Three on Thursday

Feeling a bit overwhelmed lately. Moving to another country involves a lot of paperwork and here on Curaçao that means you have to physically pick up and deliver forms all over town. That takes a lot of time. I also have someone else's novel to edit and some writing of my own to do. I got a weekly column on a big online magazine – six of them to start with, but if their audience like me I will become part of the team. I'd also like to write another novel (my 11th came out last month) and I have a lot of bookkeeping and household tasks to catch up with.

But I still can't keep my mind of blogging. I miss it and the connections I've found through it. I like Instagram, but it just doesn't feel the same way. I tend to think a while about comments before I actually post them and love when I get a reaction, but on Instagram I just press the heart and keep scrolling.
So I decided to try and post on my blog a bit more again. Get into the habit again, visit my list of favorite blogs and comment more often.

I really have to stop myself from making too many plans for this blog though. See #1. For now I'll just try to post once a week and I'll take it from there.

How have you been? (I'm going to catch up on all your blogs soon, I promise!)

A little update

We didn't get the house I was talking about last time... We made an offer and the seller reacted by taking it off the market.
I know...
We were shocked and so were both the realtors (ours and the seller's). It was just an opening offer, but the owner stated she was tired of not getting what she wanted.
We tried to reach out to her and raised our offer, but she didn't even respond to that.

Last Saturday we looked at another house. Same price, same area, better view, house in better condition, a lot twice the size and owned land instead of long lease. So we offered the asking price and it was accepted.

All is well that ends well, one might think. But while we were asked to send an e-mail to affirm our offer as soon as possible, we got nothing back to confirm that it was accepted and yesterday it looked like this was another one of those situations.
We've been trying to buy a house here for years and when we get close there's always something going wrong.
But this morning we found out they had been sending e-mails after all. But to the wrong address (their own info@). So now we're setting things in motion to get the mortgage and sign the contract.
I'm still not really convinced it's going to be okay until we close and I've got that key in my hands. One time we already signed a contract and everything looked okay and then the seller sold it to someone else.
But then again... This really might be the one.
Yesterday I was depressed and just about to give up on everything, but now I'm feeling positive again. I even joked that since every time something goes wrong the next house is better, we might end up with a house in perfect condition on an even bigger lot with a private beach or something like that if this one doesn't work out.
But I do hope this is it. The house is quirky and needs a lot of love, but I just know we can make it work. It won't be too much work to make it livable (I hope) and we'll take it slowly from there.

Anyway. That's where we are right now. Next week we fly back to Holland for ten days to empty the Dutch house and close on the sale. We hope to be lucky and receive notice that we've got our licenses to stay on Curaçao this week so we can handle our official migration in those ten days too.
I'm really looking forward to quieter, less stressful times. It seems we're really close now...

Three things that make me happy

1. Organizing stuff. I told you I was going to buy things to organize our tiny cupboard. Couldn't find the right stuff (will be looking again tomorrow), but did find this drawer set for our growing stack of papers. That will do for now. We needed the clipboards to hold papers when we're working outside (which we usually do). Clipboards make me happy too. The green one is mine of course ;-)

2. Bringing home books. There's a bookcase at the supermarket where you can leave or take books from. I wasn't feeling like reading digital so I went to see what they had. I wanted to bring home more, but I showed some restraint (the top one is a Dutch classic, a diary from a school teacher in the 1920s. Love that author's writing style and insights.)

3. This view. The house that has this view. And the slight possibility that it will be our view soon. There will be a building inspection this week and if that's okay we'll make an offer. Keeping our fingers crossed! (also: we got a message that the buyers of our Dutch house got their mortgate approved, so it seems that's also going to end well)

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three Things

Empty nest

I keep thinking I want to blog and I keep pushing it aside. I'm not sure why.  There are a lot of things I'd like to talk about, but I don't know where to start.
Yeah, I know. Let's start at the beginning. But I have no clue where that beginning would be. 
So I'm just going to jump in and share some thoughts. Maybe that'll help.
There's a lot happening right now and also there's not much happening at all.
We're still looking at houses, but they're either not what we're looking for or already taken or there's something else wrong with it.
I'd like to be all cool about that. After all, we still have a roof over our head if we don't find a house. We're still renting that little apartment and can keep doing that for as long as we need to.
The apartment is exactly what we need. It has a bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom. If it was ours, I'd change about everything, but it's functional. We spent most of our time outside anyway. But lately, I find myself feeling... ungrounded? lost? I don't know how to put it.
Not myself. That may be it.
Last week T. traveled to Bonaire for a day and I was home alone. I didn't feel so well, so after I did some shopping and finished my daily cleaning routine, I decided to give myself a day off. I spent the rest of that day on my bed, watching youtube channels like this one, this one and this one. Yes. I know. Not good.
Why would I waste time watching clean-with-me video's and vlogs from cute thirty-year-old girls with cute young children (or pregnant with another cute one)? I'm almost 48 and my children are all grown-up. I'm in a completely different stage of life.
It took me a few days of being annoyed with myself to realize that I'm having some empty nest issues here.
Our youngest girl moved out over two years ago and I thought I was coping with that just fine. But she was working with T. at that time, so she was over at our house every weekday. And the other girls visited often. Now they're 5000 miles away and we'll see them only a few times a year. We do talk on the phone a lot, but it's still different from having a noisy house full of people. So my empty nest syndrome only just really kicked in (having D. over for a week was fun, but also made us realize what we were missing).
And then this empty nest... is not a nest at all. It's just a place to stay while we're hoping to find a real home. And that's driving me crazy too, because if you take away the glitter and glamour (ahem) of being a published author, blogger, editor, bookkeeper etc. I'm just the simple housewife I've always been. I'm not happy to admit it (because I'd like to be more adventurous than this and I'm on a tropical island so why can't I just be extremely happy about that, for goodness sake) but I miss having a house to take care of. I know it sounds boring and old-fashioned, but I like cleaning, decorating, organizing, decluttering and cooking. That's who I am. And I miss being me. So sue me.
This blog post isn't leading to anything and doesn't really solve my problems, but it feels good to get it off my chest. We've scheduled another house viewing for Wednesday morning. Maybe that'll be the one.
Now if you'll excuse me. I think I'm going to buy some containers to reorganize our tiny cupboard.
(picture is a random cute house, not for sale)


Nope, I'm not the only one here taking pictures of sunsets...

Not a beach or palm trees

I'm trying to break up the beach and palm tree pictures by coming up with three other subjects.
It wasn't easy ;-)

(unrelated picture)

1. I challenged myself to hide the scales and not to weigh myself for a whole month. We're half way the month and it's killing me. Yes, I have some (ahem) issues about my weight.
My plan is  keep eating sensible like I've done for almost two years now and accept whatever weight comes of that, but I had some stressful moments these past two months and ate too much comfort food. Normally I'd be all over the scales to find out how much damage that did. And then I would need more comfort food to still my nerves about gaining weight and being afraid not getting it off again.
That's not helping, so instead I'm trying to get back to eating like I did and staying away from those scales. Only two more weeks to go.

2. When things get stressful I tend to look into buying a new planner, but the truth is, I don't need one. My current system (a mix between bullet journaling and the Moleskine week with notes layout) is serving me very well. I just have to figure out a way to write down everything that's on my mind in a way that convinces me I will manage to work through it all.

3. When D. was here, we went shopping and we both bought a new handbag. I love mine, but I have a hard time finding my stuff in it (because it's narrow and deep), so I'm sometimes considering going back to my old one. Or maybe I should try carrying less stuff?

Linking up with Carole Knits' Three on Thursday

Through her eyes

We've been very busy. Work, buying a car, looking for a house. But also... having fun with our oldest girl visiting.
It all started as a joke. She posted a picture of the snow in our family group app, T. answered with a picture of the beach. Then she posted: 'Can I come to stay with you?' And T. answered: 'Of course, if you bring an air mattress.' (we're still living in a studio apartment and have only one bed).
All in good fun.
But a day later I got a private message, quoting her father. 'Can I take this seriously? I'd love to come and I can take some days off right now.' (she works as a freelance make-up artist)
Well, why not? It turned out she didn't even need to bring a mattress, as our landlord had a third bed the fits perfectly in our 'living room'. It's a bit crowded, but we can manage for a week.
The joke started on Wednesday, the private message was on Thursday, she booked on Friday and arrived Monday evening.

So this week we've been driving around the island even more than we usually do, showing her all our favorite places, the houses we didn't buy, the beach and everything else. It's so much fun to see things through her eyes. I'm still enjoying every palm tree, every sunset and every time we visit the north coast, but for us it's familiar. For her, it's all new and exciting.
We've still got a few more days ahead of us. She flies home Wednesday evening. I'm constantly trying to fit things in with work deadlines and other stuff that can't wait. But I so happy she's here! It makes us feel like we're really living here now.