Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van juni, 2016


I feel terrible.

Back in Italy I chose to double my medication to pull me through, but boy, does that come to haunt me now.

My Crohn was acting up because of that decision, and for three weeks I have been visiting the toilet countless times for the number two disguised in a number one. Like a wolf in sheep clothes. And now, as a result, I have suffered urinary or kidney infection symptoms.

So not only do I visit my personal room for, what feels like an endless amount of times, number two in sheep clothes, but number one as well.




I have decorated our toilet many years ago, as if it was a cosy little tearoom. Because I spend so many times spilling my guts, literally, I wanted it to be a nice little room to comfort me during the many and long, horrible moments. Ramon even changed the lights for a garland of Christmas lights against the ceiling, to dim the lights for a less graphic display.

But this last two weeks, I am actually sitting more in my cosy little tearoom, than kneeling. So I experience the interior from a completely different angle this time. I have noticed that my floor is a complete storyboard.

When I want to focus to zone-out, I always find a spot to stare at, so my eyes can create an illusion of shapes, due to the light or the lines and texture created on the surface. Some regular staring places always have the same reoccurring image. And sometimes, if I stare long enough, I see many different shapes, but they too always remain on the same place, to be found again.




Except for my granite toilet floor I’ve come to notice. I keep seeing new shapes, and some never to be found again. There are all kinds of things happening on that little half a square meter. Persons and objects that make a story….

An intriguing story I may add….

Some shapes are reoccurring, but other ones are totally lost, never to be found. Killed in battle I imagine. And some betrayed by their kinsmen, to be reappeared each time on a different spot, scarred for life. ‘There can only be one….’

Hmmmm, yes indeed…. Each visit to the loo is a like visit through time. And like a Highlander as Connor MacLoad, I will defeat this….

Taking a deep-deeeeeeep breath………

I will go to the physician tomorrow morning, to again…. Press the matter of my condition, and plea for help. Even though the test results aren’t clear, the physical pain I am going through should be enough to try and find the source. Because I know the inflammation that is most likely the cause, is pretending not being there because of my meds. So I truly hope, my imaginary sword will decapitates my physical deficiency, and I will receive the ‘the quickening’, so I am one step further to ‘the Prize’, and feel better again.

And maybe then I will encounter my toilet floor as I used to.


Last part of our holiday, besides Italy, was the TT races in Assen. A couple of days… boys only.

From Friday till Monday Ramon would drink, party, barbecue, and see bikes, biker dudes and dudettes, and off course pretty girls.

Each year he goes with four of his friends, and each year we say goodbye with a huge wink and saying as if it was a boy scout honor, ‘whatever happens in Assen, stays in Assen.’

We always laugh about it, because we both know nothing stays in Assen with Ramon. He always calls or apps me when he goes to sleep, and when he wakes up. And especially when he had a lot to drink, I am always honored with a little ‘I-wove-you-sooooooo-much’ call, that always sounds like he doesn’t remember which side of the phone he needs to speak through.

I love that I am always on his mind, even though I don’t expect him to. If he decided not to call, it would be fine by me. I can imagine there a times when you just want to leave home behind, and just have a crazy fun time with friends.

But this year was the same as any other. I got an app on the first day somewhere way past midnight. It was the renowned ‘I-wove-you-soooooo-much, and I’ll call you tomorrow’ app.

It made me smile.

The next day he send a photo of a claw machine, with a Wonder Woman doll sitting in the front.


claw machine


‘Can’t get her out….’ He texted me.

‘WHAAAT!!! Wonder Woman?? Oh my God!! How can she not want to come out, I am her homeland!’ I answered with silliness.

‘I can’t get it done. I already spend 20 euro’s, and still no Wonder Woman, my Wonder Woman.’

Awh, that was the sweetest thing that made my heart melt. 200 km away, surrounded by his friends, and no doubt countless of beautiful girls, and Ramon sees a Wonder Woman doll at a village fair, thinks of me,  and spends all that time and money to get me one.

‘You are the sweetest guy in the whole wide world for trying so hard. I will print out this picture and put it on the fridge, because this is just a wonderful story, and makes me feel so loved. Just let it go, and have a wonderful time.’

But he didn’t let go. Around 3 AM, he send me this picture.


wonder woman


‘I got her! Thanks to a friend. He told the girl behind the counter to please-please-please just give me the doll, because I’d already spend 50 euro’s trying to get the doll for my wonder woman.’

I can only imagine the flirtation that had gone around to make the village fair lady give in, and give Ramon the doll. Because they succeeded. She gave Ramon the doll!


wonder woman in car


The next day when he was on his way home, he send me pictures of Wonder Woman and her journey to her homeland. He made me laugh so hard.


wonder woman on the road


Sweet, crazy guy….

wonder woman home




I’m tired.

I’m loving this holiday, but I’m exceeding all my physical boundaries to an entirely unknown galaxy known to mankind.

I  made a choice to take more meds every single day. I didn’t have any seizures, but my body and head hurts like hell. It is telling…


even yelling to me…

to stop and listen. But I ignored it for most of the time.




Two is company, three is a crowd. I felt more comfortable being by myself, when Ramon went for a ride, just like today. It was the perfect time to give my body and mind some rest. Just enough to get through the pain without letting it show too much.

Today was the last day of our adventure. Tomorrow morning we will be heading home again.

This day was idyllic and intense. Like it was the last bite of a perfect meal. I wanted every synapse in my brain to take in every second of this last day here in Italy.




Ramon went for his last tour through the beautiful mountains with the most stunning views.




The sun was shining early in the morning. I woke up, and the light in the tent was so pretty. I snuggled tightly against Ramon who was still fast asleep. I drew all the things I liked about this holiday softly with my fingertips on his back. The mountains, the gondola, the sun, the tent, the beautiful art, me swimming in the lake, my hiking boots…..

And then he woke up. I gave him a kiss, and he pulled me tight. It felt so serene.


tired face


make up


I sat up straight and tried to pimp my tired face with a little make up. He watched me put in my greatest effort while snoozing next to me. We drank our coffee in the morning sun. And after Ramon drove away on his bike, I strolled to the lake.




It was still early, so there were barely any people.




I undressed myself, and instead of just only puddle with my feet in the water, I decided to take a swim…. all by myself. After all these days, I didn’t have any seizures. I believed I could take that risk. I stayed in the shallow water, just to be sure. And I can tell you… It was the most wonderful moment I experienced this week. As if I was a healthy young woman, taking an early morning swim, totally Zen, to start the day fresh and full of energy.




The water was so calm, the surroundings were so peaceful. Only birds that sang their song, and pebbles that made their scratching sound when the ducks were walking along the water site. With every swim stroke I took, I looked at my hands pushing away the clear water, repeatedly whispering the words;

‘Sublime…simply sublime….

Out of all the wonderful things we have done this holiday, I think this simple tiny moment of just feeling just like everybody else, made the finishing touch. Besides all the wonderful, fun, romantic, moments I got to spend together with Ramon, and sharing precious times with friends, this is a special one.




Pretending for a moment to be a normal healthy 36 year old woman, feeling happy, strong, full of energy, not being dependent upon others, and do as I please. Not thinking about the risks or dangers of everything I would like to do. It was definitely pretending big time, because everything hurt so badly, it didn’t even give me a change to be real. With the exception of being happy off course. But it did give me a glimpse.

A glimpse of the person I so desperately like to be.

But almost immediately, I started to rethink.

…. would I be the same person, I now like so much? And would I live just as intense as I do now?

Perhaps not. I probably only be healthy, and I would have never appreciated this simple tiny moment for what it was.



A frame, cut out of my life, to tell me how precious every moment in life is.

This was a beautiful week, in a beautiful country, with beautiful people.




There will be a lot of photo’s to go through, to decide which one will end up on our fridge to light up my lesser days.




This day was wonderful. Bad weather was the forecast of today, so we decided to hop in the car, and drive to another mountain where something called ArteSella would be. Arte Sella is an international exhibition of contemporary art, born in 1986, which takes place in open air fields, in the woods of Sella Valley ( Borgo Valsugana, Trento). It was high on my to-see list, especially the Cattedrale Vegetale, the green cathedral. I had such great expectations when I read their website. I regretted that we were one week too early. There are also concerts being held in nature, between the artworks, starting next week.


green cathedral


When we arrived the weather was great! Windy, but warm. And when we arrived at the entrance, I immediately went in happy hyper mode.




A charming green covered pergola with little green colored bistro sets placed in line, made me think of an Italian sauce commercial. It was a most idyllic scene. Just to get the taste of it, I wanted to sit there… live, laugh, and love the people I am with, and enjoy pastas, antipasti, olives and wine.

For now I settled for a cappuccino, it was way too early for such extravaganza. I just really wanted to sit there, and let my fantasy color the moment.




To my, non-shared, surprise, it turned out to be run by alternative people. Everywhere we looked there were little signs suggesting it, and when we were presented the choice of menu, everything was either organic or bio-dynamic. The coffee was just fine, but the coke Eric ordered, was one of the weirdest tasting coke ever. I cannot remember if he finished his drink, I only remember this was certainly the cause of the, live-laugh-and-love moment, that suited my image of the Italian sauce commercial.


joyce and ramon sillyness


Then we walked the route of the ArteSella, and I loved it so much. It reminded me of the open air museum in Antwerp. It was so beautifully done. Ramon and I probably have shot 500 pictures that day in ArteSella alone. I am grateful we were able to visit this museum. It was everything I expected it would be.




We continued our quest to Trento, a historical city, only 45 minutes away. We enjoyed some wine and beer together, and after some sightseeing,  we headed to the town near our camping site, to eat some dinner. Italians know how to cook real food. My-di-my….. It was foodgasm all around. And again, the surroundings were just so idyllic, it was a great compliment to the food and coziness between the four of us. A very good day, if I do say so myself.


joyce and ramon


I thought I could push through, and just ignore the pain and exhaustion. But when I woke up this morning, I could cry. I couldn’t move my head, and with every step I took, it felt like heaven pushed my head to the ground, like a foot crushes an ant.




This was not going to be my day. Ramon wanted to go for a ride on his bike, and I really, really, didn’t mind. I wanted to spend the day alone, take a little rest, hoping my seizures would subside to a level that would be doable for now. I didn’t feel like inflating our air matrass again, so I settled for a flat cold bed and tried to sleep some more.




The weather was great! I woke up with a clear blue sky, and the sun soon came to make it the perfect day. I got up, watched the photo’s Ramon had send me during a stop, wore my wonder woman bikini, and sat next to the tent, and enjoyed the peace and quiet that surrounded me. I hoped some of the superhero stuff would rub off, so I would feel a little better than I did this morning.

And it did…. Off course.




It dropped to a level I could manage again. When Ramon returned from his ride, he took me to the lake. I so much wanted to take a swim, but didn’t dare to on my own. The moon was already shining his light upon the water, so it felt rather chilly without the sun warming our bodies.




But it felt so utterly romantic, to swim in quiet water, all by us lonesome. We didn’t stay long, but it was the most perfect moment. Something I will keep in my heart. I asked Ramon to film it, so I will catch a frame from it, to put it on the fridge. My little happy Zen moment, to remember every time I walk by.




We took a hot shower after it, and enjoyed the evening outside the tent with a little wine and  whiskey, watching Ramon his photos from his ride.






I’m okay now, so tomorrow I want to see more of Italy and enjoy the company to its fullest.






Today; visit Ducati factory, and then…. Venice.




Oh how I love Venice.




The Ducati factory tour was fun and very interesting to see, but for me, Venice was the best part of the day. Again, it rained when we left early in the morning. With a two hour drive to Ducati, the weather didn’t change much. But when we arrived, the humidity was 95% and the temperature 25 degrees celcius. The holiday feeling started to return. Eric was as happy as a child. He wanted to visit the factory since he drives a Ducati, and is one of the biggest fan of motorcycle races I have ever met. I almost got emotional as well, just by recognizing all the feelings that rush through your body, when you meet somebody or something you admire. It was such a sweet memory that resurfaced for me; the meet and greet with Dana Linn-Bailey. So I think I enjoyed watching Eric more than the whole Ducati education tour.


Then we headed to Venice, and the weather became better and better. I wanted to shoot everything I spied with my little eye.




In fact…. I think I did…




Everything was just so beautiful.




I remembered my aunt and uncle once told that the smell in the streets were horrible. But they went on a warm summers day, and apparently  the waters that run through the city is also used as a sewer. So the warmer and dryer it gets, the more it stinks. But luckily it hasn’t been that warm and dry yet, so it was good.




We walked for miles and miles, every little nook and cranny was covered and put on camera. But the highlight of Venice we came to see, was the San Marco square. I was so exhausted, I shed a tear when I inhaled the awesomeness of it all. My head was killing me, I crossed my physical boundaries on way too many levels, but I loved being there so much!


venice by night


We even had dinner in Venice alongside the water. It was utterly charming, especially when all the lights turned on when it became dark. I wouldn’t have want to miss it in the whole wide world.




Ciao bella Venezia.


It’s raining cats and dogs here, but this morning it finally stopped. We decided to go hiking. It was supposed to be a short walk so the guys could go for a ride in the afternoon. Boy, did it all turned out differently.




It started good, we were fresh and full of good spirit. But it all went south when it started raining again.


We left with all our stuff still outside, and opened our windows to let the wind cool the tent and the camper. Anouk panicked, and started to walk in a super-fast pace. She wanted to get back to their camper to try and safe everything from becoming soaked. We already gave up, we wouldn’t be back in time anyway, so why rush.




We split up, and continued our walk in our own speed. It turned out to be a very adventurous hike. We got astray from the hiking path, so the road was full of narrow, muddy paths, with obstacles such as ancient roots, slippery stones, streams with little waterfalls to jump across, and even a swamp to pass through. I loved every minute of it.




When we took a break at a perfect spot at the lake, I proudly showed my dirty legs, and even worse boots. I hated to buy these boots, because why buy shoes you probably wear only once? Well… now I was happy I bought them, and a pure love relationship between my feet and boots, was blooming and blossoming from that moment on. Now it really were tough man boots, as if I was a serious hiker. I loved it!




The hike took way much longer than we thought. We were exhausted. I was glad I took extra meds with me, otherwise I would never have made it without having at least 30 or more seizures.

When we got back to the camping site, our camp-neighbours had zipped up our tent. Only one window they missed, was still open. Sadly it was exactly where our clothes and bed were at. Ramon and Eric still went for a ride after our mega intense hike for just us little old first timers. But sadly during their rainy tour, Eric’s bike broke down. Ramon picked up Eric and his bike somewhere on a rainy spot on the mountain. As if even mother nature was sad about what happened. So from that moment on, the bike was parked on the trailer, and Ramon had to ride alone in the days to come.

When the day was at its end, we were all tired, wet, cold, and disappointed. Because this whole trip was for Ramon and Eric to ride the mountains of Italy together.




But I on the other hand, was proud and happy as well. My first time ever, hike and camp, and already I feel like a pro. Ramon cleaned his boots before we went to sleep, but not me. I want to be reminded of my adventure when I look at my boots. They carried me through slippery sucking mud, rivers, and scary little snakes and other eerie creatures. These boots are some serious ass kicking hikers now!




on the road


We are still on the road. We are heading to our pit stop in Germany, and already I’m having so much fun!


We stayed at our friends, Eric and Anouk, where we could sleep in a camper. The early bird catches the worm, so we woke up at 5 am, to get on the road and start our journey. It was a smooth ride. Long…. But barely any traffic jam.




At our first stop, I needed to pee. Ramon waited for me, and when I came back, I already saw a different person. His eyes looked happy. I gave him a kiss. I loved to see his bright old self again. I snuggled against him when we walked back to the car, until my right eye spotted a claw machine with DC toys in it.


‘O- my-gosh-o-my-gosho-my-gosh! Ramon…. Superman!!! Ahhh, can I? Plea-aaaase?’


I started laughing out loud, because it was just some silliness. But on the other hand my feet didn’t want to walk any further.


‘You want one? Then I will get you one.’


And like a first date, we walked, well … Ramon did anyway, I bounced, towards the claw machine, and pointed at the one I wanted. He put the 50 cents in, and like a skilled controller he dropped the claw on Superman’s butt, and pulled him up on his undies to be dropped in the hole. Light started to flash, and a terrible computerized music started to play.


You Won!!!!’ I screamed with the high pitched voice of surprise. I jumped up and down, clapping my hands. He shrugged his shoulders like it was an everyday thing. With my Superman in my right hand and my real hero in my left hand, I gazed at his beautiful face like our first date couldn’t go wrong anymore. ‘I’m having so much fun Ramon!’




When we arrived at the camping site near München, it finally stopped raining. The surroundings were beautiful.




And while I was ordered to sit and be pretty, (Hahaha), Ramon put our tent up. After a nice dinner, the guys stayed up, and the girls went to sleep.




‘ O my God, here I go…’ I thought to myself. ‘My very first time, sleeping in a tent.’




I made a selfie to send to my mother. This is really a special moment, something I had to share with someone who knows my adversity of the whole camping matter. But while I am writing this early in the morning, lying in the tent, hearing raindrops falling on the canvas, birds singing their songs, I feel nothing but pure exhilarated joy.




It’s light and cozy, not cold at all, and Ramon is tucked against me. Our safe little canvas womb. I think I am starting to like this camp thingy.




Oh my gosh, it’s getting so close! Tomorrow we will be on our way to our friends, and then off to Italy.

I’m a bit stressed out, but it’s happy stress. This week did not go as I planned, so my whole preparation schedule which I perfectly spread out through the week, is all coming down to today and tomorrow morning. Some things I had to scratch of my to-do list, because otherwise I would never make it in time. A little part of me hates it, but I’m kind of surprised how easy I could prioritize and compromise.

So, I think I am almost done packing. I have to smile about how much we are going to take with us. It almost feels like moving. I still will have to shorten some of Ramon’s pants, and tomorrow morning I will bake an apple pie as a thank you gift for letting us use a camper to spend the night, before we head out to our first stop in Germany. We will bring Kuzco to my parents. I will miss him terribly, but I know he is going to have a great time with his grandparents.

Today I also had to go to the psychiatrist for an intake. It felt good, even though my first impression after 5 minutes, made me wonder how this was going to evolve. Just the little things that immediately made me feel uneased. She sat on a higher chair than me, she immediately overwhelmed me with an intro with way too much information about formalities, and while she spoke, she kept her arms crossed. And what made matters even worse, is that she answered a telephone call during our talk. That only sends the message, that I’m not important enough for her undivided attention.

But I have learned by now, that you can transform that closed and uninterested attitude. So I made her aware I didn’t appreciate the disturbance, and sat up straight on my little chair, and rested my hands on my legs. Within a couple of minutes she unfolded her arms, and I felt a little more equal after she sat more comfortable in her chair. I told her what’s been going on in my life, especially the last year. And while I was telling her all the stuff, my mind started to connect some things together. Things I hadn’t connect before. I think I know what I need to work on, but I need some guidance. So I am glad I have a next appointment with her to work it through. In fact, I’m looking forward to our next appointment. This is going to be alright. I have a good feeling about this.

But first……


joyce kleine


I used to suck at asking for help. I must say I’m getting better at it, but when it is for something without a medical urgency, I always wait until it’s almost too late to ask, because I want to try to do it on my own, and not be a burden.

But this time, due to Ramon’s persistency I must add, I was well in time when I asked for help. Kuzco had to go to the dog salon to be groomed. Ramon has to take a day off when we go, because it usually takes about three hours until we can pick him up again, and it is a half hour drive. But all his days off were spend on hospital visits, so he couldn’t take Kuzco to the groomer this time.

I asked my sister. I felt horrible she had to arrange all sorts of things to make it possible, because my nephew and niece had to go to school. But I was told not to worry, because she was glad to be able to assist me.

To be honest, I enjoyed the time we spend together, so much. When my niece and nephew are with her, I have such a hard time keeping my attention to her, or to anyone who is around for that matter. Everything about me wants to take in every Nano-second of every giggle, every outburst of joy, every fantasy story they tell when they are playing with their toys. My social manners are out the window, and I would rather only talk and play with them, than socialize with the adults in the room. So I am torn between keeping part of an adult conversation, and my total mesmerize of those two little people.

Usually the little people win.

And thus miss every conversation about what’s going on in their lives.

It is a dark and very not-so-nice side of me… I know…. You would never have guessed this about me. Wink-wink.

But sad to say, it is true.




So to today, I spend the day together with my sister. In the car, at the groomer, at my mother’s ( turned out to be her greatest surprise and joy to have sit for a moment with only her little girls), and when we picked up Kuzco again, I sat for a while with her and my brother in law enjoying the nice weather on their balcony.

I was completely pooped, and when I got home, Kuzco and I went to bed, only to get out by the time Ramon came home from work. These things are huge undertakings for my head, and I know that tomorrow I will pay the price. But it was more than worth it. Kuzco’s winter Ugg’s are nicely cut to summer-proof sandals, and his heavy curly ears full of knots, have been replaced to light fluffy, straight haired ears.




And the time I spend with my sister today, I hold dear. It was good to spend some time alone, and actually talk to her and listen to her stories. We both agreed we must do this more often, and I couldn’t agree more.

Because when the kids are near, Joyce is being sucked into their sphere.



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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress