Monday, November 26, 2007

Fascinating Stuff

Well, not really. I've been tagged, again! The Bliss Team has been tagged too by Birgit of Day after Day, That's Life! and that will probably be a more interesting read. ;-). I have been tagged by Lisa of Greenbow to reveal 8 random facts about myself.

Right, let's not prolong the agony and get cracking:

Here are the rules:
When tagged you must link to the person who tagged you.
Then post rules before you list and list eight random things about yourself.
At the end of the post, you must tag and link to eight other people.

1) my birthday is on the 25th of November (yes indeed, that was yesterday but I didn't have time to blog then) and I share my birthday with Kadootje whom I found on my birthday in my garden 2 years ago when she was a little kitten. Read all about that here. As I didn't know exactly how old Kadootje (=Present) really was, and my finding her was a sort of re-birth for her (from miserable stray to beloved pet), we both celebrate our special day on the 25th. Here's a pic of the birthday girl!
Well, one of the birthday girls. ;-)

2) I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all time favorite TV series (so far).
Don't let the name put you off, it really is brilliantly written and made, wickedly funny, scary, exhilarating and great entertainment. And it regularly gives you pause for thought and makes you yell at your TV screen too, so what more could you possibly want from a TV series? If you're familiar with the Whedonverse, I'm a Redemptionista.

3) I studied interior architecture and design for 4 years and after I'd finished my study successfully I designed my first ................................ garden! I look upon gardens as rooms with slightly higher than normal ceilings that tend to leak a bit more than your average ceiling ever would. I prefer working with natural materials such as wood, wicker, stone, clay, cotton, linen, wool, plants, flowers, grasses etc. both inside and out. Harmony is the name of the game for me.

4) I'm a very private person so revealing personal stuff is difficult, to put it mildly.

5) I started the Bliss garden 1 week before I went into hospital to have a rather serious back operation. I'd had serious and very painful back trouble for many years. It was so bad in fact, that I was bedridden for months on end ( 4 months was the longest period) and I had to spend 24/7 in bed not being able to either walk, stand or sit, but just lie there, doped up to the eyes balls with morphine because of debilitating pain.

A few weeks after my op, I started gardening again, in drips and drabs creating the Bliss garden. Creating my garden and the actual gardening itself was and is a great way to heal myself; body, spirit and soul.

6) My biggest hobby is not, as many would suspect, gardening but reading. I taught myself to read at the ripe old age of 5 as my parents were not very good with reading bedtime stories. I think I've read over 10 thousand books so far and I'm still at it. My bookcase runneth over! When I was at high school (Dutch equivalent of) I read on average 7 books a week. Now I'm down to only 1 or 2 a week. Terrible, isn't it?

7) Apart from being rather private I'm also a shy person. That's why I am able to give lectures to 2000 or so people and not blink an eye or break out in a cold sweet. LOL The first time I gave a lecture the first 5 minutes were pure agony but after they had passed, everything went swimmingly. Nowadays I have to take care not to become too relaxed when I'm in front of an audience as I need that shot of adrenaline to stay focused!

8) Cats play an important part in my life. The first cat entered into my life when I was just a baby. Shortly after she came, my father decided to breed birds and as cats and birds don't mix, my cat Poesja had to go. I have no conscious memories of Poesja but I longed for a kittycat for years and years as a child, teenager and young adult. After I left my parents' home I went looking for a cat immediately and as I was searching I fell in love with those gorgeous blue, actually grey, ones and had to have one as a companion. The one I found was my beloved Chuck, a blue Persian/Longhair
and then, a few months later, sweet little Wendy came, a blue-point Longhair/Himalayan.
A few years later I fell and still am head over heels in love with Russian Blues, for me they are the purrrrfect cat. It was many years later that I found out from my parents that my first cat Poesja had also been blue (=grey).

I've been a pedigree cat breeder, on a very small scale and as a hobby only, for over 20 years. My breeds were Russian Blues
and later on Maine Coon cats too.
I am also an international cat judge, but I do not think the judging side all that important. I'm far more concerned about health issues and I find the behaviour of cats endlessly fascinating therefor I read everything on that subject I can lay my hands on.

As so many garden bloggers I know have been tagged already, I've decided not to tag anyone else unless you'd like to be tagged. In that case feel free to consider yourself tagged to reveal 8 deep, dark secrets about yourself. ;-)

The Bliss Team tag:

1) Name 5 favorite 'songs' :

Kadootje: I wanna go outside!
Merlijntje and Delia: hold me tight!
Surprise: I need food!
Willow: I'm so pretty and cuddly!
Vita: kek kek kek (the bird song she sings to all the birds she sees)

2) Name 5 favorite toys:

Surprise: real mice and ones stuffed with catnip
Kadootje: at bit of string, preferably with a human attached
Dolly: Yolanda Elizabet
Merlijn: feathers
Vita: fluffy toys with catnip

3) Name 5 things you love to eat:
Willow and Dolly: dry cat food and cooked fish
Surprise: everything even remotely edible
Delia and Merlin: cheese, cooked fish, raw meat and thin slices of roast beef
Pippa: cooked fish, raw meat, tuna and cheese
Vita: tuna, cooked fish, slices of roast beef, birds, raw meat and tinned cat food
Macavity: dry and tinned cat food
Kadootje: cooked fish, tuna, raw meat and yogurt

4) Name 5 favorite activities you'd like to indulge in:

Merlijn: snuggling up with Delia in front of the wood stove or on the bed
Kadootje: playing outside in the garden
Willow: sitting on Yolanda's lap
Macavity: seducing female felines in heat and fighting off the competition, then running home and have Yolanda clean my wounds and then hug and kiss me to make it all better again.
Vita: being outside in the garden sunbathing
Surprise and Pippa: eating and snoozing
Dolly: climbing the walnut tree and then pretending that I cannot climb down again so that Yolanda has to get the ladder out and save me.

5) Name 5 bad habits:

Willow: bad habits? Moi?
Kadootje: huh?
Vita: I'm a purrrrrrrrfectly behaved feline person, thankyouverymuch!
Merlijn: you're joking, right?
Delia: I'm purrrrrfection wrapped in gorgeously soft and silky fur. Anyway, that's what my personal assistant is always telling me and I believe her!

The Bliss team have in their turn tagged the following felines:

1) Mungus and the rest of the gang from the Bloomingwriter's blog
2) all the kittycats from Our Little Acre
3) Yin and Yang from Costa de la Luz Gardening
4) Sassy and Tango from Woodlands World, as soon as their personal assistant feels up to it. Get well soon Libby!
And because they are who they are, the Bliss Team has decided in their infinite feline wisdom to tag a doggy too:
5) Lytton from Kate's Smudges in Earth, Paint and Life.
copyright: Y.E.W. Heuzen.2007


Anonymous said...

Well, YE, you revealed quite a bit that I didn't know about you. The cats, yes; shyness, no surprise---but delivering lectures to 2,000 people? That's interesting. A fan of Buffy? Who knew?

Happy belated birthday to you and Kadootje!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yolanda I thank you very much for participating in the 8 things meme. I do so enjoy your kitties too. The additional meme for kitties and Lytton is lots of fun.

Anonymous said...

Natuurlijk allereerst van harte met jouw verjaardag van gisteren!! Wat een leuke tag deze keer. Met de kattenbeestjes erbij wordt't nog leuk leesbaar ook!!
Kadootje is wel super, ik vind'm/'r echt een dotje!!

En weer heel veel van jou geleerd bovendien. Hmmmm, bijna jaloers op zo'n schitterende grote boekenkast. Helemaal gevuld, mjammie!

Garden Cats + Crafts said...

Zuerst einmal:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!Liebe Yolanda, alles Liebe und Gute wünsche ich Dir.

Sorry, dass ich Dir so viel Arbeit mit dem Bliss-Tag-Post gemacht habe. Zeigt er doch, alles ganz normale liebe Kätzchen, die bei Dir wohnen. Dass Du das Lieblingspielzeug von Dolly bist, ist doch sehr liebenswert. Ganz liebevoll von Dir gemacht, dieser Post.

Natürlich ist es auch interessant, mehr von Dir selbst zu erfahren. Vielen Dank dafür. Du bist eine interessante und kluge Frau.

Liebe Grüße, Birgit

Naturegirl said...

Yolanda you and your Bliss team did a
SUPER job!! I adored each and every photo that you posted!
I can relate to your love of felines
as I as a child had a cat who died and since I have forever been fond of cats and home is NOT complete without 4 legged fur friends sharing with me!! I certainly can relate to being on meds and laid up in bed ...since my shingles attack!!
I am sure your situation was worse because you had to stay put for so long..I am sure the feline family kept you company!!
Oh Yolanda there is so many things about you that I loved to read about but most important I love your caring and sharing heart..that I know to be so just in the way you
present your blog to us in your photos and words!
I wish you a
((((belated Happy birthday))) and I feel blessed to have come to know you through blogging!! You certainly are a shining light in this international community of bloggers!! hugs and purzzzzzzzzzzzzz aNNa xo meow!

LadyLuz said...

Belated happy birthday Yolanda. Enjoyed knowing a bit more about you.

Yin and Yang very honoured by your tag and couldn't wait to oblige. Greetings from them to all their Dutch feline friends.

kate said...

What a wonderful surprise! Lytton must have suspected something because he came over and decided to sit and watch me for a bit. Then he fell asleep ... on my foot.

Lytton feels incredibly lucky to have been tagged ... he has a tremendous respect for his feline compatriots. He still misses his Hazel. She taught him about the proper respect to be accorded to all felines. (Sometimes he forgets and chases them, but not often. He knows what it feels like to be reminded of his place.)

Lytton will enjoy telling everyone all about his favourite things - of which there are many. (and he agreed to let me take some pictures of him although I had to promise not to use the flash).

I learned many interesting things about you besides your love of cats and gardens. I'm glad that your experiences with bad back pain helped begin the creation of Bliss.

I'm not surprised in the least to find that you are a big reader! And I think it's cool that you are able to give lectures to big crowds. That's amazing.

A Buffy fan - I wouldn't have guessed that in a million years!

Carol Michel said...

Happy Birthday, Yolanda. I, too, learned a lot about you and your kitties from this post. I've never seen the "Buffy... " show, perhaps I'll have to check it out to see what it is all about!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Anonymous said...

YE: Yet more is revealed! You are an accomplished woman with a beautiful garden and thousands of cats! LOL :) Sorry about the back and I hope that is behind you!

My Chutney Garden said...

Wow, you are very interesting. Lectures to 2,000 people and a professional cat judge. That is so cool! I adore cats as well. As I type this, my faithful Calico is lying on my scanner and blinking at me and giving me silent mews.
I think you have created an amazing amount of beauty and contentment in your life.
Happy, happy birthday.

Garden Wise Guy said...

Yolanda: Has anyone zapped you for a ‘meme’ lately? It’s a pleasant little exercise in proliferating blogs. Have a look at my blog ( and decide if you’d like to keep things moving. Simple rules and a great way to see what everyone is up to…

Brimstone said...

Kadootje nog gefeliciflapstaart en je vrouwtje natuurlijk ook :-))

Meestal hou ik niet van zulke lijstjes, maar jij hebt er iets heel speciaals van gemaakt. Het was heel leuk om te lezen en te zien met al die foto's.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday--belated! Hope you had a lovely day! Such fun to read your list and learn more about you. And you Tag Team is the sweetest I've seen--such lovely kitties! ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Well Yolanda,

Tagging is fun I see, we all learn a lot about you.
And we will see more of your nice pictures.
THank you for sharing this all!!



lisa said...

That was a fun meme, Yolanda! Happy belated Birthday too! Hope it was fun! I really like how you incorporated the cats in the meme...they sure look like a lot of fun!

SchneiderHein said...

Dann ersteinmal alles liebe für Euch nachträglich zum Geburtstag.
Diese getagged-Kombination von Dir und dem Bliss-Team ist herrlich! Ich habe sie heute noch einmal in Ruhe gelesenen, nachdem ich sie gestern nur kurz überflogen hatte.
Zuerst finde ich es erstaunlich, dass wir ein ähnliches Studium hinter uns haben. Und ich davor - noch während meines letzten Schuljahres - mit meinem weißen Vorgarten anfing und mir damals nicht sicher war, ob ich nicht lieber Gartenbau oder Architektur studieren sollte. Und Du Dich danach in Gärten gestürzt hast.
Auch Dein Interesse an grauen Kätzchen und vorallem den Russen und es gibt noch einiges mehr an ähnlichen Dingen oder begebenheiten, die mir in Deinem Text auffielen.
Auch wenn das Schneeballsystem am getagged sein Nachteile mit sich bringt, so ist es doch schön hier so einen schönen Post über Dich lesen zu können, der noch dazu mit so vielen Katzen bestückt ist.
Liebe Grüße

Kylee Baumle said...

Hey, I watch Buffy when it's on late at night, too! I wouldn't watch it on purpose, but if it happens to be on, I will. It's a decent show, in spite of the title. LOL.

I would never guess you to be shy or private. Really! For all that we have in common, we differ here. I'm not shy nor am I private. But you've probably already guessed that about me.

The kitties are excited to answer your questions, but they'll have to wait for me to type it for them. I'll be doing it later this week. This should be fun!

Anonymous said...

Alsnog van harte gefeliciteerd Yolanda!! Je hebt van de tag een heel leuke post gebakken...:-))
En Buffy als favo- jij zit vol verrassingen...!! Heb daar ook vele afleveringen van gezien, doordat de jongste zoon daar destijds een grote fan van was....;-)en... hij vond het ook helemaal niet verkeerd dat Sara Michelle Gellar de hoofdrol had..;-))))

A wildlife gardener said...

First of all, may I wish you a very Happy Belated Birthday, Yolanda Elizabet :)

I found your revelations more than a bit fascinating, as numbers 4-8 apply to me as well...fiercely private (though I'm a very friendly person), back trouble, (the reason why I've hardly been blogging as I can't sit for pain in my spine/back)shyness, and cat lover :)

The post about the cats had me laughing out loud. Great fun! I'm positively purring now :)

Annie in Austin said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Yolanda Elizabet - that's the feast of St Catherine, but St Gertrude would be more appropriate since she's the patron saint of cats ;-]

What interesting things you've told us! There are a lot of Buffy fans in Austin, too - the Alamo Drafthouse used to show the musical-themed episodes so the fans could have a Buffy-Singalong. Can you imagine yourself drinking beer, eating chips and queso, singing along with a bunch of Austinites deep in the heart of Texas?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Happy belated Birthday! (I won't ask how old.) Your study of design & architecture really shows in your beautiful garden. I also have benefitted from gardening as physical & emotional therapy. There might be a meme theme in that. I have been to many dog shows (my sister showed Maltese), but I have never seen a cat show during judging. Did you start breeding & then got into judging? I love Russian Blues - they are so beautiful, but I think Main Coon cats are the coolest! Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Many, many purrs, burbles and best wishes from our house to you, Yolanda. The cat-children also wish to advise you they're delighted with being tagged and will answer as soon as they can. They're very busy, what with having spurts of wild abandon followed by spurts of eating followed by spurts of ....napping!
And of course I will have to do their typing for them as only Mungus has thumbs. But they're all very good at chasing mice.....

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with us. I'm so glad that you were able to get relief from the back pain. I'm also very glad that you began your garden blog, my life has been enriched by your Dutch Bliss.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I bow in your general direction! Your writing, your cats, your garden, your life - fascinating. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us all.

Unknown said...

The cat-children at bloomingwriter's funny farm have their post up but they forgot to send you a note to tell you so, because they've gotten into the catnip and are sleeping it off. So I'm here to tell you, Yolanda, that they have their post at (easier to do a tinyurl than to paste in that long URL). They send greetings and catnip and thanks to the Bliss Team for thinking of them!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

I'm a big Buffy fan too! I got hooked one year when I was sick and couldn't sleep at night. So I'd watch Buffy episodes at 3 and 4 am. Then I was hooked. Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Kylee Baumle said...

Blogger doesn't hate me anymore! :-) I finally was able to post the kitties' answer to your tag.

Tag! The Kitties Are It!"

chuck b. said...

I am also a HUGE fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.