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 30, 2010

Friday’s Fave Five, Bike Rides and Mojitos

 

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This is a quickie, I’m going out with my husband later today so I really don’t have that much time to blog, but it’s been such a good week that I did not want to miss Friday’s Fave Five again! Find other people’s favorites at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

 

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1. My mother’s health. She’s doing great after this scary episode in her life. (Read more about that here.) She saw her oncologist earlier this week and he said she does not need to have chemo. Yaaay! So I guess we can all leave this behind us right now. Wednesday was the last time I went over to Mom’s to cater for my parents, she’s taking over her own household again and that’s just wonderful! I am going to miss this though, I LOVED taking care of them!
2. A day out in Gent with my friend Nana and my sister Bientje. They’re both such good company, we had a lovely time!
3. The bike tour with my husband. That little bit of exercise did us both good.
You can see the pictures I took here.
4. The Mojito we drank, a very refreshing cocktail, a real treat on a warm day.
5. We bought bike maps covering a couple of different regions in Belgium. We’re planning on going out with our bikes more often, and we don’t want to get lost! I’m really looking forward to this!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Window Views … (and Doors Too)

 

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Like the sleeping cat and the lady at the grocery store, this is another photo I took in Ménerbes. I’m not sure if the name of the village rings any bell, but Ménerbes was the hometown of Peter Mayle. It is where he wrote “A year in Provence” and many other best seller books about daily life in Provence. I’m sure Peter Mayle would be able to invent a story around this photo. 
Now I don’t have his writer skills, but this image sure tickles my imagination. It makes me wonder what it would be like to be ten years old, living in Provence maybe or staying with an aunt or an uncle. Is he hanging out with his best friend or perhaps the other boy is his nephew? Were they running errands for the lady next door? 
Or did they pick a basket full of fresh cherries from their grandfather’s orchard?  
Who’s to tell?

 

 

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Window Views is hosted by Mary the Teach. Just post a picture of a window or a door and join the fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ruby Tuesday, Yes … you CAN!

 

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This little grocery store,- épicerie as they call them in Provence - is in Ménerbes, a tiny village in Provence. I loved this little store, it was packed with everything imaginable. They sell EVERYthing, from souvenirs to cheeses and sausages, fruits and vegetables, postcards … We went in there looking for some small cheeses from local farmers and they were just right to eat. I love to buy local produce as much as I can when I’m on holiday, it beats tasteless imported supermarket food! The thing that always strikes me as unusually friendly when I buy fruits or veggies in France is that you’re allowed - sometimes even encouraged - to TOUCH them and choose your own! 
No angry shopkeepers telling you not to like I’m used to where I live!

 

More Ruby Tuesday at Mary’s Work of the Poet.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It’s good to be back!

 

It’s been a while since I posted on a regular basis, blogging has not been a top priority these past few weeks. Life has been a little bit hectic, both physically and emotionally since we got back from our holiday in France.
We had a wonderful time in France, Provence feels like a second home to us. The weather did not really cooperate in the first week, - we’ve had a lot of wind and some rain – but the second half of the second week it felt like the real Provence again with nice temperatures and lots and lots of sunshine. We met up with friends, made a couple of very nice excursions, took pictures, had some good food and good wine …
all in all it was a very relaxing holiday.

When we got home I called my parents and this was when my mother told me the doctors had found a tumor in her bowel. She had kept it a secret from us while we were in France because she did not want to ruin our vacation. Cancer sounded like such a horrible disease, it scared the hell out of me. The good news was it was well contained, it had not spread and she was very courageous about it and very determined to beat this monster! She was scheduled for surgery less than a week later.
In the mean time the tumor has been removed and she is recuperating amazingly well. In just one week she was up and about and back home again!
I have visited my parents three times a week to cook and help out a little and I spent hours on the phone on days I was not visiting. Needless to say this took most of my time and mental energy and that’s why I haven’t felt like blogging much.
It was kind of a mixed feeling, one part of me missed it but the other half of me could not be bothered. I read some posts, but did not get to commenting much because it felt as if I was standing on the outside looking in. I hardly touched my camera, as we did not go out to look for photo opportunities either.
Everything seemed to be put on hold there for a while.

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My Mom is doing great now and that’s a big relief to all of us. The oncologist still needs to determine whether she will need chemo or not, but still, the worst is behind us now with her recuperating so well. Life is slowly getting back to normal again.

Time spent with my friends and my hubby made me grab that camera again and the new pictures made me realize that I do miss blogging. Your comments on yesterdays post have made me feel loved and welcomed. After all this time I really thought I would not have any readers left, but look at you, you’re all still there!
I’m so grateful to have this great bunch of internet friends, thank you all!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekly Winners, I’m back!

 

I’ve picked up my camera again for the first time since we got back from our holiday in France. Life and family had taken over since my mother’s surgery, but this week things started to get back to normal again, and I’ve been looking for photo opportunities again.

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A visit from my daughter on Tuesday … 
It was a warm night so we were able to eat outside and stay out until late.

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On Friday I spent a day in Gent with my sister and my friend Nana.

We raised our glasses to friendship and good health.

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… did a little bit of sightseeing …

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and had coffee together.

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And then yesterday hubby and I hired a bike and made a little excursion along the Schelde river.

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We were not the only ones enjoying the scenery …

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d’ Ursel castle in Hingene

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More Weekly Winners at I am Lotus.

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Life … and stuff …

 

It’s been a week since I got back from our holiday in France, but I have to admit ...
I. HAVE. BEEN. LAZY.
Blogging wise, that is.
Life and family matters have gotten the better of me, I’m afraid.

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I promise, as soon as things start to settle down, I’ll be back.
Let me tell you one thing though?
I want to thank you for being my friend.

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