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Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van april, 2017

21-04-2017

 

This is such a weird day. It really holds every aspect of life, and all the emotions.

When we got up this morning, we were already tired because we dreaded the thing we had to do. Accompany someone whom either is angry or sad. Today the angry flower definitely blossomed fiercely.

But it didn’t matter so much, because today was going to be a wonderful exiting day. After scratching each day of the calendar like it was Christmas coming for over a week, Ramon could finally pick up his new car today. He got the go-sign from his boss to drive the car he really set his mind to. An Audi E-tron. For days on end, in every conversation the Audi passed along, or just stayed parked for a while. Even when I exhaled from delight when dinner was just a pure symphony of exuberant tastes, he would say in this moment of bliss; ‘Yes, I know what you mean….but you know what really would make this dinner stand out? With an Audi E-tron…..’Then a sort of caveman growl ‘Yessss’, would come next, to finish it off with nodding his head slowly and satisfied, while closing his eyes…..

Really?

…..

I just don’t understand such gushy emotion over a car. But not to be the horrible uncompassionate wife, I imagined it would feel the exact same way, as when I have placed an order for Flag Nor Fail gear. Not exactly knowing when it will arrive, but knowing it is on its way, makes me just as exited I guess. Not to mention the day it gets delivered….then I’m stoked! So I just keep this comparison in mind, every time he throws in the car, and I try to be just as enthusiastic about it.

 

 

So today is the day. This week several items have been send for the car, like a safety bar for the doggies to stay put in the back of the car. Even Kuzco and Malha couldn’t contain their excitement.

 

 

So I decided to surprise Ramon with a home baked cake , as celebration for our newest edition that makes Ramon smile from ear to ear.

And then Marja called me….

With the most terrible news. The oldest brother of Malha, Hudson, was terribly ill. He had a sudden loss of weight, and after some tests, it was clear he was too ill to recover. It came as such a shock. I had done my groceries, and wanted to share my small bunch of tulips I bought, with Marja after she told me, Hudson didn’t go well and probably wouldn’t make it, and she lost a friend of hers to cancer. So she just had the worst kind of day. When I rang the doorbell, she was just on the phone with Hudson’s owner. Hudson had passed away. End of his only 17 week old story…..

I had to cry so much. Even though I last saw him when he was 7 weeks old, he had grown on me just as much as all the other puppies. We had to care for him for 7 weeks, and done so with so much love…. That this news was rather upsetting me. So here is a picture of our little Superhero that didn’t make it.

 

(deep sob)

 

But to remind myself of the seven heavenly weeks spend with him, I started to make my cake. It was a wonderful distraction. I cried a bit, and then I felt a little ray of sunshine coming through.

 

 

This will be a double celebration cake. Most importantly to celebrate the new car of which we get the privilege to drive in for the next five years. And a tiny little piece of celebrating the 17 weeks of joy Hudson brought to our lives.

 

 

20-04-2017

 

Today I got mail.

Uhmmm, wrongly said…. off course I get mail, I get lots and lots of mail. But they mostly consists of bills to be payed, advertisement, extremely pushy advertisement, website notifications, and occasionally some friends or family mail.

But this particular kind of mail I received today, is the one that makes my skin tingle up to my hair, and every muscle fiber tense up from extreme happiness. Normally accompanied by bursts of high pitched laughter and loud clapping of hands.

As did all happen.

I just couldn’t believe they really finished and published an interview of little ol me.

 

 

 

I already experienced so much fun answering the questions for the opportunity to become dogs of the week with Kuzco and Malha, and share my over enthusiastic appreciation on how we got to purchase our beautiful Hiro and Wolf set, and in the meantime show my love for my furry friends by sending a link to the website.

Never ever in my life did I expect such high praising, and the opportunity given to be promoted on their website with an extended version of the questions already asked for their ‘Dogs of the Week’ section.

 

 

When I read the email, I had to read it again. Then I opened the link to the published version, and I got chills down my spine. It is funny-strange to read your own words from the answers I’d given, together with  clearly also words from pieces I wrote on my website, so wonderfully put together by a stranger, that I almost couldn’t believe it was all about me and my life with Ramon and our furry friends. It was just as if I read a beautiful piece about someone else. Someone, I would be curious enough to take a look at her website.

I felt so honored. So humble. That someone, a complete stranger, would make the time and effort to write my story, and accompany it with many of my drawings. I just couldn’t believe it. For me, this is something huge. I was…no,  AM so proud of myself. Where I once didn’t dare to show my work, started a website due to Ramon his persistence and positive stimulation, got more and more convinced of my talent every year, up to a point where  I share my passion with complete strangers, this is such a huge compliment.

I had to iron away my emotion before I could reply the email. When all the T-shirts and blouses were done ( Ramon is now so happyyyyy), I replied with all my gratitude.

I couldn’t wait to tell Ramon when he called he was on his way home. ‘This needs some celebration! I will get a bottle of wine on the way home!’ he said cheerfully.

So here I sit, a bit rosy on the cheeks of one glass too many because I finished the bottle on my own. Still feeling so happy, even though Ramon totally crashed down after his one and only glass of wine. But it made the perfect time to write down my happy feeling, so I can fall asleep after I let Malha take her last bedtime pee, without thinking of a thousand and one things because I am still so exhilarated.

So goodnight, and take a look at my interview with the wonderful creators of Hiro and Wolf.

https://hiro-and-wolf.com/blogs/journal/illustrating-paws-meet-joyce-van-balen-kleine

19-04-2017

 

I was looking through the pictures Ramon made yesterday of our walk through the dunes with Kuzco and Malha. I had written a new story about Kuzco and Malha their tail this weekend, and I knew there would be some great photos of them to use for my drawings.

 

 

While I was looking, I was amazed at how big Malha already looks. Only her tail suggests she is still a puppy, but apart from that, she really is a dog-dog.

 

 

She is 16 weeks old now, and every day we are more and more blown away by her sweetness. She still acts like a puppy, even though she wants us to believe she is a real big girl. We get to relive all the things we already experienced with Kuzco. But this time, in a totally different way. We are so much more relaxed, that everything we experience is so much more intense, because we give ourselves the time to enjoy it. Not being so stressed out of wanting to do everything perfect. Or freak out by every burp that seems out of place, and already know most of the quirky stuff we didn’t know what do with when Kuzco was growing up.

I could even laugh about the first thing she broke. This weekend she had put her teeth in the miniature dynasty staircase that is attached to Kuzco his dog bed. We had been away a little too long for shopping, and because she is clearly in her teething period, she was starting to munch down one of the banisters. Admitted, I had to repress a deep sob when I first saw the splinters scattered around the dogbed. I was still so proud of Ramon his hours and hours of work he spend on it creating it. But after a minute or so, I could only feel compassion for the pain her teeth are causing her, and laugh about it, simply because it’s not unfixable or something, just a few hours to spend being artistic with putty…..

 

 

Lots, and lots of putty….

That’s all…..

And because we were so relaxed about it, and were more worried about Malha rather than totally freaking out by the material damage, we could see her very first two missing teeth.

 

 

While I have three canines and two back teeth from Kuzco, I can’t remember having actually seen the teeth missing. I can remember though, the stuff he wrecked, because I could only be angry at the time for the things he broke. So this time, we took pictures of it. As we now do of everything she does….

 

 

We simply want to document all the stuff she does, how she is growing, and the small changes she is going through that you usually take for granted. Because we really miss not having so many pictures from Kuzco’s first year, but only having the memories. And now we have the opportunity to do so, together with Kuzco evolving as a real responsible (wink-wink) doggy.

 

 

 

A second benefit from shooting all those pictures, is having the greatest documentation of the movement and anatomy of a Cocker Spaniel e-verrrrrr, to use for my future drawings.

….Clapping hands from excitement….

Aaaaaand back to the drawingboard.

11-04-2017

Today was a wonderful day.

 

 

I finally finished the last drawing that was needed for my story of Benjamin and Kuzco. It was a story that was written a year ago, but because so much has happened over the past year, I wasn’t able to sit down and draw.

It has took me nearly a year to finish this story. And now that it’s done, I am almost nervous to post it. As if it is something official. So when I brushed the last stroke of paint onto the last drawing this morning, I hesitated. Was I really done, doesn’t it need just one more drawing?

I made up my mind while I had to catheterize again, something I have to every two hours now.

Yes, the story was finished.

But… I will do something nice and fun first, and then post my story on the website.

 

 

 

I decided to bring the drawings of the two German Sheppard’s, Kaya and Yita, to the lady of the Tearoom from the park.

It was a lovely sunny day, perfect for practising with Malha to sit next to Kuzco on my mobility scooter, instead of sitting in her puppy travel bag on my lap.

 

 

She will be 16 weeks this Friday. So she a very big girl. Just as big as Kuzco, she thinks anyway. And even though the puppy travel bag is still a very safe and comfortable place to snuggle in when she is really tired, I believed it was a good time for her to get used to sit at my feet next to Kuzco.

It went great! It was funny to see her sit so proudly next to her daddy, with her little ears flapping in the wind. We went straight to the Tearoom where I was welcomed with a nice cup of coffee on the terrace. Malha immediately went playing with her now officially new best friend, Kaya. It was just lovely to sit on terrace, enjoying the sun with the oldies lying at our feet in the shade, and Kaya and Malha playing like there was no tomorrow. Even though I still will be a little nervous when I give someone their drawing or painting I made, I am starting to get more and more sure of myself. I knew they were good, extraordinary even, so I knew she would love them. But still there was that slight feeling of anxiety. How will she react?

And off course, she was extremely happy, and utterly surprised how I managed to really get their essence on paper. ‘It’s so lifelike! It really is Kaya and Yita…. Exactly who they are.’

Well, that is always the biggest compliment. So my ego couldn’t be more boosted today. It was time to get back home to do another round of catheterization. And when I was done and finished my nap with my babies, I was ready.

So here it goes……

Tadadadadaaaaa……

My long-awaited story,Whatever happened to Benjamin?

Whatever happened to Benjamin?

It was like an escape from the zoo. Everybody running around, loud noises everywhere. The only one wise enough to lay low, was observing from his dogbed. Kuzco was amazed.

 

 

It seemed like the world  turned upside down. Kuzco is usually the one who is jumping, running, and barking, but today everyone except for Kuzco is doing so. Joyce is running after Benjamin. Benjamin is trying his best to avoid.

 

 

Jools is angry at everyone for being in such a fuzz, and Ramon is trying to help Joyce while brushing his teeth.

 

 

Toothpaste is dripping everywhere, and all the hair flying in the air from Benjamin’s evading maneuvers, eventually stick to the toothpaste that fell on the ground, making it look like little ants wearing a fur coat.

 

 

Eventually Benjamin was caught, making a very dramatic cry while he was put in his carrier.

‘O dear, why is Benjamin in a carrier? Something must be terribly wrong!’ Kuzco got out of his dog bed, and sniffed at Benjamin, who’s head pushed at the bar of the carrier.

 

 

‘Why are you in there Ben, where are you going?’ Kuzco asked Benjamin. But Benjamin was in shock, he was so scared he couldn’t answer. While it was very amusing to see what happened earlier, this made Kuzco rather upset.

Joyce and Ramon put on their coats, and left with Benjamin in his carrier.

 

 

‘O dear, o dear’… Kuzco kept mumbling in himself. He looked out the window and saw them leave in the car. The car is usually a sign of fun stuff happening, but even Joyce and Ramon looked worried when they left. He grabbed Jaap in his neck, and shook him around.

 

 

‘Gggrrrrwwww!!! Why is nobody telling me what’s going on?’ Kuzco let go of Jaap, and while Jaap was ready to land, stuffing came out of Jaap’s nose and leg. ‘O no, I’m sorry Jaap! You’re hurt. When Joyce comes home, I will ask her to fix you.’

He didn’t have to wait for long, because Joyce came home. But without Benjamin and Ramon.

 

 

‘He there, my lovelies.’ Joyce smiled when she came into the room. She sat on the ground, and Kuzco and Jools were sitting next to her. ‘Ramon is going to work, and Benjamin is at the vet. He is a little sick, and has to be examined to get better. Tonight we can pick him up again. But then you both have to be real nice to him. Because you both know that it is no fun being at the vet.’

Jools gave her a nod and a purr, and went back to her spot to lie in the sun again. But Kuzco started crying. ‘O no, it’s all my fault,’ he sobbed.

‘You silly Kuzco, how can this be you fault?’ Benjamin is just a little sick, and needs to get better. The vet will do that. You know that right?’

‘No, no, Benjamin is sick, and I have hurt Jaap, because I was angry because I didn’t know what was going on. And now Jaap is hurt and so is Benjamin, and if Jaap isn’t getting better, so won’t Benjamin!’

 

 

Joyce smiled and wiped Kuzco’s tears dry. ‘Come and help me get Jaap. I will get my sowing kit, and clear the table so I can make ‘Operation Jaap ’ happening.’

Kuzco watched how Joyce was working on Jaap. He was proud of his little friend Jaap, for not making a peep during procedure. He taught him well.

 

 

When Joyce was ready, she wiped her forehead with the bandage that was left. ‘Here is your friend dear Kuzco, be careful with him the next hour, because he has many stitches. It was a lot of work, but he made it through. You can go cuddle with him now, but don’t lick the bandage off, or it will leave an awful scar.’

‘O Joyce, I’m so happy. I know Ben is going to be alright now too.’ He gave her a kiss, and grabbed Jaap carefully in the neck to take him to his dogbed.’

 

 

A couple of hours later, the phone rang, and Joyce left to pick up Benjamin. Off course Kuzco kept a keen eye on Jaap, but his ears were focused on outside. When he heard the car pull over, he jumped around, he was so nervous. The carrier was put on the ground, and when Joyce removed the bar, Benjamin carefully stepped out.

‘Benjamin, Benjamin, how are you doing. Did they hurt you. Jaap was hurt too, but Joyce fixed him, so I knew you would be alright as well. Are you-are you?’ Kuzco jumped on Benjamin, sniffing, and asking all his questions.

 

 

But Benjamin needed his space to recover, so Joyce told Kuzco to stay back, and when Benjamin would wake up, he could calmly approach Ben and ask his questions calm and quietly. Kuzco kept staring at Benjamin, he had a giant hole in his fur, and little pieces of dried blood on the pale skin. He couldn’t wait to ask all his questions.

When Benjamin woke up, he was surprised of all the attention from everybody. He felt a lot better after his sleep, so he was all ready to tell his story to Jools and Kuzco. ‘Wow, Benjamin, you don’t even have a band aid on, even while you’ve been stabbed by needle. Jaap is stabbed too, but he does have a band aid.

 

 

You rock Ben!’ Kuzco gave Benjamin a tab on his shoulder, and Benjamin smiled his biggest smile knowing he was missed, worried for, and loved. Even by those whom he thought, wouldn’t.

 

3-04-2017

 

The last couple of days were truly gruesome. It hurt so much, constantly, that it was hard to stay bright and happy. Ramon literally felt sick of worry. And like he said this morning, while I snuggled deep into his neck because I desperately needed a good luck hug; ‘This is what I fear. The slap in my face when I see you struggle with so much pain this weekend, that this is reality. Things will only get worse. And  I so much want to hide myself from that reality. Like I can convince myself it’s not there, and it’s not gonna happen. But it is….and this is the cold hard truth. I so much want to come with you, and I hate it because I can’t.’

I snuggled him even tighter, because I really was a little bitch to him this weekend for saying mean things to him. Angry that he couldn’t join me to the hospital, even though I know he would move heaven and earth for me, to support me. And deep down, I knew I could do this on my own….. but still….

We both cried.

We both took a deep breath.

‘Good luck darling. You can do this. Call me when you’re done. Don’t panic if I don’t answer immediately, I will call you back as soon as I can. I love you.’

As soon as I can….I love you…..As soon as I can…..I love you…..

Like a mantra it played in my mind when I rode to the hospital, trying to push my lady workshop up in my mobility scooter with each possible threat of even the slightest pebble that would make the pain more even more agonizing.

I was so nervous. Would this be my prospect for now. I got a supply send for four weeks, baring the same catheterization tools I’m stuck with now. So many questions…. So many worries….

Would this mean the end of our sex life?  Would this forever hurt so much? Is there something else I can try? Why do I even have this? What’s the cause of it? Is it my kidneys or only my bladder, or both, or something else?

I cried when I sat with my bare lady workshop on the table in the treatment room. I am so thankful for the kind and knowledgeable nurse that guide me through. I was being taught how to install a catheter myself. But it was not the same horrific thing she just removed. It’s a small simple thing, and only for one time use only. So I only have to repeat this a couple times a day, and in between, my lady workshop is being left alone.

I felt rather stupid not knowing where my urethra actually was stationed. But the nurse was so sweet, I didn’t feel like crying all along the way, while I was sitting on the table, watching my lady workshop helping to open for business, and see the actual entrance being a complete surprise to me.  Apparently I always thought it was at the front, but it’s just an entrance somewhere down  the middle…..

I felt so ashamed not knowing for all these years……

We did the catheterization together, and now I’ve done it by myself, I feel confident I can do this at home.

 

 

I couldn’t ask all of my questions, since this lovely nurse was only here to help me guide through this ‘at-home-catheterization’. So I will have to wait till Thursday when I speak to my Urologist.

And Wednesday I speak with my gastrointestinal doctor to talk about my forever lasting diarrhea. Maybe it has to do with one another……

We’ll see….

For now I’m just happy I can move like a normal person. So, after I have finished my next catheter, I will walk Kuzco an Malha.

They have suffered enough of my silliness. Now it’s time to play and have fun together.

 

 

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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress