her body. Opening her eyes, she noticed tiny, choppy waves across the pool’s surface that hadn’t been active when she first stepped into the pool.
Sitting up straight now, she touched the merkaba around her neck and wondered if some of its magic was at work.
The ground began rumbling.
Get out of the pool. Chap’s image appeared in her mind.
She didn’t need to be told twice. She shoved her feet back in her tennis shoes and pulled the terry cloth robe around her body.
Frozen with fascination, she stared toward the rock wall where the cave ended—that her grandmother insisted wasn’t the same as when the cave had been closed up.
The rock wall was now splitting apart like giant elevator doors, revealing the dark night sky filled with billions of stars and a spinning vortex that grew larger and larger as it moved toward her.
Use the merkaba, Chap stated. Do not give in to fear. Simply know the merkaba will protect you.
Chessie braced her feet at shoulder width apart and placed a hand over the merkaba. Protect all that is pure. Surround us with love and keep us safe.
She didn’t know where the words came from, but Chessie repeated them over and over as the vortex engulfed her, echoing with her grandfather’s angry voice. “You will never practice your witch’s spells again! You will be obedient! You will do as I tell you!”
Images of her grandfather as he had been when alive swirled within the vortex. Chessie held fast to the merkaba and called upon the spirit of her grandfather. Help us! By all that is loving and pure, keep us safe!

As Chessie repeated these words, a body fell at her feet as the vortex faded and drifted away like mist dispersing under the morning sun.

Author bio and links

Fur against my face and the soft smell of a dog curled protectively around me existed before my first memories of this life. So began my journey of being more in tune with animals than with people.
I went through the expected motions of marriage, kids, divorce, and career, but usually out of step with most of the human population. This proved to be an advantage in developing an independence and a curiosity about things most people don’t even consider.
A minor health issue led to energy healing and becoming a master level Reiki practitioner. Working at the local animal shelter flipped on the switch to communicating with animals. Each dog I adopted showed miraculous changes most people couldn’t believe.
As a writer, I explored the mysteries of why people behave as they do, and also became fascinated by science, especially quantum physics. But perhaps my favorite way of writing stories is to ask the question, “What if?” and dive into those imagined worlds—surrounded by my beloved furbabies, of course!

Keywords: Angel dogs, stargates, alternate worlds, independent women, fated lovers

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Breakdown after a vacation - it happens

Interesting article in the newspaper today. Apparently, those who go on holidays already feeling stressed out will risk a breakdown when they return to work.

Well, I suppose something about this may be true. I don't have to work anymore, so I can hardly feel stress, but when you come home from a holiday filled with sun and leisurely activities, it's not nice to return to grey skies and cold temperatures. That alone can give you a shock! And my sister definitely did not feel happy when she had to get up for work this morning.

But a real breakdown? I don't know. You hear a lot about breakdown these days. Ever since the government changed the rulings for getting your pension (I was among the lucky ones who got an exception). People have to work longer and will get a lower pension, so it's not to wonder some of them get tired when they near their 60th birthday and get 'depressed'.

I also think breakdowns can be avoided. A person has to learn how to say 'no' at a given time. I know, this is not alway easy, but it can be in your best interest. If you always agree to what's being said, you end up working day and night, workdays and Sundays. And then a breakdown is unavoidable. Our government recently voted a bill which gives you the right to not answer a call from you employer after working hours and in the weekend/holiday. It's taken me a long time, but I could finally convince my sister not to check her workmail during our vacation this year. Guess the poor girl was tired already by taking care of me (had surgery) and doing all the chores in and around the house. Now I have to persuade her not to work weekends anymore. That will not be so easy. She feels so responsible, because payment of teachers depend on her. Oh well, we'll see...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tomorrow: back home

All good things come to an end (the same goes for bad things too) - unfortunately.

We really have had a wonderful time in Madrid. We both NEEDED the rest and some sunshine. About the last we can't complain - each day around 35 Celsius, which is not too hot for walking. You only need to take care you drink enough water (and a beer from time to time).

There areore than enough restaurants around where you can dine well and for our standards rather cheap. We've been enjoying tapas and the Iberico ham.  Not yo mention the great wines made here.

But tomorrow it's back to cloudy and rainy Belgium where a heatwave will probably come when it's winter..o

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dolce far niente

In Italian, because I don't know the expression in English...

This is the real life - having nothing to do but stroll through town (in this case Madrid, Spain), seeing the sights, visiting a museum (the Prado), but in general just enjoying ourselves.

Taking a seat on one of the many terraces on town to have a drink or a bite to eat. Resting long and peaceful in our hotel room at Vincci The Mint (to be recommended) and enjoying a lovely breakfast in the morning. When you take a room with breakfast included you can just order anything from the menu, even as many a time as you want.

This is really the break my sister and I could use!)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Suitcases are packed!

This afternoon, we packed our suitcases for our trip to Madrid, Spain. Mind you, we don't pack big suitcases. We always take care we just have hand luggage because you pay a lot less for your airfare.

It takes about 5 minutes to pack such a small suitcase. The trick is to pack only what you really need! Like underwear for the days you're away, pajama's, some basic wear like T-shirts or tops,  2-3 pair of good quality linen trousers (can crease as much as they like) if you like wearing trousers or the same amount of cotton or linen skirts. Two pair of sandals and one pair of shoes in which you can walk kilometers. The rest goes into your handbag: your smartphone, sunglasses, those products which you have to show at the check-in (like cremes, deodorant, perfume - mind, don't take too much), an e-reader, a sunhat (we have cotton ones, which we bought years ago in Vancouver, Canada - they easily stow away in a leftover spot), your identity card or passport, credit cards or money (best is not to take overmuch), a comb, ...

Even if you travel for a longer duration, we don't pack big suitcases. My granddad always used to say: don't pack a suitcase you can't lift. We have never had to pay for overweight and still have more than enough to wear. It's best to work with basic garnments, like skirts or trousers of a very good quality which can be worn everywhere.

Needless to say we're really looking forward to this trip. At last warm sunshine (we haven't got this in the course of July and what's passed of August), outdoor dining, ... Will be great and very relaxing.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Enjoying the last day at the coast

While writing this, I'm relaxing in an easy chair placed on our roof terrace...

Today is one of those rare days when the Sun breaks through the clouds and the afternoon turns sunny and warm.

So we didn't make a walk like usual but instead decided to enjoy that Sun for as long as it lasts.

Tomorrow we're heading home because we need do run some errands and back home most shops are closed on Sundays. On Monday then we are leaving once more for a city trip. I'm already looking forward to it!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Watching another work

The neighbors left to right and across the big avenue, who would be watching us, will probably think I'm a very lazy girl.

Why? Becacuse my sister has been working (painting the front of the flat, the railings, cleaning up windows etc.) constantly, while I'm just looking on. Well, sometimes I hand over a (small) bucket of water, or fetch a spunge, ... but in general I can't do anything special.

My major surgery is 4 weeks past by now, but I'm forbidden to do anything tiring or heavy. I can only lift something not heavier than 5 kg and it's best not to stretch too much either. I'm allowed to roll my small suitcase when we do our trip next week, but my sister will have to lift it up when we put it in the overhead luggage carrier - or else I'll find a guy who wants to do it for me.

Being forbidden heavy work has it advantage, of course. When back home, I can't clean the house (!) only wipe away some dust. Will enjoy that as long as it lasts...

Monday, August 7, 2017

Love on the Risky Side

Meet author Mariah Ankenman, author of contemporary romance. Mariah is doing a virtual book blast tour to promote her latest release, Love on the Risky Side, from Wild Rose Press.

Mariah will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please remember to use the following link:


Falsely accused of the murder of her best friend, Kayla Jenkins is on the run for her life. She ends up lost in dark, snowy woods off some backcountry road in the middle of nowhere. Frightened and colder than she’s ever been in her life, she almost thinks she’s hallucinating when a warrior on a white steed saves her.

In all his years as the sheriff of Peak Town, Colorado, Jake Ryder has never come across a half-frozen woman alone in the woods. She’s terrified…and lying to him, yet something about her calls to him on a primal level.

Even with her trust of law enforcement lower than the harsh temperature, Kayla finds it difficult to keep her secrets hidden from the kind and far too handsome sheriff. But as her faith in Ryder grows, she not only risks the real murderer finding her, but losing the one thing she has searched for her whole life and only just found…love.


“My name is Jake Ryder, but most folks call me Ryder.” When she didn’t return the introduction, he continued. “Can I ask how you came to be all the way out here in the middle of the night?”

Giving a guarded glance from the horse back to him, she simply said, “Got lost.”

And they say women were chatty. Hell, he had a pet parrot as a kid that talked more than this woman. Not a problem. As sheriff, he was used to interrogating uncooperative suspects. Not that she was a suspect, yet.

“Got lost...” He looked her over. Big, red, winter coat, long dark slacks and—were those high heels? “…shopping?”

Honestly, who the hell wears heels in the woods?

She scowled, wrapping her arms around herself. “My car ran off the road. I—I got out to find help. Wandered off the road and got lost.”

Something about her story smelled like Wind Chaser’s stall after feeding time. “Why didn’t you call Triple A?”

Her gaze darted to the side. “Cell died.”

Yeah, and I’m the King of England.

“You need a ride back to your car?”

Her eyes widened. “On that thing?”

“Her name is Wind Chaser, and yes. Did you think I had a car hidden in the trees?”

Her jaw clenched at his sarcasm. Well, excuse him. It was dark, cold, and the last thing he wanted to do was be out here trying to pull a story out of Ms. Lying-Crazy-Lady.

Author bio and links

RWA® Golden Heart® Nominated author Mariah Ankenman began writing at the tender age of five. Her first book “George and the Green Glob” received high praise from her mother. Many years, and green glob stories later, Mariah received a playwriting degree from the University of Wyoming. After a few years in Hollywood, working in “the biz,” she came home to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. When she’s not writing Mariah loves to read, crochet, and play her ukulele. She loves to hear from readers.

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Twitter: @MAsBooks

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weather - unpredictable?

I don't know if I'm the only one who asks herself the following: our scientists can do almost everything (shoot rockets to the moon and other planets, manipulate gens, treat diseases like cancer, ...) so why can't they do something about the weather?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every country could get the weather it needed? Some better weather in the northern part of Europe (where we have been getting conditions more resembling autumn and winter instead of summer) and less heat in the southern part (where people are dying because of the extreme heat)? Every now and then some rain in the Sahara and other deserts, so crops could grow there. Constant cold at the poles, so the ice doesn't melt anymore.

The heatwave in southern Europe would lessen in the middle of next week, but the bad weather in the nothern part remains for at least one week more. Guess it'll turn when school start again, that's a classic!

Luckily I don't care anymore. We have finally found a sunny destination for the week before my sister begins to work again. We're heading to Madrid (yes, where it's now 38° Celsius). We know how to protect ourselves against the heat, that's not a problem. We've often been in warm climates and  never had a problem. Just drink some liters of water a day, that helps a lot. So we're looking forward to at least one week of sunshine which will make good on the holiday we had to cancel.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


Yesterday morning I got the permission of my doctor to travel again. My wound is healing well and I'm fit enough to take walks.

Now I'm feeling a bit frustrated because we cancelled our trip to Tuscany on advise of the doctor. She wasn't sure I'd be well enough to make this trip. But look and see, I'm almost as healthy as before. So actually we needn't have made the cancellation. We could have been enjoying the good life in Tuscany and bask in the sun.

We've been looking to find another (short) trip now that I'm allowed to travel, but since my sister is working again on August 21st, the time is short and you don't find anything anymore. Either the air fare is way too expensive, or the hotels cost as fortune.

I know, I should be thankful I'm doing so well and that the cancer in my kidney was not of an agressive sort. There is a chance the other small tumors will now remain as they are or even disappear. A checkup in October will bring more insight. Otherwise, I'll need to take more medication (chemo is not good for me, having only one kidney) to fight the cancer.

But right now I'm feeling selfish and I wish both my sister (who's been doing a lot for me, and needs a break badly) could enjoy some days in a sunny resort.

Will keep on looking!