Work in Progress

Maandelijks archief van juni, 2018


This was really the best day a day could be. Even if it was not entirely spend with Ramon.


It was a super exiting day. Malha had to do her obedience 2 exam early in the morning, and then shortly after, it was Charlie her birthday party.


I really hoped Malha’s exam would turn out just as great as we know she can perform. But it’s not all on Malha, it’s on the handler as well. And because Ramon had two very busy days at work, and needed to rush immediately after the examination to work, I really feared this would cause extra stress in their performance together. But there was nothing of a sort. They were like two peas in a pot. They did great together!



It really was a pleasure to watch them performing one after the other assignment, totally in love with each other. So it was no surprise Malha graduated for her obedience 2 certificate. Even got a special note on how she  followed.



Off course Malha knew all along she would succeed…. I mean, Duh….



I made a graduation hat from a toilet roll with black felt glued on. This needed to be documented! Malha preceded her dad in obedience class. We are so proud of this little lady!!!



Soon after, I had to rush to my niece her birthday party. Ramon left for work, and I drove off to Charlie.


We bought a stuffed animal at our favorite kids store in Haarlem. Ramon really has an eye for the perfect present. After lingering for far too long in the toy store, we finally decided to buy a stuffed pink octopus. Super soft, and has many tentacles for giving the greatest hug ever. Perfect for a one year old.



I liked it so very much, I had to unwrap it, to display it on our mantel. But by doing so, it caught Malha her eye. And if someone loves  stuffed animals, it’s Malha. She couldn’t turn her eyes off of it.



Eventually she tried every means possible, to acquire this super soft, super cute octopus for herself.



Maybe we’ll buy a small version for her in time. But for now, it went back into the wrapping paper, and off to my little niece Charlie.



She liked it just as much as Malha!!! I was so happy. So today was just the perfect day, even if it was without spending it completely with Ramon.



I think I will order a small octopus as a graduation gift for our little girl seeing I’m all alone, feeling happy, and just poured my second glass of cold rose. (wink-wink)



A few weeks back, friends that moved to Australia came by to visit. I felt so honored that they wanted to take the time out of their busy schedule to see us, while being here on holiday here in the Netherlands. So I wanted to give them something special. I asked if they would like a drawing of their cats, knowing they hold a very special place in their hearts.

It was a great idea, and to make it a double surprise, I was asked not to tell his wife. So she would really be taken by surprize, when not only a nice piece of cake is being served with a cup of coffee, but a special gift as well. I loved the idea! I received some photo’s, and immediately felt the urge of drawing bubbling up.


It has been so long since I felt like drawing. Since last September when I got the shocking news, if my kidneys would keep deteriorating at the rate it was going, I wouldn’t be here anymore this spring; everything else was more important than drawing. Besides, I lost the feeling to draw.


But now, since my kidney value miraculously kept stable, I wanted to do the things again that always made me happy, such as drawing.


So this was the perfect opportunity to start. Because I still couldn’t make myself sit down and draw anything what so ever.


It took me a while, even with the inspiration bubble present, when I finally sat down, and draw the three cats of our friends. Strangely enough I was a little scared to start. The everlasting doubt, if I still could draw, especially when the time between has been too long., came over me. I put my favorite music on which gets me deep into my emotional state, let it sink in, and then I started.


E voilà!





Three perfectly catched characters. I still can draw. (clapping hands)


Then three other things happened, where my itch to draw overwhelmed me. I drew a dog from Kuzco his school teacher, whom passed away. She still came to class, even when her dog passed away that same morning, apologizing for shedding tears every once in a while. I really felt for her.



And then our neighbor old dog lady. The old dog is struggling with her health, and is about to move elsewhere with her owner. I thought my neighbor would love to have a drawing of her dog, and it’s a perfect goodbye gift.



My last super-duper emotion-burst drawing was that of my sister’s. Her baby girl turned one, and celebrating it without her daddy who is in heaven; I could only imagine the sadness my sister had to feel. It’s crazy how fast little Charlie was on paper. The amount of emotions that ran through my body while drawing her, is indescribable. And the more emotions I feel while drawing, the better the drawing gets. (And maybe a little bit because she is named after me, which still makes me feel so humble.)





So here is Charlie Joyce Janna. (smile from ear to ear, clapping hands.)



Now I think it’s time to finally start the story of Malha, and finish the setup I made last year.

Let the drawing begin….





What an adventurous weekend! We are all pooped.



I’m moving around like a zombie. Everything hurts. Seizures have doubled in numbers; have to catheterize more frequently because it’s as dark as coffee; I am extremely exhausted. But it was all worth it.


I’m looking through the photo’s we made last weekend. I don’t quite know which one to choose, to stuck on the fridge. My wall of happiness almost hasn’t got any space left anymore, but this was such a memorable weekend filled with so much joy and happiness, there has to be a photo on it to remind me of, on days like today.



There was a club meeting with the Ural Dnepr Club.  It was going to be held on a camp site near a town called Schoonhoven from Friday till Sunday. On Saturday there would be a tour with all the sidecars together, with a big barbecue at the end of the day. It would be our longest ride since we got the Dnepr, but Ramon guessed it should be doable for me, considering how good it went on our last ride. So I thought it was already clear weeks ago, we were going to this meeting. But Ramon still hesitated to go, two weeks prior. He worried his ass off; would I make it through a weekend where there will be most likely little rest, and long drives in the sidecar for three days in a row. Will I honour my promise that I won’t take more meds, and will the doggies even make it, for they haven’t practiced for a ride in the sidecar for that long of a time? And what about sleeping in a tent, on a camping with a group of people I have never met, for two days, seeing I am still no camping chick, and not familiar with the social engagements of camping life? Will I only want to go, to please him?


Well, thank God I could clear all the monkeys in his head, and convince him I really was looking forward to this weekend. This was why he bought the Dnepr in the first place. For us to ride a bike together again, and to enjoy the time we have been granted.



So there we went. The sidecar all packed and ready to go.


My camping experience is growing with one positive vibe after another, each time we have gone now. This weekend being one of the best!


I was a little scared not knowing what to do, but the group of people that were present at this club weekend, made it easy to feel very welcome.



Kuzco and Malha made instant friends with the kids that joined their parents. They really had the best time they could wish for between riding the sidecar, and being on camp site. Kuzco upgraded his cuddles, and Malha upgraded her catch-me-if-you-can-skills.



There was a huge campfire where people were catching up, and in the meantime could warm up. It was so chilly on Friday, and even downright cold in the  evenings. I froze my ass off sleeping on a half inflated airbed (pump broke while inflating), but even so, it was cozy and fun.



I had to call it an early night on Friday, because everything was hurting so much. I desperately wanted to join the tour the next day. So I hoped my early night would help.



It did, if only for a bit. But it was just enough to look chipper when we drank our morning coffee together, to convince Ramon we would go.



I didn’t regret it for one moment. It was great!!!



It was truly a wonderful experience to ride along a string of sidecars, and people on the side of the road waving, and smiling, and taking pictures while we drove by.



Even the weather started to turn for the better, when we stopped somewhere for a lunch.



When we got back at the camp site, I was not the only one being exhausted. The barbeque would take a while, so we took a little nap lying in the grass, with the sun kissing our cheeks.



I never enjoyed a smoky barbeque as much as I did this weekend. It was the finishing touch of a wonderful day spend with great people, and the most wonderful rumbling bikes.



I slowly scuff myself to the fridge to put a photo from this weekend somewhere between all my other happy moments. I smile my biggest smile. I see my reflection in the kettle that’s on the counter next to the fridge. I’m wearing my new club t-shirt I got as a keepsake for this weekend.



I feel horrible, but great.






Last Sunday we went to the park after a short ride with the sidecar. It was wonderful! Kuzco and Malha ran and play together, and then we went for a drink at our favourite Tearoom. Besides the fact we were somewhat of an attraction to the people sitting on the terrace, the owner of the Tearoom gave us a warm welcome, because she had not seen either of us for such a long time. When we left, she came to say goodbye and make pictures of us sitting in the sidecar, because we were really a sight to see.



‘I hope to see you both soon again!’ she almost screamed to make her voice being heard over the loud rumbling of the engine.



It wasn’t until now, I realized just how much I missed going to the park. Ever since I received a new mobility scooter, because my old one broke down, I haven’t been able to drive like I used to. I received one not suitable for my needs, which makes it impossible, and dangerous even, to drive longer than 5 minutes. So for the last 8 weeks, I barely left the house on my own, and the doggy walk only goes as far as the other side of our street. Especially now Ramon has started to increase his time at work, little by little my world is getting smaller.


After many calls with the Care company who provided me my new mobility scooter, to please provide me one as similar to my old one, the answer stayed the same. Because of their contract with Velsen Township, they receive a budget. And because everything is about profit, they only offer a product range that suits the many. And since I am not the many, it’s just tough luck.



Off course Ramon didn’t accept this, so with lots of angry conversations, the Care company finally send an expert over to look at my case.


I was pretty stressed out the day the expert was coming over. It felt like my whole freedom was on the balance. What if he would say the exact same thing I got to hear before. It is not possible to provide a scooter that resembles my old one, simply because they have chosen several models that suits the many. And I simply have to make due.


It turned out that my needs were indeed not compatible with the models they could offer me. But he would take notes and send them over to a second and third party, to maybe come to a solution that would satisfy my needs. It could take weeks until I got any answers, but be grateful we are working on it.


And yes, it is a sad little detail you still can’t go outside, but just be a tad more patient please. We are doing the best we can….. (in our own timeframe, and the willingness of my colleagues to take on a case that isn’t already chewed on…) That last sentence wasn’t said out loud of course .


Surprisingly enough, I was called back within a day or two. He had thought of the most wonderful solution. And I should be very thankful for them wanting to offer me this solution. After he explained I would receive a customized mobility scooter with a gas paddle under my right foot, and my left foot should be hovering over an emergency switch, so when I would get a seizure not only would my right feet push down harder, but my left foot as well, and would make it stop immediately. Off course there would be a long trial period to make it work, but in the end it would be the perfect and safest solution for me.



Why want to reinvent the wheel, when there is something that has worked for over 13 years? Is it not cheaper just to order a mobility scooter that resembles my old one, so they can still re-use it?


After a long talk with Ramon, I decided not to go through this agonizing trial, with so many risks involved. The expert was very disappointed I turned down this wonderful offer. It was either that or keep the one I have. They are not going to order a mobility scooter similar to my old one.


So this morning I woke up with a deep frown.



Oh wait, it’s my 3D glasses I got when I went to the Avengers movie with my dad and Ramon.


But still, it is the perfect frown I want to wear today. Because I am angry, and I want to smash!


Why does so many things have to be a struggle?




It took exactly 33 hours for Malha, to recover from her operation. It was like the light had been switched on. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. We are so used to Kuzco, whom is dying a thousand deaths when something is wrong with him. But the only thing that made us remind Malha had a surgery, is her recovery suit.



Her energy is unstoppable. She wants to run around and play so badly. The only time you notice she’s still not completely well yet, is when she jumps from joy. The moment her 4 little legs are in the air, she lets out a tiny squeak of pain. But it is impossible to keep her from jumping. She’s just so full of energy, she’s about to explode. And to think she has to stay calm for three more days…..


So yesterday Ramon had the greatest idea to do something about the excessive energy. While she physically has to stay calm, mentally we can stimulate her with mind games until she is physically exhausted.



It was truly a wonderful idea. Both Kuzco and Malha were super exited what was about to happen, when the living was emptied and turned into a course.



They had to stay put at each their own pawn, and wait while Ramon filled my fabric samples, and a snuffle mat nose-work blanket with tiny treats.




This way, without putting stress on her wound by active games, she still would be tired from using her nose and brains to satisfy the intellectual curiosity.




Not only Kuzco and Malha enjoyed themselves, but Ramon and I as well.



We all smiled our biggest smiles. I can’t wait to use it again tonight, at playtime after dinner.

The Game of Snuffles.



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Joyce Kleine – Work in Progress