Friday, February 29, 2008

"Leaping" into Spring! .... Een sprong in de lente!

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"Daffy Spring" - copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Colored Pencil on Stonehenge paper
NFS
Here we are last day of an extended February... Good! Just time to squeeze this post in. Spring seems to be early again this year in Holland."Mom's" precious tulip pots are begining to show life way too early and the grass has been green all throughout the winter...uh-oh, global warming!
Here are some photos of what's happening in our garden this last day of leap year February.


photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Croucusses, tulips and grape hyacinths

Yep, that little red guy is one of our heirloom tulip bulbs ( Duc van Tol ) peeking "his" head out far too soon among the various crocus and grape hyacinths. I guess because the winter was so mild, the Duc just couldn't wait to make a showing.


photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Early Duc van Tol tulip

We blogged about "mom's"special tulip pots last year: Tulips and The Wall
Looks like it will be another good year for the 3 pots, albeit a bit earlier than last! My brother Finn isn't around anymore to protect these guys this year and I'm too busy making "hunting" plans, as you all well know... heh heh. Good Luck Tulips!

There's lots more coming up right now throughout our small garden, with a few surprises and a new variety of tulip that we'll show you when they're up and blooming. Here are some lovely purple crocus that are just popping up everywhere along with the tiny yellow daffodils that "mom" used in the colored pencil drawing at the top of this post.


photo copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
Purple crocus

I wonder how the famous Keukenhof deals with the issue of early blooms in their tulip gardens...hmmm. If you plan on visiting the Keukenhof this year, I'd say you better do it soon - it opens this year on March 20th - by then, I bet a lot will be in bloom already. They stay open until May 18th, but I'd say not much will be in the open gardens by then...better get your skates on and make it over here to the Netherlands if you want to see some real Dutch beauty.

Update on "Mom's" lame leg:
After having every scan and x-ray possible, inlcuding an MRI.... they can't say for certain what she did to her knee during her fall down the stairs. It might be a slight fissure at the end of the femur that is causing all the pain and swelling ( still)..but they're not certian. Moving, sitting and lying down are all difficult .. .this post took 2 days just to put together since she can't sit down for very long. She's now in a positively medieval looking leg brace from hip to ankle... she's my "Robo Mom" now!
See ya! (tot kijk!)
Sacha
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love for a Valentine ~ Liefde voor een Valentijn

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Something for Valentine's Day (Valentijnsdag).


copyright 2008, Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Valentine's Greeting"
Watercolor and gouache on Bockingford wc paper.
Digitally manipulated frame.
*NFS*

"Mom"(Judy) did the painting of the bouquet of roses (rozen) and I picked out the licorice (drop) heart (hart) for the frame ... :o)"Mom" initially painted the heart in gouache, then digitally manipulated the tiny painting to place in this frame - she likes to play around with digi-manips.

Ik hou van jou (I love you)

Zoet (Sweet)

Valentijn (Valentine)

Hier is mijn hart (Here is my heart)

If you want to know how to say "words of love" in Dutch, then listen to Brenno de Winter's wonderful Dutch language podcast, "Laura Speaks Dutch" (click on the two links below):


Will you be my Valentine? ... and... Talking to your sweetheart.


We hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Liefs (love),
Sacha & Judy

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Uncle Yde ~ Oom Yde

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Yde Jacobus Nijholt
b. October 29th, 1935 - d. January, 17th, 2008


image copyright Auke Nijholt
"Uncle Yde in better days"

A sketch of Uncle Yde enjoying a concert in the nursing home, where he spent his last year.

copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Enjoying the Music"
pen & ink in Moleskine sketchbook

Yde so enjoyed the music that day last autumn and with his one good hand, he would wave it in time to the music. I did this sketch in my Moleskine while sitting behind him.
I should have done more ... we made many trips to see him, but it never felt right to sketch.

image copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"Uncle Yde and Auke (his nephew) in nursing home chapel"

Yde also enjoyed going to the chapel on our visits to see him. It lifted his spririts to sit with Auke (my husband and Yde's nephew) and look at the candles on the small alter.

The little toy dog on the top of his wheelchair, in the photo above, was his constant companion. Yde called him "Bello". When he could speak comfortably, Uncle Yde used to tell us some pretty wild stories about "his farm" - a farm full of dogs (Bello was top dog), cows, chickens, sheep, and 40 elephants and 100 monkeys! Of course, it was just a fantasy, but it always brought a big smile to his face and a twinkle in his eyes to tell us about his boederij (farm).


image copyright Judith Nijholt-Strong
"A view of Lemmer, Friesland - The Netherlands"
(the boat is an old Friesian schutje - this is not Yde's boat)

Lemmer, in the province of Friesland, is the town where Yde was born. He lived his entire life there, was a postman for over 40 years and sailed the waters in and around Lemmer in his boat "Vrijheid" (Freedom). He knew everyone and everyone knew him.

Yde never wanted to live anywhere else except Lemmer and I know why, it's a lovely town with a charming port and canals. He rests in peace there now, alongside his mother and father.

" 'n Beetje "
van Toon Hermans

Sterven doe je niet ineens,
maar af en toe 'n beetje.
En alle beetjes die je stierf,
't is vreemd, maar die vergeet je.
Het is je dikwijls zelfs ontgaan,
je zegt "ik ben wat moe",
Maar op 'n keer dan ben je aan
je laatste eindje toe.


English translation ( I did my best.. ) :

" A Bit "
poem by Toon Hermans (famous Dutch entertainer)

Death you do not suddenly,
but occasionally a bit.
And all the bits that you died,
it's strange, but you forget.
It often even escapes you,
and you say "Oh, I'm just tired".
But comes a time that you are,
at your end, at last, expired.

Unfortunately, I speak no Fries (which was Uncle Yde's mother tongue) and my Dutch is only passable, but I really enjoyed getting to know Uncle Yde ... if only just "een beetje".
Tot ziens,
Judy (and Auke)

P.S. I also fell down a flight of stairs the night Uncle Yde died... I've been a bit out of commission lately. I hope soon to be completely off my crutches and back in a mood to blog and make art ... it's been difficult. ~ Judy

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