Random Happenings 2

[Editor’s note: we continue to experiment with the content of these posts. This one got a little long, but hopefully it is still enjoyable.]

As previously reported, Will returned the first week of March. Since he was away from Luxembourg for nearly a month, he was quite pleased to be home again. I was quite pleased to have him home, because I had gotten tired of cooking for myself during the workweek!

I barely let him rest before we went to the annual Buergbrennen festival on the 9th. Rachel wrote up a lovely summary of the event last year. While last year was a bit muddy and cold, this year the weather was fine and dry. While a proper Buergbrennen post by the Bugle team is probably necessary, these photos will have to tide you over.

Will was only home for two weeks before we headed to the Netherlands for a week-long business trip. I spent time at five different offices while Will worked from the hotel and enjoyed a few bike rides.

While we were there, we found a terrific cheese shop. The next time you are in the Netherlands, keep your eyes peeled for a Kaas en Zo. The cheese was fabulous, the people friendly, and they had the best chocolate-covered peanuts in the world. Not only that, they had excellent snacks. Will found ones that he just loves and he is encouraging me to find another reason to travel there soon!

Will claims they are the very best

To finish our week in the NL, on Saturday we returned to the Keukenhof for our second visit. The first was way back in April 2010 and later in the season. On the first trip the focus was tulips, with some hyacinths. Since this visit was earlier in the season the starring flowers were daffodils and crocuses. Of course, the tulips and hyacinths were still represented but they were not yet the star of the show.

Will and I wondered if a return trip was a good idea. Would the Keukenhof hold up to a second visit? We are both happy to report that it was a lovely day with the flowers and we were happy that we went. We only took a few photos (ha!), some of which are posted on Flickr for your enjoy. A small sample to entice you to view the set:

Luxembourg was fully into the spring bloom when we arrived home. Unfortunately, my eyes, ears, throat, and sinuses immediately seized up. Over the last few years, I have concluded that I am terribly allergic to birch pollen. I realized this when I tracked my symptoms along with the various pollen levels, which was possible because of the helpful website www.pollen.lu. The day we arrived home, the birch levels crossed from bad to impossible and it only got worse from there. By the end of the next week, I was an allergic mess. Thankfully for everyone, there are no photos to share. Also thankfully Will had a trip to Sweden planned for his work and he was gone from early Friday to late Sunday. I was able to cough, snort, and drip without bothering (or disgusting) anyone else.

Then, a miracle happened. After eight straight days of misery, a good friend who also suffers from spring allergies suggested I see her doctor. To quote her: “He gave me a shot! I’m a new woman!” The next morning I went to his sick call. After hearing my symptoms and what I had done at home to try to help, I too got a shot plus an inhaler for my cough. It took a day for my system to settle down, but afterwards I felt much better. The plan for the future is to go to the doctor as soon as I see the birch pollen cross into the danger zone and get the shot immediately.

My quest for home organization and renovation continued throughout March and April. Although I’m still looking for the perfect wine app to catalog our wine, I have made progress in other areas. Will had been a champ, sorting through his stuff and helping to reduce. He also took a huge load to the recycling center, which made a noticeable difference. We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m confident that by the end of May we’ll be in better shape.

As part of the home renovation, we upgraded our dining room table and chairs. After nearly five years with an unsatisfactory table, we needed a change. Since we got the table and chairs the last weekend in April, we haven’t had much experience with them yet. I’ll report next time on whether or not we are pleased after using them for a bit.

Our final big event in April wasn’t even our thing. A good friend is building a terrace in the garden and we volunteered to be day laborers. While we love city (and apartment) living, we do miss the big projects in the garden. It was day of hauling bags of concrete, pouring concrete, leveling concrete, and having a lot of fun.

Wheelbarrows, shovels, and concrete. A great day in the garden!

Finally, throughout all of this, we continued to enjoy cycling. We have a great group of friends who we are cycling with, so every weekend I am out on the bike in some fashion. It is a wonderful way to see the countryside, plus it’s just fun. I’m sure the updates for the next several months will be cycling heavy. Get ready!

1 Comment to “Random Happenings 2”

  1. Rachel said...
    25 May 2014

    I love these summary posts. It’s fun to see all the things you’re up to and gives me ideas about things I should get out and do.