I really think what's going on in Belgium is ridiculous.

Those people who are supposed to care about their people and their needs are fools!
They're only making things more complicated than they are. Ok, things are complicated:
  • 3 different languages to communicate with,
  • great gap between the poor and the few rich,
  • lots of extremists,
  • too many people who don't want to work
  • too many foreigners who don't want to adapt in this already complicated country,
  • taxes that are Europe's highest but there is a big money crisis going on,
  • loads of fraud,
  • politicians who never want to settle anything,
  • no stable government since I arrived (Dec. 2008),
  • millions of euros for a royal family I'm still wondering why they're here for,
Hmm, when I think about it, isn't it how every single country is? Maybe not the royal part. But I can see similarities in my own country (France).

Though I'm getting more and more angry here, everybody knows Sarkozy was a clown, I didn't think, here in Belgium, such a small country, that they would be playing with our nerves so much.

They always disagree no matter the subject, they always judge the leader of a parti without having a discussion with them first, they're always playing with their iPad, iPhone, smart phones during the weekly debates (they should not be allowed to have them during that time at least!), they're allowing taxes that have no real meaning (what should I pay for something I don't have and probably never will?), they're always trying to make the citizen pay for their mistakes or their stupid spendings or their fraude.

I can't take it anymore, this is getting more and more insane over here.

Don't forget this is only my own opinion and I'm pretty angry. Some of you probably know more than I do and can probably explain it much better than I can. But as a foreigner, in a small country with so many problems and differences, I'm really wondering where my future lies. I have a job, I pay taxes. I speak two of the three languages in this country. But I feel it falling apart and becoming so bitter that anger is an easy way out. I know I can't properly do anything, but screaming my opinion is one option I choose.

for this day, this celebration that is

thankful-25 - Thanksgiving

On this day that is only (correct me if I'm wrong) celebrated in a country that I love so much, I am grateful for such a celebration: saying thanks is often taken for granted and it's an important educational element that will help every one of us grow kinder and wiser.

I remember, when I was young, my Mom telling me to say thanks anytime she or another person was giving me something. And I remember not forgetting too much. I probably should have said it more to my brothers and sisters though...
I now teaches my nieces to say it too.

I realize how important it is to be polite, to always be grateful for what we have and for what we are. When I complain, I sometimes think twice before doing it again. I do have all those things that we really take for granted: water, a house, warmth, clothes, love, a family, even two, food, even I'm lucky to be alive. So many people don't have this chance and I try to never forget it. When I have an impulsive shopping spree coming, I make two lists: do I need it? what is it for? Most of the time the first answer is no and the second is so shallow.

Of course, I'm no way near perfect and have big necessities that are not. Of course I buy more food than necessary, I buy stuff that I don't need. I'm in this roller-coaster that is today's society of buying anything for our comfort and self-satisfaction.
But I'm learning. I'm learning to let go and think more. I'm learning that little things, words, gestures count. I'm learning to be more selfless and enjoy what I have then. I'm learning to also make things look prettier by just adding a touch of myself. I'm learning that memories are very important and I know how I want to be remembered. I'm learning to be more patient and more understandable.

No, no, it's not easy. And it's not all. But learning is one good way, isn't it?

I wish all of you a beautiful, memorable, fun and happy Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for this year?

I can't post pictures right now because my computer is so full that I can't add them.
I'm trying to send some from my phone directly to Flickr, but it takes quite some time and I have some beautiful automnal camera pictures that I'd like to share too.
Therefore I'm making a complete internet back-up as well as one on my external hard-disks and will erase all 2010 from the computer so I can finally use the space. I think I'm also going to make a DVD per month. I know DVDs quality is not as good, but it'll be an extra back up in case the other back-ups crash on me like last time.
I'm in the middle of the internet back-up: January til June is done. I'm very happy about it since I needed to do that for so long.

Our family housewarming was for the most part pretty stressful.

Even though we tried our best to have everything ready on time, I wasn't and it put me in an awful mood for a bit. After I calmed down and changed, everything went smoothly and we enjoyed our time with both our families.

It's funny how you have expectations on how things are going to be and then it kinda always turn out differently, which is not always a bad thing. I focused so much on making everyone comfortable and at ease that I forgot to take pictures for example.

One thing I learned from this experience is that you can forgive (or almost) but forgetting is the hardest part especially when it involves mom's tears...

When I look back on this, I can't stop but feeling that even though it wasn't a total failure, things could have been easier, especially if my moods were better.

We'll have another one of this lind of celebrations and I hope that this time, it'll end differently.


Peter and I spent a big amount of time preparing the food for our family housewarming: it was fun to taste all the recipes that we wanted to make for the big day. We enjoyed cooking together and adding the spices as we did. It was an automnal menu with lots of vegetables & fruits of the season.
We cooked the whole day on Friday and the whole morning on Saturday. I was pretty stressed then because I was supposed to be done with the soup but didn't have time since my family arrived earlier than we expected. Also if you've made pumpkin soup before, you'd know how much work it is to cut the flesh into pieces. I was lucky to have Peter and my lil' sister help all they could (I'm terrible when it comes to the kitchen sharing). 
Here's the menu (in French):
Unfortunately I don't have great pictures of the food once it was prepared and done. I have blurry instax... I barely touched my camera during the whole day. I'm a bit disappointed but sometimes, you just have to enjoy the day and let others take the pictures. But the food memories will always titillate your palate, right?

Drinking some coffee and Orangina in a pub.
Looking at treasures in a thrift store.
Photographing the beautiful colors of Nature.
Finding some patterns along the way.

Witnessing a stunning sunset.