Dread…

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

Right now, the thought of autumn fills me with dread. Why? Because last week, I got tagged into a Facebook group, which consists of almost every living being I despised at school. Yes, it’s yet another “Let’s have a reunion” group for our class.
About 5 years ago they tried the same thing on a dutch site and I quickly left and never got back. Now they did it again on Facebook…
I can’t help it. There are only 6 out of about 28 that I’d like to meet again. One of which I have regular contact with. The rest can fuck off.

Needless to say, I haven’t had a great time at school. I’ve been bullied quite a lot. But somehow most of the people who were bullying me seemed to have forgotten what they did. And now they want to be “friends”. They want me to read their timeline, which I’m sure, I don’t want to read. And, I think more importantly, they want to read mine.

asshole

Now I know my timeline is filled with sarcastic ecards, but even then I don’t want them there. I’m not that naive… No seriously, I’m wishing them a great time, but I won’t join them. Despite my wish to see those 6 again.

This post was written for the postaday.

Sims 4 is almost here

I must admit, I haven’t been paying much attention to the new Sims game up until a few days ago. So I didn’t really know about what would be left out from previous sims games and what the new features will be.
But these two threads on different forums has made me want to share my two cents.

Thread 1.

Thread 2.

So first off; babies are objects, not sims. Thank God for that! From the time my first ever sim, in Sims2, almost died of exhaustion due to feeding her baby so much, I’ve always cheated their needs up. Just as in real life I find sim babies annoying and exhausting, so I can’t say I’m unhappy with this change.

No toddlers. Again, yay! Just as babies, toddlers annoy me to no end. I only want them when I can cheat them through their toddler days. I loved Sims3 for the life span changes one can make. Toddlers and babies had only a day in my game.

Teenagers and Elders are the same size as Adults. So? Despite everyone else seeming to think this is a problem, I don’t see it as one. Most real life teens are just as tall, or even taller, than their parents. Makes the game a little more realistic in this aspect, me thinks.

No pools, no hot tubs. The only time my sims used a pool was when I wanted to get rid of them in Sims2. Remove the ladder and watch them drown! When, in Sims3, they could climb out of the pool without a ladder, I didn’t build pools anymore. I’ll miss the hot tub, though. I like those, especially the Sims2 reward one.

hottub

No dishwashers, trash compactors, recycling bins or security alarms. Dishwashers and trash compactors always broke down in my games, so I won’t miss them. Security alarms were only handy when you were being robbed, but looked very ugly in your sims house, so I’m  curious to see how this works in Sims4.

No aliens. Well, that’s a bloody shame, isn’t it?! I’m sure it’ll be included in an expansion pack later, as everyone loves a good abduction every now and then…

Max lot size shrunk to 50×50. Knowing that both Sims2 and Sims3 ran crappy on even the best PC’s money could buy, this isn’t a huge problem in my opinion. I don’t think there would be many people out there that could run 64×64 lots without lag. Just view this review to see how crappy big lots run on a good pc in Sims3…

No basements. Basements were great for all the unwanted clutter you needed, but didn’t want to see in your houses. I’ll really miss this one.

No ability to choose which structures on a lot have a foundation and which don’t. That sucks too. I loved building garages with houses on a foundation. But seeing as there are no cars in Sims4, I don’t really need a garage, do I!?

Most normal careers removed. Military, Law Enforcement, Medicine, Athletic, Politics, Science, and Education careers are missing. That’s too bad. I liked my sims to be in these careers. But I’m sure that, just as in Sims2 and Sims3, modders will make their own careers, so I’m sure they be coming back.

No terrain sculpting. Yes, yes, yes! Finally! I absolutely despised the fact that there were so many different levels in the old neighbourhoods. I’ve always wanted completely flat neighbourhoods. This will make building (and downloading) so much better!

No “moveobjects” cheat code. Aww, shucks! I used that cheat quite a lot, so I am going to miss it.

No “constrainfloorelevation” cheat code. As there’s no terrain tools, this cheat is redundant. Which is a bloody shame, as many people used this cheat to create the most gorgeous houses.

Story Progression. Sims will age, but won’t get jobs, get married or have children on their own. On one hand that’s a shame,  but on the other, as there is age progression I’m hoping modders will come up with a better working story progression. Just as in Sims3, where the story progression that came with the game was seriously bugged. Pescado and Twallan came up with way better working mods. So here’s hoping that’ll happen in Sims4 too.

On the whole I’m quite excited to see how Sims4 will differ from Sims2 and Sims3. But I won’t hold my hopes up for a working, or indeed, complete game. Most likely there will be huge issues from day one, as EA likes to use paying customers as beta testers…

 

Veggie garden 2nd August

This post has been in the making for quite some time. We have had a long period of really hot weather, too hot to get out into the garden. And when it was colder we had lots of rain, so again, I didn’t go out into the garden.
This meant that some areas of the veggie garden became a bit overgrown. But it’s not a big deal. We’ve had some great meals from it.

Somehow I managed to mess up the courgette and cucumber plants. I’ve ended up with 3 courgette plants and two cucumber plants. Don’t ask me how this happened, I have no idea…
The chinese beans did not survive the enormous amounts of water at the end of may. Some other beans did and they look great.
The tomatoes are (now) very tidy and I hope they’ll stay that way. Some of the carrots survived the rain, but not all. I have no idea how many survived exactly. For the onions it’s the same story. The only things that are doing great are the fruits. So many raspberries, tayberrries, blackberries, black currants and red currants. But they rarely make it indoors. There’s someone in the garden regularly that eats them as soon as she can… (yes, that would be me…)

Strange ways to do household chores

A few weeks ago I was talking to a coworker about the washing that had been left to dry in the sun. I was proclaiming that this wasn’t how they should leave it. That they should leave it in the shade to prevent discoloring when my coworkers started looking at me in a funny way.
At first I didn’t understand why they were looking at me like that, but as it turns out everyone else hangs their washing to dry in the full sun.

This made me realise that I am the only person in a rather large group that not only hangs the washing in the shade, I also cover it with a tea towel to make sure sunlight doesn’t hit my clothes.
I’m also the only one that never uses pegs on t-shirts, sweaters and blouses. And when I use pegs on trousers I use two on each leg, making sure to only use them on the bottom rim, so there won’t be any marks visible.

pegs

But this made me wonder about other things as well.
Am I the only one who turns the mattress every time I change the bedding? Am I the only one who has marked all four sides of said mattress to make sure I turn them evenly?
And how about washing pillows?

I see a lot of people who hang their duvet out the bedroom window. That is something I’d never do. It’s hanging from a spider invested window sill, rubbing against a dirty brick wall, or worse, dirty roof tiles. I only get it outside when it’s great weather and hang it out on a few chairs and washing lines. To keep it off the ground.

How about you? Do you have strange ways to do household chores?

Photo via AuntieP

I must have a nice face…

Dailypost asks:

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

Well, somehow people like that always seem to target me for some reason. If I’m out shopping they come up to me and ask for anything; ATMs, shops, general directions.

And I have no idea why. Many people told me that my ‘normal’ face makes me look quite angry, even though I’m in a good mood. So why do they target me? There must be something they see that’s making them feel at ease. Or I’m always smiling, even though I don’t notice…

Generally I give them the directions the want, tell them where it is they’re looking for. At the registers in supermarkets I always let people with very few items got first if I have a lot. But I’m not afraid to ask if I can go first if a new register opens and I have only a few items. I only do this if the person in front of me has a cart full of stuff. Otherwise I’ll wait. And many times the person in front of me asks if I want to go first and starts chatting. Most of the times it’s about health, deaths or other things that seem to be related with my job. I don’t know how they think telling me personal stuff is okay, but they somehow always do.

I don’t mind in places like that. I can get out relatively quick. But if this was to happen on a plane I’d be doing my “I’m asleep” impression, which I’ve perfected! I’ve had this happen a couple of times and people always thought I was sleeping. It made a very, very chatty aunt of my mother shut up for more than 2 hours. Her husband and his sister (my grandmother) were very thankful for that :)

Things I did in June and July

I’m not sure how exactly this happened. One day it was the middle of June and now, somehow, it’s the end of July…
Which means I haven’t done my monthly round-up post and I haven’t been updating about the veggie garden…

Books I’ve read:

Fataal weekend(Post Mortem)
1974 (partially read this one)
Undercover in de ouderenzorg
Geluksvogel
Gently By the Shore
Gently Down the Stream

I’ve released 150 books and there’s more to follow, as July isn’t over yet. The high number is due to the annual BookCrossing meeting on the beach in Castricum on July 6. This has put my 52/52 challenge up to 42 places sofar. Another 10 and I’ve made it. For the 365 challenge I’m up to 336 books. I’ve reset my goal to 500 this year. It might make a small dent in my BC collection…

In the garden everything is growing like made. The lettuce is about 150 cm high, if not higher. I ate loads of raspberries, they never even made it indoors. The tayberries are blooming for the second time and the blackberries are waiting for their tan.
I’ll do a post on that later this week.

Cat Candy has got another bladder infection (again) and is on antibiotics for the umptieth time. She seems to be feeling fine, though she’s not going out as much nowadays. Not sure if that’s due to the weather (hot hot hot), the infection or old age.

The weather, ah yes, the weather. Well, what can I say? It’s really hot. It was 33C on saturday which is ridiculously high for our part of the world. Yesterday was a bit coller and today the temp is rising again. We’re up to 25C now.
The solar panels are doing a bit less well in the heat. But we’re still managing a good few kWh. With 30 days to go to make it a full year we’ve used 58% of our normal annual consumption off our own panels. Which is already 8% more than we hoped for.

Next month I’ll be having my holiday and hoping the weather is still good. Just one more month…

Oh, I almost forgot the biggest news! On my birthday we bought a new car. A brandnew car that is. Our Kaatje was almost 18 years old and the cost of the repairs were beginning to mount up. We had to get at least another 800 euro into it to get her through the (Dutch equivalent of the) MOT. So we decided enough was enough. Everyone, meet Kate:

Kate1

Kate is a 2014 Ka Style, in the new colour red, called flame red. We love her, though I do miss Kaatje…

Things I did in May

Books I’ve read:

Robbert Jan en het geheim van Berg en Dal (Barney, The Rockingdown Mystery)
De vier speurneuzen – de geheimzinnige bewaker
De 4 Speurneuzen, de vreemde dokter
Rebuilding Coventry

Books I’m currently reading:

P Is for Peril (A Kinsey Millhone Mystery)
Robbert Jan en het geheim aan de kust  (Barney, The Rilloby Fair Mystery)

I’ve released 47 books, which brings the total amount of released books so far this year up to 185. This means I’ve crossed the half way point!
Also, I’m on 29 places with the 52/52 challenge.

Elderly neighbour complained to her friend two weeks ago, while I was lounging outside (she knew that), that we ruined her garden and her garden path. And that she should never have given us permission to go around her house with garden supplies. She also told her friend we crossed her garden at least a hundred times. Mind you, we did no such thing. We clipped back the bushes around the part where we went through her garden to avoid damaging them. We only went through her garden 4 times the first time, now 2 years ago. Earlier this year she gave our other neighbour permission to go through her garden again. This time it was about 10 times and again we clipped back the bushes to avoid damaging them. I’m now done with her. We’ve always been kind to her and this is how she pays us back. Well, she’ll find out what she’s lost!

Water garden

this happened to the garden earlier this week. I did a blog post about it in the morning. But it kept raining and raining. By the end of the afternoon this is how the garden looked…
We had more than 60 MM in 60 hours, which the garden simply couldn’t get rid of. Part of the problem is that both our neighbours have had their garden paved completely. This means all excess water comes right into our garden. Normally this isn’t much of a problem, but with these amounts of water it was a problem. Luckily everything dried up nicely and it looks like almost everything survived. Haven’t seen the pumpkins I’ve sowed, but I’m not sure if that’s due to the water or not…

Both our cats are doing fine. Candy seems to react good to her new medication, so I’m very happy with that. Due to the warm weather both of them haven’t been eating as much as they usually do, but who can blame them for that? We’re not eating as much as usual too.

Veggie Garden 28th May, disaster strikes?

I know I said I wanted a water feature in the garden. I know I even talked about it to a friend last monday. But this wasn’t what I meant, thank you very much…

It began to rain on monday night. Yesterday it stopped for a brief period and we even had sunshine throughout the day. Then, last night, it began to rain again. Over the course of the last 36 hours we’ve had 50 MM of rain. Yesterday our garden wasn’t too bad, while my elderly neighbour’s garden was flooded. Now ours is flooded as well.

I went out with the pitchfork to drain the water more quickly, but the ground is totally waterlogged. I’m really hoping the plants will survive, but I’m thinking the worst… Especially since I decided yesterday to plant the tomatoes out in the garden. Luckily they’re on the slightly higher part…

Finders, Keepers!

While walking on the beach you stumble on a valuable object buried in the sand — say, a piece of jewelry or an envelope full of cash. What do you do with it? Under what circumstances would you keep it? 

This is what The Daily Post wants to know.

I’d do anything in my power to find the owner. I’d use the internet to see if I can find anything.

I once had this whilst walking in a seaside town. I saw a bewildered looking guy with three kids standing near an ATM machine. A few minutes later I saw 500 euro sticking out of the machine. The guy with the kids was nowhere to be seen. I grabbed the money from the machine and immediately walked indoors to give the money to the bank employee. I then went on and looked everywhere for the guy I saw standing by the ATM earlier.

I never found the guy, but a few days later I was back in that same town and went to the bank. I asked if the money had been picked up and it had been. The owner left a note with his phone number and a gift card. I never called him, as I didn’t feel the need. I didn’t even feel the gift card was needed, but it sure was a nice touch.

I’m not a person to keep things that don’t belong to me. I’ve lost a bracelet that my grandmother gave a few weeks before her death. I tried everything to get it back, but it’s never been found. She went out and bought it for me, even though she had so many health problems. The bracelet looked a lot like this one. And even after so many years, I still miss that bracelet.

So no, I’m not going to keep something that isn’t mine!

Veggie Garden 23rd May

I’ve been planting out the runner beans again and they are doing great. The chinese beans need to grow a bit larger before they’re going outside. I noticed yesterday the marrowfat peas are flowering and they look lovely.

Of the five cucumber plants I moved outside only one survived. I’ve sowed a few more seeds hoping to gain some more plants. Of the three courgette plants only one survived which is more than enough for the two of us.

I’ve done the first cutting of the lettuce and we had a wonderfully delicious salad last Wednesday. The tayberries are growing more and more flowers, the black currants still need more sun. I’ve seen the first flowers in the red and yellow raspberries too.

You wouldn’t believe the size of some of the strawberries right now… But they haven’t gained colour yet.