About Me

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Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother, not a grandmother,I don't know if I'll ever be, but I'll let you know in due time! Oh and um ... I am a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!

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Heaven is in Belgium

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday’s Fave Five, Treasures …

friday fave five 12

Friday AGAIN. Now when did that happen? I can’t believe Summer is whizzing by so fast, we’re halfway through July already? I must be getting old or something!
Anyway, I think I’ve said it before, I LOVE doing this meme, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story . It’s been another great week and I always look forward to share some of the highlights. I find myself collecting happy moments throughout the week, like pebbles or seashells on a beach. Some are big, others are small, but I treasure them all…
And there are always so many ...

1. We spent a day with my parents last Sunday. Some of you might remember how worried I was in December when my father needed that operation? Nothing major, just a prostate issue, but still, when they mention cancer “might” be involved , you get more than just a little bit concerned. Anyhow, we spent a lovely afternoon together, and it was just wonderful to see how active, talkative (my father is never a man of many words though) smiling and happy he is. He looks radiant, he even looks ten years younger than before the operation!
THAT my dear readers was the biggest treasure of the week. I mean, look at him, isn’t he the most handsome dad in the whole world?

2. I love this quote , because that’s what last Sunday was all about.

When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood.

Sam Ewing

We made a tour of my grandmothers village again. The same tour we made when I fell into that ditch and both my camera and I got soaked, remember?
One of the very few places I know that have not been spoiled or altered all that much. It still looks (almost) exactly the way I remember it from my childhood days at my grandparent’s. The beautiful nature, the wildlife, the cows in their green pastures, the creeks …
It all brought back wonderful memories from the past. We all miss my grandmother,
- last Sunday it was 39 years ago to the day – since she passed away, but not a day goes by without thinking of her …

3. As you probably already gathered, the village of my grandmother is my most favorite place on this planet. I SO love it and I’m always very happy to be there. But it seems like every time I wanted to do a photo shoot there, it rained or something else went wrong. And for days it looked like it was not going to be any different this time either! When we left in the morning, the rain was pouring down. But by noon, it stopped, and as by magic, blue skies appeared and the same white fluffy clouds painted the skies as the ones I remember from my childhood days of Summer.
And the weather has been kind to us for the rest of the week. That might change today or tomorrow I heard but still, I enjoyed being outside a lot this week.

4. The tickets for my trip to the States have been booked!! Because I already announced that last Saturday, I almost forgot to mention it here! WOOT! Another BIG treasure, it looks as if there were only BIG things this week! What originated as an invitation to visit Hawaii has turned into a three week trip! I will be city hopping from Washington to Portland, spend a week in Hawaii and visit Chicago on my way back. Thanks to the hospitality of my blogger friends I am able to do this.
Much thanks to my husband too, who encouraged me to take this once in a lifetime opportunity and booked my tickets. He DOES seem to turn just a little bit pale around the nose these past few days. Poor guy, oh dear!

5. I cherish the message my daughter sent me yesterday through Facebook.
She said … “ You’re special”.
Even though she was not feeling too well, she wanted to invite us over to her house tomorrow for a drink and a bite to eat. But I reversed that invitation and invited THEM over here. I’ll be a very busy bee tomorrow… And I love it!

All in all a great week, busy, sunny, warm and wonderful.

UPDATE: I will be a little less busy than I thought. My daughter's visit is not going to happen tomorrow. Her Fybromylgia has gotten the best of her yet again and the pain is keeping her from doing all the nice things a young couple should be able to do on a long weekend.
I'm so sad she has to suffer so much. Please send her all the good vibes you have within yourself.
It worked miracles for my father...
Look for more Fave Five posts hosted by Susanne at Living to tell the Story.
Have a great week!

24 comments:

hip chick said...

All of your five's are big and exciting. But, the one that touched me the most is your daughter's message. Very sweet.

spacedlaw said...

Your husband and mine can club for misery.
It's good that you can go and visit these places. I hope you shall take LOADS of pictures.
I love the ones you take from your grand mother's village: the place looks charming.

Wanda said...

I love the last photo of your Dad, smiling with his eyes and yes very handsome...he reminds me of my father in law...I still live in my hometown...Enjoy your weekend Jientje!

moneythoughts said...

Lovely photos. The field and clouds photo reminds me of so many landscape paintings I have seen of Europe.

So, you are coming to Chicago. When? I am only 5 hours from Chicago. And, fortunately I still love to drive my BMW on the highways. Do you plan to get together with Lou?

LceeL said...

We can have a mini-BlogHer convention!!!!

Jacki said...

You NEED to stop here in DC! Chicago is just a bit too far for me to drive.

Brenda said...

Your father does look wonderful!

How nice that you get to come and visit the States. Too bad you are missing San Francisco, its such a beautiful city. But Portland is quite nice as well.

Enjoy your evening with your daughter.

shopannies said...

I agree so much with #2 I do miss my childhood and I find out that the town has changed but the childhood friendships are as close as they ever have been

Rebecca said...

Very inspiring. Glad things are well with your father, he looks great.

MrsLittleJeans said...

Wonderful faves, and I am with you, the summer IS whizzing by? Before I forget, you are welcome here to CA if you are in the Southern CA region. But I will tell you that Chicago, Washington, and Portland are some of the best spots.

Your DAD is handsome...please tell him that. And your grandma's village is truly beautiful.

Merci pour les photos et passez un bon weekend.

xo

Gattina said...

The photos are really beautiful (as usual) Good that your father's results were good.

I think your husband is white around his nose because he is so happy that he will be alone for 3 weeks ! Then he can do what he wants, even eat a hamburger every day, without hearing that he should eat more vegetables !

Willow said...

Portland is lovely! I was born and raised there. Too bad you're not getting to Los Angeles.
Your grandmother's village is beautiful and yes, your dad is handsome.
I hope your dd is feeling better soon.

ellievellie said...

Your photos of the time you spent with your father brought tears to my eyes - I miss mine! Your Dad seems a wonderful person! Great pictures!

2Thinks said...

1. Yes he is, praise God!
2. Perfect place.
3. I guess that's where we get, "changeable as the weather"
4. Where in Chicago? Did you say? Or perhaps to reveal here is too tell the whole world-ish. My husband said, "she can stay here" everyone wants to meet you, Jientje :)
5.Kids are the very best!

Heidi

Momisodes said...

You father looks wonderful. And I am so excited to hear about your trip to the US!!! I cannot wait to hear more. I wish you were going to Chicago next week while I'm there :)

Thom said...

What a great FFF. I loved each and every one of them. I love the quote. I think that is so true. Pictures are so beautiful as usual. Your poor daughter. Sad that she has that pain. I'm sorry to hear that. But I loved her message she left you on facebook...that's just wonderful :)

magda said...

jientje, het is me gelukt om een reactie te kunnen plaatsen.De vorige keren vloog ik eruit.
Mooie beelden van je vader.Ik heb alleen nog herinneringen.En de herinneringen aan je jeugd zijn steeds verbonden aan dierbare overledenen. Voor je dochter wens ik het allerbeste.
Geniet jij maar van je vakantie en hopelijk krijgen we hier veelbeelden te zien!

Linda Higgins said...

I just love how everyone is so hospitable! I am miles of smiles that everyone is telling you, come visit me, come visit me! So wonderful for you to do a tour of America! Next time bring your hubby and come visit me! lol, I loved your pics of your father. I so miss mine....I was his girl....he called me his "meisje" in Dutch. (sigh) loved your pictures, I am going to figure it out some day how to do that!.....

Barbara H. said...

#1 about your dad is truly great! Glad he is doing so well.

So sorry about your daughter, though. I've known a couple of people with fibromyalgia -- definitely a hard and painful experience. But that was a lovely message she sent you.

That looks like an idyllic village.

Hope your trip goes well!

ellen b said...

What wonderful favorites Jientje! Your dad is quite handsome and looks like he gets along well...
I'm so sorry to hear of your daughters pain with this illness. I hope good treatment is found for this condition...
So you are coming to the states. Wonderful. Is the Washington you are going to be in Washington State or D.C. If it's Washington state when will you be there. It would be great to meet for a pint! :0) I'm in Washington state until August 14th...
Enjoy your weekend!!

Marg said...

i really enjoyed your post. I have visited Europe twice in the last year and grow so fond of it's culture. This past week family came to my house and again we visited the old farm stead....just like you posted in your blog. Today I got the call thanking us once again for hospitality.
You will love Hawaii...I'm off to be there this fall for 4 weeks...Yea!!! It's my second home.
Enjoy the life you have....
The quote was excellent.

Susanne said...

Saying a prayer for your daughter.

Your Dad looks great. So good to hear he is feeling well.

Those pink flowers in your collage brought memories of my grandmother. We always called those "Nagymama's (grandma's in Hungarian) flowers. I tried to plant those here but the seeds didn't take.

Jientje said...

@ hip chick: Yes, it's just too bad she's in pain now.
@ spacedlaw: I will take loads of pictures, you can be sure of that! Stay tuned,
there will be more from my grandmother's village in Sunday's post.
@ Wanda: I like that picture too, and how lovely you still live where you were born.
@ moneythoughts: I will be in Chicago November 14th, 15th and 16th and I will be meeting Lou. Lou will be my guide there, and we're planning some kind of a mini Blogher. Of course you would be welcome too.
@ Lou: that would be awesome!
@ Jacki: Maybe we could?
@ Brenda: The States are SO big, it would be hard to see everything!
@ Shopannies: You are lucky to have kept in touch with all your childhood friends. By moving to Antwerp I have lost all contact myself, and I find that I miss that a little.
@ Rebecca: That's a load of my shoulders, I can tell you that!
@ MrsLittleJeans: I will tell him. Thank you for your kind offer. I will not be in South Ca but I'm much looking forward to explore the place that I have picked.
@ Gattina: Well ...I think there are always positive sides to everything.
@ Willow: I will be in LA, but only to switch planes, so I guess I won't be able to see much of it.
@ ellievellie: I'm sorry to hear about your father, I can imagine you miss him. I would too.
@ 2Thinks: That is so sweet of you! We could arrange a mini BlogHer meeting there, I'll let you know the time and the place.
@ Sandy: Yes, I know. I would have loved to be there, but I can't have it all. Maybe in November, I'm sure Lou could talk you into that?
@ Thom: Thank you for the sweet comment. I feel sad about my daughter, that's true. And her message made my heart jump!
@ magda: Ooohhh, wat fin dat je hier komt lezen en een reaktie plaatst! Het eruit vliegen heeft met IExplorer te maken, met de nieuwe versie is het quasi onmogelijk geworden om te reageren. Maar zus Bientje en Nana surfen tegenwoordig via Mozilla (ik ook) gewoon downloaden en je bent van alle problemen vanaf.Ik hoop je hier inderdaad ook nog meer te zien.Fijn weekend!
@ Linda Higgins: That's so sweet of you! I can imagine you miss being your dad's meisje. Hugs.
@ Barbare H: I'm very happy he's doing well, and I feel sad about my daughter not being well. Thats life I guess.I will be sharing more pictures from my grandmother's village next Sunday. The trip is not until November though.
@ ellenb: I will be (staying with friends in Maryland) in Washington from October 29th until
Nov 2nd.
@ Marg: I will be in Hawaii from Nov 5th until Nov 13th. When will you be there?
@ Susanne: Thanks for the prayer. Nagymama's, I love that name. They're called "stokrozen" in Dutch and I believe they're called Hollyhocks or something in English?

Pamela said...

What a great post, Jientje! I wish you could squeeze in an East Coast stop on your U.S. trip - we'd love to show you our part of the country! Perhaps next trip? Your Dad looks like a lovely, gentle man - having just recently lost my Dad, your pictures took me back to some of mine of my Dad and wonderful memories.

I loved the map - I have many memories of Belgium - we lived outside of Mons and spent our summer weekends south of Oostende and visited Brugge and Gent, such beautiful cities. I would love to take my husband and daughter to Belgium to visit.

That's a beautiful quote and I'll be praying for healing for your daughter.

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