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    CLAIREINPARIS   58,700
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A couple of nice walks - and some news

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I am finally home! I always love that moment. These last 11 days in the Netherlands have been busy to say the least and it really is good to be home!

On Friday evening, to celebrate the fact that the most difficult meetings were over, I finally took the time to go for a walk on the beach near the hotel (to answer one of your questions, yes, it was the North Sea coast).

I walked in the water until I saw some jelly fish! There were actually many of them.

Then I decided I needed a break from the same hotel food, and ate some lovely salmon in a nice little restaurant.

I was in a very good mood and thinking how nice it is to have a job where I can travel when I checked my text messages. My father was telling me that my mother had been taken to the hospital and might need some emergency surgery. This is one of the things I dread when I travel... I called him and I could hear my mother next to him in ER saying: "I am not feeling very well" - It broke my heart.

Thank you so much for all your encouragement and kind messages when I shared how I was feeling that evening. It helped so much! I didn't sleep much that night and it wasn't easy to follow the meetings the next morning. But at lunch time, my father said my mother didn't need the surgery and had been taken back to the nursing home. PHEW. I was able to follow the meetings a bit better then!

After one last meeting on Sunday morning, I was able to visit a couple of very nice villages in the afternoon.

The first one, Giethoorn, is seen as a little Venice according to the people I was with. It is true that canals are absolutely everywhere, and all the houses are built by the water.

Hello! emoticon Do you like my new red suede shoes? emoticon

The houses, which were built in bricks, were mostly from the 19th and the first part of the 20th century I think. All the gardens were delightful!

It felt great to be a tourist for a few hours! We visited a pottery...

... and then had a drink by the lake, watching the boats.

We were back on time for the football/soccer match between the Netherlands and Mexico! Netherlands won and I decided to go for another walk around the village where I was staying to see if people were out and celebrating.

Apart from some youth who were listening to some music and drinking beer, the village was very quiet, but I enjoyed my walk.

Some of you have asked me how things are going in the new nursing home we moved my mother to, about three weeks ago. Well, I am VERY glad to say things are going well there. The difference with the previous nursing home is like night and day! The staff is competent, patient, and always kind to her and to other residents. My father actually enjoys his daily visits there! Now that my mother is back at the nursing home after the hospital scare, she is recovering and much less agitated and sad than she used to be in the previous nursing home.
The lesson for me is that it was well worth moving her, despite the fact that my father was scared of the trauma another move would cause her (changes are bad for Alzheimer patients). Since she moved, he has never stopped saying how glad he is we took that decision! A BIG thank you again for all your support through these terrible months when I was lost, terribly worried, and didn't know what to do.

And now, please excuse me, I must unpack and get ready for a busy day at work tomorrow! Many thanks for reading the end of my 'adventures' in the Netherlands!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARKATSPARK 8/8/2015 6:26AM


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MAYBER 7/26/2014 9:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KAREN91 7/23/2014 12:59AM

    I loved your pictures and I'm glad your mother is in a good nursing home. I'm also glad that she didn't need surgery. emoticon

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KRILL14 7/21/2014 7:11PM

    This was deja-vu for me as I have also given in to hiking when it was too hot out. I wish I could say that I wouldn't do that again but sometimes the urge to hike is just too much!

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/21/2014 7:00PM

    Bonjour, Claire.
I can't believe I missed this, either. I loved your pictures and I am so very pleased at the news about your mother. You obviously did the right things. I am so happy for you and your father - and your mother - that you were able to move her to this new place. Take good care of yourself, too.

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SARAWALKS 7/18/2014 11:51AM

    Bonjour, Claire, je suis très heureuse de lire ces bonnes nouvelles de ta mère! Oui, il vaudrait de la peine de lui déménager. Et j'aime bien tes nouvelles chaussures rouges! Je dois bientôt t'écrire un long email...enfin la décalage horaire s'est passée et j'ai établi une routine...
Bonne journée, je t'embrasse,
emoticon emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 7/8/2014 10:24AM

    Thank you for sharing. Such a lovely and delightful place. Would love to visit one day when we have time to store the rat race and travel. Hopefully soon

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BEWELL48 7/7/2014 9:32AM

    I think I mentioned that we had to place my 94 yo mother in a nursing home this past spring. So difficult! Over the weekend she was transported to the hospital for dehydration and possible stoke. Sounds like you made a good decision to transfer your mother to a different facility. These times are truly filled with emotions but guess this is the heart and soul of life!
Sending well wishes and hugs.....

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AURIANNE67 7/6/2014 12:36PM

Thanks so much for sharing! It is good to hear that you found a better care facility for your mother, some years ago before she passed away my mother was in a care home where she was neglected and mistreated. It is so sad when places ignore the needs of the people they are supposed to be caring for because, due to altered mental status, their patients do not have the means to speak up.

Apart from the brief scare about your mother, and the endless meetings of course, your trip seems fantastic!

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QTEALADY20031 7/5/2014 12:30PM

    Claire, I don't know how I missed this blog but I did. Netherland looks beautiful. I love the canals and enjoyed looking at your pictures in the villages. The homes look like something out of a picture....yours! The walk on the beach I would have thoroughly enjoyed. Claire, I am so glad to read that you moved your mother to the new nursing home and that she is being cared for by a loving and caring staff, as she should be. I am sure it makes your father happy that you both made the decision to move your mom. Thank you again for sharing your journey.
emoticon June

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WARRIORGIRL121 7/4/2014 10:45PM

    Beautiful blog... I don't know how I missed this one before! Gorgeous!

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WILDASTER 7/4/2014 9:45AM

    My dear Claire,
I just saw this today, I don't know how I missed it! I was so uplifted by your beautiful pictures and your news at the end about your dear Mother. I am so happy that she is finally somewhere good and that the staff is kind. That is what it should be everywhere but unfortuately it is not that way. I'm sure that your visits now are more relaxed and joyful if she is more comfortable! I hope you will take more pictures with her in the new place, make some good memories.

How lovely the Netherlands are, your walk on the beach looked refreshing and the salmon dinner looks so very good. I also loved the canal trip, the houses were lovely and all very different. The one with the red shutters I really liked. I love your red shoes too! I have a story for you about red shoes...A great lady we knew always wore red shoes, she was in her late 80's. Her name was Rose Totino, and she and her husband owned a pizza parlor for decades. She was such a joy, I will send you a message later telling telling you why she wore Red shoes!

Have a great weekend my friend,

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SHAKESALOT 7/4/2014 8:51AM

    Very nice blog! glad to hear your mom doing well. Beautiful pics..... welcome back!!

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CORNERKICK 7/4/2014 1:22AM

  Beautiful pics

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MARYJEANSL 7/4/2014 12:57AM

  I am so happy that your mother is happy and treated well in her new nursing home! And that she didn't need surgery. Thank you, as usual, for the lovely pictures.

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KEEPITUP62 7/4/2014 12:43AM

    Loved your pictures and so pleased to see your mother in a nursing home that is up to par.

I visited Denmark Sweden and Finland a few years ago and your pics brought back some very fond memories with my family. Thank you for sharing.

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CHUBBY_MOM 7/4/2014 12:34AM

    The pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them!

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MELNJAY3 7/3/2014 9:57PM

    Beautiful pictures

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JUSGETTENBY42 7/3/2014 9:25PM


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LIVELYGIRL2 7/3/2014 9:02PM

  Oh Claire, you get to go to the most lovely places. Loved the pictures.

I'm also thrilled your Mom is in a better home, and glad she's settling down.

I didn't realize your Dad was in the picture. That is also very good.

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NONNAOF2 7/3/2014 8:55PM

  I love the red shoes! :-) Once again thank you for the wonderful pictures, I most certainly always feel as though I am on a mini-vacation! I'm so glad that things worked out well for your mother, especially now that she doesn't need surgery and it seems that she is happy in her new surroundings. God bless you and your family! :-)

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    Good to hear your mom is in a better home - that is such a stressful process to see our parents living in a bad place.

Great pictures. thanks for sharing them.

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AMBER461 7/3/2014 7:41PM

  Thanks for sharing your remainder of the journey with us. Your trip to the Netherland I was very interesting I appreciate the pictures very much and your shoes really look great

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BONIFIANT 7/3/2014 6:00PM

    Yes, Claire, I love your new shoes. Enjoy wearing them.

Thank you for the update on you precious mom. I am so glad that things are so noticeably better for you and that both you and your dad can be encouraged about her care.

I don't know what you believe about prayer but I have been and will keep on praying for her and your family. I cared for my mom for ten years and miss her still but don't regret a single moment spent caring for her.

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TORTISE110 7/3/2014 5:31PM

    You have such an eye for beauty! Thank you.

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COOLRAIN 7/3/2014 3:50PM

    Thank you again for sharing your beautiful blog posts with us. I look forward to them.

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DWHATABOUTB 7/3/2014 1:21PM

    Thank you for taking us along on your walk. It's it's so beautiful and green and it's nice to learn a little bit about other cultures.

Amazing there was a pig walking around without a fence. It's so nice that you thought of us and wanted to bring us along with you.

Please don't forget us on your next walk. As soon as I figure out how to upload pictures and such, I will share my walks with you.

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VAINVT 7/3/2014 1:20PM

  Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I love to travel and your blog was like a lovely trip for me.

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JUNETTA2002 7/3/2014 12:50PM

    Fantastic pictures. Thanks for showing me something I will never see in person.

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LSIG14 7/3/2014 12:38PM

    Absolutely awesome photos - such a great way to combine work with vacation. I am envious! Glad to hear the new nursing home is better for your Mom.

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LINDERVEE 7/3/2014 12:16PM

    What a blessing to have the opportunity to visit such a peaceful and beautiful place. Glad to hear your mom is doing better.


Comment edited on: 7/3/2014 12:17:13 PM

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LAINYC 7/3/2014 12:07PM


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PENOWOK 7/3/2014 11:29AM

    So glad you made it home. How frightening for you that your mom was ill while you were gone. I am across the country (US) from my dad and will visit for a very short visit this month. He doesn't tolerate longer visits, so it's difficult to fly for such a short visit. It sounds as though your time, busy was good. I love the photos, of course!!

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SHOAPIE 7/3/2014 10:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 7/3/2014 10:26AM

    Nice pics

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JERICHO1991 7/3/2014 9:45AM

    Thanks. I always enjoy reading about, and seeing pictures of, your adventures.

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SHARONCAPPS 7/3/2014 9:44AM

  Pictures were beautiful and glad that Mom is doing well in the new home. Thank you for sharing

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SUNSHINEGB 7/3/2014 9:04AM

    I LOVE your new red suede shoes! emoticon

Really interesting blog with beautiful pictures, it was like being there with you!

I'm glad the nursing home is working out well for your mother, it can be worrisome when you're uneasy about a home your parent is in. Happy it's working out for you all!

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TIMEHASCOME56 7/3/2014 8:42AM

    Those pictures are beautiful. Now I want to go emoticon My prayers are for you and your mother.

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GARDENCHRIS 7/3/2014 7:23AM

    I am so happy your mom did not need surgery emoticon I know how all the worrying is not good to be doing, God is still in control.

AND emoticon for the lovely visit to the Netherlands! I just love the house with all the hydrangeas in front! Such pretty gardens.

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KASIUNIA_1 7/3/2014 7:21AM

  The photos are beautiful!
Glad to hear your mother is doing better emoticon

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SHERYLP461 7/3/2014 7:18AM

    You are blessed to have a job that allows you to do so much traveling. I am so happy to hear your mothers new nursing home is so much better than the last, a weight off your shoulders.

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CHERYLHURT 7/3/2014 7:04AM


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WALNUTT1961 7/2/2014 10:31PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful adventure! So glad your mother is doing well and you and your father are satisfied with the care she is receiving. That is such a blessing for you both!

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PATRICIA-CR 7/2/2014 6:19PM

    So happy to hear your mother is stable now, and the new nursing home is doing its job greatly. Glad you're also back home.

The photos are to die for. Thanks a lot!

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DOILIEQUEEN 7/2/2014 5:59PM

    emoticon Glad your mother didn't have to have surgery. Love your pictures.

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RENATA144 7/2/2014 5:45PM

  Bon jour Sweet Claire !!! First of all - Thank God that your Mama is better & in a better nursing home with such a caring staff, ( like my hubby's). I'm so sorry that you had such a terrible scare but I'm so Happy that it's better now. Blessings to you & your Family emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you for showing us how exquisite The Netherlands are. Absolutely Enchanting !!! You must one say publish a book of your wonderful travelogues.
Al of my best wishes emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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  Sounds like a wonderful experience!!!!

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KANSASROSE67 7/2/2014 2:03PM

    Dearest Claire,

Another beautiful blog!

I am SO happy things are so much better for your mother at the new home. What a blessing.


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LANCER1984 7/2/2014 12:59PM

    Hi Claire, your pictures are just beautiful! I wish I had the ability to travel but money does not allow for it. I know from experience how hard it is to find a good, competent nursing home. Sometimes I wonder why some people got into the helping profession. I'm glad she and your dad are now happy. It will make things easier for you to handle. Wishes for more great days ahead. Karin

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