December, 2010 browsing by month


Friday New Years Eve 2010

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I have changed the links to the three slide shows I show in yesterday’s blog.

Instead of using Adobe .pdf files I have uploaed then in Video (.wmv) format. This works much faster and the audio works better.


Thursday Dec. 30. Die zomer die begon zo wat in Mei…

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

A popular Dutch song in the seventies. Reflecting on a summer that started in May and never seemed to end.

So, I did just that. I sorted through the pictures and made three slide show albums that you can find under the below links.

1) A 13 minute slide show,”Holland around the old Zuiderzee”
My best pictures of sailing on the IJselmeer and in and out the old Zuiderzee fishing/sea ports, including Amsterdam and my stay at the YC “de Schinkel” from Aug 2009 till my departure for the Danube, last July.

2) An 8 minute show Holland-Belgium
of other parts of Holland, including the boat trip from Amsterdam to the German border, in July.
Also slides of the two day visit to Bruges, Brussels and Ittre, Belgium with Jeannine and Gabriel. It was Jeannine’s first visit back to where she was born.
It is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest country side in Europe. The pictures tell all.

3) Five minute slide show of traditional Dutch Sailing Barges and Fishing boats on the Old Zuiderzee. Botters, Tjalks, Clippers, etc. mostly under sail, taken from “Fleetwood”.
Also a number in the “Jan Haring” race, including the botter yacht “Groote Beer” .

Happy New Year to all!

Dec 26 Sunday Boxing Day. A very white Christmas.

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

I was unable to make it to mass at St.Therese. We had 9 inches of snow overnight. So, I worshipped at the Lady of Perpetual Responsibility with the irreverent reverent Garrison Keilor, on the National Public Radio.
It is still snowing. Christmas eve mass at St.Therese was a true celebration of the birth of Christ. I ended up being the only Tenor in the choir. But I knew my line from previous years at St. Nicholas. The McDonnells came to the same service. The next morning they spoiled me with lots of wonderful gifts. Lily and Madison, my great granddaughters came over in the afternoon, with their mom.
I am taking a break from the book writing. In the next days I will do a “where is Jack?” update and probably have a link to a photo album of the year in Holland.

Winter Solstice 2010

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010



Winter Solstice- Shortest Day-1st day of Winter –  4 days to Christmas and a Full Eclipse of the moon .                                

It was worth getting up in the middle of the night to watch the Moon Eclipse. But difficult to get a picture. The moon was at about 80 degrees overhead and impossible to mount the camera on the tripod at that angle. Also there was too little light for my 200 mm zoom to focus on the moon. So this is what I ended up with by double exposing it and supporting the camera against the backyard wall.

Moon Eclipse Dec 21

My two great granddaughters came to stay here with the McDonnells last weekend. Lily, 6 weeks old, slept in my room and I got to feed her and change her diapers in the middle of the night. In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined to ever have this privilege. Is there a better way to stay feeling young? They are precious.

Monday 13 December. Let it Snow!

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I will do the occasional update and emerge from my Virginian hibernation.

This morning it started snowing.

The cat is checking it out. First time for her. The dog is snoring away in another corner of the room. It is nice and warm inside. A good place to be and work on my project, rewriting and researching the material my mother left me about her life.

 But I am not getting the exercise I was on the boat and the summer’s tan is fading fast. Yesterday I rode one of the bicycles here to mass. Last Wednesday I sang in the choir at the mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. One of the pieces we sang was the “Ave Maria” from Gregory Norbet. A difficult tenor part, but it went well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Next performance is at the Christmas Eve mass.

The cat's first snowfall

Sunday Dec 5. St. Nicholas Eve and 2nd Sunday of Advent

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

I am groping for reasons to keep you checking in once in a while. “Fleetwood” is in hibernation and so am I, to a degree. But I am enjoying my stay here in Virginia. The story that I am putting together about my mother’s life is starting to come together. This is the ideal environment and time of year for it. I am still discovering more and more fascinating material for it.

This is the second Sunday of Advent. I practiced after the 8.30 mass with the choir here for this Wednesday’s feast of the Immaculate Conception mass. And I will be singing with the choir on Christmas Eve.

The first reading today was from Isaiah 11 :

The wolf lives with the lamb,
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion cub feed together
with a little boy to lead them.

And I could not help but draw a correlation to the below picture that my friend Sid sent me.

We celebrated St. Nicholas Eve with the McDonnells and Katie came over with my two great granddaughters. My sister had packed some of the traditional Dutch treats for us and Rose Marie sent a big package as well.