Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van december, 2017



Christmas morning, and I’m sitting on the floor next to the warm stove, the little lights in the Christmas tree gives a gentle glow the still gloomy morning light. And I am feeling worried…

My little bundle of joy has curled himself up on a pillow we put next to the stove, not to snuggle, but to warm his body that’s shivering from pain.

We’ve been to the vet Saturday, late in the evening. He suddenly couldn’t and wouldn’t want to move, and when he did, he walked with his back curved like a rainbow. We still don’t know exactly what is wrong with him. It may be his spine, but it very well could be his prostate. His prostate felt a little swollen after the vet’s  examination. Which may be caused by the chemical castration he had three weeks ago, that causes  a high level of testosterone  in his blood.

I feel horrible.

If that’s the case, I feel guilty as hell. We decided it would be the best solution to still go to Paris, in case Malha has her first cycle right then and there. That would mean, Kuzco is suffering because of our wrong doing. At least, that’s how it feels.

He looks so small, sad, and full of pain. It makes our hearts bleed for him, and feel so very powerless. Not at all in a Christmassy spirit. The only thing we can do to comfort him, is keeping him warm, and give him his painkillers. We got enough to cover Christmas-  and Boxing-day, and even got morphine if that isn’t enough to make him feel better. Thank God the painkillers work well, and he shows definite signs of improvement. But when it wears off, he immediately is full of pain, and curves up like a rainbow.

We give him a thousand and one cuddles, and kisses along, and our hearts start to sparkle of hope and joy when he wags his tail, straighten his back, and smiles again, when the painkillers work their charm. A sort of little Christmas gift. But Wednesday we will go to see the vet again, just to make sure what’s wrong with him.


It was double a party. Two celebrations on one day.



Malha turned one, and it was my parents 40th anniversary. So lots of preparation to do. I think that was the most fun of all. All the preparations ahead.


Buying the ingredients for the first birthday cake and cookies of Malha,



baking the cake and cookies,



searcing a pressie for Malha to open, balloons and garlands to hang around the house, and shopping for my parents surprise.


We had such a fun night shopping. Our budget was very limited, so what in heavens name do you buy for something as special as a 40th anniversary. If it was up to me, I would send them on an all-inclusive trip, or redecorate the house or something like that. And then Ramon said the most silly, but wonderful thing.


‘Why don’t we buy them a goldfish? That will certainly be something out of the box, something they would never expect, and it’s funny as hell.’


I had to let it sink in for a moment, and with nanoseconds passing by, my smile went up from ear to ear.




I think that’s great idea. It can only go one way or the other. There is no in between. Either they will burst into laughter, or they will frown their eyebrows, thinking how in the hell we could think of something so stupid! And then decline graciously off course. In that second case, we would take the little goldfish home with us. No harm’s done.


So we went to the local garden warehouse, and went shopping for nothing other than…. A goldfish, with a decorated house and all for it to live in.



We were full of giggles and filling each other’s sentence what we would write in our letter to make it just as fun and puzzling, so my parents really would have no idea a goldfish is in the gift box. I was a little nervous how they would react. Even though we would keep the fish ourselves if it was not wanted, it would be more pleasurable they would love our thoughts and effort to give something to smile about, and they would never ever forget.



They read the letter together, and the anticipation on their faces was priceless. They really had no clue what so ever. Exactly what we were hoping for. And then the revelation……


My mother and father burst into laughter. Tears of laughter rolled down their cheeks, and the disbelieve of receiving a goldfish plus fully decorated fish tank for their 40th anniversary, was beyond their wildest imagination.



After a lovely time with the family all together, we went home and celebrated our own big party!



The excitement, and hyper activity of not knowing what to do first, so bouncing around like Tigger, doing everything at once, was so overwhelming.



The happiness, joy and thankfulness was as though she was a tiny little human girl experiencing her very first birthday party.



Whilst Kuzco over the years slowed down in hyper enthusiasm of a tiny toddler, but happy, joyful, and thankful as that of a 10 year old, Malha was unstoppable.



We loved it.



We laughed so hard, and we loved so deeply, it was a precious moment to store deep in our minds to never forget.





‘Justice League will be on screen in your Movie Theatre for the last time. Make sure you haven’t missed it!’

Wow, this was my lucky shot!

I thought I missed it already, because it was in theatre when I was testing the medicine. Ramon had to go away to Germany for two days for work, so who better to call than dear old dad to join me? I knew this was going to cost me a lot, so to build in a safety precaution, I thought it would be wise to stay at my parents’ house after the movies. It still would be energy draining, but less if I would  go home after the movies, and besides, I knew I would make not only my father extremely happy, but my mother as well. After this shitty time we’ve gone through, and the rough prospect of life I have laid before me, I knew she would love to have me all to herself for a moment, as her little girl back home.

But what a smack in the face!



The ride home with Kuzco and Malha with me on the mobility scooter, was extremely exhausting. Far, far more than I thought it would be. So after a ‘hello, I love you’- hug, I was send to bed. And I couldn’t even argue, even though it frustrated the hell out of me. I wanted to sit down with my mother, and drink some tea while we would chitchat before I would go to the movies with my dad. But there was no way I could see the movie if I didn’t rest for a while. And I really, really wanted to see the movie. In fact, I needed to see the movie. I needed some Super Hero Inspiration, just to keep my head lifted as it felt so hard to keep it high.



We saw the movie, and we had a great time together. And ohhh, how I cried. This was my church time. I even started to cry at the beginning of the movie. Superman was interviewed by some kids, and was asked what his favourite thing was on earth. And it was answered  with a superhero gaze into the sky…. Which you knew he thought of Lois Lane…. And I immediately thought of Ramon. Straight followed by a scene with a bum and his dog, sitting on the sidewalk holding a cardboard written; ‘I’ve tried.’ I can’t even hold back my tears writing these words…

So yeah, I enjoyed the movie very much, and enjoyed the one on one time with my dad, and mom the next morning.  But the whole ordeal cost me far more than I wished. While I wouldn’t have want to trade it for the world, because this mother/father/daughter time was important as well, I had to sacrifice the next two days. I couldn’t do anything else than sleep to keep my body from shaking, and my seizures get passed safely on to the cushions around me.

I used this time away from civilisation, as an excuse to not box my Hanukkah decorations already. But now I know the real reason why.



The moment I removed the pins from the garland this morning, a big lump was stuck in my throat, and I started to cry.

‘What should I do with it? Shall I throw it away, as I most likely will not get to use it next year? Ramon sawed all the letters for me once, and I painted them a festive  print and colours that would fit in our interior, but he did so especially for me. He knew how much it meant to me, but he has no feelings what so ever on any kind of religion. So it has no use to keep. Better to throw it away then….

Good riddance goodbye.’

But while the last words got stuck in my head, with my hands pushed firmly into my side, they slowly lost their strength, and hang loosely beside me, with my head following that same movement.





I am not throwing it away already. It doesn’t take any space in the attic, and maybe it can hang on my bedpost next year, when my body still hasn’t given up and I am stuck to the dialysis all day. Or whatever…. I will not focus on the end, even though it is a reality we are facing. I will focus on today, and today is not the day to cry, and certainly not to throw away stuff that still holds any meaning to me. I will focus on Malha’s birthday next Saturday. A happy joyful day, with a birthday cake to bake, and lots, and lóts of cookies. Something to smile about.









This week went actually rather well.


No crazy emotional outburst, my ulcer seems to be healing, medical food stays down, energy going up in tiny little steps. But at least it is going up. Which made me feel confident enough to go to physical therapy last Thursday.


The week before was terrible. Fun, but terrible. We played with foam balls like I was a one hundred and twelve year old person, sitting on a chair, with a terrible case of tremors. My curls were the only ones who gave the impression they were vibrantly happy, full on energy, shaking their entire length  like there was a hefty Salsa party going on. The rest of my body was like alabaster, the kind of white you could almost see through, and my whole posture was that of a weeping willow.  I could barely get home, and I slept the rest of the day having far more seizures in between than I could handle.


But this Thursday, I felt better. Probably because my stomach hurt less. So, after convincing my therapist of my enthusiastic-full-on-energy-ready- to -go!! , we played with foam balls like I was a vibrant one hundred and twelve year old, on a hip recovery. Standing on my feet like an athlete ready to begin, and wobbling around after 2 minutes, feeling exhausted, but…..happy.


I haven’t laughed so much during exercise in ages. Instead of being let down by my own body, and angry at myself for failing something simple, I actually had fun. Yes, I got exhausted within moments, but I played tennis this time. Which I hate, because I suck at it. And even hit the ball every time!!!  Okay, plastic rackets and a foam ball, but hé… Serena Williams also had to start from somewhere. Right?


I had such an positive glow after physical therapy, that I almost felt I could take on the world. I was so looking forward to Friday night. We were going to a company dinner of Ramon, and we would go out for a drink somewhere after. It’s been so long since we went out for a night, and I know how important it was for Ramon. A couple of years back, after his aunt died, we went for a drink in a bar, and had such a great ‘normal’ night out. He told me he missed this part of social life, and he missed flirting and ‘dancing’ with me without thinking of life for a moment. We continued our date nights, and we loved it both so much. But after our favourite bar ended up in flames, we stopped going out.


So this night, I wanted to go out. I wanted a little of what we had, here and now in Haarlem, after we would finish a lovely time with Ramon his colleagues. We went to the hairdresser the day before.



I could honestly not go out with my 6 months overdue haircut. So when we were ready to go, I looked fabulous. Dressed up nicely, pretty hair, a little make-up and some nice perfume. I felt great, strong, confident and happy.



Until we entered the restaurant. It was like a can of Sardines. Way too many people in a cramp room. My strong and fabulous appearance was thrown out the window within minutes. I wanted to cry. This was not how it was supposed to be. I could hold on to the main course, but then it was game over. Exhausted, excruciating headache, I could barely walk or see straight. So Ramon had to take me home.



I hadn’t even thanked his colleagues for the beautiful flowers they send to us over the weeks, which made me so happy. I hated myself. I was so disappointed with myself. But mostly because I couldn’t give Ramon a moment of normalcy. A fun night out, together.


But I didn’t want to pout, or feel bad. For a moment I looked and felt good, and I did get to see everyone, even if it was only for that short of time. And maybe we can still have a fun night out in Paris.


So when Ramon dropped me off, I lit the fourth candle on my Chanukkia, spoke my own little prayer softly in my head, and dropped myself on the couch.



Together with my little hope of light shining on our mantle, Kuzco and Malha, and aaaallllllll of her friends, snuggled against me, I let my sadness go. Tonight wasn’t all that bad, and it still was a rather good week.








Ramon was asked to shoot pictures of the new born puppies of Maya on Sunday in the afternoon. A week ago, she had another litter, not by Kuzco, but adorable just the same.

Marja Whats-apped me when the first three of nine were born.



I couldn’t wait to see them. So I already had taken a look earlier this week, and I warned Ramon only to take pictures. Because one look, and I can hear Cruella De Vil her famous sentence come out of Ramon his mouth; ‘I want those puppies!!!!’  with spraying on the letters P off course to emphasise the enthusiasm.



It finally started to snow late in the morning, just as the weather forecast had promised. So after a very slow Sunday morning start, we went out with Kuzco and Malha before we had to go the puppies, to play in the snow.

I loved-loved-lóved to actually witness Malha’s first encounter with snow. It made us both smile big-time, even though Ramon was a bit grouchy because I ran too eagerly outside, so he couldn’t prepare the settings of the camera while it was neatly covered in a large freezer bag to protect it from the falling snow.



But never the less, he shot some fantastic pictures!



And the smile and wonder on Malha her face was priceless. She couldn’t stop making snow angels rolling on her back.



It’s funny to see what snow does to children and doggies the same. Even an old girlfriend from the block, who strongly believes Malha has a serious case of ADHD, so better to avoid or be snippy at, was smiling, running, and playing together with Kuzco ánd Malha.



We completely lost track in time, and had less than 30 minutes to warm ourselves up for a bit, and to remove the ice balls from Malha’s fur, before we had to go to the puppies.



He didn’t say it out loud, but the twinkle in his eyes when he saw all 9 puppies snuggled deeply into Maya her fur to drink her milk, said more than enough.




He couldn’t stop snapping pictures. It was a little like travelling back in time. A year to be exact.



Because everything looked, smelled, and sounded the same when Malha was born.



It’s funny how fast you forget those little things.

So when we walked back home, we looked at each other with a big smile, when Malha jumped into Ramon his arms. Unbelievable how fast she has grown, but she will always remain our little puppy I guess, even though she has tenfolded her size.



I had a wonderful, wonderful day!

It was exactly how I hoped  it would be.



We went to the Christmas market in Haarlem, and then we would pick out a tree and buy fried dough.

That is something that became sort of tradition, every time we bought a Christmas tree. Every time we were swooned by the sweet vanilla scent of freshly baked fried dough and apple beignets, and hungry enough by working hard, picking out the best tree out of the thousands of trees packed up together on the farmers land in the in the cold December air, to not resist. And thus driving home with a much too tall a tree sticking out of the back of the car, and hot sweet steamy smelling damps filling the interior of the car, that took at least three days until the smell got out.

That’s exactly how I wanted, what may be our last Christmas tree shopping adventure, would be again. A sweet trip down Memory Lane.

But I think this was even better! Even though I felt terrible from the ulcer I am having at the moment.



The city did its best to cover you with Christmassy feelings.



Pretty lights everywhere, at least four different Christmas songs loudly blasting through the streets, and the smell of mulled wine, warm hams, Christmas greens, and warm waffles and fried dough, filled your nostrils at every corner. It was super-duper cold, and we even got a bit of white from the sky to make the whole Christmas idea complete.



When we took a rest on a terrace with heaters to warm me up a bit, we went on our search for the prettiest Christmas tree. We couldn’t reach an agreement to which one was the prettiest. I already knew exactly which one I wanted. No other tree could match it’s perfect imperfection. But I didn’t mind scuffing along all the other trees, and let their scent stick to my gloves every time I let my fingers through their branches.

‘It’s an ugly misshaped tree! I even think we should get a discount for buying this one. It doesn’t even have a proper Christmas peak… They all are doing the happy dance when we drive off with this one, glad to be rid of it.’ Ramon said. I could only laugh at his sarcasm, and gave him the biggest kiss. ‘And still I want this one. I think this is the best looking tree for our house.  I can already see our little mice scatter around the tree, with little Peter at the top holding the star with his candy cane wizard staff. Thinking he’s the greatest mouse ever, to hold the star in place. No peak is needed.’



And so we drove off with my beautiful (mis)shaped tree, that for once could actually fit inside the car. Double the joy!



I couldn’t wait decorating the tree with our beautiful ornaments I’ve collected over the years. It’s all from SIA, a Swedish company, that kept this line of decorations for many years, so I could increase it to the numbers that would fill up a tree.

Some sweet music on the back ground, Ramon taking pictures, and cuddling with Kuzco and Malha,



and me completely in Zen.



Decorating, humming, smiling and kissing.



This was the best Christmas tree adventure ever!!!





Here we were.


At the vet yesterday evening.

My sweet innocent little sweet pea. Not knowing what was about to happen.

Kuzco got a chemical castration. After deep consideration and consult with the vet, there was nothing to it. The only way to be certain our anniversary trip to Paris the 5th of January wouldn’t have to be cancelled, because Malha would decide that would be the perfect time to become a big girl, was to inject Kuzco with a chemical castration.

You see, Malha is a late bloomer. While most of all her sisters have had their first cycle, Malha still remains our little baby girl. So much so, that I almost couldn’t believe she will very soon be celebrating her first birthday. Which reminded me, I could finally complete Malha her first year picture frame.



Something nice to focus on,



before we had to go to the vet, because I kind of felt sorry for putting Kuzco through this for our own ease. But it was the only way besides taking the chance on luck. And that is something we definitely can rule out, because we may be lucky in love, but that is about all the luck we are given.

So these next two weeks, Kuzco can show signs of extreme dominance and crankiness as a side effect. I hope it will all be fine, we will see. Ramon is yoking around we now not have a little dude and missy, but a little sissy and a missy. Pour Kuzco, already ridiculed moments after the injection….



For now, Kuzco is feeling very affectionate and sad. He needs lots of hugs and cuddles, which me and Malha are more than happy to provide.







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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress