Right now







Right now I am...

...feeling more positive than I have in a long time. I was on the slippery slope to depression.
...happy to be back on Curaçao
...smiling at the plant we bought immediately after arriving. I needed something to make me feel at home.
...trying to prevent getting homesick this time. I was in November. Not good.
...getting more confident about our Dutch home really being sold. We have a buyer and will close on it by the end of March. We will travel back to empty the house before that (and to celebrate my parents '50th anniversary).
...reading a lot. Currently reading: The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. Read it before and didn't like it back then, but it's growing on me. Still think this Poirot is not the same as Agatha Christie's Poirot.
...knitting... something. A cotton rectangle. Not entirely sure what it will be. I hope to have enough of this cotton yarn to make (small) bathroom rug, but if I don't, I think I'll use it as a drying mat for dishes.
...working hard to get everything that's on my plate done in time.
...enjoying sunsets at the beach. I never, never get tired of those.
....looking forward to swimming tomorrow. We arrived Thursday, didn't get to it Friday and on Saturday T. cut his thumb, so we had to wait a few days for it to heal.
...learning to work with my new camera. I traded my DSLR (that I hardly ever used because it was to heavy to lug around) for a high level compact, but I feel clumsy operating it.
...trying to get back into the habit of blogging. Right now posts are always a good start for me to make that happen.




52 hats :: 41 - 47 ~ I give up








I know, I know. I'm so close... But 5 hats in 4 days... Well, it is possible, if I could spend all my time knitting. And that's the problem. There's so much else I need to do.
So I decided to officially declare this challenge failed. It was fun, but I don't think I'll ever do something like this again. If there's one thing I learned this year it's that setting big goals like these for a whole year is just not realistic. I had all these ideas about getting creative, writing and selling patterns, setting up an Etsy shop and growing my knitting blog. But life got in the way in every way it could. This was an extremely ridiculous year of course, but I don't think life will get any calmers soon, so no more challenges for me next year.

I think setting (and sharing) monthly goals could be fun, but I'm not even sure I'll be able to do that. Not in January, that's for sure. We'll (probably - still no real dates set) be emptying out the house in the few days we've got left before we leave to Curaçao again. I also promised my parents to handle the catering for my father's birthday on the 5th., meaning I'll be cooking and baking for 25 people a few days before we leave (I know, bad timing, but this was one of those things that I couldn't say no to). And then, once we're back on the island, we'll continue our search for that beautiful affordable home of our dreams and hopefully be moving into it.

So I think for 2019 I'll just be choosing a simple bigger project like a shawl, a cowl or a scarf (or maybe even a blanket?) that I can pick up when I feel like knitting and put everything else on the back burner for a while.

So what does a pile of 45 hats (I gave 2 away for Christmas) look like?


And spread out:


I think I'll bring them to that birthday for my family to chose the ones they like. The rest of them will be sent off to charity.

Merry Christmas!



I was planning to write a long blog post, but I ran out of time so this will have to do for now ;-)
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Yarn along :: knitting and reading



Knitting: halfway another hat. I've made a hat with this yarn before and I love it as much as I did the first time (that's why I'm going so fast, I guess). It seems my knitting mojo is back. I'm determined to finish the hat challenge despite the two-month hiatus. It may be silly, but it keeps my mind off other things, so that's good ;-)

Reading: I've read a lot of simple feelgood novels lately and I loved it. But then I read on twitter that some book bloggers were going to read War and peace by Tolstoj. That's one of those books that you always hear about (mostly how hard it is to read), but I never read it. So I decided to download it and read a few chapters to see if I would join them. Well, it's actually not that hard to read. I'm about two thirds in now (page 810 of 1270) and I'm still going strong. Even though some parts (mostly those about the battles) are boring, the main characters are interesting enough to keep reading. 

This makes me wonder... are there more of these classics that I should give a try? I've been meaning to reread Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre for ages but never did (I read them for school) and I have never read Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice or One flew over the cuckoo's nest. And those are just a few that pop into my mind, there must be a lot more. Maybe I should make a list and challenge myself to read some of them next year.

Linking up with Yarn Along on Small Things

52 hats :: 40 - a simple beanie




So, last night I finished my first hat in two months. It felt good. Like I found back a part of myself that I lost along the way. I'm not sure if this means I'm back to it, but I'm extremely happy about this simple little beanie.

Things are still unclear here. We're back in Holland now and I have mixed feelings about that. Glad to see the girls and my parents again, not feeling at home in my own house.
The house is still for sale, but there is a chance that a contract will be signed this week. Finally. The buyers want to be sure they can buy an adjoining piece of land, but that's something we can't control, so it's been a waiting game for six weeks now.
We've been trying to buy a house on Curaçao, but none of the houses we liked worked out, so when we return in January, we'll still be renting the tiny apartment. We are determined to find a real home soon though.

T.'s health is not too bad, though the cold and wet weather here are already wearing him out. I can't stop worrying about him, but part of that is my problem (anxiety), not his. Well, I hope it is.

Anyway, I cast on another hat and will be knitting to soothe my nerves. And maybe to finish the challenge. Who knows?

Trying something different


 So, it finally hit me (again). I just cannot do it all.
What does all mean, you ask?
A little list:
- paid work (bookkeeping, editing, writing press releases)
- semi-paid work (writing books and trying to build a group of faithful readers on my Dutch Writers blog/newsletters)
- keeping the house clean (our Curacao apartment is small, but there's still a lot to do. And I've been doing all laundry by hand, that takes a lot of time too (that's going to change, my washing machine will be delivered tomorrow!!!)
- being a wife, mother and daughter (spending time to talk to my family)
- grow my other Dutch blog (a lifestyle blog)
- grow or at least keep up with this blog (mostly knitting and personal blog, but oh, the ideas I have to grow it into something more)
- buy a house on Curacao and fix it up
- build apartments to rent out to people on holiday here (meaning more cleaning and bookkeeping tasks)
- knit or do other creative stuff
- read books (can't do without)
- read blogs (just for fun, but also to grow those blogs)
- take pictures (because I love that and I'd like to get better at it and maybe even be a pro someday)
- go to the beach and relax every once in a while.

And I'm sure I'm missing a few things here.
I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.
So I decided to set priorities and maybe change things up.

I was thinking I don't want to lose this blog because I love the feeling of sharing my life with a friendly community and for sharing pictures. And then it dawned on me: maybe I'd take that part to Instagram for a while? I think I'll still write bigger posts every now and then (when I finish some hats maybe), but it could be easier to just snap a picture, add a few words and share that. I'm not really sure if it'll work (I'm not that into social media), but I'm going to try.

I found some of the people commenting here on Instagram, but not all of you. If you'd like to follow me there: I'm @maggie_notastation

A real 'Curaçao' weekend

Sometimes our weekends here are very boring. Enjoyable, but not much to talk about afterwards. Just relaxing, driving around, not doing much.
Last weekend though... Not boring at all.
We started with our (almost) daily swim at Daaibooi Beach. I remembered to bring my camera this time.



Then we went home to take a shower (and admire some flowers).


We usually go to Mambo beach on Friday evenings (told you, kind of boring) but this time we went to Blue Bay Happy Hour, to meet some friends and to meet some of their friends.
One of them was a dinosaur.


That was such a fun evening! We were invited to join them at the beach the next day. So on Saturday we packed our cooler (with beer for T. and water for me), grabbed some snacks and off we went. To Kas Abou Beach.


Can you guess where some of our new friends come from? Let me zoom in a bit on their floaties.


Yep, that's an American Eagle. The other one is a Trump floatie. We stayed the whole afternoon. Swimming, talking, snacking. Loved it.

On Sunday we went to a Food Festival, but next time we'll try it for dinner, not for lunch. It was really hot and not very populated.


The burrito we had (first time we tried one!) was very good though. And the hot dog we had a few hours later wasn't too bad either.



We drove around the island for a while and then we headed home, but on our way home, we remembered that Kokomo beach has a familystyle Happy Hour on Sundays, with a rock band playing. One of the things we really miss on this island is good music, so we decided to check it out.


The music was great, so we stayed until they stopped playing. And we got to watch a perfect sunset too.



Also, this happened. Found a shop that carried (some) knitting needles and cotton yarn.


So now I'm knitting myself some potholders, because I actually need them. But I guess I'd even knit something I don't need, just because I'm so happy to be knitting again.

How was your weekend?