Today was our first TRICK or TREAT PARTY ever!

During the last 12 years in The Netherlands we had to improvise to keep this scary, sweet tradition alive-in the name of my American husband of course!

The Dutch know what Halloween is, but nobody really cares about it!  As soon as our children were old enough to appreciate the sweeter things in life we were off:  Our cars were filled to the rim with dressed up children and we drove around the neighbourhood to our pre-arranged addresses!

Not today! Let me take you on a tour around the neighbourhood and show you what our boys had to deal with: 

This one is quite harmess!

 Fall decoration in front of our house:

This is some harmless fall decoration in front of our house

Let the fun begin:

Further along the road:You will find lots of skeletons on our Ridge:

If that isn’t enough, dead people are hanging everywhere!

Actually not, this is just the spiderweb!Around the corner:

Are they real or not?

Plan Ahead & Seize the Moment

 I love having a plan or spending time on making one! And since I became a mother I also like to have plan B and C in case plan A falls through.

It is Monday morning. After some strategic planning, the day was all accounted for.  The plan kept me moving and talking from 8.45 in the morning till 3pm in the afternoon.

By 9am, 15 minutes into my first appointment I realized there was no plan anymore: My lady friends stood me up! One due to flu and the other one due to miss-understanding!

I could have gone home, feeling sorry for myself and finish vacuuming the basement – the  Hoover was still out.                                                                                                                                                                

Instead, I thought “Sod it” and set off on my own (the basement will still be dusty when I come back). I did what I planned for the morning:  a brisk walk through our wonderful nature. This was a wonderful opportunity to have some ‘me’ time while trailing through rocky, muddy and wet terrain.  Ignoring the bear warning signs, I set off into unchartered territory.

If I have nobody to talk to, my brain has vivid conversations with itself. Marching through the morning mist, inspired by the colours and beauty around me, I couldn’t help but thinking:” How many meanings are there for the word “Snicker doodle?” (E.g. Have you been snicker doodled before?)  How will I celebrate when my book “Very Berry Extra-Ordinary” will hit the No.1 spot at Amazon .com?  What is the best strategy to get onto the Oprah Show? (I should get her phone number and call!)  If somebody will hand me one Million Dollars, what is the first thing I would buy?”(Pay off the house first or rather go on a cruise- or better still pay off our parents homes and then go on a cruise?) Ok, this is not mind blowing, world changing stuff, but these issues needed to be addressed anyway.

What am I saying?

Plans are good – but be prepared to have them changed!

And more importantly, seize the moment!

Like the previous Friday when I decided to reinvent myself as the next master chef!  The day started off with no plan, and all of a sudden there was one! The rainy morning was a perfect excuse to hang out at the library and stock up on weekend reads, i.e. cookbooks.

The Cauliflower Gratin caught my eye and after following the instructions step by step, the dish looked exactly like the picture in the cookbook.

Or on Saturday when I was forced to change my Saturday afternoon plan for our teenage son.  It involved a 45 minute car ride to pick him up from his soccer match.  He inconvenienced me – again- because he forgot one of our family rules: communicate with your parents if you need their help!  But, this trip turned out to be a blessing. Forty-five minutes alone in the car with your son can be turned into bonding time if you ask the right questions and keep the radio on low.  In Holland our children were always on their bikes and went everywhere on their own (much shorter distances, bicycle paths and street lights everywhere). Here, they still need us to get from A to B.

If we always wait for somebody else to join us, or if we need constant reassurance from somebody else, or if we ask permission to does something then will never get things done!

We don’t need to wait till the 31th of December to reinvent ourselves or to change a habit or to start something new. Let’s do it right now. The right moment, the right time, the right circumstance doesn’t exist! The right time is now!

We all should do what we planned for today – even if it means we have to do it alone!

To me, this is what being Extra-Ordinary is all about!